Observations in TNG: "The Defector"

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

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

"The Defector" HD Screencaps @ TrekCore

Description TNG Other caps Comparison TNG to TNG-R Description TNG-R
The Shakespearean character Michael Williams is played by Patrick Stewart under heavy make-up. Michael Williams in HD.
Data and Picard are seen leaving the holodeck and entering the extended corridor set. This is the first time somebody is seen walking straight from the large holodeck/shuttlebay/cargo bay set to the corridor. In the first two seasons, the holodeck was not connected to the large corridor set, so clever editing needed to be used to show someone walking along the corridor and entering the holodeck through the short holodeck corridor. This was no longer necessary after the corridor set was extended between seasons 2 and 3. No changes
A tactical intelligence analysis conducted by Outpost Sierra 6. The HD screen cap allows to recognize more details and to read the complete text, including the one on the LCARS buttons.
The Romulan scout ship and Warbird are seen flying by on the bridge viewscreen. The shot of the Romulan Warbird, like all footage of the ship in this episode, was newly created, using the new, second model of the ship. The Romulan ships as they appear in HD.
More footage of the Romulan Warbird in pursuit of the scout ship. No changes

The cockpit of the Romulan scout ship features a console previously seen in the Ferengi shuttle in "The Price". The same console also appears aboard Romulan ships in "Future Imperfect" and "Face of the Enemy".

The door behind Jarok appears to be the same as on the Romulan bridge in "Contagion"

"The Price"

"Future Imperfect"
The bridge in TNG-R. Note the enhanced contrast but also the new darkness of the shot.

"Face of the Enemy"

Blue sparks erupt as the scout ship is hit by Romulan disruptor fire. The explosion is more like a plume of fire in TNG-R. The sparks can be seen better.
As the screenshots from season 1 and 2 prove, the schematic of the USS Enterprise-D displayed on the "pool table" in main engineering was expanded between seasons 2 and 3. The same schematic previously appeared in the holographic recreation of drawing room 5 in "Booby Trap".

"Booby Trap"
No changes

"Q Who"

The new 4-foot model of the USS Enterprise-D appears for the first time in this shot. The comparison screenshots from "The Child", "A Matter of Honor" and "Q Who" show what the much smoother 6-foot model of the USS Enterprise-D with its sharp saucer edge looks like from a similar angle.
The Saucer Rim on the Galaxy Class

The Romulan Warbird seen here is also the second model of the ship, created for the third season. The comparison shot from "The Neutral Zone" shows the original model of the Romulan ship from about the same angle. The additional windows on the top of the "head" of the Warbird are one way to tell the two models apart. We don't know why a second one was built because the size and detailing is about the same.

Finally, the aft section of the Romulan scout ship can be seen well in this shot.

"A Matter of Honor"

"The Child"
The shot in HD. Especially the colors were greatly enhanced.

"Q Who"

"The Neutral Zone"
A front view of the imposing Romulan Warbird. A screenshot from a similar angle shows what the original model of the ship looked like in "Contagion". The major differences between the models (which are identical in size) are new additional window lights and an added detail on the nacelle sides.
Appearances of the Romulan Warbird

These two shots are incorrectly framed in TNG-R. The footage of the bridge is cut off on the right side.
There is one small difference between the first and second Romulan Warbird models, which can briefly be seen in this shot. The second model has an additional feature on the side of the nacelles, vaguely seen here, whereas the sides of the first model are completely smooth, as can be seen on the screenshot of the first model from "The Neutral Zone".
"The Neutral Zone"
The Romulan scout ship can be seen from many angles in this scene. The model would later be modified and reappear as the Romulan science vessel in "The Next Phase" and the Nasari starship Nerada in VOY: "Favorite Son".
Romulan Ship Classes

"The Next Phase"
The great sequence in HD.

VOY: "Favorite Son"
The Enterprise-D model in this shot is the new 4-foot model. Comparison caps from earlier episodes show what the 6-foot model looks like from similar angles.
"Encounter at Farpoint"


"Unnatural Selection"
The Romulan scout ship as seen through the observation lounge window, shortly before the ship explodes. The shot in HD. Interestingly, while the shots in the remastered episode are almost consistently darker, this one is brighter than in the original.
Filming equipment is briefly visible in the top right corner of this screenshot. We can see somewhat less of the microphone in TNG-R.
Two maps of the Romulan Neutral Zone. We can read the complete text on these displays, including the in-jokes such as the stars named "Beta Hutzel", "Epsilon Legato", "Theta Curry" and "Moore's Star".
A map of the Nelvana star system, Strangely, the names of the planets do not feature Roman but Arabic numerals in this graphic.
A map of Nelvana III, seen later in the episode. The graphic of the planet is similar to a graphic of Theta 116 VIII seen in "The Royale".
"The Royale"
The encrypted message is visually descrambled. An effect like this is never seen again in the series. The descrambling sequence in HD.
Sensor logs of the Romulan Warbird in pursuit of the Romulan scout ship. In HD, we can read the text on this display as well.
All color varieties of the season 3 uniform can be nicely seen in this screenshot. "The Defector" is the first episode in which Dr. Crusher can be seen with the finalized uniform. She previously wore the season 3 two-piece prototype uniform ("Who Watches the Watchers") and then the one-piece version with front zipper ("The Vengeance Factor").
"Who Watches the Watchers"

"The Vengeance Factor"
In HD, the colors appear even more vibrant.

The interrogation room is seen in only one more episode, namely in "The Drumhead". When the set was recreated for the latter episode, several details were changed but the blue light panels with the characteristic pattern were kept.

The pattern on the walls in the background is interesting, as it has appeared before. It was seen on the inner and outer part of the Aldean energy core in "When the Bough Breaks" and also adorned the back wall of the Klingon transporter room aboard Klaa's Bird-of-Prey in "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" as well as the ceiling of his bridge.

"When the Bough Breaks"

"Star Trek V"
The interrogation room as it appears in TNG-R.

"The Drumhead"

"Star Trek V"

The other half of the interrogation room set is only glimpsed in this episode. The curved walls in the background seen out of focus behind Riker and Troi seem to imply, though, that the brig set, first seen one episode later, in "The Hunted" was created using parts of the interrogation room set.

The back wall of the interrogation room (later seen better as the brig) features CONTOUR Panorama acoustic tiles. When the set was recreated for "The Drumhead", these tiles were omitted.
Acoustic Panels as Wall Coverings in TNG

"The Hunted"
No changes
The launch sequence of the class 1 probe looks essentially as it did in "Where Silence Has Lease". The sequence was enhanced, however, already for the original TV release: The red reflection of the probe's exhaust flames can now be seen on the underside of the saucer section. Also, the trajectory was slightly altered and looks more natural in "The Defector".
"Where Silence Has Lease"
The newly composed sequence in TNG-R.
A slight modification to the main engineering set, only present in season 3, can be seen in this shot. The bottom half of the right wall plug behind Data and Geordi now features open circuitry. The circuitry was originally created for the outer holodeck wall and appeared in "The Big Goodbye" and "11001001". It was added to the wall plug between seasons 2 and 3 and was removed again between seasons 3 and 4 as can be seen in the screenshots from the second, third and fourth seasons.
"The Big Goodbye"

"Q Who"
The pool table and open wall panel in HD.


"Identity Crisis"
The question, however, is: Why is it open in the first place? Nobody is ever seen working on the panel in all those season 3 episodes. TrekCore has found a deleted scene in "Evolution" where Geordi is seen working on this open wall panel, explaining why the open circuitry was installed in the first place.
"Evolution" deleted scene
We can see once again that the schematic diagram of the Enterprise-D on the pool table is more elaborate than in season 2, just like the large MSD on the wall.
"Q Who"

An analysis of telemetry data from the class 1 probe launched earlier in the episode.

The two pads with buttons on the slanted console on top of the pool table were not yet present in earlier episodes.

"Where No One Has Gone Before"
Another screen whose contents can be deciphered now.

"Peak Performance"
The nautilus shell appears for the first time in the shelf in Picard's ready room. The shell only appears in the set in the third season and is replaced by an ammonite in season 4. A close-up of the prop in HD.
The pyramidal Pair Match game is seen particularly well in this shot. A good look at the game in HD.
A holographic recreation of the Valley of Chula on Romulus. It looks like the clouds and the rocks in the background were retouched for the Blu-ray release. We can recognize that there is a city in the valley and small houses in the foreground, details that the SD version didn't really give away.

As already in "Where Silence Has Lease", the holodeck grid without the arch was created in post production. The room appears a lot larger than in presence of the arch.

The small holodeck set with the arch embedded in the holodeck grid was last seen as long ago as in "Coming of Age". As can be seen, the holodeck grid now reaches right up to the holodeck door and doesn't end a meter in front of it, as it did in "Coming of Age".

"Coming of Age"
The great shots of the holodeck entrance in HD.

"Where Silence Has Lease"
The third season admiral's uniform can be seen well in this screenshot. This is the third version of an admiral's uniform on TNG. It would be replaced by the fourth and final version in the sixth season. A better look at the uniform in HD.
Nelvana III is unique, in that it only appears on the main viewscreen and is never seen from space with the USS Enterprise-D in orbit. The planet was re-used as Peliar Zel's Beta moon in "The Host".
Re-Used Planets in TNG

"The Host"

It looks like this planet has only been slightly retouched for TNG-R, if at all.

There is something strange about the transition from the wall to the ceiling on the first cap with the planet in TNG-R. The white light is smaller than in the original episode, and also smaller than on other TNG-R shots from the same episode.

Another nice new shot of the 4-foot model of the USS Enterprise-D. A comparison screenshot from "Evolution" shows the 6-foot model from a similar angle.
The model in HD.
The USS Enterprise-D faces two Romulan Warbirds. The footage of all three ships was newly filmed. The recomposed shot in HD.
Similar shots from "Encounter at Farpoint" and "The Icarus Factor" show what the same part of the set looked like in the first and second season respectively. The red/blue illumination of the curved chief engineer's office wall only appears in season 3.
"Encounter at Farpoint"

"The Icarus Factor"
No changes
The interior of the Romulan Warbird appears considerably different from what it looked like in season 1's "The Neutral Zone" and season 2's "Contagion". However, according to the script of "The Defector", this room aboard Tomalak's ship is not the bridge but his ready room. The same room was partially glimpsed a little earlier in season 3, in "The Enemy". Notice the extensive use of freezer spacers.
Re-Uses of Freezer Spacers

"The Neutral Zone"

"The Enemy"
The set in HD.


"The Enemy"
We can also notice that Tomalak, as already recently in "The Enemy", wears a uniform made from a new fabric that is still silvery but unlike the one of Jarok's in the same episode and of previous Romulan uniforms.

Jarok in "The Defector"
Comparison shots from earlier episodes show the 6-foot model from the same angle as the 4-foot model used in "The Defector". Notice the different lighting on the neck and the two blue-lit areas at the back of the 4-foot saucer.
"Encounter at Farpoint"

"Home Soil"
The recomposed shot in HD.
The footage of the three Klingon Birds-of-Prey was newly created for this episode. They appear to be huge here. Yet, the perspective of the scene is deceptive, and the size is in line with other appearances of the ship in TNG.
The Bird-of-Prey Size Paradox
The iconic shot was recomposed to look just like the original, including the size relations.
The Romulan emblem, first seen in "The Enemy", can be nicely seen in this screenshot.
The Evolution of the Romulan Emblem
A better look at the emblem in HD.


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