Monday, September 25, 2017

Quick Thoughts on Star Trek Discovery Episode 1 & 2

The Vulcan Hello

I just finished watching the first two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery and here are some thoughts off the top of my head (BTW THIS WILL HAVE SPOILERS!);

I am a pretty big fan of the entire Star Trek series. That's not to say I speak fluent Klingon and can name the middle name of every character in Next Generation but I've seen almost every episode (not the last three seasons or so of Deep Space Nine, but otherwise). And I genuinely like, love, every Star Trek Series. I think they all bring something to the table. Voyager is probably my favorite because that is where I started out and it got me into the whole thing, but I find them all very enjoyable. Needless to say, I was really hoping Discovery wouldn't break the spell for me.

I thought Sonequa Martin-Green was great as Michael Burnham. I think they struck a good balance there between someone who is trying to be logical and emotional about their decisions and she felt realistic to me. Unlike some other things, but I'll get to that.

Eventhough I had read almost nothing about this series in advance I knew that Jason Isaacs and Michelle Yeoh were both going to play captains. Hmm, how is that going to work, I wondered. Then in the opening I read that Yeoh is a "special guest star". Oh ok, so that's how it is. Thanks for spoiling her dying for me, CBS.

I didn't mind the new take on Klingons too much. I mean technically they've been changed already before. I did find them a bit too costume-y however, if that's a thing. They looked stiff and a bit unresponsive. In fact the reminded me a lot of the Xindi from Star Trek Enterprise. I can't really give a good verdict for this direction of the Klingons yet, but I didn't hate it at least.

I am a sucker for space battles too. Overall I thought the series looked really good and I am hoping that wasn't just a pilot-episode syndrome thing, where they press all the production value into the first episode and make the rest look way less good or interesting.

Eventhough the story arch with the Federation battle against the Klingons could be an interesting one, I really hope there will be more to the series than that. Like I said, I fear it would be Star Trek Enterprise all over again otherwise. Don't get me wrong, I think STE is a great series too, I loved it. But we've had that story already, don't repeat but with Klingons instead of Romulans and Xindi. I find Voyager probably struck the best balance between story arch and stand-alone episodes and I hope Discovery can repeat that.

Nice touch with the Klingon subs!

There were some plot holes that bothered me a bit. I am no expert on radiation, but Hollywood has a thing for going "you'll die after x amount radiation but be fine up until that second". Pretty sure radiation doesn't work that way. Even if you help the story writers out and explain it by the fact that they have done the maths and accounted for everything, having the characters acknowledging that would take it a long way to sounding less stupid. Another thing that bothered me was when they blew up T'Kuvmas ship at the end. They had no way of knowing where he was or what effect the explosion would have on the ship. They were extremely lucky he wasn't just killed in the blast or that the blast didn't just hit some insignificant part of the ship but rather the exact point they needed to render it useless. Luck is writer laziness.

I always thought Sarek was the second best Vulcan in the series (second only to Spock. Kim Cattralls Valeris is a good one too) and this one seems alright. Nothing on the original of course, RIP Mark Lenard.

Since I am assuming Michael will now end up in a new setting, I really hope they introduce some good side-characters for the series. Sura was a good start, but there was no one else. And Star Trek has always relied heavily on side-characters. Personally I thought almost everyone in STNG were boring (except Data) and so I enjoy that series a lot less. Whereas Voyager had so many good side characters like the Holo-Doctor, Seven-of-Nine and Tuvok. Yeah I am a Voyager fan girl, I know.

I've been stoked for this since I first heard about it and it didn't disappoint. That's not to say I was thrilled with every second of it but in general I think the series is off to a very good start and I am very interested to see where it goes from here.


  1. I caught a little bit of the first episode, because it was on regular CBS, but I found the tone Trek-like enough for me.