17th Oct2017

‘Star Trek: Discovery 1×05 – Choose Your Pain’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


Star Trek: Discovery is a show that may be connected to a long legacy, but it also has to pave way for its own future. With Choose Your Pain, we see a harsher side of the Federation and the crew of Discovery that at moments had me thinking “Not my Star Trek”.

When Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) is captured by the Klingons, Saru (Doug Jones) becomes acting captain. With Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) worried about the effects of the spore drive on the Tardigrade, this causes tension between the two.

Last week’s episode showed the pain that the Tardigrade went through every time it was forced to be navigator for the spore drive, and this week we see not only Michael, but Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Tilly (Mary Wiseman) fight to protect it. Saru, wanting to show his power as captain forces them to use it, leading to unforeseen consequences.

This is episode introduces these consequences in an interesting way, especially for Stamets. In risking himself to protect the Tardigrade there seems to have been a change in him. We’ll obviously see more about this in later episodes. With him being one of the better characters in the show, hopefully this isn’t something that will cost him his life.

The tension between Michael and Saru finally bubbles over this week as we see them butting heads. The fact that Michael respects his orders and does as she is told, shows that she has changed since being the “mutineer”. Saru also learns that power leads to consequences, and learns from it. This is a coming together of the two crewmates, but it also shows the worry that Saru has over Michael.

Hopefully this fear won’t make him act the same way in future episodes. Doug Jones’ character is one of the highlights of Star Trek: Discovery, and I for one don’t like him being a total ass, and an unfeeling one at that. In some ways, a Data like character, at least Data had a respect for lifeforms. In trying to show he is worthy of being a captain, Saru’s ability to put the Tardigrade in danger is not a positive trait for him to have.

With Lorca being imprisoned by the Klingons, we finally get our much-publicised appearance by Rainn Wilson as Harry Mudd. Star Trek fans will be impressed that the clothes he wears do fit the old character, and he does have that morally questionable aspect to his character. Wilson plays him well, and his warning that Lorca will see him again hopefully means that he will be making more than one appearance.

There were moments in this week’s Star Trek: Discovery that did make me feel that this wasn’t the “Star Trek” that I wanted. Thankfully by the end of the episode it was back to showing the potential that previous episodes had. Mudd’s view of the Federation is one that the audience can see, and he is planting the seeds of unrest in the Federation and what they stand for. It is obvious that the Klingons were right when they said that “we come in peace” is a life. The Federation just don’t seem to have worked that fact out yet.

**** 4/5

Star Trek: Discovery is available in the UK on Netflix every Monday.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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