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Visual Bloopers
by
Jörg Hillebrand and Bernd Schneider

Scene Discontinuities - Mistakes During the Filming - Other Possible Bloopers

 

Here is a collection of small filming or editing mistakes of the Star Trek TV and movie productions that in almost all cases were not meant to be recognizable but were not reshot or edited out. We deliberately picked some lesser known or newly discovered bloopers. See also: Prop and Set Oddities for some bloopers that seem to be missing here. Please take the following pictures with a grain of salt. It is not our intention to acknowledge bloopers as canon evidence of strange things happening in the universe.

 

Scene Discontinuities

A kind of "Mirror Universe" In the era of celluloid it occasionally happened that the film was right-left reversed in the process of editing. We can see a reverse image of Kirk in TOS: "The Omega Glory", even two mirrored Kirks in TOS: "The Way to Eden" and a reversed Enterprise in TOS: "The Gamesters of Triskelion".


Reversed Kirk in TOS: "The Omega Glory"

(screen capture by Jörg)
 

Reversed Kirk in TOS: "The Way to Eden"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Reversed Enterprise in TOS: "The Gamesters..."

(screen capture by Jörg)

Reversed Enterprise-D saucer in "Generations"

(screen capture by TrekCore)

In one take of the saucer crash in "Generations" the registry is reversed. This was due to the camera used to film that angle being pointed at a mirror so the saucer hit it and not the camera. And indeed the saucer broke the mirror.

TOS uniform errors In spite of the continuity editing small errors remain in some scenes. These are most obvious in the case of wrong uniforms and insignia. Captain Kirk enters the turbolift in his standard issue yellow uniform, whereas he exits wearing the green wrap-around variant in TOS: "Charlie X". In TOS: "Mudd's Women", Dr. McCoy awaits the arrival of the guests in the transporter room in his blue standard uniform, but in just one take he is wearing the shiny blue medical tunic, with sickbay in the background. This is apparently stock footage. In "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", toward the end of the movie, McCoy and Spock switch their uniform jackets in a split second, between two takes.


Kirk's uniform change in TOS: "Charlie X"

(screen capture by Jörg)

McCoy's uniform change in TOS: "Mudd's Women"

(screen capture by Jörg)


McCoy's and Spock's uniform switch in "Star Trek I"

(screen capture by Jörg)

DS9 uniform errors Major Kira must have dressed in a hurry, as her communicator is upside down in DS9: "The Maquis, Part II". We can see how the O'Brien clone pulls his communicator off in DS9: "Whispers", and a rest of glue (or a Velcro fastener) is still visible on the uniform which shouldn't be there for all we know. In DS9: "Rules of Engagement" it seems that Captain Sisko has been demoted to commander, as there are only three pips on his dress uniform. Finally, in DS9: "Rapture" Captain Sisko (who appears with the gray vest most of the time in this episode) has misplaced the communicator in the gray shoulder part of his uniform jacket in every scene he is wearing it.


Upside-down communicator in DS9: "The Maquis II"

(screen capture by Jörg)

 

Glue on uniform in DS9: "Whispers"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Missing rank pip DS9: "Rules of Engagement"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Misplaced comm badge in DS9: "Rapture"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Tom Riker again? In ENT: "These Are The Voyages" we can spot two Rikers in once scene in Ten Forward. This is because stock footage from TNG: "Ménage ā Troi" where Riker was already visible was digitally supplemented with a new Riker for the ENT series finale.


Two Rikers in ENT: "These Are The Voyages"

(image by satre)

Gillian's two cars In "Star Trek IV" the appearance of Gillian's pick-up truck, a 1974 Chevrolet, keeps changing throughout the movie. There appear to be two distinct cars, one used for the location shots in San Francisco (Presidio area) and Monterey (Cetacean Institute), and another one for the shots at the location that stands in for the Golden Gate Park on two occasions. The most obvious difference is the radiator grille. Also, details such as the placement of the bumper sticker are not the same on the two cars. Even the very same car in the Golden Gate Park seems to change between its two appearances. The second time the lines on the fender and the door are far less pronounced.


Gillian's car in "Star Trek IV"

(screen captures by TrekCore)

Someone else broke your ships In "First Contact" Picard smashes the glass showcase with the golden starship models with a phaser rifle. We can see that while he spreads shards all over the place, he doesn't damage any of the models. The Enterprise-D has a heavy list but is fully intact. But barely a second later later, after a cut to Lily's face, the Enterprise-C and -D are both broken. The saucer of the C has fallen off. The saucer of the D is still dangling but the model consists of four pieces now, of which Lily picks up a nacelle a minute later, when Picard has composed himself. Someone obviously had to make the damage retroactively fit with Lily's line "You broke your little ships".


Picard's ship models in "First Contact"

(screen capture by Bernd)

Broken link fixed for "Broken Link" In DS9: "For the Cause" the left solar panel of Sisko's ISS model, which is visible in all other episodes, is missing. It seems someone knocked off the panel and it was overlooked or there was no time fixing it. Anyway, prior to "Broken Link" the panel was repaired.


Missing ISS solar panel in DS9: "For the Cause"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Uncovered label During the battle simulation in "Star Trek II", the symbol on the starboard turbolift door of the simulator room is covered with something that looks like a reflective film. The reflection makes the logo almost unrecognizable. Most likely the transfer tape of the turbolift symbol sticker was not peeled off in time. The "A" above the turbolift logo, on the other hand, is the way we would expect it: not reflective and hence clearly visible. We can see the so covered logo a few times from slightly different camera positions behind Saavik. When the simulation is over and Admiral Kirk enters the room, the film is suddenly gone and the turbolift logo looks just like the "A". Someone must have spotted and removed the disturbing reflection in the meantime (provided that the scene was filmed about in the same order that it is shown, which is plausible in light of the mess created in the course of the battle).


Turbolift sign with and without reflection in "Star Trek II"

(screen capture by Bernd)

Fading label In DS9: "Prophet Motive" O'Brien and Bashir play darts for the first time, then still in a cargo bay. The cargo container just behind them has a blazing pink label. But suddenly, in just one take of the scene, for a few seconds, the color switches to a pale, almost gray color. There is no plausible explanation for this obvious digital manipulation, with pink being the original color because the surrounding pixels of the gray label look blurry. Perhaps someone decided during the post-processing that the pink was too obtrusive. But why wasn't the whole scene changed accordingly? Moreover, several other labels in the same room are equally colorful. The letters on the label read "TransWormhole freight", and they are better recognizable on the gray version. In case someone had tried to obscure the letters by taking away the color, he would have achieved just the contrary.


Pink label in DS9: "Prophet Motive"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Gray label in DS9: "Prophet Motive"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Bashir gets a wrong picture In DS9: "Melora" Julian Bashir picks up a photo of the Elaysian officer and her brother from a table. When the scene switches from the close view to the long shot, he is suddenly holding a completely different and larger picture. Only the frame seems to be still the same.


Melora's photo, version 1 in DS9: "Melora"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Melora's photo, version 2 in DS9: "Melora"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Human hairstyle secrets Gates McFadden seems to have thinner hair than Beverly Crusher. She is wearing wigs most of the time, if not permanently, during the seven seasons of TNG. In the third season Beverly Crusher sports a chin-length haircut, as it can be seen in TNG: "Booby Trap". Later, in TNG: "The Enemy", she can be seen with long hair. But the long hairstyle lasts for just this one episode. In TNG: "The Price", just one week later, she has a shorter haircut again. Beverly will have long hair again as late as in the sixth season, such as in TNG: "Cause and Effect".


Beverly's hairstyles in four episodes

(screen capture by Jörg)

Beverly's fingernails in TNG: "When the Bough..."

(screen capture by Jörg)

In the same vein, we can see in TNG: "When the Bough Breaks" that Beverly's fingernails are short, but in one close shot of their hands they are quite long. Most likely these belong to a stand-in and not to Gates McFadden. We need to wonder anyway how she could possibly operate a tricorder or a laser scalpel with such long nails...

Alien hairstyle secrets In VOY: "Prophecy" Captain Kohlar initially appears with the slightly curly dark brown hair we know from most Klingons, be they male or female. When he comes aboard Voyager, Kohlar suddenly has a plain black Janet Jackson-style permanent wave. His hairstyle changes back and forth a couple of times during the episode. We can only hope that he is using gentle haircare products...


Kohlar - before in VOY: "Prophecy"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Kohlar - after in VOY: "Prophecy"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Most likely the perm version was filmed first, as all scenes with this hairstyle take place in the briefing room. Someone may have noticed that the black curls looked silly on him, and decided to switch to the traditional warrior-style wig. Only that it was ignored that the scenes with the two hairstyles would alternate in the final version of the episode.

But Kohlar is not the first Klingon who changes his hairstyle in the twinkling of an eye. Lieutenant Worf combs his hair straight down in the instant just prior to pushing the "fire" button in "The Best of Both Worlds, part II".


Worf - before in TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds I"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Worf - after in TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds II"

(screen capture by Jörg)

It is only fair that the Romulans know the secret of rapid restyling too, like Sela demonstrates between the two parts of TNG: "Redemption". Bang goes the Romulan bang.


Sela - before in TNG: "Redemption I"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Sela - after in TNG: "Redemption II"
(screen capture by Jörg)

Eventually it doesn't seem to be a question of advanced technology, however. In TNG: "Justice" the hairstyle of Livan, a member of the rather naive Edo species, changes in a matter of a few seconds as well when she is beamed up to the Enterprise. Suddenly dark natural hair becomes visible underneath the formerly dense blond perm bonnet. Or do we have to blame a misalignment of the Enterprise's transporter?


Livan - before in TNG: "Justice"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Livan - after in TNG: "Justice"

(screen capture by Jörg)

 

Mistakes During the Filming

Wrist watches Dr. Crusher's visible wrist watch in TNG: "Code of Honor" is a typical blooper as it may occur during the filming. Basically there is no reason why people in the 24th century shouldn't wear watches. But since we almost never see any of them, the most likely explanation is that Gates McFadden simply forgot to take it off prior to the shooting. Another wrist watch can be seen in DS9: "Progress".


Beverly's watch in TNG: "Code of Honor"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Mullibok's watch in DS9: "Progress"

(screen capture by Jörg)

On silent feet Dr. Bashir can be seen wearing white tennis shoes with his uniform in TNG: "Birthright, Part I". Siddig El Fadil explained that this was done to reduce noise during filming.


Bashir with tennis shoes in TNG: "Birthright, Part I"

(screen capture by Michael Minnick)

TNG on TNG We can see a Star Trek TNG logo on an engineering display in TNG: "Identity Crisis".


TNG logo in TNG: "Identity Crisis"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Mike Okuda: "That's a visual effects error. The logo on the screen in that frame is the 'slate' that I put at the beginning of the computer animation so that my colleagues in visual effects would know which shot it was to go with. Although they did a good job in compositing my animation into the filmed scene, they inadvertently included a little bit of the slate. It's really not that bad of a mistake, seeing as how few people have noticed it over the years."

Script errors Someone obviously left an episode script on a cabinet in Dr. Crusher's sickbay in TNG: "Suddenly Human". The same happens in "Violations", "Ethics" and "Cost of Living".


Script (lower left) in TNG: "Suddenly Human"

(screen capture by Jörg)
 

Script (on the step) in TNG: "Violations"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Script (on the floor) in TNG: "Ethics"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Script (on the bed) in TNG: "Cost of Living"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Ancient LCARS In VOY: "Good Shepherd" we can see Mac pop-up menus and a mouse pointer on LCARS screens.


Pop-up menus in VOY: "Good Shepherd"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Mouse pointer in VOY: "Good Shepherd"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Black cardboard In some early TNG episodes we can see that parts of the large displays on the rear end of the Enterprise-D bridge are covered with black cardboard. Our best guess is that the cardboard is supposed to avoid bothersome reflections. Obviously the lighting of the set was improved at a later date.

Guy Vardaman, who was a frequent stand-in performer in TNG, tells us the following about the cardboard trick: "Yes, the black cards were there to block the reflections of the lights and were hoped to be invisible to the viewer. There are also lines of black electrical tape and another trick used is to spray something with hairspray to dull it down when it is too shiny and would reflect crew, camera and lights.

The black cards went away because we got a new Director of Photography, Marvin Rush, replacing Ed Brown. Marvin lit the sets much more dynamically (less 'flat') and so he didn't have as much overall light. Also as film got better, technologically, it needed less light.

The hairspray trick was rarely used on Trek, but is used a lot in general production, especially on chrome trim on cars, etc. Mainly outdoors."


Cardboard covers in TNG: "Peak Performance"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Black "flag" in TNG: "The Survivors"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Not necessarily a cardboard sheet but definitely something black that doesn't belong there is visible on the bridge through the ready room's open door in TNG: "The Survivors".

Guy Vardaman on the "box" in "The Survivors": "Hey, that thing is a flag used to block light, usually mounted to a 'C- Stand.' So if they wanted to light Riker coming out of the ready room but not have a big shadow or beam of light coming out the door onto the bridge floor, they would block it with a flag like you are seeing."

Floor markings In TOS: "Journey to Babel" floor markings are visible as they were probably used to define the actors' positions. We can also see a marker in DS9: "Rules of Acquisition" (perhaps from a previously shot scene where Kira was speaking with the Nagus) and one for O'Brien's position on the upper level of the promenade deck in DS9: "Ferengi Love Songs". In "Treachery, Faith and the Great River" we can see a differently colored piece of carpet, but this is most likely not a marking but a patch, covering the hole for the cables of Sisko's missing desk. We can see carpet patches in several TNG episodes too, for the wiring of bridge consoles or sickbay beds.


Floor markings in TOS: "Journey to Babel"

(screen capture by Jörg)
 

Floor markings in DS9: "Rules of Acquisition"

(screen capture by TrekCore)

Floor marking in DS9: "Ferengi Love Songs"

(screen capture by Bernd)

Carpet patch in DS9: "Treachery, Faith and..."

(screen capture by Walter Poulsen)

Bound to act In TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" Lokai is holding some sort of cord while running through the corridor. The reason for this may be that the actor is supposed to keep a certain distance to the camera.


Lokai with a rope in TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Unidentified pole In TOS: "This Side of Paradise", when Spock has just been struck by the spores, a pole comes into sight that shouldn't be there, and possibly the leg of a person who is standing next to it.


Pole in TOS: "This Side of Paradise"

(screen capture by Guy Vardaman)

Blue uniform? A blue shirt or jacket is hanging over a a chair on the bridge in TOS: "Let That Be You Last Battlefield". It almost looks like someone decided to get rid of his or her uniform, but the blue is darker than that.


Blue shirt in TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"

(screen capture by Jan Kockrow)

Lighting equipment A piece of lighting equipment, probably a soft box, comes into sight in TOS: "Requiem for Methuselah".


Lighting equipment in TOS: "Requiem for Methuselah"

(screen capture by Jan Kockrow)

Microphone stand A microphone stand is visible when Riker enters a turbolift in TNG: "When the Bough Breaks".


Microphone stand in TNG: "When the Bough Breaks"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Handbag? Sandbag! No, it's not Riker's handbag that we can see in TNG: "The Child" (look at his feet). Actually, it is a sandbag, used in TV or movie production to secure a C stand (a tripod stand to mount lights on).


Sandbag on the bridge in TNG: "The Child"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Thumb-based actuator We can see a finger of the hand that makes the wipers of Sulu's helicopter move in "Star Trek IV".


Hand on wiper in "Star Trek IV"

(screen capture by Michael Minnick)

Give Kirk a hand! After the shuttle crash in "Star Trek V", when Kirk is fighting with Sybok, the two should initially be alone in the shuttlebay. But we can see an arm, obviously of someone who assisted the Sybok stunt double in hurling around the Kirk stunt double.


Extra hand in "Star Trek V"

(screen capture by Michael Minnick)

Kirk is wired When Kirk gets zapped by "God" in "Star Trek V", we can see the stunt wire that is used to yank him back.


Stunt wire in "Star Trek V"

(screen capture by Michael Minnick)

Mirror image The face of someone working behind the camera can be seen mirrored in a Romulan (plexi)glass sculpture in TNG: "Unification".


Face in a sculpture in TNG: "Unification, Part II"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Disposable bottle A present-day water bottle comes into sight in Phlox' sickbay in ENT: "The Breach".


Plastic bottle in ENT: "The Breach"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Double trouble TOS: "Court Martial" and "Space Seed" are two examples where Kirk is clearly not being played by Shatner in stunt sequences.


Stunt double in TOS: "Court Martial"

(screen capture by TrekCore)

Stunt double in TOS: "Space Seed"

(screen capture by TrekCore)

In TNG: "The High Ground" Patrick Stewart's stunt double is clearly recognizable when he strikes an Ansata terrorist. The same stunt double reappears in "Man of the People".


Stunt double in TNG: "The High Ground"

(screen capture
by satre)

Stunt double in TNG: "Man of the People"

(screen capture by Jörg)

A very obvious appearance of stunt doubles can be witnessed in TNG: "Conspiracy". Between the caps #1 and #2 Riker and Quinn suddenly turn into stunt doubles. Riker's face changes, and Quinn's hair now grows down to his collar -- "Vitamins: They do wonders for the hairline!" :-D From a different angle we can see the face of Quinn's stunt double on cap #4. Cap #5 is a transition between two scenes. It looks like they edited out someone's head.


Stunt doubles, caps #1-3 in TNG: "Conspiracy"

(screen capture by Lee)

Stunt doubles, caps #4-5 in TNG: "Conspiracy"

(screen capture by Lee)

Stunt doubles are also recognizable as such in "Star Trek Generations".


Stunt doubles in "Generations"

(screen capture by Michael Minnick)

Upside-down tricorder Dr. Marr may be a mad scientist, but not so confused that we would expect her to hold a tricorder upside down like she did in TNG: "Silicon Avatar". We may tend to forgive Quark who made the same mistake when he defused the warhead in DS9: "Starship Down".


Tricorder upside down in TNG: "Silicon Avatar"

(screen capture by Chello)

Tricorder upside down in DS9: "Starship Down"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Tarred phaser After Riker has been drawn into the tar pit in TNG: "Skin of Evil", Geordi, Data and Crusher rush to help him. When they stop at the edge of the tar pit, Geordi's phaser drops straight into the tar. While this is no problem in the story, it almost definitely didn't happen on purpose.


Phaser in the tar pit in TNG: "Skin of Evil"

(screen capture by Bernd)

Don't shake too hard! In DS9: "Return to Grace" Kira Nerys explains to Ziyal the operation principle of a Cardassian and a Starfleet rifle. Illustrating the "fully autonomous recharge" of the Starfleet weapon, she opens and then visibly and audibly closes the lid of the power pack at the bottom. Two seconds later, when she demonstrates the gyro stabilization by shaking the rifle, the lid flips open again, causing a smile in Nana Visitor's face.


Open power cell lid in DS9: "Return to Grace"

(screen capture by Walter Poulsen)

Don't break your neck! When Dukat rests his head on a rock in DS9: "Indiscretion", we can see how his prosthetic neck cord detaches.


Dukat's neck detaches in DS9: "Indiscretion"

(screen capture by Max Pinton)

Ripping mishap Captain Kirk is notorious for winding up with a ripped shirt in his countless brawls. In TOS: "The Savage Curtain" a different piece of clothing is ruined, albeit definitely not on purpose.


Torn pants in TOS: "The Savage Curtain"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Andorian Pinkskin Andorians are supposed to be blue all over. But this one exhibits some flesh-colored skin in TOS: "The Gamesters of Triskelion".  


Andorian in TOS: "The Gamesters of Triskelion"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Hole in the wall Charlie Evans hurls Spock and Kirk against a wall in Janice Rand's quarters, which leaves visible damage in the wall. The same happens again in TOS: "Day of the Dove" when Kirk punches Chekov, and Chekov's hands leave holes in the wall.


Ripped wall in TOS: "Charlie X"

(screen capture by Bernd)

Cross-hatched In "Star Trek IV", when the hatch on the Bird-of-Prey is blown, we can see right out it and into... a soundstage.


View through the hatch in "Star Trek IV"

(screen capture by Michael Minnick)

In DS9: "Broken Link" Garak attempts to fire the Defiant's weapons on the Founders' homeworld. When Worf catches him red-handed, the two fight inside a Jefferies tube. In the course of their struggle the hatch in the background falls off and we can glimpse behind the scenes.


Hatch still in place in DS9: "Broken Link"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Hatch gone in DS9: "Broken Link"

(screen capture by Jörg)

I can reach any star In VOY: "Investigations" Tom Paris grabs the frame of the Kazon shuttle windshield during a battle. It looks like there is no glass in the window and his hand is reaching out into space. The same happens to "John Doe" in the observation lounge in TNG: "Transfigurations".


Tom's hand in the window in VOY: "Investigations"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Hand beyond the frame in TNG: "Transfigurations"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Breaking the fourth wall TV sets are no real rooms. They often lack a ceiling, and the side walls are not complete, depending on how far the camera is supposed to pan. It happens occasionally that the set borders come into sight nonetheless. Well, usually it is just a minor nuisance and is often not even recognizable at the first glance. The only blatant one among our examples is ENT: "Bound". Here a whole panel of the rear wall of the bridge is missing, although it must have been clear to the director that it would be visible.


Visible set borders in three episodes

(screen capture by Jörg) 

Visible set borders in three more episodes

(screen capture by Jörg)

 

Other Possible Bloopers

11-"00"-1001 In TNG: "11001001" we see two Bynars step forth from a corner of the bridge where only the restroom is supposedly located. So just like two of them work as a unit, Bynars may have to visit the restroom in couples. Or they generally don't have to, but these two particular Bynars are female.


Bynars stepping out of the restroom in TNG: "11001001"

(screen capture by Jörg)

What's so funny, Number One? In a scene which was not intended to be humorous in TNG: "Masks" we can see Riker with a wide grin on his face. Can it be that Jonathan Frakes was amused about Stewart holding what looks like a big phallic symbol?


Riker amused in TNG: "Masks"

(screen capture by Jörg)

 

Credits

The floor markings in TOS, the "Generations" bloopers and some other things were discovered by Michael Minnick, the microphone stand and Sisko's wrong communicator placement by Robb, the pole in "This Side of Paradise" by Guy Vardaman, the lighting equipment and discarded uniform in TOS by Jan Kockrow, the floor markings in DS9 by Marcus, Rich and Walter Poulsen, Beverly's fingernails by Thomas, the phaser in the tar pit by Claudius Göring, the sandbag on the bridge by Simon Turner, Dukat's "broken neck" by Max Pinton, Picard's "phallic symbol" by Thomas, the upside-down tricorder by Remy Chan (Chello) and by William Paul, the open phaser cell lid by Alexander Baier and Claudius, the turbolift sign by Chris and the water bottle by onlyomega1@aol.com. Thanks to Wes Button for the hint about the transfer tape. Thanks to Dan, satre and Lee for their contributions!

 


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Last modified: 09.06.14  
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