Recap/Review: ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Illuminates Secrets In “Ghosts Of Illyria”

“Ghosts of Illyria”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1, Episode 3 – Debuted Thursday, May 19, 2022
Written by: Akela Cooper & Bill Wolkoff
Directed by Leslie Hope

Another strong outing from the new series takes familiar franchise elements and puts them together in a fresh way with a Star Trek-ian message to boot.

 

WARNING: Spoilers below!

RECAP

“We have an emerging situation here.”

In a classic setup, Enterprise is researching a colony abandoned by Illyrians, “outcasts” who use forbidden genetic modifications. With an ion storm about to fry the planet, Pike orders Number One back to the ship while he goes to find Spock. Only through the self-avowed genius of Hemmer’s transporter backup boost does the landing party make it back, leaving Spock and Pike stuck in the colony library to wait out the storm. Things are just as dire on the ship as it soon becomes clear there is something off about the members of the landing party; they’re all now dangerously attracted to light, hurting themselves just to get as close as possible to light sources. It’s happening to all the landing party members except Una, who seems to be able to shake it off after her skin glows—something she fails to mention to a perplexed Dr. M’Benga. Curious.

In command, Number One looks to Hemmer, but he has no answers. The chief engineer asserts the transporters couldn’t let anything dangerous through, but he will do a Level 5 Sarcastic Diagnostic if she really wants. She starts her own research into Illryians and their genetic modifications for possible answers. Her friend La’an drops by to remind us her last name is Noonien Singh and that the teasing she got as a kid about being descended from an Augment was the worst thing that ever happened… until her family was used by the Gorn as egg sacks. But that teasing was really mean and she hates Illyrians and anyone else with genetic modifications because of it. Before La’an’s backstory can get any more tragic, she succumbs to the light-obsession thing—but wait a minute, she wasn’t on the landing party! The mystery disease is spreading and nobody knows how, so Number One orders a full lockdown. It’s March 2020 on the USS Enterprise.

“I don’t like feeling helpless.”

Back on Hetemit IX, a restless Pike frets as Spock continues his research. While he fails to reduce his captain’s frustration, the Vulcan is making progress, working out that the colonists wanted to join the Federation and they were attempting to “de-engineer” their genetic modifications to get into the club. That may be “fascinating,” but the storm outside is getting closer and a lot scarier, revealing spooky floating creatures that Spock figures out are related to the mysterious light disease, and they really want to get into the library. But it turns out these are nice screaming plasma creatures who protect Pike and Spock from the lethal storm, then leave without even saying goodbye. Spock, of course, has a theory: The creatures are the former colonists who merged with the ion storm after succumbing to the light disease. To prove him right, one last journal presents itself with a record of their initiative to renounce genetic engineering. “Even in death they wanted us to be aware of who they really were.”

With his sickbay bursting due to the light pandemic, M’Benga bristles at Hemmer who is passive-aggressively doing that diagnostic, and the doctor surreptitiously denies the Aenar access to the medical transporter. Una’s quest for answers leads her to Uhura’s quarters, noting the infection-free cadet likes to sleep in the dark. The “insidious” disease is carried on light waves! M’Benga and Number One agree: They have to turn off the lights on the ship—after  sedating the “light addicts.” Una’s research also reveals something familiar about how Illyrians sparkle when fighting off disease, but she is distracted by Hemmer, who is conducting a “miracle” by transporting part of the planet’s boiling mantle; he just wants to feel the radiance on his skin. That is one light-crazy genius. She stuns him and carries the unconscious engineer to sickbay like he weighs nothing. There, Una reveals what you have probably figured out: she’s an Illyrian. Unfazed, M’Benga and Chapel inform her they can’t create a cure from her blood because her genetically modified immunity works too fast, leaving behind no antibodies to use for an antidote. And if that wasn’t bad enough, M’Benga is now infected and has to be put under. Oh, and the warp core is melting down. Una is just having the worst day ever.

“You are an example to them and to all of us.”

Seemingly the lone functional member of the crew, Number One works her way through the dark to engineering, only to confront La’an who wants to one-up Hemmer in the light-crazy Olympics by dropping the warp reactor’s containment field. Her protégé has some choice words (between punches) now that she has learned the truth, even calling Una a “monster” and an “abomination.” Words hurt, La’an. The raving security chief put up a good fight but was no match for the modified Una, and gets pinned as the compartment is irradiated. But the Illyrian’s sparkling immune system kicked in to do something unexpected—and also protect La’an—so with the help of Nurse Chapel, they’re able to technobabble a cure, and voila, crazy light pandemic over. Back in her right mind, La’an buries the Augment hatchet with Una over some comfort strawberries before Number One heads to face the music with the captain, back from the planet.

Una comes clean, telling Pike who she really is. She knows the rules and surrenders herself. But the captain rejects her resignation and calls her the “best first officer in the fleet.” He is willing to take the heat because her actions and those nice plasma creatures showed him that maybe Starfleet and the Federation have Illyrians all wrong. Una can stay. Her next task is to get those transporter biofilters fixed so this doesn’t happen again, leading her straight to Dr. M’Benga. Something he is hiding in his medical transporter prevented a critical upgrade, leading to the light infection getting through. Turns out he has a huge secret too: His daughter is being held in the pattern buffer to keep her in a kind of stasis as he searches the stars for a cure to her space leukemia. Now it is his turn to surrender and her turn to reject a resignation, with a bonus tech fix to his transporter buffer situation. As the good doctor brings young Rukiya back for a quick storytime before returning her to the buffer, Number One ponders the moral of her day’s story. Has she finally been accepted for who she is, or did she get off the hook merely because she saved the day? Big questions for another day.

ANALYSIS

The secrets we keep

In an episode about revealing secrets, Strange New Worlds shows it has tapped into the secret sauce of Star Trek… delivering a focused sci-fi adventure with action, character stakes, and a message. Using a setup akin to other medical mystery episodes like “The Naked Time,” this episode gives us our closest look inside Una Chin-Riley, with Rebecca Romijn showing off her range as she mixes character drama with action. Even though the show continues to stay true to the standalone format, a number of elements from just the two previous episodes pay off here, especially with the relationship between Number One and La’an. And this episode reveals more than just secrets and backstory, but a much-needed understanding of Una and what motivates her, almost sixty years after the character was introduced in “The Cage.”

And in good Star Trek tradition, this medical plot and character nicely tie into the franchise themes of inclusion and the fight against prejudice. The twist here is shining a light on the Federation’s stereotypes against the genetically modified, with the revelation that Illyrians like Una (and the colonists) aren’t anything like the Augments of the past who inspired the prejudice. And there is a clear message relatable to many, with Number One wondering when will it just be enough to be herself, and not have to prove herself to be “one of the good ones.” Speaking of allegories, while there may not be a message, the writers seem to at least have been informed by the COVID-19 pandemic, infusing this medical mystery with now-familiar terminologies like lockdowns and contact tracing.

Other characters had their moments in the light in this episode, including the gruff Hemmer, with Bruce Horak delivering a fun performance that feels familiar to fans of characters like DS9’s Odo. Babs Olusanmokun was also a standout, showing us M’Benga’s heart as he struggled to find a cure. However, adding the daughter in the transporter storyline here feels like one secret too many for an episode that already fit together nicely, creating a sort of unnecessary double ending to the otherwise well-paced episode.

And with so much focus on the various character dynamics, the plot got a bit short-chained. It would have been nice to learn a bit more about the mystery of the colony, and are they just going to leave those plasma creatures to their fate? And while the show tries to stick to the science, solutions continue to feel rushed, hand-wavy and even deus ex machina.

Final thoughts

While some issues remain here or there, this new series continues to impress, something most Trek shows struggle to do during their first seasons. Let’s hope Pike and the gang can keep up the good work.

Random bits

  • This is the first Star Trek directing credit for Leslie Hope, who began her career as an actress and for the last decade has worked both behind and in front of the camera.
  • Hope appeared in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in 1998, playing Kira Meru, mother of Kira Nerys.
  • This is the first Star Trek writing credit for co-executive producer Akela Cooper, who has previously worked almost exclusively on genre projects including The 100, American Horror Story, and Luke Cage.
  • This is also the first Star Trek writing credit for supervising producer Bill Wolkoff, who has also primarily worked on genre projects including Star Wars: Rebels and Once Upon a Time.
  • Stardate: 1224.3.
  • Illyrians were previously encountered once on screen in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Damage,” although in that they had prominent forehead ridges.
  • Like with her name being Una, Number One’s connection to Illyrians and their history of genetic modification comes from Star Trek novels, including ones pre-dating that Enterprise episode.
  • Spock indicated he does not have a carotid artery in the same location as humans.
  • Ion storms are a staple of Star Trek going back to TOS, causing all sorts of problems. It was an ion storm combined with a transporter that caused a landing party led by Kirk to jump into the Mirror Universe.
  • The scenes on Hetemit IX were shot at the Ontario Place waterfront entertainment venue in Toronto.
  • M’Benga mentions the common cold. Later, Dr. McCoy would note how 23rd-century medicine was still searching for a cure, something still not accomplished by the TNG era of the 24th century.
  • M’Benga refers to the Enterprise as the “flagship” of Starfleet.
  • The USS Enterprise sickbay was shown to have an extra second level that can be opened up for emergencies.
  • M’Benga says someone can be kept in a transporter pattern buffer with “no limit” as long as they are periodically materialized. In a few decades, Montgomery Scott will store himself in a transporter buffer by locking it into a continuous diagnostic, being revived 75 years later in the TNG episode “Relics.”
  • In addition to an old ship navigational sextant, Pike’s desk includes a replica of the bronze statue “Trooper of the Plains” by early 20th-century artist Frederic Remington.
  • Una deleting her final personal log feels like an homage to Sisko doing the same at the end of DS9’s “In the Pale Moonlight.”
  • This is the first time seeing the Enterprise’s landing party jackets. While Enterprise landing party jackets were seen in the original pilot “The Cage,” they were not used for Star Trek: The Original Series.
  • The landing party outfit also includes gloves, which seems like a no-brainer, although it didn’t keep Ensign Lance from getting infected.
  • Amazingly Lance (Daniel Gravelle) appears to have survived and not befallen the fate of many “red shirts,” indicating this may be a trope Strange New Worlds won’t be indulging.

More to come

Every Friday, the TrekMovie.com All Access Star Trek Podcast covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe and discusses the latest episode. The podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPocket CastsStitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network.

New episodes of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds debut on Thursdays exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., Latin America, Australia and the Nordics. The series airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave in Canada. In New Zealand, it is available on TVNZ, and in India on Voot SelectStrange New Worlds will arrive via Paramount+ in select countries in Europe when the service launches later this year, starting with the UK and Ireland in June.


Subscribe
Notify me of
161 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

A pretty good episode it was a nice Una episode imo.

I liked the scenes between Una and Doctor M’Benga i found the ending to be a sad but also sweet.
I also liked getting a bit more of La’an’s backstory she really does remind me of Michael Burnham.
(i love how strong the female characters are in the new Trek shows)
Una bringing up Khan was neat i suspect we will get more call outs to him.

Overall i enjoyed the episode but i do find it the weakest episode of the season so far as i didn’t find it as strong as the first episode. Still it was a pretty good episode.

SNW wouldn’t be my favorite of the new Trek shows but it’s still a damn fine Trek show.
Looking forward to seeing the next episode.

I thought it was the weakest of the three so far by far.

I thought the premiere was the weakest, and was still a great episode.

I found the end as it relates to Pike and Una a bit emotional. I really think that’s all because of Mount and Romijn. Their chemistry is great and helps we have a little of their history in these characters from Disco. I love that he sticks up for her, but it also feels justified in a great way. What I didn’t like was the Khan namedrop. For no other reason than by the time Kirk encounters him, they had to research to figure out who he was. Everyone here seems to be ‘oh yeah… that guy. He was bad like Hitler’. Just annoys me they couldn’t make L’aan just an augment not connected to Khan. But I’m really liking the character and the actress that plays her. So far, this show is making me overlook all the things I despised in Disco and Picard. Now that’s success.

I agree. Should have just made her a descendant of an augment than wasn’t Khan and refrain from name-dropping Khan

The Kahn name drop happened right after La’an was criticizing Illyrians to Una. It was pretty obvious to me that Una brought up Khan to make La’an uncomfortable and shift the focus away from La’an making Una uncomfortable. It’s not the most enlightened redirect, but it makes sense given everything Una has to tolerate and the plot of what’s going on.

She doesn’t cry enough to be like Burnham.

I think anything Trek is awesome. They’re staying in canon but still exploring the character’s backstory.

LOL, canon got tossed overboard a long time ago.

What canon has been dropped?

This quite a different spin on the alien outsider trope (though it has sort of been done with Bashir being augmented on DS9 but that spent relatively little time on the stigma).

Normally the alien crew member is mostly open and tolerated on the crew – but this time they’re dealing not only with the sense of being an outsider *and* being stigmatised and wondering whether people really accept you for who you str.

As someone with multiple neurodivergent conditions who has to face that in real life (do people I know *really* accept me or would some of them treat me very differently if they knew) and how do they see me in terms of whether my cognitive differences are useful (like Una saving the day) or make things more difficult.

So I really appreciate seeing Star Trek take on this issue with the same kind of allegorical storytelling that has offered so much in the past.

Great insight! This is when Star Trek does social commentary best and when it’s something everyone can relate to (without it being ‘political’) even if it doesn’t affect them personally, but as it does you unfortunately.

Hmm. That one was weaker. Technobabble and a lot of running and punching towards a rushed explanation/solution. And please, does everyone have to have a secret?

How is that different than TNG?

We’re used to the backstory of Troi, Worf, Riker, Crusher etc, but we did get episodes revealing their painful histories in the early seasons.

The Cage set up that Number One had a difference without revealing why. The Short Trek Q&A revealed that she “hides her weird.”

So this is probably the character that most needed a backstory episode early on.

The Barclay premiere “Hollow Pursuits” comes to mind. Bizarre malfunction aboard the ship, it endangers the crew, and there’s a rushed explanation at the end. But honestly, they are both excellent episodes with clever solutions, and moments of high tension.

Excellent stuff from SNW, i’m loving this show. No, it’s not perfect, but outside of a season or two of The Wire, no show is.

Did The Cage set up that #1 had a difference?

Yes, she was supposed to be mathematically brilliant and emotionally cool.

Yes but I thought it was referencing a REAL difference. Something that only being native to another world could explain.

Hi, I see you’re scraping the barrel for complaints. I can help with some better ones if you want.

I mean, if you actually want a valid complaint, I could toss in that the “virus aboard the ship” is completely overdone and even tiresome to some degree.

For me, the episode worked wonderfully. I like that SNW isn’t trying to completely reinvent Trek right out of the gate. At least for now they seem happy to focus on the classic Trek formula, and practice with some great execution. So far, the show is basically “Trek’s Greatest Hits” with a modern twist, better production, etc.

Maybe eventually they’ll do something new and fresh, but frankly if we get 70-100 episodes like this weeks, i’d be perfectly happy. Certainly not an award-winner, but it’s well-written, well-acted, engaging science fiction. That’s what Trek is all about.

And please, your complaints — technobabble, rushed explanation and solution — are a feature of just about every episode of Trek from 1966-2005! Some of the best episodes of TOS and TNG are remarkably similar to this one, even ones without a virus.

Give me a break!

The dense explanations are one of the things that adds value when rewatching.

Back when TNG was in first run, my my friends and I expected it to take 3 watches to drain all the detail in the verbal debriefs of off-screen events and technobabble explanations.

Yes. To an extent I am in agreement here.

I really liked this one. Pike sticking up for his crew really clicks for me, and his rationale feels right. I dig it. Also… they aren’t always dealing with his impending demise every episode, and that’s a good thing. It’s there and I hope we see it occasionally, but not all the time. Feels like something that should be dealt with down the road.

Looks like Number One is similar to the character “Two” from Dark Matter series

Except that the foundations for this version of Number One were laid down in a series of novels years ago.

I’m loving this show so far, but have to say that the fate of the Illyrians irked me because they were so supportive and wanting to be members of the Federation that they fundamentally tried to get rid of what makes their species unique. It’s sad they’re the black sheep of the Federation.

I kept imaging a scene like this…

– Office of President Jonathan Archer –

Aide: The Illyrians want to join the Federation.

Archer: *Remembers what he did to the Illyrians in the Expanse* No they can’t join.

Aide: Why? Their genetic engineering…

Archer: Genetic Engineering is illegal!

Aide: Isn’t your Denobulan Doctor genetically…

Archer: Quiet you!

I had no idea they were previously dealt with in the franchise. I’ll look them up.

Archer stole equipment from one of their ships following a Xindi attack.

The episode was called Damage. Archer was forced to steal a warp coil from an Illyrian ship, leaving the Illyrians stranded light years from anywhere. One of the better episodes IMHO.

The way they lit the scene where Archer asked Phlox if he had ever done something intentionally unethical I found to be very well done.

They could have sent another ship to find and rescue them after the whole Xindi saga . . .

I don’t think they were really the same species – the writers of Enterprise probably just lifted the name because they liked it (or thought of it separately).

They’ve probably decided to ignore any worries about continuity because there’s good material about Number One and her versions of the Ilyrians. Fair enough (and if you really want to it’s incredibly easy to imagine that the Enterprise Ilyrians were the same species, particularly with the genetic modification).

Exactly. Given that the Iryllians modified themselves to fit in the environments of the planets they colonized and eschewed terraforming, modifying bumpy foreheads would not be out of line.

I also want to say. I was really concerned they were going to tell us Number One had some Vulcan back in her heritage. I’m glad that turned out to be false.

So… you’re glad that your imaginary fear was just imaginary? Yeah, got it…

I did not want them to address her stoicism that was similar to Spock in the original pilot and glimpsed again on Disco, to be because she was Vulcan. They hinted toward some mystery about her and her heritage in the lead up to SNW.. and then we saw what appeared to be straighter eyebrows.. so yeah.. I didn’t want them to take that route, as was RUMORED by some back when we got the first production stills. Jeez.

Roddenbury said he gave spock number one’s logical stoicism, then married the woman because the network didn’t let him keep both characters and he couldn’t do it the other way around.

I’m only focusing on aspect of the story here but want to just say finally, FINALLY, this show has done something I been begging to hear someone just SAY IT and that transporters are a god damn life line to cure long term diseases!

Every since Scotty got beamed back to reality 75 years later on the U.S.S. Jenolan, I was like, ‘wait, did they just find a way to extend life to every dying person in the universe? Are they really going to just skip over tha-Ok, they’re now talking about the Dyson Sphere and Scotty wants to check out engineering and hounding Geordi about it, so I guess we moved on?’ (sad face)

I have brought this up SO many times including here a few times!

Every damn episode someone is dying or sick, ‘THROW THEM IN THE TRANSPORTER BUFFER UNTIL YOU FIND A CURE YOU #@$# MORONS!!!!!!” Finally M’Benga is the first doctor to just do what should be the biggest life saving device in the Federation. Congrats doc and hope you find that cure for your daughter. She’s a cutie!

Oh and my guess with Una’s secret came down to three guesses: Augment, Section 31 agent or a Klingon (last one because Discovery…sadly). It was nice one of them turned out right! I read later though that was in one of the novels where genetic enhancements were a thing where she came from.

Overall like the episode. The show is really feeling like comfort food Star Trek like how watching an episode of TNG and VOY feels for me!

I think when it comes to tech solutions to indefinitely keep people alive, i’d like to think that their superior ethics of the future simply dictate “let them die with dignity rather than try to keep them alive in the potentially vain, never-ending hope that they’ll find a cure.”

Honestly, I can live with this stuff. It’s just fun sci-fi, at the end of the day.

I don’t have Paramount +, but “Star Trek comfort food” would be a pretty fair description of the SNW pilot I watched on YouTube (as well as the vast majority of VOY and ENT produced during their runs). That doesn’t strike me as much of a recommendation, though. I hope the series gets better as it goes, if that’s the case.

Well as long as they do other things as well, it’s fine IMO. I think after the criticism of how dark and heavy both DIS and PIC felt, they tried very hard to go the opposite route which I think what a lot of fans wanted in the beginning. Again, Lower Decks seems to bare that out as more fans seems to like that show way more than those two. SNW is obviously a more serious show and it will probably get more serious in time. You can’t listen to La’An’s back story and think she’s going to be the fun one lol. So far, a lot of their back stories are actually a bit dark so it will probably go a weightier direction in time. But we know the first five episodes were all described as mostly light and fun. Next weeks looks a bit more serious though, at least based on the clip shown.

That’s always bugged me too. We’ve seen transporters used for inter-universe travel, cloning, de-aging, and storage, but they always seem to default back to ‘it just moves things around a planet or to/from orbit’ once the episode ends.

The Salvation Sequence by Peter F. Hamilton does a good job of establishing spin offs from this sort of tech. The portals in books are used for all kinds of things like dropping them into stars to harvest heat and plasma for generating electricity or use as fusion rockets for unmanned probes.

Yeah the transporter is probably the most profound technological invention in the galaxy and yet people treat it simply as a transportation device ignoring its vast medical and scientific implications. We have literally seen it used to transport to a parallel universe in Mirror Mirror. Has anyone ever tried to research that further? NOPE!!! I know the writers probably don’t want to go down that path but they have basically created these issues over the years.

I never heard of this author until now but will look him up! That sounds like a fantastic way to use them too.

I would think there would have to be some sort of dedicated transporter made just to store people in that case. Pretty sure the excuse against it is limited space in a Star Ship’s buffer.

But I’ve also thought the transporter could also turn your aging clock back, too. No one seems to use it for that, either.

Yeah of course. I’m saying they would develop specific transporter technology for this kind of thing. If Scotty was able to exist in it for 75 years without re materializing once, it probably could keep people in stasis for 100+ years no problem. Someone has to actually spend more than a month of research to find out though. ;)

Of course we have seen the transporter do all kinds of crazy science to de-aging as you said to creating clones which most people accepted that’s all the transporter is doing anyway. But I can understand why the Federation doesn’t want to touch some of these questionable topics. But I see nothing wrong with keeping people in storage to find a viable cure and you don’t have to stay in it for 50 years or anything.

That’s just a fancy way of cryogenic freezing.

Yes but a more economical and probably safer way as well. It’s much easier to keep a thousand bodies in transport buffers than it is in a room somewhere.

Sort of though to me it raises ethical issues since as far I can see when she’s in the buffer it’s like being under general anaesthetic, she’s effectively dead (no consciousness) until she materialises again and there’s no guarantee a cure will ever come long. Obviously with the anaesthetic example there’s a clear plan and you are expected to regain consciousness once surgery is done.

In the meantime she’s missing the chance to be part of the lives of her dad and any other relatives or friends whilst they age.

It will be interesting to see if any of the other characters make a point about this.

I don’t necessarily agree with how M’Benga is handling it, it’s just a desperate father with super advanced technology at his fingertips to keep her alive for now. But I agree there are definitely some ethical issues at play here.

It even bothered me how Number One didn’t even question it (but she’s having her own ethical issues to deal with at the moment so who is she to judge ;)). I’m mainly talking about if someone is about to die and you can prolong their life for a few days, weeks or even a few months. But to keep someone in stasis for years is a wider conversation for sure. There would have to be real policies and debate with that of course.

But once again this is Star Trek at it’s best. It’s setting up both moral and even philosophical questions of what he’s doing. How far do you go with it? What if a cure is never found? Do you effectively keep her a little girl for the next 20 years? In many ways it’s no different than the euthanasia debate today and keeping someone on a machine with no hope of ever improving versus just coping with the inevitable and letting them go.

Hopefully they will go somewhere interesting with it. But I have a feeling it’ll be wrapped up pretty easily by the end of the season.

Yup agree, comfort food but with a philosophical edge. Good stories always make one question themselves and this transporter buffer quandry is a doozie.
Btw, one would think they would have some form of suspended animation technology in the 23rd century or a form of hibernation for medical purposes, but the transporter buffer does the trick.

Agreed! Star Trek is famous for its philosophical discussions or debates, but it’s even better when its directly pointed at the Federation itself as this episode did with the over genetic engineering issue and now hinting at the quandary M’Benga put himself in with the transporter. It looks like both will at least be brought up again in the season and I’m really hoping we get a real debate on both of them like the old days.

And yeah you would think there would be something like suspended animation by this era but it’s never even been discussed, at least that I can think of from the top of my head.

I don’t know if I should call this uninspired or a little too inspired by better DS9 and Voyager Episodes. But hey … if you’re gonna recycle old stories, at least do some good ones.

Other than that pretty solid if nothing special but easily beats all of the other P+ Trek shows.

We just started, but it is feeling like pretty standard episodes like you got in the old shows. And that’s a good thing. But I will admit, if this show started right after Voyager and was the next show like Enterprise was, so far it would be fine, but a bit ho-hum after years of these type of stories which Enterprise got criticized for.

BUT I understand that’s the point as well, to capture the feeling of those episodes because it’s what people have wanted again after not getting it for nearly 20 years. I’m not trying to be a hard-to-please fan or knock it. I am definitely enjoying the show and yes far beyond Picard and Discovery for me at the moment. But it’s not trying to reinvent the wheel either and that is probably a very good thing for a lot of fans right now. I think many just want to have comfort food Star Trek again.

And so happy we are doing weird trippy Star Trek again!

I think there will still be some kind of climax of these serial threads by episode 10 and apart from DS9 we didn’t really have that in the earlier shows. There were some amazing cliffhangers but they were almost always two-parters that ramped up in the first 45 minutes, not over a season.

I think we will get some sort of climax in episode 10 as well. It’s obviously (thank Kahless) not as serialized as DIS and PIC but it probably have some character arcs resolved by then.

My feeling is that their first handful of episodes (including at least the next two) are a case of “let’s practice the fundamentals”. Well-worn tropes and archetypal Trek stories used as practice on getting it right, before trying to reinvent the wheel.

Yeah. I could forgive even a whole season of this if it helps the writers to learn the ropes. It was the same with the Orville in the beginning.

And let’s be honest here: Star Trek hasn’t got the best track record, when it comes to first seasons anyway 😅

If we look back to the first seasons of TNG, DS9 and Voyager, all three had a number of trope and “character discovery” episodes.

SNW is off to a very strong start, so I’m comfortable seeing the writers start with a “what does this kind of Trek story mean in this context with these characters?” approach rather than starting with an ambitious new high concept and failing to execute it coherently.

I loved this episode. I realized that the horrendous disappointment that was Picard had me nervous about watching almost as if I was having to prepare myself. This 3rd episode cured me of that and I’m truly loving this show. Grateful it exists. (I wonder if the team behind Picard know how much they really messed up and how they just made amateur TV that was cringe-worthy and hard to watch?)

Considering a large portion of the audience enjoyed Picard (including myself) I think you need to just move on from your hatred and let other people enjoy it, while you enjoy SNW. Be an adult.

Considering a large portion of the audience disliked Picard (including myself) I think people need to be able to compare and contrast shows without being scolded. Luke is expressing a sentiment shared by many of us. Let’s be adults and allow open discourse.

Agreed. I did not entirely share his assessment but I did not respond by telling him he shouldn’t throw his opinion out there. We are all doing that. That is what makes the boards interesting and fun.

Yes. Good point. As you stated, many did enjoy Picard while I found it to be amateur-level, poorly constructed and rambling mediocre TV at best. But your point makes sense in that within any population there is an average, and 50% of people are below that threshold. Glad you enjoyed it.

What is this fixation some people have on the idea that if you express a negative opinion about a show (or movie, etc.), it means you are actively trying to prevent other people from enjoying it? The fact that, for example, I myself think “Picard” is complete swamp butt doesn’t mean I think that’s the only possible opinion on it. I assume that anyone who disagrees with me is adult enough to have their own opinion without becoming overly bothered by the fact that some random dude they’ll never meet doesn’t agree.

I’ve thought about that a lot over the years and I think it’s because, deep down, we see it as a criticism of our taste. If I say I liked something, and you say it’s trash, it feels like a proxy criticism against me.

Personally, I go the other way: if I disliked something, and you enjoyed it, I’m honestly thrilled for you. Not everything ‘clicks’ for everyone. Problems I consider insurmountable you can push aside, or not even notice. You had a good time. I didn’t. I’m envious! ;)

Like, I know a lot of folks really enjoyed the ‘punk on the bus’ gag from Picard‘s S2, whereas I groaned, thought it was distracting, and felt it didn’t really jive with the logic of the story (though later I’d find out that was the least of my concerns).

But folks loved it. I’d never dare suggest anyone was ‘wrong’ for that. And clearly they had a great time behind the scenes making it happen. So where’s the harm, ultimately?

When I do complain, though, I at least try to explain exactly why something didn’t work for me. There needs to be a productive conversation. Just firing “the show sucked” into a forum is useless. And if folks are clearly having a good time, I’ll save my criticism for another time/place. It’s not a contest. There’s no scales needing to be balanced. 😉

I’m a little surprised at how much negativity Picard is getting. I’m no fan myself and I think the season wasn’t that good but I went into it thinking it was going to be complete and utter crap. Episode 2 was essentially what I was expecting. But as it wound down I didn’t find it to be the huge pile of crap I thought it would be. I feel like while it came up short a little bit it was a valiant effort. Certainly the best effort of any nu-Trek show not named Prodigy. So the continued negative press some are heaping on it continues to elude me.

I don’t see how it’s a question when it’s been pointed out the issues over and over again for 6-8 weeks straight. You and others have a different opinion which is fine, it is all subjective. But many of us have made it very clear why we thought it sucked. And it sucked bad for me. It’s now the worst season of Star Trek for me.

And I will say there is a fierce hatred about it because how amazing the first episode started out as. That one episode basically took every complaint of season one of the show and look like it was going in a different direction only to nose dive again a few episodes later and never recovered. I don’t know if I want to watch the first two seasons of Picard ever again.

Well, the show only ended 3 weeks ago. 8 weeks ago the complaint was the show seemed to be spinning its wheels not really getting anywhere. I found that to be a legit complaint, too. It seemed the biggest complaints came with the last two or 3 episodes. Sure there were things in there that just didn’t get wrapped up at all, as many who were fans of 12 Monkeys claimed would be. But to me the main theme was JLP himself and why he builds walls around himself. Which is a subject that to me is a good subject to dive into. Sure, the explanation was weak but it wasn’t super outrageous. It was difficult to find what exactly the issue people had. The weak explanation? The fact that they examined that aspect of his character to begin with? How they wrapped up the Q relationship? As you said, this is subjective but I don’t think this really warrants Star Trek Discovery level scorn. But I guess that’s just me.

I actually agree with you about Picard and facing his demons and being the emphasis of the story. But the way they went about it was so badly executed and nonsensical it just killed any real substance it was trying to bring. I mean Q is the perfect example. They made it sound like in the end it was a way for Picard to understand why experiencing grief in life can make a person stronger once they let go of it. A great message and a very ‘Q’ thing to do. Again, I love it when we have introspection Q as he was here.

But then, what exactly did we see him actually DO that helped Picard break down those walls? The guy was sneaking around trying to stop the Europa mission. What on earth did that have to do with Picard’s family?? Are people suggested Q was hoping Soong hit Picard with his Tesla to get that ball rolling? He had nothing to do with any of that. It would’ve been a GREAT twist for example if he was Tallinn all along (who was the person actually helping Picard deal with his trauma) and that could’ve been a great ‘ah’ moment. I think that would’ve been an amazing reveal.

But instead we got the nonsensical story line we got. I’m not saying they didn’t try to do something with depth, it just felt flat with all the other useless plots happening.

Ensign Lance will probably still get killed at some point. They are just doing the right thing and letting him be around for more than 5 minutes so his death has some weight, rather than just cannon fodder

In the Mirror Universe there’s an entire replicator dedicated explicitly for creating disposable ensigns. It’s the same guy every time. And his pattern is updated so he remembers every moment.

I enjoyed the episode overall, except for the Khan stuff. I wish they would drop the Khan stuff.

Yeah, it doesn’t make sense to condemn descendants of a bad person from 250 years ago. Why should they still be related to such a distant ancestor? Aaaand wouldn’t the descendants live incognito? And especially: Why should they keep his name? Wouldn’t the lineage die out or fade away?

Well, if you run your DNA, there’s a chance (in fact, some would say a surprisingly high chance) that you’re related to Genghis Khan:

From Smithsonian:
“In 2003 a groundbreaking historical genetics paper reported results which indicated that a substantial proportion of men in the world are direct line descendants of Genghis Khan. By direct line, I mean that they carry Y chromosomes which seem to have come down from an individual who lived approximately 1,000 years ago. As Y chromosomes are only passed from father to son, that would mean that the Y is a record of one’s patrilineage. 

Genghis Khan died ~750 years ago, so assuming 25 years per generation, you get about 30 men between the present and that period. In more quantitative terms, ~10% of the men who reside within the borders of the Mongol Empire as it was at the death of Genghis Khan may carry his Y chromosome, and so ~0.5% of men in the world, about 16 million individuals alive today, do so.”

So maybe 250 years isn’t such a stretch.

Yeah… Still not a fan of that. Not really sure what they can do with that little bit of her DNA except so far waste a few minutes of screen time.

Same. But I’m willing to see where they go with it. Crazy we now have two augments on the ship though lol.

So, I’m thinking how Worf always was the one two demonstrate how strong an enemy was by fighting with them. In Voyager, B’lana Torres and Tuvok had that role, and later
Seven as well.

In this show, we have two female augments who are presumably stronger than Spock. Having Una put Hemmer into a fireman’s carry with absolute ease gives one a good sense of what she’s been covering up.

It’s a good choice, and will enable Una and La’an to take leadership roles in physically challenging situations.

I think it a horrible creative choice and if you want to go to the representative/social aspect is it a bad thing that a human female is logical and reigns in her feelings more than others? Sure, that generally goes against the norm but it just shows there are all kinds of people out there. Why does she have to be an alien to have those traits?

Ok, what’s up with transporter Chief Kyle? In the original series, he was played by John Winston who was Caucasian – with blond hair and blue eyes. He was also in the film Star Trek 2 as Commander Kyle on the Reliant. In SNW Kyle is played by Andre Dae Kim who is East Asian with brown hair and eyes. Recasting is great and we’ve seen people with different eye color playing characters… like Pine’s Kirk or Disco’s Amanda. But this casting bugs me from a continuity standpoint like when they introduced the Trill with bumpy foreheads on TNG and then showed them with spots on DS9 and after. My head cannon… this is “Kyle” but not the same person from TOS and ST2, this is maybe his husband with the same last name or his brother. My vote is that this is his husband and that Kyle from the TOS and ST2 will be revealed later. Bonus points for this actually being a young Sulu who took his husband’s name, but they get divorced and he changes it back to Sulu. A nice little switch. Also, why the choice to have Hemmer’s antenna not move like in Enterprise? That was a great addition to create an alien feel.

I suspect it’s far less complicated than that. Just another Transporter Chief who happens to be named Kyle.

“But this casting bugs me from a continuity standpoint”

This is the continuity hill you’re willing to die on..?

Sigh….

LOL! I have stood on many continuity hills!

He could be a different character.

It’s easier to think of the whole show as a reboot of The Original Series. It makes the most sense that way.

It’s actually easier to think of every Secret Hideout show (expect perhaps Picard) as a reboot or set in an alternate universe.

I’ve signed on for that line of thought. The result is it’s basically made the show harmless to that annoying part of me that cares about canon. So much easier.

I prefer one of two things… It’s either some great coincidence that the ship would have two different people with the same last name manning the transporter. Or nu-Trek changes canon so often that it’s a mistake to cling to any established thing from Trek’s past.

I was fine changing the Trills. Nobody would want Terry Ferrell’s face covered.

‘continuity’?

Every time I think Strange New Worlds can’t get better, it warps to the next frontier. This story was deeply personal to me, and I’d like to explain why. At its heart, this is a story of how bigotry can force people to hide who they are, and how fear of the unknown can lead to overreactions that can hurt the most vulnerable. 

As I’ve written on these forums before, I was born with a very rare genetic disorder, one that is extremely painful with a short life expectancy. Few survive childhood, and I’m currently fighting for my life in my 20s. Star Trek’s firm belief in Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, in that anyone, regardless of who they are or what their bodies are like, can reach for the stars with dignity and equality, is what made me a Trekkie for life. But Star Trek has always had a catch, one that’s always felt aimed at me. Genetic manipulation is banned by the Federation as a result of the Eugenics Wars. And genetic manipulation can be a powerful force for good — it’s the only way people with my condition will ever be cured one day. I remember in Enterprise Archer’s father died a painful death that could’ve been avoided if there wasn’t a ban on genetic manipulation. 

In this episode, Enterprise is exploring a seemingly empty Illyrian colony that is being hit by an ion storm. Most of the landing party is able to beam back to the ship (yay Hemmer, who I absolutely adore), with the exception of Pike and Spock. Members of the crew start falling sick with some kind of disease that makes them attracted to light. What follows is a captivating sci-fi mystery and a character study of Una. We learn there’s something very different about Una, something that she’s hiding. 

Also, can we take a moment to appreciate Hemmer here? He heroically saves the landing party, calls himself a genius, and then when he’s sick, performs a “miracle” by beaming up a chunk of the planet’s mantle? The dude is so EXTRA, and I am HERE for it!

Anyway, long story short, Una saves the ship. But I want to take a moment to examine what happens between La’an and Una. As Una tries to stop La’an from breaching the warp core, La’an lashes out at her, feeling betrayed that she has had to face lifelong discrimination as a descendant of Khan while Una has hidden her identity. But it turns out, La’an and Una are more similar than they appear. Spock and Pike have discovered that the Illyrians on the planet were trying to undo their genetic modifications so they could overcome the Federation’s bigotry and join. But that choice doomed them all as they became little more than ghosts in the storm, who even in death save Pike and Spock. 

Una tries to resign her commission, which Pike refuses to accept. As he says, the Federation’s bigotry doomed an entire colony, and Pike is ready to fight with Starfleet over their ban. But more heartbreak is to come. The virus came on board through M’Benga’s medical transporter, in which he is keeping his terminally ill daughter in stasis (so that’s where Scotty got the idea!) so he can find a cure, which hit a little close to home for me. 

The ban on genetic modification in Trek was long overdue for a thorough reexamination, and this episode excels. While it made sense in the 60s, as genetic therapies come closer to becoming reality (although likely too late for me), it doesn’t fit anymore, and SNW understands that. After nearly 60 years, SNW has moved the franchise towards making IDIC a reality and reevaluating old bigotries woven in its DNA.

Thank you for sharing your story, and this perspective!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I now appreciate and understand this episode better.

I would kill for Babs Olusanmokun’s cheekbones.

Looks good on HIM (and Sophia Loren), but someone would need to explain to me what’s the big thing about cheekbones…

^This^

Different strokes, mate.

Did the light virus change Una’s eyebrows? This episode they were suddenly more Romulan-like to highlight she’s an alien.

It was an okay episode, but what ruined it for me was the horrible mumbled dialogue from Dr M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun). He sounded like he half-whispered his lines with a mouth full of gravel. I shouldn’t have to replay certain scenes simply to hear what should have been clear the first time.
I blame the director of this episode. An actor can have a natural performing style, but tell them the words must be enunciated clearly for the audience to hear and understand.
Have clear diction from every actor or keep shooting the scene until you get it.

Hey TFS 66! I have the same problem trying to decipher Burnham and Booker. They speak with soft voices (and Burnham speaks too damn fast – relax!) and with Booker’s accent, makes it even more difficult. As you say, this should be the director’s responsibility, the actors act the way they act. They need to be, huh, directed…

Do you have an older television?

Newer shows, including the Trek shows don’t seem to downscale well to older devices. I understand that the producers are looking to the future, but it’s a significant issue just now.

As I have mentioned previously, we have members of our household with hearing loss.

One of our teens made the case that we needed a new smart television to get better sound and visual quality. So, we got a new generation OLED television recently.

It’s made a huge difference even for the family members who use hearing aids. For those of us who hear through the air rather than Bluetooth into hearing aids, we use a feature that raises the dialogue volume vs background and that makes all the difference.

Interesting. This would explain why some posters here complain about the Burnham whispering while others claim she isn’t… Personally I’m using a second generation iPad (maybe 8 years old?)… I leave the good stuff for my wife :)

I will say since I upgraded I hear them better too.

TF47, I really appreciate the suggestion, but I’m not sure that’s it. Every other program I watch is fine. I guess some actors believe in the Marlon Brando kind of acting where you talk into your armpit. :-)

Sorry, I meant TG47.

No worries.

It’s really only the newest streaming shows that are an issue.

The smart televisions that came out within the last two years are significantly different.

The other thing is that the actor has a gentle Nigerian accent with a slightly different lilt and rhythm.

When we don’t hear something completely, we tend to fill in unconsciously.

When the speech patterns are not the ones we are used to and anticipate, this interpolation doesn’t work . If we are unfamiliar with this process, we may register it as a fault of the speaker instead of our hearing.

I, too, am having issues with how the actors’ dialogue is being mixed in the master audio track. I had to stop the show and back up a few times to decipher what was beings said (primarily with the M’Benga and Spock characters). The mix is so muddy at times that it really distracts from immersing oneself in the storyline. I have noticed this in all of the episodes, but it is most prominent in scenes shot in sickbay.

That’s a pretty lousy reason to motivate us to watch all the episodes again! :-)

You’re 100% correct, he was hard to understand. They should’ve done some ADR (recording in a booth after the shoot) to solve. It’s skimpy that they didn’t and is the show runner’s ultimate responsibility. Btw, also skimpy how they didn’t fix Una picking up and carrying Hemmer. Come on, the budget for this show must be astronomical. They should fix this stuff.

I agree, FemmeP. The scene with Una picking up and carrying Hemmer was amateur hour. It should have been seamless.

I can see Una being Star Trek’s own Wonder Woman.

She actually would make a great Wonder Woman.

I enjoyed this ep. Naked Time 3.0. I thought Pike’s anxiety on the planet was a little over done. He knows he can’t die. We know he can’t die. Seems he forgot Spock’s advice in the first ep to use that knowledge to be the captain aka be strong.

I also thought it was odd that La’an didn’t carry over some of the genetic mutation from Khan. Felt like she would have been able to handle Una pretty easily regardless of “the disease”.

Weakest of the three ep’s only because we’ve seen this ep 3 times already.

1. Naked Time
2. Naked Now
3. Genesis

There’s a bit of ambiguity as to what it all actually means and I don’t think he’s entirely sure.

Maybe he *can* die but he has to survive long enough to be around to save the cadets because noone else will.

Incidentally I don’t really like the way his future traumatic injuries are framed as “death”. It’s incredibly ableist and demeaning to people who have severe physical disabilities. Having a disability should not be seen as like being dead (though obviously others are entitled to feel differently about their own experiences). I’m also not suggesting for a minute that what Pike is facing isn’t horrible.

A perfectly good episode, nothing that necessarily kept me on the edge of my seat, but solid. Some good character moments. I’m a big fan of the supernatural, so the hinting at that here was fun, though predictable. That was a cool little adventure Pike and Spock had on the surface, too.

So I guess we’re going to hear about Khan quite a bit, which isn’t a surprise given La’an’s character. Thus far, I guess this is a way to give legacy fans some of his backstory(?) This particular one has no desire for such, but whatever. It’s not a deal-breaker. The elephant in the room, though – why is talking about Khan so blase’ so soon before the time of TOS, but in Space Seed they had to look him up? Or is it just Una who knows so much about him because of her connection to La’an?

That is some comprehensive back-story on No. 1 and M’Benga, and M’Benga’s is pretty heartbreaking. As a father I totally relate. Very good storytelling here. Thoughtful episode.

Well, I’m enjoying this show one heck of a lot more than everything live-action we’ve seen so far from these showrunners, so Cheers! Looking forward to next week!

Really happy you are enjoying it Danpaine! :)

Yeah the show definitely have some big canon head scratchers but I’m willing to wait it out and see what they come up with because it’s fun so far. That’s what I always said about Discovery, people wouldn’t be so hard on the canon issues if they simply liked the show more. But to be fair, DIS had some DEEP canon issues lol, which SNW went out of it’s way to avoid, mostly its visual canon. But yes it seems to be making a few new ones too.

But I think SNW is going to be the best live action show of the new stuff by a mile. It is doing mostly the right things and it is bringing me back to classic Star Trek I haven’t felt since Voyager. I’m still going to hold off to calling it great or anything but I can’t see how it will turn into an utter disaster the way DIS and PIC did for me by the end of some of those seasons either.

SNW is becoming good comfort food Star Trek and I’m totally OK with that! It doesn’t have to be on the level of DS9, just a fun adventure story every week if that what the show will focus on since that’s what TOS did most of the time. And it probably will get heavier later on.

Lot of liars and psychopaths on the rebooted Starship Enterprise.

LOL, never thought of it that way, but Discovery had worse liars and psychopaths. Captain Lorca who was really from the Mirror Universe and used the ship to get back to the MU to stage a coup (Trump would be so proud). Tyler who was a Klingon spy all along (but didn’t lie about it since he didn’t even know he was a Klingon). And of course Burnham who attempted a mutiny on her old ship. And then add in MU Georgiou later who was pretending to be PU Georgiou, AKA Space Hitler so she could plant a bomb on Kronos to cause genocide and end the war (Seriously the real Hitler has nothing on her).

The Enterprise has nothing on that gang of con artists, criminals and all around dubious people. ;)

Exactly. Starship officers in TOS are squeaky clean, and if they’re not, they are usually introduced to karma before the final credits roll. In SNW, we have a captain who, unless the visions are resolved, will eventually be (or should be) declared unfit for command (we’ve already seen him hesitate to give commands on the bridge as he mentally relives his disfigurement vision, but luckily it wasn’t during a space battle). Now we have a first officer who falsified her resume to get a job and a physician who has violated his sacred medical oath (do no harm) based on a purely selfish reason. I attribute these questionable developments to Hollywood’s preoccupation with providing a backstory for every bloody character in a fantasy/sci-fi show or movie. Who cares unless it moves the story forward? Case in point: not much (if anything) was revealed about McCoy’s background on screen in TOS, but I learned enough about his personality and quirks over the course of the series to both revel in his reactions to unfamiliar situations and to respect him as a professional. No one had to tell me in one fell swoop that McCoy fancied himself an old country doctor, or has misgivings about technology, or liked the ladies. For me, that was the joy of the show, discovering just enough about the characters over time to actually LIKE them and not have their backstory get in the way of the story. SNW writers are really painting themselves into a corner very early in the show with some of these contrived character revelations. Just my $.02.

The third episode was a huge improvement. I loved that we got to learn more about the backstories of several character as opposed to focusing on just one.

Decent enough story to wrap an episode around. But I don’t think it was structured very well. My takeaway is that too many of the crew have dark secrets. Honestly I think it was a mistake to make #1 an Illyrian. Would have been better had an Illyrian just somehow merged with her instead. Or something like that. I get the there they are trying to make some kind of point about generalizing an entire people. But that point felt out of place because they never really established that the Illyrians were being stereotyped or anything like that. So that “moral” at the end felt like it came out of left field.

I am still choosing to see these small issues as things that can be overcome. There is a decent show in here. I think it really wants to come out. Unlike Star Trek Discovery this show has hope.

Two things…..when Pike and Spock are stuck in that building on the planet, it’s Ontario Place here in Toronto. It’s this domed “futuristic” structure built back in 1971. Hell, I was there in 1977 to see K.C. and the Sunshine Band perform live.
Second….the scene when Una is in her quarters (looking in the mirror). How many of you caught all the items sitting on the cabinet to her right? Very reminiscent of the set decoration used in TOS. Cool.

Yeah, I laughed out loud when they beamed down to Ontario Place! Just like when they used Nathan Phillips Square as an alien landscape on TNG.

As long as they don’t beam down on the canadian forest… They could run into some random Stargate-Team…which vitits planet ABC123XYZ. ;-)

Concerning the “Damage” (ENT)-Illyrians connection: Just rewatched it and couldn’t find it, either mentioned or in graphics and credits. Where did this come from? The original script?

Anthony Pascale, your review made me laugh out loud several times. Nice job!

A third winner, in my book. Some nice touches in this one, including original sound effects and the classic intercom panel.

Yes! Caught the classic panel too, on the transporter console. Nice!

There are too many logical holes in this series. They made first contact with the pah-wraiths, uh, fire creatures, and they just jet off without trying to communicate with them? Not very Starfleet.

Perhaps we’ll see a follow up episode down the line.

Voyager did that occasionally and it worked very well.

As a Long time Watcher of everything Star Trek. I find SNW to be the best of the new Treks easily and almost up there with The older ones. Discovery has had it’s ups and downs. Moslty down but I watch it for fun. But %95 of the Eps I would not watch again. Picard season 1 and 2 are the same. SNW so far has me wanting to watch the first 3 Eps again as they are really well done. Love Anson Munt’s Pike and the rest of the Crew. I hope this trend continues as it could be a really Great Star Trek Show,.

There’s a lot of duality in this crew:

– There are two genetically modified characters (Una, La’an)
– There are two Kenyans (Uhura, M’Benga)
– There are two characters with dark secrets (Una, M’Benga)
– There are two precognitives (Pike, Hemmer)
– There are two “outsiders” (Spock, Hemmer)

Just wanted to point out that while La’an is descended from Augments, she doesn’t seem to be augmented herself. For one, she easily lost that fight with Una, and 2 she wouldn’t be able to serve in Starfleet if she were.

Una said that La’an had thrown a hard punch, and she seemed to be feeling it even if she stopped it.

So far, to me anyway, Spock doesn’t seem at all an ‘outsider’ on this show. He appears to get along pretty chummy with everyone so far. Not sure what happened later in TOS to make him ‘turtle’ and get so serious, just because he got a little older(?) – not sure we’ll get an explanation for that.

I’m thinking it may be because Spock is such a familiar character by now that the writers have transferred his “outsider” traits to other characters in this show.

One complaint about episode 3: an ion storm should not be confused with a meteorological storm. Showing an ion storm that looks like a massive rainstorm or hurricane (rain and wind came through the broken library window while Spock and Pike were sheltering from the “ion storm “ ) is just plain lazy writing and extremely poor science fiction.

Wind, thunder and lightning is exactly the way the ion storm was portrayed on the Halkan homeworld in “Mirror, Mirror.” So this isn’t something new.

I don’t have much to add other than I’m enjoying this series so far, particularly the smaller stakes they’re dealing with. Just a relief watching stories that aren’t of ‘galactic import.’

Episode 3 was the weakest so far this season. The light traveling virus was solved too conveniently and without much dramatic tension. Overall, the episode felt like several story ideas that would have been far more compelling on their own but were instead clumsily stiched together, and the episode suffered for it. Number One’s reveal of her true identity would have landed with more impact if it came later in the season, when we have spent more time with the character. Didn’t care for the rather awkward reference of Khan. However, the doctor’s predicament with his mortally ill daughter is a fantastic sci-fi concept. But it should have been the sole emphasis of an episode, so that moral dilemma could really be given the depth it deserves. As others have said, I hope they pay off that storyline later in the season. It would be awesome to have a court trial like episode in the vein of “the measure of a man.” Imagine Pike having to defend his doctor’s (and friend’s) right to preserve his daughter’s life in the transporter against some cranky admiral.

I am actually suprised by the amount of average opinions on this episode as I personally thought it was the best of the season so far. It was entertaining, had a classical Trek element, lots of secrets being revealed and huge character moments that will not be reset in the next episode. (Although I want to see the Starfleet bigwigs reactions to hearing the news about Una and Mbenga, maybe this is why Mbenga will not be the chief medical officer during Kirks time and why we don’t really see Una any further.) Another reason I enjoyed the episode was that I am a person who is genetically deficient of vitamin D and this becomes a problem in my life. (The irony being I live in a sunny country) and seeing how the virus kind of caused this extensive vitamin D insufficiency hit really close to home.

Also I forgot to mention that we got so much more of Hemmer and how “evil genius” he may end up being. I think Hemmer is gonna be the coolest character. I literally LOLed when he tried to beam up a planet core, of course he would, he is Hemmer.

I agree alphantrion. I’m surprised by the negativity on this one. It had a strong allegorical point to make and did it well.

Perhaps it’s just me, but it seems as though some of the same people who complained that the link to current political situations was “too on the nose” in the premiere are the ones who are finding this one insufficiently impactful with its more subtle approach.

I’m still feeling that Hemmer could be a breakout character of this show.

The attitude is wonderful and Bruce Horak’s timing is perfect.

Unfortunately, even though season two is in production, in a recent interview with CBC News in Canada, Bruce Horak was not able to confirm he will continue on into season two. I k ow that they have NDAs but that’s unsettling.

Please TrekMovie could you work your intelligence magic on that question?

Well, Scotty was eventually going to come on board the Enterprise anyway, but I’d be sad if we end up totally losing Bruce Horak and the Hemmer character.

I’ve been hoping to have Scott come on boat as second to Hemmer.

Having the “I’m a genius” Hemmer for a boss would go a long way towards explaining Scotty’s determination to underpromise so he can overdeliver as a miracle worker.

That is not a character trait of Scotty’s. It was a joke he made to Kirk one time. I can’t think of any time where he actually under promised. “I’ve got to have 30 minutes.”

I’ve said for quite some time that the TOS character that makes the most sense to show up under Pike would be Scott. Not as chief, of course. But as perhaps one of his better staff members. It also makes sense as it cements why Scotty was so attached to this particular ship. At this point with Uhura, Chapel and Kirk coming throwing Scotty into this mix I now would find to be overkill. Even though having a Lt. Scott show up just to hand Hemmer a tool or something would be cool….

Anyone notice the daedalus class and nx ship pictures in the office where #1 conducted her research (captains office, ready room) ?

Best live action (Lower Decks still has them pipped) episode of Star Trek so far by the Kurtzman era peeps. It actually felt like Star Trek! Crazy, I know.

I feel like a broken record, but I’m loving the consistency of this show so far. Each episode has been a strong ensemble character story backed up by an interesting if familiar Star Trek sci-fi plot to frame it all. This show just looks so phenomenal, this has to be the best looking show on TV right now, incredible sets, VFX, sound design, and use of the AR wall. Massive improvement over Disco, and certainly Picard. Shout out to Chief Kyle, an unexpected character standout IMO.

I have some small problems with the series, mostly with sets and VFX, but holy sh** i don’t care because the show is just so good and a ton of fun.

Good episode and definitely the most “Star Trek” feeling of the three shown so far. I know some people are put off by the reliance on CG effects but I did like the visuals of the ion storm over the planet. I also appreciated the way the show was able to address themes of preconception and even bigotry more subtly and not smack me over the head with a message.

As to nitpicks, I guess everyone on this crew has to have some secret or hangup. We can now add Dr. M’Benga hiding his child in a transport buffer (shades of Scotty from TNG Relics there) and No. 1 being an Illyrian (I wonder what other abilities she has that we don’t know about). While I think Babs Olusanmokun makes for a very likable medical officer, I continue to find him hard to understand at times, especially when he is having conversations with other characters. La’an also continues to be a one note walking trope; I really hope she can lighten up and/or move past being serially uptight and glum and bring some more facets to her character.

Still, this is head and shoulders above the dreck the other shows have fed us and, again, I’m so happy with the episodic format.

While this episode didn’t repeat the main story structure problem of the last, my general diagnosis is that the current balance between episodic and serialized storytelling is serving neither.

In both Comet and Illyria, the character arcs get in the way of the story of the week, and the story of the week gets in the way of the character arcs. If anything, the show inclines me to go back and watch classic TNG and TOS to finish scratching my weekly Trek itch.

Also, while I love the idea of Una picking up Hemmer from the transporter pad. My god did they screw up the execution. Romaine was obviously replaced by a stunt double when picking him up. And then the obviously stuffed dummy (maybe just the legs) carried over her shoulder while walking down the hall was just abysmal production. Totally took me out of the story.

And, I’m pretty sure that Una being an Illyrian breaks canon in that the Thalosians in The Cage were trying to breed humans and gave Pike a choice of mates that included her. This doesn’t make sense if she’s not human.
I’m sticking with the show despite it stumbling here out of the gate creatively. TNG arguably took until season 3 to really find its stride.

Here’s hoping for more improvement to come!

Yeah… The dummy she had over her shoulder was the worst….

Good point about hoping to mate Pike with #1 or Colt. It is certainly reasonable to think they were both indeed human specimens. I knew there was more to her not being human that was a bad idea beyond just the creative mistake.

It seems that Secret Hideout just can’t restrain themselves when it comes to changing things up. They often go too far nearly every single time. Someone should tell them that often times less is more.

What strikes me about this episode is that it creates the feeling of being in an actual work environment, not just actors posing in front of decoration. Also an environment where people have layers and their own stories, and their own relations and existing rapport with each other.
“I’m arming us with knowledge” was a neat line. Bit like “she blinded me with science” :-D.

On Twitter, someone working on the show confirmed there was two paintings seen in Pike’s ready room. One is the NX-01 and the other is the USS Essex. They confirmed this easter egg was meant as a reference to the entities that posed as the crew of Essex. At first, I thought the energy beings in this episode were going to turn out like the beings in “Power Play”

Meh. So instead of being an interesting human with an enigmatic past, Number One is an alien with magical superpowers. It is disappointing and lazy writing to me. Just to double down, they have the doctor keep his dying child in the transporter. (Isn’t story time inching her a few minutes closer to death?)
And of course, of course, OF COURSE, they are going to beat to the death that La’an is a descendant of Khan. Oh, and did you know that she is a descendant of Khan? And by the way, she is descended from Khan. One fun fact: Khan is her ancestor! Watch for her to scream ‘Khaaan!’ at some point.
I liked her character when first introduced. I feel like they are messing it up. Don’t.
My enjoyment of this new series took a major hit this week. And, I am kind of tired of the takes on ‘The Naked Time’. I like Hemmer but one of his major scenes is him altered by the light seeking ‘virus’. Smells like how they introduced Hawkeye in ‘The Avengers’.
One thing I did like was a chance to see Pike and Spock together, facing a dangerous situation. That, for the most part, was well done. I am still getting used (starting to get used) to Ethan Peck’s take on Spock, and I think he is too. That is to say he is getting more comfortable with it and finding his way to be Spock.
Since this is episodic, maybe next week will be better. And it’s not like it is Picard bad. Yet.

Good episode. It’s so nice to be back to mission of the week episodes. The only problem I have is that the mystery was solved so easily and off screen. Very hand wavey. I’d have liked the “daughter in the buffer” reveal to have been before the solving of the infection or saved for another episode. Like the review I didn’t care for the “double ending”

Looks like it’s becoming a little more clear how Dr M’Benga can be chief medical officer now and not be five years later. If this comes out, someone outside the immediate crew of the Enterprise may not be happy about what happened. If could lead to him being replaced with Dr Piper once Pike and Una can no longer protect him.

Oh, and a friendly note to the author – they were having an ‘epidemic’, not a ‘pandemic’.

Piper was there during “The Cage” which has already happened in SNW continuity. Still your point is a good one and I was wondering why M’Benga is still on the ship in a subordinate role later in TOS when McCoy is chief medical officer. Maybe he is demoted?

Good episode. In my opinion, SNW is true Star Trek, unlike the other Kurtzman shows.
One point, however, and I haven’t seen anyone mention it yet. Number One is not human, but is an alien, an Illyrian, but no one can tell? Don’t they have medical exams in the 23rd Century?

I wonder if M’Benga’s story to his daughter at the end of the episode about a power that if fallen into the wrong hands would lead to a ‘terrible long lasting dark age across the land’ is foreshadowing some coming threat.

I hope not. Enough with dystopian Trek.