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Published on January 7th, 2014 | by Tim Piland

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Like a Phoenix From the Ashes: A Feature on Doug Drexler, and the Design of the New Deep Space Nine Part 2

"Alan Dingman at Pocket contacted me about a starfleet style design for a replacement Deep Space Nine. In their ongoing series of excellent novels, the Cardasssian station is destroyed." -Doug Drexler

“Alan Dingman at Pocket contacted me about a s Starfleet style design for a replacement Deep Space Nine. In their ongoing series of excellent novels, the Cardasssian station is destroyed.”
-Doug Drexler

Last time, we looked at the design of the new DS9, and familiarized ourselves with Mr. Doug Drexler, a Star Trek veteran that worked in different capacities on 4 different Trek series. To go back and read part one, click here. Now, we take a closer look at the new station. We will get a detailed glimpse into the design process, see fledgling illustrations of Douglas Graves digital model and Andrew Probert‘s sketches, giving us the intricate details of this new Starbase.

First cover to feature the new DS9 as approved by Pocket.

First cover to feature the new DS9 as approved by Pocket.

Designing the station for Pocket Books was very different than designing a ship for a television series. The time involved and pressure are a completely different thing. When designing the NX Class Starship for Star Trek: Enterprise, Doug spent months designing that ship. It was high pressure for no pay(because he was already a full time employee for another company) however he did go on to be hired as Senior Illustrator on Enterprise. His design for the ship, as well as his sticktuitiveness, earned accolades from the legendary Michael Okuda when he said,”That’s dedication, but that’s what Doug brings to every project.” In regards to the new station, it was a fairly straightforward task; design the station based on what has been put forth in the novels. Also, the new station had to be designed in a relatively short amount of time, a matter of weeks instead of months.

Doug Drexler and Michael Okuda at the 17th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards, February, 2013

Doug Drexler and Michael Okuda at the 17th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards, February, 2013

“How difficult was the design process? Compared to working on an official Star Trek series for Paramount, not all that difficult. Designing a hero ship or station for a professional Hollywood production can be quite involved. Many possibilities would have been sketched up and weighed out. Remember that many millions of dollars are on the line when creating a television show.”

The new station clearly evokes the old one. But the familiar aesthetic attributes are where the similarities end. This is a massive, state of the art, armed to the teeth fortress in space. But in amongst its defensive capabilities, lies a comfortable, sleek city in space, ready to become home for thousands. There is a huge theater, an entire hospital complex instead of just an infirmary, massive promenade area (on the new station, they call it the plaza.) and even a park huge enough to go hang gliding in. Needless to say, it’s big…

Andrew Probert's first pass on the station with a number of thumbnails.

Andrew Probert’s first pass on the station with a number of thumbnails.

 

Once a basic configuration was approved by Pocket, Andy drew up this first sketch, which lead to...

“Once a basic configuration was approved by Pocket, Andy drew up this first sketch, which lead to…”
-Doug Drexler

 

This design which is getting much closer to the finished product.

This design which is getting much closer to the finished product.

 

The approved basic config.  "With his cleared by Pocket, Andy could begin to flesh out details..." -Doug Drexler

The approved basic config.
“With his design cleared by Pocket Books, Andy could begin to flesh out details…”
-Doug Drexler

"Andy began fleshing out the details of the station with his usual flair. Check out the sphinx shuttle, bottom center." -Doug Drexler

“Andy began fleshing out the details of the station with his usual flair. Check out the sphinx shuttle, bottom center.”
-Doug Drexler

 

"Further development in preparation for building a CG model, by proto-human "deg", otherwise known as Douglas E Graves." -Doug Drexler

“Further development in preparation for building a CG model, by proto-human “deg”, otherwise known as Douglas E Graves.”
-Doug Drexler

 

"An enormous bay receiving one of Andy's fleet tugs (DSTRV). If lucky. we'll get to see one of these in the 2015 Ships Of The Line calendar." -Doug Drexler

“An enormous bay receiving one of Andy’s fleet tugs (DSTRV). If lucky. we’ll get to see one of these in the 2015 Ships Of The Line calendar.”
-Doug Drexler

 

"The kind of thought that makes Trek golden age ships so memorable and fascinating." -Doug Drexler Look at the detail here!  The parkland is massive and really like nothing we have ever seen in Trek!

“The kind of thought that makes Trek golden age ships so memorable and fascinating.”
-Doug Drexler
Look at the detail here! The parkland is massive and really like nothing we have ever seen in Trek!

 

The new DS9 Promenade.

The new DS9 Promenade.

 

Definitely an improvement on the old station...

Definitely an improvement on the old station…

 

"By this time, deg had built the basic model of the station. I asked Andy if he would create a surface detail diagrams. Amazing as usual." -Doug Drexler

“By this time, deg had built the basic model of the station. I asked Andy if he would create a surface detail diagrams. Amazing as usual.”
-Doug Drexler

 

Surface detail diagram.

Surface detail diagram.

One almost feels bad about being excited about this new station. The old one felt like home for so long. Many epic stories played out in that place. However, just like each new version of the Enterprise carries on the traditions and legacies of its predecessors, so does the new DS9. There is even a memorial of sorts permanently on display in the park. It’s a segment of the old station that survived its destruction. It stands as a reminder that just because it’s gone, doesn’t mean it’s forgotten. Doug really puts it in perspective when asked about how even though we loved the old station, it just wasn’t adequate for Starfleet’s needs.

"Test render of deg's model of the starfleet replacement for the Cardassian DS9." -Doug Drexler

“Test render of deg’s model of the Starfleet replacement for the Cardassian DS9.”
-Doug Drexler

Another view of Douglas Graves Beautiful render.

Another view of Douglas Graves Beautiful render.

“Remember that Terok Nor was not built for comfort. It was a big Industrial complex that utilized slave labor to process ore. The new DS9 was designed from scratch by Starfleet and the Federation. It is a city in space intended to be a thriving and growing community. It was built for comfort, and quality of life. Even in 21st century cities, notably New York City, you cannot build a new skyscraper unless it has a recreational community space/arboretum. It has been established that starfleet starbases are built with parklands and arboretums. Even the Enterprise has an extensive arboretum for the crew to enjoy. The parkland in the new DS9 is huge, in fact it even has an enormous waterfall.”

Deep Space Nine Parkland

Deep Space Nine Parkland

Many, many thanks to Doug Drexler for all his help with this article! Please visit his Facebook page by clicking here, and make sure to watch the web series Star Trek Continues, on which Doug is a Visual Effects Artist, and the SYFY Channel Original Series Defiance, starting it’s second season in June 2014, on which Doug is CG Supervisor.

Doug Drexler won an Oscar for Best Makeup for his work on, "Dick Tracy," in 1990

Doug Drexler won an Oscar for Best Makeup for his work on Dick Tracy in 1990

To end this article, here is a quote describing the new Station in all its glory. In this excerpt, Chief O’Brien and Nog and are taking Captain Ro Lauren on a tour of the nearly completed station.

“As Rio Grande neared the station and it grew larger in the viewports, Ro took a long look at it. Peering past the lattice of hemispherical modules from which the SCE staged its construction efforts, and past the flurry of engineers in environmental suits and the support craft that moved about, the captain gazed at the new structure. Despite the radical design, it shared many characteristics with other Starfleet facilities: the gray-white surface of its hull, the curves and proportions of its components, the familiar lettering along one arc that read UNITED FEDERATION OF PLANETS. The overall, essentially spherical shape of the station, though, reminded Ro of its predecessor. The new facility would ultimately comprise three rings, oriented at right angles to one another. They would all surround an inner sphere, connecting to it via half a dozen crossover bridges. The rings would provide docking and cargo services, while the sphere would house work, commercial, and residential sections. Ro decided that she liked it—and with apologies “to Zivan Slaine, it would represent a marked improvement to the facility it would replace. “Captain,” Tenmei asked, “has Starfleet settled on a name for the station?” “They have,” Ro said. “Starfleet Command consulted with the Federation president and the Bajoran First Minister about it, and they all came to an agreement.” Ro raised her hand and pointed through the viewports toward the half-constructed station. “Welcome,” she told her crew, “to the new Deep Space Nine.” Excerpt From: David R. George, III “Star Trek: Typhon Pact – 07 – Raise the Dawn.” Pocket Books/Star Trek, 2012-06-26 This material may be protected by copyright.

"Test render of deg's model of the starfleet replacement for the Cardassian DS9." -Doug Drexler

“Test render of deg’s model of the Starfleet replacement for the Cardassian DS9.”
-Doug Drexler

Coming soon, the design of Enterprise NX-01, and the refit we never saw onscreen…

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About the Author

Timothy Piland is a classically trained tenor and opera singer. He was born and raised in the Springfield, Mo. Area. He has performed Roles for Springfield Little Theater, Vandivort Theater, Springfield Regional Opera and Mobile Opera. He has also worked for the Puccini Festival, and the Kansas City Lyric Opera. In his performing career he has performed roles in: Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Man of La Mancha, Die Fledermouse, La Fanciulla del West, Gianni Schicchi and many other shows. In 2007, he toured the United Kingdom with the Church of the Incarnation out of Dallas, Texas. This included a week long engagement at Westminster Abbey, as well as a 9 day engagement at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2009 he originated the role of the Priest in "Frankenstein, Monster" by Le Wlhelm at the Gilloiz Theater. He appeared onstage as Rupert Giles for, "A Class Act productions," in their ongoing presentation of Buffy The Vampire Slayer: A Reader’s Theatre Parody, from March 2010-July 2013. In November 2011, he made his directoral debut, directing "Star Trek Live Onstage: The Trouble with Tribbles," also for "A Class Act." He went on to direct 14 of the next 17 episodes of that live stage show. Each Christmas you can also catch him at the historic Pythian Castle where he performs in a, "Night of the Dueling Santas," a Christmas dinner show of his own writing. He has been the Ghost Tour Guide for the castle since 2010. He has been featured on The Discovery Channel, SYFY Channel, The History Channel, NPR. He is the founder of Harvest Moon Productions and oversees events ranging from concerts to straight plays. He is currently writing a book called "Ghostly Tales From Pythian Castle," which hopefully will see production at some point in 2014. In 2013 he was cast as Dr. Howard Lagrasse in the 5 episode silent Horror web series SHADOW BOUND, for Arcane Productions. Most recently he was cast in a role in the feature film EVERYTHING, for Parallax Studio.



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