Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Shut Up Wesley Week: Datalore

Welcome back readers of mine for Day 2 of Shut Up Wesley Week. A brief break into the week as my co-host and I were recording another Rotten Ramblin' On podcast and if you haven't already heard it, give it the once over but please excuse the chirping birds that I COULD NOT drown out no matter how much I tried with Soundforge. That being said we travel on with the crew of Enterprise D to the thirteenth episode of Season 1 to Omicron Theta (CRONNNNNN!!!!!!) to the site of Data's birthplace as it were. The same place 26 years ago the crew of the USS Tripoli science vessel surveyed and came back with an android. This is Datalore.

Data, did you just beef?

For some nagging reason or plot device, Lt. Cdr. Data (Brent Spiner) has been given the memories of 411 colonists and does not know why but wishes to investigate. As this is in route to the Starbase the Enterprise is set to get computer dianostics, Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart of Dune, Excalibur, Safehouse, X-Men, X-2, Star Trek: Generations and Blunt Talk) sees no reason to skip shedding light on this mystery. With the away team on the surface. They soon discover what once was a thriving farmland seems almost barren and desolate. Think Death Valley. As they progress, La Forge (LeVar Burton) notices a rock formation that looks man made and nothing shall escape the awesome might of his banana clip, ah I mean visor. Finding a fully-functional laboratory and papers clearly showing this once housed Dr. Noonan Soong who developed his positronic brain that processes all of Data's functions and memory. Furthermore they encounter a disassembled android of Data's exact likeness. The crew head back to the ship with boxes of Data clone.

Here is where we will be rid of that accursed ring!!

Later in machine shop, a team of engineers go to work rebuilding this android under the supervision of Lt. Cdr. Argyle (Biff Yeager of F/X 2, The Golden Girls, Batman Returns, Scrubs, Gilmore Girls and Hart of Dixie) and they believe that he has the same parts as Data but they need comparative information to do a thorough examination. In order to check his vital circuitry Data tells Dr. Crusher of a guarded secret of having an off switch and asks her to keep it confidential. Seems rational or he would just get interrupted every time he had a dispute or query.

This new android calling himself Lore claims that Data was built first as Lore has an easier grasp of contractions, emotions and almost human interaction, the very concepts that elude Data. Claiming Data's lack of perfection annoyed Dr. Soong and he created Lore. Lore acts dodgy, states he is programmed to serve but there is a hint of disdain in his voice and he has some sort of twitch around his eye seems to occur often...(probably when he attempts to decieve.) Similar to each other, Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher(Wil Wheaton) can see many distinctions of difference and unknowingly irks Lore.

A conflict in Lore's quarters allows Lore to incapacitate Data and swap uniforms so none are the wiser but "Data" claims Lore has behaving most erratic and tells Wesley that he had to shut "Lore" off by the same means he wanted private as though this is just one of those things. Wesley convinced this is a load of Targ (Klingon pet lizard dog species) droppings presents his case to his mom and the Captain. The captain seems vexed with Wesley and dismisses his concerns stating to not question superior officers without having facts rather than a hunch or gut instinct.

Lore is later discovered speaking with a crystalline entity that wiped out the colonists according to Lore it attacked them unprovoked... methinks otherwise as Wesley is convinced that Lore is playing them for suckers. Can Wesley be vindicated? Will Lore slay the humans? Can Data stop Lore?

A few comments on the episode. Michael Dorn stated in many conventions including the one I attended as a wee lad, that Season 1 was all about how can we smack around Worf including the slap down of Lore vs. Worf. Many a trip to "Planet Hell" as the cast called it.

The line, "Shut Up Wesley!" is spoken by both Captain Picard and Doctor Crusher in this episode has become the catchphrase of the fans that found young Crusher irksome in the source of photo memes, video clips and even horrible remix music. Honestly with such history Wil should just title a book Shut Up Wesley as a memoir but that is just one fellow's opinion. 

Scram kid, yer botherin' me.