Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 6, Episode 8

A Fistful of Datas (7 Nov. 1992)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 679 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 3 critic

While the crew is experiencing some much needed down time, Worf and his son go on an Old West excursion in the holodeck, where they meet several versions of Data serving as the bad guy after an experiment in Engineering goes wrong.



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Title: A Fistful of Datas (07 Nov 1992)

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Episode cast overview:
Joy Garrett ...
Jorge Cervera Jr. ...


When a supply ship is a day late, the Enterprise crew has an unexpected day to kill in leisure. Geordi and Data get permission to do an experiment, taking the main computer off line a few hours and Data's circuit running various systems, but a small physical burn-out in Data causes a series of malfunctions in him, such as his vocabulary and voice aberrations, but also various glitches in the many functions of the ship's computer, such as keeping track of recordings of say Picard's flute music or the text of a play Crusher and Riker are in. It's worst of all for Worp, who was ordered by Picard to indulge in some purposeless leisure, and chose to join his son Alexander on the holodeck as sheriff and deputy, with period adept Troi as mysterious stranger, in Deadwood, a Wild West evocation, in which two Data-like villains appear, also father and son, with daunting android abilities and no regular computer-restraint.. Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

7 November 1992 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Patrick Stewart, out of excitement to direct this episode, got sunburn after forgetting to put on sunblock while shooting the outdoor scenes. See more »


When Frank Hollander walks away from the prison cell toward the camera, we see Eli Hollander behind him in the cell. Both characters are played by Brent Spiner, but in this shot we see an obvious stand-in for Eli. See more »


Lt. Commander Data: Spot, you are disrupting my ability to work.
[he puts Spot to the floor, but she jumps back on Data's desk]
Spot: Meow.
Lt. Commander Data: Vamoose, ye little varmint!
See more »

Crazy Credits

This western inspired episode ends with the Enterprise flying into the sunset... See more »


Referenced in Get a Life! (2012) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Worf does Rio Bravo and El Dorado
14 September 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Did the Ghost of Howard Hawks encourage encourage Brannon Braga and Robert Hewlitt Wolfe to write this and Patrick Stewart to direct it?

Sure he did. It is the Ghost of the Old West, which is what Space Exploration will be once we start doing it as a species. The reason why The Western is still one of the most popular forms of Fiction is the same reason why Science Fiction is equally as popular, and especially Star Trek, which was and still is basically Wagon Train in Space.

This is one of Braga's best scripts, despite incurring the wrath of Trek fans with unpopular explosions of the Enterprise D and taking one shows finale episode and making it a Next Generation episode. I don't care, he is still a fine writer and some of the best and most loved episodes of Trek are his ideas.

Like this episode.

Counselor Troi is "Durango" - and looks great poured into Leather Chaps like Michele Carey wore as "Joey" in El Dorado. I loved that Troi had transformed herself into a character that was far from Troi - If she had been around in 1966, she could have been Joey. - No Problem.

This Holodeck Program - One of Broccoli's, his fault as usual, is a Vulcan Mind Meld of El Dorado and Rio Bravo. Can Worf ever replace The Duke? In this episode, YES. He should have been given an Eye Patch.

Of course, you could look at it as "Just Another Holodeck gone Haywire" 'Sode, but despite the superfluity of those kinds of shows on Trek, this one is probably the best, as the storyline within the Holodeck Program closely follows events happening on The Ship. This had never been done for any of the previous faulty-Holo Eps.

Perhaps it was not the best time for Data to try to plug himself into the Ship's Systems and try to run them. I giggled when Crusher's Play had been overwritten with Data's "Ode to Spot" poetry, and I howled with laughter with increasing decibels each time Data started taking on Characteristics of the Holo-Novel.

John Piper-Ferguson is "Eli Hollander", the first crook Worf must toss into the Hoosegow, with his Sidekick Bandito Jorge Cervera Jr. Joy Garrett is "Miss Annie", a representation of Angie Dickinson's "Feathers" from Rio Bravo. Of course, each Howard Hawks film has some kind of "Kid" which was James Caan in El Dorado. In this case, it is Worf's Son Alexander Rozhenko.

And of course, the Main Bad guy is... Well, you'll have to watch it, but the title of the Episode gives enough clues about what is really about.

What amazes me is that the Location shooting was done all in one day, making Picard a great director as well as a great Captain.

This episode successfully merges the concept of Space Exploration and The Old West, two subjects that are as two peas in similarity. From the early 1800's to the 1870's the United States was one vast unexplored region, like the Alpha Quadrant from The Original Trek and Next Generation. The Native Tribes were our aliens, and Canada and Mexico were at times our Vulcans, Klingons, Romulans or Cardassians.

And the Comedy aspects are quite similar to many Howard Hawks movies, especially his uncredited work on Howard Hugh's "The Outlaw", "Only Angels have Wings", and even "Ball of Fire" and "His Girl Friday".

Because the people who worked on Star Trek had helped make some of the great films of the 30's through the 60's and Brannon has given them all a curt nod of appreciation here, as Star Trek was made on the same lot that some of these great films were also made.

At the time this episode was made, Trek was a huge franchise and probably at it's peak of popularity. Of course there are silly things here, but the overall effect is enough to suspend disbelief, back when it was originally shown and today when I can watch the DVDs.

Brent Spiner of course is in true form, and is a long way from his humble beginnings as the Hick Father in Night Court.

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