131: Star Trek Strange New Worlds Season 1, episode 10 “A Quality of Mercy”


Matt and Sean talk about how to weave the old and new together. Star Trek Strange New Worlds brings in Captain Kirk, but does it feel new or just a retread?

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In this episode of Trek in Time, we’re going to talk about having your cake and eating it too. Which is a phrase I think I’ve used in other episodes, but I think it applies. So I’m just going to stick with it. Way to go, Sean. That’s right. We’re talking about Star Trek, Strange New Worlds, Season 1, Final Episode, Episode 10, Quality of Mercy.

Welcome everybody to Trek in Time, where we’re watching every episode of Star Trek in chronological stardate order. And we’re taking a look at its place in history in our time. So we’re looking at. The end of season one of Strange New Worlds, which is, of course, 2022. Not that long ago. And who are we? Well, I’m Sean Ferrell.

I’m a published author. I’ve written some sci fi for adults. I’ve written some stuff for kids, including the most recently released The Sinister Secrets of Singe, available everywhere. And book two, The Sinister Secrets of the Fabulous Nothings, will be coming out this June. I hope you’ll be interested in checking those out.

With me, as always, is my brother, Matt. He’s that Matt behind Undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives. So between the sci fi. Writer, and the tech nerd we have, Star Trek, effectively. That’s right. How are you doing today, Matt?

Doing great. I also, I brought this up on, still to be determined, we just recorded that, but this past week was kind of intense.

And I think the audience of Trek in Time will be interested in this video that’s coming out. It’ll actually be on the channel by the time this episode comes out. It’s called, um, it’s about the Apple Vision Pro and it’s kind of a magnum opus. And strap yourself in, Sean. The video is 23 minutes long. It’s one of the longest videos I’ve ever made on the channel.

It’s a big one. Uh, it, it definitely worth checking out. It’s such an interesting piece of technology that. I don’t know. If you’re a tech geek, like sci fi, you should definitely be checking that

out. Yeah. And if you’re, if you’re a tech geek, Matt’s main channel, again, is Undecided with Matt Ferrell. That’s where the video that he just talked about will be released.

And then following that, Matt and I have another podcast called Still to be Determined in which we follow up on his main channel. So if you’re interested in his video about that. New piece of Apple tech that’ll be out when this drops and then there will also be on our still to be determined a follow up conversation about it.

So for those tech nerds who are interested in wearable tech, it’s up your alley. Before we get into our conversation about quality of mercy, we always like to go back and dip into the mailbag and see what all of you are talking about. So Matt, what have you found for us this week? Uh, we had

an, the, the Elysian kingdom.

The very divisive episode where everybody was like, what was the point of that? Um, another comment that came in just a couple of days ago from Happy Flappy Farm that I thought was worth bringing up because it sounds like Happy Flappy Farm is kind of in my wheelhouse on this episode. Uh, I love this episode for the costumes and the opportunity for the actors to show us their acting chops.

I especially enjoyed Anson Mount and his cowardly character. It was a fun episode and a much needed break from the serious subjects. Having watched ahead. I also under, no spoilers, Sean, don’t worry, having watched ahead, I also understand why the daughter needed to leave the ship and allow daddy to just be himself.

We have some heavy stuff coming up with Dr. M. So I, I, I agree. To

be seen. It will

all start to make sense as the show progresses. Uh, but that’s kind of my attitude. I had fun watching the actors have fun and I think that that’s why I was more forgiving about it. Then from the last episode, which was episode number 130, which is all about the Gorn.

It was that very kind of aliens episode. We had one from Wayouts123 that said, I think the line about the type of species hosting the Gorn, hosting the Gorn baby, affecting it is a nice way to explain the different Gorns that we’ve seen in the original series, Enterprise, and now. It’s a nice opening for the producers to give themselves some room

to create.

Holy cow. Oh my god.

I didn’t even think about it.

I didn’t even think about it. I was like brilliant. Absolutely brilliant way out. That is such a great catch and I am absolutely convinced now that that is what the writers and producers were thinking. We have to make this explanation. Let’s drop in a line about this.

It makes perfect sense and I love it. I absolutely love it. It’s what they did in the Aliens movies. so

much. I mean, each alien in the Aliens movies was different. Yeah. And they explained it because they take on the characteristics of the host. Yeah. So it’s like they, they ripped it off. I’m glad you did, because that’s a really great way to explain why Kirk fights this guy that looks like he’s in a rubber mask.

Yeah. Oh boy. Um, anyway, we also have one from PaleGhost, um, who seems to have written his comment from the perspective of Hemmer. If I’m getting PaleGhost69’s thing here correct. He wrote, I knew Duke was going to die. And then in response, because you’re Aenar? And then in response to that, no, because randoms getting backstory always die.

The response to that was, okay, but you died too. It fixed what was broken. I’m a genius after all. I thought that was a very funny little dialogue that, uh, PaleGhost

wrote. Yeah. Well done, PaleGhost. Yes. That noise in the background, at the end of every mailbag, it just seems like that alarm goes off. And what could that be?

Well, it means it’s time for Matt to tackle the Wikipedia description. As with the Wikipedia description from last week, I didn’t take a look at this because I was excited about what it might do to Matt’s brain. So Matt, take it away. Tell us about this episode.

While the Enterprise and the USS Cayuga provide supplies to an outpost near the Romulan neutral zone, Pike meets one of the future cadets for whom he will sacrifice himself.

He decides to send warnings to them to prevent the accident from happening. Pike is then visited by an older version of himself from a future where the accident does not happen. He reveals the consequences of this decision. Seven years in the future, the Enterprise sees a Romulan bird of prey, Starship, destroy the outpost.

They track it with the USS Farragut, commanded by Captain James T. Kirk, who suggests an aggressive approach. Pike insists on negotiating and the Romulan commander agrees to a ceasefire, but his sub commander disagrees and summons an armada of Romulan warships. The Enterprise is damaged, Spock is severely injured.

That’s an understatement. And the Romulan declares war on the Federation. In his own time, Pike accepts that his fate is necessary to save Spock and prevent war. His peace is interrupted by Captain Batel of the Cayuga who boards Enterprise and arrests Number One for being a genetically modified Illyrian.

Much better than the previous week. That was way better than last week’s. This is episode number 10. The final episode of season one directed by Chris Fisher written by Henry Alonso Myers and Akiva Goldsman, and Akiva Goldsman is of course, one of the show creators. So this is obviously him wrapping his. Loving Embrace around the entirety of the first season.

The original air date of this was July 7th, 2022. And as always, we have the usual cast, Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, Christina Chong, Melissa Navia, Rebecca Romijn, Jess Bush, Celia Rose Gooding, and Babs Olusanmokun. We also have playing Captain James T. Kirk for the first time, Paul Wesley, and we have Romulan Commander played by Matthew MacFadzean.

The original air date, July 7th, 2022. What was the world like at that time? Well, that song you can probably hear Matt humming is of course one of his favorites from that year. It is Jimmy Cook’s Drake featuring 21 Savage. Can’t tell you how often I would, when I FaceTime with Matt, he answers singing that song.

At the box office, the number one film Minions, the Rise of Gru, it made 107 million and Minions. The rise of Gru is of course, from the, uh, movie franchise that I cannot think of the name of now,

what is the movie franchise that this is spin off of the, the Gru Stuff, isn’t it Minions. Well, Minions, The Rise of Gru, is the spinoff, but

is it a spinoff of something?

Am I just losing my mind?

I think you are.

Cause it’s the Minions book. Despicable Me, Despicable Me, Despicable Me, Despicable Me. There we go. We know what we’re doing. No we


Let’s leave all that in. And on television, we’ve been trying to compare apples to apples. So it’s been streaming shows compared to streaming shows.

Broadcast television is not a part of this evaluation. And what we’ve discovered as a result of this is that all the top shows that were competing with Star Trek, Strange New Worlds, Well, it was just Netflix all the way down. So, so far we’ve talked about shows like Stranger Things, Ozark, Wednesday, Cobra Kai, Bridgerton, Virgin River, Dahmer, Love is Blind, and Inventing Anna, and at number 10, a little show that you may have heard of with 12 billion minutes viewed would be The Crown.

Which of course follows the political rivalries and romances of Queen Elizabeth II’s Reign and the events that shaped Britain for the second half of the 20th century, created by Peter Morgan, a very well received and respected program that has an interesting conceit in jumping forward in time by decades.

So you’ve had a number of different actresses and actors playing various roles throughout it. Uh, it is a program that I have not. Personally watched, but I’ve always marveled at that conceit and taking such a big span of history and treating it in the way that they’ve done episodically. And in the news, well, the Ukraine war was still in its early days and Ukraine’s Herculean task.

Helping millions whose homes are in ruins or Russia’s hands was a headline of the New York Times that day. There was also an article about Comey and McCabe who infuriated Trump, both faced intensive IRS audits. This was a backdoor retribution campaign by the Trump administration. The Highland Park shooting.

Reveals the limits of Illinois guns restrictions, and Biden promised to stay above the fray, but Democrats want a fighter. This is at a point in time where people were already looking to the next election coming this year. And in 2022, people were encouraging more of an attack mode from the Biden administration.

So this episode does I just, I want to start off the conversation by talking about the introduction I made to this episode about it having its cake and eating it too. I had been wondering as we were watching this, we’ve been presented with Spock as a character on the crew. We’ve been presented, we’ve, we’ve got Uhura on the crew.

We have Dr. M’Benga, who is a character who is a background character, literally just background in the original series. And I couldn’t help but wonder. How are they going to manage Kirk? They have Sam Kirk as a member of the crew, but Jim Kirk is out there somewhere. And I couldn’t help but wonder, like, how are they going to manage that when we know from the episode Menagerie in the original series, when we see Pike confined to his wheelchair and he is injured and Spock says, To Jim Kirk, did you ever have the opportunity to meet him?

And he says, no, I never had the pleasure. So we know that that’s what the original series presents. And I thought, how are they going to get around that? How are they going to have an opportunity to introduce Kirk without it potentially negating that earlier statement? It is, for me, a more, that would be a more massive breach than the stuff we talked about last week with the Gorn.

Like, oh, we know what the Gorn look like with, of course, a man in a rubber suit walking around very slowly and hissing. How do you jive that with these incredibly fast alien like little monsters? And, of course, we had that discussion before we had our brilliant comment. Pointing out. Aha. So I, in my mind was trying to think of like, how are they going to manage that?

And this episode is the have your cake and eat it too moment. I absolutely top to bottom love this episode for what it does with both Pike with Kirk and giving us such an obvious demonstration. of the difference between the two of them. There is overlap. If you had a Venn diagram, I feel like there would be overlap of like 70%.

Between the two of them, a lot of swag qualities, lots of swagger, certain traits of, of patience, confidence in their crew, receiving confidence from the crew. Like there are so many traits that are, are lined up similarly between the two of them. And then you’ve got the outer 30 percent where, what are the differences between the two of them?

Kirk with a brashness, a confidence that is sometimes bordering on arrogance and in Pike, a little bit more caution. A little bit more letting the quiet moment play out so that you give everybody time to breathe and taking those character traits. And literally turning them into plot in this way, that not only is it presented within this episode.

If you’ve never seen Star Trek before and you watch this in isolation, it is stated clearly. But to have an episode without it being a Mirror Universe episode, which thank goodness it wasn’t. But having an episode play off against another existing episode, to be able to watch the two of these next to each other, to have so many key moments.

Reflected in both. I thought it was absolutely brilliant. I thought it was masterfully handled and I loved everything about it. And I think the depiction of Kirk, I feel like Paul Wesley does a terrific job of not parroting. William Shatner, but having just enough of a little bit of the way he looks at the, he tilts his head occasionally, a break in a line between two words, a slight pause, not, he’s not imitating Shatner, but he’s evoking him.

And it feels like it’s the same kind of evocation that Ethan Peck is doing with Spock. Like, it’s his own character, it’s his own take on the character, but he’s doing it in a way that is referential. Just enough to make you feel like, yes, Kirk, great. So, I will stop talking there. And let you jump in with some thoughts before we get into the kind of like deconstructing the plot.

I, I adore this episode. Um, the best way to put it, like my first note I put in here was I love how they’re doing basically an original episode, a TOS episode from a different, it’s almost like a parallel universe. It’s like we’re seeing a different take on that exact same scenario that’s going to happen when we get to that episode later.

I’m really excited to rewatch. The original series with this now in the back of my mind so fresh, it’s going to be really kind of fun. And I loved, I loved it because it’s, it’s got that TOS vibe. You’ve got Kirk actually there. You know, Kirk succeeds at this. You know, he succeeds, which means we’re watching how Pike fails.

We know Pike is going to screw this up. Like, how the hell is he going to screw this up? And for me, that was the most. Exciting part was you could see Pike the entire episode grappling with what we see often in time travel, which is you’re trying to. Undo the future. So you’re second guessing yourself, and then you’re second guessing, you’re second guessing, and then you’re second guessing, you’re second guessing, you’re second guessing.

He’s doing that in the entire episode. And it’s just like, he’s getting, he’s tripping himself up through the entire thing. And you’re just like, you, you, I almost want to grab him and just yell, just be you, buddy. It’s like, stop second guessing things. But he kept trying to second guess himself. And that’s what got him into the really bad place that he was in.

Um, I also love the conversation with Spock where He tells Spock what’s going on and Spock does the mind meld and it goes, holy crap. Okay. Yeah. This is really happening. And when he says, what should I do? And I loved Spock’s thing of don’t second guess. Yeah. Like you have to, he basically said to him, you have to screw up.

Because if the future is supposed to be what it was, you have to screw up so you know what happens so

that when you go back You have to be yourself in this moment. Correct.

I love that. I was like, Oh man, that’s a great advice coming from Spock. There was just so much intelligence to the way this episode was structured and written and referential of the original series, but not overly so.

Like you talked about the performance of Kirk, um There’s just so much about this that I just loved. It was scratching all of the Star Trek itch that I have of just, like Candy. Just like eating it up. I just love it.

Yeah. We’re of course talking about the original series episode, Balance of Terror, and right from the beginning, when he slips into his exploration of seven years in the future, he is conducting the wedding ceremony and effectively being asked to parrot.

Jim Kirk’s lines from that original episode. Kirk starts off that episode by saying it has always been the privilege of captains to be able to conduct this kind of ceremony while having all these other duties. This is a favorite of ours and This time travel exploration starts with that moment.

The two people getting married have the same fate in both versions, where one of them dies as a result of the calamity of the battles. And those parallels, the smallest little details like that. Add so much flavor to it. It’s like a perfectly seasoned dish to me, seeing those moments and being like, yes, yes.

And hearing in Spocks in the Jeffrey tube, trying to fix things and him talking to the chief engineer that we haven’t seen in the, in Strange New Worlds, but we hear Scotty. Like him saying, I’m not a miracle worker, all those little details so nicely rendered, so much fun. And one of my favorite scenes, yes, no,

go ahead, go ahead after you talk

about this.

One of my favorite scenes is, uh, Pike pulling Sam Kirk in to talk to him about your brother. He’s really kind of like walking a line and hearing Sam Kirk. Describe his relationship with his brother. And I thought that that was such a nice and lovely moment and so deserved. It’s Sam Kirk being a character that we only know as effectively William Shatner playing himself, playing, playing both roles, uh, with Donning a little fake mustache to play a body.

in a future episode of the original series. And to see that character be fleshed out in this way and to have him in a previous episode, we see that he is not like Jim Kirk. We see that Sam Kirk is more hesitant. He’s more conservative in his approach. He lets his emotions override his reactions. We see him when he goes up against the Gorn, he begins to panic.

He calls out Spock for his lack of feeling. And here we see him talk about, yeah, yeah. My brother gets away with. Everything. And he breaks the rules. Not just a little, all the time, like he is not concerned with playing within the boundaries. He wants to win. He does not like to lose at any cost. And he says it all with a loving, knowing smile.

Like it is this, he’ll drive you crazy, but you gotta love him. Because, ultimately, he’s not doing it to hurt other people. He is doing it because he thinks the goal is so worth it. And

that kind of When he says he’s one of the best captains Starfleet has, it was like, that was one of the last things he says.

It’s like, okay, it sounds like he’s tearing his brother apart. And then he says that one sentence and it’s like, you got to admire. Yeah. All of his chutzpah. Cause that’s what makes him James, James T.

Kirk. I like that a lot. I

go ahead. Go ahead. Do you have more to say on that? Cause what I was going to say was one of the things I’ve admired about how they handle the future aspect of this, we’re oftentimes where it’s like, oh, this one person has to live because they’re the linchpin in everything.

And so it’s like, it’s a very. I don’t know. I find it very trite. It’s overused a lot. Yeah. But this was multi layered in how they handled that. It wasn’t that, Oh, Kirk has to be the one here because he stopped the war. It was like, yeah, no, he actually wins this battle. He doesn’t win the war. It’s actually Spock that’s also important because he has to be there because in the future he does reunification, which actually helps to bring Romulans back into the fold.

So it’s like there’s this multi layered approach of. It’s not just because of Kirk and it’s not just because of Spock. It’s because of all of these things, this fabric that has been built over decades. It’s important that you not be the one here because all of that is not going to happen if you’re doing this.

Yeah. I like that aspect of it. It didn’t put the weight of the future on one person. It put the weight of what happens in the future on everything we’ve seen in the original series, everything we’ve seen in all the movies. It’s like, put it on, it puts the weight on Star Trek in general, and I really like that.

I feel like it’s, it’s born in the DNA of Star Trek. The Use of time travel and the pulling of a thread is a recurring theme in Star Trek again and again and again. And I’m thinking of the episode where they discover through the time portal that the death of one woman impacts the outcome of World War II.

And there is the episode Tapestry where Picard discovers that by avoiding one small detail of his past. Which he is embarrassed by, his brashness as a young officer leading to a conflict with a Nausicaan, meaning he never gets the artificial heart that he has, but the impact on his overall life is not one where the galaxy is destroyed, but just he is at a lesser place for himself.

He is not living his truest life. And. We see it again and again even in the animated series. I’m thinking of the episode where you see Spock go through the time portal and meet himself as a young child. And there is a change in the Enterprise crew as a result. It doesn’t mean that the Enterprise hasn’t been successful in all its missions, but its science officer is an Andorian, not Spock.

And you end up with a myriad of changes that don’t impact the big picture. In such a clear one to one way, to go back to the term of tapestry, where Picard says you pull one thread and you remove the entire shape of it, um, Star Trek seems to have very nicely kept that in mind through most of its storytelling.

I think the one place where it stepped into it differently was in the conception of the show Discovery, where you end up with, you have this one character who is the linchpin of all of this. This episode felt a little bit like a subtle reminder to Star Trek itself. Pike, in effect, in this episode, becomes the Michael Burnham character.

He is responsible for, effectively, starting a war. With the Romulan Empire, because of his decisions, it is not him committing treason. It doesn’t have the same overall story impact that Michael Burnham’s story arc had, but it does play a similar role, but it seems to have been done as a means of the characters introspection and understanding of themselves, which makes it more personal than the galactic conflict that Michael Burnham sets forth.

So I feel almost like this is Star Trek returning to its best version of this kind of story, returning back to like these people impact one another. And when you have this kind of network of characters, you could remove any one of them. And it doesn’t mean you’re done telling stories. And This is such a nice moment.

I, to go back to what you said about Spock being such a key figure in this, uh, the scene in the sick bay, I loved the depiction of that, the kind of slow mo, almost dizzy camera work. Uh, showing Pike move past the medical bed where you see the dead, uh, is it the, the groom that’s dead? Um, and then he goes back to the other side of the room where he finds Nurse Chapel with Spock.

And Spock is done up very nicely with some makeup that makes the the injuries look tragic. He’s missing. He’s also missing a leg. He’s missing a leg. There is, it looks like there’s bone been revealed in his face. And she says he’ll never be the same, even if he does survive. And it is effectively him looking down at a figure who looks the way he thinks he will be.

In the future, his, his experience of what his future moment in saving the cadets looks like, he only understands that he will come out of it confined into a chair and looking. Melted as a result. So he sees in Spock now the same person that he thinks he will be and what he’s trying to avoid for himself, which adds an extra tone to one of the final scenes in the episode when Spock comes in and for Spock, it is literally just a couple of minutes have passed by, but he walks in and Pike’s response is almost a tearful, it’s good to see you.

To which Spock responds with such a tenderness, such a lovely moment. Do you want to talk about

that a little bit? His response, Sean, I got a little choked up at this scene. And it was his, I can’t remember exactly what the words were that Pike said to him, but it was along the lines

of, I’m very fond of


I’m very fond of you. And also I saw that no matter if I, if I make changes, somebody else I care about will

trade my fate.

And then Spock instantly. recognizes he’s talking about me. And so it’s like his response to Pike is just, I can’t remember what the words he said were, but it was just like the, like a gut punch of like, oh man, these two guys, they get each other.

They understand each other. And I just love how Spock, it’s so much of what I love about this show, Sean, is what’s not spoken. Yeah. Because this show gives the actors and scenes, um, read between the lines. Yeah. The look on somebody’s face. Room to breathe. They allow that to happen and play out. And this scene does that.

Um, I, before we get to your thoughts on it, uh, this relates directly to it. I just watched as I’m, I have the Blu ray of this. And I noticed I didn’t see the deleted scenes from the last episode, the Gorn episode. And I watched those deleted scenes, and all the scenes that were cut, Sean, were the, oh, we’re going to speak everything to you.

Like, all the scenes were exactly what I’m talking about, where it’s like, oh, this character said, Point Blank, this thing to somebody else, or this character said that thing to that other character, where in the actual version we saw, it was just like Uhura at the end of the episode, where she just comes off the turbo lift, and there’s this wonderful shot of her just looking.

at the bridge and then looking at her, her assignment. And we aren’t told she’s accepted the commission. Yeah. We aren’t told any of that. We know it. We know it because of the way it’s being shot. We know it because of the reaction she’s having. You can tell it’s her looking at her family. She’s, I found her place.

It’s like, go Uhura. The clip they cut was her literally being told, her, her cornering the captain and the first officer saying, I want to accept the commission. And then they talk about like, I found my place. It’s like, it’s like on the face dialogue. And I was like, thank God they cut it. Cause what they ended up with in the other episode was way better than what they used.

And it’s like, I feel like the same thing’s here on this one. It’s like that scene, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an on the face dialogue of what it is. But what they, but they’re, they’re brave in their filmmaking and their storytelling. And it really creates, it shows that there’s these tight bonds between these characters where they, they understand the subtext.

So, they’re letting the subtext kind of play out.

I just loved it. Well, the brilliance of television and movies comes from finding the perfect balance of tension between the writer and the actor. And that’s the director’s job. And the editor’s job is to find that perfect tension between the two. And writers will complain when an actor doesn’t say the words.

And an actor will complain when they’re forced to say all the words. And a good director will help. Find the balance between the two and let the actor act. And this scene for me was that exact moment where you get to see Pike say, I know something would happen tragic to you if I don’t accept my own fate and I won’t let that happen.

And having Spock respond with, it is a kind of, like, it’s, it’s a kind of respect and friendship. That we think is only reserved for Kirk, and what we’re seeing is that there are different people in Spock’s life who are informing who he is as a character, and for me, part of the offshoot of this is there’s also an equally lovely scene where Pike sits down with Kirk and says, tell me about yourself.

Yes. For me, that was, that’s the cake scene where we now get to see the original series. In Menagerie, when Kirk says, I never had the pleasure, but we get to know that Pike did. So it’s going to have an impact on the interpretation of those scenes. Pike in that environment is going to be back aboard the Enterprise.

He’s going to be looking at Spock, who he knows has that kind of connection with him. And he’s going to be looking at Kirk, knowing that Kirk is the guy who will be willing to break and bend the rules. in his favor. It is a really beautiful balance in what is said and what is not said. And for people who know the original series and already have that information in their mind, it feels fully connected to it and it feels organic and it feels, uh, Strongly depicted and written, and for somebody who doesn’t know the original series, it is still all those things.

It feels like, I kept thinking, boy, from a perspective of somebody who did not know what the original series was about, who was just coming to this for the first time, watching this captain sit down with this other captain and say, tell me about yourself, reaching a point of mutual respect in, in itself within this episode is a great moment.

But knowing the deeper history in relationship to a later episode like blows a huge cloud of fan fiction out of my head into the ether around me. And I can’t help but think like the story of the menagerie written as a short story from Pike’s perspective, what would that look like? Be a lot of fun, be a lot of fun.

So for me. An end to the first season, which hits this level of storytelling, the depiction of the characters, the relationship to what we know as Trek fans of the future, and such a well respected episode. And we haven’t even talked, and let’s just talk very, very briefly, because, uh, the depiction of the Romulan commander.

By this actor, he does such a good job. And again, it is Matthew MacFadzean, who plays the Romulan commander, who in the original episode, in The Balance of Terror, is played by the same, the same character, uh, let me say that again. The original episode, the Romulan commander is played by the same actor who plays Spock’s father.

So, a little bit of double casting there that, They just kind of like wink at and move forward here. It is not. The same actor who plays Spock’s father, clearly they decided like, we’re not going to try and create any confusion or over connect ourselves to the original series in that way. Um, I’m glad they didn’t.

This guy’s depiction of this commander, his. Exhaustion with his empire’s approach, his seeking of common ground, not from a perspective of winning, but an understanding of what does war do to you personally, even if you’re not engaged with it. And he is looking back toward Romulus, and he is seeing an empire that can’t sustain.

And he knows that. And his weariness is the same as the weariness of The captain, the commander from Balance of Terror, right down to, and I loved that they had that moment where he says to Pike, in another reality, you and I could have been friends, which is exactly what he says to Kirk in his goodbye scene in the original episode.

So, you have, again, that kind of, oh, Spock’s relationship to Jim Kirk is not at the, at Like in isolation and he has no connections to anybody else. We are seeing Spock being developed as a character. Like there are friendships here. He is impacted by other humans. We see the same possibility from this Romulan commander, which adds a depth.

to a character who’s literally not even named. I, I think that that’s fantastic that they took a character who already had a certain amount of depth as the unnamed Romulan commander who says to Kirk, you and I could have been friends. What a great moment, but to demonstrate that it’s not about Kirk. It is about.

The commander is who does this Romulan is not who the captain is that is important. Yeah. And it does a great job of undermining of underlining that. I thought that was a lovely, lovely moment. What did you think about the depiction of the entire Romulan society and the militarization and the military aspects of how the Romulan empire is presented?

Oh, it

was great. It was great. They gave it more depth than we ever saw in the original series. Um, which, not a shock, um, but at the same time, it’s like, we start to see that depth in Next Generation and beyond when Reunification with Spock and all that kind of stuff. And it was nice to see them weaving that in here, where we’re seeing that the Romulan Empire is not a cohesive whole.

There is a kind of a divide inside of it. And I do, I did love the, uh, portrayal of how the captain’s weary, that his young officer who basically subverts him is what he’s railing against. It’s like, you’ve only been alive for war. This is all you know. And I remember before war, and there’s so much more to life than what we’re doing.

And I just love that dynamic that they actually kind of got to, they showed us at this point. Um, it was good. I liked it. I had no problems with the way they portrayed it. Yeah, um, there is, there is something I want to bring up, which is the end. Where they’re kind of clearly setting up season two.

Before we go into that, could I, could I say one more thing about the Romulan?

Just real quick, I absolutely loved Kirk’s solution to being out in the middle of nowhere in isolation. The space battles in this episode were movie like for me. And the depiction of the exact same strategy being used in this episode as is used in The Balance of Terror becoming the signal ghost. Ships in pursuit of the Romulan ship, flying through the comet’s tail, the Romulan doubling back, the battle that ensues as a result, the Farragut being destroyed in spectacular fashion, and then Kirk now shipless, like, can I borrow a shuttlecraft?

And going off and you have no idea what he’s about to do and what he ends up doing is bringing back all the robot. I just tangled myself up awkwardly on my excitement. Uh, Kirk going off in a shuttlecraft and coming back with a bunch of robot ships that they basically are like pretending like we’ve got a fleet.

And here they go, and they just fly them basically into the faces of the Romulan ships as a, as a barrier. And I thought that was a spectacular and fun and very Star Trek y battle sequence. It was very Kirk. Super Kirk. Yeah. Yeah.

Thinking outside the box, bending the rules, not wanting to lose. It’s like, it’s everything we know and love Kirk about.

And to tie it back to Pike, it’s like, I liked your description of how they both have that Venn diagram, they’re overlaid a little bit, but Kirk is the one that tends to come up with the outside the box solutions in the movies and the TV shows for him. And Pike tends to listen to his crew and absorb the ideas from around him and then find the solution by weaving those ideas together in interesting ways.

So I find that interesting of how Pike is kind of like the family man. He’s the father. He’s kind of working as a team and he’s pulling the best out of his team to get the best ideas where Kirk is like going off half cocked on his own. Yeah. To do the crazy solutions half the time in the original series.

And here he is doing it again. Give me a shuttle. I got an idea. It’s like, that is so Kirk. I did like the portrayal

of that. It was really fun. Yeah. So you were going to say about the very, very end where we see the, uh. Okay.

So the Una, Una getting arrested stuff. I just want to bring that up and say, I, I don’t want to give anything away for season two, but there’s a very interesting, fun.

Exploration for this kind of stuff that they’re setting up and I loved Pike’s reaction to her getting arrested. Yeah. He loses it and it’s like he’s just been through literally hell going to the future and back watching a close friend get killed because he basically passed off his fate. He’s coming to terms with what he has to do and now he’s getting slapped in the face with Una being taken away and he just basically snaps and he’s attacking the security guard to stop them.

It’s like, what does he think is going to happen here? It’s like, this is not going to go well if he does this. Um, but it was very, I loved how they ended it with him. He is like a man on fire at this point at the end where he’s like, this is not over. He’s like, he’s going to clearly fight like hell to get her to not end up in prison because what he saw in the future was she’s in prison for seven years.

Yeah. So he wants to make sure that’s not going to happen. So I really like that portrayal, but I’m about to text you an image, Sean. It was one of the last shots of the show. I don’t know if you picked this up, but on the transporter pad, one of the security guards in the background. I’m not sure what he was doing.

There was a slow dolly shot going up as they’re being beamed out. As Una’s going And the security guard is just looking up at the sky. I don’t know what he was doing.

This, yeah, this, I mean, he’s looking up as if he thinks he’s about to fly up through the, uh, aperture of the transporter. And what that says to me is that this actor was told, you’ve got to line yourself up.

on the pad so that you look like you’re ready to beam out. And instead of looking down at his feet, he decided to look up at the circle. And that is a wild

image. It looks to me like nobody caught him doing that in the moment and they probably got into the editing bay where they’re putting the show together and they’re probably like, oh crap, and there was nothing they could do about it at that point so they had to use the clip because it was probably the only shot they had and I watched Sean, I watched this over like 10 times giggling like a little kid, like what the hell is this guy doing in the back?

Uh, I’m going to put that in the show notes so that people with the podcast can see it. And um, on YouTube, we’ll put it up on the screen so you can see it. It is hysterical to me.

That’s great. So all in all, it sounds like Matt and I are in agreement that we both hate this episode. Um, I’m joking, of course, Matt and I both love this episode.

So please jump into the comments and let us know, do you agree with us or was there something about this that rubbed you the wrong way? Uh, all of your comments, we love hearing from you and they really do help shape the program. So we’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Next time, we’re going to be talking about the beginning of season two, episode one, The Broken Circle.

Please jump into the comments and share us with us what you think that episode will be about. Wrong answers only. Is a broken circle just in effect a square or just an arc? Let us know. Before we sign off, Matt, is there anything you wanted to share with our viewers and listeners? Uh, you already talked about the fact you’ve got that episode coming up with the goggles.

So like, I guess that’s covered. As for me Check that out. As for me, you can go to my website seanferrell. com or you can go to wherever it is that you buy your books. All of my books are available everywhere. Books are available. That includes your public library if you’re interested. And if you’d like to support the show, please consider leaving a review wherever it was you found this program.

Don’t forget to subscribe and please do share it with your friends. All of those are great ways to support us. And if you’d like to more directly support us, you can go to trekintime. show. Click the become a supporter button. It will not only allow you to throw quarters at our heads, but it will automatically make you an Ensign, which means you will be signed up for our spinoff show out of time, in which we talk about other programs.

We tend to drop an episode of out of time a month to our supporters. In fact, Matt and I are planning on recording an episode of that right now. Exciting times. All of that really does help support the show. Thank you so much, everybody for listening or watching, and we’ll talk to you next time.

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