2x12 The Royale
First Aired: Mar. 27, 1989 on Syndicated
Summary: Stardate: 42625.4
After discovering debris from an old manned NASA vessel, an away team beams down to an out of place building on a nearby planet.
Inside the building they discover a recreation of an Earth casino-hotel.
They also discover that there is no exit from this place.
Main Characters in this Episode
Commander William T. Riker: Rest in peace, Colonel.
Commander William T. Riker: [reading from the diary entry of Colonel Richey] "I write this in the hope that it will someday be read by human eyes. I can only surmise at this point, but apparently, our exploratory shuttle was contaminated by an alien life form, which infected and killed all personnel except myself. I awakened to find myself here in the Royale Hotel, precisely as described in the novel I found in my room. And for the last 38 years, I have survived here. I have come to understand that the alien contaminators created this place for me out of some sense of guilt, presuming that the novel we had on board the shuttle about the Hotel Royale was, in fact, a guide to our preferred lifestyle and social habits. Obviously they thought that this was the world from which I came. I hold no malice toward my benefactors. They could not possibly know the hell that they have put me through. For it was such a badly-written book, filled with endless cliché and shallow characters... I shall welcome death when it comes."
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Curiouser and curiouser...
- Goof (crew or equipment visible): The camera crew can be seen in a mirror on the craps table.
- Goof (continuity error): When 1st playing blackjack, the dealer's card changes from a Q clubs to a K diamonds. When Data comes back to ask questions after being in the hotel room, the dealer's card is also a K diamonds. Obviously the shots somehow overlapped resulting in the 1st BJ scene's cards changes.
- Goof (revealing mistake): After beaming the ship debris aboard, Riker immediately picks it up. But the metal would still be as cold as space (-270 Celcius [-454 Fahrenheit]) which would freeze the skin off of his bare fingers.
- Goof (factual errors): They report that the planet has a temperature of -291 degrees Celsius. This is impossible since absolute zero, the lowest possible temperature, is -273 Celsius.
- Goof (continuity error): Data is playing blackjack. The dealer deals Data a 7 and a 5 in the wide shot. However, in the close-up shot, the cards become a 3 and 2, thus allowing Data to get the five-card Charlie.
- Picard says it's not a very promising start when The Royale book begins, "It was a dark and stormy night." This opening line was first used in 1830 by Sir Edward George Bulwer-Lytton for the novel Paul Clifford, and has been imitated by countless other authors since (eg. W.W. Jacobs and Charles M. Schulz). Since it usually appears in a satirical context of mockery, pop culture commonly uses this line to denote humorously incompetent or overly melodramatic writing.
- The American flag on the ship debris has 52 stars. According to the fictitious history given in this episode, this configuration was used from 2033 until 2079.
- Captain Picard says "Curiouser and curiouser...," a recurring line from Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland," which goes along well with the book-related nature of this episode.
- SPOILER: In the original final draft script, Major Richey's image was kept alive in the casino by the aliens, and a dead away team crew woman was retained to keep him company after the unseen casino manager told the story of the Colonel's shipwreck; Richey was the only member of a seven-person crew to survive. None of this made it into the final script or the finished episode.
- This episode, airing in 1988, predicts that Fermat's Last Theorem would have gone unsolved for 800 years as of the mid-24th century. It was actually solved in 1993 by Princeton University Professor Andrew Wiles.