Warp Speed to Nonsense

Warp Speed to Nonsense

Monday, April 10, 2017

ST:TNG Season Two, Episode Twelve "The Royale"

ST:TNG Season Two, Episode Twelve "The Royale"
Production Order: 38
Air Order: 38
Stardate: 42625.4
Original Air Date: March 27, 1989

Picard's Log 42625.4: "So we're cruising along, and this Klingon vessel nearby contacts us to say that, hey, they found some weird wreckage in orbit around a planet in an unexplored system, and maybe we should check it out. So we're gonna."

The E comes up on a green-ish planet.
Geordi is checking the scans back at the science station and reporting back to Riker what the data shows. Apparently, the place is a mess. He mentions ammonia tornadoes. No, thank you.
Also, the surface temp is -291 degrees C. Sooo, lower than absolute zero. Not possible.
No, show! That's bad science! Bad! *smacks show with rolled-up newspaper*
The information shown on his screen also lists the planet as being 72 billion years old... older than the universe itself. Riiiight.

Riker goes into the ready room, where Picard is chilling with a drink in front of his computer. He tells Riker that he's musing over Fermat's last theorem, and asks if he's familiar with it. I kind of like this bit. Does your average viewer know of Fermat's last theorem? Possibly not. So he's gonna give us some exposition, because Riker admits that it sounds vaguely familiar, but he doesn't know off the top of his head, because he spent a lot of time in math class zoning out and thinking about starships.

 This is awesome for two reasons:
1) I like hearing that our intrepid heroes aren't perfect in every subject, and that they did, in fact, dick around in class, even if it was a class they needed to be proficient in in order to join said starships. This is why, even though other parts of that story piss me off, I like that Kirk cheated on the Kobayashi Maru. Asshole teenagers and young people dick around in class and cheat on tests.
2) This gives Picard a chance to clue the audience in on the mathematical theorem in question. In turn, Riker smiles and says it rings a bell.
The theorem: so this Fermat guy writes an equation in 1637 in the margins of a math book, and it seems like the theorem has no answer, but he writes then that he has proof, even though he gives none. He dies, and leaves no proof. People dink around with it for hundreds of years, trying to solve it. Seems like it really has no answer. Picard is relaxing by thinking up possible solutions.
He also likes the perspective it gives - Fermat was a part-time mathematician working without a computer. He found the answer, but people with a ton of technology at their fingertips cannot.

Riker smiles. "So hey, we found that debris the Klingons were talking about. We don't know what it is, so I think we should beam aboard a piece of it to take a look."
"Cool," replies Picard.

Down in the transporter room, O'Brien has locked onto a piece that has markings. He is joined by Riker and Picard.
They beam it aboard, and when it materializes, it is facing away from them.
Riker hops up on the transporter pad.
"Well, fuck me," he says.
He and O'Brien turn the panel around to reveal the markings:

"Well, fuck me," replies Picard.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Everybody meets up in the observation lounge, where Data is telling them what info he has dragged up about the ship pieces. It's from an earth ship from the mid-twenty-first century. Picard objects, stating that no Earth ship could have gotten out this far.
"Yeah, well, sometimes they find digital watches in sealed Egyptian tombs," replies Data. "What's more, it looks like it was destroyed by a weapon from this time."

Geordi and Wes, who are not at the meeting but sitting at the science station on the bridge, call in over the comm system to say that they've found a building on the planets surface.
They all go out and gather around to see what's what.
Wes says there's a weird patch of frozen methane right smack dab in the middle of some storm. What's more, it's surrounded by a pocket of breathable air. There's no way to tell if the building and the wreckage are connected, but there's no life and and breathable, so Picard agrees to let Riker take a tiny away team down to look.
There are some interesting choices made here for sets, and you know it was probably budget-driven.
The away team materializes onto a plane that's entirely black, but a green storm flows above them, like walking through one of those aquarium tunnels where sharks swim over you. This particular scene reminds me of the not-quite-corporeal "landing point" from TOS' "Spectre of the Gun."

Riker calls Picard to report in, while Data points out that straight ahead of them, there's a revolving door. And like, nothing else. No building.
"Building's there," says Data. "Just... not visible?"
"What the hell?" asks Picard.
"Gonna go through the door," says Riker.

The problem now is that, walking through the door dropped all communication signals. Picard tries to call Riker, but Wes says the link dropped. Riker in turn tries to call Picard, but he doesn't even get that "attempt failed" noise from the comm badge. Just dead air.
"Can we beam them up?" Picard asks Geordi.
"We should beam up if we can't communicate," Data tells his coworkers.
Data, how the hell are you supposed to do that? You can't communicate. There's no way to tell O'Brien, "hey, beam us up," if you can't tell O'Brien, "hey, beam us up."
"Meh," says Riker. "We beamed down, we'll take a look, then we'll go back."
A passing bellhop tells them to check in at the front desk, so they go to the front desk.
Hell yeah, it's Sam Anderson!

I love Sam Anderson. Dude has like, three moods: sarcastic AF, mildly concerned, and Customer Service. I suppose some would call him a bit one-note, but I tend to think of it more as a niche character.
"We need someone who is sarcastic AF, but he cares, he just doesn't show it on the outside. Also, he should look good in a suit."
"So we should hire Sam Anderson?"
"Yes! Get Sam Anderson!"
He's one of those character actors that's in everything, and you know he's going to get all of the great catty lines.
Anyway, Sam Anderson is the desk clerk/assistant manager. He welcomes them to the Hotel Royale (Customer Service Sam), and when they ask if he's been expecting them, he replies that he has - they're "a trio of foreign gentlemen."
Another bellboy enters the area behind the desk and asks Sam if Rita called. We get this sort of film noir music, and Mildly Concerned Sam takes the bellboy by the arm, leads him away from the desk, and tells him that no, Rita didn't call, but he should leave her alone anyway. The bellboy declares that he is not afraid of Mickey D, and Mildly Concerned Sam tells him that he's an idiot who should be afraid of Mickey D. The kid leaves in a huff.

Mildly Concerned Sam turns back to the away team and says that the bellboy should really stop messing around with Rita.
He starts to check them in, and they ask what he calls this place.
"The Hotel Royale," he answers again.
"Okay, and where is that? What planet?"
Customer Service Sam slips into Sarcastic AF Sam, though his customer service smile never wavers: "...Earth. What do you call it?"
"We call it Theta VIII," says Worf.
"How charming."
He gives them room keys and poker chips.
"How did you get here?" demands Worf.
NPC Sassy Moment: "My personal life is none of your business."
And he just turns and starts sorting mail again.

The away team leaves the desk, and starts walking around, trying to figure out what the hell is going on, and why humans are chilling on this planet, out in the middle of BFE, Space. Data starts scanning stuff, and makes a startling discovery:
"Um, none of these people have life signs?"
"They're dead?" asks an alarmed Worf.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

"The fuck?" asks Worf. "Are they like, machines, or...?"
"Naw, they exist and stuff, but they don't have any DNA structure." Data aims the scanner at a dude in a cowboy hat who looks like escaped from the set of Dallas. "Like that guy."
The hat guy (referred to in the script as Texas), pushes past Worf to give Data a Sassy Moment: "You sound just like my ex-wife!"
Then: "Now, to get down to bidness!" He surveys the casino before taking off.
Data funny moment: "What sort of bidness do you suppose he is getting down to?"
Jonathan Frakes looks like he's about to lose it.

Upstairs, Wes and Geordi are trying to figure out how to break through whatever barrier is surrounding the building, so they can communicate with the away team.
"You think there's an intelligence behind it?" asks Picard.
"Uncertain," replies Geordi.
But like, how could there not be? There's a building on an otherwise uninhabitable planet, and it's got an antique revolving door from Earth, and it's in a pocket of air that's breathable for humans. It's either intelligence or coincidence, and as for coincidence, I always go with the Holmes boys:

Credit: Mrs Annette Wallace from murietta

Picard sits in his chair and bitches to Troi about how weird it is for Riker to not follow procedure.
"He's not in any immediate danger," she replies. "He's actually pretty amused."

Data sits down at a blackjack table, next to Texas and some blonde chippy. He asks if the game is poker, and when Texas tells him that it is 21, Data accesses his databanks and starts verbalizing the rules. Texas says that he is right, and the game starts. Texas is also beng pretty friendly, considering the fact that earlier, Data told him that he had no DNA structure. 
The blond chippy (Vanessa) goes bust, and Texas makes 21. Data decides that he will need five cards to make his goal, and for whatever reason, Texas starts mansplaining blackjack to Data. It's made all the funnier when Data makes 21.
Texas demands to know if Data is counting cards.
Data: "The number of the cards and their values remain quite constant. What would be the purpose in counting them?"
Texas and Vanessa both look baffled, but they do that thing where you don't understand what someone has just said, but you agree anyway, so you won't look stupid.
"Having fun?" asks Riker, approaching the table.
"I guess?" says Data. "I'm doing research."
"Whatever," says Riker. "We're leaving."

Picard walks up to the science station again. Geordi and Wes have figured out the bubble thing that is keeping the air in and the storms out. Communications to the away team are just bouncing off the bubble thing and getting scattered into the ether. Geordi is now trying to see if they can cut through the bubble with phasers.

That's what she said.

Our trio walks out the front door. Or they try to, anyway. The revolving door just lands them right back in the casino. They try a second time with the same results, then begin looking for another way out. Data attempts to engage some old ladies playing the slots, but they ignore him. Worf tries to phaser through the wall, with Riker's permission. No go.
"Great," says Riker. "Fucking trapped."

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Picard's Log, supplemental: "Hanging out above Theta VIII, still can't get the away team on the phone."

Geordi calls over his shoulder that they'll have communications back pretty soon, as he's almost able to punch a hole through the bubble.
"Oops," says Troi. "Something changed. Riker feels trapped like a rat."
"Well, that sucks," answers Picard.

Downstairs, Worf tells Riker that he is unable to use his phaser to blast their way out. It doesn't work against anything.
"Let's talk to Sam Anderson," Riker suggests.
He goes to the desk and leans on it, but the camera is focused on the bellhop, who is in the foreground taking a (presumably) revolver out of a desk drawer nearby. He cocks it (!), then stuffs it down his pants (!).
Kid, that is not smart. That is how you lose a toe.
Also, why the hell is there a loaded gun in a drawer at this hotel?
The noir music comes on again as Sam approaches.
"What the fuck are you doing?" demands Sam.
They argue about Rita again, who is apparently Mickey D's girl, but the bellhop wants her, and he seems to think that he's going to take Rita away.
This dialogue sucks, you guys.
The bellhops leaves, still with that gun in his freaking pants.

When Sam walks past Riker, Riker grabs his arm.
"Dude, how the holy hell do we get out of here?"
Sarcastic AF Sam: "The exits are clearly marked."
Riker: "Not good enough. I want to leave."
He switches into Customer Service Sam. "If you have a problem with the service you've received, you can always take it up with the manager."
"Great," snaps Riker. "Where can I find him?"
"The manager is very busy," smiles Sam, who just walks the hell away.

"Hello?" chirps Riker's comm badge. "Can you hear me now?"
"Finally," sighs Riker, who responds to the comm.
There's a bit of back-and-forth here between Riker and the bridge. The line is staticky, and the volume wavers like commercials during your favorite show.
"Why are you still in the building?" asks Picard.
"Fucking trapped," grouches Riker. "We're trying to figure out how to leave. Like, we're not in immediate danger, but this is annoying, and I don't want to spend a bunch of time here."
Data approaches Riker. "So hey, scanner has picked up human DNA, somewhere above us."
"Let's go find it," replies Riker.
They meet up with Worf again, who suggests that they "take these lifts."
The trio pauses in front of an ornate elevator, but nothing happens.
"Maybe it's broken," says Worf, and you realize that they're all waiting for the elevator doors to open at their approach.
It's funny, but not like LOL funny, like "heh" funny.
Data reaches out and presses the button. They hop in.

Using the scanner like a bloodhound, they follow it until the reach a hotel room, then knock on the door. No answer. Worf draws his phaser, and they go in.
There's nobody there.
"Life signs?" Riker asks.
"Nada," replies Data.
Riker goes to the bed and pulls back the covers.

"Looks like he died in his sleep," remarks Riker.
Worf, bringing the Klingon realness: "What a terrible way to die."
Data reads off the scanner that this human male has been dead for 283 years, and the lack of decomposition is from the sterile environment.
"This is bullshit," says Riker. "There's one dude here, and he's dead. Why the hotel diorama?"
Worf, snooping through the closet, pulls out an astronaut's uniform. It bears a fifty-two star flag, and a mission patch from the Charybdis.
"Fifty-two stars means between 2033 and 2079," muses Riker. "It also matches up to the panel we brought on board."
They also see an ID patch: Colonel S. Richey.

Picard comms Riker again, and this time, it's clear. "What's up, Riker?"
"Okay, so couple things - the hotel is like 20th century Earth, and we can't get out."
"Yeah, we can't beam you out, either," responds Picard.
"No shit," replies Riker. "We also found some human remains. Can you Google Col. S. Richey for me?"
Wes does so.
Worf, still snooping, pulls a pair of books out of the bedside table. One is a novel called "Hotel Royale," which is given to Data to summarize. He flips through the pages as though he were shuffling cards.
Wes finds Richey in the system. Picard reads it out loud for everyone's benefit.
Stephen Richey was the CO of the ship Charybdis, the third attempt at a manned mission to travel outside of the solar system, which took place in 2037. It was lost and never heard from again.
"You think that's him?" Picard finishes.
"Yeah," says Riker. "We also got a novel called Hotel Royale, which is the name of this place."
Data describes the plot: "Okay, so its about compulsive gamblers, and it's told by Mickey D, a gangster who only shows up at the end to murder the bellboy."
Data, WTF? Call spoilers next time!

"Also, there's a subplot about a younger woman and an older guy. They're going to murder her husband, but not before she gambles away her inheritance."
That'd be Texas and Vanessa, yo.
"Okay, so all of that crap is happening downstairs right now," Riker tells Picard. "And that second book we found was a diary with one entry, made by Richey. It says that the Charybdis was contaminated by some alien life form that accidentally killed everyone else. The aliens found the novel on board the ship, assumed that was the kind of lifestyle that humans lived, and set up the hotel to play out the fantasy, like a human zoo. He isn't angry with the aliens, he thinks they set it up out of a sense of guilt for killing everyone else. But he thinks they don't realize that this novel is crap, and that it's kind of a living hell. He says he'll welcome death after 38 years of this garbage."
"Okay, but why can't you get out?" asks Picard.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Later, in the observation lounge, Picard calls Riker again.
"Geordi thinks he can cut a slice in the bubble that surrounds the hotel."
 "O...kay," says Riker. "The atmosphere of this planet would then rush in."
"Yeah, you'd have like, twelve seconds to get you out of there," says Pulaski. "You'd be cryogenically frozen, then we'd have to reverse the process."
"Can you do that?" Riker asks.
"...in theory," she replies.
"Just throwing out ideas," Picard adds.
"Yeah, we'll keep looking, thanks," says Riker.

There's a weird little half-scene here, where the room phone rings, and Worf, not familiar with telephones, hesitantly picks up the receiver. He gets it right, surprisingly.
"Some chick is asking if we want room service," he reports. "What the hell does that mean?"
"I think she's asking if we want them to clean the room," misinterprets Data.
"Say no," Riker instructs.
Worf does so, and hangs up. "She says the kitchen will be open 24 hours," shrugs Worf.
Man, that's a fancy-ass hotel. Most places I know have a kitchen that closes at ten or eleven.
They decide to split up and check the hotel for more ways to get out.

Picard decides that maybe he should read what appears to be a 300 page novel, just in case in comes in handy. He and Troi go into the ready room and he pulls up his Kindle app on his laptop.
"It was a dark and stormy night," he reads. "Oh, vomit. Are you shitting me?"
"Maybe it gets better," suggests Troi, ever the optimist.
Is he really going to read all of this aloud? Seems like Majel could do it, and no one would lose their voice.

Worf and Data go back down to the casino, and Data suggests they blend in.
I'll pause here so you can laugh at the android telling the Klingon to blend into this crowd of mostly-white middle class twentieth-century humans.
(In all seriousness, though, it looks like these characters were meant to interact with Col. Richey like the people in the holodeck do - not noticing differences in race or species.)
Data goes back to the blackjack table, where Texas and Vanessa are still playing.
"Hey, hi," says Data to Texas. "How'd you get here?"
"To Vegas?" asks Texas. "I drove. I have a '91 Cadillac. It's nice."
"Where is it now?" asks Data.
"In the fucking parking lot. What's it to you?" And now, he's not as nice to Data.
"Can you show it to me?"
"What the hell for?" demands Texas.
"Because I think you're trapped in the Hotel Royale, like I am," Data replies.
"Feels that way when you're losing, right?" asks Texas, now cheerful.
This guy is a damn roller coaster.
Vanessa shows the others her cards. "Hit or stay?"
"Hit!" says Texas.
"Stay," advises Data.
Now Texas is pissed again.
Vanessa takes the hit and makes 23. "I'm losing my shirt!"
Data raises his eyebrows at Vanessa, who is clearly wearing a low-cut dress, and not a shirt.

Riker gets off of the elevator and tells Worf that he didn't find anything.
Nearby, Sam Anderson tells the bellhop that Rita finally called, and she was crying.
"Mickey D thinks that he can treat people like crap, but he can't!" announces the bellhop.
Suddenly, the film noir music switches over to something akin to "Hey, Big Spender," and some gangster swag with a dude inside strolls through the revolving doors.
OMGoodness, Mickey D!

This guy reeks of Eau de Douche

Mickey D points at the bellhop. "You were warned to stay away."
"You can't treat Rita like that!" squeaks the bellhop. "She can choose me if she wants to!"

We switch over to the ready room, where Picard and Troi are now listening in over Riker's open comm badge.
"I used to look up to you guys when I was little," says the voice of the bellhop. "I thought the clothes and fancy shoes made you somebody, but you're not somebody. You're nobody."
"Seriously?" asks Troi. "This dialogue sucks. Did all humans talk like this?"
"No, this novel is shit," replies Picard.
"Okay, then." She gets up. "Imma peace out. I can't deal with this crap."
She leaves, and Picard resigns himself to listening in again.

"Why don't we take this outside?" asks Mickey D.
"Fine! Let's go outside!" snaps the bellhop.
Mickey D gestures that the bellhop should go first, and the bellhop attempts to swagger to the revolving doors, but before he can get there, Mickey D pulls a gun from his waistband (doesn't anyone in this dumb novel have a fucking holster?). Worf pulls out his phaser, but is stopped by Riker.
"It's in the book, let it play out."
Mickey D shoots the bellhop in the back. Everyone screams. Then the gangster puts his gun back in his waistband (oh, FFS) and goes to the revolving door.
"No woman is worth dying for," he tells the bellhops corpse. "Killing for, yes. Dying for, no."
Then he strolls out through the door.

"He left!" splutters Riker. "He fucking left! How'd he do that?"
Picard checks his computer. "Page 244. He shoots the bellhop and leaves."
Riker is puzzled. "How does this book end?"
Picard shuffles through electronic pages. "Ehhh, looks like the hotel gets bought out by foreign investors for 12.5 million US dollars. Then the investors go home and leave Sam Anderson in charge."
"That's how we're getting out," announces a smiling Riker. "We're buying this place!"

Swanky film noir music! Commercial break!

When we return, our intrepid trio has decided to shoot craps. Data explains the game to Riker, and oh gee, guess who's at the craps table? Texas Dee and Tweedle-dumber. Vanessa complains that Texas is losing, and Texas welcomes Data to the table, because maybe the android will turn their luck around. Data goes to roll the dice, but first has Vanessa blow on them for luck, like he saw her do with Texas' dice.

Nope, no go. Data holds the dice in his palm and quietly tells Riker that he thinks the dice are unbalanced.
"Can you fix them?" asks Riker.
"I think so," says Data.
He rubs the dice together in his closed hand, then says it is done.
Really, I want to call BS on that, but I don't think I can. I... just don't know of any androids that I can ask about re-balancing dice by crushing them together in one's hand.
So then he throws out a "baby needs a new pair of shoes," which is terrible, but I guess the book is supposed to be awful, so when in Rome, I guess... He gives Riker a goofy, cheesy look, expertly shoots the dice, and then snaps his fingers. Eleven.
"Hooray!" cheer Texas and Vanessa.
He does it again, expert shooting technique, snapping of fingers. Seven. Followed by another seven, and another goofy look at Riker, who is too busy laughing and doubling the bet to ask why an emotionless android is making that face.

Picard checks in with Riker.
"Doing well!" says Riker. "We almost have the purchase price."
"Stay in character," Picard warns. "The foreign investors are described as being generous. Spread some of that shit around."
"Gotcha," says Riker.
He doubles the bet again, and starts handing out chips to the casino employees.
"When the train comes in, everybody rides!"

Texas, who has been making a nice mint, suddenly decides that Data's 18-pass streak is too much, and bets against him.
"That's inadvisable," says Data.
But he can't sway the man. He rolls seven again, and Texas loses everything.
"You knew!" Texas accuses him. "Why did you let me do that? Are you mad because I didn't show you my car?"
"I did warn you," answers Data. He hands his tray of chips to Sam Anderson. "Please cash us out."
Sam Anderson gapes at them. "Um, you broke the bank."
"It's cool," says Riker. "Just take 12.5 million - the purchase price of this hotel - then spread the love around."
"You're the foreign investors," says Mildly Concerned Sam.
It sounds like this is dawning on him, like "trio of foreign gentlemen" was different than "foreign investors" in his mind. Or that the foreign investors were supposed to be anonymous, or something. There was really nothing discussed earlier about why Sam would know that investors were going to be buying this hotel, but whatever.
Riker & Co stroll out of the lobby to the swanky big band music.

The building lets them leave.
Riker hits his comm badge. "We're outside. Beam us the hell up."

Later in the ready room, Riker tells Picard that the experience was really freaking weird. They discuss how the Charybdis might have made it all the way out this far, because it probably didn't happen under its own power.
Callback -
"Like Fermat's theorem, it may forever remain a mystery," smiles Picard.

So this episode was kind of fun, like "A Piece of the Action." It had its sad, darker moment when they found the skeleton and realized who he was and how everything came to be, but most of this episode was kind of goofy. No real deeper meaning to ponder or anything of that nature, just Riker, Worf and Data being thrust into a weird world that's emulating a badly-written novel. To that effect, I'm glad that Sam Anderson was chosen to pay the assistant manager. His portrayal of characters often has a dark underlying comedy to it, and that worked nicely here. Is "The Royale" going to end up on any "Star Trek episodes that changed my life" lists? Nope. But it's a fun kind of thing to watch on a rainy day, or to put on in the background while you're doing something else.

Red deaths: 0
To date: 1
Gold deaths: 0
Blue deaths: 0
Obnoxious Wes moments: 0
Legitimate Wes moments when he should have told someone to go fuck themselves: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Geordi moments: 0
To date: 4
Sassy Wes Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Worf Moment: 0
To date: 3
Sassy Riker Moments: 0
To date: 4
Sassy Picard Moments: 0
To date: 11
Sassy NPC Moments: 3
To date: 3
Sassy Data Moments: 0
To date: 4
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 0
To date: 17
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 2
To date: 13
Number of times that Geordi "looks at something" with his VISOR: 0
To date: 1
Number of times when Data gives too much info and has to be told to shut up: 0
To date: 12

Episodes Left Until We Get Rid of Pulaski:

Fun Facts:

- Fermat's Last Theorem was actually solved in 1995 by Andrew Wiles, six years after this show was written and aired. To account for this weirdness in continuity, Cliff Boles, who directed this episode, also directed an episode of DS9, where it is explained that, since the theorem was solved in the 1990's, people have been looking for other original approaches to the answer. This way, Picard is relaxing by looking for another way to solve the problem.
- The panel from the Charybdis that is beamed aboard the E has a weird flag. Because of the extra stars making the blue box bigger, the field of stars sits on a red stripe instead of a white one.

- This episode was written by Tracy Torme, and was supposed to be filmed for the first season, but it kept being pushed back. The original script was surreal and called for more comedy. However, it went through the rewrite process with Maurice Hurley, and when Torme got it back, it was mostly unrecognizable as his script. Hurley made the changes based on his impression that the story was too much like TOS' "A Piece of the Action." Many people agree that the original script was better. Torme asked that he be credited on this episode as Keith Mills, as he didn't want his name associated with the finished product. As a result, he stepped back from writing, and took on the role of "creative consultant," but he would only contribute to one other episode before leaving completely.
- Director Cliff Bole thought that Torme's story was better, but notes that the filming schedule was tight, and they had to shoot what they had. There were budgetary problems as well, but what else does one expect from Star Trek?
- The original script also contained a sort of throwback to TOS' "The Cage." Initially, the image of the last crew member from the Charybdis remained in the casino, and an image of a dead member of the E's away team was left with him to keep him company, much like Christopher Pike and Vina.
- In the rewritten version of the script, Pulaski had a line, "I'm a doctor, not a magician." I'm glad they cut that. Pulaski is already a cookie-cutter female Bones.
- Because this episode is all about throw-backs, Data has a moment that is a throw-back to an unproduced Gene Roddenberry show, The Questor Tapes. (Though a television movie was produced in 1974, plans to make it a pilot episode fell through.) Questor the android was actually Data's forefather (so to speak), and tells someone that he is "fully functional" as far as sex goes. The throw-back in this episode occurs when Data is handed loaded dice in the casino, and reacts the same way that Questor did: he uses his hands to carefully adjust the dice.

- The idea of the advanced alien race pretty much building a zoo habitat for humans comes from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
-In the original airing of this episode, the mission patch on the astronaut's uniform was the patch from the 1972 mission of Apollo 17, with the word "Apollo" removed. In the remastered version, the patch is redesigned to read "Charybdis... First Beyond the Solar System."
- The NASA logo on the panel they beamed aboard the E was actually retired in 1992.
- The design for the casino set was dictated by the budget - because of a lack of money, they used camera angles and curtains to hide the fact that the set was operating on slim pickin's.

Judgey McJudgerson


  1. One of the trivia items is wrong. The flag has thirteen stripes. It's just that the star field is taller.

    1. Huh. It is. Fixed! :) Maybe I should alert Memory Alpha...