A few NOTES on Strange New Worlds’ “SUBSPACE RHAPSODY”… (editorial review)


Some people just don’t like musicals…but I am NOT one of them!

I LOVE live theater, and I love singing show tunes! (Yes, straight men can admit that, too!) I saw Annie on Broadway when I was 8, My Fair Lady a year later, and The King and I with Yul Brynner a couple of years after that. I saw The Wiz, Oklahoma, Cats, A Chorus Line, Grease, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Phantom, 42nd Street, Chess, Gypsy, South Pacific, Rent and countless others both on and off Broadway all before moving from New York City to Los Angeles in the 1990s. And I’ve seen a whole slew of musicals since I’ve been out here, as well.

Back in high school, I was in Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story, Cabaret, and I even got a standing ovation after singing “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat” as Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls.

Meanwhile, my 12-year-old son Jayden, who is a Trekkie and watches and enjoys each new episode of STRANGE NEW WORLDS with me, announced that he would be skipping “Subspace Rhapsody” because, according to him, he HATES musicals. “I cringe when people start singing for no reason, Daddy!” he told me. Of course, his mom and dad sing for no reason, but Jayden doesn’t exactly cheer that tendency, either!

Eventually, I did convince him to watch the episode with me. I explained that, if ever there was a musical he might like, it would be one set on the starship Enterprise. And while he did have his fair share of complaints during the episode—“Why would she be saying this???”—he admitted to me at the end that, “Well, this was probably the best musical I’ll ever see…but I don’t plan to see many musicals, Daddy.”

And now that I’ve finished the overture, let’s take the true measure of this episode to see if it cleared the bar (yes, I have many musical puns planned—brace yourselves)…


I need to come right out and say this: the fans who are blasting and berating this episode on social media should feel ashamed of themselves. Why? Because our dearly departed NICHELLE NICHOLS would have loved every second of “Subspace Rhapsody.” Nichelle came from musical theater, and her successor in the role of Uhura, CELIA ROSE GOODLING, was one of the youngest performers to ever be nominated for a Tony Award (at the age in 20, three years ago) and actually won the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. How proud and excited Nichelle would have been to know that her beloved character’s legacy was being carried forward by such a gifted musical performer.

And remember that Nichelle herself was the first actor to ever sing on a Star Trek episode way back in 1966! And she wouldn’t be the last. LEONARD NIMOY gave us the unforgettable “Maiden Wine” sung in Spock’s deep baritone during the third season TOS episode “Plato’s Stepchildren.” In TNG, “Ol’ Yellow Eyes” Commander Data sang twice in the last two Next Gen movies, once doing Gilbert and Sullivan and then singing Blue Skies by Irving Berlin.

Thanks to Vic Fontaine’s holosuite program, we had musical numbers not only by crooner JAMES DARREN (Vic) but also NANA VISITOR and AVERY BROOKS. And let’s not forget all that Klingon opera and battle songs about of honor and glory. Oh, and speaking of operatic opportunities, Voyager‘s EMH featured a number of performances by ROBERT PICARDO, who sang in an a capella group back in college at Yale. JERI RYAN even joined him in a beautiful duet of “You Are My Sunshine” in the Voyager episode “Someone to Watch Over Me.” And yeah, ALISON PILL belted out a stunning Borg Queen rendition of Shadows of the Night during the second season of STAR TREK: PICARD.

In other words, this is by far NOT Star Trek‘s first foray into singing characters. And if you don’t like singing characters or musicals, that’s fine. Don’t watch the episode. Or say that you didn’t like it and leave it that. But for the love of Nichelle, don’t berate it as if your negative opinion in somehow the gospel truth. Nichelle Nichols cherished musical theater and almost left the series after the first season to return to it. We all know the story of DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. talking her into staying with Star Trek, but singing to an audience was always her first and dearest love. To criticize this episode of Star Trek is to criticize that love and, indirectly, to criticize Nichelle.

So if you ripped into this episode on social media, I think I can speak for our Lady of Communications in saying, “SHAME ON YOU!”


Of course, there’s a difference between having a character sing a song as part of an episode’s storyline and turning an entire Star Trek episode into a full musical. Indeed, it’s boldly going (or anything going) where no Trek has gone before…but not necessarily where no television series has gone before.

Indeed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a groundbreaking comedic sci-fi/fantasy/horror genre mesh, gained additional notoriety during its sixth season in 2001 with “Once More with Feeling,” a critically-acclaimed all-musical episode, with original songs written by series creator JOSS WHEDON. But the episode didn’t simply detour into singing and dancing, it actually advanced character arcs in significant ways. Fans loved it, and it’s still considered a turning point in television history, even today, In fact, when La’an Dr. M’Benga comment in “Subspace Rhapsody” about turning into bunnies, and when Uhura says, “I’ve got a theory,” those lines were direct references to this opening musical number from that Buffy episode…

However, many fans don’t realize that special “musical” episodes of non-musical television series predate Buffy by nearly a half-century! In 1956, during its fifth season, legendary TV sitcom I Love Lucy aired the episode “Lucy Goes to Scotland,” which was primarily a dream sequence with five original songs preformed by both the four main cast members as well as guest singers and dancers. Of course, I Love Lucy and contemporary sitcom series Make Room For Daddy/The Danny Thomas Show regularly featured musical numbers performed by their series’ lead actors DESI ARNAZ and DANNY THOMAS, as well as guest stars. But the Scotland episode was a true musical in the middle of a “normal” sitcom series.

However, while Star Trek itself was airing in the late 1960s, a new music-themed sitcom format was also hitting the airwaves with shows like The Monkees (1966-1968) and, later on, The Partridge Family (1970-1974). But in those cases, the music was usually performed within the “reality” of the episode—in other words, the Monkees and the Partridge Family were singing groups who toured and played in front of audiences.

It wasn’t until 1982, however, that a fully musical dramatic television series emerged. Fame was based on the 1980 movie of the same name and ran for five seasons, earning multiple Emmy Awards and even the Golden Globe for Best Series: Musical or Comedy in both 1982 and 1983. On the other hand, the next fully musical dramatic television series, Cop Rock, was an abysmal failure, lasting only eleven episodes in late 1990 before being put out of its misery. Musical-based TV series would hibernate until 2007 when Glee exploded into people’s living rooms with groundbreaking production numbers and multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and wins.

But the “musical episode” of non-musical series was done on television even before Buffy…with mixed results. In 1997, Xena: Warrior Princess debuted their third season episode “The Bitter Suite” with nine musical numbers and a very positive reception. Four years later, though, Ally McBeal‘s “The Musical, Almost” could best be described as: a good try, now please don’t do it again. But both efforts flew mostly under the radar until Buffy‘s “Once More, with Feeling” in 2001. Then the musical episode became a challenge that many TV series decided to take on…again, with mixed results.

Scrub’s “My Musical” (2007) and “Psych: The Musical” (2013) were both masterpieces, excellently produced, highly praised, and a joy to watch and listen to. On the other hand, 7th Heaven‘s “Red Socks” (2005) and Grey’s Anatomy‘s “Song Beneath the Song” met with, at best, polarized reviews, with more viewers passionately criticizing the efforts than praising them. (That’s a polite way of saying they sucked.)

Many other live-action television series including OzThat 70’s ShowFringe, Supernatural, Once Upon a Time, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and The Flash have each done musical episodes. In fact, “Subspace Rhapsody” was directed by DERMOTT DOWNS, the same person who directed the Supergirl/Flash crossover musical episode “Duet.”

So if you’re saying that making a musical episode of Star Trek was an unprecedented mistake, it was certainly not unprecedented. And frankly, I don’t think it was a mistake.


Granted, had the creators of Strange New Worlds screwed this up, all bets would have been off, regardless of Nichelle Nichols’ or my love of musical theater. Sometimes a show opens on Broadway and closes a few nights later because it’s a flop. And had this episode of SNW been awful, I would certainly have stood up to criticize the execution…although not necessarily the decision. Y’see, I appreciate when the showrunners decide to boldly go, especially on a series that opens each episode with those two words. Two weeks ago during the crossover episode with LOWER DECKS, I commented that Star Trek has always been about taking risks. “Risk is our business!” And this episode probably carried ample opportunities to get themselves into serious treble…er, tribble…I mean trouble!

For example, experiments like the aforementioned 7th Heaven and Ally McBeal episodes ran into major hurdles when it turned out that many in the main cast didn’t know how to sing! After all, actors are typically hired on a TV series based on acting ability, not because they’ve done musical theater. A few might have that experience, of course, but others won’t. What do you do in a musical episode when someone just can’t sing well?

Of course, the songs have to be written, and this doesn’t happen overnight. The plot of the episode needs to first be worked out in script form. Then for each song, lyrics must be written to support the story, and melodies composed. Just getting an episode like this down on paper is a huge undertaking!

Another obstacle to scale (yeah, folks, still musically punning!) is the pure logistics of not just creating the songs but hiring musicians, choreographers, and additional performers with singing and dancing skills. Such people exist and are obviously looking for work (even in Toronto), but you still have to look for them, audition them, and get them prepared to work on the set with the regular cast.

And that brings up perhaps the greatest challenge: timing. While most episodes will require modest rehearsal time, a musical needs a LOT of preparation and practice to be sharp (which is key!)…let alone be finished on time.

Once you’ve hired everyone, the orchestra needs to practice and lay down the music tracks. Then the actors need to rehearse those songs and then each get into the sound studio to record them. Audio engineers next need to clean up the best takes, adjust levels, and ultimately merge them for duets and ensemble numbers. Once the songs are ready, the actors then need to rehearse not just their lines but also their dance moves (or at least their blocking). And of course, being able to lip sync is critical, and not everyone can pull that off without even more practice. And finally, larger production numbers require more camera angles, more coverage, and more production time. And remember, all this extra time and extra people ain’t cheap!

In other words, deciding to make a musical episode wasn’t just a risky move in terms of potential audience reaction, it was a huge, gutsy commitment of time, money and resources….with so many places things could go wrong. But instead, the creative team navigated the gauntlet flawlessly.

First of all, they created a premise that, while not perfect, was enough of a technobabble explanation to allow fans to turn off their brains and just accept that the episode was going to be a musical. As with all musicals, there must exist an unspoken “agreement” with the audience that people will sing and dance their thoughts and feelings. But Trekkies are a tough bunch, and without a decent premise, fans would likely be harsh critics. (And many still were!) One possible explanation for the singing might have been an all-powerful cosmic imp like Q forcing the performances. But Q and other omnipotent beings have been done to death on Star Trek, so better to have a subspace anomaly because those haven’t been done to death…only nearly to death. I’m kidding, they’ve been done to death, too. But the fact is that no explanation for the musical interlude was going to please every fan. You either buy into the premise and just sit back and enjoy the presentation, or you resist the attempt at explanation and enjoyment becomes futile.

So yeah, as improbable as it seems, somewhere out there is s a Star Trek reality where everyone sings and dances. But hey, at least a bowl of petunias didn’t suddenly appear next to the Enterprise thinking, “Oh no, not again!

The next thing they did right was to turn the musical anomaly into the main plot. This was a problem for the crew to solve. And while the episode’s storyline wasn’t the best ever, the writers did manage to escalate the danger into a galactic-level threat to the Federation and the Klingons, including a countdown to disaster. In other words, this episode was exciting enough to keep up a fast tempo…which was a good thing considering that “Substance Rhapsody” had the second-longest run time of any episode of the series so far.

The script was also nicely balanced between comedy, drama, emotional introspection, action, suspense, and whimsy. Too much of any one of these, or too little, could have either turned the the episode into farce or else gotten it bogged down too heavily in angst and contemplation.

And crucial to the success of a musical episode, the music didn’t suck! Just the opposite, in fact, as some of the tunes were quite catchy. And indeed, the genres of music were as diverse as could be, spanning of while range of Broadway styles from jazzy to whimsical to intense heartbreak to quietly introspective to dramatic inspirational to K-pop/boy band. There was, quite literally, almost something for everyone in terms of musical taste…just not for those with no taste.

And then there was the auto-tune. For anyone complaining about the use of that relatively new technology, I need you to watch something…

So let’s just put the auto-tune complaints into the airlock, okay? Because it could have been much worse.

And finally, the most important thing they got right…


Much like Buffy‘s “Once More, with Feeling,” this musical episode of SNW was so much more than just an indulgent diversion. VERY important story advancement happened to nearly all of the main characters. In other words, this was not the episode to skip by any means!

Pike and Captain Batel’s (her first name is Marie) relationship was not only explored but moved forward a bit, as well. That said, does anyone reading this NOT think Batel and the U.S.S. Cayuga are gonna get into some serious peril in the season finale? “Priority mission,” huh? More foreboding words have seldom been uttered!

Number One got a couple of good chances to open up about sharing secrets. This episode wasn’t so much a chance for her character to grow as to mark her growth from someone who kept things entirely professional and to herself and to a person who is okay opening up.

But speaking of secrets, perhaps the most character development took place with La’an—and not just the resolution of her schoolgirl crush on James Kirk. However, I did find it significant that her revelation of her truth to James was spoken, not sung. In other words, the anomaly didn’t force her to open up; she did so of her own accord (as opposed to a chord…zing!). That marked her truest growth this episode. And she did it without revealing any details of the alternate reality time-travel…only its effects on her personally.

Speaking of Kirk, I’m glad this potential love-affair was officially retired in this episode. Obviously, Kirk and La’an can’t be together seriously long-term without him either changing ships or visiting WAY too often. And Jim Kirk is already wearing out his welcome after appearing in 20% of the episodes of the series and twice in the last four episodes—so much so that one fan already designed the cover of the next Star Trek novel…

However, the reason given for Kirk’s unavailability was perfect. He’s already got someone: Carol (Marcus). And she’s pregnant. I did some quick head-math, and with SNW set about 6-7 years prior to season one of TOS, and “Space Seed” 15 years before Wrath of Khan, then David Marcus is probably about 20-21 years old when Kirk rescues him and Carol on Regula. So yeah, that works!

And when it comes to canon, another plot line is moving closer to TOS: Chapel is about to spend three months with Roger Korby, who will eventually become her fiancé. This will effectively end her tryst with Spock and, probably, be one of the causes of him going back to a more stoic Vulcan persona. Some fans are complaining that, when it comes to Spock, Chapel has “done him dirty” in charming him away from T’Pring and then leaving him in the lurch. But remember that, two episodes ago, Ensign Boimler clued Chapel into Spock’s potential future being non-emotional. So perhaps she is running away “for his own good” (and maybe her own good)? It’s complicated…which is awesome because it makes things more interesting and blog-worthy.

Speaking of blogs, I’m now crossing 3,000 words, so time to wrap this up. The last two things I’ll mention are that it was awesome seeing BRUCE HORAK return for a second time this season, not as Hemmer this time, but as Klingon General Garkog trying desperately to resist the urge to break out in song. And the other was that I thought it was wonderfully appropriate that Nyota Uhura, noted for first bringing music to Star Trek 57 years ago, ended up being the hero who saved the day. But even more appropriate was that Uhura did so by bringing the entire crew (and the K-pop Klingons) together to sing the grand finale.

Sure, it was a predictable and campy ending, but it was so uplifting! And really, what better way to bring the episode to a coda? Take a bow, Strange New Worlds, and bring on the season two finale…

Encore question: if you leave a comment, please let me know which was your favorite song. Mine was La’an’s “How Would That Feel” because it was so well-sung and poignant, perhaps the best of all of the character-development songs of the episode. What about you?

27 thoughts on “A few NOTES on Strange New Worlds’ “SUBSPACE RHAPSODY”… (editorial review)”

  1. I would have to say that I really didn’t like this episode. With only 10 episodes in a season, they really need to use every episode to advance the story and I’m not sure how constantly bursting into song advanced the narrative.

    We have the Gorn lurking in the shadows since the beginning of the season. I would have rather seen them do a two part season finale with the to bring us full circle as to what’s going on with the Gorn.

    1. This episode advanced several storylines, Michael. It resolved the La’an/Kirk nomance, moved Chapel off the Enterprise to meet and join her future fiance Roger Korby, and gave Spock a reason to ditch his emotions. It also set up Captain Batel and the Cayuga crew for whatever fate they will face in the season finale. And the episode cemented the character changes for Number One and and Uhura from earlier episodes in the season.

      Remember that SNW is intended to be episodic. Two-parters aren’t really on their “to do” list. Ongoing character arcs are the standard operating procedure, but not the “To be continued” cliffhanger endings of Discovery or Picard…except at the end of the season one finale to get fans to come back for season two. Season two might end on a cliffhanger, as well.

      1. And yet the very next episode was a two parter. This show sucked, broke canon, broke the friggin’ genre, and will go down as the episode where Star Trek jumped the cosmic shark — something I didn’t think was possible because of how badly Discovery sucked.

        1. As I said (Nostradamus that I am!), “Season two might end on a cliffhanger, as well.”

          Anyway, I’m very VERY glad to know that comments and opinions such as yours, while certainly valid (everybody has them, of course) are noticeably in the teeny-tiny minority on social media this season. I’ve seen floods of negative comments about Discovery and sometimes waves of them for Picard’s first two seasons. But when it comes to SNW, the recent criticisms have been barely a trickle. Some episodes (like #8) I could barely find ANY! That’s almost unheard of in today’s gripe-about-everything fan environment! Star Trek is finally on a strong and exciting path with the vast majority of fandom loving what they see (even if you personally don’t, Mark, which is fine).

  2. I agree with all of what you said, er typed, er sang? Was the lurch mention on purpose? As for myself, I have owned not one but two Accords. Honda Accords. I agree with your song choice. While I have not really delved into musicals, there are a few I have enjoyed. I love ABBA so obviously I liked the two movies (one you mentioned above) that were about their music. I really enjoyed the Pitch Perfect trilogy. I must confess that Anna Kendrick is one of my favs. The repeated references to the anomaly as an improbability field to me was a callout to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy… and I LOVED that. Douglas Adams would have as well, too. On my want list of “toys” are models of the Heart of Gold (both versions).

    1. Using the word “lurch” was a happy accident. After writing it, I immediately drew mental connections to Ted Cassidy’s performances as the Addams family butler and Ruk from TOS’ “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” and decided to leave it in for keen-eyed fans to enjoy.

      I saw the original “Mama Mia” live on stage here in Los Angeles and LOVED every second. My favorite (and most unexpected) moment was the hilarious emergence of the frogmen divers singing “Don’t go wasting your emotion…” as they bounded on their flippers to the beat. It didn’t translate as well to the movie version, but it’s still one of my favorite moments.

  3. Not generally my cup of Raktajino… Schimgadoon on the Enterprise…ugh! but I really loved the episode in spite of my grinchy self.

    On the downside, the premise was patently ridiculous and some of the lyrics were embarrassingly cringy. And I didn’t find the tunes all that memorable. The tunes were more of the modern music theater numbers of the Wicked variety rather than the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rogers & Hammerstein, Rogers & Hart, Jule Stein, Noel Coward, or Stephen Sondheim variety… (Then again, old fashioned musicals have given us some of the worse lyric choices in history, including the obvious, “I love you tomorrow, you’re only a day away,” or, perhaps the worst lyric in musical history, “Adieu, Adieu, to yuh and yuh and yuh…” Nothing was this bad.)

    The thing is, in spite of the utter silliness of the thing, they did keep the characters in character, there was undeniably a good plot, and it was more than worth it just to hear the cast sing, special props to Ethan Peck, Melissa Navia, and Rebecca Romijn and, oh my, I was totally, totally blown away by Christina Chong and Celia Rose Gooding. Obviously, Chong and Gooding have done this before and rightly needed to be featured. (If Bill Shatner can launch a music career with Golden Throats and Leonard Nimoy could sell records with the ballad of Bilbo Baggins, just think of what these two could legitimately do!)

    As you rightly point out, it was not all just fun and games. They were able to slip in important character development so there was an undercurrent of seriousness. Besides, the cast was clearly just having so much fun it was infectious. And there were dancing Klingons.

    Putting it all in context, on the scale of embarrassingly worst to best of TOS: say, one being ‘E Plebnista’/ Spock’s Brain to ten being Amok Time /City on the Edge, this would be a solid eight in my book. A surprisingly good episode in spite of all the crazy.

    So, yeah, in spite of myself, I really liked. I hate to admit it, but your analysis above is spot on.

    1. Thanks for the compliment, JL, and I’m glad you ended up enjoying the episode. I think the magic of “Subspace Rhapsody” is that many people who were expecting to hate it (including me!) ended up really liking the finished product!

      Don’t tell anyone, but last year, I wrote a fan film script that was also a Star Trek musical…although this one more of a parody. But it features songs from the 1960s that would have been on the radio while the cast and production crew were driving to work at Paramount during Star Trek’s original production run. The words are changed, of course, and so I know how challenging it can be to come up with compelling lyrics!

  4. I think the episode was superb apart from one little gripe, which I feel no need to tell the world about. However, Uhura in SNW is by far my favourite character now. As someone said earlier, it’s a little worrying that we only have one episode left and no real overall story arc to cover. My only real main concern at this point is to go and find that Scrubs episode again. Great read.

    1. My only complaint is that the singing was triggered by emotion, and who was the first to sing anything? Spock. And it wasn’t even that emotional a moment. But I let it pass. 🙂

      As for overall story arcs, they’re whole premise for this series was a complete avoidance of serialized, season-long story arcs. That was for Discovery and Picard. SNW was always meant to have stand-alone episodes.

  5. Well, I didn’t exactly hate it, but, didn’t love it either. I’m with Jaden, give him a high five from me! 🙂 I guess my mother who loved musicals burn us out on them as kids? I did see a live performance of Fiddler on the Roof, when in elementary school, and do remember enjoying that. As far as lip syncing, I saw that a number of times it was noticable, but not horrible. La’an’s main song was probably best to me too. My biggest gripe, is the writers once again, used “Subspace” as the cause, as they did on Discovery, for the burn, which was just as dubious as this time. I’m still waiting for them to visit all those “Strange New Worlds”

    1. We’ve had quite a few strange new worlds this season (plus one strange old world…Earth). And I count episodes like “Lost in Translation” and “Charades” where we meet strange new aliens who live in space.



    “The next thing they did right was to turn the musical anomaly into the main plot. ”

    Amen, amen and amen.

    You echoed my reaction almost perfectly. A few notes:

    Once I uncoupled the heisenberg compensators, there was no technobabble or pseudoscience in this episode just as there never is in Trek. Spacial anomalies are a feature of the space-time continuum that we’ll run into all the time in the future. Personally I much prefer breaking into song compared to devolving into species that led up to us although that was not due to a spacial anomaly.

    And while SNW is an episode series, I appreciate that they don’t hit the reset button after an episode but keep continuity.

    There is one thing I want to ding someone other than the writers, actors for and that is the “tell” of the image that was used to advertise the episode. I grumbled just a wee bit waiting for the image to appear and finally realizing it was coming as part of the grand finale. But that was a minor nit.

    1. There were, surprisingly, very few places to grab a decent image of a performance scene…unless you were wanting individuals. But for ensemble shots, there was essentially the lounge scene with Chapel, the dancing redshirts in the corridor during the finale, and the final curtain call at the very end of the finale. So yeah, slim pickin’s for the episode advertisement.

  7. K(lingon) Pop, I am never going to get that out of my head.
    Good choice for the auto tune example. As soon as he(Remington Steele/Bond #6) started singing in the movie, I cringed.

  8. (It happened again… my comment didn’t post! After the “Verifying” business… blank page that never changed. This time, I copied it first, so I could paste & try again.)

    Once again, I find myself in significant agreement with your assessment, Johnathan. 🙂 I went into this expecting to cringe. I am definitely *NOT* a fan of musicals. AT ALL. 😉 BUT! The lyrics of the songs were TOTALLY spot-on! (It helps that we watch this show with the captioning on, so we get EVERY word, including the mumbles.) 😉

    LaAn’s song was very heartfelt. Spock’s “I’m the X” was a great mix of “Nerdy/Geeky” (Nod to Math Nerds everywhere!) as well as humorous, and also thoughtful. “I solved for Y, but I’m the X.” Cute, clever, funny double meaning there! 🙂 But to pick a FAVORITE song? That’s easy! Uhura’s solo in Engineering!! We watch TV using the big stereo for sound, because it sounds SO AWESOME that way. THIS EPISODE really brought that to the fore! The audio quality, recording, equalization, compression (and a bunch of other techno terms I know and could use, but won’t) 😉 was spot-on! (I worked for over 27 years in broadcast radio, so I know audio!) 🙂

    When my Wife and I re-watched “Rhapsody” the next day, I was looking forward to Uhura’s song, so I could CRANK IT UP!! WOW!!! GOOSEBUMPS!!! 😀 (The good kind!) So that was definitely my favorite. 🙂

    In summary, despite my personal dislike of musicals, the overall HIGH QUALITY of SNW encouraged me to give this one a try… and my Wife and I are both glad we did! We both liked it A LOT MORE than we expected! (Thus, the next-day re-watch.) Every song really MEANT SOMETHING, carried the story forward, and also was a character-revealing message. Overall, yeah, I’d give this episode an 8 out of 10. 🙂 That’s pretty high, in light of my normal dislike of musicals. 🙂

    BTW, I like the longer blogs! More info to dig into! 🙂

    1. I think Uhura’s Song was my second favorite of the episode. It was also an awesome Star Trek novel. 😉

      As for longer blogs, I’m glad you don’t mind them. That said, it’ll be nice not having to write them again for a bit…more free time!

  9. For those who aren’t familiar with the background on Una’s Gilbert & Sullivan references, her affinity for G&S is brought to life in the Short Treks episode “Q&A,” where Spock and Una belt out a spontaneous duet of “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General” while stuck in the turbolift.

    They have not spoken of this event until Spock alluded to it during Una’s court-martial in S02E02.

    The SNW musical episode expanded on that short take in a delightful and clever way. It would have been easy to slip into maudlin cliché during any of the emotional numbers — but the songwriters and performers exercised great restraint to not let this happen, making it (to me) one of the best episodes of the entire franchise.

    1. I found it interesting that Number One was the only crew member to get TWO numbers (not counting ensemble songs). The duet with Kirk was very much in the classic style of G&S or My Fair Lady of any of the earlier Broadway musicals. On the other hand, Una’s duet with La’an was straight out of “Wicked,” complete with defying artificial gravity.

      I’m glad you loved it, T lan.

      1. One other thing I found really interesting is that almost none of the songs end with an instrumental “tag” or resolved chord that brings the melody to an end … the melodies are left unresolved, with a spoken tag often being the last line of the song to segue back into dialogue. That was nicely done.

        I believe the finale number did resolve its melody, which is appropriate. 🙂

        Again, a well-crafted work!

  10. Feeling no shame at all that I bashed this on social media. There is no shame in calling out people who, after the abomination that was Discovery, promised us a new series that would be more like the original series — then stabbed us in the back, front, and ears. This is NOT in any way shape, manner, or form akin to TOS.

    I’m looking through my TOS library and not seeing ONE musical. And the fact that we had characters sing a song or two in the past (as real people do every single day) should not in any way be used to justify this abomination. One song does not a musical make, nor does it provide an excuse for a bunch of Broadway wannabes to vent their frustration on an existing fan base.

    What was worse was it caught me off guard. I missed all the promos for this. It was just Thursday night and time for a new SNW, so I eagerly fired up Paramount when I got home from work. 20 seconds into Spock singing, and I started cringing. When it “spread” and the rest of the crew joined in, I knew right then and there this was going to be stupid and shut it off.

    60 years we avoided “Trek the Musical.” I could have gone another 60.

    1. Wait, you didn’t even bother to watch the episode???

      Sorry, Mark, then you have no leg to stand on in criticizing it. None! It would be like me criticizing your cooking! I’ve never even tried your cooking. If you want to understand why almost no fan is criticizing this episode as you are, you’re gonna need to watch the rest of it. Otherwise, your complaints will just fall on deaf ears…or rather, since the rest of us so enjoyed those songs, it’s quite possible that we’re not the ones who are deaf.

      1. Interesting, that rant by Mark and your reply… I agree with you. At least I have made the effort to watch one (or sometimes more) episodes of something before deciding to utterly reject it. (Or embrace it.) I was already biased strongly against musicals going into this, so it’s like stepping into the batter’s box with two strikes against it! 😉 But… it hit an “Inside the park solo home run”. 😉 I can’t complain. It was surprisingly good. 🙂

        (That security check dropped to a blank page, again. Re-load, paste, and it worked.)

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