Scenes Worth Saving: Happy 16th Birthday, Wesley

worfcakeInspired by TrekCore's efforts to highlight cut footage from the early seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Blu-ray team at CBS has been working to include high-definition restorations of several deleted scenes from the series, beginning with the Season Four release.

Unfortunately, we've been told that footage from the first three seasons of the show - including four minutes from "The Child", six minutes from "The Bonding", and nearly ten minutes from "Evolution" (Part I · Part II) - has been returned to deep storage, making their inclusion in future sets unlikely.

Despite this setback, we'd like to shine the spotlight on some notable scenes we think are worth going back and rescuing from the vaults.

We're starting with this entry from TNG Season One's "Coming of Age" - cut from the teaser of the episode, the crew spends time celebrating Wesley Crusher's birthday before he takes his Starfleet Academy entrance exams on Relva VII.

Filmed on January 7, 1988, this may just be the most well-publicized cut scene never released to the public. Photos from the filming of this sequence have appeared in Starlog magazine, The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine, Larry Nemecek's Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann's Star Trek: The Next Generation 365, and most recently, in the Star Trek Magazine.

We've included the cut segments from the episode's script below.

div_spacer

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

WESLEY is running down the corridor after someone.

WESLEY
Hey, Jake! Wait a second!

JAKE KURLAND, eighteen, dark-haired and intense,
stops and waits for Wesley.

WESLEY
(continuing)
How're you doing?

JAKE
(tries to smile)
I'm fine. Really.

WESLEY
I'm real sorry...

BEVERLY'S COM VOICE (AS SCRIPTED)
Acting Ensign Crusher, report to Deck 21 Forward Lounge.

BEVERLY'S COM VOICE (AS AIRED)
Acting Ensign Crusher, report to transporter room eight. 

Wesley ignores the request.

wesparty0_thumb

JAKE
It's not your fault.

WESLEY
Yes, I know, but I wish we were both going.

JAKE
(shrugging)
Only thirty-two points...

BEVERLY'S COM VOICE
Acting Ensign Crusher, respond.

Wesley touches a com panel.

WESLEY
I'm on my way.

Wesley looks at Jake.

WESLEY
(continuing)
Gotta go.

They shake hands.

JAKE
Do well for both of us.

Wesley smiles at Jake and HURRIES BACK the other way.
Jake stares dejectedly after him.

-- INT. CORRIDOR - OUTSIDE DECK 21 FORWARD LOUNGE (AS SCRIPTED) --

Beverly waits for Wesley just outside the lounge.

WESLEY
Mom, I can't be late.

BEVERLY
Don't worry. You have time.

-- INT. DECK 21 FORWARD LOUNGE --

A large cake with seventeen BURNING candles is in the center of
the table. It says "HAPPY 16TH BIRTHDAY" and "GOOD LUCK, WESLEY."
The whole BRIDGE CREW waits around the table as Wesley ENTERS
with Beverly. He's touched, embarrassed and wants to leave.

wesparty1_thumb

RIKER
Happy Birthday, Wesley!

Everyone ECHOES THE SENTIMENT.

WESLEY
Thanks everybody. But it's not until next month.

RIKER
Close enough.

TROI
You won't be here next month. After you pass the entrance exam, you'll be on your way to Starfleet Academy.

BEVERLY
Go on, make a wish.

Wesley closes his eyes, thinks a moment, then blows out the candles. Everyone CLAPS as he makes the first cut. Troi takes over and cuts cake for everyone, handing pieces to Riker and Wesley.

wesparty2_thumb

RIKER
You'll breeze through those tests.

WESLEY
I hope so, sir.

RIKER
I know so. I remember how tough it was for me.

He pauses, reliving the fear, then smiles at Wesley.

RIKER
(continuing)
But you've got brains, and family tradition, and actual experience.

WESLEY
I wish I felt that sure.

GEORDI
I was scared to death the whole time. But it's good for you.
Keeps your adrenaline going. Not that you'll need it, Wes.

Troi hands pieces of cake to Data and Worf.

DATA
Thank you... Humans are fascinating. They celebrate the passage
of time with such joy until a certain age, and then it becomes
a topic of some discomfort. I suppose it is because each birthday
is another step towards inevitable death. 

Do Klingons observe birthdays, Worf?

WORF
Klingons are born, live as warriors, and die.

DATA
Then how do you know how old you are?

WORF
I don't. Do you know?

DATA
I have no age.

wesparty4_thumb

Data stares at Beverly, who's standing next to Picard.

BEVERLY
Is there something wrong?

DATA
No. I am simply trying to understand the celebration of aging.
And how old were you when Wesley was born, Doctor?

Beverly shoves her piece of cake at him.

BEVERLY
Have some cake, Data.

She LEAVES him standing there with Picard.

DATA
I do not understand, sir. Why...

PICARD
You never ask a woman her age, Mister Data.

DATA
I am very confused, sir.

PICARD
Some customs will never change.

TASHA'S COM VOICE
Acting Ensign Crusher, this is the Transporter Room.
We are ready to beam you down to Relva 7.

WESLEY
(to the party)
Thanks for the party, everyone. And the good wishes.

They all RESPOND with "Good luck;" "Go get 'em;" "You'll do great."

wesparty3_thumb

TASHA'S COM VOICE
Captain Picard.

PICARD
(touching his communicator)
Picard here.

TASHA'S COM VOICE
We've received communication from Relva 7 that Admiral
Gregory Quinn is about to beam aboard, sir.

PICARD
Admiral Gregory Quinn. Why wasn't I informed earlier, Lieutenant Yar?

TASHA'S COM VOICE
We just received the request, sir.

Picard gestures to Riker.

PICARD
I'm on my way to the Transporter Room, Lieutenant. Number One!

Picard and Riker FOLLOW Wesley and Beverly OUT the door.

wesparty5_thumb

-- INT. TRANSPORTER ROOM (AS AIRED) --

Riker, Picard and Beverly say good-bye to Wesley. Beverly reaches
out to shake his hand, but Wesley leans over and kisses her. He
nods and Tasha works the console and Wesley BEAMS DOWN to Relva 7.

div_spacer

What do you think - was this footage from "Coming of Age" a scene worth saving? Know of any other scenes from the first few years of the show that were cut? Sound off in the comments below!

Order Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 5 Blu-ray today!



Order TNG - "Unification" Feature Blu-Ray today!

  • Irish-toffee

    Thanks for this. ‘Deep storage’! Surely they could add these scenes as VAM on the later seasons where they might be lacking in content after coming out of the stocks early with the actors sit-down and writers sit-down.

    • jerr

      I think that means it’s literally sent back to the salt mines. Don’t they scan, digitize, and save it all on a server?

      • archer9234

        They might have not. They could of scanned the whole film reel. Or just the sections they needed. It be faster to just get what they need. But at a cost of finding stuff like this.

        • Justin Olson

          Yep, they’re only re-scanning what were on the video dailies that the original editors were working with. In other words, they’re creating new HD tapes that replicate the old SD ones exactly and which preserve the timecode of the old analog 1-inch (S1-S3) and D1 (S4-S7) dailies:

          Wendy Ruiz: We’re transferring only the film dailies
          that they used back in the day when they first transferred the film, but
          they transferred them to 1-inch dailies. We are in turn up-rezzing and
          cross converting those 1-inch dailies to HD and we’re having our
          scanners only scan on those 1-inch… now to those HD-D5s that match the
          picture, so we’re strictly working with what the editors worked with back in
          their day. We’re trying to cut down on the excess amount of film we’re going
          through. There’s an excess of 70 boxes per episode, so doing it this
          way, we kind of save ourselves some time so instead of going through
          everything, we only go through what we need.

          • BrianRoskamp

            While this wasn’t in the final, aired episode, wouldn’t this have been included with the dailies, since it was shot and was subsequently cut because the episode was running long?

          • Justin Olson

            I think they may be streamlining their work even more than that though. They have the old EDLs (edit decision lists) and therefore know which tapes were used for only the final broadcast edit… and it is those tapes and those tapes alone that are being re-created with new scans of the film. For instance, the bloopers we’ve been getting in HD from S2 on look to be mostly stuff they found on the primary tapes they’ve been making.

            We rarely get a blooper from a deleted scene (there was one in the BOBW reel as I recall). Since deleted scenes were not on their radar for the Season One set, they didn’t scan any more than what was needed (other than all those wardrobe and makeup tests). Which means this scene in “Coming of Age” was probably not scanned. As we know, later on, CBS-Digital started to look for more stuff beyond what was in the broadcast episodes to use as VAM.

    • Justin Olson

      Originally they planned on keeping all the film in Burbank until the project was over but that apparently has changed now. Here is what Wendy Ruiz said in Part 1 of TrekCore’s interview with CBS-Digital:

      Wendy Ruiz: We hang on to the film until we no longer
      need the elements, and then we return it to storage where we’re
      currently keeping [the film] here in Burbank. Once the project is fully
      completed, that’s when it will all go back to the salt mines.

  • q-tip

    What surprised me about the deleted scenes on the season 4 set is that they were edited into the episode. Often you could see the last seconds of the previous scene or the beginning of the next scene. Extended scenes had the parts from the original broadcast in the quality of the final episode and the additional parts without color correction and not correctly framed (showing the entire negative – same as on the gag reel). What I want to say: Someone took the effort to create extended cuts for all episodes. But after that the post production for the deleted scenes wasn’t completed. Maybe they are preparing for future releases? Otherwise it would have been much easier just to present the deleted scenes as they were on the reel.

    • trekcore

      Not quite. CBS used the same style of presentation as we did in our exclusive deleted scenes presentations earlier this year, albeit presenting the footage in full HD from the film negative.

  • James Michael Avalos

    The more the merrier !!! We need all these great extras :D !!!

  • pittrek

    Actually this would be great to see

  • Dr. Cheis

    17 candles on a 16th birthday cake? Maybe that’s why the scene was cut.

    • http://www.randomtuesday.com/ Aatrek

      Sixteen candles, and one to grow on!

  • Dr. Cheis

    I am curious what “DECK 21 FORWARD LOUNGE” was supposed to look like. Appears to be a cross between 10-Forward (not yet built) and crew quarters.

    • archer9234

      It’s probably one of the hundreds of mini lounge rooms that circle the Saucer’s forward edge. Look up the full deck plans. They fill up most of the ships civilian space.

    • BrianRoskamp

      I’m actually surprised, I figured they’d reuse the Observation/Conference room for this scene. I’ve read the script, but I haven’t seen the pictures before. It seems that (and later 10 forward) were their go-to sets to redesign for lounges and social gatherings

  • hypnotoad72

    “returned to deep storage, making their inclusion in future sets unlikely.”

    Assuming
    that should be taken at literal and immutable value, that means future
    sets will have the same 2k remastering job, or upscaled to ersatz-4k
    rather than remasted in true 4k.

    I’ll be buying all future blu-ray sets but my desire for 4k has just plummeted.

    • BrianRoskamp

      I’ve said this from the beginning when they announced they were scanning them in 2k that they should have thought ahead since 4k seems to be starting to catch on now. I realize that it’s really expensive to scan and edit in 4k (I was told many current movies don’t even do this), but it probably would have been in their best interest.

    • archer9234

      They’ll just go back and rescan everything for 4k. its why they reboxed and archived the timecode information this time.

  • Kaine Morrison

    Am I the only person that wants Extended Cuts of EVERY Episode?

    • archer9234

      I doubt every episode has material to make it longer.

    • http://www.randomtuesday.com/ Aatrek

      Not at all! I love every new second of footage they find.