Gimme That Star Trek Ep.47: Can Lore Be Reintegrated into Society?

Former youth care worker Clo Allard discusses Data's brother Lore, his troubling behavior, and what course of treatment might allow him to be reactivated and reintegrated safely into society. Can it be done? Siskoid aims to find out.

Listen to Episode 47 below!

Or subscribe to Gimme That Star Trek on iTunes!

This podcast is a proud member of the FIRE AND WATER PODCAST NETWORK!

Subscribe via iTunes as part of the FIRE AND WATER PODCAST NETWORK.

"Star Trek Theme" by Alexander Courage, with the Irredeemable Shagg on vocals. End theme: "Deep Space Nine Theme" by Dennis McCarthy.

Bonus clips from: Star Trek The Next Generation's "Brothers" and "Descent Part II", starring Brent Spiner, Brent Spiner and uhm, Brent Spiner.

And thanks for leaving a comment!

15 responses to “Gimme That Star Trek Ep.47: Can Lore Be Reintegrated into Society?

  1. Well done. Any episode that can tie Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to Star Trek is a winner in my book.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the insights that Clo brought to Lore’s character. I also had never realized how cruelly the Enterprise crew treated Lore, almost from the start. I wonder if they subconsciously felt that Lore’s existence threatened Data’s unique place in the universe, which then resulted in their unTrek-like treatment of Lore? It’s either that or the Bolians, seeing the combined might of Soong’s creations as a threat to their plans, secretly manipulated the Enterprise crew to drive a wedge between the two brothers.

    For the record, I’d love to see future episodes that did similar psychological deep-dives into other Trek characters.

  2. I never thought of how Lore’s treatment was very non-Trek, but it certainly is. It reminds me of the treatment of the M-113 creature/Salt Vampire in TOS, but that was VERY early in Trek (the first episode aired), so that can be forgiven as practically non-canonical in a lot of ways.


  3. You guys really lean into treating these intelligent toaster machines as living things. Just turn the damn thing off.

    1. I know this is probably a running gag, but let me tell you why I think it’s distasteful to deny these characters their humanity.

      As is normal in Star Trek, they were, are, or have become stand-ins for real people. Whether we take Guinan’s analogy about “disposable people” (slaves) in The Measure of a Man, or neuro-diverse people as Clo intimated, Trek is about telling a human story through a science-fiction lens. Diminishing them, even jokingly, feels like a jibe at the people that are meant to, or have come to, represent.

      In any case, the shows themselves have made the case that they are another form of life, sentient, and PEOPLE. That’s what The Measure of a Man is all about. They did something similar with the Doctor on Voyager. And it was also a major component of Star Trek Picard. There is no question in my mind that the makers of Trek believe Data to be a PERSON. Further, it’s completely in the Star Trek ethos to accept what is different and celebrate it. Denying or erasing Data’s humanity is counter to what Star Trek is about, and in the grander scheme, I think it’s damaging to the realities he can represent.

      1. It’s not a bit. They’re robots. Not cyborgs. Robots. Not for a second would I find them representative of any unseen or marginalized group. They’re machines.

  4. Fascinating discussion. This probably doesn’t need to be said, but it’s not just the Enterprise characters, it’s the depiction of Lore himself. In all of his appearances, there’s an absolute feeling of menace, and then he starts doing awful things threatening lots of lives, without much time to react. Add in the production itself, where the music indicates danger. Yes, I’m crossing the line between Trek and the audience, but that’s part of the point, isn’t it? We’re able to view and rehash these situations repeatedly over decades, while the crew is “living” it once.

    So I guess I’m saying, I haven’t second guessed the handling of Lore. But darn it, I loved hearing you and Clo talk about it.

    1. I think the decision to treat Lore badly of course comes from the production first, and they are the puppeteers making the characters move. So I think we’re saying the SHOW treated Lore badly rather than any specific fictional character.

  5. This was a great discussion and a very interesting topic. I always thought it was odd that they kept saying that Data was unique as the only Soong-Type android and then they’d throw Lore away like garbage. The absence of any mention of Lore in ST:Picard was also an odd choice, especially since B4 was featured.

    The thing I never understood is what happened to the three prototype androids? They were mentioned once in the whole series and forgotten just as fast. I always felt that B4 was one of those three, but he was numbered ‘4’. Juliana never mentioned B4 by name in her recap of all the Soong android attempts.

    JULIANA: How do you know the same thing won’t happen? Creating a stable positronic matrix is very tricky. Your father lost several prototypes before Lore.
    DATA: I was not aware he created other androids before my brother.
    JULIANA: There were three of them. They were like children to us. Losing them was very painful. When Noonian decided to try again, I was very much against it. I didn’t think we had the right to bring a life into the world with so little chance of surviving. But your Father was sure that he’d figured out what went wrong, insisted he could make a stable matrix, and he did. But Lore was cruel. Evil. Eventually we had no choice, we had to dismantle him. Your father decided to build yet another android, one who didn’t have emotions. I couldn’t believe he would want to try again.

    Is B4 one of those three prototypes? What happened to the other two? Did Soong use the parts of the other two to make Data and Lore; which would add up to three in total and make them all accounted for. The more you think about that throw-away line, the more muddy it gets.

    Did I just solve it right there?
    -Soong and Juliana build three prototypes
    -The three fail and are considered ‘lost’
    -The components of one of the three is recycled to make Lore
    -The components of another one of the three is recycled to make Data
    -B4, despite being numbered ‘4’, is found as-is by the Romulans and used to entrap Picard

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *