"The Time Trap" is the twelfth episode of the first season of the American animated science fiction television series Star Trek. It first aired in the NBC Saturday morning lineup on November 24, 1973, and was written by American actress and screenwriter Joyce Perry.[note 1]
|"The Time Trap"|
|Star Trek: The Animated Series episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Hal Sutherland|
|Written by||Joyce Perry|
|Original air date||November 24, 1973|
In this episode, Captain Kirk must cooperate with distrusted Klingons to escape a "Sargasso Sea" of dead starships.
The episode introduces the first example of a Starfleet starship other than a Constitution-class ship: the USS Bonaventure, which is said to be the "first ship to have warp drive installed" in the episode. The ship is never referenced in live-action Star Trek, although it is the name of Zefram Cochrane's ship in the non-canonical novel Federation by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens.
On stardate 5267.2, while exploring the Delta Triangle, where many starships have disappeared, the Federation starship Enterprise is attacked by several Klingon vessels. During the battle they are caught in an ion storm. The Enterprise and one Klingon battlecruiser are drawn into a spacetime vortex and end up in a timeless dimension in what could only be called a graveyard for space vessels. Captain Kirk and his crew are shocked to find "that the descendants of the crews of these various vessels are still alive" and have formed a government, calling themselves 'The Elysian Council.'
The crew discovers that the timewarp will gradually disintegrate the Enterprise's dilithium crystals. Their only means of escape is to link their ship with the Klingons' and their commander Kor[note 2] and try to power themselves out of the vortex.
In their book TrekNavigator: The Ultimate Review Guide to the Entire Trek Saga, Mark A. Altman and Ed Gross commented that while the "Bermuda Triangle of space" theme is somewhat fanciful, "the resulting cooperation between the Klingons and the Enterprise is adeptly done." However, they judged Nichelle Nichols and James Doohan's work in multiple roles to be unsatisfactory, and found the Klingons' betrayal predictable.