``Ship In A Bottle''
Stardate: 46424.1
Rating: **** 1/2

Edited Length: 44:59
U.S. Airdate: February 7, 1993
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [11.3/4]

Guest Stars
Daniel Davis: "Moriarty"

Special Guest Star
Stephanie Beacham: [Countess Regina Bartholomew]

Dwight Schultz: "Barclay"

Co-Producer: Ronald D. Moore
Line Producer: Merri D. Howard
Producer: Peter Lauritson
Supervising Producer: David Livingston
Supervising Producer: Frank Abatemarco
Co-Executive Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Written By: René Echevarria
Directed By: Alexander Singer

[end credit]
Executive Producer: Rick Berman

[closing credits]
Co-Producer: Wendy Neuss
Story Editor: Brannon Braga
Story Editor: René Echevarria

Clement von Franckenstein: Gentleman
Majel Barrett: Computer Voice


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Extended Synopsis (by Tim Lynch) ------------------------------------

When Barclay begins to work on finding and fixing a bug in the Sherlock Holmes holodeck programs, he accidentally finds and releases Professor Moriarty, who has been aware of the passage of time since being stored away by Picard and company four years earlier, and who is very annoyed that nothing has been done to help him. Barclay promises to talk to the captain and puts Moriarty back into memory - or so he thinks. Moriarty, however, reappears upon Barclay's exit from the holodeck and begins to plan...

As the Enterprise prepares to observe a collision of two planets that will then form a star, Picard joins Data and Barclay in the holodeck - on 221B Baker Street, to be precise. He speaks with Moriarty, who bitterly refuses to listen to Picard, and in fact no longer believes that he cannot leave the holodeck. "Mind over matter", he ventures, and steps out of the holodeck. Much to the surprise of the crew, he lives and breathes as ordinary matter!

After Moriarty is taken to sickbay and pronounced human, Picard takes him to Ten-Forward and speaks with him about the opportunities this century can offer him (so long as he stays on the straight and narrow, of course). Moriarty is initially ecstatic, but soon becomes depressed, and asks Picard to also allow the programmed love of his life, Countess Regina Bartholomew, to also become self-aware and leave the holodeck. Picard points out that even if they knew how to do so, the moral questions would be too great to allow it until it's better understood, and is later backed up by the senior staff in that decision. Moriarty, bitter, seizes control of the ship at a critical juncture, putting them all in danger of destruction.

Picard assigns Data, Geordi and Barclay to work on helping make the Countess real, and also asks Geordi privately to work on giving Picard back control of the ship. It's suggested that if the transporters could somehow lock onto a holodeck object and beam it "off the grid", then that object might have real cohesion once beamed. Barclay enters the holodeck to set this up, speaking to a now self-aware Countess in the process. Unfortunately, the test fails, with the chair they attempt to beam vanishing once the transporter cycle ends. Strangely, however, the transporter logs show no trace of the incident... Meanwhile, Geordi tells Picard that he believes he can give Picard back control of the ship. Picard quickly tells the computer his authorization codes in order to accomplish this, but the test appears to fail.

Just then, Data arrives and tells Picard his startling conclusions, which are quickly confirmed: Moriarty managed to "leave" the holodeck because it was a holodeck within a holodeck. Moriarty is in a huge holodeck program of his own making - and so are they. This means that only Data, Picard, and Barclay are real - and that Picard has just given Moriarty his voice codes, allowing Moriarty to take over the real Enterprise. They begin to search for a way to "give Moriarty what he wants", as Moriarty, now controlling the real ship, tells Riker to work on letting the real transporters beam holodeck matter.

Picard reenters the "holodeck" and trades pleasantries with the Countess. He informs her that they've found a way to make her and Moriarty real, and that "uncoupling the Heisenberg compensators" on the transporter will allow it to beam holodeck matter off the grid. He asks her not to tell Moriarty of this finding, urging her instead to help him move the ship to a safe distance. She, of course, promptly tells Moriarty, who calls up Riker and wants "to talk about uncoupling the Heisenberg compensators..."

Moriarty and the Countess pack, and prepare to leave. The transporter attempt takes place, and works - they find themselves on the real transporter pad. Moriarty refuses to relinquish control, however, first demanding a shuttlecraft and safe passage. Riker, with little choice, grants it, and the Countess and a jubilant Moriarty take their leave. Once clear, he gives control of the Enterprise back to the Enterprise.

Picard then steps in, shutting down the holodeck program that Moriarty had entered ever since Picard's conversation with the Countess and saving Moriarty and the Countess in an isolated memory cube. He then shuts down the program Moriarty created and leaves the holodeck. As the Enterprise retreats to observe the planetary collision from a safe distance, Picard explains this to everyone, pointing out that Moriarty's perceived "reality" right now may be no different from their own - and perhaps they are just a fiction playing itself out on a box on someone's table.

Highlight Listing:
"Ship In A Bottle" - A calculating Sherlock Holmesian character traps Picard and others in a holodeck simulation.
Advertising Headline:
A coniving Sherlock Holmes character traps the senior staff inside a holodeck fantasy. Will they escape on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.
TV log listing:
Can the senior staff escape from a coniving Sherlock Holmes character in the holodeck on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.
Operation SNAFU
When the book is tossed out of the holodeck, it got zapped immediately. This conflicts with "The Big Goodbye", in which the gangsters, when they walked out of the holodeck, they de-rezzed slowly. Also, in "Elementary, Dear Data", there was a sheet of paper which did not de-rez when Picard took it out of the holodeck. Moriarty must have made some programming boo-boos. (V) Also, when Picard walks into the holodeck he is wearing his open coat with the blue shirt, but he walks out wearing his one-piece red shirt. Either he changed his uniform inside the holo-deck and is wearing a holo-shirt (in which case his uniform top should have disappeared when he steps out of the holo-deck at the end of the episode) or they screwed up again! :-) (UV) Also, when they cut to a commercial break at the end of the scene where Moriarty tells Picard he has taken over the ship, Picard begins to say something as the screen fades. It's close to the end of the first half of the episode. (UV)

[ Mr. Video Productions ]

Andrew Tong

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