Just wanted to talk about this bit before I finish off with this thread. What do you think actually went on during this scene? Everything about this skeleton doesn't match any of the dialogue.
Riker: Looks like the poor fellow died in his sleep.
Data: The lack of any advanced decomposition is due to the sterile environment.
First, it's pretty silly to conclude that this man died in his sleep since the bed sheets were covering his entire body including his head. His position looks less like he passed away while he was sleeping and more like someone killed him and hurriedly put his body into the bed.
Second, this corpse is WAY passed advanced stage of decomposition since there's nothing fresh or preserved about it. In fact, there's hardly anything left on the skeleton to decompose.
I think the original intent of this scene was going to use an old actor with some light make up to look a bit decomposed and have him in an appropriate sleeping posture in the bed. When it comes to Riker's conclusion that he looked like he died in his sleep, which is the more convincing image?
I honestly don't know why nobody caught this. The actors, the director, the writer and even the bloody prop department would all be involved in this. Did they realize too late that they couldn't get an actor to put in the bed and were forced to resort to using a skeleton prop? Well if that was the case, why didn't they change the dialogue to fit the scene? Was there some rule that says you can't change the dialogue even before you start shooting the scene?