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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Release Date:

30 May 1992 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


A lasting reminder of Picard's life as Kamin continues throughout the series. The flute plays a huge role in the Season 6 episode Star Trek: The Next Generation: Lessons (1993), where Picard falls for a member of the crew who encourages his musical side. He performs a duet of the "Inner Light" version. See more »


The Enterprise crew traces the alien probe's radiation trail to find its origin, which they determine to be an uncharted system named Gitana, its sun has gone nova over 1,000 years ago, and there is no sign of life, yet they know the planet's name. See more »


Eline: [referring to Picard's "starship"] Was your life there so much better than this? So much more gratifying, so much more fulfilling, that you cling to it with such stubbornness?
Capt. Picard: Eline...
Eline: It must have been extraordinary. But never in all the stories you've told me... have you mentioned anyone who loved you as I do.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: Generations (1994) See more »


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

One Of The Next Generation's Best
26 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I will admit that I am not a die-hard Star Trek fan. I am more of casual fan who watches the show occasionally and nabs the occasional DVD. In fact before watching this on the recently released "Alternate Realities" DVD box set, I really don't think I had seen this episode before. I say that with regret because out of the many episodes of The Next Generation I have seen, I would have no issue with calling this one of the best i have seen if not the best.

For one thing there's the performance of Patrick Stewart. Stewart gets to step out of his role of Jean-Luc Picard to play Kamin, a simple man living in simple world. Stewart portrays first Picard then to Kamin and the truth is that if it wasn't for the occasional scenes on the Enterprise the transition would be complete because even though Stewart plays both roles they are completely different people. It's a fantastic performance to say the least and a true shame that Stewart wasn't even nominated for an Emmy for this performance.

Around Stewart is a terrific supporting cast. There the villagers made up of Richard Riehle and Scott Jaeck in speaking roles who both do well. Then there's Kammin's family including Jennifer Nash as his daughter Meribor and Patrick Stewart's own son Daniel Stewart as Batai. The true standout though of the supporting cast is Margot Rose as Kamin's wife Eline. Like Stewart, it is a shame that Rose wasn't even nominated for an Emmy Award because she gives an excellent performance.

Yet behind all the excellent performances there lies the script. Writers Morgan Gendel and Peter Allan Fields created a story that while set on another planet is more of a human drama then it is a science fiction story. True it has science fiction elements all in it (it wouldn't be Star Trek without them) but these two writers in this script reveal a basic truth about science fiction: a science fiction story is only as compelling as the human story within it. The Inner Light be lack space battles but it has more then enough heart to make up for it and is all the better for it.

From the performance of Patrick Stewart to the supporting cast and the script, The Inner Light is a first rate episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. That is because, that while it may be lacking in the seemingly prerequisite space battles and aliens, it has a fascinating human drama playing out not beneath it all but at the forefront of it all. In fact, The Inner Light is all the better for it. If you want to see what makes a great science fiction story see this episode.

43 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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