Unlike Mr. Fix It who grew up watching Star Trek the original series, I grew up with The Next Generation… wait…
That sounds a bit creepy is it not?
Therefore, instead of having an extraterrestrial crush to Mr. Spock — bless his soul, I had one with Mr. Data.
Even before I understood what was going on on the show due to my English skill (or the lack of), I thought Mr. Data was really cool. I thought, even the Captain Picard himself consulted that handsome pale robot (he was an android, by the way — it was my ignorance as a young and stupid little girl which made me mistake him as a robot).
After having a long and somehow rather embarrassingly geeky conversation with Mr. Fix-It, we decided to download the whole Star Trek: The Next Generation series and watch it from season one. We had few marathon for the last few weekends, but there is still a long way to go (season 4 now).
It is funny how at first we were so excited about watching the series just for a giggle but then got really into it after the first few episodes. I agree that the acting was a little over the top, but so were most of the TV series and films produced during that era. The fact that it is still enjoyable to watch after more than two decades from it was first aired only highlighted how classic Star Trek: The Next Generation is.
I am going to stop talking like a film critic, because I actually wanted to talk about my favourite Lieutenant Commander Data.
Mr. Data was — like I said, not a robot but — an Android. He resembled human in almost anything except that he was obviously superior in learning skill, memory retention, physical strength, analytical ability, and — as a woman I would add– aging process. However, Data’s program was not pre-installed with the ability to feel. In the series it has been repeatedly shown that his lack of ability to empathise with others made it difficult for Data to interact in a social conventions. I do not think it was a plothole, but I found it interesting that although Data was not equipped with the ability to feel, he was a rather curious being.
I am sure he explained it somehow in the conversation, that curiosity is one of the natural human trait. And, there is nothing he was interested in more than humankind, and humanity.
I understand where he was coming from. I agree that human beings are such interesting objects to be observed. You could predict their reactions to almost everything, yet they could response in so many different way. They have personalities, they develop unique kinds of relationships, they need the platform to demonstrate their creativities. They have traits that some other species in animalia kingdom do not acquire.
However, it was probably Data’s disability to feel which made him so persistent on understanding human being. I, for once, have given up my faith in humanity a long time ago.
As a human being, it seems normal for me to be able to feel anger, disappointment, impatience, and boredom while dealing with people I consider stupid or ignorant. Data in the other hand, had the total understanding that he has superiority in knowledge, and information processing — plus the fact that he could not feel bored nor impatient, that makes it much easier for him to deal with intellectually inferior species. Once again, it has been proven that Android is superior than human to the very last bit.
How could it not make you think about whether the ability to feel and empathise to other individual is actually a good thing or not? Would it – as the Borg put it – relevant?
Human being boasted that their ability to feel gives them the joy of love, but if you could not feel it to begin with, you would not miss what you have never had. You would never even know its existence if other individuals surrounding you never had it either, hence you would not be curious about it like Data did. You would rely solely on logic, and instinct, to survive as a species.
Then I thought again, how about compassion? That would also be redundant as there would not be anything to be compassionate about. Would law be enough to put an order to the society? If people do not have greed, nor ambition, then logically choosing a leader would not be based on political agenda.
Man… maybe Borg was right.
Is it my PMS talking?
Anyway… I have to stop now before I talk about something even more surreal.