To Go Boldly


#463

I like the episode because it really isn’t clean and it doesn’t work out for anyone in the end, which is not a tng writing trademark. It’s a good riker character piece: his tradmasc penis hero complex completely overwhelms him and he eats shit for it even though nobody on the enterprise is really willing to stop him partially because Star Trek, like, never approaches gender outside of this episode. Star Trek never really approaches queerness at all outside of like, token white dude pride-parade characters. It’s a huge blind spot.

It’s like the writers realized how bad their approach (angle?) was on this topic and they ended up acknowledging it in-episode. It’s not often that the show really points to the flaws of its core cast in a serious way. Riker gets a lot of serious shade thrown on him in this one and Frakes handles it alright.

They’re fumbling the ball on this one but the play is good, or at least it’s interesting.

Pulaski is awesome, deserved another season. Diana Muldaur refused to be made a potted plant


#464

Please PLEASE watch deep space 9 cause this statement is way off

Between jadzia dax and elim garak it has some of my fav queer characters


#465

yeah i guess yr right. i do watch a lot of DS9. i had somehow forgotten about garak!


#466

I’d also heard that it was hard to get gay/lesbian/trans characters on TV back then, because they were still so entrenched in network garbage and had to make compromises. I doubt that was the only reason, but, it didn’t help.

I remember in Babylon 5, the second-in-command Ivanova fell in love and slept with another of the main characters, the commercial telepath Talia. They never showed the kiss on-screen, they just showed the morning after, and later, Ivanova talking about how she she loved her. But, of course, almost immediately after the Kill Your Gays trope seemingly kicked in and Talia died - the actress apparently wanted off the show and so they accelerated it and then concluded it.

“We had it growing since the very first episode of the first season. The relationship was about all of that mutual antagonism that really means they’re attracted.” Regarding a kiss that was never showed, Michael J. Straczynski added: “I didn’t show a kiss because, in my experience, it’s easier on all around if one steps into the shallow end of the pool first, and walks into the deep end rather than diving in and splashing everybody in the process.”

So, sucks that they didn’t push boundaries on that front, like Trek did with the first interracial kiss on TV. Hard to tell what the hell he meant by “splashing everybody in the process” - was he afraid of the network, or was he afraid of turning off audiences?

Also, it’s never been directly stated why Talia’s actress Andrea Thompson left. Maybe she didn’t want to do a part like that? I wonder if it was a fear back then that actresses that played lesbian or bi characters would get typecast or something. Could’ve been anything.

Christian suggested in several interviews that if Thompson hadn’t decided to leave the show, the relationship would have been developed further, over a longer period of time. Because Thompson wished to leave, it was escalated relatively suddenly and brought to an end in Divided Loyalties.

“I think that if Andrea Thompson had not left, we would have definitely explored the relationship further. That was the intention, but because she wanted to get out, we had to wrap it up quickly” (SFX, July 1997).

Both actors spoke positively about the relationship. Christian told The Official Babylon 5 Magazine (Dec 1997):

“I’ll be quite honest, I was like the lesbian poster child; I got a lot of people writing to me from the armed forces and so forth, who loved the fact that they thought I was going to be gay. I’m not gay in real life, and I don’t think I’m gay on the show, but I definitely think she had some kind of thing with Talia. I think a lot of gay women were hoping for that, and I didn’t want to disappoint them; I thought it would be fun… Then Andrea left the show, so that’s why it never came to fruition. The only reason it didn’t go further is because we had to get rid of the character because Andrea wanted to leave. It could have been a long relationship.”

In Signs and Portents, she described the bar scene in the first episode:

“I think it was good in showing [Ivanova’s] very tough facade slowly etched away by this person who has such insistence in talking to her. It was one of the nicer moments in Babylon 5, one of the most tender. And it was heavily laced with sexual overtones when we were shooting it because Andrea and I were just joking around so much”.


#467

I need to finally watch DS9 start to finish, because seeing it out of sequence, Garak just comes across as a weasily effeminate stereotype. I just caught that Mirror Mirror episode where Worf has him on a leash the whole time…


#468

I guess gay/effeminate Garak is just one of those things I’m too out of touch to recognize, 'cause all I’ve got is he’s a tailor? Which mainly for me just culminates in that wonderful moment where he says “Do you know what the sad part is, Odo? I’m a very good tailor.”


#469

i feel like there might be one line that canonically implies he is not straight but afaik it’s mostly just out of control Garak/Bashir shipping


#470

I kinda love the idea that in the mirror universe, every straight person is gay and every gay person is straight


#471

The writers intended Garak to be gay. This was cannon in the first episode he appears in. However execs didn’t like it so they had to back off that idea. They continue to imply it through Bashir and Garak’s interactions for the rest of the series though.


#472

this post would rub me the wrong way even if it weren’t an established view of the writers and the actor that garak was gay.

To describe a reasoned interpretation of a character as ‘out of control shipping’ is really dismissive. I mean how would it feel if someone described your multi paragraph exegesis about the politics in star wars prequels as out of control fanfic navel gazing? And that’s an example of something even less grounded in the source material than reading Garak as a gay character

It diminishes and erases queer characters in any pre-modern media to dismiss interpretations of those characters as “slash fanfic”

Freshly Remembered: Kirk Drift

whereas slashers are made to feel their chagrin for the most hesitant claims of queer possibility (they don’t even go full Eve Sedgwick on this shit, when they obviously could). No matter how textually supported an extra-hetero interpretation is, it’s illegitimate and “crazy” (feel the gendered force of that hysteria accusation). Meanwhile, these male and female characters had eye contact so they’ve for sure fucked. I mean, he was a boy, she was a girl, could I make it aaaany more ooooobvious??

in other words, let people read characters obviously coded as queer as queer without dismissing that reading. After all, you’ve built an entire complex political universe out of “like six lines over eight hours of unwatchable bullshit” in the star wars prequels

PS Sorry if this comes across as too harsh. Its just annoying to me because reading garak as hetero requires far more assumptions than otherwise.


#473

I’ve been quoted in a Tulpa burn post. I have arrived


#474

which is funny because deep space 9 itself had an actual on screen queer kiss and it had this response:

When the episode was originally broadcast, there was a strong negative reaction from some viewers. As Deep Space Nine was shown in syndication, one channel in the Southern United States took the step of editing out the kiss from the initial broadcast. Echevarria’s mother told him that they should have issued a parental guidance warning before broadcasting it.

So… I dunno, its impossible not to read JMS as being cowardly on babylon 5 when star trek ds9 was commiting itself to queer representation literally at the same time as b5 was on the air


#475

No you’re totally right: I should have clarified that I am fully on board with this reading of Garak, I meant it to be at least partially self-deprecating but obviously didn’t give it enough thought.

I definitely don’t have any interest in reading the character as hetero, just that I didn’t think there were any overt references to any aspect of his sexuality. I shouldn’t have worded that post so dismissively though and you’re right to call me out.

I also didn’t know that this was part of the original idea for the character, it’s too bad they weren’t able to go through with it.

Thanks for bringing my star wars opinions into this though I have never felt like I’m given enough shame for them to justify all the time I waste on those posts.


#476

Well, I will say that the character Jax kissed never showed up again, and the context around that episode was that it was two people - Torias Dax and Nilani Kahn - who were straight male and female, continuing that original love through a new body. It wasn’t really a gay relationship, it was two women having a passionate moment because their previous hosts were in a straight male/female husband/wife relationship, and they held the memories of that. ON TOP OF THAT, there might’ve been a legit attraction, but they don’t let you clearly tease the two apart with the way they’ve set the situation up.

JMS definitely was probably just cowardly in not showing anything, but, they actually had two female characters develop feelings for each other as they were and pursue a romantic relationship. So, I’d say both were good for different reasons - one was the shocking visual of a loving kiss between two women, even if the context of that kiss was muddled, the other was an adult relationship developing between two friends over a long period of the show.


#477

Part of trek’s differing context is that the trill dont actually have homosexual or hetero relationships because their bodies change so often that their sexuality isnt circumscribed by physical features (this is explicitly stated in the tng episode where they’re introduced but that episode isn’t very good)


#478

One of my favorite things about the DS9 episode is that Kira and Bashir talk about Dax possibly reuniting with her old partner.

Throughout this conversation Kira keeps asking Bashir why they can’t be together, because there is literally no reason they shouldn’t be together in her mind.

The reason in episode is because Trill are supposed to have different relationships in different lifetimes. Both of the women being…well…women doesn’t even occur to Kira and Bashir as a reason they couldn’t be together, implying queer couples are totally normal things in Starfleet, and even in a highly religious alien culture!

DS9 is awesome.


#479

Oh man. They really put their foot on the floor.


#480

Oh my god the episode 11 preview showed Sarek with a goatee

This rules.

Shame on them for gay burying, though.


#481

i’m down with the mirror universe stuff in general, it’s always fun to see the crew act a fool on these eps

i still honestly love the fact that they made up a whole pretend actor for voq but they could have tried a little harder i guess

yeah that one scene was the fucking dumbest shit they coulda done also the creators are saying that later culber might not be totally dead because of some mushroom magic i guess to reassure people

also like stamets having a whole new random doctor like they seemed like they were going to do would have solved this dumb issue


#482

we started DS9. i still think there’s some clumsy acting in the pilot (probably still better than the TNG pilot i haven’t seen in years), but this show is clicking with me a lot better this time around. Past Prologue sold me

i wish this show got whatever remastering-treatment netflix’s copy of TNG has. these blurry washed-out colors are so sad coming off of that