Recap/Review: ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Makes The Case In “Ad Astra Per Aspera”

“Ad Astra Per Aspera”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2, Episode 2 – Debuted Thursday, June 22, 2023
Written by:  Dana Horgan
Directed by Valerie Weiss

The pace slows down for a classic courtroom episode that offers a lot of character development along with reinforcing time-honored Star Trek themes.

Thankfully, this toxic air isn’t impacting the hair.


WARNING: Spoilers below!


“I shouldn’t have to hide anymore”

After a quick flashback to a tense moment in Una’s childhood, we find Number One being pressed to take a plea deal by Captain Batel: Admit to lying by hiding being a genetically engineered Illyrian and receive dishonorable dismissal from Starfleet but no jail time. She wants a better deal… and a better lawyer. Pike is on the case, across the quadrant on an Illyrian colony where he needs to carry his own air to breathe, using that to bully his way into the office of renowned civil rights lawyer Neera Ketoul. However, her bad personal history with Una has her refusing to take the case. “Una Chin-Riley is not my friend, and neither are you.” Yet she has no love for the Federation or Starfleet, calling their anti-genetic engineering laws “draconian,” so Pike uses this passion to get her to sign on. Once on Earth, Neera is clear she is only there to raise the profile of her caseload of fights with the Federation. She scoffs at how Una hid her true nature, but the accused Starfleet officer vows she is finally ready to stop hiding and fight for who she really is. With the new lawyer raising the stakes, Batel is pissed her hard work on the plea deal was rejected, and now her sour Vulcan JAG boss has taken an interest and added charges of sedition, pushing for 20 years in a penal colony. Gulp.

Batel convinces Chris to resist his instinct for “inspiring speeches” and not take the stand in the trial, as it could open the door up to him incriminating himself for not reporting Una. Neera also convinces Una that going on the stand to defend herself would also backfire—and possibly risk implicating the whole crew as co-conspirators. After a fun diversion in the Enterprise lounge where Spock apologizes for his (imperceptible, except to M’Benga) “outburst” with the Vulcan JAG admiral, Neera gets set up for work in Number One’s quarters. She looks to La’an to help her prep with the required Starfleet codes and records. The security officer suggests trying to get the case thrown out if it can be shown Starfleet found out she was Illyrian through illegal means—like accessing personal logs. Ironically, to test her theory, La’an turns to Uhura and requests access to all the personal logs, saying, “We need to find out who turned her in.” The newly minted communications ensign rightly points this is an illegal order and so she refuses, empathizing with La’an’s desire to help her mentor, but saying flatly, “I’m sorry. No.” Good for her.

Don’t worry, they will erase your chair legs in post.

“Genetics is not destiny.”

The trial starts and Batel opens by explaining why genetic engineering is “dangerous and illegal” by immediately invoking the Eugenics Wars, the dead millions, and saying those who monkey with their DNA are “playing God.” Neera counters by lumping these laws in with the dustbin of history’s laws discriminating against different groups, accusing the Federation of being blinded by fear. Una had no choice but to hide her true nature, just like all those persecuted before her. The first witness is Admiral April, Una’s former commander and Starfleet Academy sponsor who admits he wouldn’t have helped her if he’d known the truth. Neera pounces on him defending this protocol, noting how he ignored the Prime Directive on multiple occasions (as captains of the Enterprise tend to do), calling him “sanctimonious,” and doubling down on her argument, accusing him of acting out of “fear and racial prejudice.” The judges are not happy, and neither are Pike and the crew as they watch from the Enterprise while Una’s case descends into chaos. April drops by to let Chris know he is not cool with his choice of counsel and even refuses to share a drink. Una is pissed too, accusing Neera of just using the trial as a “soapbox,” triggering Neera to accuse Una of being the expert on leaving people behind, revealing more of their simmering tension. So day one could have gone better.

Things look up a bit on trial day two as Neera calls character witnesses. La’an (noted as an descendant of Eugenics Wars tyrant Khan Noonien Singh) testifies she never suspected Una and credits the first officer for saving her life and the lives of many more. Dr. M’Benga touts Una’s compassion and discretion with the crew. Spock, too, has high praise for the commander as a mentor, saying that it would be illogical for Starfleet to punish itself by dismissing such a good officer, calling her a friend and family. Aww. But he did admit she was hiding something… her affinity for Gilbert and Sullivan musicals. Back on the Enterprise, La’an continues to fixate on how Starfleet learned about Una, admitting to Neera she is worried they may have accessed her own personal log, recorded in anger after she first learned her mentor had lied to her. The lawyer sees that La’an is also troubled by her own genetic past, concerned she carries not only Khan’s augmented genes, but the potential to become dangerous. Neera dismisses the concern, telling La’an she has been listening to too much Federation dogma: “You’re not born a monster.” The defense counsel also assures La’an she isn’t the source, but who exposed Una is still a question. La’an ponders who would “gain from exposing the truth.” A more confident Neera pivots, saying the conversation has been “very helpful,” leaving La’an wondering what’s going on. Us too.

I’ve information vegetable, animal, and mineral.

“Starfleet is not a perfect organization, but it strives to be.”

For the final trial day, Neera surprises by calling Una to the stand, who explains how she was inspired to join Starfleet through the classic pre-Federation motto “Ad astra per aspera” (episode title alert!) seeing a possible “salvation” in the stars. And she needed salvation, big time. Turns out Una grew up on a Federation colony of Illyrians literally divided between the modified and unmodified, with the latter facing growing persecution from the government and the mob inspired by discriminatory laws. Augmented Illyrians feared for their lives and because her family could pass, they chose to separate themselves and hide among the non-Illyrians. Now she regrets it, apologizing to Neera, who was one of those left behind. But the lawyer presses on, accused by a judge of badgering her own witness, until Una admits she turned herself in to Starfleet. She wanted to be safe and hoped she could help Starfleet meet its own ideals. Una still believes in that inclusive diverse Starfleet that she looked up to as a girl. Inspiring. Stepping in for Batel, Vulcan JAG vice admiral Grump Pasalk is not moved by all this “emotion” as he needles the first officer about precisely when Pike found out she was Illyrian. She reluctantly admits it was months before she outed herself, opening up her captain to a charge of conspiracy. Wow, what a buzzkill.

For closing arguments Pasalk is brief, pointing to Una’s own testimony as an admission of guilt, not only for herself but likely leading to a court-martial of Captain Pike. He recommends Starfleet rid itself of her “toxic” presence. Spock is right, this guy is just the worst. Unfazed, Neera asks for a reading of a Starfleet Code which lays out the specific conditions which just happen to match Una’s own testimony about the dangers she faced on that divided colony as well as how, by turning herself in, she requested “asylum” within Starfleet. The anti-Federation crusader then gives her own inspiring speech about how Una’s actions are all part of Starfleet’s many missions of salvation, with Pike living up to those ideals by accepting her, therefore using his discretion to grant asylum. All the judges needed to do is find their “better selves” and confirm it. You just knew she had some legal trick up her sleeve. Delivering the final ruling, the head judge reaffirms that the laws against genetic modification exist for good reasons, leaving reexamination for a future court. However, they are open to some nuance when it comes to “unique” cases, like Una Chin Riley, now officially granted asylum and declared not guilty of all charges. Vulcan JAGoff is pissed, ha! Things wrap up quickly as Una is reunited with her happy Enterprise family. She and Neera confirm they are friends again, and the lawyer (awkwardly) gets a round of applause as she beams away. After some fun banter, Una is back on duty and dismisses the crew. With a final (also awkward) hug from Pike, the first officer is happy to be back. And so are we.

When this is over, I’m going to kill Spock for revealing my Gilbert and Sullivan secret.


To the stars through hardship

After the action and galactic stakes of the season premiere, Strange New Worlds pivots to another familiar genre with an effective courtroom drama. This time the stakes are personal but just as high, with Una’s freedom on the line, and more importantly, Starfleet’s ideals being put to the test in her trial. While the faster pace of the previous episode may make for a better opener, the simple but laser-focused story infused with Star Trek idealism made for the better episode. Buoyed by strong performances from Rebecca Romijn along with guest star Yetide Badaki as Neera, “Ad Astra Per Aspera” delivered some of the richest character development of the series so far, and not just revealing Una’s backstory and motivation, but also exploring the bonds she has with her captains: Pike and April. And through the lens of this trial, we even learn more about others including La’an’s fear of her dark genetic heritage, M’Benga’s deep understanding of Vulcans, and Uhura growing up and showing some spine, all of which ties well into canon.

Star Trek is often knocked for being too “talky” with lots of scenes of people sitting around tables in deep discussion. There may be some truth to this, but Strange New Worlds leaned into how this is also one of the franchise’s enduring strengths when done right, with the episode not getting distracted by subplots. Instead, it relished in the genre, visually evoking classic TOS episodes like “The Menagerie,” and especially “Court Martial” with some excellent production design and beautiful dress uniforms. However, the powerful trial and its dramatic arguments about individual rights bring favorable comparisons to the classic TNG episode “The Measure of a Man” (with tinges of Voyager’s “Author, Author”). Holding up the dark mirror to prejudices that can still exist within the Federation’s utopia was also reminiscent of “The Drumhead.” Even though you knew Neera had a clever legal twist coming, when finally revealed, it still made for tense drama, but also nicely tied things up both thematically and with her own personal connection to Una. Again, the episode reveals how this show can honor and evoke Trek lore without stumbling over it as it sometimes does.

I’m busy, why don’t you call Samuel T. Cogley?

This new episode stands on its own among this legal subgenre of Trek and like the best of them, it uses a sci-fi concept as allegory; in this case, persecution of the genetically modified and Una having to hide her true identity standing in for topical issues related (mentioned in the episode in case you missed it) race, gender, sexuality, and religion, although it is a little unclear how a Federation colony could devolve as badly as Una’s did, with her recollection being an almost beat-for-beat rundown of the persecutions of Jews ahead of the Holocaust. While setting up the conditions for the asylum trick, this Reductio ad Hitlerum wasn’t necessary and makes real discussion of the issues at hand more difficult. However, all the commentary about Una living authentically certainly did feel relevant and contemporary and likely resonated with modern audiences as it once again used a Star Trek courtroom drama to put humanity itself on trial. Altogether, “Ad Astra Per Aspera” should end up ranked high on lists of Star Trek courtroom episodes. Like the best of them, it leaned into those inspirational speeches about living up to the ideals of Starfleet, with the active musical score effectively landing all of those moments. While we were denied hearing a speech from Anson Mount’s Captain Pike, that gave Rebecca Romijn (a very underutilized asset for the show) time to shine, adding many new layers to Una and also setting her up for a new journey now that she can be her true self.

In this episode of Single Female Lawyer...

Final thoughts

“Ad Astra Per Aspera” feels very modern in every way and yet it is classic Star Trek, which is the exact sweet spot the series is designed for. The show is demonstrating that it is willing to tell its own stories while also evoking the best of the franchise. Two episodes (and two subgenres in), and season 2 of Strange New Worlds is off to a strong start.

What do you mean tip is already included in the bill?


  • Starts with Captain’s Log,  Stardate 2393.8.
  • The Tellarite judge was played by David Benjamin Tomlinson, best known for playing Linus on Star Trek: Discovery, along with a number of other aliens.
  • While credited as “Tellarite Judge,” the character’s name was actually Zus Tlaggul, and the credited “Vulcan Judge” (played by Eugene Clark) was actually named Chiv.
  • The “Vaultera Nebula” is likely a different spelling for the Volterra Nebula from the TNG episode “The Chase.”
  • The “fruit of a poisonous tree” cited by Neera as precedent in Starfleet law is also used today.
  • Spock recalling his first meeting with Una recounted the events of the Short Treks episode “Q&A.”
  • Ortegas jokes that Spock and Pasalk might play a game of kal-toh.
  • The research mission Pike tells Neera about when he learned the Federation got things wrong about Illyrians was seen in the season 1 episode “Ghosts of Illyria.”
  • M’Benga’s mention of how Una can be compassionate and discreet is a nod to how she kept the secret regarding how he was keeping his daughter alive using the medical transporter buffer, also from “Ghosts of Illyria.”
  • While the ban on genetic engineering will persist into the 24th century, Starfleet will also find loopholes for Dr. Julian Bashir (Deep Space Nine) and Dal R’El (Prodigy).
  • The courtroom set was a redress of the 32nd-century Starfleet HQ set from Star Trek: Discovery, with some added wood paneling, along with golden frieze panels inspired by panels from the US Supreme Court.

I predict centuries from now Starfleet will still look like this.

More to come

Every Friday, the All Access Star Trek Podcast covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe and discusses the latest episode. The podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPocket CastsStitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network.

Season 2 episodes drop weekly on Thursdays on Paramount+ in the U.S, the U.K., Australia, Latin America, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Season 2 is also available on SkyShowtime elsewhere in Europe. The second season will also be available to stream on Paramount+ in South Korea, with premiere dates to be announced at a later date.

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This was a good episode though it was no where near as good as TNG’s Measure of a Man or other similar episodes imo. I felt this episode acting wise was on point but the writing missed the mark as it felt like the writers tried to replicate Measure of a Man but ending up not matching the quality of that episode.

I liked Pike in this episode the way he backed up Una in this episode showed how good a Captain he is and he is nearly as good a Captain as Sisko, Michael Burnham, Picard, Kirk, Janeway and Archer.

I liked seeing Melanie Scrofano again i don’t like her character Batel but i like seeing the actor in more shows after Wynonna Earp ended.

I also liked seeing the Federation HQ set from Discovery being used for the court room but the redress wasn’t that great as i could easily tell it was the HQ set from Discovery.

Overall a good episode but i felt it didn’t live up to the potential it was aiming for.

The more Star Trek you watch, the older you get, the more you will likely get aware of those things. I LOVE Star Trek VI TUC … but the redresses of the TNG sets is sometimes painfully blatant (Id argue even more obvious than the court room). Well… that is just the reality of budget contstraints, isn`t it.

Yeah, but that is just one quirky thing that I like spotting. The old Shows were full of it. Insurrection‘s So‘na sickbay was the museum from VOY Living Witness, the klingon high council chamber doubles as the research station in „A Matter of Perspective“ and I recognize the Enterprise TMP and Enterprise A bridges in Quite a few episodes of TNG. What Mutters More ist the writing and the characters.

“Sometimes more obvious than the court room (sic)”

Lmao yeah the use the same damn engineering section.

I notice it more, but honestly, I care less because I get it.

Was certainly a parralel to ‘Measure of a Man’ but, though I agree it was not quite as good, it brought a strong message across and had me glued to the screen for the entire episode.

Yes also agree. Not as good but they both did an amazing job discussing their messages. It’s Star Trek in every sense of the word.

But the Measure of a Man has had over 30 years to stew up the sentimentality, receive many accolades, and become the legendary “one of the best Trek eps ever” that we all believe it is today. However, at the time of it’s release, it was perceived by fans as one of the better TNG eps, but not nearly at the legendary level it’s considered at today.

So this is really an apples to oranges comparison. We need to come back in 20 years and compare the two eps. Who knows what the comparison consensus will be at that more objectively removed timeframe?

I’ll admit that my opinion of MoaM improved on my recent rewatch, but…not all of us believe it’s an all time great. It’s definitely one of the six good episodes of Season 2. It’s probably top quartile Star Trek.

Good point. I know better than to use “all.” “Most of” would have been more reflective on the general consensus point I was trying to convey regarding fan opinions on that ep.

Don’t worry, man. We all try to be diplomatic and fair, but as fans that really care about Star Trek, we should be able to call out B.S. and garbage, or on the flip side, be adamant about we think is good Trek. And when we see it, and when EVERYONE that you know or talk to seems to feel one way, the LOGICAL assumption is that that the “general” feeling is that it is the general consensus of the audience. The actual data for DIscovery was terrible. People tuned in at the beginning to see what what we were getting. And then we found out. Actually, they confirmed even MORE that SPock doesn’t have a sister, just by doing it, because it was so stupid. The numbers are there. Discovery sucked and was a failure. When we say things like that, you’ll have a couple people out there that say, ‘ well, you’re wrong because I liked it”, and my answer is, out of the 5 million people that watched it, you and only 10,000 liked it. That’s a failure, and facts are facts. Modern Star Trek is not Star Trek. The Star Trek that we have come to know is a juicy steak. SNW is drive-through fast food Star Trek. Shallow, cheap, and appeals to stupid immature entitled activists.

I’m just curious Chris, do you like ANY of the new shows? I see Discovery and SNW is definitely not your thing lol.

MoaM was widely considered the best episode of TNG until that time, though, and has never fallen off most lists of “Best TNG episodes”. It didn’t take 30 years to be considered a classic.

Ad Astra Per Aspera is not as good, but that is most likely because Una had such little presence on SNW in Season 1. We aren’t as emotionally invested in the character as we quickly became invested in Data on TNG.

I was not the person asserting that it needed to age in order to be great. I just disputed its greatness.

Opinions can, and do, change over time. A lot of people love The Undiscovered Country, I feel its aged badly, throwing that out as an example.

Agreed, that movie doesn’t hold up very well. TMP, by contrast, gets better with time.

For me, the movie that holds up poorly is TVH. I still enjoy the parts set in the 24th century, but the “let’s point and make fun of the poor primitive 20th century humans” theme is grating. (We’d fare a lot better than Kirk if we met Alexander Hamilton.)

I have to agree. ST VI is a flawed movie that I still love.

MEASURE was the only TNG script ever nominated for a WGA award (so far as I know anyway), so the accolades were coming hotNheavy right out of the gate on that one.

If a contemporary Trek show ever gets a WGA nom, I will be on the watch for extreme environmental upheaval everywhere, since Hell will have frozen over.

The only real weakness of MoaM is the casting. Amanda McBroom wrote Better Midler’s signature hit The Rose and probably should have stuck to songwriting.

I think the weakness in that episode was it was pretty obvious Riker made the more compelling and logical case. Yet the decision didn’t go his way. Unless that was the point of the episode. But I’m doubting it.

Riker didn’t make a more logical case (I can’t speak to “compelling,” as that’s subjective.) He succeeded in proving only that Data is a machine, which was essentially stipulated to at the beginning (and was not the issue of the hearing.)

The weakness of that episode (I mean, among other things) is that *Picard* has several straightforward avenues to end the hearing that he passes up.

He actually did make the more logical case. He did prove that Data, as Star Fleet saw him going into this, was indeed nothing more than a walking talking tool. Like a wrench. It was Picard who’s argument was 100% a plea to emotion. Not just that, but when carried beyond the Data situation was absurd. That was the flaw of the episode as it was obvious what the result should be but that result would mean Data leaves the show. One could argue that it was TOO well written. Riker’s argument needed to get “dumbed down” some so as to make Picard’s argument seem better by comparison. Or at least more on par with Riker’s so the decision could be more of a 50-50 proposition.

A proper trial would have had loads of testimony on how Data joined starfleet. Fill in the gaps between being found by Starfleet and every single decision made by Data and Starfleet academy leading to him putting on a uniform. Because Data claims he chose to apply there and someone chose to let him in. What was his moral status then? What we got was a freshman philosophy class debate on self awareness which is ok.

You do make a good point. There is only so much they can do in 44 minutes. My analysis is based one what we saw in the episode. So is it possible a deeper longer testimony could have achieved a different result? Absolutely. For the record his opting to be there doesn’t prove he is autonomous. His programming very well could compel him to do just that. The fact that someone else let him in merely is evidence that someone saw Data as an individual. Just as Picard did and what the process was met to legally determine.

So true. I find, as I get older, that I’m more and more willing to see past my first reaction to an episode of Star Trek (or, really, any piece of media), knowing that I will most likely have changed my mind about it completely a decade or so later. If anything, I recognize that my first impression is the least important impression. Something I dislike today could eventually turn out to be a gem, given more time and context.

Which is why I tend not to complain much about the new shows, even though they’re not always my favourite (on first impression). I also remember not originally liking many episodes from TNG, DS9, VOY, and ENT; now, though, I have so much affection for that era that everything about it feels beloved.

The difference is that Measure of a Man was unique. Other than Court Martial from TOS, there haven’t been a lot of courtroom episodes. SNW rips off everything. Yes, this episode might age well, but it will never beat anything that has come before because it stands in the shadow of Measure of a Man. They just can’t come up with an original idea!

I don’t really mind where they’re going here, I just think they can’t put an effective enough spin on it to make it feel fresh enough so you don’t immediately think of that episode. That’s the problem.

This one was way (WAY) better than ‘A Measure of a Man’ ever was. The writing hit every mark and it lived up to the potential – and succeded – it was aiming for.

That’s the problem with this show. So much potential! But the writing just isn’t good. You can spot a little spark of something great in each episode, but the modern slang dialogue is very distracting, and not very Star Trek. They need to stop with the memberberries and write their own stuff. But frankly, Akiva Goldsman needs to be replaced with his entire writing staff. This show could be phenomenal with other people behind it…..Like Terry Matalas.

There is potential. I don’t blame the actors. Overall I sincerely believe they are doing their best with what they have. But yes… The #1 problem is the writing. It mostly comes across as juvenile. It almost feels like they feel they need to write down for the audience. There have indeed been flashes of cleverness but it’s rare. And then there is the willful ignorance to previous Trek when it gets in the way of the story they want to tell. I’m not a huge supporter of Matalas. If I had my choice Coto did great when he ran Enterprise and based on that he could be the best choice to run SNW. But if the choice was only between Matalas or any of the other Secret Hideout people then yes. Use Matalas.

Overall, I liked the episode. First off, the actress playing the defense attorney was awesome. Gravitas, intelligence, charisma. Perfect casting. My overall problem with this though, is still a biggie because I just don’t buy that the society of the future as depicted in Star Trek would have humanity reject people as they do Una’s race. I don’t mind some of the shortcuts they take to tell this as a self contained story, just the overall premise that we’re as racist and xenophobic in the future as we are today. That the Federation’s laws would be this archaic. Spock continues to act stupid for comic relief (I’m sorry you had to witness that outburst), and the crew remains the most moral infused people on this show, as opposed to humanity in general. How can this creative braintrust continue to screw up what Star Trek is on a fundamental level so badly? Canon is one thing, but this is a gross misunderstanding.

Last week Uhura helped steal the Enterprise to go save La’an. Now she is refusing to help her review personal logs. Where exactly is that line drawn?

That’s a good point. And why a suggestion I heard about last week’s episode that would have worked better would have been April agree to let the Enterprise go but keep the IT crew on board to finish their work en route. Then have the IT people figure out the key element in getting out of the scrape which could then cause Uhura to learn a lesson by re-thinking her rude chewing out to the IT guy who was there to do a job and probably actually did know what he was doing.

That would have been great!

Side note, I know the actor who was the other technician (the “Burly Inspector” that comments on the placement of the steering controls) – would have been neat to see him more, too

Nice borderline-sexist comment, but Uhura was fine (and right).

Please explain how it’s “borderline sexist”. What does that even mean? And how do you know she was right? Why would you assume the IT guy doesn’t know what he’s doing? Using your reasoning that’s being sexist, isn’t it?

Agreed — a man doing that usually gets a free pass. And there is zero reason shown on-screen to assume she was wrong — that would be borderline-sexist to claim that that man probably knew better than Uhura when we have no evidence shown to suggest that.

One reason Uhura refused to help La’an is because she knew that it would be counter-productive, since illegally accessing personal logs to prove that somebody illegally accessed personal logs wouldn’t be admissible in court. Stealing the Enterprise, on the other hand, very obviously had a purpose.

Exactly! Completely different things.

Easy, because doing that would be recorded and so it would not be admissible in court.

That was easily SNW’s best episode, which is a relief since it comes on the heals of SNW’s worst episode.

My thoughts exactly.

There was one oddity, though. How is it that La’an is allowed in Starfleet, but Una would not be? The episode even acknowledges that she has Augment genes. So why the double-standard? If the entire basis of the anti-augmentation bigotry stems from Khan’s atrocities the Eugenics Wars, why in the bloody blue blazes would Starfleet let Khan’s genetically advanced descendant serve in Starfleet if it’s willing to send someone else to prison for 20 years? It just makes no narrative sense. Also, I wish the writers had acknowledged the Ilyrians’ appearance on ENTERPRISE. They are not humans–they’re a different species. The genetic modification was retained from ENTERPRISE, but their non-human appearance was changed. All it would have taken would have been a single line explaining that the human-like change was a modification to help them pass as humans better.

My personal theory is that maybe the enhanced genes from Khan and his fellow Augments can’t be passed on normally. It would explain why they were so easily overthrown if they couldn’t reproduce the Augments.

What? And admit something that a non Secret Hideout Trek show did that gets in the way of a story they want to tell? Have you been watching nu-Trek at all?

Can’t wait to hear your claim that this episode is getting generally poor reviews…lol

I didn’t have to wait for you to stalk me and make an inane unrelated comment in yet another thread… lol

La’an is a descendant of Augments, not an Augment herself. Any modifications made to Khan would have been pretty diluted over the intervening 150+ years. The purpose of that conversation was that La’an is afraid she has some latent augmentations in her DNA that make her a monster, not that she actually does.

I agree 100%. This is a great Star Trek episode. My only complaint: the line “Vulcan bros” is so cringe and way too close to current slang.

This is so true. Can’t get used to watch these new shows with so much slang and cursing.


For the record I liked last week’s episode too, but I think I am in the minority.

You are not. Both episodes were good. Episode 1 was different for a Star Trek season opener.

Bless you Jay! :)

Great episode. It’s was great to see number one take the lead. The biggest missed opportunity of season one was not having her character lead the away mission on episode nine.

Thanks goodness they let Una off and granted her asylum! But hang on a second, why is she back in her old position on the Enterprise? She is still an augment and Starfleet rules are pretty clear on not having augments within Starfleet, it is still very much against the Law.
And why is Uhura suddenly a stickler for the rules when only a week ago she excitedly played a pivotal role in the grand theft of a starship?
Anyway, nit-picking aside, a pretty darn decent episode, I enjoyed it a lot. I even laughed out loud when Spock unexpectedly referred to Una’s choice of music – that’s how you do Spock humour, subtle and sharp.

I thought about that. Granting acylium doesn’t change the Star Fleet rule. Or does it? They didn’t say.

I guess this isn’t quite the same thing but didn’t the kids on Prodigy ask for asylum? But Dal was still not allowed to be part of Starfleet, Janeway gave a very different argument of how he can serve with her.

I’m good with her being granted asylum and allowed to serve.
The real purpose of the ban is to prevent people from engaging in genetic modification, not to punish victims. By saying she was “rescued” from such engineering she is in the clear.
I liked it.

Except doesn’t she already have the enhancements? Kinda late to use that reasoning.

I’m good with her being granted asylum and allowed to serve. The real purpose of the ban is to prevent people from engaging in genetic modification, not to punish victims. By saying she was “rescued” from such engineering she is in the clear. I liked it.

Well said!

I’m good with it too. I do like loose ends like this to be ties up though. If the judge said “we will also allow you to remain in Starfleet” it would have helped calm my OCD tendancies
However because Una did in fact rejoin the ship then I guess I can believe that the judge told her that off camera..

Everyone steals a starship in Trek, eventually. They teach a class at the Academy on the subject.

Why did Julian Bashir get to stay being the CMO on DS9 then

Maybe in the background someone cited Una’s case as legal precedence.

Pretty easy to explain that as Uhura having an interest in rules that protect privacy and things of that sort.

But she’s not interested in rules of Grand Theft??

Among other things, hard to have a concept of grand theft in a society without money (generally speaking.)

Yeah, makes sense I guess – “Hey, someone took another Starship, it didn’t cost us anything to make, so lets just get another one. Federation shipyards, can you please allocate another 5 million labor hours to make a new ship? Yeah, they seem to go missing every now and again, but it’s ok, it’s not like it’s coming out of anybody’s budget……”

It is actually, contrary to the reviewer’s opinion, quite easy to envision a Federation colony degenerating into racial bigotry. For starters Vulcan racism towatds non-Vulcans is tolerated throughout the Federation. Then there is the fact that in just a few years a Federation researcher is going to think it’s a good idea to ressurect the NDSP on another planet.

Clearly Una’s home colony had some members of Terra Prime (23rd century KKK) or the Logic Extremists (ISIS) living there.

True. Tasha Yar’s Federation colony collapsed and degenerated to excessive crime, violence, and r*pe gangs.

Now THAT was Star Trek! A strong social allegory, excellent character work, and inspiration like whoa. I thought the revelation that Una turned HERSELF in was stunning, and the asylum gambit was clever.

And I’m glad the writer remembered that “A Private Little War” told us that Dr. M’Benga interned in a Vulcan ward, and so he knows Vulcans far better than most humans do. The cute little humorous scene caused by the difference between his and Ortegas’ understanding of Spock’s interaction with the other Vulcan was a nice break from all the tension.

Bigotry is a great evil, and Star Trek has been firmly anti-bigotry at least since Kirk’s, “Leave any bigotry in your quarters; there’s no room for it on the bridge” in “Balance of Terror.” Nice to see SNW continuing this proud tradition!

Since SNW is supposed to have stand alone episodes is it a weakness or a strength that there is very little visibly or actionably different about Illyrians that we can see within “the present” of this episode? Do the flashbacks work? Anyone else have thoughts about that? And would people here who liked the episode think is it worthy of sharing with friends?

Strongly agree. This is a bad writing habit and I think we can dump it at Lost’s doorstep. Pike goes to A Planet of Illyrians but they have no connection to the present action. Sometimes, writers just need to trust that they can create the drama without resorting to a flashback. It almost never works. I say this knowing that there are about to be a dozen or more people chiming in with “I love flashbacks — even when they don’t always work! But this one did because it’s Star Trek! You don’t know what you’re talking about!”, but Lost-level writing is TV’s McDonald’s, which is to say mass market, predictable, and doesn’t promise anything more than what it is. At one point, Star Trek had top tier-level writing for the medium. Now, maybe that’s damning the history of TV writing (up until about the last 15 years) with faint praise — will it ever be as good as Mad Men or The Wire or The Sopranos or whatever prestige pinnacle that immediately comes to mind? Probably not in our lifetimes, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t aim higher. This one aimed for “good enough,” and I think that’s really how this episode, overall, nets out, in spite of Trek in a Cafe’s entirely valid criticism.

I felt the flashbacks were done because they were unsure if the audience would follow. Never a good idea to think your are smarter than your audience. The flashbacks weren’t necessary at all. In fact, they were a distraction.

“La’an (noted as an ancestor of Eugenics Wars tyrant Khan Noonien Singh)”


“But he did admit she was hiding something… her affinity for Gilbert and Sullivan musicals.”

Called it.

indeed! I remember that.

😄 😄

Yes, you did! 😉👍

Well.. This was probably the most easily predictable episode of nu-Trek ever. Even though they defied their own arguments from time to time. Example: It was obvious who turned #1 in after the first act. It actually wasn’t very good overall. Really wish they took a different tack here than the one they did to achieve the same result. But it did accomplish one thing… It made “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” look good.

Yeah, they should have found her guilty and executed her on the spot.

That’s pretty dark. Weird comment especially since as far as we know only violation of General Order 7 carries with it the death penalty.

Hey, you were the one griping about this episode being predictable. No one would have seen that coming.

True. It certainly would have been a twist. And it would fall right in line with SNW ignoring the rules that were set from TOS by executing someone for something that was not a General Order 7 violation.



Yeah, ouch! :-))

Overall a fine episode yes, however the final message I think is very very questionable: seeking asylum is above all other law. Cause in our times that is the reason of European countries going down in integrity, criminal records and in overall cultural decline. Sure, nice to hive Una back, but the final way …

That assertion is doing some might heavy lifting there, pardner. Care to offer-up any evidence?

Wow. “Illyrians will not replace us” much?

Europe pillaged most of the countries where their asylum seekers and refugees come from for centuries, building their wealth on colonization (if not outright slavery) while leaving their colonies starved of resources, bankrupt, ecologically precarious, and with whatever convenient strongman that served their interests in charge, meaning decades of strife afterwards.

Like Europeans are somehow magically pure? Please. Who was it again who pioneered the trans-Atlantic slave trade, killed indigenous people for sport and brought them diseases, forced them off their own lands into some of the most miserable conditions on Earth, nearly drove their food animals into extinction, destroyed traditional food forests, and tried to otherwise commit genocide via residential schools, out-of-tribe adoption, forced sterilization, police abuse, and ignoring the thousands of cases of murdered and missing indigenous women (MMIW?) And that’s just North America.

Wow. You are saying European countries are “in decline” due to immigration of non-Europeans (i.e. brown people)?? This comment tells me, 1. That you never have really absorbed the messages of Star Trek, and, 2. You are a racist. Maybe Europe is “in decline” because for much of the last century, they have not been able to steal resources from the colonies they invaded for centuries and maybe the prime thing that really set Europe apart in economic prosperity and standard of living was theft and enslavement across the globe for hundreds of years? Just a thought.

Is there a moderator on here that can remove this comment that is clearly racist?

yeah sure ^^ and if you want to justifiy group rapes and increased crime rates and and and, then you, Sir, are a very true racist

Imagine thinking that white people isn’t as capable of those things as other races. Especially since every time I was raped, it was actually a white person.

Mods you can delete this comment if you need to. I’m walking away from this now.

Takes a special kind of cowardice to use this sort of mealy-mouthed language even under the cover of anonymity.

Once again, I don’t understand how people with distorted beliefs like this can be Trek fans.

My only complaint is how the Federation side of the issue was portrayed. The Vulcan attorney was a smug and condescending prig. Star Trek writers still can’t figure out how to write Vulcans in a believable way. Also, leaning on the Eugenics Wars as the basis for the ban on genetically modified people is too narrow of a rational. The ban should have been more about evolution in a larger sense, and how modifications can create not just unfair advantages, but more importantly could create unforeseen risks to populations over time. The more a genome is altered, the more it can cause new problems- and to fix those with further alterations could spiral into a larger crisis. Making it about Khan diminishes the Federation, and it forces a more ham-fisted message about current day prejudices. I love a good morality play in my Trek, but this one creates a mess in its wake.

Nevertheless, that rationale has been the basis of every Trek episode dealing with the ban on genetic modification. Not exactly fair to single this episode out for doing the same thing.

But wasn’t the plea to emotion here that the ban was unfair to an entire culture? Further, Denobulans have a history of genetic manipulation to a generally positive result. I guess it’s not specifically stated but it seems likely that Denobula would become a Federation member by the time of this show. Does that ban not include them?

We’re opening up a can of Trek worms here. Why would Earth, one member of the Federation, hold so much sway and influence over the rest of the members that just because Earth had a bad result with a genetic modifications (IE, Eugenics) that the rest of the Federation would just agree to a ban? Or is the Federation kinda like the UN, where only the founding members get to make the laws?

This is part of why I’m not a fan of diving too deeply into the politics of the UFP. I think it a good thing we don’t know all the rules of that organization. This sort of subject does indeed open up the proverbial can of worms given what else we have seen. But then, and this is an old story, it’s just more reasons why they should have made this show, and probably all of their shows, reboots.

Yes this is a great point. Earth seems to have so much sway in the Federation due to their issue with augments after the Eugenics war. It really should be a bigger point why are all genetics engineering banned in the Federation when it has been proven that many aliens that has experimented with it like the Denobulans have never had any problems with it. It’s odd how it’s so binary and its all or nothing while Earth seem to have made this a key rule to even be admitted into the Federation.

Sure, it’s been an ongoing theme, but this was the episode to really dig into it from a legal perspective. Full disclosure, I’m an attorney, so I have my own expectations (fair or not) about how complex issues such as this would be credibly addressed by a tribunal. I think it is an emotionally strong episode that gets thin on some of the substance involved.

Fair enough. I won’t see the episode until tonight, so no judgements from me at this point.

I agree that it was a little ham-fisted, but I don’t think it being about “evolution” would have worked as well. Sure, the more you mess with a genome the more you might have unforeseen consequences, but as a present-day social issue, that’s just not relevant. If we had large scale genetic modification and bioengineering running amok, sure, but we don’t. I can see a version of it where it fits into a “don’t play God” narrative, but given the very personal stakes that had previously been set up, I don’t think that would have worked as well.

Having invisible differences than the “norm” (maybe that you’ve had since birth), living as your authentic self, having a different cultural practice, I think those all mapped pretty well between genetic engineering and queerness. I do agree that the writing was a little on the nose, and could have maybe had another pass for subtlety.

I agree, this episode had to go about it as a discussion regarding prejudices for it to work from a storytelling standpoint, my complaint was that the issue they used is more complex than that- and it paints the Federation poorly as a result. If the script leaned on my suggestion re: evolution, it would have removed the allegory, but it would have made more a more nuanced story- hence why I called this a ham-fisted episode.

yeah, that’s fair reasoning. Genetic engineering is definitely not a perfect analogy too, given the element of choice that one has over it, as opposed to the innate nature of queerness. There wasn’t a Gay War that turned straight folks against LGBTQ+ folks, so even equating the two prejudices is a little problematic.

I’m not too fussed about the Federation being painted poorly, so long as the ideals that it strives for are painted well. In the end, rules that were rigid learned to bend, a little. Doing the right thing won, even if only for one person. That’s at least the message I like to see put forward: recognizing our imperfections and growing from them

Not necessarily there with the element of choice. Like let’s look at Julian Bashir himself. He had no choice in it, it was done because he was clearly neurodivergent and behind the other kids in his class. That’s something that’s also relevant today. When I was the age he was modified at, I couldn’t even spell my own name. I still struggle with spelling a lot of the time at 32, soon to be 33.

My parents say that their lives would be so much easier if I was cured of being neurodivergent when I was a kid, which is something that I sure wouldn’t have consented to. It’s just not me and my parents either. There’s actually research out there on finding what genes causes neurodivergence, autism specifically, and on how to remove or change them. Which is very definitely genetic engineering.

Choice etc. in regards to genetic engineering is definitely more complicated than a binary yes/no. Consent when kids are subjects is murky at best.

What I was getting at was that someone has the ability to choose to implement it. If not the subject, then someone else. There isn’t that element in sexuality / gender identity. While people can stipulate and teach how they’d prefer people to behave, there isn’t the ability to actively impose a gender identity or sexuality when the subject knows that isn’t the case for them.

I feel you on the ND aspect. If I had known about my cognitive differences and had tools (and medication) for it when I was a kid, I would’ve had a much easier life.

For what it’s worth, I don’t claim to have a definite stance on the ethics of doing genetic engineering on kids. Yes, my life would be easier if I had been “cured” as a kid, but then the entire me that I know wouldn’t have existed. That version of me might have had an easier time, but would be so fundamentally different. It’s complicated.

At 38, soon to be 39, I still struggle to remember to finish sentences, and keep a thought focused on what I want to talk about. I feel you.

I’m only back to say. Look at all of the debates about curing autism. There’s another thing that this could be an analogy to.

oh! I hadn’t even considered that! Neat take :)

lol, I’m not neurotypical and the connection to that element (and my own lived experience) totally escaped me

I’d argue that the opposite is true, that like a lot of unknowns about Starfleet and Federation life (in universe), this ban as its described is too broad. There’s also a different historical contact now then there was in the 60’s when TOS came along. When TOS came along, the end of WWII was only about twenty-five years in the rear-view mirror. Eugenics in Germany and the United States was just another racist exercise to keep white white, and everyone else out of the white gene pool (sorry, Florida, but it is history). TOS needed another allegory to push back on racism, so the Eugenics War filled the bill. Fast forward fifty-five years, and now we know that for a lot of medical conditions genetic editing is shaping up to be cures for plenty of conditions. Trek era medicine proports to have cured most everything, so conditions that occur at the genetic level are either edited out (modifications) or bred out (eugenics). Hell, you could even argue that curing young Starfleet crew at the end of P:S3 by editing out the genetic Borg modifications was, in fact genetic manipulation.

Off topic just a bit, but if it’s becoming obvious that the law banning genetic manipulation has broader problems of being bigoted in addition to being to broad/vague, what the hell is the matter with the Federation legislative bodies that they can’t fix that over the course of over a hundred years?

Trek is Trek….

A great showcase for Una and overall splendid episode. One for the history books. After being despondent last week I’m positively delighted this week. It’s such a pleasure to watch great Star Trek. It makes all the difference.

Agreed on all counts! Just so well done.

General thoughts: I liked it! It was good to see a classic Trek episode type (strong allegory and a courtroom drama).

I liked seeing Una get more development/time. I thought she was underserved in Season 1, and this was a welcome episode about her. It was also nice to have an episode where there were more opportunities for little interactions and character beats that don’t directly forward the story. M’Benga and Ortegas talking in Ten Forward the lounge was great, and getting to know more about M’Benga, Spock, Ortegas, and Vulcans in general without an exposition dump was smart writing.

My biggest criticism is around the writing, and specifically the writing on/about the topic at hand. It felt just a touch “on the nose” for me. I’m very glad that it explicitly tied to LGBTQ+ rights, and touched on issues of bi- and transphobia (with comments about “passing”), but I felt the language used could have handled like 10% more nuance. It’s not that I’m upset that it’s “political” (the best Trek is always political) but just that the audience could have been trusted with slightly subtler writing.

Still, very good episode. Very glad to see it. I think it might be one of the best New Trek episodes period, at least in terms of what Star Trek should be.

The day these new Trek shows are subtle with stuff like that is the day hell freezes over.

TOS literally painted actors white and black on different sides to do an episode about prejudice.

And that episode was actually more consistent than this episode was.

That wasn’t my point, but also: what?

So what was your point? Mine was that the episode you referred to looks much better than it is when compared to this episode with a similar theme.

His or her point was incredibly straightforward.


Yeah, I mean, like, DUH! lol

Apparently it wasn’t if it’s not what I thought it obviously was. But since thus far the author hasn’t answered and neither have those who responded for the author it seems no one wants to come out and say what they think it was. Which is telling.

Sounds like user error to me. Maybe no one responded out of a sense of embarrassment.

The point is that sledgehammer-level subtlety is far from unique to this era of Star Trek.

The point is that sledgehammer-level subtlety is far from unique to this era of Star Trek


Perhaps the embarrassment of misinterpreting the comment is why no one actually answered. Some would rather pretend to understand when they don’t just to look better to others or feel better about themselves.

And if that is what you think the point is that is what I got as well. And my point was even that over the top effort was a superior presentation to what we got here. Which I thought was obvious, too. I guess at least one didn’t understand.

“I guess at least one didn’t understand.”

My dude, I understood your point just fine. I just thought it was tangential and idiotic. Par for the course, as it were.

Based on this response it doesn’t look like you did. Seems the “par for the course” you mention is in relation to your ability to understand. Your words. Not mine.

Erred resonse.

TOS wasn’t much on subtlity back in the day.

I remember a few years ago someone on this board was trying to suggest the reason TOS stood above all the other shows, new and old, was because how ‘subtle’ it was in discussing societal and historical topics without beating you over the head with it. And I responded back, bro did you forget about the episode where Kirk and Spock beamed down to a planet that literally had Nazi’s running around on it?

There is absolutely nothing subtle about how TOS deals with these issues. They did it a little better with episodes like A Private Little War, but for the most part they hit you as hard as a rock.

I think there were more episodes where the episode was more subtle than there were like LTBYLB.

Yes a few, but my point was it’s not remotely consistent. Some were, but many weren’t either.

I haven’t gone back over the episodes but my impression was the subtle episodes outnumbered the “in your face” ones.

The point is they were both there like every show in the franchise. Some were subtle, others weren’t. And even that is probably considered subjective to people. It wasn’t some hard and fast rule either way.

Exactly! TOS episodes were almost never subtle. Moral principals, ambiguities, and moral dilemas were repeatedly thrust in your face with little or no subtlety. Just to name a few: The Cloud Minders, Charlie X, Dagger of the Mind, City on the Edge of Forever, The Devil in the Dark, Metamorphosis….

Oh, for sure. I’m not expecting Berman-era subtleties. Just a little more subtext would be nice

On the nose in comparison to…what, other shows being made now? Other Trek? Cuz if it’s the latter…well, I’ll let that be *your* battlefield.

On the nose in comparison to yes, other Trek (90s-era, specifically), but also just in comparison to my idealized vision. What I want.

I know Let That Be Your Last Battlefield. I know it’s got zero subtlety to it. But you’ve also got Duet, Past Tense, basically everything about the Maquis, which have a little more nuance.

I don’t want it to be so discreet that you need to tell people “well, actually it’s about X” for people to get it. I profoundly appreciate that it’s willing to tackle a relevant topic boldly. To explicitly have a moral to it. I’m all in for that.

I’m not mad about it, it’s just that it felt a little clumsy to me. That’s all.

All the DS9 you named is absolutely *better*, but I’m not sure how nuanced or subtle it is. The Maquis stuff in particular missed some opportunities for *actual* nuance.

Yeah, it’s not that those episodes were particularly subtle, but I think the writing was better, which probably made them feel less clumsy. Not a ton more nuance, but just a bit more of a polish.

That’s probably fair.

Please see my post above — I don’t think the comparison is fair at this point in time.

I absolutely will not.


Even LTBYLB, which made their point with a sledge hammer, was better written.

I don’t know, “Let that be Your Last Battlefield’s” writing was way over-the-top, even at the time. Still a great ep though, but let’s not confuse that with great writing please.

And the “polish” you talk about is infused with tons of sentimentality for those beloved eps which is reinforced by the passage of time to give then “legendary status” in Star Trek (and MoaM similarly for TNG). So I don’t think that polish is earned in terms of an objective review of a lot of those TOS eps, as much as I love them (and TOS is still my fav series).

Last Battlefield was definitely over-the-top, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

What I mean by polish is kind of nebulous, admittedly. For me, the writing on this one gave the impression that they couldn’t let the audience forget what this was an allegory for. The language used to talk about hiding as a genetically engineered person so directly pulled from discourse around queer identity, being “out,” and “passing.” I get it, it’s about queerness and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, you can afford to buff it out a smidge.

I think that Last Battlefield works better with the in-your-face aspect of it. Commenting on how ridiculous it is to mistreat people based on their skin colour using a race of people who do exactly that, but in a way we clearly identify as ridiculous. Big time in your face, and that’s okay. I think Ad Astra needed to either go a bit harder, or pull back a little.

But, as I’ve implied above, it’s just a nitpick. This episode will make someone feel seen, valued, and hopeful, and that’s a good thing.

I hear you!

All the Maquis stuff across Berman Trek was lame, and sometimes downright laughable.

No, it just lacked nuance (apart from showing some relative complexity re:/of Dukat, which had the unfortunate side effect of giving fuel to the “Dukat was right” crowd.)

To each his own, but for me it got to the point when their was going to Maquis element to an ep I groaned.

“I felt the language used could have handled like 10% more nuance. It’s not that I’m upset that it’s “political” (the best Trek is always political) but just that the audience could have been trusted with slightly subtler writing.”

I agree. Trust your audience. Also I thought the score tonight was a bit heavy-handed.

Ha!! Called Spock’s Gilbert and Sullivan reference!! Almost word for word! Sweet!!

Like most of us really.

Beautiful episode, very well written.


If Pike had testified, couldn’t he have invoked the seventh guarantee to avoid incriminating himself?

Last week’s episode was one of the worst episodes of SNW, but this week’s was one of the best. Hopefully the rest of the season will be more like this one.

Good episode – but, like many DIS episodes, the music was annoyingly loud and melodramatic. I had to skip parts because I absolutely diskile this forced inducing of emotion. Anyone feel the same?

You noticed that too? Yeah, the dramatic underscore reinforced how the audience is supposed to feel rather than figuring it out for ourselves.

Yeah, they never did that in TOS.

Yes, indeed. Trek’s scoring would *never* be so presumptuous as to signal to its audience what it should be feeling, let alone tell it what to think! That would be woke!

I knew you and/or kmart would get my sarcasm. Thanks :-)

Well, I watched it. (sigh) Boy, it didn’t pass muster at all for me. My wife, however, thought it was very effective. We both agreed that a young person could possibly be inspired by this episode — where we disagree is the age level that the show was pitched at, because I felt this was written for 10 year-olds, like RETURN OF THE JEDI dumbing down SW.

Sidestepping the whole issue of turning one episode of a ten episode season over to a guest star when that guest star is playing a role that is not an existing character or even in Starfleet, the whole thing played earnestly but without subtlety, as if saying something with conviction alone proves it to be true. For so complex a subject matter, there was no second level of sell, to quote a screenwriting concept, though I guess the threat to Pike was supposed to play like that. It’s like the whole show was written backwards from the boilerplate put in about a Starfleet reg.

I will say the exterors of SanFran looked better than I expected, actually resembling something like a real sunlit scene. Paltry praise, yeah, but I really did not ‘engage’ with this, though I was tempted to ‘punch it’ – the TV, that is.

A suggestion to TPTB at trekmovie: maybe a guest review by MEASURE OF A MAN writer Melinda Snodgrass would be worth pursuing.

You know, you make a good point. This show just isn’t for original Star Trek fans. Its completely a deviant series that tosses all the classiness, the canon, and great dialogue and moments that MADE Star Trek great, and have said “Screw Star Trek fans. This isn’t for them. This is for Millennials and Gen Z that don’t know Star Trek”, so the audience has no standard to compare to. “its not you grandfather’s Star Trek”.

Well, guess what. It should be (to a degree) Why? Because Star Trek became TIMELESS. In other words, you should be able to watch TOS from the 60’s, and still get sucked in, even if cosmetically its outdated. But younger audiences have been led to believe that Star Trek, as it was, is out of style. Trek isn’t a fad to be overhauled every 20 years. Its timeless, as I said, and that kind of allegorical science fiction adventure in the Trek format (Gene’s vision), never gets old.

Nope, younger audiences have not been lead to believe that. That’s your own false perception talking there.

And yes, Rodenberry always intended for Trek to be significantly overhauled from time to time. You just need to look at TMP (his own major overhaul!) compared to TOS, with only one decade of separation, for conclusive proof of this.

I’ve seen a lot of your posts here recently. I gotta say, dude, you come off as very angry, and I think it’s adversely affecting your judgement on the new shows. Because some of the stuff you say is just so “out there,” flat out incorrect.

Maybe i’m too young for TOS but outside a few episodes I like I just can’t stand the bad acting in TOS. I mostly like the movies which where a bit later found them so much better and more watchable.

I felt the same way. And as usual, since I’m not a professional writer, I’m not even admittedly a good one, it took someone else to say better what I was trying to convey. The writing felt like it was talking down to me and saying it was aimed towards youngsters makes perfect sense. The danger to Pike never felt real because of events earlier in the episode. So that never worked for me, either. It felt like fake danger to increase the stakes some more.

They do seem keen to crib themes from the movies; last week we heard a lot of Cliff Edelman from TUC, and this week Ilia’s theme during the final scene in the transporter room. Still, if you’re going to plagiarize, plagiarize from the best. :)

TOS had a specific “hot woman dancing” theme. Shows up *at least* twice.

The variation on Vina’s Theme when Pike is experience his slave trader illusion. They used that and a number of other different iterations of that theme all the time. Indeed, one of the main reasons that people remember TOS music so well s that it was reused all the time. They only scored about eight episodes per season and union rules allowed them to “track” that music in other episodes in the same season (if they reused music in a subsequent season, they had to re-record it).


The inducing of emotion was from the writing and stellar acting especially from Yetide Badaki. I hardly noticed the music.

Seems crystal clear now that the showrunners made Una a ‘secret Illyrian’ without anyone doing due diligence and researching whether or not such a race named the Illyrians even already existed in Trek lore. They were a race that lived in the Xindi Expanse and their first contact with Earth Starfleet was made by Capt. Archer of the NX-01 Enterprise about 10 years earlier. Further, their first contact went spectacularly wrong after a desperate Archer stole the Illyrians’ warp core without viewers ever learning what the long term effects would be between the two peoples. Huge missed opportunity.

It sounds too specific to be a coincidence. Even if they have no plans to explore the Enterprise episode, they probably did borrow the name from them.

I meant 100 years, not 10 years.

They certainly know. I think it was Goldsman who mentioned that episode in an interview when discussing Una’s episode last season.

I thought the line where it’s said there are Illyrians who “can hide who they are and those who can’t” might have been a nod to the Illyrians we saw in Enterprise. That there are some Illyrians that don’t look like humans because of modifications, and those may have been the ones we saw Archer steal their warp core.

Yeah. This production crew do that. A lot. Once again if it was a reboot then….

Now THIS is how you update classic Trek for today’s moral issues. Pike is so loyal to his crew that he risks suffocating just to find a lawyer for Una. The lawyer reluctantly agrees to take the case so she can get more exposure for her other civil rights cases. What follows is a classic, wonderful courtroom drama. 

Rather than summarizing everything, here’s what I want to talk about: I’m undergoing immunotherapy for cancer and an experimental gene therapy to treat the underlying genetic disorder I have. Star Trek has always been against genetic modifications, decrying the threat of genetically engineered super-men like Khan. While this fear may have been reasonable in the time of “Space Seed” and “Wrath of Khan”, science has moved forward by light years, and genetic modification cures for genetic diseases are becoming increasingly common. 

Growing up, all I wanted was to be a Star Trek captain, as every kid who watches it does. Trek’s message of “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations” struck a chord in me. It meant that no matter how deformed and in pain my body was, I knew that fictional Starfleet would allow a person like me to be captain. That inspired me to reach for the stars and push myself to achieve my dreams of helping others. However, Trek told me there was a catch; if I ever received genetic therapy to treat my genetic disorder, I wouldn’t be allowed in Starfleet. 

This episode therefore takes a first step in changing that catch, as medical science advances. To a kid who grew up watching Trek for hope and salvation, this episode is an important step toward rectifying the franchise’s backwards views on genetic modification. 

Fantastic episode all around. THIS is my Star Trek. It was great to have something so topical at the same time. Not quite at the level of Measure of a Man but still up there. I was wondering how they were going to resolve it since we know a hundred years later Starfleet still frowns on genetic engineering, but they actually found a great middle ground. I don’t know how realistic it is that she would be able to keep her job but it was really clever how it was done. I’m not sure if I will say it’s the best SNW episode yet, but certainly the best this season so far. ;D

As usual, I agree with you Tiger2. This was Star Trek at its finest! The only nit I had was that it seems like granting Una asylum would have created a precedent that basically nullified Starfleet’s ban on augments. Or at least provided a loophole for many more Illyrians and others like them to be able to serve… but that is a minor point in my mind. I loved it. And really appreciate all the wonderful visual nods to TOS….

I know right!

Just a great episode all around! NOT perfect because it does leave open some holes as you mentioned, but a very solid episode and just hit all the great Star Trek elements and tropes fans like us love. I’ve always loved courtroom stories in general but we gotten so few of them in the modern Trek era. This is only the second one outside of Discovery’s in season 3. So to have one done so well is great and yes also loved how well they kept the visuals to TOS.

Aye Aye, Captain. I agree with both you and Tiger2. For me, this was indeed “Star Trek at its finest”.

I actually saw the resolution the instant she was asked to take the stand. I thought it was telegraphed way in advance, too. In fact everything in this episode I found eminently predictable. Which doesn’t make for a compelling courtroom drama.

OK man.

To paraphrase the recently departed and much admired Queen of Great Britain, “perceptions may differ”.
Hope the show eventually measures up to your expectations, but as for me, I’m currently happy as a pig in… clover.

Honestly my expectations were pretty low going in. They’ve had one good episode out of the 12. The rest were either mediocre or just outright bad.

The whiplash I’ve gotten from going from SNW’s second worst episode to its best episode to date!

This was the first time that I genuinely loved watching the show. Rebecca Romijn absolutely knocked it out of the part, as did Yetide Basaki- who was a revelation! I hope we see Neera again!

I liked this episode (liked it much better than the first episode) but I wish the episode would have made the two arguments a bit more even handed, and the prosecution’s reasoning for the ban a little bit more than just screaming Eugenics Wars.

The explanation for the ban in DS9 that Sisko gives was not only the specter of Khan, but also the idea that parents would be violating the agency of children who are modified before they’re even born. And, in that way, parents that assigned genetic attributes to their children would be the equivalent of parents who forced a gender and sexual orientation on their children. That reorients the discussion as to whether the Federation is practicing apartheid or protecting the choices of children to be who they are without a parent forcing an identity upon them. That’s seen in DS9 through Bashir resenting his father for not accepting him for who he was, and feeling the need to force a new version of Julian onto the child Julian used to be.

Because of things like that, I had an issue with this episode trying to draw an analogy between augments and being gay, trans, or a racial minority.

Una and Neera say it’s an Illyrian custom, as a way to argue the Federation and Starfleet are discriminatory for opposing an Illyrian cultural identity. But in certain parts of Earth in the here and now, female genital mutilation is a cultural ritual. And the governments of the world have a place in prohibiting its use on children.

An excellent argument, but I remain unconvinced, because children do not have the capacity to consent.

This was the most Trek episode I’ve seen in a long long time. And one of the best Trek episodes ever. It managed to pull of what Disovery tried to do with failed characters like Adira and whatever their names were. True mirrors to present day society with clever and intelligent writing. I applaud the entire SNW team for their efforts and success. Big props to Yetide Badaki.

Yup, couldn’t agree more, especially in praising Yetide Badaki. She gave a terrific portrayal of a superbly written character.

So much fat. They need to embrace “less is more” with some of this dialogue.

They don’t know how. They don’t know how to write for TV. You are right. There are certain basic “rules”, writing 101 if you will that generally work for screenwriting and novelization. Modern writers don’t do that. Its like they’re lost sheep that can’t figure it out, yet are given the keys to the kingdom, which is never a good idea.

It felt like it was missing a B plot, which would have taken up some of the time they apparently needed to fill by explaining things multiple times or having mid-sentence flashbacks to something the same character said just five minutes ago.

I actually liked that there was no B story. Not every episode needs them.

Yeah, I kinda think this one did.

And I kinda think Will is right.

I would say “redundant and slow” was the writers’ goal, then. But I don’t know if they had a strong enough understanding of storytelling to even have a goal.

Normally, I am 1100% pro-writer when it comes to strikes and such, but these two episodes make me think (not for the first time) that the WGA needs some kind of standards for performance, because the idea that people got paid very well for this and will get residuals for it really pisses me off. So much stuff restated and restated, it was like in TMP when they thought they had to keep verbally reminding the audience of how much time they had left before the thing gets to Earth. The audience already knows there is a ticking clock, that’s one of the reasons why they went to the movie in the first place.

I’ve mentioned elsewhere that in general I’m pro labor for these sort of things. But I also feel that pay raises ought to be earned. These writers make me side heavily with the studios.

I liked this episode, it certainly is one of the best of the post-Berman Star Treks. But the timing just seemed off to me. It seems to me Ad Astra Per Aspera is a story which should have been told late in SNW’s run. It could have been used to explain Una not being on the Enterprise when TOS launches, not that she’s been sent off to jail or forced to resign, but that she decides she needs to leave to fight for the rights of other Ilyrians. She still could, but three or four years from now is too much of a slow burn.

What a great instant Trek classic episode. Even though I liked E1, Ad Astera Per Aspera really knocked it out of the park for me.
Very well written, touching an emotional chord on many levels with respect to prejudice and persecution as well as the ideals of a Federation which is far from perfect, but still strives for perfection. It makes one ponder what might happen if AI apps are used to write scripts in the future!
Nice nod to Samual Cogley with Neera pulling out a book of Starfleet law.
Loved Spock’s emotional outburst with the Vulcan prosecutor.
Also Pike had to sit on the sidelines, but it gave Una a chance to shine.
Very well done and a 9.5/10. As I said above… an instant classic!

So glad you enjoyed it DeanH! I give it a 9/10. Slightly less than yours but still loved it obviously.

And btw, you mentioned somewhere that Chief O’Brien stated in Doctor Bashir, I Presume where he said that the issue hasn’t been dealt with in a hundred years. It made me go back and watch the episode again and sure enough it was there. So now we know he was most likely discussing Una’s trial. Obviously wasn’t done on purpose but I love these little connections and makes the universe feels much more whole.

Would it be normal for them to select a prosecutor who’s personally close to the the defendant’s supervisor and possible witness, much less to allow her to fraternize with said supervisor during breaks in the trial? Only available prosecutor in the quadrant?

She should have been conflicted out, but I chalk this up to the dearth of lawyers to serve as counsel on colorny worlds and such. The same was true of Philippa Lavois in “Measure of a Man,” and indeed of appointing Riker (a non-lawyer) to serve as Data’s counsel.

Does anyone out there practice UCMJ law? Does UCMJ treat this kind of conflict differently than civilian law?

It makes more sense than Kirk’s ex-girlfriend serving as his prosecutor.

I’m now wondering if Kirk purposefully got into relationships with everyone in JAG in a failed attempt to be unprosecutable.

This seems to be a thing in the UFP that happens. It happened on TOS and TNG. It may not make legal sense but it does have the possibility of adding drama to the situation.

While it is an improvement over last week’s plot hole filled episode, this one still doesn’t take the promised “big swings.”

Still waiting for a Strange New World!

Strike 2!

I think the “big swings” are the cartoon crossover and the musical episode. Perhaps even the one that does something that has caused some to say that is the final bit of proof this series no way no how takes place in the prime timeline.

I don’t get why, if they aren’t in the prime timeline, they keep delivering wrecks of stories like this one with endings that are just designed to reinforce something seen in DS9 centuries later. They stomp all over canon and prime with Spock, Chapel, T’pring and however many others, but this augment stuff they cling to?

I think it pretty obvious they only wish to observe the canon they can use for the story they want but choose to crap all over it when it gets in the way of the story they want. These writers are just plain awful if they don’t have the creative skill to tell the stories they want while still adhering to events that happened in the prime universe.

I’m floored they still cling to this foolish idea that they are “prime” and in no way a reboot. It’s insulting to the fans.

I really liked that one. It’s allways nice, when Star Trek goes full legal drama. I’d go so far as to say, it was easily the best episode of the series so far, since the format doesn’t bring alle the weaknesses into play.

That being said, it’s still nowhere near TNG measure of a man or the episode on which we find out about Bashirs past. Those were handled a lot better both in terms of the writing of the characters and the story itself. It didn’t just feel like a paper thin metaphor, like it did here (but hey … there’s plenty of those on Star Trek, an a lot of them also work; it’s just, that it can be done a lot better)

And on a final note: As someone who actually teaches law, it triggers me to no end, that their legal solution makes no sense. But, the way you’d actually win a case like that wouldn’t work in a single episode. You’d need to have it be a B-Plot in multiple episodes. And it just isn’t a legal drama.

As good as “Measure of a Man” was, I disagree. We knew who to root for there, because we’d seen Data in action for two years and already bought that he was sentient. There was no real moral conundrum to grapple with (despite Riker’s best efforts); it was more rooting for the home team.

I disagree on your MOAM assessment. We knew Picard had to win so that wasn’t the drama. The drama was how was he going to do it. The problem was that Riker made the logical argument while Picard’s was nothing more than an appeal to emotion. I wasn’t emotionally attached to the Data character so I had no rooting interest in the result. I guess that made me a more objective juror, as it were. As I said elsewhere it was probably written TOO well. To make the judgement believable Riker’s case probably should have been dumbed down some to make Picard’s emotional argument seem the better one.

I have to disagree as well. There’s a bigger issue in Measure of a Man. It’s not just whether Data can serve, it’s whether the Federation and Starfleet can create a whole population of androids who have no rights and can be exploited at will (which seemed to have happened in Discovery).

Excuse me, not Discovery, Picard.

I’ve always kinda wondered about that. I guess I sort of concluded that PIC androids were designed to be nonsentient drones who were humanoid in appearance to make it easier for human(oid)s to work with them.

But it always seemed odd. Why not have them look like robots so that there was no possibility of making them a created, inferior “race” of humanoids? They seem 99% deserving of the rights of any sentient life form (as opposed to clearly being only created, fleshy devices).(Sorry if I’m forgetting some details from the episodes, and I do realize the writers were trying to raise those kinds of questions… I just think something was “off” with the synths storyline.)

In the end, I agree there is a discontinuity between PIC and TNG where artificial/synthetic life forms are concerned. I might “buy into” the PIC situation more if there had been more backstory, but that would have been one heckuva exposition dump… and we already had plenty of that, IIRC. 😀

So last week we got a brainless, bland Discovery pew pew episode and this week we got a great TNG style courtroom drama. Can’t wait to see Pelia in the next episode, I’m already missing her!

That is the beauty of having episodic Star Trek again, it can change on a dime week to week (although I liked last week’s episode as well).

I’m really excited about next weeks episode. It looks like another trippy alternate timeline story and yes can’t wait to see Pelia again.

No, what it showed us is that they should focus on the interesting characters (La’an, Uhura, and the Big Three), and give us less Chapel, less of the Kirks, less T’Pring, etc. From what I’ve seen thus far, I’d put “less Pelia” alongside that.

I’m glad others are loving this. I wish I had. It was alright, but that’s the best I’d say for it. Romijn had some good material, finally, and there were numerous strong moments. On the other hand, I thought the actor playing her lawyer was pretty bad. She was no Elisha Cook, that’s for sure.

Granted, I’ve disliked the no-augments-in-the-Federation plotline ever since the DS9 days. This didn’t change my mind at all. I refuse to believe that there would ever be even the possibility of Una serving a two-decade prison sentence for telling a lie that had no actual negative consequences. That’s dumb. The people making this series have dumb, stupid ideas about what Star Trek is, and it bums me out.

Prosecutorial overreach is a thing.

Of course it is, in the real world. I don’t need the Federation to be analagous to the real world. It was built to serve a very different metaphorical purpose than that, and it’d be nice if somebody who wrote Star Trek actually remembered that.

Yeah, no one would ever get overreaching sentences based on bad laws/rules in a real Court of Law…that never happens.

The writers also need to learn how the law works. You can’t ask April what he would have done under hypothetical circumstances and then press him to answer “yes” or “no” on the grounds that he’s under oath. That makes no sense. He was not in danger of contempt by not answering.

I could be wrong, but this may have been the first on-screen reference, apart from TAS, of April commanding the Enterprise before Pike, unless if was on a screen once.

A superb, taughtly told episode, easily the best of series.

I was worried this episode would devolve into a polemic; in fact, what I liked best about it was its nuance. (Contrast all this to TNG “The Measure of a Man,” where we all know who to root for, because by that point the audience all realized Data was sentient.) In the Trek universe, the Eugenics wars were a seminal event, and anti-genetic engineering laws were indeed intended to prevent genocide. Now, whether that premise is realistic is another matter; I suspect that genetic engineering is going to be seen close to an unqualified good a century from now. And I don’t entirely want to set that aside; it could be an unqualified good even within the Trek universe. Still, I liked that the episode respected the sound reasons to regulate it.

I was also worried that the episode would culminate in some kind of emotional appear resulting in the genetic engineering laws being overturned on a public policy basis. That’s not what courts are supposed to go; that’s the purview of democratically-elected legislatures. Starfleet was fortunate to have a Vulcan judge and a Vulcan prosecuting officer, the latter of whom reminded the court that its job was to apply the law, not create policy. Too often, that would be the Hollywood view of the judiciary. (“The Supremes” on THE WEST WING also avoided this pitfall.)

And yet despite all this….overreaction is also a thing. What happened on that colony was far too evocative of apartheid for comfort. Children should not be bearing the brunt of political battles waged before they were born. No one should be denied medical care for a broken leg. Foolish consistencies, hobgoblins of small minds, and all that.

The resolution — that this was an asylum case, not a genetic engineering case — was elegant. (Yes, in the real world this issue probably would have been briefed for the court ahead of time, but I can forgive this for the sake of good drama.) I did not see this episode so much about current controversies over gender-affirming care. If anything, the public policy debate it most conjured up was “should gays and lesbians be allowed to serve in the military?” — but that debate is about 30 years out of date, as it was took place in the first Clinton administration. No, I think the debate it *really* spoke to was about artificial intelligence (AI). Is AI something to be feared, or embraced, or something in between? Will transhumans (in the Rutherford sense) be embraced or shunned?

Some shorter takes:

– Una was also right to call out Neera for serving as counsel not because she wanted to win Una’s release, but because she wanted a soapbox. That syndrome is not uncommon among crusading pro bono attorneys — “social justice warriors,” if you will; just look at what happened at Stanford Law School a couple of months ago, and I’m glad to see someone call them out on it. The savior complex was strong with this one.

– The one dangling element: they never picked up the “fruit of the poisoned tree” doctrine, which stuck out like a Chekov’s gun.

– I also was thrilled at the scene between La’an and Uhura. We at long last saw a junior officer refuse to comply with illegal, unsanctioned orders. Where this Uhura was last week, God knows; I think we’re better off pretending that “The Broken Circle” never existed. A less talented writers room could have turned this into yet another consequence-free unsanctioned mission — and indeed, that mission might have been a lot more justified than last week’s. This outcome was so much better.

– The scene between Pike and April shows how humor *should* be done in Star Trek. (April comes to Pike to complain about his somewhat abusive treatment at the hands of Neera; Pike begins pouring two drinks; April refuses one and stomps out; Pike consolidates the two drinks and takes a gulp.) Subtle and well worth a chuckle, unlike last week’s catchphrase debacle.

– How did Denobulans (whom Phlox said practiced genetic engineering) get admitted to the Federation, unlike Illyrians? Perhaps they *didn’t*, which would explain why we never saw them in TNG and DS9. Or perhaps their entry treaty contained a specific reservation for Denobulans.

10/10. A first for NuTrek, at least that doesn’t feature TNG characters. Maybe there’s some hope yet.

I don’t think Denobulans have ever been depicted as being in the Federation. If they did decide to join, they would have had to have given up genetic engineering,

After a good night’s sleep here is a more personal observation.
Fear and prejudice against those who are different has sadly been a natural human response for centuries and maybe longer. For anyone who has, or knows those who have, experienced prejudice or persecution based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities or whatever, this episode really relates on so many levels.
Yes, I too really like episodes with phasors and photon torpedoes along with time travel, etc., but this is thoughtful Star Trek which IMHO is Trek at its best.
Well done SNW!

khan just needed a hug. he and his followers were persecuted.

Outside of the obvious visual discontinuity (apart from the very cool 60s wooden furnishings), I really enjoyed this episode. By no means an absolute classic, but it was still highly enjoyable.

I like the characters, the actors, the stories, the music… you know, if not for the visual discontinuity, I actually LIKE the designs. If this was a totally new franchise I’d have no complaints.

Head canon: splinter universe post-First Contact where everything is a bit more advanced, and the butterfly effect only happened after Enterprise. Picard takes place in the original universe. Problem solved.

I put ENT in the new timeline as well. Helps explain why, up until that series, Kirk’s ship is referred to in a few places as the “original” but suddenly post-ENT we have one that came before it. In the original timeline, the NX-01 had a different name.

I prefer to put PIC in the post-FC timeline too, but only because I feel like Nemesis fits there better and s1 of PIC relies on that. I realize s3 of PIC relies on Generations, so I’m a bit stuck there.

this was a frustrating episode in that how it resolves itself is a complete cop out, they don’t take a stand on a topic. they pull a hard left turn at the end and instead of making Starfleet decide on the issues they give them an easy out with the technicality of Una seeking asylum. so they punted on the whole genetics (trans/nonbinary allegory) topic. so in my mind this episode, while enjoyable falls short of ‘measure of a man’

For frig’s sake, can the get the ranks right?
Una is a Commander, not Lt. Commander.

And why was her guard outside her cell a Lt. Commander? A Lt. Commander would probable in charge of the entire facilty.

I love the emotion and social commentary an ethical dilemma! One of the best pure star trek episodes, almost made me tear up, bravo!

The message behind the episode was great, but the episode itself was a snooze. The only thing that saved it for me was Neera. She was amazing! With Paramount Plus axing Prodigy, Strange New Worlds better step up.

This is Star Trek at it’s finest.

More like: This is Star Trek at its most cloyingly preachiest (which is saying a LOT.)

It could have been so good, too.

It is awfully in your face. However I found LTBYLB more sledgehammer-y. But what separates it from this episode was LTBYLB was written WAY better. Even with it’s painfully obvious moral.

Also, there’s been half a century in between. One might think both writers and audiences have grown more sophisticated in that time. One might be half right.

Half-right. Yeah, that’s a good observation, makes me think of both P.T. Barnum and Werner Heisenberg (was just rewatching the MANHATTAN tv series, which mentions the latter.)

Also, there’s one definition for sophistication that reads as: artificially complicated, and that could account for how artistic ‘taste’ can be interpretted to be good and also grotesque.

“i want eh ship to go”, stealing the enterprise (just done in picard), drinking challenge from raiders, trial from tng. weak ass crap.

khan was misunderstood. clearly. if only he had been allowed to succeed the illyrians would have been able to run free.

typical modern writing. ignore the valid culture of starfleet to make a revisionist point.

she should be kicked out of starfleet.

Btw, the phrase “ad astra per aspera” was pronounced incorrectly in the episode. The stress accent in “aspera” falls on the first syllable, not the second. It boils down to the fact that the “e” is short, as made explicit in some of the larger dictionaries.

I’m old… so ancient in fact that I remember watching TOS when they were broadcast for the first time lol. I’m a die-hard TOS fan; they still are my favs. But when some compare SNW writing unfavorably with TOS, I just can’t agree. One of my fav episodes is “Spock’s Brain” (same reason Troll 2 is also a fav film.) It’s just so cheesy and fun. “Brain and brain, what is brain?” has no equivalent in SNW, at least not yet. SNW and third season Picard is/was great. I thank Vaal for these juicy apples.

The episode does muddy the ideals of Federation life, this sounds like a pretty backwards society even by modern sensibilities, but it does give this episode an amazing story to tell. Great acting and just BEAUTIFULLY produced in every detail. I think I watch this show partly for its visual style and production quality. I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say this is the best looking show on TV at this point. My only complaint is that like all of the Toronto Star Trek shows, the on-set audio is just terrible, I don’t get why Picard sounds so great and this sounds so muffled (the voices, not the rest).

Well, Picard shoots in L.A. where you’ve got nearly a century of on-set audio expertise. The on-set ears are probably extra-sensitized (remember how on TMP, Wise asked the sound guy if he could understand the second part of a particular Chekov speech, and the recordist replied that he couldn’t even understand the first half of the speech?) It might be that the US and UK have become default standard-bearers in this regard?

I remember that back in the 70s and early 80s, with relatively few exceptions like the first SUPERMAN, that shot-in-Canada carried a kind of stigma to it, so perhaps live-sound limitations is or became part of that issue? I mean, postww2 Italy for a couple of decades was a place where I don’t think they even bothered to record live sound because they just figured it was faster to dub everything later on.

I hadn’t noticed a particular issue with sound on DSC and SNW, (probably because I seem to have trouble making out dialog on nearly every show I watch — I’ve often ascribed it to the Brando-ization of acting, where mumbling is king), but now I’ll keep an ear cocked to catch what you’re referencing.

I found it thoughtful, bright, intensely moving