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The battle bridge on Galaxy-class starships is primarily designed for the control of the stardrive section in saucer separation scenarios. Located on deck 8 of the secondary hull, the battle bridge duplicates the strategic functions of the main bridge, with command, conn, ops, and tactical stations oriented toward a main viewscreen; however, it lacks science and engineering stations. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds")
The main bridge and battle bridge are connected by a dedicated emergency turbolift which can also be accessed from other decks. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "Heart of Glory") The battle bridge can also be entered by standard turbolift or through a corridor on deck 8. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "The Best of Both Worlds") A small captain's ready room is located on the port side of the bridge, although it is much smaller than the one off the main bridge and lacks a window. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint") The battle bridge could potentially be used to control the entire docked ship in the event of damage to the main bridge, but the practice on the Enterprise-D was to coordinate recovery from Main Engineering. (TNG: "Brothers")To keep in tune with changing technologies, the battle bridge is modular like the main bridge. The USS Enterprise-D had at least two different battle bridges installed during its lifetime. The version launched with the ship had the captain's chair in the center, with conn and ops to the front of the captain and tactical behind. Two duty stations were located at the back of the bridge, on the port and starboard rear walls. The tactical and rear stations were separated by turbolifts; the standard turbolift on the port side, and the emergency turbolift on the starboard. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "The Arsenal of Freedom") By the time of the second ]]Borg incursion in 2367, the battle bridge had undergone a refit. The tactical position behind the captain had been moved to the port station, replaced by expanded information displays. The turbolift alcoves at the back of the bridge were also gone, possibly moved elsewhere. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II")
Enterprise-D primary school science fair winner Patterson Supra hoped to see the battle bridge as part of the tour conducted by Captain Jean-Luc Picard in 2368, but was disappointed to learn that the most exciting areas on the tour were hydroponics and astrophysics. After Patterson and two other children, Marissa Flores and Jay Gordon Graas, showed exceptional bravery during a crisis after the Enterprise-D hit several quantum filaments, Picard decided to take the group on a revised tour, starting with the battle bridge. (TNG: "Disaster")
Background information Edit
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- Note: For the several reuses of the first refit-Enterprise bridge set, please also refer to Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, individual episode entries as well as the Star Trek Encyclopedia, individual ship entries.
The addition of the battle bridge to the Galaxy-class layout was at the urging of concept artist Andrew Probert, while he was planning the saucer separation of the class. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 3rd ed., p. 9) "Originally, the producers did not want a battle bridge; that was essentially my concept," explained Probert. (Star Trek: The Official Fan Club Magazine issue 60, p. 4)
One concept sketch of the battle bridge was dated 23 March 1987. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 3rd ed., p. 9) A set plan for the area, dated 26 March of the same year, was created by Production Designer Herman Zimmerman and set designer Richard McKenzie. The set was built on Paramount Stage 9. (TNG Season 1 DVD, special feature "The Beginning")
Each time the battle bridge appeared, it did so with modifications. Despite the room appearing in only three episodes, the set was redressed for use as the bridge of other ships and miscellaneous rooms, multiple times. The set was built as the refit Enterprise bridge for Star Trek: Phase II, which later became Star Trek: The Motion Picture. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition) DVD-special feature, "text commentary") It was revealed in the sketch from 23 March that the battle bridge set was an inexpensive redress of the film Enterprise's bridge. Indeed, this set was the Enterprise bridge in the four subsequent Star Trek films as well, until – like most of the motion picture sets – it was remodeled into the Enterprise-D sets for Star Trek: The Next Generation in order to cut costs. By the end of the third season of The Next Generation, the battle bridge set had also been redressed as the bridge of the Miranda-class USS Lantree in "Unnatural Selection", the bridge of the Ambassador-class USS Enterprise-C in "Yesterday's Enterprise", Starbase 173's courtroom in "The Measure Of A Man", and the cybernetics lab aboard the Enterprise-D in "The Offspring". (TNG Season 3 Blu-ray-special features, "Yesterday's Enterprise & "The Offspring audio commentaries")
Restored by Herman Zimmerman as the USS Enterprise-A bridge, the original set had, after the bridge scenes were shot for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, been temporarily stored on the outside studio parking lot, in order to make room for other, new sets for the movie – more specifically, the massive, one-time-use-only, shuttlebay set. A freak weather event completely wrecked the set beyond salvation, save for some parts such as the two turbolifts and the bridge platforms. This had necessitated the build of an almost entirely new Enterprise-A bridge set for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. However, once rebuilt, the set had to do double duty as the USS Excelsior bridge as well. It was one of the most overriding reasons why Zimmerman was also brought in on the movie, as he had been responsible for the bridge redesign for the previous movie in the first place. In the process, it has also explained why the Enterprise-D received a new updated battle bridge in "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II". (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (Special Edition) DVD-special feature, "text commentary"; Cinefantastique, Vol 22 #5, p. 35)