Trekathon 856: Ghosts of Illyria (SNW)

May 22nd, 2022

Enterprise callback, those are rare! Spoilers

Overall a very messy episode that I think failed mainly because of some misses in story editing.

The biggest problem is the reveal on Number One comes from nowhere. We have no information that there’s any secret, any difference, any history there. And the Illyrian background hasn’t been bought up until this episode. It would have landed better for me if it had been at least hinted at before the episode. For instance, something that made clearer that she wasn’t entirely Human.

(As an aside, the whole ‘Illyrians can just look like Humans now’ thing gets zero explanation, and that annoys me).

But there’s also story editing problems in the episode itself. We have Number One as the main POV character for the episode, but that makes her motives in concealing her ‘episode’ with the virus so unclear. We don’t know if she has forgotten it, or if she’s concealing it. And it’s very unclear that she’s actually cured until she just asserts it. Easily fixed with a line or two of dialog.

And throwing in M’Benga’s concealment with the transporter just adds to the confusion. Is he doing that because of the virus? We don’t know until the wrap up of the episode.

Plus there’s a lot of technobabble, a very unclear through line, and some dropped threads. Why do we not hear again from Uhura for instance? Plus the scenes on the planet don’t add much – from a story POV it felt like the main reason was to take Pike and Spock off the board, as we don’t get much insight into the main story from them.

Quick hits:

  • I like the new Star Trek identity card, but feel it should be about half as long.

  • Engineering set is great, although it is very hard to reconcile with the size of the set in TOS. Does resemble it enough though.

  • OK, so La’an is related to Khan. Going to be interesting to see how where this is going.

856 down.