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.
Did You Know?
The Starbase is a re-use of the model for Regula 1 from Star Trek II- the Wrath of Kahn. See more
Maddox's whole case is to establish Data as property and not a sentient crew member. This is to gain the right to dismantle Data and learn about his construction. Data objects because something unique (Lt. Cmdr Data) would be lost.
Guinean later leads Picard down the idea that Maddox's work could result in a form of slavery imposed upon a race of androids.
In previous stories, it was established that the security buffer for the transporter could recreate someone even though they weren't in active transport. However, this was never mentioned during the trial. Doing this would have strengthened Maddox's argument to gain an exact example of Data while giving Guineans discussion with Picard a poignant immediacy. See more
I need your help.
Captain Phillipa Louvois
An historic moment.
Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith
and Alexander Courage See more