The Time Trap
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|"The Time Trap"|
|Star Trek: The Animated Series episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Hal Sutherland|
|Written by||Joyce Perry|
|Original air date||November 24, 1973|
"The Time Trap" is the twelfth episode of the first season of the American animated science fiction television series Star Trek. It first aired in the NBC Saturday morning lineup on November 24, 1973, and was written by American actress and screenwriter Joyce Perry.[note 1]
In this episode, Captain Kirk must cooperate with distrusted Klingons to escape a "Sargasso Sea" of dead starships.
On stardate 5267.2, while exploring the Delta Triangle, where many starships have disappeared, the Federation starship Enterprise is attacked by several Klingon vessels. During the battle they are caught in an ion storm. The Enterprise and one Klingon battlecruiser are drawn into a spacetime vortex and end up in a timeless dimension in what could only be called a graveyard for space vessels. Captain Kirk and his crew are shocked to find "that the descendants of the crews of these various vessels are still alive" and have formed a government, calling themselves 'The Elysian Council.'
The crew discovers that the timewarp will gradually disintegrate the Enterprise's dilithium crystals. Their only means of escape is to link their ship with the Klingons' and their commander Kor[note 2] and try to power themselves out of the vortex.
While the 'Bermuda Triangle of space' theme was somewhat fanciful, "the resulting cooperation between the Klingons and the Enterprise is adeptly done." The depiction of a number of existing Federation races representing the lost "Andorians, Tellarites, Vulcans, Orions and even the plant creatures from 'The Infinite Vulcan' is a nice touch." However, an overreliance of voice work on Nichelle Nichols and James Doohan, rather than John Colicos as the Klingon Kor, is less effective. There is a positive message delivered here with Kirk and his crew working peacefully with the Klingons until the latter "predictably attempt to sabotage the Enterprise."
The episode introduces the first example of a Starfleet starship other than a Constitution-class ship: the USS Bonaventure, which is said to be the "first ship to have warp drive installed" in the episode. The ship is never referenced in live-action Star Trek, although it is the name of Zephram Cochrane's ship in the non-canonical novel Federation by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens.
- "The Void" - an episode of Star Trek: Voyager where the heroes' ship is caught in an assumed-unescapable region where resources are drained but escape is possible with cooperation from others.
- Mark A. Altman & Ed Gross, TrekNavigator: The Ultimate review guide to the entire Trek saga", BackBay Books, 1998. pp.243-4