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Wisp ship

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Wisps ship forward view

Forward view

The Wisps' ship was a starship inhabited by non-corporeal beings who were described as "Wisps" by the crew of the Enterprise NX-01 during their encounter in 2152, approximately 150 light years from Earth.

The ship had a forward, ovoid hatch that split into several pocketed sections; the surrounding hull formed a pronounced ventral "sill" with two projecting spines.

Wisps ship maw

The maw of the Wisp's ship

This ship was capable of traveling at at least warp 6, yet emitted no warp signature that Enterprise could detect. During Enterprise's encounter with the vessel, they were unable to identify its hull composition, nor a transceiver. The ship was at least 500 meters wide, and had the ability to neutralize Enterprise's phase cannons and spatial torpedoes, and warp and impulse engines after it had taken the ship into its bay. Once inside, Enterprise's sensors were unable to penetrate the hull to determine whether or not they were still at warp.

Wisps ship interior

Interior of the Wisp's ship

The interior bay of the ship was blue in color, basically rectangular. The initial atmosphere was mostly helium and trace amounts of xenon.

The Wisps who inhabited the ship were said to live in subspace, yet relied on the ship so as to not be exposed to normal space, which they could not normally inhabit.

Wisps ship destroyed

The Wisp's ship destroyed

After several of Enterprise's crew were forcibly inhabited by the Wisps, it was eventually determined that their ship was deteriorating, and they had no way to repair it. Since they couldn't survive in space, to save themselves, 82 of the hundreds aboard decided to make the "crossing," and take over the bodies of each of the crewmen on Enterprise, while the rest would try to find another vessel of corporeal beings.

Unfortunately for them, their plan failed, and Enterprise was able to release the possessed crew members before firing two spatial torpedoes into the opening of the Wisps' ship, destroying it, and allowing Enterprise to escape. (ENT: "The Crossing")



Studio model

For this particular ship, the producers asked both John Eaves and Doug Drexler, unbekownst to each other at the time, to come up with a design. Drexler on his design:

The joke with this one is that all my files are labelled "NBS". That would be for the producers request for something "Never Before Seen". I had to laugh right up front because I knew that that's really not what they wanted. Anything too different ran the risk of "confusing the audience". Since they asked, I'd start out at the far end of the weirdness scale. In the script, Enterprise is described as "caught" by a very alien looking spacecraft. I visualized the Enterprise being attacked by an insect. I had once watched a spider jump on it's prey and devour it, so that's what I was thinking. I had a CG parachute that I had modeled a while back. I applied distortion maps to it until I found a form that was sufficiently "creepifying" and pleasing. There was no way that design would ever happen. I was asked to make more of a ship, and with a distinct maw... but... um... different. I kept it organic, but gave it a distinct metallic feel. Up front the ship extended enormous petals, like a sea anemone, to pull in it's catch of the day. Well... they couldn't tell which direction this was meant to go, so it was no good either. I thought that usually the audience could tell what direction the ship went by the direction the ship was going? Maybe it was feared that you would think it was flying backwards. Hey! If you want something different, you have to buck the conventions. Either way, Thursday came every week, and I was having the best time! [The next one] was more of a ship with direction, but he word came down that the maw was getting lost (what about it's paw?). Nothing gets thrown away, and I recycled this later as the Xindi Reptilian ship. Everything stripped away but the maw. These were sent to Eden. They may have gone with additional sketches by John, but I can't remember.[1]
Eaves took another approach to the design:
So anyway, the ship went through a few changes, and the first version has the Jem'Hadar cruiser's lines as the understudy and some heavy organicasizeing on top, I took the borgifying approach for the first pass. Rejected brutally. Ship two followed with a tendrilled beetle bug look...also rejected heavily. Which lead to version three which is a modified fish/doomsday machine combo!!! Again the big axe fell, and version #4 came to be... they sorta liked the underlying shape, and had me do a pass minus the tendrils and up the scale with the addition of more patterned detail, as opposed to total organic randomness. Thus the final drawing came to be, and they even drew a happy face with a little star on the corner of the page!![2]

The producers chose the design Eaves tendered in January 2003. At Eden FX, Dan Curry worked with modeler Pierre Drolet to finetune the design where it was converted into a CGI model. The interior of the Wisp ship was modeled after a design of Drexler.

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