A few weeks ago, I mentioned I’d been watching the new Star Trek series: Discovery. Since then, I have made a wonderful discovery of my own. There exists on Netflix, a companion programme entitled After Trek. It airs directly after each Discovery episode, and as well as providing a space for fans’ tweets and opinions, it hosts invited personnel from the show – including the writers!
It is absolutely fabulous to hear the creators, directors and actors associated with the show, talking about their beloved creation, with such passion and such detail. The care and respect shown for the Star Trek universe is humbling. I was fascinated to hear, for example, Matt Mira asking Aaron Harberts how he coped with inheriting fifty years of ‘canon’!
I have to say how much I respected the writers’ expressed desire to discover, since they are writing about a Federation that pre-dates peace with the Klingons, exactly how that peace was brokered, Harberts even suggesting this is knowledge we could do with in our present time. I love that they intend to discover the answer as they write.
In fact, I have become so enthusiastic about the creating of the show through watching and listening to them all talk about it that I’ve been inspired to have a go myself at creating a Discovery story. I’m including the beginning of this below, and if there are any Discovery fans out there – indeed, any fans of any description – perhaps you’ll let me know what you think of my attempt to play with someone else’s characters.
A Christmas Discovery
‘What is that white stuff?’ Michael heard First Officer Saru’s astonished enquiry in her earpiece. ‘I believe it is snow.’ ‘Ah.’ There was a pause as Michael placed her boot on the crystalline surface before her. ‘Yes, Sir. Initial observations would confirm that it is, indeed, snow.’ Michael had never actually seen snow before, but she had read about it in the ship’s records, and the unfamiliar substance which crunched, then compacted under her foot, matched the textbook knowledge she had acquired. ‘Cool.’ A girlish laugh behind her indicated that Lt. Tilly had followed her through the hatch. The young woman jumped down from the space-shuttle with apparent glee, landing on both feet and sinking a few inches into the white covering. ‘Can you give me a 360?’ Saru requested, and Michael obligingly turned at a steady pace, allowing her video feed to scan the surroundings. The flat, featureless plain stretched to the horizon in all directions, a complete blanket of snow. ‘There’s … a lot of it,’ he commented. ‘As far as the eye can see, it would appear.’ ‘Yes, Sir.’ Michael agreed. ‘There is, indeed, a substantial quantity.’ ‘It’s awesome.’ She heard Tilly’s comment over her shoulder and turned to face her colleague, raising one eyebrow in a characteristic Vulcan request for clarification. ‘Oh, you can never have too much snow,’ Tilly responded. ‘Don’t you agree, Sir?’ The cadet turned towards her ‘boss’, Stammets, as he paused in the shuttle hatchway. He replied with a grin, and with one deft move, landed a few feet from where his companions stood, reached down to collect a handful of the subject under discussion and hurled it in Tilly’s direction. It hit her precisely on the side of her head, causing her to scream in evident delight before she suddenly twisted and bent double. With another scream, she produced her own snowball and aimed it neatly at Stammets’ chest, where it left a white imprint. ‘What are they doing?’ Saru’s voice resounded coldly. ‘I have no idea,’ Michael said, ducking swiftly to avoid a passing missile. She watched her landing-party members for a moment. ‘They appear to be engaged in some sort of game.’ ‘Ah.’ Michael took advantage of the momentary silence in communications to monitor the bleak landscape for any indication of life-forms – either visitors or indigenous. There was none. ‘Lt. Burnham.’ Saru’s voice cut into her private thoughts. ‘Yes, Sir.’ ‘The Captain wishes me to remind you of your mission. Is there any sign of the Klingon warship?’ ‘No, Sir. There’s absolutely nothing here at all.’ ‘And how near are you to our last sighting of it?’ ‘We landed almost directly below where they cloaked. They must have travelled on past this point. There’s definitely been no-one else here in the last few hours. It would be impossible for anything that big to land here – or even to fly low over the ground – without leaving a trace in this snow.’ Michael anticipated the next instruction over her intercom. ‘Then you must begin a search.’ She sighed. ‘Saru, that’s not going to be possible.’ ‘And why not?’ ‘Because we also cannot move without being seen. If we use the shuttle, it will be visible for miles. And if we go on foot, we’ll leave a permanent trail behind us – at least until the next snowfall. It’s far too dangerous. Even if we found the warship, the chances of us living long enough to report back to you are extremely remote.’ An icy voice brought the conversation to an abrupt end. ‘Find a way.’ Captain Lorca closed communications. Michael turned to face her companions. ‘We must kit ourselves in anything we can find inside the shuttle which is white. We will have to leave the shuttle here and proceed on foot in the direction the Klingon ship was following when it dipped towards the planet.’ Her colleagues looked at her aghast. ‘That’s crazy, Michael. We’ll have to walk miles,’ Tilly said. ‘And they’ll easily see us coming. Most probably before we can see them. Can they stay cloaked once they’ve landed? ‘I don’t know,’ Michael replied. ‘Perhaps we’ll find out.’