Subspace Radio: a Star Trek podcast

Rob & Kev doggedly investigate what Star Trek: Lower Decks season 3, episode 9 "Trusted Sources" teaches us about journalism in the Star Trek universe. They also revisit other prominent appearances of journalists in the final frontier, including Jake Sisko and the gaggle of reporters at the launch of the USS Enterprise B in Star Trek: Generations.

Show Notes

LD 3×09 Trusted Sources (Memory Alpha)
TNG 1×22 Symbiosis (Memory Alpha)

PIC 1×01 Remembrance (Memory Alpha)

Jake Sisko
DS9 4×03 The Visitor (Memory Alpha)
DS9 5×26 Call To Arms (Memory Alpha)
DS9 6×01 A Time To Stand (Memory Alpha)
Live on Bowen S2 E6.4: Jeffrey Combs (YouTube)
ENT 1×13 Dear Doctor (Memory Alpha)
Star Trek #1 (IDW Publishing)
Star Trek #1 (Amazon)

VOY 2×20 Investigations (Memory Alpha)

Star Trek Generations (Memory Alpha)

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.

Another week has passed.

Another Star Trek episode is out there
in the universe and we, as always,

have tuned in here at Subspace Radio to
discuss it, break it down, and see what

other topics spring from this episode.

Kevin, how are you?

Kevin: Hello.

Just thought I would "swing by" to
discuss this week's episode with you.

Rob: We're here to discuss, uh, the
penultimate episode of season three of

Lower Decks episode nine, Trusted Sources.

Kevin: This has been a packed season.

I was gonna say already at the end,
but for the first time, it doesn't

feel like already at the end.

I feel like we have been given
well and truly a season's worth

of stuff on Lower Decks just by
how packed these episodes are.

Rob: Yeah, for someone, like my good
self who has only watched the first

two seasons in binge format, for me to
watch season three in this week to week

installment, it's been a good experience
to go week to week, and it has been.

It's been a very, I was a bit trepidacious
at the start going, Oh, it's quite, you

know, episode of the week type of thing.

But it's just slowly caught up on me and,
uh, especially the last couple of episodes

have been some big steps, some big
moments, and some big developments for the

characters, which is, uh, great to see.

That's what we are here for.

We're here for the characters
we love being challenged, put

through the ringer and, uh, see how
they come out on the other side.

Kevin: And this week they were
challenged by the presence of

a reporter on the Cerritos.

What did you think of Trusted Sources?

Rob: A good episode.

It was a bit of a, it really
got to me in the feels, Kevin.

There was some, there was some big
moments that happen later on, which we'll

get to that really did, uh, affect me,
which were quite uncomfortable, to see.

And you, I wasn't happy about it.

But to see journalism played out
within the Star Trek universe is

something that we will explore
a bit later on in this episode.

But yeah, to have someone as this outside
presence, having a watchful eye and a

judgmental eye over the processes of, uh,
how Starfleet works is quite intriguing

because we've only ever really got
Starfleet's views amongst themselves as

a, or, alien sources wanting to either
join the Federation or stuff like that.

But to have someone outside of all
of that was fascinating to watch.

How'd you find it?

Kevin: I, uh, look, I could
take or leave this one.

There were definitely
things that I loved in it.

But overall, it left me a
little lukewarm this week.

And looking back on it, I think the main
reason for that is, in my view, this was

not an episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks.

This was an episode of
Star Trek: Cerritos.

Most of the screen time, most of the
story, this episode was not about our

lower decks crew members and their
perspective; it was about the bridge crew

and about the Cerritos and the effect
that the reporter would have on the ship.

Watching it the second time I was struck
the, the entire teaser and most of

the first scene is all Captain Freeman
and Ransom and the Admiral and the

mission that the ship is gonna go on.

And our lower decks crew members only
just inch on screen with Mariner walking

down the hallway covered in blueberry,
which is, you know, it's a funny way

to introduce her, but I felt like
our lower deckers were the foil, this

episode, not the point of the episode.

Rob: That's a very good point.


I hadn't looked at it that way,
but it was very much flipped.

Cuz there has been a lot of episodes this
season, especially at the beginning, that

were very much like we've said, this is
clearly a lower decks episode that you

wouldn't find anywhere else in Star Trek.

Whereas this one very much felt like
what it is to be on the bridge crew

where the, the starring characters are.

Opening with the captain dealing with
this issue and how they're gonna put

the ship into ship-shape condition.

Kevin: Yeah, it's a risky thing you do
when you structure an episode around,

ultimately, a rather unsatisfying mission.

Like the whole point is the
reporter's there to see what we hope

will be an awesome mission, and it
turns out to be a bit of a flop.

But I think that bled too much into the
episode, turning to the, the episode

at large into a bit of a flop for me.

Rob: It very much showed that
the Cerritos is sort of like the

lower deck within the Federation.

So it's like the captain is there
trying to build up the esteem of

the California class and instigating
this new process will have a newfound

respect or recognition for the, that
class of of ship within the Federation.

So there was that type of play there
but it was very much the you know the

A team as opposed to what we wanna
see is the people on the benches.

And like there was hardly any Boimler,
Rutherford and I barely saw Tendi at all

Kevin: Tendi had one line about
having learned to, uh, unhinge her

jaw for the pie eating contest.

Funny line, but not much else
there for our characters.

Yeah, yeah.

Uh, highlights.

The, the return to Ornara and Brekka.

Rob: I did want to talk to you about
that as I am not up to date with

Kevin: I'm surprised you don't
remember this, because this is from

the last episode of TNG Before Skin
of Evil, in which Tasha Yar dies.

So I would expect this to be like
fresh in your memory as one of the last

episodes of TNG that you ever watched.

Rob: A, a beautiful paradise before,
before the serpent took it all away.

Kevin: This is like known by
fans as the last episode that

Denise Crosby filmed as Yar.

So there is this scene at the end
where Picard and Crusher are kind of

walking out of the cargo bay and the
giant doors are closing behind them.

And if you squint, you can see
Tasha Yar standing in the deep

background on the cargo bay.

And just as the doors close she
waves enthusiastically because it's

her farewell and it it's so it's so
sweet I watched it again just to warm

my heart today, reminded of that.

But, uh, yeah.

The the episode, Symbiosis, is about
these two planets that, as Ransom

explains this episode, are in a symbiotic
relationship where one provided the

cure for a plague to the other, but
the cure was a addictive substance.

And so even after the plague was cured,
the planet continued to push this cure

on the victims of that plague, who
were happy to pay for it because they

were addicted to it by that point.

But uh the the planet supplying it had no
need for any other economy because they

were creating this drug and getting all
of their money from it And so they didn't

keep their ships maintained, and the the
whole system was about to break down.

In swoops the Enterprise D and
goes, Oh yeah we can fix your

ships for you, no problem.

Until they realize what's going on.

It's an unhealthy symbiotic relationship.

Now the creators of the drug say
ah ah ah we know you, Federation.

You have a prime directive.

You're not allowed to interfere in the
affairs of a civilization, so you can't

tell them what we're doing to them.

You can't tell them that they're addicted.

You can't tell them that
the plague is cured.

And Picard goes, You're right
and we also can't fix your ships.


And that's the end of the episode
just like, and just leaves.

Just like Ransom says uh
in this like, He left?

Well that's it.

That's how it went down!

I loved that summary.

Rob: I wanted to talk to you
about that, there, going, really?

Did that like no diplomacy, no
Picard Shakespearean tone type of

uh delivery of a speech that would

Kevin: There's a monologue in the
turbolift at the end, because Dr Crusher

is, she does not like this idea to leave
the Ornarans to the ravages of withdrawal.

She says, isn't that cruel?

And Picard goes, Hold the
lift I have a speech to make.

He like he does one of those,
let's pause the turbolift?

And he walks around and he goes, You
know, the Prime Directive, it's not always

easy, but it's the right thing to do.

Uh, anyway, what is not captured in
Ransom's unkind summary of Picard's

solution here is that this is a clever
workaround for the Prime Directive.

He can't tell them that they're addicted.

He can't explain to them that
they will recover in time.

He has to leave them thinking they
are going to die of the plague.

He has to leave them cold turkey cuz
the Prime Directive won't let him tell

them, won't let him explain further.

But yeah, they warp outta there
and don't come back, for sure.

Rob: And, okay, well then how was it for
you coming back and seeing this planet

and seeing that they were all just you
know gym, gym nuts and going on fun runs?

Kevin: As soon as I realized what
episode they were referring to, I was

like, Oh, this is gonna be awesome.

And seeing the gym nuts and fun runs
and the mural that has the dark place

in the middle, that was hilarious.

Rob: With the sharp teeth and the
ripping of each other's heads off, yeah.

Kevin: Things got bad for a while.

That was the high point of the entire
episode for me, but as soon as they

realized, Ugh, we're not needed
here, let's go to Brekka instead,

uh, then it was a little downhill.

We got sidetracked by the interview
stuff, and the Mariner stuff.

And Mariner gets kicked off the ship.

And then finally they get to Brekka, and
there's a Breen invasion for some reason.

I mean, we could talk a bit about
the Breen but I feel like this is

always the story with the Breen.

When they need, when they need
an invading force but they don't

wanna get into the details.

Rob: the Breen.

Just chuck the

Kevin: Just get the Breen.


They're wearing masks, so
you can't tell what they're

saying so don't worry about it.

They're evil.

Rob: They are literal generic,
you know sci-fi villain.

Kevin: Yeah.

They are.

The storm troopers of Star Trek.

Rob: Exactly.

But their shots are a lot better.

What I do like about Star Trek: Lower
Decks is when they do do violence and

stuff like that, they don't hold back,
and they're a lot more Uh intense than

a lot of the other, I mean Deep Space
Nine gets quite intense with the war

stories, but to have that you know
callous death of that of the uh of the

civilian, and Ransom's reaction of horror.

That was absolutely beautiful
cuz he's, he really amps up his

dickish gym quality and, and
sleazy uncomfortable quality in it.

So to have him show that humanity of
or that compassion and empathy about

the shock of that was really powerful.

And just the speed and the the
tension there was was really exciting.

Kevin: There were some
exciting, tense moments.

Seeing them like huddling behind
the, the thing getting shot at, and

all, like getting beamed up at once.

It like, it gave me some a good
action sequence for sure, but then

it just didn't really go anywhere.

They were rescued by the robot ships.

Rob: Yeah that's something I did wanna
address of like what that means for like

Cuz what makes Star Trek Star Trek is
the humanity behind, you know, the ships.

Kevin: Yeah it feels risky.

It feels risky, messing with the formula.

Don't look too closely.

Rob: Well that's the thing.

It's boldest, it's the boldest
move they've done, really.

They've been playing in this
safe world of, you know, oh

we can be a little bit rude.

We can bleep out swear words.

We can have a little bit of
graphic violence for comedy.

But we can then throw in a bit of
actual tension and threat to boost

it above just this sitcomy thing.

But then, no, this is a big, bold step in
the continuity of Federation just being

done in this you know silly, and I do in
inverted commas, silly uh animation show.

This is big ramifications about
the future of Star Trek, and where

this fits in within you know the
Picard series world in the future.

Um all that type of stuff is very, yeah
that's some big, bold steps that they're

taking in in that little animation show.

Kevin: What did you think of all
of the stuff with Mariner and the

interviews and her crew members kind

Rob: It was

Kevin: assuming she'd
done the wrong thing?

Rob: um yeah I probably should have uh
telegraphed it earlier that of course you

know um it's played up in a way and is
done in such a structure that of course

she's the one who's speaking, you know,
so compassionately about the Cerritos.

And those people who the captain
trusted um unbeknownst to

Kevin: This is maybe gonna be a
recurring theme, but I, I was fooled.

I fell for it, hook,

Rob: Ah!

Kevin: I was right with
everyone else, assuming Mariner,

maybe even meaning no wrong.

I assumed she had opened her big mouth
and, and told some stories outta school.

Uh, but yes, in hindsight it's obvious.

Rob: Yeah.


Kevin: Yeah.

Rob: Especially how positive she
is in the whole start of it, to

go this is all the great stuff.

This is amazing.

This is incredible.

And those people who were being
brought in were so smug about

their own role within the ship.

Of course they're gonna let
slip all this stuff that that

incriminates the the captain.

And um yeah there wasn't enough put
on the captain's reaction that you

just see the the captain like you
know this is her daughter and you know

saying you know you're you know not
even my daughter anymore, type of.

That's some intense stuff.

There's gotta be some sort of yeah
emotional payoff to that, because that's

some, that's some serious mending that
has to be done if it can ever be healed.

Kevin: When she was thrown off the ship
and she packed her bags and just kind of,

when she sadly left the, the, uh, Lower
Decks quarters, like doing her Vulcan

salute, uh, as she walked out of the room.

As she did, she did it sadly,
and said, This always happens.

And, then, and she runs into Jennifer in
the hallway who gives her her candle back

and I'm gonna keep my opinions to myself.

Um, just, it was pretty brutal.

Rob: Yeah I mean I was like like I
said I should have picked it but I

was there going yeah Wow Okay You've
really turned everything around.

Um, but yeah then I'm they're going of
course she's gonna be the the staunchly

supportive one because this is you know
she's just moved from ship to ship and

home to home and never really invested.

And I've watched it over
three years as we all have.

I was really annoyed
with her at the start.

But then the true compassion she has
for the for this ship and the crew and

stuff has uh elevated her into this
you know new area of of endearment.

Um and to yeah it was heartbreaking
to have her go back to her usual

dismissive, emotionally distant.

Yep just flip it, flipping the
live long and prosper and getting

on the ship of with her off to…

Kevin: Yeah, Starbase 80.

We got the payoff of Starbase 80.

Um, the place where they
lose their sammiches in their

one size fits some uniforms.

Rob: And their elbow grease.

That's not the phrase that you use.

Kevin: Just a random thing to mention.

In amongst all the interviews, there
was an interview with the dolphins

and it was subtitled, but in the
version of the episode on Amazon

Prime, the subtitles were missing.

So I spent an inordinate amount of time
gaining access to what it was those

subtitles were supposed to be, what I had
missed that those dolphins were saying.

And it was, it was sadly
disappointing, in the end.

The Cerritos is the first time I've had
unlimited fish in my life, says one.

The other says, when we're not
stellar mapping, we're partying!

Rob: Well I can't I can't believe I
haven't brought this up, or maybe I have.

I've kind of lost track of
all the podcasts we're doing.

That is one of the most uh beautiful deep
cut references to uh um seaQuest DSV.

Uh cuz uh that was famously a show
I was really excited to watch cuz it

had Roy Scheider and uh yeah lest we
forget the wonderful Jonathan Brandis.

Um and I remember sitting down when I was
a kid in high school watching, uh seaQuest

DSV and I got my grandparents to sit down.

My grandfather who you know liked the
old Star Trek but you know he was into

his Hogan's Heroes and his MASH and
those were the type of shows he watched.

Within five minutes of watching
seaQuest, and as soon as the

dolphin Darwin started talking, my
grandfather went Nope I'm outta here.

Kevin: I suspect, uh, seaQuest
may have actually been inspired

by, uh, some offscreen lore about
Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Some of the early blueprints of the
Enterprise had labeled on it Cetacean

Ops, so there was kind of like this.

In the, you know, writer's guide
sort materials off screen, there

was established this concept
that Cetacean Ops was a thing.

We never saw it on screen until
Lower Decks, but, uh, I guess whales

were just big in the culture in the,
the late eighties, early nineties.

Rob: Look you know what, if you
gotta go back in time to get

some humpbacks of course gonna.

George and Gracie have
made a massive impact.

Kevin: The only other thing I kind of
wanna call out as a highlight is Dr.

Migleemo's Meema.

Rob: And when the captain walks in and
looks at the screen and just goes, Meema?!

Kevin: All hands to battle sta— Meema?!

Rob: I just love that the captain
knows everything so much and doesn't

call her by you know Mrs Migleemo.

You get, Meema?!

I went,

Kevin: I am with you now.

I am on the Captain Freeman bandwagon.

As of this episode, I agree with you.

She is the funniest
character in this series.

Rob: I'm so glad you finally, yeah.

Yeah, yeah.

And it's all stealth.

It's, she's not showy.

Kevin: She plays it completely straight.

Rob: Not showy like Boimler in his
in his high pitch wailing scream that

gets you know gets the easy laugh.

No no no.

She is there subtle.

She is the sniper, just
coming in and just taking out.

She is the hitman taking out the
big laughs when you least expect it.

Kevin: The big thing that made this
episode stand out for me was the presence

of a journalist on board the Cerritos.

And it made me think, where
have we seen that before?

Um, what is the, what is the presence
of journalism as a thing, and, and, you

know, news in the Star Trek universe.

Um, so I thought we'd explore that.

Uh, there, there is not super much of it.

Rob: Yeah, and that's a
fascinating concept for us.

You know a lot of the topics that we've
brought up, there's so much uh in the

way of resources and examples, but for
this in you know how and especially it's

become uh so like a battle line has been
drawn between what is news and what is

dare I say the word fake news within
society at the moment and journalism

is now very much more of a dangerous
occupation than it ever used to be.

Kevin: That is certainly, I agree
with you, that is probably behind

the, the recent like surge of news
coverage in the Star Trek universe.

I think the, the premiere of Picard season
one, where he's sat down at the start

in the first episode in his chateau and
grilled by the Federation News Network

Reporter about what actually happened
in the evacuation of, of Romulus.

Um, yeah, the, the sense that the
journalist is against you and maybe not

that interested in the truth, does seem
like a particularly of our times thing.

Rob: Very much so.

Very much so.

And how the journalist was
portrayed within their own little

world, and what expectations and
their ambition that they have.

But there is that positive element
of even though it is done as an

exposé of how bad the captain is,
exposing the positivity that is you

know within the the ship's crew.

Um like the big one for me that came
to my head and when you did the list

I went, yeah, was Jake Sisko from

Kevin: Mm-hmm

Rob: Deep Space Nine.

And it was he came across in the more
naive almost uh very innocent view

of I want to report on things and I
wanna spread the word out there of

Kevin: It is the opposite, that it
is news as a force, or news writing

in this case as a force for truth.

Rob: And information and
sharing stories of people.

And that's very almost romantic
view of um what journalism is.

Very much the opposite to that
you know cynical view of things

that is in Picard especially.

But you know the word cynicism can be
used quite liberally when describing

season one of Picard but to have but
Jake was very much that anchor of um

that romantic, optimistic view of getting
to the truth and sharing the story.

And it's very much a you know gee golly
gosh, gee willikers type of you know

Jimmy Olsen type approach to journalism.

Kevin: Certainly at the beginning, the.

When I went back and looked at it, cuz
I remembered Jake being a reporter,

but I didn't remember the details.

And when I looked back I was surprised
by how little actual, of how little of

Jake's writing is actually shown to us.

Like we are told again and
again that he is a writer,

Rob: Then he became, yeah.

And that he released like
especially in is it The Visitor?

The one where Sisko is revisiting Jake
as he's getting older and older and

older and he becomes a you know an award
winning author as opposed to a journalist.

Kevin: Yeah.

We are told of his writing, but we never
actually get much of a sample of it.

There is a headline that is read
in an episode, uh, called Call

to Arms, season five, episode 26.

Just as the war is sparking
off, um, so is Jake's writing.

He gets a Federation News Service
article published with a headline,

uh, citing Station Commander
Opposes Non-Aggression Pact.

So there he is making headlines
by writing about his dad.

His, his dad's not too impressed.

But that headline, as far as I can
tell, is the only actual on-screen

sample of Jake's writing that we get.

Rob: I believe so.

Kevin: So it is almost more a character
trait that we are told, than anything we

are, we actually get to witness or see.

Rob: Exactly.


And so I mean when you're dealing
with ensemble there are always gonna

be elements of characters that will
be you know thrown by the wayside.

So just go giving the title of uh would-be
journalist to Jake, you're sort of like

a well you can assume the other stuff.

Where as opposed to you going, no we
want to actually see how his writing

is and how that moves people or not.

Kevin: For me, the meatiest bit
of Jake as a reporter is in season

six, episode one, A Time to Stand.

This is the very next episode.

So we had the season finale
of season five, and then the

season premiere of season six.

This is when, uh, the, the Cardassians and
the Dominion return to occupy the station.

Jake stays behind to report on the war.

And there's this great scene where he's,
he's chasing a interview with Weyoun,

and he corners him on the promenade
and he says, Mr Weyoun can I get a, can

I get a, an interview for my readers?

And Weyoun says, No I don't talk
to biased journalists, basically.

Rob: Ha ha ha ha ha.

Kevin: It is a great scene for Weyoun.

I think my, like watching it
again now, Cirroc Lofton is still

like, Learning his acting, chops.

He's still not quite there yet.

He definitely gets there
before the end of the season.

He blossoms as an actor, but in this,
he's still a little shaky, certainly

in the face of Jeffrey Coombs as Weyoun
who, who kicks this scene in the butt.

And he, he basically says to, he,
he, he takes everything that Jake has

been reporting in his, uh, missives
that Weyoun has been blocking.

So none of Jake's writing has been
getting back to the Federation.

And he's like, You're, you're all your
perspectives are biased, Jake Sisko.

You call us an occupying force, um,
when this is a Cardassian station.

We are just retaking our rightful place.

And there are no occupiers on Bajor.

We have a peace treaty with them.

They're our allies.

So you, you, Jake, if you want your
writing to get out there, you're

gonna have to make a more balanced
perspective in your writing.

It is just beautiful how
you almost see it his way.

Rob: Oh

Kevin: That is Weyoun's gift, again and
again, is you almost see it his way.

Rob: And that's the gift of Jeffrey
Coombs, and I'm so glad that Deep Space

Nine used him so much, uh within the show.

He, his time on Star Trek
playing multiple characters.

He's a phenomenal uh actor and I was lucky
enough to interview him uh years ago.

Kevin: What!

Rob: Yeah yeah yeah.

Kevin: Stop the podcast.

Tell me that story.

Rob: When I hosted uh my own show on
Channel 31 uh called uh Live on Bowen

back in uh 2012 and 2013 I did a big
push to get us tickets to interview uh

guests at the conventions, so Supernova
and ComicCon and stuff like that.

And um I think it was 2013 uh for
ComicCon they had Tim Rose who was uh

puppeteer operating uh Admiral Ackbar in
Return of the Jedi, and Jeffrey Coombs.

And I got to sit down with him and I
went over time, and uh Jeffrey Coombs

just said Oh no let's keep going.

And we spoke about Frighteners
we spoke about a Star Trek.

We spoke about his his solo
show about Edgar Allen Poe.

And he's that quintessential
theater actor.

He love, he love, I love actors who
love being actors, not actors who

like being superstars or celebrities.

I love actors who love the craft,
and he loves, he loves the process of

acting and creating a character and
working with directors, and you know

ripping apart a script, and Jeffrey
Coombs just lives and breathes that.

You know from the guy who did
Re-Animator to have that passion.

Yeah it should be on YouTube.

Kevin: Look in the show notes
Listeners, the link is there

if I've been able to find it.

Rob: Yeah.

He's um amazing and um yeah his work as
Weyoun is sort like a character that you

don't expect to have so much depth to
him being a a clone and being multiple

versions of a character but, and his
work as Brunt as well is hilarious.

Um, yeah, yeah.

And I think that would've worked
great uh to you know for a for a

actor still developing their craft
to work up against the greats.

You always step up.

Kevin: It's a shame for poor Jake that we
never actually got to hear his writing,

cuz I could imagine a great episode that
had Jake's writing as the narration.

Like there's a, there's a couple
of other star Trek episodes that

are structured that way, like, Dear
Doctor from Enterprise, where Dr.

Phlox is writing letters about
his experiences on the Enterprise,

and that that provides the
narrative backbone of the episode.

And I could really see a, a DS9
episode being structured that way.

Sadly, we never got it.

Um, but, uh, um, just coincidentally this
very week, in comic book form, we have

Star Trek #1, a new series, a new ongoing
series from IDW that opens with Sisko

returning from the wormhole and his, the
first words out of his mouth are Jake.

Rob: Thank You for sending me that
little uh sneak preview as well.

Kevin: Yeah, well what I didn't send you
is the very next page is an article by

Jake Sisko, and I don't know, you tell
me if this should stay in the episode,

but I'm gonna read this now to you just
cuz I know you'll appreciate it, rob.

The, uh, the title of this article is
What We Left Behind, how about that.

Rob: Beautiful.

Kevin: By Jake Sisko.

Let's start with the
story we tell ourselves.

315 years ago as Earth recovered
from decades of war, Zephram Cochrane

launched a homemade starship from
the ruins of a missile silo and

achieved faster than light travel
for the first time in human history.

He called it warp drive.

The flight was noticed by a
passing science vessel from the

highly advanced planet of Vulcan.

Soon Vulcan and Earth, alongside warlike
Andoria, commercial hub Tellar, and

rugged human colony Proxima formed an
allied government that would forever

alter the landscape of the galaxy.

Now for 200 years, the United Federation
of Planets and their Starfleet have stood

for mutual understanding, scientific
achievement, defense, and exploration.

The pinnacle of civilization, where
collective interest outshines individual

greed and war is a distant memory.

What men like Zephram Cochrane
would have called Utopia.

That's the story.

Anyway, but I've lived a different one.

When I was two years old,
a god-like species attacked

the starship I called home.

They called themselves the Borg.

They had no use for our utopian
ideals and they felt nothing

when they killed my mother.

When I was 14, my father took a
Starfleet command on the border

between Cardassia and Bajor.

The Cardassians had spent the last 40
years subjugating the Bajoran home world.

When I saw the scars from the labor
camps on refugee children at my

school, I asked my father why we'd
allowed such crimes to take place.

He answered with a sigh,
and a single word: politics.

When I was 17, Starfleet went
to war with the Dominion.

I watched as everyone I knew went to war.

My best friend lost his leg.

My father, a thoughtful man of
peace, became known across the

galaxy as a Machiavellian war hero.

And a few days before my 20th birthday,
the gods of the Bajoran people, an

alien species who lived in the nearby
wormhole, known as the Prophets, told

my father he had a grand destiny.

They took him into their
temple beyond space and time.

He promised that one day he would return.

And that was the last time
I ever saw Benjamin Sisko.

So I've learned something about promises,
living the last three years, watching as

the Federation News Service speaks less
and less about the war each day, listening

as we begin to once again talk about
our utopia like it will last forever,

like there aren't gods at the gates
that make everything we are look small.

And I've begun to wonder if,
like my mother, I'm just another

thing this story's left behind.

Rob: Now that's what I
call good writing, Jake.

Kevin: How about that?

Nice one, Jake Sisko.

And nice one to Collin Kelly and
Jackson Lanzing who wrote this comic.

Rob: Well done.

Kevin: Uh I recommend it even if
you have never picked up a Star

Trek comic before, I would say
this is a great place to start.

Rob: So it's just under
the banner Star Trek.

It's not

Kevin: It's just called Star Trek.

Uh, featured on the cover of the
first issue are, Commander Sisko, or,

or Captain Sisko, I suppose he is.

Uh, Data and Beverly Crusher, all
standing together on a transporter pad.

And, uh, let me tell you, the
promise of that cover image

is fulfilled in this issue.

Rob: So it's three years
after Deep Space Nine.

Kevin: Yeah.

Rob: Wow.

Well written Jake and of course
those wonderful gentlemen.


Kevin: So yeah, a taste of what
we didn't get from Jake and, and

what I, I think, like I am still
craving that, uh, use of journalism,

investigative journalism as a force for
truth in, in the Star Trek universe.

We never really got it.

Rob: No no It's it's one of those the more
you're get engrossed in a franchise and

the universe of that franchise the more
you think about what about you know those

everyday jobs or the jobs that don't don't
fit into the parameters of a storyline,

that you want to see and how it fits in.

You know for me personally being
a performer, you know I always

what happens with you know acting
and performing and movies and and

theater and all that type of stuff.

It's one of my favorite parts of uh um uh
you know the greatest Star Trek movie ever

made, Galaxy Quest when uh Alan Rickman's
character goes don't you have any

acting in your culture, any any theater?

Uh but they go Oh no no no no no no no no.

We don't know what that is.

Um yeah it's a fascinating thing to to
find out, what it actually is to be a

journalist within the you know within
the Starfleet, Star Trek universe,

you know to explore that a bit more
as opposed to having uh so cut and dry

as either you know enemy of the people
or uh embittered but still hopeful uh

journalist trying to find the truth.

Kevin: One of the reasons I, I suspect
we have not gotten stories of journalism,

at least not traditionally in Star
Trek, uh, is that in the same way

that money is not present in the Star
Trek universe because it is a, you

know, money is the root of all evil.

It is, it is a flaw of current humanity
that aspirationally we have shed

by the time we take to the stars.

I feel like Gene Roddenberry
perhaps would've put

journalism in that same bucket.

The idea that the truth is not, uh,
obviously known and embraced universally

by humanity, that we need people
arguing over the truth or negotiating

history as it happens, feels to me like
something that he would've seen as a

flaw of humanity that we might have
left behind in our perfection by then.

Rob: And especially like with
what would that mean in or look

like in other species as well.

You know especially like the Bajoran
are such a deeply spiritually

rooted uh culture that you wouldn't
see, you know their their way of

communicating is through their their
teachings from from their religion.

And um and that is and they seek their
their truth from their Kais or whoever is

the highest, you know religious figure.

Um or within sort like the Cardassian
culture it's all based on war,

so they control the message.

The war machine is and what is their
truth is controlled by the military.

Um and the Klingons their, you know
their truth or their passing on of

message is through song, of figures and
warriors from the past are handed down,

the songs that are sung about them.

So how journalism fits within those
cultures um that hasn't really

been created to fit that in there.

Kevin: Yeah.

There are a few other
occurrences of journalism in,

in various forms in Star Trek.

There is in Star Trek Voyager, uh,
Neelix starts a morning show on

board the ship which is, it's less
journalism and it's more like, uh,

Radar on MASH like, Hey everybody.

Good morning.

It is a bit like that.

Rob: It's interesting you say that, cuz
Radar was my favorite character on MASH

and Neelix, if I hit him with a car
I'd probably back up just to make sure.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

Cut that out.

Kevin: Well, there is, uh, there is one
episode called Investigations in which

Neelix starts to take his role as the
ship's journalist a little seriously.

He's inspired by the idea of journalism
being about getting to the bottom

of the truth no matter what, and
he starts to, uh, unravel a mystery

on the ship, involving Tom Paris.

Tuvok is trying to talk him out of it,
and it's because it is a deliberate,

sort of undercover operation that
Neelix is at risk of, of, foiling

in his efforts to report on it.

So it is kind of charming, but it
is just one episode and it's it's

plot device more than, more than
heart of the story I feel like.

Rob: Yes.


And I I'm particularly interested
in the fact that I'd forgotten about

it, because it is from the movie uh
Generations, there's actually a journalist

crew on uh board and interviewing um
uh this momentous occasion of the new

Enterprise going out with, with um
Alan Ruck and and the daughter of Sulu.

Um the journalists are there to
report on this occasion because

you've got the three big guns coming
outta retirement to to greet it off.

Kevin: Yeah.

I'm gonna argue that this, this opening
of what is, I think most people would

say is an uneven Star Trek movie.

It has its charms as the, the
first appearance of the Next

Generation crew on the big screen.

Um, but, uh, yeah, this opening of Star
Trek Generations with the Enterprise B,

I'm gonna argue is the most effective
use of journalism in all of Star Trek.

This, uh, contrast it creates between
Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov stepping on the

ship, like dazzled by the lights of the
reporters in their eyes, and they don't

know what to do in front of a film crew.

Uh, they are constantly
like awkward about it.

They, they come back to the ship and
go, What did you think of the warp

core And they're like, Oh, it's fine.

I feel fine.

You know, they, they don't know how
to put on a show for the cameras and

then Captain Harriman like struts
across the bridge and gives a live

Rob: Exactly what do.


Kevin: Knows exactly how to work
the camera and he gives them his

best angle and then the distress
call comes in and he freezes.

He freaks the freak out.

Um, and it is, it is effective.

Uh, when eventually Kirk
steps in to save the day.

And he, uh, it is beautifully
written and played.

You can tell he knows his place.

He's not gonna step in until he asks, but
as soon as he's asked, he switches on.

Rob: It is a beautiful moment.

He's there going I know what to do I know
what to do but I'm not doing anything.

And so he goes, right okay, here we go.


Kevin: Scotty goes, Captain, is there
something wrong with your chair?

Rob: Right.


Kevin: But, uh, yeah, as soon as Captain
Harriman says, I would appreciate any

suggestions, Kirk says, Well, suggestion
one is get in transporter range and start

beaming those people off those ships.

Uh, and number two, turn that damn
thing off he says to the camera.

Uh, so the beautiful, I think this
is again, uh, it's going to, that

thing I was, I was talking about
where the presence of journalism

is seen as a flaw or a weakness.

It cheapens the moment.

You kind of get the sense, and you're
on Kirk's side, that, uh, the media

attempting to make headlines out of
the sacred act of, launching a starship

is cheapening the entire event.

Rob: And it is interesting, isn't it?

Because especially like, um, there's
multiple examples of in reality, you know,

journalists in war zones, being able to
pass on stories about, um, the horrors

or the triumphs on the battlefield,
or in moments like this, or, you know,

within the war zone, that would not
have gotten out because especially we're

seeing it now with, you know, sorry
for getting so heavy, within the war

in Ukraine, that both Russia and also
Ukraine have become experts in how they

spin the war uh, for their own campaigns.

So to have, you know, Ukraine spin it in
a way to, to build up that hope and also

show the victories that they have, um,
the u the, the Russian journalists are

sort of like, there's, you know, this is
all, you know, this is not occupation.

This is liberating of people.

And so to have those journalists
on the field bringing out stories

of, of truth about war crimes and
horrors and, but also moments of

bravery and all that type of stuff.

So there is, you know, it's not
just a black and white issue despite

how clearly it is in Star Trek,
sometimes, uh, quite black and white.

There is an element of capturing those
moments of heroism, so that can inspire,

and the stories of people who are
affected by this is important to hear.

Kevin: The first ever mention of the
media or news reporting in Star Trek that

I was able to dig up, is Star Trek VI.

So one movie before Generations, in
which, uh, after the assassination of

Chancellor Gorkon, Valeris just casually
drops in a conversation, um, that his, his

daughter, Azetbur has been, uh, appointed
as Chancellor of Klingon High Council.

It was on the news, she says.

And it was, it is such a strange line.

Like I remember the first time I heard
it, I was like, Oh, that's weird.

But it's not commented on, it's
not the point of the scene.

It's just like, um, everyone
kind of gives her a second look

of like, How do you know that?

And she goes, It was on the news.

And I don't know if it's meant to be
like a hint at the fact that she's the

traitor later, that she knows a little
too much about, about what's going on

among the conspirators in this story,
but, uh, yeah, every time I have watched

that movie, that line has stuck out as
odd, but also just a passing moment.

It's not the point of
the story or anything.

But the, the presence of the
media, just the recognition

of its existence feels weird.

Rob: Yeah, well spotted.

Yeah, I've, I've, you know,
Star Trek VI is one of the best

and I've never picked that up.


Kevin: You'll notice it next time.

Rob: I'll notice it next time.

Kevin: Well, we will be back next week
with the, uh, season finale of Star

Trek: Lower Decks, and perhaps even
the mid-season premiere, uh, seasons

have no meaning, apparently we're still
in season one of Star Trek: Prodigy.

Rob: Have no sense of time or
seasons or anything anymore.

What the hell is going on.

Kevin: I look forward to chatting
about it and, and chatting about

Lower Decks one last time for this

Rob: One last time.

So until next time, second,
turn that damn thing off.