124: Star Trek Strange New Worlds “Ghosts of Illyria” Season 1, episode 3


Matt and Sean talk about a story involving eerily familiar elements. (Stage whisper: It’s COVID.). How does Star Trek Strange New World’s “Ghosts of Illyria” hold up?

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In this episode of Trek in Time, we’re going to be talking about hurting yourself to be accepted, hiding truths about yourself deeply, and why good lighting is so important. That’s right, we’re talking about Star Trek Strange New Worlds, season one, episode three, The Ghosts of Elyria. Welcome everybody to Trek in Time, where we’re watching every episode of Star Trek in chronological order and in history.

And I’m going to throw this in there because I don’t know that it’s Clear. Uh, I noticed a comment recently where somebody said, you should put them in the order of stardate. I’m like, yes, there’s a good idea. In fact, it’s so good. That’s what we’re doing. That’s why we’re talking about strange new worlds.

After Discovery, after Enterprise, instead of talking about the original series. So, if anybody out there thought we were watching them in chronological order of production, hate to break it to you at this late date, 124 episodes in, no. We’re doing it by star date. And who are we? Well, I can’t believe


Hold on. I cannot believe it’s 124 episodes. That’s the first thing. Yeah.

That’s incredible. It is. It’s pretty, it’s pretty wild. So who are we? Well, 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 that Matt behind Undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact in our lives.

So between the two of us, lifelong Trek fans, tech nerd, book nerd, put it all together, you get, well, this channel. Thank you everybody for tuning in. And before we take off, I just want to, uh, Say this will be our final recording for 2023. We’ll be taking a break for a couple of weeks as we enter the holiday season here in the U.

S. We’ll have a break for until early 2024, which sounds remarkably like the future. And, uh, so we hope you’ll. All have a pleasant end of year, enter 2024 safely, and we look forward to jumping back in with the next episode at that point. But before we talk about this current episode, we always like to go back to previous comments that you’ve left on our earlier episodes.

Matt, what did you find in the mailbag this

week? So we have one from the Children of the Comet episode, which was our episode 123 from Richard Gould’s Blue Raven, who wrote, Pike looking up at the kids at the end, is he fortifying himself, building an emotional bond, a protective responsibility to these kids in case his courage falters?

Also, is this the youngest crew in Starship history, or have I finally reached the age that anyone under the age of 35 looks like a teenager? So Richard, you’re not alone. I look at most of these people on the show, I’m like, you’re a baby. Why are you piloting

this ship? Yeah, Richard. Welcome to the future, Richard.

It happened to me. About four years ago, where I was walking around the place where I work, I work at a, at a company in Manhattan and I was walking through the halls and I thought, who let these teenagers in here? And those teenagers were our interns. They were all juniors or seniors in college. So they were at least 21, most of them 22.

And I was looking at them and thinking they have to be. Younger than my son, and my son just started freshman, his freshman year at college. So, uh, yeah, the future is scary when you realize anybody under the age of 35 suddenly looks like a baby.

We also have one from, uh, the same episode from PaleGhost69, uh, I like the new Nurse Chapel.

Someone would say a little too much. I do agree with Sean that I can’t see her becoming the person we see in the original series. This new portrayal is someone I would totally hang out with though. Uhura’s story is funny to me. She’s so smart. She stumbled into Starfleet and was able to land a spot on the flagship.

She stumbled upon the answer to Mahanat, continues to stumble into security and engineering, outperforms so hard she impressed hard asses, and is still not sure if this is what she wants to do until my new favorite blue guy helps her with that. She probably stumbled through the command test with flying colors and become captain by accident if the original series wasn’t holding her back.

I do love this because it’s this is one of those things that I’m The nerd in me loves, because these are old characters that we all adore, and we’re seeing them portrayed in a way I think our head canon has formed them into. Like, we look at Uhura as like, she’s this rock solid. Star of the original series.

And so it’s like, when we see her be this genius, young cadets, like, yeah, that’s great. But then you think about it, like, if she was that good at that age, how come she didn’t advance further in her career? Same thing with Nurse Chapel. I mean, that’s part of the problem is that Nurse Chapel, as we talked about last time, is just like wallpaper in the original series.

But here’s this character that’s like this amazing researcher, incredibly vibrant and like complete

opposite of what we see later. Now, for today’s episode, that sound you hear in the background, that’s the Read alert, which means it’s time for Matt to tackle the Wikipedia description. Matt, take it away.


boy. The Enterprise investigates the disappearance of a colony of Illyrians who are banned by the Federation due to their genetic engineering. As an ion storm approaches, members of the away team return to the ship after unknowingly contracting a virus that makes them addicted to light. Number one is immune because she is an Illyrian.

Which, she reveals, so a cure can be synthesized from her blood. Trapped by the storm, Pike and Spock determine that the colonists were attempting to reverse their genetic modifications so they could join the Federation. They may have created the virus and transformed into plasma like beings. The pair are protected from the storm by those beings and return to the Enterprise once everyone is cured.

Number One attempts to resign, but Pike refuses. She wonders whether he would have shown more prejudice if she had not helped to save the crew. Number one learns that the virus got through the ship’s filter because Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Mbanga is using an outdated transporter. This holds his daughter Rukiya in stasis until he can cure her rare disease.

This is episode number three of season one, Ghosts of Illyria, written, directed by Leslie Hope, written by Akela Cooper, and Bill Wolkoff, original broadcast on May 19th, 2022. The cast, as usual, Anson Mount as Captain Pike, Ethan Peck as Spock, Christina Chong as La’an Noonien-Singh, Melissa Navia as Lieutenant Erica Ortegas, Rebecca Romijn as Una Chin-Riley, Jess Bush as Nurse Christine Chappell, Celia Rose Gooding as the aforementioned Lieutenant Uhura, and Babs Olusanmokun as Dr.

M’Benga. The original broadcast was on May 19th, 2022. And what was the world like at the time of original broadcast? Well, the number one streaming song, Matt, I don’t have to tell this to you, was Wait For You featuring Drake and Thames. Do you want to hum a few bars for us? Thanks. That was great. And at the box office, Dr.

Strange was still number one for the second week in a row. It’s total take in that two week period, 250 million. So I think it was doing sort of okay. And on television, the number one streaming program. We have talked about streaming shows, comparing streaming to streaming, as opposed to streaming to broadcast.

So our streaming program at number one was Stranger Things, followed by Ozark, and at number three, Wednesday, another Netflix program. If you’re not a fan of Netflix programs, Then you’re not going to be a fan of any of the streaming programs we’re going to talk about in comparison to this program, because the top 10 programs in 2022 streaming were all Netflix shows.

Then you had The Boys at number 11 from Amazon Prime, and then you go back to Netflix again. So here we are on Wednesday. Which I thought this was interesting. The number one streaming program, Stranger Things, 52 billion minutes viewed, followed by Ozark at 31. 3 billion minutes viewed. Then we drop down again to Wednesday at 18.

6 billion minutes viewed. But here’s an interesting distinction. It gets 18 billion versus the other two, 52 and 31. But the number of episodes, Stranger Things has 34 episodes. Ozark is 44. Wednesday. Eight. So it got 18 billion minutes viewed with only eight episodes. That tells me either the audience is bigger or they rewatch more.

Remarkable numbers. And in the news on this date in history, in May 19th, 2022, what was going on? Well, Russia was using a surrender in Maripol to portray Ukrainians as terrorists. And that’s always an interesting take to invade somebody’s country and then claim their attempts to defend themselves is terrorism.

And also in the Ukraine, gruesome injuries and not enough doctors to treat them. Ongoing problem. And the Ukraine crisis and the war there continues to this day with the president just recently having visited the U S looking for more aid, going back. Fairly empty handed. So this episode, and to fall into the current that was raised in the comments, what is the Stardate here?

Well, let’s start doing that. Let’s start sharing Stardates on these episodes. This is Stardate 1224. 3. And the Enterprise has approached a colony that had previously been. An Illyrian colony and the Illyrians have disappeared and we have the crew effectively splitting the narrative into two locations.

We have Pike and Spock trying to survive on the planet during an ion storm and meanwhile on the ship we have the outbreak of a virus. The metaphor here, I don’t think could be much clearer. What did you think about this, Matt? The metaphor of this episode seemed to me to be pulling from everything from basically early 2020 on.

There was a virus in transmission. There were, there was confusion about how it may be conveyed. There’s a lockdown on the ship. There is also discussion about racism and anger, and the metaphor seems to be pushing a idea that racism and anger can also be viral. In the way that we experience them. So we have a number of places in the show that to me looked like they were all presenting different faces of effectively the same thing.

Viral transmission. The question of how do you inoculate yourself against knee jerk responses. We have one character, La’an Noonien-Singh’s anger about augmented humans. And we have. Una Chin Riley’s reveal to that character of her own augmentation, we have the racism of the Federation toward the Illyrians, the humans effectively, people from Earth looking at augmentation as such a no go that a group of Illyrians in order to try and join the Federation effectively killed themselves.

Because they are trying to avoid that level of, of judgment. The final scene of this with Una Chin Riley has her recording. A personal log, in which she talks about this very particular thing, and then she deletes the log. That, to me, spoke volumes about where her character finds herself. She’s finally finding some levels of acceptance, she is sharing truths about herself, she is feeling a very personal connection to her captain, and supported by her captain, and feeling like maybe there are better days ahead, but she can’t keep it.

In an official capacity, it has to live inside her. It can’t be something that is documented. There is still that level of fear. All of this, I think is very of the era of 2020 to 2022. I c I can’t help but see this program, Strange New Worlds, as doing a lot more visceral storytelling of the current era than Discovery did or Enterprise did.

While Enterprise had episodes, we talked about, Oh, this seems like they are mining the tragedy of 9 11. They are pulling from the reality of our entry into war with Iraq, the connections and the pursuit for terror connections in our, in our world post 9 11 were evident in Enterprise, but it didn’t feel this boldly stated.

The way Strange New Worlds appears to be doing. Do you agree with that? Or do you think that I’m maybe just picking up on the newness of the program and seeing it? I

think you’re picking up on the newness a little bit because my read of it was, was, was very similar. I’m not saying we disagree on that, but the, the problem with racism.

Has always been with us for decades. And so I don’t think a lot of this resonated with me is, oh, this is very much of the moment of the past couple of years. It felt like this is addressing the crap we’ve been dealing with for the past 50 years, a hundred years. It felt like it was a very universal story that they were telling and it wasn’t necessarily of the moment.

Um, the stuff for me that resonated of the moment was like Una’s final thing that she said with the, the, the log where she was talking about, would he have felt this way if I hadn’t saved the crew? Is it just because I’m one of the good ones and when is it going to be good enough to not be one of the good ones and just to be accepted?

There was so many things like that that felt new because I don’t want to use this phrase because who knows what YouTube will do to us, but it’s like wokeness. You know, like becoming aware of what the other has gone through in their life experience that you haven’t known. And then once you know it, you’re like, oh, oh my God, I didn’t realize.

There’s a lot of that in this episode that feels very new because there’s the whole, the revelation of the Illyrians. It’s like, we have this law that genetics is bad because it almost obliterated humanity because of our genetic

modifications. So it’s, it’s, it’s just bad. And then when they learn this group was bending over backwards to become accepted by us because we had this unreasonable requirement, and they basically obliterated themselves because they were so desperate to be accepted by us.

It’s like, that’s one of those, Oh my God, kind of a, what the hell did we do? Like becoming aware of the ramifications of how you’ve been treating certain people. That felt That element is what felt new to me, but the racist discussions felt very universal and not of the moment.

Regarding the Illyrians, did you pick up on the fact that this is not the first time we’ve seen Illyrians?

No, I did not. The Illyrians were originally introduced in the original series. There was a reference to them in the original series, but there’s been the introduction of them in Enterprise. Illyrians were In the vessel, in the Delta expanse, the Delphic expanse, when the Enterprise goes in looking for the Xindi.

Remember the episode Damage, where the Enterprise needed a warp core, and they ran across a ship, and they were like, can we have your warp core, Archer was like, can we have your warp core, and the ship was like, no, we’re three years from getting back home, if we give you our warp core, and then Archer doubles back, attacks the ship, and they steal the warp core.

Those were Illyrians, and they were depicted as having ridges on their head, in that episode. The Illyrians In this episode, uh, Una Chin Riley describes the fact that Illyrians take the approach of rather than terraforming a world to make it habitable for humans, Illyrians take the approach of changing themselves to adapt to nature.

So, within the Trek mythos, Illyrians are effectively depicted in different ways. They are not consistently shown. It’s because of that ability to augment themselves in ways to adapt to different places. So they might end up with ridges or changes to their facial structure and not look consistently the same.

I thought that was a neat little buried and, uh, A little nugget from the, the bigger mythos that I thought was interesting, but we’re, we’re shown two different storylines. They’re obviously intimately intertwined. I think that the more, the more compelling one takes place on the ship. Uh, not that I didn’t like the one on the planet, but the one on the planet feels much more just like.

Here we go with some, like, really cool special effects and some neat action and just two characters who, at this point, we feel pretty comfortable with Pike and Spock as characters. We don’t have the same sort of newness that we have on the ship with Una Chin Riley, her interactions with M’Benga, her interactions with Hemmer in the, uh, engineering group, and with La’an Noonien-Singh.

Like there’s a lot more new character revelations taking place aboard ships. So I wanted to talk about the on planet experience first. What did you think about the depiction of The threat, the, effectively the intro to the whole, to the whole scenario, them initially on the planet with a larger away team.

Some people managed to get back to the ship and were left with Pike and Spock in danger during this ion storm. What did you think about all of the depiction of all of that?

Uh, I liked it, but it’s something we’ve seen in Star Trek countless times. Uh, Geordi LaForge getting stuck in a cave with the Romulan.

Oh, guess what? It was a storm that trapped them there. Uh, it, this is something we see all the time, but I thought it was very well depicted. The tension was there. Um, for me, the only part of the planet that was driving me nuts was Spock reading paper towel rolls. Um, like the Illyrians are super advanced and yet they basically just write text onto a paper towel roll.

And like at the end when he takes the last one out and like, he’s just like twisting it, looking at it. It’s like, is that? Are scrolls really the best way to store your information when it looks like a computer thing? It didn’t make sense to me. But anyway, the stuff on the planet, I liked. I thought it was well done with the two of them getting trapped, getting trapped in that room and then trying to block the door and then getting freaked out by these ghouls.

There was a lot of humor to it, which I thought was Like, Chef’s Kiss, it’s like, that’s my favorite part about Pike. It’s like, he just delivers the best lines. And then Spock, he’s also delivering great one liners in a very Spock fashion. So even though the, that the planet stuff was very kind of like, I don’t know, pat, it was still fun.

I still found it engaging and it was also an interesting way to get the two of them off the ship. Yeah. Here’s Pike, we know is not going to die. Spock, we sure know he’s not going to die. So we keep them on the planet, we keep them isolated, and then we can focus completely on characters that are still kind of new to all of us, and so then they’re in peril on the ship, and it kind of amps up the, the danger of seeing of how they all react in that situation, which I thought was kind of a clever.

It also gives us some really nice opportunities to see the leadership of Una Chin-Riley. It’s, you know, here she is the first officer and we haven’t yet had, um, an exposure to her as a, the leader on the ship in the way that we have been accustomed to when Kirk is away, Spock in charge, when Picard is away.

Riker in charge. And here’s our first go around of okay, everybody on the ship responds to her as if she’s the captain. There is no question that she is in charge. Um, I felt like the intro, the very beginning of the episode felt so classic Trek. It’s felt so original series to me. The, the way that they showed the characters lining up to transport up the, the one Uh, effectively Redshirt who goes into a locker and is opening the locker and you see the lights kind of glimmer and you get the sense of like, Oh, he’s just been exposed to something very original series, very, you know, very much the, um, away team member touching a wall and you see something creep along the wall and then enter the skin, that kind of thing.

Um. Yeah. Almost to the point where I was like having a kind of giddy nostalgia for it all as I was watching this 2022 program and thinking, Ooh, this is like, this has got really strong original series vibes. I really enjoyed that. And then Kyle aboard the ship, trying to beam them. Up, and again, having that whole sequence of I’m losing the lock, they’re kind of being held in stasis, I need to get more power, Hemmer’s able to get him the power, he’s blown away by this, he’s able to get the people beamed aboard, that all felt very, very original series.

I feel like there’s a kind of depiction, even though some of those transporter elements are used in later series, like Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, there’s something about the way they shot this. The way they told this story that felt very rooted in original series in a way that just kind of hit all the right buttons for me.

Um, I especially liked the fact that Kyle says at one point, the ion storm is impacting things and there’s no telling what an ion storm could do to a transporter signal. Original series. It’s an Ion Storm and a transporter issue with Lieutenant Kyle beaming aboard the Mirror Universe versions of, of Kirk and his cohorts.

So the question of what might this do? What might an Ion Storm do? Kyle is right to be worried because that’s the entire introduction of the Mirror Universe. Another little mythos nugget nicely planted into the end of the show. I really like that. So. Their survival on the planet, I think it’s funny that you mentioned like reading scrolls, I, I feel like maybe that’s a design element because Illyrians are named for .

Uh, Ancient Greek, an ancient Greek civilization, um, there might be like from a design perspective they might have like gone and like, Oh, we’ll use, we’ll use scrolls, but what stood out to me wasn’t the scrolls. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. But what I wanted to point out was you picked up on like, is, is scrolls really the best technology for that?

I was blown away by the fact that Spock had brought with him a bag that was perfectly sized for one scroll. It was like, did Spock know that they had scrolls of that size? Was he able to replicate a container to be able to put these things in, in that way? Did he find that just lying about? It was all like, that was my take on the scroll technology.

I agree with you. It was a little bit like, that doesn’t seem super efficient, but I also felt like they were implying there was a. Such a treasure trove of data. There was so much information that these modules are effectively how it’s kept. Um, and as a plot device, the idea that they are effectively trapped in a records room is fine.

Because then you have Spock just researching and he’s reading this stuff. I like the line where he says, I’ve only reached this point in their history. And Pike says, maybe jump to the end. Like, figure out, like, I liked that, that back and forth. I thought that that was really clever. Um, and then I think the depiction of everything, I mean, we’re, we’re dealing with early 21st century special effects now.

We can do anything, they can make anything happen on the screen that they want to. The depiction of the ion storm, the depiction of the ghosts coming through the ion storm, the first moment when Pike recognizes I’m hearing and seeing something, And has to look to Spock for reassurance. Like, tell me you saw that.

Like, that was, those were things in the energy. And Spock, yes, I saw that. And, and it was haunting. It really is a kind of like ghost story. Again, we’ve talked about this a lot with Enterprise, how Enterprise leaned into using ghost stories and a bit of a horror element in a very sci fi way. And I felt like this story was doing something similar with the Yeah.

Yeah. depiction of the ghosts showing up and seeming the threat, the very The Fantastic trying to close the door sequence where it looks like tentacles lashing through. So it seems like one cohesive thing trying to get in. But eventually when they do get in, we recognize they have a sort of humanoid And it’s multiple versions of these things coming in to try and protect the two of them from the storm.

And I really liked the closing of recognition of what’s going on when Pike asks Spock, why wouldn’t they have helped the colonists? And Spock says, well, there’s Two possible reasons and one is they had reason for animosity with the original colonists or they are in fact the colonists and the simplicity of that was, I thought, nicely, nicely reached.

The conclusion of what’s going on with them is a story of survival and discovery as opposed to conflict. And I really liked that as the, as the, the threat on the planet, on the ship, it is. More directly conflict and misunderstanding and loss of control. The depiction of what the virus does to people and how they harm themselves in order to get a hold of light exposure, I thought was really beautifully done.

And hearken back to the movie Sunshine, which it had some interesting correlations with that, where in Sunshine it is depicted as an individual becoming so overwhelmed by some kind of almost mystical experience of exposure to light, getting closer and closer to the sun that turns into psychosis and monstrous and a monstrous evolution.

Uh, here you have something similar, but more Where Sunshine feels like a full blown ghost story, effectively, because you have the whole depiction of like a deep space vessel finding its ghost ship counterpart and the the transfer of the threat to the main to the main ship, um, This felt a little bit more like the John Carpenter version of that story, if you know what I mean.

Like, kind of like, these are the people we recognize and yet they are so consumed by this drive that it is effectively almost like a form of transmutable psychosis. And I love the fact that they didn’t show So, people just recreating what other people had done. Oh no, it amped up

every step of the way.

The guy who puts his face through the light in the hallway, and then it amps up to the two dudes that replicated a star in their Uh, the room and basically had sunburned themselves on the front of their bodies to then Hemmer in the, who had basically beamed part of the molten core of the planet into the ship.

It was just like, okay, you guys, you guys are amping this up all the way. It was like, it was a very nice ratcheting of the tension every time they were showing it to do something new and unique and made

it more dangerous. It was great. It made it more dangerous and it made it not be like, well, you know, let’s.

We’ve discovered that if we just shoot them with this thing, it stops it. Like it was every time Chin Riley turned a corner, it was like, well, now I got to deal with this crap. It was, I thought it was brilliant when she walks into the transporter room and says, what are you doing? And he says, performing a miracle from a From a engineering perspective, he has just done something that sh that he’s basically like, it’s miraculous that I’ve been able to achieve this, and I can’t wait to feel this on my skin.

The fact that he is also exposed in this way and has the same drive, I thought was, there was a part of me on first watch that thought, well, being blind, will he not be exposed in the same way to the virus? Did not matter. So it’s like, it’s about something that the virus is doing to how your body perceives light as opposed to having anything visual.

There’s no visual cue there. Um, and of course the scenario and the psychosis of the disease brings in the perfect opportunity for Mbenga’s backstory to be revealed. And this is a nice moment to, to visit Babs Olusanmokun , and his background. He is Nigerian and he speaks several languages. I’m not talking about a Star Trek character here, I’m talking about a real person.

He speaks several languages and is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt. And he has a background in not only performing live action, he does voice work as well for video games. So he has done that for a number of years. I really like him in this role. He is a very calming, measured presence. I think he does a great job with very little He’s got that quality to him, like the recently passed Andre Brouwer.

Where he is able with gravitas to pull you into a moment where you get the sense there is so much running behind this character without him having to say it or do anything physically. Just a look the way he ex, he gives a comment and you get the sense, this is a brilliant and committed doctor. He would do anything.

There is a number of moments where he talks about the augment. Restriction of the Federation. He’s like, if you think that I wouldn’t embrace anything I could learn about you to use it for the crew, you’re crazy. The problem is, Chin-Riley’s augmentation, the type of defense that her body has, eradicates all sign of the disease.

So she’s not able to actually have antibodies. Her body doesn’t operate that way. So, both, uh, Nurse Chappell Who, again, this is another moment where they reveal Chappell’s brilliance, um, her and the Doctor both address full on, like, oh yeah, we understand there are restrictions, but we’re talking about the lives of the crew.

We would do anything in order to insure these people. How did you feel about the depiction of Mbenga and Chappell, and in particular, how did you feel about the backstory that they kept? With Mbenga, they kept his backstory, and the issue between him and the cause of this disease. They kept it, until well into the final act.

Which is normally a no no, but for me, I felt like it was a, it was a home run. I thought it worked beautifully. Yeah, I’m gonna talk about that a little bit. It worked.

Yeah, one of the things I really appreciated about that was it was very subtle. There was not a lot of stuff happening with it until like the middle of the episode where Hemmer comes in and he’s gonna, he’s trying to check all the transporters and goes in there and Omega freaks out and like, no, you can’t do that.

The power goes out as he’s trying to scan the transporter. And this is, I love this bit between the two of them. Like you talk about not many things, like so much being conveyed in very few words between these two guys. Huh. That’s funny. The power shouldn’t go out from what I just did. And it was almost like the engineer was almost in hindsight, he must’ve been kind of like, A wink and a nod, there’s something else going on here, I don’t have time to worry about this right now.

I’ll figure this out later. Yeah. Okay. I’ll leave. He clearly knew something was wrong. I think it goes beyond Mbenga had just, he had just gone over to a light switch and just gone, doink! Yeah. To a light switch. It was a great way to get the audience. To kind of lean forward and going, what is this doctor up to?

It’s like, it was a really nice way to do that, that you didn’t have to do it from the very beginning of the episode. It was totally fine that they dropped that halfway in. Yeah. Um, but then it got you peaked. So then by the end of the episode, thankfully they resolved it. So it’s like. If they had tried to string that out into the next episode, I would feel very differently about this.

But the fact that they raised the question mark and then they answered it before the end, it, I thought it was a really well handled, um, little mini

story that they revealed. I think they also gave the audience an insight into Hemmer in the fact that he had a scene earlier in which he said to a character, you realize I can sense your expression.

I feel like in that moment when he said, Huh, the light shouldn’t have gone off when I did that. He knew that he was effectively telling M’Benga, I know you turned the lights off. And it’s that moment of like, I know you did something and I’m going to leave. I know you probably have reasons, but I now know the cause of a lot of this and walks out and, um, giving M’Benga the opportunity at the end of the episode for a very taught conversation where.

Una Chin-Riley recreates the conversation she has just had with Pike, but now she’s in Pike’s position. She goes to Pike and says, clearly I have to resign. And he won’t let her and says, you’re the best First Officer in Starfleet. And I will go to the mat for you if anybody says otherwise. And then she leaves and goes to M’Benga and M’Benga says clearly you need to turn me in because I’m the cause of this entire thing.

And she says, no, I’m not going to do that, but I will give you permanent access to backup power for your transporter so that you can protect the thing you’re trying to protect, which is, of course, his ill daughter. The closing sequence of him pulling his daughter out and again, this is I mean, I’m so pleased that this program does such a good job with pulling things that reference older Trek.

Uh, he says, did you know that you can have somebody in a transporter buffer practically indefinitely as long as they cycle back into existence occasionally? This is something they used in Star Trek Next Generation with Montgomery Scott. Scotty is found by the Enterprise D. Because he has placed himself in permanent stasis in a transporter buffer.

And when they find him and pull him out, he finds himself now in a completely different century aboard the Enterprise D, which leads to some great shenanigans between him and Geordi LaForge, some great dialogue that. I can’t wait to get to. Uh, at the pace we’re going, we should get to that episode in approximately, uh, six and a half years.


but overall, I felt like, like this episode is full of tiny little nuggets like that, where it’s like their writing team is really paying attention to what has been done, what rules have been set and what is possible. So we have this touching moment of pulling his daughter out so we can read her a bedtime story.

And He has to say to her, where were we? And she remembers immediately, probably because from her perspective, he just read the previous part. So a very, a very moving moment. Overall, I feel like this episode did a really great job of showing. Linkages from Pike on down through the crew of trust and the one place where they demonstrated the weakness was between Chin Riley and Noonien-Singh, who both of them having a background with augmentation in their history.

La’an’s response to this information is one of anger. She is. This Una Chin Riley is depicted as, this is the person who got me into Starfleet. La’an looked up to her as a hero. This information feels like a personal slight because she grew up with the name Noonien-Singh and was chastised for it, was, was targeted for it.

Raises an interesting question of why keep the name. We won’t go into that. It would have been easy enough for her parents to use a different name, and then none of that would have happened to her. It is through that scene, I think, where even there, there is enough trust to maintain that link. And they share a bowl of strawberries.

I think that this episode, more than any of the Strange New Worlds episode so far. We’re only in the third episode, obviously, but this episode felt like the team making the show said, we have to have an episode where we show top to bottom, everybody trusting each other, everybody demonstrating, like, I don’t need to know your reasons to know that you want this, and I’m willing to back you up for now.

Even Hemmer walking out of the sick bay, he’s effectively nosing around and then sees a response, which is like, this should raise my Hackles. I should be worried about this, but he walks out effectively saying, you clearly have something going on here, but I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and let it stand for now and leaves.

You have Pike showing that trust. You have the first officer showing that trust all the way down. I feel like this is about, we are effectively all on the same page and that page is believe in each other. That,

it stems from the head down because that’s Pike. That is Pike. He’s, has everybody over his cabin, having fun dinners, hanging out like, you know, best friends.

Like it’s a lodge. Butting around. That’s how he runs his ship. And so it makes sense that that would trickle down to everybody on the ship, that they all trust each other and treat each other with dignity and give people space and the benefit of the doubt. It makes sense that it would play out that way, which is one of the brilliances of the show.

Cause it’s like, usually a pilot. Kind of, uh, and then it starts to get good and it starts to find its footing. I think this show kind of hit the ground running. Yeah. I think part of the reason for that was The pilot was actually back in Discovery. They actually worked out the kinks in Discovery. Yeah. So by the time this show hit, they were humming along and the writing team, I want to bring up Una’s portrayal of her being an Illyrian and how that was revealed, because again, to me, this was brilliant writing.

They’re showing. Uh, instances of her in this episode that make you go, huh? Like the first one where she’s in the, her, her room and she glows like lava and it, cause it’s her body’s burning off the disease and you’re just like, what the hell’s up with that? And then when the next thing you see is she takes, uh, what’s the security officer’s name again?

I’m blanking on her

name. La’an Noonien-Singh. Yeah. Yeah.

Lan, Lanon, Lanon? No.

La’an. L A Apostrophe

A N. Tosses her over. Yeah. She tosses her over her shoulder like she’s just a little sack of potatoes, like she weighs nothing. And it’s just like, I remember the first time I saw this episode and she’s walking in the hallway and it’s all this slow mo and dramatic music and I’m like, this is weird.

And it was just like, it wasn’t hitting me of like, no, she’s carrying her like she’s Arnold Schwarzenegger with a tiny little girl over her, her shoulder. It was It was really well done. So they’re dropping all these little hints that something’s not right about her. So when they reveal it, it’s like this wonderful, oh, she’s a kind of this badass, especially with that fight scene at the end.

Yeah. The way she’s smacking her around. Yeah. It was, I thought the writing. The action, the way they did the character development, all of the giant metaphors they were dealing with. Each episode has been really top notch and this one to me, I think you hit it on the head. It’s, they very quickly showed how the entire crew is like a family, how they all trust each other.

And it’s something that Discovery never did. Discovery wanted the results of that,

but never did it. Yeah. And I think that another thing about it too, is not only was the pilot effectively Discovery, the pilot is also the cage. Let’s not forget that this series, the depiction of this crew as it is, is It’s as much based on the original series and that original pilot as it is on Discovery.

And I wanted to say one more thing, Anson Mount’s depiction, when they, when he and Spock are in that records room and Spock is reading and Spock makes a comment of a watch pot never boils because Pike is pacing the room, pacing the room. That moment for me, that The depiction of Pike in that moment was reminiscent of Geoffrey Archer’s depiction of Pike.

It was this agitated, I don’t like being confined, I don’t want to be here, I need to get out, I want to be the one in control, I can’t be trapped here this way. It looked very similar to me and it was another moment where I felt like, boy, they found the right actor at the right moment to say, you’re going to be playing this character Who is supposed to be modeled on an actor who died back before 1970.

So how do you feel about that? And he’s doing a fantastic job of it. Yep. Agreed. So as I mentioned at the top of the episode, we’re going to be taking a break between now and the new year, but we’ll be back in 2024 in which we’ll talk about episode four, Memento Mori. I’m looking forward to taking a look at that one.

Before we sign off for the day, Matt, do you have anything you want to share with our listeners or viewers? Uh, just

there’s gonna be some, a break on Undecided as well. Uh, there’s gonna be episodes coming up about, um, some crazy new wind turbine tech that when you look at, you’re like, that can’t be a wind turbine, as well as wind turbines you could get for your home that are being developed.

Um, I’ve talked to a few different companies, so there’s gonna be a couple of interesting episodes coming out of that. But that’s going to be sprinkling out kind of like very end of the year, beginning of next year. So just keep, stay tuned.

So listeners, viewers jump into the comments, let us know what you thought about this episode.

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show, click the become a supporter button, it allows you to throw some coins at our heads, we appreciate the welts, the bruises will heal, the podcast will get made in 2024, and we are looking forward to sharing all of that with you then. Thank you so much everybody for listening or watching, and we’ll talk to you next time.

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