Welcome To Section 31 (Untitled Epilogue Scene)

Star Trek: DiscoveryStardate not given: Following the armistice between the Kllingon Empire and the Federation, former Emperor Phillipa Georgiou remains on the Klingon homeworld, biding her time in a shady bar frequented by off-worlders. One off-worlder, who seems to be a Trill, takes a special interest in Georgiou, though she makes it very clear that the interest isn’t mutual…until he reveals that he is a recruiter for a top-secret security organization which defends the Federation by any means necessary. Section 31 has plans for Georgiou, especially since she operates entirely outside of the Federation’s code of morality…but will she fit in with an organization that’s part of the Federation?

See it on YouTubeteleplay by Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts
story by Akiva Goldsman & Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts
directed by Akiva Goldsman
music by Jeff Russo

Cast: Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou), Alan Van Sprang (Leland)

Star Trek DiscoveryNotes: The title given to this short scene is speculative, as CBS has not given it a title other than “Michelle Yeoh And Alan Van Sprang’s Section 31 Bonus Scene From Star Trek Discovery”. Released directly to YouTube after the end of the first season on CBS All Access, this is a rather odd place to drop a major story development, especially considering the announcement, nearly a year later, of a Section 31 spinoff starring Michelle Yeoh. Leland uses holographic technology to disguise himself as a Trill, the same symbiotic species seen more frequently in 24th century Star Trek, including Jadzia Dax (DS9), Odan (TNG), and Ezri Dax (DS9). The entire cast of Star Trek: Discovery, including Jason Isaacs, is credited in the end credits, though only Yeoh and Alan Van Sprang have dialogue in the scene.

Star Trek DiscoverySection 31 was first introduced in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the 1998 episode Inquisition, and would be featured several more times in that series (primarily in the person of Section 31 agent Sloan), though its presence extends at least as far back as the era of Captain Jonathan Archer’s Enterprise (in a few episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise‘s fourth season), and exists during James T. Kirk’s command heyday in both an alternate timeline (Star Trek: Into Darkness, 2013) and in possibly apocryphal events in the prime timeline (Star Trek Continues: To Boldly Go, Part I, 2017). Though not officially designated a “Short Trek”, this short scene (of its 4+ minute run time, not even two and a half minutes of story are followed by nearly two minutes of credits) can easily be seen as a trial balloon for the series of stand-alone shorts to follow.

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Star Trek: Short TreksStardate not given: Freshly promoted from Cadet to Ensign, Sylvia Tilly is still aboard the Discovery, and she still can’t convince her mother, via communicator, that she can handle the rigors of command training without washing out of Starfleet. When she retreats to the mess hall to drown her sorrows in a snack, Tilly makes a new friend. Tilly’s new friend is a stowaway aboard Discovery, and worse yet, she’s a stowaway who belongs to the royal family of a strategically important planet. Tilly has to keep her new friend from running and going into hiding, a test of her diplomatic skills that just isn’t part of the command training program.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Jenny Lumet and Alex Kurtzman
directed by Maja Vrvilo
music by Jeff Russo

Cast: Mary Wiseman (Ensign Sylvia Tilly), Vadira Guevara-Prip (Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po), Mim Kuzyk (Siobhan Tilly)

Short TreksNotes: Devised as a means of keeping Star Trek fans subscribed to the CBS All Access streaming service, rather than cancelling their subscriptions the moment Star Trek: Discovery’s first season ended, Short Treks was the tip of the iceberg of a new deluge of Star Trek spinoffs to go into development following the success of Discovery’s first season. Each Short Treks episode runs approximately fifteen minutes, and the first four typically involved a very small cast on existing sets from Discovery (with a promise that later installments would venture further afield in the franchise) – in a way, almost as if the producers had to abide by most of the rules and guidelines CBS had set down for Star Trek fan films as a direct result of the contentious lawsuit over the fan-made project Star Trek: Axanar, which came under legal scrutiny after it raised over half a million dollars in crowdfunding. The shorts also served as a proving ground for future talent to be associated with later spinoffs, including writers Michael Chabon and Mike McMahan.

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Star Trek: Short TreksStardate not given: His stolen escape pod failing, an Alcorian soldier who identified himself only as Craft is brought aboard Discovery. But the crew didn’t rescue him, because the ship has no crew – Discovery is unoccupied, and has been for a thousand years. The ship’s onboard computer, in that millennium alone, has evolved to sentience, and relishes having humanoid company again. Unsure if he can ever return home to his wife and child, Craft is willing to provide that companionship…up to a certain point.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Michael Chabon
story by Sean Cochran and Michael Chabon
directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi
music by Jeff Russo

Cast: Aldis Hodge (Craft), Annabelle Wallis (Zora voice), Sash Striga (Zora holo-dancer)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Brightest Star

Star Trek: Short TreksStardate not given: On the planet Kaminar, the Kelpien race ekes out a simple but productive existence, each of them knowing that they will die, and soon: adult Kelpiens are required to “maintain the great balance” by submitting themselves to the harvesting of an alien race called the Ba’ul. The Kelpien priest, Aradar, leads Kelpiens who have reached a certain age to a stone circle where they are sacrificed to a Ba’ul ship. Aradar’s son, Saru, does not understand the great balance, and does not heed his father’s instructions to dispose of a scrap of Ba’ul technology that fell off of one of their ships. Instead, Saru studies and reverse-engineers the device, sending a simple greeting into space. When that greeting is answered by a human Starfleet officer from the Federation, offering Saru the chance to leave Kaminar and see the stars, can he leave behind everything, including his sister Siranna, to see them?

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Bo Yeon Kim & Erika Lippoldt
directed by Douglas Aarniokoski
music by Jeff Russo

Short TreksCast: Doug Jones (Saru), Hannah Spear (Siranna), Robert Verlaque (Aradar), Michelle Yeoh (Lt. Philippa Georgiou), Lisa Auguste (Female Villager #5), Krista Deady (Female Villager #4), Clayton Scott (Male Villager #3), David Benjamin Tomlinson (Male Villager #1), Adam Winlove-Smith (Male Villager #2)

Notes: Saru mentions Siranna in the second season Discovery episode Brother, noting that there is “terrain” between them that cannot be crossed, referring to Lt. Georgiou’s insistence that Saru cannot be returned to Kaminar without contaminating the natural development of his pre-warp society. David Benjamin Tomlinson appears in Discovery’s second season as Saurian crewman Linus.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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.

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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