Podcast: All Access Riffs On The Season 2 Premiere Of ‘Strange New Worlds’ With Showrunner Commentary

All Access Star Trek podcast episode 143 - TrekMovie - Strange New Worlds 201

Tony and Laurie start with an exclusive update on how the WGA Strike is affecting season 3 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (with an update from the SNW showrunners), then take a look at new and incoming Trek merch: a Seven of Nine pre-Picard novel from David Mack, a one-off Shaxs comic book from IDW, an interview with the writers of the Star Trek: Resurgence game, and the Star Trek: Infinite strategy game.

Then they shift into Strange New Worlds mode, checking out the Ready Room preview and newly released photos. Audio from Tony’s brand-new interviews with SNW showrunners Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers is rolled in, covering Spock’s arc in season 2, the return of the Klingons, and the thinking behind choosing the Gorn as such a prominent villain. Then, Tony and Laurie review the season 2 premiere, “The Broken Circle,” which they both liked—with some caveats.

They wrap things up with a message from William Shatner to Pedro Pascal and a YA novel written by John Cho.


New Novel To Fill In Seven’s Story Between ‘Voyager’ And ‘Star Trek: Picard’

Shaxs From ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Goes Beast Mode In His Own Upcoming One-Shot Comic From IDW

Interview: ‘Star Trek: Resurgence’ Writers On Crafting An Immersive Story That Builds On Trek Lore

‘Star Trek: Infinite’ Strategy Game Announced – Watch Teaser Trailer

Watch: ‘Ready Room’ Special Offers Sneak Peek Of ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Season 2

New ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Season 2 Images Offer First Look At Episodes 2 & 3

Early Review: ‘Strange New Worlds’ Delivers More Classic Star Trek With A Modern Twist In Season 2

Bring A Little More Shatner Into Your Life With A Personalized E-Card


Tony: Shatner records special Fathers Day message for “daddy” Pedro Pascal [Twitter]

Laurie: John Cho’s YA book Troublemaker

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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I want a date for the next season of Lower decks!

I find it funny that they call having a Pike-light episode ”shaking things up” when, as Tony pointed out, DS9 had several episodes every season that weren’t Sisko-centered. Give DS9 it’s due I guess is what I´m saying and don´t pretend you´re doing something new.  

I recently listened to an interview with Kathryn Lyn on the pod All the Asians on Star Trek. Who works as a writer/producer on SNW and is canon consultant on LD. Apparently each show has their own consultant (dream job) and I would love to hear that persons view on what they are doing with the Gorn here. 

Regarding the lgbtq+ representation I would like it to be more clear. Something in between big arrows and whistles and it being on the side and easy to miss. It´s important.

I also hate the catch-phrase thing. All Star Trek shows need to just stop with the ridiculousness.

Agree on the LGBTQ+ representation, I’d like to see something clearer. I do think that’s one of the areas where the new Trek shows always do well, generally, so I feel like they’ll get there. They took some steps last season too.

As a member of the LGBT community, sometimes there’s nothing wrong with it being big arrows. Sometimes you absolutely need that otherwise people are going to bury their heads in the sand and deny that it’s real.

It’s annoying from a standpoint too. If it’s obviously just to get praise from having them at all (cough Disney cough) then it’s like congrats do you want a rainbow cookie or something. But otherwise yeah. We need more representation bad, especially trans reputation.

speaking of lower decks, can they stop teasing us already and just say if Boimler is also LGBT. I may be the only one that thinks he’s a trans man but I can’t be the only one that thinks he’s bisexual.

That’s a good point! Sometimes the big arrows are needed!

Agreed. I should have been clearer. By big arrows and whistles I meant the performative kind. The *look we have a queer character here aren´t we good allies* type situation. And not the good representation where the character is a fully thought out person who also is undeniably queer. Like on Disco.
By the way, according to Charlie Jane Anders there´s a persistant rumour that Kirk will be revealed as bi in SNW. I really hope they do. Regarding Boimler I always saw him as asexual except for that time he had a girlfriend for an episode in season 1. There is a strong argument for Tendi being trans.

Like I mentioned with Disney where they make a big deal out of it and then remove them to keep bigots happy, yeah.

I always interpreted Kirk as bi. So I really hope that does happen too. I’d feel justified.

Boimler as bi ace since that girlfriend was just a result of that parasite that was attached to his head. (I wouldn’t mind if he was just gay ace and he was pretending to be attracted to women though. Romantically preferring men [especially men that are evil AI that are voiced by Jeffrey Combs] is always good, I’m gay ace myself. ) I think he’s also trans because of how he doesn’t like to shower close to other people. Also who would name people Bradward other than that person themselves.

I’ve also been onboard with Tendi being trans too. It would be nice if any of that is just outright stated in the show though.

I find those interpretations very one-dimesional. Come on, they have dates/affairs/ relationsships with persons from another species.

Who. In Trek. Usually still go by the gender binary. Soooooooo. What is your issue. Tendi’s Orion and she’s definitely still a woman. Shaxs is Bajoran and is a man. T’Ana is a cat and is still a woman.

What’s so one dimensional here is everyone being assumedly straight and cisgender because of what I just said up there.

So what is your issue with LGBT people wanting a little more representation.

When I say gay. It means preferring men and masculine aligned people. A character could have the pronouns he/they or they/he and I’d be gay for them.

Nooope. It’s not about having issues about more representation. On the contrary. Other people do have indeed issues, which I find bigot. They have no problem with Kirk and Riker having affairs with other species (from whom we know that not all have the genitalia on the same place) but they have issues with gay couples from the same species. (That’s as short sighted as cesonsoring Kirk and Uhura kissing due to her skin color, but having no probIem with Kirk kissing a green-coloured alien from another species.) I was pointing out that relationsships between different species go waaaay beyond LGBT. Of course inside Star Trek these are analogies to often (or exclusive) straight relationships (in earlier shows). Howe would that turn out in real life? Why do people have problems with LGBT representation in Star Trek when they didn’t have any issues with inter-species-relationships? That’s bigot.

I always feel like the people who object to LGBT relationships in Trek have missed the whole point of the franchise.

Ah I apologize for misunderstanding

No problem. I should have elaborated my point this point.

Why did your last comment get deleted?

I would be fine with both Boimler and Tendi being trans, and with Mariner deciding to be fully lesbian. I also think it would be kind of cool if Shax came out as gay — maybe as Steve Stevens partner.

Shax seems flexible, hanging with T’Ana…

… But the point is, the Gorn are NOT unthinking. Even in SNW they’re not unthinking since they have attack ships, right?

And when they say they won’t compromise story for canon, well this is fine up to a point but when you go directly 180 degrees against canon, then don’t call your story a Star Trek episode. And like Laurie said, what they did with the Gorn is not just changing one line of dialogue.

Then they say they just wanted to expand on the Gorn concept… Well completely changing is not expanding.

So their answer made no sense. They were just skating around BS-ing us. They wanted to use the Gorn because they’re cool! Typical brainless showrunner thinking.

I don’t know about getting that excited about this given how they have similarly F’d with the Klingons so many times over the years? I just really can’t get all that worked up about the Gorns these days — other issues in Trek I am much more concerned about. But even so, I will take a bite of your apple:

First, we got a 55 year old ep with a guy walking 3 MPH in an improbable rubber dino suit. So of course they are going to change that radically for modern Trek.

Secondly, that Gorn in that 55 year old ep was completely relentless and a killer, no matter what lecture was provided to both ships by the 3rd party race at end of the ep…so I have no issues with the Gorn’s behavior either.

This is the perfect race they can F around with — I am not losing sleep over it, epically when I have animated sitcom Trek and SW/Jedi-Trek to worry about.

None of my Gorn issues have anything to do with how they look or act compared to what we saw in the ’60s. None!

Hi Laurie,

I was responding to Silvereye’s comments, not dismissing your comments on the Gorn? I guess I should have made that more clear — sorry! Regarding your comments, yeah, did they more changes beyond the two issues that I brought up to significantly break from Gorn canon. I agree with you on that — you are right!

However, I get more worried about much bigger Trek canon issues (IMHO), such as Star Trek becoming too Stars Wars-like (Jack with Jedi-like Powers taking out the “Borg Emperor” with his father’s help while ace pilot “Data Calrissian” flies into and blows up up the “Death Cube”), animated sitcom Trek officers behaving like middle school punks (like, “let’s turn Yar’s killer Armus into a Messin With Sasquatch-like comedy skit”), and Khan suddenly showing up as a white-Brit (WTF???). These are the types of things that rise to the level of what bothers me concerning canon today. The “SNW Gorn thing” to me is on the level of “don’t sweat the small stuff” YMMV :-)

Tony & I definitely found some Star Wars moments in that Picard season. I still loved it, although I pointed out plenty of issues I had along the way on the podcast. But my joy at watching all of it was bigger than any of my complaints. Lower Decks, I have no complaints about, though! (I guess I could’ve done without the Mugato stuff, lol.)

Laurie, this is where there seems to be some kind of generational divide may be coming into play.

It’s almost as though the first Star Trek show that we watch come out week-by-week imprints on us in a different way, so that we react differently to new shows that evoke those.

My spouse and I, who are closer to Goldsman in age, take great bubbling joy in SNW. It’s the show that’s giving us ‘feels’ as you’ve called them all though smiles and laughs, not tears.

I’ve got a silly unconscious smile every time I watch SNW’s main titles. For us, SNW recaptures the energy and the aspirations for a better future that TOS provided in first run.

But I don’t hear that so much from the slightly younger generation, no matter that they became fans from TOS reruns. For them, TNG was the first show they saw live week-to-week, and it seems to matter more than I could have ever expected.

Despite both being dedicated fans of TNG when it arrived, my spouse and my experience of Picard S3 wasn’t the same as what you and so many others describe. We enjoyed it well enough, especially the first half season, but it wasn’t an event for us in the same way. My spouse in fact finds it very hard to credit statements that the Enterprise-D recreation made people tear up. (Much muttering of “No, seriously? That’s just too much.”)

So on one hand, we’re incredulous that so many fans can give a pass on the fairly corrupt, influence and nepotism-riddled vision of Starfleet we’re left with in the Picard finale
– a fairly deep contradiction to what attracted us to the franchise in the first place – while at the same time genuinely mystified why the Gorn, Chapel, La’an’s tie to Khan or younger Spock’s emotional disregulation can become huge barriers for some. They just seem relatively so much more minor to us.

If we’re going to be able to have conversations across generations and fandoms without prickling up and offending one another, we’re going to have to accept that there are some pretty deep differences in emotional takes that are affecting our tolerances. We’ll need to accept that it’s still Trek, and the same continuity even if something we see as pretty significant doesn’t line up with our expectations or the elements of canon we’d like to emphasize.

It going to take some real effort to listen to one another, and a willingness to accept that the emotional rushes that we feel aren’t at all universal nor are the irritants.

Not all shows will work for all of us, but we need to accept they’re all Prime Universe, even if each show presents its own deep barriers to acceptance by one generation or sub element of fandom or another.

Last thing, I never thought of myself as a ‘TOS-baby’ as some people are calling Goldsman and my generation. In the 70s, 80s, and 90s, I thought of the core TOS fans as older Boomers, now in their 70s or my MIL’s cohort who were adult fans in the 60s. Not me lol!

Those older OG fans seemed to be more strongly represented in the super negative factions that resisted just about everything new, and campaigned for a more action-adventuring Trek all through the Berman-era. (I thought of myself as one of the cool younger fans who were ready to embrace a new show or four.)

Both Voyager and Enterprise tried to address those OG TOS-fan complaints in their premises, tried to get back to exploration in dangerous space. It’s interesting though that it’s taken until SNW, Goldsman & Myers who get what some of us have been hankering for. It SNW that seems to have captured that bright energy that some of us seemto have long been missing.

I don’t think it’s generational, I think it’s just people’s personal preferences. I grew up on TOS with no sign of any new Treks in sight! I’m only 3 years younger than Akiva.

I agree with you there. I think it just comes down to personal feelings myself. La’an doesn’t bother me, I think she’s interesting. Jack Crusher Junior didn’t bother me either. He wasn’t interesting to me personally but the concept of him didn’t bother me at all.

If we were to get Legacy, I predict that Matalas will not be able to resist using Jack’s special Borg-derived powers to essentially do Jedi-like things to get the crew out of predicaments. And given that, it will only be a matter of time before Jack starts doing telekinetic stuff like Jedi.

For me, Pic S3 was not centered on what TNG was best at — an intelligent and socially advanced crew solving problems by using their brains, with peace and use of force only as a last resort. (And sure, you can point out action adventure eps in TNG, but those were the exception rather than the rule.)

And I certainly believe that Matalas could have done that with a much different, problem-solver approach to the final 2 eps. Instead, we got Star Wars — not just in tone, approach, fighting and characters with force-like powers, but literally ripping off the last half of ROTJ for the story.

Sure, the actors performed well and we got the good emotional, fan-service closure to TNG that we never really got through the movies, but it wasn’t a true TNG story.

So there is not a generational difference here. The difference is that some fans are able to overlook that the story is not recognizable as what the TNG was all about, while others of us feel cheated by the story, which fell apart as was so weak in so many ways.

Picard S3 was a really bad TNG story and violated what made that show so classically great — that’s my main problem with it.

I agree as well Laurie, I don’t think any of it is generational at all. First off, SNW seems to be liked by every age group, people who grew up with TOS and people who didn’t. Some don’t like it of course and AFAIK there are just as many people on this very board who grew up with TOS who has problems with the show too. It just comes down to preference.

The issues people seem to have with TOS is mostly its contradictory canon issues which is a problem most Trek fans have issues with regardless of age or show.

LOL I meant SNW. ;)

As I commented to Laure below, I don’t think it’s due to a generational difference. The difference is that some fans are able to overlook that the story is not recognizable as what the TNG was all about, while others of us feel cheated by the story, which fell apart as was so weak in so many ways. Basically, we got Star Wars — not just in tone, approach, fighting and characters with force-like powers, but literally ripping off the last half of ROTJ for the story.

Picard S3 was a really bad TNG story and violated what made that show so classically great — that’s my main problem with it.

Oh gosh, I agreed with you in an earlier post, but now that I’ve adjusted my meds, I’m not so sure.
Glad to see you have found a bit of comment ground with Laurie on her comments.
But I can understand how last season’s substantial change from the initial ’60s interpretation of the Gorns’ behaviour and motivation is more than just “don’t sweat the small stuff” for Laurie and other OS fans.
That interpretation at the time was very important, and not something I am ready to downplay.
In the same way, I respect your oft-repeated complaints about Star Trek veering into Star Wars territory.

I love when these comment threads lead to understanding instead of shouting opinions at each other.

One thing we know Laurie, is that you were not scared by the ‘60s Gorn look. It was hilarious when you giggled and asked Tony “You found the Gorn in a rubber suit funny?” (or something to that effect). I don’t remember if the Gorn scared me in the ‘60s. All I know is the salt monster scared the schnitzel out of me, but the Gorn… can’t remember.

I wanted to challenge Tony on the idea that the Gorn costume was scary to kids, but I felt like it would be a derailment at that point. But I was a kid when I watched that and it was NOT scary. Lost in Space was also NOT scary. (Rob Lowe described it to William Shatner as a “guy in a potato suit” or something like that, lol.) Anything with a slow-moving person in a giant suit? Not scary. Agree that the Salt Monster was scary!

Laurie you have a discerning mind. Even as a child you knew it was a suit. To me it was “Ack! A weird talking potato with spider eyes and claws!” I am humbled.

Ha! The BIG thing about the Gorn for me as a kid was that it moved so slowly, it was impossible to take it seriously as an enemy. Even when I was a little kid, I thought Kirk could just run around it in circles until it fell down with exhaustion. The Salt Monster could hyphotize you and freeze you AND disguise itself as someone you knew: Scary! (And that poor monster got no breaks from anybody, they just killed it, boooooo. If I were making SNW I’d do the Salt Monster. Not extinct yet! Far more interesting than the Gorn in my book. Also, if I were making SNW, I’d invent new aliens instead of reinventing old ones.

Many parents really didn’t restrict what kids had access to in the 1960s. I can’t say it was healthy but there were many more violent and scary things. It was only the Vietnam nightly news coverage that gave my mum any pause about what I saw.

I found Lost in Space genuinely creepy. Shows with adults trying to manipulate kids were what I found frightening in 1965-68.

Twilight Zone or Outer Limits psychological horror was also pretty accessible in my uncensored mass television access and reasonably disturbing to me as a child.

Guys in monster suits not so much. That kind of campy monster stuff was daytime television, and action thriller television with gigantic octopuses like Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea were favourites of my peers.

(It’s important to remember that TOS was broadcast in an era when King Kong and Godzilla were standard after school fare in 4:00 pm movies (at least on the US cross border station near us). Westerns with mass death were running as daytime television when I was a preschooler.)

So, even as a young schoolchild, I found the Gorn in Arena pretty over-the-top and ridiculous.

It didn’t even have the cool factor of the Creature from the Black Lagoon – which I recall was ‘must watch’ event television for me and a neighbour friend in second grade.

Yah I hear you, but one of my pet peeves is being taken for an idiot. They’re telling us they wanted to have this unthinking monster…. when even their own version is an intelligent being (they have ships). They could just as easily have made them be another species. They’re just using the Gorn for fan service… They’re playing us man!

Anyway it’s no big deal. I didn’t dislike the episode, but it just left me blah.

Yeah, I agree that’s asinine. They should just be up front about it.

Why can’t an R-breeder species be unthinking at an early stage in life but sentient later?

The Gorn aren’t humanoid, and not all species with sentience should need to follow the biological path of few offspring who are raised with great care and nurturing.

Assuming all specific follow the same developmental path is the kind of mistake that Star Trek’s been teaching us not to make since TOS.

Good point!

I like that!

Well now, UP-NN, I’m not sure I want to make a habit of agreeing with you, but in this particular instance, I’ll say you are spot on!
My gosh, may be time for me to readjust my meds.

Chapel said her trip to Vulcan was for an archaeological medicine program, so my assumption was that’s where she will meet her future fiance.

And any guesses as to whether that was the Kelvin docked next to the Enterprise?

Yeah, we totally missed that part! We figured they put it in there for a reason but somehow didn’t latch onto the “archaeological medicine” part of the phrase & got hung up on the Vulcan thing. So yes, she’s going to meet Roger Korby.

Which will set up an interesting “love square” with Spock and T’Pring. Otherwise Spock becomes a dick in TOS for always spurning Chapel’s puppy love.

I noticed rewatching Memento Mori that M’Benga mentioned Chapel’s interest in archaeological medicine when he challenged her to help suturing Number One’s wounds.


The episode did not work for me. Here is why:
1) The plot was stupid. The idea that a few Klingons and Humans ban together to spark an interstellar war so the UFP/Klingons will buy more dilithium from their planet is a headscratcher. What? It makes no sense. It feels like they are trying to set up something smart and allegorical, but it just came off…….as dumb. I wished they would have centered their story solely around misinformation or war profiteering. They should have expanded on that. Star Trek is at its best when their is a moral dilenma to ponder. I saw nothing of that here.

I think maybe, the Broken Circle just need to be better businessmen and adapt to changing times in a changing galaxy..
2) Super Serum. What? Ridiculous. If a story comes out that the serum is Federation standard during the Klingon War, wouldn’t that make the UFP hypocrites, since that is genetic manipulation?
5) Spock is more worried about destroying the Crossfield ship not because he values life and finds killing abhorrent, but because he is killing the woman he loves.
6) Spock crying.
7) Spock, why did you leave the bridge while a D-7 was out there ready to blow you up?
8) Una is in prison for being an Illyrian, yet, Spock steals a ship and the worse he gets is a hangover.

9) Who healed M’Benga and Chapel after floating in space if the crew is back on Starbase 1.
10) And Gorn.

Star Trek: Enterprise is starting to look like a masterpiece.

Spock was behaving strangely compared to later (earlier shows. You know, what I mean).
Nevertheless I don’t see this as a contradiction.

We saw Spock crying in TMP, smiling in the Cage, stealing/abducting the Enterprise in the Menagerie and coping with his emotions in some TOS-episodes. It could have been written way more subtle, but in my head-canon he fits between the Cage and TOS.

Subtle is the key word. I don’t mind subtle emotion. It works for Spock. I just felt he was emotional for all the wrong reasons.

Dude, he laughed out loud in The Cage. That reflected his emotional state at the time he served on Pike’s Enterprise.

Know your Star Trek history!

Spock crying in TMP was different – he was just about to purge himself of emotion on Vulcan, but the impact of mind melding with V’Ger changed all that. He felt an affinity with V’Ger as a once emotionless being.

My gripe with SNW is there’s nothing new brought to the table. Stealing the Enterprise, been there done that. Over emotional Spock? Yep, been there too. The Gorn, retelling of Balance of Terror, and the list goes on. This show had the opportunity to create it’s own identity, and still connect to what came after. They have a great cast, let them grow in intelligent, original stories instead of dipping into the well over and over.

Well put.


Nah, that is ridiculously unfair given nearly ever sf story element and type of plot any writer could come up with these day will have examples where fans are saying, “there is noting new on the table.”

If that’s your complaint, then perhaps it’s time for you to ditch Trek, because I got bad news for you my friend, the near-term future of Trek is going to be necessarily derivative unless they reboot the entire thing with a new starting point and focus (which I would support, BTW in the next decade after the Kurtzman era concludes).

Well, I stand by what I wrote, and I don’t think it’s unfair to expect something that is well written and shows some originality.

And yes, I’ve pretty much ditched the new Trek already. The only series I’ve watched completely is Picard S3, the others I couldn’t make it past 4 or 5 episodes. Maybe I’m just spoiled from what came before; and other well written shows on the other services.

I agree. I want them to stop trying to “evolve” things from TOS and instead take the SPIRIT of it. Tell sci-fi stories, go to new places. Yes, what made the original series great is Kirk, Spock, McCoy & company, the ship, etc. It was also the CONCEPT (forgive my all caps emphasis) of a crew as part of a truly benevolent organization that had risen above scarcity and war whose mission was exploring the galaxy. That’s the only part they truly need to emulate. They are clearly capable of doing that. I want them to make that the focus instead of trying to fit in the puzzle pieces so we can line up with TOS when they’re done.

One thing SH Trek as a whole has done for me is make me realize that ENT was Much better than I gave it credit for at the time.

It hasn’t done that for me at all, sadly.

I agree with a lot of this, but not all. SNW is the most challenging of all the new shows for me because there are a lot of details that trip me up, like these did for you. I listen to a great podcast called Trek, Marry, Kill, and they described it so well: You can always feel the hand of the writers/showrunners in the episode, doing the things they want to do because they like them. I am always trying to find the pieces I can enjoy (like Spock going through this particular journey, and thank god for Ethan Peck), but some things just annoy me (super serum, Gorn) and others are milder things I sort of have to chill on, like human and Klingon factions teaming up before the TOS era. I love the cast, I love the look, I love the urge to do something different and be playful; they are not great with the details. I still found the episode to be a fun ride with lots of good moments, but I can’t say I think you’re wrong in your assessment! I just watched next week’s and it was the same mix… lots of good fun stuff, botched details.

I love the cast too. They are wonderful and amazingly talented. I can possibly live with the canon violations (eyes will roll very loudly) if they can tell a story worthy of Star Trek and the great cast.

I will say I love Carol Kane. My wife and I are huge fans of hers. She was a fish out of water and so alien. She will be a favorite of mine.

And the Vulcan harp was a brilliant move. That I loved. It was a nice touch.

I may have enjoyed it a bit.

LLAP! Keep up the great work on the podcast.

Hi Laurie, you mentioned you did not like the super solider serum, which is an OK opinion to have. I don’t recall though hearing similar complaints from you about Jack’s super solider and mind-control powers from Pic S3, which were partially derived from the Borg with help from Picard’s corpse?

I mean, a serum to accelerate your metabolism, energy and strength for a limited time in combat actually seems like that would be in reach in the coming decades based on today’s medical/genetic drugs, whereas infusing a human with Borg special powers that the Borg never had, and amping that up with material from Picard’s corpse (and none of that was ever really explained very week), seems as least as lazy as that Magic Blood in STID that is always brought up as being lame.

Oh, for sure there is some inconsistency there, I won’t deny it. Some of that is what we got from it: a big slow-mo punching scene is not my thing, mind control gives you much more interesting scenes to watch. I’ll be honest, I love Ed Speleers and think he did a great job, but his character was not the reason I loved season 3. (And I really didn’t like, as I said frequently on the podcast, the way fathers were so much more important than mothers, hello.) I could also see a path to those powers in a way that made sense to me (after a while, my first convo with Tony about it was “what the hell, Picard can’t impart Borg powers through sperm!”). But a lot of it is that I just hate big fist fight scenes, so my tolerance for what gets us there is low.

Fair enough!

Yeah, in the real world, no groups would ever try to get a war started so they they could profiteer. Like that would ever really happen?

LOL ;-)

You don’t understand my problems with the episode, do you? My problem with the story is not the theme, but the execution of it. It was sloppy and buried underneath unnecessary fighting scenes and a very bad interpretation of Spock. The story itself doesn’t work.

OK, I get that. Reminds me of my thoughts on a lot of what I saw in Pic S3.

Another top notch episode. You guys do the best Star Trek podcast, bar none, and I’ve listened to too many to count.

Wow, thank you! (We’d love it if you could leave us a review on Apple, if you haven’t already.)

I can do that too! Keep up the great podcasts!

Thank you!!!

So, I thought you guys might hit on this idea when discussing the Doc suddenly producing a musical instrument: I assumed that it was M’Benga’s own. We know he is knowledgeable about Vulcan biology. Probably studied there and might have learned to play himself. Maybe he was gifting it to Spock (temporarily or longer) in Spock’s time of need.

As for the episode, and the podcast: I thought both were great. Keep up the good work!

Thanks so much! It still felt weird to both of us… like, he keeps it in Sickbay? I don’t know. I know it would’ve eaten up time but it would’ve been less silly for him to take Spock somewhere to get it… but they really wanted that scene where Chapel walks in and his levels go back up.

I didn’t find it weird at all.

Physicians on starships are also responsible for the psychological well being of the crew, especially in TOS where there are no shipboard counsellors.

Even today, physicians will prescribe occupational therapy solutions for patients with stressors. Physical activity is one, but stress balls and music therapy to lower the heart rate are really basic ones.

M’Benga knew Spock had issues with emotional regulation since removing his Vulcan blocks. He studied Vulcan physiology on Vulcan itself. So, he knew the likely impact of that.

With a Vulcan, the challenge would be for the patient to accept there was a problem to address.

Having the musical instrument held on hand for the moment when the patient would logically accept the therapeutic solution was the challenge. Whether M’Benga has one he’d acquires on Vulcan or on the enormous Star Dock where they had been in repairs for months, is really unnecessary detail.

You’re not wrong. As Tony said on the podcast, we can come up with a whole offscreen story for what led to him having it just a few feet away and it’ll make perfect sense, but it was still a funny, slightly jarring moment for a lot of us watching. A very minor issue, but a lot of viewers had the same reaction.