Trekathon 827: Anomaly (DIS)

November 26th, 2021

Five light years is more than massive. Just saying. Spoilers.

Seriously, five light years is unmanageably huge. The Black Hole at the centre of this galaxy is thought to be 0.3 AU (roughly 40 million kilometres), and weighs 4 million times the Sun. It better be smaller The average distance between stars in the Milky Way is 5 light years, so it’d basically always be hitting some star or other. I’m sure this is another case of writers using terms they don’t understand (cough parsecs cough), but Star Trek should be better than that.

As for the episode – more successful than the last episode, thanks to the stakes. A bit too much circles on the Book/Burnham relationship (and I do hate the way Burnham has to be at the centre of all the problem solutions). But we understand more clearly what they’re trying to do, and the importance of it. Book’s dark trauma makes a lot of sense given both the events and the character, but it does feel like a bit of a plot repetition. And it ends up spending too much of the episode brooding in the background ominously.

There’s a bit of a problem (this episode and last) with the pacing switch when moving to the A plot and the B plot. We’ve got an A plot with high stakes and time pressures, and the B plot which is much lighter and lacking critical timing. It gives a few seconds of whiplash going back and forward every time. The B-plots (finding a new body, Saru deciding to come back) had sufficiently little connection to the A plot that they could have been switched without anyone noticing. They were both quite short sequences (really more of a C or D plot), so perhaps part of the issue is trying to tell too much of the A story only through Burnham’s POV.

The writing is feeling a bit rough. There are bits of the dialog, particularly the more ‘purple’ prose and speeches that feel some combination of overwritten and under edited. The triumphant underscoring makes this sharper, as it feels to me a bit like they’re using music to create the emotion, rather than the words.

Quick hits:

  • So Sara ends up with exactly one episode away from Star Fleet.

  • I do not like this extensive whisper talking thing. It happens a lot this episode.

  • Civilians can just wander in to high level briefings now?

  • So much speechifying, so little good dialogue.

  • Nice little nod to the

  • ‘Gravitational Doppler Shift’ is not a thing.

  • ‘Yellow’ zone out to be a bit less than ‘serious risk’.

  • I liked the historical drift on Picard and Soon. Felt realistic.

  • Surely this is the perfect occasion for robotic probe space craft? They could technobabble their way around that, but I don’t think they thought of that.

  • That is possibly the biggest ‘banger’ that we’ve ever seen in Star Trek. But who is installing all these flame generators on the bridge? Seriously, get some seat belts.

  • I really loved the Tilly bit about double checking. Print it on a T-shirt.

  • Nice to see Stamets back to his normal self, and the Book and Stamets bit worked quite nicely.

  • I hope the little kid Book is seeing turns out to be more than grief.

  • Good on Mr Saru for recognising Brice’s contribution.

827 down.