The TREKKER Reviews

The Next Generation
Ship In A Bottle

Data is playing Sherlock Holmes again. The last time he did this, there was trouble. This time there are problems with the holodeck, and Moriarty is back! He claims that he is self-aware and wants an independent existence outside the holodeck. I want a Ferrari, but neither of us are likely to get what we want...

The Bald Avenger is distressed, because he thought he had rid himself of this problem years ago. No such luck. Moriarty eulogises the virtues of being alive, and to prove that it makes him more than just a simulation, walks off the holodeck! "It isn't possible" mutters an amazed Data. No shit Sherlock! Bev pronounces him human, and he decides to explore. He is amazed that the Enterprise is a starship, which amazes me since he knew it was back in series 2.

For his next trick, Moriarty wants his lover, the Countess Regina Bartholomew brought out of the holodeck too. Picard baulks at this. But why? It seems a perfect way to create your ideal partner - now where did he leave that "sleazy Bev" program? The decision is taken out of his hands when Moriarty manages to gain control of the ship by disabling the command functions. How many times has this happened? Answer, yet again!

Now for the tension bit. The ship was investigating a game of Red Dwarf Pool, where you smash two planets together and pot them into a sun. Unfortunately they are a little close to the action, and if they don't get control back soon they will get to see it all from really close in.

Geordi and Reg try an experiment with beaming a simulated chair off the holodeck. It beams away to nowhere, and suspiciously leaves no transporter log. Picard unsuccessfully tries another set of command override codes just as Data rushes in with some amazing news. They are still on the holodeck and this is all just a simulation set up by Moriarty! The good news is that Data, Picard and Barclay are real. The bad news is that everyone else is a fake, and Picard just gave the real command codes to Moriarty.

So now the professor is making demands of the real Laughing Boy - and he isn't laughing this time. There are force-fields set up all around the holodeck and time is running out.

Picard decides to deal with the Countess instead. He offers her a deal, if she gets Moriarty to remove the command override, he will beam her into the real world - by uncoupling the Heisenberg Compensators! Moriarty immediately goes to Riker and tells him how they can be beamed into existence. Amazingly, it works, and he demands only a shuttle in return for the codes. Moriarty and the Countess fly off into the star-scape and return control to Picard.

Or so they think. Actually that was all a holodeck program written for the simulated holodeck inside the real holodeck. Moriarty has been fooled by his own ruse and is now living in a small yellow cube. He probably won't notice the difference though, and nor would we...

Roll Credits...

Despite being predictable, it did have one feature that distinguishes it from the mire of normal TNG episodes. It had an SF theme! The acting wasn't bad and it's nice to see "Elementary, Dear Data" followed up. There weren't even too many glaring plot holes, which makes it good, but not excellent.

This review is Copyright © 1994, Phil Kernick.
Permission is granted for anyone to electronically distribute it - details available on request.