Upper Pylon 2 – 5 x 16: Doctor Bashir, I Presume?

This week on UP2, the Matts take over the podcast to talk about the episode where we finally lay to rest the untold background of the good doctor, with a little Voyager cross-over thrown in for good measure with “Doctor Bashir, I Presume?”

Dr. Lewis Zimmerman, the creator of the Emergency Medical Hologram, comes to the station to make Bashir the model for a new Longterm Medical Holographic Program. Unfortunately, a secret from Bashir’s past may harm him, both with the LMH program, and with his future career in Starfleet. Meanwhile, Rom struggles about revealing his feelings about Leeta.

What did you think of this episode, and the retconning of Bashir’s backstory? Be sure to let us know with your feedback!


Author: DeltaQuadrant

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1 Comment

  1. I thought the two Matts gave this episode’s A-story short shrift. I have always considered this episode an excellent exploration of parents and children, their mixed motivations, and their struggle to understand one another’s viewpoints. Smonsky says he has a different understanding of the episode now that he’s a parent, yet he fails to see how Julian is still stuck in a simplistic view, in large part because – as his mother tells him – he is not a parent, so he cannot understand. While the primary motive of Julian’s parents was to help their suffering child, they must also at some level have had a desire to have a “better” son. If you’re a parent, you can’t completely separate those two motivations (as Smonsky will learn as his son grows older). Julian, for all his brilliance and empathy, had no empathy for his parents. He still felt it from his 6-year old self’s point of view: that they didn’t love the son they had been given. And of course, to a certain degree he was right. They loved him, but…they wanted to change him.

    I also thought his Dad’s character was fascinating, deeply flawed but fundamentally a good person who raised a good son. His bombastic personality and inability to take responsibility rang very true, which is why the ending – where he sacrifices himself to help Julian – is so poignant.

    One other point: the concept of “breaking the fourth wall” does not refer to characters speaking into the camera. It refers to characters speaking directly to the audience, i.e., acknowledging their own fictional existence. In this episode, the characters were speaking to Zimmerman who was off camera, and the scene was filmed from Zimmerman’s point of view. I don’t believe Star Trek ever breaks the fourth wall.

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