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(written from a Production point of view)

For the TOS episode with a similar title, please see "Amok Time".

When the USS Protostar is fractured in time by an anomaly, Hologram Janeway must synchronize the disjointed crew and save their ship before it destructs.

Summary

Act One

"Training officer's log, Stardate 607125.6. After the crew's last mission conducting first contact went terribly awry, I fear their failure is tearing them apart. Falling down is easy. It's getting up that takes practice, which is why, as their advisor, it was time to stir things up."

Janeway's team building problem

Since their first unsuccessful attempt at first contact, the crew has become somewhat distant. Worried they are letting their failure get to them, Hologram Janeway gathers them all on the holodeck for a teambuilding exercise. The crew are trying to solve the fox, chicken and grain problem, where they must get a fox, a chicken, and a bag of grain across a river safely using a small rowboat. They cannot take them all at once because the chicken will eat the grain, and the fox will eat the chicken. The crew struggles to figure out the puzzle, as well as work together, though Janeway is encouraged that Zero does start to make sense of it. Eventually, the whole thing turns into chaos. The chicken gets loose from Dal's grip and chases him, the fox escapes from Rok-Tahk and chases the chicken, Jankom Pog (having suggested eating the fox) starts eating the grain, and the boat floats away with Murf in it. Gwyn asks Rok the "security officer" to get the fox under control, but Rok tells her not to call her that because she doesn't want to be security. Dal ends the program, and in an act of contrition born from frustration, finally admits to Janeway the crew has been lying to her from the beginning about being Starfleet cadets. As the others walk dispiritedly out of the holodeck, Zero stays behind to explain everything to Janeway.

The Protostar heading for a tachyon storm

Back in the Delta Quadrant, the Diviner receives word from Nandi about the coordinates of the USS Protostar, in response to his broadcast offering of a reward for information. But while Drednok points out that they are months away from reaching them, the Diviner states that since they now have their location, they have alternative ways to make their presence known. They somehow hack into the Protostar's vehicle replicator, and start replicating another Drednok. Meanwhile, Jankom finds Gwyn to talk to, still upset about Dal confessing the truth to Janeway. He complains that they've could have gone to the Federation and had better lives. Gwyn happens to be in the conference suite, watching through the viewports as the ship approaches a tachyon storm. When Gwyn advises Jankom to keep his boots close to the deck as the storm could affect the artificial gravity, he grows alarmed, explaining that gravity is what keeps the proto-drive stable. He rushes to engineering to find the proto-drive destabilizing. Just after Janeway checks in with him, having detected massive power influxes, the light of the proto-drive turns from blue to red and then emits a pulse of energy that spreads throughout the ship, briefly splitting Janeway into five parts. Checking her program, Janeway discovers her temporal settings to be all over the place. When she checks in with the rest of the crew, she discovers Jankom appears to be the only lifeform aboard. Suddenly, there is a rupture, triggering an alarm warning of an upcoming warp core breach. Jankom knows from the alarm that unless they can repair it in ten minutes, the engine will not be able to equalize the gravity shell of the proto-drive, which keeps the power of the star within from exploding. He hurriedly gets to work, but the proto-drive unexpectedly explodes seconds later, destroying the ship.

Janeway finds Rok-Tahk

Janeway suddenly finds herself on the bridge, and the ship is still intact. She wonders how Jankom was correct in how much time was left, yet he only had seconds. Everything appears to be still in order and there is still only one lifeform aboard. Janeway tries to contact Jankom, but instead finds Rok hiding in the bunk room, who asks where everyone else is and why Janeway didn't respond when she called for her. Jameway notices that items Rok has knocked into the air tumble in slow motion, looking more like they're moving in zero gravity, and realizes that time is moving very slowly. Apparently, the ripple that passed through the ship was some kind of time anomaly. Janeway was able to adjust the speed of her settings to be with Rok, but everyone else is stuck in their own temporal phases. Rok doesn't quite understand, so Janeway explains that when they went through the tachyon storm, something unusual happened. While it appeared Rok-Tahk was alone, everyone is still aboard the same ship, but moving through time at different speeds. For Jankom, time was sped up, but fortunately for Rok, time was moving very slowly; for her, ten minutes will seem like an eternity. Janeway tries to talk Rok into taking on the task of fixing the warp core by balancing the warp containment, but when she explains that the proto-drive will otherwise explode and destroy the ship, it is too much for the young girl, who, overwhelmed, panics and shuts the hologram down.

Act Two

Zero has a plan

Janeway is now in the shuttlebay with Zero, who is already aware of what is happening and deduced a way to repair the core. By constructing a warp matrix, they can reroute power from the primary warp drive directly to the proto-drive. In effect, this will normalize their time component, stabilizing the fractures and saving everyone on board. Janeway is able to give Zero the last bit of info they need to know how much time left they have, that Rok was moving the slowest. With this, Zero realizes that everyone is trapped in what is described as oscillating time, which is working like a damped sine wave. Those closest to the blast are most affected, in alternating patterns, fastest and slowest. Jankom was the closest to the proto-drive, so he was the fastest. Rok was next in line, so she was the slowest. But since Zero was next, they realize that time was moving second fastest for them and they do not have enough time to build the warp matrix. As the warp core breach alarm begins, Zero hurriedly draws up schematics for Janeway to pass onto the others. As they work, Zero states that none of the crew can do it alone, and even if they are divided by time itself, they can still work together. Wishing they could do more for the others, Janeway watches Zero sadly as they complete the schematics just as the ship blows up once again.

Dal building a warp matrix

After a brief encounter with Murf, Janeway is now with Dal, who is playing a game in the captain's quarters. At first, he does not take Janeway's warning of the situation seriously and pays more attention to his game. But after Janeway turns his game off, he soon listens after realizing he is the only one aboard. Dal comes up with the idea of using the vehicle replicator to build the warp matrix but is dismayed to discover the replicator producing a fatal error, as a giant file has been downloaded into it. Janeway agrees that it's unfortunate as it was an excellent idea, but now Dal will have to do it the old-fashioned way. Dal is not entirely confident he can build a warp matrix by hand and is afraid he will mess up again. As a method of encouragement, Janeway tells him about how the crew of Apollo 13 ran into a similar situation. Their ship didn't have what they needed, but they didn't give up and instead used whatever they did have to get back home and Dal has a bit of what those astronauts had: ingenuity. Inspired, Dal scavenges the ship for parts and manages to build a crude but working unit in the shuttlebay just before the core breach alarm begins, but when he tries to hook it up to the proto-drive, he discovers that the connectors won't fit: he realizes that it needs a dilithium coupler of the right size. Feeling defeated, Dal believes he messed up again, but Janeway assures him that he added a piece of the puzzle and the crew is all in it together. Dal asks what happens next: Janeway states to trust in each other and holds his hand as the proto-drive explodes.

Dred 2

In Gwyn's time phase, the vehicle replicator finishes replicating the other Drednok, which springs to life and proceeds to the bridge while Gwyn is searching for a dilithium coupler. Spotting him on one of the consoles, Janeway explains that the Dreknok 'file' was able to be produced since Gwyn's phase is the closest to normal time. She recognizes this doppelganger as the one who invaded the ship and erased her memory years ago. After he enters the bridge, Gwyn tries to fight the duplicate Drednok, but he easily throws her into the bulkheads. When Janeway tries to interfere, he swiftly uses Chakotay's voice and command codes to delete Janeway's program, to Gwyn's horror. The duplicate declares his intent to return the ship to "its rightful master", but with dark satisfaction, the injured Gwyn informs him how the ship is on the verge of blowing up and that no one will get it. Looking up how a dilithium coupler is needed, the duplicate silently leaves the bridge for the mess hall, removes the cover of one of the replicators and to Gwyn's surprise pulls out the correct-sized coupler. Gwyn wonders if he is going to get rid of her before seizing the ship, but he tells her that would be against the Diviner's wishes. He does, however, think that his master is blind to what Dreadnok believes to be true: that Gwyn was the Diviner's greatest mistake. The duplicate Drednok locks Gwyn out of engineering and prepares to connect Dal's warp matrix to the proto-drive when Gwyn appears on a nearby console, stating that she will not allow the ship to be stolen. She triggers a partial transformation to extend the proto-drive's nacelle, causing explosive decompression as engineering is exposed to space. This succeeds in ejecting the duplicate, but moments later the warp matrix is also lost in the process. Out of time, Gwyn painfully returns to the bridge and resorts to recording a captain's log entry before it's her turn to blow up.

Act Three

Back in Rok's time phase, Rok tries in vain to call Janeway back, only to be told by the ship's computer her program is gone. As time moves very slowly in this phase, a lonely Rok tries to reconnect to her absent friends by bidding their empty bunks good night when she goes to sleep each 'night' and hugging a small toy representation of Murf. She also watches replays of the teambuilding exercise on the holodeck from the other side of the river, fondly noting how they should have listened to Zero. Her melancholy is interrupted via a transphasic message from Gwyn, apologizing for pressuring her along with the others to play the unwanted part of security officer, telling her she can be much more—and she is going to have to dig deep into this potential to save them all. The schematics for the warp matrix are attached to the message, as well as where to find the dilithium coupler. She sums up that things got 'complicated' in her phase, so it's up to Rok now, but that she knows she can do it and that the crew believes in her, just before the exploding proto-drive takes her. Rok despairs that she can't.

It takes a beat, but after staring down at the Starfleet insignia emblazoned on the deck of the mezzanine, Rok finds her inner cadet and gets to work. Taking advantage of the slow phase, over time she teaches herself quantum science, computer engineering, and a great deal of mathematics, and eventually uses all that she has learnt to build a warp matrix, and then restores Janeway's program. Bringing her back online after tinkering inside one of the mess hall replicators, Rok explains to the astonished Janeway that her memory buffers never got overwritten, so it allowed Rok to rebuild her program. As Janeway notices many, many, scratches made on a mess hall window Rok used to count time, Rok adds that it "only" took her 276 attempts. She also needed Janeway for one simple practical fact: no one had told her where the warp matrix was supposed to go.

The Protostar crew reunited

Down in engineering, Rok expresses a moment of doubt that her warp matrix will work, but Janeway assures that whatever happens, she's proud of her. Once the device is connected to the proto-drive, the timeline, and the rest of the crew, are restored, alive and well and recalling they had each died in their individual phases. Rok and Janeway meet up with the others gathered on the bridge and with Rok wiping away tears of happiness receives a group hug from the others, who are proud of her achievements. Janeway looks on with a smile, but then becomes saddened, which Gwyn notices and realizes why; going over to her, she quietly asks the hologram how long the young girl spent alone, to which Janeway sums up as "too long." As Rok tells the others about her self-education, Gwyn remarks that Rok may not just have found her friends, but also her calling in life. Janeway replies that the kids may not think of themselves as a crew, but they certainly look like one.

However, parts of the duplicate Drednok have also survived and are lying in the shuttlebay. One functioning eye glows red, indicating the duplicate is still active.

Log entries

Memorable quotes

"It's my duty as captain to listen to my crew. But when they say stuff like that, I'm gonna ignore them."

- Dal, during the Fox, chicken and grain problem

"Fatal error? Someone loaded some giant file, and it's all out of whack."
"Seems the temporal anomaly has disabled the vehicle replicator. Too bad, it was a good idea. Clock's ticking."

- Dal and Hologram Janeway

"When Humans first went into space, there was a mission aboard a ship called Apollo 13. Its crew was in a jam, not unlike your own. While their ship wasn't equipped with what they needed, they didn't give up. They used whatever they had onboard to get back home. And you, Dal, have a little something they did have…"
"A warp matrix?"
"Ingenuity."

- Hologram Janeway and Dal

"Look at you, kid. You haven't aged, but you've certainly matured. But if you could make a warp matrix, why did you need me?"
"No one told me where it goes."

- Hologram Janeway and Rok-Tahk

"Jankom disticivly remembers not being alive."
"Me too. How is this possible?"
"She's how."

-Jankom Pog, Zero, and Hologram Janeway, after time is restored

Background information

Title

Production

Continuity

  • Aside from the flashback sequence in "Kobayashi", this is the first episode of the series to give a stardate for the events within the narrative of the episode, Stardate 607125.6.
  • According to Star Trek: Prodigy producer Aaron Waltke, the stardate's unusual number was the first hint that time was being distorted. Namely, Hologram Janeway's temporal settings were already being affected by the approaching tachyon storm, something she observes later in the episode.[2]
  • This episode is similar to the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Shattered", in which the USS Voyager was split into several time zones that only Chakotay could move through.
  • Throughout the episode, Janeway's fingernails randomly change color from being blue, brown, pink, stone, to normal.

Links and references

Cast

And

References

Apollo 13; authorization code; axial misalignment; bag; boat; boot; cadet; captain; captain's log; chicken; chimerium; computer; computer console; computer engineering; coordinates; core breach; core breach alarm; coupler; crew; dilithium coupler; engineering; fatal error; feather; Federation; Ferengi; file; first contact; fox; fox, chicken and grain problem; friend; fugitive; gift; grain; gravimetric containment; gravity; gravity boot; gravity shell; grifter; ground; hand; holodeck; hug; Human; idea; job title; laughter; lie; lights; lifeform; location; math; memory; memory buffers; minute; mission; month; Mr. Foxy; Murf; oscillating time; physical manifestation; proto-drive; protostar; Protostar, USS; Protostar-type; Protostar-type shuttlecraft (Shuttle 06); purple ripple; puzzle; quantum science; REV-12; riddle; schematic; secret; security officer; simulation; sine wave; snake game; space; speed; stardate; Starfleet; stuffed animal; supernova; tachyon settings; tachyon storm; temporal distortion; temporal phase (aka time phase); temporal setting; time; time anomaly; timeline; training officer (aka advisor); training officer's log; truth; vehicle replicator; warp containment; warp core; warp drive; warp matrix; "wouldn't hurt a [fly]"; x-ray; Zulu

Console references

active tracking; adaptive mode; auto scan; bridge; communications; communicator; conference suite; contour mode; door; flight controls; flowchart; level; lifeform scan; lock; main computer; particle; observation lounge; offset; operations; phaser array; photon torpedo; planet scan; planet tracker; power efficiency monitor; profile view; reset; scan; shuttlecraft fuel storage; subspace antenna; systems diagram; systems diagnosis; tactical array; targeting; turbo lift; warp factor; warp speed power graph; waypoint; wireframe; wireframe mode; zone

External link

Previous episode:
"First Con-tact"
Star Trek: Prodigy
Season 1
Next episode:
"A Moral Star, Part 1"
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