The latest feature episode “Stormbound” is… well, a bit of an odd duck. Ever since the tail-end of the Iconian War, there seems to be more emphasis placed on time-travel plots, which frankly is a tricky thing to play with, and Stormbound is a good example of why that is.
For you diehard Trek fans out there, the episode tries to tie a couple of TV plotlines together — this Tox Uthat thingie and Kal Dano from a TNG episode, and the time-mucking Na’kuhl from Enterprise. It’s a clever premise, although if you’re like me and haven’t seen those episodes, you would probably go “What is all this? And why do I care?”.
The episode feels rushed — and forced, with many opportunities for eye-rolling. In no particular order:
- The Na’kuhl are rude, but we are complete a-holes. Their star is about to wink out because we screwed up with the Tox Uthat thingie, so yeah, they’re understandably upset. I guess because their phone operator is being mouthy, we’re free to tell them all about time travel technology and Tholians just so they know it’s not our damned fault?
- Better yet, we saved the Lukari’s star with the Tox Uthat in the last episode, and while we could’ve saved the Na’kuhl’s star the same way, we chose not to because the Na’kuhl operator tells us to buzz off and leave them alone to die? The whole “Okay, but if you change your mind, let us know. Ciao!” thing at the end was unbelievably callous. What, were we in a hurry to get to our coffee breaks? This part was incredibly jarring.
- Not having seen the TNG episode, I couldn’t figure out why we needed to time-travel back to a prehistoric Risa to bury the Tox Uthat. Now that I’ve read up on the episode, where Picard was destined to find it and destroy it… I still can’t figure it out. Couldn’t I have smashed it with the heel of my shoe instead? The only difference it would make is Picard could’ve had a peaceful, relaxing vacation on Risa.
The first two episodes of New Dawn have been pretty lackluster; Stormbound is probably my least favorite one in recent memory, especially after memorable ones like Midnight. Stormbound does have a couple of good points going for it though, namely the pretty environments that include interiors of a Tholian ship and a rain-drenched Risa. It’s just that the story kinda sucked.