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Star Trek - The Next Generation, Episode 16: 11001001

1 rating: 5.0
Science Fiction & Fantasy TV show

The holodeck needs a bit of maintenance, so theEnterprisechecks in to Starbase 74 to allow some Bynars (beings who can speak in binary code and who sound like fax machines) to update the programming. While Riker doesn't trust the Bynars, he forgets all … see full wiki

1 review about Star Trek - The Next Generation, Episode...

The personality of Minuet raises philosophical questions

  • Oct 8, 2004
One of my two pet peeves concerning Star Trek is how often the holodeck malfunctions. I can accept a failure that makes a generated character sound like an old 45 rpm record running at 33 rpm or having a character move like the old slow motion scenes in the television series `The Six-Million Dollar Man.' However, the failures where people are locked in and everything else functions without so much as a hiccup exceed my credibility quotient. In this episode, everyone involved in the creation got the use of the holodeck right and that is what makes it one of the best episodes of the series.
The Enterprise arrives at a star base, where the computers are to be updated by members of a species called the Bynars. They are humanoid creatures that possess direct interfaces with each other and their main computers. This fundamental linking between them and their computer has led to their language being almost binary in nature and their being paired together for life. As the Bynars begin performing their upgrades, Ricker has some suspicions, but he decides to go to the holodeck for some R & R. He requests a jazz joint where he can play a trombone in front of a receptive audience. This is a case where there was no need for him to be careful what he wishes for, because he gets the hottest babe ever to appear in TNG, a gal whose name is Minuet.
Carolyn McCormick, the guest star who plays Minuet, is superb in the role and the interaction between Riker and Minuet is some of the best low-intensity sex that has ever appeared in television. Captain Picard goes to the holodeck and it quickly becomes a threesome, although Picard is more of an observer, commenting on how lifelike Minuet is. They are soon engrossed in each other, which was what the Bynars had in mind. Two of the best scenes in the series happen in the holodeck. Riker asks Minuet, "What's a knockout like you doing in a computer generated gin-joint like this?" is the first and her wiping the lipstick off of Riker's lips when Picard arrives is the other.
The Bynars' plan is to steal the Enterprise and take it to their home planet. To accomplish this, they have the computer create a failure of the magnetic containment field containing the antimatter. Since this will lead to the destruction of the Enterprise in the space dock, Data orders the evacuation of the Enterprise and that it be set on automated departure. However, the Bynars do not leave and Picard and Riker remain in the holodeck, oblivious to the emergency. Once everyone else departs the Enterprise, the magnetic containment field regenerates and the Enterprise leaves.
Eventually, Picard and Riker discover the deception and act to regain control of the ship. That proves easy, as the Bynars are unconscious. A star near their planet went supernova and knocked their computer offline. They had been warned, so their purpose in stealing the Enterprise was to upload all of their data into the Enterprise computers until the shockwaves passed. It is then up to Picard and Riker to download the data back down to the Bynar's planet. They succeed in this and the Bynars recover and turn themselves over for punishment.
Isaac Asimov is well known for his three laws of robotics, which were the basis for most of his stories about robots. Less well known is that he also had sex between robots and humans as a component of some of his stories. In episode three, "The Naked Now" Data and Tasha engage in sexual relations. This episode is subtler and yet it raises some serious social and ethical points. Could there be a serious relationship between a human and a holodeck character? What would be the legal standing of such a character? If someone then deleted the program, would it be considered an act of cruelty towards the human partner of the relationship? Perhaps even considered a form of murder? Would the program designer own the generated character? If someone deleted the program could they be sued for alienation of affection? These are all fascinating questions that were raised in my mind as I watched the classic holodeck scenes. Without question, it is a great episode.

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Star Trek - The Next Generation, Episode 16:
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Paramount

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