originally posted by: intrepid
He does. He even goes so far as to insist that Data's commendations be read into the record:
Aye, but only to highlight the "grandeur" of those particular medals. They weren't all simply "he's a smart machine so he did smart things" medals,
they included medals for bravery and superior service in the line of duty; Picard-character used them as an indirect and very military way of saying
"this isn't just some peon we wouldn't care to send as shuttlecraft bait to the
" But even doing this bypasses my point, which is one I feel any competent Captain who has ever had any dealings with a JAG (which,
thanks to the ridiculous backplot of romance between Picard and JAG-Officer, we know he has).
Starfleet let Data enlist, attend the academy, and eventually granted him the commission of Lieutenant Commander sometime during the never-shown
interim period. This isn't "special" or honorary, as specifically pointed out by Data himself during the Farpoint episode
And Data can't be the only one in the Federation to not know that his position is somehow
special and that the CoC falls apart around him and literally every other officer in Starfleet would have to know that he's not
to be listened
to despite the pips on his collar, something that would've been impossible to do.
But the base argument here is that they let him join. A judge some-odd years down the line should not have had to rule that he had the power to make
his own decisions; the entrance committee of the Academy did that for them, when instead of immediately seizing upon this piece of unclaimed property
(at the time, everyone thought Soong dead, Data included) and "owning" it from the start. JAG chick later said that there was precedent for this sort
of thing ruling against Data's favor, but everyone ignored the glaring precedent that Starfleet already concluded he had freedom of choice by letting
him join in the first place. In what's billed as the second episode of season 2 (the one with Nigilim, the mad scientist alien existing in its
non-existent laboratory null-space), Pulaski herself apologizes to Data, stating "your service record says that you are alive, I must accept that."
This was aired and billed prior to the "Measure of a Man" episode; whether it was written in that sequence or not, I don't know, but this is the
linear story we've been given.
Had they left out the ridiculous love affair with Picard and the JAG-chick, they probably could have fit an episode of "JAG" into the show. Catherine
Bell would have made for a much better advocate than Picard in this case (and certainly more interesting to watch!
NarcolepticBuddha: "I'm not sure how military rules work, but if Starfleet wanted to do a more invasive physical of an officer, aren't they
able to order it?"
Starfleet and RL military parallels only draw so far, with the exception of DS9 during an active wartime environment. Yes, Starfleet is the Federation
police force and invading party simultaneously, but their mission is ultimately of diplomacy and scientific growth. The Federation model has worked
markedly well as a form of passive conquering anyway, so the need for outright and violent territorial expansion is gone. It's not exactly part of the
show, or the message that's supposed to be delivered here, but Starfleet's First Contact procedures really rather resemble Commodore Perry and Edo
Bay; your civilization has just branched into an entirely new area of world-changing technology, and here come giant ships using far better versions
of what you just invented, saying "come, trade with us, and we'll teach you to be like we are." And while the Federation always says they'll leave if
the planet says so, how do you think the conversations go in those administrative complexes on the surface? Awe and terror.
Um, I got sidetracked; so yes, they probably could, and in that non-video link above, Picard pretty much kills some young ensign he didn't like from
the recent past. But their mission is to study, contact, and preserve life, and the guy doing the procedure on Data wasn't sure he could put him back
together, or even assemble a new one from what he gathered by doing the procedure. As they point out, Data's the only (known) one, so it's essentially
the same as the WWF saying "kill and dissect the last breeding pair of this species, and then try to grow some in the lab" but back in the 70's before
we could actually do that.
RE: Other series.
William Shatner was the first Starfleet Captain. That's really all that needs to be said as far as actor portrayals and general silliness of character
I kid, of course; I had to grudgingly watch Enterprise twice
before I accepted Bakula as, indeed, the first chronological Cap'n. Voyager's need
to focus on two
non-human-that-wants-to-be-human stories always baffled me; forgoing the Kes character for the sex appeal of Jeri Ryan is too
much of an argument to go into, but maintaining this second "learning to be human" plot just seemed unnecessary and weird. Watch anything enough, and
you'll start to pick it apart in any silly way you can, like this entire thread.
I love them all, though, for different reasons.