That’s not the voice of god, that’s just a ring modulator

Skip to content

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. Daru
    April 4, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

    Oh golly Kart sounds like such a big massive mistake. Ouch. massive shame about Xon too. When I read about his character profile I was really interested in seeing another Vulcan, but one with a different personality that would expand on the concept of that race and culture more. One of my big disappointments at times with Star Trek, or any show that deals with alien races is the fact that entire cultures get reduced down to on e type and pretty much reduced to clones of each other.


  2. John Fraraccio
    June 19, 2023 @ 12:47 pm

    (Good, let’s try this again.) I’d first encountered the synopsis for this episode in one of Marc Cushman’s insightful studies of the “‘tweener Treks.” Bear in mind nothing “went into production” if only because the series it aimed for was cancelled and (per Cushman) Sturgeon never turned in a script. But I’m apparently among the few who think Phase II wouldn’t have lasted two seasons let alone one; hence the studio’s gutsy gamble on The Motion Picture. No question Sturgeon could write and fit his chosen genre very well; he just wasn’t one for television. (And you’re absolutely right about Coon.) What lingered from my reading of Cushman and this review? First, this could well have become The Muppet Episode, with Special Guest Star Shari Lewis. (No slight to Lewis, a genuine artist, talented performer, and co-writer of “The Lights of Zetar.”) Second, the source Cassandra legend was decidedly NOT humorous. (I highly recommend Christa Wolf’s work on the subject.) A straight-on and sympathetic treatment could well have become bona fide if not memorable drama. And “I’m So Not Spock” Xon might have played a key role in its resolution, for given the late Seventies I’d have gladly voted him The Bridge Officer Most Likely to Change. P.S. Ponder these: Kirk = Picard; Decker = Riker; Xon = Data; Ilia = Troi; McCoy = Crusher; et cetera, et cetera and so forth. If Roddenberry et al. didn’t have a formula they at least strove to keep things familiar.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.