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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.

7 Comments

  1. Jack Graham
    November 27, 2015 @ 2:39 am

    The Romulan commander played by Maurice Roëves of course, a very fine actor.

    Reply

  2. K. Jones
    December 1, 2015 @ 8:22 am

    I don't have much to add to The Chase. I like it more and more as the years go by. I've never been fond of these sorts of progenitor/intelligent design concepts, but the less I think of Star Trek as a table-top game map with unique worlds with their own isolated growth and warlike expansion, and more as just reflections on our common humanity among allegorical fantasy races, the more something like The Chase draws me in. Of course, the progenitors also call to my mind other archetypal "the first beings in the universe" characters, like the Maltusians & Oans and Guardians of the Universe of comics, or the Nibblonians from Futurama.

    Anywho, the politicking of the disparate treasure hunters so perfectly encapsulates the current state of the Trek universe. The exploration of Jean-Luc's archaeology interest is organically and well folded into an actual Enterprise adventure rather than his going off on his own. Beverly is in complete Life Sciences mastery mode here. The rest of the crew deftly balancing the needs of the Captain, with Riker and Worf's skilled use of the ruse, while Geordi and Data hand out the technobabble expertise and Troi makes certain Picard isn't violating his own moral compass.

    Lovely stuff, and five stellar guest stars!

    Reply

  3. Froborr
    December 16, 2015 @ 12:09 pm

    Just rewatched this episode because Mark Watches hit it, and yes, the intelligent design/Von Daniken aspect is irksome but largely overshadowed by how good it is–and as K. Jones points out, it's a LOT more palatable if you read Trek aliens as allegorical fantasy races.

    Which, I find it very interesting the Ferengi were considered for inclusion, because if they had been there, we would have had all the major standard fantasy races represented–Space Humans, Space Elves, Space Dwarves, Space Dragons, and Space Goblins.

    And while I agree it's only possible post-"Face of the Enemy," looking at them that way shows how right this shift in the Romulans is. Of course the Space Dragons and Space Dwarves end up squabbling while the Space Humans and Space Elves find common ground! That just makes sense.

    I've always loved that it's Salome Jenkins in this role, it makes her role in DS9 almost like an evil twin.

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