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31 July 2014
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Interviews | Matt Jefferies
The original Enterprise brief

When you met Gene, what did he want for the Enterprise?

Picture Basically he described what the mission was, the size of the crew, the make-up. He built that picture, and the only requirement that he laid down were he didnít want to see any fins, no rockets and no fire.

What were Geneís requirements for the ship?

Fantastic speed beyond our galaxy, shirt sleeve environment, mixed crew, probably a five year voyage, not to worry about gravity. "I donít want to see any fins or rockets, no fire," he said, "make it look like itís got power", and he walked out the door. I sat there, thinking what was he talking about?

I decided that whatever we came up with had to be instantly recognisable, and to sell the speed it would probably have to start in the distance as a tiny speck of light, and enlarge and come right by your head or go the other way. In that couple of seconds you had to be able to recognise it.

The habitat part I felt ideally should be a ball, but it got too awkward to play with. It just didnít look like it would get out of first gear, much less the speeds he was talking about. So it gradually got flattened. I was trying to stay away from a saucer because the UFOs or flying saucer were old hat but it did gradually turn it into a saucer.

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