Star Trek: The Next Generation (1992): S05E11 – Hero Worship


“Hero Worship” is the 111th episode of the syndicated American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. This is the 11th episode of the fifth season, directed by series’ castmember Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard).

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry died during the filming of this episode.

Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet crew of the Federation starship Enterprise-D. In this episode, Data rescues an orphaned boy from a damaged ship. As a way to repress his own pain, the boy begins to mimic Data’s personality.


The Enterprise is sent to investigate the disappearance of the research vessel Vico which had been dispatched to explore the Black Cluster in section 9-7. They encounter the ship adrift just outside the cluster, with apparent heavy battle damage. Lt. Commander Data, Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge, and Commander William Riker beam aboard to investigate. Everybody on the ship is dead apart from a young boy, Timothy, whom Data rescues and brings back to the Enterprise.

Timothy tells them that his ship was attacked by some unknown aliens. He is very afraid and only trusts Data. Counsellor Deanna Troi tells Data to spend time with Timothy in order to reassure the child who has lost both his parents.

Timothy is fascinated by the android and starts behaving like him because androids do not have any emotions. Timothy says that he has nightmares and is very afraid, but he believes that by behaving like an android he can suppress his emotions.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard finds out that the ship was not destroyed by aliens, and demands that Timothy tell the truth. Finally, Timothy admits that he killed the crew of his ship when he accidentally pressed a button which caused the destruction of his ship. Data tells him that it is not possible since all starships require “user code clearance”.

Then, a shock wave hits the Enterprise and Timothy says that his ship was also hit by a shock wave. Picard tells Worf to raise shields, but a new shock wave is even stronger than the first one. More power is diverted to the shields and another wave hits and is even stronger. Picard and Geordi discuss putting the energy of the warp engine to the shields. Timothy states that is what they said on his ship.

Data suddenly asks Picard to lower shields and Worf does so. The next shock wave is harmless and the Enterprise is safe. Data realised that giving energy to the shields caused even heavier shock waves (the more power the ship generated, the heavier the shock), and these were ultimately responsible for the destruction of Timothy’s ship.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Patrick Stewart.
  • Writer(s): Hilary J. Bader.
  • Release Date: 27 January 1992.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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