This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe. An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.
Welcome back to Character Insight! This week, our subject is Lieutenant Commander Data from TNG.
Data was one of a series of human-like androids developed by Dr. Noonien Soong, and he joined the crew of the Enterprise after becoming the first android to graduate from Starfleet Academy. Data serves a similar role to Picard as Spock does for Captain Kirk in TOS.
Data strives to become more human throughout the TNG series. Although his efforts were largely stifled during the television show, this story becomes the unifying arc linking the four movies with this case.
Data struggles with emotions, turns down human implants from the Borg Queen, and finds true humanity in sacrificing himself to save the crew in Nemesis. The stories about Data's sentience and humanity are a great theme revisited again by the Doctor character in Voyager.
Data has multiple "siblings," including the evil Lore and the infantile B4. Data has a storage capacity of 800 quadrillion bits, which is about 50 times the storage of the human brain. Data loves playing poker, painting, His cat Spot, and playing Sherlock Holmes in the holodeck.
Data served as the second officer on the Enterprise and being unaffected by disease, radiation, and other ailments saved the rest of the crew on more than one occasion. Data was critical in rebuffing the greatest TNG enemy multiple times, as he led the battle to return Picard from being assimilated and then foiled the Borg queen plan in First Contact.
One Notable Quote comes from Hero Worship in season 5 (episode 11):
I would gladly risk feeling bad at times, if it also meant that I could taste my dessert.
Best Episodes Featuring Data:
The Measure of a Man, season 2 episode 9
The Quality of Life, season 6 episode 9
Data's Day, season 4 episode 11
Actor: Brent Spiner played Data and continues his acting career currently in the series Fresh Hell.
He also appeared as a regular on Night Court in the 1980's and played an eccentric doctor in the movie Independence Day.
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@BuckeyeFitzy and at healertrek.blogspot.com. Thanks for listening, and see you next week!