Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: All Those Who Wander
June 30, 2022 8:52 AM - Season 1, Episode 9 - Subscribe

On an L[V]-class planet, anyone else around can hear you scream, because it's got an atmosphere.

Memory Alpha takes pride in being a pointy-eared computer:

- In the planetary classification scheme used in Star Trek, Class L is usually meant to be something like "breathable atmosphere, but barely habitable."

- Station K-7 is the space station that the TOS episode "The Trouble With Tribbles" and the DS9 sequel "Trials and Tribble-ations" take place on.

- The Peregrine is a Sombra-class ship; "Sombra" is a word in Spanish or Portuguese meaning "shade" or "shadow."

- Lieutenant Kirk calling Spock a "pointy-eared computer" is reminiscent of Jim Kirk deliberately insulting Spock in the TOS episode "This Side of Paradise" by referring to his father, Sarek, as a computer.

Poster's Log:

Another great episode, which is extra-surprising given that it promised to be a basic reworking of Alien/Aliens from the preview, and there was indeed a lot of borrowing from that franchise; even though I've come to expect SNW to deliver a twist on familiar tropes and situations, I was thinking that it would end up being that Oriana was somehow manipulating emotions or reality or something to get them to rescue her because she was really an energy being that fed on bravery or something. But, they did it; they really had Hemmer make the big sacrifice at the end, not unlike
Ripley's at the end of Alien3
. I didn't want to see him go, even though we knew that eventually Montgomery Scott would join the crew sometime between the first and second TOS pilots; I like the character and actor a lot. But he went out like a mensch and had some great advice for Uhura. Plus, Spock is trying to get a grip on himself, and La'an is on leave; who knows if those will be resolved by the end of next episode (the last of the season)?

Also: kind of called the new promotion and the never-seen-before fellow cadet getting redshirted; Hemmer's official portrait is sublimely hilarious with his squared-away haircut; some interesting interaction between Sam Kirk and Spock (and generally good bits for Sam, who hasn't gotten that much play this season, and basically got to be the Hudson of this landing party). Oh, and aside from the title, did anyone catch any LoTR references?
posted by Halloween Jack (67 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
A+ on the tags this week, HJ.
posted by briank at 9:50 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


I liked this episode a lot. I wasn't expecting it to be quite this much of a homage to Alien and Aliens (and Predator? That was some Predator-like heat vision from the Gorn POV), but I didn't mind how OTT it was.

The untimely ends of the two redshirts were comically telegraphed (if you get a name in the same episode as a transfer or a promotion, do not go on the away mission), but I did not see Hemmer's coming. I guess there was foreshadowing in the clips in the recap. He went out like a boss, and this sets up a precedent that towards the end of a season no original character is safe -- which I think adds some much-needed narrative stakes to a prequel series with so much plot armour.

I also assumed that there was going to be a twist in which Newt Oriana was revealed to be a shapeshifter / some other kind of alien / carrying a Gorn Queen egg / etc., who was using alien pheromones to manipulate everyone around her into protecting her at all costs. I guess that could still happen in a future plot thread. Having two rescued prisoners turn out to be alien enemy infiltrators would perhaps be a bit much, though.
posted by confluency at 10:28 AM on June 30 [7 favorites]


Given how much TOS called back itself to tropes and classics, this felt like a call back to calling back. And it was glorious. I just wish the production team had managed to get a Carrie Hehn cameo.
posted by ewan at 10:44 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


A note on wall-punching and the 'Vulcan Emotion can be Dangerous' trope:
I picked up a bit of lore? headcanon? at some point - in Vulcan evolution, they never lost the much greater muscle-fiber density that primates like chimpanzees have. Meaning it's quite likely that an enraged Vulcan might be capable of twisting a human's arm off like a chicken leg.
(and makes me wonder if Vulcans float/swim)

RIP Hemner. At least he got one last antenna sniff of L-class air. An electroreceptor taste of Home.
posted by bartleby at 12:18 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


Alien/Aliens, sure, writ large on the screen, but the camera angles and being chased by Alien-vision camera only to be saved by a slamming door is straight out of ALIEN³ and, as mentioned by OP, the backwards sacrifice dive.

(I have a fond spot for ALIEN³ as it was one of the first movies I was able to see in a cinema despite being underage - I had no idea how reviled it was until many years later)
posted by Molesome at 1:54 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


Hemmer, with his line, "I am going to go outside now," Titus Oateses his way to glory. It is rare indeed that a regular perishes in Trek without getting better almost at once.

That said, this was the second stealth bottle episode in a row with lightly redressed sets; it makes me wonder if next week's finale is very effects-heavy (and thus pricey).

With Hemmer's death, Uhura's rotation out and La'an's leave of absence, that is three out of nine or ten regulars apparently vanishing in short order: this is a level of deck-clearing we have never before seen in Trek (save, ironically, after "The Cage") which makes me wonder what the scheme is for season 2.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:32 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Big LOL from me at Pike's command code being 2 4 6 8 10, then the doctor immediately noting "You still haven't changed that yet?"
posted by adrianhon at 2:56 PM on June 30 [12 favorites]


Well, this was the first episode I didn't like. I mean, it was fine, but it borrowed too heavily from the Alien franchise, threw in a little Predator and then bumped off the character with the least amount of backstory but the most potential. I was so thrilled that Strange New Worlds cast a blind actor to play a blind character - and they did almost nothing with him before killing him off.

I do love this cast, though. Looks like they can handle any tone or scenario, which is what a Trek cast should be able to do. There were plenty of meh episodes in 90s Trek because 26 eps per season is a ridiculous number; I was hoping we'd get through 10 without a stinker. But when you've got a cast and characters this great, even a meh episode is worth watching once.

I am puzzled by the deck clearing. Discovery does this A LOT and I don't think they've ever done it well. They move characters away for an episode or two and then they come back with the shallowest of explanations. Except for Tilly, for some reason. She's just kept on a shelf until they need her nervous energy to up the comedy quotient.

Part of me wonders if Uhura is off the ship so they can kick the Sybok story into high gear, so she never gets to hear about him or meet him? Getting rid of Na'án is interesting. Maybe she's off ship so she can come in and save the day later?

Trek has been so very hit and miss since 2009 that a meh episode isn't really the worst crime. But this show has set such high expectations, I wanted more. Excited for the finale next week but sad it's almost over.
posted by crossoverman at 4:02 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


I am also pretty grumpy at Hemmer dying.

Making the Gorn into the closest thing to a recurring villain this show has is not the choice I would have made.

Will there be new trek airing once SNW finishes its season next week? As far as I could find, none of the other active series (DIS/PIC/LD/PRO) have announced air dates, though LD and PRO are both expected to start airing new eps soon.
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 5:57 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


All that I've been able to find is that LD S3 is coming "summer 22", which is already here, and PRO sometime after that.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:48 PM on June 30


It's going to be weird to have no live-action Star Trek for six months, after they front-loaded this year with shows. Even more odd, both S3 of PIC and S2 of SNW have already been shot. Whereas S5 of DISCO has only just started shooting. So the way they drop next, I only have to guess will be in a different order to this year.

I'd prefer them to space them out a bit. And it will be interesting to see what new shows they have in the works. But no real information forthcoming on anything else yet.
posted by crossoverman at 8:54 PM on June 30


Getting rid of Na'án is interesting. Maybe she's off ship so she can come in and save the day later?

Perhaps La'an Noonien-Singh is off to do a crossover series with her character double Carmina Drummer from The Expanse.
posted by fairmettle at 9:01 PM on June 30 [7 favorites]


Also: kind of called the new promotion and the never-seen-before fellow cadet getting redshirted

Many years before I ever heard the term Redshirt my father would always say, "never go on a landing party if you're an ensign or below."
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:14 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Kind of impressed with the CG (and compensation for) for the alien. I don't impress easily within this scope. Buckley was hybrid CG, right?

Oriana was a little too much Newt... and they went there and went full homage. Fine, they did it competently.

I'm really curious about the "space carbines" - by TOS they already had the handheld rayguns (right?), and in TNG the plasticy PlaymobilTM phaser-rifles. The design of the pewpews here feel like a century and a half throwbacks, in terms of design.

They seem like a capacitor-like discharge, rather than the continuous beam of phasers starting in TOS(?). I wonder if there's any cannon on whether that's an energy release issue or a heat dissipation/ energy conversion efficiency issue?

Geeze, Chapel with her goggles necklaced, leather jacket, and black gloves makes me feel funny. And then those soft boots!

Really liked Bruce Horak as Hemmer. I really hope he gets more looks as an actor, if that's what he wants to pursue.

On top of of the Ripley sacrifice mapping, I felt that Horak channeled a bunch of Nimoy from ST:WOK, without the speachifying, which is consistent (for the character).

Not feeling this iteration Kirk.

Melissa Navia as Ortegas on the other hand...

Spock's got to be doubly messed in the head; whether Chapel cares because she's a nurse, whether she's a friend, or. And all the different ethical paths depending on which one. And then, does Chapel know? Good stuff.

I guess I haven't praised Anson Mount in a while, so, namedrop.

(I am also someone who is baffled by the public hatred that Alien3 gets. Is it Gamergate-ish backlash against society and rule of law, or the male homosexuality in context, or that the movie's Gamergaters and rapists mostly get what's coming to them? I still absolutely eat up the speculative prison-society stuff and Charles S. Dutton is a fucking legend. Cutting out Newt and Hicks dirty is legit, but feels like an excuse. And Charles Fucking Dance. The revelation at the end is worth a ton for worldbuilding. I also have very little objection to A4: Resurrection. I paid cash money for the Quadrillogy on the original fancy DVD foldout package.)
posted by porpoise at 10:19 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


Computer, set planet to disco mode.

Also I really like how Pike's command style involves a lot of big meals with the crew. At some point he should talk about his mother's maiden name was Baggins, it's very hobbit-like and a great management style.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:36 PM on June 30 [13 favorites]


According to various online sources this is not the end of Bruce Horak in Trek. Hemmer was my favorite.
posted by hototogisu at 11:19 PM on June 30 [11 favorites]


George Kirk seems well on his way to concluding that Starfleet life isn’t for him, and that he’d be better off as a civilian on a nice safe colony somewhere. I’m sure that will work out well for him.
posted by Pryde at 11:51 PM on June 30 [18 favorites]


Regarding Alien3, I always just felt it was fundamentally unfair that Ripley accomplished all she did to survive through the first two movies only to end up sacrificing herself there, and stealing away her rescue of Newt made it even worse. Just too dark for me. Hicks and Bishop also dying was secondary, but extra salt in the wound.

Otherwise, the movie had its merits, but I would just as soon preferred to leave their fate open ended after the first two. The alternate William Gibson script was…something.
posted by Pryde at 11:58 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


The darkness was what I appreciated. Shit's real.

But yeah, dirtily done.
posted by porpoise at 12:03 AM on July 1


Cutting out Newt and Hicks dirty is legit, but feels like an excuse.

I like Alien3 OK as a movie, and even as an Alien movie, but the first thing it does is say, "Hey, remember those characters who got a happy ending last time? Well, fuck you for liking them." Felt like a dirty trick when I saw it in the theater in 1992, still feels that way now.
posted by The Tensor at 12:08 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


dirty trick

For sure, but you aren't one(of the ones) who's bashing A3.

But, sorry, back to Star Trek, I've not been appreciating the "bonus" referential episodes, so much, maybe because they've been so frequent and rely on meta-knowledge about the show and much less about stuff that's been developed within this show.

Do characters that you build yourself, rather than lean on nostalgia on a character someone else built.

I'm really digging Pike, for example.
posted by porpoise at 12:32 AM on July 1


This episode skirted just up to the line of doing the much-reviled DISCO move of heavy, deep, personal discussion somehow hitting pause on the ship-destroying countdown. It did not cross that line—but of course it did cross the Alien homage line. Not egregiously or ineffectively IMO; Stream Trek does on-foot action better than anything Berman-era.

(But ya know, now that I say that?… Where's our majestic Enterprise-versus-starship setpieces? THOSE were generally done well in the Berman era; it feels like they hardly happen in the Stream era.)

Making the Gorn into the closest thing to a recurring villain this show has is not the choice I would have made.

I wouldn't be too surprised if this is the end of their "recurring villain" arc; it seems to have been more of a " Naan  La'an working through her trauma" arc.

I hope it's the Tholians next; they always struck me as especially scary. Or the Sheliak! Or better still: someone we don't know. OTOH, I thought it was kind of neat the way they expanded the setting a bit w/r/t the Gorn lifecycle and abilities.

According to various online sources this is not the end of Bruce Horak in Trek.

Innnnnteresting. And reassuring, because he's great. I wonder if this is a Jeffrey Combs type thing where the showrunners realized "hey, this guy is way too good to be stuck in this limiting role we gave him," and came up with a new role prior to breaking the news to him that Hemmer was gonna sacrifice himself.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 4:02 AM on July 1 [10 favorites]


I’m conflicted about the Gorn here.

I’m trying hard not to be too upset when they go against canon. There’s literally more live action Star Trek than anything else (that isn’t a daily soap opera), and no one is watching episodes of Days of Our Lives from the 60s to get continuity details. I’m okay with changing details from 50 years ago for the sake of a better story now. Lean on the MST3K mantra and enjoy the ride.

But I’m not sure the Gorn make sense. How the hell does a species that is able to reproduce by spraying victims with acid, then has the offspring fight so that only one survives, become a space-faring species? Maybe the adults are able to get along well enough to develop and operate a space program, but how do they even find the adults once they mature? Especially if they are indetectable to sensors?!

I’m all for terrifying space aliens, and this episode was great on a stand-alone basis. I get what they wanted to do here, and they did it well. But this is the opposite of villain decay: these Gorn should be wiping the floor with the Federation, and I don’t know how they back away from that.

That said, the combined CGI/puppetry work in this episode was really well done. Some of the best aliens ST has ever had.
posted by thecaddy at 5:03 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Kind of impressed with the CG (and compensation for) for the alien. I don't impress easily within this scope. Buckley was hybrid CG, right?

Buckley and the Gorn were puppets. This week's Ready Room had a great segment about it.

It really seems like killing off Hemmer is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. He had a lot of potential to become a Best Loved character. It will be interesting to see what they do with Bruce Horak now. Maybe he can come back as a villain. He's got a great voice for a bad guy. Maybe he could be one of Captain Angel's Orion pirate accomplices.

Don't worry about La'an and Uhura, both are back for Season Two. Chrissy Chong and Celia Gooding have both been tweeting about shooting the new season. We might have to wait a couple of episodes for La'an to come back.
posted by briank at 5:06 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


As soon as he was promoted I knew that the new Lieutenant was gonna end up Toast on the Away mission.

Shredded Toast.
posted by Faintdreams at 5:26 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


In the very last scene I am pretty sure Uhura's combadge no longer had the square "cadet" backing, implying that she decided to go ahead and become an Ensign.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:12 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'd read the last scene as Uhura being convinced by Hemmer's last words to stay.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:15 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


I was pretty well convinced Uhura was staying by her [music intensifies] Gaze of Finally Consummated Longing at her traditional station (just to the left of the turbolift!) at the end of the episode.
posted by invincible summer at 7:45 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


I think Aliens3 was always in a tricky position. Alien was a classic and then rather than milk the horror concept, Aliens did something different with the material and created one of the best action movies to date, so any sequel would be in a difficult space. Then there was a lot of talk about reshooting, and then when we saw it, it was immediate off-screen death for key characters. Which was not a great way to get an audience on side who were likely already over-expecting. Then it was pretty standard fare, working through the British character actors. It's kind of average really but wide open to negative comparisons.
posted by biffa at 8:40 AM on July 1


I have only seen the first Alien movie and would like to see the 2nd and 3rd without spoilers in the future, so I appreciate people who are hiding/marking spoilers for the Alien films in this thread! My household also saw moments that reminded me of Jurassic Park and reminded my spouse of The Thing (and reminded me of the X-Files episode that's an homage to The Thing). Lots of sci-fi horror/suspense visual language common across those movies, I imagine.

I choked up at Hemmer's last scene.

Spock deliberately letting his emotions out and then having trouble putting them back in the box -- RELATABLE.

I mentioned to my spouse, after watching this, that the Gorn are playing the role of "killable bodies" in this series -- they are a dangerous threat, and (evidently) cannot be persuaded to negotiate or even to engage in communication at all, so it's ok to treat them like monsters and just kill them, even though they're probably sentient. He suggested that watching the TOS episode "Arena" might help me better understand both the Gorn in canon and clues to a path forward in dealing with the Gorn, so we might watch that soon.
posted by brainwane at 9:50 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


I'm sort of tempted to watch ENT: The Aenar this weekend to remember what was up with Hemmer. I might, still - it's a Shran episode!
posted by Kyol at 11:57 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


I can absolutely recommend "The Aenar"; ENT generally improved a lot in the last season (except for the regrettable finale). It is the third in a three-part arc, and bits of it might be confusing if you don't know the backstory.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:25 PM on July 1


Don't worry about La'an and Uhura, both are back for Season Two.

Don't worry about Uhura, she's in the trailer for the finale. So all the people who read her final scene as a "I'm going to stay" moment are right. (I absolutely did not read it that way. It's oddly ambiguous for no reason.)
posted by crossoverman at 8:25 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


When they were begging him not to sacrifice himself, I was sure someone was going to say “Please, Hemmer, don’t hurt ‘em!”

I was a little confused by the Gorn biology. Wasn’t the saliva spooge squirted by an immature one? It would seem a little pointless to reproduce and then fight so only the fittest survives.
posted by snofoam at 9:10 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


In the very last scene I am pretty sure Uhura's combadge no longer had the square "cadet" backing, implying that she decided to go ahead and become an Ensign.

I wouldn't even be surprised if she ends up making Lieutenant.
posted by fairmettle at 9:36 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


I was a little confused by the Gorn biology.

In an homage to xenomorph biology, it makes no sense.
posted by crossoverman at 11:19 PM on July 1 [9 favorites]


Maybe they're "born pregnant," a la tribbles.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 4:39 AM on July 2


I'm mad about Hemmer! He was such an interesting character, really loved his acerbic writing. And the actor Bruce Horak is great. I think in general they've done a good job casting this show but there are a couple of characters that are not working for me. Hemmer was so good! Phooey.

Samuel Kirk was hilarious though. I love having a sort of comic relief sidekick character and the actor is just perfect at it. Great they have a running ongoing gag of him vs. his insufferable brother.

Didn't love the episode itself. It felt very violent and and loud and horror to me. Which yes, it's an Alien homage, but I prefer my Star Trek to be a little lighter entertainment than that. Also they muffed the Newt Oriana plot a little bit; she just sort of disappears in the final act, right? I thought maybe the writers had forgotten about her entirely but there is some dialog about how they'll drop her off somewhere safe or something.

Getting rid of Na'án is interesting

Perhaps she'll be replaced by her multi-layered sister Pa'ratha.
posted by Nelson at 7:04 AM on July 2 [5 favorites]


I don't remember ever seeing an episode of Trek with this much visible blood!

I was certain Hemmer would survive because he hadn't even been the subject of a major plot yet. Really sad to see him go, I thought he was potentially one of the most interesting characters.
posted by simonw at 8:24 AM on July 2 [4 favorites]


Definitely going to miss Hemmer, but he went out on top. I hope they bring back Bruce Horak as often as he likes. It'd be great to see him and Jeffrey Combs in a SNW episode together.
> I hope it's the Tholians next; they always struck me as especially scary. Or the Sheliak! Or better still: someone we don't know.
Heck, the Husnock are sitting right there.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 2:03 PM on July 2


I'll start with my obligatory "I love this show, I'm so glad it's on the air, I'm overjoyed that Star Trek is back" boilerplate before diving into criticism.

This is the first episode I didn't particularly care for. When previous episodes were tropey or obvious, they felt like intentional throwbacks to formulaic planet-of-the-week shows of the past. This one didn't have that feeling, though, it just felt like a bad episode; even worse, it wasn't very much fun. The Alien/Predator aspect of the episode didn't feel like a riff or an homage, just a lousy ripoff.

About halfway through it occurred to me that it's kinda hard to build suspense in the horror episode of your prequel series when, thanks to canon, the majority of your landing party is bulletproof...

That wannabe tearjerking ending back on the ship was a slog, and felt too much like a Discovery episode. This show is usually so much better at emotional moments, I'm not sure what happened here.

Did the Enterprise episodes go into any detail about how Hemmer's people compensated for their blindness in sighted societies? I've mentioned this before but it always distracted me that we were told Hemmer was blind but never actually shown him ever compensating for his blindness. He could apparently read monitors and operate touchscreens, for example. It annoyed me because it made his blindness feel really hollow, a "please clap" effort on the part of the showrunners to include a blind character without once doing the work of incorporating that into the storyline. I obviously didn't want him to be less-capable than a sighted crewmember, I just wanted some acknowledgment that he'd do his job differently.

But I'm very happy to hear that Bruce Horak will be returning, he has a really magnetic presence.

I hope La'an comes back from her journey with a few more notes added to her extremely limited (and IMHO extremely boring) characterization. Christina Chong is a great actress with a decent range—as we saw last week—so I hope they give her more to chew on next season.

Hey, we finally got Ortegas dialogue that wasn't reheated Xander Harris quips! Shame it took Hemmer's death to bring it about.

In conclusion: I love this show, I'm so glad it's on the air, I'm overjoyed that Star Trek is back.
posted by Ian A.T. at 2:32 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]


I'm confused because in the dialog,
M'Benga: For starters, we don't even know what kind of species he was. And according to this, the maturity cycle depends on the host. In the Orion, it took weeks. Humans, days.
.. but Hemmer had been hit by goo only hours before-hand. Why had his gorn-babies already reached hatching stage, making it too late for any kind of magical medical intervention?
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 3:51 PM on July 2


I admit, I was hoping for a last-minute Hemmer rescue via "Waitaminnit. Ha! Gorn can't stand the cold. But I'm an Andorian, whose home planet is an ice moon. Turns out all I had to do was stand out here in the snow for a while. Popped right out like an unhappy tapeworm. I feel fine now."
posted by bartleby at 4:39 PM on July 2 [14 favorites]


I have seen Alien, but only once, and was bored out of my mind save for the design and atmosphere so Trek doing it was ok for me. Not into the sci-fi/horror drama but was pleased we didn't get a 3rd stinker in a row. It was entertaining. Don't have any attachment yet to any characters so some leaving was not a bother (or perhaps that's just age). I have a soft spot for Enterprise's Impulse even though it's pretty ridiculous so I'm getting the same vibe from this one.

Did not care for the design of the Gorn. Didn't care for the design of the Gorn in Enterprise, or TAS, or even TOS, which is why, in the previous Gorn episode, I was pleased we only saw their ships and not them. They've been changed beyond visuals to merely monsters (unless that changes). Although I enjoyed this one I hope we don't get a ton of Gorn episodes in this series. The Borg took over the latter seasons of Voyager and transformed from a huge threat to not so much of a threat. Hopefully the Gorn in SNW don't follow the same model.

Outside of the last 2 episodes before this one it's been a good experience unlike Picard and Discovery which I've completely given up on. Looking forward to the best of new Trek, Lower Decks coming sometime in the 3rd quarter of this year.
posted by juiceCake at 4:52 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


There's an aspect of nuGorn that touches on something they also did with the Bougie Wedding Venue planet episode.
When encountering Strange new worlds, sometimes they're TOO strange?
"Wow, looks like an advanced, sophisticated society you have here. Let's get you fast-tracked for Federation membership."
'Great, Come with me, you can attend the ceremony where we throw a child into a volcano every year!'
"Um...on second thought..."

You go out in the galaxy to meet new life and new civilizations. And maybe sometimes what you meet is just a planet covered in infinitely replicating robot spiders. Or pirates and slavers. Or Cannibalistic Sauropod Interspace Chompers.

why not allow for First Contact Status Report: Noped the Fuck Out of there
posted by bartleby at 4:59 PM on July 2 [6 favorites]


I think that they've always had an element of that; for all we know, TNG's "Justice" left the Edo still executing people for stepping on the flowers or whatever.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:11 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]


Are there any canon (or beta canon) sources that talk about what happens after they encounter a civilization like this?

If this were The Culture we'd assume that Special Circumstances agents would be sent to the planet to subtly push the civilization away from their current mindset and towards one that would made them a better fit for the Federation. You could call them Last Contact, maybe?

But I don't think the Federation really works like that, so they probably just leave them alone if they're not too much of a threat—or too much of an asset—and hope for the best.

This would certainly be a more interesting look at the the covert side of the Federation than the adolescent edgelord Section 31 concept.
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:35 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


Exploration Log:
Sector 37 - Caitians (felinoids, mellow)
Sector 38 - Abyssals (Don't drink the water. They're the water.)
Sector 39 - Kzinti (felinoids, aggro)
Sector 40 - Gorn Space (recommend Here Be Dragons Protocol)
Sector 41 - another Bostrom-type failed civilization (3/4ths of solar mass currently converted to paperclips)
posted by bartleby at 9:02 PM on July 2 [5 favorites]


Not as bad as the previous ep. But yeah... major rip of the Alien franchise.

Hemmer, as others have said, was one of the more interesting yet less well- developed characters. Sorry to see him go.

If the crashed ship looks exactly like a Constitution-class vessel, why is it a different class?
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:13 PM on July 2


Oh, the complicated dual nature of Starfleet naval architecture...
The short story is that production budgets are limited, and they already had the digital asset (model kit) for a Connie, so they only showed a glimpse, and called it a different class. They did mention it carried about 100 fewer personnel and used the same parts.

Which leads into the lore aspect. a) hey, we know how to build a good saucer-and-cylinder design, so let's just do variations using standard components in different arrangements. Easier logistically for the shipyards.
b) The equipment included in a design can also determine its class. The Hermes class is the same hull/engines/computers/etc as the Saladin class, but with the weapons systems and crews replaced with more sensor arrays and scientists.
Same 'ship'; but being outfitted from scratch for looky-loo vs pew-pew means the two have different class designations.
posted by bartleby at 10:37 PM on July 2 [3 favorites]


I admit, I was hoping for a last-minute Hemmer rescue via "Waitaminnit. Ha! Gorn can't stand the cold. But I'm an Andorian, whose home planet is an ice moon. Turns out all I had to do was stand out here in the snow for a while. Popped right out like an unhappy tapeworm. I feel fine now."

Let's hope that with the universally positive fan sentiment about the character and actor, that is just what the producers will retroactively end up deciding to do in the off-season.
posted by fairmettle at 10:52 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]


I thought they were going to rescue Hemmer by putting him in a transporter buffer like M'Benga's daughter. Seriously, I thought that was going to be the set-up with Hemmer kept in the transporter buffer until a cure of some sort was developed. Hemmer goes out in style but Star Wars has affected me enough to ask: "Uh, did you CHECK to see if he is really dead with the Gorn spawn? Is he gonna show up again but with robot spider legs and a need to start a crime syndicate called Crimson Dawn? Just asking."
posted by jadepearl at 1:13 AM on July 3 [3 favorites]


Oh, I was confusing an Orion and an Andorian/Aenar. How embarassing. So, no, they didn't specifically explain that Gorn gestation would have taken a long time in Hemmer, rather, that it was unknown how long it would take (and apparently it's faster than in humans)
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 5:22 AM on July 3


My favorite "starship FX on a budget" story is from TOS' "The Doomsday Machine"; they had to do another Constitution-class ship, the Constellation, which had already been attacked by the DM, so they took the new AMT Enterprise model kit, assembled it (changing the name and registry number), then burned it in a number of places with a cigarette lighter, and boom, your derelict ship. The remastered version (probably what you'd be able to see on streaming now) has a much better CGI version, although one of the remastering crew was pranked with a fake blooper.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:14 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]


But bartleby -- why? From a story perspective, I mean?

The simple, obvious way to go, if you're going to use the same sets and digital models, is to just say it's a Constitution-class ship. Why bother to invent a new class "made from Constitution-class parts"? It didn't serve any meaningful narrative purpose that I could see.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 12:29 PM on July 3 [2 favorites]


I for one am hoping we get ‘The Search For Hemmer’ where we discover Hemmer was snap frozen and it turns out Aenar physiology is totally fine with that, what with coming from the polar region of an ice moon.
posted by threecheesetrees at 5:05 PM on July 3 [4 favorites]


Fan service. Space navy nerds sit up straight whenever a new ship is mentioned on the show.

Some people watch stuff and get really excited over the costumes? Set and prop designs? Some like the ships, and the game of creating background reasons for 'why does it look like that?' that's been going on since TOS. It's queer-baiting for people who count the shuttlecraft.

They haven't been doing particularly well with...logic? about it in SNW tho. They showed us a single-nacelle ship in the pilot - Yay! but with only three people flying it - Boo!
Opening this one with a crash landed starship stuck in the ice - Neat! closing with it in orbit being towed away nearly intact - How?!
posted by bartleby at 5:08 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]


... and then 'The Voyage (to Hemmer's) Home' where our plucky crew needs to settle a diplomatic incident on Andoria because of ignorantly leaving Hemmer behind, negotiating with a furious descendent of Shran, of course played by Jeffrey Combs.
posted by threecheesetrees at 5:10 PM on July 3 [4 favorites]


Oh, the complicated dual nature of Starfleet naval architecture...
The short story is that production budgets are limited, and they already had the digital asset (model kit) for a Connie, so they only showed a glimpse, and called it a different class.


Yeah, but that goes nowhere. Kirk tells us a few times that the Big E is one of only twelve ships like it in the fleet, so while at SNW they don't dive as deep into canon as Lower Decks does, we could have had this a sneak preview of a ship we will see later coming to grief like Exeter or Intrepid, or even one of the ones we understood to be out there offscreen this whole time (Yorktown, Saratoga, etc.) There would have been a mighty squeeee from fans either way rather than the "sure, whatever" shrug this evoked.

Opening this one with a crash landed starship stuck in the ice - Neat! closing with it in orbit being towed away nearly intact - How?!

I chortled when I saw that it had one slightly bent nacelle. It really put me in mind of the OG episode "The Doomsday Machine," which deals with the sad fate of one of Enterprise's sister ships, the Constellation.

Like every Starfleet ship we saw in the sixties, it was a sister ship; in most cases, this was so they could reuse the special effects (from an angle where the name and registry number were not visible). However, in this case, the ship was in very bad shape. Because the production team didn't want to mess up any of their -- if memory serves -- two Enterprise models, they literally used an AMC hobby shop model kit of the Enterprise* with seemingly some scorching applied by a Bic lighter. It's not for nothing it was the first episode remastered with 21st century special effects.

*And I will never understand how they sprang to alter the name of the ship on the primary hull to Constellation but then just minimally rearranged some of the decals to make NCC-1701 into NCC 1017. Guys, really.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:56 PM on July 3 [3 favorites]


just a planet covered in infinitely replicating robot spiders

I loved that episode of SG1.
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 6:52 PM on July 3 [5 favorites]


I enjoyed this a good bit but I definitely feel like I wish I didn’t watch the “previously on” bit at the beginning where Hemmer says “I’m going to die in this episode” directly into the camera
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:20 AM on July 4 [10 favorites]


I liked this episode so much more than last week's, even though it's the first time Star Trek actually scared me. (I'm overly susceptible to Alien jump scares.)

I hope when they bring La'an back, it's with more character development.
posted by Space Kitty at 11:57 AM on July 4 [1 favorite]


I loved that episode of SG1.
And now you have me wanting a rebooted SG1 with Anson Mount as Jack.

gimmegimme
posted by coriolisdave at 7:45 PM on July 4 [4 favorites]


It's cool that the actor may be returning, but I just really liked Hemmer! (For his part, the actor may be relieved to spend less time in a makeup chair.)
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:52 PM on July 20


Sorry, jumping in late. (We're slow!)

I thought Hemmer's death was very well handled and was exactly what the show needed. While I was enjoying the episode, I was rolling my eyes a bit at how obvious it was that Cadet Walking-Dead 1 and Lieutenant Walking-Dead 2 were going to bite it. And then they totally circumvented the trope by killing off a major character as well! Well played, Star Trek.

Plus, I think Hemmer had a great season arc, going from a bit of a grouchy hermit to Uhura's substitute dad. He earned the pathos of his death (compared to, say, all the justifiable annoyance that Airiam on DISC got a backstory and a noble death in the same episode).

Here's hoping that La'an comes back with an eye patch and a death wish and gets to be something other than sullen.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 8:15 AM on August 11


Ok, so the pacing on this was weird, right? First half: Alien. Second half: the last 40 minutes of LOTR. And how many long winded inspiring speeches were there? 4? Oh well, I enjoyed it.

But I’m not sure the Gorn make sense. How the hell does a species that is able to reproduce by spraying victims with acid, then has the offspring fight so that only one survives, become a space-faring species? Maybe the adults are able to get along well enough to develop and operate a space program, but how do they even find the adults once they mature? Especially if they are indetectable to sensors?!


I can imagine answers to these questions. Gorn evolved as an apex predator with a single adult individual ruling a territory and possibly ‘raising’ whichever offspring survived the first form and metamorphosized to stage 2. As sentient adults their mission becomes to reproduce through cooperation - we know they have nursery worlds that they stage with competitor sentiments for their young to eat/breed in. Capture a bunch of aliens, dump ‘on a convenient island after soray8ng a few with reproductive acid, come back six weeks later to take on the adolescents and pick up La’an and stick her on a space shuttle as a ‘prize’ for lasting the longest. And maybe they’ve got scanners that can detect themselves.

I think the infection that brought down this ship was likely a one-off random ‘let’s impregnate the alien and throw it back in the water’.
posted by bq at 7:39 PM on August 13


I keep wondering how much on purpose it is that Sam Kirk looks and behaves kinda like Guy Fleegman from Galaxy Quest. I think... 4 on purpose.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:14 PM on September 4 [4 favorites]


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