Writer: Melinda Snodgrass
This is the second episode in a row that is something special. It has a very basic story: a scientist who is an expert of the works of Data’s creator, Noonian Soong, wants to break Data up to find out how he works. The problem is that there is no guarantee that Data will work when out together again. Data refuses to undergo the experiment, so Maddox (the scientist) claims that Data cannot refuse as he is the property of Stafleet. The rest of the episode is a hearing about whether or not Data has rights.
It sounds dull, but it really isn’t. There are some wonderful scenes. The one where Riker finds out some information from the computer that gives him an egde in the case (he is forced to act for Maddox against Data) is awesome. He looks pleased for a moment, then the realisation crossed his face about what he might be about to do.
The scene in Ten Forward where Guinan gives Picard a hint if how he should defend the case is also brilliant. The scene between Patrick Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg is amazing.
And the moment where Data reveals to the hearing that he was intimate with Tasha Yar is amazing – the look on the face of Louvois (the Judge Advocate General) is a picture, and for me is the turning point of the case.
It is a simple courtroom drama, wonderfully scripted and acted. The premise sounds dull, but you have to see it to believe how good it is. Many fans think it is one of the ten best this show ever did, and whilst I would not go quite that far, it’s certainly close!
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 5