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In Theory
Stardate 44932.3
Star Trek: The Next Generation, episode 99 (4.25)

Last Modified: 28 Jun 2006 13:30:03

         
Cast:
Patrick Stewart   IMDB   Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes   IMDB   Commander William T. Riker
Levar Burton   IMDB   Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn   IMDB   Lieutenant Worf
Gates McFadden   IMDB   Commander Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis   IMDB   Lt. Commander Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner   IMDB   Lt. Commander Data
Guest Cast:
Michele Scarabelli   IMDB   Lieutenant JG Jenna D'Sora
Rosalind Chao   IMDB   Keiko Ishikawa O'Brien
Colm Meaney   IMDB   Miles Edward O'Brien
Pamela Winslow   IMDB   Ensign McKnight
Whoopi Goldberg   IMDB   Guinan
Majel Barrett Roddenberry   IMDB   Computer Voice
Music:
Jay Chattaway   IMDB
Director:
Patrick Stewart   IMDB
Author:
Joe Menosky   IMDB
Ronald D. Moore   IMDB
Published
Laser Disc   ST:TNG LaserDisc Volume 50
DVD   ST:TNG DVD 4.7
VHS   ST:TNG VHS 4.8
Teaser
The Next Generation Teaser #099: In Theory

Data experiments with love by pursuing a romantic relationship with a fellow crew member.
Synopsis
Ensign Jenna D'Sora, "on the rebound" after breaking up with her boyfriend, suddenly begins relating to her friend Data as something more than a friend. After the young woman kisses him passionately on the lips, the confused android asks his friends for advice on what to do, and decides to pursue the relationship.

Since he has no real emotions or feelings, Data creates a special program to guide him through the intricacies of love. However, as his relationship with Jenna progresses, he discovers that in romance, the logical course is not always the most appropriate. With this in mind, he picks a fight with Jenna, later explaining that he did it because his study of interpersonal dynamics suggested that conflict often strengthens the bond between two people. When Jenna points out that there is something artificial about his behavior, he concurs, reminding her that all of his behavior is based on a program and is therefore artificial.

Meanwhile, the U.S.S. Enterprise explores a nebula whose properties have never before been encountered. In order to investigate what effects those properties may have had on life in the region, the crew sets course for a nearby planet. As they travel toward their destination, random objects throughout the starship begin mysteriously dropping to the floor, but no one suggests any correlation between the strange occurrences and the nebula.

When the U.S.S. Enterprise arrives at the coordinates of the planet, the crew discovers only empty space, suggesting that the planet has disappeared. Moments later, however, the planet shimmers into view. Data's research suggests the nebula may be causing small gaps in the fabric of the immediate space, which cause the deformation of any matter that comes in contact with them. When parts of the starship begin disappearing, Picard realizes the ship is in grave danger and orders the immediate evacuation of the region. However, Data points out to him that the Enterprise is too large to maneuver through the sea of gaps, and Picard takes on the dangerous task of piloting a shuttlecraft through the nebula and guiding the ship to safety.

Following the ordeal, Jenna arrives at Data's quarters for a date and tells him that she cannot see him anymore. She recognizes that her previous boyfriend was unemotional, and feels that her choice of Data, a man completely incapable of emotion, indicates a pattern. Data sees the validity of her point and agrees to discontinue his program without a second thought.
Reviews

By Dark Materia on 14 Dec 2002 08:29:36
The second Data comedy show of the season. Not as good as "Data's Day", but still quite funny. The dark matter nebula storyline is OK as well. The strange goings on that are the result of the dark matter are nicely done. Picard to Worf: "Perhaps we have a poltergeist." ... "Sir?" ... "A mischievous spirit." ... "Sir!"

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