Set roughly 10 years before Captain James T. Kirk and his First Officer Spock set out on the starship USS Enterprise to discover and explore new worlds, the United Federation of Planets was at war with the Klingon Empire. Star Trek: Discovery aims to realize that war from the perspective of the First Officer of the USS Shenzhou, Lieutenant Commander Michael Burnham, played by Sonequa Martin-Green of The Walking Dead.
So straight up, the show is really good, in fact its far better than it should be when you take into account the production nightmare that it went through. Discovery lost its original show runner Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, American Gods) who co-created the show with Alex Kurtzman (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Mummy (yep the 2017 one)), Fuller was present for the initial production and left a blueprint for his colleges to build from after his departure. However the restructuring of the production team as well as the changes made to Fuller’s blueprint caused almost eight months of delays, the original release date was intended to be January 2017.
From the two episodes the series looks to be extremely well written with good dialogue that’s glorified with technical and futuristic jargon, all of which is fairly standard for Star Trek properties. Additionally the design of the show is on point, the sets, costumes, and prosthetics are movie quality and gratefully so is the CGI, it looks new and polished but feels like classic trek. The episodes do a decent job of introducing the key characters that are present and establishing their motivations. The characters are smart, have backstories and history that influence their decisions, and ultimately their actions make sense.
My main problem so far is how the show picks up what seems like midway into Michael’s (the main character) story, and plays the events of the episode off as if it were an ending, which we the audience know its only beginning, so some of the character monologues don’t work. It’s almost like the prologue that plays at the start of Peter Jackon’s The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring but without the rest of the movie behind it. This caused some additional issues such as taking the weight out of emotional scenes, reducing the impact of some reveals and choices, and it reduced the tension during conflicts because we haven’t had time to build connections or become attached to the characters yet except maybe Michael.
Everything also comes to an abrupt halt at the end of the second episode for the story and characters, mainly because we have not been introduced to majority of the main cast or title ship yet, I suppose looking at it like that these episodes were really the prologue for whats to come.
With 13 episodes left that were developed without the guidance of Brian Fuller, who knows how the show will progress from here, hopefully Discovery can stay on track. I plan on sticking around for the rest of the season unless it takes an unexpected turn to be more inline with some of Alex Kurtzman’s previous works. For now I’m gonna go high with an 8/10 but that could change.
STAR TREK: DISCOVERY will follow the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and new life forms, and one Starfleet officer who must learn that to truly understand all things alien, you must first understand yourself.
The first two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery premiered last night on CBS, and are available to stream on CBS All Access in the US, and via Netflix elsewhere. The next episode will debut on CBS All Access Sunday October 1st in the US, and on Monday October 2nd in Australia with Netflix.