‘Brothers’ (TNG) (TV)

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Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is one of my favourite episodes from the ‘TNG’ series. It has Brent Spiner stealing the show since not only does he play Data, but also his father Dr. Noonien Soong and his very evil twin-brother Lore.

In the episode, a misguided prank between two boy brothers has happened. The Enterprise abandons their visit to a planet and goes to a starbase to treat one of the boys who gets severely ill.

But on the way to that starbase, Data goes funny and starts acting strange. Data causes the Enterprise to divert from their original course and head off for another alien planet somewhere else.

I like how that first section of the episode takes place with Data returning to the bridge and triggering a life support alarm where everyone evacuates. He’s left alone to conduct his own agenda.

Data of course is unaware of what he’s doing. It’s been built into his program to respond to a distress signal activated in his circuitry. Data gives no answers to the Enterprise on what he is doing.

Whenever Picard and the others try to gain control of the ship, Data manages to outwit them. He also inserts a complex security code, using Picard’s voice-print to prevent anyone getting in his way.

Soon, Data manages to beam down to the planet without anyone stopping him and he’s soon on his way to meet up with the person who has summoned him. That happens to be…Dr. Noonien Soong.

I’m really impressed with the make-up given to Brent Spiner as Dr. Soong in the episode. He looks unrecognisable as Data, yet he’s the same person who created the android based on his own image.

Data meets Soong in his own home on the planet and asks question to his creator and father. Those scenes between Data and Soong are mesmerising to watch as you wouldn’t think it’s the same actor.

There is a certain amount of respect between Data and his father Dr. Soong. Data is very polite when enquiring about why Dr. Soong created him and it all gets philosophical when talking about the past.

Very soon, Data and Soong’s reunion is interrupted as they’re joined by Lore, Data’s brother, who also was summoned by the same homing beacon put into him. I was amazed to see Lore back in this.

For those of you who don’t remember, Lore made his first appearance in the ‘TNG’ episode, ‘Datalore’. He did some pretty nasty things in this episode and Brent Spiner is pretty good being evil.

The scenes where there are three Brent Spiners playing Data, Lore and Soong are mesmerising to watch. I sometimes forgot it was the same actor playing three different characters in the TV episode.

Lore also wants some answers to some questions of his by Soong. Apparently, Soong is on the verge of death and this is the only time that he can give the answers to Data and Lore about who they are.

It was interesting to discover more about the true history of what happened when Soong designed Lore first and designed Data later. This is bitterness from Lore when Soong’s giving him explanations.

Eventually, it turns out Soong has designed an emotion chip to give to Data. Just think that if Data had been given the emotion chip, we would’ve seen a brand-new version of this character in ‘TNG’.

But Lore prevents that from happening, as he takes Data’s place without Soong knowing and gets the emotion chip himself. It was pretty tense and disturbing when Lore was becoming evil and that.

Soong gets thrown across the room by Lore. Lore manages to escape and transport off the planet, before Riker, Geordi and Worf turn up. They manage to find Data as well as Dr. Soong who is dying.

The goodbye scene between Data and Soong was so beautiful well-written. Data admits he can’t grieve for Soong as he’s dying, but Soong does know that Data will grieve for him in his unique way.

The episode also features Colm Meaney as Chief O’Brien, who helps out when stopping Data’s odd actions early on. There is also Cory Danziger as Jake and Adam Ryen as Willie, the two boy brothers.

‘Brothers’ is a wonderful ‘TNG’ episode about Data meeting his father Dr. Soong and evil Lore coming back. Brent Spiner excels in this episode and this won’t be the last time we’ll see Lore again.

‘Brothers’ (TNG) rating – 10/10

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