At Starbase 173, the crew have a bit of leave. Data learns some of the intricacies of playing poker while Captain Picard runs into an old friend of a sort, Captain Phillipa Louvois, who established a new JAG office at the base. She once prosecuted him, unsuccessfully, but there is admiration at least, on both sides. Problems arise however when Commander Bruce Maddox receives permission to disassemble Data to determine how he functions. When Data expresses doubts about Maddox's likelihood of success, he refuses to undergo the procedure and resigns his commission. He soon finds himself the center of a judicial inquiry to determine if he is just a machine and a piece of property or a sentient being who has the right to make his own decisions. Captain Louvois finds herself sitting in judgment with Captain Picard defending Data's claim against Commander Riker who is forced to present the opposing arguments. Written by
Did You Know?
The title comes from a statement by Plato
: "The measure of a man is what he does with power." 18th-century English philosopher Samuel Johnson expanded the saying: "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." The direct source for this episode, however, is most likely Dr. Martin Luther King
Jr.'s version: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." Other famous variations of the "measure of a man" line have been created by 17th-century English Bishop Robert South, 19th century British scientist Lord Kelvin, Elton John
, Joe Biden
, and J.K. Rowling
. See more
During the trial, Riker has Data bend a solid metal bar. Data does this until the ends are nearly touching. Riker then takes the bar and places it front of the JAG officer. Now the ends of the bar are far apart. See more
Lt. Commander Data
As Doctor Pulaski would at this junction no doubt remind us, life is rarely fair.
References Battlestar Galactica
Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith
and Alexander Courage See more