Star Trek: Prodigy: Time Amok
January 20, 2022 4:35 AM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

After a tachyon storm hits the protodrive, the crew's time is out of joint, and it's up to Rok-Tahk to set it right.

Time flies when you're reading Memory Alpha:

• The title of this episode is a reference to TOS: "Amok Time".

• Aside from the flashback sequence in "Kobayashi", this is the first episode of the series to give a stardate for the events within the narrative of the episode, Stardate 607125.6.

"When humans first went into space, there was a mission aboard a ship called Apollo 13. Its crew was in a jam, not unlike your own. While their ship wasn't equipped with what they needed, they didn't give up. They used whatever they had onboard to get back home. And you, Dal, have a little something they did have..."
"A warp matrix?"
- Hologram Janeway and Dal

Poster's Log:
I went into this one hoping it wouldn't be yet another Dal Screws It Up story, and not only do they turn that corner, but Dal's own dialogue makes it clear that the writers knew what they were doing there.

But this episode also faced down what may be one of Prodigy's biggest challenges: making the often talky and explainy world of Trek accessible to children. Well, non-nerd-inclined children, I guess? Because I was watching TOS long before adolescence—admittedly, probably, missing some stuff here and there. But maybe comparing me in the early '80s to similar-aged kids now isn't valid, given the utterly different media landscape now. More choices, more nerdspeak across all those choices. Anyway, I thought the visual aids here helped. …Honestly, they helped ME, this being a fairly complicated temporal-whatsit story.

Speaking of, this episode is also wise to introduce a late-game complication (in the form of Robo McPoyle) to its temporal-whatsit plot, the better to heighten the panic. And another thing I like about this one!: it doesn't shy away from getting a little dark. Kids need dark stuff in their stories sometimes—and Jankom remembering his own death? Does that mean he remembers getting Sarah-Connor-at-the-fence'd by the protodrive? Yikes! And maybe creepier still is the intimation that Rok could very well have been alone for, like, years.

And along with all of that, in this short span of time, they manage to create some pathos, and give some meaty (crunchy?) character stuff to Rok.

Poster's Log, Supplemental:
Now to complain about stardates. "Time Amok" starts on stardate 607125.6, but takes place only three years after LD: "Cupid's Errant Arrow", which cited a five-digit stardate (57601.3). Memory Alpha's "Stardates" page provides no explanation; the only other 6-digit stardate listed is from 32nd-century DISCO. I can't decide whether I think this writing staff is slick enough to seed an anomalous detail like this into the script as a hint of something being off (like maybe Holo-Janeway's chronometer), or whether I prefer the Occam's Razor explanation: a simple mistake, or even a typo. It wouldn't be Trek's first weird stardate error, to be sure.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Re the star date, it’s an Easter egg from the writers — they knew some trekkies would catch that the star date was off
posted by nathan_teske at 5:49 PM on January 20, 2022 [4 favorites]

I think that I like time distortion stories better than time travel stories in some ways, because you can get stuff like Rok speed-leveling Treknology. WRT how long it was, well... thing is, we don't know anything about Rok's species, really, do we? Including their life span. (LOLing that the species is called "Brikar"; they apparently come from a beta canon Worf-at-the-Academy novel.) Mass Effect has some species with lifespans in the low four figures; even though one of the main characters, Liara T'Soni, is over an Earth century old and has a doctorate, she's still barely in adulthood by her species' standards.

So, not only do they have a discombobulated Drednok, they also have his (its?) pattern and programming. They could have some fun with that.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:12 PM on January 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

I'm not sure I understand Rok's timeline. Holo-Janeway realized time was slower by watching something that had been bumped/thrown and seeing how slowly it moved. But the things were still visibly moving, so, maybe 100x or even 1000x slower. 10 minutes at 1000x slower is less than a week. 10 minutes at 10,000x slower (which I'm not sure the human eye could see visibly moving) is a little more than 2 months (69 days and change). Could you learn enough math and engineering and programming to build the thing that was needed and attempt a couple of hundred times to restore Janeway's hologram in 2 months?
posted by hanov3r at 10:38 AM on January 21, 2022

No, it’s analogue time, so it works out to two or three years. Tachyons, don’tcha know
posted by sixswitch at 9:18 PM on January 21, 2022

Could you learn enough math and engineering and programming to build the thing that was needed and attempt a couple of hundred times to restore Janeway's hologram in 2 months?

Maybe—if I (A) had nothing else to fill my time with, and (B) had more general late-24th-century background tech knowledge than I actually do. Both of which seem like they could apply to Rok.

So, not only do they have a discombobulated Drednok, they also have his (its?) pattern and programming. They could have some fun with that.

Yeah, they could make him reach out to the Diviner to try and mend fences with Gwyn: "YOU WILL CALL HERRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!"
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 10:43 AM on January 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

Quite trekky after some of the recent ones, very enjoyable. Someone needs to update their printer logon details.

Not sure how seeing things move slowly implies time differential if you're in the same timeline.
posted by Marticus at 8:59 PM on January 23, 2022

Is this the episode where the kids confess to HJ that they aren’t Starfleet cadets? It continues to make no sense to me that HJ apparently just had no idea. This seemed like the perfect time to wave this away just by having her go, “Oh I know. But you rescued the ship and you needed my help.”
posted by bixfrankonis at 1:54 PM on January 27, 2022

I guess you just have to handwave it away as her programming not including the concept that a given crew isn't Starfleet, which of course would be just the latest in a very very long series of Starfleet security blunders.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:59 PM on January 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

I watched this the same day I finished reading "a closed and common orbit".
I don't know if I'd choose ample food and water, or having Owl around to talk to. Both seem really rough.
posted by Acari at 1:20 PM on January 30, 2022

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