Light and Shadows (S02E07)

In “Light and Shadows”, the search for Spock is finally over as Michael has an emotional reunion with her brother. Meanwhile Discovery finds a time rift whilst investigating the tachyon particles left behind near Kaminar, with Pike and Tyler bonding through space, time, robot octopi and touching fingers. This was an action-packed episode with a forward thrust, temporally, through all versions of Star Trekre:Discovery is living for this episode and the rest of the season!

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  • The “wipe” is a method of transitioning one shot into another in film; there are various kinds but vertical wipes – where one shot is vertically removed to reveal the next – are best known to English-speaking audiences in George Lucas’ Star Wars films. He was inspired by Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, who used them extensively, but they’re now associated strongly with Star Wars.
  • Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus is a terrible 2009 film made by “mockbuster” production house The Asylum and starring 80s teen sensation Debbie Gibson. It’s almost worth watching for the scene in which the titular shark leaps out of the ocean to eat a passing jetliner. Almost.
  • Arrival is Denis Villeneuve‘s 2016 film about linguist Amy Adams trying to communicate with giant mysterious multi-limbed aliens. (By contrast, The Arrival is a 1996 American-Mexican sci-fi film about a stealthy alien invasion, starring Charlie Sheen and directed by David Twohy. Ben also liked that one.) Villeneuve did indeed direct Blade Runner 2049, the 2017 sequel to Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), and is currently writing and directing a new film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel Dune, due for release in 2020.
  • It’s worth mentioning that there is another Star Trek captain who constantly puts himself on the line, potentially leaving his crew with no leader: the otherwise affable Jonathan Archer! Considering we’re both watching Enterprise at the moment, we don’t know how Ben missed that one.
  • Future Echoes” an episode of Red Dwarf where the crew break the light barrier and experience events that will occur in the future that can be seen in the present.
  • Dyslexia is a difficulty with reading, thought to have a genetic and neurological cause, and affects as much as 7% of the world’s population, usually diagnosed while in school. It’s not treated medically, but through alternate teaching methods for those affected.
  • In the future universe of Dune, sophisticated computers are outlawed, so complex calculations are performed by humans known as Mentats who are trained to think logically to efficiently process and analyse information. In David Lynch’s 1984 film version, Mentat Piter de Vries (played by Brad Dourif) chants: “It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning. It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
  • Sarek finally speaks to Spock (and holds fingers with Amanda) in the second season Star Trek episode Journey to Babel, which is set in 2268 – eleven years after the events of Light and Shadows. This is Sarek’s only appearance in the original series, though Mark Lenard would return in the role for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, a brief appearance in Star Trek IV, and several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • Hiding in an asteroid was made a “classic of the genre” by Han Solo when he used this trick to hide from an Imperial fleet in the 1983 Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back.
  • As you probably know, we do our “little recaps” at the start, not the end as Ben suggests. (Our lovely reviewer did not make the same mistake.)
  • Props to redditor VistaVizion who spotted the cute labels on the shuttle controls; here’s the still on imgur.
  • It turns out Spock’s number is from the original FASA Star Trek roleplaying game, where the coordinates of Talos IV were given as 7.49S 1.48E – galactic latitude and longitude coordinates, expressed in parsecs. That’s still kind of ridiculous, but we do love that the writing team are such nerds that they looked this up. (A parsec is a measurement of distance equal to about 3.26 light years.)
  • A google search with exactly one search result is known as a “googlewhack“, and traditionally has to be made up of only two words. The term was coined by Gary Stock in 2002, but popularised by UK comedian Dave Gorman in his 2003 live show, Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure, in which he goes looking for a sequence of ten googlewhacks instead of writing a novel.
  • The first Star Trek episode (discounting excellent pilot “The Cage“), in which everyone loses their inhibitions – including Sulu taking his shirt off, getting oiled up and running about the Enterprise with a fencing foil, and Spock struggling to control his emotions – is “The Naked Time”. It was more or less remade as “The Naked Now”, the second episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, in which we first discover that Data is “fully functional”.
  • The “rule of three” is that three is the minimum number of things you need to set up and then disrupt a pattern, a basic technique of comedy. (The “rule of threes”, which is what Ben says but doesn’t mean, is closer to what Amanda says – in the Planescape campaign setting for Dungeons & Dragons, the “rule of threes” is literally that everything comes in threes.)

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