Re: Great _Star Trek: The Next Generation_ simulation episode(s)

From: Jim Fehlinger (
Date: Sun Mar 18 2001 - 19:42:36 MST

J Corbally wrote:
> >Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001 00:59:33 -0500
> >From: Jim Fehlinger <>
> >Subject: Great _Star Trek: The Next Generation_ simulation episode(s)
> >
> >I mustn't let the simulation discussion end without mentioning
> >the _ST: TNG_ episode[s] "Ship in a Bottle" [and "The Inner Light"]...
> I can think of two others but not their titles;
> The first was in the final series of TNG if memory serves, where Riker
> flicks back and forth between a high tech "prison" and a theatre piece he
> is acting in on the Enterprise. Of course, the play he is in looks exactly
> like the cell he's stuck in.

Yeah, I remember this. Sixth ('92-'93, out of seven) season episode
"Frame of Mind" (#147),
> The other was in Deep Space 9, where Chief O'Brien finds himself in cramped
> prison, where the only way to pass the time is to create intricate patterns
> in the sand on the floor of his cell, tutored by his cellmate (whom he
> eventually kills, believing he witheld food). After years of this, and the
> accompanying guilt over the murder, he suddenly finds himself back in
> reality, where he finds out that it was all in his mind, the method of
> "punishment" used by a civilization whose rules he broke while
> visiting. What seemed to him like years took only hours.

Yes, I saw this one, too. It was fourth ('95-'96, out of seven) season
episode "Hard Time" (episode #89):

Like "The Inner Light", both of these shows involved feeding experiences into
Riker's or O'Brien's biological brain, rather than a simulated universe
inside a computer.

The literary prototype for all stories like "The Inner Light", "Frame of Mind",
and "Hard Time", for me, was the Alan E. Nourse story "Nightmare Brother" (1953),
which I must have read in 5th or 6th grade
( ).
Gee, most of the people who wrote the stories I read as a kid
are dead now :-<.

A more recent example, still more like the above three stories than like
the pure simulation scenario of "Ship in a Bottle", would be the
_Voyager_ two-part episode ('99-'00 season 6 cliffhanger, '00-'01 season 7
premiere) "Unimatrix Zero" (now where did they get the idea for **that**
title, I wonder?), which had a common virtual-reality zone created by a
handful of defective Borg drones while they're regenerating, and of
which they have no memory while awake.

Jim F.

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