Observations in TNG: "Q Who"

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

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

"Q Who" HD Screencaps @ TrekCore

Description TNG Other caps Comparison TNG to TNG-R Description TNG-R
The replicator in main engineering was installed for this episode. Although this part of the set was never seen as main engineering before, the corridor located to both sides of the MSD was seen in "11001001" where it doubled as an airlock corridor. In that episode, the replicator was not yet present. After this episode, this part of the set is rarely seen but it seems the replicator was never removed as it can briefly be glimpsed in "The Quality of Life".

"The Quality of Life"
No changes
The previously mentioned short corridors to the left and right of the MSD are seen briefly in this scene. As can be seen, the airlock has been removed since it was seen in "11001001". No changes
When Picard walks to the turbolift, one of the wall plugs turning the corridor set into main engineering is still in place. In HD we can briefly see a cable on the floor.
It seems the back wall of the shuttle is upside down in this episode, as the pattern of raised shapes was oriented the other way round in "Unnatural Selection".
"Unnatural Selection"
No changes
The image displayed on the central cockpit monitor has changed slightly. The bottom part (with the top view of the shuttle) is identical, but it seems the top part (the star map) was stretched horizontally to fill the whole width of the screen.
"Unnatural Selection"
A close-up of the display in HD.
This shot of the shuttle (used once more a little later in the episode) is rather blurry. This is because it is a freeze frame from the shuttle launch sequence, shot for "Unnatural Selection", that is simply moved forward a little. The flashing position light makes the shot a little less static. As the shuttle was labeled "01" and "Sakharov" for "Unnatural Selection", the identification of the shuttle as "Shuttle 6" in dialogue causes a continuity error here.
Variations of the Type-7 Shuttle

"Unnatural Selection"
The registry of the shuttle was fixed for TNG-R. It is now #06.
It seems the inside of Geordi's VISOR was covered with some metallic mesh for this close-up, maybe in order to hide his otherwise visible normal eyes. When the VISOR was seen up close in "Elementary, Dear Data", the mesh was not present. It is also not seen in a later scene in this episode when Geordi is not seen as close up as in the earlier scene in the corridor.
Geordi's VISOR and Eyes

"Elementary, Dear Data"
This can be seen much more clearly in HD, especially on the upper screen cap.
A nice look at the Ten Forward bar and its ceiling. The wall decoration consists of commercially available acoustic tiles.
Acoustic Panels as Wall Coverings in TNG
In HD, we can recognize two different types of acoustic tiles behind the bar.
In this shot, it can be seen how the Ten Forward set was enlarged with mirrors to the left and right of the large forward windows. The according part of the set in HD.
The communications interface Guinan uses in this shot was not yet present in "The Dauphin".
"The Dauphin"
No changes

This is the first time in any Star Trek episode that we see a blue alert. According to the script, Picard attempts to power up the shuttle, so it might only be on auxiliary power at the moment. When the USS Enterprise-A was on auxiliary power in "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier", the status screens were blue as well and the main lighting of the bridge was blue. Similarly, the bridge lighting on the refit Enterprise turned blue when it entered spacedock in "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock". Blue alert appeared at least once more on TNG, in "Brothers". Blue alert appeared more regularly on Deep Space 9 (when the USS Defiant engaged its cloaking device) or on Voyager (when the ship landed).

The comparison screenshot from "Coming of Age" shows what the other half of the cockpit looks like when the shuttle is at red alert.

"Coming of Age"
No changes
These funnel-shaped vases with glass balls inside can be seen in Ten Forward in every single episode the set appears. We can recognize in HD that the vases have legs shaped like three sad people.
A good look at the multi-layered Ten Forward painting. No changes
As can be seen through the open Ten Forward doors, no turbolift door has been attached to the corridor set. Instead, we see a wall with a never used door. No changes
The shot of the USS Enterprise being whirled around by Q (seen twice in this episode) is the same effect that was used in "When the Bough Breaks", when the Aldeans whisk away the USS Enterprise-D.
"When the Bough Breaks"
The effect in HD.
This shot of Ten Forward is very blurry when Q disappears. This is because both the gently moving star field in the background and Q's disappearance had to be added in post production. The image quality in TNG-R is considerably better.
The shot of the Borg cube slowly coming closer on the main viewscreen is interrupted twice by reaction shots of Picard and other crewmembers. In the middle shot, the lighting on the Borg cube is strangely different. In TNG-R there are no discrepancies in the lighting any longer.
Several black cardboard squares are seen on the aft bridge consoles in this shot. We can recognize the cardboard squares in TNG-R too.
This is one of the rare examples when a starship is seen through the Ten Forward windows. Another example that comes to mind is the terrorist ship in "Starship Mine".
"Starship Mine"
No changes
This marks the first time the Ten Forward doors are seen from the outside, showing the extended corridor set. No changes
When Guinan leaves Ten Forward to go into her office, the camera pans a bit to the left, and we can see a fake window and a door in the corridor. It is pretty clear here that they actually cannot lead anywhere because the bar is on the other side, which does not have such a door and window. No changes
Guinan's office is a redress of a small part of the senior officers' crew quarters set. In most cases, a bedroom is located in this part of the set. Parts of the room (and the corridor window) can be seen in "The Child", for example. The side door to the set is normally not used, as it is covered by a replicator, a shelf or the bathroom alcove. In season 1, the door was sometimes used, like in "Justice" when the set was used as the starboard lounge.
Guinan's office floorplan

No changes

"The Child"

Guinan's desk is the one seen in the sickbay office in season 1 and in some crew quarters. The control panel was added for this episode. The sunken LCARS display seen in the desk here is identical to the one used for the sickbay desk in season 1. In season 2 a different LCARS display appears in sickbay.

We can also see acoustic tiles as wall decoration in Guinan's office. They are of the same type as the single tile behind the center of the bar.
Acoustic Panels as Wall Coverings in TNG

"Too Short a Season"

"Unnatural Selection"
A better look at Guinan's office in HD.

"The Icarus Factor"
Something seems wrong about the Borg materializing in main engineering, as the Borg is almost semi-transparent. This shot was added in post production. The footage used in the original episode appears to be the same that was shot for the second Borg, who will materialize in front of an engineering console some time later. The shot is extremely blurry still in TNG-R. The Borg is solid now though. Also, the remastered episode uses a different take of the Borg.
The USS Enterprise-D faces the much larger Borg cube. One of the most iconic shots of the franchise.
Borg Ship Classes
The iconic shot in HD.
A very good look at one of the wall plugs in main engineering. No changes

First Borg ever!

The green flashes and the green LCARS effects were added in post production.

The Borg with the reconstructed effect in HD.
When Worf shoots at the second Borg, he only hits the personal shield. The footage in TNG-R is not the same as in the SD version but a different take. Note that the Borg is standing more to the left now.
A close-up of the phaser beam hitting the Borg personal shield.

In TNG-R, the Borg shield is more greenish.

These TNG-R takes are not the same as in the SD version, either. In the two close takes the Borg is some 30cm to the right at the same time indices in TNG-R. When he waits for the beam-out, the camera is further away in TNG-R.

The Borg looks over to Picard after the unsuccessful attempt to hit him with a phaser and awaits his beam-out.
The Borg transporter effect. The Borg disintegration effect is much more elaborate now. The engineering display in the background ripples when the second Borg beams over. The dead Borg doesn't simply fade away but rather decomposes.
When the dead Borg is beamed away, a dark shadow is left on the engineering carpet. In TNG-R the shadow is more colorful.
This is the only episode in which the outline of the observation lounge monitor flashes during red alert. No changes
The interior of the Borg cube is seen for the first time in this shot. A first look at the updated (digital) matte.
The Borg have engaged their tractor beam. The reconstructed effect in HD.
The USS Enterprise-D fires at the Borg cube. The footage of the Enterprise is a still from the "leaving orbit" sequence filmed with the 2-foot model.
"Unnatural Selection"
The updated scene in TNG-R still uses the 2ft model. We can recognize many more details on the surface of the Borg cube.
A top view of the USS Enterprise-D as the Borg cube is engaging its cutting beam while still holding the Enterprise in its tractor beam. The reconstructed shot in HD.
The Borg cutting beam in action, cutting out a piece of the hull. In TNG we can see the hull features and the deck structure somewhat better. Also, sparks and small hull fragments were inserted to make it look more realistic.
The spots where the Borg tractor and cutting beams are emerging from can be seen in this scene. The shot of the USS Enterprise-D in the foreground is a freeze frame from the "going to warp" sequence also seen in the opening credits.
Opening credits
The hull piece that was removed is more detailed in HD. Also note the better lighting of the observation lounge that is not blue any longer.
Large holes in the hull of the Borg cube. The pattern of destruction looks a little different in the two shots showing the whole ship. The damage pattern is still not entirely consistent in TNG-R. In the second screen cap a part of the ship in the upper center is damaged. It is intact again a few moments later on the third screen cap.
A good look at the main engineering poll table and the MSD as they appeared in season 2. Black stripes were added to the pool table prior to this episode.
A better look at the pool table and MSD in HD.
The transporter room is rarely seen from the perspective of the transporter platform, like in this shot. In the original version of the episode, the shot is very blurry because of the beaming effect that had to be added in post production. The shot of the set as it appears in TNG-R.
At least a small part of this shot (the left side of the screenshot, at the end of the row of Borg alcoves) seems to have been realized using a matte painting as a later shot shows that this part of the set looked different during actual filming. The massively improved shots in HD.
This shot features the unique Borg interfaces. The covers of floppy disk drives are seen at the left side of the screen and conventional drying hoods are seen at the top of the Borg alcoves.
Walls like this appear all over the Borg ship. Similar walls were seen in the first four Star Trek films and also appeared in some season 1 TNG episodes like "Hide and Q" and "Too Short a Season".
"Star Trek II"

"Hide and Q"
No changes

"Star Trek III"

"Too Short a Season"
Borg writing can be seen in this shot. A close-up of the writing in HD.
This is a rare appearance of a female Borg (or a woman playing a Borg) on TNG. No changes
The true size of the interior of the Borg cube is revealed in this impressive shot. It was done with footage of the actual set, a matte painting and some small models of various pieces of Borg technology.
"Star Trek: First Contact"
The impressive zoom-out in HD, now using new, digital extensions. Note that the alcoves in the extensions with the sloped overhead displays look more like the "First Contact" or "Voyager" design.

VOY: "The Gift"
The Borg "claw" logo is seen to the right of Data.
Borg emblem
A close-up of the logo in HD.
A close-up on one of the holes in the hull of the Borg cube. The reconstructed shot in HD.
The Borg ship repairs itself. The footage is the same as in the original version. It is more obvious now that we're looking at parts from plastic model kits.
The Borg cube is seen from a different angle. Comparison with a screenshot from a slightly earlier scene shows how the ship has repaired itself.
Earlier in this episode
The reconstructed shot in HD.
The shot of the USS Enterprise-D firing photon torpedoes through its aft torpedo launcher was last seen in "Encounter at Farpoint". The torpedo launch in HD.
New angles of the Borg ship are seen here as it fires on the USS Enterprise-D whose shield bubble is briefly visible in these shots. The shield bubble was faithfully recreated for the remastered version.
If one compares this shot of the Borg cube in pursuit of the USS Enterprise-D with an earlier shot of the ship, one can see that the footage is upside down here.
Earlier in this episode
The Borg cube is no longer upside down in TNG-R.
The footage of the whirling Enterprise is the same as earlier in the episode and the season 1 episode "When the Bough Breaks". No changes
Guinan and Picard are playing chess with 3-D chess set from season 1. Close-ups of the chess game in HD.
Picard doesn't move his mouth when he says "Engage" in the final bridge scene. This is much more noticeable in the HD version of the episode.



Thanks to user Tosk at the TrekBBS for spotting another alternate take and to Fabian for pointing us to the thread. Thanks also to Tuskin38 for the hint about the alcove design in the digital extensions for TNG-R.


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