(written from a Production point of view)
The Enterprise explores Data's home planet, Omicron Theta. They find his brother, and the dark secret he carries.
While passing Omicron Theta, the USS Enterprise-D stops to investigate the site of Data's discovery. However, Data is in his quarters practicing sneezing. Wesley Crusher walks in on Data pretending to sneeze and asks him if he has a cold. Data's never heard of such thing (at least not in reference to an illness) so Wesley says "It's a disease my mom says people used to get." Data acknowledges this fact, but presses that humans sneeze for other reasons and he'd like to learn how to do it so he will better "fit in" with the crew. Wesley wonders out loud how Data could be practicing sneezing in a time like this; they're about to arrive at his home planet. Data clarifies that he is excited to see his point of origin, but that he is also interested in sneezing. They leave for the bridge. The crew learns of an entire Earth colony that disappeared from the planet 26 years ago, and the whole planet now appears dead. Riker leads an away team that beams down to the spot where Data was found by crewmembers from the USS Tripoli. For some reason, Data has been given the memories of all 411 colonists, and he is interested in learning why.
The away team proceeds to the topographical site where Data was found; it is a hollow with a rock wall. He was found in the open, and was apparently activated by a marker beacon that detected the crews' presence. Geordi La Forge examines the rock wall with his VISOR and sees that it was man-made. He finds a hidden door in the wall that opens onto a passage that leads to an underground shelter. The away team goes down one of the corridors before coming to a door that leads to a laboratory, where Data recalls impressions of his basic functions being tested. There are children's pictures on the wall, all apparently of the same scene. Data doesn't know what they represent, only a sense that they refer to something dangerous.
Riker presses him and asks if he can remember anything else about the lab. Data replies that he can remember one of the machines being used by a Dr. Noonian Soong. La Forge recognizes the name of Earth's foremost robotics scientist. He tried to create a positronic brain, but failed and then disappeared. Now, they realize he went to Omicron Theta under a different name to continue his work. Data, La Forge, and Riker continue to search the lab, while Natasha Yar and Worf search the rest of the bunker. They find molds for making Data's skin, and Yar reports that the rest of the bunker is empty. Then La Forge comes across a storage area. Inside, they find another android identical to Data. Data is excited by the discovery and they decide to bring it back to the Enterprise for assembly.
Back on the Enterprise, a team of engineers and technicians try to reassemble the android. Argyle confirms that "it" has the same body parts as Data, and asks if he can examine Data if he needs more information, comparing the internal circuitry, and Data agrees. He then joins Captain Picard, Commander Riker, and Geordi La Forge in the Observation lounge to discuss the situation. Everyone seems to be tip-toeing around the subject so Picard stops the briefing momentarily to say "All right. Legitimate questions about any of this need not be asked apologetically. You feel uncomfortable on aspects of your duplicate, Data. We feel uncomfortable too... it feels awkward to be reminded that Data is a machine, just remember that we are merely a different variety of machine." He concludes by stating that they should handle this situation like they would anything else and continue the briefing.
After asking and answering a few more questions, Data returns to Dr. Crusher. He shows Crusher his off switch, asking her to keep it secret. Then she and Argyle open him up and check his internal construction. After they close him up, Picard and Riker arrive in sickbay. The other android has been fully assembled, but he is still not active. Picard wonders aloud which was made first. Suddenly, the second android comes alive and says that Data was. He calls himself Lore, and says he was made to replace the "imperfect" Data.
Data and Picard talk in the ready room. Data believes both Lore and himself have the same physical and mental capabilities. Picard then asks Data where his loyalties lie, and Data assures him that his loyalty is to Picard and Starfleet, completely. They go out onto the bridge where Wesley Crusher and La Forge are explaining the helm controls to Lore. Riker then says the first part of Pythagorean theorem, and Lore unthinkingly completes it, except the last word, "sides," which he claims he never really knew in the first place. While his face twitches, he says he enjoys pleasing Humans.
Data leads him off to show him the rest of the ship, telling him Riker tricked him into revealing he knew more than he let on. He warns him not to underestimate Humans, but Lore is dismissive. He tells Data not to be jealous of his ability. They go to Data's quarters, where Data checks up information about Dr. Soong. Lore calls him "Often Wrong Soong" and derides Data for the way he tries to mimic Humans. Data asks him again which of them was built first, and Lore admits he, himself, was built first. He says the colonists became envious of him and persuaded Soong to build a less perfect android – Data. Lore was too Human, understanding language and humor. Lore points out that he can easilty handle speech and says "I use their contractions. For example, I say "can't" or "isn't" and you say "cannot" and "is not." Lore then begins to sing "I say tomato and you say tomahto," proving again how much more human he is than Data.
Lore than states that he can help Data become more human and Data says that he is obligated to report all of this-- the lies Lore told Riker about his knowledge, the lie that he was built before Data, and every other lie he said since "waking up." Data leaves to go on duty and asks Lore to make a report to the captain about what happened to the colonists.
On the bridge, Picard and Riker analyze Lore's report. The colonists were killed by a Crystalline Entity that feeds on lifeforms, and is capable of stripping all life from an entire world. The two androids survived because they were not alive when the entity attacked. Yar tells Picard that Lore has left his room to go to deck four, and Picard tells Data to check up on him. When he goes, Yar asks if he can be trusted, to which Picard replies that he trusts him completely. In Data's quarters, Lore mixes a pill into some Altairian Grand Premier champagne which he offers to Data when he enters. Data drinks the champagne, and realizes immediately something is wrong. He collapses, and Lore reveals that he learned to communicate with the crystalline entity, which he led to the colonists in order to get revenge.
On the bridge, a subspace communication is detected coming from Data's quarters, and Picard sends Wes down to check it out. Lore is communicating with the crystalline entity. He tells it to identify him as Data. Wes comes in and "Data" tells Wes that "Lore" attacked him and he had to switch him off. His face twitches and covers it up, saying he's been practicing Lore's facial twitch. Lore/Data says he's coming up onto the bridge, and after Wes leaves he uses a small tool and fixes his own twitch and causes one in Data.
Dr. Crusher asks Wes on the bridge what happened and he tells her he shut Lore off, which makes her suspicious since it was their secret. "Data" arrives on the bridge when La Forge detects an unknown object approaching at high speed. It is the crystalline entity.
Picard says they need to question Lore. Wesley loudly protests that he doesn't trust Data/Lore. Picard and Riker are both annoyed at his display and decide that Riker would go with Wesley and "Data" to see "Lore". "Data" approaches "Lore" and causes him to shake by using Data's activation switch to rapidly turn him on and off. He tells Riker and Wes to leave, saying he can't control "Lore". After they leave, he kicks Data in the head in anger, causing part of his "skin" to come loose and exposing the circuitry on his skull. On the bridge, Riker tells Picard what happens, but Wes is still not convinced. The Crystalline Entity brushes against the shields. "Data" rushes in and says he wants to talk to it. He tells it the Humans here are powerful. It backs off, and "Data" suggests beaming something like a tree out into space and destroying it in a show of force. Picard agrees.
"Data" leaves, but Wes continues to protest. Wesley tries again to convince Picard that "Data" is really Lore, but the captain refuses to listen and dismisses him, telling him to "shut up, Wesley." He still orders Worf to monitor what "Data" does, since it is unusual. Beverly, just as hurt as her son, repeats in shock, "Shut up, Wesley?!" Picard dismisses her also and orders them both off the bridge. Wesley, angered, starts to complain, but Beverly fearfully adds, "Shut up, Wesley" herself in an attempt to protect her son from further ridicule by the rest of the crew.
Worf steps into the turbolift with Lore, who then assaults him and knocks him unconscious. Meanwhile, Wes has managed to convince Dr. Crusher to stop off at Data's quarters. She sees Data hurt on the ground and switches him on. He tells her he is not badly hurt, and they go to cargo bay 3 to stop Lore.
They sneak into the cargo bay and hear Lore talking to the Crystalline Entity. Lore spots Data and Wesley and threatens to kill Wesley. Beverly comes out from hiding and pulls a phaser on him, but she is too close and he grabs it from her. He then tells her to leave and Data to cooperate with him or he will kill Wesley. Dr. Crusher hesitantly makes her exit, but not before Lore fires his phaser at her, igniting the sleeve of her blue lab coat. Taking his chance, Data knocks the phaser out of Lore's hand and they start to brawl. Data throws him into cargo containers and then onto the transporter pad where the phaser landed. Lore fires just as Wes is able to energize the transporter, beaming him out into space. Picard, Riker, Yar, and Crusher enter with phasers drawn to find that Lore is gone. With no way to reach the crew, the Crystalline Entity leaves; Picard orders Data to get rid of the twitch and to find a proper uniform as the Enterprise resumes course for a computer overhaul.
"Shut up, Wesley!"
- - both Captain Picard and Beverly Crusher, at different times
"Now, show me your warrior fierceness."
- - Lore, to Worf
"The troublesome little man-child."
- - Lore, about Wesley
"If you had an off switch, doctor… would you not keep it secret?"
- - Data, after showing his deactivation switch to Beverly Crusher
"AH… AH… CHOO!"
- - Data, attempting to sneeze
"How sad, dear brother. You make me wish I were an only child."
- - Data, to Lore
"The troublesome little man-child. Are you prepared for the kind of death you've earned, little man?"
- - Lore to Wesley Crusher
"Back off… or I'll turn your little man into a torch."
- - Lore, to Beverly Crusher while pointing a phaser at Wesley
"Make it so."
- - Picard and Lore, while impersonating Data and not understanding Picard's order
- - Lore, his first two words
"Lore's gone sir. Permanently."
- - Wesley Crusher, unaware that Data will encounter him again three years later
"Have you got a cold?"
"A cold what?"
- - Wesley and Data
"Since I am finished here, may I point out that everything I said would have been listened to, if it came from an adult officer!"
- - Wesley before leaving the bridge
- Original story outline (titled "Apocalypse Anon"): 22 July 1987 (Creating the Next Generation: The Conception and Creation of a Phenomenon)
- Final draft script: 19 October 1987
- Revised final draft script: 26 October 1987 
- Filmed: 28 October 1987 – 6 November 1987
- Storyboards for visual effects shots of the Crystalline Entity's pursuit of the Enterprise: 19 November 1987
- Score recorded at Paramount Stage M: 18 December 1987 (Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Ron Jones Project liner notes 
- Premiere airdate: 18 January 1988
- UK premiere (BBC2): 19 December 1990
Story and script
- Lore was originally planned to be a female android to provide a love interest for Data. Her job would have been to go out and repair dangerous situations. It was Brent Spiner who suggested the old "evil twin" concept be used instead. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 2nd ed., p. 46) The female android concept was later used in the third season episode "The Offspring". However, the female android depicted there was Data's offspring, and not a love interest.
- This was the final episode of Star Trek on which Gene Roddenberry was a credited writer before his death on 24 October 1991.
- An early story for this episode was named "Apocalypse Anon". In this story, the Enterprise-D was on a rescue mission at a planet. Part of the away team was a female Starfleet officer with the name Minuet, who fell in love with Commander Riker. Riker was shocked when he learned that Minuet was an android. (Creating the Next Generation: The Conception and Creation of a Phenomenon, p. 51)
Cast and characters
- The characters of Data and Lore were portrayed by four different people: actor Brent Spiner, photo double Ken Gildin, stunt double Brian J. Williams, and an unknown photo double. (Star Trek: The Next Generation 365, p. 45)
- Director Rob Bowman commented on Brent Spiner's performance in the double role; "His ability to delineate those brothers… I felt like I had the best seat in the house, saying 'Action' and watching him do it […] I remember […] giggling at Brent's dexterity [during the shoot]. He was just unbelievable." 
- Concept drawings of the Crystalline Entity were produced by illustrator Andrew Probert. However, he found this was the only time when the TNG modelmakers didn't adhere to his designs, with the Crystalline Entity ultimately looking radically different from how he'd imagined and drawn it. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 12, p. 45)
- This episode was originally to have been directed by Joe Scanlan but the choice of director was changed to Rob Bowman just before the episode was scheduled to be filmed. "The script, or so I heard, was not in good shape and they got to a point in pre-production where they said they couldn't have the script ready in time," Bowman recalled. "We were going to have to switch scripts. So, they switched 'The Big Goodbye' with 'Datalore', which I was then given […] Anyway, I took on 'Datalore' and said, 'Here's a show they don't think will work, so I'm going to make it work. I'm going to prove to them that they made a mistake.' The episode was a learning experience, and there were lots of discussions with Rick Berman and Bob Justman. In a sense of working technique, there are many visual effects and split screens. It was a technically difficult show to do, and we had an extra day to shoot it because of that." ("Rob Bowman – Director of a Dozen", The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine issue 10)
- Bowman also enjoyed collaborating on "Datalore" with Brent Spiner. "We were both really keen on making that a special show," commented Bowman. "We were like, 'Fine, 'The Big Goodbye' is going to be a fun script, but we're going to make this one even more popular if we can.' I remember that, and I remember feeling really good during the shoot." 
- Chuck Courtney served as stunt coordinator for this episode. He was among the group of "one time" hired coordinators, prior to Dennis Madalone's employment for the series. Courtney had appeared, twenty years earlier, in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Patterns of Force" as Davod, and he went on to assist Madalone in further episodes of TNG and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- This episode marks the first Star Trek appearance of stuntman Brian J. Williams as stunt double for Brent Spiner. Williams doubled Spiner throughout the run of The Next Generation, all four TNG films, and also in Star Trek: Enterprise. In addition, he performed stunts in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise.
- Picard notes at the end of the episode that the Enterprise-D is overdue for a computer refit, which does not happen until TNG: "11001001" (two episodes later).
- When Riker makes his log entry at the beginning of act one, he uses the stardate 4124.5. This was no doubt meant to be 41242.5, as Picard's log entry in the teaser is 41242.4.
- Data's quarters are seen for the first time in this episode. The design changes significantly in later episodes.
- There is a costume blooper involving Data's rank. When the away team is examining the child drawings displayed in the lab, Data has a full commander's rank. Moments later, when talking about Dr. Soong's workstation, Data's rank returns to the proper lieutenant commander insignia.
- At the end of the episode, Data uses a contraction in his reply to Captain Picard asking Data if he is alright. Instead of saying "I am fine," Data replies, "I'm fine." This is even more noteworthy than "contraction slip-ups" in other episodes, since the use of contractions was the main method the crew used in this episode to determine whether they were talking to Data or Lore.
- The episode's score, composed and conducted by Ron Jones, was recorded on 18 December 1987 at Paramount Stage M. (Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Ron Jones Project liner notes ) The complete episode score, totaling twenty-five minutes exactly, appears on Disc Two of the Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Ron Jones Project collection.
- Rob Bowman was very pleased with how this episode ended up. "I thought it came off excellently," he said. ("Rob Bowman – Director of a Dozen", The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine issue 10)
- A mission report for this episode, by Robert Greenberger, was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine issue 6, pp. 43-46.
- On 11 April 2012, Director Robert Meyer Burnett confirmed and released the first image of the remastered Crystalline Entity for the Blu-ray edition of TNG Season 1. 
Video and DVD releases
- Original UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 7, catalog number VHR 2398, 5 November 1990
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 1.5, catalog number VHR 4646, 6 July 1998
- As part of the TNG Season 1 DVD collection
- As part of Star Trek: The Next Generation 25th Anniversary Event
- As part of the TNG Season 1 Blu-ray collection
Links and references
- LeVar Burton as Lt. Geordi La Forge
- Denise Crosby as Lt. Tasha Yar
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Worf
- Gates McFadden as Doctor Beverly Crusher
- Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data
- Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher
- James G. Becker as Youngblood
- Darrell Burris as operations division officer
- Dexter Clay as operations division officer
- Jeffrey Deacon as command division officer
- Lorine Mendell as Diana Giddings
- Brent Spiner as Lore
- Guy Vardaman as Darien Wallace
- Unknown performers as
- Al Simon as stunt double for Michael Dorn
- Brian J. Williams as stunt double for Brent Spiner
- Unknown stunt performer as stunt double for Gates McFadden
Stand-ins and photo doubles
- James G. Becker – stand-in for Jonathan Frakes
- Darrell Burris – stand-in for LeVar Burton
- Dexter Clay – stand-in for Michael Dorn
- Jeffrey Deacon – stand-in for Patrick Stewart
- Susan Duchow – stand-in for Denise Crosby
- Ken Gildin – photo double for Brent Spiner
- Tim McCormack – stand-in for Brent Spiner
- Lorine Mendell – stand-in for Gates McFadden
- Guy Vardaman – stand-in for Wil Wheaton/photo double for Brent Spiner
- Unknown actor – photo double for Brent Spiner
2338; 2341; 2345; 2348; 2360; "a bit"; accuracy; adult; alarm clock; "all right"; "a lot of"; Altairian Grand Premier; ambition; android; android assembling tools; antiseptic; apology; appointment; area; Isaac Asimov; assignment; "at all"; "at fault"; attack; "at this point"; away party; B., John; bed; birthplace; body; bridge; bridge crew; brother; category; Cargo Room 3; case; champagne; child; Chinese language; choice; circle; class M; close parking orbit; cold; colonist; "come in"; computer; consciousness; construction; contraction; corridor; creature; cruiser; Crystalline Entity; custom; danger; day; deactivation switch; death; debriefing; deflector shield; degree; designer; desire; desktop monitor; dimension; disappearance; discovery; disease; drawing; dream; duplicate; dust; Earth; Earth colony; electrochemical; electromagnetic spectrum; ensign; entity; epidermal mold; event; experience; experiment; eye; farm/farmland; father; fear; fibroid-like connection; finger; floor; "for example"; frequency; friend; Galaxy class decks; genius; gift; grammar; gratitude; hailing frequency; heading; heating device; helm control; home; home planet; "home sweet home"; hour; Human; Human form; Human language; Human quality; humor; hypotenuse; idea; ID signal; identity record; image; imagination; importance; impression; information; "in other words"; inquiry; insect; instruction; "in the open"; "in time"; jealousy; joke; Josh; "keep an eye on"; kindness; knowledge; laboratory; landing party; language; lie; lieutenant; life (lifeform); life force; loyalty; M., Jae; M., Josh; machine; main phaser; main viewer; macrotool; meaning; measurement; medical tricorder; memory; mental ability; message; meter; micro-circuitry; micro-miniature work tool; microscope; Milky Way Galaxy; million; mind; minute; mirror; mister; moon; motherhood; "move away"; "my God"; mystery; name; nature; number one; observation lounge; "of course"; off switch; offense; ointment; Omicron Theta; Omicron Theta colony; Omicron Theta star system; only child; "on the nose"; opinion; pain; painting; parent; pattern; payment; permission; photon torpedo; physical strength; place; positron; positronic brain; potato; promise; proof; Pythagorean theorem; quadratanium; quarters; question; ready room; reason; recording signal; red alert; refit; report; reputation; research; respect; right angle; right triangle; ritual; robot; robotics scientist; rule; science; secret; security team; senior officer; sensor; ship's store; sickbay; signal device; sneeze; snowflake; soil; soil bacteria; Soong, Noonian; Soong-type; sound; Southern Vineyard; space duty; specialist; speech; standard orbit; Starfleet; Starfleet Academy; Starfleet uniform; starship; storage area; subspace channel; subwarp; sweet; switch; syntax; tangent; teaching; terrain; "thank you"; thing; thousand; tic; Timon of Athens; toast; tomato; topographically; torch; training; transporter; tree; tricorder; Tripoli, USS; Tripoli landing party; Tripoli log; turbolift; turbo-sensor; type I phaser; type II phaser; unconscious; unnamed plants; value; vegetation; viewscreen; VISOR; warrior; weapon; word; work area; world; year; yellow alert
Library computer references
NCC-1700; Argelius II; Bayard's Planet; concussion ring; Constitution-class; deflector; Diana; Excelsior-class; Galileo; Greyhound, USS; hangar deck; impulse drive; Jewel stars; light year; Martian insect; Muleskinner, USS; phaser bank; Phi Puma; primary hull; secondary hull; sector; sensor array; supernova; Type 7 shuttlecraft; Wanderer-class; warp nacelle
- "Datalore" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Datalore" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Datalore" at Wikipedia
- "Datalore" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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