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Trivia / Star Trek: The Next Generation S2E7 "Unnatural Selection"

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  • First Appearance: After the first season of appearing as various background characters, Colm Meany got solidified into a transporter chief in this season, but this is the first episode where he's given a name and treated as a real character. He would become an Ascended Extra and eventually a main cast member in the spin-off, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
  • Prop Recycling: The USS Lantree is the Miranda-class USS Reliant model from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
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  • Recycled Set: The bridge of the Lantree is the Battle Bridge set redressed (which itself is a redress of the Enterprise bridge set from the first four movies).
  • Recycled Script: Of the Original Series' "The Deadly Years", which also featured crewmembers suffering premature aging. In both episodes, one character (McCoy and Pulaski) very close to death decides to risk all with an untested cure which could prove fatal. The method is a success, and all the remaining afflicted persons are cured off-screen..
  • What Could Have Been:
    • O'Brien didn't appear in the next-to-final version of the teleplay; instead, La Forge was assisted by a blatant Creator's Pet character named Rina, who was shown to be an engineering genius and so incredibly beautiful that she caused the other crewmembers to suffer comedic pratfalls. Showrunner Maurice Hurley did a last-minute rewrite, completely deleting Rina and replacing her with O'Brien, whose character was actually named for the first time and given much more of a personality than previously seen. They would later make another stab at creating a similar character to Rina — albeit written as more of a Genius Ditz, and not so ridiculously beautiful — with Sonya Gomez later in the season, but dropped her after only two appearances.
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    • Earlier drafts had the characters boarding the Lantree, rather than merely hacking into it remotely, and then destroying it before continuing their investigation at Darwin Station. This was changed partly to keep down the number of Enterprise sets they'd have to redress for the Lantree — the battle bridge set was the only one they redressed in the finished episode — and also to address the plot hole that would have been caused by Enterprise crewmembers beaming aboard the Lantree but not being infected.
    • It was intended to show Dr. Kingsley restored to her original age, but they decided against it as it would have required a younger actress for a single scene.
    • The Darwin children were originally to have appeared nude, but the use of transparent furniture nixed that idea.
  • Writer Revolt: The aforementioned earlier draft of the episode featured a lengthy scene of La Forge and Rina discussing Techno Babble ways of getting the transporter to heal Pulaski, with Picard being extremely impressed by Rina's technical knowledge. Maurice Hurley must not have been quite so impressed, as in the final version it ends up being Data and O'Brien who discuss how to modify the transporter, with Picard cutting them off early in their discussion and telling them to just get on with doing it.
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