Star Trek: Short Treks: Ephraim and Dot
December 13, 2019 9:07 PM - Season 2, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Cute pregnant tardigrade meets protective not-entirely-un-WALL-E-esque ship's robot; complications ensue.

Memory Alpha boldly goes there:

- The title character Dot appeared with blue markings, like the other DOT-7s seen in Star Trek: Discovery, in the first trailer for this episode.

- [tons of other stuff that I won't C&P; seriously, this is about the quickest that a decent-length article has gone up for a DSC-era Trek article. Check it out via the link above!]

- io9: The Newest Short Treks Offer a Bright Hope for Star Trek's Animated Future [note: also includes spoilers for the other Short Treks episode released at the same time, "The Girl Who Made the Stars", which will have its own entry on the purple]:
It’s spectacularly silly. It is unabashedly cartoonish. But it comes from a position of great love and reverence for Star Trek history and not just for its nostalgic use of scenes and dialogue. Star Trek arguably has a bit of a problem leaning on this nostalgia for the yesteryear a little too much recently, but at least here it’s a clever use of animation as a timeless medium to call back to a past that, in live action, would at this point require recasting á la Anson Mount and Ethan Peck on Discovery or “Trials and Tribble-ations” levels of archival footage trickery.
Poster's Log:

As noted above, plenty in the MA article about all the trivia. Ephraim's face doesn't doesn't look much like DSC's Ripper, or any real tardigrade, but so what? Aside from the archive voice samples from the TOS crew, the voices include Kirk Thatcher (aka the punk on the bus in STIV) and Jenette Goldstein (aka Vasquez from Aliens and the foster mom/T-1000 from Terminator 2, also briefly in Star Trek: Generations).
posted by Halloween Jack (6 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
These events, which appear in close succession in the episode, occur at different times on the Enterprise, suggesting either that the episode's events are compressed for dramatic purposes or that tardigrades experience time in a non-linear fashion.

Or maybe it's just poetic licence and fanservice? The desire to shackle everything into some Grand Unified Timeline really sucks the fun out of Trek.

This is a cute story that has some neat callbacks to old Trek stories. I enjoy when they do something different like this.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:34 AM on December 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

I love that Short Treks exist for them to play with ideas like this. Particularly liked all the fanservicy callbacks to TOS episodes; seeking floating Space Lincoln had me laughing out loud. It's OK to acknowledge some of the worst episodes of TOS while also appreciating their unique visual impact. Also appreciate this episode doesn't have to go anywhere. One and done. Although I wonder, is there any overlap in the animation crew with the Below Decks team?
posted by Nelson at 7:25 AM on December 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

It struck me that just about the same time Dot is delivering the newborn tardigrades to Ephraim, this conversation is taking place on the planet below:

"My God, Bones, what have I done?"
"What you had to do. What you always do. Turned death into a fighting chance to live."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:08 PM on December 15, 2019 [6 favorites]

Kirk Thatcher!!! I half-thought that the narrator was John Goodman.

Anyway, I wasn't really sold on this until it got to the STIII portion. Then came the feels.

The overall story is a lot like several TNG-era "let's midwife a space being's baby" episodes, albeit compressed to a mercifully shorter length.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:01 AM on December 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

I thought the little bit of continuity in the TOS universe in this episode was nice, where the first recognizable reference was Space Seed which led to the destruction of the Enterprise in STIII.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 4:36 PM on December 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

I was entertained. Sometimes, that's all I want. Also, the shots of 1701 were gorgeous.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:19 AM on January 14, 2020

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