(written from a Production point of view)
The Enterprise explores Data's home planet, Omicron Theta. They find his brother, and the dark secret he carries.
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 all 411 colonists, and he is interested in learning why.
The away team proceeds to the topographical 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 with his VISOR 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.
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 under a different name 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 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 Crusher 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 tries to mimic 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.
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 uses a small tool and fixes his own twitch and causes one in Data.
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 both 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 by using Data's activation switch to rapidly turn him on and off. He tells Riker and Wes to leave, saying he can't control "Lore". After they leave, he kicks Data in the head, causing part of his "skin" to come loose, exposing the circuitry on his skull. 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.
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 blue lab coat. Taking his chance, Data knocks the phaser out of Lore's hand and they start to brawl. Data throws him into cargo containers and then onto the transporter pad where the phaser landed. Lore fires just as Wes is able to energize the transporter, beaming him out 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
"How sad, dear brother. You make me wish I were an only child."
- - Data, to Lore
"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."
- - Picard and Lore, while impersonating Data and not understanding Picard's order
- - 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
- Final draft script: 26 October 1987
- Filmed: 28 October 1987 – 6 November 1987
- Premiere airdate: 18 January 1988
- UK premiere (BBC2): 19 December 1990
Story and script Edit
- 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 was an android. (Creating the Next Generation: The Conception and Creation of a Phenomenon, p.51)
- Chuck Courtney served as stunt coordinator for this episode. He was among the group of "one time" hired coordinators, prior to Dennis Madalone's employment for the series. Courtney appeared twenty years earlier in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Patterns of Force" as Davod and assisted Madalone in further TNG and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes.
Cast and characters Edit
- Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi) does not appear in this episode.
- The characters of Data and Lore were portrayed by four different people: actor Brent Spiner, photo double Ken Gildin, stunt double Brian J. Williams, and an unknown photo double.
- This episode marks the first Star Trek appearance of stuntman Brian J. Williams as stunt double for Brent Spiner. Williams doubled Spiner throughout the run of The Next Generation, all four TNG films and also in Star Trek: Enterprise. In addition, he performed stunts in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise.
- Picard notes at the end of the episode that the Enterprise-D is overdue for a computer refit, which does 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 lieutenant commander insignia.
- The episode's score, composed and conducted by Ron Jones, was recorded on 18 December 1987 at Paramount Stage M. (Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Ron Jones Project liner notes ) The complete episode score, totaling 25 minutes exactly, appears on Disc Two of the Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Ron Jones Project collection.
- 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." 
- 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.
- On 11 April 2012 director Robert Meyer Burnett confirmed and released the first image of the remastered Crystalline Entity for the Blu-ray edition of TNG Season 1. 
Video and DVD releases Edit
- Original UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 7, catalog number VHR 2398, 5 November 1990
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 1.5, catalog number VHR 4646, 6 July 1998
- As part of the TNG Season 1 DVD collection
- As part of Star Trek: The Next Generation 25th Anniversary Event
- As part of the TNG Season 1 Blu-ray collection
Links and references Edit
Also starring Edit
- LeVar Burton as Lt. Geordi La Forge
- Denise Crosby as Lt. Tasha Yar
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Worf
- Gates McFadden as Doctor Beverly Crusher
- Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data
- Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher
Guest star Edit
Uncredited co-stars Edit
- James G. Becker as Youngblood
- Darrell Burris as operations division officer
- Dexter Clay as operations division officer
- Jeffrey Deacon as command division officer
- Lorine Mendell as Diana Giddings
- Brent Spiner as Lore
- Guy Vardaman as Darien Wallace
- Unknown performers as
Stunt doubles Edit
- Al Simon as stunt double for Michael Dorn
- Brian J. Williams as stunt double for Brent Spiner
- Unknown stunt performer as stunt double for Gates McFadden
Stand-ins and photo doubles Edit
- James G. Becker - stand-in for Jonathan Frakes
- Darrell Burris - stand-in for LeVar Burton
- Dexter Clay - stand-in for Michael Dorn
- Jeffrey Deacon - stand-in for Patrick Stewart
- Susan Duchow - stand-in for Denise Crosby
- Ken Gildin - photo double for Brent Spiner
- Tim McCormack - stand-in for Brent Spiner
- Lorine Mendell - stand-in for Gates McFadden
- Guy Vardaman - stand-in for Wil Wheaton/photo double for Brent Spiner
- Unknown actor - photo double for Brent Spiner
2338; 2345; 2348; 2360; Altairian Grand Premier; android; android assembling tools; antiseptic; Asimov, Isaac; B., John; bridge; Cargo Room 3; champagne; class M; contraction; cruiser; Crystalline Entity; deactivation switch; desktop monitor; drawing; Earth; epidermal mold; grammar; hypotenuse; Josh; lie; M., Jae; M., Josh; macrotool; medical tricorder; microscope; Milky Way Galaxy; mirror; moon; number one; observation lounge; ointment; Omicron Theta; Omicron Theta colony; Omicron Theta system; painting; positron; positronic brain; Pythagorean theorem; quadratanium; ready room; Robotics scientist; ship's store; sickbay; sneeze; snowflake; Soong, Noonian; Soong-type; standard orbit; Starfleet Academy; syntax; tic; Timon of Athens; toast; transporter; tricorder; Tripoli, USS; turbolift; type I phaser; type II phaser; unnamed plants; viewscreen; VISOR
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
- "Datalore" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Datalore" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Datalore" at Wikipedia
- "Datalore" at the Internet Movie Database
- "Datalore" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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