Episode 27: Taken Over (PIC 3×07 Dominion)

Kevin: Hello and welcome
back to Subspace Radio.

It's me, Kev,

Rob: and me, Rob,

Kevin: and we are here to talk
about Star Trek Picard, season

three, episode seven, Dominion.

Rob: are getting closer and
closer to no more Picard.

Kevin: Yeah.

Rob: has, where's the time gone?

Kevin: It feels perfectly
paced to me, Rob.

I feel like we are on track for a
nice, smooth glide path to the finish.

Not too rushed.

Not too drawn out.

I think they're doing a good job.

How about

Rob: Yeah well, it's definitely a case
of, especially with this most recent

episode, we've come back to where we
were a couple of episodes ago where

we were at darkest before the dawn.

Kevin: Oh

Rob: And so we've, got to that
point, they've got out of it,

and now they're back into this
stage where it's, even darker.

Kevin: So you're saying we're
expecting a brilliant episode next next

Rob: Look, you know, I'm
not here for a haircut.

I'm I, my expectations are high.

I'm gonna say that even higher
than should be realistic or fair.

Kevin: In Dominion, we have Vadic
finally close in on the Titan.

But Picard uses his wiley planning
skills to uh, face her on his terms.

They lay a trap in the
hallways of the Titan for her.

She gets trapped in a force field and
forced to reveal her dastardly plan.

Rob: finally find out the the
origins and the backstory of Vadic.

Kevin: Indeed and I'm gonna call it
now: it's Section 31's worst plan yet.

Rob: I'm not one of
Section 31's biggest fans.

Every time they go, Ooh,
a Section 31 episode.

I go, eh, and this proves that.

They've just gone, these
guys are the worst.

They are not good at all.

Kevin: Picard and crew have the upper
hand for quite a while, but eventually,

thanks to the meddling of Data's brother
Lore, the tables are turned and Vadic

ultimately commandeers the Titan.

Rob: Yes they like the, they have lost it
after racing around for seven episodes.

They have finally succumbeded
and the ship is gone.

The ship is Vadic's.

Kevin: She introduces herself at the
end as Captain Vadic of the Titan.

And that commandeering of a Starfleet
ship, our hero ship by the enemy

is the theme that Rob and I have
chosen for our episode today.

We're gonna explore some examples of
that in the second half of this episode.

But first, Rob, what stood
out to you in Dominion?

Rob: First five minutes we had another
cameo and welcome back, Tim Russ.

It is great to see you.

Kevin: Oh, never been better.

I'm gonna say it now.

We've seen so much Tim Russ in
Star Trek over the years, but

he has aged like a fine wine.

Rob: I think we've talked about Tim Russ's
performance and when it comes to Vulcan

performances and there's Leonard Nimoy
and then daylight before anybody else.

Of course, Ethan Peck is doing an
incredible job in Strange New Worlds,

and I'm very impressed, you know,
blown dear, old Zachary Quinto away,

but Tim Russ has always been on that.

Ah, he's okay; he's all right.

Oh my gosh.

That moment of him
transitioning and that smile

Kevin: smile,


Rob: coming in.

I went, mwah!

Chef's kiss.

Kevin: I agree with you, it's hard
to beat classic Nimoy, but Tim

Russ here is having fun with it.

There, there are plenty of Vulcans
where you can see the actor struggling

against the challenge of portraying
a Vulcan in a energetic way.

And Tim Russ has mastered the
craft so much, he is batting

it around like a ball of yarn.

Rob: He is swimming in the deep
end and he is backstroking his

way through this incredible work.

And it's the whole double bluff as well
there going, Seven of Nine throwing

a curve ball and getting that right
and then throwing another curve ball.

We didn't expect it to be a
curve ball and then the shift

Kevin: You know what I caught
is that the music lied to

Rob: The music did lie!

It did brought in, oh,

Kevin: all of the music stings we
talked about last week set us up for

a deception here this week, where
as soon as the Voyager music played,

we were like, great, it's fine.

The music's telling us what's true.

No, the music was

Rob: So are you saying Terry Matalas
is a uh, is a Changeling as well?

Kevin: He is at least as
plotting as a Changeling.

Rob: It was very manipulative after
all, like the heavy, especially

last week, because every shot
of a ship, how about that music?

How about this music?

And you go, okay, we'll do it again.

And everyone goes, okay,
we're safe and secure.

Now the music's playing.


That's what you get.

That is some hardcore manipulation
right there, which I'm all for.

Kevin: A highlight for me was the sequence
of scenes with Geordi and Data and Lore

and, Geordi pouring his heart out in
order to get to Data and Lore playing

with him, but then like grudgingly
admitting, Ooh, that's powerful stuff.

Rob: It's what the fans have
really been waiting for, isn't it?

We've had, especially with season
one of Picard, it's focused a lot on,

obviously, Patrick Stewart's connection
with Brent Spiner and also that

relationship between Picard and Data.

But really most of the heavy lifting,
especially, and that's, and that

plays out in the movies as well.

But in the, the TV series, it was
the double act of, Geordi and Data.

I know I'm coming from a less
well versed knowledge of it, but

it was always that double act
and Picard was in the background.

So I always felt it a bit disingenuous
how they focus so much on Picard's loss.

I'm there going, what about Geordi?

Geordi was the one who, they'd go
on adventures together, scrapes,

they'd go into the Holodeck.

So to have this moment where you
see LeVar really bringing all

the LeVar, you know, was amazing.

Like him tearing up and going,
you made me a better man, a

better person, a better father.

The loss of you even inspired me.

And you go, wow,

Kevin: loss broke me.

Your memory, put me back

Rob: Beautiful, beautiful.

Any out of any other actor that
would come across as trite and a bit.

Kevin: Oh, it was borderline.

You have to be a fan to
buy into it, I feel like.

If you haven't, if you haven't enjoyed
that relationship, at least in the TNG

movies, I don't think you're buying

Rob: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I bought it just, I think because
I believe so much in LeVar Burton.

I'm not sure if you are a Community fan.

Have you ever watched
the TV show Community?

Kevin: I've seen an episode or two.

I'm not a fan.

Rob: There's a particular episode
where Donald Glover's character has

a massive love for LeVar Burton.

And Donald Glover's character Troy
just, just wanted a picture of him.

He didn't want to meet him because you
can't disappoint a picture as he says in

the script screaming at this one point.

And so very much the Shaw relationship
with Geordi I've been reminded going,

oh yeah, it's very much Troy and LeVar
Burton is very much Shaw and Geordi.

Kevin: Shaw very much faded into
the background, this episode.

He was not given much to do and what he
was given to do was pretty ineffective.

I had to

Rob: He got, he got the, he
got the crap beaten out of

Kevin: He got stomped.

After he came onto the bridge
and collapsed on the floor,

one of the heavies, like
vaporize a Starfleet officer.

And for a second I thought it was
Shaw bought it, but he was still

writhing around on the floor.

Rob: is so much love for Shaw going
online at the moment, and so much,

people demanding a Legacy or a Titan
series with Shaw and Seven of Nine.

But yeah It all seems lost.

There was a little bit of interesting
stuff with Jack hitting on Sidney

and reading, and so this is a
development where we come into a bit

more of what's going on with Jack.

We haven't found out
everything, but that was the big

Kevin: biggest thing that's bothering
me about Jack is that his eyes keep

glowing red and nobody notices.

I, I assume now that that
red glow is metaphorical.

It is there as a signal to us, the
audience, but it is not meant to be taken

Rob: Do not take it literally, no.

But now he can get inside people's minds
and manipulate their body, which is a

Kevin: We're still hearing the
occasional whisper in his head as

well, but I think they've pulled way
back on that because any more would

probably be tipping their hand of what
the ultimate reveal is going to be.

And it feels like we're right on the
precipice of it here at the end of this

Rob: Well, that's the big
cliffhanger, isn't it?

You know, Vadic's pretty much
saying, let's have a look at, what

this Jack Crusher is all about.

Kevin: But the whispers we're
hearing are still saying

Connect us, bring us together.

And that, along with him being able
to now read people's minds and even

get inside of Sidney's body to remote
control her in a fight, which I

have to say that was like pure genre
nonsense, but I was here for it.

It made for a fun fight scene.

And we don't get many fun hand-to-hand
fight scenes in Star Trek anymore that

give us something we haven't seen before.

Kudos to the creators for finding that.

I enjoyed

Rob: I tried to tone down on my
Kevin Yank, trying to explain it.

We're there going, well, he's picked
up the gun and he's firing, so is he

firing as well so that Sidney fires and,

Kevin: Yeah.

And sometimes he's facing the
same way as her and sometimes he's

mirroring her and it, it doesn't
quite work, but that's okay.

It, It was enjoyable.

Rob: kind of cool.

Kevin: Yeah, I don't know where this
season is going and I'm, I have to

say, I am really getting worried
that ultimately this reveal of who

is the big bad behind the big bad,
like who's Vadic's boss, I am really

worried that's gonna be disappointing.

What's going on with Jack, probably
two sides of the same coin.

And I am like, thinking of what
we're seeing from Jack, the only

thing that it connects to in my
mind is something like the Borg.

And season two, as we know, ended
with quite a change for the Borg.

We're told the old Borg are still
out there somewhere, but now there's

Alison Pill's Borg that are guarding
this portal into who knows where.

And they told us somewhat
incredibly that was being dropped

as a storyline after season two.

We may come back to it someday, but
that's not what season three is about.

But the more we get of these whispers and
that what's wrong with Jack is similar

to what's wrong with Picard and his
brain, and maybe that was connected to

his assimilation by the Borg, I can't
help but suspect that they're trying to

pull one over on us and where this is
all going is connecting back to the Borg.

Rob: Yep.

And I would be there going, oh,
I think you're reading too much

into it, but we were manipulated
by a piece of music today.

Yeah, Matalas is doing everything in
his power to play us like an old fiddle.

Kevin: Not that I dislike the Borg, but
I just feel like we have been to that

plenty of times so far in this TV would be
nice to find something new as a launching

point for the future of the franchise.

Rob: Look to, to paraphrase the Simpsons
gag about the original cast Star Trek

movies, Star Trek 20, So Very Tired.

And it's all and it's, and it's all
animated, fat versions of everyone.

It goes Klingons on the
starboard bow, captain.

And James T.

Kirk goes, ah, again with the Klingons.

Kevin: So yeah we know Jack belongs
somewhere and it would be so much

better to show you than just to tell
you where it is, and that Jack is time

for you to find out who you truly are.

I, I hope in the first 30 seconds
of next week's episode, we find

out that the veil is lifted and we
get to deal with the consequences.

Rob: He's a Borg.

He's a Borg, right there.

Figure it out.

Join, reconnect with the Borg.

Kevin: But besides like Vadic being
scared of her mysterious boss,

she had a lot to do this episode.

I feel like this was the showcase
for Amanda Plummer's acting.

We got tons of like closeup face
acting and long monologues and

her explaining her motivation.

How did you how did you
respond to all that?

Rob: Oh yeah.

And there's some classic
Amanda Plummer stuff in there.

I don't, I haven't mentioned it
before, which I can't believe, Amanda

Plummer is phenomenal in pretty much
one of the only two good Mike Myers

movies, So I Married an Axe Murderer.

She, She is in that and she

Kevin: Is she the titular axe

Rob: Well, spoilers up ahead.

So, so, so, I don't know how invested
you are in seeing it, but he marries

this woman and they fall in love.

But then Mike Myers starts to find
out that she's got all these potential

ex-husbands who've disappeared and
possibly gone in mysterious circumstances.

And Amanda Plummer plays
the oddball sister.

And then right at the end, you find out
it's the sister who's killing all the

Kevin: Unbelievable that Amanda
Plummer could be the secret murderer.

Rob: And as she does all the
extreme Amanda Plummer stuff,

but set in a Mike Myers comedy.

So all the stuff that she does
hardcore in, whether it be Star

Trek or in Pulp Fiction, here it's
cranked up to the ridiculous level.

So there was a little bit moments
of that, and there's a line she

goes where tick tock goes the clock.

Kevin: Can't you hear that?

Tick-tock, tick-tock
goes the ancient clock.

We're out of time.

Rob: And that, that, yeah.



That has reminiscence of a scene in Hunger
Games Catching Fire, the second one, where

she appears there and she figures out
that the Hunger Games arena Is a clock.

And she goes, Tick tock,
tick tock goes the clock.

And so it very much connected me to that.

And so when I saw her doing that, I saw
150 different variation performances of

Amanda Plummer and it's just incredible.

Kevin: Apart from all of that,
which I agree with, I'm just tickled

anytime Star Trek uses the word
ancient to refer to our present day.

The idea that a clock would
go tick tock is ancient.

Rob: Yeah, and they did it
all the time in Voyager.

They did the whole thing
of oh, this old Yeah.

Ancient Earth or this antique and
and I'm there going, this, it's

only a couple of hundred years ago.

We don't refer to like the
Elizabethan era as ancient.

Kevin: Stone age.

It's stone knives and bearskins.

Rob Lloyd.

Rob: The future in Star Trek
has sort of like condensed.

Ancient is ancient Egypt.

Ancient Rome, 2000 years
ago, not like 500 years ago.

Come on.

It's getting cheaper.

The term ancient is losing its value.

Kevin: We have the good cop, bad cop
routine that is picked early by Vadic and

Picard and Crusher do, I think, a pretty
poor job of attempting to interrogate her.

Their opening gambit is, we'll tell
you everything we know and everything

where we don't know, and ask you
nicely to fill in the blanks for us.

Rob: It's yeah it's quite a bad form.

Kevin: It was very much exposition
for our benefit, I felt like.

It was for the audience, just in case you
aren't on top of what is the question we

need an answer to, picard and Crusher are
going to recap their half-baked theory,

I'm tipping, about what the Changelings
want with Picard's body and Jack Crusher.

It seems obvious to me that that is
at most half what they have figured

Rob: Yeah.

It can't, they can't gone to all this
trouble just to use the DNA as a key.

I think that would be
a disappointing thing.

Kevin: And Vadic's reaction
seems to sell that.

She's like, really?

That's what you think?


I'm not telling you any different.

Rob: A lot of focus on the
weaponization of a virus.

I think Vadic says, your first
instinct was to go to genocide.

Kevin: What a beautiful twist or
revisiting of Star Trek history through a

very valid lens, but one that I've never
heard raised before, that I think us in

the audience, right along with Picard
here tell ourselves the story of how

Starfleet ultimately did the right thing
at the end of the war and saved the day.

And they deserve congratulations for
being forced to provide the cure for the

virus that they they let loose themselves.

Yeah, it was lovely to hear the war
told through Vadic's point of view.

And I think the only part of it that I
could like, that I personally disagree

with is that, that she framed it as
we were barely out of the gates of war

and your Federation turned to genocide.

And I think, I think the
genocide cop is right.

The barely out of the gates of war, like
the Dominion was not treading softly.

Rob: And they were well and truly a
couple of years into this conflict

before they went, we've had

Kevin: There was not a lot of
restraint from the Founders

in their approach to the Alpha

Rob: Look, it's all relative.

Sure, two or three years may seem
out of the gate as opposed to like

the Hundred Years War, or conflicts
that rage on for decades and decades.

But it's all, yeah, it's
all very much perspective.

And especially that gives weight,
especially within, the first time

they've found this new variation,
Beverly Crusher's going, all

right let's find a disease.

Kevin: Yep.

Rob: Plan's wipe 'em out.


Kevin: She flags it out nicely though.

Like she says, I'm a little worried
that right now our best plan is a little

too close to genocide for my liking.

And Picard goes we don't have any
other options, so let's just see

if this is real or not, and then
we'll decide whether to use it.

Rob: And that's what I've been
mi I've been missing this whole

for, you know, for decades.

And it seems like I dunno about you, but
I've been incredibly frustrated since

Deep Space Nine finished, and Voyager,
we've just always been going back.

So we had Enterprise go back to the past.

We had the reboot of the classic
universe with the movies.

We had Discovery.

We had Strange New Worlds.

And we've been crying out as a fan base
to going the world of Star Trek was in

such a brilliant place with the Voyager
Next um, uh, Deep Space Nine era.

We don't, we haven't explored the
consequences of that to the world.

And even with Picard season one
and two, they didn't really do

much in the way of explore that.

But this is a deep cut.

This is a deep exploration of going,
history is written by the winners and

what, how is that history perceived now?

And maybe, maybe it only could be
explored decades later, now, as

opposed to if they'd done it straight
away, might have still been in

that whole we did the right thing.

Kevin: Yes, it is a leap forward
or it is moving forward from where

we are, but I think from where we
are is the critical part as well.

You look at Discovery's great leap
into the future and as tantalizing

as a blank slate that they're so
far into the future that there is

the context of the past is no longer
relevant and they can create anything.

It's a complete blank slate.

That did open some
tantalizing possibilities.

Hits and misses on the board as a result.

But what Picard is doing here
is moving into the future,

using the past as a springboard.

And there's no more poignant example
of that than right here at the start

of this episode that the place that the
Titan is hiding, is in the Chin'toka

Scrapyard, which is the Chin'toka
system, was the site of the most

vicious battles of the Dominion War.

This is where Nog lost his
leg at The Siege of AR-558.

It is like immersing ourselves in the
recent past and then using that as a

springboard to the future rather than
just going, okay, sweep the table.

We're starting from scratch.

Rob: No, I totally agree.

It's great to see that
analysis, that reflection, that

evaluation of what has happened.

But I don't know if that reflective nature
would be as effective if they did it in

the early noughties as opposed to now.

There seems to be a lot more, so
much time has passed and they can

look back on it with that realistic
eye of, what that actually means.

And reflective going, Yeah,
they did jump to genocide.

Was that too soon, too, yeah.

And was it all just rapidly tied up
in a bow in that format of procedural

sci-fi television in the late nineties?

Kevin: Project Proteus, I said it
was Section 31's worst plan yet.

Just to confirm, my understanding is
their plan was we are in a war with

the Changelings, an implacable, nearly
undefeatable foe, and our plan is

going to be to capture some of them
and make them more dangerous so they

can fight for us for some reason.

Rob: It's a classic hubris
of humankind in sci-fi.

So it goes all the way back to
Frankenstein and all that type of

stuff of humankind dabbling in
powers that they should not, when

it comes to the world of science.

Are they playing gods?

All that type of stuff.

And that's a clear example of going,
yeah, they're trying to weaponize

them or, take advantage of them.

And life finds a way.

Kevin: The prop business in the flashbacks
of freezing the little puddles of

brown goo and then chiseling them apart
or blasting them with a blow torch.

That was all pretty effective for me.

I was like, yeah, that
looks like it hurts.

That looks like evil being done.

Rob: And you kind of allude to it
back in Deep Space Nine when Odo

describes, we talked about this before
with uh, Shaw describing his situation

as in like Quint's scene from Jaws.

In Deep Space Nine, he talks about
his time, how he was experimented

on and because they didn't know
what he was or if he could respond.

And so he had that traumatic relationship
with his, the doctor who who went

through all these procedures with him.

And now we see that other end of it where
they know what they are and they're just

experimenting how far they can push it.

So it's interesting to see it
from, through that lens of how it

was done 25 years ago, and how it
is done now through a modern eye.

Kevin: Speaking of Odo, there was
another like glancing reference

to Odo that one of our own had to
steal the cure to deliver it to us.

And they, again don't name check him.

And it's, I'm wondering that it's
starting to feel conspicuous now

that they won't say the name Odo.

And I'm wondering is there an in
universe explanation for that or an

out of universe explanation for that?

Do they have to pay the estate
of René Auberjonois residuals

if they mention his name?

I wonder.

Rob: What?

That would be an amazing
deal if he figured that out.

Probably that's why we haven't
got any new action figures of Odo.

I've been crying out to
get my Odo action figure.

I don't, I think they only released
one back in the early days when

Deep Space Nine was first released.

Kevin: Keep slipping
off the shelf, though.

Rob: Of course, of course, and
nobody wanted to pick up the bucket.

I mean, apparently kids just didn't
wanna buy a bucket for their toys.

Kevin: It feels to me like they
want to keep Odo in the past, and if

they mentioned him by name, it would
be pulling him into the present.

And for new fans, they
would be like, hang on Odo?

Who's that?

I have to figure that out.

And they don't want us
to get distracted by Odo.

At the same time, they want to
honor him by acknowledging him as

Rob: Of course.

So just doing the tip of the hat of
going an old friend or a member of our

you know, alliance went in and found it.

Kevin: So ultimately the
bridge is taken over.

I have to say, I was like, especially
on second viewing, it is very weird

that they do not do anything to
protect the ship against that takeover.

Like once they are in the turbo lift
on the way to the bridge, and the

people on the bridge are saying,
are they gonna take the bridge?

No way they're taking the bridge.

That is the time to deploy
the security lockout.

Rob: Yes, but it's not,
it's not a full crew.

It's only a skeleton crew, cuz
most of the crew were transported

off on Ro Laren's ship.

But yeah, it's very much a case of
you can see the plot points coming

through going, ah, we need to get to
the point where the ship's taken over.

So all those procedural
techniques that a federation

ship would go under, forget that.

And, oh, here we are, Amanda
Plummer's the captain, now.


Wave of the hands.

wave the hands, wave of the hands.

Here's a cliff hanger.

And see you next week.


Kevin: In research for today's episode,
I watched a few different examples

of ships being taken over, and Riker,
I have to say, way back in TNG, was

very quick on the security lockout.

Like unfamiliar alien beams onto
the bridge and shoots a phaser.

Riker is diving to the floor and saying
computer lockout command functions.

There was none of that here on the Titan.

And uh, I guess, uh, Starfleet
is just getting pretty lax

in its security measures.

Rob: Well, it's getting towards Frontier
Day, so they're all just, focused

on that, oh, that's how Rome fell.

Kevin: Are you ready to jump into
our examples of ship takeovers?

Rob: Very much so.

Kevin: I've got a TNG
and I've got a Voyager.

Rob: Excellent.

Well, I've got a movie and of
course I want Deep Space now.


Kevin: Oh, well hit hit me with a movie.

Rob: Oh, we're go, we're
gonna go with First Contact.

We have talked about First Contact
before, but for me we will focus on

that element of, literally the ship is
assimilated by the Borg and taken over.

And that B plot of the movie, it is
divided into two sections, which they

get that balance quite right, of that
endearing, cute, funny story of trying

to inspire a man to take his place in
destiny and history up against the body

horror and almost alienesque sequences
of trying to stay alive on the ship.

But the whole ship is just taken
over from the inside, the wiring,

the architecture, the crew all taken
over and it's um, horrifying sequence

of going from level to level and
locking out and trying to stay alive.

But that was my first choice.

I instinctively went to the
Borg taking over the Enterprise.

You'll be able to fill
in what letter It is.

Kevin: That was the E.

Rob: The Enterprise E.

Kevin: Whenever I think of the ship
takeover of the Borg in that, I go

straight to one scene and that is the
one where the Borg are taking over

the ship deck by deck, but the crew
is still on the bridge and it's that

feeling of like warfare in the corridors.

And Worf comes on the bridge and
he is looking, he's looking shaken.

He's got his phaser rifle, and he
comes to Picard and he basically

says, look, we're losing the ship.

It's time to make the call.

And Picard is in denial.

He is not going to
surrender to the Borg again.

And he, he sends Worf back
into the belly of the beast.

He says, Worf don't
let them take the ship.

Go back.

And you can see Worf go, what?

That order doesn't make sense.

But he's not going to admit he's afraid.

So he, in a beautiful acting turn
by Michael Dorn, he takes the

order, he prepares himself to
go and walk into certain death.

And then Lily says, hang on, let me have
a word to Picard in the conference room.

And we have, the line must be drawn.

Here we have, we you broke, we
have you broke your little ships.

We have the Captain Ahab speech.

It is beautiful.

But that pivotal moment of we are
losing the ship, but it isn't lost yet.

So poignant.

And that is what I think of.

Obviously the high point of that movie
is that moment of choosing whether

we're gonna lose the ship or not.

Rob: Yes.

And especially for Picard at
this point, he would have in any

other situation, without a doubt,
go, yep, let's just get off.

But because of his connection with the
Borg and what that means, and he's felt,

he has been violated by this species.

And he just, like he said, he
wants to, it has to stop no matter.

And it's, he's thinking irrationally
and he needs the wonderful work of Alfre

Woodard, just to snap him out of it.

Kevin: Yeah.

Real good.

I'll tell you about my TNG one.

So this is rewinding the clock because
it's prior to that movie in the timeline.

But this is an episode we talked about
recently in connection to Ro Laren.

It's season six, episode seven.

Rascals, the one which starts with
a bizarre transporter accident that

transforms Picard, Ro, Guinan and
Keiko into their childhood selves.

Rob: O'Brien's Keiko?

Kevin: As in O'Brien's Keiko.


Rob: What an odd, wonderful
collection of characters there.

Kevin: Yeah, they're coming back from
some symposium or something, and Picard is

super excited about his piece of pottery
that he found in the archeology exhibits.

And yeah, they're all nerding out on the
shuttle on the way home, and it flies

through, a distortion of some kind.

It breaks up the shuttle and they
get rescued at the last moment

by the transporter, as kids.

And it's never actually really explained
where that distortion came from.

It's just one of those things.

Rob: What are you gonna do?

Kevin: Freak accident.

We're kids now.

It's fun to watch the
different characters.

Picard is in denial.

He is I'm still Picard.

I'm a 12 year old boy,
but I'm still Picard.

So he leaves sick bay as soon as he
can make an excuse and goes to the

bridge and starts issuing orders and
watching the crew, even Data go, really?

I'm taking orders from a kid
now like, enjoyable scene.

Ro, Ro never got a chance to be a kid, and
is bound and determined not to have fun.

She's like, this is serious.

We've had our bodies violated.

I am not going to have fun.

And Guinan is trying very
hard to make Ro have fun.

Guinan of course, wants to
enjoy every minute of it.

And in a beautiful seduction
scene, Guinan talks Ro into jumping

on the bed, and it's great fun.

Rob: It's interesting because of the age
discrepancy as well, because Guinan is

like a timeless, centuries-old being,

Kevin: Yeah.

Rob: they're all just converted to

Kevin: year olds.

Keiko goes home to Miles and is
worried about losing her family.

She's afraid and she snuggles up
to Miles, and Miles is freaked out.

He's like, I will not snuggle
with a 12 year old girl.

And she's like, Miles, I'm
your wife, I need comforting.

And then she goes in to their daughter
Molly, who wants a bedtime story.

And Molly doesn't recognize her.

She says, I want my mommy.

And Keiko is devastated.

And watching like Miles come around
and comfort her and go, I don't

know how we're gonna figure this
out, but we'll figure it out.

It is lovely character moments.

That ultimately is the
heart of this episode.

But the plot of this episode is that
very inconveniently as we are dealing

with this mystery and the captain of
the Enterprise is out of commission,

the Enterprise is ambushed by two
Klingon Bird of Preys, who it turns

out are being captained by Ferengi.

Ferengi board the ship and take
over control of the Enterprise.

Riker is quick on that security lockout,
so the Ferengi can't do anything with the

Enterprise, but but there is a Ferengi
captain sitting in Picard's ready room

poking at his fish tank, and the ship
is effectively commandeered by Ferengi.

The fun of this episode then comes
from the four childrenized crew

members plotting, how as children
can we take over this ship?

And so they play tricks on the
Ferengis with remote control cars and

steal hypo sprays from the sick bay.

And Captain Picard as a 12 year old boy,
throws a tantrum demanding his daddy,

which is Riker and gets Riker to unlock
the school room computer so that Picard

can can trap all of the Ferengi with the

Rob: There's a lot of
Freudian stuff in there.

Kevin: I think for me the scene
that I remember from this episode

about the capture of the ship is
ultimately Riker pretends to give

in to the Ferengi's demands, and
the Ferengi captain says, great.

Now you will explain to my officer exactly
how to unlock and use the computer.

And Riker sits down and gives the
Ferengi first officer a tutorial in

how the Enterprise computer works,
and half the words are made up.

He says, okay, here are the
bilateral kellelacterals, and this

button is the ferromantle drive.

Don't touch that.

It's very dangerous.

And the Ferengi does not want to admit he
doesn't understand any of the, of this.

He's like, don't treat me like an idiot.

I'm not stupid.

And Riker goes, oh, of course not.

I wouldn't even think.

So I, I think that is a recurring
trope that when enemy crews take

over a Starfleet ship, often they
don't know how to run it very well.

Rob: course.

Kevin: is their undoing.

Rob: Yeah.

kind of like with Star Trek First
Contact where we had an A and B plot, but

they're literally in different locations.

This is where the A and
B plot, you know, clash.

So it's not just an invasion of the
ship, it's the invasion of the ship

plus we're dealing with the 12 year
olds and how the 12 year old versions

can actually help solve that problem.

So that's a very clever way of doing it.

Kevin: The most economical example of
that pattern of the invaders can't run

the ship properly is when the Klingons
board the Enterprise in Star Trek III and

they don't understand that the countdown
on the bridge is a self-destruct.

Rob: Then we get John
Laroquette Klingon Blown up.


Get out of there.

You're making me wanna watch it again.

What are you doing here, Kevin?

Kevin: It does have Christopher

Rob: It does have Christopher Lloyd.

He is so good in that film.

Kevin: Get out!

Rob: outta there!

Kevin: What's your second takeover?

Rob: My second takeover is a gonna span
over a couple of episodes because it

is, yes, we have mentioned it a little
bit in previous episodes, but it is the

taking over of Deep Space Nine during
the Dominion War by the Cardassians.

Kevin: it is.

Rob: The final episode of season
five, barnstorming season, episode 26

of season five, Call to Arms where.

It's a race to get everything in line,
the Dominion, the minefield all around.

It's locking off the the wormhole and
just the oncoming storm of the Dominion.

You know, they've been signing
non-aggressive treaties here and

there and everywhere, and the Klingons
and the Federation are just trying

everything in their power at that last
ditch effort of who stays and who goes.

Kevin: The feeling of inevitability
of you can hear the bootsteps

coming over the hill and, uh,
nothing you do will matter at this

Rob: The invasion is coming.

And it's those wonderful, powerful
moments where a sci-fi show can connect

with reality and the real world.

That's when sci-fi is so much a,
a potent form of storytelling.

If we just go, oh, it's pure escapism.

No, we can connect in with
some deeper themes there.

And, the sacrifice at the end, Jake
stays on board and Sisko cannot go back.

Rom is there,

Kevin: Who else stays?

I have memories of people like crawling
through the ventilation shafts and stuff.

Who else was there?

Rob: Kira definitely has to stay.

And Odo definitely stays.

Rom stays and and of
course Quark is there.

And Jake stays to be a reporter.

And of course uh Rom becomes an insider.

Kevin: It's a beautiful um,
setup where after these five

seasons of Starfleet running the
station, suddenly they're gone.

And what's left behind are the
people that were there more

or less from the beginning.

And we get to see how even without
Starfleet there, they are changed.

They have become the resistance
and they are, they're standing up

for what Starfleet created there.

Even when they're gone.

There's something powerful about that
of seeing the impact when Starfleet

isn't there to keep it going.

Rob: It is that chilling sense of the
diplomacy that has to happen where you

see, at the end of the episode, the
representatives of, of the station.

So you have Odo chief of security, you
have Kira and you have Quark there,

quite formal, waiting for the doors to be
open for their invaders to come and take

over and go, welcome to your station.

And it's a powerful chilling
moment of formality and civility.

Kevin: How quiet it is in the end
that the, the takeover of the station

isn't in a blaze of phaser fire.

It is a quiet greeting
at the airlock door.

Rob: And a defiant promise with a
baseball being left behind on the desk.

Kevin: Yeah.

I love it.

Rob: It's a this world that we have
been connected to, which is the ship

which has become this character as the
Enterprise has, as Voyager did as well.

But it's a different type of feel,
you know, as we said, the Enterprise

and all that type of stuff are going
to new places, whereas the station is

this melting pot of species from all
over coming and going and arriving.

Who's the next guest sci-fi
version of the love boat.

Kevin: We live with that renewed
occupation for a while, too.

It's not reversed in one

Rob: No, no, that's the end of
season five is where we are left

with that for three to six months.

And then we come back and they stay
with that for about six episodes.

So we're right in the heart of Dominion
fighting and give and take and who's

joining and who's leaving and who's dying.

And the ship is in Dominion hands.

So this is fully, arc based
narrative story structures all

over, long form storytelling being
introduced into the Star Trek

world long before anyone else has.

That, that nineties revolution of arc
storytelling and long form storytelling

is really on display here in those
later years of Deep Space Nine.

Kevin: I wonder if they'll have
the courage to do something

like that again, where takeover
lasts longer than one episode.

Like we've just had Vadic
take over the Titan.

What's your read of the odds that
she will still have control of the

Titan by the end of the next episode?

Rob: the thing, isn't it?

Gone are the days of 26
episodes in the season.

We are, 10 episodes is seen
as, Oh gee, that's a lot.

So that storytelling is now condensed
to a point where, she's got the ship and

she'll lose it by the end of next episode.

I'll be very surprised, cause we've got
eight, we've got three episodes to go.

So if they keep that going for another
three episodes it's all gotta be

tied to Frontier Day, all that stuff.


Yes, it's a sad state that television
has shifted to the point where

so you can't have those long arcs
of, that was six full episodes.

That's a fair chunk of the opening
chunk of your season is all

dedicated to this is the new norm.

And you start after six episodes,
you're there going, is this gonna

stay on for the whole season or, yeah.


And so it's that case of, in a lot of
these episodes, the invasion happens

in one episode and is gone, like
with Rascals, like with the movie.

It happens.

But this is, was our safe space
for five seasons and now for the

opening six episodes, it is not ours.

It's a great, powerful moment of of
unsettled storytelling of what we know.

And of course it's all returned back
to them in A Sacrifice of Angels.

Kevin: I'm going to take us
for our last stop into Voyager.

Voyager at its most uneven,
pre pre Seven of Nine Voyager.

This is, This is the cliffhanger
finale of season two, season two,

episode 26, Basics, and season
three episode one, Basics, Part II.

This is, at the height of the Kazon
threat during their journey home.

This is also Seska's swan song, so
at this point in Voyager history,

Seka has been revealed to be a
Cardassian spy among the Maquis.

She has fled Voyager to join the Kazon.

She has stolen and impregnated
herself with Chakotay's DNA.

And this episode opens with her sending
a distress call of my Kazon lover has

discovered that this child is not his
and he's going to do something terrible.

Chakotay, come and rescue me please.

And Chakotay is understandably
suspicious, understandably conflicted

over whether this is his problem.

But as they did in nineties
television, at the end of the day,

the crew of the Voyager stood up for
the innocent child and ran to its

rescue straight into a Kazon trap.

The Kazon descend on Voyager, take
control of it, and immediately land

the ship on a primitive planet,
disembark the crew and fly away.

Rob: That's right.

That's right.

And the like.

There are big worms or snakes on that

Kevin: There are big worms.

There are volcanoes, there
are cave people with spears.

There's all of the above on this planet.


And they are, they strip their
communicators straight off their shirts.

They are left with literally nothing.

It is, thus the title back to basics.


That is the cliffhanger is we are marooned
here with no hope of rescue and we need

to make camp, find water, find shelter.

Certainly it doesn't get much grimmer
than that, but of course very much like

the skeleton crew left behind on Deep
Space Nine, there are a few rays of hope.

The Doctor is still on board, a
Betazoid crew member Ensign Suder,

who was in a previous story.

He was also from the Maquis crew.

He was a sociopath who took
pleasure from harming others, and he

murdered someone on board Voyager.

So he starts this episode in
solitary confinement in his

quarters, trying to redeem himself.

He's working with Tuvok to improve
himself through mind melds.

It's like an early example of
what came later with Seven of Nine

and that relationship with Tuvok.

He's creating a hydroponics bay in his
quarters to try and help feed the crew

and redeem himself, and he is left behind.

He is like pure psychopath,
and the Betazoid black contact

lenses only made it worse.

But that plays into this story is that
like you, you find him untrustworthy,

but ultimately he helps save the day
as, as like one of the last two people,

including The Doctor left on the ship,
he is crawling through the vents.

He's using his old Maquis tricks to
hide his life signs from the sensors.

And they plot to sabotage the ship to
spite the the Kazon crew that is once

again trying their darnedest to make
sense of the ship that they've captured.

There's that whole thing
of, oh, it broke again.

I thought we had fixed that problem.

And Seska's the only one that
understands what's happening is sabotage.

Rob: Of course, and the actor is
of course Brad Dourif, who's, um,

Kevin: Ah!

Rob: Wonderful Brad Dourif who was
in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

He was the original voice of Chucky.

Done incredible, incredible film work.

And yep, if you can't get Crispin
Glover, you get Brad Dourif

Kevin: Uh not likable, but it's a career.

Rob: He's, he has made a
substantial career being someone

Kevin: Yes.

Rob: kill you and take joy in it.

Kevin: So yeah.

The other person who's working for
the return of Voyager is Tom Paris.

He flies away in a shuttle at the height
of the ship battle and is presumed

destroyed, but we never quite buy it.

He comes back with the cavalry
the Talaxians who he went and

brought back to rescue the ship.

And ultimately the actual time
spent with the Kazon running

the ship is pretty minimal.

A lot of the focus of these episodes is
on the planet with the marooned crew.

What goes on the ship is a pretty
small, like psychological drama.

Suder wrestling with the fact
that he had almost healed.

He had almost found peace in himself.

And now to rescue the
ship, he has to kill Kazon.

And his final blaze of glory as he like
storms main engineering and kills eight

Kazons with phaser blasts and manages
to disable the phasers just in time to,

so that the Talaxians are not destroyed,
and he's shot in the back by a Kazon and

dies, sacrificing himself for the ship,

Rob: Yeah.

Kevin: what he does
best, murdering people.

Rob: If you learn to do something
well, do it as best you can.





And that's one where it literally happens.

They go, yep, okay.

The ship's gone.

You've lost it.

That is something, again, the always, I
always come it's like a brick wall that

always hits me with Voyager it's just
the case of they had a chance to really

learn from the Deep Space Nine element of
storytelling where you can do these long

arcs that go over, but they just keep on
returning back to that reset button of

Kevin: Yeah.

Give them credit for the cliffhanger,
but this was post Deep Space

Nine or late Deep Space Nine.

I'm not sure exactly where the overlap
was, but I think the lesson was truly

learned about what was working in
Deep Space Nine, and where Deep Space

Nine went to a season cliffhanger
abandoning the station, they did

not reverse it first episode back,
but Voyager definitely reversed it.


Rob: Straight away.

Straight away.

Go back.

So there's always that case of
there's this real sense of doing

something different with okay,
Star Trek, where all those infinite

possibilities are now limited.

Resources, crew members,
supplies, all that type of stuff.

But they never fully explored it.

They always did a hand wave

Kevin: The opportunity of all of those
characters stranded in that helpless

situation, we could have gotten to know
them in new ways that we never did before.

But it was so mechanical, plot driven.

The don't go into the cave,
you'll get eaten by a lizard.

We'll have to cut off our
hair in order to start a fire.

Like that is the stuff
they spend their time with.

And they never actually sit around
that fire and discover each other as

people, helpless without technology.

The opportunity that they
missed there was incredible.

Instead they created this
threat of the primitive culture.

They couldn't speak their language and
they have to come together in shared

struggle against the lava flows.

That is the human drama that

Rob: Yeah, it's the external.

It's the external as
opposed to the internal.


That was always the brick wall that I'd
hit up against when it came to Voyager.

It was so tied into that past
of that procedural process of a

show, when it could have really
explored some exciting stuff.

Kevin: The other thing on repeat viewings
does not hold up in Basics, is just the

fact that the Kazon land the ship on the
planet in order to disembark the crew.

Like you could have just beamed
them down, but instead they do

a whole landing sequence and
then a whole takeoff sequence.

And it's very dramatic watching Voyager
fly off into the sky without our heroes.

But none of it is justified.

And the landing sequence with the Kazon
captain 30 seconds after commandeering

this unfamiliar Starfleet ship is sitting
in the captain's chair calling the shots

for the landing of like reverse thrusters
and stabilize the environmental systems

like he knows the landing sequence for
Voyager, which makes it all the more

unbelievable later on when they are duped
because they don't realize that the ship

is being sabotaged beneath their feet.

It all just does not hold well together.

Rob: No, it is that case of yeah, they're
on the other side of the galaxy, so

that believability of technology, ships,
all that type of stuff would be in a

completely different possible process.

But now it's similar
but not similar enough.

Yeah, it gets a bit murky and
they didn't fully commit to

what they were venturing into.

Kevin: So I'm not necessarily
gonna recommend a rewatch

of Basics for our listeners.

I think Rascals would
definitely be my pick of my two.

Rob: You've brought it up twice
now and I'm there going, yeah.

It's time to get my Rascals on.

And if Jean-Luc Picard does
go Oh-tay, I'll be very.

Kevin: It's not far off.

Rob: And of course I highly recommend
Call to Arms and then the the one

where they get Deep Space Nine back,
which is Sacrifice of Angels, which is

Kevin: Hmm.

Rob: two incredible stories.

Kevin: Yeah, for sure.

Thanks Rob.

It's time to go find
out where Jack belongs.

Rob: Yes.

And whether the vines or the
roots will connect to him or not.

Kevin: He has a vineyard waiting for him,
I think is what we're led to believe.

He was not meant for Crusher and Picard.

He was meant for Chateau Picard.

Rob: Exactly.

And hopefully he can
create a sweeter wine.

Kevin: See you around the galaxy, Rob.

Episode 27: Taken Over (PIC 3×07 Dominion)
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