Kevin: Hello and welcome
back to Subspace Radio.
Rob: And me, Rob
Kevin: and we are here today to talk about
two more episodes of Star Trek Prodigy.
We have episode 15
Masquerade, and 16 Preludes.
How, how, how fancy do you wanna be?
How many syllables are there in
Rob: I'll take, I'll, I'll add
another five in there pre Lus.
Kevin: Uh, what a great couple
of episodes of Star Trek, Rob.
Rob: Yes, yes, they are.
With some lovely little, um, uh, cameos
from the past, from actors who are
still kicking it along in the twilight
of their lives, um, coming back,
which was a, a, a lovely reveal, um,
Kevin: continuing, uh, visitation
of Okona in the, the first episode
Rob: you were so happy to see come back.
And, uh, I'm not sure it amounted
to much like he showed up only to
leave them in the lurch in, unless
he's gonna, you know, be the cavalry
unexpected in a later episode.
I feel like he's done a pretty mediocre
Rob: I don't, I don't feel as if
he's gonna do a Luke's, uh, sorry, a
Han Solo and come down and save Luke
just before the end of A New Hope.
Uh, I believe.
Um, and there's been a lot of things
hanging over our heads that we've been
querying about the last couple of weeks
have been brought into a bit of focus.
So we found out about certain characters'
pasts, we found out about what
certain characters are evolving into.
So it was, um, yeah, a lot, a lot to
unpack over, uh, the last two weeks.
So what stood out for you in Masquerade?
Uh, I could tell you what stood out
to me is just the jaw dropping beauty
of that pointy thing, sticking out
of the cloud cover of the planet.
That shot, you know how I have
nerded out on the shot of the
tiny Enterprise flying towards the
behemoth that is the star base?
It felt like that all
over again in CG beauty.
Uh, it took my breath
Rob: Look, you have been, uh, harping
on, in the most, uh, positive of ways
of, uh, the multiple, um, Uh, animated
and, you know, computer rendered, uh,
vistas and landscape images that we
do get of star fields or, uh, just
above planets and stuff like that.
And this, uh, episode
carried it on as well.
Well, the big reveal and the, the big
reveal of this week's episode was we
finally found the backstory of Dal.
We found out more about his,
uh, where he comes from, and
that was a huge, uh, revelation.
Kevin: The exact phrase was the
handiwork of the proteges of Dr.
So he's an augment of,
of human plus 26 species.
Arik Soong, I believe, is the, uh,
incarnation of Brent Spinner that we
got to meet in Star Trek: Enterprise.
Kevin: Known for, uh,
starting the augment stuff.
What do you make of this?
Is this satisfying for
Dal's origin for you, Rob?
He's obviously all torn up about it.
Rob: Yeah, it's interesting when it
comes to sort of like representation
within, uh, pop culture or in
storytelling and stuff like that.
I'm always drawn to, uh, what
recent events that have happened
in Doctor who with the Jodi
Whitaker, Chris Chibnall era.
And they introduced this new element of
canon that had never been seen before,
and it was a massive, controversial move.
However, there was a, a, a
viewership, a population of
the viewership who come from.
Uh, orphan backgrounds who are
orphans, and they felt that they were
seen for the first time in the show.
So I'm, I'm open up to this idea of going,
you know, seeing, uh, this character who
has no family, who has no past, and that
there are members of, of the viewing
audience who go, I can relate to that, um,
that storyline of not having a background,
not having a past, not having something
to not having a family to tie to.
So it's the families that
they make along the way.
A genetic orphan
Rob: Yeah, yeah.
With all that sci-fi, higgledy piggledy
and stuff that we just love, but at
the root of it, it's, it's an orphan.
Um, and the family they have made, and
that's why they're so, you know, Dal's
so passionate about, uh, saving his
crew and, and keeping his crew together.
And that's why he gets so jealous
easily and all that type of stuff.
But the instinct in, in me at first went,
oh, that's a little bit of a cop out.
But the more I watched it and
the more I thought about it, it
was a good representation for,
you know, not traditional forms
of family or even heritage.
Kevin: As far as canon connections go,
the handiwork of the proteges of Dr.
Arik Soong is, is pretty
darn tenuous if you ask me.
Arik Soong existed in Star Trek
Enterprise, which is pre the original
series, so 23rd century, and this series
is set post Voyager, so late 24th century.
So this is like a hundred years
removed from that character, would
they still be referring to the,
these people who are making augments
as the proteges of Arik Soong?
I don't know.
I am, I'm half suspecting they are somehow
going to, uh, show us an animated Brent
Spiner at some point in the series.
Rob: Why not?
Look, if you animate Ronny Cox,
Rob: You animate, uh, Bill Campbell.
Anyone could be animated.
Kevin: can be next.
And they are very good at cramming
in Brent Spinner anywhere they can
Rob: Look, you know, from the actor
who protests too much about, oh,
you know, it's just a role I play.
He tries to get away and they
keep on dragging him back in.
I, I really liked this fun kind of, uh,
caper on the planet below where it's a
bit of, a you know, no Federation zone
being in the Neutral Zone as it is.
And, uh, I really liked the, the
way they walk to that thin line
where you can see Dal growing.
Like he, he knew to follow Janeway's
advice, and the reason he failed
to follow Janeway's advice was
not because he's cocky or naive,
it's because he's insecure.
Like it was, it was revealing a fatal
flaw in the character and, and that
is really satisfying to see, I think.
Rob: and it's something they've
been pushing a lot since they've
encountered Federation is that, and
Janeway has been saying it a lot,
real Janeway and a hologram Janeway.
They're just kids.
They are literally kids
controlling this powerful machine.
And so, and Dal's making childish
mistakes and kid mistakes.
And he's getting easily manipulated by
jealousy, um, and uh, and self-doubt
and, um, insecurity, all that
type of stuff, which is the us as
fans need to go, oh, that's right.
This is the kids show.
Oh, right, yeah, yeah, yeah.
So kids going, yeah, that's fair enough.
These are important issues.
And me as a 44 year old going, oh,
oh, I thought I'd grown out of that.
Uh, watching Dal kind of mutate in
real time was a lot of a, that that
was a good gag for the show and
I was happy to go along with it.
Um, speaking of Janeway's advice, and
speaking of this being a kids show,
I have a grammar bone to pick with
this which is Janeway's advice or
Hologram Janeway's advice is if it's
too good to be true, it probably is.
Which is not the saying.
That literally means it is true.
What she meant to say is if it sounds
too good to be true, it probably
Rob: It's a hologram glitch.
Kevin: Yeah, it is a hologram glitch, I
reckon, for no other reason they establish
at the start of this episode that Hologram
Janeway is on the fritz, and the only
evidence we have of this is a brief glitch
immediately after Jankom Pog says that.
And then as far as I can tell, she's fine.
Apart from that, but this grammar
Rob: The camera's not on her,
she's glitching up a storm
Kevin: I had a similar like grammar
quibble with the next episode, and I
don't like, I don't know, I feel like
it's just a quality control thing There
is a sense that these episodes of new
Star Trek are coming together pretty
fast and pretty hot at times there.
It takes me back to, there's an early
episode of Discovery where on the
view screen of the bridge that we are
seeing from the other side, so we're
seeing the text in and we're looking
through the view screen at the bridge
crew, and the bridge says something,
it says something like, standby or
red alert or something like that.
And two of the letters are,
are, are in the wrong order.
So it's misspelled.
And just the idea that there would
be a typo on like the largest text on
screen audience is meant to be paying
attention to and reading in reverse.
Uh, it, it seems like a very
unfortunate mistake and I'm seeing
a lot of those kind of little
unfortunate mistakes in Star Trek these
Rob: They're trying to pack out
the content really quickly and
they're cutting some corners.
But if this is the biggest quibble
I have with an episode of Star Trek,
it's a pretty darn good episode.
It was another episode of reveals.
We found out that our,
um, Trill officer was
Rob: um, one of, uh, yes.
She, uh, we find out in the
next episode is the Vindicator.
But what I loved the most about that
reveal, Rob, was that her accent
changed from American to British
when she went from good to evil.
Uh, just love the leaning into
the, the stereotype there of,
oh, now that I'm clearly evil,
I will speak in my evil accent.
Rob: Yes, yes.
There are two different types of
colonizers, American hero colonizers
and British evil colonizers
get, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Just remember that.
British bad colonizers,
American colonizers we're good.
Rob: Um, but yes, it was a, exciting
episode as well because we found out
another, another big reveal, Murf is,
developing as well and is, not just,
in humanoid form or well bi form.
Uh, they can, you know, uh, expand
their body, move in, you know, they,
they know kung fu to quote, apparently.
Um, and so, uh, Murf's
potential is growing as well.
Cuz I was a bit, as about last time, yeah,
I was a little bit disappointed when we
first saw Murf come out of the cocoon
and I went, all right, so it's just the
same form now with legs, um, and hitting
and conveniently hitting the, you know,
the torpedo button when it needed to.
But now to see, okay, Murf is growing
and developing and, and it is,
uh, becoming more what they were.
Kevin: At this, at the start when Murf
was like just waving the phases around
randomly, and, and I was like, oh, sigh.
And the, the burp fart at the
end of the second episode here.
Also, like it is clear he's not,
Murf is not gonna grow that much.
Rob: No, no, no, no.
The whole, uh, uh, next episode
ends on a fart joke or burp which is
Uh, should we move into
the second episode?
Episode 16 Preludes, which is the
inspiration for our, uh, grander topic
this week, where we just sit around
and go, well while we're waiting for
this thing to be done, let's find out
a little bit more about each other.
Kevin: Flashback appalooza.
It just stood out to me in this second
episode that the Romulan warbirds
kind of gave up pretty easily.
One group of Tal Shiar got beat on
the space elevator, and apparently
the Romulans just gave up.
One thing I, I forgot to mention about,
um, the episode, uh, Masquerade is like
you were talking about, that, that hive of
activity within the neutral Cuz normally
I get this impression that the neutral
zone is select this barren wasteland, but
there's this thriving black market type
of, you know, society there surviving
literally on the edge of space is, uh,
fascinating just to see a taste of it.
Kevin: Yeah, it reminds me of, uh,
the storylines around, uh, the Maquis
where like, planets were changing
hands as, as borders were shifted by
geopolitical forces around the galaxy.
And yeah, it gave that same sense of up
an in between place that doesn't exist
on any map of or the Romulan empire.
Rob: And I like seeing that little
element of, uh, of the Star Trek universe.
It expands it out from just, uh, you
know, red, amber, and bluish uniforms.
Kevin: Yeah, the cracks in between.
It, it was
So, yes, we got to, um, as they were
trying to repair things to move on, uh,
they sat around and we found out the
backstory of not only our heroes, but we
also got the backstory of, The Diviner.
And we got a more clearer view of his,
journey into our timeline and also,
uh, the Starfleet influence that
caused the destruction of his society.
Kevin: I really liked how cleverly
the backstory for The Diviner was
thrown in there in amongst the
backstories of our other, like
protagonist very deft in that way.
Um, that said the actual story of the Vau
N'Akat and their launching a hundred star
ships from their shattered world, uh,
and each of them with a Drednok on board.
I'm not sure how shattered this world
actually is have a hundred starships to
send in, on a, on a hope and a prayer.
Uh, but, the, the storyline is one
that I am finding less satisfying
the more we find out about it.
Kevin: I don't know why Chakotay, for
example, stuck in the future, his move
would be to send the ship back into
the past knowing it was armed with
a, uh, weapon to destroy Starfleet.
If, if you got control of the ship,
you know, fly it somewhere like a
Rob: Look, it's Bri, it's bringing up
many issues about how Chakotay was as
the first in command of the Voyager
anyway, so I mean, he may do a couple
of, uh, hairy decisions in his time in
Kevin: Oh, granted, okay.
This is a story about
Chakotay's poor judgment,
Well, that I, I could be just
manufacturing that myself.
Kevin: I really wanna know more
about Chakotay and his crew like
that, that first Officer Bird
thing that he was holding on
his I wanna know more about that
Rob: I believe that's
actually their official name.
Rob: first, officer Bird.
Kevin: I wanna know if it's
the same species as Dr.
Rob: hope so.
I really hope so.
I want, yeah.
Well, their Meema is gonna be
very, very, you know, worried about
them, so we have to Meema as well.
Kevin: Again, in this episode, a few
like un unpolished turns of phrase,
uh, in The Diviner story, one of
the things that I was mentioned is
Starfleet's lies of bold new worlds.
I don't know what a bold world is.
It seems like an awkward
combination of to boldly go and
Rob: And strange new.
Kevin: but it doesn't actually make sense.
So, yeah, just a little bit of,
you know, one more copywriting
pass over the script, maybe.
Kevin: The other one that stood
out to me was, um, so maybe Gwyn
has me beat, says Dal, and then
Zero says, I wouldn't be so sure.
We each have things in our
past we wish to forget.
One sentence doesn't
follow from the other.
I feel like there were some lines cut
from the script here and then what's
left doesn't actually hold together.
Rob: Well, it's interesting because
there were so many writers on this one.
I was looking over the, writer's
list, and maybe like a writer was
writing each character's backstory and
Kevin: totally sense.
For the rest of these vignettes.
I just love that they kind of
gave us all the backstory at once.
I feel like they could have played
cagey with these characters for
like, they could have strung out
these mysteries for much longer.
Um, but kind of backing up the dump truck
of backstory to our doorstep here today,
and just like giving it all to us in
one episode, it was really satisfying.
Uh, and I feel like now we can springboard
off this more confidently into stories
knowing who our characters are.
And there's still elements of
their past that we haven't got.
Like we've only got, uh, Rok up to a
certain point, and even Jankom as well.
And so it's how they got captured as
opposed to their entire life story.
So it's a good, you know, good
catch up for us to go, right,
we know a little bit more that
shapes them who they are, um, and
Kevin: interesting seeing the Kazon become
the kidnappers of the Delta Quadrant
suppose when we first meet the Kazon, they
are kidnapping Kes, and so what we are
learning is this is a pattern for them.
Rob: This is, this is a part
of their culture, apparently.
Rob: we need we need, to
acknowledge and accept…?
No, no, no, no, no.
Kevin: It strikes me as a
strange way to make money.
We will capture, one at a time,
random stragglers around the
galaxy and sell them as slaves.
It's a bit I'm not sure what the return
on investment is on a custom box that
makes whale sounds on an asteroid in
order to capture one Medusan, if you're
Rob: look, if you're lucky,
look, the, um, the, the Kazon
are about quality, not quantity.
Kevin: That's right,
Rob: they have going for pure
kidnapping quality right here.
So, um, yeah, I, some of the bridging
lines from one flashback to the next
was quite, clunky and probably needed
a go over one or two more times.
Cause it was very much
a case so how about you?
I wanna hear your story.
And yeah, I don't know how I feel about
Zero just kind of deciding, because they
care, they can read everyone's minds.
That justification didn't
quite hold up to me.
Rob: That's, that's a bit of a mechanical
wave of all this type of moral ambiguity.
Um, because yeah, so many people
have used the word care as an excuse
and that doesn't hold much water.
Kevin: Rok-Tahk's story I really liked.
This, uh, story of Rok-Tahk kind of
being the dancing bear in a ring match
with the Hero and the fact that they
didn't speak each other's language.
And so the story is very much wordlessly,
except for the narration by Rok-Tahk.
And it's, um, it's a
charming little story.
You can read a lot of the subtleties of
the story on the faces of the characters,
and it's really enjoyable for that reason.
Rob: And that Hero is still
out there somewhere, you
Kevin: looking, looking like
he feels real guilty about what
happened to He may, he may come back.
Rob: And I'd be okay with that.
It's not a case of
going, milking this one,
Kevin: There's, yeah rough edges
is showing all over this episode.
Like there's a, a line where, uh, Rok says
after the comedy routine, I didn't get
my bowl full of Nutri-goop, only half.
But what is shown in the visuals
just a tiny droplet and an empty
bowl, and it's just like, ooh.
The, the words in the
visuals don't line up there.
That strikes me as something that
could only happen if you're in a
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
And, um, that's the thing.
So many chefs in this episode and, and,
and know they really needed someone
in charge, sort of like to have a bit
clearer, uh, go through it one more time.
It was funny and, and cute in some ways,
but, uh, I was going, that's the reason
why Jankom Pog keeps on saying Jankom Pog?
He's, he's been psychologically worn down
to the of, you know, he's emotionally
crippled and psychologically damaged
forever because of this situation.
Kevin: It is a Jason Mantzoukas
story, if ever there was.
I feel like this is again and again,
Jason Mantzoukas is cast to be, um, the,
the broken brain character of the series.
Um, his, his character in the Good
very much echoes into Jankom Pog
for me, where I was like, ah, okay.
He says, Jankom Pog not because that's
how he was taught to speak or how he
is brought up or how Tellarites speak.
He says it because a a droid drove him
batty on, on a ship for, for a period of
Uh, and I could get on board with it.
Rob: I did like the
subtle shift of his voice.
He did really well, like the
slightly younger, uh, and a
bit more wide-eyed Jankom Pog.
And then that wore him down and so I,
I just picked it up the second time
I watched him, and that's a really
subtle change, Mantzoukas, so, uh,
Kevin: Yeah, I liked it too.
The idea that the Tellarites before
they became part of the Federation, they
would send their orphans out on deep
space missions like, that's a tantalizing
detail of a, uh, a species that has
not really been fleshed out in Star
Trek lore other than they are grumpy.
So I'm really like, I'm enjoying that.
I think it's, it's kind of like
cruel and, and terrifying, but
it's an interesting detail.
Yeah, it's great to have, you know, the,
this is when you're doing it right, it's
like, it's the big thing that's going on
in the Star Wars universe as well, like
with the, the, uh, creation of, Andor.
Everyone's Finally, this is
what, uh, Star Wars can be.
It can be stories told by different
type of voices and different levels of
perception and, and that type of stuff.
So what we've seen in these last couple
of episodes of Prodigy is completely
different to what, like we've gone
through, you know, the tail end of
one, but three seasons of Star Trek.
In, you know, the course of however many
months we've been doing this just in one
year, and what we got from Strange New
Worlds and Lower Decks and now Prodigy.
Completely different, but all,
very much within that universe.
And expanding characters that we've
seen before, species that we have
seen before, giving them more depth.
It's, it's a very exciting time to see
that world building happen and just
have tantalizing little, uh, reveal
of this brutal, harsh element of a
character and a, a species that we've
only seen as, oh, they're grumpy.
Um, I love that type of stuff.
I love that.
Taking that time to, uh, really, you
know, dive into all those little details.
Uh, Zero's story had me thinking of
you just cuz that that glowing green
box, that was the trap for Zero.
Uh, and it was, it was very
distinctly making whale song.
And I thought, is this gonna
be the Star Trek IV, uh, whale
probe tie-in that Rob has
Rob: I would love, I want to
find out what happened to Dr.
Gillian, you know.
Where the hell is she?
She was on a science vessel.
You know, I wanna see
her around the galaxy.
Kevin: That's right.
Rob: Bring Dr.
Come on, you bring back Ronny Cox.
Kevin: All, in all seriousness,
I felt like Zero's vignette was
the disappointing one for me.
Like it was beautiful and maybe, maybe
it was the animator interns that were
let loose on that one, but I feel like
there was not a lot of story there.
Rob: It was very short, wasn't it?
Rob: Um, they go, I had freedom.
All I can remember is freedom.
And it was a short little thing.
We just saw one thing being
eaten by another thing, and
then a green box with Kazons.
Kevin: Medusans have ships.
Show me that, like that
ship that they landed on.
I'm like, what is a ship for Medusans?
They obviously don't need it to protect
them from space, so it's just to get
around quickly and, and how would you
design a ship for gaseous cloud I want
Rob: and the movement of them as well.
They're very much like just
individual globs floating around.
Like, I'd like to see more of this,
you know, maybe a possible choreography
or a, a blending or how that works.
It's just this case of, it was the
barest minimum that they could do.
In my, in my humble opinion.
Um, anything else from this episode
stand out before we dive into the
Rob: Massive cliff hanger.
What's What's gonna
happen with, uh, Janeway?
Kevin: chopped, karate
chopped on the shoulder.
Rob: They knocked her out.
They Karate chopped her.
did a karate chop of all the ways
they could have knocked her out.
Kevin: Oh yeah.
It's so satisfying.
In so many ways, Star Trek has
come so far, yet they are not above
a good 1960s Saturday morning.
I always, I always think of,
uh, Miss Piggy as well, so.
Kevin: Uh, it's so good.
Rob: But yeah, so because of, especially,
this week's episode of Prodigy, it got
us thinking about the good old flashback.
Kevin: Yes, I should say off the top.
Um, if you haven't been listening
to Subspace Radio, uh, since the
beginning, if you wanna see more
of this kind of stuff discussed,
you can go back to Subspace Radio
episode two, where we talked about
times that Star Trek literally
visited old episodes of Star Trek.
Uh, and we visited the episode
entitled Flashback with, uh,
Tuvok's past on the Excelsior
during the events of Star Trek VI.
But for this time around, we're gonna
take a slightly different angle and,
and like this week's episode of Prodigy,
we're, we're looking at flashbacks that
reveal the past of one of our some way.
So I have a few, and I suspect
we might agree on one of them.
Rob: Well, yeah, I've gone back
to old Rob, within this series.
I've just solely focused on Deep
Space Nine, and I found I, I'll
re-watched them today and I just,
oh my, these two episodes are
Kevin: They're good, eh?
Rob: pure gold, so yes, I'm
Kevin: I, okay.
I think I know at least one of
the ones you're talking about.
But let's, let's do this
chronologically and I'll get the
TNG episodes out of the way for us.
Rob: That's what we know,
Kevin, you bring the TNG.
Kevin: I did.
Uh, I almost brought in an episode
of Enterprise this week because in my
memory, Carbon Creek, the Enterprise
episode focusing very much on Jolene
Blalock's visitation of 1950s Earth.
To me, in my memory, that
was a T'Pol story, but it was
actually T'Pol's grandmother.
So when I looked at it, I went, Nope.
That, that's, that's against the rules.
It's revealing T'Pol's grandmother's past.
So it's out, but I'm sure
we'll get an excuse to talk
about Carbon Creek another day.
An excellent episode of
Rob: Well, Memory Alpha does do
because they're just incredible.
I typed in flashback episodes and I
did see there were, uh, the odd, uh,
Enterprise one and went, oh, well,
uh, shame I haven't watched anything
more than just the first episode.
Well, my first episode, uh,
this time around is from season
five of Star Trek, The Next
Generation episode 12, Violations.
It's an uncomfortable watch, this episode.
It is an atypical rape story.
Um, this is a story of a psychic
rape, or the presence of a psychic
rapist on board the Enterprise.
It is this species called the Ullians
who call themselves archeologists
of the mind or of memory.
And they have this, uh, talent where they
can help you recover forgotten memories by
sitting with you and talking you through
a half remembered image in your mind.
Suddenly you can, they can, they
can tease that memory back to the
surface so you can rediscover it.
And this, this species is going
around the galaxy, recovering and
chronicling, uh, forgotten memories
to compile in their library.
And it's a really interesting idea,
except that one of these Ullians
has a problem where, yeah, well, he
gets his kicks, violating people's
memories, inserting himself into
them in a traumatic way, and feeding
off that psychic trauma or traumatic
experience in, in kind of a power trip.
Um, but, uh, setting aside, you
know, it is a good episode, I
think, if you can get past the
fact that it is a story about rape.
A lot of the behind the scenes stuff
is about how the writers were kind of
excited to find a sci-fi way to tell
a story about rape without making it
literally about the physical act of rape.
And that's like, in some ways, what Star
Trek does best is take an uncomfortable
subject and make it approachable
by, you know, cloaking it in sci-fi.
Rob: the best sci-fi does.
Kevin: And that's what this episode does.
Uh, but the specific memories that
are brought to the surface are these
glimpses of our characters' pasts.
And the one that was especially
memorable to me is Dr.
Crusher's memory that the alien
recovers, and this is the memory of
the time her husband Jack Crusher died.
We have heard through several episodes
that Captain Picard delivered the news
of her death, and, and he has felt
guilty or felt like he, he owes her
and her son, Wesley, any help he can
give them for the rest of their lives
because of this debt that he owes them.
And we get to actually see Picard
walking Crusher to the morgue and, and
viewing the body of her dead husband.
And, uh, Picard is made
up to look younger.
He has a little more hair on his head.
It's like one of the few times we
see Picard with hair on And, uh,
and yeah, again, it is very quickly
twisted into something that didn't
actually happen in the episode.
But nevertheless, we get to see a
glimpse of these younger versions
of our characters in their past
that is very intriguing to me.
As a lore episode, these glimpses
you get in here in Violations
are, are really intriguing.
I wish we had seen more of our
TNG characters' pasts while the
actors were young enough to pull it
Rob: Yeah, very much.
Um, and there are elements of it in
Star Trek V with Sybok using the, those
painful memories from the past to, you
know, convert you into believing his,
um, his belief, which is in many ways
a, you know, psychological manipulation,
uh, not to the deep violation extent, um,
Kevin: Oh gosh.
I can't believe we didn't
put Star Trek V on this
Rob: Look, yeah, I'm always wanting to
bring Star Trek V into the conversation.
So it's just been in my head
the whole time, that beautiful
moment from, um Shatner.
And he does it well.
It's one of the few good moments
in the film when they're, you
know, you know, I want my pain.
I need my pain.
That type of stuff just hits
me and it stays with me.
It's a beautiful moment of what makes
us who we are and how, we, uh, how we,
you know, move forward as, as human
beings by, by using that pain, um, yeah,
it's, it's, it's a beautiful moment.
So that does connect in many ways, not as
intensely, obviously, as in Violations,
but that same type of mental manipulation
to, um, to, to get what you want or
whether it's for kicks or whatever.
Kevin: Speaking of Nemesis, there is
a prominent, um, photograph of, uh,
Picard's Academy days shown in Nemesis
where he is already bald at Academy, uh,
because it's Tom Hardy with a bald cap on.
And, um, and this directly contravenes
the glimpse of Picard we get to see
here in Violations with, uh, you know, a
balding but previously full head of hair.
And, uh, yeah, it, it is unfortunate.
I think either they forgot or they really
needed to make clear to us that, uh,
Patrick Stewart could have looked like
Tom, a bald Hardy when he was younger.
Like they needed to sell us
on that by showing us the
Rob: And look, it was a very
loose, tenuous connection between
Tom Hardy and Patrick Stewart.
So they were, you know, they were
packing it in quite hard to, to
Kevin: Not the worst thing
about that movie, but it's
Rob: Well, look, we can bring out
the list that we could bring I'm
sure every Star Trek fan has their
PowerPoint presentation to talk you
through what's wrong with Nemesis.
Should I go into my second episode of
Rob: Yes, yes, yes, of course.
Kevin: So number two is the next season,
season six, episode 15, Tapestry.
And this is a classic episode
of The Next Generation.
It's on a, on a must watch list for sure.
This is the episode in which
Picard dies in the cold open,
a phaser blast to the chest.
His artificial heart stops and he dies
on the table in sick bay, and he awakens
in a white void and discovers, uh, there,
waiting for him in the afterlife, is Q.
Q is there to, uh, kind of do the, the
ghost of Christmas past sort of thing and
say, well, here at the end of your life,
do you have any regrets, mon Capitain?
And Picard admits that in his youth, he,
he was a risk taker, he was a hothead,
and if he had only learned the lessons,
of maturity and moderation earlier
in life, he might not have gotten
stabbed in the back by a Nausicaan in
a barroom brawl, which left him with
that artificial heart that ultimately
was responsible for his death.
And he is like, if only I had grown up a
little sooner, I wouldn't be stuck here
with you for the rest of eternity, Q.
And Q goes, well, I've got just the
thing, I'm gonna take you into your past
and you can, you can change your fate.
Uh, and this entire episode, or
the bulk of it is a flashback
to Picard's Academy days.
But, uh, Patrick Stewart playing
his self to, to Patrick Stewart,
to himself in the mirror, he
looks like, uh, Patrick Stewart.
But to everyone else, he is
young Picard and we do get
Rob: Oh, little bit of li,
little bit of quantum leap there.
Kevin: Yes, exactly.
It's the Quantum Leap version.
Um, we do get a glimpse of young Picard.
We get, get to see from the outside
that bar room brawl where Picard gets
stabbed in the back and then kind of
collapses to his knees with a spike
sticking out of his chest and looks
down and laughs at And, uh, and it is
played, uh, I think remarkably well
by, uh, an actor named Marcus Nash.
Um, not known for a lot Marcus Nash
and um, I'm not sure he even has any
lines in this episode, but he looks
more like a young Patrick Stewart than
anyone who has ever, certainly more than
Rob: I was just about to say,
Are you gonna single out, Mr.
Kevin: Yeah, I think there have been
several times where they have tried
to convince us, uh, this is what, what
Picard looked like when he was younger.
Most recently in season two of Star
Trek Picard, and I never quite bought
it as hard as I bought it, right
here in, in this barroom brawl.
Marcus Nash really does look
like a young Patrick Stewart,
um, in a really interesting way.
It is a hilarious episode.
This is one of Ron Moore's first that he
wrote for Star Trek The Next Generation.
And it is just full of classic Q lines
that as, as Picard is like admitting
to him that, oh, you know, if, if I
hadn't gone head-to-head with that
Nausicaan, I wouldn't, wouldn't
have gotten stabbed in the back.
Q, reclining on a, on a beer keg goes,
ah, it's a touching story, isn't it?
Gets you right here.
And he pats his chest with his fist
and just, I was laughing out loud
watching this show for what must
have been the seventh or eighth
still surprises and delights me.
Um, young Picard, uh, tries to be
the good cadet he wished he had been.
He manages to alienate his two closest
friends who no longer recognize him.
Um, I'll, I'll skip over the details
because it is just so delightful
to watch, I don't wanna spoil it
for you if you haven't seen it.
But having done this and having
successfully avoided the Nausicaan's
spike, uh, Q transports him back
to present day on the Enterprise.
And sure enough, he lives, but
he lives as a lieutenant, junior
grade wearing the most demeaning
uniform color on the Enterprise.
It is the green
Rob: Oh, or,
Kevin: We know, we know the yellow, we
know the red, we even know the blue,
but rarely seen as the green It is
Rob: we'd even take Wesley, you
know, Wesley Crusher's whatever
the hell his uniform was the green.
Uh, like I think we've seen it in like,
um, some science, uh, officers or a a, an
occasional medical officer will be in kind
of an emerald green that just highlights
how much he does not fit this ship.
And there is a brilliant scene
at the end of this episode.
Lieutenant junior grade Picard confronts
Troi and Riker in Ten Forward and
like sits down with him and says,
Hey, I wanna talk about my career.
I think I could go places.
I'd love to get into command.
And it is very awkward.
It is the most awkward job interview
you've ever seen where Troi and
Riker are like, we should probably
talk about this in private.
Oh, let's, we should talk
about this some other time.
And Picard goes, no, I insist
this is very important to me.
And they say, hasn't this always
been the problem with you?
Uh, Lieutenant Picard?
You have lofty goals, but you're never
willing to do the hard in order to
achieve what you're, what you're after.
Um, you need to stand out on a ship
like this if you're going to progress.
And Picard is so crestfallen.
This is not a good episode about,
uh, growth mindset, we say?
Like Picard basically says, oh, okay.
I'm the nobody on this ship.
I don't wanna live as
the nobody on the ship.
I give up.
Q you are right.
Let me out of this hellscape where
I'm a lieutenant on the USS Enterprise
Kevin: in green uniform,
he very quickly gives up.
But I think it's just
cuz they ran out episode
We've gotta get this thing moving along.
But um, yeah, watching Picard's
Academy days and watching him
learn to appreciate his younger
hotheaded self, uh, is a delight.
All of the characters in these flashbacks
are wearing your favorite uniform, Rob.
The Monster Maroon.
Uh, there is, um, uh, Picard's
best friend, um, in one scene that
stood out to me on this watch.
He actually buttons it closed on
camera and the, you know, the kind
of magnetic zippers that, that are
meant to like, hold it together.
They don't quite line kind of hangs
a little awkwardly, but it feels so
much more real than the, the, uh,
you know, the upgraded Monster Maroon
that we saw in Strange New Worlds
this Uh, it was very satisfying an
entire episode of, of Monster Maroons.
Rob: Good to have him back.
We love the Monster Maroons.
Let's head into Deep Space Nine.
I, I am hoping you have, uh,
pulled one of the episode, like
the remaining episode that's on my
Rob: I, I, I assume I will, we'll
get to it because it's later on
down the track, but we're going into
season two, episode eight with one
of my favorite episodes of all time.
It's, it's incredible
episodes, it's Necessary Evil.
Kevin: This is it.
This is the one I
Rob: This the one you picked.
Kevin: Ah, it's so good, isn't
Rob: j uh, rewatching it.
Today was like the first time
in a couple of years, and I
just went Oh, it, I mean, you
Kevin: I watched it this morning
and I was like, ah, I forgot Deep
Space Nine was ever this Like
it's three kinds of good in one
Rob: It works on so many levels,
and there's stuff about Odo
that they haven't brought.
They didn't do much of is him as an
investigator and him as a non-humanoid
being able to pick all the, it's very
much him as Sherlock Holmes, really.
And I, they could have done a
procedural series of just Constable Odo.
It's one of our earlier episodes
of seeing, um, Deep Space
Nine when it was Terok Nor.
So the lighting's different.
The feel different.
It's darker, it's colder, it's
more harsh with the lights.
Um, the Cardassians are just fat
with corruption and power and,
um, that's a metaphorical fat.
I'm doing that in inverted commas.
And you see how tough it was for the
Bajorans and how they were treated
and Odo's perception within that.
I wrote down a couple of lines
because it's just, beautifully
played by René Auberjonois.
I mean, just giving him an
episode just to himself.
You just go and here you go.
You have 30 years of
experience at that point.
As a stage, screen actor, let him go.
He says in voiceover In this job,
there is no unfinished business.
Kevin: This is a noir episode because
the conceit is that Sisko has forced
him to start keeping a security and
his first security log is Sisko, is
forcing me to make this security log.
Humans are so stupid, everything's
under control, end of log,
The part where he goes, they
need to remember everything.
I've got it all in my head.
Everything's under control.
Kevin: But very quickly he
starts to indulge himself as he
gets sucked into this mystery.
And he uses his log to tell
the, the gritty, the gritty
inner monologue of investigator.
Rob: And it's just like, but there's
great comedy in there as well.
So when you flash back into regular time,
the fact that Quark is on death's door
and, uh, Rom is accused of doing it, and
Rom doesn't have that much sorrow for
the fact that, oh, I can have the bar?
It's mine now?
Kevin: You're not, you're not keeping him
alive by artificial means, Quark wouldn't
And just, and right near the end,
it's almost at the point of cheesy.
So Quark is almost killed
again for the second time.
Rom saves him by screaming in
his usual high pitch squeal,
Odo comes and saves him.
He's still screaming.
He goes, it's all over.
It's all over Rom.
Kevin: Saved your brother's You're a hero.
Rob: screams again cuz
his brother's alive.
And the camera pans down to an
unconscious Quark, and his lifeless
face just curls up into a smile.
Um, so that is in this
episode when you've got
Kevin: I know.
With everything else going on,
this is a great Quark and Rom
This Ferengi double act comic duo.
They are the clowns of
the episode, and it is,
Oh, young Quark during the
He's like, Quark at 11, and I
That just the beautiful moment we
goes, you know, you wanna drink?
He goes, I don't drink.
Okay, you want a soft drink,
pulls out the little drink with sparkly
Rob: And then later on he
goes, how about companionship?
And you go, oh.
But the heart of this episode is, and it's
always my favorite relationship within the
whole Star Trek series is Odo and Kira.
Kevin: A foundational
story between Odo and Kira.
This is like some of the earliest
of them admitting to each other
that their relationship is special,
ages before it becomes romantic, but
Rob: that's the type of
stuff we were crying out for.
Cause I kind of think at this point
there's elements of you kind of sense
Rob: There's that vibe of Odo.
And I think it's even, even clearer,
like, cuz Kira's moving from,
you know, she, she gets around.
She's very much the
Chakotay of Deep Space Nine.
And you always see that
defeated air to Odo.
But this is a really powerful one
of, how they actually first met.
And you talk about noir.
The first time they meet, he sits
down and tries to pull a detective
from a noir lime, what's a pretty
girl like you eating alone?
Kevin: uh, she calls him Constable
for the first time in that Uh,
the very last line is Kira saying
Everyone has to choose sides, And
I've, I was like, wait, was that it?
Was that the first time
someone said Constable to him?
And I re-watched the scene and yes.
He doesn't introduce
himself by name or by title.
She gives him that moment.
Rob: I hadn't forgotten, but it was
good to be, My memory refreshed that
he got his creation from Gul Dukat.
So much good comes out of evil.
And the final scene, I mean, it's written
by, uh, Peter Allen Fields, who, uh,
is an incredible writer and he will be
showing up again in my next episode.
Kevin: A twisty mystery.
The twist at the end for me is really
I, I think I was expecting, like,
all through this, I was enjoying the
journey, but I just naively assumed the
actual mystery would be uninteresting.
Like I thought, you know, we know who
the guilty party is, it's obvious,
and then they, they, they pull a fast
one on us and it is so much richer
Rob: and it's incredible going
back and watching it because
I hadn't seen for a while.
And when, um, Odo says the line,
you're not a very good liar.
And I'm there going, hang on, this is
what, and then at the end, the twist goes,
of course she's, she's the best liar.
She's, been working this
rebellion for years.
Um, and that final, it's it's perfect
nineties TV type stuff where yeah, it,
it's what I grew up with in the nineties
with watching all those type of shows and,
you know, Star Trek Deep Space Nine did
it just like all the other shows at that
time that were at the top of their game.
That final scene with the two characters.
It's just two characters talking and
how their relationship has changed
because of the events that happened.
For her to reveal, you know, because
you're so special to me and your
opinion's so important to me.
And do you think you
can ever trust me again?
And just that final shot, which is
so nineties of just the two of them
Rob: it's a profile shot, and you've got
Kira just desperately looking at him and
Odo resting up against his chair and his
head down and it just fades to, you know,
the producer credits and you just go, ah,
Kevin: So good.
Rob: such good episode.
And just like in his outfit as well.
It's so much a better
outfit with a high collar.
And it's all like, like, it feels
like it's cold in Terok Nor.
Kevin: The color scheme, like
it's all grays and blues and cold.
Rob: And harsh backlight.
Lots of backlight, which
Kevin: A lot of burlap on
the wall for some reason.
Rob: Yes, it's, it's, it's a Cardassian
Um, I just love it.
It's such a beautiful episode.
Kevin: All I remembered about this
episode was that there was an episode
set on Terok Nor during the occupation,
and I was like, oh, I'll go find that.
Uh, I did not remember anything else
about this episode, so it was a delight to
This is, yeah, this is one
that always stuck in my head.
I just, every time I, as soon as we said
flashback and said, I've gotta find it.
Um, and yeah, it's René
Auberjonois in top form.
It's Nana Visitor in top form.
Uh, the others sort of
like in the background.
So you don't have, you don't have
Sisko or Dax or that in it much.
Um, and you know, you've
got Gul Dukat in top form.
So Mark's in top form,
Max is in top form as Rom.
It's, you know, Armin Shimerman shows
that shade of when he's dark, you know,
dark Quark and when he's lightened up.
So yeah, it's, it's an incredible episode.
Necessary Evil, season two, episode eight.
Uh, if you haven't seen it, go watch it.
Kevin: The fact that that's a season
two episode and my episodes of TNG were
season five and six is a testament to
just how quickly DS9 found its confidence.
Rob: A lot of people say, oh, it
didn't find its feet until season four.
Going, no, no, no.
It was hitting some really impressive,
uh, strides in, in the early seasons.
Kevin: Where's our last stop in Deep Space
Rob: Our last stop in Deep Space
Nine history is one of the greatest
star Trek episodes of all time.
It is, In the Pale Moonlight.
Kevin: Oh, okay.
I don't remember this
one being a flashback.
Again, written by Peter Allen Fields.
Well done, you, sir.
It is the great, the incredible, uh,
Avery Brooks looking down the barrel of
the camera, recording his diary entry.
Um, and he's talking directly to us about
what he has done in the last two weeks.
He's forgotten how, how much
time has passed in such a
short window of opportunity.
And it's about the Dominion War
has been slogging on for months.
Uh, every day or every week, he has
to put up the names of the casualties
and he has to watch every Thursday he
has to go and watch the people, you
know, he knows, goes and try and find,
uh, people they know or people they,
whether their names are on the board.
And he comes up with a bold plan because
the main source of contention is that
the Romulans have not entered the war.
They have signed a treaty of no
involvement with the Dominion.
Uh, Betazed is taken
over, invaded in 10 hours.
It is, it is brutal that
they invade Betazed offscreen
leave it to your imagination.
Rob: And other planets are at risk.
Vulcan, Alpha Centauri,
all that type of stuff.
As always, when you want something
dastardly done, you turn to a tailor.
Uh, and so of course it's one of the
best episodes of Deep Space Nine and
one of the best episodes of Star Trek
because you have Andrew Robinson as
Garak front and center, um, as the devil
in your ear and giving you not what
you want, but definitely what you need.
Kevin: Whether you, whether
you are prepared to ask for it
And so, uh, they go down the slippery
slope of how can they convince, uh,
or cheat or lie, hoodwink the Romulans
into entering the Dominion War.
And so it's compromise after compromise
after compromise that Sisko has to do.
And this is the fall of Sisko as
the hopeful diplomat into, uh,
the, you know, the man behind the
machinations of, uh, the Dominion War.
So it's an incredible episode
of, uh, Garak there, pushing him
further to go farther than he
would ever want to go before.
And, um, a beautiful resolution at
the end where he just goes, you.
I, I would do it all again.
And it's all in flashback.
So as he is talking to the
camera, to the recording, he
goes, there's voiceover as well.
And it goes back to the two weeks
of him seeing the compromises
that he makes, seeing the high
body count in this episode.
Um, uh, this is like in the heart of
Dominion War, season six, episode 19.
It's very much that sort of, um,
narrated structure that we saw
with Odo in the previous episode
as well, so I'm not surprised that
it's the same writer obviously, like
comfortable with that, that narrated
storytelling in a Um, yeah, it's
And you see how it really is a
reveal of Sisko as a character.
Kevin: It reveals the inner world of the
character in a way you don't normally
Rob: I mean, there's a whole, there's
a whole episode we can do on Star
Trek's connection to Shakespeare.
I mean, Nimoy with his writing in
the Star Trek movies in Star Trek,
his involvement with the writing
of the Star Trek movies was always
putting Shakespeare front and center.
You see it in Star Trek II.
You see it in Star Trek VI even more so.
You see it in Star Trek IV.
He just brings in Shakespeare
and that has stayed.
It has lingered with Star Trek.
And this is very much, um, a soliloquy,
an hour long soliloquy by, Sisko.
He doesn't confide in his
friends or his, um, people.
He confides in the audience.
The perfect example of a
He even says that.
He said, I can't even tell.
I can't tell anybody.
Not even Dax, my oldest friend.
Kevin: In the same way that something like
Best of Both Worlds that we talked about
recently pioneered the cliffhanger season
finale format, I feel like this was an
early example of, of a story structure
that has definitely become cliche and
overdone in TV, which is the cold open
that is like, I bet you're wondering
how things got this let's rewind.
Like 24 hours earlier, and we get to see
the whole story up until, up until the
climax that we have already gotten to see
a glimpse of at the start of the episode.
This, I think though, the introduction
of the narration and the fact that you
get to see, you get to hear the character
reflecting on their own actions, their
own choices, their own compromises,
uh, is what enriches it beyond the
lazy flashback, I'll say, in inverted
Rob: There, there's so much so,
you, the flashback is the evidence
and it's, it's almost, well, it is.
It's Sisko pleading his case, not only
to us the audience, but to himself.
There are moments where he stops almost
addressing the audience and it's more
to himself defending himself and his
actions going, you know, it was another
Thursday, I don't want a another list,
and another list and another list.
People are dying and he
says, planets are dying.
And, you know, um, and that's his
arguing with his own inner demons.
And then to have a final confrontation
when, uh, Garak has gone the steps
that Sisko didn't want to admit
that he was willing to go to.
There's an incredible confrontation
with a bloodied up, uh, Garak just
there going, this is everything.
And if we are sacrificing, two people
and a criminal to save thousands,
millions of lives, I would do it again.
And Sisko admits that as well.
And there's the often repeating a
gif and meme going around of Sisko
raising his glass to the camera
right down the barrel of the camera.
Kevin: I can live with
Um, it's, it, it's a great way of seeing,
not only is the flashback finding out more
about the character, but you see in that
45 minute episode, you see Sisko change.
Oh, this one.
It would not have occurred to me
because it is not a literal, um, like
trip into years, years and decades
past of a, of a character's origin.
But you're absolutely right.
That is a, it is a flashback that reveals
character in a way that we've never
Rob: So, yeah.
Um, In the Pale Moonlight
Kevin: He deletes his log at the end
Rob: of course he frigging does.
Of course he does.
As soon as he starts going,
this is my personal log I'm
going, this is not gonna stay.
Kevin: between him and the audience.
It's so him and the
Rob: it's a beautiful, beautiful
episode and I highly recommend it.
I would put it in one of the top
10 episodes of Star Trek of all
time and in the top five Deep
Space Nine episodes, easily.
Kevin: Well, thank you.
Uh, some great flashbacks.
I have to admit, when I went looking,
the ones that we've had are super
memorable and great episodes, but not
quite as many as I was expecting to
like, I think in some ways it, it's the
easiest way to introduce a character
that rather than revealing through story,
they reveal by telling a origin story.
It's just, it is not a pattern
that Star Trek has leaned
on as often as I thought it
Rob: It's definitely a trait that's used
a lot in, um, genre based television of
that nineties era and early noughties.
It's surprisingly not as many in Star
Trek as, uh, but we found enough.
Kevin: Yeah, we sure
So, um, uh, it's good
to, uh, chinwag again.
We're, we're, we are getting
close the end of Prodigy
Kevin: We sure are.
It's, it's, uh, we're running
short of episodes in Prodigy.
I think I will be, yeah.
And, it will, not have outstayed
its welcome, I predict.
This is feeling like a very well-paced
season, and it will leave me wanting more.
Rob: I am.
Yeah, I'm quite happy that the
members of the Protostar have,
uh, found their way into my heart.