Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Wang, Kolbe

Actor Garrett Wang and director Winrich Kolbe on location for "Caretaker"

Lambda Paz surface

As the Lambda Paz surface in TNG "Final Mission"

Dennis Tracy on location

Stand-ins Dennis Tracy and Randy Pflug on location for "Final Mission"

The El Mirage Dry Lake Bed location in the Mojave desert in San Bernardino County, east of Los Angeles, California, was used for filming the surface of Lambda Paz in the Star Trek: The Next Generation fourth season episode "Final Mission" in 1990. In 1994 it was used to portray the surface of the Ocampa homeworld in the Star Trek: Voyager pilot episode "Caretaker". In 2002 the production used the midway between the El Mirage Dry Lake Bed and the Edwards Air Force Base to shoot the scenes on the Kolarus III surface in Star Trek Nemesis.

Actor Garrett Wang later remarked that, during the filming of "Caretaker", Director of Photography Marvin V. Rush arrived at the location in his own personal helicopter. [1]

The location was also used for several other film and television projects including the science fiction film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984), action film Lethal Weapon (1987), the science fiction sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), the western comedy Maverick (1994), an the comedy remake Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005). The El Mirage Dry Lake Bed can also be seen in the opening sequence of the television series Knight Rider (1982-1987).

Several musicians also filmed their music videos on this location such as Shania Twain with "That Don't Impress Me Much", Josh Groban with "You Are Loved", and Metallica with "I Disappear".

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