Starstruck

Star Trek: ProdigyStardate unknown: Welcoming what she assumes is a fresh batch of cadets to the Protostar, the hologram of Captain Janeway offers an introduction to the Federation’s history, purpose, and structure, and that of its Starfleet as well. While Zero, Rok-Tahk, Jankom Pog, and even the gelatinous life form nicknamed Murf immediately find this appealing, Dal is annoyed by their enthusiasm – to him, the Federation sounds like yet another group of authority figures who will tell him what to do, and he opts to set the ship on a course further away from Federation space. When the hologram of Janeway tries to warn him of what lies in his path, he shuts her down quite literally. He also throws Gwyn in the brig, and claims the captain’s quarters for himself. He’s ready to claim the privileges of authority for himself, but his distrust of the nearest authority figure – namely Janeway – leaves the Protostar in a catastrophically dire position near a dying star.

written by Chad Quandt
directed by Alan Wan
music by Nami Melamud
Star Trek: Prodigy main theme by Michael Giacchino

Star Trek DiscoveryCast: Brett Gray (Dal R’El), Ella Purnell (Gwyn), Jason Mantzoukas (Jankom Pog), Angus Imrie (Zero), Rylee Alazraqui (Rok-Tahk), Dee Bradley Baker (Murf), Jimmi Simpson (Drednok), John Noble (Diviner), Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway), Bonnie Gordon (Ship Computer)

Notes: The holographic “slide show” used by Hologram Janeway to illustrate the histories of the Federation and Starfleet are packed with easter eggs, including line-art representations of Archer’s Enterprise, Janeway’s Voyager, the Defiant (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Discovery, the Enterprise-D (Star Trek: The Next Generation), and the Enterprise and shuttlecraft Galileo from the original Star Trek, along with humans, Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites (the Federation’s founding member races), and the accompanying lines are actually one of the better introductions to/explanations of the Federation in the history of the franchise. (Technically, since all records of Discovery and its mission were purged from official Federation history, Discovery shouldn’t appear in this lineup of famous ships.)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Dreamcatcher

Star Trek: ProdigyStardate not given: In the wake of their most recent adventure, Dal and the others get a crash course in ship operations from the holographic Captain Janeway, who patiently overlooks how strangely untrained her cadets are. Gwyn remains in the brig. Janeway decides that an uncharted class M planet in the Hirogen system is a good place to test her crew’s new skills, but bringing the Protostar in for a landing when the Diviner is still looking for it seems like a bad idea to Dal. He overcomes his reluctance when introduced to tricorders, phasers, and a wheeled vehicle called the Runaway, but as usual, Dal zooms off in the Runaway by himself rather than taking his new crew with him. They each wander into situations that seem to contradict Janeway’s assessment that there’s nothing more than plant life on the planet, including Dal, who realizes almost too late that the entire planet is alive…and feeds on those who it convinces to stay there with comforting illusions. Worse yet, Gwyn escapes from the brig and plans to leave with the Protostar, stranding her former captors there.

written by Lisa Schultz Boyd
directed by Steve In Chang Ahn and Sung Shin
music by Nami Melamud
Star Trek: Prodigy main theme by Michael Giacchino

Star Trek DiscoveryCast: Brett Gray (Dal R’El), Ella Purnell (Gwyn), Jason Mantzoukas (Jankom Pog), Angus Imrie (Zero), Rylee Alazraqui (Rok-Tahk), Dee Bradley Baker (Murf), Jimmi Simpson (Drednok), John Noble (Diviner), Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway), Bonnie Gordon (Ship Computer)

Notes: Presumably the Hirogen – introduced in the Star Trek: Voyager episode Message In A Bottle (1998) as a species of armored trophy-hunters – have no objections to a Federation starship wandering into their home system…or perhaps they just know better than to bother with this particular planet. Given that both Hirogen space and the Protostar are in the Delta Quadrant, it’s possible that the anomaly/life form encountered in Bliss (1999) may somehow be related to this planet. Hologram Janeway can’t leave the Protostar, so apparently the future technology of the mobile emitter used by Voyager’s holographic Doctor from Future’s End (1996) forward has yet to be reverse-engineered.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Kobayashi Maru

Star Trek: DiscoveryStardate not given (3189): With the Federation returning to its former prominence, Starfleet’s mission is now divided between distributing dilithium to previously scattered Federation members, allies, and even potential allies, and researching new means of non-dilithium-dependent propulsion (with Discovery‘s spore drive serving as the template for this research). Captain Burnham and Book, trying to re-establish diplomatic contract with the people of a non-Federation planet, barely escape with their lives after a bit of a misunderstanding about the royal status of Grudge… but once back safely aboard Discovery, Burnham has dilithium sent to them anyway, as a token of trust. Then it’s back to Starfleet Headquarters, now no longer cloaked, to inaugurate the first class of new cadets at Starfleet Academy in over a century. An urgent distress call from a deep space repair station forces Burnham and her crew to prepare for immediate departure, but the newly elected President of the Federation insists on tagging along, despite Burnham’s warning that the presence of the President could compromise not only her own safety, but that of Discovery‘s entire crew. The assignment turns out to be anything but routine: a rogue gravitational distortion has knocked that station off-axis and off-course, setting it into a spin that threatens to tear it apart and kill its crew. That same distortion is now headed toward Kwejian – which is also where Book has returned to attend to a family ceremony.

written by Michelle Paradise & Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman
directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi
music by Jeff Russo
additional music by Sam Lucas

Star Trek DiscoveryCast: Sonequa Martin-Green (Captain Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Captain Saru), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Lt. Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Blu del Barrio (Ensign Adira), David Ajala (Cleveland “Book” Booker), Oded Fehr (Admiral Charles Vance), Ian Alexander (Gray Tal), Chelah Horsdal (President Laira Rillak), Bill Irwin (Su’Kal), Emily Coutts (Lt. Commander Keyla Detmer), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Lt. Commander Gen Rhys), Oyin Oladejo (Lt. Commander Joann Owosekun), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Lt. Commander R.A. Bryce), Sara Mitich (Lt. Commander Nilsson), Raven Dauda (Commander Tracy Pollard, M.D.), David Benjamin Tomlinson (Lt. J.G. Linus), Orville Cummings (Lt. Christopher), Luca Doulgeris (Leto), Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll (Nalas), Ache Hernandez (Kyheem), Vanessa Jackson (Lt. Audrey Willa), Jodi Jahnka (Kelpien Council Member #1), Avaah Blackwell (Kelpien Council Member #2), Alex McCooeye (Lee’U), David Sobolov (Ba’ul Council Member #1), Adrian Walters (Cadet Taahz Gorev), and Grudge

Notes: Premiering simultaneously with the fifth episode of Star Trek: Prodigy, this was the first time since the last week of May 1999 that two Star Trek series had seen simultaneous distribution, though the franchise’s means of distribution had changed significantly over 22.5 years. One would expect the President of the United Federation of Planets to have vast experience of other worlds, and Chelah Horsdal definitely qualifies, having been a regular in Amazon’s series based on The Man In The High Castle, with guest roles in The 100, Arrow, Supernatural, Defying Gravity, Eureka, Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica, Smallville, The 4400, and Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda. The newly christened Archer Spacedock facility is accompanied by a quotation of Archer’s theme from Star Trek: Enterprise. The Kobayashi Maru test at Starfleet Academy was first established in 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (and was seen being aced by Kirk in a parallel timeline in 2009’s Star Trek).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Terror Firma

Star Trek: ProdigyStardate not given: After watching the planet’s vegetation drag the Protostar back to the ground, moments after a shuttle containing Gwyn and Murf escape from it, Dal and his team are worried that they’ve just become stranded. Now that they’re all aware of the planet’s illusory powers, those illusions are now less benevolent and more terrifying, and the planet swallows the Runaway whole, leaving them unable to see the homing signal being generated by the Janeway hologram to lead them home. They take shelter in the wreckage of a Klingon Bird of Prey, where Dal decides to see if they can navigate back to the Protostar using the stars. But the Diviner and Drednok are waiting for them when they arrive…and the injured Gwyn will find out for herself whether her father places a higher value on her safety or that of the wayward Federation ship.

written by Julie Benson & Shawna Benson
directed by Olga Ulanova
music by Nami Melamud
Star Trek: Prodigy main theme by Michael Giacchino

Star Trek DiscoveryCast: Brett Gray (Dal R’El), Ella Purnell (Gwyn), Jason Mantzoukas (Jankom Pog), Angus Imrie (Zero), Rylee Alazraqui (Rok-Tahk), Dee Bradley Baker (Murf), Jimmi Simpson (Drednok), John Noble (Diviner), Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway), Bonnie Gordon (Ship Computer)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Anomaly

Star Trek: DiscoveryStardate not given (3189): The destruction of Kwejian raises the gravitational disturbance to a crisis that the entire Federation must deal with. The former Vulcans and Romulans of Ni’Var pledge the full resources of their science institute, even though they are not Federation members, and Saru returns, still a captain, to serve as Burnham’s first officer aboard Discovery. The source of the destructive gravitational waves is most likely the interactions between two black holes, and with that as the working theory, Discovery is sent out to investigate. But when Discovery arrives near the source of the gravity waves, what the crew observes directly doesn’t quite match their models or simulations. Rather than putting Discovery in harm’s way, Book offers to pilot his ship into the gravity well to gather data. But with Book’s first-hand witnessing of Kwejian’s destruction a very recent memory, Burnham is reluctant to send him. Book does fly his ship near the source of the gravitational waves, with a programmable matter tether keeping him connected to Discovery, and a holographic projection of Stamets riding shotgun to monitor the data collection. Even with Stamets trying to keep Book on task, however, Book’s mind may not be on piloting…or, for that matter, surviving.

written by Anne Cofell Saunders & Glenise Mullins
directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi
music by Jeff Russo
additional music by Sam Lucas

Star Trek DiscoveryCast: Sonequa Martin-Green (Captain Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Captain Saru), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Lt. Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Blu del Barrio (Ensign Adira), David Ajala (Cleveland “Book” Booker), Oded Fehr (Admiral Charles Vance), Ian Alexander (Gray Tal), Chelah Horsdal (President Laira Rillak), Tara Rosling (President T’Rina), Annabelle Wallis (Zora), Emily Coutts (Lt. Commander Keyla Detmer), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Lt. Commander Gen Rhys), Oyin Oladejo (Lt. Commander Joann Owosekun), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Lt. Commander R.A. Bryce), Sara Mitich (Lt. Commander Nilsson), Luca Doulgeris (Leto), Linford Mark Robinson (Starfleet Captain #1), Katherine Trowell (Starfleet Captain #2), Fabio Tassone (Book’s Ship Computer), and Grudge

Star Trek DiscoveryNotes: This episode shares an identical title with an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. Despite there being over 800 individual episodes of television Star Trek at the time of this episode’s release, this is still an exceedingly rare incident (see also: The Emissary vs. Emissary). The discussion of the “Soong method” of creating a new synthetic body for Gray is a direct reference to the procedure that resurrected Picard in Star Trek: Picard (Et In Arcadia Ego, Part 2), though apparently that procedure is considered flawed and seldom used even 800 years later. Discovery’s computer has picked the name – Zora – which was already heard in a Short Treks episode (Calypso).

LogBook entry by Earl Green