Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: Hegemony
August 10, 2023 9:18 AM - Season 2, Episode 10 - Subscribe

[Season finale] The crew is in especially dire straits; to get out of this one, they'll need some sort of miracle worker.

Memory Alpha was one of her best students with the worst grades:

- Martin Quinn is the fourth actor (after James Doohan, Simon Pegg, and Matthew Wolf, who voiced an alternate-timeline Scott in last season's finale of SNW) to play Montgomery Scott, and the first Scottish actor to do so.

- The Stardiver, Scotty's previous ship, appears to be named after either a move in the Final Fantasy game franchise or a watch.

- The episode's title comes from the Gorn Hegemony.

"When an armada of human-eating lizards come my way, I can get quite, uh, creative."

- Montgomery Scott

Poster's Log:

Well, the series ends its second season as it did the first: a cliffhanger. Will Pelia and Scotty (Scotty!) get his anti-Gorn cloak hooked up in time? (See TOS' "The Enterprise Incident.") Will Pike disobey April's order to withdraw, or leave the remaining crew and colonists behind? (He's kinda already crossed that Rubicon, right?) Will the baby Gorns hatch out of Batel? (Don't you fucking dare fridge her, show; that would only leave Letterkenny and Wynnona Earp for my Melanie Scrofano fix.) And will the Gorn War happen? (I wouldn't blame the Federation for not wanting to start up another war so soon, but there's also the question of setting a precedent for any other hegemonic power deciding that they want to take a human colony and send a map with a line drawn across it afterwards.) The show didn't really need to set up a cliffhanger to whet people's appetite for the next season; it seems to have become the franchise's current flagship show, with DIS' imminent cancellation. But that's where we are. In the meantime, Lower Decks is coming in a bit less than a month; they're continuing last season's thing of doing a poster that riffs off the corresponding TOS movie poster.

And we got Scotty, although (like J. Kirk) he may not be joining the crew just yet.

Poster's Log, supplemental: ah, the old TOS tradition of saving on sets by going, "And this planet decided to go with a... [checks budget] 21st-century-Earth Midwest theme." I will say that that very obvious move was somewhat mitigated by that shot of the Gorn ship showing up; it reminded me very, very much of a similar scene in the videogame Mass Effect 2, which had an Earth Alliance officer trying to convince a wildcat colony to join them and being interrupted by an alien species who wanted to kidnap the colonists and do bad things to them.
posted by Halloween Jack (92 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
the Gorn Hegemony

So that comes after The Gorn Identity but before The Gorn Supremacy? I always get confused about the watch order.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 10:19 AM on August 10, 2023 [38 favorites]


Favorite stuff:

M'Benga's quiet-but-menacing "I would like to assist in that study." when Kirk says he wants to study how to kill Gorn.

Una's "There is nothing higher than red alert" (the double-red alert hasn't been invented yet, I see)
posted by Mogur at 11:08 AM on August 10, 2023 [5 favorites]


My smile when a redshirt opened his mouth to issue forth a Scottish accent.
posted by Etrigan at 11:11 AM on August 10, 2023 [9 favorites]


Will the baby Gorns hatch out of Batel?

Did they ever actually use Chekov's Nitrogen Grenades?
posted by Etrigan at 11:12 AM on August 10, 2023 [6 favorites]


Chekov's Nitrogen Grenades

Dang, we’re getting him too?!

(Jk. He’s probably in grade school at this point.)

I’m glad I didn’t know anything going in so I had the same delight at a Scottish accent.

Kind of a bummer about anyone else left alive on the Cayuga’s saucer section, eh? Especially since the ruse was good for about 5 seconds.
posted by supercres at 11:42 AM on August 10, 2023 [4 favorites]


I liked the way that the teaser has the Cayuga doing exactly the sort of B-grade mission that the Cerritos routinely gets in Lower Decks.

Scotty! Mind you, his timeline seems a little off, in that he's seemingly a 37 year-old Lt JG 17 years after graduating from Starfleet Academy (at least according to Memory Alpha) - perhaps those bad grades Pelia gave him didn't help and he spent more years as an ensign than Harry Kim. Oh well, he evidently gets over this because seven years later he'll be a Lt Commander and Chief Engineer.

I suspect that will have been the most angst-inducing TO BE CONTINUED since Part 1 of The Best of Both Worlds aired. Especially given the current strike situation - when are we likely to see Season 3?
posted by Major Clanger at 12:36 PM on August 10, 2023 [1 favorite]


I am lukewarm to cold on the Gorn, so I'm down on this episode. Action/Horror, meh.

Vaccinating some non-Federation colonists and dropping off farm equipment was the "priority one mission" Patel mentioned last week? That doesn't make much sense in retrospect, except for the need to signal to the audience that Patel would be in danger this week.

I'm trying to think of something positive to say about this episode but I can't.
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 1:42 PM on August 10, 2023 [7 favorites]


send a map with a line drawn across it afterwards.

Where does that curve keep on to? It was not a shallow curve, so maybe the Gorn think the Federation only has a very tiny amount of space...

Dang, we’re getting him too?!

He doesn't turn up until Season 2 of TOS, so there's little excuse to get him involved. I dare say that won't stop them though.

I thought Spock's magnetic boots were unconvincing. Get some Expanse boots lazy FX people.

Why was Chapel fannying around trying to signal with that torch when there was a spacesuit down the corridor and she could see where the Enterprise was?

That was a shit ending.
posted by biffa at 3:11 PM on August 10, 2023 [4 favorites]


Pike on Batel surviving the Gorn: “Captain Batel is tough.”
Me: “A bit gamey.”

when are we likely to see Season 3?

Una: “Orders, Captain?”
Pike looks around at the camera: “Oh, if only I had a year or so to think about it!”
posted by Servo5678 at 3:31 PM on August 10, 2023 [11 favorites]


“I'm trying to think of something positive to say about this episode but I can't.”

I'm with you. So many things in this episode made little sense, and not in the excusable way of sounds in space (audience expectations) or unrealistic microgravity movements (budget), but just lazy writing, like the Gorn completely destroying a large Federation starship not being an act of war in itself that couldn't be ignored, or Chapel apparently either being the only survivor of the Cayuga or the Enterprise just dooming any others with their plan. That's just off the top of my head.

I understand that absurd contrivances are common and usually accepted by the audience in television drama, but there's generally kind of an upper limit to how many you can stack up in a single episode. And I'm not generous about this kind of thing in general because the fact that most of these things could be corrected with tiny changes in the dialogue signals to me some laziness and poor regard of the audience.

I thought that Pike's indecision at the end was way too extended to be in character. That was Captain Queeg levels of panicked indecision in a crisis and Pike is the antithesis of the Queeg-type.

Is it just me, or is there no real tension in this cliffhanger? What is the audience supposed to care about? Surely not the nameless captives. Pike getting in trouble? Yeah, right. Also, I kind of hate seasonal cliffhangers. Did I write, "kind of"? I meant "unreservedly".

In another "is it me?", I just don't like Sam. I normally like science nerd characters, but Sam just grates.

I can't fault any of the performances. I like this Scotty. But what's most remarkable to me is how much I've come to see Peck's "Spock" as, well, Spock. On Discovery, while I liked him, I also was often aware of him sometimes not being the Spock I've known. But there's been character growth and an evolution of Peck's portrayal such that this is really "Spock" to me now. I think the character's flirting with and subsequent hard retreat from humanness is working really well and slots into canon perfectly.

I've said in the past that this is nothing like TOS's Chapel, but that's a good thing.

The Caine Mutiny. I highly recommend both the book by Herman Wouk (a lot of the book — not the mutiny itself, of course — is thinly disguised autobiography) and the film starring Bogart. Of you've not seen this, if you do at the very least you'll recognize the origin of several allusions that frequently appear in popular culture.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:08 PM on August 10, 2023 [8 favorites]


I thought that Pike's indecision at the end was way too extended to be in character.

Of all the problems with this episode, this is the one that bothered me the most. Everything we've seen from Pike so far shows him to be the model starship captain: decisive and cool under pressure. A brief moment of thought before issuing orders I could forgive, but that long looooooong pause and "help me" look while the bridge crew is waiting just annoyed me. Terrible note to end the episode on.

Having said that, I do think the SNW is in the running to be the second-best Star Trek series of all time if they don't screw it up. They haven't lost my confidence yet. I'm in for season three.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 4:21 PM on August 10, 2023 [5 favorites]


Thanks Halloween Jack for another season of excellent posts!
posted by porpoise at 5:20 PM on August 10, 2023 [12 favorites]


Sorry everyone, that fucking rocked.

1) Season-ending cliffhangers are a Star Trek staple, like it or not. I think these would go down better if a) we had 4 months between seasons, not a year plus and b) we had more then 10 episodes a season.

2) Chapel going for the flashlight was fine. She had no idea what was going on and it’s a much safer option than trying to navigate a moving debris field for no reason.

3) Sure, the destruction of the Cayuga is an act of war, but the Federation ignores those all the time.

4) I loved the problem-solving in the episode. Fun stuff!

(I also don’t know that we need to criticize the FX work as “lazy” when FX people are infamously overworked.)
posted by rhymedirective at 5:24 PM on August 10, 2023 [14 favorites]


“Having said that, I do think the SNW is in the running to be the second-best Star Trek series of all time if they don't screw it up. They haven't lost my confidence yet. I'm in for season three.”

I completely agree. It's partly because of this that I probably have some unrealistic expectations and that's factoring into my disappointment.

Edited to add: “(I also don’t know that we need to criticize the FX work as ‘lazy’ when FX people are infamously overworked.)” I didn't say that, though your argument still applies to my criticism of the writing. I didn't find the microgravity very convincing, but that's okay with me. Even The Expanse was spotty on this, and they worked very hard on making it realistic.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:30 PM on August 10, 2023 [3 favorites]


I didn't say that, though your argument still applies to my criticism of the writing.

I wasn’t responding to you?
posted by rhymedirective at 5:40 PM on August 10, 2023 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I love a cliffhanger but when the release schedule of shows is fluid in this streaming era, regardless of multiple strike actions, it's less fun.

I believe the third season was ready to go into production when the writers strike happened, but once things are back to normal, it might not be that SNW is the first back on the block. (It depends what is also shooting in Toronto at the time, studio space, etc, etc.)

I don't think we were going to get it until mid-2024 anyway, given DISCO S5 is locked in to the start of next year. (At least it's in the can.) I would say late 2024 at the earliest now.

I enjoyed this episode quite a bit, though the season one finale is an all-timer, this one is mid-level to me. After "resolving" a lot of personal drama and character arcs last week, this felt a bit more like an adventure without any room for character stuff. I do like that we know the characters well enough to just enjoy watching them, though.

I'm glad Batel isn't dead and I hope that they find a cure for her that they didn't have for Hemmer.

YAY SCOTTY! Scotty played by a Scot finally. Weirdly, after shouting for joy at seeing/hearing him, I got quite teary. The band is slowly getting back together... for the first time?

Anyway, solid fun. Hate that we have to wait so long for the next one.
posted by crossoverman at 5:42 PM on August 10, 2023 [1 favorite]


Anson Mount had cute floppy distress curls when he found Batel.
posted by sixswitch at 5:55 PM on August 10, 2023 [6 favorites]


OK, solid showing for Anson Mount's hair, there's something positive to say.
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 6:01 PM on August 10, 2023 [4 favorites]


Well, the series ends its second season as it did the first:

Pike breaking the fourth wall!
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:31 PM on August 10, 2023 [2 favorites]


Honestly, I sort of half wanted them to pull a head fake and have the guy with the accent be just some random Scot, but I suppose if you hear hoofbeats, you expect horses.

I was mildly annoyed by the set dressers splashing blood around in, like, inconceivable locations. Above a hanging light fixture? Really? Did a Gorn do a goddamn alley-oop with a bisected human torso or something? Sure, add some battle damage, sure, scuff it up a bit, but there are better ways to indicate a big bad bloody fight than putting blood around the set willy nilly.
posted by Kyol at 7:37 PM on August 10, 2023 [6 favorites]


Oh, and I jumped back to see what plot armor the captives had - we saw M'Benga, Ortegas, Sam Kirk and La'an in the crowd, and I think we know where ... like, two of them were in TOS, right? I mean assuming this timeline works out like that timeline (or am I misremembering that they've gotten a little handwavey on whether this is the TOS timeline or not?) etc etc etc.

I think the writers do a good job of being aware of the various characters' plot armor and still manage to put them into realistic distress, so I'm happy about that? Like, I don't want Batel to be fridged, y'know?
posted by Kyol at 7:45 PM on August 10, 2023


This is the only episode in two seasons of this show that I thought was a complete dud.

Martin Quinn is charming, but bringing in Scotty is a bogus move to make this seem more special than it is. And, of course, he has his Deus Ex Machina device already built to save the day in Part II.

The actual cliffhanger part has no real stakes to it - none of the crew captured by the Gorn are in real danger, except maybe some random civilians or Cayuga crew (who are obviously VERY expendable). They will all be back by the end of the second part*. It's a cliffhanger in name only. Batel still might buy the farm, but it would have been more powerful for her to die in Part I.If she dies in Part II, it will be a weepy "I love you" goodbye and not the shocker of being killed up front.

I think it would have been better to have Batel disappear at the end of the musical last week and have made the musical be the season finale, then have a single episode encounter with the Gorn to start Season Three. This episode can't stand up with the rest of the last half of the season.

*there is a TON of speculation that Ortegas will die because Melissa Navia might have decided to leave the show after this season because of the death of her partner, Brian Bannon. Personally, I rather doubt this, but I suppose it's a remote possibility.
posted by briank at 7:58 PM on August 10, 2023 [3 favorites]


The Gorn's passcode attempts:
1234
0000
0420
2580
2718
posted by jabah at 8:11 PM on August 10, 2023 [12 favorites]


I also enjoyed it immensely. If it was a cliffhanger for a season long arc I might have more feelings about that, but the episodic nature of the show makes me feel pretty okay with the the wait.

I've also let go of pretty much any hangups about canon--basically whatever they want to do is fine with me as long as it's fun. Likewise, while Trek was once sort of cast as the more science-y realistic space franchise (compared to Star Wars), it was never all that concerned with realism, so I no longer get bothered when they play fast and loose, especially with a series doing a great job channeling the TOS era feel.
posted by Pryde at 8:39 PM on August 10, 2023 [3 favorites]


*there is a TON of speculation that Ortegas will die because Melissa Navia might have decided to leave the show after this season because of the death of her partner, Brian Bannon. Personally, I rather doubt this, but I suppose it's a remote possibility.

The last of the TOS crew who were in the second pilot ("Where No Man Has Gone Before") who hasn't shown up yet, with Scott's introduction, is Sulu.

Also, M'Benga and Sam Kirk are the ones who show up in TOS, and therefore have "plot armor." They've been doing a lot with La'an over the last two seasons, so I don't think that she'll leave. I really like Melissa Navia, so I hope that she doesn't go either.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:47 PM on August 10, 2023 [3 favorites]


I wasn't nearly as disappointed as y'all upthread, but many of the beats it hit were pretty predictable.

I was disappointed that nobody considered the possibility of other Cayuga survivors on the saucer section. If Chapel survived, why nobody else? And everyone on the bridge assumed Spock was beaming back with Chapel, which was unlikely.

Anyway, I really did like the scene where Uhura, Pellia, and Number One were in the Ready Room, solving the problem, while Spock sat by mostly silent. Was a nice reversal of TOS.

Over all, I am still waiting to find out how the Gorn are sentient: because they don't really present as sentient except for their possession of technology. How are they multi-dimensional peoples with complex motivations? Right now, 2 seasons in, they're still just rampaging killers. C'mon, show. Do better.
posted by suelac at 9:05 PM on August 10, 2023 [6 favorites]


I’d love for the Gorn to end up as something truly alien: A non-sentient species that builds and uses starships without consciousness of any sort, like the aliens in Peter Watts’ “Blindsight.” The map suggests they might not go there, though.

Also: Is it just me, or did the colonists seem like weird reactionary assholes? They’ve opted to recreate a *very* backward (from their perspective) moment in Earth’s history, and to do it far from any central government. Would have been interesting for the show to explicitly be like “oh yeah, these are Space Branch Davidians, and Starfleet is really ambivalent about spending any resources at all on them.”
posted by Mr. Excellent at 9:25 PM on August 10, 2023 [17 favorites]


“...we saw M'Benga, Ortegas, Sam Kirk and La'an in the crowd”

I'd totally forgotten about them! But that actually undermines the suspense because, given that, we know that there's no question what Pike will do.

I'd say that, on the other hand, it does make Pike's hesitation more credible ... except that SNW has already established that Pike is as cavalier about orders as every other Trek captain.

“I was mildly annoyed by the set dressers splashing blood around in, like, inconceivable locations. Above a hanging light fixture? Really? Did a Gorn do a goddamn alley-oop with a bisected human torso or something?”

I thought at the time "someone really remembers playing Half-Life".

“Like, I don't want Batel to be fridged, y'know?”

I don't either, but from being a fan of Wynonna Earp, I'd never have expected Batel to be so bland. I'd have thought Scrofano would be really fun! But not so much.

“Likewise, while Trek was once sort of cast as the more science-y realistic space franchise (compared to Star Wars), it was never all that concerned with realism...”

Yeah, I don't expect that from Trek. It still bugs me when they sprinkle a little "I read a Wikipedia article" science terms into the technobabble, which somehow makes it worse for me, but I don't really expect any realism. My complaints are more about basic plausibility.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:27 PM on August 10, 2023 [2 favorites]


How are they multi-dimensional peoples with complex motivations?

They do incredible barbecue. Next season on Strange New Worlds: Ribs night. Or as it will come to be known, the Batel of Ribs Night.
posted by biffa at 11:51 PM on August 10, 2023 [3 favorites]


(Main Street U.S.A. appears on screen, and after half a second, slo-mo becomes apparent)

MRS. COB: Uh oh.

I'll tell ya what I would like from season 3 of Strange New Worlds:

More new worlds that are strange! This show is right on the edge of getting a bit navel-gazey, what with its HYPER-focus on character drama* and at least two gimmick episodes in the same season*. Might it not have been better for the musical episode's conceit to revolve around a new alien species who only communicate through song? Or even a "Piece of the Action"-style lost colony where their bible is something by Andrew Lloyd Weber?

* = Not that I begrudge them either of these choices. Considering this enormous cast plus Too Short Of Seasons, you can understand why they feel they can't wait on this stuff. But give me more of those "Vengeance Factor"-style diplomacy-with-weird-aliens stories, or those "Paradise"-style moral/philosophical challenge stories. It's not like that's ALL I want from Trek, but it's something I feel has been missing.

Anyway, I felt like what "Hegemony" was going for was tense, absorbing action and it totally worked for me on that score. Some good big ship action, which this franchise is historically so good at. "Hunkering in a battle-damaged diner" is a mode Trek has not really ever used IIRC, so that was neat. I noticed also some wise lighting choices to make Main Street look spooky. Good pacing choices to amp up the thrill. (Really glad Jim Kirk wasn't in this one either. That would've been clumsy to say the least.)

I was disappointed that nobody considered the possibility of other Cayuga survivors on the saucer section. If Chapel survived, why nobody else? And everyone on the bridge assumed Spock was beaming back with Chapel, which was unlikely.

This was my biggest gripe. Scientific plausibility < character plausibility.

Also: Is it just me, or did the colonists seem like weird reactionary assholes? They’ve opted to recreate a *very* backward (from their perspective) moment in Earth’s history, and to do it far from any central government. Would have been interesting for the show to explicitly be like “oh yeah, these are Space Branch Davidians, and Starfleet is really ambivalent about spending any resources at all on them.”

IIRC we didn't get to know any colonists personally, but yes, I made the same presumption. Meaning, like, if I'd sent my players to a planet like this in my Trek TTRPG campaign, they'd be instantly and deeply suspicious, although perhaps that says more about me than Main Street U.S.A.

Or as it will come to be known, the Batel of Ribs Night.

I can already see the upsetting cartoon depiction of her licking her upper lip while cooking ribs and wearing a white toque.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:05 AM on August 11, 2023 [3 favorites]


After watching this, I wonder who's next: Sulu, Bones or Checkov?

As to the ending, it did cross my mind that Pike was thinking how he really does sorta have plot armour since he knows his fate and if that would protect the ship.

The Gorn's passcode attempts ... 6969
posted by Marticus at 3:05 AM on August 11, 2023 [1 favorite]


They could have easily gotten good mag boots at The Expanse’s set & props sale.
posted by sixswitch at 4:30 AM on August 11, 2023 [4 favorites]


I thought this one was just fine. Not great, not terrible – just a classic action-packed Trek episode. The plot doesn't really stand up to close inspection and you have to laugh at the colonists deciding to use olde tyme building styles, but that's Trek!

The one thing I really did like was the introduction of Scotty. As a Scot, it's great to finally have a Scottish actor play the role and he absolutely nails it. SNW keeps on having success after success with their casting of TOS characters and the intros are surprisingly good – I can't praise this enough given how risky it is.
posted by adrianhon at 4:54 AM on August 11, 2023 [3 favorites]


The one thing I really did like was the introduction of Scotty. As a Scot, it's great to finally have a Scottish actor play the role and he absolutely nails it.

It only took Trek 57 years to find an actual Scot to play one of the most iconic Scottish characters in media.

I’m certain that someone somewhere — maybe on Memory Alpha — is cataloguing how many times characters have appeared across various iterations. I recall once realizing that Worf is probably the single most iconic figure in Star Trek, having now racked up nearly three hundred appearances across three TV series and four movies*, probably followed by the long-suffering O’Brien (if all Colm Meaney’s TNG spots are meant to be him and not occasionally Unnamed Random Security Guard #3) in the low 200s. Pretty good for Worf, a character who was pitched as “Klingon marine” and was only intended to be in seven of the first thirteen episodes.

It strikes me that Uhura has now clinched the#2 spot for TOS characters, having surpassed Kirk a few episodes back. Nichelle Nichols seems to have been absent from eleven episodes of TOS, and Celia Gooding is leading Paul Wesley 19-5 in appearances in SNW. (Alternate universe versions and the like complicate things a bit).


*Plus a fifth one as the grandfather of his usual character.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:04 AM on August 11, 2023 [4 favorites]


Martin Quinn was great but when they picked a Scot, they picked a true Scotsman who can do the most Scottish accent a Scot ever scotted. Not quite "turn on the subtitles" intense but you'd think after a couple hundred years of global culture the accents would have rounded out a bit. Maybe Scotland embraced radical independence including linguistic isolation.

Pretending Nurse Chapel might be dead really annoyed me. We know she can't be dead, we know she survives to run around in the space miniskirt flirting with Captain Kirk. Which, eh, that's par for the course for genre TV. But the first season of SNW did something interesting with Pike's plot armor, turned his knowledge of the future into an unusual and compelling character motivation. Chapel doesn't know she lives, but we sure do, so maybe don't spend half an episode pretending she might be dead? And yeah, grim ending for anyone else in the wreckage of the Cayuga.

I'm also a little frustrated with the nuGorn. Arena is one of my favorite TOS episodes ever. And it's so iconic, the images of Shatner grappling with what's obviously a man in a rubber lizard suit. It's silly but also really fun and the action shots turn their evenly matched mano-a-lizardo combat into something compelling. SNW Gorn are something else entirely. And more than a little borrowing from Alien. It just doesn't sit right. I do like how they're this irrational force of violence though.

I dunno, I guess this episode frustrated me. It was entertaining enough but after the great episode that was "Under The Cloak Of War" this felt a bit more rote. I'm also feeling a bit lost in the show's tonal shifts. I like the episodic TV but going from zany animation crossover to PTSD allegory to musical to space horror movie was a lot.
posted by Nelson at 6:27 AM on August 11, 2023 [5 favorites]


bringing in Scotty is a bogus move to make this seem more special than it is

Left me totally flat, too. I like all the SNW characters a lot, adding more TOS characters just makes things feel crowded. And with only 10 episodes per season, kind of like it’s not really their own show.
posted by LooseFilter at 6:27 AM on August 11, 2023 [1 favorite]


I believe the third season was ready to go into production when the writers strike happened, but once things are back to normal, it might not be that SNW is the first back on the block. (It depends what is also shooting in Toronto at the time, studio space, etc, etc.)

I don't think we were going to get it until mid-2024 anyway, given DISCO S5 is locked in to the start of next year. (At least it's in the can.) I would say late 2024 at the earliest now.


I have a couple friends of friends that work in the industry and they're both saying they don't think the strikes will be resolved until January at the earliest. Which I guess would mean production wouldn't restart until February. I don't know how much filming they were able to do before they had to shut down, but end of 2024 seems more than likely.

I'd like to know how the strikes affect DIS, because originally they were going to go back and film some new footage to create a series finale. I haven't heard anything about it actually happening, though, which if they didn't, and then had to go back and do that, we might not get S5 of DIS until mid-2024. Which is nuts.
posted by rhymedirective at 7:01 AM on August 11, 2023


Batel: We can't all fit in a shuttle.

Pike: Seriously? Have you seen our shuttles?

As with the shuttles, so with the ship. The one thing that keeps needling me with SNW while I'm trying to enjoy the show is how the Enterprise seems too small from the outside, and yet freaking huge inside. Thing's like the Tardis!

One thing Trek has always kind of fudged is how many decks the Enterprise has, what is in there, and where it is. I know people have done blueprints and so on but in the actual shows, there's a lot of deliberate vagueness. They kind of festoon the outside of the hull with lights to represent windows, and you want to assume each of those rows represents a different deck. But on this show, we zoom from outside through those angled windows into an interior space, and those shots suggest a size for the ship that would only allow for maybe three or four decks. Visually it signals a smaller ship than what we've (or at least I've) come to think of.

And yet the interior spaces are huge! Living quarters just go on and on with those weird triangular things that break up the space into different areas. (I'm assuming those are meant to be for structural engineering reasons because they're bloody useless for the people living there.)

And my God, the shuttlecraft set. You could have an insurance convention in there! When Pike and La'an are up in the front seats this episode, M'Benga is so far back there he'd have to shout to be heard. It's entirely possible he had dialog during that descent sequence, but he was just too far away and we missed it. Looks way bigger than the exterior shots would suggest.

It's a small enough thing, but it slips around my suspension of disbelief while I'm trying to maintain it, and pokes at me.
posted by Naberius at 7:04 AM on August 11, 2023 [8 favorites]


Regarding the interior size of the sets, Pike's Enterprise has a crew of about 200, while Kirk's Enterprise has a crew of 400+, which means at some point, probably, the living quarters are halved in size. Of course, in the real world, SNW has four times the budget of TOS when adjusted for inflation, so it's nice they can go nuts with things. The original shuttle interior on TOS was actually quite large compared to the exterior full size prop, which was built 3/4 scale (any larger would have been impractical). I think that they like to use a wide-angle lens that really makes the SNW shuttle interior look expansive. I love SNW because they do a lot of wink wink nudge nudge with Star Trek lore. Like the planet that resembles mid-century mid-western USA Earth—how many episodes of the original series did we see like that? The flashy SNW Enterprise sets are like that in their own way, with all their mid-century modern furniture and looks. Anyway, you know there will be jackholes in the far future pining for "the old days" and that "old time religion," setting up frontier colonies and such.
posted by jabah at 7:33 AM on August 11, 2023 [4 favorites]


And yet the interior spaces are huge! Living quarters just go on and on with those weird triangular things that break up the space into different areas. (I'm assuming those are meant to be for structural engineering reasons because they're bloody useless for the people living there.)

And my God, the shuttlecraft set.


The shuttlecraft size bothers me mostly because the runabout was supposed to be a longer-range and more comfortable craft than a shuttle but it's still smaller than a SNW shuttle.

I heard an interesting headcanon/fan theory about the living quarters on SNW Enterprise which is that its crew complement is 203 in SNW but 430 in TOS, so they redesigned the living quarters to accommodate more people. They gotta cram in those extra crewmembers somewher
posted by rhymedirective at 7:34 AM on August 11, 2023


The size of the Enterprise interior sets does not bother me. Changes in modern special effects that seem to conflict with TOS era do not bother me. Changing Klingon stage makeup that no longer look like 1960s Klingons or TNG Klingons or whatever anyone's particular favorite looking Klingons does not bother me.

The Gorn seeming like they are wild animals and not a sentient space faring species does not bother me. The crazy, wild, animal like Gorn are the younglings. They then grow up, put on space suites and turn into space hackers, I'm fine with that.
I think in one of the last couple of Culture novels there is a big space habitat with multiple races and a human from the Culture is talking to a big, three-legged, space dinosaur ambassador. The space dinosaur's people raise their young in a habitat dome where they go all Lord of the Flies on each other and the small percentage that survive go on to become compassionate adult members of society. The human thinks it's barbaric and the space dinosaur says that's how life works. I may be wrong about most of these details, but that's how I see the Gorn. Come to think of it, the Kzinti young are pretty murdery as well. Teenage male elephants who grow up without a strong male role model run around in gangs and kill rhinos for sport. Even some of us here have settled down a bit as we got older. Judging the Gorn as a sentient species based on how wild their kids are seems kind of judgy.

The only thing that broke my suspension of disbelief was Pike complaining about breaking out into song and then later in the episode saying, "quick, everybody into the barbershop!"
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:16 AM on August 11, 2023 [13 favorites]


What got my attention was Pike asking the transporter chief if ‘in ship transport’ was still functional, then seeing a crate materialize in the ready room a few seconds later. In TOS “Day of the Dove” it was established that site to site transport inside the ship was risky at best.
posted by Roger Pittman at 9:34 AM on August 11, 2023 [3 favorites]


I like all the SNW characters a lot, adding more TOS characters just makes things feel crowded. And with only 10 episodes per season, kind of like it’s not really their own show.

aka: the Picard manoeuvre.



The only thing that broke my suspension of disbelief was Pike complaining about breaking out into song and then later in the episode saying, "quick, everybody into the barbershop!"

Definitely! As if Pike ever goes to anything less than a high end hairstylist.
posted by fairmettle at 12:16 PM on August 11, 2023 [1 favorite]


In TOS “Day of the Dove” it was established that site to site transport inside the ship was risky at best.

Sure, how do you think they discovered using site-to-site transport inside the ship was risky?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 1:04 PM on August 11, 2023 [4 favorites]


I too am OK with the Gorn young as murderous beasts/mature as inscrutable alien menance. I think there was a similar alien culture in Scalzi's Old Man's War series where their young too had to go through a stage of winnowing each other before attaining self-awareness, and an attempt in their civilization's history to do otherwise almost led to their extinction.

I'm a little less OK with how much Gorn we've gotten in SNW given how obscure they seemed in TOS, but I also find myself cutting a lot of continuity and even plot slack getting to enjoy new production Trek.

And I can't help but imagine the Metrons looking at all this from behind the window of their higher plane of existence like Sickos: Yes...ha ha ha...Yes!
posted by audi alteram partem at 1:36 PM on August 11, 2023 [2 favorites]


Sure, how do you think they discovered using site-to-site transport inside the ship was risky?

It's also entirely possible that "in ship transport" is different from "site to site transport", in that perhaps wherever that crate was stored, was in a room with a transporter, like a cargo bay.
posted by rhymedirective at 1:43 PM on August 11, 2023 [2 favorites]


This was ... fine. I'm still not into the Gorn stuff really and I don't see that changing anytime soon, but for what this was, it got the job done, and I'm in this show to hang out with these characters I like. After being one of apparently like five people who hated the musical episode, this felt like being back in the show I love, even if it wasn't it's finest hour or anything.

I would have gladly lost the kinda clichéd "why did you come down here?!" conversation between Pike and Batel (answer: because you sent a distress call) to instead get 30 seconds of Chapel quickly checking the saucer section for any other survivors after she came to. 1.) it's what Chapel would have done, I'm pretty sure, 2.) it helps with the questions later about throwing the saucer section into the tower, and 3.) it's one thing to present a main character as the lone improbable survivor of something like that, but another to have her then just wake up and assume she's the only survivor. That stretches plot-armor to some ludicrous lengths.

A lot of Ortegas in this, which is always welcome. Chapel & Spock ending their fightin' and a-fuedin', good good. And I really like this Scotty! Hope he sticks around.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:55 PM on August 11, 2023 [8 favorites]


I want to say first that we came through all of Season 2 without a single appearance from Captain Angel, and that’s a damned shame. We got different space pirates, but not our favorite one.

Jump scare TV and movies aren’t my jam, so I don’t get as much out of Gorn episodes. But the larger thing on my mind is the conceptual arc of the Gorn as enemy. (Before I go any further, I will say that I’ve never watched TOS in its entirety, so I’m not coming from a place of canon knowledge here.)

When TNG introduced the Borg, they were conceptually interesting - not bloodthirsty warriors like the Klingons, not scheming warmongering tricksters like the Romulans, not… whatever the Cardassians are supposed to be that isn’t the prior two. The Borg were like looking at American anxieties about Communism through a fun house mirror. The extreme emphasis on the collective offered a great narrative foil to the personality-driven crew of 1701-D. Ron D. Moore clearly took the Borg playbook with him when he rebooted Battlestar Galactica and gave the Cylon a collective consciousness.

What do the Gorn give us as a narrative device, both in terms of originality and as a foil for this crew? La’An has PTSD, for good reasons. Spock was driven to abandon logic in the fight. Hemmer sacrificed himself for the good of the crew. All of these things could have happened at the hands of the Klingons or anyone else. In terms of originality, Alien is now so old that it’s approaching the Brimley Line. We did a million zombie movies in the 2000s, enough for once-and-future-Scotty Simon Pegg to star in a brilliant riff on them.

Trek has always been basically a humanoid universe, surely for practical/budget reasons but also enough so that TNG did an episode about it. (My browser isn’t letting me copy in the Memory Alpha link for S6E20, The Chase, but do know that I’ve tried.)

If this crew are engaging a non-humanoid enemy, what does this add to our understanding of the Trek universe? How does it improve the ability to tell uniquely SNW stories?

For instance, the S1 episode about Illyrians and the light virus, coupled with the comments we heard in this episode about the possibility that the Gorn were reacting to CMEs from the nearby star, point the way toward some possible rethinking of how life forms in this universe interact with light and dimensionality. (The Uhura/deuterium episode this season plays with similar themes.) But so far it all feels scattered rather than intentional. By the third time the TNG crew had encountered the Borg, we already had Locutus.

tl;dr - break up with your Gorn friend, I’m bored.
posted by sockshaveholes at 3:59 PM on August 11, 2023 [6 favorites]


What do the Gorn give us as a narrative device[…]?

This is an interesting question. Each Star Trek show seems to settle on a "bad guy" that reflects a real world situation. In TOS, the Klingons were stand-ins for expansionist Soviets. In TNG, the Borg were stand-ins for all-consuming Walmart. DS9 had a more abstruse bad guy: dogmatism, as typified by the Bajorans and the Cardassians. Voyager couldn't manage an original vision, so it defaulted to the Borg again. ST:ENT, well, that show was its own worst enemy. I think that the Gorn will end up saying that the colonist's world has always been a Gorn world, and is important or sacred to them (cf. the episode "Arena"). The colonists, to their eyes, are imperialist invaders in a situation kind of like the Mormon colony in Starship Troopers (the Verhoeven movie).

The Federation, no matter how goody-two shoes it presents itself, is fundamentally and unavoidably imperialist. And imperialism and genocide/mass deportation are issues that never go away, from the settling of North America by Europeans, to the current war in Ukraine. So if that is the direction the makers of SNW are intending to take, it could be painfully relevant.
posted by jabah at 5:19 PM on August 11, 2023 [8 favorites]


Each Star Trek show seems to settle on a "bad guy" that reflects a real world situation.

Just to add to your great list there, Lower Decks used the Pakleds as a metaphor for current fascist movements being successful because nobody had been taking them seriously.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:00 PM on August 11, 2023 [19 favorites]


In context, Pike's check whether in-ship transport is still active distinguishes from the currently-blocked ability to use transporters outside the ship.
posted by channaher at 6:34 PM on August 11, 2023 [3 favorites]


I heard an interesting headcanon/fan theory about the living quarters on SNW Enterprise which is that its crew complement is 203 in SNW

Interestingly(?) that number was canon from the original TOS pilot The Cage.
posted by Pryde at 6:56 PM on August 11, 2023


I'm a little less OK with how much Gorn we've gotten in SNW given how obscure they seemed in TOS, but I also find myself cutting a lot of continuity and even plot slack getting to enjoy new production Trek.

I don't mind it at all--if they want to have a recurring threat other options might either be the overused Klingons or Romulans, something wholly new we know we've never heard of before or after, or else a race that becomes major later on but was definitely not present in this era (like Cardassians, Ferengi, or Borg). Using the Gorn who were in one TOS ep and also appeared very differently in the Mirror Universe Enterprise episode isn't a bad choice.
posted by Pryde at 7:00 PM on August 11, 2023 [4 favorites]


"Weren't you the one asking to be assigned to away team missions?"
"Yeah, why did I do that?"
Best line in this whole episode and Ortegas is great, Melissa Navia's gotta do what she's gotta do, but I sure hope she doesn't leave.

The Borg were like looking at American anxieties about Communism through a fun house mirror.

In TNG, the Borg were stand-ins for all-consuming Walmart.


I love how in Fanfare you can get back-to-back comments about how the Borg were a reflection of our fears of rampant Communism and a reflection of our fears of rampant Capitalism.

FWIW, while on the surface level the collectivism of the Borg is obvious, I side with the latter take - the Borg are more capitalist than communist. One of the things that made them so effectively scary - and which rendered the Federation's entire approach (and even its ideals) ineffectual against them - was that to the Borg, other species weren't other sentient species with inherent dignity and so on. To the Borg, other species were just a resource to be exploited. They looked at the Enterprise not as an opponent or even as an obstacle (at least at first), but the way Darren Woods looks at an untapped oilfield.

The Gorn, done well - and the writers started out that way with them but have been a little hit or miss since then - have the potential to be something similar. Clearly intelligent, clearly sentient, but something you can't truly ever communicate with because they are not capable of ever seeing you as anything other than food. I don't think "fears of our unreasoning, rapacious exploitativeness being reflected back at us" has become any less fertile ground than it was in the 90s for TNG so I think there's plenty of material to work with, there. For instance, I can imagine the slow dawning horror for La'an, Ortegas and M'Benga and the rest of that group as they realize, next episode, that being transported from the planet's surface to the belly of a Gorn ship is, from the Gorns' perspective, simply the difference between "planet full of free range humans" and "ship full of factory-farmed humans". Will the show go there? No idea. But with the Gorn as presented so far, they certainly could! And ultimately, I think the question of "how does the Federation deal with a sentient species that is simply one rung higher than humans/Vulcans/Andorians on the food chain?" has the potential to be an interesting question, on top of being a device to interrogate human relationships with our food chain.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:06 PM on August 11, 2023 [11 favorites]


Is there a good list of DISCO episodes that cover Enterprise? I'm not up for starting a new show but maybe there are specific episodes to watch?
posted by fiercekitten at 10:49 PM on August 11, 2023 [2 favorites]


I heard an interesting headcanon/fan theory about the living quarters on SNW Enterprise which is that its crew complement is 203 in SNW

Interestingly(?) that number was canon from the original TOS pilot The Cage.


I’m pretty sure that Pike explicitly citing 203 in “The Cage” is the source of the figure. That said, remember that when a disguised Sisko and Dax step into the bustling corridor of the canonical-crew-of-430 Enterprise, she remarks on the number of crew present and he replies with something like, “They really packed them in on these old ships.”

As a derail to all that, a few months ago I noticed one morning that I was running low on a prescription and had to call in a refill. My wife was asleep in the next room so if I called in to the pharmacy from our bathroom, I might wake her up. At the same time, I didn’t want to have to take the bottle downstairs, call in, and come back up. I thought, “Is there away I can maybe keep the seven-digit prescription number in mind for a moment while I walk downstairs?”

I had a look at the number. As it happens, my prescription number was 1701430. Now, how could a Trek fan memorize this string of digits?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:55 AM on August 12, 2023 [10 favorites]


*a way
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:04 AM on August 12, 2023


Is there a good list of DISCO episodes that cover Enterprise?

Basically, the entire second season, more or less. The Enterprise shows up in the closing seconds of the first season; the second season does refer to events, characters, and plot points from DIS S1, but you can go to Memory Alpha or possibly Wikipedia for clarification on where they're coming from. Pike (who is in temporary command of Discovery, the actual ship, for most of the season) and Spock (who has a beard) feature heavily in the season's arc; Una does make a few appearances, as well as some other crew members, but none of the other 1701 crew from SNW appear besides those three, at least that I'm aware of.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:22 AM on August 12, 2023 [1 favorite]


(If you're asking about DIS episodes that feature Enterprise as in the ship itself, not SNW characters necessarily, most of S2 does take place on Discovery, and 1701 shows up mostly in the early and late episodes of the season.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:26 AM on August 12, 2023


Star Trek: Short Treks are a series of mini-episodes between the 1st & 2nd and 2nd & 3rd seasons of Discovery.

"Q&A" [S2E1] is an especially charming episode which features Una and Spock.
posted by fairmettle at 4:22 PM on August 12, 2023 [6 favorites]


A lot of the points that bother me about this episode have already been mentioned (Scotty, the Gorn in general, Pike's indecisiveness, the assumptions about the crew of the Cayuga being dead and Chapel being the second person to beam back, etc.) but I'll add a few that haven't discussed yet:

Why was Spock the only person who could attach the rockets? As Chapel proved, a human could survive space/the debris field. There didn't seem to be any complex engineering/integration of the rockets into the saucer. They just magnetically clamped on and that was pretty much it.

Why did Pike react the worst to the non-powered atmospheric entry? Everybody else was much calmer or more stoic. Yes, he was called out on his reaction, but it still didn't make any sense.

Why was Scotty so overwhelmed by the number of lieutenants? I get that he's a more junior lieutenant, but he's still an officer and still Lt. Scott. He's not Ensign Scott or whatever non-officer enlisted Federation personnel are (yeoman or technician maybe?). What was up with Pike's "Mr. Scott" (outside of fan service)?

Are we ever going to meet somebody who got a good grade in Pelia's class?

I've also got one non-nitpicking question: do we have any idea where "small town USA" was shot? I was trying to figure out which Ontario town it was and I'm drawing a blank. (I don't think it was a sound stage, but I might have to go back and look again and double check that it wasn't.)
posted by sardonyx at 10:06 PM on August 12, 2023 [3 favorites]


Star Trek: Short Treks are a series of mini-episodes between the 1st & 2nd and 2nd & 3rd seasons of Discovery.

"Q&A" [S2E1] is an especially charming episode which features Una and Spock.


When I posted the above, I didn't realize that we have our own Fanfare section devoted to the Short Treks episodes.

Here's the thread for Q&A.

In that discussion, mwhybark contributed this poignant link:

Michael Chabon on writing this episode in the New Yorker.

[The above article requires a subscription, however for those without, here is a lovely essay by Kathryn Winograd reflecting on this touching article.]
posted by fairmettle at 3:08 AM on August 13, 2023 [1 favorite]


This episode fell a little flat for me, possibly because I knew going into it that we've got a long wait ahead of us for any resolution. I didn't think it was BAD but it didn't hook me the way most of them do, and left me with several questions covered above (why Spock, Chapel as presumed sole survivor, etc.)

One big question I still have:
I don't remember all the details of Gorn reproduction from the first season and honestly don't feel like rewatching right now. Has anything we've learned so far explained why amputating the affected limb wouldn't be an option? I can understand not doing it immediately due to not having sufficient medical equipment in the diner to deal with the blood loss, but I don't understand why she didn't loop in M'Benga once he showed up with his dermal regenerators and other gear. Even if it's a small chance of survival, it still seems like a better option than definitely going Alien chestburster in 18 hours or so.

It was lovely to see Scotty again in any form, and I'd be very sad to see Ortegas/Navia go before we learn more about the character.
posted by Ann Telope at 3:54 AM on August 13, 2023 [1 favorite]


I can headcanon the "only Spock can place the thrusters" bit: the exact placement depends on a close-up look at the surroundings and then doing complex thrust calculations in your head ("that half-destroyed wall over there has a 22-centimetre hole in it, which will deflect the thrust 15 degrees upwards so I need to point the thruster *here*"). Ortegas could do it, but that deprives the Enterprise of its best helmperson just when it needs them the most.
posted by Mogur at 5:35 AM on August 13, 2023 [6 favorites]


I've also got one non-nitpicking question: do we have any idea where "small town USA" was shot?

It looked to me a lot like the town-plaza backlot of The Good Place, which I'm pretty sure I've seen in other recent stuff.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:08 AM on August 13, 2023


What was up with Pike's "Mr. Scott" (outside of fan service)?

The US Navy has a tradition of calling everyone at or below Lieutenant-equivalent ranks “Mister”, “Ms.”, etc., because those ranks are (more than any other series of ranks) based far more on pure calendrical standing rather than any actual ability or experience. Promotion in those first few officer ranks is historically so near automatic that you almost literally need to have killed someone not to make Lieutenant from Ensign, and you haven’t really gained that much experience in those few years. Star Treks are inconsistent about this.
posted by Etrigan at 6:17 AM on August 13, 2023 [7 favorites]


It looked to me a lot like the town-plaza backlot of The Good Place, which I'm pretty sure I've seen in other recent stuff.

According to IMDB, it was Pickering, Ontario.
posted by rhymedirective at 6:26 AM on August 13, 2023 [1 favorite]


Star Trek: Short Treks are a series of mini-episodes...

Availability on these is pretty limited in some places. The first four were only made available in the UK on Paramount this month, and I think you might have to buy the DVD or Blu-ray to get the second season here. I assume the same may hold in other places.
posted by biffa at 7:25 AM on August 13, 2023


I don't remember all the details of Gorn reproduction from the first season and honestly don't feel like rewatching right now.

Shame they haven't picked up McCoy yet, since according to Into Darkness, he once performed an emergency C-section on a Gorn.

Side Note: Hot damn but Into Darkness is some dumb stuff.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:08 AM on August 13, 2023 [8 favorites]


According to IMDB, it was Pickering, Ontario.

This town was built for the TV series, Reacher.

I'd like to know how the strikes affect DIS, because originally they were going to go back and film some new footage to create a series finale.

Filming for DISCO's retrofitted ending was already completed well before the strikes. So its airdate won't be affected.

I have a couple friends of friends that work in the industry and they're both saying they don't think the strikes will be resolved until January at the earliest. Which I guess would mean production wouldn't restart until February. I don't know how much filming they were able to do before they had to shut down, but end of 2024 seems more than likely.

Talks have resumed, so I would guess it won't drag out until January. That said, the shooting schedule for these series is now two weeks per episode, so ten episodes takes five/six months to shoot. If filming doesn't start until Feb, we won't see this show until 2025.

(Compare to the 90s Treks that used to shoot 26 episodes a season (!) and had a week of shooting per episode.)
posted by crossoverman at 5:16 PM on August 13, 2023


It may not be a soundstage, sardonyx, but the location in Google Maps shows that it's mostly facades.
posted by channaher at 6:40 PM on August 13, 2023 [1 favorite]


I guess that would go a long way to explaining why I didn't recognize it and why it didn't quite feel like small-town Ontario. I know they shoot SNW in southern Ontario and normally when shows are on location in this part of the province, it's easy to look at scenes and locations and get that feeling that even if I don't recognize the specific city or town or street, it feels like home. This scene didn't give me that feeling, but it didn't really feel like a sound stage either. I had no idea there was a backlot in Pickering and that it was built for Reacher. I mean, I guess it makes sense, given the pandemic, but it's something I wasn't expecting to read, especially since Reacher did some shooting in my hometown, so I know the production was mobile (at least for a while).
posted by sardonyx at 9:27 PM on August 13, 2023


About Batel's medical situation, two major things come to mind:
* a med-bed - biobed? - was ominously glitching out an episode or two ago
* M'Benga has some experience putting injured people into a teleporter buffer for a while, including his daughter and a few people during the war
posted by Pronoiac at 10:45 PM on August 13, 2023 [5 favorites]


Why was Spock the only person who could attach the rockets?

My personal headcanon, having watched Michael Burnham pull the exact same stunt like a dozen times in ST:DIS, is that the children of Sarek must spend their every summer recreationally surfing through debris fields and asteroid belts and are known through the Federation to be, like olympic-level athletes at these sorts of tasks.
posted by gauche at 6:32 AM on August 14, 2023 [15 favorites]


"Only Spock can place the rockets" made sense to me - they were having to be placed and angled on the fly such that they could be remotely and minutely adjusted to make sure the saucer section hit a very specific target, which requires a wild amount of precision (and remembering exactly how they were placed for the adjustments to be accurate.) If I'm in that situation, I think I also trust the Vulcan scientist the most for taking care of that particular task.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:24 AM on August 14, 2023 [2 favorites]


What got my attention was Pike asking the transporter chief if ‘in ship transport’ was still functional, then seeing a crate materialize in the ready room a few seconds later. In TOS “Day of the Dove” it was established that site to site transport inside the ship was risky at best.

In addition to the previously noted "checking whether in-ship transport is still active distinguishes from the currently-blocked ability to use transporters outside the ship" and "[i]t's also entirely possible that 'in ship transport' is different from 'site to site transport'", Enterprise made it clear that transporting humans is more delicate than transporting cargo. While site to site might be dangerous for living beings, it's probably less so for a box full of phasers and PADDs.
posted by hanov3r at 9:29 AM on August 14, 2023 [1 favorite]


Promotion in those first few officer ranks is historically so near automatic that you almost literally need to have killed someone not to make Lieutenant from Ensign

*Harry Kim crying in the distance*

And I view the cliffhanger as being a direct parallel to The Decision that leads to Pike being in the Dalek chair. I read it as PTSD (Pre-TSD?) from Pike.

I enjoyed this episode and feel like overall this was maybe the most consistent season of a TV show I have ever seen? I know opinions vary but I feel like there wasn't a single duff episode in the series. At its worst, SNW is just "good".
posted by slimepuppy at 9:52 AM on August 14, 2023 [7 favorites]


I like Ortegas and hope she doesn't get killed off. Scotty is great, but I was kind of resentful when Hemmer died. I don't want to see the show meticulously clearing away every non-TOS character until we're back to 1966. I like these characters!

(I also like Sam Kirk? The onscreen characters treat him as more annoying than he actually is; this man is the Jerry of SNW.)
posted by grandiloquiet at 11:55 AM on August 14, 2023 [9 favorites]


I don't want to see the show meticulously clearing away every non-TOS character until we're back to 1966.

Yeah, I can see them doing this but I don't think the final episode of SNW being an episode of TOS is a very good idea. Look what happened when the last episode of ENT was an episode of TNG.

I don't think they can help themselves, though. I'm certain we'll get McCoy at some stage. And if they kill off Ortegas, then here comes Sulu.

The only one they might have trouble with is Chekov, who wasn't in the first season of TOS. (Though there is fan canon that he was on the ship somewhere, because he knows the events of "Space Seed" in Wrath of Khan.) He's also really young, so maybe we'll get a cameo of him fanboying the Enterprise when it's in space dock.
posted by crossoverman at 3:33 PM on August 14, 2023 [1 favorite]


I'm still expecting to meet Lieutenant Mitchell's brother Gary at some point.
posted by Pryde at 4:26 PM on August 14, 2023 [6 favorites]


I like Sam Kirk too! I like that his brother looks like a Muppet and he has a Mr Potato-head mustache. They are really committed to a mid 20th century kids' entertainment aesthetic in this iteration of the Kirks, and I am here for it.

This show and wanting to understand this era (combined with the very open question of how long Paramount+ will be a going concern) actually got me watching TOS from the beginning for the first time after many years of thinking I might someday do that. It's been INCREDIBLE so far - even when it's bad, which it definitely is at many points, it is a totally fascinating text to engage with directly for the first time after so many years of feeling like it was present enough in the discourse that I didn't really need to watch it. And when it's good, oh man. It's really good!

I'm watching a couple episodes a night and having a great time.
posted by potrzebie at 5:48 PM on August 14, 2023 [12 favorites]


Yeah, I can see them doing this but I don't think the final episode of SNW being an episode of TOS is a very good idea. Look what happened when the last episode of ENT was an episode of TNG.

Those are really two different things, though. The ENT finale being an episode of TNG was not only not a necessary or logical outcome of the show, it was ultimately a piss-poor idea from two guys who were probably burnt out before the show began [FF; spoilers and quite ranty]. SNW, on the other hand, canonically takes place on the Enterprise between the events of the two TOS pilots (although we may eventually see some episodes after "Where No Man Has Gone Before"; after all, we've already had a flash-forward to an alternate future). And, in fact, Pike is the only non-TOS member of the crew whose fate we know; something that occurred to me in the shower this morning is that all of the non-TOS crew could still be on the ship during WNMHGB, even Una, who you'd think would be on the bridge, but not if she resigned her commission, a la Miles O'Brien. I don't think that Ortegas would be likely to hang around if she couldn't be at the helm, but otherwise it's not impossible.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:19 AM on August 15, 2023 [3 favorites]


Pike is the only non-TOS member of the crew whose fate we know.

His fate looms so large I wonder if we'll see at least a little bit more of his life after The Menagerie on Talos to soften.
posted by Pryde at 12:26 PM on August 15, 2023 [2 favorites]


I know opinions vary but I feel like there wasn't a single duff episode in the series. At its worst, SNW is just "good".

Yeah, we’re twenty episodes in, and the only one I can think of that was indifferent was the fairytale thing towards the end of the first season. That’s still a 95% success rate in my books, which is damned good for any television show and unprecedented for Star Trek.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:04 AM on August 16, 2023 [4 favorites]



About Batel's medical situation, two major things come to mind:
* a med-bed - biobed? - was ominously glitching out an episode or two ago
* M'Benga has some experience putting injured people into a teleporter buffer for a while, including his daughter and a few people during the war

So now we have the nitrogen grenades and the acting-up medbed to look forward to next episode. Writers have the latitude to decide Batel’s fate and Pike’s character development.

I was expecting Chapel to get the transporter buffer treatment (inadvertently?) as a means to keep her around, but then we wouldn’t have had (the same) Gorn space melee thing. Could’ve been a more interesting reunion between her and Spock while maintaining the “let’s talk about it later” mood.
posted by clicking the 'Post Comment' button at 5:18 AM on August 21, 2023 [1 favorite]


This Giant Fake Town Was Built Exclusively for Filming TV and Movies doesn’t mention Star Trek Strange New Worlds, the photographs show 20th-century details that didn’t make it into the episode.
posted by channaher at 6:19 PM on August 23, 2023 [1 favorite]


Star Trek: Short Treks are a series of mini-episodes...

Availability on these is pretty limited in some places. The first four were only made available in the UK on Paramount this month, and I think you might have to buy the DVD or Blu-ray to get the second season here.


Season 2 of Short Treks is now available on paramount in the UK.
posted by biffa at 11:49 AM on August 25, 2023


Did they ever actually use Chekov's Nitrogen Grenades?

One must never place nitrogen grenades on the screen if they aren't going to go off. It's wrong to make promises you don't mean to keep.

I feel that Chekov of all people should know that.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:32 PM on September 4, 2023


The Gorn have been making me think of Reavers from Firefly so much that I was very concerned about Ortegas during the shuttle landing.
posted by esker at 5:23 PM on September 18, 2023 [3 favorites]


There were more sci-fi science gaffs in this episode than usual, but my partner and I both teared up at Spock and Chapel so there's that.

When they showed the group that was ultimately captured by the gorn, La'an was front and center. I assume all named characters will make it out alive, but also that the experience will be a major character event for La'an, so I think it's a worthy subject of a cliffhanger.
posted by tofu_crouton at 3:52 PM on September 19, 2023


Love this show. My only complaint is ten (TEN!) episodes per season?!? Yikes! Can we get twelve? Fifteen? Twenty? Twenty-five?

OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE?!?!?
posted by riverlife at 10:01 AM on September 20, 2023 [5 favorites]


SNW S3 started production ~December 2023, and will likely be arriving in early 2025. Source.
posted by edithkeeler at 4:59 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


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