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/edited by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This is a direct sequel to Star Trek: The Next Generation: Elementary, Dear Data (1988). See more »


The transporter console reads "Transport log 721." Instead of reading it, Data asks the computer what is being displayed here. Computer reports that it's transport log 759. Data says, "That is the correct log." See more »


Lt. Commander Data: Captain. I have determined how Moriarty was able to leave the holodeck. He never did. Neither did we. None of this is real. It is a simulation. We are still on the holodeck.
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Referenced in Star Trek: Lower Decks: Moist Vessel (2020) See more »


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

User Reviews

Up to the standards of a typical holodeck episode.
29 November 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I noticed that some people like the episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" that involve the holdeck, so I am obviously not speaking for them. But for me, I really hate most of the holodeck episodes and find the plots in them are pretty silly and forgettable. Early in the series, I thought a particularly weak holo episode was the one where Data played Sherlock Holmes. So, I wasn't really happy to see yet another Holmes show and despite an overall score of 8.5 at this time, I cannot agree to the high scores for this one in particular.

The show begins with Data and Geordi playing a Sherlock Holmes case. However, strange errors occur and they ask Barkley to look into the problem. Soon, Moriarty appears and announces to Barkley that he's mad that Picard has kept him stuck in the computer even though he'd promised in the previous episode to try to help him obtain sentience and life outside the holodeck. And, when Picard is once again unable to come up with a solution to help Moriarty, the arch-villain responds by once again taking over the ship.

The 19th century fictional character Moriarty comes alive in the 24th century and wants to become a real person. Doesn't that also seem pretty contrived to you?! The bottom line is that this one is stuck aboard the Enterprise and just seemed very weak and silly.

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Release Date:

23 January 1993 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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