Observations in TNG: "Contagion"

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

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

"Contagion" HD Screencaps @ TrekCore

Description TNG Other caps Comparison TNG to TNG-R Description TNG-R
Picard looks at the schematics of the USS Yamato. In HD, we can make out many more details such as the hull grid in the Yamato schematics.
Note the odd camera tilt as Picard is seen leaving the ready room. The camera tilt is still the same in TNG-R.
The Yamato bridge is a redress of the USS Enterprise-D bridge. In order to set the Yamato bridge apart from the Enterprise-D bridge, a blue fabric was wrapped around the tactical console. A box with visible circuitry was also added to the tactical console, directly behind the captain's chair. A look at the circuit board in HD.

The burning Yamato hull.

The registry of the ship was previously stated to be "NCC-1305-E" in "Where Silence Has Lease". For Contagion" the ship was purportedly labeled as "NCC-71807" although the hull number is not really legible anyway.

The effect was faithfully recreated for the remastered version of the episode.

Note on the uppermost screen cap that the registry is NCC-71806, rather than NCC-71807.

Two cardboard squares can be seen to the left and right of Worf. The cardboard is just as noticeable in TNG-R.
The shot of the Romulan Warbird approaching the USS Enterprise-D was originally created for "The Neutral Zone". In that episode, a much shorter sequence of that shot was used however. The first part of the sequence, for example, of which a screenshot is depicted here, did not appear in the season 1 episode.
Appearances of the Romulan Warbird

"The Neutral Zone"
The sequence in HD.
The shot of the Warbird slowly approaching the Enterprise as seen on the main viewscreen was originally seen in "The Neutral Zone" and also appeared in "Where Silence Has Lease". In both cases, however, the Warbird was decloaking while it was approaching the ship, so the shot is blurred by the cloaking effect. In this episode, the Warbird has already decloaked earlier, so the shot appears unblurred.
"The Neutral Zone"
No changes

"The Neutral Zone"

"The Neutral Zone"
The bridge of the Romulan Warbird as seen in this episode doesn't look like the Warbird bridge seen in "The Neutral Zone" at all.
"The Neutral Zone"
A better look at the Romulan bridge in TNG-R.
The Romulan captain's chair previously appeared in "A Matter of Honor" on the bridge of the Klingon Bird-of-Prey Pagh as a Klingon Captain's chair. The chairs originally appeared on the Bird-of-Prey Bounty in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home".
"A Matter of Honor"
No changes
After it was only seen from afar in "The Neutral Zone", the Romulan logo is much better visible in this episode.
The Evolution of the Romulan Emblem

Romulan emblem (TNG)

"The Neutral Zone"
The black cardboard squares are again very noticeable in this shot. No changes
After the new port observation lounge monitor was first seen in use in "The Child", the starboard monitor is first used in this episode. In the first season, the observation lounge did not feature monitors at all.
"We'll Always Have Paris"
The schematic of the USS Yamato displayed on the monitor can be seen much better in HD.
Another nice shot of the USS Yamato schematic. In HD, we can read the labels.
The Yamato logs.

We can clearly read the complete text in HD.

(Lt. Commander) Beth Woods and (Commander) Steven Gerber are the writers of the episode.

A first look at planet Iconia and the Iconian probe. The "40272" reveals that this shot was created for the second season. The display of the planet was recreated for TNG-R.
A larger version of the PADD designed by Rick Sternbach for "Lonely Among Us" debuts in this episode. Geordi is seen using the same PADD a little later in the episode. Close-ups of the PADD in HD.
Behold! The magically shrinking green crystal in Picard's ready room. When it first appeared in "Lonely Among Us", it still had two spiky protrusions. By "Hide and Q" the longest one had broken off and by "Contagion" another spike is missing. The prop must have been handled a lot whenever the set was cleaned or modified. Additionally, it was turned around between two scenes in "Contagion".
Among Us"

A bit earlier
No changes

"Hide and Q"
Picard orders "Earl Grey, hot" from the newly created ready room replicator for the first time in this episode. No changes
Unlike the replicators seen in crew quarters, the ready room replicator (that is malfunctioning here) has a semi-transparent sliding door which slides open when the food/drink is replicated. This is similar to the sliding doors of the food slots on the original Star Trek series. No changes

This footage of main engineering was originally shot for "Where No One Has Gone Before". In the finished episode, the material seen here doesn't appear however. In the first season episode, a man is seen running past the warp core while a Starfleet officer is inspecting the warp core. The camera then quickly moves to the left to reveal Wesley talking to the Traveler. In "Contagion", the same man running past the warp core in "Where No One Has Gone Before" is seen coming down the engineering elevator. The second half of the shot, as he runs past the warp core, does not appear in "Contagion".

One way to tell that this is a first season shot of main engineering is the clunky monitor seen at the right half of the screenshot. This monitor was replaced by a much smaller one between the first and second season. Also, in the shot coming directly after this one (filmed for "Contagion"), the large monitor is no longer present.

"Where No One Has Gone Before"
In HD (and after a gamma correction) we can recognize the reflection of Wesley and the Traveler from "Where No One Has Gone Before"!
Rough looking, deeply cratered Iconia. Footage of the planet was re-used only once, in "Allegiance" when it depicted Cor Caroli V.
Re-Used Planets in TNG
The planet was recreated for TNG-R.
Filming equipment (looking like a small, padded chair) is seen in the right half of this shot. The same piece of equipment was also visible in "Heart of Glory".
"Heart of Glory"
The shot was reframed for TNG-R. We can still make out a few darker pixels on the very right edge.
Planetary graphics like this are rarely seen in season 2 (and later TNG seasons). They appeared in almost every first season episode. An HD close-up of the graphic.
A deep crater on the surface of Iconia. Iconia was recreated for this shot too.
Even before Geordi is hurled towards the turbolift ceiling, it can be seen that the paint has already come off at some spots. No changes
The Iconian probe was most likely created in a similar way as most of the planets on TNG were. Pacifica (seen in "Manhunt"), for example, looks very similar to the probe.
The recreated probe (and planet) in TNG-R.
The spark effect is very similar to the one seen in "Lonely Among Us".
"Lonely Among Us"
No changes
The transporter room circuits were previously seen exposed in "Unnatural Selection".
The Corridor from the Transporter Room to Sickbay

"Unnatural Selection"
No changes
This shot of the Romulan Warbird in orbit of Iconia was originally created for "The Neutral Zone".
"The Neutral Zone"
The shots were newly composed with the new planet model.
After a Warbird was seen firing a torpedo in "Where Silence Has Lease", here it is seen firing its disruptors.
"Where Silence Has Lease"
The surface of Iconia. The surface of Iconia in TNG-R is an entirely new CG creation that closely follows the lines of the original.
The Iconian and Zibalian script (seen in "The Most Toys") appear almost identical.
"The Most Toys"
No changes
This is the first new shot of the Romulan Warbird seen in this episode. All previous shots were re-uses of footage filmed for "The Neutral Zone". The shot of the USS Enterprise-D is new as well. Note that the reconstructed shot is overall less colorful.

The effect of the opening gateway.

Note how the diamond-shaped window matches the exterior shot of the building.

Notice how much more lightning-like the blue energy beams are in TOS-R. They also last longer while the gateway is widening horizontally.
All the locations visible through the Iconian gateway. One of the locations, famously, are the city hall buildings in Toronto, Canada. But we also identified most of the other ones. In the order of the caps, we can see:
  • A beach
  • Parthenon in Athens, as seen from inside
  • Turret Arch in Utah
  • City hall in Toronto
  • A kasbah in Morocco
  • Temple of Jupiter (left) and Temple of Bacchus (right) in Baalbek
  • Mount Temple in Alberta
No changes
Data is holding his hand through the Iconian portal. The shot is much less blurry in the remastered version of the episode.
A nice close-up of a tricorder. A close-up of the prop in HD.

Worf steps through the Iconian gateway.

The LCARS displays of the tactical console are seen opened in this episode, so the circuits are visible.

No changes
The wall panels on the bridge were last seen opened in "11001001". The transparent isolinear circuit boards now have only four rows of chip slots (and accordingly arranged conductive paths) instead of previously six.
The Evolution of the Enterprise-D Bridge

No changes
This shot of the Romulan Warbird is new too. The shot of the USS Enterprise-D was previously seen in "Unnatural Selection". In "Contagion", all the lights (including the warp nacelles) are seen turned off.
"Unnatural Selection"
The reconstructed shot in TNG-R.
Several things are remarkable in this shot of the bridge of the Romulan Warbird. The Romulan logo can be seen a little better than in the earlier shot of the bridge. The console under the logo is a re-use of the Aldean Custodian (seen in "When the Bough Breaks"). It was also re-used as a Klingon console in the Paradise City bar in "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier".
"When the Bough Breaks"

"Star Trek V"
A better look at the Romulan bridge in HD.
It can also be clearly seen that the Captain's chair is a re-use of the Klingon chairs seen on the bridge of the Bird-of-Prey Bounty in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home".
"Star Trek IV"
The twin consoles with the octagonal monitors behind the Captain's chair have appeared several times in previous Star Trek films and episodes. They were seen aboard the Klingon battlecruiser in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", in main engineering aboard the USS Enterprise in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan", on the bridge of the Klingon Bird-of-Prey in "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock", on the Bounty in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" and in the environmental maintenance laboratory in "Coming of Age". The consoles would appear in later TNG episodes, usually as Ferengi or Romulan consoles.
Re-Used Props - Stationary Consoles

"Star Trek I"

"Star Trek IV"

"Star Trek II"

"Coming of Age"

"Star Trek III"

The Romulans in this episode no longer wear the shoulder drapes like Tebok and Thei in "The Neutral Zone". Instead, they wear a harness-like belt structure.

The 24th century Romulan disruptor also makes its first appearance in this shot.

"The Neutral Zone"
In HD, we can recognize that the second disruptor from the left looks different, somehow "primitive". It was actually made of duct tape, perhaps because a sufficient number of "hero" models was not available at the time.

The Romulan insignia only appears in this episode. The same insignia was worn by Q in his 21st century post-atomic horror uniform. The fabric of the Romulan uniform is still the same as in the first season.

Mike Okuda: "There is yet another 'lost' Romulan logo. If you look at the Romulan uniforms during the first few appearances in TNG, you'll see that they're wearing cast metal badges, which are a re-use of the badges worn on the 21st-century soldiers in 'Farpoint.' Later, Bob Blackman had some cool warbird emblems sculpted and cast from resin, based on the TNG Romulan emblem."

"Encounter at Farpoint"
A better look at the emblem and the uniform in HD.

"The Neutral Zone"
The Warbird appears with all its lights turned off. An HD close-up of the dark Romulan ship.
The shot of the Romulan Warbird leaving orbit of Iconia is new.
Explosions on the surface of Iconia.



Thanks for Soren Huttel for the hint about the duct tape disruptor.


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