Season 5, Episode 7 “Someone to Watch Over Me” (VOY) with David R. George III

Get ready to meet cute this week as we search for “Someone to Watch Over Me”!

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author David R. George III returns to the show to discuss an episode of Star Trek: Voyager that puts an intriguing twist on an old standard. Seven of Nine is ready to start dating, and the Doctor makes a bet with Paris that he can show her the ropes of relationships and romance. But when the teacher falls for his student, Voyager’s EMH will have to choose between his responsibility to his pupil and his feelings for Seven!

Star Trek has never been opposed to borrowing from other media for a good story hook, and some of Trek’s best hours have been the product of an “old” idea seen through the lens of a new generation. This episode begins as pure “Pygmalion” (with a little “My Favorite Year” mixed in) and ends as a touching examination of the complexities of romance on a ship of outsiders. On this episode, we talk about love being part of the human adventure, putting your own spin on a classic tale, Trek’s frequent use of homage and pastiche, the net increase in complexity among modern TV series, the (exaggerated) death of the five-act structure, the winning chemistry of Jeri Ryan and Robert Picardo, the way new Trek quotes and responds to old Trek, why love and romance are often dangerous in Trek, and why series regulars can’t have significant others.

We also discuss Trek’s love of the outsider character, “doing a Rashomon”, Gilligan in space, man vs. whatever, Voyager as the first broadcast fanfic series, Dr. McCoy being unlucky in love, whether a hypothetical 4th season of TOS would have embraced the counterculture of 1969, showing not telling, adults being kids being adults at a tea party, redeeming “The Way to Eden”, the dangers of fraternization, Dave talks about his Voyager episode “Prime Factors”, and Kal debuts his theory about movies named after pop songs!

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