In our continuing series on Set The Tape, we look at five different Star Trek stories that add to or explore similar themes and ideas as those in the most recent episode of Star Trek: Discovery.
This week we look at episode twelve, ‘Vaulting Ambition’. Warning: contains Spoilers!
Heart of Glory (The Next Generation)
Saru calls upon the captive L’Rell in a desperate attempt to stop Tyler/Voq tearing himself apart physically and emotionally. Using some unknown piece of technology, L’Rell can make Tyler’s consciousness dominant essentially killing Voq. L’Rell then lets out a piercing roar to mark the death of Voq.
This act is part of the Klingon death ritual and was first seen in the first season of The Next Generation as the Enterprise-D crew were a rare witness to this event. Klingons look up to the sky and roar, to warn the dead in the Klingon afterlife in Sto-vo-Kor, that a warrior is coming. Worf took part in this ritual with two Klingons for a fallen rebel before carrying it out again when he must kill a fellow Klingon to prevent him destroying the warp core.
Worf would take part in this ritual several other times over the run of the series, when his wife Jadzia is killed in cold blood in Deep Space Nine‘s ‘Tears of the Prophets’ and after he slays Gowron in ‘Tacking into the Wind’.
Skin of Evil (The Next Generation)
One of the most controversial moments so far in Discovery has been Ash Tyler breaking the neck of Hugh Culber. The cold and brutal nature of his death left many fans shocked and didn’t give our crew time to mourn his sudden death. Due to the mycelial network, Stamets is given the chance to be reunited with Culber and share a final goodbye as they reflect on their relationship, regrets and love for each other.
In ‘Skin of Evil’, for the first time in a Star Trek series, a regular character was killed in the form of Tasha Yar. Yar’s death was similar to Culber’s as she was murdered quickly and with no chance to say goodbye by an malicious alien creature. At the end of the episode, the Enterprise-D crew unite on the holodeck to say their farewells as they watch a holographic projection. The crew get to say goodbye to their fallen comrade, something that was robbed from them all by her sudden death.
Allegiance (The Next Generation)
At the climax of the episode, Gabriel Lorca is exposed as coming from the mirror universe! Characters being replaced is not uncommon in Star Trek and Captain Picard himself found himself replaced by a clone in ‘Allegiance’.
The replacement clone tests if the Enterprise-D crews loyalty and how far they’ll go to follow the orders of a Captain. Unlike, the crew of Discovery, the Enterprise crew are quick to realise the bizarre behaviour of their captain and meet to discuss and action a mutiny. Lorca’s actions have spawned many theories online with many fans clicking early that perhaps he’s from the Mirror Universe, however the crew around him haven’t been so quick.
Extreme Measures (Deep Space Nine)
Through the mycelial network inside his own head, Stamets sees Mirror Stamets in a location which takes the form of the Discovery hallways. In the final run of episodes of Deep Space Nine, Bashir and O’Brien are hunting down a Section 31 agent to the station in order to get the critical information to save Odo from the Changeling disease they were behind. When the devious Sloan arrives on the station, he tries to kill himself and take the information inside his head with him. Bashir and O’Brien come up with the idea to go inside his head to find the cure themselves.
As O’Brien and Bashir journey through his mind, which has taken the form of the station, they find Sloan is trying to distract them from finding the cure and take them down with him. O’Brien and Bashir prevail with the information they need and escape, just like Mirror Stamets attempts to distract Stamets, he fails, and our heroes return to reality critical information.
Living Witness (Voyager)
As the Discovery remains stranded in the Mirror Universe for another episode, Voyager like The Next Generation never crossed over but ‘Living Witness’ is the closest we’ve come to seeing the Voyager crew through the Mirror Universe filter.
‘Living Witness’ see’s a back up copy of the EMH activated in a museum 700 year after being lost on a planet. The EMH discovers he’s part of a museum that portrays Voyager a warship filled with treason, executions, bigotry and Borg armies at the villainous Janeway’s disposal. The Voyager cast get to embrace their evil side, with Robert Picardo remarking the alternative history versions of the crew were like “Hitler and the S.S”.
Star Trek: Discovery airs on Mondays on Netflix.