Subspace Radio

Rob & Kev are on the hunt … for Star Trek episodes featuring predator/prey cultures! Inspired by Lower Decks season 3 episode 2, "The Least Dangerous Game", they visit Tosk (DS9), the Hirogin (VOY), some lady in a swamp (ENT), and the Kelpiens (DIS).

Show Notes

Star Trek Day 2022

To The Journey: Looking Back at Star Trek: Voyager (official)
Janeway's coffee mug (Twitter)
What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Memory Alpha)

LD 3x02 The Least Dangerous Game (Memory Alpha)
Wilhelm Scream (All That's Interesting)

DS9 1x06 Captive Pursuit (Memory Alpha)
Roddy McDowall (Planet of the Apes wiki)

VOY 4x15 Hunters / 4x16 Prey (Memory Alpha)
Kazon (Memory Alpha)
Vidiians (Memory Alpha)

ENT 1×18 Rogue Planet (Memory Alpha)

DIS 2×06 The Sound of Thunder (Memory Alpha)
Ba'ul (Memory Alpha)
Kelpien (Memory Alpha)
Armus (Memory Alpha)
Sontaran (TARDIS Data Core)
Rutan (TARDIS Data Core)

Music: Distänt Mind, Brigitte Handley

What is Subspace Radio?

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.

There is a new episode of Star Trek
out there in the ether, and we here at

Subspace Radio are back here to indeed
reflect on that ether Star Trekkiness.

I am Rob and I am joined as
always by the wonderful Kevin.

How are you?

Kevin: Hello!

I'm excellent because there's
new Star Trek in my life.

Rob: What more do you need?

Kevin: Happy Star Trek Day Eve, Rob.

As we record this, it is
the eve of Star Trek Day.

And so we're all gonna go to sleep
and wake up in the morning to some

YouTube viewing of Star Trek news.

Rob: On all Star Trek Eves, do
you open one of your Star Trek

presents before the night before?

Kevin: Well, it's funny
you should say that.

I didn't plan to talk about this, but
I did get a parcel in the mail today

and it is my Captain Janeway Star
Trek: Voyager coffee mug replica,

which I got for backing the Star Trek
Voyager documentary, To The Journey.

It's not full of anything at the
moment, but uh, there you go.

Rob: Oh look, listeners, if
this was a visual medium, you'd

be just as excited as I am.

It looks absolutely beautiful.

I don't know about this documentary.

I'm a huge fan of the Deep
Space, Nine documentary that

they did, What We Leave Behind.

Kevin: Yes.

It is the same production team that is now
doing a Star Trek: Voyager documentary.

Rob: Excellent.

Well, I wish I could have
funded that, cuz that one on

Deep Space Nine was just magic.

Kevin: Yeah.

I'll lend you my mug sometime.

Rob: Um, but yes.

We're here to talk about episode
two of season three of Lower

Decks, "The Least Dangerous Game".

Kevin: A pretty typical
A plot, B plot structure.

And, the A plot is basically paying off
the end of the previous episode where

Ransom is put in charge of the fate of
Beckett Mariner's future on the ship.

Rob: Very much so.

Kevin: Her ability to follow orders
is tested to the absolute limits, to

the point where she's diving off of a
space elevator— I'm sorry, orbital lift.

The movie references just keep coming.

I'll be surprised when we get an episode
without a movie tie-in at this point.

Rob: Yeah.

Is it a case of going, do
we want one where they don't

have to rely on that or, yeah.

Kevin: The species on the planet surface
was another of these pleasure-obsessed

races, which we visited one last
week with Prime Factors in Voyager.

Rob: That's something we could bring up
as a topic later on: sex within Star Trek.

Because sex within Star Trek
is a very interesting topic

that I would love to explore.

Whether they do it right,
whether they do it wrong.

Some episodes you go, this is a very
weird perception of what sex is.

Kevin: Yes.

I am gonna call that a tease for a future
episode if you'll pardon the expression

Rob: I think that is the only
word we could use to describe an

episode about sex in Star Trek.

but yeah, they were quite muted compared
to, well, Billups got some very sexy

forwards from people from his planet.

He had the two very sexy, you know,
the man and the woman on his bed.

And he there trying to get himself
ready to become the king, so this

one where they're just talking about
navels, and light pecking on the cheek,

I'm there going, ah, that's nowhere
near as raunchy as they've got before.

Kevin: Indeed.

But I think the main part of the episode
that peaked our interest this week was

watching Boimler and team on the ship,
inspired by a Klingon Dungeons & Dragons

game, choosing to embrace answering yes
to every opportunity that life throws

at you, which ends up with Boimler being
hunted in the hallways of Cerritos.

Rob: Look, the wonderful writing of Brad
Boimler as a character and the incredible

vocal performance of Jack Quaid.

What he has done with Boimler is amazing.

There are two screams that
will always echo in my mind.

There is the Wilhelm scream, which
everyone uses in most movies.

And Jack Quaid has an incredible scream.

His Boimler scream is amazing.

Every time I hear it, it
brings me so much joy.

His scream is the stuff of legend.

It is so funny.

And he has so many
different variations of it.

He has the short, sharp scream.

He has the long continuing
one when he is running away.

And it was an episode where the
hero of this episode was the

screaming work of Jack Quaid.

Kevin: Yeah, you could imagine this
episode, the kernel of the idea is

what excuse would maximize the amount
of screaming Boimler in an episode.

Rob: It's always good to get Boimler
stepping out of his comfort where,

you know, he is so set in his ways.

It's very much that traditional Star
Trekky, Starfleet type of a character.

So to have him, on the Titan at the
start of season two, and he's just

not coping at all with all this
adventure and to have him being hunted

down by a warrior species that looks
very much like a rejected character

from the Clone Wars animated series.

Kevin: K'Ranch, who loves Captain
Freeman's mimosas, was the biggest

laugh that I had in the episode.

Rob: "Thank you so much for the mimosas."

Kevin: It has been revealed that the name
K'Ranch comes from ketchup and ranch.

Rob: Of course it does.

Kevin: Any other highlights
for this episode before we…

dive into our theme

Rob: Oh, please.

You mentioned it such in passing and it
would be devoid of me as a Star Trek:

Deep Space Nine fan to not mention the
incredible return cameo of Martok himself.

Kevin: How could I leave that out?

Rob: Oh, I think you were
doing that on purpose!

Good god, it was great to have Martok
back, and just how much relish in

delivering those incredible lines.

Kevin: He's still got it.

Rob: Boimler just rolls and goes I'm gonna
be risky and then right at the end going,

ah, you immediately get killed with your
own arm and you don't go to Sto'Vo'Kor

because you are killed by your own hand.

And I love Boimler at the start, he's
got his cosplay Klingon head piece on.

Kevin: They all do They all have different
Klingon blades and yeah, you get the sense

they bought the set and all the merch…

Rob: Yeah, so that was an
incredible highlight for me.

Oh, and also I did like the weird
justification at the end that we're

not sure what type of presence
is ruling this pleasure planet.

It could be a volcano.

It could be a baby.

It could be a sentient computer.

And it was all three.

And of course, yeah, just ripping
off your shirt and they all go,

oh, you are very wise, Starfleet.

I still can't pick that
that's Jerry O'Connell.

Kevin: Oh, really?

No, he is unrecognizable.

Rob: It's been a while
since I've watched Sliders.

But I'm there going, I can't pick…

Kevin: No.

I see him in behind the scenes stuff
all the time and go, yes, of course.

You're Jerry O'Connell.

But there's something about, I don't
know if his voice is a type that isn't

recognizable or if he is doing something
with his voice in this role, that makes

him not sound like Jerry O'Connell, but
he's, he's, awesome as the character.

Rob: I love that justification that
there are some points where being that

vacuous, and being that obsessed with
your body, can actually save the day.

I found that quite funny.

As a nerd who doesn't take care
of his body or anything like

that, I went, okay you know what?

I'll give it credit.

Kevin: All silly, and delightful for it.

Rob: It's always good to
have an animated, impalement.

We haven't had that for a long time.

Kevin: Not since uh, Wesley Crusher
in an early Q episode, I think.

Rob: Also, I did like, um, the
various little scenes with Boimler

trying all the different things.

So we got the, the futuristic squash game
that I haven't seen since Deep Space Nine.

Kevin: Springball.

Rob: Springball!

Kevin: Then the Bajoran dirge choir
with Shaxs, offscreen the figure

painting class for creepy Lars,
uh who, Boimler says afterwards,

I'm not afraid of Lars anymore.

Rob: So that's a win?

Kevin: Yeah

Rob: So yeah.

So yeah, very cute episode.

Kevin: I think, at the risk of
taking an episode of Lower Decks too

seriously, we have seized on the hunting
culture of K'Ranch in this episode.

And it occurred to me, we've seen
several versions of that trope,

of the hunter race in the past.

And so let's compare notes on what we
remember of hunter races past and what

that has brought us in the various
incarnations of Trek over the years.

Rob: Do you have Deep Space Nine?

Kevin: I do have Deep

Rob: Huh Oh, you've gone for my show.


You can go first.

I didn't use any Deep Space Nine.

Kevin: You didn't use any Deep Space Nine?

Rob: No, I'm trying to, I'm
trying to push myself, Kevin.

Kevin: Well done.

Well done.

Effort acknowledged.

Rob: You, inspire me.

Kevin: Deep Space Nine season one,
episode six, Captive Pursuit, in

which Tosk comes through the wormhole
and is befriended by O'Brien.

Tosk introduces himself as just
Tosk and O'Brien asks him, is

that your name or your species?

And he says Tosk.

And O'Brien sets about giving Tosk a
tour of Deep Space Nine and this side of

the wormhole, but it's very mysterious.

Whenever Tosk gets a moment to himself,
he starts asking the computer questions

about where the weapons lockers are.

And then eventually another ship comes
through the wormhole and it is full

of hunters, on the hunt for Tosk.

This is their occupation as a species.

They have bred Tosks and sent
them out for hunts and then they

chase them across the galaxy.

That's what they do.

Of course, by this point, O'Brien
has developed a fondness for his new

friend Tosk and manages a prison
break to uh, free Tosk, return

him to his ship, and enable him to
lead the hunters on a fresh chase.

Tosk asks O'Brien, you would
make a good Tosk have you ever

considered becoming a Tosk?

And O'Brien says well, I have a wife and
daughter who would probably have something

to say about that, and so he stays behind.

Rob: Yes.

Kevin: The high point of the
episode is when Odo says I'll go

and track down O'Brien, and Sisko
says, there's no rush, Constable.

Odo does a double take and then
a slow walk to the turbo lift.

Rob: That's right.

Kevin: It is the moment I fell in
love with Odo as a character, right

here in episode six of the season.

Rob: As I've said before, you know, René
Auberjonois was one of my favorite actors,

before coming into Deep Space Nine.

So that's why I was drawn to it.

I went, oh my god; it's
the guy from Benson?

His comedy and his drama
chops are just second to none.

I do remember this one, vaguely.

It is very much a early episode
of Star Trek Deep Nine, where it's

still trying to find its feet.

But the character design and the
prosthetic work for the Tosk is great.

Kevin: Tosk is great.

Michael Westmore says the design
was based on a photo of an alligator

that he saw in the Smithsonian.

And it's a full covered head.

Yeah, a work of art for sure.

Rob: Very much so.

And when we see prosthetic work like that
on any Star Trek, it's always a welcome

change cuz there is that cliché gimmick
of people just going, ah, they just put

a weird change to the nose or some, some
old uh, rice bubbles on their foreheads.

Kevin: The story of this episode
was inspired by the short story,

the most dangerous game, which is
referenced in this week's title in

lower decks, The Least Dangerous Game.

The Most Dangerous Game, I have learned
in researching this, is reputed to

be the most popular short story ever
written in the English language.

And it's about a big game hunter
who falls overboard, is washed

ashore on an island, and is then
hunted by a Russian aristocrat.

So the hunter becomes the hunted,
that trope, is from this short story

that has been retrod and revisited
and reimagined in many forms over the

years, including Captive Pursuit, here
in Deep Space Nine's first season.

Rob: Yeah.

That's a great example of a race
bred for servitude or to be chased.

Kevin: And it is a recurring motif of our
heroes, or the Starfleet crew take pity,

or sympathize with the hunted creature.

Though created or bred for this
purpose, it's a sentient being,

should not be— We are going to rescue
it from this situation, despite

our rules of non interference.

Rob: Colm Meaney is such an incredible
actor, and has such an incredible body

of work outside of his Star Trek time.

He's like a legitimate actor, who's done
some incredible, real serious drama stuff.

And quite a lot of the cast of
Deep Space Nine have got that…

Kevin: That Pedigree, yeah.

Rob: Yeah.

Kevin: I think for me, this is
the establishing episode for

O'Brien on Deep Space Nine.

And it's the first time an entire story
is crafted around him as the hero.

He's given more to do in this one
episode than in all of his appearances

in The Next generation put together.

The other thing that makes this episode
really work is the actor playing Tosk.

He has got that, like deer in
headlights, frightened creature thing

going, but he's also, he's charming.

He has a personality,
he has a sense of humor.

And you fall in love with this
hunted creature along with O'Brien.

Rob: Definitely.

And it always takes a special type
of actor to exude so much charisma

and so much through layers of that,
especially that amount of prosthetic.

You know, one of the greatest actors
behind prosthetic performances is

the late, great Roddy McDowall.

His work with the full body cast
of Planet of the Apes is legendary.

And how you exaggerate your performance
to go through the prosthetics, but still

come across as subtle underneath all that.

And so it takes a quality actor
to be able to achieve that.

Kevin: Yeah.

I think that's all there is
to say about Captive Pursuit.

The interesting thing for
me for this episode is it is

very much focused on the prey.

The hunters are very surface level.

Like they have an interesting costume
and interesting look, but you don't learn

much about them, other than we hunt.

We are here to hunt.

Don't get in the way of our hunt.

Rob: So, well I'll skip to a species
that is all about the hunt, and very

much a species that has a code and
rules of engagement that they follow.

And and this comes from the Voyager era.

They were trying to find their
way for what was going to be

their big, reoccurring bad.

They try to set up the Kazon as
their big threat at the start,

and that doesn't really work.

Then they introduce the
ones who have the disease.

They are the…

Kevin: The Vidiians.

Rob: Quite gruesome.

And then they bring in later on, quite
late into the run of things, the Hirogin.

Kevin: The Hirogin.

Season four's big bad.

Rob: Season four's big bad that
they tried to do, and then they just

went, ah, let's just do the Borg.


We tried, we tried our best Um,
but the Hirogin, what I really

liked about them, as opposed to the
previous ones, these guys had a really

solid, structured culture, with the
alphas and the betas, and if the

alpha's killed the beta takes over.

And their rules and their standards
was something that they were brought

up in their… not as many episodes
as I think they wanted to do.

They kind of went, yeah, let's try this.

And then they gave up and
went, The Borg's just there.

Kevin: We've already seen them.

Seven of Nine is on the ship.

Rob: Seven of Nine's on the ship.

Let's just go back to the Borg.

Kevin: The uh, Hirogin
were on my list as well.

So we can talk a lot about the
Hirogin, because I, I made some notes.

Rob: And what were your
notes on the Hiro-gin?

Kevin: They, what's interesting to
me is they appeared in a trilogy of

episodes in the middle of season four.

Introduced very mysteriously in
Message in a Bottle where they are,

the users or owners of a communications
network that Voyager discovers.

And they come over on the screen
and say, stop using our phone.

And that's pretty much
all you see of them.

So they're very mysterious.

And in the very next episode, we get to
meet them, and meet their culture, and

learn that they are hunters and they are
excited to capture Tuvok and Seven and

make them their trophies of their hunt.

And in that episode, the communications
network is damaged and Voyager can

no longer trade messages with the
Federation in the alpha quadrant.

So that second episode was called Hunters.

The very next episode, entitled
Prey, involves Species 8472, and

a Hirogin hunting a lone member of
Species 8472 across the Delta quadrant

and we get to learn even more.

I think I agree with you that they
lost interest in the Hirogin, and I

as an audience member kind of lost
interest in the Hirogin as well.

So I wasn't that
devastated to see them go.

Rob: Plus we had The Borg.

Right there.

The Borg…

Kevin: …we had The Borg.

But I appreciate that, in the
format of Voyager, Voyager is making

its way home and is cutting the
most efficient path towards the

alpha quadrant that it can find.

So it would make sense that a
species would come into, like

they would enter their influence,
have a few stories related to them

and then pass beyond their space.

Like the Hirogin is the only time
they mostly committed to that format

of, we're gonna learn a lot about an
interesting species over the course of

several episodes in short succession,
and then we'll leave them behind, mostly.

Rob: They did set themselves up as the,
Hirogin were the species that would

travel great distances so they were
spreading themselves out throughout

the quadrant so that they could

Kevin: This is where my problems with
the Hirogin start, because I think

they said we want a hunter species.

And maybe they had already developed
that communications network story

to, connect with the alpha quadrant.

But it felt like, okay,
this is a space-faring race,

and all they do is hunt.

That is their entire culture.

And so who builds the ships?

Where do they mine materials
from, or make food?

Or like just how is a race or
a culture like this sustained?

And so they have to scaffold it with
so many seemingly impossible ideas.

The a hundred thousand year old
communications network that they have

that they have commandeered, that lets
them speak across great distances is one.

They talk about the fact that the
culture used to be a more traditional

culture, and then they suddenly
became obsessed with hunting and

it took over their entire culture.

And it is in a later episode that
they are ironically described as

hunting themselves into extinction
by being the hunters too much.

So all of that, it all feels
a little tenuous to me.

Like, if you look beyond the surface,
it just does not make sense that these

people would have well maintained
ships that are a match for Voyager.

And apparently they hunt in twos
or small groups that run these big

ships, but they're in communication
across thousands of light years.

It all, yeah, it does not bear up to
close scrutiny, which is why I think

they couldn't go very far with it.

Rob: Yeah.

Kevin: And the Hirogin are
almost always the B plot of

every episode that they're in.

There's always something else
supporting them in the episode.

There's the communications array.

There is the species 8472.

Later on, there's a two-part episode
called The Killing Game, where the

Hirogin have taken over Voyager's
holodeck system to try to stop hunting

real creatures, and instead we're gonna
hunt the crew of the Voyager again and

again, and bring them back to life.

And they're dressed up as Nazis.

So like, Nazi Hirogin.

Like a hunter species was not interesting
enough; we had to dress them up as Nazis

to tell an interesting story about them.

I just get that sense that
there was just not enough there.

Rob: Yeah, it is the last vestige
of argument to pull the Nazi quote.

And it is the last vestige of a writing
experience to go let's make 'em all Nazis.

But yeah, it does seem to me that
the Hirogin especially, there's so

much focus put on the small details.

There's so much to go on with how they
hunt and the rituals they go through,

like all this minute detail about
hunting in twos, and the alpha and

the beta, and paint on their face, and
all these type of tropes they have.

But when look, like you said, the broader
picture, how the whole species operates,

there's not as much connection there.

So that's why it runs outta steam.

Where those species that do stick
around and are always brought back.

And when in doubt, pull out The
Borg or pull out the Klingons

or pull out the Romulans.

They've got all that minute detail
there, but also the broader spectrum

and how you understand that.

The Cardassians as well.

The Bajorans.

They brought both spectrums.

So it's, there's that longevity there.

Where they spent so much time
with Hirogin on the small details

of their hunt and their ritual.

Kevin: I appreciate those details.

Like those first couple of episodes,
rewatching them today, I'm still

leaning in because the level of
production value brought to a strange

new civilization is really, I'm gonna
say admirable, but interesting as well.

It's fascinating.

Yeah, it's all there.

They cast giant actors, so that
our cast are looking up at them.

It's all super interesting.

Rob: And especially because if you look at
sci-fi, and when it comes to hunter/prey

type setup, your go-to for most people
in pop culture is the Predator series.

And a lot of those films get caught
up in their own ethos, but a lot

of the films get more focused in
on the slasher element of movies.

But when you look at it, they haven't
really developed the actual culture of it.

So that was exciting to watch the
Hirogin, going well this isn't

just a standard hunter race.

They have all this really new,
unique approach to their culture

that was really exciting in
those first couple of episodes.

They just needed to work on the
broader spectrum of it to really

make them have a bit of longevity.

Kevin: It's interesting to me that
unlike many of the other hunters that

we see in Star Trek over the years, the
Hirogin, they aren't they aren't playing

into that trope of like sport hunters.

You don't get the sense that they're
rich people who on their weekends

are hunting some subservient race.

It has fully enveloped
their entire culture.

And it is more of a evolved pack animal
or to, play into that alpha beta trope,

the wolf pack hunting thing, even
though the science around that has been

debunked, like in nature wolves do not
organize themselves with alphas and

betas; nevertheless, interesting idea to
explore in science fiction as a pattern.

It does separate them very much.

You get the sense that they
hunt not because it's fun, they

hunt because it's who they are.

Rob: Yeah exactly.

And that's all they know.

I didn't expect us to have as
dynamic a conversation, but

of course we were come on.

Who were we kidding?

So what did you have next on
the hunter/prey roulette table?

Kevin: I have a dark mirror to my
earlier Deep Space Nine episode,

which was Captive Pursuit.

And this is Enterprise season
one, episode 18, Rogue Planet.

Rob: Oh I have seen very
little of Enterprise.

Um I know, know the song…

Kevin: Well don't start here is my advice.

This is a bad version of Captive
Pursuit, in which Archer and the

crew of the Enterprise happen upon a
rogue planet, according to the title.

So it's a planet that is escaped its sun.

So it is always nighttime, but is still
habitable because there's volcanic

activity that keeps the place warm.

Rob: Does T'Pol have a problem with
her emotions during this episode?

Kevin: She does not.

She has a problem with the hunting.

She finds it very distasteful.

Rob: Right.

Well, there you go.

Well done, T'Pol.

Kevin: They discover that there is
a group of hunters that visit this

planet frequently in order to hunt the
native species, which they claim is

non sentient, but which the crew of the
Enterprise discover is anything but.

The crew of the Enterprise,
decide to join a hunt in order

to learn about this species.

Reed promises he will not kill anything,
but tongue-in-cheek in the line reading,

where you get the sense he would very much
like to have an excuse to kill something.

But on the way, Archer spots a scantily
clad, blonde woman in the jungle,

Rob: Awesome.

As you do.

Kevin: who speaks to him in a deadpan
voice to say, Archer, we need your help.

And he cannot quite place her, but
he is sure he has seen her before.

Long story short, this is a telepathic
species that is able to tap into your

deepest, most repressed childhood memories
and bring about a sympathetic image in

order to distract you from hunting them.

The hunters refuse to be dissuaded
from their hunt, so the crew of the

Enterprise figures out how to arm this
race with a compound that will mask

their signatures from their sensors.

The hunters are foiled,
and the end of the episode.

is extremely anti-climatic undramatic, and
the main reason in my mind is what works

so strongly for Tosk, a strong performance
of a charismatic character that you fall

in love with, is completely absent here.

I don't know if it's the director
or if it was in the script, but this

woman who plays this vision that Archer
has in the muck of the swamp, she

plays it so deadpan, so disconnected.

I think it's meant to be ethereal, but
it comes off as off putting so that

you cannot understand what has him so
fascinated by this woman, other than we

are told again and again, that he is.

So it's all tell, no show.

Rob: So if we're told,
then it, must be true.

Kevin: Absolutely.

The other thing that is different
from Captive Pursuit, is most of

the time is spent with the hunters
who are clearly unsympathetic.

They are gross dudes who can't
wait to kill something because

they love killing things.

And they sit around the campfire
drinking, and going, oh, can't

wait to kill that thing tomorrow.

And it is just super on the nose.

I think it's the weakest episode
in the first season of Enterprise.

Rob: Right.

Well, there you go.

Sort of like more of a generic
brush strokes, as opposed to

actual development of any real,
contrasting characters or cultures.


Kevin: You got something
fun to end us with?

Rob: I do, it's one of my, one of
the few things I do like about the

show that doesn't really know what
it is, but it tries every season.

Let's go to Discovery and—

Kevin: Oooh, Discovery!

How exciting!

Rob: And I think this is, in many ways,
one of the most defined and beautifully

represented versions of a prey species.

Brought to life in a, regular
lead character, every week.

We look at Saru's wonderful species.

Kevin: Of course, why
didn't I think of Saru!

Rob: The great Doug Jones.

How could you not think of him?

He's been in Pan's Labyrinth.

He's been in Hocus Pocus.

And now he is of course
in Star Trek Discovery.

So yes, coming from a culture
where there are two species.

The hunters, the Ba'ul, and of
course his race are, Kevin, the…?

Kevin: The Kelpiens.

Rob: The Kelpiens And this was
a fascinating creation that,

and it was a slow burn as well.

They took their time developing it.

Obviously the big thing that
they sold in the first episode

is that, his species are prey.

And so he has those instincts
when there's danger.

He flares up at the back of his neck.

And, of course, in season two,
we actually go to his home planet

Kevin: The planet Kaminar.

Rob: Kaminar, and we find out how
oppressed and how stunted in evolution

their race are and how much they have not
evolved to what their true purpose is.

Kevin: They grow to a certain age and
then they're expected to walk down to the

beach and be transported away to be eaten.

Rob: Yes.

And so at that certain age,
they're meant to be hitting their

version in many ways of puberty.

And we find out Saru was getting to that
point and he goes past and he goes beyond

and finds out the potential he has.

The strength.

The defense systems he has in his body.

This is more of a case of as opposed to
a race who are prey, this is a race whose

natural evolution, like I talked about,
has been oppressed point where they are.

They have become to believe that
they are nothing, but, subservient.

Kevin: Yes, well talk about
the hunter become the hunted.

What we learn is that the Kelpiens used to
hunt the Ba'ul and nearly hunted them to

extinction but somehow the Ba'ul developed
technology to oppress the Kelpiens.

Rob: It's one of the few fascinating
things that I really loved

about Discovery, and it showed
you can focus on other things

other than just Michael Burnham.

Kevin: I got so excited when we first got
to see the Ba'ul in the oily, black flesh.

Rob: Yes that's right.



Kevin: …is I believe an called
The Sound of Thunder, and we go

on their ship and there's a black
pool in the middle of the room.

And then the Ba'ul kind of
materializes outta that black pool.

And I got so excited because I
was sure this was the same race as

Armus, the oily, black slick creature
that killed Tasha Yar, and poisoned

the next generation for Rob Lloyd.

Rob: Yes, it did.

And he's the butt of all
jokes in Lower Decks.

Kevin: I was so disappointed when
the connection was not there.

I, in my heart of hearts, like my head
cannon is that yes, they are the same

race and I'm waiting to be proven wrong.

So far, so good.

But uh, yeah, to me it was, exactly
as all modern Trek has done, they've

taken things from the past and refreshed
them with modern production values.

This to me was exactly what
Armus would've looked like.

If they'd had the budget and the
technology at the time, it was an

actual, scary thing rather than an
awkward wobbling man in a rubber suit.

Rob: Yeah.

For me, I couldn't help, but draw
comparisons to my other love, Doctor Who.

There's a famous species in there called
the Sontarans and they're short, potato

head like creatures who are all clones.

And they have a perpetual war throughout
eons with a race called the Rutans.

And so we'd seen the Sontarans for
about 10 years, and how they appeared,

but we'd never seen the Rutans.

They've only appeared in one episode of
Doctor Who, and it was a really exciting

thing when you watch it and go, what could
possibly be the one race against this

other race that they would fight for.

And so the Sontarans are very blocky,
very warrior based, short, stocky, potato

head clones, and the Rutans are these
almost jellyfish type green creatures.

And that makes you go, of course,
hate something that is completely

the opposite of what you are.

That's why hate is horrible.

But with this as well, you see that big
difference between both species that

they are, there's no similarities at all.

And they are both so unique in how
their physicality is their structure.

Their design is a beautiful
contradiction and juxtaposition

to see this is why they clash.

It's a nice balance.

They have nothing in common,
but that's what makes them in

sync, which I really loved.

Kevin: Thinking of the hunting, this
again, is a different form of hunting.

This is almost the hunting for
food, not hunting for sport.

Rob: Yeah.

And like I said, it's more like oppression
as opposed to the hunt, but there is

that element of the Kelpiens developing
those prey defense mechanisms, like

how they know when dangers approaching.

Although they're not hunted, they resign
themselves to the fact that they sacrifice

themselves to their higher powers.

Kevin: Apart from Lower Decks, which is
great at taking a trope like this and

playing it for comedy, I'll be interested
to see if and when the next hunter race

is brought to the screens of Star Trek.

Cuz I feel with the Hirogin in particular,
that version of it, the hunter race

that that pursues its prey across the
galaxy, they did that so fully and maybe

even found it a little bit hollow not as
much potential as we thought was there.

So I suspect like they've done that.

We probably won't go back to that.

Anytime soon, but I'd be
excited to be proven wrong.

Rob: Yeah look, that's what we
always do, as Star Trek fans.

Come in going, they're never
gonna do anything different,

cuz we've just seen it all.

Kevin: Yes.

They still manage to surprise us.

Rob: They do it.

That's why it's lasted nearly 60 years.

Kevin: Thanks, Rob, looking
forward to next week.

More Star Trek!

Rob: Is great to be back on this
weekly adventure of talking about it.

And we'd love you to get involved as well.

Don't we want the listeners to reach
out, tell us what we should talk about.

Kevin: Absolutely we do.

If you wanna reach out and let us know
what you think about these episodes,

or our choices, or something we missed
in Star Trek history on one of these

themes, ping us @subspacedotfm on Twitter.

That's subspace D-O-T-F-M, and
uh, we'll be very happy to hear

from you and maybe even read out
your tweets on the next episode.

Rob: And look it's great to
get back into this, Kevin.

I'm looking forward to episode
three of lower decks and and see

where we'll be going off next.

Kevin: See you out there!