The Rewatch 160: Data’s Day

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 4.10 Data’s Day (12/31/1990)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1/34

Notable Guest Stars:
Rosalind Chao (Keiko O’Brien nee Ishikawa) – Keiko will become a regular minor character in both this series, and more so in DS9 when she and Miles move to the station with their daughter Molly.  Rosalind Chao is always pleasant to watch on screen.
Seirra Pecheur (T’Pel/Selok)-
Pecheur is a long-time character actor who continues to add to her credit list today.  Her next release comes out next year.
Alan Scarfe (Mendak
)- Scarfe has many credits to his name, including two other Star Trek credits.  He has won numorours awards for his acting and has a successful writing career as Clanash Farjeon (Although recently reprinted under his actual name).
Shelly Desai (V’Sal)-
Desai has done various voice work, and if you are around my age, you may recognize his voice from Where on Earth is Carmen Santiago or Archer.  He has also worked on several TV shows, including ER, Men of a Certain Age, Friends, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Review:

I rather enjoy this episode.  For one it gives us a chance to see life on a spaceship outside the bridge and all the FOR SCIENCE! Energy.  This episode is narrated by Data, writing a letter to Commander Maddox (the commander from “Measure of a Man”) about his day and his journey understanding humans.

This episode has two subplots.  Plot One (the fun plot) is the marriage of Keiko and Miles O’Brien.  Data has been good friends with Keiko (currently Ishikawa) and has been asked to walk her down the aisle.   Keiko has some cold feet and Data has to understand how to help his friend, either to end the engagement or get her over her cold feet. He gathers advice from a couple of his teammates, including learning how to dance with Beverly.

The second plot (less fun) is a Vulcan ambassador, T’Pel (not to be confused with Spock’s T’Pel or T’Pol) has arrived with a secret mission to seek out the Romulans for a peace treaty.  When transferring onboard the Romulan ship, she mysteriously disappears, and is assumed dead from a malfunction in the transporter.

Overall, as I said earlier, I enjoyed this episode.  Its relatively light despite the drama plot. We get to see the members of the crew doing everyday things, like visiting the arboretum, or getting their hair done.  We also get to see how cultures are represented even in the future when we have a world government. Keiko’s Japanese ancestry is not ignored, and she and Miles manage to blend their various traditions into their ceremony.  They carry this into the next episode, but we shall talk about that one when we arrive there.

I found the drama plot to be rather disappointing.  I don’t want to go into it too much, as I don’t want to spoil anyone unnecessarily (even if its been 30 years). Just It doesn’t hold up any weight and I totally forgot that this plot arc was in this episode from the last time I watched it.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Hilary J. Bader, Alan J. Adler, and Vanessa Greene.
  • Directed by Chip Chalmers
  •  The scene where Data learns to dance was developed by Gates McFadden (who was a choreographer) and Brent Spiner.  They did their own dancing, except for some overheard shots where Spiner requested a double.  The lines were also done by the pair and approved by the script writers.
  • This episode explores more of the ship, introducing locations such as the barbershop and the arboretum.
  • This is the first time the night watch was specifically mentioned, though in previous episodes the dimmed lighting suggesting night had been used. 
  •  

Pros:

  •  Spot has arrived!!
  • Keiko has arrived!
  • I always enjoy snapshots of life on a starship.  I don’t exactly agree with the Producers of Star Trek that every episode must have jeopardy to be a good episode.  Not all conflict must be external, and it helps with believing that they have a life going on outside the episodes to see them doing normal stuff- like getting married, or getting their hair done.  Constant drama can cause fatigue in watching the show.

Cons:

  •  Is T’Pel that common of a name on Vulcan? They use it a lot on Star Trek.  Granted, at least in ENT, it was literally the same character as the one in TOS.
  • I realise that this plot was meant to show jeopardy, but seriously I could care less about T’Pel who’s not T’Pel.  I remember the wedding and Data’s search for answers much easier when I was starting to watch the episode.  I had completely forgotten that a second plot had existed.  Therefore, it’s kind of unnecessary.  Apparently, there is an episode coming up that references this plot arc, so apparently, I wiped that episode out of my mind as well.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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