In the Star Trek: The Next Generation finale All Good Things, the Enterprise D of an alternate future receives some considerable upgrades, transforming it into a beefed-up Galaxy-class vessel. Strangely enough, I don't think that this version of the Next Generation Enterprise has an official moniker. Star Trek Online identifies it as the "Dreadnought Enterprise" (presumably after the three-nacelled Federation-class concept ship identified as a Dreadnought type vessel in the Starfleet Technical Manual), so I guess that's as good a name as any.
I've always thought the Dreadnought Enterprise was somewhat ridiculous. With a nonsensical third nacelle, a huge phaser cannon on the underside of the saucer section, and antennae on the top of the saucer, it's about as ludicrous as it can be. I also haven't found any official schematics that identify these extra parts and what they actually do. Does the third nacelle make the Enterprise go faster? (Maybe, since Future Riker commands the Enterprise to go to Warp 13.) Is the giant phaser more powerful than normal phasers? Maybe it's not a phaser at all, but some new kind of phaser-like technology? What about the antennae on either side of the bridge? Are they sensor antennae or some kind of weaponry?
Whatever, sometimes ludicrous is good. With a starship as conservatively curvilinear as the Enterprise D, adding those extra parts makes for a fun, if somewhat incongruous, take on the iconic design.
As with the other DST Trek ships, Future Enterprise features lights and sounds. The lights are beautifully strong, and activate to accentuate the sound effects. There's also an "all-on" button on the back of the Stardrive which keeps all the lights on until you turn them off. You may notice a few areas where the paint surrounding a light has been unfortunately scraped off, letting the light bleed through. It's not that noticable, but I would have hoped for better paint control.
The sound effects loop through the following sequence:
- Admiral Riker: "Engage cloak!" (cloaking sound)
- Admiral Riker: "Raise the shields."
- Red alert
- Super phaser with explosion
- Admiral Riker: "Set course for Federation space, warp 13."
- Photon torpedoes launch
- Background engine noise
The lines from Admiral Riker are high-pitched, but they seem like they're taken directly from the show. Maybe the small size of the speakers are causing the playback to seem more tinny.
Dreadnought Enterpise comes with two stands, one larger than the other. That lets you display the Enterprise either as a whole or with the saucer separated. (Oh yeah, the saucer does separate, with magnets connecting the Stardrive to the saucer section.) The second stand can also provide some stability, which is especially useful considering the saucer-heavy Galaxy-class design has a tendency to take a nose-dive off the shelf.
This "future" Enterprise D clocks in at a good $60. That's pretty pricey for a collector on a budget, but it's not a bad deal considering you get a good-sized ship with electronic lights and sounds, along with two stands. And it's different enough from the original Enterprise D that I don't get that dull boredom that I experience so often with other lines that reuse parts, like MOTU and DCUC.
The DST ships are perfect for those Trekkers like me with slightly unnatural obsessions with Starfleet vessels. My only complaint is that they're so big and awkwardly shaped that it's difficult to find a place to display them in a manner that is not too precarious. That's okay, they're awesome enough to justify devoting an entire shelf to each one anyway. Check out more pics below!