This week’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery was much lighter on canon connections than previous episodes. This was partly due to “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad” being a bottle episode with a tightly focused time loop story, but also as a sign of the show becoming confident in being itself and relying less on obvious call backs to the previous Star Trek canon.

Nevertheless, in addition to the return of Harry Mudd, there were some fun deep cut call outs to previous shows.

1. Yellow Alert

When Burnham and Tyler enter the bridge, they find the ship is at yellow alert as it approaches the gormagander that is being used by Mudd as a lure for Discovery.

This marks the first appearance of yellow alert in the show, a state of heightened readiness for the ship in which its shields are up but its weapons are not yet charged.

2. Andorian Helmet

When Mudd boards the ship through the mouth of the gormagander, he is seen wearing a life support helmet with space for two antennae. Though not confirmed explicitly in the show, it was revealed during After Trek that the helmet is made for an Andorian.

This marks at least the third reference to the Andorians on Discovery – here’s hoping we see them in person soon!

3. Anicium and Yurium

Mudd destroys the USS Discovery every 30 minutes using a combination of anicium and yurium.

In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Night Terrors,” they reference anicium and yurium as having been used by a Melthusian captain, Bela Tyken, to create an explosion in order to escape a spatial rift that later was named after him, a Tyken’s Rift.

4. Betazoid Bank

Tyler tells Burnham how Mudd described having robbed a Betazoid bank, and speculates he must have used the same time crystal technology he is using aboard the Discovery.

That seems plausible – you would need multiple time loops to break into a bank run by a race of telepaths!

5. Alpha Centauri

According to Stamets, he met his partner Dr. Culber on Alpha Centauri, a world near the Sol system that has been lightly referenced throughout the Star Trek canon. The system was one of the first colonized by the human race following their expansion to the stars, and Zefram Cochrane is known to have spent time there following his first warp flight in 2063.

Alpha Centauri is considered to have been the fifth founding member of the United Federation of Planets, but this has never been confirmed on screen.

6. Captain’s Log

While Burnham has narrated a log entry several times during the run of Discovery — a First Officer’s log in the pilot and a personal log in this episode — “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad” is the first appearance in Star Trek: Discovery of the captain’s log, a frequent narrative tool during previous Star Trek shows.

And who should have the honor of giving Discovery’s first on screen captain’s log? Harry Mudd.

7. Stella!

Though she was referenced in “Choose Your Pain,” this episode marks the first appearance in the Star Trek canon of the real Stella Mudd, whose android copy featured in the Original Series episode “I, Mudd.”

Though initially warm with Harry, Stella’s attitude turns cold towards him quickly, foreshadowing the difficult marriage that Mudd described in “I, Mudd.”

*   *   *

It wouldn’t be an episode of Discovery without a close up shot of the border between Federation and Klingon space. This week, we got a number to see a number of new places, including:

  • Briar Patch – Nebula home to the Baku seen in Star Trek: Insurrection, the Briar Patch is known to the Klingons as Klach D’Kel Bracht.
  • Azure Nebula – During the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Captain Sulu and the USS Excelsior try to sneak into Klingon territory through the Azure Nebula but are stopped by Kang. These events are shown in the Star Trek: Voyager episode, “Flashback.”
  • Beta Thoridar — The House of Duras gathered a fleet near this star in preparation to attack Gowron’s armada in “Redemption.”
  • Jouret IV (New Providence colony) – Destroyed by the Borg in The Next Generation episode “Best of Both Worlds.”
  • Paulsen Nebula – Later in The Next Generation episode “Best of Both Worlds, Part I,” the Enterprise-D hides from a Borg Cube in the Paulsen Nebula.
  • Ramatis — The home of famed 24th Century deaf negotiator Rivas, who traveled aboard the Enterprise-D in “Loud as a Whisper.”
  • Hromi Cluster – One of the places that the USS Enterprise-D explored in search for a Gatherer outpost in The Next Generation episode, “The Vengeance Factor.” The Acamar system is nearby, also seen on the map.

We can’t wait to see what else Star Trek: Discovery’s writers bring to the table in this weekend’s new episode, “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.” Keep your eyes peeled for more canon connections in the future!

Novel #1:
"Desperate Hours"

Novel #2:
"Drastic Measures"

Novel #3:
"Fear Itself"

  • Chromejob

    Um … isn’t the “Yellow Alert” on screen graphic adapted from the “Red Alert” graphic introduced in ST: TWOK? Sure reminded me of it. 😉

    • Tuskin38

      That Red Alert graphic has already showed up in previous episodes of DSC, and Black Alert also uses the design.

      • Dwight Williams

        Standardization makes sense here.

        • Snap

          I don’t really think a graphic is necessary for yellow or black alerts as, unlike a red alert, they are merely conditions of increased security (yellow alert) and an indication of spore drive activity (black alert), plus red alert is the only status which is accompanied by a klaxon. Red alert is when there is an imminent or immediate danger to t he ship.

          The only other alert status which we have seen which echoes the red alert system, albeit minus a klaxon, is blue alert which was initially used when life support was removed from the bridge in “Brothers” and then by Voyager when they landed the ship.

          On a non-canon side note: the design is really such a great design that it was ultimately used again when the Galaxy class warp core was designed.

          • Ghostface1701

            On the 1701-D, Yellow Alert was indicated by the rear side bridge panels fully lighting-up and turning yellow, accompanied by a single subtle trilling sound (which Discovery also uses, but looped).

            I always thought it was a shame that Yellow Alert wasn’t visually indicated on any other show (in fact, they barely ever used that status at all, and skipped straight to Red most of the time).

            EDIT: Oh, and Excelsior was at Yellow Alert, with flashing indicator lights on the bridge, in TSFS.

          • Snap

            Well, on the Enterprise-D, all status conditions are indicated with that particular graphic. It is most commonly seen in green, of course, because yellow and red alerts are situational.

            However, the animation introduced in TMP and now in use in Discovery is akin to the horizontal light strips found in corridors and on the bridge, as well as the workstations (along with other instances). These status lights are never used for condition green nor yellow alert.

            Condition blue was only seen once on TNG (though it apparently appears as a general red alert on the blu-rays as the blue effect was done in post production and it was overlooked there) and mirrors the red alert function, particularly as it poses an immediate risk to the crew.

            A contemporary example would be you walking alone along a dark street and encounter a group walking in the opposite direction. You may become wary or on “yellow alert” since you are alone and vulnerable to potential interaction. But, you pass by with no incident. Now you’re walking along the same dark street and encounter a single person, who holds you up at gunpoint. You’re at red alert now, as you are in imminent danger.

    • Gary Neumann

      I was expecting a different sliding animation for yellow alert – specifically the horizontal blocks to be the ones that be animated. Still awesome though!

      • Glad someone else thought the same thing. The PC version of “Star Trek: Starfleet Acadamy” from the late 90s featured that very animation for Yellow Alert.

        • Gary Neumann

          We have to make it canon!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tuskin38

    If you look closely, Klach D’Kel Bracht is on the far right of the map in Klingon space.

    This is because they’re basing their maps off the 2002 Starcharts book, which came out before the episode in ENT that made the Briar Patch and KDB one and the same.

    • Gary Neumann

      This should be addressed and would make the map more interesting by making the Federation smaller than on the 2002 star chart maps (awesome)

      • Dwight Williams

        And in 2256, neither UFP nor Klingon Empire should know where Iconia itself is yet.

        • Gary Neumann

          True, but we are happy to point out all this stuff for free for them 🙂

    • Snap

      Did anybody other than Soong actually call the region the “Briar Patch,” though? This could just be an instance where Enterprise messed up, as I doubt Starfleet would adopt a criminal’s nickname as an official designation.

      • Tuskin38

        No this is an instance of Enterprise connecting two canon things like in most of Season 4.

        Klach D’Kel Bracht was mentioned in only one previous episode in DS9.

        Someone on the NX-01 probably took note of what Soong said.

        • Snap

          What I’m saying is, as much as I enjoy Enterprise, season 4 was basically the “fanwank” season where they tried to cram as many references to past Trek as they could within the space of the season.

          I mean, there was some incredibly ludicrous concepts, such as the interphase which affected the Defiant in “The Tholian Web” not only sent the ship into the past but also another universe, while leaving Kirk behind. There’s also the much maligned Klingon augment virus. Not only does it ridiculously “dissolve” the Klingons’ ridges, Phlox’s cure also GAVE Archer ridges.

          The question still remains: did anybody other than Soong actually refer to the region as the “Briar Patch”? I will watch the episodes when I get a chance to see.

          • Tuskin38

            Archer or maybe another crewmember, probably made note of Soong’s nickname in their log and it caught on at Command.

            Certainly easier to pronounce.

          • Snap

            Yeah, that’s definitely possible, especially if Archer were to use it in a log report.

  • Fiery Little One

    I think the only thing I honestly missed this time was the third point, about the explosive Mudd used, in the slideshow.

  • Still think the helm is wonky, but nice list.

  • Quonk

    I feel that at some point they’ll have to go beyond constant name-dropping in order to make the show actually feel “canon”. So far, we have a rather exciting stand-alone show, but there needs to be the point when Discovery actually earns the Star Trek brand name.

  • ericphillips

    The star charts on DSC are based on the ones from Geoffrey Mandel’s Star Trek Star Charts, published in 2002 by Pocket Books. So they will all match previous Trek entries. Great set of maps, BTW. I hope they do an update with post 2002 material.