On the planet Ribos, when conman Unstoffe went on the run from the Graff Vynda-K and the local militia, he sought refuge in the city concourse. He was sheltered by an impoverished old man named Binro. Binro revealed that he had once been a well-known and respected figure in the city - a scientist and a philosopher - but he had fallen foul of the authorities due to some of his theories. These included his opinions about the lengthy seasons on Ribos, and the true nature of the lights seen in the night sky. Religious orthodoxy claimed that the seasons were caused by the struggle between the Sun and Ice gods, and the lights were ice crystals. Binro believed the lights to be other suns, that might have other worlds circling them. He was persecuted and branded a heretic, and ended up homeless and destitute.
Unstoffe was able to prove to him that his theories were true. Binro accompanied the young man into the catacombs beneath the city when the Graff and his men began to close in. The old man sacrificed himself to save his new friend, dying in the knowledge that his beliefs had been vindicated.
Played by: Timothy Bateson. Appearances: The Ribos Operation (1978).
- Binro is based on the Italian philosopher-monk Giordano Bruno, a Dominican friar whose cosmological theories offended the Catholic Church in the latter years of the 16th Century. Imprisoned by the Roman Inquisition in 1593, he was eventually sentenced to death and was burnt at the stake in the Campo de' Fiori on the 17th of February, 1600. The square continues to host a vibrant food and flower market, at the centre of which stands an imposing cowled statue of Bruno, erected in 1889.