The Norah Satie Discourse

“The Drumhead”. Star Trek: The Next Generation, season 4, episode 21: the discovery of a spy aboard the Enterprise, along with possible sabotage of the ship’s engines, triggers an investigation led by retired Rear Admiral Norah Satie (played by veteran British actress Jean Simmons) which quickly turns into a witch hunt.

“The Drumhead” is one of those iconic TNG episodes. There’s an ethical dilemma which serves as a metaphor for real world issues, external forces trigger polite disagreement between members of the main cast, Patrick Stewart gives an inspirational speech, and then it’s never spoken of again.

I don’t say this as faint praise. TNG was a great series, which suffers now because its episodic storytelling style is no longer fashionable. And this is one of the best episodes, representing the series at its peak. Though it was conceived as an allegory for McCarthyism, “The Drumhead”‘s exploration of justice, paranoia and the value of civil liberties is particularly relevant in the hellscape of the first two decades of the twenty-first century.

Nevertheless. I have a lot of feelings about Norah Satie, the way she was written, and her treatment in-universe.

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Star Trek: Discovery 1.13 – “What’s Past Is Prologue”

I am broken. You’re all just lucky I regained the ability to form words, or else … well:

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Star Trek: Discovery 1.11 – “The Wolf Inside”

Okay, first of all, hands up everyone who’s relieved this didn’t turn out to be a prequel to “Wolf in the Fold”, the TOS episode where Scotty is possessed by a non-corporeal serial killer and brutally murders a bunch of women? This was a lighthearted romp by comparison.

I mean.

Sort of.
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Star Trek: Discovery 1.10 – “Despite Yourself”

We’re ba-aaaaaaaaaack!

We kick off 2018 with some things which made me laugh out loud, some things which gave me so much secondhand embarrassment I attempted to become one with the Force, and some things which … well. “Ill-considered” might be the nicest way to put it.

All this, and Jason Isaacs in leather. Happy new year.

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