How is Data in 'Star Trek: Picard' if he died in 'Star Trek: Nemesis?'

In Picard season 3 episode 6, "The Bounty," Riker, Worf and Raffi Musiker's away mission reunites them with an old friend, but how?

Data returns in Star Trek: Picard season 3 episode 6, The Bounty.

  • How Data died in Star Trek: Nemesis
  • Data lived on in B-4
  • Another Data head?
  • Why is Data old now?

What can Data do now?

Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven't watched "Star Trek: Picard" episode 6, The Bounty .  

Even though Spock died saving the Enterprise in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," Star Trek used the restorative powers of the Genesis planet to bring him back. So when Data made a noble sacrifice of his own in "Star Trek: Nemesis," it wasn't really a surprise when the door was left open – albeit slightly – for the android's future return.

"Star Trek: Picard" season one on Paramount Plus focused heavily on Data's legacy, introducing a family of synthetic offspring and revealing that his consciousness had been preserved in a virtual simulation. Jean-Luc Picard subsequently watched his friend die for a second time, but the show’s third season has just dropped the bombshell that – in true "Jurassic Park" style – something has survived.

In Picard season 3 episode 6 , "The Bounty," Riker, Worf and Raffi Musiker's away mission to the top-secret Daystrom Station reunites them with an old friend, an android with a familiar face who's been given responsibility for the facility's security. But how did Data (still portrayed by actor Brent Spiner) survive certain death in "Star Trek: Nemesis?" Why does he look so much older now? And is he still the same android we knew on the Enterprise-D? These questions and more are answered below.  If you're behind, you can catch up on Star Trek: Picard Season 3" with our Star Trek streaming guide .

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Didn't Data die in Star Trek: Nemesis?

Data holds the head of B-4 in Star Trek: Nemesis.

Yes. "Star Trek: Nemesis" is the 10th film in the Star Trek movie franchise and the last to feature the cast of "Star Trek: The Next Generation." It features a clone of Jean-Luc Picard called Shinzon who's out to get Picard (and the Federation), with Data discovering an earlier prototype of himself called B-4 along the way.

In the film's climax, the Picard clone Shinzon had rigged his Romulan/Reman (don't ask) warbird, the Scimitar, to unleash its lethal thalaron radiation weapon on a severely damaged USS Enterprise-E. With Picard on board the enemy vessel, transporters inoperative, and the crew trapped in the quintessential no-win scenario, Data came up with his own solution to the Kobayashi Maru test. 

Effectively blowing himself out of an airlock, Data leapt across the void of space to the Scimitar and placed an emergency transport beacon on Picard, who was instantly beamed back to the Enterprise. With the weapon nearly charged, Data fired his phaser at the thalaron generator, destroying himself and the ship in the process. He had sacrificed himself to save his captain and the crew, a fact Picard subsequently struggled to live with. RIP, Data. 

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Data lived on in B-4, or DID he?

Data wasn't the only android built by his creator: genius cyberneticist Dr. Noonian Soong (also portrayed by Brent Spiner). 

"Evil twin" Lore (Brent Spiner again) tormented the Enterprise crew on several occasions throughout "The Next Generation," and "Nemesis" introduced the earlier prototype model called B-4 (say the name out loud). Before his death, Data used B-4 as a kind of hard drive to back up his memories and personality, but – aside from sharing Data's ability to recite Irving Berlin standards – B-4's neural pathways lacked the sophistication to replicate his late brother.

But this is where it gets complicated ... The first season of "Picard" revealed that Data's consciousness had survived after all. Along with Soong's human son, Altan (also Brent Spiner), cyberneticist Bruce Maddox – who'd previously tried to prove Data was Starfleet property in classic "TNG" episode "The Measure of a Man" – used a process called "fractal neuronic cloning" to replicate a virtual Data from one of B-4's neurons. This version of the android lived in a "massively complex quantum simulation" until Picard agreed to his old friend's request to help him die for a second time.

There's another Data head in Star Trek: Picard, but whose is it?

Data and the body of B-4 or Lore in Star Trek: Picard season 3 episode 6, The Bounty.

Data, Lore and B-4 were all crafted in Noonian Soong's image, so it's almost impossible to tell them apart. It seems most likely, though, that the disembodied head we see in the top secret Daystrom research facility belongs to B-4. 

First, we know from Picard's meetings with Dr. Agnes Jurati in season one that B-4 is in Starfleet’s possession. Second, when Will Riker reminds us that "Data copied everything he was onto B-4," the camera very deliberately cuts to the android head.

There's still a chance, however, that this is a misdirection, and that the head belongs to Lore. We have no idea what happened to Soong's more problematic son after his Borg misadventures in "TNG" two-parter "Descent" – we know he was dismantled but everything beyond that is a mystery. So while it's conceivable Starfleet have brought Lore back somehow, the show would have to fill in some gaps in the canon to explain his presence here.

The head probably isn’t Data's. The explosion at the end of Nemesis was pretty cataclysmic, and besides, if part of Data had survived, surely Maddox, Soong and Starfleet wouldn’t have resorted to using neurons from the inferior B-4 to bring him back.

Why is Data "old" now?

Data can grow old now in Star Trek: Picard season 3 episode 6, The Bounty.

Picard season one used some clever digital tricks to de-age actor Brent Spiner to look like he did in "The Next Generation" era, but the Data we see in "The Bounty" looks much older. His complexion is also much more human.

While the change undoubtedly saved some money on the show’s VFX budget, there's also an in-universe explanation. This is an entirely different type of synthetic body to Data's, much more similar to the "golem" the late Altan Soong gifted to Picard, allowing to survive his incurable irumodic syndrome. 

Soong Jr. had originally planned to transfer his own consciousness into the golem before he died, but ended up going down a very different route. He instead decided to combine the consciousnesses of Lore, B-4, Data and Lal (the "daughter" Data built in "TNG" episode "The Offspring") in one body, aka Daystrom Android M-5-10. Soong built this older-looking version "with the wisdom and true human aesthetic of age. With the hope that in totality, something, someone will rise to be the best of us."

 That's the million-dollar question, though it's clear there's much more to this new-look Data than simply managing the security systems at Daystrom Station. It’s also clear this isn't quite the Data we knew and loved. 

Altan Soong never got the chance to finish the project before he died, leaving the various personalities vying for supremacy within the vessel. Data still recognizes Geordi La Forge, Picard and the rest of the crew, but with Lore also lurking in that shared mind, this resurrected body could be a danger to everyone.

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Richard Edwards

Richard's love affair with outer space started when he saw the original "Star Wars" on TV aged four, and he spent much of the ’90s watching "Star Trek”, "Babylon 5” and “The X-Files" with his mum. After studying physics at university, he became a journalist, swapped science fact for science fiction, and hit the jackpot when he joined the team at SFX, the UK's biggest sci-fi and fantasy magazine. He liked it so much he stayed there for 12 years, four of them as editor. 

He's since gone freelance and passes his time writing about "Star Wars", "Star Trek" and superheroes for the likes of SFX, Total Film, TechRadar and GamesRadar+. He has met five Doctors, two Starfleet captains and one Luke Skywalker, and once sat in the cockpit of "Red Dwarf"'s Starbug.  

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Admin said: How is Data in 'Star Trek: Picard' if he died in 'Star Trek: Nemesis?' : Read more
  • OneOfTwelve Data already had a built-in aging program according to the TNG episode with his "mother" Juliana. Reply
  • Newhouse75 That head is in Mark Twains time. Don't forget. The one in the future was used to restore Data in The future. Reply
  • Backcountry164 It's called plot armor. Tripping over yourself making excuses for lazy writers seems pointless... Reply
  • View All 4 Comments

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data returns star trek

Star Trek: Picard: how Data died, and his appearance in Picard explained

The death of Data explained, and what his appearances in Picard mean

data returns star trek

If you've been watching Star Trek : Picard, you may have a few questions about Data, the android who appears in Picard's dreams – and who may very well be the 'father' of new characters Dahj and Soji. Data was an important character in The Next Generation, which this new series is a direct continuation of, and he led an interesting life. So here's everything you need to know about Lieutenant Commander Data, including how he ultimately died in the movie Star Trek: Nemesis.

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Who is Data?

Data was an android designed by Dr. Noonian Soong, a brilliant cyberneticist. Other androids exist in the greater Star Trek universe, but Data's positronic brain gave him a greater depth and nuance of personality – to the point where the Federation considered him sentient, with the same rights as any biological being. 

Data was unable to feel emotion, however, and struggled to understand the many idiosyncrasies of the human race. But he was still capable of loyalty, wisdom, friendship and sensitivity, which earned him many friends when he served aboard the Federation starship Enterprise.

How did Data join Starfleet?

A mysterious alien life-form known as the Crystalline Entity destroyed a colony on the planet Omicron Theta, and Data's deactivated body was discovered among the debris by the USS Tripoli. He was revived by the Federation, and was accepted into Starfleet Academy when it became apparent that he had achieved a level of sentience never before seen in a synthetic being. 

Data graduated, despite the social challenges of being the only android in the academy, and served as an ensign aboard the USS Trieste, before being assigned to the Enterprise-D in 2364 – which is where we meet him in The Next Generation.

How did Data die in Star Trek: Nemesis?

Nemesis was the last of the Next Generation movies. Released in 2002, it starred Tom Hardy as Shinzon, a clone of Picard who stages a violent coup and becomes leader of the Romulan Empire. At the end of the movie, Data sacrifices his own life to save Picard's, destroying Shinzon's ship in the process. Before he died, Data downloaded his memories into a prototype Soong-type android, B-4. But this model's positronic brain was not as advanced as Data's, meaning he had none of his brother's individuality or personality: just raw memories.

How can Data be in Star Trek: Picard?

Brent Spiner reprises his role as Data in Star Trek: Picard, only in dreams so far. Picard is still haunted by the loss of his friend, and the heroic sacrifice he made to save his life. So whenever you see Data in the new series, it's Picard experiencing a vision; an echo of the past. But who knows what the rest of the series has in store? Perhaps we'll see a return of the old Data at some point in this story – although that might cheapen his sacrifice in Star Trek: Nemesis somewhat.

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Is Data still alive in Star Trek: Picard? 

Alas, the Data we knew from The Next Generation is gone forever. But a major plot point in season one of Picard is his memories – the ones he downloaded to B-4 – being used to create two 'daughters', Dahj and Soji. These android twins were designed by Dr. Bruce Maddox, a cyberneticist, using a process called fractal neuronic cloning. So while Lieutenant Commander Data of the USS Enterprise, lover of cats and Sherlock Holmes, is no more, his spirit lives on in them.

Star Trek: Picard is released every Thursday on CBS All Access in the US, and every Friday on Amazon Prime internationally. 

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data returns star trek

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

Data onboard the Enterprise

The character of Data, played by Brent Spiner, is one of the most beloved in the "Star Trek" franchise. Fans adored the android and his constant confusion with the behavior of organic lifeforms. His plotlines spanned the gamut from hilarious to deeply philosophical, which is why it was so heartbreaking when he met his end with a heroic sacrifice in "Star Trek: Nemesis." Shockingly, the character appeared to return in "Star Trek: Picard," with Spiner returning for all three seasons. But the truth of Data's return is much more complicated than it seems.

As mentioned, Data's first demise came at the end of 2002's "Star Trek: Nemesis." With a Romulan praetor, Shinzon ( Tom Hardy ) about to unleash a doomsday weapon on the Enterprise, Captain Jean-Luc Picard ( Patrick Stewart ) boarded his ship, the Scimitar, to destroy the generator powering it. Meanwhile, because the transporters were damaged, Data physically leapt from the Enterprise to the Scimitar and made his way to the room where Picard and Shinzon were fighting, arriving just in time to find Shinzon impaled by a spiky beam from the ship's walls. Knowing that the destruction of the generator would blow up the Scimitar, Data pinned an emergency transporter to Picard's lapel and sent him back to the Enterprise, then fired at the generator, sacrificing himself.

For eighteen years, Data remained canonically deceased. Then, in 2020, Brent Spiner returned as the character for "Star Trek: Picard," but it took him all three seasons of the series to finally return to the physical world once more.

Data's Nemesis death was undone with a twisty Picard plot

Brent Spiner returned to "Star Trek" for all three seasons of "Star Trek: Picard," but Data's return was a complicated one. During the events of "Star Trek: Nemesis," the prototype android B-4 was discovered — the third of Noonian Soong's (Brent Spiner) prototypes along with Data's evil brother Lore — and Data copied his consciousness into its positronic net, though the transfer was unsuccessful. Some years after the events of that film, a catastrophic attack by unknown synthetic lifeforms caused the Federation to issue a total ban on synthetic life, as we learn in the pilot episode of "Picard." Unknown to anyone, Data's consciousness lived on in B-4, which was stored at the Daystrom Institute.

Picard died in the two-part finale of "Picard" Season 1, and his own consciousness was transferred to a synthetic body. In the process of being uploaded, Picard encountered Data's consciousness, which still survived inside the remains of B-4. Data asked his old friend to terminate the program and kill him for good, which Picard did. However, Noonian Soong's son, Altan (Brent Spiner) soon began work on a new android that would combine the traits of Data and Lore. The nefarious Section 31 confiscated the prototype and stored it at Daystrom Station. When Picard and his friends boarded the station in "Picard" Season 3, they found the prototype and discovered the Data and Lore sides of it were in conflict. Data ultimately defeated Lore, warring inside the positronic net, and was himself once more, but this time with the emotions he'd always wanted. He returned to the Enterprise to serve again.

Spiner may not return to the "Star Trek" universe again, but he and fans can both rest assured that Data lives on.


Data schematics 1

A diagram of Data's systems

Data was composed of 24.6 kilograms of tripolymer composites, 11.8 kilograms of molybdenum - cobalt alloys and 1.3 kilograms of bioplast sheeting. ( TNG : " The Most Toys ") All told, his mass was approximately one hundred kilograms. ( TNG : " Inheritance ") Data's upper spinal support was a polyalloy designed to withstand extreme stress. For instance, Data once leaped into a deep underground cave and was able to safely fall down 11.75 meters to the bottom without damaging himself. ( TNG : " The Arsenal of Freedom ") His skull was composed of cortenide and duranium . ( TNG : " The Chase ") His legs were exactly 87.2 centimeters in length. ( Star Trek: Insurrection ) Data was built with an ultimate storage capacity of eight hundred quadrillion bits ( 100 petabytes ) and a total linear computational speed rated at sixty trillion operations per second . ( TNG : " The Measure Of A Man ") However, he later augmented his computational speed by converting his interlink sequencer to an asynchronous mode of operation, removing the performance constraint created by virtue of having space between his positronic links. His computational speed became virtually instantaneous after this modification. ( TNG : " The Quality of Life ") Data's construction also included teeth , an artificial tongue and tear ducts . ( TNG : " Code of Honor ", " The Bonding ", " Brothers ", " Phantasms ", " Thine Own Self "; Star Trek Generations )

His physical and mental capabilities were far superior to that of virtually any organic or cybernetic humanoid, including Klingons, Humans, and even Borg drones . His strength was such that he was capable of casually holding a 1950's automobile at bay against the full force of its engine with a single hand. ( TNG : " The Neutral Zone ", " The Ensigns of Command ", " The Chase ", " The Best of Both Worlds, Part II ", " Emergence "; Star Trek: First Contact ) These superhuman capabilities made him an important asset to the Enterprise -D, and the fact that he was either unaffected by or highly resistant to conditions such as disease , radiation , oxygen deprivation, mind control, and chemical imbalance was crucial to the survival of the ship on numerous occasions. ( TNG : " Unnatural Selection ", " The Vengeance Factor ", " Hero Worship ", " Clues ", " Disaster ", " The Game "; Star Trek: First Contact ) However, he was apparently more vulnerable than either Humans or Klingons to atmospheric conditions that involved the presence of high concentrations of ions. For instance, during the Enterprise 's mission to Galorndon Core in 2366, Commander Riker noted that had Data been with the away team, the crew would have been "unscrambling his circuits for a week". ( TNG : " The Enemy ")

As a Soong-type android, Data was incapable of alcohol intoxication , yet components in his processing systems were susceptible to disruption by polywater intoxication . ( TNG : " The Outrageous Okona ", " The Naked Now ") He did not require sustenance , but occasionally ingested semi-organic nutrient suspension in a silicon -based liquid medium to lubricate his biofunctions. ( TNG : " Deja Q ") Though capable of consuming more traditional food and drink, Data had no sense of taste and therefore tended not to bother eating. ( TNG : " Hero Worship ") Data also did not sleep, nor apparently did he require rest of any kind. Though he had attempted sleep from time to time, presumably simply to emulate Humans more thoroughly, he appeared to have remained almost constantly active before 2369 . After this date, Data suffered an accident which activated a series of circuits in his positronic net that allowed him to experience dreams. After this, he began to sleep regularly in order to experience these dreams. ( TNG : " Birthright, Part I ") Data also demonstrated immunity to telepathy and other psionic abilities. Deanna Troi could not sense him empathically ; nor was he affected by the telepathic broadcasts of the Bendii Syndrome -afflicted Sarek . ( TNG : " Night Terrors ", " The Game ", " Violations ", " Phantasms ", " Sarek ") This was known to trouble him to a certain degree, as he believed that it was possible that there was simply nothing "real" in his mind for these individuals to read; that his consciousness was comprised only of "algorithms and programmed responses". However, the psionically-gifted Betazoid Tam Elbrun vehemently disagreed with this possibility, thinking Data was simply "different". In fact, Tam greatly appreciated this quality in Data, as it meant that he had to talk with Data to understand his personality rather than involuntarily receiving that information telepathically, as tended to be the case when he interacted with other humanoids. ( TNG : " Tin Man ")

Bashir meets Data

Data and Dr. Bashir

Data had an aging program designed to simulate the external effects of aging in his physical appearance. The blinking of his eyes was governed by a Fourier series , to simulate randomness. ( TNG : " Inheritance ") In 2369 , Dr. Julian Bashir further expressed his fascination for all the trouble Dr. Soong took to make Data seem "Human." He was especially surprised with regard to how "personable" Data was. He also questioned Data about whether his hair grew, and observed that Data was "breathing" and had a "pulse." However, these seemingly aesthetic elements of his person did in fact serve a functional purpose, as his circulatory system was designed to produce biochemical lubricants and regulate micro-hydraulic power, and his respiratory system helped to maintain thermal control of his internal systems. Neither system was entirely necessary however, as Data was known to be capable of functioning for extended periods in a vacuum and was able to withstand exposure to space without suffering any problems. ( TNG : " Birthright, Part I ", " We'll Always Have Paris "; Star Trek Nemesis )

Data seemed to favor his left hand for tasks such as painting, ( TNG : " 11001001 ") using a pen, ( TNG : " Time's Arrow ") gun tricks, ( TNG : " A Fistful of Datas ") and more. However, he was completely ambidextrous and was even capable of performing such tasks as painting two pieces at once. ( TNG : " Birthright, Part I ")

Data as a flotation device

Data demonstrates his flotation capabilities

Before 2370 , Data was apparently incapable of swimming as his body structure was too dense for him to float in water. He apparently learned this through trial and error, as at one point prior to the date in question, he decided to go swimming in Devala Lake while sailing with Geordi La Forge . He immediately sank straight to the bottom, and he ended up having to walk 1.046 kilometers across the lake bed to the shore, as he did not possess enough buoyancy to get back to the surface. It took nearly two weeks to get the water out of Data's servos . ( TNG : " Descent, Part II ") Data had rectified this problem as of 2375 , and installed some sort of flotation device within his body which was buoyant enough to support not only his own weight but that of others. ( Star Trek: Insurrection )

Human development

Spot, 2367

Spot in 2367

Data asserted that he did not only perceive data and facts, but also the "substance" and "flavor" and other ineffable qualities of the experience, which would be lost when downloaded to a conventional computer. ( TNG : " The Measure Of A Man ")

Data always sought to become more Human in his behavior, sometimes with unfortunate results. His attempts at humor were not successful, nor were his attempts at romance and love. He maintained a relationship with Jenna D'Sora , but it did not last long. ( TNG : " In Theory ")

Besides humor and romance, Data also tended to avoid using contractions in regular speech as he had difficulty defining the nuanced occasions on which they were used, although this was part of his programming by Dr. Soong. ( TNG : " Conspiracy ", " Datalore ")

In an alternate timeline, Data appeared to have mastered contractions by the 2390s. ( TNG : " All Good Things... ")

During his stay aboard the Enterprise -D, Data kept a cat as his pet , whom he named Spot . Spot was quite fussy in her relationships. Besides Data, she only enjoyed the company of Reginald Barclay . She also had kittens in 2370 . In 2371 , Spot survived the destruction of the Enterprise . Data, newly imbued with emotions as a result of his emotion chip , cried tears of joy over Spot's survival. ( TNG : " In Theory ", " A Fistful of Datas ", " Force of Nature ", " Genesis "; Star Trek Generations )

Emotion chip

Data began using the emotion chip in 2371 , about a year after he acquired it from his brother Lore . ( TNG : " Brothers ", " Descent, Part II "; Star Trek Generations ) At first, he had some difficulties adjusting to the onslaught of emotions, as simple things such as scanning for lifeforms on a planet caused him great pleasure – whereas by contrast, Data was temporarily immobilized with terror when put in a situation where he would experience fear for the first time. He eventually learned to control the feelings. After the initial adjustment period, he was able to activate and deactivate the chip's functioning within his positronic net, and later even to remove it completely in situations where emotions would be a hindrance. ( Star Trek Generations ; Star Trek: First Contact ; Star Trek: Insurrection )

Service record

Creation and early life.

Data was constructed on the planet Omicron Theta around 2336 . He was the fifth of six known androids designed by Dr. Noonien Soong . The previous, Lore, had been deactivated over the protests of Soong's wife, Juliana . ( TNG : " Datalore ", " Inheritance ") Soong claimed he built Data to perfect his design of his androids, and when Data was perfected, apply his improvements to Lore. ( TNG : " Brothers ") Juliana had come to view Data as her beloved son, but always feared that he would fail, as his previous "brothers" had, or become dangerous, like Lore, and would have to be dismantled. ( TNG : " Inheritance ")

In his earliest existence, Data was much like a baby, struggling with motor control and sensory input. ( TNG : " Inheritance ") Over time, Data had learned about himself and his world, and his programming was refined by Dr. Soong, who attempted to eliminate certain undesirable behaviors. Problems included a disregard for social niceties, courtesies like "please" and "thank you", and a lack of appreciation for clothing, Data did not see any necessity since he "didn't suffer from the elements". In regards to the latter issue, the Soongs had to write a "modesty subroutine ", because the colonists objected to an anatomically-accurate android being unclothed. ( TNG : " Inheritance ")

Eventually Soong decided to feed Data with the logs and journals of the colonists, while simultaneously wiping his memory of his early existence. Unfortunately, while Data was still deactivated, a mysterious Crystalline Entity attacked the colony. ( TNG : " Datalore ") Juliana's fears that Data would be another failure motivated her to lie to her husband when they fled, forcing him to leave Data behind, inactive. ( TNG : " Inheritance ")

Data remained alone on the planet, inactive and abandoned by the colonists until he was discovered by a landing party from the USS Tripoli on Omicron Theta.

Discovery and early career

Data was found and reactivated on the planet Omicron Theta by the USS Tripoli on February 2 , 2338 , after the Crystalline Entity destroyed the entire colony on the planet. ( TNG : " Datalore ", " Conundrum ")

In the first few weeks after Data was reactivated, and without the early presence of Noonien and Juliana Soong, Data claimed he had no one to guide him as his neural net was developing and achieving sentience . ( TNG : " The Offspring ") In that process, more complex pathways replaced simpler ones. As the integration of these pathways became increasingly difficult, the probability of cascade failure increased. As a consequence, Data considered shutting himself down and beginning all over again. He eventually considered the situation a challenge and continued on. He later expressed to La Forge that, in essence, he considered suicide at a difficult point in his early life. ( TNG : " Eye of the Beholder ")

His connection with Starfleet resulted in his choice to enter Starfleet Academy . ( TNG : " Brothers ") Upon applying for admittance to the Academy, Data met with some resistance from Bruce Maddox – who, desiring the opportunity to avail his cybernetic research interests, became, as Data put it, " the only member of the evaluation committee to oppose [Data's] entrance on the grounds that [he] was not a sentient being. " Eventually, Data was admitted to the Academy in 2341 , and spent four years there. ( TNG : " Encounter at Farpoint ", " The Measure Of A Man ") While at the Academy, Data undertook advanced training in the operation of auxiliary space vessels where he received a high grade . ( TNG : " Unnatural Selection ")

Prior to 2364 , Data had been cited in several bio-mechanical texts. ( TNG : " The Naked Now ")

During his time at Starfleet Academy, Data did extremely well scholastically, but his lack of understanding often created social obstacles for him. He fell victim to several practical jokes and had difficulty with social gatherings. ( TNG : " The Game ") Nonetheless, in 2345 , Data graduated, with honors in exobiology and probability mechanics . ( TNG : " Encounter at Farpoint ", " The Measure Of A Man ", " Tin Man ")

One of Data's first assignments after he graduated Starfleet Academy was aboard the USS Trieste . ( TNG : " Clues ") He spent three years as an ensign and twelve as a lieutenant before being promoted to lieutenant commander in 2360 . ( TNG : " Datalore ") In 2364 , he was assigned to the USS Enterprise -D as its second officer .

By 2365 , he had earned the Starfleet Command Decoration for Gallantry , Medal of Honor with clusters, Legion of Honor , and the Star Cross . These were considered by Wesley Crusher to be "Some of the highest awards in Starfleet." ( TNG : " The Measure Of A Man ", " The Most Toys ") By early 2368 , Data had encountered 1,754 non-Human races during his tenure with Starfleet. ( TNG : " Darmok ")

Aboard the Enterprise

Data served as operations officer and second officer on board the USS Enterprise -D from 2364 until the vessel's destruction in 2371 . ( TNG : " Encounter at Farpoint ", " All Good Things... "; Star Trek Generations ) Since he did not require sleep, he routinely stood night watch on the bridge. ( TNG : " Data's Day ") His quarters were located on deck 2, room 3653. ( TNG : " A Matter Of Time ") He frequently participated in away missions undertaken by the crew, as was indicated by standard procedure for the second officer of a Federation starship.

Shortly after the Farpoint mission, the Enterprise crew was infected with a polywater intoxication which caused the crew members and even Data to act irrationally, as if mentally unstable. Fortunately, Dr. Crusher found an antidote, and with Data's help the recovered crew was able to retain control of the ship. ( TNG : " The Naked Now ")

Data and Lore, 2364

Data gives Lore a tour of the ship

During the Enterprise 's first year of active service, it visited the former colony of Omicron Theta, stopping there to investigate the site of Data's discovery. The crew of the Enterprise encountered another Soong-type android in an underground facility, named Lore. Lore was subsequently reassembled and activated aboard the Enterprise . Masquerading as Data, Lore attempted to take control of the ship, but was prevented from doing so by Data. Lore was transported, by Wesley Crusher off the ship, into space (Lore drifted in the interstellar void for two years before being rescued by a passing Pakled trade ship ). ( TNG : " Datalore ", " Brothers ")

Later that year, Data took overall command of the Enterprise when the Quazulu VII virus incapacitated the entire crew while in orbit around Angel I . Although the ship had been ordered to the Romulan Neutral Zone , Data's precise and reasoned interpretation of the orders allowed the Enterprise to remain in orbit long enough to rescue the away team members stranded on the planet. ( TNG : " Angel One ")

Data had been regarded as property by the Ferengi , who wanted to purchase him. He was also referred to as "just a device" by Armus . ( TNG : " The Battle ", " Skin Of Evil ") He continued to be regarded as such in 2365 and was even questioned legally as to whether or not he was property of Starfleet.

Android rights and freedoms

Data was a major influence in the process to legally and socially recognize the sentience of Soong-type androids. In 2365 , Jean-Luc Picard was asked by Admiral Nakamura on behalf of Commander Bruce Maddox to submit Data to an untested procedure that Maddox believed and had advocated would grant Federation cybernetic science a greater understanding of the technology of Data's positronic brain . Data studied Maddox' proposal and found it to be flawed; persuading William T. Riker and Picard of the legitimacy of Data's position as to the scientific merit of Maddox' project; prompting Maddox to present Nakamura's duly-logged orders requiring Data to submit.

Data refused, and resigned from Starfleet. Maddox challenged Data's right to do so, implying that Data should not be considered a sentient being with rights to self-determination (Louvois reminds Maddox " …we have Rule of Law in this Federation. You cannot simply seize people and experiment on them to satisfy your pet theories! "). Maddox's petition prompted Louvois' supposition of a legal issue as to whether or not Data was property and not to be accorded rights to self-determination (" Would you permit the Enterprise computer to refuse a refit? " Maddox asked Louvois). This position was supported in a preliminary ruling, by Captain Phillipa Louvois of the Judge Advocate General 's office, 23rd Sector, based on the 21st-century Acts of Cumberland . (" Data is a toaster. Have him report to Commander Maddox immediately for experimental refit. ")

Captain Jean-Luc Picard adversarially challenged this ruling, and sought due process of law in Data's regard. Picard asserted a position in favor of Data's sentience as a matter of law, in a legal hearing wherein Picard advocated on Data's behalf while Riker advocated a position benefiting Maddox (Riker was forced to argue against Data's sentience or Louvois would summarily rule in favor of Maddox without a counter-argument). After a conversation with Guinan , Picard became inspired to assert that Data represented an entire race, and that duplicating Data for the purposes of enforced and potentially-dangerous labor, without legal recognition of rights to self-determination, essentially would result in the institution of slavery. Ultimately, Louvois ruled that Data was not the property of Starfleet, and had the legal right to choose whether to acquiesce to Maddox' requests. ( TNG : " The Measure Of A Man ") Data refused Maddox' procedure, but did instead offer to openly communicate with him in assisting him in his work, which the cyberneticist accepted. ( TNG : " Data's Day ")

Data also later asserted specific reproductive rights. In 2366, Data perfected submicron matrix transfer technology, necessary to reproduce a positronic brain . Data designed and built his " daughter ", whom Data named Lal ; Data says "Lal" means "beloved" in Earth's Hindi language; using his own positronic brain as a design template. Thus, Data briefly succeeded at Maddox' aspiration. As Starfleet Vice Admiral Haftel , himself a cybernetics specialist, wanted to move Lal off the Enterprise -D to a Starfleet cybernetics research facility for study in order to add to Federation cybernetics expertise, against Data's wishes, Picard again came into conflict with the Starfleet Admiralty as to Data's civil rights. The issue was rendered moot when Lal ceased functioning due to positronic neural-pathway cascade failure arising from the positronic development within Lal of the simulation of Human psychological emotional response. This, despite the best efforts of Data and Haftel to prevent Lal's positronic matrix from ceasing to function as a result. ( TNG : " The Offspring ")

Many agreed with Data that Soong-type androids were sufficiently advanced to be considered indeed sentient, so much so that, as of 2372 , Data was considered the only sentient artificial lifeform in Federation society. ( VOY : " Prototype ")

Further service

Data, 2366

Lieutenant Commander Data in 2366

In 2366, the Enterprise -D was contacted by Sheliak Corporate for the first time in 111 years. In a recorded message, set on repeat broadcast from the Shelia system, they demand that on Tau Cygna V , a planet that was ceded to the Sheliak from the Federation in the Treaty of Armens has been discovered to contain a Human colony. The Sheliak insist they be removed before they arrive at the planet, or the Humans will all be killed. Data – immune to the deadly hyperonic radiation that exists on the planet – was ordered to take a shuttle craft and land at the planet and prepare the colonists for evacuation. Unfortunately, the colony's leader Gosheven was both far too stubborn and nostalgic for all his ancestors' accomplishments on the planet to agree to leave even after several attempts to persuade him or other colonists, even with the help of Ard'rian McKenzie , one of the few reasonable colonists. Eventually, through a demonstration of the firepower of a Type 2 phaser , Data was able to finally convince the colonists to leave, thereby saving over 15,000 Humans from certain death. ( TNG : " The Ensigns of Command ")

In late 2366, Data was apparently killed when the shuttlecraft he was using to ferry hytritium , desperately needed to neutralize contamination of the water on Beta Agni II , exploded en route from the freighter Jovis to the Enterprise -D. In fact, Data had been abducted by the owner of the Jovis Kivas Fajo , who had added Data to his collection of "rare and valuable" items – which, now besides Data, included a Lapling , a Roger Maris Baseball card , and a Varon-T disruptor . Fortunately, Data, with the assistance of Fajo's partner Varria , as well as the arrival of the Enterprise , was able to escape the Jovis ; the unanticipated ease with which the hytritium purified Beta Agni II's water suggested that the contamination had been man-made, leaving the crew suspicious of Fajo – and, after hearing the computer's description of only a part of Fajo's collection, they had concluded that Data could be considered a "rare and valuable object", leading them to the possibility that Data had not been on board the shuttle when it exploded. Upon Data's return to the Enterprise -D, Fajo was arrested. Data had previously mentioned to Fajo his ability to use deadly force and had it not been for the functioning of the Enterprise transporter retrieving Data from the Jovis , Data would have successfully shot and killed Fajo with the Varon-T disruptor, in retribution for Fajo previously having killed Varria with it and through a cold, logical decision that all nonlethal options had been exhausted. ( TNG : " The Most Toys ")

When later that year, Captain Picard was captured and assimilated as Locutus by the Borg , Data was instrumental in not only rescuing Picard from the Borg, but also in finding a way to destroy the Borg cube approaching Earth by "put[ting] them all to sleep," accessing the command codes that controlled regeneration and convincing the Borg that they all needed to regenerate, thus shutting the ship down and triggering a feedback loop that caused the cube to self-destruct. ( TNG : " The Best of Both Worlds, Part II ")

A year later, in early 2367 , Data, under the control of Dr. Soong, took control of the Enterprise and commandeered it to the planet of Terlina III . Unfortunately, the same program had activated in Lore's positronic brain, and brought Lore to Soong's lab as well. Soong explained he had brought Data because he had created an emotion chip for him, and that he had thought Lore to be dead. Lore incapacitated Data, and Soong mistakenly implanted the chip in Lore instead. After obtaining the chip under these false pretenses, Lore attacked Soong and escaped. Soong died shortly afterward, his last words being to assure Data that Data would grieve for him in his own way. In return, Data called Soong "Father" for the first time. ( TNG : " Brothers ")

Data once more took command of the ship later that year when, with the Enterprise trapped in a Tyken's Rift , the crew began to suffer from lack of REM sleep , causing to the organic crew of the Enterprise -D the loss of concentration and to perceive hallucinations. The brainwaves of the crew were being affected by a ship trapped on the other side of the rift, whose crew was attempting to communicate with the Enterprise , but Data's android nature and his inability to sleep or dream rendered him immune. Along with Counselor Troi , Data freed the ships by releasing hydrogen ; which when combined with a substance carried by the other ship released enough energy to collapse the rift. ( TNG : " Night Terrors ")

During the blockade of the Klingon-Romulan border during the Klingon Civil War in 2368 , Data was placed in command of the USS Sutherland . Despite the first officer being hostile to his android nature, the Sutherland managed to detect the cloaked Romulan ships trying to supply the forces of Duras . Once back aboard the Enterprise , Data submitted himself to Captain Picard and recommended he be disciplined for disobeying the direct order of a superior officer, but was instead praised by Captain Picard for his ingenuity in discovering the cloaked Romulan convoy: " Starfleet does not want officers who blindly follow orders. " ( TNG : " Redemption II ")

Later that year, alien entities took control of the minds of Data, Deanna Troi and Miles O'Brien . The three insisted the Enterprise conducted a systematic survey of the polar region of a moon ; a notion Captain Picard, Commander Riker and the rest of the crew considered absurd. When Riker questioned their reasoning, the three staged a violent revolt and took control of the ship. It was later determined by the command crew that the three were controlled by the "spirits" of deceased criminals from Ux-Mal , and eventually the spirits left the Enterprise for their banishment on the moon. Though Data had no control over his actions while under the control of the Ux-Mal criminal, he nonetheless apologized for his behavior toward his fellow officers. ( TNG : " Power Play ")

Data's head

Data's head

In late 2368 , the Enterprise crew was summoned to San Francisco to evaluate a discovery of extraterrestrial life on Earth that dated back to the late 19th century . They were shocked to discover Data's head, old, dusty, and dead, had been found among the ruins of some 19th century artifacts. When La Forge concluded that the only species capable of time travel and of assuming Human form existed solely on the planet Devidia II , the Enterprise set course for the planetoid.

Guinan and Data (1893)

Data meeting Guinan on Earth in 1893 after he had seen her picture in a local newspaper

Arriving at Devidia II, Troi psionically sensed lifeforms, but none were seen to be physically present. Since Data was the only hope for controlling the distortion in phase displacement, he beamed down and soon disappeared, reappearing in the San Francisco of the late 1800s. He quickly adapted to his surroundings and set out to build a sensory device to sense the Devidian time-shifts in order to ultimately return to the 24th century and the Enterprise -D. Shortly thereafter, he incidentally met Guinan , who was hiding out from her father on Earth at the time.

Seeking to recover Data, the senior staff transported to 19th century San Francisco to find him. In a local morgue , Riker and Crusher realized the aliens from Devidia II, disguised as Humans, were slowly killing off the population by appropriating their neural energy and sending it to the 24th century to feed their own people. The Enterprise -D command crew were soon able to find and stop the Devidia II aliens. Even though Data's cranial unit had been severed from his body when he tried to control the Ophidian that controlled their time-travel technology, the crew were able to take Data's body back through the time-rift and use the cranial unit they had recovered from the Presidio mine site to reassemble Data (Data subsequently passing on a message from Picard that Picard had entered into his head in the past with an iron filing to tap out a binary code in his brain). ( TNG : " Time's Arrow ", " Time's Arrow, Part II ")

Later that year, Data and La Forge proposed to connect Data to the ship's systems so he might act as an emergency backup system in case of a ship-wide systems failure. As a result of the experiment, however, Lt. Worf , his son Alexander , and Counselor Troi were trapped in a malfunctioning Old West holodeck program wherein every character physically resembled Data. ( TNG : " A Fistful of Datas ")

The event was recalled by Beckett Mariner and Brad Boimler in 2381 when she suggested that they bury the evil computer AGIMUS , rather than taking him with him, "like Data's head." Boimler, corrected Mariner stating "actually, Data's head was in a cave, and it's our duty to respect sentient life. ( LD : " Where Pleasant Fountains Lie ")

Data (command)

Data wore a command division uniform when Jellico made him XO

Captain Edward Jellico briefly took command of the Enterprise while Captain Picard participated in a covert mission in Cardassian space. Jellico came into conflict with Commander Riker and eventually relieved Riker of duty. Being next in the chain of command after Riker, Data took the position of first officer until Captain Picard's return. ( TNG : " Chain Of Command, Part II ")

In early 2370 , he was among the away team that beamed down to the Ohniaka III outpost , whose distress call the Enterprise had responded to. On the surface, Data experienced his first emotion while fighting off a Borg drone, violently beating the drone against the wall. With the captured drone Crosis , Data took a shuttlecraft and left the Enterprise . Captain Picard and an away team tracked Data down and were shocked to find him under the influence of his brother Lore, who had directed the Borg's attacks as part of an attempt to win Data to his side. Lore modified the chip so it could remotely instill anger and hatred in Data. Confused with his new emotions, and with his ethical program deactivated, Data betrayed the crew of the Enterprise , resulting in the capture of Picard, La Forge and Troi. Fortunately, La Forge was able to instruct Picard in modifying a Borg interlink transceiver to reset Data's ethical program with a kedion pulse , restoring his sense of right and wrong; he would still experience negative emotions, however, he could at least choose whether or not to act upon them. With Data's ethical program reactivated, and Riker and Worf leading a rescue attempt with the help of the drone Hugh (who had spent time aboard the Enterprise earlier that year) Picard and his team were able to reactivate Data's ethical program and Data subsequently shot Lore, recovering the emotion chip while Lore was later dismantled. ( TNG : " I Borg ", " Descent ", " Descent, Part II ")

Data wearing a beard

Data with a beard

Later that year, with Captain Picard presumed dead and Commander Riker missing in action, Data assumed command of the Enterprise once more, in an effort to find those responsible for Picard's apparent death and Riker's capture. Even though he was lower in rank, Lieutenant Worf was appointed as acting first officer instead of Lieutenant Commander La Forge, but Worf and Data came into a confrontation when Worf questioned his orders openly in front of the crew on a number of occasions. ( TNG : " Gambit, Part I ", " Gambit, Part II ")

Data, phaser

Data fires his phaser at Riker in 2370

After being sent to recover a crashed probe, Data lost his memory and sought refuge with primitive villagers nearby. He was quickly assimilated into the village and given the name "Jayden" by the villagers. However, the radioactive material from the probe that he was transporting was a danger to them. Even without his memory, Data, through observation and scientific method, discovered it was the metal he had brought with him that was the cause. Once he had the radioactive metal secured to prevent further harm, he came up with an antidote that would completely reverse the effects and while being confronted by the fearful villagers, dumped it into the local water supply. In their ignorance, they killed "Jayden" and buried him, but turned his grave into a commemorative monument in his honor after they realized his cure had saved them. Data was later retrieved by Commander Riker and Dr. Crusher, repaired and his memory was restored aboard the Enterprise , although his time on the planet was lost in turn. ( TNG : " Thine Own Self ")

Shortly after the incident, La Forge found behavior nodes in Data's positronic net and he thought that an alien "archive" was using Data to create different people and that this transformation was still going on. Counselor Troi added that Data was experiencing the android equivalent of "multiple personalities" and that it was indeterminate how many would emerge. Picard later confronted Data, through whom the D'Arsay Sun God of Masaka now spoke, wearing the mask of Korgano . Masaka thought she was alone and did not have to share the sky with anyone when Korgano told her that without him she was not complete. Korgano soon convinced Masaka was getting tired to brighten the sky forever. Masaka replied Korgano should begin the hunt again, and at that moment Masaka fell asleep. When Picard asked Data whether he was all right, Data answered he was not entirely certain what happened and wondered if he had been dreaming again. ( TNG : " Masks ")

Return to the emotion chip

Mister Tricorder

Data laughs, his emotion chip installed

In 2371 , at the ceremony honoring Worf's promotion to Lieutenant Commander, Data witnessed an incident where Worf was "accidentally" sent into the water in a holographic simulation of a ship at sea. Misinterpreting the laughter it evoked, he then spontaneously pushed Dr. Beverly Crusher overboard. He was disheartened to find out that it wasn't quite as amusing as he had assumed. The incident led him to think his development had reached an impasse. This influenced Data's decision to install the emotion chip he had acquired from Lore previously that year.

Starfleet uniforms in 2371

Data sings a song while scanning for lifeforms

The results were unpredictable and later attributed to the overload of new and unfamiliar emotion. During an away mission with Geordi La Forge on board the Amargosa observatory , his recall of previous humorous incidents led to the emotion chip overloading, fusing into his neural net (much to La Forge's annoyance) and rendering Data helpless as Tolian Soran sneaked on board and kidnapped La Forge. Unable to deal with the sudden onset of fear as a result, Data curled up in a corner as Soran beamed away with La Forge. As the Enterprise investigated, Data was overcome by yet another emotion: Regret, over getting La Forge captured. Captain Jean-Luc Picard, himself trying to get over news of the death of his brother and nephew, helped Data get through his anguish, and the two managed to figure out where Soran was headed, and why.

Data victorious

Data celebrating after the victory at Veridian III

Data and Troi, saucer crash

Data protecting Troi from falling debris on the Enterprise bridge

Data crying

" I am happy to see Spot, yet I am crying. "

Upon arrival at planet Veridian III , where Soran was planning to implode the Veridian sun with a trilithium missile so that Soran could enter the Nexus , Data was finally able to experience relief as Geordi La Forge was returned to Enterprise unharmed. Data continued to work on controlling his emotions throughout the mission, Enterprise 's battle with the Duras sisters , and the crash landing of the saucer section on Veridian III. By the end of the mission, when Starfleet came to recover the Enterprise crew and anything that could be salvaged from the saucer section, Data reckoned to have experienced 261 distinct emotional states. He learned one more emotion before leaving Veridian III: Tears of joy, after finding Spot alive in an empty barrel. ( Star Trek Generations )

By 2373 , Data had developed the ability to activate and deactivate his emotion chip at will, since he had learned how to better control its function and integration into his positronic net. ( Star Trek: First Contact )

The Enterprise -E

Data captured

Data captured by the Borg in 2373

Data transferred to the new USS Enterprise -E in 2372 , along with most of the senior staff of the Enterprise -D. In 2373 , the Enterprise took part in the Battle of Sector 001 , against Starfleet orders. Thanks to the ship's intervention, the Borg cube was destroyed, but not before it launched a sphere , which generated a temporal vortex and time-traveled to the year 2063 . The Enterprise pursued, and destroyed the sphere with quantum torpedoes preventing its forecast mission to prevent the first flight of Zefram Cochrane aboard the Phoenix warp ship. Along with Captain Picard and Dr. Crusher, Data beamed down to the surface, to inspect any damage to the Phoenix . Upon suspecting a Borg presence aboard the Enterprise , however, Picard and Data transported back to the ship. While fighting off the Borg near main engineering , Data was captured and brought before the Borg Queen . Instead of attempting to assimilate Data, she embarked on a transformative process to make Data more "Human," by attaching Human skin onto his android skeleton.

When it appeared impossible to deter the Borg any longer, Picard was persuaded by Lily Sloane to initiate the self-destruct of the Enterprise and he ordered all remaining crew to evacuate. However, Picard went to Engineering to find Data and to force the Queen, whom he had encountered several years previously when he was Locutus , to release Data. Picard even declared that he was prepared to take Data's place at the Queen's side and become her equal. However, Data stated he did not wish to go, even after the Queen ordered him away. Data then canceled the auto-destruct sequence and restored computer control; even as Picard begged him not to, the android gave one quick glance to his former commander, before walking past him as if he was nothing. Thus, the Queen ordered Picard's assimilation (Data assured her that Picard would "make an excellent drone"), but not before witnessing the destruction of the Phoenix by Data.

Data chooses the Queen

Data altered by the Borg Queen

However, his "assimilation" had all been a ruse – the quantum torpedoes fired by Data missed the Phoenix by the smallest of margins, and quickly thereafter Data ruptured a plasma coolant tank (the Queen had been too busy taunting Picard to notice his approach to it), releasing plasma coolant – which would dissolve organic material on contact. Picard was able to escape, but the Queen – or, at least, that version of her – was killed, pulled into the coolant by Data as she tried to take Picard down with her. Helping Data standing up (with the Borg-given skin melted away, but his mechanical parts undamaged, the android admitted that he didn't feel as bad as he must look), Picard asked him if he was ever tempted to join the Borg's cause. Data replied that, for 0.68 seconds, he was. He added that, for an android, that is "almost an eternity." ( Star Trek: First Contact )

The Ba'ku mission

Data on Ba'ku

Data on the Ba'ku planet

In 2375 , while assigned to a United Federation of Planets / Son'a duck blind operation on the Ba'ku planet , Data discovered a cloaked holoship submerged in a picturesque Ba'ku lake. The ship was intended as a means to relocate the Ba'ku people from their home world without their knowledge, clearing the way for the mining of metaphasic radiation from the planet's rings. Upon discovery of the cloaked ship, Data was fired upon by a Son'a weapon.

The attack resulted in minor physical damage to his neck and some of his memory engrams, causing Data's memory loss fail-safe system to activate. Data's ethical and moral subroutines asserted themselves over all his basic functions. Effectively, Data had entered a self-preservation mode in which "all" he knew was right and wrong. Before he was finally subdued by Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Lieutenant Commander Worf , Data had revealed the duck blind to the Ba'ku people, and had warned them that the Federation / Son'a presence was a threat – and attacked Ru'afo's flagship with the mission scout ship he hijacked.

The Enterprise crew was able to piece together what had happened – and staged an insurrection against the Federation-Son'a partnership. Data joined some of his crew mates as they defended the Ba'ku on the surface from aggressive Son'a abduction attempts. Later, Data attacked the Son'a flagship with a scoutship, firing tachyon bursts into the shield grid and forcing the ship to rotate its shield harmonics. This allowed the transport of the Son'a ship's crew off their bridge and onto the cloaked holoship.

During his time on Ba'ku, Data reflected on never having been a child. He became friends with Artim and learned how to play. ( Star Trek: Insurrection )

By 2379 , Data was expected to succeed Commander Riker as first officer following Riker's promotion to captain of the USS Titan . En route to Betazed for the second phase of Riker's wedding to Counselor Troi, the Enterprise discovered B-4 , one of the three prototype Soong-type androids Data had learned about years earlier, physically identical to him but having a less sophisticated positronic brain. Trying to help him become more Human, Data copied his own memories into B-4's positronic net.

Data opens fire on Scimitar

Data sacrifices himself

Before Data could take the role of first officer of the Enterprise , the Enterprise was ordered to Romulus where a new praetor , Shinzon , had come to power . Shinzon's self-asserted good intentions, however, were soon found to be false. In reality, Shinzon was discovered to be a clone of Captain Picard and, due to genetic degeneration, he was in need of Picard's blood in order to restore his life. After Shinzon's vessel, the Scimitar , had all but destroyed the Enterprise , Shinzon planned to eliminate the crew with his thalaron radiation weapon before turning it on Earth. Though Picard was able to defeat Shinzon in hand-to-hand combat, Picard was trapped aboard the Scimitar due to damage to the Enterprise transporters. With no other option, Data elected to physically jump into the vacuum of space through a hull breach in the forward section of the Enterprise – and force his way aboard the Scimitar from the outside. Proceeding to the Scimitar bridge, Data utilized a prototype emergency transport unit concealed in his forearm, to return Picard to the Enterprise . With the thalaron radiation weapon seconds away from firing, Data used his phaser to destroy it, which resulted in the complete destruction of the Scimitar – and Data as well.

As the Enterprise crew mourned the loss of their fallen comrade, Captain Picard tried to explain Data's uniqueness to B-4, though to the captain's dejection, the android did not understand. However, B-4 soon began to quietly sing the same song Data had previously sung, "Blue Skies", at the Riker wedding to himself. Though Data was gone, perhaps his memories would continue to live on. ( Star Trek Nemesis )

Commander Data bubble bath

A crate containing bottles of Commander Data limited edition bubble bath (and one bottle with a Lore head)

At some point later in his career, Data was commemorated with a limited edition bubble bath ; the bottle of which bore his likeness, wearing a late 2370s uniform. A Lore edition was also released and its head could be surreptitiously substituted for that of Data's. ( LD : " An Embarrassment Of Dooplers ")

Data in Picard's dream

Data as he appeared in Picard's dream

Despite the android's best effort, Data's attempts to copy his own memories into B-4's positronic net ultimately failed, and as a result most of Data's positronic net was lost. B-4 was ultimately disassembled and preserved at the Daystrom Institute 's Division of Advanced Synthetic Research . ( PIC : " Remembrance ")

Data also briefly appeared to the Zhat Vash in the Admonition , an ancient storehouse of preserved memories on the planet Aia left behind by the Aia natives which warned about the dangers of intelligent synthetic life .

Approximately fifty years after his construction, Noonien Soong's son Altan Soong , assisted by Bruce Maddox, successfully created the Coppelius androids via the fractal neuronic cloning of one of Data's positronic neurons . Multiple androids were created as offspring of Data, including Beautiful Flower , twins Jana and Sutra , and twins Dahj and Soji Asha , of whom the latter four were also eventually created based on the likeness of his painting Daughter . ( PIC : " Broken Pieces ")

Data in Picard's second dream

Data painting in Picard's other dream

Captain, and later Admiral, Picard continued to remember Data fondly. During his retirement, Picard had a series of recurring dreams in which he played poker with the android aboard the Enterprise -D. In 2399 , Picard had a dream of witnessing Data painting Daughter in the Picard family vineyards after he met Dahj. ( PIC : " Remembrance ", " Broken Pieces ")

Data simulated

The simulated Data prepares for the end

Despite the destruction of Data's physical form, the memories he uploaded into B-4 before his death as well as a single neuron were used by Bruce Maddox and reconstructed by Altan Soong, the biological son of his creator and "brother", to allow Data's consciousness to continue to exist in a massively complex quantum simulation. Because he had died after the upload to B-4, it was impossible for him to remember his death as that was not part of those memories, but he was aware of the death of his physical body and the circumstances in which he gave his life for Picard. Just as with Lore and B-4, Data considered Altan to be his brother as well.

In 2399 , Data encountered the consciousness of Jean-Luc Picard while his memories were in the process of being uploaded to Soong's golem . The two had a discussion in which Data confirmed he did not regret sacrificing his life for Picard and that he was aware of Picard's love and affection for him.

Data dies

The simulated Data's final moments

As Picard was preparing to leave the simulation, Data made one last request to his old friend – that Picard terminate his consciousness. He explained to Picard that the finite nature of Human life helped define and give it meaning. Once Picard left the simulation, he complied with Data's request. As he deactivated the simulation, Picard postulated that despite the "violence and corruption and willful ignorance" of Humanity, Data was still able to see kindness, curiosity, and greatness of spirit possessed within the Human race, motivating his desire to be a part of the Human family. Data spent the time he had left enjoying a glass of wine, listening to " Blue Skies " on a record player , then reclining on a sofa until he rapidly aged and passed with a simulated Captain Picard, just as he was during the years on the Enterprise -D, by his side. ( PIC : " Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2 ")

A shared body

Daystrom Android M-5-10

Daystrom Android M-5-10

After the ban on synthetics was lifted, Altan Soong began construction on a new golem that would serve as a 'totality', combining parts of B-4, Lore, Lal and a large amount of Data into a singular being. While everything that Data had copied to B-4 had previously been unsalvageable, the lifting of the ban gave Soong the chance to work on it more and finally extract Data from B-4 properly. Soong gave the new golem an older appearance, based on an aged Soong, hoping to reflect the wisdom of age. However, he died before he could complete the project and his work was seized by Section 31 and stored at Daystrom Station . ( PIC : " The Bounty ") The integration of the personalities was not successful, and while B-4 and Soong were mostly dormant, Data and Lore were at odds with each other inside the golem. ( PIC : " Dominion ") The partition separating Data and Lore was later lowered, and despite Lore seeming to triumph, in taking Data's memories, Lore had effectively become Data himself, allowing Data to override Lore permanently and integrating elements of Lore's personality into himself. As part of the successful integration, Data's mannerisms became more human than they had previously - for instance, Data started using contractions in his speech, and remarked that he could truly feel emotion. ( PIC : " Surrender ") With the renewed threat of the Borg , Data resumed his old post aboard the rebuilt USS Enterprise -D to save the Federation, playing a crucial role in the endeavor by flying the Enterprise -D through a seemingly impossible path on the inside of a Borg cube based on a gut feeling. ( PIC : " Võx ", " The Last Generation ")

Following the destruction of the Borg, Data began adjusting to his resurrection in an organic body and all of the emotions that came with it. ( PIC : " The Last Generation ")

Personal interests

Holodeck adventures.

Holmes and Watson

Data and La Forge in a Sherlock Holmes holonovel

Data was fond of Sherlock Holmes and enjoyed playing the great detective in a holodeck program, often accompanied by Geordi La Forge in the role of Dr. Watson. ( TNG : " Elementary, Dear Data ", " Ship In A Bottle ")

Picard and Data (2364)

Picard and Data in " The Big Good-Bye "

Data also twice accompanied Picard in his holonovels of the Dixon Hill series , playing " Carlos , from South America," one of the private eye's associates. ( TNG : " The Big Goodbye ", " Manhunt ")

Data had been known to play poker with people from other time periods, including Stephen Hawking , Albert Einstein , and Sir Isaac Newton , out of interest as to how they would interact in such a situation. He called the exercise "most illuminating". ( TNG : " Descent ")

Data playing guitar

Data playing the guitar in 2368

Data pursued many of the higher arts of Earth . He developed his painting skills, creating art of many styles and subjects. ( TNG : " Birthright, Part I ", et al. ) He performed in plays and wrote poetry, although his lack of emotions meant that his poems commonly focused more on accurate poetical structure without the content evoking any kind of emotional reaction. ( TNG : " Schisms ", " The Defector ", " Frame of Mind ", " Emergence ") He played the violin and performed on several occasions. ( TNG : " Sarek ", " Tin Man ", et al. ) He also played classical guitar and the oboe . ( TNG : " Silicon Avatar ", " In Theory ") He dabbled in singing, most notably performing " Blue Skies " at William T. Riker and Deanna Troi 's wedding. ( Star Trek Nemesis )

Personal relationships


Data maintained close relationships with most of the Enterprise senior staff – during his time aboard the Jovis , after La Forge's furious refusal to accept that Data himself was somehow responsible for the shuttlecraft explosion that supposedly killed him, Riker told Captain Picard that, for someone incapable of emotion, he certainly evoked them strongly in others around him. ( TNG : " The Most Toys ")

Jean-Luc Picard

Data regarded Picard as something of a father figure throughout his service, asking for Picard's advice on numerous occasions in his quest to become more Human. Picard always gave Data advice whenever he could.

Following Tasha Yar 's death in 2364 , Data was puzzled about her death, thinking not about Yar but rather how he would subsequently feel in her absence, thinking that he missed the purpose of her memorial but Picard assured him that he understood the purpose of the memorial perfectly. ( TNG : " Skin Of Evil ")

Data discusses his transfer with Picard

Data discussing his rights with Picard

In 2365 , Data's existence was threatened when Commander Maddox wished to disassemble and study Data to gain a better understanding of how his positronic brain functioned. Data refused to submit to Maddox's procedure, finding his research flawed but Maddox claimed that Data was property of Starfleet and therefore not a sentient being and as a result had no choice other than to submit to the procedure. Captain Louvois supported Maddox's claim and Picard intervened by challenging their reasoning, saying that Data was indeed sentient and deserved the freedom to make his own decisions. He also said that Data represented an entire race and that forcing him to submit to Maddox's procedure was tantamount to slavery – strictly prohibited under Federation law. Ultimately, Louvois sided with Picard's standpoint and agreed that Data, android or not, was indeed sentient and entitled to the same rights as any other Starfleet officer. ( TNG : " The Measure Of A Man ")

In 2367 , Picard's seemingly unbreakable trust in Data was tested when Data refused to fully co-operate in an investigation into a number of events that happened within a 24-hour time span although Data claimed that the time span was only thirty seconds. Data's intransigence threatened to end his Starfleet career and even his own existence but it was later revealed that Captain Picard was himself responsible for Data's unusual behavior after an encounter with the Paxans in a T-Tauri type star system. ( TNG : " Clues ")

During the Klingon Civil War from 2367-8, the Federation made an indirect intervention with a blockade of Starfleet vessels placed in formation to use the pioneering tachyon detection grid in an effort to expose Romulan support for the House of Duras . Picard assigned all of his senior officers positions on board other ships except for Data. Data questioned Picard about why he was not assigned command of a vessel considering that there was a severe lack of senior officers available for the mission, wondering if he felt that his being an android made him unsuitable for command. Picard, slightly embarrassed by Data's question, assigned Data command of the USS Sutherland . During the blockade Data disobeyed direct orders from Captain Picard and was able to expose the Romulan's involvement in the war. Data submitted himself for disciplinary action for disobeying a direct order from his superior officer but Picard praised Data for not following his orders as he believed that doing so was appropriate under the circumstances. ( TNG : " Redemption II ")

In 2369 , Data refused to allow a group of exocomps to be sacrificed in order to save the lives of Captain Picard and Lieutenant Commander La Forge, who were trapped on board the Tyrus VIIA station , believing that they were sentient and therefore capable of making their own decisions. After agreeing to a compromise suggested by Commander Riker, the exocomps were released and able to save the lives of Picard and La Forge. Picard understood the predicament that Data was faced with as he had defended Data's sentience just a few years previously but this time the exocomps had no advocate and Data felt compelled to act on their behalf. Picard considered Data's actions to be the most "Human" decision that he had ever made. ( TNG : " The Quality of Life ")

Later that year, following an accident in main engineering that activated a dormant program in his positronic brain , Data sought advice from several officers, including Captain Picard, on his "visions." Picard was curious why Data was studying thousands of different cultures to interpret his visions. Data said that he had no culture of his own but Picard told Data that he did have a culture; a culture of one and that its validity was no less than that of a billion. Picard suggested that Data should consider what the visions meant to him instead of what they meant to other people. ( TNG : " Birthright, Part I ")

After a malfunctioning emotion chip fused with Data's positronic net in 2371 , Data felt guilty for not saving La Forge from capture by Tolian Soran on board the Amargosa observatory . Data was overwhelmed by emotions and requested being shut down until the chip could be removed. Although Picard felt sympathy for Data, he told him that part of having emotions was integrating them into your life and learning to live with them and denied Data his request. ( Star Trek Generations )

In 2373 (when the Enterprise -E traveled back to the year 2063 on Earth ), Picard and Data initially went down to the planet to observe the damage the Borg had done to Zefram Cochrane 's missile complex in Montana . Down in the missile silo of the Phoenix , Picard, upon touching the missile that would make history by becoming the first Human starship traveling at warp , explained to Data that sometimes a touch can make objects more "real." Upon suspecting Borg presence aboard the Enterprise , Picard and Data transported back to the ship. Fighting off the Borg near main engineering, Data was soon captured and brought to the Borg Queen . Instead of attempting to assimilate Data, the Queen made him physically more Human by attaching Human skin onto his android skeleton.

When it appeared impossible to hold off the Borg any longer, Picard was convinced to initiate the Enterprise 's auto-destruct sequence and ordered all remaining crew to evacuate. He himself went on to engineering to find Data and to convince the Queen, who he had encountered several years previously, to let Data go. Picard was even prepared to take Data's place at the Queen's side, willingly, thus becoming her equal. However, Data claimed he did not wish to go; even after the Queen ordered him away. Thus, the Queen ordered Picard's assimilation, but not before witnessing the destruction of the Phoenix by Data.

Data fired a spread of quantum torpedoes but they missed by the smallest of margins, and quickly thereafter he burst a plasma coolant tank, releasing plasma coolant, which would liquefy organic material on contact, killing the Borg. The Queen was killed, but Picard survived. While helping Data to his feet, Picard asked him if he was ever tempted to join the Borg's cause. Data, hinting at his kiss with the Queen, replied that for a fraction of a second (zero point six eight seconds), he was. He added that for an android, this brief moment was like an eternity. ( Star Trek: First Contact )

Following the wedding of William Riker and Deanna Troi in 2379 , Data was confused by Captain Picard's mixed feelings for the couple – although the captain was happy that Riker was due to accept promotion to the rank of Captain and take command of the USS Titan and that his new wife was to transfer over to the Titan and take position as the ship's counselor , Picard was somewhat saddened by their departure and tried to explain to Data that experiencing feelings of both happiness and sadness at the same time are common in these situations.

At the climax of the Battle in the Bassen Rift , Data jumped across the void of space from the Enterprise -E to the Scimitar , saving Picard by using a prototype emergency transport unit but he sacrificed his own life to save the crew of the Enterprise by firing at the thalaron radiation generator and so destroying the Scimitar . Following the battle, Captain Picard held a toast with the Enterprise -E's senior officers as a tribute to their fallen comrade. ( Star Trek Nemesis )

Twenty years after Data's death in the Bassen Rift, Picard encountered Data's preserved consciousness in a complex quantum simulation. As Data's sacrifice had greatly weighed on Picard's mind after all this time, Data reassured Picard that he did not regret sacrificing his life to save Picard. Before Picard was brought back, Data asked Picard for a final favor in terminating his consciousness, as he wished to live knowing that his life was finite. Picard honored the request, and within the simulation, a version of Captain Picard of the Enterprise -D remained at Data's side as he passed away. ( PIC : " Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2 ")

William T. Riker

William T

Data with Riker in 2364

William Riker first met Data on the Enterprise holodeck in 2364 . Data was trying to whistle " Pop Goes the Weasel ", but could not finish the last few notes. At Data's memorial service, Riker could not remember what song Data was trying to whistle. ( Star Trek Nemesis ) Riker helped him finish the tune, later giving Data the nickname " Pinocchio ", in reference to Data's wish to become Human. At first, Riker was skeptical about Data's abilities as a machine, assuming his rank of lieutenant commander was merely honorary. Despite Riker's misconception, Data had earned his rank, just as every other Starfleet officer of the same rank and above had done. ( TNG : " Encounter at Farpoint ")

In 2365 , Data's status as a sentient individual came into question. A hearing was held on Starbase 173 , but the base lacked a complete legal staff. As first officer of the Enterprise , Riker was forced to act as counsel for Bruce Maddox and was given the task of convincing Judge Phillipa Louvois that as an android, Data was the property of Starfleet. Riker very nearly proved that Data was property by means of deactivating him. Picard's defense later made Louvois hold that Data was a machine, was not the property of Starfleet, and had the right to choose whether to comply with Maddox's requests to study him. Riker was distressed over the incident, and he felt terrible that he had nearly cost Data his rights. Data did not hold any ill will towards Riker or Maddox; on the contrary, Data was actually grateful that Riker participated, telling Riker that if he did not, the initial ruling being appealed would have remained in Maddox's favor, and by Riker going against his conscience and potentially condemning his friend and colleague to be disassembled, that action wounded him in order to save Data's life, and was something Data would never forget. ( TNG : " The Measure Of A Man ")

Data sought Riker's help and advice on several occasions. One instance was when he asked for Riker's advice on friendship and betrayal, following a mission involving Ishara Yar in 2367 . ( TNG : " Legacy ") Data also asked for Riker's help when Keiko Ishikawa temporarily called off her wedding to Miles O'Brien in 2367 . ( TNG : " Data's Day ") He came to Riker once more for advice when he started to date Jenna D'Sora . ( TNG : " In Theory ")

Geordi La Forge

Data helps Geordi La Forge with VISOR

Data assists Geordi La Forge with his VISOR on Vagra II

Data's closest friend during his time aboard the Enterprise was Geordi La Forge. As of 2367, Data considered La Forge to be his best friend. ( TNG : " Data's Day ") Because Data was an android, La Forge was better equipped to effect repairs and maintenance on him than was Dr. Crusher as chief medical officer. Their long-term friendship dated back to 2364, when both were assigned as bridge officers aboard the vessel. La Forge's promotion to chief engineer the next year reflected his expertise with machinery, though he experienced difficulties in establishing relationships with other people, especially women. These personality traits may have accounted for La Forge's ability to so easily maintain a relationship with a sentient machine such as Data; that being said, La Forge never saw Data as an android or a machine per se, but as a close friend and treated him no differently than he would have if Data were a sentient biological organism. ( Star Trek Generations ; TNG : " Encounter at Farpoint ", " Code of Honor ", " Booby Trap ", " Galaxy's Child ", " Eye of the Beholder ")

Geordi La Forge thanks Data for his funeral

Data with La Forge at his memorial service

Their friendship was tested in early 2370 , during the Enterprise 's encounter with the individualized Borg. Lore used the emotion chip stolen from Dr. Noonien Soong to influence Data to join him, deactivating Data's ethical program and transmitting negative emotions (such as hatred, sadism, and anger) to Data. While under Lore's influence, Data participated in a neurological experiment with La Forge as the primary subject. The experiment caused La Forge a great deal of pain and would have eventually resulted in La Forge's death. Fortunately, Captain Picard and others of the Enterprise crew were able to reactivate Data's ethical program. It was Data's friendship with La Forge that eventually allowed the android to overcome his brother's influence. ( TNG : " Descent, Part II ")

Emotion chip

La Forge reluctantly agreeing to install Data's emotion chip

In 2371 , following an incident on the holodeck in which Data pushed Dr. Crusher off a sailboat in the water, Data decided to finally have the emotion chip Dr. Soong gave him years earlier installed in his neural net. La Forge assisted Data by installing the chip after the latter made this life-changing decision, though La Forge later reacted negatively to his friend's erratic behavior that accompanied the initial acquisition of emotions. When La Forge was later threatened by Dr. Soran aboard the Amargosa observatory , Data was afraid to intervene, but he later learned to live with his newly acquired emotions. ( Star Trek Generations ) When Data secretly transported himself to the Scimitar to save Picard, La Forge helped him do it, knowing this would be the last time the friends would see each other. ( Star Trek Nemesis )

Data's death emotionally broke LaForge, but it was also the memory of him that allowed LaForge to pull himself back together, and believed their friendship had made him a better man and become a better father after his two daughters were born. The discovery of Daystrom Android M-5-10 in 2401 with Data's complete memory as recovered from B-4, allowed Data to reunite with LaForge and continue their friendship after decades apart. ( PIC : " Dominion ", " Surrender ")

Beverly Crusher

Crusher Data dancing

Crusher teaching Data to dance

Dr. Beverly Crusher and Data had a special relationship, with Data seeking advice from Crusher on subjects ranging from parenting ( TNG : " The Offspring ") to dancing. She taught Data to tap dance, not knowing that he had intended to learn how to dance for the wedding of Miles O'Brien and Keiko Ishikawa. ( TNG : " Data's Day ") Data also came to her for advice on whether or not to consider the exocomps alive, and she was present when Data learned they were indeed sentient. ( TNG : " The Quality of Life ")

As the ship's chief medical officer , Dr. Crusher had some knowledge of how to repair and "heal" Data, though mostly it was Geordi La Forge who filled that function, since Data was an artificial lifeform. ( TNG : " Datalore ", " The Game ")

In 2369 , Data incorporated a subroutine for small talk. At the recommendation of Captain Picard, he studied Commander Hutchinson while the Enterprise underwent a baryon sweep at Arkaria Base . Dr. Crusher was the first person Data tried to engage in small talk using his observations of Hutchinson, to her astonishment and delight. ( TNG : " Starship Mine ")

During Worf's promotion ceremony in 2371 , Dr. Crusher tried to explain to Data the humor behind Worf being dunked after walking the plank on the holodeck recreation of the sailing ship Enterprise . Data did not completely understand and then pushed Crusher into the water, as an attempt at the same type of humor. However, Dr. Crusher and the rest of the senior staff did not find it nearly as amusing. La Forge later recommended that Data stay out of sickbay for a few days following the ceremony. ( Star Trek Generations ) In 2379 , Dr. Crusher remarked that she thought Data had nicer eyes than his predecessor, B-4. ( Star Trek Nemesis )

Data enjoyed an excellent professional relationship and a solid, if low-key, friendship with the cantankerous Klingon. They had two important things in common: first, both were rescued by the Federation after their homes were destroyed by enemy attacks, instilling in each of them a high regard for the Federation's ideals. Second, both were Starfleet pioneers; Data and Worf were, respectively, the first android and Klingon Starfleet officers. Although most of their time together was in the line of duty (such as bridge duty and away missions), both were frequent participants in the senior staff's poker games, and they often spent time together off-duty in Ten Forward . Moreover, Worf was one of the only people that Spot , Data's cat, warmed up to, even though Worf was not fond of the feline.

When Data's shuttlecraft exploded while returning to the Enterprise -D in 2366 , all Worf could do was stare in shock at the viewscreen and mutter his friend's name. As it turned out, the explosion was staged in order to kidnap Data, and he was subsequently rescued. ( TNG : " The Most Toys ")

In 2367 , Data sought Worf's help in finding a wedding present for Miles and Keiko O'Brien . ( TNG : " Data's Day ")

When Geordi La Forge and Ensign Ro Laren were presumed dead in a transporter accident in 2368 , Data volunteered to arrange the memorial service, but he was unsure about what kind of ceremony to have and asked Worf for advice. Worf told him that for Klingons, an honorable death in the line of duty was a cause for celebration, not mourning. Data took his advice and arranged a very upbeat party, giving people the chance to share their pleasant memories of the 'deceased'. His arrangments were very well received by the crew, and was only enhanced when La Forge's and Ro's states were returned to normal. ( TNG : " The Next Phase ")

A year later, Data again sought Worf's guidance, this time in researching the "dreams" he was having. Worf, preoccupied with rumors that his father had survived the attack on Khitomer , gave Data some cryptic answers, but Data seemed to understand what he was saying and went on his way. Data later returned this favor when Worf learned that the apparently returned Kahless the Unforgettable was actually a clone of the legendary Klingon; Data's reflections about how, after learning of his android nature, he chose to consider himself a person who could progress and grow over time rather than a machine who would never be more than the sum of its parts, convinced Worf to accept Kahless as the symbol that he could be for his own people rather than define him by the circumstances of his origins. ( TNG : " Birthright, Part I ", " Rightful Heir ")

Their friendship was severely tested in 2370 when Data, acting as commanding officer, privately admonished Worf for challenging his orders in front of the bridge crew. Afterward, Data apologized to Worf if the dressing-down had ended their friendship, but Worf took the high road, saying that if the friendship was in jeopardy, it was his fault alone. After that exchange, their working and personal relationship quickly returned to normal. ( TNG : " Gambit, Part II ")

Katherine Pulaski

When Dr. Pulaski came aboard the Enterprise in 2365 , she was not very kind toward Data, because of her discomfort with technology. She saw him as no more than a machine, pronouncing his name "DAT-uh" rather than "DAY-ta," and did not understand that he had a preference. ( TNG : " The Child ") She was also condescending towards Data and often spoke to him through other crewmembers. ( TNG : " Where Silence Has Lease ") She believed that Data's methodical way of looking at situations meant that he could never solve a traditional Sherlock Holmes mystery, which led to the creation of the program which brought about the sentient Professor Moriarty. ( TNG : " Elementary, Dear Data ")

However, later during the year, she began to value Data and look upon him as an equal and as a sentient individual. The major turning point was during the crisis surrounding the Darwin Station children. Data stayed to support Pulaski for a long period of time after she had become infected, something for which she was very grateful. ( TNG : " Unnatural Selection ") Pulaski even challenged master Zakdorn strategist Sirna Kolrami to a game of Strategema , believing that Data could win. When Data was unsuccessful, he interpreted it as a possible weakness and relieved himself of duty. Dr. Pulaski talked to Data and made him realize that one letdown did not necessarily mean total failure and encouraged him to return to duty, but with no success. Finally, Captain Picard told Data that a loss can be had with no mistakes made and convinced him to return to duty. Data later forced Kolrami to a stalemate, much to Kolrami's chagrin. ( TNG : " Peak Performance ")

Data combing Timothy's hair

Data combing young Timothy's hair

Tasha Yar observed that Data viewed the world with the wonder of a child. ( TNG : " Skin Of Evil ") During his service Data had befriended several children. Data befriended an alien girl named Sarjenka in violation of the prime directive. To mitigate the damage, Picard ordered Dr. Pulaski to erase Sarjenka's memory. ( TNG : " Pen Pals ") Data befriended a ten-year-old boy named Timothy after Timothy was orphaned in the explosion that destroyed the Vico. Timothy wanted to be incapable of emotion like Data because he wrongfully blamed himself for the Vico's destruction, so he pretended to be an android and attempted to mimic Data in every way. ( TNG : " Hero Worship ") Data befriended an alien girl named Gia when he lost his memory on Barkon IV . This friendship was similar to his friendship with Sarjenka, only this time, it was Data who lost all memory of the friendship, and the child who would never forget him. ( TNG : " Thine Own Self ")

Picard, Spock, and Data aboard Bird-of-Prey

Spock offering his assistance to Data in 2368

As an unemotional member of the crew, and a respected advisor to the captain, Data shared many similarities to Spock on board the first USS Enterprise . However, where Spock often believed himself to be superior to Humans, Data aspired to be more Human (Data once stated that having no emotions made him closer to Vulcans than Humans, but he found their stark philosophy to be limited). The contrast between the two was instantly apparent to them when they met on Romulus . Spock noted that Data's complete lack of emotion and superior physical capabilities were qualities to which Vulcans aspired, but Data wished to be more Human. Data noted that as a half-Human, Spock abandoned what Data had sought his entire life by choosing the Vulcan way of life. ( TNG : " Unification I ", " Unification II ")

Data was programmed with multiple techniques and was "fully functional." Data had a sexual relationship with Natasha Yar during the influence of polywater intoxication and attempted a romantic relationship with Jenna D'Sora in late 2367 . ( TNG : " The Naked Now ", " In Theory ") In 2373 , the Borg Queen seduced him in an attempt to convince Data to join the Borg's cause. ( Star Trek: First Contact )

Natasha Yar

Tasha Yar seduces Data

Tasha Yar and Data under the influence of polywater intoxication in 2364

Data had a short sexual relationship with Natasha Yar in 2364 . Yar was at least slightly attracted to Data and had sex with him while under the influence of polywater intoxication . She later told him that the incident "never happened." ( TNG : " The Naked Now ") Data, since he has perfect memory (he can remember everything that has ever happened to him like it just happened), still felt a special connection to Tasha. He kept a holographic image of Tasha to remember her after her death. When Data's rights as a sentient being were called into question, his romantic encounter with Tasha was a strong influence for Judge Phillipa Louvois to rule that Data was in fact a sentient lifeform. ( TNG : " The Measure Of A Man ") La Forge and Wesley Crusher found the holoimage when they visited Data's quarters after his apparent death in 2366 . ( TNG : " The Most Toys ")

Jenna D'Sora

In late 2367 , Lieutenant Jenna D'Sora found herself in love with Data. After she expressed her affection for him by kissing him on the lips, Data asked his friends for advice on what to do, and decided to pursue the relationship. Since he had no real emotions or feelings, Data created a special program in his neural net to guide him through the intricacies of love. However, as his relationship with Jenna progressed, Data discovered that in romance, the logical course is not always the most appropriate.

Later that year, they decided to end their relationship. D'Sora explained that her previous boyfriend had been unemotional, and felt that her choice of Data, an android completely incapable of emotion, indicated a pattern. Without a second thought, Data, seeing the validity of her point, agreed to discontinue his program. ( TNG : " In Theory ")

In 2063 , during the Borg attack on the Enterprise -E, which had arrived from the year 2373, Data was abducted by a Borg drone . Unable to assimilate the android, the Borg Queen attempted to bribe Data into subservience by offering him live flesh instead of his polymer. Data played along, having suggested sexual relations with the Borg Queen, who wanted him as a partner to ease the loneliness of her role as the one individual in the Collective, Data essentially 'replacing' Locutus. Data ultimately betrayed the Borg Queen, killing her with warp engine coolant, which also removed the new flesh she had grafted onto him. He subsequently admitted to Picard that a part of him was still sorry about her death, noting that her offer to bring him closer to Humanity had briefly tempted him (albeit for only 0.68 seconds, a duration that, according to Data, equates – for an android – to "nearly an eternity"). ( Star Trek: First Contact )

Alternate realities and timelines

Data with blue eyes

An alternate timeline where Data has blue eyes instead of his normal yellow.

In 2366 , the USS Enterprise -C emerged from a temporal rift . Its disappearance from the year 2344 caused an altered timeline, where the Federation was losing a war against the Klingons. Data was still the ship's operations officer. ( TNG : " Yesterday's Enterprise ")

Data, 2395

Data in an unknown future timeframe

In 2370 , Lieutenant Worf encountered a quantum fissure which caused him to begin shifting between quantum realities . In several universes, Data was still the Enterprise 's operations officer, and attended a surprise birthday party for Worf. In at least one of these realities, Data's eyes were blue instead of their characteristic yellow.

In another reality, Data was still the operations officer and second officer but was outranked by Commander Worf, who served as the ship's first officer under Captain Riker, Picard having been lost in the Battle of Wolf 359 in 2367 . He determined that the Worf from the primary reality did not belong in his reality as his quantum signature was not consistent with the resonance of matter in the rest of the universe and that he had originated from a different quantum universe. This version of Data theorized that it would be possible to seal the fissure if the shuttlecraft Curie from the primary reality re-entered the fissure and emitted a broad spectrum warp field . According to Captain Picard, the Data from the primary reality had reached the same conclusion. All the events following Worf's encounter were erased from the timeline once the fissure was sealed. ( TNG : " Parallels ")

In an unknown, alternate future timeframe , Data was a professor (the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics ) at Cambridge University and lived at Isaac Newton 's house with a housekeeper and several cats . Apparently in this future, he had grasped the concept of humor, stating that his housekeeper Jessel made him laugh. In addition, his everyday speech had much more nuance and inflection, and he appeared to have finally mastered the use of contractions. He had also dyed part of his hair grey as he believed that it made him look distinguished. However, Jessel was of the opinion that it made him look like a "bloody skunk ." ( TNG : " All Good Things... ")

Data Musketeer 2366

Data as part of The Three Musketeers

Data was holographically duplicated on a number of occasions.

  • Lt. Reginald Barclay in 2366 recreated at least two Datas when he was suffering from holo-addiction . One program had Data as part of The Three Musketeers , while the other recreated the entire crew of the Enterprise -D. That recreation of Data was present when Barclay said goodbye to his fantasies and deleted the programs. ( TNG : " Hollow Pursuits ")
  • Barash recreated the entire command crew of the Enterprise -D in 2367 on Alpha Onias III to keep Commander Riker there. This recreation took place in a 2383 where Data had been promoted to Commander and had become the first officer . Inaccuracies of this holographic reproduction of Data, including inability to perform calculations at the speed of the real Data and the use of contractions in his speech, served to aid Riker in recognizing the holographic scenario as false. ( TNG : " Future Imperfect ")
  • In 2369 , Geordi La Forge and Data attempted to establish an interface between Data and the Enterprise-D ’s computers so he could serve as a backup in case of a ship-wide systems failure. There was a power surge, which resulted in all the characters in the currently running Holodeck "Ancient West" Deadwood program taking on the appearance and abilities of Data. ( TNG : " A Fistful of Datas ")

Memorable quotes

" Do you consider yourself superior to Humans? " 
" I am superior, sir, in many ways. But I would gladly give it up, to be Human. " 
" Nice to meet you, Pinocchio ! " 
(Data looks perplexed)
 " A joke. "
 " Hm. Intriguing. 
" "You're going to be an interesting companion, Mr. Data. "

" He speaks the truth, sir. From your point of view, he is only a facsimile, a knock-off, a cheap imitation... " " ...thank you, Mr. Data. "

" 1 – 7 – 3 – 4 – 6 – 7 – 3 – 2 – 1 – 4 – 7 – 6 – Charlie – 3 – 2 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 7 – 7 – 7 – 6 – 4 – 3 – Tango – 7 – 3 – 2 – Victor – 7 – 3 – 1 – 1 – 7 – 8 – 8 – 8 – 7 – 3 – 2 – 4 – 7 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 7 – 6 – 4 – 3 – 7 – 6 – Lock. "

" I am not less perfect than Lore. "

" As I experience certain sensory input patterns, my mental pathways become accustomed to them. The input is eventually anticipated and even 'missed' when absent. "

" I could be chasing an untamed ornithoid without cause. " 
" A wild goose chase? "

" I never knew what a friend was, until I met Geordi. He spoke to me as though I were Human. He treated me no differently from anyone else. He accepted me for what I am. And that – I have learned – is friendship. "

" I am perceiving an apparent change in the way others behave toward me. "

" It is… it is… it is green. "

" I understand your dilemma. I once had what could be considered a crisis of the spirit. " " You? " " Yes. The Starfleet officers who first activated me on Omicron Theta told me I was an android, nothing more than a sophisticated machine with human form. However I realised that if I were simply a machine, I could never be anything else. I could never grow beyond my programming. I found that difficult to accept, so I chose to believe that I was a person, that I had the potential to be more than a collection of circuits and sub-processors. It is a belief which I still hold. " " How did you come to your decision? " " I made a leap of faith . "

" I must admit, Data, I never get used to seeing you like this. "
 " I do not understand. You are constantly working on similar electronic systems, yet their appearances do not disturb you. "
 " But you're not just another electronic system. "
 " Thank you, Geordi. Nor are you just another biological organism. "


  • " Encounter at Farpoint "
  • " The Naked Now "
  • " Code of Honor "
  • " The Last Outpost "
  • " Where No One Has Gone Before "
  • " Lonely Among Us "
  • " Justice "
  • " The Battle "
  • " Hide And Q "
  • " The Big Goodbye "
  • " Datalore "
  • " Angel One "
  • " 11001001 "
  • " Too Short A Season "
  • " When The Bough Breaks "
  • " Home Soil "
  • " Coming of Age "
  • " Heart of Glory "
  • " The Arsenal of Freedom "
  • " Symbiosis "
  • " Skin Of Evil "
  • " We'll Always Have Paris "
  • " Conspiracy "
  • " The Neutral Zone "
  • " The Child "
  • " Where Silence Has Lease "
  • " Elementary, Dear Data "
  • " The Outrageous Okona "
  • " Loud As A Whisper "
  • " The Schizoid Man "
  • " Unnatural Selection "
  • " A Matter Of Honor "
  • " The Measure Of A Man "
  • " The Dauphin "
  • " Contagion "
  • " The Royale "
  • " Time Squared "
  • " The Icarus Factor "
  • " Pen Pals "
  • " Samaritan Snare "
  • " Up The Long Ladder "
  • " Manhunt "
  • " The Emissary "
  • " Peak Performance "
  • " Shades of Gray "
  • " Evolution "
  • " The Ensigns of Command "
  • " The Survivors "
  • " Who Watches The Watchers "
  • " The Bonding "
  • " Booby Trap "
  • " The Enemy "
  • " The Price "
  • " The Vengeance Factor "
  • " The Defector "
  • " The Hunted "
  • " The High Ground "
  • " A Matter of Perspective "
  • " Yesterday's Enterprise "
  • " The Offspring "
  • " Sins of The Father "
  • " Allegiance "
  • " Captain's Holiday "
  • " Tin Man "
  • " Hollow Pursuits "
  • " The Most Toys "
  • " Ménage à Troi "
  • " Transfigurations "
  • " The Best of Both Worlds "
  • " The Best of Both Worlds, Part II "
  • " Brothers "
  • " Suddenly Human "
  • " Remember Me "
  • " Reunion "
  • " Future Imperfect "
  • " Final Mission "
  • " The Loss "
  • " Data's Day "
  • " The Wounded "
  • " Devil's Due "
  • " First Contact "
  • " Galaxy's Child "
  • " Night Terrors "
  • " Identity Crisis "
  • " The Nth Degree "
  • " The Drumhead "
  • " Half a Life "
  • " The Host "
  • " The Mind's Eye "
  • " In Theory "
  • " Redemption "
  • " Redemption II "
  • " Ensign Ro "
  • " Silicon Avatar "
  • " Disaster "
  • " The Game "
  • " Unification I "
  • " Unification II "
  • " A Matter Of Time "
  • " New Ground "
  • " Hero Worship "
  • " Violations "
  • " The Masterpiece Society "
  • " Conundrum "
  • " Power Play "
  • " The Outcast "
  • " Cause And Effect "
  • " The First Duty "
  • " Cost Of Living "
  • " The Perfect Mate "
  • " Imaginary Friend "
  • " The Next Phase "
  • " The Inner Light "
  • " Time's Arrow "
  • " Time's Arrow, Part II "
  • " Realm Of Fear "
  • " Man Of The People "
  • " Schisms "
  • " Rascals "
  • " A Fistful of Datas "
  • " The Quality of Life "
  • " Chain Of Command, Part I "
  • " Chain Of Command, Part II "
  • " Ship In A Bottle "
  • " Face Of The Enemy "
  • " Tapestry "
  • " Birthright, Part I "
  • " Birthright, Part II "
  • " Starship Mine "
  • " Lessons "
  • " The Chase "
  • " Frame of Mind " ( hallucination )
  • " Suspicions "
  • " Rightful Heir "
  • " Second Chances "
  • " Timescape "
  • " Descent "
  • " Descent, Part II "
  • " Liaisons "
  • " Interface "
  • " Gambit, Part I "
  • " Gambit, Part II "
  • " Phantasms "
  • " Dark Page "
  • " Attached "
  • " Force of Nature "
  • " Inheritance "
  • " Parallels "
  • " The Pegasus "
  • " Homeward "
  • " Sub Rosa "
  • " Lower Decks "
  • " Thine Own Self "
  • " Eye of the Beholder "
  • " Genesis "
  • " Journey's End "
  • " Firstborn "
  • " Bloodlines "
  • " Emergence "
  • " Preemptive Strike "
  • " All Good Things... "
  • Star Trek Generations
  • Star Trek: First Contact
  • Star Trek: Insurrection
  • Star Trek Nemesis
  • ENT : " These Are the Voyages... " (voice only)
  • " Remembrance " (dreams only) (Season 1)
  • " Broken Pieces " (vision only)
  • " Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1 " (vision only)
  • " Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2 "
  • " The Bounty " (archive footage) (Season 3)
  • " An Embarrassment Of Dooplers " (likeness on bubble bath bottle)
  • " Reflections " (likeness on bubble bath bottle)

Background information

Data was played by actor Brent Spiner in all of the character's television and film appearances. The character of Data appeared in all episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation , with the exception of season four 's " Family ". He also appeared in all four TNG-era Star Trek films . In 2005 , Spiner recorded a brief, voice-only cameo as Data for the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise , " These Are the Voyages... ": Data was heard speaking to Deanna Troi over a com-link (for which Spiner was not credited). Spiner had previously played Arik Soong , an ancestor of Data's creator, in a 2004 story arc on Enterprise . In 2020 , Data appeared in four episodes of Star Trek: Picard , albeit only in dreams and visions and as a version of Data's personality downloaded into B-4 prior to the actual Data's death in Nemesis .

According to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion  (2nd ed., p. 15), Data was inspired by The Questor Tapes , a movie created for television created by Gene Roddenberry and Gene Coon during the 1970s . It featured Robert Foxworth as the title character (as well as including Majel Barrett and Walter Koenig ), and was intended as the pilot for a series which would have detailed the adventures of an android with a childlike personality.

However, Susan Sackett felt Data was more consciously inspired by Spock than by Questor. She commented, " Gene was always fascinated by artificial intelligence . Data was sort of like the Spock character who could be logical and see things in a different way. The difference is this one wants to be Human, unlike Spock, who did not want to be Human. I don't think he was consciously thinking of The Questor Tapes." ( The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years , p. 58)

The Vulcan character of Xon from the aborted Star Trek: Phase II television series has also been noted as a "forerunner" or "early version" of Data, including by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens . ( Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series , p. 28) In particular, they highlighted the similarity of the two characters' efforts "to replicate human behavior without being able to understand it." ( Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series , p. 83)

Wherever Roddenberry's thoughts lay in creating Data, Robert H. Justman concurred that such an android character would be a boon for the series. " I thought we could establish a new series 'regular' – an android programmed by Starfleet Command with all of the familiar abilities and characteristics of Spock fused with the leadership and humanistic qualities of Captain Kirk , " Justman recalled. " A new character like this would give us any number of dramatic or humorous avenues. " ( The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years , p. 58)

Rick Berman observed that Data was similar to multiple other fictional characters. " He was a little like the characters in The Wizard of Oz , " Berman pointed out. " He wanted to be a real boy, like Pinocchio , but he also he wanted to have a heart, wanted to have a brain. " ( The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years , p. 96)

According to Melinda M. Snodgrass , Data wasn't just similar to characters from child fiction but was extremely child-like himself. " I've always used Data as the child, " Snodgrass commented. " Data is exploring what any child does as they grow up. You can allow Data to make a mistake, learn from it, and rectify it in a way that if you have someone else to make that mistake, it seems unbelievable because these are such highly trained professionals. " ( The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years , pp. 96-97)

The March 1987 TNG Writers/Directors Guide provided a backstory for Data that was jettisoned rather quickly during the series. In that version, he had been manufactured by highly advanced, but never seen, aliens who placed into him all the memories of a doomed "Earth-Asian" space colony to preserve their existence. His personality would thus have been influenced by the colonists. Elements of this backstory, such as Data retaining the memories of a group of colonists, survive in a version of his backstory established in " Datalore ".

Robert Justman reckoned there were "several ways to go" when casting Data and took inspiration, in this regard, from actor Lance Henriksen 's portrayal of the android Bishop in the film Aliens . ( The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years , p. 58) Among the performers who were considered to portray Data were John Lone , Robert Englund , actress Kim Miyori ( Creating the Next Generation ), Mark Lindsay Chapman , Kevin Peter Hall , Eric Menyuk , and Kelvin Han Yee . The latter four were being considered as of 13 April 1987 , at which point Chapman was regarded as seemingly the favorite choice for the part. [1]

When Brent Spiner won the part of Data, he was anxious about how much it would allow him to do. " Initially when I took the part, my biggest fear was that it was going to be the most limited character, not only on the show but on television, because the canvas on which I was being allowed to paint was such a narrow one, " Spiner explained. ( The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years , p. 96)

Data makeup tests

Becoming Data, bit by bit

When Gene Roddenberry cast Brent Spiner in the part of Data, the android's appearance was not yet determined. Spiner went through thirty-six makeup tests, as makeup artist Michael Westmore painted him an enormous variety of colors, including bubblegum pink and battleship gray. The preproduction personnel finally settled upon bright gold, with yellow irised contacts. Spiner was opposed to the idea of wearing makeup for his character at first. " My argument with Gene was, 'If you could make a creature that moves like this and looks like this and thinks like this, why can't you do the skin?' And Gene's response was, 'What makes you think what you have isn't better than skin?' And that's very difficult to argue with. " ( Trek: The Next Generation Crew Book )

In his portrayal of Data, Brent Spiner drew his inspiration from two different sources. The first was taken from Riker's reference to Data as Pinocchio in " Encounter at Farpoint ", a comparison which he used in his portrayal. " He's a machine who'd love to be Human, and is fascinated by Humans, " Spiner observed. " I suppose in his journey he'll get closer and closer to being one. " The second was the Blade Runner character Roy Batty , as according to Spiner, " I like to think of myself as the Rutger Hauer of this show, " adding, " but then I like to think of myself as Rutger Hauer in real life: strikingly handsome, irresistible to women, an intergalactic enigma. " ( Trek: The Next Generation Crew Book )

Brent Spiner's portrayal of Data had an effect on the number of stories featuring him, as Rick Berman pointed out: " Brent was so good at it that all the writers felt a great desire to want to write for that character. " As a result, Spiner himself was delighted to find his "biggest fear", that Data would be quite a limited role, wasn't being realized. " It was incredible for me […] I just lucked into a part that turned into the most unlimited role on television, " Spiner enthused. ( The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years , p. 96)

In "The Questor Tapes," Questor was to have experimented with sexuality, making love to a female character. Network censors did not allow this scene to be used in the film, but a decade later, more relaxed standards allowed an "intimate relationship" to occur between Data and Tasha Yar in " The Naked Now ". Data's assurance that he is a "fully functional" Human male is a quote from the telemovie. A scene from " The Royale " wherein Data repairs loaded dice is also from The Questor Tapes . [2]

The ending for Star Trek Nemesis suggested that B-4 may become a replacement for Data, thus possibly becoming Data in the process and mirroring Spock's rebirth and the allusions to it at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan . However, Spiner noted that he had visibly aged out of the role and that it would be implausible for him to continue playing an android whose appearance should not change with time (though the seventh-season episode " Inheritance " establishes that Data has an aging program that ages his appearance, and "All Good Things…" shows an appearance-aged Data). Hence, B-4's presence (and the suggestion that he has a copy of Data's memories stored) was most likely meant to have been a tease.

Other than in alternate realities, Data has always appeared as a lieutenant commander throughout the entire run of TNG and the subsequent movies. Jean-Luc Picard and Beverly Crusher are the only other characters to remain at the rank they started with. Data was also one of the few non-Vulcans to master the Vulcan nerve pinch on-screen, as seen in " Unification II " and Star Trek Nemesis .

A reference to Data is made in the VOY Season 2 episode " Prototype " by B'Elanna Torres when she is conversing with Automated Unit 3947 . While assisting him in developing a prototype robot capable of using a uniform power module, Torres describes Data as the only truly sentient artificial life-form in her culture while 3947 reflects that he would be interested to meet a machine with equal status to a "Builder".

On 9 April 2008 , the character of Data was inducted into Carnegie Mellon University's Robot Hall of Fame. Attending the ceremony on the android's behalf was Spock actor and Carnegie Mellon alumni Zachary Quinto . [3]

In 2016 , Brent Spiner expressed a willingness to pass on the portrayal of Data, saying, " I don't think I'll get proprietorial about it. I'd like to see Tilda Swinton play Data. Don't you think that'd be cool? " ( SFX , issue 275, p. 67)

Academy graduation inconsistency

In " Encounter at Farpoint ", Data says he graduated with the Starfleet Academy Class of '78, despite the facts that the episode took place in 2364 and Data was assembled in the late 2330s . In the extended cut of " The Measure Of A Man ", it was established that Data was admitted to the Academy in 2344 and graduated in 2348. Later, for his personnel file in " Conundrum ", these dates were changed to 2341 and 2345.

Use of contractions

Data's tendency to avoid the use of verbal contractions in ordinary speech is remarked upon in " Datalore " and " Future Imperfect ". While episodes preceding "Datalore" routinely show his use of contractions, this rule was adhered to for most of the remainder of the series with some notable exceptions. These can be categorized in one of three broad ways: as a single instance not commented upon during the episode, as part of portraying a new character or persona, or to denote some future change or enhancement to his original programming.

  • In " Encounter at Farpoint ", Data tells McCoy, " I'm an android, " and later, about Q, he says, " At least we're acquainted with the judge. "
  • In " Where No One Has Gone Before ", he says, " It's off the scale, " when referring to the ship's velocity and " We're here… " as an explanation as to why the Enterprise should stay and study the galaxy M-33 .
  • In " The Arsenal of Freedom ", after destroying one of several weapons, Data says to Yar, "must've".
  • In " We'll Always Have Paris ", three versions of Data are figuring out which of them is in the correct time continuum. The correct Data concludes aloud "it's me!"
  • In " Manhunt ", when Captain Picard summons Data to Lwaxana Troi's boudoir to help him escape from an awkward situation, Data replies, " I'm on my way. "
  • In " Elementary, Dear Data ", Data asks La Forge to open the door to the drawing room, saying, " Let's not keep the inspector waiting. "
  • In " Shades of Gray ", Data says to La Forge, " I'm always careful. " He also appears to say "you're" seconds later.
  • At the end of " Datalore ", Data tells Wesley Crusher , " I'm fine, " and in " We'll Always Have Paris ", he makes the remark, " It's me. "
  • During the teaser of " The Naked Now ", Data uses contractions several times, including " What we've just heard is impossible " and " I'm sure he meant now. "
  • In " The Last Outpost ", Data states, " Captain, this shouldn't be " and " I'm afraid not. "
  • In Star Trek: Insurrection , he remarks to a child that " You'll be safer. " This is said in a rushed, seemingly emotional tone. But is after Data receives his emotion chip.
  • In " The Big Goodbye ", Data appears to be able to use contractions with ease on several occasions while participating "in character" during the Dixon Hill simulation on the holodeck.
  • In " Data's Day ", Data says to Troi, " In an effort to be helpful, I'm attempting to calculate the variables of a successful marriage. " Later, in the transporter room, Data says, " There's no record… "
  • During " In Theory ", while creating a new program for use during a romantic relationship, Data utilizes the phrases " Honey, I'm home! ", " I'll join you ", and " You're not my mother! " When questioned about the last's apparent angry nature, Data reverts to a more characteristic response of " You are not my mother. " It is implied that Data was trying to act like "role models" he had found in the ship's computer.
  • In " The Next Phase ", while telling a transporter chief to use a console on the bridge to scan for energy fields, Data says he will modify an emitter to "eliminate the fields, once they've been isolated."
  • In " Time's Arrow ", when asked by the bellboy Jack London what the machine he's building is "gonna be", Data responds hesitantly, " What do you think it is… gonna be? "
  • In " Inheritance ", when updating Commander Riker regarding their status, Data says " we'll be returning to the beam out point shortly. "
  • For the alternate future timeline version in " All Good Things... " and for all of the TNG films , Data is shown using contractions.

In fact, "Datalore" did not explicitly assert that Data was incapable of using contractions, merely that he generally did not use them, and that his tendency was to "use language… formally." In " The Offspring ", Lal's ability to use contractions is depicted as an advancement beyond Data's abilities, but Data's actual words are that he has not "mastered" their use. Given the above instances, it is clear Data is capable of using contractions as an affectation. Perhaps what he had not "mastered" was the ability to use them spontaneously, in everyday speech.

Upon her death in "The Offspring", Data downloads Lal's programming and memory records into his own positronic matrix, so that she need not be completely "lost." Given her apparent "mastery" of spontaneous contraction use during her brief life, this may further explain Data's liberal use of contractions beyond 2366.

In the "Special Crew Profile: Lt. Cmdr. Data" in the TNG Season 6 DVD special features, Data's occasional use of contractions is pointed out as often being an error in the script – the writers would often mistakenly write them in or miss them in edits – or that Spiner would slip up on his lines and use the more natural contraction rather than Data's formal speech patterns.

The version of Data restored to life in a new android body , having fully reintegrated and asserted his own personality while incorporating elements and mannerisms from Lore, Altan Soong, Lal, and B-4, routinely used contractions from that point forward. ( PIC : " Surrender ")

Data's backstory from the March 1987 TNG Writer's/Director's Guide made it into David Gerrold's novelization of Encounter at Farpoint .

The graphic novel The Gorn Crisis showed Data during the Dominion War , where he was able to help the Federation forge an alliance with the Gorn in 2375 , defeating a Gorn leader in combat and thus demonstrating that Human ingenuity was superior and stronger than the Gorn.

The novel The Buried Age explores Data's first encounter with Picard, with Picard encouraging Data to assert himself and work beyond what his superiors request of him; prior to meeting Picard, Data had shown a lack of career advancement because he always did the job in front of him simply because it didn't occur to him to push himself further or ask for particular assignments over others, adhering to the chain of command without thinking of going beyond the rules. As a result of his actions in the novel, where he uncovers and averts attempts to sabotage the under-construction Galaxy -class starships as an ancient alien implants subtle flaws in their design specs, Data is promoted to lieutenant commander and offered a place on a Galaxy -class ship when they are completed.

The TNG Relaunch novel Resistance follows up the question of whether B-4 would become Data, when Picard and La Forge are forced to deactivate B-4 and send him away for analysis, having accepted that the moments where B-4 showed access to Data's memories were merely random occurrences rather than any sign that he had definitively progressed. However, the later novel Greater than the Sum establishes that the Federation Council overturned the decision and granted B-4 the right to choose his own fate.

Data is resurrected in the novel Cold Equations : The Persistence of Memory , when Doctor Soong – who survived his death by transferring his mind into an android body far more Human in appearance than Data's – transfers Data's memories from B-4 into his own body, unable to complete the new body he had been attempting to construct due to the recent Borg invasion and a sudden attack from the Breen . Although Data does not consider himself to have been "resurrected" – citing, as an example, his reluctance to return to Starfleet now that he possesses his father's memories and understands how Soong felt at the idea of Data not continuing his work – La Forge concludes that he is still Data in every way that matters, citing their continued friendship and Data's predisposition to not use contractions even when capable of doing so as proof.


Captain Data of the USS Enterprise -E

The comic book series Star Trek: Countdown , a tie-in to the 2009 Star Trek film, depicts Data as alive in 2387 , having successfully imprinted his neural nets onto B-4's programming; at one point, Spock , who was also brought back to life after dying, makes a note of the incredibly unique life experience the two share. In the comic, Data had become captain of the Enterprise -E; along with Captain Picard, his face is seen in the film's comic adaptation , in which the Delta Vega mind meld scene is depicted with a collage of images from Countdown . This promotion to captain is one of the pieces of trivia that appears on loading screens in Star Trek Online . The short story "Unexpected Honor", appearing in Star Trek Magazine  issue 167 (pp. 90-93) in 2012 , shows Data's captaincy ending with the Enterprise -E's destruction at the hands of the Undine in 2408; afterwards, Data retires from Starfleet to teach at the University of Oxford , a possible nod to the anti-time future in " All Good Things... " where he also became a university professor after leaving Starfleet.

In the short story "Our Million-Year Mission" from the anthology book Strange New Worlds VI set a million years in the future, Data Soong is a crewmember aboard the UberEnterprise , a ship populated by holographic replicas of famous Starfleet officers. He has modified himself to be able to experience every nuance of Human emotion as well as many alien ones.

In The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard , Picard and B-4 were paid a visit by Q shortly after the Enterprise -E returned to Earth following the battle with Shinzon. Over the objections of Picard, Q restored Data to life in B-4's body.

  • Jayden , identity while amnesiac
  • Carlos , a persona in the holodeck

External links

  • Data at Wikipedia
  • Data at Memory Beta , the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
  • Data at the Star Trek Online Wiki
  • 1 Abdullah bin al-Hussein

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‘Star Trek: Picard’ Review: Season 1 Finale Inspires Many Questions, Little Emotion

Christian blauvelt.

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You gotta love “Star Trek: Picard ” in theory.

It’s a show that flies in the face of fan service, that rejects nostalgia, to push its beloved character into uncharted territory. It’s meant to look different from any “Trek” that’s come before, feature characters like we’ve never seen before, and feature a level of danger like we’ve never seen before.

But in practice, the reality of “Star Trek: Picard” has missed the mark of its intent. Instead of looking different from any other “Trek,” so much of this show has just looked ugly: sets that are just different shades of gray. It looks like any of the now-canceled Marvel Netflix shows. We have indeed gotten ourselves new characters, and for the most part they’ve been enjoyable — when their arcs actually go somewhere — but it’s hard not to think Picard himself is now the least interesting personality we’re watching. We did have big stakes, down even to Picard himself on death’s door from a “brain abnormality” — but the show pulls its punches.

By trying to be so different from the “Trek” that has come before, “Star Trek: Picard” has dispiritingly ended up looking like most other serialized shows in the streaming era: overlong and overplotted with a sense that everything is forgettable. And it’s not even that different from some more recent “Trek”: the J.J. Abrams reboot films are bright and candy colored, while “Picard” is dark and gloomy, but both “Picard” and “Star Trek Into Darkness” end the same way — with the resurrection of a character whose “death” is meaningless as you’re watching it because you know he’ll be revived five minutes later. And he is.

There was a moment there that you thought maybe we’re in for the biggest reversal of all time and Picard will actually die for good (permanently!), even despite the fact that a Season 2 of this show was already greenlit. Maybe this’ll become a show with a new title about Soji taking up the late Picard’s mantle and exploring the galaxy with the crew of La Sirena and trying to fight for synth equality with the new races she meets. It could be more about exploring what else is happening in the galaxy at the dawn of the 25th Century than just what’s happening to one aging ex-captain and his small coterie. But no.

data returns star trek

Instead, we get a “dead” Picard meeting the consciousness of long-dead Data in a digital construct (as Picard’s consciousness gets prepped to be placed in a new clone body, or “golem”), in what feels like a blow-by-blow recreation of that Harry Potter moment when the “dead” boy wizard meets Dumbledore in that way-station between life and death. They have a heart to heart and then Picard/Harry chooses to live again, follows the light, and rejoins the universe of the living. Because all of pop culture has to be Harry Potter now.

That Picard’s quest, which began in a sense with him wanting to find a way to revive Data (one thinks?), actually ends with him agreeing to Data’s request that they terminate his disembodied consciousness — that he’ll finally become human by having a finite existence — is touching. And Brent Spiner’s acting is superb as always.

But this first season finale, “Et in Arcadia Ego Part 2,” is where all the problems that have been plaguing this show stick out most strongly. It’s a shame, because “Part 1” was a delight, seemingly a welcome corrective to all that had come before on “Picard.” Now after “Part 2” this writer is left questioning if what he liked along the way was really worthy of enjoyment at all.

We’ll never give up hope for “Star Trek: Picard,” and we’ll be back for Season 2. But oof, if this finale doesn’t sting. Instead of emotions, we’re just left with a mass of questions, so the only proper way to engage with this episode is to throw them out there.

Let’s get Socratic with this thing.

  • What happened to Ramdha, Narissa’s despairing ex-Borg aunt?
  • Did Ramdha even survive the Borg cube’s crash to Coppelius’s surface?
  • So did Alton Inigo Soong create all these synths just for kicks?
  • What was Bruce Maddox’s role in creating this synth colony at all if Soong was the one we saw working in his lab with the orchids when Soji was a little girl?

data returns star trek

  • Why does Narissa need any of her arsenal of sharp melee weapons when she has her cheekbones?
  • How is this energy-to-matter, “it can fix anything!” device the synths created any different from the sonic screwdriver on Doctor Who?
  • “I know that sound,” Rios says when Narek is throwing rocks at his starship’s door. People are throwing rocks at his door all the time?
  • When Alton Inigo Soong — alas not Lore — says to Jurati: “This really is a remarkable act of self-sacrifice on your part” is he suggesting that their plan to survive the super-synths coming apocalypse is that he and Jurati will download themselves into new synth bodies?
  • After that long story about Ganmadan from Romulan myth, why not show the first sister, who we know ultimately is Sutra, strike some metaphorical version of a drum made of children’s skin with a chain of skulls? There’s no attempt at even giving a stylized, sanitized, euphemistic rendering of that prophecy for real.
  • How again did Starfleet Intelligence allow a half-Romulan agent to rise through its ranks over decades? Is their security that bad?
  • Has Oh decided that her Starfleet cover is no longer useful so she’s just abandoning it, even though she could continue to use the resources of the Federation for Zhat Vash’s ends?
  • The only thing that convinced Dr. Soong not to allow the super-synths to come through the portal “Chi’Tauri in ‘Avengers’”-style was seeing that Sutra had actually killed Saga herself? Otherwise he was totally okay with the coming apocalypse?
  • So Soong accidentally glancing at that monitor showing Sutra for the murderer she is all that saved the galaxy from annihilation?
  • Could Soong possibly be a more one-dimensional character whose actions are determined solely by whatever the plot demands?
  • “Half-meat” is really what Romulans call ex-Borg? Why on earth did the Romulans even allow research at that Borg cube?
  • Why do the orchids seem so much less effective against the Romulan warbirds? Just one of them brought down an entire Borg cube! Jurati says that once the orchids are destroyed there will still be 200 warbirds left.
  • Why is there only one class of Romulan ship in the entire Zhat Vash fleet?
  • Why is there only one class of Starfleet vessel in the entire Federation fleet Riker’s commanding? Every last one is Zheng He-class.
  • Having only one type of ship on either side wouldn’t be due to a lack of design budget, would it? Or a lack of imagination?
  • Has there ever been an uglier Starfleet ship than the Zheng He-class?
  • Is the bridge of the Zheng He just a slightly re-dressed version of the Discovery bridge?

Captain William T. Riker of the USS Zheng He means business.

  • Why is Riker totally unconcerned by the weird portal to another dimension that’s been opened nearby?
  • Why is it that the special effects of the space battles on “Deep Space Nine” over 20 years ago look better than any of the special effects on “Picard”?
  • When did Starfleet vessels start adopting that blue shimmer effect for when they raise shields? (It almost reminded me of the corbomite deflector for “Star Trek: Armada”! That wonderful game is celebrating its 20th anniversary today.)
  • What are these terrifying tentacle super-synths, exactly? And if they’re so super, couldn’t at least a couple of them have made it through the portal in time?
  • Oh and the Zhat Vash are so impressed by Soji’s act of deactivating the beacon that they are willing to abandon centuries of plans and millennia of mythology to change their minds on a dime about the synths?
  • So the Romulans and the synths are cool now right? All this was just a misunderstanding?
  • Did anyone really think Picard was going to be a goner?
  • How can anyone still think having a character die when you know all along they’ll be brought back five minutes later is compelling storytelling?
  • Why couldn’t we have had more lovely moments between characters in this finale like that between Rios and Seven bonding over what they said they’d “never do again”?

data returns star trek

  • How did this finale end up still prioritizing exposition over character moments?
  • Even a stunning amount of Data’s final dialogue to Picard is exposition about the “massively complex quantum simulation” they both find themselves in?!
  • “My consciousness exists in a massively complex quantum reconstruction, made from a copy of the memories I downloaded into B-4, just before I died.” Does any of that make sense?
  • “My memory engrams were extracted from a single neuron salvaged by Bruce Maddox.” This is what you choose to talk about after seeing each other from beyond the veil of death?
  • So did Soong and Jurati not tell any of the La Sirena crew about what they had planned for Picard? Did they think its odds of success were that low?
  • How is it that these two new “Star Trek” shows have had people be born ago into fresh new bodies? Remember, basically the same thing happened to Wilson Cruz’s Hugh Culber on “Star Trek: Discovery.”
  • Is there any compelling reason why Soong, Soji, and Jurati didn’t make Picard’s new golem body a bit younger other than this show couldn’t afford the CGI-youthening budget?
  • Have Soong, Soji, and Jurati actually made the concept of death irrelevant, unless people choose to die?
  • Is everyone in the Federation going to clamor to get fresh new golem bodies to transfer their minds into?
  • Why does Data’s death — suddenly withering into extreme old age and then into ash — have to be rendered like he chose poorly when selecting the Holy Grail from a group of chalices?
  • Raffi and Seven of Nine hold hands! They’re both here, and they’re both queer. Showrunners really still think this is sufficient LGBT representation? This is no better than John Cho’s Sulu holding hands with his husband in a long shot in “Star Trek: Beyond”! (Shout-out to the late Village Voice’s final film editor, Alan Scherstuhl, for once saying something about “Star Trek: Discovery” that captures this timidity: “‘ Star Trek: Discovery’ showed us Klingon boobs before it dared to show its gay couple kiss.” )
  • What are The Picard Golem — is that what we call him now? — and his crew actually looking to do at the end here? Are they just going to wander the galaxy like Caine in Kung Fu and get into adventures that could be covered in standalone episodes? Why couldn’t we have seen that show this whole time?
  • So… is Sutra just dead?
  • What happened to Narek? He’s okay with the synths now too? Where did he go? Was Soji just like, “We coo!”
  • So Agnes is just part of Picard’s crew now? That whole thing of her being a murderer is forgotten? She’s not going into Federation custody?
  • Is it possible to love a show in which the most notable bit of dialogue is described thusly?

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3 reasons Data's brother could return in Star Trek: Picard Season 2

Patrick Stewart just dropped a tantalizing hint.

data returns star trek

One of the biggest mysteries of Star Trek: Picard Season 1 proved nearly every fan theorist wrong. Brent Spiner reappeared as the beloved android Data in Picard Season 1, but his involvement was another big twist, which could have big implications for Season 2 .

Patrick Stewart has just dropped a small hint about Spiner's involvement in Picard Season 2, and it looks like Data's brother will almost certainly return. But what does it mean?

In Season 1 of Picard , Brent Spiner played Data in various dream sequences , and the android's "consciousness" during the finale, when Picard's own virtual "soul" hung out with Data in Cozy Android Purgatory. Spiner also appeared in a second surprise role: the human Altan Inigo Soong. The biological offspring of Data's creator, Dr. Noonian Soong, Altan is Data's human "brother."

During a recent interview with Deadline Hollywood , Stewart talked a little bit about reuniting with his TNG castmates for Picard:

"It was a very desirable and a very emotional experience, to be reunited with Jonathan [Frakes], with Marina Sirtis. And with Brent [Spiner] too, although he doesn’t appear that often, he has a very significant role in Season 1, and maybe he might again in Season 2. But I can say no more than that. Sorry to be so coy."

We've already known for a while that a huge chunk of Picard Season 2 has already been written, mostly because producer Akiva Goldsman confirmed that filming would be happening now, if it weren't for the COVID-19 pandemic. Stewart is almost certainly is fully aware of the story for Season 2, and if he says that Spiner "maybe" and "might" show up again, then it seems pretty darn likely. So what will Altan Soong do when he returns? Here are three possible answers.

data returns star trek

Who will be Jean-Luc's android doctor?

3. Altan Soong could help with Picard's new body

In "Et in Acardia Ego Part 2," Jean-Luc Picard dies and is reborn in a synthetic android "Golem." Effectively, this means that Picard is a cross-species character now: He was human for most of his life, and now an android. But, who will help Jean-Luc if his Android body needs repairs? Sure, he could go to Geordi La Forge , but seeing as Altan is the person who made this body, it feels likely that Jean-Luc would call-up Altan if he needed any maintenance.

data returns star trek

Arik Soong in 'Enterprise.'

2. Altan Soong is still (partially) evil

Just before Picard said goodbye to Data in the Cozy Android Purgatory, he admits he doesn't really like Data's human brother. Data replies, that the Soongs are "an acquired taste."

This line partially references the fact that Altan Soong was initially totally onboard with the idea that his Synth "children" would summon greater A.I. beings from beyond our regular dimension, which would result in the death of nearly all organic life. That said, Data is also kind of making fun of his entire family tree, not just Altan's fondness for genocide. Data's father, Noonian, did all sort of questionable things, at one point hijacking the Enterprise just so Data would visit him.

In the Enterprise episode "Borderland," we met Noonian's ancestor, Arik Soong (also played by Brent Spiner), who was a pro-eugenics mad scientist who started a 22nd-century insurgency to bring-back genetically engineered super-beings who were basically all way worse than Khan. Data's brother Lore, is also a well-known murderous asshole.

It's been pretty well established that most of Data's family members are terrible people. If Altan Soong did return in Season 2 of Picard , it may be as a villain. Seeing Picard and Soji face off against Altan would be thrilling and high-stakes after the events of Season 1.

data returns star trek

Lore's parts in the TNG episode "Datalore."

1. Spiner isn't playing Altan

Considering that nobody predicted Spiner returning to play Data's previously unknown human brother, it's possible the actor could play someone else we haven't thought about in a while. In post- Picard interviews, Spiner was pretty adamant that he's done playing Data, but didn't rule out returning to the series. But two other androids who look exactly like Data could return for Picard Season 2: Data's evil twin Lore , and his less-advanced prototype, B-4.

We saw B-4's parts in a drawer in the first episode of Picard. We haven't seen Lore's body since the TNG Season 7 episode, "Descent. But, as far as we know, it wasn't destroyed. This means that if Spiner did return for Season 2 of Picard , he could do so playing one of Data's three different brothers — Altan, Lore, or B-4.

In any case, if Spiner does rejoin the cast of Picard , one thing is clear: This version of Star Trek isn't even close to being done talking about androids . In fact, it's just getting started.

Star Trek: Picard Season 2 does not yet have a release date.

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data returns star trek

Sisko and Data return in a new Star Trek 'Avengers' ongoing series from IDW

Star Trek gets a new flagship comic starting in October

Star Trek #1

IDW has announced a new flagship Star Trek series to debut in October, co-written by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, and illustrated by Ramon Rosanas. September's Star Trek #400 anthology will feature a prelude to the new ongoing by the same creative team.

Based in stardate 2378, the new Star Trek will follow the omnipotent Benjamin Sisko upon his return from the Bajoran Wormhole. Unfortunately, his own godhood is failing – and the rest of the gods from the Star Trek universe are also at risk. 

Star Trek #1

Sisko is sent on a mission by the Prophets aboard the U.S.S. Theseus, alongside Starfleet members from every Star Trek era to date. Somewhere in deep space, the crew discovers that someone is murdering the gods. And to make matters worse, Sisko and his crewmates have to find and stop the killer before they strike again.

In the announcement, Lanzing describes the new Star Trek series as "an Avengers-style ongoing crossover that treats Gene Roddenberry's creation as a living universe."

IDW intends to launch a new era of Star Trek comics with this new ongoing, so it may be the ideal jumping-on point for readers regardless of their familiarity with the franchise so far. 

From the art released by IDW, we know Sisko (Deep Space Nine), Data (Generations, First Contact, Insurrection, Nemesis, The Next Generation, and Picard), and Crusher (Next Generation) will be part of the core cast, alongside seeming newcomers T'Lir (seemingly a Vulcan) and Sato. (The Andorian Sato featured in IDW's preview art curiously shares a name with the human Hoshi Sato who appeared in Star Trek: Enterprise.)

Check out character designs and some art from Star Trek #1 below.

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Get the best comic news, insights, opinions, analysis and more!

"As a child, I watched reruns of the classic Star Trek series endlessly – until Next Generation, Voyager, and Deep Space Nine came along!" artist Rosanas says. "After that, I didn’t miss a single episode of those three series’ each week. Gene Roddenberry is History with a capital H and his legacy is unstoppable. Having an opportunity to bring my passion and creativity to this franchise is incredibly exciting for me."

Kelly adds, "Dreams of an optimistic, utopian future of cooperation and equality are more important now than ever. We're both excited to continue the stories that have meant so much to us in the past and to welcome new readers to Starfleet. This is a grand adventure, one that weaves together elements from every Star Trek series to tell a new, vital, and forward-thinking sci-fi saga."

Star Trek #1 will be available in October with covers by Rosanas, Declan Shalvey, David Aja, Rachael Stott, and Francesco Francavilla, as well as a blank sketch variant.

Star Trek is getting a new lease at IDW just before Transformers and GI Joe leave the publisher at the end of 2022 .

Samantha Puc

Samantha Puc (she/they) is an editor at Newsarama and an avid comics fan. Their writing has been featured on Refinery29, Bitch Media, them., The Beat, The Mary Sue , and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction at The New School.

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Or, they try to. And okay, it turns out the gratuitous beaming was for good reason, story-wise, because in the instant that the pair attempt to beam back to the bridge, Discovery plunges through time, and only their mid-transport timing protects them from the ship’s time-hopping. Everyone else aboard Discovery is experiencing “regular” time travel, as it were, unaware of their movement and remaining “of the time” they jump to.

Everyone, that is, except for Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp), who thanks to his tardigrade DNA infusion all the way back in Season 1, the scientist is bouncing through time like the rest of the crew — but he’s mentally aware of the jumping remains “himself” like Burnham and Rayner.

Like “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad,” this is another episode about time shenanigans centering on Stamets and Burnham (and now also Rayner), but it doesn’t feel like a repeat of the same story so much as a deliberate permutation on a theme. Discovery , the show, is revisiting its past just the same way Burnham revisits her past self here; in both cases, the future versions have grown and changed in ways their past selves could never have imagined.

Who could have guessed, watching the series’ seventh episode, that original showrunner and creator Bryan Fuller would leave after just one season and a majority of the show would end up taking place in 32nd century? Not me, that’s for sure.

(As a side note, I was hoping one of the pasts they visited would be the “Magic” situation, just because come on, who doesn’t want to see what a time loop within a time loop looks like?)

data returns star trek

It takes them all a few time jumps to figure out what’s going on, and a few more after that for all three of them to rendezvous. The second jump takes them back to Discovery mid-construction, sitting in dry dock at the San Francisco Fleet Yards, the Golden Gate Bridge framed nicely in a missing bulkhead section. (Both Star Trek and The Room have one rule: If you’re in San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge must be visible at all times!)

Next jump is to the Season 2-ending battle with Control, and finally with three jumps there’s enough of a pattern visible for Rayner to identify what’s going on and what, exactly, is causing it. First, each time they jump Burnham and Rayner always return to the ready room – the place where they beamed themselves out of time — and second, that little mechanical spider that’s been crawling around the ship since it first detached itself from Adira’s uniform is a Krenim chronophage (yes, those Krenim ) left over from more lawless times  when paralyzing a ship by having it randomly cycle through time was a thing that apparently people did.

After a few more jumps, including one where a past version of Jett Reno (Tig Notaro) happens to save Rayner’s hide, he and Burnham land on an empty, dusty Discovery , abandoned by everyone except the one person who can’t leave: Zora (Annabelle Wallace). Listening to “Que Sera, Sera” and convinced that she’s dreaming, Zora explains that in this future, Discovery remained stuck in its time paralysis long enough for the Breen to get their hands on the Progenitor’s technology.

data returns star trek

It’s a bleak future to visit, but it’s also very fortuitous that they did, because Zora is able to quickly do the math necessary for Stamets — who they finally meet up with in the next time jump –to figure out how to get them out of this. Just build a chroniton stabilizer and squish the bug with it, easy peasy!

And all Burnham has to do is get a component for it from her quarters without being seen. Not so easy as it turns out, as she runs into Book (David Ajala) who is very much in love with Burnham during this time period — and keen to show it. And she, as we all probably suspected, is still very much in love with him and gives herself a brief moment to indulge in that fact.

In their final final jump — this time to early in Lorca’s captaincy — Burnham runs into her much angrier and more jaded younger self; a Michael Burnham who is so barely out of prison that she still doesn’t even have a combadge and who flat-out does not believe this woman in a strange red uniform who claims to be her. Why? Because there’s no way anyone would ever make Michael Burnham a captain .

After a fight in a thankfully empty corridor, our Burnham ends up victorious and heads to the bridge… where she needs to convince everyone that they should listen to her and do something you never really want to do with a warp engine going at maximum speed: intentionally break the warp bubble and slam yourself back into the effects of general relativity.

data returns star trek

Flashbacks are a tried and true way for shows to bring back departed characters, so the choice to include Airiam (Hanna Spear) on the bridge makes sense and is nice for audience members who miss her. What doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to me is how her presence is used (which is a bit of an unfortunate parallel to her death for me – or at least the impact it was supposed to have).

Burnham knows she needs to convince the crew that she really is herself and that she really is from the future, but instead of, I don’t know, showing them her combadge which is full of 32nd century bells and whistles and exotic alloys that haven’t been invented yet she… convinces Airiam that they know each other because Burnham knows Airiam would sacrifice her life to save the ship? Then someone blurts out a “No she wouldn’t!” like that’s not the first thing any appropriately heroic Starfleet officer would do?

This scene is the one fumble in an otherwise great episode. Two minutes after this weird “I know you and here’s a generic hypothetical that applies to most people in Starfleet to prove it,” Airiam sees Burnham’s fancy holographic combadge and openly gawks at it. See, easily convinced! That would have worked and it wouldn’t have required the show to reexamine the hollowness of Airiam’s death without correcting its mistake.

The fact that Burnham doesn’t have anything better or more personal to say to or about Airiam except “You died, sorry that happened,” underscores just how undeveloped she was as a character. Why bring that up again? But hey, Burnham’s tactic works, and I suppose that’s what really matters here.

data returns star trek

Meanwhile, past-Burnham and her era’s Rhys (Patrick Kwok-Choon) show up in engineering, phasers drawn, to try and stop Stamets and this weird guy they’ve never seen before from doing whatever it is that they’re trying to do to the ship. Rayner, solidifying himself as a solid gold example of a favorite character trope of mine — Grumpy Guy who’s a Secret Softie — defuses the situation by being brave as hell (he walks right into Burnham’s drawn phaser) but also emotionally astute.

He doesn’t just tell Burnham personal facts he couldn’t have known if he were really a stranger, he tells her with conviction that she really does deserve to be here on Discovery…  something that sinks to the core of who she is and what she’s battling in this moment in time.

The plan succeeds: the time bug is proverbially squished, and Discovery and her crew are all right back where they belong, minus the six hours they lost during all the jumping. Unfortunately, those six hours were long enough for Moll and L’ak to catch up with them and leave again. Did they find anything, or did they get sick of looking at seemingly empty space and leave? We don’t know yet, so tune in next week.

data returns star trek

Which brings us to the beginning of “Face the Strange” — see, I can jump through time too! — when we see Moll (Eve Harlow) and L’ak (Elias Toufexis) acquiring the bug in the first place. While the Progenitors’ technology is enormous in its power and implications and Moll and L’ak are willing to do just about anything to find it, their motivations seem strictly personal.

Sure, if the way Moll takes revenge on the guy who sells her the chronophage is any indication, they’ll get some personal satisfaction out of seeing the Federation burn, but more than anything they’re in it for their freedom. Freedom from someone or something, certainly – though who or what we still don’t know – but, given the themes in “Face the Strange”, I’d guess freedom from their pasts might be the real goal.


  • “Face the Strange” is a reference to the David Bowie classic “Changes.”
  • This episode is a spiritual sequel to Star Trek: Voyager’s “Shattered,” a similar final-season tale which saw Chakotay bouncing through different eras of Voyager adventures.
  • Discovery’s time jumps include visits to the ship’s transit through the Red Angel wormhole (leading to the ship’s crash-landing in “Far From Home” ), a time when the starship was under construction in the San Francisco Fleet Yards, the battle with Control ( “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2” ), Stardate 865422.4 (during Osyyra’s takover in “There Is A Tide…” ), an unknown date nearly 30 years into the future, a period in early Season 2 (shortly after Jett Reno’s rescue in “Brother” ), a point ahead of the Season 4 premiere after Burnham was promoted to captai), and the encounter with past-Burnham which takes place just ahead of “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry” (denoted by the reference to a still-alive Ellen Landry ).

data returns star trek

  • Retrofit into corridor after Season 2’s set updates, the passage to the left-rear of Discovery’s command chair returns to its Season 1 “blue blinkies” configuration.
  • Captain Pike’s broken wood-and-glass conference table returns to the ready room set during the first time jump, a good touch from the set decoration department.
  • We’ve seen the San Francisco bay many times in Star Trek history… so just where in the heck was Discovery’s dry dock located?
  • A Krenim chronophage — or “time bug” — snared Discovery in a time bubble, from the species behind Star Trek: Voyager’s “Year of Hell.”
  • Season 3-era Reno’s drink of choice is a Vesper martini, served ice cold — and she tells Rayner that he can buy her a drink “at Red’s,” the onboard bar and lounge set added to Discovery during its 32nd century upgrades (though not introduced until Season 4).
  • While the ready room set was not built for Discovery until Season 2, the second time jump confirms the room existed as part of the ship’s original construction… but in a continuity goof, the 32nd century version of the Starfleet emblem remains on the Discovery ready room floor in each different time period, instead of the old version seen in Seasons 1 and 2.

data returns star trek

  • Burnham gives a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it nostalgic smile when Stamets hands her a 23rd century Starfleet communicator, retired after the crew upgraded to 32nd tricombadges in Season 3’s “Scavengers.”
  • Saurian officer Linus (David Benjamin Tomlinson) appears in the Season 1 time period, indicating he boarded Discovery long before his first actual appearance in Season 2’s “Brothers.”
  • Former Discovery cast members Hannah Cheesman and Ronnie Rowe, Jr. return as Airiam and Bryce, Julianne Grossman returns as the original voice of Discovery’s computer. (While Cheesman portrayed Airiam in Season 2, the role was actually portrayed by Sara Mitich in Discovery’s first season.)
  • I forgot just how much Airiam moves like C-3PO. Might have toned down that arm placement there in that wide shot if it were me, yikes.
  • Discovery’s viewscreen may be an open window to space, but it features blast doors which can be closed as necessary.
  • The future time period Burnham and Rayner visit is reminiscent of the alternate future setting in “Calypso,” where Zora and Discovery sat abandoned for nearly 1000 years. Zora even believes she’s having “another dream” when the officers arrive, perhaps hinting that the events of “Calypso” may have been one of Zora’s dreams — as the “Zora-point-of-view” shots mirror moments from that  Short Trek  tale.

data returns star trek

  • This episode marks the first time we’ve seen Discovery’s original hull and nacelle configuration since its big 32nd century upgrade in “Scavengers.”
  • Even living “outside of time,” it’s curious that Stamets can jump back to a time period before his tardigrade DNA injection occurred.
  • Stamets’ tactics for clearing engineering get less and less sophisticated as the episode proceeds — going from making up specific problems with the spore drive containment field to just shouting “I’m grumpy!” It works.
  • “Hey Paul, let’s show ‘em how a couple of old dogs still know the best tricks!” Whoever gave Rayner a used copy of a dictionary of idioms from 1962, I thank you for your service.
  • Rayner’s hand gets the “Timescape” treatment, aging uncomfortably fast while he squashes the time bug — though thankfully avoiding those awful long fingernails.
  • Rayner surmises that Burnham must be the first person in Starfleet to captain a ship she first boarded as a prisoner. He’s probably right, but if we allow for a few technicalities I’d put Seven of Nine in that rare club as well: she’s imprisoned very quickly after boarding Voyager , and while she doesn’t hold a Starfleet rank at the time, she does command that vessel for over a month during the events of “One”.

data returns star trek

Even with all the time jumping and the temporal-relativity-heavy plot, “Face the Strange” is a straightforward hour of television that confidently knows exactly what it wants to do – both in terms of the story and the characters. There are almost no extraneous moments, but the episode doesn’t feel rushed or overly full. The pacing is great: quick enough that we get to jump through a lot of different time periods, but relaxed enough that there’s room for smaller moments of comedy and character work.

The pacing and placement of the more emotional moments is especially effective, with characters examining and confronting their past and present selves in a way that’s emotionally resonant but also truly moves the story forward both at the episode and season levels.

A frequent frustration I have with Discovery is that the emotional beats and plot beats feel like they’re competing with each other for the same space, but with “Face the Strange” it feels like the show has finally figured out a way to have them work together and compliment one another.

data returns star trek

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 returns with “Mirrors” on Thursday, April 25.

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This Week's Star Trek: Discovery Is a Time-Hopping Marvel

In "face the strange," discovery returns to a trek trope it mastered in its first season to deliver a clever, thoughtful reflection on how far it's come..

Image for article titled This Week's Star Trek: Discovery Is a Time-Hopping Marvel

Star Trek: Discovery is really good with time. We knew this almost immediately when one of its earliest episodes to really wow us was “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad,” a delightful time loop caper. We knew it again, when it flung caution to the wind and catapulted itself into a future no Star Trek show had visited yet at the climax of season two . And now, as it stares down its final end , Discovery once again turns to time—and twists it, to look back on its long, strange trip.

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Image for article titled This Week's Star Trek: Discovery Is a Time-Hopping Marvel

“Face the Strange” is a deceptively simple episode on the surface, and a bold move for a show on its last lap: instead of accelerating the chase between Discovery and Moll and L’ak as they hunt for more clues to the Progenitor tech, it almost literally slams the brakes on everything to deliver a wonderful little character piece, not just for Michael Burnham, but to give time to explore Discovery ’s crew, and even its newcomer in Commander Rayner, who is still struggling to adapt to Discovery ’s more personable approach to hierarchy. After leaving Trill with Adira unknowingly tagged by Moll, the Discovery heads to coordinates where it expects to find the next piece of the puzzle, only to find... nothing. But what Adira was tagged with, it turns out, wasn’t a tracking device, but a “Time Bug,” a piece of Krenim technology held over from the Temporal Cold War (another great bit of using Discovery ’s handling of time, in this case the passage of it, for a fun Voyager / Enterprise nod!). The Time Bug infiltrates Discovery ’s systems, and locks them down—not by disabling the ship’s systems, but by trapping them in a spiraling series of time loops.

Burnham and Rayner—who were busy arguing in the ready room over Rayner’s abrasive mood—are partially unaffected by the bug’s looping, having attempted to beam back to the bridge at the precise moment it activated. While they’re caught in the same looping, being shunted backward and forward in Discovery ’s timeline, they remain aware between each loop that something is wrong—and that if they don’t put aside their differences and disable the bug, Discovery will be shut down while Moll and L’ak solve the clues to the Progenitor tech and doom the galaxy (to the Breen, of all people, we learn in one of the loops!).

Image for article titled This Week's Star Trek: Discovery Is a Time-Hopping Marvel

This is already a really fun idea, because as we previously said— Discovery knows how to do a killer time loop story already, and has known how to do that for a very long time. But what crucially sets “Face the Strange” apart from “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad” (god bless the show also toned down its love of long episode titles) is a context that the episode itself ultimately plays with: one of these episodes came just seven stories into the show’s existence. The other is the 59th , and in the time between them Discovery has done so much, changed so much, and developed in its own confidence, that it can use a similar structure and format like this again not to say “hey, look Star Trek fans, we can use the same tropes as the shows you loved,” but to instead say “hey, how do we use this trope to make a Discovery story?”

The answer is in both its characters—of course, particularly Michael—but also in the masterful way “Face the Strange” uses the concept of time looping to revisit a bunch of key moments from Discovery ’s metatextual past, giving Burnham, who went through it all, and Rayner, as the newcomer, (and eventually Stamets, who thanks to the spore drive tardigrade DNA, can’t be affected by time loops—a delightfully clever nod back to “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad”!) a chance to see just how far this crew has come through and how much it’s changed them all along the way. Through Michael and Rayner’s eyes as they puzzle out the pattern of each loop, and what they need to do to stop the bug, we get to go through so much of Discovery ’s past—from it being built in drydock in San Francisco, to the moment it jumped to the 32nd century, to fighting off the Emerald Chain in season three, and, most crucially, climaxing back in the early days of season one when Michael was still just a downtrodden turncoat barely given a second chance by Starfleet after the start of the Federation-Klingon war. And with that perspective, and the carried awareness from loop to loop, both Michael and Rayner alike come to understand what Discovery has been through all the better.

Image for article titled This Week's Star Trek: Discovery Is a Time-Hopping Marvel

It’s an episode that’s perfect for a final season—standalone enough that it is also simply just a great time loop scenario, but also vitally informed by Discovery ’s history over the last four seasons to deliver a really touching moment of acknowledgement for the series as it looks back on how far it’s come. It’s fun seeing the old blue metallic uniforms again, or seeing Stamets realizing that a) he’s a little worried he can quickly empty engineering of officers with a totally fake spore breach warning, or b) he used to be able to do that even quicker by being a massive asshole. It’s just as fun to see Rayner, who’s still resistant to connect to Discovery ’s crew, soften as he sees everything they went through to get to where they are now, and slowly but surely use the things he’s picked up about them to his advantage. It’s both extremely fun and extremely good that, in the last time loop set during Discovery season one, we not just get to see how cold and distant the bridge crew were back then, but that Discovery finally does justice to its former cyborg crewmate, Airiam (the returning Hannah Cheesman), making her belief in Michael key to saving the day—three seasons in the making, but a far more fitting farewell to the character after her clunkily unceremonious death in season two.

But above all, “Face the Strange” is Michael’s episode, and her journey is the one examined most of all. Because if you’re going to narratively go back in time to Discovery ’s first season, well, as much as she doesn’t want to, you’re going to have Present Michael face Past Michael. Sonequa Martin-Green plays the encounter to perfection: two determinedly stubborn women with things they still want to prove to both themselves and the world, pushed in each other’s faces. That it becomes a knock-down mirror match punch-up is deeply funny—fitting the aggression if Discovery ’s original wartime setting while also just making it the inevitable outcome of putting two unstoppable forces in each other’s way. But Martin-Green sells just how much of a difference there is between Michael’s past and her presence in these moments with incredible charm and subtlety. The show really hammers home that while there are still things about Michael that are still Michael, the young woman petrified that she had no place aboard a starship in season one and the undeniably heroic captain of season five represent a remarkable journey the character has been on.

Image for article titled This Week's Star Trek: Discovery Is a Time-Hopping Marvel

Crucially, however, while Burnham vs Burnham ends with her current self Vulcan neck-pinching her past self, the actual moment the day is saved is done not by Michael, but Rayner, finally learning the keys to understanding what makes the Discovery crew tick. After Past-Michael wakes up and, being so eager to prove her worth, takes the Rayner and future-Stamets on at phaser-point in Engineering as they prepare to finally destroy the Time Bug, it’s Rayner who steps in to get her to back down, making a connection—by leaning on the things Michael had told him about herself in their argument at the start of the episode—and getting Michael to see that one day she’s going to prove herself on a long, painful, but rewarding path ahead of her... if only she stops being so stubborn for a damn second and let them save the future. Even if she doesn’t remember it, it’s the exact perfect advice season one Michael needs—advice she’ll learn the hard way through Lorca’s betrayal . And in having it passed onto her from Rayner, a man who Michael herself has begun to help grow and connect to others again after all his own frustrations and hurts, really hits home just how far she’s come.

“Face the Strange” is an episode Discovery could only pull off once, as its journey comes to an end—and it does so almost perfectly, an incredibly compelling use of a time-and-tested Trek format to examine the metatextual and textual journey it’s been on these last seven years. While there’s still more adventures to go on just yet—with the Time Bug stopped, the race between Discovery and Moll and L’ak is now tighter than ever—this was a great chance to take a moment and have its heroes and the show alike take stock of how much it’s grown: and how ready it is to bid farewell.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel , Star Wars , and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV , and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who .


Scotty Will Return in Season 3 of 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds'

Martin Quinn's version of the character first appeared in season 2's finale.

The Big Picture

  • Martin Quinn to bring authentic Scottish flair as Montgomery Scott on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
  • Quinn adds a new perspective to the character previously played by actors from Canada and England.
  • Star Trek: Strange New Worlds continues to explore the adventures of the USS Enterprise under Captain Pike.

A classic member of the Enterprise crew will return for the third season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds . After debuting in the final episode of the show's second season , Martin Quinn will stay on board as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott in the upcoming season of Paramount+'s newest Star Trek series. As reported by BBC Scotland in an interview with Quinn, the character will recur on Strange New World 's third season, which is currently filming in Toronto, Ontario.

Quinn is the first-ever Scot to play the character, who was previously played by a Canadian ( James Doohan ) and an Englishman ( Simon Pegg ), and the interview notes that he's adding authenticity to the character, making sure that the show's writers use authentic Scottish slang: "They let me put in the word 'baw-heid' instead of 'turnip-heid'. Maybe they think all Scottish people are farmers? But they were very gracious about it." Quinn is from the town of Paisley; he has previously appeared on episodes of Limmy's Show , Annika , and Derry Girls .

Who is Montgomery Scott?

Played by Doohan in Star Trek: The Original Series , Scott is the ever-capable head engineer of the USS Enterprise , famed for his ability to solve catastrophic problems in short periods of time. After the series went off the air, Doohan reprised the role in Star Trek: The Animated Series and in all six of the feature films starring the series' original cast. He also returned for a cameo in Star Trek: Generations , attending the launch of the USS Enterprise-B , and guest-starred on the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Relics", where he is discovered by the Enterprise-D 's crew a century in the future, having been preserved in a transporter buffer. Pegg took on the role for J.J. Abrams ' cinematic reboot of the franchise, and reprised it for its two sequels; a fourth film is still up in the air .

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds features the adventures of the USS Enterprise under the command of Captain Christopher Pike ( Anson Mount ) prior to The Original Series . It has so far featured two different chief engineers. Hemmer ( Bruce Horak ) was a member of the Aenar species, and sacrificed himself in the show's first-season finale to save the rest of the crew from the Gorn. His replacement was Pelia ( Carol Kane ), a long-lived Lanthanite, who joined the crew in the show's second season.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is currently filming its third season; no release date has yet been set . Stay tuned to Collider for future updates.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds follows Captain Christopher Pike (played by Anson Mount) and the crew of the starship USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) in the 23rd century as they explore new worlds throughout the galaxy in the decade before Star Trek: The Original Series.

Screen Rant

Why data is so important to picard (despite not being close on tng).

Star Trek: Picard portrays Jean-Luc's relationship to Data differently than it was on TNG. Here's why it makes sense and how their friendship evolved.

Commander Data (Brent Spiner) is a pivotal figure in Star Trek: Picard , and here's why Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) feels so close to the late android, despite how different their relationship was in Star Trek: The Next Generation . Some Trekkers take issue with the way the CBS All-Access series portrays Picard and Data's past relationship; after all, they didn't seem that close in  TNG , so it comes off as confusing (or even as a retcon) that Star Trek: Picard portrays Data as so influential in Jean-Luc's life that the  retired Admiral even dreams about the android. However, there are a lot of aspects regarding Data and Picard's relationship - and how close the two Starfleet heroes grew during the TNG movies - that explain Jean-Luc's love of Data in Star Trek: Picard.

It's true that on Star Trek: The Next Generation , Picard and Data weren't best buddies. In those early years aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise-D, Captain Picard was an aloof figure who held himself apart from his senior staff, despite his trust in and fondness for all of them. While the rest of the bridge crew spent time together (usually with regular poker games), the Captain preferred solitude with a book and a cup of hot earl grey tea. On TNG , Picard was often exasperated with Data's verbosity, despite his obvious respect for the android. Jean-Luc certainly relied upon Data and he helped secure the android's individual rights in the classic TNG episode "Measure of a Man". For his part, Data regarded Picard as a mentor and respected him as his commanding officer, but they weren't best friends like Data was with Commander Geordi LaForge (LeVar Burton). So it's understandable if Trekkers feel confused by how Star Trek: Picard paints Data as someone the former Admiral has mourned for 20 years.

Related: Star Trek: Picard's Big TNG Twist Explained

However, things changed and relationships evolved between the TNG  characters , especially during their four movies from 1994 to 2002. It's worth remembering that Star Trek: The Next Generation 's TV voyages lasted 7 years, but the crew was together for 15 years total. That means that after the Enterprise-D was destroyed in Star Trek Generations , the TNG crew was on the Enterprise-E for 8 years - even longer than fans saw on TV. But since Trekkers only saw TNG 's cast four times during those eight years, we missed how their relationships shifted since much of it is presumed to have happened off-screen. In the movies, Picard's character also changed; the Captain became a more proactive hero (to suit being the hero of a movie franchise) and Data essentially became the second lead character so the TNG movies could replicate the Kirk/Spock dynamic. So, both on-screen and off, Data and Picard got a lot closer during the TNG movies.

The key moments that redefined Picard's relationship with Data happened in Star Trek: First Contact and in Star Trek: Nemesis . In their time-travel adventure against the Borg, Picard and Data teamed up to kill the Borg Queen (Alice Krige) and this shared crisis they overcame together sparked a new dynamic between them. Jean-Luc then risked his life without hesitation to stop Data from going rogue at the start of Star Trek Insurrection . By Star Trek: Nemesis , the new dynamic between Captain and android was crystalized and Picard handpicked Data to be his new Number One when Captain Riker (Jonathan Frakes) left to take command of the U.S.S. Titan. And, of course, Data sacrificed his life to save Picard and the Enterprise from Shinzon (Tom Hardy) at the end of Nemesis . Naturally, Picard never recovered from the loss of the android, whom he had come to love as a true friend.

Once fans remember that Data and Picard's relationship goes back over 35 years and the loyal android literally gave up his life for his captain, it's easy to understand the aged Jean-Luc's deep affection for Data, whom he described to Data's 'daughter' Dahj (Isa Briones) as "all courage" . So it's not accurate or beneficial to only judge Data and Picard's friendship based on their TV voyages. Rather,  Star Trek: Picard draws upon the whole scope of the decades-long relationship between Picard and Data, especially the bond they forged in the TNG movies.

Next: Star Trek: Picard Debunks B-4 Theory (But Could Data Return?)

Star Trek: Picard streams Thursdays on CBS All-Access and Fridays internationally on Amazon Prime Video.

data returns star trek

Star Trek Is Ditching Discovery's Spore Drive - And That's Good!

WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episodes 1 & 2!

  • Starfleet's decision to abandon the spore drive in Discovery season 5 is a smart move for the future of the franchise.
  • The spore drive's ability to instantly transport the USS Discovery can hinder dramatic tension and urgency in storytelling.
  • The new pathway drive technology will likely power the adventures in Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, replacing the spore drive.

Star Trek: Discovery has revealed that Starfleet is ditching the groundbreaking spore drive, which is a good thing for the future of the franchise's 32nd century timeline. The USS Discovery's spore drive was an experimental technology from the 2200s that became invaluable in Star Trek 's dilithium-starved 32nd century. Pioneered by Commander Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and his research partner, Straal (Saad Siddiqui), the spore drive was a way to navigate a subspace mycelium network of fungal roots that spanned the entire universe . The Federation-Klingon War necessitated a rapid scaling up of Stamets and Staal's research to create a brand-new propulsion system.

The USS Discovery is the only starship in the entire Star Trek timeline to both possess and successfully operate Stamets and Staal's spore drive. The ship owned by Cleveland "Book" Booker (David Ajala) had a stolen spore drive prototype fitted in Star Trek: Discovery season 4, but it was destroyed when Ruon Tarka (Shawn Doyle) crashed into Species 10-C's hyperfield. The Discovery's predecessor, the USS Glenn, suffered a catastrophic accident when testing one of the original spore drives, resulting in the death of all hands . Now that Starfleet has shuttered the spore drive project in season 5, the USS Discovery will always be a one of a kind starship.

Every New Version Of Warp Drive In Star Trek

Why star trek is right to drop discovery’s spore drive after season 5.

Star Trek: Discovery 's spore drive may be a huge leap forward for Starfleet, but it can create a lot of story issues for the viewers at home. Ultimately, the USS Discovery's ability to appear wherever it needs to can seriously hamper the dramatic tension . Discovery season 5's treasure hunt is a good example of how the spore drive can negatively impact storytelling. The audience is repeatedly told that the Progenitors' treasure must not fall into the hands of L'ak (Elias Toufexis) and Moll (Eve Harlow), setting up a thrilling race against time.

The only problem is that, because Discovery can just instantaneously jump to the next location on their treasure map, there's time for the crew to drop off Captain Saru (Doug Jones) before they head to Trill. This undermines any sense of urgency with Star Trek: Discovery season 5's treasure hunt. In other Star Trek shows, a warp drive means that the hero ship and its crew are constantly moving forward, heading to their next destination . There's an urgency to these onward journeys that Star Trek: Discovery just doesn't have.

For example, it's hard to imagine Star Trek: The Next Generation 's classic "The Best of Both Worlds" having the same impact with a spore drive. The emotional gut punch of the USS Enterprise-D arriving too late to save the thousands of lives lost at the Battle of Wolf 359. By dropping the spore drive in Star Trek: Discovery season 5, it could restore some dramatic urgency and forward motion to the storytelling in the upcoming Starfleet Academy show , which will also be set in the 32nd century.

Discovery’s Warp Drive Replacement Made It A Different Star Trek Show

Ironically, given its name, the USS Discovery hasn't done much discovering over the course of Star Trek: Discovery 's five seasons . While it's true that they've sought out strange new worlds and made contact with new life and civilizations, their discoveries have been a lot less spontaneous than those of their predecessors. Possessing a spore drive, the USS Discovery is regularly dropped into the heat of the action, be that a battle with the Emerald Chain or a short hop to the Galactic Barrier to meet Species 10-C.

Star Trek: Discovery "Ushered In A New Era" & "Made A Difference", Say Executive Producers

This has given Star Trek: Discovery a unique feel from other Star Trek TV shows , helping the show to stand out from its franchise stablemates. Discovery being dropped into various hot spots by Starfleet is often very exciting, and marks out Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) as the most important captain in Star Trek 's 32nd century. The only drawback of this approach is that it can often feel like the Discovery crew are sitting around waiting for orders, rather than exploring the wider Star Trek universe .

Starfleet Is Right To Abandon The Spore Drive In Discovery Season 5

After the events of Star Trek: Discovery season 4, it might be prudent for Starfleet to abandon the spore drive going forward. The actions of Ruon Tarka and Book showed just how dangerous the spore drive technology was if it fell into the hands of people with bad intentions . Tarka and Book almost caused the destruction of Earth by launching hostile action against Species 10-C, and this worst case scenario was averted when Booker finally saw sense.

Indeed, the very fact that Stamets' spore drive research was co-opted by Starfleet during wartime is proof of its more dangerous implications. Villainous figures like Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) and Osyraa (Janet Kidder) have coveted the USS Discovery's unique technology, hoping to use it to assert power and destroy their enemies rather than learn more about the mycelial network. By closing down the spore drive research program in Star Trek: Discovery season 5, Starfleet can further prevent this valuable technology from falling into the wrong hands .

Star Trek: Discovery Science YouTube Show BioTrekkie With The Admiral Returns In April

Will star trek: starfleet academy have its own warp drive replacement.

Star Trek: Discovery 's spore drive is just one of many attempts made to replace Starfleet's traditional warp drive . First, there was the USS Excelsior, " The Great Experiment " which tried and failed to perfect transwarp technology in the late 23rd century. A hundred years later, and Star Trek: Prodigy 's USS Protostar was equipped with a proto-drive, allowing it to cross lightyears like never before. Similarly, the USS Dauntless, commanded by Vice Admiral Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) in Prodigy season 1, was fitted with a quantum slipstream drive that was also incredibly powerful. Starfleet's latest innovation in the 32nd century is the pathway drive, first mentioned in Star Trek: Discovery 's season 4 premiere.

Star Trek: Prodigy season 2 will unveil the USS Voyager-A, which will be "bigger" than the USS Protostar, suggesting improvements on either the proto or quantum slipstream drives.

Not much is known about this new technology, but now that the spore drive has been dropped, the pathway drive will be the new standard in Star Trek: Discovery 's 32nd century. Captain Rayner (Callum Keith Rennie) notes that his ship, the USS Antares, doesn't have a pathway drive, meaning that it's still in the early stages. The pathway drive was tested by the 32nd century's USS Voyager , and has presumably been proven as a more viable alternative to dilithium-powered warp than the spore drive. This means that the new pathway drive will likely be powering the adventures of the crew in Star Trek: Starfleet Academy .

Star Trek: Discovery streams Thursdays on Paramount+.

Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery is an entry in the legendary Sci-Fi franchise, set ten years before the original Star Trek series events. The show centers around Commander Michael Burnham, assigned to the USS Discovery, where the crew attempts to prevent a Klingon war while traveling through the vast reaches of space.

Star Trek Is Ditching Discovery's Spore Drive - And That's Good!

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Published Apr 12, 2024

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Renewed for Fourth Season

The acclaimed hit original series is currently in production for its third season.

Spock sits in the Enterprise lounge while his friends Number One (Una), Uhura, La'An, and Erica Ortegas are enjoying his company in 'Charades'

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will return for a fourth season.

Co-showrunners Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers and executive producer Alex Kurtzman confirms in a statement, "On behalf of the cast and crew of ‘ Strange New Worlds ’ we are thrilled and grateful to continue our voyages together. We can't wait for you to join us and the crew of the Enterprise on another season of exploration and adventure."

The third season, set to debut in 2025, is officially under way with production continuing in Toronto.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds renewed for Season 4 statement from Akiva Goldsman, Henry Alonso Myers, and Alex Kurtzman

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds  is based on the years Captain Christopher Pike manned the helm of the  U.S.S. Enterprise . The series features fan favorites from Season 2 of  Star Trek: Discovery  — Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Ethan Peck as Science Officer Spock. The series follows Captain Pike, Science Officer Spock and Una Chin-Riley (Number One) in the years before Captain Kirk boarded the  U.S.S. Enterprise , as they explore new worlds around the galaxy.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds  also stars Jess Bush as Nurse Christine Chapel, Christina Chong as La’An Noonien-Singh, Celia Rose Gooding as Nyota Uhura, Melissa Navia as Erica Ortegas and Babs Olusanmokun as Dr. M’Benga.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds  is produced by CBS Studios, Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment. Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers serve as co-showrunners. Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet serve as executive producers in addition to Alonso Myers, Heather Kadin, Frank Siracusa, John Weber, Rod Roddenberry, Trevor Roth and Aaron Baiers.

Watch the first two seasons of  Star Trek: Strange New Worlds  now!

Get Updates By Email

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Latin America, Brazil, South Korea, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In addition, the series airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave in Canada and on SkyShowtime in the Nordics, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Central and Eastern Europe. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.

At their booth in the Cerritos mess hall, Rutherford, Tendi, Boimler, and Mariner all raise their glass in cheer after enjoying several drinks together  in 'Caves'


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