Prepare your best double facepalm because we’re meeting “The Offspring”!
Anika Dane and Liz Barr of Antimatter Pod are back on the show this week to discuss an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that represents not only a poignant exploration of what is “human” but also an important turning point in TNG storytelling. After attending a conference on cybernetics, Data is inspired to create a “daughter” named Lal. But when Starfleet learns of the existence of another Soong-type android, Data and Picard are forced to defend Lal’s essential humanity as well as Data’s right to parent her
Star Trek began with “Star Trek Is…”, creator Gene Roddenberry’s somewhat ambiguous pitch document, but over the course of a half-century, hundreds of writers and creators have worked to deepen Trek’s universe and to reinforce the core values of egalitarianism and positivity that he originally proposed. Through their efforts and imagination, Trek went from a quirky TV show with dramatic potential to an exemplar of allegorical storytelling in the television medium. On this episode, we talk about the synergistic effect of collaboration in the Trek franchise, the gradual realization and maturation of Gene’s spark of an idea, filling in the blanks of your universe retroactively, the meteoric rise of Trek writing in the mid-TNG era, the essential respect of personhood in Trek, and the “cardinal sin of treating people as things.”
We also discuss “The Measure of a Child”, homophobic narcs, “Android vs. Admiral”, Dark Lal, Data said Trans Rights, ‘splodey episodes vs. talky episodes and where CBS Trek fits, “real” fake fans, robots making robots, just how “good” the Federation actually is, gaslighting Data, a real “Age of Ultron” situation, the hell of being Kylo Ren’s personal assistant, Data Spiner is best Spiner, “I just want my kid back beep boop”, Anika drops social science on us, and Liz doesn’t believe Picard is *actually* going to quit Starfleet!
It’s Mary Wiseman’s favorite episode!
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