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Why do people so often compare Spock to Data?


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Report this May. 25 2013, 5:28 pm

One of the major debates in the star trek universe (alongside with Kirk vs Picard) is Spock vs Data. But in reality, spock should be compared with Riker (being first officer), not data. Both Spock and Data are known for being emotionless, but Spock merely suppresses his emotions using the Vulcan method of colinar. Data, one the other hand, has no emotions (disregarding his emotion chip). Fellow trekkies of the world, please explain to me a logical (as Spock would say) reason why Spock and Data should be and currently are compared to eachother.



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Report this May. 25 2013, 10:27 pm

Superficially, you could say:

Spock is First Officer.

Riker is First Officer.

Therefore they are more comparable.


However, Spock and Data both occupy the same archetypal role in the story of their respective series, what may be termed the Alien Outsider. Both are outsiders looking in on humanity, and struggling to come to an understanding. And their position as Other illuminates details of human nature (such as humour) that might not be shown from an insider's perspective.

Have you ever danced with a Tribble in the pale moonlight?


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Report this May. 27 2013, 7:38 am

I think that all the Star Trek series had the "outsider" that was trying to fit in among the crew. Data was essentially the Spock in he was conflicted and searching for his own identity. It's basically being a misfit and unique. Having to reconcile your own identity.  Spock was the only hybrid at the time and Data was the only android.  That carried over to Odo on DS9, being a Changeling who didn't know his roots, alone in a "solids" world.  It was split between B'Elanna and Seven on VOY, although B'Elanna wasn't the ONLY hybrid Klingon, but I assume it's rare.  T'Pol filled that role on ENT to a lesser degree, being the first Vulcan to live with Humans.


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Report this Jun. 16 2013, 8:55 pm

They talked about this in the episode where Spock meets Data... Data admits to trying to be MORE human, and Spock admits to be trying to be more Vulcan. In fact, those are human traits, striving to be something else.


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Report this Jun. 16 2013, 10:44 pm

I never really understood the comparison, except perhaps on a superficial level.  Spock might have been trying to be more Vulcan, but he didn't have the naivete of Data.  Spock was mature, a fact emphasized by his comraderie with Kirk, whereas Data's childlike innocence and immaturity are what gave him trouble fitting in with the humans in the crew.  

The only two characters that strike me as comparable between the TOS and TNG are Doctor McCoy and Doctor Pulaski.  Both stubborn, sharp tongued, and distrusting of transporter technology  .

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