Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 6, Episode 12

Ship in a Bottle (23 Jan. 1993)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Diagnosing anomalies in the recreative Sherlock Holmes hologram game programs, Lieutenant Reginald 'Reg' Barclay III discovers protected memory contains the arch-villain character professor... See full summary »


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Episode cast overview:


Diagnosing anomalies in the recreative Sherlock Holmes hologram game programs, Lieutenant Reginald 'Reg' Barclay III discovers protected memory contains the arch-villain character professor James Moriarty, who has become self-conscious and demands fulfillment of a recent promise by the crew that they would think up a way for him to leave the holodeck . To Picard's astonishment, Moriarty proves empirically his will suffices to leave the Holodeck, he even retains a physical body. Picard grants him the benefit of the doubt despite his crimes in fiction, but refuses to grant life to the countess Barthalomew, who was created as his ideal but holographic mate. Moriarty manages to seize control of the Enterprise to force the crew to obey anyhow at pain of total destruction. That still leaves the technological challenge, but Data's logical deduction comes up with an entirely different viewpoint, inspiring another challenge and approach... Written by KGF Vissers

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Plot Keywords:

24th century




Release Date:

23 January 1993 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although it is commonly believed that Sherlock Holmes is a character in the public domain, Jon Lellenberg (American representative of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle estate) maintains that the Doyles retain copyright on the character until an expiration date in 2023. Paramount Studios (producing company of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)) obtained permission from the Doyles to make Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) (acknowledged in that movie's end credits), but neglected to do so for Star Trek: The Next Generation: Elementary, Dear Data (1988), believing that "Elementary" fell under the parody clause of copyright law. (ST:TNG producer Jeri Taylor, who joined the show in 1990, once incorrectly wrote that Paramount was wholly ignorant of the Doyles' property, but Lellenberg straightened this out.) After "Elementary" was aired, the Doyles wrote to Paramount that they were flattered by the episode, but wanted in on any further Trek usage of their characters. Although Brent Spiner was eager to play Holmes again, nearly 4 years went by before Paramount and the Doyles agreed on a "reasonable licencing fee" for the follow-up episode Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ship in a Bottle (1993), which acknowledges the Doyles' cooperation in its end credits. See more »


Moriarty tells Picard that Sherlock Holmes was written by an Englishman. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the creator of Holmes) was Scottish, not English. See more »


Countess Barthalomew: Have you ever been to Africa, Mr., erm...?
Barclay: Er, B-Barclay, Lieutenant Reginald Barclay. No. No, I haven't.
Countess Barthalomew: *I* have! When I was seventeen, I went on safari with my uncle. My mother took to her bed in terror I'd be bitten by a tsetse fly. But I had a marvelous time! I got to wear trousers - the whole time! Oh, it was hard to go back to a corset, I can tell you.
Barclay: Yes, I'm sure it was.
See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Ship In A Bottle, The Best Episode of Star Trek: Next Generation
18 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was an excellent episode capturing mystery, adventure, as well as heart warming feelings for Moriarty and it's sequel to this episode was equally imaginative. In Ship in a bottle" Data and Lt. Forge go to the Holladeck to find a character capable of defeating Data. The way this was portrayed on the screen felt like the Enterprise Computer had created a character imputing a soul to the character. As you learn of how Moriarty no longer holds the same evil demeanor as had been depicted in the Sherlock Holmes stories it tugged at my own heart strings when his character is about to end. I was pleased to see character played by Daniel Davis come back to reprise the role and the create his Hollogrphic wife demanding that the two now be allowed to escape from off the Hollodeck and continue into space. The ending to the sequel was excellent as well.

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