Jack in to the mainframe and defrag your RAMs this week as we come down with “Contagion”!
Pete the Retailer of Star Wars Minute and ABCD: TOS returns to the show to discuss an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that is part of the backbone of early TNG. When the USS Yamato is destroyed by a systems failure, Picard will have to take up the enigmatic search of her late captain. But when eerily similar problems begin affecting the Enterprise, the crew must race against time, the Romulans, and their own technology to escape the Yamato’s fate!
Everyone knows TNG didn’t get “good” until Season 3, but a closer examination of early TNG (specifically Season 2) reveals that the strength in storytelling and characterization that would galvanize the series was already well underway. Solid entries like “Contagion”, “Samaritan Snare”, and “The Measure of a Man” continued Trek’s reputation for satisfying sci-fi fare while the show was still growing into the classic series it would become. On this episode, we discuss the baseline of quality TNG delivers, the prolific output of episode writer Steve Gerber, the persistent echoes of TOS in early TNG, finding the right balance of drama and humor in Trek, building trust with your audience, the technological status quo of the galaxy, the cultural parallels of the infection narrative, and the big ideas that TNG goes after.
We also discuss swinging negative on Star Wars, loving “The Rise of Skywalker”, the different “Um, actuallys” between Wars and Trek fans, “making love to the alien”, explaining computer viruses to Gene Roddenberry, Tea Earl Grey not, Kunta Kinte’s dad, backseat producing, 2365 by way of 1989, hot Romulans, “Kirky” Picard, Human Zima, and even MORE *MORE* Starlost talk!
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