Star Trek Discovery First Impressions
I will totally admit I am coming into this new version of Star Trek as a total skeptic! I’m on record not liking anything about the latest movies, except for the spot on casting that caught the physicality of the original crew, and yet devolved quickly from there. I rank the Star Trek television series in the following order: Star Trek: The Original Series (ST: TOS), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (ST: DS9), Star Trek: The Next Generation (ST: TNG), Star Trek: Voyager (ST:VOY), and Star Trek: Enterprise (ST: ENT). Tonight was the world premiere of Star Trek: Discovery (ST: DISC). So now we will take a look at Star Trek Discovery first impressions.
Opening Sequence & Title Theme (Potential Spoilers Below)
I must have missed the part of the teases that Michelle Yeoh is involved in this. That goes a long way in telling how underwhelmed I was by the premise and thoughts of the show. Although, if you add one of my favorite genre movie actresses, Michelle Yeoh, you go a long way towards impressing me. I was immediately captivated by her performance as a Starfleet Captain Philippa Georgiou.
The opening scene shows Yeoh and her First Officer, Michael Burnham on an “away team” mission to help a planet secure a water well and for the most part, trying to avoid coming into contact with the planet’s inhabitants that they are there to help. A peace-keeping mission.
Simultaneously, we are introduced to heavily made-up and armored Klingons preparing for War against all other races. Quickly establishing who are the good and bad guys.
As far as theme songs and music. I enjoyed the opening music and credits. The music was a little more overproduced and seemed to play a larger part than any of the other series, which gave it more of a Cinematic feel even though it is a smaller screen. At points, to me, it overpowered the dialogue unnecessarily.
Where Star Trek Discovery Fits In The Star Trek Timeline
The new series will be set in the Prime Universe (as opposed to the Kelvin Timeline used in the J.J. Abrams-produced films) and will take place about 10 years before Captain Kirk’s five-year mission. Which actually is a huge point in it’s favor for me. I really disliked the Abrams films.
The Costumes & Effects
The Starfleet Costumes are a nod to the blue suits of Enterprise, and the colors established in the Original Series. The base color is blue with metallic accents based on the areas they serve. Gold for Leadership, silver for Science, and Bronze for Engineering and Operations.
At one point in the show, the first officer goes off on a scouting mission in a personal spacesuit. The effects of the suit were basically a copy of the Iron Man Heads-up Display from the Marvel Movies, and was a bit overwrought for me. Another complaint is that the early technology holograms that appear in Discovery makes characters appear as “Force Ghosts” from Star Wars. Although Force Ghost Sarek fits right in with Force Ghost Yoda and Force Ghost Obi Wan.
Now onto my biggest issue with Discovery. The Klingons. Once again we see “different” makeup (lack of or differently designed prosthetics). There are many theories all over the internet as to why the Klingons appear differently from series to series. They rank from a side effect to a Klingon Plague, to Genetic Modification, to the fact that we are meeting different tribes or ethnicities of Klingons. Which is fine. What rankled me were the fact that the costuming and battle armor was very Elizabethan and appeared to have been reworked costumes from the Coppola movie of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
CBS Hasn’t Gotten The Hang Of Streaming Television Shows
I think the biggest barrier to success for Star Trek Discovery will be CBS’s Standalone Streaming Service. At the end of the day, it won’t matter if the show is good or bad if no one sees it! CBS had a world premiere on it’s network for free. It also posted episode 2 on their CBS All Access standalone streaming service. It will post a new episode weekly on the service, similar to how HBO does it. That is the exclusive place to watch the show.
The problem is, even to see episode 2, you must give them a credit card which they will charge $5.99 for a “limited commercial” membership plus 1 week free, or $9.99 for “commercial free” plus 2 days free. You only have access to other CBS shows, so it is (in my opinion) way too much money in comparison with a Netflix or Hulu membership.
Could this be the death of the Star Trek franchise? Enterprise is universally loathed by Star Trek fans. It was a bad show. If Discovery is a bad show and fans are charged $5.99-$9.99 to find that out, it could truly lead to Star Trek Oblivion!
This has been my Star Trek Discovery First Impressions. Obviously you have your own thoughts. Let me know in the comments below.