Synopsis: In The Elysian Kingdom the U.S.S. Enterprise becomes stuck in a nebula that is home to an alien consciousness that traps the crew in a fairy tale.
The story that Dr. M’Benga reads to his sick daughter Rukiya comes to life when an Alien consciousness traps the ship and crew in a nebula. As a result, every crew member with the exception of M’Benga and chief engineer Hemmer becomes characters in the fairy tale that M’Benga has been reading. As the story unfolds M’Benga and Hemmer who is supposed to be a wizard team up to figure out what is happening.
Eventually, when he finds that Rukiya’s transporter pattern is no longer in the buffer. M’Benga catches on that his daughter is somehow influencing events and goes searching for her.
This episode was a great way for us to see both Babs Olusanmokun and Bruce Horak explore their respective characters of Dr. M’Benga and Hemmer. As the two characters are the vital players in this story. However, the rest of the cast gets to have fun as they take on their respective fairy tale personas. Christina Chong’s La’an Noonien Singh gets to play a plucky princess and her dog Runa Ewok gets a supporting role. We also get a very fun performance from Celia Rose Gooding who gets to show us a bit of Uhura’s more menacing side with her evil queen persona. It is evident that the cast is having a blast with this story.
Over the years. Star Trek in its various incarnations has given us lots of fun episodes similar to this one where the regular cast get to experience fairy tales or take on gangsters in 1920s Chicago. The Elysian Kingdom nicely fits in with classic episodes such as Classic Star Trek’s ‘Shore Leave’ or ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’s ‘Qpid’ where the crew all became members of Robin Hood’s Merry Men. You can also add any number of holodeck episodes to that list.
The point is. This was one of those episodes that allowed for the cast to let their hair down a little and have some fun with the characters that they have helped create. And it could well prove to be a memorable episode because of that.
Added to the fun is a question about consciousness. What happens to human consciousness after the body dies? This episode addresses that question head-on and provides a bittersweet fairy tale ending. As we all know M’Benga’s daughter Rukiya has been slowly dying of a terminal illness, which has led to what little life she had left being limited to being let in and out of a transporter buffer to allow her dad to try and find a cure.
This sad storyline, which has been sewn throughout several episodes of the season gets resolved. The alien consciousness that traps the Enterprise asks Rukiya to join it if she can get her father’s blessing. It is a very moving scene and Babs Olusanmokun plays it beautifully. I am fast becoming a big fan of Dr. M’Benga.
- CGI & Stunts9.8
- Incidental Music9.7