It's kind of sad watching Spock and T'Pring working on their relationship, knowing how it will ultimately end badly. Some of the material is actually quite good, with two people who try to make what is essentially a long-distance relationship work when they're both committed to what they have chosen to spend their lives doing. I didn't expect this series to involve T'Pring until I started watching it, but I think the writers made a good choice to use the character and to explore some of Spock's personal life. I like the glimpses of emotion from Spock from time to time, both as a reference back to The Cage and a reminder that he's half-human. The kal-if-fee sequence down to the original series music was a great reference, and I'm glad to see this series is not afraid to just embrace some aspects of the original series, even though sensibilities now are quite different than they were in the 1960s. And I like how light and breezy most of this episode feels. The show works with dark and dramatic episode four followed by a "catch your breath and have fun" episode five. Even the serious relationship drama between Spock and T'Pring is livened up by the hijinks of them switching bodies. I'm glad this show doesn't take itself so seriously that the writers would shoot down a silly idea like that. They take it and run with it and it's a lot of fun.Sparky Prime wrote: ↑Thu Jun 02, 2022 11:46 am Strange New Worlds season 1 episode 5
Overall, this was a fun light-hearted episode. I'm not sure if the writers of this episode were trying to fix some of the shoddy writing from Discovery in regards to Starbase 1. It makes much more sense in this episode than it did in Discovery at any rate, but it causes some dis-continuity between the shows. And for the 3rd week in a row, we sorta get an episode that evokes a previous series episode... This episode being "Spock Amok" calls back to "Amok Time". Albeit not to the same degree as the previous 2 episodes did.... But we get a pretty long kal-if-fee sequence at the start of the episode. I guess they're sorta setting up why Spock's relationship with T’Pring eventually ends the way it does in TOS, but then they end up understanding each other better than ever by the end of the episode, which sends some mixed messages.
SpoilerEnterprise returns to Starbase 1 for repairs following their encounter with the Gorn in the previous episode. It's noted this is the oldest Starbase and is newly repaired following the Klingon war... Which raises a few continuity issues. This Starbase looks nothing like the "Starbase 1" that was shown in Discovery. Discovery also stated that Starbase 1 was 100au from Earth, which would place it well outside the solar system, but this starbase is shown to be in orbit of Jupiter. Discovery had showed it in orbit of what appeared to be an M class planet, which given the dialogue was ridiculous. And why would it only just now be noted to be newly repaired? Enterprise docked here at the end of the first episode.
At any rate, the crew is able to take shore leave. Spock meets with his fiancée T’Pring, and is concerned he isn't Vulcan enough for her. After a diplomatic assignment runs over causing Spock to miss dinner with her, and a chat with nurse Chapel, they undertake a Vulcan ritual to share their katra's, but end up trapped in each others bodies. And forces them to carry out each others job. Number One and Lt. Noonien-Singh catch some ensigns playing "Enterprise Bingo", and decide to play it themselves, after Dr. M'Benga had let it slip Number One's nickname is "Where Fun Goes to Die" (I think they could have come up with something better) earlier in the episode. The last thing on the list is to sign "the Scorch", the oldest piece of hull on the Enterprise... Which is on a section of the forward saucer that got blown up in Discovery. They also project a forcefield around themselves in order to walk out there with out space suits, which I feel is a little too advanced for this era. And Pike concludes the diplomatic session by realizing they negotiate by seeing things from the other parties perspective, so he looks at it from their concerns, which apparently gets them to align with the Federation.
And Pike gets the wraparound Captain's uniform that Kirk wore from time to time (with no explanation). Cool. Although I would note that Kirk actually had two, one in the first season with rank markers on his shoulders, and another for the second season.
In some ways, this is the same type of plot as last episode, except the common theme is "free time" rather than disaster, so we get to see the crew members all given their own storylines where they get some downtime rather than responding to stress and danger. It's a nice change from the typical A/B plot that 90s Trek often relied on to have multiple storylines going on, an A/B/C/D/E plot structure. Even just seeing M'Benga get 30 seconds in his fishing hat, clearly having a great time, tells us something about the character that we didn't know. I've watched a number of original series episodes lately, and it's interesting to me just how often the entire 50 minutes centers around one plotline, or if there is a B story, it's tiny compared to the main plot. It's a completely different writing style than we got in TNG/DS9/Voyager.