The addition of the U.S.S. Defiant let the writers of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine inject some action elements into the show and helped get the crew off the space station as they battled the Dominion. Fans got their first look at the Defiant in the third-season episode, “The Search, Part I,” but the show’s behind-the-scenes team spent a frenzied two weeks designing, erecting and detailing the ship. Michael Okuda posted several Defiant-centric photos and comments via his social media pages, and he kindly agreed to let StarTrek.com share them with our readers as part of our ongoing Star Trek Vault coverage. So, without further ado...
Dedicating Defiant. The DS9 art department celebrates the completion of the Starship Defiant bridge set with a champagne toast! We had good reason to celebrate: The Defiant bridge was a complicated set and we had just a couple of weeks to design and build everything. BTW, it's a good thing that set decorator Laura Richarz (partly hidden behind the bottle) was with us, otherwise we would have gotten in trouble for having beverages on the set!
In this photo, L-R Mike Okuda (with back to camera), Bill Hawkins (set designer), Jim Martin (illustrator; he designed the Defiant model), Denise Okuda, James Van Over (graphic artist), Randall McIlvain (art director), Scott Herbertson (set designer), Laura Richarz, Doug Drexler, and (I think) Rich Ratliff (special effects). Our fearless leader, Herman Zimmerman, was off at a meeting when we took this picture, so he couldn't join us.
Doug Drexler pours a (small) cup of bubbly for Jim Martin, as James Jim Van Over Sr waits his turn. Denise holds the Defiant's dedication plaque.
Doug Drexler and Jim Van Over Sr try out a placement for the Defiant's dedication plaque. Later, we added more backlit displays there, so the plaque ended up near the door.
Denise shows off the dedication plaque for the Starship Defiant. The ship's motto was: "All I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by," from poet John Masefield.