I’ve written in a previous post about how hard it is to do a prequel, and after watching the entirety of the first season I still have the same concern. Does this really need to be set before the original series?
I’m going to move quickly on from this point to talk about everything else Discovery. I suppose I need to answer the main question that seems to appear when I’ve done my reading around. Is Discovery really Star Trek?
The one word answer: Yes.
If you want a series that looks all bright and shiny like The Next Generation, then Orville is going to be a better fit. However, this is Star Trek for the twenty first century viewer. It has a story arc, the redemption of Michael Burnham, and it has shades of grey rather than it being purely black and white. It succeeds in being appointment TV. First thing I did when I got home from work on a Monday was to sit down to watch the newest episode.
Star Trek has always had a certain amount of progressiveness to it. Some of the first interracial kisses on American TV took place during the original series. Would either Captain Sisko or Janeway really have been the main characters in other TV series at the time. So, what exactly is the problem of showing a gay relationship?
Moving quickly on, I think that the decision of not having the captain as the main character worked. Lorca was great! I think the misstep here was making Burnham too unlikable in those first few episodes. Honestly, by the end of the season I still wasn’t too fussed about Michael.
The even better decision was to not make he the captain when she got recommissioned. In those early episodes they made a big deal about taking the chair, and it must have been really tempting to make Burnham the new captain. I think that it must be the endgame of the series.
My issues with Michael Burnham didn’t matter too much as I really liked the supporting cast. Tilly is the personification of the ideals of Star Fleet, with morphing hair (Medusa in Inhumans is very jealous). Even her Mirror Universe nickname, Killy, is just too sweet. Stamets moved on from being a pain in the backside, and Saru developed into someone who will be a very thoughtful (acting) captain.
Storyline wise I really enjoyed Discovery’s time in the Mirror Universe, but there was something bareboned about the Klingon war. The Klingons themselves weren’t really fleshed out, and really could have been replaced with generic aliens. The resolution was very Star Trek, as it was all about talking things through rather than blowing things up.
All in all, it was really enjoyable. Yes, I’m excited that we got to see the Enterprise, and I am a little disappointed that it looks different. However, I do want to see what happens next.
One last thing, did you notice that by the end all of the senior people were female or alien? I told you that Star Trek is progressive.