Star Trek the Next Generation did have a few reoccurring villains, and some were more memorable than others. Where does Data”s identical “brother” Lore rank? Jimmy and Tom have some thoughts on his first appearance in an episode called “Datalore” that, oddly enough, may not even be much about Data.
A visit to the planet where Data was discovered turns up a surprise: another android, identical to Data!
jimmy: What would the Enterprise do without Wesley?
tomk: The others might have caught on. Eventually.
But was the subtitle for this episode “Shut up, Wesley!”?
jimmy: It could have been. Man, can you imagine the memes that would have flowed these days if that episode was new?
tomk: I’m pretty sure the Honest Trailers take on this show used both Picard’s and Crusher’s “Shut up, Wesley!”
jimmy: Oh, I’m sure it still has been used quite a bit.
tomk: Yeah, it’s not like this show didn’t produce memes.
jimmy: That reaction is how they should all feel for not figuring out the Data/Lore switcharoo.
tomk: Yeah. Lore is…not good at that.
They should have figured it out before Worf died of internal bleeding.
jimmy: Oh that Worf. Dying again. Hopefully Riker resurrected him again.
tomk: Somebody did. Let’s say…Moe.
Seriously though, outside of some odd looks, no one figured out or was even suspicious of Data? Even with Wesley pleading with them this it was Lore? Even with Yar’s question to the Captain about Data being a security risk…which seemed more like a Tasha just fishing for compliments than anything.
tomk: Data wasn’t hooked up to a VPN. Of course he is a security risk
tomk: Data also apparently has other people’s memories. That seems…unlikely.
jimmy: They tried to clarify that, but still. And has that ever been mentioned before?
tomk: Or since? Data didn’t even know who Dr Soong was.
jimmy: Well, we’ve already established that there’s a lot Data doesn’t know.
tomk: Like how an episode ostensibly about him becomes another showcase for Wesley?
jimmy: Excellent point.
It did give Spiner a lot to do and a showcase for his acting though.
tomk: It starts off promisingly enough, then Wesley starts pointing things out.
jimmy: Shut up, Wesley!
That did seem very unprofessional of Picard all the same.
tomk: They couldn’t tell Lore from Data? Seemed easy enough. Lore is the one who seems like an asshole.
And Picard does hate kids.
jimmy: That’s true.
The fact that they couldn’t tell it was Lore, or at the very least followed through on suspicions really stood out.
tomk: They got wiser when Lore used Riker’s first name.
jimmy: Did they? Even after that they were still like “This is fine.”
tomk: Isn’t that when they sent Worf off to die again?
jimmy: I can’t remember now. I remember them picking up on it, or thinking they did, and then thought nothing came of it. I could be wrong.
tomk: Well, Lore misunderstands “Make it so” a second or so later.
jimmy: Right? But he is much better than Data with the human language.
tomk: And passive aggression.
jimmy: I rewatched the scene. Picard does ask Tasha to send a security team to watch “Data” after the”Riker”/“Make it so” exchange. But it is so subtle, it’s really hard to tell how suspicious they actually are.
tomk: And whether they got suspicious because Wes said something.
jimmy: Right. Picard calls for security after the “Shut up Wesley!”
tomk: Lore made it easy by that point. It’s the downside of Lore asking for a pen pal and getting the Crystalline Entity.
jimmy: You’d think memories of Lore would be something important for Data to have. “Hey, don’t do this.”
Side note: I don’t know where you are watching the episodes, but the Crystaliine Entity was completely re-created digitally for the Blu-Ray release.
tomk: Netflix. I don’t know what they did.
They do have the newer digital effects for the original show.
jimmy: I know they touched up most/all the effects, but I remember this one in particular they re-did. Anywho…
tomk: As I think about it, I do wonder how Lore found or met the Entity in the first place.
Or whatever the android/entity 23rd century equivalent is.
tomk: I don’t want to think about it.
jimmy: Good idea.
tomk: Just like Riker and Geordi didn’t think about giving Lore a driving lesson. Wesley got yelled at for that.
Hmmm. I think I know what really made Wesley suspicious.
jimmy: I keep thinking about your comment that the introduction of a central villain in a Data episode became another Wesley showcase.
tomk: Wesley is special.
That said, the way the fight at the end between Data and Lore was set up, it reminded me of a few of the original series’s fight scenes of two guys brawling in one large room. Here’s Kirk vs Khan for a comparison:
jimmy: And just as good a job at disguising their stunt doubles.
tomk: What? You don’t believe Shatner, Montalban, and Spiner did all that themselves?
jimmy: The real Montalban wouldn’t have gone down so easily after declaring he had 5 times Kirk’s strength.
tomk: That was before he got clubbed in the kidneys.
jimmy: I guess the 5 times strength doesn’t extend to kidneys.
tomk: Pressure points are still pressure points.
I saw Captain America say that in a comic book before he fought the Hulk, so it must be true.
jimmy: Captain America wouldn’t lie.
tomk: Say why did Lore’s phaser blast also beam away at the end?
jimmy: I wondered that too.
Wesley is THAT good.
tomk: He’s special.
jimmy: I’m also no expert on transporter technology (yet) but I did find it odd.
tomk: I also learned phasers can set Crusher’s blue cardigan on fire. So who knows?
jimmy: Only the blue ones though.
tomk: She should wear a nonflammable color.
jimmy: Heh. And why wouldn’t Lore just kill her? He’s basically offering up the entire crew to the Crystalline Entity anyway. Or is he just that bad a shot?
tomk: He likes playing with the Entity’s food. Also, he’s an asshole.
jimmy: And he’s proud of it.
tomk: Well, Wesley beamed him to, oh, let’s say Moe’s.
jimmy: Heh. I know Lore comes back, so maybe Wesley isn’t as special as we thought.
tomk: The transporter has to send everything somewhere.
It’s not a disintegrator.
jimmy: Hopefully no one is standing in front of that transported phaser blast when he materializes.
tomk: Just Hans Moleman.
jimmy: That Crystalline Entity sure got scared off easy enough once Lore disappeared.
tomk: Well, it wasn’t like Data was going to turn off the shields.
jimmy: Not all that powerful then, was it?
tomk: Nice of it to leave without showing us. It probably saved the show a lot of money for an effects shot.
jimmy: Well, they used all the budget up cloning Brent Spiner.
tomk: They shoulda just used the duplication machine from The Prestige.
jimmy: Maybe they did. There could be a tonne of drowned Brent Spiner’s buried somewhere.
tomk: Well, did you have any other conspiracy theories to spread this time, Jimmy?
jimmy: Maybe Worf keeps getting cloned too, allowing him to die every other week.
tomk: Nah. That’s too silly.
jimmy: And you know what getting silly means…
tomk: Jenny’s here?
jimmy: That or it’s time to move on.
tomk: True. Up next is another episode most of the cast and crew hated.
jimmy: You’re sure up on the feelings of the cast and crew.
tomk: It’s part of the job. Ready to go?