The Inner Light

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Turbo, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. Turbo

    Turbo Anthro Hawk Premium Member

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    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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  2. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
     
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  3. Alrik

    Alrik Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    BillJ, didn't see that coming from you.

    Turbo....welcome to the club.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    Hey... I'm a complex guy! :lol:

    Just an episode that never worked for me.
     
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  5. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Indeed. This may just be Trek's most overrated hour.
     
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  6. Gojira

    Gojira Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  7. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^
    This - Star Trek is about humans exploring space - not "Days of our Lives".
     
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  9. Pseudo

    Pseudo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.

    Tell that to City on the Edge of Forever.
     
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  10. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    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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  12. Pseudo

    Pseudo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Fantastic.
    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.
     
  13. Mark 2000

    Mark 2000 Captain Captain

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    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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  14. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    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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  15. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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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  16. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    This pretty much sums it up. :techman:
     
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  17. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    FYI (and TOS is my favoruite series) - I'm one of the few who doesn't care for City On The Edge Of Forever; and do not think it's that good a general episode either but at least it's story setup is more 'Trek' then The Innner Light and it's dealing with an artifact that is from a way more advanced civilization - rather than an ancient probe from a less advanced society (were they equal or more advanced - they could have moved their population and survived) - that's able to bypass shields and infiltrate an alien mind of a species that society never encountered.:wtf:
     
  18. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    With all due respect, isn't assuming that the civilization of Kataan is less advanced than our own based on the evidence of one village roughly akin to looking at one city on Earth and using that to make assumptions about the planet's level of technology?
     
  19. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not for me it isn't. I watch it for the characters; the sci-fi setting is just window dressing.
     
  20. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    Again if they were as advanced as Earth - and had FTL space travel capability - they could have used it to find a sutable world and save themselves. They didn't - they launched a rocket with the probe that drifted into deep space and was encountered by the 1701-D.