Observations in TNG: "Who Watches the Watchers"

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

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

"Who Watches the Watchers" HD Screencaps @ TrekCore

Description TNG Other caps Comparison TNG to TNG-R Description TNG-R
The duck blind without its holographic cover. The shot in HD. Note the very different (and more natural) new hue.
We can see a script binder next to Deanna Troi's seat. The script binder is even better visible in HD.
The desk in the foreground is similar to the desks seen in the senior officers' crew quarters and Doctor Crusher's sickbay office. This is the first time that it is seen in black, though. The domed console in the background, holding the reactor to the station will later appear again on Gamma Hromi II in "The Vengeance Factor".
"The Vengeance
The interior of the duck blind in HD.
A look through the station's window. The rocks in the background are the real rocks at Vasquez Rocks. A speck of blue (maybe the sky or a blue screen) can be seen in the top left corner. The previous screenshot reveals, however, that a grate is normally found right next to the window. The speck of blue is not visible in the remastered version, and the rocks were replaced with the same ones that appear later in the episode.
The surface of Mintaka III was filmed at Vasquez Rocks. The location was used in several earlier TOS episodes and appeared in some later Star Trek episodes as well.
Re-Uses of the Vasquez Rocks Location
The view of the iconic rock formation in HD.
Three consoles of this type are seen inside the duck blind. The consoles were originally created for the classroom in "When the Bough Breaks". They were re-used in several TNG episodes and the fifth Star Trek film. We can recognize more details of the console in HD.
The view out of the duck blind window is completely different now, the rocks in the background are fake. There is also no longer a speck of blue in the top left corner. In TNG-R, the look out of the window is consistent.
The TNG scientist's uniform makes its first appearance in "Who Watches the Watchers". The uniform is also seen in many other TNG episodes, like "The Vengeance Factor", "Devil's Due" and "A Matter of Time" No changes
A look at a medical PADD.  Thanks to the HD transfer of the episode, the details can be seen much better now.
The unique patch on Liko's forehead is only seen in this episode. The details can be seen much better in HD.
Roughly the same shot of Vasquez Rocks as it appeared in the 60s during filming of "Shore Leave".
"Shore Leave"
No changes
The interior of the Mintakan living space is a re-use of the court on Tau Cygna V seen in "The Ensigns of Command" as can be seen in this and some later comparison screenshots.
"The Ensigns
of Command"
No changes
The sickbay wear is seen again after it debuted in "The Child". Beginning with this episode, the regular design of the medical gown, as seen in the rest of the series, is used. No changes
The same rock formation from nearly the same angle as many years earlier during the filming of "The Alternative Factor".
TOS: "The
Alternative Factor"
No changes

TOS: "The
Alternative Factor"
A Mintakan bird is briefly seen in this shot. A close-up of the bird in HD.
Due to the transporter effect, which was added in post production, the footage of Riker and Palmer beaming to sickbay appeared very blurry in the original episode. Because of the new editing technologies used by CBS-Digital, the shot looks much better now.
A good look at Mintaka III. The planet was later re-used as Betazed in "Ménage ā Troi" and Barkon IV in "Thine Own Self".
Re-Used Planets in TNG
A new planet appears in the remastered version of the episode.
Mintaka III as seen through the observation lounge windows.
Nuria is amazed to see her planet from space.

In the original episode, there's not only a reflection of the planet on the table plate but also on the marble table leg. As the leg is a little higher than the table plate, the reflection of the window frame is moved a little to the right in comparison to the reflection of the frame on the table plate. The reflection of the planet (added in post production) is not distorted in the same way, however.

The small error was corrected. In the remastered episode, there is no longer any reflection on the surface of the marble. Also, the planet has not rotated as far as it did in the original episode.
The starfield in the background behaves strangely in the episode. It is slowly moving to the left in the close-ups of Picard and Nuria but is static in the wider shot showing the two standing in the observation lounge.  No changes
Next to a shot in "Man of the People", this is the best look we ever get at the Constellation class model in Picard's ready room. The model in HD.
The screenshots from "The Ensigns of Command" and this episode clearly show that the same set was used in both episodes.
"The Ensigns
of Command"

"The Ensigns
of Command"
No changes
The screenshot from "Time Squared" reveals that the wall console to the left of the main sickbay door was not yet present in season 2. Consoles like this would continue to be a regular fixture of sickbays on Starfleet ships as the cap of Voyager's sickbay from "Rise" reveals. Also notice that the sickbay doors (like many others) were painted orange for season 3.
"Time Squared"

VOY: "Rise"
No changes
The bow used by Liko looks too far advanced for the more primitive Mintakans.  A close-up of the (fiberglass?) bow in HD.
Beginning in "Sarek", the Mintakan tapestry given to Picard at the end of this episode is later seen on his desk chair in his quarters in several TNG episodes. The tapestry was also seen in Picard's ready room aboard the USS Enterprise-E in "Star Trek: First Contact" and "Star Trek: Insurrection".

"Star Trek:
First Contact"
The famous shot in HD.


"Star Trek:
A final good look at planet Mintaka III. As can be seen by the shape of the continents, this is just a mirrored version of the same shot of the planet seen earlier in the episode.
Earlier in
this episode
The same is the case with the refined planet in TNG-R.



Thanks to James for the hint about the script binder.


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