116 "11001001"

(airdate: February 1, 1988)

Writer: Maurice Hurley and Robert Lewin
Director: Paul Lynch

Minuet: Carolyn McCormick
Zero One: Katy Boyer
Zero Zero: Iva Lane

Cmdr. Quinteros: Gene Dynarski
One Zero: Alexandra Johnson
One One: Kelli Ann McNally

Stardate: 41365.9

Captain's Log: The Enterprise is at Starbase 74, undergoing a computer upgrade with the assistance of the Bynars, a race of humanoids who exist in pairs and have developed such close contact with the planet's master computer that they essentially talk and think in binary. The crew indulges in some R & R, with Riker being entranced by an unusually sophisticated holodeck character named Minuet. While docked at the starbase, the Enterprise suddenly develops a failure in the antimatter containment system, threatening to destroy both the ship and the base. The crew is evacuated and the ship sent on autopilot away from the starbase, where the containment system suddenly repairs itself: the Bynars have engineered the disaster in order to steal the Enterprise. However, on the holodeck, Riker and Picard (who joined him) are unaware of what's been going on, and they emerge to find a deserted ship. The Bynars have taken the ship to their home planet in order to upload their computer's memory to the Enterprise's computer before an incoming solar flare wipes all the data; they needed Riker and Picard to remain aboard in order to reverse the data transfer once the danger had passed, so they created Minuet as a way to distract them for a sufficiently long period. The Bynars are successful in their data download, and Picard and Riker are able to upload the master computer's information back into its storage banks, saving the Bynar race.

Whoops!: Why are Geordi and Data choosing to paint in one of the conference rooms, instead of, say, one of their quarters?
     The four Bynars seen here are named Zero One, Zero Zero, One One, and One Zero. Which thus exhausts all the possible Bynar names, if they only consist of two binary digits. [These are just part of their full names.] And if they work in pairs and in fact think in these binary terms, why do they initially choose to entice only Riker into staying in order to later help them? If Picard hadn't happened to go see what Riker was up to and instead evacuated with everyone else, how would the Bynars have restored their computer? What was their original plan? Was there someone else left aboard that we never hear about? Is Troi trapped in a room somewhere and that's why we don't see her in this episode?
     When seen from the Starbase 74 operations room, the Enterprise image has been flipped, with "NCC-1701-D" reading backwards. [This has been fixed in the remastered version.]

Classic Lines: Worf: "If winning is not important, then, Commander, why keep score?"
     Riker: "It's uncanny. I could develop feelings for Minuet, exactly as I would for any woman." Picard: "Doesn't love always begin that way? With the illusion being more real than the woman?" Minuet: "Oh, Jean-Luc, spoken like a true Frenchman."

Cringe Lines: "Keep notes. This project might turn out to be of interest to scholars in the future. ... 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."

Casualty Report: The Bynars go catatonic when their planet's computer goes offline, although they recover when the system is restored.

Alien Love: Riker finds himself strongly attracted to the hologram Minuet, and they share a pretty passionate kiss.

Library Computer: Starbase 74 is a large facility orbiting the planet Tarsas III, an Earth-like planet with a moon. Starbase 74 was of the same design as Earth Spacedock (Star Trek III: The Search of Spock), and used mooring beams to help dock vessels inside it. It was run by a Commander Quinteros, a tall, thin Caucasian male with brown eyes, a fringe of white hair, and a white goatee. Quinteros was in charge of the team that constructed the Enterprise-D.
     Also aboard Starbase 74 were four members of an alien race known as the Bynars. The Bynars are a relatively short, vaguely androgynous humanoid species (Quinteros notes that they're neither "gentlemen" nor "ladies"), with bald, slightly bulbous heads, undeveloped ears, and a slight purple hue to their skin. The Bynars work in pairs, and each pair has an electronic device attached on the side near the top middle of the skull: one member of the pair has the device on the right side, while the other had the device on the left side. They're dressed in simple black and grey jumpsuits with some silver trim -- for one of the Bynar pairs, the trim along the chest and one shoulder, and as with the skull devices, the shoulder with the silver trim was the opposite of the other member of the pair; for the other pair we see, the trim simply runs down the side of the jumpsuit on the front, but this stripe also varies in placement depending on which Bynar is wearing it. They also have an electronic device worn along one side of the front at hip level; these devices act as buffers, allowing the Bynars to take in all sorts of information at high speed and then to process it when they need to.
     The Bynars have developed such a close relationship with the master computer on their home planet, Bynaus (an Earth-like planet in the Beta Magellan system), that their language and indeed thought patterns have "become as close to binary as it's possible for organic beings"; in fact, the Bynars are completely dependent on their computer for their higher functions, such that when the computer is offline the Bynars are reduced to a virtually catatonic state. Picard remarks, upon seeing the Bynar data, that their computer system is "absolutely incredible". The Bynar language sounds to human ears like a fast, fairly high-pitched "chirping", but they are capable of human speech; when they do speak in English, one member of the pair finishes the sentence that the other begins. Their written language resembles hollow circles (occasionally incomplete), sometimes connected by horizontal lines, and sometimes with additional filled circles in the center of the hollow ones. Their names [or at least the portions we hear] are binary pairs, such as Zero One or Zero Zero.
     Because of their nature, the Bynars were hired by the Federation to aid in computer upgrades; prior to working on the Enterprise, the Bynars seen here had finished upgrading the Wellington. The Bynars apparently have a good reputation regarding their work on these upgrades.
     A star in the Bynaus system recently went supernova. The Bynars miscalculated when the star would go supernova and thus realized that an electromagnetic pulse would hit Bynaus, wiping all the information on the planet's computer. They needed a computer that could download Bynaus's data, wait out the electromagnetic pulse, and then reupload the data back to Bynaus; to this end, they stole the Enterprise, as it had a sufficiently large computer to handle all the information. The Bynars didn't ask for help from the Federation as they were worried the Federation might refuse. They also were aware of the possibility that when Bynaus's computer went down, the Bynars might die, so they enticed Riker to stay in the holodeck during the journey so that he could activate the upload back to Bynaus in the event the Bynars couldn't. The miscalculation and the Enterprise's delay in reaching Starbase 74 meant that there was only time to perform a core dump, without instituting any safeguards to protect the Bynars while their computer was offline. [At least, that seems to be what the episode is getting at.] They made the filename that would reinitiate the transfer and thus restore their computer a set of 1s and 0s, so that Riker and a partner (Picard, ultimately) could easily activate it. The filename was "11001001". [Which is the name of the episode, yes, but it's also the names of the four Bynars put together.]
     As part of their computer upgrades, the Bynars have repaired the holodeck after its encounter with a probe ("The Big Goodbye") and have [temporarily] enhanced its capabilities. They invited Riker to try it out, upon which he chose a jazz club - the Bourbon Street Bar in New Orleans, circa 1958 - in which to play some trombone. He also requested a "sultry" brunette as an audience, which led to a hologram named Minuet. Minuet has blue eyes, wide, shoulder-length brown hair, and is dressed in a strapless red dress; she claims she likes all jazz except Dixieland, because "you can't dance to it". According to Riker, she seems to be incredibly good at intuiting his wants and desires - something Picard speculates may be based on the computer reading his body language - and is able to easily adapt to changing circumstances, such as the arrival of Picard. Somewhat unusually, Minuet seems aware that she's a computer program, discussing accessing the foreign language files to speak French with Picard. Minuet was in fact designed by the Bynars as a lure for Riker, to keep him (and, it turned out, Picard - an event described as a "fortunate happenstance") in the holodeck while they took the ship to Bynaus; when the Bynars completed their mission, Riker found that the Minuet program was gone from the holodeck. [Minuet apparently made quite an impact on Riker, based on the season 5 episode "Future Imperfect".]
     Picard, unsurprisingly, can speak French, and he agrees with Minuet's comment (expressed in French) that deep down, everyone is a Parisian, noting that the spirit of Paris always enchants his soul. It's been a while since he's operated a ship's conn, but he seems to handle it without issue. He states that he doesn't dance.
     Riker can play the trombone. He enjoys playing jazz, and believes that blondes and jazz rarely go together. His work serving aboard the Enterprise defines who he is, and he realizes how lucky he is to be a member of the crew, describing it "like a dream come true".
     Data, with Geordi's help, is investigating his creativity, which currently involves painting zylo eggs - orange circles surrounded by a ring, regularly connected to the circle by short thin tendrils - onto a glass canvas. [There doesn't seem to be a subject that Data is referencing, suggesting he's attempting this from memory.] He's familiar with the Starfleet vessel called the Trieste.
     The Enterprise-D has 42 decks and twenty transporter rooms, plus a set of cargo transporters located somewhere near decks 2 through 4. There's an airlock port on the side of the neck at the base, halfway along its length, which a starbase can attach to. The ship also has a weapons room (labeled as such), accessible via voiceprint.
     The Enterprise's auto-destruct sequence involves the captain and the first officer each placing their fingertips on a computer screen. Once the computer recognizes both officers, the captain states, "set auto-destruct sequence". The computer then asks if the first officer concurs; if they do, the auto-destruct is initiated, with a five-minute countdown. The timing of this countdown cannot be altered. Terminating the auto-destruct sequence is similarly achieved, with the captain ordering "cancel auto-destruct" and the computer asking if the first officer concurs. This shutdown can only be performed on the bridge.
     The antimatter aboard the Enterprise is held within a magnetic containment field. If the field's integrity were to fail, the explosion would destroy the ship [and, it seems, the starbase, if she were still inside when the explosion occurred].
     The Enterprise was a week late arriving to Starbase 74, as they were "unexpectedly delayed" at Omicron Pascal. [Could this perhaps be the system where Angel I is located? They don't specify a system name in that episode, and that would explain why two weeks ago they were mentioning a computer refit that doesn't show up in "Angel One".] Fifty-two hours after arriving at Starbase 74, they're due at Pelleus V.
     Parrises squares is an athletic game consisting of teams of four. Players dress in thin spandex bodysuits (blue in the case of the Enterprise players), with black pads on their elbows and knees, with thicker black padding strapped along their left sides. Riker notes that, while player substitutions are allowed mid-game, this can lead to a loss of the rhythm of the game.
     Professor Terence Epstein is, according to Dr. Crusher, the leading mind in cybernetics. He once lectured at Crusher's medical school, and is currently on Starbase 74. Crusher wanted to talk to him because, after the disaster at Micromius [an event we don't know about], she'd been working on an approach combining cybernetics and regeneration and believed she'd found a workable solution.
     The Trieste is, according to Data, too slow and small to confront the Enterprise.
     The U.S.S. Melbourne is currently undergoing repairs at Starbase 74, along with two other vessels.

Final Analysis: "Am I to understand the Bynars have stolen the Enterprise?" It starts a touch slow, but that allows them to properly ramp up events at an exciting clip. Jonathan Frakes seems noticeably more relaxed playing the romantic lead here than he did last week, and his interactions with Carolyn McCormack are pitched at just the right level. It's also nice to have an alien race operating out of desperation rather than malice, and the concept of the Bynars is not just intriguing but also generally well thought-out. Plus it helps that the script does a good job of sustaining the mystery until the relevant moments. One of the highlights of the first season.

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