20th Nov2018

‘Star Trek: Discovery – Season One’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Sonequa Martin-Green, Jason Isaacs, Doug Jones, Shazad Latif, Mary Wiseman, Anthony Rapp, James Frain, Rainn Wilson, Michelle Yeoh | Created by Bryan Fuller, Alex Kurtzman


Set between Enterprise and the original series of Star Trek, Star Trek: Discovery introduces viewers – at first – 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.

After the two-part “pilot” Star Trek: Discovery gets down to business with the real story – as Michael Burnham finds herself on the U.S.S. Discovery, enlisted to help on the ship. With old faces such as Saru (Doug Jones) returning into her life, it is evident that her history as a mutineer is well-known to the crew. Meeting Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs), many questions are raised for Burnham, most importantly what secrets is he hiding?

If Star Trek: Discovery was going to have one problem it is that fans expect a certain continuity in the show. It was built-in the original series and continued to Next Generation and beyond. With a teasing of a darker Star Trek, Discovery is testing the limits of what IS Star Trek; and seemingly, after watching this first season, aiming for something entirely different. Yet 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.

If you haven’t watched Star Trek: Discovery , dismissing it as “this isn’t my Star Trek,” it is fair to say that now the first season of the show is done, that should not be the case. While this may be different, there are many themes that are deeply woven into Star Trek lore that has made it into this show. And by the series end, and that very “Trek” finale, we finally get the missing piece of how this Star Trek ties into that of old – with a cliffhanger that calls back to the very beginnings of Trek, even before William Shanter and co. made the series what it was.

As well as all 15 episodes of the first season Aand a handful of deleted scenes, this DVD release also includes numerous special features strewn across all five discs:

  • DISCOVERING DISCOVERY: THE CONCEPTS AND CASTING OF STAR TREK: DISCOVERY – Interviews with producers, writers and stars of Star Trek: Discovery about casting of the debut season.­­
  • THE STAR TREK THEME – A discussion with Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman and Composer Jeff Russo about creating the Discovery theme and score for the show.
  • CREATURE COMFORTS – A behind-the-scenes look at the makeup and prosthetics department on Star Trek: Discovery, as they both modernize
    well-known Star Trek species like the Klingons, Vulcans and the Andorians, and bring to life a new species, the Kelpiens.
  • DESIGNING DISCOVERY – Insight into the production design department led by Tamara Deverell as they create the planets, the world within those worlds and the starships to travel amongst them.
  • CREATING SPACE – An exploration of how the VFX team, headed by Jason Zimmerman, pushes the envelope to create the reality of space, planets, and starships for Star Trek: Discovery.
  • PROP ME UP – Led by Propmaster Mario Moreira, a voyage through the world of Discovery props, providing an inside look at the design process from inception to set.
  • FEEDING FRENZY – A fascinating look at the on-set food stylist who creates a galaxy of cuisine.
  • A FEMALE TOUCH – With strong female producers and writers off-screen and powerful female characters on-screen, Discovery exemplifies the groundbreaking inclusionary theme first put forth in the original series.
  • DRESS FOR SUCCESS – Costume Designer Gersha Phillips and her team create a spectacular array of clothing, uniforms and armor for every kind of species in the galaxy.
  • STAR TREK DISCOVERY: THE VOYAGE OF SEASON ONE – A look at the adventures and plot twists encountered in the first season by the crew of the Discovery. This, the longest of all the featurettes, has talking heads from the likes of producers Alex Kurtzman, Heather Kadin, Aaron Harberts, Gretchen Berg, and Akiva Goldsman; writers Jordon Nardino, Kirsten Beyer, Bo Yeon Kim, and Erika Lippoldt; and actors Michelle Yeoh, Anthony Rapp, Wilson Cruz, Doug Jones, Jason Isaacs, Sonequa Martin-Green, Mary Wiseman, Mary Cheiffo, Rainn Wilson, Shazad Latif.

Star Trek: Discovery – Season One is out now on DVD and Blu-ray from CBS Home Entertainment. Order it now at Amazon.


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