Inner Light and other alternate reality episodes

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by The Squire of Gothos, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. The Squire of Gothos

    The Squire of Gothos Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There are a number of episodes like those on TNG, crew member wakes in another reality, spends the majority of the episode there, trying to get back to the real reality. I think most of the major cast got in on one, or more.

    The episodes very in quality from the excellent Yesterday's Enterprise and Inner Light, to the ok I guess Remember Me.

    It always bugs me though that Inner Light did what Remember Me did and took us out of the alt reality that our protagonist was cast into for a moment. I would never think that Picard was really this husband on a dying planet, but it was interesting to see where he would go in the reality. Not so interesting, was a cut back to the Enterprise, where the rest of the crew have nothing else to do but issue technobabble on the bridge.

    Not much of a critique that, but it just bugged me that Inner Light didn't get to keep up the same intensity that Yesterday's Enterprise did. There was no release for either the audience or the crew, which helped maintain the tension until the very end. It makes me wish for a fan edit of Inner Light that takes away the bits on the bridge (or that I had the know how to do that myself).
     
  2. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree entirely. The Inner Light is my second favourite all-time Star Trek episode behind DS9's In The Pale Moonlight but I could easily lose the pointless "What's wrong with Picard... why is he asleep?" scenes. Repetitive and pointless.
     
  3. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well "Yesterday's Enterprise" was an alternate reality episode, as for the "Inner Light" isn't that more it's just a dream episode?

    Same with "Future Imperfect" that was about making Riker think it was years later.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'd rather dig out a wisdom tooth with a rusty spoon than watch The Inner Light again. And I'm not sure it's an alternate reality episode, more like a Picard at the movies one.
     
  5. The Squire of Gothos

    The Squire of Gothos Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It occurred to me only after I posted that indeed, Yesterday's Enterprise has real stakes, if you imagine a separate time line that could collapse our own. We survive and Picard et al are friends with the Klingons, but the timeline that Yar leaves goes on and the Federation collapses.

    They all could be alternate reality episodes for all we know when we watch them first. Of course, TNG wouldn't play tricks on us like that, Yar died for real after all. But for the course of the episode, it would be nice to suspend belief.
     
  6. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I like the way Future Imperfect started but I think it lost steam toward the end. Like they had this great premise for Riker to wake up 16 years in the future with no memory, but couldn't figure out where to go with it so they made it a 'loveable misunderstanding'.

    I also like Inner Light but unlike most would not rank it among the best TNG episodes.

    Frame of Mind might be my favorite episode like this.

    Hard Time is another good one, and an outlier because we know it's a fake reality from the beginning and it's all about the emotional impact on the character.
     
  7. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Geez, what's with the hate?

    TIL isn't an episode where Picard watches a movie for 40 minutes.

    It's an episode where he gets to live the life that was always denied to him, he gets to have a family, a wife, children, acting as a member of a community, not as the leader of that community. The point of the episode is we get to see how Picard copes with the opportunity to live that life, we get to see how much his family means to him, even though the Picard we've come to know has refused those things. he doesn't want to get married. he doesn't like kids. But then, when he has the chance to do them, we find that he doesn't just do them, he does them WELL. He realises that there is a part of himself that he never knew, and so do we. It makes his character more interesting, deeper and more complicated, because he isn't a man who doesn't want those things anymore. He's a man who knows what he's given up, who knows how rich his life could be with them, and yet chooses to go without so he can be the captain of a starship. Before the episode, he's happy to pay the price of being the captain, but afterwards he's come to realise just how great that price is.
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It is absolutely all it is, with a side order of Riker acting like a complete idiot.

    The episode puts me to sleep. I'd rather watch Code of Honor and Angel One back-to-back on a constant loop for eternity than be forced to sit through The Inner Light again.

    Zzzzzzzzzzz...
     
  9. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    It is rare that any episode really meets the pre and post series hype, this is one of the exceptions.

    RAMA
     
  10. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Did you even bother to read my post?
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Of course, I simply disagree with it. Such is life. :shrug:
     
  12. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    I wouldn't call Inner Light an "alternate reality" episode. It had probe downloading a bunch of memories onto Picard thing. Very different from something like "Parallels" or any of the Mirror eps.
     
  13. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    It technically isn't an 'alternate reality' since the civilisation in question really existed and did so in the same universe as the Enterprise and crew. But it's an alternate reality for Picard - he wakes up as an alien with a wife and kid, after all. The only difference between TIL and Future Imperfect from the point of view of the central character is that in one case the setting is familiar and in the other it's not.
     
  14. The Squire of Gothos

    The Squire of Gothos Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's the way I looked at it too, an alternate reality from that character's point of view. Shots of the bridge took us out of that point of view and let the episode down somewhat.
     
  15. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    I'm curious as to why you disregard the points I made.
     
  16. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I only want to chime in on a common nitpick of the episode...that after 30 years of living an alternate life, Picard shouldn't be able to remember how to fix a stopped up toilet, nevertheless run a starship: I can only assume that the probe was designed to prevent such things....as opposed to what happened to O'Brien later down the line.
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There is no disregard. I simply find it one of the dullest hours of Trek. The meat of the episode is dull and Riker is an idiot. The episode completely misses that Picard is mind-raped (yet again) and we get yet another episode where all of Kamen's closest friends and associates are white.

    Not everyone is going to like the same episodes that you do...
     
  18. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    Nope, but we can still disagree with you too. :techman:
     
  19. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    How do you figure? Picard had no control of his actions.

    Not even close. Picard had no control of his own destiny. He couldn't say leave the village and wonder the world. The life he had downloaded into him require him to stay in the village. He could not select any woman who would have him, the woman who was his wife was a part of the download. As were "his" children.

    Not knowing the time period he was in, did he try to contact Starfleet? Given the technology to implant memories in a different species, the technology for a subspace communication device should have been available too. Problem is, unless that was part of the download Picard wouldn't have been physically able to do it. Did he try to contact the planet's leaders, the authorities?

    How many time did Picard say "Okay, I'm not going to play," until eventually the environment of the download simply broke him down.

    The life he alway wanted to live, but was deigned? Picard was treated like an animal.

    Or better still. a fan edit that removed all the events upon the planet, and just has a 42 minute episode consisting of Picard laying on the bridge carpeting, with people endlessly having too stepping over him.

    :)
     
  20. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    And yet we saw him try to exit the holodeck, treat his wife with suspicion at first, try to access interstellar communications, teach his children about astronomy and come up with scientific ideas to save the village. That sounds like Picard to me!

    Yes he did. He went out for days, to the point where his wife got worried about him. And he encouraged his daughter to do the same.

    Again, yes, to both counts.

    How do you know the program would have broken at that point?

    No he wasn't. Granted, it was a drastic thing, but he was given a huge amount of choice.