This year, ‘Star Trek’ did something new, experimenting for the first time with shorts between seasons. Dubbed ‘Short Treks’, these mini-episodes are airing via CBS All Access at a rate of one a month in the lead up to the second season of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’. The first, ‘Runaway‘, aired on October 4th and focused on regular ‘Discovery’ character Sylvia Tilly. Others will explore Harry Mudd and – in a story that will be followed up on during the new season – the backstory of the Kelpien Saru. But the most intriguing of the set is actually due to premiere tomorrow, on November 8th.
That ‘Short Trek’, dubbed ‘Calypso‘, is unique in a few ways. First, where the other three focus on established characters, this one introduces a new one in the form of Craft, played by Aldis Hodge. More surprisingly, the Michael Chabon-penned story is said to be set a thousand years after ‘Discovery’, which not only sets it apart from the show and the rest of the ‘Short Treks’ but makes it the farthest we’ll have seen into the future of ‘Star Trek’ (dethroning the former record holder of the thirty-first century, represented by Daniels and glimpsed in the course of the temporal cold war arc on ‘Enterprise’).
Now, on the eve of the short’s premiere, we’ve been given a final, tantalizing glimpse thanks to ComicBook.com. The site had the chance to interview Aldis Hodge, during which the actor dropped a few new details about his character and hints at his future. Hodge describes Craft as two things. First, he is a soldier who has been left adrift in space for “God knows how long” and who, in the course of the story must piece together where he is and what’s happening to him. More than that, though, Hodge describes Craft as a family man trying to return to that self-same family. He also notes that the episode is essentially a solo act, which put a bit of pressure on him – not only for the obvious reasons but because of what he felt was the evident skill of writer Chabon (who he did not initially realize has a Pulitzer to his name). Hodge does, however, credit both of these factors with elevating not only the material but his own work.
And as for Craft’s future? Well, Hodge swears that he’s not aware of any plans to revisit the character. He does, however, remain not only eager to reprise the role but hopeful that the opportunity will present itself. Ultimately, though, he believes it will come down to the way the audience responds to the character. And for that, he – like us – will have to wait until tomorrow.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on the upcoming ‘Short Treks’ – and of course, the second season of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ – as it becomes available!