Likely to be the most indulgent question of the month, it's a question that some of us can't debate enough!
In the week that the Official Starships Collection released both the USS Kelvin special and the Shuttles set, it seems apt that I should ask what was the greatest ship design?
Would you go for the classic Matt Jefferies USS Enterprise with its simplistic yet radical design? To be fair would it even be a Federation design since both the Klingon Bird-of-Prey and the Romulan Warbird have become legendary in their own rights. You could consider the ramrod straight lines of the Borg cube or the unique features exhibited by the USS Prometheus or a Tholian webspinner.
I'm again drawn to Deep Space Nine and their tough little ship for my choice today. Before the arrival of the unofficial warship to the station I would have chosen the movie refit USS Enterprise but the Defiant, NX-74205, was revolutionary and maybe even against every policy in the book. Gone was the "usual" Federation design of twin nacelles with at least a circular primary hull, gone were the comforts of the larger classes left only with the bare necessities for survival and war.
But times change and the threat of the Borg brought about different thinking and an escape from the standard configuration that resulted in one of the most powerful starships ever created. Defiant represents the darker side of the Star Trek universe, a weapon that exists to stop those things that we never want to see but know are there. It's not just the external look of the compact ship that makes her so interesting to me. Inside she was stripped back to the basics but packed top of the line weaponry in the form of quantum torpedoes, phaser cannons and that on-loan Romulan cloaking device.
Even though she wasn't in every single episode of Deep Space Nine following her arrival in The Search, the Defiant became an integral part of the show and an instantly recognisable starship at any angle. Her initial uncloaking in that episode was jaw-dropping and over the following years we'd see her versatility pushed to the limit in this universe and the Mirror alternate. You can give me your Akira Class or a Reman Warbird but there just isn't a ship that compares to the Defiant - ok, maybe that refit Enterprise comes a near second....
Come back tomorrow for our nineteenth question, live from 1pm. The second part of the Larry Nemecek interview will also be live from 4pm TODAY.