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

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

Q&A

Star Trek: Short TreksStardate not given: A new science officer beams aboard the Enterprise to begin a life-changing tour of duty. Ensign Spock, a young half-Vulcan, proves to be surprising to Number One as she escorts him to the turbolift that will take him for his first visit to the Enterprise‘s bridge. A turbolift malfunction strands the two in an almost inaccessible space within the ship, and this gives Spock time to ask his new superior questions – lots of them. And every question he asks gives Number One more answers about the Enterprise‘s newest officer.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Michael Chabon
directed by Mark Pellington
music by Nami Melumad

Cast: Rebecca Romijn (Number One), Ethan Peck (Spock), Anson Mount (Captain Pike), Samora Smallwood (Lt. Amin), Sarah Evans (Upjohn), Jenette Goldstein (Enterprise Computer)

Short TreksNotes: This episode is set an unspecified number of years prior to The Cage, and even longer before the second season of Star Trek: Discovery. Other senior officers sitting on Spock’s shoulders will have similarly bad luck tampering with the Enterprise‘s wiring (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier). Spock’s shouting is a callback to Leonard Nimoy’s atypical first performance as the character in The Cage. Number One’s name is acknowledged here to be Una, a name first established in the 50th anniversary trilogy of novels published under the banner Star Trek: Legacies; the name was picked both as a tribute to occasional Trek novelist Dr. Una McCormack. The episode is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Robert Chabon, the late father of writer Michael Chabon, and was premiered with no prior warning during the weekend of 2019’s New York City Comic Con, which featured a heavy Star Trek presence. It’s also the first Star Trek episode title featuring the letter Q by itself which does not feature John de Lancie’s character from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Voyager, and the first Star Trek television story in 53 years whose music was composed by a woman.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Trouble With Edward

Star Trek: Short TreksStardate: breakfast: Former Enterprise science officer Lynne Locero is promoted to Captain and given her own command – the science vessel U.S.S. Cabot. Her pre-departure pep talk from Captain Pike, however, barely begins to cover the realities of command – in particular, a problematic science officer aboard the Cabot, one Edward Larkin. The ship’s crew has been tasked with finding a solution to a planetary food shortage, and Larkin obsessively fixates upon a defenseless species called tribbles as a means to ending the famine. Larkin proposes genetically manipulating the creatures so they reproduce rapidly, but Captain Locero wants to explore options that don’t involve killing and cooking the tribbles, or otherwise violating their rights to exist. Unbowed, Larkin proceeds with the experiment anyway, adding his own DNA to the tribbles…and creating a species that, far from solving a food shortage, now threatens to devour everything in sight, including the Cabot itself.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Graham Wagner
directed by Daniel Gray Longino
music by Sahil Jindal

Cast: Anson Mount (Captain Pike), Rosa Salazar (Captain Locero), H. Jon Benjamin (Edward Larkin), Lisa Michelle Cornelius (Sarah), Matthew Gouveia (Noel), Krista Jang (Rob), John Jarvis (Admiral Quinn), Loretta Shenosky (Cabot Computer)

Short TreksNotes: This episode significantly rewrites the DNA – quite literally – of one of Star Trek’s most beloved alien species. As they originally evolved, Tribbles were harmless and largely helpless (Edward notes that one died simply by falling from his desk to the floor). It was only with the addition of Edward’s own human DNA and some other genetic engineering on his part that led to Tribbles that are born ravenously hungry and pregnant, as first seen in 1967’s The Trouble With Tribbles. (This also explains why Captain Lorca had a tribble in Star Trek: Discovery‘s first season which wasn’t chowing down on everything in sight.) H. Jon Benjamin may be more of a familiar voice than a familiar face; he’s the voice of Sterling Archer in the FX animated series Archer, and his voice has been a mainstay of numerous series in Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block. Stick around after the end credits for a fourth-wall-busting Star Trek first, a “commercial” for Tribbles cereal!

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Ask Not

Star Trek: Short TreksStardate not given: Cadet Thira Sidhu is serving at Starbase 28 when it is attacked. Security officers escort a uniformed (but masked) Starfleet officer into the room, hand Sidhu a phaser, and order her to keep the officer prisoner without letting him leave. That officer is Captain Christopher Pike of the U.S.S. Enterprise, and he immediately asks Sidhu to let him contact his ship, to leave and help defend the Starbase – in short, asks her to violate the orders she’s just been given as well as key parts of her oath as a future officer. Whose orders Sidhu decides to follow will be a very real test of her Starfleet loyalty.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Kalinda Vasquez
directed by Sanji Senaka
music by Andrea Datzman

Cast: Anson Mount (Captain Pike), Ethan Peck (Spock), Rebecca Romijn (Number One), Amrit Kaur (Cadet Thira Sidhu), Steve Boyle (Security Officer #1), Colette Whitaker (Station 28 Computer)

Short TreksNotes: Reserve activation clauses remain seldom-used in Starfleet, though they seem to be enacted more often upon Enterprise officers who have retired from (or been relieved of) duty (Star Trek: The Motion Picture). The Enterprise may have tangled with the Tholians long before The Tholian Web (1968), though the events recounted by Captain Pike are part of a Starfleet Academy training simulation, very similar to the “psych test” endured by Wesley Crusher in Coming Of Age (1988), and may have no bearing on reality.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Girl Who Made The Stars

Star Trek: Short TreksYoung Michael Burnham is scared of the dark, but her father reminds her of a time when the first people to walk upright and farm the land on Earth also faced that fear – until a little girl from their tribe worked up the courage to venture forth to satisfy her curiosity, and filled the sky with stars.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Brandon Schultz
directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi
music by Kris Bowers

Voice Cast: Kenric Green (Mike Burnham), Kyrie McAlpin (Michael Burnham)

Short TreksNotes: Actor Kenric Green also portrayed Mike Burnham, father of Commander Michael Burnham, in live-action flashbacks in the Star Trek: Discovery episode Perpetual Infinity. (He’s also married to Sonnequa Martin-Green, the actress who plays the grown-up Michael Burnham on Star Trek: Discovery.) This short is the first Star Trek episode of any length, in 53 years, to feature an entirely African-American cast, writer, director, and composer.

Along with another animated Short Trek, Ephraim And DOT, released on the same day, The Girl Who Made The Stars is the first animated Star Trek adventure produced by either CBS or Paramount since the early 1970s animated series.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Ephraim And DOT

Star Trek: Short TreksA member of the tardigrade species that travels the mycelial network is looking for a place to lay her eggs when a chance collision suddenly turns the starship Enterprise into her next nest. This doesn’t sit well with one of the ship’s DOT7 maintenance robots, more concerned with keeping the ship free of any infestations than with providing a safe nesting ground. After the tardigrade lays her eggs in engineering, she is forced out of the ship by the DOT7, and then uses her own means to try to catch up with the ship at various points in its future. But little does she know that the Enterprise, still carrying her slow-incubating eggs, has a date with destiny at a nameless world in the Mutara Sector…

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Chris Silvestri & Anthony Maranville
directed by Michael Giacchino
music by Michael Giacchino

Voice Cast: Kirk Thatcher (Narrator), Jenette Goldstein (Enterprise Computer)

Voice Cast appearing in footage from classic Star Trek episodes: William Shatner (Captain Kirk), Ricardo Montalban (Khan), George Takei (Sulu)

Short TreksNotes: Ephraim spent several years trying to catch up with the Enterprise, ranging from her arrival (apparently during the events of 1967’s Space Seed) through a rapid-fire succession of the original series’ greatest hits, including The Trouble With Tribbles, The Naked Time, Who Mourns For Adonis?, The Doomsday Machine, The Tholian Web, The Savage Curtain, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, and Star Trek III: The Search For Spock. These events sometimes appear in a different order from their original broadcast, but as stardates were seldom consecutive (or, indeed, really meaningful) in the original series, there’s some wiggle room for interpretation there. (How Scotty’s engineering crew missed a nest of large tardigrade eggs for years – including throughout the Enterprise‘s refit between the end of the original series and Star Trek: The Motion Picture – is left for the viewer to imagine. There’s also an error in shots of the movie-era Enterprise with the registry Short Treksnumber NCC-1701-A – a ship that didn’t exist until Star Trek IV.) This is the second directorial credit for Michael Giacchino, better known as a composer with dozens of high-profile credits, including Rogue One and the trio of Chris Pine-led Star Trek movies between 2009 and 2016. The DOT7 repair robots were established in the Star Trek: Discovery episode Such Sweet Sorrow Part 2. Kirk Thatcher, one of the producers of Star Trek IV, also appeared in that movie as the boom-box punk on the bus; Jenette Goldstein has also made an on-screen appearance before as a member of the Enterprise-B crew in Star Trek: Generations.

Along with another animated Short Trek, The Girl Who Made The Stars, released on the same day, Ephraim And DOT is the first animated Star Trek adventure produced by either CBS or Paramount since the early 1970s animated series.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Children Of Mars

Star Trek: Short TreksKima and Lil have little in common; they’re schoolgirls on Earth, one human, one alien, who both have parents working on or near Mars. A series of chance encounters become accidental collisions and, with a little bit of time and resentment, leads to a real rivalry between the two. Before their school’s Vulcan headmaster can take action, however, word reaches Earth of a surprise attack on Federation civilians and Starfleet facilities on and near the planet Mars.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Kirsten Beyer and Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman
directed by Mark Pellington
music by Jeff Russo

Voice Cast: Joy Castro (Mom), Andrea Davis (Teacher), Jason Deline (Dad), Ilamaria Ebrahim (Kima), Alix Kell (Secretary), Sadie Munroe (Lil), Robert Verlaque (Principal)

Short TreksNotes: Intended to be a prologue to set the stage for the series Star Trek: Picard, this Short Trek has an unusually large number of writers for an eight-minute story (of which only six and a half minutes is story as opposed to credits). The music for much of that running time, while credited to Jeff Russo, is actually a Peter Gabriel cover of David Bowie’s Heroes (from Gabriel’s 2010 album of covers accompanied by orchestra, Scratch My Back); the end credits, however, are the first appearance of Russo’s theme music for the Picard series, here played on solo piano as opposed to the orchestral version seen in that series’ opening credits.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Remembrance

Star Trek: The Next GenerationStardate not given: A rising AI specialist, Dahj, is celebrating her acceptance as a research fellow at the Daystrom Institute on Earth, when a group of armed and armored men beam into her apartment. Her boyfriend is murdered, and somehow she survives the encounter, calling on self-defense skills in which she has never trained, overcoming all of her opponents. She has a momentary vision of a man’s face before she flees, and sets out to find him.

The man whose face she sees is hardly an unknown: retired Admiral Jean-Luc Picard is being interviewed on the anniversary of his attempt to evacuate the population of Romulus before its sun went supernova. When a surprise attack on Mars by rogue synthetic life forms caused Starfleet to abandon the massive rescue attempt, Picard felt that the Federation was no longer living up to its ideals and resigned his Starfleet commission in protest. In the years since, he has retreated to his family’s vineyards in France, a quiet existence that is disturbed a little by an intrusive interviewer, and disturbed more when Dahj shows up unannounced. She has never met Picard, but somehow knows he will be able to help her. When hints begin to point toward Dahj being a sentient synthetic life form, and possibly even a true descendant of Data, Picard grows more protective of her. But a second attempt on Dahj’s life proves to be deadlier than the first – she is destroyed before Picard’s eyes, but not before her assassins are unmasked as Romulans.

Picard goes to visit Dr. Agnes Jurati, one of the Federation’s foremost experts on synthetic life forms and a protege of cyberneticist Bruce Maddox, even though her research is now entirely theoretical since actual development of synthetics has been banned in the wake of the Mars attack. Jurati has B4 – the last known Soong-type android – in storage, disassembled – and theorizes that someone like Dahj would have to have been created by, or from, Data…and she also reveals that synthetics were previously produced in twinned pairs. Picard decides he must find Dajh’s twin before she suffers the same fate.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Akiva Goldsman and James Duff
story by Akiva Goldsman & Michael Chabon
and Kirsten Beyer & Alex Kurtzman and James Duff
directed by Hanelle L. Culpepper
music by Jeff Russo

Cast: Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Isa Briones (Dahj / Dr. Soji Asha), Harry Treadaway (Narek), Brent Spiner (Lt. Commander Data), Orla Brady (Laris), David Carzell (Dahj’s Boyfriend), Merrin Dungey (Interviewer), Jamie McShane (Zhaban), Sumalee Montano (Dahj’s Mother), Maya Eshet (Index), Douglas Tait (Tellarite)

Star Trek: PicardNotes: Picking up plot threads from both Star Trek: Nemesis (the death of Data) and the 2009 J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie (the supernova destruction of Romulus, which drove Nero to go back in time to change events), the first episode of Star Trek: Picard also references episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, including The Measure Of A Man (the only prior appearance of Bruce Maddox) and The Offspring (Data’s first attempt to create a daughter). In Picard’s imagined encounters with Data, the android wears both an original Next Generation uniform and the somewhat less colorful uniforms worn in Nemesis. The synthetics’ attack on Mars was shown in the Short Treks episode Children Of Mars.

LogBook entry by Earl Green