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Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)

For the ENT episode with a similar title, please see "Strange New World".

When one of Pike’s officers goes missing while on a secret mission for Starfleet, Pike has to come out of self-imposed exile. He must navigate how to rescue his officer, while struggling with what to do with the vision of the future he’s been given. (Series premiere)



"No matter how many stars there are in the sky, no matter how many galaxies swirl beyond our own, no matter what the mathematical probabilities or the number of times we say 'we are not alone in the universe', our first visit from the stars is always the province of children's stories and science fiction. First contact with aliens always lives squarely in the impossible. First contact is just a dream… until one day, it isn't."

Inside some form of control center or bunker, alarms begin to ring, as an officer walks down the corridors to the control room. She and the people within are revealed to be a humanoid species, making first contact with an unidentified object not of their world. As they get a stable image, they find themselves looking upon a Federation starship.

In Bear Creek, Montana, Captain Marie Batel awakens to find the other half of the bed empty. Heading downstairs, she finds Captain Christopher Pike busy in the kitchen, making pancakes while watching the old film The Day the Earth Stood Still – again, as Batel notes. As they sit down to breakfast, greeting each other by their formal rank, Batel notices the look on Pike's face and asks if he has not decided yet. Pike responds that the USS Enterprise is in spacedock for another week, which is "ages" to some. Suddenly, Pike's communicator goes off, and he is pointedly trying to ignore it; when it stops, he asks when she is shipping out. Batel asks him to talk about whatever it was he was keeping to himself, whatever has him questioning a return to his command. Pike replies it was classified, but Batel points out she has a higher security clearance than he does. "Not for this," is his only answer. She is departing at 0600 the following morning, and would not return for a month. Pike tells her he might still be there when she returns, and asks her to call him when she returns, so they could get together. Batel kisses him, saying that would be nice, but hopes he is not there when she returns, thinking he had better places to be. After Batel leaves, the communicator goes off again.

Starfleet Arctic Jacket, 2259

Admiral April talks with Pike

Pike takes his horse out for a ride in the snow, but the horse is frightened by the low descent of a Starfleet shuttlecraft. The officer that descends from the ramp is Admiral Robert April, the first captain of the Enterprise. Pike scolds him for spooking his horse, and April apologizes, saying that Pike had not been answering his communicator. Pike bluntly demands to know what he wants. April says he has a first contact scenario that may have gone bad, and the officer in command was someone he trusted, but he had lost contact with her ship. Pike is dismissive, saying it was not his problem, and that they had agreed they had until Enterprise left spacedock before making any decisions. The admiral reveals the reason he is approaching Pike: the officer in command is Pike's first officer, Una Chin-Riley, who reports that a new world might be considering Federation membership. She had not taken "downtime" all that well, reminding the admiral of Pike when he had been April's first officer. April is pulling Enterprise out of spacedock, electing to skip the redundant system checks, and needs the ship crewed and ready to go by 1800 hours. Pike tells him that Starfleet doesn't want him in command, but April sees that it was Pike himself who didn't want to be in command; as Batel did, he asks what happened, and as with Batel, Pike answers only that it was classified. April is sympathetic to what Pike is dealing with, but right now, he needs him on the Enterprise to find Una, and makes it an order.

Act One[]

In the city of Raal on Vulcan, Spock is seated in a restaurant with his betrothed T'Pring, discussing the formality of Vulcan conversation, often beginning with a query and expecting a response. She has asked him there on the anniversary of their first courtship event, and he notes she is wearing the ritual mating colors, and yet she has not asked him a single question throughout their entire meal. T'Pring replies that this was untrue, that she had indeed asked questions – about his family, about P'Sal's new lute recordings, and his "galavanting" around the galaxy with Starfleet. She then asks if there was a question he wanted her to ask. Spock is apologetic, as he has been away for a long time, which could mitigate matters of tradition. She finally asks the question he has been expecting: for him to formally marry her. Rather than the typical Vulcan response, he kisses her, causing one of the wait staff to request they do so elsewhere. "What an excellent idea," T'Pring agrees.

Having settled somewhere more private, Spock looks out at Vulcan's ocean, remarking on how there were oceans of liquid mercury on Salon, while Earth's were water. T'Pring thinks that nothing out there could be better than what was on Vulcan, and Spock asks her to show him. As she is about to oblige him, his communicator goes off; it is Pike, calling from Earth. Seeing Spock without a shirt, he wonders if he was naked; T'Pring says they were about to be, as it was a special night. Pike is apologetic, before explaining that April is sending them out to find Una. Spock tells his captain that he will meet him onboard, and that T'Pring will understand. As they close the channel, T'Pring points out that her "understanding" would have been worthy of a query, and tells him not to make a habit of assumptions; she does not intend to chase him across the galaxy just to get married. Spock assures her she will not have to chase him across the galaxy to get what they already had.

The shuttlecraft Stamets takes Pike up to the Enterprise, as he reviews a PADD regarding Lieutenant La'an Noonien-Singh and her involvement with first contact with the Gorn. The shuttle brings itself into transporter range, the pilot remarking on how she was "scrubbed up and good as new". Pike quietly wishes it were that easy, and tells the pilot to beam him aboard. He is met in the transporter room by Spock, who reports all systems were nominal, even though they had not been able to run simulation studies. Personnel rotation was in process, which meant some officers would have to billet after the mission, including the chief engineer and a Lieutenant Kirk, whom Pike had requested some time before. Pike remarks on how it felt like a million years, to which Spock promptly adds it had been three months, ten days, four hours, and five minutes. Pike asks how Spock himself was doing, and he replies that he was doing well, although he felt the weight of loss for his adoptive sister Michael Burnham each time he returned to space; Pike expresses a similar feeling as they enter the turbolift. He reviews the new personnel roster, including a number of cadets and much needed additions to the medical staff, before coming across the entry for security; the new security chief has also been named acting first officer, much to Pike's surprise, as he had expected Spock, as second officer, to be given that job with Una missing. Spock replies that Starfleet Command preferred him to remain as science officer for the mission.

Pike and Spock arrive on the bridge, where they are greeted by La'an, the new chief of security and acting first officer. Pike welcomes her and all the newcomers aboard, and the old crew back. He asks helmsman Lieutenant Erica Ortegas if they were ready to depart, and Ortegas replies the course is set for Kiley 279. Lieutenant Jenna Mitchell at operations reports lights are green across the board, and the cadet at communications, Nyota Uhura, receives confirmation that Enterprise is cleared for launch. Pike orders Ortegas to take the ship out of spacedock. Mitchell reports they were prepared for warp speed ("We are five-by-five for warp"). As he looks down at his chair controls, he sees a reflection of what he knows is his future, deformed and crippled by radiation poisoning, and momentarily freezes. Spock recalls his attention back to the present, and he gives Ortegas the order: "Hit it."

As the ship goes to warp, Pike asks Uhura for a shipwide channel. He begins by jokingly hoping that no one was caught with their hair wet or their pants down because of the early departure, before telling them that Starfleet typically sent out first contact teams when they detect a working warp engine, and one such had been sent to Kiley 279 aboard the USS Archer. The Archer has dropped out of contact, and their mission was to find them – and if they were lucky, make some new friends. "Nobody dies," he says, a somber note in his voice. "This will not be anybody's last day." With that, he turns the conn over to La'an and goes to his quarters. Spock looks worriedly after him, before turning back to his console.

Alone in his quarters, Pike recalls his vision of the future, before being brought back to the present by the chiming of his door. It is Spock, who assures Pike he does not mean to overstep. Pike invites him to overstep, before pouring himself a glass of Saurian brandy. Spock gets to the point, asking if Pike was himself. Pike replies he was very much himself, which was the problem. Spock is aware that Pike had been changed when he had gone down to Boreth during their time aboard the USS Discovery, and he knew that Boreth was known for two things: a monastery, and a rare ore that caused temporal consciousness displacement, both of which had the power of transformation. Pike replies it was not the monastery, and Spock had assumed as much, asking if Pike saw the future. Pike confirms he had witnessed what he felt was the death of the man he was now. He knew exactly how and when his life would end, and not only saw it, but felt it as well. He notes how most Humans liked to think they could cheat death until the very last moment, and he had thought so once as well. Spock asks if it was soon, but Pike replies it was not, that it was almost a decade away, which suddenly felt soon to him. Spock thinks that knowledge of death was vital to effective leadership, but Pike not only knew it, he experienced it. He worries what that knowledge will do to him, and had started to second-guess himself, the last thing a captain could afford. Spock believes suffering could be built on insight, and that Pike could make some good come of this knowledge of his own fate, to be the man he essentially is: the captain. Just then, Uhura calls from the bridge, as they were dropping out of warp. Spock rises to report back, as Pike looks at his reflection in the bottle, reliving the moment he witnessed himself confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, before he rises to follow.

Act Two[]

The Enterprise comes out of warp over Kiley 279; the Archer's transponder ping is detected on the planet's nightside. Pike orders Uhura to hail them, but she does not receive a response. Pike asks if they could be losing the response in subspace chatter, but Uhura reports there is no subspace chatter at all; the space was "dead quiet". Ortegas has brought the ship to the Archer's position and brings it up on visual; Mitchell reports the ship is completely intact, all systems apparently functional. Spock is unable to detect any lifesigns, but there were no signs of bodies, either. He brings up the ship's manifest, showing that the Archer was crewed only by Una and two astrophysicists, Lieutenant Key and Ensign Hadad. La'an thinks if she went to the surface, she would have gone for the detected warp signature. However, Spock is unable to pinpoint it, and Ortegas detects a "pretty weird" signal variance. La'an, digesting the information, recommends raising the deflector shields. Spock reminds her taking a defensive posture would violate first contact protocol, but La'an points out that there were no hails from the surface or subspace chatter, and no signs of any orbital docking facilities or interplanetary traffic, any sign of space colonization at all, which Spock knows would put them a century behind the development of warp travel… and yet there was a warp signature. Pike is convinced, and orders the shields raised. It proves to be perfect timing, as several plasma torpedoes are fired from the surface, with minimal damage to the shields. Pike orders Ortegas to take them into a higher orbit, to deceive whoever fired the torpedoes that they had destroyed the Enterprise… then wonders how a culture that used technology that was two centuries old by Federation standards had built a warp drive. Looking at his readings again, Spock realizes they haven't, and recommends red alert. The inhabitants have not built a warp drive, but rather a bomb.

Spock reviews the data with Pike and La'an, explaining that there were two factions at war with one another on Kiley 279, and their conflict had reached a crisis point; surface scans indicated a pre-warp civilization. When La'an asks how that was possible, Spock replies that the Vulcans invented first contact ("As they never fail to remind us," Pike jokes), and brings up the systems in the sector that had warp capability, including Xahea, Chin'toka, and the Talarian Republic, among others; all were in the process of negotiating admission to the Federation, and they were free to travel to any of them, and thus General Order One did not apply. However, not on any of those worlds, or even in the history of first contact, had warp capability been developed first for anything other than propulsion, comparing it to discovering nuclear weapons before particle physics: it was possible, but had never been done. Pike asks if Una would have known the signature was a weapon, and Spock believes she wouldn't have; the Enterprise's scanners had been upgraded in spacedock. La'an thinks that if the plasma weapons were the best the inhabitants had, they should beam down, find their people, and bring them home. Pike points out that there was the possibility the technology was not native to them; no matter how they got it, however, General Order One would apply, and they would not be able to interfere. La'an asks if that meant they were just going to leave their people down there. "Hardly," Pike replies, before saying they should go down to see the doctor.

In sickbay, Pike is happily greeted by Dr. Joseph M'Benga; they had toured their mutual home regions of Earth together. He introduces the doctor to Spock, and as he does likewise for La'an, M'Benga notes how good it was to see her again, as he had had to certify her for duty. He introduces them to his nurse, Christine Chapel, who was part of a civilian exchange program from the Stanford Morehouse Epigenetic Project. Pike thinks her the right person for the job; when La'an asks about said job, Chapel cheerfully replies that she was going to "mess with [their] genome". The locals were humanoid, closely matching the crew's physiology, but some alterations were required to blend in, although the Kiley inhabitants had some organs that would take longer to replicate, and so suggests not getting any X-rays. M'Benga explains that Chapel is part of a Starfleet initiative to observe alien cultures without contamination. La'an asks if the procedure was safe, and Chapel answers that it was, "almost" every time. She applies a sedative first, as the process involved "compressed, jury rigged metamorphosis", which involved considerable pain. For Spock, his unique Vulcan-Human genetics might mean the process would not last as long the first time. La'an elects to undergo the procedure without the sedative. Pike has read her file, and she asks if he is ordering her to undergo the sedation. He makes clear he's not, and respects her choice.

As the three fully-altered officers enter the transporter room, Chief Kyle reports that local clothing, along with universal translators and tricorders, would be in the buffer along with them, and asks if there would be no weapons. Pike confirms, and Kyle sets the coordinates in an area with no foot traffic. Pike jokingly asks Kyle not to lose his socks, and gives the order to energize.

Act Three[]

Pike, Spock, and La'an materialize in an alley, dressed for their environment; Spock is somewhat put out that he is wearing shorts rather than long pants. They see a news report from a screen in a nearby square, reporting on anti-government protests amid rumors of an advanced weapon being developed by the government for domestic use. Pike and Spock recognize it as being similar to events in the United States of America, particularly involving their two civil wars and their devastating results. Pike is concerned that the Kiley society is already at a flashpoint with an advanced weapon, while La'an uses her tricorder to get a closer fix on the warp signature's location – a building ahead of them, with protestors outside. As they get outside the building, Spock's scans show the shielding makes transporting inside impossible. Just then, two Kiley scientists emerge from inside, and La'an asks for permission to "act fast". After Pike grants it, she feigns some kind of illness, asking for their help to get her medication. She then calls out "his neck"; after a moment, Spock finally realizes what she's asking for, and incapacitates both with a Vulcan neck pinch. They could replicate their clothing and security badges to match their retinal scans; as for the two scientists, La'an suggests beaming them onto the ship and keeping them sedated in sickbay.

The two Kileys are placed under low-level sedation while M'Benga runs scans. Chapel asks for a DNA sample; Spock's genetic encoding is beginning to deteriorate, and if he doesn't get a booster with actual Kiley DNA, he won't pass a retinal scan. For it to work, the Kileys would need to have compatable protein patterns to match Spock's Vulcan blood. The first man is incompatable, but the second is a match. Suddenly, the first man awakens, wondering where he is; M'Benga sedates him, while the second manages to scurry away and flee down the corridor. Both M'Benga and Chapel recall a similar incident on Delta Scorpii VII; the doctor tells her to "chase the rabbit" while he prepares the booster. Chapel jokes about always getting the fun jobs, as she pursues the Kiley through the corridors. "Well, you're my favorite," M'Benga says. He warns Ortegas, holding the conn, to have the landing party stand by and not enter the building, while Chapel adds they had a "Delta Scorpii VII situation" on their hands. Ortegas grouses about how it always happened when she had the captain's chair.

Pike commends La'an on the "performance" she gave, and La'an replies that she had assumed the "prey posture", useful for tricking predators into thinking one was helpless. Ortegas calls Pike from the ship, saying he couldn't go inside, as Spock needed a booster to get past the retinal scanners. As they were being ushered through by government officials, the landing party couldn't stop. M'Benga asks Kyle if he can pinpoint a location to beam down and apply an eye salve. Kyle protests that transporters couldn't do that, but Ortegas steps in and orders him to make them do that. Meanwhile, Chapel pursues the fleeing Kiley, who is clearly frightened and wondering about his surroundings, before he finds himself inside a turbolift – standing next to Uhura. Uhura reassures him that they were going to the bridge where the "Backtack" was, referring to how the Backtack controlled everything in the Kileys' game of tagball. Chapel runs back to sickbay, accidentally knocking over some members of the crew, and has M'Benga use the emergency medical transporter to beam her to the bridge. As Uhura is discussing a tagball game that the scientist had actually been present for, Chapel comes from behind with the sedative. Ortegas sarcastically welcomes the unconscious Kiley to the Enterprise, as Uhura and Chapel introduce themselves to one another.

At the same time, Pike goes through the checkpoint first, applying his security card and retinal scanner, followed by La'an. As Spock does likewise, the scanner doesn't read him at first, but Kyle is eventually able to apply the salve with the transporter, allowing him to go through. Spock is concerned that the alterations will continue to wear off. La'an is picking up Una's lifesigns, explaing that there were high levels of radiation shielding in the walls, which is why their sensors could not penetrate; only something like a warp signature could even get through. Now that they were inside, she could pick up her lifesigns, indicating she was still alive, several levels below them. As they stand in the elevator, one of the Kileys notices Spock's ears begin to almost shimmer, before the landing party reaches the level they want. As they are finally alone, Spock admits the effect is painful, but the recoding seems to be holding. They approach three locked doors, detecting Una's lifesigns through one of them.

Opening the door, Pike finds his first officer and her crew, looking worse for wear but otherwise unharmed; her foot is encased in a cast, and Hadad has his arm in a sling from a projectile wound during a firefight. She is surprised to see La'an, and Pike is equally surprised to see that they know one another. La'an admits that Una had helped her out of a "bad spot" once, and apologizes for not saying anything earlier. Pike tells her they can discuss it later. Una tells Spock the shielding is jointed, and wonders if they could get a transport signal through the gaps. Spock confirms they could, if they were closer to the surface. The landing party escorts their comrades out, but as more Kileys emerge from the elevator, Spock feels the pain growing unbearable, finally grabbing his head and screaming in pain before his normal Vulcan features assert themselves. Seeing their cover is blown, they are forced to knock out the Kileys and leave them lying in the hall before escaping to the elevator.

Inside, Pike asks what happened, as the Kileys were clearly not ready for first contact. Una glances at La'an for a moment, saying she was not cleared, but Pike dismisses that, asking how they got warp capabilility. Una replies that they had given it to them, during that final battle near Xahea, when Burnham opened the wormhole that sent her and the Discovery through to the future. They were less than one light-year out from the zero point of the wormhole, and between the Klingon ships and the Ba'ul fighters flown by the Kelpiens, there were more than a hundred warp signatures. Pike realizes the Kileys' telescopes would have been just powerful enough to detect all of it, and collected enough data to reverse-engineer a matter-antimatter reactor. The Kileys were not ready for warp drive, and now they were using the technology to build a weapon. Pike blames himself for not considering it, but Una assures him no one could have considered it; they were fighting for the very lives that were in jeopardy now. Spock reports he had contact with the Enterprise, and transporters were able to lock onto them. Una reminds Pike that they couldn't make the Kileys care about the stars, and that they cared only to crush their enemies… and they had given the Kileys the means to do that. An alarm sounds, meaning the unconscious Kileys had been found. Pike again sees his future reflection from the nearby control panel, as Spock awaits his order to return to the ship. But Pike is convinced every death from thereon out would be on their hands. Spock reminds him they could not interfere with the destiny of this world, but Pike points out they already had. He orders that the others return to the ship, while he and Spock remained behind. Una protests, reminding him about General Order One. "Screw General Order One," Pike replies bluntly. La'an reluctantly pulls her communicator and orders four to beam up, with Pike and Spock remaining behind.

As the others beam out, Spock asks if this was wise, as he was clearly alien; Pike replies that he was counting on that. As the elevator halts, they find themselves held at gunpoint. "Take me to your leader," Pike says.

Act Four[]

Pike and Spock are taken before the head of the planetary government, where Pike apologizes to her entire world for the effect they had upon it. She asks if that meant their ingenuity was the result of his mistake, but Pike answers that he meant the Federation should have been more circumspect about showing off their technologies, as one of its core tenets was to avoid unduly influencing less advanced civilizations. The technology they were using could bridge the gap between worlds, but its destructive capacity could not be underestimated. The leader says the government has been in conflict with a "seditious faction" for centuries and now had the means to end that conflict. Spock asks if that meant mass murder, to which she asks if his people had never put down civil unrest before. Pike believes negotiation and debate led to lasting peace. The leader asks if there were groups who refused to negotiate, powerful ones, and Pike confirms there were. When asked how that was handled, he quotes a proverb from the Kikuyu people of Kenya, that "when elephants fight, it's the grass that suffers". The leader points out that proverbs were less useful than a "big stick", and whoever had the "biggest stick" wins. When Pike tries to explain about what regulations compel him to do, she interrupts by saying his rules were not her rules, and that her job was to ensure her people's ability to govern future generations, and if spilled blood was the price, then so be it. She orders the guards to take them away. Pike wonders aloud what good was a rule if you weren't willing to die for it… or break it. He calls out an emergency communication to the Enterprise, ordering the ship into a lower orbit with full visibility. Outside, air raid sirens begin to sound as the Enterprise is clearly visible in the sky. "Just like you said, whoever has the biggest stick wins," Pike says to the Kiley leader. "In this case, that is me."

A newscaster reports that the leaders of the government and revolutionary factions will meet for the first time in a century to discuss the arrival of the aliens, as the Enterprise hovers visibly in the distance. Back onboard, Pike watches the debate with La'an and Spock, the former sarcastically saying it was going well, the latter saying the two sides were used to centuries of violence, and that the true cost of civil war was abstract. "Not believing you're gonna die is what gets you killed," La'an says disgustedly. Pike looks up at her and asks her to repeat that statement. La'an apologizes, recalling something her father had said before his death. As Pike would have read in her file, her colony ship, the SS Puget Sound, was attacked by the Gorn, the crew brought to one of their “planetary nurseries”. She had not understood her father's meaning at first, but had a lot of time to think about why she was the only member of the Puget Sound's crew to survive. She asks Pike if he knew what she saw on the faces of her loved ones while they were slit open and eaten alive by their Gorn captors, or used as “breeding sacks”, and Pike has a good idea: surprise, not believing until the very end that they could die. But La'an was different, and that was why she survived. Coming to a decision, Pike asks for access to the historical database, and orders Uhura to prepare a package to transmit to the surface.

Earth, World War III

Earth devastated by nuclear war

Pike beams himself down into the middle of the debate hall and introduces himself, explaining that their peoples, despite being from different worlds, were very much alike. He shows them images of what Earth looked like today, with views of San Francisco and of the orbital spacedocks that held ships like the Enterprise; outside, the protestors are seeing the footage live on the screens. He then shows footage of Earth in the 20th and 21st centuries, before "everything went wrong". He explains he got a glimpse of his own future, and it was not one he expected, and that a good friend asked him what good it was to know your future, but he didn't understand what he meant until now. He now shows what awaits the Kileys in their future, as he shows them images of the conflicts on Earth; he explains it began as a fight over freedom at first, too, which they called the Eugenics Wars, then the Second Civil War, then finally just World War III. It resulted in the destruction of more than six hundred thousand different species of plants and animals, and the deaths of more than thirty percent of Earth's population. The technology the Kileys had obtained gave them the means to exterminate themselves, and from the looks of them, Pike is convinced they will do so. They will use their competing ideas of liberty until their world is blown to rubble, just as Earth had been in the past. Perhaps some are convinced that their futures are written, just as Pike knows his is, but he chooses to believe their destinies are still their own. Perhaps that was why he was there, he muses – to remind them of the power of possibility, that even if their end is already written, as his is, they could still live what life they had gloriously, because until their last moment, the future was what they made of it. He offers them a choice: they can continue to fight one another, or they can join the Federation and reach for the stars. The revelation of the Enterprise has a lasting effect among the people, being taught about in classrooms and scientific research centers.

Starbase 1, 2259

Starbase 1

The Enterprise returns to Starbase 1, where Admiral April explains that he had just enough pull to convince the Federation High Court not to throw the entire crew in jail for violating General Order One, and had had to call in a few favors to be read in about what had happened to Discovery. Spock asks how he was able to keep them from being charged, and April replied he used a loophole: since there could be no acknowledgment of a battle even taking place, then nor could there of how the people of Kiley 279 acquired warp capability. The Federation Council was not pleased, and was doubling down on enforcement of General Order One, calling it the "Prime Directive", something Pike doesn't think will stick. Una asks for permission to return to the Enterprise, and April replies that was up to Pike, asking if he was planning on keeping the captain's chair.

After the meeting adjourns, La'an meets with Pike in private, and admits she should have told him earlier. Pike asks her to tell him now. She explains the Gorn had a ritual, that the last survivor was sent into space on a raft, like throwing back a fish. One was not actually expected to survive that, and La'an calls it "dumb luck" that she was discovered by the USS Martin Luther King Jr.; Una had been an ensign on the King at that time and helped La'an find her way home, and was the reason La'an joined Starfleet. She was concerned that her past association would have meant that Pike wouldn't have trusted her on the mission, to which Pike wonders if that meant she decided not to trust him instead. He concedes her record is spotless, but there was more to Starfleet than individual excellence, emphasizing the need to work together. La'an admits other people are challenging for her. Pike points out to the biodomes outside, explaining that during World War III, scientists sent seed pods into space to preserve them, but after the war ended and Earth had rebuilt, the forests had grown too large to bring back, so Starfleet built its first base around them. It was proof that even in space, growth was possible. With that in mind, Pike formally offers her a place on the Enterprise.

Sam Kirk and Chris Pike

Pike welcomes George Kirk aboard

"Captain's log, stardate 2259.42. Earth – the dust and the sky – is my hearth. but Enterprise is my home. We can forward together, knowing that whatever shadows we bring with us, they make the light all the brighter. I am… a lucky man."

In his captain's log, Pike thinks on how Earth was his hearth, but Enterprise was his home, and considers himself a "lucky man". He arrives on the bridge, where Una reports that the crew rotation is complete, and Lieutenant Kirk is on his way up. As he enters, it is revealed that the Kirk in question is George Samuel Kirk, a friend of Pike's, who has been posted to life sciences and would report to Spock. La'an was on station as the official chief of security. In the transporter room, Lieutenant Hemmer, the new chief engineer, beams aboard. Uhura obtains clearance for departure and warp speed, and Spock reports all systems were ready. Ortegas asks what their course would be, what mission awaited them. Pike says only that their mission was to explore, to seek out new life and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no one had gone before, something Uhura considers "cool". Pike smiles at her as he orders Ortegas to take them out, warp factor two.

Memorable quotes[]

"Really? Again?"
"Come on. It's a classic."

- Batel, finding Pike watching The Day the Earth Stood Still

"Spock… are you naked?"
"No, captain."
"No, Chris. He's not. He was about to be. It's a special night."

- Pike, contacting Spock on Vulcan while he was about to make love with T'Pring

"I am well, captain. Although I confess each time I return to space, the weight I carry for the loss of my sister feels heavier."
"I'm sorry. I miss her too."

- Spock, after Pike asks how he is doing when he boards the Enterprise

"Communications? Ah, yes. The prodigy. Cadet… Uhura? On communications rotation. Very happy to have you aboard."
"Thank you, sir. Glad to be here. Enterprise is cleared for launch."

- Pike, exchanging greetings with Uhura

"Take me to your leader."

- Pike, after he and Spock are captured on Kiley 279

"Course, captain? What's the mission?"
"Our mission? We explore. We seek out new life and new civilizations. We boldly go where no one has gone before."
"Cool… sir."
"Let's take her out, Lieutenant Ortegas. Warp factor two. Hit it."

- Ortegas, Pike, and Uhura

Log entries[]

Background information[]



April Nocifora memorial

The tribute to April Nocifora

  • As with the DIS Season 4 finale "Coming Home", this episode is dedicated to the memory of April Nocifora, who passed away in December 2021 due to cancer. Nocifora, who held several roles with the franchise, worked specifically as a supervising producer in this series.
  • The release of this episode marks the first time four separate Star Trek series have aired in one calendar year (excluding companion series such as Star Trek: Short Treks), following portions of Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 and Star Trek: Discovery Season 4, as well as the entirety of Star Trek: Picard Season 2.
  • As a reflection of the times, the closing credits for each episode include a contingent of crew dedicated to observing COVID-19 prevention protocols.

Cast and characters[]


  • The events of this episode follow up directly on many of the events of Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, especially "Through the Valley of Shadows", "Such Sweet Sorrow", and "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2".
  • The end of Spock's relationship with T'Pring is depicted in TOS: "Amok Time".
  • This episode confirms Una's last name as "Chin-Riley", which had been previously established in the non-canon novel The Autobiography of Mr. Spock.
  • Starbase 1 was originally established to have been located one hundred AUs from Earth, according to DIS: "The War Without, The War Within". It has since been moved to Jupiter.
  • Spock shows a map highlighting several planets with warp-capable civilizations who have joined the Federation or are in the process of being inducted. Among those planets are Xahea, Beta Zeta (Betazed), Chin'toka, Minos Korva, Thalos, and Capella. Capella, however, has been shown to be the home of a primitive, seemingly pre-warp civilization as of 2267. (TOS: "Friday's Child")
  • La'an's mention of the Gorn – and their rather bloodthirsty nursery planets – represents the first mention of the species in this era since TOS: "Arena". While Terran refugee Lorca kept a Gorn skeleton in his lab aboard USS Discovery, the species is still generally unknown to the Federation at this point in the timeline.
  • Historical footage from World War III depicts nuclear blasts destroying famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. The Eiffel Tower would later be rebuilt by 2257. (DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?")
  • This episode again describes the Eugenics Wars (however, here mentioned as "the Eugenics War") and World War III as being one and the same. At different points, they have been said to take place decades apart – the Eugenics Wars in the 1990s and World War III in the mid-21st century – but other times considered the same war (TOS: "Space Seed", "The Savage Curtain") or at least connected (e.g., the Defiant computer graphic in ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II"). Pike's speech adds further context by making the Eugenics War the follow-up of a previously-unmentioned second American Civil War which then turned into World War III.
  • Although Admiral April says that the Federation Council had only decided to refer to General Order 1 as the "Prime Directive" at the end of this episode, Spock is depicted as referring to the order by that name in a conversation with Number One during the events of "Q&A", which depicts his first day of service aboard the Enterprise several years prior. This may simply indicate that the origin of the term predated its official adoption.


Links and references[]



Guest starring[]


Uncredited co-stars[]

From The Day the Earth Stood Still[]

Stunt doubles[]


21st century; 2228; 2259; acting first officer; Aenar; Africa; aggression; AI; alley; Alpha I; ancestor; Archer, USS; astrophysicist; audit; backtack; Bear Creek; bicycle; Biden, Joe; big stick; billet; Black Lives Matter; Boom Shield; booster; boot; Boreth (companion); boss; Brooklyn Bridge; bureaucrat; Burnham, Michael; bus; captain's chair; car; Cardassia Prime; chief engineer; chief of security (aka security chief) ; chief science officer; children's story; civil conflict; civil unrest; civil war; Civil War; Civil War, Second; civilian exchange; classic; CNC; coffee; colony ship; communications; communicator; Cone Rockets; crew manifest; crisis point; deep space probe; deflector shields; defunding; Delta Scorpii VII; Discovery, USS; disguise; dream; download; duty; Earth; Eiffel Tower; eggs; Eldredth; elephant; emergency medical transporter; Empire State Building; Eugenics War; eye; faction; Farragut type; federal site; Federation; Federation Council; Federation High Court; figure of speech; first contact; first contact team; foot traffic; fuck; future; gene therapy; General Order 1 (aka Prime Directive); genetics; genetic code; genome; globalist; Golden Gate Bridge; Gorn; hail; hashtag; health; helicopter; horse; house dressing; Human; Human genome; humanoid; jury rig; Kelpien; Kenya; Kest Oak; Kikuyu; Kiley; Kiley 279; Kiley system; King, Russel; Klaatu; Klingon; Luna; Malachowski-class; Mark IV liferaft; Martin Luther King Jr., USS; March for Our Lives; mask; mass murder; match game; matrimony; matter-antimatter reactor; Mattis, James; mercury; microchip; missile; Mojave; monastery; Montana; money; moon; mRNA; musculature; National Rifle Association; New York City; Nimitz-class; night side; Noonien-Singh, Manu; Noonien-Singh, Ronu; Noonien-Singh, Sa'an; NRA; nuclear bomb; Number One; number one (title); Old Earth; orange juice; orbital dock; outer space; Palion; pancake; pants; Paris; particle physics; pattern booster; phone; physiology; ping; plasma torpedo; poison shot; pre-warp society; prey posture; prodigy; protest; proverb; P'Sal; Puget Sound, SS; rabbit; red alert; red flag; Rennie, Michael; retinal scan; reverse engineer; rocket ship; Rome; Salon; salve; San Francisco; Saurian brandy; sedition; science fiction; scientist; security; security badge; security clearance; sedative; Shepard-class; skin; snow; socks; space dock; Stamets; Stamets-type shuttlecraft (unnamed); Stanford Morehouse Epigenetic Project; Starbase 1; Starfleet; Starfleet Archive Museum; Statue of Liberty; subspace chatter; tagball; telemetry; telescope; temporal consciousness displacement; training exercise; transformation; transponder; tricorder; truck; Trump, Donald; UFO; United States Capitol; United States of America; universal translator; universe; vote; Vulcan; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan lute; warp bomb; warp engine (aka faster-than-light engine); warp signature; Washington, DC; Washington Monument; White House: wind turbine; World War III; wormhole; X-ray; zero point

Stellar cartography references[]

81 Cancri; Acamar; Adelphous; Ajilon; Akaali; Aldebaran; Algol I; Algol system; Alpha Centauri; Alpha Majoris I; Alpha Majoris system; Andoria; Aneto; Archanis; Archanis sector; Ardana; Argelius; Argus Array; Azati Prime; B'Moth; Ba'ku; Babel; Bajor; Balduk; Barolia; Barradas; Benecia; Beta Lankal; Beta Leonis Minoris; Beta Niobe; Beta Rigel; Beta Thoridar; Beta Zeta; Betazed; blue; Boreth; Brestant; Briar Patch; Camus; Capella; Cardassia Prime; Carraya; Celes; Chaltok; Chin'toka; Cor Caroli; Coridan; Corvan; Cygnet; Davlos; Deep Space Station K-7; Delta Outpost; Delta Outpost 4; Delta Outpost 5; Delta Outpost 6; Delta Outpost 7; Delta Outpost 8; Delta Outpost 9; Delta Outpost 10; Delta Outpost 11; Deneb (Kaitos); Denobula; Deneva; Dewa; Dinasia; Doctari Alpha; Donatu; Dreon; Elas; Elora; Epsilon Ceti B; Epsilon Hydrae; Epsilon Outpost; Epsilon Outpost 1; Epsilon Outpost 2; Epsilon Outpost 3; Epsilon Outpost 4; Epsilon Outpost 5; Epsilon Outpost 6; Epsilon Outpost 7; Epsilon Outpost 8; Epsilon Outpost 9; Epsilon Outpost 10; Epsilon Outpost 11; Epsilon Outpost 12; Eridani; 'etnap Nebula; Evora; Free Haven; Galen IV; Galen system; Galorndon Core; Gamma Eridon; Gamma Hromi; Gamma Trianguli VI; Gamma Trianguli system; Ganalda; Gariman sector; Gasko; Gorarth; Grazer; green; H'atoria; Halee; Halka; Harlak; Hromi Cluster; Hyralan; Iconia; Iccobar; Iridin; Janus; Japori; Jouret; Kaferia; Kantare; Kazar; Kelfour; Khitomer; Kiley system; Klaestron; Klingon Empire; Kobliad; Korvat; Kressari system; Lorillia; Lya Station Alpha; Mab-Bu; Maluria; Manzar; Megara; Mempa; Mempa sector; Merak; metamorphosis; Minos Korva; Miridian; Mizar; Morska; Narendra; Nausicaa; Nequencia; Nivalla; No'Mat; O'Ryan's Planet; Omega; Omega Leonis; Orellius; Organia; Orion; Pahvo; Paulson Nebula; Peliar Zel; Pheben; Pi³ Orionis; Planet Q; Platonius; Pollux; Porathia; Preenos; Priors World; Proxima; purple; Pyrithia; Qo'noS; Qo'noS sector; Qualor; Quam; Ramatis; Rator; red; Regulus; Risa; Romulan Neutral Zone; Romulan Star Empire; Rura Penthe; Sarpedion; Scalos; Scalos system; Septimus; Septra; Setlik system; Sherman's Planet; Sigma Draconis; Sol; Son'a; Sorna Prime; Starbase G-6; Starbase 1; Starbase 2; Starbase 9; Starbase 11; Starbase 12; Starbase 18; Starbase 19; Starbase 21; Starbase 22; Starbase 23; Starbase 24; Starbase 46; Starbase 47; Starbase 88; Starbase 234; Suliban; Tagra; Tagus; Talos IV; Talos system; Talar system; Talarian homeworld; Talarian Republic; Tarlac; Tau Ceti; Tellar; Tellun; Thalos; Tomed; Tonnata; Toroth; Tranome Sar; Tribble Prime; Trill; Troyius; Turkana; Tzenketh; Unefra; Unroth; Valakis system; Veda; Vulcan; warp-capable civilization; white; Wolf 359; Wurna Minor; Xahea; Xahea system; Xarantine; Xepolite; yellow; Yridia; Zibal

Enterprise dedication plaque references[]

Agawin, D.; Anderson, I.; Armaganian, A.; Arseneault, S.; Assimakopoulos, G.; Baiers, A.; Ballantyne, R.; Barbet, H.; Barrington, J.; Beyer, K.; Brock, A.; Budge, W.; Burns, D.; Byrne, C.; Campbell, M.: chief of staff; Chris, S.; Clement, J.; CNC; Cooper, A.; Craig, J.; Cuthbert, J.C.; de Cartier, J.; Croft, B.; Crosdale, Y.; DeMayo, B.; Dening, R.; Dragonescu, L.; Edmund, M.; Eshraghi, S.; Fisher, C.; Fleet Ops; Frakes, J.; Francis, D. Panet; Freeland, S.; Genereux, T.; German, N.; Glass, J.; Goldsman, A.; Gonsalves, C.; Gorka, M.; Gough, T.; Guilbault, S.; Haufler, J.; Herbst, K.; Holmes, M.; Hope, L.; Isaacs, H.; Jadeja, N.; Jarvis, J.; Johnson, O.; Johnson, R.; Kadin, H.; Kao, E.; Kim, J.; Kirk, J.; Knezev, M.; Kurtzman, A.; Lee, C.; Lee, J.; Leiterman, R.; Lewandowski, M.; Li, A.; Liu, D.; Lumet, J.; Ma, A.; Maurais, P.; MacKenzie, A.; Marrello, B.; McDonald, L.M.; Meyers, H. Alonso; Moran, R.; Murray, J.; Nassif, T.; Nocifora, A.; Ordowich, J.; Pearce, S.; Peel, T.; Perez, D.; Petrovic, T.; Phillips, G.; Quimel, C.; Raffaghello, A.; Rigby, M.; Robertson, M.; Roddenberry, R.; Roddenberry, Gene; Roth, T.; Schnobb, A.; Schorn, F.; Science Ops; Sidarous, W.; Singh, A.; Siracusa, F.; Smale, T.; St. Clair, M.; Starfleet Command; Stroud, H.; Summers, T.; Swope, J.; Tactical Ops; Tarkoff, S.; Thomas, S.; Tsang, A.; Van Koeverden, A. Malee; Vasey, S.; Vaughan, D.; Vero, Z.; Viger, M.; Vrvilo, M.; Wan, C.; Wasserman, R.; Watkins, C.; Weber, J.; Wolkoff, B.; Wrighte, B.; yard engineer; Yorke, R.; Zahiri, A.

Meta references[]


External links[]

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