Podcast: All Access Star Trek Opens Hailing Frequencies For “A Quality Of Mercy” From ‘Strange New Worlds’

All Access Star Trek Podcast episode 99 - TrekMovie

[Strange New Worlds news and review start at 16:35]

It’s episode 99! Tony and Laurie start the news with the nominations for Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks from the Hollywood Critics Association and the arrival of Prodigy on Nickelodeon. They segue into Kate Mulgrew’s hinty comment about the THREE different Janeways on Prodigy,  and how the whole Voyager gang would love to be back in action together. Tony gives an update on what to expect at San Diego Comic-Con this year, which will include a panel with William Shatner and Kevin Smith for Shatner’s new documentary (about himself). They talk about the new Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Directors Edition on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, offer up a way to win Lower Decks season 2 on Blu-ray, and round up the latest intel on Strange New Worlds.

Matt Wright from the Shuttle Pod joins in to review the season finale of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, “A Quality of Mercy,” covering (and sometimes debating) everything from Kirk to “Balance of Terror” to the glories of monster maroon. Tony and Laurie wrap up with some worthy Twitter account follows and a 1992 set visit to TNG from Good Morning America.

Links:

‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ And ‘Lower Decks’ Nominated For Hollywood Critics Awards

‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Arrives On Nickelodeon USA

Watch: Kate Mulgrew & Sonequa Martin-Green Say Female Star Trek Captains Are Inspirations, Not Sex Objects

William Shatner To Preview New Fan-Funded Documentary About William Shatner At Comic-Con

‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ Directors Edition 4K UHD Blu-Ray And TOS Movies Collection Coming In September

Watch: Boimler Returns Home In Clip From ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Season 3

Production Has Wrapped On ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Season 2

Bruce Horak Talks Hemmer’s Pivotal ‘Strange New Worlds’ Episode And His Star Trek Future

‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Producer Explains How Bruce Horak Will Return

Writer’s Headcanon Explains How ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Gorn Fit With “Arena”

Book Review: ‘Phasers On Stun!’ Takes A Big Picture Look At The Star Trek Franchise And Does It Justice

Trekbits: 

Tony: Justin Craig (Strange New Worlds set decorator) and Daniel J. Burns (art director) on Twitter

Laurie: Good Morning America does a show from the Star Trek: The Next Generation set in 1992

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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There was something uplifting about seeing Admiral Pike in the later maroon uniform. I guess because in every timeline we’ve seen up to now, looking at you Kelvin-verse, Pike died or ended up mutilated. It was just good to know he continued on in good health in at least one universe.

Well, that depends I guess. Did “Maroon Pike” erase himself out of existence a la “The City on the Edge of Forever,” or does he continue on in a Kelvinverse alternate timeline? And if it’s the latter, why bother issuing a warning at all?

Time travel makes my head hurt.

If he erased himself from time how did he ever go back in time ;)

Yep, hence the head-hurting. But that would apply to Admiral Janeway’s attempts to change the past by dealing with her younger self too (call it the Grandmother Paradox). That’s why it’s madness to take any of this stuff too seriously.

I think there might be an interesting premise dealing with the nature of the universe itself — if you can buy into it being conscious in some way.

I remember reading expressions in a couple or three timeline-fixing Trek novels along the lines of ‘time struggled to reassert itself’ — which made me think it was actually being driven to fix itself by a M.U.F.

Can the universe pick out pivot-point people from a flawed timeline and help them along to do this kind of temporal repair? And if so, do the people who are going to have their timeline overwritten into nothingness get a little bonus at the end to see that their efforts turned out worthwhile?

This all sounds kinda Guinan-weird, but like you said, time travel makes my head hurt. That’s why I strongly prefer the notion that any kind of time travel done — even if you ignore how ridiculous going back in time is, given the one-way street of things — can only change things in your own future, not between the time you exist in and when you go back to, because there is only one timeline and it takes everything into account. You can’t go back 35 years to stop CHALLENGER from blowing up, but maybe you can stash away some neat stuff that would otherwise by trashed in a forgotten landfill that will allow folks in 2050 to develop clean fusion when they uncover it.

Larry Niven once wrote a pretty neat speculative article on the ins-and-outs of time travel. I remember specifically his noting that any time-traveling civilization would require a future past tense (“Let’s meet at the battle of Waterloo in an hour”) and a past future tense (“Just a little souvenir I picked up a million years from now). He also makes a pretty good case that changing the past is impossible: as that would would make past, present, and future infinitely malleable, the only stable configuration for the universe would be one where no time machine was ever invented, by any species.

(Niven also wrote a much more famous piece about why Superman can’t get laid, called “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex.”)

My favorite Friday morning ritual. A cup of coffee and my favorite podcast “Warp Me”

It’s a Saturday morning ritual for me here in the UK but other than that I’m totally aligned with your sentiments.

Great conversation that brought up many angles about this episode that hadn’t occurred to me. Some further observations:

  1. This was a different James T. Kirk than we’ve ever met before (and probably won’t meet again), and I don’t just mean the actor. He has presumably been on the Farragut for the past seven plus years having who-knows-what experiences and (based on Pike’s questioning of Sam) has never met Pike before. It seemed to me that JTK was actually a bit in awe of and cautious around the captain of the flagship USS Enterprise, whose already legendary reputation presumably had only grown during his longer captaincy. This would account for his lack of charisma: he wanted to impress someone he greatly admired with his creative “out of the box” strategizing. The scene where Pike reminds Kirk that they were standing on the Enterprise and not the Farragut is telling.
  2. I agree with Tony that this was not a remake of “Balance of Terror.” It was a Pike-focused episode with temporal “echoes” or “reverberations” with the prime timeline (TOS). This accounts for the repetition of the TOS dialogue, which didn’t bother me at all. It only confirmed my feeling that “timey whimey” stories are inherently creepy. This week Tony and I are on the same wavelength.
  3. The death of Jim Kirk would not have impacted Pike the way that Spock’s likely demise did for the simple reason that he had no relationship with him. Spock’s awful injuries really hit home. Killing both Kirks and Spock and others would dilute that impact, I think, and detract from the powerful expressions of devotion that Pike and Spock exchanged at the end.

Also, thanks to Laurie for the review of *Phasers on Stun* in a separate article. Based on your comments I read it on Kindle and really enjoyed it. Ryan Britt has some keen insights on the overall interactions of Trek in all its iterations with contemporary society, especially when it comes to diversity and inclusion. I particularly liked his witty style, such as the term “Wreckies.” I exclaimed “warp me” as I read it. :-)

So glad you liked the book! He’s a talented, sharp writer.

Re: Kirk : this is not the Kirk we know but also IMO there was also not enough of him. I reserve judgement until I see more. Clips I have seen of him in other things I can see it. I mostly can’t imagine they cast someone they didn’t se that spark. Is he the best? I don’t know. I feel like the Vulcan Hello (podcasters who are absolutely not afraid to pick something apart) nailed the Kirk presentation.

I feel Balance of Terror was chosen because the Romulan captain’s words really did apply to Pike. They fit perfectly. Right or wrong I don’t know. I liked it.

I absolutely love that this solidly locked in why Spock would act as he did in Menagerie which is very weakly presented without this ep IMO. Spock clearly knows his fate will be totally different and owes Chris everything.

I’m completely anticipating, nay, demanding a classic TOS courtroom drama with Una next season.

I found this very much more than a pleasantly enjoyable season.

Warp me you folks are hard to please. Hahaha. Enjoyed as always.

As someone coming from that sweet spot of being introduced to Trek as a wee lass in the era of TNG and still not having gotten around to watching the entirety of TOS… it makes me more interested to learn my Trek History and give TOS the proper time it deserves. Being in my early 30’s, I was a bit hesitant to go down the TOS rabbit hole due to the feel of it’s “campy” nature being that it was shot in the 60’s, but SNW has given me the push I needed to give it a chance.
Also, I totally agree with Laurie. I really hope they don’t try and turn SNW into a TOS reboot and I haven’t even watched TOS yet! Being raised on reboot fodder, just let things be and use the foundation to create new things for goodness sake!
You guys have no clue how validated I felt when you discussed how this casting choice missed the mark for J.T.K. Just based on the general feel from a few TOS episodes and the Kelvin Kirk, I really don’t understand how they didn’t make charisma and charm a priority to this character. No shade at all to the actor, I think he did what he could and I wouldn’t want to be the one cast in an iconic roll like this, but I was disappointed :/

Thank you guys for providing weekly discussions from veteran trek lovers and quenching my trek conversation thirst that I lack in real life.
Warp me, am I ready for Prodigy season 1.5!:D

As a Boomer in his sixties I can fully appreciate that you’ll need to make some allowances for the differences in acting styles, direction, sets and visual effects over the last half-century. But in terms of quality storytelling there is still no Trek, including SNW, to equal the first (and some of the second) season of TOS. I don’t have Paramount +, but what fans and critics seem to be responding to (apart from a cast that really seems to click) is a return to the format that Gene Roddenberry called an “anthology with continuing characters,” meaning a show that could give you a comedy one week and then an intense character study the next. And if SNW doesn’t hesitate to embrace TOS’ goofy campiness on occasion, you should be able to as well. :-)

I went ahead and picked up a free month of P+ this week, to get caught up on this and THE OFFER, which I still didn’t get through on the screener access. Actually found a few things on there I didn’t expect to find, like the TV version of THE ODD COUPLE in very nice quality.

Unfortunately no WILL PENNY — why Paramount can’t release this in HD, I don’t know, it is a gem of a pic, and along with APES, Heston’s best work. I get why Par can’t do LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR because the music rights issues make it pricey, but PENNY doesn’t have this problem, and is nearly as good as GOODBAR, which despite its reviews is easily in my top 10 movies of the 70s, a time with a lot of competition for such slots.

Anyway, have seen the first 5 SNW eps and wasn’t impressed by any of them, but to be fair, I also didn’t hate them like I did most of the DSC I bothered to try in past years before throwing in the towel with the end of s2. I was ambivalent about PIC s1 and ultimately found it a waste of time, so I’d say SNW improves on that by a bit, mainly by having a few characters who appeal despite the goofy and almost ORVILLE-like anachronistic stuff that comes out of their mouths.

I think there’s still a serious disconnect in terms of what constitutes professionalism among Starfleeters, and that really undercuts any sense that this is really a prequel to TOS, along with all the other discontinuities. In particular, I find Pike to be all over the place, so that Mount’s charm is working overtime to offset what they’re having him say and do (much as I expected.)

I do like how they manage to work in casual humor at times, but I think that again has more to do with how cast members handle the material than the material itself.

Peck’s sideburns are a weepfest, as much as Mount’s Walken-like hair, and I don’t understand either except as distractions from the storytelling; VFX is something you know I’m picky about, and I def don’t enjoy these at all, and find the art direction disturbing and distracting, especially since senior officer quarters seem to be nearly the size of the TOS engine room. (speaking of engineering, I’m not sure, but I think this ship’s engine room open down onto the cargo deck with no separation. Maybe there is a cutaway showing the interior — it is very unconvincing and nonsensical at first glance.)

There are tons of direct tie-ins to TOS, but that makes the breaks and doublebacks and contradictions to TOS stand out even more in relief, like they are trying to cherry-pick but instead wind up with us just chewing on pits instead of fruit.

The directors seem to just be doing bog-standard modern work, always managing to shoot scenes while the camera orbits round the set, shooting through whatever happens to be between the actors and the lens (I guess to achieve some sense of depth, as if the voluminous interiors weren’t enough.)

I set myself 5 minutes to write this reply and am already up to 10, so enough already. IMO, you’ll probably find it somewhat agreeable, if not particularly memorable or rewatchable. (gee, it only took about 20 seconds to write that.)

Just as a followup – watched ep 6 and … man, they hit it out of the park! All the plotlines ‘braided’ and there was very little wrong with the creative calls throughout. Questions got raised and there were troubling answers, but they were answers. Absolutely GOOD TREK, IMO probably the only time I’ve witnessed same since DS9.

Traditionally, any time a character has a list of rules they trot out, I flinch at the corniness … but geez, that is the closest this one comes to showing any weakness or triteness at all. Don’t know why the ship keeps their cargo (or tanning beds?) out in corridors, but ain’t complaining this time, not after this one.

Man, I so hope this is not the exception to the rule.

As with all of them I’ve read the reactions to #6 (I don’t much mind being spoiled at this point in my life), and without having seen it myself I can say it seems to have been the most controversial of the bunch, but that you can sure do a lot worse for your fledgling Trek series than riffing on Ursula LeGuin. (I’d feel better about the show if they were regularly soliciting ideas from established SF writers in that vein, but TV just doesn’t roll that way nowadays.)

Still, I suspect you’re right in that I’ll wind up liking the show better than you. Stuff like weird sideburns I shrug off, and while I’m not huge on the lighting/texturing on the CG Enterprise, it’s done better than the opening credits suggested and most of the VFX work I find serviceable. I’ve come to rather like the bridge, sickbay, and transporter with their ‘60s Art Deco touches. Pike’s quarters are preposterous — I keep thinking that with his ‘aw shucks’ command style he would be embarrassed at their opulence — but the scaled-down version for his officers is fine and somewhat evokes TOS. As I’ve made abundantly clear I don’t particularly care about the canon stuff, only questioning the inconsistencies if they don’t serve a useful storytelling purpose. To that end, based on what I’ve seen I’d have just as soon they’d left the Gorn alone, but have no problem with Spock/T’Pring, since the two actors have real chemistry and I think it’s entirely fair to retcon their relationship to have her be a more sympathetic character.

I’ll just add that I did see a clip from #5 on YouTube, with the two women on the Enterprise hull watching the alien solar sail flyby, and shorn of context have to say fwiw that I found it to be the most genuinely joyous moment I’ve seen on Trek in a long, long time.

Hi guys! Another fabulous episode, as always. My wife and I both appreciate that your varied perspectives come from a place of love, even when you criticize something. We always look forward to following up new episodes by listening to your discussion.

This was a pretty fantastic episode for me. I love the way they resolved Pike’s arc and I appreciated the attention to detail in the moments pulled from Balance of Terror. Wesley’s Kirk was fine, but didn’t quite have the right Kirk energy, however, I have at least some faith that he will grow into the part a bit when we see him again.

Clearly Sam Kirk’s timeline was altered by Pike sticking around, somehow. Is no one concerned that “fixing” the timeline dooms poor ol’ Sam and his mustache? No one? We’ll sacrifice everything for Spock, but Sam Kirk…meh.

You may feel free to “Warp me!”

So glad you and your wife are enjoying the podcast. Nice to hear (read).

Greatly enjoy the Podcast, although yes at times the nitpicking can have me yelling at my speaker. We all enjoy Trek, and arguing over some details, to me, is like arguing which is the “Best Color”: spectrum is endless and to each his/her own.

And, clearly, the Best Color is Blue :)

Activating Required Catch Phrases Now: Warp Me!! Energize Me!! Beam Me Up!! Make It So!!

LLAP!!

If you’re not yelling at your speaker, we’re not doing our jobs! :)

I wish I was in USA so I can WARP UP! But I love the podcast. And I really agree that new Kirk is a horrible miscast. I can’t imagine him headlining a new TOS show.

Warp me!? Captain Freeman’s real best catch phrase is obviously It’s warp time! My reinterpretation of Kirk’s line is that he had heard of the Gorn, but had never seen one before. He was essentially saying “Oh, so this is a Gorn.” Either that, or he once read a file about the Gorn a long time ago, but he had forgotten about them by the time he went to Cestus III. The Enterprise meets so many crazy aliens, you can’t expect Kirk to remember them all off the top of his head.

Hello,

Before the thread here becomes a cacophony of, “WARP ME.” I wanted to put in a few thoughts on the season. I enjoyed the episode. I liked it. It was great, not the best, but I am a huge fan of Balance of Terror so I went with it.

My biggest love of this story was the ending with Spock. I truly understand now why Spock did what he did in Menagerie. We never got to see the friendship between Chris and Spock, but now I get it. I loved it. I re-watched the Menagerie and I view it differently now. I love those fill in the blank moments.

I have a few quibbles. I did not like Ortegas taking the Stiles dialogue. Why was she mad in the first place? Second, Una once again gets explained off. And finally, I agree with Laurie here, that while I enjoyed the episode, couldn’t they do something original on a planet with an alien we never encountered before? I feel that this show, and other new trek shows, are too dependent on legacy characters and aliens. They are too afraid to do something new. Send the Enterprise to a distant part of the galaxy for five years, far away from federation space, then this won’t be a problem. Chris Pike doesn’t have to be involved somehow with TOS characters or aliens. He can chart his own path.

In defense of Paul Wesley.
I really liked his performance. Bill Shatner will always be Jim Kirk. I am happy he did not try to intimidate him. However, I did recognize the great certain qualities of Kirk in Wesley’s performance. I saw Kirk’s professional stance, that half smile, the way he speaks, the passion and brilliance when discussing tactical matters, and none of the overacting. I am sure we will see more of that charm and charisma later. I am happy he didn’t try copy Shatner’s performance, or he might have come off as a SNL skit.

Thank you for your great analysis. I have been listening to you guys since episode 1. Looking forward to 100 more.

Lovely that you’ve listened from the beginning!

My weekly must listen
Warp me

Totally on-board for Shlemmer!! I’ll even write his backstory: In season 5, a heretofore unknown twin shows up as a semi-messianic figure who is leading a rag-tag group of followers that take over the Enterprise in search of God. And there will be Pike scene with him cooking over a campfire for his team…

Forget Paul Wesley’s acting – what about the Scotty hand-actor?? OMG I did not believe his character choices at all He totally missed Scotty’s hand mannerisms and charisma.

Wait, “Warp me!”? “Worf me!”?? Is it my ears or the podcast audio??

Love love the pod!!

Another vote for Schlemmer! Love it.

Warp me!

I did not like the last episode of the first season of SNW at all. I am a huge fan of the “Balance of Terror” episode, and this was not an homage to me: it was a blatant fan-service pull to get people to like it, which I did not. I loved most of SNW, but not this one. I’m so disappointed.

That said, I’m still looking forward to the next season. I just hope that the actor playing Captain Kirk is barely in it.

As has been said by others, this is the “NPR” of Star Trek podcasts. I listen faithfully every Friday.

I think SNW is the show that gives all other shows permission to be different. It scratches the itch for classic, self-enclosed episodic television, leaving room for many other kinds of story structure.

In the meantime, “WARP ME.”

Now we really need to think about making tote bags…

I’m a bit curious, now that SNW season wrapped up, where do you put the show in your rankings of all of them? Since I’m asking, I’ll start!

1.DS9 2. TNG 3.VOY 4.ENT 5.TOS 6.SNW 7.LDS 8.PRO 9.TAS 10.DIS 11.PIC

To make this clear I love nearly all the shows but you have to rank them somewhere. And I really loved SNW but it’s also only been 10 episodes lol. Classic Trek really means a lot to me, especially when I did my grand rewatch last year. It’s going to take awhile for any new show to break into the TOS-ENT line up for me. Maybe after season 2 SNW could end up in the number 4 or 5 spot.

(01) TOS (this barrier can never be broken)
(02) TAS (for me, this is seasons 4 & 5 of the above)
(03) DIS
(04) TNG
(05) SNW (even though I was disappointed by various aspects of it, it is the characters of Pike and Spock that make the show for me; it could at least overtake TNG and DIS for me if they tighten up the writing; I do love the episodic format)
(06) DS9
(07) SHO (I wish they would bring this back)
(08) PIC
(09) VOY
(10) ENT
(11) PRO
(12) LOW

I might as well rank the movies while I’m at it:

(01) IV: The Voyage Home
(02) II: The Wrath of Khan
(03) VI: The Undiscovered Country
(04) Beyond
(05) Star Trek (2009)
(06) Into Darkness
(07) III: The Search For Spock
(08) Nemesis
(09) First Contact
(10) Generations
(11) V: The Final Frontier
(12) The Motion Picture (1979)
(13) Insurrection

Thanks! :)

Completely forgot about Short Treks. I guess if I had to rate it, it would go after PRO on my list.

I am a tad disappointed DS9 is not higher on your list, but of course we all have our preferences. I’m just highly biased on that one lol.

Hah. If it’s any consolation, entries 3 through 7 on my list were pretty close calls. However, I didn’t think I a 5-way-tie for 3rd place was within the spirit of your ranking request.

No worries! :)

My ranking would be

  1. DS9
  2. TOS
  3. TNG/VOY (imagine how much better VOY would be if it were serialized and had more serious consequences… it would be tops for me then).
  4. LOW
  5. SNW
  6. ENT
  7. DISC
  8. PRO
  9. PIC (season 1 was okay until it fell apart at the end, then season 2 hands down killed the show for me.)

Warp Me!

Thanks for making DS9 #1 lol!

As for VOY yeah the show was on at a time networks were still against serialization. If they rebooted that show today it would be a very different situation. But I don’t know if it would be ‘better’ if the people who made it are the same people who made DIS and PIC (and since you rated them fairly low you seem to be in agreement lol). Of course if it was the same people who made DS9, then yeah it could’ve been a more amazing show for sure!

(1) TNG
(2) DS9
(3) VOY
(4) LDS/PRO—tie
(5) SNW
(6) TOS
(7) ENT
(8) PIC
(9) DIS

Never watched TAS

You need to watch TAS, and not just for completeness.

There’s some iconic episodes in there, not least Uhura getting to command the Enterprise.

You know if it wasn’t for you TG47, I don’t think I would’ve ever watched TAS. But yes finally glad I did. It ended up being a decent show. Still not something I have to rewatch again (and hence why it ranks lower for me) but I agree I love how creative it is and you can really see what type of live action stories TOS could’ve had if they had a bigger budget for aliens and planets.

I honestly think it would be more fair to rank all the first seasons of the shows instead of the entire series of each. So, I will warp me some rankings of Star Trek first seasons:

  1. 1. TOS
  2. 2. Strange New Worlds
  3. 3. Prodigy
  4. 4. DS9
  5. 5. Lower Decks
  6. 6. Voyager
  7. 7. Enterprise
  8. 8. TAS
  9. 9. Disco
  10. 10. TNG
  11. 11. Picard

Again, these are the rankings of just the first seasons of each. My ranking of TNG would be much higher if taking the entire series into account. So, please don’t warp me about it.

Since you guys are having fun with rankings, here’s mine:

1. DS9
2. TOS/TAS
3. Disco
4. Voy
5. LD
6. TNG
7. ENT
8. PIC

I haven’t ranked SNW or Prod yet. Short Treks doesn’t count.

LLAP

Actually that probably would’ve been a better idea. ;)

DS9 as Number 1? Great call! Agree 100%!

Twenty years now and counting. What’s funny is DS9 and TNG have been the only consistent ranking for decades now. Everything else from third place on down has changed year to year, especially now with all the new shows.

DS9
Enterprise
Picard
Discovery
TNG
Lower Decks
TOS
Prodigy
Voyager
SNW
TAS

Another list with DS9 as #1! Yaaaaaay!!!!!!! :)

And one thing I love about doing lists like this is to show none of this is a consensus. These lists are all over the place lol. But that’s a GOOD thing! It shows variety and that a show that is hated for one is loved by another but it’s all Star Trek and it’s all beautiful.

My rankings would be:

  1. DS9
  2. TNG
  3. TOS
  4. LDS (so far)
  5. SNW (so far)
  6. VOY
  7. PRO (so far)
  8. ENT
  9. DIS
  10. PIC
  11. TAS

SNW had a stellar first season, so it could move up the rankings if it keeps it up. LDS too. And there is always hope for PIC season 3.

I am Not going to judge Paul Wesley until I see him in Season Two.

So I just re-watched Balance of Terror. I think Paul Wesley should play the character of Styles. He looks more like that character and has similar vibes. Paul Wesley is no Kirk in any way, shape, or form. I loooove Ethan Peck’s portrayal of Spock and think Celia’s Uhura is the best ever, but this Wesley guy as Kirk is the worst casting of a legacy Trek character of all time.

I guess I didn’t have as much of a problem with the portrayal of James Kirk then Laurie and Matt did. My headcanon is that this is a different timeline. But I admit, my standards aren’t as high as some either. For me, as long as I can enjoy the show and forget my aches and pains, then I’m OK with it. Not that I don’t think that Laurie didn’t bring up valid points. What I like about your podcast is even when I disagree, the points you both make are well-thought out and I can see where you might be coming from. I agree with Tony about the Gorn. I remember watching those TOS episodes (probably in the early 70’s) and they didn’t have the technology or budget to do a reptilian creature like you can do now. Plus, they wouldn’t have spent that kind of money on a TV show. It just wasn’t realistic. I first started watching Trek on a black & white TV set. Anyway, I think that if the technology was around to do more than a person in a rubber suit, who’s to say they wouldn’t have done that. Anyway, thanks for the work that you do. Warp me.

I know I drive Tony a bit nuts with my stance on the Gorn, but I’m happy you can see we both come at it from a good place.

I am dismayed at the trajectory SNW has taken these last few episodes. Last episode was bad enough by wasting a great character in Hemmer. While l thought “A Quality of Mercy” was an okay episode overall, I have a few major knit picks:

First, the story doesn’t make sense. I think the writers were trying to tell the audience that Pike must accept his fate so that Kirk will be the Enterprise captain at the time of the Romulan Incident and thus Spock will live to pursue peace with the Romulans. After watching the episode, my watch party all wondered why Pike couldn’t just step down as captain of the Enterprise after escaping his horrific accident, allowing Kirk to take command? Problem solved?

Second, what the hell was that cliff hanger? Una being arrested came out of left field and had nothing to do with the rest of the episode. It’s such fake and unearned drama. We as the audience know that Pike will get Una back as his #1, so why bother to go through this, other than the writers felt they needed a cliff hanger? It ruined the episode for me. As a fan, I’m not left wondering what the fate of Una will be, but rather wondering why the writers feel the need to insult Trek fan’s intelligence. In a utopian future, are we really to believe the Federation is going to ruin the career of one of its best officers and send them to prison for being different? When something similar happened to Dr. Bashir on DS9, Bashir wasn’t thrown out of Starfleet and sent to a penal colony. He was allowed to stay and continue his medical career. (yes, Bashir’s dad went to jail for breaking a law, but it wasn’t a “penal colony” and, other than being different, I’m not sure what law Una broke… she’s made the rank of commander in Starfleet despite plenty of medical doctors inexplicably not realizing she’s an Illyrian).

I really do wish this show would stop flirting with rehashes of TOS stories and make their own stories and mythology. I wasn’t impressed with characterization of Kirk(more like gross mischaracterization), and it would be nice if I didn’t see Jim Kirk or Sam again. If the writing team insists on continuing down this path of making SNW TOS lite, I’m going to lose interest pretty quickly.

With regard to accepting his fate, I guess the point the episode was trying to make was that if you mess with the future in any way, time will push back. So the suggestion is that even if Pike steps down and hands over the Enterprise to Kirk, his avoiding the accident will still have negative consequences down the timeline. I haven’t re-watched the episode but I vaguely remember Admiral Pike telling Captain Pike something to that effect near the end of the episode.

I could have done without the forced cliffhanger myself. It was kind of telegraphed based on events from an earlier episode but it could have simply been tabled to the first episode of season 1. The Bashir agalogy is a bit problematic since that happens 100 years or so later. Who knows, maybe the resolution of Number 1’s situation will be what allows Bashir to continue in Starfleet. These shows like to retroactively add in stuff like that.

The key to why Pike can’t avoid his accident is something Future Pike said: In every timeline, Spock dies. And yes, the Una storyline was started a while ago, it was only a matter of time before there was some fallout. The cliffhanger was fine with me but I’m worried it means she’ll be missing from more episodes next season as things get worked out.

I’m hoping for a good old-fashioned Trek in the courtroom episode with Una. Measure of a… Woman? Could happen.

I’d be up for that. Every Star Trek show needs a good courtroom episode!

I’d be up for that too. I just wish the transition from the resolution of Pike’s arc to the cliffhanger with Una wasn’t so abrupt.

Same here. It was abrupt. Almost like a commercial for season 2. But wait, there’s more!

To be fair, it wasn’t just part of a previous episode, it was part of the alternate future too… it didn’t really come out of nowhere When Pike expressed his surprise to Spock that Una had been arrested, Spock said he thought Pike would’ve known that since it happened 7 years ago (and Pike was now 7 years in the future).

Yeah, about that, I guess it’s a sign of how little they’ve used Una this season; when Pike asked La’an about her, I had honestly forgotten all about her in the episode by that point.

LOL I’m thinking the same. We know eventually SNW has to do it’s courtroom episode. I think it would be great if they went the way of Measure of a Man style with Una.

And so far Discovery and Lower Decks have done a courtroom episode. Don’t see it happening for Picard and Prodigy given their formats.

I agree the cliffhanger with Una felt tacked on. But what I want to know is who snitched?

Warp Me! Long time listener. First time commenter. Have really loved your podcast week after week. It’s the one podcast I make sure and tune into every week. Keep it up!

Thanks so much!

What a great TV series and what a fun podcast!
After ten episodes of SNW, I think it’s the best of the new live action series.
Really blurring the lines between homage / reboot / prequel / multiverse shenanigans / time travel tropes; sometimes that aspect of the show is confusing.
Paul Wesley did fine as an actor, but it’s hard for me to accept anyone but Shatner as James Kirk—same feeling I have with Chris Pine.

Mercy is more of a quality than an errand, now that I think about it.
Excited for more SNW and the All Access podcast!

Oh, and just to beat a dead horse: WARP ME!

She references that “there are 2 episodes in a row now where the message is killing is the right thing to do”.

That’s not antithetical to Star Trek. That IS Star Trek. Consciously or unconsciously…. the writers ARE writing to reflect the times.

In TOS in the 60s, we’re in a cold war with Russia. Balance of Terror can mirror some decisions there.

By the time 1990 hits… the Soviet Union falls… ST 6 reflects on “killing is NOT the right thing to do… time to help out the klingons”.

As S2 ends here in mid-2022… we are RIGHT smack in the middle of cold war with Russia yet again… and the 60’s Kirk timeline decision ends up being the right one again.

Sometimes you can’t show weakness in the face of an obstinate war-faring opponent.

Don’t know if anyone mentioned it. But in Shatner’s documentary, “Chaos on the Bridge” Stewart gives a detailed interview about the GMA appearance and weather man issue.

Ooh, I need to revisit. Thanks for that!

Am I the only one who did (does) not skip the opening credits every episode? They are simply jaw dropping and the Enterprise looks gorgeous!

Skipping the opening credits of this show is blasphemy for me. I love, love, love the title sequence. Perhaps the best Star Trek title sequence of all time? From the traditional monologue, to the close-ups of the Enterprise, to the call backs to the original theme, to the fantastic space scenes (I like the green thins and space station) to the theremin at the end.

Different strokes, I suppose. I personally find the CGI in the opening credits to be garish and cartoony, with Jeff Russo’s reworking of the TOS theme completely pedestrian and unmemorable. Fortunately, both the music and visuals in the series itself are much better.

Q: I forgive your blasphemy!

I love the podcast! Your analysis is always spot-on, the predictions are reasonable (whether they come true or not) and I enjoy the differences of opinion on story elements like the Gorn :)

Warp me!

Thank you so much! Nice to hear. I think we’ll disagree about the Gorn until they’re all as old as the one in “Arena.”

I really enjoy Anthony’s optimistic outlook on the podcast. WARP ME!

Always enjoy the podcast. Can’t wait for Aaron Waltke next time!

So, I got back around to rewatching “A Quality of Mercy”. Still gets a ’10’ from me – first I have given an SNW episode. Just solid story and great production.

Rewatching it this second time, I don’t understand (but accept none the less) people’s opinions/complaints about the episode. Particularly complaints about Wesley as Kirk, but other bits too. Was this episode perfect in every way? No, there are always dialog tweaks or FX improvements that could be made. But, for me, the is just solid, top notch Trek TV. So glad we have it.

Now, onward to season 2. I really hope we get more Una, La’an, and Ortegas – I think they were all a little underserved so far. And so sad that we lost Hemmer. He was great: “the magic of…science!”

Warp me!

To clarify, what I mean about people’s complaints about this episode are those that either trash Wesley’s casting or performance, or that portray this episode as anything less than “good/great”. Yeah, not everything is everyone’s cup of tea, but objectively this is a well made, well written episode. Classic Trek in a new bottle. As I was rewatching it, the overly harsh complaints I had read were sloshing around in my head, and I feared it would negatively affect my enjoyment of the episode the second time around. But (fortunately?) I can’t agree that those harsh critiques hold much water with me upon my rewatch.

No use getting frustrated over the inevitability that someone will respond differently to an hour of television than you did. Just recently a video came across my YouTube feed with the click-bait-y title “Why I Hate ‘The Inner Light’ (and you should too).” I didn’t bite, figuring it would just raise my blood pressure. People have all kinds of opinions.

A Quality of Mercy was a heartbreaking & somber episode of what could have been; I really enjoyed the episode breakdown and am looking forward to this week’s podcast! Warp me into the next podcast please!

Warp me to Lower Decks S3!

Let me say thank you because you WARP ME each week on wonderful reviews of the new Star Trek series. I’m one of those fans who grew up in the 70s on daily reruns of TOS. My first memory of Star Trek was me at my grandma’s house, it must have been October 11, 1969 at 10pm on Friday. I was 7 and it was my bedtime. I saw Sulu freaking out because he saw daggers and swords swarming around the ship (And the Children Shall Lead). Then Dad told me to go to bed, despite my protests.
Later, I remember being angry at my cousin, because I asked my aunt to come over to her house to watch TAS. It was only available on cable, which my father could not afford. When I arrived, my older cousin was the only one up, he would only let me see TAS when the Flintstones went on commercial breaks. Later we got cable and I fell in love with TOS. TAS was ok for the time. I was in the Army when TNG premiered. My older brother, a casual fan, send me VHS tapes of TNG. I remember watching Encounter at Farpoint with two other Trekkie friends on my 13 inch color TV. We were in AWE seeing the Enterprise D for the first time. Since then, I’ve followed each of the Trek series and have see each episode at least twice. I love the new generation of Trek series as well. The SNW being my favorite so far. I’m looking forward to Season 3 of Lower Decks.

Always a great podcast, this week being no exception. Well researched with thought provoking analysis. Definitely, one of my favorite podcasts. Warp me!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the “Warp Me” giveaway. A winner has been selected and notified.