Star Trek: The Next Generation

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Question: Were people able to "lock" the Holodeck doors so that others couldn't just walk in on them? I don't recall an episode where the doors were locked that wasn't because of some malfunction. It seems like Lieutenant Barclay, for example, would either lock the doors during his "fantasies" or have some "fail-safe" that shuts the program off when being walked in on. Otherwise, it's just a really dumb thing to do (for him or anyone playing out a fantasy) knowing they could easily be caught.


Answer: Yes. The doors to the holodecks can be locked when in use by anyone aboard the Enterprise so they couldn't be disturbed. However, high ranking officers like Captain Picard could override the doors as it's seen that overrides are in use even for the crews quarters. Even Barclay, when he's indulging in one of his fantasies could have the doors to the holodeck unlocked by an override code.

Answer: He brought the Borg to the Alpha Quadrant and showed them that it was full of worlds waiting to be assimilated. Guinan's homeworld was their first stop, and they assimilated everyone and took over the planet, leaving The Survivors of her race without a home. Q is ultimately responsible for that.

Captain Defenestrator

By the time Q takes the Enterprise to meet the Borg, Guinan already knew who they were and they had already destroyed her world. Therefore the above answer can not be right. I believe Guinan is much more than she appears, and her people have had encounters with the Q in the past. It is these interactions, that obviously were not pleasant, that fuels her distrust.


That's what the above answer is saying. Q brought the Borg to the Alpha Quadrant (not Earth) and the Borg destroyed Guinan's home world in the late 2200's, which is why she hates Q. Although she met Q in 2160 and they both saw each other as enemies right away.


Skin of Evil - S1-E23

Question: Near the end when they are in the holodeck for the memorial ceremony for Lt. Yar, Dr. Crusher's uniform is green and seconds later it is blue. After watching it several times, it does not appear to be a trick of the light. What happened here? Why would she have on a green uniform in the first place?


Chosen answer: The uniform does indeed change colour. It may be due to the need for a green screen in part, or perhaps some lighting altering our perception. That being said, it certainly looks green at the start, blue thereafter.

The show has been done in HD now and not sure if they fix this problem.


Skin of Evil - S1-E23

Question: When the away team first beams down to the location where the shuttle has crash landed, the serial number on the separated nacelle is visible as 1701-D, as also seems to be inscribed on the shuttle itself. Shouldn't this serial number only appear on shuttles coming from the USS Enterprise?

Answer: The crashed shuttle is Shuttlecraft-13, which came from The Enterprise. Troi took it to the conference that she was returning from.


Ship in a Bottle - S6-E12

Question: Posting this as a question, rather than a mistake, as there may be a logical explanation. After Captain Picard, Barklay, and Data become tracked in the simulation of the Enterprise, several times we see them separate to different parts of the ship (Data going to Engineering while Captain Picard remains on the bridge, etc.) Since they are physically in the holodeck, close to each other, they're being tricked by the holodeck. Why, then, when Data throws his comm badge toward the warp core (to prove they're in the holodeck) does the holodeck not continue "tricking" them? If the simulation can cope with two people visibly walking further apart than the actual room, why wouldn't it use similar techniques to make it appear Data's badge just landed where he threw it?

Answer: The holodeck simulates walking away by making "treadmills" out of forcefields. If the badge was thrown near a real wall, it would not be able to allow it to actually pass through the wall. The physical barrier would still exist, even if a simulation of the badge was shown to go further. This would mean that it would still hit it and land on the ground.

Q Who? - S2-E16

Question: Picard orders the away team to be beamed from the Borg ship directly to the bridge of the Enterprise. If this was possible, why was there ever a need for anyone to go to a transporter room and stand on a transporter platform?

Answer: Several reasons. While it is possible to beam people to and from just about anywhere, for efficiency and safety there needs to be a centralized location. If an away team was being transported at the same time, then they are transported as a group from the platform and not from a random location within the ship. Transporting people to places other than to the transporter platform is risky and it is usually only done in extreme circumstances. Precise coordinates are needed to find and safely beam someone from one place to another. The bridge is an emergency transport site and the those coordinates are already known. It has also been seen that the transport can go awry. In that event, the transporter officer needs to be able to see what is happening in order to make adjustments to safely re-materialize the passengers. It has been mentioned in Star Trek canon that it is possible for someone being transported to re-materialize inside a bulkhead or some other object if the coordinates are incorrect or the surrounding environment had changed, thus injuring or killing them.


Ship in a Bottle - S6-E12

Question: How is Moriarty's simulation able to fool Data? Throughout the show Data is shown to have vastly superior senses to humans. Additionally, spatial tricks and forced perspective would be ineffective on him since he doesn't see the same way humans see. In another episode, Data is able to discern the incredibly slow movement of an object caught in time. It seems unlikely he would be unable to tell his surroundings were computer generated.

Answer: The programme was specifically written to be able to fool Data. As such, additional processing power may have been given to the holodeck projectors to ensure that even Data's more advanced senses were fooled. Additionally, it was never suggested that Data could tell the difference between holograms on the holodeck and real life.

Yesterday's Enterprise - S3-E15

Question: The ever-popular gag in this episode is that Worf consumes prune juice for the first time and declares that it is a "warrior's drink," to Guinan's amusement. However, Worf was adopted as a child by human parents, he grew up on Earth, he was highly educated and graduated Star Fleet Academy on Earth. Given the reputation of prune juice as a natural laxative throughout human history, how could Worf not know what prune juice is, having lived most of his life on Earth?

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: There's nothing to indicate that Worf had never heard of prune juice before, just that he had never tried it before. He doesn't recognize the smell or taste of the drink as prune juice because he's never had it before. But that doesn't mean he has no idea what prune juice is, or that it is used as a natural laxative. In a later episode Guinan directly asks Worf's parents why he never had prune juice prior to her serving him the drink. They answer that as a child Worf refused to eat human food of any kind, everything he consumed had to be Klingon. Other episodes show that Klingons tend to despise human food in general for being bland. It stands to reason that someone who shows no outward interest in human food might not know what prune juice is usually used for. But then again, maybe he does know and he doesn't care because prune juice is delicious to him.


Thanks for reminding me about that later episode, although I think the later prune juice explanation from Worf's adoptive parents was scripted to address many fan questions along the same lines as my own.

Charles Austin Miller

Show generally

Question: What's the name and race of the alien with six arms in one episode? They were a bartender on an alien world.

Answer: That sounds like it's from a Farscape episode.

Answer: Supplementing the other answer, in Farscape S3 "Suns and Lovers" there's Moordil, the bartender, who has multiple arms.

Super Grover

Show generally

Question: Whenever anyone wants to contact someone else from another part of the ship, they hit their badge and say (for example), "Picard to Engineering." In no episode ever is there an instance where we hear somebody call someone else who is not involved in the current scene. We should assume, therefore, that when communication like this is initiated, it is only heard by the recipient of the page. So the question is, how can the ship's communication system know ahead of time who the person is paging? In other words, if Picard says, "Picard to Engineering," what keeps sickbay from hearing his call? There can't be a time-delay (i.e., the computer does not make the page until it hears the entire page, and then directs it only to the intended recipient) because in many episodes we hear the reply right away. Can anyone explain this? Are we simply "lucky," in that we only hear pages made by or sent to people in the scene we're watching?

Matty Blast

Chosen answer: Enterprise's computer directs the call to the aforementioned department. It is then answered by the ranking member of the department. For instance, if Engineering was contacted, and Geordi was in sickbay or off duty, the call would be answered by whoever was "officer of the watch" in Engineering. Mainly, it wouldn't do much for the show to say, "Picard to engineering", "This is engineering, go ahead." "Yes, I'd like to speak to Geordi about some more phaser power, please", "One moment, I'll transfer you."

Grumpy Scot

There is a episode of Voyager where someone calls someone on their combadge and it gets rerouted to another station and someone else answers. Due to a communications error being fixed. The comm signal was rerouted.


Chosen answer: Planets that don't actually have a specific name tend to be referred to by the name of the star which they orbit and a number indicating how far out they are - so the planet Tau Ceti IV would be the fourth planet out from the star Tau Ceti. Under this system, our planet could be referred to as Sol III, but as it has a given name, that is used instead.


Coming of Age - S1-E19

Question: When Lieutenant Chang walks into the room, he says that Wesley, Oliana, T'Shanik and Mordock that even though all four of them are top candidates for entry into Starfleet Academy, only one of them will go. Why not just let all four of them go to Starfleet?

Answer: At any competitive college, university, academy, etc, there are only so many applicants accepted each year to maintain a program's quality. There would be many other candidates elsewhere who are also applying to Starfleet Academy, in addition to those four. This is also a plot device to showcase Wesley's role on the show and how he deals with competition, rejection, and not always being the smartest person. It's also a reason to explain why someone his age would still be on the Enterprise rather than moving on to higher education. (I just saw this episode again, and Lt. Chang does say only one candidate is being chosen from that specific location, indicating there are other candidates elsewhere who are competing).


The Best of Both Worlds (1) - S3-E26

Question: I can't tell if this was a mistake or if there's an explanation. When the Borg are on the Enterprise's bridge, the first two are covered in the green light indicating they're being transported back to the Borg ship, but the 3rd one (the one successfully shot by Worf) has no lights, he just fades away. Why?


Answer: The Borg use technology to cause the dead to disintegrate, presumably as a security measure to prevent their technology from being captured.

But in s05e23, "I, Borg", Riker says "the Borg collect their dead" when they encounter the injured Borg. Worf says to kill it and leave no evidence they were there so that when the Borg return to collect the dead member. Plus, there were 4 dead Borg and none of them disintegrated.


I believe "collect" refers to the disintegration. We see other Borg remove specific pieces of technology from the dead borg, which causes it to disappear.

Answer: Its possible that the Borg use a special transporter for living beings (which is the one with the green glow) and a different one for non-living things (which might not have a green glow). In Star Trek the federation uses a different type of transporter when moving bulk cargo than it does when moving people.


Relics - S6-E4

Question: When Scotty was at the door of the Holodeck, he calls for the bridge of the Enterprise, "no bloody A, B, C, or D." When the doors open, it's the bridge of the original ship. However, he was Chief Engineer on the refit Enterprise (no A). Besides the obvious "it's in the script", why didn't the computer ask for a distinction?

Movie Nut

Answer: As a product of 24th Century technology, the ship's computer is an example of extremely advanced artificial intelligence that is capable of intuiting deeper meanings based on inflection and speaker personality profiles. The computer probably (and correctly) intuited from Scotty's profile and the exasperated tone of his voice that he meant the original, unmodified Enterprise NCC 1701.

Charles Austin Miller

The Icarus Factor - S2-E14

Question: When Riker and his father are doing anbo-jyutsu, what do the Japanese characters on the armor and around the ring say or mean? I read what the spoken Japanese lines meant (or at least why they attempted to say, I understand their pronunciation was bad), but couldn't find the writing.


Answer: According to the Star Trek wiki (, the characters around the ring are a reference to animated series Urusei Yatsura: The large character in the center is "Hoshi", the words next that are "ramu" and "ataru", names of the main characters of that series. The phrases "Urusai" and "Yatsura" are written in the back corner. The characters on the uniforms are references to The Book of Five Rings: "chi", "mizu", and "hi" (ground, water, and fire respectively) is on Will Riker's uniform while "sora" (sky) is on Kyle's uniform in addition to "mizu" and "hi." "Yuri" (lily) and "nintai" (perseverance) are written on banners around the ring.


Answer: Star Station India was a Federation facility located in a sector adjacent to Gamma 7 sector.


Answer: He says "Counsellor, do you have a minute."

Show generally

Question: I get why counselor Troi would wear what may be considered civilian outfit or non-standard uniform, but why does she never wear her rank insignia for the first 5 or 6 seasons? In s5e5, "Disaster", it's revealed she has the rank of Lieutenant Commander and is in charge as the highest ranking officer on the bridge after the accident. Did I miss something, or was this just something the writers decided to add late into the series? In previous episodes, I never got the impression she was a bridge officer, or even had any Starfleet training, only on the bridge on the behest of Picard who wanted an Empath to help when encountering someone, or something, new. I never saw her take command in any situation (for example, Data whose rank was also Lieutenant Commander, was often seen taking command of the bridge for night duty or other reasons). Was there any previous episodes that mention her rank or training or shows her insignia, etc?


Answer: Troi always carried the rank of Lieutenant Commander, and does wear her rank insignia in the 1st episode of the series, "Encounter at Farpoint" while wearing the "skirt" uniform. She never takes command prior to the episode "Disaster" because at that point, she had not yet taken the Bridge Officer's Test. She passes this test in the Season 7 episode "Thine Own Self", at which point she becomes a line officer and is assigned bridge command during her duty shifts (though we never actually see this).


Chosen answer: Yes, Data's contacts did noticeably drift on occasion, which was a source of angst for Brent Spiner (who played Data and Lore). Spiner never had anything good to say about his yellow contact lenses, as they were his least favorite part of the lengthy makeup process. Rather than further discomfort Spiner by constantly adjusting the contacts, they would often just continue shooting in spite of this minor makeup malfunction, unless he looked positively cockeyed.

Charles Austin Miller

Show generally

Question: The Impulse engine on the back of the Dorsal section is lit during orbits, which is normal. However, should that engine not be lit, like the ones on the back of the saucer, when it is in Warp?

Movie Nut

Chosen answer: There's no reason for the impulse engines to be active when the ship is at warp speed. Within the show, warp is an entirely different method of propulsion (i.e. Warping space around the ship) and doesn't require thrust, which is what the impulse engines provide.

The Royale - S2-E12

Factual error: 30 seconds in Geordi says: 'surface temperature -291 degrees Celsius'. (The scale only goes down to -273.15 which is absolute zero). (00:00:30)

More mistakes in Star Trek: The Next Generation

Qpid - S4-E20

Worf: Captain, I must protest. I am not a merry man.

More quotes from Star Trek: The Next Generation

Trivia: Another joke from the set designers: whenever someone is in the Jeffries Tubes, you will see several pipes on the walls labeled "GNDN" this stands for "Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing."

More trivia for Star Trek: The Next Generation

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