Pounded in the butt by dialectical materialism.

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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
    July 13, 2015 @ 8:35 am

    I love how much of a counter this runs to New Ground. But that's because Timothy is the focus here, treated as any guest focus would be, rather than a McGuffin to make Worf's life hell. And the story lives or dies on that kid's performance and chemistry with Brent Spiner. And boy, do they nail it.

    This one always resonated with me as a kid, because, well, whenever anything goes wrong in my life I move into long phases of interiority. (I hesitate to call it retreating, but it feels that way presently). And in doing so you lose even more of the human fun emotive things, feelings, experiences, laughter, et al, that you were wrecked by losing in the first place.

    So feeling like a robot, going through the motions, is doubly apt, and this episode could only be done with Data.

    Peak Next Gen.


  2. Daru
    July 13, 2015 @ 9:42 pm

    Peak indeed. Love this one, and really lovely last paragraph Josh.

    The roleplay aspect of this story is wonderful – as somehow I feel the characters on the Enterprise are saying to any audience members in need "look, we're available and we can help". That depth of empathy is rare in TV.


  3. Stardust
    July 20, 2015 @ 12:58 pm

    One of my favorites too, although I admit I'm a not a 'serious seen every episode' fan.


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