New ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Photos Offer A Better Look At Talos IV From “If Memory Serves”

This morning CBS released nine new production stills from the eighth episode of Star Trek: Discovery. If you haven’t already, be sure to read our review of “If Memory Serves.” And if you haven’t seen the episode yet, then look away now.

 

SPOILERS BELOW

 

Talos IV

“If Memory Serves” — Ep#208 — Pictured (l-r): Ethan Peck as Spock; Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“If Memory Serves” — Ep#208 — Pictured: Melissa George as Vina; Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham; Ethan Peck as Spock of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“If Memory Serves” — Ep#208 — Coverage of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“If Memory Serves” — Ep#208 — Pictured (l-r): Melissa George as Vina; Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham; Ethan Peck as Spock of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“If Memory Serves” — Ep#208 — Pictured (l-r): Melissa George as Vina; Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“If Memory Serves” — Ep#208 — Pictured: Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Vina and Pike

“If Memory Serves” — Ep#208 — Pictured: Melissa George as Vina of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“If Memory Serves” — Ep#208 — Pictured (l-r): Anson Mount as Captain Pike; Melissa George as Vina of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“If Memory Serves” — Ep#208 — Pictured (l-r): Anson Mount as Captain Pike; Melissa George as Vina of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Video: Spock and Burnham Reunite

Sonequa Martin-Green and Ethan Peck chat about the on screen meet up of their two characters in a new CBS promotional video released today.


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

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Professor Spock

Last night’s episode on Talos IV was a masterpiece. Star Trek Discovery is getting better this season.

Emperor Mike of the Terran Empire

I only hope they can continue Last night was Awesome.

Perplex

The best yet, together with episode two of this season in my opinion. But there is always room for imptovement.

PEB

Can someone give Melissa George a medal for walking around on all those surfaces in tiny little barbie heels? I felt bad for her feet throughout the whole episode.

Sybok

What about Doug Jones having to do the Sorkin walk & talk in those stilts! 🖖

Kris

Jones actually has it even worse, he walks on hooves with short stilts.

Spock Jenkins

RE: TALOS:

Good things: The singing plants and sound FX for Talos.

The Bad/not as good as I hoped: Talosians look too big and robust – and less “alien”, less androgenous than their TOS counterparts; Vina not as disfigured as her TOS conterpart.

Overall though, I really, really enjoyed this episode immensely.

Michael Hall

With their new knowledge of human anatomy, maybe the Talosians were able to improve her actual condition. (Or, it’s just production sloppiness.)

Spock Jenkins

Actually, I did think of that too – but now that you mention it, I’m happy to buy that idea – it certainly makes sense after their encounter with the Enterprise crew!

I think it was careful retcon. Note that Vina says it is how “they found” her, and not how “they reconstructed” her, which doesn’t make sense. (The Talosians could look into her mind and easily see how she was supposed to look, at least on the outside.)

Spock Jenkins

Good point, Salvador.

Eric

She was probably unconscious when they operated on her so they couldn’t read her mind until after they finished.

THX1138

No, no. It’s because the show is a visual reboot, it’s simple to understand without mental gymnastics.

Emperor Mike of the Terran Empire

So glad they did the singing plants. That was a great touch.

ThatNuttyFanboy

As much as I get the criticism about the look of the Talosians – who’s to say that they didn’t simply telepathically projected a more buff version of themselves? I mean, they projected their planet being a black hole into Spocks’ and Burnhams’ mind. That’d be small potatoes to them…

Vulcan Soul

“As much as I get the criticism about the look of the Talosians – who’s to say that they didn’t simply telepathically projected a more buff version of themselves?”

Agreed! For me the looks of the Talosians (while more consistency would have been nice) are the least of the problems of the episode, especially after these monsters called “Klingons” were unleashed upon us in season 1!

ML31

I agree. The changes in the Talosians are not great and on par with what has been done to Andorians and Tellerites. We can pretty much tell they are Talosians. Unlike the Klingons…

THX1138

They looked different because DSC is a visual reboot. I don’t know why this is so hard for people.

Hauke Fischer

WORD!

Young Picard

Agreed. Much to enjoy about the episode. The nitpick: The Talosians were indeed too big/robust in their physicality.

Tiger2

I really did like all the Talos IV stuff. No, not exactly like it was on TOS but something on a set is not going to feel the same as an actual location, which felt much more real.

Professor Spock

Tiger2 I’m happy we saw Talos IV again. The Picard Show should visit Talos IV for fun. I like that they respect the source material. Everything looks identical to TOS.

ML31

I didn’t think it looked identical. The original was shot on a set, outside the cave this was an actual location. But then, I would not expect it to look identical. It should retain original elements but still look a little better.

Harry Ballz

That “actual location” looks like the Scarborough Bluffs, a waterfront park in the east end of Toronto. As teenagers, we used to climb those cliffs. Scary stuff!

No Marty Baltz it’s the Lafarge quarry…some of it had recently ceased operations extracting stone and they were able to use it with safety provisions.

Melinda George said that stones were actually moved around to create the setting.

But the Scarborough Bluffs and the lake were used to great effect as the setting for Saru’s village on Kalimar in both the Short Trek and the episode the Sounds of Thunder. The shot of Doug Jones climbing one of the bluff trails in those boots at the end of the Brightest Star had my heart in my mouth.

The Escarpment has also showed up a couple of times.

I’d like to see them go a bit further north and get some desolate Shield landscape, or even head out to the Badlands in Alberta.

Harry Ballz

Wow, TG47, thanks for explaining that. You really know your stuff! How do you get details like that?

Happy to share. I’ve been finding it cool to figure out the Ontario locations.

There was an interview with Tamara Deverell about a month ago in which she talked about some of the locations.

As well, Olatudne Osunsamni the executive producer on site in Toronto has named some of the locations in his twitter posts.

Harry Ballz

That’s great! Thanks!

FYI: The location was also noted in our review at the bottom in the bullet points of trivia and random observations.

Talos IV location scenes used same Ontario quarry used for planet Harlak in “The Wolf Inside.” Lafarge Quarry may be to Discovery what Bronson Canyon and Vasquez Rocks were for the various Trek series shot in Los Angeles.

Should have noted that Matt!

But also I recall that Trekmovie summarized and linked to both Tamara Deverell’s presentation in Toronto last month, as well as Osunsamni’s production tweets and Instagrams. You bring together a lot of Trek intelligence.

Emperor Mike of the Terran Empire

Harry. Were you there in you’re Star Trek Uniform. Lol

Harry Ballz

Yes, Emperor Mike. I was dressed up as Lt. Uhura!

Emperor Mike of the Terran Empire

Oh good. At least not as Ericka. Lol

Harry Ballz

Look like Erica?? Nah, I didn’t have a gorilla costume at hand.

Jack

IMO, it looked nothing like TOS. I watched The Cage the other night. The original was superior visually, despite being 55 years old. This Discovery effort was lacklustre.

And, yeah, I know I’ve argued before that things should get updated on discovery to meet 21st century production values (ex sets), but here nothing in the update actually made it better.

ML31

I tend to agree. I felt the studio matte actually looked better than going on location. But that is really not that important to me. Overall the look was fine and I really had no issues with it. It is in other places where I feel season two is coming up short. But again, and I want to be clear, season 2 is STILL a tremendous improvement over 1.

Michael Hall

As I mentioned in the previous thread, having to live up to Susan Oliver’s sympathetic portrait of an eternally lonely, tortured crash survivor, not to mention her extraordinary beauty, was a thankless task, and damned if Melissa George didn’t pull it off. This episode had its disappointments for me, both as a tie-in to “The Cage” and as a piece of the second season story arc, but Vina sure wasn’t among them. Great job.

My perspective is somewhat the opposite Michael Hall.

Melissa George was more sympathetic a version of Vina for me with her more subtle and subdued performance.

It also suggested that she’d taken some of the hard lessons of the Enterprise crew’s time on Talos to heart. She’s lived ‘lifetimes’ in simulation in the 2 real years that have passed.

The scene when she comes to Pike in his ready room was breathtaking. Pike’s determination to return to her on Talos IV, despite the voyeurism of the Talosians makes sense.

I suspect that up to his own injury he harboured an unvoiced ambition to find a way to detach Vina from the Talosians.

Michael Hall

Well, I’m glad that we both enjoyed George’s performance. But there’s no way that performance would exist without the context of the earlier one.

Vulcan Soul

@TG47 Maybe that’s a way to reconcile the differences, and of course she could have picked a different “illusion” for her looks as well. Going with the times ;)

JAGT

You’re right. Even though Melissa George looks nothing like Susan Oliver (I have to confess, my first thought when she walked into the frame was: is it so hard to find an actress with bright blue eyes?), I completely bought her portrayal! And she displayed some great chemistry with Anson Mount in their short scene that to me actually left no doubt that this character was Vina. Also kudos to Anson Mount for his portrayal of Pike’s vulnerability in that scene!
The only gripe I had with the writing there was the line “Spock! Don’t you remember me?” – well, Spock and Vina really didn’t have a lot to do with each other in “The Cage”, did they?

Emperor Mike of the Terran Empire

Not much. Just a scene at first. . But. She did have the Illusion Pike and maybe she got to know him from the memories of Pike after the Enterprise originally left

Regrets Michael Hall, sounds like I misscanned your post on first read.

Sound like we’re thinking along the same lines. :)

Vulcan Soul

For me the choice for Vina was one of the weaker parts of the Talos story (though by no means the weakest part of the episode!) And that’s entirely not the fault of the actress; she is just a completely different type of woman to Oliver and doesn’t looks very similar either, which is the opposite of how Anson Mount has nailed Pike. She is much more soft than the sassy Cage-Vina. I think they should have at least kept the hairstyle, not because it is necessary or logical after several years, but because it would have made the actress at least look closer to the original. I was somewhat in disbelief when that blond unknown woman introduced herself as “Vina”, and it was more of a break with The Cage than the updated makeup or lack of frailty of the Talosians some people have complained about.

I’ve actually started to rethink Melissa George’s resemblance to Susan Oliver. I see more of a resemblance at second glance. It’s more of a general similarity, they’re certainly not identical. Seeing the two versions together in the Memory-Alpha article on Vina helped.

On the hairstyle, I think the producers might have done something smart here and made her hair like “Vina as Pike’s wife” from The Cage. It would certainly appeal to Pike.
comment image

I also think they were wise not to try and find someone who looked very close to Oilver. Frankly that’s damn near impossible. She was a very unique woman who had a kind of unusual energy in many of her appearances on TV that you can’t replicate.

I agree about missing the sass/edge of Susan Oliver’s Vina.

Holden

“I’ve actually started to rethink Melissa George’s resemblance to Susan Oliver.”

Hah! This whole conversation brings out the cinephile dork in me! Anyone remember the question about George’s character’s resemblance to other characters in ‘Mulholland Drive’? Yeah, probably not. Anyway, that was the first thing I thought about when I saw her and tried to think about the comparison.

Also, I read Vina’s different tone in ‘If Memory Serves’ as the result of living there for a couple of years with the illusion of Pike.

Vulcan Soul

“On the hairstyle, I think the producers might have done something smart here and made her hair like “Vina as Pike’s wife” from The Cage. It would certainly appeal to Pike.”

This is a very good point about the “Pike’s wife” hairstyle! I can see they made this choice based on this, given they played up her connection to Pike in the story. However (as others have pointed out) finding a blond woman with blue eyes can’t be near impossible (or blue contacts!), as judging from your comparison picture that is the most striking visual difference. So giving her the short hairstyle we more readily remember from Oliver’s Vina may not have been the most clever choice, but would have helped to distract from the other aspects.

Other differences come down to the characterization, writing and how Vina was (asked to be) played by the actress. As such it is somewhat surprising that Discovery would deliver a more traditionally feminine character than the 1960s episode, and also play it safe regarding her disfigurement. This coming from the series that gave us disembowelment and severed baby heads! It seems that gore is restricted to Klingon lore.

On second view of the episode, I saw that this portrayal of Vina was very aware that she was a prisoner of a kind.

She was communicating caution to Burnham, genuine concern for the risks of angering the Talosians, and a sincere desire to keep Pike and his crew safe.

Her previous boldness was uninformed by how her actions could affect the wellbeing of other real people.

Now she knows.

FLB

Not just that. Personally, I would have gotten a bit tired and weary of the Talosians’s punishments for ‘wrong thinking’…

Vina being subdued could very well be her having learned to be more careful.

Locutus

She was less subdued in “The Cage” because she was desperately lonely and trying to appeal to Captain Pike. Now she has had years living with his illusion and is no longer desperate. I don’t think it was Talosian punishments that did it.

David Alexander Harrison

The weirdest thing about this for me is both actresses look a little bit like the only two blonde girlfriends I’ve ever had… 🤔

JAGT

Regarding Talos IV, I can only say: I like what they did with the place! The location captured the barrenness and alienness of the place very nicely but since it was a location-shoot it obviously looked far more real.
Even more importantly, they also kept the greenish hue of the sky (while on the other hand adding a couple of new colours to the Vulcan sky’s palette in the same episode – just because people like to complain about a blue sky on Vulcan: As a matter of fact we’ve seen a whole lot of different hues in the series, from blue with red highlights and pale-yellowish in “Lethe” to Earth-like blue and grey in “Light and Shadows” and a new, dark maroon night sky in this episode) and obviously gave a nice update to the “singing plants” (this time apparently in bloom).
Also the underground part essentially stuck to the same aesthetic as the set built for “The Cage”, only this time it looked a bit more “skewed” – which I for one also liked – and what they did with the lighting was great in its simplicity.

Fidel

Good episode. I enjoy Disco. But I’d “really” enjoy a 5-year mission with Pike in command of the Enterprise.

Professor Spock

Fidel CBS won’t make a Star Trek show about Pike as captain of the Enterprise.

How about a miniseries rather than a 5-year mission?

CBS has the IP rights.

Emperor Mike of the Terran Empire

They should. I would watch it. Lol

Vulcan Soul

“CBS won’t make a Star Trek show about Pike as captain of the Enterprise”

As much as I would like to watch that show, same as so many other fans, I also have a hard time seeing that happen. It would be too similiar to season 2 Discovery both in setting and in tone. You will notice that the Discovery spin off and other planned series are very different in tone and/or setting and that was the established goal for the “Trek MCU”, to avoid “franchise fatigue”. I could see it happen IF Discovery ends after season 3 (as a direct sequel of sorts), or changes tone again as drastically as it did between season 1 and 2.

FLB

I fully expect Pike’s accident to happen at the end of this season. I can see him sacrificing himself for Spock. And the events depicted in ‘The Menagerie’ as Spock showing his gratitude by allowing him to live a life free from his body on Talos IV.

Vulcan Soul

“I fully expect Pike’s accident to happen at the end of this season. ”

That would end the season on a very bitter note though, more so than the Klingon war and Lorca’s death in season 1! Since Lorca’s was reduced to an evil joke nobody could care about anymore and the Klingon War largely existed as exposition rather than personal stakes. This time, Pike’s demise (on way or another) would be personal indeed.

Locutus

“The Menagerie” established that it happened only a few months before that episode of TOS, after Pike was a Fleet Captain.

Thorny

That would mean Kirk taking command of the Enterprise much earlier than it is generally presumed to have occurred. Ten-ish years earlier.

There’s plenty of room for another Five Year Mission with Pike if CBS wants to make one. And really, Discovery and Section 31 will already be playing in this universe, and TNG/DS9 followed by DS9/VOY took place in the same universe. The shows won’t run concurrently, so I don’t see what problem CBS would have with Star Trek: Pike’s Enterprise.

Afterburn

This is a fair assessment, but one thing still makes me scratch my head: if they had no intention of a spinoff, why cast a name actress as Number One to appear in a single episode? Now, maybe she shows back up, but when they cast Rebecca Romijn and Anson Mount, two lead actors, my immediate assumption was “planned spinoff”. Mount however turned out to have a much larger role in DSC than I anticipated, so casting a big name lead for this alone does make some sense– but Romijn still makes me think they are either planning or at least considering a spinoff, even if it’s just a single film or a 6-episode mini-series’.

TrekFan

Apparently, she will appear in a few more episodes towards the end of the season. I think she was contracted for 4 or 5.

GarySeven

Fidel I agree. A Pike series would be great. Anson Mount is great and his Pije ya very well received. And the missions of Pike’s Enterprise atewide open for possibilities.

ML31

Once again, I was against a Pike series to begin with. But watching Mount I have since changed my tune. I would welcome a Pike series now.

Kris

Underappreciated sentiment. Anson Mount as Pike in a pre Kirk/Enterprise series would be a no-brainer with much appeal in general and for Trek fans in particular (IMO). I really like his take as Capt. Pike and would like to see him in a series outside of STD. STD while it has improved, has a lot of baggage that for me is difficult to reconcile with what my expectations are for a Star Trek series.

Emperor Mike of the Terran Empire

Last Night’s Ep was really good. Love the Previously on Star trek with. The Cage. Showing Jeffery Hunter’s Pike and the rest of The Cage’s crew. It really Warped me into the Discovery’s Episode. Going from Hunters Pike to Mount’s Pike was very well done. It got me Hook line and Sinker. I wish some things could have been better. But all in all. A Job well done.

ML31

I thought it was a cute thing to do for the fans. We all know how things went down. It supports my theory that there are not a lot of new fans watching the show, however. New fans who have not seen The Menagerie at least would be amazingly confused by what they saw. Recaps are tough to encapsulate to begin with but to do what they did… Well… Pretty sure that was just for the existing fans and no one else.

Vulcan Soul

I was confused at first why this episode wasn’t a home run for me despite some truly (literally) out-of-this-world aspects to it and most parts (except Section 31, see below) working very well, and now it doomed on me: its sum was not greater than its parts, and maybe less. I think part of the reason for that is how this episode focused differently on the main plot (Talos) than New Eden and Sound of Thunder earlier this season, in that I felt seriously distracted by the side arcs. This was not THE episode about Talos informed by and informing the bigger arc (in the way of the two mentioned episodes), but 3 parts of an episode really, with only one (Talos) concluding at the end.

While it’s true the Culber story shared a theme with the Talos story (question of identity), it shared nothing else whatsoever and again Discovery and the audience would have been better served by giving both stories their own episodes, lifting them both in the process. This episode was already almost 15 minutes longer than the old school ones of UPN days, so devoting 30mins more of the season to these pivotal stories would have gone a long way. The switches between the funky dream sequences of Talos with its Dune-like flashbacks, and the character arc on Discovery was jarring.

Now the Section 31 part was more closely tied to the main story, but it was also easily the worst part. And not just that, but the worst Section 31 in the series (or ever). People have been asking why they can’t or shouldn’t explore this “aspect” of the Federation and one only needs to point to this episode to explain why: these writers are way too immature and crude in their narrative sophistication to seriously and believably explore the concept of the anti-hero, of complex personalities who operate in the gray for the greater good. This ain’t gray what they showed here, it is pitch black! We are always assured in wording that Section 31 is not the villain and that they are working to make the whole Federation safer. But the action the writers put on the screen, and their characterizations really betrays that notion: they ARE written as the villain, and a one-dimensional, mustache-twirling cartoonish evil one at that. While Leland was given the benefit of a doubt and characterized as a “friend of Pike” before, he is just an angry one-note in this episode bellowing his commands to Discovery, and surpasses Space Hitler in his one-sided evilness. That Section 31 was planning on murdering a Starfleet officer and ambassador’s son is not even questioned anymore. It’s bad on a Admiral Marcus-and-Vengeance kind of level. Given that Kurtzman had his hand in both, it is not surprising. And now we are supposed to believe that most of Starfleet Brass (3 Admirals!) are in on them too, judging from the holo-comms and the preview. So bad can only become worse.

All in all these two parts seriously take away from the Talos story, and the enjoyment of the viewer. While Culber is merely distracting, Section 31 is tainting a seriously promising episode that could have been a memorable classic, once again. Imagine the original “The Cage” was cut short and interspersed with bits of “The Enemy Within” and “Omega Glory” and how that would have impacted the emotional payoff! This is not the best way to do serialization and season-long arcs successfully.

Professor Spock

Vulcan Soul I agree with you on Section 31. Leland and Georgiou are space Hitler in disguise. Section 31 are space Nazis masquerading as protection of the Federation. That is a Starfleet job. Section 31 is the biggest problem of the season.

Vulcan Soul

Exactly. And it’s not that it COULDN’T work (although I argue that it SHOULDN’T be in Star Trek as it just dilutes it into generic Dystopian contemporary scifi), it’s that it’s written at a primary school level of “evil”. This is the one fallback to season 1 level of sophistication (or lack thereof). They promised us layered, complex antagonists three times now already (Lorca, the Klingons, Section 31), and each time they have failed to deliver but devolved into a brutish cartoon instead.

GarySeven

I agree Vulcan Soul. I think that simple evil characters and simple plots are just prevalent and popular and make money these days. There just aren’t enough people who prefer more grown up and nuanced characters and writing. To paraphrase, Gene Roddenberry once said something like Star Trek was an expression of his faith that there was a more intelligent audience for tv than tv executives expected. But that kind of thinking was the anomaly unfortunately.

Tiger2

Wow I don’t actually disagree with your assessment much about Section 31. I won’t lie, I’m pretty torn. I’m one of those people who likes their presence, but you’re right they are basically painted as the villain, especially the last two episodes. They want Spock and to be fair they do think what he knows is vital to security of the Federation. But HOW they are going about it is what makes them look bad no matter how you slice it. And Starfleet seems to sanction this since they were the ones telling Leland to get Spock by any means necessary. Maybe they didn’t know Leland had plan to fry his brain but I don’t know if they care either and that’s a bit worrying to me.

But remember these are the same people who kept telling us last season the Klingons weren’t going to be seen as the villains and the show was going to make you see their POV too. Yeah, I’m still waiting to see it. ;) So not shocked S31 is up to their old tricks and even worse with Starfleet on their side.

I did like the episode, it did bring out a lot of fun moments from the Cage but it wasn’t my favorite either. I gave my other reasons why in the other page already but if I had to place it in the season it would probably be my third or fourth favorite. So still pretty high but not at the level others are talking about it.

Vulcan Soul

Make no mistake, this is the episode of this season I most wanted to like as obviously “The Cage” is huge to me; it was a vision of the future and kind of science fiction more in line with TNG than TOS (the more serious color schemes also help). But as much as I like the Talos part, with some quibbles here and there, I find it hard to divorce the other parts of the episode from it in order to call this episode a “memorable classic” as some people have. That is the price of this kind of serialization: we usually don’t call chapter 8 of a book “a memorable classic”.

As for Section 31, I made the same connection to the Klingons in my reply above (also: the character assassination of Lorca!) Discovery’s writers just can’t write antagonists. And if we are honest, badly written antagonists with questionable motivations have been Trek’s achilles heel throughout the Abramstrek movies (particularly Kral and Admiral Marcus) going all the way back to Nemesis and Insurrection. If the new guard truly set out to improve Trek and reimagine it for a new generation, that is the most pressing aspect they should look at!

Speaking of Klingons, one silver lining (sort of) may be that showing all three admirals from last season’s Klingon War conclusion (Cornwell, the Andorian and the Tellarite) being so closely involved with Section 31 may help to explain how ready they were to approve of genocide to end the war. Clearly not only is this version of Section 31 much closer to Starfleet, vice versa the very top of Starfleet Command is also much closer to them, both in relations and in spirit. As such, I wonder if there will be a big fallout at the end of the season, with Starfleet Command reshuffling, Leland gone in disgrace, Section 31 being officially disbanded and then secretly revived as an underground organization headed by Space Hitler (at least that way it doesn’t clash quite so obviously with official Federation policy and values!)

As our favorite real-world protagonist-antagonist likes to say: “We’ll see what happens!”.

kmart

VS,
It’s funny you say we don’t usually call chapter 8 of a serialized show a classic, because that is what all remaining TWIN PEAKS fans were calling ep 8 of the recent season. I’ve seen it a couple DOZEN times myself (it’s the one that goes back in time to the first nuclear testing and the original entry of the show’s supernatural evil into our universe.)

I’ve very much enjoyed reading your posts (even on the semi-rare occasions I disagree, which is an even more serious compliment), and was wondering if you had tried your hand at fiction or screenwriting, or even professional criticism?

Vulcan Soul

@kmart – Thank you, that is high praise given that I am not even a native speaker (apologies for the occasionally wonky grammar ;) I’m a creator myself though not a wordsmith primarily, but that’s why I’m looking at this through a critical lens. Rest assured I apply the same perfectionism to my own work!

I’m not familiar with the Twin Peaks series; I just think it is easier to appreciate a self-contained work as a classic, and for heavily serialized shows, that tends to be a whole season (if anything) rather than individual episodes/chapters. I think for Trek, the showrunners themselves have set up this expectation to judge the whole book rather than the chapter, with all their talk about “10 hour movies” etc.

ML31

VS… As you said about the problems with a serialized arc… For the most part single episodes don’t stand out when one is weaving a larger story. Much like chapters of a book. They tend to contribute to the whole. The full story cannot be fully appreciated until it is done. We can form opinions while going through the story but those opinions can change as more story elements come to light. Sometimes, however, one can sorta see how things are going and it is rare when once a path has been set for the story to deviate from it. Season 3 of Enterprise successfully molded stand alone episodes with a season long story arc. Much of the first half of the season were stand alones that tied into the season story. Then as things were coming to an end, everything down the stretch was 100% serialized. And they did a darn good job of it. I would suggest Discovery people look at season 3 of Enterprise as inspiration for how to do what it looks like they are trying to do.

Vulcan Soul

@ML31 – Appreciate your points about serialization! Let’s say I’m more a fan of short-form narratives, be that short stories or episodic television, which may have connecting arcs in the background, of course.

Enterprise season 4 for me was the gold standard for this, as “having it both ways”, even more so than season 3: many different, self-contained stories in one season, but also the benefit of narratives that don’t have to wrap up neatly after 45 minutes. And let’s not forget even fiercely episodic Trek had two-parters for this.

ML31

I actually think season 4 was a very good compromise. They had two 3 parters, two 2 parters and a few stand alones. Worked pretty good I thought. To this day I wish I could have seen their 5th season.

Professor Spock

Tiger2 the episode is not bad but section 31 is a big problem for me. I don’t trust them.

Duncan MacLeod

Isn’t that the point?

Tumbler

Good points about Section 31.

I guess I don’t understand the need for them at all in this series. If they want to explore spy characters, then they have Starfleet Intelligence for that. And if they want corrupt officials, then Star Trek has had no shortage of “Badmirals” and other morally gray characters over the decades. They really don’t need to have an official branch of mustache-twirlers for any of it.

Kris

Agreed. The Section 31 stuff lacks nuance and is another aspect of this series that is poorly written. In fact the overall writing/plot-lines of STD come across as teen fan fiction based only on the JJ Abrams movies.

ML31

I agree. Section 31 is season 2’s MU. It is totally dragging the season down. Now perhaps if they did not make it so obvious that 31 is an ultra evil organization… If they really did show them doing something like Sisko in Pale Moonlight… Something against principles for the greater good… have Leland understanding the moral line he crosses and seriously wishing he didn’t need to to get the job done.. Things like that. But that seems to either require more episodes for the season or it’s far too complex for this group of show runners to write and map out. Section 31 has become a cartoon. Nothing they do can be taken seriously at this point. Which completely undermines much of the drama from the season.

Kris

Very accurate assessment. In fact what exactly is 31’s goal, other than squishing Spock’s brain to a pulp to extract info? As far as I can tell they exist only as a plot device to add “urgency” to the “search for Spock” chase and a reason for Pike to take the Discovery rogue…..and of course serve as a plot vehicle to keep Georgiou “involved” till the spin-off series launches…

ML31

“and of course serve as a plot vehicle to keep Georgiou “involved” till the spin-off series launches…”

That seems to me to be the primary goal of involving Section 31 at all in this season.

Spiked Canon

wow, I agree with you ML. Definitely dragging it down. I get that you have to have more than just search for spock, but not this. It’s like the klingons last season. I see them pop up on screen and inwardly sigh.

Clyde

I’m loving that they’re filming all of these exterior shots in parts of Toronto that I know!

Toronto is a ‘foam’ town, where they make good beer…

I keep wondering if they’ll reprise city hall as an exterior given that it’s shown in the Iconian portal in TNG.

A Toronto architectural feature that’s already canon!

Professor Spock

TG47 I’m from Minnesota in the land south of Canada, the United States of America. I want to go to Toronto and Montreal.

You should do it!

Professor Spock

Toronto and Canada is a funny place.

Yes VS, Canadians roll with a lot of odd.

However, unlike Vancouver, Toronto isn’t yet so taken over by film and television that one can still go for a stroll without bumping into a location shoot.

Vulcan Soul

My dear TG47, Professor Spock and I may have equally inspired names and share similiar positions (sometimes), but we are not the same Vulcans :)

Thanks for understanding VS, and my regrets to both.

I caught the error later, but the edit feature had expired…

And to both of you, as evidence of the Canadian appreciation of weird, and in case you haven’t caught the US release on PBS, here is the trailer for Odd Squad, a Canadian children’s math show that was our kids’ best preparation for Trek.

https://youtu.be/gAY2heI5sfI

Got to love the tribble-inspired centigurps! Not to mention the ‘I’m a doctor not a ___, running gag’.

Professor Spock

Section 31 should be kicked out of the Federation and Starfleet power structure like in DS9. Section 31 is nothing but a rogue organization that lies about protecting the utopian Federation. Wake up Starfleet! Section 31 is not what you think they are. They can’t be trusted.

Vulcan Soul

This may just be what is happening at the end of this season (and Space Hitler lead it as a secret rogue organisation in the spin-off)!

Somewhat disappointed in the use of Talos IV this week. There’s a lot of potential in their power of illusion – they could have used it to much greater effect to make statements about human perception, our fondness for illusions over reality, and kept us guessing for an episode or two about what’s real and what isn’t, and about what the Talosians’ motives really are. Instead all they do is play a blinder on Section 31 that we saw coming a mile off. After waiting many years for these particular antagonists to put in another appearance, this was something of a letdown.
On the other hand, congratulations to Doug Jones for setting a new bar for how much sarcasm can be squeezed into a single word (“dead”).

Vulcan Soul

“There’s a lot of potential in their power of illusion – they could have used it to much greater effect to make statements about human perception, our fondness for illusions over reality”

I would have liked that too, but it requires writers with a capability for nuance and ambiguity. Last time they tried allegory they somehow equated people who voted “incorrectly” to genocidal mass murderers, cannibals and war criminals. Better keep it at the action-adventure level then!

Kirksean

Would have have been cool if they recreated the original cage quick clips using Mount’s Pike and crew.
An interesting way to retcon and work in the new look.
Or maybe that would have been disrespectful to Hunter’s time as Pike.

Yes, I would have found it disrespectful.

And it would have implied that it’s not the same stream in the multiverse.

So. I land firmly on the view that as done it was perfect.

Cervantes

@ Kirksean – personally, I wouldn’t have found it disrespectful in the least, and I think that would have been a really neat way of introducing this DISCOVERY episode.

Except it would have strengthened the view of some that DISCOVERY is just a complete re-imagining of that era’s characters, or isn’t really set in the same universe as the TOS show after all…and the makers certainly wouldn’t have welcomed that.

However, there’s been far more disrespectful things done with the original TOS material in this show so far than that, IMO. ;)

(and thankfully, easy enough for me to just re-edit this particular episode for myself to remove that intro. ‘recap’ to keep DISCOVERY as something which ‘co-exists on another dimensional plane’ in a ‘alternate universe’ to the TOS timeline, for myself.)

ML31

I don’t think it would have been disrespectful at all. And it would have cemented their look as the look fro when Pike was there before, too. It’s cute for the existing fans they did it, but for the newbies I think it would have been better had they staged it with the new actors and sets or not done it at all.

Spiked Canon

ya, it looked like they threw it together at the last minute

FYI: This Twitter thread from one of the editors on Discovery has more about how the recap came to be:

https://twitter.com/ScottGamzon/status/1104114590000996352

Corylea

Although I enjoyed this episode tremendously, I noticed that the Star Trek led by Kurtzman — one of the folks who really prefers Star Wars — has given us a Discovery where a small band of people is working together against a larger organization in order to save the universe.

In other words, Kurtzman has given us the Rebel Alliance! :-)

Thomas D Hensley

What if captain marvel is the red angel….

Afterburn

I would love to see a team-up of Michael Burnham, Captain Marvel, Rey, and Jodi Whittaker’s Doctor. Nerdrotic and Midnight’s Edge would EXPLODE.

Professor Spock

Afterburn Midnight’s Edge are idiots. Captain Marvel is awesome.

Afterburn

I know, that was my point. They would explode with idiot rage.

David Alexander Harrison

If it was done well, their “explosion” would be one of praise.

I guess when you’re Narcissus, all the world’s a mirror… 😏

Professor Spock

Marvel and Star Trek are the same universe if that’s true. Imagine the Avengers and Enterprise side by side.

Spiked Canon

I think Marvel is the KU

Support Your Local Salt Vampire

…then she emerged in a mirror dimension where she is working for the wrong media conglomerate.

Finnegan

No more lens flares, please!

no keep it, i like it!! cus they don’t over do it

Spiked Canon

they did in this one. imo

What kind of HD TV seems to make a significant difference.

We rewatched the episode on our better TV and the flares were hardly noticeable.

This seems to be a similar issue to the sound issues with certain streaming sources and technology last year.

Professor Spock

Red Angel is Captain Marvel

i was thinking the same watching Capt Marvel, that one scene, i was like, that’s the Red Angel!

This looks as good as I can imagine Star Trek ever would!

Drew

What is the likelihood of scraping the Section 31 series and replace it with Pike, Spock and Number One w/ the continuing voyages of the Enterprise? Seems to me the most popular character by far is Pike on Discovery season 2.

Cervantes

@ Drew – while it’s unlikely that those in charge will scrap the SECTION 31 show at this stage, count me among those that would definitely prefer to follow this version of ‘Pike’ on a 5-year mission of his own aboard the ‘Enterprise’.

Especially, if we got more self-contained, ‘episodic’, invidual stories.

Vulcan Soul

“What is the likelihood of scraping the Section 31 series and replace it with Pike, Spock and Number One w/ the continuing voyages of the Enterprise?”

With TeamJJ at the rudder? Well-nigh zero ;)

Spiked Canon

I think we, the fans, would be all for it. But they have a *ard on for Yeoh

Danpaine

That would make my paying for CBSAA much more certain, I can tell you that, Drew.

Lukas

Probably the only episode I’ve enjoyed since episode 2. Actually made you feel something like the best of old school Trek, the Burnham/Spock youth scenes were terrible but I was expecting that.

The scenes with Pike and Vina were excellent.

While I haven’t enjoyed STD on the whole I’ll continue to support it. To be fair TNG ENT and DS9 weren’t great until their 3rd seasons and I’ve got high hopes for STD season 3.

Jack

Yeah, I hated everything in this episode except the Culber stuff. Everything else was just An Approximation of Stuff We’ve Scene Before For No Real Reason.

I’m really dissapointed in this season so far. As disjointed as the first season was, at least it was (mostly) trying something new.

I don’t need easter eggs. Imagine if TNG had just been TOS greatest hits from the beginning (Mudd’s grandson! Talosians! Sarek in every episode! Eminiar 7!)

The later TNG-era series became way too self-referential over time. Discovery is starting out that way.

Spiked Canon

looks like your in the small minority on that one

Nachum

That shift from Hunter to Mount’s face was freaky. My goodness Mount looks like Hunter.

Spiked Canon

yes, that was pretty cool

Cervantes

As far as DISCOVERY’s ‘Red Angel’ speculation goes….I’m currently liking sofaslug’s s suggestion from the previous topic that it might be the future, evolved combination of ST:TMP’s Ilia and Deckard who wish to prevent machine annihilation against ‘biological entities’!

‘Spock’ has revealed that it’s both human and female so far, so that kinda works for me.

Cervantes

er…Decker not ‘Deckard’. :)

Spiked Canon

smh very slowly

DarExc

The only thing I didn’t like about this episode was the lighting. The lens flares often drowned out the scenes, I’ve never really been distracted by lens flares until that episode.

Vulcan Soul

Lens flares is how the Red Angel gives us mere mortal viewers salvation!

Spiked Canon

lol, then ok we can keep them

Dr Zaius

So they’ve gone all in for recycling TOS characters and story elements.

Some of us view it as honouring rather than recycling Dr Zaius.

There’s a great deal of unresolved questions and plotlines given that TOS ran for 3 seasons only.

If some of us are still curious about these decades later, I’m happy for TPTB to return to this era of the Trek sandbox.

Tommy

“So they’ve gone all in for recycling TOS characters and story elements.” I’d like to point out the 3rd episode of TNG ever was “The Naked Now.”

ML31

It is set 10 years before Kirk’s Enterprise. It was pretty obvious they were going to do stuff like this. Even more likely considering the subscriber numbers from season 1.

Professor Spock

Star Trek Discovery belongs in Star Trek canon and this episode proved that. It’s not a fanfiction anymore.

Cervantes

Well it’s an ‘official’ product, but I’m still not convinced it can be classed as ‘canon’….but others are free to disagree. ;)

ML31

Yes. It never was fan fiction. It was officially sanctioned Star Trek. That doesn’t mean they didn’t trod all over previously established canon that did not jive with their version of things, however.

Spiked Canon

wth were they supposed to do? just retread TOS episodes with cardboard sets?

ML31

Who said anything about cardboard sets? And what do you think the Discovery sets are made from? Neutronium?

khambattafan

Spock holds the key to saving the universe. And only Michael Burnham has the lock that they will use in conjunction with Spock’s key. Together, can they save the universe? First they will have to process that time Michael Burnham was mean to child Spock, if they want to save the universe, that is. Neat.

Kris

Yeah that was the cherry on top of the whole MB/Spock mess. Just glad it is over. Hope no more kiddies on Vulcan cringy flashbacks.

Danpaine

Hysterical, when you put it that way. And will the universe be saved? Yes, because it’s…a prequel!

Kris

Well I would add WHICH Universe ends up being saved. Because considering all timeline incursions and interventions the “Red Angel” (RA) has been doing this season…The Universe STD is currently in is not or not yet a manifestation the Prime TL, the Kelvin TL or any other Universe that we have seen throughout the Star Trek cannon to this point. In TOS “prime” time-line Michael Burnham never existed, The STD Klingon War of 2256-2257(that Burnham started)did not happen, etc…
The RA so far has intervened in saving 1)USS Hiawatha survivors-Jett Reno, 2) Twice save the New Eden people, 3) Saves Saru and the Kelpiens, 4) This past episode we find out that the RA saved Burnham as a child. Quite a bit of temporal manipulation. Also of note is the vision of impending universal annihilation. The assumption is that the RA is attempting to stop the annihilation, but actually the possibility that the RA may be working to bring this about is not considered.
*The Temporal Cold War/28th century mystery person (Enterprise series) may be connected some have postulated

Kurtzman said that this season would reconcile all the continuity issues of the first season. “In 2018, Kurtzman said:’By the end of the season, we will be synced up with canon.’.” Which seems to indicate most of the events of season one will not have existed in the Prime TL…which may indicate the origin of the whole temporal mess was kicked off in season 1. Something to do Spore drive and/or Mirror Lorca…neither were part of the Prime TL? And Mirror Lorca went out of his way to get Burnham for what reason?

*Chances are it big reveal will be pedestrian and cheap as Kurtzman is the Exec Producer and show-runner this season.*

Spiked Canon

Well we always have the great story lines from The Orville to keep us happy. It’s fiction. It’s only as good as you want it to be. It’s Trek so I love it.

AJinMoscow

Now that “the Search for Spock” has borne major fruit with this great ep, I just hope the next payoff (“Who is the Red Angel?”) does not disappoint.

Spiked Canon

I hope it’s a new entity all together because every example I’ve seen in these threads are really bad!!

ML31

I’m already disappointed they dropped the divine aspect of the story by telling us the red angel is a time traveler from the future. Still hoping that is wrong and it will end up being more ambiguous. But I’m doubting it.

Kris

“In The Original Series, religion doesn’t exist. Yet faith is something that has always been a major topic in different ways. The idea of this mystery that has no answer immediately suggests a presence or force greater than anything anyone has ever known. It was really intriguing to us.”

Kurtzman wants to make it a dynamic between the “Unknowable God of the cosmos” vs Science and logic(Burnham & Spock) …blah blah with faith something..blah..blah…blah..
TL:DR JJ Abrams “mystery black box” bullshit.

ML31

Is that a Kurtzman quote? If it is and it is in regards to themes from this season the fact that he already divulged that this is a time traveling human from the future sent to stop universal armageddon pretty much invalidates his comment. Unless what he have so far is one giant misdirect. Which seems unlikely for this crew.

Kris

Yeah it’s a Kurtzman quote from January of this year. Think back to the premier episode “Brother”, Burnham does a narrative riff and “refers to the universe as containing a secret, “an enormous letter in a bottle made of space and time, visible to only whose hearts were open enough to receive it.” As she is narrating 7 red bursts pop across the galaxy which Pike on Enterprise observes.

Spit balling a guess, like you said the Red Angel is a “time traveler” human woman (Spock said “she rescued you” referring to the vision he had as a boy.

But consider there is at least the entity 500 years in the future that wants to do nix all life. Then also a possibility another powerful mystery entity (Fungus probably) doing the Red bursts signals, exotic matter, spheres and funky asteroids. This entity seems aligned in some way with the RA.

I was really hoping for a new take on the phasered out lift from “The Cage,” still a wonderful episode.

Captain Hackett

New global preview “Project Daedalus”
http://www.startrek.com/videos/global-preview-project-daedalus

FASAfan

I just want to thank those who worked on the episode and Discovery for a great episode. I love “The Cage” and have always liked Pike. The Talosians were well done in that they are not malicious, just… different. Vina, Pike, the singing plants… just Thank You!

thebiggfrogg

The buttheads are back!