Sunday, 3 May 2020

pilot whale

Conceptualised and referenced in passing but never appearing in the series due to budget constraints—the same sort of limitations that inspired the transporter room in order to forgo filming landing and launch scenes, we are reminded how the Enterprise of Star Trek: The Next Generation had a deck dedicated to Cetacean Ops that hosted a collaboration between humanoid and marine mammal crew to help with the ship’s guidance and navigation research.  I guess that drawing too much attention to this place would mean that one had to show it.
According to canonical technical manuals, it was staffed by a dozen bottle-nosed dolphins under the supervision of two orcas, and like having Vulcan minders on Star Fleet vessels, the custom comes from Star Trek IV when whales were able to intervene to save the Earth. Much more to be found, including some in-show mentions,  at the discussion thread linked above.