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Star Trek TNG - Season 1 - Episode 15

Star Trek TNG - 1x15 - 11001001

Originally Aired: 1988-2-1

The Bynars take control of Enterprise. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.82

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 9 1 2 4 14 9 14 29 35 17 24

- This problem is common in many TNG episodes, but I hate how the red alert sound doesn't match the red alert lighting.
- The auto destruct sequence seems overly rigid to be practical. And 5 minutes is too short. Especially when you have to start it from engineering and stop it from the bridge. Fortunately, the system is later changed.
- Why is the computer voice inconsistent in this episode? The Bynars?

- The title of this episode when converted from binary to decimal is actually 201.
- This is the first episode to mention Parises Squares.
- This episode establishes some great and kind of interesting continuity with starfleet rank. The starbase's highest ranking officer is a commander. Picard outranks him as a captain. This is continuous with the DS9 series and other TNG episodes.
- This episode was originally intended to come before The Big Goodbye, which would have been far more appropriate. But oh well. This is acceptable.
- When Data orders the ship to be auto piloted out of the star base, a lot of other reviewers bitched about how they could save half the ship by detaching the saucer. But in less than 4 minutes? I don't think so.
- This episode won an Emmy for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series.

Remarkable Scenes
- The Bynars working aboard the Enterprise.
- Worf taking the Parises Squares game so seriously.
- Riker: "Keep notes. This may be valuable to scholars in the future." Geordi: "Really?" Riker: "Well think about it. A blind man teaching an android how to paint? That's got to be worth something in somebody's book."
- Riker playing with the settings of the woman on the holodeck.
- Minuet and Picard talking in French.
- Data "awaiting inspiration."
- Picard and Riker valiantly trying to save the ship.

My Review
Riker's jazz indulgences along with Picard and Riker being seduced by the holodeck was a bit overused in this episode. And I'd have preferred it if we learned more about the Bynars. Still, this episode is a real action packed and highly interesting thriller. The technobabble at the end is annoying, but the episode is still largely entertaining and, well, just good. The greatness of the episode largely overwhelms its minor flaws.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-02 at 12:04pm:
    Worf: "If winning is not important, then, Commander, why keep score?" :)

    - The Bynars were planning on abducting Riker, not Picard. Minuet says to Picard at one point, "your being here was just a fortunate happenstance." But when Riker started downloading the information, he couldn't do it alone. It took both him and Picard to get the transfer started. It took two people to reactivate their computer, and the Bynars only arranged for Riker to stay?? If Picard hadn't "happened" along, everyone on their home world would have died.
    - The autodestruct clock is composed of LEDs. It looks "out of place" on the Enterprise.
    - When Picard and Riker try to board a turbolift, a sign flashes, "Access Denied." But the computer voice says, "Bridge Access Denied." How does the computer know that they wanted to go to the bridge?
  • From djb on 2007-12-13 at 4:11pm:
    Continuity error: In this episode, when Picard and Riker initiate the auto-destruct sequence, they agree that there is only one option for time: five minutes. In episode 2x02, they both initiate the auto-destruct sequence again, and are given an option of how long before it detonates, and choose 20 minutes. Was this feature upgraded at some point?
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-03 at 4:38pm:
    I really like this episode.
    - When I first watched the episode, I thought it was a cool concept that the Bynars somehow made Minuet transcend the normal holodeck limitations and become something Picard and Riker had never experienced before.
    - This is the most believable "take over the Enterprise" plan I can remember seeing; it wasn't one of those plans that a 10-year old child could see through and defeat.
    - I generally liked the execution of the evacuation and the retaking of the bridge; they didn't feel overplayed or underplayed.
    - I especially liked how they didn't feel compelled to use the cliche of having the self destruct dramatically count down until the last possible second before being switched off.
  • From g@g on 2012-02-07 at 8:30am:
    Altogether great episode. The whole docking triumphantly at the starbase thing sets up some great contrast for the ship later being hijacked and warping away, while the crew watches on helplessly, and its captain and commanding officer begin to awaken from an elaborate ruse.

    Also, I noticed some excellent subtleties, which I have to assume were intentional. At about 31 minutes, Riker and Picard walk *in perfect lockstep* to the weapons room (I mean that literally), to discuss their "absolute agreement" about setting the self-destruct sequence. That's just excellent.

    A few minutes later, at 34:50, as they're about to beam onto the bridge they simultaneously take a deep breath and lower their shoulders. Again, a nice touch (this one may or may not have actually been choreographed) that emphasizes the synchronized two-man command/crew/fighting machine they've now become.

    And, of course, it takes both of them working simultaneously, as a pair, to access the Bynars filesystem. I hadn't quite realized just how neatly all of that fits together...

    So, good episode.

    PS Minuet is fascinating - a hint at future highly sophisticated holographic life (the Doctor and other "photonics" in Voyager, or that whole holographic village in DS9).

    PPS Riker is enjoyably irreverent and sort of piggish in the beginning (calling Jeordi blind, telling the computer Blondes and Jazz don't mix, and instructing it to make the girl "more sultry,"). I think I like this rough-edged Riker of the early seasons...

    Good stuff all 'round.
  • From John on 2012-03-04 at 9:42pm:
    While the second half of this episode is quite good, the first half, nearly all of which consists of introducing Minuet, is incredibly boring.

    On re-watching it, I found myself skipping the first half entirely.

    4/5, because only half of it is worth watching, and the half that is is good but not great.
  • From Rick on 2014-07-27 at 12:02am:
    To DSomo:

    Your first problem is not entirely accurate. You state that Minuet's comment that Picard being a fortunate happenstance means that the Bynars didnt contemplate the fact that they needed Picard and Riker. You misinterpret Minuet's comment though. The Bynars noticed Riker taking an interest in Minuet so they used her as a distraction to keep Riker. The Bynars would have then looked for a different way to distract Picard but it was "fortunate" (as Minuet said) that Picard fell prey to the same distraction. I hope this clears up your confusion.

  • From lordcheeto on 2017-07-11 at 12:43am:
    11001001 is binary for the ASCII letter 'I'.

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