What’s in Hanger Bay 12?
WARNING: Spoilers and speculation about Star Trek: Picard.
In Star Trek Picard season 3, episode 6, The Bounty, the USS Titan jumps to the Starfleet Ship Museum to get help from Commodore Geordi La Forge. The first exterior shot of the museum includes a selection of familiar ships (like the Enterprise A, Voyager and the Defiant) positioned in rings around the exterior of the space dock. There was one empty ring, and so the Titan “hides” in plain sight among the museum ships.
When Geordi and his daughter Alandra beam aboard the Titan, they reveal that the Titan and all modern Federation ships are networked with each other. Starfleet will find them. Picard is pleading with Geordi to help when his daughter interrupts.
Alandra (quietly): “Dad. What about Hanger Bay 12?”
Geordi (exasperated): “Alandra. Please.”
And the dialog continues. I assumed that what was in Hanger Bay 12 would be the key to the episode, but it’s not. Jack Crusher steals the cloaking device from Star Trek IV’s Klingon Bird of Prey and the Titan rushes off to rescue Raffi, Riker and Worf on Daystrom Station. Hanger Bay 12 is never mentioned again.
So, what’s in Hanger Bay 12? Likely a new ship for the museum that was intended for that empty circle that the Titan parked in. Alandra clearly thinks the ship would be helpful — maybe because it’s not networked. I assume that the ship in Hanger Bay 12 was likely intended to be unveiled as part of the Frontier Day ceremony and then intended to fill the empty ring at the Fleet Museum. Instead, I imagine that Picard and crew are going to come riding to the rescue in that ship…
My guess: The Enterprise 1701-D.
I can’t think of any other ships that are significant enough and aren’t already represented in fleet museum. The 1701-D was destroyed in Star Trek: Generations, though. How could it reappear? Well, at least one of the ships they show in the museum, The Enterprise 1801-A, is a replica since the original was destroyed in Star Trek III. The new Enterprise-D could simply be a retrofitted Galaxy-class starship. Or the original 1701-D saucer section paired with a different Galaxy-class body.
It might seem like excessive fan-service, but if done well, I think it would be incredible to see the crew save the day in the ship from the TV show. Picard, Riker and Troi in the three command seats. Worf at tactical. Data at helm. Geordi in engineering. It would be a fun conclusion to this final season of Star Trek Picard.
Bob Wertz is a creative director, type designer, Ph.D. student, researcher and Star Trek fan living in Columbia, South Carolina.