I quite like "The Royale". One of Trek
's darkest ever stories? A great example of the And I Must Scream trope
. Five or ten minutes too long, perhaps, but as a Twilight Zone
-esque horror tale, I find it tremendously memorable. As for the completing-the-novel-to-escape solution, it works for me. What would you prefer, that the Enterprise
succeeds in somehow beaming them out directly?
There's definitely some plot weirdness (Data doesn't know about blackjack?), and it's a shame about the aforementioned science flubs, and no, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but then, if one looks at it critically, what sense does "City on the Edge of Forever" make? "Let's both jump into weird-ass time stream without materializing into a brick wall... wait for it... now
I can't imagine watching the same poor drama play out over and over... making a friend or two out of feeble ghosts, maybe, only to have their memories wiped on a regular basis and start from scratch. Trying to screw up the narrative, like Bill Murray trying over and over to self-terminate in Groundhog Day
, and soon boring of whatever meager results that yields. I wonder if the program somehow prevented him from self-terminating, forcing him to remain healthy until old age did him in.