Our Imposter Syndrome cancels out our Dunning-Kruger

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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
    May 6, 2015 @ 2:45 pm

    Clues is solid. And I'd argue, like Devil's Due is actually another example of a Classic TOS plot being adapted to TNG, but leaving the baggage of the Sixties show behind and capitalizing on the actors in the Nineties to elevate the material.

    Beverly haranguing Miles could totally transfer back and be McCoy haranguing Scotty. Picard's growing frustration with Data could very easily have been Kirk growing frustrated with Spock. Spock as "outsider/observer" AND psychic, could have also served the Deanna role. And not to linger too long, the big for TOS cast could've knocked it out.

    But while it's subject matter, plot structure that could fit as easily in any given show, it means all the more right now, in the here and now, with the history – particularly the very recent history – built-in with these characters. With a Beverly who has been allowed to be the comic relief science officer lately. With a freshly married O'Brien, with a Data we've spent a day with, with a Picard who is starting to get a lot of these introspective learning experiences from his younger compatriots, who is growing, re-embracing minor good backbeats like detective mysteries and archaeology (and linking them) while shedding some of the lousier tendencies. With a Geordi firmly placed at the heart of the ship, and a Riker as the prime example of human openness and friendship, where trusting Data really finally means more than just trusting Data.


  2. K. Jones
    May 6, 2015 @ 2:48 pm

    I should say "A classic TOS-style plot", as Devil's Due is obviously an actual 1:1 lift from an unfinished script. The nearest analogy to Clues I can think of is maybe something like a hybridization of Balance of Terror, Mark of Gideon, and maybe the one where Scotty's accused of murder? Or the Sargons, where there's some psychic possession and mistrust of Spock's possessor.

    There's good magick here, though.


  3. Ross
    May 6, 2015 @ 2:51 pm

    I like Clues a lot, but, and again, this is going on the impressions of tween-me, it felt like there was a writer on board making everyone supernaturally dense for half an hour to stop the plot from resolving itself too fast.


  4. Daru
    May 13, 2015 @ 8:21 pm

    I do remember really enjoying this story as the Data plots were always a pleasure for me – don't have much more to add, but thanks Josh!


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