From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

“Data, why are you laughing?”

You don’t need to be a “Spiner Femme” to appreciate the awesomeness of Brent Spiner, TV’s Commander Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Whether you’re a Trekkie, Trekker, or just someone who enjoys theater, you know that Spiner is a talented and funny actor and sometimes singer (imagine him in a duet with John Barrowman…).

Some of the best moments in Star Trek have been exchanges between Captain Jean Luc Picard and the android who would be human–at least until the later movies made the mistake of focusing on the characters to the exclusion of all else. At a convention in New Jersey this past March, Spiner imitated a fanboy all too well and asked his old Captain, Patrick Stewart, some challenging questions about his recent lead role in Macbeth. You don’t need a knowledge of Star Trek or Shakespeare to enjoy this one.

Continuing to make the rounds at the convention (why wasn’t he a guest?), Spiner then asks an intelligent question of Rene Auberjonois and Armin Shimmerman (Quark and Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) concerning the transporters on the show. It’s funny, until you realize some fan has probably asked him this before. Auberjonois retorts with what we’re all thinking. (If you’re wondering why Shimmerman looks so familiar sans his Ferengi makeup, yes, he played Principal Snyder on Buffy.)

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