In "Measure Of A Man," it is established that Data has the right to make his own decisions as much as any other sentient being. If this is the case, and Lal is the same form of life as Data, where in the world does the Admiral get the idea that he can dictate what Lal does?
While first discussing parenting with Picard, Data says "I've noticed that...", even though he can't use contractions. Data and Guinan even acknowledge this when they find out Lal has this ability.
Picard: I insist we do whatever we can to discourage the perception of this new android as a child. It is not a child! It is an invention, albeit an extraordinary one.
Troi: Why should biology rather than technology determine whether it's a child? Data has created an offspring. A new life out of his own being. To me, that suggests a child. If he wishes to call Lal his child, then who are we to argue?
Picard: Well, if he must. But I fail to understand how a 5' android with heuristic learning systems and the strength of ten men can be called a child.
Troi: You've never been a parent.
Picard: (about Lal) Data. I would like to have been consulted.
Data: I have not observed anyone else onboard consulting you about their procreation, Captain.
Picard: There are times, sir, when men of good conscience can not blindly follow orders. You acknowledge their sentience, but you ignore their personal liberties and freedom. Order a man to hand his child over to the state? Not while I'm his captain.
Lal: I feel.
Data: What do you feel, Lal?
Lal: I love you, Father.
Data: I wish I could feel it with you.
Lal: I will feel it for both of us.
Guinan: How are you, Lal?
Lal: I am functioning within normal...I am fine, thank you.
Data: Commander, what are your intentions toward my daughter?
Whoopi Goldberg guest starred as the ship's bartender named "Guinan" who explains the facts of life to Lal. In the original script, the facts of life were explained by Guinan saying, "'When a man and a woman are in love ..." but Whoopi insisted that in the future people would not be homophobic and that the line should read, "when two people are in love." An attempt was also made to have a gay couple in the background while Whoopi was explaining the facts of life. The script was changed, but no gay couple was allowed to exist in the background.
This the first of only two times in TNG that we see an Andorian. Lal considers taking the form of an Andorian female (we see a projection on the Holodeck) but Troi comments that there are no Andorians on the Enterprise.
This marks the directorial debut of Jonathan Frakes. He would go on to direct many episodes of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and several of the Star Trek feature films.
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