Star Trek: Discovery

General Discussion

Season 2 premieres January 17, 2019. Until then, feel free to discuss your thoughts or speculation about the upcoming season or the interim shorts released on CBS All Access. (I likely will not be reviewing the shorts.)

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117 comments on this review

Chrome
Sat, Oct 13, 2018, 4:31pm (UTC -6)
A red angel? Is Discovery starting to crib from the weaker religious symbolism of DS9?
John Harmon
Sat, Oct 13, 2018, 10:34pm (UTC -6)
So how about that first short? It sure was terrible.
Del_Duio
Sat, Oct 13, 2018, 10:44pm (UTC -6)
Watched TNG's The Child and Sins of the Father yesterday. How far Trek has fallen :(

I guess the bright side is DSC can't really get any worse than S1... can it?
Mr Tease
Sun, Oct 14, 2018, 4:02am (UTC -6)
Season 1 was flawed but I really enjoyed watching it, so I'm excited a for season 2. For me Enterprise was horrific, and Discovery was a real step in the right direction. Just wish it wasn't a prequel.

I get tired reading fan forums for Sci fi type programmes, they seem to be endlessly filled with people who watch the shows every week just to complain about them, until they get cancelled then complain that there are no Sci fi type shows.

Discovery reaction and sites haven't been too bad so far but I foresee them to becoming like Dr who or the walking dead- it's tough to find places to go to talk about eps you enjoyed.
Sooty
Mon, Oct 15, 2018, 3:36am (UTC -6)
I enjoyed Discovery but I have not found myself wanting to rewatch it like i do TNG DS9 VOY. I can watch them over and over again and enjoy them but not Discovery.
Mitch
Mon, Oct 15, 2018, 3:37am (UTC -6)
What can I say, I have no enthusiasm whatsoever for STD's season two. Season one was literally a chore to sit through and watch, it was just THAT bad (and I'm not even touching on how completely detached it was from anything Star Trek related; speaking as someone who's seen ever episode of every Trek series, even the animated one).

Unless CBS has completely reboot the series, which I very much doubt, I'm going to have difficulty sitting through it once again. But hey, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt, I did sit through all of Voyager and Enterprise in hopes those would improve. Unfortunately they never did and I get the same feeling we'll be on the same path with STD. Heh, ironically, the only positive of STD... re-watching some Voyager episodes recently actually seem palatable by contrast! I never would've imagined anything could make Voyager look good!
anthony
Mon, Oct 15, 2018, 4:08pm (UTC -6)
I agree with the commenter who said they enjoyed DSC S1 but found it flawed. I find Michael and Saru to be very compelling, very Trek characters. Also share the prequel bummer - I’m more interested in seeing the new characters develop than seeing Pike in the captain’s chair...

The 1st short was pretty good, but could have been 5 min longer to develop the ideas a little more. Looking forward to the one about Saru, who is my favorite DSC character
Patrick D
Tue, Oct 16, 2018, 1:16am (UTC -6)
I gave up on the show after the second episode and have had no desire to revisit it ever again. I might give it a chance if they start doing episodes like "The City on the Edge of Forever", or "The Measure of a Man" or "The Inner Light"...but, I'm not holding my breath. (And that goes for the Picard show too).
Yanks
Tue, Oct 16, 2018, 11:43am (UTC -6)
I enjoyed watching STD season 1. I was not really happy with the ending.

I recently rewatched it and I again really enjoyed it and I guess I'm not as taken-a-back with the ending..... no wait, I am :-)

There are issues they have to fix.... spore drive being the most obvious as it doesn't exist in the trek we know.

But I'm REALLY looking foward to season 2 after watching the trailers. Little different tone.... better story maybe?

SMG's bland acting will continue to bother me no doubt, but the addition of Anston Mount as Pike is exciting. We'll get to meet some new species... and get to know some of the regulars from season one better. More Georgiou is welcomed as well.

I heard some Klingons are getting hair :-)

I heard they fired the SJW contingent of the writing staff...

I enjoyed Tilly's short and can't wait for the other 3.

Here's to a season long story arc that gets wrapped up better that season 1 and to Peck giving us a palletable Spock.
Josh
Tue, Oct 16, 2018, 5:22pm (UTC -6)
The trailer looks more promising. It looks like some kind of scifi story. The fanservice elements are the biggest drag. No need for the Enterprise or Pike or Spock. Having Burnham be related to Spock was dum to begin with. I struggle to understand what this is all about. Fans will obviously be aggravated by bad handling of known stuff and non-fans won't care. So why do it?

OTOH, I do wonder if all the people who complain about SJW's and liberals hijacking Star Trek have ever watched the show. Did they forget about the condescending speeches Picard gave in 'The Neutral Zone', the treatment of labour relations in 'Bar Association', the Ferengi in general, the contempt for theism in 'Who Watches the Watchers?'? Star Trek has always been "liberal".
Elliott
Tue, Oct 16, 2018, 5:45pm (UTC -6)
@Josh:

I haven’t seen all of discovery yet, but based on the ridiculous fanboy rage against The Last Jedi, I’m pretty sure “SJW” is just code for “writers who put women in positions of authority.”
Peter G.
Tue, Oct 16, 2018, 9:07pm (UTC -6)
@ Elliott,

"I haven’t seen all of discovery yet, but based on the ridiculous fanboy rage against The Last Jedi, I’m pretty sure “SJW” is just code for “writers who put women in positions of authority.”"

You will no doubt be correct in this assessment in some cases, but this is definitely not what is meant in others. I guess YMMV about which is which. But I'd say "men are incompetent, evil, or wrong, and only women can save the galaxy" isn't an unfair way to read TLJ if one wanted to look at the gender axis portrayed in it. One can find a similar message in DISC; or at least it wants that to be the message, because the real message feels more like "everyone is incompetent, evil, or wrong."
Elliott
Tue, Oct 16, 2018, 10:03pm (UTC -6)
@Peter G

I don't want to go too far down the rabbit hole until I've actually watched the full season, but looking at TLJ, the most compelling characters are both men, Luke and Kylo, and those characters are both extremely grey. And I think Po and Finn are portrayed very heroically, just flawed. I think certain people reacted very viscerally to the Holdo character and let that resentment bleed over onto the rest of the film. It's disheartening. Anyway, at some point I'll hopeful have something more insightful to add about Discovery.
Peter G.
Tue, Oct 16, 2018, 10:19pm (UTC -6)
@ Elliott,

I'm not saying the argument is unassailable, just that there is a real argument there beyond "something, something, misogyny."
Startrekwatcher
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 1:31am (UTC -6)
Not looking forward to it all. I couldn’t even finish the first season. I hate the long con approach to serialized storytelling. Just showing enough to create unanswered questions, confusion and ambiguity. It’s sloppy. Plus the look is wrong for this era. The characters are bland. The cast is ho hum exceotbfir Doug Jones. The series relies too much on TOS. It’s got fantastic production values but horribly weak writing/writers

DOS was first Trek show I gave up on. Kurtzman has no clue how to write. It’s all sound and fury. No fundamentals of good writing. The only reason 90s Trek thrived was Michael Piller. A magnificent head writer who knew how to bring the best out of his writers there’s a reason TNG Seasons 3,4 and 5 & DS9 season two were so consistent and solid. Ira Behr did decent enough even though I thought season four was weak, season six uneven after occupation arc.

Gene Roddenberry also had enough sense to insist that TNG didn’t rely on TOS going so far as to explicitly state no TOS aliens or TOS characters or related characters. And Piller similarly realized after DS9 season one to stop bringing in TNG characters and do its own thing—likewise with his choice to take voyager to the delta Quadrant to force writers to create new races(although the writers after he left became lacy )
Latex Zebra
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 6:12am (UTC -6)
Looking forward to it.
Season one was not without it's flaws but pretty much every 1st season on Trek was weak when you look back.
If people are going to turn their back on it then that is up to them. They'll be the ones complaining about it in February without having watched an episode.
Jason R.
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 7:10am (UTC -6)
"OTOH, I do wonder if all the people who complain about SJW's and liberals hijacking Star Trek have ever watched the show. Did they forget about the condescending speeches Picard gave in 'The Neutral Zone', the treatment of labour relations in 'Bar Association', the Ferengi in general, the contempt for theism in 'Who Watches the Watchers?'? Star Trek has always been "liberal".

True, but what passed for "liberal" in 1987 ain't so now. Or more precisely, what's left in 2018 isn't really liberal by any reasonable definition.
Yanks
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 9:52am (UTC -6)
Won't quote the info, but you may go down the DCS SJW rabbit hole here if you so desire :-)

www.quora.com/Do-the-SJW-rumours-about-Star-Trek-Discovery-hold-any-weight
Chrome
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 10:13am (UTC -6)
Thanks Yanks, that about sums up my feelings on the subject. :-)
Paul M.
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 11:16am (UTC -6)
It's interesting how everyone approaches these things from their own perspective and cultural baggage in mind. For whatever reasons I won't speculate on, Americans seem obsessed with identity politics, principally focusing on its various non-national expressions - race, gender, etc. So people talk about the percentages of non-whites or females or what have you and in what way they are presented on screen. Just an observation, not a condemnation... because I find myself critically examining Trek (and not just DIS) from a somewhat similar perspective, but one influenced primarily by me not being American.

In my view, it's kinda sad for a franchise that depicts a utopian future of united humankind to be so exclusively peopled by English-speaking-and-sounding might-as-well-be Americans. In Discovery, for instance, except for (presumably) Captain Georgiou, we have Michael Burnham, Gabriel Lorca (as per producers intentionally "modeled" after US Southerners), commander Landry, Ash Tyler, Tilly, Paul Stamets, dr. Hugh Culber, Admirals Cornwell and Brett Anderson... notice the pattern here?

I know DIS is an American TV show and is therefore primarily concerned with speaking to American audiences, but this "national sameness" is still.. well, I won't say it's actively bothering me, but I do feel it's a missed opportunity for some real worldbuilding.
Michael
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 12:18pm (UTC -6)
Paul M - I observed the same thing early on when I was watching Discovery and there was a discussion alone these lines in one of the episode threads. TOS especially took special care to select crew members reflecting a wide international and cultural diversity - or at least wider than we normally see on television - and this helped to give a sense of international collaboration that many people would hope to see in the future (well, unless you're Donald Trump). It was pointed out that on the International Space Station today there are a wider range of nationalities than we see on the Discovery, and I would daresay even NASA is far more diverse.
Rob
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 12:59pm (UTC -6)
Personally, I think accents are very important in sci-fi to provide a sense of scale. What I find interesting is that STD made the actor playing Lorca change his English accent into an American one. Babylon 5 took the opposite approach, making one of the main actors playing an alien adopt a foreign accent. While I don't know the precise motivations behind these changes, it doesn't surprise me that one of these shows is truly great sci-fi and the other... well, isn't.
Josh
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 2:00pm (UTC -6)
Marina Sirtis put on an alien accent in the first season or two before dropping it. That may have been better or it may have been that we associate it her being a better character in the later seasons.
Thomas
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 5:30pm (UTC -6)
I don't remember Marina Sirtis putting on an accent. I mean, she always had a slight accent because she's Greek, but apart from that...
Peter G.
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 5:51pm (UTC -6)
"I don't remember Marina Sirtis putting on an accent. I mean, she always had a slight accent because she's Greek, but apart from that..."

She's Greek by descent maybe but her normal speaking accent is English (British). They didn't want the English accent and it seems they asked her to do something vaguely Eastern European or Israeli (which are totally the same...). It ended up sounding like neither in my opinion, although later in the series it resolved itself into a more eccentric 'formal talk' with sort-of English overtones.
wolfstar
Thu, Oct 18, 2018, 3:43am (UTC -6)
DIS, ENT and even VOY are very American in terms of their casting and sensibility. TOS, TNG and DS9 weren't. It's far from the biggest problem with Discovery though.

I was disappointed the two British actors in Discovery (Isaacs and Latif) were asked to play American. I can't think of a comparable instance in previous Trek, at least in terms of the main cast - Dominic Reed, Alexander Siddig, Colm Meaney and Patrick Stewart all played their roles with their real accents, Marina Sirtis a version thereof.

I was disappointed Jason Isaacs's character was given a southern US accent and then insta-outed as a Trump-esque "make the Empire great again" apparent racist. It's incredibly divisive and just lazy, terrible writing. I was never a Trip fan, but he's a much better example of a southern character who's relatable and three-dimensional. Discovery could have even gotten away with the Lorca reveal if Lorca had had any motivation. It's basic writing failures.
4Q2
Fri, Oct 19, 2018, 4:20pm (UTC -6)
Is it bad that the sole thing that really made me perk up was seeing a glimpse of a D7 in that trailer?
Dirty Mac
Fri, Oct 19, 2018, 11:27pm (UTC -6)
I love the image Jammer used for his main page. The trailers that have been released for season two, plus the casting choices for Pike and Spock, not to mention the change up in producers/writers, have me hopeful for a better, more powerful and focused season two of Discovery--still...that scene in the turbolift, when the Motion Picture alien sneezes, seems so slapstick... I hope Kurtzman and Co. aren't resorting to more Orville like comedy. Please give us smart and serious sci-fi/characters.

One love!
Just One Comment
Sat, Oct 20, 2018, 12:25am (UTC -6)
I certainly enjoyed the first half of the first season, along with all the unique new characters. Really had to force myself to watch through the Mirror Universe episodes though and did not finish the season. I will try Season 2 of course though and maybe finish up 1 beforehand.
Rift Aview
Mon, Oct 22, 2018, 5:23am (UTC -6)
Josh - there is a clear difference between the liberalism of TNG, which was rooted in 18th century Empiricism (individual responsibility, individual freedom, the importance of logical and rational thinking) and the "liberalism" that typifies STD (no-one is accountable for their actions it's "society" that made you do it, no-one is an individual instead they're part of identity groups, emotion and how you "feel" trumps logic every time).

This gets right at the heart of why STD is so disliked. Barring a few exceptions - who are often played for laughs - the characters in it are completely antithetical to the values of the Starfleet that we used to know. If this was a show about Romulans and the Romulan Empire it would be fantastic - emotional, ruthless people obsessed with inter personal drama and war with no care for the actual wonders of the Universe, taking part in a (well written and cinematic) drama - but it pretends to be about the Federation, so it's terrible.
Yanks
Mon, Oct 22, 2018, 6:12am (UTC -6)
Rift Aview,

But, but, ... Michael said...

"No. We will not take shortcuts on the path to righteousness."

lol
Booming
Mon, Oct 22, 2018, 12:00pm (UTC -6)
@ Rift Aview
I just listened to a Sam Harris podcast were he talked about that. You confuse liberalism with what Harris and guest called a subset at a few universities and even that subset is misrepresented by you.
I know everybody in the US today is about digging trenches and vilifying the other side but to me this seems to be mostly hysteria. Like people just decided to go crazy. People imagining stuff because of their echo chamber. A lot of explanations why this could happen(cable news, social media, growing up in the post 9/11 paranoia) but we scientists actually don't know yet because it is happening right now.
My point is: You are not helping.
Just think what kind of character you would be on TNG . Sounds like the first act with maybe an A and a B story. A shuttle crashed, crew members are missing and Picard meets with your side. You are a guy (I suppose) who says that the other side is completely crazy, evil and will probably kill the crew members. Then cut to the missing crew members (probably Laforge and a red shirt) were their guy says that: The other side (Your people) are mad and malicious. Second act emotions boil over, fighting starts (red shirt is killed while fixing the heisenberg compensators of the shuttle) third act: You and the other guy meet and Picard shows you that you are not so different after all. The end.
BRiAN
Wed, Oct 24, 2018, 9:38am (UTC -6)
Really conflicted about DISCO. The cast really is great and the crew could be something special. The characters of season 1 were all well done. I hope Lorca and the klingon-man come back somehow.

But the plot was awful, recycled, unfocused, and more soap-opera than anything approaching sci-fi or trek. This Red Angel stuff unfortunately seems like more of the same.

I'm all for letting the show improve tho. Season 1 of TNG wasn't very good... however there were real sci-fi writers behind it and Gene Roddenberry to at least give the show a direction. With Alex Kurtzman in charge of the properties I really fear there is no actually sci-fi oriented brain behind these shows... it's just random Yale writing graduates recycling the TV Tropes they were taught in college and doing "character studies" as though thats the only kind of television or fiction that can exist.

Sad to say that I have more hope for the Orville Season 2. Or maybe happy? In that at least there will be Black Mirror and Orville to satisfy television based science fiction for the near future.
Brett
Wed, Oct 24, 2018, 9:43am (UTC -6)
@Rift Aview

I can *kind* of see your point. However, I fear you are conflating bad writing with a subset of modern-day liberalism. The reason the characters on DISCO act so emotional more stems from lazy writing and a focus on soap opera plots over hard science fiction. Also writers who are mostly from upper middle class and just don't have enough life experience in practical matters. (I think an important part of Gene Roddenberry is he had real life experience as a police officer, grounding a lot of his writing and ideas.)

BRiAN
Wed, Oct 24, 2018, 9:50am (UTC -6)
@Startrekwatcher

Excellent point about not rehashing TOS on TNG. Upon rewatching it I was struck about how genuinely new it is in both tone and content from TOS. Such a contrast to DISCO which mentions Sarek and Spock and Klingon and mirror universe as often as possible without introducing much new. If they don't improve soon there will be very little to even remember from this show.

It reminds me of Fords quote that is he gave the people what they said they wanted, he would have made a faster horse.



Yanks
Wed, Oct 24, 2018, 4:19pm (UTC -6)
Brian,

"Excellent point about not rehashing TOS on TNG. Upon rewatching it I was struck about how genuinely new it is in both tone and content from TOS."

Seriously? .... Have you seen 'Naked Now' for starters?
Geekgarious
Wed, Oct 24, 2018, 5:31pm (UTC -6)
A year or so ago I was at least a little excited for discovery. Now I am not at all. There is just no one who cares about the spirit of this franchise involved creatively anymore. I’ll be checking for comments by people whose reviews I generally agree with (like Peter G). If some of them rave about it I’ll give it a shot. Otherwise, no more. I’ve been hoping things will improve ever since the first JJ film and they haven’t.
John Harmon
Thu, Oct 25, 2018, 12:40pm (UTC -6)
And now they've announced that a Star Trek Animated series similar in tone to Rick and Morty from one of its writers is coming out.

What the hell is going on over there???
NCC-1701-Z
Thu, Oct 25, 2018, 3:06pm (UTC -6)
*insert Picard facepalm*
Startrekwatcher
Thu, Oct 25, 2018, 3:25pm (UTC -6)
That animated comedy looks like shit. If I wanted to see low brow humorous sff I’d watch the Orville—that has nailed stupid so well. And with it seeming more and more like the new Picard series isn’t a TNG show but a full on Picard only kind of thing—CBS and that idiot Kurtzman are doing nothing to make me want to subscribe.

I’m just gonna have to accept that good Trek does in the 90s
Yanks
Thu, Oct 25, 2018, 5:17pm (UTC -6)
Startrekwatcher,

I don't know what the hell is up with the new trek cartoon, but I think you'll be missing something with STD season 2.

What's wrong with a 'full on Picard thing"?
Startrekwatcher
Thu, Oct 25, 2018, 5:37pm (UTC -6)
I don’t think I’ll be missing much wiith season two. The trailer and spoilers I’ve read did nothing for me. I know what to come to expect from Kurtzman stuff and the writers he has assembled

As for the Picard show I’m wary. Not only because it is
Also coming from Kurtzman but also because it seems Patrick Stewart will have creative input and while hes a good actor not so much good for ideas based on stuff he’s wanted in the past. Also I wanted the TnG cast involved not just Picard. Part of TNGs appeal was the chemistry with the cast and if you’re going to play for nostalgia by bringing back Picard it makes no sense to not have everyone involved. Rather than a new cast. And finally I have a nagging feeling it’ll turn into some ponderous dark character study and that’s not really what I want to see
Chrome
Thu, Oct 25, 2018, 5:41pm (UTC -6)
“And finally I have a nagging feeling [ The Picard show] turn into some ponderous dark character study and that’s not really what I want to see”

One thing was very clear in his announcement of the show is he wanted to do something optimistic, so there’s that.
Dom
Thu, Oct 25, 2018, 7:26pm (UTC -6)
@John Harmon, I know, it's like CBS is going out of its way to get the dumbest ideas possible and throw them at Star Trek. Sadly, Star Trek is a franchise I feel mostly belongs in my past. Nothing the franchise has done since 2005 has been even remotely worthwhile.

I've been rewatching TNG with my girlfriend and really enjoying it. It's unbearably, loveably corny in some parts, but I'm also reminded at just how Shakespearean the show gets at times. There's some real character drama there.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Oct 25, 2018, 11:27pm (UTC -6)
@John Harmon

"And now they've announced that a Star Trek Animated series similar in tone to Rick and Morty from one of its writers is coming out.

What the hell is going on over there???"

It's quite simple, actually:

The guys at CBS saw the successful ratings of "the Orville" and completely misunderstood the source of its success (as well as the very nature of that show).

Note the similarities:

(1) A Trek-style show with comedic elements.
(2) "the support crew serving on one of Starfleet's least-important ships"
(3) Written by a guy who is known for an iconic animated comedy series.

There's simply no way this new show isn't a direct reaction to the Orville, which is kinda stupid. Why create a lame copy-of-a-copy, when you hold the rights to the original inspiration that started it all?

The lesson that CBS *should* have learned from "the Orville" is that thoughtful optimistic sci fi can be commercially successful. They should have taken that as a cue to stop all the cr*p they are currently doing and concentrate on creating a single quality show that's worthy of the name "Star Trek" (preferablly set in the 25th century).
BRiAN
Fri, Oct 26, 2018, 2:34pm (UTC -6)
@Yanks,

Yeah theres def a handful, McCoy in the pilot and Scotty shows up eventually. But in contrast to Discovery its handled way differently and way less prevalent. Its also usually less about nostalgia and even when they do throw in the references they typically do a new spin on it.

@Omicron

Yes unfortunately an accurate read on their business decisions. The brand name of Star Trek seems to be in full zombie mode. At least Orville is around to hold the torch for now.
Jammer
Fri, Oct 26, 2018, 4:15pm (UTC -6)
"And now they've announced that a Star Trek Animated series similar in tone to Rick and Morty from one of its writers is coming out. What the hell is going on over there???"

CBS has come down with a serious case of Netflix Development Syndrome. Between this and the Picard series, they're in a development phase where they are simply trying to create more, more, more, as quickly as they can. And since Trekkies are apparently the unique audience they believe they hold captive, they are trying to turn out a lot of different Trek-based things while they think they have an opportunity. (What data they have to support this is beyond me, but one assumes such data exists.)

This strategy strikes me as self-defeating, because they will end up simply creating so much stuff that it will become watered-down and routine, just like the endless parade of Netflix shows -- which once were novel, and now are so numerous you can't keep track of them. See also: Lucasfilm and the Star Wars saturation over the past few years. But like with "Solo," I think they are going to find there are diminishing returns on putting so much content out there when the demand may not be what they think it is.
wolfstar
Fri, Oct 26, 2018, 4:20pm (UTC -6)
Exactly. I mean, Luke Cage and Iron Fist just got cancelled, even though Marvel is huge at the moment. Makes me wonder what the longevity is for these new shows (and for Discovery). It's dangerous for franchises to stretch themselves too thin.
John Harmon
Fri, Oct 26, 2018, 5:48pm (UTC -6)
Yeah this doesn’t seem like a good idea. Oversaturation and watered down Trek is what killed it in the first place.

Jammer, I wouldn’t blame you one bit if you skipped reviewing this new animated series
Del_Duio
Sat, Oct 27, 2018, 8:36pm (UTC -6)
Now they're making a friggin comedy cartoon Starfkeet academy series???

What the hell??! I don't think you can get much further from what these shows are supposed to be about. They're going to ruin Picard. They'll probably have him make a guest appearance in this cartoon like his Avery character in American Dad.

How many people would kill to write for a new Trek show? Why are the powers that be continuously handing it off to idiots??? If they only want to make money then Christ almighty make a show we want to see! Are we going to one day see a time where VOY sits near the top of an all-time best series of Trek simply because they've purposely set out to manufacture 10 of the shittiest shows they can think of?
Booming
Sun, Oct 28, 2018, 2:08am (UTC -6)
People get a little riled up.
Do I like STD. Not really. Was it succesful for CBS. Definitely.
They picked Kurtzman because almost everything he does turns into money even though it isn't great.
The popcorn muncher will always be more numerous than dedicated Trekkies.
It is just capitalism.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Oct 28, 2018, 2:48am (UTC -6)
I'm not sure that this is a viable business strategy at all. At least not in the long run.

The "Popcorn munchers" are more numerous, yes, but there's also far more competition in that area. What reason does the average "muncher" has to subscribe to a new streaming service that gives him absolutely nothing his doesn't get elsewhere? And let's say that they do... what reason do they have to remain loyal? What's to stop them from abandoning ship the minute something else catches their attention?

It should be noted, by the way, that the classical Trek films were about as financially successful (once you factor in the expenses) as the Abramsverse films.

It should also be noted that in a single year, "the Orville" managed to get a steady viewership of 3 million and to create a very loyal fanbase. They managed this by creating a clear and unique brand (unique to our era, at least) and not by appealing to the masses.

So no, I don't really see any business sense in diluting a brand that had millions of loyal followers over 4 decades. I think it is downright stupid. Just look at the comments here, for example. CBS is turning their current version of "Star Trek" into a silly farce.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Oct 28, 2018, 3:01am (UTC -6)
@Del_Duio
"Are we going to one day see a time where VOY sits near the top of an all-time best series of Trek simply because they've purposely set out to manufacture 10 of the shittiest shows they can think of?"

No, because nothing that was produced after 2005 should be called "Star Trek" in the first place. It doesn't look like Trek. It doesn't feel like Trek. It doesn't obey the "laws of nature" that were established for Trek. It doesn't have the aliens and technology that's normally associated with Trek. It isn't consistent with the established in-universe history of Trek.

So why would anyone call this stuff "Star Trek"?

CBS must really like Rule of Acquisition #239: "Never be afraid to mislabel a product".
Booming
Sun, Oct 28, 2018, 8:58am (UTC -6)
@Omicron
The people who made these decisions earn between 10 and 100 million a year. Are you suggesting that they don't know what they are doing?
What are your accomplishments in that field? Are you a CEO of a media company? Do you work in film? Do you have a degree and/or are successful business wise?
Again capitalism through position and salary seems to think otherwise than you do.
Or as the Dude said: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWdd6_ZxX8c
And yeah I'm teasing. :D

Paul M.
Sun, Oct 28, 2018, 1:28pm (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi: "No, because nothing that was produced after 2005 should be called "Star Trek" in the first place. It doesn't look like Trek. It doesn't feel like Trek. It doesn't obey the "laws of nature" that were established for Trek. It doesn't have the aliens and technology that's normally associated with Trek. It isn't consistent with the established in-universe history of Trek. So why would anyone call this stuff "Star Trek"?"

These kinds of "gatekeeper" arguments never resonated with me. "Looks like Trek, feels like Trek..." What does it mean, really? TNG (especially Season 3+) looks and feels nothing like TOS. Hell, TOS movies -- except for ST5, I guess -- feel very little like the TOS series. DS9, then, feels very differently from both earlier incarnations of Trek. I'll admit that all Second Era Trek shows (TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT) look rather similar, but I'm not sure that's much of a compliment, given how stagnant Trek became in its visual style, soundtrack and storytelling tropes.

Speaking of Discovery, I'm pretty much with Jammer: the show hasn't blown me away, but it's also fun and far from being the worst Trek has had to offer. I mean, for the love of all the gods, I shudder to think of so many episodes of TOS Season 3, various "brilliant" Voyager installments and dreadful dreariness of ENT in general. Berman-era Trek in its later years evolved into something so unexciting and frankly boring that I'm having trouble understanding all this hate for DIS. News at eleven, Trek hasn't been very good in a long long time, but DIS at least looks and feels like it isn't a paraplegic in a wheelchair trying to be hip.
wolfstar
Sun, Oct 28, 2018, 2:16pm (UTC -6)
I'm totally with OTDP on this one. And yeah, Enterprise was dreary - but the difference between Enterprise and Discovery is the difference between "completely disposable" and "actively offensive". I'd take the former anyday. And it was at least possible to watch Enterprise or Voyager with young children or elderly people - all Trek from TOS through to ENT was something that three generations could watch together. The elderly relative I often watch Star Trek with (and who loves DS9 and TNG) asked to stop watching Discovery halfway through because it was too violent and nasty without being compelling or relatable. DIS contrasts with the Berman era very sharply on several fronts - the approach to science, the approach to characterisation, the approach to violence, and the approach to storytelling. The show is essentially designed as a notification feed, if you'll pardon the analogy - just a constant stream of hooks, twists, shocks sensation and spectacle with the sole purpose of maintaining viewer attention and getting you to return for the next episode. It doesn't matter that what's happening makes no sense on any level (character, plot, scientific, ethical) as long as Something Is Happening. There must constantly be Something Happening. It's a classic situationist spectacle. Increasingly since the millennium (probably starting in VOY/ENT but getting much worse in the Abrams/Kurtzman era), the approach to canon has also changed from organic to fetishistic - instead of creatively building on concepts, values, societies and settings from past Trek, post-2005 Trek instead namedrops in a fetishistic way. The mindset being that it doesn't matter that the worldbuilding and characterization are completely wrong as long as you pepper the dialog with enough tokenistic old Trek references into for fans to lap up (like namedropping the Xindi in Star Trek Beyond, or briefly referencing In A Mirror Darkly in DIS only for it to never go anywhere).

I grew up with Star Trek but I'd never watch Discovery with kids; the first half of the season was bad enough but the empty stylised violence and nastiness in the second half was beyond the pale. In theory, a more adult, gritty Trek series for the prestige TV era is something I'd be in favor of, but Discovery has nothing to say, no thoughts in its head, and uses sound and fury to paper the gaps. There are several other contemporary sci-fi shows on Netflix and other platforms that I would consider watching with kids because even though they're mature and can be scary, the storytelling is meaningful and the characters are at least good role models. It's not that there aren't individual good episodes of Discovery (I enjoyed the pilot, and thought episodes 9, 11 and 14 were well-written), but even if a skilled writer turns in a decent script one week, everything is so tightly serialised that individual good episodes are sunk by the whole. I thought Into The Forest I Go and the two episodes by Lisa Randolph were easily the show's best installments, but they can't exactly be rewatched in isolation.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Oct 29, 2018, 6:05am (UTC -6)
@Booming

"The people who made these decisions earn between 10 and 100 million a year. Are you suggesting that they don't know what they are doing?"

When it comes to maximizing their profit from "Star Trek", yes. And I am not "suggesting it". I'm saying it straight-out.

"What are your accomplishments in that field? Are you a CEO of a media company? Do you work in film? Do you have a degree and/or are successful business wise?"

That's completely irrelevant (though I'm willing to bet that my real-world business experience is greater than yours).

Do you have an actual argument to back up your opinion and/or challange mine?

@Paul M.
I've learned from personal experience, that trying to have a civil discussion with a person that accuses others of "being a gatekeeper" is akin to playing chess with a pigeon.

@Wolfstar
It's interesting that you mention "Enterprise". Despite its flaws, that series was a prequel that more-or-less sticked to the rules of being a prequel. They goofed up once in a while (like with that Ferengi epsiode) but in the end ENT did serve its purpose of bridging between our present day to the time of TOS.

Now compare "Enterprise" with "Discovery" on that front... there's absolutely no comparision. Nothing in DSC makes any kind of sense when we try to take it as a part of a consistent universe: Not scientifically, not historically, and definitely not in the story-telling sense. It may or may not be a good stand-alone sci fi series (I honestly can't tell. It is so far removed from my prefered kind of sci fi that I can't even judge it properly on this front). But it is not a coherent addition to the 50-year-old legacy called the Star Trek Universe.
Booming
Mon, Oct 29, 2018, 12:37pm (UTC -6)
@Omicron
That's completely irrelevant (though I'm willing to bet that my real-world business experience is greater than yours).

Do you have an actual argument to back up your opinion and/or challange mine?
---
I don't need to have business experience in media to point out that you don't know what you are talking about.
And as a scientist I must say that it is very hard to debate an opinion because opinions are subjective. So let us give your opinion/arguments a little reality test.

First paragraph: Boils down to nobody knows the future. So that one is true!
Second paragraph: unproven assumptions and questions that cannot be answered. There is nothing to discuss here.
Third paragraph: Here you compare the earnings of old Star Trek movies with the reboot to proof that auld Trek is as financially viable as the new ones. Your comment about the expenses probably means adjusted for inflation. So let's break down all the mistakes you make here.
You compare movies that were released over a span of 23 years with the new ones. The movie market has changed radically since then. Society, too. For example, there is far more competition. But let's forget that and just look at the earnings adjusted for inflation (I only use the earning in the US because in 1979 people in China weren't watching many movies) The rebooted Star Trek (2009) is the most successful. And if you would use worldwide earnings it would be: 1. Into Darkness; 2. Star Trek (1979); 3. Star Trek (2009); 4. Star Trek Beyond. By comparison the last of the old ones Nemesis "made" the least amount. It actually lost money. Insurrection didn't do much better and only one of the TNG movies made more than half of what the least successful reboot movie Beyond did and that was First contact (214 vs 347). So from a financial standpoint the reboots were were more successful in a far more competitive market.
You argument here is dis-proven. Dis
Booming
Mon, Oct 29, 2018, 12:43pm (UTC -6)
@ Omicron sorry. For some reason half of my post didn't make it but rest assured that it was equally devastating if not more! :)
Peter G.
Mon, Oct 29, 2018, 12:43pm (UTC -6)
The argument about whose business credentials "prove" their point more is ridiculous. A point isn't proven based on who's the one saying it. The original proposition was that the execs must know what they're doing because they're the ones being paid the big bucks, and this seems to me to be the red herring causing the debate. It's a red herring because even in business no one assumes that whoever's at the helm must know what they're doing. It's pretty well-known that many major CEO's screw over their companies completely, either deliberately or through incompetence. The common mentality these days is quarterly gains, and being able to pitch new projects that impress the board. You'll get your bonuses from short-term gains, as well as support for your innovation. By the time these things fall apart, company stock goes down, and the plans are revealed to be foolish, the CEO has long since taken their golden parachute severance and retired in luxury. So the argument might better be considered as: do the execs know what they're doing *for their own careers*? I'd have an easier time accepting that they do know something about this. But knowing about how to create franchise programming, reinvent and sustain an old business model (Trek), and to ensure artistic quality? No, I doubt they know that much about that because there's no science to it that looking at stats will reveal.
Booming
Mon, Oct 29, 2018, 12:50pm (UTC -6)
In short: Viewer numbers for Orville in the 18 to 49 are down from 2.73 to 0.89. And a very nice bit about how meaningless the words "very loyal fanbase" are.
And I encouraged you to view this as the successful capitalistic strategy that it is. Rebooted movies made a lot of money and the streaming numbers for CBS almost doubled since Discovery started. They turned a property that was generating flop after flop (Insurrection, Nemesis, Enterprise) into a profitable race horse and they will ride that horse until it is dead and then sell the parts.
To quote Morty: Nobody belongs anywhere, nobody exists on purpose, everybody's going to die. Come watch TV.
Booming
Mon, Oct 29, 2018, 12:53pm (UTC -6)
@ Peter G.
I wrote that while laughing. It was sarcasm.
I agree with the picture you paint of capitalism in the 21th century.
Peter G.
Mon, Oct 29, 2018, 12:57pm (UTC -6)
@ Booming,

"I wrote that while laughing. It was sarcasm."

I don't doubt it, but the object of dispute seemed to me to possibly be a fake argument couched in a real one, and I was targeting the real one.
Booming
Mon, Oct 29, 2018, 3:50pm (UTC -6)
@ Peter G.
Well, you got me.
I think in this day and age what you call " how to create franchise programming, reinvent and sustain an old business model (Trek), and to ensure artistic quality" is no longer possible. The question is if the Netflix approach works. Funding as much as possible and hoping for a regular stream of hit shows.
Star Trek Discovery serves one main purpose. Getting subscribers. Therefore the show must appeal to as many as possible. What franchise made more money. Transformers or Star Trek? And who made Transformers I and II? Alex Kurtzman
You will never again see a show that is what most old Trekkies would call Trek. Nerdy science stuff, ethical debates and so on. All these shows that carry the name Trek are only supposed to draw in as many people as possible from all directions.
That is why I'm not surprised that they make something like a Star Trek comedy show and probably more stuff that will sound completely idiotic to a person who doesn't understand what Netflix did to media. Star Trek is still cultural significant which makes it useful to get subscribers.
Or to put it more bluntly.
CBS market cap is around 20 billion
Netflix market cap is at 124 billion
But hey what do I know. :)
Yanks
Mon, Oct 29, 2018, 4:33pm (UTC -6)
Welcome aboard Booming!!
Jason R.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 6:54am (UTC -6)
Booming, these things are cyclical. I'm reminded of how branding goes in retail. A company like Coach has a brand name that stands for luxury, exclusivity. They have a loyal following. Someone logically says let's open many more stores, sell at outlets to the masses. It works, for a while. But over time, everyone has a coach purse. Everyone is buying that $400 purse for 50% off and before you know it Coach isn't luxury anymore - it's cheap trash. And the masses? They've moved on. And now Coach has a hard time going back because they've trained their customers to think of their purses as bargain bin merchandise. They killed their golden goose.

Netflix is a behemoth that burns through cash producing buckets of programming, most of it godawful, with just enough quality shows to keep people subscribing. It remains to be seen if that business model is sustainable in the long term.

CBS will never compete with Netflix on Netflix's terms, nor should it try. CBS thinks that it can leverage Trek (the Coach brand of its lineup) by making it all things for all people. Come see Trek on sale, 50% off! Trek for less! Trek comedy, Trek drama, Trek for all! Trek on every TV.

We'll see what happens in the long run, but I think turning Trek into a mass market brand a la Star Wars is a mistake. I think CBS, like Coach, will end up with neither the niche exclusive market, nor the mass market. They'll just be nowhere.
Ubik
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 8:26am (UTC -6)
@Jason R

I agree with your analysis and prediction. Here is the unknown factor: can these various Star Trek series be GOOD? I mean, did Star Wars start to seem less special because there were too many of them? Or because, with Solo, it became clear that they were content to make mediocre and forgettable stuff? If literally every single new Star Wars movie was a high quality piece of entertainment (and I am someone who liked Last Jedi very much, as well as Force Awakens and especially Rogue One), would it still feel over-extended?

The orthodoxy among the Star Trek producers is that the death of Star Trek in the early 2000's was due to over-extension. But that's not strictly true. The death of Star Trek in the 2000's was due to the low quality of the last two series and movies (Voyager, Enterprise, Insurrection, Nemesis.) It only felt over-extended because it was all crap.

So...let's say Discovery Season 2 is great. (I happen to think this very unlikely, mind you. In my opinion, they learned the wrong lessons from season 1. It wasn't too dark, or too gritty, or too unaligned with canon. It just didn't have the courage of its convictions, or the writing chops.) But let's say it is. And let's say this new comedy series is hilarious. And let's say the new Picard show is new and amazing. Then, over-extension ceases to be a problem, no? I have no particular problem with Star Trek being anything at all - space war, comedy, school story, drama, adventure, political show, anything - as long as it's GOOD.

I know. I'm having pipe dreams. But still.
Jason R.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 8:54am (UTC -6)
Ubiq I agree completely that if it's good, that is, in some ways, all that matters. In theory if you made a Star Trek slapstick comedy a la Pink Panther, and it genuinely as funny as Pink Panther, it should be successful. But what are the odds of that happening?

Going back to my retail example, Coach could start producing $7,000 purses and go toe to toe with Prada and Chanel - but would they want to? Even if they could succeed on quality, on marketing, on rebranding, would it make any sense? Would it be an optimal use of resources?

Brands are investments. They are packed with value in terms of built-in audience, good will, expectations. When CBS purchased the rights to Trek, it paid for that package. So what sense does it make to wipe the slate clean and start over? Commercially, it makes no sense at all. If Trek isn't Trek, then what did CBS buy?
Booming
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 9:14am (UTC -6)
@ Jason R.
I don't think that your example is a fitting one for the international streaming market.
Or the strategy of CBS.
First of all Star Trek is not an exclusive brand. It is the opposite. People aren't sitting in their middle class or lower class homes and say: If I could just afford some Trek.
No. People who don't watch Trek don't want to watch Trek.
And as I pointed out 10 years ago Trek was basically a dead brand which still had value as a cultural phenomenon. In other words. Everybody knows Spock.
Netflix in 2013 had 35 million subscribers. They now have around 140 million. Name another billion dollar company that has grown four times in five years. Especially in media? Their is none. This is a revolution.
Why do you think the biggest fish aka Disney pulled their stuff from Netflix.
CBS is just trying to survive and again they doubled their sub numbers because of Discovery. It is subscriptions or death for them. For all of these companies.
Peter G.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 9:15am (UTC -6)
@ Jason R.

"Commercially, it makes no sense at all. If Trek isn't Trek, then what did CBS buy?"

But we already know the kind of people we're dealing with here. For ST: Beyond the exec's instructions were to make an action film, that it not be to Trekky, and that it be a general sort of adventure film that could have the Star Trek names and words pasted on to it. The *only* question on their minds is does it make money. And of all the criteria they have to consider, the quality of the material is only one, and certainly not the chief factor. And even in this context "quality" doesn't at all mean adherence to the brand's core identity; that's probably not even on the list. You're right: they have no interest in maintaining branding.
Booming
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 9:24am (UTC -6)
And we should also consider historical sociology.
What were the times when Star Trek shows were really successful.
The Kennedy years and the decade after the cold war ended. Both times when America felt pretty well about itself. When the US thought that they actually are a force of good. That the future is a bright one.
But these days the US looks quite differently.
Jason R.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 9:40am (UTC -6)
"And as I pointed out 10 years ago Trek was basically a dead brand which still had value as a cultural phenomenon. In other words. Everybody knows Spock."

You're wrong on several points. First, Star Trek wasn't a "dead" brand. Dead brands don't have legions of fans writing fiction, attending conventions, playing card games, reading novels etc...

That was Star Trek's magic and its value. Movies would come and go, TV shows would rise and fall, but Trek was immortal.

It was never about mere recognition as you imply i.e. everyone knows Spock. That was exactly the wrong conclusion to draw. I am not discounting the value of name recognition, but that was only a fraction of the Trek brand's true value.

I will concede my retail analogy is not perfect, but it is a stark lesson in business of the dangers of diluting a brand beyond recognition. The masses are fickle. Those who fight in those murky waters for a true mass audience had better be titans, because not many are going to thrive.

Can CBS turn Trek into mass entertainment? Is that the optimal use of *this* brand? Maybe if you want to goose the stock price for a couple years so Mr. CEO can get his quarterly bonus. Is it a long term strategy to effectively stripmine Trek? I just don't see it.
Jason R.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 9:43am (UTC -6)
Boomer maybe we don't even disagree after all. You seem to be implying that CBS is selling the family silver to pay its rent for the month. In other words out of desperation. Cam't say I disagree.

And if they really think they are going to compete with Netflix? Then they're insane.
Booming
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 10:18am (UTC -6)
Jason R.
I meant dead brand in a financial way. And name recognition as a vehicle to draw people in who look for the next media fix. So far it worked pretty well.
And yes CBS is in a way selling it's family silver and when do families tend to sell their silver? In desperate times.
But I wouldn't say that they are insane. What else are they supposed to do? Wait for their slow death or attack with everything they've got and hope for some miracle to happen.
Elliott
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 10:21am (UTC -6)
I'll just say that having gatekeepers for art isn't *necessarily* a bad thing. There are Wagner and Shakespeare societies for a reason. The Star Wars franchise is a great example that, so long as the originals exist, you can always create a re-interpretation or sequel or whatever that is worthy even if there is an (over)abundance of spinoff material. "Return of the Jedi" was already kind of a betrayal of the precedent set up by the previous films, with Lucas trying to re-make the original but bigger and more complicated. The prequel trilogy was horrendous, but a lot of the spinoff media from it such as the Clone Wars series is quite good. I didn't care for Rogue One or Solo, and thought Force Awakens was mediocre, but Last Jedi was, in my view, the best SW film since Empire. Regardless of how you feel, at no point is it too late or is there just too much stuff around for good art to be made out of an old franchise.

What CBS is doing is no different from Marvel. A lot of the TV and films being produced from source material that is 50 or 60 years old is awful, but a few good things emerge, too. I hate the Abrams films and haven't finished Discovery, but I am open to the possibility that any of these new projects can be good and can be Star Trek, no matter how much crap gets churned out in the interim.
Iceman
Wed, Oct 31, 2018, 8:34am (UTC -6)
"The prequel trilogy was horrendous, but a lot of the spin-off media from it such as the Clone Wars series is quite good."

I liked Rebels and both versions of Clone Wars (the 2003 and 2008 series).
Patrick D
Thu, Nov 1, 2018, 8:03am (UTC -6)
Maybe CBS should scrap the lame Star Trek comedy series and put the money towards remastering Deep Space Nine in HD? They could advertise it and everything!
Patrick D
Thu, Nov 1, 2018, 5:21pm (UTC -6)
@ Jason R.

I concur. Star Trek was a *hell* of a lot more popular and a pop culture juggernaut in 1991 with only TOS and TNG. The 25th Anniversary of Trek was an EVENT. Two years ago was the 50th anniversary and it was a barely a blip on the cultural radar.

Even Back to the Future which only features 3 films (and a short-lived animated series) is still a touchstone that subsequent generations have embraced. They didn't have to bludgeon the public with more, more, MORE content like say...fucking STAR WARS. Harry Potter is only seven books and it's a pop culture behemoth.

Quantity of content is meaningless if the quality isn't there.
John Harmon
Thu, Nov 1, 2018, 10:01pm (UTC -6)
@Patrick D well said
Dom
Sat, Nov 3, 2018, 11:24am (UTC -6)
@Jason R. "I think CBS, like Coach, will end up with neither the niche exclusive market, nor the mass market. They'll just be nowhere."

Yep. Here's the thing. There are already far too many TV shows that I want to watch. If something isn't interesting or distinctive enough to catch my attention, I probably won't end up watching it. Star Trek Discovery isn't a better space opera than "The Expanse," it doesn't have better action than Netflix's "Altered Carbon," and it's sci-fi isn't as clever as "Black Mirror." So where does Trek fit in? Aside from its name, what makes it stand out from the crowd?
Dom
Sat, Nov 3, 2018, 11:28am (UTC -6)
@Patrick D, unfortunately, Harry Potter is going down that route with the new movies. Still, I find the constant onslaught of content to be less offensive with movies than TV. At most a franchise will pump out 2 movies a year, which I can usually find time to watch. And, books and comics aside, Star Wars is primarily a movie franchise. But TV shows are 10-20 episodes per year. And nowadays they're heavily serialized so you have to remember in detail everything that happened from the last season, which might have aired a year ago. I find myself just dropping so many TV shows because it feels like homework to keep up with them.
Peter Swinkels
Mon, Nov 5, 2018, 8:59am (UTC -6)
As much as I liked the new take on Star Trek and the rather daring and sometimes even shocking plot twists I am uncertain whether I will continue watching Star Trek. Reflecting on some of the comments I have read here I get the impression some people are upset because they feel the franchise’s creators went too far in updating the show. I don’t whether this is true or not, but for me changes to the show did feel weird and took a while to get used to. I suppose it all comes down to whether I wish to invest the time and energy in getting to know Star Trek Discovery a bit more or to let go of Star Trek which of which I have been a huge fan since I was a teenager or to let it go in favor of other franchises or activities. Not out of frustration but because otherwise I may forget there are other things to life than Trek.
Peter Swinkels
Mon, Nov 5, 2018, 9:03am (UTC -6)
EDIT: “I don’t KNOW whether this is true”
Dom
Mon, Nov 5, 2018, 6:59pm (UTC -6)
@Peter Swinkels, I don't think it's about "updating" the show. "Updating" implies an improvement based on new technology or ideas that supplant the old ones. Updating implies that the newer version is superior, more advanced. There are things on Trek that needed updating, like the special effects and acting. However, much of what Discovery did wasn't "updating" so much as different. Some types of stories are more popular in some periods of time than others, but I don't think serialization is inherently superior to episodic TV. You can tell compelling stories in a short story, and tell lousy, meandering stories in long-form storytelling. I think this is a bit of a fallacy common amongst reviewers nowadays. They assume that just because something is heavily serialized or has a lot of plot twists that it's a step forward for storytelling, rather than just a different type of storytelling.
Rahul
Thu, Nov 8, 2018, 8:37pm (UTC -6)
re. "Calypso" Short Trek

First of all -- not sure what to make of these short treks - not even a full 1/2 hr with commercials. What can possibly be achieved in such a short time?

So the Discovery has just been sitting there for 1000 years with a lonely computer?? Reminded me a bit of the Companion in "Metamorphosis" as the USS Discovery computer befriending the black dude after tractoring in his escape pod. The two develop a friendship, try and satisfy each others' needs etc. I guess the computer realizes the dude needs to get back to his wife and so off he eventually goes in a shuttle. Some trite stuff about being reminded what it means to be human -- maybe supposed to be a feelgood thing about AI.

Just hope DSC S2 is much better than S1 -- definitely not too many brain cells are being wasted on these short treks.
John Harmon
Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 8:49am (UTC -6)
I was really looking forward to Calypso. Even in a short, the idea that it's 1,000 years in the future and is a guy stuck with an AI has the potential for some good sci-fi.

Instead it was crap. They did nothing with it. Guy shows up to ship, wants to get to home planet, AI says it can't leave, they spend some time together, then AI gives guy a shuttle. That's it.

It shouldn't even count as a story. Stories usually have plots and turns, even short ones. Calypso was literally just a guy hanging out on the ship for a bit with no troubles and then leaving.

I have to ask, where did that AI come from? It wasn't in season 1 and the ship still looks brand new. Are they saying the Discovery always had this canon breaking AI? Why did the ship still look the same after 1,000 years? Actually I can answer that. Because these shorts were filmed desperately and quickly during season 2 as a way for CBS to try and gouge foreign markets for money (that almost nobody took them up on) so they didn't have time to redress the set.

Dude didn't even bother to ask what happened to the crew? Also it's 1,000 years in the future and humans are basically the same as we are now? Social structure and everything? No hint as to what the Federation might look like that far in the future?

It pains me that Calypso was so nothing. Absolutely nothing happened. It was a waste of 20 minutes.
Charles Liddle
Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 7:38pm (UTC -6)
I assume "Calypso" is intended as a tease in case the Powers That Be decide to
further expand the Trekverse to show the Federation as it stands 1000 years in
the future. "Calypso" was a somewhat entertaining way to spend 15 to 20 minutes.
The next short showing Saru's backstory sounds more interesting.
Dan
Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 10:25pm (UTC -6)
"Excellent point about not rehashing TOS on TNG."

Literally the second episode of TNG is a carbon copy of a TOS episode AND references the TOS ship and crew.

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.
Dick
Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 11:50pm (UTC -6)
Just finished watching Calypso. It was a decent episode of "The Outer Limits".

But seriously, I think Calypso is the least dreary, most optimistic story to come out of STD thus far. Unlike most of the regular characters in the series, Craft is actually likable and isn't concealing some hidden agenda. The setting doesn't really make sense in the context of Star Trek canon, but then STD has been playing fast and loose with canon from day one.

Overall, it felt like a completely different show--a pastiche of 2001, Wall-E, and Her--that just happened to be filmed on the Star Trek sets. The only element of STD that carried over was the clunky and emotionally inert dialogue that has always characterized the series.

Bottom line: Short Treks still aren't Star Trek, but I'll take more lowkey drama like Calypso over most of what we saw in Season 1.
MadManMUC
Sat, Nov 10, 2018, 2:49am (UTC -6)
Well. 'Calypso', eh?

The least offensive STD episode so far was also quite possibly the most aimless. It really didn't work. It didn't work on film, and it wouldn't have worked as printed narrative. It really had nothing, other than — as John Harmon pointed out — 'Guy shows up to ship, wants to get to home planet, AI says it can't leave, they spend some time together, then AI gives guy a shuttle.'

Sigh. Devoid of any real substance, and any time it *did* try to make a point, it ham-fisted it. No finesse. No subtlety. No graceful analogy. Nothing, nothing, and more nothing.

Well, still. It was inoffensive, compared to STD S01. I really don't see that as a net positive, though just another in a long line of disappointments.
methane
Sat, Nov 10, 2018, 6:30pm (UTC -6)
Dan said:

"'Excellent point about not rehashing TOS on TNG.'

Literally the second episode of TNG is a carbon copy of a TOS episode AND references the TOS ship and crew.

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'. "

It's more than that. TNG started essentially as the version of TOS that Rodenberry wanted to do in the 70's, the basic ideas of which got implemented in the first movie.

-Older, calmer captain/admiral (Kirk) = Picard
-Upstart, impatient 1st officer (Willard Decker) = William Riker (barely changed the names!)
-Vulcan 3rd in command (Spock (or Xon)) = positronic Vulcan Data
-Attractive female telepath bridge officer who has feelings for the upstart 1st officer (Ilia) = Troi

Now they added some characters to that (most importantly Worf, although Rodenberry never saw him as an important character). But TNG basically started as a second take on that first TOS movie. It was really only when Rodenberry left that TNG grew into something distinct.

-------------

John Harmon said:
"Because these shorts were filmed desperately and quickly during season 2 as a way for CBS to try and gouge foreign markets for money (that almost nobody took them up on) so they didn't have time to redress the set. "

I think they're primarily aimed at American subscribers to the CBS service. If people are subscribing to the online service because of Star Trek, CBS doesn't want them to be able to cancel their subscription for 9 months at a time and still be fully caught up.

Before we knew much about Discovery, I made some comments on this site saying it would be a good idea for them to do some Star Trek projects besides the series to keep people subscribed. The nature of a streaming service means this kind of one-off episode can makes sense, which isn't the case for a linear network with a fixed schedule. There's nothing wrong with the idea...as long as they're good projects (so you're not watering down your brand).
Peter G.
Sat, Nov 10, 2018, 11:24pm (UTC -6)
@ methane,

I never noticed the similarities between TMP and TNG. Very astute observations.
John Harmon
Sun, Nov 11, 2018, 12:33am (UTC -6)
@methane from what I’ve read CBS tried to sell the shorts to Netflix for $40,000,000 so they could get more money and they would be available in foreign markets but they wouldn’t bite
MadManMUC
Sun, Nov 11, 2018, 1:56am (UTC -6)
@John Harmon

Netflix wouldn't bite probably because they're already shelling out for the entirety of STD's budget:

'Star Trek: Discovery's Budget Reportedly Paid For By Netflix, Not CBS'

https://screenrant.com/star-trek-discovery-budget-netflix-cbs/
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Nov 11, 2018, 5:40am (UTC -6)
@Booming
"I meant dead brand in a financial way."

How do you figure that?

Star Trek is a brand that has - quite literally - millions of loyal fans who are more than happy to open their wallets and spend money on their beloved franchise. Or at least, this was the case before CBS spent an entire year doing everything in their power to alienate these fans.

"I wouldn't say that they are insane. What else are they supposed to do?"

I think that watering down a five-decade-old brand that has millions of devoted followers into some kind of mass-entertainment product definitely qualifies as "insane".

As for they were "supposed" to do, that's quite simple: They were supposed to do everything in their power to maintain the uniqueness of the Star Trek brand and maintain their loyal fan base. They should have also hired writers that can write actual Star Trek, and let them do their stuff with as little intervention as possible (remember "Enterprise"? That series would have a been a thousand times better had UPN let B&B create the actual prequel they wanted to create).

Unfortunately, desperation sometimes leads even smart people to do stupid things.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Nov 11, 2018, 5:56am (UTC -6)
Oh, and one more thing:

I'm not necessarily saying that CBS should never ever make concessions in order to broaden the appeal of "Star Trek". Sometimes, in the business world, we need to make compromises, and that's fine.

But you gotta be smart about it. Adding a bit more action in order to (say) double your audience may well be worth it. Killing a half-century-old brand in order to double your audience short-term - is not.
Yanks
Sun, Nov 11, 2018, 8:19am (UTC -6)
Discovery has killed nothing.

I just watched Calypso and I enjoyed it.

I guess we'll see how it ties into Discovery later.

Only 18 minutes, but touching nonetheless.

I like Aldis Hodge... makes me want to go watch some 'Leverage' 😀

Some reviews on Youtube are scathing. I don't see it that way.

So, Discovery is going to end up sent somewhere far away I guess....
Yanks
Sun, Nov 11, 2018, 8:24am (UTC -6)
@Peter G.
"I never noticed the similarities between TMP and TNG. Very astute observations."

This surprises me. It was so obvious early on.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Nov 11, 2018, 11:41am (UTC -6)
@Yanks
"Discovery has killed nothing."

That's your opinion, but most fans of pre-Abrams Trek would disagree with you. Even among those who like Discovery, there's this common notion that "I can only enjoy it if I pertend that it isn't Trek".

Of-course, there are fans who think otherwise (like you) and that's perfectly fine. But this doesn't change the fact that CBS has a serious branding problem.

You don't need to take my word for it, either. Just look at the comments, both here and on the "Will You Take My Hand" review (which kinda served as a general S1 discussion ever since the first season ended).

@Elliot
"I'll just say that having gatekeepers for art isn't *necessarily* a bad thing. There are Wagner and Shakespeare societies for a reason."

I agree.

The problem is that in the context of Star Trek, recently, this word 'gatekeeper' has become a form of bullying. It became a derogatory term refering to all those "pesky nerds" who care (even a little bit) about things like continuity and consistency and the Star Trek ethos.
Dom
Sun, Nov 11, 2018, 1:26pm (UTC -6)
@Yanks, Discovery has killed my enthusiasm for Star Trek as a franchise. Even during the JJ Abrams movies, I managed to keep my enthusiasm alive, thinking that maybe the dumbed down movies would create enough demand for Trek that we'd get the thoughtful Trek TV show we've all wanted. But now that we've gotten that TV show and it's worse than I could have imagined, I really don't know what's left for this franchise. Good on those who like Discovery, but it was the final nail in the coffin for me. Star Trek is a franchise that belongs in my past.

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, 100% agree about fans using the term "gatekeeper" to bully others. I was called a "gatekeeper" because I argued that Star Trek should be about something other than generic science fiction and stick true to its liberal humanist roots. Can franchises grow and evolve? Sure! But what's the point of a franchise if it leaves behind everything and anything that made us fall in love with it in the first place?
Paul M.
Mon, Nov 12, 2018, 1:33am (UTC -6)
I'll reiterate: I am having a bit of trouble understanding the teeth-gnashing Discovery elicits when compared to late-era Berman Trek. It's one thing to dislike Abrams/CBS Trek -- truth be told, I am not sold on it; just go read some of my comments on those threads -- it's quite another to pretend Trek before that was the epitome of Trekness.

"Discovery betrayed Trek", "Trek in name only", "STD killed Star Trek"... Has anyone actually watched Voyager, Enteprise, Insurrection and Nemesis? One can hardly do worse than those sorry excuses for Trek.
wolfstar
Mon, Nov 12, 2018, 6:09am (UTC -6)
They were bad Star Trek, but they were Star Trek. There's definitely a golden period of Berman-era Trek from 1989-1999 (TNG Season 3 to VOY Season 5, including the whole of DS9), followed by a long weak period of decline from 1999-2005 (VOY S6 to ENT S4), which nevertheless isn't without its strengths by any means - there were plenty of good episodes in VOY S7 and ENT S3-4, for instance. Nemesis is indeed terrible but I have a lot of time for Insurrection, a classic TNG story told with a lot of heart.

However, even during this period of decline in which Voyager (in its late seasons) and Enterprise (right from the start) were creatively lacking and increasingly running on empty, they still largely had a Star Trek feel, Star Trek values and Star Trek science.

I think the rush to serialization with Discovery is part of the problem. Let's face it, if DS9 had tried to open season 1 (instead of season 6) with a complex war arc spanning multiple episodes, it'd have fallen flat on its face. The confident, cohesive storytelling that we associate with DS9 from S3 onwards (but especially S6-7), with all the different characters and elements working in sync, is something that took years to build up to and develop - not just on DS9 but through TNG's worldbuilding with the introduction and development of the Cardassians and Bajorans and the deep look into Klingon society throughout the Worf/Duras arc. Discovery tried to roll out a complex serialised show straight out of the gate not only without having built up any foundations of it own, but also not making meaningful use of the foundations provided by previous Trek series (ie. instead of using Okuda-science, Moore-Klingons and Roddenberry/Berman values, the show threw all those out of the window and built itself around its own nonsensical pseudo-science, completely reinvented Klingons whose society, culture and values are totally unlike the ones we know, and a Starfleet that also bears no resemblance to the one we know in terms of its culture and values). I could care less about aesthetic changes like how the Klingons look, the technology, how the ship looks etc, but it's when you totally change the culture, values and science across the board that the show becomes something else, something completely unlike Star Trek. Voyager and Enterprise were bad a lot of the time but their culture, values and science was solidly Trekkian with minor exceptions.
Booming
Mon, Nov 12, 2018, 6:09am (UTC -6)
@Omicron
"How do you figure that?"
I figure that through box office results. The last two movies Insurrection and Nemesis were either flops or bombed. And Enterprise was a money sink from start to finish. The argument that there are millions of fans didn't help those projects and therefore is invalid.
For me personally Star Trek was over with the first Abrams movie. Which wasn't a problem for me. If there is a desire for this kind of entertainment (positive, exploration for a wiser humanity) then we will get that sooner or later. It is a little sad that teens don' t have this parallel universe anymore were people are just more evolved but as I pointed out before: Times are pretty bad and shows reflect that by either being super dark or the opposite (because we need a break sometimes)
Booming
Mon, Nov 12, 2018, 6:20am (UTC -6)
@wolfstar
Two points: Insurrection was kind of the opposite of Star Trek the means of the many thinking. The more or less state that the radiation could save billions. Plus their was magic in it (time stopping through the power of love)

The other point is that there are aspects that never made sense in Trek for example Klingons: These guys should live in caves, spending their days eating each other. We only ever saw one Klingon scientist and she looked like as if she belonged to a oppressed minority. These guys would have never made it into space.
Dom
Mon, Nov 12, 2018, 8:25am (UTC -6)
@Paul M., wolfstar's response has it right. Voyager and Enterprise weren't always good storytelling, but they were recognizably Star Trek. Fans at the time were very critical of those shows, and still are. In fact, I'd argue one of the biggest problems with those shows is that they merely tried to replicate the TNG formula rather than innovate. The best Treks, like TNG and DS9, push the boundaries of Star Trek, but ultimately stay within the boundaries. They question and interrogate the franchise's underlying liberal humanist philosophy, but ultimately reaffirm it. It's a tough balancing act. Not every single episode of Voyager, Enterprise, or even DS9 and TNG, got it right, but those shows as a whole looked and felt like Star Trek.
MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Nov 12, 2018, 3:18pm (UTC -6)
I don't have time to read all of the comments here, but I'll give you my current perspective on Trek and Sci Fi in general, coursing through the neurons in my thinkin' noodle.

I recently read something called "The Songs of Distant Earth" by Arthur C. Clarke, and have refamiliarized myself with 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010 as well. Both are fine movies, and the general feeling it gave me was that things like Star Wars and Star Trek are sort of capitalizing on the harder sci-fi that was being put out there in the 50's and 60's. It's a cultural thread that began with the "Space Race" between the USA and the Soviet Union, and here we are, nearly 70 years out from that whole situation, and while there hasn't been any contact from alien species and we still have yet to find a way to transport ourselves from here to another inhabitable planet, there is *just so much cool stuff to buy.*

I feel like these two series, Star Trek and Star Wars, are really kind of emotionally manipulative, hyper-expensive and incredibly long action figure commercials, compared to what I'm experiencing as I dig into the harder elements of science fiction. I know that's a "Bombastically Exaggerated Internet Opinion [tm]" but they really kind of are, and almost always have been. The extra thought going into TNG's scripts starting with Season 3 was largely due to the influence of Michael Piller, who took over as the showrunner at that time, when Gene Roddenberry's health started to falter. He opened up the show to scripts from outside writers, and we ended up getting a first episode ("Evolution") that resembled harder Sci-Fi in many ways, and had a thread of intellectualism going through it that the 60's Trek (relative to the times in which it was produced) had a bit of, too.

But as TNG became successful, and the TOS Movies came to their logical (sorry I couldn't resist) conclusion, something about the Trek culture changed (Looking at you Rick Berman and Brannon Braga), and it sort of slumped back into the "Glorified Action Figure Commercial" territory that I mentioned. DS9 kept producing strong episodes from time to time, but it was typically more about drama than actual Science Fiction, per se (The most prominent example being risks to a main character's life or freedom that you know aren't going to be substantiated by the end of the episode, since they are a regular and are contracted to return to act in the next ep).

Long story short, I think that Star Trek has always sort of tried to skirt the edge between being basically a Merch Machine like the Star Wars franchise and trying to open people up to digging into harder Sci-Fi, but it has never gone straight up, "Total Hard Sci Fi" and it's going to take someone coming along with a vision for the show that has some real "grahmbahr" (as a Naussican would say) for that to ever be something that might happen.
Mertov
Mon, Nov 12, 2018, 6:00pm (UTC -6)
Geez, these Short Treks are just not doing it for me. Bring Discovery on. There four regular bridge crew members that received zero character development during the 1st season. Couldn't these Short Treks have been used on them at least?

As to the discussion above, there is some rich, thoughtful input, but what "Star Trek is" varies in everyone's opinion so to say something "is" or "is not Star Trek" merely reflects just that -- that person's opinion what Star Trek is.

There are endless variations of Star Trek in TV series, books, movies, comics, etc., and yes Enterprise, Nemesis, and Discovery are also among those just as much as The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine are.

If others enjoy one of my less-preferred variations of Star Trek, their fanship of Star Trek is not in some form inferior to mine. My example: I am not a fan of Enterprise at all (relatively speaking, of course) but I would never call it "not Star Trek" or consider its fans any lesser Star Trek fans.
Dom
Tue, Nov 13, 2018, 8:46am (UTC -6)
But Mertov the question is if Star Trek can be anything, is it actually anything at all? If what Star Trek is really just depends on the viewer, then what is it that we're actually fans of? Why call Discovery "Star Trek" instead of "Galaxy Quest" or "Space Voyage"? I think a franchise does need some sort of clear and consistent identity, not just so fans know what they're getting, but also stories within the franchise can build upon each other and feel connected. People can and should discuss - civilly - what properties are intrinsic to Trek and what can change/grow with time. But I think to say that it's just "our opinion" to me is a sign that the franchise has an identity crisis and maybe doesn't stand for anything other than earning $$$ for CBS.
Karl Zimmerman
Tue, Nov 13, 2018, 9:01am (UTC -6)
Personally, I thought Calypso was fantastic. The editing was a bit jerky at times, but besides that, it's the first Trek product which the new team has put together that felt like Trek.

I think some people are missing some of the subtlety of the story.

1. The whole thing is an allusion to the Odyssey. In the Odyssey, Odysseus (who, like Craft, was away from home for ten years) ends up stranded on an island and enchanted by the nymph Calypso. After seven years, he remembers his wife, and the escape begins. Craft is Odysseus, and Zora (the ship's AI) is Calypso.

2. One key element of the story has been revealed by Micheal Chabon off camera. Craft notes that he has been fighting an enemy called "V'Draysh" for a decade. Chabon has confirmed this is the Federation. A lot of the elements that at first don't make sense - the Betty Boop cartoon in the "alien" life pod, and Craft being unaware of human food and the days of the week - are because he grew up a human in a planet totally cut off from Earth culture.

3. The show was refreshing because it had nothing to do with anything else in Trek (it clearly only takes place on Discovery because it saved the showrunners money to use standing sets). Remember Trek began as a pseudo-anthology before it became this canon-obsessed mess. Fundamentally though the Trek world is still big and open. You can use the Trek format for anything from westerns, to spy stories, to romances, to comedies. Thus the fact that this story has nothing to do with the rest of Trek doesn't really bother me. The story is about the two characters - not about canon or even a plot (there really was none).
Mertov
Tue, Nov 13, 2018, 9:32am (UTC -6)
Karl, great input. Thanks. I would still prefer some world building within Star Trek: Discovery, that is why I felt like developing one of the existing characters (that did not get any in the first season) would have helped the viewers identify him/her better.

Dom, I hear you. The way I see it, I can list several reasons why I watch any Star Trek, such as my love of science-fiction, ethical dilemmas, space action, good production, crews working together, interplanetary story-telling, variety of different species, etc.. (I can go up to a dozen or a bit more). For someone else, those 12 or 15 elements (or fewer) they seek from watching Star Trek may be slightly (or quite) different.

I don't expect every Star Trek variety to contain *all* of these elements, in fact, none of the series or book series, or comic series of Star Trek contains all of them at once (some come close and those are the ones I call "my favorites" even though I still like the others). DSC contains some of those elements in my opinion. As long as they are within the Star Trek universe I don't consider them equal to any other Science-fiction movie or series (not that they may be great series themselves). There are no Spocks, or Enterprises, or Andorians in others.

I understand that for some people the number of aspects they expect are far fewer and unless those two or three are not in a certain TV, book, or comic series, it's not for them, and they may well dislike it (strongly) and in their opinion it may not represent the Star Trek they desire. I can list an episode or two, or a book or two, from the Star Trek universe, that did not represent Star Trek from my point of view. Having said that, they are nonetheless Star Trek to other fans who may like them. I hope that clears it up.
Ubik
Tue, Nov 13, 2018, 1:30pm (UTC -6)
Yeah, this notion that everything in the Star Trek universe must, at least, have a certain number of common intrinsic values is, to my mind, a misunderstanding of precisely the benefits of having such a wide universe. Just because Star Trek can literally contain ANY kind of story is not evidence that it represents nothing - it's evidence rather that it can represent everything.

Since someone just brought up The Odyssey, I'll add the ancient Greek canon of stories as another example of an "expanded universe" that, within its boundaries, could encompass basically any type of storytelling at all. Within that shared universe of heroes and gods and half-gods, you've got everything from epic dramatic poetry to war stories to adventures to closet domestic dramas to romantic comedies to slapstick comedies to outright fantasies. The Greeks understood the advantages of using common characters and settings and even plots to tell vastly different types of stories, with vastly, even incompatible, worldviews and themes. And that's the thing - not only did the genres and tones change, but the values and philosophies of life and the world changed too. And now, we consider all that stuff part of the overall Greek canon of literature. If the stuff is good, it's good.

On the other hand, the whole "Discovery isn't real Trek" crowd also reminds us that audiences being unwilling to accept such vastly different approaches to the same basic material also hasn't changed in thousands of years. When Euripides borrowed the characters and situations from Sophocles and Aeschylus, critics at the time also said he wasn't treating the material seriously enough, or that it wasn't "real" tragedy. And this was two and a half thousand years ago. So, people crying foul at Discovery not being "real Trek", know that you're in good company.

Here's my take: the Abrams movies are not good movies, and they are not good Star Trek. That doesn't mean Star Trek cannot be a pure action movie - it means it should not be a mediocre action movie. If someone came along and made a Star Trek action movie as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark or Mad Max: Fury Road, I'm sure we'd all have less problem with it.

Discovery did not fail as a season because it was not true to Star Trek. It failed as a season (despite doing quite a few things right in the first half or two thirds) because it failed to follow through with its dark implications. It got cold feet, it made the ambiguous Captain EEEEVIL, and then it introduced a dumbass speech by Michael assuring its angry audience that don't worry, it was only kidding, it's gonna be real Star Trek from now on. The season failed due to cowardice and impatience. Deep Space Nine largely ignored complaints about it not being real Star Trek, and now we largely consider it the best of the lot. That says something. Discovery should have had the courage of the DS9 writers. Discovery needed to have the courage to be LESS like the rest of Star Trek, and it would have been a far better show.

So, yes - Star Trek can be anything, just as much as a story about Apollo or Agamemnon can be a anything. It just needs to be done fully and honestly and skillfully. That's my take, anyway.
Dom
Tue, Nov 13, 2018, 4:27pm (UTC -6)
@Ubik, you're absolutely right to point out that, fundamentally, the Abrams movies and Discovery failed because they failed at storytelling, Trek aside.

I do feel personally there is a real risk in the franchise losing its identity. I don't want Trek to do a Mad Max impersonation. If I want Mad Max, I can see Mad Max. If I want sci-fi with a focus on technology, I can go to Black Mirror.

For me, Trek's liberal humanism should be the through-line. This is different from a heavily serialized approach to storytelling that obsesses with continuity. I don't care much for that. I'm not one of those fans that needs to know where Kirk was every day of the week. But, as you and others pointed out, TNG and TOS were anthology shows, yet both had an overarching vision and philosophy. There was quite a bit of flexibility within that format - action episodes, mystery episodes, etc - but they were tied together by the underlying philosophy and some boundaries on the storytelling (no explicit gore, sex, etc).
Mertov
Tue, Nov 13, 2018, 5:52pm (UTC -6)
"Yeah, this notion that everything in the Star Trek universe must, at least, have a certain number of common intrinsic values is, to my mind, a misunderstanding of precisely the benefits of having such a wide universe. Just because Star Trek can literally contain ANY kind of story is not evidence that it represents nothing - it's evidence rather that it can represent everything."

Well said Ubik. It's a setting and within that setting, each Star trek fan hopes for what they, in their individual opinion, desire to see. I can find some of what I desire to see in each reincarnation of Star Trek. There are some Star Trek book series, or episodes of Star Trek, or one Star Trek movie where I can't, that is why they are my least favorite. But they are still part of Star Trek, and fans who happen to like them are no less valuable Star Trek fans than I am.
wolfstar
Wed, Nov 14, 2018, 11:54am (UTC -6)
3 stars for Calypso - strange and compelling, and I liked the more literary approach. Karl's comment above is fantastic. It strains credibility that the ship could float in space undisturbed and with full power throughout the TOS and TNG eras plus another 800 years (just how far out is it?), and that the computer would gain complete sentience in that time (especially without having any additional input or anyone to interact with). But I'm happy to overlook these contrivances for what was a pleasant and thoughtful 20 minutes with its heart in the right place.
methane
Sat, Nov 17, 2018, 10:23pm (UTC -6)
John Harmon said: "from what I’ve read CBS tried to sell the shorts to Netflix for $40,000,000 so they could get more money and they would be available in foreign markets but they wouldn’t bite"

Well...of course they tried to sell the shorts overseas. Producers try to sell everything they make to as many markets as they can. That doesn't mean they weren't primarily made for the domestic market.

I'm not surprised if they weren't able to agree to a price. Discovery is a Netflix property everywhere but Canada, so there's no reason for anyone but Netflix to show what amounts to advertisements for a Netflix property. I'm sure Netflix would pay some basic sum to show them, but they aren't worried about Discovery fans dropping Netflix because they don't have the shorts (because then viewers wouldn't be able to watch the main show). So Netflix isn't going to pay CBS much for them, & CBS might just keep them & hope they spur the inevitable DVD sales (whether they get sold separately or with DIS season 2).

----------

To the discussion about "What is Star Trek?"

(I say this as someone who hasn't seen Discovery)

Star Trek is a universe that can contain any kind of story, from comedy to character drama to horror to hard science fiction to whatever. But it needs some basic "givens", or else it's not Star Trek. If you pick the Federation or the Klingons or whatever at a certain time that we've already seen, you have a basic idea of what the society is and what the "average person" stands for (remembering that their are always people outside the norms of society, and mad admirals trying to take over Federation ships). If you go outside those time periods you can show more differences (like the differences in Klingons from TOS to TNG, or in Vulcans from ENT to TOS to VOY), but you'd like viewers to understand how the cultures got from point A to point B. Technology also has to remain somewhat consistent (even though every Trek has had some magic technology come in for an episode or 2 and then be forgotten completely).

To stay distinctive, Trek should also stay somewhat intelligent, and overall hopeful, even though it can portray dark periods. DS9 was plenty dark, but I think it still had an overall optimistic viewpoint...the ideals of the Federation were scarred, but they survived.
Carlos Rodriguez
Sun, Nov 18, 2018, 6:09pm (UTC -6)
Wow so much moaning. Personally thought s1 was fantastic if different. Not perfect but what is? I’m a huge trek fan all my life but you know what it’s just a tv show. If missteps happen it doesn’t mean it’s a write off. Looking forward to s2.
J Fenzel
Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 8:10pm (UTC -6)
Well said, Carlos. I have yet to see anything beyond episode 1, and despite the scathing comments I've read here I will be purchasing the season 1 Blu Ray and making my own judgement. I too have been a Trek fan all my life and have found things I love and things I don't like so much in each carnation. Looking forward to actually seeing the season play out. And btw I'm really intrigued with the new Picard series and what direction the producers will take it.

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