``In Theory''
Working Title: "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do"
Stardate: 44932.3
Rating: ****

Edited Length: 45:30
U.S. Airdate: June 16, 1991
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [9.8/3]

Guest Stars
Michele Scarabelli: [Ensign Jenna D'Sora]
Rosalind Chao: [Keiko Ishikawa O'Brien]
Colm Meaney: [O'Brien]
Pamela Winslow: [Ensign McKnight]

and Special Guest Star
Whoopi Goldberg: Guinan

Co-Producer: Peter Lauritson
Producer: David Livingston
Supervising Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Teleplay by: Ronald D. Moore and Joe Menosky:
Directed by: Patrick Stewart

[end credit]
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Executive Producer: Rick Berman

[closing credits]
Associate Producer: Wendy Neuss
Executive Story Editor: Ronald D. Moore
Executive Story Editor: Joe Menosky
Story Editors: David Bennett Carren & J. Larry Carroll
Majel Barrett: Computer Voice


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Extended Synopsis (by Tim Lynch) ------------------------------------

The Enterprise is exploring the Mare Oscurum, a "dark matter nebula," and Data is working extensively with his friend Jenna D'Sora. Jenna's just come out of a lousy relationship, and Data appears to be everything she wants: kind, attentive, solicitous, handsome..."perfect," despite his lack of emotions. During one work session, she kisses him right before she leaves, leaving Data quite puzzled.

As the Enterprise heads into the nebula (which is of much higher density than past examples they've seen) to examine a class-M planet they've detected, Data asks many people for advice on whether to pursue a relationship with Jenna. Guinan says she doesn't like to give advice on first relationships. Geordi says his advice is "find someone else to give you advice." Troi cautions him to be very careful, as Jenna could really get hurt, but then says that if he tries, he'll have to be more than the sum of his programming. Worf tells him to "conquer," not "pursue," but cautions that he doesn't want Jenna (who's in his section) mistreated. Riker tells him of wonderful rewards, and tells him to go for it. After all that, Data appears at Jenna's door with flowers. His initial attempts are somewhat...unsubtle...but Jenna realizes he's trying his best and lets herself be drawn in.

While Jenna tutors Data in the finer points of a relationship, the Enterprise crew begins to discover a few problems. At first, they're minor: Data's cat got out of his quarters and shouldn't have been able to, and Picard finds his ready room's computer console under his desk and in pieces. Things get stranger still when they finally reach the location of the class-M planet, and find nothing at all-especially when moments later, it's there again. Suddenly, there's a brief bout of atmospheric decompression in the observation lounge, but no apparent hull breach. Once standard pressure is restored, they go have a look and find no trace of what caused the damage, except for a few tiny electric current in the windows, which are often evidence of a subspace distortion.

After Jenna gets a little unnerved by Data's precisely calculated solicitousness, and then his forced and deliberate "lovers' quarrel," Picard decides enough is enough with these incidents (since more have occurred, but none causing any injuries yet), and decides to analyze them from outside the nebula. Unfortunately, before they can leave, a few more problems occur: a science station blows out, then an engineering station. A structural failure is detected between two decks, but when Geordi sends out a team, he quickly finds that one of the members fell halfway through the deck, which then resolidified, killing her instantly.

Data's figured out the problem: the high density of dark matter has caused minor gaps in space, which are drifting randomly and causing major havoc whenever they "blip" into this space. Sensors can be tuned to detect them, but only at ranges close enough that the ship could never get out of the way in time. Picard, in a shuttle, flies ahead to do so. The shuttle is eventually destroyed, but Picard is rescued and they got far enough out that they make a successful run out of the nebula. Finally, Jenna realizes that she's just repeating her old patterns (breaking up with one unemotional man only to get together with another), and severs her and Data's relationship.

Highlight Listing:
"In Theory" - Data experiments with love by pursuing a romantic relationship with a fellow crew member.
Advertising Headline:
ANDROID LOVE! Data experiments with love with a fellow crew member!
TV log listing:
Data experiments with love on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION
Operation SNAFU
In the teaser, Data finishes telling Jenna the reasons why she broke up with Jeff. She and Data then close up the photon torpedo, and she moves off to a control panel. On top of the torpedo rests a black, hand-sized deviceamajig. Data stands up, holding some sensormajig in his left hand. The scene then shifts to Data walking towards Jenna, and the sensormajig is now in his RIGHT hand (with no indication that he ever shifted it there), and Jenna is holding the deviceamajig she left on top of the torpedo (with no indication that she ever went back to get it). (V)

[ Mr. Video Productions ]

Andrew Tong

Technical design, graphic design, interactive features, HTML & CGI programming by Andrew Tong. || All materials Copyright © 1987-1995 by their respective authors. || Document created: January 28, 1995 || Last Modified: November 09, 2010