It's been just under twenty years since TNG (Star Trek: The Next Generation) concluded. Of course, it's not been off the air since. Did you watch? Do you catch old episodes when you see them on? Does it hold up? Let's talk about this.
The other day, I caught "The Measure of a Man" on TV. This is the one where Data is ordered to report for experimental refit by Commander Maddox, a cybernetics expert who basically wants to tear Data apart in a bid to learn what makes him tick so that more Datas can be built. Data refuses and the episode shifts into the court room where Picard's old flame who also prosecuted him at his court-martial after he lost Stargazer will decide Data's fate.
The underlying question is if Data is a slave of Starfleet or a person. Of course, this was pretty cool social commentary back in the day and if you don't think about it too much, it still is. But the more I see the episode, the less I like it due to its glaring hole, namely the fact that Data is a Starfleet officer, so Starfleet has apparently already made its own determination about Data's status. After all, I doubt Starfleet was in the habit of giving unthinking robots commissions and the ability to command other Starfleet officers it outranked.
Since October 3rd, 2000 | "Quite a thing to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave."