The Shuttle Pod Crew Discusses Being On The Ground At NYCC & Reviews Two ‘Star Trek: Short Treks’

Shuttle Pod 73 – On the Ground At NYCC & ‘Short Treks’ Season 2 Reviews


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Host Matt talks with Laurie about what it was like to be in the stadium for the New York Comic Con “Star Trek Universe” and The Orville panels. Then the duo goes in depth — discussing the two newest Star Trek: Short Treks: “Q&A” and the rather polarizing “The Trouble With Edward.”

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Palizia

Surely CBS is aware of how much demand there is for a Pike’s Enterprise series.

Michael Hall

Yes, I’m sure they’re aware of it. They’re also aware that Anson Mount, much as he enjoys the role of Pike, probably doesn’t want to spend the better part of the year away from his family shooting a TV series, because he’s said as much.

In my experience, many Trek fans are plenty smart. They need to stop assuming, though, that they’re always the smartest person in the room.

Harry Ballz

Anson Mount lives in Brooklyn New York. That makes it a short trip to Toronto. For that kind of paycheque, have his spouse come visit and go home on weekends. Duh!

Michael Hall

Duh, really. I guess you know more about what he should want than he does, then.

Harry Ballz

C’mon, man. It’s not like Hollywood is beating down Mount’s door. Grab it while you can. Otherwise, why be in the business?

Andrew

Wow, totally clueless…

Danpaine

He has two films in post-production, both of which he’s the lead, with some heavy-hitting co-stars. Doesn’t look like he’s been sitting home waiting for CBS to call. If you look at his IMDB resume, Star Trek is really just a blip on his radar.

carl hood

lets put it this way if this pike show would be made it will make Anson Mount more famous and all the other characters cos this pike show will be so big it could even take of for films of the new show as star trek it has so much going for it

dennycranium

Anson Mount lives in Connecticut, where he just purchased a farm.
He has publicly stated that he prefers filming outside vs a soundstage.
He’s also aware that “creative conversations” have to happen at CBS, now Paramount for a Pike series to happen.
CBS now has the physical space for sets in Mississauga (near Toronto) to build sets. With this merger, Paramount/CBS may want to reboot Trek’s movie franchise with Pike and Company. Either with theatrical releases or direct to streaming. A published Trek author, who is acquainted with Alex K and the writers room, told me that the Secret Hideout executive producers pool has been stretched thin.
A friend, who worked on season 1 of Picard, told me the same story. They just don’t have adequate talent at the moment to produce another series.
A Trek show or movie based on the USS Enterprise has to be done RIGHT, due to the investment required. While I continue to hope for a TV series, Pike on the big screen would be welcome. I’d have loved to have seen the season 2 finale of DSC at the theatre…

Gary 8.5

WELL SAID!

Corinthian7

Given the clear demand for the show and the actors willingness to reprise the role you would hope that some accommodation for Mounts requirements could be made in much the same way as CBS agreed to shoot Picard in LA. Time will tell I guess.

PEB

They know, it’s just a little too early to announce. Everyone has said they’d be up for the ride – fans and actors alike. And to see how much people enjoy the look and feel of the Enterprise with the Pike crew, it opens up a lot of potential. But just think about it, it’s not just announcing it, they need to know they can do this even if it’s a limited series. They need to sort out the direction they’d want to go, have a list of names they’d tap for the production team.

FASAfan

That feel you mention is real. I don’t know how they did it, but I am absolutely captivated by Pike, Number One and Spock when they are on screen. I’ve honestly not felt this way before (except for Farscape) and am very surprised I like the “new” Spock as much as I do.

Pike has become my favorite captain, although I even liked the character/actor in “The Cage”.

Gary 8.5

Thats another good point. They need a story. I don’t think that they have one at this point.

Elrond

Thanks for the interesting discussion. Especially about the troubles with “The Trouble with Edward.” I generally agree with posters who say “lighten up,” but this Short Trek just felt off to me. Your conclusion that it was just mean in spots is I think the explanation. Maybe it was poking fun at TNG’s portrayal of so many perfect people because there were lots of human foibles on display here — to the point of rampant unprofessionalism, as you put it. On the other hand, the sight of the popping progeny was hilarious. Anyway, thanks again.

Tiger2

There was nothing perfect about Barclay, the Maquis and a lot of Starfleet brass in TNG. I don’t think it has anything to do with that. Star Trek has always displayed questionably social and professional people in every show and century every so often. I think Edward just the first true Starfleet idiot though. ;)

alphantrion

I agree about the inherent meanness of the short, but what put me off is the way that they made fun of this meanness instead of taking the issue seriously and have an enlightened discussion about it. Star Trek always had comedy and excellent comedic episodes from time to time and even when it came to Lt Barclay from TNG it never needed to resort to meanness to get its message across. I just think a more creative writer would have found a way to get the same message across with less meanness.

Laurie Ulster

Matt and I actually meant that the captain was the mean one! She made fun of her own officer, switched out his responsibilities despite his area of expertise, made others laugh at him at a meeting, requested his transfer as retaliation, and didn’t try to connect with him or put his skills to use. (Sure, he was kind of a jerk too.) Picard wasn’t the only one who believed in working with a difficult crew member… Janeway took on the task personally in “Good Shepherd.”

TG47

Hi Laurie, It was interesting to hear Matt and your perspective, but I also found it quite different to my spouse and my reaction.

The ‘mean girls’ vibe didn’t occur to us at all: instead we saw the situation as a comic extreme of a fairly common dynamic when single-focus, inflexible researchers are asked to stretch to contribute in New areas.

We were both riveted by how much Edward Larkin reminded us of scientists we know who are unable to work within structures, accept authority or align their work with organizational priorities. We both know colleagues, employees and employees of colleagues who flatly refuse to adapt their work to new research priorities and find themselves in a rut. We also have great colleagues who do excellent research in areas far from what they imagined would be their focus in grad school.

Trek has always valued teamwork and social cohesion while accepting and celebrating differences. It’s also celebrated polymaths, scientists and engineers who can stretch beyond a single discipline and take intellectual risks to respond to a high priority problem.

Edward Larkin came across as the kind of nerdly type that is defensive and combative about lack of social skills. The kind of scientist or engineer who shuts down and says ‘you can’t expect that of me because I’m a nerd’ when asked pay minimal attention to social cues, has a habit of making excuses or blaming others, and is unable to accept feedback or guidance. A monomaniacal, single focused researcher can do well in some settings, but can struggle in large corporate, military or government research groups. When the general unease that scientists have with authority mixes in, bright people can be marginalized.

Clearly, Edward’s poor management history began long before this new captain came to the Cabot, and if Edward’s track record included insubordination, making harassing complaints about others and refusal to work on new projects, a reassignment to a less sensitive and critical mission, with requirements closer to his research interests is reasonable – even if the conversation was military abrupt on the captain’s side.

Last, I saw a few of differences in the Short vs your description.

1) Larkin injected the tribble with his DNA before being reprimanded. This was the first direct insubordination, the second was when he refused to help with the containment. He viewed direct orders as criticisms of his intelligence.

2) the captain tried to persuade Larkin to come on the shuttle – he wasn’t accepting her orders. He refused and ranted at her. Her only option would have been to use force (phaser stun and drag him out) as the shuttle in that era would not have had a transporter. It’s not fair to say she abandoned him.

I don’t disagree with what you’re saying at all! Makes sense. But I still think Star Trek has always shown us a different way of dealing with crew members like this. As Picard says of Barcley, he signed up for Starfleet and chose that life. So I think as a new captain, it was her responsibility to try to connect with him… and certainly inappropriate to mock him at a meeting. And yes, it’s technically his fault that he died at that moment, but the way he was treated before that all kind of led to that moment. And THEN when she told the admirals that he was an idiot? Very uncaptainly. Sure he was a jerk and difficult to deal with, and in an episode of The Office that would’ve all fit in perfectly. In Trek, not so much. Still don’t want to take away from the fact that it was meant to be a comedy, and it was one.

Tiger2

It’s like someone read your post and decided to make this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnlxugk3Qb0

I didn’t really get why people were so hard on her but rewatching this scene of Picard and his response to Barcley shows why Captain Picard is such a great captain! There is real experience and maturity on display there. That said Barclay comes off much more civil and want to fit in.

alphantrion

Yeah, I think the experience factor here is what many people are not considering in their analyses. Remember this was her first captaincy and this was certainly a situation that could test a rookie captain. Maybe we can consider some of her meanness coming from inexperience.

Tiger2

I agree with that. I think the main issue is she is just inexperienced and didn’t really know how to handle the situation. And of course the entire crew is new to her, so she didn’t really have a feel for anyone or who she could turn to to help her (although she could’ve at least got other opinions about him who has worked with and how to deal with him or just talk to the last captain who was there). I don’t think a ship that size has a counselor on board either. So it’s not so black and white but I do get why people say she came off just as bad as Larkin in some ways, especially when you watch that clip vs Picard’s reaction to Barclay.

A bit off topic, but I just read some of the comments section from that video and man its pretty brutal. People claim some posters here are too hard on Discovery but reading their thoughts on the show the Discovery critics on this sit come off pretty tame and balanced. A lot of people still really hate this show.

Tiger2

I guess I should’ve said the Discovery writers since this short isn’t about Discovery at all, but everyone keeps referring to it as Discovery oddly.

Gary 8.5

Well, they can’t all be like Picard. It was her first command. Larkin wasn’t exactly working with her.

Michael

Yes. You said it better. Gold star.

FASAfan

Considering I would have called security on him about a third of the way into that conversation in her office, I think the captain was far from mean. Heck, Riker was a flat-out jerk a lot of the time to subordinates. I loved Rosa Salazar’s captain!

Gary 8.5

I totally agree FASA. LOVED her!

Dggjag

Both shorts were awesome! And yes I agree that “Edward” was not showing Starfleet or Trek at it’s best but it was hilarious!

Michael

Huh. Well, I guess I owe Vulcan Soul an apology. Other people actually think that TTWE showed significantly inappropriate behaviour from the Captain. Honestly, I’m stunned.

I get that we treated Barclay differently, but Barclay didn’t cross certain interpersonal boundaries, like sending anonymous hate mail to superiors. Larkin also shows an interpersonal immaturity that Barclay never did. Barclay was awkward and insecure, but he wasn’t a narcissistic child. Even the way Larkin doesn’t know how to use his pad during the conference, refuses help, and then still can’t admit he was doing anything wrong, suggests he is impossible to work with. He acts surprised when they say they were sharing resources and working together, but the rest of the table groans. The implication, to me, is that most or all of them have told him about resource sharing at one point, but he’s just been off doing his tribble thing because he doesn’t listen and can’t work with anybody.

Yes, the exchange about his DNA being used is kinda snobby and out of place, I grant that, but maybe they just didn’t want to eat human flesh. And sure, yes, you would not reassign a protein specialist to do something entirely out of his field, but I don’t know why the captain wouldn’t be empowered to say “this is what we’re doing.” And, in the context of a federation starship which goes around implementing all kinds of different approaches to solving problems, are we to imagine that the medical science teams get all huffy if the captain decides to go with an engineering based solution? What kind of sense does that make?

Clearly, the captain cannot base her decisions about how to feed a planet on staff morale. Like every other captain in every other show, she made a decision. The other option was put on the back burner. I think Kirk would have done exactly the same thing and I really cannot wrap my head around why someone would say otherwise. Kirk was a bit of soft touch, but he could also be very direct. If Larkin isn’t finding work that suits his skills and interests, maybe he shouldn’t be on that ship. Maybe that’s why she transferred him.

Like, you can read this as somehow discriminatory, I guess, if this were a show that took place in an office, but it’s not, it’s in space and they are on a ship and they have a job to do. She decided to go with one option, as you do. It also turns out that she was absolutely right, since it’s impossible for the tribbles as seen here to be anything but an ecological menace. They have to eat something. Also, It’s not an anti-science message for one guy to make a mistake using science while they are also using science to effect positive ecological change (we are to assume).

Lastly, it’s very clearly light touch comedy, and the actor almost always plays narcissistic idiots. I dunno, it really just doesn’t read to me as being out of line with the behaviour of other star fleet captains, at least within the context of the tone of the piece, and I’m just genuinely surprised other people don’t see it that way.

Clearly, the captain cannot base her decisions about how to feed a planet on staff morale. Like every other captain in every other show, she made a decision. The other option was put on the back burner. I think Kirk would have done exactly the same thing and I really cannot wrap my head around why someone would say otherwise. Kirk was a bit of soft touch, but he could also be very direct. If Larkin isn’t finding work that suits his skills and interests, maybe he shouldn’t be on that ship. Maybe that’s why she transferred him.

At least for Laurie and myself, we weren’t saying she made a bad decision when it came to the overall mission. That’s not where her poor leadership came into play. It’s not the black & white text of it, it’s the actual handling of the social interactions. She was incredibly dismissive and did nothing to build rapport with the team, and in fact actively encouraged the rest of the team to dismiss and deride Larkin. Transfering him somewhere else makes sense too, but again the issue is the nasty way it transpired.

Like, you can read this as somehow discriminatory, I guess, if this were a show that took place in an office, but it’s not, it’s in space and they are on a ship and they have a job to do.

But it is in effect a workplace/office, Star Trek is about experts in space exploration and the sciences doing their jobs. As such, we see them generally act professionally.

Larkin was certainly not behaving professionally, and neither was Capt. Lucero, openly dismissing the entire incident as “he was an idiot” is quite frankly awful.

As we tried to say on the podcast, in isolation, it’s a funny thing. I laughed at it in many places. But it’s got a mean streak that’s not becoming of Trek.

FASAfan

Sorry, but I don’t see the mean streak. Edward was insubordinate and most likely mentally ill. The fact he wasn’t in the brig or confined to medical is the only odd thing about the episode I see!

Michael

Yeah, I phrased that poorly. I didn’t actually mean that I personally thought it would be considered discriminatory in a modern office setting. I was saying that, even if we assume, just for the sake of argument, that it is, it wouldn’t be in this context. But I guess I do understand not liking the tone of certain exchanges, even if I think they’re (mostly) fine.

It’s interesting that we both saw the same two very short pieces and keyed off them very differently. I’m usually the one saying that a piece of trek doesn’t live up to it’s highest ideals. Personally, I was a lot more put off by Number One telling Spock not to smile like a “freak”.

Anyways, thanks for reply Matt. That was neat.

And again, VulcanSoul, I’m sorry I said you were projecting. Apparently, people think this.

KevinA Melbourne Australia

Wouldn’t it be great if we have all been ‘lead up the garden path’ again, so to speak? What is bringing Pikes Enterprise to the big screen is the goal now? Whilst Kirk was the captain everyone ‘says’ they want on the big screen, since Spock is already in place, Dr. Boyce needs to retire so now a younger Bones comes in and where ready to fly a series of movies that may end up with Kirk taking over the Enterprise! Just saying.

VZX

Dang it! I wish you never pointed out the bad makeup on Spock in that short! I didn’t notice it before and now I can’t unsee it!

My favorite part of both these shorts was Captain Pike, all 10 seconds of him. I had a lot of problems with the Tribble episode. The turbo lift one was good but weird. But I love me some Mount-Pike!

DIGINON

I noticed something was off with Spock’s makeup but I didn’t focus on it. Basically, I thought that it might have been intentional because he was supposed to be a few years younger. I never thought about it being because Peck didn’t want to shave his eyebrows. I didn’t notice at all that Number One’s makeup was bad.

TG47

I’m with VZX in the can’t not see it now that you mention it experience…

I too had thought about Spock being intentionally made to look younger.

Rebecca Romjin’s makeup has been overdone in my view throughout her Discovery performances.

However, it’s the flat pancake foundation more than the intense lipstick that I found off-putting. This was also the case for Anson Mount in some of the early scenes with Pike in S3 though.

It seems that the makeup team seems to go for overdone makeup and overtime with more actual video, tweak the makeup to look more natural. I know that they are getting used to and adapting technique for Red and new HD formats, but they seem to be struggling to produce natural looking makeup absent prosthetics.

I look at SSE’s kids shows like Odd Squad and the Dino Dan/Dana that have been shot in Red and blending in CGI for at least a decade, and the actors all look very natural. So, I do wonder what the issue is.

Michael Hall

It would also be truer to the character as originally established. Majel Barrett’s Number One had absolutely no need, or desire, to appear glamorous. I’ve actually liked Romjin’s performance in the role, but wouldn’t mind if they took it back more in that direction.

Palizia

Impossible to conclude that about the original character based on only one appearance. Stick only to canon and not the background material you read in Star Trek paperbacks and comics.

Michael Hall

We have not only Barrett’s performance in the pilot to go on but also a telepath’s objective assessment of the character’s personality (repressed), not to mention the description of Pike’s first officer in Roddenberry’s original outline. And of course in the end it was famously decided to transfer the cold, unemotional aspect of her personality to Spock for the second pilot. I don’t read the paperbacks and comics or need them to make my point, thanks.

Palizia

But you clearly do need to get more comfortable with women in positions of power.

Michael Hall

Still need to make everything political, eh Sport? No, I have no issues whatsoever with women in positions of power, and your baseless assertion that what I posted in this thread indicates anything to the contrary is simply daft.

Gary 8.5

Not being able to notice Bad CGI is one of my superpowers.
Apparently, that applies to bad makeup, too.
I didn’t notice anything wrong with Spock or Una’s makeup at all!

Mullet Man

It seemed like Matt was talking over other people more than he usually does this time. Is it just me, or does he do this more to women?

Gus

Im going to sound like a hater, well, in this case it feels right I think. Q&A was coming along good, until the singing and smiling, it lost me completly there. And the Trouble with Edward, for the love of god, what was that? First a person that lost his marbles working in a starfleet ship? New captain that cant handle anything, she even abandons ship right away? The reason was not that he is maybe mentally challenged, the reason was that he was an “idiot” for the love of spock, this new star trek is GARBAGE! And I really hope they dont do the same for Picard.