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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old November 30 2009, 02:16 PM   #1
Crewman47
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Data's skin colour?

After watching the season 4 episode last night where Data creates Lal and also give her human skin colour I was wondering why Dr Soong couldn't have given Data, and Lore, human skin colour as it it couldn't really be that hard to apply, even with todays materials? Did he only make there skin gold so that they would stand out from everyone else deliberatley so no one would "fear" them any more than they probably already were? If that were the readon then even after that if Data chose to, then he could he easisly apply skin colour himself to properly blend in and bring him closder to actually being more human, which is what his goal is/was.
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Old November 30 2009, 04:05 PM   #2
Anwar
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Re: Data's skin colour?

Soong deliberately designed Data, B4 and Lore so that they wouldn't look like humans. He wanted everyone to know they were his android creations. It was also why he didn't just give Data emotions like Lore, he wanted him to develop them on his own and show off what incredible potential he had that he could do so.

As for why Data didn't alter his own appearance, his desire to be more human was an internal one, I don't think he ever considered altering his appearance would help towards that.
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Old November 30 2009, 09:59 PM   #3
Tom Riley
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Re: Data's skin colour?

Well there was that one time he experimented with beards...
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Old November 30 2009, 10:13 PM   #4
Alrik
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Re: Data's skin colour?

Anwar seems to be pretty close to the mark. We know Soong had the ability to not only make human looking skin, but also skin that would age over time. For proof, you need not look any farther than the Juliana Tainer android.
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Old December 1 2009, 03:20 AM   #5
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Re: Data's skin colour?

Tom Riley wrote: View Post
Well there was that one time he experimented with beards...
Notice when he strokes it thusly...
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Old December 1 2009, 08:24 PM   #6
euphorik
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Re: Data's skin colour?

Tom Riley wrote: View Post
Well there was that one time he experimented with beards...
a fine, full, dignified beard. one which commanded respect and projected thoughtfulness and dignity...
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Old December 2 2009, 01:57 AM   #7
Hober Mallow
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Re: Data's skin colour?

Tom Riley wrote: View Post
Well there was that one time he experimented with beards...
And that "bloody skunk" look in an alternate timeline.
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Old December 2 2009, 07:01 AM   #8
T'Cal
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Re: Data's skin colour?

Alrik wrote: View Post
Anwar seems to be pretty close to the mark. We know Soong had the ability to not only make human looking skin, but also skin that would age over time. For proof, you need not look any farther than the Juliana Tainer android.
Not that NEM was worth having a sequel, but I was thinking that the writers could've had B4 have the same aging program that their mother, Juliana Tainer, had. Then Spiner could've continued playing the character with it aging as he did. I've heard him state that as one of the reasons he wanted to see Data get killed off.
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Old December 2 2009, 08:16 AM   #9
Red Ranger
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Re: Data's skin colour?

You know, I remember the first time I saw a picture of Data, it was in a New York Times article about TNG, and it was a black and white photo. I knew he was an android, but he looked like he had a human skin tone in the pic, and I thought, "They should give him different color skin and even eyes to distinguish that he is indeed an android." I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the premiere.

As for Lal, remember Data gave his offspring the chance to pick its look and gender. As I recall, in addition to the human female look Lal chose, it narrowed its other choices down to a human male, Klingon male, and Andorian female. So Lal could've been any number of colors or appearances.

With Data having his own skin color, it was as if he represented a race. I remember I wrote a brief treatment for a TNG story where the Enterprise comes across a planet of Soong-type androids, all with Data's coloring, as Soong's plans were stolen by an alien race that successfully recreated his design. The story was these androids were slaves to their humanoid creators, denied basic rights, forcing Data to choose sides in their conflict despite his Starfleet oath.

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Old December 5 2009, 06:10 AM   #10
Therin of Andor
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Re: Data's skin colour?

T'Cal wrote: View Post
Not that NEM was worth having a sequel, but I was thinking that the writers could've had B4 have the same aging program that their mother, Juliana Tainer, had. Then Spiner could've continued playing the character with it aging as he did. I've heard him state that as one of the reasons he wanted to see Data get killed off.
But the writers deliberately added a line to "Inheritance" that Juliana had an ageing program "like Data's". The writers were teasing Spiner for comments he'd been making at conventions that his time playing Data was finite and quickly running out.

Of course, maybe Data could also disconnect the ageing program, as he was doing with his emotion chip in "First Contact".
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Old December 8 2009, 06:17 PM   #11
Hober Mallow
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Re: Data's skin colour?

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
But the writers deliberately added a line to "Inheritance" that Juliana had an ageing program "like Data's". The writers were teasing Spiner for comments he'd been making at conventions that his time playing Data was finite and quickly running out.
It's actually a puzzling line, considering dialog in earlier episodes directly indictated Data wouldn't age, and they even contradicted the line about Data's supposed aging only a few episodes later in "All Good Things," when Data is seen in the future just as he always looked, with the exception of the "bloody skunk," which he added himself to make himself look older.

Of course, maybe Data could also disconnect the ageing program, as he was doing with his emotion chip in "First Contact".
Unfortunately, it seemed he couldn't shut it off during "Nemesis."
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Old December 8 2009, 07:04 PM   #12
CaptainStoner
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Re: Data's skin colour?

I think Data was given the synthetic-looking skin tone initially for visual effect, probably for the benefit of the non-geek audience. Anwar's in-world explanation makes good sense also.

As a side note, as much as I like the TNG films - and this also speaks to going HD with TNG - Data looks terrible in closeup in HD.
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Old December 9 2009, 05:41 AM   #13
Red Ranger
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Re: Data's skin colour?

On a related note, why did Soong make most of his androids with his own face? Vanity? -- RR
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Old December 9 2009, 06:03 PM   #14
Alrik
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Re: Data's skin colour?

Red-Nosed Reindeer wrote: View Post
On a related note, why did Soong make most of his androids with his own face? Vanity? -- RR
I think that, coupled with a desire for a sense of immortality and maybe even family. Maybe Soong was 'shootin blanks' and couldn't father a child, so that might explain why he had no problem showing genuine love for his androids. If you think about it, he loved his wife, but had no problem continuing to do so even after she croaked and he put her memories in an android. He alway referred to Data and Lore as his sons. So all in all, old Soong might have had a 'unique' view on things. That or he was just a flat out head case.
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Old December 10 2009, 01:41 AM   #15
Hober Mallow
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Re: Data's skin colour?

Soong liked to do robots. Ew.
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