This episode has always been one of my favorite episodes of season one because of it’s philosophical aspects.
In the episode, the crew meets Kosinsky and his assistant the Traveler, who have come to run experiments on the Enterprise’s engines to upgrade them and make them more efficient. But a mysterious mishap during the first test sends the Enterprise soaring out of the galaxy at incredible speeds to end up millions of lightyears away with no idea how it happened or how to get back.
A second attempt sent them even further away from home, to the very edge of the galaxy. It’s after this attempt that we learn that the Traveler, an alien from a distant planet, was responsible for the astounding leaps through space.
The Traveler can channel thought, energy, and matter, and through him, the thoughts of the crew began to manifest themselves as reality. This idea that thought can become a reality is something that has genuine power.
There have been countless studies and theories about the mind and the power of thought. Scientists use the placebo effect in experiments because it’s proven to be very useful. There are even conditions like false pregnancies where your mind believes something so much that your body can have physical symptoms.
This episode is the first time I’ve seen of anyone exploring the idea of the power of thought. But as the Traveler becomes a reoccurring character in later episodes, this idea comes up again quite often in the show.
As a pagan, I believe in the power of thought. This is what magic truly is. This unseen powerful energy, the essence of every being and every object in this universe, it’s all connected, and it can be affected. This is what spellwork and witchcraft is all about. This is also what prayer is. When you put your desires out into the universe, you affect the essence and the vibes around you, and you can make things happen in your life and others.
Take love spells, for instance. If I were to do a love spell, it wouldn’t be with the intention that someone I liked would fall in love with me, it would be to bring love into my life. Witchcraft operates on the idea of the power and magic of thought, just like the placebo effect works on tricking the mind.
This theory is based on metaphysics and belief, but there must be power behind it if scientists and spiritualists both find a use for it. I think there is a lot of truth to what the Traveler is talking about in this episode. Of course, since this is science fiction, this theory is being put into a more tangible aspect, but it’s certainly applicable in the real world.
This is the power of Star Trek. It’s more than just a science fiction show full of things that could never be real; it makes you think. A lot of it is very relevant for the real world, and even the farfetched technology like warp drive and transporters operate on scientific theory.
The Traveler even implies that we, as humans, are evolving towards a future stage where our power of thought maybe more than just a theory or speculation of its power. Perhaps in the future, we will develop to be able to harness or tap into this essence, and then what seems like magic to us now will be our reality. This is why I think it’s vital that even in our current stage of evolution, it’s essential to use this power for good and responsibly.
So that’s my thoughts on this critique. We’re moving through this season, and there will only be a few episodes left, and then we will start doing the first season of Supernatural. There are a lot of fandoms to get through, so I’m planning to stagger them out a little. And as I said before, I won’t be doing every single episode, only a handful of my favorites every season.