S01E06. Subspace Rhapsody

Before the Future Came podcast art with a painting of a space station interior in the background that evokes a starburst
Before the Future Came
S01E06. Subspace Rhapsody

It might be time to change our paradigm. Lucy brings “Subspace Rhapsody,” the ninth episode of season two of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, written by Dana Horgan and Bill Wolkoff and directed by Dermott Downs. Like “Sarek,” this episode has the crew overwhelmed by their emotions and forced to express them in unproductive ways. We discuss connection, authenticity, and imperial communication. We also talk about genres, theme and variation, secrets and lying, K-pop (Klingon pop), retcons, and the nature of musical episodes.

(The transcript for this episode is in progress and will be added to this post when it’s ready.)

For images discussed in this episode, visit the episode page on our website.

Please let us know what you think about the show! Hail us at onscreen@beforethefuture.space, contact us on social media, or comment on our website at beforethefuture.space.


  • La’an Noonien-Singh hooks up with an alternate version of James Kirk in Strange New Worlds S02E03, “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow.”
  • The Original Series confronts race in several episodes, including S03E12, “Plato’s Stepchildren” (which includes an interracial kiss) and S03E15, “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” (which features bigotry between a race that is white on the left half and a race that is white on the right half).
  • Strange New Worlds retells LeGuin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” in S01E06, “Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach,” which has a society’s prosperity dependent on one child’s suffering.
  • Spock mindmelds with a rock (a Horta) in S01E26, “The Devil in the Dark.”
  • Nyota Uhura is promoted from cadet to ensign between seasons one and two of Strange New Worlds.
  • Second contact is depicted as involving the installation of a subspace communications array starting in Lower Decks S01E01, “Second Contact.”
  • The Nexus is entered via a temporal energy ribbon in the film Star Trek: Generations.
  • Whalesong plays a central role in the film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
  • Una Chin-Riley is arrested for hiding her status as an augment in Strange New Worlds S01E10, “A Quality of Mercy,” and is tried and exonerated in S02E02, “Ad Astra per Aspera.”
  • Klingon opera is first mentioned (as far as we can find) in The Next Generation S05E08, “Unification II.” Another Klingon musical genre, acid punk, is depicted in Lower Decks S02E03, “We’ll Always Have Tom Paris.”
  • Klingons first appear as swarthy, smooth-foreheaded humanoids in The Original Series S01E27, “Errand of Mercy.” In the film Star Trek: The Motion Picture, they appear with cranial ridges. Starting in Enterprise S04E15, it’s revealed that the TOS-era smooth foreheads are the result of the Augment virus. In Discovery S01E01, “The Vulcan Hello,” Klingons appear more alien than either their TOS or post-Motion-Picture designs, although this difference becomes less dramatic later in the series. By Strange New Worlds S02E01, “The Broken Circle,” Klingons are very similar to their Motion Picture design. The alternate-universe film Star Trek Into Darkness has its own unique Klingon design.
  • Christine Chapel tries to drug Spock in The Animated Series S01E10, “Mudd’s Passion,” finds an android recreation of her husband in The Original Series S01E09, “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”, and helps Spock through his pon farr in TOS S02E05, “Amok Time.”

Works cited:

  • Arnold, L. (2024). Forging communities in contested spaces: Critical media literacy as a social justice practice. In Teaching for equity, justice, and antiracism with digital literacy practices (pp. 87-103). Routledge. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781003430209-8/forging-communities-contested-spaces-lucy-arnold
  • Mackenzie, W. (Director) & Fordham, D. (Writer). (2007. Jan. 18). My musical (Season 6, Episode 6) [TV series episode]. In Lawrence, B., Goldman, N., Donovan, G., Hobert, T., Quill, T., Callahan, B., Braff, Z., Bycel, J., & Groff, J. (Executive producers), Scrubs. Doozer Productions; Touchstone Television.
  • Swift, T. (2024) I can do it with a broken heart [Song]. On The tortured poets department [Album]. Republic.
  • Takegami, J., Kamisaka, H., & Yonemura, S. (Writers). (1999-present). One piece [TV series]. Toei Animation.
  • Whedon, J. (Director & Writer). (2001, Nov. 6). Once more, with feeling (Season 6, Episode 7) [TV series episode]. In Whedon, J., Greenwalt, D., Noxon, M., Fury, D., Kuzui, F. R., Kuzui, K. (Executive producers), Buffy the vampire slayer. Mutant Enemy Productions; Sandollar Television; Kuzui Enterprises; 20th Century Fox Television.
  • Wright, B., Cooper, R. C., & Binder, C. (Executive producers). Stargate universe [TV Series]. Acme Shark Productions; MGM Television.

Our next episode will cover Lower Decks S01E09: “Crisis Point,” written by Ben Rodgers and directed by Bob Suarez, and S03E08, “Crisis Point 2: Paradoxus,” written by Ben Rodgers and directed by Michael Mullen.

Before the Future Came is edited by Lucy Arnold, transcribed by Melissa Avery-Weir, and webmavened by Gregory Avery-Weir.

Our theme is “Let’s Pretend” by Josh Woodward, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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