‘Ask Not’ is the third Short Trek to be released since the end of season 2. It is also the last time we will see Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike- unless of course CBS do the right thing and GIVE HIM HIS OWN SERIES! In fact, lots of fans believe that this Short Trek is going to be used as a precursor to launching a Pike series…….fingers crossed!
Now, onto the story itself. Spoilers inbound so be warned! After the photo below it kicks in!
This is one of the shortest Short Treks yet, clocking in at just over 7 minutes.
It begins with an attack on Starbase 28 by Tholians. We meet Cadet Thira Sidhu who is given the job of guarding a prisoner who turns out to be Captain Christopher Pike of the USS Enterprise; he is being charged with mutiny!
She is handed a phaser and told to guard him at all costs….
Over the course of the episode, Pike does all he can to convince Cadet Sidhu to release him so he can help with the fight against the Tholians. He tries to appeal to the Starfleet Officer in her by quoting a “Little known, seldom used, reserve activation clause”* whereby an officer in good standing can reactivate a deactivated or retired officer.
That fails, so Pike appeals to her emotional side by telling her the USS Bouman is under attack and damaged- her husband, who is also a cadet is on board. He mentions that on Sidhu’s record it states that both her and her husband are the only survivors of a Tholian attack on Berellium.
It turns out that both Thira and her husband had applied to join the Enterprise engineering department but were both rejected with her husband then being assigned to the aforementioned USS Bouman
Pike’s ploy to tug on Sidhu’s emotions fails and he tries to leave- at which point Cadet Sidhu raises her phaser and threatens to shoot him.
Captain Pike then reveals that this was all a test** to see how Sidhu would react under pressure and that she passed with flying colours. Pike is impressed!
Sidhu is told to clean herself up and then meet Pike in the transporter room. They beam to the USS Enterprise where they are greeted by Number One and Lt. Spock.
Cadet Sidhu and Captain Pike leave the transporter room and head to engineering where Sidhu is informed that due to her passing the test, she is now assigned to the Enterprise engineering section. Thira beams with joy!
As Pike leaves, Thira asks him if the phaser she was given is operational to which he fails to answer other than saying “see you around the ship” leaving her wondering what would happen if she had pulled the trigger!
This was a great little episode and shows how serious Pike is about having only the best aboard his ship. Is this scenario an addition to the Kobayashi Maru test or, as Sidhu is an engineering cadet not a command cadet, instead of that said test?
Cadet Thira Sidhu is ably played by actress Amrit Kaur who is a newcomer to the Star Trek universe and probably just saw her Twitter follower number increase! I really hope a Pike series is commissioned and we see more of Cadet Sidhu- she could mirror Cadet Tilly (Mary Wiseman) on Discovery! 95% of Trek actors are awesome to interact with on social media and Amrit is just the same!
One thing that has always bugged me about The Original Series was the scale of things inside the ship. Finally, the size of Engineering seems more realistic as do other parts of the ship that we have seen. I know some people have an issue with the turbolift and the inner workings of the ship but I have no issue. These ships are huge- to me it makes more sense for there to be hidden sections with inner workings that we don’t see, but as I said not all Trekkies agree (what else is new!).
*The “Little known, seldom used reserve activation clause” was first mentioned by Dr. Leonard McCoy in Star Trek: The Motion Picture when he was reactivated by Fleet Admiral Nogura during the V’Ger incident.
**We have seen others face similar tests, notably Lt. Saavik in ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’ and Wesley Crusher in TNG’s ‘Coming of Age’.
The folks at CBS have once again designed a retro novel cover for ‘Ask Not’ and its just as awesome as the rest!
The next two Short Treks land in December and are both animated so watch out for another recap shortly afterwards!