As we power ahead to the end of 2021, we’re Talkin’ Science with Dr Brad. This week – Aussie astronauts are about to become a
Centuries after Discovery is abandoned, a Human soldier is rescued by the ships artificial intelligence.
The Trekzone Review
Our second Short Trek is probably the funkiest out of this first batch. We’re centuries in the future, with no idea what’s happened to the ship or the crew… but we have a beautiful story between two personalities which blossoms over time.
Not only is Annabelle Wallis’ performance of Zora a perfect fit for such a haunting episode, but Aldis Hodge bats a thousand alone on all those expansive sets. We feel his sense of isolation and desperation to get home, to the familiar.
What happens to Discovery? Where does the AI come from? What’s so special about this shuttlecraft that they “just received” and haven’t named yet? Will we get some closure later down the line of Discovery?
The Trekzone Recap
We open on an alien escape pod, drifting through space. It’s sole occupant, a Human male, is barely alive as the computer warns of imminent danger. As we pull out wider, we see that the starship Discovery is close. She engages a tractor beam and pulls the craft in, the occupant is transported to Discovery‘s sickbay.
The male wakes to find no inhabitants and only his underwear on, however something is watching him. As he explores, a voice calls to him and offers a fitted uniform jumpsuit. He leaves sickbay and finds himself in the mess hall.
Eating cereal, he converses with the voice who identifies herself as Zora, the ships artificial intelligence. His name is Craft, a reluctant solider who stole the escape pod from his enemy – the V’draysh. Craft explains that he spent a month in the pod, watching cartoons like Betty Boop on repeat during that time because he couldn’t figure out how to turn it off.
Craft goes to the bridge, to find it abandoned and powered down. Accessing Stellar Cartography he learns that his homeworld – Alcor IV – is in range of the last remaining warp-capable shuttlecraft. Zora explains that the shuttle is a thousand years old and may not make the journey, Craft pleads with her to take him home but she refuses to go against her standing orders – to wait for the return of the crew.
Through a montage of time, we see Craft play chess with Zora, eat waffles and become fascinated by Taco Tuesday. Eventually we come to a time when Craft sits in the Captain’s chair as Zora plays the 1957 film Funny Face via a holographic projection.
After Craft spends time learning the dance in the film, he asks Zora to dance with him and the AI generates a hologram of herself. The pair dance, but when the moment becomes intimate Craft pulls away, thinking of his wife and son.
Zora realises that she must let Craft go, and she replicates his uniform. In the shuttlebay, he bids her a final farewell – saying that he’s unsure where she is or what he’ll find when – if – he gets home, but he is extremely grateful for her healing him and allowing him to leave.
The shuttlecraft disembarks and Discovery is left to float alone.
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