Less the heroes of our stories than the villains of some other bastard’s

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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. K. Jones
    December 10, 2014 @ 11:13 am

    I didn't realize this episode was built around the actor, but I think the earnestness that comes with it is what elevates it above typical "we escort a diplomat, but we kind of have to save the day" type plots.

    This episode has great things for Brent Spiner to do that are so far the opposite of the kind of usual super-powered things that we're loaded with when Data is used heavily. His strength as a translator here is inspiring stuff, and my favorite moment of the episode has to be when Riva finally thanks him and it takes him a second to realize, (paraphrased), "oh, thank me. Yes, you are most welcome."


  2. Daru
    December 12, 2014 @ 6:34 am

    Like K above I had not idea that this was designed around the actor. That for me just adds to the beauty of this episode which is one of my big favourites because of it being about listening, and especially its making the skilled negotiator flawed and able to learn a key part of the heart of the story.

    Listening is perhaps one of the most fundamental skills we need to learn to move forwards and to be able to enact true change in ourselves and the world. I know I have had to recently, where I received some fairly harsh critical feedback on a workshop I helped deliver from my co-facilitator. Even if the other we are paying witness to has bias and their own deep issues that affect their ability to hear you (which I experienced), they are still asking for a certain, even if dissonant voice to be heard.


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