Unusual New Worlds Delivers On A Main Unmade Star Trek: TNG Episode

Quantity One and Physician M’Benga’s struggles to remedy the Enterprise crew mirror these of David Gerrold’s proposed TNG season 1 episode “Blood and Fireplace.”

Warning! SPOILERS for Star Trek: Unusual New Worlds episode 3 “Ghosts of Illyria.”

Star Trek: Unusual New Worlds season 1, episode 3 “Ghosts of Illyria” has revisited key themes from an notorious unmade episode of Star Trek: The Subsequent Era. The episode finds the crew of the Enterprise visiting an deserted Illyrian colony, solely to turn into contaminated with a mysterious virus. Because the Illyrians have been barred entry into the Federation as a consequence of their controversial work with genetic engineering, discovering a remedy for the crew proves troublesome for Physician M’Benga (Babs Osulanmokun), Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush), and Quantity One (Rebecca Romijn.)


This dilemma mirrors that of David Gerrold’s proposed TNG season 1 episode “Blood and Fireplace,” which was deserted for causes that Gerrold places right down to homophobia. Given Star Trek‘s historical past of addressing social and political points, Gene Roddenberry and govt producer Rick Berman have been eager to proceed this custom in The Subsequent Era. Because the world was within the grip of the devastating AIDS pandemic, it was felt that Star Trek ought to try to deal with the unfairness and concern that surrounded it. Gerrold’s “Blood and Fireplace” was an try to just do that, however remained unproduced till it was tailored for the fan-made collection Star Trek: New Voyages. 

RELATED: Star Trek: Unusual New Worlds Isn’t A TOS Throwback – It’s The New TNG

“Ghosts of Illyria” repurposes parts from David Gerrold’s unmade “Blood and Fireplace.” That episode would have seen an Enterprise-D away crew uncovered to Regulan blood worms. Starfleet laws dictate that any ship that comes into contact with these creatures ought to be destroyed to be able to cease the an infection from spreading. This basic horror-tinged Star Trek plotline serves as a thinly veiled allegory for the stigma surrounding AIDS within the late Eighties that is finally resolved by way of blood donation. It was Gerrold’s intention to confront each authorities inaction round AIDS, in addition to tackling the general public concern round giving blood. Whereas “Ghosts of Illyria” is much from being an adaptation of “Blood and Fireplace,” the scene the place Quantity One, Chapel, and M’Benga focus on an Illyrian blood transfusion as a attainable remedy for the virus covers very comparable themes to people who Gerrold was tackling in his unmade TNG episode.

Number One, Chapel, and M'Benga discuss a cure in Strange New Worlds

Quantity One, who’s revealed to be an Illyrian, gives Chapel and M’Benga her blood to be able to remedy the crew of their sickness. The one subject is that it might go in opposition to Starfleet laws to make use of Illyrian blood, given their historical past of genetic modification. “Ghosts of Illyria” is due to this fact additionally an episode about stigma, depicted in how Starfleet and the Federation have stigmatized the Illyrians for his or her use of genetic augmentations. This prejudice is rooted within the lengthy shadow solid by the Eugenics Wars, highlighted in one of many episode’s closing scenes by which Quantity One and La’an (Christina Chong) focus on the latter’s harrowing childhood experiences of bullying for being a descendant of one in all Star Trek‘s best-known villains, Khan Noonien-Singh.

Nevertheless, whereas Chapel sees previous this prejudice, recognizing that they are operating out of choices for locating a remedy, Physician M’Benga has some unhealthy information. Even when they have been to go in opposition to Starfleet laws, Quantity One’s genetically engineered physique is designed to filter out an infection, which means that there is not sufficient blood with which to synthesize a remedy. Regardless of this disappointment, M’Benga repeats a number of the considerations that knowledgeable Gerrold’s “Blood and Fireplace.” Particularly the fears round blood donation, he talks of the human discomfort with receiving Vulcan blood, noting that concern and prejudice are nonetheless current within the Federation’s utopia. In tackling the damaging results of stigma and prejudice on each societal progress and healthcare, Star Trek: Unusual New Worlds has lastly delivered on David Gerrold’s unmade Star Trek: The Subsequent Era inside the official Star Trek canon.

NEXT: Unusual New Worlds’ Quantity One Twist Reframes Star Trek: TOS

Star Trek: Unusual New Worlds streams Thursdays on Paramount+.

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