Series: The Next Generation
Air Date: February 1, 1988
Written by: Maurice Hurley and Robert Lewin
Directed by: Paul Lynch
A couple of technologically advanced aliens come on board the Enterprise to
So, the Enterprise docks at a station for some maintenance and a systems upgrade. While the upgrade is going on, the crew are encouraged to take some R&R on the station which means wearing blue bodysuits and smacking balls in a holodeck. (Ah, Parrises squares!) In the meantime, Picard goes to visit the dudes who will be performing the upgrade: One Zero and Zero One. These guys are Bynars, a race of beings that come in twos that work as a unified pair. A computer runs their world (not an unusual concept in Star Trek) and they are so technological advanced that they have fused with it and communicate in an extremely fast language of bleeps and gurgles similar to a dial-up modem.
So, everything looks good, the Bynars get to work on the computer systems and Wesley decides to hang around to see what they're up to. The first system they upgrade is the holodeck, and Riker decides to come along and test it out. He creates a New Orleans dive bar with a jazz band, but focuses his creation on a woman sitting at the bar made to his exact specifications and acting more real than any hologram ever has before. Her name is Minuet.
|Also known as Captain Janeway's older sister.|
Back on the bridge again, Wesley notices a fluctuation in the magnetic field that could breach the antimatter containment unit and cause the entire ship to explode, so he tells La Forge and Data initiates a red alert, calling for everyone who's still on board to evacuate. But no one can reach Picard or Riker and the computer says they're not on board, so they have to leave without knowing that the Bynars made it so they couldn't be reached. Once everyone is off the ship, they monitor it and find that everything is back to normal, except the ship is running away...
With the ship stopping in front of Bynaus, Riker and Picard go back to Minuet for some answers. Minuet explains that one of the stars in the Bynaus system went supernova and the computer that runs their world that they're intrinsically connected with was going to be destroyed. The only hope was to store all their information on the nearest mobile computer that was large enough: the Enterprise. They go back to the bridge to try and restore the computer. They contact Data to help them out and he says their information should be stored in a file with a binary name. And guess what that name is...
|It's the name of the episode!|
I would kinda like to know a little more about the Bynars, how they got the way they were, what their society's like, what their computer's like, etc. The most interesting part of this episode, though, is Minuet. Here we are introduced to the idea that a hologram can be more than just a program in a computer. Minuet leads the way for The Doctor and Vic Fontane. And this episode is really just kinda fun, too. Wondering what's going on, finding it's the Bynar's fault, discovering that they actually have a good reason - it all kept me engaged in the story. Thumbs up for this one.