All Access Star Trek Talks ‘Prodigy’ Villains And Reviews “Mugato, Gumato”

All Access Star Trek podcast episode 55 - TrekMovie - Lower Decks 204

[Lower Decks review starts at 27:49]

Tony and Laurie are revved up by the Star Trek: Prodigy opening sequence and intrigued by the newly announced villains, played by John Noble & Jimmi Simpson. They also cover the latest news about the multiple Trek series leaving Netflix, the rearranging of Paramount’s tentpole movie schedule, and recap some of the news and info that came in at The 55-Year Mission in Las Vegas a few weeks ago.  Then, with some dissatisfaction, they review the latest  Lower Decks episode, “Mugato, Gumato.” The podcasters wrap up with a predestination paradox confirmation regarding Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and a reminder to enter the Shuttle Pod’s 100th episode contest.

Links to news topics discussed in the pod:

First Look At Villains From ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’; Showrunners Talk Series’ Big Mystery

Watch Main Title Sequence For ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ With Theme From Michael Giacchino

Star Trek Day 2021 To Feature Live Panels With Cast And Creatives From All 5 Paramount+ Shows

3 Star Trek Series Leaving Netflix In September, Signals Possible Move To Consolidate Franchise On Paramount+

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Flies From Thanksgiving To Memorial Day Weekend; ‘Mission: Impossible 7’ Ignites In Fall 2022 (Deadline)

Additional mentions:

‘Star Trek: Voyager’ Documentary Gives Production Update; Releases Sneak Peek Video

‘Star Trek: Enterprise’ Cast Talks Series Finale Disappointment And Unfulfilled Season 5 Hopes

‘Star Trek: Voyager’ Co-Creator Jeri Taylor On “Perfect” Kate Mulgrew Taking Over As Captain Janeway

Best In Show At Las Vegas Star Trek Convention Costume Competition And Our Favorite Cosplayers

William Shatner, Sonequa Martin-Green Headline Star Trek Celeb-Packed NJ Sci-Fi Summit Next Week


Tony: Kirk Thatcher confirmed predestination paradox in Star Trek IV

Laurie: CONTEST: Celebrate Shuttle Pod #100 By Photoshopping A Star Trek Scene, Win A Prize Pack! and Action figure Riker on Twitter

Let us know what you think of the episode in the comments, and please post your suggestions for topics we should cover in the future as well as guests you’d like us to have on.

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In his Television Academy interview Rick Berman talks about the casting of Bujold and how he saw it as a looming disaster, but nobody else agreed with him before she started filming. The whole 3 hour interview is worth watching as he goes deep on all of the series he worked on, as well as his own history. The Bujold stuff is in chapter 5.

Nice! Thank you. Will have a listen to all of that.

Correction: The Bujold stuff is in Chapter 4. The discussion of Voyager starts at about 18 minutes into Chapter 4 of the interview.

Nice interview; But as I do not know when this was filmed/recorded; his use of the word “Babe” regarding beautiful women turned me totally off.

The show notes say that it was filmed in May 2006. His use of the word “babe” has not aged well as you note.

It’s funny that this was the first Lower Decks this season that Tony and Laurie didn’t like, as this was the first episode of the whole season that really made me laugh! I’ve found most of the show’s humor to that corny cliched “Yeah, I just did a thing” type faux-witty-banter that fills space in so many TV shows and movies these days. But when Mariner beat the hell out of Boimler and Rutherford, I absolutely guffawed. It was the first laugh the show has given me since that one episode with Badgey in season 1.

We all know the cliche about humor being subjective, but boy has Lower Decks really brought that to the forefront for me.

I know I appreciated this episode more than “Strange Energies” and “We’ll Always Have Tom Paris”. I did think the death of the “naturalist” was a little over the top and the Mugato having sex could have been done better, but overall I really liked it and found it very funny.

Wondering why Boimler and Rutherford are allowed to negotiate anything with the Ferengi is kind of like asking how everything regarding synthetics bans, Romulan false-flag cold-war-style attack on Mars, and Jurati’s criminal case about murdering her mentor/lover could be swept under the rug in between scenes of Picard. It just was.

(But to answer the Ferengi question: without money/ownership in the Federation, the Ferengi probably don’t have to negotiate ownership of anything, they just showed their Boimler-and-Rutherforld supplied plans for establishing a Mugato preserve and Starfleet gave them the ok/rights to go ahead, with the understanding that occasionally they might send a California class ship by to check on them. Now, how the Ferengi are expecting to get anyone to pay for visiting this preserve in the Federation is another matter. Since no one in the Fed has any money, who will be paying to visit?)

I don’t really bother to worry about the logic of the plot in Lower Decks. I know it’s technically canon, but it doesn’t *feel* like canon. And while I wouldn’t be shocked if someday we get a live action cameo from the Lower Decks crew in a future show/movie, I would be genuinely shocked if the continuity of Lower Decks ever becomes relevant to anything more than the odd comic book tie-in.

My complaints about the show are strictly with the humor (not my kind of humor) and animation style (professional but generic). Couldn’t care less about “violations” of Star Trek’s principals, continuity, basic logic or anything like that.

Laurie, isn’t it spelled Mugatu in the TOS credits where the creature appeared? Mugatu is pronounced like Mugatoo not Mugatow… No ?

Even worse!comment image

Bottom line, I had no basis upon which to be correcting Tony. Ha!

Now I feel like Worf in the TNG episode Parallels! I have seen TOS 200 times per episode (like everyone here) and I swear I never saw THE GUMATO!! It was Mugatu, really! Maybe Mugato… but never Gumato.

Is your pic from the remastered episode? Maybe they changed it? Please, my sanity depends on this!

Here is what our friends at Memory Alpha say:

Originally called a “Neuralese Great Ape” in the first draft script, dated 7 August 1967, the Mugato finally became the “Gumato” in the later drafts script; however, DeForest Kelley could not pronounce the name correctly and it was changed. Both Kelley and William Shatner pronounced the name as “Mugatu” all the way through the episode, and Mugato is still frequently spelled Mugatu in various sources such as The Star Trek Compendium. The Star Trek: Lower Decks episode “Mugato, Gumato” made the fact that the ape is known under several slightly different names canon.

I just pulled up the episode. Tyree says “Mugato,” but Kirk and McCoy say “Mogatu,” even though the captions (on Netflix) say “Mugato.” I spent my whole life thinking I heard “Mugato.” Ha!

Memory Alpha also reports that the end credits of “A Private Little War” give Prohaska credit as “Gumato.”

Thank you Laurie for taking the time to clear up all this. Now I know why Lower Decks made a joke about all this confusion…

I knew about the DeForest Kelley thing, and I knew people often mucked it up, but I did not realize just how far it went. I love a good nerdy deep dive.

Hi Laurie! The Otis character was speaking with a Maine accent, like an old sea captain or lobsterman from Down East. Probably not obvious to people outside Maine, but we definitely recognized that “Ayuh” and “Stah-fleet” when we heard it. Otis was the highlight of the episode for me!

I would’ve kept the character and kept the accent… just changed his outer appearance. Take the “type” and give it a sci-fi spin, that’s what I say! Also, apparently it’s not Otis, but Honus! I got it wrong.

I see lots of people didn’t enjoy the humour this week but it had me chuckling! Maybe I’m just immature!!! Best ep of the season for me so far.

I wouldn’t call it immaturity whatever it may be.

Our teens would not like this at all.


I disagree. I thought the episode was great. However, Tony and Laurie, I had the same reaction with Strange Energies. I disliked the premiere episode because it was too bugs bunny for me. However, I can see your point about taking the humor and violence…. taking it too far or not done right, which is how I felt about the premiere.

And Prodigy is now my favorite Trek theme song. I’ve listened to it 100 times because it’s uplifting and brassy. It put me in a great mood too.


I’d say, cut those Mugatos some slack! – they’ve just been separated from their partners for who knows how long, in cages – so no wonder they’d want to get together…this was much Wildlife channel.

I get that, as a parent, it may be disappointing when all you wanted was to have a carefree and dependable half hour watching this and suddenly find yourself having to explain to your children what exactly these animals are doing..

Also for whomever the presumed jerking off of the third Mugato kinda takes some seriousness away from a canon figure, I suggest the alternative headcanon that he’s not jerking off, but self-affirming his male dominance in a traditional horn-touching gesture..

But as an adult, I am much more disturbed by graphic violence i.e. a head bitten off than by a positive depiction of sexuality.

I think the hidden joke was that the three Mugatos resolve their conflict *peacefully*, with the third one willing to *compromise* ;-D, mirroring the main story. Haha, I like resonance in storytelling and these Mugatos really were the exemplary diplomats :-) 

The topic of the episode (fact-checking of fears and not confusing assumptions with reality) was up-to-date and connected all storylines to each other, and fear was a common topic in all three threads (both with regard to getting carried away by fears in the Rutherford/Boimler and T’Ana storylines, and the useful protective function of fear proven by its absence in the biologist ;). With the overall message that fear can also be useful but awareness of assumptions and fact-checking them is important. This also relates to mistrust vs. trust. That’s good writing in my opinion..

I really liked Rutherford’s rocket launcher-style presentation beamer! 

Also, it’s funny that Dr T’Ana is together with Shaxs who on the field trip was animated like a sniffer dog. 

Dr. T’Ana is currently becoming my favourite character. I think the facial and also animal animation in this episode was again very good. And the friendship between Lower Deckers this season is heartwarming. Apart from the way the biting-off-a-head scene was done, I liked this installment!

I like your take on this. I still don’t like the episode much, but you make some thoughtful points!

Thanks Laurie