The following quote is from one of my favourite Star Trek: The Next Generations episodes, The Drumhead (4x21); It is cited by Picard and attributed to the fictional Judge Aaron Satie:

With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.

Picard, quoting Judge Aaron Satie

According to memory-alpha (see link), Jeri Taylor is to be credited for writing of this episode. However, are these actually her words, or was she a) quoting somebody herself or b) was the episode co-written by an uncredited second person who contributed the quote?

Yes, I am asking for an out-of-universe answer.

  • 2
    What makes you wonder if this bit of dialog was written by someone other than the writer of the episode, especially when that writer was Jeri Taylor? Dec 17 '12 at 19:48
  • @MarkBeadles: So much emphasis was put on it, that I suspected it was actually a quote that precedes that episode. But due to Star Trek saturation, Google is useless.
    – bitmask
    Dec 17 '12 at 20:14
  • 3
    If the quote is hard to find, it's probably Jeri Taylor's own writing. If she were going to lift a line from some other writer it would be someone well-known enough to be obviously attributible (e.g. Shakespeare, Melville), otherwise Taylor be open to a plagiarism charge were it ever found out.
    – Kyle Jones
    Dec 17 '12 at 21:01
  • 1
    @KyleJones: My assumption was that it's only hard to find because the web has now associated that quote with Star Trek. Does this make any sense? Anyway, I think I get your point.
    – bitmask
    Dec 17 '12 at 22:21
  • A lot of people use that quote as their email tag, making it even harder to see if there's a source other than Ms. Taylor (I tried doing an exclusion search, subtracting any Star Trek reference words). If it is her own words, then I wish she had received more credit - it's a powerful and moving statement.
    – Joe L.
    Oct 8 '14 at 23:57

Jeri Taylor, as she was credited with writing the episode.

As you've previously pointed out, StarTrek saturation makes it difficult to find in reference to anyone other than Jean-Luc Picard, but I did find one reference.

  • That reference doesn't make it clear to me! It looks like a quote attributed to Gene Roddenberry, but inside that quote he's quoting the fictional Judge Aaron Satie!!
    – AidanO
    Jan 31 '13 at 7:52
  • 1
    @AidanO - Roddenberry died Oct '91, but TNG season 4 was aired 90-91 (so must have been written before that), so maybe the web site is mis-attributing it or Roddenberry and Taylor came up with it together (or something else entirely). It's the only reference I could find that isn't attributed to Captain Picard.
    – SteB
    Jan 31 '13 at 8:40

I was looking for the same quote and could not find a reference in English. However, when I translated it into German, I found it. The quote is by French composer Alfred Éric Leslie Satie. Yes, the character name is probably a nod to him. No copyright infringement or plagiarism, since Msr. Satie passed away in 1925.

  • 2
    Interesting! Can you provide a source, any link with more info, ...?
    – Junuxx
    Aug 5 '16 at 18:37
  • Yes, a source would be very useful. Is the quote in French or German?
    – Adamant
    Aug 5 '16 at 18:42
  • “No copyright infringement or plagiarism, since Msr. Satie passed away in 1925.” — In the UK I believe copyright lasts for 70 years from the author’s death, so Msr. Satie’s copyright would only have expired here in 1995, after the episode first aired. Aug 5 '16 at 19:41
  • 1
    Discussed extensively on MemoryAlpha Germany. Identified as "probably a hoax"; de.memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Diskussion:Aaron_Satie
    – Valorum
    Aug 5 '16 at 20:09
  • 1
    What is most telling is that the translation is a word-for-word translation. When was the last time you saw Google Translate manage to actually get a direct quote completely right? Never, that's when.
    – Valorum
    Aug 5 '16 at 20:20

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