Racism to Transhumanism

Racism to Transhumanism

Captain’s Log, Stardate 21015.5

Happy new year, everyone, and welcome back to Star Trek Sundays Season Two! 

In our first episode of this season we discussed Racism to Transhumanism – the othering of people and what that may look like in the future. For this discussion we used two episodes from Star Trek, one obviously about racism as we know it today, and as they saw it in the 1960s, as well as a more recent episode in which the othering is done with oppression of non-organic people. 

First Officer T curated the following episodes for us: 

  1. “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” TOS, Episode 3×15 – First aired: 10 January 1969
  2. “Flesh and Blood” VOY, Episode 7×09/10 A double-length episode  – First aired: 29 November 2000

First Officer T provided an in depth summary of why he chose this subject which I will add to my log:  

“Star Trek has never shyed away from tackling heavy handed issues, and racism is of course no different. They did some pretty groundbreaking stuff back in the day, like having one of the first interracial kisses on TV between Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura. 

Racism was a very well debated topic at the time of Star Trek’s inception too, as in the late 1960s, the civil rights movement was in full swing in the United States, and the topic of racism was a major focus of public discourse. During this time, there was a lot of activism and protests aimed at ending racial segregation and discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were both passed during this period, which helped to legally end many forms of racial discrimination. However, despite these legal victories, racism and racial tensions remained a significant problem in the country. There were also many incidents of racial violence, including the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. 

Today, some things have changed, while many have not, so I think it will be interesting to revisit this topic as it was tackled back then, and all these years later, and see what we have learned in the meantime.”

“Let This Be Your Last Battlefield” is an episode I remember watching when I was younger. It sure takes on a different meaning when viewing it as an adult and with intention. I saw that the two characters from Cheron were mirror images of themselves and my first thought was that they held some sort of self-hatred in order to feel the hate they had for each other. 

And their prejudice for the monotones was also interesting. While they hated each other more and for specific reasons, they seemed to also have a prejudice for the monotones. 

The trope of black vs white is a well understood one, but in the future, it stands to reason humans will create new reasons to treat others as outsiders instead of peaceful co-habitants of this universe. So we asked the crew: “What do you think we will face in the future as far as reasons to treat others with prejudice?” And this led us into a fascinating discussion about transhumanism, augmentation, and even enhancements people do today and whether or not opinions on current issues will change in the future. 

In “Flesh and Blood”, we are introduced to the Hirogen, a race of hunters who have been using holograms as prey for training and entertainment. The episode deals with themes of sentience and the moral implications of using advanced technology.

The episode highlights the moral implications of the Hirogen’s treatment of the holograms as lesser beings, despite their sentience and ability to experience pain and suffering. The episode also touches on the idea of the othering, as the Hirogen see the holograms as a different species and thus justify their mistreatment.

The conversations for both episodes were extended because we wanted to leave space for everyone to contribute. Therefore, we chose to break this recording into two podcasts. I will add my detailed thoughts about what the crew had to say about this episode in a Captain’s Log that will be published when that episode airs. Star Trek Sundays Season 2 Episode 1 Crew:
First Officer T; Lt. Rachael, Lt. No Name, Lt. Ryan, Ensign Bro, Ensign Ginny, Ensign Jk, Lt. Lasha, Lt. Stu

Did You See What They’re Wearing?

Did You See What They’re Wearing?

Captain’s Log, Stardate 11345.5

No matter how serious the conversation regarding Star Trek – any Star Trek – the subject usually migrates to the uniforms and fashion eventually. And that’s exactly what Star Trek Sundays have done with our ultimate podcast for Season 1. 

Did you see what they’re wearing? We asked our crew as we examined the following movie and episodes curated by T. 

  1. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Film 6 of 13, TOS 6, Release date: 6 December 1991
  2. Friday’s Child, The Original Series, S02, Ep03, First aired: 1 December 1967
  3. The Way of the Warrior, Deep Space 9, S04, Ep01/02, First aired: 2 October 1995

First, let me give some room here for us to really appreciate the nauga whose lives were sacrificed for all the naugahyde the Klingons wired in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. You could hear every move the Klingons made because of this sort of leatherette rubbing against itself as they navigated through each scene. And I wondered if anyone else thought they some of these Klingon uniforms reminded them of Eddie Murphy’s red leather suit in his 1980s show Delirious. 

Seeing Christopher Plummer (my first celebrity crush) playing a villain with that incredible eye patch was awesome. Be still my heart! 

In this episode, everyone was incredibly expressive with their outfits, with the Klingons in particular really going out of their way to express themselves. We asked the crew: Do you have a favorite outfit, and what do you think it says about you when you wear it? 

And the answers the crew gave were personal and funny. 

And this brings us to Friday’s Child… Come on!! Please! Who were the costume designers in this one and what were they taking? I’m a seamstress and have made hundreds of pieces of clothing for myself and others and this was just offensive – on one hand.

On the other hand, it was totally hilarious. Because, while the 60s were wild, no one was wearing window fringe and fake rug strips as clothing.

Just a note about the storyline. Bones. The misogyny and condescension was heavy in this one and it’s something we’ll likely discuss in Season 2.

In The Way of the Warrior, a Klingon fleet under General Martok arrives at the station ostensibly to protect the Alpha Quadrant from the Dominion, and Sisko recruits Lieutenant Commander Worf to discover the Klingons’ true intentions.

I am obsessed with Quark. This is Star Trek’s best dressed person, in my opinion. Whereas the costume designers in Friday’s Child were knockin’ back speedballs, the costume designers for Deep Space 9 are in line with Edith Head – a designer for movies whose designs were gorgeous but could easily be adapted for real life. 

Star Trek Sundays Episode 18 Crew: 

First Officer T, Lt. Gella, Lt. Charlotte, Lt. Steve, Lt. Heretic, Lt. Joshua, Ensign Nicoline, Lt. Joanna, Ensign Dave

Thank you to all the crew who participated in Season 1 of Star Trek Sundays. Your contributions being so authentic and vulnerable made the show far more enlightening than we could have expected. And the humour and love with which you live life and share has been an absolute joy and highlight in my year. 

We wish you all a wonderful 2023 and hope to see you in Season 2!

Spies and Their Lies, December 4, 2022, STS Ep 17

Spies and Their Lies, December 4, 2022, STS Ep 17

Captain’s Log, Stardate 11338.5

This week of Star Trek Sundays had to be one of my favourites. Both the watch and discuss. I’m a huge fan of the James Bond books and movies so seeing this mashup of James Bond and Star Trek was great fun in Spies and Their Lies in podcast episode 17. 

First Officer T curated the following episodes for us to discuss for this episode: 

  1. The Enterprise Incident, The Original Series, S03, Ep04, First aired: 27 September 1968
  2. Face of the Enemy, The Next Generation, S06, Ep14, First aired: 8 February 1993
  3. Our Man Bashir, Deep Space 9, S04, Ep10, First aired: 27 November 1995

Starting with The Enterprise Incident, once again we saw some sparks fly – between Spock and the Romulan Commander – in this RomTrek episode. And I loved how they didn’t just forget that. The writers carried it through to the end when Spock was escorting the Commander to her quarters – in a turbolift I might add, a la Q & A.

We asked the crew if there was ever a time they found themselves having to deceive someone in order to do what they felt was the right thing? And the answers might surprise you in all the right ways. 

I found Face of the Enemy quite disturbing at first. Imagine being kidnapped and surgically altered to look like one of your enemies. I know spies do it but generally it is done with consent. 

This was an excellent episode and a great follow up to The Enterprise Incident. It was a nice vehicle for Deanna Troi’s character to shine, and for Marina Sirtis to show off some acting chops. The way Picard and his crew went along with Deanna’s character was interesting and fun. Improv with high stakes. 


 finally we get to Our Man Bashir – a wonderful homage to all things James Bond, and its own parodies. 

I figured I would like this one a lot given my affinity for all things Bondian, but this was way better than I expected. It wasn’t just a take on Bond or a parody of Bond but the writers added something new with the twist. And I liked how Garak wasn’t really a Felix Leiter character for our man Bashir but more like a Watson in some level-headed way. 

I felt a bit protective of Bashir when Garak was criticizing the holodeck program. And that goes back to our discussions on “what’s your freaky” and that there should be no shame in what tickles us, for the most part. 

This episode, for me, felt like the answer to the question, “What franchise would you like to see mashed up with Star Trek?

So, I put that to the crew and the answers were imaginative and delightful. 

Star Trek Sundays Episode 17 Crew: 

First Officer T, Lt. Jamesy, Lt. io, Ensign Maicol, Ensign Adam

The Trouble with Transporters, November 20, 2022, STS Ep 16

The Trouble with Transporters, November 20, 2022, STS Ep 16

Captain’s Log, Stardate 11324.5

This week, Star Trek Sundays discussed The Trouble with Transporters in podcast episode 16. Not only did the discussion become a wee bit heated, but we coined the term RomTrek™ for Romantic Star Trek episodes. 

First Officer T curated the following episodes for us to discuss for this episode: 

  1. Tuvix, Voyager, S02, Ep24, First aired: 6 May 1996
  2. Realm of Fear, The Next Generation, S06, Ep02, First aired: 28 September 1992
  3. Second Chances, The Next Generation, S06, Ep24, First aired: 24 May 1993

The topic of The Trouble With Transporters is a play on the Trouble with Tribbles title from the original series. And, indeed, we witnessed some troubles with transporters in these episodes. 

The episode Tuvix from Voyager challenged us to question what it means to be a unique individual, and what rights they should be afforded.

In this episode, CaptainJaneway acts unilaterally to murder Tuvix in the name of saving Tuvok and Nelix. We asked the crew: Do you think she made the right choice? Do all lives matter, or only the original ones from which the hybrids are made? And the answers were diverse and provided a heated discussion, which continued into another discussion in a different club on the Clubhouse app after the podcast recording. And I suspect we’ll continue to have this discussion through the next few weeks and into Season 2.

I’m definitely on the side of Tuvix. And I know there are those who support Captain Janeway’s decision. So, for those who think that Janeway was right I ask you… If the “cure” for the accident was found two years later, would you still agree with Janeway? How long would Tuvix have to be Tuvix before you changed your mind? When is Tuvix a person? 

In Realm of Fear, Barkley faces his fear of transporter technology, only to learn his fears are well founded when he learns there are monsters hiding in the transporter beam, who turn out to be crew members. T chose this episode because the idea of something being trapped inside the transporter beam is more than unusual, with the technology usually being safe to use. He thought it was an interesting example of how these types of technologies can end up with unexpected results.

We asked the crew: If we had transporter technology, would you be fearful of it? Or would you embrace it for traveling everywhere? These answers were very interesting and included talk about the soul and what makes us really us. 

And now we come to RomTrek. Romance in Star Trek grabs me like nothing else. I really enjoy it and the tension it can prompt in me. 

In Second Chances, the crew of the Enterprise encounter a copy of Riker accidentally made by a transporter accident 8 years ago who was stranded on an abandoned planet. It inverts the classic question about what happens when the original body is destroyed, and asks the question, what if the original body isn’t destroyed, and continues on as a separate person.

The crew discussed whether or not they would be at odds with their clone or best friends with the clone. This led to discussion regarding how we treat ourselves versus how we treat others and having compassion for oneself. 

And I wondered this… Would you date a clone of a former or lost love? 

Star Trek Sundays Episode 16 Crew: 


First Officer T, Lt. Ryan, Lt. Shawn, Lt. Kristi, Lt. Gella, Lt. Rachael, Lt. Joanna, Lt. Steve, Lt. io, Ensign Dave


Peace Through Music, November 13, 2022, STS Ep. 15

Peace Through Music, November 13, 2022, STS Ep. 15

Captain’s Log, Stardate 11317.5

What an absolute delight it was to watch the episodes First Officer T curated for us this week. These included: 
  1.  Q&A, Star Trek: Short Trek, S02, Ep01, First aired: 5 October 2019
  2. Innocence, Voyager, S02, ep22, First aired: 8 April 1996
  3. Lessons, The Next Generation, S06, Ep19, First aired: 5 April 1993

I’m learning in adulthood how to let my freaky flag fly, and so felt deeply for Number One when she let out her singing in Q&A – something she keeps a secret but clearly brings her joy.

We asked the crew if they can remember a time when music brought them closer to someone. And the crew dug deep.

After discussing the episode Innocence, we shared what music we enjoy for relaxation or focus or productivity.

And in response to Lessons, we examined times in our own lives when our job had to take priority over our personal goals. Some big sacrifices were shared in this one.

One topic we didn’t discuss that I hope to examine at a later day is one that was prompted from lessons. It was nice to see the people who care about Picard be very happy for him when they could see he was in love. I noted that Beverly Crusher seemed a bit reserved with Commander Daren. And so I wondered about our inner circles and how important it is that they like the people with whom we choose as romantic partners. Is it important that they like the person or is it satisfactory that they are happy that we are happy?

If you have an answer to that question, please comment or write to us.

Star Trek Sundays Episode 15 Crew:

First Officer T, Lt. Lasha, Lt. Joshua, Lt. James, Lt. Gella, Ensign Barsha, Lt. Kristi, Lt. Steve, Lt. Joanna, Lt. TheDirector, Lt. Charlotte, Lt. Shawn

Resistance is Futile, Part 2, November 6, 2022, STS Ep. 14

Resistance is Futile, Part 2, November 6, 2022, STS Ep. 14

Captain’s Log, Stardate 11310.5

Resistance is Futile. Or is it? In Resistance is Futile Part 2, Eisode 14 of Star Trek Sundays we revisit the Borg to take a closer look at how they operate and of what they are capable. 

First Officer T curated the following episodes for us to watch last week:

  1. The Best of Both Worlds, The Next Generation, S03, Ep26, First aired: 18 June 1990
  2. Scorpion, Voyager, S03, Ep26, First aired: 21 May 1997 
  3. I Borg, The Next Generation, S05, Ep23, First aired: 11 May 1992

When the crew was asked, “Do we tend to lose our identity as individuals as we become part of a group?” we received a variety of answers. While some thought we do lose our individualism, others thought that the group identity is only a part of us and would be different for each person in the group. 

Once again, this question brought to mind the topic of religion. Many of the crew are recovering from harm done to them by the religious organizations in which they were indoctrinated. While it’s sad to hear their stories of mental and emotional abuse, I find myself left with feelings of hope for the future because of their stories. These are people who have so much compassion and understanding for those still struggling, and who are often building bridges from the religious world to the secular world upon which others will be able to travel. 

So after The Best of Both Worlds in which we are terrified for Picard, as he’s been captured and assimilated by the Borg, we moved to Scorpion in which Janeway tries to make a deal with the Borg. 

We put to the crew this question, “Can you think of a time when you made friends with an enemy because they were the enemy of another one of your enemies?” 

The honesty from the crew was refreshing. While some would not do that, one or two admitted to making alliances, but not friends. 

And finally, we arrive at the end of this Borg story arc with I Borg. I remembered this episode from its original airing but had not remembered being so touched by the tenderness shown by everyone in this episode. 

We asked the crew, “In leaving a group, have you ever discovered something about yourself that you had forgotten or didn’t know?” And the answers, once again, were varied and the crew showed tremendous courage in their vulnerability. 

Star Trek Sundays Episode 14 Crew: 

First Officer T, Lt. Sid, Lt. Jamesy, Lt. Charlotte, Lt. Steve, Lt. Shawn, Ensign Kevin, Lt. Kristi, Lt. TheDirector, Ensign The Heretic, Lt. Rachael, Ensign Tawnya

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