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Star Trek: Discovery: Season One based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
We do not have a subscription to CBS All-Access, but we did buy the DVD for the first season of the new Star Trek show. It is set a few years before the original series during the time when Christopher Pike was captain of the Enterprise and in the “prime” timeline, not the Kelvin timeline of the three most recent movies. There are 15 episodes, although the plotting is so tight that you could say that it is all one episode in 15 parts and it encompasses the first Federation/Klingon war. The Klingons, by the way, look different from previous incarnations and their make-up was inspired by H.R. Giger. One of the sub-plots is that several of the Klingon great houses are at war over control of their empire, which shows the influence of Game of Thrones. The main character, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green, a woman), is NOT the captain, but she is a human who was raised by Sarek (James Frain) and Amanda (Mia Kirshner) after her parents were killed in a Klingon raid. This makes her Spock’s adoptive sister. Of course, since Spock waited until the 5th movie before mentioning to his best friends that he had a half-brother, I guess it is not surprising that he never mentioned her in the original series. Martin-Green is quite good in the role. In the first episode, she is first officer of the starship Shenzhou. The best episodes take place in the parallel universe first explored in the original series episode “Mirror, Mirror” and feature a character the viewer meets in the first episode, Philippa Georgiou (Michele Yeoh). She is captain of the Shenzhou in that episode, but holds a higher rank in the Terran Empire. Tilly (Mary Wiseman), a cadet, and Saru (Doug Jones), Kelpian science officer on the Shenzhou and first officer of the Discovery, have very different ranks in that universe as well. The best guest star was Rainn Wilson as Harry Mudd when he was still in love with Stella (Katherine Barrell). He provided some humor which the series as a whole lacks, except for Tilly. The drawback of such tight plotting is that there is little room for humorous scenes that regularly showed up in all the previous series. Although it was not played for laughs, I was amused by the cameo by Clint Howard (Balok in “The Corbomite Maneuver”). I did not like the first episode, because Burnham makes bad decisions and the Vulcans portrayed seemed closer to the amoral Mentats in Dune than to the Vulcans of the original series, but I gradually grew to like the show as it progressed. Like many series these days it is over-plotted in the sense that there is an almost obligatory plot twist in every episode. The regular characters have a lot of potential for growth, although the show is so plot driven that I don’t know whether they will fulfill that potential.
Excellent. A worthy addition to the Star Trek series, with fantastic acting by Ms. Yeoh and Mr. Issacs. (Though the rest of the cast were fine as well.)