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Robots, Androids & Cyborgs
Data - Lt. Cmdr. Data, (Brent Spiner) is a talkative android Starfleet officer with yellow eyes and pasty-colored skin assigned to the 24th century starship, USS Enterprise-D the sci-fi series STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/FOX/1987-94.


A robotic Pinocchio in search of humanity, Data spent much of his time analyzing why humans act the way they do. He even went to the trouble of finding out why humans sneezed and laughed and emulated these peculiar human traits. He once said of himself:

"If being human is not simply a matter of being born flesh and blood, if it is instead a way of thinking, acting and feeling, then I am hopeful that one day I will discover my own humanity. Until then I will continue learning, changing, growing and trying to become more than what I am."

Data's original memory banks contained the core memory of 411 personnel assigned to the Omicron Theta space colony outpost where he was originally discovered by the landing crew of the USS Tripoli. His programming was so precise that he could not use contractions (can't, won't, etc.) when communicating.

On a trip to the same planet some 26 years later, a secret laboratory revealed that Data was created by Dr. Noonian Soong, Earth's foremost robotic scientist who experimented with Asimov's theory of the positronic brain.

Also found was Data's devilish duplicate twin android named Lore whose amplified human ego with dangerous megalomaniac tendencies soon endangered the crew. Before he could harm the crew Lore was put out of commission. (Episode No.114 "Datalore")

Brent Spiner in a dual role as Data and Lore - STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERTATION
Data and his android brother, Lore

In a later episode (No. 177 "Brothers"), Data and Lore visited their "father" (thought dead) and a "dad liked you best" sibling arguing began. Dr. Soong wanted to give Data a sophisticated emotional micro-chip that would theoretically make his programming human, but Lore tricked Dr. Soong into placing the new circuitry into himself which left Data still in search of his humanity and Lore supercharged emotionally, and still unstable. With the final death of Dr. Soong, Data and Lore were the only remnants left of their creator's genius.

On episode No.164 "Offspring" Data created a synthetic daughter, named Lal (Hallie Todd) who later died when her neural network could not stand the strain of emotional relationships. Data downloaded the remnants of her personality and programming into his own circuitry. The word "Lal" means "Beloved" in Hindu.

Brent Spiner and Hallie Todd as Data and Lal - STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION
Data and his offspring, Lal

Data also courted the idea of getting married to a female crew member Ensign Jenna D'Sora (Michele Scarabelli) on episode No. 99 "In Theory."

On episode No. 153 "Descent, Part II" Data deactivated his rouge brother, Lore. In the motion picture Star Trek: Generations (1996) Data activated an emotion chip that enabled him to experience 261 emotional states including tears of joy when he found his cat Spot alive after the saucer section of the Enterprise-D crash-landed on planet Veridian 3.

At the conclusion of the film Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) Data dies as he fires a phaser into the engine of the killing machine. His last word to Captain Jean-Luc Picard as he transported off the enemy ship Scimitar was "Goodbye."

Data may have sacrificed his life in the line of duty, but he left behind a replica of himself known as B-4 ("Be-fore" - Dr. Soong's penchant for whimsical names). B-4 was apparently created by Noonien Soong and later torn into six pieces and used as bait to lure Captain Jean-Luc Picard into a nefarious web of deceit spun by a ruthless Romulan called Shinzon.

Before Data died, he downloaded his own personality and memory files into his android brother B-4. And before that, Data attended the wedding celebration of Commander Riker and Deanna Troi where he sang the Irving Berlin favorite "Blue Skies." B-4 was heard singing the lyrics after Data's demise as he analyzed a piece of circuitry lying on Picard's desk.

This was a hint that Data was truly not gone, but only transferred into an other unit which one day would also aspire to reach its own full potential.

TRIVIA NOTE: In 1991, Brent Spiner produced a record album with such classic tunes as "Embraceable You" and "More Than You Know." The album's name was titled "Ol' Yellow Eyes Is Back". His backup singers, The Sunspots, were in reality Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, and Michael Dorn, Spiner's colleagues from the STAR TREK series.

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