Analysis: TNGS2 Blu-Ray ‘Up the Long Ladder’ Deleted Scene

Last week we analyzed one of the special deleted scenes included on the Season 2 release of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-Ray from the episode 'The Icarus Factor'. The second episode to contain standalone deleted scenes is 'Up the Long Ladder', often ridiculed by fans as being one of the worst in the season. Nevertheless, in their mission for completeness, CBS has included a total of 8 minutes of deleted scenes from the episode. Today we take a deeper look at the scenes, breaking them down for you and giving our analysis.

TNG Episode 144 'Up the Long Ladder'

Act 3, Scene A24c (0:29)
This scene takes place on the bridge, right after Riker’s romantic encounter with Brenna in his quarters, and just before the cargo bay sequence where Worf demonstrates the food replicator’s alcohol selections to the Bringloidi. Riker's question to Worf about his health refers to his fainting spell which occurred in the beginning of the episode.

Worf is heading for the forward turbolift as Riker emerges from the forward lift. The first officer looks very content.

RIKER
Feeling better, Worf?

WORF
Yes. And you, Commander?

RIKER
Couldn't be better.

Worf enters the turbolift. Data stands and yields the command chair to Riker.

RIKER
(continuing)
Status, Mister Data?

DATA
Warp factor five, continuing on course for NB2323. ETA, eighteen hours.

RIKER
Excellent.

Our take: This scene’s removal was probably for the best. It serves little purpose other than to confirm what was already shown in the previous scene in Riker’s quarters, and bringing the episode to a halt just to have Riker smirk to the viewer seems unnecessary. It makes much more sense to jump right to the next scene in the cargo bay.

***

Act 4, Scene 33 (3:52)
This scene, where Granger describes the cloning history of the Mariposan people, takes place in the Enterprise observation lounge. The rough cut presented here, however includes a few lines missing from the final version of the scene, and a number of alternate takes of the familiar segments of the conversation - but is overall largely similar to the final cut of the episode.

A portion of the scene's script, with restored lines in yellow:

PULASKI
How did you suppress the natural sexual drive? Drugs? Punitive laws?

GRANGER
In the beginning, a little of each. Now three hundred years later the entire concept of sexual reproduction is a little repugnant to us.

PICARD
A culture without children.

GRANGER
To accelerate clone growth. Some basic learning can be chemically imprinted on the developing clone, the rest we do after emergence.

PULASKI
How did you overcome the problem of replicative fading?

GRANGER
We haven't.

PULASKI
You have got a problem.

RIKER
Wait. I don't understand. Replicative fading?

PULASKI
Each time you clone you're making a copy of a copy. Subtle errors creep into the chromosomes, and eventually you end up with a non-viable clone.

GRANGER
Yes. We've noticed a sort of mental hardening of the
arteries. An inability to respond to new situations.

PICARD
How can we help you?

GRANGER
We need an infusion of fresh DNA. I was hoping that you would be willing to share tissue samples from your crew.

RIKER
You want to clone us?

GRANGER
Yes.

RIKER
No way. Not me.

Our take: The three lines that were cut do nothing but add unnecessary technobabble to a relatively straightforward scene, and the conversation certainly flows better with out them. Even with the alternate angles presented in this rough cut, the scene is so similar to the final version that we're wondering why it was included in this compilation.

***

Act 4, Scene 39B (1:10)
Set in the Enterprise cargo bay, this scene features Worf and Picard watch Danilo, the Bringloidi leader, as tells the children of the settlement a story about the founding of the colony:

DANILO
And after a long and gentle sleep we awoke and there was Bringloid, our dream world. Our companions in the butterfly ship left us off, and said they would leave a guard in heaven to watch out for us. They flew on in the darkness -- their search was not yet over -- but we had found the sun, a world, a home.

BRENNA
And now we have lost it.

DANILO
Then we'll find another.

BRENNA
When? How long must we wait and journey?

Picard's expression has been shifting as various emotions and realizations strike him. He crosses swiftly to Worf, leans in.

PICARD
Now I finally understand. The distress satellite was left by the Mariposans as a way to protect the Bringloidi. Both colonies were on that ship.

Our take: The scene is a nice bit of contrast to the somewhat poor presentation of the Bringloidi's overly-stereotypical Irish culture featured elsewhere in the episode. Unfortunately, by this point in the episode, we've already figured out that the two colonies left Earth together (the S.S. Mariposa listed computer equipment and spinning wheels in it's cargo manifest). Despite the bit of oral history, it's not a particularly relevant scene and it's removal was probably the right decision.

***

Act 5, Scene 48 (2:25)
While the final version of the episode ends with Picard and Brenna discussing the benefits of the Bringloidi/Mariposan union, the original cut of continues on with a last scene on the bridge, where Data expresses his disappointment that theEnterprise would be unable to study the future of the combined colony. We get not only a typical "Data doesn't understand humans" discussion, but also a new insight into Klingon desires:

Riker and Pulaski ENTER from the aft turbolift.

PICARD
All squared away?

RIKER
The Bringloidi have reached their new home.

PICARD
Set a course for Starbase 114, warp factor three.

DATA
It is unfortunate that we cannot remain and observe the integration of the two colonies.

PULASKI
They're going to do just fine.
They're survivors, both of them.

PICARD
They'll do more than just survive. I believe that they will flourish.

RIKER
We've got the cats in the sack; let's just hope we haven't shaken the bag too much.

DATA
What is occurring on Mariposa is a demonstration of sociobiology, and the concept of the selfish gene.
The males and females are each pursuing their respective reproductive strategies in an effort to maximize their contribution to the gene pool of the next generation.

PULASKI
Data, I liked the commander's analogy better.

DATA
Why, Doctor?

PULASKI
It was more romantic.

DATA
How are cats in a sack romantic? They would fight and scratch...

WORF
Mmmm. Very romantic. I hunt in the darkness. The stars my guide. The memory of you sings in my blood. I seize the gift. Carry it to your bower. And lay at your feet the hearts of my enemies.

The silence is deafening; stunned reaction shots of Troi and Data. Picard turns slowly back to
face the main viewscreen. Points at CONN.

PICARD
Engage.

WORF
Perhaps it does not translate well.

Our take: The scene drags on a little bit too long - the "Data doesn't understand metaphors" thing is getting pretty stale, even after two seasons - but after learning about Klingon poetry earlier this season (in 'The Dauphin'), it's kind of a shame that this look into Worf's romantic side had to be cut from the final episode - it's certainly a better attempt at poetry than his half-hearted attempt in DS9's 'One Little Ship' a few years later. The wide-eyed stares coming from the crew after Worf's soliloquy are well worth the watch.

In addition to these deleted scenes, Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2 on Blu-Ray includes a brand new hour-long roundtable discussion with the principal cast, the continuation of Robert Meyer Burnett and Roger Lay Jr.'s epic documentary chronicling the history of TNG with Making It So: Continuing The Next Generation. Also included are the much-talked about extended edition of "The Measure of a Man", a brand new gag-reel and other extras including LeVar Burton's original TNG-based "Reading Rainbow" episode!

With just a few days to go until release... be sure to pre-order Season 2 below so you get it on release date in your country. All Amazon stores have significantly discounted the title - at the time of writing it's under $65 in the U.S.£47.00 in the U.K. and under 57,00EUR in Germany!

Order Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 1 Blu-Ray today!



Order Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2 Blu-Ray today!