April 24, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Geek TV Review: Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek returns to television with a preview of the streaming service original series.

As much as I generally like Star Trek, there is no way in hell I am paying a monthly fee to watch CBS for one original show and whatever stuff runs on their network that’s included with every conceivable cable package in the United States.

But the network did decide to toss the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery on their regular broadcast channel.  Since I probably won’t be seeing more of this any time soon if at all, how was this episode?

You know, I didn’t dislike it in any way, but it also didn’t so blow me out of the water that I felt the need to subscribe to CBS All Access.  It was somewhere squarely in the middle, but the thing that struck me was it didn’t seem like much of a Star Trek series.  Star Trek has always been about the philosophical underpinnings of what it means to be human and asking the Big Questions, but since the film series rebooted, it seems to have drifted away from that and more towards the action and adventure arenas.

So, here’s Discovery, and what do we see?  Well, it looks like war with the Klingons.  The Klingons, redesigned to look less like they used to, are working to reunite their scattered people and the best way to do that is with a war.  Meanwhile, the Federation may have inadvertently provided them with an opponent for their war.  During a routine mission to check a damaged long-range beacon, the U.S.S. Shenzhou finds some sort of unknown object hidden within a radioactive debris field that’s blocking their attempts to get a good long-range look at it.  First officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) volunteers to fly a small rocket pack over to take a look and discovers the Klingon presence.  She had some bad dealings with the Klingons going back to a childhood incident, but her captain (guest star Michelle Yeoh) won’t quite hear of it.  But then it might be too late and there’s a cliffhanger for the episode.

So, how do I feel about what looks like the most expensive TV Trek to date?  Martin-Green’s first officer, the main character for the series, is fine, a human raised in part by Vulcans with a close relationship to Spock’s father Sarek.  And heck, I love Doug Jones and he’s doing his thing in the alien make-up as Saru, who comes from a race bred as prey with the specialty of sensing death coming.  But the bottom line is I won’t be getting the streaming service to see the rest, and as a result, the show didn’t grab me.  And it didn’t seem much like a real Trek show since it seems to be hinting we’ll be dealing with a war.  That’s rather ironic given the very Trek-inspired series name of Discovery.  Eight out of ten “it’s fine but I won’t go out of my way to see more of it”s.