This tape starts with one of the better episodes from the first season of Star Trek – The Next Generation – The Big Goodbye. Picard is preparing to greet an insect race who require a perfect greeting, so Troi suggests he tries out the newly improved holodeck. He chooses a program about Dixon Hill, private detective.
The lipstick on the holodeck is pretty real.
Picard tells the senior staff all about the holodeck. I’d forgotten that it was a new thing in the continuity of the show. Beverley seems interested when Picard suggests she join him, but slightly deflated when he also suggests the ship’s historian come too. Even Data’s getting in on the act.
The great Dick Miller appears as a newspaper vendor.
Also appearing is Lawrence Tierney, playing the bad guy of the story, Cyrus Redblock.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 12th December 1990 – 18:00
Next it’s Datalore, another pivotal episode in the canon, as the ship visits the planet where Data was discovered. Although the planet had plenty of plant life years ago when he was discovered, it’s now lifeless.
They find a laboratory, where Data was made, and they find the parts of another android, identical to Data. So now we know what Data’s bum looks like.
They put Lore together, and he’s obviously untrustworthy. It’s a nice performance from Brent Spiner.
It’s not long before Lore has deactivated Data and swapped clothes, pretending to be Data. Wesley is the only one who spots this, but the rest of the bridge crew, Picard included, ignore him. Yes, this is the episode featuring the classic line ‘Shut Up, Wesley’.
Lore lures the Crystalline Entity that destroyed his home planet to the Enterprise.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 19th December 1990 – 18:00 (Christmas adjacent…)
Finally, an episode called 11001001. That’s 201 in binary. Starbase commander Quinteros looks like the Mirror Universe version of Picard.
He’s brought two Bynars on board for a maintenance check. They’re acting a bit strangely as they are reconfiguring the Enterprise’s computer system.
Riker decides to try out the holodeck. He creates a jazz club, but then it gets super creepy, as he creates a woman to go with it. “More sultry”. bleargh. I’m not surprised he likes jazz.
Even Picard is taken with the holowoman, Minuet. She appears so much more convincing than the holograms they’ve had before.
While Picard and Riker are otherwise occupied when there’s an emergency, and it appears that the ship is losing antimatter containment, so the whole ship is abandoned. But once it’s empty, the ship leaves the starbase, it sets off for Bynaus, the planet of the Bynars. This starbase model is one of the film models.
Once Picard and Riker discover they are alone, they try to find out why the Bynars have taken it, and they find them dying on the bridge.
Their planet’s core computer, that they all rely on, has been affected by a supernova, so the Bynars have put a backup into the Enterprise computer, and Picard and Riker have to restore it to fix the computer, then return to the starbase. It took me a while at first, but I do love the design of the Enterprise D.
I’m not sure what to make of the coda, where Riker returns to the holodeck, and the hologram, Minuet, is back to being an ordinary hologram. Which seems to come down to slightly less subtle makeup and a slightly shiny skin tone. She doesn’t even say anything.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 16th January 1991 – 18:00
After this, there’s a trailer for John Sessions’ Tall Tales. And it fades awkwardly into an advert for The Clothes Show magazine.
Then, DEF II starts, with Reportage. The tape ends shortly after this starts.