How was Star Trek: Discovery?

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Posted by NTM (11851 posts) 8 months, 9 days ago

Poll: How was Star Trek: Discovery? (131 votes)

Good! Really good! 15%
It was okay. 31%
It was bad. 13%
I've only seen a few of the episodes, but not all. 2%
I haven't watched it yet, but plan to. 6%
I am not sure if I want to watch it. 10%
I have zero interest in this. Let's just see the poll numbers. 24%

I never signed up to watch it with CBS All Access (which I'd have to do since I don't live outside of the U.S.) but now that's it's out on Blu-Ray, is it worth getting? I have always (though in my younger years, much less fervently) liked Star Trek. I grew up with my parents watching TNG at least. They had reruns of TNG on BBC so I watched many of those episodes from 2009 - 2012, but it wasn't until 2012/2013 where I sat down and binge-watched the entirety of all of Star Trek, starting with TNG since I knew that one most, then TOS, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise (I had seen all the movies, but eh [First Contact is great though to me]).

I loved watching all of them, but when Discovery was coming and was only accessible by CBS All Access I was super disappointed. Now that it's out on Blu-Ray, I can finally see it if I want to purchase it. What did everyone else think of it? I know most people say the first season in most ST's aren't great so we have to give it time, and I should say that my opinion sometimes differs from others, like liking Neelix as a character, or choosing favorite series over another since I like them all about equally. So, getting obvious out of the way in how opinions differ, I'm still curious what all of you thought of it nonetheless.

I think what would largely turn me off is, and it was the big issue before it came out, is if they change too many things in its continuity. I get that some of the show creators said that they don't care too much about it, but as a fan, I do if they go too far since it makes their universe far less believable if you will. How is the whole positive outlook of the future, or the way the show might deal with current real-world issues masked in a Star Trek story? I would hope there is at least a little of that, and not just some typical drama that has nothing to say. That said, that hasn't stopped me from watching other shows like that. How is the setting/atmosphere and characters?

If it turns out that it's not worth checking out, well... there is The Orville. I like that show; it's actually a good show in my opinion.

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#1 Edited by Rigas (843 posts) -

Discovery and the Orville and very different shows. I can't even imagine how to compare them apart from they have spaceships. The first season is fine, your mileage may vary on what flavour of Star Trek and what Era within that you like. I was never a huge fan of the 23rd Century stuff. I think it makes a few mistakes, but Season 2 looks like a vast improvement.

It tackles some issues and has a general 23rd Century "Cowboy Diplomacy" as Spock would say. It's a bit fast and loose with some technology, but that's what happens when a show starts in the 60's is continued in the 2018's

The biggest complaint I see is that they "changed the Klingons", my response is the Klingons always changed and they are a whole race with many facets, it would be silly if they were all the same. In TOS the Klingons were vaguely the Russians, in TNG they were awesome space Vikings, in DISCO they are something else again.

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#2 Posted by Humanity (18865 posts) -

Opinions are mixed but I fall on the side of thinking it ranged from just poor to abysmal. Not even talking about the plot which is ridiculous in its own right considering it’s a prequel, the acting and writing was just bad, just BAD. Very few genuinely likable characters.

Some people started to turn around on it near the end of season 1 but man I thought it got progressively dumber in a way only a TV show can.

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#3 Posted by fisk0 (6939 posts) -

It was fine. Most Star Trek shows have had weak first seasons, so I'm hopeful it'll get better from here. The first season had a lot of ups and downs, but my biggest problem with it was how it felt like it rushed past most of the most interesting situations or themes, like having something actually traditionally trekky that could've worked as an entire episode of its own getting solved through some deus ex machina out of nowhere within a few minutes, while some overly telegraphed twists and other dull things got drawn out over several episodes.

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#4 Posted by Froghourt (179 posts) -

I think there was a lot of good stuff in Discovery, but at the same time a lot of bad. I am not even talking about in terms of it being a Star Trek show, just in terms of storytelling and enjoyability (the last couple of episodes feel really rushed and unfinished in a major way). The show did surprise me a couple of times and I think some of the problems people were complaining about in the beginning got resolved pretty well. I find it really hard to recommend it though, I think for Star Trek fans (at least of the shows/the old school people) it sways too far away from what the old shows were, and for younger sci fi fans the show is gorgeous a lot of times and does offer some cool new takes, but is also bogged down by a lot of relics and traditions from the old shows that seem out of place in this dark, gritty new universe. I mean it's cool to watch Sarek interact in completely new ways than we have seen him do before, but for most people who don't know Star Trek they are probably like "who? Why should I care?". We care because we know Sarek but there is little justification in the show itself, and that is the case for a lot of the more "fan service" stuff.

I don't know, it's okay, I would watch it if you are interested but don't go out of your way. The show also really, really undermines itself with the final scene in my opnion. Really a case of "now here is what you all have been waiting for!" and now the entire season seems a little moot because it just seems like a foodnote in the story everyone was actually waiting for.

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#5 Posted by NTM (11851 posts) -

@rigas: Sure, although there was a reason behind the Klingons' different look in DS9 and Enterprise. And yeah, I don't think Discovery or The Orville are similar, but if I want to get a modern Star Trek 'fix', The Orville is decent for that to me. On a side note, I'm also waiting for another season of Lost in Space, which has its issues, but I enjoyed watching as well.

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#6 Posted by Dizagaox (14 posts) -

I enjoy the heck out of it. Probably my favourite show of 2017. It's not really made for hardcore fans, you can kinda tell it's an entry point show.

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#7 Posted by BladeOfCreation (1377 posts) -

I saw the first 4 eps earlier this year, and enjoyed what I saw. The technology the ship is working on makes little sense in relation to the entirety of the Star Trek universe (of which I am only vaguely familiar with), but I assume the end of the series will show us some reason that isn't the tech the rest of the Federation is using later on.

The whole "prequel looks nicer/fancier/cooler" thing has NEVER bothered me in any media franchise, because I just accept things like that as a product of their time.

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#8 Posted by jaycrockett (860 posts) -

I absolutely loved it. Thinking of buying the blue ray just for the special features.

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#9 Edited by geirr (3775 posts) -

Pretty good.

Took me about five episodes to warm up to.

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#10 Edited by Eurobum (487 posts) -

If you haven't tired of blue LEDs 10 years ago, the visual design is very Blue and Orange, which is a popular aesthetic especially for trailers, Blue lens flares... orange explosions. It just doesn't fit Star Trek, and it all started all with that JJ Abrams thing.

STD is quite diligently made, but marred by bad decisions and choices all around. The story is probably the best part but it serves mostly to defy expectations, rather than convey something about an utopian future, science or the human condition.

Instead of a vision ST:D has a social justice warrior agenda, the gay love story, the three female badasses, this doesn't feel like the future, it's really nightmarish, queer, dark and steamy.

The entire show feels like those unpopular Mirror Universe episodes, where everything is inverted, and there was some hope that this indeed will be the twist, but they already used and burned the Mirror Universe idea.

To be fair, It is suspenseful and very different to any Star Trek, but I'd never recommend spending money on it.

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#11 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7613 posts) -

To be honest, I thought it was a struggling show - mostly struggling to be enjoyable. It had some well implemented ideas and some poorly implemented ideas. I love Star Trek, but I never thought that there were more than three things that HAD to be part fo star Trek. Those three thing were: optimism for the future; negotiation before violence; and the triumvirate technologies of warp, transporters, and shape of starships. That's it - nothing else should be written in stone. That just my opinion, but I think really optimism, negotiating, and three iconic techs were ALL that mattered.

I liked that main actors. I liked the Klingon look, but FEW of the actors speaking Klingon could so so through the prosthetic teeth. And, I think making Voq into Ash was stupid, but what show does not screw up something. Overall I think the show is too dark, too moody, and does not FEEL optimistic about the future. The really downfall of the show on the fan side is the show is rarely fun, and the downfall of the production side is CBS want this tho be cheap yet hyper profitable. There are some really good break downs about how CBS is producing and trying to sell the show that would make people slap their foreheads.

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#12 Posted by Sweetz (1177 posts) -

It thought it was a reasonably entertaining scifi show, but it was not Star Trek. I feel like a Star Trek fan's enjoyment is entirely dependent on how capable they are of "letting go" and treating it like its own thing and not Star Trek.

In particular, most of the characters are too flawed and broken to hold up to the idealized vision of humanity that previous Star Trek series adopted.

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#13 Posted by BoOzak (2621 posts) -

ST:D is not a great Star Trek show but its an okay Sci Fi show. Weirdly from what little i've seen of The Orville, it's closer to TNG and it's ilk than Discovery is. Just with pretty poor writing, which is better when they're aware of how stupid it is than when they try and get deep.

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#14 Posted by slaughts (110 posts) -

I really liked it although it did take me a few episodes to warm up to it. The aesthetic/technology changes don't bug me at all.

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#15 Posted by soulcake (2813 posts) -

It's Star Trek For Star Wars fans.

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#16 Edited by haneybd87 (396 posts) -

It’s pretty good but not amazing. Between this and The Good Fight it’s worth subbing CBS All Access for a month to blast through them and then cancel. That’s what I did. IMO The Good Fight is the real stand out between the 2 though.

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#17 Posted by artofwar420 (6921 posts) -

It's a more dramatic and close up vision of the general ship story. I think it retains enough of the spirit of Star Trek's philosophies even if some of the technology lore is not quite the same as previous Star Trek series.

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#18 Posted by jaypethian (48 posts) -

Can someone explain the whole Voq/Ash Tyler thing, it still doesn't make sense to me. God this show was so bad.

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#19 Posted by frytup (1334 posts) -

I've gone back and forth, but probably the most damning thing I can say about Discovery is that I have zero desire to re-watch it. Compare that to ST:TNG and DS9, which I still watch frequently. It's just not what I want from Star Trek, and I have little desire to trick myself into treating it as a stand-alone SciFi action show.

I still have some hope for the Picard show they're working on. We'll see.

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#20 Edited by MrCup (16 posts) -

It's terrible.

I hate as well how anyone it criticises it, is being tagged with right-wring/gamer-gate crowd. Because if you hate it, you hate progressive stuff.

No. All of them were progressive. Even very mediocre shows like Voyager were better.

It's bad, because the characters are bad, it has bad writing and is overall a miserable show where they have no chemistry and you don't care what happens.

That's just, a bad show.


It also doesn't mean you are against the idea of Star Trek being "different", Deep Space 9 is now widely recognized as one of the best, if not the best show in the series history. It flipped everything, but above all, was a quality show by and large.

Discovery tries to hide it's bad writing and characters behind special effects. Contrast that with DS9's "Duet", taking place as a bottle episode, inside "a grey room".

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#21 Posted by MrGreenMan (225 posts) -

It's serviceable but nothing really that special. I would say it is much better then the majority of the Star Trek movies but that's a rather low bar so that isn't saying much. I would say if you can binge watch it for a month and then cancel the service then do that.

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#22 Posted by thomasnash (1106 posts) -

It was okay, but a bit of an oddity in the current landscape: It wasn't really slick or sophisticated enough to stand up to the big hitters of today's television, but it had such a focus on the overarching story that it didn't really feel like the the sort of Star Trek I love (TNG, basically). Maybe it feels more similar to Voyager and DS9?

In the end I think the closest comparison would be with Buffy, particularly in its focus on the imperfections of its cast, but also in it's pacing over the series.

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#24 Edited by Eurobum (487 posts) -

@mrcup said:

It also doesn't mean you are against the idea of Star Trek being "different", Deep Space 9 is now widely recognized as one of the best, if not the best show in the series history. It flipped everything, but above all, was a quality show by and large.

Discovery tries to hide it's bad writing and characters behind special effects. Contrast that with DS9's "Duet", taking place as a bottle episode, inside "a grey room".

Two excellent points. Roddenberry's formula of a spaceship going from one planet of spay foam and cheesy effects to the next, never really worked. It flopped or disappointed with TOS, Voyager and Enterprise. The flipping you describe, and letting great guest actors come to your elaborately built sets, is incidentally a much more convenient way. Just like slowly developing characters are interesting, so are developing stationary conflicts and their gradual resolution. This was taken too far unfortunately: TV switched from episodic content to huge arcs, but an underrated strength of episodic format is that it can mix genres, one episode can be a noir, the next a romantic comedy.

This flexibility ties into the most important thing: science fiction is not a theme or a backdrop, it's about ideas big and small. Sci-fi is about taking an idea and illustrating it, running with it, like a thought experiment. It will be cheesy and very on the nose, which is why it can't work as a gritty war drama. There probably exists at least one great Sci-fi book for every memorable Star Trek episode. But if some committee tries do write some original but formulaic dramatic arcs about loss, betrayal, self-sacrifice and love triangles, then a dumb space soap is the inevitable result. Whenever they inject ethical dilemmas or smart dialogue, it just comes off as pretentious.