Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

"All Those Who Wander"

3 stars

Air date: 6/30/2022
Written by Davy Perez
Directed by Christopher J. Byrne

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

On the eve of Uhura's cadet assignment ending and her announced intention to return to Earth rather than stay aboard the ship, the Enterprise is ordered to investigate the disappearance of the USS Peregrine, which went down on an icy planet and stopped transmitting in the high interference of the atmosphere. The crew's fate is unknown. Pike takes an away team down in two shuttles where they find the crash-landed ship. It turns out the crew members have been wiped out by the Gorn.

"All Those Who Wander" is a fairly straightforward and unpretentious sci-fi/horror B-movie that's elevated by a major sacrifice and a final coda that deals with the emotional consequences of the aftermath.

The only survivors found on the Peregrine are a young girl named Oriana (Emma Ho), who is being protected by a member of the world's indigenous species, whom the girl has named "Buckley" (Carlos Albornoz), and whose language the Universal Translator can't decipher.

The situation takes a hard turn for the worse when "Buckley" suddenly becomes ominously sick and very shortly thereafter has several Gorn babies burst from his torso and scurry off into the darkness. La'an, as the resident Gorn expert, makes it very clear that this is Really Bad and that even one of these creatures running loose can prove lethal to everyone.

This is a sci-fi creature feature, pure and simple, with perhaps too many ideas rather shamelessly — and not even obliquely — stolen from Alien and Aliens (the nasty way the creatures reproduce, the acidic slime they hurl at you, the young girl who is the sole survivor in this crisis, etc.) We even have Sam Kirk in the Bill Paxton role as he cracks under pressure and does and says dumb things. (With the amount of relative stupidity we've seen from Kirk, I wonder how long it will be before we see him cashiered from Starfleet.)

As a technical thriller, this is fine, but it's not a standout offering. (It at least isn't overlong and filled with DNA nonsense like The Orville's "Shadow Realms.") There are a few jump-scares, plenty of effective lighting techniques and production design (economically using the existing sets, since this is also a Constitution-class ship), and an overall competence that rehashes old formulas entertainingly without getting us too worked up or excited about them.

There are some good character details mixed in here as well. Hemmer and Uhura continue to make a good pairing (the reference to "Team Hemura" was cute). La'an's horrible bedside manner toward the little girl and her obsession with beating the Gorn ring true. M'Benga slipping up and accidentally calling the girl "my daughter" is a bit too on-the-nose, but at least he even realizes it. And Spock having to tap into his rage as a telepathic measure to try to defeat one the creatures makes for a plausible use of emotion in what is approached as a logical tactical maneuver. The episode wisely uses the personalities of the characters to work the crisis.

Still, it's hard to understand whether the Gorn are supposed to be impervious to phasers or if the crew just doesn't figure out how to effectively use their weapons against them. Sure, these things are fast, but they shouldn't be faster than phaser fire. And yet phasers almost seem irrelevant here. As action goes, this is passable and not a whole lot more than that.

What elevates the episode are the closing passages. Hemmer gets hit with some Gorn slime, and it turns out this is how the young get into the body for incubation. It's only a matter of time before more Gorn hatch from Hemmer and put everyone in further jeopardy. After the crew puts down the immediate threat, Hemmer makes the ultimate sacrifice by giving his life to save the rest of the team in what is a fairly shocking turn of events. (Is this worth what is being given up? I thought Hemmer was a promising character well played by Bruce Horak, and to kill him off so soon seems unwise in the big picture — unless, of course, they are planning to undo this with some sci-fi cheat.)

The episode is made much stronger by the funeral and its aftermath, in which Uhura must grieve her friend while at the same time realizing the value of building relationships with her teammates even if there's always the risk that these attachments may be fleeting. Meanwhile, Spock realizes that he has uncorked something dangerous within himself by tapping the emotional well, and the Spock/Chapel sexual/emotional tensions are intriguing. And out of a need to make right by the young girl, with whom she identifies, La'an asks Pike for a leave of absence so she can help track down the girl's family. (I feel like Una is still largely on the periphery of this show, with nothing unique being provided for Number One in a long while.)

After a number of frivolous misfires, this episode is a return to form with some pretty significant consequences for all the characters. It demonstrates that although this may be an episodic series, there's still plenty of room for character continuity and an ability to suddenly shake up the status quo. What will all this mean for the season finale?

Previous episode: The Elysian Kingdom
Next episode: A Quality of Mercy

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181 comments on this post

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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 2:37am (UTC -5)
NO! Why oh why oh why?

I can only think it was the actor. He must have wanted out. Too much time in the makeup chair? Too much time commitment in general, doing the show? Too difficult a role to film using an actual blind actor (Hemmer has to flip switches and such since he isn't actually disabled by being blind, which must be hard for an actor who is actually blind to find all those marks . . . practically speaking, it's probably a lot of takes for such Hemmer scenes like the one where he was reconnecting the conduits in this episode)?

I just can't think of why else they would do it. He made quite an impression in his limited screen time and his character, his culture, was very underexplored. And he's one of only two alien cast members. They never even properly got into the whole pacifist culture conflict thing! Pandemic-related scheduling issues?

Man, what a waste.

One thing is for certain: any interview you will now read about how this was for "creative reasons," do NOT believe them. There is absolutely no way you make a decision like this for creative reasons. You don't send a character that rich and underexplored, and successful, off by killing them before you've properly had your fun with him. The writers created his character for a reason, had stories in mind for him, and they didn't get to ANY of them yet. Something like this only happens for production reasons.

Are they sending La'an off now, too? For just the rest of the season? For longer? Forever? Pandemic scheduling issues again? Christina Chong misses London and asked off the show? God I hope not. Well, maybe seeing how successful it is might change her mind . . .

Are they going to introduce Scotty now as the new engineer? What do we think? On the one hand . . . it's Scotty! On the other, it's another human cast member.

. . .

Okay, now for the Gorn . . . let's just head this off: the godlike Metrons telepathically restricted each species's knowledge of each other in Arena to make them more alien to each other, to properly set up the scenario they had in mind that would test how they would react. They needed them to be virtual unknowns to each other for their test parameters so they made it so. Okay? I fixed it for you. Now you can enjoy all the appearances of the Gorn on SNW without getting nerd seizures.

I really enjoyed the episode. The Ridley Scott alien vibe is always a fun time and Star Trek has rarely done it this well. Even if it was somewhat transparent that they made the crashed ship essentially an identical-but-smaller Enterprise so that they could just reuse the sets and not even have to change the shape of the ship on the wall panels . . . why does The Orville seem to have a bigger budget than SNW? Discovery definitely has a bigger budget . . . I wonder if SNW was seen as something of the "also-ran" Star Trek series because it wasn't one they originally intended to make and so they weren't confident in how it would be received and gave it a smaller budget and episode count to start with. Maybe now that it's a smash hit, maybe Season 3 (it's too late for Season 2) will get a bigger budget or bigger episode count?
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Booming
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 4:57am (UTC -5)
@Jeffrey's Tube
One of the main reasons the new characters are on the show is so that there can be some danger. Pike, Uhura, Spock, Chapel are all un-killable.
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J.B.
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 5:07am (UTC -5)
Another just okay episode. I guess I'm just sick of Alien-lite stories at this point. The Gorn already feel played out. The ending with Hemmer's death *really* wanted me to cry but it didn't feel earned.
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SlackerInc
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 5:31am (UTC -5)
Definitely weird that they exited two main characters in one episode.

This was certainly not the total disaster of last week, but it was still weaker than any of the others this season. Both the Orville and SNW have done "Alien" ripoff episodes in the past couple weeks. For the Orville, it was the only episode of the season thus far that I didn't really like. In this case, it was even more blatant and it adds up to a two star outing.

Not a good trend for this series, and it puts a lot of pressure on next week's season finale. If it's a third consecutive dud, I won't be back for season two.
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Tim C
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 6:39am (UTC -5)
A great ensemble episode with a tense atmosphere and a genuinely emotional ending. What's not to like? @Jeffrey's Tube thinks this was a waste of a great new character, that must only have resulted from an actor wanting out, but I disagree. If you want an audience to truly believe that space is dangerous and that not every character has plot armour, then you have to follow through with it. In my opinion that lack of follow through was a serial problem with the legacy Trek shows, and on the flip side, one of the best things about S1 of Discovery.

@J.B. and @SlackerInc didn't appreciate the "Aliens" vibe, but I did. Because aside from the body horror aspects, what actually made the original two Alien movies work was the sense of danger - which I was feeling throughout, with scenes like Chapel hiding behind the forcefield - and great character work for Ripley. "Aliens" is nothing without Ripley's evolution from traumatised survivor to warrior-mother.

Although we don't have a central character like Ripley in this, we do have effective character scenes for every member of the ensemble who goes on this mission (except Pike, and perhaps M'Benga's felt a little forced). Spock showing what happens when a Vulcan lets slip and how much more difficult it is for him as half-human to hold it all back. La'an still pushing forward on the journey to heal. Chapel still confronting her desire for someone she knows she can't have. Uhura confronting every young adult's question of "Is this *really* what I want to do with my life?"

I don't think this was the best episode of the season - I'd still say that's "Memento Mori" or "Children of the Comet" - but it was a damn good outing and just good TV in general.

Hemmer's sacrifice felt earned, beautiful, and genuinely sad.
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Captain Dax
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 7:05am (UTC -5)
Havne't watched it yet, but if Hemer eats it, do we get new Chief Engineer in season 2 ? Perhaps a young Scotsman ?
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Booming
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 7:19am (UTC -5)
Young??? James Doohan was almost 50 when TOS ended...
Let's say middle aged Scotsman which seems more appropriate for the flagship of the Federation anyway. How do you become chief engineer on the most famous ship? By being a top chief engineer on another fairly good ship... or by fixing the replicator of a high ranking admiral.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 8:36am (UTC -5)
I'm really torn on this episode, because it's A+ character work which builds/concludes many of the arcs which have been built up across the (short) season attached to a B- level plot which is a direct lift of Aliens.

The episode did so much right in terms of semi-serialization. Literally every single episode was referenced with a story element here. We have a continuance of La'an's Gorn trauma plot from the first and fourth episodes. We have a callback to Uhura's lack of confidence in her abilities/indecisiveness regarding remaining in Starfleet from the second episode. We have the friendship between Uhura and Hemmer which began in the fourth episode. We have Spock's conflict between his human and Vulcan nature, and his developing friendship with romantic tension with Chapel, which was touched upon in the fifth and seventh episode. We have slight callbacks to M'Benga's sorrow about not having his daughter with him, which was an arc through episodes three, six, and eight. And despite this series often feeling like a DS9 speedrun, they pulled it all off! None of the character moments seem unearned, which is notable because Discovery and Picard have felt far more mixed results in this area. The result really feels like a season finale, though I know it isn't.

I'm not going to speculate on why Hemmer was killed off so early in the series run, but I do think it was an effective closure on his character. Too many members of the main cast (Pike, Spock, Chapel, M'Benga, Uhura) have plot armor effectively, since we know their stories continue into the future. Allowing someone we knew to die made it hit much harder here. In addition it does make a certain kind of sense to clear the deck for Season 2, as Scotty was (along with McCoy) one of the oldest characters from TOS, and one of the ones it would make the most sense to cycle in well before (James) Kirk enters the picture. I do not believe La'an is gone from the crew though - they did everything but directly turn to the camera to tell us she'll be back. My guess is she'll only be absent for the finale and there will be a time skip for the next season.

Turning back to the episode itself, it's kind of a shame that the plot of the episode doesn't stand up to scrutiny, as the character beats were so good. I think they got the direction of an action/horror hybrid ala Aliens correct, but there were several gigantic plot holes here. The scene where the two Gorn hatchlings - which had sharp teeth, but were the size of squirrels - dragged away a full-grown man was comical, which was totally not the intent of scene. I don't understand how Hemmer was infected with Gorn eggs via the acid either, as we were repeatedly told these were immature Gorn, which would imply they were too young to reproduce. Plus there's of course the question of how they grew from the size of a squirrel to a large dog in the space of (what seemed like) a few hours (though that's a big issue from the media they are making a homage to as well). I don't have any issue with retconning the Gorn in general, but it really shows that they are a plot device here rather than a concrete bit of worldbuilding, which has whatever strengths and weaknesses the writers need.

So yeah, combine amazing character moments, good direction, and a mediocre plot, and it averages out to a good, but not great outing.

3 stars?
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Mal
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 8:48am (UTC -5)
Woah… I can’t believe they killed Hemmer!? I wonder if he had the same problem as Farscape did with Zhaan or Andromeda did with Rev Bem. Makeup is a bitch. Anyway, great character, he will be missed.

Interesting that Uhura joined the Academy because of the death of her parents, and may just stay on in Starfleet because of the death of her work-dad…

Enjoyed this one. Horror is not my cup of tea, but I’m not totally against being grossed out from time to time. The Gorn are turning into the Magog more and more. I wouldn’t be surprised if La’an meets a Rev Bem on her journeys.

Chapel continues to impress. Glad she has (so far) avoided the Tasha treatment.

One thing about all the psycho-babble we tend to get in this new Trek, especially Discovery: here having each crew member pushed to the brink seemed earned. M’Benga couldn’t separate his recent loss from this girl they rescued. Kirk was fucking freaking out - so much so that he turned to anti-Vulcan racist slurs. Not something we’ve really seen since Scotty and Spock had it out in Day of the Dove.

And speaking of that pointy-eared Vulcan, I haven’t been taken with Peck’s take - certainly not in Discovery. But he has a few stand out moments here I really enjoyed. Maybe he’ll grow into this role? I’m open to it.

In all this tension, Pike’s chill command style really shines through. And oh my god, the mission briefing over waffles was my very favourite mission briefing in all of Trek.

Three stars.

Spock, can you handle the dishes?
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modulum
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 9:07am (UTC -5)
I think people are being too hard on this one because they're skeptical of the SNW writing team now. Would have fit right in in the first half of the season and about matches its quality.
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Daniel
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 9:25am (UTC -5)
According to the aftershow interview with Bruce Horak, the actor who played Hemmer, he knew from the start that he would only be in for one season. As for La'an, she's currently filming Season 2, so she hasn't been written out. My guess is that she's just out for the season finale and will be back for the season 2 premiere. Her leave of absence will be whatever that time span will be.

Loved the show. Love the cast. Could've been a touch less of an obvious Alien-lift, but I've been thoroughly enjoying the ride this season. Kinda hope they find a way to extend this past five seasons and aren't boxed in by the "five year mission" constraint.
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Booming
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 9:30am (UTC -5)
Hemmer down!
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SlackerInc
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 10:23am (UTC -5)
@modulum: I don't think that's the case for me. As I noted upthread, I also didn't appreciate the Orville aping "Alien". Here they went even further, with identical chest-bursting/scurrying away, they had their own Newt, just a really shameless ripoff. And I am not really a fan of the particular film whose plot they most seem to be copy/pasting. I know it's blasphemy, but while I loved the original "Alien", I did not like "Aliens". (I also loved "Prometheus"--another hot take, I know--but disliked the followup "Covenant".)
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Booming
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 10:32am (UTC -5)
Ok people, step back! SlackerInc has lost it. Aliens is a great movie and anybody who doesn't think so hates America!
Proof!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsx2vdn7gpY !
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 11:08am (UTC -5)
@ Booming

In the old Trek series anyone in the opening credits was safe every week unless there were some (exceedingly rare) behind-the-scenes issues that dictated otherwise, and every viewer knew it, and it did not adversely affect the effectiveness of the plots re: suspense and danger. I do not buy this as justification. This was a production issue. And I do not buy any excuse/soundbite being offered by the actor/the producers saying otherwise. The true reason will out someday.

There are countless examples of similar in television production and the truth about what behind the scenes issue it was nearly always outs eventually.
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Norvo
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 11:26am (UTC -5)
In this episode of The Red Shirt Diaries...

One dies, one leaves another decides to stay. Apart from Uhura remaining, I did not see any of this coming. Which is good, I suppose... But also a little wasteful to take two valued cast members off the board.

I'm not sure we needed the infant Gorn to be unkillable chest bursters, this episode soon felt like an odd cross between Alien(s) and a Jurassic Park movie. But, it was all well produced, convincingly acted and, praise the Prophets, properly lit. You could actually see what was going on.

I wonder how they will close out the season next week, if anything, the loss of two principals feels like a big enough episode as it is.
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The Empath
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 11:44am (UTC -5)
Best story so far. Well acted and plotted. Great action shots. This is what great episodic TV is all about. THE STORY. The absolute best of Star Trek has always been those with a great story. Not the character building episodes. Troi's mother, Worf's parents, Quark's whatever and so on. Which is what we have been given here up till now. I really can't remember the STORY lines of previous episodes. This one I will.

Think of STORY as a clothes hanger, and all the character stuff hanging from it. Everything is supported by the hanger. Remove or change a shirt and you still have the hanger.

4*

1.Nurse Chaptel needs to buy a comb.
2. How did the Gorn ever become a space faring race?
3. When the ship goes crazy during battle scenes do all the plates and glassware in the Captains quarters get broken? (I have the same $150 wine decanter shown in the pilot.)
4. Nice addition of a couple of red shirts. Space is dangerous.
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Booming
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 12:01pm (UTC -5)
@Jeffrey's Tube
"In the old Trek series"
Shows today are made in a very different environment. I'm not sure how useful comparisons are anymore.

" I do not buy this as justification"
Sure, believe what you want. I'm just telling you why, in my opinion, they introduced so many new characters. They did it so they have people, that the audience knows, that could die in a dangerous situation. Was this particular person killed of because of that, maybe. There is always the possibility that something happened that we will never know off. It's a billions dollar business. One should expect a certain amount of lies.
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Jimmy
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 12:01pm (UTC -5)
I'm only 15 minutes in, and already Pike has:

- let the crew sit around stuffing their faces while discussing an important mission

- at the reveal of the Gorn eggs audio log, he turns to the subordinate (La'an) who is *MOST* likely to have an emotional reaction, and asks "what do you want to do?". A STRATEGIC level decision!

Pike reminds me of a trophy husband of a corporate CEO, who sits around all day reading leadership books to fit in with his wife's work friends. lol

(joking aside, I'll probably end up liking this episode based on comments so far)
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Galadriel
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 12:55pm (UTC -5)
That was semi-decent to decent character work, paired with a thril­ling, but de­ri­va­ti­ve plot and gar­nish­ed with se­ve­ral plot holes and a un­healthy game of idiot ball passing.

Starting with the last point: The plot can only hap­pen be­cause every­one has their brain set to stun. Early on, the crew learns from the logs that one of the three re­fugees had been car­ry­ing Gorn eggs and that “Bio­fil­ters didn’t de­tect them” (13:46). La’an, of all people, should be­come sus­pi­ci­ous, but she stands right there and warns no­bo­dy. As a con­se­quen­ce, the two refugees re­main un­guard­ed, which leads to two ca­sual­ties.

The redshirt cadet in sickbay observes alarm­ing sym­­ptoms in the alien and does not seem to be alarm­ed in the least. Ob­vious­ly, no one had primed her on the dangers of Gorn in­fec­tion, and she really should ha­ve gone out with the words “Gorn, Gorn, what is Gorn?”. Oria­na knew exactly what was coming an did not warn her, either, but was busy saving her own $bodypart; of course, every­­one shows her no­thing but love later on, as all the dead not part of the open­ing credits don’t count.

The question of how immature Gorn can lay eggs has been ask­ed by others al­ready (are they born preg­nant like tribb­les?). The young Gorn look more like in­sects than like rep­tiles, which I find hard to be­lie­ve, but is also some­what clever be­cause it may ex­plain why Kirk didn’t re­cog­nize them in “Arena”.

The character stuff, on the other side, was better. Frankly, I don’t care too much for the Chapel/​Spock/​Uhura stuff, because we al­ready had more than enough of it. More­over, the Spock that I know and love would have take Chapel’s “It [=your emo­­ti­ons] ma­kes you human” (48:36) as an insult; but now everyone is an Emo, I guess. Still, it wasn’t bad, and ties in with the rest of the season. I pro­bab­ly have to ac­cept that these cha­rac­ters are not young ver­si­ons of their later sel­ves, but in­de­pen­dent entities.

The Hemmer stuff, on the other hand, was really good. It’s a shame we lose this in­tri­guing cha­rac­ter with his paci­fis­tic, but also prag­ma­tic and calm at­ti­tu­des, and double so be­cause he has been real­ly in only two epis­ode, the other being “Ghosts of Illyria” (still two more than Erica, of whom we know next to no­thing, except that she can cos­play). I like how the script, with some subtlety, plays a re­fe­ren­ce to Spock’s sacri­fice in WoK.

I am also sad that La’an is leaving, even if it is probably tem­po­ra­ry. It seems a lot of people dis­like her, but I am not in this camp; both the script and the actress con­vince me that she is a sur­vivor both har­den­ed and vul­ner­able, both eager to for­get and bury the me­mo­ries and to stay alert and learn from them. And I love to hear British pro­nun­ci­a­tion, so I’m all in for her.
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AMA
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 12:55pm (UTC -5)
Another very good episode. It showed that Strange New Worlds, like past iterations of Trek, can successfully traverse multiple genres. This was a very solid horror/thriller episode, among the best of the sort in all the franchise (not that there are too, too many comparables).

There were a few moments that were a little off for me (e.g., the goriness of the Gorn's introduction, and their seemingly rapid maturation; Spock and La'an's anger screaming), but I enjoyed the episode on the whole.

Like others, I am disappointed with the loss of Hemmer. He was a great character, one I wish we, the audience, got to learn more about, and see in the future.

On a final note, credit to the creature design/special effects team: I thought the protector alien was very cool looking, akin to some of the better work from Star Wars. Certainly no 'bumpy forehead of the week' there. Excellent work. Conversely, this was the first time I really noticed that Hemmer's antennae did not move - the show should have re-hired the folks who worked on Enterprise.
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Joseph B
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
Wow!
Today’s ST:SNW was like a movie alright: The movie “Alien”!! 😬🫣

Is there any other modern series that can feel comfortable doing a “Fairy Tale” episode one week followed by a “Science Fiction/Horror” “movie-style” episode the next week??? The mind boggles!! 🤯
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SlackerInc
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 1:14pm (UTC -5)
@Galadriel: I did not catch that they were warned about biofilters not detecting the Gorn eggs before all that stuff happened in sickbay. That's a real 🤦‍♂️ and makes me tempted to deduct another half star.
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Leif
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
@Tim C NO but don't you wish they bhad a NEW ALIEN SPECIES OR LIFE FORM..instead of reusing the Gorn TWOCE ALREADY..NO WAY IS HEMMER DEAD..ISNT HE COMING BACK NEXT WEEK LIKE STARBUCK TO SHOW THEM THE WAY TO EARTH??!?? That must be the case..doesn't anyone agree and hope this is SET UP for something greater..WHY THE FRAK DIDNT WE VISIT THE AENAR HOMEWORLD YET??
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Norvo
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
@ Joseph B:

Sure, Legends of Tomorrow does it all the time :-)
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Jimmy
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 1:40pm (UTC -5)
Finished it up. Had almost identical reaction as I did with "Lift Us Up...", so it earns the same rating: 2 out of 4 stars. A more derivative premise, but still a lot of possibilities, ultimately undone by god-awful writing.

Positives first:

M'Benga's slip with "daughter" was brilliant, not just good. It combined surprise with an emotional payoff, all with little time investment.

The Hemmer ending was well done, especially his call back to the earlier Andoria setup. His minimized role in this series has me worried, as he was one of the more intriguing crew members at the start.

No Ortegas quips. Not one. That almost earns a star. Also Uhura was written well. They showed some restraint with these two, and the characters were better for it.

Normally, Chapel and her constant half-grin and finger-guns attitude bothers me, but I liked her short banter with Spock. It wasn't overdone for once, again restraint. Btw, you just know that Chapel is the one kicking paper footballs at Pike when his back is turned in crew meetings.

Wasn't that alien makeup fantastic? Really some standout work from the special effects group.

The Negatives:

I've had it with Pike. He is a terrible captain whose dialogue is now 70% motivational claptrap, 20% delegating all commands, and 10% dad jokes. I think the crew realizes he has an IQ of about 7, and humors him because he lets them goof off so much. His hair is good for some memes, but otherwise he is awful.

It was fitting that this episode mirrored "Aliens", as it reminded me of how well Ripley was written as a strong, capable woman facing a formidable danger. So many sci-fi shows since then have just taken male tropes and turned them up to 11. Laan was ridiculous in this episode, absolutely, embarrassingly ridiculous. And it pained me to see a capable talent like Christina Chong reduced to phaser-throwing challenges and TWO guttural screams. We get it, she's strong and tough and grrrr!! Did you not hear that? GRRRRR!!!!! Her constipated-face reaction to Hemmer's selfless act just screamed of a director saying "You're tough! You're a bad-ass! Hemmer's death means nothing to a warrior!"

Can we ask the elephant in the room question? Does this crew resemble a group of skilled and trained professionals in any way whatsoever? They play childish games in the ship hallways, hold meetings while feeding their faces, make silly jokes during crises, etc. And they are led by a man who couldn't enforce a policy if his life depended on it. I swear, 3/4 of the crew could be shredded by a flying Gorn meat grinder, and Pike would say: "Awww, man, that really sucks. But we can do this, remember we are a team. And we love each other."

On the bright side, I'm still watching, because I know this writing team can produce some good stuff, even if it isn't terribly likely. A bunt single is still a single.
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Booming
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 2:32pm (UTC -5)
"Can we ask the elephant in the room question? Does this crew resemble a group of skilled and trained professionals in any way whatsoever?"
Show audience majority is 45+ and young people like to see young people that struggle with their first few jobs, not be super nasa-astronaut-like-over-achievers. You are watching a product that is supposed to attract a certain audience. There will be girl power (sexist description, by the way) stories and in general people will behave like twentysomethings.
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Descent
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
Hate to say it but that wasn't great. An Alien ripoff, starring the Gorn. Why? It's already a formulaic copy of something everyone's seen, the presence of the Gorn just makes it worse here (and I say this as someone who ultimately thought they worked well in Memento Mori).

I'm not one to harp on about canon but they really are just ignoring Arena now, aren't they? Not necessarily a problem, if they think they can tell a high quality story by breaking continuity then they should go for it (I approve of their retconning of Spock and T'Pring's relationship to make it more interesting, for example), but there's not even a token attempt being made to tie this into TOS anymore. That's fine... if they can tell a better story. Turning Gorn into chestbursters isn't better than Arena.

I think what really bothered me about this one though is something that's been a running issue but has now become undeniable - Pike is completely inept. Mount is superb and infuses the character with boatloads of charisma, but ultimately, the character's actual command decisions reveal him to be one of the worst captains in the fleet. This week, he inexplicably chooses to bring some cadets down to a rescue mission on which he has basically no intel, orders the Enterprise to fly off and leave them there BEFORE he's established what's going on, then walks inside without any precautions.

They find torn-up corpses. He decides now's a good time to split up and go wandering around the ship in pairs. The nadir is Duke's death - Pike refuses to fire his phaser because he doesn't want to hit Duke (isn't the fucking thing set to stun as standard procedure?), so he stands and just watches as his crewmember is torn apart. Wide-beam stun??? One good blast would stun both Gorn hatchlings and also put Duke out cold - a major benefit, given he was being ripped apart.

At the last possible second, when it's already too late to do anything, Pike panics and blind-fires from the hip and blows some holes in the floor and wall as Duke is pulled away to his death (and nobody tries to affect a rescue). Ladies and gentlemen, the captain. We're reaching Archer levels of competency now.

I think the ultimate howler was him using ship-wide speakers to announce his exact location, and tell everyone else to come there. Could this not have been done via our secure commbadges, so as not to alert the Gorn, who we know to be sapient and might presume to have some universal translator equivalent that would allow them to hear the broadcast?

On the plus side, every member of the cast is superb, including Mount who continues to be so inspiring and cool that you almost don't notice what a dunce Pike is. Chong, Gooding and Horak deserve to be singled out for specific praise on this one, excellent work.
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Walding
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
@Galadriel
"La’an, of all people, should be­come sus­pi­ci­ous, but she stands right there and warns no­bo­dy. As a con­se­quen­ce, the two refugees re­main un­guard­ed, which leads to two ca­sual­ties."

Whom should La'an have warned about what? M'Benga was standing next to Pike when they played the recording warning them the biofilters didn't detect the Gorn. So he must have known that. Nevertheless M'Benga assures La'an twice(!) that the refugees are ok.

La'an (to M'Benga): "Are you checking them thorougly?"
M'Benga: "Readings don't show any anomalies"
La'an (to Oriana): "Are you infected? Is he?"
M'Benga: "I told you the readings are clean"

And when La'an starts pressing Oriana why she didn't warn the Peregrin-crew about the Gorn M'Benga intervenes...

You can't blame this mess on La'an, that was M'Bengas fault.
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Jimmy
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
@Descent

You did a nice job of itemizing Pike's inept actions. Like I said above, I lost it when he defers a strategic-level action concerning the Gorn to a crew member with the most unstable reactions to them.

Booming's point about the young crew bears mention here, as that may have factored into Pike's portrayal, i.e., the kind and wise captain guiding his naïve and enthusiastic kids into the unknown. The mere whiff of forceful command may send them scurrying under the nearest control panel.

I would be sold on this series *for life* if there's a scene in the finale where the crew discovers a shuttlecraft is gone, and a bound and gagged Pike in a back room with a pinned note that says "Sorry dudes!" Upon ripping off the gag, he yells:

"Get to your stations! Just how fucking long were you going to think that guy was me?"
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Galadriel
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 5:05pm (UTC -5)
@Walding

You are right, I forgot about that piece of dialogue. M’Benga was also pre­sent when the re­cord­ing from Cap­tain Gavin was re­play­ed, so he should have known better.
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Sigh2000
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 5:58pm (UTC -5)
@Descent
"I think the ultimate howler was him using ship-wide speakers to announce his exact location, and tell everyone else to come there. Could this not have been done via our secure commbadges, so as not to alert the Gorn, who we know to be sapient and might presume to have some universal translator equivalent that would allow them to hear the broadcast?"

Great point!

It was already established in Arena that the Gorn know alot more about all kinds of stuff than we do. They're slow moving, but pretty damn smart.

To wit, Daya already established when discussing Momento Mori that "urrrrrn-wahkei" is a common Gorn utterance (heard at least 15 times in the Arena wrestling scene with Kirk, who was 'a bit of a thicky' throughout the battle on the asteroid). Might it not mean "What a muldoon?" or something similar in Gorn-speak?
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C.T Phipps
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 6:03pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, these Gorn have nothing to do with the Arena ones.
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SC
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 6:20pm (UTC -5)
Watching at UK speed but reading ahead because the opening three episodes just weren't very good. So they killed off a character and my reaction is, hu, because I don't care about that character. I may stop watching this by the end of the season. I'm only still watching Picard because of TNG / Stewart, but that is mediocre too. Discovery, gave in at the start of season 3. I'm still watching Lower Decks but it's short and sweet in running time and episodes.
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Dirk
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 6:27pm (UTC -5)
Was the away team bigger than the party? I just keep wondering if this ship's compliment is even in the double digits? My early thoughts were that Horak is easily the best actor on the show. They had a massive opportunity to use Hemmer's resistance to cold to strengthen the plot. I guess it wasn't a cool enough idea for the writers room, ha-ha.

I still love La'an, but frankly she seemed totally off her game. Except for outrunning a giant lizard. Totally believable. Also unarmed! Against a species that ate her family? Yeahhhhh. Hopefully La'an will return, and everyone will have time to learn how to pronounce her name.

And still not much Una. Maybe she could lead an away mission? I'm just going to hold out hope that by the time they get around to her character, Jennifer Lawrence will have assumed the role.

Just a big nothing burger for me. My favorite two characters are gone. And nothing really interesting has happened in weeks. I guess I don't feel cheated out of 50 minutes of my time. That's the best I can say.

Oh... Ortega "I hate funerals." Will she ever grow up? I feel like she's always the child in the room.
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Ilsat
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
It's astonishing that any of you are the least bit surprised the show has taken a serious downturn. We all hoped for something great. But we all knew the track record of nu-Trek. Honestly, if I were a salesperson, you would be my first targets.
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Dirk
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 6:48pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman
"The scene where the two Gorn hatchlings - which had sharp teeth, but were the size of squirrels - dragged away a full-grown man was comical..."

I couldn't help but think of Monty Python's killer rabbit when this scene was playing.
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Descent
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 6:59pm (UTC -5)
@Ilsat
People are overstating the downturn in quality IMO - the first four episodes of the series were a great run, and it stayed good up to episode six. "Spock Amok" was a little bit weak, but "Children of the Comet" and "Memento Mori" were outstanding, and "Where Suffering Cannot Reach" was flawed but felt like a very traditional mid-season Star Trek episode - something you won't be in a hurry to watch again, but which leaves you reasonably satisfied. "Ghosts of Ilyria" filled a similar role, nothing too exciting but basically fine.

After that, "The Serene Squall" was a shitshow, "The Elysian Kingdom" was not all bad but definitely needed a hell of a rethink, and "All Those Who Wander" was a flop. But take the long view: the downturn in quality is essentially just two bad episodes and a handful of alright ones.

I think there's a pronounced feeling of dread among many viewers because this whole process has been drawn out over nine weeks now, and the experience of getting one episode a week has produced the awful sinking feeling of watching the show's quality decline in slowmo over the course of an agonising month real-time. But zoom out a little and regard the series as a whole and it's given us two great episodes, four or five decent-to-good episodes, and just a couple of clunkers. A mixed bag overall for sure, but good enough to justify hopeful anticipation for the second season. I think season two will be where the show really sinks or swims. Either it finds its feet and gets into a groove, or it pisses about for another ten episodes and erodes everyone's goodwill.
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Token
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 7:02pm (UTC -5)
Another bad episode.

- Pike decides to take a bunch of cadets on a top priority rescue mission, without backup. This guy swings from brilliant tactician to complete moron every other episode.

- The two new named characters both die predictably. They might as well have slapped targets on their backs at the award ceremony.

- Forget Alien, they weren't even trying when they ripped off The Predator. An established TV show with this kind of pedigree doesn't get to do episode-length homages of other, active IPs. They're just stealing shit at this point.

- Terrible dialogue throughout the episode. Apparently La'an doesn't trust her crew mates to do basic arithmetic. 'There were four, one's dead, that makes three.' Are the writers trolling us?

- Sam Kirk as the episode's designated dickhead was lazy, grade school level character writing. A waste of a likeable actor.

- Killing off the show's most engaging character, portrayed by its most interesting actor, for what? To make way for Scotty? All these writers do is steal or recycle other people's ideas.

It's a shame because the show looks fantastic. I loved the alien with the bow staff. Hopefully they can source some decent scripts for season 2.
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Ilsat
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 7:13pm (UTC -5)
Descent, I agree that the downturn has not been as precipitous as others have claimed. But that's because their initial reactions to the series were hilariously Polyannish. I still think the latter half of the season has seen a clear trend downwards, and that's par for the course. But the writers honestly think the first season is superior. They and the showrunners are so deluded it's insane.
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Jammer
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 7:23pm (UTC -5)
Review now posted.
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Armus
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 7:29pm (UTC -5)
Here we go again! Going to hell.
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Jaxon
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 8:29pm (UTC -5)
So this is a creature that Kirk could credibly have had a brawl with...okay.
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Ilsat
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 8:38pm (UTC -5)
Just watched it. If the Alien trilogy and Predator didn't exist, this would be a 4 star episode. Unfortunately they do, and I haven't a more aggressive rip off of films in a very long time. I'm surprised Scott, Cameron and McTiernan didn't sue Kurtzman and his hacks for IP infringement.

Chest buster, alien goop, Predator camouflage, Kirk as Hudson, La'an as Ripley, kid as Newt, Hemmer mixing Bishop and Ripley death at the end of Alien 3, freezing the alien like they drop hot molten metal in the alien in Alien 3, chase scene with doors closing ala Alien 3, setting with ceiling fans ala Aliens. I could go on forever.

Zero stars because a monumental theft of ideas. Fuck you Kurtzman.
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Ensign Deathbound
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 8:50pm (UTC -5)
Pike: Apone
Spock: Hicks
La'an: Vasquez
Hemmer: Bishop
Kirk: Hudson
Uhura: Ripley (?)

I dunno. If I'd wanted to watch Aliens, I would have watched Aliens.

This doesn't make me turn my back on the show, but they should stick to Trek, not do a cheap action/horror knockoff.

Granted, Hemmer's sacrifice felt earned, and the impact on Uhura also resonated with me, but as several have already pointed out, these are absolutely not TOS Gorns. Not by a longshot.

Game over man!! Game over!!!
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Dirk
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 8:55pm (UTC -5)
@Jammer

"What elevates the episode are the closing passages."

So, just like last week. That doesn't really do it for me. After sitting there for 45 minutes thinking "whoa this is stupid," I'm not going to emotionally tune in for some big melodramatic scene. I'm tuned out - and worn out.


@Jimmy
"Pike reminds me of a trophy husband of a corporate CEO, who sits around all day reading leadership books to fit in with his wife's work friends."

Spot. On. When I saw him in the apron washing dishes I literally exclained "is that all he has to do with his time?" It's okay to be laid back, but come on Chris, Starfleet is not paying you to wash dishes.

I really like the actor and the fabulous hair, but I'm starting to fear Pike has much more in common with his fictional counterpart from last week than we've been led to believe. He doesn't spend a lot of time in the Captain's chair, either. I'm willing to cut this Captain some slack, but I keep wondering if he got the job by failing upwards.


@Galadriel

"La’an, of all people, should be­come sus­pi­ci­ous, but she stands right there and warns no­bo­dy."

And she's chief of security. It's her responsibility to protect the crew! There were a lot of bone-headed decisions in this episode and she should have fought all of them. Cmdr. Riker never had any problem arguing with Picard - not sure what Una is doing!? I would argue that as Security Chief it is La'an's duty to stand up to anyone or anything threatening the crew.

I blame Dr. M'Benga because he prevented further research (as @Walding pointed out). He seems like he's just been wandering around in a whispery fog. It's his responsibility to inform the captain when he's had a personal crisis which might affect his performance. If he did not do so, then he is continuing to behave unprofessionally.

"And I love to hear British pro­nun­ci­a­tion, so I’m all in for her."

I'm just a huge fan of La'an, I'm glad I'm not the only one. I find Ms Chong to be charming in interviews, and I have great faith in her playing a classic Star Trek survivor character with a deep inner core.
(And after the 4th episode, I couldn't resist learning her accent.)


@Descent

"I think there's a pronounced feeling of dread among many viewers because this whole process..."

To be honest, after seeing and avoiding much recent rubbish bearing the Star Trek name, I have nothing but dread! It was very easy to fall in love with SNW for the first 5 episodes. Like finding a lover to hold you after having one that beat you.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 9:24pm (UTC -5)
Sigh.

Fine, let's do this:

@ Jimmy

"I'm only 15 minutes in, and already Pike has:

- let the crew sit around stuffing their faces while discussing an important mission"

Why not?

"- at the reveal of the Gorn eggs audio log, he turns to the subordinate (La'an) who is *MOST* likely to have an emotional reaction, and asks "what do you want to do?". A STRATEGIC level decision!"

. . . the Tactical Officer? The one with the most experience of the Gorn of all of them? The only one who actually has experience with and with fighting Gorn individuals, not just Gorn ships? The one whose knowledge of the Gorn saved the ship in their only previous encounter with the Gorn?

Yeah, poor call. C'mon, man.

Emotional as she may get around the Gorn, he trusts her, because she has shown she can be trusted. That's effective command, by the way. You let your people shine. You don't undermine them by second guessing them or suggesting you don't have full confidence in them. You leverage their skills and you trust them to do their jobs in a crisis.

@ Galadriel

"Early on, the crew learns from the logs that one of the three re­fugees had been car­ry­ing Gorn eggs and that “Bio­fil­ters didn’t de­tect them” (13:46). La’an, of all people, should be­come sus­pi­ci­ous, but she stands right there and warns no­bo­dy. As a con­se­quen­ce, the two refugees re­main un­guard­ed, which leads to two ca­sual­ties."

The biofilters not detecting them is something that stands out to the audience as significant, because why would it be mentioned if it wasn't essential to the plot? But if this situation were actually happening to you, with lots of relevant and irrelevant information being thrown at you at once, you might not particularly note it. There might be any number of reasons why the biofilters didn't detect it. And what's important is that M'Benga, whose job is it to decide what that means and what to do about it when examining the refugees, heard that warning. La'an still challenges him several times, and he assures her that the refugees are clean.

Did M'Benga fuck up? Totally. Obviously. Even if his scanners say they are clean, there are other ways to perform an examination. He just doesn't do that? Bones would have. He would have made them stick out their tongue and say "ahhhh" and found some Gorn babies. Was M'Benga emotionally compromised due to the recent situation with his daughter? Maybe. Should Pike reprimand him for not catching the Gorn eggs? Debatedly. But everybody fucks up sometimes and if you dress someone down every time they miss something, that's no way to lead. You only do it if it's especially egregious (debatable if this qualifies) or if it becomes a pattern. Regardless, M'Benga should at least be angry with himself for not catching it (and, if he is, they should have let us witness it).

As for "La'an leaving them unguarded" . . . did you forget the standoff with the refugees? If she attempts to stand around them with weapons, she can expect the big blue one to take it poorly and start a brawl. She has now for-certain created enemies and threats to the crew, when before they were pacified. Also, she doesn't leave until M'Benga assures her he's cleared them medically--twice--and they have shown themselves to be docile and co-operating throughout the examination.

"The redshirt cadet in sickbay observes alarm­ing sym­­ptoms in the alien and does not seem to be alarm­ed in the least. Ob­vious­ly, no one had primed her on the dangers of Gorn in­fec­tion, and she really should ha­ve gone out with the words “Gorn, Gorn, what is Gorn?”.

Well, she's a cadet. She made the mistake of not paying proper attention, and now she's dead. Redshirts have done far stupider things on Star Trek.

"Oria­na knew exactly what was coming an did not warn her, either, but was busy saving her own $bodypart; of course, every­­one shows her no­thing but love later on, as all the dead not part of the open­ing credits don’t count."

She's a kid. She's been psychologically tortured by what she's seen and has been broken by the Gorn into being a Judas Goat. I would hope enlightened humans of the 23rd century would be as magnanimous and understanding toward her given the circumstances as our crew was.

@ Descent

"This week, he inexplicably chooses to bring some cadets down to a rescue mission on which he has basically no intel, orders the Enterprise to fly off and leave them there BEFORE he's established what's going on, then walks inside without any precautions."

He brings his Tactical Officer, his Chief Engineer, his Science Officer, his Chief Medical Officer, his Head Nurse, two lieutenants . . . and yes, he brings the two cadets. That's a pretty stacked Away Team. He isn't strolling in there with just a bunch of inexperienced cadets. He also said why he was bringing the cadets: one more bit of exciting adventure "out there" before shipping them back to the Academy. As for the nature of the mission, he had no reason to believe it was anything dangerous. He expected to assist the Peregrine's crew in repairing their ship, provide medical attention for anyone who needs it, tactical support to Peregrine's crew if there was a hostile encounter, science support if something unknown caused it that needed to be figured out. Standard Starfleet stuff. The kind of stuff the cadets are shortly going to be doing once they graduate. Nothing about this was indicated to be more of an alarming crisis than usual. Nothing about it indicated he wouldn't find the large part of the Peregrine's crew waiting for him on the surface, and that instead they were all dead. The only unusual factor is that the Enterprise wouldn't be around to support them . . . but you know, that's a good lesson for the cadets, too.

Starfleet is dangerous. This isn't the TNG-era Star Trek universe. This is the Wild West, baby. Or think South Pacific, Age of Sail. You don't coddle the young'uns. They signed up for it. Trial by fire is why they're doing a rotation on a starship in the first place rather than graduating safely ensconced behind classroom walls.

(. . . I kind of get your reaction, though. The spirit of such exploration, the way humans throw themselves at it with much less regard for personal safety, is lacking from our age. But remember that it wasn't always and try to inhabit that mindset of a different age instead. Of course the cadets go too! One of them even survived and proved herself vital to the mission!)

"They find torn-up corpses. He decides now's a good time to split up and go wandering around the ship in pairs."

Yeah . . . in pairs. Not alone. There are things to do and they must be done in separate locations. So it's what you do, in this situation. It's the job. You don't bunker down with your tails between your legs and not investigate what happened and not salvage the ship, wait until the storm is over and run back to the shuttlecraft, because that's not the job.

"The nadir is Duke's death - Pike refuses to fire his phaser because he doesn't want to hit Duke (isn't the fucking thing set to stun as standard procedure?), so he stands and just watches as his crewmember is torn apart. Wide-beam stun??? One good blast would stun both Gorn hatchlings and also put Duke out cold - a major benefit, given he was being ripped apart."

Stun isn't going to stop the Gorns, and he hesitated before firing lethal shots because he didn't want to hit Duke. It was over in a second. His mind was still evaluating in that second, trying to assess for other options before killing his own crew member. Just as happens in real combat situations. He did decide to fire, as you noted, only it was too late because it all happened too fast.

"I think the ultimate howler was him using ship-wide speakers to announce his exact location, and tell everyone else to come there. Could this not have been done via our secure commbadges, so as not to alert the Gorn, who we know to be sapient and might presume to have some universal translator equivalent that would allow them to hear the broadcast?"

The Gorn don't have any equipment. They were just born.

Moreover, while they're said to be highly intelligent, which means a trap has to be clever or it won't work because they will reason it out, the newborn Gorn don't care to understand the language of any creature not Gorn, because they're just food. This is what the Gorn do: they go around hunting other species, eat them or lay eggs in them, and most of the time, per La'an, they don't even bother to collect the hatchlings. They don't even consistently care about their young. Reproduction, for them, is a numbers game.

We can presume that when they mature, having survived such a spawning process, their "blood cools" (so to speak, obviously they aren't warm-blooded), and they are less instinct-driven and more prone to rational, tactical thought. A young Gorn probably doesn't even realize the sounds Pike is making are communication, because that's how little it matters to him to think about it. A mature Gorn surely realizes and thinks about it, but just doesn't care.

. . .

I just don't think a lot of these criticisms of decisions made by the characters and "plot holes" are well thought out. (Notice I didn't say anything about things like La'an throwing her phaser at the Gorn because, well, that was dumb. Useless as it may have been as a direct weapon against the Gorn . . . hold onto it and find something else to throw. You might need to shoot a bulkhead or something.) I just honestly think, in a lot of cases, you guys haven't tried hard enough to understand the reasoning behind why. And sometimes that reasoning seems to me like it was communicated to us as viewers blatantly obviously, yet there are numerous commenters who don't pick up on it. (I'm not just talking about the comments on this week's episode, either, but something I've been noticing overall . . . it's not always the same commenters, either, so please don't feel like I'm singling anyone out, let alone those whose examples I chose to respond to in this post.)

I don't know it comes from a mood at that moment to want to nitpick, not paying close enough attention, or just honestly not following, but a lot of the time, as far as I'm concerned, when I read these criticisms, the reasonings, answers, and justifications are right there, and are not recognized.
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Ilsat
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 9:49pm (UTC -5)
Jeffrey's Tube - don't rationalize any of this. Go back and watch the movies this episode sodomizes with a Klingon Bat'leth. Thats all you need. Again, if this weren't straight up theft, it would be good. I'm thinking some of you haven't seen those films in awhile.
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Leif
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 9:49pm (UTC -5)
WHY WHY WOULD THEY KILL A UNIQUE ALIEN..ISNT ANYONE ELSE PISSED AND ALSO PISSED IT WAS THE GORN AGAIN INSTEAD OF A NEW ALIEN??
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Descent
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 9:54pm (UTC -5)
^
"As for the nature of the mission, he had no reason to believe it was anything dangerous..."
Something brought down the ship and he had no intel at all about what was going on, what the ship's current status was, etc. He knew the distress call was two days out of date. He didn't make any attempt to contact survivors or do a proper once-over of the ship from the air while in the shuttles (in which case he would have seen the piles of corpses). He just landed, sent the Enterprise off before he knew it was safe, and then walked directly into the deathtrap. By the time he realised it was a nightmare scenario, it was too late to do anything about it because of the awful planning behind the mission. He'd marooned everyone. It's just carelessness. He shouldn't have brought cadets into a situation like this that he had no information about. I don't think it's just a case of having a wild west pioneer attitude, he's genuinely just foolish.

"Yeah . . . in pairs. Not alone. There are things to do and they must be done in separate locations. So it's what you do, in this situation. It's the job. You don't bunker down with your tails between your legs and not investigate what happened and not salvage the ship, wait until the storm is over and run back to the shuttlecraft, because that's not the job."

Something took out the whole crew - about 100 people, iirc. Pike reckons we'll be fine if we go in pairs, split up, and go walking around the pitch-black remains of the dead ship. This is really not a good idea, and predictably, three lives are lost. Additionally, the pairs make no sense - Hemmer, a pacifist, is paired with Uhura, a cadet who likely has no combat training or experience. What if the Gorn had found them first?

The sensible thing to do would be to return to the shuttles and await the Enterprise's return. The slightly more reckless but still reasonable thing to do would be to have La'an lead a tactical team into the ruined ship, perhaps escorting key necessary personnel like Hemmer and M'Benga, while the rest of the medical and science staff waited in the relative safety of the shuttles.

What Pike does instead is randomly pair people up and send them off into the darkness of the ship, having no clue what's there, what exactly needs doing, how many Gorn there might be, etc. Again, it's just foolishness.

My favourite part btw is when he goes up to Spock and slaps him on the shoulder from behind while the latter is carrying a phaser rifle and on the lookout for hostiles. Hilarious. Someone's essentially holding a loaded gun in a high-tension situation and Pike comes up from behind, fails to announce his presence, and scares the shit out of him. Safety first!

"Stun isn't going to stop the Gorns, and he hesitated before firing lethal shots because he didn't want to hit Duke. It was over in a second. His mind was still evaluating in that second, trying to assess for other options before killing his own crew member. Just as happens in real combat situations. He did decide to fire, as you noted, only it was too late because it all happened too fast."

Why do you say stun wouldn't stop the Gorn? I don't think it's established that they're immune at all, unless I missed something.

It doesn't come across as a situation that's too fast for Pike to think, though, it again comes across as Pike just dropping the ball. Duke is grabbed and Pike refuses to fire at him. This is either because Pike's an idiot who forgot that his phaser has a stun setting, or because Pike's an idiot who's set his phaser to kill for absolutely no reason. He stands there hollering, freaking out, and demanding that someone do something while watching Duke die. The only action he takes is to panic-fire at the last second. Was the phaser on stun after all, and he just wasted time and got Duke killed? Or was it on kill (which it shouldn't have been to start with), in which case his blind-firing was as stupid as it was ineffectual?

"The Gorn don't have any equipment. They were just born."

I'm not sure they knew how many Gorn were in the area, though - given that Pike sent the Enterprise off and brought the entire crew inside, he has no way to know what's going on outside. The Gorn parents could have returned, or there could be adult Gorn lurking on the ship. Ultimately there weren't, but his totally unnecessary ship-wide broadcast when he could have just used the communicators struck me as very funny, the icing on the cake when combined with all his other fuckups.

Again, it's all part of a running theme - he lost the Enterprise to the worst pirates in the galaxy a couple weeks ago, and before that, he spent several days on a child sacrifice planet and *totally* failed to investigate, got blindsided at the end, and tried an embarrassing two-fisted rescue attempt that ended with him getting knocked out cold. Even before that, back in episode three, he beamed down to a planet racked by ion storms, managed to get caught short and trapped in a storm he knew in advance was going to happen, and would have lost the Enterprise and the entire crew to a contagion had it not been for the one-in-a-billion lucky break of his first officer being immune to the virus. He would also have lost his own life had it not been for the equally lucky break of the disembodied Ilyrians bailing him out. Each of these episodes could be overlooked in isolation (though he was *really* shit this week), but taken together, it really does just look like he's crap at his job.
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Kyle hio
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 10:18pm (UTC -5)
Star Trek is life
Am I right,bro?
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Rahul
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 10:40pm (UTC -5)
Nothing really impressive here -- just a lot of visceral action scenes, once again involving the Gorn but having Hemmer sacrifice himself was a bold choice. Overall, can't say we're getting anything original again as this episode reminded me a lot of "Impulse". The premise is unambitious with basic survival on a damaged ship against a vicious and deadly foe. The character elements were decent, but nothing special. We know Uhura chooses a career with Star Fleet so her whole career uncertainty bit feels forced. Just had a lot of issues with this episode, not to mention the canon violations re. seeing the Gorn.

I don't like the direction SNW has taken with the Gorn, that they develop like the creatures in Alien/Prometheus. I ripped "Conspiracy" for going into territory I don't think Trek should go into (aliens more suitable to X-Files) so what SNW is doing with the Gorn doesn't work for me. However, it is definitely alien enough for a species to propagate in this manner.

Hemmer was one of the decent characters on SNW. I wish it was Ortegas who sacrificed herself instead. Hemmer and Uhura formed a bond that worked effectively -- the engineer had some decent advice to dish out. But that too was just to try to make his self-sacrifice a bit more poignant.

Another part that didn't sit well with me was early in the episode when they are discussing how to deal with 2 missions -- Pike's doing dishes, La'an is eating, etc. This is just too unprofessional for my liking. Not exactly inspiring stuff.

In the end La'an asks Pike for a leave of absence to find Oriana's family. OK so she feels a connection with another little girl who has been terrorized by the Gorn. Fair enough. But Pike should not allow this and La'an has to realize her duties to Star Fleet. She was instrumental in defeating the Gorn. But nu-Trek is all about disregarding norms and just following one's emotions. How very Michael Burnham of La'an.

Sam was an idiot, getting upset at Spock for his lack of emotion. And then in the end Spock allows his anger to manifest by punching a wall. But Spock on TOS did smash a monitor in "Amok Time"... Chapel talks about emotions making Spock human -- this whole thing with Spock balancing his 2 halves is a bit of a mess at this stage but that might play well into the TOS Spock we know.

I couldn't care too much for the mechanics -- they were well executed. But I find it hard to believe these Gorn could develop space flight etc. given how they are conceived etc. Guess it's not unlike the Xindi insectoids, but that always required added suspension of disbelief for me.

2 stars for "All Those Who Wander" -- one kind of typical action adventure with an emotional kicker but when you think about it, it's just not good enough overall. Felt like most of this episode had been done many times before. It's been a while since we've had a good SNW episode and with the season nearly over, it's looking like I really think DSC S4 will end up being better than SNW S1. Hard to believe how far SNW S1 has fallen. Far too much Gorn, far too much Spock/T'Pring and not enough originality.
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ned the hyena
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
Intense scary episode. So dark.

But first, boundless treats from Chef Pike for Cadet Send Off. Strawberries. Grapes. Fruit Tarts. More Strawberries. And WHOLE TOMATOES to have with their bagels. Needs more meat! Episode reaches its peak when it turns out they saved a little bacon and eggs for La'an after all. I was worried that she only had strawberries to eat all season.

I wish the party would never end because the rest of the show is very bad. If this yena wanted to watch Aliens or Jurassic Park, he would watch those instead.

Pike: "Hold him down. I don't want to risk hitting him!"

Also Pike: *Aimlessly fires a bunch of shots at him*

- Girl knew that Gorns were about to hatch and didn't warn anyone. She not very nice.

- Even Kirk thinks Uhura is a Mary Sue: "You really are good at everything."

- Hemmer refuses to kill Gorn because he a pacifist. An odd choice but odder still since he kills the Gorn anyway by turning it into a Gornsicle.

- La'an taking leave of absense to find home for girl she just met seems kind of dumb. Like the time Saru left with Screaming Manchild so that Burnham could become Captain.

- Nurse Chapel can't keep her hands off Spock. She seem disappointed that he didn't kiss her. Because is that not what emotionally out of control Vulcans do?

Whoop! Wh--

(1 whoop and an extra ⅓ of a whoop as thanks for finally showing us what the Gorn look like, only I hate it.)
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AMA
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 10:58pm (UTC -5)
The Next Generation's 'Starship Mine' imitated 'Die Hard.' Enterprise's 'Dawn' imitated 'Enemy Mine.' This episode imitated 'Alien' and 'Aliens.' All are pretty good episodes. Placing stories from film into the Star Trek universe is neither unheard of, nor all that bad a thing.
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Dahj's Digital Ghost
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 11:02pm (UTC -5)
Adolescent Gorn are so cute! They look like green hairless cats, hissing and spitting.
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Dahj's Digital Ghost
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 11:06pm (UTC -5)
As I was watching this, and we came to the chest-busting incident, I found myself reminded not of Alien, but of Spaceballs. All that was missing was the top hat and cane.
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Descent
Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 11:10pm (UTC -5)
@AMA
It can become an issue when the "homage" is so similar as to come across as an unoriginal lift.

I'm not a huge fan of "Starship Mine", chiefly because it is far less entertaining than the movie it's aping, but they at least try to make it a bit different with the addition of the baryon sweep and the sideplot with Riker and Troi outwitting the terrorists on the ground. "All Those Who Wander" just lifts highly memorable elements from existing stuff - the Gorn burst out of people's chests and have Predator vision. It's just a wonder that La'an didn't get in the Power Loader at the end.

It'd be like if "Starship Mine" had Picard crawling through an air vent with a lighter, running across broken glass without shoes, leaping off the front of the saucer section with a fire hose, and racing to find his estranged wife who was being held hostage in Ten Forward. And the terrorist leader's name would be something like Grans Huber.

Making copies of existing movies is always tricky because it inherently invites comparisons to the source material, and if that source material is better, the episode looks drab in comparison. "Starship Mine" feels flat compared to the far more intense and exciting "Die Hard", and this feels weak compared to the Alien movies.
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The River Temarc
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 12:37am (UTC -5)
@Jimmy: "hold meetings while feeding their faces"

It's called a "working lunch," which, shockingly, is a thing, even at meetings like the G7.
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The River Temarc
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 12:47am (UTC -5)
@Token: "Pike decides to take a bunch of cadets on a top priority rescue mission, without backup. This guy swings from brilliant tactician to complete moron every other episode."

This is no different from Janeway, who in "Memorial," having encountered a device that could *implant fake memories* in unsuspecting visitors, decides to leave said device intact, because feelings.

And then a few episodes later -- in one of the worst Trek episodes, "Spirit Folk" -- when holodeck characters gone wild take three crew hostage, declines to reboot the holodeck, because (again) feelings.
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The River Temarc
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 12:49am (UTC -5)
"these are absolutely not TOS Gorns. Not by a longshot."

I'm wondering if, in fact, that may literally be the case, and that these are either the Gorn equivalent of targs (non-sapient pets), or an offshoot species of the species Kirk fought. The fact that the Aenar are an offshoot of the Andorians might just foreshadow this.
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Chris
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 12:50am (UTC -5)
The first episode that really disappointed be, 1.5 stars at best. Why turn the Gorn which are a space faring race with equal technology into badly designed Alien ripoffs in their youth? Also there's tribute and then there's plagiarism. They are writing the characters really well but the stories keep getting worse. Why all the work trying to make the laughable rubber Gorn from TOS into a major race? That's a lost cause from the start. I'm beginning to worry. After a start with 5 good to great episodes we've now head 4 mediocre to bad. I really do hope the last one is better again.
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The River Temarc
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 12:53am (UTC -5)
"It's okay to be laid back, but come on Chris, Starfleet is not paying you to wash dishes."

For crying out loud. Picard played music, rode horses, fenced, did Shakespeare in the holodeck, etc. Riker cooked. Sisko collected art and palled it up with holograms. Janeway indulged in the holodeck, too. Archer enjoyed water polo and rock climbing.

Starfleet captains are allowed to have hobbies or, heaven forefend, cook dinner. Margaret Thacher famously cooked dinner for her cabinet when they met at No. 10. Didn't stop her from being one of the more consequential PMs of the past century.
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The River Temarc
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 12:57am (UTC -5)
@Jeffrey's Tube: spot-on post, thank you.
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The Queen
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 1:05am (UTC -5)
I hate the horror genre. Unlike apparently most people, I don't like being scared even in fiction; but I really hate the philosophy of it. Horror tells us that the unknown is terrifyingly dangerous, can't be reasoned with, and must be killed dead dead dead. This is the exact opposite of the Star Trek philosophy, and I don't think a horror episode belongs in Trek at all. In this one, no attempt at all was made to show any redeeming features of the Gorn. They are pure evil. I don't remember anything else in Trek that is treated this way. The pah-wraiths, the Xindi, hell even the Borg, even the snaky sky monsters from Picard season 1 finale, all were shown to have some basis for their behavior that made it seem correct to them. We haven't heard anything like this about the Gorn. Really they're being treated as nothing more than vicious animals. The Devil in the Dark would be ashamed (and remember, humans came to terms with her).

So for me, this episode was a sorry failure. The writing and acting were as good as usual, except that to make any horror show work you have to have stupid behavior. And Hemmer's sacrifice was really touching - I'll miss him so much, I'd actually be happy to have him magically survive. And I did like the summation of what he meant to Uhura. As has happened several times on this series, the writers showed an awareness of when to shut up - the closing scene with Uhura on the bridge was just right. And I like the way they're handling Spock's internal conflict.

I hope next season they'll be more original. I liked the episode that referenced LeGuin's story and didn't think it was a ripoff as some claimed, but this felt like pure "Alien" to me and that is NOT what I want from Star Trek. This was the low point of the season for me.
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The Queen
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 1:22am (UTC -5)
This just in! In a Hollywood Reporter interview, Bruce Horak says, "I have been released to say that this is not the end of Bruce Horak's career in Star Trek"!!!

I'd put more exclamation points, but you get the idea.
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Walding
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 1:34am (UTC -5)
@Rahul
"Another part that didn't sit well with me was early in the episode when they are discussing how to deal with 2 missions -- Pike's doing dishes, La'an is eating, etc. This is just too unprofessional for my liking. Not exactly inspiring stuff."

Having dinner with your officers and discussing the mission in a releaxed athmosphere - is that a bad thing? Because I see that quite often both in TV and stories (Hunt for Red October, the Honor Harrington series etc.) and it is shown as a kind of bonding experience. It may be something that Picard would not be doing but int the end (literally in "All good things") he regrets not having joined the poker games earlier.
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Booming
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 1:47am (UTC -5)
Especially on ships it is actually the norm that officers eat together in the wardroom and discuss ship business.
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Bryan
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 2:36am (UTC -5)
"Bruce Horak says, 'I have been released to say that this is not the end of Bruce Horak's career in Star Trek'!!!"

I can see it now. Hemmer lives on thanks to the showrunners having seen Alien Resurrection, so they know that just because someone jumps off a cliff doesn't mean that an Aenar-Gorn hybrid clone couldn't be made from his frozen pancake.

And sure, some will call that a shameless rip-off. But that's what our tireless apologists are for. To explain in painstaking detail how wrong such people are about such an impeccable twist!
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Tim Kaiser
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 2:49am (UTC -5)
Was there a Spaceballs reference in this one? Pike's code was "2-4-6-8-10" and M'Benga says something like "You haven't changed it yet?" I wonder if he has the same combination on his luggage.
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dave
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 3:18am (UTC -5)
My head canon wants to think that the Gorn have more than one configuration. These creatures in SNW are , how can I say, their soldiers or cannon fodder. And the type of Gorn that Kirk fought are the ones in control, the leaders, the power base. Maybe they created these wild Gorn or they are just two species from the same planet. I would find that a relatively good way to make this all work together.

Before I flicked this on I was thinking to myself how much I liked Hemmer and the actor, the way he talked, the inflection in his voice, and how he had the potential to be the Doctor or Data of the series. The one that developed the richest and most deepest body of work during the entire series.

They, they kill him off.... I was waiting for a save, as I could not fathom they would kill this guy off. But they did. I understand that an old sci fi trope is important people never die or there are reset buttons, so they want to kill off someone to get an emotional reaction that one will never get with a redshirt death. BUt wow, I really wanted to see what they could do with him.
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Yanks
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 6:52am (UTC -5)
I don't know whether to love or hate this episode.

I don't mind that they drew from Alien and Predator. They did it to bolster the Gorn and did it well. They are going to be a great baddie for this series.

I am upset they killed off our Chief Engineer. I really liked the character (as little as we've seen of him).

I kept thinking that he was just going to go outside in the freezing cold and because he is an Anear he would survive and the baby Gorn would perish. Couldn't they just put him in the transporter buffer like M'Benga's daughter?

But no, an honorable death was in the cards... really saddening, even though it was done well. At least we knew him better than Airiam from Discovery.

His death was the writer's plan all along.

I really enjoyed the Uhura/Hemmer dynamic.

Lot's of cast movements in this one. Will Uhura return? Will La'an return?

Does Scotty replace Hemmer?

How long will it take for Spock to "regain control"?

Is it possible to have any less Una?!?!?!?!?!? Jesus.

I thought it was a really well-done episode. I was glued to the TV the entire time and it was very suspenseful. They sold it as "real".

I'll go 3 of 4 stars, even though I'm pissed they killed of Hemmer.

Only one left.
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RobSolf
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 8:12am (UTC -5)
RIP Hemmer, who was great for this show and better than anyone from Disco or Picard. I suspect that the last show of the season will be at least partially dedicated to bringing Mr. Scott into the fold. That would be the only thing worthy of such a sacrifice.

Glad to see things get less silly this time around with one fewer fop captains. The "alien" treatment, like so many things on this show, is familiar without being too much of a copy-paste. But 0 out of 2 crashed shuttles? Have we switched universes?

3 out of 4 for me. Graded on a Disco/Picard curve, 8 out of 4 stars.
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Rahul
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 8:39am (UTC -5)
@Walding

It wasn't just having dinner with officers and discussing a mission -- you seem to forget me pointing out Pike's doing dishes (and then he asks Spock to do them). It was far too casual and unstructured for a dinner meeting. No, this is not how it would happen in classic Trek. This is just again debasing Trek for me. Here, serious tactical decisions had to be made about juggling 2 missions, assigning personnel etc. This kind of stuff can't be done while the captain does dishes. Just gives the wrong impression.
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theBgt
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 9:33am (UTC -5)
3 stars for this really bad Alien/Aliens copy?
why? because they killed Hemmer?
what a stupid copy-cat...
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The Chronek
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 9:54am (UTC -5)
3.5 stars from me, and I'm a diehard fan of the Alien franchise.

First Contact aped elements of Alien and Aliens, and it was easily the best of the TNG films. This episode also copied some elements of Alien 3; the Gorn POV shots, in addition to the Predator vision, seemed pretty similar to the Alien POV scenes during the leadworks chase scene in Alien 3. Also, Hemmer's "pregnancy" and subsequent sacrifice also reminded me of Ripley in Alien 3.

I know, Alien 3 doesn't live up to either of its predecessors, but it has always fascinated me from a movie business perspective, to see how the sausage is made and to see that the result can be botched. Alien 3 does have some good stuff: Weaver's performance is fantastic. I'd say it's her best in the franchise, and she got an Oscar nomination for Aliens. Elliot Goldenthal's score is great. And David Fincher has gone on to have a pretty good career. I don't blame him for disowning Alien 3. Sounds like he had a terrible experience.

I think Hemmer's death, and how it's affected fans, is the product of great acting from Bruce Horak, and yes, great writing from SNW's staff. They made fans care about Hemmer. His loss is keenly felt, and that emotion is well-earned. He became someone I cared about over only nine episodes.

As for Pike's security code, I think that was more making fun of other simple codes used in previous Trek: see also the original Enterprise's self-destruct codes or Reliant's command console code. And that was great because it didn't linger. It made the joke and let it stand.
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Alienatbar
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 10:28am (UTC -5)
@Ilsat
‘Chest buster, alien goop, Predator camouflage, Kirk as Hudson, La'an as Ripley, kid as Newt, Hemmer mixing Bishop and Ripley death at the end of Alien 3, freezing the alien like they drop hot molten metal in the alien in Alien 3, chase scene with doors closing ala Alien 3, setting with ceiling fans ala Aliens. I could go on forever.’
Yup it just kept coming. Is there one ounce of originality in these so called writers in Hollywood. Just sad.

@Token
‘Terrible dialogue throughout the episode. Apparently La'an doesn't trust her crew mates to do basic arithmetic. 'There were four, one's dead, that makes three.' Are the writers trolling us?’
And then ‘once those two stop fighting there’ll be one left’. Are we on Sesame Street??
La’an knows so much about the Gorn and their young yet she still hasn’t briefed anyone else on this? It’ll all come out once we stumble on them again. No problem.

@Death
‘Game over man!! Game over!!!’
It was game over there weeks ago but nice Ensign. RIP Billy.

Oh so Ortegas was the other person Hemmer hung with? We wouldn’t know that because we never really fucking saw him. At least she got it right ‘This sucks!’

Kurtzman to the writers after episode 9: ‘Well, that's great. That's just fuckin' great, man! Now what the fuck are we supposed to do? We're in some real pretty shit now, man!’
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Rahul
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 10:36am (UTC -5)
"3 stars for this really bad Alien/Aliens copy?
why? because they killed Hemmer?"

Pretty much nails my sentiments on Jammer's rating of this episode. Hemmer's self-sacrifice and epilogue was really the only bit of quality here. Overall, this is not even a decent episode of Trek.

I think Jammer has over-rated these last 2 episodes pretty significantly. It's like they've gotten his DS9 ratings bump applied to SNW. And this is coming after it seemed to me he took a lot of flak for being harsh on "The Serene Squall" when I thought he was spot on with it being 1.5 stars by his ratings. Anyhow, just an observation...
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Alienatbar
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 10:46am (UTC -5)
I posted this from Momento Mori.
‘There was not one original idea in this episode. I was seriously waiting for the little girl to say ‘they come at night…. mostly’.
Mostly.

Can someone tell me what the title even means in relation to the story? ‘All Those Who Wander’?
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Alienatbar
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 10:50am (UTC -5)
Jammers 3 stars is a little perplexing for me to but eh. Maybe lay off those coffees Mr Jammer.
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Ilsat
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 10:58am (UTC -5)
The Chronek, which specific scenes and characters from Alien or Aliens did First Contact swipe?
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Alienatbar
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 11:01am (UTC -5)
@Chronek
‘Also, Hemmer's "pregnancy" and subsequent sacrifice also reminded me of Ripley in Alien 3.’
Big fan of Alien3. Great performances.
So you can get pregnant now from copping one in the neck? What message are we sending?
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Alienatbar
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 11:10am (UTC -5)
@Chronek @Ilsat
1. A ginger cat.
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The Chronek
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 11:17am (UTC -5)
Ilsat, I'd say Picard in First Contact was a bit like Ripley in Alien/Aliens. Someone who was traumatized by his experience with the Borg, as Ripley was traumatized by her experience with the xenomorph, and who took it out on them with lots of violence, much like Ripley did in Aliens once she was armed.

I think the Borg were also reimagined to be similar to the hive-like critters in Aliens. I know I've seen an interview with Jonathan Frakes that he watched the first two Alien films in preparation for filming First Contact.

Alienatbar, the xenomorph life cycle has been changed a number of times. I think William Gibson's original Alien 3 script introduced the whole airborne spore bit that was later shown in Prometheus and Covenant. As for the Gorn cycle? I don't remember any episodes or films which directly contradicted what was shown of their reproductive cycle in SNW. I think it's fine, because it feels alien, and because it matches with the horror.
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RobSolf
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 11:23am (UTC -5)
@Alienatbar "Can someone tell me what the title even means in relation to the story? ‘All Those Who Wander’?"

Could be wrong, but I took it to be a reference from Tolkein: "Not all those who wander are lost"

...and mostly refering to Uhura's crossroad point; deciding what she wants to do, and Hemmer's advice regarding that.
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The Queen
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 11:24am (UTC -5)
Alientatbar - I was underwhelmed with the title too. To me, it's an echo of Aragorn (I think) in Lord of the Rings saying, "Not all those who wander are lost." But that seems to have very little to do with this plot. I felt pretty much the same about "The Serene Squall." An oxymoron invites pondering of its meaning, but there was absolutely nothing in that episode illuminating how a storm could be serene. It's beginning to seem a little pompous to me. They can have all the curious titles they want, IF there's some kind of point to them. If not, it's just posturing.

However, my occasional title annoyance is far less than my general pleasure at how well this series is being done.

Bryan - I got the impression that Bruce Horak would be back, but NOT as Hemmer. A little disappointing, but such a good actor is welcome as anyone/anything as far as I'm concerned.
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The Chronek
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 11:25am (UTC -5)
As for why Hemmer had to die, he knew he was close to death, and he said as much. They got some things to work on the Peregrine, but it was a crashed ship, there were only a few crew members there, and who knows if they could have got the tech repaired in time to save Hemmer.

As for the episode title, All Those Who Wander? I think it was a tribute to another famous wizard, namely Gandalf, who wrote that in a letter to Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring. I think it was also a reference to Uhura, who has been something of a wanderer herself. Just because she thinks she has little direction at the moment doesn't mean her journey hasn't been worthwhile.
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Bryan
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 11:43am (UTC -5)
Yes, Bruce Horak will be welcomed in any guise on Star Trek. Maybe he'll be the new Vaughn Armstrong.
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Ilsat
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 11:50am (UTC -5)
The Chronek, I'll give you that the hive quality of First Contact had similarities to the Alien queen. But that was about it. Otherwise, the nature, goals, types of lethality, etc. are fundamentally different. Also, while both Picard and Ripley had trauma from initial experiences they were attempting to overcome, the nature of the trauma, the impact to their lives and friendships, etc. was again fundamentally different.

I hope many of you can see the difference between borrowing broad themes and ideas, and the very specific, scene-by-scene theft going on with this episode. It's really as clear as day.
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StarMan
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 11:50am (UTC -5)
I haven't seen this episode yet. After last week I'm done. I'll see the season out but that's it for me and Trek for the foreseeable future. It really beggars belief that each live-action season thus far - no matter how well it starts or what format it's in - so predictably squanders the goodwill it musters at the outset. I think the lines of division are pretty clear now and think it's likely sentiment towards SNW has already peaked.

So far as last week, I don't take to unearned, melodramatic fast ones affixed to the final act of an otherwise derivative / boring / poorly-conceived episode. If an episode is to have a saving grace, it had better start manifesting early on in the piece. From comments here and elsewhere it would seem they've pulled the same trick here.
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Ilsat
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 11:54am (UTC -5)
Also, Hemmer's decision to kill himself rather than allowing others to at least attempt to save him was extremely close to Ripley's. The "lure" of hope that one might make it still not enough to prevent our hero from sacrificing themselves. And of course the Gorn is ripping its way through Hemmer just as he falls backwards. Nothing like the xenomorph ripping its way through Ripley while she fell backwards. Theft, pure and simple.
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C.T Phipps
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 12:21pm (UTC -5)
For me, I kind of hate this episode.

Nothing says Star Trek about hunting down and killing newborns.
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Dirk
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
@StarMan
"It really beggars belief that each live-action season thus far - no matter how well it starts or what format it's in - so predictably squanders the goodwill it musters at the outset. "

Thank you, well said. I'm afraid the creative death that Disney seems proud of is going to kill the show.
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The Chronek
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 2:15pm (UTC -5)
Ilsat, the deaths of Ripley and Hemmer are quite similar, but not identical. Ripley had every reason to disbelieve that the company would destroy the queen inside her as they promised. Hemmer trusted his companions. And I didn't see the Federation interested in weaponizing the Gorn.

For me, Hemmer's sacrifice still works. The Peregrine was in bad shape, he was close to hatching baby Gorn, and there was a dubious chance he could be saved.
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Bok R'Mor
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
Star Trek: Aliens. Or maybe Star Trek: Predator. Fair enough - I'll accept an exciting enough concept, and the Gorn fit the role.

As has become standard for SNW, all the hard-hitting emotion is saved for the finale. The premature death of Hemmer hit me for six. I wasn't expecting it. And I thought it was a waste of a great character - I've really enjoyed Bruce Horak's curmudgeonly performance, and Hemmer is probably the most interesting and under-utilised character on the show. I was looking forward to getting to know more about him. Unless Horak has decided he wanted to leave the show, I cannot see any reason to drop Hemmer.

Decent enough episode, but I'm going to really miss Hemmer.
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Daya
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 3:25pm (UTC -5)
I think the events depicted in this episode is what the Metrons saw and decided that humans were violent, barbaric bigots.
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theBgt
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 4:34pm (UTC -5)
Hemmer was expendable, because Scotty.
As the doctor is, because McCoy.

So sacrificing them has no impact to me. Problem is I already do not care about them. Cause this is a ship we do know how it evolved, as we do for most of their characters.

But those writers, who basically borrow all of their stories from other shows/movies/ST itself, believe it is trendy to kill a regular, when everyone knows he is gonna leave one way or another.

Other expendable? basically everyone not in TOS. I just hope they gonna keep Ortegas alive.
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Sen-Sors
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 5:36pm (UTC -5)
"It's beginning to seem a little pompous to me. They can have all the curious titles they want, IF there's some kind of point to them. If not, it's just posturing."

THE BUTCHER'S KNIFE CARES NOT FOR THE LAMB'S CRY

"I hate the horror genre. Unlike apparently most people, I don't like being scared even in fiction; but I really hate the philosophy of it. Horror tells us that the unknown is terrifyingly dangerous, can't be reasoned with, and must be killed dead dead dead."

What? No. It's cool if you don't like horror, but to attribute such a simplistic "philosophy" to an entire genre that's more malleable and open-ended than most is pretty wild. There are just as many, if not more horror stories about man's inhumanity to man as there are stories about fear of the unknown. Horror is also often about strength in the face of horror, and the perseverance and humanity of the people who are subjected to it.

And to say that horror is antithetical to Trek... Well, half of TOS is shot through with horror stuff, and there's horror episodes sprinkled throughout Trek.This isn't to say that this episode is good horror, it was mostly just a lazy ripoff of better media and as usual, New Trek has no interest in moral or ethical questions. I'm just saying, even if you're not into horror, there's a lot more to the genre than simple nihilism.
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Trek fan
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
Two stars. And now that this first season is over, let me say: Geez, this is an awful series.

Strange New Worlds is expensive, slickly produced, derivative schlock that pretends to be a prequel to TOS but makes no effort at more than surface level continuity or plot innovation. Compared to the first season of TOS, one of the most memorable and creative debut seasons of any in television history, I can barely remember more than a couple distinct episodes of this first season of SNW. Can you?

I don’t care much about this show updating the Gorn; Enterprise also did that and they’ve never been developed much as an alien race in Star Trek.

What bothers me more —other than the generic quality and lack of creativity in this first season, compared to the thoughtful and colorful stories of first season TOS — is what this show does to the characters. It and Discovery should really exist in a parallel universe, rather than claim to be part of the same series.

The biggest offender this season? Spock’s betrothed T’Pring meets the Enterprise crew and Chapel even kisses him in front of her on the viewscreen as part of a ruse. But Chapel (and Uhura for that matter) never met her before the TOS season 2 premiere Amok Time.

An excerpt from Memory Alpha’s plot summary of Amok Time: ‘When asked by Lieutenant Uhura who she is, Spock states that she is "T'Pring, my wife," much to the shock of Kirk, McCoy, and especially Chapel.’

This show is garbage. I don’t mind a reboot when it’s done well. But when a reboot exists only to serve up sci-fi cliches (Alien this week) and reheated plot leftovers each week, it feels more than a little unnecessary. This first season of SNW is nine episodes of likable actors playing familiar characters who do nothing of much internet, least of all provoke any thought about big issues like Trek does at its best.
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Trek fan
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 5:57pm (UTC -5)
PS — I just realized this isn’t quite the season finale, but it might as well be. I have low expectations for next week.
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Ilsat
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 6:00pm (UTC -5)
The Chronek - yes, Ripley mistrusts the company while Hemmer trusts his companions. But, come on, you have Gorn hatchlings that look very similar to a xenomorph when they come bursting through the body. And our heroes have them "hatching" / "bursting" at the precise time BOTH OF THEM are falling backwards to their death.

If you line up the scenes in this episode, I could probably identify 7-8 that flat out lifted elements from the Aliens films. This is a big deal. It's one thing to be a shitty showrunner. It's another to just steal shit.
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Steve Peeve from Cleeve
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 9:16pm (UTC -5)
Well I enjoyed it. Yeah it's an aliens ripoff, right down to Kirk Lite being Bill Paxton's clone. But it was just a solid action heavy episode.

Sad to see the engineer go but he has to make room for Scotty at some point. I suspect we may see both Scotty and Kirk next season. Overall I am enjoying the chemistry between the crew, they seem much better fleshed out that any other modern trek show. Kirk Lite seems useless though, as in what is even the point of his character. He offers nothing.
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The Queen
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 11:21pm (UTC -5)
Sen-Sors -

What point were you trying to make with the Disco title? If you mean you consider that a horror episode, I would disagree. In that episode, the purpose of the story was to find out more about the tardigrade, and Burnham actually made friends with it (sort of). Horrible things happened (and happen in many Trek episodes, sure), but they were accidental in the pursuit of a larger goal. In SNW 1:9, I see no purpose except to get out alive.

I think you're using the term horror more broadly than I am. But we can agree to disagree. I have such an emotional reaction to it, there's not much incentive for me to analyze it in depth.

Could you tell me the names of two or three episodes that you think fit as firmly into the horror genre as this one?
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modulum
Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 11:59pm (UTC -5)
I think "Empok Nor," "Impulse," and "Schisms" all fit into very traditional horror story structures (slashers, zombie movies, and psychological horror, respectively).
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Walding
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 1:29am (UTC -5)
@Sen-Sors
While I agree with the Discovery title sounding pompous I dont have a problem with this one. I took the title to refer to Uhura who in the opening statement says shes been drifting around looking for purpose in her life. Might also refer to La'an, though I may be readings things into it that aren't there.

On a side-note: there are now 850 epsiodes of Star Trek. I wonder if its getting difficult for writers to come up with titles that are both fitting for the episode and have not been previously used. Sure, titles like "Who Mourns for Adonais?", "Mudd's Women" or "The Squire of Gothos" are unlikely to be a problem. But there are also "Shore Leave", "The Defector" or "Family".

We already have some "barely not duplicates" like "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (TOS) and "Where No One Has Gone Before" (TNG) or "The emissary" (TNG) and "Emissary" (DS9).

And there is of course Star Trek VIII "First Contact" sharing the same name with the episode "First Contact" - and both of them TNG. Ok, one of the is a movie, but it must be frustrating when you have the perfect title and find out it has already been used.
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Sigh2000
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 2:43am (UTC -5)
@Walding
Good discussion. Very thought-provoking indeed.

My own feeling is that the phrase "All Those who Wander" is pretty lackluster, or at best it makes me want to have a nice cup of camomile tea and settle down to resume my knitting. It is no wonder given such an anemic title, that the content of the show was so derivative. Here's how the titling process may have gone down:

Writer A: "This one's gonna be about the Gorn."

Writer B: (lifting his head from the table while pushing his 10.00 dollar cheater glasses farther up the bridge of his nose) "Did you say the gorn....the Gorn? Reminds me of Aragorn. How about quoting Gandalf from the Ring trilogy when it comes time to do the title. He wanted Frodo to do something or other with Aragorn at one point. There was that old poem...They wandered around lost, I think.... uh, it's been a while. Anyway, a few fans out there are sure to think we've done something special if we do a gorn-to-gorn veiled reference connection thingy."

Writer C: (awakening from a long slumber, then scratching his nether regions) "Yawn."

Writer A: What about "All that Slithers" or better yet, "All that is Gorn Doesn't Slither." That way we still get in a veiled reference thingy to the Gandalf or Bilbo Baggins' poem.

Writer B: "I like mine better."

Writer A: "Oh all right."

If I had been in the writers' room I would have said: "Let's use better titles as a means of spurring originality in the scripts.

For example:

"First Contact" ? Who cares? Get on with it already. What about doing "Second Contact" ?

Second Contact? Yeah the one about the two Vulcans who accidentally landed in France a week after First Contact and met Picard's fourth great-grandmother before she got married.

Hey, not bad....might actually work.

My view is that 850 episodes is nothing. We're just getting started.
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Dirk
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 9:12am (UTC -5)
@modulum

TNG's Evolution is another horror episode. I really dislike horror but it firmly has a place in Star Trek.
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Skyelord
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 10:22am (UTC -5)
I don't hate this but I don't love it.

Hemmer was one of favourite characters so that was a shame although I felt absolutely no emotional impact from it. I'd rather they got rid of Ortegas or La'an personally.

The writing is really sloppy late in these later episodes with many moments that make little sense which in turn makes me lose interest.

When I flip from an episode of Ozark for example to this it really shows how crude the writing and scripts are. And in fact the editting and directing. I mean, Ozark isn't really my kind of thing but my wife likes it so we watched one of each. I enjoyed Ozark far more.

For me it's a 2 star episode. Why copy Aliens? Aliens is great - dumb thing to copy unless you're going to add something new or do it incredibly well.

This season is ending with a big meh unfortunately. Still better than DSC but that is a low bar to beat.
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Marlboro
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 10:25am (UTC -5)
I haven't watched any of this show so I can't really comment. I do have some random thoughts though from reading the comments.


1) I like the pretentious titles. They're a Trek tradition. "City on the Edge of Forever" "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" and so forth.

2) Trek Fan complained about the discontinuity of introducing T'Pring in a story that takes place prior to Amok Time. It just reinforces my belief that tying these new Trek shows so closely to TOS was a huge mistake. It's a big galaxy - you can do new stories set in that time period without having to use Spock and the Enterprise. And let's face it - the writers suck at it. It would be different if they were doing amazing things with secondary characters which might excuse some continuity errors, but I get the impression from the other series that they just skim a Memory Alpha article for story ideas without actually watching the episodes.

3) Regarding rip-offs: There are some very good Trek episodes that were inspired by other media. "Balance of Terror" is the perfect example. "Starship Mine" is another. The difference is that BoT is so well done that it actually improves on the source material (imo) and Starship Mine is different enough from Die Hard that you don't feel like you are watching a rip-off. On the flip side having viewers compare your episode to the Michigan J. Xenomorph scene in Space Balls probably isn't what you want when you are doing an Aliens homage.

And the fact that you are doing at least two uncredited "homages" of sci-fi classics in a ten episode season isn't a good sign. Berman and Braga were crapping out some plots ripped from other media in the first two seasons of Enterprise but they were doing 22 episode seasons and had been producing new Trek stuff for over a decade so they could at least use burn out as an excuse.

To end on a positive note: at the very least this show is in an episodic format which raises the possibility that you might get an occasional good episode. I'll probably never watch another episode of Discovery or Picard but I will almost certainly check out SNW some day looking for some hidden gems.
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JSylvester
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 11:00am (UTC -5)
Total blatant ripoff of the "Alien/Aliens" franchise. Artificial emotional twist in the supposed death of a major character who has not been that well developed. ("But, but it's so poignant and dramatic, don't you see that?!?!") I'm expecting that there'll be a "Genesis Device" that will terraform a planet and miraculously bring Hemmer back to life. I'm not expecting anything original from this miserable show.

Part of the problem is that I'm watching DS9 again as this show develops. I've recently viewed "The Way of the Warrior," "The Visitor," "Improbable Cause," and "The Die is Cast." Those shows are in a completely different league and SNW suffers miserably by the comparison.
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JSylvester
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 11:14am (UTC -5)
@Marlboro - Yes, I agree very much about how tying the new Trek shows so closely to TOS was a huge mistake. What it is is lazy. The new set of creators are insulting our intelligence by assuming we'll just go unquestioningly gaga over "Spock! Wow it's Spock!" as if our reaction will be Pavlovian to the mere names of characters who have been portrayed at least three times by different sets of actors. The result is jarring to those of us who have expectations built around what's gone before.

As to the supposed time period between "First Contact" and "Next Generation," the various sets of creators have now squeezed Enterprise, Strange New Worlds, The Original Series and its movies, and the alternative timeline of movies (the Kelvin timeline). At least DS9 was original and creative and Voyager set up a premise that took it into a new territory. But NCC-1701 needs to be retired.
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Walding
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 11:18am (UTC -5)
@Sigh2000

Not sure if you are aware of it but "Second Contact" has also already been used. Its the first episode of Lower Decks, referring to the standard procedure of what happens after the first contact has been made.
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Marlboro
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 11:26am (UTC -5)
I don't really have a problem with revisiting the TOS time period. If you want the new show to have the "feel" of TOS you kind of have to use that period in time. My issue is that it is that they use the TOS ship and characters.

If you want to make a traditional western you pretty much have to set your story on the late 1800s. But that doesn't mean you have to set every western story at the O.K. Corral, right?

Space is vast. They could have done shows in Kirk's time period without any ties to the Enterprise and her crew and you would have eliminated 99% of the continuity issues. You would get the best of both worlds that way.

The thing is that they AREN'T going for the look or feel of TOS so none of it makes any sense. So it's like you said they're just banking on name recognition to draw viewers,
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Sigh2000
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 11:26am (UTC -5)
@Walding

Drat!

"Okay....hmmm let's see" (regaining composure at the water fountain down the hall from the writers' room). "Time to implement plan B 'Third Contact'." :-)
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The Queen
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 11:59am (UTC -5)
I don't mind pretentious titles at all as long as they have something to do with the episode. In this one, I didn't see the connection to Uhura, but if other people did, then I'll go with that.

I grew up reading Harlan Ellison short stories, and you can't get weirder titles than that. Well, maybe Ballard's "The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered As a Downhill Motor Race." But that was an outlier for Ballard. Ellison made a career of them.
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Barristan
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 12:33pm (UTC -5)
One of the weakest of the season for me. It doesn't do anything original or meaningful with the blatant ALIEN riff, the ensign/redshirt deaths are predictable and downright mean ("Congratulations! You survived your training on the Enterprise! Let's just take you on one last mission..."), and Hemmer's exit was unnecessary story-wise and a waste of an under-developed character with a lot more potential (not to mention one of the few alien crew members!). Even if it was the plan from the beginning, it was a bad decision.

And I don't care a huge amount about how well this matches TOS continuity, but the Gorn and especially Uhura are starting to seem completely incompatible with their portrayal on the original series based on the way they're developed here. If Uhura is a prodigy who can learn any skill and is worried about finding a meaningful path for her life... surely manning a communications console for the next few decades would just be coasting and a waste of her talents? It seems a disservice to this character to relegate her to the same future and career as her TOS counterpart.

I wouldn't mind if they just decided to make this an outright reboot, but so far they seem insistent on pretending that it can fit in with existing canon.

Still looking forward to the finale, but sad that Hemmer's out of the show, and that La'an is now also presumably absent or off on her own subplot in a show that doesn't need subplots and was doing well at self-contained weekly stories.
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Janeways Labrat
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 1:04pm (UTC -5)
I’m watching each of these episodes a half dozen times in between new ones. The attitudes seen here are why the Supreme Court is dragging the US back to the 1800s
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Lynos
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 2:02pm (UTC -5)
Very dissappointing episode. Starts okay but turns into Alien halfway through. Pike's decisions to take on the inexoerienced cadets for "one final adventure" is baffling and irresponsible. The depiction of the Gorn here makes no sense. While in Memento Mori we didn't see them, which contributed to the sense of menace and mystery, here they are shown and they look like rejects from Prometheus. Also, some of the characters' actions would feel at home in that movie.

The Gorn are agile and fast, nothing like the heavyset, bulky and strong creature we're familiar with. La'an says that they (the entire crew!) don't have a chance against a full grown Gorn. Well, Kirk didn't have that probem on Arena. And if being dominant is so important for them, I wonder how they ever built a space-exploring society.

Hemmer's death came out of nowhere but at least we can now stop the debate on how he's able to see without seeing. His speech to Uhura, followed by the tearful goodbye from the crew, reminded me of the worst of Discovery.

And the fact Pike didn't seem to care at all about the cadets he sacrificied for his "one final adventure" really bothered me, although once they went down to the surfact it was obvious they were all toast except for Uhura and Kirk.

And with La'an leaving, the show loses two of its best characters. A shame.
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Janeways Labrat
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 3:33pm (UTC -5)
At least we have continuity on Welchie.
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Maq
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 4:30pm (UTC -5)
Missed Burke, except from that quite good.

I did not really like Hemmer from the begining butI have very uch appreaciated the topic that he takes car of Uhura and that they really seemed to like each other. he then started for me to bee a quite intresing character.

The usage of Gorn is a little bit confusing as it is very far of Kirks gorn and too much Alien. Ok in Trek we have seen races transfor, Klingongs quite much and the Trill to mention another example.

I is perhaps a good Idea to reuse insted of always creating new races.

I liked the episode in spite of Alien rip of and killing an interesting character. All actors managed to keep their characters nures Chapel seemed slightly unsure when getting a gun but contained keeping her social competence on a high level. La'an does not hide her inner pain, her world is very hostile still she trusts Chapel, listen to her and take her advice. Uhura is really a vary smart apprenice who still nott have a clue what to make of her life. Spock has his battle betwen Earth and Vulkan heritage.

I enjoyed it in spite of all the things where i could nit pic.
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Jimmy
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 5:28pm (UTC -5)
@Jeffrey’s Tube

I absolutely think it is realistic for La’an to offer advice on combat involving the Gorn, as she is both Tac officer and has experience with them. But advice is:

“La’an, what do we know about danger or infection from Gorn eggs?”
“Have you seen any logs about contact with immature Gorn?”

Decidedly not:

“What do you want to do?”

It is an open-ended, vague question that sounds like an invitation to direct the course of the entire encounter, hence a strategic-level decision. I noted the potential role of her anger/instability because an open ended question would certainly be more likely to provoke irrationality than asking detailed and specific questions about the Gorn.

All in all, no one else mentioned it, and Pike had many other brain dead moments this episode. That line just bothered me, I guess.
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Sen-Sors
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 5:30pm (UTC -5)
@The Queen

I brought that episode title up purely because it's so stupid and melodramatic, IMO the most egregious example of New Trek's pretentious-yet-vapid ep titles. It was not connected to my thoughts on horror.

As for spooky Trek, you already mentioned Devil In The Dark, for TOS there's also the salt vampire episode, Cats Paw even if it's terrible, and the weird Western one where they're stuck in Tombstone has a sort of nightmarish vibe. TNG has Night Terrors, and Schisms has the creepy table scene. I never watched much Voyager or Enterprise but DS9 has Distant Voices which has some creepy elements. That episode and Night Terrors are probably the best of the lot, not counting Troi floating around in the void saying where aaaare yooouuu
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Jimmy
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
Jammer and others mentioned the minimal role of Una this season, aside from one focal episode. One thought is that this is largely because of Pike. It is a well-worn Trek tradition for “Number Ones” to be defined largely by their discreet interactions with the Captain, the former seeing the latter at their most raw and unguarded moments. Consider Picard and Riker’s frequent ready-room exchanges.

Enter Pike. A college chaperone who read too many team-building books? A trophy husband trying to sound sophisticated? All of the above. Nearly everything that comes out of Pike’s mouth is vapid emo-speak, delivered with an air of disinterested, semi-conscious frat boy.

How is any characterization of Una supposed to play off of that drivel?
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Jeffrey's Tube
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 8:04pm (UTC -5)
@Descent

I wasn't able to check the comments for a few days and the discussion has moved on and I don't want to derail it by going back to your post now, but I want you to know I did read your well thought out response and I appreciate it.

. . .

About the Gorn in Arena vs here (again), I feel a lot of it can be explained by adult Gorn vs. immature Gorn. Perhaps the hide of adult Gorn significantly thickens and they slow down as a result. I can easily see fast immature Gorn babies maturing into slower, more deliberate, powerhouse "tank" style older Gorn.

I can even believe the Gorn hide that is able to throw off energy weapon blasts through some facet of their biology is able to be pierced by gunpowder-propelled diamond projectiles a la Arena, even the thickened hide of an adult Gorn.

Having said that, next week they will probably show an adult Gorn and blow this explanation all to hell. BUT UNTIL THEN! Heh.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 8:23pm (UTC -5)
@ Jimmy

"It is an open-ended, vague question that sounds like an invitation to direct the course of the entire encounter, hence a strategic-level decision. I noted the potential role of her anger/instability because an open ended question would certainly be more likely to provoke irrationality than asking detailed and specific questions about the Gorn."

I disagree 100% that there is anything wrong with the way he posed the question, and I disagree 100% with the premise that asking an open-ended question is more likely to provoke irrationality than asking detailed and specific questions.

. . .

I think the problem with Una is the same problem that led her to be dropped from the series after the original TOS pilot in the first place rather than being re-tooled and re-cast: her place "between" Pike and Spock is hard to define. If Una didn't "have to" be there on SNW because of the premise of the show, I don't know that the writers would have elected to create her or a character like her or even to create the role that she occupies in the dynamic of the bridge crew.

That said, I do have confidence they will "find her" as a character and her role in the series given a little more time. I think Rebecca Romijn is a strong enough actress that if they make an effort to "write towards her," the rest will fill itself in.
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skyelord
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 8:25pm (UTC -5)
@JSylvester "The Visitor".. talk about emotional impact. Sheesh. That episode gets me every time. This isn't in the same league - I felt nothing at all and I even liked the character.

@Jimmy "What do you want to do?" really bothered me too. Kirk or Sisko would have just said what he wanted to do and listen to any ideas after. Picard or Janeway sometimes asked for openly for suggestions or options but "what do you want to do?" So weirdly vague and indecisive. I just hate that line. I makes Pike look weak.

I didn't particularly like he handling of the ranting Kirk's brother either - far too soft.

.. and while I'm remembering things that bothered me.. they entered the ship after finding all the blood everywhere and bodies ripped apart and encounter a big blue alien with a weapon. Universal translator is down so they decide to lower their weapons.. ok fine I guess.. kinda.. BUT then they literally put them on the floor and walk into the next room. That was a "WTF?!?" moment for me and really took me out of the show.

Chapel decided his pulse was fast despite having no idea what he was although tbf she did a actually react like a normal sensible human being (and raised the medical shield around herself)..

Hmm I'm starting to think my 2 star rating was too high now.
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Michael
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 9:07pm (UTC -5)
I don't understand why anyone in the writers room thought it would be a good idea to redo the Alien chest-bursting scene. For starters, it takes the viewers out of the story - we're not frightened by it, we just think "oh, they ripped off Alien." Also, that is among the most iconic scenes in sci-fi history. There's no way SNW would be able to improve upon it, so it just make them look bad.

I also think this cheapens the Gorn a bit. They're hideous monsters as children and brilliant warriors as adults? They're becoming the Mary Sue of villains.
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The Queen
Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 11:22pm (UTC -5)
Sen-Sors -

You seem to be using "horror" as a synonym for "scary/creepy," and that's not the way I look at it. I do think of it as simplistically as you said at first. I know from your point of view that's wrong. But to me, none of the episodes you mentioned fits the horror genre, even though they have scenes or plotlines that make me go "Gah" or "AAAAAH!" Because in all of those, the real point of the story is, "What the futz is going on?" The creepy creatures turn out to have understandable motives that aren't inherently evil. The psychological ones, if I can call them that, don't have actual monsters behind them at all. I just don't see anything like that, any redeeming quality, in this particular episode. The only purpose seems to be to scare us.

I'm not including the TOS Halloween episode because it's so very terrible I don't think it deserves to be talked about. And I don't mean to drag out this discussion. I just wanted to make clear why I thought this eppy was different.
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Booming
Sun, Jul 3, 2022, 12:33am (UTC -5)
Maybe it's more about body horror? I cannot watch horror movies where a lot of suffering is portrayed and don't like horror movies in general. STranger things 4 (I was tricked by the MAINSTREAM MEDIA and Kate Bush into watching it) is actually almost too rough for me.
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Lynos
Sun, Jul 3, 2022, 2:29am (UTC -5)
There's a lot of discussion here regarding horror episodes in Trek or rather episodes with horror elements. The one I was most reminded of after watching this episode was TNG's season 1 episode Conspiracy, only because it had an alien parasite taking over people (which would've been more interesting here, but they retooled the Gorn enough I guess).
In any case, Conspiracy was an episode that had a big impact on me as a kid, I found it quite frightening. I always felt like there was something not so right about it, something in the tone didn't match the tone of most other episodes. That scene at Starfleet headquarters when Picard and Riker are served a dish of wiggling worms especially freaked me out.
Watching it years later as an adult, I still found it creepy, but also quite basic and silly. The episode is impactful as a horror yarn but it fails as a star Trek episode, as it's bereft of any significant ideas or themes.

TNG's Night Terrors is perhaps the most successful horror episode I can think of and a large part of that is because it relies on a sense of mystery rather than violence and gore.

I think "All Those who Wander" fails as a horror show. It's not original in its premise, it's full of cliches and has characters doing stupid things in order for the plot to happen, and worst of all, it has nothing to say, and it flies against established canon in a very brazen way uncharacteristic for this show, which usually takes more care with its stories, certainly compared to Discovery.

If they wanted to do a show focusing on Uhura where she has an experience that cements her decision to join Enterprise, they could've come up with something better. I can think of a couple of stories that would work as well just from the top of my head and serve the same themes and emotional closure without resorting to cheap thrills.
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Jimmy
Sun, Jul 3, 2022, 4:17am (UTC -5)
@Jeffrey’s Tube

“I disagree 100% that there is anything wrong with the way he posed the question, and I disagree 100% with the premise that asking an open-ended question is more likely to provoke irrationality than asking detailed and specific questions.”

Ha! You are being so nuanced here, but I think you are suggesting that you disagree with me 100%? You also left out the part where I was yielding the dialogue entirely because no one else mentioned it.

I did introduce sloppy language with “open ended”, “detailed and specific”, etc.
My point was simply that asking Laan “what do you want to do?” was a more complex question than something like “do we have records on Gorn eggs?” would be. As long as the odds of irrationality in a single judgment is non-zero, then the odds of irrationality in a set of judgments would increase in proportion to the number of judgments involved in the set. P_set_irrat = 1 - p_one_rat^n.

We’ve already spent an order of magnitude more time discussing a line of dialogue than was taken to write it, so I’m done here, chief. :)
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SlackerInc
Sun, Jul 3, 2022, 5:24am (UTC -5)
While Jammer is kinder in his rating of this episode than I am, I appreciate his raising the question of phasers. In TOS those things could absolutely vaporize a huge boulder.

@Descent: You make excellent points, as much as I like Pike (and I liked Archer too BTW).

"People are overstating the downturn in quality IMO - the first four episodes of the series were a great run, and it stayed good up to episode six. 'Spock Amok' was a little bit weak..."

I actually thought the only episode of the first seven that rated lower than three stars was "Ghost of Illyria", and that was still 2.5 stars. But the last two have been zero stars and...maybe 1.5 stars? Not great, Bob. I still think the finale has to be at least decent, because three straight stinkers to close out the season will leave me too annoyed with the show to want to come back next season, even if there are likely to be other good episodes. (I'm also factoring in the fact that there have been no GREAT episodes, just six good ones, one kind of weak one, one bad one, and one godawful one.)

FTR though, I have zero problem with crewmembers eating and washing dishes while discussing upcoming missions.

@Ilsat: "And of course the Gorn is ripping its way through Hemmer just as he falls backwards."

Was it? I was watching for that (on a 70 inch 4K screen at that) but didn't see it.

@Trek fan: Good point about T'Pring. D'oh.
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StarMan
Sun, Jul 3, 2022, 7:36am (UTC -5)
Well, I finally got around to watching it.

The sign of a good episode (of anything) is finding the time just flying by. By the end, you want more, or are at least left satisfied after an engaging 40-60 minutes.

With SNW, the writing - particularly the styling of the dialogue - make for a tough watch. I sometimes git pause to see how much longer there is to go. If I'm enjoying it, I do it because it's that good I don't want it to finish.

In SNW's case, I do it to see how much longer it will be before I can do something / anything else.

Anyway, as for the episode.

- That was not a homage. Holy shit.

- Slow-mo monologue openings are back. Yay.

- Sam "don't you FEEL ANYTHING?!" Kirk ripping off his Kelvinverse bro. Difference is, the movie provided dramatic build up to that showdown and didn't feel forced, as was the case here. It wasn't a cute ripoff in the spirit of Quark's rendition of Picard's "line drawn here!" speech; that was funny because it was so obvious and self-aware.

- "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" :ANGRY FACE: - what the hell? One was enough.

- I like Chapel and Spock; imagine if they had capable writers?

One more episode, then I'm done with NuTrek - at least on a regular basis. This was last chance saloon after the abysmal Disco S4 & Picard S2.

What I watch needs to grab my attention and keep it. NuTrek has consistently failed this basic requisite for years. The stories themselves are mostly meh-worthy; I needed non-schlocky, non-superficial writing to keep me around. You might be glad not to have the convoluted serialised twaddle of Disco or Picard, but the quality at the coalface (e.g. the dialog) is little changed. This is no game changer, I'm afraid.
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Ilsat
Sun, Jul 3, 2022, 8:56am (UTC -5)
SlackerInc, Hemmer is grunting in pain as the Gorn is chewing its way through him. It's clear it's about to burst through. And then he falls backwards. I guess Kurtzman forgot the final shot of him grabbing the just born Gorn as he disappears into molten metal...er...cold death chasm.
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Tim
Sun, Jul 3, 2022, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
Good episode, we cried when Hemmer died, and yet I was frequently pulled out of it for exactly the reason Jammer notes: “Sure, these things are fast, but they shouldn't be faster than phaser fire. And yet phasers almost seem irrelevant here.”

I’m sorry but how can newborn Gorn smaller than my cat pose a threat to a team of trained Starfleet officers armed with PHASERS? A 19th century shotgun should have sufficed to defend against them, or, you know, a primitive bamboo cannon….

With the exception of “Skin of Evil” I can’t really recall TNG or DS9 making phasers victims of plot like this. Maybe stun didn’t work for whatever reason but crank that puppy up to maximum and end this episode already. See Geordi and Crusher’s scenes in Aquiel and Suspicions.

Not really sure I’m into these reimagined Gorn either. It’s one thing to retcon Arena, but Enterprise did the Gorn too, portraying them as extremely dangerous but not invincible. SNW’s resident Gorn expert claims the whole team would have “no chance” against one adult Gorn. Really? Good thing nobody told Mirror Archer that….
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Tim
Sun, Jul 3, 2022, 1:12pm (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc

“In TOS those things could absolutely vaporize a huge boulder.”

The TNG tech manual said maximum setting on a hand phaser would “explosively decouple 650 square meters of rock”

For point of comparison the Mount St. Helens landslide was about 2.5 square kilometers, so the hand phaser isn’t quite THAT powerful, but still, it’s powerful enough, you’ve essentially got a low yield nuke in the palm of your hand….

Needs of plot frequently required ignoring this (imagine Sisko and Co ending the first firefight in “Rocks and Shoals” with a single well placed shot that wiped out the whole Jem Hadar team….) but when they make the phasers less useful than a modern firearm it’s hard to stay in the episode.

Pike just needed a Robert Muldoon and a few SPAS-12s on the team.
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mosley
Sun, Jul 3, 2022, 9:12pm (UTC -5)
really hoping they go the "turns out hemmer didnt die because hes fine with that planets weather, while his gorn babies were not" route.

would be a shame to loose him. clearly a highlight character of the series so far.

episode itself? some good character stuff. the alien routine OTOH is clearly too worn out and uninspired for my taste. i actually laughed out loud when i realized how they didnt even try to find some individual angle but just went full on "okay, we know that you know that we know that this is 'alien', so we wont even bother to pretend otherwise".

kind of reduces my interest in the gorn as a whole, i must say. in that other gorn centric episode, it looked like they could maybe be built up to an interesting long term villain species, but being reduced to instinct driven creatures like this very much makes that option go away. you can talk all you want about how intelligent they are, but when you then show them to be instinct driven beasts that can be lured into traps (=precisely what you said isnt possible one scene earlier) with silly stuff like yelling and chest bumping, then its hard to go from there to a space faring, spaceship building species that are a worthy federation enemy.

maybe its for the better. try some other villains next season.

anyway, 2.5 stars from me for the episode plus the usual extra 0.5 bonus because the cast is back to having enough chemistry to make me not care too much about mediocre plots (and lets face it, none of the SNW material so far is reinventing the wheel, but then, none of nutrek ever does).
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Del_Duio
Sun, Jul 3, 2022, 11:50pm (UTC -5)
I enjoyed this episode because I really like these characters, and it somehow made me not mind it was a total Alien rip-off at the same time.

I do think showing the Gorn at all might have been a mistake though- those little cgi guys running around just look too fake to me. Like, GOOD cgi, but you can tell and it takes you out.

Sucks Hemmer died and I hope La’an isn’t gone for good, she’s great.
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Alejandor
Mon, Jul 4, 2022, 2:54am (UTC -5)
I don't understand this obsession with death as a compelling writing resource. I'm totally with Jeffrey's Tube on this one. It is a total waste of a promising character. There is much more merit into building a character to be believable as a real person with a consistent personality over a long run than killing "main" characters here and there for supposed stakes. Now, we are back to square 0 with the engineer, and for what? Because the only way to mold Uhura is deaths of people?

Death in real life is actually traumatic. Fictional character deaths can't ever reach the same impact, even in the hands of the best creators. Maybe I'm getting too old and, having already lost too many real people, I'm no longer interested in fake death. Show me compelling ideas, daring escapes, whatever, with characters I cherish and believe; I don't care how you "cleverly" designed who's going to live and die in your series. Seeesh, for all the good in Game of Thrones, it really has ruined a lot of modern TV with the overuse of the "surprise death" trope. (One may argue that SNW is not overusing it yet - but one main cast in 9 episodes is pretty bad in my book.)

And oh my the redshirts. The moment that guy was promoted it was a goner, and this is sooo boring. And let's take out the other girl for good measure. So the only people clever enough to survive are the main characters. Robs the crew of believability.

TL;DR: Hemmer's sacrifice lowers the episode from ok to very meh.
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Yanks
Mon, Jul 4, 2022, 8:02am (UTC -5)
Nice review Jammer. One small correction:

"The situation takes a hard turn for the worse when "Buckley" suddenly becomes ominously sick and very shortly thereafter has three Gorn babies burst from his torso and scurry off into the darkness."

4 babies came out.
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Ilsat
Mon, Jul 4, 2022, 9:03am (UTC -5)
Let me make a further correction: "The situation takes a hard turn for the worse when Pike takes a newbie squad to LV-426 for a pale recreation of Ridley Scott's bloody magnum opus."
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Booming
Mon, Jul 4, 2022, 9:31am (UTC -5)
Ok, lots of negative feedback for ripping off Aliens. Give them some slack.

These poor people sat in the writers room with zero ideas and all thought "That's great. That's just fucking great, man." What the fuck were they supposed to do? They were in some real pretty shit, man!
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skyelord
Mon, Jul 4, 2022, 9:52am (UTC -5)
There were a couple of points in the episode where I did find myself thinking "Oh dear Lord Jesus, this ain't happening, man... This can't be happening, man! This isn't happening!"
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Del_Duio
Mon, Jul 4, 2022, 12:00pm (UTC -5)
At least Kirk didn’t go on a rant about sharp sticks
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mosley
Mon, Jul 4, 2022, 10:57pm (UTC -5)
@booming :

They were backed into a corner so much that all they had left to say was "game over, man, game over!"
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Ilsat
Tue, Jul 5, 2022, 3:58am (UTC -5)
Lol, that's pretty great Booming.
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Alienatbar
Tue, Jul 5, 2022, 7:20am (UTC -5)
@Booming
From Alienator, somewhere back there in the pile.

‘Kurtzman to the writers after episode 9: ‘Well, that's great. That's just fuckin' great, man! Now what the fuck are we supposed to do? We're in some real pretty shit now, man!’

WTF Booming? Stealing my shit. That’s low man. Who steals someone else’s shit and poorly imitates that said shit? :D

New age Trek: ‘Hey Vasquez, have you ever been mistaken for cutting edge, next generation, wow inducing sci-fi?
Vasquez: No. Have you?

South Australian reds are mighty good!

Seriously, I am so disappointed in this series because I wanted it to be good but the lie is alive. It’s all Corporate baby. I didn’t want to call out the title in regard to Uhura but others have so what the hell. We didn’t need this tragedy to define her choices as others have rightly said. Let her make the choices because she knows they’re right. She’s a smart puppy. ‘All Those That Wander’ meant if you never decide who you are, which side you choose and where you belong then you’ll get torn to shreds as you meander in the darkness. Bollocks to your subtext! Wander if you want.

On Chapel. They have her feigning love for Spock when all she is doing is clearly manipulating him for her own purposes. Do the writers find this romantic? Leave him the fuck alone. If this were reversed it would be called stalking.
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Booming
Tue, Jul 5, 2022, 8:15am (UTC -5)
@Alientatbar
Woah, I must be a SNW writer!! Sorry, I did not know that. Well, mine wasn't a direct quote, YOU BITCH! :)

(Everybody loves that Alien-Ripley fight and that "you bitch" scene in particular but I don't. It's the one scene where I role my eyes.)
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Ilsat
Tue, Jul 5, 2022, 12:01pm (UTC -5)
I say we take off and nuke Kurtzman from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
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Alex
Tue, Jul 5, 2022, 3:07pm (UTC -5)
@Alienatbar:

))Can someone tell me what the title even means in relation to the story? ‘All Those Who Wander’?((

Googling yields:

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

— J. R. R. Tolkien
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Alex
Tue, Jul 5, 2022, 3:56pm (UTC -5)
@Walding:

))Sure, titles like "Who Mourns for Adonais?", "Mudd's Women" or "The Squire of Gothos" are unlikely to be a problem. ((

"Who Mourns for Adonais?" is likewise a famous quote - An Elegy on the Death of John Keats by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Line 415 reads "Who mourns for Adonais?
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Alex
Tue, Jul 5, 2022, 4:00pm (UTC -5)
@Marlboro:

))I like the pretentious titles. They're a Trek tradition. "City on the Edge of Forever" "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" and so forth.((

"City" takes place in the ruins of an incredibly ancient city, with a time portal that can take you through eternity. Title is quite appropriate - not "pretentious."

"World is Hollow" is about a hollow world. One character actually quotes the title verbatim. Appropriate - not "pretentious."
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Alienatbar
Tue, Jul 5, 2022, 4:26pm (UTC -5)
@Alex
Nice. If they are using Tolkien, leaving out the ‘Not’ is significant, is it… not? ‘Not All Those That Wander’ would have been more appropriate unless they were meant to misquote Tolkien. After reading and watching all the content on the new Middle Earth series it may well be deliberate.
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Walding
Wed, Jul 6, 2022, 3:00am (UTC -5)
@Alienatbar

I am pretty sure the title is connected to Uhura being unsure what to do with her life in the episodes intro.

Is it significant that the "Not" is dropped? Tolkiens poem is also well known for reversing the proverb "Not all that glitters is gold" into "All that is gold does not glitter". And that part is often "misquoted" as the slightly easier understandable "Not all that is gold does glitter".

So it could be that the full phrase we are meant to complete is "All those who wander are not lost". Or maybe I am overanalyzing things.
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Alienatbar
Wed, Jul 6, 2022, 3:38am (UTC -5)
I was definitely over analyzing it, with a belly full of red. Funny though that La’an has now gone wandering.
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F
Wed, Jul 6, 2022, 11:26am (UTC -5)
It's really impressive how TOS had shitty scenarios and some really poor action scenes but the situations had WEIGHT, while SNW has all it takes to make a proper horror setup and I absolutely didn't gave a shit about what was happening for the entire episode. I guess those scenes with the crew discussing tense matters while eating gourmet and doing dishes and discussing feelings while repairing a ship infested with gorn doesn't help to stablish the mood.

And Pike is like.... I don't know. I guess he is supposed to be this leader with high emotional and social IQ, wich is really appropriate for a captain. But still... meh.
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F
Wed, Jul 6, 2022, 11:41am (UTC -5)
And Uhura's drama is just boring.

And why does everybody has to be giving a Super Profound Lesson every time they speak, goddammit?
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SlackerInc
Wed, Jul 6, 2022, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
I was never a fantasy guy (as opposed to science fiction, preferably hard sci-fi), so I didn't know the title came from Tolkien. For me it was associated with the Grateful Dead! Like bumper stickers with the little bears on them.
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Alienatbar
Wed, Jul 6, 2022, 6:41pm (UTC -5)
@Slacker
We’re only assuming it’s Tolkien. Happy to go with a better explanation. I think the only Grateful Dead here is Hemmer who doesn’t have to put up with crap scenarios anymore.

I think we’re about to get our Discovery ‘save the universe’ episode for the finale. I’ll try not to read the comments before watching this week.
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RobSolf
Fri, Jul 8, 2022, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc Pretty sure GD got it from Tolkien. There was a huge LOTR resurgence in the 70's from hippie culture, which Tolkien didn't like very much.
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Halle
Fri, Jul 8, 2022, 3:33pm (UTC -5)
'And Uhura's drama is just boring."

Uhm, sure, she should just sit in her secretary-operator seat and say a few sentences each episode to her mighty captain. Gimme a break. This Uhura and her story is heaps better and more compelling than three seasons of her in campy TOS.
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F
Fri, Jul 8, 2022, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Hi @Halle,
I'm certainly not saying Uhura shouldn't have an arc, I'm just saying the one they gave her is very poor. "I'm a newbie, I joined starfleet because I was running from my family's death and I'm not sure I wanna stay ": that's pretty much all we've got for her. And we know what she will choose, so 'how she will come to that decision' is basically what we've left room for. And is it difficult to visualize how this "dilemma" could be solved? Not at all, I think -- and if what we've saw on "All those who wander" is all that took to resolve that arc, I think it offered us very little indeed...
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Halle
Fri, Jul 8, 2022, 7:09pm (UTC -5)
F,
If you are sincere about that, you would not start with praise of TOS to put SNW down. I learned more background - and I mean, compelling background - on all of the SNW Enterprise crew in the first 9 episodes than I did of the Enterprise crew in TOS in 80 episodes, especially the women. Outside of Spock, every character in SNW is played by a better actor and written with more complexity than TOS. If Uhura in SNW bores you than you must have absolutely hated Nichelle Nicholls's Uhura who was reduced to phone answering in TOS, right? Yeah, I didn't think so either.
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Ilsat
Fri, Jul 8, 2022, 7:44pm (UTC -5)
Halle: "Outside of Spock, every character in SNW is played by a better actor and written with more complexity than TOS." So who does that leave then? Because if you're arguing the cast of SNW is overall better than TOS, that is complete bullshit.
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Halle
Fri, Jul 8, 2022, 8:09pm (UTC -5)
That is exactly what I am arguing. Better cast, better character building, and I explained my reasoning. And providing a pedestrian "that is bullshit" retort will convince nobody and only show you are a foul-mouthed nobody that I won't waste time talking to. Carry on with your monologue.
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Ilsat
Fri, Jul 8, 2022, 9:17pm (UTC -5)
Fine Halle, have it your way --

Kirk: TOS has Shatner. SNW has Paul Wesley. This is the iconic character of Trek. Even after a single episode people have their doubts about Wesley. Shatner is a legend. Maybe Wesley will grow into the part but the odds are stacked against his getting anywhere near Shatner.

Spock: Nimoy is the definitive Spock. Peck is good but Nimoy's presence, his charisma, his often nuanced take on Spock is the gold standard.

Doctor: DeForest Kelley was already a well established film and television star when he was cast as Bones. No clue who they will use for Bones but the current doctor, played by Babs Olusanmokan, is practically unintelligible. He lacks the wit, charm, dynamic with Spock, etc. to hold a candle to Kelley's take on the doctor.

Engineer: Hemmer was a pleasure to watch, no doubt. Bruce Horak was a delight. But so was Scott played by James Doohan. Again, one of the iconic characters of Trek. Brilliant, temperamental, charismatic. Oh, and his character actually lived longer than 9 episodes.

Uhura: Celia Rose Gooding has more to work with in SNW than Nichelle Nichols but your point isn't that the character is better. You think Gooding is a definitively better actress. You have very little basis for this. Nichols was an accomplished stage actress before TOS. Her turn as Uhura inspired a ton of African American actresses, including Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah. She was also a voice over actress. Gooding is good but to say she is a definitively better actress than Nichols is bullshit.

Helmsman: Christina Chong has been hit or miss in this role. Certainly some solid acting especially where she asserts herself. However, Chong's turn in the fantasy episode was lackluster. Her range seems a bit limited. I'll give you that she's probably better than Takei, but not by much.

Una: Rebecca Romijn is a good actress but that's about it. Her portrayal of Una is flat. Beyond Trek, she's done decent work with X-men but honestly she's not much of a threat to take home any Oscars or Emmys. Nimoy's Spock is the closest to a second in command. Comparing him to Romijn is silly. He was a more accomplished actor with a wider range. And obviously his take on Spock is the gold standard. Una lacks any kind of rapport with Pike in the same galaxy as Spock's with Kirk.

So, based on the foregoing, you are full of shit.
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F
Sat, Jul 9, 2022, 7:08am (UTC -5)
@Halle

"If Uhura in SNW bores you than you must have absolutely hated Nichelle Nicholls's Uhura who was reduced to phone answering in TOS, right? Yeah, I didn't think so either."

I see your point, but I think there's an important distinction here: having a poor arc is different from having no arc at all. Yes, TOS Uhura had no arc, but are we supposed to like anything they propose as an arc for her just because of that? I don't think so hehe.

(And if we think about it... the lack of development in various TOS characters has a certain charm, and I think it contributed enourmosly to their success. Because we are left wondering about them, and that way we can always idealize something cool, on-demand just for us, by our own imagination. So, it's easier to accept a "no arc" than a poor one).

But, in fact, TOS gave us a little development for Uhura: in "Mirror, mirror", she is very badass. Zoe Saldana's Uhura also had that strong feel. But SNW Uhura is this very sweet newbie girl, with a not very compelling dilemma...
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Sigh2000
Sat, Jul 9, 2022, 7:51am (UTC -5)
@F

Thoughtful discussion

Explaining TOS-deficits, there are questions worth thinking about:

Did the character arc as a "thing to be carefully developed, if not in fact cherished," even exist in 1966?

In a series that never knew that it had a future beyond a season, could an arc even be contemplated for a character?

IMO: TOS Uhura was great given the constraints of the period. That she existed at all then was a relief in the era of the Dixiecrats.

Arcs back then were organically discovered by noting affinities between actors. Shatner, Nimoy, Kelly trio became special and then could be worked into an arc.

Soap opera "arcs" if they were even called that back in '66, usually boiled down to characters being:
1) knocked on the head as a cliff-hanger and 2) then shown lying in intensive care for months, to elicit viewer tune-in over weeks, or months as the attractive doctor or equivalent specialist tried different methods of resuscitation on the arc-victim. Minimal writing was necessary to sell soap.

Uhura's development was meaningful on TOS and is still appreciated by many today. An historical perspective must be brought to bear on the analysis, as you have done. :-)
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Ilsat
Sat, Jul 9, 2022, 8:39am (UTC -5)
Interesting take on the absence of character arcs historically. It's important to remember TOS occurred during the 1960s with the space race in full effect. Sci fi was tied to the awe and wonderment of this time period. Less interest in character development (for its own sake) and more with how specific characters confront different challenges, moral dilemmas and so forth.

It was a time when the mere appearance of an African American woman on television was a big deal. To be a member of the main cast unheard of. But to do an ensemble cast that also included an Asian, a Russian, a Scot, a Ukrainian Jew? That took serious balls. I do wish No. 1 had been a mainstay. That would've been fun. But regardless, this show was a testament to what America could be, a visual, episodic affirmation of the ideals embedded in Woodstock, Dr. King, bra burning feminists, and so on.

The 1960s were also a bit kookie. Idiosyncratic. Wild colors, drug saturated lyrics, beautiful strangeness everywhere. And TOS embodies so much of this. It's ironic that a show about the distant future has become such a cultural artifact. But Roddenberry, Coon and others were creatures of their time. And TOS has a rare capacity to elevate the strangeness of this period through a combination of relatable charm, reimagined fairy tale lessons, profound philosophical digressions and on some occasions spectacular storytelling.

In the end, TOS will be remembered. SNW- not unless it ups its game big time.
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Sigh2000
Sat, Jul 9, 2022, 10:13am (UTC -5)
@Ilsat

"The 1960s were also a bit kookie. Idiosyncratic. Wild colors, drug saturated lyrics, beautiful strangeness everywhere. And TOS embodies so much of this. It's ironic that a show about the distant future has become such a cultural artifact. But Roddenberry, Coon and others were creatures of their time. And TOS has a rare capacity to elevate the strangeness of this period through a combination of relatable charm, reimagined fairy tale lessons, profound philosophical digressions and on some occasions spectacular storytelling."

Couldn't be expressed any better.
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Ilsat
Mon, Jul 11, 2022, 10:32am (UTC -5)
Another Jeffrey's Tube litany of prepared excuses for the issues here as well.
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zanki
Mon, Jul 11, 2022, 1:07pm (UTC -5)
@Ilsat

Funny because it's not during the 60's that it gained it's renown but rather the 70's on reruns, I could also argue it's more memorable because it's idealistic and not some cold doomer sci -fi show of time .

I'm not defending SNW but what you're asking is a show to be better than it's original idea (TOS), and that is incredibly hard to do, at some point every franchise becomes saturated.
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Akom
Mon, Jul 11, 2022, 5:15pm (UTC -5)
I feel sad about the sacrifice of Hemmer, not because I think that was a great character, but cuz I think that he had the potential to be one... very under-used (compared to T'Pring for example), and he gave some alien diversity to a very human crew.

I did not knew that the actor was blind until I read about it here, what a missed opportunity! What's the point of casting a blind actor to perform a non-blind one? Is the same problem that have characters like Daredevil, when he is blind but can see better that all non-blind people (?). I think that can be a better story to see how that people overcome or deal with his differences.

A final humorous though: I'm just the only one that every time some other character tries to force Spock to be more human and emotional, screams "nooooooo, I want Spock to be more vulcan, that what I like about him, leave him alone!!..."

So far, -with some nitipicks of course-, I like this first season of non-canon Star Trek in years (yes, the others NuTrek doesn't add on my abbacus)
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Ilsat
Mon, Jul 11, 2022, 10:12pm (UTC -5)
Zanki, I'm not asking anything of the sort. Whether SNW is capable of exceeding the quality of TOS is beside the point. Just tell a compelling story that raises fresh ideas and philosophical dilemmas. Is it really that hard to understand?
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Leanne
Tue, Jul 12, 2022, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
I really liked the character of Hemmer. I was looking forward to more stories involving him. Davey Perez one of the producers said this on a podcast.
The thing we’re allowed to say is that Bruce Horak… his relationship with Trek is not over. We really love him. And Star Trek has a long tradition of reusing actors. There are plenty of people that you fall in love with and you’re like, “Well, they were an alien, they could be another alien, they could be without the makeup because they were an alien.” So whatever it is in the future, we know his relationship with Star Trek is not over.

When Lofton mentioned perennial Star Trek guest star Jeffrey Combs, who played multiple roles (in different Trek series), Perez nodded in agreement over the comparison. So, it looks like Horak will be returning in a new role, presumably during the second season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, which wrapped production just a few days ago. There is no indication yet on if this will be a one-off guest role or a recurring role.
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Mister Darwin
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 3:40pm (UTC -5)
I loved Hemmer, but please leave him be. We already know a good number of the crew will make it to Kirk's time. Let's have his death have meaning, and keep the risk real for the rest of the crew. I would rather morn the loss of a good character than have all future threats undermined by a cheap stunt.
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Saph
Fri, Jul 22, 2022, 12:00am (UTC -5)
Another stellar episode!

I’d rate it 3/4 too. This new Trek era is amazing and it’s been hitting it out of the park with the target demographic!

I watch it with a group of friends and we had a blast.

It’s a bit sad to see old people so upset about “NuTrek” but I guess some day I’ll be old and equally cranky lol.
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Nic
Fri, Aug 5, 2022, 10:41pm (UTC -5)
I'm also not a fan of horror at all. I found the first "Alien" kind of enjoyable, but I have no interest in seeing the sequels. And my comment from "Memento Mori" still stands: it's beyond ridiculous that a species would need to develop spacefearing technology JUST to find food. How would they have survived until then?

However, once you accept those terms, there's a lot of good stuff here. Every character (except Una, unfortunately) was used reasonably and effectively. No one acted really stupid (except George Kirk) and everyone got their moments.

Hemmer's death is certainly a bold move, and makes the episode a winner for me, but it would have been more affecting had it happened a few seasons later when we were more attached to this fascinating character.
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Artymiss
Mon, Aug 8, 2022, 2:13am (UTC -5)
Given what we see of them here how are the Gorn intelligent enough to achieve space flight and have the sort of advanced society necessary to build ships and operate them? They can't even be in the same room together without turning on each other and fighting to the death.
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SlackerInc
Mon, Aug 8, 2022, 9:09am (UTC -5)
It's a great question.
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Top Hat
Mon, Aug 8, 2022, 10:36am (UTC -5)
I think the implication is that it's only this larval phase that's intensely competitive. Those who survive to adulthood probably change considerably, both physically and in terms of outlook. I'm not saying that makes a tonne of sense but that seems to be the concept.
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artymiss
Mon, Aug 8, 2022, 11:30am (UTC -5)
@Top Hat

Yes I thought that too but agree it doesn't make sense. Given their technological advancement I'd expect Gorn society to be at an advanced stage too. I can only think that they are so alien it's too alien for my brain to comprehend!

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