Observations in TNG: "Imaginary Friend"

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

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

"Imaginary Friend" HD Screencaps @ TrekCore

Description TNG Other caps Comparison TNG to TNG-R Description TNG-R
The Sutters' quarters appears in several scenes in this episode. In this appearance, the junior officers' quarters is redressed extensively in order to create a living room (seen here) and Clara Sutter's bedroom, seen a little later in the episode. The living room is located in the "front" half of the quarters were the poker games in Data's quarters usually take place.
Sutters' quarters floorplan
No changes
Several shots of FGC 47 are recolored shots of the Mar Oscura, created for "In Theory". The shot seen in the first screenshot was simply recolored, the view of the nebula seen in the other two screenshots was also turned around. The footage of the USS Enterprise-D was newly filmed for this episode.
"In Theory"
The same basic footage of the nebula is also used in TNG-R.

"In Theory"
The door next to the transporter room door seen here usually leads to the science lab. In "11001001", Picard and Riker were seen leaving the weapons room through this door.
No changes
We get a rare close look at this medical console usually found in sickbay in this scene. An HD close-up of the prop.
Nurse Ogawa is seen holding a PADD with a very battered and faded label on the back. The same old PADD was used by Wesley Crusher in "The Game".
"The Game"
The PADD in HD.
This is one of only three episodes in which the arboretum is seen, the other two being "Data's Day" and "Dark Page". In comparison to how it appeared in "Data's Day", the set is much bigger here and a workstation/office area was added for this episode.
"Data's Day"
The arboretum in HD.
A graphic of FGC 47 is displayed on the small pool table monitor in this scene. A close-up of the graphic.
Footage of the nebula seen earlier in the episode can be seen through the observation lounge windows in this scene. The footage was flipped horizontally, though.
Earlier in this episode
The same footage was also used for the remastered episode.
Patrick Stewart can be seen pulling faces right before he exits the screen and Jonathan Frakes is seen laughing as well. The scene in HD - they're only human.
Another re-used and recolored shot of the Mar Oscura nebula from "In Theory" can be seen through the Ten Forward windows here. Normally, a large black curtain with tiny metallic bits (looking like stars when filmed) is located behind the Ten Forward windows. Whenever the ship is supposed to be in a nebula or flying at warp, however, a large blue screen replaces the star curtain, so that footage of the nebula or the warp streaks can be added in post production.
"In Theory"
We can still see the same footage of the nebula in HD.
Papalla juice is seen again two seasons later "Liaisons". Here, the drink is transparent purple while in the season 7 episode, it is opaque orange.
The drink in HD.
When Troi and Clara Sutter are seen leaving Ten Forward through the port doors, the red glow of the nebula seen through the windows was added in post production. When the two pass the closed Ten Forward starboard door, however, the unchanged blue screen can be seen through the small porthole windows. In the remastered version of the episode, it was sadly forgotten to replace the blue screen with the red nebula in both shots.
Netflix HD release In the HD release for Netflix, the nebula was inserted into the blue screen again.

When Troi and Daniel Sutter take a stroll through the short straight corridor between the senior officers' quarters/Ten Forward set, a rarely seen door is briefly seen at the end of the scene. Both ends of the set feature these side doors. The door on the opposite side of the set was sometimes used to enter the quarters in the first season of TNG, like in "Justice". In later season 1 episodes and the rest of the series, however, the quarters are exclusively entered through the two doors connected to the straight, long corridor section.

When the side door, which appears in "Imaginary Friend", is seen within the senior officers' quarters sets, it is usually standing open and behind it, the bathroom is often located, as can be seen in the screenshot of Riker's quarters from "Conundrum". As the bathroom technically is no longer located within the quarters proper, a fake wall with the sink and mirror has to be erected behind the open door, giving the appearance of a larger set. Comparing the regular corridor wall and the back wall featuring the side door in the screenshot from "Imaginary Friend", one can see that the corridor wall is covered with a fabric, like the rest of the corridor in this set, while the back wall with the door is painted the same way as the interior of the crew quarters, again confirming that this part of the corridor is usually used as an extension of the senior officers' quarters. This also explains why this part of the corridor is usually never seen on TNG. One exception is the short corridor with the side door on the opposite side of the set. That door lead to Guinan's office in the season 2 episode "Q Who".


This part of the set in HD.

"Q Who"

"Q Who"

"Q Who"

"Q Who"
All of this only leaves one problem: The carpet in the corridor is green/blue, while the carpet in the crew quarters is red. But in all shots (like the one from "Cause and Effect" seen here) showing the main section of the quarters and the bathroom area, the carpet is uniformly red. This means that the green/blue carpet of the corridor needs to be hidden under a piece of red carpet whenever the bathroom extension is needed. Luckily, proof for that can be found a little earlier in the episode when Troi and Clara Sutter are seen leaving Ten Forward through its port door and a piece of red carpet on the blue carpet can briefly seen in the area opposite the side door.
Red carpet extension

"Cause and Effect"
Clara's bedroom is located in the other half of the junior officers' quarters set. Behind her, the closed closet door can be seen. A few seconds later, however, in the shot showing Isabella, the closet is open all of a sudden.
Sutters' quarters floorplan
No changes
In the first screenshot, Isabella re-appears and in the second shot, her eyes glow red. Both effects were created in post production. The effects were redone for TNG-R.
In this shot, not only the footage of the nebula was re-used from "In Theory" and recolored but the footage of the USS Enterprise-D was originally created for that episode as well.
"In Theory"
The shot in TNG-R.

"In Theory"
The device used to scan matter from the nebula here was originally created for "The Masterpiece Society" where it was used as a tractor field simulator. As can be seen, the prop was modified slightly between episodes.
"The Masterpiece Society"
The prop in HD.

The classroom set seen in this episode is bigger than it used to be in earlier episodes. Here, it is also directly connected to the corridor outside the transporter room, so the room is located at the same spot where Troi's office is also seen in this episode. The console with the orange glass tube seen in the first screenshot was also seen in the classroom in "Hero Worship".

Some of the alien and human letters were used in the children's play area in "The Child". The human letter is the same font as the TOS main titles. The alien letters use the same font as Bandi and Tkon writing in "Encounter at Farpoint" and "The Last Outpost" respectively.

"Hero Worship"

"Encounter at Farpoint"
The classroom in HD.

"The Child"

"The Last Outpost"
This footage of the USS Enterprise-D within FGC 47 was newly filmed for this episode. The shots of the nebula in HD. The filaments are still the same footage as in the original episode.
The plasma energy strands within the nebula are seen on the main viewscreen of the USS Enterprise-D.
Troi's personal appointment log can be seen on the desktop monitor in her quarters in this shot. The screen will be re-used for Beverly's monitor in TNG: "The Next Phase" (although Beverly would rather not tend to psychological problems of the crew). The screen will be even better readable in TNG-R: "The Next Phase". It lists several members of the TNG staff at the time the episode was made.
The evolutionary table of alien aquatic life forms has been seen in various versions of the classroom set since "The Child". Here, the alien creatures can be seen a little better.
"The Child" HD
The chart in HD.
These two screenshots illustrate how large the arboretum set is in this episode. Back in "Data's Day", the set did originally also feature a wall with several large light sources, as can be seen, the wall does look different here, though.
"Data's Day"
More of the arboretum in HD.
Both shots of the USS Enterprise-D within FGC 47, now with very visible plasma energy strands, were newly filmed for this episode. More of the unchanged nebula in TNG-R.
Clara Sutter's bedroom features a small side bathroom. Behind the door opposite her bed, a small closet is located. This door normally is one of the three entries to the junior officers' quarters set. However, as can be seen in the screenshot from "Ethics", so a small closet was especially built behind the door just for this episode.
Sutters' quarters floorplan
No changes

One interesting piece of set decoration in Clara Sutter's bedroom is the small statue of Maria, the Maschinenmensch from the groundbreaking sci-fi classic "Metropolis", seen on her nightstand here. It seems the statue was simply recolored purple for this appearance. A look at the statue in HD.
Isabella fires and energy beam at Counselor Troi, who collapses in Clara's closet. The recreated shots in TNG-R.
Another beautiful shot of the USS Enterprise-D inside FGC 47. Still more of the unchanged nebula in TNG-R.
More areas of the arboretum are seen here. Two large PADD-like devices are seen on the desk in the first screenshot. These rather anachronistic devices were also seen on Tau Cygna V in "The Ensigns of Command" and on Ventax II in "Devil's Due". Parts of the back wall in the second cap simply seem to be a regular corridor wall.
"The Ensigns of Command"
Still more of the arboretum in HD.

"Devil's Due"
Isabella transforms back into her original form. The redone effect in HD.
The large window seen here was originally created for the hearing room at Starfleet Academy, seen in "The First Duty".
"The First Duty"
The shot in HD.
FGC 47 looks much less menacing as the members of Isabella's species and the plasma energy strands disappear. The two shots in TNG-R.
The final shot of FGC 47 is identical to the first one seen in the episode, it was only flipped horizontally.
Earlier in this episode
The same was done for the remastered episode.
The Enterprise-D leaves the nebula.
Enterprise Flybys in TNG and TNG-R
In TNG-R, we can see a CG model of the Enterprise.



The image from the Netflix release comes from TrekCore.


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