Star Trek: Discovery

"That Hope Is You, Part 1"

2.5 stars

Air date: 10/15/2020
Written by Michelle Paradise & Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman
Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Few, if any, slate-clearing series reboots have been as extreme (or contrived) as Discovery's jump forward in time 931 years to the year 3188 in order to (deep breath) hide a cache of indestructible, self-aware data from an evil artificial intelligence whose acquisition of that data would mean certain galactic Armageddon. I mean, that is something. The writers either wanted to get as far away from the show's original pre-TOS setting as possible, or they had some new things they wanted to explore in the very-far-flung future of the Trekkian universe. They clearly weren't interested in a mild or middle-ground shakeup.

The brand-spankin' new thing they apparently want to do is an official Star Trek remake of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda. (The premise of Andromeda's post-Commonwealth fall was itself simply a way of telling a post-Federation story outside the actual Trek universe.) The news of the Federation's fall is gradually revealed in "That Hope Is You, Part 1" an episode that arrives at the season's new mission statement (let's re-establish the Federation!) by the end of the episode but, on the whole, is a pretty unremarkable but okay hour. As slow-burn establishing material goes, this is average.

One of the frustrations of the episode is indeed intentional: It gives us a strictly-Burnham-focused POV (how novel for this series!) and we don't see the USS Discovery at all. (Episode 2 will reportedly focus on Discovery's POV of arriving in the 32nd century.) We get oriented to the new setting through Burnham's arrival through the space-time wormhole and her crash-landing on the planet Hima, rather than Terralysium, which was the expected destination. Her crash in the angel suit (which is destroyed in the process) also takes down the ship of Cleveland "Book" Booker (new cast member David Ajala), a courier trafficking in mysterious cargo. The two reluctantly team up after first surviving their Introductory Action-Fight Sequence (against, naturally, each other).

The direction and Sonequa Martin-Green push too hard with the viscera of the situation at times, providing numerous examples of Burnham's Excessive Emoting, particularly after she crash-lands and discovers she's alone, and also when Book tells her that the Federation collapsed about 150 years ago (which she can't believe, although, let's face it: 900 years is a really long time and such a thing should never have been considered out of the realm of possibility when leaving the 22nd century).

The collapse of the Federation happened following a cataclysmic mystery called "the Burn" — in which most of the galaxy's dilithium suddenly destabilized and exploded or something, bringing the end to most warp travel and, shortly thereafter, the Federation and Starfleet. The details around this are sketchy (or I simply missed them) — like how prevalent warp travel is now or if there are alternative fuel sources to dilithium (which still exists in some capacity, albeit as a rare commodity). Clearly warp travel still exists in some regard, or there wouldn't be much trekking among the stars.

The most striking thing about "That Hope Is You" is the gorgeous location photography, beginning with Burnham's landing on a stark landscape that looks like a mountain of coal and continuing on to a coastal vista that's both beautiful and harsh. These are what you call production values, and this series rarely disappoints on that front. The future post-any-other-Trekkian-era technology allows this show to exist where it has always wanted to — in a VFX world beyond what previous series had shown us (even while Discovery itself was previously taking place before them).

What's less thrilling here are the rather perfunctory beats of the plot, which take us into a trading post where Book and other couriers like him peddle their wares. Book double-crosses Burnham, then Burnham double-crosses him back and punches him in the face, then they both end up on the run from some rival couriers (an Andorian and an Orion and their henchmen) who want something Book has. This leads to some frenetic action that at times plays like a 1980s video game shooter, in which a seemingly endless supply of bad guys (using this century's portable transporter equipment) beam right in front of our escaping heroes, who blast them into dust immediately. No explanation is given as to why Book and Burnham (B&B?) have to keep making successive transports rather than just one; chalk it up to the action's needs du juor, I guess. Book finally leads the bad guys to his ship under duress, where they attempt to take possession of a large CGI creature that is evidently very rare and valuable, but which he is able to turn loose to eat them.

At the very least, this story remains light on its feet. Burnham gets sprayed in the face with a truth serum that makes her very honest and very high, which allows Martin-Green to play some goofier insane comic notes, which I guess shows that the series is not taking its plotting too seriously, which is the right decision considering the limited ingenuity on display.

In terms of substance and gravitas, the story earns some points when Book takes Burnham to one of the few remaining Federation outposts, manned by a Starfleet representative who was born long after Starfleet officially disappeared and who does not even claim to be an actual officer. This man has been hoping and waiting for a long, long time for the day someone would arrive to reclaim the mantle of the Federation. He tells Burnham that day is today, and "that hope is you." It's an admittedly corny conceit (what, doesn't this guy have any dreams to do anything other than sit in an office floating in space waiting for the most unlikely of payoffs?), but damn if this show doesn't sell it with earnestness and its unfurling of a long-tucked-away Federation flag.

Whether this season will actually be about something is a good question — I'm not forgetting how Andromeda squandered its central premise, or how absurd Discovery has been in past seasons with its mammoth, comic-book stakes — but hopefully it can muster a little more imagination, subtlety, and exploration. And because the central thesis is about rebuilding something (where the Bad Thing has already happened) rather than stopping a ticking clock, hopefully that will recalibrate this series and it can learn from past mistakes. Discovery has been lousy at world building — the storytelling scope has often been microscopic — but that's going to be even more important to the series now than ever. This episode does the job of getting us into the 32nd century, but we don't get to see much of it here, and that will need to quickly change in the coming episodes for this season to be successful.

Some other thoughts:

  • Book is a conservationist (trying to return the creatures in his cargo bay to nature, rather than exploiting them) and has some odd superhuman powers to go along with a mysterious spirituality. He's a promising character well played by David Ajala, though I hope he gets better plot material than "rogue courier running around."
  • I sincerely hope the mysterious Burn does not become something which this season, later in the game, uses to needlessly up the stakes into possible galactic destruction. The Burn was in the past, and although I'd like to learn more about it, I hope it remains there.
  • Expect somewhat shorter reviews this season. Maybe. I know; I say this every year.
  • It feels like it's been about 900 years (or at least 900 days) since I last wrote to you all, back when COVID-19 had just started to get serious here in the U.S. and my kids had been home from their closed schools for all of a couple weeks, and we were all still wondering just how this all was going to go. So, um, yeah. Seven months later. To quote Pete Campbell: Not great, Bob. How are you all doing?

Previous episode: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

◄ Season Index

214 comments on this review

Cody B
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 3:50am (UTC -5)
Wouldn’t you know it. Every once in awhile a show surprises you and pays off for sticking with it. The season 3 premiere shows real hope of starting over and being much closer to the show everyone hoped for. Let’s hope it can keep this up
Startrekwatcher
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 6:49am (UTC -5)
Whatever promise there may or may not be in furst episode or two. This season will implode just like Picard and the first two seasons did It will be a bit convoluted mess. Mystery box initially draws you in with what happened to the Federation, will thriw in dome gratuitous excessive namedropping that really isn’t brought in in an organic way (as opposed to organic es the Reeves-Stevenses did in the ENT Vulcan trilogy

It’ll be fast paced. Michael will be only character focused on. With a lukewarm forced romance she will have but no will care about.

Afterall these are the same writers. Why expect some change fromThe tepid writing style. It’s amazing how Stidios will guve huge amounts of money to hacks who waste it on make up, costumes VFX to glam up mediocre series. Michael Piller did more with less and had to produce 26 hours season after season yet produced a consistently entertaining series with TNG. Or the old vanguard with TOS

But producers/writers these days have to do half as many episodes with far less time restrainys s and a whole lotta money and consistently turn iyt nice looking crap
SlackerInc
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 7:14am (UTC -5)
So this is kind of a remake of “Andromeda”. I don’t hate that.

I did roll my eyes, though, at Burnham saying “that’s impossible” when she heard the Federation was defunct. It was only, what, 150 years old in her time? But she cannot conceive of its failing to last over a thousand years? C’mon, she must have studied history. I can understand her being disappointed, but ISTM a more realistic reaction would have been to very cautiously hope it was still around, and then be like “okay, it lasted over 900 years, they had a good run.”

So time travel tech has been banned. Okay. But isn’t this a more lawless era? And can’t people just do the old “slingshot around the sun” maneuver like in ST IV?
JohnTY
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 7:16am (UTC -5)
I'm gonna watch this. I know I am. Why do I do this to myself?
Burke
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 7:28am (UTC -5)
Man, this year has been tough and depressing enough. I'll wait for jammer's take on this season before watching.
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 8:08am (UTC -5)
Overall, a resounding meh from me. Well, more a confusing mixture of things that I liked, and things which I did not.

On the positive side:

I enjoyed the change of story structure to focus on a single simple thread - the formation of the relationship between Michael and Book. As I said in another thread, I think that Kurtzman Trek has suffered from using essentially identical framing devices popular across serialized drama - the whole switching back and forth between different POVs omniscient narrator style. With the exception of the opener, this is basically told from Burnham's POV.

I thought the episode was well done in the VFX department, and they struck a good balance in terms of introducing futuristic tech/elements and giving a sense of what was lost. Michael was basically a stand-in for audience awe.

I instantly liked Book, and David Ajala really oozes charm as the character.

The last scene of the episode with Sahil partially redeemed what came before, as it packed an emotional punch that was missing earlier in the episode.

On the negative side:

Discovery's writers still don't seem to be able to understand naturalistic dialogue. Look, I realize that Michael is a fish out of water - and as viewers we need to be brought up to speed. But the way she spoke in this episode is simply not a way anyone actually talks. Worse, a lot of it was narratively unnecessary. A good example of this is when she first crashes on the planet, and immediately starts rambling to herself. It would have been better to just have the scene largely silent and rely on facial expressions. The later meet-cute with Book also didn't read right, in that she pivots from hand-to-hand combat to begging to tag along because...the story requires it I guess? The dialogue was bad enough that it broke my immersion in the story multiple times, which is really why I couldn't just sit back and enjoy the episode.

Separate from the writing, I don't think SMG was on her A-game here. I mean, she and Ajala are reading from the same script, but whereas his dialogue only feels a bit clunky, whereas she has many lines which cause a mental record scratch for me. She's fine as an actress overall, but IMHO has always been more suited to a supporting role, and has suffered a bit due to being paired with stronger actors throughout Discovery. Given this episode is more Michael-heavy than anything which has come before due to its structure, I feel like her limitations as an actor are even more on display than ever.

I did not think the combat scenes were well directed in this episode. The initial hand-to-hand fight between Michael and Book was strictly bush-league, and the later firefight was confusingly shot...just a mess of characters appearing and then being instantly vaporized.

Using Jammer's rating system, I'd say it's 2.5 stars. Just above average, and only that because the closing scene with Sahil redeemed the earlier flaws in the script and performance.
Mal
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 8:17am (UTC -5)
The long night has come. The United Federation of Planets - the greatest civilisation in history - has fallen. Now one ship, one crew, have vowed to drive back the night and rekindle the light of civilisation. On the starship Discovery, hope lives again.

https://youtu.be/BEIwNzJczw4

That said, I enjoyed the episode! Who'da thunk it?!?
NCC-1701-Z
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 11:17am (UTC -5)
@Mal: In the vein of what you just posted I offer this:

https://youtu.be/Bqu_ykD3Wto

Why do I have the distinct feeling this season will go the same path post-Wolfe Andromeda did...
Chris L.
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 11:56am (UTC -5)
The good news is that there is a real chance for a season full of world building, and a move away from the ridiculous plot lines that involve the entirety of organic life in the galaxy as stakes. A more focused series on the littler things and the mystery of the ‘burn’ could be good.

The bad news is that it is mostly the same writers, so they will probably turn it into a cluster by mid season where Michael Burnham saves the universe single handedly with zero character development three separate times. The dialogue in this episode was atrocious across the board. Have the writers actually had any conversations with real people? Like, ever?

Overall: I liked it as an opener. The potential is better already than either of the other seasons. 2.5 stars, mostly for the inane dialogue. Otherwise 3. I am cautiously optimistic.
Mertov
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 12:51pm (UTC -5)
Excellent starter to a season, new ground to discover, great camera work and the addition of a charming, compelling character at east so far (David Ajala is a nice choice for casting, he has played this type of enigmatic-at-first, yet sympathetic character in other shows, Harry treadwell was a mised opportunity for Picard S1, hopefully Ajala will not be for DSC S3... 'on verra'). The references to other events were fairly canon-compliant despite the story taking place 930 years into the future.

Curious to see how Discovery will join the story and in what way any remaining Federation will come into play, if any at all. Last 5 minutes functioned, as many shows do in the last few minutes of their season openers, as the part that launches the overall arc. Looking forward to seeing where the pieces fall into place.
Chris Lopes
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 1:06pm (UTC -5)
Overall it wasn't bad at all. We have a chance to do Andromeda without Kevin Sorbo's ego getting in the way. The action was cool, and the 32nd century tech was even cooler. In short, the season has the potential of being very good.
Jef Willemsen
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 2:02pm (UTC -5)
Impressive, expensive CGI heavy debut, but as stated before... the scripting needs work. Trek dialogue has always been stylized, it might as well be Shakespeare. But Burnham's lines don't sound natural and that really distracts from the story. Plus, of course we already know Burnham is going to solve the Burn...
Phenom
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 2:21pm (UTC -5)
Adil Hussain was fantastic in this episode as Aditya Sahil. The emotion in his eyes and in his voice as he realises all his years of being a lonely lighthouse keeper have finally paid off.
Trent
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 3:38pm (UTC -5)
Like the design of the USS Discovery stole from Ralph Mcquarrie's concept drawings from the 1970s, "The Hope Is You" seems to crib from Gene Roddenberry's notes on "Andromeda", developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

And so like "Andromeda", which used a blackhole to send a hero into the far future, in which he attempts to restore a collapsed Space Commonwealth, "The Hope is You" sees Michael Burnham flung a thousand years into the future by a wormhole, where she learns that the Federation has collapsed and so resolves to restore it.

Like "Andromeda", whose intro famously ends with a "the long night has ended, hope lives again!", "The Hope Is You" is similarly obsessed with appealing to our "optimism", "hope" and "human spirit". No matter how dark the times, the episode says, no matter how utterly the mysterious Burn (some sort of event which has destroyed all dilithium crystals and so crippled the Federation) has decimated civilization, humanity will ultimately rally and restore the light! And that restoration begins with Michael, and the crew of the Discovery, who will rekindle the flame!

I'm reminded of "Interstellar", which ranted constantly about man's "ingenuity", "spirit" and "refusal to go gentle into the good night!", oblivious to the fact that its response to Earth's biosphere being raped was to bail and resettle another planet. Vague optimism and touchy-feely speechifying in the face of concrete problems, always seems a bit trite at best, insulting at worst.

Regardless, this episode marks the debut of new show-runner Michelle Paradise. Unfortunately it was also co-written by executive producer Alex Kurtzman, a dude who specializes in crap. Like Thomas Kinkaid, one of the most profitable yet critically derided painters, Kurtzman trades in kitsch. His writing is kitsch, his aesthetic is kitsch, his sensibilities are kitsch.

And so for 40 minutes, "The Hope is You" bounces from one hackeneyed scene to the next. It opens with Michael crashing her Iron Man suit into Han Solo (a guy named Book, an odd choice for a name, given how famous Shepherd Book was from "Firefly"), and then crashing into a planet. Once on the planet she has a overly-emotional meltdown, before pumping herself up with some overly-emotional moments of cringey Girl Power ("Sand up! Walk! Starfleet Badge Number 984035!").

Because this was co-written by Kurtzman, Michael then gets into some kung-fu action with Book, who wears a black coat and does fancy moves with a knife, and who pins her in a Mexican standoff designed to appeal to folk who think Marvel, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, "Fast and Furious" and Michael Bay movies constitute "great action direction".

Book and Michael then magically walk a billion miles to a nearby city (Mos Eisley meets "Blade Runner"), where Michael is covered in a truth-telling powder which makes her act more ridiculous than usual. Here she spouts lots of contemporary dialogue, and says stuff like "super cool!" to cue the audience in on how cool, edgy and accessible Trek now is.

Then Michael gets angry and decides to PUNCH BOOK IN THE FACE. Moments later they both PUNCH SOME OTHER DUDES IN THE FACE, then totally SHOOT DUDES IN THE FACE, and DO COOL DIVES and FLIPS and SHOOT SOME DUDES, and CRASH THROUGH GLASS and SHOOT SOME MORE DUDES, then run away and SHOOT SOME DUDES and run some more and SHOOT SOME MORE DUDES and run some more and then teleport and SHOOT MORE DUDES and then teleport some more than SHOOT SOME MORE DUDES.

To avoid the "Star Wars" plagiarism lawsuits, they then escape by jumping off a cliff and then activating a personal teleporter. Why did they jump off the cliff and not activate the teleporter when safely on the ground? BECAUSE THAT'S NOT COOL ENOUGH.

Then they RE-MATERIALIZE UNDERWATER, which is great, because apparently, a thousand years in the future, highly advanced scanners cannot detect living organisms underwater.

Michael then gets swallowed by a big CGI monster, and spat out. Afterwards she quips "I really didn't know how this day would turn out!" which is REALLY COOL because she was INSIDE AN ANIMAL, and now she's OUTSIDE and COVERED IN GOO and MAKING JOKES.

The episode's first good moments occur next. Book is revealed to be a kind of far-future Green Peace activist, who helps endangered species and ferries them to a Sanctuary Planet. Book himself is a sort of empath, who is deeply attuned to all life, and so suffering.

Book and Michael then visit a lonely guy stationed on an abandoned Federation Communications Relay, who has been waiting like a Roman Sentry for signs that someone, anyone, from the Federation is still alive.

And then the episode ends. 50 minutes, and nothing much happened.

Trailers for subsequent episodes hint that this season may work as a climate change allegory (Ooops, we killed the planet!), or a comment on contemporary America ("Vote Biden! Restore America!), or perhaps just a more general tribute to the Federation and so the hope of utopia ("The Federation is a vision," Michael tells us, for all those True Believers who, "believe in that vision!").

But Kurtzman's past three seasons of Trek have paid similar lip-service to highfalutin "ideals". What the actual aesthetic, and moment-to-moment content of these shows do, however, is completely at odds with such speechifying.

I mean, this episode is literally 40 minutes of punching, running, spinning cameras and topless dudes, followed by a tagged on weep-fest over CGI animals and THE BEAUTY OF THE FEDERATION! Kutzman-Trek is like some kind of rapey, Stockholm-syndromey relationship, the dude drilling your eyeballs whilst whispering in your ears the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

But fingers crossed. We've got a new showrunner with Michelle Paradise, so hope may still live.
Guiding Light
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 4:01pm (UTC -5)
You know I liked the previous two seasons, but this may be the best Star Trek has ever been. This season might turn out to be one of the finest achievements in television history. Totally stoked and fingers crossed.
SlackerInc
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
@Trent, I'm not all the way with you on all of that, but it was definitely a tour de force and a fun read!
Ruomyes
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 5:39pm (UTC -5)
@ Jef Willemsen

So, would you prefer stylised dialogue, or natural dialogue?
Jason R.
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 5:50pm (UTC -5)
"Kutzman-Trek is like some kind of rapey, Stockholm-syndromey relationship, the dude drilling your eyeballs whilst whispering in your ears the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights."

Haha
Booming
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 6:00pm (UTC -5)
@Trent
"I'm reminded of "Interstellar", which ranted constantly about man's "ingenuity", "spirit" and "refusal to go gentle into the good night!", oblivious to the fact that its response to Earth's biosphere being raped was to bail and resettle another planet:"
Not to start a Interstellar debate but that is not what happened. The guy who told them that poem knew what they were doing. Also wasn't it space-crazy Matt Damon who recited that poem while trying to kill the protagonist. I think that was also the last time that poem was mentioned. Just sayin'

"the dude drilling your eyeballs whilst whispering in your ears the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights."
*chuckling*

It is somewhat ironic that all NuTrek did was destroying Star Trek, most of all ST:Picard, and now they kind of have. Because of the BURN. Frakking mystery boxes...
Mal
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
@Trent, I agree with @SlackerInc, very entertaining review ;) A couple more references that you might have included:

- the Orion truth serum reminded me of those pills on The Expanse, but with far more hilarious effect (Let's face it, SMG is not a very good actress. At least when she acts high it is entertaining).

- making Book out to be a PETA activist brought to the episode a touch of the movie Okja.

And honestly, @Trent, if you're going to borrow elements from other scifi, you could do a lot worse than firefly :-D I for one got a huge kick out of a thief named Book who likes to pray. And the arial shot of his ship felt just a little like seeing Serenity again. Maybe a sister, or cousin.

There are good things.

@NCC-1701-Z, hilarious! I wish that guy had used the Andromeda S1 intro instead. The Season 2 intro was too corny, even for DROM! At the time, @Jammer said that it was "not nearly as cool" ( https://www.jammersreviews.com/andr/s2/gyre.php ).

Now where can I find the previews for DISC S3 set to Sandstorm ( https://youtu.be/EH35yv1vPh8 )???
Tom
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 7:09pm (UTC -5)
Hope springs eternal when it comes to Star Trek. The thing is, all they have to do is tinker slightly with the format and in our desperation for good Trek a few of us will claim that the show has finally come good. Somehow, the sole problem with the new shows got framed in the assertion that it was simply "too dark", and now if they just add a veneer of hope and optimism, everything will be great again.

And I'm sitting here actually considering watching it, despite being certain that by the end of the season I will be regretting it.
Tommy D.
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 7:42pm (UTC -5)
I think that was just okay for a season opener. I don't know if it was my feed or the way it was filmed but the action scenes seemed jittery to me. The twist with Book 's occupation was interesting, and I did like scenery from where they filemd for the planet. Beautiful.

SLightly off topic, we had just adopted a cat a few months ago (my first cat), and now Mrs. TD would like a Maine Coon. Thanks Discovery :)
Yanks
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 7:59pm (UTC -5)
Well, Discovery is where I wanted it to be in the first place. THE FUTURE! (Star Trek universe).

I think SMG did some fine acting in this episode, but some of her lines just made me scratch my head. Very sloppy dialog seemed to be just thrown in there at times because, well just because I guess. "Stand, walk" (after she'd just danced around because her suit identified life signs) etc. One wonders at times if there is a director on the set because I don't know how anyone couldn't have seen how inconsistent her dialog was at times.

VERY impressed with David Ajala as Book. I knew he was a great casting choice when I heard he was in Discovery. He seems to play well opposite SMG.

So 'Red Angel Michael' comes through the wormhole and runs into Book's ship. I can't even imagine what the astronomical odds are that could happen, but OK. As a result of their bump in the night, both Michael and this star ship that must be made of cardboard crash on a planet.

Michael gathers herself and launches her red flare and for some reason tells her suit to self-destruct. She then walks forever and runs into "I don't want to know your name" Book. For some reason they have to fight. Book is cut like Henry Cavil but Michael has no problems matching and besting him. I guess that's because he doesn't have Star Fleet training, or because she's Michael frakin Burnham!

She of course wants to try to contact Discovery and Book says they have to go to a city (can't remember the name) to do that and we are clearly way in the future with all kinds of neat new technology. Michael offered her tricorder to Book as an antique trade item, Book gets her into the establishment and Book betrays her!! He really needs that dilithium and he takes all her Star Trek heirlooms to go trade and leaves her tied up. The guards catch up with Michael and of course, she won't talk so they spray her with some drug stuff to make her talk and boy does she (lol). SMG is really hamming it up here and I thought it was pretty funny. She gives up Book, they fight some more, she ends up grabbing a bunch of dilithium during the mayhem and they end up leaving together fleeing from the Andorian/Orion guards. Book has an individual transporter but it can easily be tracked... lots of transporter tag, chasing, killing bad guys (Morn!!), then Book and Michael dive off a cliff and materialize underwater... because they can't track that so fast... you know... But Michael and Book make it to his ship and the bad guys catch up again. We learn that Book's cargo was some sort of big worm thingy that is a delicacy while fresh, but it ends up eating a couple bad guys, them gulps up Michael. But Book can somehow communicate with this thing and it spits up Michael... yes, it spit up Michael.

All of that was just kind of blah, with a few nice moments and some great visuals, but I just kept leaning forward hoping for something meaningful.

... and everything else in this episode after all that stuff was what I was looking for.

We learn that Book is dedicated to helping endangered species, he seems able to "communicate with nature". He's not a bad guy, he betrayed Michael because he's that dedicated to saving these creatures.

Michael and Book end up having a normal conversation, we visit the planet he is delivering these worm things to, and it's a feel-good scene when we see them in their natural environment. Book then decides to help Michael try and contact Discovery.

They arrive to an old broken-down Star Fleet communications relay manned by one single man. Aditya Sahil is standing the watch and has been for 40 years! Adil Hussain is simply outstanding here and in about 4 minutes of screen time, provides one of the best acting performances we've had in 2 years of Discovery. Had me in tears as he told his story and interacted with Michael. The Federation is all but gone as a result of "The Burn". For some unknown reason all dilithium "burnt" and this resulted in no fuel for Star Ships. Long-distance warp travel (or all warp travel) is a thing of the past now. No other means of powering star ships, no singularities (Romulans) anymore I guess? Sahil is more than happy and honored to help Michael contact Discovery. No joy, only 2 Federation ships operating in sensor range (600 light-years) and there is no link to any other communications relays - so that's that. No Discovery, no Star Fleet. Pretty sad moment. Michael is crushed.

Then we learn Sahil is not a commissioned officer because there hasn't been anyone there to commission him. He has a Federation flag that has been in his family for generations, but can't hoist it because it can only be raised by a commissioned officer. Michael obliges, commissions Sahil, and they raise the flag... hope springs eternal.

True believers. (sniff, sniff)

"Hope is a powerful thing, sometimes it's the only thing."

"...that my hope was not in vain. That day is today and that hope is you Michael Burnham." If this line had been said in Season 1 or 2 my eyes would have rolled up in the back of my head. But not this time. Michael is acting like a human, not a superhuman.

My spirit is undiminished. I finally have the Trek I wanted from the start. Shades of Andromeda maybe, but I thought Andromeda was good for the first 2 1/2 seasons. Here's hoping the writers can take this wonderful opportunity and sail with it.

My rating was going to be 2 stars until the last 10 minutes of the episode.

3 stars from me.
Maya
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 8:05pm (UTC -5)
Overall, I liked more than I disliked it.
Space battle scene was nice.
Burham sending the suit to the past was nice.
Burham fighting Book was not nice.
Grudge is the queen.
Burham high channeling Tilly was hilarious.
Harry Potter transport chase was meh.
Book friend of wild life, water bender, etc, was nice.
Federation flag was beautiful.
Visuals always impressive.
The BURN explanation underwhelming, but we have a mystery here!

I would give 3 stars
Mal
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
@Tom, I get what you're saying. Maybe not "certain" that by the end of the season we'll get burned, but at least, very scared that we might get burned.

That said, I think there is reason to be hopeful.

TPTB aren't setting up anything ridiculously stupid like Control or a Red Angel, or an evil Captain Lorka from an evil Mirror Universe (yum, yum). It looks like a fairly straight-forward post-apocalyptic scifi adventure. I got a little bit of a nuWho feel from the first episode.

Plus TPTB have finally (finally!!) understood the need for good actors. Both Book and, as @Yanks says, Aditya Sahil, were very enjoyable to watch.

Aditya Sahil gave off a real TOS (TMP) vibe. I know the Flag hoisting scene was super manipulative, but honestly, it almost brought a tear to my eye.

I'm not saying it will be great. But the previews at the end made the story seem quite reasonable. Find remnants of the old Systems Commonwealth, er, I mean, United Federation of Planet, and hope that they will be able to send Discovery back to its time, or at the very least, incorporate Discovery into the current fleet.

Plus, Lurians! I'm holding out for a good bar scene!
SlackerInc
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 9:11pm (UTC -5)
Yanks, a lot of stuff on this show has not made sense over its run, but getting rid of the suit actually did. Sort of. She had to do it to make sure Control (isn't that what it's called?) couldn't get back to the past and destroy all life. I'm not clear however on how she can be sure it won't destroy everything in the time she's in. Is it really just a reprieve for the people of her generation and a few generations forward or did I miss something?
AMA
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 9:19pm (UTC -5)
Book as a protector/saviour of endangered species is perhaps my favourite element in any of the new Trek. The story of Aditya Sahil was also heartening.

I have some hope again for this series. Whether it will last is another matter.
Idolwild
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 9:57pm (UTC -5)
I quite liked this - I didn’t care for season 1 and never even finished 2, but this grabbed my attention. I’ll be giving it a shot.
Rahul
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 10:35pm (UTC -5)
Thought this was overall pretty basic as it mainly focused on Burnham and Book developing a partnership. It had some hints at deeper, more meaningful stuff with what the Federation is supposed to represent, how it collapsed. (Found Book's line of "galaxy took a hard left" referring the burn to be quite topical given how the behavior of the left has become more radicalized/destructive -- but that's a separate discussion...)

I didn't care much for the numerous action sequences as we don't have a good idea of all the characters, their motivations, the environment etc. On the positive side, the visuals are great, the geography of the planet etc. are all top notch -- but that only goes so far.

It's a bit abrupt how Burnham puts aside her hatred for Book after he traps her in that stasis field. Also extremely fortunate how their pursuers never seem to hit them with their weapons -- this is all standard fodder for TV and shallow stuff for the viewer to get caught up with technology in the year 3188.

As for Book's character -- some kind of dude from a sketchy background but who has a bit of a conscience, in contact with nature and animals, wants to be different. Probably a good partner for Burnham, but his story needs some details to be filled in -- like how he has a warp-capable ship of his own and yet seems to be some kind of independent courier/trader. Doesn't add up yet.

But it would seem DSC S3 is taking place in yet another dystopian environment and the Indian dude / Federation liaison waiting for another Federation officer seemed weird -- like he's just been sitting at desk for 40 years?? And now with Burnham who is his hope (just as Book is Burnham's hope) they'll resurrect the Federation??

2 stars for "That Hope Is You" -- really just about Burnham and Book teaming up in a sketchy, dystopian 32nd century with some weird links/references to the Federation to perhaps drive the overall purpose of this season. As a season opener of nu-Trek, I think this one is mediocre and comes up weaker than PIC S1 (very good) as well as DSC S1 and S2 (both good) for me. With the first episode, writers can go for a lot of interesting exposition without having to come up with good answers and that can make it easier for the episode to be more impressive, but there isn't that much great exposition here. Just not that impressed with this start to DSC S3.

I liked the part with Burnham getting zapped with the truth serum -- reasonably humorous but also a bit out of place. The Orion seemed a lot easier going than I think he should be -- could have used some prosthetics as well (came across as a TOS-style Orion).
Drea
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 10:52pm (UTC -5)
Passable.

The first hour set up the premise of rebuilding a lost interstellar utopia less effectively than the Andromeda premiere, which was only so-so to begin with.

First, the decision to make the cause of Federation's fall a mystery dilutes the show's ability to deal with social or political themes. Instead of reunifying a galaxy's political divisions, we're faced with dilithium exploding. Uninteresting.

Second, we don't have good enough cause to believe that the galaxy is that much worse off. This was a problem in Andromeda too. We learn that endangered species aren't protected anymore, but we've never had any indication that most of the galaxy did this anyway. What is in the Federation's place? How much of it is worse?

Third, why one earth did we initiate this mission around Michael, a random last sentry, and Book, who's not a believer? Why would we introduce this future without the crew, and not show them reaching the decision that the Federation could and should be rebuilt?

Fourth, a dull action story about an alien marketplace that could have existed in any Trek era does a poor job of introducing anything at all about this future.

Who knows? Maybe it will be good after all. Lower Decks certainly surprised me.
Tim C
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 12:40am (UTC -5)
This was alright, but nowhere near as good a premiere as season 2's "Brother". "Brother" effectively set up the central mystery of the season, introduced our new captain *and* was a great little action-adventure story all at once with some really awesome visuals that we hadn't seen the likes of before.

This one, though? Ehhhh.... shootouts in a warehouse? Snooze. I did like the glimpses we saw of advanced technology - portable transporters etc - but the rest was a bit bleh.

I really dug the closing scene though. Do I rationally believe this guy would just keep showing up for forty years to do nothing? Not really - but SMG and the actor playing him totally sold the emotion of the moment, and I was rooting for them both. Go rebuild that Federation, you crazy kids!

I hope that next week's instalment is a bit more exciting, when the entire Disco crew comes back into frame.
MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 1:03am (UTC -5)
-_^ "Curious."

I'd never considered this idea in all my years of watching Trek (beginning with reruns of TOS my dad taped off broadcast TV, and the occasional film taped off TV, sometime before TNG came out), that the "Capital F Future" has a "Capital F Future" of its own.

There is a concept called "Zeerust," which in the page quote at

[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Zeerust]

... Is described as "The particular kind of datedness which afflicts things that were originally designed to look futuristic." Star Trek, being set in such a far-flung future, has rarely had to put up with this; ever since CGI became a thing in the 80s (partially pioneered by Wrath of Khan's Genesis Planet Video, in point of fact), it has been easier and easier for Trek to maintain its futuristic aesthetic. There is only one problem:

That aesthetic (and more generally speaking, the entire way the 'universe' or 'world' is built) is starting to get dated, in and of itself, in that there have been no less than 6, count them, 6 shows in this franchise (7 if you count Lower Decks, which I hate to have to do, cuz I despise it) featuring versions of TNG's Aesthetic/General Worldbuild.

- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- Star Trek: Voyager
- Star Trek: Enterprise
- Star Trek: Discovery
- Star Trek: Picard
and (ugh)
- Star Trek: Lower Decks.

There have been moderate updates (sometimes a bit more than moderate) to the design of the show, the general rules of how its universe works, etc. between these seven shows, but nothing as major as this season of Discovery is shaping up as.

It has essentially flipped the table on Star Trek, in a manner of speaking. Burnham saying "apparently I'm carrying antiques" is, I think, a bit of a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement that the "Federation Good Guys Vs. The Bad Hats Of The Week for the Fate of the Alpha Quadrant" ...or whatever, has really aged beyond its usable life.

I have never watched a single episode of "Bonanza" all the way through. Likewise, "Have Gun, Will Travel." I have little to no knowledge of the rules or conventions that govern Western Shows, but Star Trek was originally devised as a Western... IN SPACE!

But as the world was refined, and details added in here, there, everywhere, it started to become something different. Much in the same way as Don Henley's "The Last Resort" (and I'm sorry to have to cite Don Henley for anything, but it's just relevant, ok) speaks of, "there is no more new frontier."

Taking Burnham out of the traditional "Star Trekkish" setting, I think, was a good call. Suddenly she can't just phone in to Starfleet and have a bunch of help with things, she has no database to look things up in, she has no resources on which to draw, except for those she has immediately on hand.

That's good for drama. That limits her options severely.

Like others here, I will echo a bit of pessimism about Mr. Kurtzman's, shall we say, multiplicative proclivities when it comes to adding new plot threads all the time...but hey, I want to give the show a chance. I'm bored and there's very little else to watch until Cobra Kai or Castlevania's new seasons come out (staring malevolently, as an evil monkey hiding in someone's closet, at the Lower Decks episodes which I refuse to keep watching).

I will add one final note here; I feel like Sonequa Martin-Green has finally come into her own as an actor. I now believe that Michael Burnham is Michael Burnham. I feel less cringey watching her in this episode, than at any time during the previous 2 seasons. Very well done. She is now a fully fledged character in her own right.

My optimism continues to be tempered with caution. I was not happy, in the long run, with how DISCO Seasons 1+2 nor Picard Season 1 turned out.

Stick to simplicity. Stick to story. Make it count.

Our options are limited.
Clark
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 1:05am (UTC -5)
I still just can't help feeling like I'm never on solid ground watching this show. For me, a big part of Star Trek was a stable familiarity. I don't necessarily need to see a red/yellow/blue bridge crew tackle a weekly problem but so much crazy ---- has happened on this show so far in their mushroom powered time traveling ship. They could time travel to "the burn" episode 5, solve the mystery, and end the season back in the mirror universe and I wouldn't be all that surprised.

All that said, this was a great episode for Sonequa Martin-Green, really shined here. A solid table setting and I'm trying to be optimistic. Hoping they don't rush through the rebuild the Federation storyline and let this play out through the end of the series. There is a lot of meat there. If they play this out right season 3 forward could be where this show really hits its stride. 3/4 stars for me.
Atymiss
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 7:10am (UTC -5)
I quite enjoyed most of it. I really disliked all the violence between Burnham and Book, was it really necessary? Also it was ridiculous, in reality that bloke would've pulverised Burnham I don't care if she is Starfleet trained. And punching people in the face cause you're annoyed with them isn't cool or funny.

The whole thing looked great. And I want one of those parrot alarm clocks.

I love the Sahil character.

I think Burnham had to destroy the time travel suit, it would be too dangerous for it to get into someone else's hands.
Yanks
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 7:35am (UTC -5)
@ SlackerInc

"Yanks, a lot of stuff on this show has not made sense over its run, but getting rid of the suit actually did. Sort of. She had to do it to make sure Control (isn't that what it's called?) couldn't get back to the past and destroy all life."

Yeah, I'm a little confused I guess. That could be the reason Discovery uses, but they are 1000 years in the future, what's to keep "Control" from using time travel to go back? I guess Control was "killed" so it's just the data they need to protect now.

Still don't see why the suit had to be destroyed. It was her best asset.

Unless the explosion was the 7th red flare?
Ruomyes
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 7:52am (UTC -5)
@ Rahul

"(Found Book's line of "galaxy took a hard left" referring the burn to be quite topical given how the behavior of the left has become more radicalized/destructive -- but that's a separate discussion...)"

When I heard this in the trailer I wondered when someone was going to try to link it to the political left (groan!)
Ubik
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 8:01am (UTC -5)
I feel like the writers of this show have PTSD from all the criticism they received in the first season.

"It's too daaaaaaark!!! It's so GRIIIMDAAAARK!! I want HAPPYYYY!"

So now, they're acting like the fans are terrorists with guns to their heads, and they're like, "Of course, of course! We totally were building to that! Haha, fooldja, didn't we, we're way ahead of you, we HAD to be all dark, see, we HAD to go dark, so that we can then give you all the hope. Hope hope hope hope hope comin' right up, just what the fandom ordered, look how HOPEFUL everything is now! Wheee! Hope! Just like the Star Trek you used to know!!"

Ugh. The first season ended up sucking, of course, but not because it was too dark. It sucked because it was badly written. But not all fans are literary critics, so when they didn't like the first season, many of them glommed on to the most obvious factor, its darkness, and assumed that the darkness was making it bad, rather than the truth which was the darkness was failing to make it good. And the writers, who are producers of product instead of artists with a story to tell, are desperately trying to give the fans EXACTLY what they say they want, like the sandwich guy at Subway's. And fixing all the writing problems, like character and narrative and theme and dialogue and story structure was WAAAY too difficult, so they too glommed onto the simplest explanation they could hear from the fandom, the easiest fix. The fans say they want less dark and more hope? They got it.

So what do we get? Speeches and speeches and speeches about hopey hopiness and how hopey the Federation is in all its hopehope, and the writers really, really, really don't give a fuck. They have no story to tell, no themes to explore, no intellectual or ethical difficulties to wrestle with - their only goal is to stop fans from complaining and make them happy so they stay subscribed to CBS so they (the writers) don't get fired. The fans say they want hope? That's what we give them.

Star Trek, decades ago, had a story to tell. Let me ask you this: did this episode indicate that the writers give the slightest shit about HOW exactly a Federation crumbles - politically, culturally, societally? SF writers from Asimov to Poul Anderson have written thousands of pages about why and how Federations or Empires fall. Do these writers want to explore any of that? Are they even CURIOUS? No. It fell because of a technical issue - no dilithium - which means it could also be solved with a technical magic wand. I'd bet you a million dollars by the end of the season, Michael rediscovers dilithium and single-handedly rebirths the Federation. Has that ever happened in real life? Is that how governments fall and rise? Is that how America, when its time comes, will fall? Of course not. But this isn't science fiction. This isn't interested in real-world issues at all. This is fantasy. This is about the heroic Michael bravely saving the universe. Like Frodo. Like Luke Skywalker. Star Trek used to be interested in how society functions, how governments function, how institutions function, how ethical and cultural clashes between peoples transpire and can be resolved with hard work and patience and intellectual rigor.

Now it's an action show about a courageous hero saving all of time and space. Over. And over. And over again.

Because the fans want hope! And Star Wars! And fun adventure! So let's give them EXACTLY WHAT THEY SAY THEY WANT.

Ugh. I'm so depressed.
Chrome
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 8:02am (UTC -5)
This felt like a bad Star Wars or Marvel movie. Let me know if it gets any better.
Chrome
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 8:13am (UTC -5)
@Ruomyes

Yeah, "taking a left" is an English idiom which is used when a plan changes course from what was expected. It's a bit confusing to non-native English speakers, which might explain why some would try to put a political spin on the phrase.
Ruomyes
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 8:35am (UTC -5)
I really enjoyed this chapter.

Martin-Green was on form, David Ajala's charming rogue Book had elements of Han Solo, only much more caring and conscientious. The whole theme of hope shone through the whole episode, from when Burnham cried out in triumph, to when Sahil met Burnham and Book. I didn't mind the shoot n' chase scenes, they actually made sense considering what Book was trying to do. It also made sense that conscientious people would be out there trying to do some good (e.g. protecting endangered animals) where there is no Federation, nor intergalactic laws being enforced.

This chapter's structure was effective in taking us to the final scene, and it was indeed a tear jerker.

Was the actor who played the first Andorian we saw the same actor who played the Andorian admiral in the previous seasons?
Ruomyes
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 8:42am (UTC -5)
@ Chrome

You're right about the definition of "left turn". It is too easy to take out of context though, particularly these days.
Yanks
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 9:19am (UTC -5)
@ Drea

"Third, why one earth did we initiate this mission around Michael, a random last sentry, and Book, who's not a believer? Why would we introduce this future without the crew, and not show them reaching the decision that the Federation could and should be rebuilt?"

I'm sure they will once Discovery shows up. It's pretty consistant with-in Star Trek for two objects going through a worm/black hole to come out at different times.

General comment. Many have said this is a distopian future. Not sure about that. The Federation and Star Fleet are gone, but I don't know we've seen reason to assume everything has gone bonkers.
Undesirable Element
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 9:48am (UTC -5)
I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. There have been MANY times when I thought an episode focused on Michael for no good reason, but here it made a lot of sense. It allows us to see this entirely new universe through the eyes of a single person. We encountered new bits and pieces just as she did. It permitted this new universe to grow naturally instead of providing us with frantic exposition like we've gotten in the past.

I wasn't wild about the idea of the Federation collapsing, but the concept of severely curtailing warp drive made for an interesting starting point. As Michael states, the Federation is more than just ships and technology, so I imagine that we're going to find that a lot of the individual member worlds are intact and continuing the ideals of the Federation, but the ability to link together in common purpose is a problem to be overcome... presumably in this season.

If Book is being set up to be Michael's new love interest (which I think is pretty likely), I think he's a FAR superior choice than Ash Tyler. Giving him a strong level of emotional intelligence provides him with a nice counterpoint to Michael's overtly logical way of approaching all problems. The actor also seems far more capable.

The continuity nods were nicely subtle this time around, and they did address some lingering concerns. Quantum Slipstream is still a thing, and Book mentions needing benamite crystals... which is exactly what was used to power the slipstream drive back in Voyager's "Timeless." The mention that time travel technology has been destroyed and banned after the Temporal Wars alludes to that ridiculous plot from Enterprise and nicely eliminates that can of worms from being opened. After all, if time travel is as everyday as that plotline indicated, we'd have a completely unworkable mess on our hands.

I'm weirdly looking forward to the rest of the story. And I wasn't expecting to say that.
Artymiss
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 9:53am (UTC -5)
@Tommy D
It was amazing scenery. I think it's Iceland.
Trent
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 10:38am (UTC -5)
Ubik said: "I'd bet you a million dollars by the end of the season, Michael rediscovers dilithium and single-handedly rebirths the Federation. Has that ever happened in real life? Is that how governments fall and rise? "

The season trailers have had characters literally hugging trees. Maybe the season's a kind of climate allegory, the Federation learning to harness some new clean energy and the Discovery uniting all planets in some kind of Paris Climate Agreement.
Marco
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 12:40pm (UTC -5)
The entire premise of the show (a prequel) had always been problematic for me. Things have to make sense, given that we KNOW what is supposed to come later.

I watched Season 1 and 2. Episodes were messy, not traditional Trek and at times plainly ridiculous. Saved, every 2-3 episodes, by story lines well put together.

Say what you will, but the ending of season 2, over two episodes, was satisfying enough, tied up loose ends and finally moved forward.

This beginning episode is no masterpiece, but it is a solid introduction to a "whole new ballgame". And Burnham is a little less mopey. And, given the current times, I too want to be hit in the face by whatever the Andorian shot her with...
:)
Trent
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 1:08pm (UTC -5)
Interesting video highlighting how, akin to the hyperdrive in "Star Wars", nu-Trek now handles warp and sensors, the latter of which once provided light years of advanced collision warnings:

https://youtu.be/GTt9-PQNXrM
Akkal
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 1:26pm (UTC -5)
Why all the negativity? I don’t get it. This is one of the best ST episodes I have seen in ages. Really looking forward to the continuation. Clear 4/4 for me!
Glom
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
Look, Netflix had it top banner when I logged in, I finished the latest season of Food Wars yesterday and I'm now in two minds about this show succeeding for meta reasons so I watched it.

Again with these writers, they can come up with good ideas but the scripts they churn out feel like the goop they got from throwing those ideas into a blender. The dialogue is both awkward but also distractingly contemporary sounding (Book is 1000 years our junior. He needs to sound a bit off, given that our viewpoint character is Burnham. Imagine what we'd sound like to Geoffrey Chaucer.)

The schmaltz at the end about the Federation didn't ring true anymore than seeing an Austrian today carrying the flag for the Hapsburgs. It would help if they'd established this new world first before showing us characters too young to have lived it being nostalgic for a bygone era. I think the Federation reveal was far too rushed.

On the plus side, it looked great and some of the futury design looked so retro and/or goofy that it totally worked. If environmentalism is theme of this season, then that's good because at least there will be a theme this time.
Atymiss
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
The Burn. Whatever it was did it happen because BURNham sent the suit back through the worm hole with orders to self destruct???... Just a thought. Everything usually relates to her.
Yanks
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 2:25pm (UTC -5)
Looks like STD season 4 is official.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJkvk3Y4WCg&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1RGyHYVx5KXVT0kvAuk8NDcddNyRxfz7hgjWceVz0rsFjFpudO7oM94Y8
Tommy D.
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 2:35pm (UTC -5)
4 seasons seems like a lot for a show that gets cancelled every year.
Glom
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
I think Ketwolski reported this a few weeks ago.

What's that sound? Oh it's the sound of the likes of Midnight's Edge gnashing their teeth down to the gum.
Anthimos
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 3:32pm (UTC -5)
I love coming here after every new iteration or even single new episode of Trek to read the comments and soak up the whining, neurotic nitpicking and over wrought lamenting for Treks "better days". I have watched every single episode of Trek ever made and while I don't love them all I appreciate decade after decade being given new Trek. I don't know if they are representative of everybody who watches modern Trek but the people who COMMENT on it are the biggest bunch of perfectionist, "back in my day" crybabies I have ever seen of any fandom. "This isn't MY Star Trek!" should be tattooed on all their foreheads. Yet they keep watching and keep taking time to comment. Star Trek fandom may include some of the most self hating, masochistic obsessives living today. As a side note I look forward to where they could be taking this season and hope it delivers some of the promise of the original concept Gene Roddenberry had for a far future Star Trek before it was turned into that god awful "Hercules in space" Andromeda.
Booming
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 4:03pm (UTC -5)
-The computer says several lifeforms... does that really mean anything? bacteria is a lifeform but it seemed to make Burnham happy so maybe that was what the Computer tried to do.
- Nice that the suit also had a heatshield to enter the atmosphere. Also did her hair change. They included a haircut mechanism. smort.
- Why did he attack her with a rod? Why not just shoot her?!
- Distance is still an irrelevant concept to NuTrek. She landed in walking distance from hís ship and he just waited there?
- SHAKE THAT CAM!!!. Seriously does the camera ever stand still.
- Is it tonally off? All scenes sound like action scenes.
- The Federation used the same form of warp drive for 800 years?!!
- Nobody told the Federation that the Romulans didn't use dillithium?!!
- I laughed about the drug scene. That is how I feel when I watch "it" now. The following shootout was pretty blaaaaaaaaaaaand
- Why are weapons bigger AND shittier`???? Even Stormtroopers are embarrassed!
- Soooooooo much punching!!!
- aaaaaaaaaaaaaabs
- Ring the bell. Ten times that I have said "What?" out loud
- Fo far: punching, kicking, shooting, torture and PEOPLE WERE EATEN. *humming the Star Trek theme* *included for all NuTrek PTSDpeople.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSMeYe-sLhs&ab_channel=Chyron8472
That is how Trek was once, by the way. One of my personal favorites(For anybody who likes Discovery, don't watch it, super boring)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLtaVlPh_Kw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a10hxUphSxU&ab_channel=MikeJohnson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8SYKvm-LmE&ab_channel=MikeJohnson
Yes children this is how hopeful once looked like
- LOL moment: Welcome to Starfleet.
- Scanned 30 sectors. Two Starfleet ships in 600 lightyears. WHAT?!
- Why did everybody just start talking like the anti psychotic meds replicator is the only thing that survived the Federation.
- The Burn destroyed the Federation, the Burn will rebuild the Federation
- "I'm doing my part"
- okok, so the grandpa was there and the father and now it's this guy waiting. Is there a "sticky" (Discovery inside joke) breeding room or was his ma also his aunt?!

I think it is great that Star Trek is literally dead in this season. Star Trek has thrown away it's corset and high heels and is now free to do... something.

Star Trek was made for nerds. That is over. I don't expect shows to be tailored to my tastes. This is for average humans. If this instills a few good values into the normals, fine.

Maybe it won't be depressing.
Booming
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 4:14pm (UTC -5)
@ Anthimos
ok ok ok, I hear ya. But there is a pandemic going on (allegedly). PEOPLE have nothing to do. I'm literally sitting in a corona red zone. All is closed.
I watch NuTrek even though it sucks!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D5tkAUNFa4&ab_channel=perryperez
What else am I supposed to do !!
Naima Dax
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 4:26pm (UTC -5)
On second viewing, Discovery S1E3 made a bit more sense, and now I look forward to seeing how the narrative unfolds. I’m keeping an open mind because I remember that TNG, DS9, Voyager brought new and different ways to love ST.

PS I’m guessing that SMG was directed to deliver all that emoting. Too bad. They should’ve dialed that back (more than) a little.
Turnthu
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
@Booming "What else am I supposed to do?"

Might I respectfully suggest trying to refrain from dialing it up to 11 every time someone says something you don't like? Your latest Made-Up Rules for What is Star Trek, and If You Don't Agree With Me You Don't Get It, are that the show has to be "nerdy" and that, as a corollary, I guess, fans of pre "nu-trek" (lord, that phrase is so worn out) have to be "nerds." (Apparently, the riff-raff is free to consume the bilge that is "nu-trek". I don't know whether to congratulate then or not, Jim). Who put you in charge of classifying the entire universe, stereotyping and insulting people in the process?
Glom
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
Yes. We must viligent against our own instincts to descend in that lowest form of life: the Thousand Year Door fan.
Chrome
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 5:08pm (UTC -5)
Burnham should've jumped 1000 years into the future only to meet a disgruntled Star Trek fan who could read her the riot act. Now that would be a real Burn!
Eric Jensen
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 5:29pm (UTC -5)
SPOILERS
I am glad quantum slipstream was mentioned, from Voyager.
And Gorn?
Omega particles and subspace?
Hopefully they will tie all this in
GreenBoots_
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
Hated the stupid Mega Man blasters, complete with waves of suicidal nameless goons to mow down. Remember when O'Brien had his entire perception of himself shattered after *accidentally* shooting one Cardassian with the phaser set to kill? And now Burnam is just slaughtering people whose LAWS SHE BROKE without a second thought. Couldn't stop rolling my eyes at that one.

Banter between Burnam and Book(?) was decent, but I am not looking forward to their romance considering how godawful Burnam/Tyler, Soji/Nerek, and Rios/Jurati all were. Star Trek does not need romance, especially when it's this superficial.

The concept of the Burn is... well, really fucking stupid. Why not lean on that TNG episode about how warp drive was ripping apart subspace? Instead all the Dilithium just... blew up? And they can't make more? Because...? This really feels like a Picard "one batch of synthetics went rogue so we banned all of them everywhere in the whole galaxy" level of handwaving. But whatever, I guess.

High Burnam was kind of funny. Martin-Green continues to be a really strong actor, and a definite buoy for the otherwise confused and uninteresting character of Michael Burnam.

What in the hell was up with the scene where she called the guy she knew for literally two minutes the realest Star Fleet officer she'd ever met? I know she was happy to meet someone trying to keep the ideals of the Federation alive, but come ON with that.

Overall, it was passable. I do like the idea of rebuilding the Federation from the ground up, but at this point, saying "it's a premise that has some potential" feels like a kiss of death for these shows, so I choose to remain skeptical. I can't shake the feeling the franchise has just been damaged beyond repair at this point, between the Abrams movies and the absolutely stupid worldbuilding decisions in Picard and Discovery.
Latex Zebra
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 5:37pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, some of that was corny and poorly written but I actually like where they're going with it and the last 10 minutes were super cool.

I'm invested to know more and will be watching the next episode with interest.
Booming
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 6:07pm (UTC -5)
@Turnthru
I only have level 11 and 12!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH1jZy16u8w&ab_channel=ChelseaNicholls
Booming
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 6:23pm (UTC -5)
And I want to apologize to all the normal people I insulted by saying that this was meant for you.
Shout out to the normals. You are great in your very average way!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOgpT5rEKIU&ab_channel=AlanisMorissette
skye francis-maidstone
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 7:09pm (UTC -5)
Urgh. 3 out of 10 being generous and thats mostly because it looks gorgeous in 4k.

I mean I had SOME hope after the partial recovery from s1 even if it was mostly due to Anson/Pike. I gave some lee-way being a s1 and first time back for trek on TV in long while. But seriously..

SMG seems have had a character change between seasons and I find her a poor actor anyway but (and not to sound like the most common moan on here): The Writing. It was like bad Star Wars. Large parts made no sense at all. 3100 or wharever and we have futuristic guns that are worse than present day firearms. So much shooting. At what exactly? 2 people hiding behind a thing wall in a dead end? Michael got a small scratch though I guess so futuristic weaponry isn't all bad.

A humanoid with abilities and a leather jacket and human customs like a handkerchief. At cat. I mean I guess this could/may all be explained but what a bizarre way to start a new season. Not really an interesting new mystery but a rather jarring collection of scenes full of "huh? But..." moments.

I hate to be one of those moaners on here but this wasn't for me. It passes the time and I like sci-fi (and its still better than most of the slim pickings around (Away *shudder*)). I bet I still watch the whole season. It is Star Trek after all and my loyalty knows no bounds apparently.

Season 5 of The Expanse can't come soon enough.
skye francis-maidstone
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 7:46pm (UTC -5)
Just read through the comments which was more entertaining than the episode.

@trent that was hilarious!

@booming nice list. I actually agree with you on 97.3% of your post too which is rare. I enjoyed NuTrek's PIC though so to each their own.

@anthimos for some reason i feel a somewhat misguided sense of loyalty to Star Trek having watched so much of it. As I said before there isn't a lot of good or even average sci-fi about.
Trent
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 8:42pm (UTC -5)
This episode mentions that "time travel is now outlawed", but how do you outlaw time-travelers from the past? Those Federation Time Ships in "Enterprise" and "Voyager" can go anywhere, see everything, and so return to their times with this information and so fix things like the Burn from happening.

How does the year 3000 outlaw a timeship from the year 2500? This makes no sense.

It also seems like Kurtzman-Trek forever finds itself "outlawing things" to cover up bad plotting. First the Spore Drive was outlawed, then speaking about the Discovery, then Synths, now time travel. It's like these plots write themselves into corners which can only be solved by incredulous GALAXY WIDE BANS!

And Kurtzman-Trek has a weird faith in a simple "outlawing of something" being able to silence an entire galaxy from pursuing that thing. How can you actually police an entire galaxy, and so prevent an entire galaxy developing time-travel tech, synths or spore drives?

Isn't that impossible? And isn't it only possible to enforce a time-travel tech ban by keeping time-travel tech and using it to make sure nobody else is? Your ban forces you to break your own ban to enforce the ban!
Hedgefundie
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 9:44pm (UTC -5)
I’m confused by the last scene.

If there are still other Federation starships in existence and within range, why did it take 40 years for the guy to get commissioned??
SlackerInc
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 1:16am (UTC -5)
@Trent, good questions.

Of course, we also have to admit that any single-timeline time travel story is fundamentally bogus. Which indicts every Trek series.
Peremensoe
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 4:37am (UTC -5)
It is established that intersystem travel is now much more expensive than we've ever seen before in Trek. We don't know the status of replication, but there's likely a pinch there too. Depending on their planets, more planet-bound societies should have limits on the high energy that replication must require. (Even at the Fed's peak they didn't just replicate anything anytime.)

It makes sense that a Trek setting with pronounced economic friction and scarcities would show some mismatches in technological sophistication, sort of like being at an Antarctic base in winter now.

@Hedgefundie
There are a couple Federation ships within Sahil's *scanning* range, not necessarily within practical travel range. My understanding is that no commissioned officers have actually been to his station in the 40 years. It's not clear how much he's even been able to talk to anyone else who still identifies as UFP.

@SlackerInc
Every Trek series exists within a multiverse. I have contended for years that this logically means that Trek time-travel has never been "single-timeline," even when it works out to be perceived that way by the characters.
Peremensoe
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 4:51am (UTC -5)
@GreenBoots_
Burnham does come from a different, more "cowboy" time than O'Brien. And she is not exactly in the best mental health.
Glom
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 5:15am (UTC -5)
I think it's now crystallised for me the issue with how Discovery is handling the Federation as a utopian future. It's a case of telling rather than showing. Rather than depicting a world where the Federation is a utopian future, they just have Burnham give a speech about how the Federation is great. Almost as if to say, "See? We're not too dark. The future is optimistic. Burnham said so. Now shut up and watch this scene of a man having his eye gouged out."

And it's now starting to cross a line for me where Burnham is sounding less like a patriot and more like the member of a cult.

Really, the big flaw in the ending scene in the Epcot office was that it shouldn't have happened until several episodes in. They needed to first establish the galaxy has gone down the pan since the fall so that we can feel cathartic about raising a flag of hope. As it stands, rebuilding the Federation is the solution looking for an as yet unseen problem.

And I don't much care for the characterisation of Burnham as someone whose first instinct upon entering a new world, is to try to reshape it to something familiar to her. Feels rather arrogant, even a bit imperialist.
Booming
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 5:59am (UTC -5)
@Peremonse
"There are a couple Federation ships within Sahil's *scanning* range, not necessarily within practical travel range."
His scanning range is 600 light years which means him at the center and 300 light years in any direction. If Ships even after 900 years from TNG times only achieve warp 9 than that means these two ships are 72,25 days away at the most. It is also pretty odd that his scanner shows the entire galaxy when he can only scan a very small fraction of it (0.5%) but it looks coooooooool. :D
Mal
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 6:23am (UTC -5)
Thanks @Booming! Right back at you!

https://youtu.be/yIQN4t5zZ74
Booming
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 7:33am (UTC -5)
It is amusing that people still defend this as Star Trek even though there is nothing left of Roddenberry's utopian future in which humanity had made it. ST:Picard showed that this utopia wasn't real anyway and now it is gone for good and replaced by a dystopia. Now it is a few ships and a guy who was plucked right out of Futurama who was apparently so unimportant that even the ships that are a few weeks away don't bother to visit him.

Oh and by the way nobody in Starfleet thought that it might be a good idea to get a few spore ships up and running?! They were willing to commit genocide but the great space fungus must not be disturbed even if it means the end of the Federation.

The dumbest of it all is that the galactic civilization did not switch to other warp drives like the Romulan one.

It is now Star Wars without the Empire. Book has some kind of force power already. Maybe that was the goal from the beginning turning this into Star Wars, which is financially more successful.

So yeah here is to the losers (star trek + fans of smart scif fi).
Bless then all!

Let the Burn continue
CBS posted a sneakpeak of the midseason finale.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZeZyesRwLY&ab_channel=ShockFactor
SlackerInc
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 10:18am (UTC -5)
@Peremensoe
"Every Trek series exists within a multiverse. I have contended for years that this logically means that Trek time-travel has never been 'single-timeline,' even when it works out to be perceived that way by the characters."

I forgot about the 2009 movie and the subsequent "Kelvin timeline". But that's just a glaring inconsistency IMO. In "City on the Edge of Forever", for example, the Enterprise is gone until they go back to fix the change McCoy made. At Memory Alpha, they have a list of "alternate timelines", but other than Kelvin, every single example states that the timeline was "negated when ________" (some variation on going back in time and undoing the damage). In "Trials and Tribble-ations", Sisko assures the time cops that he didn't change anything significant, as he didn't notice anything being different when they returned. They object that that's only "as far as you know" or something like that, meaning that maybe it was too subtle or impacted something far enough away from him that he wasn't aware of how it was before the time travel.

My issues with single-timeline time travel (meaning, to clarify the idea, any time travel that allows you to return to the time you started from and observe any changes you made, but then to go back again and undo changes) are manyfold, although I'm usually able to set them aside and "just go with it". But I believe if we really followed through with the ramifications, you couldn't go back to any time before someone was conceived (or at least more than a very short time before they were conceived) and not cause them to have never been born. Even if all you did was go and take a breath or two in a deserted area. The changes would ripple outward at the speed of light and the "butterfly effect" would take care of the rest. Sure, someone who is essentially a sibling might be born at around the same time, but roughly 50 percent of their genes would be different and they would therefore look different and have a different life.
Troy G
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 10:25am (UTC -5)
One Star

— for a fight scene that went on far too long (Does everyone know how to fight?)
—for 21st Century -sounding dialogue from characters 1,000 years in the future.
—For the ridiculous idea of a caretaker just sitting at a desk, waiting
—for the awful truth-powder scene.
—for “Don’t tell me I don’t want to know.”
—for the raffish Book, the character we didn’t know we needed. I hope this is the last episode he appears
—for too much Michael Burnham, way too much. I hope this is the last episode she appears

We now have a universe where the writers can do whatever they want, free of the Star Trek canon. And we get this unimaginative mess. For those still defending Discovery, ask yourself: if this was not a Star Trek show, would you be watching? Would you be entertained?
Warren
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 11:08am (UTC -5)
Jammer, I’m waiting for all parts of this episode to come out before I watch it. Are you, too?
Yanks
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 11:15am (UTC -5)
@ Hedgefundie

"If there are still other Federation starships in existence and within range, why did it take 40 years for the guy to get commissioned??"

He didn't say "Star Ships". I believe he said "Federation ships". They could be freighters.
OverOcean
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 11:58am (UTC -5)
Technically and visually great, and enjoyed the actors. "The Burn" just makes me think of STNG "Force of Nature" warp engines destroying subspace, which does not fill me with enthusiasm. You're telling me that scavengers haven't retrieved every bit of metal around all these places in a century? And Book's ship can just take off after that crash?

The end salvaged a barely mediocre origin story. I like the series but this is low on season premieres for me.
Matthew Martin
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 12:01pm (UTC -5)
My problem---admittedly, after only one episode---is that the fundamental problem I have with the show hasn't improved: It's still just dumb schlock. TNG turned the corner because the writing improved. Michael Pillar became the showrunner and said: "This show is about our characters. Every plot is about how it relates to what our characters are going through that week." That internal focus on the half-dozen characters at the heart of the show is what turned so many good "sci-fi ideas" into great "Star Trek episodes."

Discovery hasn't done that. Instead, they're trying to fix the show's fundamental problems by putting band-aids on the bleeding gashes.

Going to the future doesn't change the writing. Adding another side-character doesn't change the writing. Splitting up the crew doesn't change the writing. If anything, the changes that began in season three are only going to exacerbate the core problems I have with the show. Going to the future is a catch-22 problem that will haunt the show from here on out (or until the writers change their minds again and take them back to the past)...

Moving the show to the future is very different from the time jump done in TNG. That was a two-generation leap. Dr. McCoy was in the first episode for crying out loud. Spock showed up for a big two-parter. This isn't a couple generations; Discovery has jumped forward over seven-hundred years. TNG's small jump meant they were able to reset a lot of TOS norms and show off some new tech without everything looking too different.

Discovery's third season is so far ahead in the future, the show is stuck in a catch-22...

Everything is either SO advanced that nothing looks or feels like Star Trek. Do that, and you might as well be a different sci-fi franchise.

OR

Everything is still more or less the Star Trek tech as we've known it, but for a few cosmetic changes, in which case the time jump is pointless.

Discovery seems to be hoping to try a third option: The setting might as well be a different sci-fi universe, but the tech isn't all that different from what we're used to in the old shows. How can that be? Well they're explaining it away by saying there was a galactic-wide apocalyptic event. So that's what Star Trek is now: Mad Max in space. And with that comes the big revelation in episode one: The Federation is basically gone.

And there it is, the evidence I need to know that nuTrek has not learned it's lesson about what makes Star Trek (when done right) so special:

The fundamental notion of Star Trek is that the future is bright. Its aspirational. That's the point. Take that away and you're left with a ship without a rudder. That's why these new shows all feel so aimless. Their cynical, and when they're not cyncial their confused about why they're supposed to be optimistic. It's like building a house without a foundation. You can raise the walls and put a roof on top; from a distance it looks like a house, but all it takes is a stiff breeze and the whole thing collapses.
Yanks
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 12:03pm (UTC -5)
SlackerInc

"Of course, we also have to admit that any single-timeline time travel story is fundamentally bogus. Which indicts every Trek series."

SlackerInc
Every Trek series exists within a multiverse. I have contended for years that this logically means that Trek time-travel has never been "single-timeline," even when it works out to be perceived that way by the characters.

Why? It was never bogus until Orci said "you have your DVD's" when confronted about THE timeline before the ST2009 movie can out. Star Trek had ALWAYS been about one single timeline. We've see implied implications of what could or would happen in the future a gazillion times! Why have time cops or the Temporal Cold War if an incursion won't mess up THE timeline? What about Annorax?

@Trent

"This episode mentions that "time travel is now outlawed", but how do you outlaw time-travelers from the past? Those Federation Time Ships in "Enterprise" and "Voyager" can go anywhere, see everything, and so return to their times with this information and so fix things like the Burn from happening."

I had similar thoughts. Hell, Kirk and Spock just sling shotted (if that's a word ... lol) around the sun to time travel... unless the extreme shortage of dilithium or the "burn" somehow makes this enforcible in the future. ???? I don't know. Hopefully we will get some clarity here.
Matthew Martin
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 12:12pm (UTC -5)
Michael remains a frustrating protagonist. She wins every fight, solves every problem, knows every detail, convinces every skeptic. It’s all so tiresome and boring.
Matthew Martin
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 12:13pm (UTC -5)
This isn’t Star Trek, but it’s not even good “generic” sci-fi either. It reminds of a 1950s sci-fi pulp novel: It’s cheesy, with little story, nothing but action, a random monster attack, etc. All it needs is needless cleavage and a $0.99 price sticker on the cover.
CaptainMercer
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 1:12pm (UTC -5)
Hated it
Except for one episode, "New Eden" I've never felt a desire to watch a Disco episode more than once. I'm not sure if they implied this but I would not be surprised if they implied or will imply that the mycelial network was a kind of life form.. and my guess is that we will lean that all of dilithium is some kind of collective lifeform and that's why it all was destroyed simultaneously.. but I know why it was really called "the burn".. it's because I'm just burned out on this kind of Star Trek.. with these sloppily conceived, mind-numbing "the stakes are everything" kind of stories that don't have good resolutions.. and for the first two seasons they cranked the volume up to eleven next to what Star Trek always was.. with no idea about levity or irony, or real humanity even. When something is both preposterous yet so self-serious, it will usually mean the storytelling will suck. This episode was one where nothing happened, except for a lot of sound, fury, fighting, crying, screaming, movement, proselytizing, and overstatement.. and it was impossible to like characters or be intrigued by what was new. I remember when DS9 went to war time show - one that was not an alternate timeline.. and it led it off with episodes like "Time to Stand" and "Rocks and Shoals".. episodes that still played close attention to the humanity of it all, the consequences, and also just plain good nuts and bolts filmmaking.. where the stakes or gravity of each scene is plain and easy to spot, and yet the viewer can also think about the larger picture. They were master painters, master storytellers, knowing how to draw the viewer in. Kurtsman is a hack.. he is NOT a master storyteller. He just throws huge stakes at the wall and hope it sticks.. and then the next season he will try more huge stakes. I predict Season 3 will be "the whole universe is collapsing and only Michael Burnham can save the day"

I bet you that they will state the mycelial network is a lifeform.. an then they will state this season that dialithium is conscious and is in fact a single entity.. and that they are mates.. I have no doubt.
CaptainMercer
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 1:16pm (UTC -5)
I think this is a filler episode (hard to believe because it's the first episode of the season).
Unfortunately, Kurtzman and his team have no idea how to approach a "filler" episode. It's not like he doesn't have anyone to look to. Season 2 opener of the Orville was "filler" but it also got us caught up on the most important aspect of the show: the relationships. It seemed very much grounded of that show and its themes.. and it had some levity (does Discovery HAVE any levity or sense of irony).. no. Even Favreau puts "meaningful" filler in the Mandalorian.. the second episode where he deals with jawa..was a side quest to be sure but we learn a LOT about the Mandalorian himself .. and man I'm thankful that episode shows that the series had a sense of whimsy. I can't believe I like anything from Disney Star Wars but if it works it works
skye francis-maidstone
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 6:58pm (UTC -5)
@CaptainMercer that's actually the only episode I've ever rewatched. Feels like ToS a little and evoked a little actual emotion in me. Whereas the rest of the series leaves me cold while looking pretty - it's rarely boring at least. Just no reason to watch again.

Here we are in episode 1 of season 3 with many comments about how it isn't Star Trek. Didn't we do this already in season 1 and 2 (and PIC and even ENT and *gasp* DS9)?

Harping on about Gene's vision isn't really valid since he didn't agree with many parts of TNG and certainly would have hated DS9 while many consider that to be the best trek or 2nd best at least.

It Star Trek. I don't like it personally but it diverting enough to keep me watching. Not liking it doesn't make it not Trek. I don't particularly enjoy ENT or VOY that much but my dislike doesn't make them not trek.

Anyway this is a really tired topic. Looking forward to Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Hopefully that will be Star Trek *snort*
Booming
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 7:38pm (UTC -5)
@skye
"Here we are in episode 1 of season 3 with many comments about how it isn't Star Trek. Didn't we do this already in season 1 and 2 (and PIC and even ENT and *gasp* DS9)?"
That is because every new season of NuTrek moves further away from Star Trek. A show about a utopian society, an evolved humanity where rough interpersonal conflicts don't exist and how these people deal with the galaxy. In TNG they even had people who checked on the science so that the stuff was not just techmagic but grounded in theory.

I would say that the first two seasons of Discovery could still be called Star Trek, dumb and badly written as they were. ST:Picard was the first show that was basically not Star Trek anymore. The society that is presented to us is no longer evolved or utopian. People on earth, even famous journalists are openly racist on TV. There is classism, poverty, xenophobia on earth. If I remember correctly then the CBS team said that what we saw on TNG or TOS was just one side of the coin, now they are showing us the other side. The people on TNG, TOS or probably DS9 were just upper class do gooders who had their funny adventures while the rest of humanity was working shitty jobs and for the replicated food to change at least sometimes. It is more like our society now.

Discovery season 3 just goes a step further. Now there is no evolved humanity anymore, no Federation.
The utopia is dead. Nothing that was Star Trek is left. It is now a pretty dumb action show + references. I think that is what most people think makes up the identity of something, references. Add a little Trek music here, a little Riker there and people will call it Star Trek.

What is Star Trek in your opinion?
Dave in MN
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
Did Ed Wood write and direct this?

I am stunned by the level of cinematic ineptitude displayed in this episode.

It starts by creating artifical drama by having her not keep her Red Angel suit. She has it self-destruct instead?! WTF? Nothing in this episode had to happen.

There are needless badly-choreographed fight scenes for the sake of having them, I guess? Why is the Burnham character iwritten to be so rude and condescending?

The actress who plays her tries, but her skill-set is sadly limited and the bad scripting does her no favors. I get community theater vibes watching her performance.

I know it can't be the intent, but Michael's freakout after sending the Red Angel gear made me laugh hard. Girl, you sent your only method of communication away and now you're upset?! Get it together.

The drugged out interrogation scene? Some writer actually thought Trainspotting and Cheech & Chong would be good reference points to base a pivotal sequence. They should be fired. This scene made me recoil in embarrassment for everyone involved in the creation of this show.

Isn't there anyone amongst the 2 dozen producers that saw the "dailies" for this (during shooting) and realized this was unworthy of being aired? The director and main actress failed by not realizing how cheesy and soap-opera-y the acting is ... well, everyone failed. Not just them.

About the only positive thing I can say about the cringier sequences is that SMG's theatrical overacting is firmly rooted in the 1960's Shatner Method.

Yeah, I could bitch about the galactic anti-dilithium magic or the fact the writers have rendered everything in the previous series as pointless because the Federation is gone now ... but the problem here is even more basic.

Much of this episode is just BAD filmmaking on every level: direction, writing, effects, scoring, acting, etc, etc.

I'm glad STD is behind a paywall, at least that mitigates some of the damage this does to the long-term viability of the franchise.
Dave in MN
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 8:34pm (UTC -5)
Almost forgot, I'll give this 2 stars for Book and his cat and then subtract a half star for naming a new character "Book".

1.5 stars
Peremensoe
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 8:40pm (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc

My argument there predates the Kelvin movies. I think Memory Alpha's interpretation makes an unnecessary and misleading distinction between "timelines" and "universes."

The series all have episodes with apparently *persistent* alternate realities. The most-seen version, "the" Mirror Universe (although it could be many iterations) wasn't distinguished by "our" characters' actions, and doesn't evaporate when they leave it. It has a common ancestry with "the" Prime timeline, but it's not dependent on it to keep existing. It has its own reality, and in fact there's no more reason to think of it as a secondary branch or version of Prime, than the other way round. They're just two of the countless possible threads of the multiverse of possibilities. We get glimpses of others in various other episodes. Once they exist, each of them, like Prime and MU, seems as real, as internally-consistent, and as persistent as any other.

I don't see any reason why the threads that were distinguished by time-travel incursions should not have as much reality, as much inertial existence, after our heroes depart, as any other. And it just clears away all kinds of problems if you assume that every act of time travel -- a 'vertical' move in a column of space-time -- is also necessarily a 'horizontal' jump to another thread, branching anew if necessary.

There are real-world physicists who think that this is theoretically possible! -- unlike the more old-fashioned idea of a single thread that can be revisited and revised.
Peremensoe
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
@Booming

Until we see otherwise, it seems logical to understand that the practical speed limit for most travelers is now much, much less than warp 9.
Dave in MN
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 9:12pm (UTC -5)
I know dilithium crystals is Hollywood Handwavium to explain how an anti-matter reactors would function, but within the framework of Star Trek, there's nothing mystical about dilithium.

Dilithium is used because it is innately capable of facilitating the power needed to create warp fields. Within the lore of the show, this is empirically demonstrable.

So.....

..... why would dilithium just stop working galaxy-wide? Do the writers really think it's plausible that the laws of physics changed everywhere simultaneously?

But I guess we're supposed to just accept Book's Force powers ... so why not, right? Science is magic, after all.

Let's be real, there's no science in this fiction. This is overcooked fantasy draped in Trek cosplay.
Tommy D.
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 10:03pm (UTC -5)
If I can accept Q, Trelane, Kevin Uxbridge, Pah-Wraiths etc... I can accept just about any character in Trek having unusual abilities.
SlackerInc
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
@Peremensoe

Your framework is fundamentally incompatible with what we were shown in "City on the Edge of Forever". Bones goes ranting and raving into the time portal, and instantly for everyone else there on the planet, they can no longer contact Enterprise because it's not up there in orbit anymore.
CaptainMercer
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
@skye
"New Eden" (despite Michael chiming in and acting like science is a religion) really DID evoke the feeling of Star Trek .. it's hard to articulate, save to say that it "felt' like Star Trek, TOS as you said
John
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 10:25pm (UTC -5)
It's hard to say whether our expectations are all wrong for anticipating anything that would resemble science fiction. As far as I'm aware, the two current writers of the show only have experience in writing fantasy, horror and adventure stories.

The single interesting part of the episode came in the last few minutes. Potentially, there could be a story there for rebuilding the Federation. Convincing now independent worlds that it would be in their interests to unify, change their economies, change their relations with other races. So they can come up with some good ideas. But to work, that storyline would require writing on the level and scale of Asimov's Foundation, of Babylon 5. We need to be shown the larger picture, the fate of entire worlds, of fleets, of galactic empires. That can be done with character-based emotional writing and not in an impersonal way, but the gravitas of what Burnham is presented with calls for more Shakespeare, less Joss Whedon. Based on what we've seen of Discovery, with these writers i'm expecting more fistfights, laser gun chases and magical sea monsters.
4Q2
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 10:28pm (UTC -5)
Fuck this shit.
Patrick
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 2:25am (UTC -5)
After watching only a few episodes of season 1 before giving up and skipping the rest... I thought let's see what's going on in season 3. Some 'fun' pickings...

-Emotional overacting and 360 degrees character turns
-The burn. It just happened. Don't ask questions. It's magic. Help the dilithium is melting because it's expiry date.
-A Giant snail that's bulletproof because noone shoots. Greenpeace in space.
-We destroyed time travel equipment so the whole universe can't do it anymore.
-Star Wars shooting gallery
-Dramatic stand offs
-Not really going anywhere (a problem with many serial story arc series), no intro, problem, solution, end.
-What are the odds of exiting a wormhole only to hit a ship and crash land on a class A planet very nearby
-Ironman in space
-Too much gizzmoo. Bling bling holograms
-Surprised things have changed in 1000 years? What NO Roman Empire?!

Ok, it could be silly space adventure fun. Indiana Jones in space. But it's just not Star Trek.

Signing off.
Patrick
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 2:42am (UTC -5)
ps. portable transporters anywhere to anywhere? How does that work giving its gigantic power needs and needs really fine sensors/scanners/de-constructors. But you still have to guess and hope where you end up apparently and a dramatic 30 second charging time. Uhuh. Whatever they use for power, can use it to power star ships too. Given the old style transporter pad to anywhere already gives enough story problems... (its known limitations were already thrown out of the window in one of those nutrek movies without giving any thought to consequences). Alas, magic fantasy.
Ben
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 3:58am (UTC -5)
I’ve been a long time reader of Jammer’s Reviews but this is the first time I’ve commented.

I think the main difference between “Old Trek” - by which I mainly mean TOS, TNG, DS9, because they are my favourites - and Discovery is that one simply shows us an optimistic vision of the future, and the other tells about one (almost preaches in fact) but shows us something else. Old Trek was an inherently optimistic vision of the future because it showed us diverse crews tackling diverse problems that usually raised an interesting and often quite complex scientific, philosophic or sociological issue in any one episode. The issue that was under examination could be anything from the nature of time or war to gender or religion and usually an approach that favoured tolerance or inquisitiveness or logic etc would win out. There was some violence, such as Kirk’s punch ups or DS9’s examination of conflict, but this was never the preferred route for our protagonists. There wasn’t much heavy emoting from the main characters, especially in TNG time-period episodes. TOS also had something interesting to say about friendship with the relationship between Kirk, Spock and McCoy by showing us how this trio got along.

Discovery, unlike Old Trek, doesn’t really practice what it preaches. It usually has lots of action but then wants its viewers to think that it is optimistic because our protagonists talk passionately about simplistic topics such as “hope” and “friendship”. (and not much else, unlike Old Trek, which examined a plethora of different issues). Each episode has a superficial gloss of optimism that seems tacked on and very forced and often quite jarring with the rest of what you’ve just watched. Take the first episode of season 3, where Burnham and Book disintegrate quite a few “baddies” while swapping quips, only for Burnham to then emote about hope at the end of the episode and Book to reveal himself to be an ardent conservationist (who I thought wanted to protect life!). This for me is my biggest problem with Discovery: any message Is often simple and not particularly thoughtful, very forced and often clashes with the action-oriented approach to problem-solving that the rest of the episode has focused on.
Tom
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 4:35am (UTC -5)
About Discovery not practicing what it preaches, I have thought about this too.

You know what would be clever writing? If Burnham, rather than being told she is the "hope" of restoring the Federation whilst running around punching people in the face, actually showed us and everyone else why the Federation is important. The ongoing conflict with Book was a great opportunity to do just that, with Burnham using diplomacy and negotiation skills that Starfleet presumably taught her, to convince Book they were on the same side. What do we get instead? Martial arts superhero fighting where she subdues him by force and he ends up at gunpoint. And that's why her tears and pathos over the Federation's demise come across as unconvincing and rather manipulative. She might talk about Federation ideals, but does she live by them? Does anyone?
Mark
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 9:18am (UTC -5)
Overall, I liked this episode.

The good:
- I loved the bird alarm clock, I want one.
- Book and I think he will definitely add value to the series.
- The new hope for the Federation.
- Overall story theme, l liked it.

The bad:
- A Lurian as a bad guy. Morn would be disappointed.
- The fight scenes with Michael and Book. Kind of bizarre and not needed.
- The weapons. They sure shot them a lot but never hit anything. I would assume aiming technology would have been solved 1000 years into the future.
- No crew? Where is Suru, Tilly and the gang? This was my biggest disappointment of the show. I am sure that will be explained next week but I have been wanting to see them back.

3 stars for me.
Chrome
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 9:33am (UTC -5)
@skye

I'm in the same boat as you; I liked PIcard (and to a lesser extent Lower Decks) but DIS just feels like a mess. Every time we get comfortable with a crew and setting, the show "takes a left" and becomes something completely different with the only familiar part being that Michael Burnham is this beyond-real-Sci-Fi-superheroine.

The whole concept of going to the year circa 3300 with the Federation now defunct *could* be great. It could've been like "Prelude to Foundation" where we saw the Galactic Empire as the peak of human achievement but we are shown dangerous cracks in the facade. What the Federation did wrong or took for granted could have been an interesting deconstruction of the Star Trek universe. But it doesn't seem like that's where there going.

This is going to be Star Wars but the rebels are going to be the Federation and there's going to be some big bad destroying the galactic environment and only Burnham can find a solution that brokers peace.
Yanks
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 9:53am (UTC -5)
Ben, welcome. Great post!

This pretty much sums it up for me:

Old Trek: Build a social commentary into the story.

New Trek: Build a story around a social commentary.
Chrome
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 10:08am (UTC -5)
@Yanks

To be fair, Lower Decks more or less follows the formula of "Old Trek". The characters tackle a problem of the week as a crew and find out a new truth about themselves and the human condition.
Yanks
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 10:29am (UTC -5)
@ Chrome

"To be fair, Lower Decks more or less follows the formula of "Old Trek". The characters tackle a problem of the week as a crew and find out a new truth about themselves and the human condition."

Yeah, but I don't view STLD's as regular trek. I loved it for what it was but you can't compare it to regular TV trek.
Chrome
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 10:49am (UTC -5)
Yanks wrote:

"I loved [Lower Decks] for what it was but you can't compare it to regular TV trek."

Didn't you just compare the first seasons of all Trek in the Lower Decks section? :-)

But yes, I see your point that the serialized nature of the new live actions lends itself to building a whole season around one big social issue. LD is more like the older shows because its episodic and familiar.
Yanks
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 11:16am (UTC -5)
Chrome,

I did, because it is a Star Trek first season, but I've said many times you really can't compair it to deeper episodic or serialized trek - I just don't think its a fair comparison.

Enterprise has some of the same issues with "telling us the moral implications" or "telling us the ramifications" for this or that. Especially WRT to Archer and his "mandatory" presence in order for there to be any federation, etc. Show me through the story, don't tell me.
Z
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 12:00pm (UTC -5)
Torn with this episode and new season's setting, but optimistic as the season will play out. I can't help but feel jumping to 3000s allows the inept writers/producers to whim their own scifi series into existence without offending Trek canon (as they did in S1/S2). Guess this comes down to me still being bitter from S1 & S2 and viewing this new setting/time as an emergency eject button.

A strong indication of that to me will be how quick burnham reunites with the Discovery crew. Imo the strongest part of the last two seasons was Discovery (the ship), Pike, and Saru. Burnham on a stand alone mission for a majority of this season is not what I am hoping for. Burnham is not an interesting story or character, unfortunately I don't think they can recover from this. I am hoping for a much more heavy Saru/deck crew focus, especially if they are not to reunite with Burnham until mid season.

I suspect part 2 will be from Discovery's point of view after coming through the worm hole. I really think this is an opportunity to build the deck crews relationship and reveal Saru to be the true leader of this series, before reuniting with Burnham. Also, maybe unpopular opinion but I would not mind if Tilly just did not appear in this series without explanation.
XanderW
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 12:29pm (UTC -5)
I guess we can officially swap 'science fiction' with 'fantasy' on our list of genres to which to classify Star Trek (not that the science aspect was even taken (semi-) seriously in the past 20 years of Trek...).

Also, remember the time when losing or, worse, having to take just a _single_ live was considered a tragedy? Something to be avoided at all costs? Remember how devastated the captains and crew were when the death toll of some accident/attack/space phenomena was reported? Not with Discovery... (or Picard, or any NuTrek for that matter).

Writing facepalm of the year goes to the guy who just blasted through about a dozen men without a moment's thought and then proclaiming that he is the only good guy in his whole family of MURDERERS... Sure buddy... Same holds for our torchbearer of Starfleet's values by the way...

Once again I fell into the trap of thinking this show embodies anything I hold dear of pre 2009 Trek. Well, for the people who like this space fantasy shooter I say; enjoy yourselves. I'm gonna give this show a wide berth and go watch some Trek I can actually enjoy, in which the death of a single individual is more than simply a blink-or-you-miss-it special effect.
Brian
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 1:13pm (UTC -5)
the entire premise of the season doesn't make sense (surprise surprise).
As someone already put very succinctly, dilithium is simply a material (a crystal lattice) in the Trek universe that has physical properties that help anti-matter reactions proceed in an orderly fashion instead of blowing up everything.
Having it just "go boom" makes no sense unless they are invoking Q or something.
It just doesn't do that, and cannot do that within the lore.
It's the ultimate hand-waving solution allowing the show to hit the reset button, but they didn't think it through.
That tells you everything you need to know about these writers and showrunners.
Glom
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
Whether Netflix timing of recommendations continues to get me to watch remains to be seen (I won't be seeking it out but I might say WTH if when opening up Netflix it is the banner recommendation), but if I don't there is a potential story direction that will get me to return.

Burnham's first instinct upon arriving in a new world is to try to reshape it to her liking. What would be interesting is if the story evolves such that Burnham learns that trying to restore the past is not the answer. Think The Wind Waker. Building a new future is the way, not trying to recapture a bygone age. After all, isn't atavistic chauvinism at the heart of Trumpism? Isn't Burnham being just like the right wing populists in the way that the King was being like Ganondorf?

If I hear that's where they went, they'll have my attention. We shall see.
MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 5:28pm (UTC -5)
This isn't related to Star Trek or this episode at all but I guess I've been reading too many online posts lately because all I keep thinking is 'will you please just try using a spellchecker' -_-

I'm in a bad mood, pardon me
Yanks
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 6:38pm (UTC -5)
@Brian

"the entire premise of the season doesn't make sense (surprise surprise).
As someone already put very succinctly, dilithium is simply a material (a crystal lattice) in the Trek universe that has physical properties that help anti-matter reactions proceed in an orderly fashion instead of blowing up everything.
Having it just "go boom" makes no sense unless they are invoking Q or something."

Unless some sort or Omega Particle thingy... That's my best guess anyways.

@Glom,

"Burnham's first instinct upon arriving in a new world is to try to reshape it to her liking."

How? All she's done it try to contact Discovery.
Mal
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
Hi @Ben, so glad you decided to comment after so long :-)

Like @Tom, your post made me think about whether Discovery’s crew practices what Star Trek preaches. Obviously the entire premise of the Series - the Vulcan Hello - is that Michael Burnham violated Federation policy (Georgiou: “Starfleet doesn’t fire first”), thus precipitating a war with the Klingons that comes very close to wiping out of the Federation.

There is a scene near the end of the war, when Admiral Cornwall (“Kat”) brings the crew to Starbase 1, and the station’s entire population has been slaughtered and the Klingons have painted a crest on its hull. You can feel how close the Federation, just 90-odd years old at that point, is to a demise.

But I want to treat Season 3, Episode 1 on its own terms. Does Burnham here live up to Federation ideals in her actions (not just pretty words)? After all, she’s been through a lot since the show began. Its not like the Federation condoned her “Vulcan Hello”. They put her in jail and threw away the key.

Which brings me to the biggest problem with this set up. Why would Burnham be at all surprised that the Federation does not exist 1,000 years in the future? Here’s the scene:

Book: You believe in ghosts.
Burnham: What does that mean?
Book: That badge on your shirt. Seems anytime you see a guy with one of those badges - getting themselves all worked up about some Federation - the old days. True believers. Can’t handle that its gone now.
Burnham: The Federation is gone???? [SOARING MUSIC] That’s impossible!!! [OMINOUS MUSIC]

WTF?!

It’s a thousand years in the future. As @SlackerInc says, "she cannot conceive of its failing to last over a thousand years? C’mon, she must have studied history.”

At the end of Discovery Season 2, the Federation is only 90-odd years old. It is a very poor writing choice to show Burnham as surprised. TPTB are portraying her as a moron. No rational (logical?!) person would think the Federation would have lasted 1,000 years into the future. Can you think of any Starfleet officer on any of the shows (TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT), who would be surprised to learn that the Federation not longer exists 1,000 years in the future? No. Not even Julian Bashir or Harry Kim were ever that naive.

The SOARING MUSIC only adds to the ridiculousness of the EMOTING. I mean I get it, if some guy from a thousand years ago popped up today and found out that the Ottoman Empire didn’t exist anymore, I can see him being a little disoriented. But it is a freaking thousand years. Why and how could you ever logically expect it to still exist.

As @Ubik says, even someone with a passing knowledge of scifi like Asimov’s Foundation series, or the incredible novel Canticle for Leibowitz ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Canticle_for_Leibowitz ), is deeply familiar with how short lived civilisations are in the history of man.

Or Andromeda.

One thing that made Andromeda so interesting is that humans had nothing to do with the first few thousand years of the Systems Commonwealth. It had been forged several millennia earlier by the Vedrans, and the Vedran Princess still ruled over it at its end.

But it seems that Michael Burnham (and I’m assuming the writers of Discovery) have zero perspective on the big picture or the long term.

But back to the episode.

One thing “good” about the violence in Season 3, @Ben (and I agree with you, that violence is so out of place in Star Trek), is that you will see that Michael tries very had to de-escalate the fight with Book at the beginning of the episode. Throughout that first fight scene, she tells Book that she is not fighting him. She only defends herself. And disarms Book. Burnham is not the aggressor.

That all changes later in the episode when Burnham keeps punching Book in the face. That is ridiculous. And completely uncalled for. I cannot imagine any character on any Star Trek show acting that way.

Even Sisko let Q punch him in the face a few times before he punched back.

Not even Belanna would act so poorly. Torres might have said “I really want to punch you in the face right now.” But even that Academy drop-out, that hot-headed half Klingon would not have kept punching Book in the face.

These people really have no idea what a Starfleet officer is all about.

The only “excuse” could be that Burnham was still under the influence of the Orion truth serum. If Kirk was drunk on Orion fairy dust, would he punch Book in the face? Again. And again. I don’t think so, but maybe? It is possible.

After another “jump” (hard to call them transports), it appears Burnham is sobering up, and she does appologize. Right before Book pulls her over a cliff.

Burhnam: I may have broken your nose earlier. I appologize.
Book: You saying that in case we die?
Burhnam: Yup.

So if Burnham was still drunk off the Orion powder, maybe that at least explains her punching. Chekov & Scotty, Harry & Paris. Yes, even Starfleet officers have been known to throw a punch or two when under the influence.

That’s a very long defence of a punch in the face.

But I think it is worth giving Discovery Season 3 the benefit of the doubt.

TPTB are trying something new. Which of course has all the baggage of what came before. And I fully expect to be deeply disappointed before the season is over. But let’s try to give Season 3 a chance.

Judge it on its own, not based on the abomination that has been DISC S2 and PIC S1. If we are lucky, those two seasons of Star Trek were the absolutely worst it will ever get.

You have to hit rock bottom before you can start climbing your way back up.

The message of this episode is very timely. The Orion happy dust may have loosened Burnham up. It may have felt good in the moment. But it did nothing to help her situation. Rather, it made Burnham betray herself and her ideals.

At the top of the hour, Burnham is broken from her fall. She says “Stand Up.” Visibly in pain, she stands up. She says “Walk.” And she starts moving forward.

At the end of the hour, Aditya Sahil tells Burnham,

Aditya Sahil: I watched this office everyday, as I have, for 40 years. Believing.

Even in the darkest hour, Aditya Sahil went through the motions. Every single day. Because his Flag still stood for everything he believed in.

Doing what you have to even when there seems no point. That is who a Starfleet officer is. I’d say Aditya Sahil earned his commission. And maybe Season 3 has earned a chance to try.
aylmiao
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 10:38pm (UTC -5)
this has to be one of the worst things I have ever, ever seen. I couldn't get through half an ep of Pickle Trek, I couldn't get through 30 minutes of this. Fuck Kurtzman. At least we're far away from TOS/TNG era so these writers can shit up whatever they want now and it's not ruining the canon.
Booming
Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 5:22am (UTC -5)
@Mal
" I mean I get it, if some guy from a thousand years ago popped up today and found out that the Ottoman Empire didn’t exist anymore, I can see him being a little disoriented."
Certainly, considering the Ottoman Empire didn't exist 1000 years ago. :)
The (Eastern) Roman Empire was at it's last peak at that time because of the Macedonian Restoration.

"But it is a freaking thousand years. Why and how could you ever logically expect it to still exist."
The Roman Empire (including the the Republic) lasted for almost 2000 years and was the most powerful state in the region for 1200 of those, if you include the Holy Roman Empire than you can add a few more centuries. China exists for more than 2000 years and counting, sure it broke up a few times but even then the smaller states saw themselves as China trying to unify it again which one of them eventually did.

I get your sentiment though. Starfleet officers were always portrayed as reasonable/rational. Being overwhelmed by the news like her is just stupid emotional button pushing NuTrek is so famous for.

"But I think it is worth giving Discovery Season 3 the benefit of the doubt"
Why?? At some point CBS noticed that the Transformers movies made more money than the TNG movies so they hired the guy who wrote the Transformers movies aka Kurtzman. You don't hire the movie garbage man to create a five star menu, you hire him for garbage. I watch this not as Star Trek, I watch it like an ongoing car crash, how something I sometimes valued quite a bit is slowly disintegrated by our capitalistic overlords. I'm also amused by people defending this. Even at his lowest 25% of the American electorate supported Nixon. There are always people defending something no matter what.

"Even in the darkest hour, Aditya Sahil went through the motions. Every single day. Because his Flag still stood for everything he believed in."
That guy is actually the dumbest part. Instead of doing something he was literally just waiting for a miracle to happen. A starfleet officer should be out there helping, not sitting behind a desk doing absolutely nothing because his daddy told him to.

I'm really interested were this will go.

Get yourself some ethanol and enjoy the ride.
John
Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 6:16am (UTC -5)
It's more the manner in which Burnham reacts I found unrealistic. She emotionally breaks down when she's told the Federation is gone. But so what? If someone told a time traveler from the 1920s that the League of Nations didn't exist anymore, and they started bawling, they would look pretty foolish when subsequently told "...it's been replaced by the similar and mostly improved UN". At the very least you'd want to find a little more about the situation, wouldn't you?

It's the same feeling I had with ST: Picard's "fucking hubris" admiral and "I like science" Spock. Substituting rational explanations with drama in the belief that viewers are either no longer intellectually capable or are uninterested in the nerdy stuff.
Mal
Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 6:45am (UTC -5)
@John, lol! Love it!

Have you ever had your friends tells you - oh so proudly - how brilliant their kids are because they are amazing at using the iPad? I do everything I can to not laugh, cause you really should not make fun of your friends for being impressed with their kids' stupid shit.

Star Trek: Discovery strikes me as a future where all these people have super fancy 23rd century versions of iPad-like technology that allows people to do amazing things, even if they are only of average intelligence. That's why they are so fucking impressed with the power of math, people.

And I think that makes sense. Lorca was from the mirror universe. He wasn't looking for the best and the brightest. Quite the opposite. Anyone of decent intelligence might have seen through him. Discovered his secret. Just as Admiral Kat did the first time she visited the ship.

Nope, Lorca wanted cowards (ganglianic Saru), convicts (Michael), moral monsters Lieutenant Landry (I think someone once said that Rekha Sharma had the dubious distinction of playing someone awful in both universes. When you add in nBSG, you start to wonder about the actress herself...), naifs (the whole lot of the rest of the clueless bridge officers), and generally Lorca wanted total non-starfleet types (Stamets, Mr. "I used to do real research before Lorca and the war").

Is it any wonder that this motley crew is so ridiculously ill suited to the job. Lorca chose them. Their mediocrity is by design!

Data would take one look at these morons and request a transfer. Julian would be out of there faster than you can say preganglionic fibers. Harry Kim's mom would be so disappointed if this was the best posting he could get.

Friends don't let friends serve on Discovery.

That's what made the first episode pretty decent. The crew was nowhere to be seen. More like this, please.
zanki
Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 8:56am (UTC -5)
"Does anyone remember when we used to be explorers?"

...me neither Jean-Luc.....me neither

as a whole this is the 180 degree turn star trek has taken since JJ Trek in 2009 and by extension his minion Kurtzman Trek (except for Beyond which I thought did a sincere effort to stay true to that theme, but I digress) .

One can argue DS9 had alot of pew pew and explosions .....but DS9 did take pause from that at times and reminded us we were watching Star Trek by showing us the human (or alien) nature of war and it's consequences. If I wanted non stop gun slinging action I'd probably watch the Mandelorian. At the end of the day the premise was practically a copie paste of the premise of a New Hope except Burnam meets the smuggler before entering a city that's seems like the Mos Eisley of said planet.....
Trent
Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 4:30pm (UTC -5)
Mal said: "Lorca was from the mirror universe. He wasn't looking for the best and the brightest."

lol. Disco was Lower Decks all along.
SlackerInc
Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 4:42pm (UTC -5)
@Ben, welcome!

@Mal, great post.

Those who are saying this is all total shite: I hear you, I acknowledge your criticisms have some validity, but this season just doesn't quite rub me the wrong way THAT badly just yet (and there were significant numbers of episodes in the first two seasons that definitely did). I'm cautiously non-pessimistic as of now, but we'll see.
MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 8:03pm (UTC -5)
You know, I feel like I ought to confess something to everyone here who is railing at each new installment "not being like Star Trek" as it were; you may be surprised to learn that I felt this way about Star Trek: Voyager.

See, I'm noticing a running theme, that everyone seems to want to point to Trek 2009 as the "shark jump" point; I do not feel this way.

I started to get turned off, TV-wise, around the time Jadzia Dax was killed by Gul Dukat, and I didn't watch it when it aired on June 17, 1998... I was knee-deep in Final Fantasy VII by that point. Merely hearing about it from other fans (namely, my Dad) was enough for me to say "eh, I dunno if Star Trek is for me anymore." I think Voyager was already out, and I was kind of getting tired of Trek, Trek, Trek, Trek after Trek after Trek, here a Trek, there a Trek, UPN now is its own network, wowee zowee!!!

Every other show on UPN sucked hard. It was a transparent attempt to leverage advertising dollars away from the networks Paramount was beholden to because they thought Star Trek was so popular that people would be willing to watch their entourage of utter garbage shows, simply out of brand loyalty.

They had a fundamental misunderstanding about why Trek fans like Star Trek, in my opinion; it has good stories, that don't rely on cliches or 'easily-pandering-to-the-unwashed-masses' to get their point across. It pushes boundaries of social culture, and uses its stories to address issues which are present in our everyday lives.

In my teenage opinion, DS9 and Voyager were no longer doing that, and it took me years to realize that TNG had stopped doing it, years before it got canned.

The films "Generations" and "First Contact" were fairly good, but I felt like they made some rather questionable decisions, both in killing off James Kirk (some people were upset that he died the way he *did*, and I was upset that they felt like he should die, at all), and in introducing a "Borg Queen."

It seemed, to me, that these decisions were being made to put butts in seats, rather than to try to tell any kind of serious or impactful story.

Look, I don't really care if the phase inducers work the way Geordi said they did in Season 3, Episode 14 or whatever. I don't care if Starfleet's goals and principles remain the same from season to season, show to show. I don't care about any of that. I just wanna see a good story, about people traveling through space (as stated in the title). That's it. That's all. "Is the show any good?"

DS9 and Voyager, and the films, as they went on, began to be more about "events" that would make sure as many people watched them, and either paid the movie theater ticket price, or watched the absolutely horrendous advertising that has only gotten 10x worse as the years pass. Star Trek: Enterprise did much the same, focusing on "event plotlines" that were meant to sound good when told by word of mouth, just to hook you into watching whatever the writing room could agree to shoot this week.

I got tired of it.

Trek 2009, seemed like it would be a respite from all that. Maybe we could get back to telling stories about things, instead of having these "Event Plotlines" that seemed like transparent manipulations of word of mouth...

Then Star Trek: Into Darkness came out, and they played their cards so close to the gol-darned chest that I didn't realize until I was in the movie theater, and Benedict Cumberbatch was saying, "My name is Khan", that I'd been duped; it was another "Event Plotline" that was meant to generate word of mouth.

And that's all they seem to know how to do, anymore. "SOMETHING BIG IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN IN THE WORLD OF STAR TREK, MAKE SURE YOU TUNE IN."

Look, TV Producers, shut the fuck up.

A lot of shit, and I MEAN A LOT OF SHIT has already happened in the world of Star Trek.

I. Just. Want. To. Watch. A. Good. Show.

ST:DISCO Season 3 Ep 1 seems like it could be the building blocks of good shows. I hope this is the case.

Either you cook the stew properly, or it tastes like yesterday's socks.

WRITE. A. STORY.

Don't be stupid. Do your work.
Steve
Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 9:11pm (UTC -5)
I liked it overall. Not the biggest fan of the new series', but at least this episode seeks to expand the lore and history of the universe it takes place in. Interesting to see a post-Federation galaxy, and the action was good, and the new character (i forget his name) was interesting enough.

Also thought the technology on show was a nice step up without it being totally ridiculous like it was in Picard.
Lodged Warpedo
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 2:00am (UTC -5)
Although too Star Warsy, this episode will always hold a very special place in my heart. Having been to a few of the locations (the crater in Myvatn MB lands on, the waterfall she fights from behind, & the Blue Lagoon where she gets healed) on Heim (Heimaey = Iceland), how could it not? I’m passionate about Iceland and passionate about Star Trek, & they managed to merge them into a beautiful premiere. And the emotions during the last scene was the cherry on top!

Yet I would be remiss on Jammer’s site to not be on blast about some things: 1,000 years is way too far into the future, hitting Book’s ship is ridiculous, the bug eating the prettier bug was right out of Return of the Jedi outside Jabba’s Palace, the non-stop fighting is too gratuitous (Michael punched Book for revenge no less than 3 times!), the worm engulfing Michael was too unnecessary and silly, and now that someone mentioned Mega Man blasters, that’s all I’ll ever see. Hate the Andorian prosthetics. I could go on.

But overall even though the writing is always the most lacking of all the critical components, episode 301 of DSC will always hold a very special place in my heart. I enjoyed the acting, the cinematography, the music (especially at the end), and I have hope for a decent season. But yeah to bring this full circle, the endless blasting, violence, Book being Force sensitive, and even the title of the episode “You Are That Hope” all feel way too much like SW for my ***ST***🖖

But
Mal
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 3:37am (UTC -5)
@MidshipmanNorris, they say confession is good for the soul :)

You are by no means alone in believing that Trek died in the 90's with DS9.

I too recently wrote that

"It's been running on auto-pilot for the past 20 years."

https://www.jammersreviews.com/articles/lowerdecks.php

@ Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 12:57am

In that post I credit capitalism for zombie trek and discuss the implications of the end of the Cold War. Do check out the whole thing ;)
Latex Zebra
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 7:38am (UTC -5)
Assuming that lots of people are going to ditch this now given the out pouring of derision for the this episode.
Should make the comments section on the next episode a little less bleak. ;o)
Ubik
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 8:00am (UTC -5)
MidshipmanNorris: good post

Here's the thing: I don't particularly care whether something is "good Star Trek" or not, because as someone who loves TOS, TNG, and DS9 pretty equally, not to mention episodes as varied as Yesterday's Enterprise and Deja Q, I recognize that Star Trek can be almost anything, in terms of theme and tone. Wrath of Khan and Undiscovered Country, for example, ARE about a Big Events, and yet we would both agree they're pretty damn good Star Trek, as is TNG's The Survivors, which is about as far from a Big Event as you can get.

So, my point is this: for me, "good Star Trek" has always just been about "good writing." I have no preconceived notions about whether the story should be Big or Small, or Optimistic or Dark, or Family-Friendly or Violent, or anything like that. I just want it to be well-written, creative, compelling, intelligent, all those sorts of things, regardless of what theme, tone, or approach the writers choose to take.

With those standards, I have to say that Star Trek hasn't been "good" in about 20 years. DS9's seventh season was, of course, not its high point (that would be season 5, as Jammer says), but it was still Good Television - ambitious, intellectual, character-driven, curious about the human condition, exploratory.

Voyager and Enterprise were, on the whole, not even in the same league, in terms of writing quality, and they failed in trying to imitate their predecessors without knowing quite why those predecessors worked (I suspect network interference also had a lot to do with it). From Abrams on, Star Trek fails for just being big, noisy, mindless shit, as opposed to Voyager and Enterprise, which were earnest, well-meaning, cliched shit. But either way, it hasn't been exceptional in decades.

So that's all I'm waiting for. I don't care if it's a comedy about low-ranking officers, or a jump to the future, or a Starfleet Academy show, or a DS9 revival, or a musical - I just want Star Trek to, once again, be the best science fiction on television. And I fear that, as long as the producers are in control, as long as they care more about CBS subscriptions than about critical value, about "pleasing fans" than about "telling a good story, and to hell with the fans," that will never, ever happen.
Jason R.
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 8:44am (UTC -5)
"So, my point is this: for me, "good Star Trek" has always just been about "good writing." I have no preconceived notions about whether the story should be Big or Small, or Optimistic or Dark, or Family-Friendly or Violent, or anything like that. I just want it to be well-written, creative, compelling, intelligent, all those sorts of things, regardless of what theme, tone, or approach the writers choose to take."

I agree but only to a point. People watch Star Trek not merely because it is well written but because it is *Star Trek*.

This isn't some meaningless abstraction. Corporations pay billions of dollars for "brands" which includes the rights to call their product a certain name and tap into that good will.

Saying that you don't care what it is as long as it is "good" implies that such brands don't matter at all which is nonsense. Slap a Star Trek label on anything and some people will watch regardless of quality; that is the point of a brand!
Booming
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 9:08am (UTC -5)
Yeah while it is legitimate to just want a good story, if you say Star Trek is just good stories and space travel than that is a very broad definition. Then 2001 a space odyssey is Star Trek, BSG is Star Trek, The Expanse is Star Trek and so on.
Yanks
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 12:11pm (UTC -5)
@ MidshipmanNorris

"I. Just. Want. To. Watch. A. Good. Show.

ST:DISCO Season 3 Ep 1 seems like it could be the building blocks of good shows. I hope this is the case.

Either you cook the stew properly, or it tastes like yesterday's socks.

WRITE. A. STORY."

Yup, I'm pretty much in the same boat here. Trek is even simpler for me.

- Good folks doing the right things for the right reasons -

It can even not be great writing and I'm fine most of the time as long as they aren't shitting on something. Great writing only elevates it.
zanki
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 2:16pm (UTC -5)
'' event plot lines '' ...lol whatever that means.

As opposed to what cheesy TOS plot lines that put a smear on TNG's first two seasons and makes for laughable conversations on these same boards....
Ubik
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 3:40pm (UTC -5)
Booming said: "Yeah while it is legitimate to just want a good story, if you say Star Trek is just good stories and space travel than that is a very broad definition. Then 2001 a space odyssey is Star Trek, BSG is Star Trek, The Expanse is Star Trek and so on."

Exactly! You've just made my point for me. If the writers behind a Star Trek show write an episode of a Star Trek series that is as magnificent and compelling and intelligent and awe-inspiring as 2001: A Space Odyssey, then that would be awesome! If the Section 31 series ends up as complex and fascinating and as in-depth an exploration into galactic politics as The Expanse, that's wonderful! I would BEG for that level of quality.

And this connects to my rebuttal to what Jason R. said: yes, Star Trek is brand. A product. And THAT, my friend, is precisely why Star Trek has been mostly bad for twenty years.

TNG was almost completely different from TOS: it was amazing.
DS9 then deliberately went COMPLETELY OFF-BRAND to TNG: it was amazing.

Voyager and Enterprise then try to create a product precisely according to the specifications of the brand: mediocre, cliched, uninspiring.

And so on. As long as the show keeps trying to sell a product to a specific consumer according to brand specifications, it will continue to be mediocre. Only when the writers approach the job with the attitude of an artist, aiming to create something new, and ignoring completely what "fans want" will Star Trek, once again, be great art.
MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 5:11pm (UTC -5)
"Only when the writers approach the job with the attitude of an artist, aiming to create something new, and ignoring completely what "fans want" will Star Trek, once again, be great art. "

... "Star Trek Fans"

... Something about that sounds odd to me. Like, it feels like Star Trek has been around for such a long time, and winded its way through so many iterations and permutations of the culture surrounding it, that there may in fact be too many different types of fans, at this point, for the phrase to have any real meaning.

Perhaps, the ones with baked-in ideas about "What Star Trek is" aren't the fans themselves, but the writers who approach it?

I imagine that they have this strange, very limited and singular idea of "Who a Star Trek Fan Is" in their minds, when they write this stuff over the last 20 years.

To be honest, you can't boil that down to an archetype. Many people, of many walks of life, all over the world, for almost 60 years now, are fans of Star Trek, for varying reasons.

It would be better for a writer to say to themselves "What do I want to see on Star Trek, as a fan myself?" rather than trying to say "What do Star Trek Fans want to see?"

You aren't dealing with a homogenous group, anymore, really.
Glom
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 5:27pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks

Yes, thinking about maybe that's a bit harsh on Burnham.

It looks like the restoration of the Federation is what they're setting up, and Burnham seems happy to go along with it, so I ascribed to her an agency that probably isn't deserved. A generous interpretation could be that she wants to get in contact with her ship and she's just humouring this kook.

"Okay, Mr Takamura or whatever your name is, I'll play along. Just keep a look out for my ship."
Booming
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 6:03pm (UTC -5)
@Ubik
"And this connects to my rebuttal to what Jason R. said: yes, Star Trek is brand. A product."
Coming from the Soviet Union of Germany I don't see Star Trek as a brand. I see Star Trek as a certain number of ideas and a somewhat defined setting.

The opinion of many here seems to be that the company who owns the name is defining what Star Trek is, if CBS calls something Star Trek then that cultural product becomes Star Trek which I find slightly disturbing.

If I had to choose between Star Trek and a good story I would choose good.

I could overlook this stuff not being anything like those ideas and setting that Star Trek represented if it was good but it isn't. Double miss.
It is not Star Trek.
It is not good.
brian
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 6:32pm (UTC -5)
S03E01

Still more of the same. Most of the episode was a complete mess, full of pointless violence, overdone CGI creatures, and quippy "dialogue" between Burnham and Book. Oh, the future they landed in is a violent dystopia populated by selfish individuals who will do anything for a few credits? That's a big fucking surprise. The whole "guy sitting in office waiting for Burnham to show up" for 40 years felt fake. It had a few nice scenes, between Burnham and Book, that's it. Book is a great character but I wonder if we'll see him much.

The shaky cam is absolutely infuriating. It's like they're afraid if they hold the camera still for a moment, the audience will switch it off. They have no confidence in their product and it shows.

This is going to be like Picard all over again. The promise of "something different" which leads nowhere. It will be difficult watching all the desperate fans fawning over this until they can't lie to themselves anymore.
JOhn
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 7:49pm (UTC -5)
@Booming "I don't see Star Trek as a brand"

Me neither in certain ways, but it doesn't matter how we see it. If Discovery was called "The Adventures of Michael Burnham in the 32nd century" and had no association to the Star Trek label, how many people do you think would watch it?

@Ubik

I don't think it's quite fair to say that TNG and DS9 both did their own thing off-brand, while VOY and ENT were a product. Voyager was set totally outside the Federation while Enterprise was set before it. Those aren't really "let's just do the same thing and give the fans what they want". I can see how they were formulaic in other ways, but not in the concept ideas.
Mal
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 8:58pm (UTC -5)
@Booming said, "Then 2001 a space odyssey is Star Trek, BSG is Star Trek, The Expanse is Star Trek and so on."

The funny thing is, nBSG could have been Star Trek.

Ronald D. Moore, of TNG & DS9, had a huge fight with Brannon Braga on VOY. Moore left VOY and went on to make nBSG everything he thought VOY should have been. If TPTB at Star Trek had been able to keep Moore, VOY could have been amazing!

There is an extended conversation about Moore on VOY ( https://www.lcarscom.net/rdm1000118/ ) in the comments to @ Jammer's Sixth Season Recap of VOY.

Something similar, oddly, enough, is probably true of The Expanse. Star Trek could easily have been of that high Expanse quality. Naren Shankar - like Ronald D. Moore - started out at TNG. He now runs The Expanse.

I mean, just let Seth McFarlane make The Orville as a Star Trek show. A live action Lower Decks. At least Seth understands the soul of Star Trek.

Other franchises have done their best to bring people in who actually live and breathe the sprit of those stories. If we have learned one thing from The Mandalorian, it is that a great show runner can make all the difference in the world.

20 years ago (in 2001!) the name Star Trek was spoken with pride alongside the greats like Space Odyssey 2001. Some day TPTB will bring a person in to run the show who lives up to its past glory. But that day is not this day.

Star Trek is still trying to do everything with cheap writers and shit show runners, and they just cover up that mediocrity with an insane amount of SFX.

A lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

That's why Season 3 Episode 1 gives me hope. No space battles. If they keep it up, who knows, things may be headed in a good direction?

Fingers crossed.
SlackerInc
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 10:18pm (UTC -5)
@Mal: "If TPTB at Star Trek had been able to keep Moore, VOY could have been amazing!"

Maybe. Depends on which version of Moore we got. The BSG miniseries and the first 25 episodes of the series proper are amazing, among the best sci-fi ever produced. The next fifty-odd episodes include a few good moments, but overall they jumped the shark and taint the legacy of the show with a lot of hokey woo nonsense. I showed the series to my kids, but stopped it after "Resurrection Ship (Part 2)" and pretended that was the series finale. I wish I could reprogram my brain so that's how I remember it!

And I think there are actually a lot of good Voyager episodes.
Jammer
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 10:21pm (UTC -5)
Review now posted.
Mertov
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 10:48pm (UTC -5)
The last few dozens of posts (before Jammer's review posted prompt) illustrate perfectly (and it’s not the first time either) why it’s a wonderful thing that fans don’t get to decide what Star Trek is or which shows to produce. We have had opinions anywhere from “Fuck Kurtzman” to “Fuck this shit,”, to suggestions of “ignoring completely what fans want” to the ubiquitous quote that existed since TNG’s beginnings that goes by “This is not Star Trek” to.. well your pick..

Luckily, instead of them, it’s professionals, studios that make that decision. Fans can declare “my Star Trek” and write academic essays about what it is (and if anything this thread shows as dozens have shown before over the last 3 years, there is a huge variety of what people consider to be Star Trek. Nonetheless, and thankfully again, Star Trek is in the hands of professionals who have to take into account a lot more than their impulsive desires when they wake up in the morning for a cup of coffee or plop their butts on the couch to watch TV.

And for those who revere the old Trek writers, have you seen Mannny Coto’s new series? The so-called great writer of Enterprise who did a “great job” with Enterprise in its 3rd and 4th seasons? His new show is called “neXt” on Fox – centering on an AI taking over the world, YEAH, whoop-de-doo – and the two episodes that aired so far are faster paced than any of Discovery’s episodes that the same people who yearn for the days of Manny Coto and criticize Discovery could ever imagine. Already in the pilot episode, in a matter of 43 minutes, we went from a simple Siri-like machine talking to a kid, to a super-intelligent AI who has crippled FBI/CIA computers and is threatening to take over the earth. So much for the worshippers of the old Trek days where conversations of Riker and Picard having pizza and just sitting and talking like they did in that overrated episode of PIC for 45 minutes with nothing happening. “Quiet, peace, talk, no action”…. Riiiiiiight…. Seems that there is one old Trek series writer who thought of anything but *that* for his new show, and rightfully so, because he is not stupid, he has a show to run and hope to attract today’s audiences to survive.

And speaking of Ron Moore that people cannot get enough of worshipping and even using as a way to trash today’s trek writers. Well, he was in the DS9 documentary plotting out a hypothetical premiere for season 8 along with other classic revered DS9 writers like Rene Echeverria, Hand Beimler, Ira S. Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, and guess what their idea of an 8th-season premiere was? It was ANYTHING BUT deep, long, quiet moments, profound 10-minute-long chunks of philosophical conversations, an hour devoid of action and speace fight. In fact, from what I could count, there were 4 shocking twists, one beloved character being blown to pieces, one spectacular space fight (and you better believe they would use CGI), three eleventh-hour cliffhangers, two significant explosions, all squeezed into one premiere episode. Since these guys are so revered and considered vintage genius writers (with which I happen to agree) then I assume same people would trash that episode and these writers too (but surely not throw in a couple “Fuck Moore/Behr” or “Fuck Echeverria” slogans, I’d hope).

Or…you could come to the realization that these guys like Manny Coto, Ron Moore, Ira S. Behr, and other showrunners like the ones in charge of today’s Trek series (Chabon, Kurtzman, Goldsman, Paradise, MacMahan, and their teams) know what they are talking about because today’s audience is no longer attuned to 45 minutes of bottle episodes with zero consequence where the few heroes running our pristine ships solve every problem and the crew gets along as if the concept of conflict never existed. Sure you can claim to be of a higher intelligent plateau and label today’s viewers “stupid” or denigrate them and continue to yearn for “my Star Trek” while millions of others enjoy Star Trek shows of their liking on TV. But thank heavens you, I, or any other fan who just wants “my Star Trek” is not in charge of deciding what the next actual and official Star trek will be.
Mal
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 12:20am (UTC -5)
@ Jammer, great review, and great to hear from you again!

Doing well here. Have achieved a certain, shall we say, Serenity, with the whole situation.

And it seems we've been going back to some of the same old favorites during these last few months. To quote Pete Campbell, a thing like that!
Dave in MN
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 12:44am (UTC -5)
@ Mertov

Is Star Trek just a aci-fi brand name, or does that moniker have other associations with it? I guess it boils down to whether you think Trek is supposed to be a weekly morality play adventure or simply any show that happens to wear a Trek "skin".

Trek is made by a corporation, not a non-profit. That is undeniable. But there was a time where Paramount didn't really get Trek and basically left the management of it to a few curators.

However, the further removed we are from the Roddenberry's era, the further his influence is diluted and the idealism of he (and those who took over after his death) is totally subsumed by corporate beancounters and fantasy writers with a political axe to grind.

What we have now is checkbox storytelling-by-commitee designed to appeal to specfic modern trendy demographic groups: hence the attempts to ape Game of Thrones and House of Cards with copious gratuitous gore, endless conspiracies, profanity, incest, violence, rape, dead babies etc.

Trek has become an avatar for CBS to create generic copies of hit shows (that air on other networks).

The maudlin soundtracks, endless jump cuts, shaky cameras and the ignoring of canon compounds the issue. The lack of optimism, camaraderie and philosophy is just the cherry on top of the shit sundae.

It sure doesn't feel, look or sound like the Trek I grew up with, that's for sure, and the Nielsens seem to bear that out.

The first season of DIS has been airing on live TV (in the USA and Canada) for the last month or so .... and the ratings have been really REALLY bad. TNG had 25 million viewers a week and this show can't even get 1 million.

It sure looks like the general public AND the fans doesn't like what they're seeing. If they did, don't you think at least a few million of those old TNG watchers would be hooked? If this new direction is such mind blowingly awesome television, why is it underperforming so badly?

That ties back into my opening comment: the bad ratings, the lack of interest in merchandising for the new shows, the absurd cost-per-episode, the bad reception from Fandom .... if what you've described is what "Trek" is supposed to be now, then why does the vast majority disagree with your assessment?

Despite all this, I still haven't given up on Trek, hope springs eternal .... but I'm not going to give this show false praise to make other people feel better. This isn't a campfire therapy session.

If the episode sucks, I'm going to say so.
Dave in MN
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 12:46am (UTC -5)
@ Jammer

Glad to see everyone in the family is doing ok. Good review. 👍
Mertov
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 1:27am (UTC -5)
Dave,

Your post fro beginning to end pretty much proves most of what I said. What you are describing in today's shows is your opinion (which is extremely negative). It may or may not match the opinions of millions of Trek fans, for example, it does not match mine. It's good (from your perspective) that I or millions like me do not get to decide what the next ST show will be, and it's good (from my perspective) that millions like you do not get to decide what the next ST show will be either. Professionals do it better than us, and they seem to be fairly successful at it so far.

You say: "It sure doesn't feel, look or sound like the Trek I grew up with, that's for sure,"
To that, I say: True, it doesn't to me either, and... that's GOOD!
I don't want another rehash/recycle of TOS and TNG, DS9's first two seasons. VOY and ENT already did that, and not always well either. No thanks!
If I want the Star Trek I grew up with, I'll go back and watch the 600+ hours of Trek available to me anytime (of course picking the better parts), and I do that even today at times. But I don't want to see a "600+ hour + 1" followed by "600+ hours + 2," and so on, for more of the same. Spare me that for new and upcoming Trek shows. I'm fairly sure today's audience, i.e. the audience that today's producers and showrunners target would not be too hot about watching the likes of some of the TOS and TNG episodes on a weekly basis either, see my examples above for what classic Trek writers believe today's audience would watch and it ain't the episodic, safe, "my-pristine-ship-saves-all" TOS and TNG that we grew up with.

A small detail: as for the Nielsen ratings, comparing TNG's ratings when it originally aired with no streaming competition in the 80s with CBS's airing of DSC's first-season rerun - a rerun! - on its network channel is comparing apples and oranges. CBS is airing an old season that aired three years ago, already seen once when it originally aired by its target audience. That old show has just been renewed for a fourth season (where are the youtube conspirators with that count now by the way? Aren't they 0 for 13, or 0 for 14, or something, for predicting cancellations of Trek shows or new Trek shows "dead on start" according to their "reliable sources"??)

"If the episode sucks, I'm going to say so."
By all means, do so. You already do it multiple times an episode anyway and multiple times before even a new show aired. But sure, go ahead.
I simply said that it was a wonderful thing that fans did not get to decide what the next Star Trek show is, or what Star Trek is for that matter... I didn't say "fans cannot voice their opinion" (opinion.... being the key word) which is what you and I just did in the last two posts.
Mike
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 2:03am (UTC -5)
Do we have to frame this as a choice between a fanmade production and what we're getting now? I've seen some of the Trek fan productions and think they are awful, so agree with Mertov that it's good that the fans don't get to make the shows. But that doesn't mean I like what Kurtzman is doing, and in the time I have been reading these comments no one has ever proposed they should be in charge. In that sense it's a total strawman argument - fans would make a terrible show, so therefore Kurtzman Trek is amazing.

BTW I also disagree that Roddenberry "idealism" needs to be in Trek. But that also doesn't mean I'm going to be happy with anything that deviates from it.
Tommy D.
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 2:23am (UTC -5)
I'm not really following the logic of Trek being run by bean counters who watch Discovery apparently hemorrhage a ton of money, and then these same bean counters decide to give the okay for Trek to spawn off close to half a dozen shows with seasons already renewed or currently in production in spite of this overwhelming lack of financial success.

@Mertov

Well said.
JohnTY
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 3:10am (UTC -5)
@Jammer

Excellent review. Helps that I agree with pretty much all of it :)
Booming
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 3:56am (UTC -5)
What Mertov does is reframing the argument. He says that it is either the fans or the corporation who control it and he is happy that he global spanning enterprise is.
He thinks if a company owns art or the naming rights which in my opinion has very little benefit for society, then they decide what it is. Fair enough.

My opinion isn't covered by that. I think that Star Trek has an identity as a cultural artifact, like Lord of the Rings. Lord of the Rings is defined by what JRR Tolkien wrote and luckily the trust fund that oversees what can be done with it is very restrictive. CBS on the other hand is putting Star Trek out on the street, 5,99$ a pop, thanks to the professionals.

@Mertov
"By all means, do so. You already do it multiple times an episode anyway and multiple times before even a new show aired. But sure, go ahead."
Because we are all quoting Pete Campbell now.
https://64.media.tumblr.com/64fb237a3d2108d85aa8b8311e491427/tumblr_mz78tx4Qq41qdbluio1_1280.jpg
Booming
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 4:09am (UTC -5)
@ Tommy D
That is the one big question. Streaming and the lack of information about the success of something has given companies quite a bit of power. Are they bleeding money, are they not. I would argue that Star Trek is one of the few shiny name rights CBS owns, so they are throwing out as much as possible. You have to spend money to make money. That is why Star Trek is fairly bland action cookie cutter stuff. It is supposed to appeal to the widest possible audience so that these people keep the so far cheapest streaming subscription. It is the equivalent of the gym subscription, you go once and then forget to cancel or you actually go. As I explained years ago. If CBS cannot get a streaming service going then it will falter. Only media companies who have successful streaming services already or soon will exist in 20 years. These shows have very high production values, as Jammer rightly points out, this must cost a ton of money but if it brings subscribers then it is ok to bleed money on these shows.
So yeah Star Trek is essentially a very expensive add for CBSallaccess.
Glom
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 4:24am (UTC -5)
@Mertov

There's a point to what you say in general. Creativity by focus group is a terrible thing. Council of Geeks said that if creators ask fans what they want for the next installment, they'll just reply by saying they want more of the same. Creators need to be unafraid to do their own thing because when they succeed, the fans will act like that's what they wanted all along. When Creators don't feel bound by the legacy, you get the Zelda series, which is a string of games that are all great to varying degrees but each have their own voice and are the better for it.

However, I'm not sure that's what's happening with Star Trek. Here, it feels like it is very much creativity by focus group, although maybe more creativity by market analysis. It feels like they're taking tropes that are in vogue right now and trying to form a frankenstein's monster out of it. You've got the comic book plots of the Marvel movies mixed with the "adult" stuff of Game of Thrones mixed with the seizure inducing action of Transformers mixed with the pandering nostalgia bait of Star Wars. This makes sense from a business point of view, where the goal is to draw in membership to CBS All Access or whatever it is now. But you can see why many might roll their eyes at this approach.
Startrekwatcher
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 4:28am (UTC -5)
The sad truth is writers aren’t very good anymore. At least that’s my opinion. I’ve watched a lot of tv and despite protestations that this is the Golden Age for tv I disagree

Sure there are tons of shows to watch nowadays. Too many. Nobody can keep up. Sure they are more serialized than was the norm.....maybe. Because in the 80-90s soaps and primetime dramas on networks DID tell serialized season long arcs. And I’d argue they did them better because the serialized format they used wasn’t based on epic mystery boxes and playing games with the audience by limiting points of view or only showing a few cards they were holding

Writers nowadays are no good. They haven’t lived or lived very protected shallow lives and done no self reflection or deep thinking. So they have nothing to bring to the table when it comes to writing. Instead they rely on a relentless pacing and being propped up by ridiculously large VFX and production budgets

Gone are the days writers told a well crafted entertaining story. Trek was mostly entertaining. Not always deep that’s ok. As long as you were Entertained. But these new trek programs can’t even do that. The storytelling is so convoluted and payoffs so underwhelming you are left scratching your head why you even watched it

I’ve been rewatching 90s trek especially TNG and the dialog. The character moments. The vocabulary The discussions. The ideas are fantastic. You could tell Michael Piller or Melinda Snodgrass or Michael Wagner or Mauruce Hurley lived and were thinkers. It showed in their scripts. There was imagination. There was reflection at times.

Now shows don’t bother. You won’t find that here these days. Oh you might see lot of pretentious ideas or chatter but scratch or peel the surface and it’s a whole lotta nothing

I’m not saying bringing back writers like Melinda snodgrass or ira Behr or ron moore or brannon braga is necessarily the answer. I believe artistic ability peaks. You hit your high then it’s down hill from There. You can’t be as good a writers as when you were on fire in TNG or ds9. So I don’t think they could do that. But maybe spark something or guide the writers working on trek these days. Provide some sage advice. Give pointers on how to improve their scripts
Startrekwatcher
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 4:34am (UTC -5)
Oh and this episode feels a lot like the third season premiere of ENT. Promised a revamp but more of the same. Average or so. Stock action with a filler plot on a trading post. Interesting teaser at the end that’s more interesting than the entirety of the episode itself

But unlike discovery the writers managed to later capitalize on the xindi arc to great affect

I don’t have Faith these writers can based on picard play-off , the klingon war arc and the red angel mysteey

What will happen is viewers will come up with more interesting story developments and sadly see more in the writers ideas than the writers do.
Tommy D.
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 5:09am (UTC -5)
@Booming

I agree we don't really have much information on how to measure the success of streaming service. I also think its fairly plausible that Trek acts as a loss leader for the platform. That actually wouldn't surprise me, as subscription and its retention is extremely important for streaming platforms.

However, I think the amount of shows that have spawned since Discovery launched, including some that were likely not planned for in the beginning, point to this show (and these shows) at the very least generating enough interest and enough revenue overall to keep going, and to continually plan to add to the platform. Even bean counters have their limits.

Also, I would just add that I think Nielsen ratings aren't much of a measure here. For example, we just had in the U.S. the NBA finals, featuring the most popular basketball team in the U.S. and likely the most popular NBA team in the world (Los Angeles Lakers). The ratings were the worst in years, and down just over 50% from the previous year. Since those fans don't disappear (I know I live in L.A.), I think you have to assume people are consuming and viewing their favorite shows and events much differently than how we measured viewership 20-30 years ago.
Mal
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 6:29am (UTC -5)
@Startrekwatcher, I agree, Trek writers today are pretty sad shadows of days past.

I'm so glad you called out for special praise Melinda Snodgrass. She's a gem!
Mal
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 6:31am (UTC -5)
oh shit, forgot to add this to my previous post for @Booming

https://youtu.be/JJEfX7qvGYI
Tim C
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 6:38am (UTC -5)
Doing well here, Jammer, although like everyone else the pandemic has derailed a whole bunch of life plans. It'll be nice to have your reviews back. Feels like one more step towards things returning to normal!
Booming
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 6:55am (UTC -5)
@ Mal
That is how imagine Kurtzman and his clone to sit in bed talking about their story ideas. :D

@Tommy D
"at the very least generating enough interest and enough revenue overall to keep going, and to continually plan to add to the platform"
I completely agree it draws in significant numbers subs, ViacomCBS have increased their subnumbers from the end of 2018: 7,2m to 16.2 and Star Trek in this new form is certainly successful. Original programming is everything these days.
I disagree StarTrekwatcher that there isn't any quality programming. There is but right now it is all washed away by this avalanche of mediocrity. Everything is greenlit now if it is half original. Another problem is that too many stuff is too dark. That was successful for a time but now life is so gritty that more and more can't stand this depression festival everywhere. I believe that shows will soon become far more positive, not better of course maybe even worse but easier to digest.

"Also, I would just add that I think Nielsen ratings aren't much of a measure here. For example, we just had in the U.S. the NBA finals, featuring the most popular basketball team in the U.S. and likely the most popular NBA team in the world (Los Angeles Lakers). The ratings were the worst in years, and down just over 50% from the previous year. Since those fans don't disappear (I know I live in L.A.), I think you have to assume people are consuming and viewing their favorite shows and events much differently than how we measured viewership 20-30 years ago."
Yes and no. The Nielsen rating was always a bad system. It is a panel study (The same group is asked again and again) and such a study form has quite a few downsides, money and learning effects to name two. On the other hand, there is a pandemic going on that takes money out of the pockets of the lower classes which means less money for pleasure, add to that that the games are a very different viewing experience (no or less fans) plus interests change like it happened with Baseball and American Football.
Glom
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 7:46am (UTC -5)
I think the continuation of Discovery demonstrates one thing: the show isn't a commercial disaster. It is likely whenever a new season of Discovery releases, there is a spike in subs as people check it out. A significant part of that will be those watching it so they can talk about how terrible it is. Many of those subs are lost once it finishes because the show doesn't have a lot of legs.

So the suits see this and conclude that more new Trek is the key to getting subs and if there is a steady stream of new Trek, subs will be maintained. Keep churning out more Trek. Nothing is really landing so far, but it is at least people are watching new stuff and eventually something might land.

In a way it is the opposite situation to Super Mario 3D All-Stars. That is a minimum effort product but it has three of the greatest games ever so it will sell like mad as it has done. With Star Trek right now, it isn't doing that well so CBS need to keep putting in effort. And if they cancelled it, what then? Walk quietly into that good night? Their current strategy may not have reached the promised land, but it is at least keeping them afloat (and they have haters to thank for that as much as actual fans).
Yanks
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 10:32am (UTC -5)
Great review Jammer, doing well on this front.

Jammer: "...but damn if this show doesn't sell it with earnestness and its unfurling of a long-tucked-away Federation flag."

Just a personal note here, I was significantly more moved when Burnham commissioned Sahil.

Hope you and your family are doing well. I know folks here would love an update.
Mertov
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 10:52am (UTC -5)
Tommy D: "I''m not really following the logic of Trek being run by bean counters who watch Discovery apparently hemorrhage a ton of money, and then these same bean counters decide to give the okay for Trek to spawn off close to half a dozen shows with seasons already renewed or currently in production in spite of this overwhelming lack of financial success."

There isn't much to follow there Tommy because, you are right, there is not much of a logic to it. And the number of progressively off-the-wall, some bordering on absurd, type of explanations given to justify that reasoning as time goes by should tell you that there isn't. I read somewhere earlier this year that CBS had been planning to shut the doors on Star Trek, it's just that they were "waiting for the right time to fire Kurtzman" and his crew. Riiiiiight, a company would rather lose money like crazy for years rather than just firing the person that causes that loss because they "can't find the right time." For anyone to believe these justifications they would have to have zero idea of how TV-show business works where shows that are deemed unsuccessful do not even make it to the end of their first season (or even past 5 episodes) and certainly get canceled after one season (and even they were successful, they'd still be under the same threat in its seasons to follow. Making successful TV shows, whether on TV or streaming, is one of the most difficult challenges entertainment-business people can face, and do so in such a ruthless market.

Glom, sorry but your explanation that it is actually haters who keep Discovery afloat since "Nothing is really landing so far, but it is at least people are watching new stuff and eventually something might land" is up there with wildest of explanations. It's a secret that thousands of failed new shows in the last 4 decades apparently have yet to discover. Heck, they should have just kept renewing their "terrible" shows because people "would check them out" anyway, just enough to decide it's terrible and talk about it and keep it afloat for another horrendous season. Oh-kay... It's just not how it works in TV-show business.
(Side, tangential note: I will perfectly buy into the argument though that haters do a great job of keeping youtube conspirators afloat :) - those people probably celebrate each Star Trek show's success or renewal more than anyone else since that is one more season added of click-baiting and making money off gullible suckers who listen to their perpetual lies based on "reliable sources.")

Mike: "In that sense it's a total strawman argument - fans would make a terrible show, so therefore Kurtzman Trek is amazing."
Mike, great post and I agree with everything you said, including the above, I am not sure who said this though, I certainly didn't draw this ludicrous deduction.
Booming
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:10am (UTC -5)
So I have a little data point about how successful it is in Germany
On the Top10 most watched shows on Netflix it is fifth. There were now major new releases this week. Discovery is losing against shows which were released weeks ago.
But it got a forth season. The numbers for the US would be nice because they are the important ones...
Trent
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:12am (UTC -5)
Mertov said: "thankfully again, Star Trek is in the hands of professionals who have to take into account a lot more than their impulsive desires when they wake up in the morning for a cup of coffee or plop their butts on the couch to watch TV."

You say "Trek is in the hands of professionals" and it's good that it is "not beholden to the whims of fans", whilst describing a show that bends over backwards to appeal to the fickle whims of fanboys (There's Spock! There's the Enterprise! Action! Fighting! Federation values!), and which is literally run by the professionals behind "Transformers", "Mummy", "Hawai Five-O" and the writers behind "Friday the Thirteenth Part V".

These are not "professionals" of any demonstrable caliber. They are overwhelmingly hacks, guns-for-hire and marketeers, and the few auteurs to work on the show (Chabon, Fuller etc) have made it clear that their artistic wishes and inclinations were constantly sabotaged by the wants and needs of Kurtzman.

Now you might like such hacky art, and CBS might deem such an approach to be "financially logical", but don't pretend you're watching anything but trashy writing. The common retort to this then typically becomes "but Trek was always trashy! Spock's Brain etc etc!". But "Spock's Brain" was sandwiched between two masterpieces, "The Enterprise Incident" and "The Ultimate Computer". "Drmatis Personae" was followed by "Duet".

In three seasons, Kurtzman Trek has given us no great episodes, and completely botched three of its arcs, arcs which are plainly not carefully thought out.

Mertov said: "have you seen Mannny Coto’s new series? ....that aired so far are faster paced than any of Discovery’s episodes that the same people who yearn for the days of Manny Coto and criticize Discovery could ever imagine."

Nobody yearns for Manny Coto. His tenure on "Enterprise" - fast-paced, tropey, serialized carnage and violence - merely anticipates where "Discovery" would go.

Mertov said: "...classic revered DS9 writers like Rene Echeverria, Moore, Hand Beimler, Ira S. Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe..."

Moore, Behr, Wolfe et all are routinely criticized. All of Trek's best writers are bashed when appropriate, from Coon to Fontana, Piller to Behr. Indeed, these writers have been quite open about their own failings. But they're remembered because they nevertheless made countless good decisions, took many interesting risks, and were responsible for countless great episodes.


Martov said: "the ones in charge of today’s Trek series (Chabon, Kurtzman, Goldsman, Paradise, MacMahan, and their teams) know what they are talking about because today’s audience is no longer attuned to 45 minutes of bottle episodes."

Kurtzman and Goldsman are horrendous artists. Chabon had all his ideas overruled, and had no interest in inserting the Borg or 7of9 et al. Michelle Paradise, everyone here has nothing but absolutely goodwill, hope and love for, and she's plainly responsible for the best bits in this opening episode. If "Disco" improves it will be largely down to her, in much the same way Piller kicked TNG up a gear.

And the idea that "Disco has been presided over by people who know what they're doing", remains total nonsense. The actress who played Raffi just admitted, yesterday, that the producers pulled her "7 and Raffi in love" subplot out of the blue, after accidentally seen the two actresses looking photogeneic when posed together in a fan convention photograph. Entire episodes of "Picard" were similarly cobbled together last minute, or rewritten to allow fanboy walks on (Riker in charge of a fleet etc).

Martov said: "with zero consequence where the few heroes running our pristine ships solve every problem and the crew gets along as if the concept of conflict never existed."

lol. Burnham builds a TIME TRAVELLING IRON MAN SUIT in half an hour. Picard SAVES THE GALAXY by USING A MAGICAL IPHONE and saying "STOP IT GUYS!" CONTROL is literally stopped by two deus ex machinas. The level of delusion in your post is incredible. You accuse past Trek of having "zero consequences" while defending a show ignores the consequences of its spore drive ("You are forbidden by Law from talking about it!"), got bored of the consequences of its Mirror Arc, its Klingon War Arc, its Borg arc, its Romulan Refugee arc, got bored of Ash Tyler, got bored of Lorca, gets bored of everything. There are no "exploration of consequences here".

Martov said: "Sure you can claim to be of a higher intelligent plateau and label today’s viewers “stupid” or denigrate them and continue to yearn for “my Star Trek” while millions of others enjoy Star Trek shows of their liking on TV. "

Carl Sagan did it better:

"The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness."

I mean, you're offering highfalutin praise to a show whose last episode had sensors which can't track people underwater, whose last season climaxed with a magical photon-torpedo resistant door, and all executive produced by a guy who thought Evil Space Tentacles was a good idea.
Glom
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:29am (UTC -5)
@Mertov

I should have been clearer that I wasn't trying to give a definitive interpretation of the machinations behind events, merely a possible interpretation. The continuation of Discovery clearly shows the show isn't a failure like the right wing snowflakes want to make out that it is. But how much of a success it is the question. Many people are subbing to check out each season, but how many of them are liking it and maintaining their subs so they can enjoy repeat viewings is unclear.

So when I said it's not really landing, what I meant was that it is unclear whether a sizeable audience is finding it to be the next Expanse or Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad or they're just checking it out because of the name and finding it unimpressive. So I was supposing that the suits might conclude that even though they weren't delivering the next big thing, they were getting enough attention for it to be worth continuing and hoping that maybe something will strike it big eventually.

Or it's possible that it has already struck it big with the silent majority. We don't have definitive data on that. I don't hang around in right wing snowflake circles but I don't know anyone who really cares much about recent Star Trek. Some friends have checked it out but it's things like The Expanse they want to talk about or they've been watching old TNG or DS9.

What I didn't say was that it its success was down to haters alone. I merely said they seem to make up a notable proportion of the viewership. Your interpretation of my argument there was a straw man.
Trent
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:30am (UTC -5)
Booming said: "On the Top10 most watched shows on Netflix..."

The most watched stuff on Netflix is Adam Sandler comedies. The most watched Trek is "Voyager's" action two-parters. The most watched TV shows in recent years are fare like "Young Sheldon", TV crime procedurals and reality TV shows.

That's the kind of stuff that people flock to.

And so you can see CBS' logic: Trek is too niche, so we need an edgy, action-oriented series to spearhead the franchise's rebirth, draw fans, and then pivot this into more cerebral spin-offs!

With Kurtzman, they're thus able to court Trek fans, who will turn up for anything with the Trek logo,and the Michael Bay crowd, who'd have watched any ole junk anyway. So Kurtzman nets them two birds with one stone.
Mertov
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:47am (UTC -5)
Glom,
Understood, thanks for the clarification. You are right on your last sentence too, now that I understand better what you meant, consider me wrong on that particular interpretation.
-----

Trent,
Your post is filled with personal opinions presented as "facts" (they are not, throwing insults in the ways of writers you dislike is the epitome of extreme opinions, a practice in which you engage regularly,) and reeks of the deep, passionate loathing that I already referred to, originating from addiction to hate-watching. I am not surprised though, in fact, it's confirmation of what I already knew.

"Now you might like such hacky art, and CBS might deem such an approach to be "financially logical", but don't pretend you're watching anything but trashy writing. The common retort to this then typically becomes "but Trek was always trashy! Spock's Brain etc etc!". But "Spock's Brain" was sandwiched between two masterpieces, "The Enterprise Incident" and "The Ultimate Computer". "Drmatis Personae" was followed by "Duet"."

Oh?!? Now you not only know what I feel and think, but now hold a conversation for both of us? That's some serious entertainment, but you claim to be a writer so I'll be looking forward to this episode's renewal.
Booming
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:49am (UTC -5)
@Trent
"And so you can see CBS' logic: Trek is too niche, so we need an edgy, action-oriented series to spearhead the franchise's rebirth, draw fans, and then pivot this into more cerebral spin-offs! "
Yeah sure. my point was that even as a show that is created to appeal to a very broad audience it isn't very successful, at least over here.

"With Kurtzman, they're thus able to court Trek fans, who will turn up for anything with the Trek logo,and the Michael Bay crowd, who'd have watched any ole junk anyway. So Kurtzman nets them two birds with one stone."
Probably a few more. That's why there is this very bland stuff about family, love and faith and all that thrown in. That is why everything is super emotional. It appeals to teenagers. Sadly it doesn't challenge them or sprinkles in good messages. It is like fast food TV.
MidshipmanNorris
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
@Jammer

"No explanation is given as to why Book and Burnham (B&B?) have to keep making successive transports rather than just one; chalk it up to the action's needs du juor, I guess."

I do understand that Jammer is only human, and may have missed that the most recent transport before the would-be-captors have their final showdown with B&B happens when they transport into a location underwater; Book gives the explanation that they are only able to track transport on solid blocks of land, which buys them some time (a very tried+true plot device).

As for the rest, I'm in agreement with Jammer; this seems like it could translate into good plots in future episodes.

It had better. I'm losing patience, as much as Jammer seems to be.

Will you sit down at a (Dr. McCoy Voice) god-damned typewriter?
David
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
I am re-watching Star Trek in airdate order and I am finding myself often times disagreeing with Jammer (but LOVING) his reviews as I genuinely prefer TNG/VGR to DS9 with ENT coming in behind. As I write down notes after I finish the episode and give it my own rating for fun, I find myself comparing it to Jammer. Here is the funny thing - we match a lot for Discovery. This review is spot on - 2.5 stars. It was an average opening with a storage that was average, masked by amazing effects and cinematography. It looks beautiful but the actual story is lacking. After 18 months, I was hoping for something more engaging for an opening. Once we arrived in 3188 and things in the galaxy went downhill fast and we found ourselves in a retread of "Andromeda", I am cautiously optimistic that the writers will avoid that. However, it just did not feel original to me - the Federation fell, things went terrible. I am hoping this season explores it well because for me Discovery always starts off great and then sputters by the finale.

I hope some details are explored, i.e., did the Federation fleet just blow up at once given there is quantum slipstream technology?

Also, is anyone like me in that they actually like the cast very much BUT their least favorite character is Michael - the main character?
Glomgee
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 2:51pm (UTC -5)
@Mertov A much-needed reply to Trent. It’s like “debating” Donald Trump. With or without the ability to cut off the mic. Some people listen only with their mouth, never their ears. Do Trent and Booming think that if they do not deliver their daily two-minute (that’s a charitable number)hates against “Kurtzman” and “nu-Trek” that we would forget what their beliefs are, and how superior those beliefs are? To paraphrase what one current Presidential candidate said of a former one, “These guys only use four words in a sentence: a noun, a verb, and Alex Kurtzman.” When they read this, they say, “But you’re not talking about Star Trek.” It is as if they are projecting their penchant for changing the subject on to others. Are they seeking to win converts to their belief that Trek 2020 is drivel? Way to persuade there, sounding like Rod Steiger in Mars Attacks!
Yanks
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 4:20pm (UTC -5)
@ David

"I am re-watching Star Trek in airdate order and I am finding myself often times disagreeing with Jammer (but LOVING) his reviews as I genuinely prefer TNG/VGR to DS9 with ENT coming in behind. As I write down notes after I finish the episode and give it my own rating for fun, I find myself comparing it to Jammer."

Yup, the main reason I come here. You'll also find many good posters to converse with. Welcome!
Booming
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 5:47pm (UTC -5)
@Glomgee
Choosing to turn your very first post into an attack. What could be more Trumpian.

Sorry I forgot, ok ok noun, verb got it: Idiots love Alex Kurtzman. :)
David
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks - Thank you! Looking forward to discussing.
Did you enjoy the Discovery premiere?
Dave in MN
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 12:10am (UTC -5)
@ Mertov

It kind of annoys me when someone types a huge response and then sticks their little personal insult digs at the end. Here I was thinking you speaking from a place of passion about Trek, when in reality you are just as much a troll as everyone you denounce.

To correct the record, I only score and summarize an episode once. Anything else I post on the comments is in response to the discussion unfolding.

By the way, if you don't like old Trek style storytelling, why did you become a Trekkie in the first place? You seem awfully eager to chuck the baby out with the bathwater.

@ whoever was confused about my comment about bean counters

You might want to do a bit of research on the Bad Robot Trek license.
SlackerInc
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 12:32am (UTC -5)
Good review, Jammer. I perfectly predicted your 2.5 star rating. Glad to hear you are hanging in there--same here, anxiously waiting for the election to be over.

@Dave: In fairness, as @Mertov said, the viewership numbers you are describing are for reruns of a show that originally aired years ago. We would need something brand new to air on broadcast TV, with all the hype that it would bring, to have an apples-to-apples comparison (and even then, nothing on broadcast TV gets anywhere near the Nielsen numbers that shows got in the '90s).

@StarTrekWatcher: "Writers nowadays are no good"

Hard disagree. My counterpoints would be shows like BETTER CALL SAUL, DEVS, TALES FROM THE LOOP, UPLOAD, I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS, EASY, THE BOYS, CHERNOBYL, RICK AND MORTY, HIGH MAINTENANCE, THE GOOD FIGHT, and BARRY.

But I'm with you in that the writing on the CBSAA Star Trek shows has not been consistently good, and it has often been pretty bad. THE ORVILLE has some good writing though!

@Trent: "The most watched stuff on Netflix is Adam Sandler comedies. The most watched Trek is 'Voyager's' action two-parters. The most watched TV shows in recent years are fare like 'Young Sheldon', TV crime procedurals and reality TV shows."

Have you watched YOUNG SHELDON? It really doesn't belong with the other stuff you are (mostly rightfully) sneering at. It's smartly written and well acted/directed.
Dave in MN
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 12:40am (UTC -5)
One other point I did want to address:

Despite the implication, I'm not lying about Discovery's terrible ratings.

Mertov can deflect about streaming and changing habits of media consumption, but millions of people still watch TV.

You can call it a "repeat", but millions of Trekkies never signed up for CBS. It's new to all of them.

The fact is that DIS is getting beat by RERUNS of Match Game and Press Your Luck: CNN level ratings (so yeah, it's bad).

There used up be enough fans to sell hundreds of millions in movie tickets .... so where did they all go? Some of them still watch TV (especially the older demographics) and those are the people least likely to subscribe to All Access. So why would they rather watch Nick at Nite or a repeat of Batwoman on the CW?

Coincidentally, STD's ratings are only a fraction of what The Orville regularly drew on FOX. Why didn't streaming hurt them the same way?

I can't post links because I'm on my phone, but a lot of entertainment industry trade papers (Variety, EW, etc) have been focusing on its poor performance. A cursory Google search will show I'm not exaggerating.

Let's not pretend like Discovery's over-the-ait ratings are a success because THEY ARE NOT. Any attempt to state otherwise is a refutation of reality.
Dave in MN
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 12:46am (UTC -5)
@ SlackerInc

I didn't see your post until after I had already posted mine.

I didn't actually write "@Mertov", but thatthe tone of my post was directed at him (her?).
Tommy D.
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 2:37am (UTC -5)
I don't believe anyone said anything about lying. I've seen the ratings and analytics for all the shows. I don't think anyone is calling Discovery reruns successful in Nielsen ratings either. Its not refutation of reality, its a refutation of how much weight to give this reality, when placing things in context.
Mertov
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 9:22am (UTC -5)
Glomgee:
(I'm personally leaving Booming out of my comment here) Don't forget also the big bad daddy of all evils JJ Abrams -- Wooooo, insert scare emoji -- who is 'behind the doors' actively trying to kick Trek into oblivion, thusly had his secret agent Kurtzman 007 infiltrate the Trek ranks in order to execute their sinister operation to send the Trek empire into oblivion. You know... that plan.. the one concocted in dark writing rooms filled with smoke around a table where the Abrams-Kurtzman cabal gather and spend time planning "how to piss off Trek fans" ----- note: don't laugh, I may be dramatizing but I didn't invent most of it, it's all in the archives :)))

Dave:
Speaking of the archives, Dave, you know it's all in there, right?
"To correct the record, I only score and summarize an episode once."
Would you like me to point to where you began slamming a new Trek show multiple times before its premiere even aired?
"if you don't like old Trek style storytelling, why did you become a Trekkie in the first place?" --- ah, should have seen it coming. The ubiquitous intellectually dishonest question filled based on a lie (note, I don't say "an inaccuracy," I say "a lie," since you read my posts and know very well that is false but still post it) so that if one answers to it it looks like that lie is validated.
It's a "him" by the way. If you are truly in MN, we are not that far, if you ever venture down to Southwest Pennsylvania let me know, beer/lunch is on me and I can tell you all about my Trekkie beginnings fro 5 decades ago and you can tell me yours :)
Keith
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 10:47am (UTC -5)
"The brand-spankin' new thing they apparently want to do is an official Star Trek remake of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda. "

As soon as Book said something about quantum slipstream, I laughed out loud. It's Andromeda with a budget. Interesting.
Dave in MN
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 11:52am (UTC -5)
@ Mertov

Talk about moving the goalposts! 🙄

Discussing Trek in general, responding to someone else's quotation of me and/or reviewing a specific episode are all completely different things and YOU KNOW THAT.

Again you try to rewrite history.

I was more than fair with STP and I gave credit where credit was due. Anyone can go reread my reviews and see that for themselves.

Did I review bomb that show? Nope. I just want something good and Trekkish to watch.

So why do you, Mertov, feel the need to deliberately mischaracterize me? (Is that a rhetorical question? I'll leave that up to you).

I appreciate the olive branch at the close of your statement, but in this circumstance, I think any genuine overture of peace should include some admission that your description of me is inaccurate.
Dave in MN
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 12:01pm (UTC -5)
@ Tommy

It's not a perfect metric to be sure, but still: when offered hundreds of entertainment options to watch, viewers would still rather watch game show repeats and Sean Hannity.

It's last in its time slot on the major networks and cable niche shows are crushing it in ratings.

That means something (which is why the industry reporters are putting a spotlight on it).
Yanks
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 12:32pm (UTC -5)
@ David

"Did you enjoy the Discovery premiere?"

I'm assuming you are referencing the season 3 opener. Yes, I liked it. Good, but not great.

Glom,

"I don't hang around in right wing snowflake circles"

What the hell is a right wing snowflake?

Break...

Like it or not, Discovery is doing well enough to justify a season 4. I know that really hurts some folks here and on YouTube, but they wouldn't be renewing it if it was losing money.

Who cares who is watching or how it ranks. Hell, the most viewed videos on youtube are of folks playing video games! Does that mean anything? I think not.

We can all argue about the quality of the writing, and I do at times, but I challenge you to show me a Trek series that didn't stink up the joint from time to time.

Remember when Spock, while traveling at warp "9 point..." right at the sun took control of the thrusters manually to loop around the sun and time travel? ... seriously, how bad is that?

Trent,

"Burnham builds a TIME TRAVELLING IRON MAN SUIT in half an hour."

They had the frakin plans, and the entire engineering department was working on it. No issue here.

Break again...

Why aren't the numbers on over-the-air Discovery that good? Could it be because those that wanted to watch it already purchased CBS All-Access? I haven't watched it on TV because why would I?

Discovery isn't made for folks that grew up on TOS. It just isn't. You are old and set in your ways and probably still grumbling about TNG. I wouldn't write new Trek for you either.

I have just completely tuned out the haters on YouTube. I'm tired of the rabid doom and gloom and armageddon predictions. 95% of them have been wrong anyways. You can tear everything apart... after awhile, what's the point? Why are you still watching it?

Anyone heard anything about the Section 31 series? ... or is it going away because of STSNW? Micheal Yeoh is busy in the 32nd century :-)
Booming
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 12:42pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks
"Hell, the most viewed videos on youtube are of folks playing video games! Does that mean anything? I think not."
It is actually very informative. University media departments around the world and private companies have certainly invested a lot of money to understand this.

"I have just completely tuned out the haters on YouTube. I'm tired of the rabid doom and gloom and armageddon predictions."
Just the usual clickbaity stuff, basicalaly tabloids. That is now happening for any topic. Making money by telling people what they want to hear is really not the newest topic. It has just become really widespread on youtube over the last three years.
Dave in MN
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 12:52pm (UTC -5)
@ Ysnks

I myself was born a decade after TOS ended, but does it really matter WHEN someone became a fan?

I'm not sure if you intended to do so, but there seems to be an implied premise in your statement that young viewers are somehow better than older viewers .... that youth is better than experience. (I'm not sure if you actually believe this or if you were just tweaking Trent's nose).

The only difference between young and old is time on earth. We're all human. The number of revolutions one has taken around the sun means nothing when it comes to the intrinsic worth of someone's cinematic opinion ... only the level of experience and knowledge with the subject really matters.

Ageism in any form (in our current paradigm: anti-Millenial OR anti-Boomer) doesn't have any ethical ground to stand on, especially when it comes to deriding others' artistic commentary.
SlackerInc
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 1:21pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks: "Like it or not, Discovery is doing well enough to justify a season 4. I know that really hurts some folks here and on YouTube, but they wouldn't be renewing it if it was losing money."

I think everyone arguing about this point needs to recognize that there is no way to tell if DISCOVERY is "losing money" or not. I don't mean they are keeping it secret: I mean there is no one on Earth, including the top executives at CBS, who actually know. They know how many people watch it, but they don't know, and can't know, if:

--they would have more or fewer subs if they had taken the money (including the promotional budget) they have spent on the show and spent it on some other show, whether a different version of Trek or something else entirely;

--they will have more or fewer subs in five, ten, or twenty years than if they had spent the money on something else.

It's literally unknowable, so all they can do is go with their hunches on the subject. It's not like a traditional TV programming decision where you have X number of viewers measured by Nielsen and that brings in Y advertising dollars, and you compare that amount of money to what other shows are getting and what you'd get by subbing in reruns or some other cheap programming like reality TV.

The only way they could have any certainty on the topic is if the show had failed epically. Like if there was virtually no one watching, and no sign of people signing up to CBSAA when a new season begins. We can see by their renewing it for four seasons at minimum that this did not happen. But that still doesn't mean it was the best use of their programming/promotional budget, or if it was a good move to make the show their flagship program that represents their brand overall.

So my view is that both the people who say "DISCOVERY is losing money for CBSAA" and "DISCOVERY is not losing money for CBSAA, or they would not be renewing it" are wrong. Neither of you really know. It's too murky: it's getting enough viewers and media attention not to be an obvious failure, but neither is it doing GAME OF THRONES type business to be an obvious win (HBO being one of the few networks who already operated in this murky world long before streaming services were a thing).

@Dave: Interestingly, the rise of subscription streaming services makes your point (about it not mattering how old viewers are) much truer. In traditional network TV, it did matter (and still does to an extent). Viewers over 49 (which will soon include me) are of very little interest to advertisers, so the fate of a show would hang on the "demo" of viewers 18-49. This was, somewhat infamously, why the show "Harry's Law" got canceled even though it averaged nine million viewers per episode--more than many of the shows they renewed that year. An NBC executive told Deadline: "Everyone here respects 'Harry's Law' a lot but we were finding it hard to grow the audience for it. Its audience skewed very old and it is hard to monetize that." I always thought this was a pretty unfair situation, so I'm glad it doesn't really apply to the streaming TV landscape of today. If you pay for a subscription, you are worth as much as any other subscriber, no matter how old you are. (In fact, millennial/GenZ viewers who are more likely to be piggybacking on their parents' subscriptions may actually be worth less as a result.)
Yanks
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 1:25pm (UTC -5)
Dave in MN

"I myself was born a decade after TOS ended, but does it really matter WHEN someone became a fan?"

Nope, it doesn't. I'm a little older than you, but didn't catch TOS as it aired.

"I'm not sure if you intended to do so, but there seems to be an implied premise in your statement that young viewers are somehow better than older viewers .... that youth is better than experience. (I'm not sure if you actually believe this or if you were just tweaking Trent's nose).:

Not at all. I just meant that Discovery is made for the young viewer. The audience Discovery is shooting for wouldn't appreciate TOS until they are our age. They can't slow down and pay attention and would be put off by the appearance... lol
Eamon
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 2:21pm (UTC -5)
First, we have disco who shits all over the federation.

Then we have Picard who proceeds to shit all over the federation and then smear it all over the federation's face.

Now we have a post-federation world. I'm starting to think the new people in charge of trek really just hate the federation and anything it stands for. hmm
Trent
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 3:44pm (UTC -5)
Mertov said: "Trent, Your post is filled with personal opinions presented as "facts"."

No, it is a fact that Alex Kurtzman is not a great writer, has never written a great episode of Trek, and is responsible for some of the worst big-budget movies in the history of the medium. No one with knowledge of directing, writing, the history of cinema, or science fiction, will regard Alex Kurtzman as anything above a thoroughly mediocre artist.

We can test this fact simply by asking someone fond of him to offer an example of great Alex Kurtzman direction and writing.

Is "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" an example of great Kurtzman writing? Is the climactic ending to Discovery Season 2, which he wrote, with its fisticuffs and photon torpedo doors, an example of great writing? Are his script and direction in "The Mummy" examples of his mastery?" How about his script to "Star Trek Into Darkness", in which he exercised his "deep", "artistic integrity" by "bringing back Khan", and flexed his artistic muscles by putting his villain in a giant black spaceship.

How about as a showrunner: was it "great Alex Kurtzman" showrunning to countermand Chabon's wishes and inclinations? Was it great showrunning to fire Fuller, or did this lead to Discovery's first season having problems? Was it great showrunning to retool Season 2 mid-season? Did it make sense for him to shoehorn Riker in Picard's finale? Did you buy Riker then immediately flying off and leaving Picard?

What about his mastery of arcs and serialized storytelling? Was the Klingon War arc successful? The Ash/Michael romance? The Romulan Refugee crisis arc? The Mirror Universe arc?

Where exactly are these examples of great Kurtzman writing and directing? If they factually exist, and can be pointed to, bring them out. Point.
Harpohara
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
I’ve been over 20 years coming here and reading the reviews.

But more than ever the comments make me think haters are gonna hate. Including the reviewer.

I’m not rating this the same as DS9 because it’s not DS9.

Time to move on.

Bye Jammer.

I now leave the site and stop
Ron
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 4:08pm (UTC -5)
I think that the staff of Discovery are really huge fans of sci-fi outside of Star Trek, and it shows. Personally, as an avid sci-fi buff who loves any and all sci-fi, I enjoyed the references, but I feel like they could have been tied up a little better.

For example, when Book gives Michael the handkerchief to bandage her shoulder, and mentions he also uses it to blow his nose, I immediately thought of Nova by Samuel R. Delany. In that book, they devote a page or so to the discussion of why “personal hygiene” is different- all germs have been eliminated by the 32nd century (same time period as Discovery) so people do things like eating food they just stepped on. But, if I hadn’t read Nova, I would have not been clued in to something like that.

As for tech, this episode was like a bombardment of all the advanced tech that exists in the 32nd century - it’s easy to see why the opening credits for this one list something like 20 producers. Star Trek has its own system of sci-fi technology, so sometimes it felt a little like the writers were trying to cram in ideas from a million different sci-fi universes. I’m looking forward to see how they will handle things like, “how do you prevent nanobots from replicating endlessly until all matter has become part of the nanobot swarm?” It did all feel a little jam-packed into this one episode, and overwhelming, but maybe that is what the writers were going for - if someone transported to 2020 from 1020, they would see a new technology every 0.5 seconds.
Mertov
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
Trent: "No, it is a fact that Alex Kurtzman is not a great writer"

What an absurd (and on par with your consistent arrogance) statement. Of course, "your opinion" would be "a fact" in your world. You probably think it's also a fact that Kurtzman is [insult by Trent no.1] and [insult by Trent no.2]. It's as absurd as anyone, or I, saying "No, it is a fact that Kurtzman [or XYZ] is not a bad writer." No Sherlock! That is not a fact. It's an opinion.

This is coming from a guy who claims to be a writer and has sooooo much respect (!!) for his colleagues (supposedly, again) that he is busy slamming and insulting them publicly and regularly, based on a show that he deeply and passionately loathes but yet continues to watch and spend his precious time attacking it on a weekly basis. The addiction to discharging that profound hatred you harbor must run deep. As I said, no surprise, just a confirmation of the obvious.
SlackerInc
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 4:20pm (UTC -5)
@Mertov: I take your point that you technically can't call an opinion about someone's writing ability a "fact". But I didn't know Kurtzman was behind "Transformers" or "The Mummy" until Trent said so. Once I know that, it does seem like it's nitpicking to object that calling those execrable is just an opinion. I mean, technically, yeah--but those are really really bad, and anyone widely understood to have discriminating tastes would agree. Just look at Rotten Tomatoes. (I actually personally can vouch for T:RotF being awful, as my wife and I went to visit friends in another city and they suggested we all go to the drive-in theatre with our kids. That movie was playing, and it is one of the most excruciatingly awful pieces of hot garbage I have ever seen.)
Mertov
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 4:32pm (UTC -5)
Slacker Inc, no argument from me. You are right on all accounts there.
Booming
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
@Ron
"For example, when Book gives Michael the handkerchief to bandage her shoulder, and mentions he also uses it to blow his nose, I immediately thought of Nova by Samuel R. Delany. In that book, they devote a page or so to the discussion of why “personal hygiene” is different- all germs have been eliminated by the 32nd century (same time period as Discovery) so people do things like eating food they just stepped on."
I highly doubt that this is what they were going for and how could all germs be eliminated?! That would mean death to most complex organisms. I think that they were going for:" Hankerchief yukky. haha."

@Mertov
Kurtzman has already destroyed two franchises. Amazing Spiderman and the Dark Universe. He was nominated twice for a golden rasperry and won once for Transformers. These are facts. Most of his films are seen as mediocre. Could you name a genuinely good movie written by him?
Mertov
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 4:54pm (UTC -5)
Booming, he was Fringe's co-showrunner, a show enjoyed by many and did well. I enjoyed it too. I also enjoyed ST 2009, another successful movie, also enjoyed by many, co-written by him. He is also the co-showrunner for this 3rd season of Discovery which, two episodes into, I enjoy so far. I also enjoyed PIC's first season for which he was a co-showrunner as did many others (or not). But all that is diluting my point. None of that, my opinion or another's, makes it a "fact" that he is a good/bad writer (or showrunner) in the same way that it doesn't make it a "fact" that he is a bad writer because of The Mummy.
Mertov
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 5:04pm (UTC -5)
One more thing Booming... I don't start watching a Star Trek show with a pre-disposed hatred of a writer or a showrunner. If that were the case, I wouldn't watch it to start with, whether it's Trek or something else. And if I watch a show and Indon't like it after a few episodes, I will not continue (last time I made that mistakes was almost two decades ago). I don't care if my mom or dad runs the show, I don't have time or patience for hate-watching.

If it's not my style of show, I won't watch it either. For example, I didn't watch Lower Decks (except 4 episodes because of the company I had) not because I don't like McMahan, but because anination shows are just not my thing.
Joseph S.
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 5:15pm (UTC -5)
Kurtzman only has writing credit for one episode of Discovery, so this argument is pretttttty dumb. But okay, “Star Trek” (2009) was written by Kurtzman and was critically acclaimed with an aggregate 94% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Take a look at the critical ratings of other Trek movies:

Star Trek: The Motion Picture - 41% approval.
Star Trek: Generations - 50% approval.

Few Trek movies have aggregate approval close to Kurtzman’s - “The Wrath of Khan” with an 88% and “Star Trek: First Contact” with a 92%.

TLDR: Yeah, well, that’s just, like your opinion, man.
Booming
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
@Mertov
Never seen fringe but I always thought that this was more an Abrams show. I also thought that STar Trek 2009 was enjoyable but I wouldn't call it good again an Abrams collaboration.
I think he has written quite a few terrible movies, more than good ones. There is a reason that he called the poor mans JJ Abrams.

"One more thing Booming... I don't start watching a Star Trek show with a pre-disposed hatred of a writer or a showrunner."
I don't think many people actually hate Discovery. It is too generic for that in my opinion. I only hated one movie "American Sniper" but I severely disliked Star Trek Picard, far more than Discovery which in season 2 had a few good episodes.

@Joseph
"Kurtzman only has writing credit for one episode of Discovery, so this argument is pretttttty dumb."
No that statement is. Read up on the subject of how he interferes with most aspects of the show to understand what I mean.

"Few Trek movies have aggregate approval close to Kurtzman’s - “The Wrath of Khan” with an 88% and “Star Trek: First Contact” with a 92%."
Sure Star Trek 2009 (94%) is clearly the best Trek movie (according to the rotten score), far better than Wrath of Khan(88%) and the loser movies the voyage home and the undiscovered country with 81% and 82%.

"Star Trek” (2009) was written by Kurtzman and was critically acclaimed"
So true. It won an Oscar and was nominated for three more (Sound, Sound editing, Visual effects)

Kurtzman won that Oscar almost alone, it was for make up.

"TLDR: Yeah, well, that’s just, like your opinion, man."
Are you really throwing a Dude quote at me while defending Kurtzman. The Coen brothers are actual artists who often create great movies. By the way, the Rotten Score of the Big Lebowski is 83%.
James White
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 6:32pm (UTC -5)
If you know the show will suck, yet for some insane reason you keep watching it, then you will get more of the same. Have fun.
Joseph S.
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 6:35pm (UTC -5)
Fair enough, I liked Star Trek 2009 better than The Big Lebowski too.
Booming
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 6:47pm (UTC -5)
@ James
I wanted to see what they do with the new setting. Maybe I jump ship halfway through. The first episode was sadly a disappointment. It wasn't terrible just underwhelming.
Mike
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 6:51pm (UTC -5)
Is there such thing as a (factually) good writer? I know people who dislike Tolstoy, Shakespeare. What use is it telling these people that these writers are "good"?
MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 7:04pm (UTC -5)
... Geez.

I came to read this review, only to suddenly realize I'd already read it yesterday... I guess I was so drunk that I was blacked out while reading it (my birthday is tomorrow but I'm scheduled to work, so I decided to "celebrate" yesterday), but I distinctly remember the review. My comment of 12:09pm Wednesday was mostly legible too.

I must be getting old. I really didn't think I'd had that much to drink.
Tommy D.
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 9:41pm (UTC -5)
@Glom

"In a way it is the opposite situation to Super Mario 3D All-Stars. That is a minimum effort product but it has three of the greatest games ever so it will sell like mad as it has done"

I actually prefer the light touch they gave that set. The original games themselves would probably set you back close $100 still, and thats if you still have working consoles. But I do understand people wanting a little more bang for their buck.
GreenBoots_
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 10:55pm (UTC -5)
Damn, things are really heating up in the nerdiest, most inconsequential comment section on the entire internet.
Mertov
Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 12:08am (UTC -5)
Booming:
"One more thing Booming... I don't start watching a Star Trek show with a pre-disposed hatred of a writer or a showrunner."
I don't think many people actually hate Discovery.

My quote above is not related to do your reply, but yes, I agree with that. I believe most people give shows a fair try and decide they like it or not. My comment was related to how one feels about a showrunner not the show itself.

On a separate note, I saw the Ready Room with Wil Wheaton who had David Ajala as his guest. Great interview, Ajala expressed his excitement for becoming a part of Trek universe (apparently he is friends with Patrick Stewart and worked with him in the Royal Shakespeare Company). He talked about how he got offered the job after a reading and was on his way to Iceland 8 days later, without having had time to do a chemistry read with Martin-Green, which makes it that much more impressive in my view that the synergy between the two was one of the strong parts of the episode. Ajala praised Martin-Green for being wonderful to work with and being so welcoming to a newcomer (which every cast member has said in the past for her too).
Glom
Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 2:14am (UTC -5)
@Tommy D.

I'm not one of those whose really salty about it. Let's be honest, a full grounds up remake of 64 would be its own release, not part of a collection. And at this point, I think Nintendo would consider the low poly look to be too iconic to change. Comparisons to Super Mario All-Stars miss out that it was released before the 8 bit look became something iconic. If that game was never made, I doubt that any graphical overhauls of the NES games would exist, especially for the first. It would be considered blasphemous or cultural vandalism.

That being said, the only partial upscaling of 64, leaving some really noticeable bad textures in such as the wall mounted signs, the lack of options for the camera axis, the fact that it only arbitrarily picks some guys for the All-Stars collection, that all makes it feel very much do minimum.

Though the Galaxy port is great. I LOVE the gyro cursor. Much prefer it to the pointer because I can rest my hand how I want and it is has just the right sensitivity. Also, mapping the spin attack to the Y button is awesome too.
Tommy D.
Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 2:58am (UTC -5)
@Glom

I agree, especially on Galaxy. I think there definitely could have been some more attention in certain spots, and the ability to use the GameCube controller in Sunshine for the analog triggers would have been nice as well. Overall though, as a collection, I like the games to play as closely to the original as possible. I think if it had remaster in the title I would more critical of the lack of QoL additions.

Someone had mentioned FFVII earlier. I wonder how they felt about that remake? I know this is a Trek forum but the similarities in opinions on classic/remake video games and classic trek/modern trek have so many parallels.
Saphthings
Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 4:40am (UTC -5)
This episode deserves a minimum of 3 stars. It was really good Trek. Finally.

It was in the future. Finally.

But mostly the acting and worldbuilding was amazing. We got technobabble, a space druid, award winning acting for Michael, super acting for Book. We got surprises and advanced tech.

I've really detested Battlestar Discovery for season 1, and was barely ok with Season 2, but God am I glad I stuck around because this was amazing and one of the first times I truly teared up in Star Trek.

I think many of us look back at Star Trek with Nostalgia filled Rose tinted glasses. I'm rewatching TNG for the second time now and am near the end of Season 2.... So far I'm almost 50 episodes in. FIFTY. And it's been mostly garbage. Other than a few highlights like Measure of Man and etc it's so bad. I just keep reminding myself that eventually I apparently love it for some reason.

Now we essentially have 1 seasons worth of Discovery, since they have less episodes, and... It's given me way more than TNG and several of the classics...

Yes it's a bit more of a physical series than we're used to, but watching TNG now the sexism and some racist things aged SO bad... It's been 30 years from then! It wasn't going to stay the "same" and "the same" isn't quite as stellar as we remember it being.

I'd rate this episode a 4/4. And I honestly am surprised at some 3s people have given to prior series and then say this is a 2...

The only reason why it might be a 3/4 is the camerawork. It's like a new graduate just came off of film school and thinks Dutch angles and "edgy" fast shots is cool and innovative. Constant flash flash flash back and forth and tilted angles to be I don't know what. At some point I almost need a stabilized version to actually see some things...
Jason R.
Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 5:22am (UTC -5)
"Damn, things are really heating up in the nerdiest, most inconsequential comment section on the entire internet."

This should be Jammer's tagline for the website.

This place is such a delightful throwback. I hope it never changes.

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