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, ‘The War Without, The War Within’. Warning… contains Spoilers!
Broken Bow (Enterprise)
As Admiral Cromwell rallies the Federation’s finest for their daring mission to the heart of the Klingon Empire, she mentions it’ll be the first time a Starfleet crew have been on Qo’noS since Captain Archer and the crew of the NX-01 in a century.
In ‘Broken Bow,’ the opening episode of the Enterprise series, Archer takes the NX-01 on it’s maiden voyage to deliver an injured Klingon who holds the key to a time and universe spanning ‘Temporal Cold War’ and to exposing Suliban interference within the High Council.
The Enterprise faces challenges on route to Qo’noS but their arrival is greeted with thanks for exposing the Suliban plot, but they are reminded that they are no ally of the Empire. It therefore makes sense no human or Starfleet officer would have visited in a long time.
Errand of Mercy (The Original Series)
During their nine-month absence from the front lines, the Discovery crew are shocked by the barbarity of the Klingon Empire as they carry out suicide bombings, vicious attacks and destruction upon the Federation.
In the Klingons first appearance in the franchise all the way back in 1967, Captain Kirk is dispatched the planet of Organia to prevent the Klingons using it as a base of operations to wage a war. Kirk appeals to the Organians, warning this peaceful race that they will be lambs to the slaughter when the Klingons arrive.
This desperate plea to the Organians would take place a decade after the events of the Klingon war we are watching unfold, as Kirk describes the savagery of the Klingons. We can now begin to visualise the horrors this crew would have witnessed or fought in.
Star Trek Into Darkness (Movie)
Desperate hours call for desperate measures and the combination of Federation fear and Terran tactics lead Starfleet to begin developing a plot which will send the Discovery on a mission behind enemy lines, all the way to Qo’noS, in order to strike a blow against the Klingons and push them back into their space.
In the Kelvin timeline, Khan–posing as John Harrison–strikes at the heart of Federation command before fleeing using transwarp beaming back to Qo’noS, knowing that they cannot follow him there. This doesn’t deter a vengeful Kirk and scheming Admiral Marcus, who plans a mission to the Klingon home-world, knowing that one false step could plunge the Federation into war with the Klingons again.
The Pegasus (The Next Generation)
The Discovery returns from the Mirror Universe and is immediately informed that all knowledge of this excursion will be hidden and destroyed. The threat of a universe where loved ones lost during the war might still be alive and having the key to that world could affect the war weary officers in troubling ways, in Starfleet’s eyes.
Starfleet has kept secrets before, from Section 31 to the relocation of the Ba’Ku in order to harness their fountain of youth energy. One of the most popular episodes is ‘The Pegasus’ from the final season of The Next Generation, where Admiral Pressman comes abroad the Enterprise to help find the once thought lost, U.S.S Pegasus.
What happened aboard that doomed starship has been long kept secret but as the episode unfolds, we discover the Pegasus broke a treaty forbidding cloaking technology and ultimately doomed the ship when the experiment went awry. Another secret Starfleet did their best to keep.
Favor the Bold & Sacrifice of Angels (Deep Space Nine)
The Federation is losing the Dominion War and the top brass believe that the depleted Federation forces should rally and look to protect Earth, however Captain Sisko believes that they need to stage a major offensive and aim to capture Deep Space Nine and strike a blow against the Dominion.
The Federation’s natural urge in war or battle is to fall into line behind Federation ideals against a foe and to try and compete with the arms behind their backs. Fearing defeat against the Klingons, command want the ships to fall back to Earth and hold the castle. However, a pro-active approach and facing down the enemy in a daring mission is what the Admiral, command and the Discovery decide to attempt.
“Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of death, Into the mouth of hell… Rode the six hundred,” quoted O’Brien and Bashir before their mission began. Now the Discovery crew face their own gauntlet into hell.
Star Trek: Discovery airs on Mondays on Netflix.