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Star Trek TNG - Season 6 - Episode 08

Star Trek TNG - 6x08 - A Fistful of Datas

Originally Aired: 1992-11-9

Data becomes the villain in a Holodeck malfunction. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 6.22

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- Patrick Stewart (Picard) directed this episode and has remarked that every single one of the holodeck scenes was filmed on a single day. Because there were so many scenes to film and everything was so rushed that Stewart forgot to put on sunscreen and left filming that day incredibly exhausted and sunburned.

Remarkable Scenes
- Picard playing the flute with the skill he acquired in TNG: The Inner Light.
- Picard getting annoyed at the interruptions.
- Worf trying to avoid Alexander.
- Worf, just after seeing the whore in the holodeck: "You wrote this program?" Alexander: "Mr. Barclay helped a little."
- Worf getting into the spirit in Alexander's program.
- Worf's objections to Troi's entrence.
- Worf getting slapped by the holographic woman.
- Picard's music glitching.
- Riker reading Data's poetry from TNG: Schisms.
- Data showing up as characters in the holodeck.
- Data interacting with his cat... suddenly switching to a Western accent.
- Worf, ordering a drink: "Klingon Fire Wine" Holodeck woman: "This ain't Kansas City! We ain't got none of that fancy European stuff here!
- Holodeck Data hurting Worf's shoulder, and Worf trying to freeze the program giving Worf a clue that something's gone wrong.
- Data starting to act like a cowboy.
- Troi having to explain to Worf that Holo-Data will break his word on the agreement.
- The Holo-Woman being replaced by Data...
- The Enterprise flying off into the sunset...

My Review
A cute, fun episode. The nicest part about this episode is how all the characters fit into their unnatural rules. Worf trying to fit in as a Westerner, yet perfectly comfortable with the idea of enforcing the law. Troi as a seasoned veteran nasty mysterious stranger, and especially Data, with his numerous roles in this episode. Brent Spiner's performance in all these roles was nothing short of brilliant; the accents were great. I'm not sure which I liked more. The real Data acting like a cowboy or Data as the holodeck characters. Even the final Data scene where he appeared in drag as a the bartender was done well enough such that it was funny and not tasteless.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-07 at 7:43pm:
    remarkable scene addition: Patrick Stewart uttering the words "I'm not much of an actor"

    Brent spiner is an unbelievable actor. God knows how many parts he has played in Star Trek. I'm willing to wager more parts than any other actor.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-11-01 at 3:16am:
    - Data and Geordi ask Picard for permission to take the computer in Engineering off line. Geordi says they are working on a new interface so Data could act as an emergency backup in the event of a shipwide systems failure. Data adds, "In theory, my neural network should be able to sustain key systems until primary control is restored." In theory? Hasn't the crew already done this? Wasn't it a direct link between Data and the engineering systems that prevented the destruction of the Enterprise during the episode "Disaster"?
    - In the first saloon scene, the bad guy Worf is supposed to arrest rises slowly to his feet. Worf seizes the opportunity and knocks him out with one blow. Immediately, Alexander stops the program and complains that the arrest was too easy. He then restarts the sequence, with a higher difficulty level. The odd thing here is that the second time through, the arrestee gets up from his chair with the same slowness he showed before, only this time Worf lets him back out of range.
    - After Geordi discovers that the problem is in a computer subroutine, he tells Picard it will take a couple of hours to fix it. Isn't this problem similar to that faced by the main computer in "Contagion"? In that episode, Geordi simply shut everything off and reloaded all the programs from the protected archives. Why not do the same thing here? Answer: The creators needed to stall the resolution so Worf could be in the shoot-out on Deadwood's main street.
    - To make his personal force field, Worf tears apart his communicator. Let me say that again: Worf TEARS his communicator apart. Why not just tap it and call for help? Geordi said only secondary systems were affected by Data's overwrite. Communications is a primary system. Shouldn't it still be functioning? Does the holodeck put up some sort of jamming field that prevents communication outside the holodeck?
    - Worf certainly has improved his markmanship skill since the previous episode ;)
  • From wepeel on 2008-07-03 at 12:56pm:
    When Data is shuffling cards in his cell, look at his arms...obviously they used another person's hands to do the shuffling, but couldn't they have found someone who had arms similar to Brent? You'll notice that in all the other shots, the excessive arm-hair is gone...

    After one of the commercial breaks, we see Geordi working on Data as Riker comes into the scene. Data greets Riker with a "howdy." After Data says, "You got it, partner," look at Geordi...this is purely my opinion but I think he is trying to hide his laugh by looking down. I thought it was pretty funny...

    And also, right afterward, while Data is looking at Riker while Geordi is talking...look at Data's face. Tell me he's not trying to suppress his laughter! ;)
  • From thaibites on 2012-06-07 at 10:21am:
    More like "A Fistful of Stupid". This one was painful to watch...
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-26 at 1:02pm:
    Terrible episode. One of the worst ever, how this one has a fan rating of nearly 7 is beyond me. I give this a 2 only because there are a few genuinely funny scenes, like Picard continuing to get interrupted in the beginning. The way he says "Computer, pause recording" the very last time when it's Worf makes me laugh every time. Sounds like he's about to have an aneurysm. Overall though, just a CORNY filler episode with a ridiculously far-fetched premise. Alexander is just annoying (when is he not?) and so is Troi here for that matter.
  • From Quando on 2014-07-29 at 12:38pm:
    I think this is a really fun episode. Best moments: Alexander saying, "saddle up father" and Work not wanting to go; Worf starting to "get into" the program after the fistfight in the saloon; Data unconsciously saying things like "I recon" and "vamoose"; Worf's final look in the mirror in his quarters showing a sense of imagination. It may not be the most meaningful or the most technologically accurate episode, but it is very entertaining.
  • From Damien Bradley on 2017-05-30 at 5:17pm:
    It's always interesting watching these again with more and more time passing since the show was produced. I often catch little things each time I watch the show that I didn't catch before. For example, in this episode, the tiny little dash of homophobia at the very end -- where Worf, the proud, fearless warrior, is seemingly terrified of having to hug or kiss a holographic Data in drag -- is pretty silly! It's relatively innocuous, and forgivable in a franchise that was proudly progressive in many ways, but it's interesting nonetheless.

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