Trek In Time

Matt and Sean talk about the interwebs… in space… and what to do when you want to talk TO social media.

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Matt and Sean talk about the interwebs… in space… and what to do when you want to talk TO social media.

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What is Trek In Time?

Join Sean and Matt as they rewatch all of Star Trek in order and in historical context.

Hey, everybody welcome to trek in time. This
is the podcast that takes a look at star trek

in order and in history what we're doing is
taking a look at each episode of star trek

in chronological order. So we've started way
back when in Enterprise we're still in the

first season we're making our way to the end.
We can see the finish line from where we're

standing. We're also taking a look at how
things were in the world at the time of the

original broadcasts and then taking a deeper
dive sometimes into something about the episode

or sometimes something about the air in which
it was broadcast but it's always something

that catches our eye. And the eyes that are
doing the catching. Well that's me sean farrell

I'm a writer I read some sci-fi I write some
picture books with me is Matthew my Brother.

He's the tech guru and inquisitor behind the
Youtube channel undecided with Matt farrell

which takes a look at emerging tech and its
impact on our lives. We get in today's episode

just a quick reminder. You can directly support
this podcast by going to trek in time show

and there you will see a yawning chasm of
a black hole. You can throw some coins in

there. It goes through a warm hole that ends
up with us.

That's right.
Even if you're not able to do that. Even if

all you can do is listen and subscribe and
share us with your friends all of that really

does help the channel. Thank you so much for
being here with us Matt how you doing I'm

doing okay looking forward to talking about
this 1 We've had a.

I'm doing pretty good how about yourself.
Run in the middle of the season that felt

like oh boy and and we made our way through.
We're into the final episodes of the season

and these are ones that are feeling very star
trek to me so I'm enjoying the last week's

episode and this week's episode very much.
Yeah, like.

Before we get into the new episode which is
Vox Sola Matt you have some stuff to share

with us on listener feedback.
Yeah, from the ah episode about the oasis.

It's where they found the holograms that were
kind of helping to raise the the young woman

from pillgo sixty nine. You can have stakes
without danger or a threat of violence the

whole invulnerable Hologram thing was danger.
But it didn't raise the stakes. The stakes

didn't even have to be on the crew. The survivors
could have been in danger from a geologic

ah event or an astral body that's going to
crash into the planet or even just the survivors

making a paranoid suicide pact as their mystery
gets unraveled. Thought there was a really

good take. It's like there were so many different
ways that episode could raise the stakes where

they're really were on entire episode.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, it literally revolved around

the young woman's father saying I don't want
to leave and if anybody's dealt with yeah.

Um, exactly high stakes I don't want to go.
If anybody's dealt with parents who are reluctant

to move into retirement communities. You know
what? that's like but so today's episode we're

gonna be talking about vox sola matt what's
the synopsis for this episode.

When a strange symbiotic Alien Creature boards
the enterprise and captures several crew members

is up to ensign Hoshi Sato to decipher the
creature. The creature's complex language.

That's a odd synopsis.
Yes, it is a strangely Riton synopsis. We've

been getting our synopses via wikipedia. Maybe
it's time to start revising the synopses from

wikipedia because the. Grammar is sometimes
confusying so voxola this episode was aired

on may first 2002 it was enjoyed by 5 point
four million viewers. This is up a little

bit from previous weeks. Still lower than
the high point of the season. It was directed

by Roxanne dawson who of course was torres
from voyager this is her second directorial

spin on enterprise and the story is by Brannon
braga and Decker fred decker being the writer

who took over writing the teleplay. He also
wrote the and dorian incident. So I think

what we're seeing here is a pattern of good
writing from Mr. decker and what was going

on in the world at the time this landed. Well
we were all dancing our fannies off mat. Think

you'll remember as I do that we were enjoying
the song ain't it funny by j lo and ja rule

and I'm sure we're all happy as of this recording
that j lo and Ben a flecherbeck together.

I Have no response for that.

You have no response I thought you were gonna
let out a big woohoo and the top movie of

the week when this episode aired was once
again, the scorpion king it added another

18 million to the 36 million it
Ah, yeah.

Received in its first week in the theaters.
You'll all remember that this is the dwayne

quote the rock close quote Johnson's first
lead in a movie and on television. Well we

were all watching csi. 26000000 of us I was
not 1 of those 26 million I don't know if

you were so you're to blame.
I was I just watched the I just watched the

new premiere of Csi Vegas because they rebooted
the show and oh boy, not good.

As ja rule would say it's murder and in the
news continuation of the sadder storylines

that we've been dealing with from previous
weeks. The midi's crisis was continuing u

s was trying to work. With saudi arabia to
bring peace to the middle east especially

around israel and the pressure on the palestinian
communities there arafat was being pressed

and prime minister sharon in Israel was the
power figure on that side and was the player

that the us was trying to work with. Course
those talks would continue and still continue

to this day but I wanted to focus on a lighter
news story from the new york times on this

day which is I felt trek related in the sense
that it's dealing with the hubble telescope.

Headline being telescope opens window on dawn
of the universe using its new main camera

the rejuvenated hubble space telescope has
produced a sunning set of images of dynamic

processes in the far reaches of the universe
scientists said today in some of the first

pictures from the device. The advanced camera.
Surveys the telescope has produced clear images

of galaxies colliding and spewing trails of
stars in their wakes billowing pillars of

dust acting as star nurseries and enormous
gas fields splash with the colors of an abstract

painting and this was after the hubble telescope.
Needed effectively glasses it needed cataract

surgery. It went doorbit with a lens that
was the wrong shape and so it didn't work

as well as it was hoped and after they put
a giant contact lens on it well things shaped

Classes. Hidden.

I'm going to pause here to turn off my dehumidifier.
I don't know if you could hear that Matt okay,

do you want me to redo the thing or is that
something you could be taken out ignore it.

I could. It can't be taken out but we can
just I'll I'll bring it up to our. He'll be..

He'll be watching this Hopefully he can E
Q it out a little bit if it's if it's a problem.

So into this episode just quick hits before
we get into discussing the plot Matt were

you? What were your big picture thoughts on
this 1

I I know you like this 1 I thought it was
I thought it was good. Um, overall but it

was a little um it was a little slow for me,
but there was some really good character development

and there was some really good use of all
the characters in the bridge crew. Like some

good use of Sado some good use of you know
trip and the captain everybody kind of got

their moment except for the doctor but everybody
kind of got their moment and got to contribute

to solving the problem and that was something
that felt very star trek to me which was a

nice synergy between all the characters where.
Yeah, yeah.

And episodes that we've been complaining about
it's it's all about the captain or it's all

about different character or it's all about
saddo but it's poorly written it's this was

1 of the few that has happened recently where
it felt like everybody kind of got their due

in their fair shake which I really enjoyed.
Are right.

Yeah I also disagree with you slightly I think
even the doctor has a moment. It's I think

this is I think this is 1 of those episodes
where as you mentioned everybody gets their

moment and the moment stands up as being a
good 1 and it's a strong piece of writing

and I think it's also a strong piece of directing
I think that.

He does. It's It's small. Yeah.

This 1 Rex and Dawson demonstrates a lot of
of good skill behind the camera. It's I think

a very impressiveive directorial take on how
to put this all together. But let's start

here with the beginning of the episode sometime
in late January Twenty One fifty 2 Onboard

The enterprise there is a diplomatic kfluffle.
It is. They're referred to as the kretasans

and they are pissed. They are effectively
ah bull rushing the airlock to get off the


While being pursued by most of the bridge
crew including Sado who is trying desperately

to figure out what their how to get their
language to be processed by the universal

translator lot of complications in doing this.
She's saying things like something about.

Eating something about mouths something about
reproduction. It's very confusing as to what

is happening but they are clearly upset and
they get to the exit they demand their way

off the ship archer lets them go with confusion
and hurt feelings all around and archer is.

Clearly not just upset but angry that this

is how this first contact situation has gone
and he goes back to his ready room and and

just basically sequesters himself back there
to deal with his his bad feelings then in.

1 of the cargo holds. There are a couple of

crewmen who are working on something and there's
a power loss in a and a storage facility and

it's crewman's rostoff and kelly and quick
side note and we've had this happen a couple

of times in previous episodes. It's going
to continue. More as we move forward through

all of the episodes star trek always has interesting
casting going on and in this episode we have

crewman kelly who sadly doesn't have that
many lines. She's got a few lines ah it's

renee e goldsberry who. Broadway fans may
remember is the tony award-winning actress

from hamilton who played angelica schyler
skyler so this is an impressive guest artist

at a very early stage in her career up to
this point she had had.

Minor roles in tv shows including a recurring

role on allie mcbeal as a backup singer in
fantasy sequences. So this is when she first

appeared on camera in this episode I did a
big double take because I was just like.

Yeah, so did I.
Is that angelica should I be singing should

they all be singing. Are we gonna learn about
history turns out sadly that her lines are

all basically relegated to this first opening
scene and.

That's it.
She and krumen rostoff are working trying

to figure out what's causing the power loss.
We've seen when the Kretasan ship pulls away.

We see an alien entity sneak in the door of
the airlock just before it closes. So when

rostoff goes to check on the power loss. In
the storage room he finds goo he finds effectively.

It looks like ectoplasm and early on in this
episode I think this is another case where

it felt to me like they were almost using
horror imagery. As the end for the story the

in for the threat because the alien entity
right from the beginning looks very wispy

and it's all cgi. It's dated cgi I'm sure
you felt that way as well. That as you're

watching it like okay this is cgi in it and
it would be so much better if it were done

today. But.
Oh yeah, yep.

For the time they were pushing the boundaries
that they could I think it's very effective.

It's very alien. There are tendrils and what
look like layers of Wispy fiber. So it has

a very ghost like image.

So when rostov gets to this dark room and
he's walking around with a flashlight and

he finds what looks like a broken air vent
and a bunch of what looks like ectoplasm dropping

on the ground it starts to take on a sort
of horror movie feel. Yeah, the season has

you has.
This has happened a lot in the season. Yeah.

Has doubled down on the sort of Camp Fire
spooky story motif even when not directly

referencing it. There have been episodes where
they very clearly doubled down on it by having

somebody tell a gary story but in this 1 it
just seems to be an imagery that is evocative

so they've. Created this dark and spooky corner
of the ship where the Crewman turns the corner.

There's a tendril going around to a cargo
container and then something gets him something

grabs him.
This would actually be a perfect time to kind

of take a little detour on a little bit of
a deeper dive with fred decker who wrote this

episode because he wrote a handful of episodes
and then he basically disappeared from the

show and he was like 1 of the I think he was
a given producer credit on the show. Um.

Then then.

Season 1 and I found a fascinating article
that was a big deep dive interview with him

after the show was ended about his impressions
of working on the show and it was not positive.

Um, he basically unloaded in this article
basically saying.

When they brought him on he had had some successes

writing so horror movies and kind of like
campy bee movies that had had some success

and so on this show he came in and he was
basically as he put it I was particularly

excited about taking the edict of exploring
new life and new civilizations and really

running with that. Early on Brandon bragg
who co-created the show talked about enterprise

is something that would be weird and spooky
and I thought that sounded fantastic but apart

from a really really fine first season episode
from a first season episode that we produce

called fight or flight I don't think we ever
accomplished that.

My first meetings about enterprise I thought

we could create alien life forms that were
almost unimaginable sentient clouds every

new worlds and stuff like that. But in the
end we ended up like all previous incarnations

of star trek character actors with foam rubber
appliances speaking english and he went on

to say how the show. Promise of what lured
him to the job from Brand and braga and Berman

was we're going to do something different
here and in in his and the interview he talked

about how part way into the season they changed
the show which was originally called just

enterprise and they changed it to star trek
enterprise. And they were going back to ferringgi

and they were going back to enddorians they
were going back to all the tried and true

stuff and he kept he talked about how many
ideas he was throwing out there for script

ideas and they would just go nowhere and even
the ones he did write. He complained about

how much they were completely rewritten. By
braga himself that he he would just gut his

scripts. So even this this the episodes that
have his name on it. They aren't exactly his

script. They've been heavily rewritten to
make them more star treky and so he he basically

was just totally disillusioned with the whole
thing. He loved the actors he thought they

were. Amazing. But it's clear. He has a big
axe to crynd against ah Bragham beprint. Yeah.

And I don't blame him for that. That's it's
it's evident that the show through this first

season up to this point has definitely felt
like it's trying to find its way forward with

its eyes closed in a dark room and that's
unfortunate. It's. And this episode in particular

stands out as a strong episode that I wish
it had this season had had more like this

that really pushed into the weirdness of of
space. The alien entit that that they meet

it's refreshing that that's the focus of this
show and this this episode in particular I

wanted to point out. We've had other episodes
where you've got the a plot and the b plot

and the 2 of them have a pretty large gap
between them and it takes a little effort

at the end to tie them together this episode
the a plot and the b plot the b plot is effectively

focused in on sato where her concerns about
her capabilities. Her self-doubt is causing

tension between her and to paul that b storyline
is so critically interwoven into the a storyline

that it doesn't feel like it's a separate
storyline. It is a very strong focusing arc

everybody's getting a few moments in the episode.
She's getting the most. But it's so clearly

a strong b-line storyline that is interwoven
with the a it feels like 1 great plot and

thankfully it's about this alien entity that
is so foreign and wispy and ghost like as

opposed to it being about the cretaceans who

This is.
Exactly what decker complained about they

are human actors with foam faces and ultimately
the story around them is far less important

but but I also appreciate that when they come
back into the story. They are merely there

as a touch point but that they do play a role.
Every single part of this episode touches

that a plot and I think it's well well rendered
so they end up having K Crewman Rostoff who

then is followed by K Crewman Kelly. Who is
then followed by a whole cohort of people

going to figure out like why do people keep
disappearing disappearing in this room going

to the cargo area. It's captain archer Commander
Tucker Lieutenant Reid and another Crewman

and they all get taken by the entity. And
they quickly discovered that this entity not

only is it holding itself up in this cargo
room but it is growing so it is wrapping them

all in tendrils that seem very web-like and
parts of the creature. The tendrils have an

almost tentacle-like aspect to them. Other
parts of it just look like webbing and this

entity is getting bigger and bigger and it's
absorbing these people connecting them into

this web of itself and it won't be long before
Dr Flox realizes that there's something special

about these these creatures they are when
Reid flees The. Cargo Room. He's able to shut

the door behind himself and in doing so chops
off a tendril. So Now they're examining the

tendril and this is the flox moment that I
thought was so well Rendered. He's in a full

hazmat suit. He is conducting scientific experiments
inside this hazmat suit.

This is.
And dealing with a completely alien thing

they have never seen anything like this before
the tendril even though it's disconnected

from the main body is still moving around
on the table as he's trying to analyze it

and when it starts to climb up his arm. He
very calmly says Oh no, no more of that and

it's like he's talking.
Um, yeah.

To a rabbit that is refusing to stay in its
cage. It is such a pleasant little moment

that for me that stood up as like that was
enough like flocks got his moment so he's

looking at this thing and he and to paul.

Examining the data that they're getting from
this determined that this entity is not only

does it have intelligence but what it is doing
is slowly consuming the individuals that it

has captured so that they eventually will
become a part of it so it is critical that

they figure out how to free. Their fellow
crewmen before they get absorbed to the point

of no return at this point, there's an interest
in trying to communicate it with with it that

sado proposes. Maybe there's something about
the interference. She's been detecting in

her communications arrays. Maybe that white
noise she was picking up is actually something

that's created by the creature as a form of
communication. There's a little bit of weak

writing at this moment where sado isn't doing
anything else so to paul could very easily

say yeah, that's a great idea. Why don't you
look into that Meanwhile we're gonna go do

this other thing with light emitters.
Yeah, but he forces her to she forces him

to stop? yeah.
Because they know that the creature doesn't

like light. Yeah instead she's like no, don't
do that. We're going to go do this thing with

light they discover quickly that light would
in fact, harm the creature but the creature

in turn is then going to harm and potentially
kill the crew members who are captured so

they give up on that. Paul turns back to sado
and says hey you know that thing I told you

not to do go do it so now saddo and with the
assistance of de paul a very nice moment of

saddo turning to depa and asking for help
I thought that that was a great moment I think

that the 2 of them having conversations around.
Their interaction style sado is complaining

about the fact that she feels like she's being
second guested to paul explains I hold you

to a high standard because I believe that
high standard is where you belong and I believe

you should be there and you can be there.
That's what I mean that's why I respond in

the way I do so it's about Personalnel styles.
Personal conflict and getting through those

conflict through open communication really
having that moment of like can we check in

and figure out why we're rubbing each other
wrong in the the way we are meanwhile everybody

else is off doing things and there's a great
sequence where mayweather who has.

Been tasked with let's find those aliens because

the only place that this Alien life form could
have come from is when we were linked with

the crate Critasan Vessel mayweather. Not
only does he discover. Not only is he able

to figure out where the warp trail of this
other vessel. Is. He's able to lay in a course

and gets the enterprise on course to find
them and catch catch up to them and then on

his own. He's He's the only person on the
bridge when they respond to the hail and at

this point the cretaceans at this point have
figured out how to speak English so.

It has an entire conversation.
When he communicates with them and they are

suddenly turning and saying what do you want?
He literally looks around the bridge and a

beautiful moment looks around the bridge and
realizes I'm the commanding officer on deck

and he leads then the successful first contact
that archer was looking for the entire time.

Communicating with these people and the communication
is the theme of this episode if we all just

take a moment and talk about things and try
and figure out what are the differences that

we're having trouble with you can have a breakthrough
he discovers that the problem that they had

had with the humans was that. See eating as
being as private an act as reproduction. So

seeing people eat in public with something
so egregious that they couldn't even stay

in the room and I love this sequence maywether
having to apologize. Yes.

The apology he gives which is very genuine
and I love as soon as he gives that apology

the the cretace captains is like okay how
can I help you.

Yeah, What do you need? the Cretacean reveals.
Oh yeah, that creature we've seen it before

and he's very stunned and says oh we've seen
that before and it's on a planet. We Visited.

We didn't do this and mayweer very quickly
said we didn't think you did. But we need

to figure out where that planet is meanwhile.
There are multiple lines of research going

on with to Paul Insado investigating Communications
Reid talks to satto or to Paul about Yeah,,

there's this theoretical.

Force field that Starfleet has been looking
into so on his own. He's figuring out how

to rig up starfleet but using the specs from
Starfleet he's able to rig up a small emitter

so that now for the first time in our prize
we're seeing force fields. The shielding that

we're so accustomed to from all the other
series they're able to go into the cargo Bay.

Before before you go before you go into the

cargo Bay talking about communication and
the conflict between characters is another

really nice scene I thought was really good
between the doctor and Reid because Reid is

trying to fine tune the emitters to be able
to stop the creature without killing it. And

he goes into the Sick Bay is basically gonna
start zapping the little tendril they've got

and seeing how far he can push it without
killing it and the doctor basically stops

in front of him and says no I'm not gonna
let you basically torture this thing to do

this, you're gonna do this my way and the
2 of them have a really nice like. Vibrant

argument between the 2 of them but just like
you're saying communication is key they reach

that middle ground read like says. Okay I
will do it your way and they figure it out

So they do end up going into the cargo bay

they set up these emitters and sado and to
paul come in and saddo the begins an attempt

at first contact with this alien entity by
creating white noise that she then interrupts

with signals to create patterns. See if she
and this creature can start to communicate

and it in fact, does work. She's able and
it's a great sequence with white noise with

pulses in it when the creature starts responding.
It's very close encounters. The creature responds

in a far more sophisticated set of patterns.
But you can tell that communication is actually

It's very close encounters.

And the creature responds in a very positive
way releasing the crew the crew the crew that

ah have been trapped inside this creature's
body. Their life signs returned to normal

flocks calls for a medical crew to come and
get them out of the cargo Bay and. The Enterprise

arrives at the planet. Not only does it arrive
at the planet. The creature gives longitude

and latitude coordinates so that when they
get to the planet. They're able to take this

creature back to the specific place where
it should be and when they return there they

find that there is effectively. The rest of
this creature. It is depicted as being.. It

is all 1 thing and it is massive. It looks
like it goes on to the horizon so it is effectively

a kind of giant space brain on this planet
and when they return I Love the sequence showing

them in space suits carrying a giant box.
This is.

Open up the box and the creature from the
cargo bay crawls out and reunites. It's very

again, the cgi looks very 2002 but I think
it's effective. It's very strange it.

Very different from what we've seen in previous

episodes I Really love this ending because
it has a kind of it's very different from

2001 but it has a 2001 weirdness to it. It's
this What is this Alien planet like that has

this arguably 1 giant creature that covers
most of the planet. That thinks and I just

love the depiction of that.
I like that you like the ending so much and

this is where a beautiful melody is being
played and they hit a wrong note it like oh

oh geez that I did not like why were the coordinates
so specific if it's 1 giant creature. They

could have put it anywhere. It wouldn't matter
for the specific coordinates if it's all over

the planet.

So for me that was kind of like okay that's
kind of stupid and then the second thing was

they're on the planet. They just release it
and I can't remember who the character was

turns to the doctor and says why did it even
take our crew and his response is who knows

and it was like wait. You were just talking
to this thing you couldn't have said a ah

why'd you take our crew. It's like you could
have you know how to talk to it. You could

have asked. It. It's like that was the dumbest
dumbest response.

Yeah I think that they I think that they got
close to it though. His response was effectively

like I don't know but it's possible that because
of its interconnected nature. It was lonely

that it needed like he did say that.
Um, yes, it.

He did say that but it wasn't that wasn't
in the forefront. It was largely a shrug with

that. Yeah.
His you know, but he actually said who knows

and it was like who knows the thing you just
released knows and you could have had a conversation

with it. It's not that we had to see the conversation
with it. You could have said like he could

have said right? then it was like it was Lonely.
It was looking for a connection. It's like

it could have been something simple as that.
But the fact he said who knows it was like

this wrong note of just like in this beautiful
melody of Wow This ending's really kind of

cool and oh what? what was that.
So at the end I would I would say that this

episode for me was a good solid b plus maybe
even an I'm a minus I like I put it up there

as like 1 of the better of the season that
we've watched so far.

Yeah I'd put it.
Um, yeah I think it's like a B or a B plus

for me it was It was a it was definitely is
definitely better than the middle run of the

stuff we were going through but it's it. There
were some off notes for me.

And I'm looking forward to hearing responses
from the listeners and my question to all

of you am I making too much of this or did
you kind of pick up on something I did I mentioned

this to Matthew previously before we recorded
I don't think it was intentional. But at the

end of the episode I thought wow they inadvertently
created an amazing metaphor for the internet

effectively finding a thing on a planet that
is a completely interconnected thing that

thinks in math and when people have differences.
Is this.

And come together through it. The connections
are life changing so it almost seemed like

did anybody consciously think about that or
was this just kind of an accidental metaphor

of yeah, the internet changes. Everything
let us know if you think I'm onto something

there or if I'm just chasing my own tail I've
been known to do that And next time we're

gonna be talking about Fallen Hero Matt What
do you think? Fallen Heroes about um I.

Um I think it's a hero who's fallen. He can't
get out.

Can't get up Matt is it anything you want
to share with the listeners before we sign

Just to check out my youtube channel undecided

with Matt ferrell I'm covering a lot of really
interesting topics. Got stuff coming up about

like nuclear fusion breakthroughs a lot of
fun stuff. So check it out.

For me, you can check out my website seanferrell
dot com you can also just look for my books

on Amazon or any bookstore barnes and noble
your local bookseller. They're available everywhere

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