Star Trek: The Next Generation

The Measure Of A Man

Season 2, Ep 9, Aired 2/13/89
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  • Episode Description
  • Stardate: 42523.7 When Data's rights as a sentient individual are placed under trial, Starfleet forces Riker into a position where he must prove that Data is only an Android.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Patrick Stewart

    Captain Jean-Luc Picard

  • Jonathan Frakes

    Cmdr. William T. Riker

  • Brent Spiner

    Lt. Cmdr. Data

  • Marina Sirtis

    Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

  • LeVar Burton

    Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

  • Fan Reviews (12)
  • Starfleet Excellence!

    By jeremybarger1, Nov 17, 2013

  • The Enterprise must defend Data's status when Starfleet demands his reassignment for study.

    By Celedorian, May 29, 2011

  • One of the show's best episodes - an exceptionally well-played morality tale

    By Amoyaan, Apr 26, 2008

  • A superb episode not only of season two but of the entire series....

    By uk6strings, Jan 13, 2010

  • Stronger than anticipated

    By AvatarBlue, Jun 01, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (8)

    • Captain Louvois: Data is a toaster. Have him report immediately to Commander Maddox for experimental refit.

    • Riker: Data is a physical representation of a dream, an idea conceived by the mind of a man. His purpose? To serve human needs and interests. He is a collection of neural nets and heuristic algorithms. His responses are dictated by an elaborate software program written by a man. The hardware was built by a man. And a man will turn him off. (uses Data's shut down switch) Pinocchio is broken...his strings have been cut.

    • Data: I would prefer not to answer that question. Picard: Under the circumstances, I don't think Tasha would mind. Data: She was special to me, sir. We were...intimate.

    • Picard: Your Honor, Starfleet was founded to seek out new life. (pointing to Data) Well there it sits!

    • Picard: Your honor, a courtroom is a crucible. In it we burn away irrelevancies until we are left with the pure product, the truth, for all time. Now sooner or later this man or others like him will succeed in replicating Commander Data. And the decision you reach here today will determine how we will regard this creation of our genius? It will reveal the kind of a people we are and what he is destined to be. It will reach far beyond this courtroom and this one android. It could significantly redefine the boundaries of personal liberty and freedom, expanding them for some, savagely curtailing them for others. Are you prepared to condemn him and all who come after him to servitude and slavery? Your honor, Starfleet was founded to seek out new life. Well, there it sits, waiting. You wanted a chance to make law, well, here it is, make it a good one.

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (1)

    • In 2012 two extended versions of this episode was released.  One was a hybrid version comprised of VHS Quality video (the lost footage) intercut into the HD film and presented as a rough cut.  The other version was a complete HD version incorporating the newly rediscovered video (from the original 35mm film) with all-new special effects.  Both versions run 13 minutes longer than the original episode cut.

    Trivia (5)

    • When Picard questions Data about his relationship with Tasha, he apparently was aware of their sexual encounter. However, since Data promised to never tell anyone about it and didn't even want to tell the hearing, Picard wouldn't know to ask.

    • Trivia: Data states that his ultimate storage capacity is 800 quadrillion bits. In more common storage terms, that is 90,949.47 terabytes.

    • Watch carefully as Riker gives Data the metal rod to bend, Data bends it almost exactly in half, but when Riker puts the rod back on the judges table its only bent to a modest v-shape.

    • The whole time Picard was trying to come up with a defense he never brought up the obvious - Starfleet didn't build Data, they found him. Data made the choice to join Starfleet in the first place and went about it the old-fashioned way by going to the academy. If Data could choose to join Starfleet why couldn't he choose to resign?

    • Trivia: The poker game makes its first appearance. First players: Data, LaForge, Pulaski, Riker and O'Brien.

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