Remember that scene in Star Trek: Picard that had Data in a drawer? Well, that scene was a lot harder to make happen then you realize.
Thanks to an official behind the scene look from Star Trek proper and a deeper dive from SyFy Wire, Star Trek fans will be surprised to know just how much effort went into tracking down the Data-in-the-drawer parts from the first season of Star Trek: Picard.
For instance, the parts we see in “Remembrance” are in fact original “Data parts” that Lombardi procured from various places in the world. The reason for the trek to find the Data-parts was due to so many pieces being auctioned off to private collectors.
The crew thought it’d be more cost-effective to find pieces to use in the scene. That means tracking down as much of Data as possible. It’s revealed in the SyFy Wire deep dive that Data’s head for the shot was apparently found in Calgary, while his torso in Hong Kong.
“It was a huge relief for me at the time as I was trying to sculpt a torso for Data with my fabricators and was having a hard time getting the muscle tone right,” Lombardi told SYFY WIRE. “Finding his torso was like ‘See, that’s how buff Data is.’”
Yet, who’s parts are these? There’s long been a debate if it’s Data or his brother B-4 in the shots. Well, SyFy Wire can confirm that technically, it’s B-4 in the drawer. According to SyFy Wire, these are the parts that were made for Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002, to depict B-4’s body parts.
“Both of them [the head and torso] I confirmed, with the help of CBS archivist John Van Citters, as being from Nemesis,” Lombardi explains. “I considered [using] Data’s head from ‘Time’s Arrow’ and Lore’s finger but those parts are owned by private collectors. I reached out to those people but really Data’s head from that time would not have been as recognizable to what we as audiences have become accustomed to Data looking like now, so it didn’t really work out.”
The rest of the Data parts ended up being made from scratch due to the difficulty in trying to find the rest of him.
“The legs and arms were custom builds by Paul Elliot with Makeup Effects Lab in North Hollywood,” Lombardi says. “They have a long history and connection with Star Trek and were very excited to be involved again. Regretfully, I don’t think we will ever see all of Data’s parts in all their iterations together ever again. They are just too spread out across the world now. There was a short time I considered having a collector fly out with one of Data’s head’s, but he would have had to stay with it on set all day! In the end, I did save money finding these parts as opposed to building them from scratch which would have cost a small fortune and producers really, really like that.”
Gotta love when a show goes all out.