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Ship in a Bottle 

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:
Dr. Beverly Crusher
Enterprise Computer (voice)


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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Release Date:

23 January 1993 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ship in a Bottle has one of the longest pre-credits sequence of any Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) episode. It clocks in at just over six and a half minutes. See more »


When Picard warns Moriarty about criminal activity, Moriarty blames his creator by saying "The scribblings of an Englishman dead now for four centuries." Arthur Conan Doyle, the Sherlock Holmes creator, was Scottish not English, and the Enterprise computer would not have made that error. In his day, Scotty would have used his claymore to slice the computer into pieces for such a blunder. Still, great episode. See more »


Moriarty: Policemen - I'd recognize them in any century.
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Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

One of the Better Titles for One of the Better Episodes
25 September 2014 | by See all my reviews

This involves the return of Professor Moriarity. As Data continues to play Sherlock Holmes in a holodeck program, the character of James Moriarity returns to cause all kinds of havoc. Four years earlier, he was placed in memory, promised by Picard that when technology could be developed to allow him to leave the holodeck, he would be released. Unfortunately, he has been aware of the passage of time and Picard feels that he should be treated respectfully (even though he is programmed as an arch-villain). Through trickery, he gains control of the Enterprise and begins to figure out how to exist as a free man. There are layers in the holodeck and these are used to play with appearance and reality. This is another skillfully written episode. Moriarity feels his power and strings the crew along. Picard is removed from the picture for a time. Also created is the love of Moriarity's life, who is a beautiful nineteenth century dutchess. An incredibly complex puzzle forms and it is cleverly approached with every ounce of creativity from the crew.

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