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Timothy Metcalf
Wed, Apr 25, 2018, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: In Theory

Regarding Data vs. the Doctor... Thinking back over TNG, i think The Measure of a Man is the only episode that really question's Data's right to existence and rights as an individual. The crew always treat him as an individual as deserving of rights as anyone. Outsiders sometimes question that, but never the people he considers friends. The Doctor, on the other hand, is constantly treated as an appliance. No one on the Enterprise would even consider comparing Data to a replicator like Janeway does the Doctor. The Doctor, unlike Data, has consistent trouble being respected as a unique individual. In part, this is because he's an EMH, and thus one of presumably hundreds of copies of a program. As we see in First Contact, EMH's are a standard feature on the latest generation of Starfleet ships, so it makes total sense that the crew would see him more as an appliance. After all, that's how Starfleet has treated "him." Data, on the other hand, is almost entirely unique. (The out of universe reason, of course, is that conflict within the crew was not allowed under Roddenbury.) While I really appreciate Data's journey towards personhood, I think that Voyager explores the oppression/dismissal of artificial lifeforms much more completely and poignantly with the Doctor.
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