(written from a Production point of view)
This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Discovery, and thus may contain spoilers.
Face to face with Klingon vessels, the USS Shenzhou prepares for the possibility of war if negotiations fail. Amidst the turmoil, Burnham looks back to her Vulcan upbringing for guidance.
A flotilla of Klingon ships surrounds the USS Shenzhou. Before they can engage, however, several Starfleet ships arrive to provide reinforcements for their sister ship.
Act One Edit
Aboard his flagship, T'Kuvma persuades the leaders of the various Houses of the Klingon Empire (appearing in holographic transmissions on his bridge) that he can lead them to victory over the Federation. Captain Philippa Georgiou tries to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the conflict started by her now-former first officer, Commander Michael Burnham, but the Klingons attack nonetheless. The Shenzhou is severely damaged, leaving Burnham trapped in the brig with half the deck blown away and only a force field between her and open space.
Admiral Brett Anderson arrives aboard the USS Europa and tries to broker peace, only to be rammed by a Klingon vessel under cloak. Saru aboard the Shenzhou reports that the Europa is deliberately breaching their antimatter containment field to destroy the attacker and the crew is evacuated in escape pods as both ships blow apart.
Act Two Edit
As T'Kuvma orders the gathering of his ship's dead from the surrounding space, Burnham receives a telepathic communication from her former mentor, Sarek, in which she apprises him of the situation and seeks his counsel. She then uses ethical logic to persuade the computer controlling the brig security systems to allow her to escape across the vacuum between her and the nearest intact compartment by opening a hole in the force field and venting air from it to propel her across.
Act Three Edit
With the battle now joined and much of the Starfleet flotilla destroyed or damaged, Georgiou is determined to kill T'Kuvma and avenge the deaths of her fellow officers. Burnham suggests to the captain that they instead sneak aboard T'Kuvma's ship and kidnap him, so as to shame him before his people, rather than killing him and making him a martyr. They devise a scheme to penetrate the enemy ship's shielding by sending one of the floating Klingon corpses armed with a photon torpedo warhead to penetrate the ship's hull.
Act Four Edit
Burnham and Georgiou beam aboard T'Kuvma's ship to capture him. A struggle between Burnham and Voq ensues when they encounter him. Burnham overpowers Voq, and they locate T'Kuvma, but in attempting to capture him, Georgiou is killed. Burnham shoots T'Kuvma with a phaser, killing him, and then tries to recover her captain's body, but is beamed back to the Shenzhou by order of Saru before she can do so. Voq vows to his leader's corpse that his legacy will be carried forward. Aboard the Shenzhou the order is given for all hands to abandon ship. Dozens of escape pods launch from the doomed vessel.
Back on Earth, days later, Burnham stands before a Starfleet board of court martial and pleads guilty to charges of mutiny, assaulting a fellow officer, and precipitating war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Offering no defense of her actions and mourning the death of her lifelong dream to serve in Starfleet and command a starship, she is sentenced to be stripped of all rank and honors and imprisoned for life.
Memorable quotes Edit
"Members of the Federation, what you call your most remote borders, I call too close to Klingon territory. You only live now to serve as witnesses of Klingon supremacy, to be my herald. We do not desire to know you. But you will know our great houses, standing as one under Kahless, reborn in me, T'Kuvma."
- - T'Kuvma's message to the remaining Starfleet vessels
"When you first came on board, seven years ago, I worried your Vulcan training might someday trump your humanity. Do you know why Sarek asked me to take you on? I was a human who had seen a life of loss, but still chose hope. What an ego I had... thinking I could pick away the shell the Vulcans had put around you. I was so sure I could do it, even convinced that you were ready for the captain's chair. To think I knew you so little. "
- - Philippa Georgiou, to Michael Burnham, on why she took Burham as a member of her crew
- - Michael Burnham, to Philippa Georgiou, on her mutiny
"From my youth on Vulcan, I was raised to believe that service was my purpose. And I carried that conviction to Starfleet. I dreamed of a day when I would command my own vessel, and further the noble objectives of this great institution. That dream is over. The only ship I know in ruins, my crew gone, my captain – my friend – dead. I wanted to protect them from war... from the enemy. And now we are at war... and I am the enemy."
- - Michael Burnham, after she pleads guilty to her crimes
Background information Edit
- This is the first episode of Discovery to air exclusively on the CBS All Access platform in the United States. It was released immediately after the broadcast of "The Vulcan Hello" on CBS. 
- This episode aired on Space in Canada after the previous episode aired on CTV.
- According to Aaron Harberts in After Trek: "O Discovery, Where Art Thou?", the previous episode, "The Vulcan Hello", and this episode form a two-part "prologue" of sorts, with the third episode, "Context Is for Kings", being the "pilot".
- This episode is rated TV-14, even though the series as a whole is rated TV-MA.
- Despite being credited, Shazad Latif (Ash Tyler), Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly), and Jason Isaacs (Gabriel Lorca) do not appear in this episode.
- Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou) is credited as a Special Guest Star.
- The flashbacks in this episode serve as a prelude to the first episode of the series, "The Vulcan Hello".
- The USS Shran may be a nod to Commander Thy'lek Shran from Star Trek: Enterprise.
- The USS T'Plana-Hath may have been named after T'Plana-Hath, the matron of Vulcan philosophy mentioned in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and ENT: "The Forge", or the Vulcan starship featured in Star Trek: First Contact.
- The USS Ride may have been named after 20th century astronaut Sally Ride.
- The USS Edison may have been named after famous inventor Thomas Edison or Balthazar M. Edison, one of the first Federation Starfleet captains.
- The House of D'Ghor was first mentioned in DS9: "The House of Quark".
- The psychic contact experienced between Michael Burnham and Sarek is similar to the psychic bond experienced between Charles Tucker and T'Pol, although in this case is explained by part of Sarek's katra being with Burnham.
- T'Kuvma mentions that the last time the Klingons clashed with the Federation was years ago at Donatu V: this was previously mentioned in TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles", in which it was said that the skirmish there was "inconclusive". That episode also established that the skirmish at Donatu V occurred in the year 2245, 11 years before the Battle at the Binary Stars.
Reception and aftermath Edit
- The After Trek episode "O Discovery, Where Art Thou?" discusses the making of, and events in, this episode.
Production history Edit
- 17 March 2017: A day of filming 
- 17 September 2017: Title publicly revealed 
- 24 September 2017: Premiere airdate on CBS All Access
- 25 September 2017: International release date (outside Canada and the USA)
Links and references Edit
Special guest star Edit
Guest starring Edit
- Mary Chieffo as L'Rell
- James Frain as Sarek
- Kenneth Mitchell as Kol
- Chris Obi as T'Kuvma
- Terry Serpico as Brett Anderson
- Sam Vartholomeos as Danby Connor
- Arista Arhin as Young Michael Burnham
- Emily Coutts as Keyla Detmer
- Javid Iqbal as Voq
- Ali Momen as Kamran Gant
- Clare McConnell as Dennas
- Thamela Mpumlwana as Young T'Kuvma
- Damon Runyan as Ujilli
- Tasia Valenza as Computer Voice
- Chris Violette as Britch Weeton
- Romaine Waite as Troy Januzzi
Uncredited co-stars Edit
Andorians; antimatter containment; AU; Clarke, USS; Clarke-type; Beacon of Kahless; Black Fleet; blast door; brig; bulkhead; containment field; Dana, USS; Donatu V; Earhart, USS; Edison, USS; Edison-type; escape pod; ethical protocol; Europa, USS; Europa-type; evasive maneuvers; flagship; Great House; House of D'Ghor; House of Mo'Kai; Humans; Kahless; katra; Kerala, USS; Kerala-type; Klingon; Klingon children; Klingon cleave ship; Klingon High Council; lateral vector transporter; messiah; mutiny; phaser pulse rifle; photon warhead; Qo'noS; Ride, USS; self-destruct; shock; Shenzhou, USS; Shran, USS; Shran-type; Sioux, USS; Sto-vo-kor; Sun Tzu; suffocation; suicide mission; Tellarites; T'Kuvma's father; T'Kuvma's flagship; T'Plana-Hath, USS; T'Plana-Hath-type; Var'Hama candle Vulcan; Vulcans; Vulcan Expeditionary Group; Vulcan Learning Center; Vulcan Science Academy; Walker-class; ward; worker bee; Yeager, USS; Yeager-type
- "Battle at the Binary Stars" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Battle at the Binary Stars" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Battle at the Binary Stars" at Wikipedia
- "Battle at the Binary Stars" at the Internet Movie Database
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