(written from a Production point of view)
The USS Enterprise-A under the command of Captain Christopher Pike is en route to Argol II in an effort to investigate, and hopefully resolve, the "temporal mystery" of how Yeoman Mia Colt ended up in the future and how to, if possible, return her to her appropriate time period. Pike indicates in his log that Spock conjectures that there have been alternations to the time stream and that the answers may be found in an archaeological site known as the "Well of Tomorrows." Complicating the matters is the presence of Federation Civilian Merchant ship captain James T. Kirk and his crew, which Pike refers to as a "renegade" and "pirates" respectively, as well as a Klingon "flotilla" commanded by General Chang.
As the Enterprise-A is taking fire; Hikaru Sulu is killed by an overloading panel while relaying shield information. The overload appears to have crippled the ship and Jose Tyler reports that they are "wide open." As Chang stands ready to finish off the Enterprise, his ship is rocked by weapons fire as his tactical officer reports that a Federation Excelsior-class "warship" has joined the fray and that they are outnumbered. Chang orders a withdrawal in that his vessel's shields are failing. Pike and Chang exchange some parting remarks and Uhura informs him that the Excelsior is hailing them.
Number One, now called Captain Robbins and in command of USS Excelsior, informs Pike that she has been sent to escort the Enterprise-A to Federation space and to do so "by force, if necessary." Pike then points out the presence of Yeoman Colt which shocks Captain Robbins. Robbins hears out the explanation and feigns communication trouble as she bids the Enterprise-A adieu.
Having concluded the encounter, Engineer Grace addresses his engineering crew preparing them for the difficult task of repairs that lie ahead in that the Enterprise-A is in "a bad way." As he concludes and his staff heads on to work, he notices Montgomery Scott, who offers his assistance. Grace indicates that Scott's expertise will be most welcomed.
Pike and Kirk meet in the forward observation lounge. Despite a brief animosity, Pike apologizes to Kirk telling him that he did the right thing in trying to help Colt. Kirk cuts Pike off in mid-sentence and tells him he felt that he had "lost it all" and this was his chance to get it back or, at least, make it right. Pike is then called to the bridge at which time Pike invites Kirk, addressing him as "Captain Kirk."
As they approach Argol II, Spock reveals that the ruins on the planet have become a staging area for a possible Klingon attack on the Federation. Pike speculates that this was why Chang was patrolling in the area. Saavik adds that the "Well of Tomorrows" is dangerously close to the Klingon perimeter and that would be detected almost immediately.
Pike resolves to send a security team with Colt that he would lead himself, however, Kirk and Spock remind him that his place is on the bridge of the vessel. Kirk volunteers his crew and Pike offers anything Kirk might need. By this time, Chang has discovered the Enterprise-A and begins to taunt Pike, to which Pike replies in a seemingly uninterested manner… enraging Chang.
Colt and Tyler exchange one last kiss as she is called to Transporter Room 1.
Kirk's crew and Colt materialize on the planet before an immense structure with a pool of dark liquid at its center. Colt comments as to why it wasn't detected from space… prompting an answer from the pool. The "Well of Tomorrows" communicates with Colt informing her that it only seeks to resolve the "discontinuity" of the situation and invites her to "jump in" to the pool. Despite protests from Scott, Kirk sees it as the only option. Colt enters the dark pool just as the party comes under attack.
In the planet's orbit a massive Klingon fleet closes on the Enterprise, Tyler asks for orders to which Pike recommends taking out as many as they can. Kirk engages the Klingons on the planet, thanking Scott for the twenty years of interesting moments. Yssir, the Andorian female, is then killed, via disruptor fire. Scott is then killed, slashed in the back by a Klingon, while passionately avenging her death. Kirk watches in an emotional shock. The Enterprise-A has taken a beating, Pike holds Saavik's lifeless body as Spock pronounces her dead. Pike orders that all hands abandon ship and starts the Enterprise-A's destruct sequence.
As the Enterprise-A and Kirk's crew meet their demise, Colt is falling through history seeing various realities, including the mirror universe, images of the USS Enterprise-D's crew and Deep Space 9. Finally, she sees an image of Tyler and her quarters… she has returned.
In a darkened room, Captain Pike records his logs indicating that Colt has returned with some fantastic stories to tell and that a science vessel will be dispatched to investigate the site. Additionally, he adds to the log, all of the "keepsakes," small vision-inducing glass orbs purported to tell the future, also seem to have stopped functioning. Despite this log entry, a distressed Pike picks up the keepsake and sees an image of himself… disfigured, wheelchair-bound, and trapped in a useless, vegetating body.
- "Now and Then" seems to share some themes and concepts from many of the Star Trek television series and feature films:
- The "Well of Tomorrows" speaks in a similar style to the "Guardian of Forever" from TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever". The premise of the issue is also similar to that episode, albeit, reversed; in the TOS episode McCoy goes back in time and alters the future causing Kirk and Spock to use a mystical portal to repair the continuity. In this issue, Colt is thrust forward into the future, thus altering it to which she has to return to the past to repair the continuity.
- Pike risks his career returning Yeoman Colt to her proper time in a similar manner to how Spock risked his career in TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I" and "The Menagerie, Part II" to save Pike and how Kirk would do the same for Spock in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock by stealing the Enterprise and going into restricted space to return Spock's body and katra to Vulcan.
- Pike orders the destruction of his starship after then death of a significant character as Kirk did in The Search for Spock. While Kirk takes these actions at the death of his son David, Pike orders the self-destruction his ship after the death of Saavik.
- Similarly, Number One's actions as captain of the Excelsior mirror those by Sulu in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Number One rushes to the aid to the Enterprise against General Chang much as Sulu did during that film. Chang also quotes Shakespeare during the attacks and Number One even sips tea out of a chinaware cup like Sulu did in that film.
- Kirk's lines to Pike that discourage Pike from leading the away team to the "Well of Tomorrows" are similar to those he spoke in Star Trek Generations when he reminded Captain Harriman that a captain's place is on the bridge of the vessel and went on to repair the deflectors controls. Presumably, both events begin a chain of events leading to the death of Kirk.
- Based on Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry
- Canon characters listed below are linked to the main article about them. Non-canon characters are not linked, but those that recurred, appearing or being mentioned in more than one story, are defined further in Early Voyages characters.
- Christopher Pike
- USS Enterprise captain.
- Number One
- Enterprise exec.
- Enterprise science officer.
- Philip Boyce
- Enterprise CMO.
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