Our Imposter Syndrome cancels out our Dunning-Kruger

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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. SpaceSquid
    July 11, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

    Lovely analysis, Josh. It never occurred to me how the episode might work were the Klingons replaced by Romulans, but that's mainly because all my imagination went into replacing them with Cylons instead.

    Just one quibble: don't the Romulans count as recurring adversaries as well? I mean, I know plenty of people don't like talking about TOS's third year, but Spock pretending an overly-complex nose-picking technique could be fatal to humans really did happen…


  2. Josh Marsfelder
    July 12, 2013 @ 7:57 am

    Thank you!

    Obviously the Romulans are technically recurring adversaries in that they come back, but they only show up twice more in the Original Series while the Klingosn show up six more times. There's simply no way they're going to leave the same kind of impact, and it should tell you something I'd forgotten they were in "The Deadly Years" and had to look it up to remind myself.

    That said, I'm of course going to look at the third season. A Star Trek renewed purely to fill out a syndication package and without Gene Roddenberry, Gene Coon and D.C. Fontana is still a Star Trek worthy of analysis.


  3. BerserkRL
    July 12, 2013 @ 10:19 am

    To some extent the revived series reversed the original conceptions. In TOS, Romulans were honour-focused and Klingons were sneaky and treacherous. In TNG and DS9, it's the other way around.


  4. Josh Marsfelder
    July 12, 2013 @ 11:05 am

    There's a really fantastic scene in one of Mark A. Altman's DS9 stories that addresses, and to some extent bemoans, this transition.


  5. trekker709
    July 14, 2013 @ 12:33 am

    "According to subsequent interviews Coon never meant for the Klingons to come back, a claim supported by Fontana…" that surprised me, it seems so prophetic that Coon has Ayelborne say to Kirk, “It is true that in the future, you and the Klingons will become fast friends. You will work together.” Maybe a lot of that had to do with Michael Dorn’s personal contributions to TNG.
    To me the most amazing thing about Star Trek is that it has appealed to such a wide range of people with diverse or conflicting perspectives and values.


  6. Unknown
    October 21, 2015 @ 3:32 pm

    Did you know the original quote was actually said by the anarchist Lucy Parsons in the 1890s?

    How famous is this quote as a Star Trek quote? I want it as a tattoo but I don't want people to assume it's from Star Trek (no offense!).


  7. Josh Marsfelder
    October 21, 2015 @ 5:39 pm

    It's not a Star Trek quote. It's a quote from Lucy Parsons.

    That's why I used it 🙂


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