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In Theory 

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.


Patrick Stewart


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Joe Menosky | 5 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Patrick Stewart ... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Cmdr. William Riker
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn ... Lt. Worf
Gates McFadden ... Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Cmdr. Data
Michele Scarabelli ... Lt. Jenna D'Sora
Rosalind Chao ... Keiko O'Brien
Colm Meaney ... Chief Miles O'Brien
Pamela Winslow Kashani Pamela Winslow Kashani ... Ensign McKnight (as Pamela Winslow)
Whoopi Goldberg ... Guinan
Majel Barrett ... Enterprise Computer (voice)


When the Enterprise enters the uncharted Mar Oscura dark matter nebula, Data is in charge of scientific observations, together with young 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. Arriving at an M-class planet's coordinates, the Enterprise finds it inexplicably gone, while Worf fears disappearances and unexplained entries aboard constitute a major security risk. Indeed, the next strikes take 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, which Picard decides to pilot himself. Written by KGF Vissers

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The Woodwind Quintet in E-flat by Anton Reicha was published in 1818. Reicha, Czech-born & later a naturalized French citizen, was a long-time friend of Ludwig van Beethoven. See more »


Data seems to break his contraction rule a few times in the episode, when he says "Honey, I'm home!" and "You're not my mother!" It is conceivable, though, that Data has drawn those phrases from his cultural and literary sources and integrated them into his program for romantic relationships. This becomes evident particularly when he explains the line "You are not my mother" (without the contraction!) as the appropriate response in the given situation. See more »


Guinan: Data, if I didn't know you better, I would say you were a little... preoccupied.
Lt. Cmdr. Data: Lieutenant D'Sora just gave me what could be considered a very passionate kiss in the torpedo bay.
See more »


References Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) See more »


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

Wow, she kissed Data's torpedo bay
15 April 2020 | by MiketheWhistleSee all my reviews

A pretty good ep with some interesting relationship stuff. In the end it's sad although Data not having feeling is a blessing for him.

Ms. Scarabeli gave a great performance in a difficult circumstance since the character Data requires his being so "odd".

I'm just glad Data had Spot afterwards.

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Release Date:

1 June 1991 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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