ST:TNG 2.12 The Royale ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues into Season 2 with on that I was very happy to see, and one I remember very well....

The Royale
Season 2, Episode 12

  • After finding debris with that NASA emblem, Riker, Data and Worf beam down to a small inhabitable space on a highly violent planet, and go through revolting doors into the Hotel Royale, and can not appear to leave.
Character Focus:
  • Riker, Data and Worf are the ones that beam down to the planet, although this episode is more about the mystery of the story over their characters. 
What I remembered about this episode:
  • This one I remember pretty much beat by beat, and when it came on now I was happy because my first thought was "Oh! This is an easy one!", so it ended up being quite enjoyable to watch.  From the moment they beamed down and there was an absolute void behind them I felt at home, because anything could happen and this is one episode of The Next Generation that totally reads like old school The Original Series Star Trek, and in particular the episode "The Empath" with the character Gem.
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I love how direct (ahem, untactful) Worf can be.  "How did a being like you get here?"  Really, Worf?  Ya think that's gonna work?
  • It's one of the few times where they continue on the away team mission because they think there is no danger, when in fact... there is.
What feels different now, than then:
  • It was surprizing that the they didn't try to explain how/what/who or if the folks in the casino were actual beings.  Often in episodes like this they are holograms or some kind of mind altering device, but this was put down to just straight up 'advanced aliens did it!' as a reason.
  • It's also a little surprizing that the images/action/story continued to play out after the astronaut who they created it to live in, passed away.  Perhaps this is a flip side to a story like Moriarty in 2.03 Elementary, Dear Data.
  • The idea of 'playing the role' often comes up in science fiction, although I find now characters resist doing it.  I wonder what has changed to curve that trend.
What remained the same:
  • It's pretty horrifying that the sole survivor of a deep space exploration trip ended up in a fictional story-loop like this, especially as he didn't like the story.  Not to self, always bring a happy book on long voyages!
What I see differently:
  • I always think of this as The Casino One, although it's situated at a Hotel.
  • I can *feel* it as late 80's, even though it's suppose to be timeless pulp novel setting.
  • The day the astronaut left was on my birthday!
  • I can't believe the sole survivor had a journal and like they for years upon years, but only made 1 entry.
Great Quotes:
  • "In our arrogance, we feel we are so advanced. And yet, we cannot unravel a simple knot tied by a part-time French mathematician, working alone without a computer." - Picard
  • "What is this place? How did a being like you get here?" - Worf
  • "There is a certain degree of random fortune involved. I believe that is why they call it 'gambling'." - Data
Left off at:
They realize that an option to leave the Hotel would be to assume the roles in the story of characters of the foreign investors who buy out the joint. Data wins at the craps table enough to buy it up and Riker spreads the love of the money to ensure they assume to roles from the book.  And they all walk out. 

Images Source: TrekCore


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