‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Cast And Producers Talk Canon And Character At Emmy FYC Event

(Photo: Digital LA)

Today in Los Angeles CBS held another Emmy For Your Consideration promotional event, this time focused entirely on Star Trek: Discovery. On hand were four of the executive producers along with stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Mary Chieffo, Wilson Cruz, James Frain, and Anthony Rapp, who arrived later.

One of the signs at the CBS Star Trek; Discovery Emmy For Your Consideration event (Photo: Instagram/CBS Studios)

The event featured a screening of episode seven from season one [“Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad”]. A panel discussion, which was streamed live on Instagram, followed the screening and as it was about Emmy consideration, the discussion focused on the first season. We have some highlights from what was said at the panel.

CBS Star Trek: Discovery For Your Consideration event began with a screening of episode seven of season one, “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad”.

Heather Kadin talks balancing needs of fans and new viewers

Picking up on how episode seven featured the TOS character Harry Mudd, the moderator asked executive producer Heather Kadin how much they looked to servicing fans versus trying to create something new, to which Kadin replied:

A big part of the show – and everyone in front of the camera and behind the camera, is such a combination of people who are obsessed Trek fans to people who sort of liked it to people who barely knew it at all – so we talked, and still do, about the importance of it has to be true to fans, but it has to open the door to people who didn’t know it before. Especially since prior to now it has been a show and movies that appealed to an audience that has grown in age, and how do we bring in younger people who have not seen it before? And that has been what is so great about this show as a lot of us have kids who are of the age who can be watching it and exposed and brought into that tent. It has always come from a place of respecting and loving the canon of Trek, but how do we open it up to new people.

Alex Kurtzman on walking the canon line

This talk about balancing the past with the new show prompted a question for co-creator Alex Kurtzman, who talked about the approach they have taken for the look of the show:

There is a whole police squad of people who are really on top of making sure that the colors are consistent with canon and the design is consistent with canon. We are always asking ourselves “We know what a phaser looks like, but we want to make it new, but we can’t make it too new because it is actually pre-TOS, so what can we do to give you something fresh, but also stay consistent with what you know.” And that is a daily conversation on every front. That doesn’t just apply to the props and to the look of the show.

I think the films taught me a lot about how to attempt to walk that line. But as Heather said, trying to please fans but also bringing in new audiences, because that is how Star Trek has remained what it is for over 50 years. For me personally, the line between television and film is completely blurred now. We endeavor every week to make it a movie. Certainly that has been our goal this year. Hopefully we can continue to do that.

Aaron Harberts on how little things carry through, into season two

Co-showurnner Aaron Harberts admitted part of the motivation for the time loop episode with Harry Mudd [“Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad”] was financial, saying:

In terms of the time loop, we were desperate to save money, I am not going to lie.

However, later he noted how even with standalone episodes like episode seven, the showrunners try to work in important moments for characters and longer arcs, even into the next season:

But, when Gretchen [J. Berg] sit down and decide to do a time loop episode [“Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad”] we ask what do we get out of it and what are the bigger pieces that are going to contribute to this giant tapestry that Gretchen and I feel very responsible for weaving a universe. For Hugh and Stamets, that is learning more about their relationship, like the Kasseellian opera, which is something that starts there and gets threaded through all the way through season two. Little tiny things that make our characters feel alive, that continue to build on who they are and who they will become.

Martin-Green sees Burnham/L’Rell relationship as embodying Star Trek, reveals cut line

Show star Sonequa Martin-Green spoke at length about the parallels between her character of Michael Burnham and Mary Chieffo’s L’Rell:

What was beautiful about Burnham and L’Rell, is that were so many similarities between these two women, in these worlds sort of overcompensating and trying to find their voices. Also, going off of strict nurture and really being affected by the environments where they were raised in and seeking to question that and seeking to maybe even step outside of that.

What I love is having these two women who seem like enemies and realizing there is no difference between us, which is very Star Trek…There is nothing different between us. And it is something that T’Kuvma says in episode one, he says “I look at you and I see myself reflected in you,” and that is very much Star Trek. All existing things are one. These really, really powerful truths that have kept Star Trek the endowment that it is.

There is a line that unfortunately had to be cut where I look to L’Rell and Burnham says “Today, she is not my enemy.”

Sonequa Martin-Green at Star Trek; Discovery Emmy For Your Consideration event (Photo: CBS Studios)

Mary on playing L’Rell sees herself in L’Rell, talks season arc

For her part, Chieffo spoke about how playing L’Rell has freed her as an actress:

L’Rell is almost a character that is the closest to me, because I don’t have to hold back. I am six feet tall, I have a big voice and have been told my entire life I am too intense. So, this is an opportunity for me to be all that. It has been so liberating.

Chieffo also discussed L’Rell’s arc, as the character changed by the season finale:

What’s really fun about [L’Rell’s] arc in the first season is it is misconstrued by the Federation, a little bit. She is so alien and a lot of her actions can be seen in a certain way, if you are judging her by human standards. What is so fun is to not be afraid of that, and allowing her to be as full and big as she can be and then finding ways by the end of the season, she is starting to see how the humans aren’t so bad. She has the potential to learn and grow.

Mary Chieffo at Star Trek; Discovery Emmy For Your Consideration event (Photo: CBS Studios)

Doug Jones on playing the first Kelpien

Jones delighted the crowd with a somewhat off-color joke as he talked about how he approached playing Saru:

In my career of some 30-something years, I have worn more latex than a cheap hooker. The challenge with a character is: how do I make this one different than the ones I played before. The makeup informs a lot of that. The story I am plunked into and the characters I play off of informs a lot. Saru, as a Kelpien, this is a new species in the world of Star Trek. The fact that it takes place before The Original Series, it’s like “What happened to the Kelpiens?” We’ll find out, I am assuming. So, it’s a daunting task to take on a new species and not just a new character.

Doug Jones at Star Trek; Discovery Emmy For Your Consideration event (Photo: CBS Studios)

Frain says being Brit helps playing Vulcan

Actor James Frain talked about how he prepared to play the Vulcan Sarek:

The whole Vulcan thing revolves around this idea that they don’t have emotion. But as true Star Trek fans know, they contain emotion. Going back to watch the earlier Sarek performances, there was one that really struck me, it was right at the end in The Next Generation, Sarek has a kind of freak out with Picard. It was mind blowing to watch. Oh, he has all that going on and he just doesn’t let it out. And that is kind of the code. It isn’t that you don’t feel anything. You feel it and then you go like that [straight-faced]. So, being British is an enormous advantage. So, all I had to do is layer in some condescension and some patronizing and basically, I was going full Brit!

Wilson Cruz on how playing Dr. Culber is life-altering

In a change of tone, Wilson Cruz got choked up as he told a story about how playing Dr. Culber, and specifically about Culber’s relationship with Anthony Rapp’s Lt. Stamets, has had an impact:

For Anthony [Rapp] and I to be playing two openly gay men and to be two openly gay men playing these roles and bringing to life an epic love story in which the gender of the love is less important than anything has been life-altering. When we talk about representation mattering, it has become clearer and clearer to me in the last year.

Just the other day I got a note on Instagram from a young man in Europe who is a big fan of the show and said Anthony and I inspired him to come out to his mother and his mother accepted and loves him completely and he thanked us for that inspiration.  And for me, that is what it is about. That we get to help this generation imagine a future worth their while. We get to express to them a future where they are celebrated for their differences, not just tolerated. That our loves are equal in scope and in beauty. To be part of that is life-altering.

Wilson Cruz at Star Trek; Discovery Emmy For Your Consideration event (Photo: CBS Studios)

Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.

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

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Love the hilarious comparison of going full-Brit to being Vulcan…spot on!

PS: Love SMG’s outfit!

I love that he compared being Vulcan to that. People forget they feel and that it’s an every day process to hold it in and surpress.

Wonder why he chose to go with a neutral American accent, though. (It’s quite good, not a criticism). Mark Lenard had that trans-atlantic Shakespearean tone and in the reboot movies the only Vulcans who speak both have British accents (Ben Cross and W. Morgan Sheppard).

Because that’s how Mark Leonard sounded basically. Can you imagine Sarek with a British accent lol. That would be as bad as Khan having one. ;)

Not…at all.

Mark Lenard was born to an immigrant Jewish family, lived in Chicago, but had a classically-trained stage voice – which erases regional and ethnic variations.

In interviews with Leonard Nimoy for instance, he has his trained voice, as a contrast to that of his childhood – he will occasionally (imitating someone from his childhood) dip into a Boston-Jewish accent that is very ‘wise guy’ in tone.

Now that I think about it, Mark Lenard sounded closer to British actor James Mason. Mason’s stage accent was, like Lenard’s, somewhere in between the US and the UK. A kind of movie-classy-accent easily understandable on either side of the Atlantic, hence, ‘Trans-atlantic’. If you listen to older interviews with people like Jackie Kennedy, or radio announcers from the 1940s-50s, they were trained in this style as well (to differing degrees). Lenard’s take was less crisp and lively (Sarek was very slow and diplomatic), but it’s in the same general tonal ballpark.

Frain’s accent as Sarek is pretty full-on American sounding with an educated East Coast character. Frain does it pretty well – unlike many British actors he doesn’t fall into over-correction – for instance Hugh Laurie as Dr House’s American accent is marred by all the hard ‘R’ sounds he puts in to counter his natural English non-rhotacized pronunciation. Benedict Cumberbatch does this as well, to the point where it sounded so much like Laurie, I thought Doctor Strange was ‘Marvel’s House MD’…

So it’s an interesting choice for Frain to tilt the accent towards America when Lenard’s Sarek was more ambiguous. And Cross’ Sarek was full-on English. (In the world of Trek the Vulcans have always seemed a bit like the snooty Brits, in their condescension towards the former Colonies).

Wait I didn’t realize Sarek in the Kelvin movie spoke with a British accent? I seriously need to rewatch that movie some day lol.

We respect canon…. blah blah blah blah blah… have to make it modern…. blah blah blah blah blah…I think we do a good job respecting what has come before…. blah blah.. bullshit bullshit bullshit blah blah bullshit….. wash, repeat, recycle…. head i. The writers room and do whatever we want

I hate this show… Blah blah blah… Let me complain about blah blah blah… They shouldn’t do blah blah blah… Let me whine some more blah blah blah… Whine whine whine complain complain complain blah blah blah

Yes, this. Being critical of the show is one thing, and should be welcomed even by the producers who can hopefully learn something from the feedback.

Fanboy whining, by contrast, is just tiresome.

I see what you are saying but Heyberto is indeed making a valid point. Which as I read it is they are repeating the same exact song and dance they always have. They they completely respect canon. But what they put on screen seems do indicate they don’t. Or at the very least that they pick and choose which elements they like and which they don’t. I think he did it in a bit more entertaining way than most.

Not going to have this argument with you again, sorry. You see his complaint as valid–no surprise, as it’s really just a crude variation on your own–while the poster and I see it as producer-bashing with very little in the way of substantive comment. We’ll just agree to disagree and leave it at that, okay?

We can. I just have a feeling that if his opinion sided with yours you would find it a slightly amusing way to make a point as I did here. And I still wouldn’t think it a “crude variation” and I certainly wouldn’t call him out on it.

PS… The point is still a valid. One can disagree regarding their claim that they respect canon, but it is not debatable they have indeed played this song many many times.

*Sigh* Yes, I know that’s your point. My point is that since their canon violations aren’t as egregiously self-evident to everyone else as they are to you and him and the people in agreement with you, questioning their work (as opposed to their motives) should be enough.

I wouldn’t say “everyone else” either. Let’s just say they would seem to be egregiously self evident to quite a few. So many that those folks over at Discovery feel the need to continually address it.

Ok mr. stuffy pants… I’ll be sure my stance is consistently articulated with the appropriate precision of language so it doesn’t upset the thought police next time.

It’s not precision he’s asking for, Heyberto, it’s substance. If you have no const4ructive criticism why complain? That’s just whining. If you have constructive criticism I suggest you Tweet them @startrekroom or @cbsstartrekdiscovery. [I’m not entirely sure the addresses are correct.]

I can express my feelings about this show however I choose whether you think it has substance or not. I have certainly done so in a far more articulated form here on these forums, and so the one time I try to have a little fun and interject some humor, people lose their minds. That’s fine, they can say what they want to, but I think you all need to lighten up.

What Hall said….

Exactly! It was an attempt at humor, and if they just said it wasn’t funny to them, I would’ve been ok with it, but they had to take it as a personal insult and not look past. And yes, the repetition of their stance on canon, yet clearly putting out product contrary to their supposed stance is ridiculous. You sir, get it.. so thank you.

You are welcome, Heyberto. To play the devil’s advocate a bit, sometimes intent is difficult to convey in print. I like to think I can read between the lines a bit but from time to time I read it wrong.

Well, I try to give the benefit of the doubt most of the time, as you did. Thanks for that.

Well Said!

Well said. I groan every time Trekmovie puts “canon” in the headline for a DSC story, because you just know the same crowd is queuing up to post the same exact groaning/whining things that they post over and over here, ad nauseam.

I groan beacause the producers are playing their gamne again.

They don’t even need to comment on canon. Why not just clam up and let each individual decide if it’s canon or alternative timeline for themself, then we can all just get on with enjoying the show for what it is.

Exactly! This series is much more enjoyable if one just thinks of it as a reboot. If they’d stop blabbing about canon, that’d be easier to do.

Yeah. It’s like a cheating spouse being caught in bed with someone else but continues to insist what was happening isn’t cheating on the spouse.

Wow ML31 you take Trek super-seriously. A cheating spouse,eh?

OK… Not to say a bad Trek show is as low on the depth chart as a cheating spouse. Only the circumstances are similar.

That would be a really good idea and I hope they do that, because really, they just incite some fans to complain. Those fans would complain anyway about how it “isn’t canon.”

I myself couldn’t give a rat’s ass, I enjoy the show for what it is, and the excellent actors.

To me, them continuing to insist they are respecting canon is just tired. Most know they are cherry picking which elements of canon they wish to incorporate and the elements that make their world not work they way they want are ignored. At this point the only way season one works is the crew wakes up and are told it was all a dream.

Little bit Bobby Ewing in the shower, but your idea has potential.

I actually agree with you and DPrescott on this point. They should just shut the F up with the canon stuff because they are pleasing nobody.

The fact that they are trying to adhere to canon to some extent, but yet all of the Trek fans who are so torqued up about canon consistency bitch and moan about it anyway, just illustrates to me why they should not talk about canon at all.

Just do your thing DCSC Team and stop bringing up canon at press conferences.

In one context, I completely agree. All they should do is say they are making the Star Trek THEY want. And they should stand by it. To say it’s “groundbreaking” or other such hyperbole is not for them to say. It’s for critics and fans to say. What I suspect has happened here is they gambled their show would be good enough that the canon issues would be largely ignored. They lost. Their show was bad enough that all we saw (after bad creative decisions) were canon inconsistencies.

“Their show was bad enough that all we saw (after bad creative decisions) were canon inconsistencies.”

By “we,” do you mean the handful of you who post the same negative comments here every day so as to give the impression of fan uproar, when it’s really just a handfuls of folks each posting like 20 times per day? ;-)

Seriously, this seems like a second job for you. ;-)

By “we” I mean anyone in the audience who was disappointed enough with the plot and writing that they began to focus on the canonical issues. Or those who opted to focus on them before they saw how sub par the show was.

I know you have a hard time believing this but the shows actors and writers and producers are defending themselves A LOT. It’s obvious it is more than just a handful of internet people posting on a message board. If it was it would never come up in interviews. These guys are here hyping their own show and they still feel the need to address it. It’s obviously a thing to many. Not to you but to many others.

“It’s obvious it is more than just a handful of internet people posting on a message board”

That’s the funny thing, but it really is largely limited to the internet fanboy types (and yes, many of the internet fan sites are at these press conferences, hence we get those same questions all the time because you want to consume that). The show is very well thought of when you talk to regular TV viewers and casual fans — the people who will make or break viewership numbers for CBS All Access.

Only a subset of Trek fans have these issues, and there is a “Mouse that Roared” quality to you and your limited group of subfans — you all way overcompensate for lack of numbers by posting the negative comments over and over and number. This gives the illusion of a groundswell of discontent, when it’s really just a small, but a extremely vocal subgroup. It’s kind of the “fake news of Star Trek” if you think about it.

@ BorgKlingon, I’m sorry, but that’s not right. If we think of those on forums as fandom, then this show has split fandom down the middle. It means CBS in their advertising cannot honestly say the fans are loving the show .

“If we think of those on forums as fandom, then this show has split fandom down the middle.”

Only if you count the number of posts in total. The vocal minority who don’t like the show post constantly…incessently. I counted one day where ML10 posted 40 times on negative stuff on DSC for instance. It’s the old “mouse that roared” phenomenon. A small minority knows that they don’t have the numbers, so they “yell” the same thing over and over and over to thus give the false impression that they have numbers.

Your 50/50 conclusion is fake news essentially. It’s more like 80/20, with the 20% posting four times as much as the 80% to give the false impression to the casual observer that its’ 50/50.

You counted some guy’s posts in an internet thread? You must have a lot of time on your hands!

Sorry Borg but that is just not true. Sure there very well could and probably are some Trek fans at those junkets. But ones like this, where they are only trying to hype themselves to Emmy voters… This was a moderator bringing it up. The panel is aware of what the moderators bring up in these events. If they didn’t want to address it they would not have allowed the subject to come up at all. But they felt they needed to address it (again). I know you keep telling yourself it is only a few people who feel this way. I’m sure that makes you feel better. But it is not the reality. It is huge enough for the panel to WANT to address it. Further still, your assessment that it has been positively received by fans and critics is easily debunked. It has mixed reviews from fans and critics alike. You claim everyone loves it (basically because you do) and I tell you what the actual reviews have been like. A quick internet search proves it. Vulture liked it. RT says critically it’s 82% but fans far less so at 56%. (Numbers that actually sound better than they are when you look at overall how many things on RT get good ratings). Mashable said it was a “dud”. AVclub says it was not good. While overall the official reviews have leaned to the good side of mediocre the fans have been far more apt to not like it.

Anyway, this discussion is going in circles. This is the 2nd time I repeated the same argument to your repeated point. Come up with something new and I am happy to engage. Repeat the same thing and no response will be made by me.

If that were the case, then why are the 15-20 fans who post here regularly who don’t like DSC so insecure in that they need to post like daily the same critiques over and over? You, nothing personal, post like 40+ times per day sometimes with the same stuff over and over about why you don’t like the show — to the point where I am getting the impression this is like a full-time job for you? A lot of the others post the same schlock several times per day as well. Sorry, but this definitely comes across as very insecure — like you all know you don’t “have the numbers” and so you are determined to flood the site with negative views to create a false perception here that makes it look like there is much larger group of fans who don’t like the show than their really are.

For the fans I talk to (and I know a lot) outside of internet sites, I would say are 80% happy with the new series. So yea, I really am convinced that this “perceived major dislike” of DSC is largely another internet “mouse that roared” phenomenon. It doesn’t really check out when you get past the internet fan boy types. And the show is obviously doing well for CBS, has been renewed, is successful so far…so there you have it.

It is what it is. Sorry.

OK. So that was kinda sorta new but overall it still boils down to if BorgKlingon likes it then the vast majority does as well. Using your logic… I know a LOT of Star Trek fans. It took some doing to talk just two of them into sharing a CBS Account with me to watch. No one else was interested in the concept. And the two who did watch had no intention of subscribing again. Therefore, according to your own logic, mind you, nearly no one knows the show even exists and those who do 33% do not like it but will still get season 2 out of hope it gets better and 67% will simply abandon it.

No offense but I trust internet polls more than I trust you and the “many people you know”. They show otherwise. I know you desperately wish more people liked the show than do because you love it. But that is not the reality. Sometimes the facts suck.

“I trust internet polls…”

As Yoda would say, “that is why you fail.”

They are far more reliable than yourself and your handful of buddies. Speaking of failures…

Personally, ML, I would never claim EVERYONE loves it. I know damn well some people don’t, because they think their childhood has been destroyed and other such opinions.

If it wasn’t doing as well as it is, CBS AA would pull it.

“If it wasn’t doing as well as it is, CBS AA would pull it.”

That is not necessarily true. “Well” has variable definitions that depend on circumstances.

” I know damn well some people don’t, because they think their childhood has been destroyed and other such opinions.”

And I know full well there are people who love it because they are so hungry for new Star Trek that whatever low quality schlock CBS decides to slap the Star Trek label on they will eat it up as if it were the quality of Citizen Kane, or other such opinions.

BorgKlingon, Reminds me of the uproar over the Spock-Uhura romance in ST2009 et. al. A lot of people really liked it, but there was such objection on the part of super-vocal fanboys [“Spock has no emotions”] to, well, I’ll just say, a subset of fans loyal to a certain kind of relationship between Kirk and Spock.

Vocal doesn’t necessarily mean numbers. Except in a Broadway musical.

“Vocal doesn’t necessarily mean numbers.”


Do you really see it as “defending themselves”? I see it as promotion of their product. SMDH

Totally agree!

This could so easily be a soft reboot. Pretending the fundamentals we all know from the canon we know have / will have happened, but give them freedom to do what they want. Nothing at all wrong with that.

Heyberto, I agree with you on a “soft reboot.” I wish they had. But some fans will find a way to complain no matter what.

It is groundbreaking ins some ways, particularly in casting. I feel they have a right to be proud, but they’ve been sounding that horn an awful lot. I liked Wilson Cruz’s story about the kid in Europe though.

I wish people would talk about the other things they find wrong. Canon issues are easy to complain about. I’d like to hear about what you thought were the bad creative decisions [unless canon-related] much more. Poor writing? Bad direction? What?

I myself am frosted about what they did to [with] Lorca. That’s a criticism of the writing. Not the acting, Isaacs was fantastic, but they wound up Lorca’s arc pret-ty speedily with some dazzling BS.

“I myself am frosted about what they did to [with] Lorca.”

To play the devil’s advocate,turns out that if the character was meant to continue they would not have had Issacs to play him. I get that you like the actor. I do not recall seeing the guy in anything to be honest. I’ve seen his name in some voice work. That’s about it. He looked like someone else who I really had a hard time placing. I hated the entire MU thing. I felt that brought a crawling season to a dead stop. And yes, Making Lorca the bad guy was amazingly uninspired. Massive lack of creativity from people who really should be better than that.

BK, Agreed

+1000, sir.

I kind of wonder if they travelled into a new AU timeline when they came back from the MU, but probably not.

@Marja — until they actually tell us definitively within canon that any of these productions are set in an AU, then this speculation can go on forever.

Gretchen, Aaron… is that you?

I think you miss the point. They keep saying this.. keep repeating it at every stop on the tour, yet they continue to not give a crap and do what they want. If my choice of words here bothers you… if my desire to not hear them continue to pander and lie to us bothers you, then too bad.

I tried to believe that, I really did. And I was willing to accept the visual modifications in terms of props, tech, and costumes. But there were other things I just couldn’t look past, like Harry Mudd being a completely different person than he was in the original series. Things like that made it clear to me that “respecting canon” was just lip service.

Now that being said, I am still able to enjoy the new series for what it is, but I don’t accept that this is in any way canonical. The whole point of saying something is “canonical” and “Prime timeline” is to encourage the investment of longstanding fans who value what has come before. And maybe what they are doing in that regard works for some of you, and that is perfectly fine. You’re opinion is just as valid as mine.

But after this and the Kelvin stuff, after 40 dedicated years of watching Star Trek, I’m just no longer invested in the Star Trek universe the way that I was at one time. Not the way I was when I was gobbling up the manuals and chronology books, buying the collectibles, purchasing the magazines, reading the novels, and attending the conventions (for me, particularly in the 80s and 90s).

Don’t get me wrong, this new stuff is enjoyable, I’ll still tune in, but I wouldn’t feel disappointed if it ended tomorrow. I think that age of Star Trek seems to have passed, a special age of long-form and short-form storytelling, of a shared universe that was amazingly consistent in its vision (given the sheer amount of material produced), compelling, nuanced, intelligent, and with an unparalleled eye for detail. It was so compelling and detailed that its “continuing voyage,” the overarching story that was Star Trek, inspired its admirers to develop a scholarship on its fictional universe to rival the scholarship of the real sciences and humanities.

While perhaps somewhat visually dated today, those Star Trek’s stories, even the visual look of them, still feel timeless to me. I don’t get that feeling with modern Star Trek. Today’s Star Trek is just a mildly entertaining TV show and occasional movie, none of which I begrudge for existing, but none of which I wait for with great anticipation. Yet there was a time, before all of this, when Star Trek was something unique and special, and I’ll at least have those memories. And the Blu-Rays and DVDs, of course.

Amazing comment. I have a similar opinion and respect you for writing. I wish more of us can write thoughtful comments instead of attacking each other (see above) for what we think. Thank you.

EXACTLY how I feel JCB, which is why I am getting tired of being lied to by the showrunners about canon. The fact is that they have used this updating argument for simply not needed to make as much effort as possible to make it all fit together. They make changes to “update” where that argument doesn’t even fly (such as completely reassigning things to the point of making them unrecognisable). To me it is typical of the lazy approach so many TV and filmmakers take today. It’s essentially the easy way out, and for me that takes away what was for a time a very special aspect of the Star Trek universe.

Well if you guys no longer feel invested in Trek anymore, then perhaps you should move on to something else. Maybe get into Star Wars, they can use whiners like you to join their ranks. You still have your old dvd copies of TNG to gush over as well. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Bu-bye.


Having an opinion about a franchise one has been invested in for the last 40-plus years isn’t whining. It’s called having an opinion. And everyone is entitled to one.

It’s not an opinion… It’s whining bitching and moaning. Try to justify it all you want. It’s still whining when you do it ALL the time.

Many in the “STD can do no wrong” crowd do the exact same thing, however. Are you going to rip on them for incessant “whining”? Unless you do, your point cannot be valid.

It’s still whining ML. Yawn.

So rip on the other side for doing it, too. If not, your entire point crumbles.

Nope. It’s the whiners like you that repeat your same gripes over and over that is tiresome. And frankly, a little boring after hearing it for a year. Fanboys… Yawn.

Kinda like what you are doing now?

You shouldn’t joke about Star Wars decline. There is both a lesson and a warning there for new Trek.

The Star Wars decline is really just one movie that had a year of bad buzz going against it.

@BorgKlingon Believe what you like, but google “Last jedi backlash” which of course was the movie before Solo. Then try googling also “why Solo bombed?”

I’m thinking TLJ did not do as well as TFA because audiences may prefer a load of ‘member berries to something new and different. Solo did have production problems so I’m not sure it falls into that assessment. We will have to wait and see what EpIX will be like I guess. Something tells me it may just be a retelling of ROTJ.

There was no Last Jedi Backlash. On the two previously SW trilogies, the middle movie (yes, even Empire) had a significant financial dip, then a slight recovery for the final movie, but in all three trilogies the first movie made a lot more money.

That is completely different from the Solo movie, where there was just awful buzz for over a year on it. Anybody paying attention could predict is was not going to do well.

Believe what you like, but you are being induced to believe in silly, fake trends that internet fanboys like to proclaim are real.

Yes. Because you know everything and all takes on all subjects that do not fall into BorgKlingon’s line of sight are worthless. Point taken, thank you.

There was no last Jedi backlash? I respect your belief, but I’ve got to tell you again… yes there was a backlash.

Saloon doors swing both ways, so they can hit people on either side of the exit. But caring enough to be critical shouldn’t be a call for you to mouth off like that regardless.

enough already is not a true fan if he cannot see this is not startrek.

How does that make any sense?? How are you even here if you don’t like Discovery? This is a forum for Discovery. You are obviously not a fan. So go away.

CaptMC, EA and I have disagreed but even I won’t go so far as to say he is not a fan. No one has a monopoly on what a “real” fan is.

No one has a monopoly on what a “real” fan is.
Please let CaptMC know, KTHKS

The comment was directed to CaptMC.


FFS would people quit using the “true fan” argument? I’m a fan for 49 years, and I like Discovery. There are plenty of critiques I can offer, and have, in various threads, including this one.

When will you and the other True Fans define what it is? Then must I adhere to your definition?

SO tired of this stuff.

The phasers look much as they did in TOS. The sound effects in medical, on the bridge, and elsewhere include sounds from TOS. The costumes are a LOT better than in TOS.

Does it make such a difference how a phaser looks and sounds? It still does the same thing.

Honestly, I wish they’d just said it’s an AU.

But people would still be upset. Some fans will be upset no matter what, whether it’s you or someone with a completely different viewpoint.

I think if they just came right out and said this was a reboot, anyone with the canon argument is immediately disarmed. The arguments would mostly be about the bad plot decisions and bad writing. Sometimes I feel they intentionally changed things up just to hide their shoddy work. I’m on the “they violate canon too much” side but am surprised at how few are commenting on the low quality of the show itself irrespective of canon.

Except that Mudd wasn’t a “completely different person” than in TOS. Less of a buffoon, yes. (Which is a positive thing, in my book; the TOS buffoonery shouldn’t remotely have been a match for Captain Kirk.) But he was self-centered and dark enough to engage in human trafficking, which was consistent with his depiction in DISCO.

And he was a younger version of the original,
Not yet the Harry we know.

And he was a younger version of the original,
Not yet the Harry we know.
—Gary 8.5

Exactly this. If anything he’s more like the Harry Mudd we first met in “Mudd’s Women”. He’s darker, and more of a sociopath in that episode. He’s actually frightening at times. When I was a kid I hated “Mudd’s women”, but I loved “I Mudd”, and I loved him in the TAS episode, as I loved TAS. As an adult, I much prefer “Mudd’s Women” to the later episodes, and I can barely watch TAS anymore.

This is a natural evolution of the character, and just like the TNG series ended, “All Good Things”, as we go back in time we see a much more sinister and threatening Mudd then we do 20 years later.

So no canon violation here.

And on top of that prior to the first encounter on TOS he’s been undergoing psychiatric treatment (according to the personel file the crew pulls on him). Could explain his different behavior easily.

@EHF — interesting, I must have missed that detail. If that’s the case, then yeah, he could be “off his meds”, or otherwise on some medication with unpredictable side-effects as well. Though, the natural evolution of his character we did see in TOS and TAS is enough to explain his behavior 10 years earlier.

@TRT — right. We’re seeing a much younger and more risk taking Harry Mudd. I see this portrayal perfectly in line with the evolution of the character we first saw in Mudd’s Women, and the evnetual buffoon he became in I, Mudd, not to mention the literal cartoon he became in TAS.


Huh? He’s pretty much EXACTLY how I would have pictured an earlier, sharper Mudd, before the whole Stella situation really messed him up.

They nailed this part of canon? What are you talking about?

Great comments, JCB. You encapsulated pretty much the way I feel about DSC and Trek in general these days. And like you, I will continue to tune in, but wouldn’t lose any sleep if it went off the air whatsoever.

Well, we are now post the Han Solo movie, which demonstrates it’s certainly possible to alienate your core viewership. I half expect the current producers to not survive the full voyage of this series.

Bad Buzz for a year doomed the Solo movie. It was actually pretty good, and fine by SW canon.

Yeah it was good and it still bombed.

“Bombed” is probably the most overused (and incorrectly used) description in entertainment this decade.

Seriously, we need to use another definition for movies like “Solo” and “Beyond”. “Bomb” should be reserved for the truly spectacular box office flops like “John Carter” or “Alice Through the Looking Glass”.

Solo’s box office would actually be fine, if this were any movie that didn’t have “Star Wars” in its title. About the same BO as “Ready Player One” which no one is claiming was a bomb.

Blimey, it’s an argumentative crowd on here haha. Ok, take at look at the numbers since Force Awakens, there’s a decline. If you think of this as only a follow up to Rogue one, then even then the takings are undeniably down.

No argument about that, but equating “takings are down” with ‘box office bomb” is way over the top.

For some reason, the SWars franchise is giving me franchise fatigue a lot faster than Marvel’s is. I have no idea why.

Funny… I’m actually getting Marvel’d out at this point. Less so with Star Wars. I was underwhelmed with Infinity War. I liked the first two team up’s WAY better. Was it the absence of Joss Wheden? I liked Civil War a ton, however.

I felt it to be a mediocre SW movie. Kinda fun. Entertaining enough. Didn’t feel ripped off I saw it. But Rogue One was SOOOOOOOO much better….

I agree. I thought Solo was OK and given all the problems it had it probably came out better than most people expected. But it still felt like a bland and unnecessary prequel that doesn’t push the story in any big way and probably why its not attracting others like the others did.

Yea, I just said that. LOL

I liked “Solo” a lot more than the terrible “Last Jedi”. Solo’s only real problem is that its star doesn’t have one tenth the charisma or talent of Harrison Ford. The faults in “Last Jedi” are innumerable.

If they relaunch Indiana Jones, I hope they are much more successful in choosing a new actor to replace Ford.

Funny thing is, Ehrenrich was perfectly likeable/charismatic in “Hail Caesar!” [and his character was the opposite of a Han Solo type], but in Solo, he just didn’t have the snarky edge Ford did in SWars. Han needs to be snarky and cocky. And the lines were snarky, but the cockiness and snark didn’t come across.

This is a fantastic comment, and sums up my thoughts as well which I have posted on these forums before, but perhaps not as eleoquently…. thanks for sharing.

I agree Heyberto. And don’t let the haters rattle you. It’s a 50 year rich tapestry that we are fans of, Discovery is a tiny part of that and as passionate fans we are allowed to criticise this poor production without being called names.

You mean fanboy.

Agreed. Trek is better than this. My take is it’s an enjoyable series in the modern sense, but moderately good Trek. The canonical problems and their constant defense of how they’re dealing with it is just tiresome. I really want them to forge ahead, do what they’re going to do. I’m not organizing a boycott or anything. .but I’m not fan of how they’re handling. it.

I’m not worried about canonical problems as I am twisty sensational writing, which, while acted well, sometimes doesn’t make a lot of sense.

I don’t give a rat’s arse about canon re: this show. As you say, they should do what they’re gonna do.

I would like for them to adhere to canon. That said, if they can generate some good Trek and mess with canon to achieve this then I can personally accept it. My issue is the show, aside from the canon issues just doesn’t work. Because of this their misuse of canon is, like it or not, magnified.

@Marja — the best part is, people keep claiming there are canon issues, when what they really mean there’s no visual continuity. I just re-watched The Enterprise Incident, as well as Balance of Terror, did some research on Memory-Alpha, parsed some transcripts for key episodes, and found no canon problems with introducing a cloaking device for the Klingons in this era — a canon issue that is cited over and over.

So there’s not even really a legitimate canon issue, which is why they can’t cite any specific instances which explicitly violate canon. The issue seems to be that they are upset that it doesn’t look like TOS, and it introduces concepts they don’t like, which challenge 50 years of fan-inferred canon they thought they knew, but doesn’t violate actual canon.

Klingons with cloaking devices 10 years before TOS is indeed a HUGE canon issue. But then again, that falls into the “if it wasn’t specifically mentioned as something solid then it could have happened” line of flawed thinking. Which could be used to justify nearly ANYTHING. Another major issue is the Klingon war that we never got any kind of hint of in TOS. Sure, it was never said there WASN’T a war or one that left the Federation in such bad shape that Klingons were about to obliterate the Earth. I grant you. But such an event just doesn’t pass the smell test. It makes no sense in the world that was presented to us a mere 10 years later. A skirmish, sure. But a war of THAT magnitude? Can’t buy it. Make the show a reboot or “reimagining” or set it post TUC or Nem… And you can do nearly whatever you want. Sure, there will always be a small number of naysayers. But it will be puny.


One thing the first series made very clear, whatever thorn the Klingons and their war were in the Federation’s side, The Romulan War, because the enemy combatants were unbridled Vulcans, was worse. It was one of the things that made it very difficult for me to take Admiral Marcus’ motivation seriously that the Klingons were the ones that threatend everything.


Re: Klingons with cloaking devices

Well, not so HUGE, in regards to DISCOVERY, at least, as it would be because of the Freiberger ENTERPRISE INCIDENT retcon to explain why the Romulans were using Klingon Battle Cruisers to try out their new improved cloaking device.

Once they established the Klingons and Romulans were trade partners, any tech the Roms had in prior times the Klingons could have feasibly acquired in trade.

As to why Klingons didn’t use cloaks in the first series, THE ENTERPRISE INCIDENT clearly established the old model cloak didn’t work on their then current model ships. The Roms had to adapt it and in the process made it compatible with Federation Constitution class ships too.

No, Dis. It was said the Romulans were using Klingon design. Of course that was due to budgetary restraints with the models. But all we got was Spock saying “Intelligence reports Romulans now using Klingon designs.” Nothing about giving Klingons cloak tech. If Klingons had cloaking tech before I strongly suspect they would have used it in previous Klingon encounters. Klingons never had cloaks until the TSFS. Which I always felt was a huge mistake on the films part. I guess it possible Klingons could have developed their own cloak in the interim. But, given what we learned about Klingons using a cloak doesn’t feel like a Klingon thing to do anyway.

I digress. The point is, Klingons did not have cloaking tech in TOS and therefore should not have cloaking tech in any show set before TOS.


Re: the Romulans were using Klingon design

Nothing, in that statement says the Freiberger off-screen explanation that they acquired it by trade was impossible. Also, further proof that trade was the production operating assumption is in Joyce Perry’s script for the animated THE TIME TRAP, Spock notes the Klingons’ ships have cloaks.

Also, you aren’t denying the Romulans were modifying their older cloak tech so that it would work on the Klingon design and that it also worked on the Constituition Class Fed ship too which gave it a wider market in regards to trade.

@Disinvited — add to that: why would the Klingons use a cloaking technology which the Federation could easily defeat as explained by DISC? Moreover, in reviewing the history of cloaking technology this is the exact reason for The Enterprise Incident — to gain access to the new cloaking technology the Romulans had developed. It is clearly established in Balance of Terror that Starleet had the ability to track a cloaked Romulan ship. The claim that the Klingons had no cloaking technology during TOS is specious at best.

Again, this is all about core fans who don’t like this particular retcon, despite how well crafted it is to fit with established canon, and how much care the writers obviously took to pattern it on a similar incident within established canon. In the end, it doesn’t violate canon, it adheres to reasonable expectations within the Star Trek universe, and made for an interesting story. There’s simply no pleasing some people though who think “fanon” is the same as canon, rather than just specious reasoning.

No Curious Cadet. The cloak explanation does NOT neatly fit into the STD world at all. It only kinda sorta does if you make wild very loosely connected six degrees of separation sort of things. First of all, one could easily conclude that the Romulan cloak in BoT was pretty darn new. In fact, it very much appeared that the incursion into Federation space was the first real world use of the tech. Sensors couldn’t see it but motion detectors kinda could and they still got “sporadic energy readings”. Also you needed to actively be looking for those things to even get THAT. And they still couldn’t lock phasers on the target. And the shield worked both ways. Lots of clues to suggest this was new stealth tech and nothing suggested the Klingons ever had anything like it at all. (And the Enterprise encountered plenty of Klingons in the interim who did NOT use a cloak even when it would have been the prudent thing to do if they had one. The Enterprise Incident was about the Federation getting a hold of the tech possibly because they couldn’t reproduce it over the last two years. Therefore, it was highly improbable Klingons would have such brilliant cloaks 10 years before TOS time.

PS… The cloak was only defeated by using a super spore drive that we already know will not be available for some reason come TOS time. Unless they want to ignore that little fact with “just because the Enterprise did not have a spore drive does not mean the rest of Star Fleet didn’t” kind of hogwash.

You are using the flawed argument that says “just because it was never specifically mentioned in canon does not mean it could not be.” Which is true even though there is on screen evidence to sugest otherwise. The flaw there is that argument can be used to explain away nearly ANY change you like. It’s OK to use it for smaller things, IMHO, but for larger universe changing things like a past devistating Klingon war that had no evidence of ever occuring 10 years later or Klingons having cloaking tech some 15 years AFTER TOS where we never saw them use it. In fact to this day I honestly feel that someone involved in TSFS made a huge boo boo that was never caught confusing Romulans and Klingons. It was Romulans who used the Bird of Prey and cloaking devices. NOT the Klingons. And that faux pas stuck forever after. Of course, one could argue there was nothing that precludes Klingons having a Pird of Prey class and even a cloak. But I would counter it would be so unlikely that such an argument should be dismissed.

Hey, lay off Heyberto you guys.. Kurtzman brought it up first. I think we’re all intelligent enough to know if the producers are right or wrong, or even misleading us about canon.

Heyberto boldy proclaims, “blah blah.. bullshit bullshit bullshit blah blah bullshit,” to back up his viewpoint and I am suppose to feel sorry for the guy and lay off him? Seriously? :-)

Something tells me Heyberto can take of himself, no offense. :-)

His haters can take care of themselves too, no offense ;-)

I don’t need your pity. If you enjoy the show, then I’m happy for you and wish you peace and long life.

Agreed. Vice versa. Like I said, I knew you could take care of yourself.

Some people can’t handle humor… the quality of which is debatable, I admit. But I don’t think they can handle it.

But if you are not going to tie into continuity, then just say so.

This thing of not doing that and talking around it (or lying about it) is not helping their case.

@AdamNaismith — how have they not tied into continuity? Do you mean visually? Because otherwise, I think they are being pretty true to canon so far. They might totally go off the deep end, but right now, it looks like they are on course to bring it all together eventually. 10 years is a lot of time to tie up the lose ends.

Thank god New Fans outnumber you guys.

But how do you know that??? Based on what? CBS hasn’t released anything and everyone who is here arguing about it are the same people whose been watching Trek for decades now.

Right on, Tiger2. Longtime fans support the show far more than any “new” ones do. This divisive rhetoric of “old” vs. “new” has nothing to do with the small, vocal minority of DISC haters.

Its just funny how I keep hearing ‘the show is really popular’ ‘its grabbing a new audience’ ‘Most Trek fans love it’, etc but no one ever actually shows proof any of this is remotely true lol. Its just something they throw out basically but treat it as fact (but welcome to the internet, right ;)).

Now it MAY be true, I’m not trying to argue about it but yeah when you toss out things like this it would be nice to at least back it up somehow.

I have no idea how many ‘new fans’ are watching because there doesn’t seem to be any data anywhere. And yet people just pretend like there is an entire new group of newbies who are active Discovery watchers. All I can say they certainly aren’t many of the Trek sites I visit, including this one obviously. In fact it would be nice to know if anyone on this board now is here because of Discovery? I would be shocked if there was more than a few.

My feeling is Discovery is surviving mostly due to the same fans who has always been watching Star Trek, for better or for worse.

I think the logic is that because it’s a modernized version of Trek that’s proven to be popular than it must be drawing new fans, but that argument is iffy at best. CBS wouldn’t have brought back Trek if it was really relying at all on a whole new generation of fans to just suddenly show up. I think that was just the potential bonus.

Well said, Tiger. There is no way to know (clairvoyance of some posters not withstanding). My thinking is if it were doing as great as some like to say it is, wouldn’t CBSAA be tooting their own horn on THAT subject rather than the producers patting themselves on the back for how great they think their own work is? All we got from CBS was early subscriber numbers. Since then, not a peep.

@Holden New fans don’t hang out with nerds.

Sorry HN4, but what do you even mean when you say that?

Love this show! Great to see so many talents being applied to creating new Trek and growing this universe. Live long and prosper.

Amen. I love this series too. Thank you for the positive comment. The comments on this website are always so negative that it makes me a bit depressed after reading a good article, & thanks for not contributing to that.

Exactly. It would be a really great thing if the TrekMovie team stepped in to clean up the comments and actively discouraged all the negative, racist, sexist and homophobic sewage that often fills out the comments of EVERY post. I think that would be helpful. I actually stopped back in and looked at the comments here to see if they were the normal negative blather so I could post something positive… so it was nice to see your comment :) I know for a fact that people involved with the show look at these articles from time to time and are bothered by all the racist, sexist, homophobic and nasty stuff posted and I think it reflects badly on he fans and this site. I’m grateful that at 44 years old, I STILL have new Trek being cranked out. As a kid obsessed with this universe, I could have never have dreamed it would last. I’ve had he pleasure in the 90s of knowing many of the people behind the camera and spending time on the sets. The detail that the creative team works to include in the shows comes from their passion as fans to create something for the fans. I don’t like that they can come see nasty and crude rudeness by supposed fans spilled out all over the comments section. I once had Mike Okuda talk to me for 20 minutes on the Paramount lot about how they worked hard to replicate a minor boxing poster in the background of 1930s New York in “City on the Edge of Forever” in the background when Kira and O’Brian beam into the 1930s in an episode of DS9. It’s barely noticeable and only visible if you are looking for it. But they blew up old still frames from the original Trek and faithfully recreated the poster to be on a wall in the background of the DS9 scene. It took many hours to do, and it’s barely visible on screen. These people care about the craft of their work, and “these” people also include the team behind Discovery. They deserve to be thanked for their efforts crating the most realistic, detailed and vivid Trek to be on TV ever. They don’t deserve to be bullied by rude trolls who have nothing better to do with their time than to comment on a show they supposedly hate, don’t watch and think is terrible. The sets are different… just like they were from TOS to TMP. The uniforms are different… Just like they were from TMP to TWOK. The Klingon bridge changes radically from ST3 to ST4, as does the Enterprise-A bridge from the end of ST4 to ST5. Style changes have precedent in Trek going way back. Complaining about a visual reboot is absurd given that Trek has always been in a state of visual reboot. Why not complain that First Contact Locutus is much more detailed that “The Best of Both Worlds” Locutus? It’s annoying and absurd and demonstrates a lack of understanding of the franchise history. It’s really just a reason to crap on talented people’s work… much like the racist attacks on Kelly Marie Tran in Star Wars. People are just looking for an outlet for their negativity they hold inside… and maybe that toxic negativity doesn’t have a place on a site celebrating a positive future as laid out in Star Trek. Just a thought…

Racist, sexist and homophobic comments should absolutely be removed. But negative? That’s first rate BS. The vast majority of negative comments I read on here towards Discovery are well articulated and do not contain any form of bigotry. You want a safe space echo chamber where only the most obsequious Discovery lovers can offer an opinion maybe you should go and create your own website. Until then accept that no every long term Star Trek fan is ready to worship at the alter of Kurtzman & Co and treat Discovery as being faultless.

Oh, and there’s no way in hell the Discovery team go to the sort of care that Mike Okuda and his team did. That’s one of the frequent complaints!

El Chup, no way in hell the Discovery team go to the sort of care that Mike Okuda and his team did. That’s one of the frequent complaints!

Can you cite some examples? Because there are a lot of details in the sets and so on. Unless you mean they should look just like TOS, in that case ….

Did you really just throw all sorts of negative comments into one basket? Like those that can be deemed racist or homophobic with those that simply complain about the show’s unbalanced writing?
Careful there!

What’s really amazing is that Star Trek fans of some 40 years merely try to point out and explain the flaws and mistakes of the show, we are then criticized for it, even called racist and and such, I see it all the time. Now, I don’t like Discovery not because of the flaw of canon, as stated by many fans and veterans of the show, but the fact that it was made plain and clear that Discovery was made to replace all the old Trek, to wipe the slate clean and start new simply because it’s 2018 and they have the money. Well that is all fine, and it doesn’t impress me all the major changes they did, so yes, I will continue to watch the old and simply ignore the new, that’s my entitlement and no harsh feelings about it. As far as I am concerned Discovery is a reboot of the Star Trek Franchise, they started at the prequel for a reason, and that reason is to redo the Trek series. Peace and Long Life all

Captain Ho, I will complain about their canon issues with the best of them but the fact remains if the show itself was better the significance of those same canon issues would no longer be relevant to me. From my point of view, the mere fact that the canon issues are being discussed and pointed out as often as they are speaks volumes to the low quality of the show in general.

Canon issues are much easier to harp on than specific problems with the writing, which you should detail, just in case the writers drop by this site.

Personally I find that discussion much more interesting than “DOES IT FIT PRECISELY INTO CANON?”

@Captain Ho — you forgot “… and get off my lawn” in that tirade! Haha.

Capt Ho, it was made plain and clear that Discovery was made to replace all the old Trek, to wipe the slate clean and start new simply because it’s 2018 and they have the money.

Made to replace all the old Trek?
Dude, if that’s what you read into their “reimagining the design”, then enjoy your re-watches. I can’t even figure out how you interpret it that way, but please yourself and enjoy life. LLAP

I’m pleased you’re a fan of the show, Luke, quite enthusiastically evidently, but asking the Trekmovie team to remove any statement YOU have a don’t agree with, is just wrong. As others have said, blatent racist, sexist, homophobic – yes, such statements should be policed here. Removing what you perceive to be negative opinions? You’re going a little far there, unless we’ve inadvertently wandered into some little-known cheerleading section of the internet.

I wasn’t suggesting that TrekMovie remove negative comments of people being critical of the show. Sorry if that wasn’t clear. I am suggesting that they remove sexist, homophobic and racist comments. I’m also hopeful that they would remove trolls who only come here to trash the show because of what it represents. It’s clear that there is a group of trolls doing this. This is a private forum and they can edit for content as they please. I’d encourage them to see that reading articles is often unpleasant due to the large amount of trolls trashing to stir up hate. They do it on Star Wars sites as well and it’s a visible and known problem. But silencing critics of the show? Of course not. I have my criticism as well like anybody, but it’s not the resentment of the show featuring women, people of color and gays as it’s leads that fuels the troll hate storm.

Understood and agreed, Luke. There’s enough stirring up of hatred in virtually every form of media these days – we certainly do not need it here.

Yes. The features made changes from film to film. Even TNG changed Worfs ridges. But you know what was differing in those changes to the changes in STD? They still evoked what came before. (TMP made the most drastic change but they hid it as a complete refit) The bridge was different from WOK to SFS. But it wasn’t so different that you looked at it and went “What the hell are they on? It looks nothing like the bridge that caught fire in a movie that took place a mere days earlier”.

Why should they disallow negative comments, even those that are over-the-top? That cure would be worse than the disease.

We can agree on that. :)

Racist, homophobic, sexist comments … unnecessary, irrelevant, hostile.

Let’s discuss things of substance, like writing.

Agreed — great post!

Sexist, homophobic and racist comments have no place anywhere, esp ironically, on a Star Trek site.

The portion of this article with Wilson Cruz’s quote is beautiful. Instead of celebrating the impact of his work, most of the comments are the same general negative trashposting, & that’s demoralizing.

I have no clue why you are responding to me with this post???

The writers need to talk less about canon and more about their poor writing and non-compelling story lines. If they misunderstand why season one was bad (hint: it wasn’t because of shoddy continuity), then it won’t bode well for season two.


The show is a hit on Netflix and CBS is dumping tens upon tens of millions of dollars into it and a second season (season 2 announced after just a couple episodes aired) because audience and critical feedback was positive. I love the show and think it is one of the most compelling iterations of Trek created. So does the public… which is why they are still making it. :) As far as I can see, Discovery hasn’t had any missteps like “Spock’s Brain,” Star Trek V, TNG’s “Shades of Grey,” Voyager’s “Threshold” or the entire 3rd season of Enterprise. So I think they are doing great :)

You focus on the lowest of the lows as proof that Discovery is a step above, but it has also not reached the best Trek can be. For all the episodes you list I can easily say where are shows like City on the Edge of Forever, Measure of a Man, Yesterday’s Enterprise, The Visitor, Far Beyond the Stars and so on. When Discovery manages storytelling of that calibre that’s when it deserves to sit alongside Trek’s best.

They did 13 or 15 or however many shows (the fact I can’t remember says alot about how forgettable they all were) and there weren’t any memorable eps out of the lot. One scene, really just some dialog, the “context is for kings” bit, is maybe my only significant takeaway from the entire season. That puts it down there with VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE, worse than most any season of TNG too (I mean TNG s2 had classics Q WHO and MEASURE, and even S1 had watchables like WHERE NO MAN and CONSPIRACY.)

And I’d like to see an accounting for those “tens upon tens of millions of dollars” being dumped into it, because the exterior space effects are terrible. I can see the money spent on GoT up onscreen, not just due to the production design and vfx but with costly and spectacular location work. I don’t see where the money goes on DSC.

One thought is that perhaps the art department just builds as much as possible for each set to give the directors freedom to shoot from any angle, instead of building only what is needed to tell the story. This would be an invalidation of the whole art direction concept (sort of like what Abel did with 400 grand worth of discarded ‘memory wall’ and ‘trench’ sets that were built for the first TREK movie, constructing a huge and impractical set when only a small sliver was needed — that’s as recounted by the legitimately disgruntled production designer.) But it WOULD explain some of the expenses not turning up on screen.

Every show has dog episodes. That’s expected. But I have to say the ratio of good to bad epps on TOS is pretty darn high. Far less so with TNG and the other Trek shows. I can rattle off the top of my head the titles of the many good TOS epps. I can really only come up with perhaps 4 or maybe 5 TNG episodes. And they had 4 more years of episodes! I think DS9 probably had the best ratio of good to bad of the sequel series’. I liked TNG even though much of it was mediocre TV. But STD was at TNG level for the first part of the season. But it went severely downhill after the break. To the point that it was bad enough to bring even the good parts down with it.

The writers are much more inclined to talk about face-saving topics when they refer to longtime fans, like how we want a certain door panel color or yearn for the cardboard sets of yesteryear. They never talk about the plot lines that didn’t make sense; How did Lorca know that the mycelial network was going to work? When it did work, how did he know that it would be able to bring the ship into the mirror universe? How did he know when to stop the jump at his control panel? What was the point of turning Tyler into Voq? To what end? How did that help the Klingons? Why were we supposed to buy into this relationship between Tyler and Burnham when they never showed it develop? Why did everyone think that Burnham started a war? What was the point of L’rell as a character? Why would Starfleet need to listen to Mirror Georgiou to solve their problems? Why did Georgiou think that making a starfleet insignia in the sand would make her coordinates known? Why did Burnham not know what she was doing? Why were the Klingons stuck on the Sarcophagus ship for 6 months? Why did the writers think that making the most compelling character a mustache twirling mirror universe villain was a good idea? Why did they think that mirror Georgiou was a more captivating character than normal Georgiou? Why do the writers like Burnham so much? Why is she the focus when she’s not very interesting? Why did the Klingons retreat? Why is the network of Klingon volcanoes below the service connected?

Why on earth are the writers going to tackle science versus spirituality as a topic for the second season? As though those things are zero sum? My guess is that it’s going to be some of the most preachy, patronizing monologue scripting we’ve heard yet.

So writers, keep talking about how longtime fans want the series to have styrofoam rocks and giant 60’s transistor knobs and how that’s unrealistic for a modern audience. NO. We want a compelling narrative, compelling characters, true ethical dilemmas, and character arcs that make sense. Do your job or hire someone who knows how to. ahem, Ron Moore, DC Fontana, Ira Steven Behr. Thank you.

“Why did the writers think that making the most compelling character a mustache twirling mirror universe villain was a good idea?”

That, IMHO, is arguably the single most stupid thing I have ever seen in Star Trek. It’s fighting with the whale probe destroying Earth because they can no longer hear whale songs.

“Why did they think that mirror Georgiou was a more captivating character than normal Georgiou?”

I sure didn’t think she was. In fact, pretty much every MU doppelganger is by definition less interesting than their PU counterpart.

“Why do the writers like Burnham so much? Why is she the focus when she’s not very interesting?” This was their own doing. They created what could have been a layered character and did NOTHING with her. Hence, her final result was boring. I can’t even comment if the actress is even capable of pulling it off. She wasn’t given anything to work with.

Do you remember the scene in the first episode when Burnham, Saru, and Georgiou were looking through the telescope? I said to myself at that point, “Wow, we have a pretty cool Kirk, Spock, Bones trifecta. This could be something!” Alas, it was not to be.

Been there, done that already…

What, we’ve already had compelling, layered characters in Trek who had great chemistry together? Yeah, why on earth would we want more of that?

“What, we’ve already had compelling, layered characters in Trek who had great chemistry together? Yeah, why on earth would we want more of that?”

LOL. Good one. Of the 5 subsequent sequel series’ I think only 3 really tried to recreate that chemistry and none have succeeded. TNG I think wanted it to be Picard, Riker and Data. But it mostly turned into Picard-Data. DS9 was really more ensemble and I think the only show that actively tried to avoid a “trifecta” of characters. And succeeded the best. I think Voyager wanted it to be Janeway, Tuvok and Chakotay. But that never materialized even between two of them. The closest that ever came was Archer, T’Pol and Trip. It took a little time but it still didn’t feel as genuine as Kirk, Spock, McCoy. I will give STD credit in that I do not think they are going for that sort of thing at all. I think they wanted to focus on Burnham on her onw from the start. IMHO, that gamble failed.

BorgKlingon, you know I didn’t mean that I wanted a carbon copy of the Kirk, Spock, Bones trifecta. I was simply stating that the moment where Burnham, Saru, and Georgiou were looking into the telescope and trying to figure out what was going on outside was the closest to quintessential Trek we got in this show, both in terms of character dynamics and story.

To be honest I’m SO glad they didn’t go that direction with them. They went that way with Archer, Trip and T’pol and while I liked it it felt forced because it was clear they were trying to emulate that dynamic. Of course Bones and Spock never slept together lol.

“Of course Bones and Spock never slept together lol.”

That we know of! lol!

They’ll probably get into that in season 3 of Discovery….:)

To use the logic of the STD defenders… There is nothing that says it DIDN’T happen…. ;)

Rikers Mailbox,

These are the kind of questions that beg to be answered.

How did Lorca know that the mycelial network was going to work? When it did work, how did he know that it would be able to bring the ship into the mirror universe? How did he know when to stop the jump at his control panel?

Hmmm … Lorca must have been someone with precognition or something. Or they wanted to write that plot for him.

What was the point of turning Tyler into Voq?

Actually L’Rell turned VOQ into Tyler, which was a far worse thing, but they were able to show blood n guts and have Latif scream a lot. My internal answer is that L’Rell was so attached to Voq she couldn’t let his physicality go…? If L’Rell’s plot had not been revealed [TyVoq going nuts], “Tyler” could have reported everything about Discovery to the Klingons, so that part at least made sense.

… Burnham started the war?

I think it was her killing the Klingon during her EVA.
She was tried for mutiny, not killing a Klingon.

Why L’Rell as a character?

Why not? She’s a spy; she wanted to help T’Kuvma as a spy. When he got killed, she may have seen a way to make herself valuable with TyVoq as her spy. The Klingons really wanted info on the Secret Weapon, Discovery.

Why would Starfleet need to listen to Mirror Georgiou to solve their problems?

That one beats the hell out of me too, but at that point they were looking for an end to the Klingon war. Who better to beat ruthless warriors than a ruthless warrior was the idea, I think.

Why did Georgiou think that making a starfleet insignia in the sand would make her coordinates known?

I think because the ship had a fix on their general location, and they have scanners. As to Burnham not knowing what Georgiou was doing, it was a way to show us how wise Georgiou is, and show the symbol big-time, maybe?


“Who better to beat ruthless warriors than a ruthless warrior was the idea, I think.”

Didn’t we see that in STID already? SMDH.

Rikers Mailbox

Why were the Klingons stuck on the Sarcophagus ship for 6 months?

That is a darn good question. Were they in mourning for T’Kuvma? Trying to regroup after his death?

Why did the writers think that making the most compelling character a mustache twirling mirror universe villain was a good idea?

I have a feeling it’s because they could only contract Jason Isaacs for 10 episodes, maybe, and Isaacs has played many villains, and how boring a reason is THAT. I thought he was a very interesting character until partway through episode 12, then– :^(

Why did they think that mirror Georgiou was a more captivating character than normal Georgiou?

As ML31 says, Mirror people are not nearly as interesting as Prime people. I agree with that completely. So, it will be interesting to see if they can make MUGeorgiou more compelling than she is now.

Why do the writers like Burnham so much? Why is she the focus when she’s not very interesting?

This is a comment I’ve seen repeatedly, I’m not sure if it’s just you or a few others. And I don’t understand it at all. As stated from the beginning, DSC was not going to be another show focusing on a captain. It was going to be about a character below the captain in rank. They chose an actress whom I think is terrific, Sonequa Martin-Green. Now some of Burnham’s story is not the best written, and hooking her into Spock’s family was obviously a play for TOS fans, but overall I think she’s a very interesting character, sometimes quite well written [“Context is for Kings,” “The Butcher’s Knife …” “Lethe,” The Mudd episode, “Into the Forest I Go” and a couple of the Mirrorverse ones, when she doesn’t yet know Who Lorca Really Is.

So I don’t get this complaint, but YMMV.

Klingon volcanoes …

Isn’t that geologically possible? IDK. A lot of things in TV shout “plot device,” so maybe this is one.

I agree, it’d be nice if they could get DC Fontana or Ron Moore; I don’t remember what particular eps Ira Stephen Behr did in Trek, but if he was behind a lot of DS9, I totally agree there.

The irony, of course, is that the show was designed and built for All Access, not for Netflix and it looks like Netflix will ultimately reap the benefits.

@Denny C, Netflix are paying CBS.. a lot for this show. I suspect they don’t want all this Last Jedi style b*tching.

It’s not bitching. I subscribe to All Access, I watch. Heck, i even enjoyed The Last Jedi.
It’s an observation. Netflix reportedly paid CBS $6 million per episode which is great for CBS but, in the end, it does nothing to drive viewers to CBS All Access.

Star Trek doesn’t need All Access but All Access needs Star Trek – – and Netflix.

It’s okay. IMHO opinion, all the Discovery b*tching is justified.

I think, ultimately, this isn’t the Star Trek show anyone really wanted and we’re hearing a lot of the same arguments with Discovery that we heard with Enterprise.

Initially there was a compelling reasons to do Discovery as part of a larger arc but once Fuller was pushed out the door it just became another Star Trek series.

Agreed, Denny. And it’ll likely be remembered by most fans later much like Enterprise, flawed but watchable. This is all based on what we saw in season one, of course. Perhaps season two and beyond will knock our socks off.(?)

TNG’s first year had it’s haters. Most got over it as it improved. Here’s hoping..

But it really didn’t improve by much.

“I think, ultimately, this isn’t the Star Trek show anyone really wanted and we’re hearing a lot of the same arguments with Discovery that we heard with Enterprise.”

Yep, almost all the same arguments although I think people seem to like the Discovery cast more than the Enterprise one though (for the record I like them both).

But none of the arguments are surprising because we went through the EXACT same thing with Enterprise. And Enterprise was a century before TOS. Discovery is basically in the same time period, its just set before the show but we already know what this period is suppose to look like because of The Cage. At least with Enterprise that period was never really shown before so they could play with things a bit more.

I’m in the minority who liked Enterprise better than most. I actually liked the prequel series idea. (Just not Bakula as the lead). I think Enterprise took some time to find it’s legs but DID find them eventually. They did have the advantage of being 150 years earlier. Which gave them a lot of room to do what they wanted. As opposed to Discovery who locked themselves in a very difficult spot with the time frame they were in. Which continues to be a head scrather. I sometimes think part of the reason they had Pike show up was to fabricate a reason to set it when they did. “It HAD to be in that time frame because if it wasn’t then they couldn’t come across the Enterprise and Pike!”

Luke, please provide evidence the show is a “hit” on Netflix. They have yet to release their streaming numbers for anything. Your comment that it got positive fan and critical feedback is dubious at best considering the mixed bag of reviews that I have read. In fact, they seemed mostly lean to the unhappy side of mediocre. The 2nd season was announced early which implies it was a foregone conclusion before the show was seen by anyone. This is quite common for streaming and cable shows. And from a subjective standpoint, I’d rank Spock’s Brain and Threshold as superior to 2/3 of what we got on STD.

Orange is the New Black pulled in roughly 7 million viewers for its debut last year, Fuller House just under 5 million, Lost in Space 6.3 million (all in the U.S.). No way of knowing what kind of numbers Discovery pulled in for Netflix overseas but on All Access you’re looking at roughly a third of what Lost in Space pulled in due to a smaller subscriber base (and that may be generous).

I was unaware of Netflix releasing any of their viewing numbers. Where did you get those?

They don’t release their numbers. However, a third-party firm affiliated with Nielsen, that analyzes social media / internet mentions as a measurement of demand said there were over 53 million of such ‘demand expressions’ in the US alone, making Discovery the most talked-about show, which can be taken as a proxy for viewer interest. We know that Space in Canada had 1.17m viewers for the pilot episodes, and likely retained some portion of that for the series (let’s say 750k?)


If you scale that to other territories where Star Trek is a known quantity now – in part due to the reboot movies getting an international push – I’d estimate that out of 120M worldwide Netflix subscribers, Discovery might have up to 20 million viewers. And possibly many more via less than legitimate methods.

Discovery isn’t pulling in 20 million viewers. For some perspective, The Walking Dead is averaging 8 million viewers a week in the U.S. alone in Live + same day which still makes it the top rated drama in the U.S. In the UK they average over 500,000 viewers, Spain around 150,000 and in South Korea roughly 60,000. Those are just three markets but in each of those markets they’re among the highest rated shows. Assuming Discovery is pulling in 1.5 million viewers on All Access (and that would be on the high end), that would mean that with 20 million viewers, close to 18 million would have to come from Canada, Mexico and that would make it one of the highest rated series worldwide. If Discovery was pulling those kinds of numbers CBS would not be shy about letting the world know that it was performing as well, if not surpassing, The Walking Dead worldwide.

Cripes, the Walking Dead is that highly rated?
What the world must think of us, between that and you-know-who ….


Interesting if true. And I have my doubts about what Parrot has come up with. I know they have their analytics but it still doesn’t really pass the eyeball test. Sort of like when sabremetrics rate a baseball player as really good but when I watch him I just cannot evaluate him as being that good. However, the following sentence from the article raised an eyebrow of mine… “All of this should be good news for CBS All Access, but the company isn’t releasing numbers of subscribers for its streaming service.” And I think is the main jist I took from it. It’s very telling. At least to me.

Variety, pulling from numbers provided by Nielsen. Here’s the item on Lost in Space: https://variety.com/2018/digital/news/lost-in-space-netflix-ratings-nielsen-1202785547/

Netflix is funding a huge slate of shows, plus an enormous catalog of movies for say $10/month per subscriber. CBS All Access has what, 3 new shows, and no movie royalties? So that 1/3 size subscriber base is bringing in probably 50 to 100 times as much revenue to fund DSC as say that Netflix user who watches Lost in Space. It can’t even be close to being in the same ballpark.

Thus, based on on your own comparison here, DSC is obviously cleaning up given so much of the money collected can service DSC.

Netflix is flush with cash and they’re taking in far more than they are spending. As for the the bulk of the movies in the Netflix library, they’re costing Netflix very little longterm.

So, out of pocket, CBS is spending roughly two million per episode for Discovery but it’s going to hit their bottom line far more than it will for Netflix.

All Access is necessary for CBS but it will take some time before All Access turns a profit.

Sigh. You just don’t get the math. 1/3 the subscribers of Lost in Space according to your estimate, but orders of magnitude greater service of the subscription going to DSC versus Netflix if you compare the overall slate of productions and catalog, which thus make DSC way more of a cash cow than Lost in Space.

For some reason you think stock valuation means something in this, when it really does not?

Math is measured far differently in the entertainment industry but budgets are budgets and if you’re running numbers at CBS and Netflix on this show you’re in a much better position at Netflix. As with most shows, it will take some time before Discovery is profitable for CBS.

In the end, CBS needs Netflix in on this deal, Netflix is fine either way.

If they didn’t have Netflix, CBS could well have been in trouble. I’ve heard that Netflix pretty much bankrolled Season 1 but Netflix went back to the negotiating table for a better deal on season 2.

I hope my $20 a year helps them out…

Denny C, I still think it’s too bad that CBS didn’t just release it on Netflix US, but they have their heart set on a separate streaming network, and I have to say, DSC and The Good Fight are the only two reasons I have right now for subscribing. If the price goes up, I will have to mooch off my friends’ subscription, but it is fun to watch as a group.

It was a very tough sell for me to get two of my Star Trek fan buddies to share one account for just one month. And after watching the show, both have told me they have no intention of sharing again for the next season.

@Marja — It’s not just CBS. It’s Disney, Sony, Warner Bros., Apple, etc. It’s the future, plain and simple. Netflix will eventually have to go it alone too when all the studios begin pulling their content.

CBS realizes they have a way to go with this, which is why you can now subscribe to a higher quality feed through Amazon. Netflix has also been serving as a promotional partner for the studios to build audiences between seasons. I still expect CBS to do this with season 1 on Netflix (or maybe Amazon, or both) to build interest for adding All Access with the launch of Season 2.

The should care about both. Previous Trek creative teams did. This lot just don’t have the talent in my opinion. The writing, for instance, was mostly ok to start with but really dipped second half of season one. This tells me that while they had an idea of a general arc they were mostly making it up as they went along, and that seems awfully risky for a serialised show. I think that’s why we ended up with moustache twirling villains, quick resolutions and ridiculous things like leaving the fate of the Federation in the hands of a genocidal tyrant. Trek-like intelligent storytelling it is not.

No, I agree with RikersMailbox. The fact that they are trying to adhere to canon to some extent, but yet all of the Trek fans who are so torqued up about canon consistency bitch and moan about it anyway, just illustrates to me why they should not worry about canon. Why try to adhere to it if the people who are so inexplicably tied to it are never going to be satisfied?

Enterprise was the worst Trek series ever made, and so of course they came up with that moronic episode to pander to the canon fans about why the Klingons looked different over time. If that is not a great reason why new Trek series should not worry so much about canon, I don’t know what is, because that fan-pandering episode was just dumb-ass and unnecessary. The Kingons changed because Roddenberry had the budget in TMP he needed to make them the alien race he always wanted them to be — PERIOD — that’s the reason the Klingons changed, and Roddenberry said as much. There was no need for that silly augment virus — that insults my intelligence as a fan of Star Trek.

The augment virus insults your intelligence, but putting the fate of the Federation in the hands of a genocidal space Hitler in place of billions of Federation citizens and Starfleet’s finest, that’s great storytelling?

I’ve heard it all now.

So by your deflection to a different issue entirely, it sounds like I can assume that you agree with my point on canon. Cool!

Not a different issue. The post, my post, you responded to referred to it as evidence of bad writing. RikersMailBox also spoke of bad writing. You are the only who only read the bits about canon, ignored the rest and are now claiming bad writing is off topic.

I also note that you offered no defence to my example, so one can assume deep down you know just how appalling the writing got towards the end of season one.

Nice try, but you are deflecting my canon point again.

Get back to me please when you have an actual response to what I said about canon, then I’ll be happy to address your different point.

Chup shouldn’t have to respond to your canon remark, because it is what it is. You think that canon should be ignored because they’re never going to faithful enough to it; fine, but that’s on the producers to come to your realization, so on to the next issue, which you yourself created by offering up the klingon stupidity.

Yeah, I used to think Enterprise was the worst Trek series ever made too…used to.

Enterprise was a badly written show but at least its episodes told a story, even if it was a bad one.
Discovery had terribly mangled writing which served no thematic purpose.

@El Chup. If true,then the script quality tailed off the further Bryan Fuller got left behind. I think I see that too…


Totally agree. The series desperately new writers. Can anyone remember anything truly memorable from season 1? I mean a seriously compelling moment that’ll live long in the memory? Me neither.

The big takeaway from season one was turning a fascinating character into a cheezy nickelodeon villian. And as it turns out, that was their plan from day one. If it was the idea of someone who left the show early they had pleny of time to pull out of that nosedive. And opted not to. So the current crop of writers and producers are just as much to blame as the producers who left.

Your post, which is stated like it’s a known fact/certainty, when it’s obviously a personal opinion, does in fact bring to mind something that Sponge Bob and Patrick would say, so you unintentionally do make a case for the Nickelodeon reference you bring up.


I made a very “old-timey” reference that clearly you did not get. I did not mean Nickelodeon, the kids cable channel. I meant the nickelodeon from ages past where people put a nickel in to flip cards to make a little movie. Movies where the cliche black hatted mustache twirling villain ties the damsel to the railroad tracks for the hero to save sort of thing.

PS.. There is no need to point out the subjectivity of liking of not liking the show. If someone thinks (as the current writers seem to) that turning a complex character into a 100 year old cliche was the right move, then good for them. They got the show they deserve. For those who would like more… We felt cheated.


Re: nickelodeon

It’s been a while on this side of the millennium, but I recall DISNEYLAND still had one or two operating on Main Street where you can silently view a few of their early B/W animated shorts. They were moving them around though, with the new construction projects. They seem to drift back eventually to the Penny Arcade, if that still even exists?

I miss the days when I had peers with which I could discuss FRACTURED FLICKERS…

If people can’t understand ‘nickelodeon’ without thinking cable, you shouldn’t even bother trying to explain it to them. Presumably when they look up at the night sky, they must think, “My, look at all those Starz.”

Geez, that kind of reference isn’t obscure like vintage Dennis Miller, it is just plain communication; folks still use ‘Model-T’ as a reference for older things, and they don’t have to explain that it is a callback to an early mass-produced motor vehicle. THAT’s the kind of talking-down that you get with bad script-writing, and we’ve got enough to cover on that with the main line of discussion here!



Thank you. I woke up upset that I had fallen asleep and missed my late night laughs, but you gave me a good chuckle with that.

Kmart, I think BorgKlingon response to the nickelodeon reference suggests how young he is. I honestly did not think it was even close to a Dennis Miller-ish reference and I never dreamed someone would confuse it with the cable channel. Sometimes I overestimate people I guess.

ML31 It may have had more to do with the length of time they could get Jason Isaacs for, he was pretty busy.

Marja, I think it is more the other way around. They knew what they wanted to do with that character from day one. Since they knew it was a 10 episode gig, they were able to get someone who did not wish to commit to a series year after year. Why Issacs wouldn’t want the steady work I have no idea. I haven’t seen him in anything else unless he is a stage hound and wanted to keep time for that sort of thing.

Well, I do, but it would take me quite a while to detail them here.

Just one thing of the things I liked was Lorca’s saltiness, but it turned out to be [gasp!] Mirror personality!

Yes yes RikersMailbox!! 1 billion percent on. Season one was bad not because of ignoring canon (they did) but because the plot and writing were… Let’s just say not good. Many of the decisions were the worst since the creation of Wesley Crusher.

It’s a visual reboot for sure, But I keep wondering what their long-term plans are, what their endgame is. Tying DISCO to TOS, a then almost 60-year-old TV show simply can’t be it. If you ask me, there is more to that Pre-TOS setting than meets the eye.

If they just wanted to appeal to a younger audience and recruit new fans, they could have easily gone to the 25th+ century… In this era, the spore drive, upgraded Klingons or a new take on the Borg wouldn’t caused any trouble with established visual and thematic continuity. But no, they chose to go Pre-TOS, ten years before the original show and that cannot be just a crazy attempt at cashing in on old Trek fans…

At this point, I’m convinced that all this canon talk is just lip-service. DISCO will eventually arrive in the TOS time frame and then what? Of course, the next show WILL be a new take on TOS. It’s been their plan from day one to reintroduce these iconic characters. But at the moment, the KT movies are still rolling, so they had to bridge another 10 years. By the time, the KT movies are done (supposedly after the fourth installment and the QT follow up that’s completely independent), they can go back to TOS to revamp the iconic Star Trek for a new generation.

DISCO is a prelude to STAR TREK 2025…providing a huge background for this era that the new Star Trek show can draw from. Kirk, Spock and Bones will fly again and DISCO is the countdown to that relaunch. Mark my words!

I fear you may be correct, but I can’t thunk of anything less appealing.

I still and rather stupidly hold out a vain hope they can reconcile their bizarre and frankly insulting pointless visual reboot choices with the rest of the 50 year franchise. But I agree – more likely than not – this is all lip service. I don’t trust them, I don’t like them, I bregrudge they are handling Trek.

Though I’m disheartened by your words, Garth, I do believe you are exactly correct.

If this is the case, then I am all for it :) I really wouldn’t mind a new take on TOS, with recast-ed actors, a few years down the line.

I would love for my kids and grand-kids to enjoy Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise for many more generations to come regardless of who will be playing these iconic characters.

As much as I would love to see the old crew again I realize those days are over. A reboot like the KU is fun but if a show wants to stay in the PU and use those guys… Not a good idea at all. And I think many of us can agree that putting the show in the time frame they did was one of MANY bad creative choices that were made. Although, unlike the Lorca reveal, if that decision was made by someone who left the pre-production they may have been stuck with it. Although with all the set updates they did, maybe they could have just done the same show and SAID it was post TUC or Nem. All they needed to do was change the elder Vulcan to anyone BUT Sarek and have Burnham call him by another name and boom. No viewer would be the wiser.

@Garth Lorca — you could be right. I wouldn’t hate that. There’s 4 seasons of TOS we never really got compared to TNG, DS9 & VOY at 7 each. So as long as they keep going the way they have been, and tell new stories, rather than remake old ones, and continue to adhere to canon (visual continuity notwithstanding), then I’d love to watch that series.

More likely they’ll give us a spinoff with Pike before they give us the Enterprise during the TOS era, and that actually makes more sense than randomly going from Discovery to Enterprise with no connecting bridge.

Curious, that’s what I’m thinking. That Pike & Co. will be a second Trek series on CBSAA in addition to DSC.

I don’t think they’d have hired Anson Mount [previously the featured actor in two series, one that ran five seasons, Hell on Wheels] otherwise.

I really really hope you’re wrong Garth Lorca. We have the KT films. Kirk and crew is there, we don’t need a third version of them.

Well … maybe.
Then again, the spore drive can take Discovery anywhere, anyWHEN, so it wouldn’t surprise me if she’s a Top-Secret project, then mysteriously disappears … into another century.

The first quote is rather baffling: Who in their right minds would show Discovery to their kids? When thinking about DISCO, I’d struggle to remember even one episode that doesn’t feature at least one rather graphic scene of death, torture or mutilation. Of course it’s “tame” compared to, say, Game of Thrones… but what sort of baseline is that supposed to be?
Just compare Trek’s previous “dark horse” (with a clear emphasis on ‘dark’) DS9: I think the on-screen death count of DS9’s first season amounts to roughly… five, maybe? And were talking a 20-episode season there!

Well, it depends on what you mean by “kids”… if they are teenagers, they are still your kids. I agree that DISCO (or GOT or TWD) are hardly suitable for any kid below the age of 10, but from 12 onwards, people should ease up their minds. 13-year-olds ARE watching shows like GoT in flocks, an their is nothing rating authorities or even their parents can do about it if you don’t want to isolate them from modern media as a whole.
Also, explicit bloody sceneries are a lot less belittling than implicit kid-friendly scenarios. I used to think otherwise, but believe me, it’s not worth losing your mind on this issue. Gone there, been there, got the T-shirt…
DISCO should be deemed fine for 12-13-year-olds.

Yes… well… yes. Firstly, I was really thinking of younger kids there – in truth I was also thinking about myself: I was eight years old when I became a Trek fan and my parents had no problem letting me watch it alone (TOS, TNG and DS9 were the shows that were on the air at that time), and rightfully so! Later, when VOY began to air, it actually became a bone fide family entertainment show to me and my family; we would sit down on mondays, watch the show and everyone had a good time. Can’t see such a scenario happening with DISCO.
I’m not saying that all family entertainment should be “When Calls The Heart” (and trust me: it took me a while to think of the most unbearably sugary-sweet TV show in recent broadcasting history) and far be it from me to demand that kids grow up in a bubble of sugar-coated foam rubber entertainment (yeah, Trek was my “parentally sanctioned” form of entertainment when I was eight, but it was also around that time when I first watched “The Terminator”) – because after all, learning to distinguish between truth and fiction is a vital part of childhood development! – And even more so these days with all those “reality TV” formats deliberately trying to blur the line, wouldn’t you say? Paradoxically however, I really couldn’t blame parents who would deem “Dance Moms” (or whatever is deemed fashionable these days, I’m really out of the loop there) a more suitable form of child entertainment than a dark and violent show like DISCO…
With that said: Pretty sure DISCO is fine for 12/13-year-olds – no argument there – but wouldn’t it be nice if the show was suited to an even broader audience? An intelligent, essentially non-violent show… that’d be something.

Agreed, though I’m not as hung up on the sex as I am the violence, but kids these days have access to the ENTIRE internet, and I doubt that they adhere to Mom and Dad’s guidelines when they’re out of the house.

I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with those issues. If I had kids, they’d hate me, because I’d want to discuss every show with them, and I wouldn’t allow Smartphones until they were 12! LOL tell me how realistic THAT is ;^)

Not hung on the sex either. Not at all. Even though “sexing up” Star Trek didn’t work for ENT either, so I can’t say that I would be “happy” about more sex. But as long as it’s not another series of “rape” flashbacks — geez, why not…

Yup. In fact one of my earliest complaints in the series was the needless gore and swearing because I think Trek at it’s best is great material for kids to learn from with it’s moral dilemmas and conundrums.

Come on, as if they haven’t heard the F-word at school by the time they’re six.

I agree with you on the gore, though. “Language,” I don’t give a care about.

I was about 7 years old when I started watching TOS in syndication. There is no way I would put a 7-year old in front of Discovery.

I know what you mean Danpaine. How are they going to push the envelope this year; the franchises first full frontal scene?!

That’d still be better than the first eyeball-gouging head-crushing combo. Ah, scratch that, can’t copy GoT on everything! How about scalping? Haven’t had a good scalping scene on TV so far. Or space-keelhauling, that’d be something!

Waiting for either a wilson bomb or the C bomb this season.

I just. can’t. handle. GoT. Saw Season 1 and I still can’t get that image of the molten gold on Targaryn’s head. Or Danearys eating the horse heart. Or all Littlefinger’s naked hoors. Blugh.

Oh, you can skip most of the show and go straight to season 4, episode 1 “The Mountain and the Viper” then… heh heh heh…

TOS was, of course, created in the 60s, as a network show, so it had to live up to much stricter morality codes and censorship. TNG, as a first-run syndicated series from day 1, could be a lot freer in terms of content and adult themes and it did often push the barriers with (infrequent, but notable) near-nudity, gore, horror (implied and onscreen), etc. The very second episode gave us the term ‘fully functional’, after all.

Discovery is a different show made in a different time for a different audience – a grown-up audience. It’s not neat and tidy morality plays for children like a Saturday morning cartoon, with a reset button at the end of the episode so all the nastiness is undone. It paints a more complex world where there’s politics, flawed individuals who are more than a Species Stereotype, hidden agendas, grudges, redemption arcs, permanent death and consequences… *and* Starfleet ideals that people *try* to live up to, but don’t always succeed at.

It *is* a lot more like DS9 and the reboot BSG, and both of those were critical hits even with occasional lapses in canon and wormhole-sized plot holes papered over by Magic Aliens Did It.

So no. I wouldn’t put a 7-year-old in front of Discovery, either. It’s sophisticated entertainment for adult viewers. Not everything has to be for kids. Ask Cartoon Network to make Star Trek Titans GO! if you want something aimed at the Y7 crowd.

It paints a more complex world where there’s politics, flawed individuals who are more than a Species Stereotype

Compared to TOS? To TNG? To DS9? – No, it really doesn’t. It’s dumbed-down in almost every respect. A world where genocide is viewed as a viable solution to end a war, because obviously even admirals can’t think for one second. A world where pacifism is ostensibly viewed as an absolute (“Why are we fighting? We’re Starfleet.”) but where Starfleet ships are just as well armed as in every other trek series, just so there can be enough pew-pew scenes.
And what’s that about the species stereotype? A two-episode character like Grilka on DS9 had more personality to her than any single Klingon depicted in DISCO. The term “species stereotype” doesn’t actually even bear close scrutiny when applied to TOS – case in point “Day of the Dove”, where it’s made clear that both, Federation citizens and Klingons are truly victim to a lot of preconceived notions about each other.

Well, it’s been made abundantly clear in umpteen series and movies that Starfleet, while generally a great organization, is really a strictly-by-the-book group that is often paralyzed because of an inability to think laterally. I don’t think they’ve ever been pacifist, they’re just not a shoot-first organization.

Faced with complete conquest / obliteration of the Federation, with their backs against the wall, with most of the fleet damaged or destroyed in the war, panic sets in. They’re not going to turn the other cheek.

And, for at least nine months of their time, one of their brightest, most lateral-thinking officers is stranded in the Mirror Universe. The one who might have stopped the war if she’d been allowed to give them the ‘Vulcan Hello’.

Of course Starfleet reaches for the Big Red Button because they’re desperate, and only seeing what’s in front of them, not taking the time to really understand their opponent, presuming they’ll follow the Geneva Convention and Roberts’ Rules of Order and not impale them on a bat’leth. They’re all too willing to listen to Emperor Georgiou’s promises.

This topic comes up again and again in Trek, usually to lionize James T. Kirk with his youngest-captain-ever, cleverest-cadet-ever, out-think the advanced computer (multiple times), thing. He’s the lateral thinker. Apparently no-one else in Starfleet is! And Starfleet is usually ready to do something bad until he stops it and finds the alternate solution.

And even Kirk becomes ossified and bitter by the time of the Undiscovered Country. He’s perfectly willing to let Q’onos die. It takes ‘only Nixon could go to China’ to open his mind about what *could be*.

A century later, Section 31 engineers the Changeling virus. They’re perfectly willing to commit genocide on the Founders to stop a war that has cost possibly trillions of lives. Starfleet is desperate and backed against the wall. Odo gives them the cure. He could have let them die, but he bought peace.

In handing L’Rell the detonator they also bought peace, and made a choice of who to back in the struggle between the Great Houses – a complex choice, but one that shows careful consideration of their society and culture, and betting that a Klingon Empire, united for the right reasons, is better than a ragtag group of unpredictable factions. It’s not ideal, but it’s realpolitik, and also, lateral thinking.

@Fred Javelina — beautifully stated.

Your comments, Fred, make me think the Star Trek I’ve been watching haven’t really been Star Trek! LOL

Wow, Fred! I like this analysis.

About the ‘species stereotype,’ all throughout Trek the Klingons have kind of been a one-note bad guy, until their culture was explored more fully in TNG, when they went from ‘bloodthirsty warmongers’ to neo-Samurai warriors with a complex code of honor.

Even then, though, your average Klingon-of-the-week was played as constantly angry and irritated and haughty.

We never really got to know them as individuals, their quirks, their hobbies, it was just POETIC BOASTING ABOUT BLOODWINE and THIS DAY WILL BE REMEMBERED IN SONG etc etc.

With Discovery, we see a different angle. T’Kuvma isn’t a bad guy just to be a bad guy, he has a mission. Not all the other Klingons agree with it, either. He’s an outcast, a religious freak even, but one who is against the Federation because he sees the eventual assimilation and death of the Klingon people in it. It’s belief in this that makes Voq willing to undergo extreme measures to infiltrate the enemy; the irony is that he didn’t realize how much he would change, ending up neither really one nor the other.

We haven’t seen that kind of depth to Klingons before, and whether you agree that the writing was good or not, or the story as well plotted as it might have been, you have to agree they wouldn’t be able to sandwich this backstory into a comical Quark-gets-a-Klingon-wife-oy-vey episode.

Yes, until TNG… which first aired 30 years ago. “We never really got to know them as individuals, their quirks, their hobbies” – What exactly are L’Rell’s hobbies then? And I deem L’Rell the only halfway well-written Klingon in DISCO, mind you.
No, Klingons have never been as stereotypical as the people working on DISCO would have you believe. Also “The House of Quark”, while very lighthearted, isn’t necessarily a “comical” episode. Or maybe it’s comical, but it’s far from silly.

You know, espionage, sleeper agent programming, playing one faction against another, and according to those Season 2 set videos, a bit of gardening…

I would grant that L’Rell is really the best-written Klingon on the series, so far, next to Voq/Tyler. T’Kuvma was more of a MacGuffin to set things in motion, and Kol was more of the typical-arrogant-haughty Klingon we’ve seen before; not a lot of nuance, his role was to be a pure antagonist.

I guess what I was trying to say was more that rarely were members of other species portrayed as anything more than their culture / biological unique characteristics, unless they were part of the main cast of a show. Worf gave us insights, although he wasn’t a typical Klingon. We didn’t really see members of other Klingon castes or in other roles than warrior-politicians. Where were the farmers, scientists, bartenders…? Those that dissented from a kind of uniformly imposed, authoritarian culture? etc.

I mean, in a typical episodic series there isn’t always time to explore all of this, but even just mentioning it adds depth. In a series that has main cast / recurring characters over 15+ episodes it’s a necessity!

By that notion how many non Starfleet type humans did we meet in Star Trek? How many non-officers? One might think that all humans are Starfleet officers on Star Trek.

Kids on Picard’s Enterprise
Clueless diplomats in TOS
Dr Richard Daystrom in TOS
Civilian scientists in TNG
Then … hmmmmmm …

The Klingons in tos were not one note bad guys. How any one can claim that about Kang is beyond me.

Michael Ansara made him memorable, that’s for sure, but did we really see him onscreen enough to be able to really say we got to know the character, vs what is said about him through expository dialogue and non-canon materials? If he’d been a running character throughout TOS with a defined arc, etc, vs a one-episode villain, maybe, but they weren’t really writing shows like that in the 60s, especially if episodes would be potentially shown out of order in syndication.

I personally know the character of Kang only through “Day of the Dove” and “Blood Oath”, I don’t even care about non-canon material in that regard (which in that case also means that I simply don’t know any). And what I saw was a nuanced performance on the part of Michael Ansara which certainly lent the character more depth than a different performance style would have. But that’s beside the point, since a character does ultimately live through the actor portraying it.
I don’t really get your point there. Does the fact that it was a one-off character (on TOS) make him one-note in your eyes?

Isabella, I always thought Kor was the best-written Klingon in TOS, in a really good story [the comparisons/contrasts of Kor vs Kirk], but I liked Kang too. He was not so deeply written as Kor, though.

“We haven’t seen that kind of depth to Klingons before,”

Sorry, but we have. TNG delved awfully deep into Klingon culture. The only thing we really did not see were non-military types. We saw a bit of that in Enterprise with the Affliction episodes. But we got more from that then we EVER got from STD.

“and whether you agree that the writing was good or not, or the story as well plotted as it might have been, you have to agree they wouldn’t be able to sandwich this backstory into a comical Quark-gets-a-Klingon-wife-oy-vey episode.”

We can agree to that but it’s beside the point. I would also say that they failed to sandwich the complex issues you mentioned into STD due to their short season limitations. Or their inability to properly map a short season out. Pick one.

I had to laugh when he brought up “species stereotype” when the main character turned into the ultimate villain stereotype possible. Oh, he just wanted to take over the universe. Nothing else. He’s MU evil boy. What else is there? Facepalm.

Disagree. I think L’Rell is a complex character, well acted.

Yeah, L’Rell is a fine character and Mary Chieffo is doing a terrific job. But it’s not like that character brings a whole lot of newfound depth to a long-established species. She one part “token reasonable Klingon” (see Worf) and one part “mysterious shady Klingon” (see Gowron)

Besides: “Discovery is […] not neat and tidy morality plays.” – No, but Star Trek at its best IS.

Any episodic genre show can wrap things up with a moral at the end. Many do. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s not unique to Trek.

I personally don’t like having THE LESSON unsubtly hammered over the audience’s head. It’s why a lot of S1 TNG was kinda cringey in its earnestness (along with those shiny Space Fabrics). Doing that sort of makes me think the writers/producers don’t trust the audience, or presume the audience is young children.

Compare to DS9’s ‘In The Pale Moonlight’, which, some scenery-chewing acting aside, presents a moral dilemma, solved with immoral actions, but avoids judging those actions because it understands the complexity of its context (war, espionage); the lesson is that there is no simplistic moral solution here. It’s why it’s rated one of the best Trek episodes.

That reminds me of A Private Little War in TOS. Not really judgy but a true moral dilemma where Kirk opted for what looked to be the lesser of two evils. Of course TOS wasn’t immune to the other kind as Let That be Your Last Battlefield indicates. But fortunately there weren’t that many of those.

What’s with the cherrypicking? What about TNG S3? S4? DS9 S1? etc. – they had the “not hammering the audience over its head”-part figured out and it stayed like that for a total of many seasons of Star Trek. I sense so much more “yeah, we can’t presume the audience can deal with a deeper moral conundrum, so let’s make it an easily resolved throwaway B-plot in this and that episode” in the writing of DISCO. There’s so much more blatantly spelled out and so few character moments that give you a reason to think anything besides “Oh, why did character XY act in such an idiotic fashion?”
For example: “Why did Admiral Cornwell deem it viable to recruit a Mirror Universe despot?” or “Why did Saru just throw all common sense overboard when he was on Pahvo?” or “Why did Mirror-Lorca decide to resume his mustache twirling at exactly the wrong moment?” or just “Why did Sarek never tell anyone that he was the one who put the ‘Vulcan Hello’ bug into Burnham’s ear?”

To wrap it up for the moment:
What I really mean to say is: If they want to make a challenging show, they should make it challenging. “Darker” doesn’t equal “more challenging”, it just means “less like Star Trek”.

I think the quote was “as a lot of us have kids who are of the age who can be watching it “. I did a bit of a double take at that comment as well at first.

I think the issue is not whether younger kids should watch the show or not, but whether they can understand the messages behind all the glitter and effects and space battles. If they can’t understand the messages, then there is no point in watching it because those are the ideal ages when those moral messages should get through to a child. That’s when their physical and moral growth reach an apex. They need to do more that just be entertained. I am not sure if Discovery is ideal for this, lets hope it is.

I’m really confused about Alex’s comments. “A police squad” for canon. Where were they during the production of season 1? Apparently they are so protective of canon, they’ll even correct you on what colour something ahould be… WhaaaAaaaaaaaAAAT? Are there two Star Trek Discovery shows? And I’ve been watching the wrong one? His sense of reality and my sense of reality are two difference places. All this self back patting and talk of canon. You’ve done a visual reboot… why are you even uttering the word canon Alex? Stop insulting us.

It’s not even that it’s just the visuals are different but the rest lines up with canon.
Look at the holographic communications system they have there is nothing like in tos or tng. In tos and tng it takes time for messages to travel backwards and forwards to starfleet. But not in discovery where they have instantaneous communications.

Good point Isabella. I also commented this before in the Kelvin movies and how they too have instantaneous communication which they didn’t even have that in the 24th century. Picard had to wait hours or a day to get a message to reach him from the Klingon neutral zone. But in STID Kirk talks to Scotty from the same area via communicator like they are in different cities.

Is it a huge deal, no, but it proves as what I always say, how advance something is depends more on the writers and less on the period they are actually telling the story. Canon keeps them in check to a degree but end of the day if people want something to look and feel more advance they will find a way to do it, period.

Yeah well I don’t have a lot of beefs with the KU features but one of them is transporter range. Scotty’s transwarp beaming I thought was just to beam on to or from ships at warp. Not beam them from Earth into Klingon space! Another one is how they played fast and loose with universal geography.

Oh yeah let’s not get into THAT subject lol. Of course in Discovery we now have an entire ship that can basically transport itself anywhere it wants. ;)

But warp drive seems to go much faster in the Kelvin universe since they manage to get from the Klingon neutral zone back to Earth in literally minutes.

But yeah let’s pretend the 23rd century is sooooo less advanced and antiquated compared to the 24th century. Besides holodecks, very little about this period seems less advance now thanks to Kelvin and Discovery.

Again, I did enjoy the movies for the most part. But they did seem to treat warp speed as Star Wars light speed. Not until Beyond did anyone mention that warp had different speed levels.

I think Alex is fooling everyone.

Does he mean someone like Frank Drebbin is monitoring for continuity.. or possibly Nordberg..?

Ha! Definitely Drebbin…

Yes, Martin. I am floored they actually think they have people to check for canon. If they do then they are either not doing their job or are being ignored. Either way, one wonder’s why they exist, if they indeed do.

Maybe they do have people that checks canon but they then deliberately do something different in order to be edgy and controversial 😜

It’s possible. If the show were following canon 100% but still mediocre or worse, who would talk about it all that much? ;)

It’s like they are talking about a show we never got to see.

“….colors are consistent with canon and the design is consistent with canon”?

From Klingons with cloaks which breaks canon.
To Klingons using ship designs that look like a toilet brush.
From Klingons having no hair, despite hair being a huge part of Klingon culture in canon.
To starfleet having instantaneous holographic communication, which never existed in canon. God damn how instantaneous communication would have come in handy in tos and tng.

Nothing they say appears to line up with the show that was put out.

Maybe there is a secret version of discovery we never got to see but that’s the one they are talking about.

Huh? Communications have been totally inconsistent throughout Trek, in one episode you have to wait days for Starfleet to reply -so Kirk/Picard can be the bold hero making decisions- and in the next episode, an Admiral can always be reached to give a stupid/immoral order, so again Kirk/Picard can be the bold hero making the right decisions.

There’s those cracking episodes with Kirk making holographic calls to HQ. Glad to see Discovery honouring the past like that. And the design cues are wonderful, I love how they follow the beautiful simplicity of Matt Jefferies work rather than have over-complicated surface details and interfaces.

Kirk never made holographic calls to HQ, never seen a episode where he did that, unless I am missing something and I know the old series by heart, even in the movies he didn’t do such a thing, In Next Generation they didn’t have such tech, but in DS9 in Season 6 holo communications was introduced as something new during the Dominion War

He wasn’t being serious there.

I read a lot of sarcasm in the comment, Captain Ho.

Because the time lag is measured by distance. The further away you are the longer it takes for a message to travel. The closer you are the quicker the message travels.

There was no sign of any time lag in discovery.
Messages just instantly travelled no matter how far away someone was.
There was zero time lag unlike the rest of the shows.

Communications have been totally inconsistent throughout Trek, in one episode you have to wait days for Starfleet to reply -so Kirk/Picard can be the bold hero making decisions- and in the next episode, an Admiral can always be reached to give a stupid/immoral order, so again Kirk/Picard can be the bold hero making the right decisions.

Oh stop confusing their narrative with facts! ;-)

Communications were totally inconsistent. Moreover, we don’t know they didn’t have holographic communications, since it was never addressed in canon. We do know they had holographic imagers in the 23rd century, because Tuvok said they do. What we also know is they didn’t have the budget to depict it in the 1960s. For all we know they were actually having in-universe, holographic communications via embedded eye chips, and we just couldn’t see them through the TV. Basically, any time they didn’t say “put it on screen” it could potentially be a hologram. Indeed, saying “put it in screen” could have meant don’t enable the normal holographic projection. The practical reality is, it’s a dynamic form of communications consistent with the future of our current technological state. Nothing wrong with brining it to Trek.

But for some I guess it’s far better to hold Trek back to standard which may have been progressive in the 1960s, but is a stunted projection of our technological future from today’s standpoint for the sake of conforming to 1960s limitations. That should really appeal to new audiences.

If you want upgraded tech that’s fine but don’t claim it’s canon. Its really that simple.

If you do things or have technology that does not fit in with the original shows then it’s not canon. No matter how many times you say it’s canon, it’s not.

Piece of advice if tos and tng are outdate then go to the future. Don’t go to the past.

“Piece of advice if tos and tng are outdate then go to the future. Don’t go to the past.”

Exactly, Isabella. With the exception of uneven writing, insipid characterization and bad space sfx, going to the future would moot most of the criticism about this show. Canon would no longer need to be a conversation.

“Piece of advice if tos and tng are outdate then go to the future. Don’t go to the past.”

Again, 100% true. Placing the show when they did was intentionally poking the hornets nest with less than the best protection and hoping it is enough to prevent the bites.


That’s the entire head scratcher out of all of this. They clearly WANT more advance technology and they admitted they want things to look more different and modern. OK, fine, then why not just place it in a time where all of that is more appropriate?

I don’t really debate if its canon or not actually I just take them at their word but yes I clearly understand why you or others don’t. This was ALWAYS going to be an issue. It was an issue for the Kelvin films and those didn’t even take place in the same universe so how did they think most wouldn’t care about it now?

Going backwards doesn’t make a lot of sense to me outside of doing TOS crossovers which is obviously the only real reason its there. But again, if you are changing around so much in that universe you’re only upsetting the hardcore base, not appeasing them.

To say nothing of Starfleet uniforms that don’t match or even similar to what we KNOW they should look like in that day. And again, personally I am not asking them to match. They do, however, need to retain SOMETHING to make us think it belongs. They worked like mad on the phasers and communicators. Why ignore literally EVERYTHING else?

I am really glad they didn’t go with the TOS pajamas look. The DSC uniforms look like military uniforms.

Though I do wish DSC’d use boots that didn’t have light color soles.

The pajama look only appeared in TMP. And I have gone on record as saying I like the uniforms. They just are out of place for the time frame they say they are in.

As much as I like Discovery I am calling BS on the notion they make sure colours and designs are consistent with canon haha

Look at the great detail of the food synthesis slots. They match the ones from TOS. Look at the scanner above the bio beds in sickbay… and the sound effects. Lots of details all over the place that call back TOS without it looking like a low budget 60s TV show. I think they are doing a great job.

I started reading your comment Luke thinking it was sarcasm. Then I wasn’t so sure… It is, right?

@Luke Montgomery — I agree 100%. I think we’d all do things differently, but for me they’ve struck a nice balance. About the only things I don’t like are the Klingon ships (and not because they don’t look like the Klingon Empire D7 Battle Cruisers). Maybe I’ve missed it, but I’d love to hear some discussion about the design concepts from the art directors.

I think they just put too much unnecessary details on the Klingon ships. The best part of the original designs was the simplicity of it. You know sometimes the simple is the best.

I think the details are great, because they show that Klingons, oddly, care about beauty and detail in their ships. I’d like to see a little exploration of this; I think it’s very interesting in such a violent race that they take interest in such artistic touches.

I love the “Discovery” era of “Star Trek”. It is a grand example of visionary, televised art.

I didn’t know this was a museum, need to look that up

Agreed. The detail is amazing.

The special effects have never been better. The writing and development of characters have never been worse (well, maybe in the first season of TNG).

The ‘inside’ the ship special effects are very impressive, agreed, but I think the ‘outside’ space shots leave much to be desired. And the overall ship designs, abysmal. imo.

In terms of detail and animation it’s great CGI. I hope they ditch the “there need to be luminous nebulae everywhere!”-notion at some point though. Of course the “self illuminating” ships of past trek eras were never “realistic”, but there needs to be that little bit of willing suspension of disbelief there. It’s also simply part of the Trek-look to some extent.

If you mean visual effects, the answer is no, they have almost never been worse, big critter excepted. Design and execution of space effects is desultory at best, but then you get into that MU emperor ship and it descends into SEAQUESTed awfulness.

“There is a whole police squad of people who are really on top of making sure that the colors are consistent with canon and the design is consistent with canon.” Yeah those people should be fired…

“There is a whole police squad of people who are really on top of making sure that the colors are consistent with canon and the design is consistent with canon. ”

Those people either aren’t doing their job or their advice is being largely ignored.

It also is stunning to me that they change the entire look and feel of EVERYTHING yet they are concerned with how modern the phasers look like? Really?

Maybe their design teams are just extraordinarily compartmentalised and/or hampered by all the non-disclosure hullaballoo – that’s the feeling I got when I read that interview with the makeup designers!
It feels like some people trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle with their heads glued to the floor: you can pay great attention to an individual piece but once it comes to taking in the whole thing, you’ve got a problem.

It falls on the producers of the show. They are the ones who allowed strict adherence to the look of the phasers and communicators but didn’t seem to care when it came to ship and uniform and Klingon design.

Lip service.

Even if true it’s so amazingly obvious what it is, why did your hole deeper than it already is?

Interesting to hear the exec producer lay it out there regarding canon and trying to satisfy long time fans of the show. Of course it is common sense that you try to satisfy life-long fans of the show but let’s face it, we are a diminishing group as we get older. So they have the tough task of making a show that appeals to us but at the same time appeals to a broader younger audience as well. Add the whole new idea of creating a show for streaming only on a new digital network and that task is even harder due to built in resentment by a percentage of the audience. I know they can’t satisfy everyone but if they can make a show that satisfies, let’s say say 80 percent of the so called Trek Nation (which I consider myself part of) while attracting a whole new audience at the same time, then I think they have done a great job. Just my two cents worth. Looking forward to seeing what they come up with for Season 2!

@DeanH — excellent summation! Exactly the balance I feel like they are achieving too.

It is indeed a tough task. Tougher still when they set the show in a certain time frame that demanded a certain look they refused to even hint at. I think we all get that they are attempting to go for the lowest common denominator. I still say if they actually tried to make an effort their PD crew could have found a happy medium that satisfied most of all groups. Of course, since the show was bad anyway it would have been just a sub-par show with great production values.

” I think we all get that they are attempting to go for the lowest common denominator”

No, I think a “small subset” of fans get that, not “we all” by a long shot. You criticized me recently for making these broad brush claims that apply to everyone. Are you going to comply with your own rules, or you have a different set of rules for yourself?

So you wish to insult the intelligence of all the fans by suggesting the producers of Star Trek are NOT trying to get as large an audience as possible? News flash… ALL show producers are trying to get as large an audience as possible. This is not just a Trek thing.

Perfectly stated. The subset of fans who want to see either “Berman 2.0” or “Big Budget Star Trek Continues” will never be satisfied.

“Interesting to hear the exec producer lay it out there regarding canon and trying to satisfy long time fans of the show”
“we are a diminishing group as we get older”
You have no clue how many young people watch TOS, TNG, DS9 and Voy these days and hoped for something better than STD… Most people I know in my age group(18-30) don’t like Discovery mainly for the bad writing. And as far as I can tell it’s hardly 80% of the old fans who like STD.

“In terms of the time loop, we were desperate to save money, I am not going to lie.”

So one of the best, if not THE best, most fun episodes of the season was a result of saving money and being forced to be more creative? Uh… a lesson there possibly, Hollywood?

Then the producers need to learn from that episode, if the consensus is indeed it is the first season standout. It was a bottle show and only in the most arbitrary way linked to their serialized story. Also it’s the closest in style and storytelling to TNG. It’s pretty obvious there need to be more episodes told in the classic style….


Agreed. Its my favorite episode of the season as well (only one of three episodes I have watched twice) and I think because they just did a fun sci fi story trope that fans love. I always find it funny how people say they get sick of time travel stories in Star Trek but they are done for a reason: they work! Some of the best TOS, DS9, TNG, ENT and VOY episodes are the time travel ones. You will always find one or two of them in all of their top 10 lists. Some of the best films are also time travel stories. And why I’m not too shocked the next Kelvin film could be time based as well dealing with Kirk’s dad.

And Sanest man did feel a lot like TNG’s Cause and Effect which is another popular one. Fans love those kind of twisty stories in Trek. I really do hope they do more of them next season.

IMHO, I don’t think time travel episodes inherently “work”. They CAN work. As City of the Edge of Forever demonstrates. But more often than not they don’t. Future’s End and a host of others. The Mudd episode and Cause and Effect are more time loops and I don’t really count them as time travel.

Every series has an episode that is designed to save cash and they’re often among the best because of the limitations imposed. The ep in question was clever, fun and well written.

Nailed it

So from Alex’s comments, he’s still cryptic about if this is a visual reimagining/updating of the look of the universe, or if somehow it is going to end up merged into the classic look of TOS….

@Thomas Johnson — I suppose that all depends on what you mean by merged with the classic look of TOS. The boat has already sailed on visual continuity with the Enterprise, assuming there ever was any doubt. At this point, there’s no way they are going to end up putting everyone in velour pullovers and panties, and decorating all the sets in garish primary colors. If I had to guess, we’ll see things that look more like TOS, but it will never look exactly like TOS. We’ve already started to see that in the uniform design on Pike’s Enterprise crew.

Back just after the season final aired, John Eaves shared a post on FB (that he later deleted due to I guess studio drama) explaining that when he was told they were going to reveal the Enterprise at the end of the season, and that he was to update it (and make it 25%) different, he looked at it from the perspective that there is a 10 year gap between this ship, and the one Kirk will get in 2265, and therefore time for it to be refitted/rebuilt into the ship we see in TOS.

So based on his comment, I took the meaning that somehow we’re still going to end up with the original TOS design ship. John has chosen not to comment on the matter further until the producers give the green light. So you may be right….

I have no proof of this, but could the Trek rights be so messed up that Lawyers are involved, meaning that neither the estranged movie or Tv arms have full usage of the classic Trek licence, thus explaining the redesigned klingons etc. As I say no proof other than the occasional leak such as the one by John Eaves, or horror stories such as Nick Meyer’s new Trek show being cancelled. For the truth we will need to wait for the story of the show’s genesis “Chaos on the Bridge II” to come out in 25 years time, directed by William Shatner.

It would help explain why no Star Trek produced since the split actually looks like Star Trek.

If there’s lawyers involved between the various rights holders then I expect every creative decision has to go through the filter of “that’s mine”, “no it’s mine”.

@DPrescott — that’s how every production works in Hollywood. Each film or TV series, whether a franchise or otherwise, carries with it specific rights to those things creatively developed for that unique production. Depending on guild and contractual obligations, numerous people and entities may have approvals or royalties resulting from re-use of those things.

There might be a truth to this, maybe the vulcans can belong to one group so they can use the original designs while the klingons could belong to another group hence the need to redesign. Even though CBS is trying to downplay this, I am sure John Eaves unintentionally revealed at least part of the truth.

@alphantrion — CBS holds the rights to everything. However, if the Klingon’s look were designed for TMP, then the rights to re-use their specific look would require approval from Paramount and various participants, along with royalties paid. That’s potentially a deterrent. On the other hand, Since it’s a chicken and an egg situation, meaning Paramount needs CBS’ license to produce anything called Star Trek, it’s not like they would necessarily hold something like the Klingon appearance hostage from a new CBS production, which otherwise doesn’t need anything from Paramount.

Not true @Curious Cadet, and easily verifiable with a Google search. As a further example, Nick Meyers in development Trek show has been canned because of writs flying around designed to stop a Paramount and CBS reunion. That is one Trek show you would have loved, stopped dead in its tracks by lawyers. The truth is Paramount and CBS have to agree in a joyous legal harmony for free use of the Trek property to be used in an unfettered way between them. I’m sorry you don’t accept the facts, but currently those relations appear to be at a low ebb.. One must infer lawyers are all over this making money from negotiating what can be used and in what manner…

Curious Cadet and DPrescott,

One thing that’d add support to the Meyer contention that legal wrangling has stopped up Trek’s filmed productions:

comment image
(picture courtesy of Patty Jenkins who is filming WB’s WONDER WOMAN 1984, https://mobile.twitter.com/PattyJenks?p=s)

Chris Pine certainly isn’t in 1984 with film rolling at this moment looking for his dad.

Curious Cadet and DPrescott,

And the first WONDER WOMAN was filming for a year, including reshoots, I believe?

” we’ll see things that look more like TOS, but it will never look exactly like TOS.”

If that is the case then why oh why didn’t they START there? That would have killed a LOT of the continuity complaints.

Speaking of CBS All Access — anybody read that Netflix was down throughout much of the world for over two hours in some places today? Good thing that didn’t happen during a DISC episode — that would have made CBS AA look like the best streaming service ever!

I’m one of those people who has never had an issue with streaming All Access. Go figure.

Curious Cadet,

As you are in a speculative mood, care to speculate on AT&T’s aquistion of the CW and what it might motivate Les to ponder as to his options?

@Disnvited — well for starters, WB no longer needs CBS as a production partner, much less a co-venture in the CW as a path to distribute its shows. That said, both parties are unlikely to quickly divest themselves of the network which has become an important proving ground for very successful franchises, especially in reaching an audience under-served by digital delivery methods. Nevertheless, both parties are pursing their own digital platforms, and ATT will quickly push that arena now that they have the content. CBS will be racing to expand their digital production slate as well to keep up. My guess is, ATT may place less and less emphasis over their participation in filling the CW with original programming produced by WB, in exchange for more direct to streaming content, and slowly let CBS bear the burden of programing for that network on its own, or otherwise dissolving the network with WB in the future.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure kids aren’t watching Discovery. That’s another issue with the show- it’s too dark and depressing for most youngsters, and not gritty enough for grimdark enthusiasts. As Alex Trebek said, it’s just too much of nothing.

If the intention is to create a new visual look using “Star Trek Enterprise” as the starting point, then by default only the TOS and TOS movie era (the Enterprise in “Discovery” is now 1,500 feet long, so the size of the TMP ship needs to expand also since it’s the same ship) should have their look altered, because we saw the Ent-D in the series final for “Enterprise,” which locks in the look of the TNG era. How that effects all the Federation and alien ships we saw in the TOS movie era that still turned up in the TNG era, I’m not sure….

Actually I forgot for a second that the TOS Constitution Class also appeared in “Enterprise.” So Somehow they have to get everything to look like TOS, or the overall look of the franchise will simply be an extrapolation based upon who made what and when, and we just have to pretend that everything is consistent….

and we just have to pretend that everything is consistent….
–Thomas Johnson

Right, just like we have to pretend that Chris Pine is the same character as William Shatner, even though they look completely different. Or that Zachary Quinto is supposed to be the younger version of Leonard Nimoy, even though we know exactly what Leonard Nimoy looks like at that age, and they look nothing alike. We just have to pretend they are the same.

Different timeline. Good enough for me..

That’s probably the easiest way to view it.

Me too. But then, different actors playing the same part is also good enough for me. You can’t get a duplicate but you CAN get similarity. Just like with the sets. They needed to strive for similarity. Not 100% different and not 100% duplicate.

@ Thomas Johnson – rather than pretend that everything is consistent, I just pretend that various parts of the overall TREK franchise are occurring in separate ‘alternate universes’ to each other.

DISCO is far less frustrating that way, and it does away with all the ‘canon’ issues for me now. I feel sorry for those that are trying to reconcile everything together in the current show, and reckon Garth Lorca’s earlier prediction is the way things will ultimately end up.

But since I’ve separated DISCO from TOS altogher, I can accept any future renditions of Spock, Kirk, etc. for the ‘alternate’ versions they’ll clearly be to me. :)

Agree Cervantes. For me it’s plainly not Prime Trek, and if I view it that way, my continuity complaints largely go away. I guess now I just need some Vulcan stoicism so that I don’t bite back when the producers pointlessly insist their show is Canon with TOS. I strongly believe it’s now best to leave it to the individual to decide whether they accept it as a Canon or enjoy it as new timeline.

yep, good idea DPrescott

Exactly! And why I doubt Quinto would ever be on Discovery because they want it those images of those characters to stay in that universe and have less confusion.

The interesting thing is that, I work with a bunch of young 20 year olds (a few of which go to school for visual & musical arts) who are just getting into Star Trek, starting with the newer material, and now checking out the older stuff that we all grew up watching, and they all seem to be of the point of view that as long as the overall storyline/narrative is consistent, it’s ok to visually change/update the look of the franchise(s) like “Discovery” has done, and let the viewers imagination determine how they perceive the visual material, because “visual depictions are just tools to tell a story, reflecting the times they were created in.”

And I, an older guy, get that. But the problem with STD is that only works of the show itself works. It doesn’t. Because it fails to deliver interesting characters in extraordinary situations we tend to start picking apart ALL the flaws. It bears repeating… If the show were just better, the significance of the visual changes drops accordingly.

Well, I actually like the show and find it well written and with interesting characters. But like everything else with Trek, and other subjects as well, not everyone will be pleased by something. I still run into folks who love TOS and TNG, but hate DS9, Voy, and Ent, and in other combinations as well.

Only TOS got it right from the get go, so I expected Discovery to be a bit clunky.. Season 2 is make or break imho..

Yeah I think this is a generational difference, personally I get much more satisfied driving my 1991 Corolla more than my more “modern” Yaris, even though the Yaris is easier to drive. So some people will be more satisfied with just modern stuff and some will be with the older stuff. As long as your show has a heart and good story I don’t think it really matters if you use plastic sets or toys to film it.

Mary Chieffo is top-notch.

Yeah she is pretty.

I love this show’s cast. I wish I loved this cast’s show.

She’s great as L’Rell. Standout.

The first round of Emmy voting opened yesterday (6/11) and ends in two weeks, if anyone was wondering.

Shoot, so I REALLY have to sell my TWIN PEAKS cinematography story soon or eat it (original outlet for cinematographer interview closed its doors in Feb.)

Love Sonequa

I do too! Loved her in TWD and I love her here although I understand why others don’t.

I don’t understand that either. She is very good, and I think Michael is an interesting character.

I have noted that the two WOC actresses [Yeoh and Martin-Green] are the ones singled out as “wooden” or “uninteresting.”

That undynamic duo seems pretty low-key relative to Tilly and the Klingon female. Then again, everybody (except me) hated Michael O’Hare for being wooden on B5, and what did we wind up with, but the American version of Roger Moore, Bruce Boxleitner, hopin’ & wishin’ he was Shatner but failing miserably (with only a few significant successes across four seasons.)


Re: hated Michael O’Hare

Not me. I thought O’Hare was fine. I didn’t hate Boxleitner but I preferred O’Hare and his removal upset me as the show was lesser for it.

@Tiger2 A lot of posters here have issues with women.

It’s a bit sickening seeing them all talking up a flawed series at best as if they aspired to & exceeded the old Star Trek when they just took a 75% dump on it.

To call STD canon is a slap in the face to fans of the earlier television programs. Setting it as a prequel and “trying to bring in new, younger fans” was a monumental mistake when the movies already did that. We didn’t need another show set in this time period. But if we were getting one, WHY NOT stick to canon? To the uniforms, to the look, the feel. Do that, and have faith that those who were fans of the new films–your reason for making this show a prequel–are intelligent enough to flock to this new show.

To go half in, half out, is just untenable. Canon is canon. To cherry pick what you want and what you don’t want, to such a massive scale, makes the canon pointless to begin with. It’s one or the other, not both. But not only did they cherry pick canon, set this as a prequel–hindering themselves from creating new and interesting visuals–they also made it such a dark tone, with sub-par writing throughout the first season.

They could’ve had sub-par writing, made it a prequel, and stuck to canon, to visuals, to a brighter tone… and so many more people would’ve given it the benefit of the doubt, the love, because they would’ve loved the attempt.

They could’ve had sub-par writing, not stuck to canon or visuals, and set it in the future… and so many more people would’ve given it the benefit of the doubt, the love, because they would’ve loved the attempt. The new visuals, tech, tones, all could’ve fit in a show set in the future beyond what we’ve seen. So many fewer restrictions.

They could’ve made it a prequel, not stuck to canon or visuals, and gave us A+ writing… and so many more people would’ve given it the benefit of the doubt, the love, because they would’ve actually enjoyed it.

To hear them excusing away not sticking to canon because they want to “bring in new fans” is unbelievable. I can understand where the complaining comes from. To hear the excuses that every day they need to be creative on how to re imagine the look of this or that because it’s a prequel and they need to mix new with the old is again unbelievable. Did no one think to listen to the fans at all, at all? Did they themselves not think ahead to all these problems that would come about from making a prequel so closely set to TOS?

They’ve done this to themselves. STD season one was not good. I hope season two will be. I’m holding out hope, but we’ll see. They’ve buried themselves pretty deep setting the show where they set it, telling such a predictable and not-well-executed story, and now they’re moving toward meeting up with the Enterprise. Do Enterprise wrong and the hole only deepens. Standing on their own was the safer choice. Maybe they’ll do an incredible job on it, though. You never know. I’m hoping they do.

Thumbs up Scargate. Thumbs up. Especially your assessment of how things would have gone in other circumstances. I think you are dead on with how things would have been received in each instance.

Did no one think to listen to the fans at all, at all?

To which fans do you refer? You don’t speak for me, and I’m a fan. I like how they’ve re-imagined the visuals for this era, and I believe they have taken great care in the decisions they’ve made. Although no one asked me, it’s pretty much what I would have hoped for updating the look of TOS.

In fact, I look forward to the day when CGI makes it possible to update the entire look of every TOS episode as if it were originally shot that way, so future generations will embrace it as much as I did growing up — when it represented the state-of-the-art for a modern sci-fi series.

I think this is the difference between us. I’d have accepted an update of some of the old fashioned stuff. What we got was an overhaul..

Curious Cadet, are you being serious? I honestly can’t tell if you’re trolling with this comment. But if you really believe this, more power to you. I’d have taken the JJ verse visuals over what we got here. It never looked good to me, and it certainly didn’t look like it was set 10 years before TOS. The Klingons alone, that’s something you got behind? Not only was their look disrespectful, they turned them into caricatures of hate and intolerance instead of making them a multidimensional people like we’ve seen in all other incarnations on the shows. There’s no reason they had to be depicted as villains without honor.

As for my comment you quoted, in the interim between series, the vast majority of people ‘seemed’ to want anything other than a prequel. We’d had that with Enterprise and had just had that again with the movies. But I can only speak toward what I saw, not what’s in peoples hearts.

There have already been lots of post on the canon thing. I don’t really have an issue with them changing it, but I do have an issue with them always claiming how faithful they are to continuity and canon, which is simply not true. From the little things, like the uniform designs, the sets, the ships the technology level, to major things like Klingon physiology and even culture, to major historical stuff like the apparent near-annihilation of Starfleet less than a decade before TOS… no amount of name-dropping obscure place names or dishes or species from a TOS episode will mask that, not even name-dropping major characters from other shows. it’s, frankly, a little insulting to the fanbase and the other consumers at this point that they still say, they are faithful to maintain continuity with the other shows, especially TOS.

It’s okay, writers of Discovery. I like how you modernized the Starfleet look and even parts of the Klingons. Don’t be ashamed, just stand up for yourself, take responsibility for your show. It’s fairly rough around the edges, but there’s a good chance they’ll find their way, especially now, since there is a more experienced show runner on the team.