Like many nerds world-wide I have been waiting on a new Star Trek television series for ages. Since the demise of Enterprise no one was sure if we would actually see another show on the small screen.
Be warned. I am going to do my best to keep out any spoilers or really any information about the show so you can enjoy it yourself when you watch it. That means the following descriptions will be as intentionally vague as possible but I may unintentionally slip something out.
Well with the rise of the new alternative universe Star Trek reboot movies and younger parent introducing their children to Star Trek CBS finally caved and brought us a new show albeit streaming on their own service and not found on any television network in the US. That is slightly different here in Canada where they run the show on Space then post it on CraveTV to be streamed (in the UK they get to stream it through Netflix – lucky people).
This new series takes place between Enterprise and the original Star Trek in what is called the “prime” universe. All that means is this takes place in the original universe, not the reboot universe introduced in Star Trek (2009). So we have yet another prequal.
There was a lot of pessimism over whether CBS can pull off a prequal and then do it in a way that was not standard to the rest of the television series.
First off, the show would not centre around a captain on the bridge. Instead we would see things from the point of view of a first officer.
And second, this television show would only be shown on actual television for the first of a two-part episode. The second part and the rest of the series would only stream on CBS’ All Access streaming service of which CBS hopes will get people to subscribe to the service in droves just for this show. Personally I think the service is doomed but not due to the fault of Star Trek Discovery.
In the first two-part series (basically a movie split in half) we are introduced to our lead character and a new ship (I am being intentionally vague as not to give a single fact away that isn’t already out on the internet). We are re-introduced to a alien species that we are all familiar with though from another interesting angle. A conflict ensues that ties our lead character up in a mess of issues.
I told you I’d be vague.
This introductory movie sets the stage for the rest of the series. This is a good thing as personally I enjoyed the two episodes but they weren’t the shining beacon that would have lead me to subscribe to CBS All Access (if I was in the United States – I already have a subscription to CraveTV).
The third episode starts out fresh with our lead character and we are re-introduced to a few of her crew mates (OOPS! Too much info?!).
Let’s leave the episodes for now and talk about the rest of the show. Production quality is top notch as is expected from any Star Trek series. I have always argued that people dismiss Star Trek shows so quickly because their production quality is always incredibly high and some people just can’t stand the consistency.
Special Effects/ CGI implemented in Discovery are done very well. They aren’t over the top but they are visually satisfying. There are a couple decisions about the way certain things work that the nerd inside me is a bit resistant to such as phasers not being beams but rather pulse style. That is something the obviously carried over from the movies that I wish hadn’t. That’s a personal thing though.
The sets are very good and camera-work is done spot on. AND there’s no lens flares! Or at least a very small amount of them… Whoever thought those were cool needs to be slapped. Carrying swiftly on…
Something people complained about in the two-part movie was the show didn’t feel like Star Trek. In fact the biggest criticism I read about was the lack of techno-babble. Well if you were basing your opinion on those two episodes or just the one that was shown on TV then you are missing out. Episode 3 and on there’s techno-babble and I think a balanced amount of it. Star Trek of the past could get lost in it’s techno-babble (which of course nerds like me totally enjoy) but the way they do it on Discovery is such that a person not totally in to Star Trek in the past or someone new to the series doesn’t get left behind. This is a good thing.
Overall I think this is a refreshing move on the franchise but some die-hard fans may not enjoy it as much.
All in all with all the new science fiction shows out there’s really something for everyone.