There are so many different Star Trek productions available in the market now that a lot of the classic Star Trek movies and series have been forgotten. But don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten our die-hard fans who have been following Star Trek from the beginning. And for those who are just getting with the program, we wanted to introduce them to a great TV series known as Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
This is a review about the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and episode twelve titled ‘The Royale’. This science-fiction American TV show was the 38th episode overall and was released back on March 27, 1989.
The release was in 1989 but the story was scripted to be played out in the 24th century and showcases some great storytelling and the use of imagination by the scriptwriter Tracy Torme and director Cliff Bole.
The Royale – Plot
Captain Jean-Luc Picard from starship Enterprise decides to investigate an unknown alien planet after they find debris that shows them NASA markings and an American flag. Commander Data, Commander Riker and Lt. Worf beam down to this alien planet to explore what happened to the spaceship and see what is going on.
The director does a good job of keeping the suspense and allowing the story to play out. The three explorers enter a revolving door and soon discover that they are within an old-school hotel and casino resort called the Royale.
Once their initial exploration is complete, they try to leave but are unable to do so. They decide to spend more time exploring the Royale and discover the preserved remains of NASA astronaut Col. Steven Richey. They piece together the information they gathered and realize that aliens plotted the downfall of Col. Steven Richey and his spaceship.
It dawns on the three explorers that the aliens have played out a similar plot to trap them and they are now stuck at The Royale. They have to play a game of craps at the casino and win in order to be able to leave. The three take on the role of foreign investors and rely on Commander Data’s ability to control the outcome of the dice.
The goal was to win huge money at the casino, enough so that they can buy The Royale and leave. Did they manage in their plan? Well, for that you have to watch the movie.
The Royale: Our Opinion
Over the years, this episode has received mixed reviews as some have called it a boring episode while others have termed it as the funniest episode in the Star Trek: The Next Generation series. The fact that there are different opinions on this episode does not come as a surprise as different generations are going back in time and will now be comparing this episode to all of the latest Star Trek productions.
We found the theme of this storyline to be rather unique as having the episode play out in an old hotel and casino with aliens behind the scenes speaks volumes about creativity and imagination.
There are millions of Star Trek fans who love playing casino games. These fans must definitely watch this episode as they will be able to enjoy two of their passions coming together.
The Royale: Scientific and Historical Facts
When you go back three decades in time and analyze the history and facts that were played out during this episode, you might find a couple of discrepancies. Hardcore Star Trek fans have pointed this out, which just goes to show how carefully they have followed The Royale.
One of the things mentioned in The Royale is Fermat’s Last Theorem which at that point in time wasn’t solved even after 800 years. However, Andrew Wiles went on to release proof that he found and this came out in 1995. The discrepancy between the Royale which was released in 89 and the proof that was released in 95 was later addressed in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in an episode labeled Facets.
Yet another discrepancy happens in the Royale when Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge does a scan of the alien planet and then informs the rest of the team that the temperature is -291 °C below absolute 0. While such temperatures are indeed possible, the Royale episode did not disclose scenes of the planet that showcased such temperatures.
One more discrepancy that hardcore blackjack players will spot is when a couple gets advice from Commander Data and what their next move should be at the blackjack table. He tells her that the odds favor her for just holding on her hand of 13 when the dealer has a king up. However, the optimal play here is for the woman at the table to pick a card.
The Royale: Conclusion
If you like watching old episodes of Star Trek, go ahead and watch The Royale – we think this episode is worth your time. If you like playing casino games and enjoy Star Trek, then this is a must-watch. Forget the small discrepancies, grab a bowl of popcorn and enjoy some back to the future viewing