Star Trek: Discovery. Season One, Part One. Review

We’re through the first half of Season One of the new Star Trek TV series Discovery. Here’s my thoughts on the show so far.

WARNING: THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD. I will not be using the spoiler tag in this post, so if you have not yet watched Discovery and intend too, I suggest you come back to this post once you’re done getting up to speed.

Firstly, I thought the two part opener was fabulous.

I liked how the show was introduced, I liked the fact that straight away once on the bridge it felt very Star Trek. Investigating a communications relay that had been damaged and looking into what may have caused it. Of course, good old fashioned Star Trek meant they had to find something lurking away. The interaction between bridge crew members was also sufficient, and from within the first 20 minutes I felt I was watching a proper Star Trek show. Just as well, because that’s what it’s meant to be!

Visually the show is stunning. If this is part of the reason we’ve had to wait an extra 9 months for the show to finally appear, then so be it, it was well worth it. There have obviously been the expected complaints that the tech being used in the show is not only far superior than that what was used in the original series and the next generation, but that’s kind of the mistake I made in my early twenties when sitting down to watch Enterprise for the first time. I’m not going to make those mistakes again. Free your mind, and enjoy the show.

I also liked the new look of the Klingons. If you watched on Netflix there was also a nice touch of being able to add Klingon subtitles. They really know how to appeal to us geeks.

Exploding consoles are still a thing also, at least they haven’t managed to backwards fix a circuit breaker yet onto a Star ship! 🙂

The only real gripe I could make from the first episodes, was perhaps, that I didn’t like the opening credits music. Whilst it teased old style Trek within the first second, it then became a rather bland piece of music that didn’t really get you excited or want to keep humming it the following day. In fact, I found myself going into work the next day singing the Enterprise song!!

So as the opening episode(s) came to an end, it would appear our new hero, was more of an antihero, causing a war with the Klingons and being sent to prison. We were given a teaser of what is to come ahead, and this is where I started to worry. Where would the show go from here. Already a perceived main character and captain has been killed off, we were told the show would focus on two ships, when it clearly won’t as the opening episodes only focused on one ship, and that ship has now been destroyed. Meaning from episode 3 we’ll just be dealing with the Discovery itself.

Episode 3 took place 6 months later, and saw Burnham join the crew of the Discovery come the end of the episode, after some ‘tests’ from Captain Lorca, and a convenient sister ship falling victim of their tests and the whole crew dying. Nothing else much of note took place in this episode, other than some weird fungus experiments that somehow allow people to transport in an instant, and clearly it was an episode to simply set up relations between the new crew, of course, a couple of ex crew mates of Burnham’s were also present, most notably Saru.

Observations at this point, I really don’t like the design of the Discovery ship, I just think it looks a bit crap. The captain seems, a little, evil, which seems odd for the Federation, some commentators were already at this point thinking the whole series may actually be based in the Mirror Universe!

Episode 4 saw further crew relationship building and finally some empathy to the creature they were punishing in order to get around the galaxy so quickly to beat off Klingon attacks. In the episode the captain also gets kidnapped by the Klingons and is obviously rescued.

During the stay on the Klingon ship, he meets another Star Fleet crew member, I can’t help but feel this is a plant by the Klingons. Also getting annoying already now, is the slow pace of any scene involving Klingons. Obviously the acting in Star Trek has never been Stella, but with these Klingons in so much makeup, and also having to speak a complex made up language, the stiffness and slowness of the scenes can’t be helped.

Episodes 5 & 6 were not great episodes in my book, and I was now getting worried that the show wasn’t going to be all it was cracked up to be, but thankfully the final 3 episodes of the first half of the season were really good.

Episode 7, being the stand out, it was nothing new, but it was classic Trek, also a nothing episode that added nothing to the main story of the season. A crew member stuck in a loop, but what was different was doing from the perspective of the crew, rather than the person that was stuck in the loop. It was a cracking episode and a proper episode of Star Trek that people like me had been waiting for.

Episode 8 got back on track with the main story as the crew set out to visit a planet which may help assist the Federation in detecting cloaked Klingon ships. Again, it was primarily a back to basics Trek episode. It also got me wondering if this was the beginning of the Crystalline entity that we later see in The Next Generation. We were left with a tempting cliff-hanger before the fall finale, as the planet sent out a signal to the Klingons to come to the planet. What would Discovery do next?

There was also a fan theory in motion, that seemed to be making more sense to back up my thoughts that the Ash Tyler character is indeed the Klingon Voq.

By the end of episode 8 I think it’s pretty much as clear as it can be now that Ash Tyler is Voq, but that he doesn’t remember, which was factored into the plan so he was never able to accidentally or under duress give up the ghost.

Also finally the Universal Translator came into effect and the Klingon’s started speaking English. This made their scenes flow a little better.

And a couple of firsts in this episode: Klingon tits and the first gay male kiss. The episode also gave us an excellent battle, and a big payoff to give us something to want to continue watching when it returns in January.

And what to make of the ending. Mirror universe? Or I would prefer the theory  as mentioned previously that they were in the Mirror Universe in the first place, and have now entered what we know as normal Trek. The spore drive is knackered, and no longer works, but Discovery is still a comparatively very advanced ship and it, Lorca and the rest of the crew are the roots of what becomes Section 31!!

We wait until January to boldy go…

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