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, could not be used as 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 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". 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 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", where they were used by Parrises squares players.
No changes
The Picard home, located in Encino, California. 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 is 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 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. 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. A better look at the cover in HD.
Both Picard's and Crusher's quarters feature the same painting at the same location. 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
A close look at the isolinear optical chips located in the "pool table" and an engineering tool to scan the chips. It is the same too that Shelby used in both parts of "The Best of Both Worlds". 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 are also seen a little later in the season, in "Clues".
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".
"Ménage à Troi"
An HD close-up of the device.
Carts like this one are also often seen in sickbay. The two conical metallic devices on the cart look like large "saltshaker" scanners often seen in The Original Series in Doctor McCoy's sickbay. 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 postproduction."

In the HD version, one can see a moving silhouette, presumably tying in to the next shot, inside the house.
The pyramidal Pair Match game, often seen on Ten Forward tables, can be seen up close in this scene.
Present-Day Devices as Props
No changes

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 discrepancy, because in the wide shot the continent has moved to the south.

"Unification II"
The display remains unchanged in HD.
A close look at the unique data disk containing Jack Crusher's recording for Wesley. 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, this is the only time he is sitting in the chair, though. The chair, designed by Peter Opsvik, originally appeared on the bridge of the Tarellian plague ship in "Haven".
Commercially Available Chairs in Star Trek


"Peak Performance"
No changes

The label on the bottle of the wine commonly known as Château Picard (actually: "Château Labarre") 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. 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".

Close-up of label
In HD, we can see better that the label shows a castle (château).

This shot illustrates, how small the holodeck set really is. This clearly cannot be the same holodeck seen in "The Defector" and "Hollow Pursuits", as it was much larger.

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 mixture 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. A close look at the uniform.
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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