Posted by: rebeccajrobare | July 23, 2018

Who is Trustworthy: “Datalore”

Mission Summary: The Enterprise is visiting the planet where Data was originally found and activated. While investigating the site where a scientific colony had been, the crew find all the components of another android. Data, Dr. Crusher, and the chief engineer assemble and activate this android, who gives his name as Lore. He claims to be Data’s younger brother and pretends to know less than he does. Lore is lying, and is responsible for the demise of the colony through his partnership with the spacegoing Crystalline Entity. Lore deactivates Data and replaces him on the bridge, summoning the Entity to eat the Enterprise. Wesley Crusher is suspicious but his fears are dismissed. However, he finds the unconscious Data, and Dr. Crusher reactivates him. The three confront Lore, and after a standoff, Lore is beamed to the Crystalline Entity, who retreats.

Analysis: This mission hinges on who the Captain trusts. Picard trusts Data and believes him when he says that his loyalty is to the Enterprise even though he has found family for the first time. The implicitness of this trust underlies Lore’s subterfuge: Seeing Data, the officers do not think that he is colluding with an enemy. Wesley spots Lore, disguised as Data, while his face is twitching, and suspects the truth. Lore disguises this tic and causes Data’s face to twitch in the same way, so Wesley’s protests go unheard. His stubborn insistence that something is wrong is met with harsh dismissal (“Shut up, Wesley!”) and he is removed from the bridge.

Fortunately, Wesley’s loyalty is, like the real Data’s, to the ship and crew, and this unfairness does not stop him from going to Data’s rescue. Picard, to his credit, acknowledges his error, and restores Wesley to his place on the bridge. The lesson here is that one’s crew must be trusted, even when they say what the commanding officer does not want to hear. Wesley’s youth is held against him, and perhaps because of that youth he is unable to articulate why he feels so strongly. The Captain therefore makes an error he would not make with Troi or Riker. Earlier in the mission, Yar voices concerns about Data’s ability to put the ship first, and Picard assures her that he has complete trust in Data, though he validates her question as security chief. Only Wesley is treated with dismissal, and this is nearly the undoing of the mission. The actions of the young crew member are, in the end, what saves the ship, and hopefully that will not be forgotten in the future.

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Responses

  1. I like this summary. It makes me want to watch TNG again, and it takes a LOT for me to want to do that!

    • Thanks! I’m finding more of interest than I expected in the first season, even with the clunky writing.


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