Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 2 Episode 6

The Schizoid Man

Aired Unknown Jan 23, 1989 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

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out of 10
241 votes
  • The scientist misrepresented the song

    The song he was whistling was "If I only had a The scientist said it was sung by the Tin Man singing about not having a heart. It was sung by the Scarecrow who wanted a brain.
  • Enterprise receives a distress signal from a remote planet occupied by only the brilliant Dr. Ira Graves and his assistant. Data is part of the team that visits the planet. After Dr. Graves dies, Data starts to exhibit strange behavior.


    This episode is, in my opinion, the best of the second season. Brent Spiner and Patrick Stewart are at the top of their game giving two great performances. The dialogue is also top notch here and adds to the episode's appeal. "The Schizoid Man" helped Star Trek: The Next Generation establish itself as it's own show and not just a continuation of the original series and was a foreshadowing of the great episodes that would follow afterwards. Don't miss it!

  • Saved by good performances from Brent Spiner and Patrick Stewart....


    In the Star Trek: TNG season two episode "The Schizoid Man," Data is possessed by brilliant scientist Ira Graves who is trying to escape death. "The Schizoid Man" is an episode that starts off real bad, continues to offer a story with nothing of particular value, and is ultimately saved by expert acting from Brent Spiner and Patrick Stewart. W. Morgan Sheppard is a fine character actor, but his character, Ira Graves, is completely irritating and in no way likable (not good for a couple of reasons: 1) even the bad guys are supposed to be likable in some way and 2) it carries no weight at the end when the character gets closure). Personally, I do not like the way that the story calls for Data to be possessed - "Brothers," "Masks," "Powerplay," and other episodes would handle this in a far better way - watching Data simply act like a jerk is awkward in all the wrong ways. The great performances by Brent Spiner and Patrick Stewart throughout save an otherwise poor episode - I also rather liked Suzie Plakson's guest performance of the Vulcan doctor.

  • Data's mind is commandeered in a patience and credulity-stretching episode that is partly redeemed by some nice flourishes

    'The Schizoid Man' starts and ends quite well, with the Enterprise going to the aid of a dying cybernetics scientist named Ira Graves (whom Pulaski calls the greatest mind in the universe. Last week we had the greatest mediator in the universe - the Enterprise crew really don't bother with mediocrity, do they?). The cantankerous old lech, not content to shuffle off this mortal coil, transfers his consciousness into Data.

    Of course, this isn't revealed until much later in the episode, but it's obvious right from the start that this is what has happened. And this is the episode's real, overriding flaw: it's just so painfully obvious and the fact it takes the crew so soooo long to catch onto the fact makes them look rather stupid and inept. It also drags the viewer's patience and credulity to almost breaking point.

    Still, despite it's resolved with a reasonably effective showdown (or, rather talk-down) between Graves/Data and Picard in which Graves realises himself how dangerous he has become (cranky old men just shouldn't be allowed to inhabit android bodies for many reasons, as elaborated here).

    All in all, it's a patience-stretching episode and hardly a ground-breaking premise, but it's bolstered by some good directing and lots of little touches, mainly involving Data and Brent Spiner's performance which manages to be amusing but slightly dangerous at the same time. Incidentally, I liked the Vulcan Dr Selar and wished we'd seen her again. Why couldn't she have replaced Pulaski in season three instead of wiggy Crusher?
  • Not great, not terrible. There are enough good bits that make the weak sections worth sitting through.

    I think overall, this episode is OK. The plot itself is nothing special but (unlike many episodes in season 1) not a total waste of time. It runs a little slow until we figure out that Data is "possessed" by Graves. I also think that for all of Brent Spiner's gifts as an actor, his villains tend to be somewhat one-dimensional. He played "Evil Data" a little too often.

    I'll just focus on the good points:

    1) Data's beard in the teaser. This may have been a predictable gag, but it's still funny.

    2) W Morgan Sheppard was excellent as Dr. Graves. His few minutes on the screen were convincing enough that Data's transformation is plausible.

    3) Data's eulogy for Graves is hilarious; Wesley, in a nice turn, milks the humor for all its worth. "To know him is to love him is to know him."

    4) The final talkdown scene between Picard and Data/Graves is a great showcase for those two characters/actors' chemistry, and also some nice writing. It's easily the most substantial part of the episode.
  • Data is possessed by his "Grandpa".

    This is a predictable, inoffensive second season filler episode in which Brent Spiner (Data) and Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard) elevate a weak script with a couple of excellent performances. (Guest stars W. Morgan Sheppard and Suzie Plakson are good too, which is probably why they were asked to return to the Star Trek universe in other roles.) Spiner, getting to play abrasive, stubborn, egotistical, chauvinistic jerk for once, hams it up for all its worth, and there are some funny moments. (On a side note: Plakson's Vulcan character Dr. Selar would never be seen again, however in what would become an inside joke, her character is mentioned in six future episodes.)
  • Data is possessed

    Intriguing plot where a renowned scientist transfers his consciousness into Data as he dies.

    One of the better "filler" episodes that explores the idea of consciousness, consciousness in death and its transference into arficial vessels. There is some conflict here, but not in the form of violence. Instead Spiner takes on the persona of the dead scientist and does a good job of showing up what it could be like to have his consciousness inside data. At first the crew dont realise what is happening, but start to catch on soon enough. Towards the end Data starts to hurt his beloved and some members of the crew. It is these event s that Picard uses to demonstrate to scientist that he should relinquish his host. I honestly didnt find this finale of any worth. Would someone so egocentric just kill himself, even if it is over a woman and the worry of not wanting to harm others?! Would he have rationalised it some other way? I wasnt convinced and I dont think you will be either!
  • The “Enterprise” races toward a remote planet known as Grave’s world. Dr. Ira Graves, one of the greatest minds is in desperate need of medical attention. An away team led by Data beams down to the surface of Grave’s world.

    The “Enterprise” races toward a remote planet known as Grave’s world. Dr. Ira Graves, one of the greatest minds is in desperate need of medical attention. An away team led by Data beams down to the surface of Grave’s world. Dr. Graves informs Data that in a way he is Data’s Grandfather. Dr Grave’s dies while the away team is on the surface. Data informs the others the Dr Graves has passed on. Data gives an unusual speech. Picard tells Data he is through talking. Data begins acting strangely. Will Picard be able to control Data
  • This is just an average episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It did have some better parts, but is not one to make an extra effort to see.

    This is just an average episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It did have some better parts, but is not one to make an extra effort to see.

    If you think about the scientist and what he should of done. I personally think that he should of found a way to build another android or something to put his mind in.