Did Picard suffer any permanent problems from his time in The Inner Light? I don't remember it ever being referred to in a subsequent episode, even though it gave him several years of memories.

Were there any lasting effects? Or did the memories fade?

  • It was mentioned in a later episode, I don't remember which one. And he learned to play the flute; I presume he kept that. Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 18:41
  • 2
    Another excellent question would be to ask the same thing about Chain of Command ;-)
    – Matt
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 13:52

3 Answers 3


The flute was seen in a later episode titled "Lessons", where he shares his love for playing it with a woman he falls in love with.

The dialogue in the show indicate that the memories are very real and very important to him. He indicated that the memories are as much a part of him as any "real" memory, but there were never any lingering physical effects.

  • According to Memory Alpha, the Ressikan flute is also seen in Nemesis. I can't particularly recall this for myself though, so it may have just been a background prop there.
    – Iszi
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 19:22
  • There was going to be a scene in Nemesis in which he played or held the flute, but it was deleted, IIRC.
    – Matt
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 13:50
  • 2
    There was another short scene at the beginning of "A Fistful of Datas" where he tries to make a recording with the flute. en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/A_Fistful_of_Datas_%28episode%29
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 14:34

On Memory Alpha, Ronald D. Moore; Senior Writer and Producer of the episode is quoted as saying:

"I've always felt that the experience in "Inner Light" would've been the most profound experience in Picard's life and changed him irrevocably. However, that wasn't our intention when we were creating the episode. We were after a good hour of TV, and the larger implications of how this would really screw somebody up didn't hit home with us until later (that's sometimes a danger in TV – you're so focused on just getting the show produced every week that sometimes you suffer from the "can't see the forest for the trees" syndrome). We never intended the show to completely upend his character and force a radical change in the series, so we contented ourselves with a single follow-up in "Lessons"."

  • 2
    Awesome quote. This specifically addresses the question and provides a canon answer. You have my +1
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 20:27

His attitude towards children markedly changes.

As recently as the episode Disaster (s5e05), Picard expresses visible discomfort about vamping for a few hours with young children. After making a new life for himself and raising children with his wife in The Inner Light (s5e25) there isn't a whole lot of interaction between Picard and children (not counting Rascals, sigh) -- but in the movie Star Trek: Generations, we find that his first, ideal imaginary paradise is Thanksgiving dinner, surrounded by children (his own, as well as recently departed Rene) and family.

If one were to roll tape back to 1st and 2nd season Picard, one would surmise that naught but Earl Grey tea and archeology books await him in the Nexus. There have been few other potential catalysts for this change besides his experience with the Ressikan probe.

  • Also, the death of his nephew and brother and some sense of mantaining the family line
    – k_g
    Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 6:24

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