Observations in TNG: "Evolution"

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

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

"Evolution" HD Screencaps @ TrekCore

Description TNG Other caps Comparison TNG to TNG-R Description TNG-R
The USS Enterprise-D in front of the red giant and neutron star in the Kavis Alpha sector. The red giant was reconstructed for HD. Besides a slightly different surface structure it has a more pronounced halo.
An LCARS graphic of Wesley's nanites is displayed on this medical lab monitor. We can recognize many more details of the nanites in the HD close-up.
This console features an LCARS display labeled "40273", meaning this display was created for the 3rd season. The same console is later seen in Dr. Stubbs's quarters. The console in TNG-R.
Large PADDs like this first appeared in the season 2 episode "Contagion". The PADD was previously seen in "Pen Pals", then still with a paper sticker with the names of Wesley's team members.
"Pen Pals"
In HD, the text on this PADD is legible.

The small box in the foreground of this shot will be seen again in "True Q".

Green transparent PADDs with LCARS buttons have appeared before, namely in "Pen Pals". They would go on to be seen on TNG until the end of the show.

"True Q"

"Pen Pals"
The HD close-up confirms that it is the same box, apparently including the lettering.
The science lab last appeared in this function in "Home Soil". The screen cap from "Home Soil" shows the lab from roughly the same angle. As can be seen, the small room to the right has been blocked off by a wall console, which is a re-use of the back wall of the transporter console from "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier". The same wall was already in place in "The Measure of a Man" when the set served as a "computer room" and Riker used the console to access information about Data before the android's trial. The same console was also seen aboard the Hathaway in "Peak Performance".
"Home Soil"

"Star Trek V"
The set in TNG-R.

"The Measure of a Man"

Medical lab floorplan
The enclosed shuttlebay control booth is first seen in this episode. More details are visible in HD.

The probe dubbed "The Egg" is a re-use of the containment unit from "The Child". Most of the open areas of the unit's external structure were filled with panels, some transparent.

There is a red light effect outside the shuttlebay door already before the door opens and we see the very red, very close red giant outside. Great cinematography!

"The Child"
Great HD shots of the Egg and the star. The shuttlebay is still closed on the exterior view in HD.

Another good look at "The Egg" and the new shuttlebay control booth. The comparison screenshot from "Time Squared" shows what the set looked like in season 2. The lateral door is now painted in a darker shade of gray, and the console is gone.

The rear wall of the control booth features an LCARS display with a manifest of all shuttles and shuttlepods.

Also, notice that the shuttlebay doors of shuttlebay 2 are fully open, yet in the following shot of the USS Enterprise-D drifting towards the red giant, the shuttlebay doors are closed.

"Time Squared"

Shuttle list display
Notice the small patch of carpet behind Wesley's console.

The carpet patch is not visible in TNG-R.

Note that the effect on the screen consists of many swirls in TNG-R.

A good look at the pots in sickbay, appearing there since the first season. As can be seen, they are not actually filled with a blue or red liquid. No changes

Doctor Crusher's medkit in season 1 often featured a 1980's digital thermometer as a PADD stylus or medical tool. As soon as Dr. Crusher returns in season 3, the anachronistic device is back as well.

It is hard to resist the temptation to caption this with a Uranus joke.

"Lonely Among Us"
No changes

The sickbay replicator was added to the set between seasons 2 and 3.

When the close-up of the replicator is shown, a red liquid is pouring from the full, blue glass. In the shot showing Crusher standing next to the replicator, however, only the empty blue glass can be seen.

An HD close-up of the empty glass.
The Captain's log on Picard's ready room desktop monitor in "Evolution" is still the same graphic that first appeared in "The Royale" and was seen up close in "Up the Long Ladder", revealing it only consists of strings of numbers.
"Up the Long Ladder"
No changes
The empty space in front of the main viewscreen is larger than usual. The conn and ops consoles must have been removed for this shot.
"The Ensigns of Command"
No changes
One of the space paintings by Rick Sternbach. It's called "Serpent's World" and if you turn it 90° counter-clockwise, it's the right side up. ;-)
Space Art in Star Trek: The Next Generation
A good look at the painting in HD.
Three graphics of a core processor in the USS Enterprise-D's computer core. We can read the headings and recognize more details of the circuitry in HD. Also, red sure looks red now.

Another look at the medical lab set. This is the wall adjacent to the waiting area in front of Doctor Crusher's sickbay office. The monitor on the desk was first seen during Data's psychotropic stability examination in "The Schizoid Man". It also appeared in sickbay in "Shades of Gray".

The large transparent block with red circuits inside was usually seen in Data's quarters and sickbay in seasons 1 and 2. They often appear in the sickbay office in later seasons. The green and blue varieties of this block are later seen in Dr. Stubbs's guest quarters. They first appeared in the Federation Council in "Star Trek: The Voyage Home".

"The Schizoid Man"

"The Measure of a Man"
No changes

"Star Trek IV"


This unique microscope is seen again later in this season in Marla Aster's house in "The Bonding".

"The Bonding"
No changes

The device Wesley Crusher uses to investigate the nanites will reappear as a medical scanner in "Relics".

A better look at the prop and set in HD.
Cases like the one Wesley is carrying here appeared in several season 1 episodes, usually in sickbay. They were carried by the Starbase 74 technicians in "11001001". For the third season, the case got a new paint scheme.
"The Neutral Zone"
A close-up of the box in HD.
A close-up of the shuttlebay control booth installed for this episode. No changes
Two graphics of the Kavis Alpha twin star are displayed on the aft bridge stations. This graphic will be seen much better in Stubbs's quarters later in the episode. No changes
A beautiful shot of the neutron star. CBS Digital did a nice job of adding subtle detail to the gas streamer between the red giant and the white dwarf. It feels like the same shot, but the tweak helps the sense of scale.
One of Wesley's nanite traps in "Evolution" was re-used as the internal engineering sensor that Picard uses to escape from the terrorists in "Starship Mine".
"Starship Mine"
A close-up of the devices in HD.

The power cord of Wesley's unique microscope can be seen in this shot.

The shape of the red and black atoms in Wesley's molecular model in "Evolution" is called cuboctahedron. What remains after the Kelvans have reduced the Enterprise crew members to their base minerals in TOS: "By Any Other Name" are also cuboctahedrons.

A blue transparent PADD is seen on Wesley's desk. After orange and green transparent PADDs are known since season 2, this is the first appearance of a blue one. A different PADD of this type appears a few episodes later in "The Bonding".

TOS: "By Any Other Name"

"The Bonding"
The cable is still visible in TNG-R.
The shape of the shuttlebay/cargo bay has been modified since season 1, as can be seen in the set plans and pics. The corner in the set to the left of the main entrance is curved now and no longer angular. This was possible because the main corridor was extended. The dimensions remained the same when all sets, including the shuttlebay/cargo bay, were converted to the interiors of USS Voyager.
Size of the Delta Flyer


Floorplan in season 1
No changes

Later floorplan
Like in previous episodes in which the medical lab was actually seen, the two sliding doors connecting the set to sickbay are transparent. Whenever the set is not used, the glass panes of the door are opaque.
"Home Soil"

"A Matter of Perspective"
No changes
A close-up of the nanite graphic in the medical lab. No changes

Animations of moving, feeding and dividing nanites.

The nanites themselves were simple physical models by Rick Sternbach that were filmed. Presumably the motion of them turning was on film, whereas the side-to-side and up-and-down motion was animated in post production.

We can recognize more details of the circuitry in HD.

The typo "polarimetery" was corrected to "polarimetry".

Nanites in a computer core processor. The structure looks like wiring of actual 20th century integrated electronics.
Another beautiful shot of the USS Enterprise-D in front of the neutron star and red giant. The recomposed scene in HD.

The computer access room reappears in "The Bonding". After that, the set is redressed as the Utopia Planitia drafting room 5 one episode later in "Booby Trap".

The metallic looking grid on the walls of the computer access room appears in countless episodes, among them "Encounter at Farpoint", "Justice", "Too Short a Season" and "Datalore".
Re-Uses of Freezer Spacers

"The Bonding"

No changes

The computer access room is a redress of the versatile set last seen as the bridge of the Sheliak ship in "The Ensigns of Command" and before that as the bridge of the USS Hathaway in "Peak Performance".

The central console previously appeared in the tactical lab in "The Emissary".

Note that the micro-circuits from the graphics in the observation lounge appear as macroscopic versions in the computer core set.

"The Ensigns of Command"

Earlier in this episode
A better look at the room in TNG-R.
Stubbs's pistol is seen only briefly. It is of the same type as the pistol used on Mariposa in "Up the Long Ladder". Soval uses a similar weapon in "Captain's Holiday".
"Up the Long Ladder"

"Captain's Holiday"
A look at the pistol in HD.
The fog was clearly added in post production so it could easily be "removed" from the bridge. In the HD version of the episode, the smoke on the bridge, which was added in post production, looks much more convincing. There is less smoke close to the camera than in the far background, for example. The removal of the smoke by the bridge life support system looks more realistic as well.

The transparent blocks with green and blue circuitry were usually seen in Data's quarters and sickbay in the first and second season. As mentioned before, the red version of this block appeared in the medical lab earlier in the episode.

The beige/brown console on Stubbs's desk is also usually found in sickbay. It was part of the birthing chair in "The Child" and appeared in the geological lab in "Pen Pals".

Finally, the large black PADD Stubbs uses was often seen in sickbay in the first season.

"Encounter at Farpoint"

"The Child"
We can see more details of the panels in HD.


"Pen Pals"

The black sculpture resembling a woman's face is "Portrait of a Woman" by Klara Sever. It appears again after it was last seen in Tasha's quarters in "The Naked Now".

The aquarium in Stubbs's quarters was seen in Picard's quarters in the first and second season and in Wesley's quarters in "The Dauphin". After one final appearance in Troi's quarters in "The Survivors", it will be gone forever.

"The Naked Now"

"Where Silence Has Lease"
The fish tank is much better visible in HD.
An LCARS graphic showing the universal translator at work. The output consists just of numbers, as the HD close-up confirms.

Stubbs apparently keeps the same stand-by console in his quarters as Wesley does in the sickbay lab.

The very same geode as in his quarters will appear in the teacher's office in "The Offspring".

Two bulky new Starfleet consoles with lots of LCARS buttons appear for the first time. Both will reappear in later TNG episodes.
Consoles Built for Star Trek

Earlier in this episode
No changes

"The Offspring"
A nice close-up of an LCARS display of "The Egg". For some reason, this graphic would reappear in Picard's quarters in "Family".
We can almost recognize the labels in HD.
Energy sparks engulf Stubbs. The reconstructed effect in TNG-R. Every tendril of energy was recreated in the exact same spot. In every single frame!
Something is lying on the floor under the tactical console in this shot. A close-up of the object in HD.
The graphic of Data is similar to the one created for "The Measure of a Man", also seen in "Peak Performance".
"The Measure of a Man"
No changes
The small console in the foreground was originally built for "The Emissary". Here it is directly attached to the desk in the computer access room.
Consoles Built for Star Trek

"The Emissary"
No changes
Palor Toff uses the same magnifying glass (detached from its base) to take a closer look at Data in "The Most Toys". It also appears in the Voyager episode "Innocence".
"The Most Toys"

VOY: "Innocence"
No changes
The Egg is represented by a life-sized prop, a modification of the containment unit from "The Child", most of the time. Only during the launching shot we can see a miniature. Very subtle differences such as the differently sized lettering on one of the struts of the aft section allow to identify which version we can see.
Full-size prop
The launch in HD.
The data recovered by "The Egg". The data consists of useless repeating numbers ("47"s?). Being the genius he is, we're sure Dr. Stubbs can read this.
Two LCARS displays of the exploding neutron star. An HD close-up of the display.
The neutron star and the red giant after the explosion. The reconstructed shot in HD.
Wesley's friends Annette and Eric are played by Amy O'Neill ("Honey, I Shrunk the Kids") and Scott Grimes (The Orville, Band of Brothers). The kids in HD.
Dr. Crusher enjoys a soft drink and some candy. Just saying. The candy looks more colorful and sweeter in HD.


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