Observations in TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds II"

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

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

"The Best of Both Worlds II" HD Screencaps @ TrekCore

Description TNG Other caps Comparison TNG to TNG-R Description TNG-R
A close-up of the deflector beam of the 4-foot model before it fires an energy beam. Shots from other episodes show what the 6-foot model deflector dish looks like from about the same angle.
The Saucer Rim on the Galaxy Class

"Encounter at Farpoint"
In the remastered shot, especially the illumination of the saucer underside by the deflector beam was improved.

"The Enemy"
In this shot, Admiral Hansen is seen holding a transparent PADD. Transparent PADDs of a different kind were also seen in the season 1 episode "Symbiosis".

A closer look at the PADD in HD.
The Borg scanner is another re-use of the oscillation overthruster prop replica from "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension", previously seen as a scanner in "Déjà Q" and as a geological tool in "Pen Pals".
"Pen Pals"

"Déjà Q"
A closer look at the device in HD.
Shelby previously used this engineering tool to scan the soil on Jouret IV in "The Best of Both Worlds I".
"The Best of Both Worlds I"
The device in HD.
The bridge of Hansen's (unnamed) flagship is a redress of the USS Enterprise-D battle bridge seen later in the episode. The red alert display behind him resembles the ones seen in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" and "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier". Modern/reimagined Trek uses a similar design too.
"Star Trek I"

"Star Trek V"
No changes

"Star Trek II"

SNW: "Memento Mori"
The shot of the USS Enterprise-D slowly approaching the camera was filmed with the 4-foot model and appears for the first time in this episode. It replaces a similar shot of the 6-foot model filmed for "Encounter at Farpoint".
Enterprise Flybys in TNG and TNG-R

"Hide and Q"
In TNG-R, we see a similar shot with the 4-foot model, as the original footage could not be located. Actually, it is a shot of the Enterprise flying into the opposite direction that was mirror-inverted.
Picard's empty ready room. The set in HD.
The lighting of the display with the orthographic views of the Enterprise on the port side of the bridge has been improved since "The Best of Both Worlds I".
"The Best of Both Worlds I"
No changes

The aftermath of the Battle of Wolf 359. The wreckage includes some pre-production models (which remained intact), such as study models of the Excelsior and from the never produced film "Planet of the Titans". There are also a number of models that were custom-built, including the damage. Two of the more prominent wrecks, the three-nacelled USS Princeton (Niagara class, visible on the right when the Enterprise enters the debris field) and the single-nacelled USS Firebrand (Freedom class, visible on the left), are detailed large-scale models made by Greg Jein. The scene also shows some smaller models built by Ed Mirarecki.

The following models could be identified in the SD version of the episode or were reportedly used for the graveyard:

Class/ship name Designed by Identified in BoBW
USS Buran
Ed Miarecki Yes
USS Ahwahnee
Ed Miarecki Yes
"USS Enterprise"
Andrew Probert Yes
Excelsior study model I
"USS Alka-selsior"
Nilo Rodis & Bill George Only in "Unification"
Excelsior study model II
Nilo Rodis & Bill George Not yet
Excelsior study model III
Nilo Rodis & Bill George Not yet
Four-nacelled Excelsior study model I
Nilo Rodis & Bill George Only in "Unification"
Four-nacelled Excelsior study model II
Nilo Rodis & Bill George Only in "Unification"
USS Firebrand
Greg Jein Yes
USS Melbourne
Ed Miarecki Yes
New Orleans
USS Kyushu
Ed Miarecki Yes
USS Princeton
Greg Jein Yes
Planet of Titans study model I
Ralph McQuarrie Only in "Unification"
Planet of Titans study model II
Ralph McQuarrie Only in "Star Trek III"
USS Tolstoy
- Non-existent
USS Chekov
Ed Miarecki Yes
Wolf 359 - Overview
The great sequence in HD. We can't identify more ships, but the improved resolution confirms our findings.

Data should sit at the ops console, as it was the case earlier and later in the same scene. But an obviously female stand-in has taken his place in this shot. The shot was likely filmed for earlier in the episode, when Data is seen relieving said officer.

Also, note a piece of carpet to the right of the seat.

The female officer can be seen better in HD. The piece of carpet is still present too.
Crew members are leaving and entering the head (the bridge toilet opposite the observation lounge entrance) in quick succession during a tense moment. ;-) No changes
A look at the Borg cube. In contrast to shots of the ship seen earlier in the episode, this one did not appear in "The Best of Both Worlds I". No changes

Behind the rotating Borg viewscreen, the matte painting of the Borg ship interior, created for "Q Who" and last seen in the previous episode, can be seen in this shot. Note how distorted the Enterprise appears on the Borg screen.

There is Borg writing on the viewscreen, which will frequently reappear on Star Trek Voyager.

"The Best of Both Worlds I"
Note that the recomposed shot in HD is a lot darker than the original. Also, a different shot of the Enterprise-D than in the original episode is used.

Riker in the captain's chair on the battle bridge. A CG model of the stardrive section is displayed on monitors behind him.

The armrests of the command chair are still as they appeared in "Yesterday's Enterprise", but a white inner lining was added.

"Yesterday's Enterprise"
The shot of Riker in HD. We can read the heading "Battle section structural analysis".
The battle bridge viewscreen has remained mainly the same since it was last seen in "The Arsenal of Freedom". Only the two LCARS displays to the left and right of the viewscreen were changed a little and the upper LCARS display is now a red alert marker.
"Encounter at Farpoint"
The viewscreen in HD.

"The Arsenal of Freedom"
Shots of Riker on the battle bridge. In TNG-R we can see an upconverted shot (#2 in this sequence). The rest of the sequence consists of different takes of the scene than in SD. We presume that the original takes could not be located for the remastering, and that for all but one an alternate take was available.
Only a short section of the saucer separation scene, originally filmed for "Encounter at Farpoint" and last seen in "The Arsenal of Freedom", appears in this episode. In HD we can see a CG model, as already in TNG-R: "Encounter at Farpoint". The telltale sign is, the RCS thruster by the deflector dish has cutouts like the "Generations" model. Also all the lifeboat hatches have small lines at the top and bottom, which is not on the 6ft studio model.
This shot of the Borg cube also appeared in the first half of the two-parter. The "imperfection" of the model, which consists of all kinds of parts that often form odd angles becomes very obvious in HD.
A good look at the stardrive section of the USS Enterprise-D and the ship's deflector shield. A similar shot will appear in "Star Trek Generations" when the stardrive is destroyed.
The recomposed shot in the remastered episode.
A close-up of the stardrive section and the starboard warp nacelle. The scenes of the separated ship were filmed with the 6-foot model, which had not been used since early in season 3, when the 4-foot model arrived. The shots of the Enterprise in HD.
Another close-up of the USS Enterprise-D, this time of the saucer section.
The emergency transporter armbands in this episode look different from the ones seen in the later episode "Timescape".
An HD close-up of the device.
When Data and Worf's shuttle exits the shuttlebay, the wall of the shuttlebay is a model that was built by Ed Miarecki. The last bit of the model, a triangular wall that was intended to suggest the sloped side of the big main shuttlebay door's exterior, was omitted in the original version of the shot. The small triangular shape has been restored in the HD version. It's very quick motion, but it ties into the shape of that part of the exterior model.
Locutus blinds the camera with his "laser pointer". Decades later, this shot is parodied in LOW: "I, Excretus" with Ensign Boimler as "Excretus".
LOW: "I, Excretus"
The iconic shot in HD.
The tractor beam of the Borg ship is unable to lock onto the shuttle due to the antimatter spread fired by the saucer section of the USS Enterprise-D. The recomposed shots in the remastered episode.
The interior of the Type-7 shuttle. The emergency transporter platform was installed for this episode. Other than that, the set has not changed much since season 1.
Variations of the Type-7 Shuttle

"Unnatural Selection"

"Q Who"
We can recognize more details of the interior in HD.
The two wall monitors beside the door were seen in the Crusher quarters and in engineering in season 1.
"The Naked Now"

"Where No One Has Gone Before"

A few nice shots of the Borg cube and the Type-7 shuttlecraft.

The shuttle miniature was repainted and features a much smaller individual number now, which facilitates the re-use of shots that previously led to some continuity problems.

"The Child"
The recomposed shots in HD.

"Q Who"
The stardrive and saucer section of the USS Enterprise-D facing the Borg cube. This too was filmed with the "old" 6-foot model.
The comparison shot shows what the battle bridge looked like when it was last shown in "The Arsenal of Freedom". As can be seen, the ceiling of the set has been changed. Although it looks similar as before, the back wall is new as well.
"The Arsenal of Freedom"
A look at the battle bridge in HD.

"The Arsenal of Freedom"
The biobed seen in this shot was originally created as a cloning unit used on Mariposa in "Up the Long Ladder". It also appeared as an emergency biosupport unit in "Transfigurations".
"Up the Long Ladder"

A look at the biobed in HD.
A good look at Locutus of Borg. Locutus in HD.
This graphic, showing a multimodal reflection map analysis, was especially created for this episode. The graphic was reused in later episodes, like "Devil's Due" where it can be seen on a console on Ventax II.
"Devil's Due"
The displays in HD.
As can be seen, the large sickbay LCARS display was not changed between seasons.
"The Vengeance Factor"
The Borg cube approaching Saturn. The shot in HD.
This graphic, showing neuroendocrine functions, was also present in the set in "Transfigurations".
A close-up of the display in HD.
This wall console also previously appeared in "Transfigurations". The console originally was the back wall of the transporter room in "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" and "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country".
"Star Trek V"

No changes

"Star Trek VI"
The Mars Defense Perimeter sentry pods are swiftly destroyed by the Borg cube. The model, composed of submarine kit parts, would later appear as the Soliton Wave test ship in "New Ground". The sequence in HD. We can recognize red Starfleet markings and something like windows on the models.
More close-ups of the Borg ship. The TNG-R version uses a larger frame size, perhaps because the close-up was deemed to blurry.
This aft shot of the 4-foot model of the USS Enterprise-D was newly created for this episode. The comparison shot from "Hollow Pursuits" shows the 6-foot model from this perspective.
"Hollow Pursuits"
This is another sequence with a CG model of the ship, as the original shot was not found.

A good look at different parts of the cybernetics lab. The central frame, in which Locutus is kept, was last seen in "The Offspring", where it housed Lal. The top part was heightened because Picard is taller than Lal. The set, however, is different in more than only such details. In "The Offspring", the cybernetics lab was a redress of the battle bridge. As the battle bridge set was needed in this episode, this cybernetics lab was created in a spot on Stage 9 - across the hallway from the transporter room - that was used for many other sets.

It was first used as the banquet hall in "Haven", and also served as Phillipa's office in "The Measure of a Man", Troi's office, the geology lab in "Pen Pals" and the barber shop, among others. The cybernetics lab lately appeared as the medical lab in "Transfigurations".

"The Offspring"
The cybernetics lab in HD.


The unusual domed console on the right originally appeared in the Ferengi Marauder lab in "Ménage à Troi". It could be seen without the domed interface and with some add-ons in "Transfigurations" and now appears in its original Ferengi state again.

"Ménage à Troi"

A close look at the circuitry in Data's head. We could previously see the left side exposed in "Déjà Q".
"Déjà Q"
The circuitry in HD.
Medical cases like this one were first seen in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" and "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan". They have appeared in several earlier TNG episodes.
Pictograms from the Star Trek: The Motion Picture Peel-Off Graphics Book

"Star Trek II"
An HD close-up of the case. We can read the label "Perishable cultures".
The text of the medical display behind O'Brien cannot be read in SD. It is exactly the same as in "Transfigurations", though.
No changes
The Borg cube in orbit of Earth as seen on the main bridge viewscreen of the USS Enterprise-D. The viewscreen in HD.
These shots of the USS Enterprise-D also appeared in the first half of this two-parter. The recomposed shots in HD. Note that the impact of the cutting beam is brighter, and causes lens flares.
This shot of the USS Enterprise flying away was also seen in the first Borg episode, "Q Who", while the shot of the Borg cube was created for "The Best of Both Worlds II".
"Q Who"
The column of three domes was initially clear in "Pen Pals". It appeared in blue and yellow in "Transfigurations" and is green now.

The domes in HD.
The Borg cube explodes. The explosion was completely redone for TNG-R.
Earth and the Moon. Earth and Moon in HD, and a look at the accordingly flipped CG model of the Enterprise.
This shot of the USS Enterprise-D first appeared earlier in the episode. Here the footage was flipped.
Earlier in this episode
These patches cover Picard's wounds caused by the Borg assimilation process. The patches in HD.

Picard is seen through his observation room window from the outside in four episodes, in "Coming of Age", "Conundrum", "Darmok" and this episode. In this episode, however, we get the best look at the exterior of the ship around this window.

The ship's exterior as seen in this shot was a simple cardboard model built by Rick Sternbach and Mike Okuda.

"Coming of Age"

A look at the window in TNG-R.

A final look at Earth and Moon. If one compares this shot to the earlier shot of Earth and the Moon, it can be seen that the Moon has been rotated 180 degrees.
Earlier in this episode
In the remastered version, the Moon was not rotated but flipped horizontally.



Thanks to Anthony Misztal for several additional observations and to Fabian and TrekBBS users Syd_Vicious and Maxwell Everett for hints about alternate takes. Thanks to Christian Hinze of Star Trek HD, who spotted the woman taking Data's place on the bridge. Thanks to Rusty0918 for the hints about the armrests.


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