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Star Trek Strange New Worlds: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

"Drive more carefully in the future."

During a supposedly typical (but actually adorable) work day for La'an in her role as Chief of Security, she is presented with an unexpected temporal emergency. A big one. A huge, honking one. But then again, are there small temporal emergencies?

After a dying man appears in a corridor, gasps out an urgent message, hands La'an a temporal device and vanishes, La'an goes to the bridge and discovers that:

(1) James Kirk is captain of the Enterprise, not Christopher Pike;
(2) the Federation and Starfleet don't exist; and
(3) no one knows who La'an is.

Without wasting our time, La'an and Kirk were almost immediately in 21st century Toronto, bantering and bonding over black leather and hot dogs as they tried to figure out what was going on and how to fix it. A two-character episode, with one of them a guest star, isn't something we usually get in series television. But this is James T. Kirk, not exactly an unknown quantity. While this wasn't his first appearance in SNW, this second shot was much better.

Paul Wesley gave us the Captain Kirk we know and love – clever, charming, sexy, full of joie de vivre. He needs to be in charge. He wants to lead the mission, drive the car, wear the watch, make the decisions, although he realized quickly that La'an wasn't about to allow that.

It was also Kirk at his best when he realized that La'an's universe was the "right" one, and that he died for it. In the alternate timeline, Kirk was a soldier when he was meant to be an explorer. (Perhaps a little homage to TNG's "Yesterday's Enterprise," another exceptional time travel episode.) I was touched by the suggestion that Sam Kirk being alive in La'an's universe might have affected Kirk's choice, too.

Paul Wesley nearly stole this episode from Christina Chong, but she retrieved it in the back half. Because in the end, it was all about the cliché of going back in time to kill Hitler, a.k.a. her ancestor, Khan Noonien-Singh.

There was a huge hint early in the episode when Kirk didn't recognize La'an's surname. I should have realized at that very moment what this episode was going to be about. If Khan had died as a child, the Federation would have never formed and the Romulans would have lost their greatest adversary. Sera, the conveniently placed Romulan operative disguised as a human photographer who led them to pretty much everything, tempted La'an by saying La'an could allow Khan to be erased from history and still be protected from changes in the timeline. I never thought for a second that La'an would sacrifice the Federation for her own sake, though.

(Kirk died to save Khan, his greatest enemy. That's an OMG.)

There was so much fun to be had here, with the occasional original series easter egg to make it even better. Arriving in an alley, like "The City on the Edge of Forever." The fact that this was supposed to happen in 1992. Kirk driving the red sports car, an homage to "A Piece of the Action." Loved Kirk financing their adventure with chess, since it always bothered Spock that Kirk could always beat him.

And the side trip to Vermont to consult Pelia was so beautifully set up with the stolen antiquities in the opening scenes. How circular that it was La'an who set Pelia on her career path in Engineering. "I work retail!"


— Stardate 1581.2. I didn't catch the date in the past but assumed it was present day. If you know, could you post a comment?

— Spock was keeping his neighbors awake with his harp. Ethan Peck's expression when confronted with the complaint made me laugh.

— La'an and M'Benga are sparring partners. As mentioned earlier, Babs Olusanmokun is a third degree jiu-jitsu black belt.

— In the alternate timeline, Spock was the captain of a Vulcan ship, and the Vulcans were about to lose their war with the Romulans. Kirk and Spock had never met. That's so sad.

— The United Earth Fleet had different com badges.

— Kirk mentioned that his first officer was a she. Number One, maybe?

— Toronto usually stands in for other cities, but got to be the star this time. I visited Toronto for the first time a few years ago. It's great.

— Paul Wesley's performance as James Kirk in "A Quality of Mercy" was different, but as I surmised back then, and as Paul Wesley just confirmed in this week's episode of The Ready Room, William Shatner's performance in "Balance of Terror" was serious and subdued, and Wesley was interpreting just that.

— Agent Ymalay from the Department of Temporal Investigations told La'an not to tell anyone. I really did like that La'an simply had to call Kirk and see if he was alive, anyway. I hope they get that drink. Maybe that will end in a smooch-fest, too.

— Vanessa?


Kirk: "Seems to be New York City. Mid-twenty-first century."
La'an: "What?"
Kirk: "What?"
La'an: "It's Toronto. The biggest city in what used to be called Canada? You know, maple leaves, politeness, poutine. I take it you've never been?"
Kirk: "I've never been to Earth at all. I was born in space on the USS Iowa."

La'an: "Never seen a revolving door before?"
Kirk: "I'm from space."

La'an: "Where did you learn to do that?"
Kirk: "Spent six months in a Denobulan prison. Cellmate was a Vulcan. I can also make plomeek soup in the toilet."
In the original series, Kirk complained that Spock couldn't teach him the nerve pinch.

La'an: "Discretion is his middle name."

Kirk: "What's a meme?"

La'an: "So then we checked out a lot of universities..."
Kirk: "...and when that didn't work, a guy at the Apple Store taught me how to use DuckDuckGo."

Kirk: "I'm not sure one timeline is big enough for two of me."

Kirk: "Say hi to Sam for me."

Clever time travel episodes in the Star Trek universe are my cup of tea, and I want to give this episode four out of four paintings stolen from the Louvre. But the thing is, I love Strange New Worlds so much that I'm starting to feel like I can't objectively review this show.

What's your rating? Anyone? Post a comment!

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Nop, this was definitely a four out of four socialist utopias that just turn out to be a fad. I could go with a five out of four just for the final scene and Christina Chong acting. Seriously what a sad and bittersweet moment. She was literally crying for the dead of someone that never existed. I can recall very few episodes in Star Trek with such a powerful ending scene.
    Not to mention her scene with little Khan. So perfect, so human and so sad. Destiny seems to exist in this universe, Times fights back apparently.
    This could have turned out to be just a simple by the book time travel episode, but in the end it was so much more. Kudos to the writers.
    And of course, all the easter eggs! So many from all over the Star Trek series. My favorite? The time LCARS from the device from the agent of the Department of Temporal Investigations. They were identicals to the ones from the USS Relativity from Voyager, a ship from the far future.
    Great review Billie. Thanks!

  2. An excellent episode. I like this version of Kirk way more than Shatner’s. But who knows what the next version will be like, lol. Maybe we’ll keep getting new versions of Kirk every time he appears. Born on the USS Iowa. Ha.

    La’an was so good. The end choked me up a bit. Rare for me.

    Thanks for the great review. I still want to read them even if they are biased…….

  3. Adelaide Kane was much more convincing as a Romulan than she ever was as Mary Queen of Scots.

  4. Loved this episode, probably my favorite of the series so far. The intensely emotional ending is rare for Star Trek - they don’t do it often, but when they do, they almost always do it right, and this was no exception.

    A bit risky to narrow the focus of a full episode to a guest star and historical cannon that the show came from, but it worked perfectly - especially with the big reveal at the end. And yeah, I’m so slow that I just realized upon reading this review that in this alternate timeline, La’an would not have existed. Duh…

    Speaking of alternate timelines, if TOS Star Trek’s Khan was born in the mid-1990’s, and this Khan was a child in the mid-21st century, did SNW just subtly tell us we’re not in Kansas anymore temporally speaking? And we keep getting more Kirk. Maybe we’re quietly being set up for a full reboot of TOS? If so, sign me up, but please not for a while. I love THIS crew.


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