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 has had a long history of series that had a rough first seasons, TNG, DS9, VOY, and ENT are all great series on their whole, but their first couple dozen episodes were where they found their sealegs, and at times it felt like they weren’t going to be able to. Star Trek: Discovery had many things working against it: bad show runners (Bryan Fuller can’t seem to get along with anyone involved with both DISCO and American Gods), a fandom that is absolutely RABID about “their” television series, the internet (it’s only been around for 3 of the series), other television shows (this is the first ‘from the ground up’ Trek that’s been serialized along with some kind of mystery box plot), the method of broadcast (only on CBS All Access for Americans, Netflix for the rest of the world, unless you’re in Canada, then it’s on cable TV LIKE GOD INTENDED), and ultimately, the worst enemy it had was it’s own success.
The first two episodes had no mention nor appearance of the titular ship, had a captain that wasn’t long for the series, and a lead character that seemed to be designed to be hated and divisive both on screen and IRL. It additionally started a war that was originally sold as a huge deal, but they only dealt with it in about 1/3 of the episodes. There’s a lot of canon problems with Discovery and I look forward to seeing how (if?) they resolve them by the end of the second season. The acting for the most part is top notch, but the actors can do only so much with what they’re given. I’m thinking specifically of the final scene of the first season where Michael Burnham (played by the amazing Sonequa Martin-Green of Walking Dead fame), in which she had an absolute cringfest of a speech that made little to no sense in the larger scope of what was happening in the rest of the universe (and her own criminal behavior), but she was able to sell it enough to make it bearable. I’ve also grown to love Doug Jone’s character, the shade between him and Burnham is delicious.
I’m hoping that much like other Trek series, season one is where they find their feet and season two is where they learn to run.