The Escape Artist

Star Trek: Short TreksStardate not given: A Tellarite bounty hunter buys wanted man Harry Mudd from a fellow bounty hunter, partly to settle a personal score, and partly to hand Mudd over to the Federation for a fat reward. But Mudd’s fast-talking ways aren’t slowed by this setback, and he’s already plotting his next escape…assuming he needs to escape at all.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Mike McMahan
directed by Rainn Wilson
music by Jeff Russo

Cast: Rainn Wilson (Harry Mudd), Dan Abramovici (Guard), Harry Judge (Tellarite), Barbara Mamabolo (Bounty Hunter), Myrthin Stagg (New Guard), Jonathan Watton (Federation Officer)

Short TreksNotes: Writer Mike McMahan’s popular parody Twitter account detailing unlikely (but funny) scenarios for a never-made eighth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation led to an officially published book, Warped: An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and his influence on the Star Trek franchise would continue from here to the first comedy-focused spinoff in the franchise, Star Trek: Lower Decks, also produced for CBS All Access. He has also been a production assistant on such animated shows as Drawn Together, South Park, and Rick & Morty, the latter of which he has also served as a writer.

Short TreksLatinum is already the currency of choice for those 23rd century soldiers of fortune who need it, long before it became a favorite of Deep Space Nine‘s Quark. Though Tellarites appeared in the Star Trek: Discovery episode The Wolf Inside, this is the first time a Tellarite has been the focus of a Star Trek episode since the Enterprise episode United in 2005. Careful examination of the extra Mudds reveals that Harry is already wearing fashions for which he will become famous, or at least infamous, in the future, echoing costume designs from the Star Trek episodes Mudd’s Women and I, Mudd.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Primal Urges

The OrvilleBortus is the last member of the Orville’s crew that Captain Mercer would expect to have attendance problems, and yet the normally stoic Moclan is asking to leave nearly every shift early…and is arriving in his quarters very late every evening. When Bortus’ spouse, Klyden, attempts to kill him – the Moclan method of initiating a divorce – Dr. Finn is able to save Bortus’ life, over his protests. Mercer has Klyden thrown into the brig and finally begins to demand answers, but since the incident has disrupted routine duties aboard a Union ship, the captain refuses to acknowledge the lethal divorce proceedings, instead “sentencing” Bortus and Klyden to couples counseling. But Bortus still has a secret – he’s been using the holographic simulator aboard the Orville to satisfy some base desires…and his appetite for doing so may put the entire ship, and a high-stakes rescue mission, in extreme danger.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Wellesley Wild
directed by Kevin Hooks
music by John Debney

The OrvilleCast: Seth MacFarlane (Captain Ed Mercer), Adrianne Palicki (Commander Kelly Grayson), Penny Johnson Jerald (Dr. Claire Finn), Scott Grimes (Lt. Gordon Malloy), Peter Macon (Lt. Commander Bortus), Halston Sage (Lt. Alara Kitan), J Lee (Lt. John LaMarr), Mark Jackson (Isaac), Chad L. Coleman (Klyden), Kelly Hu (), Lesley Fera (), Mike Henry (Dann), Michael C. Mahon (Altox), Darren Dupree Washington (Simulated Moclan), Jude B. Lanston (Moclan Prison Guard), Veronica Matheu (Nyxian Girl), Gavin Lee (Henry Park), Joseph Johnson (Moclan Doctor), Michael James Lazar (Moclan #1), Torrance Jordan (Moclan #2), Aaron McPherson (Crew Member)

LogBook entry by Earl Green


The OrvilleThe Friday night arm wrestling match between Isaac and Alara has become part of the Orville‘s routine, but on this occasion Isaac overdoes it, breaking Alara’s arm. In sick bay, while mending the broken bone is a fairly easy procedure, medical scans reveal that Alara, accustomed to operating in the higher gravity of her home planet, is losing both bone and muscle mass in Earth-normal gravity. Before long, she will have lost the increased strength that Xelayans display in lower gravity, and the only prognosis is a return to her home planet to reacclimate – and Dr. Finn can’t be sure how long that will take. As Captain Mercer begins the dreaded process of looking for a temporary replacement for his security chief, Alara begins the even more dreaded process of spending time with a family whose disdain for her non-academic pursuits has alienated her. At the Kitan family’s beach home, a neighbor’s report of a possible break-in provides some relief for Alara: at least she’s in her element doing security work, even while confined to a zero-gravity wheelchair. But the crime that has been reported is not the crime that has been committed, and soon Alara and her entire family are hostages to a man who blames Alara’s father for the death of his son. Still weakened by her condition, Alara may have to resolve the hostage crisis at the cost of returning to the Orville.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Cherry Chevapravatdumrong
directed by Jon Cassar
music by Joel McNeely

The OrvilleCast: Seth MacFarlane (Captain Ed Mercer), Adrianne Palicki (Commander Kelly Grayson), Penny Johnson Jerald (Dr. Claire Finn), Scott Grimes (Lt. Gordon Malloy), Peter Macon (Lt. Commander Bortus), Halston Sage (Lt. Alara Kitan), J Lee (Lt. John LaMarr), Mark Jackson (Isaac), Molly Hagan (Drenala Kitan), Candice King (Solana Kitan), Robert Picardo (Ildis Kitan), John Billingsley (Cambis Borrin), Kerry O’Malley (Floratta), Patrick Warburton (Lt. Tharl), Jason Alexander (Olix), Norm MacDonald (Yaphit), Chris Flanders (Serris)

The OrvilleNotes: It’s a battle of the network Star (Trek doctor)s! Returning guest star Robert Picardo (who was the holographic doctor in all seven seasons of Star Trek: Voyager) is pitted against a character played by John Billingsley, who played Dr. Phlox in all four seasons of the successor to Voyager’s UPN time slot, Star Trek: Enterprise. Patrick Warburton (The Tick, A Series Of Unfortunate Events) appears as Alara’s heir-apparent, though he and his external esophogeal trunk wouldn’t be permanent fixtures aboard The Orville.

LogBook entry by Earl Green


Star Trek: DiscoveryStardate not given: Moments after receiving a distress signal from the Enterprise, Discovery receives a request from Captain Christopher Pike to beam aboard. Crippled in space by an inexplicable system-wide failure, the Enterprise has suffered serious damage, and Pike has orders from Starfleet Command to temporarily assume command of Discovery due to an impending crisis. The crew is somewhat skeptical of the unscheduled change in command, given that their previous captain turned out to be a treacherous impostor from a parallel universe, but the emergency at hand – the sudden emergence of seven simultaneous signals in different parts of the galaxy, emitting a powerful signal – demands an extraordinary response.

The one signal out of seven that can be tracked leads Discovery into a dangerous field of asteroids and debris, with a crashed Starfleet medical ship at its epicenter. Pike and Burnham lead an extremely dangerous rescue mission to see if there are survivors aboard the ship, finding the haggard engineer Commander Reno in her tenth month of keeping critically wounded survivors of the Klingon war alive with nothing more than whatever is still working in her downed ship. Burnham is nearly stranded amid the wreckage ensuring the escape, but Pike refuses to leave her behind – and just before he arrives, she sees an inexplicable apparition in a red haze. Other asteroids in the vicinity are causing the spores grown for Discovery‘s now-disused spore drive to react, and Tilly decides a sample is needed…in the form of an entire small asteroid. The Enterprise‘s damage is determined to be severe enough for it to be towed back to spacedock, and Captain Pike is assigned to remain in command of Discovery. Burnham hopes there will be time for her to visit her brother, Spock, aboard the Enterprise… but Pike reveals that Spock hasn’t been aboard for quite some time.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Ted Sullivan & Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts
directed by Alex Kurtzman
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek DiscoveryCast: Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Lt. Commander Saru), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Anson Mount (Captain Christopher Pike), James Frain (Sarek), Mia Kershner (Amanda), Tig Notaro (Commander Jett Reno), Hannah Chessman (Lt. Commander Airiam), Emily Coutts (Lt. Keyla Detmer), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Lt. General Rhys), Oyin Oladejo (Lt. Joann Owosekun), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Lt. R.A. Bryce), Ethan Peck (Spock), Sean Connolly Affleck (Lt. Connolly), Rachael Ancheril (Commander Nhan), Arista Arhin (young Burnham), Raven Dauda (Dr. Tracy Pollard), Julianne Grossman (Discovery Computer), Liam Hughes (young Spock), Sara Mitich (Lt. Nilsson), David Benjamin Tomlinson (Linus)

Star Trek DiscoveryNotes: Not to be confused with the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Brothers (1990), Brother plunges head-first into the task of connecting the dots between Discovery and the rest of Star Trek continuity, including the revelation that the Enterprise’s five-year mission of exploration under Pike took it beyond the reach of the Klingon war depicted in the first season of Discovery. Stamets’ ethno-botanist former colleague aboard the Enterprise may or may not be one Hikaru Sulu, who didn’t appear in The Cage (set four years prior to this episode) but may well have been aboard. Saru’s sister Siranna (Short Treks: The Brightest Star) is mentioned as well. A transporter operator aboard Discovery appears to be wearing what may be a bulkier (primitive?) version of the VISOR worn by Geordi La Forge in The Next Generation. Commander Nhan, a member of Pike’s crew from the Enterprise, is a Barzan (TNG: The Price). Pike’s service record appears on Discovery‘s main viewscreen, allowing us to see that he took command of the Enterprise from its first commander, Captain Robert April (Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Counter-Clock Incident), and served under April prior to that.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

New Eden

Star Trek: DiscoveryStardate not given: Burnham reveals Spock’s personal log entry – and its coded message – to Captain Pike. Spock not only knew of the signals, but of their locations, before any of them were detected by Starfleet. But Pike has more troubling news: Spock took a leave of absence to check himself into a psychiatric ward due to whatever was troubling him. Discovery is diverted to an unexplored planet in the Beta Quadrant which is the source of the newest signal, necessitating use of the spore drive. But despite an alarming distress signal, the planet is home to a peaceful, pastoral, and most importantly pre-warp human civilization. Pike, Burnham and ops officer Joann Owosekun beam down incognito to find out how a human settlement reached this far into deep space before the invention of warp drive. What they discover is a group of survivors of World War III who have no idea how they got there. A sudden displacement of radioactive particle from the planet’s rings threatens all on the surface – including the landing party – with extinction, but Pike’s absolute adherence to the Prime Directive forces a monumental decision: are Discovery and her new captain here to save a civilization, or witness its destruction without interference?

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Vaun Wilmott & Sean Cochran
story by Akiva Goldsman & Sean Cochran
directed by Jonathan Frakes
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek DiscoveryCast: Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Lt. Commander Saru), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Anson Mount (Captain Christopher Pike), Sheila McCarthy (All-Mother), Andrew Moodie (Jacob), Bahia Watson (May Ahearn), Hannah Chessman (Lt. Commander Airiam), Emily Coutts (Lt. Keyla Detmer), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Lt. Gen Rhys), Oyin Oladejo (Lt. Joann Owosekun), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Lt. R.A. Bryce), Raven Dauda (Dr. Tracy Pollard), Julianne Grossman (Discovery Computer), Noah Davis (Lieutenant in 2053), Kira Groulx (Rose), Claire Qute (Teen May Hologram)

Star Trek DiscoveryNotes: The mention of a Third World War in Star Trek’s otherwise hopeful vision of the future first appeared in the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, with Picard’s identification of Q‘s kangaroo court based upon the near-anarchic state of law in the “post-atomic horror” of the 21st century (fortunately, if you’re reading this, you’re only in the pre-atomic horror). Later incarnations of Trek carried this idea forward, particularly the movie Star Trek: First Contact and numerous episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. Even after Earth rebuilt itself following these events, there wasn’t a universal embracing of a technological lifestyle, as Lt. Owosekun is said to have grown up in “a Luddite collective”. No one in this episode ever refers to the Prime Directive, only Starfleet’s General Order One. The Beta Quadrant has long been known to be where portions of the Romulan and Klingon Empires are located, but the New Eden settlement is much further into the Beta Quadrant – 51,000 light years from Federation territory in the Alpha Quadrant, or, for comparison, roughly 2/3 of the distance that the U.S.S. Voyager would be flung into the Delta Quadrant in the 24th century. (Clearly, events yet unseen rule out further development or use of the spore drive technology by Voyager‘s time, otherwise the rescue of Captain Janeway’s crew would have been a simple matter.)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Point Of Light

Star Trek: DiscoveryStardate 1029.46: A Vulcan diplomatic ship registered to Sarek catches up with Discovery, but rather than welcoming Sarek aboard, Burnham finds herself welcoming Amanda aboard. Having stolen encrypted files related to Spock’s internment in a mental care facility on Starbase 5, she wants Burnham to break into them, since no one at the facility is willing to divulge anything related to Spock’s condition, even to his next of kin. When Captain Pike contacts the commander of Starbase 5, he learns that Spock has supposedly murdered his caretakers and fled – a claim that neither Burnham nor Amanda believe…and neither does Pike. Ensign Tilly’s behavior is becoming increasingly erratic as she continues communicating with what appears to be her childhood friend May, someone who no one else can see. Tilly’s unusual behavior puts her command-track career in jeopardy.

On the Klingon homeworld, Ash Tyler is an outsider by any measure. As consort to recently-crowned Chancellor L’Rell, his very presence is constantly challenged by her political rivals and allies alike. What no one outside House Mokai knows is that Tyler is Voq, the former Klingon torchbearer remade in the image of a human and given a new set of memories. Tyler is stunned when he discovers that L’Rell and Voq had a child, a baby boy whose skin is the same unusual pale white as Voq’s. This news – gleaned from a microscopic listening device – is also a surprise to Kol-Sha, the father of the Klingon leader who died in the battle at Pahvo during the war. Kol-Sha intends to use this information to force L’Rell to abdicate her throne, allowing him to ascend to the head of the High Council. Another damning piece of evidence Kol-Sha intends to use is that Tyler has recently contacted Burnham, warning her that L’Rell’s position as Chancellor – and therefore the tenuous peace between the Federation and the Klingon Empire – are in danger. But while help does arrive for Tyler and L’Rell, it comes from an unexpected source – one with an unthinkable list of its own demands.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Andrew Colville
directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek DiscoveryCast: Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Lt. Commander Saru), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Anson Mount (Captain Christopher Pike), Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou), Mia Kershner (Amanda), Alan Van Sprang (Leland), Mary Chieffo (Chancellor L’Rell), Kenneth Mitchell (Kol-Sha), Bahia Watson (May Ahearn), Hannah Chessman (Lt. Commander Airiam), Emily Coutts (Lt. Keyla Detmer), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Lt. Gen Rhys), Oyin Oladejo (Lt. Joann Owosekun), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Lt. R.A. Bryce), Julianne Grossman (Discovery Computer), Xavier Sotelo (Captain Diego Vela), David Benjamin Tomlinson (Linus), Pay Chen (Starfleet Psychiatrist in Recording), Damon Runyan (Ujilli)

Star Trek DiscoveryNotes: The Klingon monastery on Boreth will later be the site of the apparent return of Kahless himself (TNG: Rightful Heir, 1993), as witnessed by Worf among many others. In the purely speculative department, it may or may not be significant that, after Voq, the only albino Klingon seen in the Star Trek franchise is the one hunted down by Kor (a relative of Kol and Kol-Sha), Koloth, and Kang to assert their right of vengeance for the Albino’s killing of each man’s firstborn son (DS9: Blood Oath, 1994), with help from Jadzia Dax. (At the time Star Trek: Discovery takes place, the Dax symbiont is part of Torias Dax, a thrill-seeking Starfleet test pilot, and not Curzon Dax, the diplomat who would help negotiate peace between the Klingons and Federation in the late 23rd and early 24th centuries, and who joined Kor, Koloth, and Kang in a pact to seek out the unnamed Star Trek: Discoveryalbino Klingon to avenge their sons’ lives). L’Rell and Tyler are revealed to be the architects of the Klingon D-7 battle cruiser, a design first glimpsed in Elaan Of Troyius (TOS, 1968), carried through the animated series and the Kirk-era movies, and even seen briefly in Star Trek: The Next Generation (Heart Of Glory, 1988), though this may be the D-7 Mark II as a completely different design was identified as the D-7 in Discovery’s first season. Kenneth Mitchell played Kol in the first season of Discovery, returning to play the role of Kol’s father here. Alan Van Sprang first appeared as Section 31 operative Leland in a short scene released directly to YouTube following Discovery’s season one finale in 2018.

LogBook entry by Earl Green