Sunday, January 1, 2012


*** (3 stars out of 5)
"Datalore" was the last story Gene Roddenberry wrote for Star Trek. Well, last that got made. I'm still waiting on the 'Ferengi Kidnap The Female Crew and Make them Work Naked in a Dilithium Mine' story... or trilogy... I mean, season. Ahem. Waiting.

Meanwhile, it's the first return to Data's homeworld Omicron Persei 8, I mean, Omicron Theta. Data has the knowledge of the 411 people who lived and died here, but somehow he does not see this coming...

For example, in a matter of seconds, Lt. LaForge finds the hidden bunker where Data was built, evidence linking his origins with missing kook Dr. Noonien Soong, children's drawings of the space creature that killed them, and, oh, yeah... the pieces for a second android. Chalk-white bum and all.

(While the planet was being totally laid waste, how do kids have time to draw the Crystalline Entity and screaming people fleeing? And, for god's sake why would their besieged parents put the pictures up? Morbid much?)

Dr. Crusher & Chief Argyle reassemble the second android. He awakens, identifies himself as Lore, and starts smiling too fiercely, twitching like an addict, and lying through his teeth.

The ingratiating Lore claims Data was built first, and less perfectly. But Lore quickly changes his tune: the colonists petitioned Soong to deactivate Lore because he was TOO human. Ambitious, but with dodgy planning skills, Lore knocks Data out with drugged booze and steals his trusting brother's identity. While talking to Data's unconscious body Lore admits he fed the colonists to the Crystal Entity, and he heads off to ring the dinner bell once more.

So, I have another time line problem. If Lore was deactivated, how did he "get revenge" for that deactivation by showing "the Entity the way to the colonists"? Who was alive to finish Data and pack Lore away? The Entity? Very considerate, snowflake.

Lore speaks of the Dark Crystal's 'gratitude', but exactly what form would that take? It's a giant space shark! It's hardly going to buy him a coffee. What's Lore getting out of this? I'm forced to conclude he's just a sadist. He does it for kicks. For example, when he kicks Data's head open.

I found that pretty upsetting as a kid, actually.

Speaking of high-strung youngsters, Wesley is THE ONLY ONE to notice how oddly "Data" is behaving. Not the android's friends or co-workers, not paranoid security chief Yar who knows Data 'biblically', but the NEW KID. Wes is harshly chastised with an amusing but uncharacteristic barrage of 'Shut Up, Wesley'. Despite this, Wes probably saved everyone's damn lives once again, reactivating Data just in time to stop Lore's fiendish plan.

Since the Crystal Entity would have killed them if they'd lowered their shields for beaming, I am forced to conclude Wesley beamed Lore out of the ship... but not beyond the shields.

So they were lucky! Lore must've been disoriented or unconscious until the Entity slunk away and the shields went down, or the dastardly droid could've phasered a hole through the hull, climbed back inside, and eaten them in their sleep.

Sweet dreams!

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