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Datalore (episode)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
"Datalore"
TNG, Episode 1x13
Production number: 40271-114
First aired: 18 January 1988
13th of 176 produced in TNG
12th of 176 released in TNG
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 176 released in TNG Remastered  
117th of 728 released in all
Data and Lore (2364)
Teleplay By
Robert Lewin and Gene Roddenberry

Story By
Robert Lewin and Maurice Hurley

Directed By
Rob Bowman
41242.4 (2364)
  Arc: Crystalline Entity (1 of 2)
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The Enterprise explores Data's home planet, Omicron Theta. They find his brother, and the dark secret he carries.

Summary Edit

While passing Omicron Theta, the USS Enterprise-D stops to investigate the site of Data's discovery. An entire Earth colony disappeared from the planet 26 years ago, and the whole planet appears dead. Riker leads an away team that beams down to the spot where Data was found by crewmembers from the USS Tripoli. For some reason, Data has been given the memories of the colonists, and he is interested in learning why.

Omicron Theta secret passage

Very cleverly designed

The away team proceeds to the site where Data was found; it is a hollow with a rock wall. He was found in the open, and was apparently activated by a marker beacon that detected the crews' presence. Geordi La Forge examines the rock wall and sees that it was man-made. He finds a hidden door in the wall that opens onto a passage that leads to an underground shelter. The away team goes down one of the corridors before coming to a door that leads to a laboratory. There are children's pictures on the wall, all apparently of the same scene. Data doesn't know what they represent, only a sense that they refer to something dangerous. Riker presses him and asks if he can remember anything else about the lab.

Android storage vault

"How many more Datas are there?!"

Data replies that he can remember one of the machines being used by a Dr. Noonian Soong. La Forge recognizes the name of Earth's foremost robotics scientist. He tried to create a positronic brain, but failed and then disappeared, going off to Omicron Theta to continue his work. Data, La Forge and Riker continue to search the lab, while Natasha Yar and Worf search the rest of the bunker. The lab team finds molds for making Data's skin, and the others report that the rest of the bunker is empty. Then Riker comes across a storage area. They open it and inside they find another android identical to Data. Data is excited by the discovery and they decide to bring it back to the Enterprise for assembly.

Back on the Enterprise, a team of engineers and technicians try to reassemble the android. Argyle confirms that "it" has the same body parts as Data, and asks if he can examine Data if he needs more information. Data agrees and Dr. Crusher wants to open him up to compare his internal circuitry with that of the other android. He shows Crusher his off switch, asking her to keep it secret. Then she and Argyle open him up and check his internal construction. After they close him up, Picard and Riker come down to sickbay. The other android has been fully assembled, but he is still not active. Picard wonders aloud which was made first. Suddenly the second android comes alive and says that Data was. He calls himself Lore, and says he was made to replace the "imperfect" Data.

Data and Lore, internal comparison

How to build an android

Data and Picard talk in the ready room. Apparently, both Lore and Data have the same physical and mental capabilities. Picard asks Data where his loyalties lie, and Data assures him that his loyalty is to Picard and Starfleet, completely. They go out onto the bridge where Wesley and La Forge are explaining the helm controls to Lore. Riker then says the first part of Pythagorean theorem, and Lore unthinkingly completes it, except the last word, "sides," which he claims he never really knew in the first place. While his face twitches, he says he enjoys pleasing Humans.

Data leads him off to show him the rest of the ship, telling him Riker tricked him into revealing he knew more than he let on. He warns him not to underestimate humans, but Lore is dismissive. He tells Data not to be jealous of his ability. They go to Data's quarters, where Data checks up information about Dr. Soong. Lore calls him 'Often Wrong Soong' and derides Data for the way he copies humans. Data asks him again which of them was built first, and Lore admits he was built first. The colonists became envious of him and persuaded Soong to build a less perfect android – Data. Lore was too Human, understanding language and humor. Data leaves to go on duty and asks Lore to make a report to the captain about what happened to the colonists.

Data double

Evil twin alert

On the bridge, Picard and Riker analyze Lore's report. The colonists were killed by a Crystalline Entity that feeds on lifeforms, and is capable of stripping all life from an entire world. The two androids survived because they were not alive when the entity attacked. Yar tells Picard that Lore has left his room to go to deck four, and Picard tells Data to check up on him. When he goes, Yar asks if he can be trusted, to which Picard replies that he trusts him completely. In Data's quarters, Lore mixes a pill into some Altairian Grand Premier champagne which he offers to Data when he enters. Data drinks the champagne, and realizes immediately something is wrong. He collapses, and Lore reveals that he learned to communicate with the crystalline entity, which he led to the colonists in order to get revenge.

On the bridge, a subspace communication is detected coming from Data's quarters, and Picard sends Wes down to check it out. Lore is communicating with the crystalline entity. He tells it to identify him as Data. Wes comes in and "Data" tells Wes that "Lore" attacked him and he had to switch him off. His face twitches and he tells Wes that he's been practicing Lore's facial twitch. Lore/Data says he's coming up onto the bridge, and after Wes leaves he fixes his own twitch and causes one in Data.

Crystalline Entity encounters the Enterprise-D, remastered

The Crystalline Entity

Dr. Crusher asks Wes on the bridge what happened and he tells her. La Forge detects some unknown object approaching at high speed. It is the crystalline entity. Picard says they need to question Lore. Wesley says he doesn't trust Data/Lore. Picard and Riker are annoyed at this, and Riker brings him with him and "Data" as they go to see "Lore". "Data" approaches "Lore" and causes him to shake. He tells Riker and Wes to leave, saying he can't control "Lore". After they leave, he kicks Data in the head. On the bridge, Riker tells Picard what happens, but Wes is still not convinced. The entity brushes against the shields, and "Data" says he wants to talk to it. He tells it the Humans here are powerful. It backs off, and "Data" suggests beaming something like a tree out into space and destroying it in a show of force. Picard agrees.

"Data" leaves, but Wes continues to protest. Wesley tries again to convince Picard that "Data" is really Lore, but the captain refuses to listen and dismisses him, telling him to "shut up, Wesley." Beverly, just as hurt as her son, repeats in shock, "Shut up, Wesley?!" Picard dismisses her also and orders them both off the bridge. Wesley, angered, starts to complain, but Beverly fearfully adds, "Shut up, Wesley" herself in an attempt to protect her son from further ridicule by the rest of the crew.

Worf steps into the turbolift with Lore, who then assaults him. Meanwhile, Wes has managed to convince Dr. Crusher to stop off at Data's quarters. She sees he's hurt and switches him on. He tells her he is not badly hurt, and they go to the cargo bay to stop Lore.

Phaser beam in transporer

Timing is everything

They sneak into the cargo bay and hear Lore talking to the crystalline entity. Lore spots Wesley and threatens to kill him. Beverly pulls a phaser on him, but he grabs it from her, then tells her to leave and Data to cooperate with him or he will kill her son. Lore orders Beverly out or he will open fire on Wesley. Dr. Crusher hesitantly makes her exit but not before Lore fires his phaser at her, igniting the sleeve of her lab coat. Taking his chance, Data knocks the phaser out of Lore's hand and they start to brawl. Data throws him onto the transporter pad where the phaser landed. Lore fires just as Wes is able to energize the transporter, beaming him into space. Picard, Riker, Yar and Crusher enter with phasers drawn to find that Lore is gone. With no way to reach the crew, the crystalline entity leaves and Picard orders Data to get rid of the twitch and to find a proper uniform as the Enterprise resumes course for the computer overhaul.

Log entries Edit

Memorable Quotes Edit

"Shut up, Wesley!"

- both Captain Picard and Beverly Crusher, at different times


"Now, show me your warrior fierceness."

- Lore, to Worf


"The troublesome little man-child."

- Lore, about Wesley


"If you had an off switch, doctor... would you not keep it secret?"

- Data, after showing his deactivation switch to Beverly Crusher


"AH... AH... CHOO!"

- Data, attempting to sneeze


"Back off... or I'll turn your little man into a torch."

- Lore, to Beverly Crusher while pointing a phaser at Wesley


"Make it so."
"Sir?"
"Do it."

- Picard and Lore, not understanding Picard's order


"He was."

- Lore, his first two words


"Lore's gone sir. Permanently."

- Wesley Crusher, unaware that Data will encounter him again three years later


"Have you got a "cold?"
"A cold what?"

- Wesley and Data

Background information Edit

Production history Edit

Story and script Edit

Data doubles, Datalore

The three Data doubles

  • Lore was originally planned to be a female android to provide a love interest for Data. Her job would have been to go out and repair dangerous situations. It was Brent Spiner who suggested the old "evil twin" concept be used instead. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 2nd ed., p. 46) The female android concept was later used in the third season episode "The Offspring". However, this female android was used as Data's offspring, and not a love interest.
  • This was the final episode of Star Trek written by Gene Roddenberry before his death on October 24, 1991.
  • An early story for this episode was named "Apocalypse Anon". In this story the Enterprise-D was on a rescue mission on a planet. Part of the away team was a female Starfleet officer with the name Minuet, who fell in love with Commander Riker. Riker was shocked when he learned that Minuet is an Android. (Creating the Next Generation: The Conception and Creation of a Phenomenon, p.51)

Production Edit

Cast and characters Edit

Continuity Edit

  • Picard makes note at the end of the episode that the Enterprise-D is overdue for a computer refit, which would not happen until TNG: "11001001" (two episodes later).
  • Data's quarters are seen for the first time in this episode. The design changes significantly in later episodes.
  • There is a costume blooper involving Data's rank. When the away team is examining the child drawings displayed in the lab, Data has a full Commander's rank. Moments later when talking about Dr. Soong's workstation, Data's rank returns to the proper Lt. Commander insignia.

Music Edit

Reception Edit

  • Director Rob Bowman recalls, "'Datalore' was supposed to be next with Joe Scanlan directing. Well, the script, or so I heard, was not in good shape and they got to a point in pre-production where they said they couldn't have the script ready in time. We were going to have to switch scripts. So, they switched 'The Big Goodbye' with 'Datalore', which I was then given. Boy, was I ready to do 'The Big Goodbye'. It was going to have a different look and texture, and was going to be a real different episode. But, it was very well done by Joe Scanlan, so the show didn't suffer. Anyway, I took on 'Datalore' and said, 'Here's a show they don't think will work, so I'm going to make it work. I'm going to prove to them that they made a mistake.' The episode was a learning experience, and there were lots of discussions with Rick Berman and Bob Justman. In a sense of working technique, there are many visual effects and split screens. It was a technically difficult show to do, and we had an extra day to shoot it because of that. I thought it came off excellently." ("Rob Bowman - Director of a Dozen", The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine Vol. 10, pp. 16-17)
  • Bowman also commented on Brent Spiner's performance in the double role, "His ability to delineate those brothers... I felt like I had the best seat in the house, saying "Action" and watching him do it. We were both really keen on making that a special show. We were like, "Fine, 'The Big Goodbye' is going to be a fun script, but we’re going to make this one even more popular if we can." I remember that, and I remember feeling really good during the shoot, and also giggling at Brent’s dexterity. He was just unbelievable." [2]
  • A mission report for this episode by Robert Greenberger was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine Vol. 6, pp. 43-46.

Remastering Edit

Video and DVD releases Edit

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit

Also starring Edit

Guest star Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit

Stunt doubles Edit

Stand-ins and photo doubles Edit

References Edit

2338; 2345; 2348; 2360; Altairian Grand Premier; android; Asimov, Isaac; B., John; Cargo Room 3; champagne; Class M; cruiser; Crystalline Entity; deactivation switch; Earth; epidermal mold; Josh; M., Jeff; M., Josh; lie; microminiature work tool; microscope; Milky Way Galaxy; Omicron Theta; Omicron Theta colony; Omicron Theta system; positron; positronic brain; Pythagorean theorem; quadratanium; Soong, Noonien; Starfleet Academy; toast; tricorder; Timon of Athens; Tripoli, USS

Library Computer References Edit

NCC-1700; Argelius II; Bayard's Planet; concussion ring; Constitution-class; deflector; Diana; Excelsior-class; Galileo; Greyhound, USS; hangar deck; impulse drive; Jewel stars; light year; Muleskinner, USS; phaser bank; Phi Puma; primary hull; secondary hull; sector; sensor array; supernova; Type 7 shuttlecraft; Wanderer-class; warp nacelle

External links Edit


Previous episode:
"The Big Goodbye"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 1
Next episode:
"Angel One"

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