Star Trek: 20 Strange Details About Data’s Body

The seven-year mission of the Enterprise-D would have ended pretty quickly if it weren't the presence of the android known as Data. If it weren't for his unparalleled analytical and technical skills, then the Enterprise crew would have been lost on several different occasions.

Data was unique among all of the Starfleet officers as he was an artificial lifeform. Data was created by a scientist named Noonian Soong, who succeeded in creating a fully functional android.

His physical and intellectual skills were impressive, but he lacked the ability to feel basic human emotions, which is something that set him apart from his crew.

The fact that Data had a totally dispassionate view of the world was integral in helping Captain Picard to reach important decisions.

Data's artificial body also protected him from hazards that would be dangerous to the other members of the crew, which meant that the burden of saving the day was often thrust upon his shoulders.

Overall, Data is one of the most beloved characters in the history of Star Trek and his presence in the story has been important in exploring the issues concerning tolerance and understanding that Star Trek was meant to tackle. It's for this reason that many writers have taken a crack at writing stories about Data, some of which have presented him in an unusual light.

We are here today to learn the secrets of one of the most popular robots in fiction - from the limitless capacity of his lifespan to the new race of androids that have appeared in the post-Nemesis timeline.

With that said, here are the 20 Strange Details About Data’s Body In Star Trek!

20 He Can Potentially Live For A Million Years

Data's physical appearance is programmed to age at the same rate as a human being. This element of his body was likely written in to allow Brent Spiner to portray the character for as long he wanted.

While Data's body is incredibly durable, it is not immune to the ravages of time. It may take centuries, but Data's body will eventually collapse.

The fact that Data's brain is composed of computer data can allow him to build new bodies for himself, offering him a form of immortality.

It was revealed in the short story called "Our Million-Year Mission" that Data can survive for over a million years, where he serves on the crew of a ship that is populated by hologrammatic representations of the best Starfleet officers in history.

19 He Is Stronger Than Both Colossus & Wolverine Of The X-Men

The X-Men have encountered the crew of the Enterprise in two separate comic book crossovers over the years.

The first time happened in Star Trek/X-Men, where the X-Men arrived on Captain Kirk's Enterprisewhile the second one happened in Star Trek: The Next Generation/X-Men: Second Contact, which was set directly after the events of First Contact and involved the X-Men meeting Captain Picard and his crew.

In Second Contact, the crew of the Enterprise requires access to Shi'ar technology in order to be able to return to their timeline. This involved a team breaking into the X-Men's mansion.

Wolverine quickly realized that there were intruders in the mansion, but he was quickly dispatched by Data, who threw him across the room with a single blow.

Data then absorbed a punch from Colossus in his metal form, which only managed to knock him back.

18 Starfleet Command Once Planted Secret Instructions In His Brain

Data in Insurrection

It was revealed in "Brothers" that Noonian Soong had placed homing beacons within the brains of Data and Lore, which would allow him to override their minds and force them to act on the sole purpose of arriving at his position.

It seems that Noonian Soong wasn't the only person who thought of this idea, though.

It was revealed in the Star Trek: The Next Generation comic book series that Starfleet Command had also placed secret information within Data's brain that would force him to follow a set of instructions.

At some point in the past, there were people in Starfleet Command who implanted instructions within Data's brain that would cause him to seek out the planet Faltos, which was filled with representatives of different alien species who had become separated from the rest of the universe.

17 A Borg Version Of Data Once Saved The Federation

The Borg came closer to conquering the Federation than any other enemy faction in the history of Star Trek.

 You can earn the respect of the Klingons or outmaneuver the Romulans, but the Borg cannot be reasoned with... at least until Voyager defanged them as villains.

If the Enterprise had not been successful in stopping the Borg during the events of "Best of Both Worlds", then they may have taken control of Federation space that day.

The events of such a timeline were covered in the Star Trek: The Next Generation - Hive series, where a version of Locutus was able to regain control of his mind.

Locutus sent a Borg-assimilated version of Data back in time in order to prevent a Borg conquest of the Federation that was about to happen due to a plan being enacted by Captain Picard and Seven of Nine.

16 He Once Possessed The Power Of The TARDIS

Doctor Who and Star Trek are two of the oldest science fiction franchises on television. The first-ever crossover between the two series happened in 2012, with a comic book miniseries that united the Eleventh Doctor with the crew of the Enterprise

Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation shows the Doctor and his companions encountering Captain Picard ands his crew, as they team up to deal with the threat of the Cybermen who had stolen the technology of the Borg and became a much bigger threat.

The TARDIS came under threat by the Borg, which forced the energy within the TARDIS to flee inside of Data, where he temporarily shared in its knowledge.

The fact that Data is an android allowed him to survive the process, which has been known to destroy other individuals.

15 He Has Infrared Vision

Data once made the point in "Measure of a Man" that Geordi La Forge's visor was more effective than the regular eyesight of the Enterprise crew, yet he was only given this visor due to the fact that he lost his eyesight in his youth.

Geordi La Forge's visor allowed him to see in the infrared and ultraviolet spectrums, yet we never see any indication of Data possessing similar eyesight, even though he could easily replace his eyes.

The Star Trek: The Next Generation novels confirmed that Data does possess infrared vision, which he demonstrated in Star Trek: The Next Generation- Survivors.

It's unclear whether he always possessed this ability or whether it was due to enhancements that he made at a later stage in his life.

14 He Almost Fused With Captain Picard

Patrick Stewart as Locutus in Star Trek: The Next Generation

The "Best of Both Worlds" two-parter is considered by many to be the high-point of Star Trek: The Next Generation, with Captain Picard being assimilated by the Borg at the end of part one and the Enterprise narrowly squeezing a victory in part 2.

The reason why Captain Picard was assimilated was due to concerns over Patrick Stewart leaving the show over contract negotiations.

This meant that they could destroy Locutus and pass the captain's chair over to Riker.

One of the potential resolutions to Captain Picard being assimilated that came up in the writer's room was the idea that the Borg would fuse Captain Picard and Data into one being.

The writers couldn't come up with a good idea as to why they would do this in the first place, however, so it was dropped.

13 He Defeated A Gorn Warlord In Combat

The Gorn Star Trek

The Dominion War was a major storyline that ran throughout Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, with almost every faction in the series being dragged into the intergalactic conflict.

We never found out what the crew of the Enterprise was doing during this period of time, except for a brief mention in Star Trek: Insurrection. 

The Star Trek novels have covered the adventures of the Enterprise crew during the Dominion War, one of which was chronicled in The Gorn Crisis, where Captain Picard needed to secure the aid of the Gorn in the Dominion War.

In order to win the support of the Gorn, Data had to defeat a powerful warlord named Slessshh in combat.

Slessshh was unaware of how physically strong Data was and lost the duel, prompting Slessshh to honor his word and order the Gorn fleet to stand down.

12 He Managed To Cheat Fate With The Aid Of B-4

Picard Puts Datas Mind in B4 in Star Trek TNG

Data is often considered to be The Next Generation equivalent to Spock from The Original Series, as both characters offered an outsider's perspective on humanity.

The main difference was that Spock had incredibly strong emotions that he had to suppress, while Data was searching for the ability to feel emotions.

Data and Spock also share the distinction of having cheated their own demise and being reborn in new bodies.

Data sacrificed his life at the end of Star Trek: Nemesis, but it was hinted that his consciousness was reborn in B-4 the android.

This was later confirmed in the Star Trek: Countdown comic book series, as Data's mind took over control of B-4's body and allowed him to be reborn in a new form.

The version of Data that was resurrected in B-4 would go on to become the captain of the Enterprise-E.

11 The Mirror Universe Version Of Data Is Incredibly Swole

The mirror universe is home to the Terran Empire, which came close to wiping out the other races in the galaxy in its quest for domination and power.

In the Star Trek TNG: Mirror Broken comic book series, we see what the Next Generation crew looks like in the mirror universe.

Captain Picard is incredibly buff, to the point where it looks like he has been putting steroids in his Earl Grey tea.

The same is also true of Barclay, who was a wimp in the main timeline, yet he looks like a pro-wrestler in the mirror universe, which must be due to all of the broccoli that he eats.

The mirror universe version of Data is also giving out tickets to the gun show, which is helped by the fact that the Terran Empire uses tank tops as a uniform.

It's not clear whether this was due to a different design by Noonian Soong or whether Data altered himself to better fit in with his crew.

10 There May Be Other Copies Of Him

It took many years for Dr. Noonian Soong to create a fully functional android, with Data and Lore acting as the culmination of his dream.

In the episode called "Inheritance", it is revealed that Dr. Noonian Soong had created three other prototype androids before creating Data and Lore, but these were lost.

It was revealed in Star Trek: Nemesis that one of these androids, B-4, had fallen into the hands of the Romulans, meaning that the three prototypes weren't as lost as we had originally thought.

It's possible that the remaining two unaccounted for androids are still out there somewhere in the universe.

If these androids are like B-4, then they would also be physical copies of Data.

9 There Are Several Inconsistencies Regarding His Age

The day that Data was first found and activated by Starfleet personnel happened on February 2nd, 2338. We aren't sure when Dr. Noonian Soong finished creating Data, but it happened at some point around 2336.

There are some inconsistencies concerning the time that Data attended Starfleet, which is partly due to the fact that the writers of Star Trek: The Next Generation had not created a full backstory for Data when the pilot episode was being made.

In "Encounter at Farpoint", Data claims that he graduated Starfleet in the Class of '78. This date makes no sense, as Data was created after 2278 and 2378 had yet to happen.

This is considered to be one of the early inconsistencies regarding Data, such as when he kept using contractions throughout the early seasons of the show, even though he supposedly lacks the ability to do so.

8 He Was Once The Creator Of The Android Race That Replaced Humanity

In "Measure of a Man", it was revealed that the scientists within the Federation lacked the ability to create replicas of the Soong-type androids, which was partly due to the complex nature of Data's positronic brain.

As time went on, the technology available to Starfleet improved to the point where Data was able to create a new android, in the form of Lal.

Lal's brain was unable to sustain itself in the same manner as Data's, which meant that she had to be deactivated.

In the short story called "I Am Become Death", it is revealed that Data would go on to create an entire race of androids that would outlast the human race.

This means that Data (and by extension, Dr. Noonian Soong) were the gods responsible for creating the successor of mankind.

7 Geordi Once Commanded A Bridge Crew Made Up Of Hologrammatic Versions Of Him

The reason why Data was so valuable to the crew of the Enterprise was due to his scientific genius, combined with the fact that he has no emotions to distract him in the line of duty.

The crew of the Enterprise was often saved by the fact that Data could accomplish things that the other members of the crew could not.

If one Data is useful, then wouldn't an entire crew made up of Datas be even more valuable?

It was revealed in the Star Trek: Waypoints comic book series that there is a timeline where Data moved his consciousness into the Enterprise computer, as his physical body had deteriorated beyond the point of rescue.

This meant that Data could manifest as several different hard-light holograms, who could all perform the functions of each member of the bridge crew.

Geordi La Forge was the captain of this version of the Enterprise and there were living crew members serving in other parts of the ship.

6 The Enterprise Security Team Knew How To Take Him Down

Data once jeopardized the entire crew of the Enterprise in the episode called "Brothers" when he was commanded by his creator to travel to a specific destination.

Dr. Noonian Soong had installed a homing device in Data that would override Data's brain. Data proceeded to take control of the Enterprise and send it off course.

This incident prompted the crew of the Enterprise to come up with a strategy to take down Data if a similar incident happened again.

It was revealed in the novel Star Trek: The Next Generation - Perchance to Dream that the security team aboard the Enterprise were taught the location of Data's deactivation switch, which they could activate with a well-placed phaser shot.

This would allow the crew to knock out Data with a single shot, without causing any long-term damage.

5 He Once Fought Off A Group Of Ninjas

Data was the most effective physical fighter on the Enterprise due to the fact that he was made of metal, was trained in multiple techniques, and couldn't feel any pain.

We didn't get to see Data get into many fights in Star Trek: The Next Generation, which is partly due to the fact that Brent Spiner isn't a trained martial artist/stuntman and that it just wasn't that kind of show.

Data has been given many more chances to show off his combat skills in the Star Trek: The Next Generation comic book series, which makes sense, due to the medium in which he is appearing.

In The Killing Shadows, Data is pitted against a group of space ninjas, known as the Bodai Shin.

All of their advanced gear and superior training is meaningless against Data, who is already the perfect fighting machine.

4 The Mirror Universe Version Of Data Used Borg Implants In Combat

In the mirror universe, Dr. Noonian Soong was captured by the Borg and assimilated, which led to him becoming that universe's version of Locutus.

Captain Picard was the one responsible for Soong's demise in this reality, with the aid of a computer virus that destroyed the Borg diamond ship that Soong/Locutus was serving on.

It seems that Soong/Locutus was able to pass on some information to Data, as we see Data using Borg implants and weaponry in the Mirror Broken comic book series.

The mirror universe version of Data wasn't the only person who did this, however, as Nero's ship was revealed to have been based on a Borg vessel, suggesting that the different factions in the Alpha Quadrant had started to reverse-engineer Borg technology.

3 We May See Him In The Upcoming Show (But Not In The Way You'd Think)

The polarizing reception to Star Trek: Discovery may be the reason why we are seeing a new Star Trek TV show starring Captain Picard.

So far Patrick Stewart is slated to return. However, for all we know, the Captain Picard show could show us his youth and time at Starfleet.

We will almost certainly see cameos from the other members of The Next Generation cast, with the exception of Brent Spiner as Data.

Brent Spiner has said on numerous occasions that he doesn't want to reprise the role of Data, as he feels that he has grown too old to realistically portray the character.

The nature of Data's android body means that he could change his physical appearance, allowing for another actor to take over the role.

Brent Spiner has said that the actor he would love to see take over the role of Data is Tilda Swinton.

2 He Could Have Been Bright Pink

Brent Spiner has talked about the makeup that he had to endure in order to play Data, which included wearing painful yellow contact lenses. This process was at least helpful in allowing him to get into character, which he has described as a form of method acting.

The producers of Star Trek: The Next Generation wasn't sure exactly how they wanted Data to look in the show.

It was obvious that they needed to do something in order to make him distinct from the other members of the crew, but it also had to be something that wasn't too distracting for both the audience and the actor.

Brent Spiner had to go through a screen test where several different colors of makeup were tested. One of these tests included a skin tone that was bubblegum pink.

This means that we almost lived in a world with a bright-pink Data.

1 He Is No Longer Unique

Data is one of only a handful of Noonian Soong-type androids that exist in the Star Trek: The Next Generation timeline. Data attempted to procreate when he made Lal, but even he was unable to create a sustainable android.

It seems that Data is destined to no longer be unique, as android crew members are all the rage in the Star Trek Online. 

Once you reach the 700 Day Veteran status as a Star Trek Online subscriber, you are given an android bridge officer for free.

These officers are incredibly useful and very rare, as they cannot be traded to other players.

It's possible for both Starfleet and Klingon Empire players to receive android bridge officers, which means that the technology to create fully-functional androids has spread far across the galaxy.


Can you think of any other interesting facts about Data from Star Trek's body? Let us know in the comments!

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