Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 3, Episode 16

The Offspring (10 Mar. 1990)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 899 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 6 critic

After returning from a cybernetics conference to the Enterprise, Data creates his own "child," much to the chagrin of his captain, and without regards to the ramifications with Starfleet.



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Title: The Offspring (10 Mar 1990)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Ballard
Diane Moser ...
Ten Forward Crew
Hayne Bayle ...
Ten Forward Crew
Maria Leone ...
Ten Forward Crew


After a visit to a cybernetics conference on an asteroid belt, Data returns and presents the human crew to the android Lal, which he considers his- child. Captain Jean-Luc Picard is appalled, to Data's utter surprise, that life was created without prior permission of any kind. Meanwhile Lal is allowed to choose, advised by Data and Troi, its own gender and racial appearance- human female. Data and others find educating and refining her software fascinating, but she makes progress no-one anticipated. Admiral Anthony Haftel comes to investigate, is impressed but wants this unique specimen removed from her 'parent', which proves no lesser drama then in a human family... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

10 March 1990 (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?


Whoopi Goldberg successfully fought to change a line of her dialog in the scene when Guinan was teaching Lal the facts of life from "when a man loves a woman" to "when two people are in love", thereby further reinforcing the belief that in the 24th century, a person's sexual orientation is unimportant. See more »


Data teaches Lal how to blink, but earlier when Data and Wesley are discussing Lal she is already visibly blinking. See more »


[Lt. Cmdr. Data walks in on Lal kissing Cmdr. Riker]
Lt. Cmdr. Data: Commander - what are your intentions toward my daughter?
Commander William T. Riker: [baffled] Your daughter?
Commander William T. Riker: [to Lal, flustered] Nice to meet you!
[storms out]
See more »


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


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

A daughter for Data
21 January 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When Data summons his friends to his lab they are rather surprised with what he has to show them; an android similar to himself although this one is at the time genderless and less well formed. We soon learn that this is because he wishes to let it decide its owns sex and appearance. The android, named Lal, selects the appearance of a female human and when the final modifications are made looks far more human than Data. Data considers Lal to be his daughter and sets about teaching her about human behaviour, school is a problem as she is too clever to be in the junior classes but not socially away enough for the senior classes. School might not have worked but she learns more about human behaviour by helping Guinan in the bar, although there is an amusing misunderstanding along the way involving Commander Riker. There is a problem though, when Star Fleet hear about Lal they insist that she is taken to a research station away from Data, something the captain is willing to make a stand against as he believes Star Fleet has no right to take a child from its parent... sadly before the situation can be resolves Lal begins to fail and Data must struggle to save her.

This is a superior episode which has a genuine tear jerker ending made sadder by the fact that Data can't feel emotions yet his dying child can. Brent Spiner was good in his role as Data and Hallie Todd was delightful as his doomed child Lal.

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