Star Trek: Discovery: A Good Start To A New Series
The last time Star Trek was on TV was with Star Trek: Enterprise, which ran from 2001 – 2005. It ended badly, especially for those fans that followed the show closely. It soured the franchise so much that there hasn’t been a Trek series since. That’s a twelve-year absence of the most popular and recognizable sci-fi series in TV history. So when CBS announced Star Trek: Discovery, I was a bit skeptical, to say the least.
Set ten years before The Original Series, we start off with First Officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Captain Phillippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) on an alien planet helping the locals stave off extinction by clearing a blockage in their water well. After some slight banter, they beam on to the USS Shenzhou to meet the rest of the crew. Not long after, a scan picks up a mysterious object near a debris field. Burnham suits up and goes to investigate, but inadvertently she triggers and ancient beacon. A Torchbearer attacks her and forces Burnham to kill it.
The beacon was planted by the Klingon outcast T’Kuvma (Chris Obi) in an effort to unite the Klingon tribes against a new enemy, with T’Kuvma as the leader. Klingon – Federation tensions run high and it sets the tone for the rest of the premiere.
It was hard to warm up to the cast, the dialogue didn’t flow and there wasn’t anyone I could root for. There weren’t any meaningful conversations between the crew members of USS Shenzhou and The figureheads of Starfleet that were paraded around were swiftly and decisively removed from the universe. I also felt Sonequa Martin-Green’s character, Michael, was unrelatable for a majority of the two-episode premiere.
The Klingons were also a let down. The performances were stiff and awkward, it seemed like the actors movement was hindered by their armor. Combined with the heavy makeup and prosthetics, the Klingons may as well be talking heads on pedestals.
Its not to say it was all bad. the art style and visuals are amazing and clearly inspired by the J.J. Abrams movies; the bridge was bursting with info screens and holo-displays, force fields that popped up when a hole was blown through the hull, Klingons giving a minute long speech in their own language, the list goes on and on.
There is a lot to like here, but it’s fair to say the start was a bit rough. I’d love to see more of this universe and I can see the potential for this series to shake up usual Star Trek formula. Even with all its missteps, after watching the teaser for the next episode, I cant wait to watch more Star Trek: Discovery.
New episodes of Star Trek: Discovery are available on CBS All-Access every Sunday at 8:30pm EST from September 24th to November 5th.
Photo Credit: Dalia Naber/CBS