Episode 135: "The Measure of a Man" 

When the U.S.S. Enterprise arrives at the newly established Starbase 173, Data is ordered to serve under Captain Bruce Maddox, who wishes to disassemble and study him so that more androids can be made for Starfleet's use.

But after Data learns that Maddox may not be able to reassemble him, he refuses to submit to the procedure. When Captain Picard is unable to have the orders changed, Data's only option is to resign from Starfleet. His decision to resign, however, is challenged by Maddox on the basis that Data is not a person with rights, but property of the Federation.

The J.A.G. (Judge Advocate General) officer of the starbase, Phillipa Louvois, an old acquaintance of Picard, rules that Maddox's contention is supported by a twenty-first century precedent. Picard announces that he will challenge that ruling at a hearing. Insufficiently staffed, Phillipa explains that as senior officer, Picard would have to defend Data, while the next most senior officer, Riker, would have to prosecute. A stickler for the law, Phillipa warns that if Riker does not give his best effort, she will summarily rule in favor of Maddox.

Faced with no other choice, Riker must contend in his prosecution that Data is simply a machine the creation of man and dramatically emphasizes his point by approaching Data from behind and switching him off, leaving him lifeless in his seat. Certain of his defeat, Picard has a discussion with Guinan and she suggests that the Federation's desire to create and own a race of disposable androids is the recreation of slavery.

Making an impassioned plea for Data's freedom, Picard declares that in a sense, all beings are created but that does not necessarily make them the property of their creator. Phillipa agrees with him, asserting that Data may be a machine, but he is owned by no one and has the right to make his own decisions regarding his life.

Production: 135
Season: 2 Episode: 9
Air Date: 02.13.1989
Stardate: 42523.7
Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes as William Riker
Brent Spiner as Data
LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn as Worf
Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi
Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan
Diana Muldaur as Katherine Pulaski
Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher
Brian Brophy as Commander David Maddox
Clyde Kusatsu as Admiral Nakamura
Amanda McBroom as Capt. Philipa Louvois
Memorable Quotes
[At a hearing regarding the civil rights of androids like Data]
Capt. Picard: Are we 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.

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[after many years, Picard runs into his old flame, Philippa Louvois]
Capt. Picard: You know what I would like to do right now?
Captain Phillipa Louvois: Bust a chair across my face, probably.
Capt. Picard: After that.
Captain Phillipa Louvois: Ain't love grand?

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Guinan: Well, consider that in the history of many worlds there have always been disposable creatures. They do the dirty work. They do the work that no one else wants to do because it's too difficult or too hazardous. And an army of Datas... all disposable. You don't have to think about their welfare, you don't have to think about how they feel. Whole generations of disposable people.

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Capt. Picard: Commander, what is Data?
Commander Bruce Maddox: I don't understand.
Capt. Picard: What is Data? Tell me, what is he!
Commander Bruce Maddox: A machine!
Capt. Picard: You're sure?
Commander Bruce Maddox: Yes!
Capt. Picard: He's already met two of your criteria for sentience. What if he meets the third, consciousness, in the smallest degree? What does that make him then? I don't know! Do you?

 

Click this link to view the complete script in a TXT format
 

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION

"The Measure of a Man"
#40272-135

Written by
Melinda Snodgrass

Directed by
Robert Scheerer

THE WRITING CREDITS MAY NOT BE FINAL AND SHOULD NOT BE USED
FOR PUBLICITY OR ADVERTISING PURPOSES WITHOUT FIRST CHECKING
WITH THE TELEVISION LEGAL DEPARTMENT.

Copyright 1988 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights
Reserved. This script is not for publication or
reproduction. No one is authorized to dispose of same. If
lost or destroyed, please notify the Script Department.

2ND REV. FINAL DRAFT

DECEMBER 14, 1988

STAR TREK: "The Measure of a Man" - 12/14/88 - CAST

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION
"The Measure of a Man"

CAST

PICARD                           CAPTAIN PHILLIPA LOUVOIS
RIKER                           ADMIRAL NAKAMURA (MALE)
DATA                         COMMANDER BRUCE MADDOX
PULASKI                                                             TROI

GEORDI
WORF
WESLEY
GUINAN
O'BRIEN

Non-Speaking
CREWMEMBERS

Voice-Over
COMPUTER VOICE

Click this link to view the complete script in a TXT format