Hold tight to what’s yours as we examine the “The Void”!
Astrophysicist, science consultant, and voice actress Dr. Erin Macdonald returns to the show this week to discuss an episode of Star Trek: Voyager that reaffirms the crew’s commitment to the ideal of the Federation. When the Voyager becomes trapped in a pocket dimension, she’s set upon by desperate scavengers. But, Captain Janeway hatches a plan to turn enemies into allies and makes a last-ditch attempt to get her crew back to normal space!
Voyager’s most important theme was the idea that, no matter the obstacle or the desperateness of the scenario, cooperation (and not competition) was always the best solution. Throughout their journey through the Delta Quadrant, the crew of Voyager was often tempted to take the easy route, to exploit other societies to achieve their goal of finally getting home, but their dedication to the principles of the Federation, the tenets of peaceful coexistence and benevolence over belligerence, was always their greatest strength. On this episode, we talk about how this 7th season episode re-litigates the most elemental of Trek’s tropes, we discuss the scientific principles underlying Trek’s technology and phenomena, call out the way that Trek shows employ the scientific method with fictional physics, examine the gap between “hard” and “soft” sci-fi, examine real-life stellar voids, and wonder about the effects of oblivion on the human psyche.
We also discuss subspace as the ultimate go-to, “Mrs. Columbo”, murder grandpas, a universe of “That Guys”, being more “sci” than “fi”, why aliens are such jerks, knowing when to break the rules, making music on your phone, “once a Maquis…”, a little Babylon 5 talk, a LOT of Mass Effect talk, “firm cheese sci-fi”, Kal pitches his Starfleet Admiralty show, and Erin talks about advising on some questionable sci-fi premises!
It’s like . . . how much more black could it be?
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