EXCLUSIVE: Extended workprint cut of TNG’s S2 opener “The Child”

Earlier this month, TrekCore was excited to share an exclusive look at a workprint copy of "The Wounded", featuring several minutes of scenes cut from the finished episode - and today we're continuing our exclusive workprint series with a look back at "The Child", the Season Two premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation!

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The original VHS tapes, generously shared with TrekCore by Cyril "Patchou" Paciullo

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This tape of "The Child" is dated October 6, 1988, and like the other VHS recordings in this series, it contains an early, unfinished copy of the episode, with missing visual effects, music, and voice-over audio.

Workprint vs. Finished Episode

In addition to several scenes featuring alternate takes and camera angles, this "1st Cut" also includes nearly four minutes of additional scenes cut from the broadcast version of the episode!

We've been provided a copy of the original VHS transfer, and we're happy to share an exclusive cut-down package highlighting the six most prominent deleted scenes - in proper context with the finished episode - along with a scene-by-scene breakdown!

ACT TWO, SCENES 31 - 32

Our take: "Soon you'll arrive, and so many questions will be answered." A terrible line and a fairly poor delivery by Marina Sirtis makes this small scene jump right onto the cutting room floor.

ACT TWO, SCENE 34

Our take: The opening segment of this scene was used underneath a Captain's Log voiceover in the final version of the episode, and for good reason - whether it can be blamed on the scripted lines or the performance of actor Seymour Cassel as medical specialist Hester Dealt, this conversation is really unbearable to watch.


ACT TWO, SCENES 42 - 44

Our take: The first segment cut from Troi's birth scene features Pulaski revealing Ian Andrew Troi's birth weight and gender. These are standard childbirth scene tropes, but just how did she measure the weight of the baby with her bare hands anyhow?

Picard's congratulations in the second restoration pulls the viewer right out of the emotional moment... and it's certainly strange that he doesn't even ask if there's anything weird going on with the mysterious alien space baby!

The final cut - Riker's dismissal of Worf - is just a bit of unneeded, duplicated dialogue, since Pulaski already told him that "it's just a baby".


ACT THREE, SCENE 53

Our take: It's a true novelty to hear Data refer to himself by his full name of record, but this scene does nothing but hold up the story while we wait around for him to assert his command authority.

Jumping right to the computer's approval is a much cleaner edit, and it also eliminates the terrible camera angle looking right up Colm Meaney's nose.

"NFN NMI Data" refers to his lack of first name and middle initial, seen listed on both his Starfleet Academy diploma and his classified schematics in "The Measure of a Man"; this is the only time we've heard it said aloud.

ACT THREE, SCENE 59

Our take: This short sequence of Ian dumping his lemonade is something we wish could have stayed in the episode - this "experience" shows the entity acting like a curious child, something missing from much of the episode.

ACT FOUR, SCENE 76

Our take: Removing this short scene of Wesley arriving at the bridge allows the ensign's story to lead right from his conversation with Guinan into his discussion with Picard requesting to stay on board the ship - a good adjustment.

One small update to our earlier report: A VHS tape which was labeled "Where Silence Has Lease" turns out to have been mislabeled during the show's production; it contains a second, near-finished copy of "The Child", missing the deleted scenes we've highlighted above.

Stay tuned to TrekCore as there are still several more Next Generation workprint recordings to come, and we're excited to begin our research to discover what hidden gems the tapes may include! What do you think about the additional material discovered from "The Child"? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • Gilbetron

    I love seeing these posts, which shine a light on the process of how these episodes were edited together. The footage is fun to watch, but I agree with the article — with the exception of the lemonade scene, these were good cuts.

    While it’s true that Marina Sirtis’s delivery of the “Soon you’ll arrive, and so many questions will be answered” line is weird, NOTHING can compare to her even stranger delivery of another line which did make the cut: “I should be feeling uncomfortable with all the changes in my body…” The way she says it is so bizarre.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allen-Williams/1389687638 Allen Williams

    I wonder if this kind of thing will make it into the later season box sets.

  • Geraldine

    Thanks for the uncut scenes. Reminded me of what a terrible actress Marina Sirtis was, especially in the early years. And contrast that to the fine talents of Diana Muldaur.

  • Aaron

    Wow, it seems the set was so noisy! Especially the Captain’s chair – listen to how much noise it makes as Patrick Stewart shifts around in it. The doors seem really loud too. Its a wonder we never heard these things in the final cut.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Djames1701 David James

      Ha, I know. I never realized before just how many stage and background noises needed to be edited out of a scene. The sound editors must have been really busy on this show.

    • http://oncamazotz.com/ Automocar

      I was really surprised by that too.

      And I love the stand-ins for the computer voice and communicator calls.

    • kadajawi

      I guess they just do ADR a lot so they get usable audio. i.e. the actors will have to say their lines again in studio. But I too was quite surprised by just how much noises there are on stage. You can also hear the floor bending while the actors are walking… the Enterprise looks and feels very different with the original soundtrack.

  • ApadigoAdagio

    Wow! I absolutely love these deleted scenes you are showing us, Trek Core. It’s a shame Cyril wasn’t able to send them to CBS and Burnett/Lay Jr in time, but that’s why I love Trek Core! Because you are like an online extension of this Blu Ray Project!!

  • Patchou

    Here are the two full episodes of The Child from the tapes: http://www.patchou.com/trek/the-child-1st-cut/

  • jason3fc

    The display perspective in that scene where Pulaski stands at the Conference Room monitor always bothered me. I was hoping it would be fixed in the remaster, but something still looks wrong about it to me.

    • Gilbetron

      You’re right. It’s not the perspective, per se, but the composition of the shot. In order to accommodate the entire monitor (which is very large, larger than it was in later seasons I believe), the headroom above Pulaski is enormous, and there’s nothing to fill the space by grey bulkhead. And the light throws off a really intense shadow. Anyway, this shot has stood out for me too.

  • http://twitter.com/SFSeriesMovies SFSeries&Movies

    Did not like the episode at all! But still great this is happening indeed.

  • kadajawi

    While the camera angle on O’Brian is odd (we look up to him, as we find out that he does not have enough permissions?) it is some interesting info being given there. The transporter chief (!) does not have the rights to override transport security protocols? Say what?! Wouldn’t the transporter chief be the one who should be best at handling the transporter? After all, that should be his speciality. And as such, shouldn’t he be able to do whatever he wants to with the transporter? What if the bridge crew that does have the rights is on the bridge, and they have to beam over something that requires him to deactivate security protocols?

    I would have cut out the whole scene, including Data entering the permissions.

  • http://twitter.com/StochasticOoze Jason

    Man, there’s some impressively bad acting in this.

    And I know Troi is SPACE PREGNANT and all but why is she wearing a robe on the bridge? That thing makes her usual get-up look professional.

    • archer9234

      None of her usual outfits would fit her. So they probably went for the cheapest option. A stock robe.

  • archer9234

    This was a cool watch. I guess they wanted the guest doctor to be more whimsical. But it came off as he was dumb. Glad they cut that part of him out. It was also cool to see the full wide frame of the Ian dying off.