New Life and New civilizations. That is one cool thing about this series is that any given episode you will meet a cool new alien and, the more developed they are, the better chance that they will be one that you will remember always. The aliens in this one are the Binars, a race that think so fast that they are akin to binary code and they are pretty cool. So without delay, originally airing on February 1, 1988, I present 11001001.
Stardate 41365.9 11001001
The Enterprise arrives at a spacedock for routine maintenance where they are greeted by one of the builders of the Enterprise who has with him two members of the Binar race. Starfleet want to place some upgrades on the ship and also plan some enhancements for the holodeck as it has been having some issues. They immediately begin working on the ship and things don’t quite work out as planned.
Upon arriving at spacedock they are greeted by Commander Quinteros, one of the officers in charge of the team that built the Enterprise. He introduces them to
some little bald children two aliens from the Bynar race names One Zero and Zero One. They soon begin the repairs and, needing a little time away, Riker leaves Wesley in charge of the bridge. Read that again, Wesley in charge of the bridge. I mean, they are in space dock but still, a KID in charge of the bridge. It worked out sure but still, yeesh. Bearded Riker wouldn’t have done that. Just sayin.
Riker’s all lonely and wonders about looking for some company when he encounters Tasha and Worf heading to attend a competition of Parrises Squares. They invite Riker, but he politely declines as they have a full team. He then visits Data and Geordi where Data is learning to paint, soon after he runs into Dr. Crusher who is too busy to talk as she is heading to spacedock to work with another Doctor she is excited to meet for some reason.
RIker finally runs into some Binars who are working on the holodeck. While in there they make a woman for him (by the name of Minuet) that fits his perfect specifications. (yeah…Riker gets the woman…again…) You start to see how the holodeck could be used for more than just casual entertainment. Soon Picard, looking for Riker, ends up in the holodeck as well and seems to also start have some interest in Minuet.
Meanwhile Wesley discovers an issue with the engine that results in the evacuation of the ship, unfortunately the Captain and Riker are left behind unknown to the crew or even the ship. The Ship is sent out automatically to avoid its destruction from damaging the Starbase but then it fixes itself and leaves on its own.
As the ship is, for lack of a better term, running away the Captain and Riker are still flirting with Minuet in the holodeck. Picard notes that she is incredibly built and when they attempt to leave she becomes slightly agitated.
It turns out that the Bynars have stolen the Enterprise in order to save their home planets database as all Bynars are connected to it and dependant on it. Their sun had gone nova and, as the Enterprise was late to the Starbase, they had no time to ask permission or request help before their very life had been destroyed.
Everything works out of course but sadly, despite Rikers infatuation with Minuet, he program is lost in the end and can not be recovered.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is a solid entry that introduces an interesting species and situation. It is also a bit of a social commentary on the increased use of technology in the late 80’s. The Bynars are a species that are completely dependant on technology and, in the 80’s that was a great fear. It’s ironic how accurate this episode is for today’s world. Imagine what it is like for you when your internet goes down for an evening? Imagine if that your very life and memory was dependant on the internet itself? Now think of all of the people who actually feel that way. For an episode that is nearly 30 years old, it still has an poignant message.
This episode also gives some simple character development in the crew as you see what they like to do with their time off, including more development of the Data Geordi dynamic that becomes one of the best friendships in Star Trek history.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
Parrises squares ends up being referenced many more times and is considered a very dangerous game.
This is an early bit that touches on the validity of Holographic love. Can you fall in love with a Hologram and can they return that love? This will be explored further as the series and the spinoffs continue.
They really don’t change the designs of their Starbases. I swear this is the same one from some of the movies. I guess if a good thing works, why change it?
Riker tells an inappropriate joke that would have gotten him fired in any office. ‘A blind man teaching an Android to paint…’ yeah, beardless Riker is a dick and a bit of a misogynist. Wow. just…wow.
We never see the Bynars again but they are mentioned on the series Enterprise.
Riker Beard Countdown B minus 12 Episodes until Beard Emergence.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review. I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Too Short a Season
Late To The Game 4/7/2019 (Originally published on 01/31/2018)
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Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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