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The battle bridge on Galaxy-class starships is primarily designed for the control of the stardrive section in saucer separation scenarios. Located on deck 8 of the secondary hull, the battle bridge duplicates the strategic functions of the main bridge, with command, conn, ops, and tactical stations oriented toward a main viewscreen; however, it lacks science and engineering stations. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds")
The main bridge and battle bridge are connected by a dedicated emergency turbolift which can also be accessed from other decks. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "Heart of Glory") The battle bridge can also be entered by standard turbolift or through a corridor on deck 8. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "The Best of Both Worlds") A small captain's ready room is located on the port side of the bridge, although it is much smaller than the one off the main bridge and lacks a window. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint") The battle bridge could potentially be used to control the entire docked ship in the event of damage to the main bridge, but the practice on the Enterprise-D was to coordinate recovery from Main Engineering. (TNG: "Brothers")
To keep in tune with changing technologies, the battle bridge is modular like the main bridge. The USS Enterprise-D had at least two different battle bridges installed during its lifetime. The version launched with the ship had the captain's chair in the center, with conn and ops to the front of the captain and tactical behind. Two duty stations were located at the back of the bridge, on the port and starboard rear walls. The tactical and rear stations were separated by turbolifts; the standard turbolift on the port side, and the emergency turbolift on the starboard. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "The Arsenal of Freedom") By the time of the second Borg incursion in 2367, the battle bridge had undergone a refit. The tactical position behind the captain had been moved to the port station, replaced by expanded information displays. The turbolift alcoves at the back of the bridge were also gone, possibly moved elsewhere. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II")
Enterprise-D primary school science fair winner Patterson Supra hoped to see the battle bridge as part of the tour conducted by Captain Jean-Luc Picard in 2368, but was disappointed to learn that the most exciting areas on the tour were hydroponics and astrophysics. After Patterson and two other children, Marissa Flores and Jay Gordon Graas, showed exceptional bravery during a crisis after the Enterprise-D hit several quantum filaments, Picard decided to take the group on a revised tour, starting with the battle bridge. (TNG: "Disaster")
Background information Edit
The addition of the battle bridge to the Galaxy-class layout was at the urging of concept artist Andrew Probert, while he was planning the saucer separation of the class. One concept sketch of the battle bridge was dated 23 March 1987. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 3rd ed., p. 9) A set plan for the area, dated 26 March of the same year, was created by production designer Herman Zimmerman and set designer Richard McKenzie. The set was built on Paramount Stage 9. (TNG Season 1 DVD, special feature "The Beginning")
Each time the battle bridge appeared, it did so with modifications. Despite the room appearing in only three episodes, the set was redressed for use as the bridge of other ships and miscellaneous rooms, multiple times. The set was built as the refit Enterprise bridge for Star Trek: Phase II, which later became Star Trek: The Motion Picture. (citation needed • edit) It was revealed in the sketch from 23 March that the battle bridge set was an inexpensive redress of the film Enterprise's bridge. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 3rd ed., p. 9) Indeed, this set was the Enterprise bridge in the three following motion pictures, until – like most of the motion picture sets – it was remodeled into the Enterprise-D sets for Star Trek: The Next Generation in order to cut costs. By the second season of TNG, the set had been modified to such a point that only the original structure remained, explaining the battle bridge's updated look in "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II" and necessitating a new bridge for the USS Enterprise-A in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. (citation needed • edit) The battle bridge set was also redressed as both the bridge of Ambassador-class USS Enterprise-C, in "Yesterday's Enterprise", and the cybernetics lab aboard the Enterprise-D in "The Offspring". ("Yesterday's Enterprise" & "The Offspring" audio commentaries, TNG Season 3 Blu-ray)