Unexpected: A Slip on the Wrist

At the start of Strange New World the crew was feeling stir-crazy waiting for an alien planet they could explore and finally get one. Here they meet their first new species since the Klingons and unwittingly get a little too friendly.

Chief Engineer Trip gets knocked up. They go through the usual unexpected pregnancy humor: a loose shirt to hide the bulge, emotional outbursts, eating for two. Yet something feels missing with how he – and those around him – deal with the pregnancy.

He had no idea the “game” he had played with the alien was “sexual”. Upon finding out that his body was responsible for the survivor of another life, all he wanted was to cut ties and hand it off to its mother. His primary concern was how it would look to the other crew members, being taken advantage of by a strange visitor and becoming a “single mother” in the engine room.

All feelings are valid. We feel what we feel and it’s our own job to deal with them. My feeling is that what could have been an interesting exploration of a human male becoming pregnant was undercut by cheap/sexist jokes, a lack of recognition regarding the issue of consent, and Trip seeking only to wash his hands of all responsibility which forces him to seek out the mother (none of the child’s DNA is his after all, and – given that it was the 90s – there’s no way they were going to touch on the issue of abortion).

What I’m saying is that:

  1. They missed the mark, and I had rather they just ripped off the storyline of Arnold Schwarzenneger impreganting himself with Emma Thompson’s baby than do what they did; and,
  2. I am getting all sorts of stir-crazy for an episode of ENT that makes me want to write a sonnet.