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Doxing gods

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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.

5 Comments

  1. Adam Riggio
    April 20, 2015 @ 2:58 am

    This was always a very touching episode for me, I think because when I had originally seen it, the character of Tasha had never made nearly the same impact on me in her regular appearances in the first season than she did as a memory or an alternate timeline or a villainous echo in later years of TNG. And its power precisely lay in Tasha's nature as a blank space.

    The entire story is about how our regrets can colour our present perceptions. The crew, both textually and meta-textually, know that they didn't do right by Tasha, or at least didn't do as right as they could have. Their own memories have grown smoother over time, sanding away the difficult parts of a character, a personality, and a story that all real things have. Legacy is about the mismatch of our memories and dreams, of our imagined counterfactuals, with a reality that not only refuses to conform to those wishes (no matter how heartfelt they are), but which sometimes actively uses those regrets against you.

    On a lighter note, I always misremembered this episode as having cast Linda Hamilton as Ishara Yar. I have no idea what the significance of that is. Maybe that Linda Hamilton would have herself made a much better Tasha Yar that the writers would have had a better idea how to write action for.

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  2. Froborr
    April 20, 2015 @ 3:27 am

    Wait, that's NOT Linda Hamilton?

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  3. Adam Riggio
    April 20, 2015 @ 3:49 am

    It's actually Beth Toussaint, as listed on the imdb page for this episode.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708740/

    I also find it interesting that her Wikipedia page mentions that she's often mistaken for Linda Hamilton, probably by viewers of this episode.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beth_Toussaint

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  4. K. Jones
    April 20, 2015 @ 1:10 pm

    It doesn't contribute a lot to the conversation, but it is sort of reflective as a summary – but due to adolescence, this episode was always saddled in my mind with the stigma of being "the one that doesn't do justice to Tasha Yar, wherein her sister never wears a bra."

    You come at "missing episodes" that you never filled in on your ticker at different points in your life, or at least you did before NetFlix. I finally chanced upon Legacy, which I'd been eager to see for a while … at I want to say thirteen or fourteen. It's not always the insights or character work of an episode that sticks iconic in your mind over the years.

    This isn't the episode where we should really delve into a deep critique of Sex in Star Trek, heteronormativity, or even male gaze/patriarchal science fiction patterns – although I could certainly even as a youth figure out that the role of the casting, costuming and blind-siding via invoking Tasha's character was all a pretty hackish honeypotting trope – which is itself another symptom of the show growing kind of comfortable, predictable, and losing its Season 1, 2, and some of 3 edge.

    TNG has a strange, strange relationship with sex.

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  5. Daru
    May 4, 2015 @ 9:15 pm

    "This season is swiftly becoming the limit case of the creative team's conflict-for-conflict's sake writing style: We've got all the drama and conflict in the world, and it's not enough, because it's never been enough."

    I don't actually have much of a memory of this episode for some reason. I do though completely agree with the sad treatment of a potentially wonderful character in Tasha and the exploration of the blank space and regret mentioned above by Adam makes it sound more interesting to re-watch. But I get bored too of the "conflict-for-conflict's sake writing style".

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