Lion of the Blogosphere

Star Trek: TNG S02E01, Space Rape

So OK, Space Rape isn’t actually the name of the episode, but that’s what happens.

This is the first episode of Season 2, and there have been some significant and positive changes to the show.

Geordi La Forge is now the Chief of Engineering instead of just some helmsman on the bridge.

Worf is now in charge of security.

Riker has a beard.

There’s a new transporter Chief, O’Brien, who appears to be the only non-officer on the entire ship.

There’s a new doctor, Pulaski. Gates McFadden (“Gates” is a pretty weird name for a girl, who names a girl baby “Gates”?) was a horrible actress so I can see why they might try to replace her. Pulaski is obviously supposed to resemble Doctor McCoy from the original series, and she is supposed to have an adversarial relationship with Data the way that McCoy had with Spock, but I don’t think it worked out so well. DeForest Kelley and Leonard Nimoy were much better actors.

The ship now has a bar/lounge called “Ten Forward” (I guess this means it’s the most forward room on Deck 10), making the Enterprise seem even more like a luxury cruise ship instead of a quasi-military vessel. The bartender, Guinan, is played by Whoopi Goldberg (demonstrating once again that the Jews control Hollywood).

The teenager Wesley Crusher is still onboard even though his mother has left. He is now called “Ensign Crusher,” even though he failed the entrance exam to Starfleet in the previous season. There were many episodes in Season One in which everyone is too stupid to figure things out except for Wesley, but no one pays attention to him because he’s just a teenager. (How did the rest of the officers manage to get admitted to Starfleet Academy, unless they used to be smart like Wesley but then serving in Star Fleet caused them to become stupid?) But then this theme stopped later in Season 1. In the first episode of Season 2, Wesley doesn’t do anything except talk to Whoopi Goldberg in the bar, leaving the adults to figure out how to save everyone on the Enterprise from being killed by a plasma virus.

But the real story this episode is how Deanna Troi is raped by an alien space being, gets pregnant with some sort of super-fast-growing baby (which Dr. Pulaski insists is a normal baby even though it’s obviously not). Nevertheless, Troi loves her rapist and insists on giving birth, ignoring Worf’s sensible suggestion to have an abortion. So Star Trek becomes pro-life, even in cases of rape.

* * *

Riker’s Beard

The opposite of jump the shark, i.e. when a TV show goes from unspectacular/boring/outlandish to completely awesome. It references Star Trek: The Next Generation, which was unspectacular until season 2, when Commander Riker grew a beard. The show kicked ass from then on.

“Man, Dollhouse really pulled a Riker’s Beard last week with that awesome episode.”

Except the first episode sucked, so maybe it took a bad episode before the beard started improving the show?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 26, 2015 at 10:55 AM

Posted in Star Trek

29 Responses

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  1. Weirdly, as far left as Hollywood is, they are down right evangelical when it comes to abortion on TV or movies. No one ever gets an abortion and they all decide to keep the baby. It’s like the movie Knocked Up. They not only decide to keep the baby, but stay together as a couple, right out of the 50’s,

    My suspicion, besides the obvious politicization of the issue, is that Hollywood types know that deep down, no matter what pro choice blather comes out of women’s mouths, deep down women are super judging the women who do get abortions. Either she’s a whore or selfish.

    Mike Street Station

    February 26, 2015 at 11:14 AM

    • I’d like to see backlash to any pro choice woman who calls her fetus a baby. It’d be fun in a passive aggressive way to correct them every time they say something like “Can’t wait for my baby!”

      everybodyhatesscott

      February 26, 2015 at 12:00 PM

    • No, the usual TV/Movie trope is the women stenuously defends her right to get an abortion, but then decides to have the baby/has a miscarriage/dies/etc. That way they can fulfill their propaganda mission without actually turning the audience against the character.

      This then leads to the usual Slate clickbait: ” didn’t have an abortion. Here why that’s wrong.”

      jimbo

      February 26, 2015 at 12:45 PM

      • Indeed, the alien baby conveniently disappears at the end of the episode, and is completely forgotten by episode two.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 26, 2015 at 1:13 PM

    • Lena Dunham echoes your thoughts exactly:

      Dain

      February 26, 2015 at 5:20 PM

    • There’s two angles to not have an abortion — one is pro-life and the other is single mother. So Hollywood’s agenda isn’t pro-life as much as pro-single mother,

      ***
      Dr Crusher’s full full name is Cheryl Gates McFadden and her son’s name is James McFadden Talbot. There must be a tradition in her family of giving children the mother’s maiden name as a middle name.

      destructure

      February 26, 2015 at 9:40 PM

  2. I think that I remember that episode, and I was struck by Picard’s attitude that if Troi had an emotional and irrational feeling to keep the alien baby or whatever it is, then that decision must be respected without any further discussion. At the least, there should have been some discussion of the alien being a security threat, and of whether Troi knows what she was doing.

    schlafly

    February 26, 2015 at 12:35 PM

    • Compromise would have been to have Troi give birth on a shuttle.

      Dave Pinsen

      February 27, 2015 at 2:10 AM

  3. ” The bartender, Guinan, is played by Whoopi Goldberg (demonstrating once again that the Jews control Hollywood).”
    Strike of the Lion’s dry wit. lol

    Karl

    February 26, 2015 at 12:50 PM

  4. The studios always want to have their cake and eat it, too. Whenever an unplanned pregnancy comes up, after much discussion, the woman always decides that even though she has the right to have an abortion, she will keep the baby. The Hollywood left is too chicken to actually show a woman having an abortion, but they never show a woman who says that it is flat out wrong. We can’t offend anyone, can we?

    BehindTheLines

    February 26, 2015 at 1:02 PM

    • What about the movie “Cabaret?” They had Sally Bowles tell her lover that she aborted his child, This after a scene where he smokes a cigar and refers to himself as “the proud father.”

      Maryk

      February 26, 2015 at 2:15 PM

      • In Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the girl has an abortion and the guy who got her pregnant is protrayed as a jerk because he refuse to pay for it or drive her to the abortion clinic.

        I think the girl in the Last American Virgin also had an abortion.

        superdestroyer

        February 26, 2015 at 6:35 PM

      • True, and there is also one in Godfather II, but it’s rare.

        BehindTheLines

        February 26, 2015 at 7:57 PM

      • “In Fast Times at Ridgemont High”

        I remember that movie – hated it. Ironic that Cameron Crowe wrote about fast times among teenagers when the media was discovering that young people were not as decadent and liberal as everyone had thought. Crowe annoyed me by portraying both his IA characters in a negative light (the boy who got Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character pregnant was a sleaze and Jeff Spicoli, while not evil, was shallow.) Apparently, the movie’s author is another writer who has a “guido problem.”

        LOL! Now JS will be piping in about how the California West Coast Italian “surfer dude” Spicoli is higher status than the East Coast Staten Island guido prole!

        Maryk

        February 26, 2015 at 8:17 PM

      • The Fast Times movie’s problems came from the compression to two hours and the hybrid characters. The book is excellent, but like any other, it just can’t be cut to that time frame without leaving a lot out. If you ever have a chance to read it, you should.

        J1

        February 27, 2015 at 2:48 PM

  5. Funny, I was just thinking about the pro-life themes on Star Trek (vis a vis recent comments about how atheistic the show is). There’s also an episode of Enterprise where Tucker’s arm is impregnated by an alien, and the doctor matter of factly congratulates him on his new status as a mommy.

    IIRC there was at least one space rape in Enterprise when Hoshi is seduced by a lonely alien telepathically looking for a friend.

    slithy toves

    February 26, 2015 at 3:23 PM

    • The Xenomorph from Alien in its larvae stage, is the quintessential rapist of the science fictional world.

      The lounge “frat boy” lizard officer from the 80’s TV series V, impregnated a human, who gave birth to a beautiful humanoid with a forked tongue and her reptilian brother, who died from a bacterial infection.

      Star Trek is relatively tame to some of the other sci fi themes of the late 70s and 80s. America’s darkest hours in pop culture was Hollywood’s finest and the most dramatic, qualities that are not at all apparent today.

      JS

      February 26, 2015 at 3:52 PM

      • V was indeed a creepy series for its time. The dripping bloody red v logo against the dark backdrop was scary. The main theme was the reptilian nazi-like humanoids coming to earth to harvest humans for food. It’s too bad the producers didn’t make the lizards prefer dark meat over white meat, or else we would have seen them going into the ghettos to look for food.

        JS

        February 26, 2015 at 5:11 PM

    • Was going to mention the Tucker episode as well. It was interesting, I recall, because at no time was the option of terminating the “pregnancy” even brought up.

      Steve

      February 26, 2015 at 9:46 PM

  6. Thank Gene Roddenberry and crew for the “poor” quality of the first season. Many of those episodes and a handful from season two were stories recycled from the “aborted” Star Trek: Phase II (the pilot episode of which became Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

    JayMan

    February 26, 2015 at 5:22 PM

  7. Indeed this very episode is a recycled Phase II script.

    JayMan

    February 26, 2015 at 5:26 PM

  8. Perhaps Wesley got a battlefield commission.

    I thought the whole point of the pro-life stance was that a fertilized egg was a baby, and killing it was murder. If you think there’s a circumstance where an abortion is OK (e.g. rape), are you really pro-life?

    There must be others, but the only abortion I can recall in any movie or TV show is Jennifer Jason Leigh in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

    J1

    February 26, 2015 at 5:41 PM

    • I think Picard made him an acting Ensign.

      Dave Pinsen

      February 27, 2015 at 2:13 AM

    • Check out the original version of “Alfie” (with Michael Caine) for a decent movie that takes abortion and the sexual revolution seriously.

      Gork

      February 27, 2015 at 3:45 PM

  9. Gates McFadden (“Gates” is a pretty weird name for a girl, who names a girl baby “Gates”?) was a horrible actress so I can see why they might try to replace her.

    As you see, she wasn’t accustomed to being in front of the screen. Before Star Trek McFadden directed choreography with Jim Henson. And unlike acting, McFadden was a great choreographer; she worked with him on Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.

    And will you be reviewing Girls? This is your chance to piss all over Lena Dunham (she’ll thank you later) when her career is nose diving into oblivion.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    February 26, 2015 at 7:54 PM

  10. What about Dirty Dancing? Isn’t there an abortion?

    I think there are nuanced positions on the “pro life” side. Some will be fine with discarding lab embryos and almost everbody will admit at least a dilemma if the mother’s life is in danger unless the fetus is aborted. Even in the catholic middle ages there was the idea that the soul did not come into the embryo at conception but several weeks later, so abortion was only a deadly sind after this time span.

    nomen nescio

    February 27, 2015 at 5:17 AM

  11. Nobody is old enough to remember Maude’s abortion on the old Bea Arthur sit com? It was quite a big deal back then, a year before Roe. Maybe liberal tv producers had more guts back then.

    Steve

    February 27, 2015 at 7:29 AM

    • Ironically, before Roe v. Wade, it was less of a big deal to be pro-abortion. The anti-abortion lobby had not yet mobilized.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 27, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    • I do remember Maude’s abortion, but the things that went on in those Norman Lear shows from the 70’s would never fly on TV now. My son watched some Sanford & Son and All in the Family shows on TVLand a few years ago and was absolutely shocked at what they got away with back then. And this is an age in which I can hear the word “shit” and see Kerri Russell’s naked backside on TV.

      Mike Street Station

      February 27, 2015 at 12:29 PM


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