Matt and Sean talk about hitting the right notes on a new tune we already know in Star Trek Strange New Worlds. The show may be a little silly at times, but how does this new Star Trek hold up?
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And we’re talking about the world at the time of original broadcasts. So we’re currently in the very early days of Strange New Worlds. We’re very excited to get to this show, which both Matt and I, spoiler alert, think is a lot of fun. Oh yeah. It also puts us into recent current events, which this is 2022.
So we’re talking about just last year, although I won’t be able to say that. in a couple of weeks when we enter 2024. But still, you get my point. We’ve been talking about Enterprise originally, then we talked about Discovery, and now we’ve shifted into Strange New Worlds. And as we move through this show, further down the road, we will be jumping forward to the original series.
And so that is something I’m looking forward to greatly. But right now, we’re taking a look at the most recent and I think One of the strongest contenders into the Star Trek mythos and I’m really enjoying digging in. And who am I? I’ve been talking a while and you’re probably sitting there and just like, but who the heck is this guy?
Why listen to this jerk? I’m Sean Ferrell. I’m a writer. I write some sci fi, I write some stuff for kids, and with me is my brother Matt. He’s the guru and inquisitor behind the YouTube channel Undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives. So between the two of us, we’ve got the sci fi, we’ve got the tech, we’ve got the love of Trek.
How are you doing,
Matt? I’m doing pretty well. I already mentioned this on Still To Be Determined, because Sean and I recorded these back to back, but I’m a little tired. Trying to stay focused, uh, just got a puppy and I’m not sleeping well and Sean is getting prepared for the storm of the century about to hit New York City.
So that’s right. We’re, we’re betting a thousand here.
You’re exhausted and I’m panicky, so buckle up everybody. We’re about to have a conversation about a comet. So before we get into our discussion about this episode, the children of the comet. We’d like to revisit your thoughts on our previous episodes.
So what have you found in the mailbag for us, Matt? First off,
this episode one that we did is episode 122 about talking about Strange New Worlds. It’s the best performing episode we’ve had on YouTube so far. So clearly People were waiting for Strange New Worlds. So it’s like, I’m excited to be here because everybody seems to want to see this.
So I’m really excited about that. Uh, but we got a lot of feedback. Uh, so we have one from Happy Flappy Farm, which said, Dudes, we were so shocked to see the passionate portrayal of Spock and T’Pring. Spock undressed? Them kissing? In public? I understand that Vulcans can choose to be intimate without Pon Farr, but it feels like a deviation from canon.
We are supportive of reviewing the shorts as we go, because we asked that question last time, should we do the shorts? And great discussion, guys. Strange New Worlds is going to be a fun time for us all. So I wanted to bring that up because yeah, we’ll get into this, but like the whole Spock, like we didn’t get into it in the last episode, but the whole Spock.
shirtless, you know. They’re doing a little fan
service. It was a little like, wait, what am I seeing here? This seems really weird.
Yeah. They’re doing a little bit of fan service. And I think to a certain degree, that’s okay. You work to the era that you’re in. And, you know, in the original series, um, you know, they would write into an episode that somebody had a hangnail and happened to walk too close to Captain Kirk and his shirt would shred.
And then he would just be shirtless for the rest of the episode. Um, It’s part of I think it’s part of Trek to also have that kind of like, yeah, we’ve got good looking people here. Let’s look at these good looking people. Um, the part of romantic entanglements that Kirk would always get involved in and occasionally Spock.
Uh, even in one episode, Dr. McCoy, it’s, there’s like a part of the show, which is like, Titillating. And we’ve talked about this in our discussions about earlier Stardate storylines that we’ve followed. Mostly our very critical eye toward how they treated T’Pol in most of the early episodes of Enterprise.
Uh, we won’t go too deep into the, oh yeah, you gotta, You got to rub this antimicrobial gel all over your body when you come back from an away mission. So we get these lingering blue lit shots of half naked people rubbing gel all over each other while they’re supposedly having conversations. But so what do you think those aliens want, uh, Bow Chicka Wow Wow?
Yeah, the, the stuff around T’Pring, I do agree there, there is a little bit of retconning and off of canon happening, but I also think there are ways to accept it in two fashions. One of those fashions is to simply say, this is a contemporary show for a new audience. They’re doing things to, like, invite that new audience to enjoy the program.
So, like, just that simply is, I think, one way of, of saying it. Another is that there is, when we get to the original series, and we see T’Pring again, and we see Spock, and we see all of that, the things that they say, and the things that they do, do not necessarily negate what happens. In Strange New Worlds, in my opinion, so this is as much a, oh, they’re opening a window into some intimacies that we didn’t know at the time of the original series, but it doesn’t mean that they didn’t happen.
So that’s the, that’s the dicey line of any kind of prequel. Are you reinventing? Are you rewriting? Are you just filling in? Are you doing all of those at once? I think this show does a little bit of all of it at once. I’m usually pretty comfortable with it. Sometimes it does stand out as a little bit like, really?
Like, that’s where you want to go with this? And I do have a little bit of that around Spock and the romantic entanglements with T’Pring and Nurse Chapel, where we’ll talk about that a bit today because that does actually come up in today’s episode.
Uh, the next one was from DailyRider2975. Problem with the show for me is having to contort things to make Both make an interesting episode and stay within the timeline of the coming future.
A new show, as if you hadn’t done it, injected into the middle, like they’re doing right now. A new show gives more freedom for stories and what happens to characters. Zero chance for Uhura to get killed or Captain Pike because we know the future. I agree with that. To an extent. So it, yes, it does take the danger out of the equation for, you know, the enterprise is not going to blow up suddenly because all these characters are in the future episodes that we know about, but there’s a lot of characters that are new to us that we didn’t know, or we didn’t know what happened to them.
We knew they existed, but we never. Found out what happened to them. Maybe they got killed. Maybe that’s why they weren’t on the original series or they disappeared. So it’s like, there’s aspects to this that they can, the writers can still give us some fan service, give us backstories to these characters that we’ve never seen before, as well as still have that sense of danger for the other characters that are new to us.
So I think to me, this, series does a really good job of that mix of characters we know and characters we don’t so we can still have that sense of danger and dread at times, uh, while still kicking that fanservice y aspect of it. Yeah. But I see the point.
Yeah, I do too. And I think that, I think that one of the things that stands out for me regarding that point is how much of what you know about the character.
Is it critical backstory versus Oh, I’d just like to learn more. And I think Critical Backstory carries with it a lot of energy that fans are willing to jump in with wholeheartedly. I think Pike is a demonstration of Critical Backstory. We know where he ends up because we see him in His robotic chair, covered in scars, no longer able to communicate, basically a, a, a shell of a person, um, trapped in this damaged body.
And we are now being given the opportunity to see how does that person wrestle. With that fourth, that foreknowledge, and how do we, how does that person’s attitude toward life lead them to the position of being harmed in that way? That’s very different from what we’re getting with Uhura. With Uhura, it’s just kind of interesting to see, oh yeah, she was this savant.
She came out of a, uh, hurt background where she was fleeing the pain of, of family loss and she found herself in Starfleet, but wasn’t quite sure if it was for her, but she’s beginning to have those experiences now that really are telling her, this is where you can find your home. One is just kind of neat to see.
The other is darker, deeper exploration. And I think an example for me, uh, is an examination of a character like Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars. Yeah. You know he becomes Darth Vader. Seeing the prequels, and I’m not defending the prequels, that’s not what this statement is about, but the idea of making the prequels, of telling that story, the audience is fully on board with, yes, we want to see how somebody who could have been a jedi became this.
Yep. And I think that’s on display with Pike, less so with other characters like Spock, Uhura. We know so much about critical turning points for Spock in particular. The biggest parts of his story happen much later. We know them already. So what we’re seeing now is kind of a Neo Spock, Anacent Spock, who we get to see a little bit of some exploration, but it’s not going to be too groundbreaking or earth shattering.
Uh, same with Uhura, but we get to maybe see a little bit of Nurse Chapel that we haven’t exposed, been exposed to before. We get to see, like Matt mentioned, for me, characters like number one, where we get to see like, okay, what? What happens to some of these people who view the Enterprise as much their home as Kirk and Scotty and McCoy?
What are these, what are these people’s lives like? What happens to them? I think that’s, that’s a neat opportunity.
Um, and the last comment I want to bring up is in response to the question that we put out to the community about. What, what do you think we should do when we’re going through these episodes and Strange New Worlds is currently still being made, but yet we’re probably going to catch up before those new episodes air, which means we move to the original series and then suddenly Strange New Worlds starts coming out again.
We talked about like just basically pausing the original series and then going back and just doing Strange New Worlds and then when that’s done, go back to the original series, stuff like that. Yeah. And in response to that. Technophile1 wrote, Hi, me again. When new material comes out in a time frame that you’ve already passed, my vote is, fit it in, and then retcon Trek in Time with a playlist that is organized in the correct order.
Then somebody can make a Trek in Time, Trek in Time, and comment on where we were at the time in the world at the time that the podcast episode was originally released, which. I like it. I love that idea. Yeah. Trek in Time all the way down.
Playlists. Yes. We could, we could absolutely, I think there would be a way of, of a numbering convention that we could use where we could figure out, okay, how do we turn it into, maybe if we end Strange New Worlds at episode 150.
And then move into the original series. Maybe we create episode 150A, 150B as we fill in those gaps and do something in that fashion. We would have to, I mean, we have to think about that if we’re going to, if we’re going to actually jump backwards. We’re getting into
some kind of library system now where we’re going to have to need some kind of like, oh man, some Dewey decimal point kind of
thing going on.
Exactly. We need to, we need to figure that out. Uh, at the time that that happens. Happily, we haven’t reached that stage yet. The closest we’ve come to that is what happens with Discovery when we hit the jump forward in time moment in that series and suddenly found ourselves halfway through the series and saying, Okay.
We’ll come back to that in a few years. Uh, but in the meantime, that noise you hear in the background, yeah, that’s the read alert, which means it’s time for Matt to tackle the Wikipedia description for the episode we’ll be discussing today, Children of the Comet. Matt, I based this, we’ve only had last week’s and this episode in Strange New Worlds, but I think it’s a demonstration of the current fandom and their interest in this show is being felt by Wikipedia, where the descriptions on a show like Enterprise, where That TV show was being made before Wikipedia could really exist.
And then nobody’s really rushing back there to revise those entries. And you and I often found, wow, these descriptions are pretty terrible. Uh, I think they’ve improved. I think that we’re seeing a step up in interest from the community to go into Wikipedia and revise these things. So I think you’ll, you’ll have an easier time as we move through Strange New World.
So take it away. We’ll see about that,
Sean. Yeah, we’ll see. I’ll find, I’ll find a way to screw this up. Okay. So Cadet Nyota Uhura. is invited to a meal with other crew members in Pike’s quarters, where she reveals that she is unsure about her future in Starfleet because she only joined as a way to escape from the pain of her parents deaths.
The Enterprise crew attempt to alter the course of a comet that is set to kill all the inhabitants of a desolate planet, but it has a force field that prevents this. Uhura joins a team that transports to the comet’s surface and discovers that it responds to music. A starship of shepherds, who are escorting the comet, position themselves between it and the Enterprise.
They believe it to be a called, I’m gonna butcher this, M’hanit? Is that how they say it in the show? Yeah. M’hanit? Mmhmm. called M’hanit, who is an ancient arbiter of life. Enterprise distracts them to allow Spock to alter the comet’s course, and as it passes by the planet, it releases water vapor into the atmosphere that will improve the conditions for life.
Uhura decodes the music from the comet, which indicates that it expected this interference, and Pike ponders the origins of the comet and whether this was more than coincidence. He also considers the lives of the cadets that he is destined to save by sacrificing himself. And yeah Sean. That is one of the better descriptions we’ve had so far.
Bravo, Wikipedia. Thank you crew who wrote that.
Well done, Wikipedia editors. This is episode number two of season number one, Children of the Comet, directed by Maja Vrvilo, written by Henry Alonso Myers and Sarah Tarkoff, and it originally broadcast on May 12th, 2022. The cast, as usual, will be Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, Christina Chong, Melissa Navia, Rebecca Romijn, Jess Bush, Celia Rose Gooding, and Babs Olusanmokun, who does not appear in this episode, but I am looking forward to the next one in which he appears, because if memory serves, it’s one that’s very intensely focused on his character, Dr M’Benga.
What was the world like on the date of original broadcast, May 12, 2022? Well, Matt, you were still singing along to First Class by Jack Harlow, a song that I would be hard pressed to tell you what it’s about or what it sounds like because I have no idea. And at the movies, a little film called Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opened up with 187 million.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness had the highest weekend debut of any film in 2022. And it, as usual with all the Marvel films, is available on Disney Plus. And on television, trying to compare apples to apples. So we’re looking at streaming shows versus Things that would have been broadcast in a typical time slot on a broadcast station.
So last week we talked about how Stranger Things was the most streamed program of 2022 with 52 billion, that’s billion with a B, uh, minutes streamed. In 2022. Number two, Ozark, also on Netflix, and Ozark had 31 billion minutes streamed. That puts Stranger Things into a really rarefied air. 52 billion, and the number two show is 31 billion.
So hats off to Stranger Things, but Ozark is another show that is pretty critically acclaimed. Jason Bateman helmed the show and earned an Emmy for directing for one of the episodes. And in the news, lots of things in the New York Times revolving around the Ukraine war, including examinations of the Ukraine war’s economic toll.
against the West and whether the West would have the gumption to stick with Ukraine for long against Russia. And also an examination of how in the trenches of Eastern Ukraine, combat becomes a vicious dance. It’s largely a version of guerrilla warfare without it being intimate. At all times, there’s a new element in drone usage and the story goes on to say how old tenets of war involving rape and torture were two of the elements that make it the most vicious when it comes to troops moving into a community and then using that community as a weapon of terror to try and break the spirit of the opposition.
There was also an article. Examining how consumer prices were still climbing. At this point, inflation in the U. S. in 2022 was on the rise at levels that had not been seen for decades. For 2021, the overall inflation rate was something around 7%. In 2022, it would be above 6%. It currently has dropped now back to more manageable levels while still being felt by consumers across the board.
So For our discussion on this episode, I kept going back to one key element, predestination for knowledge. And how does that relate to our current view of the world? Is this a preoccupation of our era in looking at the world? It occurs to me That a lot of what we see in social media is people trying to prognosticate about what is going to happen.
There is a constant, if this happens, then it means this. If this Supreme Court case goes one direction, it means we’re doomed. If this person is reelected to office, it means the end. If this is going to, like, we do it with the environment, we do it with medical science, we do it with politics, we do it. In all these different facets of the world, we are consumed with the idea that we already know what is coming.
And I’m wondering if the show itself with that as a cornerstone is a demonstration of something that we have in our culture. The all consuming idea that we already know where we’re headed. And this show, this episode, does it in three distinctly different ways. It does it through Uhura, who is questioning her place in Starfleet.
She is questioning, I know where I came from, I know how I ended up here, I know I’m running from hurt, and she’s okay with that. I like the idea of a character who’s running from pain, but it’s not a problematic hurdle. It just is. So here she is as a person who’s moving forward through life, and she’s like, Yeah, I know I got here because I didn’t want to be there.
Yeah, I’m okay with it. I think it’s an interesting perspective. This episode also does the same thing through Pike explicitly again, talking about his pre knowledge of where he will end up, how he will save cadets and hurt himself in the process. He has shared this information. We know previously he shared it with Spock.
We also now know that he shared it with his first officer, with number one, who is trying to counsel him as best she can with maybe there is a way around this. He does not believe so, but the episode does Manage to show his thinking on it evolving as he begins to say, I know the names of the cadets. And then we see him, what seems to be for the first time, looking them up to find out who they are.
And we see them and they are children. So we know, Oh, we are now years. Maybe a decade away from that moment when these people would be old enough to be cadets. So again, foreknowledge. What do you do with that? How do you manage it? And we also see it in the Shepherds. As combined with the comet, and their religious fervor, it would seem, around what the comet represents and what it is.
And then after the events of the story unfold, and evidence comes out that the comet has technology on it, which communicated through music, the fact that the comet already had knowledge of what would come out of these events. So Predestination, in this sense, was hard, factual data, and the Shepard’s relationship to that, looking like religious fervor.
And still to the very end being communicated as religious fervor. Ah, now you see, now you’ve learned the lesson of the comet is how their relationship with the shepherds, the conversation seems to end, but it takes on a very different tone when, oh, now you understand the magic of the comet is that it actually knows things that are going to happen.
So that becomes, okay, is their religion, religion? So, all of these things, for me, pulled on the same lever, which was foreknowledge, knowing the future, and connecting it to our current era and view of the world, and talking about our future as being We’re constantly looking at the paths of what’s good and what’s bad and how do we navigate those when we know where both of us, both of those will lead us.
We have such certainty in our culture around what the path ahead of us looks like. And I’m just wondering your thoughts around, yeah, how did those two, how did that feel to you? Do you think I’m overreaching and saying like, Oh, we have a culture that’s focused on this or do you think that this is a demonstration of that in action, in fiction?
I didn’t make that connection. About tying it to where we are today or basically the way we are is in our nature. But I did boil it down to a very kind of simplistic view of you’ve got kind of two sides of the spectrum. The black and white side of it are you’ve got Uhura with.
A world of possibilities. She’s young. Her future could go in any number of directions. The world is her oyster. She can do whatever she wants and she has no clue what she wants to do. There’s no fate. It’s just, what do I want to do with my future? And then the flip side, you’ve got the inverse of that where you’ve got the captain who knows exactly what’s going to happen to him.
He has no choices. He’s funneling his way down to that thing. How do I deal with this? So you have two people dealing with the, basically the inverted issues of each other. And then you have the shepherds in the middle, which are in that gray area of the spectrum, which like, Oh no, there’s, there’s fate. And there’s things that are, there’s a big plan at work.
We don’t know what that plan is. We just kind of go with the flow. It’s like, they are just literally like, we’ll go with the flow. We know there’s a plan. We’ll just go along with it. And it’s like, they don’t have to know what the actual things that are going to be happening, but they just have faith that it’s just going to work out the way it’s supposed to work out.
And so it’s like this kind of like, almost like a Zen view
Free choice. You know what I mean? Yeah. Like, we technically, we don’t really have free choice, but it feels like we have free choice and we’re just going to kind of go along with it, like, it is what it is. Yeah. Um, it’s, they didn’t take the red pill or the blue pill.
They kind of took both pills. It’s like they’re, they’re embracing it. And so I think you may be right that the show is kind of making a statement on that. You’ve got these two polar things that kind of are constantly warring with each other. Yeah. And then you have the path down the middle, which is like, why are we stressing out about both of it?
It’s like, just kind of go with it. Yeah. So I, I, I looked at it from more of a simplistic view of I did like how they had the three kind of representations of how this is being looked at across these different characters. It was a
very well thought out idea. Yeah, there’s also then the, the idea of predestination itself, going back to what we talked about in the idea of a prequel.
We know the destiny of all the major, like the major players that we’ve just talked about. Uhura, Spock, Pike. We know, we as a viewer know this. And so are we looking at an episode that for better or worse, were they writing about the fanboys as the Shepherds? The ones who are saying, ha, you can’t. Change what is unchangeable.
You can’t touch this without crossing boundaries that shall not be passed. We will not let you. We will destroy you if you do not stand back and let it be what it is. But the moment they’re able to find the little pathway in, and the Shepard’s response was, Ah, now you know. Like, is this also a story about fanboys?
I would say the fanboys are Pike’s storyline. It’s the hardcore that is not canon. You know what I mean? And the writers are the shepherds. They’re like, no, we can still have fun in here. We can still play in our little sandbox. And we’re not going to control it, completely write everything off. We can still have fun.
But yeah, that is, that is interesting. I wouldn’t be surprised if that
was in their minds. The meta starts to, yeah, the meta starts to stand out. Um, I’m also curious about your thoughts around some of the particulars of How the story is presented because there were elements of it for me that I was like, well, that’s just kind of goofy, but it was fine because it wasn’t the point music because, Oh, it’s like certain elements of like just throwing out things without trying to group them together into any coherent thing.
But, um, desert planet equals bad. That’s kind of. Yeah. That’s kind of goofy. A desert planet with very clearly suffering sentient humanoids, who the moment it starts to rain are overjoyed at the salvation. The fact that, oh, the comet is the bringer of life. Life means water. And thank goodness that that planet now has water.
That kind of event. would be catastrophic for the ecosystem of the planet. That planet had the ability to create not just life, but sentient life. And now a huge portion of a frozen comet is going to rain down on it from a scientific perspective. That would be catastrophic. It would destroy. It would be as bad as the comet hitting the planet.
I don’t know if you thought about this, but I was like, what bacteria did this deposit?
Oh, just like what bacteria does this have no exposure to? Yeah. Like, and, and it didn’t even have to bring bacteria. The bacteria on the planet that might, might just explode in population is now suddenly it’s just full of moisture.
And, and like those, the child and the mother who are feeling the rain and they’re overjoyed with this, like cut forward a year later and one of them is covered with lubos and just like, Oh, like, like congratulations, you’ve now got the plague. Uh, this, that kind of thing. Goofy. Simplistic, but I was fine with it because it wasn’t the point.
I think the key for me is when Star Trek is bad, is when the bad elements are the point. And when the bad elements aren’t the point, they’re there for like, we just have to hit the ground running. We want to get the context moving quickly. The entire point of this was we want to save these people on this planet.
So, you show struggling people and, and it’s fine, it was a shortcut, I had no problem with that. What did you think about those?
Um, I agree with you. Um, the one thing about this show, and I appreciate it, even though there’s, I don’t call it stupid,
silly things that they do in this show. The show is having fun.
Yes. The show is, the show is not taking itself too seriously. It’s having fun. And the whole like music thing that Uhura does with singing in the cave and somehow deciphers how to sing to make it unlock the stuff, it was like, wow, they just hand waved the hell out of that. Yeah. Um, cause it looked like she was just guessing at what was happening and
yet she’s like, guess the right thing.
Hang on, let me try something. Row, row, row your boat and the shields go down and it’s just like, well, I did it, so there you
go. Yeah. Right. So. Silly, completely silly. But as you pointed out, it’s not the point. It’s like the point is still clear and it’s still delivered well, but there’s silly elements and I just want to kind of like foreshadowing.
I think it’s season two of this show. There’s an episode, which once again,
a big part of it. And clearly there’s somebody that works in the show that loves musicals and music. And they know they have a cast that can really sing because Uhura’s voice is gorgeous. And they want to have fun with that.
And they’re not afraid to be silly. So I’m just want to give this as a warning to like all the people that are watching this that may be kind of like, this doesn’t feel like Star Trek. It’s like, let the show have some fun. Um, so for me, it’s, it’s, yeah, it’s silly. It didn’t bother me at all. It’s like, it
did not detract.
One of the elements that, you know, for me about Uhura singing, Uhura’s singing was utilized in the original series. As a background thing, completely as a background thing. She would occasionally sing and there were episodes where it was like her singing did a thing and it was like somebody would be like, what is that noise?
Who are you? Like, who is this person that is doing this? And very minor thing in the original series, incorporating that into this, the fact that she hums under her breath, she does that in the original series. So that kind of thing, I was just like, Oh, that’s charming. They’re picking up on the character traits of the original depiction by Nichelle Nichols and incorporating that here.
I think that’s nice. Other things that are a little heavy handed that I wish had a different touch, Nurse Chapel and Spock. The relationship as we know it from the original series, I’m not quite sure why they moved. As vastly from their depiction of Nurse Chapel being, I don’t think she needs to be subservient.
I feel like the original Nurse Chapel was a subservient character, just there at the beck and call of the doctor. Having this Nurse Chapel presented as she is an independent researcher, she has her own breakthrough ideas and she can do things that other people cannot do, I think that’s fantastic. But her brazen flirtation with Spock is very different from her at a distance.
Romantic desire for Spock as originally depicted and his relationship to it is more in keeping of kind of like he’s kind of the half Vulcan who’s confused about human behavior still and has not been around. He grew up with a mother who’s human, but he of course wouldn’t experience any kind of romantic storytelling around his mother.
in the way that he would with Nurse Chapel. So his experience with this, his uncertainty of how to respond to it, I think that makes sense. But it is depicted as very brazen and very forward in a way that is, uh, makes me scratch my head a little bit. How do you feel about how that’s depicted? That’s
interesting because I did not have that reaction at all.
I had the exact opposite. It’s like, okay, the way Nurse Chapel was portrayed in the original series, it was the sixties. So you can kind of give a, you can kind of say, okay, nurse at the beck and call the doctor. You can kind of like forgive that in looking back in hindsight and understand why it was done that way.
I love that they made her this independent, kinda genius researcher in her own right, I love that. And I have no problem with her very overt flirting and attraction to Spock because we’re at point A of the relationship and the original series is point B of where they ended up and it’s unrequited love. And so at that point, you could basically say whatever happened in the early years that we hadn’t seen before.
played out. And so she’s kind of just kind of still pining for him a little bit, but has to do it in silence because she knows it can never go anywhere. So now we’re just seeing that early years of what actually happened to their relationship that got to them to that point B. So I don’t see it as. A disconnect at all between the original series and where we are right
I guess for me what stands out is I don’t know that this Nurse Chapel becomes that Nurse Chapel. It doesn’t look like the same character to me. Whereas Uhura in this looks like the same character. So that’s I think that’s because of the
way that it was portrayed, it’s like, here’s this nurse that’s just this shadow in the background when the doctor says Right.
Come to me, nurse. It’s like that to me is the more glaring difference. It’s not really the relationship with Spock that’s that different. It’s
more of a she’s subservient.
the difference. Yeah. Yeah. I can see what you’re saying about the depiction of the subservient nurse because of the era that it was being done was 95 percent of the depiction.
As opposed to thinking of her as like, let’s make her a character in her own right, because they did not have that interest. Which
is, which is hysterical to me because it’s Star Trek, super progressive. We’re going to put a black woman on the bridge. Yeah. You know, and then they have this woman nurse that’s being portrayed like a classic woman nurse from the 60s.
It’s like, well, the
original series, we’ll get there. We’ll get there eventually. It’s going to be a lot of wild conversations around. Yeah. It doesn’t matter how progressive you want to be. You are also anchored. By the era that you live in. And that’s really the context of what this podcast is built around.
When we get to the original series, we’re going to have a lot of conversations around very progressive messaging from Captain Kirk, as he says, here’s what it means to be human. And there’s Every woman is wearing a miniskirt and every woman on every planet that he approaches, he’s just kind of like, spray, spray.
Uh, my name’s Jim. Like there’s a whole, there’s a whole lot of bad steps taken. And I was recently reminded. Yesterday, I was, I was cruising around on, um, on Reddit, in the Star Trek community on Reddit. And, uh, there was a post that somebody put out that reminded me of a season one episode of Next Generation.
And they said of it. I can’t think of a more offensive episode than this one. And I’ve forgotten about it and it’s a season one episode in which they come to a planet which is basically, um, depicted with a kind of shogun philosophy toward honor, but everybody on the planet is played by an African American.
So it’s But it’s playing with like African culture as the scenario. And it’s, yeah, as soon as I realized what episode they were talking about, I was just like, Oh yeah, I remember that. I remember how bad it felt at the time, how weird it was at the time. And I read up on the episode and apparently everybody in the making of the show, everybody on the cast Everybody was like, this is awful.
And Will Wheaton had a podcast where he did a rewatch of The Next Generation. And when he watched the show, he said, I didn’t even remember being in this episode. And he didn’t think it was as atrocious. As the overall tone of it in discussions made it seem, but he did say, yeah, it’s just very, very problematic in how it’s handling race.
And what does it mean to be? It’s cringe. Yeah, it’s very cringey. So we’ve got some hard conversations ahead of us. Uh, I don’t feel like. What they’re doing in these episodes that we’re talking about right now are touching on any of those things, but I am fascinated by the awareness that I feel from the makers of the show about the fact that their audience knows where certain things are headed and incorporating that as an element of the story It feels very timely, not only for the show itself, but for our culture as a whole.
So I’m interested in our listener or viewer response to that idea. Do you see something similar here? Do you think that they are talking to the audience, not only about, we know you know Trek, but are they also saying, we seem to be doing this a lot lately, Doom forecasting? Constantly in our culture about what is on the horizon, Matt, I know that there’s something else you wanted to bring up in our conversation about this episode.
What were you thinking about?
So this is a, this is going to be like a hard right
turn a little bit. Perfectly fine.
Okay. So in watching this one, these shows are gorgeous. Like absolutely gorgeous. Like the saying the money is on the screen is not an understatement. Absolutely beautiful. I’ve, over the past year, you, you’re the same way.
You don’t buy DVDs, CDs, none of that stuff anymore. It’s like physical media, get rid of it. I’ve been in that camp for years now and my shifting has been, my, my thoughts have been shifting because Sean, do you remember the show that showed up on Disney plus? I loved Willow sequel TV show to the movie.
Yeah. It was out for like three or four months and then Disney pulled it so they could. Write it off as a tax write off to save money. That show is now gone from the universe as if it didn’t exist. And it’s a fantastic show. And this is happening more and more across all the streaming networks. We don’t own this stuff.
It’s like, it’s a work of art. That has been pulled from existence that nobody has any access to whatsoever. You can’t go to a library and see it. You can’t rent it. It doesn’t exist. And that freaks me out, um, as a fan of films and television. So on that note, I’ve gotten back into buying Blu rays again.
And I bought seasons one and two of Strange New Worlds. Ah. Because they’re, they’re publishing them. Because, I don’t know if you know this, Paramount Plus. Isn’t doing well. And it’s tech, it’s, it’s not for sale, but it’s for sale. They’re, they’re, they’re going to get sold off and like Paramount Plus is going to go away.
It’s like, maybe Disney buys it. Maybe somebody else buys
it. I’ve heard, I’ve heard rumors of Disney and Apple Plus. Yeah, right.
So I am concerned about. Um, my Star Trek disappearing on me and I already own all the DVDs for, I own all the next generation. I own all of Enterprise. So if they go away, I still got those and it’s like, and I love Strange New Worlds and I don’t want to lose it.
So it’s like I bought seasons one and two and this is one of the reasons I want to bring this up is Best Buy is no longer selling DVDs in the store, which is kind of disturbing, but they’re still being made. The visual and audio quality of watching on a Blu ray. It’s so much better. The show looks fantastic on Paramount Plus.
It looks great. Now, take that and up it a notch or two. And that’s what it’s like. Watch. I watched this episode off the Blu ray and my eyes were popping out of my head. The colors were richer. The bright spots were like. But burning retinas, like holes in my retinas. It was like the contra the visual quality, the audio was way better and deeper and more robust.
And I was just like, why have I not been doing this with all my shows? I totally had forgotten how much better the physical media experience is from the watching it than streaming it. And so I just want to kind of put that out there of if you love show, if there’s shows and movies that you love. Do not wait, buy them on Blu ray, buy them on physical media, because you never know when they’re going to disappear on you.
And the more of us that buy them shows that there’s still an interest in it, which means they’ll keep making them. So it’s like, that’s my big concern is that we’ve basically handed off, um, The control of art in the world to massive corporations that don’t actually care about that art. Yeah.
Yeah. That’s my little soapbox.
And we’re seeing it, we’re seeing it in, you know, a myriad of ways, uh, the purchase by discovery of, of HBO. And then the immediate tanking of programs and like the disappearing that you’re talking about has happened now twice. They had a completed film for Batgirl, which they just completely put in the memory hole so they wouldn’t have to pay anybody royalties.
And they did it more recently with a, with another film that was a completed movie that was John Cena. Yeah, John Cena’s film, uh, and they had it screened before multiple audiences who said it was terrific. It was a Warner Brothers animated characters film about a lawsuit between Wile E. Coyote and Acme.
And you want to talk about a premise that would have made 10 year old Sean’s head explode? That is the premise. That is the movie that I didn’t know I needed my entire life. And it has been taken and just put on a shelf permanently, potentially, because the studio doesn’t want to pay. People royalties and it’s better for them as a tax write off than it is as a moneymaker.
That is not great for art. That is, uh, and it’s a bad taste in the mouth of everybody who’s thinking about signing deals with those companies, which then leads to potentially people not working for companies that own the rights to things that we want to see. So we end up not seeing anything. And that’s a very bad path that we find ourselves on.
So, uh, you’ve kind of opened my eyes to the fact that maybe I should run out and buy some Blu rays. And I didn’t think I would be saying that in 2023, but you’re right. It is. Um, what are we? Going to do if the, we’ve gone through this massive expansions, like kind of the big bang. And now we’re moving into a collapse where the old model blew up brilliantly and everybody said, freedom, and then.
Suddenly it’s like, Oh, with freedom comes the possibility of these costs that we don’t anticipate. Companies that we thought would always be around aren’t necessarily going to be around. A company like, like we talked speculating about Paramount Plus being purchased by another company. Um, the reality is that Disney Itself has overexpanded and Disney’s app is not doing great either.
The potential for them to want to buy a Paramount is to bring in content that they simply don’t have. They don’t have, and it’s not that they would be bringing in because they want Star Trek. It’s because they don’t have enough adult content. There is this gaps in every company’s library and we only started seeing it as clearly as we do now.
Once every company was like, we’ll also have an app and we subscribed to things and discovered you don’t have anything. Have anything. Yep. It’s great that Disney has an app and a huge library of things available for kids, but when they’re selling it to adults and the adults are like, why am I paying for this?
Just so my kid can watch one TV show, uh, it starts to, to make you question where we’re headed as we collapse back inward and find ourselves with these companies starting to gobble each other up and turning content we took for granted into tax write offs. And um, kind of a sobering note to end on, but yeah, sorry, there we have it.
Uh, so. Listeners, viewers, jump into the comments. Do you think that, um, we’re in good, we’re in a good path with Strange New Worlds as we’re treading along terrain? Unlike Discovery where we were supposed to be in an era prior to the original series. And you could say, like, oh, you’re earlier than the original series, but here’s a bunch of characters you’ve never seen before.
We’re in different terrain now. Oh, you’re prior to the original series, and here are characters you do know. Do you think that they’re managing that path well? Do you like what you’re seeing? And, big picture question, do you agree that the writers are kind of talking about the very context of making a show like this?
Saying, we know you know what’s coming. We are on top of it and we are going to figure out ways of making it unique and new, even though you know where we’re headed. Let us know in the comments. You’ll want to check out our next episode in which we’re going to be talking about the next episode, episode number three, Ghosts of Elyria.
But before we get to that, Matt, is there anything you want to remind our viewers or listeners about what you have coming up on your main channel? Yeah, by the time this
episode comes out, uh, the episode, I’m very excited about this one. I visited a solar panel recycling facility down in Odessa, Texas, because a lot of people say solar panels can’t be recycled and that’s why they suck.
Well, they actually can be. So I went down to Texas to see how it’s actually done. And it was a really eyeopening experience for me. I, I. I hope people watch it and
enjoy it. As for me, you can check out my website, seanferrell. com. You can find out more about my books there, or you can just go wherever it is that you buy your books.
They’re available everywhere. Uh, local bookstore, public library, large chains. You can just find whatever I have written in those places. And most recently it’s the Sinister Secrets of Singe, which is a middle grade adventure, sci fi adventure with robots and pirates and all that kind of good stuff. And I’ve just this past week finished what.
is likely to be the last of the large revisions to book two and book two will be coming out in 2024. So I hope you’ll be interested in keeping an eye out for that one. And I’ll have more information as my publisher says, it’s okay for you to talk about this now. So, uh, I’m excited about it. More to come.
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