We take a deep dive into episode 8 of Enterprise's third season: "Twilight", and discuss: 

  • how much we love this episode (A LOT)
  • we kind of maybe ship T'Pol/Archer here
  • Rosemary's Baby, feminism and psychological horror
  • the fascinating things this episode does with gender
  • storytelling through costume, hair and make-up
  • the destructions of Earth and Romulus
  • it turns out that JJ Abrams is a hack????

It's the episode where we ask, um, are we meant to find Phlox attractive here? Because, wow, baby!

Halfway through its first season, Liz and Anika revisit Lower Decks. Spoilers, we still like it! BUT...

  • it really is awfully heterosexual
  • and isn't it weird how, out of all the modern Trek series, only one actively pursues queer representation and the others just fall into a heteronormative default?
  • is the solution ... a letter-writing campaign???

But also!

  • this is still a Beckett Mariner stan podcast
  • is Boimler ... you know, that type of fan?
  • the Lower Decks characters and classic Mary Sue types

Anika and Liz select characters, concepts and ideas which, if copyright law didn't exist (and also they controlled Star Trek, which, for some reason, they still don't), they would bring into the Trek universe. We're talking about...

  • the value of retelling stories
  • Star Trek: SVU
  • a Tal Shiar Red Room (the Black Widow kind, not the Twin Peaks kind, but Liz is actually thinking of Amazon Prime's Hanna)
  • Star Trek: Scandal
  • Daria Morgendorffer on the USS Cerritos
  • Beastars, whose anthropomorphic animals would be equally at home on Deep Space 9 or the Cerritos 
  • Miles Vorkosigan (and an accompanying rant about the depiction of Little People in Trek, and also fandom ableism)
  • Bella Swann BUT IN SPACE
  • does Starfleet need more cannibals?
  • what do Cardassians taste like? 

It's the episode where we reject wholesale the end of Rogue One!

Hey, remember two weeks ago, when we were like, "Well, maybe Star Trek: Lower Decks won't be for us, and that's okay." 

SPOILERS: WE LOVED IT. 

  • This is now a Beckett Mariner stan podcast
  • We want to know a lot more about Rutherford and his prosthesis
  • (Attention mad scientists: if you need a test subject, Anika volunteers)
  • Corridor bunks? Corridor bunks!
  • Liz has a pitch for the season finale
  • Tendi: Is she fanon!Gaila? 
  • Boimler: He is definitely a character who exists

Anika and Liz discuss the news out of this year's virtual San Diego Comic Con. And ... there's not much of it! 

  • We understand the reasons, but we're still disappointed at the lack of release date for season 3 of Discovery (three days later: 15 October!)
  • We're keen for Star Trek: Prodigy
  • Maybe Star Trek: Lower Decks won't be for us ... and that's okay!
  • The All The Star Trek Ladies panel, which has some tie-in novel news we found very exciting

And, in the spirit of our traditional digressions, we also talk about Hanna (the movie and the Amazon Prime series); Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Season Finale: The Unexpected Rise and Fall of the WB and UPN by Susanne Daniels and Cynthia Littleton (a book whose title Liz has been misremembering since 2007); and Mo Ryan's Vanity Fair piece "'This Was Abuse': The Fall of a CBS Showrunner".

 

It's almost unheard of for a network to reject a pilot, only to request a new one. But Star Trek always was a bit special. Anika and Liz are here to discuss "Where No Man Has Gone Before", the second -- and successful -- Star Trek pilot. And we have to ask -- is this real Star Trek, or just a generic action-adventure story wearing a Starfleet uniform, a shameless money grab, a blatant jumping of the shark? 

  • But seriously, this is a strangely violent and callous episode!
  • Anika points out the ways it revisits ideas from "The Cage"
  • Gary Mitchell is THE WORST; he's also, essentially, fanon!Kirk
  • #ElizabethDehnerDeservedBetter
  • Anika's paean to Chris Pine, The Best Kirk
  • Was Tilly at the Academy with Kirk and Mitchell? (Yes.)
  • Is this all an elaborate plot by Spock to replace Gary Mitchell as Kirk's BFF? (Also yes.)
  • Can we make this decades-old episode all about Admiral Cornwell? (Absolutely.)

It's our 50th episode! And we're celebrating with silliness: we've come up with 25 questions each, and given the other 60 seconds to consider important issues like: 

  • why does Anika blame Jonathan Archer for everything that's wrong with the Federation?
  • can Liz narrow down a single favourite violation of the Prime Directive?
  • whisky-flavoured chewing gum: yes or no?

And that barely scrapes the surface! 

 

When we planned this episode, we thought we were just going to talk about the newly announced Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. But real events took over, and so we encourage our listeners to donate to the ACLU, Black Lives Matters groups, FreeHer and other organisations raising money to fight systematic racism, injustice and police brutality. Check out antimatterpod.tumblr.com for specifics.

It's very difficult to pivot from that important business to something as frivolous as Star Trek! But we also discuss: 

  • the extremely unfortunate optics of announcing a new series with an all-white (so far) cast
  • we are still not over Katrina Cornwell's death
  • SNW as an opportunity to revisit the characters Discovery left behind
  • optimism versus idealism, and how avoiding conflict only serves to protect the status quo
  • pandering to fans (and which voices are heard)
  • episodic storytelling as an opportunity to open the writers room to more diverse voices
  • Jeffrey Combs as Dr Boyce: we're into it
  • concept: John Boyega. Star Trek. Make it so.

This week's pitch for a series that will never happen: Alexander Rozhenko: Attorney at Law.

We're talking about the medical professionals of Trek, including: 

  • the changing prominence of doctors and medicine in Star Trek
  • uh, does Phlox actually have a medical degree?
  • our favourite doctor (and the good characters versus the ones we'd want actually treating us)
  • Liz's nursing rant and Anika's related ER rant (it's on topic! We promise!)
  • we have ... questions about Klingon medicine
  • mental health professionals
  • medical technology

Episodes discussed in detail: 

  • "Miri" (TOS)
  • "The Child" and "Ethics" (TNG)
  • "The Quickening" (DS9)
  • "Critical Care" (VOY)

There's also a lot more discussion than usual about Covid and US politics after about the one hour mark, which we're flagging in case you're tired and need to prioritise escapism.

Anika and Liz discuss the classic TOS tie-in novel My Enemy, My Ally by Diane Duane, particularly: 

  • Duane's take on Roman culture, and its ties to canon, especially in the wake of Star Trek: Picard
  • Romulan language -- and how the heck do you pronounce "Mnhei’sahe"?
  • Ael: a character we adore beyond reason
  • Liz's elaborate headcanon about Romulan culture and politics in the 24th century
  • Anika's eternal grief at not getting to learn Romulan, when Klingon is on Duolingo
  • Fancasting Ael
  • Liz pitches a loose adaptation for season 2 of Picard
  • The sequels

Is Ael a Mary Sue? Do we care? Is it racist to compare your officer to pizza? These are just some of the important issues we cover!

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