Star Trek Best Trek

The Naked Now

In case you skip it...

In this episode, the entire crew contracts a virus that makes them drunk. No, really. It’s an homage to “The Naked Time”, an episode of The Original Series in which the same thing happens.

Presumably the idea was that by showing how the characters act with their inhibitions lowered, you could quickly get a sense of who they really were and what inner conflicts they faced. The overall effect actually ends up being pretty awkward, partly because not all the characters were well-defined yet and some of the reveals contradict later characterization. In particular, Data manages to catch the virus and get drunk as well.

Data looking drunk

It seems that in this stage of the series, the intention was for Data to be artificially biological, with a human-like brain. This is fairly quickly changed, however, and Data is normally portrayed as mechanical. Still, the following information is good to know:

  • Wesley is revealed as having aspirations to command a starship.
  • Picard and Dr. Crusher are revealed as having mutual attraction they have never acted on, despite knowing each other a long time.
  • Troi and Riker are implied (as in the first episode) to have had a romantic attachment at some point in the past.
  • While both under the effects of the virus, Tasha seduces Data and they apparently have sex. Despite this being out of character for how Data is later portrayed, it remains canon, resulting in it being a unique and somewhat significant event in Data’s existence. After they recover, Tasha informs Data that “it never happened.”