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.



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Episode cast overview:
Counselor Deanna Troi (credit only)


Not long after the Enterprise approaches an unknown buoy or satellite, Captain Picard falls unconscious on the bridge. He awakens in a village where he is married but also something of a village eccentric who thinks he is a spaceship captain by the name of Picard. His wife Eline tries to soothe him and his good friend Batai does not judge him. He lives a full life, has children and grows old. The planet he is on is dying however, suffering from a long and seemingly permanent drought. On board the Enterprise, the crew does its best to revive their unconscious captain but to no avail. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

30 May 1992 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Marina Sirtis doesn't appear in this episode. See more »


Near the end, when Picard suggests evacuating at least some people so that the planet's culture can survive, he's told that the planet is barely capable of sending a missile into space. But immediately thereafter, he's told that something is in the works, which turns out to be a probe that is capable of taking over the nervous system of and transmitting, all in believable time passage, a lifetime of interactive experience to an alien (Picard)! Even allowing for artistic license, a culture barely able to attain space travel would not have the kind of advanced neuro-psychological technology necessary to pull off a stunt like that. See more »


Capt. Picard: I'd like to ask your permission to build something.
Eline: Kamin, you've built your telescope, your laboratory, you don't need my permission for something new.
Capt. Picard: In this case, I think I do.
Eline: What is it?
Capt. Picard: A nursery.
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Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

comparing Inner light with City On The Edge Of Forever
26 September 2011 | by See all my reviews

I feel certain that the writers of Inner Light intended a comparison with The City On The Edge Of Forever, and it's good to see it recognized by Star Trek affictionados, and reviewers here.

The premise of how Picard enters this alternative life, is not particularly strong, any more than how Kirk and Spock enter their's in search of McCoy, but it doesn't matter because what then follows is totally believable and totally absorbing. We are allowed to lose ourselves completely in the non-Federation story line and the Enterprise and its crew are sensibly left almost completely out of it. In Inner Light we see the Enterprise only as a reminder of where Picard should be, but for the rest of the time we enter his world and alternate life as fully as he does. Giving the painfully private Picard an entire family is genius. He was the only man in TNG that could have been chosen by the Probe. And it ends like waking from a blissful, though heart-renderingly sad dream. Brilliant acting, stupendous writing and totally absorbing, it puts Inner Light up there with Time Squared and Darmok as the best TNG episodes for me. and yeah, I cry when I watch it too.

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