The Inner Light:
Picard's mind is taken over by an alien probe, and is forced to live a whole lifetime in only 20 minutes.
An extremely good episode, even brilliant, though not completely flawless. The solution resorted to be the residents of Kataan to preserve their world in desperation is a creative, even artistic one. While one could raise some moral issues on their methods, its a case where going with the flow produced some innocent results, and no real harm was done, save perhaps to Picard's psyche. It's debatable how their roughly late 20th century technology produced such an advanced probe...you could explain that maybe they spent their entire technological effort on this one project rather than on the hopelessness of atmospheric condensers and other water conserving techniques. Whatever the reason, it seems natural that a society would want to be known somehow, and carrying this memory on in a living person's mind is poetic. The flute packed away in the probe is the final cap to a touching episode. I think it's easy to feel Picard's disjointed loss of another lifetime, in the same way that you may feel the loss of paths not taken in your own life.
Obviously this is a classic, an award winner and a great choice for the bluray. It's not a showcase for FX, it's just a damn good story that flexes STNG's writing muscle.
The production design is staggering. All the outdoor scenes were created indoors, the lighting, the photography is terrific.
The remastering: A mixed bag...the episode has a vivid color and clarity that the DVD lacked...I rewatched the DVD synched to the bluray as a comparison...BUT...it took a huge amount of tinkering with the tv and bluray player's settings to get this episode to not show so much film grain!! I found a happy medium, but this needs to be corrected in the future discs! The new digital matte was as good as we saw in previews.
Episode rating: ***** out of 5
Remastered rating: *****