13 user 7 critic

The Offspring 

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.


Jonathan Frakes


Gene Roddenberry (created by), René Echevarria (as Rene Echevarria)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Stewart ... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Cmdr. William Riker
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn ... Lieutenant Worf
Gates McFadden ... Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Commander Data
Wil Wheaton ... Wesley Crusher
Hallie Todd ... Lal
Nicolas Coster ... Admiral Anthony Haftel
Whoopi Goldberg ... Guinan
Judyann Elder ... Lt. Ballard
Diane Moser Diane Moser ... Ten Forward Crew
Hayne Bayle Hayne Bayle ... Ten Forward Crew
Maria Leone 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

10 March 1990 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


First Star Trek TV episode to be directed by an actor from the show (Jonathan Frakes/Commander Riker). Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner had both previously directed Star Trek movies. See more »


Commander Data explains Lal has exceeded his own programming, and cites her use of contractions as an example. Data starts his next sentence with the contraction "I've." See more »


Lal: This is what it means to feel!
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Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Inheritance (1993) 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 M_ExchangeSee 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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