0 comments for “2021

  1. Yeah, I get annoyed when people “joke” that Uhura was a glorified secretary. She’s a member of the command crew! She’s a Lieutenant! Anyone on the ship whose job involves communications answers to her!

  2. Thanks for sharing. I’ve been trying to come up with a TNG episode to use with “Dark They Were and Golden Eyed” with my 7th grade class. I think your lesson is great and could also help my students who struggle with comprehension.

  3. Great review! I love Lower Decks!

    Although to your point about Buenamigo, I think the first Latinx command officer in canon was Commodore Mendez from The Menagerie back in the day.

  4. Amazing piece! So beautifully written and covering all the aspects as to why this was a awesome move by show creators!

  5. I’ve never understood the heavy dislike of Pulaski. Yes, she was acerbic toward Data, particularly early in the season, but I thought it was an interesting character choice and looked forward to seeing how it was developed. For instance, in the Data farewell party in “The Measure of a Man”, she disagrees with Data, but it seems sufficiently friendly.

    By the way, the episode where Pulaski’s paranoia about the transporter almost causes her death is “Unnatural Selection”, whereas “The Icarus Factor” is the one with Kyle Riker.

    • Bones Didn’t directly replace an already established ship’s doctor. the Doctor he replaced had a single episode. Pulaski replaced Crusher (after an entire season, and for an entire season), while her kid was still on the ship. While I don’t speak for others, I can say that my strong dislike for her grew mostly out of that. However, I have grown to like Pulaski, but if I only get one Head Doctor on the enterprise It’ll always be Crusher.

  6. Never forget, Pulaski banged Riker’s dad.

    A lot of people will argue that the way Pulaski’s treatment of Data failed where McCoy’s abuse of Spock did not is simply from how Data isn’t capable of throwing it back the way Spock is. However, Pulaski accomplished a significant amount of character growth on that arc in her few episodes, any learning McCoy did gets reset in the next story. Spock even gets to directly (under the influence of their situation) tell McCoy that he doesn’t like being called names like that and McCoy seems to sincerely recant from such treatment, yet nothing has changed in the movies.

  7. It’s somewhat obscured by all of the action-movie flash, but the third “Kelvin timeline” movie, Star Trek: Beyond has Captain Balthazar Edison’s untreated (or at least insufficiently treated) PTSD as a major plot point. Idris Elba does an excellent job as Krall/Edison, especially in the final confrontation with Kirk where he’s talking about why he isn’t just angry with Starfleet over feelings of perceived abandonment, but hates the very concept of the Federation and wants to destroy it.

  8. Hey Gals, second time listener (Last one i listened to was disabilities eps because of P1 said to check it out before their last ep) and oh my god this is great.

    The Enterprise trip one makes me sick however. I think its trek at its worse.

    Trip doesn’t know he is “mating” and rather talking about consent the episode makes fun of him. Dr. Phlox attitude is you must have know if you had sex and then tells him to look ward to the surprises his boby may go through! Hes a doctor mind you. T’Pol makes out his is a slut and when he says he was a “gentlemen” she questions his integrity. And when questioned he talks about how its a “game they play” to read each others minds. He had no idea. It triggers me as grooming behaviour and I am deeply troubled about how all the “Profession” officers in the room react in not believing their co-worker who has seemed to be r***.

    It’s really handled poorly and I was very upset watching that episode as a survivor of abuse. It reminds me of teenagers who have been tricked into have sex. But everytime some one in trek circles as me my feelings on it I dont tell them because to most people its “funny”. Just look at all the youtube commants for the scene but if you swapped a female for trip or made them a 12 year old teenage the scene has a whole different tone and not funny at all.

    On a lighter note, I think some of the other answers are in the Farm in lower decks. The one with the Dog?

    But the question I have is what happens if someone just flat out lies about something happening. I worked in a place where someone didn’t like their co work and tried to destroy their life. It was exposed but you know… what happens in the future? We seen Aliens do this in the show, but what about everday people? Sure Money is gone but not everyone is driven by money and not everyone is nice.

  9. The Victor writes the history books. It’s an old saying, but each group writes their books (whether History, Fiction, or prose) with their own croup, species, clan, or religion as the leading, predominant figures in that particular work. The Heroes. The wise, industrialists, the ones who save the underdog. As Humans, we write our Science Fiction the same way. It would be odd for us to place ourselves, as a specie, as the antagonists, although there are works which could be interesting that way.
    If Klingons actually existed, they would claim Shakespeare as one of their own (as General Chang did in “Undiscovered Country”. I am sure the Ferengi Sci Fi novels have the Grand Nagis bringing peace to Alien worlds by teaching the inhabitants the benefits of the Rules of Acquisition and the blessings they brought by exploiting that world to the profit of Ferignard. Perhaps not, but at least we Humans do that.

  10. In his interview, in Star Trek Communicator magazine (the zine for the officially sanctioned fan club) issue 138 May 2002, he specifically talks about how excited he is to be playing Star Trek’s first openly gay character, given all the trouble that had previously existed in getting one to screen.

  11. I think there is a way out of this for SNW, but I fear they may not be thinking they need an out. Here are my thoughts…

    Every society, let alone species, is complex and has a variety of cultures. The Gorn factions, like the Vulcans and Romulans, have two spacefaring factions or warring nations. Kirk met the more progressive Gorn faction that has given up on eating sentient species and having their young kill each other and view that way of life as repugnant and reactionary. La’an met the reactionary or traditionalist faction that views Gorn life as the only life that matters and does not believe in coddling their young; eating other intelligent species is fine with them.

    What I find disturbing is that Pike and crew killed children from a sentient species and never even tried to find another way. Hopefully the show will make up for it by bringing us into the Gorn Civil War and let us see the Hegemony subdue the violent traditionalist extremists.

  12. You’re not alone in your disatisfaction of how certain topics have been handled by Picard. I had to stop watching midway through season 1 when I had the hard realization that what helped me survive my childhood traumas was causing me more emotional trauma rather than entertaining me. And the more I read about what happens in the rest of season 1 and in season 2, the more disatisfied I am with that show. Like you, I have been hesitant to share my thoughts because the fandom is in such a polarized state that you’re only allowed to either love or hate it and that determines whether people like you or block you. So, thank you for voicing what I’m sure many of us are feeling. I’ve given up on Picard and am enjoying the other Trek shows that are available.

  13. I’ve had to go through the experience of losing someone to suicide twice. One was a friend who had severe mental health issues and clear suicidal ideation; the other was my only brother.
    There really is no such thing as closure. You learn to bear the burden, and then one day it stops being the first thing you think of when you get up in the morning.
    Cold comfort, but sometimes it’s the only comfort to hand. Much love.

  14. Thanks for all your good work on precise for each episode.

    What is great about SNW is it is a riff and not just a riff on TOS but each story is a riff and they are hugely entertaining ones. We have had Stranger Things, Alien, Close Encounters, Ursula Le Guin’s story as well as riffs from TOS itself.

    So the entire enterprise swings on the script and the acting. Pike, Spock and Chapel excel, Ohura, Ortegas and Khan (agree no need for that connection) are not far behind.

    There were two characters that just did not leap out of the screen and one is now dead and the one character that should never have been there is out, so good decisions being made by way of course corrections.

    Personally as an adjunct to the Arc Series format of Picard, SNW in every sense is the perfect complement and as you said it “looks” fantastic and authentic so much so that Disco, as you call it, is already “looking” anachronistic and does not belong with the rest of the Canon. SNW is joined to TOS and P is joined to SNG, Discovery is looking more and more like an external grab.

  15. N.B. Rukiya was dying. I mean, I guess they made a mistake not making it a chronic illness? But it wasn’t. She was like by the Elysian episode, he was out of time. I guess …. he should have let her die? Was that the proper choice? I am VERY confused about including Rukiya in the same discussion as Pike.

  16. Man, I don’t know. I’m not saying there isn’t room for growth but it was hella enjoyable and is it *really* all CIS all the time? Do we have to nail that all down right now, season 1 and leave no where to go and find out more about characters? Maybe it’s because of the heavy T’pring season that it feels that way. And frankly, Spock seems highly attracted to T’pring and has a valid reason to explore that but is definitely developing a deep connection (of what kind I’m not certain yet) with Chapel. Aren’t there an awful lot of people who are just fluid to one degree or another? Do they have to explicitly talk about /show their sexual preferences like “I am this! I am that!”.

    I guess I’m sorry that Chapel wasn’t more clear with her comments (although to date that is still one of the funniest deliveries to me and I laugh every time with how she says that’s was a mistake. And I don’t think at all she meant it was a mistake that the “gal” was a woman.) but I thought it was pretty clear. She’s not straight at any rate. She’s definitely passionate about everything. I love that. She’s awesome.

    Does Spock have other sides to his sexuality? maybe. Mostly I feel like at this point he’s simply pretty freaking unexperienced all the way around. That’s what I see. He’s a babe in the woods with relationships period. We just don’t know enough about a lot of the other characters and it’s only been 10 eps. I still feel like I know enough about Ortegas to love her. I think she can be hilarious and also deeply feeling. That’s good for me for now. I would love to hang out with her. She’s interesting. I agree Number One was really shorted this season but I do think there might be a lot more of her next season.

    Oh well. I really enjoy it and I enjoy having a less heavy live action series that, yes, is a bit like my childhood comfort food TOS. It’s still one of the best formed season 1s of any Trek series out there.

  17. Despite Akiva’s remarks to the contrary, I think if the Gorn are popular enough, they can’t help but be inevitably be portrayed in a more sympathetic light. Much like the Klingons, the Ferengi, the Borg, Species 42069 and others, the more we learn the less scary and more understandable they become. In short, the author is 100% correct as of now, a truly evil race would be a serious departure for the series.

  18. Apologies for a long one.
    My feeling with Spock, and maybe this is me reading too much into it, is that he thinks he should be with T´Pring. Not only because they are engaged or whatever but not marrying a nice Vulcan lady would make him less Vulcan and he already feels too human sometimes.

    Number One is the character I was most excited to see. I´m very disappointed that we haven´t had more time with her. It´s like they don´t know what to do with the character. I loved her in Disco and Short Treks but while I still like her they´re definitely not using her as they should.

    I do love Ortegas however I do wish she had been given more in season 1. To Kennedys point Melissa Navia said in an interview “if there´s a connection she´s going to go for that” which sounds like Ortegas is pan.

    I´m so sad about Hemmer, I still haven´t forgiven them. Here they create this interesting, character who I wanted to know more about played by a great actor and you fucking kill him off! Also not a great look killing off the first and only blind character. I was worried they would replace him with Scotty but according the an interview with one of the producers the engineer in season 2 is not him which I´m glad about.

    I´m so annoyed they´re doing the Gorn this way. And I can´t reconcile The Gorn captain from Arena to these. If they wanted to do the Gorn, fine but either do the Gorn more like they were from Arena or do these scary aliens and call them something else.

    The worst thing about Pike talking about his future is how he refers to it as death. Yes, it is the end of how he lives now but he is still alive. But being completely honest, I understand what he is saying. If I learned that I would be horribly disabled in an accident and lose the ability to speak and move and communicate in any way I would probably feel like it was a fate worse than death as well. My hope is that he and this hypothetical me would learn to move away from that. And honestly, the technology we have now is better than what Menagerie-Pike had so SNW-Pikes chair will be better too.

    I find it interesting that this was supposed to be the lighter show but here we have a crew and captain who 1) are the people who don´t walk away from Omalas. So to speak. They feel bad about it but they leave. I imagine some of the other captains saying no way in hell are we leaving without helping the Majalans figure this shit out. And 2) They have no problem seeing the Gorn as plain evil and without motive. The only time we´ve seen that is probably the Borg and even then we saw that story and viewpoint evolve.

    And also I want to punch Sam Kirk in the face. Repeatedly.

  19. I think there’s a difference between what La’an says the Gorn are and how they actually are. There were similar complaints about the Vulcans in ENT. Star Trek has always shown the trajectory of species relationship with humans as going from antagonistic to allies, or at least neutrality. So, in order for that trajectory to be shown, we have to see the starting point. What Strange New Worlds is showing us is that humans are unreliable narrators at this point, and that “Arena” is the point at which humans realize they might have been wrong about the Gorn.

  20. Anson and Christina are great fun the others take care of the business but a bottle story led by a character with a story device that I am not interested in was always going to be a pass. Babs swallowed quiet delivery gives me the impression he is out of his depth and rehearsing his lines. Facially he is the opposite of SMG’s over acting. Inevitably with episodic story telling some are going to appeal more than others. One difference this bottle story has consequences and we have lost the daughter will that flow out into the main narrative?

  21. I agreed with most of the takes on this episode. I like SNW well enough but it’s so safe and predictable that it sometimes gives me Disney Channel lol. Discovery and Picard(Picard especially)lean into edgy and depressing and they don’t always hit the mark but those characters at least feel real(and are explicitly queer!)and there’s a level of relatability because of how human they all are, whereas on SNW, everyone feels like stock characters almost? I’m hoping they settle and better develop as the seasons go on, but there’s something very mild about this show and idk if it’ll work for the long term. I just feel like a show called Strange New Worlds should actually try to really expand and delve into the strange of the ‘strange new worlds’(and plots!)lol

  22. I adored this episode. The narrative was great the context with ST Lore was just perfect and Spock and Nurse Chapel (just wow). I am watching this as it is downloaded to Amazon every Wednesday in the UK but two characters at this point are going nowhere or nowhere interesting The Doctor and Number 1. Loved the antagonist and she will be back I am sure.

  23. I watched this on Wednesday when it was released to P + and was underwhelmed by Pike/Alora so I watched it again today and clearly I was tired because everything came through on the second viewing. Anson’s Pike is a little bit Kirk but without communicating Kirk’s loneliness and need and probably more Patrick’s Picard who tripped over his connections though resolved to be unattached

    On the question of the plot foundation this was discussed in the 19th century in the “Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life.” I used it as the back story for my not for profit novel the “The Furious Gods.’

    For me having watched the West go through two years when the lives of the thriving and healthy were sacrificed for the elderly co morbid and a West that believes any kind of life is worth saving irrespective of quality/dignity/grace etc its always good to be reminded of the alternative in a science fiction context.

  24. What is quite wonderful about this series is how fast the ensemble are getting into ones head. The standouts here were Ortegas and Nurse Chapel.

    Ortegas has had great lines from the start and she is wonderfully no labels, they, she, who cares,(confession thats what I personally relate to so thats why I do not relate to all placement and messaging of Discovery), again Nurse Chapel blows the Doctor our of the water in terms of screen presence. It feels like one of those so relatable things where the better person is not in charge.

    As someone who used the Bound theme of Trip and T’pol the khatra switch felt like a plot device which worked because of the actors playing it tongue in cheek and a great script but somehow not to be taken seriously.

    Loved the solar sail design.

  25. I mentioned in error in the previous episode the call back to Wrath of Khan but its this episode and that feeling of cat and mouse with Khan is neatly echoed with the Gorn ship. The gambit of drawing the Enterprise to fire its torpedo and sacrificing one of their ships was of personal interest and the whole submariner thing with the ship under stress worked nicely.

    I always enjoy it when they give the ships a maritime feel which is mooted for Picard Season 3’s ship.

    There is nothing remotely new in these stories but the values and the acting (for the most part) make it a joyous experience.

    I somehow expected number one’s surgery to mean more and reveal something of her physiology,

  26. Once again the plot strategically (an altering decease from a planet is straight out of an Enterprise Episode) and tactically (disappearing in a cloud, crewmen cut off by the bulkheads is WofK) is highly formulaic, but none of it matters because the narrative and the players are on top form and we get expansion for Una and La’an.

    The Doctor gets more exposure but just does not cut it as a Doctor and his dialogue is hard to understand he swallows a lot of his words. The hiding the child in the buffer felt like a riff from a dreadful episode amongst an otherwise excellent Enterprise season where a disabled genius is trying to bring back his son out of a transporter accident.

    Una’s backstory works though the Illurian’s I know are from Enterprise and I would never have made the connection. I do not have a problem with using books for Lore but I have never met anyone that reads the books so thats for people who are encyclopedic and in deep or are the script writers just borrowing ideas?

  27. At last we have a Star Trek ensemble the right size everyone is a card carrying member with just the doctor invisible in this episode. Within two episodes we have everyone (expect the doctor and Kirk). It feels lean and tight. The writing of the sequence with the M’Hanit and Uhura was perfect and neatly played us into Uhura as the commentary mentions.

    The show has great energy and you actually feel characters know their briefs. All of them made a contribution rather just being there. The coolness of Noonien-Singh works really well almost a Saavik from WOfK

    The self doubting Uhura was just the right side of honest doubt and after Crusher and Tilly at last we have a “young’ person” that does not feel placed for an audience or relate-ability. The other thing this Uhura has going for her she is likeable and their is a lovely sense of space in her performance. The kind of space and relaxed playing that usually takes three seasons.

    Spock was clumsy Spock, not understanding that a good human response would be to wrap it up better, with Uhura We should view Spock as what he is not pretend he has to meet some Western/US agenda as to good human interpersonal management skills. Thats the entire point of Spock he does not get the mystery and complexity of human interaction. His response to Uhura was .. logical and that too gives us an insight into human behaviour which is so often self absorbed and introspective where everyone needs huge degrees of empathy before they will function.

    I am wondering whether this has hit the ground running because unlike SNG its not relying on just one actor to inspire them but two/three who already have form from Discovery.

    Anson though is so strong that scene in his quarters is so relaxed I can see it being infectious for the others to raise their game.

  28. Everything looks wonderful the music and the call backs perfectly judged. Pike, Spock and Uhira are superb and the laconic pilot is great because you instantly remember her and their is no sense of placement.

    The story is as light as a feather but for me is the perfect companion of the entirely different Picard. This is going to be a fun hour a week.

    Nurse Chapel was fun the one mist step was the Doctor, he seemed nothing remotely like a doctor compare the female doctor in 24th Century LA in Picard and the guy in Discovery.

    Much better than Discovery by a country mile, more authentic no placement messages and none of that earnest unreality combined with desperately obvious “acting” of S Martin Green.

  29. A really weird thought occurs… with a distant DS9 tie-in. The Breen, the Dominion recruited mercenary army, by all accounts come from a delightful temperate world. No one knows why they wear the ice suits. It kinda makes a fella wonder… what if they are all Gorn infested and wear the suits to prevent the Gorn spreading through their system…

  30. I adore how, 1. The Captain’s quarters are the only one with a built in kitchen 2. He cooks, or talks aboit cooking in EVERY episode.

  31. Thank you for another great episode!

    I wonder if Michelle Forbes (Ro Laren) might also be a candidate for your list?

  32. I always thought it was incredibly weird when Spock would quote the Bible or reference it because he’s Vulcan. My dad always said it was because his mother is human but that doesn’t mean she’s Christian. I just kinda think it’s weird how everyone assumes people are Christian even if they are fictional aliens played by a Jewish actor who was playing his character as Jewish.

  33. Other than Dr Bashir’s genetically altered “girlfriend’ who else had a chronic disease magically cured in Trek?

  34. I liked Michael’s first haircut that was short, different, and individual. Going to long girly braids, like everyone else, seems so NOT Michael, who is so strong, unique, and beautiful.

  35. This could also be the first (?) Star Trek project that doesn’t carry the Star Trek name in its title.

    Would that even be recommended, brand-wise?

    Torchwood wasn’t branded yet people didn’t have a problem understanding it was a spinoff.

  36. Assignment Earth’s Supervisor Gary Seven is part of the same organization as Picard’s Supervisor Tallinn, according to Memory Alpha

  37. With Odo’s com badge I thought he maybe had a real com badge and he just made a hole for a little magnet so the badge could attach to him or the badge had a safety pin on the back and he would make a hole for the safety pin in himself which sounds gross but he probably didn’t see anything weird with it.

  38. Thanks for the take on Season 2 of Picard. I really would love to see a future Trek about Seven and the Rangers. It would be great if they got some Star Fleet backing. Then their mission would be to go around an help people. You could even use all the young cast because Rios’ EMHs could work on the ship. Have you heard the audiobook Jeri Ryan and Michelle Hurd made? It is “Star Trek No Mans Land”. I really enjoyed it and it gives an idea where a Seven and the Rangers Star Trek could go. I would be interested in your opinion on the book.

  39. Thanks for your observations I find it helpful to read and listen to what you guys say because it makes me re adjust on my next viewing.

    Picard unlike TOS/SNG/E is a show I love but within their are characters I really do not enjoy. Probably out of those three Geordi, who is brilliantly played by LeVar, is the closest to a character foot print that makes me face palm.

    In the first season, which I loved overall, I found I struggled with the footprints of several characters.

    In this second season Alison, Orla and Santiago knocked it out of the park raising their game and the regulars were just great but stranded in tons of issues for me where Evan and Michelle. Evan had a tall order everyone else has got some life traction he has not but then Renee was terrific as well. I was just glad he was out for most of it. Michelle, is it character, script or acting? Is she the consequence of this great problem for the West everyone is a victim. `Poor home addiction etc etc. Someone needs to tell Raffi you have done it your past it your great stop wallowing and stop trying to hard.

    You discussed her “look I am grieving take notice of all my noise please.” and were sympathetic. I took the opposite view and I wanted Jeri to turn round and say stop over acting or 7 to say shut up and every time she calls Jean Luc JL I want to scream.

    Its not necessarily the acting, though some is and she does take Spencer Tracey’s advice at the bar with Rios and actually listen but on the whole she seems to make the process of acting hard which you should not notice. I am curious and nervous about how she got on with Gates, Marina and all filming 3.

    I thought the internal back story of Jean Luc was incredibly brave and Talliinn’s remarks to Jean Luc so on point. The way it was played is, whatever the father or son did this woman was going to commit suicide. It is not their fault it’s her choice. It could have been as a consequence of… but the facts do not speak to that in this story and good for the writers.

    I too loved the grooming of Agnes but clearly assimilation can be a two way thing and to remind us in a broken world that co operative effort is a positive option was nicely done.

    The scene at the launch party between Picard and Tallinn was interesting. She was clearly attracted to him and he purred this was almost shakespearean in terms of the hidden character (Laris) showing Picard again she loves him.

    We all engage from our own point of view and I feel thrilled and privileged that once again I can “Engage” with Jean Luc.

    Look forward to 3 and your comments.

  40. Many thanks for your weekly updates. Whilst the technique used to drive the narrative each week is not new, for SNG/P it is and I have enjoyed it immensely. It has felt like the rule back by which JLP stories are told has been thrown out and yet with John, Whoopi and Will appearing it has been well anchored.

    I love how La Barre has been a recurring motive through out and of course the perfect gateway for both seasons.

    Alison Pill has been a revelation this season and she carried the final twist perfectly.

  41. What about Ba’el (Romulan father, Klingon mother) she seemed very comfortable with her heritage.

  42. Roddenberry believed that all crime in the Federation would’ve been rooted out. But since that is unrealistic, I can see the need to dole out punishment with prisons. That said, I do applaud Star Trek showing that the prison system in the Federation HAS been reformed. The penal colony where Tom Paris was sentenced did, in fact, look like a resort. Sure, it’s still a prison but there had to be some punishment for what he did.

    The only example I had a problem with was Eddington being in the brig for months while he waited for his court Martial in Deep Space Nine, but I guess I can chalk that up to not wanting to transfer a prisoner during wartime. In my head, prisoners waiting court martial are housed in Alcatraz which has been totally renovated so that prisoners no longer stay in cells–they’re housed in quarters. More of a college campus feel.

    • Why? The whole point of abolition is to move beyond “punishment” as the automatic default response to societal imperfections. And when you take into account that the Maquis had some very valid reasons to do what they did…

      • I think in the 24th century it’s about reforming criminals and punishing at the same time. Otherwise, you’re just telling people get away with crimes. as for the Maquis I do agree with you and if Eddington had resigned like Cal Hudson or Chakotay, that’d be one thing. But he used his position to break the law so he should at least be court martialed.

  43. Nearly six years later, a new comment!
    I’ve made it this far and will get to the current podcast episodes in the coming months.

    I hear you wonder why there would be a taboo, and I can but think of how the most ancient of human taboos were developed. Instinct is one factor influencing the behavior of a species, but in an intelligent species experience, memory, and problem solving converge on what is detrimental to the species, and quite literally a taboo is created by ancient tribal people, from nearly a hundred thousand years ago to the beginning of the age of agriculture and the invention of writing.

    The trill must have, in the very distant past, experienced dynasties, slavery, and other exploitations caused by the lack of controls upon their most gifted and long-lived members, the symbionts. I imagine there were wars, massacres, and other horrors before trill civilization became stable again, the survivors emerging with a new covenant – both trill and symbiont making concessions, willfully obeying new laws.

    I’d say the taboo comes from there. The punishment, exile far from the symbiont pools, would mean certain death of the symbiont, considering that this would have been in pre-warp, perhaps pre-industrial, even pre-historic times.

    Just think what kind of power a symbiont can have in a society that hasn’t invented written language yet. You would remember hundreds of years, tens of thousands of details, committed to memory. Would a symbiont be a tyrant, or exploited?

  44. Huh. What I did listen to has left me incredibly baffled about its dismissal of deep space nine as pro colonialism and anti Maquis. And it being used as an example of characters not learning except Bashir. It’s not that the federation was fine with the Bajorans and not with the Maquis; Bajor was not a part of the federation, and when it fought Cardassia, the federation was not at peace with them. They left Bajorans and many others to be occupied by Cardassia. This is not to defend the federation, but to note that Deep Space Nine has countless moments of self reflection about the Federation’s hypocrisy and political calculations. I mean… they even attempt to commit genocide at the end.

    On top of that, the series EXPLICITLY addresses colonialism and imperialism, from day one. Cardassians are very accurate portrayals of the colonialist mindset. I just don’t think it can be underestimated how much Kira is NOT dismissed as a character by deep space nine just because she’s Bajoran. So many characters in deep space nine change. Several occupiers become occupied and learn from the people they occupied how to fight. They sure have to change. A LOT. (Most do not change, their violently racist past is never sugar coated.)

    I’m just surprised since I’ve seen portrayals of occupation in deep space nine that I’ve not seen in any other show, and they are basically dismissed here.

    • Hi Noelle – there was a lot to cover in this hour and we couldn’t get super super in depth about all of DS9 or the Maquis. I think you’re right that there is more nuance to it. I believe we’re looking at doing an episode just on the Maquis at some point, as well as an episode on Bajoran women, so those topics should be a good chance to explore those nuances. And apologies for the general transcription backlog – it’s being actively discussed.

  45. I hope they explain more about Yvettte’s mental illness but right now it doesn’t seem plausible. Mental illness seems to have been eradicated in the Star Trek universe by the 24th century.

  46. For me, I feel that when Michael had to order ‘ndoye to fly a shuttle into Book’s ship, it was not sure whether she, book or Tarka would survive the impact, and she ordered it be done anyway.

  47. Shouldn’t it still be Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan, or is that another mess with time, or reality? I also would have loved to see Seven of Nine beet up the punk on the buss.

    • on that fact Whoopi herself states while her people don’t age she finds humans don’t like this so she changes to make them feel more comfortable. I’d assume this means over the millenias shes changed her public look and identity to avoid us ancient humans detecting her as an alien!

  48. It was pointed out to me that the reason that she doesn’t know him from Time’s Arrow is because Time’s Arrow did not happen because the TNG era did not happen in this timeline. It’s kind of circular, but it’s just as circular as the fact that Picard exists because Michael Burnham saved the universe and in turn Michael Burnham exists because the enterprise E stopped the Borg from ruining first contact. (And also alarmingly possible is the fact that the Borg who were awakened in Enterprise might have actually started the Borg, or at least upgraded them, and the Borg themselves are a loop.) In other words, wibbly wobbly timey wimey.

    • disco after reading your great answer my head hurts trying to keep sane and up with it all i feel a migraine coming where’s my Earl Gray Tea… Hot?

  49. So many great callbacks like Martok, Spot, Sarek and Skull Dukat. Alison Pill was phenomenal in this episode especially her monologue about ‘Seven Shots Annika’. Especially intrigued by Q’s ‘illness’, the identity of ‘the watcher’ (smart money on Brent Spiner) and wondering where Soji will fit in moving forwards?

  50. Great topic and article! Makes me want to do a marathon of all of these together! But how can you leave off Trouble With Tribbles when talking about bars and Star Trek?!? Throw a little love to us TOS fans! 🙂

  51. I thought the cat was Spot 73 not Spock. Also I believe the actor who played the husband was Jon Jon Briones, Isa’s dad!!

  52. Thanks for this the story telling is dense in a good way and this will make my second viewing more knowing. It maybe the direction but somehow the beginning of the second seemed to have more natural momentum than the first.

    Sir Patrick seemed to be more on point and the secondary players more relaxed (this is a common trait particularly with the shows I know and love TNG and Enterprise).

    In the end this is a vehicle for Jean Luc’s story and to finish with two seasons which deal with the passing of time and companionship would make for a great completion and only add to ones perspective of TNG.

    There also seemed to be a welcome absence of messaging, after all if you have Whoopi involved who has always been there its a reminder that the players and much of the audience do not need it we are already “there.”

  53. To be fair, the writers are the ones who created the character. So it’s not so much they tried to convince us as they honestly believed that.

    Me, I never thought of Seven as being gay on Voyager. If anything, she seemed asexual to me. For the longest time, she seemed all intellect. it was hard to imagine her falling in love. But I could see how Seven would assume that she was straight. She had no background to fall back on except the memory of her mother and father. Plus, most of the couples on Voyager were probably male/female. So, when she was ready to explore her sexuality, I think she just assumed that her ideal mate would be a man. But again, I think it was driven on intellect. Yes, she was ready to explore it but she was going about it intellectually.

    But by the time of Picard, she’d discovered much of her humanity. which is why her relationship with Raffi doesn’t surprise me now. She’s not longer thinking “This is who I should be attracted to” as if she had no clue. She knows now.

    • She was always so heavily sexualised in Voyager, too. Those ridiculous catsuits, and being fantasised about and even violated. Grown up Seven’s sexuality is for her, rather than primarily being for the benefit of viewers, and that makes a huge difference. She gets much better costumes, too! It’s so nice to see lovely knitwear, things people could actually wear and be comfortable in, and still look fabulous.

      But while I agree that she’s sort of an adolescent in Voyager, she does read as pretty queer. There was the dynamic with Janeway, and occasionally with B’elanna. Plus she’s one of the most heavily coded autistic characters in Trek, and autistic folks do tend to be LGBTI.

  54. I think Ezri got more character development in one season than Jadzia got in the first 3 seasons of DS9. I love them both but early episodes that focused on Dax gave her very little to do (Dax, Invasive Procedures) or focused on Jadzia’s feelings of inadequacy or shame regarding Curzon kicking her out of the symbiont initiative program. As for Worf, he was always problematic when it came to his attitude towards women. You can argue that it’s because of his Klingon heritage (watch The House of Quark to see how Klingons treat women in their society) but being raised by human parents and spending his career in Starfleet should have taught him to have more respect for women.

  55. [“The Seska-Chakotay relationship could have been an in-depth discussion about choice in procreation and what the difference is between being someone’s biological parent and their chosen parent.”]

    This conversation did happen . . . in the Season 2 finale, “Basic”. Chakotay had this conversation with his father during a vision quest.

  56. This is a great blog post, but can you fix the coding error that has underlined the whole thing? I’ve got visual pprnlems and it makes it very hard to read. Thanks.

  57. Really thought-provoking, thank you. For an enjoyable read looking at ancient and modern portrayals of women in Greek myths (including Elaan of Troyius), I’d recommend Pandora’s Jar by Natalie Hayne.

  58. Thanks for this! I love this especially: “…the characterizations of both adopted fathers as racist and somewhat manipulative sends a negative message about parents/guardians who adopt, reminiscent of fairytale evil stepmothers.” It’s something I went off on all the time in the days of Once Upon a Time.

  59. I noticed these patterns as well and was also frustrated. Kassidy Yates, Commander Burnham and Captain Freeman in particular. Sadly, just, predictable.

  60. I am an English professor and a massive Star Trek fan. I’m also conducting research as I build an English bridge program. This is amazing!!! You’re brilliant! Thank you so very much!

  61. Trek romances have always been weird, this is not an exception… The thing i don’t like with any of them is that they are the real SF more than warp drives. Can you imagine RL situation where a man that loves a woman would support her wedding saying he is proud after it? You can’t imagine woman doing it such way either but ok, she is alien so it can be explained. However those who can understand such relationships actually never felt real love. It simply doesn’t work without far more sex and far less peace and understanding. People simply don’t hang arround each other for long, they end it and move on with their lives…
    Writers had opportunities to resolve it far better at least at the end with some form of happy ending but they decided exact opposite, which doesn’t surprise and is in line with the rest of failed romances in other trek series.
    Maybe it’s how they see relationships in 200+ years, so future is not so bright after all 🙂

  62. One thing you didn’t mention was how Adira impatiently overstepped and told Hirals story for him. I was kind of shocked and would like to see them apologize. I would have liked if they stayed out of it and gave Hiral a chance to answer and / or for Tilly to encourage the situation. That was Hirals private story and however Adira came by it I felt uncomfortable about the way it was blurted out. Maybe that was the intention, but I had to mention it.

  63. My favorite thing is that Michael’s.hair is no big thing to the crew or the Bridge Kids – no one comments on it or touches it. Just as there is no fuss over Tilly’s change from slicked-back ponytail to curly perm.

    The writers have no need to explain it: no hair braiding tech, no multi-species salon, no scenes of Owo (or Book!) braiding Michael’s hair while listening to old earth music. I just hope it doesn’t take until the 23rd century for real life to catch up.

  64. Hey All. Really great episode. I was thinking about the issue of using the likenesses of the crew in holodeck programs in relation to both Barclay in “Hollow Pursuits” vs. Mariner in “Crisis Point”. With Barclay, personally I didn’t think it was that bad since the programs he made were pretty benign. Its swashbuckling the Three Musketeers and the worst thing he does is make Riker short. Whereas what Mariner does is the equivalent of making a SIM of the office you work at and then go on a shooting rampage. And I liked Tendi calling Mariner out on that as well as her racist casting of her as the “thieving Orion pirate.”

  65. Hey, i can really relate on this Story. Jadzia was always one of my loved Characters on DS9 and was sad when she was gone and replaced with Ezri. As a Child i had tendencies to being Transgender but also didnt know what that all meaned. I liked wearing woman clothings and all that. Now about 6 Years later i finally outed myself to my family and most of them accepted it openly.
    Since Jadzia is kind of a idol since Childhood for me i choose to use “Jadzia” as my new real name in Germany.
    I love this story and i can feel the interviewed person!

  66. I’m so happy to have found this episode. I just two weeks ago joined AO3 and have had a very good experience. I write canon compliant rare pair, about Robert and Sarah April. I have been reading fics lately that are better than professionally edited and written stuff. Enjoyed the episode so much and agree with you all about the Fifty Shades of $***.

  67. I cannot help but wonder why in the world Rillak is spending precious seconds questioning Burnham’s command decisions in a critical situation where lives are at stake and every second is precious. Those few seconds could have made the difference between life and death for the individuals killed when the methane chunk landed in the shuttle bay.
    And, in the ready room, Rillak’ tone of condescension was palpable. Was Burnham supposed to leave Tilly. Adira and Nalas to die because “it was too risky for the ship and rest of the crew?”
    Burnham, in my opinion was correct in stating that Rillak had a strong opinion for someone who had just met her.
    I am reminded of Pike’s words (which no one, by the way, questioned): “Starfleet is a promise… I give my life for you, you give your life for me … and nobody gets left behind.” Has that mantra been amended, I wonder? Or, is it just because it’s Burnham?

  68. A brilliant two-parter of a brilliant series, with an equally brilliant article. Thank you; a very inspiring, wonderfully written and insightful piece.

  69. What a wonderful article. I love the glimpses you give of your own story and how you came to write Admiral Clancy’s. And despite the fact my fic to-read list is somewhat out of control I’ve just added Autobiography to it for a reread. Thank you.

  70. Wonderful article (and a wonderful biography)

    I’ve always considered myself a bad feminist because I while fully believe in feminism, I guess I never felt like it needed to be shown. I mean, I’ve always felt that a woman can do whatever a man could. It was obvious to me. So, while some were saying “They need a female captain on Star Trek as the lead”, I wondered why it was so important to be shown. I wasn’t adverse to it, I just didn’t get the urgency. When I was in school in the 1980’s, women were making such strides, I never got the sense that I *had* to see a woman on TV doing the job to believe that a woman could the job. Janice Lester notwithstanding, I’ve always believed that there would be female captains in Star Trek. Considering that we’d seen women in Starfleet, i didn’t feel the urgency to show woman in high positions. I guess I figured “just because we don’t see them, doesn’t mean t they’re not there.” (A part of this may be that I grew up watching shows like Charlie’s Angels and Wonder Woman so I was used to seeing women as heroes anyway)

    But like I said, that makes me a bad feminist. While I could imagine that woman have always been in high positions many in society may not have. Others may have needed to actually see it to believe it. And despite the lack of urgency on my part, it is great to see women in powerful positions on TV. Just because I thought it was a forgone conclusion doesn’t mean everyone else did. So, I applaud the depiction of powerful women in Trek, including Clancy.

  71. Morning Ladies,

    Hope you are wll well. First of all, let me start by saying that I really, really love this podcast! I am someone that when I stumble over a new Trek podcast, I want to go back to the beginning and listen to every episode from the beginning so that is what I did with this podcast. Now, I reiterate again that I love this podcast, but pne criticism I had was that I felt that in the episodes in the beginning it was harder to feel the hosts’ love for all of the series? I dunno how to better explain it but it felt like the criticism of the show (which is necessary) sort of overshadowed the love and–instead of a few friends discussing something they love to the core and back–it seemed more like a critique where the downs overshadowed the over all love. I am all for criticism in and of Star Trek because nothing gets better without calling out the things that are wrong with it you know (yeah, you guys know)? There is no evolution without expressions of where something failed to achieve what it was supposed to achieve otherwise how can we be better if we don’t recognize what is wrong with how something is portrayed? However, it just felt like there was more criticism and less love for Trek in the beginning episodes? I apologize if I am misunderstanding or misreading those episodes.

    However, I kept watching/listening, and–like our favorite franchise–your show grows. Now when I listen to episodes I not only feel the love for the series from the hosts and guests, but I also feel the understanding but not the acceptance of why things have been portrayed the way they have been in the past in various series. Like you get why a network/creator/writer was as narrow minded or chauvinistic as it was, that it’s not right and it can’t continue, but you also get why a lot of stupid/incorrect decisions were made in different episodes of different series (and I am glad you guys hang Berman out to dry) and yet you do not let the various series and creators get away with their missteps. You spell them out, outline why they are not good (though we should all know why already), and why we cannot continue that way in media in the present and the future. This was the first all women Star Trek podcast I came upon focusing on the prospective of not only the woman in Trek, but of the ‘other’: the views of other sexualities and minorities of these series portrayals of them and you guys seeing things that I completed missed is one of my favorite things. I take notes and keep going back to rewatch series episodes you guys outline because I like to learn from different perspectives than my own.

    I feel like your podcast started out good and has evolved to be great. I cannot wait to see what it becomes and I appreciate all of the hard work and passion all of you put into this series and into every episode. I am here for all of it and look forward to learning things that I may never have previously thought of. You are all glorious, beautiful, genius rebel queens and I appreciate you and look forward to everything you do.


    Nicole 🙂

  72. And yes! She returned in the season 2 finale of Lower Decks as Captain (!!) Sonya Gomez, voiced by the original actress Lycia Naff!

  73. I want to say how grateful I am to Women at the Warp for this podcast.

    I’m a gay man currently in the middle of long process that is reporting to the police that I was raped by another man.

    Discovered Star Trek during lockdown on Netflix and have been working through the seasons of Voyager ever since. I know it may sound silly to attribute this kind of dependency on fictional characters but Janeway and the crew had been a huge support to me during the most difficult time in my life in recovering from being raped. When this episode started I thought “Oh God I don’t want to watch this” but I kept hoping that they would find the man guilty. That last look of Janeway to Seven was absolutely gut wrenching. As I tried to sleep last night having just watched it your podcast helped me realise that many others struggled with this episode and that I am not alone. Thank you so much for taking the time to put together such a well thought through response to such a troubling episode of Star Trek.

    I’m not sure whether I can bring myself to watch Star Trek Voyager again (at least not for a long time) as to be honest as crazy as this sounds I feel betrayed by the writers that something which has been so wonderful could be suddenly produce such a offensive, disturbing and actually in my case HARMFUL episode.

    • if anyone is reading this i just want to say I’ve since started watching again (couldn’t stay away) and while i won’t be watching that episode again Star Trek is back in my heart forever lol!

      • Hi Steven! Thanks for both your comments on this podcast episode and for sharing your experiences. Glad you found it helpful and that you’ve found your way back to Star Trek!

  74. This parallel I think works all the way down
    Her reconnecting to childhood thro Naomi, regaining the life she would have lived if her (gender) had been affirmed as a child.
    Her attachment to Icheb and the other borg kids, showing them that being your true self is painful and nom linear but important all the same.
    The activism she does in Picard with the other XB’s forming community to save others lives by affirming and supporting their transitions despite the overwhelming negative stigma of Cis-siety.
    I love every aspect of this, thank you

  75. Great episode, and while I agree it’s terrifying to think about the world, I think looking at its structure is useful from our perspective, if uncomfortable. I do think there’s a very real chance that we are closer to mirror than prime in the current world, and examining the darker structure of the Terran Empire can help us see our own bad tendencies.

    The discussion about education and art was most interesting, and I think we see parallels in both our real world and to some extent in other races in the prime canon. From our own world, there have been quite a few fascist, brutal regimes that funded education fairly well, in service to the state – Germany in the 1930’s was very educated, in a specific way heavy on the indoctrination. As was mentioned, they need skilled and unskilled labour to power the regime, so I can easily see a military school type environment that was very “accessible” but also very regimented and state focused to push children early into certain tracks. There would be nationalist (speciealist?) youth groups that served similar purpose in non-academic areas as well.

    That also spills over into art, for children identified as gifted in some way at least. In extreme cases in our own world (say, North Korea) we can clearly see how that works producing works of artistic propaganda, with state run TV and grand pageants for the Leader.

    I also think there are some intended parallels in prime canon, with Cardassia being one of the most obvious. All the depictions we get of Cardassia include the omnipresent monitors blaring propaganda out into the cities. We don’t really see the pageantry with Cardassia much, but some of the discussions between Bashir and Garak about Cardassian literature also point to that state-oriented art.

    My final add is that I think the Enterprise opening for In a Mirror, Darkly actually does show that the two streams run parallel to a degree, as opposed to a split. At the very least, the split was long before the moon landing. The opening credits start with primitive raft, then a sailing vessel, before immediately going into a hyper-aggressive sequence of naval battles from hundreds of years ago. While the “violence” doesn’t really start until the age of ocean navigation in the opening sequence, that is a clear divergence from the original Enterprise opening that would seem to indicate the universes diverged at LEAST that far back.

    Fascinating show, but ya, it’s pretty terrifying to think about, but more terrifying that bits of it are happening and have happened in our own real world universe.

  76. Ironically, their philosophy is based on a damaging logical fallacy. It is believed that logic and emotion, whether or not they can be integrated (which for Vulcans, they cannot), can at least be conceived of as qualitatively separate. Yet the principles of logic they adhere to are based on the greatest utility for the greatest number (the needs of the many etcetera) – a predicate which acknowledges the fact that the ‘correct’ and ‘incorrect’ thing to do is based upon the emotional consequences for those under one’s rule. They also are actually very emotional beings. They absolutely do not successfully suppress their emotions. They are easily offended, easily frustrated, obsessed with dominance and their own superiority, prone to fits of rage and devastating breakdowns, argumentative and prejudiced. The fact that they conceive of these behaviours as separate from emotion and therefor qualified as logic makes them dangerous tyrants.
    Also what is logical about fighting to the death for a mate? How exactly is this to the greater benefit of all? How can they possibly conceive of their strict adherence to ancient traditions as the logical approach to governing a society which readily admits its bygone failures?
    I attribute some of these incongruities to the various writers, though. Vulcan characters regularly slip up and express what I would classify as an emotion or impassioned reasoning.
    I don’t take the argument that they are damaging their own psyches as seriously as the political and philosophical arguments, simply because it appears that Vulcan psyches are in fact very different to those of human beings, and it is conceivable that their mental condition is determined by other factors than what we are used to talking about in clinical psychology. What does baffle me is the fact that they don’t see the logical fallacy of claiming there is no other way to ensure peaceful cooperation in a society than by eliminating emotion, when they are so plagued by insurgents and when earth society is a perfect example, right in front of them, of a peaceful, emotional society which was once consumed by conflicts, just like their own.
    I can see how people end up dedicating their lives to Star Trek lmfao.

  77. It seem the author of this article is confusing “use of someones likeness without their consent”
    and a rape, which is a physical sexual assault.
    Although I find both immoral, they are quite different in the eyes of law.

  78. […] What can also be inferred is that Trill – and especially joined Trill – must have entirely different ideas about gender and this difference makes Jadzia and Lenara another trans allegory couple, as well as a same-sex one. This is vaguely shown in TNG’s introduction to the Trill, “The Host,” through a handful of lines by Jadzia and Ezri on DS9 that they have been both men and women, and further referenced in Ezri’s inability to tell where she ends and her eight past hosts begin; she is, essentially, nine people of different genders at once. There isn’t any exploration about what this might mean in terms of individual gender identity or on a structural basis for Trill society, but the implications are there for the taking. […]

  79. Your post is like the tip of a very disturbing iceberg.

    The more I dip into this, the more examples I am turning up, starting with TNG’s “The Child,” where an alien invaded Troi’s body and forced her to begin a disturbingly short pregnancy (echoes of Space: 1999’s horrifying episode “Alpha Child,” which also had a baby suddenly age five years within a few hours).

    I get a similar vibe from so so many Trill episodes, from “The Host” (Riker volunteers to take the Odan symbiont when the host dies); “Invasive Procedures” (the Dax symbiote is forcibly implanted into a loser called Verad (who is never mentioned again!); “Equilibrium,” where it turns out that Joran had been a Dax host for a good six months, despite being violent; Ezri Tegan’s entire story in season 7 of Deep Space Nine; and lastly, Tal’s entire story up to their implantation into the human Adira in Discovery.

    I know that Trill are symbionts, not foetuses, but there’s a whole vibe that I get from Star Trek from the idea that these lumps of flesh, which must be incubated within a host body in order to live, can blithely be transferred from body to body, reducing walking bipeds to carriers and incubators of living blobs.

    I’m not surprised that the showrunners have been so blase about overruling the wishes of women with regard to what they choose to carry in their bodies – there’s a long-standing casualness about this, from the whole issue of Riker’s claiming that he, a man, has a right to abort unwanted foetuses in “Up The Long Ladder” to Admiral Haeftel attempting to steal Lal away from under Data’s nose in “The Offspring.”

  80. I loved the show, but I suspect behind the scenes caused it to change direction every season. With more consistent direction I think it could have been even better. I also wonder how many people knew about the websites for the different factions the show set up, from a site for the Resistance, the Taelons, the Jaridians, and of course a site for Augur.

  81. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful piece. I have ADHD and struggle terribly with self-doubt and rejection sensitive dysphoria. Because of the RSD I have an intense fear of making mistakes. That fear can be so overwhelming that I will have panic attacks and/or completely shut down. The scene in “Fight Or Flight” when Hoshi is on the bridge and terrified that she’ll mess up is SO relatable. I can’t tell you how many times I have felt that way, even when I knew I was the most capable and qualified person for a task. I see myself in Hoshi more than any other character in Star Trek.

  82. I don’t remember ever not knowing about Star Trek. According to family lore my brother & I were settled into a very 60s leather lounger every week to watch TOS episodes as they aired. Since I was not yet 3 when it started I can neither confirm nor deny. However I do remember having a crush on Checkov FOREVER.

  83. My brother Jerry Stokes is having trouble sharing the link to his song lyrics, so here they are:

    “Avatar of the Sun”.

    Parody of Island in the Sun” by Weaser.

    No one knew about the girl,
    except for tail and skin purple.
    Then Rev Bem, he left the fold,
    and her skin, it turned to gold.

    She’s the avatar of the sun.
    In my mind, we’re having fun.
    And it makes me feel so fin I can’t control my brain.

    Then one day, I had a dream,
    the two of us, we got married.
    When we got to our hotel room, “Andromeda” was on the screen.

    She’s the avatar of the sun.
    In my mind we’re having fun.
    And it makes me feel so fine I can’t control my brain.

    We’ll run away, in daydreams.
    We’ll spend sometime, in slipstream.
    We’ll never feel bad anymore.

    She’s the avatar of the sun.
    In my mind, we’re having fun.
    And it makes me feel so fine I can’t control my brain.

    We’ll run away in daydreams.
    We’ll spend sometime in slipstrean.
    We’ll never feel bad anymore.

    We’ll never feel bad anymore!

  84. I was always under the impression that Andromeda was an idea by Robert Hewitt Wolfe for an actual Star Trek show.. and when that didn’t work out he developed his own universe for it. I never really bothered with the show, other than wondering what on earth Season 5 was all about ( from what little I occasionally saw).

  85. I must say that the podcast has improved with variety of opinions once the new hosts were brought in. I especially like the debates between Aliza and Kennedy. I don’t think listeners had that perception when it was just the OG crew because men argued more “loudly.” Maybe I’m lucky or naive but I found that the vast majority of podcasts with differing opinions had polite debates no matter what the gender of the hosts.

  86. Hello! I would love to see a transcript for this episode as well. I have difficulties following what is said, and I would love to be able to access this discussion. Thank you for your hard work!

  87. As we get more and more post Enterprise work what strikes me forcibly is how natural the playing looks in Enterprise by comparison. Characters post Enterprise tend to ware their issues on their sleeve which is distracting from the story telling. Linda is beautiful and offers a nice understated performance, that she is Japanese is less important than she is seen as an intellect with great problem solving skills and is crucial without being heroic which is nice touch.

    In order to show equality there is a tendency with NG and Enterprise (shows I know) to flatten out cultural differences thats a shame and in Hoshi’s case her traditions could have given colour to stories. Trip is from the Southern United States and you know it. I would like to have seen Hoshi’s cultural background in the story in the same way.

    I also think that T’Pol and her should have gone up against each other. Hoshi’s clear sightedness against T’Pols issues.

  88. I wanted to mention Eddington’s rant about the federation, and leaving the federation and the Marquis. That might be something to talk more about if you do an episode on ST and terrorism.

  89. I love T’Pol, and her complexity is absolutely my favorite thing about her character. Star Trek has always been character-driven, and while the Xindi plotline was not really my bag, by the time the series embarked on it, I was invested in the characters, so I hung in there for it. Trip and T’Pol’s relationship was totally engaging for me – the two part storyline Terra Prime was SO GOOD, and then when I watched the series finale, I was devastated and so disappointed. Worst-written episode ever. EVER. The NX-01 crew deserved better.

  90. You cut the quote just short of the most important statement: “They must apply to everyone, or they mean nothing!” As true today as the day they were written…whether or not the writers of our Constitution believed them or not, whether those who followed helped to shape, refine and define their meaning…it is up to us to continue to strive to bring everyone into We The People, equally, should they wish it.

  91. Según dicen, tanto los tellaritas como los andorianos fueron excluidos de TNG y de DS9 porque encontraban que sus diseños eran muy ridículos, volviendo solo para la serie precuela.

  92. Very good episode (167). I’m a Trekkie pushing 60 and remember early Trek fandoms and fanzines and it was great to hear about their origins and evolutions.

  93. Thank you so much for this post! It’s wonderfully and thoughtfully written. Slashfic is so important. This is me nerding out (sorry in advance!) but have you had a chance to read Constance Penley’s NASA/TREK? It’s a bit dated now but she talks about (mostly TOS) slash writers and how they “rewrote” Trek their own way. It’s a nice read, in my opinion.

    And thank you again for this <3

  94. Will there be a transcript? Am I just bad at finding transcripts? Please tell me there is/
    will be a transcript because otherwise I can’t share this because so many of our autistic community members have vision and/or processing things going on.

  95. A lovely article! I’m always happy to see other ace people in the Trek community!

    I definitely agree with the idea that Seven (and Data, perhaps) would be good vessels for discussions about asexuality and how sexual attraction is not a requirement of humanity. However–as you pointed out for Seven here–these characters both have scapegoat characteristics that would allow the audience to recognize the character’s asexuality without acknowledging that asexuality is perfectly normal. I think it would be really helpful for asexual and aromantic normalization if characters that were helping these characters in their quests for humanity (particularly the Doctor in Seven’s case) didn’t use attraction as a milestone in that quest. Specifically in Voyager’s “Someone To Watch Over Me” and TNG’s “In Theory”, many characters emphasize that attraction and relationships are very important–if not vital–parts of humanity, and if those characters were a little more flexible about this I think it could lead to lots of interesting discussions.

    Anyway, I loved the article and completely agree with you!

  96. There’s always going to be people who think the part of “adulting” is being cynical. But with mindfulness becoming more mainstream these days, most mental health professionals know the benefits of child-like wonder. That’s part of “beginner’s mind.” Take heart in that.

  97. I *thoroughly* enjoyed this book–these are my peeps, and this is my era! (It did manage to wake both my “inner copy editor and my “inner fan historian” . . . but minor quibbles, really.) I would recommend it as a fond trip down memory lane for we older fans and a revealing portrait of fandom come and gone for newer fans.

  98. Interesting episode. I always thought that with the Vaadwaur being the Talaxian name for fool that had been forgotten and that it was refremcing a people that they had fought with that the name of the episode should have been Philistine.

  99. Abit like how Adam’s and Eve’s eyes were opened after eating the forbidden apple given to them by the serpent.

    This episode is like a precursor to the future of how Starfleet will provide asylum for alien guests. Captain Archer differs e.g. to how Captain Janeway would have at least reacted. She would be much more compassionate and upset that practical slavery was part of the Visians culture, and struggle to have to follow Starfleet’s rules and regulations.

    The episode became anti-climatic when Captain Archer quote “I’d feel it was wrong if this were Florida or Singapore” -something to that effect, as if just because the Cogenitor was another species, meant it lacked the basic needs, nor basic rights of any other intelligent sentient being.

    It was disturbing that only Tripp seemed to see the Cogenitor was suffering, and even after the Cogenitor’s suicide Tripp still got blamed for it was too much. With Captain Archer blaming Tripp for it, without showing any ounce of sympathy or understanding. He might as well put Tripp in the brig and tell him he’d have a court marshal once they got back to Starfleet.

    If the script-writer’s intention for this episode was to portray Captain Archer as cruel and unsympathetic, and to make the audience disgusted with him, they have succeeded very well.

    If it were to portray the tragedy of the cogenitor’s death, and shock that a species despite being so technologically advanced, could be so selfish and ungrateful despite the importance of cogenitor’s role in their society, they have been ineffective. It was as if the entire crew on the Enterprise suddenly ceased being human.

    If this were in another StarTrek series, it probably would have AT LEAST had Archer say to Tripp after the suicide, “I know how you feel. But there’s nothing we could have done. It goes to show how she/he/it just couldn’t bear to live anymore. Maybe someday, like how on earth slavery was abolished… the Visians will learn and cogenitors will have freedom over their lives.” etc something like that.

  100. I always love looking for neurodiverse characters in media and Star Trek, and was delighted to see this episode topic pop up soon after I started listening to the podcast. I’ve been meaning to comment since March, but kept getting side-tracked. So much of this episode was just relatable autism things related to examples from Star Trek, and it was wonderful. I’ve long had an agreement with a friend that every Star Trek show has at least the one autistic-coded character, and it’s held up quite well. Data and Spock really are the quintessential autistic-coded characters in Star Trek and understandably took up a lot of the episode. I did love hearing several other characters mentioned, including one-off characters. I would say that I definitely read Tam Elbran from “Tin Man” as autistic and while watching the episode thought that it was very cool to see a hyperempathetic (quite literally) autistic-coded character, given the stereotype that we can’t feel empathy. I’m always up for Barclay love, and really loved hearing Phlox mentioned because I definitely read him as autistic (or whatever the alien equivalent is), but haven’t seen many other people mention it. I also appreciated hearing Bashir being mentioned, and, given that I just recently finished a watch through of DS9, I have a lot of thoughts. I absolutely agree that pre-augmentation Bashir sounds very autistic, but would argue that he is still very much autistic; maybe presenting differently, but still autistic. Combining this with his vehement condemnation of his parents’ reaction to having a developmentally disabled child, an argument is being made that ‘curing’ is not something to be desired, and doesn’t even work. And there are connections to be drawn with masking and the hiding the augmentations, and room to explore internalized ableism in regards to episodes like “Melora” and “Chrysalis” (both of which definitely have issues). Speaking of “Chrysalis”, one part of that episode I love is where Sarina says that Odo said he loves Kira in his own way, when they hold hands, which to me really speaks to how there are often communication differences between autistic and allistic people that can cause confusion. Odo is another character I’d bring up to the autistic-coded discussion, along with Elnor and most of the Lower Decks gang; namely Tendi and Rutherford (I mean, that moment in the first episode were he gets distracted from his date by a cool engineering thing). I could probably go on, but don’t want to drag this out too long. I really hope that you’re able to address this topic again sometime because there’s a lot to dig into, and it’s an excellent excuse for info-dumping.

    • I agree about Odo and Bashir, though I don’t recall Bashir being described as autistic pre augmentation so much as intellectually disabled. People with ID also exist and are not necessarily autistic. But maybe I’m misremembering. Was disappointed to not see any mention of Odo and the assumption that Bashir is absolutely no longer autistic, when the most “recognizably” autistic characters brought up have already been discussed many times and are often not treated very well by the characters we’re supposed to identify with, because of their “autistic” traits. I’m also just a bit frustrated with the long delays on transcripts (I assume some are just delayed rather than will never show up) when the podcast talks so much about inclusivity. I get that transcripts take time and mental energy, but again especially when you specifically discuss disability and then don’t include them—eh.

  101. Lovely article. Fanfic is something that I’ve been into since a teen and it is just… satisfying. It’s been a wonderful space to explore and it’s a something that thankfully can’t be monetized which means that what comes out of it evolves from a really nice place.

  102. I think I’m the only one who ships Janeway and Kes. Anyone else for Kesway? Or am I alone in the galaxy???

    • Oooo I don’t know?! I wouldn’t ship them because I see their relationship in a completely different way. But people relate in different ways.
      Personally I would ship female Shepard (mass effect) and Janeway. I think they would make a fantastic couple. ❤

  103. I discovered the J/7 series by G L Dartt. And I was blown away. I discovered these stories at a time when I was struggling with my own Queer journey. Now I can only look at Seven as a female on her own queer journey, and Janeway a bi fluid female. I mean, ANYONE who can pull off that white tux combo in The Killing Game and look like Janeway did, has a definite queer streak running through them.

    These femslash fictions allowed me a glimpse into a world that I was scared to be part of. And weirdly showed me that love is love.

    Doesn’t matter if these are not true stories. You cannot be what you can’t see. You often feel cast adrift, if you have no common ground. These stories (which ok, are fairly raunchy in some places) allowed me to see that two females could have this amazing relationship. And that it was okay.

    And now I have my own relationship. And 10 years later, we are still going strong and I still revisit These stories. Dartt for me, captures Janeway and Seven beautifully.

    Femslash fiction found me at my darkest time, and lifted me high enough to find my own way out xxx

  104. Beautifully written and so very relatable! Star Trek femslash writers have got me through 2020 without a doubt <3

  105. I’m sorry, but I find the Humans and other species just as self-righteous, arrogant and at times controlling in “Star Trek” as Vulcans. I found the portrayal of Vulcans rather hypocritical, considering that many of the Human characters were equally arrogant. And this whole attempt to portray Vulcans in a negative light in compare to Humans struck me as distasteful and a great example by the Trek franchise in putting humanity on a pedestal.

  106. […] Dr. Crusher is the protagonist of only six episodes of the series and in the films she’s an afterthought at best. More than one person has looked at me askance when I say she’s my favorite of the TNG main cast. They tell me she doesn’t have any depth of personality, that her episodes are forgettable or plain bad, that “She doesn’t do anything.” […]

  107. I really liked Phil Morris’s portray of Third Remata’klan in DS9’s Rocks and Shoals. I feel like there was a missed opportunity in that series to go into the topic of emancipation of the Jem’Hadar, and I see glorious potential for it, especially with this character.

  108. If you revisit the size diversity topic, please invite an actual military guest. They are best qualified to say how accurate Robert Blackman’s comments about “fitness” are.

  109. I don’t believe that you fully understand the point that it tries to make, yes it’s egregious and perhaps ill fitting with today’s more temperate views however I believe the point it brings is still valid. The point of who we were becomes who we are regardless of the happenstance of the initial persona. The idea for example that if I never went to prison which in itself could be viewed as reprehensible would I have become the man I am today, and the answer to that is no I wouldn’t. Ultimately who’s to say what is a good and moral character and who has the final say on what makes a man a man? I don’t believe it’s you nor do I believe that any one person can say that a man should be this or that. I feel it’s become fashionable to view manhood in a sense of this TOXIC culture that many perpetrate as the root cause of society’s ills. Long live Star Trek and long live tapestry.

    • Hi Aaron,

      Tapestry is actually one of my favorite episodes of Star Trek for some of the very reasons you’ve outlined!

      The blog is a personal reflection. I feel under that lens I still stand by my intent. That despite the powerful fact that who are is shaped by who were, sometimes folks need to do more or a fearless moral inventory about who we were.

      To your final points it’s a personal reflection. I wasn’t attempting to speak with universal moral authority.

      I think the ending of this episode is an interesting companion with the PICARD moment where the same two characters share a platonic intimacy on a bench as friends.

      Traditional masculinity isn’t always toxic. I think Riker is generally a pretty good example of that.

      Every episode of Star Trek is a product of its time. What’s cool about art is it stays the same as we, the audience, grow and change. This is the lens I bring to my Mad Men and DS9 podcasts. And it’s the lens I tried to bring to this piece two years ago

  110. I remember an extremely distinguished looking Black Commadore (Percy Rodrigues) on the court in the TOS episode “Court Martial”. The man radiated gravitas and presence.

  111. During this season, when Burham went off on unsanctioned missions I said to myself “Oops. Michael’s in Cowboy mode again. Might as well roll with it.”

    I really enjoy that Adm Vance recognized “Sometimes Cowboy mode is valuable and needed.”

    After all if it works for Kirk, its valid for Burham.

    I also really enjoyed the concept of “Responsibility hording.”

  112. “The Holocaust is behind us” hurt my soul. I don’t think you can speak so grandly doesn’t the rest of us. It’s not behind me.

  113. I saw a reference to this in Star Trek Jewposting and so glad I read it. It’s a great piece thank you for writing it.

  114. Reading this reminded me how little we really get to see of Travis Mayweather in ENT. I wish we could have seen more or heard more about Mayweather growing up in space. It strikes me that he might be one of the few Star Trek characters who grew up in space rather than on a planet and this seems like a very interesting backstory.

    Look forward to reading the rest of these blog posts 🙂

  115. I am a huge ST fan, and one of my favs was Voyager. Captain Janeway was a resourceful and outside the box Commander. Her crew were dedicated to her b/c her style of management demanded excellence, mutual respect, and intelligence. I liked that her background as a scientist informed a lot of her decison making. When she faced down enemies in the Gamma quadrant, whether they be the Hirogen or the Borg Queen herself, they all had every reason to fear Janeway. I am also enjoying the hell out of Discovery as it gives the ST franchise a fresh injection of new ideals and has literally lifted the the story bar to ponder a struggling Starfleet, where help is not on the way. That’s what I liked about Voyager, Janeway operated in a no backup universe. Her vessel was for all intents and purposes, Starfleet, but what a ship it was under her her command! Janeway pushed Voyager’s technology to impressive feats of ingenuity, resilience, and adaptivity. Where as ST often got into the lazy habit of using the destruction of Enterprise (again?) as a tired plot point that signaled, “We’re in REAL trouble now!” it also made us question the Enterprise’s place as the flagship. Janeway did not have the luxury of having Starfleet build her another Voyager-A. Her ship and her crew treated it like it mattered because it was the only one they had. Voyager crossed the galaxy returning not only in one piece, but with technology that no doubt influenced ship design for generations. Not to mention Voyager’s database full of encounters with species so terrifying that it makes the Romulans seem quaint in comparison would fill textbooks at Starfleet academy for years to come. Janeway wrote the book on many things. I’d be all in on a reboot.

  116. Anthony like Linda suffered from being part of the age old Trek problem to large a cast. As an actor he lacked range and was stuck in nice guy formula.

    When I think of Pilots I go Sulu/Data and the new guy in Picard. Tom Paris had an arc.

    There was the potential for Trip/Travis to have tension between them given one had to provide for the other.

    One of the reasons Enterprise failed is it did not mess enough with the formula. I would have made Trip like Burnham the lead and the Captain more of a politically correct ambassador controlled by T’Pol. Travis could then have shown his ingenuity and skill set and improvisational skills verse the steady as you go by the book of the Captain. Similarly with Hoshi. There could have been constant tension between the Captain/T”POL and the rest of the crew.

    Malcolm should have come on board with the Maco’s and enabled Travis/Trip to form a bond.

    The episode with the back story felt lost in the overall narrative and tokenism.

    What works on Discovery is when they challenge the formula.

    • mjohnston55 makes some really insightful points. Travis was seriously underutilized. Discovery has not delved into the supporting characters backgrounds as widely as it could, but Detmer “did a donut in space” to the delight of the crew and audience and saved New Eden.

  117. I just re-watched this episode last week, and I ached for her, as now years later I know her eventual fate and what she endured as a Bajoran. Your post really made me think- as “equality” is not always equal for all.

  118. Just discovered your podcast! Wow! I love it! Y’all are so astute and this is just really great. Thank you so much.

    One thing I wanted to mention that got brushed up against tangentially was that first season TNG is **creepily** obsessed with sex and sexuality. The number of times sex figures into the plot or is at least prominently mentioned/featured is SUPER HIGH compared to every other season. I put this ALL down to the influence of Gene R (which of course makes sense given like EVERYTHING about him). For me, this is super-crucial to note in terms of the portrayal of women in first season TNG. His classic “me? misogynist? I LOVE women!” brand of awfulness is a super important part of the big picture here, and the way things change after he passed is striking.

  119. Well, first of all, love the show! Thank you!

    Second, re: Ro + Riker, I always read the subtext of that whole thing as being that the characters are a lot alike and might have been attracted to each other, personality-wise, if not for the baggage of Ro’s history.

  120. Picard’s treatment of Jaxa has always bugged me for different reasons than those you so eloquently express here. In “Lower Decks” Picard embarrasses Jaxa into accepting a dangerous mission. He doesn’t order her to go off with the Cardassian operative, he just asks her really nicely in front of a room of high-ranking people so that she will feel ungrateful and cowardly if she declines. Also, Picard could have easily sent a more experience officer altered to look Bajoraon. Riker was made to appear Bajoran in “Pre-emptive Strike”.

    It’s also weird that Picard’s own trauma from “Chain of Command, Part II” is never addressed. At one point in “Lower Decks” Jaxa tell Picard (if I remember this correctly) that she knows “What Cardassians do to their prisoners”. Picard knows exactly wat Cardassians do to their prisoners. It is understandable that Picard would not want to share this experience with Jaxa, Picard is a very private person who may not have discussed his experience with anyone other than Troi or whoever officially debriefed him. But it is strange that such an egregious mistreatment of a Starfleet Officer is never discussed at all.

  121. This is a great perspective on Sito Jaxa’s unique stressors and motivations! Thank you for your insights on this culturally vulnerable member of Nova Squadron.

  122. Unquestionably a dated book in it’s story telling, clearly aimed at the male sci fi geek. I remember seeing the movie first and reading excerpts in the book to see if they fleshed out certain scenes more and thinking ‘What the Hell!?’.

    Trek grew over the years and while it was a head of it’s time in many ways it also had a ways to go to catchup today and that’s particularly more noticeable when you look back to pre TNG days. Even the first year of TNG had the ultra miniskirt uniform, though not as prevalent, and they eventually disappeared from the show.

  123. In both DS9 and STD, it took years of apologetics and proof for the lead characters to “earn” captain rank. It’s worth some introspection on why Sisko and Burnham have to reprise the roles of “the hardest working man in show business” when Archer, Kirk, Janeway, Picard start there as headliners. We would benefit from a critique of this ‘a priori’.

  124. Being a 52 year old black man who’s been watching Star Trek since I was about 6 years old. This is the reception Michael Burnham received from a Star Trek group I used to be in. One guy said “the moment I saw that the lead character was going to be a black woman I didn’t even bother” or forced diversity which never makes any sense so if the whole show was white people it wouldn’t be forced diversity it would just be standard. Sometimes people don’t listen to themselves. Michael Burnham reminds me a lot of time Paris Tom now he wasn’t the lead character on the show but he too lied what’s court-martialed and sent to prison and most fans were just willing to overlooking. I have had issues with the writers sometimes seeming like they write Michael into situations when it’s like they don’t want the fans to root for her. I’m sure that’s not their intent but that’s how it comes across sometimes. many times people would go out of their way to praise any other character like Tilly Saru or Captain Pike but oh no not Michael. It gets so ridiculous I even heard a person criticize the show why can’t she have a normal hairstyle instead of an African hairstyle for the record they change Janeway’s hairstyle almost every season on Voyager. One writer said if you took Sonequa Martin-Green out of that role and put someone like Chris Pine in that role 90% of the problems people have with Michael Burnham would go away. Is that true I don’t know it depends on your perception. Everything gets Amplified with social media and of course the most negative things stick out more than the positive.

  125. I have to say I don’t see these issues I m looking for good stories, good acting and with Star Trek something which should be in the credo. My criticisms of Star Trek would be about being to formulaic which limits what you can do with character. Crews are nearly always to large.

    That Burnham is played by S M-G who happens to be whatever is not important. The question is, is the idea of the lead not being the Captain imaginative and fresh Yes. it gave us some lovely twists. I am not really a fan of her performance but then neither am of Mary Wisemen or the other bridge crew.

    Doug, Anthony and Wilson gave superb performances this season. I think David came in and hit the ground running and going forwarding in time was an excellent idea. Thats how I look at the show not what was anyones ethnicity gender or anything else, it makes no odds. Scripts are good or bad, ideas are good or bad, actors and their characters are good or bad,

    Oh and the antagonist Osyraa felt like a girl at the office with an attitude kind of performance I never believed she was really threatening.

    On the whole the ideas and stories of Discovery are much better than the performances for me.

  126. I am not a fan of S M-G as an actress and I love the idea that the main lead is not the Captain. It’s fresh and takes in to new territory. My main problem with S M -G is the intimate twosome relationships do not work. She comes across to earnest lots of acting but lacks real chemistry. This season with Doug and David she was much better. Discovery is an odd one I think the scripts and the ideas are fresh and draw you in and have re established the idea of the stories being mysteries very well but the crew just does not work or lets put the other way round they do not add anything.

    Stamet’s and Culber played nicely this season a real sense of character and nice measured performances but the bridge crew just do not cut it and whenever Tilly is involved I just go out of the show. I could see she was trying to ‘grow’ this season but from such a low point. She like Michael suffers from the fast talking techno babble you should never stop communicating so that people can understand.

    As regards S M-G earning the Captains chair well thats down to the script and in that sense why not but I though Saru was a really interesting performance full of authority and measured responses a bit like Kirk in the movies.

    The first three seasons enabled us to do Lorca, Pike and Saru which showed mixing up the formula worked well each with their own take whilst Michael had her arc. Season 4 will be interesting.

    I am glad they went straight to the future the prequel thing is always a hold on what you can achieve.

  127. “It came as a surprise to me that people think T’Pol “brought down” the series. SHe’s the best part! Ok yes, the catsuits were a bit much and the cheesecake but otherwise her character is amazing. My pie in the sky wish is that they somehow make amends with Jolene Blalock and convince her to have a few guest appearances on Strange New Worlds in a grey wig (with none of the E2 pancake ageing makeup monstrosity lol)”

    This the remark that was posted into my E-Mail.

    I do not know what has happened but I can no longer see the 18 remarks made I have tried in Chrome and Safari. Could someone who administers this site explain why they are suppressed and if they can be unsuppressed, how. The articles and comments are an integral part of the conversation.

    If anyone wants to see how difficult it is to portray a Vulcan try writing one. Nimoy and Leonard nailed it.

    The first thing about Jolene is by Season 3 she looked like a Vulcan she communicated that otherworldliness perfectly. Alexander from Discovery would make a good Vulcan.

    The second thing is to communicate when your emotions are suppressed without sounding like a series of tropes. “Indeed’ “It is agreeable to see you.”

    Although her arc with Connor because a soap opera she showed real skill in coming out of her shell. Once they were bonded there was a huge story to tell.

    What brought Enterprise down were the first two seasons scripts. After that, they were fighting for their survival and yet 3 and 4 is as compelling as any Trek.

  128. It came as a surprise to me that people think T’Pol “brought down” the series. SHe’s the best part! Ok yes the catsuits were a bit much and the cheesecake but otherwise her character is amazing. My pie in the sky wish is that they somehow make amends with Jolene Blalock and convince her to have a few guest appearances on Strange New Worlds in a gray wig (with none of the E2 pancake aging makeup monstrosity lol).

  129. Thank you, THANK YOU for this insightful piece. You have summed up what I have wanted to say for a very long time. As a woman of color, I immediately “got” where Burnham was coming from. I don’t know if it was the intention of the original showrunners to allegorical comment on the struggles of WOC via the challenges posed to Burnham, but they definitely did.
    I think many people in the Fandom who have such a problem with Burnham and none with any of the male leads in Trek, are not aware of their own biases.
    Whenever I posted my own concerns about the way Burnham was regarded in the fandom, I mostly made it about her being a mutineer. People tend to become defensive if it is even suggested that they might have unspoken biases and expectations for certain ethnic groups. Privately, however, I have made the comparison between Mariner from “Lower Decks” and Burnham. Mariner is a stereotype- the loud, Black girl who says and does whatever the heck she wants. Whereas Burnham makes some fans uncomfortable because she is brilliant and competent and beautiful and does not fit into any box. I thought the writers of Discovery had fully made the case for her becoming captain and I couldn’t be happier.

    • I was prompted to read this article by another YouTube commentator that was discussing the rise of Burnham to captain and a lot of the hate that she has received. I think that her character development gives us a lot of insight into the nature and development of a Starfleet captain especially in the Kirk (prime universe) era. To me, except for the mutiny part which is easily explained by Burnham’s Vulcanized personality traits, Burnham is the quintessential calculated risk taking maverick that makes a great Starfleet Captain. I think that there a persons who don’t like Burnham just because there are things about her character that just rubs them the wrong way. That is understandable. Her being a different take on a Starfleet Captain is not everyone’s cup of tea. But make no mistake from the YouTube channels that exist solely to denigrate Burnham and STD. Not to be overly political, but the hard truth is just like we see in in our own time and reality there are those (reference the Capital insurrection of 1/6/2021) who hate no matter what, unfortunately they tend to be the loudest and most disruptive. Ultimately that is what I love about Star Trek and Burnham (and all featured Star Trek captains) that even at the worse of times that strength of character, integrity and trueness of purpose in spite of our flaws as people and a society can make us the best possible versions of ourselves

  130. I love this show and the cast are amazing. Michael deserves to be captain and she has certainly earned her rank. A worthy chapter in the Star Trek world.

  131. Thanks for this read, Kennedy. This article really helped me sort through a lot of my issues with Burnham.

    It always irritated me that Burnham cried regularly (like a lot) throughout the show’s three seasons, but reading this made me go back and ask myself why that is.

    I realized my own perceptions, shaped by society and Star Trek presentation of “strong women” over the years meant that they weren’t supposed to cry or show emotions (How often do we see Janeway or Maj. Kira cry?) and I was UNCOMFORTABLE with that presentation.

    Yet, here’s Burnham letting every emotion flow through her in spite of or perhaps despite her Vulcan upbringing.

    I might not of liked that fact that Burnham cried as often as she did. Personally, I’m not a crier, but I’ve OFTEN said to others that women don’t have the luxury of showing emotion for fear of being labeled too emotional, irrational, etc. in real life and I’ve experienced it myself as a woman in a leadership position.

    In one of my favorite films, Elizabeth, the famed queen asks her advisor, “must I be made of stone?” It’s such a heartbreaking moment to hear what women have to give up in order to lead.

    So why on Earth would I be bothered by a SCI-FI character doing so? It was, an illogical expectation to place on her and any woman, truly.

    Luckily, Burnham challenges that – as does the writing in DISCO, which allows for such characters to exist in the future and propels the idea of women written as fully fledged people in real life.

    That’s all a long winded way of saying thanks for helping me sort through all with your examination of Burnham and the double standards placed on her. – Cassie

  132. This was a great episode! I wouldn’t mind more academic guest hosts from other fields (psychology, physics, diplomatic relations…)

  133. Spock did the Vulcan nerve pinch on TOS. I think it was “Patterns of Force”. Kirk said, “You should teach me that one day, Spock.”
    Spock replied, “I’ve tried, Jim.”
    I was amazed Burnham knew how to do it.
    What I suspect’ll happen next week is Osyraa will not take no for an answer. She’ll say “F*** this! I tried it their way! I didn’t get what I wanted out of these wankers!” She’ll go away in defeat to come back with more ships next season.

  134. I have now seen three episodes of Season 3 and find myseef smiling. Like Next Generation and Enterprise the players seemed to have found their rhythm on the third season. Martin-Green and Cruz are laying back and being their characters. M-G is much more nuanced and less fiesty stereotype. Jones is more inside the character. I am enjoying the pacing and the stories are more thoughtful. Rapp suffers from having to play against Wisemen who is still horribly token young genius with no life skills. Definitely the Wesley Crusher of the show.

    There are however still at least four players that do not register and once again Star Trek is plagued by to larger a cast. I cannot even remember their names but their all on the bridge and just do not cut through.

    Great to see the Trill mythology expand (I have never watched DS9 so not sure if that offered more). del barrio had a diffuclt job she has to communicate being puzzled for most of the episode. I will be fascinated to see where that goes and Alexander communicated a wonderful spiritual loving quality that lifted the episode.

    All in all a welcome surprise fresh but grounded and the core play well enough.

  135. Oh my God!!!! It’s easily been DECADES since I last read the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and your commentary made all the Ewwwww parts of that book come flashing back to me. LOL! I recently read a book about all the behind the scenes stuff going on during the Berman Years of Trek. The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years by Altman & Gross. More than a few folks in the book comment on Roddenberry’s downright hostile sexism and misogyny … not to mention Berman’s. *BARF* A friend of mine tried to watch The Original Series on Netflix because they had never really watched the original series before and they said the sexism was so disturbing they had to stop watching after a couple of episodes. Always hard to wrap your head around how the creator of Star Trek had such an idealistic vision of the future yet it was paired with such Neanderthal notions of women.

  136. I agree. I always felt a looming “but…” afterwards that never seems to surface in any discussion of the episode I’ve ever heard (maybe that reflects poorly on my choice of discussions.) Here we are many years later with Discovery’s “Terra Firma” just airing and I am reminded again. I hope the lesson this time will feel better.

  137. I literally screamed out loud when I first saw her braids. I was so happy and excited to see her stylish and functional hair-do. She has gone thru several different styles prior to this…but the braids are un-apologetically black and beautiful. Another Trek first for diversity and inclusiveness.

  138. Hi, I just wanted to let you know this is an amazing article and you hit the nail on the head. The network really messed up what they had with Janeway. When the show premiered I was a 9 year older boy who was SO EXCITED there was going to be a new Star Trek series. I had the TV guide poster foe the show’s premiere hung up prominently in my room for years, until we moved from that house (4 years after Voyager ended).

    I think it was tremendously helpful, as a straight male, to have Kathryn Janeway as a role model. Not as important, probably, as it was for girls the same age, but I adore Captain Janeway and her leadership, intelligence and dedication. I was impressed by her as a Starfleet officer, not as a sex object, ans I can’t help but think that that’s a big part of how I avoided a lot of the toxic masculinity that young men are bombarded with in our culture. She’s still a role model, and I would love the chance to see a Janeway reboot.

  139. The ‘Roddenberrian’ philosophy is INFINITE Diversity in Infinite Combinations. Not ‘intersectional’. Makes it sound like a chesterfield.

    Other than that little nitpick, spot-on.

    • Thanks Scott. Just to clarify – “Intersectional diversity in Infinite combinations” is a spin on the original that we use for our podcast tagline. You can learn more about that here.

  140. Hear hear. My mother’s Trek was a bunch of white guys with a vague nod to minorities tooling around in a spaceship made of imperialist power fantasy and colonial racism. It belongs in the past. IDIC!

  141. I love Trek… ALL of it,..TNG, DS9, and Voyager was my generation of Trek, but I still love everything from TOS to lower decks and still watching Discovery every week,. And I love it..i am against racism and discrimination absolutely but honestly I never cared about the characters sexuality ir gender identification ..i enjoy the characters

  142. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations—yes, it is past the time that this scourge be put to death. Until it dies in man’s heart, it will only continue to resurface.

  143. I’m a 61 year old straight white male, who grew up on the Original Series. And I’d like to say this article is spot on. I agree 100%. If you don’t live and breathe Roddenberry’s original vision, you simply don’t get it. People, think back to Spock’s original Vulcan IDIC – Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. It’s beautiful. Kennedy Allen–keep trekkin’!

  144. I understand Michelle Yeoh’s under contract to do that Section 31 series.

    You forgot to mention Grunge jumped into Ryn’s lap during the space battle. He never saw a cat before.

  145. Uhura DID, however, speak Swaziland, so her background was portrayed at least. Torres never spoke Spanish. Neither has Hugh Culber, on Discovery.

  146. I don’t think everything about the Discovery crew was erased from history. The existence of the spore drive and possibly everything about Control was classified, and after the battle the Discovery was declared destroyed with all hands.

  147. “Relics” from TNG was definitely a comfort episode for me! Seeing the older Scotty struggling to come to terms with aging and the passing of time and the loss of friends… and seeing him make new friends… so comforting because older Scotty is comforting.

  148. Earlier in this article, the author says Kestra is named after “Deanna’s little sister from ‘Dark Page.’”. In fact, it was her older sister who was named Kestra.

    I think Lulu Wilson is amazing. Her acting in this episode, along with the directing, made this so real.

  149. [” We must accept the situation we’re in without condoning it, and work to get out of it through concrete actions. We must leave our white arrogance and exceptionalism behind as we acknowledge we don’t have all the answers.”]

    This is a lesson that the series had failed to convey with its portrayal of the Maquis conflict.

    • I think the story would have made more sense if the timespan was more like 5-7 years. A single year is not long enough for people to undergo radical change.

  150. Thank you for doing a review of the book. I was really excited to read it, but read a few negative reviews of the book, stating that the book talks about Voyager for the most part and not about what happened before or after Voyager, therefore not adding anything new. I also read that the book was full of typos and grammatical errors; perhaps some earlier version was placed online and mistaken for the final version due to the various moves of the launch date?
    Anyway, I will give it a shot; I love that there is a focus on the part women played in Janeway’s life!

  151. On a recent road trip I just got the chance to go back and listen to this episode. I love the Romulans and wish we would have seen more of many of the women you mentioned. I did want to point out that early in the discussion someone comments that Nemesis created more of unlikeable societal issues within the Romulan Star Empire, specifically killing infants with birth defects. This is actually mentioned as a facet of their society much earlier in TNG’S The Enemy.
    There’s a great exchange between Geordi and Bockra about his visor and his blindness that ends with Bockra asking “And your parents let you live?”

    It’s only brief, but it gives more insight to the norms or Romulan society and sets up for more of the things mentioned in Nemesis. Great episode!

  152. Jeri Taylor is my favorite writer. I would very much like to express my sincere thanks for all the wonderful stories she dreamed up that have had such a powerful impact on me. Maybe this is the only way to do that these days, but if anyone knows where to send a physical letter Of thanks I would be very grateful!

  153. I think I like this series the best of the three new shows that we’ve gotten so far because of how much the episodes really hit the beats of a lot of Star Trek from the past while putting its unique comedic spin on things. I feel like they’re taking a page from Futurama’s playbook in writing dynamic characters who are going to grow over time.

    I’m curious to see if they bring in Mariner’s father because I’m really curious to see how that family dynamic works. I want to root for Boimler on the Titan although somehow they’re going to have to bring him back to the Cerritos so I hope he doesn’t have to take too hard of a fall. While I think T’Ana may be my favorite upper decker I don’t know if I want to see more of her, mainly because I feel like she’s really good at delivering punchlines with her gruffness and if you overdo it she may lose that edge.

    The one concern that I have is that it sounds like the Pakleds will be the big bads going forward. You pointed out the ablism of “the farm” and I’m afraid that’s going to continue onwards. The Pakleds are basically stereotypes of people with intellectual disabilities: low IQs, slurred speech, unsophisticated vocabulary (Georgi will make us go! Photon torpedo makes us strong!), lumbering gait, constantly smiling, etc. Although I don’t think they’ll use the r-word, there’s been a lot of that kind of humor in the past in Hollywood and it has a harmful effect on how neurotypical people perceive those on the ID spectrum.

  154. It wa very sad that THPB didn’t explore her more. Show her age as the seasons go in. I’d have had her pass away at the end of Season 06 or middle of 07.

  155. I am incredibly excited about this season. The imperialistic overtone of the Federation could be a thing. We have no idea what state the UFP was in at the end of the Temporal Cold War. It seems that Omega Particle theory is out the window and also, looks like time travel has been banned. So…at least we have some answers. This season def has an Andromeda feel to it and I am okay with that! Yay!

  156. An excellent recap, with only a slight quibble: the Beta III ref is from The Return of the Archons, a TOS rather than TAS episode – but it was easily mistaken becuase of the brilliant of their using a clip from TAS to represent Kirk and Spock. And that’s why I love this show, because it has too many goodies to count in one go, you have to go back again and again and find more. I’ll get sick on teh Easter eggs they provide!

  157. That tribble was a nice touch. We are all Capt. Freeman incredulous tone at the inclusion of a Tribble in Captain Lorca’s “man cave of deadly weapons.” That Mariner says, “That’s for personal use,” only raises more questions.

  158. WOnderful recap to a wonderful episode, full of so many moments of fan service, drama, humour and warmth.
    One little nitpick: the episode involving Beta III, The Return of the Archons, was a TOS rather than a TAS episode – but it was easy to confuse because of the quick shot Lower Decks used of Kirk and Spock from TAS, which made me Laugh Out Loud.

  159. I loved this episode! On character episodes, WAW always shares the cringeworthy casting calls before diving into the character. I often think how I would re-write those casting calls, knowing those characters and from my own experience. I would love to hear how the Crew would re-write the casting calls, if they could, to be a better fit for those character’s traits and to be more inclusive and less offensive.

  160. I’ve been thinking of writing about the portrayal of widowhood in Trek, but this was absolutely perfect on the topic of grief and mourning. Well done!

  161. I found the notion of Borg perfection as a a religion really interesting. I recently rewatched VOY: The Omega Directive and there are several instances that support that notion in the episode.

    For instance this conversation:

    Janeway: What is it the Borg say? That Omega is perfect?

    Seven: Yes.

    Janeway: Is that a theory or a belief?

    Seven and Janeway’s parting words of the episode are also pretty indicative.

    Seven: For 3.2 seconds, I saw perfection. When Omega stabilized, I felt a curious sensation. As I was watching it, it seemed to be watching me. – The Borg have assimilated many species, with mythologies to explain such moments of clarity. I’ve always dismissed them as trivial. Perhaps I was wrong.

    Janeway: If I didn’t know you better… I’d say you just had your first spiritual experience.

    Thanks for the great episode!

  162. Finally, a reasonable review of this very unfortunate episode. I am surprised and disappointed to find out that this episode is loved by so many fans when it is so obviously problematic.

  163. I just watched this episode after not having watched Voyager since it was on air. Boy did it leave a foul taste in my mouth. thank you for your thoughts on this, this really helped digest how awful it really was on so many levels. I appreciate it a lot!

  164. I always enjoyed the Vulcan parts of Enterprise. I know a lot of people don’t because it makes the Vulcans “more human” or whatever, but seeing them overcome things and change instead of being like literal space elves who just look down on the more mortal, flawed beings is great. Vulcan society didn’t get to where it was by magic. They had to work for it, just like we do, just like every species in the trek universe has.

    Plus, I love these ladies and watching them challenge the way things have always been.

  165. Very apposite and well thought through article. I wrote a novel in Lockdown which dealt with the consequences of Season 4 and the Legacy of T’Les, the political position and wisdom of T”Pau and the answers that T’Pol was looking for and they combine in a Gambit.

    Naturally the Romulan War Occured but the movement towards the enlightenment you reflect on was the trigger for the plot and plants “A Seed.” for the future.

    I have never read the novels you refer to but it sounds like they took the generalities of the movement. It is instructive that nothing in Discovery deals with this movement.

  166. When I watched the final episode I was bemused by the scene. My first thought was that this was tokenism because there is nothing in the storytelling within Picard to suggest either of them might find each other attractive. On reflection, I think it was a tidying up of companionships across the company on the craft. It is notable that Jean Luc is alone and remains alone. To Soji he is a mentor or Uncle for Agnes a kind of philosophical anchor with Whoopi returning for Season 2 we may see a different kind of connection made.

    I really liked the logic of including 7 of 9 given their shared connection with the Borg. For me, their discussions really gave some depth and psychological weight to the issue, building on Jean Luc’s visit home to France after the Best of Both Worlds and it seemed more nuanced than First Contact.

    Picard was a difficult show to get right given Patrick’s towering importance and skills. Lots of it felt fresh and other parts, mostly the Romulans perfectly adequate but Raffi felt like she had beamed in from E.R. What really grated with me was her calling Picard J.L. that just felt hokey. I also thought Elnor had transported from “The Lord of the Rings.”

    It will be interesting to see where they go in Season 2 but whatever they do I hope it is organic. Star Trek has a long tradition of investigating perceived unorthodoxy through science fiction one of the most disturbing was Cogenitor which dealt with the planned suppression of instinct beautifully.

    I write as a European Woman conscious that everything in the United States is toxic and more than anywhere else. But I do not think writers should make the message heavy-handed it’s counterproductive that is why the mood in the US on everything is so toxic. I understand your identification and you revel it but we want to get to a world without labels not a world with lots of labels. We need to travel to where no one even needs to make a point. We just love we just cherish and who we do those things with is irrelevant.

  167. Had to pause at 31:00. You really nailed this point Grew up socially withdrawn because of fears of repercussions of speaking my mind. Didn’t know how to hold a real conversation outside immediate family until ethnic student groups in college. If you complain about racism, you’re the one creating tension and responsible for making that person feel less guilty. So hard to be honest and assertive, to take initiative and communicate clearly if the pressure to comfort and blame automatically are assigned to anyone speaking up. Thank you so much for being what most Star Trek discussions are not

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

    I always thought this line was pulled from Shakespeare or some historical piece of theatre.

  169. I enjoyed the work of those who put together Star Trek; I wish in some way I could communicate my pleasurer of Jeri Taylor work in her creative writing. Simply put; I enjoyed every episode that she was involved with.
    Richard Carver

  170. I completely agree with the Ash Tyler/Voq/T’Rell mess. I thought I was the only one. It made me SO ANGRY. It completely invalidated the very first portrayal of male sexual assault in Star Trek. It was so poorly done all for a cute plot twist. Horrifying.

  171. Excellent discussion, and now I want to go back and see it again, because it’s been a long time. I do think that ‘The Enemy Below’ needed more callouts because there was a LOT derived from it, including showing the Germans as very human and the U-Boat commander using his deceased subordinate as part of a ruse to make the Americans think that the sub has been destroyed. Spoilers, but it’s also neat that the end of ‘Enemy Below’ involves both vessels sinking however both crews also work to save each others lives.

  172. Excellent podcast!

    If I may be so bold, a good follow-up would be a dive into the third-season TNG episode “The Defector” which also features a strong performance from a sympathetic Romulan. Like Balance of Power, The Defector showed that show’s captain at his best. Picard is freaking Shakespearean in this one.

  173. My guess is that the Janeway protocol has something to do with Year of Hell, i.e., ramming the ship directly into the threatening ship/asteroid?

    Definitely open to other ideas, though.

  174. I totally agree. I loved Lower Decks! I have watched TAS many times and often start my Saturday with an episode. Looking forward to seeing more!

  175. I really enjoyed this one! They beeped out foul language. I hope the remaining episodes are just as good or better. This was a classic STAR TREK story. I wish I could binge them now!!!

  176. “Data is sober and Tasha is not”

    Nope, they were both space-hammered. That Data wasn’t immune was one of the ep’s central gags.

  177. VERY late to the party!

    Thank you for directing me to this episode, Jarrah. After listening I checked out “The Lorelei Signal” courstey of Netflix. I was impressed by how sexually charged this episode was for a kid’s show. The 70’s was a different time. And who knew the Enterpise had so many female security officers? There was a whole army of red mindresses up there.

  178. I wish what you’ve said were completely true, but in the end it is only the male dominator Captain Kirk who forces her to see and admit to herself the truth about her petty jealousy. Kirk dominates her and forces her to help Spock. “I have you to thank for my future. Your words enabled me to see.”

    • Sadly we couldn’t possibly cover every possible friendship in Trek in the time we had available. We had tons of listener suggestions and picked the ones that were the most commonly suggested or that we thought were the most unusual or interesting. We will be doing an ep all about Seven at some point and will make sure to discuss more about her relationship with Janeway.

  179. I enjoyed your honest and well thoughtout post. I was pleased to see you acknowledge that T’Pol was already on a journey when the Seleya Incident occured and it is all to easy to forget the devastating affect on the entire crew. T’Pol was a genuine victim of circumstance, then tried to resolve the consequences and eventually pleaded for help. But as her mother said her emotions had always been close to the surface. I enjoyed your point about Elizabeth. I have written a novel which begins as Terra Prime Ends and I concluded the affect would be devastating. Raffi was a brave choice because despite the context the actress could have been walking around in any number of quality real time US Shows. Picard is a very challanging show because some of the characters are played very very natural in amongst the sci fi in particularly a certain retired Captain. That makes the Romulans and Synthetics performance even harder to pitch. To give you hope I am a child of a dysfunctional marriage and a father who has a litany of issues. I grieved not having a father years ago and have an amicable relationship from myside.But just that I can cope and not make a big deal of it doesn’t fit his narrative for drama. It’s a constant and one has to find constant goodness within oneself and feel proud that you do not let people derail you from your own journey. A parent letting go of a child is not easy a child letting go of a parent even more so. Reconciliation is not always possible absolutely! For ourselves though we have it all to play for to mae it so and engage.

  180. I identify with this so much! I was also told that Seven was clearly just a sex symbol (because I was introduced to Star Trek by my misogynist brother), so I didn’t want to like her in Voyager. But in Picard she is SO cool and I can’t wait for her relationship with Raffi to be developed next season!

  181. “…the night before I first met my Trek heroes, I cried bitter tears because I felt that they would not accept me because I wasn’t white, that I was unlovable by even the most amazing people because I was not white like them.”
    That is heartbreaking and makes realise I have really no idea what BIPOC people go through. Thank you for sharing it.

  182. How about Picard/Guinan and Guinan/Ro? In a couple of episodes Guinan calls Ro out on her behavior and attitude.

    Also, Uhura needs her own Woman At Warp episode, for so many reasons.

  183. This is so powerful. Thank you so much for writing it, and for doing the emotional labor that must have been necessary to process everything connected to it. As a white Trek fan, I’m absolutely taking to heart everything you said, and pledge to keep moving forward with your letter pinned to my chest. Sending you love and solidarity!

  184. I am no fan of Voyager. I remember very little of it but this two parter I enjoyed because there was a real sense of journey and movement within the framing device of being lost in the wrong quadrant. Inevitably the Pandemic brings into even sharper relief the nature of place. I spend half of my year in Indo China and New Zealand and half in the UK and Europe. To keep it simple the Virus looks and feels different in both but their are similarities 50% of the deaths in New Zealand are Elderly Dementia Patients and the UK 25% plus. The two parters core story is about the restoration of a Loved One. The behaviour of my two governments is to protect their health systems from being overwhelmed by the death of the elderly and generate huge debt for the next generation. The road to hell is paved with good intensions. I will not comment on the United States but here in New Zealand there is a real sense of community in amongst Paradise and Kiwi’s have in the main come together followed each level of lock down and are now ready to rebuild their shattered economy. Their are pockets of gang culture, a continuing entitlement narrative from the Maori (for which I have noticed an increasing resentment over the years not helped by their policy of reverse Ghettoisation), but what I hope they decide is to control inward tourism which brings little financial benefit and is disrupting the environment. People need to remember they can be happy and travel to the far reaches of their minds without moving.”As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life.” Buddha. Most tourists move their body and not their mind and are merely ticking boxes offered as a badge of success. The best journeying in Star Trek is within something Jim talks about in The Final Frontier.

  185. I believe B’Elanna finally found peace with her Klingon ancestry, thanks to the Klingon leader of a generational ship that Voyager had encountered in late Season Seven.

  186. Horizon – I just had a look at that Episode in the context of Archer/Trip/T’Pol. What struck me is it felt like a rerun of Kirk/Bones/Spock where Bones and Kirk would gently gibe at Spock but because they were all ‘Men’ it always came across as good natured banter with no one really aiming for supremecy or to humiliate. With the new/before threesome what struck me is that Archer and Trip were gently trying to include her (no problem with that) but much more interesting was T’Pol’s reaction over dinner. She made Frankenstein the protagonist and likened his experiences to those of Vulcans when they first came to earth when mankind were fearfull of them, this also played into T’Pols experiences/feelings onboard. T’Pol began to offer subtext and nuance to the conversation and Archer but particularly Trip dismissed the analysis with Connor’s consummate physically nuanced response for his character. As a result both of the men looked clumsy in the wake of T’Pols thoughtful response to the film. In a sense T’Pol was giving a very nuanced example that this Vulcan’s intellectual veracity was superior to both of them. Trip looked like a Redneck in that interaction. For me as has been said before Trip was Everyman but Everyman can become self made man who with age matures into a much broader human being. The man that stood over T’Pol as she entered her Union with Koss was expressing his support for her and respect for her culture even in his devastation. He had really become much more nuanced and I felt post Elizabeth there was a considerable journey Trip could make having suffered Loss and Grieved and find some real wisdom and a broadening of his outlook. Equally T’Pol would if given the opportunity give shape and perspective to her experiences. As an aside when Archer talks about her having a date with him the sense of discomfort for the players and myself as audience was palpable. Returning just briefly to my original post to make my point a little more clearly. T’Pol was desperately fearful, Trip was confused by his instinctive love, on the one hand, and his humbleness (not soppyness) in the face of its more general significance of their Union on the other, which collided. These were to ordinary ‘people’ grappling with an enormous event a Union between the two races where the Bond had come out of nowhere, destiny calling. In Terra Prime we deal with the potential of an outcome from their Union but we never get to understand how profoundly affected they would be by the theft of their DNA and the symbolic failure and trashing by TP of their special and Unique Relationship. In that phase Trip and T’Pol whatever the outcome would have grown to a point where they could communicate their very different challenges that they faced and gave each other during S3 and S4.

    • Good point on how far Trip matured when he stood by T’Pol at her wedding to Koss. The podcast hosts are not fans of the relationship and don’t think he wants her to be herself. While they have yet to discuss this subplot of Home, they don’t give Trip enough credit for respecting her culture (and choice) in that situation.

      As for your first comment, the issues of stubbornness and fear are one and the same to me. You don’t want to be vulnerable if you’re afraid the other person will reject you. Aside from being scared of her own feelings for Trip, she’s probably thinking of stereotypes that humans are fickle about romantic relationships. Meanwhile, Trip is scared that T’Pol will act like a “typical” cold Vulcan if he says he loves her. Most people won’t be truthful in order not to show any “softness” when they have that kind of fear. While I expect Trip and T’Pol to struggle, there’s only so much writers can milk “will-they-or-won’t-they.” It frustrates me (and Jolene) to no end that they tried to drag it out.

      • Interesting I do not see any evidence post Harbinger of Trip being fickle, he left once he was rejected. I see him reacting all the time to be being held at bay by T’Pol. There are three elements. Trip who wanted to pursue the relationship. T’Pol who holds back and keeps him at bay after Koss has desolved the marriage. There is the Bond telling her that ‘she’ must be special and ‘they’ must be special for it to be ignited without any of the ritual or orthodoxy necessary in Vulcan doctrine. It didn’t begin with Koss there is a reason for that. T’Pol only drew Trip back in when the fear of losing him was greater than her fear of committing. Stubborness in the face of the facts is a consequence of lack of self confidence and or fear. It is the consequence of underlying feelings not the issue. For the writers it was easy for Lorien’s Mother to make the decision and clearly Trip said Yes, it had no downstream consequences. Whereas an in work relationship was seen as the end of drama something that Gates also felt the writers got wrong and missed an opportunity with her and Patrick. Indeed although I am no afficiando outside TOS/NG/E my sense is they were not very good at long arc relationships though I believe Paris and Torres is judged to ‘work.’ The legacy with E is once the Show Found its feet Conneer and Jolene blew the formula with their chemistry which is why even fifteen years later this is the one fans still write about. In the UK when Discovery was announced the first serious journalism said will they get to sort T & T. That’s not to deny that in the first two seasons the words used were most misleading or in the real world underdeveloped and vague whereas the body language, which is in the gift of the players told otherwise.

        • Indeed, we the audience know that Trip isn’t fickle but T’Pol doesn’t. In E2, he tells her he never said he wanted a relationship. Well, maybe he should and it’s passive-aggressive of him not to say it. While she never said any such thing on-screen, I’ve seen several fanfics where T’Pol isn’t sure Trip is in it for the long haul because of the stereotype that humans are sex fiends (to put it in an oversimplified/exaggerated way).

          It does say a lot that despite the missteps of the writers, the chemistry between Jolene and Connor was so great that the Trip/T’Pol romance still has a huge following.

          • I think the beautiful way Jolene offers her lines in that scene particularly. “I appreciate your concern …but I’m fine.” the last words she is trembling, makes it clear to the audience and Trip she is in turmoil, to press his needs at that point would not be caring so he backs off. it’s not time to tell her to get a grip and become assertive. He is trying to make light of it. After she has seen Lorien’s Mother, in the next few episodes there are moments when she realises her defensiveness and dismissiveness has gone to far and she reveals what she knows, she needs Trip. But Trip will never push her, he shows the ultimate respect for her through out, soaking up the disappointment and only buckling occasionally, finding away to cope until Elizabeth which I took the view was a moment of emotional exhaustion and burn out. Now its a complete mess and real action is required for them to recover from the devastating attack on their most private selves as well as their relationship being used as propaganda and thats after they have grieved a daughter who is and isn’t theirs. They are a mess singularly and collectively.

  187. In the real world one can argue that the degree of obfuscation the writers presented the two players with was because they wouldn’t. “Go There.” Jolene felt she wanted a resolution either way just give me a resolution. What the audience was dealing with is what was on the screen, not the words, the physical chemistry as they played it. Sim told T’Pol what we had seen and her dreams (in the shower) also told the audience what she was hiding not to mention Lorien’s Mother told T’Pol and the audience what to do. But as T’Pol said it was not guaranteed in her more traditional progression. For me she was frightened of the truth and Trip was the classic man give me the problem I will resolve it. The woman says no I am not sure, the man is confused and ‘goes for a beer’ and every time he did that she drew him back. What she could never face was loss and once the Bond emerged it was game over in the reality of the story what ever the writers did. The final scene of 21 gave us the truth. I have written a novel which plays out all of the story lines driven not at Geo Political Level but through character that make the politics of that time happen. Whenever I had T’Pol and Trip in front of each other I found so much of their communication was unsaid and even as it resolves T’Pol is much more about action and behaviour than words. She communicates with Trip through what she does not what she says and then its up to him. But as regards S 3 and S 4 did they love each other, want each other, need each other to fullfill their needs whatever was said Yes. The missteps are essentially T’Pols desperate fears about how to control what she had let lose which Trip having fallen in love was too blinded by his own feelings at that point to lead her through them. Personally I think if your going to make any sense of that very interesting narrative you have to lift the significance of their Union and make them realise that despite their nuts and bolts attraction to attain the ultimate required mcuh more than OK lets be honest with each other. Everything had to align. The writers made their relationship a very big deal at the last minute by introducing Elizabeth they just needed to carry on in that vain. So I see a much bigger movement than stubbornness or softness I see fear and incomprehension.

  188. Hi all, great episode, one of my favorites so far…I would like to suggest some crossover (with other podcasts) episodes.

    Recommendation 1) Episode on socialism in Star Trek.

    Recommendation 2) Episode on imperialism in Star Trek. Including discussion of the Federation (are they imperialists, etc)? Interstellar policy of the Federation? Section 31?

    For both socialism and imperialism I recommend the Revolutionary Left podcast whose host has done previous crossover episodes of this kind such as one with former Politreks podcast.

    It would be even better to have a host who is a trekkie but left such as Walidah Imarisha.

    Recommendation 3) Crossover episodes with scientists such as Erika Nesvold (Making New Worlds podcast), Women in Archaeology podcast, sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, etc.

  189. This is a wonderful story and I cried a little reading it. Thank you so much for sharing it. I grew up looking at the same things, learning and unlearning (constantly) the same lessons. I love Lindy West and will have to finally read Shrill. And I love those photos. I want to applaud the author of this piece and everyone who has taken some of these same steps. It is beautifully written and woven rich with references that tell this story so well. Thank you for sharing it and all its perfect lines.

    (ps a quote from Nimoy i cherish that others might love too. he knew exactly what he was doing. )
    “This book would be appropriate on the coffee table of every home in the United States, particularly where there are young ladies involved and I’ll tell you why. Because young girls are standing in front of mirrors as a result of what they’ve been sold as being the standard and say, ‘I hate my body.’”

    • Thank you so much, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I hadn’t heard that quote, so thank you for that too!

  190. Thank you Ruth!

    Karen was amazing, and I do feel very lucky, even while missing her incredibly.

    Our love of Star Trek and the hopeful future it has presented was one of the first things we discovered that we had in common, so this seemed really appropriate. Nice to finally see strong openly gay characters. AT least there is some progress

    Much Appreciation,



  191. Truuuu. It also bothers me that black leaders in ST have a character arc that shows them having to “earn” the role over time instead of us being introduced to them in power (see eg. sisko promoted to capitain, worf having to go through all of TNG to get his role on DS9, Michael…well let’s not even start). Sure other ppl get promoted but (re sisko) basically all of the other captains get to kick off a series with the pomp and circumstance of inspecting their ship and getting walked onto their bridge. That’s always bothers me that sisko got handed a recycling job and had to make the best of it.

    P.s. good episode W@W 🙂

  192. I do not understand that they pointed it out, then, when they did not point it out, in the past.

  193. I agree that some people parrot popular opinions they’re “supposed to have.” Most of us want to think of ourselves as independent thinkers. People don’t say “everyone else is doing it” after high school but that gets to us unconsciously more than we want to think. There is a fascinating podcast on this topic. https://www.npr.org/transcripts/505318320

    I wonder how much selection bias plays a role in the invisibility of some unpopular opinions. You probably won’t write fanfiction or post in forums (yes people post in Facebook groups more but you can’t always see content depending on privacy settings) about your least favorite version of Trek. So if you blog about how you hate a character from that show who happens to be a fan favorite, that wouldn’t “count.” I’m sure that even professors or PhD students who study fandom have to work hard to find your blog. It’s fascinating what works as a census of fan opinions. Could podcasting change that? I don’t think it’s a coincidence I see a lot of people who like Pulaski here and on Trek FM.

  194. This column really struck a nerve. I am a large man who was married, until March for 20 glorious years to a large, beautiful woman. I greeted er every morning when we woke up and throughout the day with “Hi gorgeous,” or some variant. She was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, and I wanted to make sure she felt that and knew how beautiful she was.

    She was also incredibly smart, funny, endlessly intellectually curious and breathtakingly generous of spirit, with a smile that lit up the world. I loved her roundness and her curves. Her size made not a damn bit of difference except that, because she was large, I loved her that way.

    She took care of me when I was critically ill and then for more than five brutal but precious months I was at her bedside 24/7 while she died from a brain tumor.

    Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes; the heart doesn’t fit a narrow body specification.

    Never forget that you are beautiful just as you are and that you deserve to be loved for who you are and to be treated with love and appreciation.

    Be well, even in these hard times

    • Thank you for your beautiful comment, Larry. Your wife sounds like an amazing person, and I am so sorry for your loss. How wonderful that you found each other and loved each other so completely in the time you had.
      Stay safe and be well in return
      Ruth x

  195. When “Voyager” was coming out, they seemed to make a big deal about Janeway being a woman and Tuvok being black. Nothing was said Sisko being black, our that he had a female first officer. Nothing was said about Worf being black, when we first see him.

  196. As a man, I wanted to thank you for this episode. Honestly this is one of the few fansites I can trust will not turn into that toxic trash. As a boy growing up I recieved many insults from the same fans you describe here. I had many very dark thoughts because of it. The modern word they use now is “simp.” I always perceived it that since I was kind and dorky that I was a terrible person and a failure as a man. I wish you guys talked about Star Wars and LoTR and GoT (before it had that awful last season) too! I value your perspectives so much and I just want to hear more. Keep doing what you do 🙂

  197. I remember the TV Guide article that mentioned Reed might be the first openly gay character on Star Trek. He’s certainly coded as such.

    As someone who came out at 30 I can say that pretty much everything about Reed’s personal life makes sense if you see him as closeted (the lack of people close to him who know things about him, the estrangement from family, playing things very close to the chest). When you’re hiding such a large part of yourself away, it takes other parts with it.

  198. Thank you, Sue. This powerfully says something I’ve been thinking for a long time. The climate crisis is mentioned as a historical event in Una McCormack’s Picard tie-in novel, The Last Best Hope, but in the brief glimpse we get of Earth from space in the series, the coastlines look the same as today’s. There may be an in-universe explanation for this, it’s true. The Third World War, referenced in TNG and First Contact, may have ended the pumping of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (though what other damage it did we can only imagine). And we know that in the 24th Century there’s a “weather modification net”, so they have some form of climate control. Maybe they also developed a way of lowering sea levels. But either way, I would like to see it addressed in Star Trek. Like you said, it isn’t as if we don’t know about it any more!

    • Sorry, I should have thanked Sue for posting this and Daphne for writing it. I didn’t see the author’s name until after I’d posted my comment.

  199. Thank you for a fun episode. I enjoyed the book and feel it added nicely to the show. I am also a fan of Jessie Gender, you should have her on the show sometime.


  200. I totally agree with you. The recovery after talking to Rios does feel very fast, and hopefully they’ll talk about that further. It is really unfortunate that the Earth of the future doesn’t have a better way to approach/talk about addiction. In the podcast episode you mention Chabon talking about how this is more of a representation of our society now, which explains why they did something along these lines. Our society does struggle with its approach to addiction and has many different ways of helping those who suffer from addiction. It could have been done better, but I think it was rushed in some places to better suit the narrative. I really think it goes back to the same issue with minority/LGBTQ casting and killing off minority/LGBTQ characters. The writers and show runner are trying to be inclusive but aren’t making the effort to really think beyond that when they use those characters in the story. Rafi’s addiction storyline was rushed because they needed it to be, not because they were worried about realism. Which is really unfortunate because it does seem to reinforce the false impression that you can just “want” to not be an addict anymore. That as long as you love someone enough they can recover.

  201. In regards to Rafi’s addiction story line, I didn’t think it was that unrealistic. As a child of an addict I’ve experienced the “I haven’t done drugs in x amount of days, I’m better now”. Her son’s reaction was 100% natural feeling. I can only imagine how may times he’s heard that before. I also felt the ambivalence the others met her relapse with to be common. When you know an addict, even love one, you become almost numb to their waves of destructive behavior. Especially the longer they fight the help available to them. It was maybe more surprising that Jurati wasn’t as worried since she didn’t know Rafi as well as the others did but Jurati didn’t do much outside of what she was manipulated into doing. It was a different way of telling an addiction storyline in media than has been done in the past. It felt more real and less of a shocking anti-drug PSA hidden behind a movie or television program.

    • Thanks Kourinthia. I really appreciate your perspective on this. I agree the scene with her son is very believable. I was more questioning whether we’re supposed to believe she recovers after just talking with Rios and also whether 24th century society should’ve developed any better ways to approach the issue of addiction.

  202. Very cool! I might be inspired to go back and rewatch Buffy after reading this.

    I had totally forgotten that there was a TNG episode with two Rikers. It’s similar to the TOS episode “Enemy Within” where a transporter accident makes two Kirks. It’s interesting to see the connection made between Trek and Buffy.

  203. Sutra… Saga… what’s in common there, maybe “lore”? I don’t think Soji and Sutra are sisters, they’re cousins.

  204. […] Previously on Star Trek Picard: Jurati wakes from her coma and confesses to what she’s done as a result of seeing the Zhat Vash ritual known as The Admonition. But she starts to reconsider her actions after meeting Soji (Isa Briones). Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart) calls Starfleet for help and spends some time bonding with Soji. Raffi (Michelle Hurd) pulls together the different Rios holograms (Santiago Cabrera) to piece together why her friend has locked himself in his quarters. We learn his old captain killed two synths – and one of them looked an awful lot like Soji – before shooting himself. Rios helped cover it up and hasn’t been able to live with himself. Meanwhile, on The Artifact, Seven (Jeri Ryan) and Elnor (Evan Evagora) activate the Queen’s cell and Seven briefly becomes the Queen of a mini-collective of the Borg on the cube, before Narissa spaces all the drones. The episode ends with La Sirena heading into a trans-warp conduit towards Soji’s homeworld. […]

    • Joss Whedon wasn’t the only scenarist on Buffy… They were a lot.
      In fact, none of them was written by Whedon. They were all written by his others (very talented) scenarists.
      Whedon wrote and directed 27 episodes (in those 27, we can find every “cult episodes”, if I can say that), but everything else was written and directed by other people.
      When he wasn’t writing or directing, he was supervizing everything, and had the power to validate, or change the stories.
      Buffy sure is his baby, but the show wasn’t a “one man creation”. A lot of people contributed to this amazing story.

  205. Adding to my thought, since we’re talking mid 80s, how about Rita Moreno as Captain?
    I know she isn’t French but having a Captain from NYC with some Latin blood might be cool.

  206. I’m thinking they have the wrong ER doctor for the male version of Crusher – it should be Anthony Edwards. Also, I think the female Q isn’t Bea Arthur – it should be (1980s) Christine Baranski. She could have real fun with that.

  207. I love this review; thoughtful, light, but not shallow. It’s also made me want to buy the book but I’ll be trying to get a digital version if I can.

  208. […] Previously on Star Trek Picard:  Soji (Isa Briones) and Picard (Patrick Stewart) arrived on Nepenthe, where they met Kestra Troi Riker (Lulu Wilson).  Soji and Lulu bonded.  Rios (Santiago Cabrera) is haunted by the loss of his former Starfleet captain.  Raffi (Michelle Hurd) discovered the Disordered Romulans all drawing the same symbol.  Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco) and Elnor (Evan Evagora) plotted to take control of the Artifact, until Narissa (Peyton List) interrupted, killing Hugh.  So Elnor called for help.  Jurati (Allison Pill) murdered her former lover Bruce Maddox (John Ales), because of what she was shown by Commodore Oh.  Narek (Harry Treadaway) tricked Soji into revealing her home planet, and La Sirena was being tracked by the Zhat Vash.  So Jurati injected herself with a neural toxin to deactivate the tracker that she had swallowed.  […]

  209. Really like the idea of Judi Dench as Picard, partly because she shares a Shakespearean background with Patrick.

    Love the thought of Elizabeth Dennehy or Michelle Forbes as Riker!

    Mulling on Sue’s thoughts about Data, I wondered about Tilda Swinton – though possibly a bit obvious? Not just because she’s good at suggesting gender fluidity (eg: Orlando), but because she can look slightly “alien”, with strikingly unusual eyes.

    For Worf, I wondered Alfre Woodard, though I don’t think she’s very tall for a possible Klingon. (Thinking back to First Contact.)

  210. They lost me when Kestra killed the poor bunnycorn and nobody seemed to care. Was it really necessary?

  211. Kudos on the link to Kestra’s name. I was puzzling it over, but was crying a lot of tears in this episode, very distracted. Thanks for pointing it out. I am unaware of Thad being named after anyone, but would be interested to know theories. Curious about the surname scheme of Riker and Troi and their kids. I thought according to Betazed custom, it was Deanna’s surname that would be the surname of their family, not Riker’s. Anyways…..

    The very recent death of my nephew IRL, leaving behind his younger sister that will always lean toward’s his absence, made this whole episode a huge tearjerker for me. Sometimes shared sorrows stitch people together, to one another. It was interesting that Dahj instinctually felt this with Picard, and their binding seemed almost effortless. However, Soji and Picard are finding it much harder, no doubt because of Soji’s instinctual distrust of everyone after Narek. Picard’s poorly placed sarcasm didn’t help much, either. (Deanna Troi was right; he DID have it coming.)

    I sometimes don’t know if providing a place for sorrow eases the pain of it or makes the hurt stronger. At any case, it’s got to be okay to cry when it’s time. Thanks for the write up.

    • Thad’s name is likely a reference to Thaddius Riker, one of Will Riker’s ancestors from the American Civil War. You learn about him in the VOYAGER episode “Death Wish.”

  212. Deanna was a counseling goddess this episode! And then totally interrupted by Picard who is such an ass! The way he stars Soji down, what was that? Wow. I really had a reaction to that.

  213. I loved this episode! I acknowledge that the bookend death scenes on either end of the episode may be very unsettling for many; like trading profanity for gore. I do hope future episodes find the balance to allow maximum viewership. While it does not pose a problem for me, I know many people like to watch Trek with their littles. I watched the premiere of Encounter at Farpoint with my dad when I was six years old. I can’t imagine many six year olds will watch this episode.

    That being said, I am *here* for queer Seven. Twenty-three years of head canon confirmed. Yes! While not explicitly stating the case, the implication and innuendo draws a nearly inescapable conclusion: Bjayzl entered into an intimate relationship with Seven and betrayed her in the worst way possible. I pondered the three takes on revenge: hotly emotional, from Seven. Outward indifference and pragmatism from Rios, and staunch moral opposition from Picard. Ultimately, Rios shows His sympathy by setting Seven up for a surprise attack.

    “What is the nature of your psychiatric emergency?” will remain in my mind for a long time. Jurati is headed down a long road of hurt, probably a one way trip.

    Sorry for the long comment. One last thought: the conversation between Seven and Picard regarding their ex-B life, followed by quoting the Voyager fanfare equals instant waterworks. This Trek hits hard. Excited and nervous for what comes next.

  214. I am in that male demographic but have always loved Star Trek for the utopian vision it represents. This was a wonderful article. Thanks for opening up my eyes even further.

  215. Interesting and enlightening read…I am a long time Star Trek fan. What almost made me stop before I’d really started was your “Georgia’s rightful governor….” bit. I live in Georgia, and Ms. Abrams was NOT elected.

  216. I’m not a teacher, so getting to learn more about someone else job and point of view is always made easier by using the lens of Trek.
    Thank you!

  217. Sue, I was reading the Memory Alpha for the final episode of Enterprise for no good reason and it takes place during The Pegasus, which features Picard Day + Romulans. Wonder if Pegasus would be an enlightening rewatch. Also speaking of orchids, an orchid + a pair of Voyager crew gave us another fascinating novel lifeform – Tuvix!

  218. Hi everyone – As I’m in the UK I haven’t seen this bunch of Short Treks yet, and since I don’t know when I will I decided to listen anyway! I enjoyed your discussion as always, & am now looking forward to seeing the animated ones especially. And Q&A, because it’s by Michael Chabon!

    However, I HAVE seen Children of Mars (don’t ask me how, LOL), and thought I’d share a few thoughts.

    I share your discomfort with the school uniforms, authoritarian-looking teachers, Orwellian holo signs, etc. I didn’t know it was meant to be a Starfleet prep school, but it makes sense if Starfleet has already begun to drift from its utopian values. Btw, others have mentioned that the school is in San Francisco, as there’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge at the start. I’ll have to look for that next time I watch.

    My take on the girls’ feud is that they did not normally behave this way towards each other. They may even have been friends quite recently. My feeling was that Lil was especially unhappy because her dad couldn’t make it home this year for First Contact Day (the Happy First Contact Day signs?). A minor slight (or accident?) escalated tensions between them in a way that at first sight looked like bullying – but I don’t think it was (and like Andi, I was bullied myself at school). It felt like something that just escalated and got out of hand. That would help to explain their reconciliation at the end during the attack on Mars.

    Re the 9/11 analogy: seeing 9/11 at school might not make even temporary enemies reach out to each other, but it might if both of them knew that each other’s parents were in the twin towers. Both of the girl’s parents worked at or on Mars. I think that would make a huge difference. Also, since you recorded this episode we’ve all learned in Picard that it wasn’t just Utopia Planitia that was destroyed – the whole planet was (we even saw huge explosions on the surface in Children of Mars, which shocked me even though I knew it was fictional!). This was a MUCH bigger tragedy than 9/11, in terms of the numbers of people killed. The effect on these two children would be huge.

    Jarrah, you didn’t know Bowie’s song “Heroes” ? Oh my!! HUGE classic!!! 🙂

    I felt the song was meant as an ironic juxtaposition against the girls fighting. As was the situation of a human and an alien fighting on First Contact Day! For me, their holding hands at the end recalled Cochrane and the Vulcan shaking hands in First Contact (possibly a stretch too far, but I do feel there was a lot of symbolism in this little film.)

    Like Calypso (my fave Short Trek), I think there was quite a lot packed into a short space of time. I also wonder if some of the ambiguities might become clear when we’ve seen more of Picard. Perhaps we might even see a grown up Lil or Kima in the series – almost certainly we’ll learn more about the Mars attack. I think two of you were at the L.A. premiere? – so you probably know a lot more than I do.

    I like Children of Mars quite a bit, though perhaps not as much as some people seem to. I think how one reacts to the music probably makes a big difference, as well as how one reads the girls’ relationship. I do applaud the makers for trying to do something very different here – as they often seem to with the Short Treks.

    Agree that an over-obsession with canon and minutiae becomes a canon-jail! Since Picard premiered, I’ve heard complaints about the Romulan character Laris having an Irish accent (more improbable than an American or British one?), and the windows of Ten Forward in Picard’s dream being off centre in the ship’s hull! 🙂

    Sending best wishes as always! (Sorry about the length again.)

  219. From “Next Generation” to “Enterprise”, a Trek series has always featured a female cast member in a catsuit. I’m not excusing the franchise’s producers. Frankly, I found this extremely annoying and insulting. But yeah . . . Seven of Nine was not the sole character in a catsuit. Other characters included:

    Deanna Troi – TNG
    Kira Nerys – DS9
    Kes (late Season Three to early Season Four) – VOY
    Seven-of-Nine – VOY
    T’Pol – ENT

    And both TOS and the Kelvin Trek movies featured the usual miniskirts “Deep Space Nine” tend to occasionally feature the Bajoran character Leeta, displaying a good deal of cleavage. Troi’s catsuits also featured some cleavage as well. She didn’t start wearing a Starfleet uniform until late Season Six or Season Seven. Very frustrating for female fans of the franchise and for some of its actresses.

  220. Loved it. A slow boil mature tightly written and acted episode of star trek. This is my Jam and for the love of the prophets I hope they can maintain this level of care and attention to detail. I’m on board for this.

  221. The only complaint I have is with the costumes. I really miss the slightly campy futuristic pajama clothes. I hoped they would find a happy medium between realistic and camp lol.

  222. Yes the men had it wrong the Voyager audience was beyond the so called demographic, it had much wider appeal. I think the male top brass did a disservice to Kate by dumping 7 of 9 in a catsuit in the series and creating tension in the work environment. It’s time to rectify that mistake. Bring Kate back as Janeway There’s a huge audience.

  223. Is AO3 or fanfiction.net a better measure of most prolific community? Voyager is #1 on FFN but #2 on AO3. The question gets even more tricky when you try to measure the most popular couple on a show.

  224. [“Janeway’s characterization is messy.”]

    No, it’s not. And I tell you why. Her characterization is about adaptation even more so than Seven’s. Being the lone Starfleet captain in the Delta Quadrant (before she knew about the Equinox) forced her to undergo phases in her role as a starship captain. During Seasons One and Two, she tried to adhere – perhaps a bit too strictly to Starfleet and Federation principles. This may have been fine, but it made her a bit narrow-minded in some ways. Because of the setback in “Alliance”, Janeway seemed more than ever determined to adhere to Starfleet principles, until Seska and the Kazons took Voyager.

    After “Basic – Parts I and II”, Janeway decided to be more flexible. Unfortunately, she went from one extreme to another. She then made the same mistake that the Federation did with the Dominion and the Gamma Quadrant in “Deep Space Nine” by trespassing into the territory of an alien race known as “the Swarm” because it would cut off Voyager’s journey by a year or two. Tuvok had advised against violating the Swarm’s space, but she ignored his advice . . . and Voyager nearly got stomped. She made an even bigger mistake by forming an alliance with the Borg to deal with Species 8472. She did this without knowing the full details of the conflict between the two alien races. Her actions led to the Borg’s destruction of a good number of other worlds and the defeat of Species 8472, which had been defending itself against the Borg’s attempted invasion.

    She spent most of Season Five in a state of chaos, due to her earlier slide into depression during Voyager’s trip through a void after Season Four and in Season Five’s premiere episode. This led to Voyager’s encounter with the Equinox near the end of the season, the discovery that the other crew were killing an alien species to create enough fuel to get back to the Alpha Quadrant and eventual betrayal of Janeway’s crew. This also led to Janeway reacting emotionally aggressive against the Equinox crew . . . to the point that she nearly tortured one crew member in order to retrieve a kidnapped Seven.

    But after adhering too closely to Starfleet principles in Seasons One and Two, veering a bit too far from those principles in Seasons Three and Four; and being in a state of chaos in Season Five; Janeway finally began to learn to balance the unusual aspects of her command during Seasons Six and Seven . . . so much so that during those two seasons, she began to resemble more of a diplomat/head of state, instead of a mere Starfleet captain.

  225. Thank you, Tae, for speaking out for Kathryn Janeway. Trailblazing is hard, but she — and Kate Mulgrew — did it responsibly and thoughtfully. They remain worthy of our admiration all these years later.

  226. There is nothing romantic about a woman’s choices being taken from her, about everything she values (her captaincy, her crew, her ability to cure a disease) being brutally ripped away. This episode is cruel.

  227. I’m glad you raise the point here that Paris is used as the entry point character, or even as an alternate protagonist. In the series Bible, he and not Chakotay was the second character detailed. Of course, he is the only white male human among the principle characters (as opposed to cast).

  228. I remember, when “Voyager” was coming out, they seemed to make a big deal about Janeway being a woman and Tuvok being black. Two years earlier, on “Deep Space Nine”. nothing was said about Sisko being black, or that he had a female first officer.

  229. Along with Mass Effect’s Command Shepherd, Janeway has always been one of my absolute sci-fi heroes. I have to do another Voyager binge! Thanks for posting, it’s really a brilliant post. Point 4 is especially poignant and I completely agree.

  230. This really took me down memory lane! I’ve just found your blog and I can’t wait to read more! Data and Geordi are two of my absolute favourites from all the series.

  231. I enjoyed it. It was a clear simple story that seemingly was designed to show the human/alien cost to the attack. Hardcore trek fans are absolutely losing it over an apparent Discovery ship design in the shipyards.

    It’s all about story for me. I thought this was a nice inventive human way to show an attack that will likely be heavily referenced in the show.


  232. I was confused and wondered if I had missed a TNG episode about synths attacking the shipyards. Also I confess that I spent much of the time trying to figure out If they were using a Bowie song for the soundtrack. Marginally better than the two Disneyesque shorts preceding it.

  233. This one hits home for me. I was a senior in high school when the 9/11 attacks happened at a school in northern Virginia. So, when we heard the news about the *Pentagon* it really struck a bigger blow to us than what was happening in New York. Many of the students at our school had parents or other family that worked there, military or civilian. Pretty much every class through the end of the day has a call come in for a student who was in that situation to let them know about being safe (I’m personally unaware of anybody at my school who lost somebody). It was pretty surreal and our minds were all distracted. Some teachers tried to keep to the lesson plan while others didn’t (my AP government teacher defied the ban in TV news by pulling out her radio).

    I know that I was much older than the girls in this one yet it was an experience that I felt in a very visceral level.

  234. Although, like all of the second season of Short Treks, I haven’t been able to see this because I’m not North American, I did see the trailers and (starved of new Star Trek until Picard starts!) And have been reading reviews such as this one. I too thought the uniforms were a rather 20th Century thing! Although it sounds as if this piece might have an anti-racist message (maybe?), as the two girls support each other in the face of the crisis, aspects of it do sound a little dystopian. Maybe it reflects the apparent changes in the Federation suggested by the Picard trailers. It seems from those that Picard is furious with either the Federation or Starfleet for turning it’s back in “what it should still represent!” And as for the further future of Discovery Season Three…

    This darker trend feels very current, and if course there are precedents all over Star Trek, even in TNG (The Drumhead, The Pegasus, and especially Insurrection). I’m sure (I hope) that the writers will make something positive and hopeful out of both Picard and Discovery, as the integrity and utopianism of our heroes provide a shining light in dark times. After all, we unfortunately live in dark times. It’s part of the job of Star Trek to comment on the present day, as it always has done, while also providing the hope that most TV science fiction doesn’t have. I just hope that CBS allows the writers to finish telling these stories without cancelling them; ever since Enterprise, I’ve been nervy about the obsession with ratings and whether any Star Trek series can continue to their natural ends. Imagine if DS9 had been cancelled after, say, five seasons! Thankfully, it was a different time and they let it continue despite concerns about its apparent lack of popularity at the time.

    Sorry, went off on a big tangent! 🙂

  235. I thought the message of the episode was believe in yourself and you can be anything you want to be, whereas all a drug does is give you the illusion of it. Bit simplistic perhaps, but not exactly the devil’s work.

  236. I agree with rocketdave about the message of the episode, which should have been “it’s complicated.” Archer comes across as a jerk when yelling at Trip, which undercut what the writers were trying to say. It also bothered me that T’Pol was 100% behind Archer. Yes she has more experience with alien species but as an outcast, Charles’ situation should have given her a little pause.

    Having Trip do nerd shaming is very weird. Archer at least has the excuse of not having a science background but Trip is an engineer. That’s one of the nerdiest occupations ever. Then again, this episode comes from the same writers who think someone can be the chief engineer of a flagship without a college degree.

  237. To his credit, Brannon Braga has walked backed his comment of Jolene Blalock overreacting and apologized for making TATV. On the other, he also talked about how hard it was to find a beautiful woman who could act in the Blu Ray cast reunion. Needless to say, he made all the actors in the room cringe. He said it so many times that Scott Bakula told him to drop it. So one step forward, two steps back?

    There are shippers who acknowledge that Trip doesn’t try hard enough to understand Vulcan culture. But we don’t frame things like his scheming in Bound as trying to change T’Pol. He doesn’t suffer pretentious fools lightly so it’s hard for me to imagine him not wanting someone to be who they are. But you’ll see plenty of shippers who call them immature teenagers for not being honest with each other. To add to Keri’s point, Trip never really told her how he felt. So letting his anger fester to the point of leaving the ship was passive-aggressive. It’s a shame the show got cancelled before these knuckleheads could have a heart-to-heart. We shippers have faith that Trip would have fully accepted T’Pol as she was if that conversation happened. Most of us agree that neuropressure and Amanda Cole didn’t create an organic setup. But the actors’ chemistry really transcends the questionable writing. It also helps that they were friends in the first 2 seasons.

    PS: What Hogwarts house do you think T’Pol belongs to?

  238. Hi all – Great episode, & thanks for answering my mail! I agree with Andi that the mystery of how hologram sentience happens is so fscinating. Like in the TNG episode Emergence, where the Enterprise develops consciousness as an “emergent property”, I’d like to think this is true of Vic, the Doctor & Moriarty – and that Lal develops emotion in a similar way. Maybe they’re all more than the sum of their parts, as it were. After all, as far as I know, what causes consciousness in humans and other animals is barely (if at all) understood, so like you said, it’s yet another way in which Star Trek explores the endless question of what it is to be human – just as the various species or “races” in Star Trek could also be seen as allegories for the multitude of different cultures in the real world.

    I could think about these things all day! 🙂 Great to hear all your personal stories, and thanks as always for the podcast. And Happy New Year!

  239. For me, it became about consumerism with the Mr. Spock bust filled with liquor. This came out in 1979 and tied in with STTMP. I’ve seen them on eBay.

  240. Does anybody else feel like merchandise today is marketed and directed more towards adults than towards children? I kind of feel like that’s a bit of a negative trend because I’m not sure that there is enough stuff out there that adults can feel comfortable in order to buy for a child in their lives. Say what you will about the quality of rack toys, but, they were cheap and a kid who’s obsessed with Star Trek could love that thing and the adults won’t have to worry about the child breaking it. I kind of feel like it’s those sorts of toys and merchandise, just like shows that are available for the whole family to be able to watch, that help to secure future generations of fans. I’m not sure that the “action figures” That are simply designed to go onto a stand and sit on somebodies mantle will have the same affect on a child that a more breakable toy does. Granted, this could all be because I don’t yet have any children, nor are the kids whom my friends do have old enough for Trek.

    Maybe will see a different trend once Lower Decks gets on TV?

    • I think that’s a great point, Jason! We can definitely see that in the action figures. As a kid I would get the Playmates figures in the toy aisle with my allowance and tear them out of the box and my parents didn’t care because they were relatively cheap and framed as “toys” more than “collectibles.” As an adult collector I love the Art Asylum, Diamond Select and McFarlane gorgeous action figures that have been produced since but they are a real investment and definitely harder to treat as “toys”. I’d love to see more of a range like we have with Star Wars action figures and toys. Would also love to see articulated larger dolls of some of the women of Trek, not quite Barbies but more like the large DC superhero girls, Star Wars Forces of Destiny and Marvel Rising dolls that have come out.

  241. Went back to watch the opening of Brother after catching “The Girl Who Made the Stars” and caught two things:

    “The first time I heard the story of The Girl Who Made the Stars, I wasn’t ready to understand. I still don’t know if I am.” The animated short gives a more complex picture into the traumatized girl that arrives in Sarek and Amanda’s home.

    Also, what Spock draws and throws into the air upon meeting Michael is the Night Beast! This is a nice tie together as is the later moment when Michael realizes she must throw the stars into the air to find the map to Spock.

  242. I think this is absolutely brilliant and incredibly inciteful!

    As always, I am incredibly impressed with the political and literary analysis you all engage in on a regular basis.

    Love this group; keep dropkicking the Patriarchy!

    With Appreciation and Solidarity,


  243. Good episode! I wish people discussed more often the ambiguity of the Borg as an enemy. I always wanted a TNG episode where a ship of federation citizens would plan to willingly join the Borg and the Enterprise had to stop ’em.

  244. Great episode, thanks! Like you said, I Borg has some wonderful character scenes: Geordi/Guinan, Guinan/Hugh ( “you don’t look so tough” is so shocking coming from her!), Guinan/Picard and Picard/Hugh. I love that you really explored the ethical and philosophical issues, more deeply than I ever have, and have me a deeper appreciation of the episode.

    Btw, I’m watching Discovery Season Two for the first time, and have been thinking about the relationships between humanity and cybernetics in relation to Airiam in “Project Daedalus”. It’s such a classic Star Trek theme because it’s yet another way of exploring humanity. Was Airiam still as human as she was that day in the beach? Impossible to know, but she clearly was human, all the same. It’s such an inexhaustible subject that Star Trek constantly returns to in new ways.classic

    Thanks again. So excited for the Picard series!

  245. “Another Life” had a non-binary character whose presense wasn’t highlighted at all. It was nice. That series is unlikely to get a second series unfortunately

  246. A great episode and I agree with almost all your points, esp Trip and Archer’s early seasons picking on T’Pol, Archer’s violent threats in Broken Bow, the catsuits being out of character, and the general sexism of the later Berman/Braga era. Sue made a great point about the Vulcan three parter in Season 4 as a reaction to fan criticism of the Vulcans’ depiction in the show. But I also think it was probably an allegory for 9/11 and the War on Terror – then current events being transposed to Vulcan society. The change in human/Vulcan relations from that point parallels the positive changes in the relationships between T’Pol, Archer and Trip.

    I do feel I want to give credit to Archer’s character arc in his relationship with T’Pol. It’s a pretty dramatic arc! – starting out appallingly, of course. But after her mother’s death there’s a very touching scene in her quarters where he seems like a pretty good friend to me. And the final episode, for all its flaws, is notable for other touching scenes (I like Riker as chef!), especially just before Archer goes on stage and they hug. That’s beautiful and shows how very far Archer has moved away from his initial prejudice and racism.

    As for Demins/Terra Prime, it’s my favourite Enterprise episode. Paxton is so creepy and the story is uncannily prescient. And Jolene Blalock’s performance is incredibly moving, especially the scenes with the baby and her telling Paxton, “you’re not significant!” (I give a little cheer every time I hear that.) Her scenes with Trip in that episode are also pretty good, I think. I don’t have a problem with them finding out that Vulcan/human hybridization (sorry, I can’t think of a better term just at the moment!) is possible after all. We the audience know it already, but it’s nice for the characters that they know it too, and to have it acknowledged by the episode writers. Otherwise some fans would have been sure to complain that it was inconsistent with Canon – and also, it invalidates Paxton’s racist belief that such a child would be unnatural, and symbolises the coming together of two species rather than the xenophobic Earth Paxton tried to create.

    I agree that it’s a shame Enterprise was cancelled. It’s not my favourite Trek series, but it was getting a lot better and for all its faults there were many really good things about it too. It traverses quite an arc in four seasons, from the mutually distrustful human/Vulcan relationship in Broken Bow to the anti-racism and beginnings of the Federation that we see in the last three episodes.

    I listen to all of your podcasts, and it’s one of my two favourite Trek podcasts (the other being Primitive Culture). Sending warm wishes to all of you, and thanks so much for making me think about Star Trek – well, more thoughtfully!

    • The problem with Trip and T’Pol finding out that hybridization is possible is they forgot about Lorian from E²(their kid from another timeline). It didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story but it’s still a bit weird. And there were still people who complained it was inconsistent with canon. I argued with a guy on IMDB who said the episode made his stomach turn because Elizabeth bumped Spock out of being the first Vulcan/human hybrid. Sigh.

      • Oh dear, that’s a bit sad! I suppose at least he could claim that there’s nothing in canon to contradict Spock being the first Vulcan/human hybrid to survive infancy – I’m not sure how soon after Elizabeth Spock was born.

        As for your point about Lorien, I’d completely forgotten about that. Possibly the writers had as well. There must be contradictions like that all over Star Trek – a list that’s surely growing as the number of episodes and series is growing so fast.

  247. How about the Doctor playing with his subroutines experimenting on historical figures in the holodeck in Darkling #TPolsBookClub

  248. I hate “Cogenitor,” but not nearly on as many levels. My chief complaint with the episode is that I don’t like the message that Trip should have left well enough alone. Admittedly, Tucker went about things in a ham-handed fashion. Under different circumstances, I might not even necessarily disagree with Archer about not imposing one’s values on different cultures, but when the other culture in question is keeping a certain section of its population as sex slaves, that seems like an awfully funny time to turn a blind eye. I suppose I thought that this discussion might be more about that than the fact that the writers mistakenly used “sex” and “gender” as synonyms, which I honestly feel was an easy mistake for a layperson to make until very recently in our history.

    I kind of roll my eyes at fans who try to excuse sexism in TOS by arguing “it was a different time,” and yet, even though this episode is far more current, it seems to me like it’s only within the past few years that the general public has become aware of the notion that gender is a more complicated subject than many of us were raised to believe. Frankly, I’ve had some difficulty getting my head around the nonbinary thing myself and I’m speaking as someone who is more than a little ambivalent about my own gender. I’ve never been much into traditionally masculine activities, I think most gender stereotypes are b.s. and I can’t stand intolerant conservatives who get so worked up over pronouns and such. However, when I had gone close to four decades decades without the slightest inkling that nonbinary people are a thing, I wonder if it’s not somewhat forgivable if perhaps I initially perceived it as something of a “fad.” Then again, what do I know? I’ve lived a relatively sheltered life. I didn’t even have a clue that gay people existed until I was in my teens.

    I don’t know if this is fair, but pretty much everyone involved in this conversation came across as rather judgmental of anyone not as knowledgeable about these matters or as enlightened as they are. When, rather than merely being pleased that more male fans are attending conventions in skants, Jarrah had to leerily question their motivations, I was reminded of a piece of fanart I drew of a male TNG castmember in a skant. I do think that skants were a genuinely interesting attempt to show how far equality had come by the 24th century, but I guess if I also thought there was anything the remotest bit amusing about the image, that makes me a bad person /s. Listening to this discussion made me feel even more old and exhausted and out of touch than I already did to begin with.

    Maybe the Enterprise crew shouldn’t be shocked by a species having more than two genders, but a species that requires three people to perform three distinct biological functions in order to procreate is more out of the ordinary, I would imagine.

  249. What a great piece for the first of T’Pol’s Book Club. I admire each comparison from each of these episodes. If i had to pick one, I think “Thine Own Self” is most similar to Frankenstein. And shame on Tripp for not given Mary Shelly the proper respect she deserves. This was great thanks for sharing Kerry.

    • I blame the writers more than Trip for not giving Mary Shelley her due. Do you ever hear people talk about her husband?

      • The writers definitely dropped the ball there. Mary Shelley was a pioneer in science fiction, it’s a bit ridiculous that they didn’t acknowledge that. I rarely hear people talk about her husband. I think her work is much more famous.

  250. I love T’pol and Tucker, I want to believe on the in-between they manage to connect and have their neuro-sessions. Tripp was perfect for T’pol for multiple reasons and the first that comes to mind is his ability to have T’pol admit her feelings for him.

    I read somewhere above there were books where Tucker lives, I may just have to find copies of the books and read them.

    BTW; Over this last 1-2 month I watched the full series on Amazon Prime. Quite frankly it was fabulous, even better the 2nd time (from the original)

  251. It’s also not often said, but she’s easily the Trek doctor you’d most want treating you (zany clown doctors may be fun to watch, until they’re cutting you open), and the one you’d most want running your whole sickbay (because she’s clearly the most administratively trained and competent). Supercompetence may not always make for the best TV, but there’s no denying she is best at her job.

  252. They cant make another voyger no one did captain Janeway like kate do another star trek voyger u have to go back out and find somebody from your crew they took of and cap.got every one together. Once again. Back at it .she should do a new star trek. I loved het as an actress

  253. Just a detail. It’s possible that water polo was practised in Archer’s time while baseball wasn’t in Sisko’s because Archer was about a century before TOS and DS9 about a century later. Also, in Sisko’s time possibly sports weren’t practiced as a pastime and not as a paid job, given Trekonomics and Sisko’s girlfriend knew how to play.

  254. Gross and Altman’s ‘The Fifty-Year Mission’ quotes producers at DS9 complaining that they can’t find actresses who could look good and act. Not actors, but specifically actresses, and they were referring to Terry Farrell, who I honestly think does a fine job.

    I enjoy DS9, including its faults. Yes, ‘Profit and Lace’ is just an awful hour of TV, but then you get plenty of good ones… Duet, In the Pale Moonlight, It’s Only a Paper Moon, and any one where Garak kills a Cardassian for the helluvit!

  255. First, I am glad Avery Brooks gave you a charachter that inspired you ! He did provide us all a great body of work and inspiration. You did provide me with several things to think about. The first of which was how many black actors have made the impact that Avery has. In film there are four men who have been presented academy awards (Oscars). In TV, the Emmys have had black nominees since 1956 no, I had to look that up, and a winner, Harry Belafonte in 1960. Some great actors, such as Redd Fox did great work but were never recognized. I was pleased to find a nomination for Taraji Henson, since I have never seen her in anything where her performance wasn’t great. There are no wins for Don Cheadle (come on guys!). Still, allot better performance for the (jury?) than I expected. I did have to reflect on your comment about imagining to be in the charachters place. You’re right, many role models set in today are not very inspiring. Perhaps it’s easier in the unreality of a scripted future, I don’t know. Here is a refference, with citations, I found interesting. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_black_Primetime_Emmy_Award_winners_and_nominees

  256. I found this article searching for a general reaction to the specific scene you hold as a “positive”.

    The reason I don’t like Keiko is I feel that most things with her are very poorly written. She’s introduced as the out-of-nowhere wife of O’Brien in S4E10 of TNG, who by then is a well-established character that we never got a hint was in a relation with anyone. My reaction to that is wait, what? Did I miss something? And turns out that no, I didn’t. She just dropped out of nowhere because… reasons? And now there’s big D drama because she wants to call off the wedding! O’Brien is upset! Well, why should we care? We weren’t even aware they were in a relationship, how could we be invested in it?

    And then you follow up in the next episode with “You’ve introduced to all this food from my background, let me introduce you with some things from my background?” So now we’re being asked to believe that these two people, who are now married, have never cooked anything for each other before and are going over their favorite foods for the first time?

    Again, that’s incredibly sloppy writing. And because Miles was an until-then written character until then, the sudden introduction of Keiko is nails on a chalkboard. Spend a few episodes showing us Keiko/Miles together. You don’t have to show us the full story from how they met until wedding day, but you have to sell the relationship and make it believable that these people are getting married.

    And I just never bought it. I was told they were in love. But I wasn’t shown that they were. And that’s something I would think is pretty important to do when you want to introduce a couple in the show to show off how married life is on a ship.

  257. A great discussion which shows that sexist or problematic episodes sometimes don’t need a lot of tweaking to be greatly improved. And it had me laughing from the title onwards!

    My feeling about the “Earth 2” is that it was not meant to be realistic but symbolic, as the story is a heavy-handed cautionary tale. It looked like Earth in the 1960s because “it could happen here, now”, which is why the children were 300 years old or whatever. I’m not sure though, as it’s been a long time since I last saw the episode. Perhaps they could have done it more realistically with the Enterprise accidentally slipping into another timeline in which the virus actually *had* been unleashed on 1960s Earth. That would at least have provided an explanation, rather than leaving the presence of Earth 2 bafflingly mysterious (or indeed impossible, as Sue’s Science Corner might agree!)

    The crew’s imitations of Kirk’s dialogue with Miri was hilarious! Just as some of your improvements probably couldn’t have been effected in 1966 (the year I was born – I’m as old as Star Trek!), Kirk’s creepiness here probably couldn’t happen in today’s TV. Thankfully!

    Women at Warp is both the most thoughtful and the most entertaining Star Trek podcast I’ve yet found. I’m really enjoying it, and it’s consciousness raising too. Thank you!

  258. Thank you so much for writing this! Woman who are girly are just as good as women who aren’t super girly! Deanna was my favorite and still is because I find myself most like her! I love being a woman and shouldn’t be ashamed of having hyper feminine characteristics. Yes I love pink I love nature and I try to be caring to everyone around me! Is that really so bad! True feminism is being accepting of ALL the many types of women! Thank you again!

  259. I really don’t understand our desire to try to control others because they live differently than us or the masses. I say live and let live and everyone deserves no they should demand the same rights as the rest of the masses share and they deserve happiness as much as the next person.

  260. I can understand working together, after a war, it’s the money thing I have a problem with. I don’t understand that.

  261. Bigotry is Anti-diversity. As such it stands outside of and in opposition to diversity. It is not part of diversity, it is the antithesis of diversity.

  262. Everyone forgets that star trek as we see it comes after the eugenics wars and World War III where billions of humans were killed. Everyone forgets that star trek as we see it comes after the eugenics wars and World War III where billions of humans were killed This made the demand for resources on earth more available to the remaining few

  263. Star Trek isn’t for bigots. It isn’t for misogynists. It isn’t for homophobes. It isn’t for xenophobes. Anyone who tries to twist IDIC around to allow those ignorant beliefs simply doesn’t understand IDIC.

  264. It won’t happen. If people were told to work, knowing that they would not be getting any money, most of them would not work.

  265. I’m watching ENT again now, and all I can think is “how are all Vulcans so disdainful and petty?”

    I’ve been saying the same thing for years, Tovuk’s contempt for Neelix, Solok’s childish pestering of Sisko, Vulcans are terrible.

    They’re supposed to be about logic, yet they try to suppress natural inherent emotions, which is completely illogical.

    They’re supposed to suppress emotion yet they are utterly embarrassed to talk about sex to the point it literally causes harm and death within their society. Pon Farr can’t even be treated easily due to their emotional burden on the subject that kept details scarce from doctors.

    And neither logic nor emotional “control”, keeps them from being bigoted to other races, belittling and stifling humans, spying and deceiving Andorians, and repressing members of their own people for being different like it’s the 1800s on earth.

    The Vulcans are a mess of a society, it’s amazing they survived long enough for space travel.

  266. That would be amazing! I’m happy to wait a couple of weeks. It’s super kind of you to bump this one to the top of the list…yes, please. If you leave a comment here when it happens I’ll beam over and check it out!

    Very much looking forward to seeing what Rekha and Jayne have to say and your conversations with them!

  267. Eeeee!! Jayne and Rekha! So thrilled you got them on the podcast.

    Is there or will there be a transcript of the episode, btw? I know it’s extra work, so no pressure, but my semi-deaf self will snap it up immediately if there is one!


  268. I’m pretty hurt, gotta be honest.

    When you guys mentioned Jadzia I was *so* excited. And then you COMPLETELY IGNORED THE TRANS ASPECT. You dismiss it as just a hetero relationship because a past life was a male. You don’t even bring it up. Don’t erase the trans connotations. Were they intentional? Probably not, but possibly. But YOU DIDNT EVEN BRING IT UP. You looked at Jadzia though a completely Cis lens.

    I am trans. Am I not queer? Or do I not count.

    • Hi Mara,

      Thanks so much for the comment and we’re sorry about how that part came across in the episode. We had started out planning a relatively narrow episode about queercoding and though the scope became larger as we talked we didn’t get close to talking about everything we could have. Unfortunately we didn’t devote much time to Dax’s transness here, but we have touched on it in other places, including Episode 99 all about Jadzia, and this article on our blog. It will absolutely come up again and if you’re interested we’d be happy to keep you in mind for a future guest spot on this topic – just send us an email. Thanks again for raising this.
      – Jarrah, on behalf of the crew

      • I appreciate the quick and sincere response. I’m a little raw of late. I’ll certainly take you up on that offer. I’ve got a hell of a lot to say about a little game called Star Trek Online and gender, for instance.

  269. I just loved Grace’s (and maybe Sue’s?) reference to Joanna Newsom. 🙂 I got it! (Well, she is one of my favourite singer-songwriters).

  270. Sue, I especially loved your choice of Ursula K Le Guin for communications officer. For both of the reasons you mentioned, but also because she invented (in fictional terms, anyway!) the ansible, her faster than light communication device. 🙂 She’s one of my favourite writers, and certainly my favourite SF writer, and I still mourn her passing at the beginning of last year.

  271. This feels like a bit of a weird series of interpretations. In all of the examples listed in this article, the explanation for the unknown always turns out to be natural, not supernatural (much like in Scooby Doo). Just because it’s a weird, unfamiliar branch of the natural world doesn’t make it magic. So how is the author treating them all as good examples of religious faith?

    I’d like to be clear from the start that I am not attempting to troll; I genuinely do not see the series the same way, and would be curious to understand how or why someone would choose to interpret it this way.

    In the same order as above:
    * The Bajoran Prophets turn out to be explicitly finite and natural (if weird) alien creatures, no more godlike than the Bajorans who worship them, just… different. Their different perception of time gives them abilities the Bajorans and other corporeal beings lack, but also deprives them of some abilities that we have and they don’t. The Bajoran religious interpretation of them is simply inaccurate, by the Prophet’s own description of themselves, and that’s why Kira and other Bajorans are at first uncomfortable with these new findings.

    * Kes is powerful, by human standards, but does that make her a god? It seems a low bar to set. She couldn’t even get Voyager all the way home again!

    * T’Pol does not have a religious conversion, she simply follows the evidence where it leads, the same way she does with every matter throughout the series. (She’s probably the most consistently written character in the show.) And the evidence reveals that Vulcans have some neat telepathic abilities (including the katra transfer thing) they had forgotten about for centuries. None of this is supernatural or magic, and in fact telepathic powers are so common and natural in Star Trek as to be almost boring. Was this story arc perhaps mistaken for a religious experience, just because the characters were wearing robes in a desert?

    * And finally, DISCO season 2. The setup in ‘New Eden’ was interestingly ambiguous, but I’d argue they ended up doing little to nothing with it (most likely because of the change of show runners). We know for certain that every single appearance of the Red Angel throughout the season turns out to be (minimising spoilers as much as I can) not magic. By the end of the season, we know exactly what the Red Angel is and what it’s there for, and there is no mystery, and certainly nothing at all supernatural. It’s just straightforward, natural people doing natural (if unusual) things, because they wanted to. The quoted bits of character dialogue do have a fairly religious tone to them, when clipped out of context like this, but in context, they didn’t seem to have much bearing on the events that actually unfolded on screen. People pushed buttons and technology did stuff.

    So maybe I’ve badly misunderstood something in this article. By faith, we do mean the supernatural stuff of religion, right? Because if so, I just don’t see it in any of the given examples. And if the only requirement is that a story can give a vaguely spiritual feeling, then that seems pretty subjective, and thus largely meaningless, to anyone other than the individual experiencing that sense.

    More generally, I can’t understand why the author WANTS there to be religious interpretations of all of these scenes. Why can’t they just be nice stories on their own merits?

    And most important of all: Why won’t you Americans urgently shut down those concentration camps, regardless of religious orientation? Even us foreign atheists can see they’re deeply evil.

  272. Brilliant. The reconciliation of faith and science has been an underlying theme in Star Trek from the get go, and I appreciate people like you who have the insight and passion to bring it home. Bravo.

  273. I guess kinda seems like shes miserably trapped by children and cheats on him w some florist the first time she leaves the station. Which all seems intended by the writers

  274. Isabel, finally I found another Trekkie from Ecuador! I’m so glad to know I’m not alone!

    I share your frustration of watching ST in LatAm, specially in Ecuador. I can’t recall the actual first experience with ST, but it was either a re-run of one of the original movies in Teleamazonas or TNG in Ecuavisa, both in that very familiar cast of dubbed voices.

    I’ve wandered fb groups, fan websites and youtube channels for months trying to get a local connection with someone, finally I get to this blog, now I know that I’m not alone and maybe there’s still hope to organize a Trek convention here in Quito, Ecuador.

    Let’s get in touch and see if we can do something for our fellow Ecuadorians who haven’t been lucky enough to be trekies.

  275. Great discussion. I’d like to add that the Hays Code also accidentally created a space for relatively positive, heroic depictions of queer-coded characters — think of Louis Renault in Casablanca or even the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz.

  276. Don’t know if this is confirmed or not but I heard that in the 70s when Shatner and Nimoy first learned about Kirk/Spock they not only approved of it but also added some, what we might today call queer-coding, elements of that pairing in the movies. For example, the scene in the motion picture where Spock is in Sickbay grasping Kirk’s hand (“This simple gesture”) or how they seemed to bicker with each other like lovers in some of the movies.

    Again I don’t know if that’s been confirmed by the actors or production staff but I think it’s cool if they did that.

    • @Jason – Have you heard of “The Roddenberry Footnote”? Roddenberry’s novelization of The Motion Picture uses the Vulcan term, “t’hy’la” to describe Spock’s feelings about his relationship with Kirk. In a footnote, Roddenberry defines “t’hy’la” to mean “friend, brother, or lover.” Between this and the overtones in the film, the sickbay scene in particular, you can imagine how validated K/S fans must have felt at the time.

      Check out https://fanlore.org/wiki/The_Roddenberry_Footnote

  277. Vulcans who follow the IDIC philosophy still OFTEN actively disagree with other beings they encounter. Usually this is vocal disagreement, but regularly if that does not resolve an important issue they are willing to escalate matters to direct action against those who they disagree with. In some cases we see examples of that direct action to be physical violence (whether in hand to hand or ship to ship combat). IDIC does not mean fully accepting those who wish to do harm to you or those with whom you have allied. IDIC is an openness to assessing and accepting other points of view rather than the belief that your perspective is absolute. Also, for real, it’s a tv show. As much as I adore Star Trek, sometimes the real world (and actually even the ST universe) is more complicated than following simple maxims.

  278. I never thought I would relate with just a single sentence as much as your very first one. For me, too, B’Elanna snuck up on me. I’ve always liked her, but as a teen I absolutely admired Cpt. Janeway (heck, I did school projects on her), being a scientist and feminist myself and all. This faded a little bit in my 20s, I still love Janeway, but I more and more felt increasingly connected to B’Elanna. I never really realized, why, but I just could relate with her so much more somehow. I’ve recently been diagnosed with both anxiety and PTSD, both of which I’ve been struggling with for over 15 years, I just never knew it. And like B’Elanna, I too struggle with not feeling like I belong and with identity. Ironically, “Extreme Risks” was my first ever Star Trek episode, the one that incited my love for Star Trek in general and Star Trek Voyager in particular. “Faces”, too, has always been a favorite of mine ever since I first saw it. Just as B’Elanna, science, work, has been and is my major coping mechanism.

    Thank you so much for this post, over which I stumbled completely by chance and which manages to put my own feelings and thoughts towards B’Elanna perfectly into words.

  279. This episode has always been one of my least favorites, I’m deep in the opponent camp. You’re making great points that I’ve never seen this way and I actually find myself agreeing with you. However, her being stranded with Chakotay of all people makes it very clear that this episode is more focused on their potential romance than all the other (valid) points you’re bringing up about showing the (change in) character of Kathryn Janeway. Also, as you said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with romance (even, particularly, for a captain)- it’s just that for me the hint of a Janeway/Chakotay relationship always felt forced and clicheé (and that has nothing to do with command structure).

  280. I can totally imagine President Elect Hillary Clinton ending a State of The Union with “Kaplah!!” I, for one, welcome strong women leaders & hope they don’t have to banish their mates to do it.

    Welcome to the WAW blogging Rose. Look forward to seeing more from you.

      • Yep. Didn’t work for me (as it usually does). But never mind, as I managed to access it slightly differently.

        The podcast was quite entertaining, to be sure. I still remember the first time I heard Jacqueline speak–at a convention panel in 1977 (about Kraith, of course). I have to say, she sounds just the same. 🙂

        I first read Kraith, Collected, Vol. 1, some 46 years ago. It was *quite* the introduction–to ST fanzines and to Jacqueline. Here is how I have written about it online:

        Kraith, Collected Vol. 1 (first published 1972, Carol Lynn and Debbie Goldstein, eds.) was the first ST fiction fanzine I ever read. “Kraith” was a fannish series that was the focus of some controversy, originated by Jacqueline Lichtenberg and contributed to by over 50 other fans. It was Jacqueline’s vision of Vulcan, its people and culture, and it was a masterful job of world-building.

        To quote Jacqueline from the “Author’s Foreword” in the Kraith Creator’s Manual, Vol. 1:
        Kraith originally was conceived as a counter statement to the most prevalent type of fan fiction presentation of Vulcan. It seems that fans could not stretch their minds to see Vulcans in any other light than as anthropomorphic cripples deprived of ‘normal’ emotional outlets. True, that aired ST did leave this question open. They presented data, but in most cases did not interpret it for you. The obvious interpretation which Hollywood no doubt wanted us to make was the Vulcans were simply humans with exotic customs. However, if we view the TV screen as a window into an actual tomorrow and attempt to observe like good xenologists, we MUST NOT project our own human-centered concepts onto genuine aliens. Kraith attempts to point out several other valid interpretations of aired ST’s basic data.

        Not everyone agreed with these interpretations, nor with Jacqueline’s ideas of Spock and Kirk and their place in the scheme of things. Kraith always was good for generating debate and was the subject of more than one convention discussion panel. Kraith always seemed to enjoy a love-hate relationship with fans—you either loved it or you hated it.

        I loved it and hated it. Didn’t always agree with the direction the story (and characters) went, but I was fascinated (no pun intended) by the intricate universe that these authors created. I still pull my copies off the shelf every couple of years for a good ol’ “Kraith wallow.”

        Like any other good ST fan, I of course purchased Star Trek Lives! when it was published (still have my original copy, in fact, and reread it not so long ago, in a fit of nostalgia). I also purchased some of the Sime-Gen books and some of Jacqueline’s other works.

        I note that Sime-Gen was one of the topics in this podcast, and it just so happens that I have ended up with extra copies of some issues of Ambrov Zeor. If you folks there are interested, you may have them. Just let me know. Otherwise I will be sending them on elsewhere.

        Thanks again for another great “historical” fandom podcast!

  281. Watched this episode again with my daughter a few weeks ago. In my top ten list of Voyager episodes. My daughter thought the budding romance between Janeway and Chakotay was pretty cool and loved Janeway’s little primate friend.

    I thought it was an interesting role reversal(?) how Chakotay filled the homemaker role while Janeway was still very work/research oriented. We didn’t get any “damsel in distress” vibes because Janeway needed help from Chakotay during the plasma storm.

    Did they have a romantic relationship before Voyager returned? And why couldn’t they pursue a relationship once they were back aboard? They’re not monks after all. Yes Janeway is Chakotay’s commanding officer, but so what? Every relationship has complications. If they’re going to be spending years or decades on Voyager, maintaining emotional health by finding companionship is important.

    By the way, the tension between Tuvok and the other officers about contacting the Vidiians was an interesting B plotline. Felt sorry for Tuvok – surely there were some crewmembers who opposed contacting the Vidiians but I suppose they were overruled in the end.

  282. When people twist the words of the Bible and the constitution and the meaning of truth; are you surprised that Star Trek lore gets twisted? IDIC simple prepares one to accept that there are infinite possibilities, it doesn’t mean all are acceptable. IDIC is not a stand alone principle and needs other guiding principles to attain enlightenment. Needs of the many vs the few etc.

  283. I can certainly see how climate change is what viewers see now. I tend to think it’s original focus was on the fleeting nature of life in general. The elders aren’t refusing to do anything about climate change; they already know the sun is going nova and they cannot stop it or get anyone out into space. They DO react: they build the probe. It finds Picard.

    Anyway, a damn fine episode.

  284. When I become Time Traveling Costume Designer(tm), my first action will be to replace the sheer black stockings on the TOS female officers with opaque black tights. With that one change, they become more practical and more of a real equivalent to the men’s uniforms while losing none of their “femininity.”

  285. If TNG’s treatment of women upset you, you won’t like TOS at all. It gets horrible too fast and too often.

  286. Wow, Isabel, this hit so many buttons in my experience with Trek fandom, and I am quite a bit older than you! You are in an exciting time where “nerds” are now cool, sci-fi is “in”, and Trek particularly has survived to this new era of renaissance. Looks like you’ve finally found your tribe!

    It wasn’t until I was entering my teens when I really noticed Star Trek– my family would occasionally watch TOS (early reruns at the time) but it really got me when I started reading the Blish novelizations. My parents decided to move us to Australia for a couple of years, and so I missed a lot as it was just starting syndication there, but eventually caught up with TOS back in Canada and was hooked. Fortunately, I was able to connect with two good friends in high school, but it wasn’t “cool” to our peers, so we submerged our love, with brief surges when the first movies came out. Eventually, “real life” took over and I it would take me decades to properly reconnect. My career as a teacher took me to different countries, most of them in Latin America. Ironically, each of the iterations happened as I started a new job in another country where cable or satellite was spotty– ST TNG in Mexico, DS9 in Ecuador, Voyager in eastern Europe, Enterprise in southeast Asia. It seemed like the show and I were never to meet! Occasionally a friend or colleague might make a Trek reference, but nothing deeper. There was always an undercurrent, but never a spark, until family responsibilities kept me home and suddenly I could catch up on all of it! I threw myself into fandom and made wonderful connections (thank you, internet!). As you noted, there is a serious dearth of Trek in Latin America, and this would be something to investigate. It says a lot about your love for Trek that you were able to move past incongruous voices and watching shows out of order and still crave the fandom.

    I’ve always been interested in the effect Trek has had on other cultures. Clearly, it has been deeply embedded in our Western one on so many levels. At a small convention a few years ago, I met Denise Crosby, who talks about the impact of the show in the documentaries Trekkies, and I asked her if there would be a third doc from a more international perspective. This is what we are lacking, information about the influence in other countries. It might answer your question!

    You are not alone. Welcome to exploring your obsession!

  287. Omg I loved this post. I grew up on tng because that was what was running in Israel when I was 13. I actually preferred Babylon 5 to ds9 and would debate on this with random geek boys back in the day. (I love ds9 nowadays).

    But I never had to come out about my love for star trek but I also didn’t tell anyone either… It was kind of my personal thing as a kid…

    Thank you for sharing this blog post, hilariously written and very endearing to my geeky heart.

    PS: I wish I could have saved you all that trauma. 🙁

  288. Isabel, what a great post! I am Cuban/Puerto Rican, but I am from NYC, where I have watched Star Trek since I was 6 years old. I watched the series in order, so I found your experience fascinating! I would love to discuss with you, your feelings on Latinx characters in Star Trek. Feel free to email me or find me on FB. There are so many aspects to talk about! My wife is Brazilian & I introduced her to Star Trek & now she looks forward to the conventions. Thank you for sharing Isabel!

  289. I’m not sure that MU Kira and Odo were portrayed in bondage gear as much as they were slightly punk / goth…I know that particularly goth clothing does have a shared aesthetic with bdsm but they are not synonymous. Goths and punks embrace counter culture (and also ime tend to be more sexually open), so it’s no massive surprise that it would be used as the antithesis of the straight-laced federation.

  290. It’s very strange and interesting to see so many people essentially “take a side” whether it’s T’Pol’s or Trip’s. I never did. I always perceived the two of them to be behaving toward one another in the exact same ways. It’s tit-for-tat as they both struggle through the exact same kind of social awkwardness, and while it is uncomfortable to watch sometimes, it does basically make them closer to being equals. Archer could never show T’Pol the level of vulnerability that Trip can, and that’s one reason (obviously among many) why Trip is far better suited for T’Pol, both figuring things out for themselves. As the story is, I’m not sure Trip being more assertive would have won him over with T’Pol at all. She had already made up her mind about her “experiment”, realized that she was already too deep into her emotions, and had to reel it in for her own comfort and professional headspace. Trip realized this, realized there was nothing he could do except let her be and sort it out for herself. I found that quite admirable about him even if the situation and the words stung. She made a mistake and had some regrets, but he still respected her. Trip already knew the situation was far more complicated than just his simply being *used* for T’Pol’s benefit. He knew that, notwithstanding the offensiveness of the use of the word, the “experiment” line was contrived. He knew there was so much more to it than that, and that’s exactly why it stung so hard. So he knew that distance was the only way he could possibly help the situation (even if it didn’t!).

    • I didn’t take a side either. They’re both too stubborn and scared of rejection to say how they feel about each other. What they have in common is a far bigger obstacle to their relationship than cultural differences. But I find that when people take a side, the vast majority are on Team Trip. Those who blame them equally are still far more common than people who take T’Pol’s side (mostly the rare Trip haters). I believe most people on Team Trip can’t put themselves in alien shoes. There are some people who think T’Pol didn’t really love him so her feelings only came from drugs. A Vulcan isn’t going to express love the same way as a human. And drugs only bring out the feelings you already have.

      You’re so right that Trip shows more of himself in relationships than Archer. The only person Archer is vulnerable around is Hernandez (who I think is far better suited for him than T’Pol). And Trip has more interest in people than Archer, which is why he can break down the walls of closed-off people like Malcolm and T’Pol. As for what would have happened if he was more assertive, it could go either way. There was actually a debate on that very topic years ago. https://www.thedelphicexpanse.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3899

  291. Very good analysis. I always liked the Tucker character & thought his emotionalism – both the soft & the hard, were refreshing & welcome. He was one of my favorite characters, in fact. However, I never thought him the right person for T’Pol & I also didn’t mind his death. Only Trip could’ve died for Archer. Only he could’ve sacrificed himself that way.

    • Thanks Mark. I don’t think anyone disputes Trip’s willingness to die for Archer. The issue is it’s not consistent for him to just blow himself up (at aliens of the week) when he got out of Paxton’s prison just fine. Even Connor Trineer, who didn’t mind Trip’s death, said he “got out of worse scrapes than this.” I find it interesting that you believe ENT and DIS are not on the prime timeline but take no issue with Trip being OOC. I know, it sounds weird when my essay argued personality isn’t binary but I’ll say this. All of us know on some level we act differently in different situations. But no one agrees on where to draw the line between nature and nuture. In other words, you can’t have a shy person be afraid of public speaking one episode and than be all gung ho about their speech the next.

  292. Relationships are usually complicated, in my experience. At least if they have any depth. A good friend sometimes asks a hard thing, in the belief that it is for the best. That isn’t bullying.

  293. I always thought Keiko was a great character that was criminally undurused

  294. So glad I found this podcast! No BS, really clear and focused commentary by lovers of the Star Trek franchise. However, I take issue with the comment on epi 13, Disco Recap that Burnham is petulant. This character is a xenoanthropologist and a science officer. She has been a first officer, and in the mirror universe she was the captain. A remark made was that Burnham is petulant because she interrupts the captain. Really? Was Bones petulant for constantly taking Kirk to task, or saying “Dammit Jim?” NO! As a matter of fact, this is Bones’ signature line. One of the many reasons that he is a beloved character is because he was argumentative. Moreover, he was actually admired for it. So why call Burnham out? Would this be the impression or adjective of choice if Burnham’s character was a male? Just some food for thought. Burnham is a mega-intelligent, bad-ass, ultra aware, acutely flawed individual who is revered by her captain and peers. She should behave accordingly… ego, contention, “petulance,” and all.

  295. When we first saw this, we thought Barclay was a looser who couldn’t find a girlfriend. We laughed at him for creating this program. He also made Wesley look bad in this program.

  296. A small update, but Jonathan Frakes told me in his autograph line at Awesome Con that the Picard show was dropping in December. (I had thanked him for his work on Discovery, and he said, “Just wait for the Picard show.” He’s obviously excited about it.)

  297. One of my favorite episodes. I will not lie and say I wasn’t disappointed when Janeway and Chakotay did not get together. I was even more disappointed when Star Trek Voyager put Chakotay and Seven of Nine together years later. I felt that was so convenient. I really wanted Janeway with Chakotay. I guess I was being naive.

  298. Maybe it’s just me, but my head played some Whitney Houston on that run back kiss scene. “And Iiiiiiiiiii, will always love youuuuuuuuuu…”

  299. Star trek is part of
    Weird runs into the weird.
    Like capt ⁷Janeway said weird is what we do that is what we signedi] gor

  300. Also agree on Number One’s needing a translation of arcseconds. That is not acceptable for a woman at warp!

    I will miss Pike and Spock and the Enterprise, but now it is time for Discovery to find its own way now that it has been established yet now unknown within Star Fleet.

  301. Agree on the arc second comment. Why couldn’t she have responded with something like “That’s a tight squeeze, we’ll have no room for error” or something?

    • I think this is a joke referencing the housewife and cowboy mentality of the original series Enterprise crew.

  302. So, Pike’s future vision from the crystal was definite and unchangeable, but Burnham’s was merely a serving suggestion? Kurtzman should have the whole concept of time travel wiped from his story-telling repertoire, he has never once used it sensibly.

    I also notice that he seems to have borrowed another gimmick from the 2009 movie: In that movie, Kirk spends the whole adventure out of uniform, wearing something black, until the final scene where he finally gets to celebrate with a shower and a change of clothes. He wore the same thing for weeks, for no apparent reason. Nobody ever tells him to get into regulation yellow uniform.

    In season 2 of Disco, Spock wears the same black leather non-uniform, for no reason, throughout all the action, and only gets back into uniform to celebrate right at the end. Disco’s timeframe is less clear, but Spock must have been in that single sweaty leather outfit for over a week, perhaps more than a month.

    I have no idea what it’s meant to symbolise, but it doesn’t look like pure coincidence when the same writer slips it in twice.

  303. The Prime Directive wouldn’t just prevent the law from being imposed upon the people of Ghana, it would also prevent the aid from being sent to them. Withholding aid is not colonialism.

    • neocolonialism is “the use of economic, political, cultural, or other pressures to control or influence other countries, especially former dependencies”
      taking away aid that ghana is dependent with the specific purpose of influencing them politically is neocolonialism.

  304. I won’t repeat what Antivenom said so eloquently about how any philosophy no matter how good can turn into toxic extremism with self-righteousness. One big problem is that too many Vulcans (and humans) conflate suppression with denial. Any good meditation teacher would tell you that you have to acknowledge emotions before putting them aside. Trying not to think of something gives it more power.

    Lastly, when Spock says logic is the beginning of wisdom, that fits the underlying principle of DBT. That is rational mind + emotional mind = wise mind. I’m sure Surak would approve.

  305. Fascinating analysis!
    As someone with (high functioning) Asperger’s syndrome, I associate with the Vulcans quite strongly.
    Like them, I have trouble guaging someone’s emotions unless I’ve known them for years. I have always been smarter and more knowledgeable than my peers and like a prick, I never let anyone forget that.
    I use sarcasm a lot, but have trouble recognizing it, when it’s directed at me.
    There are more similarities, bit I guess you get the picture.

    • As Vulcanites, we may not be able to truly empathise with others, but we need to make the effort to be compassionate towards them, and to try to understand how they feel. Otherwise we’re just jerks.

      • I was diagnosed late in life, in 2014 at age 32. All my social skills are learnt and practiced, they did not develop naturally, as with most people.
        I don’t lack empathy, but I am quite ego-centric.
        This usually results in me wanting to help in any way I can and be a shoulder to cry on, while also assuming their pain is a direct result of my (in/action).
        Before my diagnosis, I believed that my behaviour and my lack of taking a hint was due to me being a worthless piece of s***. Everything that befell others was in some way my fault and mistakes I made myself were unforgivable.

        Since the diagnosis things have been put better in perspective to me. Life is slightly easier, now I know a little better how my brain works

        Now I ask people to tell me, bluntly, if I have done or said something that offends them. If I’m being a prick, please tell me,I won’t be offended.
        I straight up ask if they’re being sarcastic, while before I felt I should be able to read between the lines.

        As a Vulcan, I have to ask you humans, to explain your illogical behaviour.

  306. The philosophy is fine and has great merit, especially in light of Surak and how it transformed Vulcan society, as narrated by Diane Duane in the book Spock’s World. It’s the Vulcans themselves who are toxic; it’s their attitude about their philosophy, how they interpret and apply it, and their arrogance and self-righteousness, that are the problem.

  307. […] Head on over to Women at Warp to read my contribution to their blog.  I write about how I idolized the Vulcans as a young Star Trek fan, but over the years I’ve come to realize that this idolatry may have harmed my mental health because a closer inspection of Vulcan philosophy reveals them to be villains, not heroes. Case in point: Solok from DS9 in the pic below. What a dipshit. […]

  308. Thank you for this article. You make a really good point about Vulcans. They’re really not the nicest people.

    I can think of more than a few examples, but the worst example for me is T’Pau and T’Pring’s behaviour in “Amok Time.” I’m convinced T’Pau knew what T’Pring had planned, because T’Pring had probably had a nice long chat about it before.

    Not one shout of “Kroykah!” when T’Pring pointed to Kirk – the locum Ambassador and flagbearer for the UFP and Starfleet (he’d actually been diverted from a diplomatic mission, just to make it clear that diplomacy was one of his roles as a Starship Captain). Not one mention to Kirk that it was a fight to the literal death until /after/ Kirk had consented to the duel.

    Yeah, they knew, and they kept the collusion behind those Vulcan poker faces.

    There were also the Vulcan kids in the 2009 movie, berating baby Spock, and the egregious comment from the head of the Vulcan Science Academy when he described Spock’s human half as a disability. That would have been blatantly racist if it had been humans. I loved W Morgan Sheppard, but I hated that character that he’d played.

    I might have come to the same conclusion you had about Vulcans. It might explain my personal drive, over the course of two or three decades of my life to the present, to learn to embrace honour, empathy, and diplomacy, over logic – having learned more from Picard and Deanna Troi than from Surak.

      • This is why you need to preach to canonistas who whine about how DS9 and especially ENT ruined Vulcans. They’re too busy admiring St Spock to notice the bad behavior of Sarek, T’Pau and T’Pring. Aside from the fact that one person can’t represent an entire species (I don’t need to see monocultures in Trek), there was always a streak of racism and duplicity in Vulcans.

  309. The High Ground was the reason I got into TNG, and my all time favourite episode is Ethics because of Crusher. Excellent article 🙂

  310. I, too, am glad that Star Trek helped you so much, and that you (and others) are sharing your experiences with others. Thank you.

  311. Hi, Kerry, thank you for sharing your story. I love hearing about how Trek has helped people through hard times. It has always been my go-to when I am need of physical or emotional comfort. Though I was also the “nerd” through high school, I managed to get through relatively unscathed. But my fandom was always something I kept close to my heart because it was not “cool”. Now we can all say “Who’s laughing now?” It is a testament to the greatness that it is, and would make Gene happy.


  312. I never thought the snark or the disagreements were that much of an issue between Miles and Keiko, particularly as all relationships are pretty much like that. What got to me about their relationship is that they had absolutely nothing in common, until Molly came along, and even then they never seemed to be on the same page.

    I don’t think that’s an issue with Keiko or Miles as characters, I just think the writers didn’t do enough to make it look like a relationship that might blossom in the first place.

  313. “Why slingshot around the sun if you can just get a crystal?“ we’ll probably because in 1966 there wasn’t the concept of a time crystal. That happened in like 2013. Yeah. It may not work but it’s a thing.

  314. Mudd had a Time Crystal in season one (it was what powered the time loop) but that disintegrated. So there’s precedent for this.

  315. I agree with what you present here for the larger society. Although for myself, I actually enjoy the costumes. I think they’re more freeing than the studgy uniforms of the “good” or prime universe. Of course, the problem with the Mirror universe is lacking the choice of what you wear.

  316. Extremely well said.
    30 years on, Troi appears anachronistic or out of place and shriekingly other as female.
    Future female primary characters are written with at least 50% masculine traits – see Janeway as authoratative, competent, easily heads a hierarchy; B’Elanna – aggressive, technologically minded.
    The apparant passivity of Troi has been repeatedly misread as there were few genuine opportunities for her to shine. When her femininity was tempered (adopting full uniform) and acquiring command skills she came to be more ‘respected.’
    The re-emergence of the Divine Feminine and its absolute necessity in manintaining cosmic order and balance have yet to be grasped in our present society, but perhaps future generations will call Deanna blessed.

  317. Yes, Jan, it is. We have a new website under construction and so our new address WordWorks International will redirect people to the old website WordWorksKingston (we got way bigger and had to upgrade!).

  318. I’m gonna assume that the natural birth hippies that Anne talks about live in Canada like her. I’m sure they would change their minds if they lived in the US, where you’re much more likely to die in childbirth. Most OBY-GYN’s assume that mom will be OK and are confused when something goes wrong. At least Bashir has the excuse of being an internist.

    If you take Ah’len at her word, then Trip’s pregnancy isn’t assualt. Not knowing it can happen to a human= no intent. That’s a humancentric interpretation unless of course, you think she’s lying. Unexpected is a Rorschach test of sorts when some women don’t find it denigrating to pregnancy because they relate to Trip. Plus, does it really denigrate the feminine when Trip is normally so emotional? There’s no way the hormones are turning up his inner dial that much. If he got T’Pol pregnant, he would be just as obsessed with babyproofing (and drive her nuts in the process). There’s NO WAY he wouldn’t be just as concerned for his own kid’s safety as he was for one that genetically, wasn’t his.

  319. As this episode was playing out, I was getting angry at the likelihood that Nhan was going to be killed. Then I got REALLY angry that they killed Airiam just as we were starting to learn about her. Together with Season 1’s offing of Landry (twice!), Georgiou, and Culber, I’m annoyed at their killing main characters, particularly women. Yes, they brought Culber back (but not whole) and Georgiou back (but as a conniving opposite to what her character originally was), but it’s just not the same. For the second season in a row, I have to stop getting emotionally involved in this show. I can watch it, but I can’t allow it to get to me like Star Trek usually does (and should).

  320. Jadzia’s death is the only death I hated. I meant nothing. I didn’t like Yar, but at least, she was trying to do her job.

  321. I gotta disagree with you on Tora Ziyal: she wasn’t in any position whatsoever to influence Dukat.

    Remember her debut episode? Dukat planned to murder her to hide the fact he’d sired a half-Bajoran bastard on his sex slave for little more reason than to spare his own career.

    Remember “By Inferno’s Light”? Dukat left her behind to die by exploding sun when she wouldn’t go back to Cardassia with him.

    And during the Occupation of DS9 arc, he’s got all these expectations of how a proper daughter of a high-ranking Cardassian is supposed to behave. And it finally starts to dawn on her just what kind of a man he really is.

  322. This is such a great article. The whole “body positivity” movement was irking me, and I hadn’t placed why. Thanks for getting into it, figuring it out and calling it out like it is.

  323. You remind me of a paragraph in Winners Take All where Anand Giridharadas describes a board meeting about a project to “empower women.” No matter how helpful the project is, he rightly points out that corporations who do these are often the ones who create (or at least benefit from) impossible beauty standards. Does anyone really believe the commercial where Venus says they want to celebrate all skin types when they sell razors? This type of “body positivity” is typical of corporate feminism.

    • The details of the project are coming back to me now. Dermalogica (a cosmetics company) figured that the best way to empower women was to grow jobs in the beauty industry and helping them open salons. Of course, no one mentions that it helps the very industry the company is in. And there’s no talk of changing the beauty standards that they’re complicit in. Jobs and entreprenuership might empower people economically but do nothing about systemic issues.

      Also, what are the odds that the drug and razor are both called Venus? It’s nice that P&G gives away free pads and has the #weseeequal hashtag to promote equal pay. But when they own Venus and Cover Girl, I doubt they’re interested in fixing systemic problems that cause girls to be less confident.

  324. I had never looked this episode in this way. Super interesting !! This episode is my guilty pleasure too !! precisely because it is such a different view of the characters that I love.

  325. I loved every minute of this episode, what an opening! The Hugh/Ash fight reminded me of Battlestar Galactica and so did the illusion of Vina telling Pike what to do.

  326. I haven’t got any learning disabilities in spite of having cerebral palsy. However, one of my earliest Star Trek memories is of coming home from school crying after being bullied. I told my Dad my legs hurt because I didn’t want to admit I’d been called names again. So sad turned on Trek and I laid on the floor so be could do my physical therapy. I was 9 and it was the 70s so people didn’t take that stuff very seriously. I was ashamed of it.

    Journey to Babel was on that afternoon. When Amanda talks about Spock being teased as a child. My father says, see even pointy eared space kids get made fun of you aren’t alone. I can tell your legs aren’t more bad than usual tonight tell me what happened. I’ll make sure it stops.

    after much drama I ended up changing schools completely and becoming a life long Trek fan.

  327. You might like Malcolm Gladwell’s book David and Goliath. He has a chapter on dyslexics and argues that the condition will either make you sink or fly. David Boies and Richard Branson credit their success to dyslexia because it helped them develop grit.

    Here’s the big irony of Michael laughing at her own error while Spock can’t let go of his. Meditation inherently makes you less judgmental, even if it’s not mindfulness-based. Basically, you tune into yourself, acknowledge pain or anything negative and move on. Meditation is a way of life for Vulcans in a way that’s not for humans (although more of us are taking it up nowadays). Yet Sarek and Spock have a harder time accepting the negative. That said, letting go of mistakes is something that kids are good at doing before they start learning how to be self-conscious.

  328. I’m in tears after reading this. This is me. I’m a 56 year old man who was dx’d with dyslexia in the 5th grade in 1974 when it was just kind-of-sort-of being accepted as a really thing. I loved Trek for the very reasons you state. And now, learning Spock’s “backstory,” makes the series even more important to those of us who feel this way. I hope this piece gets some wide spread attention because it just that important. Thank you. Thank you so much for writing this and, perhaps, making more people become empathetic to how so many of us feel our entire lives.

    • Thank you so much for your words and your warmth. I can only imagine how a dyslexia diagnosis was received in 1974. You are incredibly brave for pushing through despite the challenges and the doubts you might’ve heard from those who didn’t believe the pain was real. I’m glad to know you, and I’m glad to know you’re out there, because it means anyone who is learning disabled and encounters you will find the empathy they need (just as we need it!). Truly, thank you.

      • Thanks. Having watched my own children reach adulthood successfully ([1] not living at home, [2] employed in professions they are not only financially successful in but are truly passionate about, [3] not asking me for money, and [4] not having the police call me about) I think it has gotten better for subsequent generations. We still have a long way to go, but I have seen progress in my lifetime.

        Keep up the great work. I look forward to future articles from you.

  329. Jonathan, your writing mesmerized me for so many reasons. The quality and emotional power of your words sharing the pain and eventual joy of connection brought to you by Spock and Star Trek were so powerful, and such a brain cleanse from the constant bickering of fans I’m reading on some groups. This is what I love about Trek, how it touches people in ways few things can, how it finds those outside the societal norm and allows them to feel a connection they get from nowhere else. I thank the creators and characters from TOS to Discovery, for making this endure as strongly as it has. As fans, we continue to grok.

    I also loved reading how you took from your experiences growing up into a place where you now teach students with similar learning backgrounds– who else but someone with the same learning challenges to reach others and show them they are not lesser, but different. I wanted to reach out to you and let you know this is what my husband does. He is a former classroom teacher, and dyslexic, who has been teaching teachers around the world how to approach English spelling not as a crazy non-rule conforming and frustrating challenge but as an opportunity for recognizing the elegance of the language with a focus on scientific problem solving, making sense of words by investigating their deeper structures and meanings, instead of the focus being on phonetics which we have been trying unsuccessfully to pound into our kids. He uses the term “structured word inquiry” to instruct teachers and their students a more, dare I say, logical methodology. It has been particularly successful with children who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities; in fact in the research, it is those children who have had the most success with this spelling instruction. If you would like to learn more, I’d like to direct you to WordWorks International (www.wordworks.com). The site is in need of an upgrade, but if you have time, please scroll down a bit to see the spelling matrix, which basically captures the essence of what he does. Scrolling further you’ll find some videos and links as well. We offer workshops every summer in Ontario (I see you are in NY) so if it’s possible for you to attend, it might be of great benefit. To align Trekdom with spelling would be the greatest thing ever! Feel free to email me or contact my husband through the website.


    • I’m so grateful to you for reading and sharing your thoughts! Thank you for connecting me to WordWorks. What a great capsule of resources! I look forward to clicking around more deeply. If I have any questions, I certainly won’t hesitate to reach out. I am glad to be united with you and your husband in advocacy and empathy! Sending you both much love.