140: Star Trek Strange New Worlds Season 2, episode 9 “Subspace Rhapsody”


Matt and Sean sing their way through watching this episode of Star Trek Strange New Worlds. Does musical theater have a place in Star Trek? (hint: no)

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In this episode of Trek in Time, we’re talking about what the hell is happening.

That’s right, everybody.

I’ve been so excited to talk about this episode with you, Sean. I’m very excited. We finally got there.

I’ve read it in the comments. I’ve heard it whispered in the wind.

We’re going to talk about Star Trek Strange New Worlds, season two, episode nine, Subspace Rhapsody. Welcome everybody to Trek in Time, where we’re watching every episode of Star Trek in chronological stardate order. We’re also taking a look at how things were in the world at the time of original broadcast, which means we’re talking about Strange New Worlds season two, episode And we’re also talking about just last year, 2023, as we record this, of course.

And who are we? I’m Sean Ferrell. I’m a writer. I write some sci fi. I write some stuff for kids. And 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. Matt, how are you today?

I’m very excited, Sean. I’ve been teasing this episode for so long to you of like, I cannot wait to get to episode nine to talk about this.

Uh, yeah. How you doing, Sean?

I sent Matt, a text. Yes, you did. As I was watching this program. And it was,

hold on, let me, it was a blurry photo. Yes. Of this television set with Spock and somebody else on the screen in the engineering room. Yes. In the engineering room. And he wrote, all he wrote was, I have an hour of this.

We could probably share that text on screen with people who are watching this on YouTube.

Yeah. I am going to save. My comments. Yes. Don’t make any comments. Until we get into the conversation around the show. In the meantime, I see in our show notes that you have something you wanted to talk about. It seems like you have something you’re excited about talking about. So, man, why don’t you take it away?

Yeah. Somebody reached out to me and I’m, I apologize for not having your name on hand. I can’t remember who it was through an email or on X or someplace else. Uh, but somebody reached out to me saying, have you seen the news about the Starfleet Academy TV show that’s being produced. It’s actually happening now.

And there’s, there was an interview with Alex Kurtzman on Collider about the show, that they’re entering production right now. The writers are actively working on the show. Filming is going to start in late summer. Um, and part of the reason this was brought up was we talked about Lower Decks and that crossover and one of the writers on the show is Tawny Newsome from Lower Decks is a writer on this new show, which shows that there’s going to be this energy to the show.

And Alex Kurtzman made this comment of there’s going to be students that are there in the academy that are like. The Picards, the people that are like dying to be there. And then there’s gonna be the students there. They’re just kind of like the, why? They don’t want to be there. You know, that kind of a thing.

Right. So when they said, when he said that, it’s like, oh, that explains Tawny Newsome being on the writing staff because she’s going to bring that Lower Decks energy.


to this show, which to me says this show is probably gonna have a nice balance of seriousness, drama, tension, sci fi action, plus a lot of humor.

There’s probably gonna be a lot of, a lot of tongue in cheek moments.

It can absolutely be very fun to see a young Picard having to have a roommate who is young Reg Barkley. Yes. That would be, like, that kind of energy, I think, would be really, really exciting to see.

But he also said the thing, even though it’s starting production now, he said the first season of any new show takes way more time to do than repeating seasons.

Yeah. So he said, even though we’re starting now, it may not get out into the world until 2026. So we still might be a couple years away. And then the other thing was based on an interview with, um, who played, um, the tall first officer, Captain Guy from Discovery, I’m blanking his name. He’s always in makeup.

But, oh, what’s his name? Doug Jones. Doug Jones. There was an interview with Doug Jones where he made some kind of references where the fan community got all like, oh, this sounds like this new show is going to be in the 32nd century, which is the, where Discovery is taking place in the far, far future.

Right. So for our podcast, We will most likely be talking about this show 20 years from now. But the bottom line is it made, it made sense to me that they would probably make the show in that far off future because it’s super far sci fi. And also that’s where the show is discovery. It’s very optimistic.

It’s back into that star, star fleets in the far future is so there’s so much optimism. The Borg is like a very distant past. So it’s like, it’s, it’s, they’re going to have a lot of open ground to play with, uh, setting it up 32nd century. So I I’m actually pretty excited about this

show. I can’t wait. It’s also wise from, I mean, the, the things we’ve been talking about in strange new worlds have been, you know, A lot of giving kudos and credit to a team to be able to incorporate well established and well loved characters in such a seamless way.

But you can’t keep doing that nonstop. You can’t set Starfleet as literally young Picard. You can’t have like, here’s Chekov going to school with Uhura. And like, it would just feel like, okay, how many times can you retread this? Uh, but So giving us new places and new characters is going to be a good idea, I think.

But also with, with, um, Tawny Newtham on there, it made me wonder, is this going to be kind of like community? Star Trek, where it’s a whole bunch of kind of like weird misfits together, like the good students and the bad students all in just one class. And there’s just hijinks ensue, just kind of craziness.

It could be Star Trek community, which might be funny.

On now to our usual, uh, pattern for our program, which as usual, before we get into the conversation about the newest episode, we like to revisit the mailbag. So what have you found this week

on episode 139 under the cloak of war. Lots of comments. Uh, first one I wanted to bring up is from Wayouts123.

This episode needed a warning label. As a vet, this was a gut punch. I needed to walk away twice. This shows why, this shows why M’Benga and La’an have the relationship they have. On third watching, it brought up my father’s service, so that others may live. I love that this show takes chances to be a comedy, horror, animation, or a damn well written story about what combat does to you.

Love this show. I thought that was a really interesting perspective from a vet of how well it hit that kind of PTSD, how war changes you. Um, storyline, which is what Sean and I were the most impressed by, by that episode. Yes,

thank you Wayout for the comment and thank you for your service. And that is a very moving comment.

It is very impactful.

Then we have one from Happy Flappy Farm. Advice to Sean for the best viewing of episode nine. This is a little late for you, Sean. I’m sorry. A watch buddy who loves Broadway. With a little emoji. By the way, we realized that M’Benga is the eye candy of Strange New Worlds. Dude has an impressive physique, but tell me if I’m wrong.

I think he is the most often shirtless of all the characters on Strange New Worlds. Husband Bill says he wants to skip all the animated show episodes. We, we asked everybody. Yeah, should we do the original series animated episodes? Husband Bill says he wants to skip all the animated episodes. I vote for selecting three to four impactful episodes and talking about them.

We own all the original series animated and so far seasons one and two of Lower Decks. The original series will be easy, in my opinion, to review quickly. They are pretty simple, but Lower Decks are layered and have lots of wonderful Easter eggs from all of other Star Trek. Multi layered thing. The advice of how to watch this, I do agree, if you love Broadway and you know somebody who loves Broadway, have them watch this with you because it will temper it.

Um, and then also the M’Benga thing, I, I, I didn’t notice that, like, he was the most shirtless of all the characters. I actually did.

I actually did. And I agree with that. I think he is the, uh, I think he’s the secret. sexpot of the show. I think he’s got a lot of charisma. And I think there is a certain point where the producers are like, yeah, we, we’ve got Pike as like, he’s clearly the focal point of the bridge, but there’s something about a smoldering M’Benga in the background that I think has a certain value.

And yeah, I’m, I’m I can see that too. And as far as the watch buddy, let me just like quickly say like a watch buddy who likes Broadway. I happen to live with somebody like that. So I, I did have that person available. But when I mentioned to her this episode and I was like, I haven’t watched it yet, but Here’s what I’m expecting.

I’m expecting a musical. And her response was, why does everybody think they have to do that just because it worked for Buffy? So we’ll, we’ll get into that.


So I’m just saying my watch buddy basically bailed. My watch buddy was basically like, I have zero interest in that.

Related to the last part, which was how we should do the animated series, another comment from AJ Chan chimes in on that as well.

I like the idea of being selective on which animated episodes you cover. Perhaps you could take a podcast to cover the top five episodes kind of like all at once from season one and then another from season two. Kind of like when you did a podcast to wrap up a series or sprinkle in the animated series.

Episodes alongside the original series season three where the episode quality slips and since the animated series is closer chronologically. I thought those were both good suggestions. Both of those ideas. And I like those are both good. I really like the idea of doing maybe one or two episodes where we kind of just Talk about our favorites of season one and season two of the animated series.

To me, that’s, I also think that

there might be value in using both of those because there will be some episodes of the original series where we’re going to be like, this is, and it might be good to have, like, have an episode of the best three from Season one, the animated series, the best three from season two and have the occasional bonus of like, we’re also going to talk about this animated episode when we talk about this particular one.

So we can kind of fill in some gaps perhaps. And, dare I even say it, that might also work for Next Generation, because there are going to be some episodes of Next Generation where we’re going to be like, mmm, and going into Lower Decks might be, might work at that moment. So, that might be a good model for that.

I have a feeling today’s episode of Strange New Worlds is one of those episodes for Strange New Worlds. But the last coming up.

Without giving anything away, I think we’re going to have an okay conversation. I do think we’re going to have an okay conversation.

Okay, anyway, the last comment was from PaleGhost69 who wrote wrong answers only for what the title means and this shows up about subspace Rhapsody.

Due to an accident in subspace, the crew of the Enterprise is forced to hold this audience captive for an hour while subjecting them to auditory torture. Meanwhile, Spock does math to help himself get over a breakup. My bad. This was supposed to be wrong answer. Oops. Yeah.

Oh, PaleGhost. Nail on the head. I love that comment.

That is terrific. I want to get that printed on a t shirt. On now to our discussion of subspace Rhapsody, which that noise in the background, as always, is not singing. No, that noise in the background is the read alert. Which means it is time for Matt to tackle the Wikipedia description. Matt, best of luck.

It starts Off very well with referencing one of the main characters of Strange New Worlds. So enjoy.

I’m not going to sing this by the way. James Kirk, recently promoted to executive officer of the Farragut, visits Enterprise to shadow number one. While conducting communications experiments, Uhura broadcasts a recording of Anything Goes into a mysterious subspace fold.

You know, as you do. It produces an improbability field that causes the Enterprise crew to begin singing about their feelings like characters in a musical film. Pike has an argument with Batel in song in front of the crew. Chappell wins a prestigious research fellowship and reveals in song that she prioritizes it over her relationship with Spock, La’an confesses her feelings for Kirk before the musical can force her to wait let me read this La’an confesses her feelings for Kirk before the musical can force her to, but he is already in a relationship with Carol Marcus.

An affected Klingon ship intends to blow up the Fold, but experiments reveal that this will destroy all ships in the vicinity. Uhura determines that singing an upbeat grand finale will provide enough energy to close the improbability field before the Klingons arrive. She encourages the Enterprise crew to sing about the fulfillment they find in working together and exploring space.

And when the song concludes, The Impropri Impropri I’m going to say forget it. This whole section’s done. Anyway, it makes the problem go away. So let’s just move on.

Episode 9, Subspace Rhapsody, directed by Dermott Downs, written by Dana Horgan and Bill Wolkoff, originally broadcast on August 3rd, 2023.

the cast. We have our usual accompaniment of Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, Christina Chong, Melissa Navia, Rebecca Romijn, Jess Bush, Celia Rose Gooding, and Babs Olusanmokun. We also have Paul Wesley as James Kirk, Dan Jeannotte as George Sam Kirk, Carol Kane as Pelia, and I don’t know if you recognized him Matt, Bruce Horak as General Garkog.

That’s right, Hemmer was General Garkog didn’t pick that up. Yes. And what was the world like when this was originally broadcast August 3rd, 2023? Well, Matt, I know you were wondering what the fuck you mean when you listened to the song fukumean by Gunna, which along with 27 million other downloads, rocked your body.

And at the movies, once again, Barbie was the number one film, having another 93 million added to its coffers. It would remain the number one film for the rest of this season. We’ll be talking about it again next week. And on television, we’ve been trying to compare apples to apples. So streaming shows to streaming shows.

And so far this season, we’ve talked about Suits, Bluey, NCIS, Matt is Losing His Mind, Grey’s Anatomy, Cocomelon, The Big Bang Theory, Gilmore Girls, Friends. And now, of course, we talk about Matt’s favorite show of all time, Heartland. Matt, do you want to tell us a little bit about Heartland? That’s right.

Heartland is a Canadian family comedy drama television series, which debuted in Canada on CBC television and originally in the United States on the CW plus syndication on October 14th, 2007. It has bounced around on various streaming programs and apparently is popular enough on Hulu, Netflix, and Peacock, three different series.

Three different streaming services with 233 episodes. It has 22 billion minutes viewed. And when I read all of this, I thought, talk about improbability fields. And in the news on this day, August 3rd, 2023, most of the news revolved around former president Trump. and the investigation into election interference.

There was a large article about the charges that were going to be brought against him. There was an article about Mike Pence now becoming a witness to some of these charges. There was a, uh, article about the co conspirators facing choices regarding whether they stand by him or would turn to states, uh, to become, uh, witnesses against him.

And also a article in the front page about the jury in the Pittsburgh synagogue trial where the gunman had entered a synagogue several years ago in 2018 and he was sentenced to death by the jury in Pennsylvania. So, on now to our discussion of this episode, and

there’s an elephant in the room.

Can I just, can I just bring something up here? Mm hmm. Uh, your partner could not have been more spot on. Buffy did a musical. And in that series, that is a phenomenal, I know it’s a phenomenal episode, but it works for Buffy because there’s a spell cast. It contextually works for the show. The spell is cast on, on the town.

Everybody’s running around singing and dancing and they actually are singing and dancing themselves to death and they have to stop it. And it’s like there’s, it makes sense because it’s magical and all that kind of stuff. Contextually, it worked. And every show since then has the urge. to do this. And it’s happened again and again.

There was a show called Sanctuary that came to mind for me that had Amanda Tapping from Stargate SG 1. And there was an episode where they did basically a Bollywood episode. And it was the same thing. Supernatural thing happened. And it was such a bad episode, Sean. It was like every other show that tries to do this.

It’s like where the show jumps the shark. And in Sanctuary, there’s this hysterical moment where, you know, there’s This main character looks at the camera and goes, I can dance. And then it turns into this big Bollywood number. My wife and I were laughing so hard and we’re not laughing with the show. We were laughing at the show.

It was so bad. It was unwatchable. Halfway through my wife said, I can’t. And she stopped. She just bailed out. I would think that people will have learned their lesson about doing these kinds of episodes. So for me, I I’m going to jump in with my opinion on this. This episode, Jump the Shark, it’s wildly inappropriate for the way they executed it.

It’s not that they couldn’t have made it work, it’s the way they executed it, contextually, within the world of Star Trek, makes zero sense. It’s such a out of place, doesn’t hold together what the hell is happening. But if you can divorce yourself, this is where I kind of defend it a little bit, you can divorce yourself from Star Trek and just look at it as a standalone oddity.

It’s actually not bad. It’s well executed. The, some of the music’s kind of catchy. Yeah. Some of the drama of the, the inner monologues that are happening is kind of fun. Uh, but in context with Star Trek, it’s just, I don’t know what the hell they were thinking.

A bunch of things come to mind all at once.

And so it’s going to be, I think this conversation, and I, again, I think you and I can have a very interesting and productive conversation about this because I think there’s a lot to talk about. The problem becomes keeping it all straight in my head. So the conversation may be jumping back and forth a little bit, but I had a moment where I was, I was reminded of.

And you just said it yourself. If you could contextualize the stuff in a way that makes sense. Then it can work. And I’m reminded of the episode where, of Next Generation, where Lwaxana Troi is taken by a Ferengi and is basically like, you’re going to be mine now. And is, it’s from probably season one or two.

And the way they get him back, they get her back is, Picard is told, there is In this Ferengi, if you can commit to the idea that your, uh, professing your love for her can help sway, like, she’s committed to you, therefore she can never be his, is how we can get her back. And, uh, So, Picard goes through a very clearly theatrical pantomime of Shakespearean soliloquy and sonnet and is doing all of this stuff in a, Patrick Stewart masterfully, like, ratcheting up the acting so that the acting looks like acting.

In order to play this well. And it contextualizes this very awkward moment of Patrick Stewart looking like he’s overacting in such a terrible way. I’m also reminded of the original series episode where the way that they, the crew manages to break out of control of an alien entity is to act so incongruously illogical.

That entity’s experience of them doesn’t fit with the logic that it knows so that it breaks its ability to control them. So they do things like celebrate the death of a crewmate, they quote from Alice in Wonderland, they, you know, Um, Spock is quoting terrible poetry and it’s, and it’s intensely, absurdly pushed forward.

And it’s not a great episode, but it’s contextualized in a way that makes, makes it work. And I couldn’t help but think if this wasn’t, it, it feels like Strange New Worlds has a trap that they fall into quite a bit. And I’m seeing it now, which is, Oh, it’s an improbability field where alternate realities have been exposed.

They’ve now done that half a dozen times, maybe, and it feels like, okay, it can’t always be a, we’ve accidentally dipped into an alternate reality, and they’ve avoided the mirror universe, but they’re relying on the idea of parallelism so much that I found myself wondering, like, what if this had simply been as simple as, they go to a planet, where communication has to take place.

Meaningful communication can only be understood if it’s done in song. And so in order to interact with the people on the planet, they begin to sing, and then you incorporate some songs between crewmates talking to each other. That might have been a little bit more of a subtle breadcrumb leading us to a point where we’re able to accept Like, and I’m thinking in remodeling the show, the only number here, the only story here that seems to me to fit in a way that I would be willing to accept some of it in a musical form is La’an’s storyline, which is, hats off to Christina Chong, terrific singer, Great performer.

She’s become one of my favorite characters and actors on this program. She does such a good job. And her storyline in this is one that stands out for me as like, this is the one that earns the musical. So if you had a context where it was, they go to a planet, they get trapped there somehow with a myriad of crew members, and they understand, they meet people who don’t understand spoken communication, but understand sung communication.

They begin to sing back and forth with these people on this planet, and then you have a moment where La’an and Kirk have a duet, and she professes her love, her interest in him, and he has to break her heart by saying like, I’m committed to another. That moment, I think, earns the musical and contextualizes it in a way that I think would have worked better than this because this is just the, and let me just say one last thing.

I like a lot of the visuals here. I like like the zipper aspect of the subspace thing. I think every time they show the exterior of the ship, it looks fascinating. And I think that they really, really leaned into the musical. Broadway vision of this. And you, you said, I wonder why shows keep trying to do this?

Because everybody who makes television are the theater kids. And they, they all think that this is great. So I’m like, I’m like, okay. Like they’re all the theater kids. I get it. Um, so that’s my first go at my thoughts on this. Like I felt like La’an was really, for me, the focal point

as a theater kid. I’ve recognized that, but at the same time, even I was like, really?

Come on. Um, so I like the idea that you brought up an old Next Generation episode to try to give context. Cause for me, I did the same exact thing. I was like, you could have put this in different contexts. The ones I want to bring up are, there was the movie, The Marvels. I don’t know if you’ve seen it. No, I have not seen it yet.

This past year. Yeah. Um, there is a planet in The Marvels that does exactly what you’re talking about. They only communicate through song and when they show up in the planet, um, uh, not Miss Marvel, it’s Captain Marvel. is, uh, engaged to the head of the planet and there’s a whole bunch of singing and dancing and the other character’s like, what’s going on?

So they put it in context. And I will say to you, it’s goofy as hell, Sean. Uh, that stuff does not work in the movie. The Marvels, my opinion either. But for me, the episode of next generation that came up that to me would have been way better for context is, Uh, there’s an episode of Dr. Crusher getting caught in a warp bubble experiment where it’s shrinking and it’s from her perspective, it’s this mystery, mystery box episode where it’s kind of like, She doesn’t know what’s happening.

People keep vanishing from the ship. She’s trying to figure it out, figure it out, figure it out. And then it turns out that this warp bubble experiment trapped her. So then you’re seeing people on the outside of the bubble trying to help her. And so it’s like all this kind of stuff kind of coalescing together.

And that’s when that came to my mind was they should have never done this episode as everybody actually singing. This should have been somebody’s fever dream. And my thought was it’s one of two. Well, no, it should have been one of two people. I was going to argue it should be either Chappell or La’an because those two storylines to me justify a musical and it could have been along the lines of there was an episode moment in this episode where Una says makes a reference to how she likes Gilbert and Sullivan.

I think it was, she said. Yeah. So what if, which they planted

much earlier in the series, right. They’ve like, and I liked that thread.

Right. So imagine the episode, they have this subspace rift, they’re doing experiments with it, and all this is happening, Kirk comes on board, so you don’t change any of the setup, all this stuff is happening, and something happens in the experiment that causes that warp thing to happen to the ship, and it knocks Either La’an or, uh, uh, what’s her name again?

Chapel. Chapel. Like, unconscious, harmed them in some fashion, now they’re in sickbay and they’re unconscious. But as viewers, we don’t know this yet. And so from their perspective, they may have been like, what if they were in the room with, in Una’s, uh, Quarters and she’s playing them Gilbert and Sullivan.

So they’re in this moment where they’re listening to a musical, they get knocked unconscious. And in this fever dream, everybody’s singing. And so you, if you did it from Chapel’s perspective in this fever dream, it’s her basically coming to terms with that. She doesn’t want to be in a relationship with Spock because she is.

Wanting to go do this three month, you know, fellowship thing. So it could have been from that plot line is the whole musical breaking up a Spock. And then when she comes out of the fever dream and they rescue her and they get her back to reality. She goes, ends this conversation with her basically breaking up with Spock, in reality.

The flip side, it’s the same thing with La’an. It’s like, you could have this whole thing where Kirk is there, she’s been listening to this musical with Una, ends up in this fever dream, and then it’s her trying to grapple with her emotions around Kirk, and then when she comes out of the musical moment, she has that honest conversation with Kirk where he says, I can’t be in a relationship with you, I’m with Carol.

So it’s like, you wouldn’t have to change Much. Much of anything. Yeah. But it would have been way more believable and not out of context for a Star Trek episode to do it that way. So you could have your cake and eat it too a little bit better. Um, but I, I agree with you. Like for me, one of my first notes, the subspace fold is amazing looking.

The special effects and the representation of what that is. This show is gorgeous. And some of the sequences, even the singing sequences, I thought were extremely well done. Like when Chapel is singing in the, uh, like the bar area. Absolutely. Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. But it, because it’s so out of context and so weird, the way they set this up.

Yeah. It’s just, oh my God, it was so hard to watch. And if they had just gotten better context around this, it would have actually probably been an enjoyable episode to me.

Yeah. And this is not Like Matt and I are not coming to this. Matt just called himself a theater kid. We’re both the son of a theater kid.

We’re like, both of our parents are big musical theater people are, both of them are theater people. Our father was the chairman of the theater arts department at the college where he taught. He directed musicals. We saw musicals all the time growing up. We would watch them on television. We had soundtracks in our home.

I did not grow up really a fan of musicals, but I had those exceptions that I did appreciate, like Guys and Dolls, Chicago. I, as now in my 50s, I live in New York City. I’ve seen Wicked on Broadway. I’ve seen Hamilton. Like, I recognize a good musical. I like a good musical. I, in this episode, I think the description you just gave and the thing I proposed as far as like, like possible alternatives that might have contextualized it in a way that would have been easier to swallow among the difficulties with that would be.

They planted in this episode so many important character arc moments for so many characters. It did feel like a musical because that’s what musicals do. Musicals get like, here’s 18 people on the stage. We’re going to tell you about half of them. We’re going to give important character moments for half of them.

And you’re going to have effectively nine major storylines woven together through music. And that’s what this felt like. It felt like, which one of these do you pull out? Um, I found Uhura’s the least interesting. We’ve seen her have these moments before where she’s basically like, I have a found family now and how important it is to me.

So her big number at in engineering where she’s walking around by herself and singing about like how difficult it is for her to be alone and to feel connected. I was like, okay, this is a lot of yada, yada, yada. Um, I thought La’ans. Again, La’an, Christina Chong’s acting in this, La’an’s storyline in this, like really, really connected.

I really like the fact that she’s talking to Kirk, and we know Kirk, and she’s saying like, I feel really, I felt connected to that guy. I really thought the writing of that scene was fantastic. I really felt connected to that guy, and I liked the way that guy looked at me. And having this Jim Kirk, who is supposed to be our Jim Kirk, say, it’s complicated because there’s another woman.

And when it turned out like, yeah, I’m in this relationship on again, off again, and it’s complicated because right now she’s pregnant and it’s Carol Marcus. And I was just like, nice Easter egg. Nice way to drop that in. Nice way to keep what you’ve clearly laid out as a production. You’ve said, it’s La’an and Jim Kirk are going to have this really intense experience with each other.

There’s going to be a lot of tension between them. Why doesn’t it turn into something? Because he’s about to promise Carol Marcus what we know will be like, I did as you asked, I stayed away. And that’s remarkable. I really liked, uh, Chappell’s storyline. She’s gotten the Corby Fellowship. I don’t know if you picked up on it, Matt.

Corby? Corby?

Roger Corby is a character from the original series episode, What Are Little Girls Made Of?, in which they go to a planet and they find a bunch of androids walking around, and Chapel’s former fiance, Roger Corby, is there. And it is a question of what has he done? What has he discovered? What is he doing to people?

And it is a whole thing around alien technology, the creation of androids, the replacement of people. It is one of my favorite episodes. So the moment she was just like, I got the Corby fellowship, I nearly fell out of my chair. I was like, I completely forgot about that. I was like, what a perfect way to fold that into the story for her, where in the original series, When she meets Corby, her response is, I can’t believe you’re here.

And he professes his love for her and re invites her to rejoin him. And it is a wonderful moment. And to plant that here, I was like, fantastic. What a, what a wonderful connective thread. And then as you said, the musical number that comes out of that is impressive, objectively impressive. And it is a remarkable.

number, also because it goes counter to what you usually expect of a musical number like that. I love that Spock stood there and watched this whole thing completely flat. And then from that point on, he walks away from her with Vulcan disdain in a very powerful way, which I’ve enjoyed this series so much up to this point already, but I find myself saying they retconned their relationship in such a brilliant way, because you watch the original series as a kid and you’re like, oh, she’s swooning over him, but he’s really hurt her because he’s so hard to be around because emotionally he’s not available.

And they reversed it. They retconned it and reversed it so that all those. Scenes in the future, I’m thinking I’m already ready for watching those scenes and realizing this isn’t him being emotionally unavailable, he’s got his shields up because she hurt him badly. And she’s feeling guilty about how she hurt him in the past.

And I’m like, that’s remarkable, absolutely remarkable. So I like that storyline. I like Una in this one, her references to Gilbert and Sullivan, the way she sings is very Gilbert and son of, Gilbert and son of Sullivan esque in that she sings songs that are very like chip, chip, chip. And she’s like practically doing this.

She has.

But she has one of the most tragic songs that she sings to La’an when she’s basically saying Don’t be me. She’s singing about like keeping yourself isolated. You have no friends. She was basically just singing about you could do what you’re talking about doing and protecting yourself. Learn from me.

It’s basically what she’s singing about. And it is heart wrenching.

And here’s where I think our modern era has infused itself into the, into the into the DNA of this program. We live in such a polarized era. We live in an era where everybody is able to isolate themselves with their phones and their systems and not have to leave their homes to get most things.

And we’re able to isolate in such a way. We’ve just exited the pandemic. Isolation era, which literally physically forced that upon us to a great degree. I was raising a teenager at that point. And I’ve seen the impact of that on him that echoes to this day of he lost years of his teenage years of the point where you as a teenager go out into the world and figure out how to navigate it.

And he did not do that. So this show effectively has created a recurring theme in every single character. Every single character seems to reverberate in the way that Spock used to be the only one to do it in the original series. Self isolation, protect yourself, make sure that your weak spots are hidden.

Pike does that. Spock obviously does that and will continue to do it in the original series. Dr M’Benga does it. Chappell does it. Una does it. La’an is doing it. Hemmer did it. Uhura was doing it. I think it’s really remarkable that the DNA of this program is about how do you break down those barriers?

How do you connect? How do you build a form, a found family? Where do you find those opportunities to say, let me be vulnerable to you? And I think that is of this era in a way that the original series was looking at Societal issues like civil rights, women’s movement, like the big societal changes that were like tectonic plates.

This is an era of effectively aftershocks, small isolated catastrophes that we have to deal with thinking they’re not connected to each other, but they’re actually almost identical to each other. And how do you learn from one another and reconnect to one another in a way that helps you get past those?

That I think is what this program is about. And I think it is very, very of the now. And this episode in particular really highlighted that in the way that all of these characters got their moment. And almost every single one of them was about I’m alone. Do I want to be alone? Pike and his co captain.

Relationship. Played for laughs. executed really well. I hated it. It was, it was oogie. It was just like, I don’t, I don’t need this moment to know this about him. That’s the thing about it that, and this is one of the things about musicals that always rubs me the wrong way. I don’t need the musical to know these moments very often.

And that’s where I feel like, okay, this is starting to feel awkward. And this episode did that a lot to me. I didn’t need Uhura singing her song. about something we’ve seen literally an episode about two or three episodes ago. I didn’t need to see Pike do what he did when we just had the reconnecting storyline with that captain in a previous episode.

I didn’t feel like, like, and that goes back again to La’an being the only one where I was just like, yes, have her have that moment with Kirk. That was the only one. I was actually hoping of all things. Like, are you going to give us a Kirk Brothers number? Give us a Kirk Brothers moment where that would have been fun for me because we haven’t had the two of them cross swords and then come together and be like, we’re going to combat with each other because we’re going to needle each other because we’re brothers.

And yet we also know that we’ve got nobody else that we, who knows us as well as you. Like, that would have been a fun number for me. Um, so much of the way it’s put together is so perfectly musical, but raises the questions of what’s the larger point. And I found myself latching onto a couple of characters and saying that was great progress and others

just didn’t need it.

There’s a point in this episode, and I want to know if you think this is the same problem. Not only did this episode kind of jump the shark. There’s a moment in this episode that like jumped the shark jumping the shark. Let me tell you what it was. And it was. Let me guess. Which was? The Klingons? Yes. Okay.

So the reason I was going to say the Klingons, when it cut to the Klingons at the end, I, I honestly, I was belly laughing at it. Yes. But it was, it was one of those things of, it felt like a lonely Island sketch. Dick in a box. You know, it felt like, uh, it’s like, this is so out of place. The Klingons would not be singing like that.

Yeah. It’s like. Why aren’t they singing a Klingon opera? Or why aren’t they singing in the same style as everybody else? Because if it’s the subspace rift that’s amplifying that Gilbert and Sullivan esque kind of musical, they would be singing in the same style as everybody else. Right. And they wouldn’t understand why they’re singing in that style.

So why were they singing like a Lonely Island song? It, like, it, it was funny. Yeah. But it, it wasn’t even in context of the show that they had just created, which was already out of context. So it was out of context, out of context. Yeah. And I bring this up because There was, on the Blu ray, Sean, a alternate version of the Klingon song, which was, I thought, better because it was in the same style as the rest of everything.

So it was a little slower, and the Klingons in the background were doing the funniest, just kind of like, slow, just kind of like, moves in the background as the captain is singing. And he’s singing about basically breaking all their bones and making their blood boil. And I’m, it was basically, it would be like, Warf.

singing Klingon like it would be exactly what you picture is what he was singing. And I have a feeling that’s why they cut it and went with the alternate version because the alternate version I think in their minds they were thinking the Klingons have to be different from what the Starfleet team is doing.

So they did a radically different style, but I think they made a bad call. Um, I think so too because it was so wild outta context. But it was, it was funny. I laughed at it too. It was funny. I

laughed at it too. Yes. And I think that this is, this is the way into the episode, my recommendation to anybody who wants to be a completist and watch all of them.

I do argue you could be a completist and skip this episode. Oh yeah. I also believe that if you. are a completist who believes that every episode has to be watched. Watch this and divorce yourself from trying to connect it to anything. And watch it for the experience of watching it. I think that’s similar to what you said earlier in the conversation.

Watch it because you want to laugh when Pike reveals his feelings in front of the crew and ends up on his knees. Laugh at the Klingon number. I agree with you. If they had If you were going to do this episode and make it all work and contextualize it in a way that works within the show, it would have been so much better for them to tune in to like, like, and we’re getting this broadcast from the Klingon ship and go to it.

And it’s incomprehensible Klingon opera that requires subtitles at the bottom. And the subtitles are, we will make your blood boil. We will break all of your bones. We know you did this. That would have been better. That would have been, and it also would have been funnier. Seeing a bunch of Klingons on a bridge singing about this because what we got literally look I, you said it called it a Lonely Island.

It was like an SNL sketch. Yes. The, the dancing in the background with the blades and they’re wearing gold lame and I’m just like, what is happening right now?


so what is going on?

What am I watching? I don’t know if you, I don’t know if you picked it up, but at that point, from that point to the end of the episode is so bad.

It’s horrible. It is what the characters are saying. They’re holding hands and they’re doing choreography. But even, but even after the musical is over, even the winks and the nods and the bad dialogue they say to each other, like when Uhura starts humming the music to herself and she turns around and then Pike says something to her.

Everything they’re saying and everything. Every, in the way they’re acting, everything about it came across as like a 1960s or 70s show, like Three’s Company, a whole bunch of kind of like a winking and nodding at the camera kind of a hamming it up acting.


It was just over the top from that Klingon number to the end.

So the last, to me, the last three minutes was so completely off the rails. It was like, they could have redeemed themselves by how they ended the episode, but instead they went deeper. It was like, let’s go even further into it. It was like, this is, this is not a Star Trek Strange New Worlds episode. It’s not.

It needs to be watched, like you said, out of context of the rest of the season. Just watch it for the fun of it. It’s almost like a fan episode. Like, somebody on Reddit said, What if we made a Star Trek Strange New Worlds episode that’s a musical? And fans made this. That’s

what this, to me, feels like. And that would be more palatable.

Like, watching, watching a bunch of people who were just like, We got together and made our own Star Trek musical. I would be more inclined to watching that. Here’s the other thing I wanted to mention that this reminded me of. There is a, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this, Matt. There is a There was an event honoring George Lucas, and it was hosted by William Shatner, and it was a large Hollywood event.

It’s like, it’s a massive auditorium, big stage, star filled room. Like, it’s in honor of George Lucas, but he’s sitting next to, like, Harrison Ford’s on one side, Steven Spielberg’s on another. Carrie Fisher speaks at it like, like all these people coming up saying, George, we love you. Like, that’s the point of the evening, but it’s hosted by William Shatner and it starts with him on stage and a sudden musical number breaks out in which he’s kind of like, what the hell is going on?

And storm troopers come in behind him and start dancing. As he’s like, he’s locked in arms with these stormtroopers and he’s just like, wait a minute, this isn’t even what I did. Is this Star Trek? And like, he’s, he’s acting like he’s confused about what’s happening, who George Lucas is, why he’s there. It’s, it’s played up for laughs in a really, really great way.

This episode made me think of that half a dozen times. And I was like, that was more palatable. Then some of this, and that’s not great. It’s all about context. It’s all about context. So having said all of that, uh, would you recommend this episode? No, we’ve already, we’ve already shared our thoughts on that.

So thank you everybody for taking the time to join us in this conversation. We’ve seen comments, uh, Matt shared some of them at the beginning of this episode. in which we know how some of you feel about it. So, PaleGhost, I’m looking at you. Jump into the comments. I’m particularly interested in those people who are like, no, I really like this episode.

Give us your reasons why. Jump to the comments. Let us know what you like about this episode. Let us know why Matt and I suffer from cold in our hearts. Next time, we will be talking about the final episode. Available of Strange New Worlds, which means we’re talking about Hegemony, and that means we’re just one week beyond that, we’ll be leaping into, you guessed it, the original series, which, I mean, let’s face it, the original series was a huge part of why I wanted to do this podcast in the first place, and so here we are, a hundred and, we’ll be a hundred and forty two episodes in, and we’ll finally get to the thing I wanted to talk about.

And I find that first of all, funny. And then we’re also going to be tasked with the, the work of when the next season of Strange New Worlds drops. My expectation, Matt, is you and I will pause where we are in the original series. We will go back and we will record episodes and maybe we’ll do something with the numbering system.

I don’t know how we’ll do that. Incorporate that. Maybe it’ll be, uh, 141 A, B, C, D, and we’ll do something like that so that they can follow the right pattern. We’ll figure something out. But in, in any event, we’re going to be talking about Hegemony next week. Please jump into the comments. Let us know what you think Hegemony will be about.

Wrong answers only. And before we close this discussion, Matt, What do you have going on in your main channel?

I have my kind of yearly exploration. I do this, I’ve been doing this for several years now where the newest solar panel advances are happening. And there’s some crazy records being broken left and right this past, I don’t know, few months.

Um, so there’s some exciting stuff to look forward to. So that video should be out by the time this episode drops.

As for me, I’ve already shared this on the podcast several times, but I will bring it up again. I have a book coming out in June. It is The Sinister Secrets of the Fabulous Nothings. It is book two in my Sinister Secrets series.

Book one came out last year. Book two will drop in June. And if you are interested in it, I would ask you humbly, pre order the book. It is incredibly helpful to an author to pre order your books. Uh, publishers are, of course, happy to say, the book came out on Wednesday and we sold a thousand copies in a month.

It’s even better if before the book even drops, you sell a thousand copies because they’re like, Ooh, maybe we should print more and push it more because if we sold a thousand already, imagine what we could do. So. Let’s try and help my publisher think, Ooh, imagine what we could do. And I appreciate your support.

You can also check out my other books, wherever it is you buy your books, or you can go to my website, seanferrell. com, where I’ve got some links there that will help you find them online. or at your local bookstore, even your public library. Thank you so much, everybody, for your support. Well, that is the wrap up of this episode about a musical.

I can’t believe I’m saying that about Star Trek. I look forward to talking about Hegemony next week. And until then, thank you so much for dropping in. And if you want to support us, don’t forget. Going to the comments, that’s a great way to support us. Don’t forget to subscribe, don’t forget to share us with your friends, and don’t forget to leave a review.

Those are all very easy ways for you to support us. And if you want to directly support us, you can go to trekintime. show, click the become a supporter button. It allows you to throw some coins at our heads. We appreciate the welts. And we’ve recently received some support from various members. Thank you so much for jumping in and supporting us.

We really love doing the podcast and we would try to do it regardless, but with all of your support, it really does make it happen. Thank you so much, everybody, for taking the time to watch or listen, and we’ll talk to you next


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