David Rappaport was to have played Kivas Fajo but attempted suicide a few days into filming. He was replaced by Saul Rubinek and Rappaport's scenes were refilmed. Rappaport committed suicide two months later. The footage featuring Rappaport can be seen on disc five of the season three blu-ray release under the episode menu.
The last minute emergency casting of Saul Rubinek was largely a result of chance. Director Timothy Bond had known Rubinek from school, and when in Los Angeles to work on The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Rubinek asked Bond if he could visit the sets. Bond agreed to arrange a visit knowing that Rubinek was a Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) fan. In the process, Bond persuaded Rubinek, who at the time never did any TV guest roles, to take the part of Kivas Fajo.
Fajo's lapling was a hand puppet created by Michael Westmore. Producer David Livingston recalled, "It was this little creature that Saul Rubinek went up to and said 'bidi-bidi-bidi.' That was his call to the creature and that became a running gag. People on the set still say 'bidi-bidi-bidi.'" "Bidi Bidi bidi" is possibly a reference to the sound made by the robot character Twiki from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979).
Kivas Fajo's makeup was originally more elaborate. The character had a clearly alien appearance with long Vulcan-esque ears and a brownish purple skin tone. The change was necessitated due to time constraints after the original actor, David Rappaport attempted suicide and Fajo was recast midway through filming.
As a result of this episode (and the real Roger Maris card) series writer, and lifelong baseball fan, Michael Piller began collecting baseball cards. His collection numbered over two-thousand cards before his death in 2005.
LaForge returns a red book to Captain Picard which was identified as a gift from the Captain. The Captain reads a brief quote from the book, "He was a man, take him for all in all. I shall not look upon his like again." The book is a copy of the collected works of Shakespeare. The quote is from Hamlet, Act I, Scene 2.
The wealth-obsessed villain is named Kivas Fatjo. "Kivas" is a valuable gem in the Star Trek universe. Fatjo is named after series pre-production associate Lolita Fatjo. Incorrect: his surname is Fajo (no "t")
The 1962 Roger Maris baseball card used was the first in the Topps series of 598 cards that year on account of Maris having bested Babe Ruth's single season home run record by one the previous year with 61 homers.
Among the artifacts in Fajo's collection is the communication device used by Sarjenka in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Pen Pals (1989), and a small vase that would be seen in the crew quarters of Data, Worf, Miles O'Brien, and many others later in the series.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
In scene from the script that was never filmed, Fajo sends Varria to test Data's sexual abilities, and Data discusses his only sexual encounter from Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Naked Now (1987). However, Data learns of Fajo's intent, leaving Varria utterly humiliated which would later fuel her desire to betray Fajo in the climax.