20

I am just watching said episode. With all the additional sets (new bridge, Enterprise-C) and special effects, this episode must have been quite expensive. On top of that, we see several additional requisites (the belts, some kind of new pad) and an awful lot of background actors.

Has there ever been any official acknowledgement of that fact? Was this episode somehow special?

  • 1
    fwiw - for more detailed information on this particular episode, this book "The Making of Yesterday's Enterprise" is fairly well regarded: amazon.com/gp/product/1435702565? .....which Valorum has now referenced :) – NKCampbell Jan 16 '17 at 22:12
  • or - if you are more of the podcast type: missionlogpodcast.com/yesterdays-enterprise - in which Rick Berman is quoted as saying the script work took longer than any other episode to that time – NKCampbell Jan 16 '17 at 22:16
24

Quoting directly from "The Making of Yesterday's Enterprise" by Eric A. Stillwell

Ironically, after everybody had read the script for "Yesterday's Enterprise" the studio agreed to spend a little more on the episode than they normally would spend on an episode (at the time, usually in the neighborhood of $1.2 million dollars, according to Daily Variety). The extra money in the budget allowed departments to do things we never expected they could afford when we were originally writing the story. A portion of the budget would go toward the extraordinary guest cast, including Whoopi Goldberg, Denise Crosby and Trisha O'Neil.

Still, Trent and I were both surprised to discover that the entire Bridge of the Enterprise would be remodeled for the alternate universe sequences in the episode - at enormous expense. The producers were going all out to make the production values on this episode exceptional. They also knew by now that this episode would air during the critical February Sweeps, so the studio was willing to spend extra money to attract solid ratings. The ratings on sweeps episodes are critical to setting the benchmark for the advertising fees a studio or network will be able to demand for the rest of the season for that particular series. Since Star Trek: The Next Generation was syndicated directly by the studio to independent TV stations across the country, the success of "Yesterday's Enterprise" would play a crucial role in determining how much advertising revenue would be generated from future episodes of the series.

No specific figure is identified but based on the show's additional cast and sets, it wouldn't be too far outside the realms of reality to imagine that the episode cost as much as 2-3 normal episodes, although much of this spending (sets and uniforms, for example) would be recouped in future episodes.

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    You might also want to note that out of the next 7 episodes, four of them are low-budget bottle episodes. – Valorum Jan 16 '17 at 22:17
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    and honestly, this is mostly, kinda technically a bottle episode as well other than space effects so that saved them some money as well – NKCampbell Jan 16 '17 at 22:18
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    @NKCampbell - It always amuses me when you're watching a mega-budget blockbuster film and they stop in the middle for a few minutes of nice, cheap talking in a small room. – Valorum Jan 16 '17 at 22:20

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