I reviewed Chain of Command, Part II some time ago, but it’s taken until my next vacation this week to have time to get around to Ship in a Bottle. I’m glad I did, I had been feeling overdue for some time. I also can’t stand this new block editor WordPress is using, so I’m still learning it. Please remember you need not wait until I post another announcement like this before checking, I will often review one episode and wait weeks before another one is written. Simply go to the most recently reviewed episode that you’ve read and see if the link is live for the next episode. Going to the season six page is also a good way to get an overview of where I am in the episode review process.
Chain of Command II is one of my favorite TNG episodes, pure and simple. Picard has been capture by the Cardassians, and he spends most of the episode getting tortured, in what is a candidate for his best performance on the show. Meanwhile back on the Enterprise things heat up between the Federation and the Cardassians, and between Jellico and Riker. There are three showdowns in this episode, and each of them is great!
This was the final episode aired before DS9 began, the last time TNG would have all the airwaves to itself. You may not know that David Warner, who played Gul Madred, took the role with only three days’ notice! Because he didn’t have time to learn all of his lines, including technobabble, he says “they wrote everything up for me. I don’t mind people knowing this. Every line I said, I actually was reading it over Patrick’s shoulder or they put it down there for me to do it.” Check out a lot more behind the scenes info in my full episode review.
Ship in a Bottle is a step down, as almost any episode would be, but it still an excellent episode in its own right. Professor Moriarty, last seen in Elementary, Dear Data, returns, and this time he’s out of the holodeck! Or is he? Following a couple of minor technical glitches Data and Geordi (who were having fun as Holmes and Watson) ask Barclay to fix the Holodeck and he inadvertently releases Moriarty. He’s somehow able to leave the holodeck, and takes over the ship, makes a demand of the crew, and all the while the Enterprise is close to the imminent collision of two planets!
You may not know the reason TNG didn’t use Sherlock Holmes during the intervening four years. TNG couldn’t use Holmes for years as Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate were irritated with Paramount because of the film Young Sherlock Holmes, and there had been a long legal battle. By this time however, everything has been resolved and they didn’t make Paramount pay too much to use Doyle’s characters. Check out more details in my full episode review if you like.
Thanks for waiting, and I’ll try to keep on schedule better in reviewing the next two episodes, the awful Aquiel and the excellent Face of the Enemy. However, my wife is 7 1/2 months pregnant, so all I can promise is my best!