(written from a Production point of view)
|TNG, Episode 4x02|
Production number: 40274-178
First aired: 1 October 1990
|←||77th of 176 produced in TNG||→|
|←||75th of 176 released in TNG||→|
|←||182nd of 728 released in all||→|
| Written By|
Ronald D. Moore
|←||Arc: The Best of Both Worlds (3 of 3)|
Captain Picard takes leave on Earth and visits his family while recovering from his assimilation into the Borg. Worf's human parents visit the Enterprise and help him deal with his discommendation.
With the USS Enterprise undergoing repairs in drydock following the Borg attack, many members of the crew are either taking shore leave or are having family aboard. Commander Riker tells Worf that his foster parents, Sergey and Helena Rozhenko, are on the visitors list. Worf is not happy to hear this news. He tells Riker it's inappropriate for a Klingon to receive family on duty. But since Enterprise isn't a Klingon ship, there's not a lot he can do to stop it. Riker tells him if he doesn't want to see his parents, it's his business but reminds Worf that it's not often they get back to Earth. Worf turns down an offer from Riker to have more off-duty time. As Worf starts to leave, Riker asks if he's afraid they might find out about what happened on his homeworld and Worf tells Riker that he's already written them and told them of his discommendation, adding that he doesn't believe any Human can truly understand his dishonor.
Meanwhile Captain Picard, himself undergoing repairs of the emotional kind following his assimilation, is packing to go to Earth. He is visited by Troi, who asks him where he's going. He tells her he is going to go to La Barre, France, his home village. It will be the first time he has gone home in nearly twenty years. Troi says she finds it interesting that Captain Jean-Luc Picard is going on vacation so easily and they could hardly pry him out of his command chair for a vacation for three years. Picard tells her simply that it's Earth, it's home and he doesn't think he needs a much better reason. He tells her her assistance has been invaluable to him, but that he's much better now, saying his nightmares have ended and that what he needs now is some time to himself. Troi agrees, but states that his destination could stand some scrutiny. Picard tells her if she wants to think that his going home is a result of being assimilated, feel free. Troi reminds him that it's just going to take time. His assimilation was an extremely traumatic event and he won't recover so quickly and that it's perfectly natural to spend time trying to find oneself again. She then tells Picard she hopes he has a safe trip, kisses him on the cheek, and leaves him. Picard reaches for a few books, then decides against taking them, putting them back on the shelf and then heads out of his quarters.
Worf arrives at the transporter room to receive his parents. O'Brien tells him they haven't signaled yet. Worf complains that his mother is never on time for anything. Just like Humans. O'Brien tells him "Well, you know women." Worf wishes they would hurry and get there so they'd leave sooner. O'Brien tells Worf that he understands, relating the story of the last time his father was on board, O'Brien caught him chasing a nurse around a biobed. Worf says he is not concerned of his father doing something like that, and O'Brien explains that he meant that it was usually always something with parents. Finally, the transport station in Bobruisk signals that they have two to transport aboard. The Rozhenkos beam aboard. Worf acts pleased to see them, and Sergey asks him if he's put on some weight, to which he tells Worf, even though Worf denies it, that it looks good on him. Sergey then introduces himself to O'Brien, telling him that he's always glad to meet another chief petty officer and introduces himself as "Sergey Rozhenko, formerly of the USS Intrepid." When O'Brien tells Sergey he's pleased to meet him, he calls Sergey "sir" and Sergey rebuffs that, telling Miles he used to work for a living. Helena tells O'Brien that Sergey's proudest moment was seeing Worf receive his commission. Sergey tells Worf that he's wanting to see all the ship, having all the specs of the Galaxy-class starship at home. Worf tells him that they are in the midst of a repair and he cannot give Sergey a full tour. Helena reminds him that they promised not to embarrass Worf and they came here to see him, not the ship. Worf takes them to their quarters.
Picard decides to walk to his home when he notices someone in the bushes sneaking by him. When he tells them to come out, a boy steps out from behind the brushes. Picard throws his hands up as if he were about to be robbed and calls the boy a highwayman. When the boy is confused, Picard explains that highwaymen used to hide in the bushes and rob people although none had been reported in the local area for centuries. The boy tells Picard that he's not a robber, to Picard's mock relief. The boy then recognizes Picard as "his nephew...from the starship Enterprise." Picard tells the boy he must be his uncle René. When René says it's the other way around, Picard says he rather liked the idea of the boy being his uncle. René asks Picard why he never comes home, and Picard tells him that Starfleet keeps him very busy. René says that his father tells him that Jean-Luc doesn't like it at home and then tells Picard he doesn't think he's so arrogant.
"What does it mean anyway, 'arrogant son of a ...'"
"Let's talk about that later, shall we?"
Upon arriving at the house, Picard meets his sister-in-law, Marie. She tells him that she and Robert are pleased to have him. Picard offers to stay in town, fearing it may be an imposition but Marie refuses, telling him that this house is as much his home as it is theirs and that's all there is to it. Picard then notes how the family house and land look exactly like they did when he was a boy. Marie tells him keeping it that way is very important to Robert and Picard says it was so for their father too. Picard then goes to find his brother, out tending the vines. Robert greets him coldly, telling him "Welcome home, Captain." Robert asks Jean-Luc if he shuttled in and Picard tells him he walked. This is a very tense moment between two brothers, who clearly have not had any pleasant feelings for each other for many years. Jean-Luc tells Robert he met René and Marie and that it's good to see Robert, which gets very little response. Robert asks Jean-Luc if he's tired, and Jean-Luc tells him he's not. Robert tells Jean-Luc to make himself at home and that they usually eat about 8pm. He tells Jean-Luc that he'll see him after he cures a sick vine. Robert then turns back completely to his work and Jean-Luc returns to the family house.
Meanwhile, back on Enterprise, Dr. Crusher is talking to Troi about Venezuela when she receives a suitcase of her late husband Jack. She tells Deanna that she had stored it on Earth after Jack died. She pulls out Jack's uniform, a white piece of lace, a book called How To Advance Your Career Through Marriage, which Beverly explains was a joke from Jack, that it was his way of proposing to her. She then pulls out a holographic message from Jack for Wesley, recorded just after Wesley was born, intending to give it to him after Wesley grew up. According to Beverly, Jack intended to make many more over Wesley's lifetime, but obviously he didn't get the chance. Troi asks Beverly if she's afraid of what the message may say and she says she isn't, but she's afraid that since Wesley's just beginning to come to terms with his father's death, that the holo-message may do more harm than good. Troi tells her Wesley has many questions that Beverly can't answer and suggests that maybe the holo-message would help him understand more.
La Forge and Worf are giving the Rozhenkos a tour through the engineering section, and Sergey tells La Forge a story about how they were called to school after Worf got into a fight and they didn't know what to expect and when they got there they found their seven-year old son in a chair glaring at five teenage boys, all with bloody noses which Geordi laughs at and Helena tells him the principal begs them to tell him there aren't any more coming. After Helena stops Sergey from telling La Forge another story, Sergey asks La Forge to show him the new engine core as he used to be a warp field specialist on the old Excelsior-class. Helena asks Worf to show her the arboretum. After they leave, La Forge starts to talk to Sergey about the engine core, but Sergey stops him and asks him about Worf. Sergey is clearly concerned about his adopted son.
Later that evening at the Picard family home, Marie tells Jean-Luc that his old friend Louis left a message that he'd very much like to see Jean-Luc as soon as he's settled. Marie tells Jean-Luc that Louis is now a supervisor on the Atlantis project. Robert says he sees no reason for the Earth to have another sub-continent. Jean-Luc says that if you understand the thought of exploring a new world right on your own planet it's really quite exciting. Robert says he must not understand then. Then Marie tells Jean-Luc that the mayor wants to give him a parade and give him the key to the city. Jean-Luc refuses, saying he's here to rest and to spend time with his family. After a toast to Marie, the family begins to eat. Jean-Luc asks Robert if the wine they're drinking is from '46 and Robert tells him it's '47, and then accuses him of drinking too much synthehol and that it's spoiled him and ruined his palate. Jean-Luc says that he thinks synthehol does nothing but heighten one's appreciation for the genuine article. Robert tells Marie the food is delicious. Jean-Luc says it's just like Robert to find the best cook in France and then marry her. Robert says that thanks to technology, even cooking is fast becoming a lost art and Marie says they've had several "discussions" about getting a replicator in the house. Jean-Luc is reminded of the same discussions between their mother and father. Robert says that he feels, just like their father, that with all this technology there is a real danger of losing those values which humanity holds most precious. Jean-Luc says that you shouldn't have to lose anything just by adding a convenience but Robert counters by opinionatedly stating that life is already too convenient. René tells Jean-Luc he wrote a report on starships and won a ribbon for it. Jean-Luc says he wrote a report too. When René asks him if he won a ribbon Jean-Luc says he doesn't remember, to which Robert reminds him that he did win the ribbon and that he always did so. René, at Marie's urging, goes to get his report for Jean-Luc to read. After he leaves, Robert starts to yell at Jean-Luc, but calms after Jean-Luc glances up at him. He then proceeds to tell Jean-Luc that it's hard enough for him to protect his son from all that's in the outside without Jean-Luc encouraging him. Jean-Luc denies that he's encouraging René and suggests that if Robert wasn't so closed minded and if he'd allow René to see the world as it really is, but Robert interrupts him and tells Jean-Luc to raise his sons as he sees fit and allow Robert to do the same.
The next day, in the vineyard, Picard and Louis are walking through and Louis tells Jean-Luc that he knew no one that was so uninterested in grapes and Picard denies that, saying he was interested and pleased his family was upholding their traditions, but that he just didn't feel bound by them. Louis points out that Jean-Luc looked to the future and Robert to the past. Jean-Luc laments that there should be room for both in this life. When Jean-Luc asks about his promotion, Louis tells him he is only one of 200 supervisors, although his wife would have one believe Louis runs the whole Atlantis Project. Picard then comments that it's ironic that Louis is working on the ocean floor when he was such a rotten swimmer. Jean-Luc asks Louis how he plans to accelerate the build-up on the underside of the mantle without increasing the stress on the tectonic plates, indicating that he's kept up with the project through the journals. He notes that on the Enterprise, they used harmonic resonators to relieve the tectonic pressures on Drema IV, though it was a different situation. Louis tells Jean-Luc that they are looking for someone to take over the project and he suggests that it be him. He then offers to send some information over on the tectonic problems they are having with trying to raise the ocean floor for Jean-Luc to look over. He agrees to peruse the information and give any thoughts he has on the problems.
In Ten Forward on Enterprise, Worf and the Rozhenkos are sharing a drink. They tell Worf that the crew think the world of him. Worf tells them he wishes they would be more reserved. They confess that they go too far sometimes but they are simply excited to see him. When Worf gets called away, Helena finally gets visibly upset and although Sergey suggests leaving it alone, she says she's Worf's mother and she cannot do it. They both end up staring out the window, which leads Guinan over to them and she tells them everyone who goes into Ten Forward ends up looking out that window, trying to find the star they call home. After mutual introductions, Guinan sits them down and asks them why they never gave Worf prune juice. They are shocked that he drinks it. Sergey said all he would ever eat was Klingon food. Helena even learned to cook Rokeg blood pie even if they never learned how to eat it. They remark it was a difficult adolescence and they didn't do anything special, although Guinan disagrees, calling Worf pretty special. The Rozhenkos tell Guinan that since there were no other Klingons for Worf to turn to for guidance, they were forced to let him find his way on his own. Guinan remarks that other parents could learn from them. Helena says that she thinks Worf thinks they don't understand him. Guinan says that part of him may feel that way, but she's seen another part of Worf, a part that comes into Ten Forward and drinks prune juice. Guinan also tells them that when Worf looks out the window toward home, he's not looking toward the Klingon Empire, he's looking toward them.
Marie finds Jean-Luc staring into space. He's amazed that he was actually considering taking the job offer Louis made him. Marie says it's understandable considering what he's been through. She says it would be wonderful if he were home for good and that given time, perhaps he and Robert might actually start to like one another. Jean-Luc says he already likes his brother's taste in wives, thanking her for her letters, they made him feel like part of the family. She tells him he is family. Louis comes over and tells Jean-Luc that he's set up a meeting with the board of governors, telling Jean-Luc they want him to be the head of the project. Jean-Luc tells Louis there was never a prospect but Louis asks him to attend, if nothing else, just to listen. Jean-Luc agrees.
Beverly gives Wesley the message from Jack. She tells him his father wanted to say some things to him and that he wanted to make sure he didn't forget it. He recorded it a few weeks after Wesley was born and it was meant to be given to him when he was 18 years old. Wesley takes it and goes to the holodeck.
In Worf's quarters, his parents come to see him. Worf admits that at first he wasn't sure he wanted them to come on board the Enterprise, but now he is glad about their visit. They tell him that they had to come after reading his letter about his discommendation. That regardless of whether or not they understood it all, they know what kind of man Worf is. Helena tells him that whatever he did it was for a good reason. Worf says he must bear this dishonor alone. Sergey says that is not true and Helena apologizes if what she's about to say is too human, but no matter what Worf is suffering, his parents are there for him, that they are proud of him and they love him. No matter what, Worf is their son. Worf reaches out to them and they take his hand.
Back in the Picard house, Jean-Luc has been drinking and thinking about Louis' offer when Robert comes in. Robert asks him if synthehol never leaves a person out of control, and then remarks that the real thing will. He then says that seeing the "gallant captain" out of control is something he'd like to see. He then asks Jean-Luc what happened to him up there and Jean-Luc asks if this is brotherly concern and Robert says it's merely curiosity. Jean-Luc says he knows what happened. Robert says he gathered that Jean-Luc was injured, and that he could use a little humiliation or humility. Either would do. Jean-Luc gets up and walks outside but Robert follows him asking him why he walks away, that isn't his style. Jean-Luc says he's tired of fighting with his brother. Robert tells him that "The great Captain Picard" falling to Earth to plunge into the ocean with Louis isn't the brother that he remembers. Robert calls him a returning hero which Jean-Luc denies but Robert insists he wouldn't settle for anything less. Jean-Luc asks him if he were so jealous and Robert says he was and he was justified, watching Jean-Luc receive all the cheers, break all their father's rules and get away with it. When Jean-Luc asks why didn't Robert do so also, he says that he was the elder brother and therefore had to be responsible and look after Jean-Luc. Jean-Luc calls Robert a bully, to which he replies that sometimes he enjoyed it. He asks Jean-Luc if he wanted Robert to look after him again. Then ensues a rather heated fistfight with both ending up wallowing in the mud, laughing heartily. Jean-Luc tells Robert that he was asking for it, but Robert says Jean-Luc needed it because he's been terribly hard on himself. Jean-Luc tells Robert that he didn't see what the Borg did to him, how they took away his humanity and used him to kill and destroy and he couldn't stop them, all the while beginning to finally break down in front of his brother as he admits his guilt that he should have done more to resist, but he wasn't strong or good enough. Robert says that he's pleased to see his brother is human after all, then tells Jean-Luc that this is going to be with him a long time and he has to learn to live with it. The question is where? Under the sea with Louis or above the clouds with the Enterprise. They pull each other up and Jean-Luc tells Robert that he thinks he did come home so Robert could help him. With their arms around each other Robert tells Jean-Luc he still doesn't like him, but it's followed with some light chuckles.
Marie finds them, having tracked mud all through the house, sitting in a couple of chairs drinking and singing. They tell her they fell down and kept falling down. When she realizes they have been fighting, she asks what would their father have thought and Jean-Luc says they would probably have been sent to bed without their supper. Marie says at least they got it out of their systems. Jean-Luc agrees and then says he's going to cancel the meeting with Louis and that it's time to leave. He says that Enterprise will be ready to leave soon and he belongs on board and if he should ever doubt that again, he knows where to come.
Wesley is at the holodeck, having loaded Jack's message in and walks inside. He sees an image of Jack, in his old-style uniform. When Jack recorded this, Wesley was ten weeks old. Jack says he wants Wesley to know what he was like when Wesley was born, saying that the person who makes this recording will be gone, replaced by an older, more experienced and hopefully smarter man but this one will be gone. Jack says that he knows nothing about being a dad and apologizes for the mistakes he will make through Wesley's life. He hopes that Wesley isn't too upset about him being gone as much as he was, but that's part of wearing the Starfleet uniform. He hopes that when Wesley gets the message he'll understand and perhaps try a uniform on for himself. Jack says he'll probably end up a doctor, like his mother. Jack says he can see himself and the entire family in Wesley and that he can feel Wesley is his son. That there is a connection between them and that Jack will always be part of him. He says that he will try to do better next message and that he loves Wesley. The hologram fades just before Wesley can embrace him and he simply can only say "Goodbye, Dad."
Meanwhile, at La Barre, Jean-Luc prepares to leave. Marie tells him to come back and to be careful. Jean-Luc says goodbye to "Uncle" René. René tells Jean-Luc he'll be leaving for his starship one day. Jean-Luc says that when he gets older he may change his mind. Robert gives Jean-Luc the wine they were drinking. He tells Jean-Luc not to drink it all at once and if possible, try not to drink it alone. Just before Jean-Luc leaves, he and Robert finally embrace, having done much to heal their wounds.
As Worf walks the Rozhenkos to the transporter room, Helena asks if they can send him something from home and Worf asks for some of her Rokeg blood pie. She says it's been a while but she thinks she still remembers how. They meet Picard at the door and Worf introduces him to his parents. Picard asks if they had a full tour and Sergey says that because of the repairs there were a few places they missed, but Helena and Worf push him into the transporter room. He tells Picard he has all the specs and diagrams at home as the door closes and Picard goes on into the ship.
Back at home, René is still outside dreaming of starships and adventures. Marie says he's been out there a long time and Robert says to let him dream. As René sits staring at the stars, a streak shoots through the sky on its way out into space once again.
- Act 5, Scene 35 - The holographic message from Jack Crusher includes lengthy family details about the Crusher legacy.
"I do not believe any Human can truly understand my dishonor."
- - Worf, referencing his earlier discommendation by the Klingons
"Don't call me sir - I used to work for a living!"
- - Sergey Rozhenko, upon meeting fellow NCO O'Brien
"I know who you are."
"Then you have the advantage."
"You're my nephew Jean-Luc from the starship Enterprise."
"Then you must be my uncle René."
"I'm not your uncle. It's the other way around."
"Too bad. I rather enjoyed the idea."
- - René Picard and Jean-Luc Picard
"You know, you don't seem so arro... arro... Y'know!"
"Yes! Arrogant! You don't seem that way to me. What does it mean, anyway? Arrogant Son of a-"
"Let's... Talk about that later, shall we?"
- - René Picard and Jean-Luc Picard
"So we walk into the school and we didn't know what to expect. Is Worf hurt, is he in some kind of trouble? The door opens and there is our little seven year-old sitting on the chair and glaring across the room at five teenage boys all of them with bloody noses!"
"And then the principal looks up and says please tell me he's an only child!"
- - Sergey and Helena Rozhenko
"There's just one thing I don't understand. You were such a rotten swimmer, Louis. (laughs) Thinking of you working on the ocean floor."
- - Jean-Luc Picard, to Louis
"I'm afraid that Worf feels that...we do not understand him."
"Well, part of him may feel that way...but there's another part that I've seen - the part that comes in and...drinks prune juice...the part that looks out the window towards home. He's not looking towards the Klingon Empire, he's looking towards you."
- - Helena Rozhenko and Guinan, assuring the Rozhenkos that they were far more successful in raising Worf than they might realize
"Why didn't you break a few rules?"
"'Cause I was the elder brother, the responsible one. It was my job to look after you."
"Look after me? You, you were a bully!"
"Sometimes ... maybe. Sometimes I even enjoyed bullying you!"
"All right. Try it now!"
"Why did you come back, Jean-Luc? Did you come back because you wanted me to look after you again?"
- - Jean-Luc Picard and Robert Picard before getting into a scrap
"You were asking for it, you know?"
"Yes, but you needed it - you have been terribly hard on yourself!"
- - Jean-Luc Picard and Robert Picard, soaked in mud, their anger having turned to laughter
"You don't know, Robert, you don't know. They took everything I was. They used me to kill and to destroy, and I couldn't stop them! I should have been able to stop them! I tried. I tried so hard. But I wasn't strong enough! I wasn't good enough! I should have been able to stop them. I should, I should."
"So, my brother is a human being after all. This is going to be with you a long time, Jean-Luc. A long time."
- - Jean-Luc Picard and Robert Picard, on Jean-Luc's recent experience with the Borg
- - Wesley Crusher, when his father's holographic message ends
"I have all the specs and diagrams at home!"
- - Sergey Rozhenko
"It's getting late."
"Yes... but let him dream, hmm?"
- - Marie and Robert Picard, while their son René looks up at the stars
Story and production
- While not written or filmed until well after the completion of "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II", "Family" became the unofficial third installment of the Borg trilogy. While no Borg actually appeared and no action took place in the episode, the story served as a fitting resolution to the action- and drama-heavy two parter. It was "Best of Both Worlds" writer Michael Piller who suggested the quiet episode to heal Picard's wounds on-camera. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- Piller recalled, "The normal objections were that we were not serialized. We try to tell stories that can be told in one hour and that's what we do very well. When I got to the end of Part II, we made the decision not to extend it and I called up Rick and said, 'Hey, listen. Next week Picard can be fine, but for a show that prides itself on its realistic approach to storytelling, how can you have a guy who's basically been raped be fine next week? There's a story in a man like Picard who's lost control. Delving into the psychological crisis that a man like that has to face, and what does he have to do? ' Finally, I was persuasive enough to talk Gene and Rick into taking the chance, and I think everyone is glad we did." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- Conditional to Berman's acceptance was that a sci-fi storyline be added. Various plots were tried but rejected, including one with a child stowaway and another in which a wormhole caused crewmembers to disappear. (The latter plot would be recycled to form the basis of "Remember Me") Berman relented when it became clear that the plots would not work well together, and the show's family-themed subplots were added to fill the hour. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- Ronald D. Moore commented, "We decided as long as we were there at Earth, let's make it a show about people's families and do some other characters' on the ship and explore their backgrounds. It became a very off-concept show, [looking] at the characters and how they got to be who and what they are." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- The Jack Crusher subplot was based upon a spec script submitted by Susanne Lambdin and Bryan Stewart. Piller recalled that Crusher's holotaped speech really hit home for him, as the episode was produced soon after the birth of his own daughter. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- In a deleted portion of Wesley's encounter with the hologram of his father, Jack mentions his assignment to the USS Stargazer and Wesley's never heard middle name, Robert. Jack also referred to several ancestors of his, including a horse thief on Nimbus III (a reference to the planet seen in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier), one who "fought for the Confederacy at Bull Run, and one who died at Station Salem-One. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- Although this episode aired as the second episode of the season, it was actually filmed fourth, after "Suddenly Human" and "Brothers". (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- The exterior shots of the Picard family's home in La Barre was actually filmed at two locations. The house itself was a private residence in Encino, California, and a dryland near Lancaster stood in for the vineyards, which were then digitally inserted into a matte painting that shows the surrounding village and hills. The interior shots were taken on a soundstage.
- Theodore Bikel and Georgia Brown were both well known in Yiddish theater, initially causing some studio concern that Worf's parents might appear comically "Jewish". Piller dismissed these concerns, noting that the finished episode "treads the line" of universal humor. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- Along with Star Trek: First Contact, this episode is one of the two Star Trek productions to feature two Academy Award-nominated performers, namely Theodore Bikel and Samantha Eggar. Bikel and Eggar previously worked together on Columbo: The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case, which also featured Kenneth Mars.
- The final draft of the script was dated 2 August 1990, and revisions were made as late as 20 August.
- First UK airdate: 13 April 1994
- Brent Spiner (Data) does not appear in this episode, the only one of the entire series in which he is absent.
- "Family" is the first episode in which no scene is set on the Enterprise's bridge (except for stock footage seen in "Shades of Gray"). Other episodes of this sort include "Liaisons" and "Dark Page".
- In this episode, Chief O'Brien gained a full name, Miles Edward O'Brien, as well as a more defined rank, Chief petty officer, though his rank insignia would continue to change. In his scene in "Family", O'Brien continued to wear the two pips of lieutenant. See also: Miles O'Brien's rank history
- On the discrepancy, Ron Moore commented, "O'Brien was originally just a day player on TNG and very little, if any, thought went into his rank or background for quite a while. He officially became a Chief Petty Officer in "Family" when I wanted he and Worf's adoptive father to both be non-coms in contrast to Worf. Making him an enlisted man seemed to give us another color in the show and to open up another window into Starfleet that we hadn't explored before." (AOL chat, 1998)
- Rozhenko asks Worf if he still works out fighting holodeck monsters, referring to the Klingon calisthenics program seen in "Where Silence Has Lease".
- Picard mentions to Louis how they changed the geology of Drema IV, referring to the events of "Pen Pals".
- Guinan tells Worf's parents about his affection to prune juice, something established in "Yesterday's Enterprise".
- Jack Crusher appears in the hologram wearing a Starfleet uniform from the TOS films but without the undershirt that had trapunto collar and cuffs and with a TNG-era combadge. This might have been intended to show a transition period in the Starfleet uniforms, as the crew of the Enterprise-C had also appeared in trapunto-less movie uniforms but with a combadge based on the movie insignia.
- In a possible error in continuity, the uniform that Beverly took from Jack's storage box and that he wore in the holographic message displays a rank insignia for Lieutenant junior grade. However, the storage box indicates that Jack has the rank of Lieutenant commander. This discrepancy could be explained by the fact that the message was recorded six years before his death, and he could have been promoted accordingly during the interim meaning that the uniform in the box is simply one from earlier in his career. Indeed, the script states, "He wears an older Starfleet uniform with lieutenant's insignia."
- Robert and René would appear once more, though portrayed by different actors, in photographs seen in the Picard family album in Star Trek Generations following their tragic deaths in a house fire.
- René tells Jean-Luc that he will someday leave the family home to go to his own starship. Later, David Tristan Birkin, the child actor who played René, would reappear in the Season 6 episode "Rascals" as Young Jean-Luc Picard.
- The bottle of Chateau Picard that Robert gives to the captain later reappeared in "Legacy" and "First Contact", as well as in the feature Star Trek Nemesis, albeit with a different label.
- The song sung by Robert and Jean-Luc after their fight in the mud is Auprès de ma Blonde, an old and well-known French folk song.
- At the end of the episode when René is outside looking at the stars, the constellation Orion is visible, but on Orion's Belt all three stars are aligned, while in reality they are not quite colinear.
- Future Star Trek: Voyager guest star Ian Abercrombie provided voiceover work for some of Jeremy Kemp's lines as Robert Picard. This notably includes lines just before the fight between Robert and Jean-Luc.
- Riker has his usual rank and rank insignia of Commander and position as Executive Officer (first officer) again at the start of this episode. While not mentioned directly on-screen, it seems that he either renounced the commission of Captain that he was awarded in the previous episode in order to remain on the Enterprise or the field commission was taken back by Starfleet with Picard's return.
- The chair in Worf's quarters was also seen in "Peak Performance", "Reunion", "Redemption", "New Ground", "Cost of Living", "A Fistful of Datas", "Birthright, Part I", "Parallels", "Genesis", and "Firstborn" and was previously used as the command chair aboard the Tarellian starship in the first season episode "Haven". It was designed by Peter Opsvik. 
- Director Les Landau remarked, "I think it was certainly one of my best episodes and one of the best episodes of Star Trek ever. 'Family' was the perfect follow-up to the Borg shows and the conclusion of that storyline. Picard was in a dilemma, what to do and what better place to do it than in the environs of one's 'home.' After all, his home is the universe, but his specific home is La Barre, France. This was a story that was opened up. It was about Earth and a place that we could identify with human beings and no aliens. That opening moment where Picard walks into the vineyard and see his brother on his hands and knees picking grapes [and] his brother doesn't even acknowledge him, gives me chills just thinking about it." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- Ronald D. Moore commented, "It was a really charming piece and I was honored to have a chance to write it because it gave us a chance to really explore these people's lives for a change, instead of saving the universe again and again." (Chronicles from the Final Frontier, TNG Season 4 DVD special features)
- "Family" was the lowest-rated episode of the fourth season. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- A mission report for this episode by Robert Greenberger was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine Vol. 15, pp. 4-8.
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for a Series (Marvin V. Rush).
Video and DVD releases
- Original UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 38, 17 February 1992.
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 4.1, 19 March 2001.
- As part of the Region 1 edition of the Star Trek: The Next Generation - Jean-Luc Picard Collection.
- As part of the TNG Season 4 DVD collection.
Links and references
- LeVar Burton as Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
- Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf
- Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher
- Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi
- Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data
- Wil Wheaton as Ensign Wesley Crusher
- Jeremy Kemp as Robert Picard
- Samantha Eggar as Marie Picard
- Theodore Bikel as Sergey Rozhenko
- Georgia Brown as Helena Rozhenko
- Dennis Creaghan as Louis
- Colm Meaney as Miles O'Brien
Special guest star
- Ian Abercrombie as Robert Picard (ADR voiceover)
- K.C. Amos as operations division officer
- Rachen Assapiomonwait as Nelson
- Majel Barrett as USS Enterprise-D computer voice
- Carl David Burks as Russell
- Nyra Crenshaw as operations division officer
- Elliot Durant III as operations division ensign
- Margaret Flores as science division officer
- Michael Moorehead as civilian
- Denise Lynne Roberts as Patti
- Talbot as Ten Forward waitress
- Unknown performers as
- Nora Leonhardt - stand-in for Marina Sirtis
- Lorine Mendell - stand-in for Gates McFadden
- Randy Pflug - stand-in for Colm Meaney
- Richard Sarstedt - stand-in for Jonathan Frakes
- Dennis Tracy - stand-in for Patrick Stewart
- Guy Vardaman - stand-in for Wil Wheaton
- James Washington - stand-in for Michael Dorn
Atlantic Ocean; Atlantis project; biobed; Bloom sisters; Bobruisk; Drema IV; drydock; Earth; Earth Station Bobruisk; Excelsior-class; Galaxy-class; La Barre; Mid-Atlantic Ridge; mirror; mud; O'Brien, Michael; Orion; painting; Picard, Maurice; Picard, Yvette; principal; prune juice; Qo'noS; replicator; Stanton; Stargazer, USS; subduction zone; Venezuela
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