By JD Phillips
Honestly, I wasn’t a fan of the first episode of “Short Treks”. It’s always nice to see more Tilly but the story was pretty unimpressive. It made me think that this entire venture was going to be nothing more than several rather disposable filler stories. “Calypso” proved me wrong. It’s a beautiful piece of sci-fi and one of the best Star Trek stories in years.
It starts with a simple enough premise, a lost space traveler taken in by the Discovery. But it becomes much more interesting as it goes on. For starters, the ship has been abandoned for over a thousand years (What the what?!) and the only thing left on the ship is the computer which has become tragically sentient.
What unfolds is essentially an anti “2001: A Space Odyssey”. (In fact, it takes just as much revisionist inspiration from “The Odyssey” as it does its sci-fi counterpart) Instead of the pyscho AI that tries to prevent the hero from accomplishing his goal, this computer falls head over heels in love with the protagonist and he does a little too.
It’s an excellent sci-fi love story that culminates in a gorgeously rendered sci-fi dance sequence that ends with rejection and tears. Then the show continues to defy expectations by having the scorned AI then help her only friend abandon her so that he can be happy.
It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking love story that easily could’ve been a big budget movie. (It’s like “Passengers” but not f***ing horrifying) It sets a gold standard for these shorts that I hope becomes a precedent.