JOHN EAVES, ENTERPRISE ILLUSTRATOR
INTERVIEW FROM JUNE 6/7, 2003
There is nothing like going to a good sci-fi/modeling convention to let me catch up with one of the production crewmembers for Enterprise. And like two years ago, it was at the WonderFest convention where John Eaves was a guest speaker. Again, I was given the opportunity to chat with him about his work, this time though, on both Star Trek: Nemesis and Enterprise.
One of John's major contributions to Star Trek: Nemesis, although he considers them somewhat minor, were several redesigns he gave to the USS Enterprise. But let's be honest here - any change to the Enterprise is a big deal. Luckily I was standing over a diagram of the Enterprise-E when I asked him about the changes.
"The biggest change was the sweep came back in, it was missing on the model - the sweep on the bottom of the belly, and so it has more of a curve on the model, it went flat and so this brought a little more curve to it."
"This section ... where the shuttlebay is for the saucer and the and the body had a flat cut so I extended the saucer into these tapers here which kind of brought the curve back in. And also on the side view of the miniature these were dropped where (the nacelles were) actually making contact - there was no air between the two, so it brought those out and pulled them forward a little bit to get the overall balance to the ship again."
"And as far as weaponry go, right there we have a new single torpedo launcher," he says as he points to the area just in front of the bridge. "We've got a double launcher Ö in the back of the back module, (another) single launcher (on the aft section), and we've got phaser strips on the top and the bottom of the struts."
John also points out that the color has changed a bit on the saucer section. "It's got darker rim detail" on several places on the saucer.
"I think that's it with the modifications on it - they are very very subtle, and of course that was just personal finesse that I wanted to change on it. No one ever sees the profile stuff, but we get all information at work so until you go "oh, if only I could just sweeten those again" and Nemesis allowed that to happen."
John considers the changes to be a refit to the ship that took place between Insurrection and Nemesis. "It was basically a retro for future missions, that was how I was trying to explain it off - that it goes back for service every once in a while for modifications."
Now to jump back several centuries, I asked John about the Starfleet ships and the Xindi, last seen in Enterprise's The Expanse, and what's been established. "The Starfleet ships were just shapes we came up with - the script just asked for some backup Starfleet vessels so it was just a bunch of shapes we kind of conglomerated together that kind of looked pre-NX-01. And so Rick Berman just picked two out of the five. There's no names, no numbers, or really anything on them."
And for the Xindi, "The rolling ball is the only thing we have designed so far. Part two is what we are going to start working on, I'd imagine, Wednesday (June 11). But the first thing was a ball with rolling devices on it so that was the only direction we had. So as far as that goes, there's a lot more coming up but for right now, that's all there is."
I also asked John what was something from the future of Trek he would like to retro for Enterprise? "We did the Tholians, the Romulans, the Klingons - we always wanted to do the D-7 (battlecruiser), so we did drawings of it, it just has never made it to the screen. And it's actually been modeled, but that was my favorite of all the ones we've done."
Lastly, I asked what was something about Enterprise we don't know, be it about the show, the cast, or whatever. "The actors are outstanding, caring people, which you usually don't see with actors on a show. But Scott Bakula is like the biggest contributor to charity. He's just constantly conscience of everyone around him, makes everyone feel welcome and I'd just say behind the scenes the actors on the show are phenomenal, accepting to everybody, just very very sweet people."
I would like to thank John Eaves for the opportunity to ask him a few questions and Lee Staton and the rest of the gang for putting on another great WonderFest Convention - see you next year!