Friday, June 24, 2022

Star Trek: Ship in a Bottle

Episode: "Ship in a Bottle"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 6, Episode 12
Original Air Date: January 25, 1993

Moriarty is back!  Sherlock Holmes's great nemesis and, for my money, TNG's best villain, Moriarty (Daniel Davis) first appeared in Season 2's "Elementary, Dear Data."  He was a holodeck character who somehow achieved self-awareness.  His program had been saved by the computer and now that he's been relaunched, he's ready to make mischief.

Without a doubt, this is my favorite TNG holodeck episode.  Some choose it as the worst which blows my mind.  Beyond my affection for the guest star, the simulation within a simulation scenario is delicious.  I think it would have been even better, though, if in that final scene a third simulation were revealed with Barclay's last line.  What if the whole thing were Barclay's holo-novel masterpiece?  I realize that changes the story and makes it more of a Barclay tale in the end.  Even so, I would have enjoyed the extra wrinkle.

Trek took four seasons to return to the Holmes-scape due to rights issues with the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle estate.  It was assumed they'd never be able to use the character again.  But apparently, it was all a misunderstanding.  The estate lawyers had been irritated with Paramount over the 1985 film Young Sherlock Holmes.  All was worked out in time for Season 6 - with adequate rights fees, naturally.

Acting Notes

Stephanie Beacham played the role of Regina Barthalomew, Moriarty's lady love.  Beacham was born February 28, 1947 in Barnet, Hertfordshire, England.  She studied as a mime in Paris before attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.  Her original plan was to become a dance teacher for deaf children.  She is partially deaf herself.  But a modeling career lead to television acting gigs.

The earliest work came in British television with series Tenko and Connie.  She made her biggest splash in the US as Sable Colby in The Colbys and Dynasty.  Films include Dracula A.D. 1972, Schizo and Troop Beverly Hills.

Beacham was married to John McEnery, 1973-89.  They had two daughters.  She has beaten skin cancer twice.

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