The season continues to plod along and so far, after the terrific Measure of a Man, it feels like they are just phoning these in. Sadly, this one isn’t much better. Originally airing on March 27,1989, The Royale.
Stardate 42625.4 The Royale
The Enterprise investigates a planet in which ship debris were reported by a Klingon Vessel. They soon find the wreckage of an old 21st century Earth ship and a strange casino on the surface of an inhospitable planet.
After discovering wreckage of an old NASA ship and finding a small hospitable spot on an entirely inhospitable planet, Picard authorizes Riker to lead a small away team. Consisting of Riker, Worf and Data, they immediately encounter an antique revolving door in which they enter, immediately losing communication with the Enterprise. Inside is a late-20th century hotel casino that seems to be inhabited by people who do not show up on any scans.
The team continues to explore the casino with Data learning blackjack along the way. They soon attempt to leave only to find themselves trapped in The Royale. As they attempt to find an alternate exit, they soon find that very few of the patrons will even acknowledge their presence and not even phasers can cut through the walls of the building.
Meanwhile, orbiting Theta 8, the Enterprise attempts to penetrate the alien area on the planet in which the Away Team vanished but with little success. Soon they are able to contact them, but can not beam them out.
As the Away team explores they find the remains of a human in one of the hotel rooms. it is determined that the body is of a human that is over 200 years old. In his closet they find a uniform for the Astronaut identifying the body of Colonel S. Richey. In Col. Richey’s personal belongings they find a book entitled Hotel Royale. Picard researches the astronaut only to discover that he vanished as part of an exploratory group that was attempting to leave the solar system. It appears that an alien life form made The Royale for him in exchange for damaging his ship and stranding him on the planet.
Since the hotel is made based on a novel, the events of the novel are being played out around them. Picard surmises that the solution to get the away team out may be in the poorly written novel and begins to read it.
They finally realize that in order to escape they must finish the story and ‘buy’ the Royale. Data gambles, they make money, big bang boom, they escape.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
No, it really isn’t. The premise is interesting but man it takes forever to get there. This is one of those episodes that, while the actors do a great job with what they have to work with, the story is a boring trope that really serves no purpose. There is little to no character development, there is nothing in this one to push the series forward. At some times, it even seems that the actors are even bored with the episode itself. I hate to be so harsh, but man this season takes a downturn after the episode Measure of A Man.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
There are hardly any and this makes me pretty sad. It’s clear this is a budget episode but man you would think they would come up with something better.
We even have a gangster named Mickey D. MICKEY. D. Seriously.
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Late To The Game 6/29/2019 (Originally published 3/26/18)
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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