Observations in TNG: "A Fistful of Datas"

A joint project with TrekCore, by Jörg Hillebrand and Bernd Schneider

Here are some observations about sets, props and visual effects in TNG: "A Fistful of Datas" without a specific theme, and a comparison of the original TV release (TNG) with the remastered episode (TNG-R).

"A Fistful of Datas" HD Screencaps @ TrekCore

Description TNG Other caps Comparison TNG to TNG-R Description TNG-R
The USS Enterprise-D in orbit of Deinonychus VII. The planet appears as different planets in several other episodes, including as Tarchannen III in "Identity Crisis" and Rekag-Seronia in "Man of the People". According to the script of the episode, Deinonychus VII is a "red giant gaseous planet". The planet re-used in the original version of the episode appears as an M class planet in almost all earlier and later appearances, however.
Re-Used Planets in TNG
In the remastered version of the episode, the planet is indeed a red gas giant.
Behind Picard's sheet music, a large PADD can be seen (or was the music supposed to be displayed on the PADD?). This PADD was originally created for "Silicon Avatar" and was seen a little better in "The Inner Light".
Classical Music in Star Trek

"Silicon Avatar"

"The Inner Light"
The sheet music in HD.
Two small PADDs can be seen on these two stills from early in the episode. The PADDs in HD.
The PADD-like toy Alexander is playing with in this scene was previously seen in Worf's quarters in "Cost of Living". The prop also appeared on Moab IV in "The Masterpiece Society" and will be seen on Tilonus IV in "Frame of Mind". The backside of the prop seems to feature several front covers of 5.25-inch floppy drives.
"Cost of Living"
Alexander's toy in HD.

"The Masterpiece Society"

"Frame of Mind"
Like the floppy drive covers, the plugs Geordi uses in this scene seem oddly old-fashioned. The same props are also seen in "Birthright I" a little later this season.
"Birthright I"
The plugs in HD.
Data's head is opened at two spots in this episode. The open section on the right side of his head was also seen in "The Best of Both Worlds II", "Clues", "Disaster", "Cause and Effect" and "Time's Arrow II". It will be seen again in "Birthright I". The opening at the back of his head also appeared in "The Game" and "Time's Arrow II".
"The Best of Both Worlds II"

"Birthright I"
A good look at Data's opened head in HD.


"The Game"


"Time's Arrow II"

"Cause and Effect"
A wanted poster and a whisky bottle. Both the wanted poster and the label of the bottle can be seen much better in HD. We can now read that Eli Hollander is drinking Rock and Rye whisky, for example.
Worf and Alexander were added into the frozen holodeck program in post production, as can be seen by the slightly different lighting. No changes
The string attached to Hollander's hat (to quickly whisk it away when Troi, as Durango, shoots him) was already discernible in SD. In HD, it is very obvious.
Another shot of the USS Enterprise-D in orbit of Deinonychus VII. As already mentioned, the planet is a gas giant in HD, as described in the episode script.
Carts, like the one to the right of Data, are normally seen in sickbay. They have appeared in main engineering in two earlier episodes, "Family" and "The Mind's Eye".

"The Mind's Eye"
No changes
A nice establishing shot of Deadwood, South Dakota. Deadwood in HD.
Even though the holo-program depicts Deadwood, South Dakota, a map of Arizona can be seen behind Troi in the sheriff's office. The map of Arizona in HD.
Some of the wanted posters in the sheriff's office can be seen behind Worf in this screenshot. The posters in HD.
The rehearsal room is a redress of the observation lounge. The back wall was removed, the room was enlarged and curtains are used to hide the missing back wall. The set was similarly enlarged when the observation lounge was redressed in "Qpid", "Sins of the Father" and "Violations".
No changes

"Sins of the Father"

The inner workings of the open PADD look remarkably low tech. The same prop was re-used a few years later in the Voyager episode "Innocence".
VOY: "Innocence"
The PADDs in HD. Note the 20th century printed circuit boards.

VOY: "Innocence"
This is the first appearance of Spot since "In Theory". In season 4, Spot was "played" by a long-haired Somali cat. From now on, the cat will be played by a short-haired orange tabby.
Spot the Difference

"Data's Day"

"In Theory"
Spot in HD.
Data's "office" and desk can be seen very well in this screenshot. Data's desk in HD.
Another map hangs in Sheriff Worf's office. Like the previously mentioned map, this one also depicts Arizona instead of South Dakota. The map of Arizona in HD.
Eli Hollander, who at this point in the story looks like Data, is clearly played by a double and not by Brent Spiner. In HD, this is very obvious.
Two communicators are seen lying on a map of Deadwood. The map and communicators in HD.
More wanted posters are seen in these two screenshots. The posters in HD.
The backside of a communicator can be seen for the first time. The opened communicator prop was also seen in "Brothers" and "Final Mission".
"Brothers" HD

"Final Mission" HD
The communicator in HD.
Worf's makeshift forcefield generator is seen here and a little later in the episode. The device in HD.
A good look at the Deadwood set, filmed on the Universal Studios backlot. It seems some modern buildings can be seen in the background of the first screenshot. Deadwood in HD.
Bullets bounce off Worf's improvised personal forcefield. The effect was reconstructed for TNG-R.
This shot of Alexander under the saloon doors is an homage to a similar shot in the classic western "Shane". Incidentally, the original shot is seen on a TV in the DS9 episode "It's Only a Paper Moon".
DS9: "It's Only a Paper Moon"
No changes
The holodeck grid appears behind Worf when he is finally able to end the program. The holodeck appears much bigger here again than it did in "Schisms". The holodeck grid is similar to a shot of the grid seen in "Booby Trap".

"Booby Trap"
No changes
The camera pans from the USS Biko to the USS Enterprise-D with Deinonychus VII in the background. The same shot (sans the planet in the background) also appears in the "The Drumhead" and "The Game". In the Star Trek Encyclopedia, the ship is identified as the USS Cochrane with the registry NCC-59318. In HD, the same registry was also legible on the model, confirming that the ship was indeed the USS Cochrane. In this episode, the Oberth class ship is supposed to be the USS Biko (NCC-50331). It still displays the same registry as the USS Cochrane, however. In this episode, the camera comes much closer to the USS Enterprise-D than it does in the earlier two episodes.
"The Drumhead"
The sequence in HD. The registry was not fixed and belongs to the Cochrane, not the Biko.

"The Drumhead"
Alexander has lived with Worf since "New Ground". Their quarters were also seen in the later season 5 episode "Cost of Living". In both episodes, Worf's quarters did not yet have a separate bedroom for Alexander. This was changed for this episode, however, and now Worf's quarters feature a second bedroom, adjacent to the master bedroom, similar to the O'Briens' quarters seen in "Rascals".
"Cost of Living"

Plan from "Cost of Living"
No changes


Plan from "A Fistful of Datas"

"New Ground"

Plan from "New Ground"
The USS Enterprise-D leaves orbit of Deinonychus VII. The footage was originally created for "Redemption I", where the ship leaves orbit of the Klingon homeworld.
The sequence in HD.


The USS Enterprise-D flies off into the sunset in this memorable final shot from the episode. The unique sequence in HD.


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