‘Star Trek: Short Trek’ Reviews: “The Girl Who Made the Stars” and “Ephraim and Dot”

After Star Trek became a hit in syndication, Gene Roddenberry and D.C. Fontana worked with Filmation’s Hal Sutherland in 1973-1974  to produce Star Trek: The Animated Series. Comprising two seasons, 22 episodes, featuring writers from The Original Series and almost the entire original cast providing their voices, TAS has enjoyed a deep popularity among fans, even as it has had a questionable relationship with canonicity. Perhaps that’s the best way to think of these two Short Treks—they are both quite enjoyable, but if you go into them with a close eye for canon, you will be disappointed.

“Ephraim and Dot” is a madcap, Looney Tunes-style romp through Star Trek history, with zany stunts and wacky sound effects, but at its core beats a Trekkian heart. “The Girl Who Made the Stars” tells a bedtime story between Mike Burnham and his frightened daughter, a story that would later form the intro to the Discovery season two opener, “Brother.” This is a heartwarming and forward-looking tale that gets at the center of what Trek is all about – curiosity and exploration, fueled by the stars. While “The Girl Who Made the Stars” has very little impact on Trek canon, “Ephraim and Dot” plays fast and loose with the stories Trek fans grew up on, and if taken seriously, will rankle most Trek purists.

I will get into spoilers in my episode-specific reviews below. If you want to avoid spoilers, watch the episodes before reading ahead.

 

 

“The Girl Who Made the Stars”

Written by Brandon Schultz.

Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi.

This short, directed by Star Trek: Discovery executive producer and director Olatunde Osunsanmi (director of ST: “Calypso,” and five episodes of DIS), opens with a young Michael Burnham (voiced by Kyrie McAlpin) who is awakened by a lightning storm in space (shades of 2009’s Star Trek movie) and calls out for her Dad, Mike Burnham (voiced by Kenric Green, who played Mike Burnham in flashbacks during the episode “Perpetual Infinity” and is Sonequa Martin-Green’s husband). He dashes in to tell  her a story to help her not be afraid of the dark, one that Michael recalled in the DIS episode “Brother.” It’s based on an actual folk tale told by the /Xam Abathwa tribe of ancient Africa, describing their tale of the origins of the Milky Way galaxy.

Clutching her plush tardigrade, little Michael listens to the story of a young girl, living among the First Peoples of the earth, a thousand centuries ago. The First People live in a world without any stars, who fear the darkness, personifying it as the dreaded, gigantic, serpentine Night Beast. Because they cannot travel by night, they always stay within a day’s walk of the center of their land, which is laid out in concentric circles of crops, centered like a bull’s eye around the elder of the First People. Farming the same land over and over, the land eventually becomes exhausted, but the elder rejects the young girl’s suggestion that they move on beyond the far mountains to find new land. Undaunted, the girl decides to explore on her own, taking along a friendly firefly for illumination.

Little Michael Burnham listens to her father’s tale.

Chased by the Night Beast, she runs in terror, until she is startled by a meteoric impact nearby. Pushing through her fear, she finds the crashed frame of an alien spacecraft in a cave, and a strange, glowing, tentacular alien–and she finds that she’s not afraid of it, nor it of her. In fact, discovering a new type of life, she responds with curiosity, and the alien in turn grants her the gift of a glimpse of the galaxy around her, waiting to be explored. More tangibly, it gives her a basket full of lights. Returning to her people at night, she opens the basket, releasing a flurry of stars into the night skies. With the darkness now illuminated, she leads her people in exploration of their world, navigating by the constellations. Growing into a warrior-queen, she is seen vanquishing the Night Beast with her bow and arrow. Young Michael sleeps and dreams of becoming that sort of explorer-queen.

It is a story about curiosity conquering fear, a very Trekkian concept. The animation is lush and detailed CGI, with rich use of darks and transparent materials. It looks as lovely as anything Disney is putting out, with the exception of the animation on Mike Burnham, who edges close to Polar Express levels of the uncanny valley. The other characters are cartoony enough to avoid that fate. Young Michael Burnham (and the story’s girl who is her twin) looks spot-on, as if she were a tiny Sonequa Martin-Green. Looking at the furnishings in young Michael’s room, I was puzzled by the fact that all of the photographs are of Mike and Michael, and there is no picture of her mother, Gabrielle.

Kyrie McAlpin’s voice performance is expressive and amazing, truly spot-on. Kenric Green exudes the fatherly love and concern that his character has for his daughter, as well as the wonder of curiosity and exploration. The music by Trek newcomer Kris Bowers is lavish and entrancing, with themes and rhythms that move the story forward without overpowering it. The tone of the piece is stirring and heartwarming.

Star Trek is more often about debunking folklore and mythology than embracing it (think of “Who Mourns for Adonais?” and “Who Watches the Watchers?” as examples), and so “The Girl Who Made the Stars” makes for an interesting change of pace. Canonically, the only thing this episode adds to Trek history is that Michael Burnham first heard a version of this story from her Dad while in their home on Doctari Alpha, which is not much of a stretch. It is a little bit of a challenge to avoid the thought that not long after telling this story to his daughter, Mike Burnham was slaughtered by Klingons, and Michael learned that there were, in fact, very good reasons to be afraid of the dark.

Fun fact: According to writer Brandon Schultz, this flashback to young Michael and her father was pitched as part of the Discovery season 2 finale (“Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2”)  as a bookend to Burnham’s telling of the story in the season 2 opener (“Brother”). Obviously the finale was packed to the brim, so it didn’t work out there, but Alex Kurtzman liked the idea so it was spun off into a Short Treks episode.

The now grown warrior-queen fights the night beast.

“Ephraim and Dot”

Written by Chris Silvestri & Anthony Maranville.

Directed by Michael Giacchino.

Opening with a scratchy, black-and-white, film reel-style intro said to be from “Starfleet Science,” this short may best be viewed as an in-universe semi-educational cartoon for kids in the Federation, titled: “The Tardigrade in Space.” The narrator opens: “Space, the final frontier… filled with a galaxy of flora and fauna, some deadly and some docile, like this tardigrade here…” The narrator continues to explain how space tardigrades travel the mycelial network, a sort of super-warp highway, trying to find a warm and safe place to lay their eggs. While the tardigrade digs into an asteroid, presumably trying to make a nest, her antennae signal an approaching threat. As the cartoon bursts into color, the USS Enterprise pops out of warp nearby, and the Star Trek fanfare plays. The ship looks a lot like a Filmation version of the Discovery-era retcon of the Original Series Enterprise. I love how the ship looks as an animated vessel.

A very TAS-inspired shot of the Enterprise.

But the ship is headed for the asteroid, and crashes into it with its deflector dish (what are deflector dishes for, if not deflecting asteroids?), sending the tardigrade spinning down the length of the moving ship. As she tries scratching her way into the hull, she comes across a porthole, through which she sees Kirk (voice of William Shatner) and McCoy talking with Khan (voice of Ricardo Montalban) in sickbay (“Space Seed”). It is fun to see our Original Series heroes (and villains) in animated form, recreating scenes from live-action TOS. As Ephraim (the tardigrade) observes all this, DOT, a DOT-7 repair droid (as seen in the Discovery episode “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part Two” and Short Treks “Ask Not”) emerges from a maintenance hatch to dislodge what it sees as an “intruder.” After a brief scuffle, Ephraim ducks into the hatch, crashing into DOT, as well as several carts of Starfleet laundry, briefly clothing DOT in a red shirt. Ephraim’s escape leads her to the ship’s (TOS-style) warp core, where she finally finds the “warm, safe” environment she wanted, and lays her eggs. But she is discovered by DOT, who continues his quest to eject Ephraim from the ship, in the process encountering a hatch full of tribbles and a “The Naked Time” Sulu (voiced by George Takei) brandishing a rapier at Kirk and McCoy (it was two random extras in the original episode). Finally flushing Ephraim out with the waste water, DOT seems to have the victory, and wishes Ephraim a hearty “live long and prosper,” doing the best imitation of a Vulcan salute that a robot with only three fingers can attempt. The ship then goes to warp, with Ephraim chasing behind.

Dot is buried in a pile of tribbles.

In rapid succession, the ship (and Ephraim) blasts past a giant green space hand (“Who Mourns for Adonais?”), a stylized planet-killer (“The Doomsday Machine”), a Tholian web (“The Tholian Web”), and a gigantic seated Abraham Lincoln (“The Savage Curtain”). As the ship goes again to warp, it transitions into the refit Enterprise, with hull markings indicating it is now the 1701-A, fighting against the USS Reliant in space (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan). Oddly, once the attack starts, the registry markings on the top of the saucer are canted 45 degrees counter-clockwise from where they ought to be on the hull, including the markings that belong behind the officers’ lounge. Ephraim now catches up with the ship, which then warps to the orbit of the Genesis Planet (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock). Ephraim scrambles along the hull to a porthole, confirming that her eggs are still safe in the (still TOS-style) warp core. Ephraim again detects a threat with her antennae, which turns out to be Kruge’s Bird of Prey, which decloaks and fires on the Enterprise, doing major damage, which DOT is now attempting to contain and repair.

As Ephraim finally regains contact with her eggs, DOT engages her in a Kirk/Khan-style Engineering department fight, complete with TOS-style fight music and the use of a wrench as a weapon. DOT triumphs, ejecting Ephraim from the ship, but also finally finding and identifying Ephraim’s eggs. As the ship’s self-destruct sequence engages, announced by the ship’s computer (voiced by Jenette Goldstein, who also provided the voice of the Enterprise computer in “Ask Not”), DOT realizes the eggs’ peril. From outside the ship, Ephraim watches as the wounded Enterprise blazes down into the Genesis Planet’s atmosphere, finally meeting its end. Ephraim slumps in dejection as fragments of ship and of tardigrade egg-shells float by her. But suddenly she sees the severely-damaged DOT floating by, and instead of attacking her, DOT opens a hatch on his midsection and reveals her now-hatched children, safe and preserved from destruction.

The narrator closes out the short, “At last, peace returns to the world of our mother tardigrade. We can’t help but wonder what new adventures await as our new family goes boldly where no one has gone before.”

It is fun to see all these animated references to classic Trek stories, even if they are presented out of order (“Space Seed” takes place chronologically after “The Naked Time”) and in a time-compressed format (Star Trek III takes place nineteen years after “The Naked Time,” although in fairness to the short, the narrator does tell us that tardigrade eggs can lie dormant for years). We know that tardigrades travel the mycelial network, which links every point in the universe, and even parallel universes, and even across timelines, so the shuffling of events in the short might make sense as a tardigrade’s-eye view of this slice of Trek history.

What’s harder to swallow is the registry of the refit Enterprise as the 1701-A, even though it’s the refit 1701 that battles the Reliant and Kruge’s Bird of Prey and meets its end over the Genesis Planet. The 1701-A was a different ship entirely, christened in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. If the tardigrade laid her eggs in the warp core of the TOS Enterprise, how could they wind up in the warp core of the 1701-A? How could the eggs have survived intact through the extensive refit process undergone in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, especially given that the warp core itself arguably underwent the most extreme refitting of any part of the ship? Perhaps its best again to view this short as a tardigrade’s-eye mish-mash of Star Trek, rather than a straightforward jaunt through canonical Trek history.

I hope there’s a good production-level explanation for why they chose to label the refit as 1701-A, because it’s difficult for me to accept it as a mistake. If it was a mistake, it’s an egregious one. Someone needs to ask director Michael Giacchino about it, I think.

[Editor’s Note: After we published the review Giacchino acknowledge the mistake on Twitter]

For some reason the refit of the Enterprise is incorrectly labeled as 1701-A.

As might be expected from a short directed by Giacchino, the music is terrific, and the pacing of the piece is madcap and frantic. CBS is describing the short as a “cat-and-mouse chase,” so maybe the influence is more Tom and Jerry than Looney Tunes, but either way, it’s a new tone for the Star Trek franchise. Still, at its core, this episode celebrates the discovery and celebration of new life in the galaxy, a major driver of everything that Trek is and hopes to be.

Note: It is not at all clear if the “Ephraim” in this episode (the name is never used in dialogue) bears any relationship with the tardigrade whose DNA was infused into Lt. Paul Stamets aboard the USS Discovery, and who appears as a major character in the Discovery tie-in novel, Dead Endless (review forthcoming). In that novel, Ephraim is referred to as male, while in this short, Ephraim is referred to as female. In Bryan Fuller’s initial conception for Star Trek: Discovery, Ephraim the space tardigrade was a Starfleet officer and a bridge officer.

Fun fact: The narration is voiced by Kirk Thatcher, best known to Trek fans as “Punk on Bus” in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and the composer of the punk song (“I Hate You”) on the boom box in that scene. Thatcher was in fact an assistant to Leonard Nimoy and an associate producer on the movie; he’s also had a great career working in puppetry and miniatures at ILM and at The Muppets Studio and The Jim Henson Company.

Momma tardigrade and her clutch of eggs.


Star Trek: Short Treks are available in the USA on CBS All Access. Season 2 is available in Canada via CTV Sci-Fi Channel (formerly known as Space) and Crave. Availability for the second season in other regions has not be announced.

Keep up with all the Short Treks news and reviews at TrekMovie.

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Realrobmtl

They were cute. Perfect for the younger generation and for big kids like me.

Gary 8.5

Well Said.

Luke Montgomery

I love Discovery. I even pay for CBS All Access although I use a VPN because I live outside the US just to watch short Treks. These animated things are garbage. Childish. A mess. A waste of time. I feel that they cheapen the level of storytelling and “reality” of Trek. And these are supposed to be cannon? How is that possible with all the mistakes made and dumb devices like a 23rd century video being a grainy black and white film strip from the early 29th century. Just incoherent.

David Moss

I completely agree.

On top of that they cant even keep their new continuity in place. How could everyone know about a micilium network when it was supposed to be hushed (dumb concept in the first place).

Then how could baby Michael have a tardigrade stuffed animimal yet know nothing of it in the future.

I know that continuity mistakes happen but as with the season 2 Disco last episode, it is just plain sloppy writing not even paying attention to their own rules… like how can Ash all of a sudden be seen on a Klingon ship, and more.

This is just a horrible way to treat this franchise and I am so sorry that “my” star trek is dead and gone.

noraa

Some of these things are called fun Easter eggs (like Michael’s tardigrade). You’re taking these shorts – especially the fun and silly ones – way too seriously.

JRT!

I know you mean canon Luke,not cannon,which is something else entirely,lol! Just take it for what it is,some fun stories from STD’s time,and TOS. At least next month you’ll get a STP story.

Jefferies Tuber

They aren’t for you, Luke. Get over it. They’re entry points for a younger generation who didn’t grow up on Kirk.

dennycranium

Agree, Jefferies Tuber. (Great name for a band,BTW” While the young Burnham one fell a little flat for me, I’ve repeated Ephraim and Dot quite a few times. Yes, there is the odd canon dent but Trek has always had the odd wart. I loved the nods to TOS and through the movies. The music was great!
This short was a near perfect blend of commerce and art. Youngsters will want a tardigrade or Dot or like the Enterprise.
As I said in a previous thread, once I have grandchildren, these shorts will be the first thing I show them.
I’ve no problem with pointing out flaws and mistakes but I don’t understand the vitriolic posts from some of us. There are lots of shows I don’t like- I’m not slamming them on message boards or social media…*smh*

noraa

Geez, these are supposed to be fun and cute shorts – targeted more towards kids than adults. Yes there were some continuity gaffs (mainly the 1701-A on the Enterprise refit), but they certainly didn’t take away from my enjoyment. Do you just feel that animation is beneath you? If that’s the case, you’re missing out on some incredible animated shows and movies that are out there.

Gary 8.5

You have to be careful about Trek Content aimed at children because kids don’t like Trek. Oh, wait… It’s December. both of these shorts are perfect for the holidays.

Chris Pedersen

Who says kids dont like Trek? I was 6 years old when I discovered TOS and loved every Trek since. My daughters are college age now and have love Trek since they were toddlers.

Tiger2

Gary sounds like he is joking but if he isn’t I think he just means they aren’t really attracted to it the way they are the bigger kid friendlier franchises like Marvel, Harry Potter, Transformers, Star Wars and on and on.

But yes plenty of people got into Star Trek as kids, me included. Like you I started watching TOS when I was young, at five years old (but probably didn’t really understand much of it until I was 7 or 8 lol). But Trek still probably ranks lower on the totem pole for most kids. I still remember when I went to see Beyond in theaters, I could count the number of kids there on both hands. Compare that to how many showed up for the latest Spider Man movie its not even a contest.

And its probably why they are making animated shows now, which is why I don’t get why some people are so up in arms about it. Not EVERYTHING has to be aimed at you and this will open Trek up to kids who probably see it as too serious for them to like.

Both of these shorts show that they can make things for kids and still mature enough for us oldies to enjoy too. It’s actually pretty surprising just how much people liked these.

odradek

@Tiger2

If the goal was to bring children into Star Trek I think Burnham was a very poor choice. Not because I don’t like Michael but most parents would not show Discovery to their kids, because it is to violent. Uhura would have been a much better choice to introduce children to Star Trek in that specific story. After that you can show them TOS and TAS if they got hooked. Additionally it does not hurt that Uhura actually is from Africa. I don’t think Burnham is.

TG47

odarek, I agree.

Burnham is featured because she’s the current star character, but Discovery is not a show suitable for young children.

In fact, most recent Trek content (Discovery and the Kelvin movies) isn’t appropriate for the children.

It’s made for a 14+ rating, and it falls in the category of things we may watch with our preteen middle-graders, but not something they see on their own.

Some episodes are fine, and more so in S2 of Discovery, but with a heavily serialized storyline, it’s tricky to omit episodes. Our kids still haven’t seen Discovery S1, although we’re thinking they are about ready with a couple of omissions (the 2 episodes that got 18+ ratings in Canada).

I give kudos to Patrick Stewart for saying up front that Picard won’t be suitable.

The problem is bigger than Trek though. The move away from the mass television market of 50 years ago towards niche marketing, first through premium cable and then streaming, means that kids shows are generally targeted to kids.

On one hand, fracturing the Trek audience may seem to go against the reconciling diversity IDIC values of Trek. On the other, it means that Trek can put forward a broader and more diverse range of creative products.

Star Wars has used merchandise marketing and targeted animation to bring kids in. Kurtzman deserves credit for acknowledging the problem and putting forward solutions. If I see this short in this vein, it’s making an important contribution.

Danpaine

Good point, odradek.

Tiger2

Woah, where did I remotely imply Discovery is suppose to bring kids into Star Trek? That show is literally rated mature lol.

As for Burnham being in the short versus Uhura, I don’t really think it matters. Her father is just telling her a bed time story. And as TG57 said she’s in the story because she’s the star of the franchise right now. But I don’t think it matters much. It’s an 8 minute short.

Michael Hall

No, you’re right, it doesn’t much matter. Adult Burnham may headline a series-not-suitable-for-children, but her inclusion in this story’s framing device as a twelve year-old was perfectly suitable for everyone.

That said, Uhura would have been an awesome choice.

odradek

I only meant “The Girl Who Made the Stars” falls short for promotional value.

like this:

Parent shows “The Girl Who Made the Stars” to kid.
Parent: Did you like it?
Kid: I love it. Can I see more stories with Michael?
Parent:NO. I’m afraid not.
Kid: Any other similar stories???
Parent:… well…sure there is a whole universe of that kind of stories like…The Lion King, Monsters Inc and Moana.
Kid: Sounds great.
Parent: Then I guess I have to cancel CbsAA and sub Disney+

Tiger2

LOL I don’t think that was the intention though. And I could see your point a little more if the show was actually about a kid Micheal. This was just a nice one off. The Nickelodeon show is what is going to be aimed directly at kids.

Check The Circuit

Discovery is too violent?? Have you watched TOS? Remember when they blew up Batgirl while she was being asphyxiated? When miners were burnt to crisps? Or when 430 Starfleet officers killed themselves with their bare hands. How about when McCoy was hung on chains and tortured? Then there was the time when a woman was turned into a cube of styrofoam and crushed. Oh…and remember when a guy stabbed himself with a butter knife? Or when a shuttle pilot took a stone spear in the back? Not to mention the countless ways red shirts were blown up, disintegrated, pushed into bottomless or sucked dry of salt.

Let’s not be to precious about the wholesomeness of TOS.

The River Temarc

And yet somehow they managed to get hooked without cutesy cartoons to lure them.

I’m not watching any of the Short Treks until next month, when I re-subscribe to CBS All Access for PICARD. I suspect these will end up being mostly harmless and not something we think of as canon. I’m skeptical that they’re going to create an audience of five-year-old Trekkies, though.

Tiger2

A. Why is it not OK to just have animated shows like any franchise out there?

B. Neither of these stories WILL have anything to do with canon because they are simple and innocent standalone stories, so again why does it matter? Unless we later find out the Borg tries to go back in time to Africa to assimilate the First People and the Night Beast to gain an early foothold in the Alpha quadrant, I don’t think its going to have an effect on any future Trek stories.

Just enjoy it for what it is, nothing more, nothing less.

The River Temarc

A. Why is it not OK to just have animated shows like any franchise out there?

Any franchise? Please tell me where we have animated BREAKING BAD, GAME OF THRONES, THE SOPRANOS, THE AMERICANS, MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, OCCUPIED, JACK RYAN, HOUSE OF CARDS, etc.

I would also note that in the STARGATE franchise, the only animated series fell absolutely flat.

Tiger2

Obviously I meant any franchise that feels animation is suitable for it (but I would pay real money for that Breaking Bad animated show ;)).

Star Trek had an animation show literally 40 years ago already. This is not exactly something NEW for it, calm down. Dude if you don’t want to watch them, fine, just don’t watch them. You already have Discovery, Picard, Section 31 and maybe even a new movie in a few years and who knows what else? Does EVERYTHING has to be aimed at you?

The River Temarc

so again why does it matter?

By itself, not much, but I’m more concerned with the upcoming bevy of animated series diluted the franchise.

Tiger2

Star Wars has three animated shows, two of them are VERY popular by the fanbase (and I’m now watching Clone Wars for the first time and loving it). No one thinks those shows are ‘diluting the franchise’ and in fact many think they are better than the current crop of films.

Can you just wait and see what the new shows bring before you moan and complain about them being a travesty? Maybe just MAYBE they will prove to be as popular as the Star Wars shows are. But if they suck, you have the choice to simply not watch them. Meanwhile enjoy the 700+ hours (and counting) of live action Star Trek you currently have.

Wait, what? The reality of Trek?? You lost me there, bud. Trek is fiction. Science Fiction. Not real, completely devoid of reality.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, can you sit back and enjoy the shows?

PEB

You sound like the Star Wars fans who hate Rebels and Resistance and the animated girl-focused shorts. Dude, these aren’t meant for you. That also doesn’t mean they’re garbage.

Michael Hall

I have no problem saying I enjoyed both of these a great deal. For what they were.

TG47

I also enjoyed them Michael Hall.

They were lovely, and I’ve watched both more already than I have ‘Ask not’, which says a lot.

I’d hoped to see this thread start off with more measured responses to Dénes’ thoughtful and balanced review.

I probably said enough on the previous thread about my reaction that the strongly worded derogatory negatives leading off a thread have a gatekeeping effect. At least this time, the views may be based in actually having seen the shorts.

That said, it really seems as though the legacy of low quality Saturday morning cartoons of the 60s and 70s has left such negative view of animation in a generation of the American viewers that their go to critique of animation is that it is cheap or ‘cheapens’.

Yes, TAS suffered the low quality Filmation animation of its day, which contrasted with the high quality origin of the writing, but that doesn’t mean all animated Trek is a ‘cheap substitute’ for ever and always.

My own view of animation is rooted in a more global perspective, growing up with National Film Board of Canada shorts, and animation brought over from Eastern Europe and the USSR (which strongly influenced American animators). Nothing in either short calls out cheap or less effort to me.

Like Dénes, my biggest pause is the 1701-A. This seems to be though a bigger part of a problem of a lack of safety net for a new generation of Trek producers.

TPTB need a better safety net for Discovery and Short Treks. Kirsten Beyer is rising to a level (now a Supervising Producer) where she’s less likely to be ignored, but can’t check everything.

Bo Yen Kim recently tweeted about spending time looking up things in Memory Alpha as she presumably is working on S31 scripts. Lower Decks and the Nickelodeon show have David Mack as a consultant.

However, it’s not clear that there is anyone who can be a resource on visual continuity as individuals director work with editors and vfx/animation teams.

noraa

100% agree with the stigma around animation, especially in the U.S. (and with the slightly older generation). Animation ≠ cheap/only for children. If anything, animation has the ability to surpass live action in beauty and thoughtfulness.

Honestly, I feel bad for those that won’t give animation a chance. There are some really fantastic animated shows and movies out there.

Michael Hall

Agreed that they’re both far more re-watchable than “Ask Not.”

Tiger2

Definitely agree with that as well. Ask Not is easily my least liked of the season.

Kevin

Jenette Goldstein also played the Enterprise-B science officer in STAR TREK: GENERATIONS.

Ashley

The Girl Who Made the Stars was cute, and certainly in the spirit of ‘Trek. Ephraim and Dot seemed designed to make certain Trekkie heads explode with all the inconsistencies and inaccuracies. It’s a cartoon though, and needs to be treated as such.

Jefferies Tuber

Suggestion: stop talking about canon. Start talking about continuity. The premise of this poorly written jumble of personal opinions is that ‘Star Trek can’t be enjoyed without adherence to canon.’ That’s nonsense. Two long paragraphs on the misplaced ‘-A’ and the TOS episode scenes being told out of order? REALLY? Did you miss the part in DSC S1 where the mycelial network cuts across time and parallel worlds? Did you miss the countless suggestions in Star Trek that humans think of time as linear, when it’s not in fact linear? Sure it’s probably a mistake that the -A is blown up on screen, but you know what? When Star Trek fandom began, we used to reconcile errors and have fun doing it. The canonists just love getting attention for pointing out what they know. In this case, we know enough to reconcile these two ‘errors’ very easily.

But why don’t the people making them know enough to avoid them? Is it acceptable that they don’t? Why are so many people so quick to forgive such easily-avoided mistakes?

Boze

Okay, I’m totally stealing that snake fight scene for my desktop.

Why can’t we have more of such authentic Third World stories in our popculture? Third World people should be allowed to share their own stories like this; they shouldn’t be eternally relegated to “equal participation” in Euro-Atlantic cultural leftovers, as if they were younger siblings forced to wear second-hand clothes. The Hollywood will never stop yapping about “diversity”, but the would rather paint Spider-Man black, than make a movie about Anansi the Spider.

TG47

Great point Boze!

I’d like to riff off the spider point…

There are important human cultural symbols from outside Western European culture that Trek has, in it’s ‘Western Civ 101’ approach to human history, not only ignored but, by buying into Western European symbols, perpetrated negatives.

Spiders = bad, was certainly an element of the Tholian Web.

By contrast Anansi has a more complex symbolism, and in Ukrainian and Russian symbolism, spiders represent industriousness and good housekeeping (good).

It would be cool for Trek to use it’s allegorical power to get past some Western Civilization symbols, and promote the understanding of diversity that’s been at the heart of the the franchise from the start.

TechNoir

It is odd the registry could be mislabeled. Presumably they would have to go back and watch “Search for Spock” for reference material in the animation. Hmm. Oh well. I still like it.

No wonder Michael Burnham is the center of the universe— she created it!

noraa

Not sure if you’re being serious or not, but you must have missed the point that this was the story about a young girl 1000’s of years ago – and that she looked and sounded like young Michael because, as a child, she projected herself into the story.

Palizia

Burnham Fatigue.

Gary 8.5

Burnham Criticism Fatigue.

noraa

Did you actually watch the short? Because it really had nothing to do with Michael – she was simply the framing device.

noraa

I though both of these shorts were really fun and enjoyable, but I absolutely loved “Ephraim and Dot.” It really felt like EandD was a love letter of sorts to The Original Series, with Ephraim following the Enterprise through its 5 year mission and beyond, all the way up to The Search for Spock. The animation was also excellent, especially with the Enterprise, and it’s ultimate destruction – which was beautifully animated. Sure, there were a couple of continuity and canon gaffs in it, but they didn’t take away from enjoyment.

I really hope TPTB continue to experiment with various stories and styles with these Short Treks – they’re a great sandbox to play around in.

TG47

Totally agree with you noraa.

It’s unfortunate that some TOS fans aren’t able to get past the modest continuity errors – particularly since Gianncono has tweeted that he intended E&B for OG fans.

That’s why it would be great if TPTB put in place someone who could be a visual continuity checker or safety net. It’s easy for something to slip by when one is very close to a project.

Some of these small things seem to be insurmountable obstacles for some of us. It puts a lot of negativity out there, and doesn’t serve the franchise.

If they are conscious creative choices that’s one thing, but if having someone with knowledge of visual continuity put fresh eyes on the storyboards would avoid these things, and the endless grumpiness from some quarters, it sounds as though it would be a good investment.

Tiger2

Agree as well noraa!

I not only loved these two shorts, but it really shows all the possibilities you can do with this format. I was originally a little skeptical of it when the idea was announced because I just thought they were going to be ‘mini-episodes’ of Discovery and nothing more than that. Basically just an excuse to keep us on the hook until the real show started again. But once they announced Calypso it was an indicator of what these shorts can really do and got me excited for the possibilities.

I have to say this season of them have been great Although it’s basically been mostly relegated to 23rd century stories or Pike related, but Discovery itself didn’t get a single story outside of The Girl Who Made the Stars and outside of a young Burnham. And that was really just a set up for the story itself.

But they all been really good, although Ask Not was definitely the weakest for me. And next month’s looks really mysterious. We have no idea what it’s about at all, only that it’s Picard related in some way.

In the future we can get all kinds of things. We got a lot of TOS/Pike orientated stories this season but I won’t be too shocked if we eventually get some of the other shows like TNG, VOY, ENT, etc, even if just in animated form. The entire reason we have a Picard show now because they originally wanted Stewart in a short in first season. This format proves that the sky is definitely the limit. It’s a really exciting time for Star Trek fans. :)

Donald G

Re: Possible in-universe explanations for the discontinuities in “Ephraim and Dot”

1.) This short is one of those factually inaccurate adaptations authorized by Starfleet’s Public Affairs Office that Admiral Kirk complains about in his preface to the Star Trek: TMP novelization.

2.) The errors are deliberately put there as part of a strategy “to confuse threat forces,” as per Sternbach and Okuda’s introduction to the ST:TNG TECHNICAL MANUAL (which was their way of dismissing while also acknowledging previously published officially licensed and unlicensed unofficial technical works).

How about just not worrying about it and enjoy it for what it is. A cute, short story. Go watch Pixar’s Wall-E some time if you really want to short circuit your discontinuity hard wiring.

Gary 8.5

Lets not forget the simple one. traveling through the network,Ephraim encountered an alternate timeline.

Who cares

My thoughts on the shorts.

December 12th 2019 saw the release of 2 animated Short Trek Episodes, Ephriam and Dot, and The Girl Who Made The Stars. This marks the first new animated Trek since the 1970s.

The first, Ephriam and Dot takes the form of a Federation Edutainment program for children, with a close to Spock narration voice. A Tardigrade, searching for a warm safe place to lay its eggs, which will take years to hatch, stumbles across the USS Enterprise as Captain Kirk is questioning Khan in Sickbay. After encountering a DOT repair drone the Tardigrade makes it inside the ship and after shenannigans with the DOT lays its eggs deep inside the warp core. There they remain as the two battle all the way to the Genesis planet where after finally ejecting the Tardigrade from the ship DOT sees the eggs, and recieves the self destruct signal. DOT rescues the eggs and unites with the Tardigrade.

The second, The Girl Who Made The Stars, is based (loosely I assume) on a real African myth. The story is framed as a bedtime story told to a young Michael Burnham by her father when the famiily is stationed on a starbase.

Frightened of an Ion Storm and afraid of the dark Michael is comforted by her father with a story set a thousand centuries ago. When the sky had no stars, and the night was utter darkness. The primitive people, just barely learning farming, were causing a dust bowl famine as they didn’t understand crop rotation or fertilization. A young girl’s suggestion to move was dismissed because they couldn’t go far enough before night.

The girl snuck away on her own, and after nearly giving in to her fear, saw something crash down from out of the sky. Aproaching she saw an utterly non-human being in a crashed spaceship, she approached it, curious but unafraid. Her lack of fear impressed the being and before repairing its ship and returning to space it gave her a gift for her people. Returning home, she shared her gift, stars, to light the sky at night, and end her people’s fear of the dark.

I watched both with my daughters, ages 13 and 6. Before starting the first one my 6 year old wasn’t very interested, she was hooked quick, we watched them 2 more times tonight, lol. I enjoyed them quite a bit as well, the framing devices were neat, and the TOS to TSFS montage as a background to a very entertaining Tom & Jerry esq rivalry with the Childrens Tardigrade Nature cartoon narration is remeniscient of some old Disney shorts in a good way. The second was special, it sprinkled little parental talking points in, like the aformentioned crop rotation, verbally and visually tells a myth as alien encounter story very well, and giving them the stars could have been a device which cleared a post volcanic or meteoroidal cloud layer allowing the stars to be seen.

Overall I am.very pleased.

I didn’t get much out of either one of these. I wish I had! I keep trying to enjoy these new Treks, but it’s mostly not working; I don’t know who they’re being made for, but it sure ain’t me.

TG47

Bryant Burnett, it’s okay if these aren’t for you.

Under 10 minute one-off experiments have the luxury of not having to appeal to the mass Trek market.

I still surprised by how much of a smile they put on my face. Just genuine delight.

It’s good to know that some us, who have kids, are finding them successful.

It seems that Trek’s stories and messages are compelling. I’m still stunned that our kids loved TAS when they were in their primary grades given how much better kids’ animation has become in the last 20 years.

They’re moving out of middle grades towards high school now, but I wonder if ‘The Encounter at Farpoint’ would still be interesting them on the nth repeat if they hadn’t had TAS to start on.

Tiger2

Really loved them both although Efraim and Dot was the clear winner for me. I’ve seen it five times now lol. I just loved its homages to TOS so much and all the callbacks it delivered. Yes there were definitely inaccuracies, some probably a mistake like the obvious A on the Enterprise the review pointed out but others were clearly done for artistic license.

And all that can be said is either you accept that or you don’t. Clearly some people don’t and that’s OK. I personally think it was a fun and inventive way to tell its story and did it in spades. We don’t have to overthink everything, it’s an 8 minute cartoon, not a big budget movie. It’s not going to have an effect on anything that’s come before or after.

These were a couple of very entertaining (there’s a word that needs to be heard in the Trek universe a helluva lot more often) short stories. The franchise needs more of this. Lots more.

Michael Hall

It needs more experimentation and risk-taking for sure. It always did, even in its glory days.

Yep, if you keep it fresh, franchise fatigue will never be a concern. This is a bit of an about face for me, but Tarentino should probably do a Trek movie, for the same reason. Let someone else take Enterprise for a spin around the block, and see what happens.

Sam

Lack of experimentation is what previously suffocated ST.

AJinMoscow

All great fun. Fix the “A” on the refit ENT, and we’re good to go.

Gary 8.5

Well Said!

Michael K

Ephraim and Dot is really fun for Trekkers of all ages, it’s clever and fun with great energy. I loved the character design and storytelling, it reminded me a little bit of Wall-E. I thought it was a stroke of genius to use the Tardigrade’s super power to travel through the Star Trek Chronology and recreate those events in animation (continuity errors not withstanding). All in all, it used the medium well.

“The Girl Who Made the Stars” is less engaging for this older Trekker, it’s not terribly relevant to Star Trek and the creation mythology is not exactly a Star Trek story either. Although there are some creative visuals, the CG animation is not exactly state of the art and the facial animations are not emotive, all of it appeared quite dated unfortunately. However I can imagine a younger audience being enthralled by the mythology, especially with a positive representation of a little girl. I’m sure my 6-year old niece would enjoy this, although she has no shortage of great animated content to watch and I don’t think this would be particularly captivating for her.

Did you catch the Alien visual there?

David Moss

My issue with modern Trek.

I think these two shorts allow for a quick expose on the status of modern Trek, not just relative to these episodes but the entire franchise.

While I could write a very long essay on this, I would like to encapsulate my thoughts in short form here. I’ll start out by saying that I believe “my Star Trek” is dead, at least for now and there are four specific areas that I would like to point out as the leading characteristics of why I say this.

The first has to do with the entire basis of Star Trek. While the best Star Trek has always been a reflection of modern issues, for the most part, modern Trek ignores these. Yes, every now and then there is a sprinkle of an issue, but when you delve into it, it almost seems accidental. Today’s episodes are more about action-adventure then any morality tales.

The second part goes back to Star Trek’s core. “…to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man/one has gone before.” When was the last time that any modern Trek explored anything? Picard said it best in First Contact when he said: “we used to be explorers.” The New Eden episode of Disovery is the only one I can think of and likely why it is heralded as one of the best.

Next is about continuity, and I’ll point out that I am not talking about cannon. I recognized Trek needs to be modernized and sometimes cannon will suffer. That said, continuity is about setting up your own rules and following them, or in the case of modern Trek just ignoring or forgetting about them. I’ll use this short as one example of many… While I think it is silly that Discovery is completely forgotten about because Spock tells Starfleet to remove them from the record along with everything else, they did indicate that at the end of Discovery. So, how is it that a Starfleet historian is talking about the mycelium network? How is it that Michael has a stuffed tardigrade but knows nothing of them as an adult? Going back to Discovery, how is it that at the end of season 2 Ash can not be seen on any Klingon ship until the last episode when he can? Forgetting about cannon, I think it is either sloppy writing or talking down to the viewer that these things are allowed to happen. Don’t get me started on Tribbles!

Finally is the lack of any scientific accuracy. Of course, Trek has always had to play lose with science, or we wouldn’t have a show with transporters and warp drive. But there was a lot of plausibility to most of the other science in all versions of past Trek. Today they’ll throw anything out there that creates an explosion or battle. For example, how did 7 lights from different parts of the galaxy all arrive at the same destination at the same time? Just aweful.

I have hundreds of hours of great Trek to watch. I hope one day another group will come along and put it back into a sci-fi morality tale exploring the human condition. I can hope.

Counterpoints, and I’m going to assume that the dead Trek you’re longing for is TOS:

Issues of the day: Yes, TOS did touch on those. Problem is, it was for better or worse. This morality play had then-Captain Pike lamenting that he’ll never get use to skirts on the bridge, and Spock leering at Yeoman Rand about liking it rough after she’d been raped by evil Kirk. Times change, and so must Trek.

Exploring: Okay, how many times did TOS head off to areas of space where humans had visited before? Plenty. Did the writers throw in plot device episodes, like The Doomsday Machine? Sure, but so did other Trek shows. Times change, and the streaming format is more in tune with serialized storytelling…you know, like DS9, which was groundbreaking. The reality check on people on a spaceship, exploring, at FTL speeds, is that you could still be traveling decades to go from one star to another. That makes for pretty boring TV.

Continuity: You’re beating a dead horse here, the franchise is littered with it.

Scientific accuracy: You complain about the lack of scientific accuracy, then immediately contradict yourself. Trek basically still ignores AI, the scientific reality there is that it won’t be fleets of spaceships out exploring the stars, it’ll be scanners and computers doing what AI, in it’s infancy, is doing now. But that makes for boring TV, too.

Sci-fi also stretchs the imagination. Please consider that in your critique.

David Moss

I appreciate your thoughts, and no I was not just thinking TOS. To me, Trek stayed true to itself through TNG and even at points DS9 (which I love by the way). I don’t think Voyager and Enterprise were great shows but they tried to stay true. I do think that modern Trek departs so much from the original concept that it is hard to recognize.

That said I think there is room for both to exist. I can see a scenario whereas a Pike or Pike “like” show can return to the “boldly going” format while Disco stays what it is.

And unfortunately, I don’t see much sci-fi in the new versions. Where are the heavy-handed hard concepts like City on the Edge of Forever, or The Inner Light, or Doomsday Machine, or Yesterday’s Enterprise, or The Visitor, etc? They don’t exist in my opinion.

Good debate none-the-less.

PaulB

Attention to detail is a sign of love. The errors here could have been avoided if Trek were being made by people who care about it. We all need to remember that Trek is a money-making product in the hands of people who don’t really care about its legacy, origins, or nuances.

These were cute episodes if you keep that in mind. If you expect more from the current Trek runners, you probably disliked them, but that’s like expecting prime rib on the McDonald’s $1 menu. (Dollar-menu Trek: low-quality ingredients prepared by the apathetic for the desperately hungry)

Michael Hall

*Sigh* You may have issues with what the current creative team is doing with this franchise, as I sometimes do. You may even out-and-out dislike their work. That’s entirely fair. What’s decidedly not fair is ascribing base motives on their part to your dissatisfaction, such as claiming without evidence — in fact, much evidence to the contrary — that those involved are simply in the process of churning out product with no regards to quality or attention to Trek’s ongoing legacy. That’s just on par with accusing people of raping your childhood, fanboyism run amok.

PaulB

“That’s just on par with accusing people of raping your childhood, fanboyism run amok.” Not even close. First, only a-holes talk about someone “raping” their childhood. Decent people take the topic of rape too seriously to use that term that way. Second, I stand by every word I posted. You presented no evidence to the contrary, nor any reason I should change my opinion. Meanwhile, we have the evidence of (a) the lack of attention to detail here and (b) the entirely of DSC season 1 to show their lack of love for Star Trek. (I really liked season 2 of DSC.)

My comments here are valid. Don’t like ’em? Tough tardi!

Fred Javelina

PaulB – may I call you PaulB?

Do you actually enjoy creative works, or only if they completely agree, 100%, with your own preconceived notions and expectations?

Do you sit in front of a movie or TV show with a giant Book of Rules, red pen in hand, waiting for them to subvert your expectations, or screw up in some minor way, so you can point and say “See! I told you this show was terrible!”

Your opinions aren’t facts. They are merely your opinions. If you don’t like the show, fine, but don’t make up reasons to “prove” why something is bad, or claim that other people who actually enjoy things are stupid for doing so.

They made TWO CARTOONS FOR YOUNGER VIEWERS, for crying out loud. Do you go over the Duck Dodgers cartoons and write angry letters to Warner Brothers if they get the sound effect of the giant electric eyeball wrong? Are you really that person who needs to scrub away any concept of fun, or joy, or playfulness, because one episode of a TV show metaphorically knocked over your very carefully curated, not-to-be-touched tinkertoy mental view of its universe?

I weep for you. Honestly, I do. You have no idea how hard people work – hundreds of people! – to create things for people to enjoy, to shepherd their own ideas, fragile as they are, through the creative process, to debate and argue and fight and struggle to get their vision onscreen, and the meat grinder of commercial entertainment, so that we get some semblance of their concept on our screens, all so some Comic Book Guy can deride all their efforts because of a stray letter A on a starship hull.

Do you wonder why people actually like Star Wars (for all its flaws) more than Star Trek? Because Star Wars is FUN and is (especially now) explicitly sold as a space fantasy adventure series that everyone can see themselves being a part of.

Star Trek, for all of its positive contributions and culture of IDIC, has this toxic gatekeeping culture around it. It’s impossible to just like it casually, because some dude in a turtlehead wig will mock you for not knowing the difference between a self-sealing stem bolt and a flux capacitor.

When they’ve tried to make Star Trek FUN and appeal to a wider audience – different age groups, different genders, people who don’t (and shouldn’t have to) know all the trivia, the toxic gatekeepers make a lot of noise and scare away any potential new fans the franchise might have.

I mean, picking on a couple of quite well-made cartoons. How low has this community become? How can you people look at yourselves in the mirror? How joyless and friendless are your lives, if you act like this about everything?

I’ll leave you with this apt rant by John Hodgman.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1285782711605807

PaulB

@Fred – I stopped reading about two sentences into your condescending rant.

My comments are mild compared to hatred being spewed around here. I said these episodes are FINE. I expressed an opinion.

And then you and Michael Hall started whining at me about it. GET OVER IT. Nothing I said is false. You disagree? Good for you! I don’t care.

Fred Javelina

PaulB, sorry if I came crashing down on your head there.

But I do take issue with how you frame your arguments.

First, you accuse the people who make it of not caring about it. I quote: “The errors here could have been avoided if Trek were being made by people who care about it.”

And then go on to accuse them of being “people who don’t really care about its legacy, origins, or nuances.”

You haven’t provided any proof of either of these claims.

And that would be text, recordings, photos, anything FROM someone involved in the show that they somehow find it unworthy, laughable, ‘just a job,’ who openly deride fans, etc.

I’ve been following lots of the Discovery production staff and actors on social media, and guess what?

You never hear them say stuff like that, ever. On the contrary. They are so GRATEFUL to have the chance to play in this sandbox, they work extra hard to make sure fans are happy, while still pushing the medium and the stories to do something new.

It’s an extremely fine line to tread. It might be less stressful to run for political office, to be honest.

While we can never truly know what is within the minds of other people, at the very least, in all of the interviews and behind-the-scenes documentaries, I get the sense of people who are working at a very high level of craft. They are invested in their work, they take a lot of pride in it.

The reality of TV production is that sometimes things get missed. It’s not because they don’t care, it’s because there are time and cost pressures. If it’s flagrant, they usually try to fix it. But trust me when I say they really hate missing things as much as you hate noticing them.

Whether you find it aesthetically pleasing or not – the set design, costume design, props, visual effects, lighting, acting, camera work, all of this is way, WAY above the usual line that you would see on network television. Most feature films don’t get this level of attention.

The point is, you don’t get quality TV like this without people that care and who fight to make sure that the quality comes through in every frame of the show.

“Dollar menu Trek?” Seriously?

If you want to talk real dollars: The entire budget for Star Trek II: TWOK was 11 million dollars – about $29M adjusted for inflation today.

The budget *per episode* of Discovery is about 8 million dollars. If you think of premium cable shows as being super-long movies split into episodes, Discovery S1 would be a $120 million movie.

I mean, this new Trek world has people like Michael Chabon – who usually derides most entertainment as junk – writing for it and being the showrunner. A Nebula / Hugo and freakin’ PULITZER PRIZE winning author. How lucky are we that he even dropped in to have a look?

Yeah, you’re entitled not to enjoy it! That’s fine.

But you have no proof that the creators don’t care.

The thing is, what you’re saying isn’t new. I’ve been on this site for nearly 10 years now, and people have said similar stuff. But guess what? The creators keep creating.

This idea that because some of us don’t like it, the creators and showrunners are actively… evil? in some way? Venal, crass, only in it for the money? That is twisted.

And this idea that the stuff that one person likes about Trek is high, mighty and noble, therefore the parts that person doesn’t like must be pablum for simpletons?

That is toxic. That is what drives fans and potential fans away. I’m not saying we can’t be critical, but we shouldn’t be slandering the creators wholesale.

PaulB

I said “These were cute episodes…” and you replied with an epic rant about attacking cartoons. Your rant have more emotion and hostility than anything I said.

The problem here isn’t me. It’s people like you, who can’t accept that other folks have differing opinions about something you enjoy. YOU are the one who attacked someone here–me. *I* didn’t reply to your opinion, after all. You came after me.

So, between the two of us, only one of us has anything to worry about in their behavior, and it’s not me.

TG47

Thanks for your thoughtful remarks Fred Javelina. I read them and appreciated them even if the person you were responding to did not.

I’m concerned about the gatekeeping too. I’m hoping it will settle down again as the volume of new Trek content increases.

As perspective, I recall being incredibly intimidated and discouraged at some point in the mid-1980s when a friend asked me along to a Trek fan event. I’m considered myself a real Trek fan having watched all the episodes and read all the logs. Getting a score less than 10% on a quiz game still is a vivid memory.

I didn’t dare agree to join any more Trek fan activities until the same friend persuaded me to come along to a CreationCon early in TNG’s run. It was a completely different experience.

I hope the creatives get the opportunity hang in there and put out the new Trek content that could reach past the threshold again.

I also hope though that in the multimillion dollar budgets for these products, TPTB would add the salary for a few fresh-eyed safety net folks. Some of the easily critique-able things might be avoidable with an out of team consult on storyboards.

While another person on the consultation and sign-off loop can seem to be a burden, I can’t say how many times in my very different creative work that it’s saved me from things I couldn’t see anymore. At my grad school, there was an expression ‘no one is smart without peers.’. It also seems to be the ethos of the Federation.

Michael Hall

Oh, dear.

PaulB

“Oh, dear.” Poor baby. Sorry your feelings are so fragile that a stranger on the internet talking about a show you have nothing to do with can make you feel such feelings. So sad…

Seriously, get the hell over it. You don’t like my opinions. So what? Grow up.

DejectedRedshirt

Well said Paul. This stuff CBS is doing is just ruining Trek

ST:EXP

Although I watch these Short Treks hoping to see actual Star Trek again one day instead of indie film experimentation, I will say that the closing credits music to Ephram and Dot might be the single greatest rendition of the TOS theme I’ve ever heard on any soundtrack anywhere. Magnificent.

tacotuesday

These were both very enjoyable. Exactly what Short Treks should be — experiments in other styles of storytelling they otherwise couldn’t produce.

Aus Trekker

Just when I thought Trek couldn’t get any lower. Anyone who stands by this trash is insane.

VZX

They were good. We need to get more kids into Star Trek, and something like this could work.

Gus

I said, well, Ill watch it with my kids, get trek in their soul, and what the heck, they hated them both. The only good thing were the cameos from TOS, the rest, honestly GARBAGE! Trek has turned into pure garbage! Like I say to my firends, I Watch everything, every year, and re-watch it, bought everything on every format. Discovery, I´d neve rwatch again, and of course, not buy it either.

TG47

Sorry to hear that Gus.

Our middle-graders were split on these two. The one said ‘they’re kind of cringy’, but the other really liked them and I was getting the ‘what’s your favourite scene’ question the next day. But nothing like hate.

We found TAS very successful when our kids were in primary grades. But they had had a good foundation already with Odd Squad before seeing TAS on dvd. If your kids are younger, Odd Squad’s humour, acceptance and inquiry – not to mention Trek Easter eggs and tributes (e.g. the Trouble with Centigurps) make it a favourite – while teaching math concepts.

Seasoned Spirit Drinker

I was not really looking forward to these two shorts, or the upcoming animated series (I’m just not much of a fan of any animation) but I loved Ephraim and Dot. It was a lot of fun, the music was a spot on blend of Trek and Looney Tunes, and it even had me feeling feelings! I didn’t love The Girl Who Made The Stars (particularly it’s animation style) but it has at least piqued my interest for the upcoming animated shows that I was previously very unenthused about. Ephraim and Dot was my favourite short of this season so far (no disrespect to Pike, Spock and No One!) and I think it’ll be one I’ll return to again and again, they same way I felt about Calypso last season.

Ian

Ephraim and Dot was fun, continuity not being thought through notwithstanding. The Girl… is bland in all respects, my least favorite Short Trek to date. Animation though is a lovely way to push the franchise when used well. Hope it keeps up.

DejectedRedshirt

They were… wayyy too juvenile