At the beginning of season 1 of Star Trek the Next Generation, the model ship in Picard's ready room is that of a Constitution class (USS Enterprise NCC 1701 refit or 1701-A I assume). (my apologies for the poor quality picture, but you get the idea) Constitution class model

Later in the season, though, this model changes to a constellation class starship (I assume the stargazer).
Constellation class model

Why is this so, as there is no mention of a reason and it does not immediately follow The Battle, where Picard is reminded of the Stargazer?

  • 3
    Is this before or after the conference room gets the glass cabinet containing models of all the previous Enterprises? If the latter, it could simply be that Picard no longer needs a model of the original U.S.S. Enterprise out in the open, whereas a model of his first command appeals to him. Wild guess on my part, of course. – James Sheridan Mar 8 '14 at 4:21
  • @JamesSheridan - to my knowledge the Enterprise-D always had a conference room. Nevertheless, this occurs after we see the conference room. – Often Right Mar 8 '14 at 4:38
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    Perhaps he's big into model-making and redecorating? – 22nd Century Fza Mar 8 '14 at 4:42
  • Perhaps @22ndCenturyFza, but if so, why does he keep the same model there for the next 6.5 years? – Often Right Mar 8 '14 at 4:48
  • Oh, I know it always had a conference room, I meant was this before or after the conference room got the big glass cabinet full of models? Picard smashed the Enterprise E's version in First Contact. – James Sheridan Mar 8 '14 at 5:51
up vote 9 down vote accepted

If you check out the Memory Alpha pages for TNG episode 'The Battle' and 'NCC-7100' it explains that NCC-7100 is the Constellation class model and it appeared in early episodes as simply a decoration for the ready room.

Later on they decide to make 'The Battle' and have Picard's old ship show up which was to be a refit Constitution-class just like NCC-1701-A, probably to save money on building and designing new props/sets. So for 'The Battle' (and three other episodes that were after it in production schedule) they replaced NCC-7100 with a Constitution class (my guess is this would have retconned out the NCC-7100 model as having existed).

For whatever reason they canned the idea of using a Constitution class model, but this must be at a point after they filmed the other episodes with a Constitution model in the ready room. The effects guy decided to use the NCC-7100 type and build a new proper filming model of the Stargazer. As a scene is already filmed where the ship's class is named they dub Constitution with the similar sounding Constellation. They then decide to put the NCC-7100 back into the ready room, where it can be retconned into being Stargazer, where it stays for the rest of the show.

In universe, I think you just have to pretend there's a Constellation class model whenever there's a Constitution class. Or maybe someone told him to blow up the damn ship and there was an accident.

I read somewhere that they originally wanted to use a Constitution-class ship as Picard's old command, but the execs ultimately felt that the design was so connected to the 1701-A that it could confuse the casual viewer, so they requested a new ship class for the Stargazer.

  • This appears to be a nice answer but would be better if you could find the link and quote and edit them in so your answer is self contained. – TheLethalCarrot Dec 6 at 16:05

Also most of the captains carry prized memories with them. The captain owned the Stargazer before his crew abandoned ship from an unknown malfunction. That ship was later broadcasted and recovered by the Ferengi who used a mind altering device to make the captain subjective to destroy the enterprise.

To introduce the plot, they replaced the Enterprise 1701-A with the Stargazer. Even though on other episodes the ship changed back. And on the Enterprise-E movie "First Contact", when they went for all the Enterprise models.

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