Please feel free to comment on my review.
This is a ‘Star Trek’ episode with a very hard title to remember. I can’t even remember the numbers in the title from memory. But wait, the episode’s title is a clue to the solution of what goes on in this.
The episode has the Enterprise going for a routine maintenance check at Starbase 74, which looks remarkably like the starbase featured in ‘Star Trek III’. I’ve seen that movie a lot to know it by heart.
Anyway, the Enterprise’s maintenance checks are being conducted by a group of alien called the Bynars. The Bynars are humanoid aliens that usually go in pairs and have an intriguing way of talking.
One Bynar starts a sentence while the other finishes it. This makes it confusing and sometimes comedic when the Bynars do talk. But this makes them interesting as aliens dependent on one thing.
The Bynars rely on the binary computer language. This is especially when they talk at high speeds in order to conduct their maintenance check on the Enterprise. It also makes them hard to understand.
To be fair, this ‘Star Trek’ episode is regarded as one of the best from ‘TNG’s first season. It was even given an Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series, which is all thanks to those Bynars.
By the way, would it surprise you to know that the Bynars are played by women including Katy Boyer, Alexandra Johnson, Iva Lane and Kelli Ann McNally. I would not have noticed when I saw this.
Meanwhile, many of the Enterprise crewmembers take advantage to enjoy some time-off from the Enterprise. Tasha and Worf go off to play Parrises Squares and Beverly sees a cybernetics professor.
Picard, Riker, Data, Geordi and Wesley remain on the Enterprise. Counsellor Deanna Troi again doesn’t appear in this episode. Where does she go whenever the Enterprise and crew have fun?! 😀
Data learns how to paint with Geordi helping him. Meanwhile Wesley watches the Bynars conducting maintenance checks with Gene Dynarski as Starbase Commander Quinteros supervising.
Meanwhile with Riker, he’s gone down into the holodeck to see some enhancements. He has a 1958 jazz club set up in the holodeck as well as this very beautiful woman, Carolyn McCormick as Minuet.
It was interesting to see Riker’s interest in jazz music in this ‘TNG’ episode and he even plays the trombone. There’s also some Glenn Miller-like music in the episode, including ‘The Nearness of You’.
Riker’s interaction with Minuet is also interesting this episode. She’s a holographic lady of course, yet she behaves so real and is so intelligent. It seems Minuet was based upon Riker’s subconscious.
By the way, remember Minuet for an episode featured later on in the series. Carolyn McCormick returned as Minuet in the Season 4 episode called ‘Future Imperfect’. But we’ll get to it as it comes.
Eventually, Picard joins Riker in the holodeck to meet Minuet. It turns out she can speak Picard’s French language. I wish I knew what was said to them. There were no English subtitles in the scene.
It soon turns out that Minuet was lured created by the Bynars to prevent Picard and Riker from interfering. They soon discover that the Enterprise was evacuated by Mr. Data during an emergency.
Picard and Riker need to find a way to stop the Enterprise being stolen by the Bynars as the ship is taken to the Bynars’ planet. Will the two initiate the self-destruct sequence in order to achieve this?!
Just to say, I like Picard and Riker’s relationship in this episode as they work together to solve the problem. If this had been an ‘Original Series’ episode, it would have been Kirk and Spock solving this.
This ‘TNG’ episode (I still can’t say the title) has been a gripping. I concur it is one of the best of ‘TNG’s first season. I wish we saw more of the Bynars. Why was not this called ‘The Bynars’ instead?!
‘11001001’ (TNG) rating – 9/10
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