This is a transcript of our seventh season two recap, available here
Michael [From episode]: Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly for she had plenty of time as she went down.
Computer [From episode]: Working. Working.
Michael [From episode]: To wonder what was going to happen next.
re:Discovery theme plays.
Carla: Hello and welcome to re:Discovery. The Star Trek recap podcast that will never turn you over to Section 31. I’m your host for today, Captain Carla Donnelly, and I’m joined as always by my Science Officer Ben McKenzie. Ben would you shoot a robot octopus off me if it were strangling me?
Ben: Even if I hadn’t seen a misleading glimpse of the future, Captain.
Carla: (laughs) We have made it to the mid-season! Woo!
Carla: Episode seven “Light and Shadows” delivers on so many goods promised and much much more. The episode opens with Discovery still in orbit around Kaminar. They are staying to investigate the tachyon particles the Red Angel left behind. Michael requests personally from Pike, she will return to Vulcan on the hunch that Amanda knows where Spock is. Michael believes that Spock is the key to the mystery and is determined to find him before Section 31 do. The analysis of the tachyon particles reveal they are the same measured by Section 31 at the site of the first Red Angel appearance way back at the crash site of USS Hiawatha. Discovery gets closer to investigate; a time rift appears and causes chaos with temporal disturbances. So, everyone’s favourite “will they or won’t they” couple, Pike and Tyler shoot off on a mission together to shoot a probe into it.
Carla: On Vulcan, Michael arrives at her familial home grilling Amanda about Spock a man who refuses to cooperate believing that Spock has been unfairly accused of murder. Michael begs Amanda to let her help him. Back in the time rift a shockwave consumes Pike and Tyler’s shuttle cutting them off from Discovery. Saru enlists Stamets help believing that his tardigrade DNA will make him immune to the effects of the rift enough to locate the shuttle. Cut to a sacred crypt on Vulcan and the search for Spock is finally over. He has had a total psychological breakdown and is pacing repeating the “First Doctrines of Logic” on loop completely disassociated. Michael begs Amanda to take him to a hospital. Amanda refuses as a wife of a diplomat she has immunity from extradition. World’s Greatest Dad Sarek turns up and objects.
Ben: On the shuttle Pike comes up with a risky plan to signal Discovery. Taylor accuses him of seeking danger because of his guilt at sitting out the war. After trying Pike’s manoeuvre, they encounter the probe they fired into the rift. It’s now 500 years older and equipped with tentacle upgrades which it uses to attack the shuttle. In the cavern, as Spock mutters seemingly nonsense numbers, Sarek accuses Amanda of abusing his diplomatic privilege to harbor Spock. But she refuses to back down. Sarek offers a compromise hand Spock over to Section 31, they want his information and have the resources to help him outside Federation protocols. No one likes the plan but agree it’s their best shot. On the shuttle the probe pierces the hull and grabs Tyler. Pike realizes his vision was really of him shooting its tentacle to save Tyler. The severed arm connects to the shuttle computer and starts hacking into Discovery’s databanks. Back on Discovery, Stamets enlists Tilly’s help to track the shuttle and beam aboard and he successfully pilots it out of the rift, but they can’t remove the probe. Michael delivers Spock to Leland who assures her that they have a device that can heal his mind. But Georgiou tips Michael off that they will only extract his memories; damaging or killing him in the process. She helps Michael escape with her brother hoping to use Leland’s failure to advance in Section 31. Stamets, Tyler and Pike can’t disable the probe, so they set the shuttle to self-destruct and beam back to Discovery just in time. But not before Airiam, trying to shut the probe out of Discovery’s computers, is secretly exposed to its seemingly malevolent signal. Tyler and Pike make amends and resolve to treat the Angel with caution. At Section 31, Georgiou firms up her hold over Leland by threatening to reveal to Michael that Leland was responsible for the death of her parents. As their ships pass by Spock quotes from Alice in Wonderland and Michael realizes his number is backwards and refers to the planet Talos IV – dum dum dum!!!
Ben: Holy moly Whoa Carla you know how I like to say, “so much going on in this episode”, I don’t think that phrase that even really cuts at this time.
Carla: No, it was a mile a minute or sorry per kilometre, as I’ve said I appreciate about the Star Trek universe.
Ben: It is metric. Yeah that’s true. There’s no way we’d take miles into outer space.
Carla: Holy crap why do we even start?
Ben: I don’t know, let’s start at the start. Well can we? How do you even start at the start – this is as time travel episode there is no start?
Carla: Oh my God I’m in heaven.
Ben: So good. Oh man. Old school temporal anomaly business. I love it.
Carla: This is the best of Star Trek. As I said on our introductory episode.
Ben: It’s so good it’s so good.
Carla: So, first of all I feel like it really is a shift in a different direction, tonally it was so different to most of the other episodes. What do you think?
Ben: Well I don’t think I noticed that as much as you. But now that you say it yeah, I see what you mean.
Carla: I feel like it had that old school kind of soap opera, Star Wars, screen swipe, pace and tone to the whole episode. And it really kept things up at a really fantastic pace. It was light on personal drama, even though there was a lot of personal issues happening. It was more a storyline for it was it was drawn together by everyone; the storyline was drawn together by everyone then having these sort of separate siloed situations.
Carla: And by sort of elevating it up to this more meta story line or teamwork I can’t I can’t describe it. It just felt more cohesive to me and really robust direction.
Ben: Yeah yeah. It felt like everybody was involved and I think you know this episode is something I’ve been waiting for a bit.
Carla: So long.
Ben: This was a Michael episode or at least well sort of. I mean because Michael’s storyline has been so in the shadow of Spock all through this season so far and every episode, it’s been like the background plot because we can’t get close to Spock yet. And there’s been nice character moments with her. I’ve really enjoyed her sort of growing friendship with Pike. And you know her reaffirmation of her friendship with Tilly and with Saru, but this feels like the first time she’s really front and centre even though again you know it’s all about Spock. But she’s the one who’s actively looking for him. She’s the catalyst for, you know, making a decision about what to do with him and finding him. So yeah, I really liked that about this episode, and it felt like there was that but even then, her storyline involved Amanda and Sarek and Leland and Georgiou; and then the Discovery storyline involved pretty much everybody. And it was another big one for the bridge crew, Carla.
Carla: There’s so many bombs that went off in this episode.
Ben: I know.
Carla: And like what, just in terms of what’s going to happen. Airiam! What is going to happen with that?
Ben: You know what excites me most about this is we will have to learn more about her, for this to make sense.
Carla: Of course! She’s going to have an episode.
Ben: it’s going to be so good. She’s going to have an episode and an episode.
Carla: (laughs) Before she takes down the Discovery or attempts to.
Ben: I liked how the representation of the virus or whatever it is like three little lights and it’s like the Predators type thing like, yeah, it’s pretty good.
Carla: But what’s with sleeper agents, like really?
Ben: They’re very was it’s full of drama is it because if you’re a sleeper agent you might not even know yourself. I mean that was the whole thing with Tyler/Voq not knowing, you know, the Tyler personality did not know that they were implanted on… you know what the terminology around that got very confusing this season because they have to take this shorthand that “yeah I was… I’m Tyler. Voq’s gone”. Like no you’re still Voq, you’re like an you’re a fake version of Tyler. You know it’s…
Ben: Why did they make this so needlessly complicated?
Carla: I like that they called it the “Voq shadow”.
Ben: Yeah that was good. That was good.
Carla: That’s so euphemistic.
Ben: I’m guessing you loved the Pike Tyler business in this episode.
Carla: What a surly salty situation. You know the three S’s as they say in scriptwriting.
Ben: (laughs) Yeah.
Carla: Yeah. I thought this was fantastic. And look you know as a project manager there’s nothing better than getting a team to start working together than putting them in a crisis situation or getting them, we’re giving them a really difficult puzzle to solve.
Carla: So, I really appreciate that. I loved this back… getting more background on Pike being a test pilot, further solidifying in my mind that he was a wild cowboy back in the day. Yeah.
Ben: Yeah and nice sort of you know a really good excuse to explore his motivation for the way that he’s behaving, because what I have been thinking “wow” the captain really goes in a lot of dangerous missions in this season. You know Lorca I never did that. And in fact, most of the Star Trek captains do not do that. The big exception was Kirk right. He was always in the landing parties, but you know Picard did not do that. Sisco doesn’t do that, Janeway doesn’t do that they are all like “No I know I know I’m important. Like I’ll go down when it’s necessary. But I’m not going to put myself on the front line all the time.” Whereas Pike is definitely doing that. And now we have a reason why.
Ben: Yeah. Because he wasn’t in the war. Yeah, he feels…
Carla: But you can say for a man like that would have been very ego bruising particularly in terms of how, you know, married he is to Starfleet.
Ben: And he’s very, I think it’s also it’s part of his caring personality too. He feels like a lot of people died and maybe I could have saved them.
Carla: Yeah, he could have helped.
Ben: And so now I’m going to try my best to save people from this threat that I am here to deal with.
Carla: I mean it’s typical macho risky behaviour. It’s like what if you die? Captain Pike, what happens then?
Ben: Yeah. And you can’t help anybody. So, I’ll be interesting to see if he backs down a little bit now.
Carla: Well yeah. The two of them together, I feel like they’ve found a bit of a bond they kind of trust each other. They have a basic level of trust.
Ben: Also, they’ve touched fingers, now (both laugh) there’s that little moment with the controls. See someone and Reddit like post a close up of those controls. I’ll talk about that in Short Chats.
Carla: Okay great.
Ben: I really liked near the start when Saru sort of just takes command and it’s the new Saru. And I he’s just like…
Carla: I thought of you.
Ben: Let’s do it, let’s go. This is what we need to do. You just it’s just self-assured there’s no like worrying.
Carla: But very calm.
Ben: And he’s just like “Okay you need to do this you need to do that you need to do that. Hey, go talk to Stamets, he’s the one who’s got the solution to this because we know that his relation to time is different to ours now”.
Carla: He feels really recalibrated.
Ben: Yeah, I really loved that. I really enjoyed that little moment. He doesn’t it doesn’t have a big presence in this episode, but he really makes himself felt there at the start and then the bridge crew get on with their jobs and again you know everybody was on board.
Carla: Yeah. And Reese’s like, it’s really strange, like Reese isn’t getting a lot of actions but he’s getting his name said a lot. Would you think it’s you know almost as good, I guess? It’s maybe they’re kind of like setting that up that you know he’ll get an episode, but I can’t tell you how like I’m trying to just calm myself down how excited I am now for the rest of the season. Yeah there’s all of my favourite things coming, happening, and I’m just so excited to see where all of this stuff is going to go.
Carla: It really feels like a huge change has happened and also with the new announcement of the show runner. But we’ll talk about that in Short Chats.
Carla: So, it’s been a huge week for me Star Trek. I’m like freaking out.
Ben: I know it’s been a great week and we haven’t even mentioned the whole confirmation of renewal for a third season. I guess we can talk about that in Short Chats. So, getting back to the episode that that time rift whole plotline was awesome. It had a little bit of everything, like there was glimpses of the past and the future. There was a weird sort of Matrix/20,000 Leagues Under the Sea kind of monster moment with the probe turning into a giant squid. I love it!
Ben: I’m a big I don’t know if I have mentioned this on the podcast I wouldn’t had a reason to but I really love giant squids like I’m really into cephalopods like I just think they’re super cool and so yeah to see like one turn the probe into I didn’t see it coming that it was going to become a robot squid. I was like “this is awesome”.
Carla: So, you must really love that movie. You know the one?
Ben: Mega shark vs giant octopus?
Carla: No, the one where they’re alien octopi and they talk in symbols and smoke.
Ben: Oh! “The Arrival”
Carla: Yeah “The Arrival”
Ben: Or “Arrival” I think it’s just “Arrival”
Carla: Did you like it?
Ben: I did like it.
Carla: Didn’t Denis Villeneuve do it?
Ben: Denis Villeneuve… The guy who’s doing the new Dune right?
Ben: Yeah. And did the new Blade Runner.
Carla: Yeah yeah. Which apparently terrible.
Ben: I haven’t seen the Blade Runner.
Carla: I have to watch it for Screen Studies and I’m so disappointed.
Ben: Hope it’s okay.
Carla: Yeah. It’s alright.
Ben: But I’m excited about the Dune. Dune could be good.
Carla: Okay. Back to this.
Carla: So much other stuff so much other stuff was dropped in this Spock had dyslexia.
Ben: Is it dyslexia or is it something like dyslexia? It’s a learning difficulty.
Carla: No, I think it was the dyslexia.
Ben: But they used the Vulcan word.
Carla: Yeah. That’s right. It’s contextualized in a Vulcan way, which is strange. I don’t know where that is going in the plot line.
Ben: Actually, speaking of Dune I found his chanting in the cavern when he’s going over the logic. It reminded me a lot of the “Mentats” particular from the film version of Dune with it just like you know that “the juice sets my mind in motion, that logic is countering what the…” you know but you know what I mean. Yeah.
Ben: It was like that it was good. But yeah. So, he’s had some difficulties which is why she read him. I like that kind of contextualization of why they’ve – Alice in Wonderland is involved.
Ben: Was like to show that it’s okay if you can’t figure things out. You can still figure things out in a way.
Carla: Yeah. And the whole you know the whole upside down-ness of the whole of Discovery.
Carla: And mushrooms as well.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah.
Carla: That’s all linked.
Ben: It all comes in together.
Carla: I only had a few more notes for this. I think Spock’s eyebrows are really weird.
Carla: They sort of really, they look very drawn on to me. I can’t kind of get it out of my mind when I look at them. The other thing was that sick fight scene between Michelle Yeoh and Michael.
Ben: So good.
Ben: Well yeah that was cool. And she’s sees that doing Vulcan martial arts. Yeah. So, I thought that was. Yeah that was great.
Carla: Another moment a long time coming with a lot of satisfaction.
Carla: In resolution for both of them, especially for Michael.
Ben: Were you surprised when Georgiou sort of said “Hey I’m going to help you out”.
Carla: No because for a creature like Georgiou it’s just about what she can get out of a situation. So, she’s trying to become the leader of Section 31, which is terrifying. Yeah and a person like that is always just trying to rack up as many points with other people as possible to either blackmail them or you know use them as a resource. So, I wasn’t surprised. Yeah, it’s not altruistic.
Ben: No. Totally. Although she’s trying to present it as if it is.
Carla: Yeah. Because that’s what psychopaths do.
Ben: She wants Michael to like her. Yeah. Yeah. True. How did you feel about the way that the relationship between Amanda and Sarek was present in this episode? It’s the first time we’ve really seen them together.
Carla: Well it’s what one would assume. You know what I mean.
Ben: It’s felt a lot spikier than you see it in the Original Series when they’re older. Which I guess makes sense. Like they probably made their peace with it. But even in that episode because it’s, it’s the time when Sarek sees Spock for the first time after like 18 years of not speaking to him. Not counting this episode where he sees it, but he doesn’t speak to him. It was a nice way to get around that like he’s there but he can’t talk to Spock because he’s like “I hate Spock he’s still he’s still disappointed me but he needs help it’s okay” but in that later episode you know they’re from it from the original Star Trek series, she does like they do have a fight and they do this weird thing actually where they, they hold hands just with like two fingers.
Carla: Yeah. You’ve mentioned this before.
Ben: Yeah, I like it.
Carla: You like it.
Ben: But in this one I’m like wow you like you’ve got some real unresolved issues here. Like about how to raise your son, like talk it out. Surely that’s a logical thing to do as well?
Carla: No because it’s emotional.
Ben: but it’s also ideological like they have different approaches to how they think Spock can be helped. And she’s kept things from him like I sort of read the subtext as Spock’s learning difficulties both his parents know about it. He thinks they’ve been corrected in the learning centre like he’s been taught how to overcome them, or they’ve been treated in some way and she’s like “No I just read him this book until he managed to overcome it himself”. And this is a revelation to Sarek is like “what the? what? okay so” yeah it was a bit hard to get a read on what the deal is with that. It’s like, yeah, I feel like there’s more to be discovered about that, I don’t know.
Carla: To understand that they have a dysfunctional marriage it’s no surprise.
Ben: I guess not. Yeah.
Carla: Yeah but I did like her kind of Bolshie speech that she gave him. Yeah. She’s like “I’m not I’m not your employee” or whatever it was.
Carla: What did she say?
Ben: “We’re partners”.
Carla: Yeah. She said “I don’t live under your law. I’m your partner”.
Ben: Yeah. That was good that was badarse.
Ben: To use a phrase used way too often when women are just not doormats. But no, she was great. I like to you know a little bit of exploration of Vulcan lore there which I’m always.
Carla: Yes. I’ve got it written down. It’s “a sacred crypt filled with katra stones that blocks telepathic communication”. So Sarek would not be able to try and find him.
Ben: It’s very cunning. Yes. Yeah, I guess that so you can meditate in peace. If you if you’re a bit psychic and you don’t pick up on other people’s thoughts, makes sense.
Ben: And they were cool like glowing pyramid things it was awesome.
Carla: Yeah that was rad.
Ben: But then he’s scratching things into the wall. I’m like “This is a sacred crypt you jerk! But it seems like it’s a private crypt it’s not like a public one.
Carla: Yeah, it’s their own.
Ben: It’s on the estate somewhere. Because Sarek just shows up I think that her a little bit Draco Malfoy.
Carla: It shows them coming in on a shuttle.
Carla: And then two seconds later they turn around and it’s like he’s over there. It’s like moment of like “oh he’s standing right behind me, isn’t he?”
Ben: Yes, he just apparated. He did give me a yeah. Like I said Drake. I met Lucius Malfoy. He gave me this sort of elder Malfoy or even you know Alan Rickman as Snape.
Carla: As anything.
Ben: As anything, yeah, he just sort of sweeps in. He’s like… Yeah. It was great. I loved it.
Carla: I loved the old hiding in an asteroid trick that Michael did.
Ben: It’s a classic of the genre.
Carla: Classic of the genre. So sweet and um so they’re still in orbit around Kaminar.
Carla: What’s happening with Kelpians?
Ben: I had a big, actually this is the thing I wanted to ask because the “time tsunami” – not a very gentle choice of words there Tilly – goes off and I’m like it’s right, it’s just…
Carla: That’s exactly what I was thinking!
Ben: Is it going to fuck up the planet? What’s going to happen? I was worried and they were just like “Let’s get out of here” and I’m like “wait a minute what about this civilization you just massively disrupted who are trying to deal with their new status?”.
Ben: And you just have fucked off in your spaceships like “You, you’ll be fine. Temporal wash over you”. It’s a you know it may well they’ll come back and like the Kelpian civilization will have moved on 500 years so like what the hell’s happened here?
Carla: That I would be rad!
Ben: And then how angry would Saru be. He’d be like “Oh man I really screwed this up. I should not have let us leave”. Yeah. I don’t know. The other thing it just made me think of when we’re talking about classics of the genre – I really love the sort of time echoes in this episode that made me think of the Red Dwarf episode “Future Echoes” where they go through the light speed barrier and they start to see things before they happen. Yeah. They had like nice things about that and had the whole time rift thing.
Carla: There was a lot of classic classic stuff in there.
Ben: Yeah yeah there really was and just I don’t you know we saw this at the start but just a little something for nearly everybody to do.
Ben: I’m surprised that.
Carla: Except for Hugh.
Ben: Yeah. Hugh I was very surprised we didn’t see Hugh this episode yet. Where is he? I mean is it… is this a sign that he does need, I mean clearly needs a bit of recovery time so maybe he’s taking it easy. But then Stamets goes off on like possibly, you know death mission, and doesn’t even send him a little note to say, “bye Hugh love you”.
Carla: We don’t see that. But I what I loved about that the most was that Stamets seemed so cohesive. You know it is like “right no, I know what to do. Let’s do it plug me in. I’m going to you know this is what we do”. He seems so far less neurotic and so far, more together.
Ben: Do you think that’s going to be a thing? I I’m starting to suspect that’s a thing like there’s something that’s happened to him because of his…
Ben: And his experiences in the in the network and the return of Hugh. Because he did seem to really not be concerned about Hugh’s concerns, about his return. It’s almost like he’s gone into this sort of weird Zen state of overconfidence because he’s like “everything’s back to normal now. Everything is perfect, I can do anything” and he’s like…
Carla: Well he was arrogant before.
Ben: Oh yeah, I guess so.
Carla: But now he just seems more blissful and that may be the spores.
Ben: He’s happy again I reckon.
Carla: Yeah. What a what a way to be.
Carla: All right. Shall we Short Chats?
Ben: Yeah. Let’s.
Carla: Now it’s time for a Discovery Short Chats where we talk news, trivia, and anything related to Discovery. We will also be taking questions during this segment for you the listener. So please follow our socials to be in touch. Ben what have you got for me?
Ben: Well we’ve had a really nice review actually, when we talk about listener feedback.
Carla: Thank you.
Ben: Thank you for – I don’t know how to pronounce user name “require” I think who reviewed us on Apple podcasts who said particularly that they liked the little recaps at the end and our focus on thematic connections. So, thank you. Thank you for that feedback. And look if you if you want to give us some feedback that other people can read you can give us a review on Apple podcasts as well. We always like to know what people think and it is a nice way to support the podcast or any other podcast that you listen to because it does help make the podcast easier to find and get the word out a little bit easier. If you get a few ratings in there. So, thank you we really appreciate that.
Carla: Thank you. And to the future people who leave us review,
Carla: We had a really interesting email from Michelle Wood, who identifies as a non-binary parent. And Michelle talked a lot about how they felt that the L’Rell/Tyler storyline was something that they had really longed for in popular culture. So, I’ll just read a little bit of their message “I can count the media representation of strong women being mothers with agency who care about their children on very few fingers. Mothers in media that I’m actually interested in who represent that part of me in a way that feels real essentially don’t exist. So L’Rell having this experience even though it was an experience profound loss was a rare opportunity to see that part of my life through other eyes. Having a child is a huge deal. And I love so much seeing two people have that conversation and the joy and fear and hope that comes along with that.”
Carla: So, I thought that that was really fascinating. Michelle also went on to say that they had never heard any criticism anywhere about this new season mentioning parenthood and that’s something that’s a blind spot for us because we’re not parents.
Ben: Mm hmm. Yeah, I hadn’t thought about that either. I think maybe I had not considered that because it did feel like the baby ended up being a bit of a plot device because…
Carla: Here’s a baby same episode, baby’s gone. Mm hmm. But it really was a transformative experience both for L’Rell and for Tyler too. You know as has happens with some people in real life when they find out they’re going to be a parent they’re like “wow I’ve really got to get my shit together” and he sort of had seemed to have a bit of a moment where that was like I’m going to integrate the two halves of my personality and get my shit together for this baby. So yeah, I thought that was that was really interesting insight I hadn’t thought of.
Carla: And also, it really gives it a lot of context for Tyler’s “tetchiness” as I described it, you know we’re like “uh what about Pike? Blah blah blah” but really like this is the person who has found out that they’ve had a child and then given the child up for adoption and in an incredibly painful way. Been put on Section 31, then been put back on Discovery to the side of you know his pain and suffering. So, a lot more depth there.
Ben: Yeah yeah totally.
Carla: Do you have anything else Ben?
Ben: There was a great post on Reddit where someone had done a screenshot of the control panel in the shuttle and they zoomed into it and there’s like four controls that have labels on them, and they all have the abbreviations for the other four Star Trek shows. So, there’s one labelled TNG, there’s one labelled – actually I don’t think TOS is in there I think I don’t think the Original Series, but there’s TNG there’s a VOY there’s a DS9 and there’s an ENT. I thought that was that was great, and I can’t believe somebody spotted it. They’re so small.
Carla: That’s so cute.
Ben: Just in that one shot. But I guess you know you might be watching that bit closely because that is you know that’s the control panel where they’re flicking switches when they touch fingers.
Carla: Touch fingers.
Ben: Which is weird. I like that they looked at each other, they’re like “What”.
Carla: I hope that’s not some kind of DNA swapping situation either ha-ha. DNA is all over this place in this season.
Ben: It’s true.
Carla: I have one more or maybe two more. Okay so Michelle Paradise who has been an Executive Producer on the show and maybe just a Producer. She has now been elevated to Co-Show Runner with Alex Kurtzman. This is thrilling to me because she is a massive Star Trek nerd but also, she is a queer woman.
Ben: This is awesome. This is the first time this is surely…
Carla: I think so.
Ben: Well first time we know about it at least.
Carla: I think so. Well it’s definitely the first time for Star Trek. Yeah that’s for sure. Yeah. So, thrilled to see where that goes. Michelle has a couple of TV shows that I’ve never heard of which is crazy to me. So, I’m going to run off and watch them now one is called “X’s and O’s”. And she has the distinction of making that show, selling it and selling it to Logo without a manager or an agent.
Carla: She made it all of herself. So, seems like a powerhouse of a person.
Ben: She knows what she’s doing.
Carla: Yes. So that’s thrilling! Do we want to talk about Talos IV?
Ben: I think we probably need to.
Carla: I want to so bad.
Ben: Well let’s let’s talk about it. So, this is the planet that is revealed at the end of the episode that Spock’s number, now can I just, actually I do want to talk about this for just a second… There are a lot of planets in the galaxy.
Ben: The idea that a six-digit number could refer to just one of them and nothing else is kind of ridiculous. I think it should have been, I’m just saying, I think it should have been a longer number. Because also then it would have been a cool demonstration of how Vulcans have very good logical minds and they can remember long strings of numbers it’s no big deal.
Carla: Or it could have been several Google search results and they could have picked the top one.
Ben: Yeah but instead it’s like – well also firstly the first number has no matches at all. I’m like it’s a six-digit number. There’s going to be billions of matches in the entire galactic federation database. But then you reverse it and there’s just one. You get a what, what did they call it? You know we need to play that game. And the objective was to find a search term where if you Googled it you only got one result. I was really hard. I think these days it’s basically impossible. It was a game that you used to play if you were bored when Google was new. But yeah, I thought that was weird. But then the one place that it refers to is the planet Talos IV. And we’ve talked about, we’ve mentioned Talos IV briefly.
Carla: Well I don’t think we’ve mentioned it by name, but we talked about the episode.
Ben: Yeah. So, it’s yeah, it’s “The Cage” or “The Menagerie”. Yeah. Which I guess means that the events of “The Cage” and so therefore the past mission depicted in “The Menagerie” is either being set up or has already happened. And this is Spock going back to the planet because he already knows about it.
Carla: But how does that work with Pike storyline?
Ben: Well Pike’s moves so… there’s the mission that the Enterprise goes on to find Talos IV in the first place and then when they leave then no one can come back here. They must’ve already because Spock wouldn’t want to go there unless he knows, because I have a prediction for this, do you want to know what my prediction is?
Carla: Yeah of course.
Ben: I think the next episode, and I hope is the next one, but I think they’re going to go to Talos IV, they’re going to meet the Talosians, and the Talosians are going to do Spock a favour by putting him and Michael into a weird like mind-scape so that they can unravel whatever the hell’s going wrong with his mind. And I’m betting it’s like Alice in Wonderland.
Carla: Dude that is so cool.
Ben: And I hope that’s what happens because I think they’ll be awesome if it doesn’t happen, I want someone to write that as fanfiction because that’s be so cool.
Carla: Sounds like you’ve made yourself a job
Ben: But I think it’s, yeah, I just was when he was saying when they when it came out, I was like “Oh cool! This is going to be awesome”.
Carla: Look can I say like you know I’ve watched six episodes of the Original Series. And I hadn’t watched any before we started this podcast but the… guys if you’ve got Netflix just watched the first episode on Netflix it’s the pilot.
Ben: “The Cage”.
Carla: And basically like what happened with that episode was it was a pilot that got shelved and as Ben explained in a lot of detail in one of the first episodes that we did, they then created it into recycled material into a two-parter later on in the series which is like episode nine and eight and nine I think. But if you just watch this one episode, and it was a lost episode until the late 80s as far as I’m aware.
Ben: Well it was never available anyway. Yeah.
Carla: Yeah. So, it’s literally Episode 0 on Netflix if you open up the Original Series and it’s awesome. Like I’ve always put off watching the Original Series because I’m like “Oh, it’s going to be a bit crap. I’m not going to be able to suspend belief, it’s going to be a bit cheesy”.
Ben: And you know what a lot of that first season is kind of like that. I won’t lie. I tried and I got about three episodes in I’m like “no”.
Carla: I haven’t minded it at all, and like that first season “The Cage”, the first episode I thought it was awesome.
Ben: It is great.
Carla: I loved it in but in a kitschy kind of way and I think that’s kind of the only way that you can come at it.
Ben: It’s very of its time.
Carla: But it’s also to me like I’m a theatre critic and it’s like it’s very theatrical. It’s like soundstage stuff. It could be a play, you know.
Ben: And early television is very much like that. I mean you go back to the 50s when you see the very first sci-fi happening on the BBC and they did like an adaptation of “1984”. I don’t think any of it still exists but when you look at other stuff from around that time, it basically is a stage play. They just have some cameras points about it.
Ben: By, you know, the 66 when they’re doing Star Trek things have gotten a lot more sophisticated than that. They’ve brought a lot more film techniques into television but still it’s a lot more theatrical than modern television is.
Carla: It just looks so cool and it looks way cooler than I thought it would look. And the Talosian’s have these like giant alien heads would like pulsating…
Ben: It’s very “This Island Earth”
Carla: It’s so cool and I don’t know how they did the practical effects on the 60s show, but I like I’m watching it like a hawk trying to see how it’s beating. You know like the veins are beating in its head it’s rad. So, spend an hour of your life watching this episode because it’s going to ground you in so much and I just think it’s really cool.
Ben: Yeah. And I go further than I would say it’s worth cherry-picking other episodes from the series that are relevant. Other good ones – the one where Sarek turns up for the first time with his diplomatic mission, “The Trouble with Tribbles” is quite interesting to watch for the sort of attitude – that’s a good one for Klingon relations in the sort of Original Series era and there’s a few other ones as well.
Carla: Look there’s 60 there’s over 60 episodes or something, I can’t remember.
Ben: It’s about 60 you ran for three years kind of standard sort of long American season length.
Carla: but let me tell you the first episode the one that went to air is awful. It’s all about them being bro’s and romance.
Ben: And then bizarrely they decide to do basically the same episode as one of the very first episodes of Star Trek The Next Generation. And they even refer to it. It’s ridiculous.
Carla: It’s crazy.
Ben: But you do get shirtless Sulu in that episode which is which is worth the price of admission.
Carla: But after that it gets better. Look I’m making my way through it and I’m enjoying it. I’m not sitting down to watch it like I’m scrolling or sort of doing something else or whatever, but you know.
Ben: I’m still dipping in and out around my watch of Enterprise which I’m enjoying more and more as I get into it. Now I’ve just realised I do have a couple of just quick little things. One I really liked in the intro sequence to this episode we now get a really good look at the Red Angel whereas previously it was all shadowy and yeah and in silhouette. So now we see the detail of the suit that we now know that it wears. So, I thought that was really cool. I liked that, Burnham talks about how in her opening log.
Carla: Which is a lot shorter.
Ben: She talks about how Amanda like taught her that things come in threes. I’m like I so Amanda is a comedian. Is that the rule of threes? That was my…
Carla: That was sort of the most busted thing I’ve ever heard a Vulcan say.
Ben: Well she’s not a Vulcan so.
Carla: That’s true yeah.
Ben: But I did think like does that mean they have the rule of threes on Vulcan (both laugh) now and then I started to try and imagine what a Vulcan stand that would be like so I’m like “No”. Okay yeah. Oh, there’s one last thing. One last little tiny thing. This is just me nit picking, and I like to get these in because sometimes I’m like “why guys just this is the continuity fail”. They say, “yeah we’re going to full stop in the shuttle”, and then the next time we see a shot of the shuttle from space it’s like flying through space. You just said, “full stop guys”.
Carla: I didn’t notice that.
Ben: It was really weird. Anyway, it was fine.
Carla: It was just, it must be the “time full stop”.
Ben: I think so yeah. I mean look he turned the engines off he still moves around but that’s it for my money that’s not what full stop means, anyway.
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