Well, I’ve watched the first two episodes of Star Trek Discovery. Here’s a quick run down of what worked for me and what fell flat.
Optimism: The Federation and Starfleet stand for something, and thank fucking Surok for it. The idea of a first strike against the Klingons is utterly antithetical to Captain Georgiou and most of the crew on the Shenzhou.
Sound effects: Georgiou describes the Shenzhou as being an old ship, which is really hard to accept when the inside of it still looks like CBS bought up all the Apple stores and turned them into sets for Discovery. The counter to this ultra-modern look is the persistence of sound effects from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. The classic red alert klaxon mated to the “Alert Status Red” visual from The Wrath of Khan was a nice touch.
The hook: The Cage was okay, Encounter at Farpoint was a gong show of misadventure and clunky exposition. Emissary was pretty cool. Caretaker was kind of meh. The less said about Broken Bow the better. Michelle Yeoh staring stern-faced at the camera and saying, “We have engaged the Klingons.” is how you start a conflict. There’s no doubting the stakes are high at this point. Commander Burnham and Lt. Commander Saru were fleshed out as good vectors for entry into the story. There’s a long-arc at hand, and I’m interested in seeing where it goes – even if I’m not quite solid on everything yet. I mean, nine episodes with Dwight Schrute as Harry Mudd. Nine…episodes.
Fridging Georgiou: After two hours with Captain Georgiou I want her to have her own TV series. Pap Malfoy had better be about his game, because he’s got some big boots to fill. Also, there has to be an op-ed or two in CBS killing-off the most intersectional captain in the history of Starfleet.
Lens flare: Look, I get it. We don’t need to make Star Trek look like it’s made in the 60s anymore. We can throw a lot of money into making the future look cool. I’m okay with these things, except for all the damn lens flare. Enough with the lens flare.
Starfleet still designs stupid ships: Do you know where the CIC on the Battlestar Galactica is located? Deep in the bowels of the ship. That way when the outer hull breaches, one doesn’t have their command center depressurized and crew blown out into space. Don’t even get me started about using a big window as the view screen.
Well it was pretty good. Not the best. Not the second coming of Khan. Commander Burnham seems as unfortunately impulsive as she is capable (e.g. phasering T’Kumva to death, suborning mutiny on her ship, running on to the bridge while irradiated) so it remains to be seen if her quest for revenge under Captain Lorca will let her character mature into someone a bit more even keeled. I’m a bit curious how the Discovery, itself, will fit into this conflict. The USS Europa, an actual Starfleet flagship (it had an Admiral and everything on board), had a registry number up in the 1600s, which would suggest it is/was a considerably newer ship than either the Shenzhou or the Discovery, whose registry is NCC-1031. So a ship even older than the Shenzhou is going to win the Four Years War?