When Star Trek: The Next Generation first aired in 1987, the shot at glory and longevity was slim at best. In fact, the chances of it going anywhere were so slim that Sir Patrick Stewart, fresh off the boat from England, didn't unpack his bags for months after moving to Los Angeles.
TNG had what was known as the "three S's" working against it: it was a syndicated science fiction sequel. But defying all odds, the show went on to become an Emmy-nominated, Peabody and Hugo Award-winning television show that ran for seven seasons before being cancelled in 1994 to make way for a rather lackluster movie franchise.
Following the poor, but well-loved original series, TNG was a ground-breaking show, and a watershed moment in the history of sci-fi TV. Without Picard and co proving that audiences would respond, chances are we would never have seen anything like the number of galactic shows that we have. And the world would be a poorer place for it. But which episode was best?
Data is probably one of the most complex characters ever written for television: a machine who endeavors to become more human, and viewers truly sympathize with him. This episode completely threw that premise out the window for one bright shining moment and turned the 24th century Pinocchio into a total machine and it was absolutely terrifying.
Data's creator, Dr. Soong, activates a homing signal inside Data's brain, which causes him to go all out maniacal machine and hijack the Enterprise by cutting life support to the bridge and locking out all command functions in quite frankly the most badass way possible, using Picard's voice pattern to lock out command controls with an access code that is so long Brent Spiner could barely keep up with the dub and the lip sync is pretty awful.
Sadly, it turned out that the homing signal wasn't too great and it brought back Data's evil brother Lore too, and thus ensued one of the funniest examples of sibling rivalry you'll ever see between machines and it's all fun and games until the evil brother kills daddy.
Steve is an unrepentant nerd who enjoys all things Disney, Doctor Who, and Star Trek. He is currently finishing his undergraduate degree in political science at Temple University and divides his time between his homes in Philadelphia and Orlando.