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The Most Toys (episode)

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(written from a Production point of view)
"The Most Toys"
TNG, Episode 3x22
Production number: 40273-170
First aired: 7 May 1990
69th of 176 produced in TNG
69th of 176 released in TNG
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 176 released in TNG Remastered  
176th of 728 released in all
Kivas Fajo
Written By
Shari Goodhartz

Directed By
Timothy Bond
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A trader fakes Data's death to add him to his collection of rare and unique objects.

Summary

Lt. Commander Data has been sent to a trader's ship to obtain 180 kilos of hytritium, a rare, volatile element needed to treat a tricyanate-poisoned water supply on Beta Agni II. Transport of the hytritium through the transporter is not safe 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 explodes while returning to the Enterprise, and the crew assumes that he was destroyed in the explosion. Captain Jean-Luc Picard speaks to Kivas Fajo and asks him for info 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.

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 they 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.

While Data is captive he tours 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.

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 shuttle craft to know he wasn't on board during the explosion. However, Varria tells Data that they planted enough of his composite materials as evidence on the shuttle so that the Enterprise will not search for him and that Fajo has him. Data replies that he has them both.

Meanwhile, La Forge and Wesley go to Data's quarters to clean out everything. Later in Picard's ready room La Forge tensely informs Picard and Riker that he's 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'll 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 didn't 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 Shakespearean works he gave Data and reads a passage from it that reminds him of his "lost" officer.

Fajo comes into the room 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 acid 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 plays dumb and refuses to communicate or behave normally. 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 Riker, Worf and Dr. Crusher beam down to investigate.

Fajo asks Data to sit in a chair in which Fajo intends to display him, and Data refuses. Fajo then gets a Varon-T disruptor from a hidden shelf. 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 &ndash 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, 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 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 &ndash a sentient, fully-functional artificial lifeform, one who apparently "died" in an accident. 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 doesn't value her no matter how loyal she is. She 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 shuttle 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 'disrupts' her with the Varon-T. 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, 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 &ndash but he has no feelings; he is only an android.

Data, however, decides that he must stop Fajo, who has already committed one murder and announced his intention to kill others. Data draws the disruptor at a suddenly-panicking Fajo, but is beamed back to the Enterprise just as he pulls the trigger. O'Brien detects the weapon in mid-transport 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 says perhaps something 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 know that Fajo's life is ruined. Data replies that he has no feelings &ndash he is only an android.

Memorable Quotes

"I do not intend to sit on that chair."

- Data


"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


"Loo loo loo loo loo. Loo loo loo."

- Data while feeding the Lapling


"Face it, Android, he has you."
"It appears... he has us both."

- Varria and Data regarding Fajo


"Pilot error?!"
"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."

- Geordi, 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 Geordi


"For an android with no feelings, he sure managed to evoke them in others."

- Riker, to Picard, after witnessing Geordi's outburst


"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


"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


"Can you think of any reason a saboteur would choose tricyanate?"
"It might pass for a natural disaster, and since there's only one way to treat it – with hytritium – maybe somebody figured we couldn't locate it – it is hard to find."
"Then it really was lucky, wasn't it – that we were able to find hytritium when we did, and just enough hytritium for this crisis?"

- Riker and Dr. Crusher, seeing that this was no natural disaster


"The cost of producing tricyanate is very expensive. He wouldn't make a profit...quite the contrary."
"Then why would he do it?"
"What did he want?"

- Dr. Crusher, Worf and Riker


"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 Geordi (with help from the Enterprise computer), putting the pieces together


"Well... there's always another Varria."

- Kivas Fajo, after murdering her


"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

Background Information

The Most Toys remastering

Re-editing the remastered episode in 2012

Story and production

David Rappaport

David Rappaport, the first Kivas Fajo

  • 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.[1] 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)
Persoff and Spiner

Brent Spiner with guest Nehemiah Persoff

  • 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. [2]
  • 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." [3]
  • First UK airdate: 1st April 1992

Continuity

  • 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".

Props


Reception

  • 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

Video and DVD releases

Links and references

Starring

Also starring

Guest stars

Special appearance by

Uncredited co-stars

Stunt double

Stand-ins

References

1962; 2352; Andorians; basotile; Beta Agni II; Beta Agni system; class-2 probe; Dali, Salvador; denkir; Earth; escape pod; Federation; Ferengi; finoplak; galvanic skin response; Giles Belt; Grissom, USS; Hamlet; huckster; hytritium; Iraatan V; lapling; Lawmim Galactopedia; Lost Ark of the Covenant, The; Lya IV; Milky Way Galaxy; Moliam Andi tapestries; Mona Lisa; murder; Off-Zel vase; Off-Zel, Mark; Nel Bato system; parts per million; Pike; Rejac Crystal; Rodulan; Romulan ale; sabotage; Sector 30; Sigma Erandi system; Sirrie IV; Stacius Trade Guild; Starry Night; Tellurian spices (Tellurians); The Persistence of Memory; Theta Zibal II; Third District; Tomobiki City; tricorder; tricyanate; van Gogh, Vincent; Varon-T disruptor; Veltan sex idol; Yar, Tasha; University of Oneamisu; water table; Zibalians


Previous episode:
"Hollow Pursuits"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 3
Next episode:
"Sarek"

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