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Re-Used Planets in TNG
by
Jörg Hillebrand and Bernd Schneider

Red Planets - Green PlanetsBlue PlanetsBrown Planets - Earth - Planets with Continents

 

Star Trek: The Next Generation shows us an overall wider variety of planets than TOS. Still, we can see many shots of planets more than once, representing a different planet each time. Some of the stock footage is re-used in up to ten episodes (counting double episodes as one). In most cases it remains unchanged in its role as a different planet, or only the color is slightly adjusted.

Conversely, in a few cases the same planets are represented by different models in different episodes.

In the following, the planets are grouped by colors and surface features, and listed in descending order of the number of re-uses. The episodes are listed in production order.

 

Red Planets

Red planet 1 This planet can be seen in five episodes:
  • Daled IV ("The Dauphin")
  • Klavdia III ("The Dauphin")
  • Tau Cygna V ("The Ensigns of Command")
  • Moab IV ("The Masterpiece Society")
  • Devidia II ("Time's Arrow, Part I")

All later planets are stock footage from its first appearance in "The Dauphin". The color of the planet varies between red and ochre from shot to shot in every single episode. 

Red planet 2 This planet can be seen in three episodes:
  • Velara III ("Home Soil")
  • Dytallix B ("Conspiracy")
  • Starbase 73 planet ("Up the Long Ladder")

The color of the planet Dytallix B is an intensive red, Velara III is somewhat paler and the Starbase 73 planet is still less red and more like ochre. 

Red planet 3 This planet can be seen in three episodes:
  • Mordan IV ("Too Short a Season")
  • Relva VII ("Coming of Age")
  • Starbase 179 planet ("A Matter of Honor")

For Relva VII new shots were filmed, in which the planet appears in a less intensive red, but also shows an apparent transition between red and light brown on the surface.

Red planet 4 This planet can be seen in two episodes:
  • Aldea ("When the Bough Breaks")
  • Vagra II ("Skin of Evil")

In both episodes the side that is exposed to the light of the central star is more like yellow. Also, in both episodes we can see shots that are mirror images of one another (as a simple means to add variety to the views of the planet).

Red planet 5 This planet can be seen in three episodes:
  • Brekka ("Symbiosis")
  • Zeta Gelis cluster planet ("Transfigurations")
  • Koinonian homeworld ("The Bonding")

The Zeta Gelis planet re-uses just one shot of Brekka.

Red planet 6 This planet can be seen in two incarnations in four episodes:
  • Deneb IV ("Encounter at Farpoint")
  • Vulcan ("Sarek", "Unification, Part I", "Gambit, Part I+II")

For Vulcan the color of the planet was modified to be less red and more dirty brown. One shot that is visible in "Sarek" and "Gambit" is a mirror image of Deneb. We can recognize especially the cloud and surface formations in the southern hemisphere.


Planet Mutations - Vulcan

Red planet 7 This planet can be seen in two episodes:
  • Omicron Theta ("Datalore")
  • Ornara ("Symbiosis")

The two planets are identical, including the moon.

Red star This planet can be seen in two episodes:
  • Igo sector plasma streamer ("Realm of Fear")
  • Topin system protostar ("Preemptive Strike")

On both occasions we see the same red giant/white dwarf pair. 

 

Green Planets

Green planet 1 This planet can be seen in four episodes:
  • Angel One ("Angel One")
  • Minos ("The Arsenal of Freedom")
  • Theta 116 VIII ("The Royale")
  • Legara IV ("Sarek")

All four planets look the same.

Green planet 2 This planet can be seen in five episodes:
  • Delphi Ardu IV ("The Last Outpost") - blue
  • Selay homeworld ("Lonely Among Us")
  • Persephone V ("Too Short a Season")
  • Antede III ("Manhunt")
  • Krios ("The Perfect Mate")

The first time, as Delphi Ardu IV, the planet is still blue. All four later planets are identical. Krios looks completely different than previously in "The Mind's Eye".


Planet Mutations - Krios

Green planet 3 This planet can be seen in three incarnations in four episodes:
  • Qo'noS ("Sins of the Father", "Redemption, Part I+II")
  • Terlina III ("Brothers")
  • Vacca VI ("Homeward")

The look of Qo'noS is consistent in TNG. The two other planets look the same.


Planet Mutations - Qo'noS

 

Blue Planets

Blue planet 1 This planet can be seen in six episodes:
  • 'aucdet IX ("The Child")
  • Gagarin IV ("Unnatural Selection")
  • Galorndon Core ("The Enemy")
  • Barzan II ("The Price")
  • Jouret IV ("The Best of Both Worlds, Part I") 
  • Bilana III ("New Ground")

Three shots of Gagarin IV were re-used for Barzan II. On these two occasions the planet is green (colored as a whole, including the Enterprise). In the four other episodes it is blue.

Blue planet 2 This planet can be seen in four episodes:
  • Starbase 6 planet ("The Schizoid Man")
  • Acamar III ("The Vengeance Factor")
  • Ventax II ("Devil's Due")
  • Krios ("The Mind's Eye")

The planet with its characteristic pattern of dense clouds is the same each time. As already mentioned, the first Krios in "The Mind's Eye" looks different than the second one

Blue planet 3 This planet can be seen in three episodes:
  • Ramatis III ("Loud as a Whisper")
  • Gamma Hromi II ("The Vengeance Factor")
  • Alpha Onias III ("Future Imperfect")

The bright blue planet is the same in all three episodes.

Blue planet 4 This planet can be seen in two episodes:
  • Peliar Zel II ("The Host")
  • Galorndon Core ("Unification, Part II")

Stock footage of the beige/blue planet Peliar Zel II, including the moon, was re-used for Galorndon Core in "Unification". This second version of Galorndon Core looks different than in "The Enemy".


Planet Mutations - Galorndon Core

 

Brown Planets

Brown planet 1 This planet can be seen no less than ten times:
  • Delta Rana IV ("The Survivors")
  • Starbase 416 planet ("Brothers")
  • Turkana IV ("Legacy")
  • Tagus III ("Qpid")
  • Melona IV ("Silicon Avatar")
  • J'naii ("The Outcast")
  • Moon of the fifth planet in the Argolis Cluster ("I, Borg")
  • Research Station 75 planet ("Face of the Enemy")
  • Ohniaka III ("Descent, Part I")
  • Renegade Borg planet ("Descent, Part I+II")
  • Maranga IV ("Firstborn")

There are no changes to the footage; all ten planets look the same.

Brown planet 2 This planet can be seen in eight episodes:
  • Tarchannen III ("Identity Crisis")
  • Valo II ("Ensign Ro")
  • Mericor system planet ("Ethics")
  • Rekag-Seronia ("Man of the People")
  • Deinonychus VII ("A Fistful of Datas")
  • Vilmor II ("The Chase")
  • Marijne VII ("Interface")
  • Starbase 310 planet ("Journey's End")

The planet is the same in all eight episodes.

Brown planet 3 This planet can be seen in five episodes:
  • Penthara IV ("A Matter of Time")
  • Celtris III ("Chain of Command I")
  • Boreth ("Rightful Heir")
  • Dessica II ("Gambit, Part I")
  • Camor V ("Bloodlines")

The planet looks the same in all five episodes. Only in "A Matter of Time" we can see special scenes of Penthara IV during the removal of the pollution, when the atmosphere appears red and blue. If we compare the shot of the still brownish Penthara IV with the one of Celtris III, we can see that the surface structures are the same, only left-right reversed and turned 90 degrees to the left.

Brown planet 4 This planet can be seen in three episodes:
  • Solais V ("Loud as a Whisper")
  • Koinonian homeworld ("The Bonding")
  • Kalla II ("Firstborn")

The planet is the same in all three episodes.

Brown planet 5 This planet can be seen in three episodes:
  • Gravesworld ("The Schizoid Man")
  • Unknown planet ("The Dauphin")
  • Mariposa ("Up the Long Ladder")

Mariposa is essentially just a mirror image of Gravesworld, only the color appears more reddish. The footage of Mariposa itself was occasionally left-right reversed too. The body of the unknown planet from "The Dauphin" is a new one. But the rings are still the same. A small moon was added between the two major rings.

Brown planet 6 This planet can be seen in two episodes:
  • Bringloid V ("Up the Long Ladder")
  • Mikulak homeworld ("Hollow Pursuits")

The planet looks the same on both occasions.

Brown planet 7 This planet can be seen in two episodes:
  • Calder II ("Gambit, Part I+II")
  • Ronara ("Preemptive Strike")

The planet looks the same in all episodes.

Brown planet 8 This planet can be seen in two episodes:
  • Iconia ("Contagion")
  • Cor Caroli V ("Allegiance")

The planet with its characteristic craters and cloud formations looks the same in both episodes.

Brown planet 9 This planet can be seen in two episodes:
  • Tagra IV ("True Q")
  • Indri VIII ("The Chase")

Both planets undergo a metamorphosis, only in opposite directions. While Tagra IV goes from brown to green when Amanda Rogers restores its natural state, Indri VIII goes from blue to brown when the Klingons destroy the biosphere of the planet. The brown states of the planets are the same.

 

Earth

Earth Stock footage of Earth including the Moon and Earth Spacedock from "Star Trek III" can be seen as other planets in four TNG episodes:
  • Earth ("Star Trek III")
  • Tarsas III ("11001001")
  • Starbase 133 planet ("Remember Me")
  • Lya Station Alpha planet ("Ensign Ro")
  • Starbase 84 planet ("Phantasms")

The footage remained unchanged; only the Enterprise-D was inserted for the TNG episodes.

 

Planets with Continents

Planet with continents #1 This model can be seen as no less than eleven distinct planets in twelve episodes:
  • Starbase Montgomery planet ("The Icarus Factor")
  • Surata IV ("Shades of Gray")
  • Angosia III ("The Hunted")
  • Risa ("Captain's Holiday")
  • Malcor III ("First Contact")
  • Starbase 112 planet ("Identity Crisis")
  • Kaelon II ("Half a Life")
  • Starbase 234 planet ("Redemption, Part II", "Unification, Part I")
  • Ruah IV ("The Chase")
  • Kesprytt III ("Attached")
  • Dorvan V ("Journey's End")

Although the surface of this Earth-like planet is quite distinctive, it was re-used as often as no other planet of TNG. We always see largely the same portions of the northern hemisphere. It can be seen two times as the planet in whose orbit Starbase 234 is located. At least that much is consistent about the re-uses. 

Planet with continents #2 This planet can be seen in three episodes:
  • Mintaka III ("Who Watches the Watchers?")
  • Betazed ("Ménage ā Troi")
  • Barkon IV ("Thine Own Self")

All three Earth-like planets with their beige continents are identical. Moreover, in all three episodes we can see a "left" side and a "right" side of the planet. One of the two is a simple mirror image, easily identifiable as such thanks to the characteristic shapes of the continents.

Planet with continents #3 This planet can be seen in three episodes:
  • Drema IV ("Pen Pals")
  • Starbase 515 planet ("Samaritan Snare")
  • Rutia IV ("The High Ground")
  • Beta Agni II ("The Most Toys")

All three planets with their rocky continents and horizontal cloud belts are identical. Like with planet #2 too, we can see mirrored shots of the same planet in the same episode. In "The Most Toys" the planet is tinted green instead of bluish.

Planet with continents #4 This planet can be seen in two episodes:
  • Haven ("Haven")
  • Bynaus ("11001001")

Haven too has the same continents of the "left" and the "right" side because the image was reversed. For Bynaus the system's sun was inserted into the shot of the planet.

 


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Last modified: 08.02.14 
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