So, the latest version of Star Trek arrived this week on Netflix and for me, it was what the Star Trek television franchise really needed. The road Discovery has had to take to get to our Screens/Netflix accounts has been a hard one. The Reaction of many fans was negative before an episode had been seen. I will not go into that here but, there is a lot of online politics to do with this series, that had the Fans divided especially with the recent film Star Trek Beyond’s performance which had fans worried for the Franchise.
With all this pressure, how did it do, was there enough Trek and did it need a few more Stars? Let’s find out.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that the first two episodes are great. This is what Star Trek should have always been, a tightly written show filled with drama, wonder, suspense and a look to the future that makes Star Trek such unique Sci-Fi series.
ST:D(yep STD) Episodes 1-2 are epic, from the way they were filmed to the tight script. Although I enjoyed Star Trek: The Next Generation, it did not blow me away like this did. It seems to take a lot more from the movie, in terms of cinematic style but also adds a story that leaves you sitting at the edge of your seat. The use of a new ship and unknown characters made it clear that they wanted the room to be more creative. However, they do bring in the underused character of Spocks father Zarek to great effect.
Visuals aside, the cast in this show was presented as a risk but for me, it was an act of genius, Sonequa Martin-Green played Michael Burnham, who you might recognise from Walking Dead, made the perfect choice of coming to this show. She has so much presence especially with Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) who plays Captain Georgiou.
They have the best scenes and best dialogue in what is really a prologue to the main story which will start in episode 3. The discovery has yet to make an appearance and most of the story take play upon the USS Shenzhou.
The look of this show is much darker and intense than any previous television version of Star Trek. The relationship between Michael Burnham and Sarek played by James Frain is one of the major things that riled the online fans but intrigued and excited me. This series looks like it can only get better and I have no worry about putting it in the same league as Game of Thrones production quality. I look at this and encourage them to take liberties with this show and its characters, they most certainly would not be able to on another Enterprise.
This series also brings in the Klingons to significant effect, I am one of those people that were never a huge fan of the Klingons who seemed to just be angry drunkards. They never really stepped out of a sort of pantomime villain role except for Worf, I loved me some Worf and maybe a few episodes which included the Klingons in Next Generation and DS9. In this they are Warriors and I like the way they played off the Federation. They literally challenge the beliefs of the Federation and stretch them to the breaking point which plays a key part of the story and echoes throughout. This is in no small part due to Chris Obi as T’Kuvma, who brings an ancient Klingon House to the forefront of this story and sets the empire on a path that will guarantee conflict with the Federation.
The rest of the cast do not receive as much of an opportunity to shine, Lt. Saru played by Doug Jones will probably stick with you as his alien appearance and manner challenge Michael Burnham throughout the show. Also, the show does not pull back from today’s issues around race, politics and religion. It brings these front and centre in a way Star Trek has achieved in so many recent presentations but with a nuance that surprised me.
Some fans might pull away from this and run due to perceived pandering or having to use a streaming service but I tell you this, if you are a Trekkie or a Sci-Fi fan you will be missing out if you pass this by.
This is the Star Trek we need!
Star Trek, one of the most iconic and influential global television franchises, returns 50 years after it first premiered, with Star Trek: Discovery. The series will feature a new ship, new characters and new missions, while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers. Star Trek: Discovery premieres September 24 on CBS All Access. and in the UK on Netflix