Star Trek: Discovery


2.5 stars

Air date: 10/22/2017
Written by Joe Menosky & Ted Sullivan
Directed by Douglas Aarniokoski

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Gabriel Lorca is like the Schrödinger's Captain of Star Trek. Either he's a well-intended military man who bends the rules for the greater good and has gone a little crazy because of traumatic events — or he's an amoral self-server willing to sell you out and do who-knows-what-else to save his own ass. You can read the clues of "Lethe" both ways and come to either conclusion. The series seems agnostic on the character so far because it wants to shroud his motivations in mystery and play the long game.

Again, this can be frustrating. I don't have to root for the guy to necessarily get something out of watching him. But I feel like I should at least know I have enough information to make some sort of moral judgment about his actions. But the series is vague and doesn't seem to believe there's merit in having the truth be in the details; instead, the mysteries are in the fog.

Consider what we learn this week. When Admiral Cornwell (Jayne Brook) comes aboard the ship, she tells Lorca that Starfleet has serious reservations about his mental state given the circumstances around the destruction of his previous ship, the USS Buran. We still don't know why he didn't go down with that ship, which would've been expected, but let's assume for the moment his intentions were noble. Lorca writes off as inconsequential his PTSD from this event, as well as that from his torture at the hands of the Klingons in "Choose Your Pain." Yet he sleeps with a phaser under his pillow and goes berserk when awoken in the middle of the night. We see this because he's sleeping with the admiral; they go way back to a long-ago we-were-so-much-younger-back-then time when, she says, he wasn't nearly this tense, edgy, and off-kilter.

The midnight freak-out is seen as the final straw for Cornwell, who announces to Lorca her plans to go back to Starfleet with a report that he has gone off the deep end and has no business commanding a starship. Lorca begs her not to do this, and we see, for once, a crack in his armor. But neither she, nor we, can know for certain if it's genuine vulnerability (though I lean toward believing it is) or the act of a desperate man trying to hang on to what he wants. When Lorca subsequently suggests she take over Sarek's failed mission to play envoy to a Klingon peace feeler — and she's then captured because it was a trap used to capture a high-ranking Federation representative — we can't be sure if that's what Lorca was hoping would happen and he's an opportunist trying to prevent Cornwell's report to Starfleet — or if his intentions were more benign. He also doesn't take on one of his typical rogue missions to go rescue her, which even Saru halfway expects. So is Lorca leaving her at the mercy of the Klingons because it's in his own personal interest to do so, or because he honestly doesn't want to put the ship in danger in light of their earlier conversation? You can make a case for both readings, and I don't know that the story itself picks one (though I'm leaning toward the former).

This is a fairly radical way to approach characters, especially the captain, on Star Trek. I readily admit I find Lorca interesting and watchable (and well-played by Jason Isaacs) and want to know where this is going. But this is also risky because we are essentially deferring "true" characterization to the larger arc, whatever that might end up being. In the meantime, we're being dragged around by a plot that's not exactly humming along smoothly because of all the bizarre gaps. (There is, for example, no follow-up expressing Lorca's thoughts on the whole matter of the tardigrade's release. It's like the whole incident is ancient history that no longer matters.)

The other storyline here involves Sarek's failed mission to conduct the diplomatic meeting with the Klingons. En route in a Vulcan ship, the other Vulcan who accompanies him turns out to be a member of a radical Vulcan "logic extremist" faction who blows himself up to stop Sarek from engaging the Klingons. (To what end, I'm not sure. And how was Sarek's mission so easily compromised by a fringe movement?) Sarek survives but is critically injured, and Burnham is able to sense Sarek's injury through her connection to his katra (first established in "Battle at the Binary Stars"), which they share because he once saved her via a mind-meld when she herself was critically injured in an extremist attack. (Vulcan extremist attacks; that's a new one.)

Burnham believes she must communicate with him through their shared connection in order to save him, using some Stamets-rigged technology as sort of a mind-meld booster/connector that allows her to link directly into his mind from afar. The two of them even engage in Matrix-like VR fights which represent his struggle to keep her out because he's protecting a personal secret about her that brings him shame. The Matrix notions are forced and silly, as if someone thought it would be cool to have a Sarek/Burnham Brain Fight (sans Tuck Buckford) to add a little action to the dialogue-heavy mix. But fortunately the story is able to milk this for some reasonable characterization by the end. I kept wondering when this series would finally invoke the Son of Sarek Whom Shall Not Be Named, because it quickly reached a point here where not discussing Spock was looking like a case of stubbornly willful avoidance.

Fortunately, the whole thing turns out to be about Spock. The academic induction of humans (or half-humans) was deemed by the Vulcan elitists to be Sarek's "experiment" to essentially infuse non-Vulcan DNA into Vulcan society, something they didn't think much of. As a compromise they granted him the choice of one, but not both, to enter the Vulcan science academy. (This whole premise seems at odds with the Vulcan "IDIC" philosophy — but so always has the idea of Spock as a somewhat-outcast for being half human.) So Sarek chose blood over Michael. This further explains why Sarek was particularly irate when Spock later chose Starfleet over the science academy. As something that provides a troubled piece to Michael's backstory in a way that shows similarities with Spock and also ties into that iconic character's established history, this is actually pretty good.

What's lacking here is cohesion and drive. "Lethe" is okay, but it doesn't reach takeoff velocity. Everyone in this show seems to be off in their own universe tackling their own piece of the story, and occasionally their paths cross in order to give us the sense this is a single starship and crew. It's the Game of Thrones approach to plotting. But that approach doesn't make as much sense on a show where the characters are supposedly on the same team and occupying the same space. And while that team seems to be gradually built here, the pockets of isolation still feel off.

To change gears, let's talk for a moment about CBS All Access, the streaming platform that (for U.S. viewers) sits at the center of CBS's entire strategy for this series and presumably beyond. The stream Sunday night was so awful that it was honestly hard to concentrate on the episode for anything other than the utter failure of its broadcast presentation. CBS should be embarrassed, and I am embarrassed for paying them money. And from what I've heard, I didn't even have the worst experience out there. (I had constant stuttering video and dropped frames lasting for about two seconds at a time, and a low-quality bitrate that was rarely in HD, but I was able to watch the show without major delays or audio issues. Apparently some couldn't watch the show at all without the stream completely stopping.)

I wouldn't blame anyone who experienced these issues for canceling their subscription immediately, because it's just not acceptable for a streaming service in 2017. (For the technical record, I stream using the CBS app on a Samsung Galaxy S5 that's connected to a Google Chromecast that's connected to my HDTV. As a test immediately after this episode, I used the same setup using the Netflix app and I had absolutely no issues and perfect HD.)

As a service that supposedly hopes to play with the streaming big boys, CBSAA (the Android version, at least) has failed in these opening weeks to showcase itself along with the launch of its flagship series. While my previous experiences have not been nearly as bad as Sunday's, none have been of Netflix caliber, and most, even the ones that actually streamed mostly in HD, had at least some video stuttering issues. I hate to even spend time on this in my review, but given the way this series is being released is a central part of it, it seems only fair to comment on it so those who might buy the service (who haven't already) know what they are potentially getting.

Some other short takes:

  • My rating for this week's CBSAA stream: 1 star (Not zero, because I was able to watch the show without serious delay or interruption, but the quality was consistently poor.) I may be reporting on this regularly for a while.
  • More plot gaps: The Discovery jumps at least once in this episode, and it's not made clear that Stamets is hooking himself up to the spore drive to do so (although presumably he is, or there's otherwise no explanation), or what anyone thinks of that as a regular practice. In the one scene he has, Stamets seems extra high/goofy, but there's no follow-up yet of the long-term consequences he might face. I expect there will be.
  • I'm questioning my certainty that L'Rell was on the Klingon ship we saw last week. I'd talked myself into believing it was her, because the actress' name appeared in the end credits and the always reliable Memory Alpha seemed to confirm it, but it makes less and less plot sense the more I think about it — unless the grand conspiracies about Voq and Tyler (which I have my doubts about) turn out to be true. On the other hand, surely they wouldn't burn her face and also leave her alive if she were some random character. (The Klingon prosthetics make recognizing non-albino individuals difficult; maybe burning her face will actually help in that regard.) Do we have consensus that was L'Rell?
  • The Discovery has a holodeck that Lorca and Tyler use for some Klingon video-game kills. Count me on the list of people who don't care one iota if holodecks have been possibly retconned into this century. I see no reason they couldn't have existed in an earlier form here even if we didn't actually see one until TNG.
  • Lorca is ready to name Tyler his security chief, based on some conversations they share during their holodeck blast session. Cornwell is not so sure about this. Lorca says Tyler's story "checks out." Hmmm.
  • Lorca offers Burnham a permanent position on the bridge as a science specialist. I like that they are building the team here (and the Burnham/Tilly scenes also do a reasonable job of keeping the background relationships alive), but the lack of connective tissue still makes it feel like there are pieces missing to this relationship in between Lorca's "Context Is for Kings" speech and now. I go back to Lorca's non-reaction to Burnham's decision to set the tardigrade free. Did he come to realize it was a good idea? Or accept it while believing it to be a bad one? Either way, the writers are not looking back.
  • Burnham and Tyler connect in a low-key scene at the end in what is clearly setting us up for some 'shipping. But the scene works. Like I said, it's good to build some camaraderie.
  • Nice to see Trek veteran Joe Menosky return to the franchise with a writing credit.

Previous episode: Choose Your Pain
Next episode: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

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◄ Season Index

334 comments on this post

Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
Probably my least favorite DSC episode — thought it was a mess with a lot of jumping around with the Vulcan mind melds (both real and synthetic) and the Lorca/Admiral Cornwell B-plot. Not sure why the episode is titled “Lethe” who was a secondary character in “Dagger of the Mind” as far as Trek goes.

So Star Fleet continues to be a questionable organization with Cornwell sleeping with Lorca in her attempt to check up on him. (Last episode they wanted to round up all the tardigrades and install spore drives in many ships.) Makes sense that Cornwell wants to relieve Lorca of command but I got the sense that her going in place of Sarek to negotiate with the Klingons would result in her capture/death and Lorca would stay in command of Discovery. But clearly Lorca, who hits on Cornwell, is playing with a screw loose. Interesting that he decides not to boldly go after her once finding out she’s captured — decides to play by the rules knowing she’s going to use the dirt against him (lying on psychological tests) to relieve him of command. Funny how Burnham says she’s grateful to serve under a captain like Lorca…the 2 have some things in common.

What I liked was getting the tie-in with Spock and how Sarek wanted him to go to the Vulcan Academy (but he of course went to Star Fleet) and thus Sarek has Burnham believing she wasn’t good enough to be admitted to the Vulcan Academy. So now Burnham knows about that and is more at ease with her inner conflict of being human but being brought up Vulcan. So maybe Burnham lightens up a bit going forward. This series can’t not touch on Spock.

The whole katra thing is a bit of a stretch — for Sarek to reach out to Burnham from light years away with fairly specific thoughts. I think back to Spock sensing the Vulcan ship being destroyed by the giant amoeba in “The Immunity Syndrome” but that was just him sensing a cry of despair. Maybe 1 too many flashbacks of Burnham getting denied at the Vulcan academy and then sparring with Sarek for me. Sarek was blocking Burnham from finding out about his decision but it was tedious seeing this over and over again.

1.5 stars for “Lethe” — not an interesting story; we see Adm. Cornwell in an unfavorable light for me (getting in bed with Lorca). It should be automatic that Lorca be relieved of command after admitting he lied on these psych tests — and even being able to fake the answers so perfectly. Overall I don’t have a good impression Star Fleet and this Star Trek — just a poor moral compass, lack of noble actions even coming right from the top. It has to come down to a good story and this episode wasn't it.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
Instead of flashbacks, they used an in-universe explanation to show Michael’s past. Vulcan looks spectacular and Ash is really growing on me. A Seattlite, cool! I doubt he’s an undercover Klingon like some were guessing, it would seem way too implausible at this point.

Anyway, this is the best character episode yet. 3.5 stars.

In before someone complains about sex in Star Trek.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 9:06pm (UTC -5)
Lorca is a slime ball! Geez!

This guy is the most unStarfleet Captain in the history of Starfleet Captains. Selling out your commanding officer/bang friend to the Klingons to keep your ship...detestable behavior. He hasn't a shred of honor.

This is very different for Trek. Very very different. This does not seem like it will end well. People are moving around in position on this ship, joining the crew and getting offered positions, and forging relationships as a result. Those relationships don't just *not* have TNG Plot Armour(tm) coating all round them, they stand a likely chance of totally falling apart at any moment.

This show is full of possibilities for tense scenes between people who think they trust each other and find out otherwise. I can see the conflicts forming already.

In every Trek outing on TV in the past, you kind of knew the 6-7-x number of regulars were going to continue to be in the show, more or less. This show seems like it's about to go very very wrong in that regard.

These people aren't likely to get along if the stuff hits the fan.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 9:09pm (UTC -5)
2 stars

I’m officially out. The show isn’t improving. It is still a mess. Cornwall and Lorca have zero chemistry. And could care less about their scenes. And if you have no censorship why does she have a tank top on and him pajama pants. Totally unrealistically call of having sex to be partially clothed

The whole Sarek thing felt like filler although one nugget—which isn’t a whole lot—is now we can understand why Sarek was irritated with Spock for joining Starfleet. Now discovery has holodecks when a century later Riker is amazed by them in TNG pilot. Yridian nebula?!? I’m no yridians were introduced on TNG and Voyager confirned Ransom was the one to confirm their existence.

Don’t care about Tilly or her being captain. The venture into nebula was lacking in energy. I thought Lorca may have sabotaged Cornwall shuttle so she never could make her recommendation to Starfleet instead he will leave her on the hands of the Klingons. Could have done without Stamets hippy phrases. And the show can’t gelp but steal from other treks— fortune favors the bold. Ugh

The only saving grace for this series is if they really do an anthology every season and they get rid of this era, this cast, these characters and have a high staff turnover
Worf's Purple Space Bazooka
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 9:30pm (UTC -5)
Probably the strongest and most authentically Trek episode thus far. But was anyone remotely surprised when the admiral's delegation was ambushed? Because I sure as hell wasn't. Not exactly suspenseful storytelling.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
This show is really finding itself. Loved nearly every minute. I like the more episodic feel of the last two eps. Larger stories are moving, but the in-episode machinations and character moments are getting strong.

Some thoughts:

- Lorca is so damn fascinating. It seemed Kat (the Admiral) was going to drop some Buran exposition, but all we got was Gabe beating the psych evals. I still there is more to the "I killed my crew" story. I want more details (like how he escaped).

- More Lorca: he didn't save Sarek for Sarek but sort of FOR Michael. He plays it as loyalty to an individual he sees as useful, but there were moments he seemed genuinely concerned for her (see his words to Ash before the shuttle leaves). Like Kat sort of said, we can't tell if it is REALLY him. Is he a magnificent bastard or the ultimate user? Is he this way because of PTSD/Buran or was he always like this? How does a phaser in bed help you get over the fact you sacrificed your former crew? Again, I want more backstory.

- Tilly was by far the least annoying and forced she's ever been. She is endearing and her burgeoning friendship with Michael seems good for both of them. "Green juice. Extra Green." HAHA

- Burnham was the most relatable she's been so far. Lots of moments of humanity, as opposed to woodenness (which I guess is her version of Vulcan imitation).

- Ash was fine. Not enough info to decide either way on the big theory. The last scene wants to push us toward some Burash (Turnham?) vibes. That's fine, I guess. If the big theory is true, then it has a Dukat/Winn feel (though maybe not as purposefully vile).

- As for Kat, her acting is sort of meh. Her outburst after the bed/gun incident was very poorly realized. I like her role in the show, but I wish she was better. Tough break getting kidnapped (lucky for Sarek he was attacked earlier). I did not see the trap coming (maybe I/they/Sarek should have?).

- Sarek was very good. Interesting backstory vis a vis he and Burnham. I really like James Frain in the role. Exciting to she Amanda played by Mia Kirshner! Haven't seen her in anything for over a decade, but was always fond. Vulcan looked amazing (as did the Nebula - aka the disco rave dance party Nebula).

- Very little of Doctor. Why is he always treating everyone? Where is the CMO?

- Stamets acting high/mellow was funny but was unneeded in this episode. Nothing else was done with it. On that note, was he used to jump to the Nebula? Apparently, they weren't too worried after he nearly died last time? (He did say, "once you get used to the needles" or some such.) That felt glossed over, like they cut a Stamets scene. Next week looks Stamets/time jump/loop focused, so hopefully that thread can move some.

- Crew is becoming teamy and closer. Other than Ash and Burnham, weren't the rest all on Discovery all this time? Why haven't others risen to important ship positions or made friends with Stamets/Tilly/etc or earned some of Lorca/Saru's confidence? I guess it is just part of Michael's plot contribution. Everyone was just lost/uninteresting before she showed up. I just accept that as part of the plot contrivance, but on the heels of the Shenzhou crew (esp. Saru/Michael) seeming like near-strangers after 7(!) years, it feel like Disco crew is socializing at a lightning pace.

- Easter egg: Nice to see Connies mentioned (not sure if Burnham had to mention the Enterprise - there are others, right?).

- Hologram battle training: A little too holodecky, but I read elsewhere that TAS played with the idea of holodecks (or similiar tech) this early in the timeline. I can buy the notion that the holograms are not up to future TNG/DS9/VOY level of sophistication.

Probably forgot some stuff. Eager for others' (and Jammer's) thoughts.
Michael is a boy's name
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 9:44pm (UTC -5)
I was getting tons of buffering problems and got booted back to the android app's main screen once. I never have this issue with netflix, huluplus, youtube, or even CW. I wish there was a download option like netflix offers. I am paying for the commercial free cbs aa plan.

"Easter egg: Nice to see Connies mentioned (not sure if Burnham had to mention the Enterprise - there are others, right?)."

It makes sense for Enterprise to come immediately to her mind if her 'brother' Spock is serving there.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 9:51pm (UTC -5)

"It makes sense for Enterprise to come immediately to her mind if her 'brother' Spock is serving there."

At first blush, I question whether she would even know that. She doesn't seem close to Spock and her and Sarek are sort of distant too. How well know are non-captains on various starships?

Of course, in 2017, she would just creep his Facebook to find out his business. No reason she couldn't look him up in a database or something for funsies.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
Sigh. Now they have holodecks. Ffs.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
A mixed bag. I think there is a good story about sarek's crappy parenting in here for sure, picking up threads from all the way back to "Journey to Babel" and revealing something interesting about Burnham (and Spock) through them. But I really hate the contrived, bizarre way that story gets presented to us. Not only is there Magic Spore Power, but now the Federation is building katra-driven psi tech? Sarek and Burnham have Matrix duels for mental supremacy? It's just kind of dopey, and the good character work this week (except for Ash Tyler, the "Poochy" of DSC???) and the reasonable last scene btw Burnham and Sarek doesn't totally redeem it. Not even going to comment on the stupidity of "logic extremists."

No points for dishonorable Klingons. Major points for making it crystal clear that Lorca in no way has Starfleet's blessing, and for letting him make a pretty unforgivable choice that I think will lead to good narrative payoffs. Hoping last show will end with Burnham murdering Captain Jerkface. Idk: 2.5 stars, all earned from the last 15 minutes or so.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:11pm (UTC -5)
Christopher Pike was listed as one of Starfleet’s most successful captains last episode, so it would make sense members of Starfleet would know the Enterprise by reputation.
Karl Zimmerman
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:13pm (UTC -5)
It's funny many people consider this episode to be great, because it seemed incredibly flawed and poorly executed to me on several levels.

First, the acting was pretty bad in several cases. James Frain continues to be singularly unimpressive as Sarek. The woman who plays Admiral Cornwell (who I didn't like last week) continues to be wooden. And SMG isn't really doing great things with the material this week, though admittedly it's not the best.

Second, the characterization was inconsistent with the previous episodes. Suddenly, Stamets is this happy, easygoing guy. Maybe it's the influence of the spores? That doesn't explain why Lorca transforms into a mother hen to Burnham, and trusts Ash Tyler, who he just met, implicitly. It also doesn't explain why Burnham, who was acting kind of like a normal human for two episodes, now has a stilted, Vulcan-like delivery again.

Worst by far, however, was the dialogue. This episode was dripping with "tell, not show." My eyes were practically rolling during the scene in sickbay where Burnham whispered out her backstory on Vulcan and an explanation of how Katras work. Or her final scene with Ash Tyler where she talks about how conflicted her emotions are, instead of showing it through her delivery. I mean, Trek has always been laden with expository dialogue, but for some reason it was very jarring in this episode.

It wasn't 100% terrible however. The plot was a standard Trek A/B setup again, which worked well, and it had a reasonably good conclusion for a "serial arc" style show (again almost seeming episodic). Lorca's character development aside from the "mother hen" issues was great. Still, this was an episode with deeply flawed execution.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:19pm (UTC -5)

Even the Intrepid class starships in old Trek had holodecks. Why wouldn’t the most advanced Federation starship in the fleet have them?
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:21pm (UTC -5)

Intrepid class starships in the 24th century had them because they had already been invented.

TNG clearly established holodecks as brand new.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:24pm (UTC -5)
The first 15 minutes really pushes the imagination (or limits of belief) hard, but the last 25-30 minutes wraps everything up nicely, including some character/background developments for Burnham, Sarek, and Lorca.

I didn't read Lorca's order to Saru to consult with Starfleet command on rescuing the Admiral as a sell-out, or an attempt to remain Captain longer. Maybe I am naive. I thought the scolding he got from Admiral straightened him up a bit and he felt like he should follow protocol for once. That was my reading. We'll see.

Also unlike for other commenters, Lorca and Cornwell scenes worked for me. They are obviously close and that would explain why she is tolerant with him. It helped give more insight to Lorca's state of mind.

I'll check out for now and eagerly wait for Jammer's review.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:27pm (UTC -5)
So, it appears a Starfleet captain may have manipulated a situation that resulted in an admiral getting kidnapped by the Klingons? Why? So he can keep his ship?

Wow. That's just awful. Perhaps this thing is set in the mirror universe, after all...
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:33pm (UTC -5)

No, the recreation deck on the original Enterprise used them. Go check the guidebooks or Memory Alpha. They were just more advanced in the TNG era.
Michal is a boy's name
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:35pm (UTC -5)
Based on the 'it's online, so anything goes - sex, cursing, and violence' rumor mill from before the series launched, I think it's worth acknowledging that DSC chose not to present an explicit sex scene with Lorca and Cornwell in this ep. Not even boobs or a butt were shown. I'm a little surprised, although I think they basically said close to the launch that there wouldn't be nudity, or maybe that there wouldn't be much, anyway. ENT was far more explicit on broadcast with some of the racier Trip/T'Pol scenes.
John Harmon
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:36pm (UTC -5)
So I guess we can add holodecks to the list of technologies in this show that shouldn't exist yet.

And now we're to believe there's Vulcans who think humans are inferior and hate the Federation? The people who believe in IDIC? Why do writers past TOS hate Vulcans so much? What a terrible idea.
John Harmon
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:40pm (UTC -5)
And CBS All Access is literally the worst. It barely plays anything. Constant stopping and starting all throughout the episode.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:41pm (UTC -5)
This show would be a lot better if Lorca had been the centerpiece and star instead of Michael. If they had done something like Breaking Bad, where the star is conflicted, dark, unethical, highly driven and occasionally amoral yet still compelling and fascinating (Lorca is all of those things to me), it'd make for some strong drama.

Instead he's a side character while Michael reads her too-long lines exposition-heavy dialogue with the flat, wooden delivery of someone pretending to be a vulcan.

It's frustrating, like the rest of the show.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:43pm (UTC -5)
Also this was the day I cancelled All Access. There are plenty of alternative means of watching the show. I'm not paying another nickle to a wannabe netflix with ads that can't even play a show with buffering for half an hour.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:47pm (UTC -5)
There are good ideas developing, but the scripting continues to be horribly amateurish. The amount of expository "dialogue", mostly delivered in muted whispers on 2x speed so they can fit more in, is just destroying the entire flow. Worse, it signals to me that the writers are arrogant--they believe we are stupid and need long, immersion breaking expository segments just to understand whats going on. They need to wake up and realize their audience--all first world humans with money and access to broadband streaming services, just MIGHT be smart enough to not need cringe-worthy exposition.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:48pm (UTC -5)
“I thought the scolding he got from Admiral straightened him up a bit and he felt like he should follow protocol for once. That was my reading.”

After that dressing down, Lorca probably asked himself what Admiral Cornwell would want him to do in that situation, and decided not to launch a rescue. So, I think you’re right.

I absolutely don’t think he knew the Klingons were setting a trap. Whatever issue he has with the Cornwell, he’d never let the Klingons have her. He was willing to destroy his own crew to prevent their capture.

By the way, (spoiler) the actress who plays Cornwell is only credited for three episodes, so she probably bites it soon.
John Harmon
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:49pm (UTC -5)
Star Trek Discovery writers have no appreciation for how big space is. I miss when Star Trek actually made space feel eerie with how vast it really was.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:52pm (UTC -5)

You were getting that too? Something must be wrong with their servers. They should apologize and credit all subscribers a month for this crap.
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 11:00pm (UTC -5)

Guidebooks are not canon, and according to memory alpha:
“Prior to the late 24th century, Federation starships were not equipped with holodecks.”
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 11:21pm (UTC -5)

Did you actually read the Memory Alpha article entitled "holodeck"? Try again.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 12:06am (UTC -5)

Yes I did. The only reference is to the animated series which wasn’t officially canon for all the run of TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT (except for the episode about Spock’s past I believe) until very recently when cbs changed their mind. Although some aspects were made canon by subtle references to them which was always nice at the time. However, as a result of not being canon all that time a significant fraction of it was retconned, including the recreation deck. Memory alpha now includes it simply because cbs said so regardless of whether I makes sense. They’ll do the same with Discovery, because they have no choice.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 12:16am (UTC -5)
Review pending, but I have to vent now about CBS All Access. The presentation tonight was just atrocious. This is a sorry excuse for a streaming service if this is considered acceptable in 2017. Did everyone else have those video stuttering and quality issues? Terrible. CBS should be embarrassed, and I am embarrassed for paying them money.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 12:17am (UTC -5)

Yeah seems like a lot are complaining. Happened to me too.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 12:29am (UTC -5)
@Jammer I have had zero issues with CBSAA, and I have watched all but one episode just after it is first released.

I was really surprised to see the issues with CBSAA streaming hiccups. I have seen numerous streaming complaints in different Trek places, so it is definitely a widespread issue. I suppose I am due to run into some problems myself eventually.

I have heard of difficulties on the CBSAA App. I use my laptop for streaming it via the CBSAA website, so maybe that is part of my escaping the issues.

Either way, I hate to hear others are having issues accessing a PAY service, and this was one of the pitfalls of making the series AA only (rather than broadcast).
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 12:39am (UTC -5)
I am using the CBSAA app for Android, streamed through Google Chromecast to my HDTV. I have zero issues using this exact setup with the Netflix app. I emailed CBSAA support and got a reply immediately that indicated this was a known issue, so it sounds pretty widespread. Not a good way to build a reputation for a service you are trying to roll out.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 1:06am (UTC -5)
This episode almost put me to sleep, between the snooze-inducing Vulcan plot and the endless expository dialogue. I don't know. I'm just not very invested in this show because I don't care about anyone in it.
John Harmon
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 1:29am (UTC -5)
@Jammer I had the same issues. I checked Twitter and it's all people are talking about in regards to CBS All Access.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 1:39am (UTC -5)
Yes. I had issues with repeated buffering and once being 'unable to access video feed,' which popped me back to the show page. This was on the Android app, on a Galaxy S5. I have had fewer issues using the AA app on my roku.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 2:17am (UTC -5)
I'm really happy to be Canadian right now (always) as Discovery airs on actual TV here. Even though I still have to PVR it cause university life.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 3:56am (UTC -5)
Well, now.

Kind of a mixed review from me on this one (as opposed to blanket-disliking the previous five episodes).

I'm going to say I 90% hated it, 10% kind-of-didn't-mind-it-do-much.

The A- and B-plots I found just tedious, boring, poorly written and, frankly, unbelievable. Cornwell mentions at one point Lorca's predisposition towards ignoring orders. And yet he's still commanding a starship (and fucking the admiral who pointed out the problem). I understand past (Archer) and future captains (Kirk, Picard, Sisko; Janeway can't really ignore orders if there's no-one about to actually give her any) have occasionally decided their orders sucked, but I don't think they made a habit of disobeying like it's implied Lorca does.

I really hate, hate, hate the inclusion of the holodeck. I know it's supposed to actually have been in TAS (which, frankly, I've never watched), but still.

There's more about this episode I didn't like, but I think I'm getting tired of pointing out the reasons why; it's not like CBS/Kurzman give a fuck what actual long-term non-JJ-Trek fans actually think (and they probably won't skim Jammer's Reviews for our opinions).

The 10% I _did_ like? Oddly enough, Burnham (who I really can't stand) and Tilly (I can stand her only marginally more than Burnham) jogging, then getting some food in the mewss hall. For that one scene, I could actually feel a bit of old-school crew-bonding Star Trek vibe. Maybe, MAYBE this could be this show's equivalent of TNG poker nights.

I suppose it makes sense that this episode had a glimmer of that sort of good old-school Trek feeling: it was co-written by Joe Menosky, who wrote and produced a bunch of TNG, DS9 and VOY episodes. He knows how Trek should feel.

If DIS brings in more writers and producers from TNG/DS9/VOY, this series MIGHT have a chance.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 3:58am (UTC -5)
So... logic extremists hmm? Is it just me or does the idea of suicide bombing a ship with the intention of blocking peace negotiations with the humans seem... illogical to the extreme?
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 4:27am (UTC -5)
'Is it just me or does the idea of suicide bombing a ship with the intention of blocking peace negotiations with the humans seem... illogical to the extreme?'

Yup. But, to me, this is just a continuation of on-screen Vulcan culture having been seriously fucked with, starting with 'Enterprise' (though there were hints of it in TNG and DS9). In this sense, I suppose DIS can be thought of as an ENT sequel.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 7:48am (UTC -5)
Can we just science for a moment on this episode?

- So far on this series, both fungal colonies and telepathy are capable of violating causality. Heck, I'll even give a caveat that the fungi are connected through a sub-dimension that has less volume than ours, but unless its volume is approaching zero, instantaneous transmission of data is nonsensical (and no quantum entanglement is not a magic escape clause, because if all particles in the network are entangled, which would be required for the ability to choose your destination, then the first use of the drive would result in all particles in the network instantaneously occupying the same point in space time, which I imagine would create quite a dense cluster of matter if the fungi are supposed to be diffuse across the entire universe. They didn't create a black hole by jumping, so yeah, its just magic).

- So, the Vulcans can now telepathically graft parts of their soul onto others in order to heal them? In fact, they can use their soul to raise the recently dead according to this episode. I will give the writers credit for having the audacity to try to technobabble their way into casting Heal (lvl 6, Necromantic) in a SCIENCE-fiction show.

- So, about nebulae. They are clouds of dust and gas, which take about 10,000,000 years to collapse into a star, given the right conditions to do so. So, yah, they are homogeneous clouds of dust which from within might provide the visual impairment of a foggy day, if they were quite dense. Apparently in Discovery, they are hyper-charged heterogeneous thunderstorms which can produce magic rays that penetrate a ships shields and hull to convert fungal cells into explosives, but have no effect on any other form of organic matter.

This episode had moments of nice character development, dialogue, and back story, even for Michael "I Know I'm Awesome Because at least 3 Characters Comment on It Per Episode" Burnham, but it is still wrapped in sloppy writing, awful continuity (bird of prey? You mean the ship you identified as a D7 battlecruiser?), and offensively bad science.

I guess I'm just in at this point. This show is almost so bad it's fascinating. This is turning into the Troll 2 of Star Trek. I guess that's something?
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 8:00am (UTC -5)
Pacing was off in this one to the point of tedium. I lost interest in several scenes and found the mind meld jargon almost unwatchable. What is with the 'Rainbow Nebula'. The cadet who looks 30 should be an Ensign at least. The stupid Klingon scene tagged onto the end was disjointed (What is this, Dark Matter style ending?). Suddenly we have a new character, disposable security chief number 2. I wonder how many of them we'll get through? As you were, number 342.

Nothing worked in this episode for me at all, except the odd bit of dialogue here and there. My head hurts. I think I'll have to re-watch this later and see if my opinion changes.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 8:06am (UTC -5)
I concur that All-Acess is a joke. I tried Chromecasting from Android onto two separate tvs, then using the computer to HDMI cable method directly; then watching directly on the phone and then the iPad. It took 2 1/2 hours to do all of this, for 44 minutes of content.

I am not sure who above said that there are "numerous other ways of watching this show," but if you are in the US, want to see episodes as they are put on All-Access and want to do so lawfully, could you tell me what these other ways are? As someone once said, "One will do."
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 8:22am (UTC -5)
I've been binge-watching ENT lately, having only seen (most of) it only once, during its original run; and I'm actually sorry I've slagging it off so badly all these years.

I mean, yeah, ENT is bad. Really bad, in fact. But DIS is making ENT look like a good TV series and decent Trek by comparison.

This franchise is so fucked.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 8:27am (UTC -5)
Side note about Sarek's wife.

The actor playing Amanda is only ten years older than the actor playing Michael, and looks even closure in age. Seeing as she was supposed to already be the adult wife of Sarek when he began his guardianship of Michael (which was a social experiment?)....NO. Stop boasting about your progressive casting when you are going to kill or imprison your "strong female leads", and are going to cast actors who are far younger than the age of their character.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 8:44am (UTC -5)
Re: Holodeck.

I have no idea how it was used in this Discovery episode, but a word on it's use in TAS:

What they had in TAS was far from a fully functional holodeck. Basically what they had there was a crude scenary simulator. They've never shown the simulation of anything interactive (holocharacters, animals, devices) and it couldn't simulate an environment bigger than the actual size of the room (if you went far enough, you would bump into a wall).

Make of it what you will.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 8:46am (UTC -5)
"I am not sure who above said that there are 'numerous other ways of watching this show," but if you are in the US, want to see episodes as they are put on All-Access and want to do so lawfully, could you tell me what these other ways are?"

He did not say 'lawfully'... :)
John Harmon
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 9:00am (UTC -5)
This may seem like a weird thing to harp on, but is anyone else constantly distracted by Tilly's face? I can't be the only one wondering what's up there.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 9:27am (UTC -5)
Apparently Gene Roddenberry wanted to have holodecks in TOS, but there was no budget for them, so they didn't appear until TAS.


Also, yes, CBS's streaming presentation was horrible. The ads are bad enough, but last night was probably one of the worst streams I've encountered. If they keep up at this rate, they're just making piracy look more attractive.
Adam Genga
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 9:31am (UTC -5)
@John Harmon

No you're not xD I keep noticing it too.
A huge Trekkie
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 11:03am (UTC -5)
I've seen hundreds of episodes of Star Trek, and this was literally the *first* one where I got bored and my mind started wandering. Even "Shades of Gray" didn't do that to me, because at least by that point I liked Riker and was interested in any story about him. But I just find these characters -- with the exception of Tilly and Saru perhaps -- contrived, unnecessarily mean, and above all, *inconsistent*. I do not need to repeat the litany of questionable decisions and behaviors described above. This episode, with all its mind-melding and I'm-not-sure-whether-we're-on Vulcan or wherever, was missing both a climax and a denoument. Do you want to build backstory? Fine, but don't rely on some boring long-distance mind-meld, whose scientific explanation amounts to a psuedo-spiritualism so outlandish that it kills suspension of disbelief even for Star Trek, which is hard.

"Logiç extremists"? What the hell? A pathetic attempt to mix modern religious extremism and terrorism with Vulcan culture. The Vulcans are one of the most admirable races in Star Trek. Leave them alone, don't start creating evil, cardboard-thin characterized versions of Vulcans. That's just desperate affectation.

1 star just because the special effects are OK.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 11:13am (UTC -5)
Well apart from the whole subspace telepathy thing and the mind fighting.
I kind of liked this a little more. Chars seemed more positive and supportive.
The admiral plot was pretty obvious, though.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 11:14am (UTC -5)
@A huge Trekkie:

'[...] don't rely on some boring long-distance mind-meld, whose scientific explanation amounts to a psuedo-spiritualism so outlandish that it kills suspension of disbelief even for Star Trek, which is hard.'

Couldn't agree more. It must be the Vulcan Force, or something.

'Reach out with your feelings, Sarek!'
Peter G.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 11:18am (UTC -5)
Some others have mentioned salient points where Lethe misfired. There's the obvious "huh?!" moment of seeing a holodeck in the 2200's. Did they think this was justified by TAS? And how does that square with the fact that most Trek fans probably haven't even seen that show? The fact is that whatever was intended in TOS we had a clear continuity established in TNG that the holodeck was new. I can imagine TOS era having a combat simulator of some kind, sure, or a VR room. But they were clearly running around, jumping and rolling, and so forth, within the holodeck atmosphere. Let's be clear: this wasn't an attempt to show us a more primitive immersive environment tech. It was a holodeck. So continuity broken there.

The biggest "huh?" moment of the episode wasn't the holodeck, though, but rather the fact that Discovery made a jump without ever explaining how that could happen. When they made the jump I was flabbergasted and figured they'd just skipped the whole issue. But, almost worse than that, they then insert a weird scene where it's implied indirectly that they've continued using Stamets for the Navigator without mentioning how they do that, how he survives, what it even means to say he can do that, or get much out of him other than that it's making him really giddy. Lorca even says point blank (mouthing the words of the producers) that we don't have time to talk about the new technology or what it means. Oh really? This is not a Star Trek show if discussing the implications of the tech they're using is a waste of screen time. That is really the clincher for me. It is simply not Star Trek if continuing the action of the plot supersedes the discussion of the big issues. That's why we always tuned in, the sense of wonder, thinking about the future, seeing amazing things that we may find in nature. We don't need to tune in to Trek to watch a war show, we have that right now in the real world.

Then there's the matter of Sarek's character. Writing him as so emotional that other Vulcans remark at his emotionality? Having him written so that he'll just admit freely that he's ashamed of something? That's not the Sarek we knew. However mitigating that is that fact that he's (a) near-death, and (b) expressing his inner thought, not his outer demeanor, so perhaps it's 'explainable', but frankly it's insulting to show us Sarek in that light. In TNG's "Sarek" they made SUCH a big deal about how horrible it would be for him to admit to weakness, even physical weakness, and here they have him admitting to being an emotional wreck in our first real episode with him. Thanks but no thanks, go write fan fic for some other universe please. I'm starting to think that Kevin J Anderson would fit in great on the writing staff here.

I also like how the Admiral got to the Discovery pretty much instantaneously despite the fact that starships tends to be weeks away from each other at best. I guess the Federation is really a small place after all! It was also telegraphed a mile away that something would happen to her after she openly threatened Lorca.

I'll make a small mention too of the dialogue: it's horrible. Heroes seasons 3-4 kind of horrible. It's so bad that we have Burnham delivering straight-up monologue to Ash about what her character conflicts are supposed to be. Excuse me? That is not how to write. And that's one of about three or four major exposition scenes where people are doing nothing other than delivering factoids to the audience. The one with Ash had me physically cringing but the others were bad too. And as others have mentioned - Logic Extremists! LOL!!! That's something befitting a parody like The Orville. Incidentally, the show is still riddled with contemporary anachronisms in not only turns of phrase but even in slang (like mentioning the drug speed), and most of the dialogue between Tilly and Burnham reeked of the same dialect (specific pop culture phrases and terms) that's become sort of a meme in current TV writing. It sounds so bad to listen to! Even worse than a TV show set in our time but with better writing. They're not just using modern slang, but crappy modern slang.

My last gripe about the episode relates to my comment above about the jump drive, which is that we're already several episodes into Star Trek: Discovery, and so far we have very little Star Trek and even less discovery. Where is the discovering? Where are the episodes when the crew has to deal with something...I dunno...scientific, since they're on a science ship? The pilot did treat us to a neat scene with a binary star system, although that got dropped quickly enough. But it was there and I liked it; I felt I was watching real sci-fi. It's bad enough that the 'sci' of this show is beginning to feel like Middle Earth, but even worse that apparently our only focus in the show is going to be how people relate to Burnham, and the war with the Klingons. And don't even get me started on what the gasses of a nebula would really look like (hint: not like Christmas confetti).

Does anyone know why the river Lethe is referenced in the title? What about this episode is about forgetting? Is that supposed to have something to do with Sarek? Or with Ash's comment that he doesn't care about the past and only judges based on the here and now? I don't know. I do know that 'not caring' about someone who committed a mutiny speaks poorly, rather than well, about Ash's dedication to the Federation.

Guess I'm done for now. I'd liked to have written a more balanced review like Jammer does, but there was too much here that upset me, and that's even ignoring the fact that I thought it was boring for the most part as well.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 11:30am (UTC -5)
"But, almost worse than that, they then insert a weird scene where it's implied indirectly that they've continued using Stamets for the Navigator without mentioning how they do that"

Admiral Cornwell says that they used eugenic manipulation on Stamets to make him capable of doing what the tardigrade could do. In "Choose Your Pain", it was explained that could be done, but it was risky and forbidden. The mirror scene and now Stamets' weird attitude seems to be foreshadowing some repercussions here.
Peter G.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 11:45am (UTC -5)
@ Chrome,

You misunderstand. I'm not saying the show has no internal explanation for it, I'm saying that it seemed to be beneath them to bother even telling us something as simple as "the experimental use of Stamets as our navigator continues despite the objections of Saru." Something. It's something that the crew should be talking about. In a show as blatantly laden with exposition as this one to not even address the big issues that the previous episode ended on is just sloppy and irresponsible. I'm commenting here on the quality of the writing, not the fact that using him came out of the clear blue sky. And yes, they used eugenics, which we already knew when they tried it as a Hail Mary last time. The Admiral didn't tell us anything we didn't know already. What we didn't know was where they stood in terms of whether they could reliably keep using it or not. I guess they can! And that's the problem, I have to guess. It's just sad, man.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 11:48am (UTC -5)

Re: "lawfully" thread (I am being tongue in cheek here), I was holding out hope there was a way besides pirating once i heard the word "many." To me, there aren't "many different ways of pirating"; there is just pirating. :-) kind of like saying if you want a new car that you can't afford that there are "many different ways you can still get one," when those many different eays are different snyonyms for "stealing".. at any rate CBS will surely put up an apology to its customers on the all-accrss website for the slow service... They will, won't they?
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 11:54am (UTC -5)
My thought is that they didn't want to push the spore drive technobabble for yet another episode as it was thoroughly talked about in the last two episodes. Yes, they could've given us more, but it looks like they're saving it for a different episode. We just know the stopgap solution found last episode works, for now.

I also wanted to add that I agree with some others that the admiral getting taken hostage was extremely obvious and could've been handled a little better. Captain Lorca has remarkably strong plot armor!
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 12:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: Use of the spore drive -
From the animation of the ship's arrival, it didn't look like they used the spore drive to get to the nebula. When they used the drive before, the ship seemed to spin on its fore-aft axis in a flash of light. This time it just appeared to drop in from above - which doesn't fit with the use of warp either.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 12:35pm (UTC -5)

The animation of the Discovery arriving at the nebula (second 956) is the same as the one shown when Discovery escaped from Klingon space in the previous episode (2269 seconds into the video). So clearly, spore drive was used.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 3:32pm (UTC -5)
Just looking at the comments, I think Trekkies are extremely picky, conservative and/or jaded. Maybe even entitled. I don't know if this is applies to "nerddom" in general, or if it's specifically Trekkie thing, There's just no pleasing them. Instead of enjoying a good show, they pick it apart and look for anything wrong they can find, even finding stuff that isn't really there.
For example, some people are complaining that the Klingons are dishonourable. Guess what? They were like that in the original series! They must have gone through a profound social change between the original series and the Star Trek movies. They didn't talk about honour at all in TOS. In this show, it looks like the only ones that talk about that are the members of T'kuvma's cult. Also, not all Klingons are the same, etc..

Do anything different than what's been done before in Trek, and it's: "Well that's so not Trek-like, it's not in the spirit of Trek.". Stick to what's been done and "Well now they're just retreading old ground, been there done that.".
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 3:38pm (UTC -5)
@Starttekwatcher "Now discovery has holodecks when a century later Riker is amazed by them in TNG pilot."

@Dobber "Sigh. Now they have holodecks. Ffs. "

Clearly, the holodeck that they have isn't nearly as sophisticated as the TNG holodecks. They're stuck in the center of the room: They can't move around, and as far as we know, the holograms aren't really touchable.
If you look at any impressive technology we have today, there was usually a low-tech version of that in the past. Like movie editing tech. With computers today, you can edit scenes together with ease. Well, there were analog versions of that in the 70's, it was just that the machine used up a whole room.

So anyway, it makes sense that they would have holodecks of some sort, just not as advanced.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 3:51pm (UTC -5)
That's it. I stop watching. I ust can;t stand this show.
A huge Trekkie
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
☺Eric "I think Trekkies are extremely picky, conservative and/or jaded."

I'm afraid that's not it at all. My problem with DSC is not just that it is "not Trek". My problem is that DSC is *bad television*. The show just moderately stinks, regardless of whether it is Star Trek.

They could call it "Gobbledygook", and make no references to Trek, and the show would still stink. (Except for the special effects.)
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
2 stars - this episode was rough. I don't even know where to begin, so many issues both larger and smaller. (Until now I've generally been grading each installment around the 3-star mark despite my growing concerns with the series, because the individual episodes still worked on a storytelling level. Not so this week.)

Vulcan suicide bombers is a pretty 2-star idea, but the fact their name was the Logic Extremists - which sounds like something a bad writer fleetingly familiar with Star Trek would come up with in about 5 seconds - is laughable. No trace of them having any coherent ideology yet (they're... extreme? About... logic? Show me a Vulcan that isn't?) and the execution of the suicide bombing was a) corny on a dialog and acting level and b) borrowed from Voyager's Basics via Iron Man 3 in terms of the visual depiction. (I guarantee someone in Seattle will start a shitty thrash-punk band called the Logic Extremists within the next 12 months.)

Right now it looks like Tyler's plot is just gonna be a less well-done rehash of Boomer's sleeper agent plot from BSG. How did the ship jump at the start? What was Lorca eating? Why are they wearing shirts that say "DISCO"? Why do the replicators give unsolicited clean-eating tips? Why is there a holodeck?? Why was the episode called Lethe? And I was actually fine with Lorca leaving Mudd behind last week, but... he isn't going to rescue the Admiral (who seems to be his on-off girlfriend) because she was going to make him step down? Really? Aside from the ethics and credibility, that plot point relies on the assumption she didn't tell anyone of her plans and was thinking/acting alone. She's not the whole of Starfleet Command. Added to which, the trap was laughable and corny - it was so obviously a trap, the execution was poor (no pun intended).

The episode was turgid, haphazard and confused, you could feel it dying on screen. The Michael-Sarek dialog was far from great, but some of it was better on the page than it ended up on screen - Martin-Green's and Frain's acting choices killed it. I think there should be a moratorium on Vulcans in Trek because they're very difficult to get right and as a result are more often done badly than well. TNG and DS9 didn't have Vulcans apart from the occasional episode; Tuvok was boring and ENT handled T'Pol and the Vulcans really badly. Trek doesn't need Vulcans to be Trek and to be great Trek - TNG and DS9 proved that. There's this reductive idea that Vulcans and Klingons are part of Trek's core brand so every new Trek product needs to have them. Not the case, especially if you change them so much it would have been better to use totally new races.

(Side note: the sassy replicators in this episode also made me realise that the Star Trek utopia wouldn't work. If everyone had a machine in their quarters that could instantly produce any imaginable food for free - AKA a cake machine - everyone would just eat junk all the time. No-one wants a cake machine with attitude.)
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 4:08pm (UTC -5)
Pauline Kael got a lot of heat for saying, in her review of Raiders of the Lost Ark, that "Kinesthetically, the film gets to you. It gets your heart thumping. But there’s no exhilaration in this dumb, motor excitement."

Discovery does not have the same level of craft as that movie did, but I think her point applies to the show in a certain way anyway: Too many scenes in the show are designed as life-and-death climaxes, with the fate of people (or space creatures, or planets, or military battles) hanging in the balance. When one of these scenes plays out, and we find out the world hasn't ended, we have to quickly brace ourselves for the next "all-or-nothing" crisis.

The show needs to slow down, and tamp down on the dramatic heacy breathing. When ideas are pitched, and come off as, one death-defying climax after another,I think the viewer ends up with the impression that if EVERYTHING matters this much, then in the end, nothing does.

This kind of excess was present in the later seasons of the BSG reboot, I think (a reboot whose style is being aped by Discovery). But Star Trek - the 725 episodes that preceded Discovery - didn't need to resort to pummeling the viewer like this to get a dramatic effect. In Discovery, now, for example, every final minute involves some seeming earth-shattering plot development (mirror Stamets, capturing the tardigrade) that feels like the '60s Batman TV show, only here they don't appear to be camping it up, they appear to be serious.... Just cool it already..

I wish the show would just... slow down... or tone down.... When you start specifically noticing a show's "Quieter Moments," it's because you've become too accustomed to being subjected to extreme manipulation by the louder ones.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 4:14pm (UTC -5)

"Stick to what's been done and "Well now they're just retreading old ground, been there done that."."

Thing is, they did stick to what's been done with VOY and ENT, and those series got some of the worst receptions in the franchise (sometimes rightfully so). It was time for them to tweak the formula a bit, I just think it's difficult for some to see it.

And on the writer's side, it's hard to make a Trek for everyone. Some fans skip TOS entirely and love Voyager and that's fine. Some fans think TNG was a little too tidy and prefer DS9 and that's fine. It might just be a matter of figuring out whether you're watching a Trek series you like, or if you're better off just waiting for a different variation. What with DSC getting renewed for a second season now, I don't think they're going to be switching gears anytime soon.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 4:16pm (UTC -5)

I don’t like DIS because it is a bad television show. I wouldn’t mind it if it did something different well but it does neither. The insufferable characters with questionable ethics and a war raging has been done over and over and over. And I also wouldn’t complain if it went back to TNG standalone weekly stories— that wasn’t what was wrong with Voy or S1/2 of Ent it was the fact that the stories just weren’t good standalone stories and for ENT it was recycling stories done before on Trek and done better

DIS is a hot mess with weak writing, annoying character ms with no urgency or excitement. I’m tired of all the TOS wank. These writers ARE terrible. I’m amazed that big studios employ such hacks
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
I agree with Chrome above. Especially with this:

"It might just be a matter of figuring out whether you're watching a Trek series you like, or if you're better off just waiting for a different variation."

At this point, it's impossible to please all Trekkies. I must be in the minority because I like all Trek. Even when Enterprise - the series that I liked the least - got canceled, I was disappointed because I was still watching it weekly. I was not pleased with it, but not enough to the point o passing on it. I still watch it again from time to time (like I do others too).

I was also happy when Abrams rebooted the franchise with the movies. It brought back a dead franchise. I liked all three so far.

Needless to say, I was happy when DSC was announced. I also happen to like this version. I would like all the series to have their own identity and DSC definitely has its own.

It may just be that some fans only like certain series or certain formulas, and they will have to pass on this, I guess, and wait for the next formula, assuming there will be one. I certainly would not watch a show that I don't like or consider bad enough to the point where it's painful to watch (which is the impression I get from some commenters). DSC is not that case for me. I enjoyed it so far, with its stregths or shortcomings.

The only time I had that impression was when I went to see ST5 the movie when it came out. And I never made an effort to see it again, except in bits and pieces, dozen years later when I was shuffling through TV channels and came across it by luck.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 4:56pm (UTC -5)
You are not the only one who likes all Trek. Well, not *all*. There are certainly bad episodes, but even there, I've liked some that consensus considered bad. I started to watch regularly in the middle of Voyager Season 3, and went back for everything I missed (minus TAS) afterward. I like DS9 the most, not because of the war or questionable morals, but because of consistently good storytelling, but there were great episodes in every single series. With Discovery, due to the structure of the show I can't tell yet if I like it. I want to see what happens next, so it's got that going for it.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 5:08pm (UTC -5)
@startrekwatcher-That moment when you realize one of the screenwriters of 'Batman and Robin' is a major creative force behind DSC.......

But I'd absolutely disagree that going back to a TNG formula would be a good option. That well has run dry as far as I'm concerned. I like DSC's approach, even though it's only partially successful so far. It's certainly no BSG or The Expanse (I REALLY want Jammer to review The Expanse), but I'm finding it surprisingly decent.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 5:33pm (UTC -5)
I enjoyed this one. It wasn't great but serveable nonetheless. Considering how rough a start TNG had, this is doing pretty well in my opinion. If I wanted TNG again, I can always go back and watch the old episodes. I am liking where they are taking Lorca, it will be interesting if they give him multiple seasons to develop. but as much as I like Jasan Issacs, they don't have anyone with quite the charisma as Patrick Stewart, who was a big reason why that show worked. I'm happy there are plenty of people outside of here who are enjoying this. It deserves the time to find its feet properly.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
"Less than a week ago, you were being tortured. Now you're back in the chair"

all I could think of when I heard that was 'THERE ARE...FOUR LIGHTS!'

I guess Picard and Lorca aren't so different after all...
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 5:35pm (UTC -5)

I don’t see how the well has run dry on standalone adventures. That’s what people fell in love via TOS/TNG. Those series, by farvthevtwo most popular, were small intimately told storirscabout a group of characters you cared about going out exploring the unknown and learning more about themselves.

It was the perfect mix of story types from character stories to high concept fun to mysteries to allegories. There was a sense of awe and wonder to what they would happen upon each week that fired the imagination.

Layer Treks have gotten away from that getting hung up on treating Trek as some massive universe that needs everyblank filled in and to worship at the altar of TOS. It has hamstrung the franchise. TNG and DS9 showed you could be Trek but not be tied to TOS. Those series did fine without Sarek, Spock, Mudd, Kirk, khan and all the namedropping and shoehorning of TOS we’ve been subjected to for 15 years.

Frankly I’m somebody who likes both standalones like TNG or serialized shows like primetime dramas. I just personally think that Trek works better as an action adventure series with standalones. You can still do arcs but trilogies like DS9 Circle three parter rather than the Xindi arc or DIS first season.

I also think Trek doing standalones will not let writers think they can drag on having to come up with a payoff
Trek fan
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 6:33pm (UTC -5)
Probably my favorite "Discovery" episode yet. I loved the character development for Burnham and Lorca, the continuing arcs of Tilly and Ash, the emergence of the admiral into more than a bit player. But I especially LOVE how this story found a way to develop the Spock-Sarek relationship even after 50 years, expanding our sense of that family and bringing back Amanda. Bravo. This episode was more memorable for me than the last one: It stood apart with its own unique stand-alone plot and dug into the characters hard, continuing the arc while avoiding the sense that it's just filler between points A and C in an ongoing serialization. Very cleverly done, reminding me of some of the best DS9.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 6:40pm (UTC -5)
The way the Trump presidency has somehow made me appreciate and long for the Bush administration, this show has made me appreciate and long for Star Trek: Enterprise at its very worst.

I actually like ENT for the most part despite myself but this episode... jesus, this episode.

I'm with William on this one. The suspension of disbelief behind the bad science is just insulting at this point. Who would be inspired by any of this? Why didn't someone have the sense to turn these scripts into a generic sci-fi show and just spare a cherished franchise instead... its the JJ Abrahms rape fest all over again.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 6:42pm (UTC -5)
I agree with what was said above about Vulcans being extremely difficult to get right. Leonard Nimoy was one of a kind, an incredible actor - and the more I see of Vulcans in later Trek incarnations, the more I appreciate Spock.

It must be difficult for Sonequa Martin-Green. She's been handed a role where she has to portray the upbringing of an emotionless alien race, without being alien herself. It's hard to pull that off without coming off as sullen and boring. Frain's Sarek comes across as both. Spock had an incredible range of expression, and you could never call him boring.

Burnham's identity is still in the process of being shaped, both by the writers and by the actor. This episode helped to establish some parameters, but it needs a lot more work.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 7:07pm (UTC -5)
There seems to be an oppinion bubbling up on the board that Discovery is good because it is serialized, and that some people think serialization makes it un-Trek.

I will grant that the show is serialized, but that is not an inherently good or bad thing. Long form storytelling in television can be great, when done well, and can be terrible when done poorly. The only thing choosing to serialize your show does is increase the level of difficulty for a show-runner, who is now responsible for ensuring that scripts written by disparate writers tell a single cohesive story that stretches the whole series.

Discovery has yet to prove that it is capable of consistent characterization or in-series continuity, which are both important for a serialized story. It also seems to love having time jumps of various lengths scattered between episodes, which it notifies the viewer of by clumsily having characters fill in the gaps by exposition dumps. The two biggest example of this is showing the Discovery dropping a few mines and hopping away without confirming their kill being the only action the Discovery has been shown to do for the war effort, despite being TOLD how they are now a super-weapon that is the key to victory. Show us please!

As for this episode in particular, here are some question the show has no interest in discussing: Was there fallout for Saru or Michael for freeing the Tardigrade? What is the Discovery's current mission, if they shouldn't rescue Sarek, what should they be doing? How is the war going for the Federation 7+ months in? Has his brief stint in command affected Saru, or his relationship with Lorca? Was there any discussion of Stamets' role as navigator by anyone in the command structure?

I think it would be really interesting for Star Trek to tackle long form story-telling. I loved when DS9 did it (the opening 6 episodes of season 6, and the closing 10 episodes of season 7 come to mind), and I still believe seasons 2-4 of Babylon 5 are the best sci-fi show on television of all time. But this show is Trek in name only, rejecting all previous lore regarding human culture, Vulcan culture, Klingon culture, Klingon physiology, Klingon aesthetics, technology, and canonical history. This show watches like a poorly written Battlestar Galactica knock off, with a coat of Trek paint sloshed on top.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 7:09pm (UTC -5)
My thoughts:
This Sarek does not resemble Mark Lenard’s portrayal. Sarek in 2009 Star Trek was closer.

CBS All Access has no problems playing using my Roku. The Closed Captions don’t always work.

The holograms might not be as sophisticated as they are in the 24th Century. The Klingon holograms might be just visual holograms, not something that is tangible, or to be placed inside of a body cavity to be used as lungs.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 7:09pm (UTC -5)
Oh, and having Michael and Sarek repeatedly physically fight in their already silly telepathic space was a terrible dramatic choice. It was transparently clear that this and the opening holodeck combat scene were just there to add some action to an otherwise much more leaden and dialog-heavy episode than the previous five.

A really good point from Ethan Siegel's review on "Tilly, more and more, proves herself to be nothing more than the audience surrogate" I agree with this. She's there just to be the token "ordinary person", in a really glib and sloppy way - she's not even being written and played as naive per se in a Harry Kim kinda way, more like a self-insert character for newbie viewers or a time traveller from 2017 who's accidentally found herself on board. (This week complete with drug references and calling Tyler hot.) So her character isn't working for me at all, not because she's annoying or naive, but because she's not really being written as a character. Ergo the only character who works for me is still Saru.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 7:26pm (UTC -5)

Personally, I don’t see it, but I do find it interesting that the writers at Forbes relate most to the character with Aspergers. There’s nothing wrong with an audience surrogate, though. I’m hard-pressed to think of series that doesn’t insert a neophyte to help explain to new fans long-running series elements.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
Lorca's feud with the female Admiral who wanted to take his ship should have been the focus of the entire episode.

Michael and Sarek's Inception-styled plot was silly, derivative and featured Stamets with yet another unbelievable bit of pseudo-science.

I'm now convinced that this series cons us into thinking its good, in the moment rather than in reflection, simply by its cynical use of open-ended cliffhangers.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
Vulcan extremist suicide bombers.

Lorca makes it with the admiral but she's going to can him.

Admiral suddenly decides to go negotiate with the Klingons- who immediately kill everyone and capture her.

Lorca refuses to go rescue her.

Stamets is moving the ship on his own because of his genetic spore injection. I'm not making this up.

And, the main message:

Michael actually got into the Vulcan Science Academy. Sarek was given a choice of whether he wanted to send Spock or Michael. He chooses Spock. Of course.

Oh, and Ash is now chief of security one episode after his introduction and Michael is chief science officer three episodes after she's being sent to prison for life for mutiny.

Given that the albino Klingon still hasn't made a return, sure appears like he could be Ash in the most nonsensical plot twist in television history...

This show is like a punch line. It's so bad for me, it's turned into comedy.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 9:48pm (UTC -5)
wolfstar - About the thrash metal band, I was thinking something early punk, maybe something along the lines of the Ramones:

Well the kids are all hopped up and ready to go
They're ready to go now they got their Plato
And they're going to the library A Go Go
Don't need those human emotions, no!
Well Vulcan has it all oh yeah, oh yeah

I wanna be a logic extremist
I wanna be logically extreme
Don't you wanna be a logic extremist?
Come and be logical with me (repeat)

Yeah yeah yeah, she's a logic extremist
Rockin' all the logical themes
It's gonna be a scream, babe
What do you say?
Supreme logic is our dream

(chorus x2)

Logic, logic, logic (yeah!)
Extremist, extremist, extremist (woo!) [x4]
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 10:27pm (UTC -5)
They already established that they have holographic technology, so it makes sense that they would have a holodeck as well.

Let's face it, technology is made through a slow, steady, iterative process - it doesn't just magically appear in a perfect form one day. The TNG holodeck is *perfect* and there had to be earlier inferior versions that preceded it in order for it to exist. Riker was impressed by the holodeck in TNG S1 because he can't tell the difference between it and reality, the same way we would be impressed today if in Rogue One the computer generated Leia and Tarkin were completely indistinguishable from the ones in A New Hope.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 12:08am (UTC -5)
I get wanting to show the future as we see it in 2017 but continuity is a thing too. The show constantly shows off casual technology that was simply not available in the 23rd century as established by the Original Series. It’s one thing to take the tech used in TOS and modernize the way it’s visualized (like the way the show uses food replicators), but to introduce new tech like the Holodeck that was clearly not available ten years in the future (in the show’s timeline) is frustrating.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 2:17am (UTC -5)
Really enjoyed this episode. The edge is off and everyone seems to have relaxed in to their roles. I'm glad Stamets is on a magic mushroom high - his snarkiness was really starting to grate. Always glad to see them bring the tech forward, in this case with holo battle sims - remember this is an experimental science vessel so there's no reason they wouldn't have access to advanced prototypes. They were also shown in TAS if I remember correctly.

The Lorca/Cornwell scenes worked for me - they're continuing the long tradition of deep interpersonal relationships between captains and admirals in Trek. Also, why are people still so prudish about sex in 2017?

Glad to seem them cut down on the clunky Klingon dialogue. Also, loved the "disco" T-Shirts. Definitely a better abbreviation for the show than STD!
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 2:17am (UTC -5)
I must admit it is really funny how emotional people get because of this show. :D
How is it to go completely of the rails after 6 episodes. Get a life guys... at least cool it a little and if you just don't like it, here is a crazy thought, don't watch it.
And to everyone who shouts "BULLSHIT SCIENCE!!!" yeah it totally is but
Maybe you should rewatch some of the older shows. Wes and a time alien touching consoles through which the Enterprise could reach far away places.
Or Sisko and his son flying around in a solar power bajoran ship with warp speed.
Or the mirror universe.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 2:25am (UTC -5)
Honestly, this was the best episode yet. Sure it had a few issues, but it was the most "Star Trek" episode yet (thanks Joe Menosky?) and I find that the characters are working very well at this point. All the pieces are finally on the table and every scene largely worked for me. I would say it was solid, but not great.

The holodeck they are using does not seem very sophisticated, it seems more like a prototype that is simply used for military training exercises - nowhere near the level of TNG's holodeck capabilities. I can buy it's inclusion. People can use it as yet another reason to get outraged, but I can accept this minor "retcon" and move on with life.

The Tilly/Tyler/Michael scenes were great, these three work well together. I thought the last scene with Tyler/Michael - "I guess it's called... being human." - was a nice development for both Michael and their new friendship.

This is also the episode where Lorca is at his weakest as he has to confront what he has done up to this point with the Admiral. Finally Lorca has to answer to someone when it comes to his methods, this was what I was hoping to see in future episodes - though it looks doubtful as to him actually being properly punished for his actions (thanks Klingons).

The Sarek/Michael revelation was good and it really drive home the idea that Sarek has secretly felt like a failure on two different fronts when it comes to his "family" - hence why he constantly pushes away both Spock and Michael.

Also worth noting that Joe Menosky always seems to love having weird spiritual/metaphysical elements in a lot of his stories - "The Fight", "Cathexis", "Dramatis Personae", "Distant Voices" and now this katra-focused episode.

Not understanding the detractors on this one, it wasn't close to being the mess that "Butcher's Knife" was, nor did it have the plot issues of some of the other previous episodes. Are people getting hung up about the idea that Vulcan culture has logical extremists within it? That is not a crazy idea at all.... this radical part of their culture has already been presented throughout both Enterprise and TNG.

3 stars from me.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 6:30am (UTC -5)
Spoilers ahead.

The show has arrived at the crossroads. One path would redeem it (to a degree) and set it in a more familiar direction, while the other would send it down a gaping black hole that has nothing to do with Trek. Good thing I am not too invested in it because the situation would normally make me very anxious. I am, of course, talking about the motivations standing behind Lorca's sudden change in modus operandi when confronted with the situation the admiral found herself in. To be honest, the thought that Lorca's change is only a farce hadn't even ocurred to me before I came to the comment section and read some of your comments. The final shot of the episode with his phaser firmly close to him does seem to alude to that scenario. However, I am not going to play interpretations now since the show is going to reveal it anyway, but unfortunately I can't say I'm very hopeful about it. Even though the writers made sure we the audience knew that the captain is not the protagonist of this series, the captain's role inherently possesses the power to set the overall tone of a show and that is why it is so important.

That is why I hope we are going to get more backstory about Lorca and the Buran alongside with the revelation of his true motivation, because as it stands at this moment, the story about the Buran and how Lorca survived the ordeal is extremely underwhelming in establishing a nuanced character, which writers want Lorca to be.

As for the rest of the episode, it follows the Discovery's trend of very uneven storytelling and clunky realization. The weird pacing of the scenes and dialogue present since episode one is watering down even the few moments that have the potential of standing out, as if the writers are trying to cram as much as possible within the time frame they have, resulting in choppy dialogues, scenes and plot pacing. Sometimes, less is more. A philosophy that would improve the show greatly, IMHO.

To be specific, I was thinking about the conversation between the admiral and Lorca that was a good idea with a lot of potential for low-key character development that was botched by its execution. However, like I said, the problem is far from being specific to that scene. They same could be said for the scenes in Sarek's mind, only there the idea itself of them physically fighting is bizzare and feels very out of place. Trek-meets-Matrix out of place. There were a lot of different, more discreet ways, of handling the issue of Sarek not wanting Michael's presence in his mind, but I guess that wouldn't get the hearts pumping as this does, which seems to be way higher on the show's priority list than giving us tactful dialogue, and even when that dialogue surfaces, it is immediately botched by the execution.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 6:36am (UTC -5)
By reading most reviews here not only on Discovery but on Voyager and Enterprise as well I tend to think that there is a level of satisfaction to be gained by bashing every single star trek episode of every single series. "Oh look the Klingons are different, why can't they keep the cannon intact for once", 'Oh again with the mind melt, why don't they try something different for once". It is always easy to swindle between expressing rage for not seeing something different and for changing anything.

Guess what, the show just got renewed for a second season :) and a second novel on the Shenjou is on the works as well featuring Captain Lorca as a guest star . So you can grumble as much as you like it looks like we will have a star trek show on our screens for a while.

This episode was again almost excellent. Burnham starts to feel like a proper member of the crew. It is interesting to see characters making an evaluation of their upbringing and cultural beliefs in order to progress with their lives and to see how this process changes everything around them. Burnham changed something in Tilly maybe unintentionally and in the end they are both on different terms on who they are and what they are trying to become. The scene where Burnham reintroduced herself to the new crew member had more or less the same scope. It was one of the quiet moments of the show that really worked because It fitted very organically within the scope of the evolution of the character and at the same time felt very sincere and not melodramatic or cheesy because of its simplicity. It really reminded me of other classic trek moments where a simple gesture can be more powerful than anything, forging a strong bond between the characters. Brilliant stuff there. Lorca also continues to be very intriguing ans a character and Isaaks has become one of the most versatile actors of the series while at first he looked like a one-trick pony. I wanted to see more Vulcan politics and intrigue and I found the Sarek plot started a bit too quickly but I guess it will be the scope of future episodes.

Overall I give it an easy 4.5/5 . Definitely very well done.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 7:17am (UTC -5)
Regarding Lorca, I have to say I'm strongly leaning towards the "he deliberately got the Admiral out of the way" camp. Early in the episode, he expressed considerable skepticism that the peace meeting was truly for peace (and why wouldn't he have? He's a soldier, not a diplomat). Then, after the Admiral essentially said that she was going to do something about him remaining in command, while Michael expressed regret, almost, that the chance for peace couldn't now go forward (without Sarek), Lorca didn't echo this sentiment, at least openly. Rather, he merely said than the Admiral could get there, and that she would very likely want to try. Finally, of course, when news came of her capture, he refused to attempt a rescue without explicit orders, letting that small window of opportunity while she was still in Federation space slip away.

What's so captivating about it though is the ambiguity. Perhaps he *did* take the Admiral's criticisms to heart; perhaps he *did* think the chance for peace was worth it; and, that it might have been a trap for Discovery *was* a valid point. So even if the Admiral's capture brought him same relief in terms of not having to fear for his captaincy, maybe he didn't actually plan for or hadn't actually hoped for it to happen, and maybe he still felt concern for what might become of his friend. We can't tell for sure, and that's pretty captivating.

I do have to say though, this sort of thing concerns me about Discovery. Star Trek has always been something that encouraged people to become better, whether professionally or even personally. Therefore, it was replete with people being selfless and morally upright, typically only disobeying orders or requests or whatnot if it was truly for the betterment (and ideally, minimal harm) of others. Even when dark actions were taken (like Sisko bringing the Romulans into the Dominion War, or Archer and crew stealing the warp coil to continue on to the Xindi), the decisions behind these actions were not treated lightly, and nor did the characters make them without considerable remorse.

Discovery, however, seems to be supplying us with examples of people being immoral for purely self-serving reasons--with no measured contemplation or subsequent regret in sight--and in this, I fear it may not be holding true to what Star Trek has always been.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 7:19am (UTC -5)
"Green juice. Extra Green." LOL!!! I just love the Tilly character!

On the other hand, Jayne Brook (Admiral Cornwell) is doing nothing for me. I hope she gets schwacked by the Klingons. Not good acting here. I don't think i've enjoyed a scene she's been in yet.

I really enjoyed this one. More backstory on Michael but more importantly she really seems to open up at the end with Ash.

Enjoying Ash as well... another above average actor on Discovery.

Sarak had a difficult choice here... he had to choose his blood. If only he knew Spock was going to chose SFA of the Vulcan Science Directorate. :-)

Holodecks... they WERE used in TAS.... I guess that gives them license to introduce them at this point in the timeline? Not sure they are needed in Discovery and this makes it really hard to answer why they aren't on Enterprise (1701). Unless of course the only ship to have it is Discovery. Plausible I guess.

Nice to hear Enterprise mentioned here.

Lorca... what an interesting character. Having difficulty coping with killing his entire crew... good, glad he can't just file that one away. He REALLY has taken an interest in Michael... I'd like some more detail on why. His orders to Ash getting ready to pilot the shuttle wasn't to ensure that everyone and the Shuttle made it back.... but to ensure Michael did.

So.... was Lorca just following regulations when speaking to Saru about rescuing Cornwell because not following them is what got him caught by her? .... or does he want to see her schwacked because she intends to take Discovery from him? .... we'll see I guess. I was definitely thinking the latter during the scene. :-)

Speaking of Saru.... Doug Jones is AWESOME! What a great character!

Glad to see Michael back with a position on the bridge.

I wish at times we could really see the detail on the shuttles/Klingon ships etc.... the scenes are so busy at times it's hard to appreciate the detail. Less is more sometimes I think.

So.... hairless Klingons was Brian Fuller's idea....

The best episode yet for me. I'll go to a 3.0 for this one.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 8:40am (UTC -5)
Quick question for people bending over backwards to hand wave the holodeck as natural iteration: have you watched a film from 1917 lately? 100 years is a LONG TIME in tech development. The problem with ST:D tech, is that is haphazardly used without any thought given to canon. The writers don't care, and its obvious.

One other frustrating comment I keep seeing is that other series had bad science as a plot device, too. That statement is both true and a complete misrepresentation. TNG was episodic. If you remove episodes with nonsense as a plot device, it has no effect on the other episodes. What happens if you remove the spore drive? The premise of Discovery falls apart. The ship isn't special, Lorca has no value to the admiralty, Stamets has no arc, there is no purpose for enlisting Burnham, and the tardigrade moral dilemma never happens. What about if you remove faster than light telepathy? Oh, we lose all of Burnham and Sarek's scenes that cover her character.

This show has used magic as a skeleton to build it's story around. They could have avoided glaring contrivances with even minor effort. Would this episode have suffered if the Discovery found out about Sarek's danger by conventional means and rescued him against orders? You could still have the admiral show up to investigate Lorca's insubordination while Michael has her dreamscape story with Sarek in intensive care in sick bay. It's just lazy writing.

I still stand by my assessment that there are interesting ideas buried beneath sloppy, lazy writing on this show. Netflix sunk enough money into this show that it's got its inevitable 2nd season, so let's all just hope it doesn't take over 30 episodes to find its legs like ENT or TNG. I am not optimistic.
Karl Zimmerman
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 8:50am (UTC -5)
My feelings on the episode - upon ruminating - haven't changed much from near the top of the comments It remains an episode which almost entirely failed in execution, even if the rough outline had promise. Two out of four stars . That said, I do have some additional thoughts:

1. As was noted by one commenter above, the fight scenes were ridiculous and added nothing to the episode whatsoever. I'm actually mildly upset they were included, as they added minutes of time to the show which could have been given over to character development, or just slowing down the expository dialogue a bit.

2. I was happy they actually did something with Micheal Burnham's past as Sarek's ward, even if almost everything related to the execution was botched. It showed they had some plan for the character from the beginning.

3. I cannot understand people using this episode to critique serialization. This was the second episode in a row which was...well...semi-episodic. There clearly is an overarching plot, but Discovery is clearly not going in the direction of Game of Thrones or the Expanse where there are no real episodes, and you just check in on the plot updates with various characters. This is a great thing, because it means even if there are stinkers (like this episode) there's also the potential for great episodes with their own plots and themes.

4. Ash Tyler is doing nothing for me - even less than Micheal Burnham. While the other secondary characters pretty quickly settled into archetypes with one distinctive trait (which have since become more complex) after two episodes of Mr. Tyler I can't think of a single personality trait for him as of yet. Hopefully he actually is Voq in disguise, and it's not a red herring to make us not suspect Lorca, because otherwise he seems like a total waste of space to date.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 8:56am (UTC -5)

That’s a good point, that Lorca may have subconsciously let the admiral get into trouble without directly planning it. I don’t think we were ever supposed to look up to Lorca as a role model. In DS9 terms; he’s not Ben Sisko, he’s Sloan. He’s a likeable character with good intentions, but his methods are hideously immortal.


(spoiler) The actress who plays Cornwell is only credited for three episodes...
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 8:59am (UTC -5)
Sorry, immoral, not immortal. No immortality in DSC, yet ; )
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 9:14am (UTC -5)
@Startrekwatcher: Does you officially being out mean that you will change your handle to "Startreknotwatchinganymore"?
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 10:01am (UTC -5)
A few replies to a few points:
"Holodeck": It was not called a holodeck on the show. Also we have simulations like the Kobayashi Maru, so the tech is there to have some sort of holographic simulations. It's a lot easier to explain away than holographic communications, also a lot less pointless.

"What happens if you remove the spore drive? The premise of Discovery falls apart." What happens if you remove the magic stable wormhole with gods living in it from DS9? How about the Warp Drive?

"That’s a good point, that Lorca may have subconsciously let the admiral get into trouble without directly planning it". It seems pretty straightforward that nobody thought it was a trap, not Sarek, not Lorca, not anyone in any dialog onscreen. In fact, they really should have explained what steps the Cancri took to provide security and why they didn't work.

"that it might have been a trap for Discovery *was* a valid point." What would such a "trap" entail? The original trap was to pretend to conduct peace negotiations. The Discovery knows the Klingons are hostile. They fully expect to have to fight to rescue the admiral. What's the trap? Did the Klingons figure out how to disable the spore drive?

"Logic extremists": The Vulcans have always been oddly portrayed as, on the one hand, one of the founding members of the Federation, but, on the other hand, keeping their own institutions and all Vulcan ships which should have been superseded by Starfleet ones. We have also seen many Vulcans expressing feelings of superiority over humans. That there is a group of Vulcans having more extreme versions of these views is entirely believable. Using violence may be hypocritical, but then we have religious extremists today who kill others in opposition to their beliefs. There always ways to justify it. As Janeway once said to Tuvok, "You can use logic to justify anything".
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 10:06am (UTC -5)
@Peter G.
I was reading your comments about Star Wars last night and found myself agreeing with you about the content of the novels and what Disney is doing with the franchise. I would love to discuss the old SW novels and other sci-fi. Do you write reviews of your own or post on any forums?
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 10:48am (UTC -5)

I agree with your point about logic extremists fitting with the show and I might even go a step further and say they're healthy for the show. See, Trek is so often known for having these Planets of Hats, where one character defines the entire race. So people think all Vulcans should be like Spock, even though there are billions of Vulcans and Spock is supposed to be unique in many ways. We also know from TNG's "Gambit" that Vulcan used to be a very violent planet, so there might be some holdovers from those days.

It's actually a bit refreshing to see different dimensions of races only hinted at in earlier Treks being explored now. Some commenters say they embrace diversity, IDIC, but then they openly reject portrayals of Vulcans with diversities they don't like. Food for thought.
Real Human Robot
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 11:00am (UTC -5)
And I'm done. After this episode was over, I canceled my subscription to CBS All Access so I wouldn't be charged for another month. I've watched every episode and movie of Star Trek (except TAS), but I just can't do it anymore. I can't pay for a show that I don't enjoy and that doesn't make me feel like Star Trek used to.

A few parting thoughts...

So this episode highlighted that Discovery has created a story in which the Vulcan Science Academy is more racist in its admission policies than public US Southern universities and colleges were in the 1960s. So much for Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.

I'm surprised at the amount of praise -- coupled with intolerance for dissent -- there is lately for Discovery on the Star Trek subreddit. It seems like a lot of people have adopted a Star Trek: Love It or Leave It attitude. Which I suppose sort of mirrors the lack of choice CBS, by only making the show available through All Access, is giving those of us in the US.

Lastly, I first started to really feel this way about the franchise with the reboot movies, and so it's interesting to see how many people connected with JJ Abrams and friends there are working on Discovery: Alex Kurtzman, Akiva Goldsman, Heather Kadin, and Jesse Alexander, as well as Craig Sweeny and Aaron Baiers (the last two via Kurtzman and Orci on Limitless).

Thanks to Jammer for hosting this site and providing a forum in which to discuss so many episodes of Star Trek. Agree or disagree, I've enjoyed reading the diverse range of thoughts, opinions, and analysis that so many people have shared here.
Peter G.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 11:09am (UTC -5)
@ Geekgarious,

I, too, would enjoy more discussion about the Star Wars universe (and books), but I don't personally know of a good forum for that. For a while I've been contemplating starting a blog/review site but in the end I have other side projects going on that consume so much of my time that it would be difficult to sustain both.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 11:14am (UTC -5)
@Real Human Robot,
Unlike with racism in the US, the Vulcans would likely have to make huge changes to the academy to accept non-Vulcans with their lack of telepathy, physical endurance, etc, not to mention suppressing emotions and embracing pure logic (it is not clear whether this requires Vulcan physiology to do completely. Even Spock was never able to achieve kolinahr for example. Even if it does not, it basically requires one to "convert" to the Vulcan philosophy entirely)
Discovery Forever
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 11:25am (UTC -5)
This show is so good, even the people who claim to hate it and keep saying "I'm done" week after week watch it religiously.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 11:27am (UTC -5)
I wonder if anyone noticed or would agree that the scene with Sarek departing from Vulcan has an obvious Star Wars look and feel? Something like Episode II or so.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 11:30am (UTC -5)
@Peter G.

You might enjoy this essay I wrote about Star Wars. I want to write more but too have been super busy.

I'm going to try to watch this episode of Discovery later. I'm not even sure I want to watch it given the discussion. I've now become a staunch oldschool fan of both Trek and SW, and I didn't want to be one. The new stuff in both universes is just thoroughly disappointing, and in both cases seems all about fatuous fanwank.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 11:30am (UTC -5)
@ Chrome,

"(spoiler) The actress who plays Cornwell is only credited for three episodes..."

Yes!!! Well played Chrome, well played.

@ Karl Zimmerman
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 8:50am (UTC -5)

1. As was noted by one commenter above, the fight scenes were ridiculous and added nothing to the episode whatsoever. I'm actually mildly upset they were included, as they added minutes of time to the show which could have been given over to character development, or just slowing down the expository dialogue a bit.

I didn't get that feel one bit. (I'm assuming you are speaking about Michael v Sarak). I don't think they lasted cumulatively more than what? ... 30 seconds?
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 11:31am (UTC -5)

Yes, I think I see some similarities with the planet Coruscant and planet Vulcan. It's probably because they use CG to create some of the background activty. I think both are pretty beautiful. Coruscant's scenery was one of the better things to come out of the prequel movies.
Peter G.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 11:41am (UTC -5)
@ Geekgarious,

I'll reply to your last comment in the thread for SW: ANH. It seems like the most appropriate place.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 11:51am (UTC -5)
@Discovery Forever/@Ben

I haven't watched a single episode, partly because of guys like you who constantly patronize those who have issues with the show.

And now you're going to say "ha ha, you haven't even given it chance so your have no right to voice your opinion", right?

Of-course, if I did watch the first few epsiodes, then you'd say "ha, you think the show got off the rails after only 6 episodes. Get a life..."

And had I stuck further, then you'd say "ha, this show is so great that even those who hate it continue watching it".

It's funny how you think that such statements are some ingenious retort against those who have legitimate issues with Discovery. As if somehow, miraculously, people will like the show more if you make fun of their preferences. The only thing you're achieving here is pissing people off and scaring them even farther away.

BTW, in case you haven't notice, many of the people who gave the show a chance and later said "I'm done" are no longer watching it. So not only are your remarks condensending and disrespectful, but they're also factually wrong.

(and note that I'm not the one that started this discussion. I fully agree that people who don't like a show shouldn't hijack discussion threads related to that show. But when you mock us with wild and false claims, you're just asking for trouble. This thread is meant for Discovery fans to talk about the TV show Discovery. It *isn't* a thread for Discovery fans to organize a mob that makes fun of everybody who doesn't agree with them. If you want that, go to reddit or 4chan or whatever. Here at Jammers we expect a higher standard from our posters)
Karl Zimmerman
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 11:55am (UTC -5)
@ Yanks,

I wasn't only referring to those combat sequences - I was also referring to the "holodeck" simulation of combat with the Klingons that Lorca and Tyler took part in. Both were ancillary to the plot as a whole, and just seemed to be added in order to amp up the "action quotient" on an episode which deserved to be a slow-paced character study. No to mention actually showing the Klingon "holodeck" scene pissed off so many nitpicky fans (though not me). They could have just as easily cut the scene to begin when Lorca and Ash exited the training room, because the important dialogue happened afterward.

For that matter, the whole plot contrivance of needing Burnham to go out into a shuttle to find Sarek was kind of not needed - and was just an excuse to have technobabble on screen and the shuttle shake around for a bit. Really they could have detected his injured craft, and she could have mind-melded with him in sickbay, and it would have had the same emotional impact.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 11:56am (UTC -5)
"Does you officially being out mean that you will change your handle to 'tartreknotwatchinganymore'"

We'll always have TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY/ENT. With over 700 episodes, there's plenty to keep an old school Trek fan busy.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 12:10pm (UTC -5)

If the Federation is at war, wouldn't you expect there to be a ton of battle drills? DS9 went out of their way to show them every other week or so once the Dominion started to threaten them.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 12:14pm (UTC -5)
@ Chrome “The actress who plays Cornwell is only credited for three episodes... ”

I do not think this is significant — on IMDB, also James Frain is currently credited for three episodes only, yet I am sure we will see Sarek again.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 12:21pm (UTC -5)
"Yup. But, to me, this is just a continuation of on-screen Vulcan culture having been seriously fucked with, starting with 'Enterprise' (though there were hints of it in TNG and DS9). In this sense, I suppose DIS can be thought of as an ENT sequel."

ENT at least had an in-universe explanation that made sense. A retroactive one to be sure (courtesy of Manny Coto), but an explanation nevertheless.

At any rate, by the end season 4, the Vulcans were well on their way to become the culture we know and love from TOS. So no, having such a plot merely 10 years before TOS can hardly be seen as "an ENT sequel". I'm sure we could fanwank an explanation if we really we wanted to, but in no way is the Vulcan situation in DIS a natural progression of what we've seen in Enterprise.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 12:29pm (UTC -5)

We'll see. I'm pretty sure it IS significant in Cornwell's case and IMDB has the other characters' appearances correct.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 12:40pm (UTC -5)

'At any rate, by the end season 4, the Vulcans were well on their way to become the culture we know and love from TOS. So no, having such a plot merely 10 years before TOS can hardly be seen as "an ENT sequel".'

Fair point.

In my own defence (and in the interest of full disclosure), I gave up on ENT during its original run somewhere in the 2nd season because I couldn't stand it, and I'm only _now_ (I know, I know) binge-watching it to see if I dislike it any less*. I'm only starting season 3 now, so I don't really know the development to which you're referring.

*I actually do dislike it less than I did the first time. It's definitely not on the same level as the previous four series, but it's a hell of a lot better than the polished turd Kurtzman shat out with DIS.

Who'd have thought even ENT would be better than something else, eh?
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 12:59pm (UTC -5)
How many Vulcans do we see on TOS? If we judge solely by Spock, we must keep in mind that he's a half human in a human-dominated environment trying his best to be the idealized Vulcan to prove to others and to himself that he is still Vulcan despite it all. We have a nearly identical situation with Worf representing Klingons in TNG.

I actually think Tuvok is the most Spock-like Vulcan we meet, and he is in a bit of the same situation as Spock, representing his species to the Voyager crew. Not that he's half human, but he did pass through the arrogant superiority complex stage we so often see in other Vulcans in his backstory before "seeing the light" as it were.

The truth is, it's very hard to write Vulcans as consistently all logic and no emotion, especially when it's not a single crew member who is the "other", but multiple Vulcans interacting with each other onscreen. We can't relate and we'd be bored to tears watching it.

So the alternatives are making the Vulcans more diverse and nuanced in ways humans can relate to (which is what we've seen since at least DS9, but especialy ENT), not showing Vulcans at all (which happened for much of TNG and DS9) , or keeping them Spock-like, a single individual interacting with humans (which was done in VOY). People can disagree on which of these is the better approach.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 1:13pm (UTC -5)
Wow, any show that can generate 121 comments (positive or negative), with all this passion for and against, before the blogger himself has even posted his review is doing its job... As for this particular episode, I would give it 2.5 stars. Not as strong as the other episodes, but not bad either. Some definite plot holes for sure, but I'm convinced that "something" is going on that has yet to be revealed. I'm very much hoping there is a satisfying payoff in the works. As for Lorca, I find him fascinating as Spock would say. I can't figure him out, is he a rogue captain with his own agenda, willing to do whatever it takes to win the war (think General Patton), or again, is there "something" going on about which we just don't know... All this criticism of Lorca is funny. Kirk was by many accounts a bit of a renegade that shot first and asked questions later, and he had NO problem disobeying orders if he felt he was right. Recall the episode of Voyager where panty-waist Ensign Kim (ugh, couldn't stand him!) was criticizing the captains from a century earlier, and Captain Janeway reminded him that back then Starfleet needed captains who were willing to push the envelope. It was a dangerous time with Klingons lurking behind every asteroid just waiting to pulverize a Federation ship... If you don't like the show, then stop watching! If you're willing to give it a chance, then put aside your preconceptions (ah, channeling Sarek there!) and keep an open mind.
Karl Zimmerman
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 1:13pm (UTC -5)
@ Chrome

The way they should have played the battle drill, as I noted, was to just have Lorca and Ash come out of the "holodeck" and have the same conversation that they did in the show. Just like how in DS9 O'Brien and Bashir had lots of fun together on the Holodeck, but aside from a few times with the spy program we didn't really get to see them in action. What matters is not the combat, what matters is the two characters engaged in a "male bonding ritual" and seemed to draw closer as a result - close enough anyway to have a conversation as two individuals rather than as captain and crewman.

The only real reason to include an active combat scene is if they wanted to attempt to trick us for a short period into thinking the combat was real. But it was pretty clear from halfway through the scene by how the Klingons were dematerializing that they were holograms. Barring that, it's just a cheap attept to up the action in the episode. Actually not cheap, because Klingon makeup must be damned expensive for a scene of roughly a minute, but still, cheap in the emotional sense.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
At "logic extremists," I had to pause until my partner and I could stop laughing. The writers probably avoided "Vulcan supremacists" because that would map oddly onto real-world politics. We've been watching Enterprise for the first time and have enjoyed how the Vulcans also had internal politics and a long way to go before they become the people we know a century later, but can we explore such a plotline adequately on Discovery? I'm not sure, considering the way every episode needs to play like an action blockbuster.

After the premiere, I hoped we could forget about the poor service done to Sarek, not to mention the silliness of mind-melds across light years thanks to a shared katra. The guy playing Sarek can't begin to live up to Mark Lenard, and no one should have to. Why did the writers indulge the fanfic urge to retcon Spock's family instead of giving us new characters? And why must Sarek's mind feel like the inside of the Matrix? Did humans have this kind of understanding of katras and mind melds ten years before TOS, when they seemed pretty baffled by it even in STIII?

Speaking of continuity, I've watched TAS, and despite a few good stories I see why Roddenberry removed it from canon. TNG strongly established the holodeck as revolutionary in the 24th century, and it's in a long list of tech that's a nuisance to include on the show.

Also frustrating is the complete lack of consequences for Saru's order to free the tardigrade. In episodic television, we would ding an episode for failing to include obvious character dynamics. With the serialized approach, we withhold judgement for future episodes, but the idea seems to be that we'll forget details like that and just hold on for the ride. If we can't manage continuity with the larger Trekverse, can we at least have it episode by episode? Why does Burnham have her heart-to-heart with Ash, whom she's just met, instead of Tilly? Or even Saru, with whom she made amends in the last episode? Her expounding on her own internal conflicts feels forced to begin with, doubly so to a stranger.

Ash's line about "being human" is on the nose, since we're almost certainly going to discover he isn't. It seems almost silly to suppose he's anything other than an infiltrator, since we know his story aboard L'rell's ship doesn't scan. If he's Voq, it's entirely implausible he could act this naturally human, so we clearly have some Cylon-level reprogramming at work.

Stamets nearly saved the episode. He's riding spore cloud nine after his breakthrough and just a blast to watch. We also get the answer to how no one in Starfleet has noticed that Lorca is unhinged--someone has, and the machinations of plot get her killed in a trap so obvious it's unclear why they devoted so much screen time to it. Lorca's on a personal mission, and he's aiming for a team with higher loyalties to him than to Starfleet. If only we had the sense that Starfleet is any more ethical than he is, that might be concerning.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 1:46pm (UTC -5)
"The only real reason to include an active combat scene is if they wanted to attempt to trick us for a short period into thinking the combat was real."

I knew immediately it was a simulation because of the casual dialog and that it would make zero sense for them to be on yet another Klingon ship out of the blue. The scene establishes that Ash is a very competent soldier, which is shown by both actions and words. This leads to Ash becoming the security officer. If all this just happened in an off-hand conversation, like you suggest, it would be less believable.

And there's nothing wrong with action, cheap or not, as long as it's connected to an important story thread of the episode. For example, it was fun and all hearing that Dax took Klingon martial arts, but it was hard to take to heart she could actually hold her own in Klingon hand-to-hand combat until DS9 showed us what she was capable of in "Blood Oath", a great action episode of DS9.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 2:24pm (UTC -5)
I thought it was a flashback to their escape in the previous episode to reveal something we didn't see last week.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 2:31pm (UTC -5)
Went ahead and cancelled my CBS All Access. They inquire as part of cancellation why you’re doing so and took the opportunity to let them knowvwas dosappinted in such a poorly done product. Given it has been renewed for season two my feedback won’t effect that but maybe if enough people cancel AND leave feedback maybe season two will be better

I remember Ron Moore saying part of why he went onto Voyager after DS9 ended was because he didn’t want to say goodbye to Trek/-that it had been a major part of his life but in hindsight he knew deep down he probably should have moved on rather than joining VOY given he knew of the strife behind the scenes

That’s kinda how I feel. I had a feeling DIS wasn’t going to be very good given the setting, the aesthetics, the plot and writers but Trek has been a lot of fun over the years and the appeal of a new series with new episodes was too attractive so I gave it a chance but my instincts were correct. I’ll just have to be content and realize how fortunate that Gene created TNG when he did in syndication without studio meddling and established that special Trek feel. That Michael Piller came onboard, turned TNG around and would go on to create a cohesive 24th century universe across TNG/DS9/VOY. That Ira Steven Behr capitalized on DS9 setting to do an intergalactic war properly that drew in the marquee Trek species and on his way out philosophically mused on them as large scale societies. And while VOY wasn’t all it should have been it still felt Trek and offered up another interesting setting in the Delta Quadrant where starship stories could continue.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
"Wow, any show that can generate 121 comments (positive or negative), with all this passion for and against, before the blogger himself has even posted his review is doing its job... "

It simply means that the show has the words "Star Trek" in its title. I mean, getting Trekkies to pour their heart out over a new Trek show isn't exactly the biggest challenge in the world... They could have shown us 45 minutes of hypnotoad every week and call it "Star Trek: Hypnotoad" and it wouldn't have changed a darn thing.

Now, if it were a brand new independent show that generated this kind attention and heated discussion, I would have agreed with you. But a Star Trek show? Any 2nd rate troll can generate this kind of attention on a board full of Trekkies. XD

"I gave up on ENT during its original run somewhere in the 2nd season because I couldn't stand it, and I'm only _now_ (I know, I know) binge-watching it to see if I dislike it any less. I'm only starting season 3 now, so I don't really know the development to which you're referring."

Good thing I kept my comment spoiler-free, then.

And if DIS is making you appreciate ENT a little more (or at least hate it a little less) then that's something good. At least now you know that the creators of ENT did try (at least sometimes) to stick to their prequel premise. Personally, I've always believed that ENT is underated (the writing isn't great, but the setting has so much potential that it elevates the medicore scripts in my view).
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
A mixed bag, still disappointing.

On the plus side, a few nice crew and character moments, and I liked Sarek's revelation. Didn't mind the fighting.

On the negative side:

* The A-Plot has some nice moments, and some not-so-nice. We start with... Vulcan suicide bombers? Does everyone get suicide bombers in DIS!? Before canon or plausibility, this should have been rejected due to being cliche by now. We already have one fanatic (Klingon) faction. Can we please have some diversity in our villains?

Now, a Vulcan group which opposes the Federation isn't a bad idea at all. What would have been really scary - if such a 'Vulcan extremist' group existed which actually went about it in a extremely cold, logical and calculating way; The first step being not blowing up Sarek in a way which would paint them as enemies of peace.

* The B-Plot is just poor. It's badly presented - every single dialogue scene with Admiral Cornwell is ultra-wooden, probably the worst dialogue in the series so far - and the plot here doesn't make sense either: nobody but her knows the psych-results, and she has to go to Lorca threatening him first - when she knows he's unstable?

That said, of course Lorca didn't try to rescue her intentionally. Alas, the writers show us this with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. We're all meant to compare the last scenes with the ones regarding Sarek and come to the obvious conclusion.

* While Starfleet protagonists on Star Trek are usually on a pedestal, Michael Sue is the only one which has an entire crew and setting devoted just for her. One example this chapter is the dialogue on the sickbay bed - the semi-smirking replies shouldn't be Sarek-like (he's supposed to be a smart diplomat and a Vulcan), but exist only to allow Michael to have her little speech.

In short, DIS is improving slowly - note that I did not see the previous chapter - but it's not yet enough for me to like it.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 3:29pm (UTC -5)
It is specifically stated in dialogue that Lorca's psych results are normal, that he faked them. Admiral Cornwell only truly figures that out when he pulls a phaser on her in bed, though she has an inkling before due to being close to him.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 3:49pm (UTC -5)

'the writing isn't great, but the setting has so much potential that it elevates the medicore scripts in my view.'

Aye, you're not wrong. There were also a couple of actually really conceptually strong episodes, like 'Impulse' (Vulcan cruiser trapped in the ateroid field), that I thought were really top-drawer Trek done very well.

The other problems — leaving aside the occasional flagrant canon violations — are a couple of mis-castings (Linda Park was utterly devoid of personality and tended to sound like a valley girl, and Scott Bakula still thought he was on Quantum Leap), and a general lack of overall chemistry among the whole cast. That really did the show in, from what I'm observing now, because they simply didn't — and probably couldn't — gel. The only universal chemistry donors were Phlox and Tucker; they at least mitigated the awkwardness in chemistry a bit with other actors in the scene they were in.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 3:55pm (UTC -5)

Even if the opening were a flashback, it wouldn't be a gratuitous action scene, in fact there were many people last week including Jammer lamenting that they didn't show more details of the escape. So that might've been a useful expositional action scene.

To be fair, I agree that DSC is more action-orientated than previous Treks. I don't think that automatically makes the shows "dumb" or "pandering". The way I see it, if you're going to do a fast-paced Trek, go all in. The reason why ST: Insurrection was so bad is that it tried to be quiet and intellectual, but eventually just threw in unrealistic actions scenes like Picard and Riker fighting hand-to-hand for no reason whatsoever.

DSC is better than that, because rather than forcing action scenes, the action scenes have been part of the DNA of the series since the pilot. Thus we, the audience, can expect a decent amount of war-time firefights and combat in any given episode.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 4:03pm (UTC -5)

I should have written more clearly: 'nobody but her guessed the *true* psych results'. Still the point stands. Even after she figured out his mental status, there was nothing to be gained by all but rubbing her decision in his face. She could have solved this quietly with no risk involved.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 4:06pm (UTC -5)
I am absolutely fascinated by the intense level of negativity towards Discovery on this website. It doesn't appear to reflect the general consensus toward the show - it's in the low 80's on Rottentomatoes, and the majority of reviews appearing in online magazines have been positive, as far as I can tell. And yet here, where presumably there is a higher contingent of old Star Trek fans than in the general population of online television reviewers, the response is highly negative. What does this tell us? That Star Trek fans dislike it, and yet professional television reviewers like it? And what might that suggest?

As for myself, I am an old Star Trek fan, and I think I've developed pretty standard tastes for the difference between good Star Trek and bad Star Trek. I mean, my opinions tend not to be too controversial. I believe strongly that TOS, TNG, and DS9 are all brilliant shows, in their different ways. I think the best movies are Wrath of Khan, Search for Spock, Voyager Home, Undiscovered Country, and First Contact. I think Voyager was largely terrible and Enterprise largely mediocre and irrelevant. You see? Pretty standard set of opinions. Aligned with the general consensus, really.

And see, to my eyes, Discovery is, by far, the best Star Trek we've seen since the end of Deep Space Nine. It's compelling, mysterious, surprising, different, layered, thematically complex, all the things I look for in a piece of literature or television. And I'm frankly surprised that all these old school Trek fans are hating this show so much. Even Jammer is being harder on it than he should be. The whole negative reaction to it is so strange to me. It's so clearly a better written show than, say, Voyager or Enterprise, it's like comparing Jaws to Sharknado.

Anyway, really liking the show so far, Surprised at how good it is. And saddened, also, that so many of my fellow lifelong Trek fans aren't digging it like I am.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 4:18pm (UTC -5)
Personally Voy and ENT are light years ahead of DIS. There were at least some actors and characters you cared about on VOY/ENT—not on DIS. And unlike DIS, the other two spin-offs felt like Trek. And as middling as VOY/ENT writing was they had a stronger start than DIS

Ultimately DIS just possesses all the elements of 21st century storytelling I abhor— its slick artificial feel coupled with insufferable characters and weak writing that tackles the arc with an unsatisfying scattershot approach
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 4:44pm (UTC -5)
I modern show like Game of Thrones can be dark and grim. But at least it has characters you can root for. Who am I supposed to be rooting for in this show? So far Tilly and the Doctor are the only characters who have any positive attributes, but the story is barely about them.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 5:02pm (UTC -5)

Honestly I find it very difficult to think that anybody can really root for any of the characters of GoT. Even the ones that are superficially likable like Daenerys have the taint of madness and have commited acts of heinous violence.

So far I have seen positive elements in Captain Georgiou, Tilly, Stamets, Saru and Burnham that I cannot find in any GoT character and I have read the books as well. Hell, even the Albino Klingon is better and more honorable than any of these people.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
I think in the context of the show certain actions are more forgivable but even so many of the characters were much more likeable. In the context of star trek the moral bar is much higher yet the characters are not even likeable. So for me it fails on both counts. I think Burnham is an awful person, stamets is an asshole, Georgio is dead so I can't root for her, Saru abused the tardigrade to save Lorka of all people, and as I said Tilly isn't really important (so far anyway)
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 5:16pm (UTC -5)
motion to change the short-hand name of the show to "Disco"

It's so much nicer than STD...
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 5:23pm (UTC -5)

I feel about the same as you do. The extremely negative reactions to the show, (all 6 episodes of it so far,) even if they are in the minority, still seem baffling.

I suspect that, as with most things, a large part of what you get out of Discovery depends on what you bring into it. If someone has made Star Trek part of their identity or based their personal ideology on it, then I suppose any addition to canon that didn't match their entrenched interpretation could feel like an attack on their ego.

But that doesn't make much sense to me either; I have to believe that anyone who cared so deeply would incorporate IDIC into their philosophy, and then stop. What kind of tea Picard drinks, the actual color of Kirks tunic, or the stardate of the first holographic projector installed on a starship, while (normally!) fun to debate on a site like this, just does not matter. In fact, it is to miss the entire subtext of the franchise.

For me, the biggest question is: Do they have a story to tell? Is it worth telling? Are they able to tell it in a compelling way?

Beyond that, things like episodic vs. serialization; streaming vs. over-the-air no longer matter that much.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 5:53pm (UTC -5)
Review now posted.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 5:58pm (UTC -5)
This was better than I expected, and might even be the strongest episode so far, but that doesn't mean anything. I liked getting a look at Burnham's relationship with Sarek, but the method of exposition was silly. Not nearly as silly as the idea of logic extremists though. I agree with others that this show would be more interesting if the focus were on Lorca as an anti-hero.

@Trent: "I'm now convinced that this series cons us into thinking its good, in the moment rather than in reflection, simply by its cynical use of open-ended cliffhangers."

I felt the same way about many Fringe episodes which revolved around a monster of the week with a morsel of mythology info at the end. So I'm not surprised that I feel the same way about Discovery since Kurtzman worked on both shows. Fringe had a few terrific episodes which was one of the reasons why I decided to give Discovery a chance. Seasons 4 and 5 were a huge mess though and unbelievably frustrating for a longtime viewer. So I'm going to cancel my subscription to AllAccess and read the criticism for now.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 6:11pm (UTC -5)

It was confirmed that it was L’rell on After Trek.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 6:43pm (UTC -5)
I don't think the show is great and alot of the critisism is completly justified. But it is good enough to keep me watching plus I'm more invested than I was with Enterprise.
(I have to admit that show, for me, died with the intro)
And about my condescending statements... well it is just my Vulcan arrogance. How can people get so emotional about a TV-show.
And this Vulcan side comes out especially when people write stuff like: Worst show and so on. Or announce that they will no longer watch the show (who cares?? Why do some people think the people here need to no that they will no longer watch something)
It makes me think of this scene
And when I say "get a life" I just think about world hunger or global warming or the slow collapse of western democracies. So forgive me for not seeing a real reason to get so emotional.
I hope it gets more positive and hopeful. I think we all could need a little bit of that.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 6:55pm (UTC -5)
Quick observation:

Granted, I only read through perhaps 15 pages of fan reviews on rt. But the audience score imo is very telling about the future of this series. While the critics are giving generally good marks, the show is getting absolutely hammered by the audience. Despite suspicious clusters of nondescript 5* ratings, it only takes a moment to see that actual written reviews trash the show 10x more often than ones that give it any praise whatsoever. It's especially noticeable when you observe the exact opposite effect for the Orville, a show I still haven't seen. I think the show's doing two things (and each episode only seems to be magnifying the effect):

1. It's severely alienating a major and alarming part of the old guard Trek fan base.

2. At best, it's absolutely polarizing fan opinion.

Neither of these is good for the ultimate success of the show. I'll be surprised if STD ever makes its second season (despite the recent green light) and shocked if it ever sees a third.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 7:09pm (UTC -5)
"Personally Voy and ENT are light years ahead of DIS. There were at least some actors and characters you cared about on VOY/ENT—not on DIS. And unlike DIS, the other two spin-offs felt like Trek. And as middling as VOY/ENT writing was they had a stronger start than DIS"

Err... that's not really a fair comparison at this point. You're comparing 7/4 years of two television shows that both had very rough starts against only 6 episodes of Discovery. It's like saying "DS9 is better than Discovery". Well, yeah it is, but DS9 had a fairly rough first season and it took a couple seasons to really get going... comparing a *long running* Trek show to a Trek show that has barely started is kind of nonsense.

To bring it down to Discovery's level, you have to look over the first six episodes of Enterprise/Voyager:
Broken Bow + several average-bad episodes, nothing that rises above a 2.5 at this point and it had several clunkers (pregnant Trip episode? Hmm.).
Caretaker (ugh) + several average-bad episodes + "Eye of the Needle" (first above average VOY episode?).

I would say that even with it's various flaws/issues, Discovery is off to a better and more interesting start than both Enterprise and Voyager.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 7:15pm (UTC -5)

I was comparing tng ds9 voy ent first six episodes to DiS first six. And the first four were ahead of the game as far as the casting, the characters and the episodes

I’m willing to overlook things when a series starts out if I like some or all the cast but with DIS it not only has zero characters I’m interested in but the plots aren’t any good either

Plus those other shoes did a much better job establishing their premise and setting. Besides I’ve seen other Abrams’ Kurtzman projects and I know what this series is going to do and be like based on those other stuff like Fringe and I’m just not interested in watching something the writers don’t care about
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 7:33pm (UTC -5)

Encounter farpoint 3 Stars good pilot with interesting aliens in W andvthe jellyfish lifeforms, the trial giving us some hints at Trek past and our future, McCoy cameo etc
Naked now 3 stars entertaining outing
Code honor 2.5 stars so so
Last outpost 3 stars entertaining
WNOHGB 3 Stars entertaining sense of awe and wonder very trekky feeling to it


Emissary 3.5 Stars. A little heavy with tng but cool seeing wolf 359 battle, the atmosphere was appealing of the show, Sisko was a presence right off the bat etc

Man alone2.5 Stars. Good off episode with a passable plot/ mystery

Past prologue 2.5 stars. Could have done with Kurds B’Etor shoehorned in. The episode was well written even if not the most entertaining hour


Caretaker 4 stars great I alternate between this and scorpion as the series best episodes

Parallax 2.5 Stars mediocre Disposable plot so so character stuff with janeway continuing to shine” sometimes you just have to punch your way through it”

Time again 3 stars I enjoyed the plot and the chemistry between janeway and Paris

Phage 3 good Braga script creepy and vidiians were the kind of aliens I wanted out of the Delta Quadrant and janeways giving it to the vidiians in the final act was fantastic. Didn’t care for neelix so his situation didn’t do a whole lot for me

Ex post facto 3 stars decent little episode


Broken bow 3 stars pilot. A perfect action adventure that did a fantastic job establishing the players and introducing us to the 22 nd century. The aesthetics were appropriate as far as the ship design and interiors as well as the hybrid uniforms mixing nada and tos elements. The temporal Cold War was spooky. Liked the mix of new aliens like Suliban with marquee aliens like Klingons. Lots of great locales and production was phenomenal. Little trekkian lessons sprinkled throughout

Fight or flight 3 stars entertaining and creepy

Strange new world 2.5 stars. Granted plot was underwhelming but the little touches made this enjoyable from the crew reaction to their first minshara planet to them camping telling ghost stories etc

Unexpected 2.5 stars. Pretty good first half sabotaged by an awful Orville-level comedy skit.

Terra nova 2.5 stars. Not very inspired but again the little things help it along
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 7:37pm (UTC -5)
Autocorrected — tng encounter farpoint Q not W
Ds9 Odo not off
Ds9 without Lursa not with Kurd
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 8:25pm (UTC -5)
Am I the only one that thinks Lorca is currently the best character on the show? He is hard to read and his motives remain a mystery. Would love for the show to shift focus onto him, I also enjoy the acting for Lorca. He's played very well.

He reminds me somewhat of those renegade captains/admirals from TNG. It's interesting to see it from another POV.

Also I'm done to death with vulcan mysticism. It's been done way too many times already.
Ben S
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 8:48pm (UTC -5)
To the people who think that old Trek fans are being unfair:

This show would be terrible even if it wasn’t Trek. In fact, you can watch it and pretend it isn’t Trek. The Klingons could be any alien race and Starfleet could be any generic military organization.

Without the coat of Star Trek paint glossed over it, you are left with a pretty terrible sci-fi show that people probably wouldn’t have even noticed, let alone paid money to see.

The primary reason for this, I believe, is that the characters are so thoroughly unlikable, it is impossible to be invested in them in any way. If you don’t care what happens so them, there’s no motivation to continue watching them.

I recently finished a run of TNG. Even though I knew those characters wouldn’t die, I spent time worrying how Data or Riker would get out of a situation or how Geordi or Picard would escape their danger or whatever; because I liked those characters.

On DISCO (hehe), even though death is a real possibility, I am not invested in any character enough to care. Their deaths are meaningless. And that, is why the show is awful.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 8:53pm (UTC -5)
People are being too harsh on this show.

I don't think any star trek series has been very good in it's first season. TNG was awful DS9 was slow, VOY was dreadfully uneven. I think people are just seeing what they expect to see and are jumping on every bad thing they can.

Slow down and give this series a chance to get better.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 8:55pm (UTC -5)

You really think Code of Honor actually rises to the level of "so-so"?
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 9:04pm (UTC -5)
I wish to let everyone know I will keep watching this series. From reading some of these comments, I’ve come to realize the importance of letting everyone know our viewing intentions. Rest assured, I will update everyone weekly on my status.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 9:17pm (UTC -5)

I thought it was an interesting Yar episode and the death match was pretty good. I know some folks think it’s racist but I never thought so. But to each their own. I happen to also think Threshold isn’t the abomination most people think it is
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
Maybe I’m imagining it but I could have sworn we already saw Sarek vs the Vulcan extremists in TNG! They had to find a deadly psychic rock or something and Picard’s pure beautiful thoughts protected him but the bad Vulcans got vaporised. They were underground. I’m so sure that was Vulcans but I can’t remember the episode name and everyone is acting like it’s a crazy and new concept. Maybe it was Romulams but you’d not get a plot out of “some romulans really fucking hate humans” like you would with vulcans

Them bombing the school BECAUSE of Burnham is dreadful, and she actually died, no wonder she’s still so haunted by it, poor chicken

I think it makes sense anyway, we know Vulcans aren’t as perfect as they pretend, we know they make bad decisions based on emotions and lie.

I also want to know if Lorca was deliberately sending the admiral to her doom or not. This kind of plot works better when we have a better understanding of the character, we can’t meet him in the midst of it and get the same out of it.

This episode is making me feel more about the Voq Tyler thing. The way he acted when Lorca said something so casual about where exactly in Seattle his dad taught (was that it?) - so unnatural, even if you’re shy around the captain you’d defend calling something in a town if others would call it near the town. And so convenient all your family, who’d know if it’s you or someone acting as you, are all dead. And the way he JUMPED when Lorca said he trusted him. And all his wisdom about failing your adoptive father. And especially the “haha sounds like being human, PS I’m a human too haha” ending.

And when Burnham got her Sarek attack when he touched her, it’s like they were setting that up for it to make him suspicious, even though this was nothing to do with him. And the admiral specifically asking if he’s trustworthy. And him downplaying being physically as strong as a Klingon.

Stamets is addicted to mushrooms, I didn’t see that coming! Perhaps the mushrooms mind expanding effects are all that was behind last ep’s mirror scene, haha!

I also wondered why we never mentioned freeing the tardigrade and only had the briefest mention of what Stamets did to himself. A bit weird. But I’m sure when we get back to it there’ll be someone talking to an actual child to explain it all. Ugh
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 9:40pm (UTC -5)
I wonder if the Enterprise crew are running around in "ENTER" t-shirts :P
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 9:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: Tyler is Voq.

I'm actually convinced this is true. It seems so obvious to me that I think it would actually be more impressive if it turned out that he wasn't. The clincher for me was seeing the IMDB page of the guy who allegedly plays Voq. It's completely empty except for his role in DIS. And his photo is him in Klingon makeup. Did they really hire a complete novice to be the primary antagonist? He also hasn't been invited to After Trek yet (L'Rell has been on several times). Seems like this guy doesn't exist. And there's the fact that Tyler didn't appear until way after the series started despite being a series regular credited in the opening titles of every episode. That's pretty unusual.

But there was plenty in-universe evidence from this episode and the preview for the next one. Did you see his plate in the mess hall? This guy has an appetite. TWO burgers and ton of sides. And when Tilly and Michael were watching him from the end of the room the was eating it in quite an aggressive... almost Klingon way. The line of "that's being human", uhuh. They also talk about how weird it is that he's so good at beating up Klingons. In the preview for the next episode, crazy-Stamets points out how tall he is and how weird it is that he wasn't affected by 7 months of torture. Becoming a human is pretty extreme, however L'Rell told him he would loss "everything". And this was a guy who was marooned on a dead spaceship. He didn't have anything...

Well like I said, after the first episode of seeing Tyler I was already convinced he was Voq so it will be boring if it turns out to be true lol. I will give the writers/producers serious kudos if it's all actually a trick and he's not Voq at all but I doubt it!
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 11:02pm (UTC -5)

"One other frustrating comment I keep seeing is that other series had bad science as a plot device, too. That statement is both true and a complete misrepresentation. TNG was episodic. If you remove episodes with nonsense as a plot device, it has no effect on the other episodes."

Yeah, no. Crystals make you move faster than light? Every episode of TNG like every episode of Star Trek used nonsense as a plot device. Don't like scientific nonsense? You're watching the wrong show.

I like the spore drive for two reasons. First, while most Star Trek technobabble is impenatrable, the spore drive is something I can actually imagine. Most Star Trek technobabble is a word salad of scientific words divorced from their real morning and strung together haphazardly. When Gordi La Forge talks about some "quantum tacheyon singularity " or whatever, there's nothing behind the buzzword salad to grab onto. The spore drive, in contrast, presents us with the idea that biological cells that evolved long ago and spread with the universe as it expanded are quantum entangled with each other allowing instantaneous transport but only probabilistically. To be sure, this is impossible since living cells are too large for quantum entanglement (and other reasons I'm sure), but I can imagine it.

Second, the spore drive harkens back to the idea that the earliest technology was plants and animals. An ancient empire was able to quickly mobilize its troop because it had domesticated horses. Or the Polynesians using the flight patterns of birds to find faraway islands in the South Pacific. That's what I think of when I see them use the tardigrade to navigate the spores. It's a good reminder that technology isn't just computers. I don't know why people are so critical of it.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 11:38pm (UTC -5)
@Jammer I too was surprised we didn't get some acknowledgement of Lorca finding out the tardigrade had been freed. But honestly, the more I pondered it, it wasn't needed.

When everyone is there with Stamets after the jump, he acknowledges ("once you get used to the needles") that he is now the navigator. For Lorca's bit, the ship can still jump, so no harm no foul.

Presumably the consequences of Stamets being the navigator will be borne out beyond him acting high.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 11:42pm (UTC -5)
Don't know if this has been raised, but why does Starfleet give command of Discovery, and with it the authorization to act with near impunity, to a guy whose last command ended when he destroyed his own ship?

Also how did he learn to become such a cliched 20th century fighter in the 23rd century Federation? "Where do you hail from soldier" - he's even got the lingo.

All to be revealed, or ignored, at a later date.

As for this episode on it's own, I find it hard to score. Probably 2-2.5/4. I have roughly the same opinion as Jammer.

I hope they manage at least one high quality episode this season.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 12:00am (UTC -5)
Dobber: more evidence that Tyler is Voq:

-Ash lying about his kill score to get Lorca on his side
-Burnham having her vision when touching Ash for the first time
-The scene at the end: "Ash Tyler. We've met"... Burnham: "have we?"

It also explains why the Klingon make-up is so heavy. If they used TNG era make-up, you'd recognize Voq as Ash no problem.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 1:05am (UTC -5)
@Peter G.

I've been thoroughly enjoying your comments under the Discovery episodes, because they largely reflect my own views. It's aggravating to see what's become of Star Trek, or Star Wars - but it's at least good to know that there are some people out there who have some sense. At its peak, Star Trek has been a work of art, and the original Star Wars trilogy was likewise excellent. Now it's all become mediocre and amateurish.

Thanks for your comments, anyway, they summarized a couple of good observations. Well, in the Star Wars universe, we got at least "Rogue One", which was a lot more captivating than "The Force Awakens" and shows that it's still possible to make good shows, if the makers just want to. That is, if they comprehend the core ideas of a franchise and know about good storytelling, rather than selling out a franchise either because they don't comprehend it (and don't realize their own incompetence) or because they're only interested in a quick buck, anyway.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 1:25am (UTC -5)
@Peter G.

I just read in the "Rogue One" discussion that you didn't like the movie... too bad, for me personally it was a shimmer of hope, because it wasn't as utterly unbelievable as "The Force Awakens", which wants to make us believe that almost the same circumstances and events that took place a few decades earlier repeat themselves. At best, TFA could take place in a parallel universe to "A New Hope", but not in the same one. "Rogue One" however got me captivated. But this thread is the wrong place to discuss that, anyway.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 3:06am (UTC -5)
Did Gandalf save them from the Klingon Orcs yet?
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 3:29am (UTC -5)

Seriously name me one likable character from GoT. I guess Tyrion but he just stands there muttering philosophical quotes since season 3 or whatever without doing anything.

In all fairness if Discovery had the level of dialogue and direction of the last couple of GoT seasons (where they cannot lift up text straight out of the books), there would have been tons of zero stars and hysteria all around the place. They took Euron without adding Victarion to the show and turned a very nuanced and complex character into what? Jack Sparrow on lsd? That pop singer or whatever cameo on season 7 killed so much momentum for ridiculousness. I stopped watching on s07e03 and not coming back for the finale. Hopefully the books will do better.


Thanxs God Europe has netflix, though the quality is all over the place. Very hard to get a good HD quality. Hope they fix it by the time the second part starts airing.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 4:43am (UTC -5)
The evidence for Tyler being Voq is so strong that indeed, as @ Dobber said:

"It seems so obvious to me that I think it would actually be more impressive if it turned out that he wasn't."

But then who would it be, if anyone? Someone somewhere (here? YouTube?) suggested Lorca; although if nothing else, with the recent developments concerning Lorca, I would hate for that all to turn out to be for nought (because who we think is Lorca actually isn't). I myself just thought about Mudd today, if only because he was on the Klingon ship, and we know he turns up on Discovery somehow. (Oh, and again I don't recall where I saw it, but, someone mentioned that there was that "out to lunch" person with Lorca and Mudd. I kind of thought that was Tyler--partly because Discovery's dark, "cinematic" visuals occasionally make things unclear--but as someone suggested, perhaps that was the real Tyler. So ... even more evidence for Tyler being Voq.)

But either way (say Tyler is Voq), it does seem he has a new personality. Not only would this indeed be similar to sleeper agents on the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, but, it's similar to something from Babylon 5 as well. (Without giving anything away, in the Babylon 5 universe, new personalities can be programmed for people ... and at the right time, assuming said personality was kept hidden, it can be brought forward, destroying the original one in the process.) But I have to wonder ... might Tyler back as Voq still retain any of Tyler's feelings for his crew? Might Voq find himself very conflicted at that time, for which side he is truly on?

Meanwhile, on another topic, I've found myself feeling like, continuity-wise, Discovery works better as a sequel to ENT than as a prequel to TOS. The technology isn't then an issue; the colors and uniforms seem like reasonable progressions; and, the apparent discord within the Federation is more plausible. Although, so far as the Federation discord goes at least ... TOS hinted at it. In "Amok Time", Vulcan came off like any other alien world; Bones--older than the rest of the crew--often made what were really quite racist (specist?) remarks about Spock and Vulcans in general; and, in "Whom Gods Destroy", Kirk--who was of course fairly young--spoke of a time when people like him and Spock weren't yet "brothers" ... before Garth's victory at Axanar, presumably, solidified everything.

But, two things: above all else, the Klingons in Discovery just really, really do not fit with any preexisting continuity ... ENT, TOS, TNG/DS9/VOY or otherwise. And it's not just the looks .... Why is their speech so slow and deliberate? Why, as various others have said, do they speak like they have sand or marbles in their mouths? And as I've been thinking about lately, why is virtually nothing about them familiar? Why, for instance, has their been no gagh? No targs? Why has no one yet said "Qapla'"? I realize the show's creators may want to avoid *too* many such references .... But surely, *something* familiar would be good. Discovery's Klingons just do *not* seem like Klingons.

And second, the novel "Desperate Hours" apparently explains that Starfleet had ships like the Shenzhou and the Enterprise in service at the same time ... which wouldn't be so unreasonable if the technology differential wasn't so great. (Further, only officers on Constitution-class ships wore uniforms as seen on "The Cage".) I'm not even sure if the books are canonical anyway ... not to mention that many fans will never read them.

But suppose Discovery would feature a Constitution-class ship onscreen? Perhaps they could even have Lorca or whonot request to be holographically-projected there, only to be reminded, to his annoyance, that Constitution-class ships don't use that technology. Although the differences in technology would still seem absurd, at least canonically--onscreen--the reality of the discrepancies would be acknowledged.

And for that matter ... it's come to bother me a little that on DS9, we never got to see the Enterprise-E or any of the crew during the Dominion War (and nor, of course, did "Insurrection" feature the Enterprise in the Dominion War.) And now, it's bothering me a bit that, presumably, we'll never get to see the Enterprise with Pike and Spock during (or even after) the Klingon War.

So, I for one would love it if Discovery not only showed a Constitution-class ship--true to the Enterprise as seen in "The Cage"--but actually the Enterprise itself. And ... particularly after this episode with Sarek and Michael, I'd love to see Michael and Spock share a conversation as well.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 4:59am (UTC -5)
"What does this tell us? That Star Trek fans dislike it, and yet professional television reviewers like it? And what might that suggest?"

Star Trek fans as a group do not "dislike it". They are divided... which isn't surprising, given how different Discovery is from all previous Trek show. There seems to be poor correlation (either positive or negative) between being a TOS/TNG/DS9 fan and being a DSC fan.

And this is exactly what you see in the comments here.

As for the professional TV reviewers, they don't know sh*t when it comes to sci fi. They are so out of touch with the audience that it isn't even funny. And again, this is hardly surprising, given that professional TV reviewers usually aren't sci fi fans let alone Trekkies. You should never rely on mainstream reviewers to properly review a niche product.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 5:30am (UTC -5)
"As for the professional TV reviewers, they don't know sh*t when it comes to sci fi. They are so out of touch with the audience that it isn't even funny. And again, this is hardly surprising, given that professional TV reviewers usually aren't sci fi fans let alone Trekkies. You should never rely on mainstream reviewers to properly review a niche product."

Star Trek a niche product, really? With so many toys, comics, novels and tv shows/movies it seems to me as mainstream as it can get.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 5:59am (UTC -5)
"1. It's severely alienating a major and alarming part of the old guard Trek fan base.

2. At best, it's absolutely polarizing fan opinion.

Neither of these is good for the ultimate success of the show."

Don't be so sure it's bad for the show.

I'll give Discovery one thing: It knows what it wants to be. It is a part of TPTB's effort to "modernize" and mainstreamize Star Trek, and it is doing the job it was set out to do. It's a new world were the old considerations of continuity no longer matters, and the story-telling is on par (for good and for ill) with what's expected in 2017 TV.

This was obvious from the very first second of the pre-launch promotional materials. And you know something? I respect them from fearlessly going full-ahead into this new concept (occasional feeble-attempt-at-reconciling-the-oldtimers promos notwithstanding).

And yes, obviously, this alienates a certain portion (looks like about 30-40%) of the oldtime Trek fans. That's too bad... but ultimately unavoidable. You and I are simply not part of this show's target audience, and CBS knows that.

Of-course, I'm just as saddened as you by the fact that Trek is now pandering to the lowest common denominator. But speaking from a strictly-business perspective, the show has a solid following and CBS has nothing to worry about.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 6:09am (UTC -5)
"And see, to my eyes, Discovery is, by far, the best Star Trek we've seen since the end of Deep Space Nine. It's compelling, mysterious, surprising, different, layered, thematically complex, all the things I look for in a piece of literature or television. And I'm frankly surprised that all these old school Trek fans are hating this show so much."

"I suspect that, as with most things, a large part of what you get out of Discovery depends on what you bring into it. If someone has made Star Trek part of their identity or based their personal ideology on it, then I suppose any addition to canon that didn't match their entrenched interpretation could feel like an attack on their ego."

Geez, guys, what's there not to comprehend? You don't need to come up with crude theories to explain why a certain group of people doesn't like the show. You can just read what they (including me) are saying, because we're pretty direct and vocal about it.

- The logical and scientific inconsistencies (plotholes, contradictions etc.) are aggravating; this is simply the worst writing that I've seen on Trek. Granted, ENT managed to be better simply by being boring, which isn't something to be proud of. Also, this is the least intellectual Trek to me that I've seen so far. It doesn't make me think at all (except about the deficiencies of the show).

- The characters aren't likeable. I still think that Michael Burnham is incompetent, I can't connect to her, and that is a big (like HUGE) issue, because it fails to generate the attitude that I should have as a viewer of the show (identification, interest, etc.). The show is not compelling to me.

- Some core ideas of Star Trek are attacked, and not in a clever way. The show tries to be "different", but I can't recognize any artistic value of it. It's just being different for the sake of being different, which is a telltale sign of a poor concept for a TV show. These novelties range from the moral bankruptcy of the characters or Starfleet as a whole, over the poor new concept for the Klingons (again, not compelling to me, but flat) to the way the people speak (too much 21st century slang) and other things.

It is an over-interpretation to assume that we made the old shows a part "of our identity" and feel personally threatened by the direction of the new show. How do I put this... I am pretty sure that if I watched TNG and DIS for the first time simultaneously (making neither of the shows "the new one" or "the old one"), my opinions would pretty much be the same. I don't need to "identify" with TNG in order to find DIS bad. I can grasp the ideas and artistic direction of a TV show pretty quickly and come to a conclusion of whether I like it or not. DIS is an amateurish show to me that doesn't meet the standard of the rest (not, not even Voyager's). So far, it's also been uncreative IMO - similarly to how the new Star Wars movie is an uncreative rehash of "A New Hope" (Star Wars IV).

That is, simply put, my perspective on this.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 6:15am (UTC -5)
Right now Discovery has:

on IMDB: 7.3 which is not bad but it's lower than any other trek show on imdb

On rotten tomatoes (viewers not critics) 58% like it

on Metacritic (viewers not critics): 4.4 (out of ten)
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 6:27am (UTC -5)
Not liking something after a while makes sense. I stopped watching Game of Thrones last year and I have been a huge fan of the books since 2007 before the tv series. I have the Dark Horse statues, the Atlas,the pop toys, the short stories from various anthologies and so on. Season seven got royally on my nerves and I simply parted ways with it. I grumble about it more than I should but I respect the people who still like it for the romance or the action or whatever they keep doing.

Going back to (a broken as Jammer constantly complains) streaming service every week to watch something you do not enjoy baffles me. It looks like a waste of time when you can do something you actually enjoy to spend your free time.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 6:28am (UTC -5)

Some likeable GOT characters in early GOT: Tyrion, Ned Stark, Arya, Daenerys, Samwell, Jon Snow.

Though sure it’s perfectly legit to turn against some of these characters in later seasons as they wind up doing some nasty things and also fair if you feel that the quality has declined recently. Personally I’m still enjoying it.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 6:52am (UTC -5)

I like the fact that people are still happy about GoT though I am not. I also find Discovery to be closer to Enterprise and DS9 than the GoT tv series is to its own books especially concerning characters like Stannis. Just read the first unpublished chapter of "Winds of Winter" and compare it to what happens to the series. It is close to making Kirk torture Uhura for fun.

The Disc novel "desperate hours" explains a lot about the changes between Pike's enterprise and the Shenjou, there is even a chapter where the pinpoint the differences between the ships one by one. It features some plots that are currently part of the series like Burnham's relationship with Saru and Spock and gives a nice background to where Shenjou stands. I would recommend it for anybody that does not hate these characters with a passion.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 7:25am (UTC -5)

I agree with most of your comment, but this part:

“I'm just as saddened as you by the fact that Trek is now pandering to the lowest common denominator.”

I’m not sure how you reached this conclusion, but it sounds like you’re saying DSC is pandering to the lowest common denominator because it’s not for you.

Now, I agree modern Trek productions do target the mainstream audience sometimes over hardcore fans, but that only makes our Trek community more diverse. Nor is DSC using more despicable methods than other Treks. I could say that VOY and ENT pandered to the lowest common denominator by putting Seven in a catsuit and given dozens of scenes of Hoshi Sato in camisoles. To me that smacks of desperation and at least I can safely say DSC isn’t going that route with its females characters.

I believe everyone has a subjective opinion on what’s highbrow and/or intellectual though, so I’ll respect that people did find those fine qualities in VOY and ENT. I only ask that others in kind give DSC fans the same respect.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 7:49am (UTC -5)

One of the last lines of defense of people ready to thrash something like a tv show or a book is attack it indirectly through its fanbase. The other one is pretending that a common massive franchise like Star Trek is something niche that only the elite can properly comprehend. People that judge and condemn others for liking a piece of commercial entertainment . How deep.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 8:07am (UTC -5)
Good point. Seven of Nine killed Voyager for me. I hated that character probably more than Kate Mulgrew did. And she really did hate her. Mulgrew refused to speak with the actor because she immediatly knew what Seven represented: Sexism.
Oh, you think the show is not interesting how about big breasted blond woman in a catsuit who is confused and vurnerable. That was disgusting.
Interesting how people overlook that.
Lowest common denominator...
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 8:21am (UTC -5)
The wardrobe decisions for Seven were sexist, however the character was one of the most well developed star trek characters there was. The introduction of Seven was a great change in Voyager imo. I always got the impression that Mulgrews attitude to Jeri Ryan was more because she was stealing the spotlight. Jeri say it that way. After all it was rather personal and Jeri can't be held responsible for the producers decisions
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 8:30am (UTC -5)
I'm not surprised that Jeri Ryan said that. What could she have said: Oh yeah I was casted as a sexual fantasy for young men and Kate totally disliked me for it.
Here is a statement of Kate Mulgrew:
"We did not have a deep friendship,” Kate said. “I think Jeri Ryan did a marvelous job in a very difficult role. It was very clear to anyone with eyes in their head that Jeri Ryan’s beauty and sexual appeal were an important part of the numbers. I had thought ‘damn, we were going to forgo all of this with a female captain.’ But the demographics proved the audience wanted more sex and they got it in that beautiful, talented woman.”
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 8:44am (UTC -5)
If sexism was what was bothering her then her attitude was misdirected at Jeri. By all accounts she was very petty and cruel to her. I think she's just using that as an excuse.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 8:56am (UTC -5)
@ Dobber
I guess you probably fail to understand what it means to not be taken seriously because of your gender (or minority).Mulgrew was born in the 50s.
I'm a sociologist and no a little bit about that topic and how it evolved and were it stood in the 90s
So I disagree with your opinion but there is really no way to find out the truth.
You think that Mulgrew was jealous because Ryan was prettier and stole the spotlight and I think that she didn't like it that a mediocre actor was used as a male sex fantasy and surprise surprise it worked.
But this is really getting of topic.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 8:57am (UTC -5)
Sorry for all the mistakes by the way. English isn't my first language. ;)
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 9:04am (UTC -5)

I didn't say it was because she was prettier, it was more because she was the captain so in her mind the show should've been about her but then all the focus shifted to Seven. But I agree this is getting off topic so let's leave it lol
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 9:18am (UTC -5)
"the Son of Sarek Whom Shall Not Be Named"

Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 9:36am (UTC -5)
If nothing else convinces you that Tyler is Voq, consider this: Lorca has a tribble on his desk, a tribble the showrunners have said will somehow come into play. The sole narrative purpose of this tribble is to expose a Klingon infiltrator.
Karl Zimmerman
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 10:12am (UTC -5)
I've been largely unimpressed with Discovery so far, with Choose Your Pain the only episode that I would rate as above average. Episodes have many plot holes, although that's normal for Trek (even the best episodes, like In the Pale Moonlight, have a few). What's less forgivable are issues with inconsistent characterization in a character-driven show, and the clunky dialogue which has plagued the series to date. IMHO it has yet to reach the threshold of either the best of older Trek or "modern TV".

That said, even when it's mediocre, at least it's generally not boring. I can watch a whole episode without staring at the time and wondering how much longer it will be till I get to the end. So I do think it's a cut above the average VOY or ENT fare. It's just that I keep repeatedly having my immersion broken by noticing all the mistakes that were made in execution of the episodes.

I couldn't care less about if the story is "Trek" - and I don't really care about the arguments related to canon. Trek has always been an excuse to tell stories about the human condition. That said, to date I feel like the series has been a failure by the metric it set up for itself, because I don't particularly care about either the Klingon war or Micheal Burnham.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 10:20am (UTC -5)
I'm sort of glad a lot of you guys had the same stuttering issues, I thought it was just my internet connection which can sometimes be crappy.
Peter G.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 11:03am (UTC -5)
@ Steven,

"I just read in the "Rogue One" discussion that you didn't like the movie... too bad, for me personally it was a shimmer of hope"

Yes, among my friends I'm in the minority in not liking Rogue One. I went in wanting to like it but was unexpectedly bored. Off topic, but I'll link it to DISCO in one way: Slick production design, with characters that have a simplistic, pithy 'character' (usually defined by one trait), and action punctuated by video-game style plot points ("all we need to do to make the generator work is attack piece X to it!") where we're given some McGuffin for them to do and they do it. I see the same thing in DISCO as Rogue One in that sense, and I find it tedious. TNG took some pains to require creative solutions to problems that actually made me think. Look at Hollow Pursuits, where it took an oddball like Barclary to come up with a strange theory about mechanical failure: that the failure is in the people themselves. It's not only interesting, it was thematically linked to the fact of the episode being about imperfections in people and how they tend to ignore those imperfections. Brilliant! It wasn't just "hook up gadget X to Michael's head and everything works!" So yeah, I see this method of 'storytelling' becoming more and more prevalent.
Peter G.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 11:20am (UTC -5)
@ Steve,

"Yeah, no. Crystals make you move faster than light? Every episode of TNG like every episode of Star Trek used nonsense as a plot device. Don't like scientific nonsense? You're watching the wrong show. "

You're demonstrating exactly why shows like DISCO aren't going to bother with trying to make sense any more: people will accept nonsense as valid and will reject things as nonsense that had a lot of thought put into them. So why bother? Just write some drivel if no one is going to take the science seriously either way. Let's take your excellent example here for instance: dilithium crystals. That's what you're referring to here, right? You think it's nonsense because how can crystals make a ship go, right? May as well be dragons and wizards. Well that's the thing, you don't understand the theory behind it and you're assuming it makes no sense, and that's just what the writers of DISCO do, they assume it didn't make sense anyhow so why not just add in other creative things that don't make sense? Well let's have a little primer on crystals and why TNG and TOS are much smarter than you thought.

The warp drive operates using directed graviton fields: in other words, gravity fields can be used to bend space, aka warp it. This is something predicted by the standard model and in theory we could one day harness gravitons. It's the same theory that allows for artificial gravity. Creating such fields requires an incredible amount of power: that power is generated by a matter/antimatter reactor. That isn't even fantastical, we could literally begin to create one of those now if we had access to sufficient antimatter. As it is we can only collect tiny amounts of it at a time. So how does the reactor work? It requires storage of the antimatter in a containment field (i.e. EM field, as the antimatter consists of charges particles), and then directing the antimatter in a controlled fashion to the matter to annihilate in a 1-to-1 ratio (as specified in Coming of Age). So how do you safely direct antimatter to the matter without it getting out of control? That would, after all, be dangerous business, since stray antimatter would react with the ship. That's where the crystals come in: dilithium is just a modified version of a lithium crystal, which is a real thing, and which has a crystal lattice structure that can, indeed, be used as a channel through which to direct charged particles. The crystal lattice is charge-neutral and doesn't interact with charged particles, and so is a perfect conduit through which to send dangerous particles and which won't be subject to potential mechanical failure like using a complicated forcefield system. While dilithium is itself made up, it's just TOS surmising that a more sophisticated structure can be devised than a simple lithium crystal, which is entirely likely.

So there you have it, the crystals are the delivery system for the antimatter and matter to meet each other in the engine core in order to power the ship. That's real nonsense, right? I can guarantee you that no such explanation of the spore drive can and will be offered by DISCO or by any technical people that work for the show. And I'll repeat something I mentioned earlier: as a fantasy concept I really do like the idea of a spore drive. I like the idea of a spread-out system of living energy (like the Force, in a sense), whose self-relationship can be used for propulsion. Frank Herbert and Dan Simmons all but employ the same basic model, except without actually suggesting that literal spores live in in some subspace dimension. Either way the drive in this show is never going to be given an explanation other than "there are spores out there! we can use them." It will remain as technobabble. I also have a hard time seeing how they can retain canon with it, although I do think one theory floated above has credibility, which is that the spore network will be killed entirely at one point, probably by the Klingons (probably during their holy war on the Tribble homeworld).
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 11:33am (UTC -5)
"One of the last lines of defense of people ready to thrash something like a tv show or a book is attack it indirectly through its fanbase."

Funny... because I don't see any of the people who are disliking Discovery attacking the fanbase. Not on this site, anyway.

The opposite, unfortunately, is starting to become quite common. We have plenty of people who are playing psychologist and making far-fetched theories about why some fans dislike the show. They claim we "live in the past" and god-knows-what-else.

You're 100% right that it's a shitty thing to do. And it would be really nice if you stopped doing it.

"The other one is pretending that a common massive franchise like Star Trek is something niche that only the elite can properly comprehend."

I'm sorry, but Star Trek *is* a niche product. I'm just calling the facts as they are.

This has nothing to do with "the elite". Any person who has seen a handful of Trek episodes will immediately understand what the franchise was all about before the great reboot of 2009. I'm sure you're aware of the Roddenberry vision for the show, right? An inspirational show that give us optimism for the future? A future where man has made huge strides toward abolishing prejudice and hatred? A show which strives to be different and meaningful, even at the cost of doing unpopular things?

Look, I have no problem with people who like Discovery. Different people like different things and that's great. What I do have a problem with, is people who try to trivialize how special and unique Star Trek was in its first 40 years. "Not a niche product"... I'm sorry, but I refuse to believe you're actually saying these things with a straight face. No f***-ing way.

(and for those who gave the example of 7-of-9's catsuit: (a) I agree with you that what they did there was both insulting and dumb-as-hell, and (b) there's a difference between a single element of a show appealing to the lowest denominator and the entire series doing it)
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 11:43am (UTC -5)
@ peter G
Every pysicist will tell you that it should be impossible to fly faster than light. And !bending space! will be invented by a guy living somewhere in northern America in 50 years after world war 3 who then builds it all into a nuclear rocket . So a starship in Star trek doesn't fly faster than light, it bends the universe?? And all that doesn't sound like complete bullshit to you???
And we can not "collect" antimater we can create it for super tiny amounts of time.
Terok Nor
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 11:53am (UTC -5)
Just because we haven't observed anything going faster than light doesn't mean that it isn't possible. Sci-fi is about considering what would happen if it were possible. Warp drive has a coherent explanation. Spore drive is just silly.
Peter G.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 11:57am (UTC -5)
@ ben,

I'm sorry to have to inform you that you are factually incorrect on all three counts. You simply are not properly informed on these subjects.

"Every pysicist will tell you that it should be impossible to fly faster than light."

No physicist will claim that. They will say that within a given medium, from the perspective of someone else in that same medium, it's impossible to go faster than light. The theory says nothing about modification of the medium, nor does it say what can happen when an observer outside the medium observes something in a medium. Did you know that the speed of light is changeable depending on the nature of the medium in question? It all has to do with relative frames of reference, not some absolute speed limit that exists outside of a given frame of reference. In relativity there is no such thing as absolute speed measurement.

"So a starship in Star trek doesn't fly faster than light, it bends the universe??"

Yes. Sorry to break it to you.

"And all that doesn't sound like complete bullshit to you???"

NASA currently considers the Alcubierre drive (aka warp drive) to be the most likely model to enable FTL travel. I guess the scientists there must not be up to your standard of bullshit.

"And we can not "collect" antimater we can create it for super tiny amounts of time."

You can go look it up on Wikipedia or elsewhere if you want. Long-term storage is a problem, but it can be stored. Here's one quote:

Antimatter cannot be stored in a container made of ordinary matter because antimatter reacts with any matter it touches, annihilating itself and an equal amount of the container. Antimatter in the form of charged particles can be contained by a combination of electric and magnetic fields, in a device called a Penning trap. This device cannot, however, contain antimatter that consists of uncharged particles, for which atomic traps are used. In particular, such a trap may use the dipole moment (electric or magnetic) of the trapped particles. At high vacuum, the matter or antimatter particles can be trapped and cooled with slightly off-resonant laser radiation using a magneto-optical trap or magnetic trap. Small particles can also be suspended with optical tweezers, using a highly focused laser beam.[60]
In 2011, CERN scientists were able to preserve antihydrogen for approximately 17 minutes.[61]"
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 12:12pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G.
Thanks for the information. Didn#t know that storage of Antimatter had advanced so much during the last ten years. You got me again Cern. Pysics is not my field to be honest. I thought it was still at the 170 millisecond mark. Fascinating!
And about the Alcubierre drive. The energy we would need to fire that thing up for a ship that's about 10m x 10m x 10m – you're talking 1,000 cubic metres – that the amount of energy it would take to start the process would need to be on the order of the entire mass of Jupiter."
And we are not talking about actually flying for a time.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 12:17pm (UTC -5)
@ Peter G.
ps: And I want to add that this drive idea is from the mid 90s. So TOS and TNG certainly didn't know about that when they came up with warp drive tech,
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 12:20pm (UTC -5)
@ben actually I'm a physicist and the Alcubierre "warp" drive that the warping space technobabble in TNG is based on is a perfectly valid solution to General Relativity. It may turn out to be impossible because it involves things like negative energy densities but there are examples of such conditions in nature so we don't actually know yet if it's possible or not.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 12:23pm (UTC -5)
As I stated. it is an idea from the mid 90s.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 12:32pm (UTC -5)
I believe there was some overlap but it was already known for a long time that if space is expanded then objects can appear to move faster than light as this happens with the expansion of the universe
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 12:39pm (UTC -5)
Geez, Ben, the warp drive technology makes much more sense than the idea of living (!) spores in subspace that interact with other biological beings.

We don't know if warp drive tech will ever work out, but at least the "main ingredients" for it exist. How do you compare that with a network of biological spores, of whose existence we have zero proof (it's a pure fantasy product)?

The point is that Star Trek has continually tried to integrate real-life physics into its show, as opposed to completely invented physics like those of the spore drive. The first is intriguing and (slightly) educational, the latter is nonsense. The idea is to imagine how the future could be.

If you told a person who lived 200 years ago about the modern world, he would firmly claim that our technology is impossible. The truth is that we will probably make some unforeseeable breakthroughs in the future and achieve things that seem impossible for now. With tech like warp drive, we can at least have the hope (or illusion, depending on how cynical you are) that it might work out some day; but a drive that relies on a non-existing biological network in space isn't intriguing in the same way, because there's 0% chance it will turn out true.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 12:52pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G
Yeah the spore drive idea is stupid but 0%... :D
And kurtzman worked on the transformers movies... ... ... the science doesn't add up
You convinced me. Lets burn down the CBS headquarters!!!
Why didn't they use a wormhole generator or something.
For me the most important part is if the show becomes more positive and hopeful if it does not I will dislike it if it does...
For now I think the show is watchable enough.
Peter G.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
@ ben,

"And kurtzman worked on the transformers movies... ... ... the science doesn't add up
You convinced me. Lets burn down the CBS headquarters!!! "

Haha! I wouldn't make such a big deal about the spore drive by itself, since it's sort of neat and I wouldn't mind them inventing new tech if they really explored what it meant. TNG did some wacky stuff now and then but at least took it seriously. My larger concern is that the lack of regard for their own in-universe premises belies a lack of concern in general for detailing or taking the world/characters seriously. But time will tell, I do hope I enjoy it more as it goes along.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 1:08pm (UTC -5)
"Yeah the spore drive idea is stupid but 0%... :D"

Okay then, 0.4% which will be rounded to 0% (that was a good save, wasn't it?). Of course 0% is too harsh, because it's not firmly proven to be impossible.

And I agree with Peter G, if they really explored what it meant and gave us more details to work with, that would help a lot. Someone in this thread said that he can imagine the spore network better than he can a warp drive and therefore he likes it. For me, the opposite is the case: I can't imagine the inner workings of this new drive at all, and providing us with more elaborate information would help a lot to remedy that. But this incarnation of Star Trek doesn't seem to bother with science any more, it makes no room for scientific exploration in the episodes. Everything is just about the action and the war (and the characterizations, which are slowly becoming better).
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 1:50pm (UTC -5)
WTF people? I'm gone for like 5 episodes and you all are calling it DISCO now? I was calling it STD on purpose... :P
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 2:06pm (UTC -5)

The sport shirts on the Discovery display the shortened ship's name, DISCO, not unlike the DS"Niners" baseball jersey. Fun times with replication!
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 2:52pm (UTC -5)
Regarding the warp drive discussion:

Trek's warp drive doesn't really work like an Alcubierre drive. For one thing, a ship in an Alcubierre bubble doesn't have any control over it's own trajectory (everything needs to be set in advance, including the destination point). And as Ben correctly pointed out, Trek warp requires far less energy than any currently known method of "warping space".

But still, the general concept of warp drive isn't that far-fetched. Bending space is an everyday occurence (we call it "gravity"). Antimatter is a real thing capable of releasing unimaginable amounts of energy. The idea that someday we might discover a realm called "subspace" which will allow us to manipulate space more efficiently isn't much crazier than the stuff physicists deal with today.

And more importantly: the way warp drive works in-universe is mostly consistent, and it doesn't upset the story-telling balance by making ships too fast.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 2:56pm (UTC -5)

Somebody on this site already characterised the people that like the show as "the lowest common denominator". I will not point fingers. I have been called names lets say "swj" on other sites because I like a tv show.

The one question I really fail to understand and nobody explains to me is why people do pay for and closely follow a show they hate so much in any aspect (and on a broken service as Jammer says) . There are plenty of shows to watch (plus maybe other more interesting things to do). I do not say it is good or bad it just seems strange.

You said it yourself, somebody can watch some episodes of TOS or TNG and get its meaning. That is what mass market is all about. These stories and characters have been done to death and sold as tv repeats, dvds, blu rays, t-shirts, records, comics, novels and whatever else. They are a global franchise for a mass audience. Star Trek is not a niche in scifi in some aspects scifi itself has become a niche of Star Trek.
Peter G.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
@ Konstantinos,

You may as well ask why someone gets upset when a close family member turns ill and looks like they might be wasting away, when they could just as soon go and find new family elsewhere. There are, after all, billions of people to choose from! The answer is because both history and blood attach a person to their family and they are irreplaceable. Maybe someone new could be added to your life, but it won't replace the other person you're losing. And yes, a TV franchise is like a person in that you can grow up with it, care for it, and feel close to it, and it can definitely get into your blood. It would not at all be wrong to suggest that I was in large part raised by TOS and TNG. Star Trek has always felt like family to me, and a Trek show going wrong isn't just a shame, it hits where it hurts. At least for me.

PS - I'd like to take this moment to say that considering it's your third language your English is outstanding. Actually, forget that bit about "considering". It's better English than I see from native speakers.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 3:37pm (UTC -5)
I didn't like how someone wrote that an attack on Star Trek may feel like an attack to some people's egos who have built their ideology around Trek. This kind of amateur-psychologizing goes a bit far.

I think it's sufficient to say that if you loved a show, and don't recognize this show in the new iteration any more, that can be disappointing. And call me obsessive, but I usually stick with a complete season of a show that I started; as long as season 1 is running (with a mere 15 episodes), I think it's rather normal for people to stay for the ride even if they've been disheartened already. What's lame is if people continue complaining about the exact same thing over and over again, but personally, I easily manage to find new things that I don't like each week (not that I'm actively searching for them, but they pop into my eyesight), so it stays relevant to continue the reviewing process.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 3:42pm (UTC -5)
"Lowest common denominator" for those who like Discovery?

Wow.. Now we are getting into the use of denigrating Star Trek fans who may or may not like a particular series?

As I said before, all Star Trek series including Discovery have appealed to me so far. So, please grace me with a categorization too, and feel free to make it as insulting, if not more, as "lowest common denominator."

"Elite lowest common denominator"?
"Old-timer with the lowest common denominator disease"?
"Trekkie with an eroding IQ to join the lowest common denominators"?
"Crewman 3rd-class L.C.D. with no hope of promotion"

Have at it..

Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 3:55pm (UTC -5)
A few things:

This notion that Discovery is some kind of "lowest common denominator" of writing is so bizarre. As I said in my previous post, I believe Discovery is clearly the best writing the franchise has seen since DS9. Lowest denominator? In fact, the writing on Discovery already has more literary qualities, more symbolism, more layered and complex characterization, more metaphorical touches, than we're used to seeing in Star Trek, which has always, even on DS9, tended to lay things out literally and clearly, spelling all the characterization and themes and issues out. What this show is doing is, actually, rather more sophisticated than we usually get in the franchise. So, as far as I'm concerned, the show may not be to your liking, but to claim it is less complex or layered or sophisticated is, to my mind, demonstrably untrue. It's really quite a bit more.

Second: this notion of unlikeable characters is also extremely bizarre to me. What do you mean by likeable? Like, you would want to be their friend? You expect them to be charming, highly moral individuals? Why would you want that from a fictional character? We judge fictional characters far different than we do real people, as we should. In fiction, all Darth Vadar has to do is throw the Emperor down a pit, and he is instantly forgiven the murder of billions of innocent people. In real life, we'd still hope he goes straight to hell. In fiction, we are compelled and fascinated by Lester Burnham's cravings for a 15 year-old girl; (American Beauty). In real life, we'd call the police. In fiction, we see poetic justice and artistic truth in Travis Bickle mass murdering a bunch of low-level thugs; in real life, we'd be terrified of the guy and have no sympathy for him. The idea that we should judge these characters with the same morality we would judge real people is just irrational to me, and I don't see how anyone can enjoy almost any piece of literature on that level. How do you enjoy The Godfather? Or Apocalypse Now? Or Scarface? A fictional character doesn't need to be "likeable" to be interesting or compelling or worth contemplating or following. They just need to be adequate vehicles for telling interesting stories. Does the cast of Discovery do that? So far, oh yes, far faster than even DS9 got it at the beginning. Lorca is a fantastic character: mysterious, unpredictable, dangerous, and yet hugely compelling. Saru is also fascinating (and not at all inconsistent, despite Jammer's misreading of him in the previous episode). Samets is clearly an asshole, but like Jammer, I have to say he's growing on me. Tilly is cute and funny and refreshing and reminds me of a couple of people I know. If you don't dig her, you've probably never had any close relationship with someone with Asperger's, which is, to my mind, what she clearly has. Michael is, so far, the straight man; so, she is, by definition, less interesting than the others. That's fine. She exists to work off the others. You know who else structured their protagonists that way? Dickens.

Third: the criticism that the show's science is bad. My answer to that is: and? Since when does science fiction have to have plausible science? Maybe previous Trek series have aimed for at least the optics of plausible science (a claim I deny, but I will accept here for the sake of argument), but this show doesn't. Is that a strike against it? I dunno - is it a strike against William Gibson, who clearly knew less than nothing about computers when he wrote Neuromancer? Is it a strike against Philip K. Dick, whose scientific explanations are ludicrous? Dick has a scene in which a man turns inside out, which means that the entire universe goes inside him while everything inside him takes over the space of the entire universe. And this is a scene in a science fiction novel, with robots and hyperspeed and spaceships and everything. Science fiction has NEVER required plausible science. As Brian Aldiss explained decades ago, science fiction is descended not from the literature of rationality, as if so often pretends, but from the gothic. Does Mary Shelley use plausible science to explain how Victor created his creature? Does H. G. Wells use plausible science to explain his time machine? No and no. Because they both wisely knew that IT DIDN'T MATTER. It still doesn't. The best science fiction writers know this.

Anyway, this is all obviously a matter of taste. But I can't help but feeling that the show just doesn't appeal to some people (many people?), and the explanations for that dislike appear to come afterwards, in attempts to justify the gut instinctual reaction against it. I could be wrong about that, but the reason I say that is because the main attacks against the show don't appear, to me, to be relevant criticisms at all. In my opinion. I am very much liking the show, and although it by no means has reached perfect 4-star status yet, it has been hugely entertaining so far, as well as thought-provoking.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 3:56pm (UTC -5)
Nobody should be paying to see it yet. My free trial doesn't end until Nov 1st. Luckily for me I'll be moving to the UK soon after that so I can catch the rest on Netflix.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 3:59pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G.

Your family analogy is a perfect illustration of why I am having a real hard time getting over both new Trek and SW. I actually came to SW first, but it’s become abundantly clear that the Disney-run version of the franchise is bereft of the qualities that made Lucas’ universe endearing to me. These new films feel like products turned out on an assembly line, which is what I have heard many comic aficionados say about the Marvel movies. (are the SW radio dramas my versions of comics?) seeing both franchises reduced to Thin plays on nostalgia really does hurt, particularly in light of the SW canon purge which serves no purpose other than to allow Disney to put out as many products as possible. That’s why I have yet to buy a ticket to The Last Jedi, even though I think it will be a good movie given the director. I do think there are a lot of SW fans who just want to see X-Wings and ties and the falcon, and these new films will please them. But that’s not why I came to SW. people have told me to watch Game of Thrones or The Expanse or The Leftovers, and those may be good, but they can’t replace the classic Trek or SW. This reminds me of Riker’s speech about not being able to replace Picard in part two of The Best of Both Worlds.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 5:12pm (UTC -5)

"Anyway, this is all obviously a matter of taste. But I can't help but feeling that the show just doesn't appeal to some people (many people?), and the explanations for that dislike appear to come afterwards, in attempts to justify the gut instinctual reaction against it. I could be wrong about that, but the reason I say that is because the main attacks against the show don't appear, to me, to be relevant criticisms at all. In my opinion. I am very much liking the show, and although it by no means has reached perfect 4-star status yet, it has been hugely entertaining so far, as well as thought-provoking."

I really believe that the writers are bad and where you see multi-layeredness and intrigue, I see flat storytelling that isn't engaging to me.

I admit that the new show manages to show a number of nuances, but somehow I find those nuances trivial and not worth the on-screen time, while the really revelant stuff gets glossed over. Or, to put things more simply, I can't recognize a coherent structure in what the writers are doing; their work comes across as amateurish to me. I could be wrong, though, and maybe I'm just not capable of interprething this show in the way that it is meant to be perceived.

As an example, the Klingons are supposed to be portrayed more interestingly and nuanced, but all that I am seeing is a mix of stereotypical archetypes - of which the single archetypes such as "primitive/barbaric people" are not intriguing to me, and mixing a couple of those archetypes together doesn't make it any better.

This could be a very long discussion - obviously both sides are baffled by the repective other side, not understanding how the other group can find this series well-made/clever OR not well-made/amateurish. There may be good explanations for both viewpoints.

The minimum that we can agree on is that the dialogues are wooden, but that is something that plagues a lot of new TV series until they find their footing.

As far as the characterization is concerned, the misery started for me with Michael Burnham's actions in the pilot (her mutiny) because I simply couldn't relate to her way of thinking. After establishing that the Klingons may already be pissed about the death of their torchbearer, and contemplating how to avoid provoking a war, Michael somehow thought that destroying their flagship was a good idea... how so, exactly? How would THAT avoid a war, when the other ships are already present to witness the destruction of the flag ship and potentially be offended by it? And what about revenge?

After that disaster of a character introduction, I couldn't bring myself to sympathize with her, or even be bothered by her fate. For all I care, she can stay in jail. I am not even bothered much by the prospect of the federation losing this war - if they're the bunch of asshats that we've seen so far, then let them lose the war. I'm more detached from this show than I've even been from another Star Trek show and its characters.

"Third: the criticism that the show's science is bad. My answer to that is: and? Since when does science fiction have to have plausible science? Maybe previous Trek series have aimed for at least the optics of plausible science (a claim I deny, but I will accept here for the sake of argument), but this show doesn't. Is that a strike against it?"

This is where we completely differ. YES, I expect Star Trek to make an effort with the technology. I expect them to come up with (more or less) clever explanations, and not just gloss over them. It seems cynical to me for this show to say "the audience can picture our spore drive however they want... we will surely not give any details on it". Admittedly, the warp drive wasn't explained in early TOS episodes, either, but I want to believe that television has progressed since then. The series I'm fondest of is TNG, because they actually bothered to come with scientific explanations, maybe pseudo-science, but at least they tried. THAT was intriguing television.

All of that being said, I think that I can vaguely understand your position, although it largely differs from mine. But there is one thing that I still don't understand: What do you say about the logical inconsistencies, aren't they bothering you? Maybe I'm seeing previous Trek shows through too rosy eyes, but especially how the Tardigrade was portrayed annoys me. How could be captured? Why didn't it just flee? How did jetisoning it into space allow it to leave? How could its brain be interfaced with the computer to show the star charts? And the whole logic surrounding the prisoner story was terrible: How the captain got caught, how he escaped et cetera... the only thing that can save it would be a revelation that the escape was willingly allowed by the Klingons. We'll see about that in future episodes.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 5:39pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G.
About Burnham. I think that the last episode made it much clearer why she reacted the way she did. She didn't know that Sarek chose Spock over her. In her mind she was a huge disappointment to him and when he suggested a course of action she took that path witout question.
I think her redemption arc works relatively well. Now that she is no longer the failure as she saw herself she can find out who and what she really is which is shown when she changes her behaviour towards Tilly at the end of this episode.
I could be wrong though and this is all just bullshit :)
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 5:48pm (UTC -5)
PS: And now that I think of it. I like that the women in this show aren't sexualized. The adminral had wrinkles which I really appreciated. All these botox dead faces one sadly sees so often these days but no she looked like a woman looks at that age. And Tilly actually looks a little overweight which I also like. And Burnham who is beautiful is running around in jumpsuits that hide almost everything. So yeah I like that too. Especially after the boobs and butts festival that is GoT (and other shows)
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 5:50pm (UTC -5)

Thank you for the considered reply.

I'll try to respond to a couple of things. First of all, what you seem to be saying, and what I think Jammer has been trying to emphasize, is this feeling of incoherence to the plotting. So you certainly aren't the only one who responds this way. But see, I don't perceive it that way at all. My response, after a few episodes, was: man, this show is...dangerous. I mean, it feels very much like nothing can be taken for granted, like we can't get comfortable with any particular notion. This, to me, is exciting, and risky. I don't see incoherence at all. I feel like the ship we're on is a house-of-mirrors, deliberately so, character motivations hard to grasp, reality difficult to determine, and in this way it's a conscious response to that "comfortable" feel that all the previous Trek series aimed for. It's also a deliberate attempt to put us in the shoes of Michael, the outsider character who, for once, is not the Captain, and is therefore as much in the dark as the rest of us. This puts the viewers off-balance. We are meant to feel unsafe, uncertain, even paranoid, about everything on this ship, everything about this mission. I still don't feel we've been told 3/4 of what's REALLY going on. Viewers who dislike the show seem to respond as if those gaps or skipped steps are mistakes, but they aren't - they are absolutely part of the aesthetic appeal this show is going for. Wanting to be "in" on the reality of the Starfleet vessel is something the franchise has gotten us used to, and this show is gleefully throwing that assumption on its ear. I totally respect that, and I find the experience of watching this show sort of like falling with an unopened parachute, laughing, hoping to hell the parachute eventually opens in time. That is, anyway, how I am almost certain the showrunners INTEND the series to be experienced.

Second, Michael's actions are not meant to be agreed with. But I disagree with everyone who finds her actions absolutely impossible to comprehend. I don't agree with much of what she did in that 2-part pilot episode, but I understand how a terrified person, desperate to fix a mistake she feels guilty for having accidentally started, might act this way. It absolutely falls within the realm of comprehensible human behaviour. I couldn't care about anything, say, Captain Janeway did, because I did not believe she was a real person. Her inconsistency of character, her implausibilities, were so grievous, that I was constantly reminded of bad writing, whenever she opened her mouth. But Michael IS consistent. She may not be RIGHT, but she seems REAL, and that is all I require to be invested in a protagonist. Again, she doesn't need to be my friend. As a friend, I too would probably find her insufferable. For that matter, I would probably find Han Solo insufferable. But these aren't my friends, they are vehicles for telling interesting stories, and on that front, all Michael needs to do is seem like a real person, facing real conflicts, having to make plausibly difficult choices. For me, Michael has served that purpose, so far, just fine.

Third, as you say, we'll have to agree to disagree about the science. For me, there is absolutely no a priori reason why a science fiction show should be based in an y way on plausible science. It's a vehicle for telling the story, just like Gandalf's spells. As I said before, Frankenstein, The Time Machine, Neuromancer, all of Philip K. Dick's work, most science fiction, in fact, has science that wouldn't make it through a first-year undergrad Science 101 course. That is a fact, I think, not an opinion. So, to want the science to be plausible in this show is to insist on something that the VAST MAJORITY of great science fiction has never felt the need to supply.

And fourth, in terms of what you consider internal inconsistencies, I'll do my best, and I sincerely am not trying to sound dismissive:

How could the tardigrade be captured?
-I dunno. Why does that bother you? Do you disbelieve, given the fictional universe that has been presented to us, that it would be utterly impossible? If so, I guess I understand your concern. But if not, why do we need the details? If the show doesn't care, it clearly isn't an important element of the narrative. So why should it bother us?

Why didn't it just flee?
-I dunno. Because the Discovery's super-whatsis-gadget prevented it? Again, and I mean this sincerely, if the point of the story is, How does this crew deal with the ethical problems of keeping this tardigrade, why does the technical method of keeping it captured matter in the slightest? That's like insisting that Mary Shelley explain exactly how Victor made his creature come to life.

How did jetisoning it into space allow it to leave?
-I dunno. The purpose of that moment was to show a character decision, and think about the character implications. If the scene didn't work at its own projected purposes (ie, the character's thinking was unclear, or the decision implausible, etc), then the scene would be weak. But how do the technical things matter? Do we ask how the laws of physics allow Han Solo to steer the Millenium Falcon out of an asteroid field? No, that moment is designed to communicate Solo's character, his recklessness mixed with his insecurities and his desire to be loved, along with his awesome skills as a pilot, and in that respect, as a moment of exciting character revelation, it works perfectly. Who cares about the technical stuff?

How could its brain be interfaced with the computer to show the star charts?
-Um....I dunno. It didn't even occur to me to ask. But it's pretty cool, yes? It's brain contains star charts! Or something. But it's super-cool. Imagine such a species could actually exist?

And the whole logic surrounding the prisoner story was terrible: How the captain got caught, how he escaped et cetera... the only thing that can save it would be a revelation that the escape was willingly allowed by the Klingons. We'll see about that in future episodes.
-Agreed, he was caught too easily. So was every single Starfleet officer kidnapped in the history of the franchise. Is it IMPOSSIBLE that he was captured, given the reality with which we have been presented? No. This isn't the 24th century Federation, this is an older one, stuck in a war, short of resources. Does it completely break my suspension of disbelief, or can I believe, on a particularly unlucky day, that he could have been captured? Yes, I believe it. It's totally possible.
-And yes, I believe the escape was permitted, because I believe that Ash is a spy. So there's that.

So, you see, for me, scenes have to work in terms of the things they are attempting. There is no point at criticizing 2001: A Space Odyssey for having flat characters, when complex characterization is not their purpose. Most of those moments in Discovery you're talking about are designed to reveal character or explore ethical dilemmas or evoke emotion or create some other aesthetic response. On that score, I believe they have largely succeeded (unlike most of Voyager and Enterprise, which mostly failed at the very things they were attempting.)
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
Making Sarek the moron who came up with a weird solution, rather than Michael, doesn't make it much better. Also, I don't buy it because the situation that Sarek described was clearly different - meeting a single Klingon ship at a time, vs. 25 ships that are already on a path of war and only need a spark to ignite the fire.

Besides, in "Context is for Kings", Cpt. Lorca implies that he agrees with Michael Burnham's actions; that she did the right thing "under the circumstances". This was the central point of the episode and it didn't make sense to me either. Cpt. Lorca is a realist, I get it. But how did HE particularly think that Michael did the right thing? How did he think that firing on the ship was a great idea? Indeed, the series is full of symbolism, and on an abstract level I understand what these people are saying and what motivates them; but taking a closer look, I don't understand their concrete actions. That's what I call "sloppy writing". It's good writing when it makes sense on both the concrete AND the symbolic level.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 6:21pm (UTC -5)

Good points, altogether. Maybe my biggest beef is that I want Star Trek to show what we could be - humanity's potential - and therefore it has to be an idealistic show in my eyes. Where this idealism is compromised - as in DS9's later seasons - it get's abundantly clear that there's a transgression, which should stay the exception, rather than becoming the norm. The characters on Discovery appear morally corrupt to me. I've seen plenty of TV shows like that, which AREN'T Star Trek. So why do they have to do this to Star Trek?

"Who cares about the technical stuff?"

Star Trek is about humanity's potential, AND about scientific wonder / exploration. But it needs to be intellectually engaging, too, which it isn't if you aren't even SUPPOSED to think about the technical details. I get where you're coming from, but then this show isn't Star Trek. As soon as I agree to see it through the lense that I use for other TV shows, I got to wonder why it's even set in the Star Trek universe. For marketing reasons? Milking the cash cow?

It would be nice if your interpretations turn out true and the writers DO have a masterplan, a clear concept instead of being stumbling amateurs. At this point, I am not confident to bet on either side; but if I had to, I'd say that I'm 80% convinced they're bad writers. COULD be wrong though. If this show turns out to be coherent after all, I'll probably still dislike it though because I disagree with the direction.

One thing that underlines my interpretation is how the show implements lots of cheap elements purely to provoke: The excessive violence, the language, the first homo-erotic kiss scene. I understand that your interpretation probably goes like this: These things manage to make us uncomfortable, or at least surprise us. To me, it's more like this: I am okay with the kissing, but please at the end of the season or something, after the characters have been built up. Seeing strangers kissing does nothing for me, neither did the other stuff that is meant to be "surprising". It just feels cheap.

But I have to thank you for making the series interesting to me again, because now I wonder whether your interpretation could be true and the show isn't an absolute loss, creative-wise.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 6:29pm (UTC -5)

Not everything has to be explained in science fiction, but when things that are important to the plot happen that contradict facts that have already been established by the same story then it’s bad storytelling and breaks the immersion.

The tardigrades claw was depicted as so powerful it could rip through the bulkheads of a starship. So much so they wanted to weaponize it. Yet somehow they’re able to keep this thing in captivity. That’s a contradiction.

The tardigrade was explained to have evolved to use the mycelial network to travel around the universe using just its own anatomy. Yet somehow they’re able to keep this thing in captivity. That’s a contradiction.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 6:32pm (UTC -5)

Ds9 had a homosexual kiss
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 6:36pm (UTC -5)
Geez, I know. ;D Felt a bit too detailed to write "first male homosexual kiss" though.

Maybe more to the point, to lots of viewers women kissing are "hot" while men kissing are eeeew (unjustly so, but that's how it is). In that sense, it was a first.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 6:42pm (UTC -5)
Hm, another mediocre episode. Or bad, depending on your point of view.

Points of contention: Logic extremists. Yeah, I get it, behind every corner lurks a xenophobe, trying to strike out at everything different ... Wow, such actuality, much 2017. But logic? Seriously, he handled his assassination in the most unlogical way ever. How about: Just blow the shuttle up? Poison Sarek? Shoot him from behind? Anything? Besides, we already know about a group of Vulcan "extremists" who want to bask in their emotions - Star Trek V, right? I tend to forget the plot of that movie for some reason ... Those would actually make sense, and would go to extreme measures, being all emotional and such, but they had no reason to kill Sarek.

STD 2: The Wrath of Mary Sue: Oh, now Burnham DID pass the entrance exam - she is even more exceptional than everybody thought. Still makes no sense that Spock knows nothing about her. Do you really believe his mother would not have told him? That he never saw her in person? Or that he never talked about her? Because everybody just forgot about Starfleets first mutineer? I get the feeling that they are setting up for the Mother of All Reset Buttons and "fix" the timeline in the last episode - I would giggle at that. Oh, and Vulcans now can use the Force to heal people hundreds of thousands of kilometers away. Whats next, opening a portal to Azeroth and bringing the Scourge to Star Trek?

l'Orca: Admiral: "You disobay orders! You scoundrel" Lorca: "Wanna fuck?" Admiral: "Sure" *getting captured* Lorca: "Geeeeez, I better wait for orders, I wouldn't want to endanger (my command of) discovery". There is ... so much wrong with this.

So half the time this show tries to be Ye Olde Trek, the other half it tries to be Game of Thrones. Just doesn't mix. Oh, and somebody had the theory that Ash is the Albino Klingon (whos name escapes me, can't be bothered to look it up): That would make PERFECT sense. At first I thought he was gonna have a sex change (you know, going to the "Sisterhood", giving up "everything") but becoming human is just as good (even if it's not as PC, but hey, can't have everyting). So, if that turns out to be the big plot twist: Colour me not surprised.

So, 1,5 Stars, would watch with half an eye while playing video games again.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 6:44pm (UTC -5)
Addendum: I totally forgot to add, Burnham went from Ultra Logical (in the pilot) to Ultra Emotional (the first five episodes) to Ultra Vulcan again. She does not know what a handshake means? Come on, give me a break. Just decide what she is like and stick with it. Don't flip flop like crazy.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi ... If you hate the show so much, then stop watching it. As for your theory on the passion being generated having to do with "Star Trek" being in the title, the facts don't support you. I have read every posting of Jammer's for every Start Trek episode, and even the best episodes of DS9 for instance didn't have 222 comments posted (the number as of this posting). You seem to cast yourself as some sort of Trek expert, as your arrogance comes through loud and clear in your posts and your criticisms of other posters. Maybe it's time to move out of your parents' basement and get a real life... As for your troll comment, it just shows how downright pathetic you are.

@Jason ... I'm glad I'm not the only old Trekker that is enjoying the show. I agree wit you that it's edgy, mysterious, enjoyable to watch, but still rooted in Trek. This past episode had some issues, but I'm still intrigued and looking forward to more.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 8:26pm (UTC -5)

"Maybe it's time to move out of your parents' basement and get a real life... As for your troll comment, it just shows how downright pathetic you are."

And what do you think it is that YOU are doing just now? Couldn't be trolling, could it? Keep your hatred to yourself.

"If you hate the show so much, then stop watching it."

Oh and you're a censor too, telling people what they are allowed to talk about? We don't need people like you in the discussion. I can respect arguments from both sides, but not people like you.
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 8:28pm (UTC -5)
@Jason, "here, where presumably there is a higher contingent of old Star Trek fans than in the general population of online television reviewers, the response is highly negative. What does this tell us? That Star Trek fans dislike it, and yet professional television reviewers like it? And what might that suggest?”

Well (also, @E2) take The Onion AV Club, which (with all due respect and love and loyalty for @Jammer - see Proverbs 7!), is a gold-standard for TV reviews.

The Onion has been quite disappointed with Discovery. Here’s how they pan this week’s outing, "So yeah, this wouldn’t be great even if it didn’t have the Star Trek name. As it stands, all the Starfleet trimmings mostly just serve to continually underline the show’s failings without adding much in return. There are good performances here, and some potentially good ideas. But there’s no foundation yet. It’s hard to look to the stars when you don’t have any place to stand.”

I’m sure Lethe was a decent enough episode for people who don’t know much about Trek and who like to smoke up on Sunday nights (NTTAWWT), and need to have something on the TV while they do. But (as @Jason calls us) “old Star Trek fans” expect something a bit more elevating and elevated for our hour in front of the idiot box.

@Startrekwatcher, "Ultimately DIS just possesses all the elements of 21st century storytelling I abhor— its slick artificial feel coupled with insufferable characters.”

Yes, and unfortunately, that seems to be intentional.

This week, Captain Don “the Lorca” Draper seduces and sleeps with Kat, an old flame, his boss, and a shrink. Let me start off by saying I actually enjoyed this plot (@Bob, I’m with you on Lorca). If Discovery shows us what Hell in the Trek verse looks like, then Lethe is a fine bottle of scotch that lets us forget our past, including all that Trek canon BS. Add in the psychedelic Stamets mushrooms and the rainbow Katra hippie mumbo jumbo, and this is actually a show that is totally groovy.

But the people are fucked up.

Getting back to Lorca, one of Don Draper’s best girl friends was the lovely shrink, Dr. Faye Miller. I’m guessing that TPTB didn’t want to actually hire the gorgeous Cara Buono for the role of Admiral Kat Cornwell (that would have made the comparison a little too obvious), and in any case it was nice seeing someone of the Kat actress’ age (57) getting naked (without, you know, any actual nakedness). This Kat lady ain't a great actor, but alas this is Trek, and we’ll get over it.

Enjoyed the new security chief, Ash Tyler. Nice opening with Lorca (@Chrome, I’m with you on this). Really gets to the heart of the matter - how messed up is Ash after his ordeal with the Klingons? Not so messed up that he can’t beat the Captain’s holo-Klingon kill-count. Which says something. (I love that Ash reported 22 instead of 26 kills, so as not to undercut the Captain’s 24 kills! Kinda makes him hotter.)

Lorca is assembling a bridge crew that he hopes will have his back in a future mutiny. People who either owe their undivided allegiance to Lorca (Ash, Michael), or who have shown a very protective streak for their captain (Saru). Rekha Sharma’s character was of the same type before we thankfully saw the end of her. Lorca uses these people who are tied to him personally above and beyond regular Starfleet notions of duty. Kat used to fall into that category.

But now Kat wants Lorca to be a bit more professional - follow protocol and orders and all that.

There is a scene in House of Cards where journalist Zoey Barnes, who had been sleeping with Frank Underwood in the past but ended it and wanted things to be more professional, now wants a favour, and is surprised when Frank won’t just give in. Why, she asks, won’t you do this for me?? And Frank says: you waned it to be profession. This is what professional feels like.

Well Kat, you wanted Lorca to follow protocol and follow orders? Now don’t be surprised that he won’t just drop everything to jump in and rescue you. This is what professional feels like.

Finally, @Jammer, sorry to hear about CBS All Access techno-craping. This is my last week getting to watch ST:DIS on Netflix. Next week I’m back in the U.S. Maybe it’ll be time to put on my Pirate hat and sail the choppy waters of the itBay of the orrentTay. Getting down with the amorality (or is it immorality?) now being pushed on STD...
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 8:45pm (UTC -5)
A space bear flying a starship is " f'ing cool ".

Sarek vision is " groovy ".

Klingon Orcs from Middle Earth.

Looks like Star DREK has been destroyed, this started with Nemesis and continues ... where no man wants to watch before.
Trek fan
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 10:57pm (UTC -5)
@Jammer the holodeck actually made its first appearance on Star Trek The Animated Series, I think in "The Practical Joker" episode. The TOS Enterprise NCC-1701 has a holodeck in this episode. Once you review TAS on this website, which should totally happen soon considering that there are only about 22 half-hour episodes and they're all on Netflix, that will become clearer. We can argue all day about whether TAS is "canonical," but the reality is that the holodeck concept -- like SO many other things on TNG -- originated with the original Enterprise crew. I point this out because I know way too many TNG fans who think TNG invented all of the major Trek universe-building pieces. In fact, TNG mostly took existing fabric and dressed it up. Very little of anything on TNG, VOY, and ENT is new to Trek. I think DS9 is a bit different because it really does have an original concept and characters.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 1:27am (UTC -5)
TAS is not canon though, and they do make a big deal in the first TNG season out of the "realism" of the new holodeck, and most people act as if they've never been on one before. In that sense, showing that holodeck 200 years earlier on ENT (some alien species had it) was also a bad idea. I don't get why they are not just wearing VR glasses and standing on platforms with a movable piece of floor (so when they're running, the floor will move under their feet at the same speed, to ensure that they're not actually moving). Maybe even a little chamber for each person which has its own inertial dampeners, so that gravity and air can be adjusted as well, making the illusion of movement perfect when they're actually running on a 1.50 x 1.50 piece of floor. They could even skip the glasses then, if the chambers are equipped with good holo projectors inside. The images should not be touchable, though. Just an optical illusion.

Something like this. But they don't even bother to show us the evolution of the holodeck.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 1:39am (UTC -5)
PS. Come to think of it, we even had such "Holo Chambers" on Voyager, Season 1, when the Doctor's program got caught in the illusion that he was a real person and married to Kes, who stepped into such a small "control booth" outside the holodeck to integrate herself into the program and interact with it.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 2:56am (UTC -5)
@Peter G.

Thanxs for the sincere reply and your kind words. I do think that all things must come to an end though. I had been a long time fan of marvel comics since I remember myself reading the awfully translated greek and french editions and then the original stuff. Then at a period after civil war I just lost their narrative. It is not that I say that it went bad or anything just that I felt that it was time to go because I could not adapt at the pace and story mood (the ending of Grant Morrisson's excellent X-Men run cemented my decision). I saw that I would not be happy from the future and decided it was better to leave with a good impression that be miserable.

Star Trek after the 2000's is and eventually will continue to be a different thing. I find it relieving to be honest. Like it or not I don't see that changing in the near future.

As for the subject of likeable characters, I am currently reading Jammer's Voyager reviews that, along 90% of the people, bash Neelix, a character whose main trait is being "likeable"( I like Neelix a lot but I get why people hate him) and nothing more . In fact I think that making characters softer or likeable is one of the worst thing in many 90s shows and films eventually boiling down to pure audience manipulation (here is Jar Jar, like him! look baby Anakin is even more likeable!). I prefer to see characters developing their relationships in a more organic and complex way. The Tilly/Burnham scenes last time put a smile to my face but at the same time made me ponder on the impact they have one each other, with Burnham turning a little bit more human and Tilly potentially ending up more focused and ambitious. Also wait to see more of the Doctor and Stamets potentially good drama there that should not be put aside.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 3:37am (UTC -5)
@Peter G

Star Trek fans getting excited about the Aclubierre Drive are like Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber:

"So you're SAYING there's a chance!"

Yes, I'm well aware of the theorizing around warp drive and other possible methods of FTL travel. I love the idea of it, but I also know it's never gonna happen. Not in 50 years by a guy in Montana. Not in a thousand years. Not in a million years. It's almost certainly not possible.

I don't see how the spore drive is any worse a sci-fi concept than warp drive. For those who want a full explanation of it, check out EC Henry's video on YouTube. As I said before, I like because it involves making use of living beings just like our original "technology" from thousands of years ago. The biological component is a nice change of pace. You don't have to like it. But considering all the unrealistic ideas presented on Star Trek, this seems like a silly thing to pick on.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 3:46am (UTC -5)
I just saw Kess on Voyager giving birth from her back (how the hell did she had sex with Tom I wonder). Go on and say anything you want about Discovery science.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 5:25am (UTC -5)
"If you hate the show so much, then stop watching it."

You actually think that up untill I've been shelling $6 a month to watch a show I don't like?

Thanks for the tip, though.

"As for your theory on the passion being generated having to do with 'Star Trek' being in the title, the facts don't support you. I have read every posting of Jammer's for every Start Trek episode, and even the best episodes of DS9 for instance didn't have 222 comments posted (the number as of this posting)"

The "Star Trek" in the title means that the potential audience for such a discussion is out there. That's what I'm saying. This has absolutely nothing to do with how good the show is.

And yes, the first new TV Trek show after 12 years of absence, coupled with artistic decisions that divide the fans and the fact that (unlike DS9) we're now in the internet era where people feel like commenting and arguing about EVERYTHING, is all that's needed for the comment numbers to explode.

Besides, look at the content of these comments. Like half of them are people like you who are attacking others personally or people responding to such attacks. Nothing like good old fashioned trolling to get the spirits going, heh?

And now you'll probably reply to this comment with another ad homn attack. It's pretty much inevitable. You actually think that this kind of behavior is a sign that the show is any good? (to be fair, it's not a sign that the show is bad either. We all still remember those wacko fans who issued RL death threats after Spock's death in TWoK)

"You seem to cast yourself as some sort of Trek expert..."

No. I'm simply talking *about* Trek and doing it competently. I'm not "casting" myself as anything.

If that bothers you, that's not my problem. After all, this is the place to speak about Trek, isn't it? Ain't my fault that I'm knowledgable about it.

"Maybe it's time to move out of your parents' basement and get a real life..."

RLY? You're actually saying this on a Star Trek discussion board? We're all nerdboys here. Most of us, anyway. You've probably offended 80% of the people here... or more likely, caused them to roar in laughter over how pathetic that retort of yours was (or even MORE likely: caused them to scratch their heads and wonder how this page got derailed into such juvenile nonsense so quickly).

Now, how about discussing Star Trek for a change? After all, that's the topic of this discussion page, isn't it?
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 5:30am (UTC -5)
@ Steve
I disagree. That drive could be realized. Just think about the advancements during the last 20 years. Not 50 years b a guy in Montana, true but maybe later in a general effort. I only read up on it yesterday but it wasn't like crazy science. The general components for that drive aka theoretical concept in line with Einstein, Antimatter and the fields to contain them.
It is not infant state more like little cell cluster state but the science behind it is backed up by credible science and scientists.
The spore drive on the other hand is pure fiction as far as I understand it though some of it may be based in science I don't know.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 6:45am (UTC -5)

Oh god nobody is asking for Neelix! He’s the opposite of likeable! All I want is someone who isn’t an amoral asshole, that doesn’t seem to much to ask lol.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 7:03am (UTC -5)

Well Saru is not an amoral ahole. On the contrary he is extremely ethical and dedicated considering that he acts against his Kelpien nature. After all he is part of a species whose one and only priority is survival at all costs. Even the decision to energize the Tardigrave in retrospect can be seen as an act of redemption over losing Georgiou and not as an act of punishing the animal. He had a hard choice and acted on behalf of his fellow Captain.

I will also say that Tilly is also evolving into a likable character.

Neelix was supposed to be likeable and cheerful. I am not saying he succeeded though.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 9:18am (UTC -5)
Hey Jammer, this isn't your typical A and B plot type of setup is it? On my viewing, I thought that the Sarek plot was the main story, but after reading your review I can see how Lorca's story with Admiral Cornwell could be seen as the important one. Unlike the usual Trek show, I think both A and B stories get about equal screen time.

Incidentally, I was a little confused by the title, "Lethe". Based on the fact that Vulcans are supposed to be the equivalent of Ancient Greeks, I'm taking it to mean that Lethe is Hade's river which makes a person lose their memory as they pass onto the underworld. Since Sarek was on the brink of death, perhaps he was metaphorically floating in the Lethe, trying to forget his shameful past. Maybe I'm missing something simple though, I'd be curious if any others had any thoughts on this.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 9:39am (UTC -5)
I think the Sarek story (and the shuttle expedition) is the main plot here too, especially since the show as a whole is supposed to follow Michael. I wouldn't say the other plot is the "B" plot though, more like that it serves to progress the story arc, where the Sarek story is more standalone.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 9:45am (UTC -5)

I'm seeing some phaser fire. We may be divided on this show, but as Star Trek fans, we know that behind every cloaking field and every neutral zone is a person with the same wants and fears as you. Let's bear that in mind. We come in peace.


The warp drive that NASA talks about requires matter with negative mass. Such a thing almost certainly doesn't exist anywhere in the universe. So I'm calling it. Never gonna happen. Not ever.

But I think your point is that it isn't total nonsense because we can imagine it. And I agree. I just think the same is true for the spore drive. It's an ancient network if fungi all quantum entangled with itself. It's impossible for many reasons, but we can imagine it. I'll admit it's not as fleshed out as the warp drive concept but that's only because it's new and has only appeared in a few episodes.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 10:43am (UTC -5)
Just out of curiosity, was warp drive ever explained in the show proper (as opposed to some bible or literature)? Sure, we hear about matter, antimatter, intermix ratios, deuterium, dilithium, and containment all the time, but you can't get the complete picture you guys have been posting about from that. And if it's a 90s idea, how was it that it existed in TOS? Not to mention, it's been implied (and shown on background graphics) that dilithium is an element, not an isotope or molecule of lithium.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 11:23am (UTC -5)
Scotty says “You can’t mix matter and antimatter cold“ in “The Naked Time“ when he finally gets into engineering and realizes the engines have been turned off. That was very early in the series. The seventh episode shot over all and only the fifth after the two pilots.
Peter G.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 11:37am (UTC -5)
In TOS we aren't told how the warp drive works, that part comes more from the TNG era. But we do learn that the engine is a matter/antimatter reactor that uses crystals to channel the particles. And as someone above mentioned, dilithium is mined, not fabricated, although it's never specified whether the mined material is exactly what goes into the warp core or whether that element must be modified in some way first. The remarkable thing to me wasn't that TOS and TNG 'solved' how to create a warp drive, but insofar as they were capable seemed to create some pretty plausible (or at least coherent) notions of how the ships worked. Much more detailing there than you'd expect from a show following in the wake of sci-fi that was mostly silly. And in TNG they took their technical manual very seriously, thanks to people like the Okudas.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
The Alcubierre drive doesn't require negative mass specifically, just a negative energy density. Such conditions exist under certain circumstances such as in the Casimir effect.

I liked Saru until he abused the Tardigrade. Oh well.
Peter G.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 1:11pm (UTC -5)
Negative energy density may exist is far more scenarios than the particular case of the Casimir effect, we just don't know yet. The fact of the universe expanding at an*accelerating rate* certainly leaves a negative energy density in spacetime itself as a possible solution. In other words, the answer may lie in subspace :)

Basically we know zip about the fabric of space, or really about why anything in quantum happens at present. We have no unified theory, no theory of gravity, and no theory of galactic movement that are acceptable at present. It's so early in all of these areas that proclaiming that there will never be a warp drive is sort of like a 16th century friar exclaiming that a computer can never exist because there wouldn't room for the little man doing all the calculations to fit inside the screen on your desk. We are *that* primitive in terms of what there is to learn about nature.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 2:23pm (UTC -5)
So then why can't fungus be the way we finally travel to other stars?
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
I think the thing about the spore that people are complaining about is that it is explained enough to be a major plot point of the series, but not enough to make sense. For example, BSG has jump drive, but nobody ever explains why it works, only that it works and what its limitations are. The Borg have transwarp conduits. Again, not explanation at all. And that's perfectly fine. Even warp drive can be seen this way because, while it's technobabbled in a few episodes, it's mostly a black box with known rules.

With the spore drive, you can't do that because it *doesn't* just work. It requires a Tardigrade (at first) to operate. Once you have the Tardigrade, you need to explain it with coherent rules. Yet what we see are contradictions that are never explained. The Tardigrade can travel on its own. I can get behind the fact that it somehow needs to be in the vacuum of space for that, but does this mean that genetically modified Stamets can do that too? The Tardigrade is visibly harmed each time it steers the ship. Does Stamets get hurt too? If not, why not? Now we might get answers to some of these questions, so I'm not worried right now, but if we don't, that would hurt the series immensely.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 4:22pm (UTC -5)
They established that the tardigrade was able to jump directly into the Glenn (it just appeared in their shroom closet with no hull or security breaches). If it could jump in why not jump out again?
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 4:31pm (UTC -5)
I would assume that they had the little bugger in a containment field.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 7:21pm (UTC -5)
There's a couple of things that bother me about the spore drive. First of all, for the DNA to be compatible, the spores need to have originated on earth (evolutionary). Then how did they cross over into subspace, and more to the point, to the quantum level? As I understand it, the drive operates on the principle of quantum entanglement... right? There are so many different realms of physics and biology conflated here, I can't get my head around it. The warp drive is much more clear-cut in only needing general relativity and the macroscopic physical realm to make sense.

Basically the warp drive feels like "80% explainable" and the spore drive like "30% explainable" to me. The gaps to make sense of the spore drive are just so big. I'm not saying it's a terrible concept, but it's difficult to work out the details of how it's supposed to work.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 8:28pm (UTC -5)
Since so many people, including me, are bothered by the fact there was a holodeck in this episode, let me say this; In TAS they didn't have a holodeck, they had a 'recreation room'. Not the same thing.

From memory alpha...

'At least one type of recreation room was capable of holographic projection...This rec room was capable of creating pre-programmed illusions using holographic scenes, simulated weather including wind and temperature, and sounds played from audio tapes....Even though the scenery extended beyond the room, one would still be able to walk up to and touch the walls during a simulation. These types of rec rooms aboard starships were not considered to be actual holodecks.'

That TAS rec room is the only Starfleet 'holodeck' before TNG. So for Discovery to have one as good, or nearly as good as the one from TNG, doesn't make a lot of sense.

After they leave the holodeck, Lorca tells Ash, you 'fight like a Klingon'. Another not so subtle hint that Ash is actually Voq. And now that Ash is his security officer, it shouldn't be too long before he is near Lorca's tribble.

So the logic extremists (lol) aren't like other Vulcan's because 'they value logic above all'. But don't all Vulcans already do that? I don't get it. It seemed their main beef was actually that Vulcans are superior to Humans, and had nothing to do with logic. Stupid name for them.

They can't take Discovery into the nebula because the gases from the nebula will somehow come into contact with the spores on board. would that happen exactly? Did they leave a window open or something?

Stamet's invents a hardware version of a mindmeld in about 3 1/2 minutes. Ok then.

And Lorca says to Ash 'Bring [Mike] back in one piece...or don't come back at all'. I guess if Mike dies then Ash is supposed to kill himself and Tilly? Nice encouragement captain.

Then of course there is a mind meld, inside of a mind meld, inside of a mind meld, with kung-fu action. Mike uses Stamets mind meld device to simulate a mind meld (?) to go back into her real mind meld, and after the fistfight, mind melds with Sarek inside of the mind meld, and that wakes him up somehow. Can a human even initiate a mind meld? Maybe only if it's a mind meld inside of a mind meld inside of a mind meld. So yeah, all that is completely stupid. I just want to say mind meld again so I will. Mind meld.

Also what is with all the shipwide announcements on board Discovery? 'Ensign Rause report to shuttlebay' 'Commander Wilson, please report to the transporter room' 'Lieutenant Varda(?) requesting your assistance in engineering' etc. Why is Discovery the only ship in the history of Starfleet to do that?

And about the tardigrade, last episode they said it was sentient. But no one tried to communicate with it, or make any sort of contact with it's species. Maybe the tardigrades could have told us how the spore drives worked or helped run them voluntarily, or joined us in the war by teleporting around killing Klingons or something, but no, that seems to have been dropped completely.

And now for something off topic.

@Peter G.

'"Every physicist will tell you that it should be impossible to fly faster than light."

No physicist will claim that. They will say that within a given medium, from the perspective of someone else in that same medium, it's impossible to go faster than light. The theory says nothing about modification of the medium, nor does it say what can happen when an observer outside the medium observes something in a medium. Did you know that the speed of light is changeable depending on the nature of the medium in question? It all has to do with relative frames of reference, not some absolute speed limit that exists outside of a given frame of reference. In relativity there is no such thing as absolute speed measurement.'

That's not true. Every physicist certainly WILL claim exactly that. At least ones that understand relativity. It doesn't matter the medium you or the light is in, or if you are in different mediums, or if mediums are modified or not, nothing can go faster than the speed of light. In fact anything with mass can't even GET TO the speed of light, much less go past it. Light can go slower in certain mediums, but never faster than it does in a vacuum, the frame of reference is irrelevant. In a vacuum anyone measuring the speed of light, no matter their relative speed or position or the relative speed or position of the light source, will always measure the speed of light to be the same. No slower, no faster. Always exactly the same.

Anyway, for this episode, I give it 2 stars.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 9:19pm (UTC -5)

'"Every physicist will tell you that it should be impossible to fly faster than light."

"That's not true. Every physicist certainly WILL claim exactly that."

Which is probably why if warp drive is ever invented, it will be invented by some random guy in Montana and not physicists in a lab. Imagine if the Wright Brothers thought that flying was impossible - they would never have tried to fly in the first place.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
“Also what is with all the shipwide announcements on board Discovery? 'Ensign Rause report to shuttlebay' 'Commander Wilson, please report to the transporter room' 'Lieutenant Varda(?) requesting your assistance in engineering' etc. Why is Discovery the only ship in the history of Starfleet to do that?”

Actually that happened several times on TOS so that’s one of the things I actually like.

Also, as discussed previously, there are legit theoretical ideas in physics about how to travel FTL. What you’re saying about relativity is true, but these concepts don’t involve traveling faster than light in the local reference frame so they don’t violate relativity.
Peter G.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 11:32pm (UTC -5)
"Also, as discussed previously, there are legit theoretical ideas in physics about how to travel FTL. What you’re saying about relativity is true, but these concepts don’t involve traveling faster than light in the local reference frame so they don’t violate relativity."

This is correct. @ Skeckly, the only relevant factor in judging relative speeds is the reference frame. In the same frame, relative to each other matter cannot achieve light speed. But in separate frames they can. For instance, the universe is expanding at a prodigious rate. If one body moving in the direction of the expanding universe (think: moving sidewalk) is moving in the opposite direction of another body, relative to each they could indeed be moving away at a speed faster than light, even though relativity isn't violated. Similarly, but in a different way, if the constitution of a medium was so modified to make the speed of light within it very slow in comparison to that of an exterior medium, an exterior body could indeed move faster than the speed of light within the medium. So the law is in theory inviolable only within a given medium.

We already do know that part of what a warp drive does is alter the nature of the medium. In Deja Q, for instance, we're told that the warp field reduces the mass of objects inside of it, which was in that context meant as a next-best thing to altering the universal gravitational constant. Without getting too much into the weeds about how consistent one episode might be to the next, TNG at least had some notion of warp drive as altering the nature of local spacetime around the ship. When they speak of the ship entering "subspace" I assume they're in some sense referring to altering the medium through which they travel, which is an unsurprising sort of thing to refer to when discussing moving faster than light from the perspective of someone outside of the warp bubble.
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 11:52pm (UTC -5)

'“Also what is with all the shipwide announcements on board Discovery?

Actually that happened several times on TOS so that’s one of the things I actually like.'

I didn't remember that, but it's been awhile since I've watched any TOS. So that is one thing that's actually appropriate for the time the show is set in at least. Too bad there aren't more.
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 12:35am (UTC -5)
There are theoretical ways for something to travel faster than light, but they are all based on mathematical manipulations and not on anything that exists in the real world. In a ridiculously simplified example of this, let's say I have 3 apples then give you 5 apples. Now I have -2 apples. In mathematics, that's fine, but in the real world, I can't have -2 apples and I can't give you 5 if I only have 3 in the first place.

Also @Peter G, you are not using reference frames correctly.

I can observe hypothetically, in my reference frame, two objects, one moving away from me to the right, going the speed of light, and one going away from me to the left at the speed of light. But neither one is violating relativity, though it may seem as though they are travelling away from each other at twice the speed of light. They are both going the speed of light in my frame.

If I move the reference frame to one of the travelling objects, and measure the speed the other object is moving away from it, the speed will always be the speed of light or less, not twice the speed of light. This is due to time dilation. You have to use the time in the same frame of reference as the object to calculate the speed of the other object. What you are doing in your examples is using some parts of one frame and some parts of another frame, which you can't do.

The medium/s that all of this happens in makes no difference.

Star Trek ignores relativity, through the mumbo jumbo of subspace. But in real life, you can't just ignore relativity.

Unless of course relativity turns out to be wrong. :D
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 4:34am (UTC -5)
I am pretty certain already that I won't watch past season 1. The biggest issue is maybe the subpar watching experience: Watching a single episode takes me way too much time, several hours really, because there is so much strangeness to think about.

All the inconsistencies, the weird characterizations, the inexplicable science, and so on. All the while there is little artistic or narrative coherence to guide the viewer. The show is like a brainstorm of weird and conflicting ideas. I feel like I'm lost, and not in a good way. "Discovery" is difficult to navigate through.

Now, if this show was utterly fascinating, I would be willing to invest this kind of time, to work through it. But it's not; it's mediocre and trivial in large parts.

If a show is well-polished, you can basically watch it, digest it easily and then spend a little time on reflecting on the interesting questions that the episode raised. With DISCO, you have a show that is hard to digest (if you're serious about Star Trek, I mean, and not just a superficial person who wants some flat entertainment). I spent too much time on thinking about lame questions, lame explanations for what's going on, et cetera. Frankly, I increasingly get the feeling that this show is not worth my time.

But I'll finish season 1, in any case.
Mia Kirshner = Nude
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 6:05am (UTC -5)
I saw Spock's mommy nude on the "L Word". Just saying, yo!
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 6:44am (UTC -5)

I think what Peter meant by "medium" is the local geometry of space and time, rather than some material medium.

You are absolutely right that - technically - one cannot outrun a ray of light. But general relativity gives us a huge loophole: Gravity bends spacetime, which also BENDS THE PATH OF LIGHT RAYS. So the bottom line is that you can go at any *effective* speed you wish, by twisting spacetime to favor the direction in which you want to go.

(an interesting flip side of this, is that as long as you're in this twisted space, you won't be able to stop. Since even light itself wouldn't be able to go "backwards" is such a space, the law of "Thou shall not go faster than light" actually prohibits you from stopping!)

This is why things like wormholes and the Alcubierre drive are possible (in theory). They don't really allow you to break the cosmic speed limit. Rather, they give you all the benefits of FTL travel without breaking the law. :-)

As for Star Trek's warp drive and "subspace": Of-course it's fictional, but the concept does kinda make sense. With subspace, we have another "direction" in which to bend spacetime, which leads to new options. It's actually a pretty natural progression from ordinary general relativity.

As for the notion of a random guy from Montana inventing the thing: Why not? We already know that achieving a warp field in the Trekverse is much *much* easier than any currently known ways to bend spacetime. The Enterprise obviously doesn't use the negative equivalent of Jupiter's mass every time it goes to warp.

So it shouldn't be too difficult for a small team to build a tiny ship capable of Warp 1 for a few seconds. Once they unlocked the secret of subspace, the rest would be simple enough.

"Which is probably why if warp drive is ever invented, it will be invented by some random guy in Montana and not physicists in a lab..."

Heh, you gotta point there.

It's funny how people tend to forget that relativity itself was discovered by a random guy working in a patent office.

I'm willing to bet, though, that 95% of the background physics work for "warp drive" will be done in a university. I can totally see this Cochrane dude looking up some recent papers and then exclaiming "Hey... Just wait a minute... Don't they see what this implies? You know, I could use this...".

(Which is also pretty much what happened with relativity, too. Einstein would never have gotten it without all the preliminary work that was done in the 1880's)
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 8:37am (UTC -5)
The producers have implied on After Trek that the war will be over by season two so I'm a little bit more optimistic about that
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 8:41am (UTC -5)
The emotional core of the episode—Sarek’s regret at having chosen Spock over Burnham, even though Spock didn’t follow the path Sarek set for him—is actually quite good. But why did we need so much sci-fi telepathic nonsense in order to get there? Again, at least the series is consistently implausible. Not to mention the introduction of Logic Extremists, as if this series didn’t already have enough poorly-defined conflict.

Lorca sleeping with the Admiral reminded me of Riker sleeping with Beata in “Angel One,” which is not something that any writer should try to do. It’s wildly inappropriate, especially considering the circumstances. And of course the Admiral then wanders into a Klingon trap, which allows Lorca to stay Captain despite the fact that he’s more unhinged than all of the Admirals we’ve seen in previous Treks put together.

And I, for one, DO have a problem with the Holodeck existing in this century. In “Encounter at Farpoint,” it’s fairly clear that the Holodeck is a fairly new technology and most of the characters are amazed at how realistic it is. And it’s a continuity problem that would have been easy to get around—just have them wear VR masks or something. OR set the series in the 25th century and then you can do whatever you want.

On the other hand, I liked Stamets in this episode more than in previous ones. It would be an interesting twist of a Trek cliché for an alien influence to make one of the regular characters LESS of a jerk, though I’m guessing from the Ominous Music ™ at the end of the previous episode that’s not how it will turn out.

1.5-2 stars.
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 10:59am (UTC -5)
"Lorca sleeping with the Admiral reminded me of Riker sleeping with Beata in “Angel One,” which is not something that any writer should try to do."

Except that Lorca was old friends with the Admiral, Riker had just met Beata a few days before the events of the episode took place, so that scenario is completely different. Aside from which, didn't Kirk nab nearly every female he encountered? I thought Trek was always pretty loose when it came to casual sex.
Jason R.
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 11:16am (UTC -5)
Well Kirk certainly kissed alot of women. Whether he had sex with them is unknown. I know people today take it as a given but I'm not so sure and I'd suggest he almost certainly didn't in most of the circumstances we were shown on the show. As a tangental point isn't it funny how in fiction as in real life, possibility morphs into certainty where sex is concerned. Not unlike in high school.
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 11:28am (UTC -5)
Well, I'm pretty sure that the intent always was to show that Kirk poked whatever orifice he could find. It was during the 60s you know...
Woman were wearing short skirts. The consoles looked like candy and very often crewman were "intoxicated" by some force...
Space hippies, man!
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 11:34am (UTC -5)
@Jason R.

I would call that willful-blindness on your part then. To say that the franchise portrayed Kirk as a womanizer is an understatement. In fact, I'm fairly sure the Riker character was invented to give TNG the side of Kirk that Picard didn't have. That's not even getting into Roddenberry's own personal outlook on casual sex. Spoiler alert: he was all for it.

Anyhow, my point is, if Riker can have sex whenever and with whoever in the 24th century, I don't see why we should hold Captains of the 23rd century to a different standard. That's completely backwards as it disregards how much more enlightened people on TNG had become in the 100 years since Kirk's time.
Peter G.
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 11:59am (UTC -5)
My takeaway from the sex scene isn't that DISCO is lowering standards by being loose with free sex. I agree that Trek has always been all for that. The most notable instance of it I can think of is in Conundrum where Riker going to bed with Ro ends up being a source of humor that's barely even taken seriously as a real human interaction.

My problem with the sex scene in Lethe is more than there is room to interpret Lorca as having done so as a form of manipulation. We haven't been admitted into his inner life to know what he really thinks about anything, and so any event we're exposed to is little more than a cipher. I can't help but feel there's something of LOST in this, where the game is specifically to continue to present mysteries and no answers, because there are no answers. Why tell us what he's thinking when the hedging can go on forever? This isn't a bad device to use for TV, I just think it's bad for Trek. Stated simplistically, we need to know whether to look up to this man in some sense or not. I do think the moral context needs to be clear. I agree with a previous poster that the lack of framing what anything means is a feature and not a bug of this series, but it's not one that I'm pleased to see in Trek. It has always struck me as being manipulative of the audience, and despite being effective in keeping people interested I find dangling a non-existent explanation for a long stretch of time to be irritating. HOWEVER we may find out there are good explanations for everything and I'll be happy if that's the case.
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
@ Peter G
I think it is unlikely that he wanted to manipulate Cornwell because if they didn't had sex she never would have seen his unstable side.
So if he wanted to manipulate her then it backfired extremely .
Peter G.
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 12:20pm (UTC -5)
@ ben,

I meant manipulation in the sense of using sex to get her back on his side and to trust him more, not in the sense of using it to do something harmful to her. Basically, to diffuse the fact that she was on his ass. And yes, my read on it is that his tactic did backfire on him. Taking the scene at face value, he wasn't even aware of how much he'd changed since last they were together.
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
@ Peter G
At this point it is really about how smart the script is because Cornwell was already so concerned about his well-being that she met with him in person. She said that she was monitoring him for month. And we don't know how intimate they were before. It seems that they were very close. The scene were she is watching him sleep could show her deep concern. Time will tell.
Gandalf - Klingon Orc Slayer
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 1:30pm (UTC -5)
Is the disco on Middle Earth with the Orcs and the monster navigation bear?
Obese Nerd
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
Captain sex scene - he's a man and saw big breasts. That's the reason why. Also, is the Captain Lorca, or the chick? I even forget.
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 3:34pm (UTC -5)
@ MadManMUC

Who the hell repeatedly watches a show (ENT) he or she deemed bad the first time of a franchise he or she believes is fucked. Come on, man. Leave the building and move on to something you do like.
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 4:53pm (UTC -5)
"And I, for one, DO have a problem with the Holodeck existing in this century. In “Encounter at Farpoint,” it’s fairly clear that the Holodeck is a fairly new technology and most of the characters are amazed at how realistic it is."

But there is also mention in TNG laters years that in other and older starships is nothing like holodeck. I was I think case of Lt. Lt. Barclay, there is mention that on previous assignment there wasn´t no holodeck on USS Zhukov. Zhukov according Memory Alpha is Ambassador-class ship, much older than Galaxy-class ship. So could be explanation for this. Also in last episode of STD was mention that Discovery is the most modern starship in starfleet. So Constitution-class could be older technology than Crossfield-class.

But there is but. All that technology in STD is absurd that should be only 10 years before Kirk time. USS Shenzhou was mention that is old ship - still technology looks so much better than on Constitution starship. According Memory Alpha, Walker starship was using between 2240 to 2250. 2245 is dating of start using Constitution class, so they should have simillar technology - Holography comunication, holo mirror, holo screen. So something could be explain, something not. Overall I see only one reason why they done this. They want "same" fans from Star trek movies since 2009 came to new TV show, to have same feeling. But could be done much better, with writers who have some experience from Star trek past. There are lot of writers, who are sucessful after Trek shows, who can do it show in modern way and still have feeling of ST. But they think probably that they are not needed and they could do it "in own way".

I also have feeling that Disovery is "half-baked" project, done at last minute. It´s possible that Discovery should be about something else, that they do it this because of ST: Axnar - so there is question if Axnar creators steal Discovery idea, or Discovery creators have nothing at they mind than to steal Axnar idea, because they can do it - and Axnar can´t. If the second thought true is mostly "childish thinking" of CBS.

The result. What is done is done, for mine point of view, second season probably will be much better, there is reason why they want a year gap between season 1 and 2. In season one done much mistakes so far, but creators have still time for "redemption" in season two. I remember that Stargate Universe have same problem at season 1, season 2 was much better. If writers have some vision, plan for season 2, it would be preform in much better way. I still hope, maybe nothing to do with Star trek at all, but it still could be a good sci-fi show, something what Star trek needed. Discovery still could be like BSG in 2005, which was done it differently than series from 70s and 80s.
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 7:30pm (UTC -5)
Regarding the Holodeck and other breaks of continuity - the real bother is that most of these could easily have been prevented.

I have heard nobody say thus far that they like the Klingon redesign. Was it in any way beneficial to make them look like a hybrid of the orcs from LotR and the engineers from Prometheus? Not really.

Was it necessarcy to show a holodeck, as opposed to VR glasses or something similarly low-scale? No.

Was it necessary to have Michael talk to Sarek through half the galaxy, as opposed to the Admiral just telling Lorca during their conference call that Sarek was missing in that nebula, which would've lead to exact same result - Discovery going after him? The telepathic connection could have been limited to work within the nebula (when Michael was in the shuttle), and the episode would've played out exactly the same.

The real bother is that the makers of this series don't make any real effort to avoid continuity errors or wacky science. They simply don't care - they obviously think that their product is good enough, and that people bothered by the mistakes are nitpicky.

If you screw with the Trekkies like this, don't be surprised if they don't love your show.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 5:16am (UTC -5)
I like the Klingon redesign to some extent. First, the physical appearance of any race isn't canon. Many races including the Trill and the Borg have been redesigned without explanation. The only reason we ever got an explanation for the Klingons is because they're so prominent. But come on, that DS9 scene was clearly written as a joke. And then Enterprise kept the joke going. I say life as a Star Trek fan is easier if you just say nothing visual is canon.

Second, the redesign makes some sense. It's ten years before Kirk and so the Klingons are more unfamiliar. And sure enough, they look more alien in this redesign. Plus they gotta hide the fact that Tyler is Vosq with all that prosthetic make-up. So I'm onboard.

The only thing I don't like about the Klingons is the clunky dialogue. Those scenes are too slow. But no matter. These are the kinds of bugs that pop up when starting a new Star Trek series.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 5:36am (UTC -5)
The way the series is heading I'm almost certain that the Klingon design will be explained at some point - and I am even more certain that the explanation will be something absurd. I suspect we will see Klingons as we see them in TOS by the end of the series. And I suspect that Lorca will somehow will be involved in their change in appearance.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 9:28am (UTC -5)
Jammer, I just wanted to thank you for your many reviews. They have actually got me rewatching many an old TNG or VOY episode again - enjoyable in itself, and the reviews and your great comments section often just as enjoyable. You clearly put a lot of work in to these and it is appreciated.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 10:41am (UTC -5)
I find it surprising so many people complain about the “holodeck”, given that the holographic simulation was sooo much behind what we saw in TNG. The holograms in DIS are very limited: They can be shot with a “simulation phaser gun” (not the same tool, I guess, as used in real fight, because it counts hits), but they do not engage in hand-to-hand combat as real Klingons would. It s very likely that they are not material and cannot be touched.

While, when Picard starts his holo program (“The Big Goodbye”), he remarks on its ability to produce smell and realistic background noise and naturalistic behaviour in the holo characters. He does not mention the quality of the optical representation — in my interpretation, he expects optical excellency (because the tech is 100 years old), but is impressed by what is new.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 10:58am (UTC -5)
Regarding the whole science argument, the crucial thing about worldbuilding is that once you establish the rules of your fictional universe, they need to be consistent, and exceptions need to be well-grounded and rare. The difference between TOS/Berman Trek and Discovery is that 90s Trek used Denise and Michael Okuda as advisors and based its fictional concepts (whether warp or wormholes) on creative extrapolations of actual cutting-edge science. As commented earlier, occasional exceptions like the Iconian gateways and the Traveler (or credibility-straining concepts like TOS's parallel earths and the giant space organisms of The Immunity Syndrome and Bliss) don't affect any of the series' overall continuity or indeed the rules of the show's world, as they're not baked into the show's premise or crucial to its storytelling; if there's an individual episode with really dodgy science, it generally doesn't bleed over into other episodes.

Of course warp drive, transwarp, subspace, wormholes, gravitons etc are fantastical concepts. But they're extrapolated out of real science and have been part of Trek's grammar for decades. This is the thing with staying consistent to your worldbuilding - you can change a show's vocabulary (characters, aliens, storylines, location) but not its grammar (the fundamental values and rules of the fictional universe). Trek's science and its value system are both part of its grammar. TOS established them. TNG lived by them. DS9, in bending them, proved how strong they were. VOY and ENT increasingly disregarded them (Tuvix, giving holotech to the Hirogen, UMZ, Endgame, Dear Doctor, the ending of The Crossing, Similitude), but generally only on an episodic basis. By the time we get to the JJ films, especially STID, both the values and science have been thrown out of the window. And unfortunately Discovery has continued in the same vein. Warp and wormholes are on a different page to Discovery's spore drive, which is pure make-believe without out the slightest scientific credibility. Unlike with the science of 90s Trek, very little thought has gone into making it remotely scientifically credible, despite the lengthy exposition - so the ship essentially flies by magic now, a la Threshold. The explanation of the "spore drive" is as sloppy and lazy as calling the Vulcan terror group "logic extremists" - it's the product of a writing mentality that doesn't know the Trek universe and doesn't care either.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 1:11pm (UTC -5)

Where’s the science in Q snapping a finger and the crew disappearing and reappearing, the Enterprise being flung to the Delta Quadrant, or being sent back forth in time? And Q is part of TNG’s DNA. He’s not a one time deal, he’s a recurring character with what you’d describe as magical powers. Yet that’s fine, and the spore drive, based on an actual scientific theory of a mycelial network isn’t?

You can introduce new fictional ideas into an existing universe without explaining the science, as long as you tell a good story with it. It’s done in most every Trek series (see The Prophets, and The Caretaker).
Andy's Friend
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 5:13pm (UTC -5)

Q is something entirely different, and you know it: he is a device to tell fabulous stories that deal with myths and archetypes. He is on an entirely different level of storytelling than Magical Tardigrades on Mushrooms[TM].

I had never thought I would be repeating Elliott's arguments, but there you are: the main point of Q is to present us with possibilities and challenges untold, without us having to delve on pedantic minutiae of plausibility. For we understand that the nature of Q is mostly symbolic, and that he functions on what is essentially a metaphorical plane.

In this interpretation, Q is the ultimate abstraction in Star Trek, beyond even the sort of outlandish alien existence I used to write that Star Trek should have more of, to force us to imagine and attempt to understand the truly alien. Who else but a seemingly omnipotent entity could put mankind on trial? Who else could tempt human beings with that sort of omnipotence?

Q has little to do with the technological debate you were having with wolfstar. Indeed, he even serves as an example of the possibility of the theory that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, making that magic-like quality precisely a crucial part of his function. In that other interpretation of his nature, he enables that very question, contrary to his nature as an abstraction that I first mentioned: is Q merely a being possessing extremely advanced technology?

Many Star Trek fans focus on the *form* of Q. What really matters, however, is his *function*. The ambiguous nature of Q is inherent to that function. Either way, whether as a near-omnipotent entity, or a being manipulating unfathomably advanced technology, Q is, essentially, the perfect enabler of stories.

Who else could transport the Enterprise to a distant part of the galaxy, to humble our heroes and give them a very necessary perspective on the challenges awaiting them? Who else could have one of our heroes die, only to give him an equally valuable perspective, and a second chance at life?

All this is on an entirely different level of storytelling from the sort of 'storytelling' we see on DSC. But there you have it: TNG was dedicated to thematically ambitious storytelling. I still don't know what DSC is about. Frankly, I also no longer care: this series is a complete mess.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
wolfstar said it exactly right. Why is it so difficult for some people to see the obvious? The writing mentality has changed. We can have long discussions on whether the new mentality is acceptable or not, but let me just say this: They spend millions on each episode and it would be easy for them to pay a Trekkie to proof-read their scripts before they go into production, who could point out 90% of the continuity errors (just like you and me). What's bothersome is that they're not even trying.

I've read in an interview where someone asked the question: "How do you think people will respond to the Klingon redesign?", the spokesman for the creative team said (I'm paraphrasing): "Hopefully people will not think about the changes, but just be along for the ride and enjoy the visuals.", which sums up the new attitude perfectly. They seem to look at this series as if it were a partial reboot, allowing them to change things on a whim, just like the newest Trek movies did. But I for once don't want to see a reboot, or even a "soft reboot".

What's the motivation for pushing new ideas that conflict with the canon? I can only speculate, but I got the impression that the justification "it's kind of cool" is the only thing the authors need. The Klingon redesign... makes them look kind of "edgy", doesn't it? Sarek talking to Michael from far away: Kind of cool, having a Star Wars-like telepathic connection, isn't it? Kind of epic, right? And so on. The so-called "respect" for the source material, that the writers claim to have, goes only so-and-so-deep. I'm pretty sure that many of us old Trekkies have a much greater respect for the source material and I think that "respect" is increasingly used in an inflationary way.

You can support the new mentality or not, but claiming there is no change because Q and the Prophets also used inexplicable science, just manages to confuse the issue. Yes, there is a change, in both the willingness to stick to continuity, and the science that is used to explain how the ship's tech works.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
@Andy’s Friend

See, you’re qualifying Q because that’s good storytelling *in your opinion*. Yet I wonder how well “Encounter at Farpoint” would be received if it aired now, providing for improvements in set design and the like. Anyhow, some fans may find an intergalactic jump to be a more interesting story device. Either device can lead to good story, it really comes down to how well DSC’s story turns out. TNG, at least, vastly improved from its humble beginnings.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
Chrome, what's so difficult to understand about how TNG had the "let's try to make it as believable as possible"-science on the one hand, and the fantastical science (Q etc.) on the other hand? Those were obviously two different concepts, that existed in parallel to each other. But in Discovery, the believable and the fantastical get *conflated* and it's all a conceptual mess - at least from our point of view. Of course you can hold the opinion that this development is okay, but at least acknowledge our position as well, and don't deny the issue or claim that we are seeing phantoms. There *is* a discernible change.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
As Q would say, the jury’s still out. Andre Bormani, the science advisor for TNG - ENT has praised DSC for the show’s take on technologies true to the era such as com badges, phasers, and force fields. He also said the Klingon redesign, while much different, is perhaps more scientifically accurate because the showrunners consulted biological anthropologists to create a more accurate predatory design.

So there’s definitely some good things going for the show, even in the science department. If people want to get hung up on the spore drive, fine. I can relate, I still complain about DS9’s “Sacrifice of Angels” for similar reasons, though overall I enjoyed that show in the long run.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 7:14pm (UTC -5)
"that's fine, and the spore drive, based on an actual scientific theory of a mycelial network isn’t?"

Yes, huge networks of fungal mycelia exist. In soil. Fungi evolved on earth and need nutrients to survive. Yes, spores can survive in space, dormant, inert. But the spores have nothing to do with the connections (which are living), just like a bunch of plant seeds floating inert in space have nothing to do with a living plant (and no way to connect to each other). I will give you that old Trek sometimes fell into "Earth species in space" pitfalls - like the monkey in VOY's Resolutions, various references to alien "insects" etc. (In "The Maquis", Quark is even selling "Romulan molluscs" to diners.) That always bugged me slightly. But this is worse, because it's not just "oh look there's a monkey/insect on this one planet in this one episode", it's completely misunderstanding and misusing biology in a way that's actively anti-scientific and is damaging to understandings of science. Imagine the show had said a network of plant roots spanned all of space, how is that any different or any less absurd than a network of fungal threads? The only reason the "mycelium network" even halfway gets the benefit of the doubt from some of the audience is because fungi still have this air of mystery that plants don't. Seriously, imagine Discovery had a plant drive using seeds and bulbs to teleport because the entire galaxy is spanned by a giant subspace vine or creeper plant or something. There's no defacto difference between that and the mycelium network, just with plants instead of fungi, yet the audience would never accept the plant version because plants aren't "spooky" and "weird" like fungi are. That's the level this is being written on.

We've entered the realm of complete fantasy, like in late Andromeda where it turns out that Trance is the human personification of a star. (I haven't seen it but that's what happens.)

Godlike beings like Q and the Prophets have been an established part of Trek since its inception. Q works precisely because they don't try to explain him - if TNG had added technobabble explanations of the science behind how Q operates, it'd have wrecked it. Q is meant to be a quasi-religious element, as others have articulated above. I'm by no means against a teleportation drive per se, as we've seen teleportation in Star Trek on many individual occasions before. It'd just be better if they'd either tried to explain it using more credible science or didn't explain it at all. Both credible fictional science and no science are preferable to anti-science. 60s/90s Trek were scientifically grounded enough that they inspired a lot of people to go into science and technology. Discovery's mystical anti-science (instant galactic teleportation because mushrooms are freaky) will if anything have the opposite effect.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 7:35pm (UTC -5)
To Chrome:
"show’s take on technologies true to the era such as com badges, phasers, and force fields."

What is it about that so praising? They chose that era, and believe or not these things are only there because they need some symbols which could be easily recognizable from the past Trek even for non-trek fans. Without them, show could be easly to name only Discovery, show that could be similar to BSG, The Expanse, but they would earn less.

Mostly what I read on internet about "defenders DIS", that is different, and is a good thing because other TV Trek shows has change in time and change and new things are not bad things and this provide survival Star trek franchise to next decades, and if someone will be b*tch a about new Trek things, that there will be no Star trek in future - for not only me they are ready to sacrifice essence of Star trek only because they want see more Trek things and they found any apology for mistakes which creators did. For me is pretty good TV show, but is not a Star trek. They can put there lot of easter eggs about Trek, they can put together the Discovery to the continuity, which could explain most change, but in the end, running only in circle. They did not invent something new, only messing the past Trek things. In fact they doing same mistakes as rest of hollywood these days - For exmaple last Star Wars, Terminator and other brand.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
Oy. I really don't understand, and I mean this sincerely, the obsession evident here over a) so-called Star Trek canon, and b) "plausible" science. Neither of those two things, canon or plausible science, are in any objective sense valuable, necessary, useful, or even desirable in this, or any other other, television series. Anyone who complains about those two things is essentially walking into what evidently turns out to be a fruit store and complaining that there isn't enough beef jerky.

Look - one cannot fairly approach a brand new tv show with certain a priori standards and assumptions about what OUGHT to be there. One must take the new show on its own terms, and judge it based solely on how well it manages to achieve its own goals. Sometimes those goals are not self-evident, and one must make some educated guesses, but still, in order to fairly and accurately judge the success or aesthetic appeal of a work of art, one must judge it on its own terms, and bring no expectations. Otherwise, one is seeing only the lack of things that were never meant to be there in the first place, and one is merely commenting on their own likes and dislikes, rather than the success or failure of the show exterior to themselves.

First, I need to talk about canon. Canon is an arbitrary and nonsensical idea invented not by artists or writers or directors, but only by viewers, fans, consumers. Consumers should never have gotten involved. Consumers should ideally have ZERO influence on the making of a work of art; the fact that internet culture has given the consumers a sense of control over the making of the product has been one of the great tragedies of television writing over the last decade or two. The writers of Lost should never have gone online. As soon as the consumers have a say in the production of the art, it ceases to be art and becomes mere product. The writers of Star Trek have never, if they were being honest with their fans, cared in the slightest about "canon." The very concept is ludicrous. This is a fictional world. Its reality status is literally zero. What is canon, then, but the suggestion that certain fictional constructs are somehow more legitimate than other fictional constructs? You know who the first artists to break "canon" were? The very people who invented drama, literally, the ancient Greeks. They have five different versions of the story of Oedipus. They have ten different versions of the origin of Pandora and the origin of Dionysus. They never announced anything as a "reboot" or a "sequel." They just wrote another play. They used the same characters. They set it before or after the previous play. They presented it to the same audience. Sometimes the very same writers would drastically alter the in-universe reality of their story, from one play to the next. This happened all the time. It mattered to them not at all. They were too smart to let it matter to them. These are stories, fictional stories, designed to explicate and explore the nature of human existence. Sophocles would find this whole discussion ridiculous. The very notion that there should be consistency within a completely made-up universe, over the course of over 50 real-world years, in a franchise added to by literally hundreds of writers - the very notion that this completely nonexistent, made-up universe must never contradict itself - is mad. It's absolutely gonzo. Why? Why? Why not change things? The Greeks did it. The Romans did it. Every great writer does it. Does it disallow us from believing that this universe actually exists? But we KNOW this universe doesn't exist! We're not SUPPOSED to think it really exists. If we thought it really existed, it would cease to be art, and become useless as an artistic exploration of reality. It is figurative. It is symbolic. We MUST remember that what happens in the fictional universe is arbitrary, unreal, actions and events CHOSEN arbitrarily by artists in order to communicate things they feel are important. Without that necessary distance from the text, from the narrative, without us keeping in our minds CONSCIOUSLY that none of this is real, its ability to COMMENT on life is completely eliminated. So, the very idea that we should demand consistency from a fictional universe that only serves its function if we never forget its fictionality, that's utterly irrational. That insistence acts against the very function of art and storytelling, and reflects a lack of understanding of the role and nature of great storytelling over the last two or three thousand years. Why should there be a canon, particularly across television shows that exist literally decades apart? Madness. Like demanding that vanilla ice cream be always made of molasses. It's incoherent.

Now, to the question of plausible science - madness again. Sheer madness. Is this show a DVD instruction manual? Is it the engineering blueprint for a bridge we're going to have to drive over? Let's be clear - NONE of the science in Star Trek, or basically ANY of the great science fiction of the last century, written or televised, has been even plausible, let alone possible. Replicators? Might as well be unicorns. Artificial gravity? Gobbledegook. Let's look back at the origin of modern science fiction. Who do we see - Verne and Wells. Which one cared about plausible science? Verne. He prided himself on it. You know who couldn't have given two shits about plausible science? Wells. Now, try reading them both today. Wells is exciting, complex, universally human, still sounds like it could have been written yesterday. Verne, with very few exceptions, is godawful. Dated. Dry. Absolutely technically plausible. But awful, otherwise.

Scientific plausibility is just another of those a priori standards that a consumer brings to the art, demanding it of the artist without cause. You may as well demand more dragons, or more red heads, just 'cause. 'Cause I like them. I think every show should have them. This show owes us nothing a priori, before the show starts. It owes us absolutely no plausible science. None. Not a single mathematical equation. Not if that isn't its goal.

If more people were to come to this show with a really and truly open mind, and were prepared to let the show tell us its story ITS way, allow it to bring ITS own values to the proceedings, and experience the show the way IT intends, many of us here would find that it is working, as a new story, as a new exploration of humanity, far, FAR better than this website, including Jammer, has been giving it credit for.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 9:12pm (UTC -5)
"It'd just be better if they'd either tried to explain it using more credible science or didn't explain it at all. Both credible fictional science and no science are preferable to anti-science."

To illustrate this point, I have an excellent example. Many people were hugely disappointed by how the finale of the new Battlestar Galactica turned out. The show had made extensive use of both the concepts of "credible fictional science" and "no science" (= supernatural powers, religion) during its run, although admittedly the focus was more on the latter, on the supernatural, than had been the case in Star Trek.

But in the finale, the writers resorted to anti-science that just left a bitter aftertaste to an otherwise excellent show. They implied that the people from the twelve colonies and the natives of our earth were genetically compatible because god somehow guided our evolutions to a similar end result. That is 100% creationism, "god has shaped all life on earth after a masterplan", which unfortunately a lot of people from the US believe in. And then the colonists settled on earth and threw away all their technology, like space hippies, because they had found their Garden Eden. Completely disregarding the likelihood that a virus or bacterium from the New World could wipe out the colonists (especially if their biology is so similar to the life that developed on earth, that viruses and bacteria will have an excellent compatibility with their hosts, consuming them in order to multiplay themselves). What you need at this point is modern medicine, but the finale glossed over it.

Science fiction that gives us anti-science is not inspiring. There are plentiful examples for idiotic science in superhero movies (DC, Marvel, or the Transformer movies) which is so bad that ten year olds could've come up with it. But in this genre you don't expect anything clever. Star Trek was the notably exception so far.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 9:22pm (UTC -5)

"Oy. I really don't understand, and I mean this sincerely, the obsession evident here over a) so-called Star Trek canon, and b) "plausible" science. Neither of those two things, canon or plausible science, are in any objective sense valuable, necessary, useful, or even desirable in this, or any other other, television series. Anyone who complains about those two things is essentially walking into what evidently turns out to be a fruit store and complaining that there isn't enough beef jerky."

Look, just because you don't agree with our perspective, you don't need to tell us that what we feel or think is nonsensical. While I'm adamant about my own opinion, I also acknowledge that there are others. You need to be more tolerant.

There are certain elements that some people have identified as their "core ideas" of Star Trek, which they are justifiably missing in DISCO. It's as easy as that. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. It makes no sense that you are telling people "Star Trek has always been a fruit store, where you can't ask for beef jerky." That analogy is crude and doesn't fit here.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 9:32pm (UTC -5)

Oh, I in no way intended to claim that anyone here is nonsensical, or isn't entitled to their opinions. What I am labelling as "nonsensical" is the logical claim that consistency to canon is a necessary component of a successful Star Trek show. I am attacking the logic of the argument, not the arguer him or herself, and if I didn't make that distinction clear enough throughout, then I apologize. I am not intolerant of other views. Everyone is welcome to like or dislike whatever they do, or to watch or not watch whatever they like. I certainly have tastes. I am enjoying Orville now, for example, far more than the quality of the show would suggest I should, and that says much about me, and not much about the show.

I guess my point is that, those views, that canon, say, or plausible science, or idealism, as you said you expected from Trek in an earlier thread, suggest much about the likes and dislikes and expectations of the viewer (which they are entirely entitled to), but they say nothing whatever about the quality of the show they are discussing, because they have no objective reason to EXPECT those things from any new work of art. There is no logical necessity to those things being there. They are just things a viewer may personally prefer in they Star Trek shows. And that's fine. But again, that is a statement about the preferences of the viewer, the consumer, and can't fairly be used as a criticism of a show that, frankly, never promised any of those things.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
At the risk of taking this all off topic, the reason I was disappointed in the BSG finale is that I thought I was watching a "credible fictional science" show where mysterious seemingly supernatural things would be scientifically explained in an in-universe plausible scientific way. Instead what I got was "nope, it really is supernatural and it was all angels and God all along". I mean having deities turn out to be real is not an automatic point against a show. I like how the Prophets were handled on DS9 (for the most part), but having mysterious things happening throughout a show's run, seemingly building up to something, but ending on "It was all angels and God" without really explaining anything is an extreme letdown.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 9:52pm (UTC -5)
"Look - one cannot fairly approach a brand new tv show with certain a priori standards and assumptions about what OUGHT to be there. One must take the new show on its own terms, and judge it based solely on how well it manages to achieve its own goals. Sometimes those goals are not self-evident, and one must make some educated guesses, but still, in order to fairly and accurately judge the success or aesthetic appeal of a work of art, one must judge it on its own terms, and bring no expectations."

In general, this is the right way to approach art. But if a franchise is already established and stands for certain concepts and ideas, it has to be evolved with caution. You could call "Star Trek" its own genre, and many people come to watch the show because they enjoy this genre. When you go to the cinema, and don't tell people anything about a movie's genre - could be horror, could be action, could be romance - but instead just ask them to "interpret the movie after its internal perspective", many of them will afterwards say "it might be good in its own way, but I really didn't want to watch a horror movie". If the movie is a lot different from what you expected, you could call that a mislabel.

Of course, it would be silly to continue this criticism of Discovery indefinitely. It's only been six episodes so far and a little more than 1 month, so it's understandable that there's still a heated discussion going on. Personally, I will probably grow quiet soon and leave the fans of the new show alone - to enjoy it as they please.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 10:07pm (UTC -5)

Short reply to that, I think there were plentiful hints during the first season already that the show had a certain amount of supernatural elements mixed in that would never be explained through anything else than faith or god. But you needed to read between the lines to recognize that, so I understand your disappointment in season 4. In the beginning, I still thought it possible that there was an explanation for the voice in Baltar's head, but then the voice also appeared in Six's head (season 2) and it just had too much knowledge that was scientifically explainable, so at the latest by this point, it had become evident that the series was relying on certain religious elements that wouldn't be scientifically explained.

But as a previous poster has said, both "credible fictional science" and supernatural/religious explanations are better than anti-science, which are purely wrong concepts of science or how the world works. And I felt that line from religion to anti-science was crossed towards the end of the series. I even found Kara as an Angel acceptable though, because that was similar to the Angelic version of Six that had been in Baltar's head since the beginning, so it wasn't entirely surprising or new.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
"that was scientifically explainable" -> should be "that wasn't scientifically explainable"
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 10:17pm (UTC -5)

The fans of the show can certainly enjoy it as they please, and that's really none of my business.

I just wish that some of them wouldn't insist on endlessly ridiculing those who feel differently and/or putting words in our mouths.

One can enjoy the show while still acknowleding that the points people like Steven and me have raised aren't the words of babbling idiots. One can be a fan of Discovery without pertending that it isn't a huge departure from everything Trek that existed until now. One can be a fan of this show while still admitting to the fact that it *is* a dumbed down mainstreamized version of Trek (Jammer has done so more than once, with his "there's a Trek for everyone" statement) and accept the fact that some people just can't bring themselves to enjoy this kind of thing.

And one can certainly be a fan without mocking and disparaging people just because they have different preferences. Some people like Discovery, others don't. To each is own, and I sure wish people would stop fighting over a d*** TV show, even if it's Star Trek.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 10:26pm (UTC -5)
There are many explanations for head-Six and head-Baltar. They could be some sort connection through the Cylon consciousness. Baltar could have been a Cylon. Kara could have been a Cylon recreation. Or she was a Cylon all along. There could be other explanations too. What we got was *no* explanation beyond "because God"
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 10:31pm (UTC -5)

Fair enough, if you've seen it this way, I understand your disappointment in season 4. I just wish the finale had been different. But anyway, it's a good example to illustrate how confusion over whether a show is science, religion or anti-science can lead to disappointment.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 10:57pm (UTC -5)
"One can be a fan of this show while still admitting to the fact that it *is* a dumbed down mainstreamized version of Trek (Jammer has done so more than once, with his "there's a Trek for everyone" statement) and accept the fact that some people just can't bring themselves to enjoy this kind of thing."

I think many people haven't realized yet that this show is a dumbed-down version of Trek, and that is excusable because it's a complex topic. It will become more evident once we have the arc finished and can take a more distanced look at the material. I don't even want to have that discussion right now, this is why I never wrote explicitly that the new show is dumbed down, as you do. It'd be a difficult discussion to have at the current time, because the show is still so new.

Personally, I've noted a number of indications that this show is less deep than others before it, but if I wrote those down, people would probably throw lots of counter-arguments in my face - such as "this show has more ambiguity than before; you don't know where you stand with Lorca, among others; he could be a calculating psychopath or not", and in this particular way the show is indeed cleverer than old Trek.

Yeah, I believe I see the same general pattern that you do, that this show is more mainstream and dumbed down than previous ones, but it'd make for a difficult discussion right now and I don't start a discussion or make bold statements, unless I'm willing to dive into it and back it up with arguments. So I personally won't join in a discussion on that atm.
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 11:05pm (UTC -5)
Still think they should have done a TNG revival like the ones being done for X Files, Roseanne Will and Grace.

Do maybe ten episodes. Recreate the TNG ENT-D and bridge get the cast onboard for the revival and get thevwriters from TNG like Brannon Braga, Ron Moore, Melinda Snodgrass, and two or so new writers and do that rather than DIS. Plus this year marked the show’s 30th anniversary. Would have been better than this
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 11:44pm (UTC -5)
“this show is a dumbed-down version of Trek”

Is this tasteless trolling really necessary?
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 1:55am (UTC -5)

In case you didn't understood what I wrote, I was basically calling OmicronThetaDeltaPhi out on trolling, which is what he does unless he's willing to present his case and back up his view. Just making a bold statement that the new series is a dumbed-down Trek is not a good idea.

My *whole post* was trying to make the point that while I subscribe to OmicronThetaDeltaPhi's opinion, making such a statement without willingness to engage in an argument about it is indeed trolling.

So from the context it should have been sufficiently clear that I was not trolling, but on the contrary trying to defuse the situation; although the first sentence of my post ALONE could give you that idea.
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 9:58am (UTC -5)

Sketchy on Star Trek canon? Sure. Morally compromised and ambiguous characters, such that they would rarely have been acceptable as protagonists on earlier Trek shows? Absolutely. Generally disinterested in making its science plausible by modern standards? Yes. So far, generally absent of that idealism about humanity we've seen and loved in most previous Star Trek shows? Granted. But dumbed-down? Less sophisticated? Absolutely not. Demonstrably not true. Not dumbed down at all. Voyager was dumbed-down. The last 3 movies were dumbed-down. This show? Very different. Not to everyone's liking. Refusing to connect all dots. A betrayal of the values and ideologies of the previous shows. All perhaps true. But dumbed-down? Not even close. I can prove that that isn't true seven ways until Sunday, but it will convince no one here, not a single person. So, like you, I will abstain from entering that particular discussion. :)

"Personally, I will probably grow quiet soon and leave the fans of the new show alone - to enjoy it as they please."

Oh, why? Don't leave now; who else will I spar with? See you in next week's thread! :)
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 11:07am (UTC -5)
@ BZ and Steven
I jsut want to point out that BSG wasn't about god and angels but about Hinduism and rebirth. Thats why the highest hinduistic mantra is sung during the intro.
There you go: ;)
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 1:11pm (UTC -5)
"Sketchy on Star Trek canon? Sure. Morally compromised and ambiguous characters, such that they would rarely have been acceptable as protagonists on earlier Trek shows? Absolutely. Generally disinterested in making its science plausible by modern standards? Yes. So far, generally absent of that idealism about humanity we've seen and loved in most previous Star Trek shows? Granted. But dumbed-down? Less sophisticated? Absolutely not. Demonstrably not true. Not dumbed down at all. Voyager was dumbed-down. The last 3 movies were dumbed-down. This show? Very different. Not to everyone's liking. Refusing to connect all dots. A betrayal of the values and ideologies of the previous shows. All perhaps true. But dumbed-down? Not even close. I can prove that that isn't true seven ways until Sunday, but it will convince no one here, not a single person."

Well, you certainly got me to second guess myself on this, so that's something.

And It certainly is refreshing to see someone who thinks the writing of DSC is superb yet still acknowledges the obvious reasons why *some* Trekkies can't swallow it.

Hope you enjoy today's episode. Peace?
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 2:03pm (UTC -5)

"Hope you enjoy today's episode. Peace?"

Of course! And I hope so too. Though, I also hope there's more to it than the "Cause and Effect" rehash the trailer appears to promise.....
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 4:08pm (UTC -5)
Jeeze, this comment section could really use a thread-based interface.
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
Cause and Effect is actually one of my favorite (if not the favorite) episode of TNG or even all of Trek. If it's half as good I'll be elated.
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 6:59pm (UTC -5)
Canon is just another word for continuity, just generally applied to a large body of work. Continuity is one of the most basic requirements of good storytelling. Without it anything that happens in the story is meaningless, because in the next scene or the next episode or the next season it could be completely contradicted and all of the consequences or implications of what happened are erased. Why bother watch the show if its all the seemingly consequential events are just going to be ignored by the people making it. To ignore continuity is lazy, and bad storytelling. It means you weren't creative enough to tell your story in a way that makes sense. If you want to call something "Star Trek" or "Star Wars" or "Stargate" or whatever, that means you want to embrace the universe that was established in that work. Otherwise calling it that doesn't actually mean anything.
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 7:35pm (UTC -5)
They might as well get on with the obligatory Risa episode. It cant get any worse.
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 1:05am (UTC -5)
Jason, I salute you, sir, for one of the best posts written. Everyone, please search the page for "Jason" and read his post. Great explanation for why Trek doesn't, and shouldn't, obey cannon. As a brief counterpoint though, Jason, there are some thematic elements from the other Trek shows that worked extremely well. And so it does seem to make sense that we keep some of those around and not just abandon everything. And to be fair, some of those thematic elements are fairly central to the universe--the tone, how the humans act, etc.
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 1:46am (UTC -5)
"Still think they should have done a TNG revival like the ones being done for X Files, Roseanne Will and Grace.

Do maybe ten episodes. Recreate the TNG ENT-D and bridge get the cast onboard for the revival and get thevwriters from TNG like Brannon Braga, Ron Moore, Melinda Snodgrass, and two or so new writers and do that rather than DIS. Plus this year marked the show’s 30th anniversary. Would have been better than this"

Unfortunately that kind of opportunity has sailed... all of the TNG cast is in their 60's and 70's at this point. A revival in the ways that you're describing would be kind of sad to watch.

I'm very much all for bringing Ronald D. Moore or Ira Behr back into the franchise, though. They love TOS, so they would have been a perfect fit for Discovery's premise... but I think they're busy working on a show called Outlander.


"One can be a fan of this show while still admitting to the fact that it *is* a dumbed down mainstreamized version of Trek and accept the fact that some people just can't bring themselves to enjoy this kind of thing."

Uhm, alright, nice "facts". So... you got upset when I said Orville's pilot felt like "bad popcorn entertainment" *to me*, but you're here in a Discovery thread making much more insulting comments like this one? Haven't you said that you're not even watching the episodes?? If that's true, that makes this kind of behavior even worse.

Please stop disrespecting the people who are enjoying the show. As Jason already pointed out to you, you're off the mark on the "dumbed down" part and you're just insulting people in the process.
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 3:35am (UTC -5)
As far as 'canon' goes, I agree with @Dobber's comment a few above this.

You can't call something Star Trek and then ignore what has already happened in this very unique universe.

How about if in the next episode they have a lightsaber fight? Or pull out a magic wand and shout 'Expelliarmus!' to kill a Klingon? Or maybe Mike can use mind control on a pack of wolves?

That all may be cool, but you can't just start adding in or changing whatever you feel like, just because it's fictional. Well, you can, but then it's not a Star Trek show.
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 9:24am (UTC -5)

Hey, thanks for the shout-out. And yes, I agree completely with your rebuttal, that we should never throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 11:24am (UTC -5)
"Jason, I salute you, sir, for one of the best posts written. Everyone, please search the page for "Jason" and read his post. Great explanation for why Trek doesn't, and shouldn't, obey cannon."

Huh? I've just spent quite some time reading his posts (they are long and quite numerous) and haven't found any such explanation.

Mind telling me what you're talking about?
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 12:07pm (UTC -5)
I'm halfway between Jason and the canon police. I think the writers should know and respect the canon but not feel constrained by it. Originally, the Borg didn't assimilate people and were only interested in technology. But then the writers broke canon and rewrote the Borg. And I for one, like the new Borg. If a writer can improve upon what came before, he should be free to do so.

As for this plausible science debate, I don't understand what the problem with the spore drive is. Per my understanding, the spore drive uses quantum entanglement to make leaps. Now it's impossible in the real world for many reasons. But quantum entanglement is real science. It's as real as wormholes. So I don't understand why everyone's going on about how implausible it is. It's about the same level of plausible as warp drive.
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 12:37pm (UTC -5)
"You got upset when I said Orville's pilot felt like "bad popcorn entertainment" *to me*, but you're here in a Discovery thread making much more insulting comments like this one?"

If you look at that discussion, you'll see that I've actually admitted, there that the Orville is far less cerebral than Trek (I just checked. These are the exact words I've used).

So I don't see how my statement can be "insulting" towards DSC fans, without also being equally insulting towards myself.

But no matter. Since this statement of mine (a) bothers so many people and (b) too vague to be constructive to the discussion, I'll stop saying it.
Jason R.
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 1:10pm (UTC -5)
Steve, in Q Who it is true that Q indicated that the borg were not interested in the life forms but only technology. But that was his off the cuff characterization of their motives at that specific moment, not gospel truth. Indeed in BOBW 1 it was noted specifically that the Borg priorities had changed - so it wasn't a retconn but an evolution of what little was known about the Borg, a refinement of what was a superficial understanding of a complex enemy.

Regarding the canon debate I agree with what another poster said, which is that canon is nothing more than continuity and consistency, which is the halmark of good storytelling.

Why does a studio bother investing in a franchise like Trek? The answer is they get the benefit of a ready-made fanbase with all the good will that comes with it. The appeal of the franchise should be self evident. DC can put out a stinker like Batman v. Superman and still make nearly a billion dollars. If Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 was't so great nobody cares because every Potter fan is still going to see it. You get a built in audience and a big moneymaking machine that transcends any one movie's fortunes. A John Carter is a financial disaster while an Age of Ultron is merely a lesser cog in a mighty moneymaking juggernaut.

But the downside is also clear. People are invested in that franchise, its lore and myth, and you meddle with that at your own peril.

I don't object to a retcon here and there. I don't agree that the example you gave actually was a retcon, but even if it was, it was consistent with the spirit of the material and it was needed to tell a better story.

My issue with Discovery is the lazy, sloppy writing and the contempt the writers show for the source material. It isn't hard to respect continuity 999/1000 and in most cases you can tell any story you want without contradicting anything that came before. But they don't care. It isn't even on their radar. They'll toss in a random character like a Mudd here and there, or a throwaway reference to Captain Archer or Pike in the pretense of connecting this show to past installments (look! look! Harry Mudd! From Star Trek!!) but the writers don't really care. For them Star Trek is a brand name, not a story, not a legacy.

My point is not merely sentimental. I do think they are killing the goose that laid the golden egg for more than 40 years for the sake of a perceived short term reward that won't pay off. We saw it with Abrams Trek which flashed in the pan and then fizzled.

Following canon doesn't just make narrative sense, I'd suggest it is a moneymaker too.
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 1:53pm (UTC -5)
Jason, I agree that continuity is important, but whether shows follow continuity is often subjective. Take the holodeck in Discovery as an example. One could argue it breaks continuity because in TNG the characters were impressed with the technology. Yet, the writers could say "the Discovery is an advanced ship full of prototypes that were not standard issue, including advanced holo-simulations". I don't think that's a bad argument, but I also know it won't please everyone. Yet - I think all fans should be able to appreciate that holodecks are now an iconic part of Star Trek and it's reasonable for writers to try to make them work in any era.
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 2:19pm (UTC -5)
I know Star Trek very well, and I don't see where they've broken canon. I mean, I have a few questions. Like are those holodecks as lifelike as TNG holodecks? If so, that would be a canon violation, but it's not clear that's the case. And then there's the Klingons. This just confuses me. They're always changing the way alien races look, especially the Klingons. So I don't know why someone would have a problem with that. I think the most clear canon violation so far is the music they were listening to at that party in the time loop episode. But by and large, I don't see where canon has been violated.
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 10:19pm (UTC -5)

The cast has aged but they don’t look like they’ve got one foot in the grave. I’d much rather see them reunite and go on adventures than watch this lame cast in this hotmess. I realize older actors are not favored by Hollywood ever since the heyday of Angela Lansbury as the lead in Murder She Wrote and The Golden Girls but some of us enjoy seeing folks that age headline a tv show. It would only be a limited run anyway
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 10:22pm (UTC -5)
Plus why have to sit and watch A pale facsimile like the horrible TNG wannabe Orville when you can have the real thing with a TNG revival
Discovery Forever
Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 8:06pm (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi: "I haven't watched a single episode"

Rambling week after week about a show you're not even watching. Interesting hobby.
Thu, Nov 2, 2017, 4:26pm (UTC -5)
I previously viewed this episode's title (Lethe was also the name of the Greek spirit of forgetfulness and/or concealment) as a reference to Sarek, but I wonder if its an allusion to Ash; Ash, a Klingon sleeper agent who has forgotten his past, perhaps via a memory wipe.
Vladimir Estragon
Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 3:21am (UTC -5)
It took me at least ten minutes to realize that the DISCO shirts referred to Discovery. Apparently, there is at least one person on that ship with a sense of humor.

People in the 22nd century have really bad skin.

If that Ash guy is not a Klingon, I'll be very disappointed.

The so-called holodeck in Lethe was rudimentary compared to the 24th century models, in which you could fall into a creek and get wet. Considering that VR is going to be taking over the gaming industry in a year or two, it makes perfect sense for them to have what they showed in the episode.

The exterior of the starship Discovery looks like a flat cartoon model. I guess because it is.

If I had recently been abducted out of a Starfleet shuttle by the Klingons, imprisoned, and tortured, I would probably sleep with a phaser under my pillow too.

Was the whole abduction of Lorca intended to introduce him to the infiltrator Ash?

Lorca is by far the most (and maybe only) interesting character on the show. I hope they are able to maintain his ambiguity.

Six episodes in and there is still no compelling reason why this should be a prequel.
Liam Thibodaux
Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 3:32pm (UTC -5)
I was rewatching the old TNG series on Netflix, when I ran across "Gambit" in season 7, which had a terrorist faction of Vulcans who viewed humans as inferior and wanted Vulcan to secede, so the "Logic Extremists" actually had its roots in TNG.
Mon, Jan 22, 2018, 3:37am (UTC -5)
So now as of 1/22/18 this episode looks a lot better...we know why Lorca slept with a phaser under his pillow, what those scars on his back were and why Admiral Cornwell didn't feel like she knew him. Hope we get to see the look on her face when Discovery gets home and tells the good admiral where they've been.
Sat, Jan 27, 2018, 11:22pm (UTC -5)
I agree with Todd above. This show does look a lot better in retrospect. I also watched the other Sarek episodes in TOS and TNG again in the meantime, and now, I believe this was a great addition to his character's arch in the overall Trek universe. I am not surprised though, with Trek alumni Joe Menosky at the helm as a writer. One of my favorite episodes of the first season honestly..
Mon, Apr 9, 2018, 1:10am (UTC -5)
I just skimmed the comments: has anyone mentioned the gorgeous set design on Vulcan?

@Mertov: "I didn't read Lorca's order to Saru to consult with Starfleet command on rescuing the Admiral as a sell-out, or an attempt to remain Captain longer. Maybe I am naive."

I really don't want to sound mean, but I do think that's naive. Although I haven't seen the rest of the season yet (I am paying for just one month of CBS, so I will finish in the next three weeks), so who knows. [Speaking of which, people who go back months later to post in earlier episode threads after seeing more of the show should post easily visible spoiler warnings before any content we would not know up to this point!] But I actually thought as soon as he recommended that the Admiral take Sarek's place that he was expecting (or at least hoping) she would be killed. So once she was captured and he delayed going after her, I was 100% sure.

I do think it's interesting that there seems to be a large chunk of the Trek fanbase that is really invested in main characters, especially the captain, being Lawful Good (or at least some kind of Good). In this post-BSG era, I can understand why they don't operate that way any more, but it's a fair question as to whether this most of all violates something essential about the Trek ethos. I'm undecided.
Sun, Nov 4, 2018, 11:39pm (UTC -5)
SlackerInc, you were right. I was totally naive :)
Thu, Dec 27, 2018, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
Just rewatched this as I'm rewatching all of it prior to season 2 starting up. It was so much stronger as an episode second time round knowing what I now know about Lorca.
Diamond Dave
Tue, Jan 8, 2019, 2:05pm (UTC -5)
That was pretty good. Not groundbreaking but a reasonable attempt at some character building and a definite episodic feel. Nevertheless, I think like Jammer I sparked more on the Cornwell/Lorca B-plot than the A-plot. Aside from quite how they're both getting away with the command-chain-with-benefits thing, it does raise further interesting questions about Lorca's motivations and how far he's prepared to go. Cornwell's capture hardly came as a surprise, but hopefully will lead to some interest going forward.

The Sarek-Burnham story I thought was serviceable and occasionally went beyond that - the key moment of Sarek's choice had some weight.

Not particularly fussed about the holodeck.... but only if we don't get any holodeck episodes in the future.... 2.5 stars and not far off a 3.
J Ryan
Wed, Jan 16, 2019, 7:46pm (UTC -5)
This one didn't do much for me. Then again I was never much into Vulcan mysticism. And maybe I missed something but after Discovery spore-drived to the nebula where Sarak was trapped, how did the admiral woman just show up on their doorstep?
Cody B
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 1:27am (UTC -5)
Well I’m six episodes in and I have to say so far so good. So far I’m not getting why this show is so polarizing at all. I mean if I really want to nitpick I guess the red headed girl is annoying and wearing shirts that say disco is a little cringe. But on the scale of things that’s not much to complain about. I think so far the show is great. I’m loving it so far
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 3:44am (UTC -5)
salutations jammer,

i continue my first watching of Disco. i like your reviews and i'm agreed with you that lorca chooses his associates too quickly, right? burnham science specialist, tyler security chief. aren't there others on the ship who trained for those posts?

but other than those inconsistent moments, i think i liked this episode more than you. for me, it's the best one so far because there is a substantial enlargement (is this the word?) of Sarek's as a character. i liked the way they presented this new background information and it makes sense completely with Sarek from before Disco (i watched the original series sarek episode before this, but not the series as a whole).

holodeck and spore drive is no problem for me, i think they work good as plot device.

best wishes

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