Subspace Radio: a Star Trek podcast

Rob & Kev planned to turn this entire episode over to a friendly computer super-intelligence, but it was down for a software update, so they recorded their thoughts on "In the Cradle of Vexilon" all by themselves. Prompted by the hard lesson learned by Boimler during his first command, they explore other lessons in leadership from Star Treks past, including "The Galileo Seven" (TOS), "Good Shepherd" (VOY), "Pen Pals" (TNG), and "Valiant" (DS9).

Strange New Worlds stardates

LD 4×03 In the Cradle of Vexilon
Dyson Sphere
TNG 6×04 Relics
TNG 5×25 The Inner Light
Tom Salinsky
DS9 7×15 Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang
DS9 5×06 Trials and Tribble-ations
DS9 4×01/02 The Way of the Warrior
Chula (the Alamarein game)

TOS 1×13 The Galileo Seven
Shuttles Galileo
PRO 1×13 All The World’s a Stage

VOY 6×20 Good Shepherd
Joe Carey
Jay Underwood
Tom Morello
TNG 5×05 Disaster

TNG 2×15 Pen Pals
TNG 2×09 The Measure of a Man
Subspace Radio #32: Courtroom Dramas

DS9 6×22 Valiant
USS Defiant (2370)
USS Defiant (2375)
Red Squad
Tim Watters
Nova Squadron

  • (00:00) - Episode 42: Lessons in Leadership (LD 4×03 In the Cradle of Vexilon)
  • (14:58) - TOS 1×13 The Galileo Seven
  • (24:45) - VOY 6×20 Good Shepherd
  • (34:19) - TNG 2×15 Pen Pals
  • (40:33) - DS9 6×22 Valiant

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.

It is time for you to tune
in your subspace radios to

us, Rob Lloyd and my co-host.

Kevin: Kevin Yank.

Rob: How are you?

Kevin: I'm well how about you?

Rob: I'm very well.

This has been about seven
days since we have spoken last

uh, stardate um, zero zero.

We'll go, let's go original
series stardates that

Kevin: That don't matter.

They don't make any sense.

Have you noticed, did you notice
that Strange New Worlds has

returned to that classic pattern
of stardates that make no sense?

Rob: I didn't know that,
but that makes sense.

So maybe in the timeline it used
to make sense, but they're at the

point where it doesn't anymore.

Kevin: Yeah, I'll put a link
in the show notes for anyone

who wants to have a look at it.

But there was like a season wrap up of
Strange New Worlds, all of the episodes

of season one and season two, and it
showed the star dates for each one.

They're in completely random order,
like the last episode of season

two happens before an episode
that's halfway through season one.

So they are, they're literally
going, you know what?

They didn't make sense back then.

We're not gonna make now

Rob: If you're tuning in for the first
time, welcome, and as you can tell, we

are here to talk all things Star Trek.

Kevin: We are.

We just jump right in.

That's what we do around here.

Rob: We are here to talk about
the latest Lower Decks episode,

season four, episode three.

The Cradle of Vexilon.

Kevin: Alamalein!

Lemon meringue.

Rob: Exactly.

Another Deep Space Nine reference,
but a deeper cut Deep Space Nine

reference to those of you out there.

So we're gonna talk about the episode,
what our thoughts are of it, and that

as always leads into deeper discussions
about a broader topic connected with

the uh, oeuvre that is uh, Star Trek.


Kevin Yank!

Your thoughts on The Cradle of Vexilon?

Kevin: Uh, this was, this was good.

I would say probably not in my top
five of Lower Decks so far, but uh,

a perfectly serviceable episode.

Some good character building,
especially for Boimler.

And uh, yeah a nice adventure
on not quite a planet.

Rob: Not quite a planet, but um,
bringing in this whole, like round

space station type existence.

It was in early literature in like, oh
well, early modern sci-fi literature

in late sixties type of sci-fi writing.

It was brought in recently
into uh, Book of Boba Fett.

They had a rings shaped
space station as well.

And so it's been around and it's like
the thought process has been in the

sci-fi zeitgeist for some time and it's
been brought here into Lower Decks.

Kevin: By Star Trek standards.

It is actually kind of unimpressive,
this ring structure because we've

seen something more impressive
before, and that's the Dyson sphere.

Back in the Next Generation episode,
Relics, which was season six, episode

four, and featured the memorable Return
of Montgomery Scott to living, he

was, he came out of the transporter
buffer in that episode and resumed

his life in the 24th century.

In that episode, the Enterprise is
trapped inside a Dyson sphere, which

is a spherical structure around a star,
and the entire inner surface of that

sphere is habitable because it's built
at the right distance from the star.

It's this incredible structure
that's oh, so many times the

surface area of a typical planet.

It's just mind-boggling that exists.

So I have to say this, this ring, it
was kind of a yawn for me by comparison.

Rob: Yeah, yeah.

I could see the shade you are
automatically throwing onto

this cradle of existence.

Kevin: But seriously, it
was, it was pretty cool.

Like I love a, a, a novel location and
we, they certainly gave us that here.

Rob: Look, and the inhabitants of this
world were all artsy types who, you

know the challenge of their existence is
the weather's been playing up a little

bit because their computer system,
which is a good computer system, not

one of those evil computer systems

Kevin: Improbably, yeah.

Rob: yeah, that runs this program.

It's weather system it
needs a bit of rebooting or

something needs to be updated.

So the weather patterns have been changing
and that means the artists there haven't

to be been able to create their best work.

Oh my bleeding heart.

And of course a great moment is where
Ransom looks upon some of the artwork

and goes, oh, this is horrible.

It's terrible.

He goes Um, that's our best work.

And then the camera moves and you
see pretty much the exact same work.

He goes, oh, so juvenile and pedestrian.

Kevin: Yeah, it was such a
cheap joke, but it got me too.

Rob: Um, so we have split stories.

We have the captain and Ransom
dealing with uh, having to reboot the

computer system that runs this sphere.

We've got Boimler on his first ever
away mission, and our C plot is

uh, Mariner, Tendi and Rutherford

Kevin: Scanning isolinear chips.

Rob: Yes, and just trying to figure
out whether they're being hazed or

whether this is legitimate or not.

So yeah, it's pretty much stock
standard Lower Decks type stuff with

nothing really exceptional in there.

Apart from T'Lyn was in fine form again.

Three episodes in, she's had a pretty
much a hundred percent strike rate.

She was in the first episode, brilliant.

Third episode, brilliant.

So she's a great addition and,
um, really helping Boimler sorta

like lose that anxiety and take
on board the responsibility of

leadership for him to see it properly.

And uh, leading to the point
where, I dunno if I wanna bring

it up so soon, but he dies.

Kevin: Is this first time?

I'm not sure it's the first time.

Rob: I think it's the first
time for Boimler, for Brad.

But it's not the first time one
of our lead characters has died.

And it's the point where Ransom said,
ah, you've had your first death.

Ah, every mission gets
even worse from now on.

And have a moment where we are
in this afterlife type world,

which is a bit Twin Peaks.

So much so that we have,
the Koala speaking, possibly

backwards, that we understand

Kevin: Yeah.

No, I have not deciphered
what the Koala is saying yet.

Rob: The red curtains were there.

We had the pattern on the floor, which
is very like the red room in Twin Peaks

and the dark tower in the background.

Kevin: Yeah, I was wondering
what the reference was.

I am not so familiar with Twin
Peaks that I caught that connection.

Rob: Yes.

Kevin: they are pulling
from something here.

I'm not sure what it

Rob: They're going to the depths
of uh, uh, Lynchian uh, mythology

with, his masterpiece, Twin Peaks.

Yeah, it was a um, standard
type of episode with little

highlights and dialogue moments.

And it revealed the Relic Room, Which
is apparently all these famous pieces

of Star Trek history, artifacts,
are all on a California class ship?

Kevin: It's very strange.

Nomad is in there,

Rob: Nomad is in there.


Kevin: first time I think we've seen

Rob: We've Nomad before.

Kevin: Star Trek.

Quite a few things in there.

The annoying uh, Beta

Rob: Betazoid gift box.

Kevin: Yeah, lots of fun stuff and
they used most of it in this episode,

so we'll see if they return to that

Rob: And one of the devices
that, was that the episode where

Picard lives out his entire life

Kevin: Yes.


And as far as I can tell,
they don't actually tell us

what that device is out loud.

They leave it to us to infer.

But, when it hits the box and it
says, for the second time this

season, I miss my wife, you, you,

Rob: doesn't relate to Sullivan.

It to Picard leave Leaving
his wife behind in the

Kevin: The Inner Light.


Uh, One of, and I think for my money,
my favorite episode of Next Gen.

The only downside to the Inner Light, it
is very much a Picard focused episode.

So it's not really an ensemble piece.

And so it's almost not a Next Generation
story, it's more of a Picard story, but

uh, certainly pulls with the heartstrings
and gives Patrick Stewart plenty to do.

Rob: That leads on a friend of
mine, Tom Linsky, who's a huge

uh, improviser, comedy writer.

He's a huge Star Trek fan.

He's going through every episode
at the moment and reviewing it

online and with his uh, blog.

He sorta like, uh, reached out for
people who would like to review

episodes of Deep Space Nine.

Put my hand up, and he said
which one do you want to do?

And I immediately, immediately went
to well, Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang.

But then oh no.

That'd be easy 'cause I love it and
I adore it and nobody will wanna

pick it 'cause everyone's gonna
go for Trials and Tribble-ations.

I'm going hang on, which
one is my favorite because I

haven't watched it for a while.

So I went back and watched
Trials and Tribble-ations.

I went, oh, but this is really good.

This is really, really good.

And then I watched Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang
and went, oh, this one's good too.

Kevin: There's different
favorites for different occasions.

I used to love the Way of the Warrior that
used to be my favourite Deep Space Nice.

Rob: Very good.


And hello, welcome back Worf.


Just what we needed.

But anyway, I digress.

Lot of references there and I dunno
if it all you know, makes sense.

Kevin: I loved the lemon meringue
gag, not just because I am a

secret fan of the Alamarein game.

I think that episode gets
unwarranted shade from the fans.

It's an early DS9 episode, and I think
people react negatively to the fact

the rug being pulled out at the end
and the, all the stakes of the episode

disappearing as our cast collapse onto
the floor of Quark's bar, but I really

enjoy that, that like maze that they have
to work their way through and watching

the characters work it out together.

I have great fun every
time I watch that one.

And lemon meringue is my favorite dessert.

Rob: There you go.

I'm a pumpkin pie man,

Kevin: Ooh,

Rob: With a bit of ice cream.


I particularly liked the fact that, me
being a casual computer game fan, it very

much gave the impression of, with Ruthford
going through it really quickly and just

going, all right, bang, bang, bang, bang,
okay, gotta move on to the next level.

And the guy in the game
was really excited.

Which drink do you do?

He goes, no, I'll give a hit.

He goes, oh, the disappointment of
going, oh, I don't get to do my bit.

I really wanted to do my bit.

Kevin: Yeah, the little girl
was pretty upset as well that he

didn't celebrate room with her.

Rob: Yeah.

She's halfway through and he's
already out the door going, I'm out.

I'm gone.

Kevin: Open the door quick.

I think one of the reasons this episode
wasn't a highlight for me is a lot of the

stakes were around Captain Freeman hacking
at the computer and I feel like every

time we step away from the characters we
love, the Lower Deckers we love and we

tell a story where one of the bridge crew
is in the lead, it loses me a little bit.

Especially when that bridge crew
story does not directly affect

the characters we care about.

So yeah, Captain Freeman
stepped up and was like, I can

do this with my eyes closed.

I used to study ancient uh, technology.

Oh, I messed it up.

And it was kind of like,
uh, I don't really care.

I don't know why I should care.

The stakes here were, were
kind of low the entire time.

Rob: Freeman did roll, she did
roll up her sleeves though,

Kevin: She did roll up and I think
maybe what annoys me about Freeman

in this episode is she's a lot
like her daughter at her worst.

Rob: Yes.

Because she goes, I can do this.

I can sort this up and go, what?

And you could look at a way of going
well, that's where finally we can

see where our Mariner gets it from.

Where it comes from.

Kevin: She goes as far as, finally she
admits defeat and has Billups beam down,

and then she cuts Billups off mid-sentence
and goes back to trying to fix it herself.

Rob: Yeah, it was a, it was a little bit
of a insight into the annoyingness that

is potentially there within uh, freeman.

Kevin: Plus, and this is over analyzing
it, but the idea that the computer, the

ancient computer that had been on its
own for millennia because its creators

had died, the problem that it had was
that it was missing a software update.

That doesn't make sense 'cause there was
no one to write that software update.

Programmers were long dead.

I was like, software update,
what are you talking about?

At least, consult your science
advisor, writers, and have,

like it should have been, you're
overdue for system maintenance

or a defrag of your hard drive.

Something like that would've made a lot
more sense than, oh, you need to download

a software update from your central update
server, that there's no one left alive to

Rob: Yeah, see I, I should have paid
more attention to that, but I wanted

to know more about a spittle jazz.

What was it?

Kevin: It's Tellarite jazz.

Rob: Tellarite jazz.,

it's like phlegm and spit, and
going into great detail about that.

Kevin: Yeah, it's wet
and that's why I like it.

Rob: It did provide that great moment
when they put up, they thought they were

being hazed, then they set up all the
devices within the within his quarters,

and then they just starts freaking out
going, he was caught in there for a month.

And so they take away and Marr
turns back and goes, lose the stuff!

Get it out.

And then it works out all at the
end, they were hazing them, which

was um, for me it was a bit Oh, okay.

Yeah, I guess so.

Kevin: Okay.

It, yeah, it was a, it ended on a
cheap joke, but it was, it par for

the course for Lower Decks, I thought.

Rob: I did love the fact that
Boimler dies, he's brought back, and

the first thing he hears is doctor
go, that actually fucking worked?

Kevin: Yeah.

I enjoyed Boimler dying.

Just 'cause it gave us some time with Dr.


She delights me every time.

Rob: As she should.

As she should.

So, yeah.

Anything else you wanna
add about the episode?

Kevin: No, other than that final shot
of uh, the Cerritos hovering next to

the ring and the sun casting a shadow
of the ship against the ring, I, I was

once again dazzled by, you know what,
if this were uh, the, you know, live

action series, someone would've said,
can we afford a shadow on the ring?

And they would've said, no.

That would be another
week of CG uh, design.

We can't afford it, but in Lower
Decks we get the beauty, we

get the extra shadow as well.

And I, I, I just, I was struck by
how often have we seen one of our

ships cast a shadow on something?

Almost never.

And there it is, just casually
at the end of the episode.

Rob: And no uh, no arc menace
this week we didn't return to

Kevin: No, they're giving that a break.

They're giving us time to forget
it, so it when it comes back again.

Rob: Did they even know who we are, Kevin?


We never forget.

Kevin: Yeah.

But the, the heart of this episode,
I felt was Boimler's mission,

his first mission in command.

I really liked that the reactors
that they were replacing the

cylinders on, looked like the engine
cores of the Enterprise NX-01.

Rob: Yes.

Always, always love a good reference
back to, to Enterprise, now that

I've seen a couple of episodes,
of the good ones where I can go.


Kevin: That's all right!

Thought that maybe like first commands or
lessons in command would be a good thing

to drill into in our Star Trek history.

Rob: Most definitely Kevin.

Most definitely.

So as always, we go um, uh,
chronologically because um, that

does make sense in some way,

Kevin: You got any Enterprise?

Rob: I do not have any Enterprise.

Do you have any uh, those

Kevin: I've got a season
one original series for you.

Rob: Is this gonna be one of those ones
where, where Kirk goes off and it's

Spock in command and McCoy's in his ear
going, nah, ya green blooded Vulcan.

Kevin: Look, it's not not one of those.

Rob: Because there going, is that all
there pretty much is when it comes to, you

know, leadership stuff, it's just Kirk,
buggers off and Spock has to deal with all

the balance of vulcan and human emotions
and whether that works as a leader.

Kevin: And look, depending what gossip
rag you read um, William Shatner

did not enjoy playing second fiddle
or, or, or like receding into the

background on his own TV series.

And some of those episodes where
Kirk is kind of to the side to let

Spock and McCoy shine were not his
favorite, so goes some of the lore

that eh, may or may not be right.

Who knows?

Rob: Leading actor has ego and, it
does not want to share limelight?

Kevin: But uh, we're here to talk about
season one, episode 13, The Galileo Seven.

Rob: Galileo Seven.

Talk us through this episode.

Kevin: So this is a episode in which Spock
is in command of a shuttle mission on the

Galileo uh, which uh, we saw a second or
third iteration of in Prodigy as well.

The, the, the ship that crashed with
Garrovick on board was the Galileo.

But this was the first Galileo, and uh,
it's a lovely title, The Galileo Seven.

It refers to the seven people who
are on board that shuttle, but also

as the shuttle is taking off, you
can see it's badge on the side.

It's NCC-1701 / 7, and they numbered
the shuttles with these slash numbers.

So it was both shuttle number seven and
it had these fated seven people on board.

And it was Spock, Scotty McCoy,
and four people who are expendable,

because we've never seen and
we will never see them again.

Not all wearing red shirts.

I think even uh, by episode 13 they
had caught on to the fact that if

they dressed someone in a red shirt,
we would assume they would die.

So they like to surprise us.

Rob: Ah, well look at them.

They're, they're, they're
breaking the paradigm.

Kevin: The Enterprise is on its
way to deliver some much needed

medicine in two days, but on the way
they spot a quasar like formation

and Kirk goes, hold the phone.

I have standing orders to investigate
all quasar like formations.

We're gonna stop here.

We've got two days up our sleeves.

Spock is gonna go off in a shuttle
and scan this thing and the shuttle

gets magnetically zapped into this
swirling maelstrom of green special

effects particles in space and uh,
is lost track of by the Enterprise.

The Enterprise can, all they can tell
is there's four full solar systems

in this anomaly, and they have no
idea where the shuttle has gone.

But the shuttle has crash landed
miraculously on the one M class

planet in all of these solar systems.

But they are on the ground and marooned
with no transporters, no communications.

They are.

All on their own.

And Spock is in command
of this motley crew.

And we get to see Spock learn the practice
of command beyond the theory of command.

This is one of those ones where
Spock is like constantly doing what

he knows factually is the right
thing, and it goes wrong every

single time he's being too logical.

Towards the end of this episode,
after two of his crewmen have died,

he says, Strange, step by step,
I've made the correct and logical

decisions, and yet two men have died.

And uh, McCoy is right there on board
to second guess his every decision

and be really grumpy about it.

When Spock leaves earshot, the
crew kind of start to, you know,

go, oh, is he out of his mind?

I can't believe he won't let us shoot
these aliens who are attacking us.

And McCoy says, it's not his
mind, that's the problem.

It's his heart.

There's a lot of um, arguing about
whether they will run the risk of

burying their dead because they have
to go outside and dig a hole and

Spock's saying it's, it's too risky.

That stuff, I think, back in the
sixties there was a lot more of that

kind of religious dogma on television
and the idea that if someone dies,

you must give them a proper burial,
was, I think that was much more high

stakes back then than it reads now.

Right now I think a modern audience
looks at it and goes, yeah, I will not

go outside and bury our dead because
we will get killed in the process.

But yeah, the, they're, the planet
they're on has these giant, hairy caveman

type beings that throw spears at them.

And yeah, two of the crewmen get speared
as Scotty works his butt off to try and

get this Galileo shuttle airborne again.

They uh, they lose all
of their fuel to a leak.

And then Scotty has a genius idea of
refueling the shuttle with their phasers.

So one by one, they have to give up
their phasers, their last line of

defense in order to refuel the shuttle.

Spock learns the value of thinking
beyond logic in leadership.

Rob: Yep.

Although it was probably one of the
first times in well, it was one of

the first times in the original series
that was a common trait that would be a

storyline with any other Vulcan character
that appeared in the decades to come.

Kevin: Yeah.

At the end they finally get the,
this shuttle airborne, just as the

Enterprise is forced to leave and
Spock realizes it's too late, they've

missed their chance to be rescued.

And then he looks down at the panel
and he flips the eject fuel button

and the entire crew goes, are you
insane that we need that fuel?

But he, he ignites the fuel behind
them to throw up a signal flare and the

Enterprise swings back and rescues them.

And the moral of the story is Spock
would never have done such an illogical,

desperate thing if he hadn't learned
the value of uh, leading with his gut.

Rob: There you go.

There you go.

What an important lesson you
just had to sacrifice a couple of

different colored shirted, crew.

Kevin: This is an episode that the
canon purists have a little trouble

with now that we are seeing in Strange
New Worlds, Spock operating as a bridge

officer and occasionally taking command
because there are a couple of mentions

in this episode of it being notable that
Spock is in command on this mission.

There's a conversation with McCoy
where McCoy goes, oh, you must

be relishing this opportunity to
show for the first time that logic

is the right basis for a command.

And that is open to interpretation, but
then the, as they are sitting on the

ship in, in their decaying orbit awaiting
rescue McCoy says to Spock, Well, Mr.

Spock, so ends your first command.

And Spock says Yes.

My first command.

And so it's, there's not a lot
left open to interpretation there.

Rob: That's pretty clear what
they've said right there.

Kevin: So every time Spock sits in
the command chair on the Enterprise,

yeah, fans are going, hang on.

We know when his first command is.

It's The Galileo Seven.

I think we can squint and say like, your
first command is not filling in for the

captain while he is away on a mission.

Your first command is
when you are given a ship.

That ship goes off to do something, and
it's entirely up to you whether those

people return alive or not, and perhaps
under that definition, this Galileo

Seven mission was Spock's first command.

Rob: Look, there's, there, there's so
many loopholes that you can set up.

When it comes to the, timelines
and continuity is a tricky thing.

And if you, if you tie yourself too
to the canonical inaccuracies of a

show, you are fighting a losing battle.

Kevin: The last thing that happens in
the episode is one of those classic

final scenes on the bridge where Spock
is confronted by Kirk and Bones trying to

get him to admit that he was illogical.

And they're like, so let
me get this straight.

You flip that switch.

That seems like an act of desperation.

And Spock says, ah, I absolutely agree.

And Kirk goes well, correct me if
I'm wrong, but desperation is a

highly emotional state, is it not?

And Spock says well, you know,
by logic, I reasoned that

was our only way of escaping.

And so, uh, an act of
desperation was what was needed.

And Kirk says, so you're saying
you logically concluded that it

was time for an emotional outburst?

And Spock refuses to take the bait.

And the entire bridge crew laugh it up,
like literally knee slapping and Scotty's

doubled over in laughter at his station.

And the whole time I'm sitting there
going, three people died, two people on

the shuttle and one on one of the rescue
missions, and they're flying off into the

sunset slapping their knees and laughing.

These are the things about
Star Trek that don't age well.

Rob: Yes.

And uh, yeah, and Leonard Nimoy
raises an eyebrow and uh, they freeze

frame with, yeah, it's all okay.

Yeah, they freeze frame and they put
the producers on there and it's just

another sitcom from the eighties.

Well there you go.

Kevin: There you go.

So the lesson about command that we get
in The Galileo Seven is sometimes you

gotta lead from your gut, not your head.

Rob: Exactly, and you know, it's,
it's best not to be completely gut or

heart led or completely uh, brain led.

Find that perfect synergy.

Kevin: Yeah.

Well, T'Lyn won't be able to
teach Boimler that lesson.

Rob: No, she won't.

Now I'm gonna go for
my main focus episode.

I went to Voyager.

Kevin: Ooh.

Rob: Yep.

I went to Voyager, season six,
episode 20, Good Shepherd.

Kevin: Ooh.

Uh, Is this uh, uh, the,
the title lets me think.

Maybe it was uh, one of those
holodeck episodes with the man who

misses his wife, but it's not, is it?

Rob: It is not, no, it's an episode
where they're doing their routine

checks on how everything's working,
and this is where we're introduced to

some lower deck type uh, cast members.

It's a really good episode that indicated
this is what Voyager should have been.

Kevin: Oh, heck yeah.

This is a great one.

Rob: Yeah.

So we find three of the members
of the crew who aren't fitting in.

They are the outsiders and they are the
ones who, if they were in their regular

part of the galaxy, if they're a part
of regular Starfleet regulation, these

members of the crew would either have
moved on to other positions within their

cycle of their routine within Starfleet.

However, because of them being trapped,
they are stuck there on their ship.

Kevin: Yeah, can't wash out if they're
stuck in the quadrant but otherwise they

would've been given um, you know, cozy
janitorial jobs at Starfleet command.

Rob: Yes.

Or moved on into, you know, more
research positions or whatever.

So we have three crew, uh, in
particular we've got Mortimer

Harren, who will not leave his deck.

Deck 15, he's there all the time.

He's never done an away mission.

He's never done anything other than,
he doesn't even socialize with people.

He is stuck there.

He is incredibly bright, incredibly
smart, incredibly intelligent, but

he does not work well with people.

Kevin: Is he afraid of leaving his deck or

Rob: No, he well, he's, he, he is now
what we would call, uh, neurodivergent.

He's like on the spectrum, clearly.

He is all logic based and he
believes he's always right.

He is all about the logical approach
and all this type of stuff, and doesn't

use that instinct or that passion
or that gut that a member of staff

lead in, in leadership or crew needs.

We have William Telfer, who
is a hypochondriac who is

always going to see The Doctor.

He has used up so much of The Doctor's
energy and power, literally because

rashes or breathing too much or
breathing too little, or sweating

too much or whatever is causing him
and causing The Doctor's system not

to run as efficiently as it could.

And of course we have the Bajoran in there
Tal uh, Celes, who is always wracked with

self-doubt, does not believe in herself.

And so there's a big talk from Janeway
discussing it with Chakotay and the

others about what the role of a captain
is, is to be a shepherd and tend to the

flock and make sure all the sheep in her
flock are looked after and supported and

can be drawn in and looked after safely.

She takes them, all three of them, on
an away mission in uh, the Delta flyer.

And uh, they get caught up in a quite
harrowing experience and they need to

work together to get themselves out of it.

And it tests Janeway's ability as
a captain, and it tests these three

members of the crew who they revealed
themselves of what they wanted to

do, where they should have gone.

Tal Celes is there going, I
should be out of Starfleet.

I shouldn't be here.

I should done my rounds and then moved on.

Heron says, I'm meant to be serving
my time here for a couple of rotations

and move into my cushy research job.

And Telfa is there going,
I, I'm afraid of everything.

And yeah, going through the uh,
the challenges of that and how

Janeway copes with that situation.

And it's a really good indication of what
it is to be a member of Starfleet and,

but also what it is to be a captain on
a ship and how you look after your crew.

And as she said, these are three sheep
who have fallen through the cracks.

Sorry for my metaphors.

And it's a beautiful final moment
where uh, Chakotay goes, how did

the shepherd go with her flock?

And he goes, we came across a wolf.

Because they, they come across an
unidentified, there's a species and

they're not sure what it is, and whether
it's attacking or trying to communicate.

And uh, yeah, it's a great episode
that really shows that potential

of what Voyager could have been.

These characters could have
been reoccurring regulars.

They could have been there.

We could have seen their journey.

And it's a shame we don't really see

Kevin: Crams it all into one episode.

Rob: Crams it all into one episode.

And then as always, we just go back,
set the reset button and move on.

This is a prime example.

This should have been, the
middle section of an arc

Kevin: Yeah.

If nothing else, they should have
become recurring, extras where we see

them now and then every season or two.

Yeah the lieutenant Careys of the ship.

Rob: Yes, exactly.

Kevin: become some of those.

Rob: Um, So yeah cast of note, you've
got Jay Underwood there as uh, Harron.

I grew up with him watching
in the, the Boy Who Could Fly.

He was amazing.

Um, He plays Haron really well.

Him, his clashes with
Janeway are a fantastic.

He is all cold, logical
type of approach to it.

He kills one of these creatures in
cold blood before they could decipher

what it was doing, whether it was
good or it had good intent or not.

And also the guest appearance of one
of my favorite guitarists of all time

the guitarist of Rage Against the
Machine and from Audioslave, Tom Morello

is actually there as uh, Mitchell.

He has one scene.

It's really awkward.

It's really just put in there
just so Tom Morello from Rage

the Machine can be on Star Trek.

He was a, he was an alien in the
background in a couple of scenes for Star

Trek insurrection, but they gave him a
speaking role and he never came back.

We never saw what happened
to Mitchell either.

And as I was watching he
going, is that Tom Morello?

Is that Tom?

He's far too cool to be in Star Trek.

And they went, yep, that's Tom Morello.

So yes, but for the leadership
point of view, it's very much

Janeway how she works as a captain.

And we have great episodes of that within
other series, like how Sisko works with

his people and how Picard works with
his people and how Kirk works with his

people as well, but to see how Janeway
operates, we see her so much with her

main bridge crew, but going to the
lower decks level and how she tries to

engage, connect, all that type of stuff.

There's a moment where her and Harren
she's there trying to just start

conversation, and Harren just shuts
her down in this sort of like very

cool, calculated, unemotional way of
going you are trying to connect with

me with, with the place I was born.

That is irrelevant to who I am as a, yeah.

It's a, it's it, yeah.

It's a great moment.

Kevin: First of all, I think this
episode contributes to Janeway's

reputation for loving a project.

I mean, this is post Seven of
Nine, so it's well established

how much Janeway loves a project.

So I feel like maybe uh, when she decided
to take this on, a few of the people

around her went, oh, here we go again.

Janeway's got a new project.

Rob: Yeah.

Kevin: I had completely
forgotten that Voyager had one

of these lower decks episodes.

So this is awesome to be reminded of.

If memory serves Janeway, you can at least
tell on her face that at several points

in this episode, she almost gives up.

Like, she's like, oh, this
was a terrible mistake.

These people are never gonna make it.

Rob: Yeah, there, it's the best, it's
the best part of it where you see

her going, she is really annoyed.

She's she's having to work.

She's not holier than thou.

There's very much a case where she goes,
if I could just dump them space, I would.

It's a great indication of how good she is

Kevin: And is that the, like if
we're, if we're looking for leadership

lessons here, what would you say the
leadership lesson is of this episode?

Rob: That's a very.

The lesson is listen to Janeway.

Have a coffee with her, for God's sake.

Also how they teach each other as well.

Like, there are points where even the
lower deckers are there going, you

never come and have coffee with us.

You never come and hang out with us.

Just, you don't know who I am and
you're just judging me for this.

Come and sit and chat with us.

Kevin: from their point of view.

Don't lead from above.

Lead from within.

Rob: Exactly.

Kevin: And maybe don't
give up on the misfits.

Rob: Don't give up.

Uh, look, I'm a, yeah, especially because,
I'm a drama nerd myself and a misfit.

So always uh, always have a soft spot
in my heart for those who aren't ex,

because I kind of see the main cast
in Star Trek in general, they're

also like the best of what they do.

Like Riker is very much, the matinee idol.

And same with sort of like Chakotay,
even though he is Maquis and stuff

like that gets to that point of
there going, I want some, that's

why I love Deep Space Nine so much.

They're all misfits.

Kevin: to see the people as
human or a as the race may be.

But but yeah, it's good to
see the people who are not

perfect, but believably flawed.

Rob: Yes, exactly.

Kevin: they still have a
place in this utopian future.

Rob: Definitely, definitely.

So you had a second episode to,

Kevin: Yeah.

Rob: to mention.

Kevin: I mean, yours reminds me
of a TNG episode that I'll just

mention in passing called Disaster.

This is uh, season five, episode
five, where the ship gets struck by

something and loses all power and
Picard memorably gets trapped in a

turbolift with some children and has
to lead them out of that situation.

Picard himself has a broken leg, so he
can't do much himself, so he just has to

pep talk these scared kids to success.

And it's very much uh, like it,
it's an unkind comparison, but

it, it reminds me of Janeway kind
of cheer-squadding these misfits

Rob: Yeah.

Kevin: onto success as well.

But it's an especial challenge for Picard
who, as we know, cannot stand children.

Rob: No.

He, the amount of times
he says shut up, Wesley.

Kevin: Yep, but uh, the one I want
to spend a little more time on is

way back in season two, episode
15, and it's called Pen Pals.

And this is similar to in
tone to the Voyager episode

that you just talked about.

It's very much kind of a day
in the life on the starship.

There's not earth shaking high
stakes as we're used to it.

The episode has a very slow start.

The first 15 or 20 minutes are like
Picard wants to go horse riding on

the holodeck and Troi tags along
because she's having a chat with him.

She follows him in.

And Picard tries to convince her to
get on a horse, and she explains that

Betazoids get too caught up in the
emotions of the horse and they lose

themselves and it never ends well.

So no, she'll keep her feet planted
on solid ground, thank you very much.

So there's a, there's a lot of this kind
of world building on the Enterprise.

It, it doesn't, it's in no
great rush to get to the action.

And one of the things they set up at
the start of this episode is they're

flying into this unexplored solar
system and a lot of the planets

are showing tectonic stress and uh,
strange um, geological phenomena.

And Riker decides this will be a
perfect opportunity for him to,

as Wesley Crusher's mentor, put
Wesley in command of something.

So he assembles a meeting of the
senior staff in the observation lounge.

At the table are Picard, Troi, Riker,
Pulaski, Geordi, and they talk about

whether Wesley should be given command
of the planetary mineral survey.

And they're like, Pulaski
iss maybe it's too soon.

You don't wanna set him up for failure.

And Picard's like, oh no, you gotta hone
him like a fine sword, that young man.

And uh, yeah it's, it's strange
that the, the entire senior staff of

the ship have nothing better to do
than to discuss Wesley's education.

Rob: I love how much they pushed
us to care about Wesley so much.

Kevin: I know, but you know what?

I think they pull it off in this episode.

I dare say at least sitting here
today, I think this might be Wesley

Crusher's best episode of the

Rob: Ooh.

Kevin: because he, he being
placed into that position of

command, he doesn't overact it.

He doesn't overplay it.

And yet you feel his awkwardness about
giving commands to more senior, more

grownup staff that are on his team.

And the other thing that really
works for me is that he's not cocky.

He's not too confident to ask for advice.

Several of the scenes of this episode
are Wesley going to Riker and Troi for

advice, or Pulaski for advice and going,
Hey, I was thinking of uh, you know,

putting these two people on my team,
but how am I gonna give them commands?

And Riker is like, uh,
it's completely irrelevant.

You're their commanding officer.

You get to give them commands.

You don't have to worry
about what they think.

Yeah, just these scenes that are about
Wesley taking command, and his self-doubt,

it really works for me when so often in
other episodes, the thing about Wesley

is he doesn't second guess himself.

Yeah, I really enjoy it.

Uh, This the, the, A plot of this episode
is what the episode is named after.

Data makes contact with a lifeform
on one of these planets that is

undergoing these tectonic shifts
and is at risk of breaking up.

And Data spends, he says eight weeks.

chatting to this alien girl
on one of these planets.

They end up having this great
debate over whether they should or

even are allowed to go and rescue
this young girl and her family and

her civilization that is at peril.

And, they have another great
meeting in Picard's quarters where

they debate the Prime Directive.

And this episode is written by
Melinda Snodgrass, who you might

remember from The Measure of a Man.

So she is no stranger to writing debates,
like reasoned debates in Star Trek.

And this one, I think when we last
talked about measure of the man, I said

on rewatching it, I was disappointed
that the arguments weren't that deep.

It was more like, who can be
more persuasive in the room?

And Picard will win that
battle any day of the week.

And this one is much
more a debate of ideas.

And at the end, Picard puts his
foot down and says, no, the Prime

Directive says we'll let them die.

And then Data gets a transmission,
and he puts it on speaker and they

all hear the young girl saying,
Data, please come and save me.

And you just see Picard's heart melt.

And he goes, oh, now your, your whisper
in the darkness is a cry for help.

We can't turn our backs.

We have to go and save them.

And so they fix the planet in a debatably
direct violation of the Prime Directive.

Rob: Excellent.

So the, and the big lesson about
leadership in this episode is,

Kevin: The big lesson about leadership
for Wesley is don't be intimidated by

people who have more experience than
you when you've been placed in command.

He has a, kind of hotshot geologist on
his team, and Wesley wants to run an ico,

spectro, whatever, an ICO graphic scan
or something of the planet, because one

of the readings suggests there might be
dilithium crystals there and the hotshot

goes, oh, that'll just be a waste of time.

It'll take us five hours
to set up the sensor array.

A good commander knows when he's
wasting everyone's time, Wesley.

And Wesley goes, I guess you're right.

And he walks out with his
tail between his legs.

And then he has a heart to heart
with Riker and Riker gives him some

great advice and he goes back to this
guy and he goes, I want that scan.

And the guy goes, coming right up, sir.

And it's just a great moment of when
you give a command and you mean it,

that people will respect you for it.

Rob: Awesome.


Well, I'll quickly mention one other
one which is Deep Space Nine, bless

it, uh, season six, episode 22.

So near the end of the run,
we are deep into the middle of

the Dominion War with Valiant.

This is where Jake and Nog are
fleeing a Jem'Hadar attack.

They barely survive and they're saved by
a Defiant class ship called the Valiant.

Kevin: Yeah, I remembered there was like
more than one Defiant class ship, and

not even more than one… 'cause I know
there were two ships named Defiant.

One of them got blown up
and they recommissioned one

as the Defiant version two.

Yeah, there was more, more than
one of these things flying around.

And the Valiant was one of them.

Rob: Yes.

And the Valiant is crewed by um, red
squad who are cadets, overeager, and Nog

gets caught up in uh, the excitement of
it all, but as they go deeper and deeper

into the runnings of this ship uh, they
find that the, the captain in particular

uh, Watters is not up to, to scratch.

And he puts them all at risk.

So much so that despite cooler heads
trying to convince him otherwise, he

does not listen to any of his crew.

He does not listen to Jake who's
there going look, my, my dad,

he has a Defiant ship as well.

He has all this experience.

He has all these people.

He wouldn't go on this mission,
and you are, you have no hope.

And this guy uh, who's the captain has
an addiction, isn't listing anyone,

and puts all these crew at risk.

Ultimately, only Jake, Nog and one other
crew member survive, and the final moment

at the end is uh, Jake's asked by Nog if
uh, he would write about this adventure.

And he goes, he thinks he would.

And there's a debate between the
surviving crew member and Nog about

the qualities of Watters as a captain.

And Nog says, show both sides of the
argument and let the readers decide.

And he turns back to the surviving crew
member, Nog, and says a beautiful line.

It goes, he may have been a hero.

He may have been a good man,
he may have been a great man,

but he was not a good captain.

Kevin: Yeah.

I think this episode cemented for me
that any group of Starfleet officers who

call themselves a squad are bad news.

I am reminded of Nova Squadron,
which was Wesley's kind of fighter

squadron at the academy uh, who had
an accident and then tried to cover it

up until Wesley uh, at the urging of
Picard turned whistleblower on them.

Yeah, squadrons bad.

I think Starfleet should
just outlaw all squadrons.

Prime directive, but
it's, it's a close second.

Rob: Exactly.

So this is a great episode, not
only to show uh, what bad leadership

is and what good leadership is.

It's also a great episode for Jake
again getting in there and using his

journalistic writing to really bring
out the stories of the Dominion War

and bring out the characters and the,
the human connection, or at least the

Starfleet stories behind it, and becoming
an active part of the adventure as well.

And his, his, his connection with Nog is
always great and strong had a wonderful

balance of, they come from two different
worlds, literally, and they have two

different um, moral systems, but together
they are a perfect friendship group.

And and the two of them
are a wonderful pair.

And they work, they're stronger together.

Kevin: This is one of those little
treasures that uh, we didn't know uh,

what we had at the time with Aaron
Eisenberg's untimely so, uh, so young that

the number of episodes where Nog is in
the spotlight and we get to see his, his

journey into learning what it is to be a
Starfleet officer, it's, yeah, rich stuff.

Rob: Rich stuff for all of
his time on Deep Space Nine.

It just gets, he, it's a character that
just gets better and better and better.

Some are perfectly formed from the
time we get them and just build

on perfection, say with Garak.

But characters like Rom, characters like
Nog, especially, you have incredible

actors and the writing staff go, let's
do this arc stuff and let's actually

use these brilliant actors who could
phone in a great performance with a,

with a paper thin character, but give
them more and they will step up for it.

And yeah, Nog does that, especially
in the last couple of seasons where

they put him through the ringer.

Kevin: Yeah.

In this week's episode of Lower
Decks, Boimler says he wants

to not repeat the uh, mistakes
of the bad commanders he's had.

So I think it's especially,
yeah, poignant to end with an

example of a bad commander here.

I don't think this is necessarily the kind
of bad commander the Boimler had in mind.

Uh, and, I think Boimler uh,
committed a pretty classic uh, command

faux pas by being a micromanager.

Rob: Yep.

Kevin: I can't remember any other
examples of micromanagers in Star Trek,

Rob: Not off the top of my head, no.

Kevin: Yes, Boimler gave us
a good blueprint to avoid.

Rob: So, yeah.

That brings us to an end of this episode.

We've discussed lessons in leadership.

I hope these lessons have been passed
on to you as well, dear listeners.

And we'll be back with episode four in a
couple of days, and it'll be interesting

to see where the Cerritos takes us next.

Kevin: It's a good time to be just, easing
into a season of Star Trek that feels

like it is executing with confidence.

I don't feel like there is anything
for this season to mess up because

it is in such a high quality groove.

Yes, we've got the hints of that
like season long arc with that

killer ship out there, but I almost
don't care what will become of that.

I'm sure we will get a story from
that before the end of this season,

and I'm sure it'll be worth watching.

But in the meantime, I'm enjoying
the little stories along the way.

Rob: As am I, I am uh, you
know, completely converted from

having to catch up on Lower
Decks in a short amount of time.

I'm glad I've jumped into the deep
end and I'm fully sold on this crew,

this band of heroic hearts, and where
whatever mishaps and shenanigans, oh

yeah, shenanigans, they get up to.

Kevin: Well, until next week,
Rob, see you around the galaxy.