Two new episodes of Star Trek: Short Treks hit CBS All Access today. Both are animated shorts that tie into Star Trek: Discovery in creative ways, but only one has direct ties to Star Trek: The Original Series. “Ephraim and Dot” is a fun short directed by Michael Giacchino, the composer who scored the Kelvin timeline Star Trek movies (he provides the new short’s music as well). The short follows the two titular characters. Ephraim is a tardigrade that travels the mycelial network, like Ripper from the first season of Star Trek: Discovery. Dot is one of the DOT-7 worker robots equipped on the Enterprise, revealed in Star Trek: Discovery’s second season.
“Ephraim and Dot” has Ephraim discovering the Enterprise and choosing to lay her eggs within its interior structures. After laying the eggs, she’s discovered by Dot, who jettisons Ephraim from the ship. With her eggs still on board the starship, Ephraim gives chase, keeping up with the Enterprise until she’s reunited with her young.
The surprise here is that Ephraim’s encounter with Dot takes not during Capt. Christopher Pike’s command of the Enterprise, but during Capt. James T. Kirk’s command, specifically during events seen in Star Trek: The Original Series. When Ephraim first encounters Dot, Kirk can be seen in the background talking to Khan Noonien Singh during the events of the Star Trek episode “Space Seed.” Later, Kirk can be seen in the background again, this time being held at swordpoint by a shirtless Mr. Sulu during the events of “The Naked Time.”
As Ephraim chases the Enterprise through the galaxy, other references to classic Star Trek episodes appear. These include the titular devices from the episodes “The Doomsday Machine” and “The Tholian Web,” spacefaring Abraham Lincoln from “The Savage Curtain,” and others.
When Ephraim catches up with the ship and gets back aboard, she encounters Dot again. Their conflict ends when the Enterprise self-destruct sequence is activated and the ship crashes on a nearby planet as it did in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
Altogether, it’s a delightful romp through classic Star Trek history and a love letter to some of Star Trek’s most memorable moments. It should leave longtime Star Trek fans smiling.
What did you think of “Ephraim and Dot”? Let us know in the comments. “Ephraim and Dot,” as well as today’s other new Short Trek, “The Girl Who Made the Stars,” and are now streaming on CBS All Access.
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