The Squire of Gothos – Episode 18

This week, Rachel and Chris get their first real taste of an omnipotent trickster with The Squire of Gothos!

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Special thanks to Chad Fifer for our theme tune and to Greig Johnson for his vocal stylings!

Next episode: Arena!

17 thoughts on “The Squire of Gothos – Episode 18”

  1. Trelaine, Charlie X, Miri, and others to come. The writers on Star Trek were all angry dads that hated and feared children. Whenever human or alien children show up, they are a source of menace and cruelty.

    To Spock re Vulcan —
    Are they a preditory race?
    Spock’s reply —
    Not generaly but there have been exceptions. (! ? ! ?)
    . . .
    What the hell does that mean ? !
    I want to know more about these Vulcan serial killers !

    1. There are many suggestions in Star Trek that the Vulcans were once a highly volatile and aggressive race. It is suggested in the Star Trek mythos to come that the discipline of logic saved them from themselves and help them change their violent ways.

      In the recent episode, “Balance of Terror,” Spock says something to the effect of, “Vulcan had its aggressive, colonizing period.”

      With all this in mind, a historic Vulcan serial killer or two doesn’t seem out of the question.

      However, in this case I think Spock was simply hinting that he might not be above going predator on Trelaine’s ass if needed.

  2. In my opinion, there is a direct line from Trelaine, in this episode, to the character “Q” on Star Trek the Next Generation. There have already been superior beings whose power far outstrips those of humans on the show, and there will be several other examples in future episodes, including, spoiler alert, “Arena.” In spite of that, I say that without Trelaine, Q never exists.

    Although Q is not a child, he is a bit of rogue and a trickster, and certainly one to play with humans, at least partially for his amusement. Like Trelaine, he can seem silly, capricious and dangerous all at the same time.

    The performances of the two actors also seem somehow akin to each other as well, at least to me.

    Spoiler alert again, William Campbell, who plays Trelaine, will show up in a classic season two episode as a pompous Klingon commander, then reprise that role in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

    Here’s hoping Chris and Rachel do this show long enough to get to that one.

    1. BTW, when the Deep Space Nine episode I mentioned above, “Blood Oath,” originally aired and as I was watching, I realized that the 3 old Klingon warriors on the show were all Klingon commanders from TOS, *and* that they were all played by the original actors, I kind of had a nerd-gasm.

    2. Definitely agree that Trelane is very much a ‘Proto-Q’ figure, Clyde – there’s even a Trek novel (Q-Squared by Peter David) which has Trelane as a member of the Q Continuum, under the tutelage of ‘our’ Q.

      I’d go even further to hope that Rachel & Chris get to TNG so that we can get Rachel’s impression of Q. John de Lancie does a superb turn in my opinion!

      1. Hmm… if William Campbell didn’t like the French wig, I shudder to think what he would have thought of Q’s judge outfit (piccie on the Patreon page for those unfamiliar or wanting a reminder of that piece of sartorial triumph).

  3. Chris,
    What have you done to Rach? I have been trying to “convert” your mother for over forty years and still never got her to quote Stan Lee.

  4. Concerning the writers’ “bad math”, this is only the case if we assume they believed the events of the series were taking placing in the 23rd century. I don’t think this gets established until The Next Generation. The writers may very well have intended for the episode to take place 900 years after Napoleon. I’m a bit wary of reading later series’ canon back into the original series.

    Also, you might want to check out the Alcubierre drive, which is a proposed FTL drive very similar to what’s described in Star Trek. It’s considered plausible by scientists, but probably requires materials that may not actually exist.

    Great show as usual – keep up the good work!

    1. In an episode of TOS coming up very soon, “Tomorrow is Yesterday” the story takes place in the “current” time of the 1960’s, which theoretically should be the around the first year ST aired. After capturing him, an officer tells an uncooperative Kirk, “I’m going to lock you up for 200 years.” To which Kirk replies with wry humor, “That should be just about right.”

      So that gives some indication of how far in the future they were considering Star Trek to be set, during the first season.

      1. Thanks for pointing me to that quote, Clyde. I probably could have saved us both some time by looking at the Wikipedia entry for “Timeline of Star Trek”. Here’s a relevant quote from the article:

        ‘There are few references setting the original series in an exact time frame, and those that exist are largely contradictory. In the episode, “Tomorrow Is Yesterday”, a 1960s military officer says that he’s going to lock Captain Kirk up “for two hundred years”, to which a bemused Kirk says, “That ought to be just about right”. Likewise, in the episode “Space Seed”, it is said that the 1996 warlord Khan Noonian Singh is from “two centuries” ago. Both these references place the show in the 22nd century. However, in the episode “Miri”, it is said that 1960 was around 300 years ago, pushing the show into the 23rd century. Finally, the episode “The Squire of Gothos” implied that the light cone of 19th century Earth has expanded to 900 light years, which seems to set the show in the 28th century, since light would take nine centuries to traverse that distance.

        According to notes in The Making of Star Trek, the show is set in the 23rd century, and the Enterprise was supposed to be around 40 years old. Roddenberry says in this book that the stardate system was invented to avoid pinning down the show precisely in time frame. Roddenberry’s original pitch for the series dated it “‘somewhere in the future. It could be 1995, or maybe even 2995”.’

        1. Thanks for the additional info, Matt. I hadn’t looked into it officially either. The quote from “Yesterday is Tomorrow” is just one that stuck in my head ever since I was a kid.
          Obviously the showrunners weren’t worrying too much exactly what time period the series was actually set in.

          Of course, they could hardly have predicted that the show would still have a rabid fanbase and be being analyzed in great detail on podcasts 50 years later. If they had, I’m sure they would have been a bit more careful with their dates.

  5. The main theoretical space-warping FTL drive idea that we have is the Alcubierre drive, named for the Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre who invented the idea. Star Trek’s warp drive is based on the ideas he came up with, in a vague sort of way.

    The idea is that while matter is restricted from moving faster than light, space itself is not, so if you warp space the right way, you can travel faster than light while your ship is technically not going anywhere relative to the space under it.

    There are a few different versions of this. One is the ‘waverider’ idea, where you create a sort of gravitational wave and then ‘surf’ along on it until you get where you’re going. Another is the ‘space highway’, which answers a few of the unanswered questions the waverider brings up; in this plan, you have to travel outbound at normal boring old speed, but as you go, you stretch space behind you, like pulling a vast rubber band as you travel. When you get where you’re going, you can then ‘cut loose’ from space where you are and let the rubber band snap you back to your starting point nearly instantaneously.

    There are a few problems with any form of the Alcubierre drive, the primary one being it requires both negative energy and negative mass, which are both mathematically possible but probably don’t (and maybe can’t) actually exist in our universe. Recent studies of gravity waves have raised doubts as to whether space actually can move faster than light, which might render the Alcubierre concept into ‘fast but not FTL’. Perhaps more interesting, we now think that if you could create the necessary warp-bubble, it would “decouple” the bubble from the space inside as well as the space outside, which essentially means that the faster you go, the less you can do to manipulate the bubble. When the bubble got extreme enough to pass light speed, it would become fully decoupled from ‘normal’ spacetime, and the ship would be entirely unable to stop or steer itself, doomed to fly faster than light for eternity, utterly cut off from the sub-luminal universe.

  6. Hey team, no productive insight into Star Trek here, but this episode is the primary basis for the Fururama episode ‘Where No Fan Has Gone Before’. Plenty of other references to other episodes, but this episode where the crew of the Planet Express go adventuring after Fry finds out about the Star Trek Wars (distinct from the holy pilgrimage known as the Star Wars Treck) takes them to one of the most dangerous places in the universe…a Star Trek convention hosted by….
    Original Cast voice the episode

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