Alone On A Planet

In one of the most memorable episodes of Star Trek TNG, The Royale, the crew of the Enterprise meets up with a lost early explorer from Earth. Or rather his remains. When the debris of a 21st century NASA space ship turns up around a planet of a previously unmapped solar system, the crew is puzzled. Initial scans of the planet show it to be quite inhospitable: Nitrogen, methane, liquid neon, surface temperature -291 degrees Celsius and wind speeds up to 312 meters per second.

They are lead to a structure that surround breathable air on the planet – even more curious. Commander Riker, Lts Data & Worf beam down to investigate and are confronted¬† by a revolving door that leads to a 20th century hotel & casino – The Royale. There’s tons of people there, playing cards & gambling but none of them are real. They interact with the ‘fake’ people who are intent on going about their ways. On further investigation, Data finds traces of¬† human dna and leads the team to one of the hotel rooms on another floor. They find a human skeleton, who had died 283 years ago, under the covers of a bed. The skeleton remains belonged to a NASA astronaut, a colonel Richley, whose crew met up with the unknown aliens who created the Royale on this planet.

Finding a diary that the colonel had maintained, the away team learns that Richey was the sole survivor of an alien contaminant that killed all the others on his ship. He then found himself in the Hotel Royale exactly as described in the novel he found in his room. He managed to survive there for 38 years, learning that the aliens created the hotel for him out of guilt using the novel on the shuttle as a guide. Unknown to the aliens, the recreation of the clichéd and shallow characters of the book only served as a hell for the colonel. He welcomed death as it would release him from it. They crew pay their last respects to the lonely explorer and leave the planet after figuring out how to leave the hotel.

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