i am from space and the future

I’m putting the finishing touches on my long-overdue Datalore story for TV Squad. It’s taken so long, because it just wasn’t coming together the way I wanted it to, and I couldn’t figure out why until this morning. I’d written some really funny raps for Picard, but they just didn’t fit in with the rest of the story. It’s funny, but it wasn’t serving the larger piece, so it had to go.

Talk about killing your precious babies! This is part of what I sent upstate to live on a farm with other words:

I’m Jean-Luc Picard, I’m chillin’ in my yard
Underneath my chrome dome in the ship I call my home
Kickin’ it with Data, my homeboy, my brotha
I wanna get freaky with Wesley Crusher’s motha!

It’s hilarious to me, but that’s probably because I can hear the music in my head (and other voices that want me to do bad things, but I won’t! I’ll show them! I’ll show them all! HAHAHAHAHAAAAaa!!11)

Cutting out all the rapping let me write stuff that’s far more amusing to me, like:

Riker looks around the bridge, sees all the commissioned officers he has available to him, does a quick scan of the ship’s manifest to see who’s on duty . . .  and decides to send Wesley Freakin’ Crusher to "discreetly" sneak a peek at Data. Worf says, "Uh, excuse me, Commander, but since I’m kind of in the security department and all, and I’m a big old Klingon, shouldn’t maybe I go check this out?"

Riker replies, "I’m not going to lie to you, Worf: we all know that if there’s anything funky going on down there, you’re just going to get your ass kicked. So I’m sending the Boy Wonder and his giant brain instead."

Wesley jumps up from his console and shouts, "Wheee! I’m in Starfleet!" as he runs like a pixie to the turbolift.

Worf growls, but inside he’s secretly grateful that he’s staying safely on the bridge.

Lore, disguised as Data, is contacting the crystalline entity when Wesley shows up, and discreetly checks up on him thusly:

Wesley: Hi Data! Look at how totally in Starfleet I am!
Lore: Hello, Wesley! I am not Lore, I am Data! Look at Lore who is on the floor while I, Data, am standing here doing nothing suspicious!
Wesley: Wow, that sure does look like Lore! Neat! I’d better not call security or anything since nothing suspicious is going on here. Oh, before I leave, here are all the reasons I, and everyone else on the ship would suspect that you were actually Lore, disguised as Data, contacting the crystalline entity so it could come and eat our brains.
Lore: Hey, it’s not unreasonable, I mean, it’s not going to eat your eyes.
Wesley: Hey, did you know that I’m in Starfleet? I talk to the captain! I think I’ll go talk to him now! Wheeee!
Lore: Thanks for dropping in and observing that there’s nothing suspicious going on here. Run along now, you little scamp!
Wesley: Wheeee!

I also realized that my memory of Datalore is as divorced from reality as George W. Bush. I liked this episode a lot when it first aired, but watching it now, all I can see are gigantic plot holes and inconsistencies that never should have made it past the first draft. Gene is credited as the writer on this one, but it was done at a time when his health was rapidly failing, and I see Maurice Hurley’s hacky fingerprints all over it.

I’m turning it in to my editor at TV Squad later today, and I’ll link it when he pushes it live.

32 thoughts on “i am from space and the future”

  1. Wesley: Oh, before I leave, here are all the reasons I, and everyone else on the ship would suspect that you were actually Lore, disguised as Data, contacting the crystalline entity so it could come and eat our brains.
    Lore: Hey, it’s not unreasonable, I mean, it’s not going to eat your eyes.

    *snerk* I see what you did there. =)

  2. Hmmm…I have a hard time bashing any episode in which you had a speaking roll. And now that you remind me…and I am the proud owner of the Mondo Major all ST:TNG episode box set…I must watch Datalore tonight.

  3. Wesley jumps up from his console and shouts, “Wheee! I’m in Starfleet!” as he runs like a pixie to the turbolift.
    BAAAAAAAHAHAH! Wil, thank you for being so self deprecating just to make us laugh.
    Clay

  4. Thanks for the warning, Wil. I’ll be sure and put plastic wrap over my keyboard and monitor before I read your review. This will mean you won’t read the usual “Thanks, Wil, you owe me a new keyboard” after you post your review. Seriously, your reviews are some damn funny writing. Keep ‘em coming!

  5. Wouldn’t Wesley have been able to realize that he was talking to Lore and not Data when Lore was all “Hey, it’s not unreasonable, I mean, it’s not going to eat your eyes.”
    That’s two contractions, right there!
    Wesley should have picked up on that. That’s a major plot hole right ther–
    Oh! I see what you did, there.

  6. I actually have Datalore sitting on my Tivo right now, it was on 2 weeks ago and I saved it for my son to watch. I watched it and thought, “hmm, I seem to remember that being less sucky” but then my son watched it and he said it was awesome, so maybe it was just the age we were when we first saw it?
    So I will look forward to reading the review and watching it again to laugh at everything you pointed out.

  7. Oh, my god, that rap is hysterical. seriously want to read the whole review now. you have a wonderfully unique outlook on these episodes. i hope you don’t bitch slap datalore too much though. it’s not that good, but i have a fondness for it. expecting a ‘nyah nyah nyah nyah, weasley was right!’ at the end :)
    p.s. why have you skipped over code of honor? seriously, rip it a new one, i beg you.

  8. Nice. Honestly, I’ve fooled IT into believing that the reading of your blog and reviews (including the Geek in Review) are VITAL to the mission of my company.

  9. You know, after the multiple big deals about saying Data can not use contractions, the scriptwriters (or directors?) sure let a whole lot of them slip through. On the other hand, who would design any language processing computer that could not integrate newly encountered language constructs? What if he had to be on a first contact team in which the alien race only spoke in contractions?
    ‘scuze me, my geekery is showing.

  10. This brings back amazing, joyful memories of my life as a Child Trekkie (back when Trekkie was cool BECAUSE WE SAID SO and Trekker was not a word). I was definitely not the only little kid who looked up to and desperately wanted to be Wesley. In retrospect, though … oh man. Too funny.

  11. Star Trek Rap

    I’m Jean-Luc Picard, I’m chillin’ in my yard
    Underneath my chrome dome in the ship I call my home
    Kickin’ it with Data, my homeboy, my brotha
    I wanna get freaky with Wesley Crusher’s motha!
    Yeah W., the music came automatically into my…

  12. Yuck, was that writing awful. I don’t mind the evil twin story as much as all of the details and execution. The laziness behind the writing is telegraphed by the title of the episode. Way to stretch there!

  13. I second vinelander’s comment, although really, it’s more like “peed my pants”…
    Commented on Propeller, but in case you have a hard time weeding through the comments there – loved the references to other sci-fi, the phrase, “…love it and keep it and pet it and call it George…” (which cartoon was that? I can picture the dog, but that’s it…), and of course, Fonzie…

  14. The “…love it and keep it and pet it and call it George …” predates whichever cartoon it appeared in (read: I can’t think of the name of it either) — it’s originally based on Steinbeck’s _Of Mice and Men_, in which the character Lennie is a slow-witted big lug who just wants a rabbit to pet and name after his best friend.

  15. Oh yes, I do recall that now that you mention it, but the cartoon (Bugs Bunny or other WB?) is sooo much more my speed in relation to the STNG episode… I’m sure that’s just me…

  16. Long time lurker, first time poster :)
    As always, your reviews of Trek episodes delivers. Since I was about 14 when TNG began, I always had sympathy for the Wes character. Looking back and watching DVD’s of the earlier seasons can be rough to go through at times. Definitely alot of character shifts as you get the sense that writers (and perhaps actors) were trying to figure out just where they were going to take things.
    Looking forward to more reviews, down the line I hope you get to one of the later episodes where you guest starred, basically coming to visit from the academy, and basically it seemed like Wes was a big douche on purpose. Of course later in the episode thats when he demonstrates his ‘traveller’ potential and pulls himself outta time.
    I’ve always wondered, if from an actor’s point of view, you found that episode (think it was your last one?) to be hard to do, and how you felt about the way they tied up the Wesley arc with that episode.

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