See The Discovery-A, Star Trek: Discovery’s New Ship

By Josh Tyler | 3 days ago

Discovery-A

Star Trek: Discovery season 3 has continued its mission to boldly fix all the things the show has been doing wrong for the previous two seasons by correcting one of their biggest errors: the ship. Gone is Discovery and in its place is Discovery-A.

I’m one of the few who thinks the original Discovery actually looks good from certain angles, but even I’ll admit it also looks really terrible from just about as many. So now that the ship and the show have been launched 900 years into the future, this week’s episode titled “Scavengers” tried to solve that by giving the Discovery a total refit.

Here’s the result…

Discovery-A

Yep, that’s a new registry number. She’s now the USS Discovery NCC-1031-A. Serious Star Trek fans know that adding a letter to a registry should mean that this is the second ship to carry the name Discovery. However that’s not what’s going on here.

Discovery has been given a refit, a la the original Enterprise between the end of the series and the start of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. What’s confusing is that instance, and indeed in all past instances of Starfleet refitting ships, the registry number always stayed the same. A dash with a letter was only added when it was an entirely new ship getting a past ship’s name. That’s not the case here.

This is the same Discovery, but one that has gotten a fresh coat of paint. It’s a Crossfield Class Refit and not a new ship, but they’re still calling it the Discovery-A. Gone is this copper color…

Crossfield
Original Discovery

In it’s place is a sort of silvery, white color which is more in keeping with the colors of Starfleet ships past…

Discovery-A
Discovery-A

It’s not just a color change though. There are other differences. If you look closely you’ll see Discovery-A’s saucer is actually more rounded and less severe. The bridge dome is also more in line with standard Starfleet and less like a steam-punk bubble.

The changes continue around the back of the ship too, where not only has the Discovery-A gotten futuristic detached nacelles, there are now cutouts in the pylons leading out to the nacelles…

Discovery-A
Discovery-A

The cutouts will go a long way to giving the Discovery-A’s engineering hull a more styled look. Previously it looked like a triangle blob. Here’s the old Discovery from a rear view for comparison…

Old Version
Original Discovery

The changes continue around the underside. Here’s a bottom view of the original Discovery…

Underside
Original Discovery

And here’s a bottom view of the new Discovery-A…

Discovery-A
Discovery-A

It’s a little hard to see since it isn’t activated, but the Discovery-A has gotten a new deflector dish. And the light up striping on the warp nacelles is different, now it looks like something out of Tron. It could be that the warp nacelles are shorter now too (a big problem with the original design), but it’s hard to tell for certain with the views we’ve been given of the ship so far.

Here’s another look at the bottom of the ship…

Discovery-A

And another view from the back where you can see they’ve really thinned the ship out and massively improved the neck to give the Discovery-A more of a triangle shape…

Discovery-A

Changing the look of your hero ship right in the middle of a series is a pretty big deal. It’s something that Star Trek has never even attempted before (though had it not been cancelled, it was part of the plan for Star Trek: Enterprise). Changes to the ship have only happened either in the transition from television show to movies…

Or between movies after the original ship is destroyed, as in the destruction of the Galaxy Class Enterprise-D in Star Trek: Generations followed by the introduction of the Sovereign Class Enterprise-E in Star Trek: First Contact

That CBS is willing to put the time and effort into changing such a big part of the show here and now in Star Trek: Discovery season 3 is evidence of a real commitment on the part of the Discovery team to get this right. Clearly, they know the previous two seasons were a mess and they’re trying to fix it.

Here’s the first introduction of the Discovery-A, as it appeared, in Star Trek: Discovery season 3, episode 6, on video.

She’s not a perfect ship, but Discovery-A is a step in the right direction for Star Trek.

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