This machine mildly irritates fascists

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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. James Pearson
    October 8, 2014 @ 10:33 am

    Just finished Datalore having read your blog beforehand. Back when I used to watch a lot of Next Generation in the 90s (I video taped them on broadcast and managed almost a complete collection) I always liked this episode and thought of it as the point where the first season kicked up a gear.

    Looking back on it decades later and with the benefit of your blog I see all the Roddenberryisms that you have pointed out over the course of your voyage such as his love of military protocol. The Enterprise seems more like a military ship when Roddenbery is writing. It also felt like Picard was being written as the slightly harsher and short-tempered version Roddenberry wrote in Farpoint and Patrick Stewart seems to go out of his way to play against that, giving his warmest performance as Picard that I think I've seen so far in this run through.

    There were also other links to Farpoint with an overt mention of the "no Captains on away teams" rule and a nod to the explanation of the holodeck's ability to create living patterns such as trees. Points that, while followed by other writers, had been happily left unsaid (as far as I remember) since the pilot. It left me feeling that rather than being the beginning of the future of TNG that I used to consider it, the episode was actually an odd throwback.


  2. Daru
    November 19, 2014 @ 10:12 pm

    Oh yes the highlight of this indeed is Spiner's acting.

    And you know, based on my comments of the last essay – go into the Black Box and Lore can be any gender you choose.


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