Thursday, November 10, 2016

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 14 (Datalore)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

How many times have you seen one of those evil-twin stories? There are a lot of them, and they’re usually not that good. “Datalore” is no exception. The Enterprise is going to Omicron Theta, which is where Data was ‘born’ 26 years ago. He’s an android created by Dr. Noonian Soong. He now serves as the chief science officer on the Enterprise. It was believed that he was the only one until that fateful day during the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation

Some mysterious force destroyed all life on the planet, but the landing party finds a secret entrance that leads them to Dr. Soong’s lab. They find several drawings on the wall, all of which depict some sort of alien force hovering above the city. In a storage area, the landing party finds another android; this one has been disassembled and is not active. The landing party takes the pieces back up to the ship, where the chief engineer reassembles the newly discovered android.

When they turn him on, they have to wait before he becomes conscious. His name is Lore and he apparently is the opposite of Data in terms of personality and programming. Lore can lie, use contractions and show emotion. Data is compelled to tell the truth, can’t use contractions at all and has no emotion at all.

It turns out that Lore was behind the destruction of the colony. He had led what was called the Crystalline Entity to the colony; the Entity drained the planet of all life. Now, Lore wants to give the Enterprise over to the Crystalline Entity. Lore even tricks Data, deactivates him and assumes his identity.

Wesley Crusher, the boy genius, is the only one that seems to notice, despite the fact that there are several clues. When Wesley points out that Data might not be Data, the adult crew members are dismissive of him. It doesn’t come off well at all. In the end, Wesley is able to reactivate Data; the two of them save the day together. Data throws Lore onto a transporter pad and Wesley beams him off into space.

I have some major problems with this episode. First off, the shields were up. Lore was going to transport something out as a pretense to get the shields down, thus allowing the Crystalline Entity in. Since the Entity was unable to affect the ship, I have to assume that the shields weren’t dropped. If the shields weren’t dropped, where was Lore seno? It would have had to have been somewhere within the boundary set by the shields. On top of that, they just leave Lore so that he can just drift in space or be dragged along until the shields are dropped.

Speaking of Lore, why didn’t anyone wonder why Lore had been disassembled in the first place? I also have to wonder how Lore met the Crystalline Entity in the first place. Plus, how did anyone have time to draw pictures of the entity? It seemed as though the Crystalline Entity was more than ready to get down to business.

Also, as Data is leaving the cargo bay after the fight, Captain Picard asks Data if he’s all right. Data says, “I’m fine.” They made this big deal about Data not being able to use contractions and here he goes and uses one. At first, I thought I was imagining it, but it’s even listed on TV Tome and other people have noticed it, too.

I also don’t get the episode’s title, “Datalore”. At first, I assumed that it meant something. However, I can’t find datalore in any dictionary. So far as I can tell, it’s just a combination of Data and Lore. If there is some meaning, I don’t know what it is.

This episode is worth two stars. It sets up several others, but this one is poorly written. The effects and acting are good, though. Ultimately, I can’t recommend it.

No comments :