Utterly Star Trek Review

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Star Trek: The Next Generation 1.14 (11001001)

Cast:
Katy Boyer (Zero One)
Jack Sheldon (Piano Player)
Gene Dynarski(Cmdr. Quinteros)
Carolyn McCormick (Minuet)
Alexandra Johnson (One Zero)
Iva Lane (Zero Zero)
Kelli Ann McNally (One One)
Ron Brown (Drummer)
Abdul Salaam El Razzac (Bass Player)

Writer: Robert Lewin, Maurice Hurley

This episode is so simple, in fact almost nothing happens in it, yet somehow it is great.  Riker in particular does well out of this episode – there aren’t all that many episodes that give him a lot to do, but this one does.

The premise is simple: the Enterprise is in a starbase having it’s first upgrade, including an upgrade on the holodeck.  Many of the crew leave for some shore leave (as much of the ship has to be shut down to facilitate the upgrades) – for example Worf and Tasha go and play a game called Parisee Squares (a game we hear about a lot but don’t see) and Riker spends the first fifteen minutes getting the brush off from everyone as they all have other things to do, and he is pretty much the only person left on the ship apart from Picard, Wesley and the upgrade team (four Binars).  There is a really nice scene in the upgraded holodeck where Riker creates a fantasy woman in a Jazz bar in the 1950’s, and plays a bit of trombone.  Picard joins him.

Suddenly, the antimatter containment field starts to collapse and so they evacuate the Enterprise.  The sequence where the ship is abandoned and sent out into space so the explosion is away from the starbase is bloody excellent, you get a real sense of how big the crew is.  Riker and Picard are on the holodeck, but nobody can contact them.  As soon as the ship gets away from the starbase the magnetic field repairs itself.  It turns out that the Binars have stolen the Enterprise because something is going to wipe the computer on their planet.  The Binars copy their computer onto the Enterprise computer, and then when it is wiped they restore it using the Enterprise backup.  When asked why they didn’t ask for help, their answer was simple and perfectly logical for a binary race: “you might have said no.”

It’s simple, it’s great.  Minuet (Rikers fantasy woman on the holodeck) is such a complex computer character that Riker kind of falls for her, and is upset when she is wiped from the holodeck memory.  As we get to find out in a few years time, he liked her so much he pretty much thought of her as a real person!

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 1
Score: 8/10

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July 22, 2008 - Posted by | live music, minuet, painting, parisee squares, self destruct, ship/station taken over, stolen ship or shuttlecraft |

5 Comments »

  1. I remember this one, and was thinking about it the other day: the Enterprise goes back to spacedock, but we see virtually nothing of spacedock and instead the entire story takes place in the Enterprise in the holodeck (how absolutely confining!)
    At least Trek 3 showed us some of the interior of spacedock. A facility that big I’d like to have seen more of.

    Comment by Rob | January 15, 2009 | Reply

  2. That’s about the only good thing you could say about Trek 3.

    Comment by Joe Dick | January 18, 2009 | Reply

  3. Definitely a top-10.

    It’s weird as Minuet states Picard’s presence is a fortunate happenstance. Wouldn’t the Binars plan on having two crewman on board in case they were incapacitated? Easily forgivable, given how well put-together this episode is. It’s simple, but highly effective – which makes it far more complex than most.

    Comment by DPC | May 13, 2010 | Reply

  4. Help settle a dispute – my husband says that Minuet and the ending scene of the holographic character are two different people. I say they are both Carolyn McCormick, just different hair and make up. I cannot find a full cast listing to verify. Any help is appreciated!

    Comment by Jackie | June 5, 2010 | Reply

  5. There was sooooo much good in this episode. It was the reason I didn’t give up on the series. The Binars were a richly believable alien culture. And Minuet I always saw as the personification of the Enterprise herself, the entire ship’s computer power rendered as a character. So naturally, both Picard and Riker fell for her.

    I was a little disappointed that we never saw either again.

    Comment by Martin L. Shoemaker | November 16, 2010 | Reply


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