11 thoughts on “Zocalo: Spoiler-free Discussion of “The Quality of Mercy””

  1. This is one of the better stand-alones of Series 1, good theme mirroring of the main plots . That Family Robinson sure are ass-kickers.

    I love the kiwi fruit at the bar: must give that a go, shaven of course…“What?”

  2. I remember watching this episode the first time (original airing), and I was blown away by the time travel aspect of this ep. Zathras is an interesting character, but I don’t quite get all the love shown for him. And for the podcast, I love hearing others from the Doctor Who realm crossing over to comment. Podcest – it’s a good thing. 😀

  3. I too think that this is one of the best season 1 eps – and holds up as one of the best ‘stand alone’ eps of the whole series. Whilst not dealing with epic time travel or ancient machines on dead planets like the previous episodes – its great scifi dealign with how technology can and should be used, with some great character writing.

  4. Couple of instances of SF TV writing disease, which stand out because B5 is relatively good about avoiding this sort of thing: a machine that transfers “life energy” and a made-up disease called “Someone’s Syndrome.”

    Aside from that, this is a decent standalone, with a really nice tonal balance between Grim And Serious A-plot and the Wacky Hijinks B-plot.

    It’s doing a remarkable amount of world-building for an episode that (even in the Lurker’s Guide order) is near the end of the season. The Londo-and-Lennier story couldn’t have been put onscreen before both characters were established. But the main could – maybe should – have been one of the very first episodes.

    1. And it’s a tiny thing, but I love the scifi trope of 2 real + 1 fake (“he’s right up there with Newton, Einstein or K’Thruhhr”) so I enjoyed the mention of “everything from the common cold to Stafford’s disease”.

      IIRC there’s a few more choice uses of the trope in seasons to come 🙂

      1. “You’ll be remembered with Newton, Einstein, Surak…” – David to Carol Marcus, ST 2:TWOK. Newton and Einstein are popular for that specific trope, it appears! (And, I must say, bonus points to Trek for having someone fake but already established in their own mythos to go to for slot #3).

    2. I did a double take at that too. I feel like I heard at somepoint they use something other than a base 10 number system. Does anyone know?

  5. I was a really annoyed at Steven, when he comes around and then tells the daughter she should be proud of her mother: “She is, but YOU are the %#&* badmouthing her, dammit!”

  6. Wish someone had pointed out in the podcast the unintentionally hilarious moment when Talia Winters puts a little black band on her Psi Corp badge before going to scan the prisoner.

    It’s hilarious firstly to think this may have come about in the Corps because a black armband would be unnoticeable on the Psi Cops, and secondly because: is it a black band of respect, or is it supposed to be a wee little blindfold so the badge can’t see what’s about to happen?

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