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Nov 29, 2012

New Uncut Version of Star Trek episode, "The Measure of a Man."

Lt. Commander Data

There will be a new release of the famous episode from Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Measure of a Man." That's the episode where there's a trial to determine if Data deserves to be treated with right equal to humans and Vulcans and other sentient species, or if he should be treated as property because he's an android.

I heard the news from Out of the Darkroom: Horse Keeping:

My friend Melinda Snodgrass arrived yesterday from New Mexico because there's a nation-wide showing of her famous episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation tonight (at theatres near you all, actually) and we're going to the screening in Century City with her. "The Measure of a Man" is based on the Dred Scott decision, but it has a happier ending. The screening will be of a restored version--the original screenplay was too long for a one-hour slot, but the editors gave her a video tape without the cuts that were made. Because she had this version, it will appear in the new Blu-ray release.

I can't wait to see the uncut version! I hope it will be made available for sale online.  Here we see Data's sense of humor (from a different episode):

Here's one of the famous scenes from Measure of a Man:

PICARD:Do you like Commander Data?
MADDOX:I don't know it well enough to like or dislike it.
PICARD:But you do admire him?
MADDOX:Oh, yes it is an extraordinary piece of . .
PICARD:. . of engineering and programming, yes you have said that. You have dedicated your life to the study of cybernetics in general and Data in particular.
PICARD:And now you intend to dismantle him.
MADDOX:So I can learn to construct more.
PICARD:How many more.
MADDOX:As many as are needed. Hundreds, thousands if necessary. There is no limit.
PICARD:A single Data, and forgive me Commander, is a curiosity, a wonder even. But thousands of Datas isn't that becoming a race. And won't we be judged by how we treat that race? Now tell me Commander, what is Data?
MADDOX:I don't understand
PICARD:What is he?
MADDOX:A machine.
PICARD:Are you sure
PICARD:You see he has met two of your three criteria for sentience. What if he meets the third, consciousness, in even the slightest degree? What is he then? I don't know. Do you? Do YOU [turning to the judge]? Well that's the question you have to answer. Your Honor, the courtroom is a crucible. In it we burn away irrelevancies until we are left with a pure product, the truth, for all time. Now sooner or later this man (MADDOX) or others like him will succeed in replicating Commander Data. Your ruling today will determine how we will regard this creation of our genius. It will reveal the kind of people we are, what he is destined to be. It will reach far beyond this courtroom and this one android. It could significantly redefine the boundaries of personal liberty. Expanding them for some, savagely curtailing them for others. Are you prepared to condemn him, and all those who come after him, to servitude and slavery? Your honor, Starfleet was founded to seek out new life -- well there it sits. Waiting. You wanted a chance to make law. Well here's your chance, make it a good one.
LAVOIR:It sits there looking at me but I don't know what it is. This case has dealt with questions best left to saints and philosophers. I am neither competent or qualified to answer that. I've got to make a ruling, to try to speak to the future. Is Data a machine? Is he the property of Starfleet? No. We've all been dancing around the main question: Does Data have a soul? I don't know that he has. I don't know that I have. But I have to give him the freedom to explore that question himself. It is the ruling of this court that Lieutenant Commander Data has the freedom to choose.

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