A VR view of the cockpit flight deck on the USS Saratoga.
The crew of the 58th Unites States Space Aviator Cavalry steps out of the briefing room.
Exhaust fumes choke the hot, sweltering air of the flight deck. Slowly, deliberately they
strap themselves into their cockpits, wondering if this time will be their last. And as they
pull on their helmets, they descend slowly into their Hammerhead fighters to face
whatever fate has in store for them.
Welcome to another day on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Saratoga. This is where the
crew of the 58th embark on their treacherous missions against the Chigs. The briefing
room lies beyond, the state-of-the-art SA-43 Hammerhead fighters below and the cold
vacuum of space just outside.
The set you're looking at had to be built twice! The original flight deck was constructed for the PILOT episode shot in Australia but when the Space: Above and Beyond production returned to Los Angeles, a second identical Flight Deck was built. The set takes up a massive 7500 hundred square feet of valuable soundstage. Roughly twice the size of a regular set! In addition, the set had to be built ten feet off the ground to allow for the HAMMERHEAD cockpits to descend below decks.
The powerful imagery of the cockpits raising and lowering from the Flight Deck is no more complex than ropes and pulleys...
Look up! You can see that the Flight Deck has no ceiling. Sets must be designed to allow the crew the room and flexibility they need to properly light Space: Above and Beyond. Therefore, instead of a ceiling, a complex grid of LIGHTS and CABLES hang above the 58th's heads! Even the GLASS separating the ORIENTATION ROOM from the Flight Deck is a little deceiving... To prevent reflections of the crew during filming, the glass pane had to be installed at a 30 degree angle. So when you are in the Orientation Room looking out, you'll see a reflection of the ceiling.
As you look around the Flight Deck, you will begin to appreciate the number of people it takes to shoot a television show. It takes an entire day (10 hours) and 60 people to film just eight minutes of Space: Above and Beyond.
As with all the Quicktime VR movies, you cal look around and zoom in/out from a stationary point.
This shows you a lot of the detail that you normally don't catch in the fast pace show. It also shows you the crew working on the scene and a few extras (note the Marine in Combats).