This is a transcript of our eighth season two recap, available here
Saru [From episode] : The Star Fleet manual offers no regulatory guidelines for interactions between humans with Klingon grafted to their bones and the ship’s doctor returned from the dead.
re:Discovery theme plays.
Ben: Hello and welcome to re:Discovery the Star Trek recap podcast with the record for the most time elapsed between an episode and the events in its “previously on segment”. I’m Ben McKenzie your faithful Science Officer, and as always, I’m joined on the bridge by Captain Carla Donnelly. Greetings Captain.
Carla: Hello Benjamin. How are you?
Ben: I’m very well. How are you feeling about this episode?
Ben: Me too.
Carla: Yeah, good.
Ben: Shall we talk about it?
Carla: Yes please.
Ben: “If Memory Serves” shatters and rebuilds relationships and trusts; what should be mended is found still broken, as the consequences of past events catch up with the characters and all this happens through the catalyst of a planet and people rooted firmly in the past of our favourite Captain, Pike. We’re reminded of the Enterprise’s visit to Talos IV before joining Georgiou and Leland aboard their Section 31 ship where Georgia is already gaining favour with the Starfleet Admiralty. She orders Pike to stay put, analysing the debris of the destroyed squid probe and he complies but still has Saru calling Vulcan medical facilities to see if they can locate Burnham and Spock. Tyler urges caution. He’s loyal to Burnham and opens up to Pike about their past relationship but has found a home at Section 31. Later Saru confides to Pike that someone has been sending encrypted transmissions increasing the feeling that something isn’t right. Hugh also doesn’t feel right reacting with cold intensity to seeing Tyler and later lashing out at Stamets when he tries hard to make him feel at home. Things ultimately boil over when he confronts Tyler in the mess hall and despite Tyler’s attempts to placate him the two fight. Saru tells the crew to let it happen believing it is a necessary catharsis. Afterwards he tells Stamets the person he loved is dead and they both need to move on. Stamets sadly relents. Burnham shuttle emerges from warp around Talos IV only to find a black hole.
Ben: But Spock wakes enough to stop her from altering course and they fly right through it, finding it an illusion. On the planet’s surface, they meet Vina – a human woman encountered by Pike and Spock on their previous visit. She invites them below the surface where they meet the Talosians who tell her Spock’s mind is unstuck in time. Burnham realizes Spock brought them here because he knew the Talosian’s immense psychic abilities could heal him. But as payment they want to see the memory of how Michael hurt Spock as a child. Vina convinces her to agree, but she wants to see Spock’s mind first. She sees his memories of the Red Angel, how it helped him save her when she ran away from home and more recently called him to an icy world where he melded with her and saw a vision of the future in which countless planets were destroyed by powerful missiles. Afterwards Spock is conscious and reveals Michael was right. He brought them here, but more so needed her to come because only someone who knew his life well could sort his mind back into linear time. He has seen possible futures and knows that the Red Angel is human. He then shows her the memory of what happened at the psychiatric institution. He was about to leave when he was informed Section 31 was coming to take him into custody. So, he knocked out, but did not kill, the staff in order to escape.
Carla: Back on Discovery Pike has a visitor, his complicated love interest from Talos IV, Vina. She reveals to Pike that Michael and Spock are on Talos and need his help. Michael confirms that Spock is innocent, so Pike fires up the spore drive for the rescue mission however it won’t work. Someone has sabotaged the spore hub and been sending secret encrypted messages to unidentified recipients – authorized by Tyler’s command code. Tyler is prime suspect and is confined to quarters, Airiam’s eyes flash three red dots. On Talos IV Michael pays the Talosian’s for their assistance by sharing her full history with Spock. We learn, rather chastely, that in order to protect her family she crushes baby Spock’s half human feelings telling him she “doesn’t want a freak like him as her brother”. Section 31 catch up to Discovery and demand they stop. Pike complies and they drop into orbit outside of Talos IV, in a classic switcheroo the Talosians project a version of Michael and Spock onto Section 31, whilst the real pair fly Michael’s shuttle onto Discovery. In the most understandable, but shocking, move thus far the entire crew agreed to mutiny and go on the lamb until they clear Spock’s name. Georgiou is ecstatic, how will Leland explain this to Starfleet command? How will he Ben?
Ben: He won’t. He’s going to be out. Oh, he’s in so much trouble!
Carla: What’s going to happen to him?
Ben: He’s going to die. Surely, he’s going to die. Don’t you think?
Carla: Yeah. Medical experiments I’m hoping. I don’t know I just feel like…
Ben: They’ll destroy his mind with that memory thing.
Carla: I feel like they medically experiment quite heavily on/in Section 31.
Ben: Oh yeah. Well they’ve got that memory thing they’ve got. I didn’t realize this last episode.
Carla: They said it’s Terran technology.
Ben: It’s from the Terran universe.
Carla: How? Did she just like, remember how to do it?
Ben: Yeah well, she is a genius.
Carla: Yeah that’s true.
Ben: I guess she built it. It looks, I mean it looked sinister and Terran it had the like the distinctive orange glow instead the distinctive blue glow.
Carla: I love how Georgiou, like the first lady in the White House, I’m going to love what she does with the interior decoration to Section 31 when she’s the captain.
Ben: It’s just all going to go orange isn’t it? That’s going to go black and orange and everything is going to be dark. It’s going to be much darker.
Carla: Oh yeah. I mean what’s up with her eyesight? That’s something that we can talk about later.
Ben: Maybe she’s had it corrected.
Carla: Potentially. How did you feel about this?
Ben: I loved it.
Carla: Me too. Oh my god heaven, heaven!
Ben: Yeah. So good.
Carla: Although I did kind of like tap my I was going to say my TV, but I don’t have one a projector. Yeah because get this like I’m too impatient to wait for the 7 p.m. release on Netflix so I actually illegally downloaded at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
Carla: I know and so I thought I had downloaded the wrong file when I was like “No I’ve downloaded Season 2 of original Star Trek or something about Season 2 Episode 8” and it took me a second to realize, but then it was thrilling.
Ben: It was so much fun. I really enjoyed that.
Carla: That was so unexpected.
Ben: Yeah, I didn’t see it coming and it was just fun to see them just reuse the old footage like…
Carla: And the way they chose to sort of the brief narrative that they chose to display.
Ben: Like they were showing little slides of it… Yeah that was nice I liked it a lot and they used the original music. Yeah and I saw some people online like sort of arguing about how they thought they should have re-filmed them with the new cast and the new look Talosian’s and stuff and I’m like “No we don’t need that”.
Carla: It did make me feel like “wouldn’t it be cool. Kind of like the American Office did it just reshot it the original season series”. I mean they could anyway. It made me fantasize about that probably just more Anson Mount time.
Ben: That would be great. I would love that. What if they just did like a news they just after this they do another spin off which is just the adventures of Pike. Yes, that would be great.
Ben: Pike and Spock forever. But I am and Number One I mean that would work. I think we’d all watch that but yeah early Enterprise adventures. But it is interesting, and I’ll talk more about this in Short Chats. But there’s a contrast with Dr Who here because both during the 50th anniversary and during the most recent regeneration story they opened with footage from an original first Doctor story and that’s like a similar gap. But the difference is that those shows are like a continuation of that story that just accepts the old episodes as what happened, and they’ve never sort of gone back and changed any of the old stuff. And whenever they feature the old stuff like the old Doctor Who stuff in the new series, they recreate it to look like the original case.
Ben: But that’s I think that makes more sense because the doctors like the TARDIS for example has a very different look in the old days and looks much more primitive but it’s the same time it’s not human technology it’s not meant to look human. And so if you recreate the original console it doesn’t feel like “that’s not from the future”, it still feels a bit weird and alien, whereas now I think you know obviously if you’re making a Star Trek show now even if it’s set at the same time you wouldn’t get away with shit like what the original Star Trek looks like.
Carla: Maybe that’s how they also cherry picked that tiny bit of narrative. Do you think that it was even worth putting that in or do you think I was just a sweet little cute little wink for everyone so that they could see you know…?
Ben: Oh, look I think I think they were having fun. You know I think they’ve been hinting at all this Talos stuff. You know what would the fortune cookie message in the first episode.
Ben: With a couple little references here and there with the reveal of the name of the place last episode and now you know they’re going to show it but they’re like “in case you missed it”. Because you know what some Star Trek I mean if you’re watching Star Trek on Netflix now The Cages is up there as Episode 1 as we discussed last time. Yeah but that’s not always the case, you know.
Carla: No and it did actually make me go and watch The Menagerie, but we’ll talk about that in Short Chats.
Ben: I think that’s right.
Carla: Yeah. We’ll park it for that.
Ben: But I enjoyed it and I think they’re having fun with it like that they’re just having that nod to the past, but not erasing it and I and I really appreciated that.
Carla: I did too, and I love the way that the storylines are melding. It makes me really curious as to what could potentially be in the next season as well, where these kinds of things can intersect and overlap.
Carla: But there’s a lot to talk about here. I mean everything sort of wrapping up. But first things first I didn’t think that you could do a mind meld on a helmet? Is that how it works? It’s just kind of… like kinesiology or something?
Ben: Well I think, well I think the – there’s a ritual that goes along with it which is the sort of placing of the fingers in the in the right points on someone’s face. But I don’t, I think it has happened in the show without that.
Carla: Well It clearly has now. So
Ben: Yeah well exactly. But I think a bit in the flashback he is doing that on the helmet.
Ben: It’s just not doing it on their face. So, so I guess. But he and he does say like there’s “a quantum field, he couldn’t get through” but he can still mind meld. So, I guess that means like in the Star Trek canon brainwaves are not affected by quantum field, I don’t know.
Carla: I’m sorry. That was a really dumb question to open with.
Ben: No, it was great. That’s fine. This weird. We’re doing a Star Trek podcast Carla if we can’t ask questions about the minutiae, who can?
Ben: When can we talk about it?
Carla: It’s just it feels like this episode is all over the place. So, I feel like I just have little snippets of things that I’m going to talk about.
Ben: The listeners have watched it though, they’ll keep up.
Carla: Obviously Pike is beautiful, he’s got this love – our Melissa. We haven’t even said anything about our Melissa George.
Ben: I was so good to see her.
Carla: As Vina.
Ben: She was great. I got like because I have to admit like I actually think, and I can’t reveal that I’m going to look up the actor’s name but the original actor who played Vina in The Cage is one of the most striking looking people.
Carla: Yeah, she’s stunning.
Ben: She’s amazing. And I think Melissa George does a great job of the part and I think they made the right choice by not trying to cast someone, kind of like with everybody else. Like not trying to cast someone who looks like the original actor but who has the same kind of vibe and the same kind of attitude. And I think yeah, I think she was great. I think she did such a good job.
Carla: I agree, very longing. And you got to really see that side of Pike which is so sad.
Ben: That conversation they have on Discovery in his like ready room. Yeah. Wow. Just. Yeah. And you could see how uncomfortable he was. But he was like “that was the right thing to do to leave you behind, but at the same time what could we have had?” and I think that’s kind of nice. Like I think it’s lots in very nice…
Carla: Parallels with Hugh.
Ben: Well yeah it does. But I think also it’s slots in really nicely into his storyline because we only have those two bits of his life in the canon. You know, like his mission to Talos, and then him going back there at the end of his life. It’s nice. I think these slots nicely in between, you know, I think these fits.
Carla: I agree because in the original story he’s quite brusque you know really like he’s very bark-y here and you can see how this experience could have turned him into the captain he is on Discovery.
Carla: So that’s a really sweet little disarming bridging moment for him.
Ben: And I think he, because it’s not that long ago, I think I think he…
Carla: It’s like three years.
Ben: Like two or three years. Yeah. So, it’s, that’s still a long time, like to have not seen someone that, you know, you made that kind of connection with. So yeah.
Carla: How did you feel about the updated Talosian heads?
Ben: I thought they were fine. I mean they weren’t as big, but I did think it was interesting that they had such a redesign when we saw the original ones in the intro sequence. And it’s always…
Carla: I thought the original ones were cool as… I wish they’d just recreated them.
Ben: Well they are but they’re very of their time Carla, I said this last time they’re very 1950s sci-fi. Like that was full of little men and flying saucers with these enormous, veiny, throbbing heads. The idea being like future humans they would be more cerebral and less physical, so they’d be quite physically frail but much smarter. Which is such an outdated kind of idea about aliens now, but it is kind of cool and it’s just such a, I don’t know it’s also feels like it’s very on the nose, obvious way to go “these people are hugely psychic. You’ve got massive heads and massive brains”. But yeah it works. I thought was fine. I liked their new duds. I thought their new outfits were cool. It’s a nice reinterpretation and it’s interesting.
Ben: You don’t often get to see such a direct you know like I think the other direct kind of redesign that we’ve seen that I that I think is comparable is the you know the Enterprise style Star Fleet uniforms that you know I really like the redesign of those as well. So, I have to I think the designers on this show are doing such a killer job.
Carla: Yeah absolutely.
Ben: Reinterpreting this old stuff. Yeah.
Carla: Yeah. This really sucker punched me in the sweet spot, this episode. I’m just thinking and gave me all the feels. I’m excited to see where it goes. Now that Discovery – if I didn’t know the third season was greenlit, I’d be fucking worried, to be perfectly honest, that was going to end of the at the end of this season.
Carla: With the whole crew going on mutiny and now gone on the on the run.
Ben: But like they’d all die or something?
Carla: Well or just you know, the Discovery is decommissioned, and everybody goes to prison.
Ben: Yeah yeah.
Carla: You know what I mean?
Ben: Yeah it’s I really liked how quickly all the crew I just like “no we’re on board Pike. No worries. Don’t worry about it. We’re here. We’re on to this”.
Ben: That was pretty great.
Carla: I think they’re all united. I think they’re all shady on the Federation. So, I think you know with everything that’s happened. Yeah and they’re just kind of like “Yeah we’re totally with you and we’re a united front”. Apart from like the terrifyingly cool vision of the robot octopus from the future coming to destroy the universe.
Carla: There’s not really much more that I have for this episode beyond Short Chats.
Ben: I want I want to talk more about some of the plot stuff I mean what about for how about Spock and Michael’s past? What did you think?
Carla: I thought it was very mild.
Ben: Well this is what I thought to like after the massive build up. You know. And he even says, “I know you were just like trying to push my emotional buttons”. And then she goes, “It was much more than that I needed to. I need the family to be safe”. And you’re like “no I wasn’t much better”. I think the other thing that I found shocking was that it was something she did as a child. Like I didn’t think that I thought it was going to be something she had done as an adult, because adults are rational that way and that they look at what they’ve done as children and you go you’re a kid you know any better you’re just trying to hurt me and you you’re a kid. You didn’t understand the implications of that. And there’s been a lot of time. And I just. Yeah. I just felt like that’s it? like…
Carla: Well and also children are incapable of incredible cruelty.
Ben: Oh yeah.
Carla: You know, so I actually think that this was a change in the baton of writers because I think everyone – I get the overall feeling that everyone was incredibly sick of the really extreme soap opera stuff that the old writers were developing for the show. So, I think that that was just a popping of the balloon of this and just letting it fly under the radar.
Carla: I mean she was still pretty horrible to him and also a little darling baby Spock who is just the cutest child on the face of the earth.
Ben: Oh my God.
Carla: Liam Hughes.
Ben: I just wanted to give him a big hug.
Carla: I know. And so, you just see his little face crumble and it’s like he obviously adored her and worshipped her.
Carla: And she said, “I never, you know, you’re a loser I never want to speak to you again”. That’s pretty crushing for a little brother.
Ben: That is pretty awful. Yeah. Yeah, I mean I hope they get over it in the next few episodes.
Carla: Crushing enough to like to have this level of animosity then for the rest of their relationship?
Carla: And so, crushing that she couldn’t even tell Amanda what she’d said? I mean surely Amanda could have guessed what she’s saying.
Carla: There’s some continuity stuff here unless like that kind of stuff is just so heinous on Vulcan and because it’s so emotionally manipulative?
Ben: I guess the other thing is that they probably I mean you never get the idea that there’s much in the way of racism on Vulcan right. So also, I mean come on, the it was really hard to watch like a black actor calling another character a half breed and like using these really racial vilifying terms it was like ah. And you could see like Sonequa Martin-Green when she’s doing the lines as the adult versions you can just see her going – like when she has that expression just before she says it because she’s like being forced to remember it; just oh you can just see, I mean they sold it. They did sell it. I got to say they did a great job of the scene. But I still feel I was like that was awful but not as awful as I was expecting. But you know that’s good. That’s great. I mean like in this day and age of television how nice to see something awful that’s not as awful then it be the other way around.
Carla: But Spock is so salty now, like come on everyone.
Ben: He’s very, like he talks about how much he’s like rejected his emotions and embraced the Vulcan way of life. He’s got a lot of sass on him.
Carla: Super pissy for someone who has done some serious Vulcan work apparently.
Ben: Yeah yeah yeah. I don’t know. I don’t know about that. We got to talk about the Hugh situation.
Carla: Well I think it parallels what I was talking about previously about the fortune cookie.
Carla: So, I think his little storyline parallels that quite well.
Ben: Right. OK.
Carla: And he’s comeback. I don’t know. Like I find this pretty um the whole storyline is dead to me. I don’t even want to talk about it anymore. It’s just a bunch of bullshit like and now they’re back together and now they’re breaking up. It’s like “Oh yeah. Couples can’t survive when something major happens to someone right”. Well unless Hugh goes on to do something fucking amazing. Right?
Ben: I hope so because he just sort of vanished for an episode
Carla: I hope so too. I did love that killer fight that him and Tyler had.
Ben: That was pretty great.
Carla: But it was also pretty amusing because Tyler is so much taller than him. So, it’s like those these really awkward camera angles trying to make it look like much more…
Ben: Well he’s also…
Carla: Competitive than it was.
Ben: Well also, like I thought that worked though because I think it sold to me that like its Tyler really doesn’t want to hurt him. And so, he’s in that position of someone who’s much stronger much much better fighter, you know.
Carla: And that’s a good point.
Ben: He’s a Klingon admittedly Klingon with bits of…
Carla: He is a Klingon Ben.
Ben: With bits of human grafted onto him – not the other way around as Saru says which might drive me nuts. I’m like you put a convoluted thing in there. Stick to it, like.
Carla: I don’t think anyone knows what’s going on.
Ben: It made me angry, anyway. It’s just that one line but the fight was great, and I thought yeah, he’s in that position where he knows that he could kill this guy. I mean he already did once. So, he’s trying not to hurt him, but he’s like bringing it. And I did get the impression they pitched that really well because he, I never felt like Tyler was in any danger.
Ben: He was just sort of like going to any and if necessary, would let Hugh beat the shit out of him.
Ben: But there was not really much danger of that. But I loved the way it ended too when he is like “I don’t even know who I am anymore” and Tyler just says, “Who do you think you’re talking to?!” Oh, shit dog yeah!
Carla: Oh snap!
Ben: That was great. And then look I know I know you don’t want to talk about.
Carla: It’s okay. I want to hear your feelings about.
Ben: Well I feel like it, it is, there is still that parallel to Buffy’s return where it’s just it just doesn’t feel right. I mean it’s different because he did go through hell and it’s kind of like what the other characters on Buffy thought Buffy had been through for those first couple of episodes. They’re like yeah “she’s been through hell like she’s not going to be the same when she comes back” and then eventually they find out, no she went to heaven and that’s why she’s not the same when she’s come back.
Ben: He has been through sort of through hell. I mean I don’t know and there’s all these references in this episode where he’s like eats the food and he’s like “,but it just doesn’t taste right, something’s not right and he’s been tetchy. He’s very angry and Stamets says “Why are you so angry with me?” and he’s like “That’s a good question”. I have a feeling it’s going to go somewhere satisfying. But I think I feel at the moment it’s very hard to be super sympathetic with Hugh. And I think that’s what’s making it difficult for me is that I feel like I get that he’s angry and weird but he’s not experiencing any relief coming home and it is a sharp contrast to how he was in the network when he was willing to die to let Paul go and to solve the problem that was happening because he didn’t want to hurt anybody. And now he’s been brought back to life and he’s just like “nothing’s quite right. I’m not having a bar of it. Get out of my life” you’re like “that’s a bit harsh”. I mean sure I get that you can’t just go back to life exactly as it was but yeah, I’ll be in it and see where it goes.
Carla: Yeah me too. It’s just yeah. So, let’s say let’s put a big question mark on that. Yeah.
Ben: And look we didn’t see too many other characters, but we got to talk about Spock though.
Carla: What about him?
Ben: He’s back.
Carla: He is back.
Ben: I mean we don’t see much of him, but we see a bit of him.
Carla: He talks.
Ben: He does. He does some martial arts.
Carla: Talk about can I also get a continuity issue. I’m a very like I’m a hawk for continuity.
Ben: Okay. I love it.
Carla: And that’s something about. Okay. So, get this right. So, are we all onboard that Spock has a beard because he’s been so crazy, he can’t shave? Is that, is that what we’re thinking?
Ben: I guess so. Yeah.
Carla: Because he has like the top the cheek hairs. That makes it look all crazy and homeless but underneath he’s got a perfect straight line under his beard it’s been completely trimmed there’s no neck hairs, there’s no neck beards.
Ben: There’s maybe. Well I mean there is that line Michael says, “do you think that beard is working for you?” which was, that was great. I really liked that but at the same time yeah, he’s got to he’s got a TV beard.
Ben: Like they never let you have a proper scraggly like as a beard grower.
Carla: Ha ha! You are you’re your you’re on the beard visual linguistics.
Carla: For television. Okay.
Ben: Yeah. They never let you have a proper scraggly beard.
Carla: Sure, like you probably wouldn’t he probably wouldn’t have washed hair. You know what I mean. Yeah yeah. He’s got washed and blow-dried hair.
Ben: And you know that doesn’t really make that much sense because he goes on personal leave, he goes this icy planet. He meets the Red Angel and mind melds with them, goes a bit nuts and then goes to a psychiatric institution where he seems to be fairly compos mentis even though he’s drawing on the floor but he’s willing like he’s voluntarily admitted himself. And then hears Section 31 is coming from him so he like he’s like…
Carla: “See ya later”.
Ben: Fights his way out and then escapes in his shuttle somehow gets from the shuttle to Vulcan and hides out with his mum right where he gets worse. But I think it’s I think it makes kind of sense because the way the Talosians describe it is that he’s experiencing time in a non-linear way.
Carla: Yeah, he’s existing all at once. Yeah.
Ben: He’s a bit all over the place he’s like what’s his name, from Slaughterhouse Five you know. So, it’s yeah. So, I guess it makes sense that he has moments of lucidity and like he has that moment on the shuttle when Burnham’s trying to steer them away from the black hole and he like wakes up enough to like kung-fu her away from the controls which was great, like I love that sort of slapping hands.
Carla: It was like two siblings like wrestling for the remote.
Ben: Yeah but with Vulcan martial arts training, it was cool. So yeah, I was into that. But yeah.
Carla: For me I think because I watch that I only ever seen The Cage and then I watched The Menagerie after this which is essentially The Cage with another hour of stuff.
Carla: So, I kind of fast forwarded all through The Cage bits that they project. But this like also puts into context; because in The Menagerie Spock goes Spock as wild hog wild and kidnaps Pike and takes him back to Talos IV and commandeers the Enterprise and lies and says that Kirk has given him the bridge and you know that is just completely outrageous. So, it gives a lot of context now for how loyal he is to Pike. And you know how he is capable of doing something so out of control.
Ben: Yeah yeah. I wonder if he he’s seen all these weird visions of the future I wonder if that’s one of the visions he sees? That maybe he knows that has to happen.
Carla: So, what’s he going to do now? He’s on he’s going to be on the Discovery and they’re like trying to clear his name.
Carla: I wonder if he’s going to like to get on this and get on the uniform and participate.
Ben: Good question. I mean they’re mutineers now, so the uniform doesn’t seem that important. Do you think, do you think the squids are the ones who shoot the missiles? Like its kind looks like that in the in the preview of the future.
Carla: What missiles?
Ben: You know, the missiles that blow up all the planets.
Carla: Well that’s actually a good point. Like I assume that, but it might not be that.
Ben: Yeah. Because I thought that’s a bit obvious. But then who makes the squid robots and is it really just The Matrix but in space? Or something else?
Carla: I just feel like… yeah exactly I just feel like it’s sentient robots.
Carla: That are cephalopods for some reason.
Ben: Well if I look if I was a sentient robot and I can have any shaped body I want it would be giant squid.
Carla: Well there’s always the space/sea analogy as well. So, you know that’s logically I guess where it goes to.
Ben: Kind of works.
Ben: Yeah. Shall we, shall we do some Short Chats?
Carla: Yes please.
Ben: Now it’s time for re:Discovery Short Chats where we talk news trivia, and anything related to Discovery and also any questions you have for us follow our socials and get in touch with us. We always love to hear from you. But Captain you got one that you mentioned to me in our little…
Carla: Some late-night texting.
Ben: Yes, and I’m very excited. I want to hear about this. Tell me.
Carla: Okay. So on, for Americans like we have this other streaming platform here called Stan, and there’s a show in there called “Penis” but it’s “Pen15”.
Ben: I didn’t. You know why I’m such an innocent. I didn’t pick up that it was “Penis” when you texted it to me, I thought it was “Pen15” and I’m like “What is that about?”
Carla: “You’re like that sounds, intriguing”. Yeah. So anyway, did you ever watch “Strangers with Candy” back in the day?
Ben: A little bit.
Carla: It’s kind of in that vein. So, it’s like these two women recreating their teenage years… it’s a teen drama but they’re both 30 playing their 13-year-old selves with all these other 13-year-old actors. And it’s really wrong and it’s really hilarious.
Carla: Oh hence “Penis”. And it’s like I’ve never seen such an accurate depiction of the volatility and ridiculousness of teenage girls and also the tenderness of their relationships. Like my partner was like “do two girls really love each other like this?” and I’m like “yeah they’re like married”. And he was just like “whoa this is intense”.
Ben: This blows the mind. I mean this is you know when I talk to teenage boys about this stuff, they don’t know that.
Carla: No well I’m tell them to watch “Penis”/”Pen15”.
Ben: I will now. I can’t do that. It’s probably rated M.
Carla: So anyway, three or four episodes in, we’re watching it last night and Jack’s like “Don’t you recognize who that is? and I was like squinting and I’m just like “No” and he’s like “it’s TUVOK!”
Carla: He’s much older now. That’s the reason why I didn’t recognize him because he has almost like completely grey hair and a grey goatee. But yeah, he’s the music teacher.
Carla: On Penis.
Carla: So, there you go.
Ben: I got to watch it now.
Carla: Yeah. It’s awesome.
Ben: I loved Tim Russ so much.
Carla: Yeah me too.
Ben: He’s my Vulcan space Dad.
Carla: Yeah. Just you know I reckon Tuvok is my favourite character of all time.
Ben: He’s so good. I. You know what Tim Russ would absolutely come back for the Picard show if asked.
Carla: Oh, Tim Russ does fanfic films man.
Ben: He loves it.
Ben: Yeah. Loves it.
Carla: He’s such a fan.
Ben: What’s his character like in “Penis”?
Carla: Just your regular. It’s because it’s such a boiler plate “afterschool special” type show.
Carla: He’s just you know he’s your salty bandleader you know. Okay. He’s just completely beleaguered and downtrodden by life. But he makes the band play all of his own original compositions.
Ben: That’s amazing.
Carla: Yes, I know.
Ben: Are they good?
Carla: No, they’re terrible. I think they’re a total pastiche of terrible marching band music.
Ben: Yeah ok. Yeah of course. Of course.
Carla: And what do you have?
Ben: I got a couple of things. We mentioned that the woman playing Vina in this episode is Melissa George, best known to Australian viewers as well as Melissa George. She’s super famous here.
Carla: Well let me ask you Ben. What do you know Melissa George primarily from? As being a person of almost the exact same age as me.
Ben: Well see this is an interesting question because I grew up in a country town in Australia during a time when we didn’t have all these different channels right. We only had two channels. We had the ABC and we had our local channel and our local commercial channel would buy…
Carla: Was it “WIN”?
Ben: No, it was it was called NRTV – Northern Rivers television. It eventually got bought by Ten when they did the deregulation. So, we did get other things but like most of those regional stations it only bought one or other or the other of the two big Australian soap operas and my local station had Neighbours and did not have Home and Away.
Ben: So, I had never seen a Home and Away when I was younger. And by the time I was old enough to watch it I just didn’t watch it. So, as I have missed it, I missed it.
Carla: You’re blowing my mind.
Ben: I know I know.
Carla: I didn’t even know there was a class of Australian that had… it’s like “Sophie’s Choice” like “Neighbours’” or “Home and Away”.
Carla: That’s insane.
Ben: But I know that that was where she got famous playing Angel.
Carla: It is. Yes.
Ben: And she was in it for like how long was she in it for? like three or four years.
Carla: Yeah yeah. I wasn’t a big “Home and Away” fan Neighbours was my drug of choice but when Home and Away did begin I you know I was all over it.
Carla: So, you do what do you remember the first time you saw her then?
Ben: I mean I mostly know her from her Hollywood career, and she’s done some great stuff there.
Carla: Yeah, she went over and started working pretty much straight away like what she finished Home and Away in 96 and then she’s got her first credits here in Dark City in 98.
Ben: Oh, Dark City!
Carla: But Dark City was shot in Sydney wasn’t it?
Ben: Yeah. And look best that is the thing actually that I most know from because I love that film. I love a lot.
Carla: And her next credit is The Limey, but I do a Steven Soderbergh podcast and she’s just literally a photo. In The Limey she’s this daughter that’s died and oh maybe she has like a couple of scenes where she doesn’t speak it’s just a memory. Um yeah so. So, I just have a bit of trivia about Melissa George it’s the thing that I remember from reading in “TV Hits” or whatever back in the day.
Ben: Hit me.
Carla: That she was a professional roller skater before she became an actress. And that’s how she was discovered.
Ben: Holy moly. I didn’t even know that was a thing in Australia before roller derby.
Carla: The 90s was wild.
Ben: It was a wild time. That’s incredible.
Carla: Well you had one other thing about Dr Who was it?
Ben: Yeah yeah. So like I mentioned that Doctor Who has also done this thing where they use footage from like long ago episodes in the new series and I did some maths and I worked out that this episode does hold the record for the longest time between the episode being aired and when the previously on stuff was aired on TV except Well it depends how you count it. Right. Because if you count it from the year that it was made then it’s 53 years.
Ben: Between 2019 and 1966 when they made The Cage.
Ben: But they didn’t air The Cage because it was the unaired pilot.
Carla: So, when did they?
Ben: It didn’t get shown on television until 1980 was the first time it got shown on TV.
Carla: But the footage was shown in The Menagerie. So, you should count it from there.
Ben: Well I guess that’s true. So that would still be 53 years whereas the Doctor Who one’s, the most recent regeneration story with Peter Capaldi was only 51 years. So, this pips it at the post at 53.
Ben: Yeah unless you count…
Carla: Further cementing that Star Trek is the best show of all time. In all ways.
Ben: Okay look.
Ben: Let’s not fight, Carla we’ve been doing so well up until now.
Carla: I just want to finish by talking about Susan Oliver who plays the original Vina. It was her birthday recently and Trek Movie dot com did this great post about her to say that she was a pilot and she was the fourth woman to fly a single engine aircraft solo across the Atlantic.
Carla: So, she was extraordinarily beautiful and extraordinarily incredible.
Ben: And talented.
Carla: And talented.
Ben: And a great actor.
Carla: So, RIP Susan Oliver.
Ben: You’ve been listening to re:Discovery. You’ll find links to all the creatives involved on our Web site www.rediscoverypodcast.com. We’d love to connect with you. Please find us on Twitter and Facebook @rediscoverypod.
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