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Star Trek: What Happens When a Pulitzer Prize Winner Writes an Episode


Percentage.

Michael Chabon’s Odyssey riff is without doubt one of the perfect Famous person Trek tales in years.

Complete spoilers practice for this episode.

The second one of the Brief Treks, “Calypso,” isn’t just an enormous growth over the primary installment, which debuted final month, but in addition a prime watermark for CBS All Get admission to’ Famous person Trek output typically, which started with the debut of Discovery final yr. And it makes its fashionable and poetic have an effect on with a tale about simply two characters, trapped in combination on a misplaced send, neither of whom we’ve ever met prior to (and rather perhaps gained’t ever meet once more).

Watch the trailer for “Calypso” above.

Scripted via the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Chabon, from a tale via Chabon and Discovery author Sean Cochran, “Calypso” is on its face a reasonably easy tale, a 16-minute rethinking of the titular story from Homer’s The Odyssey, and but Chabon elevates the fabric to a virtually chic level, providing up a lonely hero and a in all probability even lonelier nymph… who occurs to be a pc.

Aldis Hodge stars as Craft, a soldier from the planet Alcor IV who has been adrift and misplaced in area, most effective to be stored via the united statesDiscovery. Or extra in particular, via the Discovery’s synthetic intelligence, which calls itself Zora and is charmingly voiced via Annabelle Wallis. Zora nurses Craft again to well being, and an not going love affair between the 2 quickly starts.

How and why the Discovery now has an AI is unclear, as is how the send wound up in its present scenario — caught in some roughly area hurricane whilst watching for the go back of its team, who’ve been lacking for one thousand years. 1000 years! No surprise Zora is so smitten when Craft displays up…

Aldis Hodge as Craft in "Calypso"

Aldis Hodge as Craft in “Calypso”

This retelling of the Calypso tale from The Odyssey works in addition to it does no longer simply as a result of the scripting, which is emotional and but understated, but in addition as a result of the performances from Hodge and Wallis. Craft is war-weary and lonely, longing to go back to his spouse and kid again house, whilst Zora is weary in its — her — personal approach, having spent a millennium on my own, keen herself to adapt with the intention to go the time. The ensuing giggly but unhappy pc voice is so straight away likable and sympathetic that it’s inconceivable to begrudge her for short of to stay Craft all to herself to ease her burden.

And but, as soon as Zora manifests a holographic frame with the intention to reenact a dance from the Audrey Hepburn/Fred Astaire musical Humorous Face — a ordinary fixation of Zora’s this is in all probability a tad too harking back to a identical thought in Pixar’s WALL-E — Craft comes this with reference to dropping himself to her. The bond between the 2 is simple, however Craft gained’t depart at the back of the reminiscence of his circle of relatives, and in that second they each notice that their existence in combination at the Discovery can’t proceed.

All of the package deal culminates touchingly sufficient as Zora imparts on Craft a “identify” — Humorous Face, after all — whilst we be told that on his homeworld, the customized is for a lover to do the similar.

After which the tale ends. Will Craft make it house? What is going to occur to Zora? Is that this really the destiny of the united statesDiscovery, to be deserted via its team at some long run level and left on my own in deep area for one thousand years? Who can say, however that is unquestionably the type of tale that the Brief Treks will have to be telling — stories that aren’t most effective set out of doors of the traditional scope of Discovery’s characters and international, but in addition out of doors the storytelling norms of the display. It’s a brand new type of Famous person Trek on TV, necessarily, and we will most effective hope for extra like this sooner or later.

Questions and Notes from the Q Continuum:

  • Chabon could also be a part of the writing workforce at the back of the impending Picard display.
  • Is the identify Zora a connection with Blade Runner’s Zhora?
  • Annabelle Wallis additionally starred along Tom Cruise in Discovery govt manufacturer Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy.
  • Chabon instructed me in an interview about this episode that he want to additional discover the arena of Craft, necessarily retelling the tale of The Odyssey with the nature (however, he added, there are lately no plans to take action).
  • One can’t assist however understand that the age distinction between Zora and Craft isn’t all that other from the age distinction between Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. Ahem.
  • The state of the Discovery right here leaves such a lot of questions that one will have to think will stay unanswered for the foreseeable long run… except a Season 2 episode someway addresses them?

The Verdict

“Calypso” is without doubt one of the perfect Famous person Trek tales to come back round in rather a while, benefitting from its willingness to introduce new characters and situations that don’t depend on pre-existing canon. Stylishly directed via Olatunde Osunsanmi and wonderfully acted, the fast is touching, romantic, and unhappy, taking part in a vintage Trek riff — what does it imply, in reality, to be human? — whilst adapting an historic tale, however feeling contemporary and new all of the identical.

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