Whilst collecting a vital substance from the trader Kivas Fajo, Commander Data is seemingly lost in a shuttle explosion. But even as the Enterprise rushes to use its cargo to save a contaminated planet, Geordi cannot quite believe that Data is really dead – and he’s correct. For Data has just become the latest rarity in Fajo’s collection.
With its sociopathic collector of galactic treasures, The Most Toys feels somewhat like a TOS episode – like stepping back into the “powerful aliens toy with the Enterprise crew” trope. And whilst it’s not a great episode, it does give us a morality plot to chew on. Whilst the obligatory “save Data” storyline goes on in the background, what we have is a struggle between the morally upstanding Data, and the downright corrupt Fajo. Data tries to maintain a passive resistance in the face of Fajo’s selfish demands, but the trader is having none of it, using violence and death threats to force Data to cooperate. And even though he has never killed anyone before, as an android, Data is easily able to make the calculation – killing Fajo will spare many lives. It’s not as clearcut as if Fajo were a dictator of Hitler-esque proportions, but it’s still the lesser of two evils.
Does Data indeed fire at Fajo just as he’s beamed away? Does he then consciously lie about it later? I believe that he did.
Notes from a small starship
- It seems overly simplistic to imagine that firing a missile of ‘cure’ at a contaminated water supply would fix the problem.
- Fajo’s collection includes a rare baseball card. Baseball cards and their acquisition will feature again in DS9.
- Since the Federation has no money, what were the Enterprise paying Fajo in exchange for the hytritium? Did they hand over dilithium, or antimatter?
- Before you ask, hytritium is apparently too unstable to go through the transporter, or to be replicated.
Summary – The Most Toys: The one where Data finally learnt to kill.