Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 2 Episode 12

The Royale

Aired Unknown Mar 27, 1989 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

Write A Review
out of 10
247 votes
  • Enterprise arrives at an unexplored planet and finds debris from an ancient earth ship in the planet's atmosphere. Riker, Data and Worf beam to the planet and find a hotel and casino. They enter the hotel and become trapped. Can they escape?


    One of the best episodes of the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Great performances, and a very clever story line that keeps the viewer guessing up until the end makes "The Royale" very entertaining. The late Noble Willingham is terrific as Texas. I particulary enjoyed the part where the away team discovers the reason why The Royale exists and why it was created. Data's winning streak at the crap table is very entertaining as well. A fun and entertaining episode. A must see for sure.

  • The Enterprise investigates the wreckage of a 21st century Earth spaceship orbiting a distant planet and the appearance of a casino with inhabitants based on a paperback novel.

    This is a filler episode with no historical significance that merely plugs a hole in a shortened season dealing with a writer's strike; but the joy is in the fact that it never tries to be anything more than that. The plot is cleverly written so that it makes sense that the story doesn't make any sense, if that makes any sense. Follow me? (Don't worry, I think I lost myself, too.) This is a light hearted episode that winks at the viewer and understands that it will never rank among the greatest Trek episodes; but the abstract sets and silly plot actually work for the premise, and the result is a somewhat unique installment, although it has similarities to the malfunctioning holodeck episodes.
  • It never ceases to amaze me how generous many of my fellow reviewers on here are...

    This starts off a mildly intriguing episode - why is a piece of NASA debris found far out in space and why is an inhospitable alien planet home to an old Earth casino populated by cliched American gamblers?

    Alas, the mystery is solved far too soon and isn't really that interesting or original in retrospect. The rest of the episode is a fairly pointless, uninspired piece in which an old book 'Hotel Royale' has been recreated by aliens, complete with its 'superficial' characters.

    It's ironic how the episode is at pains to tell us how terrible the source material, the 'Hotel Royale' book is. But this whole episode is really little better, playing like a stock holodeck-malfunction episode with little insight, little wit and little point. There is a slight novelty factor at seeing our crew in a Vegas casino, but you'll quickly get over it. For a vastly more enjoyable casino romp, check out Deep Space Nine's 'Badda Bing, Badda Bang'. Give this one a miss.
  • A comedy-oriented Star Trek episode....

    "The Royale" starts off as a TNG sci-fi mystery but ends up more of a lighthearted comedy piece. The episode does not really cash in either the mystery or comedy direction particularly strong but it is a fun time with the Enterprise crew.

    It all begins when the Enterprise finds NASA debris and a lone casino/hotel in a pocket of breathable air on an uninhabitable planet. Riker, Data, and Worf investigate, only to become trapped in the casino/hotel once they pass through the casino's antique revolving door. Once there, they unravel the casino/hotel's mystery as Data and Worf engage in some actually funny business.

    "The Royale" offers some unintentional laughs as well: such as Riker, Data, and Worf's supposedly being stuck in the hotel, when it is clear that the actors are simply walking through *full* revolving door rotations, and the 24th Century Picard remarking that "Fermat's last theorem" has been unproven for 800 years, when it was actually proven in 1995 (six years after this episode was aired).
  • Royale Flush

    The Royale has always been one of my favourite episodes; not only of season two, but of the entire STTNG run itself. It is true that the story and the events that take place are not the most spectacular in comparison to the "top" moments of the show (eg. Borg) but nonetheless I found the story to be both intriguing and comic since my first viewing, and strengthened with each subsequent one.

    I've always found the idea of past Earth relics or people, rediscovered in the current 24th century setting to be extremely interesting and engaging; if done correctly. "The Neutral Zone" from season one of STTNG is a prime of example of the idea being done wrong, while "The 37's" from season two of ST:Voyager is a great example of it being done correctly. In The Royale the one remaining astronought is already deceased so the episode does not have to concern itself with mapping out how the person would react and interact with the places and people of a time so far different from the one he came from; an issue that is one of the hardest to map out correctly or convincingly. Instead we get a journal entry from the person that serves as both a bit of story explanation, as well as gets across enough of the basic person's feelings and thoughts to give the viewer a convincing idea of the percieved hopelessness of his situation and in turn what the away team is in store for if they do not solve their current dilemma.

    As is mentioned in the episode itself, the sub-story within the Hotel Royale, is a bit over the top and tacky. The viewer is far more interested in the imprisonment of the away team and their investigation and attempted solutions, than in the love affair between the bell boy and the gangster. The fact that the bell boy eats lead does little to peak the interest level up a notch either. Worf using his phaser on the various parts of the hotel in the hopes of creating an exit, Data's socially clusmy attempts at gathering intel from the hotel's inhabitants and Riker's questioning of the desk clerk are far more interesting. With Data we are also given the comic moment of him coming between the young clueless woman and the shark Texan gambler who is trying to shyster her out of her money.

    The ending and solution to the episode is nothing extradordinary in it's cleverness, but it is again something that has always stuck with me since I first saw it. It's great to see Data physically crush the dice to load them in their favour. Again, it is the overall the journey to the end of the episode and the various little things that make up that journey that make this episode an extremely enjoyable one. An endlessly revolving door to nowhere, the shell of an "ancient" NASA space vessel, the discovery of the crew of a voyage lost over 250 years ago, loading of the dice and others all make this a definte watch.
  • Not quite adventurous but a good try....

    Good idea. Shades of the ending in 2001.

    Average execution. Dialogue isnt that great either and Im not sure the away team dynamic of Worf, Data and Ryker was good enough for the excellent idea.

    Location(s) while written down probably sounded wonderful were rather dull on-screen. But given the use of that particular story from that book its hard to see how much different it could have been.

    Actionwise nothing really significant happens, yet there is a moderate level of trepidation at the Away Teams entrapment in the virtual world. Unfortunately, this middle act of various scenes are more visual exposition than any real action.

    As the finale approaches we know that the crew is going to escape and thus it brings an average finale down a couple of notches.

    Not really worth watching more than the once- as you wont miss anything from missing it!
  • Not a great or even good episode, but a fun romp nonetheless.

    Despite not actually taking place in a holodeck, this episode clearly falls into the "holodeck malfunction" genre. It isn't the best entry in this genre, but certainly nowhere near the worst. If you approach it without any excessive expectations, it provides 45 minutes of light-hearted enjoyment.

    Three of the Enterprise crew (Riker, Worf, Data) find themselves in a recreation of a bad noir novel that apparently takes place in a 1980s casino. The writers try their hands at as many gags as possible (especially surrounding Worf and Data) and most of them are quite funny. Worf's phone conversation is a personal favorite. Riker is relatively colorless throughout most of the episode, but really shines in the final craps sequence.

    The scenes on the Enterprise are largely a waste of time, though Patrick Stewart's reaction to the awful writing of the novel is quite amusing.
  • The Enterprise discovers a piece of space debris which leads them to an uninhapitable planet, where a hotel with a casino has been created for the survivor of a NASA mission. The hotel is based on a bad novel, and the colonel welcomed death when it came.

    This is a first rate episode. It showcases Riker's humor, Data's innocence, and Worf's humorlessness. They discover an astronaut long dead in a hotel casino, where the entities who destroyed his ship and crewmates sent him, thinking a third rate novel on board the ship was his preferred way of life. It was actually a living hell, and he welcomed death when it came. Riker, Data and Worf, after Data reads the novel, discover the only way out of the hotel is to win the money to buy the hotel, the way the three foreign visitors did in the book. Data's gambling is humorous and his interaction with a Texan is classic. The subplot with Mickey D and the hotel bellman is the only negative.
  • Riker, Data, and Worf beam down to what should be an uninhabitable planet. Instead, they find an American-style hotel and they can't escape it.

    If this episode is anything, it's fun. It's not one of TNG's best episodes, and there's nothing especially spectacular with it, but it still manages to be a quite entertaining hour. Seeing Data and Worf, cast in the roles of the "foreign investors", have to somehow deal with this unique situation is a delight. Where else could we see Data with a cowboy hat tipped way back? It's great to see the writers create a situation where the guest characters are supposed to be cliched. The airheaded lady. The old, rich charmer who wants to take the lady up to his room. The naive kid in love. The gangster that he shouldn't have messed with. And our heroes taking on the roles they were given, winning big, buying the place, and strutting out. Not the typical TNG episode, but a joy to watch nevertheless. And bonus! Character actor and frequent guest star on every network drama imaginable Sam Anderson as the hotel's assistant manager. Go him.
  • In an unmapped solar system, the U.S.S Enterprise discovers a jagged chunk of metal bearing a nasa and united states emblem. Shortly after Lt. Laforge finda structure of some kind with breathable air. The Away Team beams down to a structure and finds a re

    In an unmapped solar system, the U.S.S Enterprise discovers a jagged chunk of metal bearing a nasa and united states emblem. Shortly after Lt. Laforge finda structure of some kind with breathable air. The Away Team beams down to a structure and finds a revolving door. When Riker, Worf and Data walk through the door of the Hotel Royale all communication with the ship is lost. They approach a desk and are welcome as foreign investers. It seems as if this is a hotel casino. Are they trapped? Tune in and find out I rate this one a 7.8 winner.
  • The Enterprise finds a habitable area on an unhabitable planet. Beaming down, the away team discovers an environment based on an old Earth novel. Trapped inside, the away team must recreate the events described in the novel, in order to complete the sto

    This was just a great episode! To be honest, early episodes of The Next Generation were not very high quality Star Trek, but keeping that in mind, this one is a lot of fun. Very clever premise, intriguing, fun to watch. This is possibly my favourite episode of the early seasons.
No results found.
No results found.
No results found.