Star Trek the Next Generation Episode Review: A Fistful of Datas

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 6 episode that first aired in November 1992.

Synopsis: An engineering experiment that involves connecting Data (Brent Spiner) directly to the Enterprise’s computer fails as the result of an unexpected power surge. As a side effect of the failure, the western-themed holodeck program being used by Worf (Michael Dorn), Alexander (Brian Bonsall) and Counselor Troi (Marina Sirtis) goes haywire and turns all the villains into Data-like clones.

Guest Stars

Guest stars include Joy Garrett and John Pyper-Ferguson.

A Clever Western-Themed Episode

I was reading a meme on Facebook a couple days ago that claimed all science-fiction television shows will ultimately have a western-themed episode. So, the fact I happened to come across this particular episode of this series when I was home for lunch today was a funny coincidence. And, as it turns out, it was actually a pretty enjoyable episode to watch.

While the idea of a simple link-up to the ship’s computer would result in something so isolated happening was a bit farfetched, I did like the idea of Data as a bad guy. Or, actually, in this particular case, a whole bunch of bad guys. After all, he has superhuman strength and other abilities that even someone as strong as Worf would have problems overcoming. The fact Worf was isolated in the holodeck program and had to protect both his son and Troi was a nice touch.

I also do have to admit, I liked the final battle scene, involving Worf trying to fashion together some sort of shield to protect him against a growing number of evil Datas. He was almost MacGyver-like in his approach and, even though I was certain he would ultimately survive the overwhelming odds against him; I did wonder exactly how, even with the shielding, he would do it.

Of course, I think the most memorable part of this episode had to be the way the program would only end after Miss Annie (also shaped as Data) rewarded her hero by falling romantically into Worf’s arms. It was corny but I honestly did find myself laughing as a result of that scene.

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Final Opinion

Yes, this episode did fall into that same tired science fiction/western cliché I was just reading about a couple days ago. However, it was also surprisingly well written and, as a result of that, was considerably more entertaining than I was expecting it to be. I definitely enjoyed watching it and would recommend taking the time to sit down and watch it if you are given a chance to.

My Grade: A

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1992 - Playmates / Paramount - Star Trek The Next Generation - Series 1 - Lieutenant Worf : Chief Security Officer / U.S.S. Enterprise - 4.5 Inch Action Figure - Each Figure is ...

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Updated: 11/26/2014, StevenHelmer
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