Summary

The Enterprise receives a distress call from Dr. Ira Graves, who turns out to be terminally ill. Graves was Soong's mentor and is sort of Data's "grandfather." Data spends some time alone with the dying man, who shows him a device capable of transferring his personality into a computer. Briefly later Data announces Graves's death.

When he is back on the Enterprise, Data begins to exhibit unusual behavior, arrogant and egocentric. Deanna finds out that there are two personalities in Data; the second one has to be Graves as Picard surmises. Graves refuses to leave Data's body and even becomes violent against Geordi and Picard who try to stop him - until he finally resigns and transfers himself into the ship's computer.

Errors and Explanations

Internet Movie Database

Plot holes

  1. Graves turns Data off, and then transfers his consciousness into Data's body, killing his own. So who turned Data back on? Graves must have done it from inside Data.
  2. Graves, in Data's body, transfers his mind out of Data and into the ship's computer. However, when the captain finds Data, he is lying on the floor and not connected to anything. Graves may have used a wireless connection.

The Nitpicker's Guide
Next Generation Trekkers
Volume 2

Plot Oversights

  1. As the show begins, Pulaski goes to the bridge to discuss a distress call from the home world of Dr. lra Graves, one of the most brilliant scientists of the Federation. Bear in mind that the crew does not know the nature of the crisis on Gravesworld, and Starfleet believes that Graves teeters on the verge of a significant breakthrough. lsn’t there a possibility then that foul forces are afoot? A chance that the Enterprise might be rushing into confrontation? It so, why is Data in his quarters stroking his beard while the chief engineer tries to find a way to tell him it looks goofy’? The distress call could have been recieved immediatly prior to the discussion, while Data was off duty.
  2. Shortly after heading toward Gravesworld, the Enterprise receives a distress call from the Constantinople. Riker suggests dropping an away team at Gravesworld using a “long-range," “near-warp" transport. ln the transporter room, Troi gets tapped to play the cabbagehead in this episode so that the creators can tell us about this long-range, near-warp transport. I discuss the issue of Troi’s lack of technical knowledge in Disaster, but it deserves a touch here as well. Let us assume for the moment that Troi is a specialist and didn't attend the Academy for officer training. Wouldn't Starfleet still have some type of mini-Academy training for their specialists? Does Starfleet really send people into the field for them to discover later that some beaming operations are dangerous? Wouldn‘t this be covered in a basic introductory course? (‘Transporters 101: Beaming ls Fun! The Transporter ls Your Friend!") Potentially dangerous beaming operations, like the one used here, are hardly ever needed, and so don't usually need to be covered in the standard courses.
  3. And while, we're on the subject of this long-range, near-warp transport, why is it called “long-range"? The Enterpnse comes out of warp right next to the planet. Why is it done at "near-warp"? The Enterprise comes completely out of warp before the process begins. Evidently the “near-warp” aspect comes as the Enterprise rockets away during transport. In other words, Picard opts to endanger the lives of the away team because he doesn't want to hang out for five more seconds until the beaming operation completes? Those five seconds could make the difference in hoe the resuce of the distressed ship is resolved.
  4. Shortly alter beaming down to the planet, Data meets Dr. Ira Graves, who proceeds to claim that he taught Soong all about cybernetics. Either Soong started his career late in life, Graves was a boy genius or Graves is just plain lying. (Knowing Graves, I vote tor the third option.) Brothers shows us the contemporary state of Dr. Noonian Soong, and Soong looks much older than Graves does in this episode. Granted, the two episodes occur approximately two years apart, but Soong looks at least a decade older than Graves. More likely a combination of the last two.

Nit Central

  1. Anonymous on Friday, January 15, 1999 - 03:26 pm: I wonder how Ira Graves could have influenced Dr. Noonien Soong if Soong was clearly a great deal older than Graves. Graves would therefore not be Data's "grandpa" as he had stated. Maybe Soong just aged quicker than Graves,
  2. Keith Alan Morgan on Monday, April 19, 1999 - 09:38 am: Why was Wes at the funeral? Deanna and Dr. Selar were probably there because they were among the last people to see him alive. Geordi is there to beam the coffin into space. The Captain and First Officer were there presumably because of their rank and to honor his scientific achievements. Wes didn't know him and while he may know something of Graves work, would that be enough to get him a place at the funeral? If Graves was a genius, then other higher ranking members of the crew would also be familiar with Graves work, but we didn't see any of them at the funeral. Graves probably became aware of Data's friendship with Wesley, and invited him to avoid arousing suspicion.
  3. Why do they just beam the coffin into space to become a space hazard? This was probably standard practice at the time.[N 1]
  4. Graves, in Data's body, tells Wes, "When you get to be my age" Wes responds that chronologically Data isn't that much older than him. Oh, really, Wes is 16, maybe 17 years old, while Data was found by the Tripoli 27 years earlier. At the very least Data is ten years older than Wes. That isn't much of a gap![N 2]
  5. When they were flashing the images for Data to look at, one of the pictures appeared to be Remmick just before he was zapped by Picard and Riker in Conspiracy. Did those theater loving 'beetles' record their actions??? This could have been taken from a holodeck recreation of the event, possibly part of an anti infiltration training excercise.
  6. Nick Angeloni (Nangeloni) on Monday, July 12, 1999 - 10:37 pm: Speaking of the funeral, why do they have apparently the whole service in the transporter room? Wouldn't a place like the Observation Lounge be more appropriate? (I can't see them having the funeral in Ten-Forward because of the small amount of people attending.) They could still do a site to site transport to get the torpedo/coffin into space. The transporters may not be advanced enough to do a site to site transport on such a large object.
  7. I can't remember, but did Graves specify he wanted a small funeral? It seems to me that if he was such an influential scientist, more people from across the Federation would attend. (Then they could use Ten-Forward!) Any other pepole Graves may have wanted at the funeral were either dead or living too far away.
  8. LUIGI NOVI on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 6:29 pm: The Constantinople must have been practically right next to Grave’s World, and its repair needs must have consisted of nothing more than applying some scotch tape. The stardate Pulaski gives in the beginning of the opening teaser is 42437.5. After the Enterprise returns to Grave’s World in the beginning of Act 3 following their aide of the Constantinople, the stardate Picard gives in his log is 42437.7, a difference of only .2 stardate units. Since 1000 stardate units equal one Earth year, then 2.739 equal one Earth day, and a lapse of .2 sdu, therefore, is just over one hour! They probably stabalised the Constantinople enough to stop it exploding, thus allowing her crew to clean up any mess.
  9. I can understand why Troi gives Data the psychotronic stability exam, and I understand why she wants to gauge his psychological reactions to the images on the screen, and why some of the images are from Grave’s memories and some are from Data’s but what does the Genesis Device from ST II have to do with either of them? These are the images from the exam in order:
    1. Some field of moss
    2. Unverified; Looks like an energy matrix or possibly a molecule
    3. Waterfalls
    4. Brianon
    5. Fire
    6. An Earth-like planet moving away from the viewer
    7. A dorsal view of the Enterprise
    8. Graves
    9. A shot of Troi, and then Data
    10. Two Starfleet officers kissing
    11. The newborn Ian Andrew Troi from The Child
    12. Some type of lattice-structured object, possibly the Crystalline Entity, or some type of cell
    13. The United Federation of Planets’ Starfleet Command insignia
    14. Tasha Yar’s funeral hologram
    15. The pond with plant branches from ST IV, when the Bounty first arrives in 1986.
    16. Graves’ corpse in the torpedo casket
    17. Brianon
    18. The Genesis Planet
    19. Picard
    20. Shot of Data, and then Troi
    21. Part of the Genesis Effect demonstration from ST II
    22. Commander Remmick from Conspiracy
    23. Dr. Pulaski
    24. A Romulan Warbid from The Neutral Zone
    25. Geordi without his VISOR
    26. Commander Riker
    27. The molecular matrix of the Genesis effect from the demo in ST II
    28. The Reliant exploding at the end of ST II
    29. Graves’ corpse
    30. Data
    31. The Genesis Effect spreading across the planet from the demo in ST II.
    Why are there 5 images from ST II? The Genesis incident was a very stress inducing time in Starfleet history.
  10. Right after the exam scene, Troi goes to see Picard in his ready room and tells him there are two distinct personalities within Data, one dominant, and the other recessive, and that the dominant one is growing and gobbling up the recessive one. Does Data really have a discernible "personality" that can be detected by an electronic psychological exam? Starfleet and/or the Daystrom Institute probably devised a special one for artifical life forms.
  11. John A. Lang on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 9:19 pm: I guess we may assume that the "mind" of Dr. Graves is totally gone with the destruction of the Enterprise-D in Generations. Assuming it wasn't lost as a result of the Iconian probe encounter in Contagion, the information Graves deposited in the computer via Data was either subsequently transmitted back to Starfleet direct from Enterprise, or copied to the main computer of Earth Station Mckinly during the post Borg attack refit. Chris Diehl on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 8:28 pm: A comment was made about Graves' final destruction along with the Enterpise-D. I must say, I doubt it. Remember that he was one of the Federation's (and possibly known space's) intellectual giants; Pulaski refers to him as the smartest living human. I'm not sure, since they don't state it well, but the ability to transcribe one's personality and memories into a computer, even as simple information (let alone Data) seemed like a huge leap forward. Would Starfleet or the Federation let this new technology, or the mind of so great a scientist, stay on a ship that has such a dangerous job? However, if such a thing did happen, it would have made for an interesting storyline. Combine Graves' program with the Holodeck, which with just official information could make a very accurate simulation of Dr. Brahms, and Graves gets his wish, to cheat death. They could have had Data continue to visit with his Grandpa and seek his advice on building more androids. Ah, missed opportunities. They could have a different actor play Graves, since he would probably select an attractive form for himself. Also, someone referred to Kareen as Dr. Graves' wife. She was certainly not, since she was not aware that he had any feelings for her. He said that he had raised her since the deaths of her parents, so she would be his ward if not his daughter, which puts an especially perverse spin on his desire. I must agree, however, that it would have been funnier if Kareen mistook Selar for a Romulan. I think she'd arch a brow and say something like "I see no reason to stand here and be insulted."
  12. ScottN on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 2:01 pm: When Deanna gives Graves/Data the neuro test, there's a dead giveaway that something's wrong: Data uses a contraction! "It was a waste of time then, and it's a waste of time now." Disclaimer, exact quote may vary, but I clearly noted the contraction. See the Next generation category page for a possible explanation.
  13. Andre Reichenbacher (Amr) on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 10:43 pm: Why didn't the Federation send science vessels to Gravesworld to salvage whatever they could from his labs? That would have made sense, but it didn't happen, AFAWK. And that's not very good writing, IMO." Also, here is one of my all time favorite Plot Oversights from Phil's NextGen guide: "When Picard thinks Graves is dead, he bemoans the fact that Graves' research has been lost, saying 'Whatever scientific secrets Ira Graves was about to unlock has been lost forever.' Didn't Graves take notes? Graves' laboratory is filled with computers! Were they just window dressing? Scientists not only keep notes so that someone else can build on their research, they also keep notes so everyone will give them credit for their discoveries! I would think someone as egotistical as Graves would keep very detailed records."

    And building on that observation, I still wonder why the Federation did not send science vessels to Gravesworld to salvage whatever they could from his labs. Kareen Briannon would probably have had no objection to this, I believe that she would have wanted Graves' scientific discoveries (that he had not already uploaded into the Enterprise computer before leaving Data's body) to be shared with others and to help anyone who may have benifitted from it. Maybe Graves/Data's body wiped/destroyed the research before leaving.
  14. Regarding that 'pysch test' of sorts that Troi had the Ira Graves-possessed Data take. Apparently this was supposed to detect the seeds of criminal behavior in anyone who wanted to join Starfleet, much like what Picard mentioned in Justice, so that there wouldn't be any potential risks of anyone like Ben Sisko, Kathryn Janeway, or anyone who ended up joining the Maquis becoming a Starfleet officer.

    The problem with this is, it's one of those "Once it was introduced it altered Trek continuity and the creators regretted ever introducing it in the first place" kind of things. You know, like the "Warp Factor Speed Limit", and the "Voyager Only Has So Many Photon Torpedos And There's No Way To Replace Them After They're Gone", you know, those regrettable plots or lines of dialogue that ended up making no sense or being completely contradicted a few years later, when different people take over the franchise and they end up having everything happen that the creator of the franchise would not have approved of and never wanted to have happen! Oh well. The writers and producers of DS9/VGR obviously never took into account these tests that potential Starfleet officers had to take so that they could prove that they weren't insane, treacherous, or in any way corrupt. It may have worked on TNG during the Roddenberry era, but in no way would that sort of thing ever gotten over in the the Bermaga era. And that is really too bad. They may have developed means of evading suspicion.

Notes

  1. Starfleet probably changed burial procedures during the Dominion War - possibly after Voyager was presumed lost.
  2. Of course, Wes think's he's talking to Data instead of Graves at this point


The Next Generation Season 2
The Child I Where Silence Has Lease I Elementary, Dear Data I The Outrageous Okona I The Schizoid Man I Loud as a Whisper I Unnatural Selection I A Matter of Honor I The Measure of a Man I The Dauphin I Contagion I The Royale I Time Squared I The Icarus Factor I Pen Pals I Q Who I Samaritan Snare I Up the Long Ladder I Manhunt I The Emissary I Peak Performance I Shades of Gray
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