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 1.09 – “Into the Forest I Go”

Originally posted at No-Award.net.

I can’t believe it’s been eight weeks since this adventure started. Or that we have to wait another eight weeks for the final six episodes of season 1, because apparently “fall season finales” are a thing the world needed.

This week: Michael Burnham is extraordinary; Lorca gonna Lorca; white women are immortal; Ash Tyler’s still probably a Klingon; and more.

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Star Trek: Discovery 1.08 – “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum”

Originally posted at No-Award.net.

Wanky episode title bingo card: Latin. Check.

It means “if you wish for peace, prepare for war”, but I’m not entirely sure this episode lived up to the promise of its title.

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Star Trek: Discovery 1.07 – “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad”

Originally posted at No-Award.net.

Things I love: time loops and wibbly wobbly timey wimey shenanigans.

Things Stephanie absolutely hates: the same.

I could hear her chagrin from all the way across town, and it was great. Much like this episode.

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Star Trek: Discovery 1.05 – “Choose Your Pain”

Originally posted at No-Award.net.

Last week, I made fun of the show for having a pretentious title.

This week, I would like to make fun of it for having a completely naff title. Fans, right? Are they ever happy?

As it happens, yes! Quibbles aside, I rather enjoyed this episode, and here is the post (complete with parenthetical digressions) to prove it.

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Star Trek: Discovery 1.04 – “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry”

Originally posted at No-Award.net.

First of all, that is a very pretentious episode title.

Second, this episode had a lot to like, and also a fair bit that I strongly disliked and may end up deciding I hate, so this is not a wholly positive review.

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