Episode 31: When the Captain's Away (SNW 2×01 The Broken Circle)

Kevin: Hello and welcome back to
the airwaves, the space waves,

the subspace waves of subspace.fm.

It's Subspace Radio, Rob!

Rob: We're back.

It's been far too long.

Kevin: It has been, I forgot
how this show started.

That's how long it's been.

Rob: There was a promise at the end
of our last episode that possibly

there would be a Discovery discussion.

That has not happened yet.

Kevin: There's still time.

Rob: Yeah, I'm holding off to the
last possible minute for me to indulge

in the last season of Discovery
before we go to the very last.

Kevin: There's still time because
Discovery season five is still off

there in the later this year, date to
be named, future and also no spoilers

at all, but as has always been true of
Discovery, I suspect season five is gonna

be a brand new thing and it's not gonna
matter if you've seen season four or not.

That is what I'm tipping.

Rob: That sounds a lot
like Discovery that I know.

Kevin: Yeah.

But we're not here to
talk about Discovery.

We've got a new episode
of Strange New Worlds.

Rob, this is the show that
made us start Subspace Radio.

Rob: This is where it all started, Kevin.

We are here and we're actually reviewing
a whole season of Strange New Worlds, not

coming in two thirds of the way through.

Kevin: Although, maybe we should
have, is my immediate, without

tipping my hand, my preview thought
about what I thought of this episode.

Maybe we jinxed it.

Rob: I was I was watching it and I'm
there going, there are things here

that I know Kevin Yank will not like

that we touched on from conversations
when we saw the original trailers

come out for this and stuff.

So yeah,

Kevin: So Strange New Worlds, season
two, episode one, The Broken Circle.

I don't know about you Rob, but I did
a rewatch of season one in the week

leading up to this so that I was fresh.

And I have to say season one is
even better the second time around.

Rob: I've just bought my copy on
Blu-ray, but then I just discovered

that in regions other than Australia,
you can get it in beautiful 4K.

So I have

Kevin: I did the US import, yes.

Rob: the UK import, so I will have
both the Blu-ray and the 4K version.

Kevin: And just while we're talking tech
specs here of our Star Trek, I have to

say this first episode of season two of
Strange New Worlds appeared, first of

all, it appeared a day earlier than Star
Trek normally has been in Australia.

Usually they make the Australian
region wait a day from its

original airing in the US.

This time it came out
pretty much day and date.

It came out within hours of it
dropping in the US, which was great.

Thumbs up to that.

Thumbs down, unfortunately, the
soundtrack was in stereo only.

Rob: Yes.

Kevin: Huge first world problem here.

But for those of us who like to
hear our starships swoop across

the room it, it was a, I was like,
what have I got the setting wrong?


The Paramount Plus, although it had HDR
video, the soundtrack was stereo only,

and in this episode there were certain
scenes where it was kind of hard to

understand what people were saying.

And having all of that dialogue
crushed into just those two

channels was not helping matters.

Rob: I'm glad you brought that
up cuz it was an issue for me.

So I had to put up the subtitles just
to, so cuz some things were missing

and there was, the mix for me was
all over the shop because of my, non

stereo screen that I was playing off.

But we are back.

It came in with the swagger of a 1950s or
early 1960s American college footballer.

It was coming in cocky, it was coming
in confident, it was coming in strong.

All I could say is they showed their
money in the first two or three minutes.

Kevin: Oh, that shuttle voyage around
the space station was, Ooh I was

going, I can't tell what's different
here, but this is a different

portal into the Star Trek universe.

It feels more real, it feels
more tangible in some respects.

I don't know if it was just the shaky cam,
the virtual lens they chose to shoot that

vista through, but I felt the g-forces of
that shuttle swooping around that starship

in a way that we're not used to seeing.

Rob: And we have seen
that space station before.

It's not

Kevin: It is the Enterprise's
home base for this entire series.

It's, yeah, there's been entire
episodes set there, but we never

got the grand tour like we got here,

Rob: We saw, yeah, very different type
of biospheres and all that type of stuff.

So it's not like Spacedock from the
original movies and from Picard,

specially season three, but it gave
us a little bit of a whirlwind tour in

all its glorified CGI money shot of,

Kevin: That conference room with the
ships in the background, I have to

say that has gotta be a quite a, like
a meeting power move to roll in with

your ship, park it in the distance
there, and then walk in and go, oh

yeah, that old thing over my shoulder.

That's my Enterprise.

Rob: But, um, yeah, we are, back and
they've done the brave and ballsy move

of our lead character, our lead actor,
our captain pretty much going AWOL

in even before the title sequence.

Kevin: Yeah.

I appreciate them going Okay.

We know you love Pike, but we're gonna
make you wait for Pike for an episode and

we're gonna spend a day with our other
characters, here, and see how they work

together without, Papa of the bridge.

Rob: Pappa hair quiff?

Kevin: Yeah.

And I applaud the attempt, but I
really did, I did miss Pike's presence,

especially in a season premiere that
is gonna kick off the new season.

Rob: I loved it.

I loved it.

So I'll be in the camp of, I loved it.

I really embraced it.

I like what they're doing.

I like what what new depths they're
bringing to some characters.

So M'Benga who was defined by the
tragedy of his daughter last season.

Kevin: Yeah.

I'm glad they're finding
something new for him.

Cuz uh, there there was that worry there.

Rob: And adding more to
Chapel, which I really liked.

Ethan Peck for me is going
from strength to strength.

Some incredibly beautiful
sequences and shots.

There were some, for me, some
unnecessary shots that kind of were a

bit ridiculous, that have been commented
in some reviews as being really good.

And I was a bit, ooh.

It's slow motion doesn't,
isn't always your friend.

And I'll just finish off by
saying Carol frigging Kane.

Kevin: Uhhuh.

Rob: I have adored Carol Kane since
I was, since I could understand what

a performance was and everything she
has done is incredible and the energy

she has brought to the show, that
new life we were talking about, the

freshness of someone who's been in
the industry, over, over 30, 40 years.

She, oh my gosh, she's amazing.

Kevin: I am not an avowed Carol
Kane fan, but I do agree, like

she is bringing something fresh.

Like I, I can't tell if I like
it or not yet, but it is new.

And I don't mind my Star Trek challenging
me and Carol Kane's presence on that

bridge is definitely challenging me.

Rob: There's the thing.

It's a weird thing cause there are
similarities, and maybe I'm reading

too much into it, of when Anson Mount
jumped on set for the first episode

of season two of Discovery, he just
brought a fresh, new energy and breath

of fresh air that just broke outta the
stuffiness and the internalization drama

that was like season one of Discovery.

And he just brought this cool
energy and everyone on the bridge

introduced themselves and we all
went, oh yeah, we didn't know any of

these people for an entire season.

Kevin: Thanks for fixing
that, Anson Mount.

Rob: And in her own inevitable fashion
with her own weird, incredible accents

like she did in Taxi, like she's done
in Scrooged and every other performance

that she has done, she brought in that
same type of energy, the stuffiness

and the we're to cool for school nerds
that is the new, this Enterprise crew.

She just comes in and just
blows it out of the water.

And I love that almost anarchistic
energy that she's bringing.

But that's me because
I'm already in her court.

So it'll be interesting to see how we both
evolve with our opinions of the character.

Kevin: Yes, indeed.

I have to say I came away
from this episode a bit cold.

Um, there were long moments where M'Benga
and Chapel were punching up Klingons

in the hallway where I was sitting
there bored and going, is this the

Star Trek I've been looking forward to?

Rob: It was shot really badly.

Those fight sequences
were shot really badly.

And they

Kevin: Yeah, it, they
felt twice as long as they

Rob: Yeah, they, and they stayed far too
long in slow motion on sections where you

could see the choreography, and you could
see the holding back and the shifts, and

I'm they're going, that's bad editing.

That's bad shooting.

That's not the actors' fault.

The actors came across as looking
ridiculous because they weren't looked

after by their director and editor.

Kevin: Yes.

I will agree with all of that and go
further and say that a story of doctors

stuck behind enemy lines being resolved
by let's pump ourselves full of bloodlust

juice and punch all the Klingons, that
is not the kind of story that I think

Star Trek is setting out to tell.

It feels to me like a lazy, let's put
some action on the screen, proposal

that that I wish they had taken a
second crack at that part of the script.

Rob: Look, both actors are incredibly
talented in, in as actors, but it

takes a certain skill and it's just
not something you can throw yourself

into to do fight choreography, stunt
choreography and stuff like that.

They did let down their actors
here just to, haven't they ever

thought heard of a Jefferies tube?

That's done.

It's been done over 50 years as a
way of getting out multiple times.

They're on a false Federation ship.

Go up a Jefferies tube, guys,
and you don't even need to

go on slow motion for that.

Kevin: Yeah, there was the slow motion.

There was the moment that they lifted
up the floor of the corridor in

order to jump down to the deck below.

And the camera, for some reason
flipped upside down so that they

jumped up through the frame and then
it flipped upside down again, so they

landed feet down on the floor below.

And the flipping, I was like,
oh, are they like going into a

floor that has reverse gravity?

What is the camera trying to tell us here?

And then they landed on, one
floor down with the same gravity.

And I was like, oh, the camera's
not trying to tell us anything.

They just are trying to make it
exciting by flipping the camera around.

Rob: There were a lot of moments
of definitely style over substance.

And that was a moment that I stood
out and I went, you are just trying

to do something that looks cool as
opposed to the things have been done

before in, other genre shows where
they use camera trickery, or camera

things like that to, like you said,
tell a story and give a justification.

But this was just put into look
cute and to look impressive.

And it didn't justify anything.

There was a moment later on when the
Enterprise was attacking the fake

Federation ship and just how the
camera moved for the Enterprise to

be upside down, that type beautiful
change of gravity perspective stuff

is great and lovely and perfect.

I'm going do more of that.

As opposed to that was just really
stood out for me as a director trying

to show themselves to be clever
and not really servicing the plot.

So yeah, I saw that as well.

Kevin: Yeah, lots of highs
and lows this episode.

And in general I thought the
action beats left me cold.

They did not quite work as
well as they were intended.

A lot of the character beats
worked really well though.

And, once M'Benga and Chapel got
cornered in that airlock and made

the decision to jump out into space
and they were like, we've gotten

out of situations worse than this.

And she goes, no, not really.

And I was like, then
I was there with them.

I was there with those characters and
it felt like they were sharing a moment.

Rob: And the drama of Spock.

Oh my God.

Kevin: Spock at the end,
cheersing the blood wine, Yarr!

like a Klingon was hilarious.

All of that stuff worked.

Rob: And it wasn't robotic and it wasn't
like emotionless and stuff like that.

M'Benga said it, and it's been
said before, Vulcans feel emotions

more than humans, and they use
these techniques to suppress it.

That's why the Romulans don't, because
Romulans are the twin, race of them.

But you can see the emotion is there, but
he's just it's controlled in the surface.

I went That's, yeah, that's another tip of
the hat, when Nimoy would go, well done.

It was this beautiful Rawww!

Yes, indeed.

I will have more wine.


Blood wine.

Kevin: What are the things that you
thought Kev's not gonna like those?

Rob: Oh, it was the one that they
talked about in the trailer of, Spock

saying, I would like the ship to go now.

And they, but there's, it was just built
in the trailer, but there's a whole thing

around it and I'm there going, okay,
this is becoming far too self-aware.

Kevin: Yeah.

Yeah, it it's ridiculous.

Rob: It was almost a scene that
you'd expect to see in Lower Decks,

and that would be appropriate.

Boimler and Mariner talking about that
type of stuff and Mariner with the

sleeves rolled up going, mine will
be, guns-guns-guns, pew-pew-pew!,

But that, it came across as there
was Star Trek nerds talking about it,

but they were trying to do it as they
were Starfleet nerds talking about it.

And so that was, for me, that was
the swagger of a 1950s, quarterback

going, we can do this, man.

We're the flagship show.

We can be, we can steal from
everything and we can do all this.

And I went don't, that's great
kid, but don't get cocky.

Kevin: Yeah, all of that is true.

And also we have seen this beat in three
successive seasons of Star Trek, like

every show in every season at some point
now has someone new sit in a captain's

chair and then we have the scene
where it's are you gonna say a thing?

And it's done.

It's done.

It's like it's past funny.

It's past not funny.

Rob: Three, three types
of shows are doing it now.

And now it's a thing, and
it never was a thing, but

Kevin: It never worked.

It didn't even work the first

Rob: No, it was cool.

When you didn't mention it, it
was cool when you, and we just

go, yeah, that's really cool.

And now they're making it a thing
and it's going, it really is they are

becoming quintessential Star Trek nerds
going, oh no, you just by bringing

it up, you don't really know what
cool is and you're making it worse.

But but yeah, I've been singing his
praises, but the, getting back to that,

those character beats, you're like talking
about where they're really good at, like

the, the pressure and the tension and
decisions he had to make as a captain

of they're waiting, and he's there
going, I need to fire these torpedoes.

Be, but, and the fear
and the tears and the,

Kevin: And Chapel's on that ship.

Rob: Yeah.

And that moment when he comes and
he's there going, I waited for you.

And you're there going, and at
the end where he is there going,

I can't desc, I don't know how to
describe how I'm feeling right now.

You're there going this is it.

This is good.


Kevin: I love the swings they're taking
because they could be playing it so safe.

The fact that we know where these
characters end up later could

be prompting such conservative,
careful, let's not disturb the canon

storytelling, but instead they're
taking giant swings that are painting

those future events in new lights.

But yeah, do it take those big risks cuz
uh, as a as an opposite example that I'm

going to bring up in a moment proves,
safe star Trek is not good Star Trek.

One detail I did notice was they mentioned
the rogue ship was a Crossfield class

ship, which is the class of Discovery.

Rob: Yes, it did look
a little bit Discovery.

Kevin: The saucer was
definitely a Discovery saucer.

The back end was a
completely different thing.

It had Enterprise style engines, slung
low with a triangle, secondary hull,

well not triangle, but more of a, like
a V-shaped secondary hull vertically.

So the back end looks completely
different from Discovery, which we're

told is also a Crossfield class.

So either there are several ways we
can justify this for ourselves, and I

haven't decided which one I believe yet.

We could say.

Discovery's backend was modified
for the Spore Drive that it was

a modified Crossfield class.

And the only other Crossfield class
we've seen was the Glenn, which

is a ship that kind of twisted
itself inside out experimentally

in the second episode of Discovery.

And that they were also doing
spore drive research on that ship.

So the two spore drive Crossfields
had the big giant backend.

Maybe that's it.

The other thing we could say is
this was assembled from parts.

When they scanned it, the
computer went Crossfield?

It's got a Crossfield saucer,
dunno what the rest is.

We'll call it Crossfield.

So maybe it was a Frankenstein Crossfield.

Rob: What I was thinking as well.


Kevin: So yes.

I would sum it up as an
episode of highs and lows.

There are things that I loved as
much as anything else we've gotten

in Strange New Worlds so far.

But overall, I kinda I stood up
at the end of that episode and

went that was a bit disappointing.

Um, and I think it was just because all
the pieces didn't quite come together into

a satisfying way, or that prolonged action
sequence at the middle of the episode.

Everything that was connected
to that suffered as a result.

The core, the glue that stuck all the
nice pieces together was not to my taste.

Rob: For me, I could, yeah,
I think the whole was greater

than the sum of its parts.

And I was happy to have it back.

It was I enjoyed having focus on our
ensemble and the confidence they're

having and that family coming back,
and uh, looking forward to next week.

Kevin: We were gifted that focus
by Anson Mount stepping out of

the spotlight for one episode.

And that is the theme we
chose for our delve into Star

Trek history, this episode.

We are going to explore other times
the captain has stepped away and

made room for other characters.

And I don't know about you,
Rob, but I had a real hard time

finding other examples of that.

Rob: Look, today has been a day, normally
we have ourselves about a week to

find topics and stuff, and I am a chin
deep in the end of my term at school.

So we are doing reports at the moment.

Kevin: Oh, no.

I'm sorry to do this to

Rob: Oh no, not at all.

Are you kidding me?

I was looking forward to getting
home Friday evening and watching

Star Trek to just send off the week.

But today has been a day of rewatching
Strange New Worlds episode one,

hunting desperately to find episodes
that relate to the topic that,

that Francine here came up with.

And and finish and
finishing off my reports.

So I have found my equivalent of it.

Kevin: Look, I'm kind of happy with
what I came up with, and as we've

established before, there are no rules.

Pick an episode of Star Trek
and tell me why you love it.

That's what I'm here for.

So I'm gonna go first with the
original series season three,

episode nine, the Tholian Web.

as we know, season three of the
original series is uh, it, it, it is

a, it is a rough ride, put it that way.

But here in episode nine,
for me is a bright spot.

Much like this week's episode of
Strange New Worlds, there are things

about it that don't quite work.

It's a little rough around the edges, but
the Tholian Web is an excellent episode.

It's a classic episode of Star
Trek because it is one of, if not

the only time where Kirk, William
Shatner steps out of the limelight.

And we get to see what his crew and
what specifically Spock and Bones

have as a relationship without him.

Because so much is made of that
triangle that like the three

of them work so well together.

That that bones is the heart,
Spock is the brain, and and Kirk is

Rob: is the groin.

Kevin: The groin, absolutely.

Whatever metaphor you prefer, that the
three of them, like they support each

other's strengths and flaws perfectly.

And when you take one of
those away, what is left?

And what is left in the thon web is
that very dysfunctional relationship.

So at the start of Tholian Web,
there's a transporter accident.

Kirk is presumed lost.

Spock does some science and goes,
here's how we can get him back.

The science fails, and then Spock
is convinced that Kirk is lost.

And so they hold a memorial service
where Spock gets up in front of the

crew and he does a typically Spock
job of memorializing a crew member.

He basically says, look, I can't
tell you what he meant to you.

You all need to figure
that out for yourselves.

Let's bow our heads in silence.

That's pretty much it.

Rob: Thanks, Spock.

I would like you to mourn now.

Kevin: Um, pretty much the moment Kirk
disappears, Bones seems suspicious, and

he outright accuses Spocks on several
occasions, once on the bridge in front

of the bridge crew of relishing this
opportunity to rise to the captaincy

off the back of his friend's death.

And Bones is plotting Spock's
downfall because he thinks Spock

does not deserve the captain's chair.

And they, this is the ugliest, I
think in the entire series that

the two of them get to each other.

And Spock does a marvelous job of
just like water off a duck's back.

But he is this the kind of stone face
that you know it's hurting him inside.

Rob: Yeah.

Kevin: And then there is a beautiful
scene where they go to Kirk's

quarters to watch the final message,
the like, in the event of my death,

open this envelope sort of message.

And they watch it.

And Kirk basically says, look
Spock, you're in command now.

You're gonna have to
make some tough calls.

I've always believed that part of being
a captain is operating from instinct.

And if you can't find that in
yourself, go and look to Bones.

I've found him a great source of
counsel, and he can be that for you

when you can't be that for yourself.

And Bones, Spock is captain now.

You need to respect that.

You need to do what he says.

But also realize that even Spock is
capable of human error, human weakness.

Not even Spock is immune to that.

And you need to support
him when he needs it.

And they both look at each other
and go, I'm so sorry, and apologize

to each other, and mourn, Kirk's
passing in their own moments.

Eventually, of course, they rescue Kirk.

And then Kirk says, in the final
moments on the bridge before the end

of the episode, Kirk's like, so, um,
I hope my final orders were helpful.

And they both look at each
other and go, what final orders?

Oh, sorry.

So much was going on.

We didn't have time to watch them.

And they pretend not to have seen them.

And Kirk's like, oh, I put
a lot of work into that.

Oh well.

And that's the move to the credits.

But yeah, a lovely
episode, The Tholian Web.

Rob: That's a good one.

That's a, that's, yeah.

Pretty much captain's away
because he'd be almost dead.


For me, mining my my beautiful version
of Star Trek Deep Space Nine, which

is become my wont to do, I found out
that, of course Avery Brooks did every

single episode of Deep Space Nine.

Kevin: Of course he did.

I was on Google going, what
episodes did Patrick Stewart direct?

Because he's probably not in those a lot.

Rob: And even the one that like
Avery Brooks directed, like

he took the lead in as well.

So you're

Kevin: Of course he did.

Rob: he did.

Of course he did.

So I had to look at what type
of episodes could be considered

that, Sisko light episode.

And I've tried searching that and.

And Google let me down.

I knew what I could rely on cuz
I'm a Deep Space Nine fan, so, they

always were good value and they
would be a Sisko light episode.

A lot of fans took a while to like them.

Not many fans liked them within
the franchise, but I loved them.

So I looked at the Ferengi episodes.

Kevin: Yeah.

Rob: Classic episodes where you knew
that Sisko would be in the background.

He'd probably pop in at the start for
a little, or he'd be there as the,

with a sage bit of advice at the end.

So I'll look at a little bit Family
Business, which is season three, episode

23, directed by Rene Auberjonois written
by Ira Steven Behr and Robert Wolfe.

And so that's the first time they
actually go to Ferenginar and

that's where you find out the deeply
misogynistic, capitalistic culture

that is Ferenginar to the extent of it.

Kevin: Is this the one
where we meet Moogie?

Rob: This is where we meet
Moogie for the first time.

And Moogie is a wonderful
creation, a beautiful, beautiful

performance by Andrea Martin.

It's just, yeah.

And she stays with the show then on.

And so how she defines Quark
and Rom is a great episode.

And we get deeper knowledge
of the Ferengi culture.

That's what I love about Deep Space Nine
is they took that time to, as opposed to

going from planet to planet, we found out
we could constantly go back to Ferenginar.

We could constantly go to Bajor to
Cardassia and find out more about

these cultures as opposed to just, what
special bumps we have on the eyebrows

and the bridge of the nose this week.

Kevin: Yeah, it's like these characters
in a pressure cooker on a space station,

make them bump into each other in
every which way that you can imagine.

Then when you need a little more
grist for that mill, send them

back to their home worlds, get a
a top up of what makes them them,

Rob: Exactly.

Kevin: them back.

Rob: So that's a beautiful,
setup that you have.

It makes it difficult to find a
"captain's away" episode because

Sisko's always at damn ship.

So it's a great episode to, to get
introduced to that deeper knowledge of of

Quark's backstory and an introduction of
Moogie who is just a wonderful character.

And then where Rom starts
becoming a regular character.

And as a side note in the B
story with Sisko, Kasidy Yates

appears for the first time played
by the brilliant Penny Johnson.

But the other episode that I'll sorta
like refer to in this block is a much more

well regarded episode from season four,
episode eight, Little Green Men, which

we've touched on a little bit before.

And that's just an iconic
episode, time travel as well.

Kevin: Yes.

A little remembered time travel episode.

Rob: And it's a, another captain away.

You get Sisko a little bit at the end,
but it's Rom and Quark are taking Nog

to Earth cuz he's joining up with the
Federation, the first Ferengi to do so.

Um, they get wibbly wobbly,
timey-wimey stuff and they get sent

back to Roswell, 1949 and they're the
justification of the alien invasion.

And of course Odo stows away with
them and it gets caught up in it

and Quark arrested at the end.

So it, this is a out and out classic.

This is one of the better remembered
episodes and one of the highly

regarded episodes of Deep Space Nine.

And is always up there with some of the
best episodes of Star Trek television.

Directed by James Conway and story
by Toni Marberry and Jack Treviño.

So those are two episodes that's kinda
like, just wanted to mention and drop

and just how great they are showing the
Ferengi culture and different situations.

One more of a family drama.

The other one, the Ferengi
comedy elements brought in this

iconic time travel episode.

Kevin: Yeah I love how both of those are
great examples of Without our normal cast

members around, particularly the captain,
what does a character like Quark become?

Like, what face is Quark putting on at all
times because Sisko's got his eye on him?

That when you take that away
in one situation or another,

what does Quark become?

So yeah great adventures
to go on with him there.

I'm gonna go back and watch the Little
Green Men, cuz I, I literally remember

almost nothing except, military
uniforms and it was in Roswell, New

Mexico, and so I've gotta re-watch that

Rob: It's a really good one.

It's a really fun one.

And Armin Shimmerman is one of the
greatest gifts in Deep Space Nine.

And him working off Rene
Auberjonois is great.

Yeah, just that.

Expanding on the characters
that we have, expanding on

how they deal with situations.

And this is like the birth of the
almost anti-hero within Star Trek.

These are Ferengi who are seen as, gonna
be the major threat before the Borg

were introduced into Next Generation.

And how, from a race of beings who
come from such a misogynistic, such

a capitalistic culture, how can we
actually learn to, empathize with these

characters and how can they evolve
being a part of our culture as well?

Kevin: It's a great magic trick when
you can take like an objectively

unlikable character trait and put it on
a character that we've learned to love.

And then, that's a
challenge to the audience.

Rob: So yeah.

Kevin: My second episode is
I went looking for a TNG.

I looked real hard for a time that
Captain Picard left the Enterprise

and people were left behind.

And I mean, we've already talked about
Chain of Command fairly extensively

when they're sent away on that mission.

But we also go with Picard in
that episode, and that's what's

happened again and again is when
Picard leaves the Enterprise.

We tend to go with Picard
rather than stay behind.

There's uh Captain's Holiday where he
goes to Risa, but we spend the bulk of

that episode on Risa with Captain Picard.

Not really any great examples there for
TNG, but that did send me to Risa, where I

found an episode of Star Trek Enterprise.

And I think I am going to make a
note to myself for future episodes of

Subspace Radio is that if we're gonna
talk about Enterprise, we should talk

about it in canonical order, before TOS.

Because inevitably the Enterprise
episodes, they're not that great.

There are some good Enterprise episodes.

I struggle to think of any great
Enterprise episodes with all apologies

and respect to the people who
worked really hard on that series.

Rob: Gotta be, there's got, like this
is what the internet was born for.

Kevin: Best Three Enterprise

Rob: Yeah, nerd nerds making lists
of what the best episodes are.

There's gotta be a list out there
on Den of Geek or somewhere that

says, these are the best the, if
you're gonna watch any Enterprise

episode, these are the ones to watch.

So that's what I can watch.

Kevin: This is not one of them.

And it is uh, Star Trek Enterprise
season one, episode 25, Two Days and

Two Nights, in which the Enterprise
visits Risa for the first time.

And the crew draws lots to see who will
be allowed to go down to Risa for for

shore leave, and who gets to stay behind.

And Captain Archer goes down to Risa,
and because he is a stick in the mud,

he gets a private hotel suite and
decides to lay in the sun and read

a book with his dog for his holiday.

But what that means is that everyone
else goes off and has fun without him.

And so it is kind of a, when the
Captain's away part because the

other people partying on Risa
don't have a captain around, so

they get to let it all hang out.

Rob: Woohoo.

Kevin: There are a few people left
behind on the ship, notably T'Pol,

our Vulcan first officer, and Dr.

Phlox, who decides to take the occasion
to go into one of his long hibernations

where he mostly doesn't sleep, except
when he does, he sleeps a real lot.

So he decides to sleep for two full days.

And so he takes an injection
and says, don't wake me up

unless there's an emergency.

And of course, there's an emergency.

Rob: Wah-wah.

Kevin: Which leads to, I
will call it a clown routine.

The scene where T'Pol and Ensign
Cutler have to wake up Phlox from his

torpor in order to treat a suffocating
Travis Mayweather in, in sick bay,

who fell off of a rock wall climbing.

This scene where they wake him up and he's
just sleep drunk and talking nonsense.

The funniest line is I don't care what
it tastes like, he's just lying in bed

with his eyes closed, sh shouting that.

This gives me an excuse to reference a
YouTube channel that I highly recommend

called Ryan's Edits, where he does this
series of videos called Star Trek Intakes.

And this guy has managed to
source from little birdies inside

Paramount unreleased bloopers from
all the various Star Trek series.

And he edits them back
into the original scenes.

He matches like the color grading,
he matches the sound and it, and

then he allows the scene to play
out with the blooper in it, as if

that was what the character did.

I will not explain it further for fear
of ruining the joke, but there a couple

of weeks ago, there was a excellent
intake posted of this very scene of

waking up Phlox from his hibernation
where none of the other cast members

could keep a straight face as he
was shouting nonsense from his bed.

So go and watch that instead
of watching this episode.

Rob: He's a wonderful actor.

John Billingsley, he's great.

I'm watch, currently watching at
the moment The Man From Earth, which

is a infamous bottle episode type
of movie and Billingsley's in it.

And he's great.

He's such a wonderful actor.

I love seeing those
heavily made up actors.

He has stretched their stretch, their
acting chops without the makeup on.

Kevin: It's a high point of this episode
that otherwise is fairly forgettable

because of the same reasons that I find
Enterprise in general fairly forgettable.

This was Star Trek playing its safest.

Going back to what I was saying here about
Strange New Worlds about even when it's

not working, it's not working because
they took a big swing and every once in a

while one of those risks doesn't pay off.

But here in the early two thousands, Star
Trek was, I feel like playing it safe.

They were at the end of 10 years of
Star Trek on TV continuously, and they

were afraid to break the franchise.

And this is, I think what ultimately
sunk Enterprise as a series and had

it not get its full seven seasons
is they, like they were painted

into a corner in every respect.

They were doing a prequel so that
they couldn't break any of the cannon.

And it was, it was network television,
prime time, so they couldn't do anything

risky with characters or story for
fear of upsetting the advertisers.

This episode is an example of that.

You send these characters off to
Risa, and, ostensibly they get

themselves into trouble, but the
trouble they get themselves into is

such a watered down vanilla variety.

Tucker and Reed go into a bar as tourists
and they're like, we hear this is where

all the sexy ladies in, in Risa hang
out, so we'll just sit at this table

and wait for someone to proposition us.

And sure enough two sexy ladies show up
and say, Ooh we'd love to show you the

secret gardens of Risa, and they allow
themselves to be led into a basement where

they get mugged for their communicators,
or whatever, and wake up the next morning

in their underwear and have to shamefully
scurry out to, to find a communication

station to get back to the ship.

That's the kind of trouble they
get themselves into this episode.

Rob: Yeah, we talked about it before, like
with Voyager was trying to do this brave

new thing about taking it outside of their
comfort zone, into the Delta quadrant.

And like we talked about, there's this
whole arc that they could establish

and create about limited resources,
limited crew members and stuff like that.

But they fall back on the old routine.

And I'm not sure if it's a reaction
to, because Deep Space Nine didn't

really, even though it went for
its seven seasons, didn't hit

that same mark as next generation.

Because at that time, in the late
nineties doing such big arc season work

was revolutionary and is now embraced
by, streamers and television viewers.

But it was a bit too
avant-garde back in that time.

So maybe the lessons they learned were
wrong and they went let's play it safe.

And cuz Enterprise could
have been so interesting.

They didn't have the universal translator.

There's only limited space
and all this type of stuff.

But like you said, they went we'll
give the impression that it's big

and new, but we'll just play it safe.

The only daring thing they do is what
they do with the opening credits.

And if that's a risk,
it's not worth taking.

Kevin: Yeah.

It's so easy to say in hindsight, but
I think you're right that the response

to, oh, we don't have as many viewers
as we used to, is let's be more cautious

instead of let's be take bigger risks.

Rob: Let's try and be more like what
those shows were, the show was, that

got us this success in the first place
and fundamentally take away from what is

unique about that actual specific spinoff.

And it's not even writing
it like Next Generation.

They're just doing these safe generic
type of story plot lines that you

could see in any show, any procedural
show, any cop show, any drama show

that doesn't stand out as anything
unique, which is such a shame.


My final episode, like you
were talking about, is how our

characters cope without that safety
blanket of, a Picard or a Sisko.

And we're going to one of Bashir's
finest moments and one of the most really

deeply depressing, powerful episodes.

We're going season four, episode 23,
The Quickening, where Bashir, Dax

and Kira sent on a mission and they
arrive on a plague-ridden planet in

the Gamma Quadrant where the Jem'Hadar
have punished the residents of that

planet for defying and not joining the
Dominion by poisoning the entire planet.

And it's lethal.

It slowly it appears in like spider
like lesions on your body, and

when it is inflamed and takes you
over, that's called the quickening.

And there's no cure.

And and you die slowly and horribly.

And Bashir is there trying to find a cure.

Everyone else leaves, but he stays.

And he makes a connection with a young
pregnant woman who is inflicted by it.

And she sadly dies, but
he helps the child live.

And with the medicine that he's
trying inside in the pregnant

woman, the baby is, has the cure.

So the baby is not
affected by the quickening.

So what that means is they can,
in, they can give this vaccine to

the mothers who will die, but their
children will live and the next

generation will not have this disease.

And he comes back at the end and he's,
given all this praise and stuff, and

Sisko's there as the guiding figure
to go, you've done an incredible job,

what you've done for this people.

And just the loss and the, what
was lost to get some sort of hope.

And what that means as a doctor
for Bashir is a powerful episode.

It's directed by Rene Auberjonois.

So knocking out of the park again,
and that's that almost safety blanket

of having Sisko around is gone in
this, and Bashir really steps up

and it's incredible performance.

Kevin: Remember this
one being gut wrenching.

I, it was 20 something years ago
now, but I remember the first time

I watched this episode on the day it
aired and getting to the end of it

and going that wasn't a happy ending.

It was that twist the knife happy ending.

Bashir saved the day, but
we're all left devastated

Rob: It's, so I, yeah, I remember
watching it for the first time and

like when I've gone back to rewatch it
in my watch of the whole season, it's

one you just go, oh, can I skip ahead?

And you can't.

It's riveting and it, everyone
is firing on all cylinders.

And despite the fact it's 1996
budget television with, filmed out

on location in somewhere in Southern
California or whatever, but the

script knocks it outta the park, the
direction's knocked outta the park.

The actors are in fine
form and it just brings it.

Kevin: This is what I wanna see when
our doctors are stuck in a situation.

This is the kind of story I wanna see.

Not let's punch all the Klingons.

Rob: I think, the raid Daredevil have
a lot to answer for where they've

created this whole new technique of the
one shot or the corridor fight scene

that has been brought into so many TV.

And that's what they were
trying to do in this, I think.

But it was shot by it looks like
someone who's never done a choreographed

fight scene on film before.

If they have I'd, I'm, I'd take that
back, but it looked very amateur.

But yeah.

So that was my, yeah.

I'm ending on a very sour note
and a very sad note, but it's

Kevin: N no, but I dare say it
might be the best episode of Star

Trek we've talked about today.

Rob: Pretty much.


Yeah, quite easily.

It's a powerful episode.

Make sure you've got a, maybe
watch a Little Green Men after it.

Kevin: All right.

Well, I can't wait to see where
Pike has gone and who this amazing

lawyer is, he's gonna bring back
to save number one, is next week.

Rob: Look, Star Trek is back on TV
and we get to talk about it again.

It's been far too long and I look forward
to getting back into it next week.

Kevin: See you around.

Rob: See you around the galaxy.

Episode 31: When the Captain's Away (SNW 2×01 The Broken Circle)
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