Patrick Stewart's second turn in the director's chair gives us a "Data and the kid" episode that builds up a mediocre mystery. But that's not really the point of the story; the idea of Data bonding with a child is the heart of this one. And while the episode doesn't work as well here as second season's "Pen Pals", "Hero Worship" does serve as an inoffensive filler episode for the fifth season, with some nice (if subdued) performances from Brent Spiner and Marina Sirtis. (Sadly, the news that Gene Roddenberry had died was broken to the cast and crew while this episode was being filmed.)
I have been a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation for as long as I can remember. Hero Worship has always been my favorite episode, and I dont think its gonna change any time soon.
The U.S.S. Enterprise makes way to a nearby Starbase that has recently lost contact with the Vico, a research vessel sent to explore the interior of a Black Cluster. Upon locating the vessel, Picard sends an Away Team to investigate the situation. Data and Riker are shocked when they discover a little boy trapped in the wreckage of the small ship.
After several unsuccessful attempts, the crew is finally able to rescue and transport the boy back to Sickbay. The youth, Timothy, is immediately drawn to Data. Meanwhile on the Bridge, Picard and Geordi study the details of the events that led to the vessel's explosion. Timothy told the crew that the Vico was attacked by an alien ship. But preliminary research indicates that Timothy lied about what happened on the ship, as the Vico was not boarded by the aliens as he had reported. Troubled by this revelation, Picard and Troi instruct Data to spend more time with the boy in hopes that he will tell Data what really happened.
As Data and Timothy spend more time together, the boy becomes increasingly intrigued by his new friend and his exceptional mental and physical capacities. He soon begins acting and talking like Data, simulating some of his android mannerisms. Later, Troi is troubled when she visits Timothy and finds him dressed in clothing similar to Data's and calling himself an android. Troi discusses her concerns with Picard, advising him that Timothy's behavior is probably the result of the traumatic experience of losing both of his parents in the explosion.
Continuing his investigation, Picard orders the crew to direct the Enterprise into the Black Cluster. Once inside, the ship begins to be hit by shock waves. As the intensity increases, Picard summons Timothy to the Bridge. The boy initially maintains his story that the ship was attacked, but when Data reminds him that androids do not lie, he reveals that he believes he is responsible for the ship's destruction. However, the crew is able to convince him that the ship was destroyed by natural causes. This does not completely ease the boy's mind since the shockwaves hitting the Enterprise begin to increase in intensity. Data is able to guide the ship through the bombardment, indicating where the Vico's crew made the mistake that caused the ship's destruction. Later, out of danger, Timothy is able to resume his life as a normal little boy. However, he and Data agree to remain friends.
This episode has some of the best acting that I have ever seen in this series. Another plus for me for this episdoe, is that it stars on my favorite actors of all time, Joshua Harris. He plays Timothy, the young boy in this episode very well. This episode was absolutely well written, casted, and was well directed by Patrick Stewart. This is truly, my all time favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation Episode.
After "Pen Pal" and "The Offspring", the writers realized they had a good thing going with the "Data + child" formula. Data's character was a great match in this context because he himself was so childlike. And yeah, Data and the kid do click here. The kid actor himself does a pretty good job.
That said, blah. Is this really worth dedicating 45 minutes of your life to watching this? I was thinking - these mediocre episodes in season 5 involved lots of talking by Counselor Troi. A pattern?
I can remember watching this episode the first time it aired. It was rather good and stands the test of time. However, there isnt much excitement to be had. The only real plotline is Data's relationship with the sole survivor of the USS Viko, who naturally forms a bond with his rescuer.
The conflict in this episode rises a tad when the starship is put into peril by its own machinations, attempting to do the exact same as the Viko. So why were they so surprised when things start happening to the ship? Anyways, resolution is handled pretty well when the boy snaps out of his idolisation of Data to help Data determine the course of action to save the ship. Here the boy was actually responding to the crews vocal confirmations rather than actually helping predict anything.
Good thing that Data was onboard, because w/o him they would not have been able to process the information in the necessary time to save themselves.
Like I said, nothing spectacular happens, but its well done.
On reports that a starbase has lost contact with the “Vico”, the “Enterprise” is sent to investigate. The “Enterprise” finds the “Vico” near an area known as the black cluster. The “Vico” is nothing but wrecked.
On reports that a starbase has lost contact with the “Vico”, the “Enterprise” is sent to investigate. The “Enterprise” finds the “Vico” near an area known as the black cluster. The “Vico” is nothing but wrecked. Picard sends an away team aboard the “Vico” to find survivors. Data, Riker, & Worf do find one lone survivor. The survivor is a boy who is trapped under a beam. Data suggests Riker & Worf beam back to the “Enterprise” while he lifts the beam up. Data saves the boy. The boy has lost both parents, so he now looks up to Data.
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