Posted 7 hours ago

I feel Tasha has the potential to be a very interesting character. Dr. Crusher, as a woman, doctor and widowed mother, has all kinds of plot possibilities. And Deanna Troi, with her mixed parentage and mental powers, opens up all kinds of story ideas.

At this point, it’s still a struggle for the women in this show to make sure we’re not left out. Unfortunately, that sort of thing happens when you have 1980s minds attempting to write a show about the far future.

Denise Crosby in the May 1988 issue of Starlog. Starlog also did interviews with McFadden and Sirtis around this time and although they said later they shared this concern, at the time they were much more positive than Crosby in their interviews. It could potentially be Sirtis and McFadden just saying what they felt they had to to help support the show or feeling optimistic because it was so early on.
Posted 1 day ago
To think that we’ll be used to seeing aliens in the 24th century is amazing, but what are we going to go through when we really see aliens for the first time? Look at the riots in L.A. Human beings can’t even get along now. It’s hard to imagine being on a space station with all of these different life forms getting along OK. That’s what’s so great about Deep Space Nine. Just because somebody is a little different doesn’t mean we’re not made of the same stuff. I’m just hoping people will watch our show and relate to it, that they’ll realize, in reality, we’re all human beings. I’m excited about that
Terry Farrell in Starlog, March 1993.
Posted 2 days ago

This was super fascinating. Rene Echevarria in Starlog on his original storyline for “The Perfect Mate”:

“‘The Outcast’ was already in development, so it couldn’t work as I had written it. ‘The Perfect Mate’ started as a very sexual being that changed gender to be with whomever. If you were a man, it would become a woman; if you were a woman, it would become a man; and if you were gay, it would be whatever. I really wanted to do almost a farcical little thing where its normal state was androgynous and you weren’t sure what gender it was. People would read into it. I wanted to do a Riker-Troi triangle with this being where Riker makes the moves on this creature, it responds and he thinks it’s one thing. Then Troi, separately, sees the creature and the audience sees the transformation…

…When I was told it would only be a female, I was a little concerned about Picard responding to someone like that, who seemed to change to please a man. I came up with the idea that she had been bred for this reason and I felt that softened it a little bit, making it more acceptable to me.

Some people objected to the story as a male fantasy, but I think we acknowledged that head-on in the episode through Crusher’s statements. Also, for us to judge this creature on our standards isn’t fair.”

Ok so there are a few different things here. First, I don’t totally buy Echevarria’s defence that “The Perfect Mate” didn’t turn out to be a (straight) male fantasy (see my review of the issues with the episode).

But second and more importantly, I am really curious what you folks think about if Echevarria’s original concept and whether that would’ve improved things. I think having the metamorph be inherently androgynous and capable of changing genders would be cool. But the way he talks about the Troi/Riker/metamorph love triangle and then talks about the metamorph changing differently for men, women and gay people (like they’re separate somehow), somewhat jokingly, makes me suspect it would’ve reinforced heterosexuality. 

If the metamorph in the original concept was meant to change to be what other people wanted and then stay that way, as in the final version, it would imply that being androgynous wasn’t a complete state of being and that the metamorph would need to pick a gender from the traditional binary, based on the needs and desires of their heterosexual partner. So that could be problematic as well.

What do you think?

Posted 2 days ago

TNG 4X2 “Family”


"Family" was really a turning point episode for Star Trek, one of the first times we got to see a character - Picard - dealing with the emotional aftermath from the previous episode, instead of everything being neatly tied away and forgotten. At the same time, it takes us out of the action (the ship’s not in danger, nor are the characters) and spends the time exploring not just Picard’s A-plot but also Worf and Wesley through their relationships to their families.

But before I talk about all the awesome, let me get the one really cringe-worthy moment out of the way.

Worf’s parents are coming to visit while the Enterprise is being repaired. Worf’s anxious about their visit. When he arrives to meet them in the transporter room, he complains to Chief O’Brien:


Worf: They still have not signalled?

O’Brien: No sir.

Worf: My mother is never on time. It is so human of her.

O’Brien (shrugs): Well, you know women.

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Posted 2 days ago

156 – “Being Married in Trek” » All Things Trek

Last week’s All Things Trek with me and Kathy Ferguson discussing weddings and marriage in Star Trek is now online! Listen at the link to hear our thoughts on Vulcan and other alien arranged marriage customs, and the weddings and marriages of Dax and Worf, Torres and Paris, and Miles and Keiko. Also the implied marriages and divorces of the Captains Picard (Jean-Luc and Beverly) in “All Good Things”.

Posted 3 days ago

Gene continually tended to ‘his’ women: regulars, guest stars, and extras. Obsessively involved with their costumes, their hairstyles, their makeup - and even their footwear - he created a look best described as ‘available sexuality.’ Their costumes were as scant as possible, designed for the maximum display of breasts and legs. Yes, actresses were chosen for their acting talent, but voluptuous lips and seductive eyes were very important to him. And in most instances, the characters they portrayed were emotionally subordinate to the men of Star Trek.

Women were, essentially, sex objects always ready for action. And they were the antithesis of the actresses starring in the other dramatic television series of that era: Barbra Bain (Mission: Impossible), Amanda Blake (Gunsmoke), Barbara Anderson (Ironsides), Stephanie Powers (The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.), and of course Barbara Stanwyck (Big Valley), all playing characters of substantial independence and distinction.

Everyone had a role in Gene’s future world. And for Gene, a woman’s role was primarily as a decorative tool in a man’s workshop.

Herb Solow, in Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, 1996 (p. 226). Solow was the Executive in Charge of Production at Desilu for the first two seasons of TOS. 

I love many of the TOS women characters, and think some of them were quite strong, but I appreciated Solow’s comparison to other shows of the time, that had recurring women characters in more prominent, independent roles. It shows such a thing was possible to create and sell, even in the 60s, that the era wasn’t the only thing that contributed to TOS’s representation of women.

Posted 4 days ago
Nana and I have only had a few scenes together so far, but I really like her a lot because we’re complete opposites. She’s more extroverted tahn I am. Kira is a terrorist, so in that respect, the characters are also opposites. Dax is very Zen-like and Kira’s more physical. In person, I dress conservatively, maybe in khakis and a navy blazer. Nana is more wild. She’ll wear two different colour shoes. We’re both playing very strong women, and hopefully we can build a relationship between them.
Terry Farrell in Starlog, March 1993 (at this point she’d filmed four episodes plus the pilot).
Posted 4 days ago

Originally, I was in ‘Hide and Q.’ I had maybe two or three lines, but I was written out for budgetary reasons…They never explain where Deanna Troi is during those episodes because they can’t. So, they just ignore it. I don’t think that works.

If you have a regular character, you must sit down and work out what you’re going to do with her. I think that’s going to happen more this next season. The first season, they had created this character and then dug a hole with the whole empathy thing, a hole they couldn’t get out of. So, if I didn’t have much to do in an episode, they would just totally write me out.

…They had dug that hole for themselves with me being an empath. And in November, I nearly fell into it and was covered over. Without going into that, I nearly got fired.

Marina Sirtis in Starlog, August 1988.

In Marina’s Season 1 interviews with Starlog she seemed almost unrealistically enthusiastic about the possibilities for Troi, so this was a huge change and does bring it more in line with how she talked about the problems with her character later. In this one she does talk optimistically about Season 2 and says that Gene Roddenberry assured her her character would develop more. Although Troi clearly does develop, she still gets left out of the occasional episode with no apparent reason or explanation except either they wanted to save money or couldn’t figure out how to work her in (e.g. “The Perfect Mate”).

Posted 4 days ago

Review: Star Trek Gender Swap Comics “Parallel Lives”




Flashback to this January when IDW’s Trek comic series released two issues with a gender-swapped reboot crew. At the time I was cautiously optimistic and now I’ve finally managed to read it for myself.

When fans gender-swap characters, at its best it helps challenge our preconceptions about our favourite characters. It makes us ask, “Why couldn’t character x be a woman?” (or a man or androgynous). Or “Why does y trait have to be seen as feminine/masculine?”.

But it can go wrong. Sometimes gender swapping just ends up reinforcing stereotypes, as in the reverse patriarchy we see in the episode "Angel One", or the classic Trek spoof by Carol Burnett (It pains me to say anything remotely negative about Carol Burnett but the sketch relies heavily on stereotypes and makes it look like putting women in charge of the Enterprise would be a hilarious disaster).

I’m really pleased to say the “Parallel Lives” comics did not have this problem. The characters on Jane Kirk’s Enterprise are pretty much the characters we’re familiar with, possessing the same traits in different bodies.

Though there are some differences.

Spoilers ahead.

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The very thing I’ve always, always hated about genderswapping, and the thing that makes it even triggering for me, is the fact that it’s always from cis male to cis female (or cis female to cis male, to a lesser extent). The total disregard and erasure of anything not within cisnormativity is so, so enormously toxic and vile, that even when it’s used to make a valid point, it makes my bile rise.

Thanks for stating that more clearly and explicitly than I did. I think that’s a key difference between gender-swapping and gender-bending. “Swap” by its very definition means to “exchange one thing for another”, so there’s an inherent tension in that we’re invited to open our minds, but not too much, not beyond a system where all people are born into one of two genders and naturally remain that way.

It’s telling that we get to see cis gender swapping mass-marketed, but the franchise has never seen fit to put forward major, recurring trans or gender-variant characters (Please correct me if I’m wrong in regards to the comics and novels - would love to check out examples if they are there!). 

Posted 4 days ago




This scene kills me because my inner dork can’t let go of how he is obviously feeling her pain (look at his face, you don’t have to be an empath to have empathy) and she doesn’t know because she can’t sense him gah.

It’s a beautiful scene. I love the way their relationship was portrayed in this episode. At one point he seems almost on the verge of tears; both actors really sell the emotion of the scene. Although I like it even more when he challenges her; he won’t just let her wallow in self-pity, because their relationship is so close and he knows her well enough to not just tell her what she wants to hear. He knows very well that she has an advantage over others, more than she lets on to most people, and wasn’t about to let her take the easy way out. THIS is why they are so perfect together, and the even though most episodes downplay their relationship, this is one that shows that they really are soulmates, and that it was always going to come down to the two of them in the end.

I don’t know, I find this scene troublesome. There’s a lot I love about it but those few lines of dialogue really upset me. I mean, he’s right to say that they’re “equal” now in the sense that she no longer has an ability that he and the others don’t - but I think this is unnecessarily blunt considering how lost she’s feeling. They’re all accustomed to navigating the world without empathic abilities, she isn’t, so it’s actually not equal at all. (I think he’s right that she finds the extra control and safety helpful, but he could have put it a lot more kindly.)

The bit that really gets me though is this line: “To be honest, I’d always though there was something a little too aristocratic about your Betazoid heritage. As if your human side wasn’t quite good enough for you.” IN WHAT WORLD is this an ok thing to say to somebody? Especially when they’re already upset? Deanna can’t help the fact that she was raised on Betazed mostly by her Betazoid mother, and insulting her heritage (especially when he doesn’t share it) is not appropriate behaviour, EVER.

I appreciate what they were trying to do with this scene and I really enjoy the performances, but those two lines in particular made it really not work for me. I wish they had written it even a little differently.

Love this discussion. I remember really liking this episode, and like the folks above I really love the emotion in this scene, but have trouble with the dialogue. I wouldn’t take it nearly so well if I experienced a loss like this and someone said, “I always thought you needed to be taken down a peg or two.” 

(Source: dark-alice-lilith)