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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. gatchamandave
    February 25, 2015 @ 1:00 am

    Frakes is indeed a.very skilled director, but I still can't sit through more than five minutes of Thunderbirds without my teeth grinding. Admittedly it's a lousy script and maybe I cherish the original too much to view it objectively, but I do wonder how he came to fumble that ball. Anyone know ? Did he have too many studio types breathing down his neck, as Joel Schumacher had with Batman and Robin ?


  2. Dustin
    February 25, 2015 @ 5:31 pm

    "I can't have anyone in the main cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation fail to live up to the ideals they're supposed to stand for . . ."

    You and I are going to have to disagree that this is a bad thing. I think stories can be so much more interesting when they aren't populated by shiny, happy, perfect people. It hardly makes for "generic scripted drama pathos" to see characters either betraying values they claim to hold dear, or behaving inconsistently, or forgetting lessons they've learned, as long as the presented reasons make for a good story. It gives stories about genuine human struggles. I think utopia is best presented in fiction as something strived and fought for.

    I love this episode, and I love it more than "Measure of a Man," because I tend to respond more favorably to plots driven by emotions than by philosophy. Maybe that's why I'm not much of a fan of literary SF.


  3. Daru
    February 25, 2015 @ 10:08 pm

    "“The Offspring” as originally conceived was that it was all about Lal, her journey and her interiority"

    I do love this episode, and hearing the above comment I would have really enjoyed a lot more of Lal's journey. I understand from the show's perspective that the main characters are the ideals, but sometimes it's interesting to see them from the side or through another's eyes.

    And yes, the wonderful thing about this episode is the gender choice the Lal goes through – a moving and beautiful moment for me.


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