(written from a Production point of view)
A trader fakes Data's death to add him to his collection of rare and unique objects.
Lt. Commander Data has been sent to a trader's ship to obtain 108 kilos of hytritium, a rare, volatile element needed to treat a tricyanate-poisoned water supply on the planet Beta Agni II. Transport of the hytritium through the transporter is not advisable so Data must make the trips with a shuttle. As Data makes his last transport, a woman named Varria asks him to confirm the last transport with his fingerprint. Data is electrically shocked and disabled. Varria then scans him for what he is made of physically to plant the components aboard the shuttle. Data's last transmission to the USS Enterprise-D is for Shuttle Bay 2 to receive him.
His shuttle Pike explodes while returning to the Enterprise, and the shocked crew assumes that he was destroyed in the explosion.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard speaks to Kivas Fajo and asks him for any information on what happened. After the information is transferred to the Enterprise, Picard tells Wesley Crusher to head for the Beta Agni II system with the 81 kilos of hytritium they obtained. Eighty-one kilos is just enough for them to complete their mission with zero margin for error.
Aboard the Jovis, Data is stuck in the position he was in before, and then wakes up. Data asks Fajo why he is where he is. Fajo says that Data has been brought to his ship because Data is supposed to entertain him. Data says this cannot happen because he is a Starfleet officer. Fajo says that he will never be able to leave, so therefore he is no longer a Starfleet officer, especially since the crew of the Enterprise think he is dead. Fajo begins communication with Data by speaking in a highly exaggerated manner until it becomes clear that Data is a very qualified communicator and can be spoken to normally. Data informs Fajo that he does not wish to stay and upon Fajo's refusal to free him, Data advises that he will have to attempt escape. However, Data soon finds he is unable to escape as the door is too heavy and is keyed to galvanic skin responses and DNA patterns. When Data tries to lift Fajo to use him to open the door, he is hit by a force field created by Fajo's proximity-actuated field, which impedes positron flows.
Fajo takes Data on a tour of the gallery, viewing a Salvador Dali painting, The Persistence of Memory, looking at a sculpture from the late Mark Off-Zel, feeding the thought-extinct Lapling and sniffing the bubble-gum scent of the Roger Maris baseball card. Upon viewing the "Mona Lisa" Data attempts to imitate her smile. Fajo asks Data to sit in the chair for display. Data refuses and says that he considers being held captive a hostile act by Fajo.
La Forge and Wesley go to Data's quarters to clean out everything.
Later, Varria comes back into the room that Data is kept in, and Varria tells him that Fajo wants him to wear a specific set of clothes. Varria tells Data to do as Fajo says because he is as giving as he is cruel, while touching her face knowingly. Data says that he will not change as the Enterprise will be looking at the remains of the shuttlepod to know he wasn't on board during the explosion. However, Varria tells Data that they planted enough of his composite materials in exact quantites as evidence on the shuttle so that the Enterprise will not search for him and that Fajo has him. Data replies that it appears he has them both.
Later in Picard's ready room, La Forge tensely informs Picard and Riker that he has investigated the shuttle explosion and can find no explanation. The only reason La Forge can find is "pilot error", which he considers impossible given Data's exceptional abilities. Picard says he will support La Forge's continued investigations as long as the engineer thinks fit, with the caveat that he expects La Forge to be rested in time for the decontamination mission. Riker comments that Data's emotionlessness did not prevent him from stirring strong emotions within others, and after recommending Worf to take Data's place at Ops, he leaves. Picard looks at a book of Hamlet by William Shakespeare, one of the works he gave Data and reads a passage from it that reminds him of his "lost" officer.
Fajo comes into the gallery and is angry at why Data has not changed into the robes he chose for him. Data says that he is a Starfleet officer and therefore will not change his clothes. Fajo does not understand why he is even a Starfleet officer in the first place, and then orders a flask of a finoplak, an acid powerful enough to melt clothing, but not harm Data's skin. This makes Data need to change.
While La Forge is sleeping, he goes over and over again what Data said, waking up with the realization that he did miss something. He reviews the audio logs from the shuttle flight with Wesley and discovers that Data failed to transmit a status message, several seconds before the explosion. Although trivial, it was a procedural error that Data would have never committed, and Geordi suspects that he was somehow unable to complete the task.
Worf is assigned to Data's Ops duties and Deanna Troi is concerned for his emotional well-being as Worf was close to Data and this is the second time Worf has replaced a crewmate who has died. Worf points out that promotion due to the death of a crewmate is common on a Klingon vessel and adds that he honors the death of those he is replacing by performing the duties as well as his predecessor.
Later that evening when Fajo tries to "show off" his new "acquisition" to his friend and competitor, Palor Toff, Data stands still and shows no signs of activity. This angers Fajo as he is made to look a fool in front of his friend.
As the crew of the Enterprise delivers the hytritium to the water table on Beta Agni II, the substance responds much more quickly than expected, and Picard orders Riker, Worf and Dr. Crusher beam down to investigate.
Fajo again asks Data to sit in the chair in which Fajo intends to display him, and Data refuses. Fajo then gets a Varon-T disruptor from a hidden shelf, an illegal weapon in the Federation. Fajo shows his true colors as a vicious, cruel and immoral creature. When Data continually refuses to sit in the chair, Fajo threatens to kill his assistant Varria with the weapon even though she has been with him for 14 years. Data realizes he can prevent this ruthless act by sitting in the chair, and does so.
The away team find several holes in their investigation: tricyanate is not indigenous to the planet and the only counteragent is the rare hytrithium compound conveniently provided by Fajo. Worf's tricorder readings reveal that the poisoning was indeed artificial, but Crusher finds this difficult to believe — the poison used to contaminate the water table is very unstable and difficult to transport. However, the poison is also difficult to counteract, as hytritium is the only antidote. Hearing this, it dawns on Riker how "lucky" they were to find it, and in exactly the right amount.
In a briefing in the observation lounge, Riker points out that Fajo was in the right place in the right time to provide them with the hytritium they so desperately needed. It is speculated that Fajo poisoned the water to then sell the Enterprise crew the hytritium to make a profit, but Crusher points out that, due to the expense of producing tricyanate, the venture would not be profitable, leaving them to wonder what his true intentions were. Picard requests a bio on Fajo, and it includes a list of priceless artifacts in his collection, which include numerous "rare and valuable objects". The computer only names four of his treasures, including van Gogh's The Starry Night, before being cut off by the captain, who, like everyone else, identifies what has likely been added to the collection – a sentient, fully-functional artificial lifeform, one who apparently "died" in an accident. When La Forge asks what could have happened if Data was not on the shuttle when it exploded, Picard taps his combadge and orders Wesley to set a course for the site of the shuttlecraft explosion at Warp 8. They pursue the Jovis, sending a coded message to all Federation outposts Fajo could have reached since leaving the Enterprise.
Meanwhile, Varria comes to Data's aid. She realizes that Fajo does not value her no matter how loyal she is.
Varria assists Data in escaping even though the escape is a dangerous one because there is no way to communicate to the Enterprise that he is alive, the escape pod will sound an alarm once activated, and there are guards everywhere. Unfortunately, Varria is caught by the guards and then by Fajo and he shoots her with the Varon-T after hesitating for only a moment. Her death is excruciating and painful to witness as she is destroyed from the inside out. On hearing her scream, Data exits the escape pod he was preparing for launch, and picks up Varria's discarded disruptor, aiming it at Fajo. Fajo proceeds to taunt Data, saying that if he does not return to his chair with no escape, he will start killing others, and their blood will be on Data's hands as well. He continues by saying that if only Data's programming allowed him to feel rage over Varria's death, he could kill him and stop it – but he has no feelings; he is only an android.
Data, however, concludes that he has to stop Fajo, and draws the disruptor at his suddenly-panicking captor, but is beamed back to the Enterprise. O'Brien detects the weapon in mid-transport as having been discharged and remotely deactivates it as a precautionary measure. Data hands it to Riker, and tells him to arrest Fajo for murder, kidnapping and theft. When Riker asks about the discharge, having noticed Data's pose on arrival, Data pauses and suggests something may have occurred during transport.
Data visits Fajo in the brig and informs him that all the items he stole from others are being returned. Fajo asks Data if it satisfies him to knowing that he has lost everything. Data simply replies that he has no feelings and as he is only an android.
"It took... great effort, effort... to bring you ...here."
- - Kivas Fajo, to Data
"Am I to infer that you intend to keep me captive?"
"Captive, captive. Oh, it's such an inappropriate description."
- - Data after being kidnapped by Kivas Fajo
"He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again."
- - Picard quoting Shakespeare in remembrance of Data
"Kivas finds a way to get what he wants from his people. His rewards for loyalty are lavish. His punishments for disloyalty are lavish. You won't find anyone here on this ship to help you escape. Face it, android. He has you."
"It appears...he has us both."
- - Varria and Data, regarding Fajo
"I know it's hard to accept, but even the best pi..."
"Captain, it's not only hard to accept – with Data, it's impossible! I mean, I can't even begin to calculate the odds, it's...well...well if Data were here, we could ask him."
- - La Forge, refusing to believe the explosion could be Data's fault and Picard
"I understand how much we want... even need, to explain an accident like this... sometimes there just aren't any explanations."
- - Picard, attempting to console La Forge
"For an android with no feelings, he sure managed to evoke them in others."
- - Riker, to Picard, after witnessing LaForge's outburst
"What a marvelous contradiction. A military pacifist."
- - Kivas Fajo
"You belong in Starfleet about as much as I belong in a verbal contract."
- - Kivas Fajo
"I've been concerned about you."
"About me?! Why?"
"Because I know how I'd feel if I was asked to replace Data at his station."
"Promotion due to the death of a crewmate is...commonplace on Klingon ships."
"I know – but this isn't a Klingon ship. And Data was your friend. And it's the second time you've replaced a crewmember who's died."
"I honor Data's memory, as I did Lt. Yar, by performing their duties as they did."
"In true Klingon fashion."
- - Troi and Worf, en route to his first shift as Data's successor
"It's a mannequin of some sort."
"This is not a mannequin. This is Data. This is formerly Lieutenant Commander Data of the Federation Starfleet. The only sentient android in existence."
"It doesn't seem particularly sentient right now."
"That's because it's playing a stupid little game with us."
"Well, someone has certainly played a game on you, Fajo." (Laughs)
"I don't find this amusing."
- - Palor Toff and Kivas Fajo, inspecting a non-responsive Data
"He falls well!"
"I apologize for this."
"Do not be upset, my friend. I am having a delightful visit." (to Varria) "Come along, Varria! You're much more fun to play with than Fajo's new toy!"
(to Data) "You'll regret this."
- - Palor Toff and Kivas Fajo, after Fajo's failed attempt to rouse Data to respond
"Mr. Crusher, put us into close orbit. Mr. Data, scan... (It suddenly dawns on him – and the rest of the bridge crew – that Data is not there) my apologies, Mr. Worf."
- - Picard
"Fajo was in the right place at the right time, just when we needed him most."
"You're suggesting he created the problem just to solve it?"
"What, to make a profit from his sale of hytritium?"
- - Riker, Picard and LaForge, on Kivas Fajo
"Kivas Fajo... a noted collector of rare and valuable objects, including the Rejac Crystal, The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, the Lawmim Galactopedia, the Moliam Andi tapestries..."
"Computer, that is sufficient."
"Rare and valuable object..."
"What if...Data wasn't on that shuttle?"
- - Picard, Riker, and La Forge (with help from the Enterprise computer), putting the pieces together
"It's your fault. You knew the price for disobedience, and so did she. Well...there's always another Varria."
- - Kivas Fajo, to Data, after murdering Varria
"Murder me – go ahead, it's all you have to do. Fire! If only you could...feel...RAGE over Varria's death – if only you could feel the need for revenge, maybe you could fire...But you're...just an android – you can't feel anything, can you? It's just another interesting...intellectual puzzle for you, another of life's...curiosities."
- - Kivas Fajo, taunting Data over his "inability" to kill him
"I cannot permit this to continue."
- - Data, preparing to kill Fajo
"Mr. O'Brien said that the weapon was in a state of discharge."
"Perhaps something occurred during transport, Commander."
- - Riker and Data after Data fired on Fajo
"You have lost everything you value."
"Must give you great pleasure..."
"No, sir – it does not... I do not feel pleasure – I am only an android."
- - Data and Kivas Fajo, in the Enterprise brig
Story and production Edit
- The title of this episode comes from a phrase occasionally used to justify greed of varying levels: "He who dies with the most toys, wins."
- British actor David Rappaport was the first actor chosen for the role of Kivas Fajo, but he attempted suicide over the weekend after a few days of filming were completed. Director Timothy Bond stated, "[T]here was a story going around that they had found him in his car with a tube running from the exhaust. Obviously I had to replace him." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 197). A new actor was cast and all the scenes that featured Rappaport were refilmed. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 2nd ed., pp. 125-6)
- By this time, however, promotional photographs of Rappaport as Fajo had already been sent out. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 2nd ed., pp. 126)
- David Rappaport continued to suffer from acute depression and successfully committed suicide two months later, dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a Los Angeles park on May 2nd, 1990. His death occurred just five days before the episode premiered. Rick Berman related, "Of course it left us very sad." (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 2nd ed., pp. 125-6)
- On recasting the role on such short notice, director Timothy Bond recalled, "The guy who ultimately played the part, Saul Rubinek, is somebody I went to school with. It just happened that he was passing through town as he was just about to start Bonfires of the Vanities, the ill-fated film, and he's a Trekkie. He called me and asked if I could get him in to see the sets. I said I would try and would call him on Monday. So I called him and said, 'How much do you want to see these sets?' He never does guest spots on television, but I persuaded him to do it." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 197)
- Bond commented, "Recasting changed the character, because David Rappaport was quite small. The requirement, dramatically, is that people had to be afraid of him. That was very trick[y] for someone of David's size to pull off, and we had to do it through a different approach in the photography and the sense that he could always get a weapon and blow people away. David underplayed it, but I always had guys in the background who were pretty beefy. As a matter of fact, when I first started working on the episode, I had this idea – which I still think is brilliant, but they wouldn't let me do it – to build his spaceship to his scale, so the ceiling would be about four feet from the floor. When anybody got in, they would have to bend over. It would have made it a nightmare shoot, but I thought it would have been a powerful visual. When we lost David, thank God we didn't have the small sets." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 197)
- In a scene present in the script but not the final episode, Fajo sends Varria to test Data's sexual abilities (in which Data references his only sexual encounter from TNG: "The Naked Now"), however, Data learns of Fajo's intent, leaving Varria utterly humiliated which would later fuel her desire to betray Fajo in the climax. 
- Writer Shari Goodhartz related, "I asked Brent Spiner whether he thought Data purposefully pulled the trigger or not, and he was adamant that Data did fire the weapon, which was my intent as well, but the powers-that-be wanted that kept ambiguous, so it was. If I had a chance to do it over, with all the experience I have behind me now, I would argue passionately for Data's actions and their consequences to have been clearer, and hopefully more provocative." 
- First UK airdate: 1st April 1992
- This episode features a shuttlepod Pike, named after Christopher Pike, second captain of the USS Enterprise. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 2nd ed., pp. 126)
- Lt Yar is mentioned in this episode when Troi expresses concern to Worf that he has now replaced two deceased officers.
- Worf also mentions that he has manned the Ops position before in a direct reference to the first season when he acted as relief Conn and Ops officer should Geordi or Data be unavailable.
- Fajo suggests that Data has no sense of modesty. In fact, he does have a modesty subroutine as established in "Inheritance".
- Although Fajo is Zibalian, actor Saul Rubinek mistakenly says "Zimbalia" when Fajo is describing to Data how his youth was "wasted on the streets on Zimbalia."
- Fajo's lapling was a hand puppet created by Michael Westmore. Producer David Livingston recalled, "It was this little creature that Saul Rubinek went up to and said 'bidi-bidi-bidi.' That was his call to the creature and that became a running gag. People on the set still say 'bidi-bidi-bidi.'" (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 196)
- Among the artifacts in Fajo's collection is the communication device used by Sarjenka in "Pen Pals", and a small vase that would be seen in the crew quarters of Data, Worf, Miles O'Brien and many others in later episodes.
- The 1962 Roger Maris baseball card used was the first in the Topps series of 598 cards that year on account of Maris having bested Babe Ruth's single season home run record by one the previous year with 61 homers.
- In the background of the room in which Data is held, a copy of Salvador Dalí's The Persistence of Memory is seen on a back wall. It was created by artist Elaine Sokoloff. 
- Picard reads from Data's book of collection of Shakespeare's dramas (that he gave him as a gift) a phrase from Hamlet (act 1, scene 2): "He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again".
- Stunt actor Dennis Madalone's technician costume was the first to be auctioned off in the It's A Wrap! sale and auction, where it sold for $212.50. 
- The costume worn by Nehemiah Persoff (Palor Toff) later sold on It's A Wrap! for $206.50. 
- The costume worn by Saul Rubinek (Kivas Fajo) was also sold on It's A Wrap! for $920.00 
- The costume worn by Brent Spiner (Data) was sold on It's A Wrap! for $662.00.  A second costume of the same design was also sold in a later lot for $1,902.00. 
- Several Varon-T disruptor props were also sold, including one in the Profiles in History auction for $1,500.00 ; a second and third prop later sold by It's A Wrap! went for $405.00 and $375.05, respectively. 
- The studio model for the Jovis was among the items sold in the "40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection" auction. The estimated price for this model was $3,000 to $5,000; it ultimately sold for $4,800 ($5,760 with premium). 
- The Zibalian escape pod, designed by Joseph Hodges, later served as the aft portion of several guest vessels.
- When Fajo tells Data to change clothes by dinnertime, the written script on the wall behind and below Fajo is identical to the written Iconian from TNG: "Contagion".
- Michael Piller started to collect baseball cards following this episode. ("Memorable Missions - "The Most Toys", TNG Season 3 DVD special feature)
- The golden band worn by Nehemiah Persoff can later be seen as decoration in the quarters of Aquiel Uhnari aboard the Relay Station 47 in the sixth season episode "Aquiel".
- Michael Piller remarked, "We had to recast and reshoot, and were lucky to get a good actor. I'm pleased with the way the script came out. It was a rather sick character he's playing, but fascinating." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 196-7)
- Bond opined, "What I loved about the show was the hung jury at the end. Would Data have killed him? Did Data try to kill him? And the final push in on Data when he gets to tell the guy that they've confiscated all his belongings. The guy says, 'You're enjoying this,' and Data says, 'No.' It was fun with Brent Spiner because he's such a good actor. He knows to show just enough for the audience to ask, 'Is he enjoying this?' It was fun to get that sort of feeling." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 197)
- A mission report for this episode by John Sayers was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine Vol. 14, pp. 24-27.
Other information Edit
- A collectible box set from the Star Trek Customizable Card Game was aptly called The Fajo Collection.
Video and DVD releasesEdit
- Original UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 35, 20 January 1992.
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 3.7, 4 September 2000.
- As part of the TNG Season 3 DVD collection.
- As part of the TNG Season 3 Blu-ray collection.
Links and references Edit
Also starring Edit
- LeVar Burton as Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
- Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf
- Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher
- Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi
- Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data
- Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher
Guest stars Edit
Special appearance by Edit
Uncredited co-stars Edit
- Rachen Assapiomonwait as Nelson
- Majel Barrett as USS Enterprise-D computer voice
- Karen Baxter as operations division ensign
- George Colucci as Zibalian henchman
- Denise Crosby as Lieutenant Natasha Yar (archive footage)
- Eben Ham as operations division ensign
- Dennis Madalone as Zibalian henchman
- Lorine Mendell as Diana Giddings
- John Rice as science division officer
- Guy Vardaman as Darien Wallace
- Unknown performers as
Stunt double Edit
- Jeffrey Deacon - stand-in for Patrick Stewart
- Nora Leonhardt - stand-in for Marina Sirtis
- Tim McCormack - stand-in for Brent Spiner
- Lorine Mendell - stand-in for Gates McFadden
- Guy Vardaman - stand-in for Wil Wheaton
1962; 2352; Andorians; basotile; Beta Agni II; Beta Agni system; centimeter; class-2 probe; confiscation; Dalí, Salvador; debris; denkir; Earth; escape pod; evasive maneuvers; Federation; Ferengi; finoplak; galvanic skin response; Giles Belt; Grissom, USS; Hamlet; huckster; hytritium; inflection; Iraatan V; kilometer; lapling; Lawmim Galactopedia; Lya IV; mannequin; Milky Way Galaxy; Moliam Andi tapestries; Mona Lisa; murder; New York Yankees; Off-Zel vase; Off-Zel, Mark; Nel Bato system; parts per million; pearl; Pike; Rejac Crystal; Rodulan; sabotage; Sector 30; Sigma Erandi system; Sirrie IV; solvent; Stacius Trade Guild; Tellurian spice; The Persistence of Memory; The Starry Night; trace element; tricorder; tricyanate; tripolymer composite; van Gogh, Vincent; Varon-T disruptor; Veltan sex idol; Yar, Tasha; water table; Zibalian
Other References Edit
- Federation Biographical Database 0447: Romulan ale; Lost Ark of the Covenant; Theta Zibal II; Third District; Tomobiki City; University of Oneamisu
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