Trekathon 855: Children of the Comet (SNW)

May 22nd, 2022

Who even knew comets could have children? Spoilers.

If Strange New Worlds is going to keep turning out episodes at this quality I’m going to need a new category in the season rankings…

This episode has a couple of great Star Trek plots, combined with interesting character development and fun action sequences. And then to top it off, there’s an ending that’s based in science rather than technobabble. Great stuff.

The core of the episode is obviously the Uhura story, which has a couple of deviations from the ‘easy way out’. The first one would be to have her discover an unambiguous love of Star Fleet from the events of the episode – the impression I got instead was it was more like a nudge in that direction, not a conclusion. And the second would be to have her translation save the day, rather than just solve a part of the problem.

The other side, with the Shepherds, doesn’t try anything as complex – but has some good Star Trek values and action there. Nice to see another slight nudge on the prime directive theme in the previous episode, with the conflict between ‘do not intervene’ and ‘intervene but stay secret’. Plus it’s nice to see Star Fleet outgunned but not by super powerful aliens.

My only query is – what is the point of George Kirk? So far we’ve seen no real character or arc established. He has a couple of lines and then spends the episode unconscious. Where are they going with this?

Quick hits:

  • Cold open made me think of Discovery Season 1 episode 1’s opening.

  • Interesting that the comet numbering scheme is still in use in the 23rd century, but seems impractical when it’s more than one star system.

  • Seriously, the Captain’s cabin is ridiculously large.

  • Enough with the tragic backstories.

  • They have to manually dry dishes in the 23rd century?

  • Ooh, they’re going to do Chapel/Spock. Fun!

  • Sigh. Not even Star Trek knows what a defibrillator is for.

  • Lovely SFX ship with the aliens halfway through the episode – really gives a good sense of relative scale.

  • Strong Star Control 2 vibes from the alien (including looking like purely CG).

  • “Break the laws of physics if you have to”. LOL.

  • One thing I notice is that there’s a lot of shot selection that mimics TOS. For instance, Pike and Number One at the science station.

  • Very western ‘well tempered’ tuning scale for the alien music. And couldn’t they get a tricorder to generate sounds more precisely?

  • “You do a lot of reminding people of deadlines” – really great joke for the fans that one. You have to have watched a lot of TOS to get it.

  • I do like that the evasive manoeuvre is good but not perfect.

  • “We’re not actually touching it” – sure, but by that logic neither would phasers.

855 down.