A universe as expansive as Star Treks is and with episodes set in over a 134 year time span was always going to generate stories that could cross over and be considered sequels.
In 2008 Marvel launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has gone on to create one of the greatest expanded universes seen on screen. However, it was not a new concept and had been done to various degrees of success via different filmmakers and studios; such as Quentin Tarantino with subtle nods to his numerous films, the Alien and Predator film franchise and of course all the way back to ’30s and ’40s with Universal Studios ‘Monster’ films featuring Dracula and the like. There are other examples out there but one that many people forget is that Star Trek itself was a pioneer in the shared universe concept; ever since Data gave a tour of the USS Enterprise D to Admiral Leonard McCoy on the pilot of Next Generation, Star Trek has expanded its universe to include 8 TV series and 13 movies covering hundreds of hours of on-screen entertainment.
From this, the Star Trek writers have a plethora of story elements, characters, technology, and threads that they could pull on and weave together to create new and exciting tales to tell, something they have done on numerous occasions. Introducing past characters or events from the different incarnations of Star Trek gives rise to the possibility that some of these shows could be considered follow-ups or even direct sequels.
For a bit of fun, I have gathered some of my favourite episodes that I consider to be connected enough to be classed as sequels and with this in mind, watching some of these episodes back like this actually enhances the experience and helps to elevate some that were deemed poor entries in the franchise. Disclaimer: this list does not include Picard or Discovery because of the serialised nature of those shows, it is difficult to pick out sequel / follow up episodes on a none-episodic series. This list is not exhaustive so feel free to sound off in the comments below other episodes that we have missed.
Also, SPOILERS for anyone that has not seen the episodes.
‘Mirror Mirror’ – Star Trek: The Original Series / ‘Crossover’ – Star Trek: Deep Space 9
‘Mirror Mirror’ was the first – but certainly not the last – adventure into the mirror universe, the dark and evil alternative to that of the prime. Kirk, Scotty, McCoy and Uhura are transported back to the Enterprise during an ion storm and arrive on a familiar yet different USS Enterprise. The Mirror universe was filled with evil doubles of our heroes who served an Empire instead of the Federation. Following a mind-meld with Dr McCoy, the Mirror universe Spock debates with Kirk about the eventual downfall of the Empire in which Kirk pleads with Spock to save a species that had been under threat all episode, something Spock promises to consider. The episode ends with Kirk and his party finding their way back home.
‘Crossover’ is the first visit back to the Mirror Universe since its introduction in The Original Series. Just as Star Trek: Voyager expanded on the Borg, Deep Space 9 helped develop the Mirror Universe with it going on to feature in 5 episodes in total over its 7 seasons, Including ‘Crossover’ we have ‘Through the Looking Glass’ (Season 3), ‘Shattered Mirror’ (Season 4), ‘Resurrection’ (Season 6), and ‘The Emperor’s New Cloak’ (Season 7). ‘Crossover’ can be considered as a direct sequel to ‘Mirror Mirror’ as it plays out the consequences of Mirror Spocks interaction with Kirk, leading to the formation of a powerful alien alliance consisting of the Klingons, Cardassians and Bajorans who have turned the tables on the Empire.
‘Tholian Web’ – Star Trek: The Original Series / ‘A Mirror Darkly’ – Star Trek: Enterprise
Coming in series 3 of The Original Series, the ‘Tholian Web’ see’s the Enterprise venture into uncharted space in search of her sister ship, the USS Defiant which is found adrift. Sensors detect fractures in space and the Enterprise herself loses power. Spock being the clever so and so that he is, determines that the local space is experiencing periods of “interphase” which is when two parallel dimensions interact with each other. Kirk is lost and presumed killed during one of these phases as the Defiant disappears; making matters worse the Tholian Assembly turn up stating that the Federation has violated Tholian space.
The Defiant is the MacGuffin of one of the more popular episodes to come out of Star Trek: Enterprises 4 season run, ‘A Mirror Darkly’. Another venture into the Mirror Universe, this two-parter see’s Archer take control of the ISS Enterprise from Captain Forrest and sets off to recover the futuristic starship from Tholian space, with a plan to use the technology over a century more advanced than that of the ISS Enterprise, to take control of the Terran Empire.
‘Trouble with Tribbles’ – Star Trek: The Original Series / ‘Trials and Tribble-ations’ – Star Trek Deep Space 9
Probably the most famous of the crossover episodes in the Star Trek Universe with the Deep Space 9 episode filmed to mark the 30th-anniversary celebrations of the franchise.
The TOS episode offers some comedic relief with the Enterprise and her crew arriving at space station K7 to guard a shipment of grain. During which an interstellar trader by the name of Cyrano Jones unleashes a horde of Tribbles onto the station who begin to reproduce at an alarming rate. The arrival of Klingons and subplot of one of their numbers, disguised as a human, poisoning the grain.
Deep Space 9’s special episode takes Captain Sisko and some of his crew back in time to the station K7. A human who they were transporting was responsible for the action and they quickly learn that it’s Darvin, the same Klingon who was responsible for poisoning the grain in the TOS episode and he is out for revenge. If this episode didn’t have Darvin and was just a “whoops, we have travelled back in time, let’s get back without changing history” type scenario, then it would be hard to class it as a sequel as opposed to a general crossover. However, because it’s Darvin and the fact he has gone back in time to get revenge on the man who exposed him, in this case, Captain Kirk, makes it a candidate for a direct sequel. Similar to the film ‘Back to the Future’ in which the sequel retraces steps made in the first film.
‘Second Chances’ – Star Trek: The Next Generation / ‘Defiant’ – Star Trek: Deep Space 9
In ‘Second Chances’ the Enterprise D arrives at Nervala IV to receive some data from an abandoned Federation research base. 8 years prior, Commander Riker was part of the rescue team that helped with the evacuation and was the last to beam out. While investigating the planet to retrieve the data they come across a Starfleet officer, Lieutenant William Riker – Lieutenant being Riker’s rank at the time of the evacuation – who has been on the planet alone for 8 years. It is determined that due to the planets condition and a transporter incident, Lt Riker was a duplicate who was left behind after an attempt to be beamed up. The episode’s focus is of course on the dynamics of the two Rikers and Troi, with the Lieutenant still very much in love with her and been the focus of his thoughts for 8 years while stranded on the planet. It causes tension between the two Rikers but ultimately everything is resolved, the Lt changes his name to Thomas Riker – to help distinguish him – and decides to leave the Enterprise.
In ‘Defiant’ from Star Trek: Deep Space 9 William Riker arrives on the station. He meets up with Major Kira and proceeds to charm her which then leads to a tour of the station and of their ship, the Defiant. Once onboard the Defiant, Riker stuns Kira and steals the ship. It turns out that this is not William Riker, but Thomas Riker and he has joined the Maquis, the paramilitary group resisting and fighting against the Cardassians. Riker’s plan is to use the heavily armoured Defiant, and its clocking device, to attack Cardassian outposts and a location that Riker believes is a secret shipbuilding Facility. Hot on his tail is Commander Sisko, Gul Dukat and the Cardassian secret intelligence agency, the Obsidian Order.
‘The Price’ – Star Trek: The Next Generation / ‘False Profits’ – Star Trek: Voyager
When Star Trek: The Next Generation aired in 1989 the alien race the Ferengi were introduced and at the time was considered by the production staff as the next big alien threat to the Federation just as the Klingons had before in the Original Series and Movies. That didn’t really play out and the Ferengi became more a secondary species until given new lease of life by Quark in Deep Space 9. Episodes featuring the Ferengi has always been a little hit and miss with me so I do not know how these two episodes will go down with you. However, as I mentioned above, some of these lesser episodes gain more substance to them when you watch them as a double.
In ‘The Price’ the Enterprise is playing host to a variety of species who are negotiating to purchase the rights to a wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant. The Ferengi attempt to get the upper hand in negotiations by incapacitating the Federations representative and so William Riker steps in. Riker suggests that they conduct an expedition into the wormhole before the Federation commits to anything. Agreeing Picard sends a team, not wanting to be outdone, the Ferengi also sends a shuttle. Data and La Forge conclude that the wormhole is useless as it’s unstable on one end and try and convince the Ferengi shuttle of this who, naturally ignore the advice. The wormhole vanishes and along with it the Ferengi shuttle and its two occupants.
In the Delta Quadrant, USS Voyager detects replicator technology on a planet whose inhabitants are still in their bronze age era. ‘False Profits’ then follows Chakotay and Paris as they beam down to investigate and discovering that two Ferengi, who are posing as Gods and exploiting religious beliefs, are using the technology to manipulate the locals and make themselves rich. This does not go down well with Captain Janeway and the rest of the episode trying to oust the two from power. It turns out that the two Ferengi are the same two who were lost in the wormhole in the TNG episode ‘The Price’.
‘Qpid’ – Star Trek: The Next Generation / ‘Q-Less’ – Star Trek: Deep Space 9
Being English it’s always a bit of fun to see some of our culture or history finding its way into a series like Star Trek and in the Next Generation episode ‘QPid’ we got to see the cast run around as Robin Hood and his Merry Men. When former acquaintance and dare we say lover of Picard, Vash returns to the Enterprise at a time when he is preparing a speech to visiting archaeologists, the two rekindle and pick up where they left off. Q returns and wants to thank Picard for his help in a previous episode and sees that there is a rift between Picard and Vash, mainly because the latter is angry at Picards reluctance to be open about their relationship, Q puts their relationship and feelings to the test by transporting the TNG bridge crew to England circa 1400. Q’s way of saying thank you. The episode ends with Vash leaving with Q who can offer a unique chance to explore the galaxy which she finds difficult to turn down
In ‘Q-Less’ Vash reappears in the Star Trek Universe in Deep Space 9. She has left Q after spending two years in the Gamma Quadrant and no longer wants anything to do with him. Q being Q he is not happy with this and follows him to the station. Quark quickly eyes a profit and agrees to auction off artefacts that Vash has brought back with her including an unusual crystal. Q filled with jealousy causes chaos for the staff of DS9 and even challenges Sisko to a boxing match. Yes, this is the episode with the famous line:
“you hit me! Picard never hit me!”
There are power failures all over the ship for which Q is blamed however it is later discovered that it’s actually the crystal that’s the problem, beaming it into space it transpires that its actually a life form and it heads off to the wormhole back to the Gamma Quadrant.
‘Pegasus’ – Star Trek: The Next Generation / ‘These are the Voyagers’ – Star Trek: Enterprise
We have left the most controversial one till last and technically I am playing fast and loose with the concept of a sequel with this one, but I still feel it deserves a place on this list considering how intertwined the two are.
In ‘Pegasus’ a former captain of Riker comes onto the Enterprise after being ordered to collect a member of Starfleet Intelligence. Erik Pressman, now an admiral, informs Riker and Picard that they have found the Pegasus, a Starship thought lost and destroyed many years earlier. They also learn that the Romulans are looking for it as well, so it becomes a race against time to find it. As it is a confidential mission Picard is kept in the dark however after some digging, he learns that there had been a mutiny on board the Pegasus and that Riker was withholding information. They find the ship inside a large asteroid and it’s revealed that the ship had been designed with an experiment phase-shifting clocking device, a direct violation of the Treaty of Algeron that states that the Federation would not pursue clocking technology. In the end, Riker comes clean about what happened, and the Enterprise reveals the clocking technology to the Romulans paving the way for what would no doubt be an investigation by all sides.
‘These are the Voyagers’ is the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. Its four-year run had many good and bad moments, but ultimately low viewing numbers and poor reviews had put the nails in its coffin. It’s unfortunate then that the last episode is regarded so poorly. It is indeed not a fitting end to a series that I hold in high esteem. I believe that after a shaky start it got a lot better and was just finding its feet when the cancellation came, and this final entry feels rushed and not well thought through. This episode sees William Riker running a holodeck program on Enterprise’s last mission and interacting with its crew. The plot of the episode includes the crew working once again with Jeffrey Combs Shran to help free his daughter who has been kidnapped, although the Enterprise is on its way back to Earth to sign the Federation Charter in a fancy ceremony in which Captain Archer is due to make a speech. The daughter is freed but retribution is at hand as the kidnappers attack the Enterprise and Trip Tucker is killed. The death comes out of nothing and seems a needless sacrifice considering situations that they had found themselves in previous episodes. It is a noble sacrifice on paper but in reality, does nothing for the character. Riker’s participation and the fact this is a holodeck program onboard the Enterprise D really takes us out of the series and fails to give us a memorable farewell to the Enterprise series and feels more like an extra episode of The Next Generation.
And its that feeling as to why it is included on my list. Riker’s involvement relates to a personal dilemma he is having during the ‘Pegasus’ episode, whether he should tell Picard the truth about the Pegasus and Pressman. Its Troi who recommends the holodeck program to him which at first, he doesn’t see the reason for. Watching ‘These are the Voyagers’ I struggled to see a reason as well when I first saw the episode. I have concluded that the show ends with the founding of the Federation and the birth of its principles. What the Pegasus and Pressman had done was a violation of those principles and the sacrifices that were made by Archer and his team to make the Federation a reality. In the end, Riker makes the decision to tell Picard the truth which of course is the right thing to do.
I think these two episodes watched back to back helps with ‘These are the Voyagers’ and taking it away from Enterprise as a stand-alone episode gives it a bit more weight and alleviates its pressure as a series finale. It might even work better if the two episodes where re-edited to be one long episode.
That’s my list and I hope you enjoyed reading it, again if you have some episodes that could work as sequels let us know on our social media platforms:
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