In Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’, Calypso was a nymph who imprisoned Odysseus and ultimately only releases him once he realizes he misses his wife back home. Michael Chabon’s retelling of this tale for ‘Star Trek: Short Treks’ doesn’t really even add a lot of ‘Star Trek’ flair to the story, but what we are left with is a strong story that leaves us wanting more and ok if we never get it.
The story focuses on Craft (Aldis Hodge) and Zora (Anabelle Wallis). Craft is a soldier adrift in a life pod and near death. Zora is an AI intelligence left in charge of the Discovery for over 1000 years waiting for the crew to return. Zora rescues Craft, and while the two are initially reluctant to share any information about the other they slowly begin to share more and more.
Through Chabon’s deft handling of the material and Hodge and Wallis’ performances, you are left wanting a relationship that can’t work out to do just that. Chabon is able to highlight the loneliness that both characters feel in a way that, once they begin to come together you can’t help but want that to continue. One also hopes this isn’t the last we see of either character, though it could well be. CBS has expressed an interest in more ‘Star Trek’ series, however, so anything is possible.
One thing comes out of this. Chabon was recently announced as a member of the writers’ room for the new Picard based ‘Star Trek’ series. After watching ‘Calypso’, that new series can’t come fast enough. If we are able to get even close to the level of this material, ‘Star Trek’ may be about to experience a dazzling renaissance.