Star Trek: The Next Generation

The Battle - S1-E9

New this month Question: Why didn't Captain Picard activate the Stargazer's auto destruct sequence when he gave the order to abandon ship?

Darth Crucible

Realm of Fear - S6-E2

New this week Question: After the plasma explosion in engineering, Geordi called for Counselor Troi, but did he say "Kathryn"?

cc99

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

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?

con8iv

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.

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?

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

Bishop73

Samaritan Snare - S2-E17

Question: As Data says his line about hydrogen collectors, does his left contact seem to be out of place?

Movie Nut

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

Ship in a Bottle - S6-E12

Question: Is Moriarty aware that he is a character on a TV show? If Reg is the only real character in Moriarty's holodeck simulation then why does Moriarty continue his ruse when Reg is not in the scene? To keep the viewer engaged? Was this an inside writers joke?

Chosen answer: Moriarty's holodeck simulation was also created as a deception for Picard and Data, who are also real. Moriarty does realise that he is a holodeck creation based on a character in the Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes novels. However, he was imbued with self-awareness when he was originally created by Geordi as a villain "capable of defeating Data" in the episode, "Elementary, Dear Data." Over time, he overcomes his own programming and achieves sentience, hence his desire to be liberated from the limitations of holodeck space.

Michael Albert

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.

Jason Hoffman

Yesterday's Enterprise - S3-E15

Question: The motivation for this episode seems to be returning the Enterprise 1701-C to its own timeline 22 years in the past, where it will certainly be destroyed by Romulan warbirds; yet, the heroism of sacrifice will avert a protracted 22-year war with the Klingon Empire as well as avert tens of billions of Federation deaths. QUESTION: Why didn't they just SWITCH CREWS and send the far more advanced Enterprise 1701-D through the time rift and 22 years into the past? Using its advanced weaponry, defenses, and sheer speed, the Enterprise D could have easily defeated the old Romulan warbirds, saved Tasha Yar, averted the 22-year Klingon war, and saved 40 billion Federation lives. Additionally, sending the truly futuristic 1701-D into the past could have then exponentially advanced Starfleet technology into the future, making the Federation virtually invincible to its traditional enemies. It would seem that this would be the more noble, heroic and logical action of a Starfleet crew - to save lives and advance Federation survival. It would have certainly been a more thought-provoking episode, anyway.

Charles Austin Miller

Chosen answer: A similar question was actually asked during the episode. Captain Garrett of the Enterprise 1701-C questioned Captain Picard about the possibility of outfitting the older model Enterprise with modern technology to give them a better chance of defeating the Romulans. However, changing the course of history is pretty much forbidden in the Star Trek universe. It would be impossible to predict the impact on the future. It would be playing with fate. It just wasn't to be done. For example, suppose the updated Enterprise "C", or the replacement Enterprise "D" were to still be defeated and captured, and all of that advanced technology were to fall into Romulan hands? The impact on the timeline would be far different than the one you lay out. Guinan, with her extrasensory perception, pretty much gives Picard the solution to restoring the timeline to what she knows, and Picard eventually trusts, to be the correct one. Send the Enterprise "C" back into the time rift. For me, the only VERY perplexing question would be why Picard would EVER allow Tasha Yar to return to the past in the Enterprise 1701-C. This, we later come to know, led to Tasha's offspring becoming a Romulan military leader, thus altering the timeline, anyway. It seemed a very foolish move, based solely on emotional reasons (and a dramatic plot line).

Michael Albert

Relics - S6-E4

Question: On the Enterprise-D, Scotty asks to see the bridge of his old ship. The computer shows him the original Constitution class bridge. After the refit, before the A was added, it was referred to as a Constitution class as well as Enterprise class. So, why didn't the computer show Scotty the refit bridge?

Chosen answer: "Enterprise class" has always been an apocryphal term, mainly used in expanded universe material; so it simply might not exist in the actual universe of the series. The computer might also infer from the parameters "my old ship" and "No bloody A - B - C - or D!" that he means the original bridge.

Captain Defenestrator

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?

Chosen 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.

raywest

Show generally

Question: Is it me, or do the turbo-lifts lack the double-door, as our current-day elevators have?

Chosen answer: Whilst there does not appear to be a double door (one for the deck and one for the turbolift itself), the fact that we never see the door left behind in interior shots, or the door move away from the deck in exterior shots, we must assume there is a secondary door. Perhaps with the advanced technology it is just much thinner than we are used to.

Show generally

Question: What is this connection that Guinan and Picard have that goes "deeper than friendship or family"? I just don't understand where it has come from. Am I missing something?

tattoojunkie

Chosen answer: If you recall the episode with the traveller, who takes the Enterprise out of their galaxy to one neighbouring Triangulum, we are introduced to the concept that time and space are not the "separate things they appear to be" (see season 1 episode "where no one has gone before"). This theme runs rampant throughout the series, and novels. In particular, we learn of the El Aurian's sensitivity to shifts in the space time continuum: remember the movie with the Nexus? Anywho, Picard and Guinan are intertwined lifeforms in multiple realities and timelines. In a later season, he goes back in earth time to rescue Data, and ends up saving Guinan's life: she is uniquely aware of this in her past, and knows who he is before he knows that would save her life in the future. Also, because Picard travelled back in time to be the hero, his younger self fresh out of the academy on his first captain's assignment on the starship Stargazer comes into contact with Guinans in a novel from the Stargazer series that ties up even more lose ends; after her world was destroyed, her depression so deep, created a Guinan we would be hard pressed to recognize: but she recognizes Picard as a young man in trouble with the planet's law enforcement and comes to his aid. There are other links as well, but rest assured that their connection is one that does not hold description in any language we understand: it's one that is part of the fabric of the universe, of which they share a kind of common thread. Picard is also uniquely linked to Q, but that is another thread!

Show generally

Question: Was Picard really speaking French for the entire show's run and he only made sense thanks to the universal translator?

thestablefanatic

Chosen answer: No. There are small instances on "Star Trek: TNG" where Picard speaks French on board the Enterprise, without the Universal Translator altering it. Were he always speaking French, the Universal Translator would make no distinction when he was speaking French as a matter of course, or speaking French for a particular effect. In the episode "Code of Honor", Data refers to French as an "archaic language" on Earth, to which Picard takes umbrage. I suspect Data would have known if Picard were actually speaking French at the time.

Michael Albert

Parallels - S7-E11

Question: Whenever I see this episode rerun, they leave out the scene where Picard suddenly appears at Worf's surprise party. This is a somewhat crucial scene, in my opinion, because it is one of the first clues (other than the cake switching flavors) that something isn't quite right. Why is this scene no longer shown? Is it simply due to the desire for more advertising time? Are other episodes cut like this?

Matty Blast

Chosen answer: The most common reason rerun TV series are edited is to allow for more advertising time. They can also speed up the show's running time, which is unnoticeable but gives more seconds to be sold to advertisers. Cable TV channels are allowed to have more advertising than network TV channels, and they do whatever they can to increase revenue. It does result in episodes often being choppy and the story line a bit confusing. Now channels are also overlapping the end of one show while showing the start of another one by using a split screen, giving them even more time to sell to advertisers.

raywest

Deja Q - S3-E13

Question: Why does Guinan have an intense hatred for Q?

Chosen 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

Show generally

Question: Are there more than three Star Fleet uniform colors? In the episode where Dr. Crusher is pulled into an alternate dimension aboard the Enterprise, there is an older science officer (not a recurring character) who is wearing a green uniform. When he is next to Dr. Crusher in her blue uniform, the difference is quite noticeable. Red is command, blue is sciences and medical, and gold is engineering, security, and ship services. What would green be for? I've only seen it in this one episode.

raywest

Chosen answer: The colors of the uniforms (like the models of the uniforms) change a lot. In the time frame of the original series for example the command color was gold/yellow and red was engineering. In TNG these colors are switched and altered. Also, the blue color for science has been more greenish in other periods of (Star Trek) time. And finally, uniform alterations are, to some extend, accepted (Troy often wears more casual clothing on duty and Worf adds cultural decorations to his uniform. To conclude: the green uniform might be a character's choice or an older type of uniform.

Cetan

Show generally

Question: Something that's bugged me ever since becoming a Star Trek fan: Why do none of the ships featured in this or any other Star Trek series have seat-belts or some futuristic equivalent for their bridge crews? Practically every time, for example, the Enterprise comes under heavy attack, consoles and panels start exploding and crew members are thrown from their chairs and shown flying through the air. To me this seems a very obvious oversight.

Chosen answer: The ships have inertial dampeners, they don't really need seatbelts. And consoles aren't really supposed to be exploding. When the do, would you really want to be lashed in place so your face and torso take the full force of it?

Phixius

Show generally

Question: I know that this is such a small detail, but it's been bugging me for a while and google has been no help. In the original series, the command uniforms were gold and security was red, but in Next Gen and everything thereafter, it has been reversed to command being red and security being gold. Anyone know why the change was made? I'm looking for a real world explanation, not a continuity one as I already found one of those. Thanks.

Chosen answer: When ST:TNG went into production, television had changed drastically from the time the original series aired in the 1960s. Not only were special effects far more advanced, but editing, camera angles, set design, lighting, color schemes, types of film used, and so on, were all very different. It was likely a decision of what looked best from an artistic-design point-of-view to give the series a fresh, updated look as well as to reflect how much Star Fleet had changed since Captain James T. Kirk's time. Red is also a very prominent color, and it draws the viewer's eye to it, and to the character wearing it. Therefore, that became the command color. Also of note is that the "old" uniforms, as of the Star Trek original series movies, had more or less universally switched to red uniforms with smaller department insignia. Thus, chronologically they removed colour coding in favour of pure red for everyone, and then decided to bring back colour coding - but retained the red for command instead of switching back to the old way.

raywest

Q Who? - S2-E16

Question: Where exactly was the lone Borg cube heading and why was it so far away from the Delta Quadrant?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: Q brought the Borg ship to the Alpha Quadrant. He used his powers to alert the Borg of the human existance. Once alerted it is the nature of the borg to persue assimilating other cultures.

Boobra

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

Question: Why did the Borg dispatch only one ship to sector 001 in their attempt to assimilate humanity? Why not three or maybe even four or five?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: One Borg ship is usually enough. You notice, they were only able to destroy it because their assimilation of Picard ended up giving his crew a unique 'backdoor' into their system. No one had ever tried to retrieve an assimilated crewman before, because it is usually such a futile effort. So if the Borg feel that one ship is enough, they will send one ship. They are big on efficiency. Sending more ships diverts ships away from other potential targets and missions.

Garlonuss

Hide and Q - S1-E10

Question: What was the reason behind Q giving Riker the power of the Q?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: Q is a rather nasty entity hell-bent on proving that the human race are NOT the nice guys they make out to be. Q and Riker simply don't like each other and Q gives Riker the power of Q to prove a point...that power corrupts. And it almost does to Riker who uses his Q power to help, then to squander. Riker finally realizes that he's being corrupted by the power and gives it up, showing Q that he can't be swayed to the dark side.

CCARNI

Show generally

Question: This has been lingering on my mind since I saw "Conspiracy." What happens if a "Captain-eyes-only" message comes in and the captain is off the ship and not easily accessible? Is the message transfered, or does the captain give his first officer permission to view the message?

Chosen answer: It would depend on just how innaccesible the Captain was. If possible the message would be transferred. Otherwise, in the Captain's absence, the first officer would be the acting Captain and would be permitted to view the message.

Phixius

Show generally

Question: Does anyone know what is the order of replacement for the captain on the Bridge? All I know is that Riker is the first, but is it the captain's choice after that?

Chosen answer: According to rank and seniority, the chain of command is: Picard, Riker, Data, LaForge, Troi and Worf as of the series finale. Troi was added when she took command school, Tasha Yar would have been between Geordi and Worf, and Wesley or Ro Laren would have been after Worf had they not left the Enterprise.

Grumpy Scot

Show generally

Question: I have a question about the cloaking technology all through the Star Trek universe. Does the cloak actually turn the ship using it invisible, or does it just hide the ship from being "seen" by other ships sensors? In other words, if a ship was cloaked and invisible to the view screen on the bridge, could someone looking out of a porthole still see the ship?

Chosen answer: The cloaking device makes the ship invisible to other ships' sensors and to the naked eye. This was evidenced in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home where the Klingon vessel Kirk time travels back to the 20th C. in is hidden from humans while it is in Golden Gate Park and when it hovers over the whaling vessel.

raywest

The Battle - S1-E9

Question: When Picard is preparing to use the Stargazer to attack the Enterprise, Data states that all its main systems are intact, and that only some minor damage was caused by fires during the earlier battle. If the Stargazer's in such good shape, why did Picard have to abandon it?

DaveJB

Chosen answer: The Stargazer was seriously damaged in the previous battle, which is why she had to be abandoned. When the Ferengi salvaged her, they repaired the damage to the major systems in order to get her functional, but didn't bother with the minor fire damage.

Tailkinker

Season 2 generally

Question: Can anyone tell me why Dr. Crusher was written out for all of series two?

Chosen answer: According to the "Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion," Gates McFadden was replaced as ship's Doctor by Dr. Katherine Pulaski (Diana Muldaur) because some of the show's producers were able to convince Gene Roddenberry that the character of Dr. Crusher was not developing well. Fans began a letter-writing campaign to bring McFadden back, and at the end of the second season, Roddenberry decided to replace Dr. Pulaski, saying the chemistry just wasn't good. Rather than finding a third doctor for the Enterprise, the decision was made to ask McFadden to return, and she accepted. Roddenberry later said, "It was always our intention to leave the door open for her to return to the show."

Show generally

Question: At the end of one episode, Picard orders the helmsman to set course for "Archer 4." What TNG episode did Picard say this in?

Chosen answer: It's the beginning of "Yesterday's Enterprise".

Sierra1

Parallels - S7-E11

Question: Even though Worf keeps jumping from parallel universe to parallel universe, he never encounters his double (i.e., the Worf from the universe he jumped into). At the end, when the Enterprise from Worf's final alternate universe contacts the "real" Enterprise, there's a Worf on the bridge with the "real" crew. Does this mean that every time Worf moved into a different reality, all the other Worfs shifted around as well?

Matty Blast

Chosen answer: Correct. When Worf jumps, the other Worfs jumped also. That is how the other Enterprise (the one with the same signature as the Worf the episode follows) knew what was going on.

Bruce Minnick

Show generally

Question: Is there a reason why all planets (except earth) have a number attached to their names? Or is that never explained?

Matty Blast

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.

Tailkinker

11001001 - S1-E15

Question: Is Jonathon Frakes actually playing the trombone in the night club scene?

Chosen answer: Yes - he's played the instrument for many years.

Tailkinker

Show generally

Question: All of the computer monitors on TNG are referred to as "LCARS." What does LCARS mean?

Chosen answer: It is short for "Library Computer Access and Retrieval System", the ship's computer system.

Twotall

Show generally

Question: This actually applies to every Star Trek series but it features most prominently here: Exactly what purpose do the little dots seen moving across the bottom of every bridge main viewer serve? There's no mention of them in any technical manual or website that I've seen yet they seem to be a fairly standard feature of Federation starships from any era.

Chosen answer: According to Micheal Okuda (technical supervisor of Trek) they are the future's version of a computer monitor's "refresh rate".

Grumpy Scot

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

Show generally

Question: Who can use the holodecks at their discretion? I've never seen a holodeck numbered higher than five. Lieutenant Barclay can obviously use them whenever he likes, though he got in trouble for it. Are they just for officers? Does an ensign have to surrender a holodeck if a Commander want to use it?

Chosen answer: I'm sure there are more than 5 holodecks. Also, judging from DS9, you generally would schedule use on a holodeck. Finally, though incredibly cool to us, that's pretty routine for the TNG crew. They read, play instruments, take fighting classes, dance lessons, put on plays, do personal research projects, etc to fill their off-duty time. Getting in holodeck time might be pretty easy! We never see average crewmen using the holodecks as the stories just aren't about them. I'm sure they use them too. I imagine the only way someone has to surrender a holodeck is if the officers need it for research (like the episode where the subspace aliens were kidnapping them or Geordi turned into one of those glowing blue aliens) or when using it in conflict with accepted StarFleet conduct (as Barclay did by using the crew in his fantasies).

Grumpy Scot

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Quotes

Capt. Picard: Make it so.

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Mistakes

In the beginning of this episode, Riker orders Geordi (who was navigator at the time) to increase to Warp 6. In response, Geordi replies, "Aye sir, full impulse."

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Trivia

The cast really are very good friends. At LeVar Burton's wedding in 1992, the best man was Brent Spiner and the ushers were Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes and Michael Dorn. And when Brent Spiner recorded an album (Ol' Yellow Eyes is Back), the backing groups listed as The Sunspots are again the male members of the bridge crew.

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