85 – Data’s Day

Grade: C

 Data's Day
(1991) on IMDb


This episode is basically a day in the life of Data, as he tries to learn more about humanity and friendship. Also, Vulcan Ambassador T’Pel is on board the Enterprise, en route to negotiate with the Romulans.


Sci-fi shouldn’t only be about aliens, and wars and futuristic technologies. I like all of that as much as the next guy does. But good sci-fi can also be about relationships and drama and regular everyday activities. Most of my favorite Star Trek episodes could very easily have been made as dramas instead of sci-fi.

City on the Edge of Forever, for example, is not really a science fiction story as much as a love story. Same with All Our Yesterdays and Yesterday’s Enterprise. Data’s Day has very little of the traditional sci-fi elements, and there is a bit of political intrigue, but it’s really kind of boring.

That’s what makes this episode less than great, in my opinion. Oh, there are some funny moments, like when Data tells O’Brien that he has “good news”, and there’s also some bits of character development for Data here and there, but overall, it’s just not that interesting. I was honestly a lot more interested in the parts of the episode that weren’t explored much – the Romulans, the Vulcan Ambassador, the Neutral Zone, etc. These points were just hinted and not really discussed. It’s a missed opportunity, I think.

Of Note

This is the first episode when Data’s cat appears, but won’t know his name (or gender, actually) until later in the series. Also, Captain Picard speaks the same words at the wedding ceremony of Keiko and Miles O’Brien that Captain Kirk spoke in the Original Series episode “Balance of Terror.” Interestingly enough, that episode also dealt with Romulans.