Spoilers Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 1x08 - "The Elysian Kingdom"

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It was fine. It wasn't Our Man Bashir or Bride of Chaotica, but it was fine.

  1. I'm so glad they resolved the story with Mbenga's daughter. It seemed selfish that he would tie up resources to hide his daughter.
  2. Pike had a bad hair day. Definitely not peak Pike
  3. The fairy tale lacked the meta-commentary element that made past dress-up episodes so successful.
  4. As much as this was supposed to be an episode that advanced Mbenga's character, it may have made more sense for him to be a point of view character but have one of he female character play the hero is something more Young Adult.
  5. Do the writers have children? The understanding of children's literature was woefully out of date.
  6. So long as she doesn't have to be deep, Ortegas is always fun.
So it's established M'Benga's name is Joseph. This goes all the way back to the original TOS draft that created M'Benga, where he also had a brother called Simon.

That flub early on in pre-release calling M'Benga's first name as Jabilo and Spock's as Schn T'gai (I prefer Xtmprszntwlfd from the Enterprise Officer's Manual back in the day) seems to be entirely incorrect after all.

Are we really sure TOS M'Benga is SNW M'Benga? If they're canonizing Joseph, they may canonize Simon as well and make TOS M'Benga Simon.
Thing is, though, we haven't gotten a lot of brave/typical SF captain Pike. He's been more middle of the road. Strong moments and some weak ones. This is playing too much with mAke him look/feel more like a secondary character than the leader of the show and ship.
So, like a real leader in a real organization vs. an archetype?

So, why Pike appealed to me in the first place, got it.
Odd observation but certain actors really did the fashion of the show better than others.

1. Spock is definitely the handsomest of the male characters in his costume but if this was YA literature, would definitely have been the love interest.
2. Christina Chapel actually looked like she had a higher quality look than the others and looked like she could easily have been a Disney Princess in one of the live action adaptations. It was cartoony but cute rather than "deliberate TOS cheapness"
3. La'an's outfit was deliberately tacky but she wore it VERY well and it worked great with her character.
4. Uhura's Evil Queen look was great as well and I kept waiting for her to burst into the Evil Queen's song from Lego II. Which...frankly, would not have been unwelcome.
5. Una also had a great costume for the BIG HEROINE but didn't really get a big enough role for it.
6. Pike's hair at last looks terrible
7. Ortegas costume didn't really do enough of a job emphasizing their role as the heroic knight I felt despite their snarky charm. I feel like they should have gone more Princess Bride and made them a wisecracker because it would have pushed it forward. They sort of faded into the background with their understated outfit.
8. Hemmer's outfit didn't do anything for me.
9. Neither did the minions, though I liked they were all Redshirts.

If I had a complaint about the episode, it would be that they could have gone way-way more overthetop.
So, like a real leader in a real organization vs. an archetype?

So, why Pike appealed to me in the first place, got it.

Not as strong as an "archetype" but something strong than what we've gotten so far. Really, we haven't gotten a lot of him.
So why does M'Benga get demoted to non-CMO in TOS? He's not leaving to spend time with his daughter as speculated. I assumed keeping her in the transporter was going to be the reason for Starfleet demoting him, but it appears now this period is so short that I doubt Starfleet would care much now even if they did find out.
Same reason Chapel is demoted in TMP.
Nice episode. Fun, fanciful, great set design, great acting, i enjoyed seeing characters be so opposite of themselves, and making the Enterprise seem more like something in a storybook feels like something that would've been done in TOS, TNG, or VOY, but somehow it never was. I'm glad to see it here. I give this episode an 8.

I really like M'Benga as Chief Medical Officer. I get the feeling that leaving to be with his daughter and going on an extended sabbatical is what leads to McCoy becoming CMO.
Same reason Chapel is demoted in TMP.
Chapel reading her PADD after the V'Ger incident--

Joseph M'Benga has invited you to join subspace channel group "Leonard McCoy victims unit"

Additional friends you know who are already members of this group: Spock, Mark Piper
Because the writers hate the characters? ;)
;) Chapel - maybe. She should have taken Starfleet to court for discrimination
M'Benga - my theory he went to Vulcan to purge his memories of his daughter so he could function in society... (Yeah its a reach)
So now we know that Pike's bravery is in his hair. Hair up = brave. Hair down = coward. :hugegrin:

I wasn't all that excited about the overall "story within a story" concept of this episode, but as a parent, OMG, the resolution for M'Benga and his daughter almost broke me. That was amazing, heartbreaking, and worth the ticket price right there!