Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 4, Episode 25

In Theory (1 Jun. 1991)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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When a female crew member is infatuated with Lieutenant Commander Data, he decides to give a romantic relationship a try. Also, the Enterprise finds itself having to maneuver through a dangerous nebula.



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Title: In Theory (01 Jun 1991)

In Theory (01 Jun 1991) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Episode cast overview:
Pamela Winslow ...


When the Enterprise enters the unchartered Mare Obscura ('dark sea') dark matter nebula, Data is in charge of scientific observations, together with young Dr. Lieutenant Jenna D'Sora, who shows a romantic interest in him. The human crew is clearly unable and/or reluctant to give Data reliable advice, and Troi warns him against trusting in literature on the subject, but since Riker says nothing beats true love Data decides to try 'running' a romantic program with her, yet method is madness in a human lover's eyes... Arrived at an M class planet's coordinates, the Enterprise finds it gone, inexplicably, while Worf fears disappearances and unexplained entries aboard constitute a major security risk. Indeed next strikes make victims among machines and crew, but according to Data all can result from proximity of so much dark matter causing gaps of space, which the ship phases' in and out of. The plan is to send an observational shuttle ahead, Picard decides to pilot it himself... Written by KGF Vissers

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24th century




Release Date:

1 June 1991 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the first episode to be directed by Patrick Stewart, the second cast member after Jonathan Frakes to direct an episode (who has directed 2 others by this point in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)). See more »


When Data and Lt. D'Sora are touching each other's glass, it makes a ringing sound. However, in that instance (= camera angle), they are both holding their glasses at the bowl rather than at the stem. A glass held that way would not be able to make that typical ringing sound at all, at best, a dulled version of it. See more »


[Picard finds his ready room inexplicably in disarray and consults Worf to investigate]
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Well, perhaps we have a poltergeist.
Lieutenant Worf: [puzzled] Sir?
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: A mischievous spirit.
Lieutenant Worf: [disbelieving] Sir.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Perhaps not.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Phantasms (1993) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

In theory, anything's possible?
24 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

ST:TNG:99 - "In Theory" (Stardate: 44932.3) - this is the 25th episode of the 4th season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Can an android feel romantic entanglements? After receiving a passionate kiss from Ensign Jenna Anaya, Data ponders dating her.

At the same time, this episode also brings the theory of dark matter to the forefront, as it's used to explain the disappearances of objects around the ship and then a section of the ship's floor! An intriguing episode about whether beings with artificial intelligence can feel emotions (such as love).

Trivia note: Data is in another live concert (playing the oboe), as well as Keiko O'Brien. We see Data's cat Spot again (this time finally mentioned by name), as well as Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan. Also. transparent aluminum is mentioned for the makeup of the windows. And, Data FINALLY dresses up his "spartan" apartment at the advice of Jenna.

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