Originally Posted by horatio
I agree with Tom and Martok that there shouldn't be any major changes to the exterior. But I don't think that there is anything wrong with minor changes that are hardly perceivable like in the case of the Enterprise E.
Same with the interior. A constant redesign of it like during the first six movies wouldn't be appropriate but some minor twitching, extending sets like main engineering that have been only seen partly and so on are OK IMO.
Well the interior changes to the interior sets in the first three movies were actually quite minimal. The reason why we get such huge contrast in terms of the atmosphere, particularly on the bridge is because of lighting changes. Kind of the same thing they did with the interior sets during the TV series, but the sets remained pretty much the same for the first three. I "think" in the Voyage Home, the bridge set once again remained the same with lighting changes as well as changes on the displays using the blue and green that kind of becomes the standard during the Excelsior generation.
I got the impression from the Star Trek 5 commentary that the original intent was to keep the same bridge set, but I swear it was almost as if God was hinting at them "Thou shalt not make this movie". Apparently among the many things that happened that plagued that movie, the bridge set was left outdoors with tarps to protect it. Unfortunately the tarps were not secured and that year they just happened to not only get raid but some nasty wind which blew off the tarps and the set was rained on and destroyed. So they had to throw together a new set. While overall, I didn't care for the bridge set in 5, but there were technical behind the scenes stuff that just happened to work for what they were doing.I have to watch the commentary again, but I want to say that the bridge set wasn't quite complete when they started filming. So the scenes in the beginning where the bridge was still a bit of a mess with panels open was not just the state of the ship in the movie but kind of the state of the actual set. Of course the passageways as well as the observation deck were just redressed TNG passageways and a redressed 10 Forward. So while I agree that 5 was hands down the worst movie they made and even in the commentary you hear cracks about it as well, but looking back on that movie about 20 years later, it actually has a special place in my heart.
With Undiscovered Country I suspect that after the whole fiasco with Final Frontier, as well as the fact that it was the last one they would make in that series, they went balls to the wall. They continued with the blue and green Okudagrams while still keeping the traditional buttons to kind of mark that transition from the old style consoles to the TNG interface. The other thing is that I think they really,for the first time, struck a nice working balance between the very utilitarian feel that TWOK had (something that I felt was probably one of TWOK's strengths, albeit a somewhat superficial one), which was primarily achieved through a more subdued lighting of the bridge and that brighter office or hotel feeling that occasionally drew criticism from fans such as myself and even Matt Jeffries.