Observations in TNG: "Cost of Living"

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

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

"Cost of Living" HD Screencaps @ TrekCore

Description TNG Other caps Comparison TNG to TNG-R Description TNG-R
"Cost of Living" features several very dynamic, new shots of the USS Enterprise-D quickly flying past the camera, like this one. The new shot in HD.
The asteroid glows with an eerie green light in this shot. The asteroid in HD.
The asteroid shortly before it explodes in orbit of Tessen III. The planet in TNG-R is a new one that closely resembles the original.
The USS Enterprise-D uses a particle beam fired by the main deflector to finally destroy what has remained of the asteroid after the first photon torpedo blast. This is another new fast-moving shot of the ship especially filmed for this episode. The sequences in HD.
As the USS Enterprise-D leaves orbit of the watery world Tessen III, the sparkling nitrium parasites enter the ship. Notice how the aft part of the saucer section sparkles just like the parasites in the third screenshot. Like the previous two shots of the USS Enterprise-D, this one was also newly filmed for this episode.

Apart from the regular big suitcase Lwaxana Troi always brings with her when visiting her daughter aboard the USS Enterprise-D, Homn is seen carrying three smaller, identical cases that only differ in color. All three cases have been seen before.

One of the brown cases was used by Captain Dirgo in "Final Mission". Either this one or the other brown one was also used by Alexander in "New Ground". The green case was first seen in "The Host", in use by Odan, and appeared again in the genome colony on Moab IV in "The Masterpiece Society".

"Final Mission"

"The Host"
The cases in HD.

"New Ground"

"The Masterpiece Society"
The sparkling nitrium parasites are seen invading a corridor aboard the USS Enterprise-D. The reconstructed light effect in HD.
A flyby of the USS Enterprise-D. The same footage appears several times in the episode.
Enterprise Flybys in TNG and TNG-R
Like in many episodes before, the shots had to be recreated using CGI.
The graphic displayed on the desktop monitor in Counselor Troi's office looks like a medical readout normally found in sickbay. A close-up of the monitor in HD.
The colorful wind dancer was added into the shots in post production. In the second screenshot, the footage was further altered to create the effect of the wind dancer changing colors. It seems only the footage showing the wind dancer from the front was filmed with the actor in make-up. All shots showing the dancer from behind, as seen in the third screenshot, seem to have been filmed with a styrofoam head to which the make-up was applied, as the head does not move at all. The recomposed shots in HD.
The fire sculptor forms two geometric shapes using flames. In HD, the fire is more intense.
Alexander's PADD-like game first appeared a few episodes earlier in the genome colony in "The Masterpiece Society". It would be seen much better when Alexander plays the game in "A Fistful of Datas". The PADD later also appears in the sixth season episode "Frame of Mind" on Tilonus IV.
"The Masterpiece Society"

"A Fistful of Datas"
The prop in HD.

"Frame of Mind"
The holographic recreation of the Parallax Colony features several wall panels (like the one seen on the left in this screenshot) that were first seen in the morgue in "Violations". The same panels would go on to appear in more episodes featuring the morgue aboard the USS Enterprise-D, like "Suspicions".

The set in HD.
The replicator LCARS display is seen up close in this shot. Though the display is still slightly out of focus even in the HD version of the episode, it seems that the words on the left are just strings of random numbers and not actual meals that can be ordered from the replicator.
The reflection of the streaking warp stars in the mirror were added in post production. Some metallic pieces of set construction can be seen in the ceiling in the top left corner. No equipment is visible in TNG-R.
Like in "Cause and Effect", the mirror in Lwaxana Troi's guest quarters was made opaque so it wouldn't show the reflection of the filming crew in this shot. No changes
The Kostolain ship is only seen in this one shot. The footage was originally filmed for "Samaritan Snare" where the alien vessel still was the Pakled ship Mondor. The Mondor, however, was brown and not gray, like the Kostolain ship. After the first appearance of the footage, the shot appeared again in "The Vengeance Factor", however. For that re-use (the alien ship now supposed to be a Gatherer ship) the footage of the model was recolored in post production to appear like it does here, too. The original footage with the brown ship appeared once more as well, showing the USS Enterprise-D facing a Trill ship in "The Host".
Redresses of the Mondor

"Samaritan Snare"

"The Vengeance Factor"
The ship in HD.

"The Host"
Data performs a chemical analysis at one of the aft bridge station. The results are displayed in this LCARS graphic. The display was faithfully recreated for TNG-R.
This bat'leth-like weapon has been on display in Worf's quarters ever since "Reunion". In this episode, we are afforded the best look at the weapon, though. Under it, a very familiar jar can be seen which was originally in Kivas Fajo's collection in "The Most Toys" but has appeared in countless crew quarters aboard the USS Enterprise-D over the years.
"The Most Toys"
The weapon in HD.
The spiked Klingon glove in front of Alexander was originally a glavin on Ligon II in "Code of Honor".
"Code of Honor"
The glavin in HD.
Even though the redesigned junior officers' quarters has been seen several times so far this season, this is the first time we see the new location of the replicator. No changes
It seems somebody forgot the script of the episode on the bed in the background. The red front page is a dead giveaway. It is the third time that something like this happens in the fifth season.
Visual Bloopers
A close-up of the script.
A very peculiar room aboard the USS Enterprise-D is only seen in this episode. According to the script, two scenes are set in an "engineering side room". As can be seen, no new set was built for these scenes, however, as the footage was simply filmed in the area of the side entry to the transporter room set which was illuminated in a gloomy red light here.
No changes
Behind the cover that Geordi is removing in this shot, several isolinear chips can be seen. Even though the way the scene is set up makes it seem like he is accessing a console further down in the engineering side room, the footage was actually filmed using the console in the side entry of the transporter room. It seems the isolinear circuits, which are normally left exposed, were hidden behind the removable covers just for this shot. The panels in the bottom right corner of the two screenshots are identical to panels seen in the screenshot from "Power Play", showing the complete wall console. Like in previous shots, the sparkling nitrium parasites were added in post production.
"Power Play"
The recreated effects in TNG-R.
The holographic grid is briefly seen as the holodeck starts to malfunction, due to the nitrium parasites.
The triangular structure in the ceiling above the mud bath was previously seen on the bridge of the Tamarian ship in "Darmok".
No changes
Then engineering side room is seen again here. Again, comparison screenshot of the transporter room from earlier episodes leave no doubt that this is just a redress of that set. Only a large wall of circuits seen in the last two screenshot was added to the set to underline that this is indeed an engineering side room.
No changes

"The Game"
This shot of main engineering makes clear how the engineering side room can be accessed. People have been seen entering main engineering through this door located close to the ladder to the second level of engineering in several earlier episodes. Strangely, in "Encounter at Farpoint", a turbolift was located here.
"Encounter at Farpoint"

"Dj Q"
A look at the warp core in HD.

"Remember Me"
The rarely seen area behind the warp core is briefly seen in this shot.
The USS Enterprise-D approaches the Pelloris asteroid field. The narrow band of asteroids previously appeared in "Galaxy's Child". It seems as if the asteroid field was made even more narrow in that first appearance. The footage as it appears in "Cost of Living" was also re-used in "The Pegasus".
"Galaxy's Child"

"The Pegasus"
The original footage of the asteroids was heavily edited for TNG-R.
The footage of the Pelloris field seen on the main viewscreen here appears very blurry. The footage was originally filmed for "Booby Trap", where the asteroids are arranged a little differently, however.
"Booby Trap"
A particle beam is fired from a phaser strip towards the asteroid field. The footage of the USS Enterprise-D is the last new shot of the ship filmed for this episode. The effect in TNG-R.
Footage of the Pelloris field was originally created for "Galaxy's Child" and turned upside down for this re-use.
"Galaxy's Child"
This shot uses the same footage of the asteroids as in the original episode.


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