Subspace Radio: a Star Trek podcast

Rob & Kev agree to overrule all objections about the trial of Una Chin-Riley in "Ad Astra per Aspera". They then explore the legal precedents for excellent courtroom dramas in Star Trek, including "Judgment" (ENT), "Court Martial" (TOS), "Dax" (DS9), and "The Measure of a Man" (TNG). Finally, they commiserate following the shock announcement that Star Trek: Prodigy has been cancelled prior to the airing of season two on Paramount+ and Nickelodeon.

SNW 2×02 Ad Astra per Aspera

Yetide Badaki as Neera Ketoul
Robert April
Julian Bashir
Eugenics Wars
TOS 1×24 Space Seed

Courtroom dramas 

ENT 2×19 Judgment
The Lost Star Trek Audio Commentary Tracks
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
J.G. Hertzler
TOS 3×10 For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky
Rura Penthe

TOS 1×14 Court Martial
TOS 1×15 The Menagerie

DS9 1×08 Dax
TNG 4×23 The Host
DIS 3×04 Forget Me Not

TNG 2×09 The Measure Of A Man
Bruce Maddox

Music: Distänt Mind, Brigitte Handley

What is Subspace Radio: a Star Trek podcast?

Kevin Yank and Rob Lloyd explore the intersecting wormholes that permeate Star Trek canon, inspired by each new episode to hit the subspace relays.

Rob: Hello, and welcome
back to Subspace Radio.

It is.

I Rob Lloyd, and joining me as
always is my dear friend Kevin Yank.

How are you?

Kevin: I'm very well, thank you.

Rob: Yes.

Another episode of Star Trek
is out there in the universe

and we are here to review it.

Episode two of season two of
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

Kevin: How's your Latin?

Rob: I'm not gonna
attempt the Latin, Kevin.

If you want to attempt it, you can.

Kevin: Ad Astra per Aspera,

Rob: Well, that's easy for you to say.

Kevin: To the stars through adversity,
I think we were taught in this episode.

Rob: So yes, Captain Pike is
back not in, not on center stage.

He's definitely present, but
more on the side brooding.

And this is fully focused on our Number
One, Una Chin-riley is finally put on

trial which has sparked our broader
debate of courtroom dramas within

Star Trek, but more of that later.

Kevin, what's your first thoughts on
episode two of Strange New Worlds?

Kevin: This was some m-mm good Star Trek.

That's my thought.

Rob: Wasn't it so

Kevin: Oh, it's so good.

This is the kind of Star Trek that I,
for a while there, I had given up on ever

getting this kind of Star Trek again.

That we could sit in this universe
that has been created, trust that it is

interesting enough to be in, in this place
and time and explore some ideas, have some

people debate concepts across tables at
each other for a full one hour and have it

be engrossing and emotional and impactful.

That is my favorite kind of Star Trek.

And I know we need the phasers, we
need the wormholes every now and then.

We need to keep things interesting with
some lighthearted adventure and action.

But this kind of, dare I say it, cerebral
Star Trek is my kind of Star Trek.

This is what I show up for.

Rob: Strange New Worlds does it again.

It is the most modern of modern Star
Trek interpretations, but it's the most

classic of classic topics and issues.

Star Trek has always been at the
cunning edge of political progressive

exploration and has always been used
as a way of exploring contemporary

issues in this futuristic way.

Kevin: This is what Star Trek is for.

What can we learn about
ourselves as people?

Rob: So it's all those type of issues
about prejudice, about judgment, about,

indoctrination about, incarceration, about
separation, all these type of issues,

apartheid, all this stuff brought up in a
beautiful manner and written beautifully,

performed excellently and executed at
the top, top tier level of its game.

Kevin: Yes, absolutely.

And that last point, I think bears
repeating especially in light of last

week's episode that that I thought
was let down a bit in the execution.

Besides the kind of episode this was,
which I love, this is also just a

pinnacle of achievement in terms of the
execution, the polish, everything from

the understated visual effects like an
office chair floating in midair through

to the acting, which our guest star
this week, Yetide Badaki, nailed it.

She had me in tears, a character
I have never met before.

Just everything about this episode,
not only was my type, but I dare

say this is the best courtroom
drama we've ever seen in Star Trek.

Rob: She was particularly good in the
way of her performance is there's a

tendency to have the science fiction
style of acting or the genre style

of acting and whether it's a bit
stilted, whether it's a bit theatrical,

whether it's more show than actual
let the audience fill in the dots.

It's more of a general topic.

If you look at some of the greatest
performances in science fiction,

that they're not rooted in any genre.

But she brought this incredible,
natural process to her performance.

There was a great poise to her and
there was a great energy to her that

was both appropriate for the genre but
also brought that fresh, naturalistic

element that people could look at
that and go, it is sci-fi but it's,

that's not the main focus of this.

She was an incredible and filled
in the brief of what a guest star

should be and everyone gave her
a standing ovation at the end.

I think we all joined in.

Kevin: Yeah.

So we will be looking at courtroom
dramas in Star Trek this week,

but before we do is there anything
that you wanna highlight here that

stood out to you in this episode?

Rob: I think every character had their
part to play, even Pike's lover from

episode one who's coming in here, she had
her own battle and journeys to go with and

what she had to endure through Federation.

Great, little cute moment with
Spock causing such a public stir

Kevin: I, I loved that scene of the
Vulcans, quote unquote arguing at

at a table in the cafe and M'Benga
and Ortegas kind of analyzing it

from a distance and she saying,
are you messing with me right now?

It was hilarious.

In the moments after that scene,
I went, I wonder if that scene

is gonna be about anything.

Are we going to end up, is that argument
going to have a consequence later?

And it didn't, it was really that
scene was there for comic relief to

let the audience breathe out before
the next dose of courtroom drama.

But for that, I loved it.

And it, it gave M'Benga and Ortegas
something to do other than sing

Una's praises on the witness
stand, and yeah, great to see them.

Rob: That was a good moment representation
of the comedy of the Vulcan personality

as opposed to last week with the
cramming in of the, what's your

catchphrase when you do the ship.

Yeah, beautiful moments, there.

A nice bit of tension between
April and Pike and bit more delving

into Robert April being captain
of the Enterprise before Pike and

Kevin: Already a hint of that future
prequel, to the prequel, to the

prequel that we're going to get.

Robert April's

Rob: which will be called Boldly Go.

So yeah, everything was
firing off really nicely.

I love the exploration of the
Illyrian culture and the persecution.

Such a horrifying, heartbreaking
story about hiding, who you are

and those who can and those who

Kevin: Yeah, it got real.

They moved past the abstract idea of,
racism in the Federation, into what

would that actually mean in practice?

In what way would those
people suffer in that society?

And we got to see it.

We got to see the scene of baby
Una sitting there with a broken

leg, not being able to get it
treated and it was hard to watch.

Rob: Yeah, and Rebecca Romijn
just is, yeah, is killing it.

She's doing such a good job.

And that's a credit to her cuz you know
for so long she was the model turned

and was employed like as Mystique in
the X-Men movies for her appearance.

But she has finally been
able to go no, no, no.

I've got some skills here.

I've got some talent

Kevin: She keeps surprising me.

Every time we see an episode featuring
Una, I come away impressed at how,

how much I like the character.

And I was like, wow.

I knew I liked you, but I didn't
know I liked you that much.

And this episode brings
that to a new high.

The long soliloquy she gave
when her attorney put her on

the witness stand by surprise.

One of my small objections
to the logic of this episode.

Would your defense attorney really put you
on the witness stand without briefing you?

That's not a real life thing.


Rob: It's very Perry Mason
or Matlock style of it.


Kevin: But considering where some
other courtroom dramas in Star Trek

have gone over the years this was
one of the more realistic ones.

But once she got up there on the witness
stand and she started telling her story

I had this moment of, Oh, here we go.

When she started with the motto of the
Federation, I was like, eh, this might

be a little overwritten, but she got me.

The emotion was there.

It pulled me in and I was crying
along with her, by the end.

Rob: Beautiful episode.

Absolutely beautiful.

It was an easy watch

Kevin: Did you notice that the
courtroom was the reused Starfleet

headquarters bridge from Discovery?

Rob: I didn't.

Kevin: Oh, you didn't because
you haven't seen the latest

season of Star Trek Discovery.


So, Yeah, stay tuned for your rewatch
that room is going to be very familiar

that room, that is ring shaped with a
big open space in the middle that is

the bridge of Starfleet headquarters.

And that open space is filled
by a galactic map in Discovery.

Here, it wasn't really filled by anything.

They just shot around it and across
it, and it made it a very strangely

claustrophobic, for me anyway, courtroom.

Although it was a large space,
everyone was like pressed up

against the wall at all times.

And uh, the lawyer walking around
the side to put the book on the desk,

it was like, felt very intrusive
that she's going on a long walk.

You can't just pretend you
accidentally ended up here.

This is where you intended
to get if you're walking all

the way around that ring.

So it was very, very strange.

I couldn't decide if I
liked it or disliked it.

I thought because it is so conspicuously
the same room we have seen recently

in discovery, I felt it was a bit of
a shame because it took me out of it,

it broke the reality that this room
that exists in the 32nd century also

exists here in the uh, 23rd somehow.

But that was a minor thing.

I think what I liked the most is the
legal machinations of this episode.

That trick they polled of, yeah, she
may have technically broke this law,

but there is also another law that
applies equally and it is our asylum law.

And you get to choose
which one you apply here.

I'm no legal expert, but as a Joe
Schmo viewing public of Star Trek,

it at least was, it felt to me like
a convincing reason for a court case

to not go in the expected direction.

It felt like a plot
twist that I could buy.

Rob: They called it out,
which I really appreciated.

At the end, they just said,
Una said it herself, that we,

this was just a technicality.

And the real work carries on, that we
now need to build up this recognition for

the Illyrian people, and it's a start.

Kevin: That they found that
was really impressive to me.

Because I think I said at the end of last
season, my worry is that we know Julian

Bashir is discriminated against in Deep
Space Nine a hundred years from now.

So what satisfying end is this arc
of Una's is going to lead us to?

I couldn't see the space between, she
gets drummed out of Starfleet because

the Federation is still racist at
this point, and we break the canon.

And they threaded that needle.

In fact, it was so deft I can only
assume they worked out how they

were gonna thread it when they wrote
the ending to the previous season.

Hiding the fact of the asylum
law applying in plain sight

was a beautiful magic trick.

And really brought the
episode home for me.

Rob: Just the cold, hard reality of
the fact that the laws were created

for this good to stop the horrors of
the Eugenic Wars coming back, which

is fascinating to read up on from
what is touched on from, um, Space

Seed, and all that type of stuff.

But to see that lofty heights of
going, we have set up these laws to

protect us from a war happening again,
but how that filters down to everyday

people, that it becomes, people become
labeled and, slurs are, blazoned

across their doors and they have to go
into hiding to get medical attention.

Just from the lofty heights of not wanting
to start another galactic war down to pure

prejudice and racism showing its head.

It's wonderfully fascinating blend
of gray within the bright colors of

this utopian future, which it isn't
tarnished by it because it's what is

being fought at to keep that vision of
a bright future, which is masterful.

That's what Star Trek is does so
well stuff like that, what really

brings out that the beautiful
grays of this bright new future.

Kevin: The thing that I most narrowed
my eyes at suspiciously in the legalese

they were throwing around was, in
the asylum law, they said that people

may seek safety within Starfleet.

And that seemed like a strange
thing to have on the law books.

Cuz if you, if you transpose that
to today, that's like the US Navy

having a law on the books that says
that people in a war zone may seek

safety within the US Navy, which seems
like a weird place to seek safety.

Like the the separation between
the military organization and the

state is very interesting there.

My way I'm explain that in my head is
that maybe this is like an old law that

was on the books before the Federation,
when it was just Starfleet out there

roaming the stars, in which case it
would make sense to have a policy around

asylum that was specific to Starfleet.

And the idea that Una's lawyer would
have found this really old law in the

books is especially tickling to me, if
that's uh, if that's what we accept.

Rob: Yeah, it's glowing praise all
round for an excellently written,

beautiful executed piece of television.

Whether it be sci-fi or
not, it's just wonderful.

And that led us down the the much easier
path of previous Star Trek episodes.

I type in Star Trek courtroom episodes.

I got so many lists.

Ti Yeah.

Typing in Captain Away last week, yeah.

Not so much this one.

There was a plethora

Kevin: Well, we, we have to test
ourselves now and then, but when they

give us a layup like this, we also need
to we need to take the opportunity.

We're not gonna have a better opportunity
to talk about Starfleet courtroom

procedures than we have here today.

Rob: We've touched on episodes
with a courtroom feel or have been

mentioned in previous episodes, like
we have mentioned The Menagerie.

We've mentioned Measure of a Man.

We've mentioned a couple of others
in passing, but we have not dedicated

an entire episode to the courtroom.

Kevin: Let's not hold back.

I'm gonna, I'm gonna repeat at
least one of the ones that you

mentioned in my uh, choices.

But look, we said last week, new
rule: Enterprise goes first, cuz

it's ear earliest in the timeline.

So do either of us have
an Enterprise episode?

Rob: I specifically picked an Enterprise
because I went, you know what?

I'm doing a Star trek podcast.

We are into our second season of
Strange New Worlds, and I've only, I

started watching Enterprise and then
gave up, and so I went, you know what?

No, let's go in and do this, Rob.

Let's take this seriously.

And it's appeared in every single one
of the lists that I've found online,

and it's quite high up in the list.

So I've gone with Judgment
season two, episode 19.

Kevin: Ooh.

Yeah, good one.

This one always comes to mind because
around the time this aired, Star Trek was

just getting serious about the Internet.

Like they had a website that they updated
every week for the first time, and uh,

they were releasing audio commentaries
along with significant episodes.

And there was an audio commentary
by, I believe, the writers of this

episode released at the same time
as the episode so that you could

watch the episode and then you could
re-watch it with the audio commentary.

And that audio commentary was lost when
the Star Trek website changed hands and

was torn down and rebuilt from scratch.

But I believe Trek Core
has an archival copy of it.

So if anyone is following our advice
and watching Judgment this week, you can

also pick up that audio commentary too.

I'll link to it in the show notes.

Rob: Yeah, definitely.

So to recite the IMDB outline of this
story, After Enterprise lends aid to

a group of accused rebels, Captain
Archer faces a tribunal and charges of

conspiracy against the Klingon Empire.

Kevin: Yes, this is what I like to
think of as a flavor of Star Trek VI.

Rob: Oh, yes.

Yeah, it definitely has the easter egg
of using the exact same set and some of

the props from uh, Undiscovered Country.

Now, for me, there are some
incredible stuff in here.

There's some amazing stuff in
here, but for me also, it's a

case of understanding why I never
really connected with Enterprise.

All the elements are there, but it just

Kevin: It's got your general
Martok Rob, how could you not like.

Rob: Oh, who is outstanding.


Kevin: JG Hertzler plays.


Rob: Yes, who is outstanding.

Even though in many of the
shots you can clearly see the

Klingon bumps rising on the side.

The makeup hasn't, the makeup hasn't
been stuck down properly and they

went, we don't have enough time.

Go with it.

He is frigging amazing in this episode,
incredible stuff, and has the best

monologue that I've seen talking about
a race within Star Trek since David

Warner's speech as the Cardassian
interrogator Like just amazing.

But it just, it's an interesting
way of starting within the trial and

then the flashbacks to what happened.

And it's an old trait, used many
times of the different point of view.

So the Klingon gives his point of view
of what happened, which is very clearly

Kevin: That's simplified if you will.

for legal expediency.

Rob: It's very much a Archer focused
episode, so we see the doctor a little

bit in a really nice tense, there's
almost espionagal, that's a real

word, type of scene at the start.

And you've got to Paul and
the others up on Enterprise,

sorting it out in the background.

But it's really a two-hander
really with Scott Bakula and our

dear old Martok with a different

Kevin: Yep.

Xenopolycythemia The, uh, disease
that Phlox mentions when he's

visiting Archer in his cell, I
believe is the fatal disease that Dr.

McCoy had in for the world is hollow,
and I have touched the sky way back in

the original series, so a deep cut there.

Rob: Nice little reference there.

So there's a lot of great stuff there.

And of course they're sent to Rura
Penthe at the end, but it's kind of

Kevin: It's a low budget
Rura Penthe isn't it?

Rob: Very low budget.

I felt like I was kicked in the
knees slash balls watching it.

And despite how difficult it was
for them to get Kirk and Spock off

Kevin: Oh yeah.

Rob: Rura Penthe to just

Kevin: We bribed a, a transport captain.

Rob: Yeah, he just walks in, he
goes, all right, let's go, shall we?

Kevin: Well,

This is why they tightened
up security at Rura Penthe.

Rob: It's all because of that.

Thank you.

So yeah, it was a bit of a nothing end.

You just go, ah, ju… oh, okay.

But for me, the highlight is not so
much the trial, which is the focus,

and we always know that it was gonna
be a dodgy trial anyway, but they just,

there wasn't any confrontation of it.

It was more just, this is the
process you gotta go through it.

Let's just get you to the prison and get

Kevin: Yeah, I think it
needed one more hook for me.

When the thing that this episode rests
on, is Archer going to be able to tell

his version of events because the Klingon
legal system is stacked against him, and

even his own advocate is not interested
in his version of events because they

are so used to the presumption of guilt.

And in the end, the way Archer
convinces his advocate to listen to

him is to me, somewhat unsatisfying.

Archer says something like why
don't you care about justice?

And his advocate goes, Don't
be so quick to judge me.

I used to care about justice.

And Archer says, really?

And that's basically it.

That's the entire convincing
that he has to do.

At that point, the advocate basically
talks himself into it and goes,

oh yeah, I remember when these
courts were willing to listen.

And they weren't just a tool for the
military to to advance their agenda.

And it the fact that Archer does very
little in order to secure his own

freedom here, it's, this is something
that happens now and then in Star Trek

stories, I find, is that the, the story
kind of advances on its own and there

is no sense of it having been earned.

Rob: Scott Bakula is an incredible actor.

His best work is in Quantum
Leap, where he does everything.

He does dramatic work.

He does comedy work.

He sings.

He dances.

He does fight choreography.

He does car chases.

He impersonates women.

He plays a monkey In one episode.

He plays a vampire in one episode.

He does,

Kevin: He is definitely up for anything.

Rob: But it's amazing in watching
this as the lead character in a Star

Trek show, he is such a passenger.

He does nothing to take hold of the story.

So much so that he,
everything happens to him.

Even his escape.

He has not, he just like at the end of it,
was it is it Dominic Keating, whatever the

Kevin: Malcolm Reed.

Rob: Yeah, comes in, just goes,
all right, we're going now.

And so we've done all this for you.

And he's, he just swans
through this 45 minute episode.

He's the captain and he's
just, he's like lethargic.

Is he on medication?

It's really quite disheartening.

Cause I know Bacula can step up.

Bacula could so have a, a
speech to rival Patrick Stewart.

He could do some, really hardcore
muscle work like like a Avery Brooks.

He could do like some classy, sassy stuff
like Kate Mulgrew, for heaven's sake.

But he is just so passive here.

That the highlight of the
performance is Kolos's speech,

and I've got it quoted here.

It's wonderful.

"My father was a teacher, my mother,
a biologist at the university.

They encouraged me to take up law.

Now all young people want to do is take
up weapons as soon as they can hold them.

They're told there's honor
in victory, any victory.

What honor is there in a
victory over a weaker opponent?

Had Duras destroyed that ship, he
would've been lauded as a hero of the

Empire for murdering helpless refugees.

We were a great society not so
long ago, when honor was earned

through integrity and acts of true
courage, not senseless bloodshed."

And that's coming from a

Kevin: Yeah, it's pretty Good.

that's probably some of the deepest
implied change to Klingon society

that we get in all of Star Trek, like
Klingons, they don't really have an arc.

And we've talked about the Cardassians
now and then about how we get these

glimpses of how they used to be and how
they are today is not how they used to be.

This is not their finest hour.

Whereas Klingons, we are told again
and again, this is their finest hour.

The this is their greatest glory.

And this hint that there maybe was a
different version of Klingon culture

before this is not something we often get.

I think Star Trek might be a little afraid
to break what they have in Klingons.

And yeah, they, we get a hint at something
more here, that's very tantalizing.

Rob: It's so tantalizing, especially cause
we move ahead to say, looking at Discovery

season one, where they knuckle down on the
horror and the monstrous type of nature

of the Klingons, and it just doesn't work.

You're there going, look at
this incredible moment, the only

incredible moment in a quite
bland episode of Star Trek that

could have achieved so much more.

It goes to show that you
could see the show's tired.

This is filmed after, a good 10 years
after when Next Gen was at its height

or when Deep Space Nine was close
to beginning, but it looked cheaper.

It looked like it was done earlier.

It looked like it was
filmed in the mid eighties.

Kevin: Star Trek VI is what hurts this
episode the most, in my mind, because here

we have a great example of less is more.

There is much less of that Klingon
courtroom in Star Trek VI, but

it is so much more powerful
in part because it's darker.

We see less of it.

It is more cinematic, more
is left to the imagination.

It is a scarier place in Star Trek VI than
it is here where it is de-fanged because

we see behind the scenes we see into every
corner, we are given a long time to look

around in that crowd and realize they're
not actually that scary, they're just

Klingon rabble who will shout at anything.

And the judge is less scary
because he talks more.

He engages with with the idea
of justice in a way that the,

Rob: And he's not hidden in the background
with almost his white eyes going, Silence.


Kevin: So if Star Trek VI had never been
done, I feel like I would enjoy this

episode a lot more because we would be
seeing something we'd not seen before and

we wouldn't have that stronger example
of the same thing to hold it up against.

Rob: Yeah, so for me, it's it just fell
short of what it could have done and it

had its lead very passive, but a standout
performance from from Martok as a Kolos,

and an incredible speech of what could,
what we could have, Kevin, with the

Klingons, if the, if they just listen
to their own history and go, we can have

the Klingons as a deep, rich culture as
opposed to just a one note archetype.

Kevin: From Enterprise and I'm
glad it wasn't me complaining about

Enterprise for once this week.

Thank you for taking us there, Rob.

Rob: I should play my part in this Star
Trek podcast and actually watch all of it.

And that means so that I am aware that
does mean I have to admit to, I will

have to watch Discovery Season four.

Kevin: A nice, standalone
episode of Enterprise as well.

I think it is a good way to get
a taste of what Enterprise was.

This is an early episode of

Rob: Well, That was,
but that's season two.

That's season two episode 19.

So they should be, the the other
episode I'm gonna talk about is from

a Star Trek series early on, so like
within the first seven episodes.

But this is like where it
should be quite established.

And I'm there going, no, this, it feels
like an early season one type episode.

Kevin: Well, I'm going to take us
to the original series and uh, the

episode that this week's episode of
Strange New World owes so much to,

and that is Court Martial, season one,
episode 14 of the original series.

This is where Captain Kirk is put on trial
for the murder of one of his crew members.

The episode opens with the ship
docking for repairs after an ion

storm and the ship is damaged.

And the entire proceedings of this
court is because during that storm,

the Enterprise lost a crew member.

There was a crew member uh, Ben Finney,
who was in the weather pod at the front

of the ship, and when the ship went to
Red Alert, when the ion storm got bad

enough, they had to eject that pod.

And Kirk says he gave Ben Finney plenty
of time to get outta that pod and ejected

it after he sounded the red alert.

But the computer records say that
the ship was not yet at red alert

when when Kirk pressed the button.

And this episode it is not the first
original series courtroom drama, that

comes back to The Menagerie that we
have talked about before, the two-parter

where the Enterprise crew sits in the
courtroom and watches an episode of Star

Trek on tv.

Yeah, there was a bit of that this week as
well of uh, the Enterprise crew watching

the court proceedings on their monitors.

But yeah where The Menagerie kind of
sets out, you know, it's got the ringing

the bell and it's got the courtroom set.

This is the one where most of the
story is in the courtroom, rather

than the courtroom being a framing
device for watching an adventure.

What we get from this episode is the dress
uniforms with the interesting like jewelry

emblems that are exactly like the ones
we see in Strange New Worlds, this week.

We get the chair with the lit
the lit circle that you put your

palm on to identify yourself
and to uh, read out your record.

The little tapes, which are ubiquitous
within the original series, but they

are prominently used in Court Martial
to, like everyone who testifies,

puts their tape in the computer and
it reads out their their record.

And then when they finish their testimony,
they take their tape with them as a record

of everything that they said, and all
of that is here in Strange New Worlds.

So it was obvious to me that
they went back to Court Martial

and plumbed its depths deeply.

So if nothing else, if you agree with
us that this was a great episode of

Star Trek, it's worth going back to
Court Martial to see where a lot of

the template is created so long ago.

Rob: I was watching episode two and Batel
was there in the prosecution and she had

the big brooch of multicolored things.

I'm going, that's gotta be from the

Kevin: Oh, it is totally
from the original series.

They look remarkably similar.

The thing that happens in the original
series though is like the costume

department isn't quite as well paid,
and so from scene to scene, some of the

characters' parts of their sculptures
on their chest disappear and reappear

as the continuity is not quite there.

It, is so charming.


Who knows what they mean.

But it seems like the one thing you can
infer is the higher you rank, the more

pottery you have glued to your chest.

Rob: More ceramics that you have attached.

So the main thing put on trial is
the chain of command and the how

Kevin: Ultimately the fascination of
this episode is, we get to see what law

looks like in the Star Trek universe.

We meet the prosecutor, Areel
Shaw, who is an ex lover of Kirk's.

Once he's been accused, but before
the court martial is convened, Kirk

walks around the space station and
a lot of his, like old classroom

buddies are like giving him the side
eye and like presuming his guilt.

So that is something we learn about
Kirk is that people are pretty

quick to assume his guilt in a
matter of negligence as a captain.

So there's six people there and they're
all like mrr, yeah, I think he did it.

But uh, over in the corner of the bar is
this beautifully dressed woman, and Kirk

is so happy to see her because it's a
friendly fa face in this hostile crowd.

And it's a woman that he had a
relationship with previously.

They're still very lovey-dovey.

And she's, he says, actually it's
lucky I meet you because I could

really use a lawyer right now.

And she goes, sorry, I'm busy.

And it is revealed at the end of
the scene that she has actually

been tapped as the prosecutor.

So she is going to have to prosecute
her ex lover, a pattern that is repeated

in a Next Generation episode that we're
gonna be talking about in a little bit.

But yes, she is the prosecutor, the
defense attorney that Kirk ends up

getting at her suggestion is Samuel T.

Cogley, attorney at law.

And he moves into Kirk's quarters
and fills the place with books.

There's like books stacked ten high on
his sofa, on all of his desks in every

surface, all these brown legal tomes.

And that is the main, and as far
as I can tell, only character trait

we are given for Samuel t Cogley
is that he likes the law in print.

Nice to see another print book
here this week in uh, Strange,

New Worlds in the ultimate,

Rob: Quite a few little,
quite a few appearances of old

Kevin: Yeah.

But yeah, so watching those two guest
stars fight it out through the objections

and arguments of a courtroom is the
main fascination of this episode.

The actual like legal case is much
less strong and interesting than

we get elsewhere in Star Trek.

It is ultimately a case of Kirk's
word against the computer records,

and the presumption is the computer
is infallible, it can't be wrong.

It's Kirk's word against
an infallible record.

So Kirk's obviously guilty.

The big twist I use with big air quotes
here is when Spock discovers that he can

beat the Enterprise computer at chess,
which we are led to believe, is evidence

that the computer has been tampered with.

So because someone tampered with
the records of whether Kirk pressed

the button before the red alert or
not, that tampering somehow made

the computer less good at chess.

And that is how Spock
discovers the wrongdoing.

Rob: Makes perfect sense to me.

Kevin: When this is revealed, this
earth-shattering evidence that Spock

can beat the computer at chess.

Samuel T.

Cogley attorney at law demands that
the court adjourn to the Enterprise

so that Kirk can face his accuser.

One of the guarantees of Federation law
is that you will be allowed to face your

accuser, and in this case, the accuser
is the Enterprise computer itself.

And so it's, uh, it's, pretty drawn
out at that point that, oh, okay.

The big twist in this courtroom drama
is that we're gonna get to move the

court to the Enterprise, and then
they have a session in the briefing

room where Spock beats the computer
at chess for the entertainment

of the the convened officials.

And then they moved to the bridge
where it is a bit more interesting.

They evacuate the ship so
that no one is left aboard.

And then the people in the court,
McCoy walks around with a microphone

and puts it to each of their chests
and does a little thing that cancels

out the sound of their heartbeat.

And then they have the computer play
all audible sounds left on the ship

and there is one heartbeat left.

And that is the revelation that Ben
Finney did not die in the ion storm.

He actually faked his own death
by modifying the computer records

and Kirk goes and has a fist
fight with him in engineering.

Rob: How all good K and
dramas should finish.

That's what was missing in episode
two of Strange New World Season two.


So yeah.

Kevin: It sounds hinky, and it is,
but I think it's still worth watching.

Rob: Definitely it.

See, like exploring that type of
procedure of the Federation in such

early stages of the show's development.

What within, in its first
year, first couple of

Kevin: It is interesting to realize
that Star Trek in its first year

had two courtroom drama episodes,
and one of them was a two-parter.

So three of the first 24 episodes
of Star Trek were courtroom dramas.

They knew the formula worked early.

Rob: But as we explored, like with
The Menagerie, there's not much

courtroom drama going on there.


It's out of like a hundred minute
two-parter, it's 80% ooh, look at

the clips from the previous thing we

Kevin: Court Martial has a lot of that fun
that we get this episode as well, where

we get members of the crew brought up as
witnesses and asked questions like, Areel

Shaw asks McCoy for example he says Dr.

McCoy, you're an expert in
space psychology, aren't you?

And he goes I know something about it.

And just these very in character
answers from our favorite

characters is really fun.

Rob: I've always wanted
to study space psychology

Kevin: Uh, you got a second one?

Rob: I do.

I do.

And I've gotta go back
to, to, to my home base.

So we're looking at as I've alluded
to, we're going to season one of

Deep Space Nine, episode eight.

So early on in the process,
we're looking at Dax.

This really is the establishment of, okay,
let's, we've created these characters,

let's find out more about them.

And even though the trill
had appeared in Next Gen…?

Kevin: Yeah.

There was one episode called The Host,
I think, that kind of established

the mechanics of how Trill work.

Rob: Yes.

But this is the one that really
explores the essence of what it is.

And I was fascinated by the Trill as a
character, because it's very much the

Star Trek terminology and interpretation
of what they do in Doctor Who.

So in Doctor Who, when they
change the actor, they do a

process called regeneration
that the only Time Lords can do.

So I was fascinated by, within this Star
Trek thing, they could never do something

as ridiculous as just regeneration,
but if they have a symbiont that is

inside the Trill, it's part of this
process and culture, and then they

move that creature inside another host.

And the memories are left within
that symbiont, but then there's the

new personality that comes through.

It's all that lovely,
complicated Star Trek stuff.

But this is the process of let's actually
look at the fundamental creation of this

species: what personality means, what
identity means within this culture, and

whether someone, if a crime was committed
in a previous host, would that person,

who now is the new host, big culpable.

And it was always a fascinating
concept of bringing on a Trill who in

their past life was dear friends, a
mentor to our lead character, Sisko.

And it was always the great gag
of always referring to Jadzia as

Old Man cuz that's what he used
to call Curzon, the previous host.

And so there's a lot of stuff done here.

We find out a lot about Jadzia
and how she became the host.

We find out a lot about Curzon, who he was
as a person, his relationship with Sisko.

A lot of that is established here.

Now, Dax is a an episode that stands
out for many reasons, but the main

reason is someone we've mentioned
before on this show, especially when

we looked at the animated series
of the sixties, this is actually

co-written by the great DC Fontana.

Kevin: Very good.

Rob: Yes, who was brought on, and
it said in production notes that she

actually found it quite difficult to
focus on an episode that's focused

on character because as she said,
this is only the eighth episode.

You haven't really established
the individual characters here.

You've got archetypes.

So she was brought on with a co-writer,
Peter Allen Fields, who came up with the

idea, and the two of them had written
together on The Six Million Dollar Man.

And she of course, had extensive
history with the original series

and the animated series, but it's
actually a really good episode.

I remember watching this when
I was, when it first came

out, and it sticks in my head.

There's some beautiful moments in
there, like the on the offside, like

the tension between Quark and Odo is
still very much in its early stages,

so it's very tense and antagonistic.

The, there's a beautiful moment when
representatives from this culture

who've come to put Jadzia on trial,
sneak onto the base and have all

the codes and can easily get out.

But then brought back in with some,
nice maneuvering from Sisko, showing how

smart he is to get a tractor beam in.

And in an interrogation interview
scene with Sisko and Kira, they

good cop, bad cop each other.

They do this wonderful double play with
the representative from that culture to

find out that he actually got the codes
and everything from the Cardassians.

Kevin: a staple of TV legal dramas
that the investigation continues

while the court case is proceeding.

That's something that I'm pretty sure
never happens in real life, that um,

there's a ticking clock because the
court case is happening at the same time.

Rob: When I was growing up, there
was Perry Mason and his investigator

doing work was William Katt
from The Greatest American Hero.

And in this case, it's Odo going
to the planet where this happened

and finding out what he can.

So like the trial is there more as a
background, cuz as, as they always say,

it's not a trial, it's not a trial,
it's just a hearing, and so it's just

a way for us to find out more about it.

And we hear it from a
scientific point of view.

We hear it from a moral point of
view, an emotional point of view,

a philosophical point of view.

So we in this episode, we find
out more about the Trill culture

and the process of it than in
any other episode we have before.

There's one episode in Discovery
season three, where we have the

Trill crew mate coming on, and
that's a really good episode.

That's one of the ones
that I particularly loved.

I but yeah, this one, it focuses on that
and the characters are still quite raw.

Bashir is at his hound dog, uh, love
rat best but steps up and speaks

beautifully from a medical point of

Kevin: This is a really good parallel to
this week's episode of Strange New Worlds.

I feel like it lands at about the same
place in the series as this one does.

We're at episode 12 because
season one had 10 episodes in it.

This is episode eight.

Not that far apart.

It's taking a character that we
presume is gonna stick around for

the rest of the series, but we
know we have no guarantee of that.

So it is at least plausible that that
we are about to see them locked up

for the rest of their lives or drummed
outta Starfleet as the case may be.

So there is some believable jeopardy
here, and it is the court case is an

opportunity to delve deeply into not
just the character that's on trial, but

a bunch of other characters and learn
a bunch about them under that pressure.

Rob: It's actually quite a good episode.

It's a good little mystery
that they have to solve.

But one of the most heartbreaking
things for me is at the time of this

recording, watching the episode, I'm
there going I started watching this

when I was a teenager, obviously, and in
the episode they talk about this young

woman, Jadzia Dax, who is 28, and I'm
there going, yep, am now 45 years old.

Kevin: It's almost two young women old.

Rob: Yeah.

Thank you very much for
pointing that out, Kevin.

Thank you.

Time is a bitch, sometimes.

But it's a great episode.

There's a wonderful supporting cast.

You've got Anne Haney as
the the judge coming in.

She's done great work in Liar, and Mrs.

Doubtfire, wonderful character
actress coming in as the

Bajoran judge to oversee things.

You've got the wonderful Gregory Itzin.

He's done stuff like 24 and he's
played Richard Nixon and he's done

like lots of, just a TV staple.

And just wonderful character
actors filling out this hour

of wonderful television.

And the big reveal at the end,
obviously is that Curzon could not have

possibly been there because he was in
the bed of the man who died's wife.

Oh, good lord.

Kevin: Yes.

Uh, to, to use one of your turns
of phrase, Rob, this is uh,

innocence proven by being a dawwg.

Rob: I'm so glad that has caught on.



It's a still is very much in
that early nineties perception

of gender and identity.

So it's so binary.

It is so binary.

There are so many things about,
Kon the male and the older,

hardened, drinker and womanizer.

And Jadzia is the young woman and
noble, and yeah, there is a line

where Sisko goes, if you weren't a
woman, I would… you're there oh,

Kevin: They were trying.

They were trying.

Rob: They were, yeah, they're
still working within the confines

of the time that they were at.

They were pushing ahead, but still
staying within their little bubble.

But yeah, and that's all revealed at
the end in the last scene that, cuz

it was all about committing treason
and that Curzon was accused of

sending this message to the rebels.

But actually it was the guy who
died who sent it to the rebels.

And when the rebels, the rebels didn't
like him and they killed him off.

But this guy clearly has become
a legend and a hero and his death

inspired victory and he's seen as a
hero where at home he was, it's alluded

to, he was not a nice person at all.

And, but the legend is more
important than that has to stay on.

And it's quite sad at the end going
back cuz there's a moment she plays

it quite rattled, Terry Farrell,
she's a wonderful performer.

And she's like battling with all
the personas and the memories

within her and having this talk
with this former lover of Curzon's.

And I think it's Enina touches
Jadzia on the face and goes,

just do one thing for me, live.

Live a long and happy life.

And I'm going, she doesn't get that.

She dies.

Damn you, Gul Dukat!

But yeah, it's a it's a good episode
in the early days of a show finding its

feet and it's it does a creative way of
rather complicated alien species giving

it depth and variety to get, an early
nineties mainstream audience watching,

going, what the hell's going on here?

We just want the bumps on the head.

Kevin: All right.

I'm gonna take us back
to The Next Generation.

And this is a, this is an easy one.

Like this is a, nothing but the net sort
of pick because it is often on lists

of best ever episodes of Star Trek: The
Next Generation, and it is The Measure

Of A Man, season two, episode nine.

We can't not talk about The Measure Of A
Man under the heading of courtroom dramas.

It was before this week's episode
of Strange New Worlds, it was

my favorite courtroom drama.

I think it's the strongest story.

I think some people may consider it
still stronger than what we got this

week from Strange New Worlds, but I've
watched the two in close succession

and I think this one does some great
storytelling but Strange New Worlds is

a stronger courtroom drama for sure.

This episode is all about the question
of is Data a toaster, to put it in the

words of our guest star Captain Phillipa
Louvois, who is the previous kind of

implied love interest of Captain Picard.

And when Picard goes looking for
someone to help him with his legal

problems, Phillipa Louvois is waiting
for him there on this star base.

The dynamic is slightly different.

Apparently Phillipa Louvois in her
previous life prosecuted Picard

for a case involving the Stargazer,
and there are some hard feelings,

but also you can tell there is a
lot of attraction between them.

She says it's I'm not gonna get this
line exactly right, but she says something

along the lines of it is reassuring to
my worldview that you, Captain Picard are

still a pompous ass – and a damn sexy man.

Rob: She

Kevin: Yeah.


She says sexy man.



Unless I'm misremembering, but it
is something along those lines.

But yeah, so this is an episode that's
actually tied to some of the lore

that we got in early Star Trek: Picard
seasons, season one, particularly, where

Bruce Maddox, who is the mad scientist
at Starfleet that wants to, in this

episode, disassemble Data for parts
in order to understand how he works

so he can make a thousand more Datas,
but he's not a hundred percent sure

he's going to be able to figure it out.

He'll cross that bridge
when he comes to it.

But first he needs to take Data under
his command and pull him to pieces.

And so Data, at first, he objects.

He says, I don't think you've
done the groundwork necessary

for an experiment of this nature.

But the initial ruling is that Data
cannot refuse, that he is property.

He is an object, and he
is owned by Starfleet.

And he can not decline this experiment
any more than the computer of the

Enterprise could decline a refit.

And this is what prompts the court case.

The beautiful twist in this episode
that is a stroke of genius from Melinda

Snodgrass, who wrote this episode.

This is her first episode
of Star Trek, she's written.

She worked for several years as a lawyer,
which is why she was familiar enough

with court proceedings to, to pitch a a
courtroom drama for her first episode.

But the thing she does here is
that the JAG office on this star

base is just getting established.

And Louvois here, Captain
Louvois has no staff.

There are no lawyers available.

And she says under these circumstances,
Starfleet procedure is clear.

I get to draft the most senior
ranking officers to be, to

act as counsel in this case.

And Picard you're most senior,
so you'll be defense and Riker,

you need to be the prosecutor.

And Riker says, I can't argue for
Data's ineligibility as a sentient

being because I don't believe it.

But she says then I'll
rule summarily against him.

So this is among other things a great
Riker episode as Riker needs to swallow

his friendship and his belief in Data
and do his best to mount a case for

the fact that Data is nothing more
than a a walking talking machine.

There's a beautiful scene where Riker is
in the library section researching Data's

schematics, and finds his deactivation
switch on his back, and Riker sees it and

you, it's just a closeup on Riker where
you see him like light up in delight.

He can't believe his luck.

And then he realizes what this will
mean to his friend and he is deflated.

And the moment where he switches off
Data on the witness stand and Data

slumps in his chair is it takes my
breath away now even though I've seen

this episode five, ten times now.

Like this week's episode of Strange
New Worlds, it has the strong emotional

speeches that get me all choked up
because people in Star Trek care

about things like principles and the
truth, and it's just so heartwarming.

All of that is here.

What is lacking is there is no real kind
of legal mechanism that comes into play.

All that kind of happens is that Picard
gives a better speech than Riker,

and the judge says, I'm convinced.

There's not much more beyond that.

There is some let's tease apart
what it means to be sentient.

It means three things.

Data clearly satisfies two of the three.

So what about the third one?

And there is a bit of exploration of
the ideas here, but it's not quite as

satisfying an unwinding of the facts
as what we get in Una's case this week.

Rob: And um, and this is
early on then as well.

So this is like, uh, season, two.

Kevin: I think what we're learning is a
good series of Star Trek needs at least

one courtroom drama in its first season
to get its characters off the ground.

Rob: It really does.

It really does.

And this is one that people refer to
so often when it comes to, Next Gen

episodes and Star Trek episodes in
general, that is just top tier and it's

the quintessential elements of sci-fi.

Like you said, what is
humanity against technology?

It's the same thing that they
explore quite well in Voyager

with Robert Picordo's Doctor.

What is a, what is just a simple
program and what is the personality

and how do you define humanity, which
is what you want to see in, in Sci-fi.

Kevin: I'd say arguably this is
the episode where we recognize Data

for what he can be in this crew.

He says things in his purely logical
mechanical way that are so heartwarming,

like when Picard is appointed to be
his counselor, Picard says, look if

there's anyone else who you think
would do a better job, and Data says,

Captain, I have full faith in your
ability to represent my interests.

And it's just like that bromance
starts right there, that, that Data

expressing his undying confidence in
Picard to look after him is there.

And at the very last scene of this
episode, as everyone is celebrating Data's

victory Riker is nowhere to be found.

And Data tracks him down
in the observation lounge.

And Riker is like leaning against the
window, gazing off into space, going, I

don't deserve to be in the celebration.

I almost won.

I could have cost you your life, Data.

And data says if you hadn't done
it I would've been ruled against.

Isn't that right?

And Riker says, yeah.

And he goes, You injured
yourself to save me.

What better sign of friendship is there?

And it's just these earnest declarations
of professional love for each

other really gets me every time.

And there was plenty of that

Rob: I think, and that's, it's a
big thing about Star Trek because

it is earnest and procedural.

Its way of like rank and file.

And so when these characters are working
through, whether it be the original series

or whether it be in Next Gen or any of
them, they're just so stuck in their roles

of command and the Federation and stuff.

So when they show a, they crack
through that exterior with that same

earnestness, whenever you have Spock
turn to Kirk and call him Jim and open

up honestly and earnestly from his
heart, you go, Oh, and it's the same

here when, Riker being comforted by Data.

Kevin: Among all the other reasons
to go back and watch The Measure Of A

Man, the one that is often forgotten
is that this is the first poker game

in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Data learns to play poker in the
opening cold open of this episode.

Rob: Good good.

So yeah, I, it would be remiss in
this Star Trek podcast not to, to

us, to mention at the end of it
all what a wonderful exploration of

the trials and tribulations of the
Federation in the star Trek world.

But big news that's just broken
and heartbreaking news, even though

it was commissioned for a second
season, Paramount+ has pulled

the plug on Star Trek: Prodigy.

So in a matter of days, season
one will be taken off the air.

And even though they've already done
season two, there's no guarantee of

where it will be played and when it

Kevin: Yeah.

Season two is in the final stages
of post-production, we're told,

and it will still get completed.

My understanding here is Paramount
has paid for the production, but

they have declined to retain the
rights to actually air the thing.

So that.

Rob: But it is a co-production
with Nickelodeon,

Kevin: And it's also not
coming to Nickelodeon.

So both places that it was airing
are no longer, they have divested

themselves of those rights.

And some of the coverage I've read about
this stuff is it comes down to tax.

Tax concessions.

Basically, if you not only cancel
the series but take it off your

streaming service, you can claim a
tax deduction, not just for the losses

that are present in this series, but
also the projected future losses.

All of the income that those episodes
were going to make in the future can

now be claimed as a tax break today.

So it's Paramount saying, look, we need
money badly enough that we are going to

pick our own pockets from the future.

And Star Trek: Prodigy will pay the price.

Rob: And there's quite, there's
a number of other shows that

they've done this to as well.

It's like the the grease prequel
series rise of the Pink Ladies and

Yeah, across all streamers, they've
been doing that, like Disney Plus

did a massive purge of shows off
their streamer about a month ago.

But this would be one of
the more high profile,

Kevin: It's not good news.

One hopes it will find a home somewhere
else, but that is somewhat dependent on

someone having enough money to pay for
a Star Trek series, an already produced

Star Trek series, like Paramount's
already paid for it to be made.

Someone just needs to pay to
the, the rights to stream it now.

So you would expect that to be
within reach of a Netflix or an

Amazon Prime or whatever it might be.

But there's no guarantees.

And the feeling is that all
of the money is draining out

of this streaming gold rush.

And all of these companies that were
competing with each other by greenlighting

anything that anyone would conceivably
watch, all that money is going away.

So I, I am worried that we may
never see Prodigy season two.

It seems almost inconceivable that a
group of star Trek loving nerds would

have put together a full 10 episode,
20 episode season, we're told, of Star

Trek, and the world may never see it.

One assumes it will get out
someday, somehow someone will

pay to press those Blu-rays.

But yeah, it, there's no guarantees
now that we're ever gonna see it.

Rob: This is this is good, consistent
Star Trek and good television, not

just for kids, but for all ages.

So for something to be taken off that
is of such a high standard animation

wise, music wise, script writing wise
and bringing back Kate Mulgrew and that,

to have it taken off and it is nowhere,

Kevin: a sad state of affairs.

In any market that gets flooded by
like competition fueled investment

like this, ultimately what happens is
that there's more product than people

to pay for it at the end of the day.

And good stuff is going
to pay the price of that.

I think I felt for a while now that
there was way more star Trek being made

than could be justified given that they
barely were able to keep it on the air

through, through the Enterprise era,
and then it's been off the air all this

time, the idea that suddenly the world
is ready for more Star Trek, like I've

been ready for more Star Trek every day.

But but I don't believe there are enough
of us out there to pay for four prestige

series in production at the same time.


So something had to give, sadly.

I think Prodigy is just the one
that didn't find its audience.

Because the people who are nostalgically
attached to Star Trek, it's the

last one they were gonna watch
because it was marketed for kids.

Rob: Yes.

And it was that case of we
have been getting a sense

of the environment shifting.

Everyone's just gone, okay,
writing is on the wall.

Let's go, let's put all of our
attention into making our one

Kevin: Yeah,

Rob: Strange New Worlds.

Kevin: And it clarifies one of
the reasons why Star Trek: Legacy

is potentially a hard sell.

Because yes, all the Star Trek fans want
to watch it, but there aren't enough

Star Trek fans to pay for two series.

And so they've already
got Strange New Worlds.

The sets are built, the actors
are hired, the costumes are made.

It's in production and it's successful.

We've got a very good, proven safe
investment in a Star Trek: Legacy,

but we don't need that right now.

What we need to be doing is
shutting down Star Trek series.

So that's my worry.

For Prodigy, I hope the fact that it
is made for children is potentially

its salvation, because the one thing
streaming services need is a lot

of content for kids because parents
love to pay that bill so that their

kids can have something to watch.

So yeah, I hope, a Netflix or
something can come along pay that

relatively modest bill and get some
fresh young eyeballs learning what

Star Trek is and how amazing it is.

Rob: Yeah, it's a sad day from,
for all the people involved.

So wonderful voiceovers, actors,
wonderful animators, wonderful

script writers and directors and
everyone involved in Prodigy.

It must be devastating for

Kevin: The fact that season one was
such a tight beginning, middle and end

makes me feel like it could have ended
there and I would've been satisfied.

But that also tells me that this
season two, that is all but done,

is probably also a very satisfying,
self-contained story, that it would

be a shame if we never get to see.

Rob: Oh, if only we could.

We'll see what happens in the future.

Until next week.

Kevin: See around the galaxy.