Subspace Radio: a Star Trek podcast

Kev & Rob approach the infinitely wide, unfathomably tall, impenetrable barrier that is the end of Star Trek: Lower Decks, Season Four, "Old Friends, New Planets". Among the many tangents they explore this episode, they focus in on other barriers in space, including "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (TOS), "The Tholian Web" (TOS), "Encounter at Farpoint" (TNG), and "The Galactic Barrier" (DIS). Stay after the credits for a brief debrief on "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier".

LD 4×10 Old Friends, New Planets
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Nova Squadron
Shannon Fill returns as Sito Jaxa
TNG 7×15 Lower Decks
Galaxy Quest
Making It So: A Memoir
TNG 5×19 The First Duty
Steamrunner class
Sabrerunner class
SS Eleos XII
Genesis Device

TOS 1×01 Where No Man Has Gone Before
Galactic Barrier
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Great Barrier
TOS 2×21 By Any Other Name
TOS 3×07 Is There in Truth No Beauty?

TOS 3×09 The Tholian Web

TNG 1×01 Encounter at Farpoint
TNG 1×10 Hide And Q
TNG 7×25 All Good Things

DIS 4×10 The Galactic Barrier

  • (00:00) - Episode 49: Barriers in Space (LD 4×10 Old Friends, New Planets)
  • (00:39) - LD 4×10 Old Friends, New Planets
  • (23:10) - Barriers in space
  • (24:53) - TOS 1×01 Where No Man Has Gone Before
  • (37:36) - TOS 3×09 The Tholian Web
  • (42:28) - TNG 1×01 Encounter at Farpoint
  • (47:28) - DIS 4×10 The Galactic Barrier
  • (52:10) - Wrap up
  • (53:14) - Bonus: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

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 to Subspace Radio.

I am your host Rob, and with
me also is our other host,

Kevin: Kevin

Rob: We are here to talk about and look
at the latest Star Trek episode out

there in the subspace world, that is The
Inner Fight, episode 9, the penultimate

episode of Season 4 of Lower Decks.

That is right.

The arcs that have been set up all
season are now coming to a head.

Kevin: It's all coming together, Rob.

Rob: And that of course will springboard
us into a wider topic that we will explore

in the second half of this podcast.

So, The Inner Fight,

Kevin: I was very excited as soon
as I saw the title of this episode,

because it is a reference to The Inner
Light, which is like, for many people,

their favorite Next Gen episode.

It is, it is kind of a Picard solo
episode, which is the only, only thing

that I can say against The Inner Light.

Otherwise, it is a masterpiece, and so
seeing Patrick Stewart out of character,

on his own, dealing with family and
loss and it is a beautiful thing and I

thought oh, oh, they're referencing it.

I wonder if we're gonna get
something approaching that in

this episode and it was not that.

I mean, I think, okay, well,
Mariner's obviously fighting a

fight inside herself and therefore
we'll call it The Inner Fight.

Like that, that's probably about as deep
as we went with this, uh, title here.

But for what it was, I really loved it.

Rob: Yeah, it was a really,
really solid, uh, episode.

One of the...

definitely stronger, um,
penultimate episodes of the season

leading into that grand finale.

Um, lot of easter eggs and
nuggets in there for us all.

And this finally was, even though as we've
mentioned it many, many times before,

this has been a constant arc, and the
hurdle coming back, or an obstacle for

us to come over with Mariner, but now
we finally get another explanation for

it, which seems to be the definitive
explanation for why she is just, you

know, a couple of steps forward, then
three steps back, and then a couple of

steps forward, then three steps back.

Kevin: I really wondered what you made
of this episode because of that factor.

Like, first of all, the references in
this episode are very Next Gen heavy.

There's the title, there's going
back to The First Duty with Sito Jaxa

in Nova Squadron, and her eventual
death in Lower Decks, the episode

that gave this series its name.

But all of that is linked heavily
with the lore of Next Gen, which

I think would not be pushing your
nostalgia buttons quite as...

effectively as it would mine.

And at the same time, it was going
back to the well of Mariner's, um,

self destructive tendencies, which I
know you're pretty sick of already.

So I was sitting there going, I am loving
this, but I would not be surprised if

Rob is rolling his eyes through this one.

Rob: Look, I was loving it
and, um, this podcast has been

a great assistance for me.

So even though I'm not, uh, as well versed
in the Next Gen, uh, universe as you are,

I have definitely learned a lot from you.

So I picked up those
references very, uh, quickly.


And, of course, of course,
it all had to tie back to the

original Lower Decks episode.

They had to be tied in, uh,
in some way, shape or form.

It's the natural progression that, uh,
Mariner is so, you know, inherently

connected to the characters from
that episode, and particularly one.

Um, I, look, I have been completely
tied with the fact that...

Um, that they have brought this up
and returned to the well over and over

again when there's, it's not character
development, it's even worse than that

restart button from 80s sitcoms or dramas.

Um, but sure we're doing it again,
but we'll connect it to Lower Decks,

the original episode from Next Gen.

How are you with that, Rob?

And I'm going, oh, okay.

Um, I'll take that.

Kevin: There was something about
this episode that I think probably

did play to your specific interests,
and that was, this felt more than

perhaps any other episode of star
Trek I could point to, like, It

played with the style of Star Wars.

There were transition wipes.

There were ships parked
on top of buildings.

Uh, there was like the Den of Iniquity
that our characters were descending into

in order to get the information they
needed from some secret scummy something.

And, um, yeah, that that I was
like, Okay, now they've got Rob.

Rob: That was the thing that
I was really going to say.

This felt like a Star
Wars animated, uh, show.

Not only was it the transitions with
the screen wipes and, uh, certain bars

and stuff like that, but the locations.

So, uh, New Axton felt like Tatooine.

You had Sherbal 4 that felt, in
some parts, it felt like Dagobah.

In other parts, it felt like, uh,
Endor from Return of the Jedi.

The music, especially, like the part where
the, um, the runabout came to land at New

Axton sounded just like Star Wars music
when ships come landing into a planet.

I'm just going, they, yeah, there's

Kevin: score was there, it
had the melodic sort of, dooo.

And at the same time, I think the
ships sounded unusually Star Wars y.

They had that kind of guttural, woo woo
woo woo woo sort of engine thing going on

that we don't normally hear in Star Trek.

So, um, Yeah, they, leaned into this is,
uh, this is the seedy end of the galaxy.

Rob: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Kevin: What did they say?

Twice as lawless as Old Axton
without any of the charm.

Rob: Yes, there was those elements
there that I particularly loved.

There were some shots and imagery
that was more evocative of

Star Wars than anything else.

Um, and that brought a scope of bringing
in back all those cultures and all those

alien species that we've, uh, come to
know and putting them all together.

I love a good, Menagerie of,
of alien species, hence Deep

Space Nine is my favorite.

The Promenade is just like
almost a, you know, Zootopia of

all the, uh, different species.

Kevin: And we had a bit of that in
both the A story and the B story here.

The A story was kind of our primary kind
of villains that pushed together and

forced out of necessity to work together
under Beckett Mariner's leadership.

And meanwhile on New Axton we had, uh, we
had all of, the, um, snakes drinking green

liquid that, uh, not be explained further.

Rob: And, uh, and creatures that
are definitely, definitely not

puppets, but are acting like puppets.

Kevin: Oh, that was the high
point for the episode for me.

That is a reference to Balok, uh, from,
um, The Corbomite Maneuver, which if I

remember right is the second ever episode
of Star Trek, The Original Series, they,

uh, encounter this giant, uh, spherical
ship in space and all they like when

they try to communicate with it, they
get is like a wavy image of that exact

puppet, um, you know, in true sixties
budget TV style, counting down the minutes

until their inevitable destruction.

Uh, and of course, uh, Kirk, Kirk calls
the bluff and beams aboard the ship and

finds it's a tiny little boy who is, uh,
who is actually running the ship and he's

got a puppet to make himself look tough.

Rob: and I believe the
boy, the boy Clint Howard?

Kevin: is

Rob: Is Clint

Kevin: Clint Howard, so there you go.

Rob: The first many appearances.

So yeah, a lot of easter eggs
in there for you as well.

A lot of, uh, Next Gen references,
of course, at the start with Ransom

listing off, uh, the ex Starfleet
members who are now being the target.

So we had Seven of Nine,
of course, from Voyager.

We had Beverly Crusher,

Kevin: Teach me how to
tap dance Beverly crusher.

Rob: Which did excite, um, Boimler no end.

There was Thomas Riker
and also Nick Locarno.

Kevin: Nick Locarno, yes.

He did stand out on that list as the least
important person in that list, which,

which suits our, our Cerritos crew to
be the ones assigned to collecting him.

Um, it was a strangely,
a strangely short list.

So these, these, uh, kidnappers are
going after ex Starfleet, we are told.

Rob: Yes,

Kevin: and they have a specific list of
five, which I think, that is, that was

one of those small universe moments,
that there was, they didn't even put

a, uh, a, you know, a name we wouldn't
recognize on the list just to pad it

out and make the world feel bigger.

It was like, oh yeah, here's these five
people that, uh, you have all seen before.

Rob: Reference, reference,
reference, reference, Easter egg,

Easter egg, Easter egg, Easter egg,

Kevin: But, uh, yeah, as soon as they
said Nick Locarno, I said, Ooh, Robert

Duncan McNeil's coming back, and they
are going to surely make a joke about

how he looks just like Tom Paris.

It hasn't happened yet, but
I am looking forward to it.

Rob: There has to be
in there at some point.

Um, so yeah, how did you find, um,
when we, uh, it was a beautiful, one

of my, I think the highlight of this,
of the episode for me was, and this

is saying something because of all my,
anger towards, uh, the Mariner loop,

as I now call it, uh, her, her heart
to heart with, uh, the Klingon, uh,

as they shelter from the glass storm.

Kevin: I loved the glass storm.

Stupid knife rain!

Rob: How was your feelings
towards such a deep, like,

Kevin: I Yeah, I'm with you.

It touched me as well.

And, um, yeah, the, the feeling one
of them was gonna die so she could

say, uh, anything that she had on
her mind and it, uh, and wouldn't be

held to it later was the thing that
allowed her to make a breakthrough.

And who knew that the counselor she
needed was a Klingon planning to kill her.

But, um, yeah I loved…
love that little speech.

Rob: Much more effective than Migleemo.

That's for damn sure.

Kevin: I loved how it flipped
back and forth of like, no,

no, you fight me, you fight me.

And the other one saying, no,
I, we can't, it's too small.

We'll wait till morning.

And then at the end, the Klingon's
like, okay, now you fight me.

And she's like, no, I'm
going to hug you instead.

Rob: Yeah, and the great, the great line
of sort of like, go on your adventures,

you know, explore new planets and, uh,
you know, and research your plants?

Kevin: Sometimes it's plants.


Lower Decks is not in the habit
of kind of holding back the end of

the story for A big end of season
cliffhanger, so I appreciate that

we've got one more episode this season
that I assume is going to resolve the,

the, the ship, uh, kidnappings, sort
of, yeah, the mystery ship, uh, arc,

and, uh, I'm looking forward to that.

Um, but at the same time, if they
had gone to the season break with

To Be Continued at the end of this
episode, it would have felt worthy,

like this, this was good enough to
have been the season finale in my mind.

Rob: Definitely.

For it all to be, uh, hinging on that
our, uh, man behind this whole thing

is, as you said, the least important
name on list of easter eggs at the start

of an episode, is pure Lower Decks.

That they have turned Nick Locarno,
a one episode appearance by Robert

Duncan McNeil, before he goes on to
do Voyager, to be their lead villain,

that is the ultimate representation of
Lower Decks lower decking themselves.

Kevin: He is very much a proto Tom Paris.

I feel like I'm, I'm getting deja vu, like
I have said that on this podcast before.

The up and coming overachiever
at Starfleet who then like washes

out because of one bad decision.

That is kind of the state we find Tom
Paris in at the start of Voyager and,

uh, Tom Paris kind of redeems himself
over the, pretty quickly, in fact,

at the start of Voyager and becomes
a full fledged member of that crew.

But Nick Locarno is kind of the
answer to the question, what if he

had rotted in prison and gotten more
and more resentful because of it?

Like, that is, that is who we
are meeting with Nick Locarno.

Rob: Yeah, I mean, yeah, definitely is a
sense of there was a redemption arc and,

uh, for Paris and Paris, um, definitely
taking responsibility for his own actions.

It'll be very interesting to see, uh,
what we get from Locarno when he, uh,

uh, has his first chat with Mariner
and what her thoughts are towards him.

Kevin: Yeah.

But, um, I think the, uh, the thing
that stood out to us as a pattern

from Treks past that we wanted to
delve into was this, this coming

together of a bunch of aliens who
would normally not be working together,

uh, this, um, teaming up, as it were.

Um, Yeah, and I've got a few,
I've got a few examples of

that that we can talk about.

Rob: Yes, and mine is more of a
overriding example, so covering, uh, a

couple of episodes and seasons as you
can probably pick up where I'm going

Kevin: Oh, okay.

No, I, I will, I will
wait to be surprised.

Rob: So where would you start?

Let's go in chronological
order as we always do here

in the Subspace Radio world.

Kevin: Sure.

Well, my first one is, uh, unusually,
an animated series episode.

Rob: Hey, oh yeah.

Kevin: This is The Time Trap,
which is, uh, the animated series,

season one, episode twelve.

Where, uh, the Enterprise is in a skirmish
with a Klingon battlecruiser, and they

both get sucked into a pocket universe,
which is like the Bermuda Triangle of

space, and they find a bunch of centuries
old ships stuck there, and they have

learned to live together in harmony,
in part, uh, by force of the psionic

powers of some of the ruling council,

Rob: that's right.

Kevin: who have enforced a, uh, a law
that if anyone is violent to any other

member Of the society, they will,
they will have their, the batteries

pulled out of their ship for 100 years.

I'm not sure how well that holds together
on scrutiny, but, um, nevertheless, it is

interesting to see all of those different
aliens kind of arrayed around a table.

I think they said something
like, their society is made up

of 123 thereabouts, different
species from, uh, from the galaxy.

And, uh, yeah the, the main guy Vulcan
with a, with a raspy voice who, if I was

listening right, is, uh, Jimmy Doohan
and his, uh, his second in command is

an Orion woman who dances her Green Lady
dances, uh, for entertainment, but also,

is an especially enthusiastic enforcer
of the no violence rule in their society.

Rob: Yes, and I do believe we see
in shot, in some of it, we see a

Gorn, we see an Andorian, um, yeah,
it gives that very much that sense

of the United Nations type of feel.

It's all quite formal and all, you
know, it's more delegation than actual,

socializing type environment even
though we have Orions dancing but

then, uh, but that's just commonplace
for the Orions are either dancing or

smuggling or bartering or, playing weird
drinking games with deadly animals.

Kevin: Having rewatched it
today, it's, it has many of the

problems of The Animated Series.

And if you want to hear us delve into The
Animated Series in general, including this

episode, you can go back and listen to
Subspace Radio episode 20, which was our,

our rundown of the entire animated series.

We're going into a break
after this season finale.

So if you want to go and revisit
some episodes you may have

missed, that's a good one.

Rob: It's, it's, it's a fabulous
mess of us going, well, we're going

to talk about one, two, or three,
and Kevin Yank just going, let's

talk about the whole two seasons.

Kevin: Let's go through them all.

Rob: So there's some of us going,
clearly recognizing and remembering

the episodes that we watched, and
others going, which is this one?

Is this the one where they have
Jimmy Doohan doing a, a voice?

Kevin: That's all of them, Rob.

Rob: Ha-ha-ha, That was the joke, Kevin.

Come on.

Kevin: Yep.

It is a slow mover, this one.

Like, I am, I am continually amazed at
how slow a 30 minute animated episode

Rob: ha ha ha

Kevin: can feel.

There's a lot of talking, not a
whole lot of doing in this episode.

Rob: It is the animated series superpower.

go, alright, let's stretch out
this 30 minutes and make it

feel like you're watching, you
know, a whole binging series.

Kevin: Yeah.

But the interesting duality of this
episode is what if all of these species

who are normally at each other's throats
learn to live together in peace and

harmony, and it was, uh, it was scary
to our crew who want to situation.

Like, that sense of we will do
anything to escape utopia is a

typically Star Trek idea, isn't it?

Rob: Well yeah, and they talk about it
a little bit in this episode of like,

uh, Mariner is so angry going, you know,
We joined Starfleet not to be spies.

You you're joining Starfleet to explore
and find new things and discovery

and hope and working towards unity.

And this is very much an episode
where they're going, look, We,

as Starfleet, are working towards
Utopia, but when, but we want to do

it on our terms, not this Utopia.

This, this is wrong Utopia.

It's not our

Kevin: Enforced utopia.


Rob: Yeah,

Kevin: Mmm.

Yeah, the, the big visual of this episode
is that the Enterprise and the Klingon

battlecruiser end up, like, hooking
up in order to combine their engine

power to escape this void at the end.

Rob: It's a little bit, uh,
opening shot of Doctor Strangelove.

It's a little bit saucy.

It is a little bit, uh, yeah, it gets,
it gets my juices flowing, uh, Kevin.

Um, and it's amazing shots in there
of all the different ships together.

Um, which is uh, yeah.

Kevin: The 11th hour twist of
this episode is just as they

have made their escape plan.

They have like a farewell
reception or a dinner on board the

Enterprise or something like that.

And all of the, all of the other trapped
species are like, it's not going to work.

You're not going to be able to escape,
but we'll come for dinner anyway.

I'm not going to turn at dinner.

Uh, and, uh, yeah, so, and the

Rob: very, that's very middle
class Christmas, isn't it?

Where you're just there going,
there's no way of escape, but we've

still gotta come around for dinner
and go through the pleasantries.

Kevin: The Klingons use this
reception as an opportunity to plant

a bomb on board the Enterprise so
that when they do escape, only the

Klingons will get out of it alive.

And the, the, um, the Klingon who is
assigned the job of placing this little

red pill in a, in a locker of some
kind, she is a, it's a female Klingon.

Which is unusual, like, you're like,
oh, female Klingon, uh, she's even got

an afro and everything, like, Klingon
with an afro, it's pretty interesting.

She does not have a
single line of dialogue.

Rob: No, she doesn't.


And she does look more like she's come
out of, um, a Pam Grier film from the

Kevin: Yeah, I wanted to know more
about this, uh, this, Um, sneaky

Klingon lady, but, uh, sadly, she
was, um, she, she exceeded the,

uh, voice cast budget of episode.

Rob: We have to go back to the,
uh, dancing Orion bikini girl.

Kevin: Yep.

What's your, uh, what's
your first one, Rob?

you want take us into your big
picture that you mentioned?

Rob: Let's, let's go to my big picture.

Um, I've talked about it a
little bit in previous, uh,

episodes and stuff like that.

I'm gonna explore it, because it's my
favorite element of Star Trek, where they

broke out of the mold of what had been,
and they've kind of gone back to it in

some ways, which kind of annoy me as well.

I'm looking at the whole Dominion War
type structure, and the machinations,

but also the alliances that come out
from that, particularly in, who would

have guessed it, Deep Space Nine.

I've mentioned it before, I
particularly love the fact that...

I like the Federation and the
Klingons working together.

I like that alliance.

I love that alliance and it worked
beautifully in Deep Space Nine when they

were able to come to an agreement and
an understanding and a sort of like this

respect in some ways for each other.

There's, like, there's a bit, there's
a bittersweet moment at the end with

the, you know, the glory of victory
and stuff like that and, uh, Sisko

and, uh, the Admiral don't really
want to fully embrace the glory of it

because so many lives have been lost.

But there's this begrudging respect
and connection, um, that plays out.

And like the, all the alliances
like bringing in the Romulans

and the Breen joining up with the
Dominion, all this type of stuff.

I love seeing those big broad cultures.

It really made the...

the galaxy of the Federation seem immense
and huge and seeing, as opposed to just

week to week, seeing a different species
come along with the same ridges or bumps

on the noses, this is where we build
in these cultures and how they interact

and plan and strategize and negotiate.

Um, so, and so many episodes where they
just have war meetings where you'd have

Klingons, Romulans, um, you know, uh,
uh, Vulcans, Ferengis, all in the same...

You know, uh, all together, um, Bajorans,
all there discussing, collaborating,

working together, and working for
the common goal of ending this war.

So I loved how that played out, not
just over, um, one season or a couple

of episodes, over multiple seasons.

You know, we had start of season four,
Way of the Warrior, where the Klingons

were attacking Deep Space Nine, to
the end of, uh, season five, where the

Klingons are helping the Federation get...

Uh, Deep Space Nine, Terok Nor, back.

So, it's that type of stuff that I love
that element of Deep Space Nine that

has now been embraced by a lot of modern
Star Trek is that arc storyline that

they, uh, pioneered and really, um, For
a series that pioneered that overarching

and multiple series storytelling, for
them to pioneer it in the early, uh,

in the mid to late 90s is a remarkable
achievement for it to still hold up now.

Kevin: Yeah.


Lots of unlikely alliances in there.

I feel like, um, going into that war,
if you imagine the Federation and the

Klingons allies in a war, you would
imagine that the Klingons do all the

dirty work, they do all the fighting, and
Starfleet is doing all of the diplomacy

and negotiations, but it's not that.

We see a lot of, like, uh, of the toll of
battle that is taken on the Federation,

and I think that that alliance and the
fact that the Klingons get to see the

Federation holding up their end of the
alliance and bleeding along with them is,

it, it creates a, a singular opportunity
for Klingons to respect the Federation for

doing the things that Klingons respect.

Rob: Very much so, very much so.

And especially building up characters
like Martok, um, and stuff like that too.

And his connection with Worf.

Worf not just being the only character
to, to walk that line between Federation

loyalty and Klingon, uh, tradition, uh,
for Martok to come into that as well

and how he deals with that and his own
relationship with his family line, with

his wife, with his relation to, to the,
the dynasties, uh, back in, on Kronos.

Um, so yeah, that, that was, like,
I think the highest achievement of,

Kevin: agree.

Rob: showing those different,
different cultures working together.

And, and from the other side as well,
how, you know, the, the, the Founders,

um, the Breen, the Jem'Hadar, uh, the
Vorta, uh, the Cardassians, their, and

the, well, the Cardassians forming an
alliance and then rebelling against them.

All that type of stuff is just
played out beautifully and

Kevin: and course that pivotal episode
where the Romulans switch sides in the

war because, uh, because Sisko plays a
dirty trick that he will have to live

with for the rest of his days is, uh,

Rob: Pale Moonlight, baby.

Kevin: Yeah.

Rob: baby.

But unlike, unlike Sisko,
we won't be deleting this

entry just when we finish it.

Kevin: In fact, I am going to follow
that thread to another episode where

the Romulans play a strong role.

And This is Star Trek: The
Next Generation, Season

3, Episode 7, The Enemy.

Uh, it takes place at a muddy, lightning
filled planet called Galorndon Core,

where the Enterprise, tracks a signal to
the source, which is a crashed Romulan

ship in the middle of Federation space,
and they find one survivor in the

wreckage and beam him back to the ship.

At the same time on this away mission,
Geordi LaForge gets separated from

the group and falls down a hole, and,
uh, they have to beam up without him.

Geordi goes on to find a second Romulan
on the surface of the planet, and they...

They have a very similar heart to heart
scene in a cave together where they,

they talk about their two perspectives.

The Romulan is incredulous about
Geordi's, uh, visor, his prosthesis that

helps him see and he's like, you humans
wasted resources on a defective child.

Like, where they start.

This is a great Geordi episode, if nothing
else, uh, pretty early on in season three.


Romulan who we end up finding
is named Centurion Bakra.

He won't even identify himself to begin
with because, of course, the Romulans are

not meant to be on this planet, so he does
not to provide any kind of intelligence

to the Federation, but, uh, Geordi deals
with the tight lipped Romulan in classic,

uh, Geordi LaForge style, and he just
starts calling him Commodore, because

he's like, yeah, I guess we'll call you
Commodore, and the says, uh, when my, when

the Romulan ship arrives to rescue us,
you will beam up with me, and Geordi is

bluffing and says, oh, I don't think so.

The fleet's in, Commodore!

The fleet's in, Commodore!

The sky is full of Federation starships.

You're not getting this.

Um, so yeah, they have a nice
kind of prickly back and forth.

And then over time, like, the
lightning and the, uh, the magnetic

fields on the surface start to
play havoc with Geordi's visor.

And he goes blind, and they end
up having to, like, work together.

The Romulan injured has to be
Geordi's eyes and Geordi has to

be his hands, and they to, uh,
to make it out together alive.

Just as, uh, just as Tomalak comes
in in his Romulan ship and demands

his, um, his crew back from Picard.

Centurion Bakra vouches for Geordi and
says, I was not mistreated, I did not give

him any information, but this, this human
saved my life, and it just, it diffuses

the, uh, diplomatic incident very nicely.

Rob: excellent,

Kevin: Yeah, there's a beautiful,
uh, B plot, because, um, like I said,

they beam up one of the two survivors
at the start of the episode, and

he is injured and dying and needs a
transfusion, and of course, the only,

crew member, on board, the entire
Enterprise D, whose blood is compatible

with this injured Romulan, is Worf.

And Worf is faced with the dilemma
of, do I help my enemy by, uh,

by giving him the transfusion
he needs to survive, uh, or not.

The Romulans, of course, famously,
murdered Worf's parents, and so

Worf definitely holds a grudge.

If there's one thing we know about
Worf is that he holds a grudge.

But in the end, you know, they have a,
he has a great scene with Picard in his

ready room where Picard walks right up
to the line of ordering Worf to give the

transfusion and then dismisses him because
that's not an order he wants to give.

Uh, Worf goes and visits the
Romulan in sickbay and the Romulan

says, I would rather die than
pollute my body with Klingon filth.

Uh, and so, of course,
Worf is let off the hook.

The Romulan dies.

Uh, but,

Rob: ha,

Kevin: can see in Worf's
eyes that he almost changed

his mind at the last minute.

Rob: And that's all that matters.

Thought was almost there.

Kevin: It's a big step for Worf.

Rob: Yeah, and early days as well, like
early season three, so that's uh, yeah.

Worf's still, uh, slowly coming to
terms with everything that he is.

And journey he goes on
for many decades to come.

Kevin: Yeah.

But this taste of what um what the
Starfleet and the Romulans In the right

circumstances, when they, when they do
work together, what becomes possible is a

real kind of, like, foreshadowing of what
we eventually get in the Dominion War.

Rob: And I do, I do like that
balance of, sort of like the current

prejudices and the perceptions of
Romulans and members of the Federation

and the Klingons with the B story.

But the potential of what could
happen, like you said, with

Geordi and, uh, the Commodore.

So, I love that balance when Star
Trek does that, shows all sides.

And I've found, I've found in
modern series of Star Trek,

they've gone back to that more...

You know, Black Caps, White Caps type
of thing, or Black Hats, White Hats, so

you've got, you know, Discovery in that
first season, the Klingons were just, you

know, pure evil, even to a lesser extent,
Strange New Worlds, because it's still so

soon after that Klingon Federation War.

But definitely the episode with Clint
Howard in it where, you know, they're

that dark evil menace where they're
just unstoppable killing machines that

could rip humans apart type of stuff.

love the fact when we see, when they, the
alliances start working and just, just

the, the idea of them all just sitting
around talking about battle strategies

with each other takes away a lot of
that mysticism and just has them as,

You know, as people, as people that you
can communicate with, and just another

culture, another, another form of, um,
you know sentient being as opposed to the

myth and the legend and the monster and
the, you know, all that type of stuff.

I love that evolution and for Geordi to be
able to explore that so early in the new

incarnation, I'd say what the Silver Age,
if we're looking at it, if at, you know,

the, you know, those old scientists of the
Golden Age of Star Trek, I'm talking all

comic book era now, you look at the 90s
Berman era, is, yeah, is the silver age,

and now we're in the, uh, the modern age.

Kevin: Yeah, absolutely.

The last one that I had, uh,
that, that came to mind here

was another Next Gen Season 3.

It seems like this is, this is
some stuff they were playing

with in, in Season 3 of Next Gen.

This is Episode 18, Allegiance, which
I have mentioned recently before

because, um, we had, we had a Chalnoth
appear on Lower Decks this season.

The alien with the scraggly
teeth sticking out,

Rob: Putting on the Mark Twain outfit.

Kevin: That's right.


Um, and in

Rob: Speaking in a southern accent from
my part of the, the planet where I'm from.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.


Kevin: kidnapped from his quarters at the
start of this episode, and is placed in

a small room with four beds in it, and
in each of the other three beds, there is

another prisoner from a different race.

There is a young Starfleet
cadet who is a Bolian.

There is a Mizarian from Mizar 2.

Um, he's got this cool kind of like
concertina hood on that, that I thought

was a pretty cool bit of costume work.

And of course the Chalnoth appears later.

And they're stuck in this cell and
they work together to, well, they start

to work together in order to escape.

But pretty soon Picard realizes
that not all is as it seems.

Picard is able to put two and two
together and figure out that these,

these four people were not chosen
at random, that Picard is a trained

leader, that the Mizarian, their
race is famous for collaborating or

capitulating, they have been conquered
several times in short succession, and

they just go along with it each time.

The Chalnoth, of course, as we learned
in Lower Decks, is like, completely

resistant to any form of authority.

And, the cadet, of course, her training
tells her to do whatever Picard says.

Um, so yeah, this turns out to be an
experiment in observing authority and

different species' reactions to it.

The real delight of this episode is
what goes on back on, on the Enterprise,

because of course Picard is kidnapped,
but he is replaced with a doppelganger

who is like Picard, but not quite right.

And watching the crew slowly realize
that this is not their captain is really

delightful when the, the, the apex of
this is when Picard is singing naval

tunes with his crew in Ten Forward.

That's the moment where Geordi and Riker
go, Ah, that's not the captain I know.


Rob: ha ha.

we all know he, he only sings,
uh, Gilbert and Sullivan.

Kevin: That's right.

But certainly not in front of the ensigns.

Rob: Of course not.

Well, who would do that?

He only does it to save someone's
life when they're in a, you know,

hurtling towards a planet with, uh,
a short circuited android on board.

Kevin: One of the other memorable,
uncharacteristic things this doppelganger

of Picard does is he invites,
Beverly Crusher to his quarters for

a date, and it is completely strange.

Like, it is exactly how you would
expect an alien who has read about

dates in a book to conduct a date.

Uh, and uh, Crusher is,
is bamboozled by this.

But at the same time, there is this heat
of like, oh, like, are we exploring this?

Um, do you want to go there?

I'm not sure I want to go there.

Um, so yeah, lots of, lots of
tasty stuff in this relatively

simple plot wise episode.

Rob: Excellent, excellent.

Well, I've got more moments and feels
of that type of, you know, collection

of, of species working together.

So, for me, on Deep Space Nine, it was
always entering Quark's Bar and all the

promenade where you just see that whole...

menagerie of different species either
at the bar drinking together because

you had Morn, you had Ferengi, you
had Bajorans, you had all different

species hanging out and um, so like the
intergalactic Cheers was great space to

just see all the species just hanging out.

Um, there was moments of tension going
where you'd have like, the Vulcan

party all on their own or whatever.

But there was always all these
cultures blending together, walking

around, sharing the space was great.

And the first real big notice for it
for me, where I got a sense of Star

Trek trying to do, like that iconic
cantina scene in Star Wars, where they

just walk in and they spend a whole,
like, three or four minutes just

showing you all the different species

Kevin: Mmm.

Rob: When they did Star Trek, I
never really felt that because

it was always more, you know,
humanoid looking type creations.

But in Star Trek IV, the voyage home,
there's that great scene right at the

end when the crew are put on trial and
you just see, like Nimoy as the director,

filled the auditorium all these species.

Some, you know, some
kind of look familiar.

So there's an Andorian in there.

There's a almost cat like creature
that we could relate to the cat

species in the animated series and
also in Lower Decks, but then you've

got really bizarre creations, um,
like the almost Kewpie doll headed

Kevin: yeah, with the black eyes.

Rob: with the black eyes and they,
faces don't move, they're like painted

on, um, and all just, all there in

Kevin: They're probably puppets, Rob.

They're probably puppets.

Rob: There's only one way to find out.

Pick them up and shake them vigorously.

Uh, that was a, uh, you know, Nimoy,
uh, Nimoy's attempt at capturing

that type of weird menagerie

Kevin: I thought you were going to say
Star Trek III because, um, the bar where,

uh, where McCoy is trying to charter a
ship to get him back to the Genesis planet

is another kind of taste of the melting
pot that the Federation can be as well.

Rob: Yeah, there is that, You know,
as I've mentioned many times before,

Star Trek III is one I don't visit
that often, but I have gone back to

it now, and I am putting it back on
my watch list on a regular rotation.

Like in Star Trek V, they do it as
well, like the weird cat dancing

stripper thing in Star Trek V.

Kevin: I don't think I've that one, Rob.

I don't

Rob: you've never seen Star Trek V?

You, yeah, okay, well, it's, you
should definitely check it out.

William Shatner is

Kevin: is it a good one?

Is it a good one, Rob?

Rob: Judge for yourself.

Judge for yourself.

You know, it's all,

Kevin: You wouldn't steer me wrong.

Rob: I would, I would never
steer you wrong, Kevin Yank.

So yeah, that's what we
love about Star Trek is...

for me, personally, is when we get out
of the, for me, for me, it's like getting

out of the generic, uh, humanoid esque
creature week to and giving us a whole

range of different cultures and different
species and how they can collaborate as

opposed to, yeah, just simplifying them
down into a one word description or a one

sentence description and then they're to
antagonize our heroes, the Federation.

Kevin: The promenade of Space Nine was,
like, that, that idea was baked into the

production design of that set, which was
the standing set for the entire series.

And, and, like, there is no detail more
uh, tied to that than that, that kind

of, um, the sign or the obelisk, which
they, I think they took to calling

the Rosetta Stone, the production
And it's kind of like a, a backlit

terminal that is taller than a person.

And it's got the same text in like
eight different scripts on it in

different And it was that sense of,
this is a coming together place where,

where people will speak different
languages and we need to provide those

like translations for people here.

So yeah, right, it was baked right
into the production design early on.

Rob: Yeah, we talked about it a couple
of episodes ago with um, I think it was

Heart of Stone, I think it's in that one.

Beautiful shot of the promenade and
it's Bashir and Sisko walking through.

So you see extras coming through in
different costumes and collaborations

and they're talking about one
of their crew members, one of

the members of the Federation.

Uh, the male identifying is, is pregnant
and so they're having the baby shower.

Um, and that's very 90s
Star Trek going, Look!

Kevin: Yep.

People aren't all the same.

Rob: Yeah, we're all sci fi here.

Um, but that type of gives that
element of embracing the, the

different cultures, the different
species, the different biologies,

and um, and it's just commonplace.

Every, you've, you've got extras from
different cultures just popping in

and out of shot and it's a bustling,
thriving, uh, the city of Babel.

Kevin: Yeah, wow.

Alright, well I can't wait to see if
our, uh, if our newly minted alliance

of aliens manage to defeat the scourge
of Nick Locarno in our season finale.

Rob: And to see what Nick has in store
for the Federation and for Mariner.

Kevin: Yes.