15 user 6 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 »




Episode complete credited cast:
Patrick Stewart ... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Cmdr. William Riker
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn ... Lt. Worf
Gates McFadden ... Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Cmdr. 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Between his appearances on the Starship Enterprise, Daniel Davis played Captain Charlie Davenport of the aircraft carrier Enterprise in The Hunt for Red October (1990). See more »


When Barclay goes to the holodeck to track down the problems, the door opens automatically, as do doors to crew quarters, turbolifts, etc. The holodeck is accessed by communicating to through the computer panel next to the doors. See more »


Moriarty: My God - we're adrift in the heavens!
[when looking out into space for the first time]
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: Lower Decks: Terminal Provocations (2020) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
See more »

User Reviews

One of the Better Titles for One of the Better Episodes
25 September 2014 | by HitchcocSee 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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Release Date:

23 January 1993 (USA) See more »

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Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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