When Troi heads to Engineering, she refers to Riker as "Bill." This is the first time in the series anyone has called the second-in-command by that particular variation of his first name. Troi later calls him by it again in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Haven (1987).
When Riker and Data are looking at the view-screen showing the Tsiolkovsky's bridge with the blown-out hatch, you can see a plaque just behind Data with the name of the ship written in Russian Cyrillic text. This is the only instance in any Star Trek series where the ship's name is displayed in a language other than English.
Data uses a couple of contractions in this episode - "That's blown out", "I'm sure he meant now". It was later established in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Datalore (1988) that Data has an inability to use contractions.
Data would later speak of his and Tasha Yar's intimate encounter in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Measure of a Man (1989), making an exception to his vow never to mention it to others. It was also shown that Picard and Riker knew or eventually became aware of the encounter, and that Data considered both Yar and the experience to be special to him. Data's "fully functional" sexual anatomy and knowledge of multiple techniques would also be referenced in Star Trek: First Contact (1996).
The scene on the bridge where Data goes to lean on the non existent chair after his conversation with Captain Picard about being fully fuctional and ends up falling on the floor was not in the script but was added by Brent Spiner on the set. The director was pleased at Brent's idea and left it in the final cut.
According to Wil Wheaton, Jonathan Frakes sharply criticized this episode, going so far as to calling it the worst episode he ever did, saying he felt "totally ashamed" by it. However, while recalling the first season (at a time near the end of the series), Frakes noted on how much greater the chances the writers took on the show than they did at the end of the series. In contrasting Star Trek: The Next Generation: Skin of Evil (1988), which he described as "absurd" and one of that season's "misses", he described this episode as "great" in as far as it being "the episode which we've never done anything quite like where everyone got drunk and horny. That was risky."
This is the only episode of the series where Picard refers to Beverly Crusher as "Bev", although Troi would refer to Crusher by this name much later in the series, in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Sub Rosa (1994).
When the crew research the previous incident with the original Enterprise, the computer shows a diagram of the movie refit version rather than the TV version. This was apparently deliberate, with the production team not wanting to acknowledge the now-dated look of the original TV series and always using movie-style aesthetics to mean "old ships." This policy changed later on in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Relics (1992) when we finally get to see the original Enterprise bridge again, and in the Blu-ray release, which changed the diagram to the TV version.
During the scan of the records, we quickly see a bird (Parrot) with a barely distinguishable human head (Gene Roddenberry's) on a perch wearing a Starfleet uniform, complete with insignia. This is a reference to Gene's fan inspired nickname, "The Great Bird Of The Galaxy."
The story went through various stages of wackiness in its early rewrites. At least one draft played it more seriously, using the polywater virus as an opportunity to explore the new characters and what makes them tick (as per Star Trek: The Naked Time (1966)), but the shooting script dropped most of this character background in favor of massive amounts of comedy instead.
According to its dedication plague, the SS Tsiolkovsky was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the USSR on Stardate 40291.7. Understandably, it was not foreseen that the Soviet Union would collapse on December 25, 1991, only four years after this episode was broadcast.
A major plot point of this episode is Wesley's "invention" of a repulser beam, which is treated as an ingenious idea. However in the original Trek episode Star Trek: Who Mourns for Adonais? (1967) when the Enterprise is being held in a force field, Kirk orders Sulu to modify their tractor beams to repel against the field. So Wesley's idea was not as out of the box as it appears to be.
As seen in the scenes set in main engineering, the main engineering central interface console (the "pool table") hasn't been added to the set yet. In addition, the glass partitions seen in main engineering were removed after this episode and never seen again.
The limerick that Data quotes, was written by Star Trek (1966) writer David Gerrold. The complete version of the limerick can be found in the third book of his War Against the Chtorr series: A Rage for Revenge.
This is the only appearance of Lieutenant Commander Sarah MacDougal as chief engineer. After this episode, Lieutenant Commander Argyle, Lieutenant Logan, and Lieutenant Commander Leland T. Lynch all served as chief engineers of the Enterprise-D. As described by Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Where No One Has Gone Before (1987), the Enterprise-D had several chief engineers before Geordi La Forge assumed the position as the ship's sole chief engineer in Season 2.
George Takei said in his autobiography, To The Stars, that he thought this episode was a total copy of one of the best Star Trek (1966) original series episodes (Star Trek: The Naked Time (1966)), that it was unoriginal, and it was like seeing "young children putting on their parents' clothes and trying to act like grown-ups."
On the similarities between this episode and The Naked Time, director Paul Lynch commented, "The same basic story holds true, in that the Enterprise contracts something from another ship and the crew begins to change. Because it's a new case, they change accordingly. Everybody drops the way they are and lets their inhibitions come out. I'd say that 'The Naked Now' is slightly more comic than the original. In that show, [Sulu] picked up a sword and started running around with it. In this it's much more of a character change in the way of romance and strangeness leading to humor...It's all quite subtle compared to the original, because the original episode was quite heavy-handed like most of the original episodes were."
Although literature for many years had referred to the original USS Enterprise as "Constitution-class", this was the first episode in any series that actually used it in its dialog, thus making it canon for the very first time - even though, as the TOS reference is made, the refit configuration appears on the screen. In the blu-ray restoration it has been corrected to the original model of the ship.
Maurice Hurley commented on the episode, "That, to me, represented, 'Don't we have a new idea? I didn't like that show at all. It just wasn't very good. What it did show, though, was that the new ensemble could interact, and that there were relationships between them that worked. But doing it was terrible. It was a warmed over premise. Why do it?"
Like the dedication plaque, the door labels on the Tsiolkovsky, indicating that the away team beamed to deck 7 on the ship, feature black writing on a white background, both unusual when compared to later plaques and labels.
The plot of this episode was based upon _The Naked Time_(qv_. Like that episode, this one was intended by Gene Roddenberry to serve as a means to quickly introduce the wants and needs of new characters. Rick Berman maintained, "It was an homage, not a copy. We even mentioned the old Enterprise and its remedy, which doesn't help our crew...after all."
In 2012, Paul Lynch stated that this episode was his favourite of the five Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) episodes he had directed. He commented, "I would say 'The Naked Now' is slightly more adult and much more comic. In this, it's much more of a character change in the way of romance and strangeness leading towards humor. Everybody in the show is affected by it in different ways, but not that dissimilar. For instance, while one person might be affected by becoming amorous in a lighter sense. It's all quite subtle."
A piece of background artwork seen behind Data was the Tsiolkovsky dedication plaque, which lists the ship's NCC number and its origin in the USSR, a nation that disintegrated four years after this episode was produced. Starfleet usually places the plaque on the bridge, but the Tsiolkovsky had its plaque in the anteroom outside the bridge where Riker and Data examined a viewscreen.
Ron Jones composed two cues that were cut from the finished episode. "Needing Love" was to have underscored the scene where Tasha talks about her feelings. "Horny Doctor" was to have played during the scene between Beverly and Picard in the ready room. Jones attributes Rick Berman with the decision to cut the cues, recalling that Berman asked him, "Can't you write anything non-emotional?"
More artwork was created for a sequence where Data views information at high speed. A number of notable designs are mixed into the graphics, such as ship designs from the FASA role-playing reference works.
This episode marks the first time in The Next Generation someone from the production staff can be seen. This time the reflection of a camera operator can be seen in the glass front in sickbay during the final scene. Further production staffers who can be seen include two unknown men in "Angel One", Bill Gocke in "Unification II", an unknown man in "Time's Arrow", June Abston Haymore in "Birthright, Part I", and a boom operator in "Journey's End".