Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 2, Episode 3

Elementary, Dear Data (3 Dec. 1988)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 1,034 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 6 critic

An attempt to provide Data with a challenging Sherlock Holmes holodeck RPG scenario backfires when its Prof. Moriarty character accidentally becomes self-aware.



(created by), , 1 more credit »
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 05 Jul 2011
a list of 24 titles
created 20 Aug 2011
a list of 22 titles
created 11 Aug 2012
a list of 38 titles
created 03 Jun 2013
a list of 22 titles
created 08 Oct 2013

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Elementary, Dear Data (03 Dec 1988)

Elementary, Dear Data (03 Dec 1988) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
« Previous Episode | 28 of 176 Episodes | Next Episode »


1 video »


Episode cast overview:
Wesley Crusher (credit only)
Biff Manard ...
Diz White ...
Ensign Clancy (as Anne Elizabeth Ramsay)
Richard Merson ...
Pie Man


When the Enterprise arrives a few days early at its rendezvous point to meet the USS Victory, the crew have a bit of leisure time on their hands. For Data and Geordi Laforge, it means a trip to the holodeck and 221B Baker St. With Data in the role of Holmes and Laforge as Dr. Watson, they take on a challenge from Dr. Pulaski that Data couldn't solve a genuine mystery. Data has a bit of time adjusting to a real mystery - as opposed to one for which he knows the outcome. In giving the holodeck computer its instructions however, Geordi's specifications for an opponent results in a far superior creation than expected putting them and the entire ship in danger. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Release Date:

3 December 1988 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Picard utters the word "merde", the French for "shit". As it was said in a foreign language, it passed the TV censors. Merde is sometimes euphemistically translated as "damn" in subtitles. See more »


When La Forge is theorizing on the murder victim's demise, the police inspector squats down, resting his right hand on his right knee. But in the next shot, his right arm is on his right knee. See more »


Moriarty: My mind is crowded with images, thoughts I do not understand, yet cannot purge; they plague me. You and your associate look and act so oddly. Yet though I have never met nor seen the like of either of you, I am familiar with you both; it's very confusing. I have felt new realities at the edge of my consciousness readying to break through. Surely, Holmes, if that's who you truly are, you of all people can appreciate what I mean.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ship in a Bottle (1993) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

this is wonderful!
6 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A lot of the loose threads are left for other episodes. I'm not just referring to ship in a bottle, but also to measure of a man. Admittedly it bugged me when the Issue of Data's computer-like intelligence, which was the catalyst for the doctor's challenge and thus for the main problem, was not answered but one would need an entire episode at least to answer it and that is given to them about 6 episodes later.

For now Moriarty is a great villain and well performed by Daniel Davis. The entire episode has a metaphysical plot-hole the size of this continent but hey, Star Trek IS metaphysical! watch the above named episodes to get a sense of fulfillment to the issues raised. There are a few minor errors but this episode is amusing, intriguing, silly and classic all at once. Of how many episodes can that truly be said ? 4 or 5 stars.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
"The Defector" Underrated episode. jayncc1701
What's your favorite guilty pleasure episode? soulaco2
The Cast never really had a sense of camradarie ReeseJohn
TNG Movies made too close to the Show's ending ReeseJohn
tng british airing dates burnsmatthew2012
Anyone think it would have been interesting... soulaco2
Discuss Elementary, Dear Data (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: