Monday 2 October 2017

Is Star Trek: Discovery worthy of Gene Roddenberry?

Episode 3 of Star Trek: Discovery is now available to stream on CBS All Access and Netflix outside the US. So, I thought it might be fun to have a second opinion on the two-part premiere and have enlisted the help of Rob Wainfur, founder of The Bearded Trio and a contributor to this blog.

Rob has avidly followed the franchise since the heyday of Star Trek: The Next Generation. How does the new series stack up against such a storied legacy created by Gene Roddenberry?

Guest post by Rob Wainfur

Here are my spoiler-free thoughts on Star Trek: Discovery. I am a huge Star Trek fan and think Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the finest TV ever made. How does Star Trek: Discovery do and is it worthy of the Star Trek name?

The first thing I must say about Star Trek: Discovery is it looks incredible, probably one of the best looking TV series I've ever seen. I really mean this! The battle sequences are up there with anything I've seen on the small screen or the big screen for that matter. It looks like Star Trek with a hint of Mass Effect at times. Very pleasing on the eye. The technology used sometimes looks a little advanced for the timeline, but I can forgive this for artistic licence.

The sound effects are pleasing, especially for a Trek fan like me. From time to time you hear a familiar chime or alert sound that you know all too well from previous incarnations of Trek.

For a pilot episode it has a lot of potential. Not the strongest Trek pilot in regards of story, but certainly better than Encounter at Farpoint and The Caretaker. It didn't feel obliged to introduce everyone and everything, which a lot of pilots are guilty of. Saying that, I was a little bit surprised they didn't introduce more main characters from the Federation side only stopping to introduce you to the captain, the first officer and the science officer.

The story isn't the strongest point of the pilot, but that may just be me. I was never a fan of Klingon episodes, leaning too much to combat with their honour and beliefs playing a strong part. The decision to have the Klingons speak in their native tongue with subtitles got a little tiresome and I was wishing I had an universal translator at one point. The story I felt was a cross between Star Trek: Nemesis and JJ Abrams' Trek reboot. The episode did dip, but it's a pilot episode so I guess that was inevitable.

I had low expectations for Discovery and I was all ready to describe it based on my predetermined expectations. I thought it was going to be a wine spritzer. A fine wine that has been cared for and made with love and then watered down to appeal to the masses. I was wrong. It is Trek. It deserves the name.

It could have been better, yes. The acting I hope improves, but even my favourite Trek, Deep Space Nine, suffered with that problem at first. A promising start with future potential. I hope we get more Trek stories and a little less battle and fighting in future episodes. I hope Trek on TV is here to stay and lives long and prospers.

Rating - 7/10

We'll revisit the series after the midseason finale and update with our opinions. Will the war with the Klingons dominate or exploration prevail?

This review originally appeared on The Bearded Trio.

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