Anson Mount On ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Reframing Pike’s Future, And Trying To Out-Shatner Chris Pine

Thursday’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery “Through the Valley of Shadows” had some major moments for Pike and the crew of the USS Discovery. Cast and crew for the show have been talking about the episode and sharing some behind-the-scenes photos and images, so we have gathered up all the highlights.

How Discovery is informing Pike’s future and his past

As a guest on The Ready Room, Anson Mount described how he feels the events of  “Through the Valley of Shadows” impact the character of Pike:

Having a good handle on canon myself, I was very appreciative how the writers handled it. It was very smart, primarily because it turns Pike’s third act – which we already know about and has been established – it makes it more of a triumph, than a tragedy. By making it an active choice on his part, I learned a lot about the character when I read that… The one thing I know about Pike is he probably had good parents and he definitely had good mentors. He is emotionally intelligent enough, and idealistic enough, to defiantly know that when you say you are going to do something, you do that thing. You live up to your word. And to be presented with a situation where he can escape a horrible fate if he turns his back on the ideals he has pledged to uphold, it is not really a choice because when you don’t live up to your word, what are you? If you can gain the world but lose yourself in so doing, you are nothing.

Seeing Vina again in “If Memory Serves” adds depth to Pike as a character:

We get to see them reminded of what it was they had and had to give up and it warms the heart that that longing remains. And so the reunion – and the gestalt of our storytelling about Star Trek canon – is the warmer as well.

The actor also discussed how being on his own five-year mission during the Klingon War has informed the character:

Absolutely [Pike feels guilt and regret for missing out on the Klingon War]. We touch on that in several points in the season. That is definitely an emotional arc that Pike has to get over that. It is the reason he puts himself in harm’s way so many times, he has survivor’s guilt… And I like how the writers handled the explanation for why the Enterprise was held outside the war and how that other shoe dropped with Admiral Cornwell. It was a great moment and there is always this question of why does the captain have to go on the away missions and this really answered that question in a way I’ve never seen before.

Pike confronts his future in “Through the Valley of Shadows”

Making Pike his own, with a little help from Chris Pine and William Shatner

During the interview, it was apparent how much of a fan Anson Mount is of Star Trek and what a big deal it was for him as an actor to land the role of Pike. He described what it meant for him to be offered the role:

It’s this incredible legacy character that we have all known about and cared about and of all the characters we would consider have major stakes in the ground of canon for Star Trek, I think we know the least about Pike. So, it was such an honor to get asked to come on board to help flesh that out. And I just like the character, and that is not always the case. I think he is a good leader. I like the way the writers found that his specific leadership style is unlike any other captain that we have seen, as it should be.

He also talked about how much he is enjoying playing Pike:

I really dig it, because it is second-act Pike. We know first-act Pike and we know third-act Pike, but we didn’t know a lot about second-act Pike. I felt a lot of freedom in that, to come in and make this version of this period of Pike my own.

When asked if he has brought some other influences to the role, Mount revealed his love of Kirks:

You know what I loved about Chris Pine’s performance in the J.J. Abrams’ movies, if you watched the end of the first movie in which he plays Kirk there is this scene where he walks across the bridge and sits in the captain’s chair. And he absolutely nailed the way that Shatner would do that. And I just decided that I was going to try and do this the way he sits in the chair like Shatner, I was going to try to do that better, even though I am not playing Kirk. I just thought: why not, let’s give it a shot.

Anson Mount wanted to bring a bit of Kirk to his Pike

You can watch the full Ready Room for more from Mount about shooting “Through the Valley of Shadows” and life on the set of Star Trek: Discovery.

Kurtzman talks “Through the Valley of Shadows”

CBS has also released another “Moments of Discovery” video about this week’s episode, with the focus being Pike and his vision of the future. Showrunner and executive producer Alex Kurtzman talked about how Discovery gave them the chance to show this story and add a new dimension to it:

I think that everybody knows what happened to Pike and everybody knows there was some kind training exercise accident that resulted in his disfigurement and that’s all we really know. And I think that the opportunity of this show is to explore that same story, but present it in a new way.

Writers talk Boreth and why Worf didn’t know about time crystals

Pike’s quest and vision all took place on the Klingon planet of Boreth, which was first established in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Rightful Heir,” which had Worf visiting the monastery honoring Kahless on the planet. In an interview with SyFy, “Through the Valley of Shadows” co-writers Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt talked about using Boreth for their episode:

Boreth has always been carefully established as a sacred place for the Klingons — and that’s not something we wanted to muck up. Instead, we wanted to EXPAND on existing canon and the functionality of Boreth by introducing a hidden sect of monks who have dedicated their lives to guarding the time crystals. We loved the notion that this otherwise fierce warrior race has learned not to mess with something as dangerous and volatile as time…Worf would not have been granted access to the part of Boreth’s monastery that housed the crystals [because] that’s not why Worf was there.

Worf on Boreth in TNG: “Rightful Heir”

Behind the scenes on “Through the Valley of Shadows”

Cast and crew have been sharing insights and images from this week’s episode on social media.

Mary Chieffo gave a shout-out to episode writers Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt with a behind-the-scenes shot of the three of them on set.

Kim also shared a fun shot of Chieffo taking a break, protecting her fancy new dress (and full torso prosthetics).

And Lippoldt posted a great shot of Anson Mount rehearsing the scene when he confronts his future self in the chair.

Actor Ken Mitchell was very excited to return to Discovery to play his third Klingon character, and joked he is now growing ridges.

Anson Mount also took to Twitter to express his thanks to fans for all their support during the season.


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

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Danpaine

Anson Mount, you nailed the Pike character, and you made Hell On Wheels one of my favorite shows. Great casting. You rock, Sir.

The Highlander

Agreed on both points! 👏🏽👏🏽

alphantrion

On a completely unrelated note, I miss Highlander, both the movies and the show.

BLFSisko

Absolutely. He´s by now one of my favourites Captains (both actor and character). I want more of him. Seriously. Hey CBS Folks, if you are not completly nuts, you HAVE to give us more of him. It would be a shame to waste his character.

Bennie

Beautiful episode. Loved it!

Sam

He’s definitely been the strongest element of S2; it’s really just unfortunate that another turnover of showrunners ended up ruining much of the season.

No, we don’t need a Pike/Spock/Enterprise series (since I already know there’s going to be a wave of comments calling for one). Anymore than we needed a Capt Sulu series in the ’90s.

Professor Spock

Caption Sulu can appear in Star Trek: Discovery season 3. Even Kirk can be on the show.

Danpaine

I would have welcomed a Sulu series in the 90’s.

ML31

I would have as well.

Tiger2

Agreed Sam. I wouldn’t mind one of course and would watch the hell out of it if we did get it, but its just not necessary to have with Discovery already there. If there was no Discovery then I would say go for it. But do we need TWO shows covering this era? Three if you include Section 31 (which we don’t need either but it will at least be a very different show from Discovery. In theory anyway.)

What if Discovery is leaving this era? :-P

Sam

Where do people keep getting this from all of a sudden?

DIGINON

The producers have hinted that the season 2 finale will bring about a big change for the show – of course, they haven’t said what it would be. They have also said that this Spock story could only be told during season 2 and that Discovery would “line up” with canon. Some people read into those comments that Discovery and all of its influences will somehow be removed from the pre-TOS era.
I don’t know if it’s just wishful thinking from people who have never liked the setting to begin with. or if there’s anything more to it.

Levi

Well we know Discovery ends up abandoned in the 31st century at some point, thanks to the short treks episode Calypso. my guess is next week or the following week during the finale it will be flung into the future.

Tiger2

Again, Discovery isn’t abandoned in the future, its abandoned in Discovery’s present day period. We only see it again a thousand years later but it didn’t jump into the future, simply stayed in one place for centuries. BIG difference.

I wonder if this happens whether they will find a way for L’Rell to be onboard. That way Mary Chieffo can remain in the cast while simultaneously allowing them to chuck all the Klingon stuff overboard.

A34

Klingons will never go away.

VZX

Uh, speak for yourself. I NEED a Pike/Spock/Enterprise series! I also wanted that Captain Sulu series in the 90s.

Commodore Redshirt

I agree with VZX!

Sam

A Capt Sulu series would have been made by the same people as TNG and VOY. It would have essentially been VOY, and it would have been made in place of VOY. In fact VOY’s ‘Flashback’ already offers a glimpse of what a Sulu series would have looked like. It would not have had the snazzy Starship America vapor trails, or any of the nautical influences of the TOS movies. It would not have featured Nick Meyer’s anachronistic analog touches. It would have been a Berman Trek show, with TNG-style technobabble and a second-hand understanding of the classic characters. The composers, designers, cinematographers and writers would all have been the usual suspects, and it would have been “more of what we already have.”

ML31

Or… Maybe it wouldn’t have been.

Sam

It is *extremely* unlikely, prior to 2006, that Paramount would ever have considered launching a new ST series without the TNG team running it.

Fidel

Well, I’ll start that wave. Not because “we… need” more “Act Two Pike,” but because I think it would be fun. If the Disco ratings are good this year, CBS should give it some real thought. I’ll bet they are.

Carrying the wave! Pike show, please! :-)

Professor Spock

Someone should make a online petition to convince CBS to make a Pike show. Pike represents Star Trek and Star Trek values and ideals.

Douglass Abramson

And if they can get Mount, Romijn and Peck to sign on, it would be one hell of a show! Now, who could take over from John Hoyt to play Dr Boyce?

To be honest, I think they already are. None of them has future competing projects on IMDb, and Anson wrote on his Facebook page last January, right after the airing of “New Eden,” something like “This was one of the most important days of my professional career. I’ll explain later.” On that post, he even liked a few comments talking about a Pike show. I think it is a done deal, and they will announce as soon as Disco’s S2 ends.

Locutus

I wonder if they were filming this episode? Or had production for the season already wrapped? I could see how he felt this episode might be powerful. In any event, I wish he could explain what his excitement was now! I would love to see his character carry on if that is the news.

Production wrapped in December. So this “important day” happened about a month after the end of principal photography on S2. Anson also interviewed Ethan Peck for his podcast (The Well), and the second interview includes Peck’s wrapping speech, in December, where he seemed to be really saying goodbye. And did you see how Peck reacted a few days ago, when TrekMovie asked him about a Pike spinoff? So, there are a lot of clues about a possible spinoff. Would they hire Rebecca Romijn for three episodes, one of which her role is to eat a burger? I’d say the odds they are already planning a Pike spinoff are very high at this point. It simply would be too dumb not to think of it. Now, they will have a frustrated fanbase if they say goodbye to Pike, Spock, Number One, and the Enterprise, after having all of those elements on the show. It wouldn’t make any sense. (And did anybody notice how Pikish Anson was in the Ready Room, four months after wrapping filming on Discovery?)

Blue Phaser Beam

I’m still not convinced that Mount and Peck won’t be around for Season 3. Possible to find way to do a Pike/Disco hybrid season 3? Perhaps on board Enterprise or some new vessel.

I think story-wise it would be difficult. But I’d be very happy if they ordered 10 Disco episodes, and 10 Pike episodes for next season, making Pike a spinoff.

Hauke Fischer

Let’s assume they try to self-destruct the Discovery, but the Sphere Data prevents even that (it seems to be a fix point in time somehow). Which leads to the alternative to hide Discovery in that nebula we see in Calypso.
Season 3 could be a continuation of season 2, set on the Enterprise.

It’d never happen, but Hugh Laurie for Boyce, says I.

Douglass Abramson

Ooooooh! I like the way you think! Based on his Veep role, he’s happy taking cable/streaming money for a good supporting role.

That’s a good point, actually; he was also in “The Night Manager” for AMC. Make it so! Damn, him bumping off of Anson Mount in a Kelley/Shatner way would be awesome.

Petitions are mostly ignored, but CBS All Access cancelations may get their attention.

Garth Lorca

“Petitions are mostly ignored,”…

Mostly, but then, The Expanse was saved by one… This is not 1969 or 2005 anymore. They can’t ignore them entirely…

A34

What happens when Amazon cancels the show?

A34

Won’t happen.

Levi

you do realize star trek has been saved not once, not twice, but three times previously because of fan petitions right?
so while other things might ignore petitons, Trek has had a pretty good history with them over the past 5 decades.

I actually am unaware of any instances where petitions have saved Star Trek. I did a quick Google search and didn’t see anything obvious but I’d love to know what those instances are. Genuinely, I’d like to know.

My overall point is, petitions will not have near the success of impacting CBS All Access as canceling subscriptions will.

I not throwing a hissy fit over not having a Pike series, but I’ll likely cancel CBS All Access after Discovery S2 for 2 reasons.

1) Aside from the episodes of Discovery that tied it to previous incarnations of Trek, i.e., Harry Mudd, Captain Pike/Spock, and Saru’s development, I have not enjoyed watching it. It is laborious, in my opinion. I gave it a chance in S1 and the only reason I changed my mind to cancel my subscription was because of the potential of a Pike/Spock introduction… a story I have been wanted to watch unfold for years. Now that is coming to an end, I am no longer interested. They may introduce other characters like Kirk, Sulu…. perhaps even give a retired Admiral Travis Mayweather a shout out…. but the showrunners willingness to return to the well only further demonstrates that those characters are interesting, Discovery’s characters are mostly not. Again, this is my opinion an I own it. And if yours differs, I think no less of you.

2)There is nothing else on CBS All Access that I care enough to watch to pay a subscription for.

Oh, and one more reason. The Orville is free (or at least included in my $15.00 a month Directv Now subscription.

If they aren’t, then they are insane.

A34

A Pike show would got boring fast.

Harry Ballz

A Pike show boring? Compared to Discovery??

BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

(wipes tear)

…..oh, that’s rich!

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight……….

bman

There would be a lot less crying, that would be nice. A better-looking ship than the Star Trek Phase 2 design (Discovery), And maybe even some fun. Storylines about all the characters. No mushroom drive. The merchandise would sell, I doubt I would have watched this season without Pike. Might even explore a planet now and then.

Professor Spock

Star Trek: Discovery deserves an Emmy award for that Pike scene alone. Anson Mount is perfect as Captain Pike. I’m sad he won’t return in season 3. I liked his performance so far. L’Rell and Jett Reno are also my favorites. I’m glad Tilly wasn’t in this episode. She is too annoying. CBS made the best casting decision ever for Star Trek. I will watch a Pike show if they make one.

I’m lukewarm on Discovery at best, but Pike in Mount’s hands has been an unqualified success. I hope we’re seeing him play that role for the next decade.

DeanH

Congratulations to Anson Mount on nailing the character of Captain Pike and for his portrayal of this iconic character’s “second act”! The Menagerie left a few unanswered questions including why Spock told his former Captain, “you know why I have come” as if his trip back to Talos IV was all pre-planned. Maybe we get even more color on this story in the two part finale. Let’s hope fans get to see Mount in the future, not just at conventions but back as a guest on Discovery, Short Treks, or maybe even a mini-series.

Douglass Abramson

They could do that, but I always felt that the Talosians looped Pike in as they were conspiring with Spock to get it done.

Professor Spock

They could make a Pike movie.

Levi

This has been my thought recently, if that Paramount ? CBS re-merger does indeed happen now that moonves is out of the picture. they might very well have cast these 3 actors in Pike,Spock, and Number 1 to set up for a future Pike/Spock enterprise movie. you dont cast these 3 very talented actors in these parts, and just toss them aside after 14 episodes. whether its a series or a movie, there is something being planned with them

DIGINON

They also cast Jason Isaacs and then “tossed him aside” before season 1 was over. Look, I’m not saying that a spinoff with Pike and Spock is impossible but the simple fact that they cast talented actors in these parts doesn’t prove anything.

J_Randomuser

Y’know, it’s funny that Mount mentioned the Shatner thing. A few times this season, I’ve been watching Pike do something particularly Captain-y and said to myself “It’s kind of a shame they cast him as Pike, because this guy should be the new Kirk, whenever the end up casting that….”. I’ve loved him in this role all season and, despite a wee bit of flimsy writing in a few spots, I think in a lot of ways Mount really embodies the TOS spirit. I hope they continue to find ways to keep him involved in the franchise.

Vulcan Soul

I get the impression TPTB really don’t know what they have in this incredible actor portraying this incredible character. He IS Star Trek, walking and talking.

But instead of expanding on his stint, they give a whole show to a Space Hitler that is the antithesis of Trek in every single respect. It is really a travesty! And a tragedy.

TonyD

I think you can chuck a lot of that to the ego of the producers and writing team. I’m sure they can’t be too thrilled at the notion that characters created over 55 years ago are more popular and resonant than anyone they’ve been able to come up with. That’s why we’re getting all these shows that a lot of people around here could care less about while Mount and Peck (who has already effortlessly eclipsed Quinto’s interpretation of Spock) get sent to the sidelines.

Vulcan Soul

Not to forget, both have the “wrong” gender and skin color. Can’t win any headlines on social media with that! From the point of view of the “woke” crowd, not just the characters are a thing of the past – these actors too!

Michael Burnham is a character created by gender and ethnicity.

Christopher Pike is a character created by the story.

Michael Hall

Yeah, right. White male characters just naturally spring forth from the page per the demands of story, like Athena from Zeus’ forehead. Anything else represents an ‘agenda.’

Next, you’ll no doubt go on to inform us that Pike represents the best of Trek’s values. As if you ever knew what those were.

A34

Wow, really? Burnham really brings out the racism in some trek fans.

Michael Hall

Some nerds can accept the presence of a bamboo-eating dinosaur in the mess hall more readily than they can a confident female character who’s not white. Incredible, but true.

kmart

In 1987 the writers couldn’t write a teenage girl, which led Leslie to become Wesley. 30 years on, they still seem to have troubles writing for a grownup woman in command path, and there haven’t been too many instances in between which have been all that successful IMO.

A34

No wonder a lot of them want a Pike show. I doubt they would feel the same way if Pike was brown.

Bryan Fuller admittedly designed this entire series around a non-white, female lead before the first character was created. In fact, Martin-Green cast to play Lt. Cmdr. Rainsford.

And this wasn’t a case of building a character around an actor.

“The idea from the get-go was to find a non-white actress for the role, which, after a lengthy process, led to Martin-Green”. – Bryan Fuller

So my statement “Michael Burnham is a character created by gender and ethnicity” stands. If you want to retort with claims of racism and misogyny whenever a statement is made that doesn’t fit neatly into your narrow-minded world views, that is on you.

Corinthian7

Come now Dave, if anybody has responded to you with “claims of racism and misogyny” it’s probably because you qualified your claim with this gem: “Christopher Pike is a character created by the story”. Let’s be realistic Dave there was no real story need that Pike be a straight, white male other than that is what was demanded by 1960’s tv execs. There is zero problem with specifically looking to cast a non-white actress for any show’s lead especially Star Trek!

I have no insight into the origins of casting Jeffrey Hunter as Pike. I am specifically referring to Pike on Discovery. There was already an established canon. There wasn’t a conscious decision to cast a straight, white male and subsequently create a story around those characteristics, as with Michael Burhnam.

I don’t necessarily think there is a problem with it, but I think Fuller’s decision to cast a lead based on those gender and racial characteristics alone without any backstory present to drive the casting, and most disappointedly, focus some much on that character, has held Discovery back.

And virtually anytime a poster criticizes Burnham/Martin-Green but praises Pike/Mount, someone is here to claim racism or misogyny.

Corinthian7

But there wasn’t really a decision made to cast a female person of colour and base the story about those characteristics either. There might have been a deliberate choice to cast a non-white female in the lead and to have more representation but surely that’s what Star Trek has been about from day one. Look I’m obviously a fan of Discovery but I concede that some of the criticisms of the show are valid but those have typically been creative choices that have no bearing on the diversity of the cast or race/gender of the shows lead.

“But there wasn’t really a decision made to cast a female person of colour and base the story about those characteristics either”.

That’s what I’m trying to say, although rather poorly apparently. There was no story. Even had Fuller said to himself, I want to create a story about an African-American females’s – raised as a Vulcan – troubled rise to the captain’s chair. That even sounds interesting. I wish it was interesting to watch!

Fuller didn’t have anything to base the character/story on. He just knew absolutely it had to be a non-white female.

Corinthian7

“Fuller didn’t have anything to base the character/story on. He just knew absolutely it had to be a non-white female.”

But what’s wrong with that? From a story point of view it makes zero difference that she’s not white as in universe nobody would judge her on her skin colour in the 23rd century. However, outside of the story in the real 21st century it’s still apparently a big deal so I guess that’s why he “just knew absolutely it had to be a non-white female”. Look I agree that it’s not fair to label people racists just because they’ve enjoyed seeing a classic character like Pike on the show and likewise it’s a cheap shot to call somebody a misogynist just because they might have a concern about how Burnham has been handled as a character. It’s just that a lot of these opinions seem to come in tandem with disparaging comments regarding the shows policy of inclusivity so it’s not hard to see why people might make that leap. Perhaps for the first time ever Star Trek has truly been able to practice what it preaches and truly embrace Rodenberry’s philosophy, at least in terms of diversity, and for that I feel Discovery should be applauded.

Morally, ethically, legally… sans outside the movie industry and sans Fuller replacing non-white female with a white male?

But my argument has never been about morals, ethics, or legality. It is solely about creativity.

In this very specific case, I firmly believe that Fuller’s desire to create a series solely based around a race and gender rather than fleshing out a story that perhaps led to a non-white female lead has damaged Discovery. I think it limited the development of the series and that’s evident in the overall fans reaction.

But I appreciate your acknowledgment this belief doesn’t necessarily mean I am a racist or misogynist. It just means we have a difference of opinion.

Tiger2

VS, its amazing how much I enjoy your insight about this show and Star Trek in general even when I don’t fully agree. But then you throw out this stuff and its just an eye roll. Dude, considering all the headlines they HAVE gotten with both Pike and Spock (even being the ‘wrong’ gender) kind of proves your point wrong. I know this is your hang up but I really wish you let it go.

Discovery has just as many white people and men as all the other shows before it did. And the fact is all the new main characters this season: Spock, Pike and Leland are white guys. Reno is the only other ‘major’ character addition who is a woman (and gay) and she’s had twelve lines in three episodes so far. I mean really, stop turning everything into some hidden agenda.

JonBuck

@Tiger2 Agreed.

AdAstraPerAspera

So you are basically said because they are white and male, the producers will overlook them? I’ve suspected this of you for quite a long time but now it’s pretty clear that you have an issue with shoes fronted by women of colour, which quite frankly exposes you as racist trash.

Michael Hall

Well, I suppose I could call myself “woke,” assuming that term of the hour means anything at all, yet have no less enthusiasm for the work of these two actors than you do. But then, if there’s anyone on these forums who loves to endlessly play the race and gender card, it’s you.

blackmocco

Don’t be ridiculous. You make so many good points on here and then fly them into the mountain with this nonsense. Practically every headline in the media regarding season 2 has focused specifically on Pike and Spock.

Spiked Canon

I guess I’ll be the one that defends you a little. The first two show-runner teams made a concerted effort (check the interviews) of not only having a woman as the lead character, but an African American. They also wanted to be the first to have a gay couple. The only white, straight male lead in season 1 was an egotistical azzhole. But, season two they went a different route. Not focusing on the former. That being said, I love all those characters and despite being pigeon holed in, they are genuinely endearing characters. There was an agenda folks. And there was an agenda back in the day to have nothing but white males. It’s fact and really not an arguing point. You either like or don’t like the characters no matter their race, gender, or sexual preference.

Tiger2

I don’t think its that simple TonyD. These were also the same guys who decided to bring back Pike and Spock in the first place. They clearly saw the marketing value of adding them. And they didn’t need to have them on the entire season either. And if CBS really thinks these characters are bringing in the ratings (or whatever) they wouldn’t be going anywhere, period.

I think they just have bigger plans coming around and knows how everything is going to fit. I really don’t think they will get their own show, at least anytime soon, but I would find it hard to believe they won’t be showing up again, especially with all the fanfare this season. And they are probably not coming back to Discovery next season because maybe the show will really be in a different place or time (or even both) next season. If true clearly Pike and Spock can’t stay on the ship. But we’ll probably get an answer to all of that (including any future with Spock and Pike) in less than two weeks now.

alphantrion

See, this was always going to be the problem when they introduced the characters of Pike and Spock and TOS people to Discovery. Even before the season started I was commenting that they were going to take over the original Discovery characters in popularity and this is exactly what is happening and this is also why I believe the producers don’t want to continue with them, because they still need to have the Discovery characters stand on their own without the crutches of the TOS characters. But even the producers probably couldn’t guess that Pike would be this popular and the result is that the Discovery characters are being undermined and I don’t think the producers would want that.

Tiger2

You know, I kind of have to agree with you there, at least partly.

I also said when they were announced not just to come to the show but basically have full time roles that I really thought it was mistake to do this soon because the Discovery characters just haven’t been developed fully yet. It would’ve made more sense to wait until season 3 or 4 to do this kind of plot line after the rest of the cast has been well established and basically well liked by most fans.

And yes, basically it looks like what happened is Pike and Spock showed up and now is more loved by most of the regulars on the show because they have a 50 year history with the fanbase. Pike only had one episode of course but he’s become so iconic just HAVING them there makes him popular alone. Spock no explanation needed lol.

You see what’s happening right on these boards. A huge part of the fanbase seems to want to chuck Discovery overboard for the Pike show now if they got their way. In some ways bringing them on might have backfired a little because they are TOO popular now. That’s why it would’ve been smart to let the first few seasons be solely about the Discovery crew and just focus on them so by the time the others showed up it wouldn’t feel as jolting.

I could only imagine what it would’ve been like to include a Worf or Data on DS9 in its second season when both the show and characters was still finding its way. But they waited until fourth season when the show was well established and the characters were well loved by then to bring in Worf. He was a popular addition, but just an addition. He didn’t take over the show like Pike and Spock did and the DS9 characters were very popular even if still paled in comparison to TNG.

But no one was suggesting they kill off Sisko and have Worf run the station like so many seem to want Burnham to disappear.

I still don’t think thats why the producers don’t want them to show up next season though. Reality is Pike can’t stay on the ship forever. Canon wise they were going to have to go back at some point. And if DIS leaves this era either by a time jump or another universe, well….

TG47

Good discussion here Tiger2.

I’d like to throw something else in the mix.

I’m not convinced that the issue is that Pike and Spock were already beloved, but I think that you’re right about the Discovery characters and broader ensemble needing to establish itself.

Basically, because Pike and Spock were established characters, it seems as though greater care was taken to be consistent in how the characters were written, and despite the change in showrunners, there is coherence in Pike and Spock and their development over the season.

Even though the 4 principal actors/characters (Burnham, Saru, Stamets and Tilly) have taken all the lines and have all the ideas to the point that the writers are, in Roddenberry’s words, at the edge of ‘making the characters and the show ridiculous’, the writing of the four main characters is all over the map. Arguably, the writers have taken even longer than usual to figure out who the main characters are.

Perhaps that is an early season problem in Trek, but in most cases in Discovery it’s only the incredible strength of the acting talent that has given the main characters any coherence at all.

There are widespread comments about the incoherence in how Ash Tyler is used, but it goes for all the main cast from season 1. He’s just the most extreme case.

Saru as played by Doug Jones was at the other end of the spectrum the most consistent and coherent, with a slow and subtle evolution. But because TPTB for Discovery cannot let any big plot device go unexploited as quickly as possible, Saru’s quest to overcome fear had to be eliminated in season 2 rather than 4 or 5 …and the one stable anchor of the main cast was destabilized.

Burnham is supposed to be evolving, but she’s gone from Vulcan cool to fighter pilot crazy risk-taking to someone out of control of her emotions in a way that jerks back and forth. Now, all of that could be possible, but she doesn’t seem to be unhappy or distressed that she’s emotionally all over the place…and that doesn’t track with any of those temperaments. She’s becoming a Moll Flanders type character, relentlessly running from one tragic circumstance to another, and subject to shocking and improbable familial coincidence.

Tilly seemed to be moving along well as a gifted intellect trying to overcome the things that would get in the way of command….but the change in writers has failed her utterly so far.

Stamets seems to have been reset to his uptight prickly self after loosening up with the tardigrade DNA and spore experiences.

Basically, I’m concerned that when Kurtzman took over there was some kind of directive to take the characters other than Saru back to the writers bible and ignore their evolution… something is off.

All to say, I’m not sure that not having Spock and Pike would have made these characters any more beloved given the underlying issues appear to have arisen from the turmoil in the showrunners and writers.

Tiger2

Those are all fair points!

I guess I should’ve been more clear and said its POSSIBLE that the Discovery crew could be more accepted in time, and not that it was a guarantee. Although I think all the crews today from TOS through Enterprise has their fans, its clear some, like Enterprise, is still not completely accepted by all so yes it doesn’t mean by season 4 they would all be considered iconic or anything.

But there is a better chance of it if they were the sole focus and not have characters who ARE considered iconic show up in season 2 and practically take over the show so soon. Of course to give credit to the writers, all the main characters of the show that you pointed out, from Staments to of course Burnham, have all gotten major story lines and arcs. They aren’t ignored or anything, its just hard to compete with someone like Spock who people want to know how this version connects with his TOS version or how Pike’s story is lining up.

And yes people do seem bothered by how they are being written too as you pointed out. I’m not AS bothered to be honest because its still early. They are trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Most of the other Trek shows were the same way. Maybe characters didn’t change as wildly but there was a process with some who took awhile before they finally understand who the character is. TV shows are hard when you have so many writers adding to these characters. And as you said the show has already had several show runners in its short life so that doesn’t make it easier either.

As far as Pike and Spock, of course I can’t blame them for doing it, especially if the viewers for the show on AA was lower than expected. You have to do anything to get people to watch and create buzz although sadly I still don’t know anyone personally watching the show despite all the fanfare with those characters on it. I just hope next season the focus will stay on the permanent characters and maybe NOT have a ‘guest star’ captain since they all seem to become way more popular than the actual star of the show.

alphantrion

I think third season was the ideal time frame for a crossover. That was when TNG did its first “official” crossover episode with Sarek and by that time we were quite aware of what made the TNG crew tick. The problem with Discovery is the shorter episode orders where you have relatively little time for juggling character arcs with the main arcs (this is the reason I believe some Discovery episodes go all over the place and seem less focused in its run-times). In fact Discovery hasn’t been doing too bad of a job with this, but if they had relegated the TOS appearances to season 3, they would at least have had more focused and less frantic episodes.

You sound like someone else, and not the producers, brought those characters in and cast them.

TonyD

As others have suggested, I really don’t think the producers and writers ever expected them to end up being as popular as they have become. They have really wrenched the spotlight away from Green and even to a lesser extent Doug Jones.

Sam

I think it’s VERY open to interpretation so far whether Peck “effortlessly” “eclipses” eclipses Quinto. In fact I honestly don’t see it. And that is not to say that Peck isn’t his own effective version of Spock.

TonyD

I liked most of the JJVerse cast but Quinto was always the major exception for me as I just never bought into him as Spock. I don’t know if it was his delivery (he always seemed to talk way too fast whenever he had something meaningful to say) or his lack of chemistry with Pine and Urban, but he always seemed to be standing apart from the rest of the cast, to me at least. It didn’t help that he really had a strained relationship with Kirk for most of the first two movies and spent most of his screen time with McCoy in the third one.

Professor Spock

Vulcan Soul Anson Mount is what makes Star Trek great. He is not being used to his full potential. Star Trek Discovery needs better villains. Lorca was a very bad stereotypical mustache twirling cliche villain. Even the Marvel movie Black Panther has a better villain than this. Make Star Trek great again.

Jason

I really wanted to like Lorca. For the first half of season 1, I thought that he was an interesting captain, because he was less than perfect, and had a little room for some gray area. He felt like a complex character. When they revealed his mirror universe villainy and subterfuge, though, I felt it stripped away all of the details that made him interesting.

Sam

I think that was the single biggest disappointment with S1. And the infuriating part was people who predicted him being a Mirror counterpart of himself seemed to have been hoping that would be the explanation, as if that was the only way to save the series in their minds, because, god forbid a Starfleet captain (who’s also a regular) be allowed to have some moral ambiguity. It really seemed at the time that fans thought the “revelation” of his character’s MU identity had somehow improved the series.

ML31

Sam, season one was already pretty weak. But at least they had Lorca going for it. He was by far the most fascinating captain I have ever seen right out of the gate. And then… Well… You know.

A34

Lorca is better than Pike. In my opinion.

ML31

Jason, you are definitely not alone in that. The Lorca thing was easily the singlemost foolish thing I have ever seen associated with Star Trek. It even eclipses the ludicrous whale probe concept. Which was in first place until Lorca came along.

Spock Jenkins

I hate the term “Space Hitler” you keep using for Georgiou – it’s as if you have no comprehension whatsoever of other dictators throughout history.

When comparing the optimism of TOS to Section 31 calling Mirror Georgiou “Space Hitler” may be a stretch, but as Emperor she rendered Qo’nos uninhabitable, subjugated the Betazoids and wiped out the Mintaka III, so I think calling her “Space Hitler” is apropos.

ML31

It might even be too nice. I’ve never read anything about Hitler eating his servants.

Disinvited

ML31,

I don’t know. Hitler skinning his slaves for lampshades seems right up there.

Hat Rick

Speaking generally and to no one in particular, I am appalled by the racialized discussion in this particular sub-thread. I don’t care who is what color or what gender. I care that Star Trek should remain faithful to its roots in its high degree of complexity. The current political climate suggests that certain people of certain heritages are being sidelined for some reason. Speaking for me alone, I tune all of that out. It goes against what Star Trek has stood for: The future is colorblind and progressive. That is all that I need to know about it. For those that suggest some kind of agenda, other than the progressive inclinations that Star Trek, as part of its DNA, embodies, I have no understanding of same. To me, it is a rather petty complaint, and dispiriting.

Jeff F

Please understand that I WANT Star Trek to be colorblind, gender-blind, even sexual orientation-blind. I WANT diversity in Star Trek. I WANT all of those things to be non-issues when watching Star Trek. But (leaving aside the canon figures of Pike, Spock, and Sarek) when the lead character and the Klingon empress and the Mirror Universe empress and the main admiral and a significant side character (Tilly) and the two most focused-on bridge crew and the Red Angel and the new engineer and the stronger parent of Spock and Michael are all women, and the two primary positive men are gay, and the leading bad guy last year was a straight male and the leading bad guy (Leland) this year is a straight (presumably) male, and the only other males are an alien written to be rather docile, a compromised Klingon-human who’s the love interest of two women and two bridge members we hardly ever hear, it’s hard not to get the impression that TPTB think all people are equal, but one particular demographic is less equal than others.
That’s why it was refreshing for me (and perhaps others) to see this episode, that maybe there’s still a place for strong straight males in this universe along with everyone else. Was kind of hoping Kamran Gant might be a new addition to the crew, but I guess that was asking too much.

BLACKMOCCO

You were doing fine til the “but”…

Michael Hall

Funny — I watched the same show for two years and didn’t get that impression at all. (And just FTR I’m male, straight more or less, and probably of a paler hue than you are.) Seriously, is this how you spend your time, measuring these imponderables and ambiguities (who said Leland is straight?) against each other, and keeping score, while the rain rattles the windowpanes and the dogs go unfed? I guess we all have our hobbyhorses to ride, but it sure seems like an odd thing for a Trek fan to fixate on.

Hat Rick

@Jeff F, I do believe that all people are created equal in the most important senses. I do not believe that all people have equally contributed to the progress of civilization. I don’t think anyone can make a compelling case for that.

Not all peoples of the world have had the opportunity to create the type of civilization we have now, which is a more-or-less progressive one, of liberal values, despite the occasional resort to reactionary tendencies. I am troubled, as anyone would be, that in the early 20th century, there was a great regression, a great retrograde movement in history, in Central and Southern Europe. I am investigating why this was, and why in Asia there was a quasi-suicidal attempt by one nation to envelop other, at the same time. These are projects of mine. So, of course, I cannot be held captive to the political correctness solely of this instant, which demands that I think that all people are exactly the same in every way. I say that they are not.

The suggestion is that straight white males are being disposessessed, etc., and I understand that. I do see a bit of estrangement of straight white males from television, the media, and in some ways, in politics. I understand that. Yet I try not to let that color my ideas in regard to fiction such as this.

The truth of the matter is that we are all in this together. I don’t know a single person who would say, “Do not save me, for you are the wrong color!” No color is significant in that regard.

So it comes to me as a reluctant admission that I do believe the character of Michael Burhnam does tend toward ridicule, not because of anything except the events that surround her that make her the crux of everything. I don’t like that, and I’ve said it.

What you say and imply is a different matter. It’s a protest aagainst the apparent exclusion of straight white males from leadership roles in this series. I think it merits thought, even as I disagree with the contention. For example, I think Pike is one of the best leaders and characters in Discovery and he was specifically written that way, presumptively.

Thank you for your thoughts and opinion.

Jeff F

@Hat Rick, you are correct in that my contention is that they seemed to be excluding positive straight male roles of any race, let alone white. The latest episode significantly changed that, as I agree the writers gave Pike an extremely heroic storyline.
With the apparent departure of Pike and Spock after this season, perhaps they could develop Rhys and Bryce’s characters more next season.
Again, I like all the characters, or if I have complaints about them, it isn’t because they’re not straight white guys. I would just appreciate a little more balance of the overall makeup of the characters, particularly in the area of gender.

Harcourt Fenton Mudd

Absolutely love Pike! We need an Enterprise series, with the good Captain and young Spock! Mount and Peck are an example of impeccable casting. Mount absolutely embraces the Pike role, and Peck somehow manages to exude the nobleness of the Spock character that Nimoy did so well. His Spock seems much closer to Nimoy’s than Quinto’s. In fact, The Kelvin timeline seems rather redundant in light of the excellent Trek being done now on Discovery.

bman

I would love a Pike series too. I have been watching Star Trek since 66, STD is the first scenario where I would never want to join Starfleet. Pike seems like Starfleet and so does Number1, we all love the enterprise. I don’t think the showrunners realize how much we love that damn ship.

Jon Taylor

I wonder why they don’t put Pike in a cyborg body like they did with the burned woman crew member on Discovery instead of a wheelchair after his accident. That way he’d have legs and arms. Makes no sense not to have used that technology.

It’s almost like this series isn’t able to properly sync up with canon…

Michael Hall

It’s almost like burns and radiation poisoning are two entirely different things.

Good try, but … no. Whatever trauma Airiam suffered was obviously about as severe as can be. So if that can be (semi-)salvaged with technology, then the insinuation is that anything short of fatality can be similarly “treated.” So it wouldn’t really make any sense for that option to not be available to Pike. Maybe he refused/refuses it; that could be true, I guess. But the tech of this series does not mesh with TOS; that’s just all there is to it.

Hat Rick

I disagree. We are at a loss regarding what happened with Airiam. It is possible that all that was left of her was her brain and a few other biological elements. She might have chosen to abandon the rest of her body to become cybernetic.

With Pike, the radiation poisoning might have “cooked” all of him without vaporizing him. He might have chosen to remain as much himself as possible given his circumstances. This might have meant that he desired to preserve his physical being at all costs — at all costs. Thus, the wheelchair and his appearance.

I feel that Airiam was constructed from her brain outward, whereas Pike desired to maintain whatever was left of his biological being.

Michael Hall

Nope, sorry. Trek has been rife with miracle medical technology right from the beginning, yet McCoy wryly observed on one occasion that 23rd century medicine had yet to best the common cold. We have no idea the extent or even the specific nature of Airiam’s injuries, thus have no basis to compare her treatment to that of Pike. And in any case, if you’re bound and determined to criticize a Trek series over its inconsistent use of technology (“Mom, why can’t the Enterprise still travel at super-warp velocity after its encounter with the Kelvans?”), I regret to inform you that you’re fifty years late to the party. I understand that DSC-bashing is mother’s milk to some on these forums, and it’s certainly a matter of legitimate debate how much of that criticism is warranted. But such would certainly resonate more effectively with those who don’t reflexively hate the show if it gave the appearance of being evenhanded and honest.

JohnC

Who is to say Airiam being ‘augmented’ into a near cybernetic being didn’t happen over a long stretch of time? She may have been very much like Pike in near term after her injuries. In “The Menagerie”, the conversation between Commodore Mendez and Kirk seems to indicate Pike’s accident was fairly recent and Kirk had not even heard about it yet. Perhaps over time, Pike would have had the opportunity to become more “augmented”. Maybe this was not something he wanted.

Hat Rick

Frankly, I think many of us are sad over what happened to Airiam, and the more I think about it, the more that I think that the erasure of her life memories was unjust. How’s that for a character who barely featured in the entire series?

If the writers have written Airiam into this series in an unexpected way, as noted by certain spoilerific (if true) speculation, then I congratulate them. It is a brilliant idea. And if they haven’t, well… there is still… time.

Dre

Ariam wasn’t burned.

Gaius Ross

I agree with you, but that is how the original story was. Maybe an in story reason is the injuries were so surver that Pike’s mind and body are only able to control basic movement and answer yes or no. The medical tech might not have enough undamaged Pike to work with. Just a thought.

Boze

It seemed like Airiam was entirely cybernetic, including the brain, so that wouldn’t be the problem here. It’s more likely that the technology was simply outlawed after the Control outrage.

Of course, the whole Control thing is quite problematic in the context of canon. While it partially explains Kirk’s extreme prejudice against AI in episodes like The Apple and The Return of the Archons, it at the same time invalidates other important stories. For example, could you imagine that Starfleet would officially sanction Daystrom’s experiments in “The Ultimate Computer” so soon after the Control incident? Not only they wouldn’t give him a fleet of their best ships for his tests, but they’d probably disappear him, together with all his research.

Gaius Ross

Some really good points I hadn’t thought of!

As regards cannon. I’m just along for the ride and view it as another dimension.

Douglass Abramson

Yes I can. It takes a certain kind of ego to make admiral. I can easily see the admiralty thinking that they’re smarter than the admirals who oversaw Control and were incapable of making the same mistakes.

Dan

For the same reason they don’t have any buttons to push but use fancy holograms in DISCO.

Marc

We may have seen how Discovery will end with the short trek, Where Discovery is abandon in the future… Pike takes the entire crew to U.S.S. Enterprise and I think they will use the time Crystal and send a the Discovery to future so
Ai can’t get to the sphere info… just a quest of mine…

Tiger2

Then Mount would be coming back next season if that were the case. He isn’t.

And in Calypso the ship didn’t jump anywhere. Zora said it was abandoned over a thousand years ago by the crew and just been waiting there ever since. It didn’t travel through time. That’s how Zora came into reality, it had a thousand years to develop into a stronger A.I.

Vulcan Soul

Tiger, that suggests they spore jump Discovery to some far away point in the galaxy (or outside) rather than a different time, after abandoning ship. Although I would not rule out the latter yet. They have played fast and loose with the red signal stuff from earlier this season already, so I wouldn’t put too much stock into the exact details of a short Trek.

Hauke Fischer

Considering we are going to Xahea (sp?) next week, I get the feeling that all the Short Treks will matter in some form.

Tiger2

Yes exactly. That’s why I’m not so convinced by the fact the ship will jump ahead in time, because of Calypso. So many people keep using that as some kind of ‘proof’ they are going in time, but seem to forgot the ship literally just stayed in one place and waited. If anything Calypso suggest the exact opposite and that the ship isn’t going anywhere, at least through time.

But yes, who knows? And if you want to get technical about it Zora never said which century she was in when she ran into Craft, only that she’s been waiting a thousand years. We only think its the 33rd century she’s in because everyone just assume she is counting back from the 23rd century and of course that’s how it was reported in the media. But we know how this game is played by now and if someone didn’t say an exact wording or line somewhere on screen, all bets are off. So if no one literally said the words ’33rd century’ on screen, then that means she could be in the 33rd or 37th, 42nd, who knows? They could’ve evacuated Discovery in the 29th century. So I agree we can’t rule it out completely either.

But it could just be jumping to another part of space. That probably makes a lot more sense, especially if the spore drive is just destroyed and they are stuck. Could be somewhere in the Gamma or Delta quadrant (although I’m guessing not ;)), and maybe in another galaxy completely to really change things up. That would be interesting because then they would be totally cut off from everything.

ML31

From what I can tell, there was nothing in Calypso to suggest that Discovery cannot jump 150 years into the future and it eventually just park in one place for a thousand years from then.

Disinvited

ML31,

Since all Trek series ships can do near relativistic speeds easily on impulse there’s only their various inertial, mass and time warp compensators between any Trek ship and jumping 150 years forward.

Professor Spock

Marc I think Discovery abandoned in the future can still happen like in Calypso from short trek. Pike knows his future. He can’t escape his fate. I feel bad for him now. They use the time crystals to prevent Control, the AI from getting the sphere data to evolve and destroy the galaxy.

Trekfan

I would resignup for CBS if they made a Pike show. Get rid of discovery and give us Pike! This was the best character in an otherwise pretty bad show. He killed his role though. He isn’t responsible for bad writing and the terrible characters around him.

Professor Spock

I will keep CBS All Access if they made a Pike show. Pike and the Picard show are the best things in Trek right now. Star Trek Discovery is not a bad show. Every Star Trek show since the original has its ups and downs. Trekfan

Trekfan

I respectfully disagree. It is really poorly written and characters like Tilly are borderline ridiculous. It reminds me of a CW show for teenagers rather than a show behind a paywall. I liked all Trek’s before this but Discovery just doesn’t work for me. Regardless, I loved ds9 and Enterprise so I understand that some fans just like different ideas about what makes Trek what it is. For me it is the sense of exploration (Enterprise) and the highlighting of our humanity (ds9 and the clash of varying aspects of it through different species). I don’t get what Discovery is about. It really misses all of this though there were glimpses of it with the progression of Saru. I admit I bailed shortly after that when Spock had mommy issues and learning disabilities. I never really got over the Klingons and the silly plot twists from season one. Enough negativity though; I would return for a Pike series as he seems to capture the trek vibe more than any other character in the current show. He really did a great job and stood out. Just keep Kurtzman away from the project. That guy doesn’t get trek.

Michael Hall

For all its flaws I’ll take Discovery over the hopelessly bland output of the latter Berman years any day.

Sam

This.

Tiger2

I’m about as even on that but then I had no real problem with Trek under Berman. Enterprise was really the only show I had big problems with early on but that got better as they all do in time. I still rewatch more way episodes of that show than I currently do of Discovery. But then there aren’t that many episodes of Discovery to rewatch currently to be fair.

Denny C

I didn’t either. Enterprise was less of a misfire than an error in execution until season 4.

blackmocco

What he said.

Who cares

Just had a thought, if he knows he is going back to Talos after the accident maybe he made Spock swear not to take him back. Maybe thats why Spock said “I know this is treachery”.

I don’t understand why Pike needed the time crystal. At the end of this episode he had no idea why he needed it, and doubted that they have the power to use it. Why seal your fate for such an uncertainty?

Hauke Fischer

He doesn’t know either. He trusts that the signals are leading Discovery along to a grand design. The Time Crystals seemed to be the only special thing about Boreth after they were led there, so that’s what he believed he was meant to accomplish there.

Remember faith versus science?

ML31

Yes. And it was made perfectly clear early on in Discovery season 2 that science was the clear winner.

Luckdragon

Think about it. He saved the galaxy the moment he took the time crystal. Sentient life must survive long enough for his fate to occur. It won’t matter if he uses the crystal or not.

alphantrion

Ken Mitchell is quickly becoming the go-to klingon guy :)) I wonder how many more different klingons or other aliens he could play. He should be the new Vaughn Armstrong.

Aaron

I have loved Pike as captain this season, but contrary to what some others have implied, I think the characterizations of all the characters have been significantly better as well. Spock has been played well, as has his relationship with Michael. I have also liked the limited portrayal of Saru since his literal evolution. He is going to be the captain next season and I actually think he will be a very good one. Given a bit of time I am betting a lot of doubtful folks right now will agree.

dayxday

Week after week, Michael Burnham helps the hapless captain! Fantastic!

voyager75000

Hm… something just came to my mind. Firstly, the premises (and please correct me if I’m wrong):

– Fans kinda seem eager for a new series with pike (and CBS certainly knows about that)
– there is or might be a series in the planning, about Starfleet Acadamy (?)
– Pike will have his accident on a class J training vessel.

So, here is what I think: could that unannounced Academy series be about Pike Chapter 2.5, and could his accident happen at some focal point within that series?

DJT

The ‘Starfleet Academy’ series is the Nick Cartoon they are making, nothing live action

ML31

Incorrect. There is nothing linking the Starfleet Academy show to the animated Nick show whatsoever. In fact, that show hasn’t even been spoken about for some time. It’s not a sure thing yet.

Anson Mount deserves his own Star Trek series. With Peck as his science officer, they may go to places no one has gone before.

PaUl

Just put Mount into the Kelvin universe as a mirror image pike or even as a new kirk. Pine does not want the job anymore I am sure Anson would do a great job in the captains chair!!

Hat Rick

It is a very dangerous thing for people to think they know the future. The Pike of this storyline — let’s call it that, rather than a “timeline” — supposedly knows his fate, and that fate is depicted in a 1960’s episode. But in fact, the in-universe Pike doesn’t have to suffer this fate any more than any character does. This version of Pike did the noble thing and sacrificed most of his entire living existence (his capabilities) in order to save his ship, and we see that he willingly did this even as he was perceiving it.

This is essentially a Christ allegory, and let’s not tiptoe around it. And yes, we all know that Jeffrey Hunter actually played Jesus Christ.

The problem for me, if it is a problem, is that Discovery has shown itself to be a biblical picture, without actually being biblical. It’s not necessarily a problem. But it does invite comparisons with the Bible. The enmeshment of religious themes with quasi-scientific issues (what is a timeline, exactly, and what are time crystals) brings forth uncomfortable questions about such things as canonicity and what we are suppose to make of this entire enterprise.

I’m staying tuned, but I won’t be held to account for the sake of kindness for my frank foreboding concerning what allegorical or other allusional aspects are augured. Not that I know the future, of course.

TG47

I’m skeptical that the Discovery writing room has the kind of agenda that concerns you Hat Rick.

On the other hand, I once spent an entire term in a history of drama course with a prof determined to show ‘vegetation god’ metaphors in all Christian drama from medieval cycle plays through to the 19th century. So who knows?

I’m actually coming around to the idea, that Kirsten Beyer has explored in her Voyager books, that time isn’t just a constantly bifurcating manifold.

The idea of some fixed points and major rivers makes sense, and aligns with the persistence of a mirror universe.

The physical crystals which form a matrix for the time crystals – which exist in all points of time and anchor a time stream – make sense in universe.

So, Pike’s choice can be meaningful and valid without getting into allegory of a specific religion.

Hat Rick

You could be right. I just don’t want to entertain (so to speak) the notion that all this falls into the same old religious template. It seems rather predictable to me and therefore not as interesting. There is already a lot of religious overtones in Discovery, and this doesn’t start and end with the “Red Angel.” Even the episode titles are affected. (See, e.g., https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/star-trek-how-discovery-brought-faith-franchise-1178661)

Now that I think of it, this series does tend to turn religion into a bit of a hobby horse, except that it might be said that it infuses it with a post-modern interpretation. The Red Angel is actually human, and female. The name of the lead character is “Michael,” which is also the name of an angel — an archangel, in fact — but this Michael is female, not male. The Emperor in the Mirror Universe is also female, and has crossed over into the Prime Universe (presumptively). I like this twist on religion; I don’t like the possibility that we are seeing the Christ allegory yet again. And I’m not sure why I don’t like that possibility, frankly.

I like Pike as a character and I greatly respect Anson Mount’s portrayal of him. Maybe it’s the thought that we’re losing Pike in this version of his future that bothers me and maybe that is coloring my opinion.

The Voyager series you mentioned sounds very interesting and I will have to take a look at those books.

Time is multifaceted — it is psychologically dependent on the perceiver in most meaningful ways. The idea that it is a physical thing is indicated by thermodynamics (“the arrow of time”), and yet this breaks down fundamentally (i.) in the quantum world and (ii.) with respect to real-world time crystals.

Many points to ponder here.

DeanH

I am not a religious man but this is an interesting and thought provoking post. Despite my lack of knowledge of The Bible, I do see some comparables. In addition to his sacrifice and his oath to Starfleet, there is no question that Pike is also a character who is familiar with religious faith as seen when they visit the Earth colony in New Eden. Good science fiction should challenge one’s perception of the world/universe around them and Kurtzman did say that the theme for S2 was going to be rooted in science vs faith – so we shall see what they come up with in the two part season finale.

Hat Rick

Thank you, DeanH. I’m thinking about the Bible right now, increasingly. One does that when one reaches a certain age and was brought up in a certain way. I am not a religious person, particularly, but I see wisdom in the counsel in some parts of the Bible. I am disgusted by people who claim to love God and to read the Bible, and yet utterly ignore Christ’s admonitions in the famous Sermon on the Mount. The best way to respond to hypocrisy is to understand what it is that hypocrites are hypocritical about. But that’s another story.

Star Trek is essentially secular humanism with a touch of the requirements of order (military order, for example) set in a political realm very similar to the United Nations in theory. Thus, Star Trek is not particularly suited to discussions about, nor oriented toward, religious discussion. Yet Trek has not completely avoided religion — as is evident in Deep Space Nine (speaking of the Bajoran religion in particular). Trek as a philosophy leaves open the conceptual space of religion, which is very attractive to me, so long as religion is not coercive.

The downfall of any religion begins with the idea of coercion. Religion must uplift, for any Creator worthy of belief should be an uplifting Divinity, or what else distinguishes said Creator from any old powerful being? The sine qua non of God, the Creator, is the everlasting love s/he has for their creation. The vengeful divinity we see particularly in the Old Testament doesn’t make particular sense.

I see no other science-fiction franchise that invites thoughts of this nature — even as I recoil from the idea of losing Pike.

Thank you for your post!

Michael Hall

@Hat Rick,

Not sure I agree with all of it, but that was an intriguing, thought-provoking post nevertheless. Thanks.

Hat Rick

You are most welcome, Michael Hall.

Eric

Learning more about Anson Mount and his experience of acting in Star Trek is great. But producers, please, please, please, find a better interviewer. These Ready Room episodes are dreadful to watch. Painful even.

I didn’t think After Trek was perfect, by any means, but it was so much better than this.

Commodore Redshirt

I miss After Trek. It was not always well made (or even as “funny” as it wanted to be) but it offered a good rundown on the events and was a cool way to learn about the creative people behind DISCO. And it got better as the season progressed. I just can’t bring myself to watch Ready Room.

Tiger2

Ready Room is OK, but I rarely finish an episode that goes longer than 15 minutes. Its usually just a lot of pap questions and answers and its rarely anything we already know. Its basically the actors just talking about their characters and process, which of course is fine, but many of us want to hear about the episode in general and the thinking that went into making it which After Trek did a lot of. Ready Room just feels more like PR for the show and little else.

Its obvious with After Trek for instance that they had a bit more freedom in what they can ask. Here, it feels like everything is strictly mandated from CBS itself and why there is nothing newsworthy about it.

Peter Tenenbaum

You know, if CBS really wants to produce a ton of new “Star Trek” series, they really ought to consider one on the late 2250’s Enterprise, with Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, and Rebecca Romijin. Just saying.

Alec Grimes

It would be great to have a Pike series. Aniston did an awesome job in the role and if the producers have any common sense they would make a Pike series

RikersMailbox

I want a captain pike/Chief O’Brien show called Trek on Nacelles.

kmart

If Scotty wrote a biography of Kirk, he would probably call it Hell on Nacelles.

Michael Hall

Arguably, in “The Paradise Syndrome” Spock was more “Hell on nacelles” than Kirk ever was.

Shame they cannot just keep Capt Pike. In Discovery its 2257 a decade before his accident in 2267. Since little is known about him between his time on the U.S.S. Enterprise to the J-Class training ship incident I wonder if it would possible to have Discovery as his next command after Enterprise?

Hat Rick

Pike as played by Anson Mount has the potential to lead Star Trek into another fifty years of fan support. I didn’t think that Pike could be played as well as Bruce Greenwood did, for modern audiences. But now Mount has taken the role to new frontiers.

His Pike walks and talks like a real leader — someone we would recognize as a leader of a powerful ship, and a representative of all humanity.

Wars are not won by the fearful or the imprudent. They are won by those desperate enough to move ahead, and damn the torpedoes. Or those who are desperate, without more. The cannon fodder. War is the consumer of the brave — war is hell.

This Pike damns the perils to himself … and he has no existential fear left. He knows his fate.

A leader inspires by example. This is Pike. He will commit himself no less than those under his command.

Good stuff.

Jay

This season was excellent you can tell that the writers listened to the complaints. They calmed down the conservative fans by bringing in a white male in the lead. Their reaction was very infantile if looked at objectively. The whole idea of star trek is that society has moved beyond these identity and race issues the lead could be woman any race or species a nonhuman captain would be the best choice for next season. They will never admit it but I think it was the gender and race of the lead characters that upset certain fans but season 1 was excellent imo even better because the unexpected turns.

“The whole idea of star trek is that society has moved beyond these identity and race issues the lead could be woman any race or species a nonhuman captain would be the best choice for next season” – Jay

And yet Bryan Fuller intentionally sought at a black, female lead.

“The idea from the get-go was to find a non-white actress for the role, which, after a lengthy process, led to Martin-Green.” – Bryan Fuller

Michael Burnham could have been any gender or ethnicity and would still be a boring character because she is written that way… and I am beginning to questions her acting chops after re-watching her TWD episodes.

I think many fans were disappointed in Prime Georgiou’s early demise. She, a non-white, female, seemed interesting. Captain Sisko, one of the most popular characters in Star Trek, is a black male. Saru has great potential as a non-human Captain. Mirror Georgiou is ridiculously horrible, much like Mirror Lorca eventually became.

I think your accusations of misogyny and racism is a gross mischaracterization of why so many fans are dissatisfied with Star Trek Discovery…. and just lazy.

Michael Hall

I suppose the era where lead characters were white by default rather than “intentionally sought” was more to your taste. Given that Nichols and Takei were “intentionally sought” to give at least the impression of a multiracial crew, we must conclude therefore that Gene Roddenberry was a racist.

Bryan Fuller cast a character based on raced and ethnicity before he or the writers began to develop the character. They didn’t start with a flawed Starfleet officer’s rise to the Captain’s chair… they started with “non-white and female”.

I never said anyone was racist, but Burhnam’s creation based on color and ethnicity is not aligned with Jay’s statement, “The whole idea of star trek is that society has moved beyond these identity and race issues the lead could be woman any race or species a nonhuman captain would be the best choice for next season”.

As for Nichol Nichols, I think it is safe to assume that Roddenberry’s (a known misogynist) affair with Nichols had more to do with her casting than her race.

Michael Hall

Well, I think it’s safe to assume you think it’s safe to assume a lot of things. Takei has spoken of his initial talks with Roddenberry about the character he was to play, and there’s just no question that the reason he was hired was to represent the whole of Asia on a United Earth ship of the future. (The character was named after the Philippines’ Sulu Sea, despite being ostensibly Japanese in origin.) For better or worse, Sulu was never defined by anything other than his ethnicity; even the character’s function on the ship changed drastically between the second pilot and the first filmed episode. As to Nichols, her predecessor in the role of Communications Officer, Lloyd Haines, was also an African American. Was Roddenberry having an affair with him as well?

Making such casting choices in the interest of portraying an inclusive future has been a feature of this franchise since the beginning. The producers did so because it was their call to make, and because it aligned with their politics. That doubtless includes casting Avery Brooks as Trek’s first Black lead, and Kate Mulgrew as its first female captain. And you aren’t permitted to imply without pushback that the Discovery producers have done anything different, let alone more sinister, just because that aligns with your politics.

Gene Roddenberry’s affair with Nichelle Nichols and Majel Roddenberry are known facts. That is not an assumption.

Also, Alexander Siddig was Rick Berman’s first choice as Captain Sisko. He was recast as Dr. Bashir because he was considered too young for the role… race had no bearing in the initial creation of the character.

There are certainly some roles that gender, race or religion play a key aspect of the character’s development. For example, casting a female Starfleet captain. You can’t very well cast a male in that role… well, not yet.

If I wanted to create a story about a former slave’s plight with freedom, I would cast an African-American lead. Again, the narrative drives the casting.

“Star Trek as a society has moved beyond identity and race issues”, but Fuller sought to cast a non-white, female even though he had not penned the first sentence of the story. Now there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, especially if the character and story are good… his show, his rules. But maybe had he began with a female LT. Commander’s rise to the Captain’s chair and developed the character that would best be portrayed by a specific race rather than automatically excluding a race for the sake of a diversity checklist, Discovery wouldn’t need to rely on nostalgic gimmicks to attract viewers… especially one that backfires.

Michael Hall

Your ‘assumtion’ was not that Roddenberry and Nichols had had an affair, which is indeed a matter of record. It was rather your contention that the affair, rather than her ethnicity, had led to her being cast even though the affair had been long-concluded at that point (reporting to Paramount for her Trek interview Nichols wasn’t even aware of Roddenberry’s connection to the project) and that he had cast a Black actor to play essentially the same role just the year before. But by all means, feel free to spin those facts as uncharitably for the participants as you’d like.

And yes, I’m aware that Fuller had a specific ethnicity in mind before casting the role of Burnham. At this point I’d have to be, since you’ve mentioned it repeatedly. What you haven’t done is explain how this is any different from what Roddenberry did, or what Rick Berman did, or what Michael Piller or Ira Behr did

I did explain with regards to casting Avery Brooks. DS9 and Captain Sisko had already been in part fleshed out as a character. Obviously, the Sisko wasn’t initially created with the intent of being African-American (as Alexander Siddiq is not an African-American), but a combination of the story and Avery Brooks superb acting led to his casting and one of the most profound episodes of any Star Trek series, Far Beyond the Stars.

I don’t recall Lt. Uhura or Captain Sulu serving on the bridge of the Enterprise in The Cage. So rather than Gene Roddenberry creating a non-white, female and a Japanese, male character, he wrote a story and allowed characters to evolve.

In all three examples, the story drove the creative process. In case you were unaware, Byran Fuller did not.

And Bryan Fuller did not have a specific ethnicity in mind, he excluded a specific ethnicity from consideration.

Michael Hall

The very fact that “The Cage” wound up having an all-white cast (if you exclude that transporter room technician with the archaic eyewear) was what led to the hiring of George Takei and Lloyd Haines in the second pilot, and Nichols for the series: a deliberate attempt to make the show more racially integrated. There were no elaborate character descriptions for the actors to bring to life, just names in a script that had to be embodied. If that wasn’t checking-off racial boxes, as you and other critics accuse Discovery of doing, I don’t know what is.

That said, I was wrong about Avery Brooks, who apparently did win the role competing against actors of different ethnicities. But the Captain of Voyager was always intended to be a woman, so that was just a different kind of box-checking.

Tiger2

Wow, great point about The Cage! Its crazy I never thought about that until you literally pointed it out. For all the talk about TOS diversity and inclusion milestones, The Cage was basically as white as you can get and we probably would’ve had an all white cast, at least in its first season, if they didn’t recast it for the second pilot.

As for Voyager, yes, the captain was always intended to be a woman but both Berman and Piller did say they had auditioned men for the role as well, just in case it didn’t work out or if the studio demanded it had to be a male captain.

I feel as though I made my point, and you feel as though you made yours. I will agree to disagree but I enjoyed the discussion.

TG47

Uhm, Michael Hall and others, Alexander Siddig is not African-American, but is in fact African-British, born in Sudan– his mother is the sister of British actor Malcom McDowell and his father was Sudanese.

My understanding was that DS9 was intended to have a captain of African descent…American was not specified.

I would like to draw attention to Avery Brooks comment in the What we left behind trailer about how important that it was for Sisko to be a plain human captain.

If you take time to read/watch Alexander Siddiq’s comments about his heritage, he completely claims he is wholly British. However, his career was boosted by 9/11 because of the typecasting of Islamic extremist and his Arab descent.

ML31

If the interviews are to be believed, there was no intent to cast a specific race as the lead on DS9. Not for any part. In fact, they said the only time racial casting came into play was the casting of Jake. AFTER they cast Brooks as Ben Sisko.

ML31

“Michael Burnham could have been any gender or ethnicity and would still be a boring character because she is written that way”

Racists can’t wrap their heads around the above quote. It may as well be written in Latin. To them, there is only one reason to not like the Burnham character because they are incapable of thinking beyond such absolutes.

TG47

I’m loathe to weigh in Jay, but given how discouraging the earlier subthread around this topic was, I do think a few points need making.

First, there’s a great deal that’s different in Discovery from other Trek offerings. And many fans dislike some or all of those things, and especially did so in season 1. Particularly the lack of ensemble approach that characterized the previous series.

It’s inaccurate and unfair to attribute all the fan dislike to the gender or colour of the lead.

And, in my view, many of the choices made with Burnham, perhaps to make her more interesting or exciting, actually undermine the contribution of this character to the world of Trek.

One of the criticisms of TNG, that was much discussed and I found valid at the time, was that a character who was female or black had to be ‘special’ or ‘alien’.

Many progressive fans argued that an ordinary woman or person of colour should be able to lead, or at least be a principal character.

So, it was crucial that Janeway be just a bright woman.

With Burnham they’ve reverted to the ‘we have to make them super special’ to be accepted. I’d argue that they’ve gone so far as to make her difficult to relate to.

Add to that, the writing of her temperament has been very inconsistent. And the insistence that, as Doug Jones puts it ‘she’s the one who always saves the day’, got to the point of being a barrier even for many like me who were inclined to like the character from the start.

Hat Rick

You are correct, and this is jarring as a matter of course. That is, I think the character is — for one thing, over-emoting, constantly in the way, and constantly making things worse and then making things better. This makes zero sense. I have come to resent that the character has been made to do this. No Starfleet officer who does the things she does would be held in high regard.

Michael Burnham is protected from much criticism because she is black and female. That is an issue not for anyone save the writers, who have taken some liberties with the character from A to Z. The character is hardly recognizable when measured from her origins to her status in the last episode. Maybe this is intentional, but contrariwise, maybe this is a bit extreme. She has made many mistakes, and yet holds great sway in the decisions that are made. This is literally incredible.

The above having been said, I am personally very lenient about this, and I don’t hold it against the writers … altho’ I do think that the character is a bit of a mess.

If we are honest with ourselves, we must not judge people or literary characters by their appearance — but then, neither should we fail to hold them to account.

Thus, in a strange way, the odd and rather bizarre character arc of Michael Burnham invites us to weigh the invocations of political correctness, with a caution that we must do so without prejudice.

It’s a delicate affair.

This series is well-done, but that is not to say it is immune from criticism.

Michael Hall

“Michael Burnham is protected from much criticism because she is black and female.”

Good Lord, but what nonsense. The character is soundly thrashed every whichway in the forums on this site, not to mention presumably many others. You do it yourself in this very post! What theoretical criticism, exactly (and please, be specific), are you asserting she’s being protected from?

Hat Rick

In theory she is supposed to be protected from criticism. In reality, she is not. At all.

I think my point is that she is made the way she is because people like me want to protect her because of her blackness and her femaleness. But in truth, were I to retract from my protective instincts, I don’t think she would fare as well. At all.

Think of Michael as Gomer Pyle. A white rube. Another stereotype. Would this form of Michael be as protected? No. Not at all.

Gomer Pyle is a terrible stereotype and I despise that stereotype of the Southern man. Just because I’m progressive doesn’t mean I have to believe and subscribe to idiotic tropes.

Andy Griffith, a hero, is also a stereotype, by the way, so let’s not go down that path.

My inclination is not to let writers get away with exploiting the inherent sensibilities of audiences as a way to make their way through plots that otherwise wouldn’t make sense. The last two episodes merely highlight the plot protectionism this has entailed. It pains me to say this but I think we must be frank.

I’m progressive, but I’m also a realist.

Michael Hall

Just to be clear, I would never sanction calling out someone as racist because they’re critical of the Michael Burnham character — either because of the way the character has been written, or due to SMG’s performance. (I happen to like the character as written, and think the actress portraying her is one of the most charismatic and talented ever to appear in the Trek franchise, but that’s neither here nor there.) I just haven’t seen any evidence to support the contention — and you’re far from the only one who’s made it — that this has in fact ever happened. I also think it’s a fair stretch to assert the producers made the character black and female so she’d be immune from such criticism. If that was what they intended, it sure hasn’t worked.

Hat Rick

@Michael Hall,

I have no illusions about the interactions and intersectionality of blackness, femaleness, Hollywood, and actual realtiy. I don’t have much to do with any of this at all. Yes, I was something of an academic. Yes, I am a Star Trek nerd. But in truth, I have to answer to myself. I have to understand what it is that a character embodies in fiction, for my own satisfaction.

Over the last two episodes, I have grown tired of Michael Burnham, and I say this out of a love of the franchise. Does this mean that I want the writers to change her character arc? Yes! Yes, it does have that meaning. Will I have an effect? Probably not.

So, where are we at this point?

All the best people on Earth could give pointers about this series, and I am probably not among them. But I do say, in my own humble way, that this arc of this character is a over-reach, and it approaches a point of ridicule.

If we are to be honest with ourselves, we must understand, as I think, what appeals to audiences and what begins to make them recoil, and the worst of this is that is become a cause of laughter.

Star Trek deserves the best and I am as always hopeful toward that goal.

This has nothing to do with the appearance of the character except as mentioned, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the performance of the actress who portrays Michael Burhnam, who is one of the best actresses to grace Star Trek since, forever. I am very concerned regarding the character arc of Michael Burhnam, and that concern moves me to write a little bit about what I think could be greatly improved, which relates to her portrayal in writing and her role in the series as a character; it is inconsistent and has become difficult to believe for me.

The series in other respects is proceeding as I expected.

Palizia

We should also leave room for the simplest explanation, that Martin-Green is not a very good actress and the problems with the Michael Burnham character lie there rather than with color, gender or the way she’s written.

Hat Rick

I do not agree with that. She is a good actress and yet I don’t understand the character. I think she had done very well with what she had been given, respectfully.

If there is any fault, I feel at this time that that it is that the character of Michael Burnham has been made to the fulcrum of an immense future. Her family, and Spock, and their particular relationships are now critical to the universe.

I have said before that the gambit of trying to capture the Red Angel was a terrible and unjustifiable position absent some nonsensical hand-waving. I stand by that and I do not think it does justice to the entire franchise that we proceed in such way. The decision to try to capture the Red Angel cannot be justified in real terms. This lack of realism has taken me out of the entire series and this is attributed in my eyes to the story arc.

I have nothing more to say on this for now.

Palizia

In order for the series to revolve around her, it’s necessary for her to be central to the storylines – and if the storylines are season-long arcs, she necessarily ends up being central to everything. Whether that was a good idea or not is for another discussion. But I don’t think Burnham as a character was poorly conceived or written. I do think that Martin-Green has a limited range. She has basically two facial expressions (shock and sadness), and she uses basically two voices (righteous anger and whispered vulnerability). That, to me, is what interferes with the feeling of realism or plausibility on Discovery. Not Burnham’s presence but the way she’s played by Martin-Green.

Whether or not the Red Angel should have been captured, the premise of Discovery dictates that it had to be “all about Burnham.”

Hat Rick

^^ “made to be”

ML31

Palizia, I have not seen SMG in anything besides Trek. And based only on this show, the two most likely conclusions are that either A: She is not a very good actress. Or B: She was badly miscast. For example, I think Michelle Yeoh is a good actress… When she gets the right roles. Unfortunately the role of Georgeau (both prime and evil) just don’t seem to work for her.

ML31

“Just to be clear, I would never sanction calling out someone as racist because they’re critical of the Michael Burnham character”

Fortunately, I think that is the attitude of most. Sadly, there are a few who still do not see things that way.

Michael Hall

No one has said that any criticism of the Burnham character, or of Discovery in general, is ipso facto racist. That’s just a strawman, sorry.

DeanH

Yes, there are a group of fans who are racists or sexists (some probably don’t even know it), but I think it is too easy to dismiss all critics of Michael by labeling them negatively and dismissing their opinions. IMO there are also legit reasons why Michael is the lead character that is the most polarizing for many Trek fans. Her mutiny in the pilot and the fact she is a criminal by episode three, instantly vilifies her in the eyes of most, so she is fighting an upward battle right from the start of season 1. There is hope however. Commander Sisko who despised Picard in the pilot, was not instantly likable and DS9 took several years before being accepted but it surprisingly went on to become one of the most revered series in the franchise. Voyager’s Lt Paris, although not a lead – was not only a criminal but was portrayed by an actor who was seen on TNG as a cadet washout – also went on to be redeemed in the eyes of the fans. So let’s see what the writers can do for Michael Burnham. The character still has a lot of rough edges but that is really the point, isn’t it?

Michael Hall

“Yes, there are a group of fans who are racists or sexists (some probably don’t even know it), but I think it is too easy to dismiss all critics of Michael by labeling them negatively and dismissing their opinions.”

That would indeed by “too easy,” dismissing all criticism of the Burnham character (or those who write the character) by accusing the critics of being racists. Who’s doing that?

Hat Rick

Sisko is one of the very best characters in Star Trek. Never once did I think of him as a black person, but only as a person who represented humanity. Avery Brooks played the character so well, and the character was so well written, that in “Far Beyond the Stars” I was utterly disturbed and moved to tears that anyone was seen as black or white. Sisko to me is beyond any color. This is transformational in its initiative.

This is what Trek means.

Discovery is a great series. But if it utilizes in whatever way the form or appearance of personages thinking of this as an excuse for strange things, then I see this as an underperformance.

Better things ahead, I should hope.

VZX

But Captain Lorca was a white male.

Anyway, how would those racist and sexist fans react to when Michael Burnham inevitably becomes the captain?

ML31

Jay, I have found that racists go out of their way to bring race into everything. Like your post did. I really hope that is just a coincidence.

MikeB

Anson Mounts Pike is the best character portrayal to come to Trek in a long time. And Peck’s Spock is rockin’too. This is the series that will bring people to CBS All Access!!! Against all odds they nailed these characters. I would much rather see this than some of the other proposals.

boborci

Strange headline!.Pine wasnt trying to dk Shatner. He was doing his version and the scripts version of Kirk.

Hat Rick

That’s good and all, but Shatner is the gold standard. You cannot escape fate and Pine’s fate was to be compared with the original.

It’s a package deal.

Denny C

Yeah, I never felt Pine was trying to do Shatner but throughout the film in 2009 I could see Shatner delivering every piece of dialogue in that film as Kirk. The only time I got a Shatner vibe (and it was really more of a full-on 60s Kirk vibe) was when he steps onto the bridge for the first time as Captain and excitedly greets McCoy and says, “Bones!”

Hat Rick

Agreed. Pine was not Shatner, and I didn’t get the sense that he was Kirk, as the character introduced in the 1960’s. Sorry to say it, but that is the fact as I perceive it. That is why I see the entire post-2009 series of movies as an alternative universe, perforce.

There is really is no longer any choice for me. The movies made it impossible for me to believe otherwise.

I do respect those movies for what they are.

This introduces to me the question of whether this is canon or not, but in some sense, I do not care. It still is Star Trek, and I stand by that.

In a related sense, Discovery (“DISCO”) is also Star Trek, regardless of my newfound reservations. And, as they say, I’m loving it.

ML31

I agree. At the very end when he said “Bones!” was when I got a total Shatner vibe from Pine.

Michael Hall

*Sigh* So sorry, but it was a dreadful version of Kirk, written by people who saw nothing beyond the “talented-but-troubled bad-boy horndog in space” cliche they wanted to see, or were only capable of seeing. I don’t think Chris Pine was a good fit for the role, but he wasn’t the main problem.

Boborci

And you are the minority never was.

kmart

Got an issue with somebody issuing an informed opinion there, Bob?

Michael Hall

Fair enough, Mr. Orci. Had I written Trek 2009, no doubt I’d say the same thing.

Jemini

Indeed, you’d say the same thing if the movie you wrote was one of the most successfull and critically praised of the franchise ^

We ‘probably’ wouldn’t even have TV trek now if it wasn’t for those movies.
I still find it a bit unfortunate they couldn’t place discovery in the kelvin timeline too (as it would certainly fix some issues that are unavoidable in a prequel of prime)(assuming that it is still prime with all that time travel involved..)

Michael Hall

That “success” — of the critical variety, in particular — comes with some significant asterisks, truth be told. But I’ve had my say, at considerable length, regarding Trek 2009 on these forums, and don’t see much need to belabor it at this point. If you enjoyed the film, more power to you.

Boborci

I saw an asterisk by your name. Oh wait, I’m wrong. You actually have to ha e name to have an asterisk next to it.

Michael Hall

What, you think my name doesn’t exist because it’s never been projected in 70mm or Cinemascope? After several decades in “the business” writing comic book tentpoles and remakes/reboots of moldy old TV shows, are your values really that far gone?

Tiger2

Actually I doubt that Jemini. There was always going to be another TV show regardless, it was just Moonves who wasn’t very interested in making another one because CBS itself is not exactly known for doing sci fi shows and he said many times both Netflix and Amazon wanted the rights to make a show. He just didn’t want to give it to to them. And then of course All Access came along and here we are.

And while I wouldn’t personally care about Discovery being in the Kelvin timeline or any timeline for that matter, most fans have been clamoring to see the prime timeline since Enterprise went off the air. Many would’ve been upset if it was more Kelvin stuff and not the universe they been following for 40+ years. That said, I can’t disagree with you too much either and that the show probably would’ve felt more in place there since it would fit the updated Kelvin aesthetics better and not try to pretend it fits in with TOS, because it simply doesn’t.

kmart

Tiger2, If they’d up-front declared they were doing something other than Prime, it would have also saved a lot of anger, because folks concerned with such stuff would have known to check their clipboards at the door or not even bother to go see it at all. The fact that they took the worst visual aspects from 09 — glare inside and murk outside — while still claiming to be prime is bad enough. Seeing through a glass darkly, right? You can lose the gl in glass to make that even more true.

ML31

I’m forced to agree with kmart. If we were told this was a reboot or reimagining or was set in the KU or anything other than prime, it would have saved a lot of fans a lot of aggravation. It still wouldn’t have been good. But there would have been less to complain about.

Boborci

In your wildest dreams.

Michael Hall

Well, you’re apparently as thin-skinned on this particular subject as you were during our exchanges on this very site ten years ago. Too bad. In my “wildest dreams?” To be a successful writer working in the film industry — the money, the parties, the no doubt fascinating people you get to meet and work with? Sure! But, authorship of Trek 2009? Sorry, that’s just not something I could take much pride in, much less dream about.

Boborci

Ha! That is why I get to make the movies and you don’t.

BLACKMOCCO

Michael Hall

Yeah, I recall that being your go-to response in 2009 to anyone who didn’t care for your work. It was petty and trite back then and, given what eventually happened with your relationship to the Trek franchise, it’s not an especially good look for you now.

Boborci

Thin skinned? Look up the term “projection” and you may understand yourself better.

Thin skinned people don’t bother talking to people such as yourself.

Michael Hall

Oh, really? I merely criticized words on paper — in this case, something of such non-cosmic import as the characterization of a fictional starship captain — without in any way making it personal. But my guess is that “thin-skinned” would definitely apply to a writer so insecure and defensive about his work that he insisted Roger Ebert gave his movie a negative review because he was high on his cancer meds. For all my issues with Trek 2009 and INTO DARKNESS, I’ve never questioned your abilities as a writer. But that was about your character, and it wasn’t very pretty. Apparently not much has changed in the last decade. Again, that’s too bad.

Boborci

And finally, a word of advice. You might get farther in life if you learn this: Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight,

Michael Hall

Thanks for those words of wisdom, Internet Tough Guy.

kmart

Always a class act, Orci. The way you take dissenting opinions is positively presidential … if you only apply that word to presidents from 2016 onward.

boborci

Presidential? Thanks!

kmart

Have you fired your agent as per WGA directions yet Bob? Imagine the ‘food from table’ issue is again a biggie at home, especially since this thing with the Guild and the agencies will likely impact a lot of incomes.

16309A

Boborci I don’t know if it’s your intention or not, but to an outsider just reading all the comments you come off as a bit of a jerk. Just saying…

boborci

Appreciate the response. Yes, I can come off as a jerk, but only when provoked by another jerk. If you were to go through the decade of comments on this site, you would get the whole picture. I only lash out when someone is trying to u fairly take food off my table. Cheers.

kmart

Oh of course, can’t recall all the millions of times a writer has lost a gig because he didn’t respond to a web riposte. If it truly isn’t thin skin driving this on your end, then it must be malignant narcissism, which we already get way too much of anytime we turn on the news.

16309A

I guess I’ve only seen the jerk comments over the years then. I will say I loved Fringe. I want to love Hawaii Five-0, but it’s the same story every week.

Michael Hall

Yes, I remember that “taking food from my family’s table” was your rationale for attacking Roger Ebert — by all accounts a person of surpassing kindness and decency, who was terminally ill with cancer at the time – just because he gave Trek 2009 a lackluster review. Of course, that was completely absurd: your employers care only that you make them money, and so long as you continued to do that they couldn’t care less about the opinions of one critic, however famous.

Likewise, my stated opinion that you and your fellow writers got the character of Kirk drastically wrong in the Kelvin ‘verse films doesn’t necessarily make me a jerk (though you may rightly come by that opinion for other reasons). If there was the slightest chance of my depriving you of your livelihood by expressing such concerns on an online forum, I wouldn’t do it, even now. But this isn’t about your ability to feed your family, of course; it’s your inability to deal in a professional manner with those who are critical of your work. You had the choice of engaging with my criticism and explaining to me why I was wrong, or to just ignore me. But just like Donald Trump, you couldn’t blow off what you considered to be a personal insult, even though it was anything but. That’s a problem with your ego, not your finances. Own that, finally, and you may come out of this with something more valuable than your next script assignment.

boborci

You know what? You’ve made me rethink my whole life. Thank you! I would be nothing without you!

kmart

We like to leave people a little richer for having visited here!

Michael Hall

*L* Once again, it’s all about you, isn’t it?

As to rethinking your life and priorities — well, that’s never a bad idea, for anyone. Even if a jerk was your inspiration for doing it.

boborci

I didn’t make about me, you did, I just commented about the headline and you said, “the writers” xyz. Just scroll up and refresh your memory.

I get it. You’re frustrated. Life sucks. Anyone reading this thread can see that you went after me, as you have always done, and I guess I don’t have the class to let it go. Which is what you love. I am giving you what you love. I’m sure you tell your friends how we fight online. Probably the most exciting thing in your life.

I will pay for your therapy if you need it.

kmart

‘anyone reading this thread’ can also evaluate for themselves which party seems in need of therapy. Hint: it ain’t Hall.

VZX

I think they were going for a Good Will Hunting vibe to their Kirk.

Michael Hall

Nah. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, from TOP GUN. With a heaping-helping of Murtaugh/Riggs LETHAL WEAPON love-hate, for the Kirk/Spock bromance.

Ugh, say I.

kmart

Think they needed to go more MIDNIGHT RUN myself. But I say taht about EVERYthing, because I like an edge to my humor.

Jemini

I thought none of the actors were asked to imitate the tos characters and actors since they are into another timeline anyway, so it’s reasonable to assume the point is making them, even more, their own take. I loved them for giving me another Spock, Uhura, Kirk etc to love. The more the merrier ;)

Tbh, I don’t think modern trek can ever be like it was in the 60s anyway. The characters have to be more contemporary.
Thankfully, I don’t see Bruce and Anson versions of Pike making “can’t get used to having a woman on the bridge” comments ^

DeanH

Haha yes but one has to remember, it was “a man’s world” back in the early 1960s and those writers had to placate their audience with platitudes they could understand and appreciate.

Michael Hall

That Roddenberry included a female first officer at all (and the series outline even stipulates that she’s probably Pike’s superior when it comes to detailed knowledge of the ship and crew) was very forward-looking for the time, even as it (thankfully) comes across as unacceptably sexist by today’s standards.

Palizia

As Discovery undoubtedly will to future audiences. Such is the nature of progress.

Michael Hall

Let’s hope that’s the case.

Gary Seven

When they do a close up on Pike’s face and we here the breathing and the machine beeps and see the futuristic wheel chair moving from the background is one of the creepiest scenes in trek Daleks meets the birth of darth Vader. Absolutely great

Michael

The time crystals are stupid. Burnham character is too emotional, Tilly is too obnoxious. The whole spore drive completely blows up Cannon.

I think we are all seeing what a Captain Pike series could have been like. To become Fleet Captain, he should have been in the war. They are basically implying that because he has a spiritual faith he is unqualified… Is he supposed to be a pacifist? How does he become fleet captain, if they don’t trust him in a fight?

Lets start the petition right now. Sign Anson Mount up. We need a Pike series!! We are getting Picard, more subdued, analytical. Pike can be Kirk with faith. No more sleeping with the alien girl of the week. His faith allows him to go on. He knows his fate, it has been revealed to him. Serving Star Fleet, for the greater good is his mission now.

It could even be set after Kirk takes command of 1701, that way, no enterprise, no Spock. Probably not on another ship, perhaps at Star Fleet Command. They could serialize mini missions for him away from Earth. Different ships, different crew every so often. That could reduce costs of regular actors.

Tiger2

“They are basically implying that because he has a spiritual faith he is unqualified.”

Where did anyone REMOTELY imply that? He mentioned his faith in two episodes, no one challenged or questioned him about it in either and it was dropped ever since. This is faaaar reading into something that was never there.

Michael Hall

They stated specifically that Pike and the Enterprise were held back because they were the best, not because of his spiritual beliefs or a lack of confidence in his fighting prowess. Where people get this stuff from, I don’t know.

ncsmeda

I think Naomi Kyle is wonderful on “The Ready Room”, and she asks good and thoughtful questions. But….when she mispronounced “Boreth”, I cringed and began questioning whether she even watched the episode (or other episodes of Trek where “Boreth” is spoken of). It was almost like she was saying “b’reth”. Sigh. I still like her over Matt Mira from “After Trek”.

Tiger2

I think the host is fine, but let’s be honest, she’s probably as much of a Star Trek fan as she’s given the episodes to watch for her interview and very little beyond that. And of course there is nothing wrong with that, but I do miss someone like Matt Mira who was clearly a huge fan and could do a deep dive with everything just like how TM does a great job connecting so many dots to the episodes they review because they are fans first and foremost. Kyle comes off sweet and asks decent questions (although its rarely anything beyond the obvious) but I would like to see someone who can have a bigger discussion about the franchise as a whole since Discovery is touching on a lot of big connections throughout the franchise this season.

Michael

UHURA FOR SEASON 3!

16309A

Great episode! Anson Mount nails Captain Pike. That’s the series I want to see! Minus the lens flairs.