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Mission Log #32 – Episode 032 – The Changeling

The Enterprise encounters Earth’s first deep space probe, but something is different. Instead of discovering new life, it wants to wipe all wipe out all imperfect life. How will Kirk and crew escape? Find out when “The Changeling” goes in the Mission Log.

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  • One of the frequent messages of SF and Star Trek is that technology is good, but potentially dangerous. Technical advancements are worthwhile, but we must be cautious. Of course, for dramatic reasons, most of the advancements that are the subject of episodes do go badly, because if it works there’s no drama. Hey look: We built a machine and it works fine. Shrug.

    Here’s the thing: Nomad isn’t an example of this storytelling because it’s a broken machine. Nobody ever advances the idea that Roykirk should never have made Nomad. That’s because the idea of a collision with an alien probe causing a merging of programming is not foreseeable. Until it was damaged, nothing was wrong with Nomad.

    That’s also why Kirk doesn’t have to give a “people are great” speech: Because the only thing advancing a counter argument is an insane, broken robot. Nothing Nomad opines is valuable because it’s a garbled mishmash of unrelated directives.

    Also, I think that, rather than being wiped, Uhura’s memories were masked and it’s like using an old MSDOS undelete tool to simply bring back the old memories. They probably started with her native language stuff and were working on the English stuff as we met her progress in that “blooey” scene. It’s the equivalent of admonishing someone for speaking English in Spanish class. Realistically, if her memory was really wiped, there’d be no way to restore her experiences and personality and she’d not be able to resume her position on the ship.