This episode captures Star Trek TNG Writing at its best. No huge space battles or an attack by the Borg. This poignant story delves deeply into family members who become estranged & by some freak chance (or fate) they are able to reconcile. The acting all around was tremendous in this episode. Data meets the wife / partner of Dr. Soong (data's creator) with whom she helped build Data & Lore. Data learns that Juliana wanted Data deactivated because he might turn out evil like his brother Lore. She regrets her decision & realizes the wonderful person he is & i'm sure she equally felt guilty like a mother who has abondoned her child. What happens at the end of this episode regarding Data's mother is Trek writing at it's absolute best. This episode is probably my favorite of any of the Trek Series!
The “Enterprise” travels to Atrea IV in order to prevent a natural disaster from occurring. Atrea scientists, Pran and Juliana Tainer reveal that the Atrea molten core is trying to solidify which will make their planet inhabital.
The “Enterprise” travels to Atrea IV in order to prevent a natural disaster from occurring. Atrea scientists, Pran and Juliana Tainer reveal that the Atrea molten core is trying to solidify which will make their planet inhabital. Juliana Tainer claims to be Data’s mother. Data has trouble believing, So he asks others for help. Juliana talks of Data’s past. Data is interested in hearing of his own past. Data find that his mother is much like him, but she is human. Could Data be human after all? Watch this episode I give it a 9.5 for family values.
"The long-lost relative we've never heard about" is of course a huge cliche for human storytelling at this point, and I guess TNG was running out of ideas at this point as they used it at least four times during the 7th season - with Troi, Data, Worf, Picard.
Out of those 4 this episode is clearly the best. As was unfortunately common at this point in the series, the story is saddled with a thoroughly banal scifi backdrop - the kind that makes you wonder if the Enterprise was the Federation's handyman.
The story with Data's mom, though, is genuinely touching if somewhat slow. The last ten or so minutes in particular are the kind that show why Brent Spiner's ostensibly emotionless character is in fact one of the deepest emotionally on the show.
It's always dangerous for a series this far into its life to bring in a new long lost relative, because the natural reaction from viewers is "oh, come on!" However, this Data episode does it with care, and the new back-story fits in well with Data's established history and even unknowingly sets up a new character for TNG's last feature film.
That said, the character-based story plods along somewhat slowly and is not helped by the generic sci fi problem in the background. The writers clearly figure that Brent Spiner and guest star Fionnula Flanagan are strong enough actors to sustain interest with just conversation and the two give it their best effort; but the episode lacks excitement until a twist is added late in the game.
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