Episode 238: "Ship in a Bottle" 

While enjoying a Sherlock Holmes mystery fantasy on the holodeck, Geordi and Data request that Barclay investigate some anomalies in the program. While doing so, Professor Moriarty appears and informs Barclay that the computer system has created him so well in the fantasy that he has come alive! According to Moriarty, Picard has held him hostage in the fantasy for over four years.
Unable to believe that Moriarty really exists, Picard instructs Beverly to examine him. She finds that the impossible has occurred a fantasy has turned into a living, breathing human being.

Thrilled to be alive, Moriarty begs Picard to bring the love of his life in the fantasy, Countess Regina Barthalomew, to life as well. After conferring with Beverly, Data and Barclay, Picard decides to postpone any action until they discover more about what really happened.

Meanwhile, the U.S.S. Enterprise orbits around two giant, gaseous planets about to collide. Picard attempts to launch probes to the planets, when he is denied authorization access by the computer. Apparently, Moriarty transferred Picard's voice authorization to his own voice, attempting to take control of the starship. Moriarty refuses to relinquish control of the vessel unless Picard agrees to bring the countess to life. His hands tied, Picard agrees to try, otherwise the Enterprise could be caught in the collision between the two stars.

Later, as Picard and Geordi work to reinstate his computer authorization, Data informs them that all of the events of the day have been a simulation. It isn't that Moriarty is real, but that all of them are participating in the fantasy. Data discovered this by noticing that a normally right-handed Geordi was working on the padd with his left hand. Evidently, Picard, Data and Barclay are real, but everyone else is a simulation a simulation being controlled by Moriarty.

Desperate to break free of the fantasy, Picard meets with the countess and urges her to persuade Moriarty to return navigational control to him. Instead of complying with Picard's request, Moriarty works with Riker to be transported into reality. Once he is transported, though, he refuses to relinquish control over the ship unless Riker gives him a shuttlecraft. Having no other choice, Riker agrees.

As Moriarty and the countess depart on their shuttlecraft, he releases authorization back to Picard, who promptly discontinues the entire simulation. He then lets the rest of the crew know that unbeknownst to Moriarty, his shuttlecraft adventure with the countess is just another simulation. In fact, Picard has both of them encapsulated in a small computerized cube. And in the greater scheme of things, he muses to his staff, who's to say that they aren't caught in someone else's fantasy right now.

Production: 238
Season: 6 Episode: 12
Original Air Date: 01.25.1993
Stardate: 46424.1
Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes as William Riker
Brent Spiner as Data
LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn as Worf
Gates McFadden as Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi
Clement Von Franckenstein as Gentleman
Stephanie Beacham as Countess
Majel Barrett as Computer Voice
Daniel Davis as Moriarty
Dwight Schultz as Reginald Barclay
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Moriarty tells Picard that Sherlock Holmes was written by an Englishman. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the creator of Holmes) was Scottish, not English.

Click this link to view the complete script in a TXT format

                STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION 
                              
                      "Ship in a Bottle" 
                          #40276-238 
                              
                          Written by 
                        Rene Echevarria 
                              
                          Directed by 
                          Alex Singer 
THE WRITING CREDITS MAY NOT BE FINAL AND SHOULD NOT BE USED
FOR PUBLICITY OR ADVERTISING PURPOSES WITHOUT FIRST CHECKING
WITH THE TELEVISION LEGAL DEPARTMENT.
Copyright 1992 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights
Reserved. This script is not for publication or
reproduction. No one is authorized to dispose of same. If
lost or destroyed, please notify the Script Department.
                         FINAL DRAFT
                         
                       OCTOBER 26, 1992
        STAR TREK: "Ship in a Bottle" - 10/26/92 - CAST 
                STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION 
                      "Ship in a Bottle" 
                             CAST                               
                              
                PICARD             BARCLAY
                RIKER              MORIARTY
                DATA               COUNTESS
                BEVERLY            GENTLEMAN
                TROI               
                WORF               
                GEORDI             
                COMPUTER VOICE     
                Non-Speaking                           
                  N.D. ENGINEERS     
                  CREWMAN            
                  TWO SECURITY OFFICERS
                  N.D. SUPERNUMARIES 
                  TRANSPORTER CHIEF  
        STAR TREK: "Ship in a Bottle" - 10/27/92 - SETS 
                STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION 
                      "Ship in a Bottle" 
                   
                             SETS 
            INTERIORS                  EXTERIORS
          
            USS ENTERPRISE             USS ENTERPRISE
              MAIN BRIDGE
              TRANSPORTER ROOM
              ENGINEERING
              TEN FORWARD
              SICKBAY
              OBS. LOUNGE
              SHUTTLEBAY
              SHUTTLECRAFT
              CORRIDOR
          
              HOLODECK
                THE SITTING ROOM (221B BAKER)
                GRID
          
              MORIARTY'S QUARTERS


 

Click this link to view the complete script in a TXT format