(written from a Production point of view)
|TNG, Episode 5x11|
Production number: 40275-211
First aired: 27 January 1992
|←||110th of 176 produced in TNG||→|
|←||110th of 176 released in TNG||→|
|←||218th of 728 released in all||→|
| Teleplay By|
Hilary J. Bader
Data helps the only survivor of a wrecked ship, a child, cope with the loss of his parents. Meanwhile, the crew investigates the cause of the wreck.
- "Captain's log, stardate 45397.3. Two days ago, Starbase 514 lost contact with the research vessel Vico, which was sent to explore the interior of a black cluster. We are en route to investigate."
The USS Enterprise-D arrives at the designated coordinates of the black cluster, scanning for the Vico within the cluster. The vessel appears to be adrift and the sensors detect no life signs. The Vico has experienced multiple hull breaches, but it is determined that it is barely safe enough for an away team to beam over. Riker, La Forge, and Data beam on board the vessel. While on board, they find a young boy caught under the wreckage of the damaged ship.
Because the area where the boy is trapped is protected by several layers of shielding, he cannot be beamed out from under the wreckage. Data says he can lift it away, but he may quicken the imminent hull breach, so he advises Riker and La Forge to beam back ahead of him. When the boy wonders how Data can lift the heavy wreckage, Data tells him he is an android, not a normal man. Working together, Data frees the boy and they run to an unshielded corridor, allowing them to be beamed away moments before the hull collapses.
The boy, Timothy, turns out to be the only survivor of the ship. Geordi reports that the away team found his mother's body underneath some wreckage in another part of the ship, while his father was likely sucked out into space when the bridge was exposed. Seriously traumatized, Timothy initially only trusts Data. Counselor Troi advises Data that "his world is gone," and the crew must help him to make a new one.
He has trouble blending in and appears to be suppressing his traumatic experience on board the Vico. Counselor Troi advises Data to spend time with him, given that the boy only seems to feel comfortable around Data. While teaching Timothy how to build a model, Data is called by La Forge to Engineering and has to leave. Before leaving, Data decides to quickly build the model with his super speed. Timothy is amazed by Data and asks how he does that. Data responds by saying that he is an android and was designed to exceed Human capacity, both mentally and physically. He further states that he does not possess the ability to experience emotions like Humans do. Timothy seems intrigued by the notion of not feeling happiness or sadness. He begins to emulate Data and claims to be an android too. Although strange, Counselor Troi says it is just part of the healing process and that Timothy will eventually snap out of it. Captain Picard suggests Data help make Timothy the best android possible. Data then begins teaching him how to be an android. While doing so, Timothy seems to finally open up, admitting that he has indeed been having nightmares.
Meanwhile, the crew continues with its investigations of the fate of the Vico. It appears that Timothy has been lying about what happened. He said that there was a boarding party when in fact there was none. Picard performs an experiment by firing phasers into the cluster. They are refracted, even when fired at full intensity. Picard asks Data whether a disruptor-style weapon would also be ineffective, and Data says yes; likewise, a ship's cloaking device would be impossible to maintain. The evidence before them is clear: Vico could not have been attacked inside the nebula.
They call Counselor Troi to bring Timothy to the ready room. There they once again ask Timothy what happened to his ship. He insists that they were attacked. Data then tells Timothy "androids do not lie." Breaking down, Timothy tells them that it was him, that he "killed them all."
Timothy explains that while the ship was being impacted, he lost his balance and his arm hit a computer panel in engineering, just before the ship was destroyed. Timothy believes he must have caused the ship's destruction, but they tell him that it was impossible for him to have done so just by hitting a computer panel, as there were safety protocols. They are all left with wondering what really caused the Vico's destruction.
The Enterprise shakes and Timothy says that is just like it started on the Vico. The wave front intensity increases and Commander Riker orders shields to 75%. The ship is then shaken again harder than before. Picard comes out of his ready room and orders full about and warp 2, but the ship's engines have been disabled by the cluster. They continue to increase shield strength. Timothy remembers hearing the same demand for increased shield strength aboard the Vico before it was destroyed. Developing a theory, Data leads Timothy to the science station at the aft section of the bridge and begins running a rapid analysis.
Despite the increased shield strength, the Enterprise is hit even harder, and Picard orders warp power transferred to the shields, something which Timothy also remembers hearing. The transfer is made, and an enormously powerful wave front is fifteen seconds from impact when Data tells the captain to drop the shields. Riker objects that that is suicide, but Data, deathly serious, repeats the order. Picard obeys, and the wave front barely rocks the ship. Data then explains that their own shields caused the increases in the wave front. If they had maintained the shield strength with warp power, they would have been torn apart. Data says that this was also the cause of the Vico's destruction. Thanks to Timothy's memory and Data's own speedy analysis, the same disaster has been averted on the Enterprise.
Outside the schoolroom, Data and Troi talk about Timothy. Troi says he still has a lot of pain but he is a boy again. Data talks to Timothy. Timothy says he misses his parents but that he is all right. He also says that Data must have thought it was pretty funny when he was imitating him. But Data responds by saying that he has often heard that imitation is the highest form of flattery. Timothy asks if they can still do things together and Data says he would be happy to count Timothy among his friends.
"Timothy, your head movements are counter-productive. Can you be still?"
"But you do it."
"The servo mechanisms in my neck are designed to approximate human movements. I did not realize the effect was so distracting."
- - Data and Timothy
"I would gladly risk feeling bad at times, if it also meant that I could taste my dessert."
- - Data, discussing advantages of being Human
"We were attacked! We were attacked!"
- - Timothy
"Impact in 15 seconds."
"Sir, drop the shields."
"That's suicide, Data!"
"Captain. Drop the shields."
- - Worf, Data and Riker
Story and production
- "Hero Worship" was filmed between Thursday 17 October 1991 and Monday 28 October 1991 on Paramount Stage 8, 9, and 16. An additional day of filming the second unit scenes and inserts was on Thursday 25 November 1991 on Paramount Stage 9.
- It was during the filming of this episode, on the sixth day of filming, that the cast and crew learned of the death of Gene Roddenberry. The news had affected everyone deeply, especially Marina Sirtis, whose father happened to pass away exactly ten years before. (TNG Season 5 DVD special features)
- On Thursday 24 October 1991 Paramount Stage 10 was used as schoolroom for the child actors. ("Hero Worship" call sheet)
- The story of the fire in La Forge's childhood was originally conceived for a memory rape scene in the following episode, "Violations". (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- The call sheet for Friday 25 October 1991 features a reminding note for everyone "Turn clocks back Saturday night!".
- Merri D. Howard congratulated costumer Amanda Chamberlin to her birthday on the call sheet for Friday 18 October 1991.
- First UK airdate: 1 March 1995
Sets and props
- The landscape scene Data paints in this episode was in fact one created by Dan Curry in central California. ("Memorable Missions" ("Hero Worship"), TNG Season 5 DVD special feature)
- The second mention of the Breen is in this episode. The first reference was in "The Loss".
- The song "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" was sung by James T. Kirk, Spock and Leonard McCoy in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
Video and DVD releases
- Original UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 56, catalog number VHR 2640, 16 November 1992.
- As part of the US VHS collection Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Data Collection: 19 August 1997.
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 5.4, 2 September 2002.
- As part of the TNG Season 5 DVD collection.
Links and references
- LeVar Burton as Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Worf
- Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher
- Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi
- Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data
- Rachen Assapiomonwait as Nelson
- Lena Banks as operations division ensign
- Joe Bauman as Garvey
- Michael Braveheart as Martinez
- Buchanan as school child
- Carl David Burks as Russell
- Tracee Lee Cocco as Jae
- Gerard David, Jr. as operations division ensign
- Elliot Durant III as operations division ensign
- Gina Gallante as science division officer
- Haeffmeier as school child
- Handy as school child
- Linda Harcharic as Sousa
- Grace Harrell as operations division ensign
- Kanter as school child
- Kanter as school child
- Debbie Marsh as command division officer
- Lorine Mendell as dead Vico crewmember
- Michael Moorehead as science division ensign
- Randy Pflug as Jones
- Keith Rayve as civilian
- Rivera as school child
- Rose as dead Vico crewmember
- Victor Sein as
- Talbot as Ten Forward waitress
Stand-ins & photo doubles
- David Keith Anderson - stand-in for LeVar Burton
- S. Harrison - photo double for Michael Dorn
- Ron Large - photo double for Patrick Stewart
- Tim McCormack - stand-in for Brent Spiner & Harley Venton
- Melba - stand-in for Marina Sirtis & Sheila Franklin
- Lorine Mendell - stand-in for Gates McFadden
- Renee - stand-in for Joshua Harris
- Robin - stand-in for Sheila Franklin
- Richard Sarstedt - stand-in for Jonathan Frakes & Steven Einspahr
- Stephanie - stand-in for Joshua Harris
- Dennis Tracy - stand-in for Patrick Stewart
- Guy Vardaman - photo double for Brent Spiner
- James Washington - stand-in for Michael Dorn
black cluster; Breen; carbon dioxide; cloaking device; Dara; Dokkaran; disruptor; EM pulse; Elamos the Magnificent; enantiodromia; fusion reactor; g unit; graviton wave; harmonic amplification effect; Klingon; La Forge, Edward; La Forge, Silva; mythology; neck; phaser rifle; polysaccharide; protostar; red alert; Romulan; Row, Row, Row Your Boat; second officer; Sector 97; servo-mechanism; shield modulator; Starbase 514; systems engineer; Tagas; Tamarin frost; Temple of Kural-Hanesh; Vico, SS; victurium; VISOR
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