In which baby needs a new pair of shoes.
Memory Alpha says: The Enterprise investigates the wreckage of a 21st century Earth spaceship orbiting a distant planet and the appearance of a casino with inhabitants based on a paperback novel. (Please click the Memory Alpha link for detailed information.)
I think it’s safe to say that ‘The Royale’ is one of the strangest episodes of Star Trek. Apparently the original script was even more surrealistic, but that was roped back in rewrites (upsetting Tracy Tormé, who was quite proud of how weird it was). I know some people dislike it because it’s so ridiculous, but if you’ve been reading so far I imagine you have some inkling of my response. I have a tendency to like things that are weird for weirdness’ sake (although I will eventually get cross if hints of deeper meaning are not paid off in a satisfying way, as with Lost; if you don’t have a really awesome deeper meaning planned from the start, DON’T HINT), and to enjoy it when Star Trek interacts with past space exploration efforts, and besides ‘The Royale With Cheese’ features Data looking adorable in a cowboy hat, so I’m not really in the mood to make thoughtful, intellectually robust criticisms.