In Theory

In Theory

[thee-uh-ree, theer-ee]
"In Theory" is a fourth season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. This episode was directed by lead actor Patrick Stewart, who went on to direct a further five episodes. The episode has an average rating of 2.5/5 on the official Star Trek website (as of July 26, 2007).


An Enterprise-D crew-member (portrayed by Michele Scarabelli, who was well known for appearing in Alien Nation) develops romantic feelings for Data, and in his continuing attempt to emulate humanity, he attempts to reciprocate. However, his attempts meet with only mixed success, because of his lack of understanding of the subtle details of human behaviour. Eventually, the woman in question realises that she is repeating her old mistake; she left her previous boyfriend as he was too unemotional, and now she has fallen for Data, a man incapable of experiencing emotion. Data sees her point, and discontinues the relationship.

In the underlying plot, the Enterprise explores a dark matter nebula where collisions with undetectable pockets of subspace deformations cause strange happenings aboard the ship. As the pocket activity intensifies, minor hull breaches occur resulting in the death of a female crewmember who becomes fused to a deck. Captain Picard volunteers to guide the Enterprise to safety using a more maneuverable shuttlecraft.


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