The Measure Of A Man
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Season 2, Episode 9
Lt. Commander Data is an android, something he’ll happily tell you. However, the Enterprise crew does not see him like this and calls him both a friend and ally. This episode hits heavily today, far more than it did during the 1980s and 90s. The episode revolves around a visiting Starbase 174 cyberneticist named Bruce Maddox. He wishes to study Data to understand his positronic brain. It is made clear that Maddox wants this exact Data on every starship, everywhere within Starfleet.
To do this, Maddox has to disassemble Data to learn how to recreate his tech. But Data does not want to be disassembled and Captain Picard refuses to allow this. Maddox believes they are humanizing Data, resulting in a trial taking place. Picard defends Data while Will Riker has to argue for Maddox’s case, in spite of disagreeing heavily with him. The episode heavily connects with slavery and what makes one a person. At the same time, gives us a peek into the future regarding potential AI issues. To us, this is one of the best Star Trek episodes ever written.
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