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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old July 9 2011, 03:30 AM   #1
Turbo
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The Inner Light

I must admit something. Something that will likely mark me as a Very Bad Trekkie. Before now, I had never watched "The Inner Light". Despite all the accolades, and the praise, somehow I kept missing it, or perhaps not seeking it out. But now TNG is on Netflix, and while watching Season 5, I finally hit upon this episode. And I have just one response:

Wow.

Just...wow. I really can't quantify my reaction to "The Inner Light" any more substantially than that. It was a fabulous performance by Patrick Stewart, and a wonderfully different tale of how a civilization might preserve something of itself. We have sent out scientific information and popular culture on the Pioneer and Voyager probes. This civilization, while obviously a bit more advanced than us, sent out the life experience of a single man. That alone makes it so much more powerful than simply the sum total of knowledge that we've tried to preserve so far.

The episode was so much, and could have been so much more, for Picard, and maybe it's why he seemed so much more open to both children and romance in the last two seasons of TNG. I also now understand the explanation of why Picard was so afraid of having children in Christopher's Greater than the Sum even better. It was an entire world created and destroyed in 44 minutes. Incredible.

And I am not afraid to admit that I pretty much started bawling when Picard opened the box found on the probe which held his flute inside. Perhaps that's a bit of me having played instruments for years and a bit of the episode having played so much on my emotions, but it was still an incredibly powerful ending.
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Old July 9 2011, 03:58 AM   #2
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Re: The Inner Light

My reaction was the exact opposite... me watching Picard watch a movie for forty-five minutes.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
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Old July 9 2011, 04:35 AM   #3
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Re: The Inner Light

BillJ, didn't see that coming from you.

Turbo....welcome to the club.
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Old July 9 2011, 04:45 AM   #4
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Re: The Inner Light

Alrik wrote: View Post
BillJ, didn't see that coming from you.
Hey... I'm a complex guy!

Just an episode that never worked for me.
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Old July 9 2011, 05:06 AM   #5
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Re: The Inner Light

BillJ wrote: View Post
Alrik wrote: View Post
BillJ, didn't see that coming from you.
Hey... I'm a complex guy!

Just an episode that never worked for me.
Indeed. This may just be Trek's most overrated hour.
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Old July 9 2011, 05:12 AM   #6
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Re: The Inner Light

I sat there stunned when I watched that episode for the first time about 2 years ago. I was very moved and got choked up too. I think it is one of the top episodes in all of Trek. Even my non-Trek fan daughter loved it.
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Old July 9 2011, 05:48 AM   #7
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Re: The Inner Light

I remember having taped it the first time, and I rewound it while seeing bits of it onscreen and was absolutely lost as to what might be going on.

I may have put off watching the episode for a bit because "Picard wandering around alone on a not-so-high-tech alien planet didn't sound appealling."

Then I watched the episode, and I remember wondering how the heck they were going to wrap things up by the end of the episode...or whether it might even be a two-parter.

I still think the denouement where Picard finds out what's really been going on is one of Trek's most moving sequences.
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Old July 9 2011, 06:36 AM   #8
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Re: The Inner Light

BillJ wrote: View Post
My reaction was the exact opposite... me watching Picard watch a movie for forty-five minutes.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
^^^
This - Star Trek is about humans exploring space - not "Days of our Lives".
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Old July 9 2011, 02:17 PM   #9
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Re: The Inner Light

Brutal Strudel wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
Alrik wrote: View Post
BillJ, didn't see that coming from you.
Hey... I'm a complex guy!

Just an episode that never worked for me.
Indeed. This may just be Trek's most overrated hour.
I'd agree that it is overrated, its reputation is such that it would be impossible for any episode to live up to. That doesn't mean that it's not The Next Generation's finest (three-quarters-of-an) hour though.

Noname Given wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
My reaction was the exact opposite... me watching Picard watch a movie for forty-five minutes.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
^^^
This - Star Trek is about humans exploring space - not "Days of our Lives".
Tell that to City on the Edge of Forever.
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Old July 9 2011, 04:04 PM   #10
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Re: The Inner Light

I love this episode, and the fact that it actually was referred to later with the flute, and the clear impact that it continued to have on Picard.

A smart, if not exactly plausible plot set-up.(how did a culture at the technological level we saw, accomplish what they did with the probe?)

the part where Picard realizes his role in the simulation is the best and most moving part of the episode. The old-age make-up is also very good.


one of TNG's top ten for me.
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Old July 9 2011, 04:36 PM   #11
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Re: The Inner Light

Pseudo, I disagree. I am no fan of TNG but I can think of several episodes I'd rather watch than "The Inner Light."
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Old July 9 2011, 05:52 PM   #12
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Re: The Inner Light

Brutal Strudel wrote: View Post
Pseudo, I disagree.
Fantastic.
I am no fan of TNG but I can think of several episodes I'd rather watch than "The Inner Light."
There are episodes I enjoy for different reasons and depending on my mood, more than The Inner Light. But it's the answer I'd give if someone were to ask me which is the best episode of the series.
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Old July 9 2011, 06:44 PM   #13
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Re: The Inner Light

The concept is nice and it is a fundamentally good episode, but the Kataan are so milquetoast that it's hard to stomach them. And it always struck me as odd that these agrarian hill dwellers would not only have rockets but brain control devices. None of it seems to match up and make sense.
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Old July 9 2011, 07:02 PM   #14
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Re: The Inner Light

Plus, it tips its hand way too early so that the pleasure of being mystified is nullified almost from the start. It's a cool idea, I grant you, but bland and boring in its execution.
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Old July 10 2011, 05:02 AM   #15
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Re: The Inner Light

I just watched it on youtube, and while I found the people warm, they were rather generic. It is a great cautionary tale especially considering that 1991 was about the time we learned about the term "global warming." Still, I think the characters grow up and move too fast for us to get to know them, to feel Picard's affection for them. Not a good use of time in this one. I thought it was rather generic.
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