Few episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation are more thought-provoking, or emblematic, than "Measure of a Man," the episode where Data is put on trial to determine whether he's a person or just Starfleet's property. And it turns out that the existence of this episode is partly thanks to George R.R. Martin — as this exclusive clip reveals.

Above is a clip from the special features on the Blu-ray of Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2, in which writer Melinda Snodgrass explains that she thought maybe the parallels with the Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision were maybe a bit too strong a brew. Luckily, her pal George R.R. Martin talked her into running with it, with some writing advice that is going to stick with me for a long time: "Never hoard your silver bullet." The resulting script ended up getting bought, right over the transom.


Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2 comes out on Blu-ray on Tuesday, including an extended cut of "Measure of a Man" that a bunch of us watched in San Francisco last night — the restored scenes add a lot more nuance to the arguments over Data's status, as well as some nice character-building moments and a decent amount of cheesiness. We'll have a full review of the Blu-ray set, including the extended episode, in a few days.