Episode 47: Cave episodes (LD 4×08 Caves)

Kevin: Hello and welcome back to Subspace
Radio, it's your old friend Kevin.

Rob: And your old buddy bud, Rob.

Kevin: Rob, you're not a
green ooze in a cave, are you?

Rob: Look, I'm not a green ooze, but I
do like to put you through a trial of how

you represent yourself as a human being
and whether you have a good moral compass

or not for me to do a podcast with.

So far, you've succeeded!

Kevin: Okay, I'm trying to understand if
that's a specific Star Trek reference,

or just a general reference to all
of the moral tests of humanity that

exist throughout all of Star Trek.

Rob: You have passed that
test, so now let's sit down

and eat giant bugs together.

Kevin: Oh, yes.

One of the many things you can do when
you're stuck in a cave, as our crew on the

Cerritos is in Lower Decks episode eight
of season four, entitled simply, Caves.

Rob: Yes, after the Tantalizing story
arc reveal last week, they threw a well

used shifty on us like most genre shows
do and they gave us a, and I do this

in inverted commas, bottle episode.

Kevin: Yeah, completely standalone,
and and I loved it for it.

I needed a dose of just plain,
uncut, light entertainment.

Rob: Not only was it a cave episode, but
it was also a flashback episode where

we got little vignettes from each of our
main characters who went on a, a joint

mission, which we haven't had for a while.

I know they all four went to
Ferenginar, but they all went off

on their separate ways really.

But this is our first time where we
had all four back on a mission, which

we haven't had for quite some time.

And this spurred them on to think back to
other adventures in caves from the past.

Kevin: It had that feeling.

I think they had a couple of like lead
ups to I'm gonna tell a story now, and

then I'm like, oh, no, is it actually
a clip episode in an animated series?

Don't do that to us.

But sure enough they had several original
tales for us and it was good fun.

I really enjoyed it.

Rob: Yeah, we went from bringing back
obscure shape shifting creatures from the

animated series and conspiracy theories
to Rutherford getting pregnant and going

off on an adventure with T'Ana, who was

Kevin: that itself is an increasingly
recurring motif of a male crew member

getting impregnated by an alien.

Rob: Yep.

If it works for Red
Dwarf, it can work here.

And Tendi wanting to always tell her
adventures, but it was never in a cave.

It was in a turbo lift.

Kevin: Yeah and stuck in a Turbolift
is something that's happened a

few times in Star Trek as well.

So yeah, the caves and
more this episode had.

I don't know about you Rob,
my favorite one of these

vignettes was the one with Dr.


I've said recently how I'm a big fan of
that cranky cat doctor and getting to

see her be a bit real and emotionally
affected and changed and almost start to

fall in love with our pal Rutherford here.

That felt real interesting.

I really liked that.

When she was wistfully making her
way off into the corridor for the,

for the umpteenth time in search of
their escape, it was really affecting.

I loved that colour on this character.

Rob: Definitely.

Kevin: And unlike other recent episodes
in this season, it did play with the

bridge crew here, or the command crew,
but it kept them connected to the

characters that are our core, and so it
felt emotionally linked to what I care

about in this series and not a side story.

Rob: Yeah, especially with T'Ana
because she's been a bit of a

appear and gag type of character.

So, like, revealing that they used
to hunt Betazoids and all that type

of stuff, and the kinks that she has.

But to have this as, she goes beyond that.

And we've had elements of that
in the past, but not for a while.

To get back to going, yeah, T'Ana
is a well rounded character.

There's a lot of levels there,
a lot of layers there, and,

shows that we want to see more.

She's not just a, a
doctor with a cat's head.

Kevin: Mmm.

What was your favorite of the vignettes?

Rob: I think I got the most out of
Mariner with Delta Shift because

it revealed a little bit more
about the structure of a starship.

And the priorities or the,
who is seen and who isn't.

Really nice.

That whole case of you guys
can do whatever you want and

we have to clean up your mess.

Or, we've only had one or two run
ins with the captain because, we're

up when everybody else is asleep.

Kevin: That one I liked
because it was the funniest.

I laughed a lot at them getting old and
breaking their leg and leaving the leg

behind and all of that stuff was hilarious
to me, so it was high entertainment value

for me, but I see what you mean as well.

Rob: Um, I think I chuckled the most
with Rutherford's baby adventures.

And I did have a good heart swelling
moment that, you know, Tendi, of course

Tendi, the memory she holds dearest
is the time when we flash back to,

Kevin: The very first episode of
the series, or like a coda to the

very first episode of the series.

Rob: To Second Contact, where
they just got to know each other.

Trapped in an elevator, they had
to, have a wee corner, as we would

say in Australia, and sit and
chat and get to know each other.

So that good range of variety and
spending some time with our characters

that we haven't had for a while.

Kevin: Yeah.

Anything else you want to cover here?

I'm keen to get into our past episodes
because there's a lot to talk about.

Rob: Yeah.

Let's get it, let's get into it.

Let's do this.

Kevin: Okay.

I am going to presume to start with a
Original Series episode, if you will.

Rob: Start with it.

Start with it.

Go with it.

You can presume correctly.

Kevin: The uh, first prominent
Cave episode that I can think

of is the Original Series
season one episode twenty six.

Remember when we had twenty six
episodes in a Star Trek season, Rob?

Rob: Remember when we had 26
episodes of any TV series?

Kevin: And it was this good.

The Devil in the Dark, the the Horta,
No Kill I, the big kind of carpet

creature that is eating miners alive

Rob: Miners or minors?

Kevin: Miners, of course!

Rob: He he heh hah!

Kevin: And Spock has to calm it and
communicate with this non humanoid silicon

based creature by mind melding with it.

The miners broke into a new cavern on
their mineral rich planet and found

it full of suspiciously round silicon
nodules that turned out to be the eggs

of this last surviving mother of the new
generation of this race and they were

breaking the eggs and so the mother had
to fight back no one understood it until

Spock came along and acted as translator.

This episode is 90
percent set in cave sets.

And when you watch it in modern
HD, a few things become clear.

One, it is all the same cave set,
just shot from different angles with

different lighting, and different
props strewn about the floor.

All the same props, just in
different configurations.

Rob: As Mariner said in this
week's episode, the, all

these caves look the same.

Kevin: Ah, my biggest laugh was Rutherford
commenting on, Oh, I love a good cave.

The flat floors, the funny smell.

The flat floors really got
that is a direct reference to

The Devil in the Dark here.

All of these cave sets are very obviously
built on a completely flat studio floor.


I think all of us Star Trek fans
watched that episode and mentally went,

Okay, so when Starfleet digs caves,
it makes sure the floors are flat.

That is part of the high technology
on display is that we can flatten the

floors of all the caves that we work in.

Rob: It's the future for a reason, Okay?

We're not in the past,
we're not primitives.

We are in the, we are in the,
the white palace on the Hill.

We are in a utopian future, where all
cave floors are perfectly smooth and flat.

Kevin: I forgive the Star Trek fans
come lately who complain about the flat

floors because apparently that bothered
Gene Roddenberry at the time as well.

I found that in my behind the scenes
information about that episode is

that when he watched the dailies of
that episode, he was like, someone

fire the production designer because
all those floors stupidly flat.

Some great.

Just a well made episode here,
very tense, lots of Kirk, Spock.

When they split up and Kirk's life
is in danger, Spock gets borderline

emotional, calls him Jim, and starts
running down the corridor until Kirk

reassures him that it's okay, it's like
really good early Kirk, Spock stuff.

Lots of great smash cuts as well of
like it cuts from the middle of one

conversation to a completely different
time and place in another conversation

and you don't realize that we have
changed scenes until we cut to a wide

and find ourselves in a different place.

Really modern editing
in this episode, here.

I don't know if that was in the writing,
if that was in the script, or is that

something that the director or editor
introduced in the process, but yeah,

really well put together episode and
it shows the power of a good cave set,

because unless you're looking for it
to realize that it is one small room

shot from many angles with different
lighting states, it feels like a

massive complex of underground caverns.

It's really good.

Rob: Awesome, awesome,
I have to check it out.

Kevin: I think that's the implication
that a cave set can be reused and

re shot in many different ways.

And so you get a lot of bang
for your buck from a cave set.

It can make a low budget
episode feel high budget.

And there bit of that in Lower Decks,
where if you're paying attention to that

Caves episode, They use a lot of the
same cave drawings, just with different

lights or different colors over them.

There's lots of moments of our Cerritos
crew kind of walking past the same two

stalagmites that are in the same exact
configuration, but they are meant to

be in a completely different story
on a completely different planet.

That's the homage, that's
part of the homage here.

And, and that budget saving measure is
on full display in The Devil in the Dark.

Rob: It's definitely the Star Trek
equivalent of going on location

but staying in the studio.

So giving the feel that we are...

somewhere else, but not needing to go
through that financial, strain and,

logistical nightmare of going out
on location, or, the only locations

available are California roughland,
and we can only make that look like

somewhere alien only so few times.

But yeah, it's a great way to
give that sense of we're off

the ship, we're off world,

Kevin: Mmm, kinda, kinda.

Rob: Kinda, yeah.

Kevin: What's your first episode, Rob?

Rob: I've leaned heavily
into it this week.

I've gone straight to Deep Space

Kevin: Of course, yes.

There's a lot caves in Deep Space Nine.

Rob: Lots and lots of caves.

So I'm going to do two.

One where you think the cave will
be the main focus, but it's actually

the B plot that is the A plot.

Uh, and the next one, it's
just all about the caves.

Let's start off with Star Trek
Deep Space Nine, Season 3,

Episode 14, Heart of Stone.

Kevin: We have a match.

Rob: Hey!

Kevin: That's on my list as well.

Rob: Awesome.

Now this is the one where the
actual cave plot is not the

strongest part of this story.

The strongest part of this story is the B
plot, which I'd really say is the A plot.

Kevin: I absolutely agree.

It was obviously written that the A
plot is Odo and Kira in that cave.

But Nog's story with Sisko is so good!

Rob: Especially where Nog's story
went, going back and watching it again,

you're going, this is the A plot.

You know what's going to happen with Kira
and Odo, and that's an old trope, but

this is, no discredit to Nana or René
Auberjonois, they are in top form here.

René especially is amazing,
but Aaron is so good as Nog.

And Max is there in such a small
capacity as Rom before his role is

expanded as well, but he steals it.

He's just such a loss, such a wonderful,
talented actor, brilliant actor,

and his Nog is one of the greatest
creations in Star Trek, hands down.

Kevin: Yeah, so that B story for
anyone who's, who's wondering whether

they should go watch this is when
Nog first asked for a recommendation

to go to Starfleet Academy.

He's bribing Sisko with gold pressed
latinum at the start of this episode

and by the end he has won our hearts.

Rob: And always shaking his hand.

Kevin: It catches you by surprise.

I think you watch the start of that
story and go, Ugh, more Ferengi stuff.

And by the end you're crying.

It's so good.

Rob: It's absolutely amazing
stuff, and you just see...

so much of where this character is
gonna go and the potential that he has.

It's a great stuff.

So the main focus though is Kira and
Odo chasing down a Maquis uh, escapee.

They go to a a planet where they've
crash landed or landed, chasing

through the caves and they're
distracted by the fact that...

Kira gets caught in some sort of,
crystal that is growing and evolving

and consuming her entire body.

Kevin: Yeah, yeah, it
catches her by the foot.

And at first she just thinks
her foot is stuck, but gradually

the crystal grows up her leg and
eventually covers her whole body and

is at at real risk of killing her.

Rob: And Odo cannot do
anything to save her.

Kevin: He tries a lot of stuff.

I really enjoy the procedural moments
of this where he goes back to the

runabout and he's chatting with the
computer about, can we try this?

Can we try pattern enhancers?

Can we try getting a
signal to Deep Space Nine?

How about this?

How about that?

I nerd out on when the world of Star
Trek, feels rich and realistic, and the

number of layers of things that he tries
and that fail in this make me buy the

world and the reality of their situation.

Rob: Definitely, there's a key moment in
the episode near the end when it's getting

to the point where Kira is going to die.

There's no way of getting out of it.

And Odo's wracked with all this, these
emotions, and he just lets slip, he lets

slip, and it's one of my favorite moments,
it's one of my favorite things, I just

Kevin: It's so early too!

I did not realize that Odo
was confessing his feelings.

When you say something out
loud, it makes it real.

He made it real for himself
way back here in Season 3.

Rob: yeah, and when he reveals it, the
effect it has on him and you see him like

literally crumble and fall to his knees
with just the sheer weight of it, he's

collapsing under the burden that's been
released, it's such a beautiful moment.

Yeah, and his story about how he got
his name, there's some lovely stuff

there and of course there's the old
bait and switch at the end when it's

not actually who they think it is.

Kevin: We won't spoil it beyond that.

But yeah, it's a good one.

I remember this as the episode where
Odo confesses his feelings in a

Rob: Yeah, hmm.

Kevin: and that's why it was
at the top of my list of cave

episodes of Deep Space Nine.

Rob: Yes, yeah, I remember because I
wanted to watch it because, you know,

Odo is my favorite character and and
his relationship with Kira is one of

the strongest points of Deep Space Nine.

And Nana Visitor is just in one of
the top actors ever to be in the show.

Kevin: She plays some great
texture in this episode.

She goes from like panic to crying to
then back to professional and jokingly

diffusing the situation with laughter.

She plays all of those different colors
and it's really, it's a really textured

performance that could be quite one
note if you looked at the script.

Rob: Definitely, but the real MVP of
this episode is not even in a cave.

Kevin: This is a good example of
being stuck in one room of a cave.

There's a lot of exits to that room,
and you get the sense there is quite a

network of caverns around, but because
Kira's foot is stuck, we spend it all

standing in one place, and I'm not sure
how critical to the story that was.

I think they probably went we want
Kira's life to be under threat, and

we don't want to spend a lot of money.

Wait, I've got a brilliant idea!

Like that, that I feel was the genesis

Rob: heh,

Kevin: for this episode.

Rob: And even though we hadn't talked
about it beforehand thinking back on it,

those floors were not as smooth as uh,

Kevin: No, they uh, they
had upped the ante a bit.

Rob: So you got another episode to
talk about that is let's get into

the deep bowels of these episodes.

Kevin: Yeah, I'm gonna, I'm
gonna go for a Next Gen.

This is TNG Season 4
Episode 9, Final Mission.

This is Wesley's final regular episode
of Star Trek The Next Generation before

he leaves the show and is written out
as he departs for Starfleet Academy.

And this is famously because Will
Wheaton wanted to leave the show

in order to pursue a film career.

And we had previously lost Denise
Crosby as Tasha Yar way back in season

one under similar circumstances.

She had asked to be written
out of the show, asked to be

released from her contract.

And I think you read the behind the scenes
stuff for Final Mission and it is clear

that they were like, We want to do better
for Wesley than we did for Tasha Yar.

This is not going to be a
sudden regrettable death.

Rob: No Skin of Evil.


Kevin: the stuff I've read suggests
it was actually Gene Roddenberry

who came up with the idea that
he could go to Starfleet Academy.

That preserves, it keeps the character
alive, keeps him maybe available

as a guest star if ever he wants
to come back again, as he did.

And it is a happy, positive development
for the character that our audience

will be caring about quite a bit
four seasons into this series.

In this episode, yeah, it starts with
Wesley getting the news in a ambush on

the bridge by Captain Picard that he is
been accepted into Starfleet Academy.

A spot has opened up and Picard
pranks him in giving him the news.

And it's quite funny.

And then Picard says, before you go, I
want you to join me on one final mission.

And they go off in a in a little
freighter with a ornery captain to go

and investigate a tense negotiation
situation, but they never make it there.

This rickety shuttle breaks
down and they crash on a planet.

Now this is quite different from
many cave episodes in that it doesn't

feel like they were trying to save
a lot of money or do a cheap episode

because the crash landing sequence is
quite, quite high in production value.

There's a lot of exploding panels on the
ship and attempts to keep the thing under

control and they're swapping stations.

And yeah they're really
troubleshooting the problem.

They do end up going down and, but
they don't just land in a cave.

They land in a desert and they, come
out the top of the ship and they find

themselves on like a dry riverbed
with mountains in the distance.

They went on location for this
cave episode and shot two days

in a dry riverbed in California.

And it looks hot and there's lots of
you know how in Star Trek VI there's

like those long walking segments
when they're out of the shield and

they're at risk of freezing to death?

This is the desert version of that.

There's lots of long walking stuff where
Picard proves his mettle by being the

most resilient to the heat in the end.

Rob: course, of course.

Kevin: But they do finally make it
into a cave, and this cave looks mighty

familiar, and that's because it is the
Planet Hell set, which is a famous set

during the Star Trek The Next Generation,
and even into Star Trek Voyager years.

On Paramount Stage 16, there was a
standing cavern set that was built for The

Next Generation, used in many episodes.

That's why so many of the caves in
Star Trek The Next Generation look

so similar, because they were all
the same standing set on Stage 16.

And there are several, you know,
appearances of that set in DS9 and Voyager

as well, as that thing was tweaked and
changed and repainted and re sculpted

and it was given a ceiling at one point.

It was like an open kind of
quarry situation originally.

Voyager even did a tribute to it by
calling a particularly unhospitable

planet that Seven of Nine found in Stellar
Cartography, they called it Planet Hell

and talked how terrible it was and that
was a reference to the Stage 16 set.

Rob: Nice.

Kevin: Wesley and and Picard and the
freighter captain make it into this cave

set, which has at its center a fountain
of water protected by a force field,

the origin of which is never explained.

We never found out who made that fountain,
who put that force field around it,

but getting through that force field is
critical to the survival of our heroes

because they are, they crash landed in
a ship with no provisions and they've

just walked for a day in the scorching
hot heat and in their efforts Picard

is injured and on the verge of death.

And this creates the dramatic
kind of like final heart to

hearts between Picard and Wesley.

They say their feelings to each other.

They explain how much
they mean to each other.

Wesley's speech, I'd say is
less effective than Picard's.

And I don't know, I've said recently
that I called another episode like

Wesley's finest episode, because
he was, his acting was so good.

Here, it's a shame in final mission.

Wesley's acting is not
that great, if you ask me.

He just is not selling the emotion.

It feels like his mind is just elsewhere.

But Picard gives him a great speech where
he says, Oh, I envy you, Wesley Crusher.

You're just at the
beginning of the adventure.

And this is as Picard is laying
near death, and he breaks into

tears, and tears stream down his
face about his feelings for Wesley.

You rarely see Picard, especially in the
original series looking this vulnerable,

and it's a really lovely moment.

This conversation they have establishes
the existence of Boothby, the

groundskeeper at Starfleet Academy,
who we see in a later episode of

NextGen and then in Voyager beyond.

Lots of good stuff here.

I would say apart from Will Wheaton's
performance not being the greatest, this

is a really good episode, and a really
fitting send off for the character.

Rob: It's interesting how
they've, obviously because Patrick

Stewart by this stage was...

the lead.

And it's interesting they decide to just
focus on a mission with the two of them.

A two hander, as opposed to
a couple more of the cast to

share their feelings as well.

It really is just, what Wesley
and Picard meant to each other.

Kevin: There's a great I'll use a
term that's familiar to both of us

in improvisation, a status shift.

At the start of this episode,
Picard has high status.

He is leading this mission.

When they crash land, he's the one who
says we're putting an arrow on the ground.

We're heading for the mountains.

We're not going to die here.

The freighter captain is uppity about it.

And Wesley's like, if you want
to get out of this, you're

going to listen to the captain.

He knows what he's talking about.

So Wesley is quite low status.

But when Picard gets injured in the
cave, and it's Wesley's moment to

step up and save them all, you have
that status shift where now Picard is

the one laying on the ground giving
the tearful speech and telling Wesley

he's gonna have to figure it out and
Wesley steps up and saves them all.

So it's a lovely kinda...

dramatic shift there too
throughout this episode.

Rob: Excellent.

Yeah, I've always wondered about that
final episode for Wesley and what it was.

And do you think it, it's it's better
without the other cast there to be a

part of this farewell or it's better
working with just the two of them?

Kevin: Yeah, I, there are a lot of
good episodes of Star Trek where it

takes one or two of our characters
and puts them in a situation together

and I'd say this is a good one.

We had seen Picard and
Wesley in a shuttle before.

There is a previous episode where
Picard has to go to Starfleet Medical

to have his artificial heart upgraded or
replaced or serviced or something like

that and things go awry on that as well.

And it's a, it's an initial bonding point.

It's like when the walls first start
to come down between Picard and Wesley.

So if Wesley's leaving, this is a
very nice bookend in that sense to

see how far they've come by putting
them in a similar situation together.

Rob: Awesome.

Kevin: The cave set works well
here; we're not in it too long.

They shoot it from a couple of angles
that make it look like two different

rooms, and that works for me as well.

There's some nice styrofoam
rocks falling on people, which

is always good as a bonus.

Yeah, I rate this as an
excellent cave episode.

Rob: Lovely.

Kevin: What's your number two?

Rob: I'm going back into Deep Space Nine.

We're jumping ahead to
Season 6, Episode 11.

It is firing on all cylinders.

I'm going to deal with Waltz.

Kevin: Waltz!

I don't remember this one.

Rob: Oh, it is written by Ronald D.

Moore, it's directed by René Auberjonois.

is Sisko and Dukat stranded in a cave
and the interrogation, the interplay, the

dance between the two of them, between
Dukat and Sisko, while the rest of the

Deep Space Nine crew are desperately in
the Defiant, trying to find Sisko before

they have to meet a convoy of unarmed
ships from the Federation that are making

their way out of the Badlands and they'll
be susceptible to Dominion attack, so

Worf is desperately trying to get his
crew to find Sisko, before they have

this deadline to go and save the convoy.

The primary focus is the cave, it
is the best part of the episode, and

it brings out the incredible genius
that is Marc Alaimo as Gul Dukat,

who's been playing this, who played
this role for the entire season.

He'd previously appeared as a Cardassian
in a Next Gen episode, I believe?

Kevin: yeah.

Rob: And his...

Interpretation of Dukat, just
so many layers and depth and

range and levels and nuance.

Kevin: He also played a Romulan
in Star Trek The Next Generation

um, and a a kind of dog alien.

What were they called, the Anticans?

In a very early episode of
TNG called Lonely Among Us.

So, yeah, he has played
a lot of makeup roles.

Rob: But he also appeared out of
makeup in far beyond the Stars,

Kevin: We also got to see him out
of makeup in TNG's Time's Arrow.

The one where they go back in time
and meet Guinan and Mark Twain

also has Marc Alaimo playing a
character called Frederick LaRouque.

Rob: And of course, near the end of
the whole run spoilers ahead, he shows

up very Bajoran as Dukat as well.

Kevin: So this episode, Waltz, I
think it's coming back to me now.

This is the one where Dukat
goes properly cuckoo, right?

Rob: Yeah, it took me a bit to adjust
to because I hadn't been watching

it up until this point, so I just
had to re remember where it is.

So at this point Deep Space
Nine has been taken back.

Dukat has his daughter, who's
part Cardassian, part Bajoran.

She'd been living on
the station for a while.

They tried to develop a
relationship between her and Garak

and that wasn't going to work.

But she'd been looked after by Nerys and
by Sisko and in the final episode she's

shot by Damar while the Federation are
coming back to take Deep Space Nine.

She's killed and so that's
at the end of season five.

So at the start of season six, Dukat's
going through some stuff and this is

where they pretty much go, he's insane.

He's hearing and seeing
people that aren't there.

So he's got Weyoun show up, he's got Kira
showing up, he's got Damar showing up,

he's talking back and forth with them.

Kevin: This is a deft thing.

A lot of these cave episodes, I'm
noticing, including at least one

of the stories we saw in Lower
Decks this week, serve to trap two

characters together and force them
to spend a bunch of time together.

We were just talking about Wesley
and Picard, stuck in a cave together.

And a lot of these are like that too.

There's other kind of bottle
episodes that work the same way.

Stuck in a turbolift,
stuck in a shuttlecraft.

Two characters are stuck.

And this certainly fits that template,
but the hallucinations enable us to

bring in kind of guest stars into this
situation of stuckness and mix it up.

Rob: Yes, exactly.

And it really is a...

an episode about the journey that Dukat
has been on, because he starts out

as a monster, they try and add these
different layers that he has some morale

and some sense of justice within him.

But then he just, they
throw him full blown crazy.

So it's a wonderful performance.

And then as again, it descends into
him fully embracing his insanity

Kevin: Does he have any moments of being
sympathetic at this point, or is there

just too much water under the bridge by

Rob: At the start, at the start when the
cold opener scene when they're on the ship

that's heading towards Federation for the
trial they set it up like Hannibal Lecter

type thing with Sisko heading in and, and,

Kevin: Marc Alaimo also played Hannibal
Lecter in a— No, I'm just kidding.

Rob: Very nice.

Very good.

That would have been a sight to see.

Um, but he's on his knees, sort of
like in a praying position, and he's

quite charming and calm and, and
has a sense of menace about him.

But that's more coming off from Sisko.

They're sort of like this tone, and
when the death of his daughter is

brought up you do get a sense of
loss and heartbreak and real pain

there, which is excellent work.

But then we just, see the truth about
Dukat and he is well and truly gone.

And this is like the late 90s where
it's like that whole insanity, crazy,

the darkness of that was quite prolific
in, in culture, you had Se7en was

huge, as we mentioned, Silence of the
Lambs in the early 90s, like started

this serial killer obsession with

Kevin: Yeah, into the mind of a criminal.

Rob: Which we still are fascinated
by now, but this was this big

push into mainstream cinema and
television and it was everywhere.

You could see it everywhere.

So it was the go to thing to explore
and do it in a quite theatrical way.

Obviously it's directed by René
Auberjonois who had one of the

most extensive theatre records
in American theater history.

In television, directors
are just a part of the cog.

They don't really have much of a chance to
have their own flair, as in, with cinema.

You know what a David Fincher film is.

You know what a Catherine Bigelow film is.

A Spielberg, a Scorsese,
a, a Hitchcock film.

Kevin: Yeah, you hope they get
to put a little spin on it, but

they're building on what's there.

Rob: Yeah, and there's some
beautiful moments in here where

you see René Auberjonois step
up and go, this is my style.

So there's moments where Alaimo as
Dukat moves and the camera follows him.

So he's there talking to himself
and then the camera moves back and

the vision that he has in his head
just sitting on a rock or something.

So that didn't need to be done.

That could easily be cut and moved
but René Auberjonois wanted those

shots to carry on and stay in that
performance and keep that energy.

So you could see, it's very,
a theater based performance.

Kevin: Yeah, you can almost imagine
a dark corner of the stage and the

light coming up on the character
you didn't realize was there.

Rob: Exactly.

And it's very much a case of the actors
were just on the side, they followed the

camera, they came back into shot, and when
the camera came back, they were there.

And so that energy carries on as if
it's all in one, it feels, those one big

longer takes really fills that energy out.

And it's written beautifully by Ronald D.

Moore and Marc's performance
as Gul Dukat is a masterpiece.

Kevin: That's probably something
else you get to do in a cave episode

is because you spend more time on
one set, you're lighting it once.

You're maybe even working with a
more limited number of camera setups.

You can spend more time to get
creative on the theater of the scenes

that you're going to put there.

Rob: Most definitely.

Most definitely.

So yeah, it's, for me, it's a highlight.

It does, especially at the ending it
does have callbacks to another duet

type of episode, Duet, from season one.

That whole, vile, disgusting...

racist, prejudiced, dialogue, phrasing,
rationalization that comes out of Dukat's

head is quite horrifying to see but
delivered with such power and conviction.

And comparing it to Heart of Stone,
which had, some nice performances,

but this is something that is a
beautifully written script and

the performances are beautifully
directed and it just elevates it even

higher than um, what it already was.

It's a great episode and, yeah,
that cave element gives you that

claustrophobic element, that sense
of, we're the only ones here.

It's a dangerous environment.

And it's brutal as well.

Sisko gets beaten up with a pole like
with an inch of his life by Dukat

and he's already injured and got
phaser burns on his arms and plasma

burns on his arms it's yeah it's a
brutal episode and Sisko is you know

taken through the ringer many times

Kevin: I am gonna go back
and watch that one tonight.

You've seduced me into it, Rob.

Rob: Oh.

Kevin: I love Duet and another
episode of that same pedigree that

I just am not as familiar with.

So I got to catch up on it.

Rob: There's incredible stuff about
how he justifies what he did within

the occupation and it just relates back
directly to, it's so connected there

back to World War II and it's what
happened there, what happened during,

in Germany of all that time, it's all
that type of stuff, it's just that

time of this is what, it's a, it's a
representation of all those issues.

Kevin: That is just a taste of
the cave episodes of Star Trek.

I'm sure there are many in Voyager
and Enterprise, and there have been

many in modern Star Trek as well.

The cave episode is not a lost
art, even though we now have our

amazing CG volume to shoot within.

They can go nowhere and make it
look like anywhere they want.

yeah, there are still caves to be had
in Star Trek, if only because they force

our characters to spend time together.

Rob: We go down into the deep recesses
of not a planet, not just a planet,

but also each character's soul.

Episode 47: Cave episodes (LD 4×08 Caves)
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