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Star Trek TNG - Season 1 - Episode 13

Star Trek TNG - 1x13 - Datalore

Originally Aired: 1988-1-18

Data meets his evil twin brother, Lore. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 4.96

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- In "Encounter at Farpoint, Part 2" Data uses a contraction when he says, "I can't see as well as Geordi."
- In "The Last Outpost" Data uses another contraction: "I'm."
- In "Justice" Data says "I'm" right after being accused of babbling.

- This episode contains more nice continuity thanks to Wesley and Data about how the common cold has been eliminated in the 24th century.
- At the end of this episode, Picard mentions that the Enterprise is overdue for a computer refit. This is a reference to the upcoming episode featuring the Bynars. It was supposed to be the very next episode, but unfortunately the airing schedule was rearranged, disturbing the flow of continuity a bit.

Remarkable Scenes
- Riker objecting to Picard's desire to lead the away time to Omicron Theta.
- Data's off switch.
- I love the helm tutorial reassuring us that space is not flat like ocean water and that one can fly up, down, diagonal, etc.
- Data and Lore in Data's quarters.
- Geordi: "Captain, I'm picking up a bogey coming in on a five o'clock tangent." Way to use slang there, Geordi!
- I like when the doctor gets phasered, she runs away with her arm literally on fire! I wish they used that effect more often on Star Trek.
- I also like how the phaser beam is transported along with Lore.

My Review
This episode was a well conceived, fascinating character piece for Data, a character which up until now has been most mysterious and unusual. In addition to being loaded with wonderful tidbits and details about Data's construction and history, it is simply a pleasure to watch Brent Spiner play his evil self. I can't help but compare this episode most favorably with William Shatner's performance in TOS: The Enemy Within. Unfortunately, while this is one of the more memorable and exciting episode of TNG's first season, it suffers from a few deficiencies. Firstly, Lore's blatant evilness was overdone. For example, his twitching was annoying and irrelevant. Surely they could have found a better way to differentiate Data and Lore.That, and Lore's desire to please the crystalline entity is nonsensical. We are never given his motivation. Finally, I hate how Picard and Riker treat Wesley in this episode. "Shut up Wesley!" After the Traveler has told Picard that Wesley is unusually smart? Sigh. Anyway, the episode is still quite above average and absolutely pivotal to Data's character arc. Definitely one not to miss.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-05-30 at 4:41am:
    - Near the end of the episode, Lore goes to a cargo bay and contacts the crystal entity. Lore tells the entity to attack the ship the instant the shields drop (for the beaming out of a tree). Then the fight between Lore and Data occurs. The fight ends when Data tosses Lore onto the transporter pad and Wesley beams him into space. Does the entity care what object beams out? Either way, the shields must drop. Since Lore told the entity to get ready for the beam-out, why doesn't it attack?
    - There have been a few episodes where Data has used a contraction. Like you said above, "it's not a big YATI." However, they spend this entire episode telling us that one of the differences between Lore and Data was that Lore used contractions and Data didn't. At the end of the episode, Picard asks Data if he is all right. Data responds, "Yes, sir. I'M fine."
  • From Bernard on 2008-09-02 at 7:50pm:
    One of my favourite first season episodes, I too love Brent Spiner here and in many episodes. Good insight into his past and into his character.

    You have mentioned above already, but I have to repeat one of the funniest things I have ever heard Geordi say,'Captain I'm picking up a bogey coming in on a five o'clock tangent'... really?? Care to supply co-ordinates? Gets me every time, I love it.
    The scene in the turbolift with Lore and Worf is quite disturbing also.
  • From Jumbo on 2009-08-07 at 1:52am:
    The "Shut up Wesley!" was horribly out of character, but also hilarious. I was laughing so hard I had to pause my DVD when Picard and Beverly yelled at the poor kid. That scene is one of the main reasons I love this episode so much :)
  • From Rubin on 2010-06-27 at 8:12pm:
    First thing I noticed was that "Dr. Noonian Soong" sounds an awful lot like "Khan Noonien Singh"...
  • From CAlexander on 2011-02-27 at 9:47pm:
    I particularly like the first half of this story, when everything is mysterious and they are learning about Lore. I also like how uncomfortable they are about offending Data, that seemed like a nice human touch.

    You are right about the twitching being annoying and irrelevant. All it does is waste screen time; the story would have unfolded in exactly the same way without it.
  • From Percivale on 2011-11-30 at 12:26pm:
    Many people point out that Picard and Riker's treatment of Wesley was unreasonable. Over the top? Yes. Unreasonable? no.

    Wesley did have a reasonable suspicion. But, if you pay attention, he never actually states this in uncertain terms to his superiors. Instead, he passive-aggressively expresses frustration that everyone else is trusting Data. This is socially unproductive, inefficient behavior in general, but it is universally not accepted in authority-based organizations like Star Fleet.

    I would say that this is a refreshing instance where the writers understood how healthy, authority-based organizations work. Sadly, the officers' reactions really are over the top, once again demonstrating the writers' notion that setting boundaries is "mean."
  • From g@g on 2012-02-06 at 5:49pm:
    I actually *liked* how Picard yelled at Wesley to shut up. It was uncharacteristic and kind of shocking. What I didn't so much like was how he was still arrogant and unapologetic even after he was proven wrong, at the end.

    But the initial outburst - that whole scene was quite nice. Not only did Picard yell at Wesley, (even though Wes had a valid concern and was being quite polite about it) but he also practically shooed a protesting Beverly off the bridge. It was a subtle demonstration that the master of composure and diplomacy is very very human, and prone to losing it a bit on his own bridge, under special circumstances.*

    * Fair to say that a giant life-consuming crystal thing edging its way into your shields while your second officer is dealing with doppelganger issues certainly qualifies as special...although, relatively speaking, he'll face worse in the future.
  • From Alexander Uziel on 2013-12-15 at 6:15pm:
    Wesley: Have you got a cold?
    Data: A cold what?
    Wesley: It's a disease my mom says people used to get.

    These little bits are scattered throughout the first couple of seasons and they are noteworthy, not simply for the fact that they are flatly contradicted by repeated trek episodes after the second season, but because they highlight the utopian influence of Gene Roddenberry in the writing room. Gene was constantly rewriting scripts in the first season, usually to conform to his more idealistic, utopian philosophy. The writers fought against this and it wasn't until the piller/taylor/moore staff came aboard that this sort of stuff was minimized.

    Also, these exchanges are kind of annoying since they are just so blatant and out of place that it sounds like Roddenberry was preaching to the audience.
  • From tigertooth on 2016-08-07 at 10:24pm:
    If Noonien Soong is well known, how was Data in Starfleet for decades without anybody noticing the resemblance? Especially given that Soong was known for working on a positronic brain?

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