[Strange New Worlds news and review start at 09:49]
Tony and Laurie start with Sonequa Martin-Green’s barely-a-tidbit about season 5 of Star Trek: Discovery, then speculate on whether or not the crossovers she’s hoping for have already been filmed or not. Then they give an update on Lower Decks, courtesy of Tawny Newsome and showrunner Mike McMahan, and talk about the show getting its first comic book series at IDW, along with other excitement around IDW’s 400th Star Trek comic.
They take a look at the latest Strange New Worlds news about the future of Klingons as well as Harry Mudd, then review episode 9, “All Those Who Wander.” (It’s a dark one, folks.) They wrap up with a look at Star Trek’s presence in the new Elvis movie from Baz Luhrmann along with Elvis’ horse-related fandom, and expert (but gross) biology info from Dr. Mohamad Noor, with a reminder to keep watching BioTrekkie With the Admiral with Dr. Noor and Jayne Brook.
Sonequa Martin-Green Talks “Lovely” Season 5 Of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ And Burnham’s Future With Book
The All Access Star Trek Podcast Ponders A ‘Strange New Worlds’/’Lower Decks’ Crossover
Mike McMahan And Tawney Newsome Talk ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Season 3 (And 4)
IDW Celebrates 15 Years Of Star Trek Comics With Special 400th Issue And New ‘Lower Decks’ Series
Klingons Hinted To Return In ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Season 2
All Access Star Trek Talks To Mohamed Noor And Jayne Brook About ‘Discovery’ Science And Cornwell’s Fate
Tony: Elvis named his horse “Star Trek”
Laurie: BioTrekkie With the Admiral covers season 4 of Star Trek: Discovery / Evolutionary biologist likes the botfly larva in his scalp
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I´m a little annoyed they´re doing the Gorn this way. Either do the Gorn more like they were from Arena or do these scary aliens and call them something else.
I don´t care how they do it but if they don´t bring Hemmer back I´ll never forgive them. I was truly shocked they did it. Also not a great look killing off the first and only blind character. And like Tony said, why create a popular, interesting character just to kill him off?! If they did it just to bring in Scotty I´ll throw a fit. No offense to Scotty. Also, beside Spock, he was the only non-human. And we need more aliens. Ugh, I´m just really annoyed and angry.
I am 100% with you on the Gorn. Make them the Gorn we know (not necessarily visually, ha!) or just call them something else. This is not the same species… the MESSAGE of “Arena” was to try to see things from your enemy’s point of view, but this enemy is nothing but a brutal killer that uses other beings for its own needs and doesn’t care about the carnage. “Arena” was never a favorite of mine, but SNW is negating the whole message of the episode.
Based on interviews, looks like Hemmer is really done (except maybe flashbacks?) but Bruce Horak will be back somehow. I loved Hemmer! Mrah. Also I don’t want more TOS people on the crew because it will start to make “The Menagerie” look really weird when nobody but Spock has anything to say about Pike.
I’m still really enjoying SNW and I thought this episode was one of the best of the whole season.
I really want Hemmer back too. Given he’s Aenar and evolved to live under polar ice, I’m not even finding it a reach.
It’s clear that Hemmer was created to fill what Goldsman saw was a gap until Scott would join. Goldsman even said as much in the Hemmer featurette on the StarTrek.com. I just never would have thought that anyone felt it was in any way necessary to bring Scott on board before a third or fourth season.
It also would have worked well to see Scott come aboard under Hemmer as second officer in engineering.
So much opportunity lost.
I’m not sure they ever really wanted to give us Pike’s Enterprise at all.
I like the idea of Scotty working under Hemmer. And I´m holding on to the hope of Hemmer surviving the fall and we all know he´s fine in the cold weather.
He would be not just fine but thrive in in sustained arctic conditions, but the Gorn juveniles would not. It would make sense that Aenar could freeze solid like frogs and then thaw and carry on.
Thanks as usual for the interesting and entertaining podcast!
Just to be a contender for this week’s most picayune Trek factoid award, if I recall from Stephen E. Whitfield’s *The Making of Star Trek* (1968), there were only twelve Constitution class starships and the book provided a list of them from production materials. I guess the writers of SNW didn’t want to use one them up and so developed this very similar looking Sombra-class vessel.
Any thought about the title of this episode? “All Those Who Wander” didn’t seem to be referenced anywhere in the actual teleplay. It makes me think of a poem in LOTR in reference to Aragorn: “Not all those who wander are lost.” Hmmmm.
Yes, it’s a Tolkien poem and I think it’s referring to Uhura. Also, bonus points for the word “picayune,” which I don’t hear or read often!
I would think the wanderer in this case is Uhura…
You’re bang on regarding the Whitfield book listing the names of the 12 Constitution class ships in fact, (as I recall), the book contained a number of listings which were bounced back and forth pre-production before they reached agreement on naming the 12.
Thanks for the feedback and I had considered that with the constitution stuff but that was non-canon. In an episode where they are clearly driving right through the canon of Arena, it seems weird to be so slavish to non-canon material from the 60s. But this show does that from time to time.
As usual, I really enjoyed this podcast. The only downside is that I wish it was longer! You two complement each other very well.
I think it was Laurie who mentioned that La’an probably knew from the start that Hemmer was infected. I don’t disagree, but if that’s the case, why didn’t she say so? And when she was asking the little girl why she hadn’t warned the others that one of them was infected, La’an seemed a little too aggressive. I was thinking this is because maybe in her own past experience she feels remorse that she didn’t do something she should have done? And can someone enlighten me as to why the little girl once again did not warn Chapel and Chia that Buckley was infected, as she obviously recognized he was when he started panting and she moved away to hide?
That was Tony! But I think he’s right. And the little girl was completely traumatized and unable to really talk about what was going on. She was terrified. I think that part made sense.
Glad you like the podcast!
BTW, Happy Canada Day Laurie!
Thank you! Hooray for Canada Day!
Anthony said something funnny about maybe Kirk’s Gorn was very old.
On that note, and since they made these Gorn babies from puppets, if they go for a more Jim Henson – Labyrinth style old Gorn, that could actually be cool.
Yes, the oldest one in the fleet! That was hilarious.
First of all, I LOVE this podcast, Tony and Laurie play off each other effortlessly with intelligence and wit and with a deep Star Trek knowledge, but still realizing this is a TV show. Very entertaining! A couple of observations:
So…the Gorn are now the Geico Gecko with sharp teeth?
Nice of the writes to have M’Benga note that Sombra-class ships use the same parts as Constitution-class, thus allowing the writers to save money on new sets.
As soon as Duke was promoted I assumed be was a gonner. In any war movie, the only thing that gets you killed quicker is getting your discharge papers. (In a cop movie, it would be announcing your pending retirement)
Uhhh Lt Kirk, perhaps you need some Starfleet training? Everyone else, including CADET Uhura are keeping it together. And note to writers, giving Kirk McCoy’s lines about pointy eared computers is not endearing.
Speaking of Kirk’s freakout, he sure gets the soft touch from Pike. Too much really, As a leader, Pike cannot allow one of his crew to be verbally attacking another and just shrug it off as blowing off steam. What kind of a leader is that? And when they finally ship get comms, he doesn’t warn anyone about the Gornies. Actually, there really should be some blow back on Pike for allowing the flagship of Starfleet to be taken over by pirates, but that is another story. Point is, he is not coming off as a strong and competent leader over the last half of the season. More like the big brother. You can’t be a leader and a part of the gang.
One more thought on Pike, he promised no one would die at the beginning of the series. (I think 10 have died in Gorn episodes) Not sure why he would say that as a Captain in that world, but also not sure why the writers would intentionally write that? What were they trying to establish?
To be fair, Pike that that promise on a specific mission. I think they were trying to establish that we wouldn’t see disposable redshirts nobody cared about… sure, we (the viewers) arrived at that funeral when they were talking about Hemmer, but all three were there and we presume their eulogies were first. That’s all I’ve got for that one.
I am liking Pike as a character a lot but I agree that I’d like to see him do more captaining, just as I’d like Una to do more Number One-ing.
Thanks for the nice thoughts. And yes they telegraphed that Duke was toast earlier, but I think that was to misdirect you from Hemmer. By killing off two redshirts they already showed the stakes so you didn’t see the big death coming.
Anthony, apologies – you introduce yourself as Anthony on the podcast, but the website calls you Tony and so did I. Sorry about that.
I answer to both. Anthony is my ‘real’ name, but friends/family call me Tony
Tony / Laurie;
Great Podcast as always!
Re the Sombra;
(Somba?) Class Cruiser, Dr. M’Benga noted they were only crewed by 99 people. I
think it is the reason the writers did this as it is much more plausible/easier to kill off 99 people before the Enterprise arrives. There is (I think) 400+ on a Constitution Class correct?
Plausible, although plowing through 100 or 400 should make little dif. And it was odd how they made the ship with such a small crew even though it appeared very similar in size to the E. But these are just quibbles, maybe if there is extra time next interview with them I can ask
I disliked this episode for a number of reasons.
#1 I hated the portrayal of the Gorn. It was way too close to other sci fi franchises and it wasn’t a homage, but a parody. I had hoped we were getting away from violent stories where the crew was forced to kill in this way. I waited for Spock to say something about killing being abhorrent or like in TOS something about not disregarding life, good or bad (Galileo Seven) There was no philosophy or humanity here. I thought SNW was getting us back on course with that.
#2 Sam Kirk’s racist line was not called out by Pike. James Kirk would have corrected him.
#3 La’an shattering the Gorn was just wrong. Why not make a story where she has to try to communicate with a Gorn or where her survival depends on another Gorn or even getting Hemmer to communicate with them and they find common ground, despite her trauma…like what Star Trek does best, our better angels.
#4 Hemmer’s death was unnecessary. Why couldn’t they science their way to keep him alive? It’s Ariam all over again. And the same captain. Oh well, I’m sure Scotty will be here soon.
#5 Remember when the Enterprise was about exploring?
I’m glad others enjoyed this episode, but I’m starting to see a divergence from the original premise…strange new worlds….let’s hope #10 does a course correction.
8 for 9
While I very much liked the episode, I am 100% with you on the Gorn, as you know. The whole point of “Arena” was that we should look beyond appearances, that our enemy should do the same, that we need to try to understand each other instead of just attacking and try to see each other’s point of view. These Gorn have no point of view except killing others for their own survival. So I still don’t understand why they chose the Gorn if they were going to deliver the absolute opposite message of the original episode. And Star Trek-wise, why have an enemy that’s just a brutal killer and nothing else, so we can want to kill it and then feel good about it?
I’m with you, Kevin. I find it fascinating that I loved this episode despite all that. And like you, I want to go back to the original premise, I want to find new life and new civilizations and learn about them.
I think they will continue with the Gorn. They seem to have invested a lot in this “new” version of them to just drop them unceremoniously now. Unless they have some wrap-up in the season finale (maybe by concluding La’an’s season 1 arc?), I think they will continue to reoccur. I don’t dislike this new version, in fact I like them a lot, but I can see how some of the inconsistency of depiction could rub some people the wrong way. If they do continue, I fully expect SNW showrunners/writers to show that these baby Gorn “evolve” as they age to be more sentient, humanoid, and reasonable (and maybe they do get slower as they age? ;) ).
As for the economics question Laurie brought up: I have no problem with a money-less economy with Trek’s technology, and it think it actually is very reasonable. I think the views of Picard’s vineyard are a perfect illustration of how it works. PIC shows advanced technology (floating drone ships using transporters to harvest grapes) supplementing the work of people – that is how it works. Say someone’s dream job is working at a vineyard: they go through an apprenticeship phase where they do the scut work as needed to learn the job (or think of it like: going to college where everyone takes basic courses to establish the foundation needed for the more advanced thinky work; or when anyone starts a new job, there is a breaking-in period where you do some basic tasks while you learn the nuances of the new workplace/process/field). Then they progress away from the more laborious work, to doing the “fun work” of making sure the plants are growing healthy, deciding when to harvest, and picking what blends to make (and whatever else you do at a vineyard). It’s no different than Sisco’s New Orleans restaurant: you have trainee’s doing some basic jobs like serving customers, peeling potatoes, etc. to learn how the “business” works, who work their way up to learning how to be a chef or a restaurant manager. In both these cases, you don’t “need” people to do most of the grunt work, because you do have technology. Only those people really interested in the big work do the basic stuff to learn it. No one has to take a waitressing job to “fill in” while they try to break into acting. And the businesses don’t really need waitresses: drones, transporters, apps, replicators etc. could serve customers (if needed). Any “little stuff” that is too menial or dangerous, etc. you have technology to fill in the gaps.
Edited to add: why they said it was a Sombra class? I think because they didn’t want to have a Connie crew complement. Maybe they didn’t want to imply that a few Gorn babies (or children) slaughtered over 200 people. Sombra being a different class could have fewer people (I think they said around 100?). Don’t know why they would need to make this hedge, but that is my guess.
Excellent podcast as always. On the topic of crossovers, I think the one that fans would really like to see is Lower Decks time travel back to TAS. The episode could be animated in the TAS style. After all, fans love the guy who animated The Best of Both Worlds and Threshold.
I agree with Laurie on the Gorn. I have a hard time getting past Arena. They could have used the Tholians or created a new race. I am okay with Chapel not being very Chapel-like. She seems to be in for a good character arc.
I am surprised you have not discussed the inconsistencies with M’Benga and Kyle. Babs Olusanmokun is nineteen years too old for the part. Maybe he is the father of the M’Benga we know. Kyle not being Australian anymore is weird. Again, I would just create new characters.
I am genuinely not bothered by changes to M’Benga and Kyle. I don’t think it matters if Kyle is Australian (and let’s face it, we don’t want to go back to 90% white guy roles) and both Kyle and M’Benga were barely developed. But yeah, the Gorn will always be a sticking point with me, and I think I will always prefer the creation of new aliens to the return of ones we already know about. Part of the joy of Star Trek is the introduction of new species and new ideas, which we know the SNW is more than capable of when they get out of their own way. (I’m just not sure they share that objective, ha.)
I love your idea for a Lower Decks/Animated Series crossover! Omg! they could totally do a “Trials and Tribble-ations” thing but with The Animated Series. How can we make this happen?