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.



(created by), (as Rene Echevarria)

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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 than in a human family. Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

10 March 1990 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The large pink flower when Data and Lal talk after she chooses her appearance, is a Protea. This flower belongs to the group of plants called "Fynbos" which is endemic to South Africa's Western Province. See more »


Data turns Lal off, but she is still 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]
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Referenced in Star Trek Timelines (2016) See more »


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

More proof that Frakes is a better director than actor
25 January 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Despite a lot of this episode's themes' inherent creepiness, it is is definitely one of my favorites. It has a great story, great acting (as episodes in which Brent Spiner and Patrick Stewart are handling the bulk of the acting usually do), and solid directing from Frakes, who is much better off behind the camera instead of in front of it. Yet another bullish Starfleet admiral makes for a great antagonist, and yet another good actor portrayed him. There are also deep philosophical questions about AI that we are facing NOW and in our near future that even Next Generation's cast and crew could not have possibly foreseen happening so quickly when they made this episode in 1990.

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