Dr. Noonien Soong is an ingenious cyberneticist from Star Trek: The Next Generation. He is the creator of the androids B-4, Lore and Data. Like his android creations, Soong is portrayed by Brent Spiner. He makes his only mortal appearance in the fourth season episode "Brothers".


Soong young

Dr. Soong in his youth

Soong was the creator of at least four Soong-type androids, including Data, Lore, and B-4. He was the descendant of the 22nd century criminal 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.

While living on Omicron Theta, Soong met and fell in love with Juliana O'Donnell and the pair married in secret on Mavala IV, keeping their relationship secret due to Juliana's mother's disapproval of her daughter's involvement with a much older man; their intention was to show her later that they could make their relationship work. 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, Soong escaped with his fataly injured wife and was assumed dead while in fact he continued his research in secret at a new location. The inert body of Data and the disassembled body of Lore were left behind on the colony to be discovered years later by Starfleet. Soong knew Data had been rescued and followed his life in secret, but assumed that Lore had been left disassembled and inert. Some of the research that he did after the attack involved the creation of an upgrade chip to Data that would among other things give him the ability to experience the range of human emotions previously unavailable to him. Because Soong thought Lore to be still abandoned in pieces on Omicron Theta he did not research how to correct the flaws in Lore's design or integrate the advancements he later made into Lore, which was his original intention.

Unable to let Juliana go, Noonian transferred his comatose wife's memories into an advanced android 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. When Soong began to become too caught up in his work, 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, admitting that the 'original' Juliana would have also left him under the circumstances.

Noonian Soong, 2367

An elderly Dr. Soong

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. During this meeting with his 'sons', Soong admitted that he would have preferred Data to go into cybernetics like him rather than joining Starfleet, but nevertheless expressed compassion for both his 'sons', trying to convince them to reconcile despite the disastrous results of Lore and Data's first meeting, apologising to Lore for his inability to help Lore during their initial time on the colony in favor of working on Data instead. However, angered at the discovery that he and Data were not actually as different as he had initially believed, with the only difference being Data's greater ability to adapt to the ethical subroutines that Soong had given him, Lore eventually disabled Data in order to receive the emotion chip himself, and after it was installed attacked Soong, hastening his death. As Soong lay dying, Data assured him that he would remain to continue Soong's legacy, and, although briefly he commented that he would not be able to grieve for his creator, Soong's last words were to assure Data that he would mourn his death in his own way, dying shortly after Data called him 'Father' for the first time.
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