Distant Origin (VOY S3 E23)

Published on: 9th January, 2024

Distant Origin (VOY S3 E23) was recommended by Toledo, who says:

"1. The theme of "people discovering that their past is different, interesting, and complicated" is a favorite of mine

2. The idea of humans finding, basically, cousins in space is really cool (and raises so many unknown questions, like "how did they get there?")

3. It's one ST episode that deals with issues of religion/mythology, and shows how those are used to structure power and identity in complicated ways (as well as how folks moving to change ingrained narratives run afoul not JUST of power, but of identities)

4. I recently watched the 1968 Planet of the Apes and was struck by the parallels to Distant Origin: conflicts over "doctrine," over personhood and rights, over history; but Chakotay is a much better person than Charleton Heston's character.

5. It's always fun when Starfleet runs into super-powerful alien races

6. For an episode that's a parable paralleling "intelligent design" vs. evolution conversations, it misunderstands evolution HILARIOUSLY. And I think that's important: you can make significant points without being accurate in every respect. (In this sense, it's like "Darmok," where the linguistics make NO sense but the emotions do.)


Distant Origin first aired on April 30, 1997, written by Brannon Braga and Joe Menosky, and directed by David Livingston

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About the Podcast

The Joy of Trek
Every Star Trek story is somebody's favorite, and that might as well be us!
Two lifelong besties (and their trusty engineer) adventure through the vast constellations of Star Trek's decades on TV, especially the lesser-loved stories.

But instead of bitching about why they’re bad, we’re going to find the joy in each of them, because everybody loves the great episodes, but it takes dedication, insight, and hard-working fools to love the clunkers too.

And by Jove, we are those fools!

Positive, inclusive and optimistic (though not uncritical!) we try to find the brilliance even in the least-loved episodes of our favorite TV shows!