The Comedian

The Twilight ZoneStruggling comedian Samir Wassan bombs on stage with his usual brand of political humor, and then has a chance encounter with one of his comedy heroes, a man who had it all and then all but vanished from public view. He can’t resist asking for pointers, and is told to use more personal anecdotes from his life…and then to be ready to let those stories go forever. Part of Samir’s next routine concerns his dog…who has disappeared by the time he gets home. In fact, his girlfriend doesn’t remember ever having a dog. Her nephew, after helping him post flyers for his lost dog, accompanies him to the comedy club the next night, and becomes part of the act as well…only to vanish from existence when his name is mentioned. After overcoming an initial wave of guilt, Samir begins mentioning more names in his act, settling old scores, and each time, erasing someone from existence. It’s too late to stop and return to his dead-on-arrival political humor, but Samir’s only beginning to discover how erasing people from history with a mere mention can change the history of those around him. His comedy career on the rise, even Samir’s skeptical peers admit he’s killing it. They just don’t realize how many he’s killing to do it…until someone discovers his secret.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Alex Rubens
directed by Owen Harris
music by Marco Beltrami and Brandon Roberts
original Twilight Zone theme by Marius Constant

The Twilight ZoneCast: Kumail Nanjiani (Samir Wassan), Amara Karan (Rena), Diarra Kilpatrick (Didi Scott), Ryan Robbins (David Kandel), Tracy Morgan (J.C. Wheeler), Marc Joseph (Deven), Toby Hargrave (Joe Donner), Danny Dworkis (Pete), Jacob Machin (Bartender), Briana Rayner (Candy Gower), Darcy Michael (MC), Sean Hewlett (Will), Brendon Zub (Gabe), Harry Han (Finance Bro #3), Melanie Rose Wilson (Waitress), Bryron Bertram (Murray), Lesley Mirza (Marjorie), Khamisa Wilsher (Drunk Woman), Willy Lavendel (Drunk Man), Ryan Beil (Ventriloquist), Jane Stanton (Standup Comic #3), Jordan Peele (The Narrator)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Nightmare At 30,000 Feet

The Twilight ZoneInvestigative journalist Justin Sanderson, fresh from a nightmarish assignment in Yemen and turbulence in his personal life, takes on a new reporting assignment in Tel Aviv, boarding Northern GoldStar Flight 1015. Justin finds an MP3 player left behind by a previous passenger, containing a podcast…about the mysterious disappearance of Northern GoldStar Flight 1015 over the Atlantic. He begins listening and is alarmed when such events as a bird striking one of the plane’s engines is described more or less in real time, and he starts trying to alert the plane’s crew and fellow passengers to what he believes is imminent disaster. But for all the disturbance he causes, the only threat perceived by anyone is Justin himself. One fellow passenger, however, does believe him. Claiming to be a former airline pilot himself, he has the skills necessary to turn the plane around and avert disaster…if only Justin can help him break into the cockpit.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Marco Ramirez
story by Simon Kinberg, Jordan Peele and Marco Ramirez
based on the teleplay and short story Nightmare At 20,000 Feet written by Richard Matheson
directed by Greg Yaitanes
music by Marco Beltrami and Brandon Roberts
original Twilight Zone theme by Marius Constant

The Twilight ZoneCast: Adam Scott (Justin Sanderson), Chris Diamantopoulos (Joe), Dan Carlin (voice of Rodman Edwards), Katie Findlay (Flight Attendant), Nicholas Lea (Captain Donner), China Shavers (Air Marshal), J. Cameron Barnett (Flight Attendant), Nabil Ayoub (Fawwaz Khalidi), Hana Kinani (Sadeen Khalidi), Greg Zach (Suspicious Punk), Vladimir Ruzich (Tsezar), Alexander Mandra (Igor Orlov), Demelza Randall (Mandy), Emanuel Mokhtari (Fadi Khalidi), Arkie Kandola (Omesh Singh), Tarun Keram (Tanveera Singh), Tim Howe (TSA Agent), Brea Schneider (Gate Attendant), Jordan Peele (The Narrator)

The Twilight ZoneNotes: Among the wreckage that has washed onto the shore from the downed plane is a stuffed animal of the gremlin glimpsed in the original Twilight Zone episode Nightmare At 20,000 Feet (1963). That original episode – which wasn’t made and aired until early in the original series’ fifth and final season – had already been remade once in the 1983 Twilight Zone movie. This is a much more significant reworking of the story, bringing in such 21st century elements as “true crime” podcasts, TSA patdowns, and suicidal airline pilots. We eagerly await Enigmatique’s podcast on the mystery of Oceanic Flight 815.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Through The Valley Of Shadows

Star Trek: DiscoveryStardate 1048.66: A new signal appears over the planet Boreth, home to a secretive Klingon monastery. Tyler contacts Chancellor L’Rell, and she warps to meet Discovery at Boreth to discuss Discovery‘s mission. She reveals that the monks of Boreth also act as protectors of a rare commodity – raw time crystals – but if Tyler shows his face, or identifies their son, her relatively peaceful reign over the Klingon Empire could come to a quick and bloody end, along with any hope of peace with the Federation. This convinces Pike that he must to negotiate for a time crystal, but to gain one, he will have to endure a rite of passage – seeing his own future – that has driven others insane in the past. When a Section 31 ship fails to check in on time, Saru assigns Burnham and Spock to investigate, and they find a drifting ship surrounded by the dead, frozen bodies of its crew…with the exception of one survivor, a former Shenzhou crewman recognized by Burnham. But the ship’s computer awakens, under the thrall of Control, and it wants one thing: to take over Michael Burnham so it can gain access to the alien sphere data.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Bo Yeon Kim & Erika Lippoldt
directed by Doug Aarniokoski
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), Mia Kershner (Amanda), Mary Chieffo (L’Rell), Ethan Peck (Spock), Tig Notaro (Commander Jett Reno), Kenneth Mitchell (Tenavik), Rachael Ancheril (Lt. Cmdr. Nhan), Emily Coutts (Lt. Keyla Detmer), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Lt. Gen Rhys), Oyin Oladejo (Lt. Joann Owosekun), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Lt. R.A. Bryce), Sarah Mitich (Lt. Nilsson), Ali Momen (Specialist Kamran Gant), Julianne Grossman (Discovery computer), Ian James Corlett (Section 31 computer), David Benjamin Tomlinson (Linus), Byron Abalos (Trainee #1), Olivia Croft (Trainee #2)

Star Trek: DiscoveryNotes: Captain Pike’s future had been described in some detail in part one of The Menagerie (1966), and though some fan films have shown their own versions of the events described, this is the first time in studio-produced Star Trek that we have seen those events play out. (His eventual return to Talos IV in The Menagerie Part 2 is not shown, so Pike is deliberately choosing a future which he believes has no hope.) Tenavik says that the time crystals’ name in the Klingon language is the namesake of their home planet, Qo’nos, which provides a handy explanation for humans’ tendency to refer to Qo’nos as “Chronos” (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country). Boreth was first seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation (Rightful Heir, 1993), though in the 24th century, the monks had turned their attention to manipulating both genetics and politics to create a clone of Kahless, with no mention made of time crystals, so it is unknown if the crystals are still under the watchful eye of the monks by the time of Worf’s visit a century later. (Tenavik’s rapid aging, on the other hand, puts Alexander’s to shame.) L’Rell has apparently succeeded in shepherding the familiar D-7 battlecruiser design from the drawing board into production within a year. The stardate for this episode is not given in the episode itself, but in the season finale, Such Sweet Sorrow Part 2.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Such Sweet Sorrow Part 1

Star Trek: DiscoveryStardate 1051.8: Discovery’s crew evacuated to the Enterprise as Saru and Pike set the ship to auto-destruct…but the attempt to scuttle Discovery proves unsuccessful, as the alien sphere data has now integrated itself fully into the ship’s computer, allowing it to once again protect itself from deletion or destruction. Burnham proposes a new course of action: a new time suit will be built, which she will pilot, with Discovery programmed to follow her into the far future. A new signal appears near the planet Xahea, home of Tilly’s friend Po (who happens to be the planet’s queen), who shares some of her planet’s technology to help arm Discovery for the fight ahead and prepare the time crystal for use in a new time suit. Several members of Discovery‘s crew, as well as Nhan and Spock from the Enterprise crew, volunteer to stay aboard to ensure that the ship survives long enough to reach the future. Ash Tyler, however, readies himself for another mission – making sure that Control is eradicated from Section 31 forever.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Michelle Paradise & Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman
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), Jayne Brook (Admiral Cornwell), James Frain (Sarek), Yadira Guevara-Prip (Po), Mia Kershner (Amanda), Tig Notaro (Commander Jett Reno), Ethan Peck (Spock), Rebecca Romjin (Number One), Sonja Sohn (Dr. Gabrielle Burnham), Alan Van Sprang (Leland), Rachael Ancheril (Lt. Cmdr. Nhan), Emily Coutts (Lt. Keyla Detmer), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Lt. Gen Rhys), Oyin Oladejo (Lt. Joann Owosekun), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Lt. R.A. Bryce), Sara Mitich (Lt. Nilsson), Julianne Grossman (Discovery computer), Samora Smallwood (Lt. Amin), Hanneke Talbot (Lt. Mann), Chai Valladares (Lt. Nicola), Nicole Dickinson (Yeoman Colt)

Star Trek: DiscoveryNotes: Scenes from the Short Treks episode Runaway are shown as part of the recap. This is the first glimpse of the Enterprise bridge in Star Trek: Discovery, complete with tactile controls cast from the replicas created by James Cawley and company for the bridge set of the Star Trek: New Voyages fan series (which, following the release of a stricter set of fan film guidelines, ceased to be a working set and became the CBS-licensed Star Trek Original Set Tour attraction). Yeoman Colt makes a fleeting appearance, having evidently stayed aboard the Enterprise and stayed at the same rank since The Cage.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Sanctuary

The OrvilleWith the potential for another Kaylon invasion attempt still looming, the Moclans upgrade the weaponry of the Union’s Explorer-class ships, including the Orville. Two visiting Moclan engineers draw Bortus’ attention with an unusual power drain in their quarters, and Bortus discovers that they are powering a stasis unit with an infant Moclan female, trying to smuggle the child away from Moclus, where she would likely undergo mandatory corrective gender-change surgery. Bortus agrees to keep their secret as they transfer to another ship, but also wants to show Topa that it is possible for Moclans of more than one gender to coexist. Topa, however, tells Klyden, who reports Bortus’ secret to Captain Mercer. Following the ship to which the Moclans transferred, the Orville plunges into a dense nebula and finds a solar system that is home to an entire colony of Moclan females. The scope of the problem is bigger than any command decision Mercer can make, and he takes the leader of the colony to Earth to plead the case for sovereignty. In response, the Moclans threaten to secede from the Union, taking their weapons technology with them and leaving Earth open to Kaylon conquest.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Joe Menosky
directed by Jonathan Frakes
music by Andrew Cottee

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), Jessica Szohr (Lt. Talla Keyali), J Lee (Lt. John LaMarr), Mark Jackson (Isaac), Chad L. Coleman (Klyden), Victor Garber (Admiral Halsey), F. Murray Abraham (Chairman), Ted Danson (Admiral Perry), Rena Owen (Heveena), Ron Canada (Admiral Tucker), Kelly Hu (Admiral Ozawa), Tony Todd (Moclan Delegate), Regi Davis (Korick), Shawn T. Andrew (Toren), Marina Sirtis (Teacher), Emerson Brooks (Moclan), Cameron Knight (Moclan), Blesson Yates (Topa), Madelyn Grace (Olivia), Bo Kane (Alien Delegate), Kathrin Middleton (Retepsian Delegate), Mark McClain Wilson (Xalayan Delegate), Yvonne Senat (Osaia), Hanani Taylor (Moclan Girl), M.C. Sanders (Moclan Soldier #1), Jerrell Pippens (Moclan Soldier #2)

The OrvilleNotes: For those still keeping track, it’s Star Trek guest star overload, with none other than Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Counselor Troi) replacing Cassius as the Orville’s schoolteacher. Tony Todd, who played the role of Worf’s brother Kurn on both The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, appears as a Moclan here, while F. Murray Abraham (Star Trek: Insurrection) is the Xelayan president of the Planetary Union. All of the show’s admirals to date appear together here. Heveena was first seen living in exile on Moclus in season 1’s About A Girl, but was apparently already running a kind of underground railroad for unaltered Moclan females at that time (and long before). The episode is directed by Sirtis’ Next Generation co-star Jonathan Frakes. Sirtis reportedly had to shoot her scenes within 24 hours of being hired for the part due to a scheduling crunch with other projects to which she was already contractually obligated.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Replay

The Twilight ZoneAttorney Nina Harrison is on her last road trip with her son Dorian, en route to take him to his first day at college. She intends to document everything with a somewhat outdated camcorder she inherited from her late father. But en route to the school, the Harrisons are pulled over by a white police officer who seems determined to give them a ticket for something – and he becomes particularly agitated at the sight of the camcorder recording him, reaching for it. In the struggle, Nina hits the “rewind” button by accident, but it’s not the videotape but time itself that rewinds. Determined to avoid letting the same sequence of events replay itself, Nina tries to do things differently – repeatedly – but despite taking different routes, or even getting off the road altogether, the policeman is always there, and with each successive attempt to change the course of events, he becomes more aggressive and violent toward Dorian. Nina has it in her power to rewind through the past, but can she ever change Dorian’s future?

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Selwyn Seyfu Hinds
directed by Gerard McMurray
music by Marco Beltrami and Brandon Roberts
original Twilight Zone theme by Marius Constant

The Twilight ZoneCast: Sanaa Lathan (Nina Harrison), Damson Idris (Dorian Harrison), Steve Harris (Uncle Neil), Glenn Fleshler (Officer Lasky), Candus Churchill (Mabel), Zari Diango (Dorian’s Daughter / Dream Daughter), Keon Boateng (Dream Son), Henry Mah (Medical Examiner), Samantha Spatari (Morgue Assistant), Jocelyn Panton (Lottery Announcer), Blake Stadel (Police Officer), Jordan Peele (The Narrator)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Such Sweet Sorrow Part 2

Star Trek: DiscoveryStardate 1201.7: Surrounded by Leland’s Section 31 fleet – all under the thrall of Control – Enterprise and Discovery launch their full complement of shuttles (modified to serve as fighters) and prepare to cover for Burnham when the suit is ready to make the time jump. The Control AI proves to be equally useful in modifying its resources, literally carving up the hulls and other materials of Section 31’s armade to create a cloud of deadly drones, putting sheer numbers on Control’s side of the battle. Stamets is critically injured when Discovery takes a direct hit, and Culber, opting now to stay on Discovery with him, induces a coma to stabilize him. The suit is completed, but Burnham is unable to jump directly to the future without first going back in time to send the signals that Discovery‘s crew had already sighted and explored – each of which led to a change of events vital to the current battle. Klingons and Kelpiens, the latter flying commandeered Ba’ul fighters, join the battle, responding to a request for assistance transmitted by Tyler. Leland, no longer human but now the physical embodiment of Control, boards Discovery and begins desperately searching for the sphere data, and is instead repeatedly attacked by Georgiou and Nhan. A torpedo lodges into the Enterprise‘s saucer section without immediately exploding, though Admiral Cornwell finds that nothing can stop that eventuality, and sacrifices her life to close off the affected section to save the ship. Burnham completes sending the first five signals, and the suit’s control system now allows her to deliberately set a course for the future, which she does, sending the sixth signal as a signal flare for Discovery to follow and the heavily damaged Enterprise covers her escape. Discovery’s next stop is 930 years into the future: the 32nd century, and the last anyone in the 23rd century sees of it is a brilliant flash.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Michelle Paradise & Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman
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), Jayne Brook (Admiral Cornwell), Mary Chieffo (Chancellor L’Rell), Yadira Guevara-Prip (Po), Mia Kershner (Amanda), Tig Notaro (Commander Jett Reno), Ethan Peck (Spock), Rebecca Romjin (Number One), Alan Van Sprang (Leland), Rachael Ancheril (Lt. Cmdr. Nhan), Emily Coutts (Lt. Keyla Detmer), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Lt. Gen Rhys), Oyin Oladejo (Lt. Joann Owosekun), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Lt. R.A. Bryce), Sara Mitich (Lt. Nilsson), Raven Dauda (Dr. Tracy Pollard), Julianne Grossman (Discovery computer), Star Trek: DiscoveryZarrin Darnell-Martin (Nurse), Glenn Hetrick (K’Vort), Thom Marriott (Council Member), Hannah Spear (Siranna), Samora Smallwood (Lt. Amin), Hanneke Talbot (Lt. Mann), Kyana Teresa (Doctor), Chai Valladares (Lt. Nicola), Nicole Dickinson (Yeoman Colt)

Notes: Pike, Spock (who is finally seen clean-shaven and in uniform), Tyler, and Number One all recount to Starfleet incident investigators that Discovery exploded, and all knowledge of Discovery‘s existence, unusual technology, and crew is stricken from the official record, possibly in response to a steady stream of canon-fixated fans’ complaints about Discovery having “anachronistic” technology and other visual elements. (Some editorial thoughts on this development can be found here.)

LogBook entry by Earl Green