Observations in TNG: "The High Ground"

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

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

"The High Ground" HD Screencaps @ TrekCore

Description TNG Other caps Comparison TNG to TNG-R Description TNG-R
A Rutian banner is prominently displayed at the plaza.
Rutian banner
The plaza with the banner in HD. Note the red writing in the black field of the banner.
The plaza is an extensive redress of the shuttlebay or cargo bay set. The walls look very different, only the general dimensions and the two levels are still the same. The rounded corner on the left, however, is a dead giveaway!

Shuttlebay floorplan
The seats used for the Rutian benches close to the café were already seen a few episodes earlier in the Federation science outpost in "The Vengeance Factor".
"The Vengeance Factor"
No changes

The lamp posts on the plaza were previously seen on Tau Cygna V in "The Ensigns of Command". They were originally created for "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" where they appeared on Nimbus III. The lamps will be seen in several later episodes, namely on Moab IV in "The Masterpiece Society", on Romulus in "Unification I+II", on Barkon IV in "Thine Own Self" and on a planet visited by the crew of the USS Voyager in "Time and Again".
Re-Used Props - Furniture

Several glass domes on tripods are seen in the Rutian café. Domes like that could be found in Riker's quarters in the second season. They also appeared in the geophysical lab in "Pen Pals" in and Lwaxana Troi's quarters in "Manhunt".

"Star Trek V"

VOY: "Time and Again"
No changes

"The Ensigns of Command"

"Up the Long Ladder"

The Rutian plaza features two colorful sculptures comprised of various geometric shapes. Similar sculptures are often seen in the classrooms aboard the USS Enterprise-D in episodes such as in "Imaginary Friend", "Rascals" and "Hero Worship". A sculpture like this was also on display in the Starbase 515 lobby in "Samaritan Snare".

The water bottle next to Doctor Crusher is similar in design to the Romulan ale bottle in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" and the Ennan VI Ale bottle in "Time Squared". Decades later, such a bottle would also appear in PIC: "Absolute Candor".

"Samaritan Snare"

"Star Trek II"
The shot in HD.

"Imaginary Friend"

"Time Squared"


PIC: "Absolute Candor"
The pistol used by the Rutian Police is one of the most often re-used weapons on Star Trek. The pistol reappeared, unchanged, in several TNG episodes, like "Legacy", "Man of the People", "Starship Mine", "Frame of Mind" and "Attached". The prop also showed up in DS9: "The Passenger", "Necessary Evil", "Whispers" and "Who Mourns for Morn?".
Re-Used Props - Beam Weapons

"Man of the People"

"Frame of Mind"
No changes

"The Passenger"

"Who Mourns for Morn?"
Helmets are a rare sight in Star Trek. The militia on Mordan IV in "Too Short a Season" could be seen with similar helmets.
"Too Short a Season"

The Rutian police uniform, likewise, was repeatedly repurposed in later episodes. It was worn by a Vulcan in "Vortex", the Mari in "Random Thoughts" and the New Sydney Police Force in "Prodigal Daughter". The metallic ribbon on the sleeves and diagonally across the right side of the uniforms was removed for the later re-uses, however.
Re-Used Costumes

The custom-made holster for the Rutian pistol can be nicely seen in this screenshot as well. It was also used in "The Passenger" when the weapon re-appeared as a Kobliad pistol.

DS9: "Vortex"

VOY: "Random Thoughts"
A better look at the uniforms and the weapons in HD.

DS9: "Prodigal Daughter"

DS9: "The Passenger"
The Rutians use the same types of plate that appeared in "Heart of Glory" when the two Klingons ordered Klingon food from the replicator on the Enterprise-D. The plate will be seen again on Tilonus IV when Riker is held there in "Frame of Mind".
"Heart of Glory"

"Frame of Mind"
The plate in HD.
Rutia IV is stock footage of Drema IV from in "Pen Pals". Drema IV was geologically unstable, explaining the lava streams in the bottom left corner of the screenshot.
Re-Used Planets in TNG

"Pen Pals"
In HD, Rutia IV is no longer the same as Drema IV but represented by a new model.

This Rutian PADD looks remarkably like a 20th century circuit board. The same prop was also in use on the Pakled ship Mondor in "Samaritan Snare" and on the USS Hathaway in "Peak Performance". The prop probably appears for the last time here.

Security surveillance of Rutia IV can be seen on the monitor behind Riker.

"Samaritan Snare"

"Peak Performance"
An HD close-up of the PCB PADD.
The colorful device behind Alexana Devos is very similar and obviously consists of the same elements as a Vulcan PADD at the beginning of "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home".
"Star Trek IV"
An HD close-up of the device.
Walls like the one seen in the background were previously seen in "Hide and Q" on Quadra Sigma III and in "Too Short a Season" on Mordan IV. Similar wall pieces could be spotted in several Star Trek films, including "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" and "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock".
Re-Used Building Interiors

"Star Trek II"

"Hide and Q"
No changes

"Star Trek III"

"Too Short a Season"
This large medical case is seen for the first time. The reverse side with Crusher's name is briefly visible. It can be seen better in "The Loss" and reads "Dr. Beverly G. Crusher MD EAFSF". "G" stands for "Gates".
"The Loss"
The case in HD
Surveillance footage visible behind Riker gives an idea about what the surface of Rutia IV looks like. Some of the shots are footage of real locations on Earth. Some other shots were filmed using a matte painting created by Rick Sternbach.
Matte painting
No changes
The vase partially visible behind Alexana Devos in her office on Rutia IV will appear again in the O'Briens' quarters in DS9: "Hard Time".
"The Vengeance Factor"
No changes
The large wall with white light panels behind Crusher was previously seen on the Klingon ship Pagh in "A Matter of Honor", in the Rite of Ascension simulation in "The Icarus Factor" and on the Gatherer ship in "The Vengeance Factor".
"The Icarus Factor"

"The Vengeance Factor"
No changes
The Rutian police badge was used by several other aliens in later DS9 and VOY episodes. It was worn by Jaheel in "Babel" and the Kressari Captain Zef'no in "The Circle". It could also be seen on the unnamed hostile aliens in the VOY episode "Latent Image" and the Imhotep in "Drive".
DS9: "Babel"

VOY: "Latent Image"
A good look at the uniform and the emblem in HD.

Emblems from DS9: "The Circle"

VOY: "Drive"
The metallic ribbon with the small squares on the Rutian uniform is made from the same material as Q's 21st century post-atomic horror uniform in "Encounter at Farpoint" and the Ferengi head gear in "The Last Outpost" and "The Battle". The ribbon shows up on costumes in several other TNG episodes too.
"Encounter at Farpoint"

"The Last Outpost"

"The Child"

"The Price"
On the small table behind Riker, next to a sculpture of a hand, transparent PADDs can be seen. These PADDs last appeared in the season 1 episode "Symbiosis" where they were used by Dr. Beverly Crusher. They show a graphic of a brain scan that already appeared in "We'll Always Have Paris" on a sickbay wall monitor.

"We'll Always Have Paris"
An HD close-up of the PADDs.
The colorful "clown-face" lamps in Alexana Devos' office in "The High Ground" appear in a red, a blue and an orange/yellow variety. They will be seen again in season 4 in the Sikla Medical Facility on Malcor III in TNG: "First Contact".
"First Contact"
The lamp in HD.
Although they are quite dark, we can recognize A'dammer cabinets with the characteristic rounded top behind Riker. Similar models were seen in "Angel One" and will appear in "A Matter of Perspective", "Night Terrors", "The First Duty" and DS9: "Second Sight".
"Angel One"

"A Matter of Perspective"
The cabinets in HD.

"Night Terrors"

"The First Duty"

DS9: "Second Sight"
It is kind of funny and kind of sad but the ugly colorful 1980's pillow this sick Rutian woman is resting on is the exact same pillow which Deanna's son Ian Andrew Troi II died on (or vanished from) in "The Child"...
"The Child"
The pillow in HD.
These vacuformed ribbed wall panels in the Ansata encampment were previously used in the computer access room in "Evolution" and on the Promellian ship Cleponji in "Booby Trap". Originally, they were created for "The Hunt for Red October".

"Booby Trap"
No changes
The wall ribbing behind Crusher previously appeared in the mess hall of the Klingon Bird-of-Prey Pagh in "A Matter of Honor" and in the recreation of the Hall of Ascension in "The Icarus Factor".
"A Matter of Honor"

"The Icarus Factor"
No changes
The two crew members are seen leaving the medical lab, last seen in "Evolution". The two small consoles have been part of the set since the first season.
"Home Soil"

No changes
The Ansata rifle prop was re-used numerous times in later episodes. It is best known as the Romulan disruptor rifle, debuting in "Unification I+II", but also appears in the hands of the terrorists in "Starship Mine", for example.
Re-Used Props - Beam Weapons

"Unification II"

"Starship Mine"
We can see more details of the weapon in HD.
Remember the cover of the isolinear chip console that Roga Danar removed in "The Hunted"? It was still in place in "The Defector". Well, it seems by the time of "The High Ground" it still hasn't been put back. ;-) In "Déjà Q", it's finally seen where it belongs again.
"The Hunted"

"Déjà Q"
Geordi's office with the open console in HD.
A short corridor can be briefly seen behind this door close to the warp core. Only in "Encounter at Farpoint", this still was a turbolift door.
"Encounter at Farpoint"

"Where No One Has Gone Before"
No changes
The Ansata bomb appeared three more times, in VOY: "Time and Again", "Dark Frontier" and "Collective", each time as another type of bomb.
VOY: "Time and Again"

VOY: "Dark Frontier"
A good look at the bomb in HD.
The prop Geordi uses to detach the Ansata bomb from the warp core was already seen as a medical tool in "The Price" (hardly recognizable there). It later serves medical purposes again, as a DNA scanner in "Legacy" and as a surgical tool in "Unification I".

"Unification I"
No changes
The Ansata bomb is beamed off the ship just in time before it detonates. The shot as it was recreated for TNG-R.
We can recognize Patrick Stewart's stunt double John Nowak in this shot. No changes
The carpet on the bridge was changed between "The Hunted" and "The High Ground", which would usually be done between the seasons. Note how the formerly light gray portion is a lot darker now.
The Evolution of the Enterprise-D Bridge

"The Hunted"
No changes
The effect of the folded space-transporter can be seen in these two screenshots. The effect in TNG-R, faithfully reconstructed.
The Ansata pistol Kyril Finn drops here is almost identical in design to the Varon-T disruptor seen later in this season in "The Most Toys".
"The Most Toys"
No changes
Kyril Finn's jacket is covered with the same small metallic elements mentioned further above.
Rutian police uniform
The jacket in HD.
A graphic of the southern hemisphere of Rutia IV showing the location of the Ansata base, which looks great for 1989! The unchanged display in TNG-R.
Another medical case is seen up close in "The High Ground". This one already appeared in "The Arsenal of Freedom", albeit with much simpler lettering next to the Starfleet Medical caduceus. Seen a little better in the remastered version of "Clues", we now know it reads "Medical intensive care unit".
"The Arsenal of Freedom"

The case in HD.
Kyril Finn's sketches of Beverly Crusher. No changes
The inverter can be seen hanging from the ceiling here. This is the first appearance of a prop that would continue to be re-used in various forms in many later episodes. It shows up in the warp nacelle in "Eye of the Beholder" and as USS Voyager's main computer processor in "Concerning Flight". It finally appears as a Malurian antimatter reactor in ENT: "Civilization".
"Eye of the Beholder"

ENT: "Civilization"
We can see a few more details of the device in HD, such as the yellow/red markings.

VOY: "Concerning Flight"
This Ansata pistol was also re-used in several later episodes. It was used by colonists on Turkana IV in "Legacy", the Ennis and Nol-Ennis in "Battle Lines", by the colonists on Dorvan V in "Journey's End" and in a couple more DS9 and Voyager episodes.
Re-Used Props - Beam Weapons


"The Passenger"
No changes

"Journey's End"

Kyril Finn's pistol is different from the three other types of pistols seen earlier in the episode. The Mariposans in "Up the Long Ladder" and Dr. Paul Stubbs in "Evolution" had similar weapons. The Ferengi Sovak will threaten Picard with a pistol of this type in "Captain's Holiday".
"Up the Long Ladder"

"Captain's Holiday"
No changes
The footage of the USS Enterprise-D leaving orbit of Rutia IV was filmed using the 2-foot model of the ship. A final look at the new planet.
A final look at Rutia IV, again a re-use of Drema IV from "Pen Pals".



Thanks to David Schwarz for the hint about the shuttlebay redress.


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