This is the only other episode in the first season to feature Colm Meaney who was at the ops position in the series' pilot, 'Encounter At Farpoint' and would later become Transporter Chief O'Brien in season 2.
Edward R. Brown's cinematography is particularly dark in this episode, and uniquely among Trek so far features an entire deck being "blacked out" at night. After this episode the lighting levels on the Enterprise-D would gradually increase, although the series' lighting remained quite low-key by Star Trek (or even television in general) standards until his replacement by Marvin V. Rush in the third season.
A model of an original USS Enterprise shuttlecraft is visible when the bridge crew plans their mutiny. Also glimpsed very briefly, behind Beverly Crusher, there is a silver model of a Constitution-class starship. This starship is seen more prominently in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Battle (1987).
This is the first episode of Star Trek to be directed by Cliff Bole. He would go on to direct a further 24 episodes of The Next Generation including "The Best of Both Worlds", as well as seven episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) and ten episodes of Star Trek: Voyager (1995).
The original story by Michael Halperin contained a different subplot involving a problem with the dilithium in the warp drive of the Enterprise. The diplomatic conference was added by D.C. Fontana when it was developed into a teleplay.
The Selay and the Anticans were nicknamed the "snakes and the dogs" by the production staff. The designs were created by Andrew Probert, who had previously been responsible for the design of the Enterprise-D. The make-up used on them were created by supervisor Michael Westmore, which involved full head pieces and hands for two Anticans and five Selays. Because of the limited space available, the Anticans were made internally in the Paramount make-up studio while the Selays were outsourced to a different studio to sculpt the head. Once completed, a mold was made of the Selay head and the unpainted pieces were cast in latex and sent to Westmore to complete. It was intended to cast them out of lightweight polyurethane, but the first batch of Selay heads came out really heavy.
Although this is the only major appearance of either the Anticans or the Selay, they continued to be used as background extras in other episodes of The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993).
Director Cliff Bole remembered this episode: "They got a lot of calls for that. They just wanted to do some kind of shocker. You've never seen anything like it since. I don't recall that being one of my better shows, but I worked as hard on that episode as on anything else. The subject matter affects the end product. There are some better written shows, obviously."
Michael Westmore had time to re-cast two of the Selay heads from a soft foam rubber, but as each took five hours to make, there wasn't enough time to re-make all five. The heavier versions of the Selay heads were worn by actors in the background of the scenes, although Westmore described them as being "very uncomfortable".
Marc Alaimo makes his first Star Trek appearance as Badar N'D'D. He went on to play Tebok, Macet, and Frederick La Rouque before taking on the recurring role of Dukat in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993).
This episode marks the first appearance of Jim McElroy as one of the Selay delegates. He auditioned for this part and shot it in two days being the scenes in the transporter room the first scenes to be shot. His makeup was applied by Michael Westmore and he had a makeup call of about 4:30 am. He later appeared as a recurring background actor during the first four seasons of The Next Generation and in the fourth season of Star Trek: Enterprise (2001).