The Next Generation
Disc No :
First Aired :
8 Oct 1990
When Data locks up the computer, he issues a very long access code to it. Unfortunately, we see the code on the screen quite clearly - and it doesn't match exactly to what Spiner said.
Great Moment :
Finally meeting Data's creator, Noonien Soong.
Body Count :
One - Soong, killed by Lore.
Brent Spiner had a busy time in this episode, playing no less than three different roles!
Speaking of which, Lore was not in the original script for this episode. Michael Piller suggested adding him because he felt that there was not enough in the script to keep the episode interesting, and it needed an additional element. When he realised that adding Lore would mean Brent Spiner playing three different roles, he immediately felt that this would make the episode very memorable to fans.
This was the thirteenth and last episode of Next Generation to be directed by Rob Bowman.
This is the first time since the pilot episode that Data mimics another person's voice.
Jake and Willie Potts are young children who live aboard the USS Enterprise. Jake played a prank on Willie, letting Willie believe that he had killed Jake with a toy gun. Willie subsequently hid, assuming he would be in terrible trouble. Whilst hiding he ate a cove palm fruit, infecting him with potentially lethal parasites. The ship is hurrying to Starbase 416, which has facilities to treat the condition.
As Data is explaining this to Jake, he suddenly begins to act very strangely. He goes to the bridge and triggers an alarm indicating a life-support failure, causing the bridge to be evacuated. He then mimics Captain Picard's voice, ordering the computer to lock all command functions to the bridge and directing the ship to the planet Terlina III. Once there he puts an extensive password on the computer to prevent access, and uses security forcefields to make his way to the transporter without interference from the crew.
On the planet he finds himself in the presence of his Dr. Noonien Soong. Soong activated a program within Data which prompted him to come to the planet. The two discuss Soong's reason for creating Data, before Soong informs him that he has a gift - a chip which, if implanted into Data's systems, will allow him to experience Human emotions.
As they talk, however, a new and unexpected visitor arrives - Lore. Last seen being transported into space, Lore drifted for a considerable time before being picked up by a passing ship. The recall signal triggered him too, bringing him to the planet.
Lore also wants the emotion chip, but Soong tells him that sadly it is specifically designed for Data, and not compatible with Lore's programming. When Soong goes to rest, Lore manages to deactivate Data. He impersonates Data when Soong returns, and Soong implants the chip in him. Lore beats Soong and departs.
On the Enterprise, the works out a way to beam down to the planet. The reactivate Data and find Soong dying from his injuries. Data has no memories of his actions in bringing the ship to the planet, but Soong tells him how to unlock the memories and Data is able to free the ship's systems. Soong dies, and the ship proceeds on course for the Starbase where Willie can be treated. Data notes that the two boys are now playing happily together again, and Crusher notes that they are brothers, and "brothers forgive".
Not a terrible episode, but this one probably suffers from following on from Family. Two episodes in a row that have such a heavy feature on sibling relationships is perhaps a little too much.
And frankly, this one suffers in the comparison. Data and Lore are just less interesting than Jean-Luc and Robert, and their story here nowhere near as compelling. Even throwing Soong into the mix doesn't help all that much. And as for the B story, with the two kids... well, who cares? The only purpose to it seems to be to give us the moral that "brothers forgive". Well, not necessarily they don't. It kind of depends on what the brothers have done, yes? I mean, Lore was never really forgiven by Data, was he? He was eventually killed by Data, in fact. Beyond that, the whole plotline is just a big 'meh'.
The remastered version has the usual updated picture quality.