USS Dauntless bridge Original Preproduction set model from Star Trek Voyager
Having accessed a communications array, the crew of “Voyager” received an encoded message indicating nearby coordinates. Upon arrival they discovered a starship presumably sent from Starfleet to carry them home employing experimental ‘quantum slipstream drive' technology much faster than warp speed. The ship was a dream come true and the bridge was light years more advanced than that of the intrepid “USS Voyager”. The item of the Archives is a foam core model of the bridge of the “Dauntless”, the ship discovered in the episode “Hope and Fear”. The model features two secondary areas adjoining the main bridge rotunda, a three dimensional work of art eventually realized in a full scale, life sized set featured in the episode. The central bridge depicts an inset helm bank and chair at the fore, a centrally located command chair and a series of guard rails around them. The sides of the bridge walls are open to give viewers a full view of the interior, a section of the walls are present for the full effect. The front of the bridge is a step up to the main viewscreen (open for a view aft), and the rear reveals the exit to attached corridors. Two model miniature Starfleet characters are present for scale depicted in ‘First Contact-style’ uniforms, glued into place, one of the guard rails is unattached butt most likely to be placed at the fore of the bridge. The entire model is attached to a base, and a small corner under the identification plate on the base is broken away. The ID plate reads ‘Star Trek: Voyager, Episode #194, “Hope and Fear”, Dauntless Bridge” in caps and in the ‘Voyager-style’ font. The entire item measures approx. 22 X 36 X 7.5 inches.
The bridge of the USS Dauntless was initially, roughly sketched by Richard James (Production designer). He based the curving walls of the bridge on the ship's description as a bullet-shaped craft and drew a first-pass sketch of the engineering room by modifying a sketch of the bridge, copying its curved architecture. The bridge and engineering then became the subject of blueprints illustrated by set designer Greg Berry and fellow set designer Greg Hooper, respectively. To achieve the curvature of the bridge and save costs, the room's walls were designed, by James and Berry, as a series of curving steel grids, covered with muslin through which appropriate lighting could be shone. Scripwriter Ronald B. Moore remarked, "The USS Dauntless bridge was a really huge set. The idea of being able to go in and change this set over from Federation to alien, or the other way, was a big job." However, the transformation was made easier by the fact that the color of the walls could be changed simply by altering the color shone through the muslin. The color of orange, for the bridge's alien configuration, was chosen by director Rick Kolbe. Using only orange light, however, proved highly overpowering, so some white light was added to disperse the orange.
On the slide photo, you can see Richard James points out the details of the foam-core model of the dauntless bridge, while Directeor Rick Kolbe peers through a viewfinder to plan camera angles. Greg Berry, set designer, observe.