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Dr. Noonien Soong

Name : Dr. Noonien Soong1
Species : Humans

Dr. Noonien Soon was one of the Federation's leading experts in robotics. He is chiefly remembered for his advocacy of the effectiveness of positronic computing systems. When Soong failed to deliver on these promises his reputation was gradually tainted, and he became something of a laughingstock.2 According to his associate Ira Graves Soong became known by the disparaging nickname 'often-wrong'.3 Soong dropped out of sight for a time before settling on the colony world of Omicron Theta, where he continued his work and eventually perfected it.2

Whilst he was living on Omicron Theta Soong fell in love with Juliana O'Donnell, and the two married on Mavala IV. They kept their marriage a secret since O'Donnell's mother disapproved of her marrying a much older man.4 Soong created several generations of android, each an improvement on the last. One of his first efforts was the android B-4, which was capable of a relatively simplistic level of thinking and verbalisation.5 His fourth attempt resulted in Lore, an android who displayed intelligence at least equal to a human being. Unfortunately Lore proved to be deeply flawed in terms of his ability - or willingness - to make ethical judgments, and Soong deactivated and disassembled him. Unfortunately Lore had already communicated with the Crystalline Entity, leading it to Omicron Theta where it destroyed all life on the planet.2

Before the Crystalline Entity arrived Soong created his next effort, Data. The colony was destroyed whilst Data was still relatively young, with his mind in quite a primitive state. Nevertheless, Data would prove to be far more capable than B-4 whilst lacking the problems of Lore. Data was left on the surface after the destruction of Omicron Theta.2

Soong was assumed to have been killed in the destruction of the colony, but in fact he escaped with his badly injured wife, abandoning both Data and Lore, and continued his work elsewhere. There he created a new android body into which he downloaded the consciousness of his comatose wife. Unlike the previous androids, O'Donnell's body was designed around physically impersonating a human as closely as possible. She was able to pass for human, and was even programmed to believe that she was human. Her body was designed so that it would appear to age normally, and then after a suitable long life would shut down permanently. Her brain also contained a message from Soong urging anybody who discovered her secret not to reveal it to her. Data encountered the O'Donnell android in 2370.4

Another of his creations was an upgrade chip designed for Data, which conferred the ability to experience human emotional reactions - something that Data was not designed for originally. He used a homing program implanted in Data to recall him to his laboratory in 2367, where he intended to give him the chip. Unfortunately the recall also affected Lore, who killed Soong and stole the emotion chip. Since it had not been designed for him, the effect of the chip made Lore even more unstable.1
Yellow text = Canon source Green text = Backstage source Cyan text = Novel White text = DITL speculation

Played by
ActorSeriesSeasonTitle
Brent SpinerTNG4Brothers

References
# Series Season Source Comment
1 TNG 4 Brothers
2 TNG 1 Datalore
3 TNG 2 The Schizoid Man
4 TNG 7 Inheritance
5 Star Trek : Nemesis
Series: TNG Season 4 (Disc 1)
Source: Brothers
Series: TNG Season 1 (Disc 3)
Source: Datalore
Series: TNG Season 2 (Disc 2)
Source: The Schizoid Man
Series: TNG Season 7 (Disc 3)
Source: Inheritance
Source: Star Trek : Nemesis


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 1,797 Last updated : 2 Apr 2014