24

In the TNG episode "Relics" where Scotty returns, Data serves Scotty a glass of a green liquid which he cannot identify. The drink is later identified by Picard as Aldebaran Whiskey, which seems to be a fairly well-known liquor during the TNG era. It makes appearances throughout the franchise, and Quark at DS9 keeps several barrels of it in a storeroom.

Given his usual penchant for being a walking encyclopedia, how was Data not able to identify Aldebaran Whiskey... or even recognize the language on the label as Aldebaran?

And, yes, I realize the scene was a nod to Scotty's identical scene in a TOS episode. I'm looking for an in-universe reason. At the very least, Data should have known it was Aldebaran.

  • 4
    There's no reason to think that Data had ever encountered it before. I doubt he was invited to many parties as a cadet. There's also no reason to think it's well known - especially aboard Starships, where the usual tipple is synthenol. Picard only knows what it is because he's the one who gave it to Guinan. – Tim May 29 '17 at 21:05
  • There was a novelization of this episode, but the scene is quite different, with Guiñan being present and serving the alcohol. – Thunderforge May 30 '17 at 0:17
  • 9
    Data doesn't know what snoop means. It's hardly amazing he doesn't know some brand of liquor. – muru May 30 '17 at 1:42
40

The screen direction in the original script indicates that Data was simply unable to read the label. Since the earlier direction is that the bottle is "very old" the implication would be that the label is decayed rather than that he doesn't speak the language. He smells it but is unfamiliar with the scent.

Data bends down and reaches under the bar... then stands up and puts a very old bottle of a green liquid on the bar.

SCOTT: What is it?

Data is unable to read the label. He removes the cap and sniffs the contents... but still doesn't know what to make of it... he looks at the liquid and finally tells Scott the only thing he knows for certain.

DATA: It is green.

As you can see from the shot below, the label is essentially blank.

h

  • I am so often amazed that answers can be found for questions like this! +1. – Quasi_Stomach May 30 '17 at 17:00
  • 2
    @Quasi_Stomach - It's made possible by the fact that in previous years, the writers and makers of shows actually strove to have their shows make sense, even if the audience didn't always see what was on screen – Valorum May 30 '17 at 17:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.