Observations in TNG: "Brothers"

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

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

"Brothers" HD Screencaps @ TrekCore

Description TNG Other caps Comparison TNG to TNG-R Description TNG-R
A shot of the 4-foot model of the Enterprise-D.
Enterprise Flybys in TNG and TNG-R
In TNG-R, we see a similar shot with the 4-foot model, as the original footage was missing. Actually, it is a shot of the Enterprise flying into the opposite direction that was mirror-inverted.
Red stickers were added to the left and right of the turbolift door. These stickers were neither present in season 3 nor in "The Best of Both Worlds II". They were visible in "Yesterday's Enterprise", however. An LCARS display was also added to the right of the door.
"Yesterday's Enterprise"
In HD, we can read "System Access" on the upper label, and all the numbers on the LCARS panel.

"The Best of Both Worlds II"
This is one of the rare cases in which blue alert is seen on a Star Trek episode. The last time a blue alert indicator was seen was in "Q Who" aboard Picard's shuttlecraft.
"Q Who"
No changes
Data is turning off select command systems. The text is not legible in SD, however. We can now read which systems of the ship Data disables. Note the new blue hue of some elements on the LCARS screen in the remastered episode, to reflect the blue alert.

Something is odd about this wide-angle shot with Data at the aft console during blue alert. The vertical alert indicators between the aft stations and the observation lounge door are blue, although they are the usual orange in all other shots at blue alert. Also, we can see traces of red lighting as faint reflections in the corner between the head and the observation lounge access, and on the bottom portion of the aft stations.

It turns out that the take was originally filmed with the lighting for red alert. It was intended for some time later in the episode when Data is entering Picard's access code. Data's LCARS already display shows the according graphic that would appear close up a few minutes later. When the episode was originally edited, the shot was deemed useful for the blue alert phase instead, and was accordingly colored blue in post production. The modification is very well done for the time, except for the small mistake with the alert indicator.

Blue alert with orange indicator
The TNG-R shot, in contrast, shows the shot in its original red color, which is wrong, considering that the ship is at blue alert. The oversight is odd because Data's LCARS display was correctly swapped to match with the preceding shot (rather than with the one that should appear later in the episode), while the much more noticeable red lighting remains unchanged.

Security code graphic
Netflix HD release In the HD release for Netflix (and later Paramount+), the color was edited to show the correct blue alert.
Black tape stripes were added to the monitor atop the pool table between season 3 and season 4.
"Hollow Pursuits"
The pool table in HD.
An animated graphic of the USS Enterprise-D is displayed on the "pool table" in main engineering. A look at this nice display in HD.
The in-jokes, hidden in the MSD in main engineering, were not covered for this shot. The Porsche can be seen in the main shuttlebay, for example. We can recognize the Porsche even better in HD.
This Starfleet Operations LCARS displays first appeared on an aft bridge monitor in season 4. In SD, the ship names are not legible. The names are:
StarshipClassRegistryMission status
Starfleet Operations - Sectors 21166 - 23079
USS Ajax Excelsior* NCC-13554* Deep space exploration, sector 21834
USS Aries Renaissance NCC-45167 Deep space exploration, sector 21502
USS Berlin Excelsior NCC-14232 Romulan Neutral Zone patrol
USS Bradbury Bradbury NX-72307 Warp drive performance tests
USS Charleston Excelsior NCC-42285 Deep space exploration, sector 22055
USS Fearless Excelsior NCC-14598 Planetary mapping, Beta Mahoga system
USS Goddard Korolev NCC-59621 Starbase 414 resupply
USS Hood Excelsior NCC-42296 Major system upgrade, Starbase 174
USS Merrimac Nebula NCC-61827 Special assignment, Vulcan Science Academy
USS Monitor Nebula NCC-61826 Romulan Neutral Zone patrol
USS Repulse Excelsior NCC-2544 Deep space exploration, sector 22036
USS Thomas Paine New Orleans NCC-65530 Diplomatic mission to Epsilon Ashanti III
USS Trieste Yosemite* NCC-37124 Pulsar research project
USS Victory Constellation NCC-9754 Stellar nuclei population survey
USS Zhukov Rigel* NCC-62136* Cultural observation, Alpha Laputa IV
Starship mission status

*For a later appearance of the list, the Ajax was changed to Apollo class and its registry to NCC-11574, the class of the Trieste was changed to Merced, the registry on the Zhukov to NCC-26136 and its class to Ambassador. Furthermore, while the types of missions all remained the same, the names and numbers of the starbases and planetary systems were all altered.

We can recognize some ship names in HD.
For this shot of the MSD, the in-jokes are masked. Only Nomad is still visible at the right side of the first screenshot. As can be seen in the second image, the previously visible Porsche has been masked as well. We can see even better in HD that Nomad is still there and the Porsche was removed.
The ladder to the second level of main engineering is seen on these two screen caps, as already in "Heart of Glory". The second shot is filmed from a different angle, implying that this was filmed up from the lower level. Comparison of the caps reveals, however, that both shots were filmed down, from the second level of main engineering. According to the script of "Brothers", this set is not the engineering ladder but a vertical Jefferies tube, for which the actual set would not be built until season 6.
"Heart of Glory"
No changes
The quarantine lab is a redress of the medical/science lab originally created for "Transfigurations". The same biomonitor LCARS display seen in that episode and "The Best of Both Worlds II" is still present here. The red and blue tubes above the "quarantine box" were also part of a large medical device used to heal John Doe seen in early scenes in "Transfigurations". A little later in the episode, it can be seen better that the room was separated into two rooms for this episode, the large medical lab and the smaller room in which Willie Potts's bed is located.

A good look at the lab in HD.


"The Best of Both Worlds II"
After previously appearing in clear, blue, yellow and green, the three wall domes in the lab are now illuminated red.
"Pen Pals"



"The Best of Both Worlds II"
Terlina III is a reuse of Qo'noS, first seen in "Sins of the Father". Terlina III is a new planet in HD, not the same as Qo'noS.
Several different LCARS displays are seen in this scene. This includes a 3-D model of the USS Enterprise-D and a floor plan. All these displays are practical effects on set and remain unchanged. We can clearly recognize the original blocky fonts in HD, ages before font smoothing became available. Only the color was changed from pale green to blue.
Data enters Picard's security code.
Corridor forcefields were first seen in the season 3 episode "The Bonding". The reconstructed effect in TNG-R.
Data enters the transporter room from the rarely used side entry of the set.
The Corridor from the Transporter Room to Sickbay
A good look at the console in HD.
A spare hand and foot for a Soong-type android can be seen lying on the table here. They look slightly different from Lore's hands and feet seen in "Datalore".

The body parts in HD.

The machine on the right is most likely a turbo charger in real life.

The wall decoration reappears twice in the O'Briens' quarters on the Enterprise-D. Data probably inherited it from Soong and gifted it to his friends.

"Data's Day"

"The Wounded"
The device in HD.
Angel statues like the one in Dr. Soong's lab were seen in several later episodes. They appeared in Baran's room aboard his ship in "Gambit II" and in the Intendant's office on Terok Nor in DS9: "Crossover", "Through the Looking Glass" and "Shattered Mirror".
"Gambit II"

DS9: "Crossover"
No changes

DS9: "Through the Looking Glass"

DS9: "Shattered Mirror"
This is the first time the interior of a communicator is seen. An open communicator also shows up in the Voyager episode "Coda".
We can see the innards in more detail in HD.
The metallic box on the right is a Braun or Maxim Electric convection oven from the 1970's.
Present-Day Devices as Props
A better look at the oven in HD. Also note the blue spill due to the VFX allowing Brent Spiner to appear twice in the same shot, which is more noticeable in the Blu-ray release.

Soong's lab features an Ox Chair, designed by Hans J. Wegner in 1960..
Commercially Available Chairs in Star Trek

We can also see the aforementioned turbo charger from another angle

The chair and the device in HD.
The sculpture in the glass case depicts Fūjin, the Shinto God of Wind. He is carrying a large bag of winds on his shoulders. A better look at the sculpture in HD.
We can see several books in Soong's lab. The names of some of the books can be read in HD, such as The Silver Chalice, Wonders and Workers, Human Freedom and In Bed We Cry.
The pages of the book Dr. Soong picks can briefly be seen. The pages seem to contain schematics of an android.
The metallic chair in the foreground is the Romantica Chair designed by Philippe Starck for Driade in 1987. It later reappears in the Sikla Medical Facility on Malcor III in "First Contact".
"First Contact"
A better look in HD.
Soong's lab features a blackboard with several complex equations. We can recognize in HD: a Kei/Yuri in-joke, a reference to "My Neighbor Totoro", a mention of Ataru from Urusei Yatsura and some Chinese writing. The rest doesn't make much sense for a layman in cybernetics.
All the in-jokes in the MSD are present again, including the Porsche, a duck and a DC-3. The unchanged HD cap confirms that the in-jokes are present.
Several medical tools are seen in this screenshot, including a hypospray and a medical tricorder. One scanner looks noticeably like the "salt shaker" scanners used by Dr. McCoy in TOS.
TOS-R: "The Naked Time"
A better look at the medical devices in HD.
The bedroom part of the quarantine lab seems to be partly constructed of the brig set. The wall with the sink and mirror is also seen in the senior officers' quarters.
"The Most Toys"
The chamber as it appears in TNG-R.
After Data has left, the crew returns to the bridge. When they enter, we can see Counselor Troi's console in the regular position. In the following close shot of the tactical console, however, it is turned away from the seat. This was probably done to let the shot look more interesting, with the display visible in the foreground. No changes
The colorful wall lamp is called Rainbow Model A-5040 and was sold in the 1980's. It also appeared on the Jovis in "The Most Toys" and was even seen in animated form in the Ferengi soap opera in LOW: "Parth Ferengi's Heart Place".
Commercially Available Lighting in Star Trek

"The Most Toys"

LOW: "Parth Ferengi's..."
A better look at the lamp in HD.
According to the late Jim Mees in the Star Trek TNG season 4 DVD special features, he rented a T-Rex skull for Dr. Soong's lab from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. We can confirm that.
T-Rex skull at NHMLA
A better look at the skull in HD.
Brent Spiner's make-up as Dr. Soong must have taken hours. A better look at Brent Spiner's make-up in HD.
Two large diagrams of a Soong-type android are on display in Dr. Soong's lab. Similar graphics appeared on Omicron Theta in "Datalore" and on a black PADD during Data's trial in "The Measure of a Man".
The graphics in HD.

"The Measure of a Man"
Like the already mentioned wall hanging, the framed miniature kimono in Dr. Soong's lab later ended up in Keiko and Miles O'Brien's quarters aboard the USS Enterprise-D, as seen in "Data's Day".
"Data's Day"
No changes
This shot of Terlina III is very blurry in the original version of the episode. The shot is crystal clear in HD.

Soong's lab features several interesting objects, including a bust of Charles Darwin, two cuckoo clocks and several ape skulls.

The lamp underneath the cuckoo clok is the Lola Floor Lamp, designed by by Alberto Meda and Paolo Rizzatto for Luceplan in 1987.

A good look at Soong's decoration in HD.
The graphic with Chinese writing in the background is similar to labels seen in Dr. Soong's lab on Omicron Theta in "Datalore". The text in the center can be translated as "Chemical examination lab".
Chinese Writing in Noonien Soong's Labs

We can recognize the rest of the Chinese writing too in HD.

A really cool android body frame, which for some reason is hollow.

The android body in HD.

The device looking like a gun on a carriage later appears in the background of the weapon presentation in Quark's holosuite in DS9: "Business as Usual".

The wheel behind Lore is a Wimhurst machine, a type of electrostatic generator.

The skulls in the glass case are all visible in this shot. They likely belong to (from top to bottom):

  • Uppermost: gorilla (juvenile male)
  • 2nd from top: Gorilla (female)
  • 3rd from top: Orangutan
  • Lowermost left: Baboon
  • Lowermost right: Chimpanzee

DS9: "Business as Usual"
The HD shot finally allows to identify the skulls.
A first look at Data's emotion chip as it appears in this episode. The chip still looks the same when it is seen again in "Descent II". The chip seen in "Star Trek Generations", however, looks completely different.
"Descent II"

We can't see the chip any better in HD, but Brent Spiner's make-up is very well visible in this shot.
Riker, Worf and Geordi are beamed down. An omission is evident only in the remastered episode. The reflection of Riker's and Worf's head in the ceiling was not gradually removed.

Another look at the emotion chip and Lore's open circuitry, with 20th century components (mostly capacitors and resistors).

We could see a different prop of Lore's head from the same perspective in "Datalore", without ears attached.

A good look at the circuitry in HD.

The console with the large gray sphere in the foreground shows up for the first time in this episode. It will appear in several more TNG episodes.

The tubes with the green liquid were rented from Modern Props and will also reappear in later episodes.


The device in HD.
The ceiling in Dr. Soong's office appeared in several earlier TNG episodes but was originally created for the turboshaft in "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier".
"Star Trek V"

"Up the Long Ladder"
No changes

"Booby Trap"
At the left side of the screen, above the door, a square tapestry showing a bird can be seen. This tapestry is seen again in several later episodes and series. It appears in Worf's quarters in "Firstborn" and on Dekendi III in "Stigma", for example.

Lore's open thumbnail. In "Descent II", he opens his index finger to access another switch.
"Descent II"
A good look at the circuitry in HD.
Lore beams away. The reconstructed effect in TNG-R.

Another tapestry featuring depictions of birds is seen in Soong's lab in this screenshot. This tapestry is later seen in T'Pol's quarters aboard Enterprise NX-01 in "E²" and in T'Les's house on Vulcan in "Home". As can be seen in the screenshots from Enterprise, the smaller rectangular piece of cloth was integrated into a larger tapestry between "Brothers" and the third season of Enterprise.

The silver mannequin/robot sitting behind Worf and Data could be rented from Modern Props. It shows up more prominently in Stuart's comic book store in The Big Bang Theory.

ENT: "E²"

ENT: "Home"
The props in HD.
Another look at the smaller tapestry depicting a bird and at the second cuckoo clock in Soong's lab. There is also a second Lola Floor Lamp.
The starbase 416 planet first appeared as Delta Rana IV in "The Survivors". It will be re-used countless times in the next four seasons of TNG and will next be seen as Turkana IV in "Legacy". The planet is the same as Delta Rana also in the HD versions of the episodes.
A modification made to the corridor set between seasons can be seen here: A black ceiling display, similar to the ones found in the rest of the corridor set (first shot), was added to the small turbolift alcove (second shot). As the comparison shot from "Tin Man" demonstrates, in the first three seasons, there was only a rectangular light in the ceiling in this place.
"Tin Man"
No changes
This sequence of screenshots gives a good idea of how the medical lab was turned in to the quarantine lab for this episode.
A final look at the quarantine chamber in HD.
Note that Data gave Soong's dinosaurs to the Potts brothers.
Earlier in this episode
A look at the dinos in HD.



Thanks to Colin Lindsly for correcting errors on the ship status display, to The Savvy Millennial at Mastodon for help with the identification of the Shinto sculpture in Dr. Soong's lab, to @BrianFinifter for visiting the NHMLA to take fresh photos of the T-Rex skull and to various Twitter users who contributed to the identification of the primate skulls.


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