Inheritance (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

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Star Trek: The Next Generation episode
Episode no. Season 7
Episode 10
Directed by Robert Scheerer
Teleplay by
Story by Dan Koeppel
Featured music Jay Chattaway
Cinematography by Jonathan West
Production code 262
Original air date November 22, 1993 (1993-11-22)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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List of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes

"Inheritance" is the 162nd episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, the tenth episode of the seventh season.

Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the crew of the Federation starship Enterprise-D. In this episode, as the Enterprise helps a planet to survive, Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner) must work with two local scientists, one of whom is revealed to be his mother.


The Enterprise arrives at Altrea IV, a planet with a core that is cooling and solidifying. Pran and Juliana Tainer (William Lithgow and Fionnula Flanagan), scientists from Altrea IV, inform the crew about the problem. Lieutenant Commanders Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) and Data (Brent Spiner) suggest injecting plasma.

Juliana claims to be the former wife of Data's creator, Noonien Soong.

Data can only find one Juliana in his memory, a Juliana O'Donnell. She explains that protests from her mother caused them to elope. They married where a Klingon and a Carvalan Freighter captain served as witnesses. She explains that his early memories were wiped and replaced with memories of the colonists of Omicron Theta. He was about to be reactivated when the Crystalline Entity attacked.

As they begin the plasma infusion, Juliana tells Data and La Forge a story about Data's trouble with learning to keep his clothes on. Data takes her to his quarters, where he plays music. She offers to play with him and uses a viola. She spots his paintings, including one of his daughter, Lal. Juliana is upset. She was against Data being created due to the problems with Lore.

Data observes something about Juliana, and asks Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) to examine her medical records when Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) calls. One of the pockets has collapsed and he is needed in Transporter Room 2.

The infusion unit was knocked down, so Juliana and Data go down to effect repairs. They complete their task and return to the transport point, but find the pattern enhancers have fallen down a cliff. They must jump to safety. When Data jumps, he takes Juliana over the cliff with him. Data lands safely, but Juliana is knocked unconscious and her arm becomes detached from her torso. Data observes a network of circuitry and it becomes apparent that Juliana is an android.

In Juliana's positronic brain, La Forge finds a chip with a holographic interface. Data activates the chip in the holodeck and sees his father, Dr. Soong (Brent Spiner), who created the interactive holo-program to answer questions about the Juliana android. Soong explains that his wife once was a real human, but was mortally wounded as a result of the Crystalline Entity's attack. He created a new android and used synaptic scanning to place Juliana's memories into it. After the real Juliana died, Soong activated the android's body and she awoke believing she was human. She later chose to leave Soong and he let her go (after installing the chip), sadly admitting that the real Juliana would have left him too. Soong pleads with Data to let her have her humanity.

Data returns to Sickbay and replaces the chip. When he closes Juliana's head, she awakens. He tells her that she fell from the cliff and broke her arm, but Dr. Crusher has repaired it, and everything is fine. As Juliana prepares to leave the ship, Data tells her "My father told me that he had only one great love in his life. And that he regretted never telling her how much he cared for her. I am certain he was referring to you."

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