Sunday, May 14, 2017

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 111 (Hero Worship)

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

I don't think it would be easy being the only survivor on a wrecked ship. The Enterprise encounters such a ship and doesn't even find any life signs when they first scan the ship. However, an away team finds a boy named Timothy in the wreckage. It takes Data's immense strength to get Timothy out from under a pile of metal. Both of Timothy's parents were onboard and killed. (His mother's body was found. His father was presumed to have been on the bridge when it was destroyed.)

Timothy ends up forming an attachment to Data and even starts mimicking him. Troi feels that it will pass in time, which it does. Data simply has to play along and occasionally guide Timothy's behavior. Eventually, Timothy adapts to the loss of his parents and is able to move on.

This particular episode doesn't seem to have a lot of fans and with good reason. The Enterprise is in an area of space that is very dangerous. They think that another ship destroyed Timothy's ship, but it turns out that it was simply a victim of its own shields and that the Enterprise is about suffer the same fate. I think that this could have been dropped entirely so that the episode could have focused more on Timothy and Data.

Throughout the series, Data, who's an android without emotion, has been trying to better understand humans. This could have been an excellent opportunity for Data to study and understand what it means to lose someone. In the previous season, Data lost his own 'father' and could have used this to relate to Timothy.

Timothy suffered a great loss and he seemed to get over it pretty quickly, especially considering that there didn't seem to be any attempt to see if he had other relatives. Maybe it was done and simply not mentioned, but I don't recall any talk about what was to happen to Timothy.

In terms of goofs, there was only one thing that I could find. When cutting Timothy's hair, Data looks in the mirror to check his own hair. Maybe this was one way that Data 'imitated' humans, but I would think that he would have a very accurate self-image that would include what his hair looks like.

The episode is worth two stars. The acting is good, but the story tries to cover too much ground and ends up missing out on some potentially interesting character development.

IMDb page

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