G & T Show 46 – Ro Laren, The Maquis, and Oren is now available for download. Give it a listen here. Nick, Teri, and Mike have returned this week with an all-new show with a new STLV Update, Star Trek 12 Movie News, Teri’s Voyager Watch, Listener Mail, a new Ask Dayton, and an in-depth discussion of Ro Laren, the Maquis, and more. As always, we’ve got the chat room and squirrels, so check out the show and post your comments on our forums.
Oliver (Cerberus Films) and Oren (All Things Trek) join us in the studio to discuss the letter Oren sent in previously. Mike thinks it’s a trap based on the last time they dedicated a show to a listener’s letter. Nick protests stating he told Havraha what would be discussed on the show and if Havraha could not remember then it’s not Nick’s fault. Everyone is happy to hear that Nick actually slept for several hours and almost ate a whole meal. Nick continues to make progress in his post-op recovery.
Nick asks if they had seen Simon Peggs’ tweets about Benedict Cumberbatch not being Khan. Oliver claims Cumberbatch is a national treasure, prompting Terilynn to ask why then did he not win the BAFTA? Oliver retorts “because they’re idiots!” Nick paraphrases Simon Pegg’s claim that Cumberbatch is not Khan and that it’s just websites spreading rumors to get traffic. Oren asks if the claim is that Cumberbatch is not Khan or whether Khan was not in the movie. Terilynn replies the quote is “Khan is not the villian”, to which Oren responds “Oh then Khan is the main character and Kirk is the villian. Mwhuhahahaha” (To read the full story on the Simon Pegg quote, click here)
Terilynn says that Simon goes on to list several characters’ names and says that it’s one of those. Among the list of names is Gary Mitchell which got a lot of fans excited. Teri says if Cumberbatch were playing Gary Mitchell she would definitely buy a ticket and go see the movie.
Speaking of buying movie tickets… To celebrate the release of Star Trek: The Next Generation on BluRay, CBS has partnered with Fathom Events to bring TNG to the big screen with the Star Trek The Next Generation 25th Anniversary Event on July 23rd which will include two episodes (“Where No One Has Gone Before” and “Datalore”) along with never-before-seen interviews and making-of featurettes. Dayton Ward was critical on Facebook saying that the two episodes suck. Terilynn says its Season One, they all suck but she’s still really excited. Terilynn is happy that three theaters in Albuquerque NM will be screening the TNG event; while Michael would have to drive an hour South and Nick would have to drive about 30 miles. Oren suggests they could have chosen “Conspiracy”. Nick reminds us the alien race in “Conspiracy” was originally intended to become the Borg. Terilynn thinks that episode may be too gross with the guy exploding at the end. Oren says it may have been gross at the time but now you see worse things on My Little Pony.
My Little Squirrel…. Nick asks what the deal with My Little Pony is. Everyone responds it is hilarious and a very good show, to the point that its continuity errors annoy Oren. Oren enjoyed that the first episode is about foiling an ancient evil prophecy. Everyone loves that John de Lancie is playing Discord on My Little Pony which is basically playing Q.
This leads Nick to ask Terilynn a question related to John De Lancie: “Teri, how’s your Voyager rewatch going?” Terilynn responds, “Damn.” Nick says he was up late last night and rewatched “Death Wish.” This episode focuses on a member of the Q Continuum who comes aboard Voyager, seeking asylum so he can commit suicide. Nick ranks this in his “Trek Top Ten.” Oren says it’s not as good as Tapestry but Nick counters with The Q and the Grey which wounds Oren’s sensibilities. Terilynn reports she’s still watching episodes from Season 3.
Oren feels that Neelix’s relationship with Kes is creepy as all get out. Nick asks if Oren thinks of Neelix as a pedophile for being romantic with such a young Ocampan girl. Oren says it’s not that, but rather he is unclear about the circumstances under which they meet. She would have been only around two months old, abused and disheveled in a Kazon slave camp and it would be creepy for Neelix to be lusting after her in that state considering they would not have had many opportunities for romantic courtship. Oren wonders if Kes only latches on to Neelix because he is the first person to give her attention without punching her in the face.
Nick mentions Neelix’s strange relationship with Naomi Wildman, which leads the discussion to the frequent absence of Naomi’s mother Samantha Wildman. This prompts a discussion of whether or not Benjamin Sisko was a dead-beat dad, with Nick asking Oren’s opinion on the matter. “What You Leave Behind” (series finale)
Nick takes a moment to remind us that not only is it National Cancer Survivors’ Awareness Month, but the show is taking place on National Cancer Survivor’s Day and he would like to let everyone to whom the day applies, and to a special someone in particular, that we are thinking of you and we love you. Teri echos the sentiment with a heart-felt “F*ck cancer!”
Once again, this week’s column is a serious question. A listener asks, “Can you tell us some of your best experiences as both, and worst? Also, what is your favorite convention to attend, if you have one, and what is the one you have yet to attend you’d like to?” Visit our site to see Dayton’s serious and Uhura-inspiring answer.
Felix Silla played a Talosian in the classic Star Trek’s pilot “The Cage“. He is best known as Cousin It on The Addams Family and Twiki in Buck Rogers and scores of other roles. Lisa LoCicero portrayed Ensign Miral Paris in Star Trek: Voyager’s final episode “Endgame.” Lisa and Felix will be in the vendors’ room at various times during the convention to meet fans and sign autographs for a nominal fee.
And the big name added to the schedule is Brannon Braga! Brannon will be present on Saturday and, schedule permitting, will sign autographs on a complimentary basis.
Nick sardonically speculates that means attendees will need to heap compliments upon Brannon in order to receive an autograph. Teri jokes that she may want to warn Brannon to run away when Nick is at the convention, considering Nick’s feelings about Brannon as a writer. Nick and Teri agree that Brannon is a crutch writer overly fond on time-travel which was the primary focus of his last two series. Oren feels that Brannon lacks the presence of mind to successfully be in charge of a series, although he did write some good episodes of Voyager and Enterprise. Nick agrees that Brannon did write some good episodes – the ones where Ronald D. Moore helped him. Oh Snap!
Nick wonders if we will see a teary reunion between Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore since they both will be attending the convention. Mike says he would pay to see Braga and Moore reunite in a boxing ring. Oren is just waiting for the addition of Rick Berman to the convention so the torches can get nice and hot. Nick no longer wants to burn Rick Berman at the stake, having forgiven Berman for being burned out. Teri suggests that attitudes toward Berman may change after watching Rod Roddenberry’s documentary Trek Nation which will be screened at the convention. Mike is looking forward to watching the documentary at the convention since he doesn’t own a television.
Nick asks where Johnny Cakes has been, noting that he writes in to All Things Trek frequently but hasn’t written to G&T for awhile. Oren postulates maybe it’s because Oren calls Johnny Q by his actual name, despite Bob wanting to call him Johnny Quest. Nick then reads a letter by Christopher13 to Teri regarding a recent episode of All Things Trek upon which Teri, Nick, and Mike appeared wherein they discussed the safety of families aboard starships.
While Christopher appreciates ships like the Galaxy-class were designed for peace and exploration, he is troubled by the idea that while there would be civilians on board who chose to come aboard there would also be others, like children, who may not have a choice in the matter, and they would not be fully aware of the specific risks and dangers of living on a starship which investigates unexplored space. Citing TNG episodes like “Data’s Day,” “Disaster,” and “The Pegasus,” Christopher feels he would be unable to deal with civilians and children being injured or worse aboard a ship under his command.
Terilynn thinks Christopher made good points and many would feel similarly, but she still thinks once it was established that families and children would be permitted aboard starships exploring deep space it became the choice of those families to either be together or not, and certain officers would choose to have their families and kids with them in the interest of healthy relationships. They were not forced to come aboard and they would choose whether or not to accept the possible risk. Nick reminds us of the tragedy of the USS Saratoga which had families aboard. Mike feels this is an example of why it is important to have saucer separation. Teri notes after Gene Roddenberry passed; the producers were tired of the fluffy fluff and kicked off the families and children when they created the Enterprise-E.
Oren opines that he doesn’t like the Enterprise-E very much because it’s too sleek looking. Nick proclaims the Sovereign-class is the sexiest Star Trek ship, which Oren counters that starships don’t need to look sleek and aerodynamic in space. Teri says that’s what makes the Borg cube so cool; but her favorite starship is in development by Adam Ihle and Sean Tourangeau.
Speaking of custom made starships; Mike remembered hearing something about CBS cracking down on people making starships. Teri explains that she belongs to a starship modeling group on Facebook comprised of very talented and prolific Trekkies who create models of original starship designs, trade tips, share pictures, and chat. Several of these extremely talented women & men have begun to receive cease & desist orders from CBS stating that they cannot create models based on the ships that appear in the shows, to which they replied if CBS would do it then they wouldn’t have to. The modelers making their own ships that didn’t even appear in the shows are rebelling. Teri recalls that she has had an Enterprise-E model on back order with Diamond Select for about two years now.
The gang moves on to the second mail of the show by none other than Oren who sent in an email discussing the Maquis. Oren is confused about the development of the Maquis storyline and how the treatment and depiction of the Maquis changed over time. As he remembers, the Maquis were first introduced as armed, terrorist, freedom-fighter, resistance group, hiding within a civilian population in the Federation colonies within the Demilitarized Zone on both the Federation side of the border as well as on the Cardassian side of the border. Then in later episodes Sisko virus-bombs a “Maquis planet” and we learn that Starfleet did nothing while the Dominion wiped out all the Maquis colonies; which raises some very serious questions for Oren. “Maquis planets” would be planets that Maquis members would just happen to be living on along with other Federation colonists who were not members of the Maquis – either way, the Maquis members would still be Federation citizens with certain rights. Oren’s understanding was that the entire premise for the conflict was that they had to stop the Maquis because the Cardassians would use them as an excuse to send Cardassian ships into the DMZ which would then start a war.
Teri’s impression was that the Maquis originated when the Cardassian-Federation borders changed, with Cardassia reclaiming territories which were previously Federation, leading to the Federation mandating those colonies must pull out and relocate. The Maquis rose up to defy that mandate and fight back to defend their homes and territories, fighting against both the Federation and Cardassia. Nick agrees that this was established in an episode of TNG. Teri’s understanding was that the Federation could not come in and forceably relocate the colonists because those worlds had become Cardassian territory.
Oren attempts to clarify by explaining that the Federation and Cardassia had been fighting a war which later ended with a treaty that redrew the border, causing certain Federation colonies to end up in Cardassian territory and vice versa. Originally the idea was they would live in peace, but very soon tensions arose between the Federation and Cardassian colonists resulting in hostilities. Early on there was a group of Cardassian civilians similar to the Maquis (who later seemed to vanish from future storylines) and the Maquis would fight against this group.
Teri continues that her impression was that the Maquis was a mish-mash of people from various origins, accepting anyone into their ranks who would help their cause – an intentionally ambiguous group which could be tweaked to fit the needs of the writers for any particular episode. Teri enjoyed how they were originally portrayed in TNG, especially with characters such as Ro Laren.They all agree that the Maquis were originally depicted as a loosely-knit organization, akin to the fascist fighters of the early 20th century in Spain. Oren notes that the depiction changed into a more highly coordinated group conducting much more focused military type actions when Michael Eddington defected from the Federation to the Maquis. They all love the Eddington character and storyline. Oren was sad when the story arc at that point didn’t include Ro Laren.
Battlestar Squirrel! They begin discussing how much they loved Michelle Forbes as Admiral Helena Cain in Battlestar Galactica as a counterpoint to Edward James Olmos’ Admiral William Adama and how much it sucked when they killed her.
Oren reiterates that the part of the Maquis storyline is when Sisko virus-bombed the “Maquis planet”, likening it to a Naval commander bombing an entire apartment complex to take out the few or single targets he is after. Oren asserts if Starfleet knew for sure it was a Maquis hideout they should have gone there to arrest them all, otherwise if Sisko had bombed a location of suspected Maquis which could have included non-Maquis civilians than Sisko should have been immediately court-martialed. Teri can’t help but giggle, getting a kick about the Sisko talk.
They all agree this is the first time we see the dark side of Sisko and his obsession with capturing and defeating Eddington which drives him over the edge. Oren doesn’t have a problem with that per se but rather is bothered by the uncertainty as to whether Sisko bombed an actual colony of Maquis or just a small outpost which included civilians. Teri’s feeling is at this point in the story, the Federation no longer views the Maquis as just criminals but now as terrorists, and the post-Roddenberry writers wrote DS9 in a way that the Federation was more realistic in how a modern government would react to a group of anti-government terrorists such as Al Qaeda. Nick reminds us that Sisko was reacting to the fact that Eddington and the Maquis had created a biogenic agent and attacked two Cardassian colony worlds, poisoning the atmosphere making it uninhabitable for Cardassians. Sisko virus-bombed those planets to make them uninhabitable for humans as a form of tit-for-tat reaction, prompting Eddington to surrender to prevent further contamination of colony worlds the Maquis had been using.
Oren questions if the Maquis splintered off and the Federation wrote them off as no longer Federation citizens with rights therein, would the Prime Directive apply regarding not getting involved in conflicts between other civilizations. Nick disagrees, responding that the Federation hadn’t officially recognized that the Maquis had withdrawn, like if Vermont decided it was going to succeed and the Federal government was like “no you don’t”, especially if Vermont had tried to pick a fight with the UK or Texas.
Oren then proposes if the Federation knew where the Maquis were; send a few Excelsior-class ships to ice them, to take out the Maquis since they only had a few shuttle craft. Teri asks, but would they really do that? Teri agrees it’s an unusual situation which is mainly a responsive one. The Maquis attacked Cardassia, so the Federation had to stop the Maquis to prevent an all-out war with Cardassia.
Toward the end of the story arc, the Maquis really started to become formidable with tactics and resources once they start illicit the help of outsiders who were disillusioned with the Federation, such as the Klingons and other colonists. Teri loved the Maquis because it took Star Trek in a new direction which started to deal with a more realistic portrayal of war and terrorism and the idea that the Federation isn’t perfect. She feels if the writers were going to take Star Trek in a different direction and say “We love you Gene, but we can’t do this anymore” then DS9 and the Maquis was the perfect way to do it.
The gang likens Eddington’s defection to the Maquis to a personal betrayal toward Sisko, similar to Ro Laren betraying Picard and leaving the Enterprise-D to join the Maquis, or that barely-named crewman who was betraying Voyager by sending signals to the Kazan, as well as Seska betraying Voyager in “State of Flux” for no apparent reason other than not liking that the Maquis and Starfleet merged, thinking Janeway was an idiot, or staying true to her Cardassian agenda. Oren considers Seska to be Voyager’s most threatening villian, to a larger degree than even the Borg, considering the number of times she defeated and thwarted Voyager. Oliver was always intrigued by Seska’s obsession with Chakotay because it seemed to change almost episode to episode. Oren surmises that Seska’s motivation for repeatedly returning to Voyager after she left and joined the Kazon was to take over Voyager as her best chance to get home. Oliver suggests that she kept returning to Voyager in an attempt to take the ship or acquire its technology as a way of maintaining power and controlling the Kazon by holding the promise of newer, better technology over them. Oren feels that Seska is only good by Voyager standards: she’s really good within Voyager but pales in comparison to characters like Ro Laren.
The one thing that Teri loved about Ro Laren’s character and the one thing she never forgot, was when Ro started talking about her fear of dying, that she didn’t want to die afraid, she wanted to die bravely with her head up.
Oliver asks for opinions comparing Ro Laren and Kira Nerys, because they were both part of rebellions. Oren feigns confusion as to whether or not he is being asked to compare different characters, saying that he was just asked to compare the same character. After a beat they all get it and laugh, as Nick reminds us that the role of Kira was originally intended to be Ro Laren. For Oren, the thing that defines the difference between Ro and Kira was that Kira was raised on Bajor while Ro was raised in a refugee camp – Ro is Bajoran, but she’s not from Bajor. Mike notes that Kira was more spiritual than Ro, holding a stronger belief in the Bajoran religion. Teri continues stating that Kira was connected to Bajor and the Bajoran people while Ro connected herself to the Maquis. Teri feels that the writers were able to bring forth more of the Bajoran spirituality in a more natural way through Kira whereas to bring the religion forward with Ro would have been more as a point of conflict.
Mike asks Nick how is she being portrayed in the DS9 relaunch novels and is he seeing her from another perspective. Nick tells us that Ro is a lieutenant in the Bajoran Militia, and does not get along with Kira because Ro’s reputuation precedes her. She holds the position of security chief on DS9, but she’s still very much Ro, she says what she thinks. She’s written very much in the Ro character which is n interesting dynamic considering some of the actions taken by Kira.
Both Oren and Teri agree that they actually prefer the way it worked out with Kira being on DS9 rather than Ro due to the relationships that Kira had and the relationships that would have formed with Ro’s established character.
The conversation moves to whether or not Bajor should have joined the Federation in the novels and in Star Trek Online. Oliver and Oren feel that Bajor would eventually join the Federation. Teri believes that the point of the end of DS9 is that Sisko realizes Bajor should stay independent, and while she can agree that there would be benefits to joining the Federation the writers created a scenario wherein Bajor joining the Federation would Sisko’s life and efforts pointless and wasted since at the last minute he tells them they should stand on their own. Oren says they are already almost a member of the Federation due to how heavily they rely on the Federation, while Mike suggests that Bajor is somewhat analogous to Puerto Rico. The discussion quickly touches on the nature of the Federation Council and the roles of the member worlds.
Teri reminds everyone that they are now accepting entries for the Kobayashi Maru audio drama contest. Entries must be in MP3 format, no longer than 5 minutes in length. Entries must mention the Kobayashi Maru in some manner. The stories can take place in any universe, in any time, with any characters. They still have not decided what the prize will be but it will be very cool, and will be group-friendly.
We revisit the contest for Nick’s battle scar storytelling. The gang agrees the G&T audience is sick and twisted. Visit the Fan Fiction forum thread to see what literary stimulation has been posted thus far! Teri invites everyone to check out the G&T Show forums in general as well as the Fan-Fiction section in particular to support the great writers who are posting in the forum. Mike also encourages everyone to post whatever projects the listeners may be working on, whether it’s audio or writing or anything else. They will look forward to seeing what the community is planning and promoting it on future episodes of the G&T Show.