Sep. 26, 1987
60 min.
Syndicated TV Network

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Star Trek: The Next Generation

Settled in the 24th century and 78 years after the adventures of the original crew of the starship Enterprise, under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard the all new Enterprise NCC 1701-D travels out to distant planets to seek out new life and to boldly go where no one has gone before.

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Dr. Noonien Soong Star Trek: The Next Generation
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Dr. Noonien Soong

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  Played by:
Brent SpinerBrent Spiner
Brent Spiner, whose primary claim to fame is his portrayal of the beloved android Data on the television ...

Character Bio

Dr. Noonien Soong photo
Doctor Noonien Soong, nicknamed "Often Wrong", was one of the Federation's leading cyberneticists during the 24th century.

Soong was the creator of the Soong-type androids, including Data, Lore, and B-4, and a descendant of the criminal 22nd century geneticist Arik Soong. An associate of Ira Graves, as well as a star scientist of the Federation in his own right, Soong's early work was highly regarded and he promised breakthroughs on the positronic brain. After failing to deliver on his promises, the disgraced and utterly humiliated Soong disappeared. Traveling under an assumed name to the colony on Omicron Theta, he continued his research, unbeknownst to anyone but his neighbors.

(TNG: "Datalore", "Inheritance"; Star Trek Nemesis)

While living on Omicron Theta, Soong met and fell in love with Juliana O'Donnell and the pair married in secret on Mavala IV. Together, they perfected his design and built functional humanoid androids with advanced artificial intelligence. Each of the androids created by the Soongs represented an advancement and refinement of the potential for their creations. B-4 was a relatively primitive android, capable of only the most basic speech and motorization. Lore, the fourth attempt, displayed tremendous advances in cognitive abilities and interaction but had difficulty in adapting to ethical subroutines designed to facilitate interaction among Humans and was emotionally unstable. For this reason, he had Lore deactivated and began work on his fifth attempt: Data, who was the most successful. Despite lacking emotional ability and requiring a "learning" period, Data advanced further more quickly than Dr. Soong had originally hoped.

In 2336, when the colony on Omicron Theta came under attack by the Crystalline Entity, the inert body of Data and the disassembled body of Lore were left behind on the colony to be discovered years later. For this reason Soong was never able to apply his improvements on Data onto Lore, which was his original intention. During the same attack, Juliana was fatally injured as the couple fled.

Unable to let Juliana go, Noonien transferred his comatose wife's memories into an advanced gynoid body before her passing. The Juliana-android, though still a Soong-type design, greatly advanced Soong's goal of replicating human abilities in an android. The new android design was so perfect that she never realized she was not the original Juliana. She later divorced Soong, moved away, and remarried. In a recorded message, Soong told their 'son' Data about his mother and that he always regretted putting his work before his wife.

(TNG: "Inheritance")

Soong was believed to have been killed on Omicron Theta, in the Crystalline Entity's attack, when this massacre was uncovered in 2364. Three years later, however, he was discovered to be alive and secluded in the jungle of Terlina III, where Soong and Juliana had fled after the attack and where he had continued his work to create a perfect emotion chip for his son Data. In an effort to bring Data to him so that he could install the emotion chip he activated a homing device that forced Data to hijack the USS Enterprise-D in order to travel to Terlina III. Unfortunately, the same homing signal also attracted Lore, who had been re-activated several years before, an event of which Soong was unaware. Lore eventually disabled Data in order to receive the emotion chip himself, and after it was installed attacked Soong, hastening his death.

(TNG: "Brothers")

Despite Soong's death, this was not the last encounter Data had with his father. Dr. Soong implanted a subroutine into Data's base programming enabling Data to dream when he had achieved a certain level of development. The dream circuit was activated prematurely while conducting an experiment with Dr. Julian Bashir from Deep Space 9. Data's dreams included images of a young Noonien Soong as a blacksmith, forging a bird that represented Data himself.

(TNG: "Birthright, Part I")

According to the time-traveling Berlinghoff Rasmussen, very few records of Doctor Soong's work survived to the 26th century. However, as Rasmussen was actually a con-artist from the 22nd century, the veracity of many statements he made is in question.

(TNG: "A Matter of Time")

Episode Screenshots

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