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

The Offspring (10 Mar. 1990)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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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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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)  »

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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 turns Lal off, but she is still blinking. See more »


Counselor Deanna Troi: Data has created an offspring - a new life out of his own being. To me, that suggests a child. If he wishes to call Lal his child, then who are we to argue?
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Well, if he must. But I fail to understand how a five-foot android with heuristic learning systems and the strength of ten men can be called a child.
Counselor Deanna Troi: You've never been a parent.
See more »


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


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

Very touching episode.
18 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

ST:TNG:64 - "The Offspring" (Stardate: 43657.0) - this is the 16th episode of the 3rd season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

This episode continues the Data's family theme began in the second season episode "The Schizoid Man" (in that episode you see Data's grandfather Dr. Ira Graves). In this episode, you see Data creating another android like himself - an android that takes the shape of a female, his "daughter", named Lal (which means beloved).

Soon, when Starfleet wants to take Lal away from Data because they feel they can "raise" her better than Data, Picard comes to his rescue arguing that Data is her father and can raise her better. He even brings up how he helped define the rights and privileges for androids in "The Measure Of A Man" and that Lal has the right to make her own choices.

Soon though, it turns out that she outperforms Data - by looking more human, using contractions - but all good things must come to an end.

Trivia note: Data does a neural transfer of his positronic brain into Lal (just like he would into B4 in Star Trek: Nemesis). Also, you see the Original Series aliens called the Andorians as a Holodeck recreation.

And, also, Picard for the first time in the series, goes against an admiral's orders (just like he would in force in Star Trek: Insurrection).

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