**** (4 stars out of 5)
If that wasn't familiar enough, here comes Reg Barclay to fix it... and Moriarty from memory storage! Yay! Only he's mad as hell. Boo!
The holo-villain has experienced the passage of years in a frightened, disembodied limbo, and he demands a more concerted effort to free him from the shackles of his holographic form. But, he asks the impossible: holodeck matter can only remain cohesive within the holodeck grid.
So if you're sick of tech talk, here's Countess Regina Bartholomew. No relation to Reg Barclay... I think. But she's probably related to Doctor Westphalen from seaQuest DSV. The Countess is the simulated love of Moriarty's simulated life, and James has given her the gift that keeps on giving: consciousness.
Making SENTIENT BEINGS is still just a matter of a verbal request to the computer. It doesn't even need a password, for crap's sake. Now they have a self-directed steampunk duo that both want to hop from a Victorian fiction to the amazing realities of the 24th century.
And they've taken Picard, Data, & Barclay hostage, with two planets close to colliding outside.
"Ship In A Bottle" is a whimsical techno-mystery; a pre-Inception Russian nesting doll concept. That butler from The Nanny is delightful as ever, and I already mentioned how I can't get enough of Lt. Barclay.