Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Royale

TNG Season 2 Episode 12
Air Date: March 27th, 1989


The Enterprise receives information from the Klingons of some earth debris found near an uninhabitable planet. When they arrive they recover the debris to find it is part of a NASA ship. The planet below is completely toxic save for one structure that has a pocket of breathable atmosphere at a reasonable temperature. Riker, Worf and Data transport down to investigate and find an old hotel called The Royale. Once they are inside they find themselves unable to leave.

They explore the Royale and find the remains of one human lifeform, Colonel Steven Richey who survived a contagion caused by an alien race. The aliens created The Royale after a book that was on board the Colonel's ship where he lived the rest of his life. In order to get out, Riker realizes that they have to conclude the story in the book, become a group of foreign investors that buy the hotel and leave. Data is able to manipulate the dice used to play craps to always roll a 7 and wins the money necessary.


This is a fun episode that I have always enjoyed watching. Data winning in the craps game, or the 70s style soap opera acting. The episode has a few different casino games in it, games that Data had never played but immediately knows the best strategy.

When playing craps, he goes on an 18 round winning streak which causes one of the other players, named Texas, to choose to play against Data. I haven't played much craps but from what I have heard it is generally considered bad form to play against the shooter. Data continues his streak to 19 and Texas loses all his money. But the foreign investors in the book were supposed to be generous so Riker hands out the extra from their winnings after buying the casino.

The start of the episode has Picard trying to solve Fermat's last theorem. As of the air date of this episode the only proof to this theorem was done by Fermat and he took it to his grave. Since then people had been trying to prove it. But in 1994, just 5 years after this episode, Andrew Wiles did solve Fermat's last theorem.


"Fermat's last theorem. You're familiar with it?" - Picard
"Vaguely. I spent too many math classes daydreaming about being on a starship." - Riker
"When Pierre de Fermat died they found this equation scrawled in the margin of his notes. X to the nth plus Y to the nth equals Z to the nth, where n is greater than 2, which he said had no solution in whole numbers. But he also added this phrase. Remarkable proof." - Picard
"Yeah, that's starting to come back to me. There was no proof included." - Riker
"For the eight hundred years people have been trying to solve it." - Picard
"Including you." - Riker
"I find it stimulating. Also, it puts things in perspective. In our arrogance we feel we are so advanced, and yet we cannot unravel a simple knot tied by a part-time French mathematician working alone, without a computer." - Picard

"They do exist, but they do not register as either man or machine. Take this creature, for example. He does not exhibit any DNA structure." - Data
"Excuse me, son. Look who's talking. Man, you sound just like my ex-wife!" - Texas

"What is this place? How did a being like you get here?" - Worf
"Why, this is the Royale, of course. And my personal life is really none of your business, thank you." - Hotel Royale Assistant Manager
"What he means is, what planet is this?" - Riker
"I beg your pardon?" - Hotel Royale Assistant Manager
"This planet, what do you call it?" - Riker
"Earth. What do you call it?" - Hotel Royale Assistant Manager
"We call it Theta VIII." - Worf

"There is a certain degree of random fortune involved. I believe that is why they call it gambling." - Data

"Baby needs a new pair of shoes." - Data

"When the train comes in, everybody rides." - Riker
"Yeah. And I'm gettin' off at this station." - Texas

"Like Fermat's theorem, it's a puzzle we may never solve." - Picard

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