Subspace Radio: a Star Trek podcast

Kev & Rob are surprisingly okay with "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow"'s revelations about where exactly in the timeline certain ill-fated experiments took place. In celebration, they explore two other significant rewritings, or retrospective continuity changes (retcons) that Star Trek has indulged in in the past, including "Affliction" and "Divergence" (ENT), and "The Host" (TNG).

SNW 2×03 Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
TOS 3×23 All Our Yesterdays
Eugenics Wars
Doctor Who 6×06 A Good Man Goes to War
James T. Kirk
Khan Noonien Singh
TOS 1×28 The City on the Edge of Forever

ENT 4×15-16 Affliction & Divergence
DS9 5×06 Trials & Tribble-ations
ENT 4× Borderland, Cold Station 12, The Augments

TNG 4×23 The Host
Jadzia Dax
DIS 3×04 Forget Me Not
DS9 1×08 Dax
VOY 2×15 Threshold

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.

Kevin: Hello and welcome
back to Subspace Radio.

It's me, Kevin Yank.

Rob: And me DJ Rob Lloyd.

Kevin: We are here to talk about Strange
New Worlds, season two, episode three,

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow.

Rob this is another Shakespeare
quote, if I'm not mistaken.

Rob: It is they go hand in hand
like ice cream and whiskey,

Star Trek and Shakespeare.

The perfect combination.

Following on a long tradition of Star
Trek episodes named after Shakespearean

quotes, I think even from From this
particular passage from Macbeth, there's

a classic, original series episode and All
Our Yesterdays and of course the multiple

quoting of Shakespeare in Star Trek VI.

What more do you need?

Kevin: The thing that popped out
in this episode that we're going

to discuss at greater length as it
echoes into Star Trek history is the

idea of shifting the goalposts or
correcting a perceived inconsistency

in Star Trek history after the fact.

Rob: This is a big, contentious issue.

It's, it's exploding online at the moment.

Like we're, we are in our own lovely
little bubble and we, listen to each

other and we have commonalities and
disagreements here or there, but

there's quite a lot of people who do
not like the status quo as it were,

being shifted or adjusted accordingly.

They like things the way they are,
the way they should be, and that's

how it is and always should be.

And other people a lot more flexible
and able to keep up with the changing

structure of this constant evolving
narrative canon that is Star Trek.

Kevin: It's a relatively small element,
just dropped in at the end of this

episode of just oh, by the way, this
explains the shift in the timeline

for the Eugenics Wars that were
originally set to occur in the 1990s

according to the original series.

And now it happens sometime in the 2050s.

And that we are led to believe is
because of all of the kind of temporal

cold war jockeying that has happened.

All the little incursions that secret
Romulans have made into Earth history.

It still happens.

It just happens a little later now.

And that buys us some time to
make some more Star Trek that

has a chance of coming true.

Rob: And Kevin, that is a
very well-grounded, calm,

logical explanation of it.

And there are other people who,
I mean, I get this all the time

within Doctor Who canon as well.

But yeah, Star Trek in many ways was
started by one man's vision and then it

shifted and evolved through especially
its resurgence in the nineties and

how they divert off that original
Roddenberry vision of the future.

And of course, obviously Nicholas
Meyer took it off track and made it

more, space navy in Star Trek II.

But whereas Doctor Who always evolved
because it never had a, a Bible as it

were at the start, like Roddenberry did.

Its continuity is messed up because
it has no continual continuity.

It shifts and changes.

And Star Trek is, the longer
it goes on is realizing as this

can be flexible and changes.

And there are fans who go along with
it and there are fans who just go, no,

this is linear, this is structured.

It is one line.

And that's all it is.

And it's amazing.

How that, as you said, just a little
shift here to give us a bit more

time has caused ripples within,
a loud but small vocal group.

Kevin: So we'll talk about some
other episodes where that sort of

thing has happened in the past.

But first, let's talk about
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow.

What did you think, Rob?

Rob: I really liked it.

I really loved it.

I loved the the concept of it.

Our captain was sidelined yet again.

So I think this is all tied in with the
real life Anson Mount needing time off to

be with his family and his newborn child.

But that brought James, T.

Kirk back, our new version James T.

Kirk back into the fray and
going on a time travel mission.

He was, of course, from a
parallel universe with La'an.

Kevin: Again, another
parallel universe Kirk.

We did get to meet the prime universe Kirk
on a Zoom call at the end of this episode.

But other than that it's been they've
been teasing us with Jim Kirk.

We're, wh when are we gonna
see the, the real Jim Kirk?

Rob: Will the real Jim
Kirk, please stand up.

Please stand up.

And it, yeah, it was sort of like,
where is this episode gonna go?

Is it gonna be action adventure?

Is it gonna be time travel conundrum?

Is it gonna be

Kevin: Where it's going
to go, Rob is to Canada.

I was really happy to see
Canada, future Canada.

I'm a, I am a proud Canadian myself,
and when they landed in Toronto and

identified it as Toronto, on the one hand
you're like well, yes, that makes sense.

That's where you're filming the show.

It's cheap to step outside your
front door and say, look, we're

in Toronto, and add a couple of CG
enhancements to make it look futuristic.

But otherwise, it's pretty
much Toronto of today.

But you know, so often we go to
other parts of the world in Star Trek

and it's great to get a canonical
glimpse of future metropolitan Canada.

I was tickled by that.

Rob: Well, Toronto has become sort of
like Hollywood of the North, as it said.

So many TV shows do shoot up there,
like the Arrowverse series, like

the Flash and Arrow and all those
type of shows shot up in Toronto.

I think that line of James, T.

Kirk saying, oh, it's New York,
was a little bit of a meta

reference to the fact of Toronto
has played New York so many times.

Because it does have its own
sentient presence, of course it

must have been relieved to, for
Toronto to finally play itself.

Kevin: There, there was an interesting
line by our fake Romulan later when she's

helping them out at the traffic stop and
like doing some fast talking from the side

of the street to get them outta trouble.

And she says, you're discriminating
against him as an American.

And I was like, wow.

What are we meant to believe is going on
in the 2050s here with Canada and America?

Like the are Americans truly
discriminated against north of the border?

Or is that just something a Romulan spy
made up and hoped it would make sense?

Rob: A tantalizing taste
of, of what's to come.

But there was great odd couple
type of the team up between La'an

and Kirk and like they're having
to begrudgingly work together.

The more relaxed Kirk with the
more focused and determined La'an.

Hot dogs were involved with no
sauce or mustard or anything.

Kevin: Yeah, it was weird.

I said out loud, aren't you
gonna have some mustard at least?

Uh, It was weird.

Rob: It was very weird.

And then we get a little, a little taste
of romance which I thought was handled

really well to get that all in 45 minutes.

It's a lot to cram in, but it was

Kevin: It was really good.

So much of this rests on the
performance by Christina Chong

as La'an, and she nailed it here.

Rob: She's incredible.

She's absolutely incredible.

Kevin: just want more La'an now.

I want this the Star Trek La'an show,
but at the same time like, this is

how you do it's, you look at Discovery
and you go, we, we, we wanna tell some

stories about someone who's not the
captain of a ship, at least not yet.

And so we will make it
Star Trek: Michael Burnham.

And it's all about Michael Burnham.

And Michael Burnham is effectively a
superhero in the Star Trek universe by

the end, and rises to Captain a ship.

And here it trades much more on
the strength of the performances

and the strength of the characters.

I don't need to feel like La'an is
on the fast track to a captaincy

in order for me to buy into a
story about her as a character.

And so I love this so much that Strange
New Worlds is getting a lot of mileage

out of its ensemble about individual
members of its ensemble because each

one of them is a strong enough actor
and a strong enough character that they

can carry a story all by themselves.

And I don't miss the rest of the cast.

I trust they'll be back next week.

And getting up close and personal with
La'an here, seeing her against her own

better judgment fall for the rascally
Jim Kirk here stranded in 2050s Canada.

I, I bought it hook, line, and sinker.

I loved it.

And it was heartbreaking at the
end when she lost everything

and was alone in her grief and
couldn't talk to anyone about it.

That last moment where she like puts
down the PADD switches off the call

with Kirk and just collapses into tears.

I was I was like, wow, she is good.


She is good.

Rob: Not bad for a um, British
actor who got her start in a

Matt Smith, Doctor Who era story.

A Good Man Goes to War.

She was amazing in that.

And it's good to see

Kevin: I have to go back and watch that.

I don't remember her in that at all.

Rob: Yeah.



She has a, a, a crucial part
within A Good Man Goes to War.

Now last time we had the
appearance of James T.


You had some thoughts on the performance.

How did you find this
return performance of Kirk?

Kevin: Look, it's much
the same for me here.

I do not see in his performance the
character that we got to know so

well as William Shatner's, James T.


And, love them or hate them,
those JJ movies, I felt like Chris

Pine did a version of James T.

Kirk that I recognized.

It felt like the same person to me.

He made choices from the
same emotional truth.

And I am not getting that from James T.


Here what I'm getting is
a character named James T.

Kirk who I like and I, I enjoy on screen.

I am there for this James T.

Kirk, and the stories we
will get to tell with him.

But I kind of have to do like a mental
rounding up of, okay, we're gonna

pretend this is the same person.

It doesn't feel like the same person,
but we will accept for the logic of

the story that they're the same person.

I don't know if we are gonna get there.

The actor has done some interviews
where he says he's deliberately

steered away from doing an
impression or an impersonation about

what has been done with James T.

Kirk in the past, and in part
this is a younger James T.

Kirk, who is still
growing to be the James T.

Kirk that we knew in the original series.

But it's still a bit of a gap for me.

I think it's not going to be resolved,
but it doesn't necessarily need to

be resolved for me to enjoy this
characterization for its own sake.

Rob: Yeah.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I felt that while watching this one,
I just went, yeah, he's an entity unto

himself and I can see the choices he's
making is not to emulate Shatner at all.

And I love the fact that they're leaning
into, even though they haven't actually

shared any screen time, I love how they're
leaning into his connection with Sam.

I'm just, they're going great.

That's great.

That's really good.

Now give them some screen time
together for heaven's sake.

Like just

Kevin: That moment of Sam's alive.

Rob: oh my

Kevin: now I can accept that your
timeline is the best timeline.

Cuz all we got to see of Sam
originally in the original series was,

Rob: A dead

Kevin: William Shatner lying dead
on the floor with a mustache.

Rob: And then at the end he comes back and
he goes, I'm just here to talk about Sam.

He goes, oh no.

What's Sam done?

What's he done?

Kevin: Yep.

It's it's really good.

That stuff's very satisfying for sure.

Rob: Beautiful little foreboding drop
and appearance of Carol Kane, Pelia

in, in, back in they had to do a, they
had to do some big travel to get from

Kevin: they did.

Like apparently Jim Kirk won a lot of
money in the park playing chess in order

to be able to bribe not once, but twice,
the border guards to cross the border

into the United States, which uh, you know
I, kind of went, you went where and how

Rob: And a re and a really
good hotel room as well.

That's a penthouse

Kevin: Yeah, that was a nice hotel.

I wanna know where that hotel is.

I wanna stay there.

Rob: But yeah, it was,

Kevin: Pelia was delightful and
that whole scene was entertaining

enough that I just went with it.

I was like, yeah, I don't believe
that you made it across the

border with the resources at your
disposal, but I want to believe.

Rob: And as soon as, yeah, Carol Kane
shows up, all is right with the world.

Are you warming to Pelia more now?

After, after.

Kevin: Yeah she's, she's no less weird.

But I'm starting to have
fun with the weirdness.

Her accent is absurd, but so consistent.

Like there are so many things going
on there that it could just be a

mess that changes from week to week.

But she is zeroed in on something that
is both like at 11 in terms of absurdity,

but also rock solid, consistent,
that the character does not change.

The character is the character.

And so I am on board with Pelia now.

Rob: And, and Kevin, you have just
hit on the secret ingredient that

has made Carol Kane the success She
has been for nearly 40 years, or over

Kevin: Weird accents.

Rob: We well, yeah, she
got her big break on Taxi.

She was brought in as Andy
Kaufman's love interest, I'm doing

in inverted commas, from the same
made up country that Andy Kaufman's

mechanic was, and she matched him.

So that was a character he, his foreign
guy was a character just created by Andy

Kaufman and Carol Kane was brought in.

He go, you have to copy something that
is so unique and specific to Kauffman.

And she did, and it was near
the tail end of Taxi, so it was

fading, but she was incredible.

And she's done weird accents in all
pretty much everything she does, like

her work in Princess Bride, her work in
Fairytale Theater, her work in Scrooged.

You just accept, you get a hundred
percent commitment and you get weird,

bold, incredible choices that work
because of her commitment to that.

Kevin: The writing around
her character is great too.

I just love the choice
of, I'm not an engineer.

This isn't an engineer's workshop.

What are you talking about?

And of course, when you live that
long you go through multiple careers.

Uh, So very good.

I when La'an came back and Pelia
was on the bridge there, I was

like, do you recognize her?

Do you remember her?

Uh, No.

She's she was pretty drunk in that scene.

I, she probably doesn't
remember her at all.

Probably forgot her 10 minutes after they

Rob: I am looking forward to going
back and rewatching and over-analyzing

that final scene to go, is she looking?

Is that a knowing look?

Is that not, or is that
just a drunken look?

Yeah, and of course it wasn't that much of
a shock, but it was a shock moment of that

Kirk being killed off from that timeline.

Kevin: That whole,
yeah, that, that got me.

The Romulan spy, Sera
was delightful as well.

She played it, she played a character
that for some reason I could buy

that she was a Romulan agent, but at
the same time was not doing any of

the arch high status villain stuff
that you normally see from Romulans.

I don't know it was just the pale
skin and dark hair that made me think

Romulan, but whatever it was, there was
something Romulan about her that when it

was revealed, I was like, I'm an idiot.

Of course, that's Romulan spy.

But but at the same time, such an
interesting we didn't get to spend a

lot of time with her, but there was
more there than was on the script page.

And that's a testament to
the work the actor was doing.

Rob: And that leads to the final climactic
moment, of course, where La'an gets

to meet her descendant, and we get to
see the child version of one of the,

biggest and most infamous villains
within Star Trek a child version of Khan.

Kevin: Yeah.

And as soon as the name plaque was on the
door and it said Khan, and my encyclopedic

brain for Star Trek facts is spinning
and going what Khan is behind that door?

Is it like a university professor?

Surely Khan is already off in sleep on
the Botany Bay by now, as far as we know.

So who is this Khan,
what's behind that door?

And then when they open it and
it's a young child, I'm like okay.

It's Baby Khan.

How can that make sense?

I want it to make sense, but I
can't figure out how it makes sense.

And then they're like, yeah, this
happens 50 years later than it used to.

Rob: Yeah, the Romulan had to wait around.

They went back to the nineties
and had to wait around.

Kevin: It's very interesting.

It's unexpected enough, it's a big enough
swing that like, I felt like if they made

a small change, the narcissism of minor
differences would have me more upset

about a small change that feels arbitrary.

A big change feels like,
okay, that's purposeful.

That takes us somewhere interesting.

A big change will have big
repercussions, and I wanna, I'm

curious what those are going to be now.

So I was willing to go along
with it, at least in the moment.

Rob: Yeah, and it was very much a
case of sci-fi doing what it's best

at is answering those big questions.

So everyone asked that if you had
the ability to go back in time,

would kill Hitler as a baby?

Kevin: Especially if
Hitler was your ancestor.

Rob: Yes, exactly.

And Hitler was a, augmented psychopath.

But it's also that case of, the ultimate
evil, what good comes out of that?

And so clearly we have seen a reality
in this alternate reality of where

the decision to kill Kahan when a
baby resulted in actually a worse

timeline for Earth and that universe.

So actually having the horrors
of what Khan did actually

results in a better future.

It's, yeah, all that

Kevin: it's a bigger, it's a bigger
version of City on the Edge of Forever

where Kirk has to let his girlfriend
die in a traffic accident in order

to restore the future timeline.

It's another ver bigger version of
that, and I really appreciated that

as an, as an echo of Star Trek's past.

Rob: Yeah, that whole combination
of a bigger ramifications.

But this is your family.

This is your

Kevin: The necessary evil, the
horrific, enormous, necessary evil.

Rob: So three episodes down
and two killer episodes.

Um, uh,

Kevin: I think this is my favorite so far.

They're going from strength to strength.

And if the season keeps building
like this, I don't know where

we're gonna be by the end.

I wanna know if we're gonna get more Kirk.

I think we've been given a hint that
there is more Kirk in the offing, but

this feels to me like the original story
that Paul Wesley was cast to be Kirk for.

My understanding is that his appearance
in the season finale of season one

was a thing they did after that, that
that was tacked on as a second idea.

And that originally he was cast
to appear as Kirk in season two.

Rob: Right.

Kevin: So I wonder how much more
of him we have in season two

Rob: Yeah.


I think he's working well within
the show and working with the cast

and they're definitely enjoying
the development of where they, what

they can do with uh, this character.

Kevin: So let's talk about course
corrections or timeline changes in Star

Trek history, things that were changed
to hopefully make things make more sense

that may have rankled fans in the process.

Rob: The dreaded R word, retcon.

Kevin: Retcon!

The retrospective continuity story.


Rob: Look doing this podcast has
finally rubbed off on me and I'm

stepping outside of my comfort zone
more often, more regularly now,

because I think it, it's a disservice.

It's not a disservice to Deep Space
Nine because I love it so much, but

it is a disservice to this podcast and
our dear listeners and your good self

that I don't spread my wings a bit.

So I have returned, I have gone back.

To the place that I went to last week.

I have gone back to Enterprise.

Kevin: Hey, I think we
picked the same stuff, Rob.

So we're gonna, we're gonna
have a great conversation.

Rob: gonna be looking at, and I
hope you're looking at as well

Kevin: Yeah.

Rob: The two part story
from season four, Affliction

Kevin: Affliction and Divergence yeah.

Rob: where they decided to answer
the question that nobody really

wanted to answer and nobody
really wanted the answer to.

And everyone was very happy with how
it was answered as a throwaway line in

Deep Space Nine Trial & Tribble-ations.

But they went and did it anyway.

Why the hell did the Klingons look
different in the original series

than they do in the movies and the
subsequent nineties TV shows and on

Kevin: Yes.

So for those of you who may be catching
up here, in the 1960s when Star Trek,

the original series was made, Klingons
were largely played by white actors

with lots of bronzer on their face in
a choice that would not stand up to

scrutiny in today's modern sensibilities.

And they had maybe some extra big eyebrows
and extra fumanchu mustaches on but they

were mainly like human looking people
with dark complexions and bigger hair.

And then when the movies came
along and the budgets got bigger,

the Klingons were reimagined with
forehead ridges and armor and and

everything else they've got going on.

And and teeth, yes, scraggly teeth.

No ears for a long time until we finally
saw Worf's ears here in the last season

of Star Trek: Picard, satisfying the long
running question of do Klingons have ears.

That change, Gene Roddenberry famously
said, I don't think we need to explain it.

People are intelligent.

They knew, they know,
we got some more money.

We decided to use it to
do something interesting.

That is meant to be how
Klingons were all along.

Rob: Yeah.

Kevin: In our imaginations.

And it just, the historical document
that we were making with Star Trek did

not have enough money to fully represent
Klingons to their full fidelity.

And we are asked to squint and
blur our vision and understand

that, that's what they were
trying to represent all this time.

Rob: Suspension of disbelief.

Kevin: Yeah, but there were just
enough fans who always asked the

question, why were they different?

Is there a story there?

Could there be a story there?

Maybe it would be interesting
for there to be a story there.

And they teased us with it
in Deep Space Nine, Trials

& Tribble-ations, you mentioned.

Rob, do as

Rob: Very well, very beautifully handled.

To celebrate 30 years of Star Trek during
Deep Space Nine's fifth season the crew

of the Defiant are sent back to the
original series time where the Tribbles

episode is happening and they need to
stop a bomb within a Tribble going off

and changing the course of history.

And while they're there, they
get all clothed up like they're

in the original series era.

Worf has to put on cossack clothing
to hide his bumps and stuff.

And they're sitting down at a cafeteria on
the base and O'Brien, Odo and Bashir look

over and they go, oh they're Klingons.

And they go, what?

And then they look back at Worf and
he just rather uncomfortably going, we

do not talk about it with outsiders.

And that's it.

And that's it.

And they just move on.

Kevin: Genius.

Rob: I've been watching a lot
of online docos and fan stuff

about about that type of stuff.

And cuz during this time Ronald D.

Moore, who went on to do
Battlestar Galactica was working

on Deep Space Nine at the time.

He goes, it doesn't need an explanation.

That's it.

That's enough.


Kevin: that's better than any
explanation we could tell.

It was the kind of the idea.

And there was no escaping it either.

Like the conceit of the episode
is they used the old footage from

the original series and placed
our modern characters into it.

And as long as you were gonna have a
Worf on screen alongside those sixties

Klingons, the question had to be asked.

Otherwise, all of our characters
would look irrational.

So the fun thing was they're like,
yeah, let's turn it into a joke,

because that is more satisfying than
attempting to explain this thing.

And it was great for quite a
few years until, um, you know,

Enterprise was looking for story
ideas in its fourth season.

Rob: I found it very interesting.

I did, I knew very little about Enterprise
obviously, cuz I haven't seen much of it.

But watching these docos online have
been really fascinating to find out

about season four especially cuz
they Pillar and Bragga had moved on.

They had a new showrunner, the budget
from UPN the Paramount LED network that

Enterprise was the flagship on cut the
budget to from 1.7 million dollars an

episode to like, 800,000 or whatever.

So one of the budgetary restraints,
and what they did is they decided

to make pretty much every episode
a two or three, a two-parter.

So therefore, to cut down on.

Hiring of actors using the same sets,
same makeup, all that type of stuff.

So we get a two-parter, which should
have been a one parter exploring

how the Klingons looked human.

Kevin: I have been bemoaning
the state of Enterprise in some

recent episodes of this podcast.

But to research this, I watched a
significant amount of season four

Enterprise, and I have to say, despite
the budget cuts, despite the sense

that this show was on its last legs
before cancellation, I have to say I

enjoy season four of Enterprise more
than any other part of Enterprise.

in a sense, they were kind of in a,
we have nothing to lose state here.

There was the fresh fresh hand at the
wheel with Manny Coto as showrunner,

and he was a Star Trek fan and he knew
what Star Trek fans love is finding

cracks in the canon to tell stories from.

And that is what season four is from
beginning to end after they resolve the

weirdness of being trapped in World War
II at the start of the season, they bring

us back and then the rest of it is, let's
go to Vulcan and learn some stuff about

Vulcans that we've never learned before.

There's a three parter about Arik Soong,
a descendant of Khan Noonien Soong and

a precursor to the Soong that creates
data, and it is connected to this episode.

We get a three-part story about
Augments and and a Augment

crisis that happens here.

Rob: And we get our mirror universe
story as well in season four.

Kevin: And those things are all, each
of them by themselves and together are

examples of stronger, more confident
storytelling, taking bigger swings

than I think Enterprise had done
in any of its three first seasons.

Rob: Yeah, I've heard I've heard
season three is actually a good

course correction and so like a
series arc, which is quite good.

And season four was sort of like
ramping up that quality as well.

There was just running on fumes and
so the show already had plans for what

they were gonna do with season five.

They were gonna, alter the Enterprise
to look a bit more like the,

the original series Enterprise.

They were gonna bring on Jeffrey
Combs's character as a regular.

They had that going, that everyone
wanted it to happen, except the

entire viewing audience and UPN cuz
Star Trek it had been going for,

what, 15 years in this new format.

And at the start of, the noughties
new TV shows and new formats were

filling up that genre quota.

Kevin: Yeah I think it is somewhat of
a shame that two-parter about Klingons'

mutation is probably the weakest story
here in season four of Enterprise.

Having watched it, I had
trouble sitting through it.

I had trouble maintaining my
attention for two full episodes.

By the end, I wasn't entirely sure
what had happened with Phlox and the

Klingon scientists and the virus.

And my understanding is what happens
here ultimately is that the Klingons

have gotten hold of the Augment virus.

It's very interesting to me that this
story has us understand that the same

genetic modifications that enabled
Augments to become the threat that they

became on Earth was used in an attempt
for, Klingons were feeling we need to keep

up with these humans if they're gonna make
Augments, we need to make super Klingon

Rob: If, If two augments
could take down an entire

Kevin: Yeah.

As they do in the three parter
about augments with Brent Spiner.


And in the end, Phlox manages to
defang this virus and go, it will

now complete its first phase, which
is it takes your forehead, ridges

away and makes you look human.

But it will not do its second phase,
which is give you superpowers.

And so now there is this, rampant
defanged virus that is gonna sweep

through Klingon society and make
a bunch of flat skinned Klingons.

Rob: Uh, you're watching it go.


So this is where they explain
it, but they actually don't.

It is so complicated.

So it's not just that story, it's the
story of Trip going on to the Columbus.

It's got the story of Malcolm Reed and

Kevin: It's the Columbia, I believe,

Rob: Yeah.

And Malcolm Reed's allegiance
to, yeah, section 31.

But they went, okay,
so let's explain this.

It was the augments thing, but then it got
infected by the flu, which made it change.

And then it has three stages, and
the first stage isn't contagious,

but the next stage is, and
then the final stage is death.

And then there's this,
and then there's that.

And then we have to do this, but
then we have to put it into a human,

and then we have to take it out of
a human and put it here, and then we

Kevin: And then flocks double crosses
him and says he is gonna do one

thing and he does the other thing.


It's just so many layers and it feels
like all of these confusing back flips

are in service of cramming a story
into the cracks of canon and making

it link to as many things as possible.

And it is not worth it in the end.

Which I think brings back to, brings
us back to that original sentiment

by Gene Roddenberry of is more
interesting not to worry about it.

Rob: And going, and we'll try
and explain it, but we will still

leave some things up in the air.

So I'm there going, what have I
just put up with for 90 minutes?

Like they're there going, right?

So this is gonna be passed on
to our children for generations.


But then I can go into cosmetic surgery.

Oh, there'll be a lot of need for that.

I'm going, what does this mean?

What does any of this mean?

It's just

Kevin: and and what is, what is the
impact on the characters we care about?

Next to nothing.

Rob: Yeah, the, there's
stuff in there I like.

Scott Bakula was a lot better
in this than he was in Judgment.

And that whole essence of why they did
it in that time period was that they

were closer to our version of humanity.

So they're a little bit
more rough around the edges.

So Archer is a lot more
aggressive and emotional when

it comes to you betrayed me.

You wouldn't have that type of loss of
control really with a Picard or a Janeway.

They have that anger, but still keep
it, that elevated level of the future.

And Billingsley was incredible as Phlox.

He's amazing.

That energy that he has a countermand
to what Neelix was who was meant to be a

buffoon, but that was just an to cover the
fact that he is actually quite devious.

But they lost that, and they
just made Neelix a buffoon.

In this the outer shell of Phlox's
chipper nature belies underneath,

he's a dedicated surgeon and a serious
man and a very intelligent man.

And Billingsley plays that beautifully.

There's a great line when they
talk about their family and their

backgrounds, and he goes, so every
male of your species has three wives

and every wife has three husbands?

That must make mating complex.

And he goes, Wondrously so.

And I'm going, Yeah!

Kevin: Yeah,

Rob: There's some great stuff in there.

I actually like Trip.

Trip has actually, actually grew on me.

I'm there going, I like this
character and I know what happens

to him is a cheap payoff and there
going him and T'Pol, I don't get

Kevin: This place where he and T'Pol
find themselves of the post will

they, won't they, where T'Pol has
had to go through with an arranged

marriage and Trip is look, I'm
gonna need some space and some time.

Rob: But it just get, it gets so caught
up in going, we wanna explain stuff, but

we're gonna over connect everything like
you said, to the Augments and to Soong.

And, but then we don't want to go too
specific cuz we still wanna leave a

bit of vaguary cuz there's still a
hundred years worth of evolution before

we get to the original series and I'm
there going, it's just utter nonsense.

Kevin: The preceding episodes, the three
parter, Borderland, Cold Station 12, and

The Augments is much more interesting.

There is a bit of Star Trek II cosplay
going on, like the group of Augments

that Arik suing has raised from babies
and like he, there are scenes where

he's like leading a classroom and it's
a bit, it's a bit Jedi Academy sort

of thing but low budget and a, as they
grow up, they all get holes in their

clothes so that like they, they look
like those scruffy eighties ruffians

that you get to see in Star Trek II.

But they are all wearing the exact same
clothes with the exact same holes in

the exact same places, to the point
where it's almost a fashion choice, but

it looks like an impractical one where
they must be cold a lot of the time.

Especially the love interest of the
Augments, she has some, very prominent

gaps in her upper chest clothing,
let's say uh, that, that are there

to keep the male viewers interested.

But apart from those bits of like
awkwardness, this story is interesting.

I think Arik Soong is interesting,
seeing Brent Spiner play a completely

unlikable, unsympathetic ancestor of his.

It's way more interesting than
it is when they do it in season

two of Star Trek: Picard.

They do it more effectively
here, they do more with him.

It's, it is enjoyable to watch Brent
Spiner want to believe in these

Augments and say, look, they've,
they're just prejudiced against it.

They can be better than us.

They can be the future.

And then one by one as the dominoes fall
and they betray him as their father and

he is forced to reckon with the fact that
they are an unstoppable force of evil that

he is going to have to turn his back on.

That is an interesting turn for
Brent Spiner as a guest star

and it's most there on screen.

The fact that this was a strong enough
series of episodes, I think is in part

why they wanted to pick up that thread
and go, oh, and some of that Augment

virus gets out and we're get to tell a
story about the Klingons because of it.

Unfortunately, that is a weaker story.

If you were going to be inspired by this
week's episode of Strange New Worlds and

the story about the Augments shifting
in the timeline, I would suggest the

thing to watch would be this three
parter of Borderland, Cold Station 12,

and The Augments with Brent Spiner.

Rob: Yeah.

Other notable things about Affliction
and Divergence is some of the cast.

We have James Avery, who a
lot of people would know from

the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

He plays one of the king
on Klingon generals.

He's really good at it.

They bring back dear old John
Schuck, who we know as the

ambassador from Star Trek IV.

There shall be no peace
as long as Kirk lives.

Kevin: Very recognizable voice that
like the first thing he says with

any emotion in it, you go, hang on.

I know that emotion.

Rob: And of course a huge Star Trek
fan and creator of Family Guy, and also

lead and creator of uh, The Orville.

One of the second best tributes
to Star Trek after Galaxy Quest,

of course, seth McFarlane is there

Kevin: Yeah.

It's weird now that we, he's gone on to
be the captain of the ship in The Orville,

it's really weird seeing him here.

It is hard not to read him as
the captain of The Orville who

is in his spare time watching a
holodeck program about Enterprise.

Rob: Yeah.

That you, yeah.

When anything comes to Enterprise and
you see someone familiar going, oh,

it's just Riker again in the final
episode, this is another cop out thing.

I like the smaller confine nature of this.

I love how like the engine room,
it feels like the engine room of a

submarine or or like the engine room of
Firefly where it's just you have you so

crammed in and all that type of stuff.

I love that type of field that they
got a gist of, and they could have gone

further, but I think they were tied
down by the era they were in, which

is always a problem with Star Trek.

Kevin: So I guess looking back in my
mind on this less successful example of

the show saying there is a question in
canon and we can turn that into a story.

I think what we saw in Strange New
Worlds this week, and it is fresh

evidence in my mind of just how good
a job the writers behind Strange

New Worlds are doing is they did the
same trick, but they did it better.

They said, we are going to
acknowledge and address a question

in canon, but we're not going to go
so far as to explain it to death.

To create a big two-parter around
explaining away these intricacies

of canon questions that most of our
audience is not aware of and doesn't

care about and ultimately does not
impact the characters we care about.

Instead, they said, okay,
there is that question there.

We are going to answer it, but
the story we're gonna tell is

going to be impactful to La'an.

And that comes first.

We are not gonna give you all the details.

We're gonna say, it shifted.

This Romulan had to wait around.

That's all you need to know.

And way stronger way of approaching it.

So yeah, that's really all I had
Rob this, five episodes here in

the fourth season of Enterprise.

That to me is the one big example
I had of the showrunners trying

to course correct in canon.

Did you have anything else
you wanted to talk about?

Rob: I do.

I went back to, I did a
bit of research into it.

I was fascinated by it cause I had never
actually seen the original episode.

We've talked about it a little bit,
but I wanted to look at the retconning,

slash evolution of the Trill.

So I've been watching a bit of stuff about
behind the scenes of Deep Space Nine.

I went back and actually watched The
Host from season four of Enterprise and

to see that shift and change, where it
started from a practical point of view

and whether it's been explained or not,
cuz the Trill in their first appearance

in season four of The Next Generation
have the same elements but do evolve

and change and retcon quite a lot when
they first appear as Jadzia Dax in

the first episode of Deep Space Nine.

Kevin: Yeah, it's fascinating
that it's remarked upon less.

I don't hear fans like decrying,
when are you gonna explain the Trill?

But when you go back and watch
that episode, like the actor has a

very prominent forehead appliance
on, and I believe it's established

they can't use the transporter
because of the symbiont relationship

Rob: Yep.

So basically in this episode
there's Odan, who's the Trill.

They're very mysterious species.

We don't know much about them.

He's an ambassador brought in and his
father helped broker this peace deal

years ago between these two colonies
on on a sister planet of this race.

Odan is very much against transporters
despite the fact that would be safer

to get him onto the surface of the
planet because taking transports,

they're susceptible to intercepting
ships and all that type of stuff.

It's during the course of that
they're attacked going down

the runabout with a Riker.

Riker's in this a lot.

Riker is putting himself
on the line a lot.

And Odan reveals that they can't do
any surgery on him because there's

some sort of parasitic thing within
him and going, no, that is Odan.

Kevin: By this point in the story, he and
Beverly Crusher have got a thing going on

Rob: Yes, they've been seeing each
other for a little bit, it appears.

And so there's a weird
awkward it's awkward.

It's like seeing your parents flirting

Kevin: For some reason it is
often awkward when Beverly Crusher

falls in love with someone.

We, I don't think we have yet
seen the non awkward version of

Rob: I was just grateful
it wasn't a ghost.

Kevin: Yeah, that's right.

Rob: But the scene in the turbolift where
Odan and Beverly are there talking and

Data, oh Data not being able to read the
room going let's do all this work now.

And they're trying to go let's get
the kid away so we can have some fun.

Anyway Beverly does not know about the
Trill having the symbian inside and falls

in love with Odan, but Odan isn't really

Kevin: No one knows it.

You get the sense it's a bit of
a secret, like speaking of, we

don't discuss it with outsiders.

That is the sense you get about
the trill is that it is secret

information that they are carrying
a symbiont around inside themselves.

Rob: And this is where, yeah.

So the first big thing is the Trill has
the usual Star Trek heightened forehead

things on their front as opposed to
the beautiful dots that appear on, uh,

Kevin: no dots.


Rob: No dots.

And and then we find out that unlike
how it evolves in Deep Space Nine,

where the personality of the host is
primary and they keep the memories

within the symbiont as well, in
this, the hosts are just shells.

And as soon as Riker offers to
be the human that Riker is gone.


And there was a moment where Odan in
Riker's body is talking to Picard,

and he says a line, Riker says a
line of reassurance, and Picard

goes, you reminded me of Will Riker
then and Odan almost is insulted.

Kevin: Yeah,

Rob: that it's and though, right?

And it's very binary.

It's very old school right at
the end where it's agonizingly

hetero in its description.

Right at the end, Beverly goes,
oh, it's the new host here.

And Worf goes, yes.

She goes, bring him in.

And Worf goes, uh, and turns
around and the new host's a woman.

Kevin: Yeah.

Look, I don't know if, if I am wrong
about this, if I still need to evolve on

this, but I can still see a truthful human
story In that twist that I think is not

unkind to Beverly Crusher as a character.

I can believe that someone, the way they
experience love is somewhat affected by

the physicality the physical gender of
the person you are falling in love with.

And I, I could see it feels interesting
to me, it is at least a shade of gray

for Beverly Crusher to go, I want to
go there, but I can't, I am not, I

am not flexible enough to go there.

Rob: She said, I'm not ready.

I'm not evolved yet.

That's, it's beautifully written.

But it's, she's more than happy to,
succumb to her love if it's gorgeous

Jonathan Flakes and his beard.

But yes the thing that cuz I, my
first in introduction with the

Twill was in Deep Space Nine.

So I am used to that, and it's quite
well explained in last week's episode

we talked about Dax, where they explain
the Symbiont and update it really.

And I like the idea of the new
host, their personality is crucial.

And I'd watching the Host with NextGen,
I felt uncomfortable at even the

actress who came in at the end to be
the host was pretty much just playing

it blank, like they had no personality.

Kevin: Empty husk reporting for duty.

And it was meant to be that way.

As a one-off alien of the week,
it was meant to be challenging

in that way that this, to our
human sensibilities seems immoral.

And yet a truly alien species
would probably be immoral in

some, in, in numerous ways.

And so we are challenged by that.

And that challenge is interesting.

But if you're then going to create a
character that we are meant to embrace

emotionally week to week and invest
in, you want to strike a different

balance there, which is why I think
it did need to evolve for Jadzia Dax.

The question is, is the change
too much for you as a fan?

Does it bother you that these two
iterations of the Trill are so different?

But we are asked to accept
that they are the same.

Rob: No.

Cuz I can see how things evolve.

It's and anytime creators of shows
have too much control to go back

and explain it, doesn't always
work, as we've talked about.

And it's happened in
other franchises as well.

Kevin: If we could do it all again, my
advice in hindsight would be come up with

a different name for Jadzia's species.

Make the, make it another symbiont
species that is different.

It's the Troll, not the
Trill, whatever it is.

That I think the the connection
to NextGen canon did not give us

enough that it was worth doing that.

And I suspect in hindsight, that's
what would've been the choice.

But it's so easy to say in hindsight.

Rob: And especially evolved as well the
nature of the Trill and even the nature

of Jadzia, like even what we saw in
episode eight, Terry Farrell's doing a

great job, but she's still playing it.

How they originally thought: play
her as this noble, honorable, a young

woman beyond her years type stuff.

And then as they evolved, they went, let's
bring a bit of Terry Farrell into this.

Let's make Jadzia wise-cracking and fun
loving and, likes to drink and gamble, and

has a personality as opposed to playing
the noble sage in a young person's body.

Let's have all that noble sage experience,
but in, a young person living and

that's where Jadzia really takes off.

The word Symbiont for
me is a collaboration.

And whereas in Host it's very much
a case of the host is a husk and it

is very alien and I accept that for
what it is from what you said as well.

But I love that cohabitation and that
working together and how the host and the

Symbiont work as one and the Dax stays.

So the Dax is the symbiont, but
then the name of each of them.

I love that culture.

I love how that evolved
and it became alien.

But it, and it became this unifying
type of presence, which I really dug

in later episodes, which they carried
on with one of the few episodes of

Discovery I liked with the Trill character

Kevin: Forget Me Not, with
the introduction of Adira.

Kudos to Discovery for not falling like
into that trap of, oh, we want to have

a Trill character, but there's this open
question about the Trill, so we're gonna

spend two episodes explaining it to death.

I'm glad they didn't do that.

Like the, the approach they're taking
with the Trill still feels like in,

in that it's just a TV show territory.

Rob: It was beautiful in that
Discovery one, how she stands there

with all her previous hosts around
her, and they kind of unified and

shared this experience together.

They never really did that
within Deep Space Nine.

You had, obviously the personalities in
that episode come through each of the

crew of Deep Space Nine inhabited it.

So, yeah, Nana Vista plays an old format
of it, and she's like an old nana.

And the serial killer appears in, I think
it was Avery Brooks's in Sisko's body.

Anyway, that type of stuff I like those
extensions of the Trill species cuz

they're, like I talked about last week,
there's a lot of connections to Doctor

who within the justification of it and
but more of a Star Trek kind of way.

And I've always got a
soft spot for the Trill.

Kevin: At the end of the day,
there are surprisingly few of these

surviving inconsistencies in Star Trek.

These things occasionally
rise to the surface.

I think like warp 10 and like warp 10
is this barrier that we can't go across.

And if you go at warp 10, you're at every
point in the universe at once and Voyager

to its peril, attempted to tell a story
inspired by that seeming inconsistency.

But mostly Star Trek's done a pretty
good job of not contradicting itself

over the years, and even when it does
not getting too distracted by it.

Rob: Yes.



Yeah, this has been a good exploration
of of those type of recons and where

they work and where they don't.

Kevin: All right.

I'll see you next week until then,
see you around the galaxy, Rob.

Rob: Until then.