Saturday, March 23, 2019


TNG Season 1 Episode 15
Air Date: February 1st, 1988


The Enterprise is at starbase for a computer update, including the holodeck which has had a few issues lately. The Enterprise is credited for having the most powerful mobile computer in the Federation. The Bynars, a race that always work in pairs and have evolved to have direct connections to their computer home world and communicate with each other using binary, are tasked to do the upgrade. Though they secretly plan to take over the Enterprise when it is running a skeleton crew and use it to download their planets computer system while a solar flare passes by.

Riker and Picard are the two left on the Enterprise when this happens, both spending time with a new holodeck program and more specifically with a holodeck character named Minuet. When they finally leave the holodeck they find the ship abandoned and heading to the Bynar's home world. They end up figuring out that the data was backed up from their planet and the code to send it back, 11001001.


This was a memorable episode for me. I was in 8th grade when I saw it, and while having used computers, never really understood how they worked. This was my introduction to binary. I wouldn't say it led me to my career choice but it definitely planted a seed.

This episode also featured Minuet. A life like hologram, and the first one that was able to truly adapt to the scenario. The character was created to keep Riker on the ship and at the end of the episode she was gone, replaced with a standard holographic character.

This episode had a flaw that I didn't notice until this viewing. Riker was kept on the holodeck because the Bynars needed someone to perform the download after the solar flare passed since it would incapacitate them. But when they go to do the transfer, it turns out two people are needed. But the Bynars never planned for Picard to be on the Enterprise.

This was also the first episode in TNG where they activated the self destruct. It was different then in TOS, where the destruct sequence only needed two bridge officers and a fingerprint scan. In later episodes when it is used they revert back to a pass code, but usually one that is specific to the officer.


"Well, what do you think?" - LaForge
"Tell me what it's supposed to be, then I'll give you my opinion." - Riker
"It is an attempt at pure creativity." - Data 
"What we're investigating is, can Data be creative?" - LaForge 
"And this is my attempt, with guidance from Geordi." - Data
"I suggested the zylo eggs." - LaForge
"Is that what those are? Keep notes. This project might turn out to be of interest to scholars in the future." - Riker
"Really?" - LaForge
"Well of course. Think about it. A blind man teaching an android how to paint? That's got to be worth a couple of pages in somebody's book." - Riker

"If winning is not important, then Commander, why keep score?" - Worf

"Believe it or not, Worf is developing a sense of humor." - Yar
"I hope so, for their sake." - Riker

"What's a knockout like you doing in a computer generated gin joint like this?" - Riker

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