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- MA files from this episode (7) • MA remastered files from this episode (48)
- Template:Titles/The Inner Light yields The Inner Light (TNG 5x25)
For general discussion on this episode, visit the TNG forum at The Trek BBS.
Writer comments Edit
Here are his comments, saved for antiquity, in case said blog goes offline:
- As the writer of "Inner Light," I enjoyed reading yor comments. The journey form pitch to script was arduous -- I brought some version of this story to the producers seven times before it was even approved as a story in development. But what each incarnaton had in common was a "mental probe" of some sort that beamed experiences directly in to the recipient's head. Originally, it was a riff on the Fuji blimp -- a 30th century adverstising tool, which Picard and crew didn't realize at first. The tale grew in richness as the "blimp" became a probe whose purpose was to pass along the memory of this dead civilization.
- As a huge Beatles fan, I thought it would be fun to name this episode after an obscure B-side track -- and (I thought this was obvious) "Inner Light" (I dropped the "the" for the screen title) captured the theme of the show: that Picard experienced a lifetime of memories all in his head.
- Incidentally, I later pitched a sequel to this episode that I think fans would have liked to see. Remember, all the people in his inner light experience were really actors in this "video loop" sent out by the probe. What if, I posited, the Kataan civilization actually had a Plan B - a rudimentary space vehicle that could be launched - and what if Aline (Picard's "wife"), or, more acurately, the Kataan actress who played Aline, was selected to be maong those few survivors who would be sent off before the Supernova hit? And so, my episode-to-be went, the Enterprise encounters the Kataan ship - Aline is revived from suspended animation - and brought on board. To Picard, THIS WAS HIS WIFE! All his thoughts are 100% real - hence his ability to play that alien flute at the end of "Inner Light" (quick PS - the producers made fine sport of me for suggesting this bit and all had a good laugh; but somehow they decidced to give it a go and I've heard form fans who consider it one of th emost moving episodes in the series) -- so here he is with his long-gone wife - and she doesn't know him form a hole in the wall! Interesting dynamic, isn't it?
- The producers again said no.
- Welcome to showbiz.
- - Morgan Gendel
The producers may have said "no" here, but this is similar to the dynamic between Geordi La Forge and Leah Brahms when they meet in real life. Geordi has had a virtual relationship with Leah in the holodeck, yet Leah doesn't know him at all. 220.127.116.11 04:20, December 28, 2010 (UTC)John Armbruster
Similarity to Superman? Edit
I'm surprised the Trivia or References sections don't mention the similarities between this story and Jor-El being the only scientist on Krypton to try to save/preserve their world's memory. I don't know if it's the sort of info you'd want on there, so I thought I'd post it here in the Discussion area.
Unsourced opinion Edit
Eline's constant reminders to Kamin to put away his shoes are a metaphor to that he is literally walking in another man's shoes. Her final words are "Remember, put away your shoes."
I'm taking this out, as it is an unsourced interpretation of the episode, not a fact. AndroidFan 18:38, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Removed comments Edit
Removed the following comments:
By its own admission is not certain: * "Kamin" is German and Russian for "fireplace" and Swedish for "stove". Whether this has a deeper meaning or is just coincidence is not certain.
Unless connected to the ep somehow, incidental things shouldn't be in articles:* Incidentally, "Kataan" is Hebrew for "small" (קטן)
Nitpick: * In the final scene when Picard is inspecting the flute it is clearly visible that there is no hole for the air to blow through.
Not relevant to MA: * The term inner light is used by Douglas R. Hofstadter and Daniel C. Dennett in the introduction to their anthology The Mind's I (1981) to describe consciousness: "From the inside, consciousness seems to be an all-or-nothing phenomenon – an inner light that is either on or off."--31dot 22:18, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Removed the following comment, as we generally don't note similarities unless they were deliberate and there is proof of it.
- The idea of imparting a lifetime of memories in a short period of time was also used when Miles O'Brien was convicted of espionage by the Argrathi (DS9: "Hard Time").--31dot 00:07, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
The Implications of 'The Inner Light'Edit
I've just been watching 'The Inner Light' again. It's a wonderful episode but there are a number of questions that come from it that mainly concern what the probe actually did and how real were Picard's experiences.
My basic understanding is this and I hope someone will either confirm or take issue with it. What happens is not a simulation. A beam is fired at Picard which transfers his mind into a being several hundred years in the past. The fact that this being looks like Picard is merely a dramatic device. But how could this civilization be able to create a device capable of doing something like that? If they did, it does seem a technological miracle.
Another question is the appearance of Picard's lost loved ones at the end. If this isn't a simulation it seems to me that there are two options. One that this is something artificial the probe was designed to do. But how is that possible? Placing the lack of technology to one side for a moment, then the only way these dead people could interact with Picard is that they don't and this part was simulated which would mean Picard's final encounter with his loved ones didn't really happen. Which doesn't seem to be what the episode wants us to think. The second possibility in my opinion would be that the probe has somehow established a link to these people as well and brought them here to have this conversation with Picard. I think the second works better within the episode.
So, what do you guys think? I only saw this episode for the first time this year so I don't know what the general feeling would be about this. Thanks.
– Bcoleridge 18:41, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
- The device most definitely did not "transfer" his mind anywhere, not to the past. This probe essentially transfered memories into his brain, slightly adapted to his own experience. That pretty much answers the second question, too. --OuroborosCobra talk 19:00, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
The probe created something that was interactive, like a holodeck program, except entirely in Picard's consciousness. Someone's memories might have beeen part of it, but Picard was free to act as he would. And, whatever the probe's technology was, it accelerated Picard's experience - he "lived" 25 years in 25 minutes.
- Like I said, transfered memories slightly adapted to his own experience. Possibly the same way as what was done to O'Brien in "Hard Time". --OuroborosCobra talk 22:14, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Removed nitpick Edit
I removed the following nitpick, fan opinion (who are these "many fans" anyway?) and speculation (societies don't have to advance in exactly the same way):
- Many fans found the idea that the pre-spaceflight society of kataan could have advanced memory transfer technology exceedingly unlikely.
I removed the following note, which has lacked citation since February:
- The Ressikan architecture is originally Greek, the pictures are taken at the Island of Santorini.
quote feature Edit
"Seize the time, Meribor - live now! Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again."is featured in the song As Possible by Chris Zippel.
- - Picard, as Kamin, to his daughter.
I thought of putting it in the footnote then linking it right after the quote but my knowledge of wikicode doesn't go that far. Someone please do this or find a way to integrate to the article, it would likely add traffic to it and is more thorough IMHO. - DynV 00:37, December 3, 2010 (UTC)
- Are you saying that the quote was taken from the song, or the song took it from here? If it is the latter then the reference should go at Star Trek parodies and pop culture references (music). If it is the former then it could be written as a background note.--31dot 00:45, December 3, 2010 (UTC)
Did Picard Remain True to Aline's Request? Edit
I consider "The Inner Light" to be the best episode in all of Star Trek. Of course, I am not alone in this. At the end of the episode, Aline charges Picard to "tell them about us, so we will have life." This request, the last Aline makes of Picard,and the whole point of the survival probe project, lands with tremendous force.
I think there should have been some evidence provided that Picard actually did "tell them about us," in some kind of moving or serious way. In the episode "Lessons," which plays the famous Ressikan flute song, Picard is asked about the song, and only says it is "an old folk song." Wouldn't Aline have wished for something more than that?
I wish Picard had insisted on beaming down to the dead planet, verifying for himself that they are really all gone. That would have been emotionally true-to-life, and having the Captain return to the still-recognizable but dead village, with the flute song as accompaniment, would have provided a great moment.
- Talk pages aren't for your own personal commentary on the episodes. --OuroborosCobra talk 20:24, July 16, 2011 (UTC)
Needs citation Edit
- The episode is inspired by The Dream of Akinosuke, a Japanese folktale about a man who falls asleep beneath a tree and dreams an entire lifetime (being appointed as a governor, getting married, having seven children, his wife dying), only to awaken and find bare a minute has gone by.
I've put an incite on the above comment, as it needs a citation that it was indeed the inspiration. The Wikipedia article linked to in the comment only says that the plots are similar and does not have any cited claims that it was the inspiration.--31dot 17:13, December 5, 2011 (UTC)
- And I've removed the note. If there is any citation it can be brought back. Tom 19:46, March 1, 2012 (UTC)
Sequel by episode's writer Edit
Is it worth noting that the author of the episode, Morgan Gendel, is writing a sequel in online serial format called The Outer Light ? It will deal with what effects this episode had on Picard's life after the events depicted therein. -Etoile 04:25, April 25, 2012 (UTC)
- I'd say so, both here and on Gendel's article. 31dot 10:14, April 25, 2012 (UTC)