Podcast: All Access Returns From STLV To Review The ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Season 2 Finale

All Access Star Trek podcast episode 152 - TrekMovie - SNW S2 finale and STLV

[Review starts at 22:52]

The Shuttle Pod‘s Matt Wright fills in for Tony this week to round up the news and give all the highlights from The 57-Year Mission convention in Las Vegas, covering the overall vibe, the challenge of not being able to talk Trek because of the SAG-AFTRA strike, the latest on Prodigy, the panels and more.

They then turn to the Strange New Worlds season 2 finale, “Hegemony,” to discuss the Gorn, the arrival of Scotty, Pike’s indecision, and some of the twists along the way in the surprise cliffhanger.


‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Season 2 Clip Reveals Legacy Returns; Producers Confident In Finding New Home

Zachary Quinto Says Creative Differences Delaying ‘Star Trek 4’; He’s Happy Handing Off Spock To Ethan Peck

3 Kirks: William Shatner Greets Dan Jeannotte And Paul Wesley From ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ At STLV

William Shatner as Sam Kirk

Podcast: All Access/Shuttle Pod Live From STLV 2023 – The State Of Star Trek Panel

Laurie and Aaron Waltke in their matching T-shirts [Twitter/X]

The Lambda Quadrant

The 7th Rule podcast [YouTube]

Crusher Convo podcast

Dave Blass on Twitter/X

Liz Kloczkowski on Twitter/X

Let us know what you think of the episode in the comments, and should you be so inclined, please review us on Apple.

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I think part of the “problem” with Pike is that he’s not a captain who’s great in battles or war. He’s not a Sisko or a Kirk (as we saw in last season’s finale). He’s better at diplomacy and exploration. I certainly understand his hesitation.

I certainly hope Pelia stays around as chief engineer. We haven’t gotten enough her or/Carol Kane. And it seems to be too soon for Scotty to become chief.

Spock: “No human can do this. I however can.” He says to the Illyrian with super strength. They wanted it to be Spock to have the scenes on the ship with Spock and Chapel I get that. But they could have added a short thing about it being down to Una and spock and deciding that the senior officer should stay on Enterprise. 

I do feel they are trying to give the Gorn some nuance. April’s line in the beginning about how they don’t understand the Gorn and want to change that. When Pike says they’re just monsters April replies that “monsters are a word to describe those who don’t understand us.” I wonder if what they’re aiming at is that journey? The one from “they are monsters, we have to kill them” to “they’re bad but maybe we can come to an understanding?”.

Overall I thought the episode was good but not great. Certainly not as good as the finale of season 1.

I agree with all of this, but I’m less forgiving about Pike…

It seems like an awful big deal is being made about a second or two of hesitation before a cliffhanger.

The producers / director made it a big deal as well. It’s not like we are reading into this. Viewers were meant to notice it. They hit us over the head with it in the final moments of the episode. I’m guessing Pike’s season 3 arc will be deciding whether or not to retire.

Its actually 20 seconds of screen time and its made clear that his command crew is looking to him for orders and instruction and he does nothing. He comes off as frozen, scared and unable to make a decision. Its a bad look.

….same. They’ve made the character weak. Pretty bummed about that.

I can’t stand Pelia. Pike’s just fine.

Thank heavens I’m not the only one who can’t stand Pelia. If they don’t want Scotty this soon, then another chief engineer would be fine, but Pelia is like nails on a chalkboard.

And really, anyone who can fool the Gorn out of cobbled-together parts SHOULD be chief engineer!

My only thought in regards to “Arena” is Kirk’s line: “…and what the Metrons call a ‘Gorn.'”

The traditional interpretation for the last 55 years has been that Kirk & Co. were meeting the Gorns for the first time, but the other way to look at it is that everyone already knew quite well what a Gorn was, and that pathetic creature Kirk fought wasn’t even close. So the lizard suit in “Arena” was “what the Metrons call a Gorn,” which is not to be confused with the real thing.

Pathetic explanation, I know.

The dirty secret to enjoying SNW is the need to relax one’s attachment to what we’ve all accepted as canon all our lives. I’ve walked the recreated sets of the 1960s Enterprise, which are nothing like we’re seeing on this new show. (Kirk’s quarters are smaller than some closets, but young Uhura gets a ballroom to herself.) The throwback episodes of the 1990s, such as “Relics”, “Trials and Tribbleations,” and Enterprise’s mirror universe excursion, all made the “old” look “chic.” And quite successfully, too. They didn’t try to update the original designs–they embraced them. Worf’s explanation about the Klingons (“We don’t like to talk about it!”) was perfect, as was Archer’s amazement of the “future” Constitution Class.

But SNW is made for a 2020s audience, which has a more sophisticated relationship with technology, and so to enjoy the show I need to surrender my attachments to the original. I accept that this new version of the Enterprise is probably closer to what a 23rd century starship might resemble, and that the 1960s sets were a plywood fantasy designed to sell color TV sets. On TOS we learned almost nothing about any character’s background, other than tidbits about Kirk and Spock, but now they’re all coming more alive with interesting details.

However, by liking SNW, the tradeoff seems to a diminishing appreciation for TOS. Each new episode of SNW that infringes on a TOS story point seems to make TOS that much less relevant. I’m old enough to remember when TOS was the only Star Trek show available on TV, but I admit it’s becoming less watchable with age. It would be unfortunate if SNW’s insistence on rewiring established Star Trek history resulted in a total eclipse of its original inspiration.

This may just be a devotee’s dilemma, though, because I do know some casual fans who are fully enjoying SNW without any loss of sleep. These are fans who watched TOS but have no close memory of it, and therefore are experiencing T’Pring and other TOS deep cuts as new characters. How blissful! And this is probably the same category of fans who are pushing SNW into the top of the ratings, helping ensure we all have new Star Trek to continue debating well into the future.

In regards to TOS episodes that have been effectively gutted by SNW, let’s also add “Turnabout Intruder.” I doubt anyone will come to this one’s defense, because by 2023 standards this was one of the least progressive offerings of the original run. (I do appreciate the actors in their switched rolls, though.) However, the mere existence of Captain Batel in SNW pretty much negates the entire premise of that story.

The main difference between TOS and SNW (other than quality of writing) is that characters served the stories in TOS whereas stories serve the characters in SNW. TOS had Harlan Ellison, Theodore Sturgeon and many other prominent sci-fi authors submitting stories; SNW has nameless hacks. If you want lots of touchy-feely character moments, perhaps you should turn to ‘Days Of Our Lives’ and ‘The Young And The Restless’ and other soaps. Me, I prefer imaginative sci-fi stories.

I think calling the writers “hacks” is quite offensive. Just because you personally don’t like them, doesn’t give you the right to attack them and call them names.

That’s how that dude rolls here, unfortunately.

they could afford plot driven standalone in the 60s with the OS but not now in the modern era of streaming tv where character matters just as much, maybe even more.

and why does deal with in SF always end up being seen as bringing in ‘soap’ elements?

Would love to see what you can come up with before you start calling writers “hacks”.

Lol, yeah. TOS hand a handful of well known sf authors do some stories, but Thompson always makes it sound like it was a ton of eps.

I don’t mind the (visual, technological, etc.) upgrades they need to make for modern audiences, and yes, there are some things that SHOULD be negated, like the female captain thing. But in a lot of cases they could avoid stomping on TOS by not working so hard to include all the details from it! Just tell stories that take place in that era (slightly before Kirk’s time as Enterprise captain) and invent new aliens, new characters, and new planets. I like the show best when it tells an interesting story vs. doing cartwheels to include some detail from TOS they’ve fixated on.

All that Janice Lester episode needed was a line like “You know there are women captains, that wasn’t why you weren’t fit for command.”

Just my personal opinion, but I think it’s funny when I read these sorts of critiques that come from some of the same people who can’t enough the musical and animated crossover eps. I have a lot more grief about those much bigger (in my opinion) Trek brain farts then I do with the admittedly imperfect connections to TOS.

I mean, if I were to be OK with animated sitcom characters showing up on the Enterprise or characters bursting into song and dance, why would I care about the minutiae of imperfect connections to TOS? Its seems like some fans have their priorities all wrong here to me in terms of being critical about the small stuff, while giving free passes to the bigger, crazier shit we are seeing in some eps.

IDIC, though. :-)

The main difference between TOS and SNW (other than quality of writing) is that characters served the stories in TOS whereas stories serve the characters in SNW. TOS had Harlan Ellison, Theodore Sturgeon and many other prominent sci-fi authors submitting stories; SNW has nameless Hollywood ‘writers’. If you want lots of touchy-feely character moments, perhaps you should turn to ‘Days Of Our Lives’ and ‘The Young And The Restless’ and other soaps. Me, I prefer imaginative sci-fi stories.

Sorry, Laurie, about this ‘doubling up’. I had lightly edited my previous submission which was held for review, but I see now that it was approved. I’m unable to delete this version myself, but feel free to do so! : )

That era in the 1960’s-1980’s when all the scifi stuff people had only read in books was shown “on screen” for the first time in Trek is NEVER coming back, because with extremely rare exceptions, everything is derivative now.

UNLESS, as I had originally hoped they would do, get the best science advisors, science fiction writers today together, imagine what intergalactic space travel might look like in 200 years, and completely reboot the entire Star Trek concept — with a harder sf construct than the sort of “slightly more realistic than Star Wars” approach that we have been stuck with since Voyager. Heck, give Peter F. Hamilton a year to frame out the concept and go with that.

Yeah I agree with this as well. I like the show, but it doesn’t have the gravitas or the imagination of the old shows. And I hate the stuff with Spock and Christine. It really does feel like something written for teens at times.

But I’m sorry you’re not enjoying it more Anthony. I remember how excited you were before season 1 started. It looks like the show has disappointed you in a big way reading a lot of your posts this season.

I do miss the sci-fi twists of previous Star Trek shows a lot. I think Discovery did actually try to do that in season 4 and if they hadn’t had to stretch it out across an entire season it would’ve been more effective (although I still liked it). I like crazy sci-fi story ideas and I like “what ifs” and I like technobabble, in reasonable doses. I miss it all, even though I do love these characters and their development.

Per usual so agree Laurie. I miss the bigger and complex sci fi stories and ‘what if’ stuff as well. I think they have the comedy stuff down well but I would love to some deeper stories, especially when you only have ten episodes a season.

“However, by liking SNW, the tradeoff seems to a diminishing appreciation for TOS. Each new episode of SNW that infringes on a TOS story point seems to make TOS that much less relevant.”

Yeah, I don’t see how. They can be two separate things. None of this is real.

Yes, this. If anything, SNW is making me enjoy TOS all the more. Just like DSC made me appreciate ENT so much more than I had.

Yeah, the new show revises continuity to be sure. TOS is a completed series and will always be 60s in space and there’s getting around that. Comparing and contrasting TOS and SNW is all well and good, and cleary invited. But SNW can’t cancel out the original show unless you’re really fundamentalist about a retro tv show. Times change, best to roll with it and have a good time.

I just take it that Kirk has heard of the Gorn but he’s never seen one, so he’s not sure if he wants to take the Metrons at their word. It’s a bit of a stretch, but I think we’re fine as long as Kirk never actually meets a Gor in SNW.

The thing is, if we don’t communicate with them, why do they even have a name?

Ok and how about this one – if none of the characters who survive any SNW encounter with a Gorn actually see a standing lizard with a big alligator smile in hand-me-down silver-lame, then Kirk is in the clear.

Maybe they spray-paint word-symbols on areas of conquest that look like the lettters g o r n ?

Actually there should be a pretty major story in relating how we did find out they are called Gorn (by somebody.)

The typo had me imagining Kirk meeting Thot Gor and I’m sleep deprived and insomniac so it was hilarious

The dirty secret to enjoying SNW is the need to relax one’s attachment to what we’ve all accepted as canon all our lives. I’ve walked the recreated sets of the 1960s Enterprise, which are nothing like we’re seeing on this new show…But SNW is made for a 2020s audience, which has a more sophisticated relationship with technology, and so to enjoy the show I need to surrender my attachments to the original

Very few people are arguing that SNW should feature 1960s-era set design, and most accept that the show is a *visual* reboot.

But whether it ought to be a *dramatic* reboot is a completely different question. I contend it ought not.

“Arena” was actually an illustration of what international relations folks in real life call the “security dilemma,” which, in a nutshell, is that purely defensive measures taken by state X to make itself more secure actually make state Y perceive X as aggressive. Qumar buys tanks, legitimately never intending to use them for anything beyond defense against Kundu. Kundu takes the tank purchase as evidence of what it suspected all along: that Qumar has designs on Kundu’s territory, and it ought to respond in kind.

The security dilemma is hardly new; it was around during the time of Thucydides, and it exists today. “Arena” showed that it existed in the Star Trek universe at an interstellar scale, and it took a God-like power, the Metrons (i.e., a sovereign), to put an end to it. (If we *know* that the security dilemma exists, well, that’s one first step towards stopping it!)

So drama-wise, “Arena” was a fresh, topical story, and it remains so today. There’s good reason to jettison the plywood and styrofoam sets. There’s no excuse for blithely tossing aside most of the TOS *plots* (a few glaring exceptions like Janice Lester aside).

I am unfamiliar with the ‘security dlilemma’ term, but think I get what you mean. The first spec I sent to TNG was called THE CONUNDRUM OF DEFENSE (I thought that sounded like a Quinn-Martin episode title, could just imagine the narrator intoning, ‘tonight’s episode”) and dealt with some of this same notion of defense perceived as escalation, but it also had Trek tropes like the incompetent yet arrogant ambassador and references to how things on Earth didn’t resolve ideally because of similar issues and concerns, thus ww3.

Compared to the other two I sent, it wasn’t anything special at all, but at least here is some late validation that the concept if nothing else was something worthwhile.

Talk about yourself, I am a 37 year old Trekkie and I enjoy TOS immensely perhaps more than I enjoy SNW which I enjoy quite a lot as well. I think the best way to look at this is that each is a product of its own time and need to be appreciated in that regard. The biggest reason why I still enjoy TOS is because it is a much more “literary” version of the story, as in the stories take the center stage and I love almost all of those stories (some even from famed science-fiction authors of the time) I consider TOS to be like reading a classic novel. SNW on the other I appreciate because of its more deep dive into the characters, what makes them tick. Perhaps the stories are a little more shallow, a little less “literary” but then they make up for in the visuals and characters. Both I believe has its place and I don’t necessarily think SNW will “replace” TOS in the long run if you appreciate both of them equally and not get bogged down in minor details or “canon violations”.

Enjoyable post, A. For the record, I don’t see SNW, or any other future Trek brand, replacing TOS in terms of mass recognition. If anything was going to do that it was TNG, which of course was hugely popular at the time, but still didn’t replace TOS in terms of popularity. TOS was the first (and best, imo) of it’s kind.

When I adjusted my mindset toward P-S3 to enjoying it as fan service, it was fine until Episode 6, which was blatant pandering.
Regarding SNW, I’ve compartmentalized TOS away as a entertaining product of a different era. Anyone who has their undies in a knot because the Gorn aren’t actors in rubber Godzilla suits is spending way to much time connecting dots that frankly don’t need to be connected.

Honestly, I have yet to see one person complain that the Gorn don’t look the way they did in “Arena.” That’s not the issue people are complaining about.

I adore TOS, and I remember almost every detail. I also adore SNW. To me, the minor details about the sizes of the cabins are not nearly as important as the way the SNW writers are undercutting the Vulcans and making them humans with pointy ears. I like the TOS Vulcans because they’re ALIENS who aren’t exactly like us but who are close enough to us to illuminate the human condition and different enough to help us learn to embrace the Other.

Once you’ve loved a man with green blood, a person with a different skin color or national identity is just one more human, and this sorry world SO needs that!

I really enjoyed the method of introducing Scotty. Instead of seeing him serve on the Enterprise, like Uhura and Kirk, meeting him as a survivor instead. It really reminded me of how he was introduced in the 2009 Star Trek movie.

I also loved the scene with the shuttle dropping toward the planet, and Pike’s reaction, as a former test pilot, of being, shall we say, nervous. And impressed. Really enjoyed that scene.

One thing I didn’t understand, that didn’t really make sense, is why the Gorn put the line of demarcation right next to the planet? Why not outside the solar system? I get it from the plot standpoint, but from an in-universe standpoint?

On a side note, I just finished with the audio book of A Stitch in Time, read by its author Andrew Robinson, and it was so amazing. I read the book like 20 years ago, so most of the story felt new to me. It truly is one of the best Star Trek books written, and listening to it being brought to life by Garak himself, was an absolutely wonderful experience. Highly recommend people check it out.

I have read STITCH 15 times and never tire of it; have gone through four paperbacks thus far and finally got it on kindle for when (not if) the fourth breaks into pieces like its predecssors (between the DS9 COMPANION and STITCH, DS9 books seem to have the crummiest bindings, it’s like Pocket Books needed to invent self-sealing stembolts to hold the pages within the cover.)

Am thinking the audio book might be the way in for my wife, because while she tolerates Trek and can actually debate/discuss issues, it isn’t a thing for her. But how long does it take him to read? I’d figure it must be hours and hours long.

You two dissected that poor episode very well. I’ve been thinking the same thing: ‘Where are the strange new worlds’? Almost all of the eps have been bottle shows. SNW has a great cast but mediocre writers and showrunners and a low budget! And though I love the cast except for Engineer Granny, why aren’t they fighting for the integrity of their characters? I’m speaking particularly of Mount and Peck. We know that Shatner and Nimoy both did so; why not these two? I remember how Mount made a show of being pleased that Jeffrey Hunter’s son had endorsed his casting and expressed his belief that Mount would carry on the legacy of the character. Perhaps Mount wasn’t being sincere? This second season has been a huge disappointment.

It’s just a hunch, but I don’t think the door for the cast to reach out to the producers can be wedged or kicked open the way it might have been in past years and generations. I remember hearing that the writers now get to go on the set sometimes, but I don’t think that is so they can get feedback, which they wouldn’t be able to implement anyway given the hierarchy.

Excellent point about Mount and Peck. One could wonder why they haven’t advocated for their characters to be written better…perhaps they have? Or maybe they just want the paycheck?

Great seeing all the Trekmovie folks at STLV! Enjoying the reviews and will keep on listening! Dr. Dave, Phoenix.

So glad I got to meet you!

I thought that it was, A GREAT FINALE!

I liked it for what it was (fine, but not great – with good fx) as the first part of a two-parter. They can’t all be TBOBW (and TNG had some two-part stinkers). Maybe, I’m just happy with just competent after Discovery and much of Picard.

I find this season far more watchable than last.

Name a TNG two part stinker. I double dawg dare you

I never liked Descent much personally. It started with a lot of promise in part 1 but part 2 it just felt like a by the numbers story and even a bit lazy.

Yep, same here.

What about that one with Mark Twain and the soul sucking aliens from another dimension? Wasn’t that a two-parter? It certainly was a stinker!

“Redemption.” Part I was superb, as good as BOBW. Part II was rushed, cramming three or four plotlines into a single episodes, including one (Data commanding a ship) that wasn’t even hinted at in part I. The Klington Civil War really deserved a five-episode serialized arc, but at the very least they should have focused on wrapping up Part I adequately.

“Descent” Part II was also a huge letdown. No one other than Crusher could command the Enterprise when the top three officers were away? That fresh-out-of-the Academy ensignsolves the whole situation by showing spunk and humiliating the deputy security chief? It was a SNW moment 25 years before SNW.

Crusher was a commander though, not just in rank. She passed her bridge officers test before coming aboard. She was part of the command staff, and if every other senior officer was gone, it would naturally fall to her. It seems disjointed because the writers never bothered to explore that part of her character until late in the series.

My least favorite was “Unification.” Such a wasted opportunity to not have Mark Lenard and Leonard Nimoy in a scene together. Also, shoehorning in Denise Crosby as Sela? I wanted to see more of that character, but this was a lazy way to go about it.

It’s faster to just name the good ones: BOBW, CHAIN OF COMMAND, ALL GOOD THINGS and GAMBIT (last may be controversial, but personally I dig it, nearly as much as i despise UNIFICATION and BIRTHRIGHT — I had to look up the latter just to remember the title.)

Also I’m not a fan of TNG, so … you know, context.

Mileage varies of course, but I think TNG had more stinker or mediocre two-parters than good. Honestly, I’m not that big a fan of Chain of Command, either. The stuff between Picard and the Cardassian is great, but I think the Riker and Jellico side is terribly contrived. It’s only saved for me by Ronny Cox’s always excellent grumpiness.

I don’t have much to say about the episode other than the profound dread I felt when that shuttle craft came streaking across the sky. It felt like listening to the cockpit recorder audio of a plane crash, wondering if any of the occupants will survive the impact and knowing that’s the lone, desperate vessel that made it away from the Cayuga.

‘Cayuga’ sounds like it could be a Beach Boys song.

Ca-yuga, beluga, the guvment’s gonna screw ya.

The Cayuga are one of the original five nations of the Iroquois confederacy.

Also the name of Rod Serling’s production company.

That was good. Why did you stop?

Cayuga sounds like a 1920’s car horn to me…

Far above Cayuga’s waters
There’s an awful smell
Some say it’s Cayuga’s waters
Others say it’s Cornell…

(Sorry Cornellians. I went to a school that was Not Cornell.)

Isn’t that Scotty’s STARDIVER shuttle we’re seeing?

Yes, that’s Scotty’s, from his ship.

Pike opens hailing frequencies with the Gorn and tells them they have a Gorn younglings on board in Batel so stop firing at us or they might die. They, in fact, know that, that is why they are attacking. Pike brokers a trade for Batel/Gorn babies and the captured team. But they have to work fast to figure out a way to gestate the babies but not kill Batel. They do and make the trade. The Gorn are happy. Along the way we find out their original attack was instinctual, brought on by the solar flares, so not really their fault from their perspective and we learn that, just like us, the Gorn love and really love their kin. So we take first steps of gaining a mutual understanding and Pike gets some cred for his empathetic style. **yawn**

I like your imaginative solution, but not the “yawn”.

The yawn is there because this is almost certainly how part 2 will go down. Very predictable.

I actually find BH23’s scenario interesting and clever. I guess I am just more easily entertained and far less skilled in predictions.
May make me dumber, but also happier.
I hope for your sake that the writers come up with something totally and credibly surprising.

Another great podcast! :)

I had no idea who was at the LV convention this year other than what was posted on this site like Prodigy. I was happy to hear so many showed up like the TNG and LDS gang! And it warmed my heart to hear a kid was wearing a Picard costume complete with a bald cap lol. I agree I would love to see younger people getting into these shows but it’s nice to hear more turned out this year.

I really enjoyed listening to Laurie and Matt’s review of Hegemony. I agree with a LOT of their points, yes the Gorn being a big one. As I always state, I don’t rate an episode based on canon contradictions, I just rate the quality of the episode itself and on that level I really enjoyed it. But yeah, there were lots of issues as well besides the Gorn although that was a good point that we will never really see them communicate since we know they don’t in Arena. That’s really annoying and yeah where is all of this going?? Obviously there can’t be any major break through with them but it can’t be a full on war either? So the third option may end up like Discovery and the Klingons in first season and it just ends up being a stalemate of some kind. Sigh, I really wish they just came up with something NEW and you can do what you want.

And yeah this season was disappointing that we didn’t get any real exploration. And it’s ironic the last episode they end up on just another Federation colony and the world looks EXACTLY like our world lol. How far away can you get from ‘strange’ or ‘new’? And they were just so lazy about it. It was obvious just to save money. They didn’t even try to make it part of the story.

It’s a fun show and good comfort food Trek. But I wish it got out of Federation space, find some really cool new aliens that they can build on and give us strong more thoughtful sci fi like the classic shows did. A bit less slapstick and superficial character stuff and some introspection about who we are as a species. But overall I thought season two was good, but far from great. I didn’t think Picard season 3 was perfect either but still much stronger than this season IMO.

Pike the Captain who has to always be told by a strong woman what to do …he should just stay in the kitchen

Pike consults his senior officers when there’s a dilemma at hand, just as any good captain does. Your putting a gender gloss on that is strange; it’s not about gender.

Well said Corylea.

My only issue with Pike is that he is not a man of action. He sits and lets everybody else do everything. He felt out of character at times in this ep, because he was actually going to take out Gorn. I wish he was a little more Kirkian.

It wasn’t till well into s3 that Picard finally slugged somebody in THE HIGH GROUND (or did he pop a Ferengi in CAPTAIN’S HOLIDAY?)

Not judgin’ (esp given my serious lack of Picard love), just sayin’ …

I tried to write a Trek novel once, a few months after TMP came out, cuz I was working swing at a Dunkin’ Donuts and had LOTS of free time. In trying to figure out the post-TMP Kirk, I included an action scene, but it was a reluctant action scene, where he jumps in (actually onto the warp core, then edges round to get the drop on somebody on the next deck down) because security hasn’t gotten there yet (he’s ‘the only ship in the quadrant’ for that moment.) He didn’t actually think ‘i’m too old for this stuff’ but that was the guiding notion for me.

BTW, it was an awful piece of writing, about 80 handwritten pages that convinced me for forever that prose fiction is utterly beyond me, except in script form. I’ve only once since ever managed to write a chapter of fiction that read okay, and even that was adapting something I had already written in script form. There’s something intimidating about all the stuff between the dialog and figuring out the variations on ‘he said’ in fiction that just doesn’t happen to me when I’m doing journalism. It’s probably why I am still so in awe of the folks I guess I’d call real novelists (early Stephen King comes to mind, and of course Trevanian.)

The dive down to the planet was silly considering the circumstances. A ship dead. A deathly plunge to save their colleagues. Nobody would be smiling at that point. The Gore. They make no sense, savage, hunger-driven, unethical slavers without opposable thumbs. with no lips. How do they communicate? How did they ever make Star Ships? Spock-Chapple. Coincidence much? Nobody else alive on the ship? Drive it into the planet? Finally, Pike. Indecisive at the worst possible time. Not credible. My least favourite episode of the series. Maybe the responsibility of the director and producers?

It’s what I expected….an indecisive and neutered captain…..Spock crying over Chapel…. Surprise! Scotty…..xenomorphs…
Killing…..blood…..and nothing to say.

I thought S2 Picard was Trek’s lowest point, but these writers went all out to not only beat that record, but create a new and even lower point in storytelling. Can it get lower than this? Just wait…..to be continued……

In rewatching some TAS recently, I realized that even that kid’s show had a Spock capable of making pithy comments about humanity’s failings — something KurtzSpock is apparently oblivious to since he seems to spend more time trying to act human or act out as human (something that would have been interesting if the character was Xon from p2, but nonsensical here.)

It’s like they have missed out on the whole trek tradition of having an outsider character who makes comments on humanity, which used to be a key to Trek. Maybe they just don’t know how to write it, maybe they don’t know how to emulate it, or they felt it was too 20thcentury Trek to even try, but it points to just another reason why this might not feel ‘right’ to many of us.

Wow that is a great point and what I do miss in classic Trek when we got characters like Data, Odo, Seven and Phlox to be an outsider looking in. This Spock does at times, but it’s almost always comedic like episode 5; but rarely a hard introspection as the original Spock.

I think it might be interesting if they did a ‘Data Day’ type of episode and they Spock in the day of the life like how he sees his ship mates and how he internalizes different things but not always end in a punchline all the time.

That’s a great idea, maybe as the transition point that really marks Spock seeming like Spock, assuming they ever get there or even remotely close.

Sometimes I really wish the TWOK script that had the crew singing happy birthday to Spock (in Vulcanese, no less) for his 80th+ birthday had gotten filmed, just so we couldn’t assume Spock was nearly a contemporary of Kirk’s (I know TAS had indicated otherwise, but ignoring TAS isn’t the same as ignoring live-action.) That way they’d have had to show Spock being as we knew him in this show, or else decide he was going through a Vulcan mid-life crisis to justify all this too-human behavior.

That’s a great idea! I hope they’ll give us a truly ALIEN Spock in the future … but I’m not hopeful.

I think it all comes down to the fact they don’t know how to write truly “alien or imaginative” characters or they consider humanity to be the be all end all of everything. This is a trend I see in modern Trek where everything extensively revolves around humans and humanity. It’s like they are afraid that writing any other thing will make it absolutely unfamiliar to the audience and that no one will end up watching.

Yeah, if the next Chris Nolan had a meeting with them, they’d probably be shaking their heads ‘no’ over the notion of some real science-based SF (with all due respect to the spore drive and tardigrades, which I think fell into the category of novelty-cuz-its-new.) Can you imagine how cool it would be to adapt THE MOTE IN GOD’S EYE to the Trek universe, once you actually had people in place there who would appreciate that kind of first contact story for more than just the glorious space battle depicted in it?

Then again, it depends who you wind up pitching to. I pitched a self-aware black hole (though I just called it a hypermass since the wordage was less common and more open to interpretation) story to TNG nearly a decade before Greg Benford did a major novel on the subject, and backed it up with some snippets of science about how stars meet some criteria for being alive owing to plasmodes and suchlike. The response? Jeri Taylor stating rather condescendingly, ‘we don’t do fantasy.’ (and yeah, that is an exact quote.)

The Mote in God’s Eye is a flipping masterwork. I’d love it if ST would actually employ SF writers.

Yup. I agree wholeheartedly, ST would benefit tremendously by doing so.

I think it’s clear too many people want Pike to be Kirk. He’s not Kirk. He’s not supposed to be Kirk. Pike has his own style, and has proven he can make tough calls. Also, why are so many people hung up on the fact that Pike likes to cook and entertain his command crew?

Aren’t a lot of these traits that were ascribed to April in various novels? Mainly being an explorer, a total non-action and non-military guy … basically the opposite of what we got in SNW’s April.

Picard certainly wasn’t Kirk, and yet people seemed to buy off on that captain right away, even if the performance seemed at times to be more king-like than Captain-esque.

The whole aspect with Kirk that he can make errors was always implied, but that didn’t mean he had to screw up every week. Just him considering he could be wrong (BoT is a good example, talking w/ McCoy) made him that much more credible without taking away the feel that this guy has it right.

But the slew of indecision-y moments with Pike as of late — at least that is how it feels to me — is seriously undermining the character, and worse still, showing Mount, good as he is, really cannot surmount inferior writing all the time, even though he accomplished wonders during DSC s2.

It’s interesting to read that – that April was portrayed in that way. Like you say, in comparison to the SNW April. If Pike is at one end of the command style, Kirk in the middle, the April of SNW feels like he would have commanded the heck out of the pre-Pike Enterprise. I’ve said this before, but I’d love an April stand alone streaming movie. I want to see the very start of the Enterprise’s journey documented. Obviously we have the end via Search for Spock. And the middle via SNW and TOS.

You know what other captain liked to cook for his crew? Ben Sisko! It’s not a big deal.

The Good:
–Scotty. This was grade A casting. Wow. I am so blown away by this actor playing Scotty. And the writing of his dialogue is perfect.
–Visuals. The close-up into the damaged Cayuga. The zero-G Gorn-Spock-Chapel scene. The shuttle flying across the surface. Great stuff.
–Sam Kirk. I love this character and wish he had more stuff to do.
–Number One. SHE is the CO I wish Pike was. I want Una as the next captain more than Pike. She was sure of herself, held authority, and did the correct things.
–The music. Great mix of TOS style with new

The Bad:
–Pike. He was all over the place. Great captain, bad captain, unsure captain? The final 10 seconds would make any Starfleet CO mad
–The plot. What was the point?
–Luck. Not “bad luck” per se, more like how lucky was Chapel to be the ONLY person alive? And that she saw Spock in the window?
–La’an never entered her knowledge of the Gorn into the computer. Why do they always have to ask her?

The Ugly:
–Bad Physics galore! I mean, how did Spock and Chapel just HAPPEN to “float” out of the Cayuga as it was directed toward the planet? Wouldn’t their inertia get them caught in…something? AND they should have tethered when out of the ship, or they would float away. AND why did items not spiral down to the planet. AND where was angular momentum conservation? AND why did the Gorn line not count for orbital motion?

So the podcast hosts continue to complain about the SNW Gorn deviating from the TOS man-in-the-rubber-suit Gorn. Yet no issues with the Klingons, Romulans, Andorians and other species that have distinctly evolved from their TOS origins when they were represented basically by actors in body paint only.

They also complain about the growing presence of TOS legacy characters. SNW is basically locked inside the decade between a few years after the events of “The Cage” and Pike’s eventual fate. If the series has a lengthy run and even if they have years stretch across multiple seasons, the TOS legacy characters would have to start appearing, including from “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, if the show is to follow canon, even if loosely.

Maybe just enjoy the storytelling?

Also, regarding strange alien worlds not being visited — Cajitar IV, Rigel VII, and the Kherkovian dimension don’t count?

Sixty years of canon. It’s okay if they bend it a little for the purpose of good storytelling. Even Nimoy said that storytelling is far more important than adhering rigidly to canon.