Podcast: All Access Star Trek Conjures ‘Picard’ Clues And Quests With M’Benga On ‘Strange New Worlds’

All Access Star Trek podcast episode 97 - TrekMovie

[Strange New Worlds review starts at 21:23]

Tony and Laurie discuss the high-profile launch of Paramount+ in the UK and Ireland (and the less high-profile one in South Korea), as well as its upcoming expansion across Europe. Then they dig deep into a recent interview with Terry Matalas, where he talks about his love of TOS movies and his plans for Picard season 3 with the reunion of the TNG cast and as-yet-unnamed TNG guest stars. They take a look at a new Sonequa Martin-Green interview about Discovery with a hint of Tilly’s possible return, and clarify last week’s statement from Kate Mulgrew about live-action Janeway. Then they review the newest Strange New Worlds episode “The Elysian Kingdom,” which they both found fun but somewhat disappointing at the same time. They wrap things up with a look at a Star Trek fan at the Jan. 6 hearings and some surprising Star Trek mentions on a couple of non-Trek podcasts.


Paramount+ Launches In UK And Ireland With Legacy And New Star Trek, Including ‘Strange New Worlds’

Sonequa Martin-Green, Kate Mulgrew, And “Spock” Help Launch Paramount+ UK

Paramount+ Announces European Launch Dates For Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, And Italy

“Terry Matalas Talks TNG Reunion On ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 3, More Legacy Characters, And Possible Spinoff

‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 2 Coming To Blu-ray, DVD And Steelbook In October

Sonequa Martin-Green Talks “Unexpected” ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 5, Crossovers, And More Tilly

Kate Mulgrew Calls ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Characters In Live-Action A “Likelihood”

‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Cast Delights Mission Chicago Appearing In Cosplay  

Christina Chong got her dog Runa into the episode

‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Reveals Full Names Of M’Benga And Spock

Benny Russell on Memory Alpha

Laurie visits SNW exhibit with La’an’s dress (with Li’l Riker) 


Tony: Unidentified guy wears Starfleet pin at Jan 6 hearing / Bill Prady weighs in / Tawny Newsome weighs in

Laurie: Chris Pratt talks about auditioning for Captain Kirk on Smartless / Lt. Commander Argyle (Biff Yaeger) gets a shout-out on Parks and Recollection

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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So… Laurie, is this a new definition of “bottle” episode?
I was thinking I should be drinking!

I like the way you think! Although it was more of a margarita glass(es) episode…

:) I hope there are more of these.

I thought the strongest part of the episode was the last 15 minutes. If they could have focused the whole episode on the doctor’s difficult choice it would have been a strong episode. They could have used the subjective time jumps (and the extended time Rukiya experiences in the nebula) to good effect, like a reverse “The Visitor” where M’Benga would get to see his daughter “grow up” during the course of the episode (whatever growing up would look like when you spend all your time bonded to a non-corporeal entity made out of a nebula).

If they wanted to stick with the episode as depicted, two things that I think would have made this episode matter and be much stronger: 1) have everyone keep their memories of the events (duh!), and 2) have the crew aware of both their normal personalities and the overlaid story personalities, so they can act “out of character” when necessary for plot reasons. As a bonus, I would have had their “storybook” characters be chosen for them (by the entity) because some part of those storybook personalities aligns with a “previously unknown” character trait for each of our main characters. It could even have been just barely hinted at, but what if (to use the few character traits actually shown in this episode) that Ortegas could be “loyal to a fault”, or “overly aggressive”, or “very ambitious” in secret?; Pike could have an element of underlying “cowardliness” (or just “fear” if you want to link it to his future trauma knowledge); Spock could be “skeptical of claims of magic” or just “distrusting”; Una might be “very protective of the environment/nature” or “bisexual”. These could be little hints about what elements of their characters we haven’t seen yet, or could be revealing of small self-doubts they have about themselves; bits they worry about in their own characters whether or not they are actually true. These things would make us care about them more, care about these particular performances, and be interested in or thinking about them in future episodes.

Overall, my least favorite episode so far this season. Using Anthony’s measure: I am 7 for 8 on SNW episodes so far.


I listened to the Terry Matalas podcast and it has made me re-evaluate how I look at PIC S2. If I was reading between the lines correctly, it seemed that S2 was not entirely his vision and he took over as showrunner with the plans already set in motion for the season. They had to work through Covid protocols, studio deadlines, not being able to share ideas together in the writing room, and other crazy stuff we are not privy to. I have been critical of S2, but I did get the feeling from the interview he loves star trek and S3 will be his singular vision. I think S3 will be epic. I am definitely on board and officially excited.

At first, I did not like this week’s episode. However, Anson Mount was having a blast and so I went with it. I loved his cowardly run down the corridors and his fights with Melissa Navia. Melissa was my MVP for this episode. She is fantastic. I watched her fight the guards and I was thinking, “she should be security chief.” Ortega and Pike have great chemistry when it comes to being funny or snarky. More Ortega please.

Hemmer was great too. He is a fantastic actor. I am glad he showed up. I love the engineering deck. It’s my favorite set. It reminds me of TAS engineering. It has a sixties vibe to it.

The episode overall gets a pass from me. The one thing I disliked about Disco and PIC was the lack of humor. When this show first began, I wanted that silly, campy, humorous feel TOS had. PIC and DISCO was so serious. The showrunners have not disappointed so far. SNW is fun to watch.

Was the episode great? It was good fun. It is not the best episode of the season. For me, it doesn’t always have to be the best either. Just be a story.

8 for 8 for me. .


thanks for the feedback and that is a fair reading between the lines. PIC S2 had many challenges behind the scenes and on the logistics side that impacted the finished product

Thanks for the round-up. I’m also a proud member of the lets “listen to older podcasts” club as at last, I now have Paramount+ (UK) and it’s great to re-read Tony’s reviews and listen to your podcasts having actually seen the episode for myself. Feels a bit like the transition from B&W TV to colour….lol.

Sleeper character on Picard S3? I’d also love to see Ro Laren again and agree her story was incomplete, but as a wild card, how about Vash; Picard’s archaeology accomplice?

Vash isn’t one of my top favorites but I did put her on the list! It comes out soon. I did enjoy the way she brought out a different side of Picard, that’s for sure. And she was great in “Qpid.”

Completely agree Laurie.