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TNG 5-11

TNG 5x11
"Hero Worship"

Original airdate: 1/27/1992
Rewatch date: 4/5/2012


The sole survivor of a mysterious disaster, a young boy who has just lost his parents, imitates Data so that he doesn't have to feel emotions. Meanwhile, the Enterprise is threatened by the same inexplicable phenomenon.

Spoiler-free notes:

The idea of being on the bridge when it is suddenly exposed to space is pretty horrifying to think about.

I like that Geordi confides in Data a traumatic experience from his childhood in order to help Data understand what Timothy is going through, for two reasons. The first is that it gives Geordi some much needed backstory; he's still the one main character who has a fairly blank history. The second is that it reinforces the bond of friendship between Data and Geordi, a bond that hasn't been seen much lately.

When Troi tells Picard that Timothy has turned himself into an android, the scene opens with Picard in the middle of getting a tea (presumably Earl Grey, hot) and his body is partially obscured by the wall. When it cuts to Troi and Data, the camera is up high in Picard's POV, pointing down at them. I'm not sure what the cinematography is going for, but it's a bit of variety in Picard's ready room, a place where the camera work is usually exceedingly predictable and boring. There are a handful of other subtle bits of camera work that are trying to spice things up a bit, and it's a welcome change of pace. The cinematography has been pretty bland of late.

Brent Spiner should get acting props for the scene in which he imitates a yawn. Go ahead and try to fake a yawn without actually yawning, and you'll see why it's impressive.

Data says to Timothy that "androids do not lie," but that is a lie. Not only is Lore an android who lies all the time, but Data is capable of deceit as well, as seen in "Clues," among other episodes.

There should be a rule against putting "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" in anything Star Trek. All it does is remind people of Star Trek V.

This is the second episode in a row that deals with a crewmember unaccustomed to children trying to figure out how to interact with a kid. It also has a lot in common with the third season's "The Bonding," another episode that dealt with a child trying to cope with the loss of his parents and latching on to one of the crew. However, "New Ground" was a better character study on Worf than "Hero Worship" is a character study of Data, and "The Bonding" had a more interesting sci-fi twist to it that managed to be thematically relevant. As such, "Hero Worship" is a completely unnecessary episode, and when you combine it with "New Ground," the season starts to feel like it's slipping way too far into the soap opera department.



Spoiler section:

The Enterprise-E experiences a hull breach on the bridge during the climactic battle in Star Trek: Nemesis.

Just like Jeremy Aster, who is supposedly bonded to Worf for life, we never hear from this kid again, even though Data promises to be his friend.





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