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Introduction Edit

The third series in the continuity, it takes place primarily within the universe established by the Star Trek franchise. It focuses primarily on the adventures of Captain Gemini Shadow, daughter of Orion, and her crew aboard the titular starship, the USS Endeavour. The main cast are Equestrian humans, a specific breed of human developed by the Federation and Equestria with characteristics of both species. Eight of the nine main characters are clones of existing ponies, the only exception is Sunset Shimmer, who became a human via magic.

Main Characters Edit

Tropes Edit

  • Alternate Universe: Frequently.
  • And Then John Was A Zombie: Happens three times in season 1. Raven is kidnapped and made a Borg drone in the first of the Shadowfall prequels, Orion is almost made one in the second when Raven’s implants reactivate (thanks to a cameo from a pre-VOY Seven of Nine) and a third time in “God Save the Queen,” where Gem becomes the Borg Queen.
  • Arc Number: As per all Shadowverse tales, the numbers 11 and 23, appearing this time as the Shadowfall's registry number and the birth dates of Gem, Raven, Emerald, and Twilight.
  • Author Appeal: Christa enjoys writing stories about alternate universes and time travel.
  • Author Avatar: One for each of the co-writers. Gem is Christa’s, and Dustin is Longhaul’s.
  • Badass Crew: The main 9 all are.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Subverted in “Errand of Mercy,” as the presence of the Endeavour crew in an existing episode of TOS means that they are now part of events, and have a duty to see that the original mission is carried out, because time can be rewritten.
  • Berserk Button: Threatening any of the crew for Gem, but especially her fellow Equestrian humans, and even more especially, her younger sister Raven.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Gem’s ready room is described as being this. Visually, it looks like a cross between the Eighth and Eleventh Doctor’s TARDIS console rooms.
  • Big Bad: The Borg for the Shadow family, and the Romulans for the series as a whole, coupled with the changelings.
  • Breather Episode: "Requiem" is one of these, since a majority of the action takes place in Equestria, and the main plot (the fallout of Orion's death) makes it more of a character-driven episode.
  • Brick Joke: Sort of. In “First Contact,” Picard tells Orion that he can’t just rescue Raven via a swashbuckling rescue, as he does usually. In the sequel, “Revenge of the Borg,” one of the subchapters is titled A Swashbuckling Rescue, in which Raven and Locutus are rescued by exactly the method Orion usually employs.
  • Bridge Bunnies: Everyone, since all the bridge crew are female.
  • Captain Ersatz: Orion to the Eleventh Doctor in design, personality, and imagined voice actor, though his speech patterns are more like those of the classic Doctors.
  • Character Development: Gem gets the most, being captain and all. She spends most of “Errand of Mercy” trying to solve the episode’s plot via MLP-style solutions only to come up short. While finding the peaceful solution is still her favored form of problem solving, by the time of “Blame the Machines” she has no problem recognizing when she’s outgunned.
  • Child of Two Worlds: All the main cast, given their existence as either nine humans in a world of ponies or nine half-equines in a world full of humans. Gem initially joins Starfleet as part of an attempt to embrace her human side, but by the time of Alan Brown’s trial, she’s gone the other direction and has happily claimed herself as more equine than human, to the point that she doesn’t consider herself human at all.
  • Close Enough Timeline: What eventually happens in "Errand of Mercy." The events of the episode play out as they are supposed to, but this time, Gem and crew were around to help.
  • Cool Starship: The Endeavour, being the only ship in Starfleet outfitted with Equestrian magic.
  • Companion Cube: The Endeavour serves as this to Gem, most notably in “Requiem” and “Four Lights,” when she is temporarily separated from it. Christa believes that as far as Gem is concerned, the Endeavour is her true home, and if asked, she would not accept command of another vessel.
  • Continuity Overlap: 
    • For Trek, mostly with the Next Generation-era shows. Orion meets the TNG crew circa Season 6, has his own ship by the time of the TNG movies, Voyager, and DS9, is implied to have participated in Dominion War, and Gem’s later encounter with the Borg is said to have taken place long after First Contact.
    • The events of “An Unholy Alliance” confirm that story takes place sometime after the events of “The Ambassador” in The Orion Chronicles.
  • Continuity Nod: Regularly, both to canon Trek and previous NE stories.
  • Crossover: Twice, not counting existing Trek properties:
    • With Doctor Who in the story “Assimilation Squared”
    • With Hogan’s Heroes in the story “One of Our Starships is Missing”
  • Custom Uniform: Gem's 2360s-era command uniform is simply a modified version of the one her father wore, thanks to Rarity, outfitted with magical protection spells courtesy of Princess Twilight.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Not at first, but Raven becomes this when her parents are killed by Romulans. Technically Gem too, but not quite since she doesn’t share Orion’s name.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Everyone, but especially Dustin, as befits his characterization as somewhere between McCoy and the EMH from Voyager.
  • Death Seeker: Orion in the alternate timeline depicted in “The Moment,” where he develops a plan to end the Dominion War by using the Shadowfall’s warp core to create an explosion, killing himself and his crew in the process, all because he got sick and tired of the unending war and the Federation's war crimes. 
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Occurs in “Forgotten Son,” when Chekov tries to start a war out of revenge.
  • Distress Call: Every so often.
  • Downer Ending: “Blame the Machines.” The plot itself ends relatively happily, but leads into the next episode by having Gem find out that her parents were just killed.
  • Dropped A Bridge on Him: Happens to Gem’s parents courtesy of the Romulans.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Averted somewhat. Orion already has a reputation as an Equestria-saver and diplomat from his work with the changelings, his time in Starfleet makes him known to the universe at large. Gem, meanwhile, is not so lucky, as she spends the bulk of the first two seasons fighting with an anti-Equestrian faction of Starfleet.
  • Elsewhere Fic: Specifically the second type. Various canon Trek characters appear periodically but are not the focus of the stories.
  • Everyone Went To School Together: Except Dustin, who was raised in the care of the Royal Sisters.
  • Evil All Along: Ensign Milo Iscariot isn’t human, he’s a changeling sent to spy on the crew and lead Gem to Chrysalis. His origin story does not appear in the season 1 book itself, but in the accompanying side story collection.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Imperial/Mirror versions of the Endeavour crew, or at least Gem and Raven, who are just as intelligent as their Prime counterparts but without their moral codes.
  • Evil is Hammy: Mirror Gem, especially in comparison to her Prime counterpart. Her first scene with Dustin Prime has her yell his name while threatening to have him killed.
  • Expy: As ever, Orion and Gem to the Doctor (That is, the Time Lord.). Dustin is one for Bones and the EMH.
  • The Face: Gem is both the face of her crew and of her species, as one of the first Equestrian humanoids in space.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The Mirror episodes of Deep Space Nine are considered to be non-canon here, since the Terran Empire is directly stated as to still exist, and Gem makes no mention of the 24th-century incursions during her research later.
  • Fantastic Racism: Assorted high-placed members of Starfleet are guilty of this toward the Equestrians, especially once Gem and her crew arrive on the scene. It culminates in a trial between Gem and Alan Brown, and during her opening statement, Gem notes the irony of her race being discriminated against while the Vulcans and the Tellurites are let off, and mentions the Civil Rights Movement by name to make the point that humans are not quite as “evolved” as they think.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Why the girls know Q as Discord when they were growing up. Gem calls him that exclusively, as did her father before her.
  • Feminist Fantasy: No surprise, considering both co-writers are feminists and one of them (Christa) is a trans girl. Almost all the main cast are female, barring Dustin.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: Of a sort. About half the stories are simply remakes of TOS, TNG, and VOY episodes or original stories based on abandoned plot lines from one of those three shows with other material mixed in. “The Moment” for example is “Yesterday’s Enterprise” with a dash of DS9’s Dominion War and a bit of Doctor Who for the Orion-centric scenes.
  • For Want of a Nail: Happens in “The Moment,” when a simple timeline change by Discord leads to a Bad Present in which the Endeavour is a warship and the Shadowfall is essentially a time-displaced weapon of mass destruction.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: In Gem’s Ruby Rocket holodeck program, anyway. Justified in that they are anthropomorphic ponies in that program rather than Equestrian humans.
  • Freak Out: Gem has one of these as her grieving over her parents’ deaths turn her into a crazed madwoman.
  • A Friend in Need: All the mains, since they grew up together in Equestria, Dustin to Gem and Sonata later on.
  • Gaslighting: Happens when Gem is experimented on by the Cardassians thanks to her magic ability.
  • Gender Bender: Purposely invoked by Orion in the Origins prequel with Gem’s creation, the only one of the main crew to be the opposite gender of their parents.
  • Generation Xerox: Overlaps with Identical Grandson.
  • Genre Refugee: The main 9, especially the girls, are sort of this. They grew up in a world where magic and friendship are the usual form of problem solving, and their first proper adventure together is heavily based on MLP: FIM's pilot episode. "Errand of Mercy" makes the contrast more obvious when Gem attempts to be diplomatic toward the Klingons and fails spectacularly. As time goes on they slip into standard Trek roles, and even manage to turn the magic of friendship into part of their weapons systems.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Emerald in "Blame the Machines" when she is possessed by the energy entity attacking the Endeavour, and the girls in "Origins" when they first use magic.
  • Got the Whole World in My Hand: The Terran Empire's sigil shows a dagger stabbed through the Earth. 
  • Green-Skinned Alien Space Babe: Well, duh. Ironically, none of the girls actually have green skin.
  • Gunboat Diplomacy: Averted, Gem is an avowed pacifist.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The bridge crew and ship’s doctor Dustin are all half-human, half-pony hybrids, capable of using pony magic via their hands.
  • The Hero: Gem and Orion.
  • Heroic BSOD: Gem after her parents die, but she gets over it relatively quickly.
  • Humans Are Good: Gem tends to believe this in regards to Terran humans,
  • Human Subspecies: The nine Equestrian humans, for both Terran humans and Equestrian ponies.
  • Human Through Alien Eyes: Inevitable. Gem is fascinated by Terran humans but has had relatively little contact with them in contrast to Dustin, who got his medical degree on Earth. 
  • Hypothetical Casting: Aside from the assorted Trek stars in cameo roles, we have...
    • Recurring villains Captain Alan Brown and Commander Jenna Kroger are designed with Alton Brown and Vickie Eng from Good Eats in mind.
    • Doctor Who's Jenna Coleman was described by Christa as being Gem's VA, just as co-star Matt Smith would've been for Orion. She later references this by having Gem’s authorization code refer to Coleman’s birthday and initials.
    • Alec Baldwin is the hypothetical VA for Dustin Hoofer.
  • Identical Grandson: Granddaughters, anyway, since they’re clones and whatnot.
  • Internal Homage: 
    • Equestria's solar system is named the Zacherle cluster, after the original creator of the My Little Pony franchise. 
    • In "Four Lights," Gem refers to a "Faust the Creator," named for Friendship is Magic’s creator Lauren Faust. 
    • A Faust system is also said to exist in “Where No Girl Has Gone Before,” which is itself two homages in one: to the title of the pilot episode of TOS, and to the pilot episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
    • The Nimoy system, where the girls drop off the freed Borg drones in “God Save the Queen,” is named for Leonard Nimoy, the original Mr. Spock. The planet itself is called Quinto, after the Kelvin-verse Spock’s lead actor.
  • Insistent Terminology: Gem always calls humans born on Earth “Terrans,” 
  • It’s All My Fault: Said by Gem during “Blood and Fire” when Dustin discovers she’s been infected.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Dustin orders Gem to do this after she snaps at Sonata in one side story, resulting in the creation of the Ruby Rocket holoprogram.
  • Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism: 
    • The main 9 fall under the “Little Bit Beastly” category. All of them look almost completely human except for their hair and eye colors, and of course their skin tones, based on pony fur color. When they do pony up, they gain pony ears and tail-like extensions for their hair.
    • The changelings are more like Petting Zoo People, retaining a quadrupedal changeling’s chitin, rear hooves, wings, fangs, mane and tail, horn, and compound eyes. The only real difference is their bipedal stance and claws where their forehooves would be.
    • The Ruby Rocket simulation versions of the mains are closer to Petting Zoo People, they are described as being anthropomorphic ponies.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Wouldn’t be Trek without it.
  • Mirror Universe: The Terran Empire version, though a reworking of "Origins" set in that universe appears to imply that Equestria wants to take it over.
  • Mythology Gag: The episode "Four Lights" is a reworking of the TNG episodes "Chain of Command," and takes its title from that episode's most famous line.
  • Name’s the Same: Six of the nine mains share the names of their pony ancestors, which makes writing scenes featuring both characters a little difficult. The exceptions are Gem, Dustin, and Sunset: Gem is a gender swapped Orion, Dustin goes by his father’s first name rather than the middle name Longhaul, and Sunset is not a clone, as she was born a pony and later transformed into a human.
  • Once An Episode: Gem or another member of the crew will usually make one or two log entries that serve as exposition and commentary on the events that occur.
    • The longest captain's log occurs in "Assimilation Squared" as Gem considers the ramifications of the story's events and its effects on her and the universe at large.
    • The shortest one (so far) is in "God Save the Queen," delivered by Raven after Gem's kidnapping.
    • In "Revenge of the Imperials," this is combined with Apocalyptic Log as Gem finds time to record what she thinks is one last long entry as she bleeds out on her ready room floor, after being stabbed by her evil counterpart.
  • Pals to Jesus: Eight of the nine leads to Q/Discord. They are his nieces.
  • Plot Armor: How it is that the crew can survive basically everything thrown at them.
  • Pun-Based Title: The subtitle New Endeavours refers to the name of the titular ship, Endeavour.
  • Pointy Ears: The girls and Dustin when they pony up.
  • Power of Friendship: How the girls’ magic works, and what appears to be a developing theme over the course of the stories. Christa refers to it as “Friendship is Magic” as applied to Star Trek.
    • The meaning of family crops up multiple times, in Gem’s position as the inheritor of her father’s legacy, (literally and metaphorically) plus the fact that the 9 leads are either blood relations or close enough friends to be considered family, and the fact that Raven was able to get the entire crew of the ship to mutiny against Cinch when she refused to rescue Gem.
    • Weaponized in "God Save the Queen" when Emerald invents the Orbital Friendship Cannon, essentially the Elements of Harmony turned into a starship weapon.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: Every so often.
  • Red Shirt: A couple times, most notably Chekov’s security detail in “Forgotten Son.”
  • Revisiting the Roots: Of a sort, given it’s the first Trek series since Voyager to take place in the future of the franchise rather than the past. Canon Trek has yet to go past the 24th century, so the 25th is more or less uncharted territory. In other words, they’re boldly going where no one (in canon) has gone before.
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: Gem time-travels back to the TOS episode “Errand of Mercy” and meets the crew of the USS Voyager during their time in the Delta quadrant. Each of the main 9 (barring Dustin) are taught or mentored by one of the TNG crew, and Gem interacts with an older Chekov during “The Forgotten Son.”
  • Rude Hero, Nice Sidekick: Averted. Raven and Gem are both perfectly nice ladies.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: 
    • Forms part of the plot to “The Moment.” Gem has to send her father back in time (though she doesn’t know they’re related) to end the Dominion War, which has dragged on for another couple of decades thanks to the Shadowfall going missing.
  • Shout Out: On many occasions to fellow long-lived sci-fi institution Doctor Who, mostly because of Orion’s mere existence and Christa’s established love of the show, and of course to MLP: FIM.
    • Gem's authorisation code is 427-JC, the birthday of her hypothetical voice actress, Jenna Coleman.
    • Alan Brown's code is 7799-GE, the start date (July 7th 1999) of the show that made Alton Brown famous, Good Eats.
    • The Endeavour's registry number is NCC-0326, the month and day of the premiere of Rose, the first episode of the 2005 Doctor Who revival, just as the Shadowfall's number (NCC-1123) referenced the start date of the classic series. Amusingly, the numbers 326 form the Franklin’s registry number in Star Trek Beyond. 
    • Starbase 421 is the month and day A Canterlot Wedding aired, the first MLP episode to feature the changelings.
    • In the crossover story “Resurgence of the Changelings,” the Endeavour crew are en-route to the planet Metebelis Three when Q arrives to request help, looking for said planet’s blue crystals. The planet was featured prominently in the Third Doctor’s era and appeared once late in the Eleventh’s.
  • Sliding Scale of Continuity: Level 3 for now.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: 
    • The series as a whole has so far tended to start off very idealistically.
    • Gem is a happy, go-lucky girl who has yet to deal with the pressures commanding a starship can bring, and spends a bit of time with the TOS crew trying to accomplish the mission of the day as if she was still in Equestria. In the very next episode however, she has to blow up a lost ship and in the one after that, has to deal with one of Kirk’s old crew betraying the Federation. Toward the end of the first season, she has veered toward the cynical end, being far less trusting of new people, Starfleet officers in particular.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: Varies depending on the plot. The main adventures played out in the afternoons tend to be fairly serious with some light moments (Riker being referred to as the new Rainbow Dash in “God Save the Queen” springs to mind) while evening scenes tend to be lighter.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Inverted. Eight of the nine regulars are female, Dustin is the only male.
  • Special Edition Title: Christa has made a few in her spare time.
    • A TOS-style version for "Errand of Mercy," with the Endeavour flying alongside the Enterprise and the NE characters being billed alongside the TOS characters, which are "played" by their Star Trek Continues actors.
    • The Mirror Universe version features flipped versions of the standard graphics, an altered logo with an inverted colour scheme and the Terran Empire symbol in place of the Starfleet one, and the Mirror Endeavour being used for flyby shots.
    • The Assimilation Squared credits combine this with Bait and Switch Credits by starting off with the normal titles until just before the logo appears, at which point the screen flickers and the 2012 Doctor Who title sequence kicks in, with Jenna Coleman getting top billing and Matt Smith coming in second. The NE logo appears after the names, then the video flickers again and switches to the Doctor Who logo.
    • A Christmas-style one for the aforementioned winter special, featuring falling snow over the usual graphics and a Christmassy version of the logo.
    • The one for the changeling war arc starts off normally, though the music has changed to a piece from Nemesis, and the visuals are colored deep green after the Trek fanfare ends. The music itself is dark and ominous, befitting the general atmosphere of the storyline.
  • Spinoff Sendoff
    • Essentially the function of the second of the two Shadowfall stories, putting the Equestrians in space with Picard’s blessing. 
    • Done again in “Origins” when Orion sends off his daughters and their friends to Starfleet Academy, via the Enterprise E.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • To The Next Generation and Voyager, on multiple levels. It is the first ongoing Trek series to be set in the "next generation" era since Voyager was cancelled, and canon Trek has gone back to the days of The Original Series, or before them, as in the case of Enterprise and Discovery.
    • Most of the main nine were mentored by at least one former Enterprise-D crew member, while the Voyager connection appears by virtue of having the titular ship be considerably smaller than the Enterprise, with a much smaller crew complement, meaning the Endeavour has as much chance as Voyager does at getting into scrapes.
    • Gem herself shares the same familial closeness with her crew that Janeway does, mixed with a similar sense of class and professionalism similar to that of Picard.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Played with. The name of the ship Endeavour was chosen to evoke the same spirit of adventure as Enterprise (complete with the same first two letters and total number of syllables) but is otherwise not a substitute for any Enterprise. Ironically, the Endeavour’s class (Miranda) is the same as the USS Reliant from The Wrath of Khan. 
    • The Mirror Endeavour is the opposite, as it’s a Galaxy-class vessel from the Prime universe that was then stolen and renamed.
    • Played straight with the Galaxy-class USS Magellan in “Blood and Fire,” as it was chosen to purposely evoke the Enterprise-D.  
  • Stable Time Loop: This is how time travel works in this show. In “Errand of Mercy,” the crew are brought back to the events of the TOS episode in question and are made to help Kirk with his mission so the timeline can play out as it’s supposed to.
  • Take That: The USS Axanar is a ship that disappears from the Prime universe in 2403. The ship takes its name from the controversial Star Trek fan film of the same name, widely regarded as the production responsible for the release of fan film "guidelines" by Trek copyright holders CBS and Paramount. The captain is named Alec Garth, a combination of names derived from the lead actor and his character in the movie. In the Reflections of Darkness story "What No Girl Has Conquered Before," Garth is killed when Gem and her crew stage a takeover of the Axanar and rechristen it as the Endeavour. 
  • Technobabble: More often by Longhaul, Christa prefers to break out the old “reverse the polarity” standby.
  • The Team: Gem, Raven, Sunset, Adagio, Aria, Sonata, Emerald, Twilight, and Dustin.
  • Time Skip: 
    • A year is skipped between the events of "First Contact" and "Revenge of the Borg," which occur in 2369 and 2370 respectively.
    • "Origins" takes place a few months after Orion's mission in space, then over a period of about 18 years to depict the girls growing up and maturing into women.
    • "Shakedown" occurs in 2401, four years after the girls started at Starfleet Academy and presumably a few months after graduation.
  • Time Travel: A few times, usually to visit earlier Trek crews in their prime. 
  • Transformation Sequence: In “Origins,” when the girls pony up for the first time.
  • Transhumanism Is Not Allowed: Zig-zagged. The Equestrian humans are the first genetically-engineered race to appear since Khan, though according to Longhaul, “t was argued up and down the upper levels of the Federation whether the human/Equestrian project should even have been allowed to proceed.  It was countered by proponents making the case that the Equestrians, peaceful and relatively docile by nature, might be able to offset any negative human traits (greed, lust for power, etc) and the project was allowed to proceed on a limited scale (only 9 being created).  Adagio, Sonata, and Aria only contain a fraction of siren DNA, the majority being pony, with human being secondary, to offset the manipulative and potentially evilness of the sirens.” Nonetheless, a clause was worked into the agreement with Equestria, which stipulated that if any of the clones showed signs of going in Khan’s direction, they were to be immediately euthanized.
  • Twice Told Tale: Periodically. A good chunk of the stories are simply reworked TOS or TNG episodes with some alterations to accommodate for the new crew and future settings.
  • War is Hell: 
    • Seen in the altered timeline depicted in “The Moment.” The Shadowfall becomes a worn down relic of a ship, and the Endeavour isn’t that far behind.
    • Season 3, subtitled "The Changeling War," tells the story of a war between the Federation, the changelings, and the Romulans.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: The magically-augmented warp core of the Shadowfall as seen in “The Moment.”
  • Whole Plot Reference: All the time. The examples so far:
    • Where No Girl Has Gone Before is a reworked version of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic's pilot episodes.
    • Errand of Mercy is… well, the original TOS episode with time-shifted NE characters.
    • The Dark Dimension is a reworked Mirror, Mirror.
    • The Moment combines TNG’s Yesterday’s Enterprise with the Doctor Who webisode Night of the Doctor.
    • Blame the Machines is essentially the flashback portions of VOY’s The Haunting of Deck Twelve with some new stuff in the third act.
    • Four Lights is Chain of Command with some plot points from Requiem mixed in, a different replacement captain, and a different reason for the Cardassians showing up.
    • God Save the Queen is structurally based on TNG’s The Best of Both Worlds, except for the Friendship Cannon.

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