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Patrick Stewart prepared for the scenes of torture by reviewing tapes provided by Amnesty International. He agreed to perform the first torture scene naked, but only as long as it was on a closed set.
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Actor David Warner took over the role of Gul Madred on three days' notice. He could not learn his lines in that short time, so he had to use cue cards. He said, "Every line I said, I actually was reading over Patrick Stewart's shoulder or they put it down there for me to do it. After I finished it, I thought it worked, which obviously it did.".
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The last ST:TNG episode to air before Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) began on January 3, 1993. The Cardassians play a pivotal role on DS9.
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Beverly's line "and wait for the casualties you're about to send me" was inspired by a cut line from Star Trek: The Original Series: The Doomsday Machine (1967). Dr. McCoy would have informed Commodore Matt Decker, "Yes sir - go to Sickbay and wait for the casualties you're about to send me." In both cases, it is the regular Enterprise medical officer speaking to a guest captain who has "usurped" command of the ship.
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While Frank Abatemarco got the writing credit, the entire script was virtually written by Jeri Taylor, with a last minute polish by Ronald D. Moore.
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During Picard's torture, he sings the first two lines of the French song "Sur le pont d'Avignon".
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This is David Warner's third and final appearance on Star Trek. As well as playing a Cardassian here, he played a human in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), and a Klingon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).
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At the 50th anniversary "Star Trek" convention in Las Vegas in August 2016, fans voted this and Star Trek: The Next Generation: Chain of Command, Part I (1992) the joint seventh best episode of the "Star Trek" franchise.
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Due to budget considerations, a bigger on-screen confrontation between the Enterprise and the Cardassians in the nebula had to be scrapped.
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Ronny Cox has a unique distinction in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987). He is the only guest star who ever did a "captain's log" entry when his character was in command of the Enterprise while Captain Picard was on a mission.
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This episode received a minor edit when shown in the UK by the BBC, eliminating one of the more intense torture scenes.
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"Chain of Command" was originally pitched as a single episode, but Michael Piller suggested splitting it into two parts in part to save money.
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A line cut from the final episode stated that Starfleet had also sent the USS Aries, USS Berlin, and USS Sutherland to assist the Enterprise-D, but they were three days behind.
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Patrick Stewart first saw David Warner in a production of Hamlet and, after joining the Royal Shakespeare Company himself, was cast as the Player King in that production. That makes the Warner production the first of at least three productions of Hamlet that Stewart appeared in. He subsequently played Claudius opposite Derek Jacobi and David Tennant.
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Key influences on this episode included the 1991 independent film Closet Land, as well as Ro Laren's story from "Ensign Ro" in which she revealed that her father was tortured in front of her eyes by Cardassians during the Bajoran Occupation.
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Patrick Stewart was ecstatic to work with Ronny Cox. Cox's first lead role had been in Deliverance (1972), directed by John Boorman. Stewart's first lead role had been in Boorman's subsequent film, Excalibur (1981).
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This takes place in 2369.
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47-reference: La Forge detects some minor hull degradation on the Cardassian warship via quantum resonance scan 047 (as indicated on the computer display).
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The idea for the torture scenes came from George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four". The hero, Winston Smith is tortured by the Thought Police. The interrogator keeps asking "how many fingers do you see?" while holding up four. But Winston is expected to answer five. Where Winston cracked to his tormentor, Picard outwardly did not. But later on, he privately admitted he had cracked inside, and was about to inform Gul Madred he could see five lights and not four.
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