In the Star Trek science fiction universe, the ready room is a room located either adjacent to or near the bridge on Federation Starships and Installations. This room serves as an office for the commanding officer.
The term was originally used in British naval ships, which had a small room adjacent to the bridge. It served as a rest and sleeping facility for the Captain, separate from his regular private quarters. Occupation of the ready room was required by regulation when the ship was underway in times of war, when the Captain must be immediately available to the bridge at any hour in case of emergency.
A ready room was first seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation aboard the USS Enterprise-D. Galaxy-class starships were equipped with two ready rooms. The primary ready room was adjacent to the main bridge. There was also a smaller ready room adjacent to the battle bridge for use when the two sections of the ship were separated. The only time this ready room was seen was during the pilot episode "Encounter at Farpoint."
A ready room allowed the commanding officer to have a private office space near the main bridge, rather than in his or her quarters - which may have been some distance from the bridge. The CO could use the ready room to conduct official business, hold private subspace radio communications, hold private meetings, staff briefings, or even use the room as a sanctuary of sorts. This person would be very near the bridge in case his or her presence was needed on the bridge.
Captain Picard’s ready roomEdit
On the Enterprise-D, Captain Jean-Luc Picard's ready room was located to the left of the Captain's chair, near the forward turbolift. In this room was a desk with a small computer reader, chairs, and a couch. The room walls were made up of orange panels, and the floor had red carpeting. It's not clear if this was the color chosen by Captain Picard or not, if the color was specific to the Enterprise, or if the ready rooms on other Galaxy-class vessels had the same color schemes. There was one long, thin viewport behind the Captain's desk. There was also an interior doorway in the ready room to another small room where the food replicator was housed, along with access to a private restroom.
Captain Picard had a large painting of the Enterprise-D on the wall behind the couch. The painting was done by Andrew Probert, a main concept artist for the series. Also in this room was a large volume of the complete works of William Shakespeare. Picard had an aquarium set up near the viewport for his lionfish Livingston. He also had a model of the USS Stargazer—his first starship command—in the room. He would also come to display a number of archaeological finds in his ready room.
Captain Picard viewed his ready room as not only as an office, but as a private sanctuary. He would occasionally hold staff briefings in the ready room, but most times briefings for the command staff were held in the deck one briefing room.
After the destruction of the Enterprise-D, Captain Picard and his command crew were soon reassigned to the Enterprise-E. Like the Enterprise-D, this new Enterprise also had a ready room adjacent to the bridge, although it was on the opposite side of the bridge. Some shots of the ready room showed an aquarium for Livingston, but those shots did not make it into any finished films featuring the Enterprise-E. This ready room had grey paneling, along with blue carpeting. It also had gold-plated models of previous vessels to carry the Enterprise name, similar to the display in the briefing room on the Enterprise-D.
Captain Janeway’s ready roomEdit
The USS Voyager also has a ready room just off the main bridge. The entrance to this room is near the tactical/security console. This room was more elaborate and larger than the Enterprise-D ready room. Unlike the Enterprise’s ready room—which was tucked into a rear corner of the bridge module—this room was positioned so that it was next to the main bridge and faced forward.
The ready room had larger viewports on the forward wall of the room. It also had a raised area with a large sofa by the viewports, and a food replicator. Near the ready room entrance was the Captain's desk. Aside from the small computer reader, there was also another access panel that was situated on the right side of the desk's occupant.
Like Captain Picard, Captain Kathryn Janeway also came to view her ready room as a sanctuary. She normally would hold staff briefings in the main conference room, but would also hold meetings with small groups of people in her ready room.
Captain Sisko's officeEdit
On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Captain Benjamin Sisko also had an office adjacent to Ops (the control center of the station). In this case, his office was not referred to as a ready room. In this office was a large desk of Cardassian design. A Starfleet-style computer reader was placed on top of his desk. He also kept a baseball on the desk, which symbolized his love of that game. He also had a clock he made during the episode "Dramatis Personae", as well as a model of a Daedalus-class starship in the room. The room also had a sofa upon which Captain Sisko would sometimes sit.
His office was originally the Prefect's office during the time of the Cardassian occupation of Bajor. Before Captain Sisko, the occupant of the office was Gul Dukat. Ops was a multilevel facility, and the office was positioned so that those working in the center would have to look up to see the office as a gesture of respect. The office has glass panels in the door, and a large oval shaped window behind the desk.
During the first two years of the Starfleet administration of the station, staff briefings would normally be held either in this office, or out in Ops itself. By the beginning of the third season a wardroom, similar to the briefing rooms in Federation installations, had been set up, and staff briefings were often held there ("The Search (Part I)").
USS Defiant ready roomEdit
Captain Sisko also had a small ready room onboard the USS Defiant. This ready room, unlike those of other vessels, was not placed immediately adjacent to the bridge. Rather it was located near the main bridge. Captain Sisko would use this room when the Defiant was on extended voyages.
In the episodes following up to "The Battle", the model is of a Constitution-class starship. Earlier the producers were going to make the USS Stargazer a Constitution-class starship, so they could use the movie model of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A. Once the episode was filmed, the model was changed. It, also should be noted that the model changes direction in certain episodes, Facing one way or the other.
Other non Star Trek references to ready roomsEdit
- Battlestar Galactica (re-imagining) TV series. The ready room on Galactica is used to stage a press conference in series 2, episode 19 - Lay Down Your Burdens (Part1).
- In the Thrawn trilogy of books by Timothy Zahn, the bridge of an Imperial Star Destroyer had a ready room. In addition, Grand Admiral Thrawn had a command room below the main bridge of the Star Destroyer Chimaera.