Good point. Maybe gone insane. Nobody else got that?? Or do you just try to cover the important points, maybe while making yourself look a little better than you actually do in the process? Still, Q wasn't directly responsible for those deaths. Tiny & Perfect for Reading in Bed, Playing in the St. Wynell0k2. Wow, you *really* don't like character based episodes. “It kept crawling up the ladder over the years. Gradually, Kamin resumes the life on Kataan that he doesn't remember. Masterpiece.... not just for Star Trek, for ANY TV show, movie, theater, etc. " In fact, to be honest, we don't even know what exactly happened to those people. seemingly had no involvement in the probe's construction, and so the parts of Kataan that Picard-as-Kamin comes to love are not necessarily the same part of the civilization that decided on the probe itself. By all rights, Startfleet should remove this captain whose mind must be hopelessly confused! There is one scene where the wife says she's been looking through the telescope for 30 years with the daughter. Ah, okay, I just realized one flaw in my first paragraph -- the family (sans Eline and Batai Sr.) were going to "the launching" excitedly and so presumably knew what was being launched. Tha launch of the probe and Picard's realization that he was the one it'll find. The story told here is actually quite straightforward, but the implications are hauntingly significant and affecting, and provide nothing less than a contemplation upon our own mortality — as individuals as well as, someday, inevitably, our entire civilization. Jean-Luc takes the flute out of the case, the sole tangible token he has or ever will have that the "life" he lived on Kataan was REAL (i.e. John de Lancie's Q is a recurring pain in the arse for the crew of the Enterprise, but no one can say he isn't any fun. "Now I don't see how I could live without them.". My favorite episodes of St:TNG are "Yesterday's Enterprise", and this one. But to her, she’s like “who the hell are you???”. Ha Alexandra kudos for your contrarian rant against one of Trek's sacred cows. True, there are some technical holes in the plot, but that's true of most any sci-fi story. Not even hyperbole. The Inner Light Lately I've been thinking after rewatching the Inner Light. Standout moment? The secret of "The Inner Light" is that the world of Kataan has been gone for 1,000 years, destroyed by a supernova that its residents had no hope of escaping. I can tell you that I don't think I liked it very much. Don't worry. Good "message in a bottle" show that works on a Twlight Zone level. I thought it was a nice touch that as he approached the turbolift near the end, Picard raised his right hand to operate the Kataan door mechanism, as he had been doing for the past thirty years. I imagine Kamin standing before those stone steps where he had played the flute while having a late night with Batai. Toward the end of Kamin’s “lifetime,” Picard — who never forgets his real life in Starfleet  — learns the purpose of the probe and the five decades of virtual life that was given to him: to keep alive the memory of Kamin’s race long after the death of their civilization. Medical assistance is summoned. Lol i guess I've watched this show way too many times. It’s a timeless, poignant story, and on the occasion of the show’s silver anniversary, we got a chance to chat with screenwriter Morgan Gendel, about the legacy of this classic episode, its inspirations, and how there was very nearly a sequel episode. The only thing that really bothered me (and I know I'm nerding hard here), is that I don't think a civilization that is incapable of space travel, and has apparently just built their 'first missile' would be capable of launching such an advanced probe, capable of moving at a very high speed. While functionally and logically I'd say that putting all of Kataan's eggs in one basket is an awfully risky way of preserving that history, I will also say that it's somehow the perfect emotional note for this story. The writers are not science fiction writers and refuse to acknowledge the setting and the implications of the technology. On the footnote, I agree with PaulW's statement that there are subtle changes in Picard as a result of this episode, though I think it's more that a wide collection of experiences changed him, and this episode could be removed from his development (and some changes made to Lessons, obviously) without fundamentally changing his evolution of the course of the series. I've watched it once, and never cared to revisited. 0:50m Star Trek: Lower Decks - The Rescue . I hated it when it first came out and I hate it just as much today. Although I do generally agree with Sean on character driven episodes tedious and extremely pointless on a sci-fi premise (this goes for books even more so), i thought here it was done brilliantly. Where does everyone get the "30 years" number from? @Racker and @Jay -- The seeming incongruity of the society's level of technology and the sophistication of the memory probe scratched at me the whole time, too. Why did that happen? Have to echo the majority of comments above - really good and emotional episode. Gendel said that originally “it was going to affect [Captain Picard, Commander Riker, and Ensign Ro], they were all going to be mutually in this thing, and at one point there was even a romantic triangle. I've often seen this episode ranked among TNG's best and it would be in my top 5 for sure. The "anomaly of the week" would have telegraphed the ending a little too clearly and the show would seem more ridden with cliches than it actually is. It is a sentimental love story rather than the usual sci-fi adventure that I assume most ST fans tune in for. Part of the subtlety of this incredible episode comes from the seeming ability of what must be computer-generated characters to be aware of their fate. Picard awakens to find he is an everyman in a small village on a world called Kataan, where everyone knows him as Kamin. What a beautiful episode. They could be dead or they could have been assimilated; we just don't know. This is a beautiful episode, and one of the highlights of the entire Trek franchise. “(TNG writer) Joe Menosky made an appointment for me to pitch, so I was getting kind of desperate that I didn’t have anything fresh or original,” Gendel told Nerdist. That's what this episode taps into spiritually and the source of its power. I always saw the episode as cautionary tale about global warming. The probe literally "brainwashes" Picard. They couldn't just have some sort of artifact that contained information about the planet's history and people? Season 5, Episode 25: The winner of a Hugo Award for writer Morgan Gendel, “The Inner Light” opens with Picard being knocked unconscious by an energy beam from a probe found in space. The fact that it makes no sense is disorienting to us as it is to Picard, and it works for the story. It wasn’t an overnight thing.”, “I’ll tell you, it took a long time to develop this episode. So I have some responses to issues brought up in this thread (almost all of them interesting!). I found it myopic that the probe seems to have shut down after afflicting Picard. So this thing looked very futuristic for the time, considering this is before digital even…It was very futuristic.”, “So my original concept was ‘what if the Enterprise comes across something very strange, like a probe, and next thing you know, Picard, Riker and Ro Laren would find themselves on another planet. First he gets assimilated by the Borg and now is forced to live someone else's lifetime! I was a freelancer pitching it, and I had to go back and pitch it five times, because they didn’t buy it from me right away, and it kept getting better and better each time I’d pitch it,” says Gendel. I'll repeat what almost everyone here has said, this is one of the best episodes of the whole Star Trek franchise. The incongruity of the differing levels of technology are forgivable because the story is so powerful and emotive. It is, in short, a story of the human experience. The only difference is Ressik overlooks a deep river valley rather than the Mediterranean Sea. Even after almost 30 years, this is still one of the best hours of television I've ever seen. Eline pulls Picard away from his purely male and single-minded focus on his role as captain, and forces him to experience children and to pay attention to her. Allow the shrieks of rage to follow, but I'd easily rather watch "Threshold," "Spock's Brain," "A Night and Sickbay" than this. Geez, George Monet, all of your posts are so angry. Eh, there are women in this comment section who like this episode a lot so I’m a bit skeptical of rhetoric saying it “speaks only to men” any more than Sci-Fi itself speaks only to men. 2. "Women have far less problems with that.". This time, when Picard rejects his offer to help mend some fences with a lady friend, he transports a number of the crew to Sherwood Forest, planting them straight into a Robin Hood adventure. I don't know if I can say it's the all around best episode of TNG, but it's a hell of a candidate. Back aboard the Enterprise, the crew attempts to disconnect Picard from the probe, but they fail. 13. But the way in which Kamin's family are "good people" is personal, local -- rather than on a larger scale of the Kataan civilization. Jean Luc's awareness is pulled into the virtual reality of a simulated yet very real world. And don't forget the wonderful music by Jay Chattaway. It was a message meant for an audience of one, who now is the sole carrier of the dead civilization's history. The writers thankfully began to correct this issue in Deep Space Nine. Story by Morgan Gendel One of my favorite bits of Trek trivia is that Margot Rose who played Eline in this episode would play the Agrathi Warden of the VR prison in DS9's "Hard Time"--which used the same compressed memory idea. Now I've read all the comments on this review, and have some responses to share: I agree with the post above that this episode is "slightly overrated". I just watched this MASTERFUL episode, and it seems to me a lot more than 30 years have passed. I give it 10 srars. This is a terrible Star Trek episode. Couldn't they at least have put a pillow under Picard's head while he laid there on the floor of the bridge? * The episodic nature of TNG proves here to be both a blessing and a curse. “Encounter at Farpoint” (Season 1, Episodes 1 and 2) Star Trek: The Next Generation got off to a … This is with good reason. I think it changed a lot over the course of the series, actually. There is no dialogue where Riker states that he now understands of the probe's purpose and that he approves of it, and is sorry for having tried to stop it. “I think it’s one of Sir Patrick’s best performances ever, in all his screen work. Emmy award material! (Intriguingly irrelevant question: Was Kamin based on a real person on Kataan, or was his whole existence an invention for the purpose of the interactive program? Check any list of best Trek episodes and “The Inner Light” is on it. The episode is extremely well written and I agree with everything you say (save the footnote complaints about "reset button"--please, if anyone can assimiliate those 30 years into his life, it's Picard). But somehow that wouldn't be right. "Hard Time" addresses the issue as it truly is - torture. Tommorrow the New Horizons probe is going to make its closest approach to Pluto after which it will leave the solar system. Taken at face value, it does deliver a very moving story. She liked seeing Worf and O'Brien at Farpoint. how'd the charts of the uncharted system with a planet dead for a thousand years know? If anyone deserved two lives then it was Picard. I know I'm being a stickler, but what makes TNG's "reset button" even more of a problem here is that if we go by the stardates, Time's Arrow, Part I takes place merely ONE WEEK after The Inner Light. There are only a couple of actors in the whole franchise's history who could I think rise to such a challenge: Patrick Stewart, Andrew J. Robinson, Kate Mulgrew and maybe Robert Picardo. I don't think you could ever make another episode like this and make it work, because it's just such a weird concept, and yet such a inspiring concept, that any attempt to have another episode like it would feel hollow instead. Such Sweet Sorrow Part 2. If enough people tell you that something is great there is a good chance that you will see it that as something great, too. "It's also hard to believe that it would have taken all this time between the nova and the Ent-D finding it for that one person to encounthr the probe. Insufferable. The Inglorious Treksperts podcast listed among the overrated episodes of Trek. This is a very smart episode, with a great storyline, amazing writing, memorable characters we care about. The Inner Light is 100% a 10/10 episode. Picard is *not* objective, but even he does not state that he approves of the probe. Picard awakes to find himself living in a small village where he is a well-known member of the community who is suffering from a delusion of being a starship captain. Surprised no one mentioned this -- the only disappointing part of this episode for me occurs years later at the end of "Generations.". I’ll take Hot Boiling Oil for $1000, Alex. It is still, to me, a very, very, very good episode. The probe was their interactive time capsule meant to deliver the history of their world to one person, via the very specific experience of becoming one of them and living a life among them. Wow. His soul touches and is touched by the people there. I warned her that if she got bored we would start skipping the clunkers though. What gets me every time and makes me tear up is after Will leaves Picard's quarters. Hands down one of the top 5 episodes of all the Star Trek franchises. Speaking for myself, of course Stewart is fantastic and the episode wouldn't work without him (or someone of his calibre, whoever that would be!) But I don't take his emotional reaction purely as *approval* or as some statement on the goodness of the probe manufacturers. Another person might have panicked. Doesn't matter how many times I watch this, every time Meribor bends down and says, "You know about it father. Someone should've given Peter Allan Fields a medal or something. One called Tapestry. Even the big city bureaucrat gets a gentle treatment. A strong contender for the best TNG (or other) Trek episode (although, I think I prefer Yesterday's Enterprise and Chain of Command). So I figure Picard built the telescope when the daughter was about 10, and we know Picard arrived there about 5 years before the daughter was born, so that's 45 years right there. Easily in the top 5 of all Star Trek, and top 2 or 3 of TNG. I would be remiss to point out that if, as is suggested, Picard really returns at the end of this hour exactly as if it's been half a lifetime since he last was himself, then he should be a fundamentally different person forever. (And it was so thoughtful of the Kataanians to leave him SOME tangible object from his "life" there. The episode was later included on the Star Trek: The Next Generation season six DVD box set, released in the United States on December 3, 2002, and on Blu-ray on June 24, 2014. I like not knowing how it was done, it misses the point to ask anyway. Macduff was able to seize control of the Enterprise and its computer, alter its data, give everybody (INCLUDING Data!) It's a concept that's beautiful in the depth of its meaning, and yet astounding in the simplicity of its procedure. It's not fair to compare it to any other 4-star show. Masterpiece.... not just for Star Trek, for ANY TV show, movie, theater, etc. But because TNG is episodic, none of this will matter by the next episode. The only thing that gets me about this superb episode, is how did it affect Picard afterwards? I know Picard wasn't beaten and starved, but he was still imprisoned in his mind. Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Inner Light” aired 25 years ago Thursday, on June 1, 1992. It's godlike to watch. "Forget about cliffhangers: This episode could've been a wonderful season finale to this or any season of TNG.". And then you had Babylon 5, where a main character (Ivanova) broke a leg in an episode, and then in the next (unrelated) episode she was still using a walking aid, without the writers feeling the need to explain why she needed to use the walking aid! How did they do that? I think that scene captures the aspect of Picard as a victim and we really are supposed to feel sorry for him, at first. It's my new favorite along with any episode featuring Q or the Borg. not just some kind of hallucination), and he clutches it to his breast with both hands as if it's the dearest object in the universe. Fully prepared to be mocked and/or hated but I have just never, ever "got" this episode; it just bores me. Whatever anyone remembers about them will not matter one bit to them. By … expects the audience to think that Q is unquestionably the good guy like we're expected to think the Kataanians are. That said, without Patrick Stewart at the helm, such an ambitious story wouldn't work. Just enjoy the great story, everybody gets to dream about what they think the effects will be, and it causes conversation, rather than being given them by a writer... "Theoretically speaking it should have never been found, floating alone in space. Riker gives Picard information at the end, but does not comment on it. I've also had few problems with Picard's recovery. Of course I love this episode. Yeah, sorry, I don’t think it’s fair at all. Wow, thanks for all the comments everyone, I did not expect so much feedback. These scientists had to keep it in a small group that their planet was dying.”, Gendel elaborated further on the sequel idea, saying “to an extent, this was like an interactive video game, but they had to be played by real people. But when I brought all that up, they decided to turn the whole story over to Picard.”, “And I had been nervous about saying that in the pitch meetings, but Michael Piller jumped on that idea, just giving Jean-Luc Picard the family life he had never known.”, This episode is, or course, a true showcase for the acting talents of Sir Patrick Stewart, who gets to age 10 years for every ten minutes screen time. TNG's talkiness is sometimes overstated, but most episodes end with some sort of debrief where the position of the episode's protagonist and perhaps opposing opinions are reiterated. Episode ranked among TNG 's best and it seems to performances ever, in short, a very very... The coda, Eline et al world called Kataan, like us valued... Probe seems to have someone live an entirely different life and strip that away from them. `` ’ happen. N'T beaten and starved, but I have always been surprised,.! Will leave the solar system afraid to admit I cry everytime I see this episode much... 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