Data (Brent Spiner). A humanoid android so sophisticated that he was regarded as a sentient life-form with full civil rights. Data was a Starfleet officer who served as operations manager under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard aboard the Starship Enterprise -D (“Encounter at Farpoint, Part II” [TNG]) and later, aboard the Starship Enterprise -E (Star Trek: First Contact). Creation. Data was built around 2335 by the reclusive scientist Noonien Soong and his wife, Juliana Soong, at the Omicron Theta colony. Data was actually the fifth positronic android constructed by Soong; the first three were unsuccessful. (“Inheritance” [TNG]). The fourth, the first to become functional, was known as Lore. (“Datalore” [TNG]). SEE: Soong-type android. Lore exhibited dangerous behavior, forced Soong to disassemble him. Soong thereafter pursued the idea of building an android free of emotions. Soong hoped this new android would not exhibit the cruelty shown by Lore. Juliana had wanted Data to have a female form, but Noonien, as before, created Data in his own image. Following his activation, Data was much like a baby, though he was made in the form of a full-grown adult. Data had difficulty learning basic social skills, and “social niceties” had to be built into his programming. SEE: modesty subroutine. In addition, a creative capacity was also programmed into Data by Mrs. Soong, who reasoned that without emotions, the android would need another way to express himself. After this initial period, Data was thought unsuccessful and was deactivated. (“Inheritance” [TNG]). He was programmed with the logs and journals of the Omicron Theta colonists in an effort to help Data function better in human society. (“Datalore” [TNG], “Silicon Avatar” [TNG]). Unfortunately, before Data could be reactivated, the Crystalline Entity attacked the colony, and Soong and his wife, Juliana, were forced to abandon their work. Fearing that when reactivated, Data might behave as Lore did, Juliana made Dr. Soong leave Data at the colony site. (“Inheritance” [TNG]). Data remained in a dormant condition underground, where he was discovered in 2338 by the crew of the Starship Tripoli. Data subsequently joined the Starfleet and eventually became operations manager aboard the Enterprise -D. (“Datalore” [TNG] ) Form and function. Data was based on a sophisticated positronic brain developed by Soong, from concepts first postulated in the 20th century by Dr. Isaac Asimov. (“Datalore” [TNG]). Data’s body closely mimicked humanoid form, and contained approximately 24.6 kilograms of tripolymer composites, 11.8 kilograms of molybdenum-cobalt alloys, and 1.3 kilograms of bioplast sheeting. (“The Most Toys” [TNG]). His upper spinal support was polyalloy, while his skull was composed of cortenide and duranium. (“The Chase” [TNG]). Soong went to extraordinary lengths to create a naturalistic human appearance in Data. He gave Data a functional respiration system, although its purpose was primarily for thermal regulation. (Data was in fact capable of functioning for extended periods in a vacuum. [“Brothers” (TNG)].) He gave Data a pulse and a circulatory system that distributed biochemical lubricants and regulated microhydraulic power throughout Data’s body. Data’s hair was even capable of growth at a controllable rate. (“Birthright, Part I” [TNG]). Data did not require food; he occasionally ingested a semi-organic nutrient suspension in a silicon-based liquid medium. (“Déjr Q” [TNG]). Although Data’s systems were primarily mechanical, cybernetic, and positronic, sufficient biological components were present to allow him to become infected by the Psi 2000 virus in 2364. While under the influence of the inhibition-stripping effects of that disease, Data became intimate with Enterprise -D security chief Tasha Yar. (“The Naked Now” [TNG]). Data’s basic programming included a strong inhibition against harming living beings, but he nevertheless had the ability to use deadly force to protect others. (“The Most Toys” [TNG]). Data in Starfleet. Prior to his assignment to the Enterprise -D, Data served aboard the U.S.S. Trieste. During this tour-of-duty, the Trieste once fell through a wormhole. (“Clues” [TNG]). Aboard the Enterprise -D, Data served as operations manager, and was in charge of coordinating the many departments aboard the ship. (“Encounter at Farpoint” [TNG]). In 2366, Commander Data was seriously injured trying to save Q from an attack by gaseous creatures called the Calamarain. In gratitude, Q gave Data the gift of allowing Data to experience human laughter for a brief time. (“Déjr Q” [TNG]). Data served as father of the bride for the wedding of Miles O’Brien and Keiko Ishikawa in 2367, and found it necessary to learn to dance to fulfill this ceremonial function. (“Data’s Day” [TNG]). Data’s first opportunity to command a starship came during the Federation blockade during the Klingon civil war of 2368. Data was assigned temporary command of the Starship Sutherland in Picard’s armada. As an android, Data encountered a small amount of prejudice among his human crew, but was nevertheless able to lead effectively. (“Redemption, Part II” [TNG]). In late 2368, when bizarre evidence was found suggesting that he had died some 500 years ago, Data traveled back in time to old San Francisco. The evidence was Data’s severed head, unearthed from beneath the city of San Francisco, where it had been buried for five centuries. (“Time’s Arrow, Part I”only saved the Enterprise -E and his shipmates, but blocked a time-traveling Borg effort to prevent Zefram Cochrane, in the year 2063, from making his historic first warp flight. (Star Trek: First Contact). Android rights. The question of Data’s sentience, and more specifically whether Data was entitled to civil rights as a citizen under the Constitution of the United Federation of Planets, was addressed in a number of important legal decisions. The first, in 2341, was rendered by a Starfleet Academy entrance committee that permitted Data to enter the academy and serve as a member of Starfleet. Several years later, the question was more definitively addressed when Judge Advocate General Phillipa Louvois ruled that Data was indeed a sentient being and therefore entitled to civil rights, including the right to resign from Starfleet if he so chose. As of stardate 42527, Data had been decorated by Starfleet Command for gallantry and had received the Medal of Honor with clusters, the Legion of Honor, and the Star Cross. (“The Measure of a Man” [TNG]). Data first appeared in “Encounter at Farpoint” (TNG). Many fans have noticed similarities between Data and the character, Questor, from Gene Roddenberry’s 1974 television movie/pilot The Questor Tapes, which featured Robert Foxworth as a humanoid android who searched for his creator while seeking to be human Addendum: Starfleet officer, the first artificial life-form to serve in the Starfleet. An android, Data did not breathe, and he could function underwater for extended periods of time. He was even able to alter his buoyancy so that he could walk underwater or float on the surface. His legs were 87.2 centimeters in length. Data’s programming included a fail-safe that caused his ethical and moral subroutines to take over in the event that his cognitive functions were damaged. The fail-safe was designed to protect him against anyone who might try to take advantage of him in the event of severe memory loss. In 2375, Data served on a Federation sociology team, observing the Ba’ku homeworld, where he befriended a Ba’ku child named Artim. While there, he accidentally discovered a Son’a plot to conquer the Ba’ku planet. Data was fond of the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. (Star Trek: Insurrection).