12 user 5 critic

Ship in a Bottle 

Lt. Barclay mistakenly awakes Moriarty in the forgotten holodeck program, who then makes his demands clear and unforgettable.


Alexander Singer


Gene Roddenberry (created by), René Echevarria | 3 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Patrick Stewart ... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Cmdr. William Riker
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn ... Lieutenant Worf
Gates McFadden ... Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Commander Data
Stephanie Beacham ... Countess Barthalomew
Dwight Schultz ... Barclay
Daniel Davis ... Moriarty
Clement von Franckenstein ... Gentleman
Majel Barrett ... Enterprise Computer (voice)


Diagnosing anomalies in the Sherlock Holmes holodeck programs, Lieutenant Reginald 'Reg' Barclay III discovers a protected memory program containing the self-aware arch-villain character Professor James Moriarty, who demands fulfillment of an overdue promise by the crew to think up a way for him to leave the holodeck. To Picard's astonishment, Moriarty proves empirically that his will suffices for him to leave the holodeck and retain his physical body. Picard grants him the benefit of the doubt of a reformed character, despite his crimes in fiction, but refuses to additionally grant life to the Countess Bartholomew, who was created as his ideal but holographic mate. Moriarty seizes control of the Enterprise to force the crew to make good on their promise 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/edited by statmanjeff

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TV-PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

23 January 1993 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




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 Doyle attorney Jon 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 sequel "Ship in a Bottle," which acknowledges the Doyles' cooperation in its end credits. See more »


When Picard warns Moriarty about criminal activity, Moriarty blames his creator by saying his crimes were "the scribblings of an Englishman dead now for four centuries." However, Arthur Conan Doyle was Scottish. See more »


Moriarty: I have them running around like rats in a maze.
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Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Computer, end program...
18 August 2006 | by dtegtmeier51See all my reviews

I just watched this episode for the umpteenth time and can't believe I missed this important goof. At the very end, Picard says "But, who knows - our reality may be very much like theirs. And all this might just be an elaborate simulation running inside a little device, sitting on someone's table." Then everyone leaves the room except Barkley. Then Barkley says "Computer, end program"...and there's NO RESPONSE from the computer. Any time the computer is addressed it should respond... In other episodes, the computer responds to rhetorical questions even if just to say "There are currently no programs running, please restate question." As an example, the episode where Beverly Crusher was trapped in the warp bubble and kept talking to herself out loud which always got a response from the computer.

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