Tasha Yar appears in this episode which takes place on stardate 41997.7, but Tasha died in episode 23, stardate 41697.9. SD 41997.7 puts it at the end of the season, past the season finale.
The shortstop from the London Kings that Data mentions is actually Buck Bokei, favorite baseball player of Ben and Jake Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
At one point, when Data is talking with the cheesy accent, he says "I'd" rather than "I would." This contradicts the statements in "Datalore" and other later episodes that Data cannot use contractions.
The lipstick on Picard changes between when he is kissed, and later when he leaves the holodeck - it's darker and on and above his lips.
When the two gangsters leave the holodeck, the shot from behind them shows a solid wall opposite the door. But when they step out, the side shot shows a corridor opposite the holodeck door.
Wesley says that one mistake and they could vaporize Picard and the others inside the holodeck. There's never been any indication that a holodeck can disintegrate existing matter like that before or since. And who the heck makes a holodeck like that anyway?
When Riker tells Yar to open a channel to the Jarada, you can see the reflection of a boom mike in the workstation along the back wall behind him.
At the end, when the two hologram gangsters step out of the holodeck, the repair team that's been working on the holodeck is nowhere in sight.
For some reason when Picard enters the holodeck, he makes a log entry explaining what a holodeck is. There's no reason he would log an explanation of a relatively common piece of equipment.
Picard: It was a nice place to visit, Number One... but I wouldn't want to die there.
Geordi: So, Data, how was it?
Data: It was raining in the City by the Bay; a hard rain. Hard enough to wash the slime ...
Data: Sorry, sir.
Picard: Lieutenant, take us out of orbit... and Mr. LaForge ...
Picard: Step on it!
Picard: What a language!
Troi: You spell "knife" with a "k."
Picard: I spell 'knife' with an "n." But then I never could spell.
Picard: And when I looked down into the street I actually saw automobiles.
Data: An ancient Earth device used primarily for transportation. Also seen as a source of status and virility. Often a prime ingredient in teenage mating rituals.
Data: He's on ice.
Data: He's being grilled!
Crusher: What is he? A fish?
The episode won Emmy Award for Outstanding Costume Design for a Series.
Frequent series director Rob Bowman was originally due to direct this episode, but was replaced by Joe Scanlan at the last minute.
The packaging for the VHS release of this episode incorrectly states the name of the fictional detective as Virgil Hill, not Dixon Hill.
The character name Cyrus Redblock is a play on the name of actor Sydney Greenstreet who appeared in many film-noir movies. Actor Lawrence Tierney bears a resemblence to Greenstreet.
Picard's Dixon Hill alter-ego was originally named Dixon Steele, but someone pointed out it was probably too close to NBC's Remington Steele to be used.
The airing of episodes out of production order in the first season is made painfully obvious especially in this episode. You can tell by the stardates given in log entries.
This episode was originally slated to air after "11001001," thus explaining the holodeck malfunction as a result of the Bynars' tampering. When the scheduling changed, the reason for the malfunction was changed to the Jarada scanners.
This marks the first of many episodes throughout the series, as well as Deep Space Nine and Voyager, to feature the characters in malfunctioning holodeck scenarios.
The title is a combination of the titles of two novels by Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep (1939) and The Long Goodbye (1954). The characters in the holodeck program, however, are based on the cast of the 1941 film The Maltese Falcon, based on a book by Dashiell Hammett. The characters of that film provided the stereotypes for criminals and gangsters for an untold number of films, TV shows, cartoons and stories, both good and bad.
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