The Rewatch 199: The Inner Light

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 5.25 The Inner Light (6/1/1992)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1/35

Notable Guest Stars:
Margot Rose (Eline)- Rose has a varied career, working both as an actor and as a musician. She has appeared on several popular TV shows as a guest star.
Richard Riehle (Batai) –
You may recognize Riehle as the grandfather on Ground For Life.  He has also appeared on TNG before and will appear in Trek again on Voyager and ENT
Scott Jaeck (Ressik Administrator)-
Jaeck is a reoccuring star Trek actor, and will return for Voyager.
Jennifer Nash (Meribor)-
She played guest roles on many series in the 1990s to the 2010s.  I could not find a credit after 2009.  As a side note, her brother Marcus got to portray Picard in a flashback sequence.
Daniel Stewart (Batai, son of Kamin) –
Speaking of family involvement, Daniel Stewart is the son of Patrick Stewart.  He is still actively in acting, with recent roles including a regular appearance on the TV series Blunt Talk (Which also included his father in the staring role) and Silent Witness.

Review:

This is probably one of the highest critically acclaimed episodes of the series.  The Inner Light is a favorite of many people (including my father) and honestly, its not hard to explain why.

This episode is basically an episode that takes us out of Star Trek and shows us a life on an Alien world with no warp engines, or any of the staples of modern 24th century life.  Picard finds himself living the life of Kamin, a humanoid living on the planet Kataan.  Kataan is experiencing its end of life, starting with what is assumed to be a drought. As he lives this life things get worse for the planet.

The story is very interesting. Picard gets to live this life, actually believe it is his life, all the way through till he was old age.  He is Kamin for those twenty-five minutes.  He lives a life, he has children, and grandchildren.  He has a life’s work that he has completed. It’s a a short story brought to life.

Does it effect the general franchise storyline?  No, not really.  But it’s a genienly unique plot I think as far as science fiction goes. There is no bad guy in this episode except time. Most similar plotlines I could think of while I was writing this usually have some nefarious people involved.  I do wish however we had seen that the probe contained information.  That somehow their stories could be told outside of Picard.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Morgan Gendel & Peter Allan Fields.
  • Directed by Peter Lauritson
  • Jay Chattaway wrote the music compositions for this episode, which have received a lot of attention.
  • This episode won the 1993 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. It was the first time Star Trek had won the Hugo Award since 1967. Two episodes of The Original series had been won (“The City on the Edge of Forever” and “The Menagerie”) and the finale of TNG would also win in 1994. It was also nominated for an Emmy award for make-up.
  • The title comes from a song by the Beatles.  It was a habit of Morgan Gendel to use Beatles songs as working titles for his scripts.

Pros

  • Patrick Stewart is an awesome actor.
  • The storyline is well formed.

Cons:

  • I wish the probe had information in it.  Maybe not the detail that Picard got, but something to give the rest of the crew (and the Federation in general) an idea of the story of those on Kaataan.
  • If the sun had gone supernova…wouldn’t it have taken out the planets in the system?

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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