Posted in Rewatch, Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 214: Ship in a Bottle

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.12 Ship in a Bottle (1/24/1993)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3/38

Notable Guest Stars:
Dwight Schultz (Barclay) Does Barclay really count as a guest star at this point?  He’s become more of a recurring character.
Daniel Davis (Moriarty)-
Davis is reappearing as the character from the episode “Elementary, My Dear Data”.  You may recognize him from The Nanny where he played the butler, Niles.
Stephanie Beacham (Countess) – She has a range of credits in British television as well as American, and stared in The Colbys, a spinoff of Dynasty.  She also is an advocate for elderly care.


Moriarty is back again, and this time he can leave the holodeck.  He is still very determined and not trusting of the Captain and crew.  He tries to take over the ship to get his Countess off the holodeck too.

Its always interesting when we have a holodeck adventure.  In this case, we find out about two thirds of the way that Moriarty has not in fact figured out how to escape the holodeck, but instead trapped Picard, Barclay and Data inside it.  They have to trick Moriarty into giving back control of the ship.

It’s a fun episode, and a needed one.  When Chains of Command first aired, it was followed by a winter break, which brought forth several episodes of DS9.  If you are binge watching TNG now, there is no break.  So its nice that they have a episode where there is no real serious threat.  There is the background of being too close to the star formation.

The science in this episode is somewhat suspect.  The background plot is that they are watching two planets collide and become a star.  However, when two planets collide, they usually just make a bigger planet or some moons.  Stars are usually formed by the collapse of a older star becoming a nebula.

Bad science aside, this episode does put down the foundations for later holographic characters becoming sentient and being able to move around outside of holodecks.  The Doctor of Voyager is able to do so.  So while not entirely important to the whole franchise, it could be seen as valuable watching for background for his character.

This episode also does something that Star Trek  (to this point) has problems doing -and that’s follow up.  This episode is a direct sequel to “Elementary, My Dear Data”. It follows up on Moriarty gaining sentience, and his desires to leave the holodeck.  This time however they give him a girlfriend to also try and gain sentience and life off the holodeck. Countess Regina Bartholomew is an interesting character, and I went to see if I could find more about the character.  However, she is only a creation of the Trek writers.

Although this does bring up the question – does this count as fanfiction of Sherlock Holmes?  A Starfleet AU, perhaps?  The writers did have an agreement (and paid for licensing) with the Conon Doyle family, so it’s a professional arrangement, but still is amusing to consider the writers going around the table designing their fanfiction.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Rene Echevarria
  • Directed by  Alexander Singer
  •  Star Trek got special permission from Arthur Conan Doyle family to use the characters from Sherlock Holmes.


  •  Follow Up For the Win!
  • Barclay isn’t creepy in this episode.  Go Barclay!


  •  Well, the science behind planetary collision star creation is bad.
  • why is Deanna back in the awkward suit?

Screencap via


A thirty-something Graphic Designer and writer who likes to blog about books, movies and History.

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