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A Fistful of Datas

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Title: A Fistful of Datas  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Ship in a Bottle (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, Holography in fiction, Star Trek: The Next Generation (season 6), Robert Hewitt Wolfe
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A Fistful of Datas

"A Fistful of Datas"
Star Trek: The Next Generation episode
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 8
Directed by Patrick Stewart
Teleplay by Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Brannon Braga
Story by Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Featured music Jay Chattaway
Production code 234
Original air date November 9, 1992 (1992-11-09)
Guest actors

"A Fistful of Datas" is the 134th episode of the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, the eighth episode of the sixth season, which premiered in the United States on November 9, 1992. Its title is a play on the title of the Sergio Leone "Spaghetti Western" film A Fistful of Dollars.

Plot summary

The Enterprise has arrived some days early for a rendezvous with a supply ship, USS Captain Picard to attempt to set up systems that would allow them to use Data's processing abilities to run critical systems in the case of main computer failure, and he allows them to proceed.

Meanwhile, Worf reluctantly joins his son Alexander in a holodeck adventure set in the town of Deadwood, South Dakota in the American Old West, later joined by Deanna Troi.[1] The three play the role of lawmen in Deadwood, where Eli Hollander, the "Butcher of Bozeman", is wanted. Worf tries to use his Starfleet tactics to end the episode quickly, but Alexander insists that he play along with the scenario. They capture Eli, learning that his father Frank is a sly and powerful man.

As Data and LaForge work on the interface, a brief energy surge occurs. Shortly after, several crew find the ships systems to reacting strangely, specifically around elements of Data's logs and records. Similarly, Data starts acting strange, taking up a Western vernacular without his awareness.

In the holodeck, Worf and Alexander meet Frank, who appears exactly like Data. Later, Frank captures Alexander, demanding the release of his son Eli. Worf gets into a gun battle and is wounded, and he and Troi find that the holodeck safety protocols are off and they cannot end the program. They realize Alexander could be in trouble and the only assured way is to play out the story. Further, Troi observes that Eli now also looks like Data and possesses skills comparable to Data's. As more of the holodeck characters take on Data's appearance, Worf works to create a personal shield as protection, knowing he would not be victorious against characters that all have Data's skills.

Data and La Forge determine that the power surge causes segments of the main computer and Data's processes to swap memories, and they start a memory purge to restore both to normal operation.

On the holodeck, Worf and Troi successfully defeat Frank and his gang, and recover Alexander. They believe the story is now over, but the holodeck does not yet respond. Only after Miss Annie, one of the dancers from the local tavern and also now looking like Data, thanks Worf for his bravery and throws herself into Worf's arms, does the story end, allowing the three to leave safely. Data and the ship's computer are restored to normal, and Worf promises to join Alexander on the holodeck for another adventure in Deadwood. As a final nod to the Western genre where heroes are often seen riding off into the sunset (or sunrise), the episode concludes with the Enterprise flying toward and seemingly into a star that is half obscured by a nearby planet. Also, as a further aside, Worf's character could be seen as being analogous to a typical John Wayne character, while Troi's character could likewise be compared to the Clint Eastwood character in certain spaghetti westerns, at least until the holodeck malfunction occurs, and forces them to drop out of character.


  1. ^ STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION: "A Fistful of Datas", #40276-234, Written by Brannon Braga and Directed by Patrick Stewart - FINAL DRAFT SEPTEMBER 17, 1992

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