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"Star Trek: The Next Generation" Descent: Part 1 (TV Episode 1993) Poster

Trivia

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Stephen Hawking was on the Paramount lot for the video release of his film A Brief History of Time (1991). He asked the staff "Could you take me out of my chair and put me in the captain's chair?" His request was granted.
Stephen Hawking is the only person to appear as himself in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987).
When Stephen Hawking says "Wrong again Albert", its a reference to the Professor's life in physics. He's disproved some of Albert Einstein's theory.
Stephen Hawking, while appearing as guest star, asked the crew to make a tour of the Enterprise. When he saw the Warp drive he said "I'm working on that..."
The Borg building is the Brandeis-Bardin Institute. Its more famous for playing the Command Centre in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993).
Although many Borg appear in the final scene, only eleven extras were used (limited by the available wardrobe). They were multiplied using split-screen overlays.
The only Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) episode to feature the episode title in the prologue sequence before the opening credits.
The eyepiece on Crosis is identical to the medallion on Worf's sash.
No live effects were used for the phaser fight; all flames and sparks were added in post-production.
Jonathan Del Arco had previously had no exposure to Star Trek, much less the Borg, prior to being cast in the episode "I, Borg." Afterwards, he was keen to return, and pitched several story ideas to the producers, one of which he says was quite similar to the "Descent" story.
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The first instance in which the holodeck safety protocols were asked to be disabled. In this instance, Data says it takes two command level officers to disable the safety protocols. In other series, that would change to a single command level officer.
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The Borg ship in this episode strongly resembles the "multikinetic neutronic mine" design which will be seen in Star Trek: Voyager: Scorpion: Part 2 (1997).
This takes place in 2369.
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This episode is the third time that the Enterprise-D is commanded by a female officer (Beverly Crusher). Tasha Yar was the first female in command of the ship while Commander Riker was supervising repairs at the holodeck in "The Big Goodbye". Deanna Troi was in command of the Enterprise-D during the episode "Disaster", as the highest ranking officer known to be alive after the ship was struck by quantum filaments.
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47-reference: Stephen Hawking has "four sevens" and a jack at the poker table.
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The plot was inspired by the novella Heart of Darkness.
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The Borg building (the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in real life) was also used as Camp Khitomer in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
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Newton makes a reference to the day the apple fell on his head as the day science was born. In Voyster "Death Wish" we learn that the apple fell on his head because Q shook the tree.
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The scene in which the Enterprise is traveling through the transwarp conduit is reminiscent of the energy vortex that the Enterprise entered in the TNG episode "Time Squared".
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Two starship naming firsts are made in this episode. The USS Crazy Horse is the first named after a Native American, while the USS Gorkon is the first named for a non-Human individual, Klingon Chancellor Gorkon.
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The matte painting used to portray the Federation outpost on Ohniaka III was with slight changes previously seen as the Darwin Genetic Research Station in TNG "Unnatural Selection" and as the Arkaria Base in TNG "Starship Mine".
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During the poker game, Einstein has trouble with the math of how much the next bet is. Newton asked if Einstein could do "simple arithmetic". It is a commonly held myth that he could not. In fact, he was quite brilliant as a child, and began teaching himself higher math when he had outpaced his schooling.
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Darien Wallace, a background character played by long-time extra Guy Vardaman, receives his last name in this episode.
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Several costumes and props from this episode were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including Tom Morga's borg costume.
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The security ensign in the brig is a Bajoran who wears a Bajoran earring. This was referenced in a cut line of Crosis' from the script: "Bajoran. Puncture the lower ventricle of the heart. Death is immediate."
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In his foreword to The Physics of Star Trek, Hawking jokingly wrote that after "winning" the holodeck card game, he called Paramount Pictures to try and cash in his chips, "but they didn't know the exchange rate."
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The banners inside the Borg fortress display the Borg emblem designed by Rick Sternbach, and first seen aboard the Borg ship in "Q Who" (1989). However the emblem is displayed upside down, reflecting the status of these Borg as renegades from the Collective.
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Stephen Hawking would later be played by another Star Trek actor: Benedict Cumberbatch played the title character in Hawking (2004) before appearing in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).
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47 reference: Einstein says that Stephen Hawking raised Data 4, which means that the bet is 7 to himself.
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In this episode Data says "I believe I've experienced my first emotion". However, in the episode "Deja Q", Data experiences a brief moment of laughter, which he then describes as "a wonderful... feeling".
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Producers originally intended for the cliffhanger ending to be a crash landing by the Enterprise saucer section. However, budgetary constraints resulted in the idea being scrapped, and the crash landing of the saucer would instead be depicted in Star Trek Generations.
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In one of the few identical shooting sites used by both TOS and TNG (besides Vasquez Rocks), the oak-studded hillside seen just before Lore's fortress is spotted was the same location used for Spock and Leila's discussion of rainbows and dragons in TOS: "This Side of Paradise".
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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