STD S1, suprisingly good...with some unfortunate mistakes

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STD S1, suprisingly good...with some unfortunate mistakes

Post by Atekimogus »


Now this might be a bit controversial but I recently had finally time to binge-watch Season 1 and I was actually pleasently suprised by it. I consider myself more of a "classic" Star Trek fan, so I went into the show expecting to hate those things which stood out in the trailers I have seen and looked ridiculous. The klingons, the Discovery Star Trek Phase II reject design, etc.

Suprisingly all this never bothered me much when watching. I am not sure if the showrunners ever claimed that the show is supposed to be in the prime universe...but for me - considering the whole look and feel - I immediatly accepted that this is in the rebooted universe, or a completely different universe anyhow, with some similarites but also some huge differences. Consequently I didn't mind the Klingons, I rather enjoyed that they made the effort with having them talk in Klingon and I rather like the design of the Discovery now. It is a ship designed for a very specific function and as such I can forgive that it looks a bit exotic compared to the rest of Starfleet.

Maybe I am also still a bit tarnished by the last to entries of Star Trek TV shows that we got, but considering Enterprise with Archer and his crew of bumbling idiots I found the crew of the discovery......refeshingly....competent looking......and I found myself really rather enjoying it....until they made a - imho - huge mistake from which I am not sure they will ever recover.

So to understand what I mean lets talk abit about the crew. The main character is supposed to by Micheal Burnham. She is not of course, in the first half of the series she is more the guide for us to encounter much more interesting characters. Altough I like the actress she cleary has not enough charisma to carry the show and so it is not suprising that after the initial introduction she takes more of a backburner role. I found myself pleasantly suprised by this since I heard she is a Mary Sue type which imho she wasn't....for most of the time.

So what was the critical mistake the Discovery will never recover from? is - imho - killing of Captain Gabriel Lorka. Let us be completely frank...he was by far the most interesting and three dimensional character on the show. I loved that there was an edge to him, I loved that you never could guess his motivation, when you think you know him as ruthless warmonger he suprised you by showing you that his drive for exploration is behind his ruthlessness etc. He was a great captain precisely because he was a flawed character. And he was killed off for a really MINOR payoff when all is said and done. The "big" reveal that he is actually a terran, while beautifully set up, pales - imho - to what it did to the rest of the show. Because of his treachery and "suprise, I was evil all along" the show again rested on Micheal Burnham as the main character and she just doesn't work.

And this seems symptomatic for all of Discovery. There was a huge amount of potential squandered for quick solutions and minor pay-offs, one could almost imagine that nobody on the Discovery writing stuff expected to get a second season.

- It is a shame that the problem with the Navigator bug got resolved to quickly. A huge missed opportunity imho to explore a bit the conflict of having a great need vs the rights of a live form which might not even be sentient.

- Altough a bit pissed that we just HAD to have the obligatory gay couple, just killing of the Doctor for shock was again imho the wrong choice. The two actors had actually a nice chemistry and in the long term he would have been much more benificial to the Series than what you get for killing him of just for shocks.

- Saru, now he is - besides Lorca - the other stand out character on the show. Sadly we haven't really gotten the chance to get to know him much, but I LOVE how they created him. That is how you do an Alien, not with CGI but the actor playing him is just fantastic, and although the actor playing him seems to be used to such things, I can only imagine how unpleasent it must be filming this. Instead of spending so much time in the mirror universe....a "getting to know" Saru episode would have been far more welcome imho.

- The Mudd episode. I actually liked it because it showed so much potential. Now don't get me wrong, the story was not original and the punishment for Mudd was a joke considering his crimes....but it showed so much potential insofar as it was the first episode where I really liked the crew interactions. This crew could have worked even in Season 2, during peacetime going on adventures. I simply loved Lorcas reaction to the space whale (I don't care....just get it done) because it was just.....feeling like a real person would sometimes react. I say it again, he was the linchpin on which the success of the show rested..........sadly....he is a white, male human and as such sadly has to be glaringly incompetent, misogynist, evil or all three. What a shame. soon as they make the jump to the mirror universe and Lorca is revealed to be a Terran...the show jumped the shark a little. They spent far too many episodes in the Terran Universe for little pay-off, when they jump back we have the UFP on the ropes and we get a rather lazy DEUS EX MACHINA solution to the Klingon war which was imho beyond stupid. It just didn't make any sense at all. I don't want to go into details but imho, the final episode of the season was BY FAR the weakest episode, which is quite unfortunate. Too many abolutely dumb things happened which I cannot point out in a short review.

So what will Season 2 bring. I am not sure. They meet the Enterprise (or at least a version of it) so that is nice. However, I can only hope that the Captain they were picking up on Vulcan is Gabriel Lorca (the real one was never really accoutned for afaik). Now it wouldn't make any sense at all for Starfleet to put a Captain in charge the crew is probably antagonistic too, but for the series it would be good to get a charismatic actor back.

In short...I liked it more than I thought I would, the show showed potential to stand on its own and was perfectly able to work without "'memberberries". Sadly, a lot of that potential was squandered by just...beeing a bit lazy, easy solutions and wasting potentially great characters for cheap shocks. As far as first seasons go, this was not so bad.
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