Since the time of ST:TNG we have seen the occasional two part special. They are often a chance to air a departure from the regular format with a bigger budget and a more expansive story. Take ‘Year of Hell’ (ST:VOY) and ‘The Best of Both Worlds (ST:TNG) as two classic examples. Not such a classic, but a compelling story none the less is Voyager’s ‘Future’s End’. The Aeon, from the 29th century (500 years after Voyager) and piloted by Captain Braxton, attempts to destroy Voyager in the belief it will cause the destruction of the Solar System. No surprises if you haven’t seen it, but Voyager survives the ordeal but only after visiting 20th Century Earth. It’s no Star Trek IV but it does have its moments, including a bemused Sarah Silverman.
The Aeon is a small one man ship originating from the same time period as the USS Relativity. Both have the ability to time travel and both are captained by Braxton. The USS Relativity model was a massive let down for me, lets see if the same can be said for the Aeon.
If you didn’t know it you wouldn’t expect it to be part of the collection as it lacks any of the classic Federation trademarks such as nacelles or saucer section. I think we can reasonably assume that by the 29th century nacelles and such like were no longer necessary, though we do know they were still in vogue in the 26th century (see the Enterprise J review coming up in the next few weeks). The ship has the look of a rounded stealth fighter with large cockpit canopy, stubby wings and short tail. It is less obviously human in design than standard Starfleet vessels, but it does have a vaguely Starfleet like pennant in white and blue with matching stripes running along it top and bottom. There are no phaser strips but instead an orange lined disruptor at its tip. At the back are four red ‘hyper’ impulse drives but nothing approximating a warp drive. This is all similar to the concepts seen on the USS Relativity. What it does have though is the two amazing looking temporal field generators, red carbuchons. These are surrounded by a blue radial pattern giving it a very striking design. The carbuchons are made of red translucent plastic and impressively when you hold them up to the light you see right through them. This is a very cool feature. The Ferengi marauder did something similar, but this is more impressive.
The rest of the ship is colourless in comparison, being light grey with a dark grey crazy paving style pattern. This pattern though is very bold in design if not colour and contrasts well with the red field generators. Overall the ship looks stunning if lacking in fine detail. It is as if a child drew a design for a ship and the designers polished the idea and ran with it (the magazine will explain the real process!). This is a compliment not a criticism though I do long for the finely detailed Starfleet ships we have seen little of in the collection recently.
Overall this has impressed me. I admit my expectations have been lowered in recent months but I really expected not to like this model. I was wrong!
- Detailing: 4/5 – Basic but extraordinarily striking
- Construction: 4/5 – A sturdy two piece ship (red plastic excepted) but mostly metal
- Ship design: 4/5 – Colourful and fun
- Overall: 4/5 – A strong addition to the collection
Do read ‘Designing the Aeon Timeship’ for the real story behind the design process and the ‘Star Trek: Beyond the 24th Century’ article. This is a excellent article that brings together something that has always fascinated me, the future of the future of Star Trek.
Finally a brief piece of news here. There are two very, very exciting items up for pre-order: The oversized 11-inch NCC-1701 and the second shuttle collection. The shuttle collection is very expensive (75 GBP) but the first was so excellent I am willing to spend the cash. I’m not so sure about the NCC-1701, but I shall buy it anyway and once delivered let you all know if is worth the 50 quid.