Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 5 Episode 4

Silicon Avatar

Aired Unknown Oct 14, 1991 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
184 votes

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Episode Summary

Stardate: 45122.3 Picard attempts communications with the Crystalline Entity - a life form responsible for hundreds of deaths throughout the Alpha Quadrant. However, a scientist on board the Enterprise to advise them has plans of her own.

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  • I Liked It!

    The crew of the Enterprise has to investigate an object called the Crystalline Entity that is responsible for the deaths of innocent people on different planets. I like Star Trek, as I've enjoyed the movies, but have never gotten into the TV shows. This was my first attempt at seeing The Next Generation, and from what I've watched, it's not bad. It's a little slow in places, but the ideas were intriguing. I might watch more episodes, maybe not.moreless
  • Snoozer

    This sequel of sorts to first season's "Datalore" is one of the lows of season five and a rare "Data" episode that's a snoozer. Spiner faces an uphill battle dealing an unfocused script and guest star Ellen Greer as Data's "mother" (she's awful)."Silicon Avatar" might be Star Trek's worst tale of the many they've done that have been inspired by Moby Dick. The best part of the episode might be Troi's admission, "I don't think you need an empath to sense that woman's feelings."moreless
  • An away team of Riker, Data, & Dr. Crusher are surveying land on a Federation colony located on Melona IV. They are interrupted by a massive crystal like being. Riker is familiar with the being. It is the Crystalline Entity.moreless

    An away team of Riker, Data, & Dr. Crusher are surveying land on a Federation colony located on Melona IV. They are interrupted by a massive crystal like being. Riker is familiar with the being. It is the Crystalline Entity. The Crystalline Entity begins attacking the planet trying to consume all life. The colonists find a cave to hide in. The colonists are close to breathing their last breath when Lt Worf shows up. The colonists leave the cave and find the world is barren. A scientist known as Kila Marr wants to destroy the Crystalline Entity.moreless
  • A somewhat ho-hum story with a powerful, intense conclusion.

    I think the actress playing Dr. Marr kills this story, or maybe lackluster writing. Or maybe the problem is that we don't know Marr - it's her first and only appearance on the show - and can't connect to her. I'm grasping at straws, because this episode has some serious potential.

    Moby Dick wasn't about a large whale, and "Silicon Avatar" isn't about a large man-eating mineral. It's about a person so consumed by desire for revenge that they go insane. The bitterness is at first directed at Data, but quickly takes a surprising turn.

    The worth of this episode is in Data's final "confrontation" of Dr. Marr. It's a brutal, uncharacteristic-of-TNG conclusion, delivered in Data's unemotional, calm voice.

    One final comment - I thought Picard's calm, unemotional response to the moral implications of the crystalline entity's killing of humans ("sperm whale... cuttlefish") was somewhat odd, perhaps an oblique criticism of the Captain. He'd prove to be a hypocrite on "I Borg".moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden

Dr. Beverly Crusher

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • When Data and Dr. Marr leave Engineering and enter the turbolift together, Dr. Marr orders the turbolift to the bridge. But when they get off, they can be seen walking into a section of corridor that doesn't exist on the bridge.

    • In the teaser, Riker asks Data what their best chance for cover is. Data's reply is "...subterranean caverns..." Since caves are, de facto, underground, Data has committed a pleonasm, which is a logical verbal redundancy, something his precise speech programming should not allow.

    • When Data and Dr. Kila Marr are examining the caves on the planet, Dr. Marr is holding her tricorder upside down all the time.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Riker: How do you know these metals will protect us.
      Data: I am not entirely certain they will, sir.
      Riker: I was afraid you were going to say something like that.

    • Picard: Doctor, the sperm whale on Earth devours millions of cuttlefish as it roams the oceans. it is not is feeding. The same may be true of the Entity.

    • (discussing Dr. Kyla Marr's dead son - Data has his memories)
      Dr. Kyla Marr: A girlfriend? Oh, I never knew about that. Of course, the last person he would tell was his mother. What was she like?
      Data: He enjoyed her kindness, her gentleness, her physical attributes.

  • NOTES (2)


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