So I’m still on my sabbatical from the ODeck for health and moving reasons, but it’s just too weird not to write about this at the moment.

I’ve been watching Voyager (while recuperating) for purposes of writing an article for people who want to get an idea of what to expect from Bryan Fuller’s upcoming Star Trek series by watching the episodes he wrote or oversaw.

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But I’m watching this one episode that I had forgotten about, and it has transported me back to February 2000. The episode “Tsunkatse” was actually a UPN crossover promotional effort to create media synergy between their two properties: Star Trek: Voyager and WWF Smackdown!. Seven of Nine is kidnapped by some aliens with a battle ship that flies around the galaxy and streams holograms of their fighters/prisoners into Pay-Per-View fighting event arenas onto different worlds. They’re basically a rebel alien Fight Club star ship crossed with PPV and illegally stealing and streaming both cable and aliens, the latter of which they throw into the fighting ring in order to make money (I guess).

It’s weird, right? It gets weirder. The episode is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s first real acting job. He has a little cosmetic work done to make him look a little bit like an alien, but he’s really still just The Rock (“Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?”) being The Rock doing his at-that-time very popular wrestling moves on a Star Trek show, including “The Rock Bottom” and “The People’s Eyebrow” while beating the crap out of Seven of Nine (played by Jeri Ryan).

This is weird right? Johnson’s now a globally famous mega-movie star with a successful HBO show to boot. (Jeri Ryan still has very successful television career.) And here I am trying to put together a primer for Bryan Fuller’s upcoming Star Trek series. Instead I’m transported back to February 9, 2000, when the UPN still existed and Dwayne Johnson was just “The Rock” and not at all an actor.

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Some of this has to do with the cough syrup I’m having to take (under doctor’s orders), I think. I’m glad the episode is over now because while it was quite nostalgiac to be back in the mentality of the pre-9/11 American days’ society, it hurts too much to stay too long because things were so much simpler then, in a certain way, a geeky way. Sci-fi television shows were about hope and examined social issues. Now they’re about Orwellian surveillance and dystopia. Maybe this is the real reason why time travel hasn’t been invented yet; it’s just too painful, too difficult to go back to the simpler times because we’d be too tempted to stay there and divest ourselves of our responsibility in the modern global surveillance state that nips away at our rights and privacy bit by bit, day by day, and we all have to fight for it with every waking breath and word. Maybe. Maybe. It also could be because modern physics still says it’s impossible. And, again, this cough syrup is probably playing a role in things too.

Other guest stars of note in this episode were two actors who have big character roles on DS9: Weyoun (played by Jeffrey Combs) and Klingon General Martok (played by J.G. Hertzler). This also tripped me out hearing their very familiar voices under very unfamiliar alien facial prosthetics.

I hope you all are doing well out there in the universe. As for me, I’m/It’s getting better all the time. Better, better, beeeeeter.