Crash log of the Singularity

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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.


  1. Glenn
    June 17, 2015 @ 6:32 am

    It makes sense that the cast members would be unclear about the plot mechanics that Sela emerged from, since they were often too busy making the show to actually watch it. See also LeVar Burton's appearance on the Nerdist podcast, when one of the hosts desperately tried to get him to remember "Timescape."


  2. Froborr
    June 18, 2015 @ 8:50 am

    "This isn't some petty Romulan higher-up fucking around with the Klingon Empire and the Enterprise for shits and giggles, this is a battle-hardened Tasha Yar furious at her betrayal by the Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series roaring back from the narrative ether to take her revenge by showing us just how much we lost by cutting her out of our lives."


    This was the highlight of a stellar post. Sela is one of my favorites, too, and in particular she is almost without question the best thing about Star Trek Online, which as near as I can tell is doing a retelling of King Lear with Sela in the title role.


  3. K. Jones
    June 19, 2015 @ 5:53 am

    Crosby kills it as a second coming of the Romulan Commander archetrope.

    I've got my issues with Sela's secret origin, as it is, because I understand time travel and alt-timeline shenanigans very well (I read DC Comics, everything's that all the time) but it's so inelegant and unwieldy that I just glaze over and pretend Sela is an unreliable narrator. I so much just want her to be Tasha Yar, "killed by Armus" but hey, she was secretly a Romulan so she I dunno, got the Search for Spock treatment. (If she was Tasha, it would paint her capture of Geordi in a new light, at least.)

    But one thing I do like about it is that Sela was essentially created by Guinan's subtle space witchcraft, as she nudged the strands of fate, repairing the timeline but also creating an enemy for the Enterprise. It again calls Guinan's role into a bit of nefarious suspicion and proves Q's point.

    As is often the case on the TNG missed opportunity train, Sela won't really get an episode worthy of her concept. But Denise Crosby is a riot to watch as a villainous parallel to a Starfleet Officer. Her body language especially appeals to me.


  4. K. Jones
    June 20, 2015 @ 5:29 am

    Thus did the traveling Norn witch, look into her cauldron of possibilities, the well of fate, the Urðarbrunnr, and craft a story from those interweaving potential destinies, a story where Tasha was reborn in a fairy tale and plucked from that fairy tale backwards to be transformed into the Fey Queen of the Dark Elves, creeping from the sky offering the invisibility of their Fairy-Shadows to the Valkyrie-ships of fair green Kronos, to cast a shadow over the realms of the warring Nord-Dwarf Clans. But, twas a ruse to distract the enterprising Aesir of unified Midgard-Asgard from the true apple of the Queen's eye; the bright, burning, moonless realm of the Light Elves, their sundered kin.

    And though the heroic Captain had wisdom of Odin, and had been warned continuously by Loki, his all-seeing eye was still blind to the mischief of the Norn as she disguised her dips into the fountain of destiny as schlepping cosmic cocktails from the bow of his great flying longship. Because if she was doomed to wander the cosmos eternally as Odin's "guide", she was going to guide him someplace worthy of story, damn it! And play actual Continuity Tricks, not the little Hypothetical Games that LoQi plays!


  5. Daru
    July 6, 2015 @ 9:44 pm

    Bang on, with you there Froborr. This moment in the essay had me cheering inside.


  6. Daru
    July 6, 2015 @ 9:46 pm

    Brilliant and true telling of the saga K/

    (cheering around the campfire)


  7. Daru
    July 6, 2015 @ 9:48 pm

    "The Klingons are now completely and utterly laughable Space Viking stereotypes or Tolkien Dwarves (they even knock their heads together) and are pretty much ruined as a culture"

    Absolutely, from here (and maybe before) the Klingons became a one-note race and became really very uninteresting to me.


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