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Season One:
-101: "Encounter at Farpoint"
-104: "Code of Honor"
-106: "Where No One Has Gone Before"
-109: "Justice"
-110: "The Battle"
-112: "Too Short a Season"
-115: "Angel One"
-116: "11001001"
-117: "Home Soil"
-123: "Symbiosis"
-124: "We'll Always Have Paris"
-126: "The Neutral Zone"

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(Star Trek - The Next Generation episode production code 116)
  • written by Maurice Hurley & Robert Lewin
  • directed by Paul Lynch
  • music by Ron Jones


A lot of fans seem to like this one and rank it above most other season 1 tales. I'm not all that enamoured with it myself, regarding it as just another average mediocre season 1 tale that sort of misses the mark.

There are a lot of good bits in it. Starbase 74 looks quite cool, having borrowed model film elements from Star Trek III - The Search for Spock, which builds some welcome consistency into the Trek universe. The mystery and action in the middle of the piece builds nicely and contains many unusual ways of shooting the familiar old sets.

Ron Jones also works hard at giving this story an exceptional, stand-out score. Some of his strongest variations on Jerry Goldsmith's theme for the series are here, underscoring the action sequences. The Bynars and their enhancements have some unique themes and successful musical signatures, and the strong references to jazz bring a number of appropriate source pieces into the mix as well. This is an even more enjoyable score to listen to on CD, as the TV episode itself didn't always highlight the best bits when it could have / should have, although many shots of opticals or empty corridors do indeed get their due.

The score from "11001001" is available on audio CD and .mp3 download here:

The Ron Jones Project
Disc 2 of 14

But I think there are two main things bringing this story down. First is the aimless way that this tale meanders through its opening 15 minutes or so. Characters are wandering off doing whatever they please, while Riker bounces back and forth between them in a pretty bored state. Even though the characters are miles better here than they were in some of the earliest episodes, they're not yet compelling with the actions given to them.

Compounding this is the all-too-specialist appeal of Riker's Holodeck fantasy-du-jour. If either night clubs or jazz music are your thing, you might like what gets put on screen here. If not, these characters are unlikely to make such sections appeal to you. I think both Riker and Minuet appear to be pushing their interactions into a seductive mode that hasn't arisen naturally or been earned, and their conversation appears to be blandly following a formula rather than sparking out of anything remotely interesting. Whatever it is that is supposedly making this holodeck simulation so much more realistic than those of previous episodes certainly isn't obvious. Add on top of this the very bizarre way that Picard butts his way into the fantasy, smiling and commenting on everything - the illusion never really gets put together properly before being utterly smashed and crushed underfoot. Perhaps it is telling that the story's jazz music is completely separate from the Trekkian action score, as the two worlds never really merge cohesively.

All this adds to the first major problem - there's really no drive to the opening of the episode, and it's not doing a very compelling job of exploring the concept of holodeck simulation.

That said, things really pick up in the second half, and Picard and Riker have some solid challenges to work through all on their own, while the others comment on their mostly helpless outside perspective.

However, the quality of this section kind of collapses under the story's second major problem as the mystery is resolved and the truth revealed - the entire conflict is now rendered extremely artificial. If the Bynars had thought to ask for help, there wouldn't have been much of a story here, would there? Thus the aftermath of this story leaves a hollow, empty aftertaste on what might otherwise have been a half-decent action story.

A third problem also hides here waiting to be revealed if you actually take the time to think through what the Bynars are trying to achieve... because the final sequences have not given themselves enough time to breathe so that it can be achieved. Exactly when is all the Bynars' precious data safely moved out of the way of the supernova's electromagnetic pulse? Surely they want the Enterprise with its large mobile computer to move it all away from their planet, wait for the pulse to pass, and THEN come back to restart their society. Here, it seems they only just arrive at the Binars planet for the first time, gain the precious data, and then push everything back down to the planet as fast as possible. Isn't the point to gain the data before the pulse hits, then move it away to safety? When did the pulse hit, and where was the data at that time? What was the big rush to keep all scenes at the end running continuously, and not have more space for this transitional material to happen off camera?

In the end, it all feels much more limp than what Star Trek should be aspiring to. Another typical season one outing, not quite hitting the mark.

This Next Generation Season One story is available on DVD and Blu-ray:

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season One (1987-1988):

Includes the double-length 92 minute pilot plus 24 episodes @ 46 minutes each.
Click on the Amazon symbol for the desired disc format and location nearest you for more information:

DVD Canada

7-disc DVD set

DVD Canada


DVD Extras include:

  • "The Beginning" origins Featurette
  • "Selected Crew Analysis" cast Featurette
  • "Making of a Legend" production featurette
  • "Memorable Missions" key episode featurette
Blu-ray U.S.

Blu-ray Canada

Blu-ray U.K.


6-disc Blu-ray box set

Blu-ray features add:

  • Energized! Taking TNG to the Next Level (HD, 23 min.) detailing the high-definition restoration for Blu-ray.
  • Stardate Revisited: The Origin of TNG (HD, 93 min.) with
    Patrick Stewart (Picard), Jonathan Frakes (Riker),
    Brent Spiner (Data), LeVar Burton (Geordi), and
    producers Gene Roddenberry, Rick Berman,
    Robert Justman, and D.C. Fontana.
    • Part 1: Inception
    • Part 2: Launch
    • Part 3: The Continuing Mission
  • Gag Reel (8 min., standard definition)
  • Star Trek: TNG Archives: The Launch
  • Promos for each individual episode
  • plus, all featurettes from the DVD version.

Article & reviews written by Martin Izsak. Comments are welcome. You may contact the author from this page:

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Read our next Star Trek review article: The Evolution of the Prime Directive

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