With the secret of navigation with the spore drive finally unlocked – the enormous tardigrade-like creature must be harnessed to perform the navigation – the Discovery has been busy in the war with the Klingons. Starfleet Command even advises Captain Lorca to be less visible for fear that the Discovery‘s experimental drive system could be discovered by the Klingons, a fear that seems to be borne out when Lorca’s shuttle flight back to Discovery is cut short as a Klingon ship appears, and Klingon warriors board the shuttle in short order. Lorca is taken prisoner and, in captivity, meets a shifty human named Harry Mudd, also a Klingon prisoner, and a Starfleet officer named Ash Tyler, a prisoner of war since the battle at the binary stars. As Lorca endures Klingon torture and tries to plan an escape, Saru finds himself in command of Discovery by default with a crisis on his hands: the continual use of the spore drive is draining the tardigrade’s energy and sapping its will to live. Soon, it will be unable to help the Discovery crew find their missing captain.
Cast: Cast: Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Lt. Commander Saru), Shazad Latif (Lt. Ash Tyler), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly), Jason Isaacs (Captain Gabriel Lorca), Jayne Brook (Admiral Cornwell), Mary Chieffo (L’Rell), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Rainn Wilson (Harry Mudd), Conrad Coates (Terral), Emily Coutts (Keyla Detmer), Julianne Grossman (Discovery Computer), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Rhys), Sara Mitich (Airiam), Simon Northwood (Shuttle Pilot), Oyin Oladejo (Joann Owosekun), Christopher Russell (Milton Richter), Kirk Salesman (Shuttle Klingon 1), Tyler Evan Webb (Shuttle Klingon 2)
Notes: Lorca’s previous command, the U.S.S. Buran, was named after the ultimately aborted Soviet-era Russian attempt to duplicate or improve upon the design of the American Space Shuttle. Faced with allowing his crew to fall into Klingon hands and endure torture or worse, Lorca blew up the Buran with all hands…as he escaped. Harry Mudd is seen here ten years before the events chronicled in the original Star Trek episode Mudd’s Women, and at this point is married to Stella (I, Mudd). The tactical plot seen very briefly on Discovery‘s bridge shows Rura Penthe (Star Trek VI, Enterprise: Judgment) and Khitomer (Star Trek VI, TNG: Sins Of The Father) in relation to the current outlines of Klingon and Federation space; Deep Space K-7 (TOS: The Trouble With Tribbles, TAS: More Tribbles, More Trouble, DS9: Trials And Tribble-ations) is perilously close to that boundary. Choose Your Pain has the dubious distinction of dropping Star Trek’s first F-bomb (thank you, Cadet Tilly), which drew a mixed reaction from some segments of the audience.
LogBook entry by Earl Green