Podcast: All Access Star Trek Goes Amok With Spock And T’Pring On ‘Strange New Worlds’

All Access Star Trek podcast episode 94 - TrekMovie

[Strange New Worlds review starts at 16:31]

Tony and Laurie start with an update from Picard showrunner Terry Matalas on how Jurati’s merging with the Borg Queen affected existing timelines, production status on Discovery (starting soon!), and the cancellation of Destination Star Trek London as well as some news on upcoming conventions. They take a quick look at Tony’s recent interviews with producers, writers, and cast members from The Orville, then dive into their review of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds‘ “Spock Amok.” They wrap up with a Star Trek shoutout from Top Gun: Maverick and a worthwhile Twitter follow for fans of Picard‘s motion graphics and displays.

Links:

‘Deep Space Nine’ Leaving Netflix USA; Star Trek Now Exclusively On Paramount+

Paramount+ UK To Launch With 3 Episodes Of ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’

Clarified: How Queen Jurati’s Collective From ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Impacted The Borg We Know

Wilson Cruz tweets about heading to Toronto

Destination Star Trek London Canceled; 56-Year Mission Las Vegas Con Announces 100th Guest

Interview: ‘The Orville’ Producers Talk Epic Scale And Big Cameos In ‘New Horizons’ Season

Mark Hamill on What We Do in the Shadows

Interview: ‘The Orville’ Cast On What’s New For The Orville Crew In ‘New Horizons’

Roger Korby

Tomin, the character played by (Kid in the Hall) Scott Thompson in Star Trek: Voyager‘s “Someone to Watch Over Me”

Chapel eavesdropping on McCoy and Kirk in “Wink of an Eye”

Short Treks “Q&A” on Paramount+

Bajoran lightship from Deep Space Nine‘s “Explorers”

Trekbits:

Tony: Top Gun: Maverick has a character named “Fanboy” with callsign written in TOS font

Laurie: Timothy Peel on Twitter

Let us know what you think of the episode in the comments, and should you be so inclined, please review us on Apple.


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Thanks for today’s conversation! I’d like to offer a few somewhat random comments about a terrific and enjoyable episode in response:

  1. I think we need to distinguish Vulcans’ ordinary sex lives from the pon farr. Spock in “Amok Time” can be understood to feel humiliated and embarrassed about the total loss of logic and control that Vulcans (at least males) experience when the biological imperative to mate kicks in. It’s not having sex but losing “Vulcanness” that is shameful and super-personal, perhaps especially for Spock with his identity challenges.
  2. It seems to me that the reason Uhura is kept involved in the discussions with the aliens is precisely to prevent her from meeting T’Pring and thus directly contradict her line in “Amok Time” when she asks, “She is beautiful. Who is she?” In this way canon continuity is maintained since Uhura indeed doesn’t have any reason to recognize her a decade or so later.
  3. Chapel, on the other hand, would now have to recognize T’Pring when she appears on the Enterprise viewscreen in “Amok Time,” but in fact she doesn’t reply to Uhura, “oh, that’s T’Pring. Don’t you remember her?” She says nothing but looks crestfallen, I guess. To me, canon continuity is shaken but not really broken. Chapel is indeed a different character, though necessarily so. She was so clingy and sappy in TOS as to be intolerable today.
  4. Anson Mount was (unsurprisingly) particularly terrific in the scene where T’Pring is pretending to be Spock in the negotiation with the aliens. He’s the only one in the room who knows what’s really going on with the Vulcan expressing discomfort about Starfleet. The way the many emotions of the situation play across his face is superb.

Thanks, again!

I agree on the flexibility of dating vs. pon farr; I find it somewhat problematic that Spock is SO casually comfortable with sharing his love life and his problems, but it’s not impossible to map out a way for us to get to that point. It’s a stretch, though… I feel like privacy has always been very important to Vulcans, but both T’Pring and Spock seem super open about it here!

It struck me too how open Spock was about private things and whether that may relate to him still finding his role or possibly updating the character’s “allure”? (just left a massive rant about it over on the episode thread). I also noticed the casual way the show approached the rituals (as opposed to something mysteriously sacred or “deep waters”).

That is the one big difference between the two Spocks, this Spock doesn’t seem private about anything lol. He keeps having a sister pretty quiet….that’s classified though. ;)

Agree with the Una comment. They don’t know what to do with her. That’s because Spock is the side-kick, not her. How could Spock be anything other than the number-one side-kick after the Discovery experience? There’s really nothing dramatically for her to do.

They almost wrote her and La’An too similarly to one another as well. They have become interchangeable. I can see how they could grow differently as characters but right now it’s just not happening. Speaking of Spock and short treks I am surprised at how little interaction Spock and Number One have had in the actual show. It’s as if they wanted to give her another similar character but went a bit too far. Hopefully the seeds they have planted with her genetic engineering and knowing about M’Benga’s daughter pay off in terms of expanding her character.

That’s a very inaccurate observation. La’an has been a very intense and edgey character and someone who has challenged the core mission of the Federation / Starfleet whereas Number One appears to be very much at ease in her role and in Starfleet. Two very different characters! Have you been watching the same show as I???

I’d like to see more of the Number One we saw in the opening of the Q&A Short Trek.

Super smart scientifically, with firm boundaries with crew and junior officers.

I do like that the writers really understand that the first officer runs the ship on the daily basis so the Captain can direct it. It took a long time before we got as much of that from Riker in TNG as we do here. So, in terms of role they understand what they are doing.

This makes the choice of redoing crew rosters while no one is around to distract her a reasonable reminder to the audience that she’s in charge of all of that, if a really boring one. Una’s personal interest might have been having a chance to catch up on some scientific research reading that her executive role precludes.

On the other hand, the “where fun goes to die” nickname from the yeomen makes total sense. As yeomen are NCOs with administrative duties, including duty rosters and crew performance assessments, they would work closely with the executive officer.

Can you imagine how different that would be with Una vs someone like Riker? He would be serious about the task but the work environment would be fun while Una would be hyper efficient and completely dry even if there is an underlying kindness.

I’m wondering if maybe they have one too many stern, grumpy, or introverted characters who are super good at their jobs. Una, Spock, La’an, and Hemmer are all pretty much cut from that same cloth.

Anthony: calls episode 4 issues “minutiae”.
Laurie: It’s not minutiae. It’s important.
Anthony: Weeellll…. Idk
Me: 👀 🙊 😱 it’s… about… to… go… down…

He started it!

(Kidding.)

(Mostly.)

(Hi Tony.)

[homerbacksawayslowlygif]

Bringing back the concept of stand alone episodes to tell a complete story in a one hour format is just what the franchise needed.
I’m enjoying the acting, the writing, the sets and effects…everything that has been missed for so long now.
I don’t mind if they skirt on the fringes of cannon as long as they don’t dive in and change it…but the best thing to do is just steer away from it and forge your own new ground.

This is my hope as well, that they rely less on TOS lore and more on creating their own.

I suspect they will as the show finds its own thing.

This seems to be a pattern for the episodic live-action series that can’t rely on a mystery-box to pull viewers in.

DS9 was populated by visiting guest stars from TNG in its more episodic first season.

It’s one of the reasons I skip much of that season on DS9 rewatches, but at the time it was an important way to attract the fans to the new show.

Having known characters in the new place, and extended established story threads also helped anchor the writers as they sorted out their new main characters, including the character of the station. It worked.

TNG did some of the same, less successfully, by reworking old TOS episodes and unused Phase II scripts.

Another pleasant, lazy Saturday morning listening to this podcast.

I’m agreeing with Henry Alonso Myers about it being like an NPR experience.

Ha! That was Aaron Waltke who said that. I hope that doesn’t mean we’re lulling you to sleep.

No, I just lost track of which show runner.

I actually think that it’s a backhanded complement to Myers to put him in the same “show runner who knows a broad scope of Trek” category with Aaron Waltke. He’s the only other show runner who I can easily imagine tracking Star Trek podcasts just because they enjoy having more Trek content.

While Goldsman and Matalas are undeniably serious fans, Myers and Waltke are the ones that seem to have gone beyond one era of shows and got into beta stories in books and comics.

In the last Kurtzman comments you reported on, he talked about any new show needing someone with a vision to champion it to be successful. I’m wondering though as the franchise gets more complex with many shows being made at once, whether having a Waltke or a Myers who likes and knows a lot of Trek across the franchise, will also be part of the formula for success.

Thanks again for the podcast.

As a UK listener I wanted to give you my perspective as to why I listen to you every week despite not having access to SNW. From my point of view, spoilers are worth avoiding when your being able to view is imminent e.g. days or a week or two. However, when it’s months, as is the case with SNW, I personally don’t see the point as I’m going to run into spoilers on YouTube, social media etc., and it’s just not worth “ducking and diving” for that length of time to try and preserve the mystery.

Of course the other reason is that I like listening to you both and hearing your reactions (spoilers and all), as it whets my appetite for what is to come.

Tony, thanks for the Top Gun: Maverick reference. I’ve seen it twice (fantastic, feel good movie IMO) but didn’t notice the Fanboy connection.

Thanks for the feedback. I’m curious do you read our recap or other recaps before you listen? We tend to discuss the episode without really recapping The episode. We assume listeners have seen it at least once so how do you follow what we’re talking about?

Hi Tony. I read the recap before I listen, as I like your writing style and I’ve already committed to being spoiled for the reasons in my original post. FYI once I’ve seen the episode I go back and read your recap again, as obviously your commentary is then far more relatable. I’ll do this with Prodigy and SNW when I get Paramount+ in a few weeks.

I like Tony’s writing style as well! Those recaps and reviews are always so much fun to read.

Hello,

I liked this episode. It wasn’t knee slapping funny, but I did laugh.

Once again we ask, “did this episode violate canon?”
Verdict: It does not violate canon, but it does re-invent how we see Spock and Chapel.

I re-watched Amok Time. I understand that the writers are using glances and expressions to tell a prequel story without kicking canon to the side. I watched Amok time through the lens of Chapel and Spock’s relationship in Spock Amok. When Chapel and Spock were alone, I interpreted an unspoken friendship between the two based on how they looked at each other and how they talk to each other. Now, perhaps, we can argue she was not aware of pon farr and was totally taken by surprise. Now, if Chapel knows about pon farr later in the series, then, yes, it is a canon violation. For right now, for me, it fits. It is a stretch though.

I do think we will see Spock and Chapel become more like their TOS selves as the show goes on.

I am sad that once again, Una gets sidelined. I feel the writers are spending too much time with La’an.

I did like the ontological message at the end of the episode. I am neither vulcan nor human, I am simply Spock.

And yes, more Ortega. She is fascinating.

As a teacher, I am definitely using “where fun goes to die.”

LLAP

I wasn’t totally embracing this show the first few episodes because of the sour taste I got after Discovery season 4 and Picard season 2. Both were let downs to me overall although I thought Discovery was mostly due to pacing issues. Picard was pretty much due to everything lol.

But because of that, I wasn’t sure if SNW was going to be any better. They ALL start out OK, but can’t seem to sustain that. But SNW is obviously different being episodic and Spock Amok is not just my favorite episode in the show so far but now one of my favorite episodes period. It’s so goofy on one hand but still clever and fun that you have to admire how well they did it. This is Star Trek to me in the best form possible. And I really missed the lighter and simpler episodes. It’s why I’m so drawn to Lower Decks and SNW is going the same direction, just without the broad humor of course (although this episode’s comedic stuff was definitely more in your face. ;)).

SNW really is becoming the show fans been wanting since Enterprise left. It’s about exploration again, science, adventure and a strong crew dynamic. No one is secretly from the MU or a Klingon, it’s a simpler time lol. It is a TOS prequel but the stories presented closer to the style of TNG. Every episode so far could be a TOS, TNG or VOY story, just replace the characters. And I don’t mind a lot of the stories are feeling a bit recycled from the other shows; but I do hope they feel more ambitious as it goes longer. Right now it’s perfect comfort food and why fans seem to like it.

Yeah there are definitely canon issues. Some bother me, but not on a big level. SNW is exactly what was needed, especially if you been totally disappointed in Discovery and Picard like a lot of people.