Star Trek 434: Time's Orphan

434. Time's Orphan

FORMULA: Children of Time + (Miri x Second Chances) + The Abandoned + Captive Pursuit

WHY WE LIKE IT: Its emotional core. Fatherhood according to Worf.

WHY WE DON'T: The reset button.

REVIEW: Parenthood is the theme of this episode, and while the O'Briens suffer a crisis, there's a sweet and amusing subplot about Worf proving his worth as a parent by taking care of Kirayoshi. It's probably the best part of the episode, with Worf taking everything way too seriously (child-raising seems to be an epic task for Klingons), but building on a connection sparked in Business as Usual. After Alexander's bungled rearing, maybe Worf has a point, and though she doesn't show it, it's all very charming to Jadzia. Also of note is a short scene in which Kira says she would want a child someday and Odo looking rather uncomfortable. It's a nice moment that's easy to miss.

But of course the main plot concerns Molly falling into a time portal and becoming a feral 18-year-old before she is recovered. It does make me wonder how long it takes a child to lose language and basic ideas like "what is a ball?", but it's well enough played. Keiko is accepting of the situation, perhaps surprisingly, and O'Brien is tortured, not surprisingly at all. The emotional core of the story is sincere, though the high concept is distracting. It just seems a bit extreme, and there's little explanation as to where the time portal came from.

Things of course go wrong and the O'Briens must give savage Molly up either to the authorities or defying them in O'Brien fashion, back to the wild. It's a sad moment, but compromised by the reset button at the end. Though they try to show that the older Molly knows she's giving up her existence, it's a bit far-fetched given her understanding of everything else, so the sacrifice is tragic rather than heroic, and though the rest of the episode was sincere, this bit of writing is not.

LESSON: Bob Ross' concept of "happy trees" will survive at least until the 24th century.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: In the end, Time's Orphan seems wholly unnecessary, though yes, it tugs at the heart strings at times.


Matthew Turnage said...

"child-raising seems to be an epic task for Klingons"

Everything seems to be an epic task for Klingons!

Austin Gorton said...

Indeed, I would be surprised to find a subject the Klingons haven't written an epic poem about.

Anonymous said...

Matthew Turnage said: "Everything seems to be an epic task for Klingons!"

True. But Klingon Constipation Poetry is quite moving...

Jeff R. said...

I personally put this episode, rather than Profit and Lace, as the low point for the series.

I hadn't remembered that the two had been back-to-back in the series, though.

Siskoid said...

While I don't think Time's Orphan is a high water mark, it at least has a sweet subplot. I can't say the same for Profit and Lace.

While P&L is less irrelevant than T'sO, T'sO at least isn't offensive, which I deem P&L to be.

So it's P&L by a nose!

LiamKav said...

Plus, this episode has O'Brien shouting "bollocks" in frustration, which is almost worth it all by itself.


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Orville Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine