The Star Trek: Discovery thread (Spoilers)

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#151 Edited by Kevin_Cogneto (1886 posts) -

Now that the season is over, I signed up for my three-day free trial of CBS All Access and marathoned the whole thing in three days. I gotta say, I did not find any of the Klingon War storylines interesting at all, with the lone exception of Voq and L'Rell. And even their story was totally run aground with the whole genetic engineering Voq to become human angle, a twist which I thought landed with a big ol' thud. Voq and L'Rell worked great as a couple, but once they were separated in order to service the plot, neither of them worked for me as characters anymore.

The Mirror Universe storyline, however, I thought was incredible, and I think this really should have become the focus of the entire season, if not the entire show. That caught me totally by surprise, as did the subsequent twist relating to Lorca. When that whole story line was coming to a head, I thought to myself "Wait, how are there two episodes left? I can't wait to see where this Mirror Universe stuff goes next, because I have no idea where it could possibly go after that!" Turns out it was just going right back to the Klingon War again, which seemed like a huge step backwards. As a viewer, I had totally stopped caring about the Klingon War, especially given the fact that this is a prequel and we know how it turns out. Honestly, when whats-his-face the red face paint Klingon leader died, I kinda thought that meant the war was over. But nah, that just meant that "Now we're fighting 24 enemies instead of one, this is so much worse than an organized front somehow!", which is maybe the dumbest thing I've seen in Star Trek since Spock lost his brain.

I do think the cast of characters was really, really strong. That's something that always put me off of all the post-TNG series, that while I do think each show's captain is generally very well written and acted, the supporting casts of some of the lesser Star Trek series tend to be incredibly bland, in my opinion. Weirdly, Discovery almost has the opposite problem: incredible supporting cast, but I wasn't all that into the preposterous amount of turnover in the captain's chair. What was the final count? Something like six people end up commanding the Discovery by the end of the series? Including one cadet, one admiral, and one emperor from another dimension? It was almost comical by the end. But even so, I loved the crew, and I thought even the smallest supporting player was really well defined and interesting.

Also, I'd be curious to know, from folks who know Star Trek better than I do (I love the TOS and TNG crews, but really can't get into anything beyond that) if Discovery is consistent with Trek lore, particularly Star Trek: Enterprise. I'm vaguely aware of the fact that Enterprise gets into the whole Klingon genetic manipulation retcon which explains their appearance in TOS, but Discovery seems to imply that this is the first time they've attempted it, which didn't seem to line up with me. Then again, I'm about as far from an expert as they come.

Also, I could not have rolled my eyes any harder at the appearance of The Enterprise at the end. Honestly, stuff like that reeks of desperation to me. A confident show doesn't need to do that.

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#152 Posted by flameboy84 (898 posts) -

@kevin_cogneto:Absolutely agree about the ending it wasn't needed...however I am super interested in as much as it's a period in the enterprises life that we don't know too much about...It's pre-Kirk and Mccoy which we've never seen outside of The Cage.

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#153 Edited by Kevin_Cogneto (1886 posts) -

@flameboy84: Oh sure, I'm equally interested in where they might take it as well, it's just the way the whole thing was introduced: not as an organic part of the story, but as an unrelated tacked-on teaser for Season 2, If they'd reversed it, where the Discovery was the one in distress and oh thank goodness another Federation ship has arrived to help, oh by the way it's the Enterprise, I think it would've been a lot easier to swallow. But instead we get "Gee whiz I can't make out the registration number, what ship could it be?! As if you didn't already know based purely on the fact that we're artificially delaying this reveal!" There may as well have been a literal drum roll on the sound track.

It's the cynicism of that moment that really rubs me the wrong way. It had nothing to do with the story they wanted to tell, and everything to do with exploiting fan nostalgia in order to maximize the chances that CBS picks them up for another season.

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#154 Posted by flameboy84 (898 posts) -


It's the cynicism of that moment that really rubs me the wrong way. It had nothing to do with the story they wanted to tell, and everything to do with exploiting fan nostalgia in order to maximize the chances that CBS picks them up for another season.

You've basically hit the nail on the head right there (although apparently that was confirmed some time ago? I've read a lot of people who have joined CBS streaming this week to marathon those people covered with those who have been watching weekly will not mean this show is well talked about this week which is exactly what they want.

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#158 Edited by fisk0 (6954 posts) -

So, a couple of weeks until season 2 starts, been fun rereading this thread and seeing that just about all of my predictions for the next episode of season 1 were wrong.

I still think season 1 was very hit and miss, but so far every Star Trek show has gotten better after the first season, so I hope that'll be true here too. The season 2 trailer they've released so far is just jumbled and vague enough for me to really say anything at all about it. Still a little worried about how they'll deal with Pike and Spock, but there's still a lot of potential here.

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#159 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7650 posts) -

I think it sad because I think the show really had some good ideas, but too many of the bad ideas like the dour outlook of the future and the desire to use what works in other shows (Marvel & DC Netflix shows) to boost this show.

I love the actors, so I want great roles for them and a great show to practice their craft. In additions, I like some of the tech and its use in the this future. But...But, the show is not inspiring in my opinion - it is a damn downer. They show is screaming "Hey all the problems in 2019 we will still struggled with in 2255" so feel shitty about that because we want to hammer "DRAMA" over your head. This is just not a vision of Star Trek that should EVER be made, pessimistic Trek is not Trek. TNG certainly had dark episodes, secret Starfleet black-ops, and aliens/humans who did evil things had drama... but it didn't abuse a positive vision of the future to get its drama.

They says you vote with you wallet, so even though I like to watch train wrecks sweep like tsunami across small towns, I am not going to open my wallet for CBSi All Access Division. This is not "Oh, I'll get it for free later", this is not me being cheap. I just think the strongest message I can give to not rubber-neck their train wreck. I hope, Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Shazad Latif, Emily Coutts, Oyin Oladejo, Wilson Cruz, and Michelle Yeoh can get recurring roles on "The Orville"...or any number of other science fiction shows being produced in 2019.

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#160 Posted by GenericBrotagonist (459 posts) -

Finally got around to watching the Short Treks the other day and weirdly enough I only really enjoyed the ones not starring the main cast. The Tilly one was just boring and generic, and the Saru one annoyed me with how it ignored certain established parts of canon. The Calypso and Mudd episodes were good fun though.

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#161 Edited by soulcake (2818 posts) -

Is it weird that most of my enjoyment of STD comes from red letter media dishing on CBS all access, I am lucky enough to have star trek on netflix (cbs all access not available in my country) and i start watching Star Trek TNG for the first time, man that show is pretty good. Still have to watch the shorts i heard there better then STD, I will probably watch season 2, but that trailer surly made me less interested goodwork CBS!

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#162 Edited by Isslander (72 posts) -

I barely made it through the first episodes of this (the very first one is pretty good though) but once it went I to the [spoiler] what are the spoiler tags here? [/spoiler] I was hooked. The Frakes directed episode is a joy (he did direct the best Star Trek movie after all) and it is quite solid throughout after that.

Generally speaking though, and divorced from the characters and plot, I am annoyed at the whole prequel thing. And they are even doubling down on that in S2. If they wanted to make the Klingons this hideous it would have made more sense to have it happen later in the time line. Is there a point in the Star trek time line where interesting things just stop happening? Is that the reason why they always have to return to the old characters?

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#163 Posted by GenericBrotagonist (459 posts) -

Two episodes in and season two is SO much better than season one. I love all the bridge problem solving scenes, and that now the large majority of the bridge crew that were little more than extras before are finally getting some character work done. Not to mention they're finally actually doing some exploration on a show called Discovery!

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#164 Edited by conmulligan (1949 posts) -

I enjoyed season 1, warts and all, but the last couple of episodes have been on another level. It's still far from perfect, but as long as it continues to get better I'm on board.

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#165 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7650 posts) -

Good to hear it getting better. I'm not going to watch, but I am listening to The Greatest Discovery podcast to stay updated. Maybe watch it on DVD in a few years.

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#167 Posted by Savutano (184 posts) -

@ntm: Wasn't a fan of the pilot, but I told myself I would judge the season as a whole, and it's pretty intense, goes to some spectacular & messed up places, maybe darker than most of the series so far. It's a fine addition, and season 2 is supposed to be more of what people wanted out of a new series, so there's that, if you find yourself enjoying it. So far, season 2 is pretty good as well. Are there flaws, sure, but I feel the strengths outweigh them.

The Orville is really hitting it, too. Think of it as a companion to Discovery, and just be in Trek bliss.

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#168 Posted by NTM (11872 posts) -

@savutano: I haven't watched any of Discovery (yet?) I do, however, watch The Orville. I think it's a great show. It feels like they've kind of ditched the more humorous parts for a bit more character drama, and I like it. The humor that is there is totally fine too though. It's not laugh out loud hilarious, but I chuckle sometimes.

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#169 Edited by stabfreely (55 posts) -

I subscribed to see if there was anything worth watching....Discovery is the only thing worth watching,(I care about the characters,and I always wanted to hear the F word in an episode) but after a month, and being done with all the episodes, I'll be cancelling. I do the same thing with HBO Now, watch all the episodes of Westworld and GOT than cancel. About the cost of a lunch for a month worth.

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#170 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7650 posts) -

Well, what were people's impressions from here?

I just watched red Letter Media's run down of the second season; they did not seem to have enjoyed much of the back half of the second season. If you aks me ist seesm like Star Trek has too many problems between the TV show's struggles and the movie's struggles. Therefore I think this show might see season three, but will not see anything past that - much of what RLM said.

I love Star Trek, but if you asked 20 fans what Star Trek is you would get is 50 different opinions. But at it's base, a shows need to start by making a GOOD show. Put a periods and exclamation point on that last sentence. All the issue that this new show had cannot be overcome when the basic premise is muddled, there was no real message or point for the ending it seemed.

Do they try again in four years? Or, do they try to dragging this dying roadkill around for another season? For I even care? I mean, I think I don't even care if they make another Trek, I'd rather just have a good science fiction show on TV/Netflix to watch...I don't need the brand. I'd love to see a "hopeful" futuristic show, and not just some "happy face on a creepy situation" utopia show. Is is REALLY that hard to make a show where the future is not perfect; but is at least more fair, more just, more supportive, and more creative for humanity? Sort of humanity has gone beyond want & need, but maybe has not solved...boredom and they need to find risk or to help others?

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#171 Posted by goosemunch (73 posts) -

Season 2 of Discovery might be the worst thing I have ever seen on TV. (though to be fair I don't normally go out of my way to watch bad shows) It's such a shame that upcoming Picard show is made by the same people.

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#172 Edited by DarkeyeHails (604 posts) -

This is the power of math, people.

The show is gorgeous and dumb which is basically the opposite of what Star Trek should be, right?

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#173 Posted by fisk0 (6954 posts) -

I think it was fine. Far from both being the best or worst Star Trek I've seen. I think season 2 had some real high points, a few mediocre episodes, but mostly just 'this is fine' kinda stuff. I had hoped we'd see more improvement over season 1 aside from the new - fantastic - captain, but yeah, I don't know, I never found it to be bad, just rarely living up to what it could be.

Throughout the entire show I think the actors have been doing a good job, and most episodes have had great ideas that I could see being really interesting if not for one thing - they've had the most baffling pacing problems, must be intentional and maybe a trend in TV/movie editing I've missed out on or something, but I really don't understand how anybody could prefer this kind of pacing.

Don't exactly know how to describe it, but they kinda consistently do this whole thing where they first basically tell you what will happen and then show you in excruciating detail across like three episodes exactly what we already know will happen - then the protagonists hit some kind of problem or barrier, but instead of showing us the process of them figuring out the solution they simply jump ahead to the problem being solved without any process of getting there ... and then go back to showing us what we already know instead. So we basically get three episodes of showing us something we've already been told, and 5-10 minutes of a problem that seems like it would take some time to overcome but is just suddenly fixed that same episode.

Then there was that whole thing with a crewmember basically only appearing in the background for well over a season and then suddenly get a little character development and die that same episode followed by everybody talking about how much they had mattered despite barely being mentioned up until that point. Saru's tranformation earlier this season had the same problems.

Like, I can't for the life of me figure out who would find that dramatic structure compelling, but it has happened over and over again in these two seasons, so I must imagine the writers actually know what they're doing, and that I'm just behind the times somehow (but then I love Blade Runner and weird Italian stuff everybody thinks is really slow, so what do I know).

Anyway, Discovery's lowest points are nowhere near the worst lows of TNG, Voyager or Enterprise, but its best episodes also haven't reached the heights of any of the other shows so far. That said, most Star Trek shows have needed a few seasons to really get going, with every single one of them having worse first seasons than Discovery had. I'll keep watching and hope the time travelling stuff leads to something really interesting. I really think there's something to the premise of Discovery, but I find it really weird how the show's problems seem so intentional.

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#174 Posted by soulcake (2818 posts) -

After Watching the whole off TNG for the first time and then Season 2 episode one o boy did i yell at my Computer screen i felt offended in some way don't think i could finish season 2 of Discovery o well i can always watch DS9 and feel a little bit better.

Also for season 3 they should hire a scientist and ask with every dumb thing they do "is this possible" Power of Math yow look at the falling star in SPACE!...
Also fire all those directors fire Alex Kurtzman, and hire someone who get's Star Trek not some dude who thinks Star Wars is Star Trek.

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#175 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7650 posts) -

@fisk0: I think other than story line Discovery is a wonder. I think even Red Letter Media said, "All the parts are there." Great actors, great sets, great special effects, and great cinematography does not "equal good" if the narrative -the very story they are telling- is disjointed. I would even take the "mcguffin" filled story solutions if Discovery could keep a narrative straight and logical.

Its not a train wreak, it is worse, it a bright shinny train where the wheels slipped 4" to the right so this beautiful bright shiny train goes nowhere and spins its wheels looking lame.