Scenes Worth Saving: Engineering Assault

peeplesHere's another entry in our ongoing Scenes Worth Saving series - following our coverage of Wesley Crusher's birthday party in "Coming of Age" - where we're highlighting cut footage from Star Trek: The Next Generation that we'd love to see restored in high-definition.

Season Four's "Night Terrors", filmed between January 7 and January 15, 1991, was referred to as dreadfully slow by executive producer Michael Piller (in Larry Nemecek's Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion), with an initial length nearly nine minutes over the final broadcast running time.

There were a number of cuts throughout the show to reduce the final length of the episode - including an extended introduction to Troi's first "eyes in the dark" dream sequence - but perhaps the most notable cut centered around on Ensign Peeples, the engineering officer shown assisting Geordi La Forge throughout the story.

Peeples, played by Craig Hurley, makes his only speaking appearance on the derelict USS Brattain, where he hears strange noises leading him to tell La Forge that there are still people on the ship - even though it had been searched from top to bottom when the Enterprise first arrived on the scene.

While he has no other lines in the completed episode, a scene in Main Engineering features Peeples in the background, watching La Forge and Data work to blast a high-intensity beam of energy into the Tyken's Rift holding the Enterprise captive... but he mysteriously disappears between cuts in the scene.

Read below to find out why the ensign vanished, in this scene filmed on January 8, 1991.

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-- INT. ENTERPRISE - ENGINEERING (AS AIRED) --

Data ENTERS to find Geordi. Geordi is not in good shape...
shaky and ragged. It's costing him effort to hang in there.
PEEPLES is working in the background.

GEORDI
Okay... all power has been channelled to the... the...

He looks at Data, losing his thought.

GEORDI
I can't remember what it's called.

DATA
The main deflector dish...

GEORDI
Yes... so, now what do we do?

Data gives him a look; he's gone over and over
this and Geordi isn't retaining it.

peeples2_thumb

DATA
We must coordinate our effort with the Bridge.

Geordi stares blankly; Data keys his com badge.

DATA
Data to Bridge...

-- INT. ENTERPRISE - BRIDGE - INTERCUTTING --

Picard, Riker, Worf, Troi, and Lin.
Again, everyone reflects their diminished circumstances.

PICARD
Yes...

DATA'S COM VOICE
We are ready to discharge the main deflector, Captain.

PICARD
All right...

He looks around the Bridge at his crew -- haggard, edgy, desperate. He can barely remember what he has to do.

DATA'S COM VOICE
Mister Worf -- activate the deflector.

-- EXT. SPACE - THE ENTERPRISE (OPTICAL) --

The main deflector dish begins to glow.

-- 83 INT. ENTERPRISE - ENGINEERING (AS SCRIPTED) --

Geordi and Data are intent upon their monitors, and do
not see Peeples approaching Geordi from behind.

GEORDI
Deflector power coils charging...

Suddenly Peeples leaps toward Geordi. Data has seen the movement
and springs quickly to his feet, parrying the blow and seizing
Peeples' arm. Geordi is nonplussed.

GEORDI
Peeples...

DATA
(touches com)
Security to Engineering.

PEEPLES
You've been changing the reactant mix...
that's why we're stuck here...

WORF'S COM VOICE
Deflector power banks approaching maximum.
Discharge in fifteen seconds.

Two SECURITY GUARDS ENTER.

DATA
Confine Ensign Peeples to Sickbay.

The guards take Peeples out, still ranting.

PEEPLES
I'll tell everyone what you're doing, Commander...

The guards haul him out and Geordi turns to Data, dazed.

GEORDI (AS AIRED)
Data... this detonation better work...
we aren't gonna last much longer...

peeples3_thumb

-- INT. ENTERPRISE - BRIDGE --

WORF
Discharge in three seconds... two... one...

-- EXT. SPACE - THE ENTERPRISE (OPTICAL) --

A thin, reedy beam flicks out from the deflector... and then
sputters and snuffs out like a defective firecracker.

-- INT. ENTERPRISE - BRIDGE/ENGINEERING --

RIKER
Nothing... it just fizzled out...

DATA
The energy output was absorbed into the Rift.

PICARD
Data... can we try again?

DATA
No, sir. If we draw more power, we risk losing life-support systems.

Picard does not respond. He is unable to think beyond this
point and come up with options for the next step.

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There's the solution to the case of the disappearing engineering officer: he was left on the cutting room floor, along with appearances by regular background actors Joe Bauman and Eben Ham as the two security officers. Interestingly, by looking closely, you can see that the camera begins to rack focus to Peeples in the background in the second before the scene cuts - something only evident in the new HD remaster.

What do you think - is this footage from "Night Terrors" a scene worth saving? What other footage from the first few years of the show do you want to see restored? Let us know in the comments below!

  • archer9234

    I’m probably one of the few who like Night Terror’s. it was a cool weird episode they did. I don’t think this scene is worth restoring. It’s not really important. At least the actor was used more. It was always odd that they hired a talking person for just that one scene. When they tirelessly save budget by having a ton of nodding nav officers. I still think they could of just manually detonated photon torpedoes to push the ship away lol.

    • James

      I liked Night Terrors as well, I always think that Marina is under-rated as an actress. When they gave her good stories, she rose to the occasion well.

      I wish CBS would include the deleted scenes as ‘branching extras’ on the blu-ray, so that we could choose to watch an extended cut of the episode if we wanted to.

  • Rob

    i love this episode. while this lost scene doesn’t really add much to the episode – certainly not as much as the birthday party scene would have added to “coming of age” – personally, i’d love to see this – and ALL – deleted scenes in HD and re-edited into extended-version episodes, much like the fantastic extended “measure of a man.” there’s nothing so “minor” that i wouldn’t want to see it fully restored. if it was filmed, it should be in HD, as far as i am concerned, and re-edited back into the show.

    love these features, please keep them coming.

    • Justin Olson

      I agree with you for the most part, and I too would have liked to have seen this deleted beat from Scene 83 in HD, but I don’t necessarily think it should have been re-edited back into the show. Just because it was filmed isn’t reason enough (in my mind) to add it back. Editing is the final rewrite of the script and we have to trust the judgement of the original director, editor and producers. It could have been removed due to any number of reasons: pace, performances, inconsistent tone, etc. Not everything works as intended and a lot of moments that are written and filmed turn out to be superfluous and simply not needed.

      I think “The Measure of a Man” was an exceptional case. It was a beloved episode, the teleplay was nominated for a Writer’s Guild Award and a longer cut existed in the possession of the writer, Melinda Snodgrass. So it was nice for CBS to include it as an extra. In my opinion, though, the added scenes really weigh down and drag out the pace of that episode and I still think the broadcast version is superior. Brevity is the soul of wit as some English guy once said. :)

      • Rob

        justin – totally agreed that the aired version is the “real” version, i guess i should have been more clear in that i’d hope to see the re-edited versions with restored bonus footage as extras. :)

      • James

        Extended episodes would make me buy the set, rather than just watching them on SyFy. I’ve only purchased the BOBW standalone so far because of all the problems I’ve read about with missing FX in season 1 and a lower standard remaster of season 2. That said, I’ll probably get Season 3 and 4 after christmas, or buy 1 and 2 now they are cheaper.

        • Justin Olson

          The primary problem with S1 upon release was an audio channel mapping error that crept-in during authoring and affected seven episodes. That was fixed along with two VFX shots: missing running lights on Starbase 74 in “11001001″ and a missing phaser beam in “Heart of Glory.” But that was it as far as VFX goes. There *was* an unusual shot in “Code of Honor” that had half vertical resolution (only 540 lines) but other than that everything was eventually set right. You just have to make sure you buy the corrected set with the yellow UPC and combadge symbol on the spine.

          http://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1×04/codeofhonor_hd_195.jpg

  • pittrek

    I don’t know. I love deleted scenes, but this one doesn’t seem very important. Anyway, if there’s a chance to get it, I’d love to :-)

  • Chris915

    Is this on the set, haven’t gotten to the bonus material for Season 4?

    If so, which disc? The same one the episode is on?

    • archer9234

      Its not on disc. It’s title Scenes Worth Saving. Because they aren’t available.

      • Chris915

        Bummer.

  • James Michael Avalos

    I love that Episode !! Anything cut is well worth saving and showing !!

  • SpaceCadet

    It’s a shame this scene wasn’t included with the deleted footage on the season 4 blu-ray set when they already had so many deleted scenes included on that set. Sounds like we may never get any definitive sets with all of this material unless it is way in the future such as for a 4K upgrade. Hopefully, the season 5 set and beyond will include a good number of deleted scenes.

    • archer9234

      The sets wouldn’t of gotten 100% everything, even if they did get all the deleted scenes. Things like text commentaries where not included. Because they’re being cheap and don’t want to pay to retype them out into BD text/pop-up format. And some TV documentaries where skipped over.

  • Neill Stringer

    Any deleted footage would be great to see. I love TNG and can’t wait for next set. My heart felt heavy today when my fellow Trekkie friend admitted he doesn’t like TNG much anymore and he was huge into it, he is TOS only now and as a result seems to prefer Abrams films over TNG. HE is wrong ut guess I have to respect his opinion. But I do get annoyed at his lack of love for TNG t hese day. Am I wrong to be a bit annoyed at him