Observations in TNG: "Family"

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

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

"Family" HD Screencaps @ TrekCore

Description TNG Other caps Comparison TNG to TNG-R Description TNG-R
The USS Enterprise-D in orbit of Earth, docked at Earth Station McKinley. The shot was made with the 4-foot model. The ventral mounting point was used, as the other one, located behind the main shuttlebay, was not available because the drydock was in the way. Part of the hull on the ventral side of the model had to be removed to attach the mounting frame, that is why the lower part of the secondary hull seems to be missing a piece in this shot.

The gorgeous shots with the Enterprise and the McKinley station in HD.
Parts of the drydock and Earth seen through the observation lounge windows. The look out of the windows in HD.
The round gray carpet with the Federation logo was last seen in Picard's quarters in the season 2 episode "Where Silence Has Lease" (and was turned upside down by Jono in "Suddenly Human". It was originally created for Starfleet Headquarters, seen in "Conspiracy".

"Where Silence Has Lease"
No changes
We can see what looks like a hematoma where Locutus/Picard's large cranial implant was located, above his right eye. The HD screen cap confirms that it is bluish make-up.
For some reason, the large painting of a starbase, which should normally be seen behind Picard in this shot, was removed from the set for this episode. Instead, a graphic of the Egg, located at the same spot when Picard's quarters was turned into Dr. Paul Stubbs guest quarters in "Evolution", is seen here.
No changes
A good look at one of the two LCARS displays showing star maps in Picard's quarters. A better look at the display in HD.

Another shot of the USS Enterprise-D docked inside Earth Station McKinley.

"Family" is the first broadcast (not filmed!) episode in which only the 4-foot model of the ship is seen and the 6-foot model does not appear, apart from the opening credits.

Another look at McKinley station in HD.
A close look at the transporter console. In HD, the text is completely legible.
The case Picard is carrying was first seen in "11001001", then used by Parrises squares players. Picard also had it on Risa in"Captain's Holiday".

"Captain's Holiday"
No changes
The Picard home. The real location is Louise Ave, Encino, CA 91316. The Picard house in HD.

A beautiful matte painting of the vineyards in La Barre, France.

The real La Barre, at least the best real-life candidate, is a small village in the department of Haute-Saône in eastern France. Looking from the present-day village in eastern direction, we can see a small château in the center and some hills, similar as on the matte painting. The river Ognon flows right in front of the château. Well, the château is not quite as impressive in our time, the hills are lower and there are meadows and corn fields in the place of the 24th century vineyards, but overall it seems close enough. (Well, we would have to ignore that in the 24th century the sun would be in the northern sky).

The area of La Barre currently isn't known for its wine anyway. The famous wine region Côte d'Or is located about 50km to the west.
Fictional Places on Earth

La Barre, France (Google Maps)

The essentially unchanged matte painting in HD.

"The matte painting of the Picard vineyard was created on film by Illusion Arts, so the remastered version uses those film elements, recomposited slightly differently."

A case from the USS Stargazer that once belonged to Beverly Crusher's husband Jack Crusher. A case of the same type was used by an archeologist in "The Bonding".
"The Bonding"
The case in HD.
This vase was last seen amongst the prized possessions of Kivas Fajo in "The Most Toys". Over the course of the series, it will appear in several main character's quarters, including Worf's, Data's and Troi's.
Re-Used Props - Various Objects
No changes
"How to Advance Your Career through Marriage", a book given to Beverly Crusher by her future husband. Decades later, this book can be seen on a shelf in PIC: "Disengage".
PIC: "Disengage"
A better look at the cover in HD.
Both Picard's and Crusher's quarters feature the same painting in the same spot. It seems the painting was simply not removed when the set was redressed to be used as Crusher's quarters.
Earlier in this episode
No changes
This is the first and probably only time we see the bank of isolinear optical chips located on the narrow side of the pool table. We can also see an engineering tool to scan the chips. It is the same tool that Shelby used in both parts of "The Best of Both Worlds".
"The Best of Both Worlds I"

"The Best of Both Worlds II"
A look at the chips and the tool in HD.
These open circuits in main engineering are seen for the first time in this episode. They also appear a little later in the season, in "Clues". How much work must it have been to add all that white tape!
The circuitry looks even more complex in HD.

A small technical device is seen on the ground, to the left of Geordi. This tool was also seen aboard the Ferengi Marauder Krayton in "Ménage à Troi".

Note that the lid of the engineering console is open.

"Ménage à Troi"
The messy engineering set in HD.

Carts like this one (Boby taboret) are also often seen in sickbay. The two conical metallic devices on the cart look like enlarged "saltshaker" scanners as often seen in The Original Series in Doctor McCoy's sickbay.

The ribbed container in the foreground is similar to the ones seen at the Gatherer colony in "The Vengeance Factor". They are made of the same material as the wall cover in "Booby Trap" and "Evolution", which was salvaged from the set of "The Hunt for Red October" according to Mike Okuda.


"The Vengeance Factor"
No changes

A look at the Picard family home in La Barre at night. The stars were added in post production.

"The night version of the Picard home has quite a few painted elements, including the trees and the lit windows. The house was filmed during the day, and it was altered to become a night shot in post production."

Later in this episode
In TNG-R, the windows of the first floor and the second floor all have an "XX"-shaped stained glass pattern. The close shots of the house, however, reveal, that this is not correct for the first floor.
We can also see the moving silhouette of Marie Picard inside the house.
The red Ten Foward serving trays were previously seen in the Federation Council in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home".
"Star Trek IV"
No changes
The pyramidal Pair Match game, often seen on Ten Forward tables, is visible up close in this scene.
Present-Day Devices as Props
The game pyramid in HD.

Picard looks at an animation illustrating the Atlantis Project on a new desktop monitor, created for this episode. The same monitor was also used by Data in Dr. Crusher's office in "Identity Crisis" and was turned into a Klingon monitor for "Unification I+II".

In the close-up shots of the monitor, the graphic was added in post production. In the wider shot, the graphic is a practical effect on set, created by backlighting. There is a slight discrepancy, because in the wide shot the continent has moved to the south.

"Unification II"
The animation remains unchanged in HD.
A close look at the unique data disk containing Jack Crusher's recording for Wesley.
"Sins of the Father"
In HD, we can read "J. Crusher Holosim 01 SD 25102.45". This fits with Wesley's birth year of 2348, considering that the Intrepid log in "Sins of the Father" was recorded on Stardate 23859.7 in the year 2346.

This unique chair was also seen in Worf's quarters in "Peak Performance". It will be seen in later episodes as well. But this is the only time he is actually sitting in it. The chair, designed by Peter Opsvik, originally appeared on the bridge of the Tarellian plague ship in "Haven".
Commercially Available Chairs in Star Trek

Worf's quarters are usually dimly lit. He may have turned up the light for his parents. Also, notice the sonic shower from "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" to the left of Worf's chair.


"Peak Performance"
The chair in HD.

The label on the bottle of the wine commonly known as Château Picard (actually still "Château Labarre" here) can be clearly seen in this shot. The bottle would later be seen in Picard's quarters and the captain would drink the wine with Chancellor Durken in the episode "First Contact".

The special features on the "Star Trek Generations" DVD show a close-up of the label and reveal that it reads "Château Labarre". The label contains several errors. In correct French, it should read as follows: "Château La Barre - 2294 - Appellation (d'Origine) Contrôlée - Marque Déposée - Mis en bouteille au château - Grand Cru Classé". If the classification for French red wine is still the same in the 24th century, the Château Labarre (coming from a region where no significant vineyards are located today) belongs into the highest category (grand cru), just like the few best appellations of the nearby wine region of Burgundy today.

The wine, however, was reported to be named "Château Picard", and an according new label was created and is clearly visible on the bottle that Picard shares with his officers after Data's death in "Star Trek Nemesis". In Star Trek Picard, it is consistently "Château Picard".

Close-up of label
In HD, we can see better that the label shows a castle (château).
Notice how the garden path on the Picard premises is covered in dirt and leaves to make the exterior set look more rustic and not like an L.A. mansion. A better look at location in HD.
I don't know what Jean-Luc and Robert Picard were doing after their fight, but it looks like they carried huge amounts of mud into the house on purpose. This decoration is *just a little* overdone... No changes
The windows of the studio set match the ones of the building in Encino used for the location shots.
Later in this episode
The set in HD.

This shot illustrates how small the holodeck set really is. This clearly is not the same set as seen in "The Defector" and "Hollow Pursuits", which was much larger and was created by means of a bluescreen.

Jack Crusher is not wearing a communicator in this wide shot.

"The Defector"

"Hollow Pursuits"
A look at the hologrid as it appears in TNG-R. Jack Crusher still isn't wearing a comm badge.
Jack Crusher's uniform is a curious variation of the 23rd century Starfleet uniform, first seen in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan". It is missing the colorful undershirt seen in the TOS Star Trek films but features the 24th century communicator instead of the earlier insignia, which was still part of the Enterprise-C uniforms in "Yesterday's Enterprise".
"Star Trek III"

"Yesterday's Enterprise"
A close look at the uniform jacket.
Another look at the beautiful matte painting of La Barre. Another look at the matte painting in HD.
Another look at the bottle of Château Picard. We can recognize the label "Château" in HD.

René Picard sitting under a tree, gazing at the stars. The constellation of Orion can be clearly seen in the night sky.

"The constellation Orion was originally done under the supervision of VFX coordinator Ronald B. Moore, who wanted an authentic, recognizable Earth constellation in the sky. He brought in an astronomy text, and the stars were directly digitized from a diagram. However, after the episode aired, we got a note from an astronomer from the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, who informed us that given the latitude of France, and given the time of year (as determined by the growth of the grapes in the vineyard), Orion would not be visible in the sky at that time."

For TNG-R, the matte painting was slightly modified and now includes a spire to the left of René's knee. It corresponds with the mast visible in the daytime matte.

"Although the astronomer was, of course, correct, we decided to honor the original work in the HD remastered version."



Thanks to Sarah for the hint about the fully visible wine label. Thanks to Christian Hinze of Star Trek HD, who spotted the missing comm badge.


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