Jan 25, 2018

notes on "vaulting ambition"


Edited: Jan 25, 2018

- I am so loving that Glenn & Valerie have backgrounds in Latin, history, classic lit, humantities, etc., and that they’re totally bringing it during these podcast episode discussions. I was an English major so it feeds my soul! Lol


- The podcast’s references to Dante’s Inferno / descending into the Underworld actually made me think about another classic Underworld tale - that of Orpheus and Eurydice - and how that could be the direction we see Stamets and Culber go. Maybe Stamets will be presented with his own chance to bring back his lover, yet will succeed where Orpheus failed. I’m really hoping Culber can return however they choose to make it work. I’m still holding out hope. But if he’s still dead at the end of the season, then I may take to the streets! haha


- Like Valerie, I also scratched my head and had to rewatch L’Rell’s confusing explanation for creating Ash-Voq. I think what happened was, the writers were trying to use terminology which sounded more sciencey/ complex, and less writer-y/ pop culture easy. Really, all she had to say was “we used the real Ash Tyler’s DNA and memory template to make Voq look and think like Tyler.”


- While Disco’s fast pace and violence doesn’t bother me, that stuff does bother me in other shows (e.g. “Gotham,” which I quit long ago). It really is “The Walking Dead’s” fault. That show is so crazy successful, and network execs attribute much of it to its yuck factor; scenes so shocking that its core demo of 13 year-old boys rush to social media to talk about it - which helps immensely to create buzz. In such a competitive TV market, even Star Trek needs to stand out, especially if it wants a young male demo.


- Watch it with the soap opera insults! Lol As someone who wrote for “General Hospital,” I cringe when people criticize other TV as being soap opera-y. True, melodrama is the most famous tool which soaps employ, but they’re really much more than that. No fair slurring an entire genre just because, okay now and then, it’s more emotional or sensational than… well, realistic. Haha


- I happened to stumble upon the Twitter feed for Jordan Nardino, the writer of “Vaulting Ambition,” and look what I found - his own detailed explanation for Mirror Georgiou’s imperial title!




“home & tired after a long day breaking S2 of #StarTrekDiscovery but I MADE A PROMISE so here's a thread explaining emperor georgiou's titles in episode 12, Vaulting Ambition.


‘All Hail her most Imperial Majesty, Mother of the Fatherland, Overlord of Vulcan, Dominus of Kronos, Regina Andor, All Hail Philippa Georgiou Augustus Iaponius Centarius.’ But what's it mean??!?


When we began digging into the Terrans last year, I had just read a newer history of Rome and was excited to use it as inspiration. (SPQR by Mary Beard, check it out.) Here's some of the titles Roman Emperors used: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_emperor#Titles_and_positions


So into her titles: - Father of the Fatherland is easy, we turned that into Mother of the Fatherland (even tho we de-gendered Emperor, it felt right) - Overlord of Vulcan: an early conquest of the Terrans, they see themselves as their protectors. It's paternalistic / delusional.


- Dominus of Kronos: Terrans are very proud of conquering Qo'noS. Dominus is a harsher title the Emperor at the time took as a result (and Georgiou kept for herself). 'We OWN them.' Qo'noS mispronounced out of cultural chauvinism.


- Regina Andor: Andoria is a jewel in the Terran crown. Subjugated warrior race. Early Terran conquest, pre-Sato. The title was created to celebrate this achievement. Now as for Georgiou's many names...


'Philippa Georgiou Augustus Iaponius Centarius.' Philipa Georgiou: her given name and her family name, just like Prime. Augustus: the Terrans see themselves as inheritors of the Roman Empire so their Emperors take the title of its first Emperor.


Iaponius is Latin for Japanese. This (in my fever dream) is a title Hoshi Sato adopted when she named herself Empress, to honor her homeland. 'So is Georgiou descended from Hoshi!?' Well...


Hoshi was Empress. 100 years later, Georgiou is Emperor. Georgiou took one of Hoshi's titles as her own to connect them. So Hoshi's legacy as Empress must be good and Georgiou must either be connected to her in a chain of succession or might want to create that connection.....


But they have different ethnic backgrounds. Hoshi is Japanese, Philipa is Chinese-Malaysian. So I don't think it's likely Philipa is a direct descendent like a great-grandchild. Cousins is possible. More likely tho...


..whoever inherited Hoshi's throne was someone she adopted as a child & heir, the way most Roman emperors did. And that Emperor adopted his/her heir, and so on, until we get to Georgiou. And she is proud of the connection and flaunts it with the title Iaponius. But...


...it's not canon until it's on screen so that's just one writer's opinion. As for Centaurius, I figured it was the first system colonized by the Terrans since it's closest to Sol so it was a title the Emperor at the time took in tribute. Hope someone found this informative! END”

Jan 25, 2018

Oh wow, thank you for finding that! I really like this explanation of Iaponius, though I would never have gotten there because Romans didn't inherit names like that -- each individual had to earn his or her own extra names. I think it's very interesting that Terrans do inherit them, and I want to know more about it. And I wonder what names Lorca will take once he succeeds Georgiou next week. And Hoshi! I wish we'd had more of that on screen. Maybe there's a chance that we can get an Enterprise Mirror Universe miniseries. Also, when I'm done writing my own book about Roman history I'm going to send a copy to Jordon Nardino in the hopes that some it will make it into the Mirror Universe.


I love this idea of Stamets and Culber as Orpheus and Eurydice. It won't happen, but when I read your suggestion, my first thought was "does that mean Anthony Rapp will get to sing?" But here's something I've been thinking about from a meta perspective regarding Stamets and Culber. If, as I think we all predict, the spore technology isn't going to work out in the long run, why does the show need Stamets to come back for the second season? But we'll always want a doctor character right? So if there's any sacrificing to be done, is it possible that Stamets's Orphic tale will involve him descending to the underworld and offering himself up in exchange for Culber? I.E., it will be Prime Stamets who sacrifices himself to save Culber?


And I'm so sorry to have insulted soap operas! Without soaps, we wouldn't have Jonathan Frakes, so I certainly meant no disrespect. And as you suggest, it's not a good comparison if we're complaining about a lack of motivation for Georgiou. Really, that's more in line with pulp literature in which villains are villains just because and their objectives don't derive from their character traits. If we see more of this, I'll refer to her as a Bond villain instead (though I hope we actually get a motivated character). Also, that must have been an incredibly fun writing job and I'd love to know more.


And I while I have complaints about skipping some of the moral and ethical questions, I can't fault the producers for telling the story this way. They're trying to get the show and a whole new network off the ground, and that means attracting viewers and, as you say, creating buzz. I'm all for a fast-paced story arc here to keep the show alive and give us the opportunity for a slightly slower pace as the show progresses.







Jan 25, 2018

I want to chime in and agree with Dave that your deep dives into all the Greek and Latin stuff is great. I "minored" in classics in college (we didn't have real minors, but called them "concentrations") so I recognize most of the obvious references, but I don't actually have any formal Latin or Greek language skillz and I really love learning about how they connect to the historical/mythological references!

Jan 27, 2018Edited: Jan 27, 2018

BionicDave strikes again! This is a *fantastic* post and we are all enriched by you having taken the time to type it up and put it out there. Thank you so very, very much!


-This Orpheus hypothesis (both the suggestion offered by BionicDave and the follow up from Glenn) is my new new obsession. It’s one of my favorite myths, and I think it makes a lot of sense here. I do agree that the only hope I was holding out for Culber pulling through somehow as a character was that Stamets keeps returning to visit him, though something would obviously have to go wrong with that at some point. Perhaps Stamets lies to his fellow crewmen about why he is returning so often, and the whole Stamets-is-addicted-to-spores narrative continues?


To Glenn’s point, it’s a beautiful thought, but it’s troubled by the fact that the ship seems to have several other doctors of the same rank, right?


-As for the violence and the fan service, I’d be really interested to know how this is working out for them. There are so many articles about people rage-quitting the show. Are these just diehard Trek fans that are upset and writing lots of articles? Is CBS actually bringing in and holding onto new viewers? Are most of them teenage boys? Anecdotally, I have noticed that the violence and the “not-so-classic-Trek-ness” of the show bothers new viewers less than it does long-time fans.


-Let me second Glenn’s apology! You make an excellent point and I will be more thoughtful before using that terminology in that way again. I’m curious, BionicDave, did you also feel that Georgiou’s character was a bit off in this episode? We were very much struggling to describe that feeling, and I’d love to hear how you would describe it in more appropriate and accurate language, if you felt similarly. (Also, you wrote for General Hostpial?! Tell us more!)


-Amazing insight into the Emperor’s titles - thank you so much for sharing! Looks like Jordon Nardino wrote an episode of Gilmore Girls (“You’ve Been Gilmored”). It was Season 6, so I guess we can’t fault him with bringing Logan into our lives just because he wrote one episode, can we? :)


P.S. chrissam42: “Latin skillz” is what I put as the title of my undergrad degree on my resume.

New Posts
  • I had missed some of the bonus content and am finally getting to your coverage of S1 ep1 Caretaker. I've really enjoyed it. I have seen the first 3 or 4 seasons back when they originally aired but haven't seen any since then. I can't say that Voyager stuck with me, it's my least favorite Trek. So my question for anyone is: What are the 5-10 best episodes of Voyager?
  • I am not the biggest Voyager fan. The series never lived up to the potential I thought it had. So my disappointment in it is all on my end as a viewer. That being said I recently watched the premiere episode again and was impressed by how good it was. The intro starts with a text crawl that looks like it came from a 16 bit video game. Its terrible. I don't think it was needed, some other contextual clue would have been better. The intro then drops us right in the action with Maquis being chased by Cardassians and disappearing. This is more action than most episodes get right off the bat. The main function of a premier is to show us the crew, the ship and the setting. Voyager does an excellent job introducing the crew. Disgraced officers, rebels and a mix of new and veteran Starfleet personnel promises for an interesting show. Captain Janeway is fully fleshed out from the get go, they did a great job making her character feel real for the audience. The cameo by Quark is also very well used, setting up a crucial friendship between Paris and Kim. They spend enough time and give us something about all of our main cast here which is a very strong start. The ship doesn't need alot of time and doesn't get it. It can't compare to the Enterprise so they don't try. It's a smart choice. The plot in how they ended up in the situation is where this gets a little thin. I actually think they would have been better served by making the alien more incomprehensible rather than a hologram that babbles. Janeway makes a difficult and understandable choice, but if I was a crewman I would be mightily pissed off. This is a strong start for the series and is the second best premier, after DS9, in my opinion. It was way lower for me prior to this rewatch, so I am somewhat surprised by Voyager here.

Claytemple Media is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.