Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 5 Episode 25

The Inner Light

5
Aired Unknown Jun 01, 1992 on CBS
9.4
out of 10
User Rating
351 votes
25

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Stardate 45944.1 Picard is struck by an energy beam from an alien probe, which renders him unconscious and places him in the life of a citizen on the planet Kataan, with his memory of the Enterprise intact.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Appreciated for the wrong reasons

    10
    I loved Patrick Stewart's performance in this episode. I think he did a fantastic job but I think the supporting cast is largely responsible for his standout performance. They prepared the emotional framework central to the plot. Huge thumbs up to the writers for engineering such a perfect vehicle for a story in this genre.
  • Good episode, but very implausible

    8.0
    Great acting, very moving episode, and well done ending. A few problems really stick out though (forgiven because of the excellent reasons mentioned above). If this civilization is not advanced beyond sending the unmanned rocket, just how the heck do they create this probe that not only penetrates the Enterprise shields; Crusher can't figure out a way with 23rd century medical technology how to disconnect it from Picard. Not to mention they have Picard live an entire life in 25 minutes. I suppose maybe these people put all their effort into researching this type of technology, but it is still a glaring plot mistake IMHO. Still, I really enjoyed this episode and you feel bad for those people, and Picard at the end.moreless
  • To experience several decades of an alternate lifetime - a generation - in 30 seconds!

    9.5
    While the average rating is 9.4, quite high, there are some reviewers that feel it might be over-rated relative to some other standout episodes. This might be true for those reviewers who have their own "fav" episodes. But - for me - this is standout because it is a (fairly) unique approach, and certainly for ST TNG, to some classic Sci-Fi concepts like the alternate-reality/universe, time-compression, memory-implant, etc..

    The fact that it is quite well-acted (perhaps an understatement) and told within the confines of the 38-minute (1-hour) format makes it even more of an achievement IMFAO (In My F* Arrogant Opinion, as opposed to Laughing My F* A* Off)... darn the folks that thought lowercase 'L' and uppercase "I" (eye) should use an identical symbol in virtually every font. ;-) L != I but l == I ??? Crazy... darn that ADD of mine also. Apologies for a non-review review, but I'd only echo much of the praise from previous reviews anyway - as I said, it's classic for it's atypical presentation (for TNG) and it's new approach to some classic Sci-Fi concepts... I'll leave 0.5 off my rating for posterity. It's still my fav, or is at least tied with ... ;-)moreless
  • An excellent and unique part of Star Trek: The Next Generation....

    9.0
    .... "The Inner Light" is great character piece for Patrick Stewart/Jean-Luc Picard and is subsequently one of the strongest episodes of the entire TNG series. Picard, despite having his memory of the Enterprise fully intact, suddenly finds himself on a different planet and with a different life and a family.



    I will put myself out on a limb however, and honestly say that I do find "The Inner Light" to be a slightly overrated episode.



    "The Inner Light" is very well written, acted and fairly well shot - however, I would not place it at the very top of the series. Watching Picard live out a full life as a husband, father and statesman opens the door for Patrick Stewart to shine and is very satisfying to the audience to see Picard being able to live a life he would sometimes regret not pursuing. "The Inner Light" is a high quality TNG episode because the Jean-Luc Picard character is such a great character and Patrick Stewart is so good playing that character; but it is not the most re-watchable episode simply because it is so emotionally heavy and feels so unlike the brand of sci-fi that Star Trek usually delivers.



    I am supposed to give "The Inner Light" nothing but praise - and it deserves much praise - but I will take a number of TNG episodes ahead of it, regardless of how good it in fact is.moreless
  • A Must See

    10
    Named after a Beatles B side, this is without a doubt one of the greatest Star Trek episodes of all time and perhaps the pinnacle of the franchise on television. The episode has no villains, no conflict, no shocking plot twist, and no technobabble; just Picard in a "Quantum Leap" style plot learning to play a flute and adapting to an adopted culture. Stewart (with the guest stars, all engaging in their own right, serving as his supporting cast) plays Picard's gradual acceptance and appreciation for the new situation so powerfully that we as viewers can't help but develop the same feelings as the Captain, leaving us as moved and transformed as Picard himself by the end. Truly a must see for everyone, Star Trek fan or not, this episode should have won Patrick Stewart an Emmy. (It did win the 1993 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, ending a dry spell for the franchise that went back to 1968. It was the third of four Star Trek episodes to win the award.)moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden

Dr. Beverly Crusher

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

Margot Rose

Margot Rose

Eline

Guest Star

Richard Riehle

Richard Riehle

Batai

Guest Star

Scott Jaeck

Scott Jaeck

Administrator

Guest Star

Patti Yasutake

Patti Yasutake

Alyssa Ogawa

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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