This is a transcript of our third season two recap, available here
Philippa [From episode] : “Our command believes that misfits have merit. So, we keep busy.”
TyVoq [From episode]: “I’m surprised you call yourself a misfit, Emperor.
Philippa [From episode]: The freaks are more fun
re:Discovery theme plays.
Carla: Hello and welcome to re:Discovery. The Star Trek recap podcast that knows only in the future will man buns be sexy. I’m joined, as always, by my Science Officer Ben McKenzie. How are you Ben?
Ben: I am disappointed I don’t have a man bun.
Carla: (laughs) You’ve got time, we’ve got time.
Ben: And I need to grow my beard bigger, clearly.
Carla: This week’s episode – a rather blunt Swiss army knife of exposition and recap, “Point of Light” picks up many threads left over from Season One and progresses the Spock/Red Angel plot line but also we finally get an answer for Tilly’s ghost. In the episode opener we meet L’Rell and TyVoq on Qo’noS where tensions with the Klingon Houses over her Chancellorship have reached boiling point. Cut to the Discovery, Michael’s parent Amanda arrives on Sarek’s ship with disturbing news. She has tried to make contact with Spock and tried to find out about his condition, his location, but has been blocked at every step. Amanda steals his medical file and begs Michael to help her break into it. They both take the file to Captain Pike for permission leading Pike to contact the head of the psychiatric facility to find out what is going on. Spock has reportedly killed three of his doctors, escaped, and has been diagnosed with “extreme empathy deficiency”. Amanda, Michael and Pike do not believe this for a second and Pike gives permission to break into Spock’s file. During the transfer several images of the Red Angel appear in drawings Spock has made. Amanda is distraught, relaying to Michael that Spock saw this Red Angel or once as a child, the angel giving Spock the location where Michael was hiding after the learning centre bombings on Vulcan.
Carla: Michael shares with Amanda that she feared for her family’s safety after this and hurt Spock irreparably on purpose so that he would not continue to try to protect her. Meanwhile on Qo’noS we discover that L’Rell got pregnant Voq before he was merged with Tyler having the baby gestated ex-utero, as this was a massive liability. She has never met the baby and presumably has no interest, until TyVoq’s discovery, and they go to meet the baby together. They arrive to L’Rell’s uncle murdered and a very empty goth spacecraft – the baby has been kidnapped by House Kor and is being held for ransom for the kingdom “give up the Chancellorship and keep your family or you will die”. Just as it was finito time for L’Rell and TyVoq a hooded figure burst through the door and killed everyone.
Ben: Surprising no one who’s seen the credits, it’s evil Georgiou now working for Starfleet black ops department Section 31. The last thing they want is another war with an unstable Klingon Empire. And to that end Georgia has a plan for L’Rell. Back on Discovery, Tilly’s ghost May is so insistent that Pike is not the captain during a command training exercise on the bridge until she shouts at May to “shut up”, surprising the bridge crew and appearing unstable. She then retreats back to her room convinced she’ll be kicked out of the program. Michael, desperate for a distraction from her own problems, after Amanda has left to go help Spock, helps Tilly figure out May is probably related to the spores. And with Stamets and Saru’s help they find that, indeed, a spore from the mirror universe has infected her body. Stamets uses the dark matter asteroid to suck it out of her where it becomes a floating blob of matter, they contain in a force field but not before May identifies Stamets as the captain she was looking for. Back on Qo’noS L’Rell channels Evita and makes a passionate speech to the killing on people painting TyVoq as a traitor.
Ben: She tosses TyVoq and the babies heads into a pit vowing to never have another child but instead to rule the empire not as its Chancellor but as its Mother. On an advanced Starfleet stealth ship, we find Georgiou and AshVoq and baby whose heads were fake! The baby is sent to a Klingon monastery and Tyler, more or less press-ganged to join Georgiou in Section 31.
Ben: Like, look, again there was a lot going on in this episode.
Carla: I don’t think there’s ever not a lot going on but whether its good quality is a different story.
Ben: I’m getting a vibe that you didn’t like this one as much.
Carla: There was a lot to like but there was also a lot that I really did not like. Okay so how do we want to demarcate.?
Ben: Well let’s talk about the different threads of the plot.
Ben: We spend a lot of time on Qo’noS.
Carla: Yeah. Which just seems like such a miserable place.
Ben: Yeah. Well I mean it does seem quite it’s got more goth than I remember…
Carla: Yeah, I agree it’s…
Ben: they were more like space Vikings it’s Next Gen
Carla: Fire and ice and ash and…
Ben: But it makes sense. I mean it was never a pleasant place.
Carla: No of course not.
Ben: I mean you don’t evolve like backup organs if you live on a verdant field world. You know.
Carla: Yeah.Or, the ability to have ex-utero babies.
Carla: All right. So, we’ll talk about L’Rell and Voq.
Ben: It’s nice to see them back.
Carla: It is nice to see them back. Can we just get out of the way that I was right about Klingon hair?
Ben: Well it’s not I don’t dismiss it so quickly. Glory in it a little bit longer.
Carla: But I’ve seen them lot on internet that they’re just like “oh they’re just covering up their mistakes because everybody railed against how bad the Klingon looked” but I don’t know. I feel like it could have been purposeful.
Ben: Look they still look largely the same.
Carla: Yeah, I mean slightly different, but you know.
Ben: Yeah, the difference is not that big.
Carla: There’s some pretty sick Mr. T mohawks in there.
Ben: Oh yeah. They’re all just, I mean I like that because they were – every time you see a species on Star Trek, and they all look pretty much the same except for the actor’s face under the makeup…
Ben: You just think “humans aren’t like that.”
Ben: Right. So, I like it…
Carla: Two arms two legs…
Ben: They have different coloured hair, they have different styles of hair. They have different skin colours. Weird bumps on their heads. Yeah and I’m cool with it. Like reinterpret it. However, you want. I think.
Carla: But don’t you feel like though kind of gross caricatures of everything the worst that Klingons can be? or is this just like the unstable post-war Klingon environment? or is it a Klingon environment under a female leader?
Ben: I think it was. It would have been too easy to say it’s all neatly wrapped up now that L’Rell’s in charge. I mean she does take control of the Empire.
Carla: It’s a hostile takeover. Yeah.
Ben: Yeah. She holds all the other Houses to ransom – “Let me be leader and unite under me or I’ll blow up the whole planet”.
Ben: That was never going to be a happy stable ending.
Carla: I feel like it would have given them all a boner like they would have loved that.
Ben: Oh well they did. That’s why they agreed to it. But that doesn’t mean you know there aren’t Houses who are like we should still be in charge. And there’s always that jockeying for position.
Carla: Of course.
Ben: Who’s going to be head. You know.
Carla: Can I just, like the gender politics of this was messed up.
Carla: Yeah. So, we’re talking about this is like two 200 years in the future?
Carla: Right. And so, we’re still having women in power having issues about you know having their children cared for while they’re working. Yeah well so many clumsy, it just felt like a 75-year-old man was ordered to write in some feminist content into the structure that he had made.
Carla: You know.
Ben: Yeah. No look I get that. I think. I mean there’s definitely reason why they’ve done it with the Klingons rather than anyone else because the Klingons are never depicted as being particularly gender progressive. So even in the Next Gen era all the important Klingon characters are dudes.
Ben: And if they’re not then they I mean they pay the sort of lip service that I mean B’Elanna talks about on Voyager having all the same kind of issues that say Worf does. But I mean she’s also got that extra dimension of only being half Klingon. But then all of the Klingon women that you see, well there’s not that many of them to start with and they’re well they, and yeah they were operating in the shadows or they’re behind their Houses. They’re not leaders of Houses.
Carla: Well and that’s the other thing – like you I think I’ve only seen one barely other female Klingon in the background in all of these scenes.
Ben: Well there’s. Yeah, I mean there’s the Next Gen there’s the sisters who get blown up in Star generations, they’re pretty great. But at the same time, like, they’re you know…
Ben: So yeah look I agree with you that the politics of this are not great. But I also think like if they’re making a consistent with Klingons then they needed to work harder to make it better.
Carla: It just felt shoehorned in. It could have not been there, and everything would have been fine.
Ben: Yeah that’s true.
Carla: You know, like no comment. So, there was that though, that I found. These are ultimately the things I found disappointing something that I didn’t find very interesting, that has not been explored enough, but it is in the realms of religion/science/sci-fi stuff is you know the consent issues with Voq/Tyler.
Carla: And how he’s talking about you know how you know basically he feels violated or raped by L’Rell. They’re sort of negotiating and that feels to me in that spectrum of genetic manipulation, people not really understanding the consequences of that, so I find and also like Stockholm syndrome. So, I find that quite deep. But it wasn’t very explored.
Ben: Yeah, I quite enjoyed how he basically gives like a five second recap of what happened to him which I think is good because it is one of the least clear parts of the plot of season one.
Ben: Where he says, you know, “I am a Klingon, but I’ve been surgically altered to appear human and then I had this human psyche grafted onto mine. And then you’ve had to destroy my personality. So, I’ve got access to…” and he still he mentioned he’s got access to all of his memories. But he doesn’t have the personality anymore the personality is gone. And I think really, he should be a new person. Like I think they’ve missed an opportunity of integrating him as a new character by changing his personality more significantly whereas really, they’re presenting him as no it’s Ash Tyler. It’s just that now he’s Ash Tyler who knows he used to be a Klingon.
Carla: But well we don’t really know that because we don’t really know him before…
Ben: I guess that’s true.
Carla: …what happened to him. Yes, so this is whatever the result is.
Ben: Yeah. Because he’s not I mean he was never Ash Tyler. He’s a Ash Tyler.
Carla: As we know him.
Ben: He was killed in his, but his brain was scanned and then was put into his head somehow. They never had never really addressed that. I mean wouldn’t it be great if he turned up and he wasn’t dead. No, it would be awful.
Carla: He wouldn’t have, I don’t, I don’t even know what it’s going to happen there. Of if that was a possibility.
Ben: I got to say he’s got some style going on.
Carla: Oh my God.
Ben: That’s a big beard he’s got a cape.
Ben: He’s got leather outfit.
Carla: It’s out of control.
Ben: He looks like he’s playing a goth bard in a game of dungeon and dragons. (Carla laughs) I was really into I thought was cool.
Carla: Yeah. He looks great but I just can’t. I can’t help but feel so sad for this character. And now he’s going, he’s in Section 31 because he just doesn’t fit in anywhere.
Ben: He’s got nowhere else to go.
Carla: And presumably, so now he’s like transferring the Stockholm Syndrome to there.
Carla: And now he’s just going to be like part of this amoral organization presumably being made to kill people or go on like dark missions or who knows what they’re going to use him for. They just see him as an asset.
Ben: Yeah, I guess he’s they’re Klingon specialists.
Carla: Yeah maybe. Maybe he’s just going to be a desk bound.
Ben: I mean he kick some ass in this episode of me.
Ben: He and L’Rell get beaten but they’re heavily outnumbered and they take down a lot of those Klingon’s, so he’s clearly got all Voq’s fighting skills still.
Carla: And body and strength. Yeah.
Ben: Yeah, he’s got the strength of a Klingon they’re stronger than humans so he’s yeah, he’s a pretty valuable asset to somewhere like Section 31 although again he also he’s pretty recognizable like surely everybody in the Federation knows his deal?
Carla: They’ll probably just manipulate him to be a sleeper agent again but for them back into the Federation.
Ben: Oh, that’d be, that would be rough.
Carla: Who knows.
Ben: Who knows what we’ll find out. We’ll find out.
Carla: So “Mother”, if I’m generous with that I would say that that is a deliberate shitting on a homo social society and making them be ruled by a feminised titled person.
Carla: Is that how you would take that?
Ben: I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it at the end there. Because it always seemed weird that they called – it’s an empire. Why isn’t their leader called the Emperor or the Empress? Why is it the Chancellor. I don’t know. Oh wait no. That’s a whole. That’s a Kahless thing isn’t it? Because he’s there, look I think there is actually a law reason for that. Now that I’ve said that out loud but yeah it was a bit full on. And also, quite in its way quite condescending but I think that was the intent. It’s like the squabbling children.
Ben: So, I’m going to be a mother and tell you to cut it out.
Ben: I don’t know. We’ll see how that resolves, I guess.
Carla: So that’s them. Oh, but also the baby does a Luke Skywalker. Adopt him out.
Ben: Nothing’s going to happen with him surely because like he can’t unless we jump forward 18 years, he’s going to be old enough to do anything.
Carla: No but maybe that is a great tangent into my theory of what’s going on.
Ben: Oh okay. Well actually having said that there is also precedent for this because Worf’s son comes back in time from the future to teach himself how to be a proper Klingon, avert like a disaster or something (both laugh).
Ben: Like so if Alexander can do that then…
Carla: Well there’s also chatter on the Internet that I haven’t gotten that far into Deep Space Nine I’m only on Season 3. But later on, there is an albino Klingon and they think that this person could be him.
Ben: Oh yeah.
Ben: Or his descendants.
Carla: He’s descendent, him or his descendants.
Carla: Because it’s so far into the future.
Ben: Ah well no. Yeah. He could totally be him because when there are other Klingons that live from this era and are still around in the Deep Space Nine era.
Ben: So yeah. Like Kang.
Carla: (laughs) Such a good space name.
Ben: Yeah. Even though in the in the old school series he looks like a human with a goatee and eyebrows. But you know the modern Klingons. They look great.
Carla: I agree.
Ben: I think they look good. I’m glad the hair’s back.
Carla: I am too.
Ben: And I really liked how the face paint became such a clever plot point.
Carla: Really? I thought I was so stupid.
Ben: Yeah no you didn’t like that?
Carla: No! Okay tell me what. you just thought it was cool tech?
Ben: I thought it was cool and I thought it was nice because I didn’t see that coming. .
Carla: Yeah. No that’s true.
Ben: How did they know he was here?! and then he’s like “I put micro probes in the face paint that you wiped off my face” and I’m like oh that’s cool!! Like this guy you know I just feel like I really love a good competent villain. And I thought that was nice. That’s a clever plan.
Carla: That’s true.
Ben: Competent villain moment. So, I enjoyed that.
Carla: And he’s just ready for anyone to try to wipe off his you know his face paint.
Ben: I think he specifically did it because he knew it would insult the Emperor and that she would get him or her one of her lackeys to do it because he did. He does say like “I was only intended to sort of listen in on your plans. I didn’t think I’d find out about your secret baby.”
Carla: Yeah. Oh my God.
Ben: But yeah, I do. And I said this during the intro but I kind of wish that they hadn’t put Michelle Yeoh in the credits so prominently.
Carla: I didn’t even know. So, this is like this is the thing this is the first episode where I’ve really was really quite disappointed in this episode. I didn’t like most of it, but I think it’s the first time where it’s like if I hadn’t of known so much, I would have had that amazing shock moment but then yeah as one of our listeners said in the comments that it was in the credits. I always skip credits.
Ben: Okay it was probably wise I mean this is the you don’t often get spoiled by a special guest star announcement like because usually that I’ve put it in there. If the special guest star is supposed to be a surprise but I guess if it’s Michelle Yeoh she’s going to have high billing.
Carla: So then if you saw that name and then there’s a character that’s killing everyone of course you’re just going to immediately get her but then you’re not necessarily going to understand that she’s a part of Section 31.
Ben: No, I mean.
Carla: That would have been a good reveal.
Ben: Kind of guessed. But just because we know that from the, it it’s one of those things where it’s not a surprise because of the knowledge you have in the sort of hype around the show and the announcement of the other show that she’s going to be in. But at the same time, I still like super into it. Like she showed up like the freaking predator.
Carla: I know.
Ben: Blowing people with like a shoulder mounted plasma canon.
Carla: I know. What was that tech that was covering her face making her look like a different alien?
Ben: Yeah. And the big cool like hood thing that she’s wearing.
Ben: It was awesome.
Carla: Yeah. It’s pretty thrilling.
Ben: Yeah, it’s great.
Carla: Can I tell you my theory of what I think this all means? Like all of it.
Ben: The Klingon stuff or are we going onto the Red Angel.
Carla: Red Angel potentially also. You know implications for everything.
Carla: Is that in Star Trek usually things like this is one of two things. It is a temporal timeline. So, we’re having interference from the future by Star Fleet inserting themselves into situations or getting things to happen.
Carla: To preserve a timeline or rectify a timeline or we’ve had a Q and a Q which is a being mostly from Next Gen they’re basically like supernatural beings.
Ben: Gods. Yeah.
Carla: Yeah, they’re gods who make a lot of mischief, but they couldn’t, they don’t care about humans at all. So that’s why I’ve been always kind of like it’s not a Q, why would they care? But if they’re invested in it then they would care. So, they’re the two things that I have as possible explanations as to what is going on because this whole thing with Spock saving Michael that’s a real manipulation of a pawn in a chess game kind of thing you know?
Carla: So that got my antenna up. What do you think?
Ben: Makes sense. I mean the Red Angels don’t need to be time travellers because we’ve already established that they’ve been around for like 200 years. Like they saved people from World War 3.
Ben: But that yeah there’s no sign as to why they would do that.
Ben: What they want. I mean I get the feeling my feeling was that so far up until now they’ve just been sort of getting the Discovery crew to clean up after their messes like because you’ve got the crashed spaceship on the asteroid which is their asteroid that’s gonna crash into a thing. So, it’s kind of their fault. At least you could read it that way. And then there’s like “oh yeah and also there’s these humans that we saved from World War 3 we put them on this planet. They’re just been living there happily. But there’s about to be this radiation can you sort that out for us?” And so, I was like “oh maybe that’s their deal. Like they’re just fixing things that they’ve screwed up through their meddling.” But now I’m yeah, I’m thinking maybe I like your idea. I don’t know whether they’re time travellers or what.
Ben: I mean I hope it’s something more complicated than that because there’s so many instances and as they flagged in last episode there’s so many instances of creatures that have such immense power that they may as well be gods in the Star Trek universe like it’s ridiculous how many there are.
Ben: And I hope that there’s something else going on with the Red Angels like they clearly have that level of power. But are they entities themselves? Are they working with someone? I mean what if it turns out like there’s only one Red Angel and it’s it is Spock and like he’s going through his own timeline. I don’t know. It’s weird. So yeah, I think your theories are good because my theory I think is kind of rubbish doesn’t make any sense in the light of why would they save Michael?
Carla: It’s motivation. That’s the key.
Ben: Yeah why are they doing these things?
Carla: Yeah. Yeah.
Carla: Because we’ve had several examples like many of beings that have this kind of power but it’s like why would they care?
Ben: And they don’t usually show up and be helpful.
Ben: They’re usually very selfish and it’s always an allegory for “with great power comes great responsibility and also ultimate power corrupts ultimately” or whatever the phrase is you know. So, it’s the Squire of Gothos and Q and all these other entities or humans who are given this kind of power. They always go a bit off the rails and then have to be reined in. Or they are making a very definite point of saying I don’t want this power I would misuse it. And so, these angels are something else. Hopefully.
Carla: We haven’t really talked about apparent killer Spock.
Ben: This is all I’m worried about this.
Carla: I’m really worried. I feel like he is being held somewhere by somebody and this was all lying and they’re like milking it for information or powers or something.
Ben: Yeah somebody knows what’s going on. Somebody knows more than they’re letting on. I mean because I did like that Amanda and Michael and Pike were all like “No way did he kill a bunch people and run off like there’s no way” like there’s no way that would work.
Carla: Or without because you know.
Ben: Unless he was like they were attacking him. I, it’s disappointing to see Starfleet in the future like going “yes he has mental illness he’s psychotic he’s kills people” you’re like that’s not how mental illness is.
Carla: Right and that it’s the mother blaming herself as well for not giving him enough love like it’s so gross…
Ben: Yeah. I mean is that they always.
Carla: it’s contextualized in Vulcanism, but you know it’s like still at the same time.
Ben: Yeah. And he I mean Spock there’s moments in the Original Series where Spock kind of struggles with that dichotomy within himself and he largely really embraces the Vulcan identity and the Vulcan way of life. He holds to it. He could reject it and he’s certainly done other things that have pissed off his parents you know like not going to the Vulcan science academy. But I just yeah. I don’t know this this extra backstory for him. You don’t really find out much about what his childhood was like in any of the other shows. Oh, there’s an episode of The Animated Series apparently where you meet young Spock. But I don’t know if you would really consider that to be part of the story. So yeah, I don’t know. I just don’t know how I feel about it and feel sad about it.
Carla: And there was that comment from Michael to say that he was my shadow. So, this has all been painted as like he was challenged by this new child coming into the environment but then later.
Carla: Overprotective. Is that enough Spock? We don’t know enough.
Ben: Yeah. We don’t know what’s going on. It’s his. He’s a very he’s a shadow in this. Yes. As we don’t see him, we don’t know what’s going on with him and every time we find out something new things are worse.
Carla: I have the feeling that Tyler is going to be able to help Michael the most with this with finding out where he is.
Ben: Well I mean the obvious sort of thing is if somebody has got him and he’s been abducted from a Federation it’s Section 31.
Carla: Yes, that’s exactly what I’m thinking.
Ben: And so maybe next episode that’s what we discover I don’t know.
Carla: And then we’ve got Tilly’s ghost, fungal space fungal poisoning.
Carla: I loved this.
Ben: That was great. This is my favourite part of the episode. I mean I think I liked this episode overall more than you, but I agree with you. This is the best story line of the whole episode. I just because I remember last time, I was talking about how I liked that everybody was trusting each other and revealing their problems. And then this episode begins with Tilly like not telling anyone about this woman who’s dead that she can see who’s talking to her and I’m like “why haven’t you told anybody?” And I think she, they do justify it pretty well it’s just like “No I’m in the command training program I can’t go to medical and tell them I’m seeing things like they’ll not like you”…
Carla: But that’s not another feather in the cap of mental illness in the future.
Ben: No. And also, you’re on a Star Trek show. You know that weird shit like this is real. You should be trying to figure it out with your brain then your friends. And eventually she does of course come clean to them and they’re like of course. Yeah. Come on let’s go. But not before she shouts at Captain Pike. Oh, I felt for her in that moment.
Carla: I know. And he was just glorious, as usual, stealing everything that he is in.
Ben: Yeah oh when he suggests “oh why don’t we just marry some people who aren’t that crazy about each other” Oh no you don’t mean that. It’s so delightful.
Carla: But you’ve touched on what I wanted to talk about with this because very much like in Voyager by Voyager time this entity I mean this entity is persistent. It’s talking quote unquote talking to Tilly but they’re perceiving that as her commandeering her neural network to create hallucinations. But this entity was very insistent in the end in trying to tell her something and then they just kill it, they capture it, by Voyager time that would have been considered a first contact opportunity and they would not have they would have explored it as long as it’s not going to hurt the human they would have explored that as much as possible but now they’ve just captured this thing and…
Ben: Yeah, it’s interesting because Tilly is so angry with May. She’s really like “you’re messing up my opportunity” and it seems for superficial reasons. But also, there’s that element of “you lied to me” and she’s freaked out because “you are using the memory of a friend.
Ben: You have not seen in a long time and who has been dead and I didn’t even know and that is that is a shock” and I can understand her anger and resentment because it’s like “you could have told me who you were you could have said hi I’m not a real person you could have and you could have appeared presumably as anything you wanted. So why you here are this person whose dead who’s from my past and lying to me and presenting himself as a real person” and then you know.
Carla: Because they have an important message about the network, they’ve got to tell Tilly and they killed it.
Ben: But they don’t but she doesn’t tell you. I mean there’s the other thing is that May is not very good at conveying this message last, she’s been talking to Tilly this whole time and oh she’s just like “we have to talk to the captain”. It’s like why don’t you just tell Tilly what the message is the captain can’t see? Yeah. Again, her frustration is so I think justified by the way that May doesn’t communicate what it is that she wants when she is quite you know, eloquent. And so why doesn’t she just come out and say it? Instead she’s like I only talked to the captain. He’s short like she can. She can say all these things but can’t actually.
Carla: Because is it a message from Hugh?
Ben: Oooo it could be. I mean it’s the fact that it’s a sport from the Mirror Universe is quite worrying because maybe the Mirror Universe bores are evil in some way.
Carla: (laughs) That too. But I was just like festival as a human. I’d be like “Oh my God I have a parasite in me. Get the fuck out of me”. But then at the same time like she’s mega science and she’d be like “can’t we study it? What is it doing to me?” I just found this all very rushed.
Carla: And it’s gonna bite them in the ass. That’s my prediction.
Ben: Well I mean they haven’t killed it or expelled it from my body, and it seems a bit angry but hopefully now maybe now they can talk to it.
Ben: I don’t know. I hope so. I hope they try.
Ben: I am glad that we now know there’s definitely no weird incestual stuff going.
Carla: Yes, well not really.
Ben: Oh, you think maybe that’s the thing that she did…
Carla: I think it’s…
Ben: to push him away.
Carla: Yeah maybe.
Ben: Like pretend that she was interested or something.
Carla: Or tried to have some kind of physical intimacy with him but I think there’s a lot in that contextualisation that Amanda does about intimacy and talking about how she was never physically affectionate. I don’t know that feels contextualised, so I feel like yes potentially that’s off the table, but I’ve still got a question mark.
Carla: All right. Shall we Short Chats?
Ben: I think we will
Carla: Now it’s time for re:Discovery Short Chats where we talk news, trivia and anything related to Discovery or the Star Trek universe. We will also be taking questions during this segment from you the listener. So please follow our socials to be in touch. What do you want to talk about Ben?
Ben: Well we actually do have a couple of questions from listeners.
Carla: Oh, we do! Hello!
Ben: Which is fantastic so I think we should talk about those from Darren Lutchner via email. Thank you, Darren, for sending it in “You mentioned on recap of the first episode that you like the mix of aliens on board and females on board Discovery. I totally agree. However, the humans all seem to be American. I would like to have seen a mix of Earth cultures surely all Trek series set in the original universe should have a grumpy Scotsman”
Carla: Everything should have a grumpy Scotsman.
Ben: They just make everything, better don’t they? I mean Harry Potter is immensely improved by having McGonigal on hand but yeah. This was something that I kind of had in the back of my head because all the human crew of Discovery. That all Americans and this is pretty rare on Star Trek.
Ben: I mean in the Original Series they made a big deal out of showing that Earth was a united culture by having all of the human crew be from all these different countries and have different accents. Then on you know like Next Gen Picard is French but he sounds English.
Ben: And that’s pretty much it actually produced the entire rest of the human crew. They’re all from America show or at least have American accents. And on Voyager they’re mostly American actually. But then you have Chakotay who is Native American and B’Elanna Torres who it’s never really, didn’t really go into it.
Carla: She’s kind of like Latino but American.
Ben: So, it’s not since the Original Series it’s they’ve not gone out of their way to include lots of non-American actors.
Carla: We had Miles on…
Ben: Oh true.
Carla: We had Miles on TNG and then also when he went to Discovery
Ben: and Julian Bashir Yeah.
Carla: And Julian Bashir on Deep Space Nine.
Ben: He’s English but we’d like an Indian or Sri Lankan heritage. They never go into exact detail about what his ethnic background is but and they’re from England it seems. But then they moved around on earth quite a bit.
Carla: Well who knows what that means in the future you know. We do have Georgiou who has grown up in Malaysia.
Ben: OK that’s true.
Carla: But she’s not on the crew so to speak.
Ben: She’s dead.
Carla: Yeah. (bursts out laughing).
Ben: (laughs) So So they killed her.
Carla: Yeah. So, we don’t know where the Terran in Georgiou grew up.
Ben: Yeah. So, I would love it if you don’t introduce any new human characters that if they weren’t from America.
Carla: Yeah. And the irony is that so many of the actors are British.
Ben: So, there’s Sarek. Jason Isaacs is British. He’s a Northerner. He’s got a very thick accent. Yeah Shazad Latif. Yeah.
Ben: And so, I think that was a great point. Thank you for that Darren and I agree we love to see some non-American characters on Discovery.
Carla: And shout out to Keith Gow as well, Oh hello. We love our chats with you. Do we have any other questions?
Ben: We did have one more Dan “Destructor” on Twitter. Thank you Dan who did send a couple of questions last time that we kind of covered in the discussion, so we didn’t end up explicitly addressing that asked, “Was it me or was that blood un-Disco pink?”
Ben: And I am interested in this because I was keeping an eye on that scene and I was trying to once there was blood flying around. I kind of assumed that you know it was gonna be pink because that’s what colour Klingon blood is.
Ben: I think it kind of was.
Carla: Yeah. Because did you notice it splatter on the camera?
Ben: I did not until you pointed it out.
Carla: Now you won’t be able to unsee it.
Ben: Now I can’t unsee it.
Carla: I’ve passed the gift to you. (laughs)
Ben: Oh, this it’s the worst! (laughs).
Carla: Yes. So, it has been colour match. So, it’s not weird I don’t think.
Ben: Yeah. So, I. And that’s a nice little bit of continuity but also it’s, and this is not a Discovery problem this is this is my disappointment with all of Star Trek, it’s because the aliens are always like a human but with weird face they do anything they can do to differentiate them I’m keen for you know and I know that there’s an in universe explanation for that but I still am vastly disappointed that we almost never meet intelligent species that don’t seem to be just more humanoids right. And I understand that’s budget reasons. But. Yeah. So, anything that differentiates them further I am a big fan of.
Carla: All right I’ve got a couple of things. Do we all clock Pike calling Owosekun “Owo”?
Ben: oh, I did not clock that.
Carla: So, Hashtag Owo. What about Sybock?
Ben: Oh yeah. I wondered if we bring him up. Yeah.
Carla: So Sybok for those who don’t know is also the other brother in this situation Sybok rejected logic later in life and was excommunicated essentially from Vulcan the Vulcans and the family.
Ben: And he’s Spock’s half-brother.
Carla: That’s right.
Ben: Whose mother is another Vulcan.
Carla: Yeah. Before Amanda right because she died. Yeah. Yeah. So, she. So Sybok is Spock’s older brother. So, what are we thinking? He’s already rejected logic at this point and there’s only quote unquote the four of them as Amanda said.
Ben: Yeah well, he’s old and it’s never clear how old he is. It’s further compounded by the fact that from memory the actor who played him in Star Trek five is actually younger than Leonard Nimoy (both laugh) which makes it very difficult to figure out how old is supposed to be but also maybe he just seems younger because he’s not always frowning seriously like all other Vulcans. So yeah.
Carla: That’s okay cause Rose was two years younger than Bea Arthur in the Golden Girls. So, you know, not Rose um what’s the name of the mother? Yeah, the mother.
Ben: Oh, are you serious?
Carla: Estelle Getty. Yeah. She’s two years younger than Bea Arthur. Yeah. They had put her in like old makeup.
Ben: Wow. Okay yeah. All right. But look. Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know. Is he going to turn up? It seems difficult to have a discussion about weird secret siblings of Spock.
Ben: Like not even at least vaguely mention it. Although having said that if there’s anyone who could keep a secret and never bring it up it’s gonna be Sarek. (laughs) Because he’s clearly done that for multiple things.
Carla: Sarek is a douche I’m sorry and how is he a diplomat? Maybe it’s like chefs don’t cook at home you know what I mean. (laughs)
Ben: (laughs) Wow. Yeah. He doesn’t really intervene very well. I mean those scenes in the last episode of him talking to Spock and telling him what to do would not yeah. Not very diplomatic.
Ben: He’s much more of a douche in the Original Series. Okay. Like when. When Spock finally sees him for the first time in 18 years. He’s just did what a dingus.
Ben: Like seriously he just it’s he’s given Spock the silent treatment quite literally and it just goes to great lengths to avoid speaking to him or even about him. And you like that’s not very logical sir.
Carla: I know it’s a drama.
Ben: Yeah. And then Amanda’s like “Oh why did I marry a Vulcan?!”. They have this cute little like they hold their fingers instead of holding hands. (Carla laughs) well it’s very weird.
Carla: I have to admit like seeing Amanda in this episode and everything that she’s going through I’m like “Why. What’s in it for you Amanda?”
Ben: Yeah. I mean look I like Sarek in this for the most part but it’s the back-story parts of him where I’m like “Why did you do that?”
Ben: Yeah. So that’s a fair point.
Carla: I don’t think I have anything else except this. Andrew Colville who wrote this episode was in the writer’s room for Mad Men. I know definitely season three but I’m not sure how many seasons, he’s a well-respected writer but he was just I don’t know where that was the direction that the show needed to go in. But this this episode really didn’t land for me like I think it did I called it a Swiss Army knife, so I think it did a good job in terms of you know bringing everything together. But these first three episodes are so different from each other that I’m really hoping that now everyone’s caught up. We’ve got a path that we’re going down and from like Episode 4 onwards we’re going to be moving forwards not all over the place with a story. What are you, how do you feel?
Ben: Well I mean I feel the first two had a pretty consistent tone for me like it was there was more adventure there was more fun. This one’s a bit back to the season one style of awful things happening all the time and less being less about mystery and more about conflict and very direct conflict. And at the same time all of the conflict in the episode comes from existing sources like the Discovery doesn’t go on a mission in this episode. So yeah, I don’t know I feel in two minds about it. I certainly liked it more than you and I had a good time watching it. It does feel a bit like the whole Klingon subplot. I kind of feel like it felt shoehorned into one episode.
Carla: Yeah like look it always was telenovela and I think that that kept it real to what it was in the first season. So, I don’t sort of begrudge that.
Ben: That’s what Klingons are like.
Carla: Yeah. Klingon Oprah.
Ben: Yeah. They love it. Now I wanted to briefly mention that we’ve both been watching some old school stuff. Yeah. And I I’ve really been enjoying revisiting a few episodes of the Original Series I’ve just watched all of season one of Enterprise with the sort of new perspective that Discovery has given me. And one of the things that made me realise just like this is the first time that I know of that someone has done a spin-off series that’s not just a prequel or a sequel it’s set in between other existing stories.
Carla: Yeah that’s a good point.
Ben: So, it comes after Enterprise you’ve got like a lot of stuff established in the Enterprise about what kind of technology level the early Federation had and all that kind of stuff. But then it comes just before the Original Series so it’s like set roughly the same time period. And a lot of the same politics but sort of the things that lead up to that point. And so, it was actually someone on Twitter was talking about how the way that Klingons behave in the films makes a lot more sense. And even in the Original Series when you now have this context of what the Klingon Federation war was like they nearly but they nearly got as far as earth like they gonna wipe it out and it was only kind of averted by this you know weird extreme dimension hopping spaceship crew that was then had to be silenced and not allowed to talk about it. So, there’s this really. And also, the stakes of what that war about for the Klingons now being established kind of feeds into what they like as a culture and how they view the Federation in both the Original Series and kind of you know ongoing from that. So yeah, I’m really enjoying re watching some of that stuff for the new context.
Carla: You actually reminded me of something that I wanted to bring up which is you know like right in the beginning T’Kuvma is like “yeah. Here comes their lie. We come in and peace”. And now that we’ve seen we’re starting to see that they’re essentially amoral behaviour of Section 31 if this is what other beings that are not in line with the Federation are experiencing then we can now understand the mistrust, aggression, that the Federation ships experience in the future. And it’s not just xenophobia or trying to gain control of power. Well they’ve got their little operatives in the background controlling or murdering or you know.
Ben: That’s their America. And I mean this is the thing that in so many of these sci-fi shows earth becomes like a stand in for the United States rather than you know like a bunch of different nations that amalgamate and create a new culture.
Ben: Shorthand for that like Babylon 5 was very much like that as well. And sometimes that’s what the Federation is painted as. And I think that also is why I get to make another Insurrection reference (Carla laughs) because one of the things I love so much.
Carla: Three for three.
Ben: I know one of things I love so much about that film is it is Picard reinforcing the real values of the Federation in the face of the Federation doing something horribly unjust and ethically corrupt.
Ben: And saying you know he’s got a skill he’s got this great speech about where they’re going to relocate these people because they need to use the energy on their planet and he’s like it’s only like 800 people. And Picard’s like “How many does I have to be before it’s not okay. Six million?” and you’re like WHOA this is the business. And so, he’s like yep. Disobeying orders we’re going to shoot at Federation officers like this is bullshit. Not standing for it.
Ben: And it’s that that. And the fact that that you know corruption can still exist into the future.
Ben: I like that while the whole people who often bang on about how the flaw in Roddenberry’s vision is that it was supposed to be so lovey dovey and perfect but it’s always those moments where people have to hold onto those values in the face of even the institution that they’re serving failing that I think reinforce it and make it so great.
Carla: Yeah totally. And it’s also a parable for us to understand that complacency creeps in wherever and whenever no matter how far you have evolved there will always be these attitudes and insurgencies coming trying to you know it’s just natural. People want what they don’t have.
Carla: And it will you know you have to stay true to your ethics and your morals and I think that’s always the thread that runs through Star Trek.
Ben: Yeah there’s one other thing I want to mention before we go which is about Anson Mount.
Carla: Oh yeah?
Ben: And I’m sure you won’t mind us talk.
Carla: No, we can talk about him all you like.
Ben: Because I was looking at him in this episode was going “He looks really familiar. I’m sure I’ve seen him somewhere else” and so I looked him up on the IDB and I realized where I’d seen him. And it’s weird because I haven’t even actually watched the show that I’m about to talk about, but I was really interested in it. He was in the Inhumans.
Ben: One of the Marvel TV shows based on a fairly obscure by Marvel standards group of kind of like mutants called the Inhumans, but he played the leader of this group who’s called Black Bolt.
Carla: Mm hmm.
Ben: And he wears a cool outfit and he’s like…
Carla: Of course.
Ben: The leader of then humans.
Ben: They used to live in a secret underground lair and then they moved to the moon. It’s a whole Marvel comic book nonsense. But his superpower is that his words when he speaks his voice can just destroy things. And if he even so much as whispers like things get cracked in half and if he shouts, he can destroy a whole planet. So, he never speaks, and he speaks in sign language. And I was reading about this. He invented his own sign language.
Carla: Oh wow.
Ben: Cause he’s like they’re the Inhumans they live on the freakin’ moon. He doesn’t know American Sign think we know. So, he worked with like some sign language folks to kind of create his own signs that you could kind of follow but were not ASL. And I’m like “What a dude!”.
Carla: That’s really cool.
Ben: And then the show apparently was awful and got cancelled really early. But yeah, he’s the silent protagonist of this show. And he looked great in the outfit.
Carla: That’s awesome. Do you know. Can I tell you something? Because I study psychology.
Carla: Can I say you’re really interesting about linguistics. So, in cultures, deaf cultures that had developed without language. So, there was no proper, there was no language to be learned. Communities of deaf people created their own sign language, ways of communicating and they all had natural syntax.
Ben: Oh wow.
Carla: Syntax is inherent to humans.
Ben: Yeah. You know I was this Steven Pinker wrote about this.
Carla: I don’t know who Steven Pinker is.
Ben: I think I got the name right. He wrote a book called The Language Instinct and it’s all about how humans are hardwired to learn a language. He didn’t go into. I don’t remember if he talks about the syntax but yeah, he mentioned that as like one of the bits of evidence is like you don’t have a language you make one up because your brain is ready for it.
Carla: That’s right.
Ben: Yeah that’s cool.
Carla: That’s my car.. that’s “Carla’s Science Corner”.
Ben: Oh, I’m going to read more about that. It’s amazing.
Carla: You’ve been listening to re:Discovery. All links to creatives are in the show notes or on our website www.rediscoverpodcast.com. We’d love to connect with you, please add us on Twitter and Facebook @rediscoverypod.
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