26th Sep2017

‘Star Trek: Discovery 1×01 & 1×02’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


If there was one thing that has worried fans about Star Trek: Discovery, it is if we would finally get the new show we felt we deserve. After all the expected debate on the choice of a female captain (ugh, why is that still an issue?) now we get down to the important thing, watching the show.

Set between Enterprise and the original series of Star Trek, we are introduced to the USS Shenzhou  with Captain Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) in command and Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green). The first mission we join them on brings them face-to-face with one of Star trek’s most iconic enemies, the Klingon.

In many ways it is important to make the Klingon the “big bad” for this show, because this is something that fans have been waiting for. The films have had focus on Some of the other famous aliens that Kirk and his crew faced, but what Star Trek: Discovery needed was something that feels new, but also familiar at the same time.

If we get past the fact that the Klingon don’t have smooth heads like in the original series, the important thing is to remind us how war driven the Klingons were. The ones we meet right now are divided, and pose an unknown threat. What we see though is a scenario planned out to pull the Federation into a conflict that will align the ruling houses of the Klingon empire together, and give them something to fight for.

It is interesting that the focus of the Klingons is to “Remain Klingon”, and it makes the show topical because it relates to many countries view on immigration. This is a race that looks to the unity of races that the Federation is trying to achieve, and looks at it with worry. The Klingons see this move towards unity as a losing of who they are, and what makes them unique. What is peace to the Federation is war to them.

On the Federation side, we also need something to create conflict against the Klingons. This is what Michael’s role is. She has a history and an understanding of the Klingons that makes her act with aggression (as this is the best way to communicate with them). The fact that Captain Georgiou is so steadfast on acting in peace, is exactly what leads to the Klingons getting what they want.

What we are seeing is the main war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire starting, with the Klingon’s even having a reason to battle the Federation. At the end of the first two episodes we also see Michael at a low point, which is one that we assume she will battle back from.

What works with Star Trek: Discovery is the fact that the show has the modern feel of the new Star Trek movies, but it fully respects and encompasses itself into the lore of the original Star Trek. It pulls in characters that we know, without using the more predictable ones that could get more publicity.

This is a story about Michael and her journey, and of course the strengthening of the Klingon Empire. We are now being given a story where the Federation is heading into war against a threat that (at this point in time) understands more about war than they do. That is exciting, and more importantly we have the Klingons back. Now the fans just have to accept that this is “their” Star Trek that they wanted.

I for one, at least for now, do accept Star Trek: Discovery feels like the Star Trek I want. There are elements that I’m sure some fans won’t get on board with, but that will hopefully change. For now, we have a Star Trek show that has the potential to be good. It just needs the chance to be able to actually do it.

The first two episodes ofStar Trek: Discovery are available on Netflix in the UK now.

Review originally poster on PissedOffGeek

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