Monday, April 20, 2020

Star Trek: Short Treks -- Season 1 Episode 2 (Calypso)

I’m not certain what the exact intent was for Star Trek:  Short Treks.  I was under the impression that they were to offer a little insight into the main season of Star Trek: Discovery.  It’s called a companion series to Discovery, so it’s possible that it’s just to have stories that might eventually work their way into the main narrative.

Calypso is about a man named Craft who is taken in by the USS Discovery.  He’s in an escape pod, near death.  (I suppose watching Betty Boop will do that to you.) He awakens to find the ship empty, save for the voice of the ship’s AI.

If you’ve watched Discovery, you know the ship doesn’t have an AI.  At least, not one as advanced as this one.  But, there she is:  Zora.  Zora and Craft form a brief relationship until Craft realizes that he has to return to his family.  He’s been away for too long and doesn’t even know if they’re still alive.  She lets him leave in a shuttlecraft.

We find out that it’s the 33rd Century.  Craft is human, but is in an enemy escape pod.  The fact that it’s playing Betty Boop is curious.  Is this to say that humanity has split into two factions?  Has humanity split from the Federation?  How does a human’s enemy have access to a human production?

The episode is only 18 minutes.  The brevity works well.  We don’t get a lot of extra shots or unnecessary narrative.  This aired between the first and second seasons.  It may have been meant as a teaser as to what happens.  Having watched the second season, I know that we don’t actually see the Discovery in the far future.

Zora also says that she’s been waiting for a thousand years, putting the start of that in the 23rd Century.  Am I to infer that Discovery makes it back?  This might mean that crew comes back not only knowing that they have to hide the ship, but where the best location is.

I’m not sure what this means for the third season of Discovery.  It will take place in the far future, but to what end?  It could imply a lot of things.  I will say that the ship looks awfully good for a ship that’s 1000 years old.  Even if no one finds it, you’d think that rogue asteroids and whatnot would hit it.  Space is empty, but 1000 year is a long time.

It’s been pointed out that the only other episode to go out this far was Voyager’s Living Witness.  At the end of Living Witness, the EMH’s backup heads for Earth.  One might assume that he would find Discovery or a human like Craft.  It will be interesting to see what Discovery’s third season brings.  I hope we get to find out some of the answers that this episode raises.  One might even hope for a visit from Voyager’s EMH.

IMDb page

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