Spoilers Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 1x03 - "Ghosts of Illyria"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' started by Commander Richard, May 17, 2022.

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Hit it!

  1. 10 - Excellent!

    20.6%
  2. 9

    22.4%
  3. 8

    31.3%
  4. 7

    15.4%
  5. 6

    6.5%
  6. 5

    3.3%
  7. 4

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. 3

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. 2

    0.5%
  10. 1 - I give it a number one, and not the good Number One.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Belz...

    Belz... Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Considering how strong Una turned out to be I think she figured it out on her own.

    Me neither, though it is hard to do new weekly episodes after 3 years of TOS, 2 of TAS, 7 of TNG and VOY, and 2 episodic seasons of ENT. Let's give them this season to adjust and find their footing.
     
  2. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, it's a tie in to Halo 4. Nightfall is a tie-in to Halo 5 with Mike Colter as the star (better known as Luke Cage).
     
  3. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A clean break from what?

    I liked it. Some decent Federation mad science. Its time someone used the transporters for their magical properties than ignoring they can reverse aging and raise the dead.
     
  4. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Admiral Premium Member

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    Should be about time to open up the poll, yes?

    Well I thought that was a 10. The parts about the planet and the storm and the transporter shenanigans were fairly basic Star Trek (which is no bad thing), but those two twists? Damn


    La'an sat up literally a minute after Una confessed. She was most likely conscious during the entire discussion about Una's blood.
     
  5. captainmkb

    captainmkb Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    "Sir, Enterprise is requisitioning a new basket."
    "Why?"
    "Comms says 'all these goddamn Easter eggs'. Sir."
     
  6. eschaton

    eschaton Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I dunno what to think of this episode, because the vast majority of it was an utterly mundane (but serviceable) Trek "medical mystery hour" but some of the final 10 minutes or so are better than anything we saw in the first two episodes in terms of the use of themes and emotionally moving elements.

    Once again, the episode keeps a close focus on a single character, with the POV character clearly Una, who even has framing log entries at the beginning and the end of the episode. Pike and Spock are stranded in a B plot specifically in order to give Una a chance to shine. This B-plot is largely useless plot mechanics, since the realization the two of them have about what happened to the Illyrian colonists is something which would be self-evident from the A-plot, but hey, sometimes you just structurally need these, like when Sisko just hangs in his office for three minutes.

    Looking at it from a meta perspective, the writers played a very good bait/switch on us. We were all expecting that La'an would be the augment, and although she might have some fractional augment ancestry, that's clearly not salient. Instead Una is...and apparently an alien too? Or are the Illyrians (since it's the name of an ancient country in what's now Yugoslavia) some lost human colony? The played kinda fast/loose with whether Una was really an alien here, which I think is deliberate on the part of the showrunners. Whether Una is an alien or another type of human augment isn't important. What is important is that she's discriminated against, and has been living closeted to hide that ancestry and serve in Starfleet. While there's forward movement for her here, with several key crew members (Pike, M'Benga, Chapel, La'an) now knowing the truth about her, I love that in her closing monologue she notes there really is no closure, because a lifetime of insecurity about identity can't be overwritten because a few friends accept you for who you are - not when society as a whole does not. This is incredible allegorical storytelling - I just wish they didn't wait until the very end of the episode to get here, instead spending all the time with the magical light virus!

    Other characters of course got some more time to shine here as well. La'an has a few layers of the onion peeled back, as was noted, we get to see a little more of Chapel (though she's still mostly a quippy cipher), and Hemmer comes more into focus. But the unexpected co-star is M'Benga, who unveils his deep dark secret - a dying daughter kept in the transporter buffer. This is manipulative as hell on the part of the showrunners, but as a father every time that Star Trek does these sort of things it gives me the feels - not just in fantastic episodes like The Visitor, but also in mediocre ones like Time's Orphan and Real Life. Babs is acting his heart out here as well, so this was a highlight of the episode, though I'm left wishing they did an entire episode about this instead.

    The problem with the episode is aside from Una's character journey and the last-minute reveal regarding M'Benga's daughter everything else is mediocre as hell. This is a very tropey, TNG-like episode. The expository dialogue was quite clunky in places compared to the first two episodes, and holy hell was there a lot of technobabble here. Almost everything genuinely good happened in the third act, leaving the first two just...serviceable.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2022
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  7. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Admiral Premium Member

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    Memory Alpha is right on top of this addendum. The Illyrian page has already been updated.
     
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  8. Belz...

    Belz... Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You know, the more I think about it the less sense it makes.

    Una must have gotten a number of physical/medical examinations during her carreer. It's hard to imagine that her augmentations wouldn't have been noticed (it also suggests that the Illyrians are a human population).

    Similarily, the proscription on genetic alterations is odd in light of TOS, where the augments weren't seen in a bad historical light.
     
  9. eschaton

    eschaton Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There's also several TNG episodes involving "lost colonies" of humans which used genetic engineering to perfect themselves.

    But...would most augmentation actually show up? I mean, if you're just concentrating the "best of the best" in terms of the natural human (or alien, whatever) genome there's nothing unnatural to pick up.
     
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  10. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    She overheard Una and M'Benga talking in the office.
     
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  11. Campe

    Campe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Probably the weakest of the three so far but certainly not bad. The COVID allegory was strong as was M’Benga’s speech on prejudice. As a dad, the scene with M’Benga and his daughter brought a tear to my eye. The Pike/Spock plot was fairly predictable.

    Honestly, I’m particularly torn about the last few scenes. The lengths both Pike and later Una go to to protect Una and later M’Benga are amazing. The care they have for one another shows in spades. At the same time they are ultimately foolish and quite unprofessional.

    I understand the concept is to build season, perhaps multi season long character arcs, but to what end? Una said it well in the idea that Pike keeping this secret could jeopardize his career. Same for Una keeping M’Benga’s secret. And at some point, both secrets will come out. And it won’t be good for anyone. Court martial episode coming up? Appearance by Samuel T. Cogley perhaps?
     
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  12. Seven is DEEAAD!

    Seven is DEEAAD! It is... It is green. Premium Member

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    At first, I was worried the episode was going to turn into a shipwide-disease episode. Luckily by the end, it had turned into something much more sincere.

    Having Una being an augment was a cool twist, especially as the series has the relative of Khan in its cast. Her being an Illyrian was also nicely realized.

    M'Benga reading his sick daughter a story got to me. :(
     
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  13. Belz...

    Belz... Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Considering how her immune system works in-episode I'd think that'd show up, yeah.
     
  14. eschaton

    eschaton Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Pike knows his destiny. He's going to get horribly injured while still in active duty, not get drummed out of Starfleet. So he reasons there's little professional risk for him to help cover this up.
     
  15. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    I think Chief Kyle's line about 'who knows what I would have beamed back' or whatever the exact quote was, was meant to be a wink wink to Mirror Mirror. Beaming through an ion storm and all that.
     
  16. Campe

    Campe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Fair. But still… the point remains.
     
  17. dswynne1

    dswynne1 Captain Captain

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    This episode brought up a few interesting points.

    La'an's augmentation heritage is based on becoming superhuman, while Una's is based on adaptation to a planet's environment.

    Then, there is the idea of enforced regulations of genetic engineering, thanks to ONE planet's bad experience with augmentation, resulting in some seeking to re-bioengineering themselves in order to become acceptable enough for ONE world's benefit.

    I think the real story is what M'Benga said: trading one form of bigotry for another. If you were born enhanced, you are discriminated against, to the point of wanting to fit in to gain acceptance.

    I'm with Pike on this one. I think prohibiting Augments from serving in Starfleet is silly, and counter-intuitive to what the Federation stands for. And considering that there are alien species that are smarter and stronger than humans, it don't make that much of a difference, really.

    Just saying.
     
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  18. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    Denobulans, according to Phlox, practiced generic engineering all the time. Does that mean they never joined the Federation? I doubt they'd just give it up...
     
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  19. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Fell asleep.

    Yawn.

    tried again.

    Understood why I fell asleep.
     
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  20. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    If they follow up on Una's augmentation with Star Fleet and the Federation, it should come out after study that a large part of Earth population is descended from Augmented human of the 20th century making their proscription nothing more than racial bigotry (which it is anyway) at this point in time.

    Honestly, it's an extremely reactionary attitude. I can imagine the TOS writers saw Kahn as something like the bad end the Nazis were going for when they wrote that episode so soon after WW2. They weren't alone. John Russell Fearn created 'The Golden Amazon' during WW2. She was a product of medical alteration to turn her into a superwoman who started out much like Kahn in her origin. She was going to take over the world to bring peace. I guess the DS9* writers simply expanded on that backward take that genetic alteration leads to evil ends. I can't see that genetic alteration that eliminates cancer would be a bad thing but it evidently would in the Federation.

    *Thanks for spotting that TNG goof, eschaton.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2022