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Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)
Paramount logo

Paramount logo found at the intro of many Star Trek films

Paramount Stage 16 is located on the Paramount Pictures lot in Hollywood, California and is the largest sound stage on the lot.

Stage 16 was used in the production of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager and was lovingly referred to as "Planet Hell". One of the stage's usages was housing temporary swing sets. As such, Richard James dreaded episodes that were set largely on Stage 16. "The real killer episodes for us are the ones where the action takes place for the most part on the new sets – what we call the swing sets – those are built on Stage 16," James explained. "If we get an episode with only one or two days shooting in the permanent sets on [Stages] 8 and 9, and five days of shooting in the new sets on 16, the impact on us is just killer. It leaves us scrambling to get the new sets built on 16 for the next episode, because we can't start building those sets until we tear down the old ones. It's the kind of schedule I look at and say, 'Oh, no!'" (A Vision of the Future - Star Trek: Voyager, pp. 64-65) Stage 16 is most known, however, for being the home of Star Trek's various cave sets.

For Voyager, the stage also contained the sets for Chez Sandrine and, later in the series, astrometrics.

Vagra II surface

Stage 16's "Planet Hell" set

Paramount stage 16

Stage 16 during the early episodes of TNG

For the filming of TNG pilot episode "Encounter at Farpoint" in 1987, Paramount Stage 16 was used to house the set of Q's courtroom. (Information from Larry Nemecek) Filming took place between Monday 15 June 1987 and Thursday 18 June 1987.

On Wednesday 14 October 1987, Thursday 15 October 1987, and Friday 16 October 1987, Paramount Stage 16 housed the sets of Karnas' office and the tunnel systems on Mordan IV for TNG Season 1 episode "Too Short A Season".

On 26 July 1990 and 27 July 1990, Paramount Stage 16 was used for filming the racquetball court scenes and the scenes of the Talarian ready room for the episode "Suddenly Human". On 30 November 1990, the stage was used for the Dixon Hill office set for the episode "Clues".

The cave set with the fountain was also created on this set in 1990, for "Final Mission". (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 212)

In February 1991, Paramount Stage 16 was used for filming the scenes inside the Nottingham Castle for the episode "Qpid". Following a day on location at Descanso Gardens, several reshoots and close-ups were required and filmed outside of Stage 16.

Also in 1991, it was used as the interior set for the Rura Penthe scenes in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. It was additionally used for several shots on the surface of El-Adrel IV in the episode "Darmok". These scenes were filmed on 26 July 1991.

On Thursday 15 August 1991, several close-ups of Jonathan Frakes for the episode "Silicon Avatar" were filmed outside of Stage 16. Primary location photography for this episode was filmed on location at the Golden Oak Ranch.

In 1992, Terry Farrell went to Stage 16 to visit her friend Marina Sirtis after her auditions for the part of Jadzia Dax were finished, then Farrell got a message from Rick Berman to come to his office and got the part. (DS9 Season 1 DVD special feature "Section 31-Hidden File 06")

In 1994, an artificial cliff was built on Stage 16 for TNG: "Bloodlines". (Starlog Science-Fiction Explorer, issue #8)

That same year, Stage 16 housed at least two sets for VOY: "Caretaker": specifically, the interiors of both an illusory barn and a section of the Caretaker's array wherein the USS Voyager crew are suspended. (Star Trek Monthly issue 3)

In December 1994, Stage 16 was used for the set of the drawing room from Janeway's Gothic holonovel, in a scene produced for VOY: "Eye of the Needle" but included in "Cathexis". (A Vision of the Future - Star Trek: Voyager, p. 19)

For the second season episode "Resistance", Stage 16 housed the marketplace and surrounding alley sets. The scenes were filmed on Friday 29 September 1995 and Monday 2 October 1995.

For the third season episode "Warlord", Stage 16 housed the sets of the Ilari Imperial Hall, the shuttle interior, the prison cell, and the Paxau Resort holoprogram.

In 2002, Stage 16 housed the interior sets of the Reman Warbird Scimitar for the production of Star Trek Nemesis.

The bridge of the Scimitar was set apart from these sets, located on Paramount Stage 29.

Star Trek production returned to Stage 16 in 2017, where greenscreen footage for the premiere episode of Star Trek: Discovery, "The Vulcan Hello", was filmed. (AT: "O Discovery, Where Art Thou?")



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