Last year, in between seasons one and two of Discovery we were surprised by a delightful four episode ‘mini-series’ entitled Star Trek Short Treks. Short Treks was just that, short, bite-sized episodes that gave us a little more insight into the world of Discovery. This year, however we get a little bit more as the folks in charge of Star Trek have decided to use these mini-voyages to explore a little further into the universe of Trek and not just of Discovery itself, giving us a glimpse into what could be and what is to come. In order to do these justice, I will discuss each one in order giving a brief overview and a few thoughts of each. Shall we begin? Disclaimer, I am presenting these in the order they show up in on CBS All Access, if the order is depicted different elsewhere it will not be reflected here.

Trek One: Q&A

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Exploring the literal first moment that Ensign Spock stepped foot on the Enterprise. It is a moment in time, outside of the alternate Kelvin Universe, that we have yet to explore and depicts not only his first moments aboard the Enterprise but meeting First Officer Una aka Number One.

After challenging Spock to ‘annoy her with questions’, the two become trapped in a malfunctioning turbo-lift. In that time we learn much about the two and also get a chance to see a slightly more casual Spock. We also learn one of Una’s darkest secrets, but I won’t spoil that for you here.

Overall, this is a delightful episode that really showcases both Ethan Peck and Rebecca Romijn in their roles as Spock and Una and it drive the need for a ‘Pikes Enterprise’ series home even more. This is a crew that already feels right in every way and I long for the adventures in a pre-Kirk Enterprise. Make it So, CBS, MAKE IT SO!!!

Trek Two: The Trouble with Edward

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We get a chance to explore outside of the Enterprise with an entirely new ship The science vessel USS Cabot. After Pike proudly sends his former Science Officer, Lynne Lucero, off to her first command, Captain Lucero soon discovers that command is not quite what she thought it would be.

Soon Captain Lucero come in contact with an eccentric genius (and royal screw-up) who has been experimenting with a new species called, Tribbles. Through the course of the episode we witness the origin of the Tribble we have come to know and love thanks to the actions of this rouge and rather annoying scientists by the name of Larkin. Just don’t call him ‘dumb’.

The Episode itself is a nice change of pace. Blending a little The Office with Star Trek, this is the first real humorous episode we have seen in a while. Due to this injection of humor, this felt like it was a really fresh take on the franchise which gives me hope for the upcoming animated series Lower Decks. You may even recognize Captain Lucero (Rosa Salazar) and Larkin (H. Jon Benjamin) as they are both fairly well known for their work these days, especially Larkin as the Voice of Bob from Family Guy and Archer from, well, Archer. Bottom line, It’s fun, it’s whimsical and frankly, a breath of fresh air all while managing to remain, at it’s core, Star Trek. Honestly, I hope we see more of Captain Lucero and her rag-tag crew of scientists.

Trek Three: Ask Not

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Once again we dive back into the universe of Pike’s Enterprise but this time it seems Pike is in some trouble of his own. When Cadet Thira Sidhu is given the responsibility to watch over a prisoner with the instructions to not let him leave, no matter what, she is forced to decide weather to trust the decorated Captain or trust the principles of the organization she has sworn to uphold.

This is an incredible powerful episode managing to encapsulate the core of Star Trek in only ten minutes giving a deep story that rivals many of the episodes in any series thus far. We get a real chance to see Pike in his prime once again while he attempts to talk the Cadet into allowing him to be free although he has been charged with treason.

Once again, Anson Mount proves that he needs to be in the big chair for much longer than a single season. I almost feel that these are cruel teasers for something much bigger to come and I can only hope that they soon announce the launch of a Pike Enterprise series, I know I have said this before but damn, come on CBS. Do it already. In addition to Anson Mount, we are introduced to actor Amrit Kaur who plays the tough and firm cadet Sidhu. Kaur is incredible in her portrayal of this cadet and, should Pike’s Enterpise get a chance to disembark from spaceport, I hope she is part of the crew.

Trek Four: Ephraim and Dot

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This one is a little bit of a departure from the Trek we have come to know arriving as one of two animated episdoes giving them both the honor of being the first Animated Trek since the 70’s STar Trek the Animated Series.

The epsidoe itself depicts the Tartigrade (possibly the one we saw in Discovery Season One) as it travels through time via the micilia network in order to find a place to lay her eggs. She soon comes in contact with the Enterprise commanded by James Kirk and a certain security droid known as DOT.

The episode itself is a whimsical and fun adventure that hearkens back to the classic Tom and Jerry cartoons but somehow remains grounded in Star Trek through some very clever use of classic Original Series scenes and Dialogue. I won’t ruin it for you here but we get to witness some cool events from a slightly different perspective.

All in all, I kinda hope we see more of these two delightful characters and their adventures through time and space.

Trek Five: The Girl Who Made The Stars

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Again exploring a new style, The Girl Who Made the Stars is another animated episode but done in a whole new style to the series. Utilizing Burnham’s childhood as a backdrop, we are presented with a bedtime story from her own cultural heritage.

The story itself is two-fold, with the main story being a tale of young Burnham being scared of the dark with her father comforting her with a tale. The main story is depicted as an African legend of how the stars were formed through the bravery of a young child.

At first pass, I wasn’t too sure about this one but after a second viewing I found it a pleasant change of pace. Star Trek itself has a deep mythology that borrows from some of our own but we rarely get to explore the core myths and legends from our own world. Loosely based on a Bushmen legend which depict a young woman tossing wood ash into the sky to create the milky way, The Girl Who Made The Stars provides a rather touching interpretation of this tale while giving some great insight into how Michael Burnham became the tough and self-reliant officer she became in her adulthood.

While both this and the previous episodes were a big change from our normal Trek, both really gives the franchise a chance to breath making it all the more accessible to more than just hard core fans. I love that CBS is playing with the franchise a little and if this is the direction Trek is headed, I am on board.

Trek Six: The Children of Mars

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This episode is a touching one that explores some of the core foundation of Star Trek and how personal Grievances/differences can escalate due to a misunderstanding only to be forgotten through a mutual pain.

The episode itself depicts two young students at a Federation School who both find sorrow and disappointment with their parents being far away working on the Utopia Planitia Ship Yards. The girls, Kimi and Lil soon discover that their mutual hatred for one another, spurred on by their deep sorrow for their own issues, comes to an end when the Mars Colony is attacked.

Backed with a rendition of the David Bowie song, Heroes, this episode not only serves as a reminder of what Star Trek is about, resolving our grievances through a mutual need. In this case, the need is to find solace in one another. The episode is also our very first glimpse into what is to come with the upcoming series Star Trek Picard and is the first of the Short Treks to take place in the time frame just after Star Trek The Next Generation.

Overall, this was a touching and impactful episode that, although it had few words, the visuals alone were enough to really drive home the emotions it was meant to impart. Knowing that CBS doesn’t waste anything, I have to wonder if we will see Kimi and Lil again, maybe as adults? Plus, if you pay close attention, you might get a hint as to what to expect in the upcoming series Star Trek Picard.

So there you go. This season’s Short Treks. I have to say, getting an extra two episodes was a delight and I really hope they keep up this ‘in-between’ season tradition of bite sized episodes. While I would love to have longer seasons, this is a great way to keep Trek moving while they prepare the next big adventure for us.

You can bet we will be covering Star Trek Picard in all it’s glory. Come back in a few weeks when we discuss the first episode of this most anticipated new series.

Thanks for reading the SciFi TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you!

If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

Late To The Game 1/12/2020

Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.

Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made production intended for recreational use. No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”

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