Recap/Review: ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Remembers Itself In “Among the Lotus Eaters”

“Among the Lotus Eaters”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2, Episode 4 – Debuted Thursday, July 6, 2023
Written by Kirsten Beyer & Davy Perez
Directed by Eduardo Sanchez

A solid episode revisits a familiar location along with some classic Trek concepts and themes, all of which provide the backdrop for more action and important character exploration.

Nice hat… not!


WARNING: Spoilers below!


“Enterprise needs to clean up its own mess”

During a joint star mapping mission with the USS Cayuga, Captain Pike tries to have a romantic meal with Captain Batel, but Starfleet duties keep interfering. After he gets a nice pendant gift, Chris learns JAGoff admiral Pasalk from Una’s trial has made sure Batel doesn’t get an expected promotion. Pike’s guilt over hurting her career has him pulling back a little, so she counters by leaving with “See you when I see you, captain.” Ouch. The timing actually works out because Enterprise has been tasked to return to Rigel VII, an unfortunate blast from five years in Pike’s past when his landing party lost 3 crew members to an attack from the unfriendly bronze-age locals. With Spock injured, they were in a hurry to leave, but they must have left something behind. Long-range photography spotted a palace topiary shaped into a Starfleet Delta. Oops. After Una briefs the away team including M’Benga, La’an, and Ortegas, she counsels a morose Pike to not feel guilty over the original mission to Rigel VII and squeezes in some sage relationship advice: “Everyone deserves joy in their life, even a captain.”

Erica Ortegas is so stoked to get off the ship and have a chance to go incognito as one of the local Kalar, she even ignores La’an dissing her furry hat. Unfortunately, Spock ruins the fun with news that a nearby “volatile” debris field requires her unique skills to keep the Enterprise from being pulverized. Boring! Pike takes over as shuttle pilot and sets the party down far from the settlement to avoid any more contamination. With only period-appropriate tech this time, Pike has chosen La’an and M’Benga for the mission as they don’t need phasers if it comes to a fight (but how about a knife?). The security officer is first to notice the ringing in the ears and gaps in time, but they press on to the palace, finding it adorned with a big ol’ Starfleet delta. Oh, and the Kalar guards have phaser rifles. Okay, maybe Pike should feel guilty for leaving stuff behind. Soon enough they are hauled inside to meet the leader… and it’s Pike’s old yeoman, alive! Dismissing talk of how he was reported KIA, this crown-wearing former Starfleet officer demands to be called “High Lord Zacarias.” The garden sculpture wasn’t a message; the locals worship him and his symbols. “There’s no going back for me… reason doesn’t exist here.” So yeah, he’s gone full Colonel Kurtz. And that ear-ringing thing? It’s the first symptom from local radiation and Zac is looking forward to seeing his old captain suffer through the rest. The Enterprise trio next finds themselves waking up outside the palace in a cage as they struggle to remember where they are, and even who they are.

Say hello to my little friend.

“We don’t belong here”

That ringing thing is happening on the Enterprise too. Uhura is the first to report to sickbay alarming Chapel, who sees something is blocking all of the communications officer’s neural pathways. Soon enough, others on board start reporting memory loss. It doesn’t take long for Spock to start handing out PADDs with personnel files so critical people can remember who they are. Suspecting the exotic radiation coming from the planet is the source, the science officer informs Number One they have an hour before no one will be left to run the ship. Una orders him to get the ship away from the planet just as she succumbs to the forgetting herself. Alone on the bridge, Spock orders a confident Ortegas to take Enterprise into the debris field, which he assumes will act as a “natural shield.” What did he say about famous last words recently?

Pike’s disoriented trio gets some help from Luq, a local “field Kalar,” who can see they had a “rough forgetting” but nothing some nice hard labor won’t sort out at the stone quarry. Luq’s a nice guy, but Pike isn’t buying this “our work is a blessing” stuff. Holding on to the pendant that Batel gave him, Chris senses he and his companions aren’t the manual labor types and perhaps they belong in the palace, said to be protected from the nightly mind wiping. Soon enough the captain overpowers the guards, but La’an gets wounded in the fight, and M’Benga knows he should be able to fix her but can’t remember exactly how. Luq takes them to his hut and reveals his “totem,” which, along with some Memento-style life story body art, helps center him and gives the group some insight into the local mythology. His biggest note: While you forget the details of your life every day, emotion carries through, so Luq is moved by Pike’s need to return to whoever gave him that pendent, as well as his conviction to save La’an. He agrees to help them get M’Benga’s memories back. As they near the palace, the field Kalar elects to stay behind with La’an, afraid to remember his own personal pain. After another loss of time, the captain and doctor find themselves fighting gate guards, where M’Benga gets grazed by a phaser. The doctor will hold off the gate guards as Pike goes in alone to get those memories, which apparently are kept in a box or something.

Thankfully I remember hair mousse.

“I’m the pilot, just trust me”

Things are not very focused on the ship as Spock and Ortegas find themselves on a bridge of blaring alarms with no idea where they are, who they are, or even how to read the PADDs with all those answers. After arguing with the irritating Vulcan, Erica leaves, and the helpful lady (ship’s computer) in the turbolift takes her “home,” guiding her along the corridor filled with bewildered crew just wandering around. In her quarters, Ortegas just wants to “stop the rocks.” Her conversation with the ubiquitous voice only confuses her until the ship asks about plotting a course, informing her that she’s the ship’s pilot. Using “I’m Erica Ortegas, I fly the ship” as a focusing mantra, the determined officer returns to the bridge, telling the befuddled Spock she now knows what to do. Offering only encouragement (and a bit of backseat driving) he sits by to watch as instinct takes over Ortegas and she deftly maneuvers their way out of the debris field with some impressive flying that includes using the phasers to blast a hole through a particularly big rock. Take that, Mr. Vulcan.

Pike fights his way inside and just starts wailing on Zac, demanding the secret casket of memories. The self-made high lord can only laugh that Pike fell for the totem “nonsense.” Quick story: An asteroid hit thousands of years ago with daily memory-wiping radiation but palace stone protected Kalar leaders so they put it in their helmets and turned it all into a mythology to keep the workers in line. Zac thought it would be a laugh to have his former captain wander around the planet as a field Kalar and thinks it’s hilarious Pike fell for the fairy tale, but with a phaser rifle pointed at his head, the former yeoman calls backsies. Luckily, Pike finally remembers he is a Starfleet captain who doesn’t randomly kill prisoners. He feels bad for having left Zac behind, but there will be consequences for taking over the planet with Federation tech. Soon enough La’an is fixed up by M’Benga with more of the supplies left behind by the original landing party. Luq has decided to come inside and has no regrets over the rediscovered loss of his family, because “some memories are worth the pain.” Back on ship, all is well as Spock has fixed the shields to protect them all from the radiation. which it turns out was coming from the debris field he sent them into. D’oh. Back on the ship and in command, Pike wants to set things right as he orders Ortegas to grab that asteroid off the planet and fling it safely away—with just the briefest discussion over the Prime Directive, naturally. Wrapping things up, Chris arranges a rendezvous with the Cayuga and a dubious Captain Batel, but she wavers as he apologizes for being an “ass.” His time on Rigel VII and how that pendant guided him has him seeing their shared bond as captains is a strength, so of course she forgives him with a big ol’ kiss. Aww.

Hold on to your Vulcan butts.


Back to where it all started

Strange New Worlds continues to mix things up with a revisit to a known planet but adds a new (yet classic) twist. A good mix of action, character development, and even some romance make “Among the Lotus Eaters” an entertaining adventure, but it also explores some philosophical issues about human nature. With echoes of classic episodes like TOS’s “Omega Glory” and “Patterns of Force” mixed with a bit of “The Cloud Minders” and TNG’s “Conundrum,” the story of cultural contamination, the hubris of power, and the importance of memories all feel familiar but get blended up for something new. There is also a hint of a recurring theme this season dealing with misinformation used to divide, this time exploring a two-tiered society with the contemporary analogy of the elites trying to use misinformation to manipulate the population. All of this adds up to an episode that stands on its own well but still feels very Star Trek.

With the focus on Pike, Anson Mount delivered a strong performance as he was put through the wringer dealing with relationship problems and confronting the guilt over a failure during a past mission, compounded when he learns his old yeoman was left behind only to go mad with power. Mount deserves bonus points for his portrayal of the memory-less Pike, who is different enough but remains, fundamentally, a leader. The episode also tests the notion of exactly who Pike is at his core when he shows a brutal side we have not seen before, bringing up some big questions about his true nature, which he himself acknowledged. Like “The Enemy Within” revealed about Kirk, this episode shows Pike has a dark side, which may be hard for some fans to see, but Mount did warn us season 2 would explore the limits of Trek’s idealism. As for the romance plot, Melanie Scrofano does a fine job as Batel (still no first name), but the two really don’t seem to have the chemistry of a love story and this all sort of feels like it is just being set up for something tragic.

Can you remind me, am I supposed to beat you up?

The focus on the character of Ortegas, even as a B-story, was still very welcome. Like Mount, Melissa Navia nailed playing both sides of Ortegas, with and without memories. Our hearts were broken as she was denied her first big furry-hat wearing away mission and broken again as she cowered in her quarters with only the disembodied voice of the computer to keep her from going totally crazy. (Shout out to Alex Kapp, who pulled extra duty as the dutiful yet seemingly compassionate Enterprise computer.) Usually in these kinds of episodes where the crew is out of commission for some reason, there is one special character like Spock or Data or Seven who, by their unique nature, is immune, but here Ortegas is just a human whose superpower is being a kickass pilot and saves the day. While the logic of how the memory erasure worked was a bit inconsistent, like losing their ability to read but still being able to do other tasks, this did help set up Ortegas’ hero moment where she was the only person who could save them, raw natural talent and instinct was enough, helping her remember what truly mattered. Speaking of logic, it was nice to see Spock screw up by sending the ship in the wrong direction, showing he is still growing, even in his scientific prowess, or as Ortegas noted, “He’s still got a lot to learn.”

Hopefully in a future episode we can see an even bigger focus on Ortegas and maybe delve more into her backstory, possibly her history in the Klingon War as she, unlike Chapel and M’Benga, sometimes seems to miss the action.

Too bad I’m going to forget how cool this is.

While fans might yearn for more new worlds in their Strange New Worlds, this revisit to Rigel VII from “The Cage” was worth it for the exploration of Pike’s lingering guilt, although his exclaiming “This is a cage,” was a bit too meta. David Huynh was a bit one-note as Zac, the power-mad guy left behind, but in the end he wasn’t the real villain, which was the planet itself. The rules of Rigel VII and the “forgetting” may have gotten convoluted to serve the story, but the mythology of the planet was beautifully expressed by guest star Reed Birney as Luq. The Tony-award-winning actor who has been in everything did a fantastic job as the landing party’s guide, espousing the philosophy of just letting go of the pain of memory but then recognizing Pike’s pure emotion and joining in to help and eventually learning his own truth. One can imagine this guy will help lead Rigel VII to eventually become a tourist hot spot in the 24th century (if we are to believe the promotional displays seen on Station Deep Space 9). The planet itself was beautifully realized, as were fantastic costumes and production design for the Kalar village. The new version of the palace is nicely built on the classic Albert Whitlock matt painting and the redress from the location shooting, along with the village, all felt like just enough of an update from the TOS style. While the visual effects were good, the obvious use of the AR wall may have taken you out of the moment, unless that too was an homage to old-school planet sets from TOS (but it probably wasn’t).

If only Daniel Jackson was here to translate… oh, sorry, wrong ‘Star’ franchise.

Final thoughts

Strange New Worlds continues to deliver on its promise of a grab bag of genres with each episode, along with the more emotional depth they are striving for in season 2. The show still takes shortcuts or allows for lapses in logic to get where they want to emotionally, but in the end, it usually pays off and it did again this week. Season 2 continues to be a worthy successor to an impressive first season and we aren’t even half way through it.

I remember something about a hot guy with pointed ears.


  • The episode title reference to Homer’s Odyssey when Odysseus visited an island of “lotus eaters” where the inhabitants (and his crew) forgot all their worries after eating fruit from a lotus tree.
  • The episode was shot in the last weeks of March 2022 and used the Mount Community Centre in Peterborough, Ontario for the Rigel VII castle.
  • The episode includes a captain’s personal log (Stardate 1630.1) and a pilot’s personal log (Stardate 1632.2) from Ortegas.
  • Does Starfleet not track what they bring along on landing parties? Especially weapons to a pre-warp planet?
  • Captain Batel’s USS Cayuga was seen briefly once before in the season 1 finale.
  • Pike served Batel Chateau Picard wine, likely the same 2221 vintage Bordeaux he served his crew during a dinner party in season 1. You can buy a bottle for yourself from Star Trek Wines.
  • Even without any other tech, the landing party was able to talk to the locals using subdermal universal translators.
  • Ortegas quipped that Uhura had stayed up late translating Tellarite sonnets.
  • Pike reminded Ortegas he was a test pilot, which was revealed in his Starfleet record shown in the Discovery episode “Light and Shadows.”
  • Ortegas’ file reveals she was born in Barranquilla, Colombia on May 20, 2233.
  • Ortegas’ quarters are on Deck 6, section G, room 629, and they are huge like everyone else’s.
  • Among the decorations in her quarters is a model of the USS Enterprise and one of a Walker class ship (like the USS Shenzhou), both are likely Eaglemoss models.

Hey guard, did you hear my joke about “The Cage”… you see five years ago… oh, forget it.

More to come

Every Friday, the All Access Star Trek Podcast covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe and discusses the latest episode. The podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPocket CastsStitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network.

Season 2 episodes drop weekly on Thursdays on Paramount+ in the U.S, the U.K., Australia, Latin America, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Season 2 is also available on SkyShowtime elsewhere in Europe. The second season will also be available to stream on Paramount+ in South Korea, with premiere dates to be announced at a later date.

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This episode didn’t reveal that Pike has a dark side. “The Cage” did. He’s pretty toxic in that episode–angry, murderous, sexist and rude.

Also, this episode pretty much sucked. I found almost nothing to like about it, especially the stupid depiction of the Kaylars. In The Cage they were massive and ugly and primitive and terrifying. The one Pike fought in The Cage had a very good chance of killing him, and the fear on his and Vina’s faces made sense. This episode’s Kaylars are about as intimidating and scary as actors at a Renaissance Faire. You have to wonder why Pike’s prior visit went so badly when they were fighting such pathetic warriors with as little cunning and fighting skills as were evident here. Just a stupid, stupid episode. I pretty much never say that about Strange New Worlds, which normally is ace. So I hate that I’m saying it now. My girlfriend and I sat there the whole time saying ‘What the hell is this?’


…that line about a Renaissance Faire gave me a good chuckle. Very good point.

Thank you. :)

Yeah the Kaylars were really disappointing. And sorry you hated it so much Lorna Dune, but I’m not that far behind you. I had a lot of issues with it too and easily the worst episode of the season. But it’s the only one I didn’t like so far.

I’d call it the worst of the series.

For me, it’s the second worst. I REALLY hated that Alien ripoff Gorn episode last season.

Justice for Hemmer!

I think the worst episode of the series so far was the one where they were all in some kind of “Game of Thrones” environment (“The Elysian Kingdom”) or whatever that was. (I have never seen “Game of Thrones.”)

I always envisioned the Kaylar’s to be significantly larger than humans warrior/beast like savages.(Even more savage than the Klingons) Mmmmmmm not so much in this weeks episode returning to Rigel VII.

Same. These were just sad peasants and normal-size warriors who weren’t good at fighting. The Kaylar in The Cage could have bitten Pike in half!

…don’t want to ‘offend’ any folks who might be scared by an actual ‘scary’ warrior, like the original.

So perhaps the big burly kaylars were killed by the dude with a PHASER!

Are we to believe Pike brought down a case of phaser rifles….and then forgot them? Phaser rifles? (And why didn’t he use them originally to defend his crew if his landing party was being killed/wiped out? And if you say because of the Prime Directive, I remind you he brought down phaser rifles- if he was really worried about the PD, he would not have brought them). What Captain would do that, lose advanced weapons, lose crew, and not be fired? Speaking of phasers, how does a metal serving platter deflect phaser fire? When did phasers no longer work on metal? And back on the PD, how is it OK with the PD to reverse the effect of a natural event of the moons colliding? How can that logic be called “solid”?

Yep another big plothole. And of course the other irony is they went down the first time wearing their uniforms too knowing it was a primitive pre-warp society. So you have to blame Pike for the cultural contamination if he’s bringing Starfleet weapons and supplies and everyone is wearing their uniforms too and then leave one of the supposed dead bodies behind like Zac which no one even tried to go back for.

As Sisko would say, this was sloppy work Pike. Damn sloppy!

1. The episode made it clear that conventional sensors didn’t work because of the asteroid field, so in “The Cage,” they would have relied on photography. Thus, they didn’t necessarily know how technologically advanced the civilization was. Finally, we have seen myriad examples of Starfleet bringing advanced technology to pre-warp worlds, such as in ENT “The Communicator,” most of the time travel episodes (cf. the phasers recovered by the US Navy in TVH), the duck blinds in “Who Watches the Watchers,” etc.

2. Most interpretations of the Prime Directive appear to allow for the protection of pre-warp societies from natural disasters. For example, in “For the World Is Hollow,” the Enterprise intervened to prevent the asteroid-cum-spaceship from colliding with a planet. Yes, TNG “Homeward,” where Picard refused to stop a natural disaster on Prime Directive grounds, showed the opposite, but frankly, that episode never made any sense whatsoever. Even Picard made the opposite decision in “Pen Pals.”

Perhaps the question of preventing natural disasters in the Prime Directive context is the subject of some philosophical debate within Starfleet, and different captains are allowed to take a more stringent stance than baseline regulations require. Personally, I’d just as soon they ignore “Homeward.”

1.. I don’t know how much I buy that explanation. Most advanced societies would have satellites and aircraft like we do today. Starfleet shouldn’t even have to scan the surface but pick up all the communication signals the planet would be using and sending out into space. This seem like it would be a big protocol for any missions before they just beam down somewhere in fact. Yes maybe sensors didn’t work properly but the fact there was zero communications signals anywhere already told them it was a more primitive society or certainly nowhere warp capable even if they couldn’t get specific readings. At the very least you think they go in with that assumption first.

2..I don’t really disagree with this but it wasn’t a potential fatal disaster either. But I don’t have a huge issue with what Pike did. And I agree I never liked what happened in Homeward. It was the same issue in STID with the primitive culture in the opening and Starfleet had no problem to let the Volcano erupt and kill everyone. Kirk just broke protocol to make sure they lived. I understand they don’t want Starfleet to play God but they would help any world who asked for it and it seems cruel to let a society die because they are still too primitive to even ask for the same.

Also situations like Yonada or the Paradise Syndrome planet are unique. In both cases they were carrying out the intent of what the advanced beings wanted for the people. Yonada wasn’t supposed to get hit with an asteroid. The machine malfunctioned. The oblisk was put on that planet to deflect bodies that could bring about the extinction of the inhabitants.

I admit that the STID planet was a little different, however. In that type of instance the argument of Star Fleet “playing God” for a civilization I think is in play.

Wow… Very good points. (I did mention the serving platter silliness in another post) The only thing I can think of is the creators thought the subject matter of the episode was so very good we could overlook such things. There is something to that. If something is good errors like that are easier to overlook. They don’t vanish but they don’t become as big a problem. But these writers really need to tighten down their plots and stories a ton better since the themes they deal with aren’t done well at all.

Agree. But when the actions don’t make sense in the universe the storyteller has set up, then the stakes are not real and it is hard to be invested as an audience. Then any solution can just be created and the inconsistencies waved away. To fudge those in the name of story is ok up to a point, but it comes off as lazy or even arrogant writing

All true. There is a limit even if the themes are working at 100%.

Our hearts were broken as she was denied her first big furry-hat wearing away mission and broken again as she cowered in her quarters with only the disembodied voice of the computer to keep her from going totally crazy.

As far as I can see, most reviews online are mocking this aspect of the episode since it didn’t have any depth or nuance to it at all and utterly failed to make Ortegas more than the background character she’d been all last season. They finally spotlighted her but gave her nothing whatsoever to do. It was ridiculous.

On the contrary, while this was not an Ortegas episode, she had something to do — she had to leave her safe space and confront her fears when something unfair was happening to her. Which is exactly what she did, and which isn’t necessarily lionized these days, at least on campuses.

To be fair, Anthony’s reviews always lean towards making almost any episode sound more positive than a lot of fan reviews and comments. I laughed at this sentence in his review as well, mainly because my heart was FAR from broken. It felt cheesy and just there for comic relief. Didn’t feel like Ortegas was taking some step forward. But I will say that I enjoyed the part where she worked herself up to go save the ship. From there, it just didn’t give us much more.

Disagree. This episode did indeed show Pike’s dark side uncontrolled. A dark side we all have and typically control. An element examined, better, in “The Enemy Within”. In “The Cage” Pike was using his dark side as the only real weapon he had against the Talosians. There is nothing “toxic” about him. Further, how could he be sexist when he flat out said Number One was the ship’s “best officer”?

You’re disagreeing with something I never said. :)

I said this episode didn’t REVEAL he had a dark side, which is what the review claimed. My point is that this is nothing new. We’ve known about his dark side since we first met him.

Then I misinterpreted. In my defense it does read that way, though.

This episode didn’t reveal that Pike has a dark side.

And it didn’t. :)

It kinda did.

No, you’re interpreting the sensibilities of what a TV show character said almost 60 years ago as a intrinsic part of his character on a different TV show made decades later. Almost like you’re trying to find reasons not to give this episode any credit.

There is nothing particularly wrong with Pike’s actions while capturing the castle. Look, military force by definition involves kinetic action. It’s usually more sanitized on Star Trek. It’s true that killing Zac would have been wrong — but Pike didn’t do that.

Capturing the castle wasn’t the problem. The problem was his beating of Zac to the point where he could have killed him. Under more control he would have stopped WAY earlier.

To me, beating Zac is a HUGE plot hole. I think Pike genuinely FELT guilt and regret for leaving him behind. Yes, Zac turned out to be a jerk and I’m sure Pike was pissed about that. But my guess is that his true feelings towards the guy were that he let him down, not that he wanted to kill him. According to the episode, feelings come through even if there are no memories there to back them up. Are we really supposed to believe that Pike suddenly had no guilt or remorse – so much so that he was willing to do great harm to the guy, if not KILL HIM??

He’s pretty toxic in that episode–angry, murderous, sexist and rude.

Not for nothing, but by the current public definition of that word, so was practically every male lead in action series of the 1960’s. Just saying. Sometimes ‘toxic’ is useful in a story, imo.

I agree with you about that, yes. What I was getting at, though, is that “The Cage” showed he had a dark side, long before this episode did.

True. No question about that.

You have to remember the time “The Cage” was made. SNW drastically changed Pike’s character.
This was an OK episode of a “meh” series.
Plot hole: They should have warped away from the planet and analyzed the problem from a good distance.

I liked it..but it’s kind of “meh”. it didn’t feel as connected to old stuff as it actually is, which just leads me to say… again.. why make this a place we know? There is nothing about the back story here that requires it to tie in to preexisting events. On the flip side, if they weren’t so busy revisiting previous canonical touchpoints, stories and characters in every episode, this wouldn’t feel like a big deal at all. It would probably feel like ‘oh cool.. we’re going back to Rigel, nice to feel like we’re in the same universe as TOS’. Sigh.. so much distracting nonsense, it’s tiresome.

I agree. And it’s pretty much what we can expect from this production company and the writers they have hired. It’s particularly maddening because we are only getting 10 episodes. Feels like a waste of the few we get. I know with more we would likely be getting more of the same but it is possible they may put together an above average episode if they had more shots.

When I saw Kristen Beyer’s names on the writing credits, and had hope that this would be interesting, and I think it’s aiming in the right direction. Just doesn’t quite get there.

I can concur that I feel like this one was indeed aiming in the right direction. It just was done in a clunky and disjointed way. Maybe I expect too much from Trek these days…

Yep also agreed. It look like it was going somewhere very interesting but sadly felt way too disjointed. And I think it would’ve been better to have Spock on the away mission and replace the doctor (it made sense to have La’an there) to make the Rigel VII stuff stronger.

Yeah… Not sure why the Doctor was there. Except to serve the upcoming plot. Spock made more sense.

Well they said he was there for his fighting skills more than being a doctor, but last time I checked, Spock can handle himself pretty well in a fight too.

Again, another missed opportunity that just seemed really obvious. Like why not bring down the one other person who was actually there last time that Pike could talk to about it instead of two new crew members who wasn’t even onboard the ship when they were there before?

They did say that but I couldn’t help but wonder if he was going to take more “super serum” before leaving the shuttlecraft. Otherwise I guess that is an element of M’Benga’s past no one but Pike knows about.

Spock came off as completely useless, even inept, in this episode. Ok, so he’s not the focal point, I get that. But don’t make him an idiot.

I didn’t like Ortega talking down to him. Even though it may have been sarcasm.

I am not digging the way they’re handling Spock’s character this season. He’s been reduced to comic relief. Inept is a great word.

I do see lots of complaints they are turning him into the joke instead of just being part of it….and I’m starting to agree.

It’s pretty insulting, if you ask me.

I hate what they are doing to Spock

He was there for his martial arts training. (I agree they could have made the Rigellians more physically imposing, although the guards in the field seemed beefy enough.)

Would have been nice if they said something about that. I was only able to glean from what was briefly stated that he may have had some kind of hand to hand wartime experience. Which is a far cry from actual training. If it was mentioned in some other episode they shouldn’t rely on viewers recalling that sort of minutia.

My soapbox since even the previous season has been the complaint that, with 10 episodes, is this really the best you can do? I think if you took all the previous series on broadcast TV that had as many as 20 to 24 episodes per season, you could easily have 5 to 10 each year that would beat out almost ANY of the SNW episodes so far. If the excuse is that more episodes create the chance for more success, then why not write 20 EPISODES and then narrow it down?

It’s a big reason why I have become more appreciative of the older shows. They had soooo many episodes they had to make every season and certainly a lot of duds but also made some of the best and classic stories with only a fraction of the money and time shows like DIS, PIC and SNW gets.

And as a result people mostly remember the successes and generally forget about the mediocre or dud episodes.

Certainly true but everyone still remembers Shades of Grey lol.

Some episodes transcend crappiness to infamy. Case in point… Spock’s Brain.

I liked it.

Me too. Great ep!

I did as well. It was a solid episode about how our memories influence us, about the need to confront our fears. It was no “Ad Aspera Per Astra,” to be sure, but I’d still call it a good 7.5/10, hardly cringeworthy, and better than last season’s pirate and fairy tale episodes.

Yeah I agree. I think that’s why it was so disappointing for me because Rigel VII was the only place he had a real connection to as a character. I was really hoping we see his backstory come out more but the story didn’t do much with it at all. And I know this is kind of silly but I was hoping we get at least a reference to some of the former crew or something. But it’s like Picard and the Stargazer at this point and not people he think about much anymore. Or any of them since Spock and Number One was around too.

Overall a huge let down.

Yeah, I agree with everything you and ML31 have said on this episode. So far I’m 1 for 4 this season and we’re almost halfway through.

It feels like such a missed opportunity. If you’re going to this planet for the time in reality and it’s all built around a few lines Pike says in the pilot, they could’ve really expanded that story and give us more development for him. We learned absolutely nothing new about him here.

Yeah, I feed very disappointed. I didn’t hate it and it wasn’t cringe worthy bad or anything, but I didn’t like it much either. It’s the first episode this season I have no desire to watch again, at least not right away.

Fingers crossed for next week.

You almost have to feel sorry for Navia. Her character was the least developed (by far) in season one. By her own account, she lobbied the producers for more to do. In response, they give her a B-story, the moral of which is, essentially, “be happy where you are.”

Great point. Not quite as gross as when the Dexter writers paired Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter — even though their characters were siblings (adopted) — after the two actors (who had been married to each other) divorced, but along the same lines. Writers can be very gross and petty.

Yeah. I’m cynical enough to think that they were sending her a message.

They did say too that this was one of the first episodes where the writers were on set.

Interestingly La’an’s actress said she frequently speaks with the writers and they gave her last week’s episode, followed by getting stabbed this week.

Pike has always been a little dark. Remember, he actually considered being an Orion slaver.

Funny how less enlightened the producers were then. When Pike mentions that he might go “into business” on “one of the Orion colonies” Boyce knows exactly what Pike means. But he’s not freaked that Pike has just said he’s considering becoming a slave trader. He’s only concerned that slave trading might not be the right job for Pike.

lol – yeah sorta. I do read Boyce as having a moral issue with the Orion part, but agree, the rest of the conversation is much like Bones and Spock both telling Kirk that he’d be wasting his time and life by being anything other than a starship captain

Considering the catastrophe that European colonialism was, that the Federation seems perfectly okay with it defies logic. Especially so since Eugenics resulted in a total ban on genetic manipulation in this same Federation. Pick your poison, I suppose.

Alternatively, perhaps not every Orion is (shockingly enough) a slave trader. There was plenty of shady stuff going on in Russia in the late 1990s; that didn’t stop Westerners from flocking there to set up more conventional businesses at the time.

I just rewatched that scene. One could read Pike as being sarcastic. He knows that’s no “second job” for a former captain.

I never took that seriously and Boyce’s response seems to reflect that.

Yeah that and the fact it was the first episode. They probably didn’t have that much of a direction beyond a starship was exploring space and what some of the characters were like.

They were also trying to setup the part of the story where Vina is an Orion slave girl. That whole scene seems very uncomfortable to Pike, and I personally think it has more to it than just the fact that Vina is involved. So I totally agree that this was sarcasm.

Perhaps I will feel differently after a second viewing but this one fell a little flat for me. Which is disappointing because based on the preview I thought I would enjoy it. It was interesting to revisit Star Trek’s very first “strange new world” and the twist of having a crewman thought KIA be the king of the castle was a nice surprise. But I thought the middle of the episode was a bit of a slog. They could have probably shaved 15 minutes and gotten to the climax sooner without losing anything. I also think the writers on this show require viewers to suspend their disbelief a little too much. The crew doesn’t want to carry Starfleet tech, yet they set a big shuttle down and leave it unattended? Some Bronze Age rocks shield the castle from the radiation but it is able to penetrate the Enterprise’s airtight titanium hull with ease? Not unprecedented plot holes for any previous Trek show, for sure, but they took me out of the episode a bit. I’m anxious to hear others viewpoints which I will read before watching a second time. Hopefully I will like it better. With only ten episodes per season it isn’t good to have even one I don’t like!

I think this whole season so far has been “meh”. A real sophomore slump.

Agree, but I think it’s had some good ideas, but the show can’t get out of its own way, If that makes sense.

A sophomore slump suggests that the first season was great. For me, the show has been deeply mediocre from the get go.

While I’m liking it overall, I can’t disagree that much either. It just doesn’t feel as strong as first season so far, but we still have six to go as well.

This was the 14th aired episode of Strange New Worlds. The 14th aired episode of The Original Series was “Balance of Terror.”

I can see having a bad episode in a 29 episode season that everyone agrees is a bad episode but they have to go ahead with it anyway to make their airdate (I’m looking at you The Alternative Factor). But in a ten episode run?

The Original Series also had fewer writers on staff.

No staff writers, anyway. That wasn’t the practice at the time. Combing through the first season of TOS, teleplays only, it looks like 23 unique writers for the 29 episodes.

Yeah, in the first season, it was basically Gene Roddenberry, John D.F. Black (for the first 13), Gene Coon (after Black), and D.C. Fontana rewriting all their freelancers when they weren’t writing their own assignments. So, really just three at a given time, and Roddenberry (and Coon) were also producing the show (along with Justman, etc.). The books “These Are The Voyages” shine a light on how intense the writing work was on the show, especially since they spent a lot of time trying to conform scripts from sci fi novelist and short story writers to work on TV and a TV budget.

Plus Roddenberry still found time to spend with Majel after a long work day :)

Carabatsos rewrote several too, but i think his work got re-rewrote by the others mentioned above.

I’d take anything you find in the TATV books with a grain of triticale if not salt, given the utter ineptitude and deliberate misrepresentations of the writer, who seriously gives journalism a bad name. If he had just reproduced the memos he dug up, that would have been yeoman work, useful and commendable. But instead he seems to have done a lot of omitting and misreading and even making stuff up (looking at all that stuff about an ARENA tie-in novel being defended as possibly true as one of the most outrageous.)

No staff writers, anyway. That wasn’t the practice at the time.

Perhaps this is part of the problem. The writers’ room promotes monocultures. TNG accepted spec scripts, and while they rarely got accepted, some that did — such as “Tin Man” — were quite good. And even some authors who got rejected were nonetheless invited to pitch again.

I think there were monocultures even back then that are obvious based on the different tone and feel of the different series. The difference is that I believe the people in charge back then still EMBRACED science fiction (and obviously a lot of spec scripts were from science fiction authors). I really don’t feel like there’s been much science in the fiction of SNW. It’s been much more drama, and just backstories based on concepts that they assume the audience are generally familiar with, so they don’t see the point of bringing science into the equation. There was little to no explanation of the properties of the asteroid that was causing the memory wipe, and last week, they didn’t really try to explain the time travel or even the paradox very well. I get that technobabble got a lot of criticism in the Berman era, but it just felt like they at least TRIED to make the science make sense back then.

If we are doing that, and I honestly don’t think it’s fair, but TOS had already aired “The Corbomite Maneuver”, “The Naked Time” & “The Enemy Within” before “Balance of Terror”. Not stellar but all pretty good. And all better than anything SNW has aired.

And after that 14th episode, the next 6 included “Shore Leave”, “The Galileo Seven” & “Arena”. The show had really hit it’s stride already at that point. Anyone think we will get anything close to any of those? I haven’t seen any reason to think that.

I point it out because a common refrain Online is that TOS is bad because it’s old. SNW not only has had as much time to figure itself out as TOS did, it also has 55+ years of Trek and television itself to draw from to make it as good as it can be. This show is run by an Academy Award-winning screenwriter, something no other Trek show has had. It has more time and money to make its 10 episodes than TOS ever had to make it 26+. Yet it either can’t or won’t stand on its own.

It’s not that TOS is bad because it’s old. It’s just. Super dated. The things that were okay in the 1960s are not okay in the 2020s and it shows. The points that TOS made are good and I don’t care about the visual effects at all, visual effects are not what I’m watching for. The way that women were written in a lot of cases, etc., are the issues.

Yeah, every era has its social influences baked into them. The Berman shows are dated, too. The new shows have zero timelessness and reflect the literal shoot dates of the episodes. I’m not singling you out, though. I’m responding to the “baby with the bathwater” approach people have with media. Trek has persisted for 57 years in spite of the morays and conventions of the 60s.

TNG seems a lot more dated to me than TOS, probably because a lot of what seemed dated earlier got carried over, which made it seriously anachronistic even as early as the time of first airing.

I don’t find TOS dated at all — with certain obvious exceptions — when it come to the important stuff — the storytelling. I would happily pretend MUDD’S WOMEN never existed, but geez, it is still exciting to me to see low-key Kirk’s quiet power in the first bunch of s1 eps, back when the acting-out aspect was an occasional thing rather than a go-to (for latter, thinking of ‘SHE’S HUMAN!’ from REQUIEM FOR METHUSELAH as prime example.)

I actually love Mudd’s Women, solely for the fact that you felt the ENT was really alone out there, with real stakes involved if they didn’t get those crystals from the miners. There was a real ‘deep space’ feeling in that episode for me.

I would agree with you about that one aspect, but this ep, like COURT MARTIAL, has the issue of decaying orbit, which should never have been an issue on any ep unless a mysterious unknown force is pulling the ship down (and the most guilty trek with this was INTO DARKNESS, which displays a willful intolerance for celestial mechanics that should have had the universe force-closing Bad Robot forever.)

I did watch this fourth ep last night, but I just kept dozing on it. Not sure that I should comment except to say what I saw bored the crap out of me, and that the actors are being limited by the material.

BTW, did Chapel change her hairstyle or face makeup or something? She seemed a lot younger and barely recognizable.

I think the first 2 (maybe 3) seasons of TNG feel dated – and maybe in some ways moreso than TOS in context. But I think the final 4 season still stand up well because they moved away from some of Roddenberry’s control in the beginning. Even the costumes changed pretty drastically after season 1 and 2, and to me, that stands out more than some of the issues with plot and production design.

There are a lot of well-loved movies from the first “golden age of Hollywood” that have similar (if not much worse) issues, but they are still used as examples cited by actors, directors, producers, etc. all the time as their inspiration or benchmarks for what they want to achieve in their careers. They can see past those issues, and I think a lot of Star Trek fans can (and should) as well. TOS was a product of its time, sure – but it was also AHEAD of its time in terms of creating science fiction that wasn’t just for kids and was grounded in reality. It wouldn’t have lasted this long if there were plenty of redeeming factors, and getting hung up on a few things that don’t really have an impact on the overall quality of the show is like dismissing a work of art because it’s starting to show some wear and tear.

Perfectly said.

Yeah. I think that was what you were getting at. And I added those other good episodes to hammer the point home.

That academy award winning screenplay artist also wrote Batman And Robin, Dark Tower, I am Legend and Picard Season 2. He adapted one book well and s%#t the bed everywhere else in my opinion.

Applause and head nodding from the guy back here!

It makes NO SENSE that the first four episodes of the second season of this show have been decent to good, but none of the them AMAZING. The idea of a limit of 10 episodes in the 80’s and 90’s would have been laughed off unless it was a mini-series. And guess what? A lot of those mini-series were VERY GOOD and won tons of awards. SNW, in my opinion, would maybe fit as a mid-afternoon syndicated filler show during that period of time. But with it’s budget and personnel, it should be able to create SO MUCH MORE!

That was always the argument others made after Enterprise was cancelled that whenever it did come back to TV it needed to be a much lowered episode count and that would give us not just more quality episodes but practically no filler in the process. And then we got shows like DIS and PIC which didn’t improve much in the story quality department and there were still just as much filler in a lot of these episodes. DIS season 4 feels like a season that could’ve told it’s story with half the episodes and we’re only talking 13 of them.

I think SNW is certainly much better overall and the episodic nature REALLY helps IMO. But yeah, even with just 10 episodes, none of them have been groundbreaking amazing either. Most of them could feel like just a typical episode of TOS/TNG/VOY in any season which is to say not bad, but nothing great either. And those shows had waaaaay more episodes to make with a fraction of the time and budget.

I have always refuted that argument since it was first presented. Fewer episodes absolutely does not mean the better episodes will get made and the “filler” or lesser episodes will not. Because when they were making 20+ they were still trying to make the best episodes they could. The ones they knew weren’t that good they only learned AFTER The episode was shot and cut. So the chances of good or bad episodes remain pretty constant whether they are making 29 episodes, 24 or even 6.

Yeah agreed. But at the time, it was a sensible argument. You have more time and money on an episode, logically they should come out better in the end if you have good writers and producers. And so far, while there have certainly been a few great ones, it’s pretty fleeting.

Look at all the fourth season shows of TNG, VOY, DS9 and ENT. I can find at least a dozen solid episodes in all those seasons easily, a few a lot more, especially with DS9. And every one of those seasons has some of the highest rated and iconic episodes in Star Trek period. From Year of Hell to the Visitor to Terra Prime, Best of Both Worlds and Drumhead.

Now look at season 4 of DIS, maybe 3-4 I would consider at least decent but NONE are amazing in any way. Most are generally mediocre (but that’s only my opinion). Even if you argue there are more good episodes, but which ones would be that season’s Visitor, Terra Prime, Drumhead or Year of Hell? And they had half the episodes to produce.

Of course if someone wants to tell me I’m wrong and list more episodes I will happily listen; but in reality I think most people have realized it really does start with talented writers and a real passion for the show they are making regardless if it’s 10 episodes a season or 26.

You’re on fire today. Agree on all counts.

I thought it weird that a serving platter could deflect a phaser rifle pulse. And that warrior Pike fought in “The Cage” was a much bigger guy. Either he was some sort of mutant or they just decided to go to Rigel VII and ignore what the characteristics of the locals were. But massive plot holes are becoming par for the course here. If the show was better I’m pretty sure they could be tolerated better.

I agree with pretty much all your issues, the biggest one I was just bored though a lot of it. I been reading most of the reviews and I notice hardly anyone mentioning the character who was trying to help them and explain how people cope with forgetting every day on the planet. And that’s probably because he was pretty forgetful himself.

In fact, I was waiting for a HUGE twist with this character and maybe we learn he was the former leader of the planet but Zac showed up and took it over with some thugs with their advance Starfleet equipment or something and basically made him forget who he was and just became slave labor. But of course none of that was in the cards.

The shuttle issue was weird but I guess since they couldn’t beam down it couldn’t be helped. What I thought was even weirder is when Pike mentioned they went in uniform in the last mission. Like why would they do that?? It’s a very primitive planet and those uniforms would stand out for people on this planet now.

Your idea about making the guy who was helping Pike and company be the former leader is great! I think that would have made it a stronger episode. Maybe you should pitch some script ideas ;-)

The shuttle was a plot point. Zac mentions that he saw them approaching the surface, so this was apparently a setup so that he could be ready for them and capture the away team instead of getting caught off guard. Yes, maybe they couldn’t beam down, but I really think that’s what they were going for so that he could be already angry instead of just surprised.

And, yeah, the primary guest star on the planet was an almost total waste. Seems like they brought him in to sell the “emotions” part of the story, but he could have done a lot more. Ironically, in previous Trek’s, he would have most likely been the most important character who we would all still remember to this day that HE was in Star Trek. Now it’s just a pointless footnote.

Good point about the shuttle. I guess I completely missed that line in the episode, but that makes even more sense now.

Yeah the guest star in this episode felt a bit wasted and he’s a very famous character actor. I think they should’ve made him a bit more important to the story overall instead of a guy just telling them to let La’an die because they will forget her tomorrow.

The older field guy, Luq, who was trying to help them is such a stock character-type throughout Trek. I feel like I’ve seen that same character a million times before… a convenient plot device.

See, that is the thing I hate the most. It shouldn’t NEED a second viewing. It should be great from the start. Anyting else, it failed. Plain and simple. I’ve heard the same on the podcast last week: “I loved it better on the second view”. Or something like that. I think that is a bad thing. “First let me rearrange my expectations, and then, and only then, I might like it on second viewing. Just no.

Good point, Remco. Usually, with other shows, I watch episodes again because I like them so much, they Are that good. Not in the attempt to like them more. But with new Trek, I have that weakness. I WANT these episodes to be better, so I try again.

The only new Trek episode I’ve watched multiple times is actually Lower Decks season 2 episode 7 because that episode appeals to me specifically (half joke) between Hysperia and Jeffrey Combs.

To be fair, Lower Decks takes more than one viewing to just catch all the easter eggs and inside jokes. There’s A LOT packed into each episode.

No I rewatch it because I genuinely love that episode. I can look up the references and Easter eggs online if I need to.

Yes, I want that too! Episode 2 was that good. Left me feeling so satisfied!

Yeah, that is a fair point. For 4 seasons, I have rewatched every episode of Discovery hoping each would be better. But I really can’t remember watching any a second time because it was great. I did rewatch this week’s SNW episode and really didn’t enjoy it any better than the first time. As always I pick up on a few things I missed, but overall it was just really boring. Fingers crossed that next week’s episode is better.

This is the first SNW episode I have not rewatched again right away or have no interest to. Probably in time, but yeah that’s how bored I was.

This may be surprising but as much as I liked Season 1, that’s how much I’m disliking Season 2. I loved the second episode, was ok with 1 and 3, disliked this one a lot. I could see where they were going with it, but it combined a couple classic episodes I’ve never cared for (The Naked Now, Bread and Circuses, and The Omega Glory).

I agree. The second episode was a bona fide good episode. But the rest have been no better than mediocre.

Not accusing anyone of copying anything and I don’t wanna hear shit about the things I watch but wow this reminds me of my favorite season of LEGO Ninjago but if it was condensed into a single episode.

The villain there was a king that used misinformation to turn the locals against each other so they wouldn’t try to fight him and so he could put them to work mining. The true villain though was actually an artifact he had found but instead of wiping memories it just raised the dead. The heroes were visitors that were captured by the villain when they tried to figure out what was going on there, and then they eventually escaped and got the locals to rebel and defeated him by destroying the artifact.

I think I like this one for that. Also here the villain was hot.

Agreed. Another very good ep!

Certainly glad you enjoyed it!

At least in LEGO Ninjago, it sounds like the storyline was earned. I didn’t see how a former member of Starfleet just suddenly decided to declare himself king and take over a society. It felt very empty and odd. I could understand him being angry, but the whole taking power over the aliens on the planet just didn’t compute. I get that he could have been a psychopath or sociopath or whatever, but I’m pretty sure Starfleet is pretty good at weeding those people out for the most part. There’s always exceptions, but “Zac” just felt too weak of a character to me to be able to take over a civilization.

Can I point you to all of the other Trek villains whose motivations were revenge. Also power corrupts, that was also part of the point of that Ninjago season. He probably came into power because he knew how to use the technology left behind and then as time went on power went to his head resulting in what we saw in the episode.

Having not seen The Cage in a long time, was it an unrealized association that this planet can erase memories and the Talosians practice mind control?

I was wondering if the Talosians were manipulating this whole thing.

Did some kind of connection get left on the cutting room floor?

They weren’t on the planet last time long enough to experience the memory losses.

In “The Cage” Rigel was the planet the Enterprise visited right before Talos.

So the crew experienced memory loss on Rigel two weeks before The Cage but then the Talosians mine that memory to manipulate Pike? Literally never mentioned in the The Cage. I just rewatched that scene.

So many unexplored opportunities in this episode.

No. The landing party in The Cage wasn’t on Rigel long enough to experience the memory losses the first time.

It was even mentioned in the episode the E hadn’t been at the planet long enough to experience the memory issues.

But didn’t La’an start to experience memory loss like a minute after the Shuttle landed?

They didn’t experience memory loss on the prior visit. This episode stated that.

There was a line in the episode where Pike said they weren’t there long enough to feel the effects. I know time doesn’t exist on screen but it really seemed like that first visit had to be at least as long as this time.

Also, while the Talosians did show the ability to send their illusions over great distances, there was nothing to indicate they were involved here at all. Yet.

I think what I am trying to say is that by Lotus Eaters saying “we were only there for four hours” it is kind of a retcon, making the planet’s interest to us completely different: before it was just brutal, now it’s a place where you can lose your mind, but somehow “serve the masters” with a fake new age philosophy.

It’s hard to imagine Pike not wondering about the Talosians, even if it was a misguided hunch.

I’m not convinced there isn’t a scene on the cutting room floor about this.

When La’an starts feeling the effects, it’s stated that they are 6-hours from the shuttle. They were only there for four hours when Pike and company had their first visit – stated during the initial briefing – which establishes they weren’t there as long. But since it seems to take a different amount of time to effect each person, and since the Enterprise does include a few alien personnel (such as Spock), it infers that physiology also plays a role. But I guess around 6-hours is when effects typically start setting in??

Oh yeah… They did mention that. I think this issue might come down to editing, then.

They were never on Rigel VII in “The Cage.” They’d already left that world.

Bold claim incoming: this is the best SNW episode out there (using a very particular sense of “best.”)

When I watch Trek, I want stories that remind me of the ones I was excited to watch each week as a kid. There are a few specific things that I want out of those:
At least one log entry from someone;an A-story and a B-story;a pace that ebbs and flows;interesting/novel groupings of the characters, and most people should have something to do;a “science” problem that really is about the human experience;a resolution motivated by the kind of people they are; and,characters learning something about themselvesBased on those criteria (and I can’t stress this enough: those are just what I’m looking for) Among the Lotus Eaters hits all of those marks:
3 log entries. Easy pointPlanetside and Shipside, both dealing with memory loss, but while the planet focuses on trying to complete the mission, the ship is more explicitly about survival. I think this is the first time that we’ve had a really clear two-pronged plotI really enjoyed that the pace didn’t just blast through, and there was good rising action on the ship to counterbalance the ups and downs on the planetPike/La’an/M’Benga and Spock/Ortegas were neat axes to see. I wish Una had more to do in general, but that’s my biggest complaint about the series, not this episode per se“asteroid radiation is wiping memories” winds up being about whether it’s better to live without memory of the past if it means forgetting pains. And if you forget past wounds, does that mean the pain goes away?Pike’s resolution motivated by unwavering dedication to others (which is what will get him stuck in a chair in the future) and Ortegas’ high skillset and (perhaps) a need to prove itPike learned the importance of his personal connection to Batel, Ortegas found importance and pride in doing the same thing she always doesIs it a perfect episode? No. As I said, Una remains underused. I agree “The Cage” reference was a little too meta. There are obvious questions and complications from a “logical” standpoint (an asteroid hitting a planet would absolutely be considered part of its natural development, even if an exemption to the rule might be made – cf. TNG’s Pen Pals, Homeward, The Masterpiece Society).

Problems be damned, though. I really liked this. If I wanted to get someone into Trek (who doesn’t have a soft spot for 60s or 90s Sci-Fi), I would probably show them this episode.

I enjoyed this a lot. It reminded me a little bit of the TOS episode “The Paradise Syndrome,” where Kirk loses his memory but sets about improving the society he finds himself in, anyway, teaching the people to make lamps, to preserve food, and to irrigate their fields. Similarly, even without his memory, Pike is still eager to right wrongs and make the world a better place. Zac says something like, “I should have known you’d lead a revolution,” and I love knowing that about Pike.

Starfleet needs better psychological screening if they let in someone like Zac, though! He didn’t just break the Prime Directive; he deliberately made three Starfleet officers lose their memories and almost their lives. I hope Starfleet puts him in jail for a long, long time.

I love Erica’s using her mantra to fuel her determination to get the ship out of danger! I’ve been wanting more Ortegas, and it’s great to see that when her memory is gone, reminder that she has a duty is all it takes to get her going.

I’m not wild about Batel, but if Pike loves her, I’m glad he has her.

I enjoyed this a lot. It reminded me a little bit of the TOS episode “The Paradise Syndrome,” where Kirk loses his memory but sets about improving the society he finds himself in, anyway, teaching the people to make lamps, to preserve food, and to irrigate their fields. 

I noticed that too — in fact, remembering that connection was a huge treat for we in watching this outstanding ep.

S2 is easily matching S1 so far. I’m not ready to say it’s better, but it’s going to be a close contest I think.

I’ve loved each of the last three episodes in a different way; it’s SO much fun to have an episodic Star Trek where we can get such a rich variety of ideas and themes!

Zac is the biggest plot hole in the whole episode to me. We obviously see his actions during the episode, but he also decided to go power-crazy and take over a civilization? I get that he would be angry after being marooned, but it seems like a stretch that someone vetted to get into the academy, become a Yeoman, and be considered fit for Away Team duty would also be a sociopath with aspirations of becoming a king over aliens who continues to force them into servitude. A bit of a bridge too far for me….

Lord Garth…

Just looking at it strictly from a Strange New Worlds canon standpoint, the show once again does the least interesting version of its own idea. Since the landing party spends most of its time being threatened and abused they don’t really become different people or explore different facets of themselves (the ending is a poor shortcut for that idea). Who are La’an and M’Benga unburdened by their traumas (which the season up to this point has taken time to remind us of)? Don’t know and the story doesn’t care! Interesting.

Meanwhile, the Pike-Batel thing is really not good. Those two are too hot to have relationship “issues” like that and that’s where two nerds writing an “adult” relationship really pulls them away from their strengths. Starship captains are supposed to be fearless leaders, not demure writers. It’s never written as a clash of strong personalities with competing wants & needs but always as convenient conflict to bookend limp plots.

Also, it’s darkly funny that 57 years later and the virtual set works as well and looks (adjusted for era) about as good as the constantly recycled planet set from The Original Series.

That’s part of why the AR wall doesn’t bother me. Remind me of classic trek, in a more modern way. Seems appropriate.

“The more things change…”

You have to be really careful with AR stages. They work best in limited doses (like the engineering set). It also helps if the environment is kind of dark (like the engineering set).

The AR wall is awesome and actually does more to tie it into the TOS look than the VFX do. Your glee to find nitpicks somehow missed this…lol

The AR wall is pitched to the industry as something paradigm-altering when it is exactly as you say: no different than lighting gels to backlight a planet set on TOS. That’s why I say “darkly funny.” Not a shot at Trek, a shot at the marketing for the tech.

It’s really nothing more than hopped up rear projection. Good in small doses, but if used for more than that, it can really call attention to itself. Kind of like in North by Northwest, when Leo G. Carroll and Cary Grant are walking outside at the Rapid City airport and it’s blindingly clear they’re on a treadmill in front of a rear projection screen.

We have to remember though, the AR wall is there just as much for the actors as it is for the audience. It must be nice to act off more than just a green wall all the time and at least feel like they are in a real environment even if its still artificial.

You beat me to the punch with the actors statement. Looking at the behind-the-scenes pics from the making of the Marvel movies should help anyone understand why an AR wall (actually called an “LED Volume” for anyone interested in nerd speak) would be much preferred over a green screen. I personally think that the lack of green screen results in a better product, from the acting side of things.

Major props to Melissa Navia for her performance in this episode. We rarely get to see that vulnerability from Ortegas. I really hope she gets to wear that furry hat on a future away mission.

Major props to Melissa Navia for her performance in this episode. 

100% Agree. They are diving into the supporting cast much more this year. Last year all the detractors bitched and moaned that they weren’t doing that enough. Now, this year, when they clearly are, instead of those same cats bringing this up and giving them credit for it, now it’s whining about them not doing enough alien planets and new stuff. Those fans cannot be pleased — they will always nitpick.

Truth is, most of those fans are never going to like this series — they will always find something to whine about until they get the the 65-80+ years old TNG cast showing up again in another fan service, space opera bastardization of Star Trek — they will drool all over that with their critique filters set at 0.00%…lol

I liked her in this episode for sure, but this was pretty standard stuff you got in most of the classic shows, ie, someone questioning their ability or worth but then overcome it in the end. I think they just hyped her a little too much for this one and some expected a little more I guess.

What was so special about her performance?


That was average… You wait a year for just average. Wow. Not worth it imo. I’m thinking season 1 was a lot stronger( at this point) I’m starting to lose interest fast.

I looked forward to every episode of season one. Too many more mediocre episodes, and while I may continue to watch it on Thursdays, I very well might find myself checking them out whenever I get around to it, as I did with PIC season two.

Agreed. I DO like season 2 but I haven’t loved any of them either except the second one and I still have an issue with how that one was resolved as well. This one was just bad and a huge missed opportunity.

Completely agree.

Ok so not much to say about this episode as i found it to be a bit boring/repetitive and had some massive plot holes in the story. Last weeks episode was enjoyable but this one eh…

I read online that this was supposed to be an Ortegas episode and if it was it failed. I have never really taken to the character and i was hoping with this episode would change that but no i still have no interest in knowing more about her or seeing more of her.

Overall not a good episode imo and SNW still continues to be my least favorite of the current shows. It’s still a good show but i feel it’s not living up to the potential it has and was hoping S2 would change that but sadly so far no.

It does seem that the producers have little to no interest in developing that character. There has to be some reason.

I really feel for Melissa. Her partner died right before filming Season 2, and she had to go in to film her scenes and be given…. nothing to work with.

She’s well on her way to becoming the Anthony Montgomery of SNW.

While its not on purpose, it is a little bizarre how basically all the pilot characters on this show gets little to no development minus Tom Paris. That is the only pilot character that not only got real character development but an arc as well. I guess Wesley was considered the pilot when he was on TNG but that’s a bit different.

But everyone else, Sulu (not counting the movies where he finally got a first name lol), Travis, Detmer and now it looks like Ortegas are not given much to do outside of plotting a course and saying a few bridge lines most episodes. So weird.

Agreed Christopher. I was really bored through a lot of it until probably at the end. I actually liked most of the stuff on the Enterprise but it feels like it should’ve been for another episode completely.

And I can’t believe THIS was the big episode they were hyping Ortegas in? Her big line “I fly the ship’ was cute but almost felt like something out of Lower Decks. I thought we were going to really learn something about her. I don’t really understand how we have learned at least a few things about every one but not anything beyond she’s a very good pilot for her? I can tell you at least three things about every character but not a single thing for Ortegas so far. It’s very odd.

So, I had a longwinded comment which my computer ate, so I’ll recap.
Bold claim: this is the best episode of SNW if you’re looking for a particular kind of classic Trek
Now, that needs criteria, so I’m using the following

  • Distinct A and B story stemming from the same source;
  • pace that ebbs and flows with rising action;
  • new/interesting character groupings;
  • “science” problem that’s really about the human experience;
  • resolution based on character values; and,
  • central characters learn something about themselves

So, let’s evaluate

  • Two distinct stories. Planetside about dealing with cultural contamination, Shipside about just surviving. Both spurred by the amnesia radiation
  • Both stories took beats to breathe, while overall the stakes got higher
  • Pike/La’an/B’Benga as a trio, Spock/Ortegas as a duo. Not necessarily the first ones you’d think of
  • Amnesia Radiation is really about living with trauma/grief, and if it’s better to forget even when you still carry the wounds of the past
  • Pike: resolved through unwavering dedication to others. Ortegas: resolved through realization of own worth
  • Pike: learns to value his personal connection, as it can save him (and others!). Ortegas: learns to appreciate the routine, particularly when you’re only doing that routine because you’re among the best

Is it perfect? No. Not at all. Una is still underused. There are obvious inconsistencies with Prime Directive application (cf. TNG’s Pen Pals, The Masterpiece Society, Homeward). “This is a cage,” was far too meta.
But hear me out, I think this would be the perfect standalone episode of SNW to use to introduce someone to Star Trek. If they don’t already have a soft spot spot for 60s/90s SciFi, this one shows off all the things that make good Trek great.

I’m really glad you liked it! I wish I can say I agree but I just had too many issues with it. I think if they actually focused more on what happened the first time on Rigel VII it would’ve been more interesting. But it just felt like it was side stepped too much IMO.

that’s a fair criticism – I think that while I have respect for TOS and, by extension, the original pilot, I don’t think I actually care that much about them – I’m not emotionally connected to that canon in the same way I am to TNG-era canon. I was content to know that there had been a previous expedition and it went bad and someone was left behind.

That said, I can understand wanting a bit more of what went down. It wasn’t strictly necessary to make the planet Rigel VII, particularly because it has those ties. It’s a bit of an IYKYK easter-egg, maybe aiming to please some fans, but of course that’s a difficult needle to thread.

And that’s fair too. If you don’t care about or not very invested in TOS or The Cage, I get that. I grew up on TOS though, NOT obsessed with it (and would have no problem if we moved away from it completely), but when they do focus on it like they clearly were trying with this episode, I do have higher expectations at least.

I thought they hit it out of the park with the Balance of Terror episode for example because they obviously wanted TOS fans to look at it as a retelling basically while still its own thing and it worked great IMO. In this case, I think the issue was more about people expecting to see Pike deal with his demons more since it was such a huge deal on The Cage. Again, I get when we saw him there, the mission had just happened, so of course that will be different. But the way they been presenting the character on this show, it feels like that is still the mission that has haunted him the most even though he has lost people in other missions and conflicts since obviously. But it came off like just another mission, but in a place he had been to before. And of course it doesn’t help when he doesn’t even remember where he is for most of the episode.

But maybe I just expected too much.

yeah, that’s absolutely reasonable – if you’re invested in TOS/The Cage this could absolutely be a let down.

Interesting about the impression of what has haunted him, though. I’ve never had the impression that it was the Rigel VII mission – to me, it was always about the Talosians and his future. Free will vs. fate, etc.

From our perspective though, those missions are so definitely connected that it makes sense that one might resonate with the other. Rigel VII leads to Talos IV, and Talos IV is always tied to Pike’s ultimate fate.

It’s okay to expect a lot! Keep at it! Trek has been my companion since Encounter at Farpoint when I was almost 3, and I always want the best for it and from it. That’s why PIC1-2 were such a let-down for me, and what made PIC3 a real joy. If you grew up on TOS, it’s reasonable to have high expectations of something that touches its very genesis.

That’s certainly true about the Talosians and that’s really been his deal. We all know his fate (and now he even knows it ;)), but I mean in terms of being a Starfleet Captain, the Rigel VII mission was more relevant.

Now, I want to make this clear. I’m not suggesting this was something that was suppose to define the character or anything. It’s only ‘important; because it was the only thing in canon we could connect him to for his backstory outside of Talos IV. If they never mentioned or name dropped it ever again, it would’ve been fine. But ONCE they decided to go back to Rigel VII then the expectations seem to imply they were going there for a big reason (other than the obvious fan service). I thought that was the point, that Pike’s return was going to give him some new reflection on who he was. I thought maybe we would actually learn about how the crewmen died and that he felt he didn’t do enough.

That’s why when Zac showed up and he wasn’t dead, I think many assumed they were going to dive deep into what happened on the mission and Zac has some kind of survivor’s remorse and blamed Pike. But all of that was just hand waved and he became just an asshole out for revenge for being left behind.

But outside of Zac (was he given a fuller name, that’s all I can remember lol), this could’ve been any planet. I still think the episode would’ve been better if it was just trying to take him out and leave the memory loss concept for its own episode.

And you’re right, we should have higher expectations, especially when you’re paying for a TV show. I generally like SNW and I’m still enjoying it, but I have no problem calling it out like every show. And I still have faith we will probably have a good season, but I don’t know if it will be as strong as first season based on what we got so far.

I think you’re right that Rigel VII was perhaps a misstep. It didn’t need to be there, and making it that planet makes it seem like it should have more to do explicitly with Pike’s past. I still like it, but I can see where that would be a let down

This sums up exactly what I feel tol

I am surprised about the feedback I am reading here. I really liked the episode.

Thinking totally about what is happening with our society. Not thinking about The Cage at all. Thinking what could happen if we forget our history. What we are and where we come from.

This episode is deep in so many levels.

They are pretty positive about ti on Reddit too, so people certainly like it. I was actually surprised, I thought I would be in the minority here after reading how so many liked it over there. You just never know lol.

I just had a lot of issues with it personally but I am happy you enjoyed it. And I agree the idea of losing your memories in an entire culture is an interesting one. But I kind of feel they could’ve saved it for another episode though and that be the main focus of the story.

So far, SNW, I have enjoyed all episodes, Season 1 and Season 2.

Thinking about live action, Discovery and Picard, the writing/editing/storytelling is way much better right from the start.

That’s pretty amazing. I’ve enjoyed most of them easily. I haven’t loved every episode with the new shows but I have come closest in Podigy (sigh) and only hated one so far; which is very impressive with 20 episodes. LDS there always managed to be one a season I wasn’t a fan of as well, but still very good.

As for PIC and DIS, no comment. ;)

Maybe the difference here on TM is that more people approach it from a Star Trek/science fiction angle and not as much from a message/deep thought angle. I guess for me, I just feel like Star Trek has (and maybe the better statement is “used to”) do a better job of blending science-fiction and a message and still make it feel like Star Trek. I felt like this episode had a little of all of that, but that it just didn’t blend well and fell short a level of quality that I think should be expected with a much higher budget and MUCH MORE limited production run (10 episodes vs 20/24) than series of the past.

For me, I just felt like the plot motivations that were used to create the whole “forgetting what we’ve had/what we got” messaging took me out of the story. The original “villain” (Zac) doesn’t make much sense to me as to his motivations to take over a society to become king and a slaver; the “field” Kalar was an empty attempt at creating a empathetic character who we were supposed to really feel for in the end (but I felt like that was unearned); and then we had a main character (Pike) go out of character (in my opinion) by nearly beating a former member of his crew senseless because of anger when the story pretty much tells us his emotions of guilt and regret of leaving him behind should have overpowered his violence. To me, that took away from the messaging of the episode. Oh, and making Spock useless again wasn’t too great to me either.

Once again Strange New Worlds takes us to a World We’ve Been to Before. LOL Not sure why they needed it to be Rigel except to try and show fans that they are aware of things from TOS & The Cage. The exact same story could have been told by making up a new past mission on a new planet. But as I said before it really doesn’t matter when you pick up one thing and ignore many others. I know, I know… Timey-whimey technobabble.

Overall the episode didn’t suck. It was kinda mediocre but did have potential if better writers had their way with it. Still, probably the best episode of the 4 we’ve gotten. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that is is about as deep and as good as Trek is ever going to get from this production company.

I don’t think we’ve been to Rigel VII before. Not the real one, anyway. Only the version in Pike’s head.

Pike was reminiscing about mission mistakes when talking to Boyce. They were recently there. The Talosians took the memory of it from his head. So yeah, this is not a new world.

It’s like I’m posting under a pseudonym. You really get me ML31! Well said.

I’m along the same lines when it comes to expectations for any terribly deep storytelling out of this writer’s room. I spent a lot of yesterday binge-watching Black Mirror, and Man, what a difference in writing. Night and day. I liked this episode, though, solid enough.

Did you write this before or after you watched this week’s ep? It’s hard to tell.

We’ve never been to Rigel VII before. That was an illusion in “The Cage.”

An illusion taken from Pike’s memory. He actually said this was exactly the same place on Rigel VII. Except for Vina. So it was a virtual setting. That’s enough to qualify as “we’ve been there” as a viewer.

I agree with most of this. The potential was there. The cultural contamination part look like it was going somewhere interesting, especially once we learned how it happened. But then it just went in a totally different direction and diluted the story in a big way with the memory loss plot. I was really forward to that part too but I THOUGHT the direction they were going to go with is that Pike starts to conjour up memories of what happened and take him to a darker place, but none of that really happened either.

I wasn’t even that excited about this episode but I was hoping for something more in-depth. The Rigel VII part almost feels tacked on because outside of Zac, this could’ve been any other planet and you lose nothing.

This one is actually my favorite of the season so far. It had a ton a classic Trek elements, imo, right up my alley, including the score. I like how in the beginning both Pike and Una reminded Ortegas she’s not the only one on the ship who can pilot. A little humility could serve the character well. ‘Abso-friggin-lutely,’ Ugh. Some of her dialogue gives me bad chills. I agree with Anthony, the character of Luq stole the show when he was on-screen. Great performance by Reed Birney. It was a lot of fun to watch Pike beat the tar out of someone for a change, and in-character. There’s a darkness in everyone, no matter who you are, and I’m glad they harkened back to his. Not everything can, or needs to be, diplomatic all the time. Good episode, I liked it, but I agree with others who say this season overall so far is pretty flat compared to the last.

I agreed. This season is hitting on all cylinders. The first ep was simply good, but the last 3 eps have been outstanding.

And every week, I’ve noticed it’s the same 5 or 6 people here who are complaining about the eps — and they all respond to each others posts, so it gives the false impression to those who may not have noticed this that the show is not going over well with the fans. In my personal fan friend network of about 50 people who I have known for many years from conventions, only 3 of them don’t seem to liking SNW to date.

SNW is extremely popular both among Trek fans and the casual fans/public who have really responded well to the show.

I’d say ep 1 was bad, ep 2 very good and episodes 3 and 4 meh.

Most seems to at least agree episode 2 was good but yeah seems divided on the other three so far. Very different from season one at this point where every episode was praised over by the majority.

And I personally liked 3 of the 4 episodes so far, but none of them were great.

Ep 3 has a 100% Certified Fresh on RT.

LOL! RT is the bar for determining the quality of a show/episode? Isn’t that a running gag with a lot of the internet right now?

It got a 7.7/10 on IMDB which is a bit lower but still good. I still think that is personally too high, but that’s why they are called averages.

When the other rating sites like IMBD and Metacritic also concur, it certainly points you in the right direction. Certainly better that trusting, say: “but this random Jtrekker guy on Trekmovie told me the ep was not well received.” LFMAO

You are absolutely spot on that the comments section on this site always have the same rotating cast of curmudgeon feeding on each other’s misery.

You are absolutely spot on that the comments section on this site always have the same rotating cast of curmudgeon feeding on each other’s misery.

Thanks. It’s unfortunate.

Even if that’s true, this has been the case since 2009 lol. It’s now 2023, you can’t be too shocked about it anymore. Despite what some people think, it didn’t start with Discovery, not by a long shot. Orci would definitely agree.

For the record, I liked all the KU films, even STID, better than any of the Treks made since. Perhaps part of that was they weren’t pretending to be something they weren’t.

It started in 2009 but in reality it’s really STID that broke this site for good lol. It got so bad that’s when Orci famously told someone to fuck off here over their criticisms of the movie.

I remember TG47 complained that too many people were having issues with SNW last season. But anyone who was here during the Kelvin movie era knows everything today is child’s play. For starters there were just tons more people here at the time (most have moved on since or just got banned lol) and passions were crazy high. There were constant drag out fights between some posters that went on for months, if not years. The best example I can think of were between two posters named TUP and Rose (and I know you remember TUP ;)). OMG, that went on and on and on. Again, nothing here ever gets erased. There are entire volumes of their arguments here if you want to have a read.

That’s why when people complain about ‘miserable’ people today, it’s actually waaaay less miserable than before lol. It’s certainly gotten bad here at times last few years, but not at the level or consistency of pre-Discovery ironically. Saying you think an episode like this one sucks is very tame compared to the wild west of the old days.

That was a very entertaining time, here.

I don’t think I ever had so much fun reading a board lol. Just so much bitterness and fighting everywhere. I lurked 95% of the time in those days, I didn’t even want to get involved with most of the discussions because they were so divisive at the time. And sadly a lot of people did get attacked for their opinions which is never cool. But today that doesn’t happen a lot. Look at this board, people are expressing if they liked or hated the episode, no one is being called names over it. That’s ALL I care about.

Everything else is fair game.


After how dark Batman Returns was, Batman Forever was lighter in tone and more family friendly. In the interview, Goldsman talked about what was featured in the “Schumacher Cut” that was later cut from the theatrical one. “It’s got about 35% more psychological realism in it,” said Goldsman. “You know, it’s really more about guilt and shame. But the preview audience didn’t want it – the world wasn’t ready. Joel’s first cut had all of it in, and the audience was like, ‘Yeah, we just like the part where the guy’s funny and he’s scary and the big thing…’ And so, it got cut down into what it is.”

(For Example) In the theatrical version of the film, Bruce Wayne (Val Kilmer) tells Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman) about taking his father’s journal during his parent’s wake. A deleted scene showed an adult Bruce finding his father’s journal in the Batcave. In the journal it talks about how Bruce insists on seeing a movie. Bruce then believes that his parent’s death was his fault, since he was the one who made them go out the night they were murdered.

Despite fans showing interest in seeing alternate cuts of movies, Goldman doesn’t think that another cut of Batman Forever will be released. However, he says that he would still like for fans to be able to see it as a way to remember Schumacher, who passed away in 2020. “I’m certainly an advocate for it being in the world – just for Joel, you know? Because he died and he died quietly… You know, there wasn’t a lot of honoring him and it would be a nice way to honor him, I think.”

-Collider Interview (7/6/23)

And then, this ominous quote from Schumacher from several years ago on Batman and Robin:

In a 20th anniversary piece for “The Hollywood Reporter,” Schumacher wishes he’d listened to Goldsman’s concerns heading into production. “Akiva was very leery about Batman & Robin,” he said. “We had a couple of very serious discussions about it, and he was right about it in the long run.”

So shame on those who keep besmirching Akiva’s efforts on his Batman work — his writing and the directors work was cut to shit by the producers — and you can bet that this is why he had to deliver the similar limited script for Batman and Robin two years later. The man was doing the what the producers and directors told him to do, not his preferred darker, grittier vision, which sounds much more like Nolan-Batman to me.

Why are you posting this on a Star Trek website?

Is it true that your eyes set off airport metal detectors?

You can pin both Batman films on Schumacher but there are plenty of other projects he’s worked on that were all on him (“A Winter’s Tale”, an absolute mess which he wrote, produced and directed).

Goldsman is a successful writer, not necessarily a great writer. His best work? Adaptations of other people’s work or co-writing efforts.

You can be successful in this business without necessarily being the best at your craft.

Goldsman is a successful writer, not necessarily a great writer. His best work? Adaptations of other people’s work…

Try to tell that to every writer who tried to do a good screenplay for Dune before Denis Villeneuve.

I didn’t like Villeneuve’s Dune. Didn’t like his Blade Runner either. They both pale in comparison to the original movies, from 1984 and 1982 respectively if I remember correctly. Maybe my bad impression of Dune was because I dislike the actor playing Paul… to be fair the 1984 version was kind of all over the place too but I liked the steampunk/art deco look.

Wow, we will need to agree to disagree. Dune 1984 was the most disappointing movie experience of my entire freaking life. What an incredible, stupendous letdown. It was so freaking awful.

With Villeneuve’s version feels like I am on freaking Arrakis.

His Blade Runner had everything going for it except for a crappy bad guy. But it was still damn good. But that original is never going to be topped.

I guess I strike a balance on this. I have always really liked Lynch’s DUNE, and watch it nearly every year (sometimes even the Judas Booth cut.) Except for the VFX opticals, it looks wonderful. But the new one is a very impressive achievement, even if I find it aesthetically a little bit unpleasant with the visual treatment. Even though I found a lot that looked wrong to me, the film still swept me up multiple times.

I will say that the miniseries sucked – I actually gave up on it with like a half-hour to go while the big battle was going on, probably the only time i quit something that long after investing hours in it.

I tried disagreeing to agree with you, but it never ends so yes, let’s try it the other way around.

But we don’t fully disagree. I should give the new Dune another chance and just bite the bullet about that Timothée Chalamet dude. Even his name pisses me off, so I’m not being too rational about this and should give the guy a chance.

As far as the 1984 Dune, well if I recall it wasn’t well received originally especially from those who had read the book. I did read the first 3 books (I don’t do drugs so really couldn’t make heads or tails of the 4th book, though I tried multiple times…) and I remember that the 1984 movie was way off as far as the look and feel of it…

But yes, the 1982 Blade Runner was a masterpiece that will never be topped indeed.

That’s mean-spirited and probably inaccurate. Shoot, Lynch wanted to do a few DUNE movies but kept getting into conflict with Dino over everything. Before Lynch, Scott had Rudy Wurltizer do an extreme departure draft that featured incest between Paul and Jessica to produce Alia, but that was still the end of the 70s, so the aura of doing a sci-fi that would be well received and deep like CHINATOWN was probably in the air.

Except for maybe John Logan, I can’t think of a popular/successful screenwriter who has more duds and misses than Goldsman (Orci and Kurzman have got some kind of credit on WATCHMAN, which is about the only thing that elevates them from this basement dungeon.) Both writers have benefited from having their name on scripts that were massively improved by others, plus they have benefited from doing crummy movies that made a lot of money because viewers are idiots. Maybe THAT sounds meanspirited, but it feels just plain honest to me.

I will agree that Akiva is hit and miss, but his upside is way up there in my book — a beautiful mind, Cinderella man IRobot and I am legend are all on my top 50 movies of all time.

You know who I think is much worse and who also would get the title of most overrated of all time? Wes Anderson! He makes the same movie over and over and over — except in every successive iteration the latest version has less of a point than the immediately previous version. Case in point asteroid city is the dumbest f******, most pointless waste of time movie I’ve ever seen. I actually complained about how bad the movie was at the theater when I was walking out and they gave me a free pass, and the dude told me that several people had complained how bad it was and gotten free passes and that he wasn’t the least bit surprised. lol

Okay, now you’ve got me being mean spirited too. :-)

No, that’s being honest, that’s okay. Regarding Anderson, I really liked BOTTLE ROCKET and thought RUSHMORE was good, but the third film made me lose interest and so I haven’t felt like seeing anything else of his since — despite the fact he is almost the only filmmaker still using miniatures, an approach I absolutely adore and support.

I thought I ROBOT was one of the worst adaptations ever — to the point that I don’t even consider it an adaptation, just a title grab– and that’s not just because I admire Harlan Ellison’s unmade draft … I think you could have done a better adaptation of the Asimov by ust going through the book with a highliter pen, and don’t understand or approve the choices/departures in the film at all.

Didn’t even realize he wrote I AM LEGEND, but based on everything I heard about it, I stayed well clear, as I am a fan of the source material and of the Heston THE OMEGA MAN, which is cheesey goodness that just gets cheesier with age. I disliked BEAUTIFUL MIND even without having read the book, and didn’t see the boxing one, so have no op there, so afraid we differ dramatically on this guy’s stuff (though I don’t hate LOST IN SPACE the way most everybody else does … probably in large part because despite the crappy CGI, there are a large number of excellent miniature effects in the film.)

David Lynch went on to do far better things, starting with his very next film. He gave it his best shot on “Dune” but there was way too much working against him on that one.

Truth be told, it’s difficult to gauge how successful Villeneuve’s “Dune” actually was. It went straight to HBO Max and performed well but at a time when people were stuck at home and desperate for original content, potentially setting up “Dune: Part II” as the last box office disappointment of the year. If it underperforms, there won’t be another film.

No way it underperforms. Heck, I’d wager in Vegas on that.

Regarding David Lynch, take away his “graving training” for years on a cult TV prime time soap opera series that has not aged very well, and there’s not much meat left on the bone, especially given the monumental Dune failure. I like one single movie he made, Mulholland Drive (kind of ripoff of Chinatown when you watch both films back to back), and that’s it.

Like him or not, Akiva has had a steadier and I’m sure more profitable career than Lynch, with more hits than Lynch by a long shot, despite his misfires. And Akiva won the Oscar for his adapted screenplay, whereas Lynch was left at the alter for his adapted screenplay Oscar nomination…scoreboard!

Well, I’m through with this thread.

Comparing Goldsman to Lynch is like comparing Marjorie Taylor Greene to Adlai Stevenson (or contemporaneously, to Katie Porter, my nominee for successor to George Carlin as most trusted person alive.)

If you’ve read enough of my posts, you’ll know that I consider the matter of what won an Oscar to be almost wholly unrelated to quality.

TWIN PEAKS, by the way, keeps getting better and better with age, as my 20 or so rewatches reflects, and the recent third season contains the best hour of tv (episode 8) I have seen in my entire life. I will never be able to wade through INLAND EMPIRE and have little love for the one of Lynch’s with NIcholas Cage, but the guy is brilliant and most of his output reflects that.

Yup, this is my stop, too, k, and I agree with you on all counts (though I do have a bit more love for “Wild at Heart” than most).

Well I will modify a bit of what I said as it was not my intention to be insulting — I do realize the dude is beloved by many.

OK, I will agree that David Lynch has that “Creative Visionary” thing going for him that is lacking in what Goldsman does. That thing of his though is just not my cup of tea — I have never really enjoyed the “film noir” types of movies — I typically find that fakey and shallow. For me to like one of those, it has to be a really outstanding film like say, Chinatown. I will give Mulholland Drive an honorable mention in this category. Babylon last year is the perfect example of what I don’t like about this category of film — way excessive and historically unrealistic such that I can never suspend my level of disbelief in what I am seeing.

I never liked Twin Peaks when it was on the air, and I like it less today. Perhaps it’s a character flaw of mine, but I just don’t find it all that interesting. My opinion, and I realize it’s beloved by many, which is fine.

“Raging Bull” and “Citizen Kane” are both examples of why the success of a director or writer should never be measured by box office performance or Oscar wins.

You are cherry-picking one line in my post. And I put that in there mainly because you were sort of suggesting that adapted screenplay work is not all that worthy a type of screenplay writing…well, David Lynch, who you admire so much, did that as well with some recognized success, just like Akiva.

And we will have to agree to disagree on Wild at Heart. That was a pointless movie of losers doing losers stuff…ah wait, but it had the “David Lynch atmospherics”…that didn’t save it though. My opinion only.

And even for Mulholland Drive, which I like, take out the sexy female romance scenes, and really, what’s left that is all that great?

Lynch is sort of like Wes Anderson — he make’s only “David Lynch movies,” not “movies.” And that petered out finally, just like I think this Asteroid City bomb is going to set back Wes’s future film opportunities.

Happy to see Akiva’s fan section is well-spoken for here. Cheers.

Thanks! You too!

BTW, eps are longer this season. Why is that? What I’ve seen this season could have benefitted from some judicious trimming.

LOL that is kind of the irony, it’s great to see longer episodes but the last two could’ve easily taken 10-15 minutes off of them. They were both just too slow IMO.

I thought the same. When last week’s ‘Kirk’ episode aired, I was like ‘61 minutes, really?’ And it showed.

I love long episodes, but both episode 3 and 4 suffered from it. They needed to be trimmed down to remain relevant and flowing.

Seems like season one really took the whole “going back to TOS basics” to heart, including run-time. This year, I think they decided to go the route of a lot of streaming projects and decided to break the broadcast mold for an average 1-hour TV show. I’m also a fan of The Orville, and Seth McFarland specifically decided to stretch episodes once they got to streaming because that allowed them to give “breathing room” to scenes that would have been truncated for broadcast. Not saying that had influence on SNW, but pretty sure the thinking is probably the same.

This has been a disappointing season. My excitement for this show is dying. It seems to be one dumb choice after another. They’re too many producers and writers and none of them can actually write a compelling script. The season is a mess. It feels like the show is trying to do and be too many things. I can’t decipher this mess.

I don’t think this season is as bad as S2 Picard, but it is right next to it. I think it’s time to let go of this show. I don’t think it’s going to get any better.

I’ve already said that on this site. This season is a noticeable downgrade from season one. And not simply because the novelty has worn off. It’s just not as good.

Yeah I have to agree with this, and it’s not the actor’s fault whatsoever.

I can’t blame the actors in this one, either. I think they are doing their best with sub par material. I really like Peck as Spock but they have really not treated him very well at all.

I would wager with better words to work with this cast could really shine. But none have the charisma to overcome bad material. That’s not a knock. It’s a rare quality. Stewart had it. His charisma alone made the lesser episodes of TNG completely watchable.

It is starting to look like season 1 was a fluke. And even then, only certain episodes.

I particularly enjoyed the zoom-in on the model Enterprise as a stand-in for the stock “star ship exterior zoom in” from TOS. It made me smile :-)

Somewhat related to SNW! But is it likely we’ll get a LD S4 trailer and/or start date from SDCC? Or is there anything before that weekend those things could be released on.

Also wow since that’s right before the crossover episode, maybe they’d show it there too.

I’m actually surprised they are even having CC this year. I read most of the studios won’t even appear due to the writer’s strike. But if Star Trek is going then yeah we will probably get a trailer for LDS. Don’t want to get my hopes up but fingers crossed.

I know LEGO is going but their shows are animation so they’re not effected as much. I’m still expecting Star Wars to be there since they have Ahsoka coming so hopefully Trek is too.

Actually Disney is skipping it as well. That’s why I’m surprised it’s even happening. Of course some people do go for the actual comics lol but for the huge majority, it’s really to get a peak of the next movies or shows. And it sounds like it’s going to be very bare on that level now.

Oh wow. I hadn’t heard that they were. Okay so I likely just have LEGO news to look forward to then.

I have a colleague who goes every year. I asked him if he knew about the studio announced absence. He claimed that he’s heard that before and studios still show. Although this time I’m not so sure. We shall see.

Yeah but this situation is unique. And I wouldn’t pay for all that money and time unless I knew for a fact who I wanted to see show was actually confirmed. But it sounds like in your friends case he just goes for the event itself which I imagine a lot of people do anyway. I know some long time comic book fans hated it when it basically turned the event into a Hollywood movie promotion vehicle.

I have literally NO friends or family, none whatsoever, who watch Trek, new or old. (My wife will watch a TNG ep. here and there if I have it on). The one friend I had who did love it as I do, very close, passed last year around this time. So thanks to all here for being my ‘Trek friends.’

Oh wow, I’m sorry to hear about your friend Danpaine. I can only imagine how hard it is for you right now. And for all the complaining and moaning we do here lol, I am grateful to have people here to talk to and respect even if we disagree. Yeah, life is short and this is just suppose to be entertainment but it’s nice to still have a community of like minded people to talk to and get your mind off of real problems.

Sorry about your friend. I, too, lost my closest friend two years ago. It was a real kick in the balls. Still stings sometimes. He liked Trek, too but was one of the people who opted out after the first season of Star Trek Discovery. He just wasn’t interested anymore.

Mrs ML31 doesn’t watch at all and sometimes gives me crap about watching the episodes I have on disc. It’s OK. I sometimes give her grief about what she looks at. :)

My son was take it or leave it when it came to Trek. So I just had my friends. Now there is one less.

Sorry about your friend. I’ve watched a lot of Star Trek with my friends over the years and to lose one of them would be devastating.

Most of the exchanges are friendly here with a fair amount of civil disagreement. Well, except maybe when it comes to Discovery…

Studios will likely have a presence but there will be a dearth of talent due to the strike.

I really had a lot of problems with this one and the first one I didn’t like this season. I thought the idea was interesting but it missed the mark for me. I won’t say awful but not very good either.

I thought this episode would go more in-depth to what Pike went through before but it was barely touched upon. I watched The Cage again before this episode and he was in a really bad place. Of course this was 5 years later but I thought, ironically, his memories would come rushing back or something once he came back. Then we learn one of his crew man didn’t die after all and I thought it was going to be a much bigger story there but then nothing. And I liked the whole forgetting concept but it didn’t flow well here. It kind of distracted from the main story too much.

I think they should’ve just focused on the cultural contamination story line and dealing with Zac and left out the loss memories for another episode entirely after seeing how they did it. I liked how it was done on the Enterprise but the solution was waaaay too easy IMO. And was this suppose to be the big Ortegas episode? If so they are really short changing that character so far although I did lol over the stuff with the computer.

But sadly this is probably the first one I didn’t like. Being on Rigel VII didn’t really add on much to anything. I was excited when I heard Kirsten Beyer wrote this but it was definitely one of her weaker efforts.

I’m still enjoying the season overall but I agree with others, it’s not nearly as good as season one so far.

Ironically, I liked this one the best. A second view will give me the ‘why’ in more clarity, but standalone, it kept me the most engaged. We agree on the S2 overall weakness, though. I did not expect it would flail so badly. I really wish, not for the first time, SH would shell out for better, proper writers. They’re out there, no doubt.

It’s great you liked it man!

And I’ll be honest, I’m actually a bit surprised over all the negativity about it. I know that’s weird for me to say that lol, but that’s only because before I came here, I read a lot of posts on Reddit and Trekcore and they seem to at least like it overall. I assumed I was going to be in the minority with my opinion here as well but oddly not.

I watched a view YouTube reviews and the ones I watched were a lot mixed on it.

Like I said, I didn’t like it, but I don’t think it’s awful either. I do think the episode had problems but I will also admit I had somewhat higher expectations for it and I was probably too focused on what I wanted to see. But if you were entertained and engaged, that’s great. I might watch it again and maybe my view will shift but I don’t even want to watch it again. The last time I had a feeling this strong were in episodes of Picard season 2.

But yeah season 2 could be stronger for sure. But we still have six more to go!

If it’s a budget issue I really think they could scale back in other production areas. Good writing is far more important than a nice looking starfield. But I think it more has to do with these are writers SH know and like. So that’s just not going to change anytime soon.

Dude, I’m starting to wonder if you will like just ONE episode this season lol. IIRC you hated every episode of LDS last season as well. You know what, I’m going to stick to the glass half full and say you will like at least one of them. NOT love, but just don’t think completely suck. I know I will probably lose but I’m game! :)

There was one decent episode in Star Trek Discovery. The front half of Picard S3 was decent. Then fell apart on the back end. Lower Decks had one funny episode in 3 seasons. Prodigy started off decent but, like Picard, the back end was just not up to par with the front end.

And Strange New Worlds did have that one good episode last season. Episode 10 whatever the title was. In fact, it’s the one and only one episode of nu-Trek I have seen twice. So there is still a chance they will accidentally hit a bullseye again. :)

Yeah the season finale of SNW was great. In fact I will go one farther and say it’s the best season finale of modern Trek so far. Of course that’s not too hard when PIC and DIS had some of the worst season finales in all of Trek IMO although I really loved the Picard season 3 finale too. But I think the SNW one was still a bit better story wise if I’m being honest.

I’m actually shocked you liked as much of Picard S3 as you did lol. And we’ll see about this season. I do think you will like at least one although so far it’s 0-4, right? For me it’s 3-4 with this episode being the first one I didn’t like. But none has been amazing either. Just mostly typical episodes you would find in any of the classic shows.

I was shocked Picard S3 started out as strong as it did. I mean, it wasn’t great Trek. But it was above average. And downright spectacular for Secret Hideout. Unfortunately I had zero interest in Picard’s son. Or his ‘secret box’. Even 7 of 9 was completely dull. So the show pretty much ended when Amanda Plummer was vanquished. After that everything pretty much came to a grinding halt.

At this point watching Trek is like watching my baseball team when it’s really really bad but I’m hoping some pitcher might throw a no hitter or some player hit 3 or 4 homers or hit for the cycle or something kinda notable.

Yeah I know the baseball analogy, you been giving it to me for 5 years now lol. But you also know that I have never gotten on your case for being so negative about any of these shows even though I really like a few of them personally like SNW and LDS. A few weeks ago someone accused me of attacking anyone who puts down a show I like and I think me and you proves that is totally not the case after five years. ;)

But I’m still pushing for you to like one episode this season. It may be on a losing battle here but I am an optimist!

It’s not impossible. There was one good SNW ep last season!

The only regret I’m going to have is that this a short season, and there may not be another. This season has been hitting on all cylinders….

This season will be just as long as the first season, and production did start on the third season before the strike. I am confident they will go back to work as soon as the strike is resolved.

Next up is an actor’s strike which will likely overlap with the writer’s strike. We’ll still get a third season. When we’ll actually see it is anyone’s guess.

Huh? It will be the same number of eps?

There’s twenty episodes worth of stories here. Ten episodes is just to short.

This season has been hitting on all cylinders….


  • Ortegas’ file reveals she was born in Barranquilla, Columbia on May 20, 2233.
  • Ortegas’ quarters are on Deck 6, section G, room 629, and they are huge like everyone else’s.

This is pretty sad to know these are the most we have learned about the character after `14 episodes. I still can’t believe this was suppose to be her big episode and it was basically nothing more than giving her a big moment to save the ship. That’s kind of what Star Trek does every episode. I was expecting something more character related.

Yeah. It’s like the producers just aren’t interested in either the actor or the character for whatever reason.

Is it her big episode. Perhaps she’s actually a CHANGELING. 6 episodes left.

I’m going to politely disagree with that take on what we know about Ortegas, though those are definitely some of the only facts we know. But I think we actually know a great deal:

  • she’s good at what she does, perhaps to the point of not even knowing how special she is
  • she wants to stand out and get to do cool things, and maybe feels a little “left out”
  • she doesn’t have great insight into what other people are thinking – cf. with her thinking Spock was going to throw Una under the bus
  • she’s got a bit of a wise-cracking streak, and it’s confirmed that she does that under pressure – perhaps a defense mechanism related to that being left out feeling
  • there’s actually some insecurity underneath the exterior, I get the feeling she’s always trying to prove herself

That’s not comprehensive, but you get the drift. I wish she had been given more for sure – see my constant complaint about how underwritten/used Una is – but I think there might be more than you’re giving credit to.

To be clear, not telling you how to feel about the episode or her writing, just a different perspective. :)

OK but A. EVERY pilot on Star Trek is a good pilot! It’s basically become a trope in itself. They are all hotshots flyboys/girls whose been piloting shuttles since they were 14 years olds and so on. She’s not exactly the first with this skill.

B. The things you describe are valid but this is basic character stuff. Yeah she has quirks and a personality who uses it to cover her flaws and insecurities at times. That’s fine obviously but for a main character and not just a supporting one, I still think there should be more at this point. Why not have her tell a personal story that tells us why she has that personality for example. Give us more to go on, at least a little more.

And maybe by the end of the season we will see more. But it is weird, she is the ONLY one in the main cast we have learned next to nothing about so far. In episode two, they threw out Uhura’s entire backstory in one scene. I just don’t understand why they can’t do something similar for this character? But maybe it’s coming.

But I appreciate the perspective of course!

lol, yeah – every pilot is a hotshot except when Geordi was flying the D back in Season 1

I’m quick to defend characterization on SNW because I find it really refreshing when contrasted with the other live action series we’ve had. I’ve watched every episode of Disco but I couldn’t tell you anything about the kind of person Detmer is except that she has PTSD. And that’s after 40+ episodes. I haven’t rewatched any of SNW except the first two from season 1, and I still feel like I know these characters in a way I haven’t felt about any of the new characters in Disco or Picard.

That said, I do agree that we could use more specifically about Ortegas. And, because I can’t not say it, I want more Number One. So far she’s had an episode where she learns to have fun, kind of, and then her trial, which really showed more about everyone except her. I’d like to see more of her in a similar vein to the Uhura development we got over Season 1.

Oh yeah compared to Discovey, SNW is on another level lol. After four seasons, we still don’t even know who the Chief Engineer is lol. Many people still think Culber is the CMO when it’s the other woman whose name is literally not coming to me right now. The bridge crew is mostly just there at this point. It looked like Detmer was going to start to get developed more in season 3 but in season 4 she’s basically just flying the ship and throwing out a few lines every episode. I don’t think I will ever understand that show and some of the decisions they made on it.

So I’m not saying it’s all that bad. In fact outside of her I think they done a pretty good job with everyone else. We all know something about them and their basic quirks. Yeah people complained about Una and we haven’t seen her that much, but we at least learned something about her. Ortegas seems to be the only one who hasn’t gotten even that.

Actually I was hoping this episode might tell us why Pike calls her by her first name. She’s not the only one he does that with, but she’s the only one he does all the time. And I don’t care either way but some fans seems veeeeery bothered by it even though literally every captain has done it so you got me. But I honestly thought this episode would dive in to their history together (since this was the big Ortegas episode) but then only to have only one scene together lol.

I’m quick to defend characterization on SNW because I find it really refreshing when contrasted with the other live action series we’ve had. 

100% agree!

I like it when we agree on things without acrimony :)

Yeah! :-)

We never really got Sulu’s background but he seemed to switch over from botanical sciences so he may not have been the cliche “hot shot flyboy”.

Well, I guess he wanted more excitement in Starfleet and made a major career change. ;)

But KU Sulu was definitely a hot shot pilot!

“Mr. Sulu, you can fly this thing, right?”

“Are you kidding me sir?”

Yes but that was a “reboot/alternate reality”. ;)

I know of course but it still proves most of them considered themselves hotshots.

Oh! I will complain about the size of the crew’s quarters. Not because it’s different from TOS, but because when Scottie got the basic guest quarters on TNG, he said that even an admiral wouldn’t get something so grand, and it was literally a 90s living room.

Yeah the crew quarters are ridiculously lavish on this show lol. I don’t really mind it but it’s crazy how big they are when compared to TOS where everyone looked like they were living in a double sized dorm room basically. But it did feel more reaslistic at the time in TOS where the Enterprise came off more like a submarine in space and what ENT adopted as well.

But SNW is probably due to the influences of shows like TNG and VOY and they wanted to show that Starfleet doesn’t slum it anymore. ;)

Pike is practically living in a penthouse. His fancy cooking and fire going.

Starfleet: we’re not just submarines anymore!

It doesn’t really bother me, either. I just think it’s funny when that comment from Relics is out there, and the 1701-D was supposed to be this kind of “city in space” from our perspective.

Funny to think that in a hundred years they’ll have ensigns sleeping in hallways

So true, and so funny. The fire pit, the butcher block and full kitchen….Kirk lived in a cardboard (literally) box by comparison. Same ship though!

I’m not sure this complaint still even applies after last weeks time technobabble. But before that the only thing inside that ship that even remotely resembled the one we knew was that the bridge was circular. And again, we know they can’t exactly duplicate it. It must be updated. Most get that. But when you do that, there should be an obligation to make it at least evoke the feel of what it will become. Enterprise did a good job of that. Granted, they had the advantage of being further away from TOS than SNW is. But that ship was more modern but still felt like it could evolve into the future Enterprise.

Agree, the writers short changed her, but I guess not every episode is going to be like the last two weeks which really allowed Romajin, Chong and Wesley’ characters to shine.

Now there’s a twist I didn’t see coming.


Oh, so now we have a very classic trek type episode, even bordering a little bit cheesy (I mean that as a compliment).

Yet… people are still bitching.

So it basically doesn’t matter what the writers do… The same miserable people on this board will still bitch no matter what.

Again… Another excellent episode, mixing things up, character development. May not be as action packed as some others, but still worthy of Star Trek.

OMG, give me a break. People generally seem to love this show, it doesn’t mean they will love every episode either. My Kahless, just because YOU liked it doesn’t mean the rest of are just haters who can never be satisfied with anything who didn’t. This response is so eye rolling. And for the record, I have liked every episode this season personally, this is the first one I didn’t and only the third one overall. So is it OK with you if some of us can just not like an episode without questioning our fandom over it?

I just don’t understand people on the internet sometimes. Plenty of people hated the first episode as well this season but I really liked it actually. But I didn’t question them over it or called them ‘miserable’ they simply had issues with it and stated their reasons. I respect that and just move on. I have never cared about how much people liked or hated something at all. Its their opinion, let them have it. But it’s mind boggling to see other people get triggered over stuff like this? They are not trying to make you feel sad personally. It’s Star Trek, people bitch about things they don’t like about it. I’m guessing you have complained about episodes or movies you didn’t like at times too.

Says the basement dweller that never has anything positive to say about any of the series that have been created. Week after week are you this bitch about how bad everything is.

“Says the basement dweller that never has anything positive to say about any of the series that have been created. Week after week are you this bitch about how bad everything is.”

You clearly have me confused with someone else since I like and have praised most of the shows on now including this show. And I don’t have a basement but would love to have one.

But it just proves no matter how many posts you make or try to be as balanced as possible when discussing a topic you will still get posts like this.

Yes, Star Trek TOS broke many barriers, and it should be appreciated for that. But if you compare apples to apples, the writing was atrocious for the majority of the episodes. The amount of sexism, stupid stories, was profound. Even on TOS they didn’t explore a strange New World every episode. There was no such thing a Star Trek, so, of course every episode is “new”. The writing for the new Star Trek is 100 times better than TOS. Just a bunch of haters that can’t deal with change.

I didn’t mention TOS nor compared it to SNW. Nothing you said had anything to do with the post you responded to. So, what are even talking about??

Trekmovie, can we please get an ignore feature? Seriously. See above.

Yet… people are still bitching. So it basically doesn’t matter what the writers do… The same miserable people on this board will still bitch no matter what.

Yeah, 100% correct. And I can prove it!

Go back to last years comments and you can see for yourself that a several of the same detractors here commenting on this new season bitched and moaned that they weren’t doing enough deep dives into the supporting case and Una. Now, this year, when they clearly are DOING JUST THAT, instead of those same cats bringing this up and giving them credit for it, now it’s whining about them not doing enough alien planets and new stuff. Those fans cannot be pleased — they will always nitpick.

I mean, not one single one of those malcontents has even said, “well, at least they listened to us and we are getting more of the supporting crew deep dives that we said was lacking last year.” NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM. My goodness, the hubris and the irony…lol

Pointing out flaws in a show/franchise we all
love (otherwise we wouldn’t be here) isn’t being a ‘miserable’ person. We just want them to do better, be better. And it could be. Again, that said, I liked this one.

Except that I have not seen one of those smaller set of fans that were complaining about SNW on every ep last year in that the series was not doing enough character deep dives into the supporting crew and Una — I have not seen one single one of them acknowledge that P+ listened to them and gave them that improvement this year. Instead, they are now nitpicking other stuff.

Their complaining would be more credible if once is awhile they would at least acknowledge that some of their key criticisms of S1 (like this one) of SNW were addressed in this season, which is obviously the case.

Exactly. I get complaining about the complainers is a long held tradition on the internet but what I really take offense to is when someone suggest other people are not true fans when they can’t see how great and amazing an episode supposedly is. No, people just think it sucks. Get over it.

And if you can’t take an opposing view without feeling triggered over, then you shouldn’t be here, period.

Especially when people are explaining why they didn’t think an episode worked.

It’s OK to love a series and not love every episode.


True. TOS is still the best series to date but they had plenty of dog episodes. However their ratio of good to bad is still the best ever of any Trek iteration.

But why I don’t get is why people will continue watching something they think sucks. I watched the first season of Mandalorian and thought it was the most boring and slow show I have ever watched. It totally sucked for me. So, I stopped watching. I didn’t continue watching and start complaining about every episode on the Star Wars boards. If I don’t like a show – I stop watching. I also did that with The Kenobi show after 2 episodes.

But here, I feel people force themselves to continue watching a show they do not like and find fault in every single episode just so they can whine and complain about it. And it is usually the same people.

I don’t get triggered by it. I think everyone has a right to their opinion – I just find it tiresome hearing the same complaints from the same people over and over ad nauseam.

You may as well ask why fans of football or or hockey teams that suck still follow those teams. They know there is a high likelihood of loss. They know the team isn’t going anywhere. They group up and complain about players and the front office being inept. Yet they still show up at games and follow the team on TV and radio.

See, I don’t get that either. Being from Montreal – I am a Montreal Candiens fan. We haven’t been a serious contender for the Stanley Cup in years. I used to go to games and watch on TV religiously. Now I don’t. I found that the decisions Management was making were wrong. I found the player were not good. They sucked. They still do. I am still a Habs fan – but I don’t watch anymore.

For me, if I don’t like something or if I find something sucks (like the Star Wars TV shows), I won’t watch and waste my time.

There are certainly people who feel that way. Winners always draw more than losers. So there are a number of fans who opt to stay away when the team sucks. But there is still a significant number who STILL follow and watch or listen. And God help me, I still watch the Sharks even though they have been garbage for a few years. Just like I still watch Trek.

Well sadly part of it just seems to be ‘hate watching’ which has become a thing the last few years. It’s people who literally watch something just to hate it and then want to drag it through the mud every week. I don’t get it or condone it, but it’s not illegal either. And I don’t think that’s happening here either.

For others though it is more complicated. Most people who are watching these shows today has been watching Star Trek for at least 30+ years and they simply feel compelled to watch at this point. The Star Trek universe is so ingrained in their lives they watch just to keep up with the story lines and canon. And others still want to be part of the conversation. You mentioned you didn’t like some of the SW shows and just quit, but there are plenty who simply can’t because like Star Trek fans, that universe has been part of them their entire lives and they still want to keep up with it. The prequels were the perfect example. Some fans treated them like blasphemy but they still went multiple times to watch each film lol. And of course we are talking about the hardcore fans out there which this site seems to attract. I bet no one here considers themselves just a casual fan and that’s really the issue. And they still want to be part of the community end of the day.

But of course I understand if people feel there is just too much complaining or sick of constant negativity too. I’m not saying I want to read that all day either even when there is a show I don’t particularly love myself. I would always prefer a balance. And with SNW, it seems to be just that. Yeah some people seem to not like the show at all, but they are also in a vast minority. SNW seems to be the most popular modern show in the fanbase right now. Picard season 3 seems to be more popular overall but that’s over now (until hopefully the Legacy show comes). But the discussions about this show are pretty well balanced IMO. That’s all you can you ask for. Yes too much negativity is not a good thing but if you are coming for just a circle jerk then you shouldn’t be here. Just make a Facebook page, invite all the gushers and go to town about how everything is amazing. I would find that immensely boring personally.

But yeah, it’s also why I wish there was an ignore button here if people just get sick of hearing others trash a show all the time, any show.

NO, not the same people are bitching! I liked episode 1 and LOVED episode 2, but 3 and 4 were just poor. Akiva’s obsession about tying in with TOS episodes is starting the backfire (for the second week in a row, and more is coming). It’s just not working. And to say the same people are bitching no matter what is just nonsense.

If he really was trying to tie this in with TOS then his whole time alteration thing completely undermines that. The entire first season of this show created such a gulf between it and TOS that it was no longer possible to tie the two shows together. Then he just essentially said, ‘screw it. It’s not the same. It’s its own time line (read: reboot).’ So he’s either given up trying to tie the two because he realized it wasn’t possible after the first episode of season 1 or he was a liar and that was never his intent to begin with.

But that is YOUR opinion. I don’t see it as backfiring. This is EXACTLY what I wanted from this show when it began. It makes me like it even more. For someone that grew up with TOS – I had always wanted those tie-ins. The connections. And that is what I now have. I think the TNG fans are having the most problems with this to be honest.

No show will have perfect writing. And armchair quarterbacks will always complain about this but you cannot please everyone. Unfortunately, this whole board has been a massive complaint box. 90% of the comments here are negative or sway towards the negative. And it is always the same people that complain about every episode.

Trek is like a menu. You have so many things to choose from. There is something for everyone. You don’t like one thing… try the other – it may be more your taste.

This episode brought me right back to The Cage when I saw the matte painting. The vista in SNW gave a nice update to a 2-minute flashback in The Cage. I loved the update. I love the blend of glancing back and tying-in. Did you pick up on the subtle music in the BG?

People here are TOO focused on trying to find something to complain about that they aren’t even taking the time to enjoy the show. It is almost like people WANT to find something wrong with it.
Trek has always had its inconsistencies, way back in TOS and TNG. Writers have always tried to update and make things fit with in Trek.

  • James R. Kirk
  • “Earth Federation” in TOS: “Friday’s Child”
  • “Federation of Planets” in TOS: “A Piece of the Action
  • “United Fleet of Planets” in TOS: “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”

For me… I love the update. I love having a 60s show updated for 2023. I love the update of Picard from TNG. I don’t drink everything up that is Trek. I am not a huge fan of Prodigy or Lower Decks… but I do love the campiness of TAS. I am not a fan of the first 2 JJ movies but I loved BEYOND because it felt more Trek like to me in tone and in characters.

For me, watching other people’s vision of how they see Trek is interesting. Even Roddenberry said this. The fact that we are still watching versions of a show that started in the mid 60s is absolutely amazing.

” Unfortunately, this whole board has been a massive complaint box. 90% of the comments here are negative or sway towards the negative.”

But this is just not true. I mean not even close. The irony about this statement is I don’t think I’ve seen the fanbase this happy about Star Trek in the last year since the 90s, this board included. From the first season of SNW to LDS season 3, then part 2 of Prodigy and finally Picard season 3 has all been mostly praise and positivity. People have mostly gushed over all these seasons, ESPECIALLY Picard season 3 lol. I have said it myself I really liked it but still nowhere close to its biggest fans either.

Of course it doesn’t mean everyone liked all of them as you personally pointed out you’re not a big fan of LDS and PRO. But the majority (or at least who watched) did seem to like them. Unfortunately not enough people watched PRO but that’s another topic. But all these seasons have not only been seen as positive you can see that on review sites like RT and IMDB. SNW got an 8.1 on IMDB and an 80% score on RT. PRO has around a 75% score. LDS also has an 80% score like SNW. Picard season 3 has a 90% score and so far the highest of any new season. Compare that to it’s season 2 score of 30%, easily one of the lowest (but not the lowest either ;)).

And it also proves despite what some people believe not everyone is out to get Kurtzman Trek. When the scores are low you hear every ridiculous excuse or conspiracy theory out there; but the biggest being they just have a fundamental disdain towards everything related to NuTrek. But if that was the case, these new shows and seasons wouldn’t be getting 80 or 90% ratings either. It kind of proves when people think something is actually good, they will speak up about it as they been doing all year on this board too.

SNW is not getting as much love as it got in season 1. But you can simply argue because the episodes just haven’t been as good. Again no conspiracies or people solely out to hate it or season one would never have such a high rating in the first place, right? And people still seem to like season 2 so far, it’s just a bit more divided compared to season 1, that’s all. I don’t see that as an issue or that 90% of the board hates this show. If anything, the haters still seem to be in the vast minority. Others are just being critical like me, but still like the show overall.

That goes both ways, too. There are people who seem to love every episode no matter what. Doesn’t seem like anyone is posting here moaning and groaning about how these people seem to just eat up whatever is put in front of them and that doesn’t make them honest fans or what not.

I’m a big fan of the show but this episode didn’t quite work as intended. You got a sense of what they were trying to do but it almost felt as if they ran out of time to flesh out a number of details.

Oh, so now we have a very classic trek type episode, even bordering a little bit cheesy (I mean that as a compliment).

Yet… people are still bitching.

For those playing at home, this is called “begging the question.”

Speaking of memories, can someone remind me what La’an and M’Benga’s face touching gesture at the end was?

I was trying to remember that myself. M’Benga gave that signal to La’an in the season premiere when the Enterprise away team caught up with her.

I am really enjoying this season, it feels like the Trek I used to know. I think it’s mainly because they’re allowing the characters to slow down, breathe and actually have conversations. I really hope they give Ortegas an episode completely dedicated to her alone and give her some more backstory. I love all the characters, but she’s my favorite.

I am really enjoying this season, it feels like the Trek I used to know. I think it’s mainly because they’re allowing the characters to slow down, breathe and actually have conversations.



Episode 4 started intruiging. I loved the dialogue and character moments. And the visuals on the planet were beautiful. But it got boring kinda quickly after they got stuck on the planet, mostly because the sollution was so obvious from the start.

It was a great ensemble show, but for the 2nd week in a row the episode was too long and would’ve benefited from cuts. That would’ve kept the pace going better. The dialogue in the tent, for instance, got repetative. As did Erica’s scenes later on.

It felt like they were trying to make it an Erica episode but it wasn’t really, except for the book-ends. I’m getting devided on this second season. It feels like Akiva’s obsession with tying into TOS episodes isn’t working very well. Score: 7-ish/10

Fantastic episode! It felt like TOS for the modern era. It really reminded me of classic Trek so much. It is great to return to episodic stories with an ensemble cast of characters where people are talking in the episodes. Episode 3 last week really made me think the same. That dialogue has finally returned to Star Trek. Yes, the pace is slower just like TOS, but the characters are talking, and I really enjoy it. This episode didn’t disappoint.

Visually the show was great too. Especially that last shot that pulled away from Pike’s quarters to show the Enterprise. Awesome shot.

Also, not sure if it was only me or not, but the Enterprise computer voice reminded me of the computer voice on DS9. Probably just me.

My new favorite Star Trek show. Love it!

This episode sucked. It’s disappointing given that last week’s episode was so much better. Fifteen minutes in and I wish I could forget about this episode.

The aspect that I liked the most about this episode was that it was basically a 60s TOS episode and it brought back memories. The cheesy acting of the bad guy, the AR wall reminding of TOS sets (I wonder if this is done intentionally) all reminded me of a TOS episode. But I think the biggest thing this episode needed was a pure science-fiction writer to write the story and make everything a tad more clear in terms of the effects of the radiation and memory loss. As it stands now its not too clear how these effects works or what really blocks them. So in terms of the TOS iness of the episode I enjoyed it but in terms of more clearcut writing I think it needed a bit more work.

Writers who were really good in regards to explaining tech stuff in a way that made treksense to me were the novels from the Reeves-Stevenses, especially with MEMORY PRIME and their spectacular FEDERATION and PRIME DIRECTIVE books. They did some TV work on the last season of ENT, but I don’t know how well that worked out because I had given up on the show halfway through the second season opener and have only managed to get through a few episodes since, none of which were remotely decent.

Am actually having deja vu right now, because I realize the feelings I’m having of utter dissatisfaction with SNW are exactly how I felt in mid-run on VOYAGER when I just plain gave up on it and never looked back. I can’t say the same for DSC, because for me that show was always rotten when I tried watching, except for some of the Mount episodes, so there was no big deal about giving up on the show after two seasons. With SNW, I feel like I committed to it even though I only liked a few s1s, but that commitment is waning rapidly.

Also noticed that when they had the images of the KIA officers, the middle one was named as ‘C. Plummer’….got to be a tribute to Christopher Plummer (RIP).

Why has my original post on this episode not been accepted? I just commented that I thought the episode was okay at best, but there were some optics that felt off for me?

Did you put a curse word in there? I’ve had some posts not get accepted over language.

Yeah it’s usually just a word that is being filtered that gets blocked. ‘

My advice to anyone, especially if you make an extra long post about something but after you write it DON’T press send. Copy the message and just put a single word in the post like ‘the’ or something. Post that and then press edit and paste your original message. It will go through every time. That’s how I’m able to send all my toxic and hate filled posts to Phil without any worries.

No I didn’t as far as I can remember. I commented that I didn’t like the optics of two characters of colour being dispatched/injured to allow a white guy (Pike) to beat up a badly stereotyped Asian warlord character.

And other than that, I merely said the episode was okay. Not the best, but certainly not the worst (nothing ever will ever be as bad as the fairytale episode from last season or the season 2 premiere).

An alright episode, but IMHO the worst of the season… mainly because the bar was so set so high especially by the last two weeks.
The story had some good elements to it but the editors could have made the episode a lot shorter as it dragged on in many places.
Watched the Ready Room preview for next week and it looks like it has some good/great potential.

For me, from best to worst so far it goes something like this:

1. Ad Astra Per Aspera
2. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
3. Among the Lotus Eaters
4. The Broken Circle

But there is a MASSIVE drop in quality between the first two, in my opinion. While I enjoyed TTT, it was basically an overly long Toronto travelogue with a paper thin plot. 2×02 was spectacular and had A LOT to say.

Agree DeanH. I felt it really missed the mark personally but it wasn’t awful either. There were definitely good things in it but overall it just had too many issues IMO. But if others loved it, great.

I loved this episode. So far, each episode this season has been strong. Loved them going back to clean up their mess. We were able to understand that couple of minutes from The Cage more. Love the throwback.
I also love how they are not focusing on just one character… this is not Star Trek: Pike. I like how they are allowing other characters moments to shine and grow. I know most people hate her, but I love Ortegas. And you are able to pick up subtle things in terms of the relationship Pike has with his crew. A bit of dialogue this episode shows that Pike new Ortegas when she was in the academy. Pike probably hand-picked his crew and this is why they go back and explains the relationship.
I also like the subtle music cues that remind me of the TOS episodes.
I read here all the time… why so much throwback and references to TOS? That is EXACTLY what I wanted from this show, and I think it does an excellent job of it.
I am not highly critical, like 90% of the people posting. It’s Star Trek. Trek has had continuing error in EVERY show… including TOS. It has never bothered me from enjoying this show. The other thing is… it is a TV show! I swear, some people nitpick to the point they are actually forcing themselves to not enjoy the show. Sit back, watch the show and just enjoy the entertainment.
The Star Wars shows that Disney produces are incredibly dull and not very watchable. Kenobi and The Mandalorian were sooooo sloooooow and boring, and I cannot get through them. I haven’t even bothered watching the others.
Anyway, that is my 2 cents. I am enjoying every episode.

Trek is Trek….

Life is Life nah nahh na na na….

Football is life.

Actually, life is like a football, as it seems like we spend most of the time getting kicked around by folks who are making way too much money and seem to live well above the law.

For some of those that have pointed out feeling a difference in the writing between season 1 and season 2, I wonder if it might be explained by Akiva Goldsman being more hands-on in season 2.

Production of SNW season 1 occurred concurrently with Picard season 2 back in February 2021, and Goldsman oversaw Picard’s second season. And since Picard was shot in Los Angeles, Goldsman wasn’t there in Canada for SNW season 1 day-in and day-out.

So that leaves me wondering if SNW season 1 was more of Henry Alonso Myers calling the shots, and now with season 2 Goldsman is sitting at the table making more decisions.

That actually could be the reason. I’m not as hard on Goldsman as others but his stuff where he’s had the most sway has been very lacking on Trek to say the least. It was a big reason why I was worried about SNW after the dumpster fire of Picard season 2 but was pleasantly surprised by it.

But I can’t help to think most of it was probably due to Meyers influence. I have no proof on any of that and has never seen anything Meyers made before (but only heard good things), but Goldsman just come off more like a fanboy than a serious writer IMO.

Yup, Rank insignia’s are still all messed up. Ortegas wears Lt.Commander’s stripes, but is a Lt.

I loved this episode, even though I was largely lost by the TOS references since I’m not a TOS fan. Still a great looking episode with a clever premise and retcon. I love the B-Plot with Ortegas failing to go on the away mission but staying behind to ultimately save the ship, very fun setup and probably my favorite part of the episode. I noticed they are doing a better job nailing the voices of the characters, even the computer voice was written within the boundaries of Star Trek’s unique vernacular (all things I recognize from TNG in particular). Spock had some perfectly composed scenes, and he finally sounds like the confident Spock I remember. Many parts of this episode seemed to call back to TNG, including “Conundrum” with memory loss and confusion onboard the ship and the helpful computer voice with the pathway lights. Have I mentioned this show just looks outstanding….has to be the best looking show on streaming period.

This is going to be buried and I wish I’d gotten to the post earlier, but is NO ONE going to mention the AWFUL ear-ringing/tinnitus sound effect? I was listening on headphones and literally had to rip them from my ears EVERY TIME they used that terrible sound! If there’s anyone from the production team reading this, please make sure that YOU also listen on headphones before publishing the finished product.

Strange snow on Rigel 7.. there was a light snowfall on all the “outdoor” scenes, but did anyone notice that it never accumulated on anyone, not on their clothes, hair, nowhere.

No hair on Pike’s coif was ever out of place in this episode, despite snow, fights, manual labor. His hairdo is the real star of this series…

Apparently there is a deflector shield around all characters in this episode. Did anyone else notice that during the heavy snow scenes, no snow landed on the actors? Great special effects with the AR wall in full use and digital snow falling everywhere but you would expect a bit of snow in peoples hair and on their shoulders at least! LOL!

Maybe they’re all wearing cloaked versions of the life-support belts from TAS? BTW, I’m so enjoying rewatching TAS that I actually reread some of Alan Dean Foster’s expansive adaptations of the eps, and realized that certain ways I have of expressing myself actually seem to originate with phrases Foster used.

I loved the episode. Seeing Rigel VII again was wonderful. Kudos to the Enterprise Computer which again helps save the ship and crew 👏

Small thing, and maybe it’s petty of me, but I cannot stand how the helmsman has their elbows back while driving.

I thoroughly enjoyed the episode. Felt like a classic 60s episode. Even with the pink sky. Funny the general downvotes in the forums here.

I enjoyed it better than the Toronto episode… the one which I thought was going to be amazing and ended up looking like a Canadian-made police TV show episode.

Commenters here DO bring up the usual good points about weird plot points… but I try to avoid thinking about them too hard or then I’ll end up disliking an episode that I enjoyed watching.

Yes… why is the castle basically vacant…. how do you “forget” a case of phaser rifles and vaccines (?)… why does a 24th century starship not have better computer failsafes to protect the crew in case of mass memory loss or incapacitation… etc.

I will say that Pike kicking the crap out of Mr. Left-Behind makes sense because he’s in a state of severe frustration, confusion and duress.

This isn’t really the thread for this, but I just found a mention on reddit — a place I very rarely look out of fear of falling down a rabbit hole — claiming Matalas told the new DP on Ps3 that he wanted the episodes to look like CRIMSON TIDE. I talked with both DPs and that certainly never came up with either, plus … well, CRIMSON TIDE, for all the ludicrous smoke on the sets, at least had tremendous color saturation. Ps3 is practically monochrome and looked like mush, so I’m really not seeing any similarity outside of atmosphere in the sets.

I can’t blame them for wanting to emulate CT. Swing and a miss, though.

Maybe they should’ve simply continued the TOS movie love, flood the scene with the saturated red alert red light, and call it a day. It’s bad when the USS Grissom looks more submarine than the fancy Titan.