10 Amazing Behind-The-Scenes Secrets From Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: TNG was as crazy behind the cameras as it was in front of them.

Troi Yar

You've no doubt heard the old adage that what goes on behind television cameras is often just as fantastical and bizarre as anything that gets filmed in front of them. Well, if you've never been personally convinced by that then, through the lens of Captain Picard and Friends, allow us to prove it to you.

Despite how it might seem now, Star Trek: The Next Generation was nowhere near a guaranteed hit when it arrived on screens in the late 80s. The franchise had only just refound its feet with a series of critically-sketchy movies and, even then, this had nothing to do with any of those. Fans weren't convinced, networks largely weren't interested, and not even the producers themselves expected much to come from it. Paramount simply threw the thing into syndication and hoped for the best.

178 episodes later though and it's arguably the most important installment of the entire Star Trek franchise. But getting there from its understated origins was fraught with incompetence, ingenuity, invention, interference, indiscretion, inspiration, and infidelity. The so-called "magic of television" has arguably never had to work harder, than it had to on sets of the Enterprise-D.

10. Sliding Doors

Troi Yar

We open, ironically enough, with the doors. An iconic part of Star Trek set dressing, their signature 'wooosh' sound has taken on a life of its own in fan circles and beyond. However, the magic of television was required to mask a very disruptive flaw in their design and, as a result, produced a quirk of the show very few people will have noticed.

Fair warning though, once you start looking out for this, it'll be all you notice.

The sound of production opening the Enterprise-D's doors did not create the sleek, satisfying sound you've seen on the show. That was, naturally, added in post-production, as the sound department at the time we're only concerned with ensuring they best picked up the actor's dialogue. However, the real sound that the doors made, was not only not at all space-age, but considerably louder than the actors on set.

As a result, you virtually never, ever see anybody talking while the ship's doors are opening or closing. The cast all being instructed to hold their lines until the stagehands had completed the movements, so that the editing team could easily remove the sound and replace it with the 'whoooosh' noise.

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Managing Editor

WhatCulture's Managing Editor and Chief Reporter | Previously seen in Vice, Esquire, FourFourTwo, Sabotage Times, Loaded, The Set Pieces, and Mundial Magazine