[Spoilers] Star Trek: Discovery - Discussion, Speculation and Tribbles

Started by Grizz, September 24, 2017, 02:47:37 pm

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"We're discovering a new way to fly!"

What's it about?

Season One (the first of many, any Trek fan would hope) of Star Trek: Discovery, set roughly 10 years prior to the The Original Series, promises to follow the conflict between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire. Initially from the perspective of the Starship Shenzhou, then the titular Discovery, the story sees the Klingon T'Kuvma seeking to unite all of the Klingon houses at a time that an unrevealed act sparks open conflict between the Empire and the Federation. It is expected that this arc will reach its conclusion prior to the end of the season.

Star Trek: Discovery's lead is neither of the show's starring Captains, but rather First Office Michael Burnham. What's so special about Burnham? Well it turns out she was raised on Vulcan by Spock's father, Sarek. The details of this upbringing remain to be unleashed upon a perpetually concerned fandom.

There's also some funky mystery surrounding the Discovery itself, but we'll have to see about all that.

Also tribbles.

Who's in it?

as Michael Burnham, our new intelligent and logical "Number One."

as Philippa Georgiou, a seasoned veteran and explorer, Captain of the Shenzhou.

as Gabriel Lorca, a formidable and charismatic tactician, Captain of the Discovery. A man who hides as many secrets as his ship.

as Saru, the Shenzhou's Kelpien science officer, genetically able to sense incoming threats.

as Paul Stamets, a science officer aboard the Discovery, versed in astromycology.

as Sylvia Tilly, a wide-eyed final-year Cadet assigned to the Discovery. Bottom of the ladder but with the biggest heart.

as Sarek, a Vulcan astrophysicist, the father of Spock, and the surrogate father of Michael Burnham.

as T'Kuvma, leader of an ancient Klingon house who rules as the second coming of the messiah.

as Harry Mudd. No, really.

Can I watch it?

Maybe. Hopefully. Probably - somehow. Check the banner at the top and find out. Then watch it tonight / tomorrow. Then come back here and discuss!

Should I watch it?

There's no saying whether it will be good or not. But if you're a real Star Trek fan, you probably have an open-mind and have been itching to see Trek back on the small screen. There are those out there claiming to be Star Trek fans but find Discovery off-putting because of its diverse cast. I mean, when has Star Trek ever been diverse, right? Don't be like those guys. Check it out and make your own mind up!


"This Season" Trailer [ Ep 1 & 2 Major Spoilers ]


Watching the premiere tonight, imo - gonna be hard to beat the Orville


Quote from: Klaw on September 24, 2017, 03:02:47 pm
Watching the premiere tonight, imo - gonna be hard to beat the Orville

The Expanse, you mean ;)


Quote from: Grizz on September 24, 2017, 03:07:31 pm
Quote from: Klaw on September 24, 2017, 03:02:47 pm
Watching the premiere tonight, imo - gonna be hard to beat the Orville

The Expanse, you mean ;)

Actually - this is still on my to watch list... but no, The Orville - Critics are way too harsh on it...


Just finished episodes 1 and 2. I am extremely pleased so far. Looking forward to hearing what you all think; I might type up my thoughts longform later...


Episode 1 did not convince me to hop over the pay wall.

imo - It looks nice, the budget is huge (and it shows) - but I feel that it lacked a lot of substance.

I'm going to avoid spoilers at all cost.

In the first 20 minutes of The Orville's first episode (as a non-trek example) - Characters were introduced that were unique, and possessed a history. Elements like this made me give a crap about the characters.

In the First 60 Minutes (or so) of TNG's first episode - Characters were introduced that were somewhat unique and possessed a history. While some of these characters were VERY annoying (Shutup Wesley) they grew and developed and became more personable. I will be the first to admit that TNG Season 1 and 2 were not the best...

DS9, Voy, and TOS all failed a bit in this regard - I'll exclude ToS as an outlier and originator for Trek lore.

DS9 focused hard on the battle hardened past of Sisko, and basically only Sisko in episode 1 - They brought O'Brien (a character that was somewhat fleshed out from TNG and as such - this was how they got you to care about a character in episode 1 - without him - DS9 would have lacked HARD in this regard.) Most Characters didn't come to life until season 4 (when another TNG veteran joins...)

VOY established an interesting setting, which as a result - enticed me to care a bit, but the characters didn't come to life until probably season 2 or 3...

Ent explored Archer's past a bit - his connection to the ship - we met our first Denobulan (who doesn't like Phlox?!) and all in all, I started to care about some characters from the start.

Discovery: Who the hell are these people?! Burnham has some history revealed... but even that is limited, and not nearly enough to show her humanity (or lack thereof).

And that's about it...

So, without a sense of giving a crap about the characters (and idk if Episode 2 will make me care...) I have no desire to continue - because the setting has been seen, and heard about (Axanar anyone?!) and basically, we know the outcome...

Just some more of my in depth thoughts on it.


Klaw - watch episode two. Episode 1 is half the pilot. It's ridiculous that they split it; it is much, much stronger with episode 2 alongside it. Episode two adds a lot that was missing from episode one, fixes things that didn't make sense, and just generally adds a sense of connection to the show and material episode one didn't have. If this tanks on CBS because of All Access and being split in the wrong place, I'll be really disappointed in the studio :(.

Here is my spoiler-free review, copied and pasted shamelessly from my post on Reddit:

VFX: absolutely stunning, almost if not actually movie quality. Character design is great. Ship design is excellent. Space VFX are amazingly good, beautiful on their own much of the time. They clearly put a lot of time and money into this. Note, though, it is JJ Abrams' style more than anything. If you didn't like that, you won't like this. Personally, I enjoy the style, so I thought it was fantastic. I'm also digging the new Klingon designs. 10/10

The writing/characterization is solid, but not perfect. Some significant things to be worked on, but I can't go into details without spoilers. However, in my opinion if you watch both episodes 1 and 2 (and you really should watch both), there's nothing so glaring or unresolved/unfixable that it really detracted from the experience. 8.5/10

The music is good, but nothing new/unexpected. It doesn't reach michael giacchino levels, but it's well-executed. For sound effects, the same rating/statement. It's the sound suite expected from Star Trek, mixed with some modern stuff like the Expanse. 8/10

The acting is a mixed bag. Honestly, this is probably the weakest part of the episodes so far for me; issues with delivery/directing more than capability, I think, but we'll see. Again, can't be too specific without spoilers. Work is needed here. While I agree that the writing is not perfect, I think it'd come across a lot better with better directing and acting. I didn't have issues with pacing/style of direction that other people here did, but I am going to watch again soon and think about these things specifically. The directing is definitely not perfect. 7/10 for both, I'd say.

In terms of streaming experience, while All Access is dumb, and putting the show back 18 minutes online because of football, which is on TV makes absolutely zero sense, for me (streaming on a desktop computer over a decent Internet connection), the streaming worked flawlessly; it was high quality thewhole time with no interruptions or downtime whatsoever. There was no HBO-Go-first-ep-of-game-of-thrones downtime here. I strongly recommend ditching your TV or mobile apps and streaming through a browser for this platform. For me, the streaming was 10/10. For others, I hear it is much worse.

Finally, the most important part - is it Star Trek? YES. IT IS STAR TREK. IT IS ABSOLUTELY STAR TREK. It's modernized to a certain extent and it's more action-oriented than Star Trek usually is, but I think that's because it's a pilot/season-opener, which is similar to what TNG/DS9/VOY all did during all their first episodes. It is absolutely Star Trek, it hits all the right beats and I feel like it means them. 10/10 will space voyage again.

Overall, if this were just any scifi TV show, I'd call it an ~8, 8.5/10. But I love Star Trek, and I want to love this, so it gets a 9/10 for me, with hope for the future.

and here are some musings from me on Trek idealism and what to expect from a new Trek show:

Guys, we have to talk about this. I realize that everyone has specific ideals about what Star Trek is supposed to be, and that those ideals are important. I promise, I'm right there with you. The trouble is that Discovery, good or bad, is never going to be your platonic ideal of a Star Trek show, because its creators are not you. I think we need to remember a few things:

Every major Trek series since TOS has changed things, sometimes significant things, often for the better.
Every major Trek series since TOS was criticized harshly by at least some contingent of fans at first, regardless of how it ultimately turned out.
Every major Trek series has occasionally (or more than occasionally, looking at you, Voyager) suffered from bad writing, bad acting, bad directing, or all three - including in the pilot episodes.
Everyone has their list of things Star Trek is and should be. Those lists aren't necessarily equal to what Star Trek is.

I believe that at its core, Star Trek is about a theme: idealistic, optimistic science-fiction that keeps the "human" factor in mind, even when dealing with aliens. Star Trek is a show about ideals and values. Those ideals and values can be brought under discussion in a myriad of ways and under a myriad of artistic styles and visions, because at its core, Star Trek is not about whether there's lens flares or not, what the commander's name is, or how many scenes of Klingons talking about destiny and the ancestors there are. Star Trek is about vision, and vision takes time.

Personally, I really enjoyed these first two episodes. I don't think they're perfect - acting and writing need work, directing was sometimes heavy-handed - and yes, they are modern scifi designed for a modern audience (just as TNG was in its time, and ENT in its, as examples). But to me, they have the spark of what Star Trek is and should be about. They're character-driven, they're focused on the meaning behind the actions shown, and they are at the same time about big ideas and cosmic conflicts bigger than any single person - or at least, personally, I can see them getting there if they're not there 100% yet.

Even if I liked it, it can be improved, and I want it to be improved. But at the same time, even if someone didn't like it, I think they are more likely to be rewarded for giving the show time and watching it with an eye towards what works than by throwing their hands up, declaring "it's not Trek!" and storming out. You miss all the shots you don't take.


I heard the opening two were to serve more like a prologue to the series if anything else. Does that sound right?

I guess what I'm really asking is whether my man Jason Isaacs was anywhere to be seen last night  :P

Never mind, don't tell me, it just dropped on Netflix - with surprise HDR. Bonus.


Added the "This Season" trailer to the first post.

I pretty much agree with your review, Vertias. It is Star Trek. It's 2017's Star Trek - with real consequence straight from the offing. I would be lying if I were to say this wasn't the type of Trek I've been adhering to for the last ten years. It's optimistic - to a fault - with imperfect people trying to carry out Roddenberry's vision - but imperfect people make mistakes. It's only natural.

Looking ahead, I really look forward to meeting Lorca and the Discovery - and the rest of the main cast we haven't seen yet! We're still far from getting settled but I'm excited to see what comes next!

I don't know how it looked on All Access, but it was certainly gorgeous looking on Netflix, too.

Scott Archer

I'm writing a longer continuity gripe :P

But a review of the episodes, I pretty much agree with what everyone else has said.
The effects were really nice and the production from a technical standpoint was fantastic on the whole (although at a rumoured cost of $8 million per episode I would be disappointed with any less.)

The acting though, I didn't think was that great and the story also seemed pretty lacking (thanks to Grizz for the character list at the start, I had virtually no idea who anyone outside of Burnham, Georgiou and Saru was. (Saru on the other hand I thought was excellent.))

If they continue to focus on Burnham I'm not sure what I'll think, I didn't like the character to be honest, but it will be interesting to see how they develop and characterise.

Election Watch and IA Assistant
Email: scottarcher@earthelite.co.uk



My review (some vague spoilers):

Monday the 25th of September was the most excruciatingly long day as I waited for my best friend, his flat mate and his girlfriend to finish up their day to day tasks so that at last, after spending the last decade catching up on all Trek there is to Trek... I could watch something new.

Annnnd, hoo-boy is it new.

Star Trek, the show commonly mocked for 'funny foreheads (as my grandma used to say) and starting the (now almost) universal trope of bizarre creatures all speaking English it back, it's back, it's sleek, it's shiny and more important than that. Everything about it is solid and universally consistent.

Did the fact that the Klingons spoke Klingon in all of their solo scenes result in frustration at times, boredom at others? Perhaps. But retrospectively I absolutely loved it. This is a Trek that's not afraid to break the franchises rules to create a deeper, richer viewing experience.

Our first taste of Michael Burnham puts her on the precipice of getting her own command; that is until shes confronted with her fears of the past. Has this been done before in Trek? Sure. Worfs parents were killed, Trips sister was killed.etc giving rise to a racial hatred that the characters confront over the series. It also gave a fascinating insight into Vulcan logic because, of course it logically makes sense to attack an aggressive species that typically doesn't negotiate first. It's fascinating to view things through the Vulcan perspective and consider that ironically, they are likely the cause of a lot of the tension in the Alpha Quadrant. Wars with the Andorians in Enterprise, the obvious disenfranchising of the Romulans and now we discover they fire on sight at Klingons. Peace in our time it would seem is not logical.

I had great fun trying to spot the individual references to previous shows, my favourite subtle one was the triangular chair in Burnhams quarters. Little touches that just show that this is the universe we know and love.

The cinematography was extremely reminiscent of the JJ films, but this pilot is designed to draw those Trek fans in. They know we'll put up with it and from what I hear (and see in the season trailer) the dutch angles and lens flares calm down quite a bit post-pilot.

All in all, even after mining the salt from the Reddit Trek sub for the past few days I still absolutely love this show already. I can't wait to explore the dynamic of Burnham post-pilot.

Scott Archer

Everything about it is solid and universally consistent. 

Not entirely true :P

Election Watch and IA Assistant
Email: scottarcher@earthelite.co.uk



I am intrigued by Gabriel Lorca. I feel like if Kirk is analogous to Roger Moore's Bond, then Lorca is Daniel Craig's Bond. He seems intent on becoming a monster in the name of protecting people, saving lives. I love that he is a resource collector and user of those resources (i.e. people)
The science-y bit might be accurate to current thinking, but boy was it hard to swallow!
Saru is fun, and it would be easy to make him one dimensional, but he's this tense performance, caught between fight and flight in his conversations, like his fear is driving him (similar to Burnham and Lorca actually, just coming at the same thing from different angles).
I thought episode 3's "plot" was a bit by the numbers, but it was there to introduce the ship and the concept of their mission.
Also Stamets: Yes, we know you don't like her. Yes she did a bad thing. You being leader of pointing out she did a bad thing just makes you a jackass.
"I was going to make you omlettes, then tell you I was dying..."