Saturday, July 22, 2017


In the Star Trek: Discovery trailer that was released a while back, one of the many surprises was a new take on a spacesuit for the series. To say that it was a departure from anything seen so far in Trek is an understatement.

Whoa! Now THAT is new! And not only is it unlike any other Star Trek suit, it's really unlike any movie or TV spacesuit, and that's a tough thing to do these days. It's worth noting that spacesuits in Trek go all the way back to the original series. Most later incarnations had a version of their own .

TOS suits seen in "The Tholian Web" / CBS
The Motion Picture suit / Paramount
Picard and pals in "First Contact"
Enterprise-era suits
What's interesting to me about all these different versions is that there's really no carry-overs from one to the other. They are all unique in their design and totally different from each other. They're also versions of a very basic suit. With the exception of The Motion Picture version, none had any kind of flight capability (though I wasn't much of a watcher of Enterprise so I can't say for sure regarding that one). But the new Discovery version definitely has the capability to move independently through space which can make for some very cool uses in its future.

This week at SDCC17, CBS had this new suit on display in all its glory.

image: CBS
Now that's amazing looking! FWIW, up to now my favorite Trek spacesuit design was hands down the Motion Picture version. But this one might take its place one we get to see it in action.

I'll add the now-familiar acknowledgement – I KNOW this is apparently too advanced if it takes place before TOS. Well, apparently this is both a prequel AND a reboot! Once you accept that, all things are possible. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.

Frankly, I'm psyched to see this baby in action. It's sleek and sophisticated and interesting. In short, it's cool!

Can't wait.




  1. Don, your commentary is incredibly helpful in contextualizing this in the larger history of Trek aesthetics, so thank you.

    One point though. You might find one precedent in the world of science-fiction mass media for the look and feel of the Discovery space suit: Mass Effect. The video game series has one particular species, the Krogan, and their battle armor looks much like this. The character of Grunt, in particular.

    But really, the look and feel of this space suit evokes a lot of Mass Effect for me. That's not a bad thing. But I wonder if you see it too. Here's a couple examples:


    1. Mass Effect has a zillion spacesuits so, while there are certainly some similarities with some ME suits, the overall effect of the Discvery suit is one that is unique to my eye. For me, a suit is defined primarily by the helmet. The half-dome seen on the Discovery suit is a rare design element and drives my thinking. The closest helmet that comes to mind for me is Kate Bowman's in the movie "Red Planet". Also, this suit is much less bulky that the tons of battle suits which makes this primarily an excursion suit, I think. We'll have to see how it actually works and the role it plays in the narrative. Thanks for reading, Bradford – I appreciate the feedback!