Spoiler-Free Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Boldly Charts A New Course In Season 2 Premiere “Brother”

TrekMovie was able to get an early look at the season two premiere of Star Trek: Discovery. Next Thursday we will have our usual detailed review with full recap and analysis, but to get things started, today we can offer up some spoiler-free thoughts on the first episode of the new season titled “Brother.”

A fresh start

Star Trek: Discovery launches into its second season with an episode designed to shake things up. In big ways and small, Discovery now feels like a different show, and for the most part, in a good way. The show is leaning more into areas that worked for season one and making adjustments in places where it didn’t. With a lighter tone, more action, and impressive production, “Brother” feels like a breath of fresh air rushing into the airlock.

Anson Mount as Captain Pike; Rachael Ancheril as Lt. Nhan; Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham in “Brother”

Super Michael

Of course, one thing that hasn’t changed is that Sonequa Martin-Green’s Michael Burnham is still the show’s lead character. “Brother” very much ties her into the over-arching mystery in season two as well as introducing an arc related to her relationship with her foster brother Spock. Now restored to her rank of commander and redeemed, Burnham’s arc has room to become more personal.

Martin-Green continues to deliver a strong performance, carrying much of the emotional impact and action of the episode, and even some of the humor. It does seem like one of the things the show is trying to do – perhaps in reaction to the response to her character from the start of the first season – is make Burnham as likable as possible. She is the epitome of a Starfleet hero in “Brother,” bordering on the super-heroic.

Sonequa Martin-Green in “Brother”

In with the new

One of the ways “Brother” changes things up is that it introduces a number of new characters, chief among them is Anson Mount as Captain Pike. Something made clear – and even pointed to directly – is that Pike is definitively not Lorca. This new commander of the USS Discovery is like someone grown in a Starfleet lab designed to create ideal captains, with just the right mix of confidence, competence, and charm. That is not to say this Pike is one-dimensional, as there is plenty on display to show that he will be a fully-formed highlight of the season. But there is no grey area of questionable ethics around Pike, moving the mysteries for the season into space and his mission to get to the bottom of the seven red bursts appearing around the galaxy.

Another welcome addition is Tig Notaro, playing chief engineer Jet Reno of the USS Hiawatha. Her brand of acerbic wit is a fun addition and helps with the general move towards lightening up the show in general. But Reno isn’t along just to make wisecracks, showing competence in out-of-the-box thinking that results in some fun Trek tech.

Tig Notaro as Engineer Reno in “Brother”

The old gang is back too

Of course, the crew from season one is back, and “Brother” gives each great moments to shine and set themselves up for a new season. Stamets, Tilly, and Saru all resonated in the first season and each leans into their strengths in the season two opener. All also pick up on their arcs and even foreshadow where they are going next, setting up character dilemmas and possibilities that almost certainly will pay off in future episodes.

Anthony Rapp’s performance as Lt. Commander Stamets is a standout as he is dealing not only with the loss of his partner Dr. Hugh Culber, but of the whole reason he was on board the Discovery in the first place: the now-defunct spore drive. Doug Jones also continues to impress with how he conveys so much–and with such subtlety–as the Kelpien Saru, now bringing more confidence as he deals with a new captain and a new potentially dangerous mystery. Mary Wiseman’s Tilly is always a delight, although perhaps too much of a delight. Getting into Starfleet’s Command Training Program seems to have turned her Tilly-ness up to 11, and she needs to dial it back just a notch.

Anthony Rapp as Stamets and Mary Wiseman as Tilly in “Brother”

A nice element in “Brother” is the way it gives members of the bridge crew things to say and do. We saw some of this in the first season, and it worked well, and it’s clearly being emphasized in this season two opener. Detmer, Owosekun, Bryce, Rhys, and Airiam all continue to get fleshed out to become more than glorified extras. Oyin Oladejo’s Joann Owosekun and Emily Coutts’ Keyla Detmer were a highlight, developing a fun rapport at the front bridge stations.

Oyin Oladejo as Joann Owosekun; Ronnie Rowe as Bryce; Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham; James Frain as Sarek; Doug Jones as Saru; Mary Wiseman as Tilly; Anthony Rapp as Stamets; Emily Coutts as Keyla Detmer in “Brother”

Looking good

Another change is the look of the episode, which is now pushing the line into cinematic style further with new anamorphic lenses for a wider 2.39:1 “CinemaScope” ratio that director and showrunner Alex Kurtzman has introduced. The episode felt like a short Star Trek feature film, with great pacing and the right mix of action, drama and character moments.

Everyone behind the camera seems to be upping their game, including production design, wardrobe, props, sound, music, and the episode features absolutely stunning visual effects. More than any other time in the first season, the USS Discovery itself feels like a character. The message seems clear: no one is settling in and phoning it in for this season.

The USS Discovery in “Brother”

There are also a number of elements to the production that make it feel more Star Trek. Thanks to writers Ted Sullivan, Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg, there are plenty of fun nods to Trek lore woven throughout, including some new elements to add to the mix. But there are also more subtle details, including more color and background sounds, which all add to a Trek feel that sometimes was too fleeting in season one.

Stamets and Tilly playing with some Treknology in “Brother”

Worthy

Bottom line is that the second season premiere of Star Trek: Discovery was a fun, exciting and compelling episode of television. It is, of course, a trope for Star Trek shows to up their game after their first seasons, but it is nice to see Discovery follow in that tradition. There is still room to grow for the show, but if you are a fan already, it’s almost certain you will feel the long wait for season two was worth it– and if you weren’t a fan, it’s worth giving the show another shot by watching “Brother.”

The second season of Star Trek: Discovery debuts Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 at 8:30 PM, ET/5:30 PM, PT exclusively on CBS All Access in the United States. It will air on Space in Canada the same night. And will be available to the rest of the world the next day (January 18) on Netflix.

Sonequa Martin-Green in “Brother”

 


Star Trek: Discovery is available 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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Karl

Sounds promising! Looking forward to seeing this next Friday (on Netflix)

odradek

Critic sounds rather polite and diplomatic then promising to me. Something like a C-. And Burnham now really seems to be a Mary Sue. Something I didn’t thought she was before. I don’t like that development.

Karl

It’s pretty much in line with the other reviews I’ve read. And as flawed as the first season as Disco was, it’s a masterpiece next to the first season of TNG, in my opinion!

Q__

Nay…First season of TNG was very decent, hopeful, vision of future…

Byron Diffenderffer

::Rolls Eyes::

Old Trekker

*spits coffee all over monitor*

Michael Hall

Yes, it was. That doesn’t make it decent drama, science fiction, or Star Trek, though.

Spiked Canon

no..no, it wasn’t. It was campy at best

Michael Hall

Nice way to spin a reasonably positive review into something negative, without even having seen the episode yourself. After so many years and disappointments my own enthusiasm for more Trek is admittedly far from its peak at this point, but given the sour attitude of some fans I wonder why they even bother with the franchise at all.

Ad Astra Per Aspera

I was thinking the exact same thing, Michael!

Byron Diffenderffer

How you could get a C- out of that is ridiculous. Go watch The Orville

Spiked Canon

Orville was a lot better this week, but they may have lost all the fringe watchers from the first 2 weeks

ML31

Yes, it was better. I really enjoyed the gag about Yaphit asking about parental leave and Mercer responding with, “Is he thinking about splitting in two?”

Captain Neill

The Mary Sue aspect was one of.the reasons I did not totally like her character in season 1

Byron Diffenderffer

How was she a Mary Sue in the first season? Is Spock a Mary Sue? Data? Riker? It seems hyper-competence is only believable in male characters.

odradek

No, Wesley was the Mary Sue of TNG. Middle name of the creator, wore his boots in one scene. Most obvious Mary Sue simce Karl May invented the genre.

Twain

Even if Burnham is hyper-competent in her job, she is not a “Mary Sue” (even though I reject that ludicrous construction). Yes, she is an elite Star Fleet commander with incredible aptitude, but she also has personal, internal flaws that she is working on – like Spock, like Peter Parker. And Karl May was just a smug nerd.

FrostUK

I don’t think Burnham was a mary sue in Season 1.

Wesley was in Season 1 – 2 but his character grew a lot after that.

The River Temarc

+1 to Byron Diffenderffer. The whole “Mary Sue” trope is almost always sexist. Riker strove to excel at everything he did, and no one called him “Mike Sue.”

gingerly

There is no bigger Larry Stu in Trekverse right now, than Seth Macfarlanes’ character in The Orville. The new recruit happens to dig him after the premiere ep’s pilot was crushing on her the entire episode?

AND he’s the the showrunner and captain, his ex is fine with with his stalkng behavior without any apologies??

Might as well be a thirteen year old girl writing a self-insert fanfic.

Jefferies Tuber

This Mary Sue meme is such trash. What were Kirk and Picard’s character-defining faults when introduced, again? We get it. You’re a misogynist.

Afterburn

Hey, take a shot, someone said “Mary Sue!”

Michael Hall

“Mary Sue,” as originally used in fandom anyway, was meant to denote a character whose sole existence was to serve as a wish-fulfillment stand-in for the audience. Given Burnham’s situation in Season 1, it’s clearly a misuse of the term to apply it to her.

odradek

Yes, that is what I said. The article said they changed her into a superhero. I liked her very much in Season one.

Afterburn

The current definition of “Mary Sue” (a character who is the best at everything) is a classic trope of genre films and TV. From Batman to James Bond to Anakin Skywalker, and dozens of others, it only became the go-to term for whiney fans to toss around since Max Landis (the king of whiney loser fans) used it to describe Rey in The Force Awakens simply because she was skilled with a melee weapon.

Essentially, those character traits only seem to be a problem when it’s a woman and/or a minority (and god forbid, like Burnham, it be both!!!).

When it’s a white man, he’s the best f^&*ing character ever!

The River Temarc

Exactly. Frankly, the biggest “Mary Sue” seems to be Captain Kirk himself. (Although yeah, the term kind of fits the ORVILLE captain.)

DMT

If this proves nothing else, it’s that people read exactly what they want to, no matter what it actually says.

odradek

I want a great episode of Discovery not just a mediocre one. What is sour about this?

Michael Hall

The review stated that the episode was “good,” not “mediocre.” Reading comprehension is your friend.

odradek

I tried to read between the lines. That I misinterpreted something is a posibility very obvious to me. Therfore I stated my inpression. No need for you to be smug against someone without the advantage of being first language speaker.

Michael Hall

Not trying to be smug against anyone (like most Americans the only language I speak fluently is English). That said, as a non-native speaker my suggestion would be to stick to the text and not worry about what the author is implying. If he says the premiere was good that means he thought it was good, not mediocre.

Boze

The positive review would sound a lot more believable if it weren’t for all those previous reviews calling mediocre episodes good.

I wouldn’t want to imply any malicious intent, but it is fairly obvious that authors of this site have above-standard relationships with people connected to the show, and may thus be motivated to treat the show more kindly than an ordinary fan would.

odradek

Seems I’m not so alone with my way of thinking after all.

DIGINON

@Boze: Try not to mistake your personal taste as fact. If Trekmovie calls an episode “good” that you think is “mediocre” this doesn’t mean that Trekmovie is sucking up to CBS. It just means that they liked the episode more than you did. Where they differ from (some) “ordinary fans” is that they probably wouldn’t personally attack the makers as viciously as some fans do in the comments.

Reading between the lines of a language that isn’t one’s own is a silly thing to do. You end up just inventing things. I’d try not to do that, if I were you.

Jack

Uh, can we leave the person’s language out of it? And not condescend and explain how to read reviews? Just disagree, if you have to, and move on.

odradek

@Jack

Well, thank you for that. I admit that I brought up the language topic myself. But I very much appreciate your statement and wholeheartedly agree.

Tiger2

But the review didn’t say that, it said it was good. It doesn’t mean you will personally feel that way after you watch it but you’re trying to spin the review as being more negative when it wasn’t.

odradek

Maybe it is cultural misunderstanding. I may be used to read texts in a different way.

Tiger2

OK, fair enough.

Jefferies Tuber

Odradek sounds like a typical knuckle-dragger, couching his racism and sexism in fanboy snark.

Curious Cadet

@Karl — yup I’m all signed up on Amazon for it. Should be much better picture quality than on CBSAA last season.

Karl

@curious cadet, I got the impression through season one that those of us outside North America we’re getting a much better technical delivery on Netflix than you guys in the US. I’m curious to buy the BluRay and see if the picture levels improve even more!

Netflix users almost certainly do. Using All Access directly is pretty crappy, especially early on, they had a lot of teething issues. They added a partnership to go through Amazon’s ecosystem in Jan 2018, just before the first season resumed from hiatus. I subscribed via Amazon when the Short Treks started in the fall, it’s better when using Amazon’s servers to deliver the content, and you get proper 5.1 support on just about anything that has an Amazon Prime VIdeo app. Shockingly CBS’s own apps don’t support surround sound on most devices.

Karl

That’s insane Matt. For a show that’s supposed to be a main lead into a new streaming service. Looking forward to comparing notes over season two, especially with Mr Drew on Twitter.

Indeed.

Tiger2

Yeah I still have AA and defended it but its still bad on the technical side in many ways.

In fact I had trouble pulling up the last Short Trek for nearly an hour. It kept telling me the video was ‘unavailable’ and that I should either try refreshing (uh, thanks) or look up the trouble shooting list. And yes the episode was definitely already up as people had already seen it by then. It just wouldn’t come up for me. It eventually did obviously and ran pretty smoothly but every other episode of first season there was always a technical issue of some kind. Most were minor but others a much bigger issue and very frustrating when trying to watch a show.

So I can’t blame people for hating AA. It’s already a pretty bare service in terms of content and the technical side still has issues. I put up with it because of Star Trek. If that wasn’t there, its no way I would have AA today.

I’m still surprised at how poor the direct CBS app streaming experience can be given how smooth all other streaming services are these days. CBS Interactive (the division that runs All Access) really needs to try to grab some high level technical talent from the leading services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, BAMTech (who provide the streaming tech for MLB TV, WatchESPN, and HBO Now, among others), etc.

They’ve greatly improved their user interface in the last year. But the actual streaming itself, in both overall quality and general smoothness (small hitches are common), is still poorer than others, including some smaller niche streaming services I’ve tried.

ML31

When I compare what I got last year from streaming CBSAA to what I stream from Netflix… It’s almost completely night and day. Netflix has a couple of issues but I get none of the little hiccups I got on a fairly constant basis last year streaming CBS. It was disheartening to hear you say the glitches are still there after all this time.

Tiger2

Yeah sadly it is. As I said though its not all the time and usually it is minor but its safe to say it’s really the only one I have that even gives me problems. Netflix I have never had a single issue in over a year. The site has gone down at at times but that seems to be a network issue but the site itself works always works smoothly. And Amazon honestly seems to be the best one out of all of them. That one never even buffers for me and play back is the smoothest. But AA still has the most problems by far.

In time that will change and yes its WAY better then when I first got it when it buffered so badly and shows would literally just drop. There has definitely been improvement since Discovery started but it needs more and we’ll see how things go for season 2 when a lot more people are on it again.

ML31

I find it appalling that in order to get CBSAA at a better quality than just getting it on its own is to subscribe to ANOTHER service. I don’t want to have to pay for YET ANOTHER streaming service.

DIGINON

The Amazon channels only make sense if you already have a prime account.

Robert Mitchel

Probably not the place to ask, but any idea if QMX is going to release versions of the Enterprise insignia? All the pictures of them look very cool.

Ryan Spooner

Anamorphic, does that mean non 16:9? If so I really hate that, that just equates to a smaller picture for everybody with less content on screen, and wasted screen space with black bars top and bottom. If it doesn’t mean that, and it’s still going to be 16:9, then move along, nothing to see here :)

Kevin

Yeah, the “Short Treks” are the first content in the new anamorphic aspect ratio.

Last season wasn’t 16:9, either, by the way…

Ryan Spooner

Ahh didn’t realise/remember that. Well then, I hate it :) I still can’t shake the feeling that we’re being robbed of content and having our screen space wasted. This is a production for display on a fixed aspect ratio display, not a white wall where the ratio is flexible with adjustable upper and lower edges.

This ratio does not make the TV picture any wider, that width is fixed. But it does reduce the height, and therefore we get less content. If they wanted to get more content into the production horizontally, they could’ve just kept the same aspect ratio and zoomed out a bit. Horizontally it would’ve achieved the same effect, without robbing us of content at the top and bottom.

Anyway, end of rant :)

MattR

While a slightly smaller portion of your television screen is used, filming in the new aspect ratio allows for more content (backgrounds, characters, sets) to fit onto the visual image.

Yep.

kmart

It’s properly displayed content; zooming it like you say would destroy said composition.

Sam

What your other respondents have said.

Also on a white wall the side edges are what should be adjustable, NOT the upper and lower edges. Vertical adjustment means that you just know some idiot is getting more spectacle from the latest Adam Sandler movie (in your same auditorium) than you are with whatever 2.35 epic you happen to have bought a ticket for. Which is completely backasswards. I’ve actually made it a point to log from experience which theaters (and which screens!) in my town are Constant Image Height for (properly) displaying movies that IMDB identifies as above 1.85.

Season 1 was 2:1 ratio so it was already wider than 16:9 (1.78:1).
This new season (including Short Treks) was filmed with new anamorphic lenses at the cinematic widescreen ratio of most action/adventure and previous Trek movies, 2.39:1.

Curious Cadet

Yeah, I’m not looking forward to it. I even have a 65″ TV and 2:39.1 is really not acceptable for a weekly TV series. Maybe in 10 years when I have a 100″ TV, but not right now. It almost seems pretentious. I can’t even imagine how this is going to read on a standard 40″ to 55″ TV, much less a fairly common 32″ screen.

Karl

I’ll keep you posted on how it looks on a “small” TV a week from now. Of course, it’s all also reliant on Sofa to TV distance ratio and if your wife will stop watching Grays Anatomy

Spiked Canon

people watch crap on their phones nowadays. I don’t think you will worry too much about it once you start watching it, but like you, I haven’t seen it yet

Fluke

Anamorphic just means it is filling the whole capture area on the cameras they are using. It is a lens that squishes the content by the width. Eg putting a 16:9 video into a 4:3 frame. It has nothing to do with aspec ratios trimming or cropping etc. DVDs did this for movies and widescreen tv. Squishing 854X480 into 720X480 (ntsc). During playback it would be “stretched” to the proper ratio. This means you get a full 480 pixels vs the 380 you would have if it was “letterboxed” Adding that the black bars would be hardcoded into the video as well. While it is not the same as a lens system it is an example of what it is doing. NOW as for the show here, I dunno what cameras they use and what capture space is on them or if they are full sensor or not. Either case it means you are gaining detail in the processing chain. As for the end user who is watching at at 1080p it probably means nothing as you are seeing a downscaled image as it is presented to you. It will still be streamed at 1920X1080 or smaller and compressed. What will affect the end user are the artifacts or “look” the lens will introduce. These will depend on what anamorphic system they use in the end. Google and wiki will probably give a better explanation. This case the black bars everyone so hates are done in post. Almost all digital content it is done this way. As a end user on a fixed ratio system IE streaming and your tv it means bars and fewer pixels. As a experience it is what was INTENDED by the director. This is really all that matters vs the past when someone not part… Read more »

Curious Cadet

@Fluke — actually you bring up a good point. We’re still getting a 1080p output, but now we’re getting less picture with the same resolution. It would be different if they were streaming in 4K at 2.39:1, but they’re not.

I’ve been watching the shorts, and zooming in so that they fill the whole screen — which by the way has a negligible impact on them; it’s clear they chose this ratio so the picture would exactly fit a 16:9 height frame, and are shooting the material centered, so that cutting off the sides has no impact on the scene. We’ll see if this continues to be the case and whether they really use the full frame space. There is some degradation in quality when viewed this way, especially when it comes to gradient transitions from dark to light — the banding is quite evident. More pixels would help solve this problem, but they’ve been traded for black bars containing no information to present a more cinematic look, without actually using the visual space.

Gorn>UFP

Just one question. Do we see the Enterprise bridge?

Captain Neill

I am worried because I don’t want it looking all Discovery ied, and faithful to the original

Gorn>UFP

I’m sure it will be Discovery-like. I just want it to take at least some inspiration from TOS too

Ad Astra Per Aspera

There is absolutely way they are going to do that. They will update it, just as they did with the overall design of the Enterprise.

Tiger2

Captain Neil, its no way its going to look like an outdated 60s set. Of course it can keep to its aesthetics but its going to be highly updated either way. It would look SO out of place and take everybody watching it out of the story, especially when compared to how sleek and advance Discovery looks.

I suspect its going to look completely different like the Enterprise bridge in the Kelvin universe, which I like btw.

Captain_neill

I never expected it to look exact but at the same time I want it to evoke the design.

As a fan of the universe I do like DSC to feel like it fits in. Sorry for liking past aesthetics and not liking DSC as my fav Trek.

Tiger2

DIS isn’t my favorite Trek either. In fact it’s currently last on my list (but I generally like them all). But I’m a realist too, I get it has to look like it belongs in 2019. And yes it can certainly do that AND evoke the original design in some way so we agree and was the main issue in season one. But it’s still going to look Discovery related just the same so people have to accept that if it does.

The TOS style uniforms already told you that. They are a combination of both the original show but with a slant of Discovery influence, even down to that annoying collar. So you can’t be shocked the ship won’t be the same. It has to fit in this universe.

Look, if it was up to me, there would be no Enterprise showing up on this show at all, one just for the show to do its own thing and not be a TOS crutch, but also to avoid arguments like this which I know will be plenty come season 2.

Ad Astra Per Aspera

Nobody slammed you for not having DSC as your favourite…. we just made a point that if we see the bridge, it will be updated…..

Chancellor Gowron

They did use the TOS bridge in Enterprise, and it still looked futuristic compared to the NX-01.

ML31

And that was a credit to the designers of the NX-01. They did a great job of making that ship look both less than the 1701 but still futuristic for being made in the early 2000’s. That is why I know a show set in Discovery’s time could still feel like it belongs in that era if done today. Those artisans are very good at their jobs.

Tiger2

Agreed. One of the things Enterprise did so well was actually look and FEEL like a prequel to TOS. How that ship was designed was a testament to that. Yes it still felt a bit more advanced but it really did feel like a ship in the 22nd century. And it just felt a lot more grounded then the other shows did.

Discovery doesn’t try at all to feel like its a show for the era its supposedly in. This has been said so many times but you only know its in the 23rd century because they told us that. People have tried to excuse the advancement of the Discovery to the Enterprise because its ‘newer’. But then that doesn’t work because the Shenzhou is suppose to be around old too and that ship also could work in a more advanced era.

ML31

The term that the design defenders use is “visual reboot”. OK. But I have a tough time swallowing that. Now I know this is up to the people literally running the show, but I don’t think it appropriate to half-ass a reboot. It either is or it isn’t. And to this day Discovery is working better if it is treated as a 100% reboot.

Curious Cadet

@Chanellor Gowron — that’s a matter of opinion. I thought it looked silly by comparison. It looked great for TOS, and my perception of it was colored strongly by nostalgia. But once they tried to extend those design cues into other, previously unseen areas of the ship, it totally failed — despite being exactly what Jeffries might have done himself, there was no nostalgia to sugar-coat these spaces we were unfamiliar with.

Again, I’m not saying it didn’t look more futuristic to you, but it totally looked dated to me, however much I enjoyed it. This leads me to the conclusion that Berman’s era made a huge mistake catering to the nostalgia of the base in their attempt to draw in audiences. It only served to reinforce the perceived “geek” factor which has always dogged Trek. Unlike Abrams, Berman’s group could have updated the original series look and shown future generations how to do it, but instead they tried to shoehorn in the dated designs of 30-40 years prior in exacting detail and pass them off as realistic depictions of the future to modern audiences who were used to much more sophisticated designs.

Tiger2

Because if they did that then fans would’ve shouted he’s not being respectful to the era and people may have even questioned if its the same universe as they are currently questioning Discovery. And Imagine if Scotty showed up on the Enterprise bridge and it looked very different then the original, it wouldn’t have felt the same. And as said, the point was to hit a certain nostalgia point. Trials and Tribbueations for exampled worked because they basically placed the DS9 characters in the original episode almost to a tee. The fun is to see just how accurate it all fits. It wouldn’t have worked any other way.

ML31

I disagree. If you are referring to the times the show threw back to the TOS era, it HAD to be duplicated. It would not have worked any other way. Doing that also reinforced that was what the past looked like. Which is where it seems your problem lies. That said, there is no reason that a show set near that era could not alter things a bit and make it work on both levels. Many think it unfortunate that Discovery didn’t even make the attempt at that.

slider

Do you really want to? At least Enterprise respected the original design.

Captain Neill

One query, is the Enterprise faithful to the original or have they screwed up the interiors?

Tumbler

They’ve released a few photos of Spock’s quarters. The last picture above of Burnham is on the Enterprise, I believe. So that can give us an idea what the bridge and other parts of the ship might look like.

DeanH

Unless I go to a premiere, I usually limit reading only the first and last paragraphs of a review until I see a show and that is what I did here. Sounds promising and about what I expected. Just like TNG which also had a little bit of a shaky start, it looks like Discovery is taking it to the next level with improvements that will hopefully pave the way to a nice long series run. Very much looking forward to next Thursday night and to following the continuing voyages of the Starship Discovery and her crew for several years to come.

Michael Hall

TNG’s first season was considerably shakier than “a little bit,” and truth be told, the second wasn’t much better. If it had been anything other than a Trek show it would have probably been canceled long before its third year, when it seriously began to improve.

Captain_neill

Is it faithful to TOS more?

Afterburn

Boy i hope not…,

Captain_neill

Its meant to be a prequel to TOS and TOS should be respected.

Shame that some fans are disrespectful to the show which started it all.

Tumbler

Respect TOS to what degree? Because if you mean respect the good-natured spirit of friendship and exploration via futuristic morality tales, then by all means they should do it. But if you mean respect TOS down to every millimeter of the 1966 series in terms of visual design, then that’s not being realistic about the situation. That ship has sailed.

Tiger2

Have you seen Discovery? What on that show has looked like TOS outside the phasers?? You can’t be shocked the Enterprise will look different. The differences of the exterior clearly tells you it’s not going to look exactly like the old ship, nor should it. The old ship looks too outdated for people who DIDN’T watch the old show.

Michael Hall

In terms of layout the Discovery bridge is considerably closer to TOS than, say, that of TNG, and the Engineering set resembles TOS more than any of the movies or subsequent series. That’s just a fact.

Tiger2

It still looks absolutely nothing like the TOS bridge, I mean c’mon. If a newbie saw the TOS bridge and then the DIS bridge, no one in their right mind would even know the two were suppose to be built in the same era much less resemble each other. And I don’t expect TNG to look that way, its 100 years in the future lol. I would be disappointed Starfleet was still stuck in the same dated design just like I would be disappointed stuff in 2019 looked like stuff from 1969.

And I don’t care about the TOS bridge for the record. It looks too outdated and small, but of course I do expect a show in the era to evoke it in some way, especially Constitution class ships.

The Disco bridge looks a lot closer to the Enterprise-E bridge to me. When we did a comparison graphic for an article a few months ago, I could really see it, and the Disco’s bridge is still quite a bit bigger than a 24th century flagship for no particular reason.
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Tiger2

Exactly Matt! This has been pointed out before and why people have no problem envisioning Discovery in the 24th century because it literally has the same aesthetics as the E does, even the same color scheme lol.

I guess this isn’t a huge surprise knowing its the same guy who designed both ships (and I recently just found that out).

But when I see Discovery, nothing about it screams TOS to me, especially due to its crazy size. I still don’t know why the bridge needs to be that big? The captain is so far away from everybody it looks like he has to shout to get their attention.

AFAIK, Eaves only designed the outside, the inside was the production design team. In the early part of season one that was Todd Cherniawsky and/or Mark Worthington.

And yes the captain is crazy far away. They had Lorca standing or walking around most of the time because of that. Will be interesting to see what they do with Pike this season.

Tiger2

OK gotcha about Eaves. But it is striking just how similar those bridges are. They even both have standing stations on each side of the Captains chair. If DIS bridge was about the size of the E it would be obvious how closely set up they are to each other. The only obvious difference is that the back two doors on the E are off to the sides and a back station is directly behind the captain’s chair, but DIS the back station is on the side and a door is behind the chair. Maybe it’s all just a coincidence but its a big one.

And I like the Discovery bridge, it does look really cool and advance (clearly ;)) but the size does put me off a bit. It really should be a tad smaller.

kmart

The bridge size on just about everything since the 09 has bothered me. Even the bridge on the little thing they use in the last part of BEYOND looked too big to me, that it should have been more like the BoP in TVH. I think maybe they have these giant ceilings to hide the lights away, and expand the sets horizontally to make them proportional, but that’s just a guess. It makes shooting masters near impossible, since any angle that would get back far enough to show everything would make it seem like a stage play, peering in through the main viewer.

I don’t think you can even made serious inroads toward a TOS feel without environments that permit staging that echoes TOS. A few steps to the Captain’s right is his good right arm, and here it is more like you need a director’s megaphone to communicate rather than a personal 1-1.

When sets diminish the performers, it works when you are doing James Bond movies with villain lairs, or when the environment is a big part of the story, like 2001, but with Trek, there has to be a human dimension to it. Engineering in TMP comveys tremendous vertical and horizontal scale, but does so while presenting a human presence at all times. There’s a human factor that seems absent to me in how DSC presents things … it is either talking heads or people looking dwarfed by their environ, with little middle ground.

NCC Lincoln 1785

Discover is a new science development ( spore drive) and war vessels ( klignon war) so of course they overbuilt her

Curious Cadet

@Matt Wright — But Picard did the same thing and seemed equally far away to me on the Ent-D bridge. In fact, it seems they designed that bridge that way to create a stage on which the drama would play out. It was in no way as pragmatic as the original TOS bridge for the stated purpose of the space. It was designed to facilitate the audience, in the same way the TOS bridge was turned off-axis to facilitate the camera, and otherwise makes no sense. I’m not gonna fault DISC for a concession made to better tell stories on a TV budget.

NCC Lincoln 1785

Pike will tell his crew to move his chair

Fluke

Too much STO.

NCC Lincoln 1785

Well the Disco is built after the Connie’s so of course they are going to look more advanced

slider

Not a fan of the Enterprise E bridge although at least it doesn’t look so sterile compared to STDs.

Re: Engineering, I agree there. The Engineering lab (remember we never saw main engineering) Stamets uses for the spore chamber has a bit of a TOS vibe.

NCC Lincoln 1785

Glen engineer room was a nod to TOS

The River Temarc

@Michael Hall, I was under the impression we haven’t SEEN main engineering on the Discovery. I thought the spore drive equipment was in a dedicated lab run by Stamets.

Afterburn

TOS is fine. I respect it for being the originator. But I don’t want Discovery to look or feel anything like it.

Just like I can respect Howlin’ Wolf for being a pioneer of blues and rock, but when I listen to heavy metal I don’t want it to sound like Howlin’ Wolf.

If I want to watch something that looks and feels like TOS, I’ll go watch TOS.

ML31

If that is the case then why did you tune into Discovery to begin with? Although it didn’t happen the logical assumption considering when they said it was taking place would be it would evoke the feel of Pike’s Enterprise. Also it sorta sounds like when you tune into a show set in the 40’s you don’t want it to look like it was set in the 40’s. Which I find odd.

HubcapDave

Non sequitor! Your facts are uncoordinated!

T. Boyle

You can’t keep to much of TOS set design in 2019. The computers/monitors design is out of date now let alone 250 years from now.

Afterburn

Even if you don’t show TOS designs anymore, we can’t possibly continue to pretend the future of our current world will look anything remotely like that, and one BIG conceit is that the Star Trek universe is supposed to be, if not exactly our world, one very much if not nearly identical to ours.

Even if Discovery weren’t a prequel, any flashbacks to the TOS era can’t possibly recreate the original sets anymore.

In 1991, in Relics, it was kitschy but still within reason (computers in 1991 all still used buttons, and things like AI and practical voice control were still deemed the domain of science fiction).

In 1996 in “Trials and Tribble Ations” it was starting to no longer make a ton of sense, but the episode was mostly tongue-in-cheek anyway, so it worked.

In 2005 in “In a Mirror Darkly” it was starting to strain the bounds of credibility, but nobody but diehard fans were watching that show by that point.

In 2019, if Trek wants to be taken seriously, they can no longer portray the 23rd Century the way it was done in 1966. It’s time to retcon it, and that is one thing Discovery has done 100% right.

It can work in Doctor Who because that show is a lot more tongue-in-cheek and self referential, and always has been (similar to “Trials”). It works in Star Wars because those designs were timeless, and created on a feature film budget.

It doesn’t work with TOS.

ML31

The problem with all that is that it assumes that any new production will use a 100% recreation of that set. It will still work for nostalgic reasons on any show (set in a different era) to do it. But an actual show set in the time frame can STILL evoke the feel without 100% duplicating the sets. I get the feeling that is how they have done it for the 1701 on Discovery. And quite frankly, it’s how Discovery should have looked from the beginning.

The River Temarc

It’s not even so much that the TOS bridge was “still within reason” in 1991 (that is itself debatable; as you yourself observe, it was “kitschy”).

The point is that all of those episodes — Relics, Trials and Tribble-ations, and “In a Mirror Darkly” — were supposed to evoke nostalgia. (Especially “Relics.”) The use of a kitschy bridge was just what the doctor ordered.

That is NOT true of DISCOVERY as a series. (Nor was it true of ENTERPRISE as a series.) Those productions required modern production values that perhaps tipped their hat to the original design. ENTERPRISE accomplished that very well. DISCOVERY’s set design is a tad too close to a Michael Bay/JJ Abrams aesthetic for my taste, but that’s kind of a minor point. The design has to be contemporary.

Period pieces for for Hercule Poirot and MY BRILLIANT FRIEND. They don’t for science fiction.

Tiger2

Agreed with both you and ML31!

Why showing glimpses of TOS worked on shows like TNG and DS9 because it was meant to recapture that era from a nostalgic POV, it wasn’t trying remake the era as a whole Discovery is doing. That’s why it worked so well because it treated the TOS era a thing of the past and not to be tampered with.

When Enterprise came around, it was obvious they worked backwards from TOS in terms of design and aesthetics. Obviously it still going to look more advance but what I liked about Enterprise is that it really felt like something that could actually be OUR future in another 150 years but still worked as a signifier to the future era of the shows.

Discovery doesn’t do any of that. In all honesty it looks like any generic sci fi show with hints of Star Trek in it. We know its Star Trek because they keep certain symbols around like the Delta badge and look of the phasers but could easily be in any era of Trek or another universe entirely.

It looks great but feels like its own thing and nothing like TOS. And I don’t really care it doesn’t personally but for many who THOUGHT they were getting a real TOS prequel with the same feel and spirit of that show had to be disappointed. But if you don’t care then it doesn’t matter. But I feel the show did itself no favors putting itself in such an identifiable era and then proceeded to avoid everything in it.

But maybe season 2 will hold up to its promise and make it feel closer to that period at least. We’ll see.

Jefferies Tuber

Seconded

slider

“In 2005 in “In a Mirror Darkly” it was starting to strain the bounds of credibility, but nobody but diehard fans were watching that show by that point.” So? At least it was faithful. What in Discovery has been faithful to Star Trek so far?

Curious Cadet

@slider — what haven’t they?

Jonboc

No. Not really faithful to much of anything that has already been established as Trek. It is it’s own animal, in it’s own world and, frankly, it’s not very good. But there has been a big shake-up, I’m curious to see what season 2 has to offer.

Afterburn

To me the biggest thing missing from Season 1 wasn’t social commentary or moral dilemmas, humor or scientific discovery, it was the ensemble nature of the cast that Trek is typically known for (TNG onward). It’s nice to hear they’re starting to move in that direction.

Captain_neill

Unlike the other shows I have not been able to recall all their names.

On the other shows I knew their names after a few episodes, I am on my third watch of season 1 and I still can’t recall nameservers.

Tiger2

I think that was another original Fuller idea that it would be more star lead vs an ensemble the other shows did. It was clear Michael was suppose to be the star and lead all the episodes since the first season was about her journey.

Of course the captains on the other shows have always had the lead more so than anyone but the shows work great when all the characters get equal development of some kind. DS9 we learned just as much about Quark as we did Sisko and Quark was just comic relief and little to do with the main story line. But it showed how seriously the writers took all the characters and didn’t take them for granted regardless of position. So this is good news as well and to start learning more about them.

odradek

The characters and the cast is the greatest strengh of Discovery imo.

Tiger2

TBH, I still have an issue with a few of them but I don’t hate any of them. But I had the same issue first season with nearly every show (with oddly the exception of Voyager who I mostly loved from the start). But usually by the third season I fell in love with all of them. I think this season I will grow to love the DIS crew though based on the trailers anyway.

Q__

Potentially…

Afterburn

I agree, there seem to be characters with potentially interesting backstories, played by talented actors and actresses, but the the biggest weakness of the show is that they have not exploited their greatest strength.

Trek has always been at it’s best when it was an ensemble character drama.

kmart

It’s funny you mention that, I remember thinking that the strong ensemble feel on DS9 didn’t really emerge for me till the second episode of s2, when they had Kira leaving the station, and there was this very long funny scene during which nearly everyone comes in to say their goodbyes to her. I started reevaluating the series while seeing that scene for the first time, and it still resonates for me (I can’t point to a specific scene where things started to jell on TOS, which suggests they were pretty close right at the start, though the watchability/fun factor increased massively once Coon came on in mid-season.) But I’m also starting to think that a lot of movie and tv storytelling just ins’t aimed at me anymore. And not just the plotting and characterization, but the visuals as well. SOLO just started streaming on netflix, and over the last 2 days my wife and I managed to watch the whole painful mess. The visuals, both live-action and VFX, were dim to the point of being murky (and it wasn’t our feed, we had a really solid signal through Comcast), and the storytelling seemed to have one unvarying speed, so there was no way to create arcs and valleys in what passed for drama. It just all seemed like a made-by-committee thing that lacked any spark, except for a couple of supporting characters. And they managed to make the FALCON herseslf look as uninteresting as the DISCOVERY — which, given its lines, shouldn’t have been possible. It really made me think back to Warren Beatty’s old criticism of John Milius’ writing (you come too hard and too often is a paraphrase, but I think it is close to what he said.) While I think early Milius is largely brilliant, it… Read more »

NCC Lincoln 1785

Serenity was a big ass

Tiger2

This sounds great and aligns with other reviews I’ve read.

It really does sound like they took the criticisms of first season to heart and made a lot of changes. When you say it feels like a completely different show that means they really went the effort to improve the entire production. And it sounds like Pike is a direct answer to Lorca which many people seem to like but others definitely had issues with. Picard sounds like he’s more in Picard’s vein of leading which will go far with many but also sounds like he has more of a warmth that other Captains like Janeway and Kirk had. So all great positives if true.

And I know this is a spoiler free review but since the first episode is literally called Brother so does that mean Spock shows up at some point? Maybe in a flash back? It seem weird the show is titled around him but he’s not there at all. Anyway, just thinking out loud. This does sound like a more promising start though and it provides elements people like me complained lacked in first season: Exploration, science, mystery, levity, adventure and a sense of fun. Too much of first season felt overly dark and brooding. So if they added more of these things it will certainly feel more like Star Trek to many.

DeanH

Personally I enjoyed season 1 of Discovery but if they can improve on it in ways that still satisfies the current Disco fans and addresses SOME of the naysayer issues, then that is good for everyone. We shall see starting next Thursday night. Sadly we will have to wait until 9 p.m. ET up here in Canada because the CRTC (Canada’s version of the FCC swearing police) was not happy with Ensign Tilly’s liberal use of the English language last season and the show got moved to a more adult 9 p.m. showtime haha.

Tiger2

Every Star Trek spin off show got better after season one so I don’t suspect any difference, which is why I never understood the big deal that people had issues with the show? Every show fans had issues with early on. Of course it doesn’t mean everyone does like you, but this has always been par for the course historically. So I am critical of the show but I also believed they would take those criticisms to heart and make changes, as they clearly did. It doesn’t mean the people who didn’t like it will (and I know DIS has bigger issues that can’t be resolved over night), but it does mean they ARE trying and for me, that’s all I ask. They keep trying to improve it, I will continue to support it, even with critiques.

And I guess Tilly has been reprimanded in more ways then one with her slip of the F bomb lol. It’s very un-Starfleet! I imagine Captain Killy in the MU talks like a sailor though.

ML31

Because of the pay for the streaming nature of the show I think we had a right to expect better of the show than all the other Trek shows. I think that is a huge reason for the heightened scrutiny of it.

HubcapDave

That’s the latest justification for some who are hypercritical?

ML31

That is an exaggeration. My point is that considering the nature of the delivery system it is realistic to expect a little more from it than past shows that did not require the viewers to jump through a few hoops.

Tiger2

I agree with that. Once you told people they were going to have to pay for a Star Trek show, expectations immediately got higher. And to be honest, its also why I think they changed the show so much in season 2 not only to mend issues people complained about but decided to pander more to fans like bringing in Spock and Pike because they know its just a lot harder to get someone back who was disappointed the first time when they have to pay for it vs just flipping a channel. So they are pulling out every trick they can to convince people season 2 is worth a look even if you were disappointed the first time.

I have said enough about AA that can be a dissertation paper at this point but the main problem with it is its simply not established like something like Netflix or Amazon is. A lot of people really are literally paying for it just to watch one show, so if they don’t like that one show then they can cancel and not look back. Netflix doesn’t have that problem but AA does and probably the reason they are now pouring so much Star Trek into the site because they figured out even if they don’t like one particular show they will like another and it will enough shows on in a few years to keep them on the hook.

Everything they are doing speaks to that. AA doesn’t have a lot of committed members and the ones who are probably are Star Trek fans so they are doing everything possible to keep them subscribed.

ML31

Yep. I honestly think the reason we are having this STEU is due to the less than stellar reaction to Discovery season 1. CBS is now forced to pull all their Star Trek stops to keep the few subscribers they got. It might work. They also may find that they will need more than 6 Star Trek shows to stay in business. I’m honestly curious to find out.

ML31

At least you are not forced to subscribe to some crappy streaming service you don’t want to see it, you lucky Canucks!

Michael Hall

He didn’t actually say that it feels like a “completely” different show. He said that it builds upon the things that worked (and yes, there were) in Season 1, while making changes to aspects fans took issue with. Sounds good to me.

Tiger2

He said it feels like a different show. You can take the word ‘completely’ out it still the same thing. And I didn’t say it was bad, just the opposite. This is great news to me.

Luke Montgomery

So excited!!!!!!!!!!!!

Captain_neill

DSC was better second time around and I look forward to the second season.

The Orville just feels more Trek to me, but I hope DSC brings a bit more Trek spirit back this year.

There were aspects of season 1 I liked when I got past visual changes but there choices and decisions made that I felt went against the hope.

The fact I bought it on blu ray means I have grown to like it, despite nit being my fav.

I am sorry it’s not my fav but at least I stuck with it.

Amulius Victor

What a review by Anthony! This gets me even more pumped for the premiere

Captain_neill

Have to say I am a little hurt at some of the comments said about TOS.

If it was not for TOS and how it resonated with fans, there would be no spin offs.

As a prequel to TOS I do like nods to showcase the lineage. I think Enterprise did it well.

Danpaine

I hear you, Captain, and agree.

The River Temarc

Who is disparaging TOS? Its effects were state-of-the-art at the time. People still watch it, and that’s not true of many other series from the late 1960s.

What we are saying is that it is not modern television in terms of set design (or even writing).

albatrosity

I don’t think it’s accurate to say TOS had state of the art effects for its time. My understanding is that they were serviceable for a weekly TV show but was no means the bleeding edge of special effects. TNG, however, had the full resources and talent of ILM behind it, and its effects were truly SOTA. But TOS is a lot closer to say Flash Gordon than 2001 Space Odyssey to me.

GarySeven

I stand with Captain Neill. TOS should get more respect. Perhaps as time goes on people aren’t as deeply aware of what it really did. None of the following series broke new ground for television the way that TOS did, although I love all of them (except STD, which to me is not Star Trek). TOS had the first time American television showed a Black woman in a position of power and not a maid or similar thing) to a white family, as well as of course the first interracial kiss. Sulu’s character was not written to be for an Asian, it was not an Asian part, it was the helmsman that happened to be an Asian. That was pretty new. Also the use of television to make social commentary on important issues of the day was never allowed on television until Star Trek, which used the metaphor of outer space to make television a vehicle for social commentary for one of its very first times. Man, TOS was incredible if you really think about it. But people today tend to pay attention to special effects. Star Trek, and TOS in particular, was never meant to be primarily about special effects. By that standard, “Transformers” is far superior to anything Star Trek. But to each his own. By the metric of the things I value- social commentary, morality tales, characters, a positive vision of the future, and a likeable cast of characters- TOS is remarkable and exceptional. And I believe all of the subsequent series carried TOS’s torch well. Until STD, which dropped that torch. Hopefully with the second season the fire that ensued from that dropped torch will be contained, ending the damage, and Star Trek will return to a torch that is the beacon of light that TOS… Read more »

Tiger2

Most people here are TOS fans and grew up with the show and usually cite it as their favorite show. Certainly more so than other boards like Reddit or Trekcore. No one is disrespecting the show, they are just being honest its very dated today. I wasn’t around at the time but even for someone who has been watching it since the early 80s it felt dated to me even as a kid but still thought it was a good show and watched it religiously back then. But sure I imagine for its time it came off great and suited the sensibilities of the audience back then. But its over 50 years old now, stuff ages.

DeanH

I too am a fan from when TOS was still running back in 1969. The series was ground breaking and awesome for so many reasons – and was the brilliant legacy that eventually led to six series and 13 motion pictures. That said, for every COTEOF and Balance of Terror, there were also episodes like Turnabout Intruder, Omega Glory and Spock’s Brain. To deny the existence of those bad stories which are laughable at least and at worst insultingly brutal would not be logical.
And despite those episodes plus the massive canon holes, occasional campy acting and SOME really bad (and good) special effects in TOS, that doesn’t in any way shape or form take away from the greatness of the show and in fact adds a level of quaintness and charm to the series.

albatrosity

Okay, I stand by captain neill as well, but that doesn’t have anything to do with what I said about the VFX lol. TOS is my favorite Trek series and I was born in the 90s. Doesn’t mean its effects were state of the art.

FLB

Exactly. 2001 shows what was possible in 1968, but it wasn’t for TOS because of the kind of budget they had. For Heaven’s sake, they had a western episode in Season 3 (The Spectre of the Gun) *because* that was a way of using existing sets and constumes from other shows and thus saving costs.

Desilu had been sold to Gulf+Western in 1967.

Danpaine

Nice pre-review, thank you. I’m not surprised Burnham has been pumped-up to near superhero status. Anson Mount brings some gravitas to the screen, and they still want to establish her as the lead, makes sense. Not happy to hear Tilly
Is even more annoying, but the rest sounds interesting. Not going to judge something I haven’t seen yet, but if it, as a prequel, respects the feel of TOS more than it did last season, I may like it better. Thanks Anthony!

Andrew

so excited waiting for season 2. Bring it on I say, BRING IT ON!!!!!

Captain_neill

I just wanted to know how the improvements are in tying the show in with TOS.

I did not want to argue with people. As a fan of all the other shows and loving TNG and TOS I do like to know how DSC will fit in with it.

Since Anthony had seen it I thought some thoughts would put me at ease

I am excited but seeing the Enterprise tweaked has me nervous.

Stargazer

It’s just a visual overhaul and nothing more. They can hardly have it look as it looked in the 1960s, that would just be silly. It’s as with the Klingons. They look slightly differently, but that’s about it.

Soren

The violent action scenes in season 1 were all just dead screen time to me. This all sounds very promising except
for the mention of action. So please, dump the dumb fight sequences.

Karl

Any idea if After Trek is returning, or will we be spared the sight of Matt Myra gushing while a variety of cast and crew talk about how we’ll all be reduced to a blubbering mass of tears by somebody’s performance/the writing in the next episode.

Bob

While After Trek may not have been the most compelling hour of television ever made, Matt Mira is a delight. If you haven’t listened to Matt’s podcast Star Trek: The Next Conversion, I highly recommend it. He knows his Trek.

Karl

I’ve enjoyed Matt Mira on various podcasts, and even delight in his nerding out with Trek guests on them. After Trek just seemed like it was badly thought out and not quite as well executed as it could be.

PaulB

“Matt Mira is a delight.” A delight?! Really?

That word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Bob

IDIC, right? You may not care for Mr. Mira’s brand of humor and Trek enthusiasm, but I’ve always found him to be quite entertaining on podcasts, at conventions, etc. That being said, After Trek in its original form was (for me) rather boring. If it returns in a new format, I’d certainly give it a try.

Captain_neill

Ten minutes was all I could stomach of After Trek.

Afterburn

I couldn’t even bring myself to turn it on.

Spiked Canon

I heard it returns with a new format and new host

DIGINON

If you didn’t like the show, why do you care if it’s coming back?

Karl

Because I like the concept – just didn’t think it was terribly well executed

DIGINON

I have never seen another after show besides After Trek (like Talking Dead) but I would imagine they all have the writers/actors gushing about how great their product is. After all, these after shows are meant to be promotion for the main show. I can understand not liking the host but if you liked neither the host nor what the guests did then maybe this type of show just isn’t for you. But like I said, I don’t know if there are other after shows which do something different.

Jai

”Everyone behind the camera seems to be upping their game, including production design, wardrobe, props, sound, music, and the episode features absolutely stunning visual effects. More than any other time in the first season, the USS Discovery itself feels like a character. The message seems clear: no one is settling in and phoning it in for this season.”

Hopefully there has been a big jump in overall quality. It can happen; see Black Sails, for example, which became noticeably superior in all aspects in Season 2, and the final two seasons were actually extraordinary. Criminally underrated show, with the most eloquent dialogue I’ve ever heard in any TV drama — and, ironically, the kind of stuff more highbrow Trekkies would love. Several of the leads would even have made fantastic Klingons: http://www.farfarawaysite.com/section/blacksails/gallery3/gallery11/hires/22.jpg ;)

This is probably DSC’s sink-or-swim moment.

Jai

”Getting into Starfleet’s Command Training Program seems to have turned her Tilly-ness up to 11”

Apart from it being unrealistic that someone like that would be admitted to such an elite leadership program in the first place — along with the whole irritating “Tilly-ness” thing in general — this is something else that takes DSC into Agents of Shield territory. Not good.

However…they may be planning for “events” to ultimately result in major changes to Tilly’s personality, and the current issues will serve as a deliberate contrast to her eventually gaining much more gravitas and maturity. That’s assuming the showrunners/writers really are thinking that far ahead.

Captain_neill

Tilly is good when her Tilly-ness is lowered and not at 11.

Sometimes I cringed when she went on and shouted shut up at the screen. When she is calmer she is better.

HubcapDave

Too many people f%$king love Tilly for that to happen…..

The River Temarc

“Apart from it being unrealistic that someone like that would be admitted to such an elite leadership program in the first place”

Um, just why is it unrealistic? Because she’s a woman?

Tilly is shown to be highly competent and to have raw, if undeveloped, leadership skills. Much like Wesley Crusher or Chekhov or Harry Kim, actually, all of whom also displayed “imposter syndrome” or lack of confidence now and then. And that’s what leadership training is supposed to do: sharpen leadership skills.

So again, the differentiator is that Tilly is a woman.

ML31

Wesley Crusher was just as irritating, if not more so, than Tilly thus far.

Jai

“Wesley Crusher was just as irritating, if not more so, than Tilly thus far.”

Well, I wouldn’t go that far ;) But there’s usually an extremely high level of competition for top-flight leadership programs, especially in prestigious professions.

And Starfleet is supposed to be one of the most elite institutions in the Federation.

Captain_neill

Wesley never irritated me the way Tilly did when she was full Tilly.

DeanH

Too bad that SOME of the haters of Wesley for some reason wish to transfer their dislike for a fictional character to their real world life where they attack the actor that portrayed him. Sad indeed!

ML31

That is unfortunate. Whedon was just an actor (a kid actor at that) doing a job. Personally I never blamed him for Wesley’s shortcomings. He didn’t conceive the character. He was portraying him the way he was told to as best he could.

Jai

“Because she’s a woman?”

No, because she’s immature, unprofessional and completely lacks gravitas.

However, that may change significantly as the story develops.

And people like Chekhov and Kim wouldn’t be accepted on command track programs in real life either.

DeanH

Tilly is certainly one of my favorite characters on Discovery. Obviously, there are a certain number of the naysayers that don’t agree, but that is okay, that is their opinion. I would hazard to guess that of the total audience of Star Trek, she is also one of the most popular. I know, she swears, she is more than a little wacky, and she isn’t the buttoned up, old fashioned, traditionalist that SOME of the naysayers prefer – but she is also a brilliant genius displaying traits such as empathy and compassion – IMO that is exactly the type of cadet Starfleet would want.

ML31

Funny, I understand much of what you said about Tilly and while I can understand seeing some of those traits (even though I don’t) one thing you said I do not understand someone attributing to her. “Brilliant genius”. She MIGHT be better than average in that department but that is overstepping at a very high degree.

I would also say that Tilly is less among the more popular characters in Trek and more among the most divisive characters in Trek.

Captain_neill

If they Burnham more likeable then happy days. I want to like her more than I did last year.

Karl

Agreed. She was probably the character I felt least invested in over the course of the 15 episodes

ML31

I shouldn’t have read this. Don’t like reading reviews of things before I get to sample them. But it said spoiler free and I decided to check it out. Thanks for not spilling any beans. And of course, I will be my own judge when I see it next weekend.

Pineapples

So excited! We’re re-watching the first season, one every night until Season 2 starts so we can be fresh and ready.

DeanH

Space Channel up here in Toronto will begin a weekend marathon of Star Trek – 5 episodes of Enterprise, then the first 5 Star Trek movies, followed by the first half of Season 1 Discovery, the next 5 Star Trek Movies, the 2nd half of Season 1 Discovery followed by the Kelvin Universe Star Trek movies. All in preparation for next week’s premiere.

Danpaine

The more I hear about Space Channel, the more I want to move to Canada (and for a bunch of other reasons, too).

DeanH

Haha it’s not bad. They focus a lot on the Star Trek and Stargate franchises but also show first run shows like Supernatural, Killjoys, Dr Who, Krypton, Arrow, DC LoT, plus they love doing marathons like the Marvel Movies and Harry Potter, etc. They used to have a 30 min science fiction/fantasy/gaming news show everyday but it was sadly cancelled last summer.

FLB

Currently watching TMP! :D

Space will also replay four Short Treks this Sunday, beginning at 5PM.

albatrosity

That is SO AWESOME, a real Trek sampler, all for a season premiere…unbelievable! I would consider that strong evidence for how popular Disco is

DeanH

Sorry Star Trek fans north of the border – my mistake, Discovery will premiere at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday on Space Channel. I had read that it was going to be moved an hour later because of CRTC issues but I guess that will only apply if there are issues with specific episodes. Enjoy the Star Trek marathon.

FLB

Well, Space just bleeped The Tilly Moment(tm) in the replay in the Trek marathone they’re having this weekend. We’re on a Saturday afternoon, so that’s what they may be doing to avoid the issue.

DeanH

Haha I just watched Star Trek 2009 and Kirk just blurted out “BS” to Nimoy’s Spock prime character. I hope the bureaucrats aren’t watching haha.

Granite Trek

I notice that two of the writers credited in the article are the two that were fired, Harberts & Berg. I’m wondering how their removal will impact the later shows. It might bear watching over the course of the season. It echoes the first season: the first episode of each was written by someone who left, who set the tone for the season but wasn’t around to carry it through. It’s possible of course that the episodes later will be even better…

DIGINON

While we know more or less which episode was shooting when Harberts & Berg were fired I don’t think it was ever discussed how far along they were in breaking the stories and actually writing the scripts. Kurtzman probably didn’t step in, threw out all the previous stuff and started from scratch so I guess it will be difficult to determine (as a viewer) where the previous showrunners’ influence stops.

JRT!

I just wanna know if we meet Linus in this episode. The one page pic of him in latest SciFi Now mag is absolutely amazing! I should rip it out and have it signed,lol!

Tiger2

I think Linus is going to be an instant fan favorite like Morn! :)

JRT!

lol! Yeah,we’ll never hear him talk. Always something wrong with his throat,lol! But I do hope he actually will talk.

slider

Cool so more of the same. Will wait patiently for the cancellation.

Barclay

Promising review! I always look forward to new Trek!

Tay Dervis

Jet Reno? More like Janet Reno, am I right?