Observations in TNG: "In Theory"

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

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

"In Theory" HD Screencaps @ TrekCore

Description TNG Other caps Comparison TNG to TNG-R Description TNG-R
The interior of a photon torpedo can be seen in this screenshot. The scanner Data uses in this shot was first seen in use by Sulu in "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock". The interior of a photon torpedo also appears in "Masks". As can be seen, the circuits and controls have not changed much.
"Star Trek III"
HD close-ups of the torpedo interior and the devices.

This torpedo seems to feature a barcode, used for identification.
The torpedo launch bay is a new set especially created for this episode. The console on the left features a transporter console LCARS display, evidenced by the three characteristic vertical bars used by the transporter officer when beaming down people. This console actually is the cargo bay transporter console, last seen in the previous episode "The Mind's Eye". A graphic of several torpedoes can be seen in the right half of the second screenshot.
"The Mind's Eye"
The unique set in HD.
A photon torpedo shell was last seen on TNG in "The Emissary". In that episode, the torpedo (actually a modified Class-8 probe) was used to transport Ambassador K'Ehleyr to the USS Enterprise-D. In order to accommodate the ambassador, the torpedo was enlarged, increasing its height.
"The Emissary"
The console in front of Data and Jenna D'Sora is special in that it is not illuminated like regular LCARS displays, but the buttons are silk-screened on the surface instead. The same technique is used for smaller buttons, like the ones next to doors or wall monitors. The last time a large LCARS display with such silk-screened buttons was seen was in the second season episode "The Child".
"The Child"
The console in HD.
The USS Enterprise-D fires a photon torpedo into the Mar Oscura nebula, thus illuminating it. This is the first of several new shots of the 4-foot model of the USS Enterprise-D created for this episode. Comparison screenshots from earlier episodes show the 6-foot model looks from a similar angle.
"Encounter at Farpoint"

"Hollow Pursuits"
The original nebula was deemed fit for HD and was not changed.

"Sins of the Father"

"The Best of Both Worlds I"
The illumination of the nebula is displayed on a monitor in the torpedo launch bay.
The stars in this shot were not added in post production. They are rather part of the large black curtain surrounding the Ten Forward windows. No changes
The alien, bassoon-playing crewmember of the USS Enterprise-D is only seen in this episode. His species never appears again. The alien make-up in HD.
The USS Enterprise-D in front of the Mar Oscura nebula. Another look at the unchanged nebula.
A graphic, displayed on an aft bridge monitor, illustrates how the specially modified photon torpedo illuminated the nebula. The animation was reconstructed for TNG-R. The nebula doesn't look like a blob any longer but has realistically blurred edges.
The USS Enterprise-D enters the Mar Oscura nebula. More of the nebula as it look in TNG-R.
Medical cases like this were first clearly seen in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan", featuring the same labels on the outside. The case seen in the foreground was modified slightly, to make it look more like a 24th century case. It features the Starfleet arrowhead and a red LCARS label. The case seen clearly in "The Best of Both Worlds II" didn't feature these additions.
"Star Trek II"

"The Best of Both Worlds II"
An HD close-up of the boxes.
Several medical scanners and tools can be seen in this screenshot. The instruments in HD.
One of several shots showing the USS Enterprise-D inside the nebula. All these new shots were filmed using the 4-foot model. The shot in TNG-R, again using the original elements.
This is the last good look at the sonic shower, which was part of the crew quarters set since the very beginning, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". In that film, it was seen in use in Lt. Ilia's quarters. Between seasons 4 and 5, the junior crew quarters set was heavily modified and no longer featured the remnant from the first Star Trek feature film.
"Star Trek I"
No changes
It seems that for this shot in the observation lounge, the Mar Oscura nebula was not inserted into the windows in post production but is rather represented by the bluescreen curtain normally removed in post production when other footage is inserted instead. This is evidenced by some vertical wrinkles seen in the fabric behind Riker. In TNG-R, we can still see what we think is the backdrop. The wrinkles are the same.
It seems the label on Lieutenant Junior Grade Jenna D'Sora's quarters has not been changed since her promotion as it still reads "Ensign". A close-up of the door label.
Another beautiful shot of the USS Enterprise-D inside the nebula. Still more shots of the Enterprise and the nebula in TNG-R.
Picard's Shakespeare tome features a full-page illustration in this episode. This is the first page for Love's Labour's Lost in the first volume of the Annotated Shakespeare.
Picard's Shakespeare Books
An HD close-up of the book.
Worf thoroughly investigates the alcove in Picard's ready room, featuring the replicator. The captain's private lavatory, which is also supposed to be located there, is nowhere in sight. No changes
The painting Data is working on and this episode and the Tyrinean blade carving, given to him by Jenna D'Sora, can be seen very well in this shot. The painting is not seen again but the carving reappears in his quarters in "Inheritance".
We get a better look at Data's art in HD.
A small gap in the fabric of space causes the wall to temporarily disappear, revealing the conduits behind the wall panel. It looks like the conduits in TNG-R are still the same footage and that a comparable method was used to insert them, making the effect look somewhat flat, just as in the original episode.
The same shot of the Mar Oscura nebula is seen in an exterior shot and on the main viewscreen of the USS Enterprise-D. A planet is also seen in some of these shots, as it also phases in and out of the fabric of space, due to the high amount of dark matter in the nebula. Even more shots of the Enterprise and the nebula in TNG-R.
Due to a temporary hull breach, the furniture in the observation lounge has been moved around. The curious shot in HD.
Like the corridor wall in a previous scene, small gaps in the fabric of space cause the LCARS displays to briefly disappear, revealing the circuitry behind. It seems the conduits behind the bridge display were created using the same cargo containers seen in the Enterprise cargo bay in "The Mind's Eye".
"The Mind's Eye"
The reconstructed effect in TNG-R.
This shot of the USS Enterprise-D inside the Mar Oscura nebula, filmed using the 4-foot model, is very similar to another often re-used shot of the 6-foot model.
"Half a Life"
The shot of the ship in HD.
Lieutenant Van Mayter is killed when the anomalies in the nebula melt her into the deck of the ship. An effect that was barely noticeable in SD is the blood that is slowly running down from her nose. The shot was already quite convincing in the original episode, so there was nothing to improve. But we can clearly recognize the blood now.
Another new shot of the USS Enterprise-D inside the nebula. The shot of the ship in TNG-R.
An animated LCARS display shows the deformations in space. Only in HD, the text "Gravimetric Sensor Array Short Range Subspace Doppler Volumetric Correlation" is legible. The display was newly created for TNG-R in HD.
The USS Enterprise-D and the shuttlepod Voltaire inside the nebula. Both the footage of the starship and the shuttle was newly created for this episode. The ship and the shuttle in HD.
The central console in the shuttlepod cockpit was especially added for this episode to have a large screen into which the animations of the deformations in space could be inserted in post production. Screenshots from earlier episodes show that this central display wasn't in place in the past. Like in "The Mind's Eye", the cockpit only features one center seat instead of the usual two seats.
"The Ensigns of Command"
The inside of the shuttlepod in HD. We can see that the animation on the central console was newly created for TNG-R.

"The Mind's Eye"

"The Mind's Eye"
The Voltaire leads its mothership out of the nebula. The ship and the shuttle in HD.
Another look at the new central console and the "old" smaller console to the right of it. The shuttlepod controls were never seen up close like here. The controls in HD.
Due to the spatial anomalies, the interior of a shuttlepod nacelle is revealed in this scene. The shuttlepod close-ups in HD (not revealing many more details because of the motion blur).
The USS Enterprise-D and the shuttlepod Voltaire are still making their way out of the Mar Oscura nebula. The nebula seems much darker and more purple than in earlier scenes in this shot. Just like everything else we see of the nebula, the color change is the same in TNG-R as in the original episode.
Several anomalies are seen in this animation displayed on the new central cockpit monitor. The faithful recreation of the display in TNG-R.
The Voltaire explodes at the border of the nebula. The shot of the shuttle in HD.
The USS Enterprise-D finally escapes the Mar Oscura nebula. Like all previous shots of the ship in this episode, this footage was newly created using the 4-foot model. More shots of the ship as it looks in TNG-R.
This is the only footage of the ship that has appeared before and was not specifically created for "In Theory". It was seen in "The Wounded" and a few episodes later in "Clues". This is the first time the footage appears without any additional elements (e.g. the USS Phoenix or the Ngame nebula). As this footage was also filmed using the 4-foot model, this is one of a few episodes (another one being "Family") in which neither the 6-foot model or the 2-foot model of the ship appear.
"The Wounded"

One modification made to the junior officers' crew quarters set for "The Drumhead" can fully be seen in this episode. It seems a second wall was added onto the original wall featuring the replicator. The device itself was moved a little to the left and the second wall has an angular doorframe instead of a rounded one like the underlying original wall.
"Galaxy's Child"
No changes
This is the second and last time in which Data's cat Spot is "played" by a long-haired Somali cat. When the cat is seen again in season 6, it has changed appearance is now played by a short-haired orange tabby.
Spot the Difference

"Data's Day"

"A Fistful of Datas"
A better loot at Spot in HD.


Back to Observations index

View as gallery