Project Daedalus (S02E09)

Set your face to ugly cry (again) for Project Daedalus, where we inch so close to the mystery of the Red Angel we could mind meld with it. Discovery is on the run with an innocent Spock aboard. Admiral Cornwall secretly rendezvous with them and they join forces against a suspect Section 31. An away mission goes very, very bad. We lose a crew member we had only begun to know. 

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  • A “bootstrap paradox”, also known as a causal loop, is a popular and mind-bending form of temporal paradox. There are many good examples in fiction, and its explained directly by the Twelfth Doctor in the preamble to the 2017 Doctor Who episode “Before the Flood”.
  • The Barzan were first introduced in the TNG episode “The Price“. We never learn exactly how their breathing implants work, only that they supply gases found on their homeworld, Barzan II, which are toxic to other species.
  • Spock and Michael play three-dimensional chess, a variant of the traditional Earth game first seen played by Spock and Kirk in many episodes of the original series. The prime universe Philipa Georgiou was seen to have a set in her quarters aboard the USS Shenzou.
  • This recent video from The Guardian featuring Dr Julia Shaw and Prof Elizabeth Loftus is a great introduction to how memory actually works.
  • Dunbar’s Number is a cognitive social network theory that suggests a limit to the number of people humans can maintain stable social relationships with. This is around 150 people.
  • In the sci-fi series Stargate SG-1, where the US military explore other worlds through a wormhole device called a Stargate, the US government maintains a secret “Alpha Site” on another planet, moving key personnel there when there’s a threat to the safety of Earth.
  • In the Star Trek version of history, Khan Noonien Singh and other genetically engineered “supermen” known as Augments seized power over much of Earth, causing the Eugenics Wars of the 1990s and the deaths of millions. Later consequences of the wars are explored in the original series episode “Space Seed” and its sequel film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and several episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise’s fourth season.
  • Michael was indeed wearing a silver EV suit in Brother. On that occasion, the other officers wearing the colourful suits were all from Enterprise, which has the newer more colourful uniforms, so it makes sense for Nhan to wear a red one; it’s not clear why Airiam is wearing a blue one, last seen on Science Officer Mansplain.
  • Coronation Street is a long-running and popular soap opera set in the fictional English town of Weatherfield, produced by ITV.
  • The Doctor Who story in which Adric dies is 1982’s Earthshock.
  • The fourth series of the sit-com Blackadder, Blackadder Goes Forth takes place in the trenches of World War I. While it cracked a lot of jokes, it never treated the war lightly, and is justly famous for ending with the death of all its major characters.
  • The Thaw” is an episode from near the end of Star Trek: Voyager’s second season.
  • We discussed Zora, the AI left in charge of a far future Discovery, in our first season and Short Treks recap.
  • The Terminator series begins with James Cameron’s 1984 film The Terminator, to which three sequels and a prequel have been made, as well as a television series.
  • Chancellor Gorkon is assassinated early on, in zero gravity, in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
  • Thanks to redditor ianjm for this great screencap of the Airiam-like cyborg from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
  • The “crab-headed alien” bridge officer has been seen in several episodes in both seasons of Discovery. They have no official name, but have been called “Osnullus” by the makeup and design crew.
  • Ben’s retelling of the story of Daedalus is pretty much accurate, though its worth mentioning its based on the later version of the myth as told by Ovid; earlier ones are much simpler.

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