Thoughtful Thursday: Thank Kahless, Star Trek is back!

Thank Kahless, Star Trek is back! Now we can obsess over it.

After watching the first two episodes, I was struck by the writers’ attempts to mislead the audience. The title of the first episode, “The Vulcan Hello,” suggests that it would be about the Vulcan greeting, “live long and prosper,” but it was actually about attacking Klingons. The captain we first meet, Georgiou, seems like a central character, but she died by the end of the second episode. I appreciate that the writers are trying to zig when they could zag, but the first thing I said to my father on Sunday was “I bet Michelle Yeoh dies.” It had to happen — why would there be two captains on one show about a first officer? Someone’s got to go.
Here are some other predictions.

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation was pretty awful over its first three seasons, as was VoyagerDS9, my favorite Trek, took multiple seasons before it took off. Enterprise, which seems to have many detractors, actually beat the curve and reached warp 4 by the second season. I predict that Discovery will be good by the second season.
  • (But this will not stop people from complaining about it.)
  • I predict that Michelle Yeoh will return, either through flashbacks or (possibly this should read “and/ or”) in the sort of crazy way that Tasha Yar and Kes returned to TNG and Voyager.
  • I found Sonequa Martin-Green’s calm Vulcan behaviour unconvincing. I predict that her human side will become more assertive and her acting will become more convincing as a result — in other words, she will follow the same acting arc that Brent Spiner did as Data, that Jerri Ryan did as Seven, and that Jolene Blalock did as T’Pol.
  • I predict that much of this season will recall the Dominion War and the Xindi War — an overarching plot that allows room for episodic digression.
  • I predict that because most of the Treks seem to have an evergreen quality to them on Netflix, studios will be less likely to cancel Discovery, even if it struggles to compete against The Walking Dead, whatever HBO shows on Sundays, and Sunday Night Football.
  • I predict (and hope) that we’ll call the show DSC rather than STD.

I do hope that the writers feel free to deviate from Trek traditions. I didn’t enjoy how slowly the Klingons spoke, nor did I like the cold, spacious bridge of the Discovery. Still, the last thing I want to see is another remake of The Naked Time. Obviously, I hope to see the deflector dish used for weird, last minute solutions to bizarre singularities, but, on the whole, let’s go places no Trek has gone before.

What are your predictions and aspirations for Star Trek: Discovery? One commenter wins a book from our stacks.

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RYAN SKARDAL, on our staff from September 2010 to November 2018, is an English teacher who reads widely but always makes time for SFF.

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  1. Sandy Ferber /

    I’ve been watching “Star Trek” ever since that first day in September ’66, and have seen every episode of every incarnation–plus all the movies, natch–but sadly, I won’t be hopping aboard for this DSC journey. For me, it’s a $$$ thing; I simply pay way too much for my cable bill every month as is (thanks to the rip-off bastids at Time Warner Cable), and refuse to fork over $9/month to CBS All Access just to see this program. And many fans seem to feel the same way, apparently, judging by all the FB comments I’ve seen. I’ll just have to wait until the show comes to DVD or something. It’s all very unfortunate, as I enjoyed seeing that first episode (shown free on CBS last Sunday), and liked the two female leads. The look of the series struck me as a bit too overdone, with an emphasis on FX over story. The starship itself seemed way more advanced than Kirk’s Enterprise ever did, although this series is supposedly a prequel. The show seems like it might have potential, though; too bad I personally will have to wait a while to find out. In the meantime, I’ve been loving “The Orville” over on Fox, a “Star Trek” homage with fantastic FX and some truly funny comedic bits. Thank you so much, Seth MacFarlane! K’ploch!

  2. Earl Johnson /

    I loved the first episode! I think they are getting off to a good start. Having studied the latter shows probably gave them the do’s and don’t’s of a first season. I think the first season will be good and the second is going to be great. Everyone has shaky legs when they’re first born.

  3. To me, this wasn’t a very good example of Star Trek – but I’m holding out hope that it will change soon.

    To me, the thing that separated Star Trek from so many other sci-fi shows was the spirit of hope and optimism about the future. Based on the pilot, this isn’t a component that DSC is going to focus on – and it’s precisely this element I watch Star Trek for. Without it, it loses a lot of appeal for me. I can watch a lot of shows that focus on one person’s traumatic redemption journey, but it is hard to find one that celebrates the potential of humanity.

  4. I did not see it – mostly because I didn’t want to enjoy it and then have to wait forever to see the rest because paying more to watch one show just isn’t in the budget. So I have no real thoughts on it. I will say that I’ve liked all of them in the past for different reasons so I’ll probably like this one unless it is absolutely horrible.

  5. I grew up watch Next Generation, and loved it. The show sparked my imagination about space and exploration. I hope my kids feel the same about Discovery.

  6. John Smith /

    Bring back the Borg! I want to see the Borg!

  7. Sandyg265 /

    I haven’t seen it. I still like the original show.

  8. I have followed ST from the beginning.

    I found STD disappointing. Right from the opening scenes I kept tripping on the plot holes. Never mind the speech-impaired Klingons (half the problem seemed to be poorly done makeup/prosthetics). The effects were impressive: clearly that is where the money went.

    It’s not Trek.

    The Orville is better and better Trek, but the humour (such as it is and scarce as it is) does not appeal to me at all. Slow-moving and not half as clever as it wants to be. Pity.

  9. Becky Ashwell, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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