The U.S.S. Enterprise, in Strange New World of Museum





PHILADELPHIA — It is best to approach “Star Trek: The Exhibition” at the Franklin Institute here with phasers set to stun. And to avoid any quantum entanglement, make sure that if you visit the show before it closes on the stardate equivalent to Sept. 20, your transporter is in working order. Otherwise, there is just no telling the confusion that might result.

You might think, for example, that most starships of the 23rd and 24th centuries pretty much looked like the U.S.S. Enterprise in 2245 (Starfleet Registry NCC-1701; commanding officer, Capt. James T. Kirk). Or you might surmise, from the strange costumes in the opening gallery, that most biped alien life forms of that period had a funky taste in fashion, perhaps reacting against the ho-hum uniforms worn by Starfleet.

You might even suspect from the details of the Danish postmodern-nightclub-style Enterprise-D bridge (where you can sit in the seat in which Capt. Jean-Luc Picard directed his Galaxy-class ship), that seat belts weren’t needed under impulse or warp travel (perhaps because of the “inertial dampers”?) and that the control lights for the “plasma induction analysis” were just for show, so advanced was the technology.

And you might believe that the Sick Bay, transported here from Deck 12 of the Enterprise, was so sophisticated a medical facility that it did not need much more than the rudimentary models of the Tricorder, the Hypospray and the Osmosis Module displayed here.

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