Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 7, Episode 10

Inheritance (20 Nov. 1993)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 569 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 3 critic

On Federation planet Atrea IV, Data encounters the former wife of his creator Noonian Soong who claims to be his "mother".



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Title: Inheritance (20 Nov 1993)

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Episode cast overview:
Dr. Pran Tainer (as William Lithgow)


Helping Etria to deal with its volcanic core, cooling it down by phaser-beam, the Enterprise hosts its top geology doctors Pran Tainer and Juliana Tainer. She claims to have assisted Dr. Noonien Soong, as his secret wife, creating Data and his 'childhood' after which his memory was wiped. He has difficulties verifying her story and dealing with her 'maternal' emotions, actually not just for him, until an accident reveals her physiological secret -which he guessed already- and is faced with his designing dad's wishes. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

24th century




Release Date:

20 November 1993 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Picard only gets four minutes of screentime. Aside from two captain's logs which are done in voice-over, and his brief appearance at the concert, where he doesn't get any dialogue at all. See more »


When Data, Geordi and Juliana are making calculations in Engineering, the picture goes through a slight blurring effect. Which could mean a fault in the camera lens. See more »


Lt. Commander Data: I would like to get to know you better... Mother.
See more »


References Star Trek: The Next Generation: Datalore (1988) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Data's Mother
24 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This great episode is a great performance by the equally great Fionnula Flanagan as Dr. Juliana O'Donnell/Soong/Trayner.

As first, Data has reservations accepting her as his de-facto "Mother" but quickly finds a connection to her. He works well with her and he plays well with her, Spiner and Flanagan bounce off each other with Robotic Precision.

But Data discovers that the connection is more Positronic than Organic, Dr. Juliana Trayner is a little too fast when working with computers and even more so when playing music with him. This gives Data the false impression that she is also a Soong-Type Android, like he is.

But she is not quite the same - For one thing, she is not as sturdy as he is, and is damaged when Data pushes her off one of the many rock faces we see in Next Generation.

For all intents and purposes, she is the same person as the one she was built to replace, and even possibly an improvement on Data himself - She has emotions, she fools Medical Scanners into thinking she is Human, she has sweat glands, breathes, has tear ducts, and ages like any other "real" person. This episode also reveals that Data was built to "age" as well.

And, finally, Data knows beyond a doubt that he is no longer Unique in the universe. But he cannot share this discovery with Dr Trayner. Embedded in her Positronic brain is a holographic chip which Dr. Noonian Soong had put there in case anyone discovers her true nature - Particularly Data. And so this episode is the fourth and final "Data" episode, and the last TNG appearance of "Dr Noonian Often-Wrong Soong". It bookends Data's History with solid answers, now we know why and how he was left on a slab to be discovered by Starfleet on Omicron Theta- At least the reason the Juliana-Android stated. In Reality, the human version of her had been injured fatally by the Crystalline Entity.

Fionnula Flanagan is one of my favourite actresses, and I was pleased to see her here, and later in Deep Space Nine. I had seen her in all kinds of 80's television, but this was one of the best parts she had ever played. One of the best 7th season Next Gen Episodes.

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