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In Theory


Series : The Next Generation Rating : 3
Disc No : 4.6 Episode : 98
First Aired : 3 Jun 1991 Stardate : 44932.3
Director : Patrick Stewart Year : 2367
Writers : Joe Menosky, Ronald D. Moore Season : 4
Guest Cast :
Colm Meaney as Miles Edward O'Brien
Guy Vardaman as Darien Wallace
Joyce Robinson as Ensign Gates
Lorine Mendell as Diana Giddings
Michele Scarabelli as Lieutenant Jenna D'Sora
Pamela Winslow as Ensign McKnight
Rosalind Chao as Keiko O'Brien
Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan
Moral :
Emotions : Love is not a computer subroutine
YATI : At one point a female crewemember walks past Geordi, goes around a corner and then screams a few moments later. Geordi runs back to see what is wrong and finds her half buried in the floor as a result of an encounter with a bit of dark matter. The thing is, she is facing him as he goes around the corner - yet she was walking in the opposite direction so she should have her back to him.

Data uses contractions three different times when he is comes home to Jenna. He says "Honey, I'm home!" as he enters, "I'll join you", when she has a drink, and "You're not my mother!" when they fight. It's possible that these are stock phrases that he has learned in order to simulate being romantic or argumentative, rather than dialogue made up on the fly, as it were, and so contractions can make it through - notably he says "You are not my mother" in a more normal tone of voice when Jenna questions what he said. But... if that's so, then we are assuming that data has two modes of speaking. A normal mode in which his program determines what to say, but has a deliberate limiter which prevents him from using contractions. And a stock-phrase mode, in which predetermined responses can be spoken without limitation as to content. So if that's the case, then why can't data create a set of stock phrases consisting purely of contractions, which he then inserts into his normal conversation program at the appropriate moments? So a response he gives might go : (program says to say)I will give that issue my full consideration, and then (insert stock phrase)I'll (program says to say)get back to you later.

Let's face it, the data contradictions thing was a silly idea to begin with, and probably would have been best if quickly forgotten.
Great Moment : Data trying to pick a fight with his girlfriend.
Body Count : One
Factoid : This is the first episode ever directed by Patrick Stewart, who was only the second of the show's actors to turn his hand to directing. Stewart sought out Jonathan Frakes for advice, since he was the first. He would later say that he was very glad it was a Data-centric episode, since he thought highly of Brent Spiner as an actor. And he appreciated having a simple story without any big phaser fights or challenging epic sets to deal with. He found the seven days he worked on the episode to be amongst the most rewarding of his career, and has named this as his favourite episode.

This episode establishes that the windows of the Enterprise-D are made of transparent Aluminium, a substance which Scotty notoriously introduced to the 1980s in Star Trek IV : The Voyage Home.

This is the only episode ever to show a torpedo bay on the Enterprise-D.

Ron Moore thought this episode to be under-appreciated, though he did feel that having to include an anomaly-of-the-week was an issue with it. He found that the basic structure of the show required such sci-fi elements to be present, and that in some cases this could hamstring a story that would be better without them. He always felt that DS9 suffered less from this issue, since one did not have to constantly wonder what the immobile space station was up to on any given week.


As the Enterprise stuggles to survive in a nebula full of dark matter, Data experiments with love.
Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 24,385 Last updated : 2 Jul 2018