“The Most Toys” is the 22nd episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the 70th episode of the series overall.
Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet crew of the Federation starship Enterprise-D. In this episode, Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner) is kidnapped by an obsessive collector, who leads the Enterprise crew to believe that Data was destroyed in a shuttlecraft accident.
The Enterprise-D is called to assist a colony world that has suffered contamination to its water supply. Because of this, they meet with the Jovis, a ship owned by the Zibalian trader Kivas Fajo (Saul Rubinek). Fajo is one of the few vendors of hitridium, an extremely rare medicinal compound capable of neutralising the contamination. Because hitridium is a volatile substance that cannot be beamed aboard, Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner) is assigned to shuttle Fajo’s cargo from the Jovis to the Enterprise, which will take several trips. Just before the final trip, the crew of the Jovis, led by Varria, kidnap Data; after filling the shuttlecraft with equivalent materials, they rig the shuttle to explode en route. The Enterprise crew perform a cursory scan of the debris and believe Data is dead, but due to the emergency, are forced to leave the Jovis without a more detailed study.
Data is reactivated in a secured room and is met by Fajo. The trader explains he collects rare and valuable objects and has kidnapped Data due to his uniqueness. Varria visits Data telling him to change out of his Enterprise uniform and to sit in his chair; however Data still refuses to follow orders and remarks that based on what she tells him of her relationship with Fajo, he and Varria are both Fajo’s prisoners.
While lamenting the loss of their friend, Geordi concludes that he’s missing something about Data’s destruction. Geordi takes his hypothesis to Picard and Riker, stating that the reason he can not find anything is there is nothing to indicate any malfunction. He explains that the only option is pilot error but does not believe it as the odds are too vast to calculate. Picard gives him some words of solace and dismisses him. Picard and Riker select Worf as Data’s replacement.
In an effort to make Data comply with his wishes Fajo says that he isn’t at war with anyone and is in fact Data’s liberator. He prods Data about whether or not he is capable of killing anyone, and Data states that he is programmed to never kill except in defence, and thus would be incapable of murder. When Data still refuses to submit, Fajo splashes a solvent on Data’s uniform that dissolves it so he will be compelled to change his clothes.
Geordi and Wesley run through Data’s communications during the shuttle trips with Geordi noting that Data follows protocol to the letter. Wesley further points out that Data did not report the shuttle clearing the cargo bay of the Jovis on the final transmission, per protocol. Geordi and Wesley conclude that for Data to not follow standard procedures, such as not reporting something wrong, is not like him unless there was something wrong with Data himself.
Data remains defiant against Fajo’s attempts to make him an object of display, purposely remaining silent and immobile when Fajo shows off his collection to a rival trader (Nehemiah Persoff). Only when Fajo threatens to kill Varria with a very rare and illegal Varon-T disruptor does Data agree to follow Fajo’s orders.
The Enterprise arrives at the colony and use the hitridium to neutralise the contamination, but find it works far more quickly than it should. They soon discover that someone purposely created the contamination that would require hitridium, leading the crew to suspect Fajo of staging the whole scenario to kidnap Data. They quickly return to the last-known location of Jovis to track Fajo down.
Varria decides to help Data to escape. During the attempt, they set off alarms that alert Fajo, and when he gets there, uses the Varon-T disruptor on Varria, killing her without remorse. Data picks up the spare Varon-T that Varria had possessed and threatens to use it on Fajo. The Enterprise arrives and suddenly beams Data back aboard, discovering that the disruptor was in the process of discharging. Data is met in the transporter room by Commander Riker, and requests that Fajo be taken into custody, with Riker responding that arrangements have already been made. When Riker asks why the disruptor was energised, Data only offers that something may have happened during transport. Fajo is placed in the Enterprise brig.
In the brig Fajo asks Data if he is happy, lamenting the reversal of their situation, but says defiantly that he will add Data to his collection one day. Data informs Fajo that his stolen collection has been confiscated, and all his possessions returned to their rightful owners. Fajo remarks, “It must give you great pleasure.” Data replies “No, sir, it does not. I do not feel pleasure. I am only an android.” He then leaves a stunned Fajo alone in the brig.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Tim Bond.
- Writer(s): Shari Goodhartz.
- Release Date: 05 May 1990.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.