14 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 »

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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?


The name "Lal" is explained by Picard in a supplemental log as coming from the Hindi for 'beloved'. While it is a term of endearment, it is more appropriately translated as 'dear' or 'darling', and used when addressing males, specifically children. The origin and the endearment context of the word arguably lies in Persian where it means Garnet or Ruby. See more »


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


[Wesley is visiting Data and Lal in the Cybernetics Lab]
Doctor Beverly Crusher: [over intercom] Dr. Crusher to Ensign Crusher. Aren't you supposed to be getting a haircut, Wesley?
Wesley Crusher: I'm on my way.
Wesley Crusher: [to himself] Parents.
Wesley Crusher: [upon reflection, to Data] Nothing personal.
See more »


Featured in The Chronic Rift: The 1990 Roundtable Awards (1991) 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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