After the first jump, LaForge says that the Enterprise has traveled a distance of 2.7 million light years, ending up on the far side of the Triangulum galaxy, a.k.a. M-33. The distance to M-33 was very uncertain at the time this episode was made, with estimates varying between 2 and 3 million light years. Interestingly, the best modern estimates are indeed concentrated around 2.7-2.8 million light years.
Argyle was referred to by Riker as one of the Enterprise's chief engineers. This would indicate that the ship had a team of chief engineers as opposed to a single person holding the position. In all likelihood, the concept was referred to due to the expectation of a turnover of actors playing the part of the chief engineer, as the role was not played by a regular cast member during the first season.
While shooting the scene in this episode where Riker tells Picard "It wasn't him, it never was. It was his assistant", Jonathan Frakes had some difficulty saying the line and eventually could not say it without breaking into a laugh. According to Patrick Stewart, the event soon spread "like a bushfire" throughout the set, to point where sound mixer, Alan Bernard, had to wheel his sound cart off the set as he also could not stop laughing. Stewart later recalled this story to Frakes in 2012 at the Calgary Comic-Con Expo, where he still couldn't say the phrase very well.
During the second jump (to the unknown part of the Universe), the Enterprise's view-screen shows several objects through which the ship appears to be passing. The last of those objects is the famous Ring Nebula - a planetary nebula about 2300 light years from Earth.
Despite The Traveler's admonition to Picard never to discuss their conversation regarding Wesley with either him or his mother, in "Journey's End", both Beverly and Wesley discuss that conversation as if they had full and open knowledge of it.
Although it is stated that it would take the Enterprise-D 300 years to travel the 2.7 million light years home, it is later stated that it would take Voyager 70 years to travel 70,000 light years, which means the Enterprise-D is 9 times faster than Voyager at maximum warp.
Rob Bowman remembers, "It was a very enlightening script, the likes of which you don't very often see on television. I felt very fortunate that it was such a great script, but, personally, I was terrified because it was my first episode and I wanted to make a good impression. I worked on that show every day I had the script, which, including the shooting, was like 20 days for me."
Some effects in the episode were created in Robert Legato's basement with water reflections and Christmas tree lights. The script was vague about what was seen at the end of the universe, so Legato played with the effects of water reflections on his basement wall. Shooting through BoPET film, he created multiple images which were layered over one another for the final effect (which Legato described as "peculiar and bizarre"). Christmas tree lights were suspended and moved, to create the blinking effect seen on screen.
The score was recorded with a forty-piece orchestra. Ron Jones formatted the orchestra to generate a bigger sound than normally heard on television soundtracks to make it sound more like Jerry Goldsmith's Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) score. Keyboards were used to make the cellos more prominent, and other changes included an increase in the mid-range of the string section.
The title is derived from the introduction spoken by Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Patrick Stewart, originally spoken in the first Star Trek (1966) series by Captain James T. Kirk: "Space... The final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before." However, for Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), "no man" was changed to "no one".
Producer Robert H. Justman said that hiring twenty-seven-year-old Rob Bowman to direct this segment was one of his proudest achievements on the show. Bowman was terrified, trying to make a good impression on his first assignment, and overcome any doubts of his youth.
Rob Bowman recalls, "The effects in that episode were, at times, extremely frustrating and complex, so I didn't know what they were going to look like. It's tough to have people react to something that even I can't identify. Many special FX are just vaguely discussed during shooting and only finalized during post-production. So at times, that was difficult."
When the illusory string quartet disappears, the crewman is sitting at a table with a small bottle and a glass on a tray. As both were originally created for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), the bottle features the Federation logo of that time.
Upon arrival at M-33, it is mentioned that a return trip to the Federation, using normal warp drive, through 2 galaxies, would take three hundred years. The time given is the same as that of the Kelvan's trip in Star Trek: By Any Other Name (1968) from the Andromeda Galaxy.
It took Maurice Hurley six weeks to rewrite the script and his initial version was received poorly by TNG executives. Hurley later said, "they absolutely hated it, I think they wanted to fire me, and they would have if I didn't have a guaranteed contract". He rewrote the script, and this version was filmed. Hurley was pleased with the result, saying that "everything about that episode worked".
This story was loosely based on the Pocket TOS novel The Wounded Sky, also written by one of this episode's writers - Diane Duane. Producer Maurice Hurley did numerous uncredited rewrites on Duane and Michael Reaves' original script, but it still had much in common with their original concept.
The master systems display (nicknamed the "pool table") in main engineering was used for the first time in this episode. However, as Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Last Outpost (1987) was broadcast before this episode, though produced later, the table is first seen in that episode. Main engineering also features many chairs and benches never seen again.
The two vertical light panels flanking the wall mounted master systems display in main engineering are illuminated green (which is only visible in the color-corrected HD release; the original mistakenly shows them being yellow.), an effect only seen in this episode.
For the last time until Star Trek: Generations (1994) a corridor leading to main engineering, which is located directly behind the office, is seen. Normally, that opening is closed by a fake wall with LCARS interfaces, which is only removed when main engineering is redressed as a corridor lounge.
In the original teleplay, Kosinski was responsible for both the warp effect and the accident. He also had a son, who felt his father is more interested in his work, than him. The hallucinations were much more bizarre than in the actual episode: Jack Crusher appeared to Picard and Beverly, and the Enterprise appeared inside a "cosmological egg". When the starship escaped, it exploded and caused the birth of a new universe. As a sort of "Biblical pun", the Enterprise spends six days "missing", and Picard orders the next day to be a day of rest.
This episode marks the first appearance of Dennis Madalone in a Star Trek production. Madalone performed stunts in several more first and second season episodes and started to work as Stunt Coordinator beginning with the third season. He also worked as stunt coordinator on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) and Star Trek: Voyager (1995).
During Picard's speech towards the end of the episode, a crewmember is seen looking at an LCARS interface with directions to Holodeck 4J. This is the same graphic that was seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint (1987) when Riker was looking for the holodeck.
Diane Duane later said that only two scenes from the original script remained: where Picard sees his mother, and where he nearly falls out of the turbolift into space. Michael Reaves later said that the episode "came together much better on the screen than we thought it would when we read the script. We were lucky, because it was out of our hands".