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Edited Length: 45:26
U.S. Airdate: Febuary 9, 1992
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [12.7/3]
Joshua Harris: [Timothy]
Harley Venton: [Transporter Chief]
Co-Producer: Joe Menosky
Co-Producer: Ronald D. Moore
Co-Producer: Peter Lauritson
Producer: David Livingston
Supervising Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Teleplay by: Joe Menosky
Story by: Hilary J. Bader
Directed by: Patrick Stewart
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Associate Producer: Wendy Neuss
Sheila Franklin: Ensign [Felton]
Steven Einspahr: Teacher
Currently, this feature is disabled... Sorry.
The Enterprise approaches the Black Cluster (a group of collapsed protostars with an extremely strong and erratic gravitational pull) in search of the science vessel S.S. Vico, which went missing there two days earlier. They find the Vico, adrift and with a large amount of structural damage- and when they beam aboard to obtain the logs, they also find a survivor: Timothy, a child trapped under a beam.
Transport proves impossible without moving the beam, and moving it is likely to cause structural failure of the surrounding area, so Data sends back the rest of the away team and rescues Timothy on his own. Once in sickbay and attended to, Timothy says that the Vico was attacked without warning, and that he just barely managed to hide from a brutal boarding party. He also tries his best to keep Data in the immediate area, but once he falls asleep, Data goes to assist Geordi in Engineering.
They find that an EM pulse of some kind corrupted nearly all the Vico's logs, including all the sensor data. As they get to work on what they can save, Geordi tells Data [at Data's behest] of being caught in a fire once, and notes that for a long time afterwards he wouldn't even let his parents out of earshot. Meanwhile, analysis of the Vico from the Enterprise sensors shows that any attack must have occurred inside the Black Cluster, probably with disruptors rather than phasers, and at very close range. It's possible, although unlikely-but when Geordi hears talk of a boarding party, he protests that based on available data, that is nearly impossible-which means Timothy's hiding behind a convenient lie. Troi suggests that Data spend more time with Timothy, since he already has Timothy's trust and can do the most to help him out of shock.
After Data visits Timothy for a short time, they discuss Data's android nature. When Timothy realizes that Data is smarter and stronger than humans, and has no emotions, he takes this as a model, and greets Troi shortly thereafter as an "android".
Picard, with little time remaining before they must enter the Cluster to find out what happened, is less than enthusiastic about this twist. Troi, however, is not surprised-she says it's a new way for Timothy to suppress the trauma, and says he'll grow out of it before too long. In the meantime, Picard orders Data to make Timothy "the best android he can possibly be."
Timothy tries his best to be an android, tentatively shaking off questions about nightmares with "I...do not require sleep," imitating Data's head motions startlingly well, and even making Beverly put her medical data on him in android-type phrasing (e.g. "optical sensors functioning normally"). Eventually, as the Enterprise enters the Black Cluster, he begins to show signs of becoming human again (laughing, for a start). Data, at Troi's suggestion, then starts telling Timothy of his own quest for humanity, pointing out that although he can't feel bad, he also can't take pride in his abilities, take pleasure in his accomplishments, or even savor the taste of a good dessert.
As the Enterprise approaches the center of the cluster, they find both sensors and phasers completely useless. As Data notes that the same would apply to both disruptors and cloaking fields (making it impossible for a ship to have attacked the Vico inside the cluster), Picard calls Timothy to his ready room. Timothy initially sticks to his story, but when told by Data that "androids do not lie," says that the destruction was his fault.
That belief is quickly found to be in error- nothing he could have accidentally touched while falling could have endangered the ship with safety precautions in place-and Timothy starts telling Data everything he remembered the Vico's crew saying as the situation worsened. With the gravitational distortion increasing faster than their shield power, Data puts Timothy's memories together with his own reasoning and orders shields down. It works: the effect was a harmonic amplification of their own shields, and dropping them dissipated it. The ship leaves the cluster, secure in knowing what happened to the Vico-and Timothy, now once more in the world of humanity, still hopes to be Data's friend.
Technical design, graphic design, interactive features, HTML & CGI programming by Andrew Tong. || All materials Copyright © 1987-1995 by their respective authors. || Document created: January 28, 1995 || Last Modified: July 12, 1999