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Star Trek Strange New Worlds: Lost in Translation

"I don't need a cookie!"

While I am enjoying the wonderfully diverse storylines SNW has been giving us, horror is not my genre.

However (you knew there would be a however, didn't you?), this is a very Star Trek sort of story. Contacting and learning about new life forms, check. That particular theme crept up on us, and I do mean 'creep.'

Uhura has been working too hard and not sleeping enough, but she was still the one who figured out what her terrifying hallucinations meant before everything went totally to crap. She's so good that Pike did some enormous faith-leaping and blew up a refinery that was extremely important to Starfleet and its anticipatory efforts to defend the Federation against the Gorn.

And I have to say that this particular plot bit was the least believable. I would have understood if Pike had managed to turn off the refinery until he had informed the admirals/higher ups about what was going on. A much less exciting option than sabotage and explosions, but it would have been much more probable.

That said, the visuals in this episode were excellent. The hallucination on the bridge where the view screen exploded and the crew were vented out into space was so shocking that it made me gasp. The scene where the unfortunate Saul Ramon blew out the fuel pod whatever and wound up dead with his body rotating in space was also excellent. And zombie Hemmer in the turbo lift? Excellent jump scare.

In fact, I liked everything they did with Hemmer, especially the video of Hemmer and Uhura recalibrating the communications array. Here, as her most recent loss, Hemmer represented Uhura's grief for her family. The best of the visions was Hemmer, whole again and smiling at Uhura to signal that she had indeed saved them all.

The side plot with Una and Pelia sniping at each other nicely complemented Uhura's grief for Hemmer. Of course the crew is finding Pelia difficult to accept – she replaced someone they all loved. But Pelia has strengths of her own. She found evidence of sabotage because she followed her own nose instead of Una's orders.

But what I liked most about this episode was our re- re- re-introduction to James T. Kirk. Of course, our previous two Kirk episodes were in other timelines, and only La'an remembers her adventures with Kirk in 21st century Toronto.

There were so many wonderful Kirk scenes. The majority were with Uhura, and yes, I thought he was attempting to pick her up in the lounge when they first met. But then he didn't report her for whacking his nose in the corridor, and he kept trying to help her. Maybe they became instant friends because he's an "exquisite judge of character," an observation that made me laugh.

But it is indeed true that Kirk connects quickly with people and genuinely wants to help others. I loved when Kirk and Uhura were talking about not being able to face death; I kept thinking about The Wrath of Khan, and I'm sure that is what was intended. Kirk and La'an had a nice, heartwarming moment in the corridor that had some romantic vibes. And it was interesting to see the Kirk brothers interacting for the first time, mostly because Sam was surprisingly hostile and resentful of his overachieving brother. Even the bit about real cookies was very Kirk.

But the best moment was at the end, when Kirk and Spock met for the first time, for real. Honestly, it got to me.


— Stardate 2394.8 at Bannon's Nebula on the edge of explored space. Melissa Navia (Ortegas) lost her partner Brian Bannon right before she landed her role on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. The nebula was named after him.

— Pike was wearing a new badge that clearly meant "fleet captain" and Spock said, "Fleet captain?" like he hadn't noticed. There was a mention in "The Menagerie" of Kirk meeting Pike after he'd become fleet captain.

-- Kirk was just promoted to first officer of the USS Farragut, making him the youngest in the fleet. George Kirk, his father, held the record before him. So George Kirk is still alive.

— Have we ever seen the Bussard collectors used before?

— Spock and Chapel have decided to keep their romantic relationship quiet for now. Or more accurately, Chapel decided.

— When Hemmer died in "All Those Who Wander," Bruce Horak mentioned in an interview that it wasn't the end of his relationship with Star Trek. He had to be referring to this episode. I still wish we could have more of the actor, though. All that make-up; couldn't they recast him?


Pike: "Ortegas, find us a dense pocket of deuterium and do some laps."
Ortegas: "Rip some donuts through the gas cloud, aye, sir."

Uhura: "Hemmer was our chief engineer before he..."
Pelia: "I know. He was one of my best students. (pause) I'm sorry, I just said that because he's dead. Actually, he was just okay."
I like Pelia. She doesn't play any conversational games.

Kirk: "Sam!"
Sam: "Jimmy! Welcome to the Enterprise."
Kirk: "Hell of a ship. And they let you work here?"

Uhura: "You're Sam's brother."
Kirk: "Oh. You're friends with Sam."
Uhura: "Look, I really don't want to be hit on right now."
Kirk: "Ehh. You're friends with Sam."

Kirk: "So you tell yourself, 'Hey, if my dad chose helping total strangers over me, it must... must be important.'"
La'an: "As one of those strangers that Starfleet helped, I promise you, it is."

Una: "You're sloppy. Okay? You don't respect protocols, you're too loose with discipline, you don't follow orders unless you feel like it, and you have crumbs on your uniform. When did you even eat? You're like... a space hippie."
Pelia: "Oooh. Well, I have been called more names than there are stars in the sky, but 'space hippie' is a new one on me."

Kirk: "I hear the mess is serving real cookies, not from the matter synthesizer."
Uhura: "I don't need a cookie!"

Pelia: "It's Hemmer. I'm a reminder that your friend died and I replaced him. And every time you see me, it dredges up all that sadness. I get it. I've been there. Too many times."

So let's see. The horror elements were effective but not my favorite sort of thing, but I enjoyed the exploration of Uhura as a character and everything with James T. Kirk. Three out of four not-synthesized cookies?

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Programming note: "Those Old Scientists," the Lower Decks crossover episode, was dropped early. My review will be up tomorrow (Monday). I promise!

  2. Basically, this was another good episode with a lot of enjoyable moments. Unfortunately I was bored and distracted by the familiarity of the plot. Invisible aliens being destroyed by the unsuspecting good guys, with the aliens doing their best to communicate their plight to a receptive savior. Sorry I can’t remember what show, episode or movie I’ve seen this in, but it evidently made an impression I couldn’t tune out. Voyager? Stargate SG 1? Now I’m going to be wondering …..

    But it was still good watching it unfold with our favorite characters. Like you, my favorite moment was the meeting of Kirk & Spock.


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