Captain Knapp briefly clashes with new XO Elizabeth Shelby’s attitude before the Excelsior heads off to investigate the disappearance of the Nova-class USS Perihelion. Arriving at the ship’s last known coordinates, they discover the ship in an impossibly close orbit of a quantum singularity, alongside an unknown vessel that dwarfs the Excelsior. When an investigation reveals the strange, deleterious effects that the singularity had on the Perihelion crew and now the Excelsior crew as well, they realize what the ramifications could be for the entire galaxy in………………………………….
Do you remember when Deep space nine came online and found a gateway to the other end of the galaxy and then sat there for roughly three years doing nothing. Well Deep Space 12 has come online to face down the threat of the ancient race known as the Grey and has now done a Titanic episode and a cross over with Star Wars rather than follow that lame plot thread. It makes me appreciate Babylon 5 all the more for actually furthering the story every week or maybe it didn’t and I’m just mis-remembering. Either way this week were off to find a crew of rookies who have sent out a distress signal after being driven mad for for getting too close to the black hole.
This episode also marks the introduction of both a new Robin Lefler and a new XO in the form of commander Shelby from ‘Star Trek: New Frontier’ and the tng two-parter ‘Best of Both Worlds’. What happened to the last guy? Who knows, maybe he was taken in by ‘Temporal Investigations’ for questioning, maybe he’s just sat in his room building model after model of the Titanic. We get this all over a game of poker in ten forward, because it’s star trek so of course they have to play poker. Does anyone else miss when they used to just sit around playing chess all day? The cap’n doesn’t trust Shelby because he thinks she might be a spy for Starfleet showing that he may have been a bit paranoid before he started hearing voices and seeing Borg in his bedroom. Meanwhile Shelby resent still being a first officer after ten years in space and is bucking for a promotion. Of course due to Riker’s bad precedent Starfleet isn’t sure what to make of a first officer who actually wants a promotion and thus she sees Captain Knapp as in her way.
This is some good character tension for the episode and that’s before we get to the actual plot. I mean it’s a good idea for some character tension as it isn’t handled very well leaving us un endeared to a character people aren’t going to remember to fondly after butting head with Will Riker and making the captain look like he should be wearing a tin foil hat. But it’s a good idea. The main plot is also a good idea as a ship from another reality has made it’s way into ours and the clash from the two realities is driving everyone in the immediate vicinity insane. Something the captain deals with by deciding to leave immediately, being talked out of straight away by the lowest ranked person in the briefing room, sending his away team over to the death trap and then taking a nap. I won’t spoil how they solve the problem but let;s just say it isn’t exactly high brow sciency stuff no matter how much techno babble they dress it up with.
This isn’t a bad episode but and I can’t believe I’m saying this it could do with more time to breath. We could have some more depth given to the two leads clashing over the chain of command. We could have some dark, tense, atmospheric moments as we explore ships where crew members tore each other limb from limb as they were driven over the edge. But maybe that’s just beyond the budget when you’re running on green screen back drops you’ve pinched from a t.v show.