The Life And Legacy Of Dr. Soong, The Creator Of Star Trek's Data

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Early in "Star Trek: The Next Generation," the android Data ( Brent Spiner ) explained his backstory to his new crewmates on the U.S.S. Enterprise-D. He knew that his creator was a man named Dr. Noonien Soong, and that he was discovered on a distant colony that had been destroyed. Data had no memory of his life on the colony. Later in the series, Data would learn he was not unique, as Soong also made an earlier model named Lore (also played by Spiner). Data had no emotions, but Lore did. Lore was also able to shake off his ethical subroutines and lives his life as a villain. He would recur throughout "Star Trek: The Next Generation," and would be up to no good in every appearance. Lore remembered Dr. Soong and the colony, but, being a devious liar, was coy about the actual details.

In the fourth season episode "Brothers" (October 8, 1990), Data and Lore were remotely "activated" to return to a secret laboratory deep in the galaxy. There, they found Dr. Soong (also Spiner) still alive and very, very old. It was in this episode where a lot of the Soong backstory and philosophy would be filled in, and Trekkies would take furious notes on the new canonical details about Data. 

Dr. Soong explains a few important things about himself in "Brothers." For one, he explained that making an android as advanced as Data is a careful and difficult affair. No cyberneticist has been able to recreate Data, and even Soong himself would have trouble perfecting the model (Lore's antisocial behavior was proof of his troubles). He also lays out, in plain language, why he wanted to make android clones of himself: By making offspring, Dr. Soong feels he can brush against immortality.

Dr. Soong's background

We eventually learn Soong was the result of a multi-generational obsession with constructing a "perfect human." The Soong family was long obsessed with eugenics, and when that failed, got into building androids. Dr. Noonien Soong was a curmudgeon and an eccentric. His ancestors were largely all supervillains. Perhaps Lore's propensity for evil was an unintentionally inherited trait that Noonien programmed into his brain without thinking about it. 

Some additional backstory: Dr. Soong once worked with a man called Ira Graves (W. Morgan Sheppard), who claims to have taught Noonien everything he knew. When Ira met Data in the episode "The Schizoid Man" (January 23, 1989), he described himself as Data's grandfather. It seems Dr. Graves merely wanted to shunt his consciousness into Data's body. After Dr. Graves and Dr. Soong split up, the latter moved to the above-mentioned colony. The colony was attacked from space by a massive intelligent crystal that consumed living matter, and Dr. Soong was assumed dead in the attack. Lore also escaped destruction by allying with the Crystalline Entity. As punishment, he was disassembled and locked in a blast-proof bunker. (Data later found and reassembled him.)

Dr. Soong was only able to chat with Data for a day before his death at Lore's hands. Dr. Soong aimed to give Data an emotions chip, a widget that would allow the android to feel for the first time. The chip was also meant to fill in Data's missing memories, allowing him to recall life on the colony prior to the Crystalline Entity attack. But Lore stole the chip and escaped. A lot of Data, then, remained a mystery. 

Other quirks of Data's brain

In later episodes, some of those mysteries were revealed. In the episode "Birthright Part I" (February 22, 1993), Data was zapped by a bolt of electricity, fell unconscious, and began hallucinating. It seems Dr. Soong programmed Data with the ability to dream. This was part of his "evolution," as Dr. Soong knew that Data would learn and grow and become more human over time. Dreaming was sort of like Data "leveling up." 

Dr. Soong was also married — in secret — to a woman named Juliana Tainer ( Fionnula Flanagan ). Data met her in the episode "Inheritance" (November 22, 1993). She died, but Dr. Soong was able to replicate an android clone of her, effectively making her Data's android mother. But she doesn't know she's an android, and her mechanical system is designed to trick medical scanners. In "Inheritance," it was also announced that Juliana had an aging program that would give her gray hair and wrinkles over time ... and that Data had a similar program. Dr. Soong, then, wanted his androids to look elderly over time. This was a handy way to incorporate actor Spiner's natural aging into a character that was ostensibly immortal. 

Oh yes, and in "Star Trek: Nemesis," it was revealed that Data also had a prototype older brother named B-4. His brain didn't work well. 

In recent "Star Trek" shows, ancestors of Dr. Soong began to emerge. The mystery of Data's creator was solved by a long-running intergenerational obsession that actually stemmed from unsavory motivations. Soongs of the past were miffed by humanity's imperfections and wanted to start tinkering with genes as a result. 

The other Soongs

Note: "Star Trek: Enterprise" takes place about a century prior to "Star Trek."

In a three-part episode of "Star Trek: Enterprise" — "Borderland," "Cold Station 12," and "The Augments," which aired in early November 2004 — audiences were introduced to Dr. Arik Soong (Spiner), a mad geneticist who had been altering and "enhancing" humanoid DNA. Because he was banned from his eugenics programs on Earth (eugenics are a big no-no in the world of "Star Trek"), he was forced to implant Klingons with enhanced human DNA. This is why the Klingons from the original "Star Trek" looked more human from the Klingons in "Star Trek: The Next Generation." There was finally a canonical reason, and it was because of a Soong. At the end of the three-part episode, after Arik is arrested for his genetic shenanigans, he announces that gene manipulation isn't the right path. Perhaps he'd try cybernetics instead. Of course, it would take several generations to perfect ... 

In the first season of "Star Trek: Picard," set several decades after "Next Generation," audiences found that Noonien Soong, in addition to building robot "children," also had a biological child. This was Dr. Altan Soong (yet again played by Spiner), who was still building androids, even though doing so was deemed illegal. He lived in hiding on a hidden planet with a secret colony of android children. In a very Gene Roddenberry fashion, the androids all wore diaphanous robes. They also all had emotions. Just like with Dr. Noonien Soong, however, the color eventually came under threat from a massive, destructive space deity. Altan would shunt the consciousness of Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) into an android body. Picard and Data now have that in common.

There was at least one additional Soong besides.

In the second season of "Star Trek: Picard," the timeline reached back even further. In a time-travel story set in the year 2024, audiences met  Dr. Adam Soong (you guessed it: Spiner), who was already growing clones and tinkering with genes. He had already grown an adult daughter (Isa Briones), but she was only the latest in a long line of short-lived meat-bots. 

When a character from the future tells Adam that his genetic research was about to be halted by the show's protagonists — because eugenics is icky — Adam immediately began doing villainous things to them. He ran over Admiral Picard with a car. Eventually, Adam's villainy would be stopped by his latest cloned daughter. As she fled, she trashed Adam's lab. Later, out of the rubble, Adam Soong would extract a folder marked "Khan Project." It seems that Data's distant ancestor would be responsible for creating Khan, the villain from "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." 

The above-mentioned Altan would return in a recorded message in the third season of "Picard," explaining he had scooped up the android brains of Data, Lore, B-4, and a few Soongs and shoved them all into a composite body (also Spiner) that looks like it's in its early 70s. That was how Data, who had died twice in the past, was able to return for the series. It's a little farfetched, but Spiner seems to be enjoying himself playing all his characters at once. 

So Dr. Noonien Soong may have been initially presented as a benevolent (if a little self-obsessed) engineer who wanted to build children and push the limits of mechanical consciousness. As "Trek" has progressed, however, he became part of a dark legacy. 

This Is What Happened To Data From Star Trek

star trek data origin

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

As Lt. Commander Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation , Brent Spiner saved the ship on more than one occasion, provided comic relief, and allowed the show to explore ethical questions of personhood, sentience, and even slavery through his android character's very existence. In addition to his role as Data, Spiner also portrayed other characters on the show, such as Data's "brother" Lore and his "father," Dr. Soong. But what happened to Data after the series was over—and what has actor Brent Spiner been up to since?

Independence Day

In 1996, Spiner made an appearance in Roland Emmerich's smash science fiction hit  Independence Day —although many fans may not have recognized him, because his character was so drastically different from Data. You can spot Spiner in the part of Dr. Brackish Okun, the unkempt and enthusiastic director of Area 51 who joins a surgical team during an autopsy on one of the aliens. Although Okun appears to meet a messy end, it was revealed that he survived; Spiner returned to reprise his role as Okun in the 2016 sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence .

Data after TNG

Although The Next Generation ended its television run in 1994, that wasn't the end of Data's story. Spiner returned to the role in four Star Trek  movies featuring the TNG cast, starting with Star Trek Generations (1994) and followed by Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).

Throughout the big-screen  Trek  franchise's  TNG  era, Spiner had a variety of opportunities to explore his character's arc further. In Generations , Data finally decides to install the emotion chip Dr. Soong created for him, with mixed results. In First Contact , he plays an integral role when he's captured by the queen of the Borg Collective, who attempts to turn him against the Federation. During Insurrection, Data becomes a central part of the plot when he "malfunctions" during an away mission—which leads Picard and the crew of the Enterprise to discover a shadowy plot. 

In Nemesis , Spiner played dual roles, appearing as B-4, an earlier Soong-type android, as well as Data, who works with the rest of the crew to stop a Reman leader determined to destroy the Romulan Empire and wipe out all life on Earth.

Return to Star Trek

Even though Data's storyline was wrapped up during the course of 2002's  Star Trek: Nemesis , the franchise wasn't completely done with Spiner. While the door was left open for the character of Data to potentially return, Spiner felt he'd gotten  too old  to play the ageless android—but in 2004, he appeared on the prequel television series  Star Trek: Enterprise  in a three-episode arc as Arik Soong, a geneticist and ancestor of Data's creator, Dr. Noonien Soong.

In the episodes, Soong—a doctor of genetics with questionable ethics—steals and alters some genetically engineered embryos. In doing so, he creates the "Augments," who he regards as his children. Although he's imprisoned for his actions, Soong is later recruited by the Federation to help track down and stop his "children," who are running violently amok in the galaxy and attempting to start a human-Klingon war.

In 2011, Spiner co-created and starred in his own web series, Fresh Hell . The show, available on YouTube, depicts a fictionalized version of Spiner, who's trying to rebuild his career after an unspecified high-profile "incident" causes him to lose everything. The comedic take on Spiner's career shines in the writing, such as when a talk show host tells a guest, "We had a guest on yesterday whose face was literally ripped off by a pit bull. You know what she said to me? 'At least I'm not Brent Spiner.'" Spiner takes a neighbor under his wing, an erstwhile porn star who wants to become a real actress, and the two attempt to break back into Hollywood together. The episodes are short and funny, and fans who haven't seen it yet should definitely give Fresh Hell a watch.

The Master of Disguise

In 2002, Spiner appeared as bad guy Devlin Bowman in the Dana Carvey comedy  The Master of Disguise . Bowman has just finished serving a two decade prison sentence, and he's determined to get his revenge on the man who put him in prison—who just happens to be the father of Carvey's character, Pistachio Disguisey. After Bowman kidnaps the elder Disguisey, it's up to Pistachio to follow in his father's footsteps and learn to be a "master of disguise" in order to save him.

Basically, the entire movie was a vehicle to showcase Dana Carvey's impressive mimicry skills, and it didn't work: The Master of Disguise  was a critical flop that, according to the BBC 's film critic, made other juvenile humor films like Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo "look like the comic equivalents of Citizen Kane ."

In 2005, Spiner starred along with Peter Dinklage and Carla Gugino in the CBS sci-fi series Threshold . The trio formed the core of a secret U.S. governmental think tank tasked with humanity's first extraterrestrial contact, with Spiner playing Dr. Nigel Fenway, a NASA microbiologist brought onto the top-secret "Red Team" in charge of researching and containing an incident on an American naval vessel where several crew members died horribly after encountering an unidentified flying object. What Fenway and the rest of the team discover about the aliens and their ability to manipulate DNA could possibly put the entire world at risk. Although it was canceled after only one season, Threshold is a must-watch for Brent Spiner fans.

Voice acting

Because Spiner has such a rich theater background, it probably shouldn't be surprising that he's done plenty of voiceover work over the years. He's skilled at doing impressions of other actors, and has been known to spoof his TNG co-star Patrick Stewart at sci-fi conventions. In the 1999 movie  South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut , he provided the voice of talk-show host Conan O'Brien, and he's also taken voice roles on several TV shows, including Generator Rex , Young Justice , The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes , The Simpsons , Star Wars Rebels , Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. , and Justice League Action . If you're a fan of the video game Elite Dangerous , now you can get Spiner's voice in your spaceship; he provided a voice pack for Vega in 2016.

Since 2016, Spiner's biggest project has been the Cinemax horror series Outcast , in which he plays Sidney, a mysterious preacher involved in a tale of demonic possession and other supernatural happenings in a small West Virginia town. In an interview with the A.V. Club , Spiner compared Sidney to Data. "[Sidney] is the most difficult character to describe on the show," he argued. "But kind of like Data on Star Trek , I'm finding this character similar in the sense that we're sort of discovering him and building him as we go along. It's kind of like I'm figuring out the character at the same time the audience is."  

For fans who loved Spiner's work as Data, seeing him in such a dark role might be disturbing at first, but it showcases a menacing side of his acting—one we haven't really seen since Data's brother Lore was deactivated for good.

  • The Original Series
  • The Animated Series
  • The Next Generation
  • Deep Space Nine
  • Strange New Worlds
  • Lower Decks
  • Star Trek Movies
  • TrekCore on Twitter
  • TrekCore on Facebook


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Movie Heroes
  • Lawful Good
  • Comic Book Heroes
  • Book Heroes
  • Virtually Resourceful
  • Comic Relief
  • Adventurers
  • Cosmic Protection
  • Status Dependent on Version
  • Pragmatists

Data (Star Trek)

  • View history

Data is a character in the fictional Star Trek universe portrayed by actor Brent Spiner . Data is a sentient android who serves as the second officer and chief operations officer aboard the star ship USS Enterprise.

Though Data's strive for humanity and desire for human emotion is a significant plot point (and source for humor) throughout the series, he continually shows a nuanced sense of wisdom, sensitivity, and curiosity.

Data's positronic brain allows him impressive computational capabilities. Data experienced ongoing difficulties during the early years of his life with understanding various aspects of human behavior and was unable to feel emotion or understand certain human idiosyncrasies, inspiring him to strive for his own humanity. Data had a vast array of interests and hobbies - including painting, playing Sherlock Holmes on the holodeck, Shakespeare, music, and games of chance like poker.

In addition to his impressive computational abilities, Data was very strong due to his design. He was easily able to perform physical tasks that even individuals Worf and Riker would be unable to perform.

  • 1.1 Countdown
  • 1.2 The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard
  • 3 Navigation

History [ ]

Data was designed and built by Doctors Noonien and Juliana Soong. He was the fifth android that the pair constructed. The first two prototypes died soon after creation due to unstable positronic matrices. The third android, named B4 was also believed to be a failure and deactivated, this third android eventually disappeared. The fourth android - named Lore - had a stable matrix but a warped, cruel personality. He was deactivated and dismantled, Soong intended to repair him.

Soong decided he wanted to try making one more android, convinced that he had found the answer that would allow the creation of a stable android that did not have an unstable matrix or personality. At first Juliana was opposed to this, fearing that Noonien would unintentionally create a second Lore or the new android would die from another cascade failure, but Noonien was able to talk her into trying one more time.

The couple then created Data. Data was programmed slightly differently, with a personality that did not include the complex emotions that had caused Lore to become mentally unstable. According to Juliana she and Noonien debated about whether Data should be male or female, Noonien solved that debate by building Data's head in his own image and walking into the lab with the head.

Soon Data was activated for the first time. Data was very much like an infant at first, struggling with motor control and sensory input. His personality required adjustment as Data was downright rude. The Soongs were also forced to write a modesty subroutine in order to convince Data to leave his clothes on - Data did not want to wear clothes as he was not affected by the elements, but colonists objected to an anatomically correct android running around naked.

The Soongs then wiped Data's memory and then programmed him with the memories and journals of various colonists.

Soon after Data's creation the Crystalline Entity attacked. Noonien and Juliana fled. At Juliana's insistence Data was left behind as she feared Data would become another Lore. Data was recovered by Starfleet when they responded to the distress call, and reactivated. His life was considered to have begun at that point.

The first few years after activation were difficult for Data as he achieved sentience, the evolution of his positronic brain was hard for him to handle. He briefly considered a form of suicide - shutting down and having his neural net wiped. He later decided to see his difficulties as challenges to be overcame.


Data applied to Starfleet Academy and was accepted in 2341. He graduated in 2345 and was commissioned as an Ensign in Starfleet. Assigned to the USS Trieste , he was promoted to Lieutenant four years later, and to Lieutenant Commander in 2360. Data was recruited for a mission by Captain Jean-Luc Picard , who encouraged him to be more assertive and to go above and beyond in his duties.

Upon the completion of the Enterprise-D in 2364 Data was assigned to the flagship as second officer and operations manager.

In 2371 Data installed an "emotion chip", that his father had created into his positronic net. This allowed him to experience basic emotions for the first time in his life. However an overload caused the chip to fuse in to his brain. Data encountered significant difficulties in integrating his newfound emotions into his program. A couple years later Data developed the ability to deactivate the chip at will if he felt emotions were interfering with his duties, and eventually was able to remove the chip if needed.

Data died in 2379, sacrificing himself to save the crew of the Enterprise-E from Picard's clone Shinzon of Remus. As he had backed up the contents of his matrix into his recently discovered brother B4 before his death, thus Data is "reborn" through his brother.

Countdown [ ]

Data was later resurrected in B-4's body, which allowed the memories and personality to take control of his brother's body. Realizing how important Data was to the Federation B-4 deleted himself so that Data could live again. Working with LaForge and the Daystrom Institute Data had his new body's brain upgraded and re-created the emotion chip.

Afterwards Data returned to active duty within Starfleet, becoming the commanding officer of the Enterprise-E after Picard's retirement from Starfleet.

The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard [ ]

Following the death of his physical body in 2379 Picard was meeting with B-4 in his ready room when Q decided to pay them a visit. Q then resurrected Data inside B-4's body, and Data returned to duty soon afterwards.

Following the death of his physical body in 2379 the Daystrom Institute attempted to recover Data's memories from B4's brain. However since his brother's brain was considerably less advanced than his had been, the efforts to retrieve Data largely failed and the Institute felt that much of Data's memories and personality were lost. B-4 was later disassembled and held in storage at the Institute, and was still there in 2399.

However Dr. Bruce Maddox was able to recover a positronic neuron from B-4 that contained Data's memories, and used them to construct a re-creation of Data inside a computer simulation. Data lived within the simulation until 2399, when he was able to talk to Picard one last time and request that his former Captain shut down the simulation, allowing Data to finally die.

However, Data, along with B-4 and Lore, were uploaded into a new body, the Daystrom Android M-5-10, but during when Vadic and her rouge Changelings were carrying out their part in the endgame of the Borg Queen, Lore took control to help them, but Data later reasserted control, kicked Lore out, and turned the tables on Vadic and her forces, telling them he was the USS Titan -A's "friendly positronic, pissed-off, security system" as he ensured their takeover of the Titan failed, and Vadic ended up being ejected from the bridge, freezing to death in the vacuum of space before shattering on the Shrike before it too was destroyed by the Titan . With the original command crew of the USS Enterprise -D and USS Enterprise -E reunited, they soon discovered Vadic's alliance with the Borg Queen, and how some of Picard's leftover Borg DNA in his deceased body from his time as Locutus has been uploaded into the Starfleet mainframe and transporter system, meaning that Starfleet, and many of their younger members under the age of 25 were now sleeper agents of the Borg Queen, and why Vadic and her forces were after Jack.

They immediately return to Earth and Sector 001 to warn Fleet Admiral Elizabeth Shelby aboard the USS Enterprise -F about the Borg threat as she is celebrating Frontier Day and activating the new Fleet Formation protocol, but though Shelby is immediately alarmed by the mention of the very threat she witnessed the aftermath of firsthand years ago after the Battle of Wolf 359, it is too late to prevent it. The moment Jack surrenders to the Borg Queen and is assimilated as Vox, voice of the Borg Collective, the Queen's endgame is triggered, and many young Starfleet crew members are assimilated into loyal Borg Drones. Data is forced to restrain Geordi when his own daughters Sidney and Alandra are among the assimilated, reminding him he'll be no help to them if anything happens to him and they need a plan. Realizing Data's right, Geordi calms down, and with the help of Seven and Raffi, they escape alongside Picard, Riker, Beverly, Troi, and Worf to flee to the Fleet Museum as Shelby and many unassimilated senior Starfleet personnel are killed by their own younger crew members before the fleet turns its aim on Spacedock, knowing that taking out the fortified space station will take down Earth's planetary shield and leave it vulnerable to an orbital bombardment.

At the Fleet Museum, Data and the others are stunned to see that Geordi had recovered and been repairing the USS Enterprise -D for some time, replacing its destroyed stardrive section with that of its sister ship, USS Syracuse , but the saucer section still bears the scars from what happened at Veridian III. On the bridge, Data is nostalgic as he goes over to his old chair at the helm, before making sure from Geordi that the older Enterprise is not part of the Fleet Formation that the Enterprise -F and the current Starfleet were now linked to as part of the Borg Collective, and Geordi assures him it is safe from the Borg infection.

After the command crew all agree with Picard that they are his family and are with him to the end, and it was time to save the rest of their family as well in Jack, Sidney, and Alandra, Data mans the helm again as the Enterprise -D whirs to life, leaves the museum, and with Picard having Data lay in the course at maximum warp, the moment Data reports the course laid in and she's ready, Picard commands "Engage!" and the Enterprise -D, using the warp nacelles of her sister Syracuse , zips away from the museum to return to the Sol System.

As they approach, they receive a distress signal from UFP President Anton Chekov, requesting any ships hearing his message to avoid Earth at all costs as Spacedock is struggling to hold off the assimilated Starfleet as those assimilated on the space station try to break in to where he is as his aides urge him to evacuate in an escape pod. After the connection is lost, it is not long before Data detects a Borg signature coming from Jupiter. Redirecting course there, they find the Borg Queen's massive Super-Cube hiding in plain sight within the gases of Jupiter's Big Red Spot. Data remains behind as Picard, Riker, and Worf beam down to locate the beacon controlling Starfleet and find Jack. Once Riker and Worf send the schematics of the Cube to Data and Geordi, they find that the Queen was smart enough to place it in the heart of the Cube, where it would be impossible to reach. However, trusting his gut instinct, Data convinces Geordi, Troi, and Beverly to let him pilot the Enterprise -D in to find it and thanks to his positronic brain, he is able to easily navigate the Enterprise through the Cube and to the beacon, all the while with a smile on his face at the excitement of what he's pulling off.

When they find it, Data and Geordi realize that the beacon is tied to the whole Cube. If they destroy it, the whole Cube goes with it. This puts them in a prisoner's dilemma, but in the end, knowing any hesitation would spell doom for Earth and the Federation, after some indecision, with Riker and Worf's go-ahead, Geordi has Beverly destroy the beacon, setting off a chain reaction to destroy the whole Cube. They immediately set out to find Picard, Riker, and Worf, but Data has trouble finding them on his scanners. Luckily, Troi's telepathic bond with Riker allows her to help steer the Enterprise right to them, and they, along with Jack, are beamed to safety as the Enterprise escapes while the Borg Queen screams in fury as she is engulfed in flames and the Cube is destroyed, severing her control over Starfleet just as the surviving ships prepare to launch their orbital bombardment of Earth after subjugating Spacedock, freeing all of the younger crewmembers from their assimilation, but leaving them haunted by the atrocities they committed while under Borg control, with Sidney LaForge herself breaking down in guilt-ridden tears as Seven comforts her and assures her it is over.

As Data joins Geordi and Worf as everyone regroups on the bridge, he joins Geordi when Seven and Raffi contact the Enterprise to show that Geordi's daughters are alright, safe, alive, and grateful to their father for saving them from becoming Borg Drones forever. Shortly thereafter, Data and Geordi notice Worf having fallen asleep when they hear his snoring, much to their amusement.

A year later, Data joins the rest of the Enterprise command crew for one last toast and game of poker at Guinan's Ten Forward in Los Angeles, though when he tries to finish a lewd joke he once tried before, they quickly shoot it down as soon as he starts saying it.

  • The late Kevin Peter Hall , Mark Lindsay Chapman , Eric Menyuk and Kelvin Han Yee were all considered for the role of Data before Spiner was cast. Menyuk was a finalist for the role, and was given the recurring guest role of The Traveler as a consolation prize.
  • Data, along with Picard, Riker, and LaForge are the only four in the TNG main cast to wear the Voyager -style uniform in Star Trek: Generations .

Navigation [ ]

  • 1 Mike Schmidt (2023)
  • 2 Vanessa Shelly
  • 3 Simon "Ghost" Riley

Star Trek: 10 Things People Forget About Data

Data may have a mind capable of holding 1000 terabytes worth of info, but your brain sure doesn't, which is why you forgot that.

In every version of Star Trek , the crew must have a character that makes decisions solely based on logic and science.  Without a doubt, Mister Spock from Star Trek: The Original Series is the best known of these characters, but he is far from the only one. Enterprise had T'Pol and Voyager had Tuvok, both of them Vulcans like Spock. But on Star Trek: The Next Generation , there was Data.

RELATED:  10 Best Episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, According to IMDb

Unlike every other logic-based major character in Star Trek, Data was not born, he was built. The creation of Noonien Soong, Data was the first android to join Starfleet and more than proved himself time and time again. But with so many stories and so many years gone by, it can be easy to forget some things about everyone's favorite yellow-eyed cat lover.

10 He's Immortal

To make him appear more human, Doctor Noonian Soong made Data so that he would appear to age at the same rate as a human. While this was likely added to the backstory of Data to help explain why an android was getting older over time, it did create an interesting question, how long can Data live for?

In theory, Data could live forever. His brain is a computer that will surely become obsolete at some time, but it can run forever. Every piece of his body will degrade over time but all of it can be replaced with new parts, so if his right arm wears away to nothing, he can just take it off and put a new one on.

9 He Has Infrared Vision

While Data was quite interested in Geordi La Forge's visor that gave him a variety of visual enhancements, it may have been something he only acted like he was impressed by.

As any fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation knows, Geordi's visor, which he first obtained after losing his eyesight when he was a child, not only allows him to see what the average human can, he can also switch to the infrared and ultraviolet spectrums for some extra vision action. While we never see Data having the same abilities in the series, the novels show that he does. The first time readers found out Data could see in a variety of spectrums was in the 1991 book, Star Trek The Next Generation: Survivors.

8 He Isn't The First Android

While Data is the best known and most respected of Dr. Noonian Soong's creations, he isn't the only one. Data's older brother Lore was the first of Dr. Soong's androids to have a fully functional positronic brain, but there was something wrong with him. Lore came to believe that he was superior to humans, and Dr. Soong wasn't looking to create an android with such a malevolent twist, so he deactivated and dismantled his creation. His next creation was Data.

RELATED:  10 Things You Completely Missed In Star Trek: Picard Season 1

But even before Lore, Dr. Soong had built three other androids. B-4, who has a simplistic version of the positronic brain, first appeared in Star Trek: Nemesis . The other two "brothers" have never been seen. According to Dr. Soong, they did not survive long.

7 He Kept In Contact With Commander Bruce Maddox

Season 2, Episode 9, "The Measure of a Man", is considered one of the best episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation , and with good reason. The episode sees Data put on trial so that Starfleet can decide if he is a sentient being or, as Commander Bruce Maddox suggests, a machine that Starfleet owns.

In the episode, Starfleet decides that Data is indeed sentient and can make his own decisions, but Data does not hold a grudge against Commander Maddox. In fact, throughout the rest of the series, Data sends regular updates to Commander Maddox about the adventures he has been on and what he has learned.

6 The Enterprise Security Team Was Trained To Fight Him

In a moment that certainly would have made Commander Bruce Maddox send out a mass email to everyone in Starfleet with a gif that made it clear he warned them, Data once took control of the Enterprise and sent it off course when his creator Dr. Noonian Soong activated a homing device in the android's brain.

After that, the crew of the Enterprise came up with a plan to deal with Data should he ever go rogue again. Luckily, the Enterprise's security team never needed to put that plan into action.

5 He Has An On/Off Switch

So how exactly would the Enterprise Security team take down Data? Would they just shoot a lot of phaser beams at him? Or maybe they would all just run up and tackle him? The answer to both of those possibilities is a very stern "no" from Worf . All the Security team would need to do is hit Data's off switch.

As it turns out, Data has an on/off switch just below his right shoulder blade. To make sure this isn't something just anyone can use against the first android to join Starfleet, only a few members of the Enterprise, like Captain Picard , Dr. Beverly Crusher, and counselor Deanna Troi know about the switch and where it can be found.

4 His Brain Is Impressive, But Not As Impressive As Summit

Data's positronic brain has a storage capacity of 1000 terabytes and a linear computational speed of 60 trillion operations per second. Clearly, this was very impressive when Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted in 1987, but it's a lot less wild in 2020. The biggest computer in the world today is called Summit.

It has 250 petabytes of storage, which equals 250,000 terabytes, outdoing Data by quite a lot. When it comes to operations, Data has also fallen behind. The Summit is the first computer to reach exaop, or a quintillion operations per second.

3 He Turned Down The Chance To Be Human

In Season 1, Episode 10, "Hide and Q", Commander William Riker is granted the powers of the extra-dimensional being of unknown origin called Q. Q's goal is to see if Riker is worthy of the powers, or if he would abuse them, which is weird because Q sure seems to abuse the power himself. Riker does use his new powers to resurrect Worf and Wesley Crusher after Q has them killed.

As a second test, Riker creates what he believes each of his crewmates would want. He turns Wesley into an adult, gives Geordi his sight back, and creates a woman for Worf. As we all know, Data has a real Pinocchio complex and wants to be human, but he refuses Riker's offer, even before Riker makes it.

2 He Isn't Romantic

As we all learned in Season 1, Episode 2, "The Naked Now," when Dr. Noonian Soong built Data, he didn't pull a Ken Doll here. As Tasha Yar learns, Data is a fully functional android who has fully working genitals. Oddly, while Dr. Soong gave Data the ability to give sexual pleasure to others, he did not program Data to enjoy it himself.

Data is not attracted to humans, or to any species that we have ever seen. When security systems specialist Jenna D'Sora kissed Data, he decided to build a program that would help him be romantic and began dating her. As Data quickly learned, there is little logic to romance. The relationship did not work.

1 But He Has Helped Romance Blossom

While Data himself cannot feel or understand romance, that didn't stop him from playing a part in one of Star Trek's few lasting loves. In Season 4, Episode 11, "Data's Day", the android sends one of his many messages to Commander Bruce Maddox telling him about the marriage of Chief Miles O'Brien and Professor Keiko Ishikawa.

While we are never shown how Chief O'Brien and Professor Ishikawa met, we are told that it was through Data, and because of his part in bringing them together, Keiko asks Data to fulfill the role of the father of the bride.

NEXT:  10 Best Episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, According to IMDb

  • More to Explore
  • Series & Movies

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Published Jul 31, 2022

Geordi & Data's Greatest Adventures

From finding Spot to heartfelt farewells, explore some of the TNG duo's greatest hits

By Jay Stobie

Star Trek: The Next Generation

The friendship between Geordi La Forge and Data continued to blossom and grow stronger over the course of their tenures aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise-D and U.S.S. Enterprise-E , as the only event able to sever their bond was Data’s untimely death during Shinzon’s attack in Star Trek Nemesis .

Despite the tragic conclusion, the duo enjoyed a wealth of interesting adventures, ranging from perilous missions and tense situations to humorous moments and displays of camaraderie, throughout the years.

Let’s reminisce on the time the pair shared with one another and choose some standout memories that the two created during their voyage through the stars.

1. Engineering Experiments in “ The Mind’s Eye ”

Star Trek: The Next Generation -

Okay, this selection is probably the most unexpected one on our list. Needing to ascertain the mysterious manufacturer of a phaser rifle crafted to resemble one issued by Starfleet , La Forge and Data opted to run some tests on the weapon’s energy output in engineering.

While there was surely a logical in-universe reason for this decision, the juxtaposition of the experienced officers firing a phaser of unknown origin right next to the Enterprise-D ’s warp core proved to be a sight that was simultaneously hilarious and worrisome. Fortunately, the pair managed to get to the bottom of the problem without causing a catastrophic breach.

2. Resembling Riker in “ The Schizoid Man ”

Star Trek: The Next Generation -

Summoned by Data, La Forge and Counselor Troi entered the android’s quarters to find the ship’s science officer sporting a full beard. The genuine shock experienced by the audience over seeing Data’s new look — coupled with La Forge and Troi’s stunned-yet-amused reactions — made this moment one for the history books.

Although Troi exited swiftly, Geordi remained behind so that he could attempt to better explain why the situation had elicited those mixed reactions to the android. While brief, this interaction exemplified La Forge’s constant struggle between being supportive of Data’s quest to become more human and being honest when his friend took that endeavor too far.

3. Finding a Furball in “ Force of Nature ”

Star Trek: The Next Generation -

Hoping to learn more about the benefits of pet ownership, La Forge borrowed Spot and enlisted Data’s cat as a temporary roommate. During the cohabitation, Spot’s raucous behavior rattled the chief engineer and shattered his level-headed composure. Data arrived to find an angry La Forge on the hunt for the troublesome feline, which led to a discussion about the merits of investing time to train the cat.

Later in the episode, the duo continued this conversation while crawling through a Jefferies tube in an effort to repair the starship’s sensors. The frank and funny conversation provided a glimpse into a typical day for the two friends, who expertly balanced their Starfleet duties with opportunities to chat and learn from each other.

4. Traveling the Galaxy in “ The Price ”

Star Trek: The Next Generation -

Assigned to ascertain the stability of the Barzan wormhole by Captain Picard , La Forge and Data piloted a shuttlecraft through the aperture to become Starfleet’s first official visitors to the Delta Quadrant .

In addition to the historic nature of their journey, the officers shared an inadvertently touching moment prior to their departure. As Geordi expressed concern over being trapped in the shuttle for eternity, Data innocently tried to soothe his friend’s worries by assuring him that he would have the android to keep him company. The wormhole turned out to be a bust, but La Forge and Data safely returned home before the subspace tunnel could strand them on the other side of the galaxy.

5. Searching for Family in “ Interface ”

Star Trek: The Next Generation -

Following the tragic news that the U.S.S. Hera , the vessel captained by Geordi’s mother, Silva LaForge , was missing and presumed destroyed, La Forge became convinced that his mom and her crew were actually stranded in the depths of a nearby gas giant.

Despite evidence to the contrary, La Forge disobeyed Picard’s orders and planned to utilize an experimental interface unit to remotely guide a probe and hunt for the Hera . Data anticipated his friend’s decision, but he chose to go against his own judgment, attempting to ensure the engineer’s well-being. Geordi never found his mother, but Data’s steadfast allegiance showed him that certain friendships are just as resolute as familial connections.

6. Becoming Emotional in Star Trek Generations

Star Trek Generation

Perplexed by Dr. Crusher ’s ire over a practical joke he played on the Holodeck, Data returned to his quarters and confided in Geordi that he wished to install the emotion chip that had been recovered from his brother Lore .

The discussion demonstrated Data’s trust in La Forge, both as a valued friend and an excellent engineer. Not only did the android express his innermost thoughts about becoming more human to Geordi, but he also relied upon his friend to perform the procedure that would activate the chip. La Forge served as both comrade and colleague, as well as someone who Data consulted for vital advice about his future.

7. Dealing with Doubt in Star Trek Generations

Star Trek Generations

When Data’s emotion chip began to malfunction aboard the Amargosa Observatory , the android found himself too frightened to rescue La Forge from Dr. Soran ’s clutches. Geordi’s capture left Data wracked with guilt and eager to deactivate the chip. The android even offered himself to the Duras sisters in exchange for La Forge’s return, though ultimately they requested Picard instead.

Once safely back on the Enterprise , La Forge was quick to absolve Data of any blame for what occurred. The engineer simply comforted his friend by telling him that, while he wasn’t behaving like himself, he was certainly behaving more human. The pair’s ability to reconcile so easily highlighted the sturdiness of their bond.

8. Saying Goodbye in Star Trek Nemesis

Star Trek: Nemesis

While assessing Data’s newly found brother B-4 , the android and La Forge once again showcased their close relationship as they theorized about B-4’s potential for sentience. Sadly, this turned out to be one of the pair’s final conversations.

With Picard aboard the Reman flagship Scimitar , Data elected to back up his captain and recruited La Forge to assist him in leaping across the void to infiltrate the enemy vessel. On the surface, the unspoken goodbye seemed to be a mismatch for their lengthy friendship. However, considering there was so much on the line, it began to make sense that the two would be able to bid farewell without a word.

9. Enduring Difficult Trials in “ Descent, Part II ”

Star Trek: The Next Generation -

With La Forge, Picard, and Troi all imprisoned by Lore , the devious android manipulated his brother Data’s emotional programming and used him against his shipmates. In the ultimate test for any friendship, Data prepared Geordi to undergo a dangerous procedure that held a high mortality risk. The engineer sought to remind the android of who he truly was by detailing a fond sailing trip that the two experienced, an effort that caused Data to delay the experiment and reconsider his position.

Once back to his old self, Data informed La Forge that he must avoid utilizing the emotion chip that his father had built. As a true friend, Geordi replied that he wouldn’t let Data give up on his life-long dream of becoming more human.

10. Outwitting the Holodeck in “ Elementary, Dear Data ”

Data as Sherlock Holmes

In perhaps their most iconic adventure, Data and La Forge assumed the roles of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in a new Holodeck program. The ship’s chief engineer inadvertently ordered the computer to craft a foe who could defeat Data, thus bringing a sentient James Moriarty hologram to life.

While the episode is primarily remembered for the pair’s pursuit of elusive clues and their dealings with Moriarty, Geordi’s defense of Data’s deductive reasoning in the face of Dr. Pulaski’s doubts about the science officer’s capabilities stands as yet another excellent example of his faith in his android friend.

Jay Stobie (he/him) is a freelance writer who has contributed articles to the official Star Trek website and Star Trek Magazine, as well as to Star Wars Insider and the official Star Wars website. Jay also serves as a part-time assistant and consultant advising many actors and creatives who work on his favorite sci-fi shows and films. He can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @StobiesGalaxy.

Stay tuned to for more details! And be sure to follow @StarTrek on Facebook , Twitter , and Instagram .

Get Updates By Email

How to pitch, back to top.

Memory Alpha

Datalore (episode)

  • View history
  • 1.2 Act One
  • 1.3 Act Two
  • 1.4 Act Three
  • 1.5 Act Four
  • 1.6 Act Five
  • 1.7 Log entries
  • 2 Memorable quotes
  • 3.1 Production history
  • 3.2 Story and script
  • 3.3 Cast and characters
  • 3.4 Production
  • 3.5 Continuity
  • 3.7 Reception
  • 3.8 Remastering
  • 3.9 Video and DVD releases
  • 4.1 Starring
  • 4.2 Also starring
  • 4.3 Guest star
  • 4.4 Uncredited co-stars
  • 4.5 Stunt doubles
  • 4.6 Stand-ins and photo doubles
  • 4.7.1 Library computer references
  • 4.8 External links

Summary [ ]

While passing by Omicron Theta en route to their next assignment, the USS Enterprise -D stops to investigate the site of Data 's discovery. However, Data is in his quarters practicing sneezing. Wesley Crusher walks in on Data pretending to sneeze in front of a mirror and asks him if he has a cold . Data has never heard of such thing (at least not in reference to an illness) so Wesley says " It's a disease my mom says people used to get. " Data acknowledges this fact, but presses that Humans sneeze for other reasons and he'd like to learn how to do it so he will better "fit in" with the crew. Wesley wonders out loud how Data could be practicing sneezing in a time like this; they're about to arrive at his home planet. Data clarifies that he is excited to see his point of origin, but that he is also interested in sneezing. They leave for the bridge . The crew learns of an entire Earth colony that disappeared from the planet twenty-six years ago , and the whole planet now 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.

Act One [ ]

Omicron Theta secret passage

Very cleverly designed

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, where Data recalls impressions of his basic functions being tested. 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.

Android storage vault

" How many more Datas are there?! "

Riker presses him and asks if he can remember anything else about the lab. Data replies that he can remember one of the machines in a work area in the lab that was 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 when he could not deliver on his grand promise and then disappeared. Now, they realize he went 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. They find molds for making Data's skin, and Yar reports that the rest of the bunker is empty. Then La Forge comes across a storage area. 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.

Act Two [ ]

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, comparing the internal circuitry, and Data agrees. He then joins Captain Picard , Commander Riker, and Geordi La Forge in the observation lounge to discuss the situation. Everyone seems to be tip-toeing around the subject so Picard stops the briefing momentarily to say " All right. Legitimate questions about any of this need not be asked apologetically. You feel uncomfortable on aspects of your duplicate, Data. We feel uncomfortable too… it feels awkward to be reminded that Data is a machine, just remember that we are merely a different variety of machine. " He concludes by stating that they should handle this situation like they would anything else and continue the briefing.

After asking and answering a few more questions, Data returns to Dr. Crusher . He shows Crusher where his off switch is located on his body, 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 arrive in 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.

Act Three [ ]

Data and Lore, internal comparison

How to build an android

Data and Picard talk in the ready room . Data believes that both he and Lore have the same physical and mental capabilities. Picard then 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, himself, was built first. He says the colonists became envious of him and persuaded Soong to build a less perfect android – Data. Lore was too Human, understanding language and humor. Lore points out that he can easily handle speech and says " I use their contractions. For example, I say "can't" or "isn't" and you say "cannot" and "is not. " Lore then begins to sing " I say tomato and you say tomahto, " proving again how much more Human he is than Data.

Lore than states that he can help Data become more Human and Data says that he is obligated to report all of this – the lies Lore told Riker about his knowledge, the lie that he was built before Data, and every other lie he said since "waking up." Data leaves to go on duty and asks Lore to make a report to the captain about what happened to the colonists.

Act Four [ ]

Data double

Evil twin alert

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.

Crystalline Entity encounters the Enterprise-D, remastered

The Crystalline Entity

On the bridge, Worf reports that a subspace communication is detected coming from Data's quarters, and Riker 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 covers it up, saying 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 walks over to the helm and asks Wes on the bridge what happened. Wesley tells her he shut Lore off, which makes her suspicious since it was their secret. "Data" arrives on the bridge when La Forge detects an unknown object approaching at high speed. It is the crystalline entity.

Act Five [ ]

Lore, Riker, and Wesley Crusher find Data unconscious

" Careful of Lore. Good, he is still unconscious. "

Picard says they need to question Lore. Wesley loudly protests that he doesn't trust Data/Lore. Picard and Riker are both annoyed at his display and decide that Riker would go with Wesley and "Data" 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 in anger, causing part of his "skin" on his temple to come loose and exposing the circuitry on his skull. On the bridge, Riker tells Picard what happens, but Wes is still not convinced. The Crystalline Entity brushes against the shields . "Data" rushes in and 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.

Phaser beam in transporter

Timing is everything

"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 ." He still orders Worf to monitor what "Data" does, since it is unusual. 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 knocks his phaser out of his hand and taunts him by asking the Klingon to show him " your warrior fierceness. " Lore then assaults Worf after he smacks him in the android's face and knocks him unconscious. Meanwhile, Wes has managed to convince Dr. Crusher to stop off at Data's quarters. She sees Data hurt on the ground and switches him on. He tells her he is not badly hurt, and they go to cargo bay 3 to stop Lore.

They sneak into the cargo bay and hear Lore talking to the Crystalline Entity. Lore spots Data and Wesley and threatens to kill Wesley. Beverly comes out from hiding and pulls a phaser on him, but she is too close and he grabs it from her after shoving his brother into her. He then tells her to leave and demands that Data cooperate with him or he will kill 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; Picard orders Data to get rid of the twitch and to find a proper uniform as the Enterprise resumes course for a computer overhaul.

Log entries [ ]

  • Captain's log, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D), 2364
  • First officer's log, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)

Memorable quotes [ ]

" Shut up, Wesley! "

" Now, show me your warrior fierceness. "

" The troublesome little man-child. "

" If you had an off switch, doctor… would you not keep it secret? "

" AH… AH… CHOO! "

" How sad, dear brother. You make me wish I were an only child. "

"The troublesome little man-child. Are you prepared for the kind of death you've earned, little man?"

" Back off… or I'll turn your little man into a torch. "

" Make it so. " " Sir? " " Do it. "

" He was. "

" Lore's gone sir. Permanently. "

" Have you got a cold?" " A cold what? "

" Since I am finished here, may I point out that everything I said would have been listened to, if it came from an adult officer! "

Background information [ ]

Production history [ ].

  • Original story outline ( titled "Apocalypse Anon"): 22 July 1987 ( Creating the Next Generation )
  • Final draft script: 19 October 1987
  • Revised final draft script: 26 October 1987 [1]
  • Filmed: 28 October 1987 – 6 November 1987
  • Storyboards for visual effects shots of the Crystalline Entity's pursuit of the Enterprise : 19 November 1987
  • Score recorded at Paramount Stage M : 18 December 1987 ( Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Ron Jones Project liner notes [2]
  • Premiere airdate: 18 January 1988
  • UK premiere ( BBC2 ): 19 December 1990

Story and script [ ]

  • 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, the female android depicted there was Data's offspring, and not a love interest.
  • This was the final episode of Star Trek on which Gene Roddenberry was a credited writer before his death on 24 October 1991 .
  • An early story for this episode was named "Apocalypse Anon". In this story, the Enterprise -D was on a rescue mission at 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 , p. 51)

Cast and characters [ ]

  • Marina Sirtis ( Deanna Troi ) does not appear in this episode.

Data doubles, Datalore

The three Data doubles

  • 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 . ( Star Trek: The Next Generation 365 , p. 45)
  • Director Rob Bowman 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 […] I remember […] giggling at Brent's dexterity [during the shoot] . He was just unbelievable. " [3]

Production [ ]

  • Concept drawings of the Crystalline Entity were produced by illustrator Andrew Probert . However, he found this was the only time when the TNG modelmakers didn't adhere to his designs, with the Crystalline Entity ultimately looking radically different from how he'd imagined and drawn it. ( Star Trek: The Magazine  Volume 2, Issue 12 , p. 45)
  • This episode was originally to have been directed by Joe Scanlan but the choice of director was changed to Rob Bowman just before the episode was scheduled to be filmed. " 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, " Bowman recalled. " We were going to have to switch scripts. So, they switched 'The Big Goodbye' with 'Datalore', which I was then given […] 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. " ("Rob Bowman – Director of a Dozen", The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine  issue 10 )
  • Bowman also enjoyed collaborating on "Datalore" with Brent Spiner. " We were both really keen on making that a special show, " commented Bowman. " 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. " [4]
  • 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 had appeared, twenty years earlier, in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode " Patterns of Force " as Davod , and he went on to assist Madalone in further episodes of TNG and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine .
  • 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 .

Continuity [ ]

  • 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).
  • When Riker makes his log entry at the beginning of act one, he uses the stardate 4124.5. This was no doubt meant to be 41242.5, as Picard's log entry in the teaser is 41242.4.
  • 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.
  • At the end of the episode, Data uses a contraction in his reply to Captain Picard asking Data if he is alright. Instead of saying " I am fine, " Data replies, " I'm fine. " This is even more noteworthy than "contraction slip-ups" in other episodes, since the use of contractions was the main method the crew used in this episode to determine whether they were talking to Data or Lore.
  • Picard and Riker admonishing Wesley repeatedly is completely out of character given how Wesley has previously been treated like almost like a regular crew member for his contributions.
  • 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 [5] ) The complete episode score, totaling twenty-five minutes exactly, appears on Disc Two of the Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Ron Jones Project collection.
  • The sequence where Lore is assembled contains a variation on Ilia's Theme from Star Trek: The Motion Picture composed by Jerry Goldsmith .

Reception [ ]

  • Rob Bowman was very pleased with how this episode ended up. " I thought it came off excellently, " he said. ("Rob Bowman – Director of a Dozen", The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine  issue 10 )
  • A mission report for this episode, by Robert Greenberger , was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine  issue 6 , pp. 43-46.

Remastering [ ]

  • 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 . [6]

Video and DVD releases [ ]

  • 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 [ ]

Starring [ ].

  • Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard
  • Jonathan Frakes as Commander William T. Riker

Also starring [ ]

  • 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 [ ]

  • Biff Yeager as Argyle

Uncredited co-stars [ ]

  • James G. Becker as Youngblood
  • Darrell Burris as operations officer
  • Dan Campise as operations officer
  • Dexter Clay as operations officer
  • Jeffrey Deacon as command officer
  • Lorine Mendell as Diana Giddings
  • Brent Spiner as Lore
  • Guy Vardaman as Darien Wallace
  • Command crewmember
  • Female command crewmember
  • Female medical technician
  • Female operations officer
  • Operations officer
  • Sciences officer
  • Three civilians
  • Three operations crewmembers
  • Three sciences crewmembers

Stunt doubles [ ]

  • 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 [ ]

  • 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

References [ ]

2338 ; 2341 ; 2345 ; 2348 ; 2360 ; " a bit "; ability ; accuracy ; adult ; alarm clock ; " all right "; " a lot of "; Altairian Grand Premier ; ambition ; amusement ; android ; android assembling tools ; antiseptic ; apology ; appointment ; area ; Isaac Asimov ; assignment ; " at all "; " at fault "; attack ; " at this point "; away party ; B., John ; bed ; birthplace ; body ; bogey ; bridge ; bridge crew ; brother ; category ; Cargo Room 3 ; case ; champagne ; child ; Chinese language ; choice ; circle ; class M ; close parking orbit ; cold ; colonist ; " come in "; computer ; consciousness ; construction ; contraction ; corridor ; creature ; cruiser ; Crystalline Entity ; custom ; danger ; day ; deactivation switch ; death ; debriefing ; deflector shield ; degree ; designer ; desire ; desktop monitor ; dimension ; disappearance ; discovery ; disease ; drawing ; dream ; duplicate ; dust ; Earth ; Earth colony ; electrochemical ; electromagnetic spectrum ; ensign ; entity ; epidermal mold ; event ; experience ; experiment ; eye ; farm / farmland ; father ; fear ; fibroid-like connection ; finger ; floor ; " for example "; frequency ; friend ; Galaxy class decks ; genius ; gift ; grammar ; gratitude ; hailing frequency ; heading ; heating device ; helm control ; home ; home planet ; " home sweet home "; hour ; Human ; Human form ; Human language ; Human quality ; humor ; hypotenuse ; idea ; ID signal ; identity record ; image ; imagination ; importance ; impression ; information ; " in other words "; inquiry ; insect ; instruction ; " in the open "; " in time "; jealousy ; joke ; Josh ; " keep an eye on "; kindness ; knowledge ; laboratory ; landing party ; language ; lie ; lieutenant ; life ( lifeform ); life force ; loyalty ; M., Jae ; M., Josh ; machine ; main phaser ; main viewer ; macrotool ; meaning ; measurement ; medical tricorder ; memory ; mental ability ; message ; meter ; micro-circuitry ; micro-miniature work tool ; microscope ; Milky Way Galaxy ; million ; mind ; minute ; mirror ; mister ; moon ; motherhood ; " move away "; " my God "; mystery ; name ; nature ; number one ; observation lounge ; o'clock ; " of course "; off switch ; offense ; ointment ; Omicron Theta (planet); Omicron Theta (star); Omicron Theta colony ; Omicron Theta moons ; Omicron Theta star system ; only child ; " on the nose "; opinion ; pain ; painting ; parent ; pattern ; payment ; permission ; photon torpedo ; physical strength ; place ; positron ; positronic brain ; potato ; promise ; proof ; Pythagorean theorem ; quadratanium ; quarters ; question ; ready room ; reason ; recording signal ; red alert ; refit ; report ; reputation ; research ; respect ; right angle ; right triangle ; ritual ; robot ; robotics scientist ; rule ; science ; secret ; security team ; senior officer ; sensor ; ship's store ; sickbay ; signal device ; sneeze ; snowflake ; soil ; soil bacteria ; Soong, Noonian ; Soong-type ; sound ; Southern Vineyard ; space duty ; specialist ; speech ; standard orbit ; Starfleet ; Starfleet Academy ; Starfleet uniform ; starship ; storage area ; subspace channel ; subwarp ; sweet ; switch ; syntax ; tangent ; teaching ; terrain ; thing ; thousand ; tic ; Timon of Athens ; toast ; tomato ; topographically ; torch ; training ; transporter ; tree ; tricorder ; Tripoli , USS ; Tripoli landing party ; Tripoli log ; turbolift ; turbo-sensor ; type I phaser ; type II phaser ; unconscious ; unnamed plants ; value ; vegetation ; viewscreen ; VISOR ; warrior ; weapon ; word ; work area ; world ; year ; yellow alert

Library computer references [ ]

NCC-1700 ; Argelius II ; Bayard's Planet ; concussion ring ; Constitution -class ; deflector ; Diana ; Excelsior -class ; Galileo ; Greyhound , USS ; hangar deck ; impulse drive ; impulse subsystems ; Jewel Stars, The ; light year ; Martian insect ; Muleskinner , USS ; phaser bank ; Phi Puma ; primary hull ; secondary hull ; sector ; sensor array ; supernova ; Type 7 shuttlecraft ; Wanderer -class ; warp nacelle ; warp subsystems

External links [ ]

  • "Datalore" at
  • " Datalore " at Memory Beta , the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
  • " Datalore " at Wikipedia
  • " Datalore " at the Internet Movie Database
  • " "Datalore" " at , a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
  • "Datalore" script  at Star Trek Minutiae
  • 1 Nick Locarno
  • 2 Sito Jaxa
  • 3 USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-G)
  • Children's/Family
  • Documentary/Reality
  • Amazon Prime Video


More From Decider

Jenna Bush Hager Cringes After Seeing Taylor Swift And Travis Kelce's Passionate Post-Concert Kiss: "Do They Make Out Like That In Front Of Her Dad?"

Jenna Bush Hager Cringes After Seeing Taylor Swift And Travis Kelce's...

'Take Care Of Maya': Kowalski Family Awarded $211 Million In Damages After Johns Hopkins Children's Hospital Found Liable In Death Of Beata Kowalski

'Take Care Of Maya': Kowalski Family Awarded $211 Million In Damages After...

"I’ve Lost All Faith": Does Paul Hollywood Speak for All 'Great British Baking Show' Fans After "Dessert Week"?

"I’ve Lost All Faith": Does Paul Hollywood Speak for All 'Great British...

Where Is Michael Strahan On 'GMA'? Host Missing For Third Week In A Row As He Deals With "Personal" Matter

Where Is Michael Strahan On 'GMA'? Host Missing For Third Week In A Row As...

Kelly Ripa Calls Out 'The Golden Bachelor' Gerry Turner On 'Live': "You Dropped The 'L Word' On More Than One Woman"

Kelly Ripa Calls Out 'The Golden Bachelor' Gerry Turner On 'Live': "You...

Where Is Michael Strahan Today On 'Good Morning America'?

Where Is Michael Strahan Today On 'Good Morning America'?

Kyle Richards Breaks Down In Tears Discussing Marriage With Mauricio Umansky At BravoCon: "This Is Not My Idea Of My Fairytale"

Kyle Richards Breaks Down In Tears Discussing Marriage With Mauricio...

'Southern Charm' Star Madison LeCroy Says Shep Rose Is Open To Making Out With Olivia Flowers During BravoCon Panel

'Southern Charm' Star Madison LeCroy Says Shep Rose Is Open To Making Out...

Share this:.

  • Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
  • Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)
  • Click to copy URL

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Finally Solved a Mystery Two Years in the Making

Where to stream:.

  • Star Trek: Discovery

CBS All Access

Over two years ago, on the far-off date of November 8, 2018, CBS All Access started streaming “Calypso,” a  Star Trek: Short Treks episode starring Aldis Hodge and Annabelle Wallis. In the episode, Hodge played Craft, a man who ends up on the long-ago abandoned  USS Discovery with only the voice of the computer, named Zora (Wallis), to accompany him. And while we may not know exactly what happened in the intervening time, thanks to this week’s episode of  Star Trek: Discovery we finally know how Zora came to be.

Spoilers for  Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 12 “There Is A Tide…” past this point.

There’s a lot going on in the hour, as villain Osyraa (Janet Kidder) uses the stolen ship  Discovery to sneak her way into Federation headquarters. There, she unsuccessfully lobbies Admiral Charles Vance (Oded Fehr) to allow The Emerald Chain to join the Federation, mostly because she won’t give up capitalism or herself to the authorities.

Meanwhile, back on  Discovery itself, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) goes full  Die Hard . We’ve seen Michael do this before back in Season 1, back when she was escaping Lorca’s thugs in the Mirror Universe. But here, it’s even more blatant, as she sneaks through the Jeffries Tubes, battles Emerald Chain baddies one by one, and even loses her shoes. All Burnham needed was to stick someone in the lift with a note that said, “Ho, ho, ho, now I have a phaser” and we would be set.

And yes:  Star Trek: Discovery is a Christmas movie.

As Burnham is fighting her own way through the ship, Tilly (Mary Wiseman) is stepping up to the plate and leading the rest of the bridge crew on their own rebellion. It’s actually really refreshing to see everyone working together, as the non-leads who usually nod at each other or look approvingly at Saru (Doug Jones) get to pull a fast one on The Emerald Chain. Just in time, too, as Burnham has fought their way to the group, and they’re ready to take back the ship, when they get help from an unexpected source.

Enter a group of DOT-7 repair droids, who offer to assist Tilly and company in retaking the vessel, but that’s not the interesting part. The twist is that they speak with actress Annabelle Wallis’ voice, aka Zora, a.k.a. the voice of Discovery from “Calypso.”

Okay, this is about to get a little complicated if you’re a casual  Discovery watcher, but bear with me. Last season the crew discovered a massive sphere that had records stretching nearly back to the beginning of the galaxy. That information was incorporated into  Discovery ‘s computers, and became impossible to delete or remove, to the point that an evil AI called Control tried to take, er, control of  Discovery . To keep the sphere data out of Control’s digital hands,  Discovery jumped 930 years into the future, which is where Season 3 has taken place.

Patrick Stewart Was Asked To Wear A Wig At His 'Star Trek' Audition — A Wig That Flew By Itself From Heathrow To LAX

Tom hardy "never said 'good morning'" or "good night" while filming 'star trek: nemesis,' says patrick stewart, stream it or skip it: ‘star trek: lower decks’ season 4 on paramount+, featuring the continuing (mis)adventures of starfleet’s proudest platoon members, best star trek gifts for trekkie fans on star trek day 2023.

Over the course of Season 3, Discovery — and the sphere date — has taken on a life of its own, actively working to guide and help the crew, as well as protect them. On “Forget Me Not” earlier this season we even saw the sphere date, through  Discovery ‘s computer, begin to speak. On that episode, it wasn’t entirely clear, because it was two voices: Julianne Grossman, who has previously voiced  Discovery ‘s computer; and Annabelle Wallis.

But this episode is the first time we’ve heard Wallis in full, as Zora. The sphere data has fully integrated with  Discovery , and become sentient — something I’m sure we’ll find out more about in next week’s season finale.

There are still plenty of questions about “Calypso,” not least of which is when it takes place, and why  Discovery has been abandoned. But thanks to “There Is A Tide…” we now know how the  Funny Face loving AI came to be. Merry Christmas, one and all.

Star Trek: Discovery ‘s third season concludes next Thursday on CBS All Access.

Where to watch  Star Trek: Discovery

  • CBS All Access

Joy Behar Slams "Illiterate" Travis Kelce On 'The View,' Says She Doesn't Want Taylor Swift To Be "Stuck With This Idiot"

Does 'yellowstone' return tonight 'yellowstone' season 5, part 2 premiere date info, tyler perry’s abusive father screams at film crew to “get the f--k away from here” in shocking scene from ‘maxine’s baby: the tyler perry story’, jenna bush hager cringes after seeing taylor swift and travis kelce's passionate post-concert kiss: "do they make out like that in front of her dad", donald trump reportedly hung up on kim kardashian after tense phone call: “you voted for biden and now you come asking me for a favor”, mark consuelos stunned after kelly ripa claims she likes "big men who are flexible" on 'live': "do you".

star trek data origin

star trek data origin

  • History Classics
  • Your Profile
  • Find History on Facebook (Opens in a new window)
  • Find History on Twitter (Opens in a new window)
  • Find History on YouTube (Opens in a new window)
  • Find History on Instagram (Opens in a new window)
  • Find History on TikTok (Opens in a new window)
  • This Day In History
  • History Podcasts
  • History Vault
  • History Travel

8 Ways the Original ‘Star Trek’ Made History

By: Sarah Pruitt

Updated: November 2, 2021 | Original: September 8, 2016

Star Trek

When "Star Trek" premiered on NBC in the fall of 1966, it promised "To boldly go where no man has gone before." More than half a century later, it has done just that. The original "Star Trek"—which lasted for only three seasons—birthed some 20 spinoff series and films; a universe of games, toys, comics and conventions; and influenced decades of science-fiction. Here are eight ways the show broke new ground. 

The Center Seat: 55 Years of Star Trek premieres Friday, November 5 at 10/9c on The HISTORY ®  Channel

1. A veteran of World War II, Gene Roddenberry created a show about fighting another world war—this time in space.

Gene Roddenberry circa 1947.

After piloting a B-17 bomber in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II , Roddenberry served in the Los Angeles Police Department before he began writing for TV. He created the short-lived series “The Lieutenant” before Desilu Studios (founded by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz) picked up “Star Trek” in 1966. In an era before man set foot on the moon, the show introduced us to a 23rd-century world where interplanetary travel was an established fact: Captain Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise (named for the real-life ship that turned the tide toward the Allies in the Battle of Midway) roamed the galaxy, clashing with alien enemies like the Klingons, Excalbians and Romulans.

2. The show’s multicultural, multiracial cast put it well ahead of its time.

The cast of "Star Trek" during season 3.

In addition to the half-Vulcan Spock, the crew of the Enterprise in “Star Trek”’s debut season included Lt. Nyota Uhura (played by the African American actress Nichelle Nichols) and Lt. Hikaru Sulu (played by the Japanese American actor George Takei). In an era of mounting racial tensions, “Star Trek” presented a positive image of people of different races, genders and cultures (not to mention aliens and humans!) working together cooperatively—a somewhat utopian vision, perhaps, but a heartening one. Nichols later said that she was reportedly thinking of leaving the show after the first season, but was convinced to stay on by none other than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , whom she met at a NAACP fundraiser. The civil rights leader, who admitted to being a devoted fan of the show, told Nichols that she was breaking new ground in the role of Uhura, and showing African Americans what was possible for them.

3. The original 'Star Trek' referred repeatedly to the ongoing, escalating conflict in Vietnam.

Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner and DeForest Kelley in the episode "Plato's Stepchildren."

Though marketed as a classic adventure drama (Roddenberry based the character of Captain Kirk on Horatio Hornblower from C.S. Forester’s classic naval adventure series), “Star Trek” didn’t shy away from tackling moral and social issues such as war, racism and discrimination. The first season episode “Taste for Armageddon” was one of TV’s first allegories for the Vietnam War , an issue the show would return to most famously in the second season’s “A Private Little War.” In that episode, the Klingons are providing weapons to a primitive planet, and Capt. Kirk decides to do the same in order to preserve the “balance of power” on both sides. One of the most controversial plot lines of that season, the story was clearly analogous to the escalating nature of American involvement in Vietnam.

4. But it offered a positive vision for the future in the midst of Cold War tensions.

Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov.

In the show’s second season, a new navigator named Pavel Andreievich Chekov showed up on the bridge of the starship Enterprise. As Roddenberry recounted in The Fifty-Year Mission , a two-volume oral history of “Star Trek” published in 2016, the character was added after the Russian newspaper Pravda pointed out that the show ignored the Soviet Union ’s pioneering contributions to space travel. But Walter Koenig, the actor who played Chekov, said the Pravda explanation was made up for publicity: The show’s producers wanted a character to appeal to a younger demographic, and just decided to make him Russian. Though a long-running theory held that the Klingons and the Federation represented the Soviet Union and the United States, two ideologically opposed superpowers, another interpretation argues that “Star Trek” functions as a critique of Cold War -era politics, by offering an optimistic vision of the future at a very uncertain moment in history.

5. It was the beneficiary of one of the most successful fan-organized letter-writing campaigns in TV history.

The U.S.S. Enterprise seen in a season 3 episode.

By late 1967, the original “Star Trek” series was struggling, and rumors flew that NBC was planning to cancel the series after only two seasons. Spurred into action, more than 100,000 fans—known as “Trekkers” or “Trekkies”—wrote letters in support of the show. In the largest of numerous protests on college campuses, 200 Caltech students marched to NBC’s Burbank, California studio wielding signs with slogans like “Draft Spock” and “Vulcan Power.” NBC eventually acknowledged the success of the fans’ campaign, announcing that the show would return for another season.

6. The show featured one of the first interracial kisses on TV.

Nichelle Nichols as Uhura and William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk in the episode "Plato's Stepchildren.

After being “saved” by the fans, the third season of the original “Star Trek” largely bombed, but one particular moment stands out: In the episode “Plato’s Stepchildren,” Capt. Kirk kisses his communications officer, Lt. Uhura, in what is thought to be the first scripted interracial kiss on American television. Though NBC executives worried how the kiss would play on television in 1968 (especially in the South), they eventually decided to leave it in the episode, earning the show enduring fame for the barrier-breaking moment. (Though Kirk and Uhura’s liplock is often cited as the first interracial kiss on TV, a kiss between actors on the British soap opera “Emergency Ward 10” predated “Plato’s Stepchildren” by several years.)

7. It enjoyed record-breaking success in syndication post-cancellation.

Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock and William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk.

Despite its cancellation after only three seasons (and 79 episodes), “Star Trek” gained new life through syndication, as the devotion of its growing fan base increased from the late 1960s and throughout the ‘70s. By 1986, nearly two decades after it entered syndication, A.C. Nielsen Co. listed “Star Trek: The Original Series” as the No. 1 syndicated show. That same year, Roddenberry launched a second TV series, “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” which was immediately syndicated and became a ratings hit. Meanwhile, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” had grossed more than $80 million in 1979, leading to several more movies in the ‘80s and ‘90s, followed by a 21st-century “reboot” of the series starting in 2009. Trekkie enthusiasm fueled the success of comic books, cartoons, novels, action figures and other merchandise based on the series, as well as Star Trek-themed conventions attended by thousands at hotels and other venues around the world.

8. Thanks to 'Star Trek' fans, America’s first space shuttle orbiter was christened Enterprise.

The cast of the original "Star Trek" attend the rollout of the space shuttle Enterprise in 1976.

In 1976, hundreds of thousands of Trekkies wrote impassioned letters to NASA arguing that the first space shuttle orbiter should be named after the starship Enterprise. Though he never mentioned the letter campaign, President Gerald R. Ford expressed his preference for the name “Enterprise,” with its hallowed Navy history, and the space administration’s officials ended up dropping their original choice, Constitution. Roddenberry and many original “Star Trek” cast members were on hand to greet the shuttle when it rolled out of the manufacturing facilities in Palmdale, California for its dedication ceremony in September 1976. Though Enterprise was used in a number of flight tests, it was never launched into space, and spent much of its life in storage.

star trek data origin

Sign up for Inside History

Get HISTORY’s most fascinating stories delivered to your inbox three times a week.

By submitting your information, you agree to receive emails from HISTORY and A+E Networks. You can opt out at any time. You must be 16 years or older and a resident of the United States.

More details : Privacy Notice | Terms of Use | Contact Us

Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki

A friendly reminder regarding spoilers ! At present the expanded Trek universe is in a period of major upheaval with the finale of Picard and the continuations of Discovery , Lower Decks , Prodigy and Strange New Worlds , the advent of new eras in Star Trek Online gaming , as well as other post-56th Anniversary publications such as the new ongoing IDW comic . Therefore, please be courteous to other users who may not be aware of current developments by using the {{ spoiler }}, {{ spoilers }} or {{ majorspoiler }} tags when adding new information from sources less than six months old . Also, please do not include details in the summary bar when editing pages and do not anticipate making additions relating to sources not yet in release. ' Thank You

Origin of Data

  • View history

This article has a real-world perspective! Click here for more information.

  • 1 Description
  • 2.1 Characters
  • 2.2 Locations
  • 2.3 Starships and vehicles
  • 3.1 Related media
  • 3.3 Connections
  • 3.4 External link

Description [ ]

References [ ], characters [ ], locations [ ], starships and vehicles [ ], appendices [ ], related media [ ].

Noonien Soong

Connections [ ]

External link [ ].

  • Origin of Data article at Memory Alpha , the wiki for canon Star Trek .
  • 1 Ferengi Rules of Acquisition
  • 2 Nicholas Locarno
  • 3 Odyssey class

Star Trek Online Wiki

See the announcement of the new STOwiki !

If you'd like to help out with updating the wiki, click here for a list of all new items and content!

  • VisualEditor
  • View history


Data is a Soong-type android , and former captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise -E .

  • 2 Missions involved
  • 4 References
  • 5 External link

History [ | ]

  • 2338 : Built by Noonien Soong , Data is activated after the Crystalline Entity destroys his home colony on Omicron Theta .
  • 2344: Data joins Starfleet , and serves as Operations Officer aboard the starships U.S.S. Enterprise -D and U.S.S. Enterprise -E beginning in 2364.
  • 2379: The Enterprise recovers another Soong-type android, called B-4. In an effort to teach his "brother," Data uploads his entire library of internal files to B-4. Later, Data sacrifices himself in order to rescue Captain Jean-Luc Picard and destroy the I.R.W. Scimitar .
  • 2384 : Starfleet transfers B-4 to the custody of the Soong Foundation .
  • 2385 : Data's personality is restored in B-4's body, thanks to the efforts of the Soong Foundation and Geordi La Forge . Data initially resists the restoration, and attempts to purge himself in an effort to save his "brother," but B-4 thwarts the attempt, sacrificing himself so Data can assist Starfleet against the Undine threat. ( The Needs of the Many )
  • 2386 : Data attends the wedding of Worf and Grilka. He later requests that his Starfleet commission be reactivated, which Starfleet Command agrees to after Ambassador Picard, William Riker, and other former Enterprise crew members testify on his behalf. Data is given the rank of Captain.
  • 2387 : Data assumes command of the Enterprise, which has undergone an extensive refit. He is able to perform the advanced calculations required to seal a rift to Fluidic space the size of a small moon. The Enterprise also assists Ambassador Picard and Spock's attempts to save the Romulan homeworld from destruction.
  • 2390 : The Enterprise surveys the McAllister C-5 Nebula; Data reports that they had discovered multiple quantum singularities in the area of the nebula that corresponded to those used by the Undine to cross from fluidic space.
  • 2408 : The Enterprise is lost to the Undine at Starbase 236 , though Data and his crew escape.
  • 2409 : When Va'Kel Shon is offered command of the U.S.S. Enterprise-F , he visits Data in Oxford, stating that he feels Data should assume the command. Data advises Shon to accept the command, saying Shon is an ideal candidate for the position. Data works with the Daystrom Institute in some capacity, and is working on an android he refers to as "brother," in his home. [1]
  • 2410 : Data has returned to Starfleet, and serves as a captain, though it is currently unknown what his assignment is.

Missions involved [ | ]


  • Data and B-4's story after Star Trek: Nemesis is outlined in the official Path to 2409 , the Star Trek Online tie-in novel The Needs of the Many , and Star Trek Magazine's Original Fiction .
  • While we don't see Data's face in his appearance in the ending cutscene of "Survivor", his possession of the Tasha Yar hologram and Sela's request that he tell her about Tasha strongly imply that this is in fact Data. His uniform may also suggest he is still in active service with Starfleet.
  • There are a number of inconsistencies between the fates of B-4 and Data as shown in the Star Trek Online timeline , and the events presented in Star Trek: Picard , which are yet to be addressed in-game.

References [ | ]

  • ↑ Original Fiction Unexpected Honor

External link [ | ]

  • Data at Memory Alpha , the Star Trek Wiki.
  • B-4 at Memory Alpha , the Star Trek Wiki.
  • Data at Memory Beta , the non-canon Star Trek Wiki.
  • 1 Playable starship
  • 3 List of canon starships
  • Cast & crew
  • User reviews

Walter Koenig, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, James Doohan, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, and Nichelle Nichols in Star Trek (1966)

In the 23rd Century, Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise explore the galaxy and defend the United Federation of Planets. In the 23rd Century, Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise explore the galaxy and defend the United Federation of Planets. In the 23rd Century, Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise explore the galaxy and defend the United Federation of Planets.

  • Gene Roddenberry
  • William Shatner
  • Leonard Nimoy
  • DeForest Kelley
  • 271 User reviews
  • 99 Critic reviews
  • 16 wins & 31 nominations total

Episodes 80

Star Trek | Retrospective

Photos 1915

William Shatner in Star Trek (1966)

  • Captain James Tiberius 'Jim' Kirk …

Leonard Nimoy

  • Mister Spock …

DeForest Kelley

  • Dr. McCoy …

Nichelle Nichols

  • Lieutenant Leslie …

George Takei

  • Nurse Chapel …

John Winston

  • 1st Cowboy …

David L. Ross

  • Yeoman Rand …

Bart La Rue

  • Announcer …

Barbara Babcock

  • Beta 5 Computer …
  • Security Guard …
  • All cast & crew
  • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

Stellar Photos From the "Star Trek" TV Universe

Nichelle Nichols and Sonequa Martin-Green at an event for Star Trek: Discovery (2017)

More like this

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Did you know

  • Trivia In the hallways of the Enterprise there are tubes marked "GNDN" - - these initials stand for "goes nowhere does nothing."
  • Goofs It takes a while for character names and back histories to settle during the first season and there are many inconsistencies. At the same time, the crew wears different colors of uniform for the first few weeks.

[Opening narration]

Capt. Kirk : Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its 5-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

  • Crazy credits On some episodes, the closing credits show a still that is actually from the Star Trek blooper reel. It is a close-up of stunt man Bill Blackburn who played an android in Return to Tomorrow (1968) , removing his latex make up. In the reel, He is shown taking it off, while an off-screen voice says "You wanted show business, you got it!"
  • Alternate versions In 2006, CBS went back to the archives and created HD prints of every episode of the show. In addition to the new video transfer, they re-did all of the model shots and some matte paintings using CGI effects, and re-recorded the original theme song to clean it up. These "Enhanced" versions of the episodes aired on syndication and have been released on DVD and Blu-Ray.
  • Connections Edited into Ben 10: Secrets (2006)
  • Soundtracks Star Trek Music by Alexander Courage

User reviews 271

  • Apr 28, 2005

Women in Science Fiction

Production art

  • How do they maintain Gravity on the the U.S.S. Enterprise ? .
  • What does "TOS" mean?
  • How big was the Enterprise model?
  • September 8, 1966 (United States)
  • United States
  • Star Trek: The Original Series
  • Backlot, Culver Studios - 9336 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, California, USA
  • Desilu Productions
  • Norway Corporation
  • Paramount Television
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro

Technical specs

  • Runtime 50 minutes

Related news

Contribute to this page.

  • IMDb Answers: Help fill gaps in our data
  • Learn more about contributing

More to explore

Production art

Recently viewed

Screen Rant

The star trek franchise's new 'big bads' teased by artist marcus to (exclusive).

The dinosaur-like Tzenkethi are rising as a powerful new Star Trek race, and comic artist Marcus Tells ScreenRant about creating these unique aliens.

  • New Star Trek artist Marcus To is reuniting with past 'Joy Ride' collaborators Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly.
  • Together, the creative team's upcoming Star Trek comics will finally bring the mysterious Tzenkethi to life.
  • Dinosaur-like and highly dangerous, To teases the "challenging" process, and the story coming soon to Trek fans.

Warning: contains spoilers for IDW's ongoing Star Trek series A new chapter has begun for the world of Star Trek , finally bringing an aien threat to life that fans have been waiting for years to see. But according to the storytellers, the long-awaited debut of the mysterious Tzenkethi will offer more than the heroes bargained for.

Writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, who helped mastermind this year's Day of Blood crossover with Christopher Cantwell, will be returning for the book's second year. Joining Lanzing and Kelly for the book's new arc, titled "Glass and Bone," is superstar artist Marcus To. To was gracious enough to sit down with ScreenRant and talk about his beginnings with the franchise, as well as what fans can expect from the book's new storyline.

Screen Rant: Everyone has a story about how they became a Star Trek fan. What is yours? Were there any episodes/shows/movies/characters that really influenced your love of Trek?

Marcus To: I honestly got into Trek mostly on my own. I came to it from mostly watching Voyager when it was on TV. I loved the style at the time and wanted more. But when it was released for streaming was really when I got into it full steam. There were so many episodes that got me, such as The Next Generation - “The Drumhead”, Deep Space Nine - “Trials and Tribble-ations” and Voyager - “Lineage.” I mean I can go on and on. What I loved about Star Trek was the message that we can accomplish anything with morality, science and compassion (Kirk-Spock-Bones)

SR: How did you come to work on Star Trek with Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly?

MT: We can all thank Heather Antos for putting us together again. Heather and I have been talking about working together for so long and this was the perfect situation.

SR: This isn’t your first time working with Lanzing and Kelly either, having collaborated on Joy Ride . What was it like working with them again?

MT: I love Jackson and Collin, we've stayed in contact for years–they came to my wedding in Canada. They are my favorite collaborators, and I am so happy to be a part of the team again.

SR: Joy Ride was a creator-owned title, with all the freedom that comes with that. What was it like to switch gears and work on a licensed property like Star Trek ?

MT: Joy Ride was our love letter to the Star Trek style, episodic sci-fi which was a dream to collaborate with Jackson and Collin on. Being on the actual property is a different experience but also a very rewarding one. To have even a small place in the history of making Trek is something that I am very blessed to be involved in.

SR: On that note, Lanzing and Kelly have said Star Trek was an influence on Joy Ride. How did that book prepare you for drawing Star Trek?

MT: I think, art wise, they have very different mindsets. With Joy Ride it was like sitting around with your friends making up an entire world of possibilities. When you work on a licensed property you have to work within the parameters of the world which has a rich history already. Both are very fun exercises. With Trek , since I have watched and read so many past stories, I felt at home with how I felt like the characters would move, emote and act. I believe I was prepared for this project for years.

SR: What kinds of research did you have to do before working on Star Trek?

MT: I watched and rewatched every episode of Trek and read many of the books, so you can say I have been researching for the last decade or so. But in all seriousness, drawing likenesses has always been a struggle for me, so pouring through images of the actors such as Avery Brooks and Gates McFadden was something I have been doing for every issue. It's been a great learning experience drawing from real life photos and screenshots and how to draw different people.

Related: Star Trek's Tom Paris Officially Becomes One of Starfleet's Deadliest Men Alive

The Tzenkethi Are Finally Taking Shape in Star Trek Canon

SR: This arc involves the Tzenkethi , an oft-mentioned but never seen race in the Star Trek universe. Furthermore, almost all that exists about them is in fan lore and media tie-ins. This makes them kind of a blank slate–did you have any say in designing this unique race?

MT: The crew and I had long talks over what we wanted to do with them. Heather, Jackson, and Collin had a base idea of what they wanted the feel of the Tzenkethi to be and what their world would look like, and we had a bunch of back and forth discussions while I was sketching them initially. I hope the fans can enjoy the work we put into them to make them feel like a part of the world of Trek.

SR: The descriptions of the Tzenkethi ships are wild. Will we get to see these up close?

MT: The ships have been quite challenging to draw, they will be a key point in the story.

The never-seen Tzenkethi were first mentioned in the Deep Space Nine episode "The Adversary."

SR: IDW’s Star Trek comics are taking characters from all incarnations of the franchise and bringing them together. You’re drawing a bunch of them in this arc, but are there any characters that you would like to work on, but didn’t get a chance to here?

MT: The Ferengi. I have been a huge Ferengi fan since Deep Space Nine . I have yet to draw them, but I hope to one day. Second is the Cardassians.

SR: What’s next for Marcus To? Any cool projects you’d like to talk about? Anything else Trek- related on the horizon?

MT: At the moment, I am still finishing off this arc on Star Trek, which I am relishing every moment with this creative team. I do have another book coming out in the spring with IDW called Kingdom Riders that I co-created with Shannon Eric Denton, that is a graphic novel about a rally-type race involving fantasy riders upon mythical beasts. I am also working on more creator-owned stuff with my cohorts at the RAID studios. The creative train never stops.

Star Trek #14 is on sale November 22, 2023 from IDW Publishing.

star trek data origin

  • Movies & TV
  • Featured Categories
  • Action & Adventure

Amazon prime logo

Enjoy fast, FREE delivery, exclusive deals and award-winning movies & TV shows with Prime Try Prime and start saving today with Fast, FREE Delivery

Amazon Prime includes:

Fast, FREE Delivery is available to Prime members. To join, select "Try Amazon Prime and start saving today with Fast, FREE Delivery" below the Add to Cart button.

  • Cardmembers earn 5% Back at with a Prime Credit Card.
  • Unlimited Free Two-Day Delivery
  • Instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV episodes with Prime Video
  • A Kindle book to borrow for free each month - with no due dates
  • Listen to over 2 million songs and hundreds of playlists
  • Unlimited photo storage with anywhere access

Important:  Your credit card will NOT be charged when you start your free trial or if you cancel during the trial period. If you're happy with Amazon Prime, do nothing. At the end of the free trial, your membership will automatically upgrade to a monthly membership.

  • Free returns are available for the shipping address you chose. You can return the item for any reason in new and unused condition: no shipping charges
  • Learn more about free returns.
  • Go to your orders and start the return
  • Select the return method

Other Sellers on Amazon

Image unavailable.

Star Trek: Picard The Legacy Collection [Blu-ray]

  • Sorry, this item is not available in
  • Image not available
  • To view this video download Flash Player

star trek data origin

Star Trek: Picard The Legacy Collection [Blu-ray]

Blu-ray w/ gwp.

  • Blu-ray $199.95

Purchase options and add-ons

Frequently bought together.

Star Trek: Picard The Legacy Collection [Blu-ray]

Similar items that may ship from close to you

Star Trek: Picard - The Complete Series

From the manufacturer

Banner image

Special Features:

Limited to 11,750 copies worldwide!

  • Over 35 hours of features
  • Premium Packaging Containing 54 Blu-ray Discs and Exclusive Collectables
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation – Seasons 1-7
  • Star Trek: Picard – Seasons 1-3
  • Star Trek: Generations
  • Star Trek: First Contact
  • Star Trek: Nemesis
  • Star Trek: Insurrection
  • Magnetic Captain Picard Badges
  • 4 Custom Chateau Picard Drink Coasters
  • Custom Deck of Playing Cards
  • Featuring New Cover Art and includes quotes from the latest seasons of Star Trek: Picard

Product Description

Star Trek: The Picard Legacy Collection is the definitive release for Star Trek: The Next Generation fans. This limited edition, individually numbered, 54-Disc Blu-ray collection features one of a kind packaging that houses every series and film featuring Jean-Luc Picard. Along with over 35 hours of special features, films and series include “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Seasons 1-7,” “Star Trek: Picard – Seasons 1-3,” Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Nemesis, and Star Trek: Insurrection. This limited set also includes an exclusive edition of The Wisdom of Picard featuring brand new artwork and quotes, along with a one-of-a-kind deck of playing cards, a magnet sheet featuring all of Captain Picard’s badges and four custom Chateau Picard drink coasters.

Product details

  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.31 x 8.07 x 6.89 inches; 5.67 Pounds
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Blu-ray
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 167 hours
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ November 7, 2023
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ LeVar Burton, Jonathon Frakes, Pactrick Stewart
  • Dubbed: ‏ : ‎ English, German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Italian
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ PARAMOUNT
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0C87DFHNY
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 54
  • #322 in Action & Adventure Blu-ray Discs

Videos for this product

Video Widget Card

Click to play video

Video Widget Video Title Section

Picard Legacy Collection


star trek data origin

Star Trek: Picard - The Legacy Collection (Trailer)

Paramount Pictures

Important information

To report an issue with this product, click here .

Customer reviews

Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzed reviews to verify trustworthiness.

Reviews with images

Customer Image

Submit a report

  • Harassment, profanity
  • Spam, advertisement, promotions
  • Given in exchange for cash, discounts

Sorry, there was an error

  • Sort reviews by Top reviews Most recent Top reviews

Top reviews from the United States

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. please try again later..

star trek data origin

  • Amazon Newsletter
  • About Amazon
  • Accessibility
  • Sustainability
  • Press Center
  • Investor Relations
  • Amazon Devices
  • Amazon Science
  • Start Selling with Amazon
  • Sell apps on Amazon
  • Supply to Amazon
  • Protect & Build Your Brand
  • Become an Affiliate
  • Become a Delivery Driver
  • Start a Package Delivery Business
  • Advertise Your Products
  • Self-Publish with Us
  • Host an Amazon Hub
  • › See More Ways to Make Money
  • Amazon Visa
  • Amazon Store Card
  • Amazon Secured Card
  • Amazon Business Card
  • Shop with Points
  • Credit Card Marketplace
  • Reload Your Balance
  • Amazon Currency Converter
  • Your Account
  • Your Orders
  • Shipping Rates & Policies
  • Amazon Prime
  • Returns & Replacements
  • Manage Your Content and Devices
  • Your Recalls and Product Safety Alerts
  • Conditions of Use
  • Privacy Notice
  • Your Ads Privacy Choices

star trek data origin


10 Best Weird Aliens in Star Trek

Posted: November 10, 2023 | Last updated: November 10, 2023

The following contains mild spoilers for Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 4.

Star Trek gets weird sometimes. It's almost unavoidable after six decades' worth of Star Trek series and movies and counting. Every now and again, however, the saga takes a hard right into the truly bizarre, and the results -- both good and bad -- are invariably memorable. That especially applies to the various sentient aliens they encounter.

While humanoid species are the norm, their ranks also include numerous strange and unusual creations that help give the franchise its distinctive vibes. Here are the 10 most unusual aliens that have featured in various Star Trek series. Some are classics and some are just memorable misfires, but all of them are uniquely Star Trek.

Balok and His Puppet

First appearance: the original series season 1, episode 11, "the corbomite maneuver".

Star Trek: The Original Series takes a run at the finale from The Wizard of Oz , as a seemingly deadly ship turns out to be run by a benign alien named Balok. His "puppet" -- a sinister-looking alien whom Kirk thought he'd been dealing with -- is designed to scare who he meets in order to gauge their intentions. Balok is famously played by a very young Clint Howard, with the adult Walker Edmiston providing his speaking voice.

Star Trek: Lower Decks ups the ante in its inimitable fashion in Season 4, Episode 9, "The Inner Fight." Balok's puppet is apparently based on a real alien, who is itself so puppet-like that Captain Freeman mistakes it for a phony. That includes speech that fails to sync with its lip movements, and tiny noodle-like limbs hidden beneath his cloak. He even sits on a table, looking like nothing so much as an animatronic bust before Freeman starts shaking him up and down.

Cheron Natives

First appearance: the original series season 3, episode 15, "let that be your last battlefield".

10 Best Sci-Fi Tropes Star Trek Popularized

The Cheron natives, AKA "The black and white guys" have become the poster children for Star Trek's social conscience. "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" is an open comment on racism, and specifically the patent absurdities that racism relies upon. Kirk and the Enterprise encounter the last two members of a species locked in eternal hatred because the dual colors of their skin are reversed.

They come to an ironic end after one of them forces the Enterprise to return to their home planet, only to find their species has wiped itself out in a race-driven apocalypse. Rather than reconcile, they beam down to the planet's surface to continue their conflict. The episode is often derided for its heavy-handedness (and their appearance is far too metaphoric, especially for modern audiences), but they linger in the memory, and their final fate is appropriately poetic.

The Crystalline Entity

First appearance: star trek: the next generation season 1, episode 13, "datalore".

Not every Star Trek alien is planet-bound, as Star Trek: The Next Generation makes clear with the Crystalline Entity. It feeds on electromagnetic energy, and converts entire planetary ecosystems into nourishment. Data's genocidal brother Lore strikes an alliance with the being and leads it to the world of Omicron Theta about 25 years before the events of The Next Generation , where it destroys almost the entire population. The Enterprise-D later destroys it in Season 5, Episode 4, "Silicon Avatar," though other specimens are known to exist.

The Entity plays a central role in Data's origin story as Starfleet officers found him deactivated on Omicron Theta after its attack, which draws extra attention to its weird appearance. A giant interstellar snowflake stands in stark contrast to its sheer destructive power, as does its odd alliance with Lore. "Silicon Avatar" suggests that communication with the entity may be possible, and implies that it feeds out of hunger rather than active malevolence.

First Appearance: Star Trek: The Animated Series Season 1, Episode 1, "Beyond the Farthest Star"

10 Ways Star Trek Needs to Reinvent Itself for Future Series

Star Trek: The Animated Series takes advantage of its format in ways The Original Series couldn't. This happened most notably with the truly strange alien beings the crew encounters which don't require practical effects (or even logic) to appear onscreen. That results in two new bridge officers from distinctly alien races, and while the cat-like Caitians are more or less par for the course, the three-armed Edosians are definitely cut from a different cloth.

Little has been confirmed about them save for their bizarre appearance. Script notes hold that they're a peaceful species that has never known war. The Enterprise officer, Lt. Arex, serves as navigator and utility infielder onboard the Enterprise, and reflects that assessment with a pleasant and cheerful demeanor. (He also plays the lute.) While they vanished after The Animated Series , shows like Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine have mentioned them by name. Star Trek: Lower Decks brought them back in a big way, with multiple Edosians appearing in the series.

First Appearance: The Original Series Season 1, Episode 26, "The Devil in the Dark"

"The Devil in the Dark" is one of The Original Series finest episodes: a tension-laden confrontation with a being known as the Horta suspected of killing workers in a mining colony. Kirk and Spock deduce that the creature is intelligent, and seeks only to protect its eggs which are threatened by the mining operations. The Horta is a silicon-based lifeform with the ability to tunnel through rock, which becomes a huge boon to the miners once the two sides stop being afraid of each other.

The Original Series often stumbled against budgetary limitations, but scored a big hit with the creature here: strange, unsettling, and conceivably capable of anything. According to The World of Star Trek reference manual, Screenwriter and co-producer Gene L. Coon wrote the script around the creature, after effects artist Janos Prohaska showed him the completed costume. The look cements the episode's moral lesson and leaves the franchise with one of its most distinctive nonhuman creatures.


First appearance: star trek: the animated series season 2, episode 2, "bem".

Star Trek's 10 Greatest One-off Characters

Star Trek: The Animated Series gets deeply weird for the Pandronians, even considering its other array of strange creatures. They're a "colony creature," consisting of separate entities that comprise a single seemingly ordinary humanoid body. The components can disassemble into individuals (resembling a floating head, arms, a torso, and a trunk with spider-like limbs), which can act independently before re-forming into their joined identity.

The episode -- and the Pandronians -- have an interesting pedigree. Writer David Gerrold created them when he penned the screenplay, after creating the equally memorable title creatures in The Original Series Season 2, Episode 15, "The Trouble with Tribbles." As with most creatures in The Animated Series they disappeared from the franchise before Lower Decks resurrected them in Season 2, Episode 8, "I, Excretus."

The Providers

First appearance: the original series season 2, episode 16, "the gamesters of triskelion".

Despite its impressive visual effects, The Original Series often fell victim to budgetary limitations, and sometimes had to make do with less expensive options. "The Gamesters of Triskelion" is an object example. Its planet du jour is run by a trio of glowing brains called The Providers, bored with immortality, who amuse themselves with a system of gladiator games on the planet's surface. It gives Kirk a chance to play Spartacus when he, Uhura, and Chekov are kidnapped to join their ranks.

The episode itself is grand goofy fun, with silly outfits aplenty and glowing shock collars to keep the "thralls" in line. But the campy high point comes with Kirk (bare-chested and wearing a slave harness) argues moral philosophy before a trio of multi-colored brains in a fish bowl. Lower Decks hasn't yet taken a run at them, at least as of the end of Season 4, but it feels very much like a "when," not an "if."

The "Space Salamanders"

First appearance: star trek: voyager season 2, episode 15, "threshold".

The "space salamanders" are actually a highly evolved form of humanity, more specifically Captain Janeway and Lt. Paris . After Paris breaks Warp 10 in an experimental shuttle, he undergoes a horrifying transformation, then abducts Janeway and dopes the same to her. The rest of the crew find them on an uninhabited planet, transformed into human-sized amphibians with a clutch of juvenile offspring. Chakotay stuns them and returns them to the Voyager, leaving the "children" behind.

The final twist makes "Threshold" the most infamous episode of the series, with the space salamanders serving as an utterly baffling final twist that still has fans chuckling. Ironically, the 40 minutes leading up to it are ripping good drama, with a terrified Paris slowly succumbing to Cronenbergian body horror. It's all for nothing when the reveal is as goofy as this one, leaving the space salamanders one of Star Trek's most lovably bad aliens of all time.

Why Star Trek Makes Humanity More Prominent Than Aliens

Sylvia and Korob

First appearance: the original series season 2, episode 7, "catspaw".

"Catspaw" is an obvious gimmick episode: first airing on Oct. 27, 1967, and actively written with Halloween in mind. Kirk and the Enterprise find what appears to be a haunted castle, complete with skeletons, cobwebs, and a shapeshifting black cat. The episode's antagonists, Sylvia and Korob, appear to be the castle's owners: appearing as a wizard and his familiar and wielding extraordinary powers.

They turn into one of the franchise's periodic riffs on The Wizard of Oz , as Kirk destroys the technology that gives them their powers. The castle and its environs vanish, leaving "the man behind the curtain" a pair of tiny blue-and-yellow insectoid beings who quickly perish once revealed. Ostensibly explorers from beyond the galaxy, they grew addicted to the sensations afforded by this plane of existence and delighted in the pain they caused. The franchise has declined to follow up with repeat appearance, though Star Trek: Deep Space Nine includes brief images of the beings on educational PADDs.

First Appearance: Star Trek: The Animated Series Season 1, Episode 6, "The Survivor"

Vendorians are shapeshifters, of which Star Trek has a bumper crop: making them superfluous to the franchise's needs. Their natural form resembles an upright orange cephalapod with a bulbous head, though they can appear as any organic or inorganic material of the same mass. Duplicitous and hostile, they reproduce by laying eggs in living hosts -- including humans and other sentient creatures -- which combines with their transformational abilities to make them extremely dangerous.

The Federation has quarantined their planet, though the Romulans made use of them as spies in The Original Series era. "The Survivor" concerns a Vendorian who hijacks the Enterprise in an effort to reach the Neutral Zone. Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 2, "Envoys" depicts one disguised as an Andorian whom Boimler mistakenly tries to save from an angry mob, and they later make a prominent appearance in Season 4, Episode 8, "Caves."

10 Best Weird Aliens in Star Trek

More for You

Highlighting the release of the Jan. 6, 2021, footage from the Capitol in a series of posts to X, formerly known as Twitter, Lee called into question the character of former Republican Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.

Sen. Mike Lee calls for investigation of J6 committee after tapes released: 'Deliberately hid from us'

New Snowfall Predictions For This Winter

Meteorologists Just Released Snowfall Predictions For This Winter—Here’s Where Flakes Are Most Likely to Fly

warren buffett the post premiere 2017_shutterstock_editorial_9292999dn

Warren Buffett Says Poor People Waste Money On These 12 Things

Peanuts by Charles Schulz

Peanuts by Charles Schulz

Video of Russia's latest Lancet drone striking a US Bradley IFV shows how the weapon has been adapted to evade Ukrainian defenses

Video of Russia's latest Lancet drone striking a US Bradley IFV shows how the weapon has been adapted to evade Ukrainian defenses

NBA says Hornets' LaMelo Ball must cover 'LF' tattoo, cites policy

NBA says Hornets' LaMelo Ball must cover 'LF' tattoo, cites policy

January 6 riot photo

New January 6 Videos Praised by Republicans: 'Narrative Has Crumbled'

Worried Senior Male Driver Looking Through Car Windscreen

When should older drivers have to stop driving?

The Army Corps of Engineers conducts research in a tunnel bored into permafrost just North of Fairbanks.

The Arctic permafrost is 1,000 years old. As it thaws, scientists worry what it might unleash

Moment Croatian drug cartel leader arrested by police in Istanbul Thumbnail

Moment Croatian drug cartel leader arrested by police in Istanbul

My soon-to-be ex-husband placed his money in a trust before we married, and used it to buy properties. Am I entitled to any of these?

My soon-to-be ex-husband placed his money in a trust before we married, and used it to buy properties. Am I entitled to any of these?

Ukraine Increases Attacks on Russian Territory

Russia Foils Major Ukraine Attack on Putin's Prized Possession

Haberman says this detail of Trump audio struck her

Haberman says this detail of Trump audio struck her

Iceland's Mount Hekla erupts after 100 years

Iceland's Mount Hekla erupts after 100 years

Reality Check by Dave Whamond

Reality Check by Dave Whamond

Former Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann was appointed Germany manager on 22 September

Nagelsmann loses on home debut as Germany boss

A gray wolf is seen, July 16, 2004, at the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake, Minn.

Colorado to release gray wolves: Here's when, where and why.

Ukrainian soldier carries a drone

Russia Suffers $900M Military Loss From Ukraine's Secret Weapon: Report

donald trump washington dc sept 23 2020_shutterstock_editorial_10786888m

What Donald Trump’s Presidency Meant for Your Wallet — And How It Could Change If He Wins Again

Iceland declares state of emergency amid volcanic eruption warnings, earthquakes

Iceland declares state of emergency amid volcanic eruption warnings, earthquakes

Help | Advanced Search

Astrophysics > Astrophysics of Galaxies

Title: origin of an orbiting star around the galactic supermassive black hole.

Abstract: The tremendous tidal force that is linked to the supermassive black hole (SMBH) at the center of our galaxy is expected to strongly subdue star formation in its vicinity. Stars within 1" from the SMBH thus likely formed further from the SMBH and migrated to their current positions. In this study, spectroscopic observations of the star S0-6/S10, one of the closest (projected distance from the SMBH of about 0.3") late-type stars were conducted. Using metal absorption lines in the spectra of S0-6, the radial velocity of S0-6 from 2014 to 2021 was measured, and a marginal acceleration was detected, which indicated that S0-6 is close to the SMBH. The S0-6 spectra were employed to determine its stellar parameters including temperature, chemical abundances ([M/H], [Fe/H], [alpha/Fe], [Ca/Fe], [Mg/Fe], [Ti/Fe]), and age. As suggested by the results of this study, S0-6 is very old (> ~10 Gyr) and has an origin different from that of stars born in the central pc region.

Submission history

Access paper:.

  • Download PDF
  • Other Formats

star trek data origin

References & Citations

  • Google Scholar
  • Semantic Scholar

BibTeX formatted citation

BibSonomy logo

Bibliographic and Citation Tools

Code, data and media associated with this article, recommenders and search tools.

  • Institution

arXivLabs: experimental projects with community collaborators

arXivLabs is a framework that allows collaborators to develop and share new arXiv features directly on our website.

Both individuals and organizations that work with arXivLabs have embraced and accepted our values of openness, community, excellence, and user data privacy. arXiv is committed to these values and only works with partners that adhere to them.

Have an idea for a project that will add value for arXiv's community? Learn more about arXivLabs .


  1. Commander Data

    star trek data origin

  2. Data (Star Trek : The Next Generation)

    star trek data origin

  3. Data Star Trek Data, Stark Trek, Red Dwarf, Star Trek Original

    star trek data origin

  4. 'Data' from Star Trek explains why he was arrested in the 70s

    star trek data origin

  5. Data (Star Trek)

    star trek data origin

  6. Data remains the most iconic 'Star Trek' character: These quotes prove

    star trek data origin


  1. Data Reboots

  2. Star Trek Next Generation

  3. Data shares friendly tip in diplomacy

  4. Star Trek Online Protagonist vs Star Trek #startrek #startrekonline #vs

  5. Star Trek Picard finale: Data flies the Enterprise but I made it even better

  6. Star Trek TNG: Data Dances


  1. Data (Star Trek)

    It was in the Star Trek prequel "Star Trek: Enterprise" episode "The Augments" that the origin of Data can be traced back to a scientific theory created by Genetic Engineer Arik Soong, ancestor to Data's "father / creator" Noonien Soong, who noted that his theory would take generations beyond his lifetime to develop into a practical working model.

  2. Star Trek: Who Created Data And What Happened To Him?

    Paramount Doctor Noonian Soong came from a long lineage of mad cybernetics experts, and they were engaged in some questionable experiments long before Data was assembled. Soong's ancestor, Adam...

  3. Star Trek: Who Created Data and Lore?

    Data was found and rescued by Starfleet in 2338, while Lore was left behind in the rubbles of Dr. Soong's lab. To learn more about Data, Lore, their creation, and differences, keep on reading this article. Who was Data in Star Trek? Data is a highly prominent and important character in Star Trek: The Next Generation and beyond.

  4. Data

    Born: February 2, 2338 (activation date), Omicron Theta Died: 1893 (revived in 2369 ), San Francisco, California, Earth 2379, Scimitar, Bassen Rift (physical body) 2399,

  5. Who Created Data on Star Trek?

    The Life And Legacy Of Dr. Soong, The Creator Of Star Trek's Data. Early in "Star Trek: The Next Generation," the android Data ( Brent Spiner) explained his backstory to his new crewmates on the U ...

  6. Noonian Soong

    Doctor Noonian Soong (sometimes listed as Noonien Soong), who was nicknamed "Often Wrong", was one of the Federation's leading cyberneticists during the 24th century. Soong was the designer of at least six Soong-type androids: Data, Lore, B-4, and a recreation of his wife Juliana, as well as two prototypes. He was a descendant of 22nd century criminal geneticist Arik Soong, who started work in ...

  7. How Did Data Die On Star Trek & How Did He Return?

    As mentioned, Data's first demise came at the end of 2002's "Star Trek: Nemesis." With a Romulan praetor, Shinzon about to unleash a doomsday weapon on the Enterprise, Captain Jean-Luc Picard ...

  8. Who STAR TREK's Data Was, and Where He Is Now

    For starters, Data was actually killed off at the end of the last Next Generation feature film, Star Trek: Nemesis. Second, actor Brent Spiner is now 70 years old, a far cry from the eternally ...

  9. This Is What Happened To Data From Star Trek

    Even though Data's storyline was wrapped up during the course of 2002's Star Trek: Nemesis, the franchise wasn't completely done with Spiner.While the door was left open for the character of Data ...

  10. Picard Always Knew: Data Is Star Trek TNG's Away Team MVP

    Summary. Lt. Commander Data's android abilities, including enhanced strength and intelligence, made him a crucial asset on away missions in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Data's observant and open-minded nature, combined with his lack of bias and emotion, allowed him to excel in various situations and display empathy for other life forms.

  11. TNG's Patrick Stewart Is Responsible for 'Data' Name ...

    TNG's Patrick Stewart Is Responsible for 'Data' Name Pronunciation by Matthew Hart Aug 14 2019 • 3:00 PM Dedicated fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation probably know that Lieutenant...

  12. Star Trek

    The franchise began with Star Trek: The Original Series, which debuted in the US on September 8, 1966, and aired for three seasons on NBC.

  13. Trek Comics Special: MIRROR BROKEN

    IDW Publishing's Star Trek: The Next Generation - Mirror Broken miniseries concludes with its final chapter soon, but today we're taking a look at a special Loot Crate-exclusive issue of this alternate universe tale, which was bundled in the subscription service's September release: "Origin of Data," a prequel shedding light on how this dark version of […]

  14. Data (Star Trek)

    Mr.Data Commander Data Data Soong Brother by Lore Origin Star Trek: The Next Generation Occupation Starfleet Officer Powers / Skills Leadership Expert pilot Genius-level Knowledge Superhuman Strength Superhuman Speed Hobby Painting, Playing Sherlock Holmes Goals Become more human

  15. Star Trek: 10 Things People Forget About Data

    The creation of Noonien Soong, Data was the first android to join Starfleet and more than proved himself time and time again. But with so many stories and so many years gone by, it can be easy to forget some things about everyone's favorite yellow-eyed cat lover. 10 He's Immortal

  16. Geordi & Data's Greatest Adventures

    By Jay Stobie The friendship between Geordi La Forge and Data continued to blossom and grow stronger over the course of their tenures aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise-D and U.S.S. Enterprise-E, as the only event able to sever their bond was Data's untimely death during Shinzon's attack in Star Trek Nemesis.

  17. Datalore (episode)

    The Enterprise explores Data's home planet, Omicron Theta. They find his brother, and the dark secret he carries. While passing by Omicron Theta en route to their next assignment, the USS Enterprise-D stops to investigate the site of Data's discovery. However, Data is in his quarters practicing sneezing. Wesley Crusher walks in on Data pretending to sneeze in front of a mirror and asks him if ...

  18. Star Trek Discovery Reveals The Origin Of Zora from Calypso

    That information was incorporated into Discovery 's computers, and became impossible to delete or remove, to the point that an evil AI called Control tried to take, er, control of Discovery. To...

  19. 8 Ways the Original 'Star Trek' Made History

    1. A veteran of World War II, Gene Roddenberry created a show about fighting another world war—this time in space. Gene Roddenberry circa 1947. (Credit: Keystone/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

  20. Origin of Data

    16 October 2017 The Origin of Data is an addendum to The Next Generation 's miniseries, Mirror Broken, set in the mirror universe . Contents 1 Description 2 References 2.1 Characters 2.2 Locations 2.3 Starships and vehicles 3 Appendices 3.1 Related media 3.2 Images 3.3 Connections 3.4 External link Description

  21. Data

    Data is a Soong-type android, and former captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise-E. 2338: Built by Noonien Soong, Data is activated after the Crystalline Entity destroys his home colony on Omicron Theta. 2344: Data joins Starfleet, and serves as Operations Officer aboard the starships U.S.S. Enterprise-D and U.S.S. Enterprise-E beginning in 2364. 2379: The Enterprise recovers another Soong-type ...

  22. Star Trek: The Original Series

    Toggle Distribution subsection that follows the adventures of the starship USS and its crew. It later acquired the Star Trek: The Original Series to distinguish the show within the media franchise that it began The show is set in the 2266-2269.

  23. Star Trek (TV Series 1966-1969)

    With Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols. In the 23rd Century, Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise explore the galaxy and defend the United Federation of Planets.

  24. The Complete History of Star Trek

    The Complete History of Star Trek By Marc N. Kleinhenz Published Jul 22, 2016 From WWIII in 2026 to Spock and Nero's time-traveling in 2387 (giving birth to the current Star Trek movies), we chart out the history of the future.

  25. Picard's Android Body Is Soong's Best Star Trek Act (Besides Data)

    Picard's Android Body Is Soong's Best Star Trek Act (Besides Data) In a surprisingly kind move for a Soong, Dr. Altan Soong gave up his golem body for a dying Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: Picard season 1.

  26. The Star Trek Franchise's New 'Big Bads' Teased by Artist Marcus To

    Summary. New Star Trek artist Marcus To is reuniting with past 'Joy Ride' collaborators Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly. Together, the creative team's upcoming Star Trek comics will finally bring the mysterious Tzenkethi to life. Dinosaur-like and highly dangerous, To teases the "challenging" process, and the story coming soon to Trek fans.

  27. Star Trek: Picard The Legacy Collection [Blu-ray]

    Star Trek: The Picard Legacy Collection is the definitive release for Star Trek: The Next Generation fans. This limited edition, individually numbered, 54-Disc Blu-ray collection features one of a kind packaging that houses every series and film featuring Jean-Luc Picard.

  28. What's Keeping Frasier And Lilith From Getting Back Together? A Star

    On the plane, she sits next to a man named Albert who's played by Brent Spiner, the actor best known for portraying Data on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and who Patrick Stewart believed should ...

  29. 10 Best Weird Aliens in Star Trek

    First Appearance: Star Trek: Voyager Season 2, Episode 15, "Threshold". The "space salamanders" are actually a highly evolved form of humanity, more specifically Captain Janeway and Lt. Paris ...

  30. [2311.08869] Origin of an Orbiting Star Around the Galactic

    The tremendous tidal force that is linked to the supermassive black hole (SMBH) at the center of our galaxy is expected to strongly subdue star formation in its vicinity. Stars within 1" from the SMBH thus likely formed further from the SMBH and migrated to their current positions. In this study, spectroscopic observations of the star S0-6/S10, one of the closest (projected distance from the ...