Welcome back to Strange Times & Places, where today we’re taking a visit to the 24th century AND an alternate reality in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Mirror Broken.
How’s It Different?
I’d say that it’s a Royale With Cheese. The Mirror Universe canonically diverged from the mainstream Trek Universe approximately three hundred years before this story with a “For Want of a Nail” event, so I’d say we’re so deep into those dominoes falling that things qualify as having a bunch of a bunch of little differences adding up.
What’s The Story?
The Terran Empire is on the ropes, badly losing a war with a Cardassian/Klingon Alliance. Captain Jean-Luc Picard is commanding the ISS Stargazer, an old starship that’s basically falling apart, but he knows he could lead the empire’s return to greatness if given the chance. Rumors of a Galaxy-class super ship, the new ISS Enterprise, may be just that chance…if he has the cunning and strength to seize it.
Best of Differences
- The story fits neatly between canonical Mirror Universe appearances on TOS & DS9, effectively showing the last days of the Terran Empire.
- All the classic TNG characters, with the reasonable exceptions of Worf & Miles O’Brien (both of whom appeared in the DS9 Mirror Universe episodes), make it into the story in a fairly reasonable and organic way.
- The story even manages to work in some lesser known TNG characters, like Leah Brahms and Captain Jellico, in a way that I don’t think would confuse a casual fan. Even the three nacelle design of the ISS Enterprise is an obscure TNG reference, come to think of it.
- The story’s finale hinges, in part, on saucer separation.
- Picard is the hero of the story, but it is acknowledged in-universe how fragile what he’s built is. In a Starfleet where intrigue, assassination, and mutiny are solid ways to advance and desperation is the way of life, can even a “good” captain maintain his command for very long?
Worst of Differences
- In keeping with the aesthetic established by Mirror, Mirror, Imperial Starfleet uniforms are sleeveless and the men have impressive arms. On top of that, the art renders the characters faces in a very detailed style, clearly using stills for reference if not outright tracing. Buff Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes are fairly believable, buff Brent Spiner is a little odd but forgivable, and buff Dwight Schultz is downright unsettling.
Come Back Next Week for the Triumphant Return of Tokusatsu Gesundheit!