The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: A Fistful of Datas

When the crew gets a chance to enjoy some downtime, Worf reluctantly accompanies his son Alexander into the holodeck for a Wild West adventure. Meanwhile, Geordi and Data experiment with linking Data’s brain to the Enterprise computer, but when the experiment fails, it leaves Worf, Troi and Alexander trapped in the holodeck facing off against an adversary with the speed and strength of Data himself.

I don’t like Westerns, and I don’t like the holodeck, so you can imagine just how much I was looking forward to this episode. As it turns out, by keeping my expectations distinctly low, and having just hit a low point with Rascals, I was able to enjoy myself slightly more than expected.

The thing that makes this episode bearable is actually none other than Worf himself. Where the other characters all enthusiastically ham it up when they get on the holodeck, Worf remains his stoic self, and the knowledge that he enjoys the holodeck about as much as I do make us kindred spirits. In contrast, Deanna throws herself into the role of the ‘mysterious stranger’, although seeing her be even slightly badass is worth the price of admission.

Cringeworthy moments

  • Deanna’s Wild West accent.
  • The ‘comical’ moment when Worf almost has to kiss holographic Data dressed as Miss Annie. Cross-dressing! A man potentially kissing a man! What larks!
  • The Enterprise flying off into the sunset at the end.

How not to run a ship

  • Why did Data and Geordi run their experiment with the main computer without trying it on an isolated reference system first? In space, the computer system is pretty much the only thing keeping everyone alive – be more careful with it!
  • As always, why is the holodeck so dangerous and prone to error when it’s meant to be a recreational tool?
  • Spot the cat is now a ginger shorthair instead of an Abyssian cat as previously. I prefer this Spot.
  • The running joke about Picard being a poor actor is revisited here, when he is unwilling to participate in Crusher’s play.
  • For some reason, I find Riker’s deadpan reading of Ode to Spot in place of his play dialogue to be enduringly amusing.
  • Picard is seen using his downtime to practise the Ressikan flute he obtained in The Inner Light.

Summary – A Fistful of Datas: Not great, but better than the likes of Qpid.

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