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119. Balance of Error (SNW 1.08, 1.09 and 1.10)

Things Anika claims as her own in this episode: Chris Pine, Gorn babies

Anika and Liz put on some fancy costumes, murder some Gorn babies and agree: that was definitely a season of television.

But did we actually like season 1 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds?

Erm. Well.

  • Remember when we were afraid this would be the Pike, Spock and Una show? It’s definitely not the Una show, and we have different opinions on whether or not it’s a Spock show!
  • It’s fascinating how season one of SNW shares a lot of problems with season one of TNG, but no one is out there arguing that TNG’s first season was good
  • Anika has to “well actually” Liz
  • The Elysian Kingdom: 
    • We just want M’Benga to be happy, is that so much to ask?
    • It’s 2022 and the depiction of queerness in SNW is roughly on par with DS9 in the 1990s (this is not a compliment)
  • All Those Who Wander:
    • #GornRights
    • “Straight-up Aliens rip-off” is a feature not a bug for us, but the depiction of the Gorn is even more troubling than it was in “Memento Mori”!
    • PLEASE make Star Trek hire a disability consultant because the depiction of disability and mental illness in any Trek overseen by Akiva Goldsman is dreadful and offensive
    • Children, whether Gorn or human(ish), don’t have rights in this series, and Anika finds that TROUBLING
    • Lifting a Spock/Uhura scene — body language, camera angles and all — from Star Trek (2009) but subbing in a white woman was … well, the optics aren’t great, y’know?
  • The Quality of Mercy
    • We don’t often say this, but we hate everything about this episode!
    • Like, don’t remake “Balance of Terror” if you don’t understand Kirk, Spock, Romulans or the plot of “Balance of Terror”
    • It makes a good double feature with “These Are The Voyages…” but that isn’t really a good thing
    • We have a new appreciation for Greenwood!Pike and the (relative) lack of ableism in his story 
    • The Great Man Theory of Star Trek history
    • The ending is … exactly the same as the ending of season 2 of Lower Decks? At least for once it’s a white woman facing the Federation’s capricious justice system?