When the Enterprise rescues a young boy named Timothy from the wreckage of a damaged ship, he turns out to be the only survivor. Unwilling to process the grief of losing his parents, Timothy attaches himself to Data, and tries to emulate being an emotionless android as best he can. Meanwhile, the bridge crew investigate Timothy’s claims that the ship was attacked by hostile aliens.
This episode feels a lot like a second attempt at The Bonding, with Data taking Worf’s place in the “involved adult” role. Of course, when you get down to brass tacks, this is a different story about a grieving child on a starship, and one that fares better than its predecessor. Data is such a good character that any story about him is an automatic winner, and Timothy’s reaction is a good 24th century spin on grief avoidance. It’s not so different from that period in my teens when I longed to be a Vulcan.
Points of note
- The Vico had access controls on its computers which meant Timothy couldn’t have accidentally pressed any buttons – hooray. Why doesn’t the Enterprise have this? Sometimes it seems as if just anyone can use the computer.
- Even though I chose not to comment on it, I was a little annoyed by the stereotypical female primary school teacher in the previous episode. I was glad to see a male primary school teacher this time around.
- Geordi didn’t get his first VISOR until he was at least five years old.
- Investigating the black cluster seems like exactly the kind of thing unmanned probes should be used for.
- The Breen are mentioned – these enigmatic aliens are oft referred to, but don’t actually play a major role until DS9.
Summary – Hero Worship: A most acceptable Data story.