Observations in TNG: "The Bonding"

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

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

"The Bonding" HD Screencaps @ TrekCore

Description TNG Other caps Comparison TNG to TNG-R Description TNG-R
This shot of the Koinonian homeworld is a re-use of Brekka from "Symbiosis". The same shot was used again in "Transfigurations" as an unnamed planet in the Zeta Gelis cluster.
Re-Used Planets in TNG

The remastered episode shows us a new planet.
A nice shot of the part of sickbay opposite the main entry door. The transparent spreadsheet first seen in "Angel One" is still part of the sickbay set. As can be seen, a wall console, similar to the one next to the main sickbay entry, has been added to the right of the sickbay back entry as well. Like the opposite door, the back door was painted orange for season 3 too. The nearly identical screenshot from "Up the Long Ladder" shows what that part of the set looked like in season 2.
"Up the Long Ladder"
The redesigned sickbay entrance area in HD.

The medical carrying case seen here has a small PADD attached to its side. This is the former holodeck PADD from several early season TNG episodes. It also appeared as a medical PADD in "We'll Always Have Paris" and as an Orion PADD in ENT: "Borderland".

The case itself later shows up as a regular non-medical case in episodes such as "Family" and "Half a Life". It seems in the original episode, the PADD covers the (embossed?) brand label of the manufacturer of the case (seen in the bottom right-hand corner). In "Family", the brand was covered with gray tape.

"Code of Honor"

No changes


"Half a Life"

"We'll Always Have Paris"

ENT: "Borderland"

The back door to sickbay is seldom seen open. In this shot, a blue corridor can be seen behind the door. More episodes in which this door is seen open are "The Game" and "Tapestry".

The scientist's uniform appears again after "Who Watches the Watchers". The version worn by the scientist here, with added pockets, is only seen in this episode.

The Starfleet officer in the foreground holds a case with the familiar Starfleet arrowhead symbol. This case (and similar cases of this type) are seen in countless Star Trek episodes. Dr. Dalen Quaice carries one in "Remember Me", as does Lwaxana Troi in "Half a Life". Beverly Crusher has a blue case like this in "Suspicions", and a red version plays an important role in the Voyager episode "Timeless".

"The Game"

No changes

"Remember Me"


"Half a Life"

VOY: "Timeless"
This shot of the Koinonian homeworld is a re-use of Solais V from "Loud as a Whisper".
"Loud as a Whisper"
Naturally this shot too shows the new planet in TNG-R. There is a very slight mis-framing (just one pixel column) on the right edge.
A small patch of fabric hiding the power access for the main engineering pool table can be seen in this screenshot. A similar patch is seen in "Unnatural Selection". The screenshot from that episode reveals how differently the set was lit in season 2 and that the carpet was replaced during seasons.
"Unnatural Selection"
The patch is still present in TNG-R.
Only in this episode is Worf's quarters lit intensely blue. No changes
A Klingon d'k tahg is seen for the first time on TNG after it debuted a few years earlier in "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock". As can be seen, there are a few small differences between the two knives. The hole in the blade is both wider and longer and not rounded in Worf's d'k tahg. The handle is also symmetrical and not as elaborately decorated as in the third Star Trek film.
"Star Trek III"
A look at the knife as it appears in the remastered episode.
According to the script, this scene is set in the teacher's office. The screenshot reveals it is a redress of the junior officers' quarters. Behind Picard, a shelf can be seen and the door to the old sonic shower (first seen in Ilia's quarters in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture") is behind Troi. Roughly the same section of the set can be seen behind Wesley and Data in this shot from "The Dauphin".
"The Dauphin"
No changes
In the original episode, this is again a re-use of Solais V from "Loud as a Whisper".
"Loud as a Whisper"
Another view of the new planet in TNG-R.
Octagonal glasses like this one (Clear Octime by Arcoroc, which were very popular in the 80's) are often seen on TNG. This type is first prominently seen in this episode. No changes
The computer access room appears again after "Evolution". Some low walls have been added to the set and the desk was removed. This is the most extensive use of the versatile freezer spacers EVER on Star Trek!
Re-Uses of Freezer Spacers

A look at the room in HD.

This is the very first time a video is displayed on a PADD and a large PADD of this type appears on the show. In "Future Imperfect", Jean-Luc Riker is looking for the same PADD in his quarters. Vash also has such a PADD (displaying a map of the ruins of Tagus III) in her guest quarters aboard the USS Enterprise-D.

Jeremy Aster's hands seem a little too chubby for a kid his age in this shot. Somebody else must have held the PADD when it was filmed.

"Future Imperfect"

No changes

The Asters' quarters features several unusual but beautiful space paintings like this one, created by Rick Sternbach.
Space Art in Star Trek: The Next Generation

The left senior officers' quarters door features an internal door button for the first time. In earlier episodes it wasn't there, because people just said "Come in" and the door opened. The button was thus only added for the sole purpose of the effect of Jeremy Aster standing in front of the door when it opens, so he can stare at the towering Worf who's suddenly right in front of him.

A better look at the painting in HD.
A nice shot of the USS Enterprise-D painting in Picard's ready room. A better look at the painting in HD.
The image of the cratered surface of the Koinonian homeworld is actually an image of Valles Marineris on Mars. The images on screen were obviously reworked for the remastered version. They are less cloudy now, and look even more like the surface of Mars than before.
A scan of the Koinonian homeworld. These graphics were newly created for TNG-R but are very close to the original.

A transparent, blue PADD can be nicely seen in this shot.

The comparison shot from season 2 shows the same view of the sickbay office corridor, still with a gray door and without the replicator.

"Unnatural Selection"
An HD close-up of the PADD.
Between seasons 2 and 3, all chairs in the CMO's office were replaced by new ones. The season 1/2 desk chair were exchanged, as were the smaller guest chairs.
Commercially Available Chairs in Star Trek

"We'll Always Have Paris"
No changes
Dr. Crusher tries really hard not to tear up when she talks to Wesley about Jack Crusher, but can't hold her emotions back in the end. Such a nuanced and heart-breaking performance Gates McFadden! No changes
A model of a Constitution-class vessel is on display in the Asters' crew quarters. This may be a different model than the one from several season 1 episodes, as it has a black stand here. A Constitution class appears in TNG: "Haven", "Lonely Among Us", "The Battle", "Hide and Q", "Too Short a Season", "The Big Goodbye", "The Neutral Zone" (with the nacelles backward) and "Booby Trap" (with tilted nacelles).
"The Neutral Zone"

"Booby Trap"
No changes
Jeremy Aster's thumbs do indeed look different in this shot than when he held the PADD earlier in the episode. No changes
Another unique space painting in Marla and Jeremy Aster's quarters created by Rick Sternbach. No changes
The same case earlier seen in sickbay appears again in Marla Aster's house. No changes
The futuristic microscope was previously seen in the sickbay lab where Wesley Crusher conducted experiments on nanites in "Evolution".
A close-up of the microscope in HD.
The bird statue behind Marla Aster first appeared in the second season episode "The Icarus Factor". After the appearance in "The Bonding", it will be seen again on Arkaria in "Starship Mine", in the Maquis colony on Ronara in "Preemptive Strike" and on Annorax's time ship in VOY: "Year of Hell I+II".
"The Icarus Factor"

"Preemptive Strike"
No changes

"Starship Mine"

"Year of Hell I"
Some things were re-arranged in Marla Aster's house relative to the previous scene. The orientation of the round mask sculpture on the wall was fixed and it is upright now. The same mask earlier appeared in Dr. Graves's house on Gravesworld in "The Schizoid Man"?. These masks really scream "80's", don't they?
"The Schizoid Man"

Earlier in this episode
The mask in HD.
The wooden sculpture on the table was previously seen in Tasha Year's quarters in "The Naked Now". It is a Chiwara, a ritual object representing an antelope, used by the Bambara ethnic group in Mali.
"The Naked Now"
No changes

The Koinonian lifeform leaves its homeworld as a scan of the planet is displayed on the bridge main viewscreen.

Notice how the dissipating energy beam changes from green to blue when it leaves the planet in the original episode.

The graphics now contain some in-jokes. The text under "Relativity factor" was replaced. The original, illegible text in the third to last line now reads "Greenberg return 374", probably a reference to Don Greenberg, visual effects editor compositor on TNG. "Axial Flux Location" in the second to last line was replaced by "Tezber Factor Locator". The "[illegible] Operator" in the last line, finally, was replaced by "Sarpaul Operator". This is a reference to Sarah Paul, a visual effects coordinator, who is involved in the remastering of TNG.

Oh, and the planet has Conundrum factor 6, whatever that is!

In the remastered episode, the beam stays green the whole time.

The footage of the USS Enterprise-D looks just as washed out here as it did when the same footage was used in "The Child".
"The Child"
The much improved shot in TNG-R.

A Koinonian in its true form.

Bluish energy lifeforms enter through the hull and are seen in a corridor in a very similar fashion in "Justice", "The Child" and LOW: "Envoys".

The otherwise faithfully reconstructed effect of the Koinonian attacking the security guards is not complete. The white energy that briefly appears on their bodies when they are hit by the blue energy creature, is missing in the remastered episode.

LOW: "Envoys"
A security guard is attacked by the Koinonian.
Interestingly, one of the amphorae seen in the dwelling of the Mintakans in "Who Watches the Watchers" also appears in Marla Aster's house. Maybe another goodbye gift from the Mintakans, besides Picard's famous tapestry?
"Who Watches the Watchers"
No changes
A nice look at the empty transporter room. The comparison cap from "Peak Performance" shows the set in season 2. Note how the thin stripe patterns on and around the round platform are more intricate now.
"Peak Performance"
The set in HD.
A view out of the open door of Marla Aster's house. We can glimpse the regular replicator found in crew quarters for a few frames. In other shots of people entering or leaving the illusory scenario/temporary set, a corridor was inserted in post production. No changes
The ceiling of the short corridor set can be wonderfully seen in this shot. The ceiling in the remastered episode.
This is the first time a corridor forcefield has been seen in use. A forcefield previously appeared in "Heart of Glory" at the entrance of the brig, a redressed junior officers' quarters.
"Heart of Glory"
No changes
Something interesting happens in the chief engineer's office in season 3: Red and blue lights now alternately shine on people (only) in the office. This was never the case in seasons 1 and 2 and also cannot be caused by the warp core and plasma conduit but must be an extra effect on set. No changes
These three workstations in main engineering still feature the same type of orange/brown LCARS displays seen in season 1.
"The Naked Now"
The energy ripples created for this and other shots of TNG-R: "The Bonding" are almost perfectly congruent with those of the original episode in every single frame.
A good look at Geordi's slanted console with the 6 on-set red bars. This console has been in the chief engineer's office since season 2. The comparison screenshot shows what the clunkier season 1 version of the console looked like.
The console in HD.
A close look at the LCARS display behind the transporter console. In HD, the letters are all legible. We can clearly recognize the small light bulbs behind the Bill Thoms, Greg Luntzel, Michael Westmore and CH REE buttons, enabling them to flash on and off.
A graphic of the Beta Renner cloud (from "Lonely Among Us") can be seen behind Riker. The same graphic was also displayed on the same aft station monitor in "The Ensigns of Command".
"Lonely Among Us"

"The Ensigns of Command"
No changes

A painted forest backdrop appears for the third time after "Justice" and "The Survivors". We haven't been able to verify whether it's the very same backdrop.

The impressive mask on the left is a Balinese Rangda mask.


"The Survivors"
The set in the remastered episode.
The same three masks seen in Marla Aster's house here later appear in Doctor Crusher's quarters in "Suspicions" and "Sub Rosa".

No changes
The regular season 3 uniform appears for the very first time in the final Picard shot in "The Bonding". Until now, he consistently wears the prototype. When Aster's quarters return to normal a few moments later still in the same scene, he can suddenly be seen with the regular uniform. Maybe the second shot was a pick-up shot filmed later, while "Booby Trap", where I previously thought the new uniform debuted, was being filmed. No changes
The footage of the corridor behind Worf and Wesley was added in post production as there was no way the set of Marla Aster's house could actually be connected to the short corridor set. This also explains why this shot is a little blurry. The reconstructed shot in TNG-R is not so blurry.
The rarely seen ceiling of the junior officers' quarters. No changes
It seems the wall piece usually featuring Data's desk was removed for this shot of Worf's quarters, allowing the large blue wall. No changes
This shot of the Koinonian homeworld will be re-used in "Firstborn" when it is used to depict Kalla II. A final look at the new planet.



The changing uniform was spotted by Twitter user @MaximilianNaum6.


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