Werthead

Star Trek: Discovery

494 posts in this topic

Thanks to football and my DVR, I didn't see the end.  But I'm not certain that that was bad.

10 years before TOS? Ha. No one ever gets to complain that Enterprise looked to advanced ever again. 

Klingons? No. That was a cross between Remans, Romulans, Klingons, and the reptilian Xindi. Just not good.  Why did they have to be Klingons?

The music was decent. 

This better be a third timeline or their in the future and the main character end up in the past...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m not one of those that thinks we should be shackled to the design elements of the 1960’s just because, but I do tend to think a few more nods to continuity wouldn’t have been bad.

I also see no reason to change the Klingons looks just to change their looks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm far from a Trekker purist, so I'm not stewing over visuals.

That said, the story was really sloppy and I was quite confused until the narrative streamlined in the last 15 minutes. I also thought the writing was pretty lackluster, and downright offensive for the first five minutes.

Then color me unimpressed that the main character has relevant childhood trauma and was raised by Vulkans, I'm guessing they noticed people liked the half-Vulkan Zachary Quintos and went for some cheap character beats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I for one, and I guess I'm in the minority, enjoyed the episode. Sure, it's not perfect, of course it's not. I didn't expect it to be. More than any other Trek,  I'm a Next Generation fan, still watch it today.  I grew up watching it with my friends, at the time it was the best thing since sliced bread, including the first 2 seasons. Which we know weren't exactly amazing. This is the first ep of a brand new series in 15 years with a SHIT TON on it's back, and to some it failed. Already. The First episode. I'm without a doubt not the biggest Trek fan, I never watched ToS and just finished DS9 on Netflix, which didn't get real good until Sisco grew the beard. And that was WELL after the very first episode. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first season (and the first few episodes...) of TNG were fairly awful, though perhaps mitigated by the 1987 aspect. 

Anyway, I did enjoy this so far, but it definitely hasn't found its legs yet. 

  • Pros:
    • Production design is very cool.
    • Cast/characters have potential, though not fully realized. (Even Garak wasn't around for DS9's pilot.)
    • Opening credits happily lack Diane Warren lyrics. 
    • Klingons still act like Klingons.
    • Michelle Yeoh would have made a great main/recurring character.
    • Bridge crew, particularly Saru, work for me.
    • The main ideas of the plot work. 
  • Cons:
    • Pacing is all over the place. We needed a lot more "show, don't tell" and it would have been more meaningful to spend more time getting to know this ship and crew. Even if this is technically a prequel, it's still "all new". 
    • Way too many flashbacks. While they were used extensively in Emissary way back when, they were a whole lot less expository and focused. I did note that they were almost exclusively Burnham's story, which kept it a bit more consistent, but introducing T'Kovawhatever's didn't work. 
    • The Klingons' new look is jarring, but seemed way more problematic because they were constantly speaking in Klingon. The few times they spoke in English worked a lot better. I'd happily return to the "universal translator" approach if simply to help the actors. I do hope they soften their appearance somewhat for the same reason. 
    • I did feel echoes of the Abrahmsverse in some of the pacing and writing choices. It needs to be closer to the BSG end of this spectrum, if not all the way there. 
    • Lighting was off, especially in the final (second episode) scene. "Dark" storytelling should not be literally dark. 
    • Sound design was far too cluttered and there was far too much music. Silence (and detailed but unobstrusive foley design) works a lot better for dialogue. Otherwise everything feels too amped up. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not giving up on this series, one way or another I'll find a way to watch more of it, only it will be a while until I do. I'm just a hard sell on Trek nowadays. I was a hardcore trekker back in the day. From TOS in syndication in the afternoons to the movies and then getting deep into it when TNG came along.

I held out hope with Voyager giving it chance after chance and then did the same with Enterprise. I'll still give it chances but now I feel I need to keep myself detached, not investing myself in Trek again until it really wows me.

Back to this episode. I was just beginning to think I could live with the design of these Klingons but then the ships showed up. Ten years until "Errand of Mercy" and none of those ships looked like Klingon design. I could have lived with the sarcophagus ship too if some of those ships that warped in looked like a TOS Klingon battle cruiser. 

The Star Trek insignia in the sand I thought was so stupid I outwardly groaned when I saw it.

When the captain had that communication with the hologram admiral, when he showed up and only saw the back of him for a brief moment I thought it was a gray haired Scott Bakula as Admiral Archer. We know in the Kelvin line he's still alive and still in Starfleet as an admiral. Say what you will about Enterprise, it would have been a nice nod to tradition to have a character from the previous series directly before it show up in a cameo in the pilot for the new series. McCoy in TNG, Picard in DS9, Quark in Voyager. You can say Enterprise broke with tradition too, but it was kind of difficult since it was a prequel series, but they kind of managed it in spirit with James Cromwell in a cameo as Zephram Cochrane a very important character in Trek history, he was in First Contact and also an episode of TOS (played by a different actor). 

Would have gotten nice brownie points from me if they had done that, and even more if he was holding a beagle.

And yeah, we had Sarek but since it was neither Mark Leonard (who passed away some years ago) or the actor who plays him in the Kelvin time line movies, it didn't feel like it counted.

 

Ok looking up the Discovery cast I saw something that could possibly totally redeem the series or be a complete disaster. 

Spoiler

Rainn Wilson as Harry Mudd, and not just one episode but a recurring character in nine.

My interest has now be knocked up a notch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^ Agree on all counts Drawcabi.  I was lamenting this, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.  There is some potential here, more than enough to keep me around for the future episodes.  Remember how terrible DS9 was after the pilot for the next 2 years?  I feel there is enough here to make great strides in the first season. 

I'm not disappointed, not one bit, and I was certain that's what I'd be feeling this time tonight.  Instead, I have hope.

I think at least 1/2 of the critical opinions here will be somewhat mitigated once everyone has seen the second epidsode.  I watched them both, and I could see how the first ep alone would create some of the more negative reactions on its own.

Edited by SerHaHa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK so forgive me if this has been answered, but is this 10 years before Kirk is born or 10 years before the first show? Er, Movie, er, first JJ movie, er, you know what I mean.

Also I believe the timeline doesn't split til after Enterprise so Enterprise remains canon no matter what. :/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got what I wanted:  Michelle Yeoh with a bat'leth! :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, SerHaHa said:

^^ Agree on all counts Drawcabi.  I was lamenting this, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.  There is some potential here, more than enough to keep me around for the future episodes.  Remember how terrible DS9 was after the pilot for the next 2 years?  I feel there is enough here to make great strides in the first season. 

I'm not disappointed, not one bit, and I was certain that's what I'd be feeling this time tonight.  Instead, I have hope.

I think at least 1/2 of the critical opinions here will be somewhat mitigated once everyone has seen the second epidsode.  I watched them both, and I could see how the first ep alone would create some of the more negative reactions on its own.

I think the bulk of the worst episodes of DS9 can be found in the first couple of seasons, but what makes it different than TNG, some of the best episodes can be found there too. Arguably I think "In the Pale Moon Light" from S6 is the best episode, but "Duet" from S1 is the second best. In season two we had "The Wire" and "Necessary Evil" both representative of the series at its best.

 

3 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

OK so forgive me if this has been answered, but is this 10 years before Kirk is born or 10 years before the first show? Er, Movie, er, first JJ movie, er, you know what I mean.

Also I believe the timeline doesn't split til after Enterprise so Enterprise remains canon no matter what. :/

10 years before Kirk's first show. If I have my timeline straight and this is the prime timeline, then right now Pike should be captain of the Enterprise, Majel Barrett his Number One, and Spock his science officer. In fact Discovery should be two or three years after the events in the TOS pilot, "The Cage" where the Enterprise with Pike and Spock and crew went to Talos IV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Aemon Stark said:

The first season (and the first few episodes...) of TNG were fairly awful, though perhaps mitigated by the 1987 aspect. 

Anyway, I did enjoy this so far, but it definitely hasn't found its legs yet. 

  •  
  • Cons:
    • Pacing is all over the place. We needed a lot more "show, don't tell" and it would have been more meaningful to spend more time getting to know this ship and crew. Even if this is technically a prequel, it's still "all new". 
    • Way too many flashbacks. While they were used extensively in Emissary way back when, they were a whole lot less expository and focused. I did note that they were almost exclusively Burnham's story, which kept it a bit more consistent, but introducing T'Kovawhatever's didn't work. 
    • The Klingons' new look is jarring, but seemed way more problematic because they were constantly speaking in Klingon. The few times they spoke in English worked a lot better. I'd happily return to the "universal translator" approach if simply to help the actors. I do hope they soften their appearance somewhat for the same reason. 
    • I did feel echoes of the Abrahmsverse in some of the pacing and writing choices. It needs to be closer to the BSG end of this spectrum, if not all the way there. 
    • Lighting was off, especially in the final (second episode) scene. "Dark" storytelling should not be literally dark. 
    • Sound design was far too cluttered and there was far too much music. Silence (and detailed but unobstrusive foley design) works a lot better for dialogue. Otherwise everything feels too amped up. 

 

I was underwhelmed.

Agree about the pacing , in fact seemed ragged.

 I thought the eventual command deck melodrama got seeming like Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea! (That show had a hand picked crew of the best submariners who would mutiny at the drop of a pin!)  I found that an executive office who moved in such a ball pen way with no finesses to be unbelievable. 

I agree the visuals were cluttered , to my eye, some of the CGI was a bit "low bidder". 

The original ST and it's successors , what ever faults they may have had, had more class than this , I have heard that beyond episode 3 things improve , not sure I am sticking with it that long.

 

Edited by boojam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, drawkcabi said:

10 years before Kirk's first show. If I have my timeline straight and this is the prime timeline, then right now Pike should be captain of the Enterprise, Majel Barrett his Number One, and Spock his science officer. In fact Discovery should be two or three years after the events in the TOS pilot, "The Cage" where the Enterprise with Pike and Spock and crew went to Talos IV.

Let's see. According to Memory Alpha the Enterprise was launched 2245. It had its first five-year mission under Captain April till about 2250, then under Captain Pike till 2265 when Kirk took over. The Cage takes place in 2254, so yes you are about right, since Discovery is supposed to take place at 2256, then it is just two years after The Cage and Spock should already be on the Enterprise, laughing his ass off at silly flowers. Interestingly enough, Kirk joined Starfleet Acedemy 2252 and remained for five years there, so he could have a cameo as a dashing cadet.

Come to think of it, have they made any attempt to justify the different uniform style? We know how uniforms of this era looked like from The Cage and flashbacks in "Shore Leave", what with only somewhat thicker TOS uniforms. Why didn't they just try to modernize those instead of introducing these blue things?

Edited by Toth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoyed it. It didn't feel groundbreaking, but it was fun - I was never bored, except during the extended scenes of klingon speechifying. 

I don't have a Trek background at all, and don't have a fixed idea of what it should be, which may explain why I liked it. 

It would have been lovely to have a sci-fi show that's dialogue and idea driven, but there may be room for it to go in that direction later - the first two couple of episodes were always going to be space battle and explosion heavy in order to attract the interest of the widest possible audience. Liked Saru a lot, both in personality and design. And Michelle Yeoh was great -

Spoiler

 

pity she's not going to be around for the rest of the show. 


 

Burnham reminds me strongly of some of my Bioware protagonists. Weird feeling. My mouse finger keeps twitching as I try and select her dialogue options. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was it 1 or 2 episodes that they released? IMDB says 2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Calibandar said:

Was it 1 or 2 episodes that they released? IMDB says 2.

One over the air.

The second episode was only released on All-Access.  So I'm out until I can watch it in some other format.  Blu-Ray release or some such.  I have no desire to purchase multiple streaming services.

Pity, because I really enjoyed the one episode.

Edited by Rhom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Rhom said:

One over the air.

The second episode was only released on All-Access.  So I'm out until I can watch it in some other format.  Blu-Ray release or some such.  I have no desire to purchase multiple streaming services.

Pity, because I really enjoyed the one episode.

Likewise. Buried in my critiques was the fact that I was definitely interested, and for all of the Abramsization apparent it did have vestiges of OG Trek that were appealing. 

The uniforms were pretty snazzy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Pony Queen Jace said:

Likewise. Buried in my critiques was the fact that I was definitely interested, and for all of the Abramsization apparent it did have vestiges of OG Trek that were appealing. 

The uniforms were pretty snazzy.

I liked the uniforms too.

Just like I don’t think we need knobs and switches all over the consoles, I also don’t believe we need to see Number One walking around in a miniskirt to be consistent.

In fact, my only gripe with the uniform is a small one.  I understand why the Enterprise emblem has been adopted as the uniform for all of Starfleet now; but I would be fine if they had different emblems for the different ships like in TOS.

What was the Crew member with a giant toaster on his head?  Is that an attempt at an early AI?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn’t see Ep2.  So I didn’t see the designs on the ships that warped in.

Do any of the Federation ships look to have a nacelle design similar to the Constitution class?  Since we have decided that the 1701 is already out there somewhere in service, I would hope we see the raised nacelles at some point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Rhom said:

I liked the uniforms too.

Just like I don’t think we need knobs and switches all over the consoles, I also don’t believe we need to see Number One walking around in a miniskirt to be consistent.

In fact, my only gripe with the uniform is a small one.  I understand why the Enterprise emblem has been adopted as the uniform for all of Starfleet now; but I would be fine if they had different emblems for the different ships like in TOS.

What was the Crew member with a giant toaster on his head?  Is that an attempt at an early AI?

I thought it was an attempt at an early android, so I suppose AI.

And what about the comm officer's head gear? Reminded me of the security guy from Cloud City. Of course, these are all questions that a good Trek series will answer in the episodes to come, but I may not find that out until much later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess this time we're the lucky guys outside the US (we get it on Netflix).

The amount of money spent on this is... surprising. It looks so good. Is it just for the first two episodes, or do they intend to keep it that way?
I can't wait for next week!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.