This is a transcript of our our second season two recap, available here
Saru [from episode]: “Questions or concerns before we depart Captain?
Captain Pike [from episode]: “If you’re telling me that this ship can skip across the universe on a highway made of mushrooms I kind of have to go on faith”.
re:Discovery theme plays.
Ben: Hello and welcome to re:Discovery, the Star Trek recap podcast that knows the real “Red Angel” is Ensign Sylvia Tilly. I’m one of your hosts Ben McKenzie and this episode I’m discussing the second episode of season two, “New Eden”, with our own cadet who’s fast tracked on the command training program: Carla Donnelly! Hi Carla.
Carla: Hello. I was actually the second youngest person ever to enter the cadet training program. (laughs)
Ben: (laughs) Okay. Right…just behind Tilly.
Carla: Yeah. Just behind Tilly.
Ben: We can’t be better than her. No one’s better than her. Let’s get straight into it. This week’s episode “New Eden” visits some classic Star Trek themes and tropes – humans from the past displaced in time and space. The ethics of interfering in other cultures, even when those cultures have grown from ours, and the tensions of belief between science and religion. It also advances several plot threads and deepens the mysteries introduced at the season’s beginning while also providing many moments for both the core and supporting cast to shine. “New Eden” keeps up the mood of fun and adventure introduced in Brother while also introducing strong themes of trust and faith. If season one was about recognising trauma, season two is shaping up to be about healing from it.
Ben: We pick up where we left off in “Brother” with Burnham playing Spock’s log for Pike and showing him the drawings that proved Spock saw the red bursts two months before they happened. Pike reveals that Spock isn’t just on leave but submitted himself to psychiatric care requesting no contact with his family. Pike tries to convince Burnham that she could reach out to him and she almost tells him about the Red Angel. Then the Discovery receives a priority message: a new Red Burst has appeared! Tilly and Burnham tracked the burst to the Beta quadrant, 50,000 light years away. Deciding that the mission is important enough to use the spore drive, Stamets straps in and the Discovery hops to the planet of Terralysium – but again, there’s no sign of the Red Burst…
Ben: Instead they find a human distress call that’s been looping for 200 years and several communities of humans who appear to be from mid-21st century Earth. Since they’re from pre-warp Earth, General Order One – also known as the Prime Directive – applies, and Pike takes Burnham and Owosekun down in disguise to investigate without interfering. On the planet’s surface, the away team discover a peaceful low-tech culture based around an old church, the source of the distress call, combining many of Earth’s major religions into a single faith. One man, Jacob, is descended from scientists and seems to suspect the visitors are not from the “Northern Territory”, as they claim, but they stick to their story and head off to investigate the church and find the source of the signal.
Carla: Inside the church the away team find the source of the distress call in the basement. It has been jerry-rigged, suggesting that at least one person in New Eden knows there might be other beings out there. And indeed, right at its discovery Jacob pops out and busts their cover. His family has tended to the signal for generations hoping, and believing, that someone else was out there. When Pike tries to neutralise the situation, lying to Jacob about their origins and technology, Jacob becomes desperate and sets off a stun bomb – stealing their weapons and instruments to use as evidence of their advanced technology. As the away team come to, they break out of the basement and run to the town square to find Jacob showing their equipment to the townspeople. A small girl is playing with a phaser, accidentally turns it on and “wish he was my dad” Captain Pike throws himself onto it – shooting himself in the chest. Michael and Joann beg to take Captain Pike to the church to pray locking the doors behind them, Jacob knowing this might be his last chance to see these aliens, kicks down the door to see them being beamed away. The townsfolk interpret this as the Red Angel ascending them to heaven.
Carla: On the Discovery an extinction level radiation event is found to be imminent, Saru ruminating that this may be why they were brought here. Through Tilly’s ingenuity, Demet’s burnout power and the mycelial network, they are able to deposit the non-baryonic asteroid into the field of radiated debris, drawing it away from Terralysium and saving the planet. Pike makes one more trip to New Eden to tell Jacob the truth and make an exchange – a power cell for a World War III helmet left behind by one of the original settlers. Pike accesses the footage on the helmet and sees another Red Angel…
Carla: This episode heavily focuses on magnetism and gravity; the way we relate to each other, in the way that the universe dances together. Ben, there was so much in this episode that I have to admit I welled up many times. This is prime sci-fi and Star Trek territory – moral and ethical philosophy. I had many feels, where should we begin?
Ben: Well I think let’s go right back to the start of the episode. One thing I noticed is that ten minutes had passed before the credits even rolled and I was so enthralled by that point I was like “What! It’s been 10 minutes already?! This is insane!” And so much happens, like we get the recap of Spock. But I think one of the key things for the themes of the episode happens right at the start, which is where, you know, Pike tells Burnham that she can trust him and she’s about to tell him about the Red Angel, and then doesn’t.
Ben: But by the episode’s end she does. And there’s also a moment a little bit after that were Stamets reveals to Tilly, for the first time he’s told anyone, that he saw Hugh in the mycelial network. And I love that about this episode: where people are coming clean with their secrets. They’re trusting in other members of the crew and so often in all drama, and this has been a big thing ever since kind of Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed a bit sort of how we thought about TV shows, where people just like, they create drama by people just not telling each other what’s going on. And I loved so much…because that’s one of the things that drives me up the wall in these shows…that I loved so much that this episode was about the opposite of that – people deciding to trust each other and tell each other what’s going on. Which means like the plot is going to go even further than it could if people were keeping this stuff to themselves.
Carla: But it also has a major element of that – in terms of Spock not telling anyone anything about anything.
Ben: Well yeah that is true, and he is. But I think you know we’re going to have that episode, whenever that happens, and maybe it’s next week maybe it’s in a few more weeks, I don’t know, where we finally meet him and we’ll see what he’s got to say and I think…I think that’ll be really interesting to see how trusting he is and whether he’s as forthcoming as Stamets and Burnham are in this episode.
Carla: Sure. I watched this twice as I do for each episode, and the first one, I was a bit on the fence. Like “oh no is this…what is this Touched by an Angel territory that we’re going into?”. There are ghosts and, you know, but really the thing that struck me the most, hearing it several times now, is how absurdly emotional Spock’s final log was. And like it’s just it’s so not Vulcan, like to have such DRAMA, “like this may be my last log on the Star Trek Enterprise” it’s like. Whoa man.
Carla: So, he’s obviously in a bad place and also like that would probably be the biggest shame for Vulcan to go to a psychiatric institute because their entire race and culture is about mastering the psyche.
Ben: Yeah well mastering your emotions, I would hope that they’re enlightened enough to recognise mental illness as a thing. You know.
Carla: It doesn’t seem that way, poor Michael has been traumatized, maybe that’s just Sarek’s a bad dad and it’s not indicative of Vulcan’s.
Ben: We can hope so. But yeah no that’s a good point I hadn’t thought about that, about Spock’s message, and it reminds me of so often when you see – I was watching an episode of Enterprise the other day where this happened, where one of the senior Vulcans is talking to one of the senior humans in Starfleet, and he’s so emotional but he’s talking in an even tone, and it’s like, that doesn’t mean you’re not emotional mate. (Carla laughs) We’ve all seen that trick like that’s what idiots on the Internet use. Yeah. So yeah that’s that is interesting I hadn’t thought of that. But yeah that’s, it’s a, it’s a great start to the episode. Like we just get straight into it. Suddenly we’re on the other side of the universe.
Carla: But what does it all mean?
Ben: Well I don’t…
Carla: What is happening?
Ben: You know the Red Angel thing of the thing I like about it is that they’ve already set up this idea is that you know are we being sent to places? And they’ve already like, full on, just come out and said Clarke’s Law you know like “sufficiently advanced technology indistinguishable from magic”. And they go so far as to explicitly say you know “sufficiently advanced aliens are basically gods” which is such a recurring theme in all of Star Trek. Like you watch the original series and it’s like every third episode as they meet some godlike being with incredible powers, and they did it and you know the Next Gen era too. But a bit less often.
Carla: But I think that that’s also like very much wraps up their colonialist attitudes and that’s something that really comes across quite heavily. Because I think in the first season there wasn’t – they talked about them needing something like a Prime Directive. Oh no. That was an Enterprise episode I saw last week…
Carla: So, we have the Prime Directive and…
Ben: Or General Order One.
Carla: General Order One. That’s right I’m sorry.
Ben: They refused to call it the Prime Directive in Discovery. I don’t know why that is.
Carla: We have General Order One and you’ve always – look they’re always breaking it left, right and centre – you know like it’s not worth the paper that it’s written on for any of these star travellers.
Ben: But you know they angst about it. (both laugh) So I think it’s worthwhile. I liked the way that it gets broken in this episode.
Carla: Yeah, I do too. It’s compassion.
Ben: Yeah. And I think the one thing that I was disappointed by is they never brought Saru into that loop because his circumstance is basically identical…
Ben: to Jacob’s, right?
Carla: It’s exactly the same.
Ben: So, there’s precedent, for one thing. And secondly, he would surely have an opinion. He’d be like you know “why don’t we take this guy with us?”. Like he knows.
Carla: I was I was waiting for them to take him with them.
Ben: Yeah. I was waiting for that too.
Carla: I wanted Jacob to go with them so bad.
Ben: But I knew…when they got to the end, he didn’t seem to want to go with them. He was content just to know that he was right.
Ben: And for them to have given him something that would help his people. And you know and he said they’d be back. So maybe they’ll come back. I don’t know. But I mean they’re very far away. I mean that was the thing I enjoyed about this is that you know, this is, they’re 50,000 light years across the galaxy. And I last episode I did talk about how I wanted to look up how the quadrant system works. And so basically the quadrant system is dividing the entire galaxy, the Milky Way galaxy – because Star Trek only happens in the Milky Way galaxy, they don’t go across the whole universe – into four parts, and Earth is actually right near the border between the Alpha and Beta quadrants. So, if you imagine it like a map with North, South, East and West; Earth is kind of like quite far down in the South, right in the middle of the South edge of the map. And that’s where most of the known space is. That’s where all the other races and species that the humans have met. So, it’s where Vulcan space is, and the Ferengi, and the Klingon Empire and the Romulan Empire, but it’s right near the border of the Alpha Quadrant and the Beta quadrant which are kind of like in the… Southwest is the Alpha Quadrant, the Southeast is the Beta quadrant, and…but it’s huge. I was way off with my estimate last episode too, like the galaxy’s more like 100 to 150,000 light years from one end to the other. It’s quite a lot bigger than the 30,000 light years, and so 50,000 light years is like a third of the way across the galaxy. And it’s quite far into the Beta quadrant. Like way further than has ever been explored. So, this is, this is a significant trip. And it also means that there’s – you know Discovery this season seems to it’s going to go to places that no starship has been before. You know.
Carla: Right. And so, to me it automatically kind of skips ahead it’s like: well where does this end? You know, how does this get wrapped up. Do they eventually jump somewhere that they never come back from? You know and this is why humans are found in all, all quadrants or the you know the memory of them or the history of them, the knowledge of them.
Ben: Yeah it could happen.
Carla: So, we have the Red Angel who has transported this church of people from Earth. Obviously, Americans of course.
Carla: To this planet in the Beta quadrant. And this Red Angel’s also leading the Discovery from one to the other. Spock is somehow involved with his visions, that have driven him mad.
Carla: We’ve got the ghost of Hugh on the network.
Ben: That scene with Stamets and Tilly…they’re killing me this season.
Carla: They’re beautiful.
Ben: Oh my God. But…and I love that when he comes out of the spore drive chamber, he’s like, he’s clearly upset. He doesn’t want to talk to Tilly, but we never find out why is he upset: because he was there? Was he upset because he wasn’t there? We don’t know. And you know presumably we’ll find out. But I mean I’m guessing he wasn’t there. That would be my feeling, and then he was upset not to see him, but you know either way how are you going to…? You’re not going to feel good about it either way are you?
Carla: No. And the whole process seems to take things out of him and also that was – I had my question answered which was they were taking it offline because it’s unethical.
Ben: Yeah well because, because it’s illegal to do that sort of genetic manipulation ever since the Eugenics Wars that pre-date actually World War III which is one of the things.
Carla: So, it’s coming up.
Ben: Yeah, I know it’s happening it’s happening anytime now. I’m worried.
Carla: It’s already happening in China. (laughs) But I think that’s a conversation for another time.
Ben: Oh no.
Carla: And then what other ghosts do we have? We have Tilly’s old school mate.
Ben: That was such a good little subplot. I mean Tilly, Tilly has a great, this is a great Tilly episode. And look um I’m on board anytime the real Red Angel comes along. (Carla laughs) But she you know she’s got her own thing going on. She’s contributing so much to the crew now. Like she has the, and her idea doesn’t quite work Burnham has to come up with a slightly better one or a modification of it to find the signal, so they can track it. But then she’s still doing things like Stamets said in the first episode “out of love”. You know she goes off and does this dangerous experiment by herself because she’s desperate now to find a way to use the spore drive without Stamets having to pilot it, so he doesn’t have to go in there and maybe have to confront the ghost of Hugh. And I was kind of disappointed that we didn’t see Hugh this episode, actually, speaking of him.
Carla: Yeah. Or Jett.
Ben: Yeah. Where’d she go? Yeah, I mean, well she’s not part of the crew, so presumably they took her home, but hopefully she comes back… I mean you don’t know.
Carla: I don’t know what happened to her at the end of last episode.
Ben: You don’t get Tig Notaro to play an awesome character and then just put her in one episode, surely, she’s going to come back.
Carla: And that, okay, then we’ll just put a pin in that as they say.
Ben: Let’s come back to Tilly. So yeah, she’s doing this dangerous experiment and nearly gets herself killed cutting a little bit off the giant space rock that’s made partly of possibly dark matter – we don’t know. And then ends up in the sickbay where we also meet the new medical officer again who’s like, she’s not in it much so we haven’t got to know her yet, but she’s got a bit of sass on her as well.
Ben: She’s cut from a little bit of the McCoy cloth, I think.
Ben: Just telling patients what to do. But yeah, I did find…did you twig that something weird was going on with her friend?
Carla: Look this is going to sound incredibly racist but I couldn’t figure out her accent for a very long time and I was like “is this some kind of magical elf thing?”. Like I thought, you know, her high-pitched voice and her thick accent – which sounds like Caribbean or Jamaican or something like that. It just kind of, something did twig in me, but I was sort of churning the cogs to kind of understand. So, I was a bit on notice. What about you?
Ben: Not when she first appeared on her first. I was just like “Who is this person, I’ve never seen her before?” But there was that familiarity between them where I was like, “that’s a bit weird”. I think that was the thing that twigged it for me. It’s like she’s very familiar with Tilly and she’s like “yeah I kind of know who you are”. And then towards the end though I started to get that sort of Sixth Sense feeling of – spoiler for The Sixth Sense – that no one else could see her, like I was like, “Did she talk to anyone else?” And she kind of refers to, she’s like, she calls out for help when Tilly’s trying to get out of the bed in the medical bay but…
Ben: …the others, the others don’t actually speak to her or say anything to her. They only talk directly to Tilly and I didn’t twig that at the time but a bit later on in the episode I was like “Is anyone else seeing her? Is she real?” And then yeah when she when she was in her quarters looking her up, I was like “she’s going to turn out not to exist”.
Carla: Or be dead.
Ben: I didn’t, I didn’t think she’d be dead. I thought she might not be real but then it turned out she was a friend of Tilly’s. And then she was dead. I was like “whoa okay”.
Carla: And this is where I like the first watch, I was like “Oh I’m not, I’m a bit turned off by this whole thing like this sort of Touched by an Angel territory” as I said. But then on the second watch, you know especially with the you know the very very large intersection of the Venn diagram between religion and science which is essentially devotion and searching, you know, that’s where it actually became very meta for me because it schooled me on my own feelings. I was like, you know, you had all these feelings about the first the first time you watched it. The second time it’s like well why can’t I suspend my belief in this environment for it to be you know? Why do I have to want it to be entirely about science? And you know it’s a fantasy, it’s a fiction fantasy show.
Carla: You know. So, I found that really, really fascinating that it sorts of turned that machinations on in my mind.
Ben: Mm hmm. Well you know, look, it’s no Star Trek V okay? They’re not crossing the Great Barrier to meet God. But it’s I think, yeah, for me I think the thing that really kept me on board, really into it, was that they’re questioning it from the start. Burnham is, you know, she’s been schooled on Vulcan. She’s a science officer. She’s very down the line. Like when they’re meeting all of the villagers on the planet, she’s the one who’s like “Don’t you have anyone who’s into science, like, are you all religious people”?
Ben: And I quite enjoyed that she was there but, not dismissing their beliefs, but just asking “Don’t you have anyone who believes something different as well?”
Carla: I feel like she was judgey.
Ben: She was a bit judgey, I agree. But I think her questioning and then other people going “Well look it could be something” I really enjoyed. Like I wasn’t on her side, but I liked that there were both sides there and that people were stepping in, Pike particularly, whose Dad as we find out in this episode was both a science lecturer and a comparative religion teacher, which I thought was awesome. So, he’s like stepping in going “No it’s okay. Why not both?”. You know, he’s doing the meme.
Carla: Yeah, he’s like “can you prove that they don’t exist?”
Ben: Yeah. And I liked that it’s questioning that whereas shows that just are like “those of you who are questioning it are just wrong”. You know I don’t like it when it goes either way with them and that’s why. Like for example The OA, I don’t know if you’ve seen that on Netflix? And I, like I…
Carla: Also starring Jason Isaacs.
Ben: Yes. Who I love! But I got about halfway through it, and I’m like “I don’t think I like where this is going”. Like it was all too “you people who don’t believe in mysticism, there’s something wrong with you” for me, and I’m… Not questioning enough.
Carla: Yeah, it’s very “jump and the safety net appear, it will appear” kind of stuff.
Ben: Yeah which is not my bag but this I was really into.
Carla: And look I think did a very deft understanding or didactic telling of the kernel of the truth that everybody seeks in these realms which is to understand the invisible, to make the invisible tangible.
Carla: You know and that it does take a leap of faith to do that or to seek it. And that’s what I found really beautiful about Jacob and his character and his family. I’m just like “yes! you’re keeping the flame of science alive”, you know, and they were so, just very quietly working in the background. And that is most scientists as well they’re quietly working away in the background, you know, getting shafted not getting any funding.
Carla: You know, understanding things about the world that they’re trying to tell us that nobody is receptive to. You know…
Ben: It was really interesting crossover of themes because my other podcast, Pratchat, the book we’re reading for the next episode is Small Gods, which is about that clash between, you know, sort of science and religion because it’s all about – there’s a, you know, a nation who has a god but the bureaucracy of the religion has built up so much bigger than the faith that originally fuelled it. And people now mostly act out of fear of what the Quisition will do to them rather than, you know, real belief in the religion itself. And then there’s this counter movement of people who’ve found this treatise, written by the philosopher Didactylos, telling them that the world is on a turtle. And so, their catch-cry becomes “the turtle moves” and it’s kind of, it’s very much a parallel to like what Galileo was saying about the Earth moving around the Sun. And so yeah, I found that really weird, that the same themes cropping up in both podcasts.
Carla: Yeah, because guess what? We keep talking about it!
Ben: Yeah well can’t stop.
Carla: Because people aren’t getting it. (laughs)
Ben: (laughs) Yeah, it’s true.
Carla: And it’s also like so navel gazey that we continue to just try to get, you know, to the edges of it.
Carla: And it just keeps expanding out.
Ben: Yeah. I also really liked the way that we had the sort of parallel threats going on. I mean in our synopsis we sort of bunched up the threads together because it’s a lot easier to follow.
Carla: Yeah, I was going to call it the “B plot” but really, I felt that was a bit mean. (laughing) So I took it out.
Ben: Yeah, no, it’s just another aspect to the A plot, I feel. Like it was all very, it was all very tightly interwoven, and I like that about Discovery. They’re very good at having…like they don’t have a B plot that’s got absolutely nothing to do with the A plot until, you know, it becomes convenient for it to be a deus ex machina, they really sort of set up things that make sense. And you could argue that about the space rock being the thing that they need to save the planet from the rings or whatever, but I actually thought it all came together really nicely, and I just…I just love the way the bridge crew are all working together. And I love that, again, you know I’m hoping that, you know, Owosekun’s adventure this episode is a sign that we’re going to see that from the other like incidental members of the crew, like they’re all going to get their episode where they get to shine. Because she’s awesome in this, like she’s just on the, she’s on it. Like they get stuck she’s like “Oh yeah I can get us out of here.”
Ben: And she likes gets them out of the basement where they’re locked in, in the church, and like “this is great”. Like yeah give everybody a cool moment.
Carla: And that also at that point in time there’s still Luddites which I found, you know, fascinating and then of course obviously she’s in Starfleet.
Ben: Yes. So, she’s left. I mean maybe she’s going back maybe she’s on Rumspringa. (Carla laughs) We don’t know. We don’t we just don’t know.
Carla: I think it Star Tr…Starfleet training takes a lot longer than the Rumspringa period of time. (laughs)
Ben: (laughs) Yeah, I guess so.
Carla: So, we think the implications for this is…so now, what, there’s seven bursts, we’ve done two… Are we going to do the other five? Is that what’s going to happen?
Ben: Well, no, because this is a new one, right? So, there’s, there’s seven…
Carla: Ohhhh…I didn’t catch that.
Ben: I had to go back and check this, but when I was sort of looking over my notes, I was like “hang on a minute”, because the original seven are spread out over 30,000 light years. This one’s more than 50,000 light years away. So, it can’t be one of the original seven and they refer to it as a new signal when Saru reports it. So, it’s almost as if the seven original ones were to get their attention and then they left one of them as like “This is where we want you to go,” and now they’re just going to fire up a new one wherever they want the Discovery to go. If, you know, if that’s what it turns out to be, if they’re being directed to places. But I think, I mean it seems like…clearly the first one…”Here’s a crashed Federation starship you’ve got to save.” The second one, “Here’s a population of humans that we saved 200 years ago, and we need you to, like, save them again, now, from this imminent danger of the radiation,” right? Oh, and we haven’t even mentioned the doughnut!
Ben: Which people are calling the #DetmerDrift on Twitter. That’s the official hashtag now.
Carla: I would totally play that video game.
Ben: So good. I thought that was cool.
Carla: Do you think Tilly is kind of going down “manic pixie engineer girl” territory?
Ben: Look that’s a good point. I hope not. I mean I think her friendship with Stamets is very grounding for her.
Carla: And I also feel like she’s been developed enough for that not to be that.
Ben: Yeah. I think she, you know she’s enthusiastic.
Carla: And she’s just full of ideas. And she’s obviously super intelligent.
Ben: Yeah. And she’s also on her own story. I mean I think there, there’s a lot of writing about “manic pixie dream girl” stuff. And I think one of the key things that makes it a harmful trope is that they’re totally in service to the story of, usually, a man.
Ben: And I don’t feel that Tilly is. You know, like she’s got various, she’s got multiple friendships and now she’s got her own mystery. You know she’s got her own plot line which she didn’t really have in the first season she was very much a supporting character for Michael. And now she is, you know, coming into our own, she’s doing her own stuff, she’s getting herself into trouble, she’s getting herself out of trouble, and we’ve also seen her be very capable right from the start. You know like we talked about in season one recap episode when she’s on the Glenn on that first away mission she’s onto it. So yeah, I think they’re going to steer clear of that territory.
Carla: Can you think of a character in the past that has kind of had this comic relief but has been so prominent? I mean Neelix was kind of like that…
Ben: Dr. Phlox is a bit like that on Enterprise.
Carla: Very much.
Ben: And I think, I think you could argue Data sometimes fills that role.
Ben: As well. And…um…
Carla: They’re all bridge crew. Well kind of, yeah.
Ben: They’re all bridge crew, yeah. I mean – aw, well Barclay. Reginald Barclay from Next Gen.
Carla: Ahhhhh, ha, ha ha ha!
Ben: ‘Cause he’s a sort of that nervous character… (Carla bursts out laughing) And you think, “This guy’s just a nerd.”
Carla: Bravo! Excellent.
Ben: But, you know, Tilly’s…
Carla: We could talk, we could do a whole episode on Reginald Barclay. What a character.
Ben: Yeah. Look if we ever do any non-Discovery episodes we’ll talk about him for sure.
Carla: All right. Shall we move onto Short Chats?
Ben: I think it’s time.
Ben: And now: re:Discovery Short Chats! This is our section at the end of the episode where we talk news, trivia, and anything related to Discovery. We’ll also happily answer listener questions in this section so send us some via social media. You’ll find us @rediscoverypod on Twitter and Facebook. Now what do you want to talk about this time around Carla?
Carla: All right so a couple of things I picked up. One was… (laughs) This very much raised my eyebrow: that a planet that now has 11,000 people was germinated from 200 survivors. (laughs)
Ben: Over 200 years.
Carla: Over 200 years? I haven’t done any modelling, but I was like, wow, that’s pretty impressive. (laughs)
Ben: (laughs) Well yeah, I guess. Yeah. Yeah, I guess their genetic diversity’s not going to be high, either.
Carla: So that was also my big question mark. I was almost going to Google like how many people do you have to have in a community for… (laughs)
Ben: Well I don’t know. I don’t know.
Carla: …or a healthy, for healthy DNA strand.
Ben: They’re going to end up with facial tumour disease like the Tasmanian devil. (laughs)
Carla: (laughs) Oh dear. So that was one that I had… Ah, also obviously, Jonathan Frakes, “Number One”, directed this episode.
Ben: I really enjoyed seeing his name in the credits. Has he…he directed some episodes of season one, didn’t he?
Carla: Yeah, I think he directed the one after the season, after the mid-season break, which is the one where they’re in the Terran universe.
Ben: Oh yeah.
Carla: Yeah. He directed that one. He’s directed many episodes of other Star Treks along the line.
Ben: He’s good. You know he’s directed some of the films as well. He directed – I think he directed Insurrection, which as I have previously mentioned, (Carla laughs) is my favourite of the films.
Carla: Just marry Insurrection, Ben.
Ben: Oh, it’s so good.
Carla: So that’s exciting as well, and he calls himself a “recovering actor” on his Twitter. But then also he sort of let fly about a few things about the new Picard show, saying that it’s, Picard is retired.
Ben: When you say “let fly”, do you mean he’s complaining, or he’s just, like, leaking…
Carla: No, like gossiping, gossiping.
Ben: He’s leaking out…
Carla: And he cannot quote-unquote, you know, confirm or deny whether he’s in the new show…
Ben: (laughs) “You might think that, but I couldn’t possibly confirm…” (Carla laughs) Yeah, okay. Yeah, well I know…
Carla: They’re my two things.
Ben: I mean many of the cast have said that they have not been asked to be in the Picard show, but I think, yeah, surely at least some of them will show up in guest roles at some point. Look I quite enjoyed that we had some references to World War III, because I’m a sucker for alternate histories, and one of the things I love about a long, you know, a big sci-fi universe, particularly one that’s set in the future, is that they have to decide what happened between the present and the fictional future. And now we’re touching on World War III and it’s refers back to parts of the Star Trek universe we’ve seen before. So, these people are from the early 2050s. In fact, if I got my years right I think they’re…
Carla: I think the 2060s.
Ben: Ah no they’re from like 2050, I think it was 2051. They do mention a year in the episode, but I forgot what it was. But I did look it up and I think it’s only like a year or two before the end of World War III so, you know, if they just waited it out a little bit longer, they could have stayed at home…but probably they’re about to be blown up.
Carla: I don’t think they had a choice! (laughs)
Ben: No, I don’t think so but that’s ten years or so, a bit more than ten years before when Zefram Cochrane first flies a warp engine and makes contact with the Vulcans, which is in 2063. Which is not that far in our future really.
Carla: No, we’ll be alive. We’ll be alive for 60 million people to die in World War III. (laughs)
Ben: That’s disappointing. I mean, yeah because that’s after World War III. But there’s basically half the planet destroyed and there’s a lot of dead people. It’s not good. So yeah, I quite liked that little bit of past history. I also liked that this is, you know, it’s returning to tropes that we’ve seen in other Star Trek shows that so far Discovery hasn’t done. They don’t do a lot of first contact with alien species, they don’t do a lot of like resolving diplomatic tensions…because we’re at war. So, it was mostly about Klingons and fighting the war and finding ways to get around that.
Carla: Wearing civvies.
Ben: Yeah. Whereas this…it was nice to see them get into disguise, and go down onto the planet…
Ben: I mean I’ve just been, I think we’ve both been watching Enterprise, really for the first time, and there’s a couple of early episodes of that, like “Terra Nova” where they go and they find this planet which was like the first planet colonised by humans. And now there’s like the descendants of those humans who call themselves Novans and their whole society has kind of fallen apart a bit because a lot of them…
Carla: Of the radiation. Again!
Ben: All the adults got killed. Yeah, because of radiation. And I’m like, well this is a nice parallel, it’s a similar kind of story but not the sort of thing we’ve seen Discovery do before.
Ben: And I’m kind of hoping that that means we might see a new tack…because I liked their new take on it, and I think we’ll see – I hope we’ll see some more of that kind of stuff, later in the season.
Carla: Well I’m-not to, you know, overuse the word magnetic but Pike is just… He’s such, he really has that star power, and you can’t – the camera loves him, everybody loves him. You can’t stop looking at him, I don’t know if that’s just me, but…
Ben: He’s a very handsome man.
Carla: He…but he’s becoming, like, the gravitational pull, like the centre of that universe. I don’t know, how do you feel? Do you feel like you’re taking up a lot of space?
Ben: I feel he’s taking up quite a lot of space for sure and it’s interesting that you know one of the draw cards for Discovery supposedly was “this is going to be the first show where the main character is not a captain.” But I would argue that in Star Trek, the original series, yeah you had sort of your three main characters and then this sort of large supporting cast who you’d only ever see two or three of them in any particular episode. In Next Gen it was a bit less like that and the ensemble cast got bigger, and there’s probably like five or six members of the cast who you’d see in nearly every episode. And in Discovery, it’s kind of a little bit like that. And Michael yes is still the main character, but now also Michael has been reinstated in rank and is basically Number One on the bridge or close to it.
Ben: And it’s not…I don’t think it’s as distinguishable from that anymore. But I like that Pike is kind of integrated more into what’s going on.
Carla: I think we’re just getting to know him still.
Carla: But at the end of the day he’s the leader, he has to make the decisions. You know.
Ben: He seems…I think he feels more present than Lorca was, because Lorca was obviously, they always had to keep him a bit secretive because they had the big secret about him they didn’t want to reveal.
Carla: Plus he was also off scheming all the time. So, you know.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. He was delicious. (Carla laughs) Oh, I miss him so much.
Carla: Well it’s okay, we’ll see good Lorca again soon. And what is he like?
Ben: Oh yeah, that’ll be interesting.
Ben: Yeah. Because we know how different in personality the other, sort of, Terrans and our universe folks are, so yeah, it’ll be really interesting if we do get to see him. But no, I think I think you’re right, he’s super magnetic, he’s wonderful. He did not win our Space Dads poll on Twitter…
Carla: Yes. Talk about the space dads! (laughs)
Ben: Well, like…because people have referred to him as a space dad and he is he’s like the kind of guy you like “I want you to be my dad you’re the best dad ever” and I thought well let’s have a poll. Because my favourite “space dad” in Star Trek is Tuvok. And so, we created a poll, the options were “Who’s your favourite Space Dad” – Captain Pike, Tuvok, Benjamin Sisko or Wolf. And I’ve, I picked three actual dads from the show as in they play their characters as dads as well and not a lot love for Tuvok hardly any love for Worf, little love for Captain Pike. I mean Worf was the tricky one he had sort of has his father ship thrust on him and he’s kind of busy doing other things… But, loads of love for Commander Benjamin Sisko.
Carla: Because he was such a great dad.
Ben: He is such a great dad. I can’t deny that.
Carla: I thought about this in many different ways because I’m like well this is the way we ascribe parenting. We’re judging other races’, other beings’ parenting styles, by our own, you know, what we desire.
Carla: But also, I think you’ve got the wrong dad.
Carla: I think Pike’s a Daddy. (laughs) So maybe that’s why he didn’t poll so well.
Ben: (laughs) Well he’s not the only Daddy that you’ve identified in this show so far this season.
Carla: Tig Notaro’s a Daddy as well. Yeah. (laughs)
Ben: Yeah, I can see where you’re going with that. Yeah, that’s fair enough. Maybe we need another poll? Will there be more Daddies? We don’t know. But maybe we’ll find out next time…
Theme music plays.
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