Review: Third Episode of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Introduces A Mysterious Ship And Its Misfit Crew

REVIEW: “Context Is for Kings”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 1, Episode 3 – Debuted Sunday October 1st
Written by Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts & Craig Sweeny, story Bryan Fuller & Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts
Directed by Akiva Goldsman

The third episode of Star Trek: Discovery effectively delivered a more traditional Star Trek pilot. Many of the main characters – along with their various foibles – are deftly introduced along with the primary ship for the show, the USS Discovery itself. While much of the episode is dedicated to in exposition, which is typical of a pilot, “Context Is for Kings” offered up some intriguing character and plot mysteries that will hopefully pay off later in the season.

With just a few light moments, the tone of the show continues to take itself a bit too seriously. The problems with pacing and stilted dialog that troubled the premiere were not as evidenced in episode three. And there were also plenty of moments of delight and Trek references and details to require a second viewing for easter egg hunting. Now that the show has started more properly, Discovery feels more Star Trek and the desire to see more only grows stronger.

Michael Burnham finally meets Capt. Lorca and the USS Discovery in “Context is for Kings.”


Con Air Shuttle

“Context Is for Kings” starts with a six-month time jump with Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) serving the life sentence she received at the end of the premiere. She finds herself on a prison transport which runs into trouble and things only gets worse when the pilot decides to go take a walk in space and loses her tether. However, this all leaves Burnham unfazed. She is either showing her Vulcan-trained calm or – more likely – demonstrating she has sort of given up on life and is worn down by the guilt of her actions. Burnham is joined by some some unseemly criminals who drive home the point that they might be racist murderers, but at least they aren’t the mutineer that started the war with the Klingons.

A criticism that has been leveled at the premiere is that Burnham is not an entirely likable character, which is unusual for what should be the heroic star of this Star Trek show. This second episode really hammers home the point, Burnham’s actions in the premiere are well-known and they haven’t made her popular. Her lack of likability may be a feature and not a bug as the creatives behind this show are looking at the first season as a complete story with an arc of her starting at the bottom.

Martin-Green seems to be pushing this unlikability, playing gruff with pretty much everyone she meets. But, we do get a few nice moments of character development and even a reference to her upbringing by her foster mother Amanda Grayson (who we now know will appear later in the season).  This slow burn redemption arc may pay off better for those who binge-watch later, but just like the crew of the USS Discovery, it takes some adjustment to get used to Michael Burnham.

Um, should the pilot be floating out there like that?

Worst Contact

As noted in our review last week, the two-part premiere was really a prequel movie and backstory for the main character of Michael Burnham “Context is For Kings” picks up a lot of the load of a traditional pilot, including a lot of densely packed character introductions. All of these are done through Michael Burnham meeting the various members of the crew, with each showing varying levels of disdain. We start with Commander Landry, played rather one-dimensionally by Rekha Sharma as a hard-ass security chief. But she does get fleshed out a bit, and there is some intrigue with her and Lorca that will likely be explored.

The introduction to Ensign Tilly provides some of the episodes only levity as Mary Wiseman effectively makes us believe Tilly is riddled with enough allergies and anxieties to qualify her for a part in a Woody Allen movie. We later find out that despite this, she sees herself as someday being a captain. Despite a very awkward beginning, we see the start of what should be an interesting dynamic between Tilly and Burnham as bunkmates. Wiseman was a standout and may provide a lot of the relatability and heart for Discovery.

Ensign Tilly demonstrates that look when you realize your roommate is a notorious mutineer who started a war

Lt. Paul Stamets enters the stage with Anthony Rapp really digging into the gruff anti-social scientist type. His disdain for Burnham goes deep, but he also shows he has no love for Captain Lorca, as he feels his important research work is being corrupted Starfleet. This tension has already started to pay off with some blatant insubordination that wouldn’t fly on any Starfleet ship we have seen before, but everything about this episode says there is something different about the USS Discovery. Like with Burnham, the hope here is that this is a starting point, because this prickly pear routine is going to get old fast.

Captain Lorca is found in his ready room, and mysteriously he seems to prefer it to the bridge. While an eye injury provides the reasoning, the literal darkness of his lair may be a bit too on the nose. As captain, Lorca even merited some little character backstory quirks like offering up fortune cookies, having a pet tribble and keeping a menagerie of skulls and skeletons from alien creatures. Jason Isaacs chews up the dialog he is given, delivering us an unusual kind of captain that appears to relish the war and at one point even gets schooled on the ethics of Starfleet by its most notorious prisoner. Lorca and Burnham’s interactions were some of the better-written and delivered, with conversations played out like games of three-dimensional chess and each trying to uncover the other’s hidden agendas and motivations.

Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) holds court in his captain cave

Burnham’s series of awkward interactions with the crew isn’t limited to new characters. She finds herself face to face with her old friend from the USS Shenzhou, Saru, now first officer of the USS Discovery. Gone is the fun banter, now Doug Jones is playing the relationship with deadly seriousness. Hopefully we get to see more of Saru in future episodes as he was a standout in the premiere.

Burnham also has an unpleasant reunion with Lt. Keyla Detmer, former helm officer of the USS Shenzou. Detmer now has some sort of cybernetic device on her head, likely due to a trauma suffered during the Battle of the Binary Stars. Keyla symbolizes a crew that all seemed damaged in one way or another. Again, this is no ordinary ship and crew.

Lt. Keyla Detmer (Emily Coutts) survived the USS Shenzhou, but not unscathed

Mystery Mobile

Of course, one of the most important characters on any Star Trek show is the ship. While the episode did not deliver 10 minutes of drydock starship porn, we did get a few beauty shots of the USS Discovery. We also learn it has – or had – a sister ship, the USS Glenn, presumably named for astronaut John Glenn. And as we come to expect from the premiere, the production design and effects are top notch. And while the USS Shenzhou was a rather dark place, the interior of Discovery seems a bit more familiar and comfortable.  Interestingly, they spent almost no time on the bridge, leaving scrutiny of that most important set for a future episode.

While the introductions to a lot of the characters tried to quickly cram in as much personality as possible, the ship itself was presented as a mystery from the start. It was filled with oddities such as black badges, black alert, and classified rooms requiring breath-print ID. And they went out of the way to drop a lot of technobabble without providing context, all to enhance the mystery with terms like speirien, bloom failure, basiodiasac and references to “the project” and a thing called the “reaction cube.”

Stamets has a chat with fellow researcher Straal, laden with a whole new kind of technobabble

Some of this was paid off as we learn that Stamets is experimenting with a “new way to fly” using “mycelium spores.” As we suspected, the USS Discovery is literally mushroom-powered. Sure that’s a bit strange, but it’s Star Trek which is full of quirky science and this is certainly a new angle. Although the reaction cube where someone can connect with the “Mycelial Network” to travel anywhere had a bit of a Dune feeling so perhaps in Discovery, “the spice shrooms must flow.”

It also adds an interesting dimension to this ship as it is a sort of secret weapon and possibly one that isn’t entirely ethical. This show clearly wants to play in the grey areas with the characters and the USS Discovery is no exception. And in case you didn’t get the point, Lorca makes it explicit when he notes to Burnham that “Context…is for kings” when determining the morality of their actions. All in all, the USS Discovery is really coming into bloom.

The USS Discovery is not your typical Starfleet ship

USS Cronenberg

We learn a bit more about the USS Discovery through a visit to her sister ship, the USS Glenn. Short of a brief fight scene in the mess hall, this trip provides the action sequences for the episode as we get a mini-version of Alien when Burnham, Stamets, Landry, Tilly and Ensign Ricky board the now-derelict ship. The creep and gore level are turned up a bit beyond what we are used to with Star Trek and Goldsman shows some good chops here keeping up the tension as we explore the Glenn which turns out to be inhabited by a short-lived Klingon and some sort of mole monster thing. Oh, and it seems the crew have all be turned into misshapen grotesques reminiscent of fatal transporter malfunction from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Stamets friend Straal is not looking so good

This sojourn to the Glenn also has to provide most of the plot for an episode laden with introductions and exposition. Instead of being just a device to add a fear factor to the action sequence on the Glenn, it the monster thing turns out to have some importance. We later learn that Landry and Lorca arranged to have it brought on board the Discovery. Why did they bring it on board? What’s up with Lorca’s collection of alien bones? These are the kinds of questions you have to get used to with Discovery. Again, the hope is the serialized nature of the series will deliver in the end.

Without scenes with the Klingons to cut to, this episode is told almost entirely through the perspective of Michael Burnham. The exception is this one scene with Landry and Lorca in his menagerie at the end. It is unusual for a Star Trek show to put so much emphasis on any single character, even Captain Kirk. But, it does offer the opportunity to imply something sinister, merely by not having Burnham present.

Lorca’s got a new pet

Down is up

All-in-all, as pilots for Star Trek go, this was pretty solid episode, if not one of the best. “Context Is for Kings” taught us a lot about the show, and provided some good action, a lot of little Trek details, and a little bit of fun along the way. There was a lot of exposition and introductions to get through, and hopefully much of that is now behind us. And it certainly introduced a number of intriguing mysteries creating good anticipation for the next installments. With first-class production, Star Trek: Discovery is delivering on its promise to bring Star Trek into the world of premium TV drama without forgetting its roots.

“Context Is for Kings” made a number of improvements over last week’s premiere. It was not as uneven, and didn’t suffer the same kind of lapses in logic. There is still somewhat of a feel of being written by committee. No doubt many issues with the early episodes flow from the behind the scenes discord and exit of co-creator and original showrunner Bryan Fuller, who still retains story credit for this episode, along with three other writers in the mix. It is also hard to shake the notion that Discovery is just kind of a bummer. Everyone seems to hate everyone else, people are getting turned into pretzels by the tech that is running the ship, the captain may be a war criminal, and there is still that war with the Klingons.

Such is the pitfall and the promise of the serial nature of the show. We have to go down the rabbit hole first and it will apparently be dark there in a way we haven’t seen since the Dominion War arc on Deep Space Nine. But, as if the show remembered it was still Star Trek, “Context is For Kings” did find a ray of sunshine at the end with a typical Trek literary reference. The mention of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland leads us to see Michael finding herself through the looking glass. Gone is the woman who had given up on life seen on that prison transport. The episode ends with Burnham seeing a ray of hope, and making references to Spock and Amanda while she is at it. If you feel a bit out of sorts with this different kind of Star Trek, Burnham reminds you “Sometimes when you are lost, you are found.”

Michael Burnham lets us know there is light at the end of this tunnel

Random thoughts

  • We now know that Airiam the robot augmented humanoid is a commander (or possibly Lt. Cmndr).
  • Relax, they are “boarding parties” on Discovery (like TOS), not “away teams” (like TNG).
  • That shushing Klingon.
  • We got to see our first Jefferies Tube in the show.
  • Good use of walla with announcements and such creating real ship-board feel.
  • Amanda teaching her kids Lewis Carroll appears to be a reference to the Star Trek: The Animated Series.
  • Was that a Gorn skeleton in Lorca’s bone collection?

Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusive in the US on CBS All Access with new episodes released Sundays at 8:30 pm ET. In Canada Star Trek: Discovery airs on the Space Channel at 8:00 pm ET. Discovery is available on Netflix outside the USA and Canada with new episodes made available Monday at 8 am BST.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

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This episode was wonderful! Logically, anyone who doubted Discovery lacked the information to make an informed doubtful hypothesis about it and should now defiantly eat crow because this was so 21st Century Star Trek at it’s best. I can’t wait to keep unraveling the delightfully intricate puzzle that is Star Trek: Discovery. (I mean this even had real ground breaking science in it that is super dope, well, for us nerds anyway)

Live long and prosper! (Even to the doubters)

I absolutely agree! This was prestige Star Trek!

“Logically, anyone who doubted Discovery lacked the information to make an informed doubtful hypothesis”
Oh you mean like 7 seasons of Star Trek : Discovery?
Of course people didn’t have all of the information at hand to make an informed opinion either way and they still don’t after ONLY 3 episodes!
Get off your high horse and don’t dare attempt a “I told you so” when you don’t know either.

Oh come on now, calm down ziplock. There was no reason for you to jump down somebody’s throat for expressing an opinion

Calm down ziplock. You are teetering on trollism there. Stop jumping on people. We know you dispise DISC.

No trolling, just a disagreement with a statement that is fundamentally flawed and holier than thou in nature.
Nope, I like Discovery dispite several reservations.

There is a way to disagree civilly and not jump down people’s throats.

So if you like the show its expressing a comment- it you don’t like the show your trolling?

No… telling someone to get off their high horse and having a snarky attitude does. Much like you trekboi.

“Get off your high horse” followed immediately by “don’t you dare…”

Someone needs to take his own advice.

I think most people have a hard time adjusting to the fact that Star Trek is being told in a serialized format. So we are not going to get ALL the answers at the end of the episode. With that said, I loved this episode. Its early in the timeline and I want them to imperfect, more like us than like the future crews. The science was great! So great that at one point I had no idea what they were talking about lol.
Im looking forward to more.. my gripes are small details that I can get over.

I like the format.
It gives them more room to tell a story.

No- unfortunately we have been proven right & its even worse than we feared.
This is the absolute worst, Section 31 renegade war monger crew & captain- prisoners as slave labor pitted to fight in public- Event Horizon/Battlestar Galactica post 911 Bush era politics with Trump Stereotypes. The Gay character is a stereotypical arogant bitchy queen & for 8 Million they are still re-using all the ship sets with no real redressing- like ships decades apart will have the exact same corridors – god so many things wrong- I can’t list them all in one comment.
I suspect theses sites are moderating only positive sell out comments for CBS exclusives.

Obviously not.

Stop trekboi. Just stop.

I was in a building the other day, and it had a corridor, and get this – rooms, that look exactly like corridors and rooms looked like decades ago. Outrageous! We all know basic design and architecture like this changes dramatically at least every 5 years…

According to Memory Alpha the Discovery is a Crossfield-class ship. I imagine the other ships have names like Shepherd, Gagarin, Cooper, Armstrong, Cochrane, etc.

Crossfield? Most likely a reference to Scott Crossfield, the first man to fly at Mach 2.

Did hear a reference to USS Yeager in Ep 2, which I saw on [curiously] YouTube!
I agree with albatrosity, below: more pioneering women in space, US, Jemison, Ride, et. al., USSR, and PRC.

If you’re right then that certainly would make the Discovery an oddball in the naming scheme. I’m all for naming ships after our real life space exploration heroes, but since this show is aiming to be so progressive and all, it would be nice to hear a shoutout for some of the pioneering women in space. How about a USS Jemison?

No, the names are all of late 20th/early 21st century aviation and space figures/vessels.

Shenzhou: Chinese manned spacecraft
Discovery: US Space Shuttle
Glenn: US astronaut (who flew Mercury-Atlas 6 and 35 years later on Space Shuttle Discovery)
Crossfield-class: US test pilot, contemporary of Chuck Yeager
Yeager: US test pilot (ship mentioned in Episode 2)

I mean I can appreciate that connection [although it has been done to death in Trek — like come on they have hundreds of extra years of people to name their ships after, do they really need to keep mining 20th century names just because we’re familiar with them?], but at least in US ship naming schemes, all the members of a class are named after a particular “theme” — names of states for battleships, names of people for aircraft carriers, names of exploration for the space shuttles, names of Greek gods for the early space program. Galileo, Cassini, named after astronomers. Discovery’s class should have a theme and stick with it, not be an amalgam of different half-related names from the 20th century.

The US Shuttles were named after ships of exploration (including the fictional Starship Enterprise, which was initially to be named Constitution in honor of the US Bicentennial) but most other US manned spacecraft names originated with their crews, most famously “Molly Brown” on Gemini 3 and “Charlie Brown” and “Snoopy” on Apollo 10.

US warship names are now all over the map, with the next two aircraft carriers being John F. Kennedy and Enterprise, with Arizona being the front-runner for the fourth Ford-class carrier.

Deep space probes are now a variety of naming conventions, with some being utilitarian (Mars Pathfinder, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) some being mangled acronyms (MESSENGER, OSIRIS-REX) and others being touchy-feely (Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, Dawn, and New Horizons.) Only Juno in recent decades follows the old ‘god’ model.

Very interesting and weird (in a good way) episode. This is obviously a darker period and will develop into TOS’s lighter tone. Definitely got some Section 31 vibes, including the black badges. I want more of this show.

Can’t help but wonder if this ship will end up as part of Section 31 or if something will happen in the end with everything Discovery related being deemed classified by Starfleet.

Hmmm. NCC-10… 31!

Oh snap Blackmocco has a point

I was actually thinking that. That the registry is a sec 31 registry. Or it could be groups of registries are assigned different ships (science ships, transport ships etc).

But Discovery being the 10th ship of Sec 31 makes sense, if a bit on the nose haha

Did we see the registry of Glenn?

I thought maybe that was a strange shoutout to Chris Carter [X-Files] who seems fascinated with the number 1013 ;^)

Oooooooooh. Fun!

10-31 is Halloween!

I read the 1031 is because it’s Fuller’s favorite holiday.

I really hope there is no reference whatsoever to Section 31. Never liked that aspect of Trek.

Amazing, falling in love with the new series. I want more!

I think the captain is a collector. The captain wanting to collect the monster found on the sister ship and the mutineer Michael B. The USS Discovery appears to be a black ops science vessel. Curious if this timeline is events after Kelvin and Narada? If it is John Harrison is working for star fleet at the moment and Captain Pike is in this time period also. Be funny to see Benedict show up at some point with secret missions etc.

Is this the prime universe or kelvin universe?

Officially it’s in the Prime timeline. Though there are are enough visual and tech differences to make me think of it (tentatively) as Prime-A.

Yes, if nobody said it was prime universe I swear it looks like starfleet built the uss discovery much like how they are building uss vengence due to events of Kelvin and Narada. I love the mysteries and sci fi so far. So far I very much love Michael B, Saru and Captain Lorca.

Not really, if you look at some scenes of the bridge in the animated series you see a similar tech level – enough to make the tech on discovery more believable.

In fact, I’m quite sure i read that there were budgetary and technological constraints on TOS that meant Roddenberry couldn’t show the level of tech he wanted to. In that respect, we could say that the bridge on the animated series is closer to what Roddenberry wanted on the bridge of TOS.

Also keep in mind that discovery is likely a newer ship than enterprise, and it’s experimental nature likely means it holds the most cutting edge technology in the federation at that time. Plenty of canon explanation for the tech on the show, in other words.

I’d guess that TMP was what Roddenberry had in mind from the start, relative to the look and feel of the sets/ships/etc. I’ve always felt that TMP was simply TOS, updated more by increased budget, and less due to ‘refit’. But since the look of the ship/tech was so radically different, they felt they had to explain it “in-movie” as being a refit.

Honestly if Phase II had happened they were going to completely update the sets but still consider it the TOS Enterprise. I dunno if there was gonna be an in-universe explanation, but Roddenberry always felt that the look of TOS was open to (re)interpretation, especially his own. It’s really the fans that insist on a hardline “visual canon continuity,” despite all the numerous gaffes evident in TOS alone.

Exactly! He was even considering re-designing the Klingons for TAS.

There would definitely have been an in-universe ‘refit’ explanation, same as the eventual movie.

Aside from an extra turbo-lift (which was actually added for animation purposes but was later adopted in the movies) and a hemispherical Bridge Defense System, it’s pretty much identical to TOS. But they did have a primitive holodeck and a lot of interesting shuttles and devices (life support belt!) that lends credence to other parts of Starfleet and the Federation having more advanced tech. They’re bound to be using proven, non-experimental hardware.

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@Aaron Harvey — it’s also round. Don’t discount how big a change that made to the feel of it. That one aspect of TMP bridge made a huge difference in updating the look, even before the complete redress, which went well beyond the era it was conceived in.

Enterprise is newer based on her registry. Enterprise is 1701 where as Discovery is 1031

Except that Enterprise’s sistership Constellation was NCC-1017.

Its not Prime Timeline they were just lying to try to escape fan criticisim- like lying about the 200 year old generational Klingon ship with anchient Klingons that look differently when all the Klingons are from the current time & look the same & the ship has only been out there for 20 years or so.

You missed Saru’s dialogue stating some of the sarcophagi were thousands of years old. The ship WAS ancient.

Definitely a big visual update for the universe, but the producers have said that when it comes to the history and events of the show, it follows the Prime universe. The Kelvin was not destroyed by the Narada, Kirk was not born on that escape pod, Enterprise was not built in a field in Iowa while emo-‘daddy issues’ Kirk watches from his motorcycle.

It is the September and October 2017 $8 million budget per episode timeline.

The creators, actors, writers, studio execs and everyone except Santa Claus has said this takes place in the prime time line, yet every post there is this timeline debate.

How can the whole look (film and VFX) be so cheesy when they have $8 million per episode? The two pilote episode had a cinematic look. But what the hell was THIS? The first 3 scenes (Shuttle, Shuttle bay, Discovery fly-by) looked like complete CGI crap from 1999. Even ENT had better CGI. It would have been o.k. for a 90’s movie like “Insurrection” but it is not enough for 2017.

Seems you are in the minority with this belief Thomas.

No he’s not- everyone else is being bullied out of speaking up.

Stop trolling trekboi.

Doubting Thomas – WTF are you talking about? Ep. 3 looked fantastic!

Heh — Thomas, I barely notice CGI, except when it’s 20 years old or extremely bad. I get caught up in stories.

Well … and costumes. That’s my detail area, I guess.

And on the topic of uniforms I’m still not sold on these yet. I kind of with they had went with Fullers idea of the more traditional TOS/TNG style uniform. I even like Beyond’s better, and those aren’t that good either.

I personally very much doubt I’ll ever like them. But I never cared for the WOK jackets or many of the uniform variations on the spinoffs either. Not a deal-killer.

Any one else notice how the new uniforms look a lot like what Garth of Izar wears?

The CGI & non-cinematography was awful- Star Trek New Voyager episode 3 level- which was made on a lot less than 8 Million an episode.

That’s because people are idiots because it’s the prime timeline and they still don’t want to believe it. They want a 60s looking show.

I love the look of the new Discovery show and dont care either way if its Prime or Kelvin. As long as good stories and character development and acting I am very happy! Ive watched TNG since the early 90s and love the first 3 episodes, looking forward to more Discovery and more of Lorca, Michael and Saru.

I believe had we got a 60s looking show, those fans that want it now would still moan about it. It’s moaning for the sake of it. It’s sad, very sad.

If we got a 60s looking show I doubt the show would make it 2 seasons. Only people who want that are people in their 60s. The rest of us actually want a modern looking show.

It’s not Prime- they are lying to try to keep the Star Trek fans from getting totally upset (the ones who know what Star Trek is & care about it)

That’s total BS. And if you believe that, you’re an idiot.

Because they lie about it like they lied about the Klingons

Do tell. How did they lie about the Klingons?

According to a comment on YouTube, Discovery actually takes place in the Mirror universe. If so it explains a lot of the problems with the pro-log episodes and the expected tone of the series. They are expected to do a Mirror universe episode or two. Are they then going to come over to the Prime universe or the Kelvin? Just wondering.

No, I don’t think Discovery is in the mirror universe. It is darker than TOS, but it does not resemble the mirror universe at all. The mirror universe ships were ISS, Shenzhou, Europa, and Discovery are USS. Burnham and the Klingons mentioned the Federation, which didn’t exist (it was the Empire) in the mirror universe.

It’s Prime. has nothing to do with Narada.

Exactly. I really think this will be hit home when there’s some sort of recognition on-screen to a uniform or something of the old aesthetic.

They could have archival footage of Wiliam Shatner himself as young James Kirk on screen say “There are many universes but only this one, the Prime universe, has been featured across all series'” and some people would still whine about it.


Yet the phasers seemed to “gear up” in the same way as they did in JJ movies, and fired bolts, as in JJ movies.

OTOH the transporter made a sound that took me right back to 1960s Scotty!

So did the tricorder!

Why are you all living in denial & believeing the PR like that this is a
“prime” show when it isn’t.

I feel very, very sorry for you Trekboi. You keep parroting the same arguments over and over again and accusing anybody who disagrees with you of being a troll.

We get it. You don’t like Discovery. That’s your prerogative. But you are clearly watching it simply so you can moan at length about it. And that is really, really sad to see you. Why don’t you go and watch what you want to see- which I suspect is TOS?

After watching 3 episodes it VERY much feels
like Kelvin timeline. All the displaced canon and the tech used does it for me. At this point, I don’t care what the producers say about them sticking to canon. To me, this is KT until proven otherwise.

Enjoyed the episode. So far the show has a little bit of a DS9 feel to it, which isn’t a bad thing imo. I’ve read some fans saying that it doesn’t feel like “Trek” but I think it very much does. Its just been brought up stylistically to the current way story telling is presented on television (GOT, West World ect.) I’m not saying that’s good or bad thing, it just is what it is. I like Michael so far and think there’s plenty of interesting places they can take her character. The other crew I have to get to know before I judge because we’ve just been introduced except Saru. Though I will say I could see Lorca turning out to be a bad guy in this. Maybe even a Section 31 agent or something. Also am I detecting a Southern accent in his speech? Cant completely tell yet.

And I actually really like the ship. I’ve been fascinated with the Ralph McQuarrie Plant of Titans Enterprise design for a long time. Cool look imo.

At first I did not like the design of the Discovery but it is growing on me and liking it.

I hated the design initially and still dont love it. But it actually reminds me of TOS era more so than even the Shenzhou. The domed bridge etc. It has the right feel anyway.

Agreed with TUP. From a publicity standpoint, it isn’t the most photogenic ship, but after seeing it in action on screen, I actually have fallen in love with the design. Maybe I’m just easy.

The domed bridge puts me in mind of a smaller Daedalus-class sphere, which I think is a nice (but probably unintentional) callback!

It has its appeal from certain angles, as with just about all the variations on Matt Jeffries’ design over the years. But for my money nothing photographs as well from as many angles as the TOS original.

Does it really matter what the ship design is? It is just a vehicle (pun intended) to move the story along.

I hear you, but of course it does matter for the same reason I drive a fairly impractical sports car. People care about style, even if it doesn’t “matter.”

Lorca is a Southerner according to one story on this site.

I wonder why he’s collecting alien bones. Is he hunting prey? Br-r-r. Maybe that’s why they cast Jason Isaacs, who usually plays evil characters. Oh well.

And ugh, Section 31? I hope no-o-ot.

I’d be stunned if Section 31 *wasn’t* involved, given the ship’s registry number and the heretofore unknown black badges.

The way the crew is acting, how this captain seems to have all this discretion, along with black badges – I definitely felt like there is going to be a section 31 reveal soon

Was it only certain guards that had black deltas? The officers all had regular ones, right?

I think Lorca will turn out to be a regular Captain given this assignment. But Landry has Sec 31 written all over her lol

At first I thought the scene of Lorca & Landry alone was hinting at a relationship between them.

Wouldn’t wearing identification, even if it’s nondescript plain black badges, be kind of contradictory to section 31? identifying themselves like that?

either the whole ship is in section 31, in which case why do you need to identify yourself as such, or only some people are in which case why raise questions about who you are and why you’re there? I dunno, seems too easy…

but enjoying the conversation!

Listen scotchyscotchscotch, don’t you go trying to inject logic or reason into anything that comes from Alex Kurtzman and Akiva Goldsman. ;)

I kid, I’m actually rather enjoying the show. But those two have a bad habit of doing stuff for cool factor, not because they make sense.

Yep. Hopefully the adults are keeping them in check. 😊

Black Delta’s could be like a special forces op. There are pretty exclusive branches of US military that still have insignias.

Originally, the idea of Sec 31 was that it was rogue but that doesnt really work in the context we’ve seen through all the series’. It can be highly ecretive and “if caught, denied” but it still has funding and authority.

I dont see an issue with black deltas. They are insignia of whatever branch or sub group they belong too. Probably Star Fleet intelligence, Sec 31 or some black ops special forces group.

Black badges could be updated MAACO. Or, as TUP says, Special Forces/SEAL types. Starfleet may have felt a need to deploy such personnel after the giant Klingon battle.

@Marja — yes. I prefer this over some clandestine Section 31. Black Alerts — specially trained Black personnel. I think if they were widely used throughout Starfleet the prisoners would have at least known about them.

As far as I could tell it was only the guards with the black. Puts me in mind of black ops and secret stuff. And I thought the same thing between Lorca and Landry because of the way he said that lol.

Agreed, I smell Section 31 all over this ship. Not everyone of course and maybe some surprise crew who are.

I’m pretty sure the black badges are just some sort of special forces. Although, with the kind of latitude Lorca is touting, I have no doubt that Section 31 is involved on some level.

NCC – 10 (section) 31

Okay I thought I heard it in his speech.

Thought I spotted a Cardassian vole from DS9, on top of the tribble. I’m a little concerned at the cherry picking of Trek references without regard to whether Kirk and Spock did it “first” ten years from the time of DISCO. Site-to-site transport, an obelisk on a moon of Andoria, and a few other bits. Should I just get over continuity? I’m not married to canon, but I appreciate some of it. Ah well, the story is intriguing so far and I’ll keep watching.

I mean ‘in addition to’ the tribble…

He’s a British actor putting on an American accent. You should hear how he really sounds. Maybe it would be better if he just spoke naturally.

Anthony said:
“But, it is hard to shake the notion that Discovery is just kind of a bummer. Everyone seems to hate everyone else, people are getting turne pretzels by the tech that is running the ship, the captain may be a war criminal, and there is still that war with the Klingons.”
Anthony, I agree with you completely. I was afraid of this happening. I understand that angry, unlikeable characters that hate each other, while warring all the time, is (literally) the rage of current science fiction shows now.
But as a life long Star Trek fan, I kept thinking they swung too far away from Star Trek to accommodate current trends. The utopian nature of Star Trek was heralded by Sonequa Martin-Green on the talk shows. But other than casual lip service, and a few token gestures, this universe isn’t Star Trek. It’s 2017 generic science fiction TV.
I kept thinking about how criminals were so few, and treated with kindness in “Whim Gods Destroy.” Certainly not here. That “one dimensional” Discovery security officer is “tough and mean”. I get it, “tough and mean.” She reminds me of the tough and mean corporate woman who smokes all the time in WestWorld. It’s stupid.
The World needs more Star Trek now, not another “tough and mean” war show, full of monsters.
If this was how Star Trek was when I was growing up, I never would have found the inspiration that Star Trek gave me as a child. As an adult, there are times when we have to hold on, in a realistic way, to the things that inspire us. Discovery would have never touched me then, and I keep waiting for it to touch me now.

I think the angry character stuff is to build arc and show progress and challenges of the character with how she is handling her choices and living with those consequences.

Michael will achieve great things and continue to grow and develop into the shows heroine.

Thing is even if she did not mutiny the same end result would have occured. The ship did not fire and the Klingons was going to massacre the fleet and the Captain was going to die no matter. Also beaming on a photon topedo onto a deceased Klingon body would have resulted in that tractor beam to be aborted by the Klingons for it would have detected a bomb, no?

I agree. And remember DS9 people. There was also a LOT of angry people that didn’t like each other: Kira wasn’t happy Starfleet was on the station. Odo didn’t like them either and hated Quark. Sisko didn’t want to be there either and thought Starfleet was wasting its time there. The only one who really wanted to be there was Dr. Bashir who they ALL seemed annoyed by, especially Chief O’Brien out of all people. I think the only character that got along happily was Dax, but when you’re centuries old you just know how to handle conflict better I guess. ;).

Kira came across to me the same way the new security officer is; very touch and mean and a little cold towards everyone. That changed by season 2. By season 3 she was very much apart of the team even if she still stayed mean and tough, especially towards Cardassians. She was the first Star Trek terrorist/freedom fighter as a main character. Lorca might be a ‘warmonger’ but he’s not the first character whose entire arc was built around war in Star Trek.

Of course yes some people say this very reason DS9 wasn’t Star Trek enough but the point I’m making all those people who seemed totally in conflict with each other ended up becoming a very tightly wound family. Yes they all hated Quark lol but even he was accepted (within limits).

That’s what I hope will happen. And, as in life, it will happen over time. I don’t think we’ll see a happy ending in every episode as in days of old, but I imagine the crew will resolve their differences and learn to get along. It’s pretty natural in any working unit that some dislikes will still exist under the surface.

We did not see a happy ending in every episode of TNG, DS9, or ENT. And what about TOS “A Private Little War” or “City on the Edge of Forever”?

The TOS pilot wasnt exactly a happy episode either, what with Kirk needing to kill his best friend.

Agreed, @somethoughts – if the idea is a redemption story, you cannot start in happy land and end in happier land.

They DO have to be careful not to lose the advebntruous spirit of Trek. And they have to be careful not to over do the tech which can be tough for people to embrace.

TUP, and an overemphasis on Klingons, cripes. What’s next, the Borg?

And someone really needs to see to those Klingon oral appliances, because everyone sounded like they had a mouthful of marbles. Awful.

somethoughts, Yes! Good characters have arcs. Burnham will go from the depths of despair to hope and accomplishment, as in The Hero’s Journey. To make this show interesting, I imagine the showrunners will take their sweet time getting toward hope.

The ones in Whom Gods Destroy were criminally insane, mentally ill people. That’s why there was so few of them, and that’s why they were treated kindly. Meanwhile, real criminals were in real prisons, presumably getting a considerably less kind form of treatment.

And well, she’s only tough and one-dimensional because you don’t know her yet. I’m pretty sure she’s a lovable person when off duty.

I honestly don’t get that comment so early on and it’s a little troublesome for me. This is obviously a slow burn show where you sink into it instead of having to digest each stand-alone episode over the course of an hour. If you watch GOT or most premium shows these days it’s exactly the same. I found myself saying some of the last season of GOT was slow early on but that’s because they were telling a story and the format allows for episodes to be slow or fast or to have some focus entirely on one battle. Trek can do the same. It also feels at times that a lot of fans look at trek with rose colored glasses and think of it as all exploration, all peace, all kumbaya. It’s not. How many corrupt or crazy Starfleet officers did we see in TOS or the films or dark plots in TNG?

I thought the storytelling in GOT suffered dramatically in Sn7 compared to the previous chapters. But you’re absolutely right that DSC is an unfolding work that will evolve and surprise as the show goes on. I understand people’s concerns that this doesn’t “feel” like Trek at this stage of the game, but the producers have even hinted that they will be taking steps to align with TOS over the course of the series, and that this nasty war business will be over in a year. Let’s just let them make their Trek war story and see where they take us. I like the last line of this review, channeling the “sometimes when you’re lost, you’re found.” Just give it a try and you might be pleasantly surprised.

In fairness, Mr. JJ also swore up and down that Into Darkness wasn’t going to be a Wrath of Khan remake. It’s worth being cautious. Words are wind.

Bad Robot lied about their first two movies, and they’re lying here too. This series is a 2nd reboot. A very watchable reboot (unlike the JJ-trek movies), but still another reboot.


Bad Robot isn’t involved at all with DISCO and I suspect it couldn’t be since they were hired to do the movies by Paramount.

Also it’s not a reboot: it’s a visually updated Prime Universe show. A 1960s aesthetic would be suicidal for the show.

And they are going out of their way to show you its Prime. If people want to keep their eyes closed, thats their problem.

@AdmNaismith — Everything I say is a lie: DISCOVERY is a reboot.

I was.
DS9 but darker tone, good solid acting. Too bad Gheorgiou [SPOILER ALERT]

Refreshing tone and very exciting! These 3 episodes have been much more involving than any of the JJ-verse movies. Love it!

“These 3 episodes have been much more involving than any of the JJ-verse movies.”

Like ’em or not, I completely agree with this.

I’ve had to accept that myself. I enjoyed the 2009 film and Beyond but this is how you do modern Trek

I’m the rare (“pseudo”?)-fan that liked STID the best of the three, but I thought this episode was one of the highest-quality Treks of all time. I completely disagree with Anthony’s analysis that this episode was too full of exposition and stilted dialogue; I found no glaring acting issues and I was riveted by all the reveals. I hung on every line of dialogue. Of course, it will only work, ahem, in “context” with the rest of the series, and it does set up a lot of stuff that better pay off well.

I liked Beyond more than STID but, and this might sound weird, STID is more re-watchable. Beyond is a tighter story but pretty pedestrian and suffers some of the poor writing of the prior two, though not to the same extent as STID.

But STID is a more epic story. Its bigger, deeper. I always said it had the bones of a GREAT story. They just hired guys who werent talented enough to bring it to life.

Amen! It was half-baked, but literally the “biggest” (longest, most expensive, largest scope) Trek movie there ever was, and probably will be. Also I just think it’s more fun, despite all the darkness.

I submit that the JJ movies had to wrap everything up in the story within 2 hours.
“Discovery” will have a lovely, season-long, novel-like arc.

As I’ve said many times, JJ Trek should come to TV. Perhaps Captain Pike can return to starship captain duty …. [dreaming on]

After the failure of Beyond I don’t think you would ever see it as a TV show, especially as it would be nearly impossible to get most of the main actors.

I liked the Kelvin films but I understand why people had issues with them. I doubt we will get another one now but if so I’ll go see it.

@Marja — they could easily spin off the adventures of Captain Pike, during this same period. One rendezvous with the Enterprise is all we need, and put them on a dedicated mission of their own.

It was a better episode than the first 2. The Panspermia angle is a bit bizarre, but we will see where it goes.

I can basically summarize my previous post this way. At the Star Trek Las Vegas convention, Akiva Goldsman said Star Trek, to him, was at the core really about empathy. That reached me. To me, I think Star Trek is about empathy and kindness. That’s what makes it special. And I don’t see enough of them on Discovery. I was hoping they would deliver on their words. Not so far.

In regards to your point, only three episodes have aired.

TNG’s third episode of the first season was also one of its worst ever.
This episode was FAR SUPERIOR to that.
Miles above it,in fact.

They are three episodes in. They how loved the TNG crew was 3 episodes in. Or the DS9 crew. Or the Voyager crew and so on. Oddly outside of TOS this is kind of what Trek does and throw a bunch of characters at us that doesn’t start off as some tight knit family because they all kind of just meet each other in the pilot and then slowly start to build those relationships.

Based on what we know about Discovery thus far most of the crew is pretty new as well. We didn’t see them all join together like the other shows but it sounds like most have only been together a few months, at least with Tilly, Stamets, definitely Saru and now Burnham. It sounds like Lorca has been in charge of Discovery for awhile but his senior staff is mostly new since Saru is now his first officer. So you have to give it time. I made DS9 as the main parallel because it did seem like a lot of people just didn’t like each other on that show. I would say Voyager was next given its situation. It sounds like Discovery is like those two shows and that the crew is thrown together out of special circumstance and so they are adjusting to a new normal. That takes time.

That’s true, but you’re missing that at it’s core it’s also about science and exploration of the universe. Otherwise it would just be like a social workers convention in space.

@ziplock — that’s why last nights episode was so great! Did you miss the part about his ship having more science labs than any other? I was elated that it was an episode about discovery (small d), and not war. I was thrilled that the entire ship was an experiment to explore faster and at greater distances. I’d say you’re not looking at the forest for the trees …

Agreed Cadet, there was plenty of discovery in this episode, and we as the audience have a lot left to discover about what lies ahead. So give your curiosity a chance to explore as we see how this series unfolds. It may just have the most discoveries of any Trek series to date. We may all yet rediscover everything that makes Trek great.

This show is likely to be about how empathy is necessary, but is also something that doesn’t come easily, and is hard work. In order to show that, we can’t see the characters immediately identify with Burnham.

Gary they’re clearly building to a redemption story for Burnham. After what she did, and the family that this is obviously going to grow into, isn’t that the genuine kindness that you’re speaking off? You have to set that up though, you don’t for this story’s sake, just start there.

One thing they will have to reconcile in a fulfilling way are things we know to happen.

The “new way to fly” either fails or is banned

They dont make peace with the Klingons nor do they defeat the Klingons. So how you end a war arc with basically a ceasefire and have that feel like a win is something Im curious to see unfold.

Patience, GarySeven, all will come, in time. We’re in a novel here, not a short story.

It would seem that the superbly played Lorca has a great deal of latitude from Starfleet to assemble his team. Stamets ain’t happy to be aboard, and Burnham sure as hell isn’t a ‘logical’ choice, except in Lorca’s as yet unknown mind. We don’t know what the Discovery’s mission really is, at this point (the hyperwarp mushrooms obviously aren’t it), so we don’t yet know the “context” on which Lorca is basing his choices, nor how he has such latitude from SFC.

I think why so many of us are getting a Section 31 vibe. He seems like he has free reign to pick whoever he wants to make sure this top secret experiment work on a ship Burnham didn’t know existed until she saw it. I have a feeling we are going to be in for a really crazy trip.

I love the above top secret stuff and the message context is for kings.

The pawns just follow orders and let the leaders decide on a end game good philosphy even though bad ethical choices are needed to accomplish the end game good goal.

I like Lorca so far. He puts off a very Sisko-esque “ends justify the means” vibe.

I like Lorca and Stamets for being very decisive and action-driven leaders. Stamets was on point on that boarding party mission, immediately breaking into clear decision-making in gathering everything they needed. And I love how they butt heads with each other.

I agree, they both seem like solid leaders. It should be fun to watch them continue to ram heads.

I absolutely love this episode

I’m curious about the mentioned lapses in logic. To what is this referring? I felt this episode really hit the mark tonally and it’s definitely the blue-print for the rest of the season. Also, I can’t agree with the exposition complaint. Just because characters talk to each other about things doesn’t mean the show is relying on exposition. If you can visually show the same thing in a sensible way that people will get, then fine, but I didn’t notice that happening in the episode. Also, loving the ideas behind the spore-drive, and Stamets exasperated explanation of biology and physics being the same thing once you dive deep enough. Looking forward to episode 4!

I kept wondering why a mycologist was going to be featured in the show. It was a mystery to me. Makes more sense now :^)

And that was totally a Gorn skeleton amongst Lorca’s menagerie. Loved that.

But the Gorn are an intelligent race, yes? … isn’t that like keeping a Romulan skeleton around, or a Klingon one? As I said, b-r-r-r.

Indeed, Lorca might have a dark, psychotic side. If that turns out to be true, he might be even darker than whole Section 31.

The idea of a redemption arc could be for both Michael and Lorca. But I fear he wont be long for the series (ie. he’s gone at season’s end, with Michael being promoted to Captain of a re-purposed Discovery).

Yes, I get the feeling Michael will end up being Captain like how Kirk ended up being Captain in ST2009. Characters nobody liked but ended up with redemption and promotion. But I hope they keep Lorca around his scenes were pretty much icy tense awesome.

I thought this too because of Saru being first officer. If Michael is redeemed and earns back her commission, they *could* bust her down to Lt Commander and be 2nd officer. But I could see, for story telling purposes, her being reinstated and promoted to Captain so she jumps right over Saru.

From outcast and pariah to Golden Girl in one season? That’s Trek 2009-awful. If it happens, it’ll be quite the act of-self sabotage as far as I’m concerned.

If it happens, at least she was a First Officer in line for a Captaincy. I hope she just gets re-commissioned and continues to work under Lorca.

The idea of Saru and her both wanting the Captain’s chair might hint at them being of equal rank in the future and both “competing” for the big chair down the road.

Ofcourse, both can be Commander’s. Only one can be the first officer.

I hope Lorca lives through this season and Michael gets recommissioned, but not made captain. I’m not ready to see her get completely redeemed in even just one season, no matter how much ground it covers. She is probably the most controversial figure in Starfleet history, both its first mutineer (and honestly how believable is that? seems like a canon violation) and kicking off a war with the Klingons to boot. They’re really gonna give her her own ship by the end of this story? I would hope not, and I don’t care how much heroism she displays this season. She needs to humble herself as first officer for at least another year, I think.

Without context, it is hard to say — I mean, HR Giger claimed the body of his dead girlfriend and put critters to work on it so he would have her skeleton to keep, but apparently there was nothing perverted about, just an expression of love.

To me, keeping the skeleton of an alien race member sounds about as unStarfleet as possible, probably a war crime in and of itself, let alone how he happened to acquire it … I like the darker aspects of TREK, especially in TOS and DS9, but what I’m reading about here on what aired suggests a really unusual path for the show … and I don’t think it is one that will lead to a more conventional series a year or so down the line, at least not without some huge course corrections and maybe some clunky reversals of course direction.

They seem to be exploring what I’ve seen referred to in screenwriting as ‘2nd level of sell’ – which is usually a secondary storyline that comes to the fore around the end of act 2. Examples would be Rogue Bond discovering how his one man mission of revenge in LICENCE TO KILL is threatening major international concerns (and will get Chinese and British operatives killed.) It’s the level of complexity in storytelling that raises the stakes while giving greater grounding for the whole adventure, but you don’t want to go there too often, because it stops being about the main story.

If your main story is lousy, however, second level of sell is sometimes the saving grace. Plenty of routine or above-average actioners are elevated by the 2nd level of sell (UNDER SIEGE hints at a past relationship between the Cook and the lead terrorist, and about the lead terrorist’s history, in a way that almost makes me think the backstory could have been a better movie.) I think for me, based on what I read here, that DSC is going to fall into the latter category, where the story trickery will be more interesting than the main story itself, and so that makes me a bit more comfortable with skipping the whole thing for now.

I think this is why I gave up on GAME OF THRONES after around 2 seasons, that it just didn’t engage me on a straightforward storytelling level at all, and it was only the twists and a few performances that intrigued. (have been back watching the show for last 2 seasons w/o doing any catchup on missed years and feel fine with it, even though I still dislike the lead guy, who makes me think UK Corey Feldman or Leonard from BigBang.)

Of course, if DSC winds up having this Captain deliver a monologue about how terrible the Prime Directive is while ranting from the shadows (could call the ep PRIME DEFECTIVE for double meaning), then I’d retroactively retract all this and start gushing with enthusiasm. A well-reasoned and passionate argument against the Prime Directive would work wonders in getting me aboard, even to pay to watch the show, because that’s the second level of sell I’d have built into it, and in fact it drove an immense amount of my own sporadic writing input for a quarter-century now.

There are many babies stuffed into many jars in museums and medical buildings.

I’m guessing that Lorca is as indifferent to the PD as he can afford to be, but we’ll see. (Well, you won’t, which I regret, even though I’d probably disagree with about 90% of your comments.)

the ‘universal law is for lackeys’ line I read about here hits me so strong I am beginning to regret my decision. It’s like seeing TREK do fascism in a DIRTY HARRY kind of way, enticing while enraging, but I keep thinking that is the tip of an iceberg that may very well stay submerged. If it does pay off, and things escalate the way I might like (in dramatic terms), then I may have to buy in at some point. But the comments about the CG looking crappy (or crappier) in ep 3 are certainly not reassuring.

As bad as Enterprise was dramatically, it was seeing that godawful library at the start of s2 that caused me to give up on the thing comnpletely. Couldn’t understand why the show would turn into a cutscene from a conputer game in terms of visual cred, when better solutions could have easily been implemented. It was like seeing a shot from B5’s WORLD WITHOUT END spacewalk – which for those who don’t recall, looks dreadful — cut into APOLLO 13, utterly disorienting in its lack of crediblity.

I’m curious–TOS is universally acknowledged to be full of bad effects, continuity errors, cheap sets, and the like–yet we continue to watch, fifty years on, because of some great writing, acting, and (I suspect) some ineffable magic quality no one has yet quite put their finger on. I’m not saying, God knows, that Enterprise had much in the way of those qualities, but why would you stop watching it based on a less-than-perfect effects shot, of all reasons?

It was just the last straw … I mean, the effects looked bad right out of the gate (or drydock), but things got worse! And the space cadets crewing this ship … I was embarrassed watching it.

I remember being amazed at how good ANDORIAN INCIDENT was, because it just seemed competently done (along with what I recall as the show’s go-to, Archer getting beat up.) And I remember the show where Phlox has to not help the planet with the two races on it, and thought, hey, this has got that downer/SYMBIOSIS feel, that’s pretty cool.

But then I tried to rewatch the episode (the only time I think I ever tried rewatching ENT — no I take that back, I tried watching the mirror universe ep twice – that and the finale were the only s4 eps I ever watched all the way through, though I probably watched 5 or 6 eps in part between s2 and s3) and it was like, this ain’t even PRIVATE LITTLE WAR, it just fills space (no pun intended.)

I had a number of outlines and premises that I wrote up a few weeks after ENT was announced, and I remember rereading them and deciding my stuff was better than what I was watching (I felt that way about some of my TNG pitches too, but not all of them.)

By the time s2 started, my wife was knitting in the other room instead of watching, and I realized I would enjoy sitting and talking with her as she listened to music more than I’d enjoy pitching a bitch (to myself) about everything ELSE that was gonna be wrong with the episode. The library shots just felt to me like I switched on TATTOOED TEENAGE ALIEN FIGHTERS FROM BEVERLY HILLS, but without the cute brunette.

So the library vfx were really just the rancid icing (does icing go rancid?) on a peed-on cake for me.

Bad VFX really bother me on a lot of middle of the run B5 eps, but I can always push through that. Didn’t have any reason to with Ent.

You’re dead right about the ineffable thing, Michael.

TOS … transcends.

It ain’t the only show that does, but it is just about the only one from that era and this side of the Atlantic pond (would put THE PRISONER in the same category.)

But the Gorn weren’t encountered until “Arena”. Seems like tribbles were unknown until “The Trouble With Tribbles”. Just saying. Also, why quote the Geneva Conventions when last week you planted a “bomb” on a Klingon corpse. Contradict much?

Tribbles clearly werent unknown since that dealer had them. He didnt invent them.

All fine and good on the tribbles, but what about the Gorn? Also, why isn’t Lorca’s reproducing at an alarming rate, or is he starving the poor thing?

He has the skeleton, which may or may not be a Gorn’s. That doesn’t mean he knows what it is.

I have a theory: Maybe the tribbles we saw on TOS are the result of the secret experiments of Lorca and still are harmless and aren’t able to reproduce Maybe they will be genetic engeenired on the Discovery as biological weapons against klingons.
On the other hand maybe this monster is also created too to stop the tribbles.

@DaveCGN — Oh God, that sounds like this ship has the potential to retcon and explain any number of things that don’t need to be … maybe we’ll discover the reason all Romulans have forehead ridges in the TNG era is a direct result of experiments the DISC had while confronting Romulans in a secret mission not ever divulged to the rest of Starfleet …

@DaveCGN — also, Phlox has already confirmed Tribble’s basic nature is to reproduce exponentially and are kept in check in their native habit by predators. So, no, that can’t be attributed to Lorca.

Surely they can neuter the tribble. As amusing as that episode was, it defies logic to a degree. So there must be a way to control them. It could have been genetically modified.

I will say I liked this episode too and I liked we FINALLY saw Discovery and the actual crew. But yes I understand how people feel the crew feels a little unlikable and stand offish but that will change. And to be honest, while I DO understand it, I miss the Burnham we were introduced to in the premiere who had a mix of stoic Vulcanism but came off a bit humorous and head strong. Now she just has the biggest chip on her shoulder that feels as big as a star ship. I know that will go away and now that she’s at least back in Starfleet we get the character that was introduced to us on that planet and not the one who will question eveything her crew members do and give every one the icy look.

And I’m curious where her and Lorca relationship will go because in a way he’s the one that is giving her the second chance but I can’t feel they may grow to be antagonists to each other in the future. We’ve never had a Star Trek quite like this before.

The idea of this darkness and unlikeability fits the premise too. An experimental ship where they are all under gag orders, doing things that are ethically unclear, in the midst of a war…its not wonder they arent having 80’s Dance Night or Open Mic night.

Tiger I miss that Burnham too but I guess I have to give credit to the writers because they’ve allowed us to see the potential she has and genuinely root for her to get back to her old self. I’m wondering if what Lorca sees in her would conflict with that – resulting in the inner conflict that will come in future episodes.

I agree. And it will be interesting to see their relationship together since it was no question she trusted and admired Georgiou even if disagreed with her. With Lorca he may challenge a lot of her belief system or actually confirm them.

Dunno about you, but if I’d been imprisoned for mutiny and such because of trying to save my ship and accidentally starting a [SPOILER], I’d have a huge chip on my shoulder, not only for “by-the-book” procedures, but for myself, that my actions had caused a huge [SPOILER].

I suspect Lorca wants her because he knows she has greatness in her, but she’s also damaged goods, and he may capitalize on that later. Because, Jason Isaacs.

Obviously I get all of that, I just don’t want to watch it for 13 episodes. ;)

I really liked the Burnham we got in the opener, strong willed but open. Caring about her crew. Opinionated but didn’t come off like she was always right (except that one time ;)). I do have a feeling we will get that character and of course they are creating an arc for her where she will punish herself over her actions but (maybe?) learn to love this crew as she did the last one.

From the NY Times review:
““Discovery” is not, thus far, a fun show. No one seems to like each other. There have been no humorous relationship-developing moments, like when Data learned small talk or Spock picks up cursing.”
“Burnham’s introduction to Captain Lorca’s crew was far from seamless, with other crew members hurling insults (she’s called garbage, mutineer, dangerous, among others), making it clear she isn’t welcome. Her own roommate won’t share a station in engineering with her. She gets attacked by fellow prisoners. Burnham doesn’t want to be there. Given Burnham’s mutiny, why should we as viewers want to be along for this ride?”
You know, I miss Captain Georgiou. I was very sad when a Klingon killed her. She was compassionate and kind but a definite leader. If Tilly dies, I would be sad. But if a Klingon kills Lorca or Stamets or Landry, or if instead, Stamets and Lorca or Landry kill the Klingons, I really don’t care. Either way, it’s just one bunch of jerks killing another bunch of jerks.

YOu know that is actually a good point. I do wonder who is going to end up being the ‘buddies’ on this show where you just see the fun and humorous side to them?

TOS: Kirk and Spock obviously although you can say Kirk and McCoy as well (and probably more so but everyone thinks of the former relationship first).

TNG; Data and Geordi which wasn’t exactly an odd couple but they were different people. Gerodi was the one that helped Data understand humanity but they came off as close friend.

DS9: O’Brien and Bashir but that took years for that to happen which is why DS9 is so great because they started out not the best of friends to the point they did everything together…so you never know about Discovery.

VOY: Tom and Harry who liked who basically became friends in the pilot and that relationship only grew.

ENT: Archer and Trip. It was obviously designed to be like Kirk and McCoy but it really worked and they had great chemistry together.

As for Discovery people have to remember a LOT of Trek shows started off with unlikable people. Seriously how warm and fuzzy did Picard feel first season? He was easily the least warm Captain out of all of them but started to feel more likable by third season. I have said DS9 as a whole did start out pretty unlikable because no one seem like they really wanted to be on the station and didn’t trust the other side. Look at Kira and Sisko first season and then look at them by the fourth season. That relationship went from just tolerable in the beginning to a tightly wound team. I love Sisko and Kira’s relationship because they always seem like a putting a square peg in a hole but you really saw how it grew and they came to love and respect each other.

My guess is Discovery is going down that route too. I guess the difference is since this show started as a war show everyone is already pretty uptight and yes its probably the first time we had a Captain that we didn’t know if we should trust in the beginning. That was never even remotely an issue with the others even if you didn’t always like them. With Lorca he’s clearly a guy who has a LOT of secrets and probably an agenda that will but heads with Burnham. Or they can be great friends lol. We just don’t know.

I feel we’ll see lorca and Burnham become closer as crewmates as the show progresses. I don’t get the feeling he’s simply a warmonger – he’s clearly got an explorer side to him judging by his spore drive talk. Also feel he’ll become closer to the crew given the talk we see him give to the crew on the bridge in a future episode. Though clearly he has the ability to be a total badass when the situation demands, perhaps more so than any captain after him.

All in all i must say I’m loving the show. I look forward to seeing where it goes from here!

I’m not sure I buy his ‘spore-drive’ talk. Which is actually cool! We’ll see.

Oh I couldn’t stand Picard in the beginning. He was definitely grumpy cap. It’s funny to look back at those first 2 seasons. And Data’s curiosity with humor that went from cute to annoying very fast.

Just thinking about Joe Piscopo’s humor lessons makes me feel slightly ill.

“You know, I miss Captain Georgiou.”

I have a suspicion we haven’t seen the last of her.

It’s as illogical as Nero’s hatred for Spock in Star Trek (2009). Spock tried to save Romulus and Nero hates him because he failed. Burnham tried to save Starfleet and everyone hates her because she failed. Crap! Burnham is a mutineer but she is not responsible for the war and the victims.

Well, she drew first blood by killing the Klingon on the hull, then killed another Klingon warrior in a raid on his ship. That’s enough for her to be considered the instigator of hostilities with the Klingons.

Yes, from the Klingons perspective, starfleet drew first blood by killing their torch bearer. Even though we know it was an accident in self defense. Destroying the torch bearers ship at the end and killing the new leader is reason for Klingons to not trust humans as they view the federation as the borg out to destroy their Klingin individuality and purity. The Vulcan hello may have worked but was against starfleet philosophy of attacking first.

John, eh?
As opposed to succeeding in her initial plan to take POWs which Klingons view as shameful, YES!

So the NY Times doesnt like that we have yet to see, in 3 episodes, amusing examples that occurred much later in time for the examples listed? Thats sort of an unfair comparison.

@Gary Seven — hmmm we’ve never seen that in Star Trek before … Of wait … VOY … TOm Paris was a prisoner who didn’t want to be on VOY, and was a jerk to everyone. Tuvok was a jerk to everyone. Half the crew hated the other half which became the Maquis, Torres was a jerk, and the doctor was a jerk, for pretty much the whole series … Somehow that series ran for 7 years … Yeah, I wouldn’t watch if I were you. Nothing else interesting going on in that show …

I will say though that the Voyager crew became pretty fast friends by the end of the season. There were still some slight issues with the Maquis but overall they became pretty close even if you still had people who didn’t completely trust Janeway and her decision to stay in the Delta quadrant.

I trust (pray?) that Discovery will do a better job. So far, for my money, it has.

Lots of references to DS9 similarities. Not a DS9 fan, so for those that grew up with it or it was their first Trek experience thats great. For me not so much. I do like the characters- they shine and do outweigh the gloominess that can be a bit much at times. Burnham, Lorca and Saru are excellent and my hope is that the show will have more elements of exploration as it continues- balancing out the dark “war” theme at least somewhat. The closest thing I can relate this to is Yesterday’s Enterprise. The dark bridge with Picard and Klingon War/Universe was fascinating and terrifying at the same time. It really was cool and that episode ranks as one of the best. But…….. I wouldnt want to see entire episodes and seasons even being dedicated to that dark world. What made it great was that hope was restored. This is a serialized show so obviously it will take time for it to turn a little brighter. I just want that time sooner rather than later.

@endeavour — you didn’t really watch ENT did you? When the Maco came on board?

As with the first two episodes, I am going to need to rewatch it a few times. I liked the final scene with Michael and Sylvia- it’s a hopeful hint that the crew of Discovery are going to come to accept Michael, even after what she did.

That to me, feels like Star Trek.

As for the rest of the episode, I was VERY impressed. I can’t remember watching an episode of Trek like it before- which I don’t say lightly considering there has been 700 hours of TV episodes so far!

Finally, I really loved this episode! This is Star Trek to me.

Funny. In the pilot Burnham was totally cool with war crimes (putting booby traps on dead soldiers), now suddenly she says she’s against them. Probably part of the character arc.

“In the pilot Burnham was totally cool with war crimes (putting booby traps on dead soldiers)”

The target was a hostile military vessel, not civilians. How is this a war crime? Is there a real-life treaty that prohibits this?

Incidentally, yes. These items are explicitly forbidden from being booby-trapped, according to the “Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons” (1980):

– innocent-looking devices (transistor radios, televisions)
– devices bearing international defence symbols (the red cross, crescent or star of David, the UN symbol, etc.) or those connected therewith
– the wounded, sick or dead, burial sites or crematoria
– hospitals, clinics, medical equipment, medical vehicles
– devices connected with children (toys, clothes, food, childcare items, etc.)
– food and drink (with the exception of equipment for preparing food at military establishments)
– items connected with religious ritual
– historic sites and art or ritual objects that constitute the cultural or religious heritage of a people
– animals and their carcasses

Of course, it is quite safe to say that Klingons didn’t rarify it. ;)

That’s the difference between the good and the not good guys. The good guys don’t push their moral standards aside as soon as they become inconvient and they extend their rights to everyone, not only to themself.

Firstly, ofcourse it was a nasty plan. It showed Burnham’s willingness to do whatever it takes to save her ship and crew. PLUS, help enact a plan to take a POW for negotiations.

These actions might be part of why Lorca wanted her. Clearly the Discovery crew has several people that seem to have various motivations for being involved.

Although Im curious about Saru. Was his desire to move up so great, he’d take any assignment as First Officer? Is he there because of a desire to avenge his Captain? The whole idea of an experimental ship that has inherent danger seems to be something Saru would avoid.

I think the same thing about Saru being out of place on an experimental ship with mad science that can apparently Cronenberg you. That is the last ship I’d ever expect to find Lt. Cowardly Lion on. Not to mention, his threat to Burnham about how he intends to protect his captain better than she did hers… My immediate thought was about how he’s randomly grown a spine in 6 months and is apparently Captain Hardcore now.

It’s just weird.

I take it more that he’s sort of the very model of a modern major general (to steal a phrase). He knows his stuff and he’s very button down officer material. We’ll see as we go, how deep his character runs.

The fact he over comes his fears is pretty courageous actually.

I get the impression some of the crew was chosen specifically due to their experiences at the battle. Probably because some are vengeful or just that they have seen war and wont flinch or that they are willing to do anything to win.

Tilly is maybe the most odd…a cadet on what amounts to a war ship? I suppose her expertise is useful…and that as a cadet she wont ask questions.

Obviously Burnham isn’t the only one with regrets.

Yeah, I figure like the Cowardly Lion, Saru will eventually find courage and that’ll be awesome.

I also finally got a chance to watch After Trek’s 2nd ep last night, and they made the same point you did, TUP. Saru is liked by Lorca because he’s so by the book and all about the numbers. He’s not going to question Lorca, he’ll follow orders.

I don’t understand why Tilly is there at all. A cadet on a black ops mission makes so little sense. And maybe it’s her expertise, but she’s not been explained yet. So for now she’s just… the random cadet. There for… some reason.

It occurred to me while rewatching last night, she could have just as easily been an Ensign and it would have worked just as well but made more sense. Real curious if they’re going to explain why she’s there at her rank.

It wasn’t Burnham’s idea to booby trap the corpse. It was Giorgiou’s.

And if it had been Lorca’s idea to create biologial weapons it would have been ok for her?

A couple of things:
– They were quite literally in the middle of a losing battle. A no-win scenario. Think Kirk or Sisko would have had a problem carrying out a similar plan? Desperate times call for desperate measures.
– We don’t actually know what Burnham thinks about Giorgiou’s plan. It’s put into play instantly but even if she had concerns about the ethics (or lack of), she’s already assaulted her superior officer. You really think this is would be a good time to disagree with her again? If this were TNG or Voyager, we’d have had half an episode of talking heads discussing the morality. This ain’t that show.
– She makes it very clear to Lorca she’s NOT okay with the concept of biological weapons. Not sure I get your point here. Sorry. It’s early in California.

They were not in a losing battle. The battle was over, most of the the Klingons had allready reatreated and the last ship was just collecting their fallen.
She didn’t object the plan, she helped to carry it out. The same applies for Saru.
I highly doubt that she said “Hey, I commited mutiny, so I’ll give the captain a free pass on war crimes.” It is more likely that Bryan Fuller thought that it was a clever idea and that he has no idea what accounts for a war crime and what not.

Probably not. You raise an interesting issue, but people don’t always act with neat moral clarity or consistency, especially when they’re being threatened. The fact that fans are debating the ethics of that scene in itself is great–making you think what Trek is supposed to do, and hasn’t done near enough of late. We certainly wouldn’t be having this kind of discussion about one of the Abrams movies.

Whew, thanks. I had thought so.

Maybe exactly because of that she is against them… She was okay with it before and it ended in complete disaster and War.

Actually was it not Georgiou and Saru who came up with that plan? I must’ve missed something

Loved it! It felt like the perfect mix of old and new: the characters were far more layered than (most of the) characters from the other Trek shows and it is fascinating to have Burnham to continue to be a messed up protagonist and our new Captain be a walking question mark. Is he evil? Or is he just the right man for a mission/time such as this?

I would have been the first to argue that what makes Trek great is having characters we’d want to be; that the men and women of Starfleet are heroes and the best of the best. However, I am loving the ambiguity and it certainly helps the show stand out!

I am also loving how freaked out characters like Stamens are by how Starfleet’s mission statement has changed since the war began (much like Ensign Connor was before he got sucked into space). This is a clear indication that THIS IS NOT WHAT STAR TREK IS NOW and I can fully envisage the series (maybe even the season) wrapping up the war arc and then deep diving into ‘seeking out new life, new civilisations’

Stamets speaking out felt to me a lot like David Marcus in TWOK: ‘Scientists have always been pawns of the military!’

I had that same sensation. Those sentiments were even more on display by the other Genesis scientists in the novelization of The Wrath of Khan, so that definitely could be a source of inspiration.

I’m trying to make sense of things… A Star Trek spoof feels like real Trek… Real Trek seems to have lost its signature optimism… (and while I’m not trying to get political, NO ONE can say that this is a normal American Presidency…) … … I KNOW!!!! WE’RE IN THE MIRROR UNIVERSE!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have said this before but it is funny how Orville feels like a mirror of the optimistic Trek while Discovery is a really dark, cynical view of it. It doesn’t mean Orville is real Star Trek so much as it touches on the themes of it just like Discovery has completely removed itself from old Star Trek, its just too early to say either way.

But yes I did not expect to like Orville or take it very seriously and now I really enjoying it for reminding me of what Trek is even with all the jokes and pop culture refrences (and I’m fine with both) where Discovery is starting to feel like a more modern version of BSG.

But I am enjoying both so I guess its the best of both worlds for me. ;D

Yeah, I like Orville too. Since there were no expectations, they have the advantage of a relaxed attitude towards it. Funny thing is, I LIKE, serialization and long story arcs. I LIKE Dark, War-like themes, like the Dominion War Arc…but this Orville is a fun ride. I like that too. I’ll end up binge-watching Dicso, (probably on my own DVD set). I binge-watched BSG, never having seen it in its original showing, and it absolutely blew me away. Its the best way to watch a serialized show.

If you think that Orville is a mirror to Star Trek then either you have never watched Star Trek or you are merely trolling. I do not find it optimistic at all. I find it derogative, dull and unimaginative to the point of ripping off a) your entire look and feel, b) your score, c) your stories. Then again, I did not think Star Trek was all that optimistic at all. Especially TNG had a primarily utopian preachy message but if you think hard about that message the whole thing stars to crumble. But comparing Orville to Star Trek is an insult to Star Trek.

Bert: Shut up!

Orville is crap.

“No, you.”

Yup. Orville is a spoof. So unless we wanted a Star Trek spoof, there is really no comparison. Unfortunately until Star Trek sites stop treating Orville like a Trek series, we’ll keep getting these goofy comparisons.

Orville is a member berries show. That’s not a knock, I guess you can say it’s the era we’re in where re-makes and similar shows/films are more about nostalgia than something fresh. The Force Awakens for instance. A good, fun movie? Sure for the most part. A new and fresh push forward in the Star Wars universe? Absolutely not. Instead of fans fighting each other they just need to keep that in mind. Orville was essentially made to pull on those nostalgia strings from classic Trek. It’s not nor will it ever be Trek but it specifically does things to make you think of classic Trek. Discovery says yes we’re Trek and no we’re not in some alternate timeline but we are a new installment and we are going to show you how Trek pushes forward successfully into this new modern age of storytelling. There are callbacks and easter eggs but it’s not overt. I loved TNG but I also watched SeaQuest DSV. And while I never found the need to watch this, a lot of Trek fans watched both DS9 and Babylon 5 religiously. There’s room for both. -rant end-

Here we go again, someone mentions “TO” and someone’s nose gets bent out of shape. I’ll watch “TO” any day over “STD”. The sad part is, I was born the same year as Trek premiered (1966) and have followed it ever since I was old enough to sit up and watch TV. This is NOT what Gene Roddenberry had in mind, IMO. I don’t care if his son is involved or not, this is NOT Gene’s vision that was shown on TOS and TNG. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. I agree with much of the review except that I think it was too kind.

His vision was also on TNG. For a whole two seasons he was able to create some of the worst science fiction I know. It was complete and utter shite. Full of preachy nonsense and spurious stories. Then again TOS was not that strong, amongst perhaps 20 good episodes we can find more crap than anything else. But you remember the good ones and your mind sort of wipes you of the bad trite ones, thus in your memory it all becomes great. I do not kneel at the altar of Roddenberry. For if he had not been booted out this entire website would not exist. But hey, each their own. If you want to watch derogative, dull rehashed stories from Trek, do so. Perhaps the great Roddenberry also likes dick jokes, don’t you think?

@My name… — right. Gene Roddenberry was all about “dick jokes”. Enjoy “TO”.

I think it’s fine to feel that way, especially at this stage of the game, but at some point you’re going to have to ask yourself — look, some fans like it, some fans don’t. Which one will I be until I’ve given it a chance to tell its story? Maybe in context, the beginning of this season will make sense by the time it gets to where it’s going, and you’ll appreciate it for the entire work that it is, not just this glimpse you’ve gotten so far. I thought ENT’s Xindi arc was going to betray Trek’s principles. But it didn’t; it just bent them. At the end of the day, diplomacy and peace won the day. It doesn’t get more optimistic than that.

Great episode! Fantastic performances by the cast! A lot of stuff to soak in, and When Burnham goes on her mushroom ride, get to see another “Miramanee” obelisk that was on one of the “moons of Andoria” (or at least thats the way Lorca described it), maybe even the Janus VI mining station (Hortaville). You’ve got me hooked! Keep those episodes coming!!!!

It is just me or does the CGI work of the show leave a lot to be desired? I don’t mind the design of the Discover model but the CGI version of the ship is missing something. I can’t put my finger on it but for me it just looked like a cheap CGI model with no weight to it. And then there was that short shot of the shuttle bay that looked also very weak. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I’m also watching “The Expanse” right know. That show has some really impressive CGI work, especially when it comes to scenes that in space.

I think it’s because it doesn’t look like something you can physically touch. It looks great but it doesn’t have any (for lack of a better word) physicality to it.

Depth of detail? I could see that. When they did the fly by I loved it but felt it was missing just a tiny tiny bit of “model” level detail. But its also a TV show. I wanted it to be like the fly by in TMP.

But its still great.

Context is for Kings = Doom 3 Administration level. That’s what I felt when that beast tried to smash the doors :)

Lorca had ONE Tribble? Tribbles are born pregnant. Why had Tribbles not overrun the Discovery by the end of the episode or even sooner?

Maybe that’s the reason for his monster-pet… ;-)
On TAS there was a monster which ate the tribbles…

He had his Tribble nuetured.

The latest episode piqued my interest. I do want to learn more about what is happening with Lorca. But, what is it with the sub-standard CGI? TNG had better CGI 30 years ago!

TNG had no CGI thirty years ago.

were you watching on a 480p screen? The CGI was outstanding on my 4k tv.

@Nebula1701 — mine too. But CBSAA really needs to be streaming this in 4K UHD HDR.

I am loving Star Trek Discovery.

A ship on shrooms. A snoring ADHD cadet who can sprout a Renaissance hairdo overnight. A captain who could just as well be a Mirror Universe Picard – and who collects dangerous alien lifeforms (which explains why he has a tribble). Wasn’t that a Chtorran gastropede, by the way?

Yea, I guess it could have been a much worse show than it ended up to be. ;)

to be fair, Yeoman Rand and Nurse Chapel had pretty intense hair for Starfleet officers ;)

Cool episode. Love it.

FYI, it’s “basidio-” when referring to the “higher” fungi.

Does not work for me so far. Interesting storytelling, but the VFX and the filmmaterial look extremely cheesy. The first scenes (in the shuttle, the Discovery fly-by, the shuttle bay of the Discovery) were like CGI from a computer game. And they shouldn’t use so much greenscreen scenes. The whole look is like a mix of “Axanar” and Tim Russ’ “Star Trek Renegades”, cheap and trashy. Did they use videocams? In many scenes it looks like a soap opera.

Not very starfleet of them.

Are you sure you don’t have the “soap opera effect” frame interpolation turned on on your TV? Because I’ve got to tell you, I think your opinion is in the vast minority when it comes to the visual effects and production design the rest of us have seen so far. Discovery is definitely like no soap opera I’ve ever seen!

What are you watching it on? A tablet? Looks freaking amazing on a 50in screen. And the surround sound is like you are there. Ambient ship sounds all around you.

I revoke. Watched it during my lunch break on my Laptop On the big screen it is fine. But I still don’t like the CGI of the Discovery, especially the shuttle bay. Not state of the art in my opinion.

Perhaps he is watching it on a black and white tv set from the ’50s.

As someone who just re-watched the Axanar bluray yesterday and gets a sad feeling anytime anyone mentions Renegades, the cg is FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR superior to any of those.

Well, I wouldn’t say that I disliked this episode per se, but it’s darker tone was not exacty enjoyable either. Tilley had some character quirks without being a jerk, and Saru seems pretty pragmatic (if not easily spooked per his species), but the other characters were giving me a Madmen in space vibe. And I definitely don’t want a Star Trek with characters that are that flawed and unlikeable.

So, I definitely enjoyed the first two episodes better than this one. BUT as the title says, context is everything, and I might enjoy this episode better in retrospect once we see how it fits into the larger picture down the line. Keeping an open mind still (and just happy for new Trek).

I kinda thought Lorca reminded me a bit of a (kinder?) Don Draper in Space – one who is aware he needs to create/manage his own reputation, provide encouragement where needed, but unafraid to use the big stick… although his motivations are unclear.

Loved it. I have grown up with Trek and now Trek itself has grown up. Amazing new show.

If we’re going with child analogies, Discovery is like the brother that turns out to have the neighbor or milk man be his father. I like it, it’s a great show. It’s just essentially Star Trek in name only.

As the prisoners stepped off the shuttle onto the deck they commented that there weren’t even scratches on the floor and that it must have just rolled off the assembly line.

If that’s the case why is the Registry number NCC-1031? Is there more to that story? Not to say that registry numbers have been closely watched but If the Shenzhou was like 1228 and that ship was already at a minimum of 7 years old, you’d think Discovery would be more like NCC-1631

Registry numbers have jumped all over the place in the past, so I wouldn’t let that bother you too much. Example: the USS Constellation, registry NCC-1017, was the same class of ship as the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701.

Registry numbers aren’t really consistent, just like stardates. That said, maybe Discovery isn’t the first ship to retain its name, and it retained the original registry number but without the letter-suffix like on the Enterprise? Regardless, the fact that the ship is brand new should shut some people up about why it looks more advanced than the Enterprise. The Enterprise is 10 years in Discovery, over 20 years old by the time Kirk takes command.

And on that point, I think they have specifically tried to make Discovery look relevant to TOS time frame. The domed bridge etc. It looks like it could exist in Kirk’s time. Im fine with it.

Surely if we see a Connie, its insides will look more similar to the aesthetics of Discovery’s insides.

But can anyone explain the usage of touchscreens on Shenzhou, and buttons ‘n switches on Discovery, which is supposed to be newer than Shenzhou?

Shenzou also has physical buttons though.

Maybe Stamets’ experiment doesn’t play nice with some of the more advanced electronics?

Ebb & flow to tech? Shenzou had buttons too. But I agree Discovery looks older in many ways, but probably a conscious decision to make it resemble TOS more.

So they are showing us a canon explanation for visual differences in a simple way – designs and tech changes over time.

Regarding registry, Enterprise B was new and had an old reguistry. Enterprise D was even newer.

Of course, Discovery isnt an “A” but who knows with these things. Maybe they just re-used an old registry. Or maybe its a Sec 31 designation.

I have a theory on that. There’s probably several registry numbers that are designated for black ops. Think of it like 00 status. They probably just rotate those registry numbers depending on what ships come into and out of service for black ops.

I was thinking the same thing. If Discovery was 1031, perhaps it was the 10th ship assigned to Sec 31. But Glenn was 1040 (I think). So 10 is the common element…hmmmm

VFX look horrible how much lower can the bar be set.


Were we watching the same show?

Maybe stop squinting in hate and the VFX will look a bit better :)

Yes, I know! I mean, even TOS has better SFX! Perhaps go to the optometrist and buy a set of glasses. I hear it can greatly enhance visual performance of your eyes.

Maybe you were watching Orville?

Nice review, thank you. How great it is to have these to look forward to on a weekly basis.

I love reading reviews of episodes I’ve seen, but I am trying very hard to stay away from spoilers for future episodes. So, it would be great to have spoiler free reviews; this one revealed that Amanda will be in a future episode, and I am not sure that that needed to be in here.


To be fair, that bit about Amanda being featured was a headline posted just a day ago on this site. So to regular readers of the site… not new info.

I’m avoiding this site, except after a new episode. I’m trying to avoid spoilers as much as possible.

That’s fair. I don’t blame you. I try to avoid them as well, but I also enjoy the discussion. So I just kinda play my avoidance by ear around here. Or… eye, as it were. :)

I have to disagree with the article pretty much on all points. It was nice to see a Trek where not everything is squeaky clean, and much like in real life, someone will have to do the dirty work somewhere along the lines. Nearly every show with a benevolent alien species/galactic council/at peace hegemon or whatever you want to put in there, always needs the dirty laundry cleaned and hung out to dry.

Also, Tribbles for life!

While the visual design of the Discovery hasn’t won me over yet, I’ll give kudos for one huge win: sound design. From the tribble’s cooing, to the sound effects on the bridge, to Klingon alert sounds, the show is definitely coloring inside the lines with respecting our classic sounds. And the series sounds spectacular on my 7.1 speakers – truly immersive.

Here’s my thing on that: (Which will make sense once my actual comment on this thread is approved by mods – which is weird. I haven’t had it say a comment needed that since I first registered to be able to post, but I digress…) I feel like this is a great show, that’s just not Star Trek. And I feel like they hit us over the head with Dela Shields all over the place, bridge chirps, Tribbles, tricorder sounds, because that’s essentially the only way to remind us that this is supposed to be set in Star Trek’s universe. If I didn’t get those reminders tossed at me every 10-15 minutes, I’d completely forget this is supposed to be a Starfleet vessel.

I’m not gonna lie about it though, I *do* crack a smile when I hear those sounds or see a Tribble on Lorca’s desk. So yeah, I do appreciate the fan service. I just think it’s dual purpose.

I noticed the sound in this epieosde. LOTS of background sounds that are really enjoyable to hear, including the purring Tribble. lol

Certain words trigger moderation. For example, the “T word” to describe Khan in STID.

I dont think they are using sound editing to remind you its Star Trek. They are doing it BECAUSE its Star Trek. And it sounds wonderful.

Although I noticed a few people mention this, the centre channel is a little low. Its not as bad as HBO’s The Duece – I nearly turned on sub titles just so I didnt miss anything with that show.

Thanks for the explanation, TUP! I figured I’d triggered some filter, just wasn’t sure why. I try to keep my comments G-rated. lol

To an extent, I agree that they use many classic sounds simply because it *is* Star Trek. But then again, TNG didn’t use much from TOS’ library, so using new sound design is something that’s acceptable. I really do think the reason they do it is two-fold: try to keep it feeling like Star Trek, and because those sounds are expected and make the fans happy. I’m not complaining, it’s just my observation and feeling on it. Like I said, I am enjoying the sounds, regardless. The coo of a Tribble always warms my heart!

It’s visually dark, too, which plays hell with my small screen and middle-aged eyes.

Okay, so I watched Context Is For Kings twice last night and tried to take it all in. Overall, here’s my thing: It’s not that I don’t like DSC. I actually do, it seems like an interesting premise, sort of gives off Ron Moore BSG vibes. So I don’t have a problem with the quality of the show. It’s just that well, I’m not a fan of things that are called Star Trek. I’m a fan of things that *are* Star Trek. DSC may carry the Star Trek name, but it really doesn’t feel like Trek to me. And maybe that’s by design and that will change. But right now, I’m looking at a show filled with characters I can’t stand; a grim storyline; Klingons that are so heavily redesigned in look, feel, and culture. Black ops. Secret experiments perverting idealistic research. They should have been honest and simply called it Discovery. Or Spore Trek. Or anything other than Star Trek. Because in my opinion, this is a great show, that’s unrelated to Star Trek. And this is where I’m struggling. I actually really like the show, I just have a hard time thinking of it as a Trek series. So I’ve kind of partitioned it in my mind right now, as existing in its own Warp Bubble universe or something. Such a strange feeling to be so satisfied and disappointed at the same time.

That’s a fair analysis and pretty much where I am right now.

I try to be as fair as I can. lol

Glad to know I’m not alone, feeling this way.

To this day that’s kind of how I feel about THE WRATH OF KHAN and THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY. Great for what they are, not necessarily what I think of as Star Trek, or at least Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek. But I’ve also come to believe that quality matters more than consistency, so I’m tentatively down with how different this show feels, so long as the original’s positive ideals ultimately prevail. I’m betting that they will.

Interesting. It’s never occurred to me that TWOK and TUC could be considered un-Star Trek-like.

I love WOK and TUC. They are exeedingly Star Trek in my mind. But as films, the stories are different than what you’re going to get for a series. And in the case of Insurrection, for example, it seemed like a regular TNG episode.

Well, Nick Meyer said pretty much I did about TWOK in his book THE VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE. In his view it’s sui generis, kind of its own thing, as much a commentary on the Trek universe and its tropes as a story firmly set within it. If you haven’t read the book I’d definitely recommend it; it’s a breezy, fast, fun, and informative read.

Lorca pulls Burnham and sends her on a mission to a giant starship with few support crew. Where are the red shirts? No one dies except Shhh Klingon. Besides that, I love the mystery and its build. Star Trek meets Stranger Things. The Captain has his own transdimensional Demogorgon.

I thought of Stranger Things too. And Alien. I kind of dig the spooky angle! Trek doesn’t do spooky often. The Cronenberged crew was certainly horrific. Easy to predict though. Stamets was way too nervous about how dangerous his buddy’s pushing of the limits was. I saw disaster on the Glenn from lightyears away.

The shushing Klingon made me laugh, actually. It was so surreal and weird. I loved it.

Guess you didn’t notice the security officer being taken down.

His demise was another thing I saw from a mile away. He put off the good ol’ Red Shirt vibe. “Oh, you’re the security officer that’s essentially nameless with little to no dialogue? RIP, buddy.”

“Ensign Ricky, report to the transporter room”

Guess I did miss it!

After my first viewing, I was getting a sinister, Hannibal Lechter vibe from Lorca, with his macabre collection. But after rewatching, I began to wonder if his motivations aren’t more practical (if not totally ethical).

They established his strong commitment to ending the war by any means necessary. So perhaps the killer slug he brought onboard, which had just wiped out a team of Klingon warriors with ease, was his idea of a living tactical weapon.

And maybe he’s even aware of the tribbles’ antipathy for Klingons. Maybe the one on his desk serves as an early warning device for Klingon double agents??

Can’t wait for next week!

That’s funny, because in the german dubbing version Lorca also has the voice of Hannibal Lecter…

Mads Mikkelson?


Yeah, good thoughts. I hope they explain the thing. I assume its some micro-organism type creature that got blown up or mutated as a result of the experimental tech. Clearly, the Glenn crew were not attacked by the creature (they were already dead), only the Klingons were.

Anybody else notice how Tilly casually (almost like she was bored with this idea) told Burnham “you won’t kill it” when Burnham asked for a phaser? This creature is totally a byproduct of the experiments – and Discovery crew knows that. This isn’t the first one they’ve seen.

Which is an interesting point. The theought occured to me that the creatue we saw in Lorca’s cage (Here, kitty, kitty!’) may NOT be the same as on the other ship. Lorca my have his own.

Lorca thanks Landry for beaming it over for him, so I’m not sure that he had one of his own before that. Also, while Tilly sounded sure that Burnham wouldn’t kill it, just a few scenes before that Stament was asking “what could have done this?”

I do think the idea that the creature is a byproduct of the experiments is a neat idea.

I got an Equinox vibe from Discovery.

Great point!

Maybe they haven’t seen a creature like that one specifically, but have seen other freaky creatures or phenomenon before. The “what could do that to a dozen Klingons?” line could be interpreted as a “oh man, what got unleashed this time?”

I think one of the places Michael transported to was Janus IV (Devil in the Dark).

@Yosef — I thought so too — an odd choice, and the Court Martial planet …?

If you like DS9 episodes The Adversary and Empok Nor, and you like the ENT episode Impulse, then you’ll like Context is for Kings.

I kind of liked the pop culture references, particularly the book that was read to Michael Burnham as a child. It’s the perfect choice to show the limits to logic.

The characters are mysterious, edgy, and hang by their fingernails on the precipice of Roddenberry’s idea of humanity of the 23rd century. There’s a delicious tension that makes me desperate to see how this show threads that needle of Trekkian optimism.

I can’t wait to find out why the Butcher Cares not for the Lamb’s Cry!

I posted this in another thread, but it’s applicable here as well. Finally, after 2 duds, I enjoyed my hour spent with this series. The Discovery crew I can see spending some time with. Acting was good, Burnham was better, writing was good. Direction and pacing was good. Music was good. And seeing a flash of color in the prisoner’s uniform, that looks suspiciously like command green velour…was very cool. Also, was that the obelisk from Paradise Syndrome I spotted, when Burnham was traveling by Mushroom all about the universe? Lorca’s narrative didn’t match it at all, but it sure looked like it.
Problems? Tilly was a little annoying. I appreciate the character dynamic they are going for by pairing those two together, but she was a bit annoying none the less. Inner-ship beaming?? Whaaa-?? That’s a no-no in Kirk’s time, much less 10 years before. No bueno, Discovery. Your onsite experts need to be more aware of the happenings in this era, see Day of the Dove. Don’t care for the tribble. And shuttlebay DOORS would be nice in this era. Engineering set looks a bit plastic…I know, I know…it probably IS plastic…but in this 4k world, a little more attention to making things look metalic wouldn’t hurt. More metal and glass always lifts a set design. But 15 hours are in the can, not much can be done about that. Good job Discovery…tonight, I was pleasantly surprised.

Funny, when they inner-ship beamed, I wondered if that would be a canon issue. I suppose it could end up being a tech for this ship and not approved fleet wide..then again, its a newer ship than Kirk’s Enterprise.

But it also wasnt needed. Lorca could have said, “let’s go…” and the next scene is them walking into Engineering. But Lorca having a secret way to move around the ship without walking through the bridge (and thus his officers not seeing him come and go) makes sense to the character.

I thought the same thing about Shuttle Bay doors, but there are doors, arent there? Dont we see them closed on rear shots? We just didnt see them close (in action).

Oh and I really liked Tilly. I thought she was going to annoy me. But the actor pulled it off, really well.

So far, as the “young” character (Wesley, Chekov, Kim, Mayweather etc), she’s the best written in that particular role and shows the greatest promise for advancement.

Her existence is pretty obvious. Not only that young character that advances (and we see an obvious character arc conclusion if the series is around long enough – her becoming a Captain), but she is someone for Michael to play off of, to help, to mentor. So while Michael plays it a certain way next to Lorca, she will be completely different towards Tilly.

Works for me

Or, the writers may surprise you.

See, I love Anthony Rapp, so I went into this expecting to love Stamets and hate the super chipper and nervous Tilly. Totally not going how I thought at all. Tilly would get old as my roomie really fast, but she’s an amusing break from the grim nature of DSC. I like her a lot so far. And Stamets, I can’t stand right now. Although, I will say, after he explained how Starfleet is perverting his research and how what you want is “less than moot”, I completely understand why he’s such a grump. I appreciate that he’s not unpleasant for no reason other than to make the drama “interesting”.

Is Tilly meant to be autistic (then I thought Stamets might be as well but I think he’s just a stereotypical stuffy, nerdy scientist). She referred to “special needs” but my impression was that wasnt just allergies.

Tilly reminds me of a couple friends I have that have severe social anxiety. I think that is probably her biggest “special need”.

They could take Tilly in so many directions. The obvious one is that she slowly rises the ranks and becomes a better person and officer. Or, she dies tragically and we’re heart broken. Or she eventually realises or is told that Command just isnt for her…

Well, Dr. McCoy is a grump too, and many of us love him.

Opposites do attract, both Michael and Tilly are direct opposites and make for good interaction ie spock and bones, cold logic and emotional human. I like the different type of characters so far, Michael the explorer and truth finder, Saru the surivor, Lorca the alpha male with toys and Tilly the young emotional kid that will grow up to be a captain

Great and interesting point about Lorca potentially having a secret way to travel!

@Brian — and I’d be OK with him having perfected intra-ship beaming, except Michael seems so be completely unfazed by it. Now maybe she’s just playing it cool, because as we know from TOS, the concept is understood, just not often used because of the risks. Still, odd that we don’t even get a raised eyebrow at how casually he performed it, without a human operator at that.

Well, Discovery IS a newer ship to Enterprise.

I thought I saw Starbase 11, but it all went by pretty fast.

I didn’t love this episode. I’m not even sure I liked it. But I did like both Tilly and Stamets, and it is a GREAT-looking production. So all in all, it was … okay.

I really enjoyed it.

Its funny because I have some criticisms, similar to the above review, but they dont subtract from a really interesting series but I know the people who are hate watching this series will jump on them.

It is dark and gloomy. I said to a buddy this morning, when he asked for my thoughts, they have to avoid being too dark and mysterious at the expense of adventure. But I also get the impression we are moving to the light as we progress. If the point is to be redeemed by the end, its reasonable to be as dark as possible early.

My biggest issue is the main premise – Michael started the war, was responsible for the death of her Captain and over 8000 people. The problem with this is, IT IS NOT TRUE. Was something changed in the script? Because none of this actually happened!

The tech of the ship is interesting and you sort of get the idea that maybe it would have formed the basis for Fuller’s idea of era-jumping. With the tech not only taking you anywhere, but any time. Clearly, something has to happen to scuttle this tech by the end of the season or series.

Technically, the [SPOILERS] started it, but Burnham went against the plan to take a POW because in the emergency she had to respond to save what was left of the crew, yes?

Reading the comments and reviews confirms that the writting is good. It is the basis of storytelling having one character grow from point A to point B. If you see point B right away there is no journey, no mystery, no point. It may not be the star trek we are used to but it has the potentiel to be the best star trek that will keep us on the edge of our seat. They wont stay angry forever. It is normal that they are, It’s only human.

In my opinion it’s only getting better and I want more. A good story is a good story. Fans think they know what is canon and so on but we have only seen a glimpse on Tv of the huge history of starfleet and the federation (much has not been invented yet). There has been dark ages and wars. We cant ignore the Klingon war, the romulan war, the dominion war or the Borg. We are now witnessing a story from one ship in this war. They are plenty more ships and stories to tell. If you were on Discovery you might be depressed too…

To me it’s fascinating!

Me, too!

Yeah, damnit, I may have to subscribe. I guess I can forfeit a couple of Starbucks espresso drinks for some Star Trek ….

Or maybe wait another month.

Can you watch all the past episodes when you subscribe, or do you have to wait until the entire season has played?

you can watch all the past eps. Its like Netflix.

So, when the clip was released a few days ago, some people complained that Stamets was too gruff and disrespectful. But that is clearly the point.

Its an interesting dynamic. Especially now that his counterpart is dead. He’s only a Lt Commander but clearly has no qualms about being insubordinate because the Captain needs him.

I wonder if he will bite the dust. Go down with his spores when they inevitably fail.

See, and that’s where I think I started to appreciate the writing. I was worried with all the talk of how dark, gritty, and conflict driven the show was going to be, that they were going to make characters unpleasant for the sake of being unpleasant (that passes for good drama nowadays). When we first met Stamets, I hated him pretty quickly. But after he explained on the shuttle that his research has been co-opted and perverted in his eyes, and then you also realize his buddy is dead because of how Starfleet is running and pushing this perversion… yeah, him being gruff makes sense for his character. He’s got a reason to be unpleasant. Heck, I would be unpleasant too. I’m a stubborn dude, tell me not to do something and I’ll do it twice while taking pictures. I feel empathy for Stamets and can identify, I’d be pretty angry in his position and wouldn’t be interested in being liked either.

I still don’t like him, lol. But I appreciate that his character’s horrible attitude and personality makes sense.

I liken him to Openheimer a bit who, if I recall, was somewhat regretful of his creation.

Look at Carol Marcus and her feelings when she thought Star Fleet was trying to weaponize her creation.

Same! I thought of Robert Oppenheimer this morning, shortly after I hit post comment. I am become death, and all that. Science does seem to be at the whim of Starfleet, and I can understand why Marcus and Stamets get hostile.

A-yup. Einstein, too, was regretful about his research on the atom, which led to horror.

Plus, his boyfriend is said to be a totally different personality. So the gruffness of Stamets will be softened by his relationship. And we’ll have that dynamic to work off of. I suspect Stamets is partially this way as a defense mechanism and we’ll see the “real” Stamets through his partner.

And somewhere a young lab technician is completing her masters degree and considering whether to go into private scientific research or join Star Fleet. And Carol sees the war and decides…private is the way to go :-)

If I had to sum up my feelings, I would say….. It’s not what I hoped to see. While the visuals ARE stunning, characters and dialogue need serious work I feel.

Granted, as many have stated, it’s something of a Trek tradition to have a pretty rough first season or two, but I’m not super encouraged at this point. We have a creepy Captain; a main character who bounces between cold logic, action hero, and emotionally conflicted like she’s in a pinball machine; a standard issue pissy scientist (seems his area of expertise is being a pain in the ass and dropping exposition bombs like if someone asked if he’s vegan); and quite possibly the most socially awkward cadet ever. For me, Tilly seems to be an avatar for the show. She goes from introducing herself without taking a breath to hardcore “Show yourself!!” with a phaser, and manages to close with a random “Here’s a fact about me!” …It’s like the show is jumping up and down shouting “Look what I can do!!!”

The Lewis Carroll references weren’t bad… they just seemed a bit clumsy. I think if they’d referenced Michael’s appreciation for the book and THEN had the recitation it would have played better.

Finally, I’m just a little confused… I realize not everybody in the galaxy is gonna have the full story, but….. she didn’t start the war. Her little mutiny was shut down before she fired. Even if killing T’Kuvma is the problem, that was plan A before she talked them into trying to capture.. I dunno.

Dark and dreary seems about right. It’s my hope things will improve as they go. Unfortunately I’ll have to wait for a box set or something because I just can’t endorse the All Access format. Just had to vent my two cents!

>dropping exposition bombs like if someone asked if he’s vegan

LMAO. Truth.

Hahaha! “I need to know what I’m working on.”

“Let me tell you my life story and not answer your question!”

WE know that she didn’t start the war and that it was T’Kuvmas plan all along… Starfleet and the Federation doesn’t.
They don’t have the Info we have, all they know is that Burnham staged a Mutiny with absolute intent on firing on the Klingon Vessel, even proceeding so far as to have a full weapons lock and that only AFTER this Klingon reinforcements arrived and then started to shoot after Starfleet arrived in Full Force appearing as threatening as it gets.

Very true. But it was open communication asking for peaceful contact first. Still, her logic at the outset was terribly flawed. Shoot first only works if you survive!

Geogious Communiqué was made a little Null and Void after that Weapons Lock, don’t you think? You can’t tell someone that you are peaceful, then threaten them with complete destruction and expect them to not be hostile afterwards.

Of course the whole thing itself was doomed from the start, heavily painted by her traumatic experiences… which, to me at least, makes it all that more engaging. Burnham is a flawed character and I mean actually flawed, not someone with a “quirky habit” or a never-ending libido like previous Iterations, not unlike Sisko (even though that storyline didn’t last past the Pilot).

All in all, while Starfleets reaction seems harsh, from their In-Character point of view, she is responsible and her sentence fully deserved.

Actually the call from Georgiou was AFTER weapons lock… If I recall correctly. Which, given the size of the Klingon ship…. not really a threat. Hopelessly, hilariously outgunned. Past trauma I get… but that SHOULD be a major flag in a first officer. Number One, these are Klingons… you sure you’re thinking clearly?

Not to mention her break in logic…. shooting first only works if you win. You can take a swing at the giant biker at the bar and gain respect, sure…. but if you don’t knock him cold on the first punch, you’re gonna take a beating.

I think her point was, attacking the Klingons would earn their respect. If the Klingons thought they could beat up the Federation, they would. So even out-gunned, standing up for themselves might cause the Klingons to decide its not worth the fight with a species they begrudgingly respect. Since they already had an apparent cease fire relationship with another Federation founding world, Vulcan.

did anyone else get vibes from Voyager about the spores? my mind kept going to the caretaker and how he moved ships.

Hmm… that would be a cool connection.

I was getting more of an Equinox vibe to it.