Observations in TNG: "The Survivors"

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

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

"The Survivors" HD Screencaps @ TrekCore

Description TNG Other caps Comparison TNG to TNG-R Description TNG-R
Though rarely seen after the first two seasons, as the director of photography changed, black cardboard squares here again cover part of the aft bridge stations. We can see the cardboard in TNG-R too.
The surface of Delta Rana IV. It looks like on the first two shots the planet surface has been digitally reworked. On the third one we can recognize details such as the Uxbridges' house much better.
This is the first time Troi is seen wearing a more casual dress at work. No changes
One of the most often re-used planets makes it first appearance in this episode. Amongst other planets, Delta Rana IV would later reappear as Turkana IV in "Legacy", The J'naii homeworld in "The Outcast" and Ohniaka III in "The Descent I".
Re-Used Planets in TNG
A new planet was created for TNG-R.

The matte painting of the ravaged surface of Delta Rana IV. The matte painting was modified and re-used a few years later when it depicted the similarly ravaged surface of Melona IV in "Silicon Avatar".

The painting of the house is faithful to the real building in Malibu Beach that was used for the location shots.

"Silicon Avatar"

"Silicon Avatar" Panorama
The basic matte is still the same, but several details were reworked for TNG-R.

"Silicon Avatar"

"The Survivors" panorama
A first good look at the back side of the new season 3 tricorder designed by Ed Miarecki. No changes
Kevin Uxbridge's old-fashioned phaser appeared in some later episodes. It was first re-used in the DS9 episode "Battle Lines" as an Ennis weapon. It got more screen time as the Yaderan pistol in "Shadowplay" and appeared again in the Enterprise episode "The Seventh".
"Battle Lines"

An HD close-up of the weapon.
These are the arguably biggest anti-reflective cardboard squares ever! A few seconds earlier in the episode, the ground level windows were still uncovered. For this shot, the black cardboard was probably applied because it would otherwise expose the film team in the reflections in the windows. No changes

This shot of Data looks odd, as if it had not been filmed on location but rather on an interior set.

The two seams on the front of his uniform, which were only present in the season 3 uniform prototype, are very noticeable here.

No changes
The stairway in the Uxbridge house was previously seen in Ard'rian McKenzie's house in "The Ensigns of Command".
"The Ensigns of Command"
No changes

This is music box is available from Reuge as "Dancing couple music box". Just don't expect it to play the tune from the episode!

A sompoton, a traditional music instrument from Borneo, is seen in the Uxbridge living room. According to Data, Rishon Uxbridge is a composer of Tao classical music, so this might be one of the instruments that she plays

A better look at the props in HD.
Another shot of Delta Rana IV. A great view of the new planet in HD.
Between season 2 and 3, the TNG corridor set was extended. In the first two seasons, the set ended with a silver wall a few meters after the main sickbay door. The holodeck/cargobay/shuttlebay doors were not directly connected to the main corridor set. For season 3, the set was extended and curves around the junior officers' quarters now. It is also directly attached to the holodeck and features an additional turbolift door now. In this scene, Picard and Worf are seen walking past the sickbay doors and then going through the new section of corridor, right up to the holodeck doors.
"The Naked Now"
No changes

TNG set in season 3
The label on the holodeck door is not recognizable in SD. The label can be read in HD: "Shuttle Bay 2. Caution Variable Gravity Area".
The small pot that is standing in front of Troi's mirror previously appeared in "Conspiracy" where it was filled with mealworms.
We can recognize the pot much better in HD.
The framing of this shot is slightly off, as a black border with the vertical interval timecode (VITC) can be seen at the top of the screen. There is no problem with the framing in TNG-R.
It seems the whole engineering station on the bridge is covered with black cardboard in this scene. We can clearly see the cardboard in HD too.
The USS Enterprise-D facing the Husnock ship in orbit of Delta Rana IV. The Husnock model will be extensively modified a couple of times for later appearances.
Redresses of the Husnock ship
The features of this very angular model are better recognizable in HD.
The matter replicator is a prop designed by Rick Sternbach. It was next seen as a medical console in "Transfigurations" and would later appear in many more episodes.
Design sketch

A close-up of the prop in HD.

Two tall sculptures are on display in the Uxbridge's garden, both have appeared before in several TNG episodes.

The sculpture on the left was also seen in Lwaxana Troi's quarters in "Haven" and Robinson's quarters in "The Outrageous Okona", while the sculpture on the right was also seen on Rubicun III in "Justice" and Aldea in "When the Bough Breaks".


The sculptures in HD.

"The Outrageous Okona"

"When the Bough Breaks"
The tool Kevin Uxbridge holds in this shot was also seen as an archaeological tool in "Qpid". It is also used by a colonist on Melona IV in "Silicon Avatar".

"Silicon Avatar"
A close-up of the device in HD.
The characteristic tea kettle (nice tea!) used by Rishon Uxbridge is a 9093 Tea Kettle designed by Michael Graves for Alessi.
9093 Tea Kettle
A close-up of the kettle in HD.
The Uxbridges have impeccable taste as far as their furniture in concerned. The only exception: the hideous chair they offer Picard to sit in. Note that the shiny fabric is similar to that of Deanna's pillow seen a few moments later. No changes

Troi wore a similar medical probe in "The Child", Picard wore one in "The Battle".

The scanner Crusher is holding appears for the first time (and only in this one episode?).

"The Battle"

"The Child"
A close-up of the patch and the scanner in HD.
Troi still uses the same type of colorful pillows she and her son had in "The Child". Her blanket also appeared in sickbay in "Shades of Gray", however.
"The Child"

"Shades of Gray"
No changes
The Husnock ship appears again, this time with a "meaner" third spike on the underside of its hull. The beam weapon effect was faithfully recreated for TNG-R.
The Husnock ship fires its unique energy weapon at the USS Enterprise-D.
The USS Enterprise-D fires back at the Husnock ship, utilizing phasers and photon torpedo volleys. The underside of the Husnock ship is partially hidden (and blurred) behind its energy shields. The reconstructed shield looks a bit less like a gray plastic box in TNG-R.
The forward shields of the Husnock ship. The effect is similar to the Borg personal shields in "Q Who".
"Q Who"
The Husnock ship in orbit of Delta Rana IV. The great scene in HD.
It seems the border of the moving star tapestry behind the windows of Troi's quarters is visible in this shot. In TNG-R, we can clearly identify the holes for the curtain hangers of the star backdrop. Look for the row of three white spots at the top, those are no stars!
A good look at the matte painting of Delta Rana IV featuring the Uxbridges' house. The blurriness of the original shot is gone in TNG-R.

This sculpture seen in the Uxbridge house was designed by C.Jeré and rented from Modern Props. It later appeared in several other Star Trek episodes. It was seen in the O'Briens' quarters on DS9 in "The Siege", for example.

The wall sconces are the same as in the cloning lab on Mariposa in TNG: "Up the Long Ladder".

"The Siege"

"Up the Long Ladder"
The props in HD.
The window is a modification of another window seen earlier on Ramatis III in "Loud as a Whisper". The round window frame was seen in several first and second season episodes, including "When the Bough Breaks", "We'll Always Have Paris" and "Unnatural Selection".
"When the Bough Breaks"

"Unnatural Selection"
No changes

"We'll Always Have Paris"

"Loud as a Whisper"
A good look at the aft section of the Husnock ship. We can see the details of the ship much better in HD.
The Husnock ship in orbit of Delta Rana IV shortly before the ship explodes.
The door to the observation lounge corridor is standing open in this scene. No changes

Something black on the bridge can be seen through the open ready room doors.

Guy Vardaman tells us: "Hey, that thing is a flag used to block light, usually mounted to a 'C-Stand.' So if they wanted to light Riker coming out of the ready room but not have a big shadow or beam of light coming out the door onto the bridge floor, they would block it with a flag like you are seeing."

No changes
The ready room painting of the USS Enterprise-D steals the scene in this scene. The painting in HD.

The engineering bridge stations in seasons 2 and 3.

Note the microphone reflection on the dark surface on the upper right.

"Time Squared"
No changes

Rishon disappears in a creepy fashion.

Also note that someone apparently forgot to close the ready room door.

The effect was reconstructed for TNG-R.
The Douwd calling himself Kevin Uxbridge in his true form. The appearance of the Douwd was reconstructed for TNG-R

The fish tank, which was previously seen in Picard's quarters in seasons 1 and 2, in Wesley's quarters in "The Dauphin" and in Dr. Paul Stubbs's guest quarters in "Evolution" appears in Troi's quarters in this episode. It is the last time we see another fish tank on the ship besides Livingston's.

The species of fish that can be identified in this and the other episodes are: yellow tangs, blue damselfish, Cortez rainbow wrasses and tomato clownfish.

"Where Silence Has Lease"

No changes

"The Dauphin"
A look at the true face of a Douwd. No changes
The appearance of Delta Rana IV on the main viewscreen is slightly different than earlier in the episode. In TNG-R, the appearance of the planet does not vary.
A rare shot of the complete principal cast together on the bridge of the USS Enterprise-D. The memorable shot in HD.



The stage layout comes from Star Trek Stages History. Thanks to Maxwell Everett for the hint about the VITC and to Richard Compton for the replicator sketch (it was on sale at liveauctioneers.com).


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