“People of Earth”
Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 3 – Debuted Thursday, October 29, 2020
Written by Bo Yeon Kim & Erika Lippoldt
Directed by Jonathan Frakes
With the shock of entry into the future behind them, Discovery gets on with the business of the season in an episode that feels like a return to classic Star Trek stories, with a thought-provoking twist.
WARNING: Spoilers below!
“Let us begin, together”
After briefly catching us up on Michael’s year growing her hair out as she searched for answers, we pick up the story right after the previous episode when she is finally reunited with the crew of the USS Discovery. There was a lot of hugging involved. Through languid voiceover and an old-fashioned briefing, Michael expositions more details on The Burn and reveals the first clue in what will be the big adventure of the season: Find and fix the United Federation of Planets.
Step one will be following up on a decade-old signal from a Starfleet admiral, which came from Earth. The Disco is headed home, but before that can happen there’s a long-anticipated bit of business to attend to, awkwardly highlighted by a confused Stamets trying to figure out who gives the order, Commander Saru or Commander Burnham. As the show’s lead, Michael makes the decision easy. In a poignant moment, she states the obvious: It’s Saru, it’s always been Saru. After they both give brief, genuinely inspirational speeches, Star Trek’s first show with an alien captain is now ready to get going.
Another bit of business to deal with is how to handle the ship’s impressive supply of dilithium, which is painting a big target on this outdated starship in an era when these now exceedingly rare crystals “are everything.” The clever solution is to hide the stash on Book’s ship under guard in the shuttlebay, which is convenient because Book and Michael don’t seem ready to say goodbye after what appears to be a year of excellent adventures as couriers together with his “fat cat.”
“You are not welcome here”
The Discovery may be old but a spinning spore-jump to Earth has Book impressed, reminding us this ship has a leg up on the 32nd century, thanks to Starfleet super-duper-classifying the technology back in the 23rd century. Wary of what they may find, they slink into the Sol system only to find the beautiful blue marble right where it should be, looking fine with a fancy new planetary shield. Also new, a xenophobic “United Earth Defense Force” that is very much not rolling out the welcome mat for this long-lost Federation vessel.
Asked to leave, the newly minted Captain Saru deftly talks these paranoid humans into letting his generational Starfleet ship (cover story) remain if it passes a rudely invasive inspection. Turns out, Earth went solo from the Federation after The Burn and Starfleet left town to parts unknown a century ago. As for Admiral Senna Tal, he died 12 years ago. This whole road trip is turning out to be a big bust.
The Discovery crew keeps their spore drive and hidden cache of crystals on the down-low as the EDF team is crazy-paranoid about dilithium raiders. And right on schedule, the “relentless” raider named Wen (with his big giant glowing red-eyed robot head) shows up and demands all their precious space rocks, not buying the cover story. That’s enough for EDF Captain Ndoye to kick the Disco out of the Earth system entirely, but she and her inspectors are trapped on the ship by something (sabotage?) blocking their cool, but apparently limited, personal transporters.
“We get it, you’re smart”
One of the EDF inspectors on the ship garners the notice of Stamets and Tilly for being even ruder than the rest. In an impressive introduction, we meet Blu del Barrio as Adira, a precocious teen genius who drops some shade on the Disco, which Tilly did not take well. But Stamets and Tilly notice there is something off about this “tween menace” who is asking some too-pointed questions about their “museum” of a ship.
After a confrontation, Adira reveals she knows his lab is not just a lab, so the mycologist spills all the time-traveling spore-driving beans, knowing this “inspector” won’t say a word due to being the one responsible for the sabotage—so not really part of Team Earth. While definitely a brat, Adira may also be the key to the step on season three’s fetch quest, revealing knowledge of Admiral Tal. In just a handful of moments, young Blu del Barrio shows some quick fun chemistry with Anthony Rapp and Mary Wiseman, making Adira’s desire to team up with this Starfleet crew welcome.
“I am different”
Another thread running through this episode shines a light on changes in the lead character of Michael Burnham, who has spent a year gallivanting around the lawless 32nd century as a courier. In her opening log she makes it clear she has been letting go of her past, and even though she hasn’t stopped searching for her lost shipmates, this seems to include her connection to the Discovery itself.
Sonequa Martin-Green seamlessly adds more layers to her Michael, who is now lighter, more fun, even flirty. And everyone notices, from Tilly, to Saru, to Book, to surrogate Mirror-mom Georgiou, who likes the Burnham who has tasted freedom. Michael is now torn between her carefree life of wisecracking space adventures with Book and their will-they-won’t-they-of-course-they-will vibe, and her calling to Starfleet duty and mission to restore the Federation. Some may call this the latest course-correction for the character to increase her appeal, others the natural growth of the show’s pivotal character. Perhaps both are true, and luckily, Martin-Green has enough range to sell the evolution.
We also see some elements of change within the crew. In a nice moment, Michael and Tilly just get to be “I love your hair” girlfriends again, pivoting from genuine emotion as Tilly mourns for the fallen at a memorial wall of Starfleet badges. The episode also picks up on the there’s something wrong with Detmer thread, as the ship’s pilot vacillates between indecisiveness and insubordination… she has definitely lost her mojo, or is there something more to it? Jonathan Frakes shows why he is considered an actors’ director as he allows these important character beats the time they need to breathe.
“We have work to do”
Showing her reckless independent streak, Michael decides to solve the raider problem herself by jumping ship with Book and all that juicy dilithium. The Earthicans aren’t about to allow the raiders to get their hands on all that bounty so things escalate pretty quickly. Captain Saru isn’t sure what the hell she is up to, but decides to back her play using the Discovery itself as a shield, which may be a bit foolhardy as the ship and its defenses are centuries out of date, which becomes clear after a single shot takes out their shields.
Wen falls for the bluff and gets captured by Book and Michael, who dump him and his giant glowing head onto the bridge of the Disco. He and Captain Ndoye quickly descend into teen-level you-started-it-type arguing until momma Georgiou intervenes by kicking off the giant head, revealing a scraggly human ably played by Christopher Heyerdahl underneath. Through a series of handwaving conveniences, it turns out Wen and his gang of raiders are just what’s left of a research station on Saturn’s moon Titan that ran into bad times after splitting off from Earth. And through the magic of Starfleet ideals (punctuated by some soaring Trek theme music), Saru and Michael get these two long-lost brethren to talk and bury the space hatchets. Isn’t that nice?
Things wrap up in a tidy bow with the placated but still paranoid Earthlings making an exception and letting the Discovery crew have a nice visit with a (very) old remembered tree on the former grounds of Starfleet Academy. And they are open to a return visit, so maybe there’s hope for these people after all. For the time being, Michael says goodbye to Book and hello again to Discovery, accepting the role of first officer as she and Saru begin to rebuild their trust.
And the big arc for the season moves forward as Adira has been allowed to remain on the ship, revealed to be a problematic human host of a Trill, and more importantly Admiral Tal himself. Figuring out how to unlock all those Trill memories are tantalizingly left to the next episode.
Good ol’ Star Trekking
After two exciting (okay, maybe one exciting and one moseying) episodes introducing us into the 32nd century, this third outing got down to the more complicated business of season three: finding out where Federation got stuck in a ditch and giving it a jump start. With a more languid pace and some longer-winded speechifying and expositioning, “People of Earth” felt a bit like a throwback to traditional Star Trek of years past, and maybe that’s okay. To get the plot moving forward along with some needed character time, there was a lot of talking. And Jonathan Frakes is the perfect choice for an episode like this.
A clever twist on traditional Star Trek storytelling was how the episode felt like a good old planet-of-the-week outing, with a crew showing up to a strange new world and through the force of their ideals, making it a better place. Having the strange new world be a Federation-free Earth, makes it all the more intriguing, and drives home the themes of the season. There is also some comfort in the allegories on display: finding an idyllic Earth turning its back on a troubled galaxy with the message “we can take care of ourselves.” Were some of the beats of this a bit ham-fisted? Were things like the lack of communications and the helmet a bit too convenient to maintain the surprise? Absolutely. But is this all part of Star Trek tradition? You bet your five-year-mission they are.
Discovery writers Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt have always shone when it comes to character development and this episode found time to deliver on that front, especially putting the new and improved Michael Burnham on display. Saru’s first mission as captain showed he was worthy of the full rank. And the introduction of Adira was both fun and intriguing.
It’s interesting to watch how this writing duo treats Georgiou, giving us a glimpse of how the character at the heart of the Section 31 series will run if it ever gets off the ground. Michelle Yeoh does a fine job as this wisecracking agent able to quickly suss out the situation in this new new era and willing to take action when needed. But the former Emperor still feels like a bit of a square peg in a ship full of fish out of water. If they need someone to throw a punch they have Nhan, for sarcasm you really can’t beat Reno, and if you are in the market for a mother figure for Michael, how about finding her actual real mom, who we are told is nowhere to be found.
I didn’t know there was going to be math
We are just three episodes in so there is still plenty of time to suss out the “What is the Burn?” mystery, but episode three dropped quite a lot more into the pile, some of which created more questions. We learn that The Burn was a two-step process, with dilithium mines drying up 700 years after they left the 23rd century, and then the remaining dilithium exploding later, taking most of Starfleet with it. After failing to come up with a new way to warp, the Federation soon fell. What remained of the Federation left Earth about a century before the Disco arrived.
This timeline puts The Burn in the 30th century, which may not jibe with what we thought we knew about future history thanks to Daniels and Enterprise’s Temporal Cold War. It also many not jibe with what we were told about the Federation leaving Earth in the 31st century. But maybe there is time to sort out all this math later.
We are told that The Burn’s devastation “flashed in an instant, across all known space,” which Stamets says should be impossible. For now, The Burn is still intriguing, but it’s also getting a bit confusing, which was one of the problems we saw with the whole Red Angel thing.
A welcome refuge
“People of Earth” was a well-balanced meal of traditional Star Trek. It may not all have been good for us, but it was still welcome comfort food. The episode benefited from strong performances from Mary Wiseman, Sonequa Martin-Green, and new entrant Blu del Barrio. Jeff Russo’s score was also on point to bring a smile to the lighter moments, an edge to the action, and the feels to the family and Starfleeting.
We now can see the path forward. The search for Starfleet is our new search for Spock. The previews for the next episode show us the logical, and yet intriguing next step. So far season three remains a delight and surprising change of pace for Discovery. In these heavy times, the lighter tone, warm feelings, and optimism are a balm for 2020.
- Burham’s log was on Stardate 865211.3.
- The USS Discovery has DOT-7 robots, used to fix damage caused in the crash landing.
- For the first time, we see the dilithium storage on the USS Discovery.
- Book’s ship can be reconfigured, it was able to compress to fit into the shuttle bay.
- When working as courier Michael piloted smaller craft, possibly a shuttle or pod from Book’s ship.
- Even though Book’s name is Cleveland, he is not from Earth and has never been there.
- Book again says his cat Grudge “is a queen.”
- Tilly mentions the Gateway Arch.
- The EDF ships used quantum torpedos.
- Michael mentions she and Book had an adventure at Donatu VII, likely part of the same system as Donatu V.
- Although announced as a non-binary character, Adira was referred to in the episode using the female pronoun “she,” instead of “they” as used in the press release. Perhaps this will be addressed in a future episode.
- Saru still has Captain Georgiou’s telescope from the USS Shenzhou, given to him by Michael back in season one.
- Quote of the week: “Cake is eternal.”
- Bonus quote: “A viewscreen. How quaint.”
More to come
Every Friday the new TrekMovie.com All Access Star Trek Podcast covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe and discusses the latest episode. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Stitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network.
New episodes of Star Trek: Discovery premiere on Thursdays on CBS All Access in the U.S. and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada, where it’s also available to stream on Crave. Episodes are available on Fridays internationally on Netflix.
Keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek Universe on TV at TrekMovie.com.
People of Earth was the best Star Trek episode in the Discovery series. Jonathan Frakes nailed it. Burnham was great. Saru was great. Book was great. Georgiou was good (not a huge fan of character this season, but she was better in this episode). I loved Stamets in this episode. This is the best Star Trek episode in the Discovery series. Keep doing more stories like this. This is Star Trek.
Not enough action.
I have the impression the budget is lower now, especially after all they blew on Iceland! So they replaced much SFX/plot scenes with emo drama which actually make few people happy!
I saw this comment after I wrote mine — I think you you nailed it!
You are certainly easy to please.
This episode was such a mess. In that battle scene, Book pretended to steal from Discovery, and Discovery did not hail Booker’s ship because they didn’t want the raiders to act like they were on the same side. Yet, Discovery takes a shot for Book.
How could Earth’s ships not detect the raider’s ships (launched within the solar system) and take care of them before reaching Earth’s orbit?
Why did Titan not send a simple radio signal to Earth? On average, with 20th century radio tech, it takes 83 minutes for a signal from Saturn to reach Earth. So why did the raiders say that lack of long range transmission was the reason they couldn’t communicate with Earth, when the raiders had the ability to hold video communication with Discovery and Booker’s ship?
Quantum torpedoes in the 32nd century that didn’t finish off Discovery with 2 shots? Really?
Dilithium supplies ran dry, and a century later, ships running with dilithium explode…. C’mon!
Star Trek fans are so melodramatic sometimes.
Its even dumber then that, quantum torpedos are basicly unstable warpcores with impulse engines KINDA need dylithium for those
Burnham’s character has grown steadily less interesting. In Season One, she was a complex and unpredictable character with intriguing, multi-layered relationships with Saru, Georgiou and others. Now that’s all been reduced to simple-minded ‘hugs and smiles’. Where is the intensity? Where is her Vulcan upbringing? She’s being made warm and cuddly by the writers to appease fans who couldn’t abide the hard-edged aspects of her character. That’s a shame.
Old tree at the ex-Academy: elm tree, like Picard recalled as his favorite place to study (to Tarses in ‘the drumhead’). Alas, no circular bench any more.
(Bit old for an elm, but this is Star Trek; perhaps Boothby comes up with a special blend of Miracle-Gro.)
The thing is the character TELL us why this is important what this was and what they feel, but we have no connection because we are not SHOWN some sort of before/after, so any emotional resonance falls completely flat. It’s not something that is allowed to grow naturally on the audience, and we are not allowed to come to our own conclusions. We are shortly and flatly told what to feel. I think this rookie writing mistake that was all over this episode came out most strongly in this short scene that ended the episode, and thus also ended much of the good-will that may have been achieved from the well-intended (but clumsily executed) middle part.
Yeah…. I felt nothing from that final scene. I found it odd that a non-redwood tree would live for 900 years. I guess because… The future? But yeah. Was it supposed to create some sort of emotional beat for the audience? I didn’t feel it. I felt they were going for a real emotional beat from the reunion at the top of the episode but I felt nothing there, too. Again, because over the previous 28 episodes they failed to earn it. And it was filled with that overused awe and reverence for Star Fleet that the show really could use a lot less of. Even Voyager didn’t beat that drum nearly as hard as this show does.
The reunion was awkward because the crew acted like they hadn’t seen her in a year as well, but it had been less than a day.
To be fair, it was a rather eventful day.
Surely it would be better to have that asymmetry play out for a few minutes of screen time – Burnham emotional and the others, whilst acknowledging her spending much longer away than them, haven’t had time to miss her. However, hey ho, this is Discovery, the series of missed opportunities.
Could they not have been emotional that they 1) didn’t get killed by Control, 2) saved the known galaxy, 3) didn’t die horribly in a wormhole, 4) didn’t die crashing into a planet, 5) didn’t die getting crushed by aggressive ice, and 6) were saved by Burnham at the last second after all hope was lost? Or maybe Burnham had just told them she had been searching for them for a year and feared to never see them again and they had sympathy/empathy.
Were it not for what i’m perceiving as a TNG callback, i would feel as you do about it. And for it to resonate in any ‘real’ way, it cannot possibly lean on a few obscure references from a past show.
Overall, you’ve touched on two things that frustrate me about these newer Trek shows.
One is that the writing is simply clunky: plot devices are presented to us in a way that’s contrived or convenient, and there isn’t the time taken to convince us.
The other – disappointing when now set in the far future – is the dynamic of questions and answers. The questions we get are just surface: about the layers of the given season’s big mystery — but not about ideas. The answers are about how we should feel — and they are IV-fed to us all the way through.
Stepping away from ‘People of Earth’ and to a different category of episode: take various Prime Directive adventures. My personal favorites are ‘A Private Little War’, ‘Pen Pals’, ‘Who Watches the Watchers’, ‘First Contact’, and ‘Dear Doctor’ — but of course there are many other options. One can argue about what our heroes did or didn’t do. But to the writers’ credit, a lot of those arguments are explored, right there in the episode. We get to explore the issues along with the characters, even if we might reach a different conclusion from Kirk or Picard or Archer.
Now, compare any of those with ‘The Sound of Thunder’. The latter episode comes away lacking — hollow in its exploration of the issues, and structured in a way that there is only one possible answer to the question of what to do.
This may be modern storytelling technique: the directed nature of serialized shows is such that perhaps things ‘need’ to be pointed in a particular direction to support the plot. And, also, less time is allowed for conversation.
But the process of exploration — of the universe, and of self — feels, to me, empty.
This is very well put. It’s as if — emotionally as well as intellectually/philosophically — it’s all tell and no show.
You actually hit on why I was so disappointed with The Sound of Thunder. We’re use to Trek solving everything in 45 minutes, but that was just too ridiculous for even Star Trek to me. And yes you’re right, there was no real discussion about what they were doing or the impact. The idea was fine, but the execution was really bad IMO.
This is a ridiculous criticism. That’s like saying Sulu saying he was born in San Francisco had no connection because we didn’t see a scene of him being born in SF General.
This is a ridiculous retort. Sulu being born in SF (i know which movie scene you refer to and it always felt odd to me to begin with as Sulu was supposed to represent “Pan Asian” and not “SoCal Asian American”) is not *intended* to carry the same emotional resonance as this scene of experiencing your home planet 900 years later, for both the viewers and audience.And for that purpose the scene absolutely fell flat.
No, it’s nothing like that at all. Not in the slightest. You might want to avoid similes in the future.
We also don’t really know any of the bridge characters (ex. who’s the blonde woman – not Detmer – that the camera kept lingering on?), so the scene felt especially forced (to me, anyway).
She was there last season. She’s not new.
She’s the actress who played Airiam. A new character.
My thoughts exactly. Not going to lie, was hoping to see the initials “A.F.” in that tree.
Marvel of it: the A. F. could be there — perhaps on the other side of the tree (oops).
“A.F.” = ?
A.F. Were the initials that Boothby caught Picard carving into his prized elm tree. He and Wesley talk about it in “The Game.”
Wow forgot all about that. That would’ve been a great catch. But I will give them some slack. Because for me anyway, I think the writers and producers have been doing a great job connecting both DIS and PIC to the old shows and canon in terms of nostalgia sake at least. Not on a level like LDS lol but that’s on a more extreme level.
He got caught by Boothby before being able to carve “This tree is big” in front of A.F. ;)
Latin for “got wood”?
Who would have recarved it again and again, because the original carving would be layers and layers inside the tree. The immortal Golem-Picard?
Doesn’t a tree grow from the inside out? Honestly asking.
So much to love in this episode, especially in the smaller beats and moments. Excellent character building as they continue to do a great job establishing the ensemble cast. I’m so glad they touched upon the loss and trauma everybody must be feeling now that they recognize their loss. Tilly remains the heart of the show and I really felt her grief. The tone of this show is spot on, the characters are more human and inhabit their rolls way more comfortably. Michael Burnham’s new sense of freedom is a surprising twist to her character and I love it, that nuance is appreciated. More importantly, I think this character evolution is better suited to SMG, she’s less of a super hero and more of a real person now. The revelations about Earth leaving the Federation is shocking, but also explained perfectly and setup a great Star Trek allegory to end the episode. The writing is getting much leaner, less awkward exposition and more natural character moments. It feels like these characters are discovering their place in real time and propelling themselves, it no longer feels like we are being pulled along by a heavy-handed plot we don’t really care about. This season does feel a little lower budget in some ways because there is less action, but it’s more beautiful at the same time.
That scene with Tilly you loved I saw as overblown. It made no sense for her to react that way. Sure, I get the emotion of the final realization when it ACTUALLY is the case. But she was prepared for this when she opted to go forward with the ship. Her reaction would have made more sense had she accidentally or unintentionally moved forward with the ship.
There’s been more than enough character development trying to make us care more without earning it…
The first two seasons were not good… I tried rewatching Season 1 last night and couldn’t make it through. This third season, though, is really hitting the mark. I wish the show had started this way from the beginning.
I will give you that. Had they started here from the beginning I might have a different take. I would indeed look at the show without the baggage they created for themselves. Although I still would not have bought for one second this was a 23rd century star ship. That still would have been a huge issue.
The first two seasons were excellent.
Season 1 really sucked for me (confirmed on my rewatch a few weeks back). Season 2 however was a lot more fun and just had some classic Trek stories again but yeah the story as a whole was still convoluted and reverted to generic sci fi which is disappointing considering how great it started off.
I won’t get ahead myself with season 3 yet but I am just loving being in this new era. Like Discovery itself, Star Trek feels like it’s being rebooted but in a good way. Now they can FINALLY just be as creative as they want and I’m loving all the new changes even if it is a little dark and depressing. It’s still Star Trek, its all going to work out in the end. But this is what I wanted for years now, to go forward and REALLY shake things up in the process and not just fill in to stuff we already know which most prequels do. It didn’t have to be the fall of the Federation or anything but just something that tries do do something different like DS9 did with the Dominion war.
Again, I won’t go into hyperbole and say this is the best Star Trek season EVER or anything (especially knowing a lot will depend on how the season ends and the first two were iffy at best) but this is the kind of Trek I want which is still have stories that can fit into classic Trek like TNG, TOS, VOY, etc but still doing its own thing.
Season two was fantastic.
I really wanted to love the show. I think initially we all did. And for the most part I liked season one, but saw the flaws. Second season for me (with the exception of Pike) was a very dark road. I couldn’t finish the season.
Season 3 really feels to me like the show is hitting its stride. Really liked this one. And yes, there were flaws (a 23rd century food slot having synthehol, which was created by the Ferengi whom we wouldn’t even meet for 100 years). But it seemed like the flaws didn’t eclipse what I liked. Cautiously, this is kinda working for me.
Burnham is likeable now. Wow. Never thought I’d see the day. But I like her! Maybe I’m warming up to the new her. But this helps me like the show as a whole.
Do you have a reference for the invention of synthehol? I don’t remember that and memory alpha doesn’t say anything about its origins.
I was going to mention that too. For all we know the booze from a synthesizer IS synthahol. Which could be why Scotty had his own stash of the genuine article.
Well, Scotty didn’t know what synthehol was in the TNG episode, Relics, so that I believe was indeed an error. It’s like the writers have a surface level knowledge of ‘Star Trek’ but have not taken the time to truly know it. I just don’t feel like anyone really cares about what they’re making with these recent Star Trek shows. The ideas for the stories are fine but the actually writing and execution are so sloppy. They’re going through the motions of making Star Trek but I don’t ‘feel’ it in the writing and when they try to make me feel something, it’s coming across as forced.
Yep. Lots of lazy stuff, even not pertaining to canon. For example, watch “Brother” again. When the crew get aboard the Hiawatha cargo bay, the ridiculously huge Starfleet delta on the back wall of the ship is BACKWARDS. Nobody in postproduction caught this? Just sloppy and lazy. Still, though, the flubs don’t seem as garish now that I’m enjoying myself more. And they do seem less frequent.
Source: Gene Roddenberry decided synthehol was invented by the Ferengi. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 123, p. 78) (Found on Memory Alpha)
Not really “canon” as in shown on screen, but it’s straight from the Bird’s beak. I remember reading the original article. Damn, I’m old.
It was actually pretty emotional, I’m not sure why and that is a good thing.
Just like the writing, your post makes no sense.
Discovery’s shuttle bay must be HUGE to have fit Booker’s ship inside.
Trying to figure out how torpedoes 930 years more advanced than USS Discovery did not destroy the ship. Nor have any guidance capabilities to hit their intended target.
The ship seems based on the Enterprise in the “Planet of the Titans” planned movie, which also had a huge shuttlebay. Both have a much wider, flatter secondary deck and a bay that occupies the whole width. But we’ve seen whole ships fit in smaller bays before- like Neelix’s on Voyager.
I was thinking the same thing. Their torpedoes should have obliterated Discovery and its 900 year old defenses.
And I have noticed that so far Discovery’s shuttle bay has been lucky in that what they bring in it has been perfectly shaped to fit. That rock, Book’s ship, etc. Very convenient.
Maybe on the “should have”. From my view, Earth barely seemed capable of doing anything. They couldn’t even protect themselves against raids lead by underpowered, overburdened “raiders” constructed by people nearly dying on a research outpost on Titan. I think Earth (despite its clean appearance) is more like DS9 in “Emissary” only having bare minimum defense capabilities, but trying to put on a big show. It took them an awfully long time to reload after firing just two torpedoes. They also have no long range scanning capabilities and no intelligence information on things happening in their own solar system over the last 120 years.
But it is still weaponry that is 900 years better than what Discovery has. It would be like taking a tank through rows of guys with swords and shields. Even more so considering how much faster things advance now.
Discovery’s shields were at 100%, one hit from Earth’s torpedoes completely drained them, another hit would have destroyed the ship. Not sure what you’re complaining about.
Complaining because a weapon 900 years BETTER than what the ancient shields were made to deflect probably would blow right through like a blowtorch through butter.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen old ships hold their own against new technology. It would be different if Discovery got in a fire fight and held their own, but they didn’t. Two hits and they’d be gone, seems rather accurate too me.
As with so many of your complaints, you’re really just nit picking trying to find ways not too like the show.
We’ve never seen 900 year old vessels hold their own in Star Trek. Ever.
If you are referring to 80 year old vessels used in TNG that’s not even close. Those models were only used to save money and even if they were still that class of ship in-universe it would be reasonable to conclude that it was outfitted with more modern weapons and defenses. The US Navy does that to older vessels themselves.
I think you are trying so hard to like the show you will say anything, no matter how ridiculous, against any bit of logic that questions it.
What absolute bullshit. We’re really supposed to believe they couldn’t do better than warp drive and matter/antimatter reactors in all that time? But let’s just ignore the Romulan artificial quantum singularities. Let’s ignore quantum slipstream which Book mentioned in the first episode.. Let’s ignore transwarp. Oh, and I guess the USS Relativity was running on matter and antimatter, and was limited to warp speeds… And I know they conveniently handwaved all the temporal tech already. Now they’re doing the same with everything else. On top of that, how could dilithium sources dry up in that amount of time if they were able to recrystallize dilithium in the 23rd and 24th centuries? This series is so utterly contrived, it makes me wonder how many people they had to ignore to push this story through…
A part of me thinks those inconsistencies are by design. Something is a bit off about all of it.
Except none of these are really inconsistencies.
Ashley – it seems that to enjoy Discovery (or Picard), you need to switch off knowledge of how things have worked in Star Trek previously… or even in previous episodes of Discovery. Focus on the feels and emotions.
What’s needed is a better understanding of how things worked in Star Trek by the people commenting.
Is that comment aimed at me or at other commentators on here who just accept that FTL travel and communication without dilithium is virtually impossible technologically in Star Trek?
You and the commenters who think that because a method of FTL travel exists that everyone should be able to figure out how to do it, or those who think that an artificial singularity is the analogue to dilithium, when it’s the analogue of the matter/anti-matter reaction. Oh, and those who think Burnham said the dilithium blew up, when she said no such thing.
Most of the angriest commenters here are super-eager to tell us what’s canon and non-canon and to separate the true fans from the filthy casuals. Yet they make assumptions that can only come from not actually knowing the canon that well.
Well, technically it did blow up. It went INERT, which meant it lost its ability to focus a matter/antimatter annihilation. So when the matter and antimatter collided with nothing to modulate it, it was literally a warp core breach.
If you think you know Star Trek so well and what it takes for a fan to enjoy a series…. why don’t you go and write one?
Because we’d get sued by CBS? For starters?
“you need to switch off knowledge of how things have worked in Star Trek previously… or even previous episode…” The same could be said about pretty much every single Trek series, they are not exactly great with the plot contrivance continuity.
Why didn’t they just regrow Worf’s spine by using his DNA in the transporter like they rebuilt Pulaski when she had advanced aging? Heck, I can’t think of a few different times that would have been useful in Voyager when there are random diseases (especially with the Vidians). Dr Danara Pel would have certainly benefited from it.
‘But the transporter can’t just create matter, her body was still diseased’ Thomas Riker exists…
Ashley, I have a simple answer to all of your questions.
The new franchise overlords don’t want you to think about Trek.
They want you to FEEL.
Then it’s a fail. In order of the audience to FEEL they first need to CARE. So you have to get the audience to care about the characters. Something they have mostly failed to do. I don’t care about Burnham so I don’t feel for her when something happens. I don’t care about Tilly so I don’t feel for her when she cries about deciding to stick with the ship. Etc.
Yeah this is another massive problem with the writing. The emotions are contrived too. The writers just know they want to get you to a certain place within the plot, and emotionally, but they have no idea how to achieve it so they just write it that way regardless. I’m sure they know this too, which is why it’s so heavy-handed and constantly ‘reinforced’, and why it comes off as unnatural. Lt. Nilsson is a perfect example. Outside of the show, we know what the deal is with the actress, but within the show we didn’t see her before season 2, and even then she was only occasionally in the background and didn’t really speak. Now? She’s like everyone’s best friend, as if she were there from the start. And if something happens to her, you know it’s going to be over-dramaticized, while the viewers are left asking who she was again.
If you look at Voyager, the whole concept of the crew becoming family was completely justified. Characters like Tom and B’lanna literally did become family. They had all been together on their own for years. How long have the Disco crew even known each other? I get they’ve all been through a lot in a short amount of time, so there might be a certain bond there, but it’s way over-done here.
Wow, it’s almost as if…a Star Trek show introduced a new character after season 1.
Where can I see all those episodes I’ve been missing — TOS season 1 episode with Chekhov, early VOY with Seven, or season 1 TNG with Ro Laren and Dr. Pulaski?
Chekov was treated either like an inexperienced ensign, or just as a colleague at first. Ro and Pulaski were both abrasive at first and had a period of adjustment as well as stories that directly focused on them to introduce them or develop their characters. Nilsson was just slipped in there, never developed, but still treated like she was close friends with the bridge crew. But that wasn’t even my point, I’m talking about forced emotional bonds amongst all these underdeveloped characters. There’s no reason for the audience to care about these people so most of the emotion falls flat.
It was made clear Ashley that Nilsson was an engineer who was not doing regular bridge duty and who was redeployed to fill Airiam’s spot.
Did LaForge redeploy from the bridge to engineering after season 1? Did Worf get promoted to security officer? Did they both change the colour of their uniforms and become more significant cast members? Uh, yes.
Nilsson is in FIVE pictures on this page, but please, tell me what her first name is. Or a few facts about her, other than her rank and position. I mean, she’s been there a whole season, and hangs out with the bridge crew… Tell me why I should care about her character at all. Or am I supposed to wait for the one episode where they decide to cram in her backstory before they kill her off. Y’know, before the tear-jerking funeral scene…
She really hasn’t suddenly become the center of attention though. We’ve seen her in the background and we’ve seen her hanging out with the bridge crew, but that’s it. People aren’t talking about Nilsson as if she has been their best friend for years.
Now, if you were talking about Lt. Airiam, you’d have a point. She was nothing more than a background character (like Nilsson currently is), until suddenly in Season 2 they needed her to become important. So the writers spent a single episode trying to build her up as this all-important member of the crew just so they could kill her. That was bad writing (or poor planning really). Having Nilsson appear in the background more often is not.
Actually, Nilsson was the engineering lieutenant in 201 “Brother” who was leading the team in the cargo bay responsible for snagging and pulling in the hunk of broken asteroid.
FWIW I can agree that the serialized format of Discovery and small number of episodes per season (compared to 90s Trek) means that we get frustratingly few opportunities to see more from its large and very talented complement of actors.
However, as some who has seen every single series in first-run, I can honestly say that there are many fans (and it seems you are one) who take the total knowledge of secondary characters that we have been given over multiple seasons in previous series and compare it to what we have in Discovery after a grand total of 29 episodes – which would be barely into the second season of any previous series.
I remember wondering who Worf or Geordie were at the end of season one of TNG. Even Heart of Glory, the first great Worf episode was principally about Picard learning about Klingons. It was written to show how the events effected Picard and the other senior officers with Worf coming effectively out of the background in a guest star turn, with no expectations that he’d even be returning in season two. When we see that episode now, our perception is shaped by Worf’s becoming a major character later, but in first-run it looked pretty much exactly like what you’re complaining about.
And Miles O’Brien all the more so. He was just a randomly occurring regular non-speaking player for along time. Then he got a name, and next thing he’s got a fiance.
There’s a big difference. You know it, I know it. Worf existing on the bridge of the Enterprise was already more characterization than we’ve gotten for Nilsson for an entire season. Clearly the show only focuses on a handful of people, and that’s fine conceptually, but in practice they still focus on these background characters emoting at each other like we’re supposed to care about them. I’m not just going to get all teary-eyed over a glorified extra. Which is a shame, because I love character development, and feeling for the characters. But the way they’re handling them is having the opposite effect on me. I’m starting to get really annoyed by these set props hugging and crying all over each other, because I have no reason to invest anything in them. It’s poorly handled, poorly written, and distracts from an already shoddy plot in my opinion. You make it sound like all I have to do is wait it out and they’ll become more developed, but again, I point out Nilsson who is slipped in there as another set prop when they could have fleshed out the existing characters more. In the end, it’s not going to matter. Those set prop characters are expendable, and there to support Burnham, Georgiou, Saru, Stamets, and I suppose Tilly and maybe Culber (even though I feel like he only exists to interact with Stamets). Don’t fool yourself, we’ll never get to know the rest of the bridge crew, unless they need faux dramatic impact at the moment.
Why aren’t you complaining about extras like Lt. Leslie, Lt. DeSalle, Kevin Riley, Ensign Gates, Ensign Anaya, or Lt. Sariel Rager? It’s OK they get one line here and there, but God forbid they should occasionally develop into a meatier role. Why is it OK for Miles O’Brien to move from extra to semi-regular to regular, but not Nilsson? Why is it OK for TNG to have an episode focusing partly on Nurse Ogawa (“Lower Decks”) but not OK for Discovery to focus on Airiam?
Because Ogawa was a character. Beverly chatted with her. She had dialogue that wasn’t strictly pertaining to her job, and a first name. She lost a kid. And we felt bad for her because she was someone we knew, even peripherally.
Riley was Irish and liked to sing. Even THAT’s more info we had on Airiam in two years. But finally on the day she dies, we get an info dump of everything we need to know about her before she kicks off? And that’s supposed to have the same impact as someone we’ve known for years, even if she had less than 5 lines in most of her episodes? Nah.
Glad we got that straight. I had her confused with someone occupying the director’s chair, I guess.
That’s not how I saw the episode at all. (Heart of Glory) Seemed to me it was mainly to show the status between the UFP and the Klingon Empire 70+ years later. And it showcased Worf, the Klingon member of the cast and how he interacts with his own kind. The stuff you mentioned about Picard I didn’t even notice.
Since we didn’t learn Sulu’s first name until about 25 years after TOS premiered, and we *never* learned Uhura’s first name in the prime timeline, this is a bizarre litmus test.
One of the best things about Discovery is the larger contingent of bridge crew. It has never, ever been realistic that only a coterie of 5-7 officers constitutes the only important command staff on Starfleet’s equivalent of an aircraft carrier. We never saw the Ent-D’s science officer or communications officer. We never really saw Kirk’s chief of security. We’ve seen next to nothing of the gamma- or delta-shift relief crews. Presumably all of these people had relationships with the lead characters, and we occasionally saw glimpses of it (Riker telling Worf that Tasha and Marla Aster, among others we hadn’t heard of, fought until the bitter end), but much less than we’ve seen on Discovery.
Your issue appears to be that those random extras we saw in Ten Forward or Quark’s or singing in the TOS crew lounge actually have speaking parts on Discovery. So what if Airiam didn’t get lines in Season 1? The important point is that Season 2 got it right.
Do you really think that was meant as a litmus test? Or that I hate having a large cast or background characters? I’m sorry you can’t understand my point, I’ll try to make it easier for you.
A lot of characters in this show are under-developed.
But they’re being framed as having a bigger role and more development, especially when it comes to emotional and dramatic moments, which is half the damn show.
And in my opinion, that doesn’t work, and I can’t care about these characters as much as the writers want me to.
Because writing characters to be this emotional, and displaying extreme comraderie, shouldn’t rely on inference or implication. Few have earned it, within this storytelling structure. Their relationships seem hollow.
Imagine a stand-up comedian skipping through the setup, going right for the punchline, and expecting laughs. That’s what this feels like to me.
You are free to disagree with my opinion all you want, but make sure you’re disagreeing with the right points.
For what it’s worth, I agree with you wholeheartedly.
I guess it was made so clearly that only people who watched the episode multiple times remember it.
Nilsson is played by the original Airiam actress. They probably liked her as an actress and coworker but wanted to kill off Airiam, so they brought her aboard as a new crew member in the flesh, and spackled someone else over with the Airiam prosthetics.
Perhaps then this show isn’t for you?
I don’t bail on my favorite sports team just because it has a crappy season. I don’t bail on Trek because they have a crappy season either. It’s what fans do.
“I don’t bail on Trek because they have a crappy season either.”
Sadly, so far.
Ah. The British influence. LOL.
Here Discovery is a series and that series has seasons of X number of episodes.
But do you continually insult the sports team? Because that’s essentially what you’ve been doing here. Even when Disco does something good in your mind, you’re immediately there to back it up with a giant “but.” That would be like your favorite sports team winning a hard fought game, but instead of enjoying the win, you can only think that they should’ve scored more points.
It’s fine to not like Discovery, it has a lot of flaws, but you dislike for the show has devolved into picking nits to justify your dislike for it. Which, honestly, is fine as well! I’ve done it with other shows and movies before. However, it helps to be self-aware enough that your problems are nit picks and perhaps aren’t actually “problems” with the show, and second, sometimes you just gotta let go. I’m not saying stop being a fan of Star Trek, but maybe Disco just simply isn’t the show for you. (And please don’t give me the b.s. answer that you continue to watch it because you want it to be good, but it always fails you. If you want the show to be good, you’d actually spend the time looking at the good aspects of the show – which there are many – instead of only looking at the bad aspects).
“But do you continually insult the sports team? “
Absolutely!!!! Fans are the worst critics of the teams. I’m guessing you aren’t that familiar with sports fans. Yes, a lot of people say things like, ‘yes, we won the game but the pitcher should have been pulled in the 6th rather than the 7th.’
I’ve also made no bones about the fact that my point of view towards season 3 is heavily influenced by the 26 episodes that came before it and it is possible that had this been the start my take could be different.
Actually, I am a huge Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies fan – having season tickets for both teams. I’ve supported the teams through thick and thin (especially thin with Broncos as of late). ButI never insult my team. I get frustrated and annoyed at things, but in the end I am still a fan. If they win a game, even an ugly win, I can certainly look at things they could’ve/should’ve done better, but I still celebrate the win.
From what I’ve seen here, you’re probably the worst of the worst when it comes to being a “fan” of your team. You’re claim to be a fan through thick and thin, but you’re really just a fair weathered fan, dreaming of days past, and unable to recognize and enjoy what the present and future may hold.
You also mention that your viewpoints are skewed by the previous 27 episodes (14 in Season 1, 13 in Season 2). I’m glad you’re at least able to admit that. And since you have admitted that, perhaps try to move past your preconceptions then? You know you’re doing, so why not try to stop it and enjoy what’s in front of you instead of complaining about it constantly. And, if you can’t do that, just move on.
You have just made a terrible assumption that makes no sense. Why would you think I’m a “fair weather fan”? I still follow my teams even when they suck. But when they suck and call it out. “The GM makes terrible moves and should be replaced with someone more competent.” That’s not insulting. It’s addressing a potential reason why the team sucks so hard. It’s ironic in that you suggest I “just enjoy” a crappy show that is part of a franchise I support and if I don’t I should just “move on”. That is what fair weather fans do. They don’t pay attention to or follow the team until they get good. The fact that I am still here watching and assessing and pointing out flaws and hoping things get better is proof I am NOT a “fair weather” fan. I stick it out. Just like I stuck out 100 loss seasons of my ball club. In fact, all 3 of the teams I follow suck but I’m still there watching them play. It’s part of being a fan.
If you only want to follow your team or watch Trek when it’s good that’s your call if that works for you. But I recommend not accusing others of that practice when it is painfully obvious that is not what is going on.
I think we’re at a point were we must agree to disagree. I find pretty much all of your complaints as nit picking or just flat out wrong, and you find my like of/defense of the show as making excuses/justifications. As such, I just don’t think we’re going to find common ground, and thus these arguments are rather worthless as they just lead to frustration and annoyance.
Exactly. If you hate Discovery so much, stop watching. I stopped watching the idiotic LOWER DECKS after a couple of episodes. Maybe I’ll restart, now that I’ve resubscribed to CBS All Access; who knows? But I don’t particularly feel I missed out on anything, and I got to watch some great non-Trek shows like MY BRILLIANT FRIEND and the latest season of Better Caul Saul instead. There is life other than Star Trek, believe it or not. :)
This is fascinating to me. And I intend absolutely no ill will; I address you as a kindred fan. I feel exactly the same way, but in reverse. I loved Lower Decks; practically every minute of it, and I’ve found a lot of faults in Disco and Picard.
I wonder why that is. I think the answer to that question will be the key to making all of us a little more happy with the state of Star Trek.
Fantastic argument! Please grab your Pulitzer at the door ;)
Ha. Yah. That’s my frustration with the show. And it’s why I miss Pike and Spock, who calmed things down a little last season.
Feeling is good, when it’s earned. But so far, the Lower Decks characters are a lot more three-dimensional than anyone on Discovery.
“And it’s why I miss Pike and Spock, who calmed things down a little last season.”
I think you are on to something! It was the legacy characters, all of the three were already established as logical, seasoned officers with a calm, professional demeanor, who brought much needed balance to the show. Now that the adults have left the room, the loonies are running the mental asylum, so to speak!
It could have been the legacy characters. I absolutely ADORED Pike, but it wasn’t because he was Pike. He mentioned Mojave and had a crush on Vina. Every other aspect of his character could have been written for any other character, and he still would have been brilliant (provided he was played by Anson Mount). In fact, if he didn’t have a destiny to fulfill, he would have been a great permanent captain for Discovery. He was phenomenally written and portrayed. I’ll watch Strange New Worlds, NOT because it’s another prequel (groan), but because HE is in it. He’s the most “Starfleet” person in a ship full of people who use “Starfleet” as an adjective.
Weird that Earth has their own dilithium. I had always thought it was a naturally occurring element found on other worlds. So if Earth has it then it would seem it is something you can synthesize. If so, why not make more?
So yes. They do ignore a lot of established Trek rules here for the sake of their own story. Which is fine so long as the rules you trod on are minor and only one or two. But to constantly change things like they do I feel is too much. It was my understanding that dilituium only allowed for the energy required for warp. It wasn’t what caused it. So it seems that in 900 years another power source could be discovered.
Further, it seems odd that all dilithium just blew up. Then Saru said he wasn’t at warp so that seemed to contradict Burnham’s opening monologue about what happened. She said all dilithium in ships blew up. Not all in ships at warp. So this threw me for a loop.
These little inconsistencies are systematic of the poor writing on the show altogether. By themselves it’s not a big deal. But given how many mistake this group has made over 26 episodes… It just continues to stand out.
The takeaway that I got from Michael’s exposition was that the dilithium on the ships (used to regulate the matter/antimatter reaction) suddenly disappeared causing catastrophic m/am explosions. If, for instance, a ship’s warp drive was off line at the time, it should not have been destroyed (Saru’s story).
Not disappeared. It went inert.
Yes. Went inert. So it doesn’t make sense that ships would just blow up. If you were at warp you wouldn’t be able to maintain power so ships drop out of warp all over. But explode? Maybe this will be explained in later episodes but given the history of this show it will either be ignored or the explanation will be terrible.
Well, dilithium is supposed to be porous to antimatter, regulating the reaction. So I guess ‘inert’ should mean that it’s suddenly not porous, meaning the antimatter stream would suddenly react with it. Which I at least like better as an explanation than just having it explode everywhere for no reason..
It’s controlling a reaction that results in complete annihilation. It stops doing it’s job. It’s really not all that complicated to figure out the explosion happened.
It’s been presented as merely a power supply. Or something to channel the power through. If it goes away (or becomes inert or ceases to be a good conductor) the warp engines don’t have enough power and warp fields collapse. Ships have never blown up because of that in the past. Now suddenly they do only because the new writers need it to be.
We have never once seen what happens when dilithium simply stops working. It has also never been presented as a power supply, but only as a means of focusing said power.
To be fair the function of the crystals has always been vague. As I already said that was fine with me but then the Discovery guys pop in and decide to make it do something really crazy. But whatever…
No. Dilithium isn’t the source of energy, it’s the focusing mechanism for the energy. Thus, if it went inert and was unable to focus the energy from the matter/anti-matter reaction, said reaction would cascade leading to a massive explosion. Hence the any ship that was actively using it’s warp core exploding.
Makes no sense that ships would explode because of that. Makes more sense that there would be a dozen or so backups to prevent such a thing. Energy not focusing? Fail safe shuts down the warp core.
How many warp core breaches have we seen in Star Trek? So, so many – do you complain about those too?
But, ugh, really not worth arguing with you anymore. You’ll see what you want to see no matter what. I actually feel kinda sad for you that you’re unable to enjoy that the show is finally beginning to figure out what it is. But I digress…
We’ve seen plenty. How many of them involve dilithium going “inert”? Plus, when there has been an impending breach they have always had enough warning to eject the core or enact safety features.
I cannot control how you feel but know this… One very well could feel sorry for you that your standards are so very low that this show is considered quality Trek.
This is where I’m compelled to point out that this is all (shocking, I know) *fictional* technology. All we really need to know is that matter-antimatter reactions create the energy, and dilithium somehow regulates the reaction. Everything else is basically technobabble.
But the technobabble was designed to be plausible. BOOKS have been written about it. Non-canon books, but books by the people who made it up to begin with. These books considered what came before, and if they changed it, they explained why. A lot of the time it seems like the inheritors of this franchise have not read these books and are just making stuff up without an excess of thought.
This “inert dilithium causing a warp core breach (explosion)” is actually WELL-ROOTED in established lore. I gotta give props to the writers. They’re getting on track. While they don’t explicitly explain the physics, they don’t need to, because we know how it works.
That’s why canon’s great. You can save a lot of expository dialogue by just knowing the damn story.
I disagree. It seems like all they know is that dilithium is some sort of substance used to make the ships go. They then made up some silliness about how it somehow goes “inert” and destroys every ship at warp. As if no ship has any kind of safety feature in place even though we have seen tons of safety features on star ships all throughout Trek.
“Further, it seems odd that all dilithium just blew up. Then Saru said he wasn’t at warp so that seemed to contradict Burnham’s opening monologue about what happened. She said all dilithium in ships blew up. Not all in ships at warp. So this threw me for a loop.”
That’s not at all what she said. She said all the Dilithium went inert, and any ship with an active warp core exploded. That makes sense given that the thing that focuses the energy of matter and anti-matter annihilating each other suddenly stops working. It also makes Saru’s explanation logical.
As I said, going inert doesn’t mean “explode”.
No, you said she said it blows up. She didn’t say that at all.
She said something akin to that (I’m not going to go rewatch episodes just for this) and we got a SPFX shot of a bunch of ships blowing up. So yes. Whatever it was supposedly caused ships to explode for unknown reasons.
She specifically said that the dilithium went inert, and any ship with an active warp core exploded. Not because the dilithium exploded, but because it stopped doing it’s job! Which is to focus the power generated by the matter/anti-matter reaction chamber. Without said focus, the reaction will cascade and, well BOOM!
Which still doesn’t make any sense. For reasons stated multiple times.
And I does make sense, for reasons stated multiple times 🤦♂️
You repeating reasons that have already been addressed doesn’t suddenly mean they make sense. They’ve already been absolved.
ML31 you don’t seem to be following the logic chain. (And I see now that others down the thread have covered this.)
Dilithium isn’t the power source, it’s the matrix in which the reaction is contained and controlled.
Dilithium goes inert >>>matter-antimatter reactions going explosive>>>ships under warp exploding.
The questions are that we haven’t been given answers to are:
-How is there some dilithium remaining (recrystallized?)?
-Why is there inadequate supply of suitable benamite to run a slipstream drive?
I’m willing to give them a pass on the Romulan singularity drive. Romulans weren’t much for sharing, we’re secretive and the TNG episode Face of the Enemy suggested that the drive itself was problematic.
It doesn’t make much sense. Little is really known about what exactly the function of the crystals were. All I ever got was they need to to channel energy requires to control the warp reaction. If it suddenly stops doing this the warp fields just shut down. If what you say is true it still makes no sense that there would be no back ups to back ups to back ups that would keep something that could blow up the ship from happening. I would imagine that safety measures would would be in place to immediately shut down the warp reaction should something stop the crystals from doing what they do.
Wait, you go from saying it doesn’t make much sense within what we know about how warp drives work, to specifically stating we really don’t know much about how warp drives work. You can’t have it both ways here.
And even though we don’t know exactly how warp drives works (because nobody knows how they work, because it’s a work of fiction), we’ve been given enough hints and details over the years to know two main things: 1.) They are powered by a matter/anti-matter reaction and 2.) the power from said reaction is focused using dilithium crystals. Nothing about the Burn contradicts these two things.
I’m not “having” it both ways. I’m arguing against both concepts. Neither work. Neither make sense.
There is still time for the show to try and make sense out of the nonsensical plot point they made. It’s just that given the history of this organization’s writers I’m very much doubting they will come up with something plausible.
I’m sorry I find you are all barking up the wrong tree! Not the technical matter of how inert dilithium exactly cause ships to explode is the white Elephant in the room but why the Federation would “disappear overnight” because of it (Directly contradicting Burnham’s disbelief just 2 episodes earlier “The Federation is about more than ships”).
You see, as others have noticed this show is not really interested to explore why empires fall (the Romulan Empire certainly held on a couple more centuries even after its silver mines depleted, a crucial source of income to finance its vast army), they are interested to explore the emotional states of the crew and most of all, Michael Burnham. But you know what? I’m not interested in that, certainly not primarily. That should be “fair enough”. But even at the beginning this show was not as extremist in this as it is now.
So you know that the rest of the season won’t explore what happened to the Federation? Because, based on these past 3 episodes, that is exactly what Discovery is going to explore – what happened to the Federation. As Book mentioned in the first episode of this season, the Federation didn’t disappear over night, it tried to hang on, but just couldn’t. We’ve already seen that pockets of it still exist, but communication across long distances is extremely limited as a result of the Burn. Without communication it is nearly impossible to maintain a “federation.”
Imagine what would happen to the United State if there was an EMP or solar flare or some other event which knocked out a lot of modern electronics. How would a country that spans thousands of miles maintain it’s cohesion with limited communication and transport?
The Romulans may also using dilithium in a similar manner. The singularity produced the power, but it still needed to be focused just like with a matter/anti-matter reaction chamber.
Earth very easily could have had a stock pile of dilithium – which would make a ton of sense seeing as it was the seat of the Federation, had (has?) a ship yard and repair stations, etc.
The U.S. has almost no lithium mines, the vast majority of active mines are in China. However, the U.S. does have a ton of lithium on its soils for manufacturing purposes.
You inability to think logically is perhaps a failing on your part and not the shows?
You are really contorting yourself big time to try and make sense out of the nonsensical. It has been made very clear that dilithium only exists on OTHER PLANETS. Sure, there very well could be some on earth. But I would imagine that is true of pretty much every other former Federation world. So why would Earth be so special in this regard?
I’m also wondering why dilithium is so valuable? It doesn’t make things go anymore. So why fight over it?
How am I contorting myself? Earth would absolutely have a stockpile of dilithium, it would be really weird if they didn’t. Other Federation worlds aren’t the size of Earth and weren’t nearly as important as Earth. As I stated, Earth had ships yards, repair stations, etc. All things that would make dilithium very important to have. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vulcan, or Andoria also have stock piles of dilithium.
And it absolutely still makes sense that dilithium would be so valuable – it still makes things go! There are still warp capable ships (that’s what the couriers use). It would be as if there was suddenly a gasoline shortage. Over decades and centuries, people would adapt to only traveling short distances, but there would still be a need to travel long distance, and as such there would still be a need for gas.
I will say it again, you are just picking nits to prove to yourself that this is a bad show. You don’t like Disco, and that’s totally fine, but at least recognize what you’re doing.
OK. So you subscribe to the “Earth is the center of the universe” concept that TNG strongly perpetuated. OK. Then it makes a little sense.
I, on the other hand, tend to see the Trek universe as more equal. Therefore, the idea that there would be more on Earth than any place else doesn’t make any sense to me.
But how would dilithium still make things go? Didn’t all dilithium everywhere “go inert”? Why would it still work? It’s not like a gas shortage. It’s as if gas doesn’t combust any more at all. So people would be forced to find something else to fuel their cars. And you’d think that in 100 years someone somewhere would find a replacement for dilithium. Hell, even before this “burn” it seems logical that it would be found at some point over 800 years. But this is from the same group that gave us space Hitler, and evil AI that wants to destroy all life, and thought that a great idea was to have a great character NOT be a great character.
And since you decided to repeat I will do no less. You are just actively batting away every legitimate criticism of this under performing show because you personally like it. Which is fine, but at least recognize what you are doing here.
Every heard of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve? The doomsday stockpile of seeds on Svalbard? These exist in real life.
Fine. Why does it have to be on Earth? And wouldn’t there be stockpiles all over? Further, it seemed that dilithium (at least in the TOS era) was pretty darn valuable. It’s not real common and they were constantly on the lookout for places to find it. And of course, this doesn’t even address the issue that since all dilithium everywhere “went inert” what good is it then? It won’t make any ship go. In fact, it looks like it will destroy ships that try to use it.
Knowing these alternatives exist and getting them to actually work are two different things. By your logic because the whole world knows about nuclear weapons, then every country should be able to build them, no problem.
True but the issue with nukes that makes them difficult to construct is the nuclear reaction. Which not every nation can duplicate. But if you can find something else as a substitute….
My point still holds. Just because the existence is known, it does not naturally follow that they will be able to figure it out.
But my point is that it is reasonable that in 900 years alternatives would be found.
It hasn’t been 900 years though, it’s been just over 100 years since the Burn IIRC.
Since the “burn”, yes. But, A: That’s still plenty of time to come up with something and B: There is no reason in 800 years even without the pressure of broken dilithium that a better replacement was never come up with.
We’re talking about a what, 30th century Federation? Likely hundreds of member worlds by this point, spanning much of the galaxy. They would have seen the dilithium supply shortage as a problem well in advance. It would be critical for the survival of the Federation. With all their resources and talent pooled together, nobody could come up with anything better than what a 21st century human could? Oh wait, they did. 23rd century Paul Stamets and his partner on the Glenn created something even better, even though it was classified and lost to time. Nobody else could develop an alternative drive? Or alternative power source? Heck, even just a different way of mediating a matter/antimatter reaction? Burnham’s narration was such a lame hand-wave to force any of this to make sense.
Also, I know the temporal tech was hand-waved away too, but are we to believe that in the 29th century, they had shuttles that could traverse time AND SPACE, but these too had to rely on dilithium mediated matter/antimatter reactions? And warp drive? And Starfleet, known for consistent advancement in tech over just a couple centuries, suddenly became stagnant? Why couldn’t they have reverse engineered a Borg transwarp coil?
What you say does not mean that the likelihood of not figuring it out is zero.
Of course, but that was never my point. Going by what we’ve seen in the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th centuries (as well as a brief glimpse of the 26th and 29th centuries), there’s the impression that Starfleet consistently develops better and better technology, and in some cases at least, adopts different technology altogether. There’s also plenty of evidence that they rush to adopt new technologies when threatened, and running out of dilithium seems like a big threat. And there’s further evidence that they at least salvage or outright steal from other groups when it suits them. The crew of Voyager in particular seemed perfectly willing to try to reverse engineer and adapt technology from other groups or races to help themselves out. And it’s reasonable to assume that new tech would be rolled out to the rest of the Federation, because Roddenberry saw the Federation as a utopia not a dystopia.
So I find it very hard to accept that they couldn’t discover, adapt, or develop an alternative technology that was at least as good as warp drive and the matter/antimatter reactor, which is ancient technology by the 30th century, especially when it was needed so badly. It also doesn’t help that it was all dismissed in two sentences. I can only hope that they elaborate at some point during this season but I’m not optimistic. The burn isn’t even as much of a concern to me at this point, because it seems like the fall of the Federation was inevitable.
Also, Romulans power their warp drives with artificial singularities, so it’s analog is anti-matter, not dilithium
Which would suggest that the Romulans should be able to conquer the entire quadrant after the “burn”.
No. Show me where it says a Romulan warp drive doesn’t rely on dilithium.
And if it doesn’t, why hollow out Remus mining the stuff?
All good points. I was just following the concept that it was mentioned in some episode somewhere that Romulan ships don’t use Dilithium to power their warp drive.
Actually it is was mentioned they don’t use a matter/anti-matter reaction chamber, not that they don’t use dilithium.
They never said they don’t use dilithium, just that they do use a singularity as an energy source.
And this speaks to the vagueness of what it is that dilithium actually does.
Dilithium is used to regulate the matter-antimatter reaction in the warp core. Perhaps it is also used to regulate the power generated by artificial quantum singularity or quantum slipstream drives? I’m not aware of an episode that says otherwise, and it seems like a perfectly logical explanation to me. Moreover, given the problems we’ve seen on screen with the Romulan’s artificial quantum singularity drive (e.g. TNG “Timescape”), I’m perfectly willing to accept that the Federation was unable or unwilling to adapt that technology. Finally, because of Book’s comments in the season premier about spatial instability in the Gorn system, I’m wondering if there isn’t something wrong with subspace.
Imagine a puzzle with 13 pieces. You’ve seen 3 pieces and have already decided the picture makes no sense.
Book mentioned that the quantum slipstream drive needs benamite and implied it is rare. That tallies with what we know of it from Voyager- they considered the tech to be impractical in part because of the difficulty in synthesizing benamite. So maybe quantum slipstream works fine in a pinch, but is just not a technology you can build a civilization on.
Transwarp needed dilithium in at least one of the iterations we saw (Voyager again), and I don’t recall anyone saying it was not needed for the others.
Romulans used artificial singularities as a power source during the 24th century, but they also extensively mined dilithium from Remus during that time, so it’s safe to assume their warp drives required dilithium somewhere in that process even if they weren’t running M/AM reactions. Or maybe they export it? Not a chance- xenophobes don’t give strategic resources to their rivals, and the Romulans view everyone as their rivals.
Dilithium can be recrystallized, but I think we can assume it’s still subject to the laws of thermodynamics. Each time you do it, you should have less usable dilithium than when you started. Hardly matters if you just want to jump-start your warp drive in an emergency, but again, probably not something you can sustain a galactic civilization on. Maybe multiple re-crystallization is what triggered the burn.
Spot on. There are so many ways why everything said on DISCO this season makes sense in-universe, it’s baffling to me how perpetual detractors of the show go out of their way to find fault.
Agreed Bob, I don’t think that every new Trek series should have to spend a lot of exposition on stuff that’s been laid down in canon for a long time.
If people want to know, Voyager and TNG give the backstory.
So you are saying that in 900 years no one ever came up with an alternative to dilithium? NINE HUNDRED YEARS?? That is just hard to buy. I can only hope the show tells us why advances in this particular technology remained stagnant for so very long.
How long have we used water and soap to wash our hands? Forks for eating? Hydrocarbons as an energy source? Thousands of years. Some technologies evolve constantly, others are just refined over time without being fundamentally changed, some find stability on the timescale of centuries to millennia.
You’re also assuming a constant overall technological development- that’s not guaranteed even if a civilization stays stable over centuries. We live in a period of rapid technological change, but that doesn’t mean there are no hard limits that could slow or halt development.
There’s plenty of hints at this in Trek- how long did the Excelsior class ships stay in service? They had them on the front lines during the Dominion war! How many Earth navies are using 100 year old ship classes?
We don’t need exposition for every plot point people don’t immediately understand.
I’m not talking about things like chairs. I’m talking about advances in tech. Which happen all the time. In fact, it pretty much does nothing but increase exponentially. The only reason it might stagnate or regress is due to some huge cataclysmic event. Like the burn. But that was only, what, 100 years earlier? Sorry. The fact that they are still reliant on dilithium 800 years later doesn’t pass the smell test.
And please, the fact that a model was reused in TNG is not good enough evidence to suggest that nothing ever improves in the Trek world.
We do need exposition for things that are obviously nonsensical for those who actually think about what they are looking at rather than only feeling it.
Star Trek’s future has repeatedly shown consistent scientific and technological progress, unlike our own history which is replete with setbacks and obstacles towards progress. It’s not the same thing. Plus, we have alternatives for each of the things you mentioned, and we’re still developing more.
I get that progress could slow or even halt. It’s possible, but it’s very unlikely. What we’ve seen of the 22nd-25th century, and quick looks at some later centuries doesn’t suggest any of that. And even ignoring established canon and what it implies of the future, just looking at how dilithium supplies “dried up”, they would have seen this coming well in advance considering how important dilithium was, especially with no alternatives on the horizon (which is bullshit anyway). They would have had every specialist working on an alternative. Even the spore drive, though classified, might have been looked at again if it meant saving the Federation. I can’t imagine the Federation was so inept that over hundreds of years, despite their track record on innovation, they couldn’t find an alternative to dilithium or a completely different power source that was at least as good as a matter/antimatter reactor… And so even if the burn hadn’t happened, the Federation was doomed to the same fate. They just weren’t good enough to keep themselves afloat.
But yeah, the writers wrote it that way, so I guess literally anything could happen.
So you are saying that in 900 years no one ever came up with an alternative to the wheel? NINE HUNDRED YEARS?? That is just hard to buy. I can only hope someone tells us why advances in wheel technology have remained stagnant for so very long.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it….
Seems to me that there would eventually be a pressing need to replace a non-renewable energy source. They were constantly on the lookout for new places to mind dilithium in Trek. Eventually it would run out or be so very difficult to get at it just wasn’t worth the effort. So naturally it seems reasonable that before that stage is reached you start investigating other means. Like mushrooms, or soliton waves, or whatever they looked at. I can’t imagine that when those things failed they stopped trying.
So you are saying that in 3000 years no one ever came up with an alternative to gold? FAKE EARTH!
Replicated gold. Pretty much made it worthless.
Which has always had me wondering why latinum is “gold pressed”. Gold has been rendered worthless with new tech but I guess latinum is something that cannot be replicated, which makes is a precious metal. So why press it in gold?
I think folks are taking the “alternative forms of space travel” a little too personally. I just assume they are using the dilithium thing as a metaphor for any other fossil fuel dependency–natural resources are finite–it “dried up” because people overused it. Yes, there were other alternatives for fuel–we have alternatives to oil, don’t we? But, just as we only use a small portion of those alternatives, there was only a small use of alternatives to dilithium. As it appeared cheaper and easily accessible (it could even be reconstituted) people took dilithium for granted. I mean, for all we know the Romulan Empire has reestablished itself as the only “super-power” in the Universe because it had access to an alternative transportation method. We’ve seen what? Three planets so far?
I see what you are getting at but dilithium has always been presented as something that has been not easy to obtain. Not that it is super rare. But the Federation always seemed to be on the lookout for new sources. Suggesting that it is kinda rare.
The core element might have been rare in the early days of TOS, but recall, in Discovery’s timeline, the Xaheans (am I spelling that right?) can already recrystallize it, and we know (via “Relics”) that by the original TNG timeline, the Federation can recrystallize it. Add seven or eight hundred years to that, and . . . probably no one paid much attention to how much dilithium there was until there wasn’t much/any. I live in Texas right now, and more folks than I could count around here take for granted that the oil industry will keep the economy going here forever. They point to the current ‘glut’ of oil, and simply won’t accept that someday they’ll need a different way to do things. Face it, people can be really short-sighted sometimes.
I’m still hoping a reconstituted Romulan Empire is out there somewhere.
Book explained that the element that they need for slipstream is very rare.
Thinking about how so many major narratives are caused by, revolve around, or are very adjacent to Burham I have an idea about the identity of the person behind the Burn.
Her mother. What if Michael’s mother is the cause?
She said she looked at all ways to destroy Control and that no alternate way that Michael would create would kill it. What if a time traveling DISCO created a new way for control to reappear, causing Michael’s mother to resort to an extreme plan to kill Control through dilithium detonation?
She has the original time suit to mess with time. This article already implies that time is off based on what Agent Daniels said:
“We learn that The Burn was a two-step process, with dilithium mines drying up 700 years after they left the 23rd century, and then the remaining dilithium exploding later, taking most of Starfleet with it. After failing to come up with a new way to warp, the Federation soon fell. What remained of the Federation exited Earth about a century before the Disco arrived. This timeline puts The Burn in the 30th century, which may not jibe with what we thought we knew about future history thanks to Daniels and Enterprise’s Temporal Cold War. It also may not jibe with what we were told about the Federation leaving Earth in the 31st century. But maybe there is time to sort out all this math later.”
Then there was the one line from Michael in this episode when she says her mother is nowhere to be found.
Closing off worlds… removing central governments (the Federation) whose bureaucracy enables Control… making people hyper-fearful and trigger-happy… removing the only means of distance travel… cutting off communications for vast amounts of the galaxy… and having a perpetrator who can use the only time suit in existence, and who can slip into any time at a moment’s notice…
And it does what the writers like which is to keep Michael at the center of or very adjacent to every plot so that she can save the day like no one else could ever do.
It is a big what if, but it seems interesting.
The actress playing her mother mentioned on her Instagram some weeks ago she was preparing for season 4 of Discovery…
The more I think on it, the idea of the villain being Mother Burnham seems to fit.
There is a bookending, ironic, symmetry to the notion of Michael and mom fighting it out that seems to align with how the writers do things.
That said, I agree with what Ashley said about all the different types of warp alternatives that were proven to work in other Trek shows: slipstream this… quantum that…. transwarp whatever… traveling the node thingies that the Borg used… opening up wormholes… It does not make sense that all of a sudden, those other alternatives are ignored or said to not work and that dilithium is the end-all / be-all for all FTL travel in Trek.
Anyway, I could absolutely be wrong on my Mom idea.
It could be that Palpatine is actually a Q, and that his Order 66 had an article 3.1 addendum in it which detonated dilithium in the Trek Universe just for fun.
I love playing “What If”!
I’m thinking of Dr Burnham’s S31 timesuit, that was tethered to 32nd century Terralysium is the unfired Chekov’s gun left over from season two.
Michael took care to set the autodestruct on her blue timesuit before it returned to its 23rd century tethering. By symmetry, the original red timesuit is a problem that remains.
Logically, Mama Burnham should not have survived that wormhole trip since the suit went back before she was sucked up into the wormhole after it.
But the suit will have made it to Terralysium, and my suspicion is that the Cyclops Owl people on that planet are not going to give forthright answers to messages from afar.
Authors make the same mistakes again and solving storys with stupid solutions!
The colony on titan was not able even to send a simple radio signal to earth and calling for help?
Remember the transponders on DS9-eipsde “Waltz” or “The Ascent” and how far the signal can go out in re
This episode was the best yes but mistakes like this must end!
That made no sense at all. They can build Raider ships and have communications between them and Discovery, but they can’t call Earth and say “help!”
Yeah… That was pretty hard to buy, too. Titan is awfully close in the grand scheme of things. Even using old radio they could slowly get messages between them.
It would have been a lot better if they’d said the colony was at Proxima, Barnard’s Star or Wolf 359.
Of course they can “call” Earth; the question is whether Earth is willing to hear the message.
YES! EXACTLY! And Titan is visible from Earth by telescope! Major fails here. And they can’t scan bio signatures to identify the raiders? They had never taken or destroyed a raider ship to analyze who the foe is? This is the reverse of Spock looking up on Delta Vega and seeing Vulcan destroyed. Earth people can’t look up and see Titan?? Hell even a powerful lantern blinking SOS could have been visible, but Earth still has space capable ships. I can get past some of the other things that bug me, sort of. The loss of communications might be because of what the Gorn did, and communications relay stations referenced in canon all going down…ya maybe. But there wouldn’t be any mega corporations out there to solve the issue once the Federation is gone? Communications is still profitable…Discovery is from an era before Spock calculated the first sling shot maneuver so..ok.. but nobody else remembers it? The episode was otherwise excellent to me, but the Titan scenario is just too contrived and unbelievable. They need someone on staff to recognize these issues. A colony out in the Oort cloud maybe? I just can’t come up with a plausible way to make this work in my head. And yes someone posted the similarity to Andromeda.. all we need is a cameo of a character named Dylan Hunt to make it a good homage. Discovery took Gene’s idea and put into Star Trek canon…
“This timeline puts The Burn in the 30th century, which may not jibe with what we thought we knew about future history thanks to Daniels and Enterprise’s Temporal Cold War. It also many not jibe with what we were told about the Federation leaving Earth in the 31st century.”
That may ultimately be the point. Something isn’t adding up.
That’s not what I understood from the explanations in this episode. The Burn was not a two-step process. First the dilithium mines started to dry up about 100 years before the Burn and Starfleet wasn’t able to come up with a new warp system, thus started the decline of the Federation, but the final nail in the coffin was when the Burn mostly wiped out the remaining known dilithium and by doing so, taking most of Starfleet with it, and the Federation.
Yeah, that’s how I understood it to, Explorer.
Can I state some concerns here?
I’m having flashbacks to Picard here. A major, galaxy-changing incident takes place well before the show starts. (Let’s remember the Rikers actually lost a kid over it!) And then nothing much happens in all that time until something falls into the main character’s lap which eventually- in literally the last few minutes of the last episode- leads to a neat resolution that solves every single problem and returns things exactly to the way they were before the incident.
Does anyone see that happening here? By this stage, it’s not like Michael *can’t* solve the whole thing. (And while she listed possibilities as “accident” or “natural disaster,” as Stamets pointed out, that’s impossible. Obviously someone did this, which will make the big solution all the more easier and satisfying.) The Federation will be back, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Discovery jumps to some other time, forward or back.
In addition, the story really seems muddled. At first we’re told the dilithium stopped working and they couldn’t guarantee it wouldn’t happen again, so no one…went into space for over a hundred years? Now we’re told the sources dried up and *then* sometime later it went dead and everything blew up and so, I guess, there were no ships left? What about communications? The stories don’t match and neither makes sense anyway.
And then there’s the whole Starfleet thing. They’re too vulnerable on Earth and so they…disappear? How does that help anyone? How does that make it better and not worse? And then some admiral comes *back* for some reason, no one finds that odd- they did know he was there- and he sends a message for everyone to come to Earth and then…leaves? And transplants his symbiont into a four-year old human?
And maybe I’m too sensitive, but the “Earth looks out for itself” thing was a bit heavy-handed.
All very good points. Well delivered and logical post.
Why thank you!
Meaningless, though, since ML31 will support literally any half-assed edge lording or slander of Discovery. Even less points for Vulcan Soul’s attaboy.
I certainly don’t hope you mean me. I enjoy the show and meant my comment in all earnestness.
What Jeffries Tuber has said is unimportant and we do not hear his words.
Excellent post and, yes, “Earth looks out for itself” is less than subtle unless there’s something else going on here but “Picard” and “Discovery” have both demonstrated a history of starting strong and then missing the landing.
There’s nothing wrong with looking after yourself, and it doesn’t automatically preclude helping somebody in need who asks nicely. Neither does it give the latter the right to take by force what somebody won’t share!
I see where you’re coming from!
I’m holding out hope for an unexpected reveal of some sort that raises even more questions about this future.
The Admiral went missing two years previously not twelve.
I suspect we’ll find out why and how a Trill got a human adolescent to be the next host, but if a human were going to survive the symbiosis, an adolescent who was still growing and developing seems a much more likely prospect than an adult like Riker.
Or… A far more reasonable explanation is that 800 years later medicine has advanced to the point where ways for Trill symbionts to have non-Trill hosts have been found.
Yeah, I was thinking medical advances (although using “it’s the future, so canon doesn’t apply” is going to get old fast if it’s over-used), but it still seems unlikely. The Trill really, really limited things, so I don’t see how this would happen- and on Earth!
Right, the message was twelve years old, right? I thought there was a twelve there.
Good point about the adolescent. Of course, Riker was a Tryll, a different species. 😀
Yes, definitely an “Earth First” vibe… and not in a good way…
this Show is so cheesy. its an eternal cheesecake. it reminds me every second that it is sooo idealistic like a alarm clock on snooze rotation.
its like:” hey… loook… we are idealistic. we are starfleet and we say it all the time.”
ok… i got it. can I have an actually intriguing story now?
what was good?
burnham had some calm Moments. what a relief.
“burnham had some calm Moments. “
Maybe she took some Ambien? As a side effect, that may explain why she was beating up white guys on Book’s holodeck ;)
Your hood’s showing.
I love seeing StarTrek bring filmed in Toronto.
Giant disappointment! I know what this episode was *trying* to do, and the idea of not telling us (and the crew) all that happened in that year is an intruiging narrative device and sort of dramatic wedge between the crew and the protagonist that should prove to sustain some tension throughout the season, but ultimately it was all so shallow, so over-dripping with emotion and so generic starting with a bunch of copy & paste fleets exploding and the dramatic announcement “All dilithium exploded, the Federation disappeared overnight”. That was two minutes in and I already wanted to stop watching upon hearing such completely and utterly unbelievable BS!
I did not and the middle part was interesting enough, but just as giant teaser for just what we would find on Earth after all. And then it’s right at the very end of the episode, a fleeting five second SFX zoom-out on that same tired Golden Gate bridge we’ve seen for 50 years in close enough versions, with some buildings and vehicles that could really be from any century. That’s all that remains from that “visit to Earth” episode. It’s kind of like Voyager battling to come home for 2 hours only to end on an orbital flyover.
Characters constantly *telling* us what is happening, what happened over extended time periods, what they are feeling and what we are supposed to feel just won’t do it, it won’t save Trek (at least The Thinking Man’s Trek) in any century or timeline… This is high-school level writing that dips even lower than the scattershot opening episode, and a severe let down after last week’s sort-of average Star Trek episode (this is a compliment!)
I don’t know where things will go from here, but safe to say I already have my doubts how that reboot is working out. The Federation got rebooted, Burnham got rebooted, but the most important thing did not get rebooted: the writers!
This was my prediction before they even wrote one page of episode. That moving the show 900 years in the future would not solve the fundamental issues the show had. The problem was NOT the era they set the show it. That only became a problem when they decided to make it look like it was set 50 years AFTER TNG. No. The REAL problem was the bad writing, but poor plotting and the badly developed characters. Moving the show forward 900 years does nothing to address the poor characters and keeping the same writing crew doesn’t solve the poor plotting and bad writing. Which was about 80% of the problem with Discovery from the very beginning.
…sorry to hear you were right, ML, but so glad I refused to sign up for CBSAA again. The comments here are telling. Life is frustrating enough these days without being frustrated by the same bad writing that plagued seasons 1 and 2 on DSC. Star Trek should be a pleasant escape from real life, not a chore.
It’s like the two of you got into my head.
I understand what they intended to accomplish by jumping into the future but it still looks, feels and is paced exactly like seasons 1 and 2. It doesn’t particularly feel as if it takes place 900 years into the future, it just feels like a 23rd Century “What If?” where the Federation collapsed in an alternate timeline.
Fantastic post, Vulcan Soul. If Kurtzman and his team were so intent on rebooting Trek successfully, they’d have got in a Trek person to consult with at least (a Ron Moore rather than a Bryan *cough* charlatan hack *cough* Fuller).
I think quite a few of us who enjoyed pre-2005 Trek (I feel old), were willing to see S3 of Discovery as somewhat of a blank slate, but with these writers and with the stuff that’s happened so far, I don’t have much faith (Kurtzman’s fave word) that it’s anywhere near fixed.
And I think that’s what’s failing to connect for me. It’s not really a blank slate and what we’re seeing isn’t entirely fresh and new.
Thank you. It’s only episode 3 out of 13, but I’m very drained and frustrated already because I had high hopes and expectations for this visit to Earth 900 years later, and how it was teased. These writers just dont care about the same things. All they want to write is soap opera and move the plot in the most unbelievable and overdramatic manners to justify more soap. Like you said, this doesn’t feel like Star Trek to me. Star Trek was not about soap, it was about exploring ideas.
I have to say that I liked this VS. Sorry that you and ML31 didn’t like it, but I’m finding your comments quite over-the-top.
But then I strongly expected that Earth would not be the redout of the Federation.
I said on the last thread that an isolationist Earth sounded like an “I’m all right Jack, devil take the hindmost” attitude.
And that’s exactly what we saw.
I wasn’t happy about Burnham going rogue again, because she was that confident that she had the solution. However, in this case she was forcing the to parties to communicate rather than taking the first shot in a war.
I liked how Burnham’s story was inverted, and now she’s the one pushing parties who don’t even try to communicate to see the humanity in one another and collaborate.
I find it’s the show over-the-top ever since Michelle Paradise took over in that late season 2 episode you called out yourself, so I think my reaction is appropriate. And I announced I will not be watching for the next couple of episodes, so I’m certainly putting my money were my mouth is!
Please note that I dont have fundamental issues with the Andromeda like plot line itself of Earth being out of Federation etc. It’s the over-dripping emotional style I just cant take anymore. It’s all soap opera now and the plot just exists to bring on the next cry-piece (therefore being razor thin). There are alot of ideas being thrown up certainly but never explored even beyond the surface (same as in Picard).
Do your viewership analyses say anything about gender ratio in Discovery? Because my impression is all this is much more appealing to the typical ‘shipper female than the science guy.
Typical ‘shipper females and science guys. Good grief.
If you disagree that Discovery is making itself more appealing to a female viewership with all these changes (much like the “Young adult scifi” wave of the 10s), please do present some arguments! Or are you denying the scientific consensus that the female brain is more drawn towards emotional relationships between people while the male brain values objects and concepts? The exception confirming the rule, as always.
If you’re really, genuinely interested in the topic, Nature published a good review on the subject of neurosexism. Suffice it to say, the “consensus” is nothing of the sort. It’s written for a broad audience.
+1. Oh, and I thought cultural conservatives like Vulcan Soul “didn’t see color.”
I’m not so sure that was her plan. It really felt like she was winging it and only through blind luck did she manage to get “The Swede” (Helmeted guy) through some sort of missing scene maneuver on board Discovery.
To me, TNG was at its best when it was exploring Trek like sci fi concepts and ideas. It was at its worst when it was trying to dive into their established characters.
You must not be a Michael Piller fan then ;)
(Not that I disagree!)
I actually like compelling character stories. My problem with TNG there was that aside from Worf there were no compelling characters. Every one of them was dull as can be.
I loved all of them personally. Dude how did you get through seven seasons of this show lol. You sound like you hated most of it.
Because it still from time to time dealt with cool Trek like stories. Which work no matter what the characters are like. Sure good characters help. But TNG’s characters (again apart from Worf) were awfully weak and dull. So yeah… More than half the episodes were not all that good. But it was new Trek and not a rerun I had seen 50 times so it was worth watching especially when a rare good one popped up.
And Stewart had charisma that made his dull character watchable.
I’m more convinced than ever that Secret Hideout will never get better than this so long as they keep the same group cross-pollinating on every show. This is a company that just doesn’t learn from their mistakes.
Where’s Manny Coto when we need him?! :(
Discovery just doesn’t feel like Star Trek to me. I’m glad it seems that fans are getting some enjoyment from it and reading the synopsis, it seems this episode had the crew get two sides (Earth and Titan) talking and hammering out differences, which does actually seem Star Trek-ish.
“Discovery just doesn’t feel like Star Trek to me. I’m glad it seems that fans are getting some enjoyment from it”
I finally figured Discovery seems to be written much more heavily to appeal to a female audience (and more emotion-focused men) than any Trek show before (I wonder if that is reflected in viewership demographics) . They certainly want to leave the science and tech geeks behind, that much is clear. So while some of the coating is still the same, the machine thats running it is not a brain anymore but a heart. And I couldn’t care less for that!
Your sexism is showing.
Surprised to see that Discovery has so much dilithium. Kirk sure could have used a bit more in “Mudd’s Women” and “Elaan of Troyius.” Maybe I missed something. I am getting old…
Can someone explain how long one dilithium crystal usually lasted? Talking regular use for a starship? I have no idea. Is it suppose to be a few months or over a year? And yeah the ship had tons of it lol. I don’t think I’ve seen a room full of it before.
I think that the warp core had big frames holding it in TOS.
Discovery may have a lot in inventory because it doesn’t actually use it much compared to other interstellar explorers. After all, spore drive is their drive of choice for long distances.
Thanks for that. But then it makes you wonder if they do things more via spore drive than warp like most standard ships than why do they need so much of it lol. The whole dilithium thing just really confuse me I guess. Starfleet has thousands of ships even in the 23rd century according to Discovery but they pretend dilithium is kind of rare but that really doesn’t seem to be the case at all. I guess it’s kind of like the gas issue today where there is a fear it will run out some day, but there is ample supply for anyone who needs it now. But maybe that did change once the found a way to recrystalize them later on?
Maybe due to the experimental nature of the spore drive, Starfleet insisted they have ample supplies of dilithium as a back up. They would need that if the spore drive stopped working.
I am pretty sure this new star trek is being written by the alien from Stargate who became a producer.
“I do not understand why everything in the script must inevitably explode.” Teal’c
That’s a fun episode.
Man… It started off on the wrong foot big time. The way they shot and presented Burnham gave her a deity-like quality. Which is right in line with this show. Even when she willingly gave command to Saru it was done in a smug “I am so greatly superior” attitude. And again, that entire sequence was more “star fleet is so great” stuff that I said the show could do without when talking about the previous episode.
Once again, every scene with evil Geargeau undercut everything. She is a scene wrecker.
The entire stand off sequence really didn’t make much sense. But it happened so fast I guess the intent wasn’t for it to make sense.
The black manta helmet seemed a bit much. On screen it looked like it was just an alien’s head. Sorta like Balok only better looking.
Was confused with the Trill. I thought humans couldn’t serve as a host beyond a short time frame. But I let that go because this was 700 years later and it makes sense that tech could exist to stretch that.
In the end… The episode garnered a “meh” rating from me. And yes, I am perfectly aware that my take on this show is indeed tainted by the first 26 episodes. It’s going to take some doing to get past that.
I didn’t watch the episode but it doesn’t sound exciting at all.
Prepare for more meh, ML31. Next we are going on the search for Spock, errrh Starfleet. And taking a side tour to Freecloud eeerh Trill. Their formula is nothing like Old Trek, but they already made it stale after 3 years (not 18).
Honestly I don’t have a problem breaking formula. That’s fine. I expect things to be changed up. But it still has to be somewhat engaging and less formulaic. Sorry I’m just not impressed with the same old same old writers Kurtzman seems to love to the point that he uses them on all the Trek shows. The fact that all their shows have tons of crossover behind the scenes tells me that AK is either lying when he speaks about different kinds of shows or he’s just too stupid to tell what a different tone is. I have to think he’s just lying.
SNW is going to be his litmus test. That show’s episodic format basically begs for a greater diversity of writers and directors, but if they still go with Kurtz, Akiva & Gang, well, the pudding has been served.
Wasn’t too impressed by that one. I liked some of the character stuff (Adira is cool immediately in my book) and rolled my eyes at some of the others (I could have used about a dozen fewer mentions of the wacky adventures Michael and Book got up to in the Great Missing Year). It’s been marginally better this season, but Discovery is still the same old show, as far as I can tell.
Bahaha, yes! I get the gimmick there, but that was so over-done and poorly managed. You do it enough to get the point across. But you do it too much and it’s like, why are you playing coy with each other like that when you can just say outright what your point is..
Yeah. If someone says they had a bad year, I would sit down, show my friend the opposite chair and say: I have time.
It was nice to see that Earth remains non-apocalyptic, albeit basically back to where it was in Enterprise in terms of Starfleet and Federation development.
Earth is not a Federation member anymore.
And the Federation did not exist in Enterprise.
Earth is not apocalyptic but I’m disappointed Earth left the Federation. Earth should have stayed in the Federation but whatever.
The episode was meh for the most part. Don’t care much for it.
Posts, mere minutes apart: The episode was meh. But you didn’t watch it. Conflicted much?
Faze Ninja you posted this saying you watched it. But then you made another post Phil alluded to saying you DIDN’T watch it. But what’s nuts is you posted this one first but claimed on your second post you didn’t watch it yet. And either way, they are literally just a minute apart from each other. Dude, c’mon, what is up with some of your your posts man? Sometimes I can’t tell if you’re just trolling or just say anything to agree with people.
As for your point about Earth staying in the Federation, I think people are missing the point that after the Burn the Federation had just became in name only. They couldn’t protect anyone as before since the organization basically just dried up. The first two episodes made that pretty clear. So Earth didn’t really ‘leave it’ it just couldn’t depend on it anymore like I’m guessing most planets and had to create something on its own to protect itself.
I actually predicted this would be the case in the previous thread about the episode and turned out to be right (for a change ;)).
Now that said, I’m not sure why Starfleet itself is no longer there? You would think that would just be around or that it simply evolved into the Earth Defence Force if exploration was no longer the main mandate. It’s still around, just no longer on Earth for some reason. But since Starfleet existed before the Federation did, it’s a bit confusing but that’s also the fun of storytelling, to shake things up.
The composition and command structure of Starfleet is an interesting topic for casual conversation. I’ll stand corrected if wrong, but I’ve assumed that earth is the capital of both the Federation and Starfleet. However, in the vastness of space, there’d be no reason to assume that the Federations various members would be surrendering their autonomy to some distant capital, and it’s also likely that members would continue to construct their own starfleet (lower case), while under the command of Starfleet (upper case). How Starfleet seems to operate ships of mostly distinct human construction is a head scratcher, as non-bipedal Federation members have been alluded to – their ships would have very unique requirements the typical Federation cruiser couldn’t meet. Strategically, it would also make sense for the fleets to be decentralized, least an opponent easily takes them out.
So, if the Federation operates as an umbrella organization (think NATO), and it’s suddenly useless because of the loss of FTL drive…..then, yeah, what’s the point of hanging around?
I agree with all of this. Yes, at least up to the 24th century we know both Starfleet and the Federation main headquarters was on Earth. Starfleet was in San Francisco and the Federation was in Paris. I can see the Federation eventually being headquartered some place else though since it represents so many planets and at some point in the future just moved.
But I would still think there would be some variant of Starfleet still on Earth, but I do agree that Starfeet could’ve just had different versions of it on other planets too. In fact, it always seem odd to me that Starfleet seemed like it was all just stationed on Earth although it basically was the Federation defense (or most of it). I know some people are not going to like this analogy but I always thought it would just make sense to do what the U.S. military does now and have bases posted in most of their ally countries globally especially since you said the Federation basically was like NATO in the beginning. Starfleet would just have headquarters on every major Federation planet and their own fleet of ships for those planets.
And maybe that’s what eventually happened? Starfleet is still relatively young even by the 24th century, but another 800 years after that could’ve expanded it in all kinds of crazy ways including building ships for unique alien biologies as you said.
So maybe that is what happened, they were both still very important, if not more so, in the Alpha quadrant, just no longer tied so strongly to Earth. It’s been 800 years since the 24th century, so all kinds of political, strategic or social changes could’ve happened to create these chances.
“Sometimes I can’t tell if you’re just trolling or just say anything to agree with people.”
Or it’s just taking keywords from people’s posts and writing a new post about them. Modern-day Eliza ;)
Sometimes I wonder if Ninja has a sibling who sneaks on their devices just to wreak havoc.
Earth’s isolation is pretty clearly a metaphor for “America First” under Trump, the shield a metaphor for Trump’s “big, beautiful wall,” and the Titan characters a metaphor for immigrants that wall is meant to exclude.
None of these political developments “should have” happened, either, but they did, and we have to deal with their consequences. That’s what this show is about.
Yes and no!
No one hates Trump more than me with maybe the exception of his own Cabinet, White House personnel and parts of his family, but I don’t think that was a direct metaphor either.
For one thing, Earth clearly didn’t have an issue with helping people on Titan, it just seem in their own paranoia after everything that happened, they weren’t sure who to trust. I don’t think United Earth is representing xenophobia but yes probably more isolated (and I know for many both are pretty much the same). I think in United Earth case, they lost their biggest security blanket a century ago and Earth has made lots of enemies in the process over the centuries so now that that security is gone they have to be extra vigilant.
But I don’t think they are saying no one is allowed there, there is just a proper more strict way to do it now. You can’t just show up unannounced like the old Earth because they don’t have the man power or resources to protect them like before and they are a prime target for invasion now.
Trump just believes America is better off on its own for the most part and it doesn’t really need allies to prosper, but I won’t get into any of that because people will start yelling at me.
“But I don’t think they are saying no one is allowed there, there is just a proper more strict way to do it now. You can’t just show up unannounced like the old Eart”
Thanks for this very nuanced take, Tiger! You basically described the process of legal immigration and why it’s in place. I think nobody could argue anybody has the right to take by force what others are not willing to share just because he’s in a bad situation. That’s like the burglar with the poor family. Maybe that’s a mitigating factor for the crime, but a crime nonetheless. Neither should there be a shoot first policy, though. The let’s talk out our differences scene was certainly very Trek among all those layers of saccharine soap opera!
There is a smart poem about this topic:
Ansprache an MillionäreErich Kästner
Warum wollt ihr so lange warten,
bis sie euren geschminkten Frauen
und euch und den Marmorpuppen im Garten
eins über den Schädel hauen?
Warum wollt ihr euch denn nicht bessern?
Bald werden sie über die Freitreppen drängen
und euch erstechen mit Küchenmessern
und an die Fenster hängen.
Sie werden euch in die Flüsse jagen.
Sinnlos werden dann Schrei und Gebet sein.
Sie werden euch die Köpfe abschlagen.
Dann wird es zu spät sein.
Dann wird sich der Strahl der Springbrunnen röten.
Dann stellen sie euch an die Gartenmauern.
Sie werden kommen und schweigen und töten.
Niemand wird über euch trauern.
Wie lange wollt ihr euch weiter bereichern?
Wie lange wollt ihr aus Gold und Papieren
Rollen und Bündel und Barren speichern?
Ihr werdet alles verlieren.
Ihr seid die Herrn von Maschinen und Ländern.
Ihr habt das Geld und die Macht genommen.
Warum wollt ihr die Welt nicht ändern,
bevor sie kommen?
Ihr sollt ja gar nicht aus Güte handeln!
Ihr seid nicht gut. Und auch sie sind’s nicht.
Nicht euch, aber die Welt zu verwandeln,
ist eure Pflicht!
Der Mensch ist schlecht. Er bleibt es künftig.
Ihr sollt euch keine Flügel anheften.
Ihr sollt nicht gut sein, sondern vernünftig.
Wir sprechen von Geschäften.
Ihr helft, wenn ihr halft, nicht etwa nur ihnen.
Man kann sich, auch wenn man gibt, beschenken.
Die Welt verbessern und dran verdienen –
das lohnt, drüber nachzudenken.
Macht Steppen fruchtbar. Befehlt. Legt Gleise.
Organisiert den Umbau der Welt!
Ach, gäbe es nur ein Dutzend Weise
mit sehr viel Geld…
Ihr seid nicht klug. Ihr wollt noch warten.
Uns tut es leid. Ihr werdet’s bereuen.
Schickt aus dem Himmel paar Ansichtskarten!
Es wird uns freuen.
Why is it that you are waiting,
Till they give your painted wives
And you, and the painted floozies,
A hefty blow upon your skulls.
Why don’t you want to better yourselves?
Soon they’ll be storming the outside stairs
And with kitchen knives they’ll stab you
And hang you from the window sills.
They will chase you into the rivers.
Cries and prayers will be in vain.
They will knock your very heads off.
Then it will be all too late.
Then the fountain jets will redden.
Your backs against the garden walls,
They will come in silence, killing
And no-one else for you will mourn.
How long will you still gather riches.
How long do you want to amass the hoards
Of bars, rolls, stacks of gold and papers,
‘Cos you are going to lose them all.
You are the masters of machines and countries.
You took the money and the power.
Why don’t you want to change the world
Before they’re knocking at your door?
You don’t have to act from kindness.
You’re not good and nor are they.
It’s not you, the world needs changing.
That’s your duty, your task today.
Man is bad and will remain so.
You don’t have to put on wings,
Need not be good, instead be rational,
We are talking about business things.
Your assistance, if provided,
Doesn’t help just you alone.
Even when you give to others,
A reward is earned that is your own.
Make the world a better place
Whilst benefiting yourself too.
This is truly, think about it,
Something worth aspiring to.
Make plains fertile, lead, lay tracks.
Organise the world’s rebuild.
Oh, were there just a dozen sages
With the means, the cash, the gilts.
But you’re not bright, still hesitating.
We’re sorry, this you will regret.
Send us a postcard when you’re in heaven,
Looking forward to receiving it!
translated by Chris Thomas
The people of Earth are not the millionaires (the few). They are the many, asked to bend over backwards and accept the crime and terrorism coming with the few, this part of the story frequently ignored but very much topical these days again (to go with the “illegal immigration ‘analogy). To then threaten and blackmail violence, anarchy over rule of law, as the poem does, is only befitting such dangerous ignorance.
Of course, the real millionaires in this analogy, the champagner socialist, will preach water while drinking wine and frequently not be affected by the negatives of his extremism, hence the call for this false benovelence. Let’s see how many Titans the Millionaire will personally take care of and pay for, and then we talk!
(Of course in reality the story is never as black and white, but the writers, like true members of their Cult, chose to make it so, thence I respectfully oblige ;)
Actually, the more befitting analogy is the burglar forcing himself into your house while you have opened the door to let in your good friends, invited guests, and he is stealing your property, emptying your fridge, p!ssing all over your carpet and, for good measure, raping your wife. True story! Im asking you, how benovelent would you feel then, and how true would your belief remain? ;)
What you don’t understand is that the poem is explicit not about benevolence. That is exact the point why I called it smart.
You don’t have to act from kindness.
You’re not good and nor are they.
It’s not you, the world needs changing.
That’s your duty, your task today.
Man is bad and will remain so.
You don’t have to put on wings,
Need not be good, instead be rational,
We are talking about business things.
Star Trek has been about current politics since the 60’s.
Your show notes discuss pronouns. “They” is not a non-binary pronoun, but rather a gender neutral pronoun that many non-binary people opt to use. You can be she and non-binary, This is a common misconception.
People it is a frickin show it does not have to be real. And the main character had not seen them in a frickin year
Welcome to Star Trek fandom….
Haven’t commented in a minute but, my issue with the show is that every season has felt like a reboot. It would be nice for the show to finally open a season with a settled in crew and mission.
It’s the third season and we *still* don’t know all of the bridge crew.
Now it feels like we have to learn all the rules, yet again!
And it’s frustrating because I like the actors, love the crew that I do know… But NO MORE resets dammit!
Once we figure out the rules of this time and place? Can we please stick to them??
On the plus side, I really like Saru being Captain and I want to see how his particular style develops. And I like Burnham…but I REALLY want Saru to take the lead and be *right* about his instincts as often as possible.
Why does everyone insist that we “knew” so much about bridge crew in TOS, TNG, etc? In TOS we learned very very little, and in TNG much of what was set up in S1 was abandoned.
I’m already curious what the fourth season reboot for Discovery will be like.
So if I got on the Discovery and saw what happened to Earth I would just go to the Klingon Time Crystal world and… ?
Alter history and violate the temporal prime directive?
Don’t forget the Bajoran Orb of Time. Oh, and the Guardian of Forever. There are also any number of temporal anomalies.
They don’t know about the Bajoran orbs or the Guardian yet, though. Unless they deep-dive into the Sphere Data.
Someone in this future has to know. Someone always does.
I’d bet good money that Boreth’s time crystals have been taken out of the equation by now — temporal wars and all that. At the practical level, it would be impossible to keep time travel banned, in this galaxy where ‘honor system’ definitely doesn’t apply.
Heck, there’s likely an above-zero possibility that Boreth has been zapped out of existence in one conflict or another. Perhaps we’ll find out…
Nothing stops them from just doing a slingshot around a star at warp 9! I guess they wouldn’t know about it yet but no time crystal required. ;)
Technically, dilithium didn’t explode, it temporarily went inert. I thought the implication was that any ship with an active warp core suddenly had an uncontrolled matter/antimatter reaction and exploded. The existing shortage of dilithium, combined with the fear that it could go inert again and cause more damage, led to future we see.
Michael doesn’t specify how much time elapsed between the onset of the dilithium shortage and The Burn, but it must have been at least a century if the shortage started c. 2960 (700 years post season 2) and The Burn happened c. 3068-88 (100-120 years pre-season 3). The timeline doesn’t necessarily mess with Daniels’ future–the dilithium shortage may have been occurring in his time but just wasn’t relevant to his day job.
Great reviews. I look forward to reading them every week.
It was pretty much my impression that dilithium going inert would be like pulling the plug. The ships merely just drop out of warp. No ‘boom’.
Actually the explanation above makes alot of sense: that because it separates M/AM normally, once it stops doing so the antimatter and matter annihilate. The real problem is not the technicalities but that this alone would make the Federation “disappear overnight”.
I would still think that this reaction is so dangerous that the instant anything stops working backups kick into place and the ship drops out of warp.
Sorry, I don’t buy it. Like many things in Discovery it doesn’t fly because it makes no logical sense.
Everything plotwise is not very well thought-out because it only serves to push the characters to the next emo-piece. Have you noticed how they sneaked another “galactic disaster” storyline on us and will probably up the ante on this even once the baddie is known and may want to stop Discovery from fixing things? The crux is the show *needs* to eternally come back to such apocalpytic extreme storylines to serve up the constant extreme emotions they are so interested in. Then it all makes sense, at least for them!
I don’t think that the antimatter just ‘shuts’ off once the dilithium goes inert. Since that has never happened before there may not be an adequate backup designed for it? Considering how fast the reactions are fictionally designed to occur, that from the time the dilithium went inert, if even one more reaction took place that would’ve been the end and caused an immediate warp core breach.
Plus I’ve always believed that even when not at warp that the matter/anti-matter reactions were still taking place at a lower rate. Idling? As the main reactor provided main power to the ship. So even a ship sitting still would’ve blown. Hence the cutscene that showed dozens of ships blowing up all sitting around each other.
What doesn’t make sense about this story in the fictional is that impulse drive didn’t play a bigger role. We’ve seen various ships spend minutes using impulse to get in and out of solar systems before warping away, so the whole Titan thing is malarkey.
Well, perhaps. As I said this stuff has never been revealed. For good reason I imagine. Yet here comes AK and his crew deciding to use the vague sciency thing for their silly plot.
That said… The anti-matter is contained somehow. I see no reason why it could not return to that contained state should the energy flow or regulator fails.
Pretty good! In Frakes we trust! :)
Not quite what I expected and certainly not perfect, but not bad!
But Earth is now mean in the 32nd century. :(
But at least it still looks like paradise and haven’t gone all Blade Runner on us even if it’s not part of Starfleet or the Federation anymore. That was a really smart decision. The galaxy isn’t as great as before but Earth is a progressive and peaceful place like it was in the 23rd and 24th centuries, it’s just on its own now. And I don’t think it’s become xenophobic or anything like that, we still saw aliens as part of the UEDF,
Liking Adira. She look like she will be a lot of fun and she is carrying a symbiont. I like they kept that canon (I try not to think how it works on human though lol). And I notice three episodes in, while the story is huge with big stakes but the plots in the episodes have been smaller, simpler and very Trek and just about helping a small group of people and/or animals…I like it. Discovery is feeling a bit more like the Trek I knew and loved. This could’ve been a TNG or VOY episode easily. Just replace Earth with a random alien planet of the week. In many ways this felt similar to New Eden last year.
But yes there were still some things that didn’t make sense. I did like the set up with the humans on Titan, but as its been pointed out, it’s not like Saturn is all that far. Why not just send them a message explaining their situation? I just can’t believe things devolved this badly where they couldn’t just talk it out rationally. And that was basically proven once Burnham got them into the same room for five minutes. And yes the ending felt a bit awkward and tacked on with the tree scene, but it was still nice. But what exactly is the rush?? The alpha quadrant has been in tatters for a century, why not just stay on Earth for a few days? What’s going to change exactly?
But the happiest part, Saru is now Captain!!!! That was the best (and non-surprising) part of the episode. And it’s great that Burnham is officially Number One again. Some things feels right in this era at least.
Anyway, not as great as I built it up in my head but pretty solid! I just love being in this era in general. Everything old is NEW again. This is why going forward is just more exciting and fun. The dynamics are all completely different and we have no idea what anything is anymore. This episode made that very clear. Can’t wait to see what is next.
Like i said last week… we have fundamentally different expectations for Trek and mine aren’t met. So this didn’t feel like New Eden at all to me, maybe because it’s a different layer of it that I appreciated.
To me the show took a significant turn to the worse about the time Michelle Paradise took over late last season and all this emotion-dripping started to replace the (however clumsily executed) plot maneuvering, which still happens though to ‘justify’ the soap opera scenes.
Now we’re on for another search (Starfleet, not Spock) with “fun side tours” (Trill). Its all so predictable. To me the disappointment is worse when I had high expectations, same as for the AI storyline last season. I don’t like where this is going, and it seems familiar territory even 900 years in the future.
I won’t watch the next couple of episodes until some weeks afterwards mostly for being on vacation but it’s a welcome break for me given this thorough estrangement. The more things change, the more they stay the same!
Well we certainly had different views in the last two episodes that’s for sure. But we don’t disagree on everything either. I don’t like all the melodrama either and it bothers me how much Burnham cries on this show lol.
Amd yes you’re right, its another ‘search for’ storyline, but we knew that literally a year ago now when the first trailer dropped. We knew it was going to be about rebuilding the Federation and finding the clues to what happened, so I’m OK with that. But I can tell by you and others it feels like a tired plot line. And maybe it is, but this is how most serialized shows work, right? There is a crisis that creates a mystery and usually a journey of some kind to resolve or stop it. That or just leading to war/battle.
But if you just don’t like where it’s going, obviously I get it. I just don’t have the same issue with it…yet. That was actually what was so fun about second season, unfortunately how the mystery was resolved just REALLY lacked, especially how it dealt with the AI issue as you said. The story started off with mystery and wonder just to end up feeling like a generic sci fi plot we seen over and over again in better shows or movies. But so far I’m enjoying it enough to see where it goes and I can say I been enjoying it a lot more than the first three episodes of season one by a huge margin and about on par where I felt about season 2 at this point.
Enjoy your vacation but I’m just curious where do people go for vacation these days lol. I would love to be on a plane, SOMEWHERE, but that is way out of the cards for me. I live in America though and this country is sadly getting much worse. Would go out of the country somewhere but we are barely allowed to go anywhere without quarantining for two damn weeks first. Sigh, I wish we had time travelers who could come and help figure out how to end this virus too, but it is interesting how the show storyline feels a lot closer to what we dealing with today and for once it wasn’t even done on purpose.
Btw, I find Frakes as a director has so thoroughly blended in with this new style that I don’t find his episodes superior in any way to the rest. Not since “Stardust City” certainly. Less shaky cam is nice but does not save me from the other nauseating bits ;)
I find his episodes worse than others, actually. I like the guy, but when I think about the episodes I liked the least (ex. Stardust City, New Eden, this), most were directed by Frakes.
Curious: was anyone else disappointed that Adira is referred to as she throughout the episode (sometimes when Adira is standing right there), even though Blu de Barrio is nonbinary and chooses to use they/them pronouns. Could there not have been a bit of rewriting in the introduction of Adira to reflect this and give us a nonbinary character in Trek? I mean, such a big deal was made of Blu’s casting and their being nonbinary, it seems like a wasted chance at expressing infinite diversity to not give us a nonbinary character. Just my 2 slips of gold-pressed latinum.
Yeah, I thought that was weird too. It might come up later. Like, maybe everybody just assumed that they were a she, and they didn’t feel like correcting anybody.
Glad I wasn’t the only one…
They is referring to more than one, though.
Not always. It can also refer to somebody who is non-binary, or somebody who’s gender you don’t know.
Adira might not want it casually revealed that he/she has a Trill symbiont, though. In fact, it seemed like he/she was very reluctant to make that known. So he/she goes along with what the crowd thinks in situations where the truth is unimportant (no ‘need to know’ if Adira is leaving the Discovery in a few minutes or hours.) Now that Adira is part of the Discovery crew, that will have to change.
Or it could be that because their Trill symbiosis was covert, they did not feel that they could publicly own their nonbianary identity.
I’m wondering if we will be sharing in an identity discovery experience with Adira.
I think that was pretty obvious. This was a secret of hers.
That makes things awfully complicated. I’ll just use “they” as a pronoun used when referring to a group. If I could not tell a gender I would probably to my best to avoid pronouns as best I could until I knew one way or the other or use it as the generic as in “You know what they say…”
Its not that complicated, and thats how its always worked.
No, it is complicated because now more uses are assigned to a word that has been used to refer to more than one or an unknown.
Its really not that hard to wrap your head around. There are words in English that are way more confusing than “they.”
No, “they” is not confusing. It’s adding new meanings to something that doesn’t really follow what the word is that can be confusing.
I wrote a similar review on Reddit and used the they/them pronouns for the character. But then someone there (it could’ve been you since it sounds like the post I read) made the point the character was identified as she. So yes, I’m a bit confused too? I thought the character was supposed to be non-binary? Or maybe that will just come up in future episodes. I mean the episode didn’t have time to go into her background much and how would anyone on Discovery know? So it still may get used.
I’m not on Reddit, so t’wasn’t me. I’d have written it the same way, out of respect to Blu del Barrio.
OK, no worries. BUT, I actually found out the answer to this and del Barrio made it clear in an interview this was done on purpose. I just read it on the ‘other’ site that is also core viewing for fans where they state why the pronouns wasn’t used right away. I would normally link the site but since I don’t know how cool that is here, I’ll post the actual comments that was said. You can go to the site to read the rest:
“[The use of those pronouns were] really important for me. I care a lot about an accurate representation of Adira and trans representation, especially. Because I wasn’t yet fully out to a lot of my family and some of my friends still, I didn’t feel comfortable right off the bat having everyone use they/them pronouns for Adira because I wasn’t out to everyone yet.
So I wanted to wait until really I was, until I was in a place where I could talk to my family and my friends and tell them who I was. At that point I could then feel that this is now an accurate way for me to represent Adira onscreen as well because I’m there too. I didn’t want to rush it. I didn’t want to put pressure on myself.
I just wanted it to be as honest as possible because there are so few trans characters onscreen, and I wanted to make this character as transparent to my own experience as possible because we don’t see a lot of trans characters onscreen who are questioning, who are maybe not completely out talking to everyone about how they’re feeling about themselves.
There’s so much pressure in the media for us to be 100 percent confident and really sure about ourselves so that people watching the shows don’t question us. But there are so many people who struggle with their identity and I wanted to at least have one character onscreen do that… be able to see someone go from keeping everything inside to them sharing because that’s what everyone has to do.”
Hold up, is Blu del Barrio trans or non-binary? Or are they as an actor non-binary, but Adira is trans? That just made me more confused…
Thanks for bringing that here Tiger2.
No worries! :)
I read in the Glaad interview they will open up to Stamets and Culber after a while.
As person on tumblr, I feel I can say that non-binary people don’t necessarily use “they/them” pro-nouns.
Maybe they couldn’t come up with a non-binary term that made grammatical sense. It still makes me cringe to have to write a plural word to describe a single person.
Nobody “has” to do anything, Ian, particularly something they are deeply uncomfortable with. That’s probably the key difference in ideologies between the defenders of Reason and the Cult.
You mean like using “you” instead of “thee” .
Normally language evolves by universal consent, slowly over time, and not one group unilaterally imposing change and shaming everyone who begs to differ. I think George Orwell had some things to say about the political corruption of language.
VS, using “each their own” rather than “each his own” has been in common usage in North America since at least the 70s when it was treated as a common grammatical error on my province-wide tests in high school.
As well, “they” been increasingly accepted in the singular as a neutral pronoun rather than using he or she. I’ve been seeing allowed in literature for a couple of decades.
All to say that they/their as nongendered singular pronoun has been evolving then for at least 50 years and predates usage specifically for nonbinary people.
I’ve resisted it so hard, going as far as to say him/her or s/he when it is only one person in such cases. It’s a losing battle, I’ll get over it at some point. But I do still wish a lovely new pronoun could get adopted that doesn’t make it seem like a non-binary individual is two people.
Just repeat the name!
You are fooled by selection bias, its no losing battle because there is no battle. 99% of humanity outside the West has bigger problems than struggling to abuse language to appease the self-absorbed pronoun crises of the vanishing few…
There’s a vast amount of people suffering from identity crises, btw, and most of all have nothing to do with sexuality, and so get ignored!
I think the net gain for listening comprehension is negative when adopting a pronoun that is *primarily* used for plural and understood as such, in particular by the majority of global English speakers, which are non-Western second language speakers! Something to consider especially in light of our common criticism of Americanocentrism.
I saw native speakers slipping here with related words (shouldn’t it be “themself” not “themselves” then?), so that speaks volumes to the issue.
There is a vast difference between structural and traditional grammar. As you are apparently a structuralist, TG47, you see nothing wrong in “shifting” a pronoun because of the advocated usage by a minority of the speakers of the language. (Structuralists believe grammar should reflect usage, while Traditionalists believe the rules are the rules.) As a teacher of writing, using “they” as a singular is A NIGHTMARE for students and teachers alike as one of the most difficult things to understand about English–for native speakers and ESPECIALLY for non-native speakers–is subject/verb agreement. English has a perfectly function gender-neutral pronoun–‘it’–but no one wants to use that one.
That’s really problematic though to use “it.” Heck, most people wouldn’t even like their pets to be referred to without gender. I just wish the community would embrace using s/he, his/her or another word. “They” just does not sit well in my grammatically traditionalist brain – makes it seem like the person has multiple personalities rather than a non-binary gender.
As I said, “it” is a perfectly good pronoun, but no one wants to use it. Why someone doesn’t come up with another one, I don’t know. I know that it is HARD for students of the language to deal with the mismatching issues. I have a room right now with two French students, four Hispanic, two Latino, and seven developmental native speakers, who are utterly confused with the entire mess, but, on the bright side, the Japanese student isn’t having as much trouble with it as he has with articles because so many words in his language are both singular and plural at once.They have to learn ‘standard edited English’ in order to survive in higher education, but . . . it’s an uphill climb that “they” as a singular just makes harder.
Kerisate, I empathize with the challenges of teaching English, but I object to traditionalist as a valid descriptor for strict grammarians.
They as a singular pronoun predates those formalized grammar rules….by several centuries. Tradition supports the usage.
I view it as something that’s making a comeback, much like the verb shall.
I didn’t make up those terms–linguistic studies have used those terms and terms like prescriptive, descriptive, and transformational-generative since I was a graduate student . . . uh . . . let’s just go with decades ago.
It’s a little late in the game, but Star Trek could use a scene like the movie Casino, where they explain how the whole warp drive works in relation to the dilithium.
I’ve always thought it was better for it to remain a mystery. Keeping it kinda vague was working just fine. Until Secret Hideout decided to use it as a major plot point. Typical.
So far this episode and episode one are my favorites. It’s a classic optimistic Star Trek episode that I found so comforting. I actually thought the Captaincy would go to Burnham but after the events of her time travel I think I’d pass on a Captaincy as well. Also I’m enjoying post Vahirie now Captain Saru. This is one of those episodes I’ll be rewatching a few times.
An excellent episode. And Star Trek has its first ALIEN captain — yay! All hail Captain Saru!
I really liked the slower pace and the ability to feel with the characters, rather than racing from event to event on a non-stop roller coaster.
The message was a little heavy-handed, but that, too, is terribly Trekkian, so I didn’t really mind. :-)
Burnham has WAY more chemistry with Book than she ever had with Tyler, and I look forward to seeing where that goes.
Anthony Pascale, your review made me laugh. I loved You bet your five-year-mission they are. :-)
“And Star Trek has its first ALIEN captain — yay! All hail Captain Saru!”
That was the only part of the episode I appreciated without reservations! And Saru brings some much needed level-headedness amidst all this over-emotional insanity!
I love Saru, and really welcome his rise to captain.
I just hope that he will be permitted to truly be a captain in the sense of:
1) actually solving the main dramatic complication of at least a few episodes per season without either Michael Burnham or Georgiou acting ahead of his orders
2) being shown to harness and direct all the resources of his crew and ship to solve the seasonal mystery and the major complication of a reasonable balance of episodes
I’m still really concerned that the writers and showrunners are enforcing a rule where only the actors at the top of the call sheet (or those slated for that on series in development) are allowed to solve the major dramatic complication in any any episode.
Michael Burnham and Georgiou (and Pike in S2) are really the only ones to solve major problems.
I’m really trying to think of a single episode where Saru or Culber or Stamets saved the day. The only case that comes close is Stamets desperately inciting himself with Tardigrade DNA.
This isn’t teamwork in the way we know it in Trek.
In fact, my understanding was that in the contracts of 90s Trek, each actor in the ensemble was guaranteed a star turn once or twice a season. 13 episodes doesn’t give a lot of scope for that, but they could and should try.
I think the latter rule again doesn’t work anymore because of serialization and restriction to one storyline per seaskn (which per default revolves around the main character). I think by now we have cobbled together at least a dozen reasons why serialization doesn’t work in Kurtzman Trek, and by Surak I hope SNW can save this train wreck before its too late (sticking to my plan not to watch anymore from this week, and when I restart really depends which turn this season takes!)
I was hoping Senna Tal would turn out to be a Romulan. Alas, no relation!
Well, I’m not going to troll the comments of anyone who found a lot to love about this episode, but to me it just hammered home how this is not the writing staff to take this show to the heights it needs to achieve. The dialogue and plotting is clumsy , emphasizing “tell” over “show.” I couldn’t care about Tilly and whoever those other characters were and their tree, because the emotional connection was belabored and told to me. Same goes for Book and Burnham’s year of history – all told in “Remember when we…?” stories we never see, which is pedestrian film school exposition stuff.
The plot was ultimately positive and “Star Trek,” but everyone is laying on their love for each other and the Federation so thick, and the story is trite and shallow, especially considering the gravity of the show’s new setting. The character work still so slight that most events’ impact on them doesn’t move me at all. Everything is surface with this show – plot revelations, character development… it’s such a waste of acting, directing and production crew talent IMO.
“Everything is surface with this show – plot revelations, character development”
Brought to you by the former writers of Transformers and a bunch of soap operas. In that light it’s not really surprising, is it?
Well, one always hopes people will surprise you. Much of this team worked worked on Fringe, which had great plotting, certainly. And Discovery has had so much upheaval, I was looking at season 3 as the first calm demonstration of what they could do without all that behind the scenes drama. Star Trek certainly has to change to survive, but some of the things the old shows did so well with character and slowing down the storytelling to let things breathe, are just a shame to be ignoring. That’s why the season premiere had so much promise to me.
You can check the rep sheet of Michelle Paradise, half actor half writer, and that doesn’t provide much confidence she could carry a major science fiction show on her own. Treating the other writers well certainly is important (which the previous runners missed) but it certainly can’t be the only qualification!
I watched Fringe and while it was kinda interesting and didn’t suck it wasn’t exactly wonderful TV either. In fact, I’ve always felt it was a little overrated.
“soap operas” = coded sexism
“Jefferies Tuber” = Yawn!
Videos are playing much better for me last week and this week, in terms of getting them to start. However it’s more obvious than ever that I’m NOT getting the highest resolution. The image appeared thick and waxy. WHERE do you go to manually set the resolution, and basically tell it that anything lower than 1080p will not be tolerated? This was an option we had thru both prior seasons of STD.
Decent episode. Like others on here I’m getting exhausted with Kurtzman Trek’s tendency toward manufactured problems and manufactured emotions. What, Earth and Titan can’t get on the phone with each other a couple times a month? Dis has to handwave that they’re the diplomat because viewers might forget they’re watching ST? And I didn’t even think about the fact that Burnham’s only been gone for a day, the way these scenes are acted and directed.
Someone up above mention quantum slipstream from the 1st episode — and I somehow have no trouble accepting that it would be right there if I went back and looked (the only question is would I). Watching these shows is like having someone constantly waving his hands in front of your eyes in order to keep you focused away from whatever premises they’ve either changed or forgotten. The result is like watching this thing unfold in an eternal present. S2 especially was like that. This must be what Alzheimer’s feels like.
Speaking of which…. I STILL get glitches. This episode stopped and buffered at least 5 times. (I don’t get that from Netflix. Once that starts it has NEVER glitched) CBSAA sucks on a technical level. That’s all there is to it.
That’s discouraging. Can’t say I’ve had that one happen. Two weeks ago the stream wanted to hang at the start of each episode, even when rolling into it directly from a previous one. Behaved that way through my whole LDS catch-up marathon.
I’d like to see people on this ship just have at least one normal conversation – without invoking the ideals of the Federation, someone getting teary and music swelling in the background.
For instance, I miss the TOS/TNG etc. briefing scenes or Ten Forward conversations where people just talk about what’s going on, even when those scenes are just exposition.
There are no downbeats on this show – everything is just so emo/dramatic, yet not all that much ever actually happens. Discovery episodes seem like they end in 20 minutes.
I’ve been watching Watchmen and the John Cho season of The Exorcist this week, and they made me miss the slower burn.
One critic said that Discovery “doesn’t do chill.”
Kurtzman himself described Discovery as “a bullet.”
I’m just trying to accept that this show is trying to target a market that’s not me. I didn’t find this episode too emotional given the wringer the entire crew had been through from the appearance of the 5th signal over Queen Po’s planet, but I often find myself wishing for more technobabble and less emotion.
Frustrating as it is, I enjoy it more often than not. I just hope that we’ll have at least one show that’s more chill.
“I didn’t find this episode too emotional given the wringer the entire crew had been through from the appearance of the 5th signal over Queen Po’s planet,”
You do realize they write those “wringers” on purpose, serving one galactic disaster after the next, to be able to keep the characters (and viewers?) on constant emotional overdrive? It’s no law of nature the show has to be designed that way.
“I’m just trying to accept that this show is trying to target a market that’s not me”
Problem is right now the alternatives have not rolled out / dont cover the entire viewing season (LDS)!
That’s why i think their pure focus on raw viewership numbers may be shortsighted. If those new shows, especially SNW, actually manage to appeal more to Classic fans in a way Picard absolutely did not, I think many people are ready to move on from Discovery. And then their numbers will fall.
VS, let’s not get stuck in a bad logic trap that the Trek audience should be targeted mainly older folks like us.
And many longtime and vocal fans are older. Even folks who watched TNG in first-run as teens are now in their mid-to-late 40s.
Without new and younger viewers, there will not be new shows.
For shows to attract advertisers and that revenue , it’s the 18-49 demographic of viewers that counts the most. Despite Star Trek running on streamers, advertising revenue is still a significant factor in its profitability.
Yes, Kurtzman understands that older fans are part of the market for Trek, but he also understands that we can’t be the only market.
TG47, that’s why I inquired if you have more detailed demographic data for viewership. I think the proof is in the pudding that Discovery actually appeals to a young, new generation of fans (say, Millennials). I don’t know if you follow the reviews on Vulture (I don’t anymore, because see below ;) but the reviewer seems like the target audience from how I perceive the show: young, female, American, AOC fan. But when I was still reading she regularly complained Discovery was not radical ENOUGH in more than one regard, not like those other hip shows that have already promoted all these values important to them years before Discovery…
So I think the show as designed could fall in that uncanny valley where it’s too old-fashioned for the too cool for school kids and too un-Trek for the legacy fans!
Btw, if you are associating age with social values, please bear in mind that outside the West vast swaths of humanity are socially conservative even among generations fitting that target demographic, and even younger than that. I think that’s also one reason these new shows and movies are totally not flying outside of their traditional (Western) markets. So Kurtzman does not have all the answers!
I’m 29 and I find Discovery to be subpar in many regards. It doesn’t really hold my attention and infact I’m finding myself bored which is crazy. I love Star Trek!
I absolutely feel happy for those who are enjoying it but for me its really a struggle to watch it.
I’ll always keep trying of course, but being this is now the third season, maybe this show is just not for me.. maybe it will grow on me in the future. Some shows improve with age so maybe only after Discovery ends it run will I be able to revisit it and enjoy it more. Time will tell.
No offense, DataMat, you may be too old already still ;)I could imagine this extreme focus on emotion and identity struggle to appeal to a teen audience (skewing female), much like Young Adult Scifi did in the 2010s.
That’s what you get when you have a short serialized season. There is not much time for that sort of thing. Nearly everything has to move the season’s story forward.
I disagree. Most shows have shorter seasons now (8-10 episodes) — there are a lot of shows with even shorter seasons that tell stories really well and have real character moments. Even Picard was better at it.
OK. Fair enough. There are other short seasons and even feature films that do a better job. But it really goes to show you how badly SH is at mapping their shows out.
Loved it. LOVED IT! I was entertained by season one. I really liked season 2. I LOVE this so far.
You set a low bar.
I guess I’m the only one who has a problem with the pacing of the episodes. They are slow as molasses, and if there IS a major theme besides “What’s the Burn?”, Discovery has been ungawdly slow in getting there.
I’m happy to have Discovery be less of a bullet, and do more work to be coherent.
It’s still far from chill, but I’m coming around to accepting that emotion-to-the-max is intentionally the part of the niche positioning of this product in the Trek menu. At least they have a showrunner now in Michelle Paradise who insists that the emotions make sense from what’s previously shown.
“At least they have a showrunner now in Michelle Paradise who insists that the emotions make sense from what’s previously shown.”
See, that is where ML31, me and a few others were disagreeing.
These emotions do not make sense from where rhe audience is standing and has experienced these characters. They are not earned naturally, but instead we are simply told to accept them (most strikingly in the closing scene of the episode). That makes suspension of disbelief very hard, maybe harder than any scifi conceit.
I keep watching hoping this series catches its stride and continue to be let down….. This episode has its moments but It just doesn’t feel like Star Trek. Strange New Worlds cant come soon enough
I really liked enjoyed this one! Hope we see more of this. We need more episodes with Jonathan Frakes. So much to say! The story/script/dialogue/narrative is better. The jokes. Stamets with Adira, great chemistry. Michael and Book, I like these two. The Emperor, improving. And my favorite…so happy for the inclusion of the other crew members! Finally, Bravo!
What I find interesting, is why 1,000 years in the future, HU-MANS are still black and white? Will be great to see people (the actors) with Multiple Backgrounds. From earth, Asian/Black, Peruvian/Vietnamese, Turkish/Canadian…combinations like Human/Andorian, Ferengui/Orion, Bolians/Denobulans, etc.
I have to watch this episode again. =D
I suspect that there’s more of diversity in the actors than the writers are giving the characters.
There’s been some discussion in Canada that race-neutral casting can lead to generic North American characters. I understand why they don’t want to lock in ethnic names and backstories before casting, but I don’t understand why the “working character names” and bios can’t be updated after casting is done.
So, taking stock…
Picard gave us 3 main cast members of biracial/mixed identity.
We’ll need to see the long-term casting for SNW, but Samora Smallwood who played Lieutenant Amin is biracial, Newfoundland-Canadian and Capo Verdean background.
Patrick Kwok-Choon of Discovery is Mauritian-Canadian. Oyin Oljadne is Nigerian-Canadian.
It’s good you mentioned Discovery’s Asian bridge guy because I just saw him in a behind the scenes picture of the newest article and remembered he exists! Did he even have any lines, even any closeups this season?
And so this is paying mere lip service to character diversity. Casting them and putting them into storage somewhere is not enough.
We’ll have to see VS.
It took a lot of episodes before Uhura and Sulu were given enough to do to become fulsome characters.
Patrick Kwok-Choon and Odin Oladje didn’t have a lot of screen credits before being cast on Discovery, but have been getting more work in Canada. So, I’m hoping the Discovery writers will give them more to do as their craft gets recognized in other productions.
Raven Dauda (Dr. Pollard) and Ronnie Rowe Jr (Lt Bryce) are more established and have awards in Canada for starring roles in other works. One gets the feeling that a role in Discovery was a way for each of them to get a regular base income (as Colm Meany describes his original recurring TNG role) while looking for other projects, but with the boon of being a show that that is part of a franchise they loved growing up.
And tell me, what else is it the actors of Dr. Pollard and Lt. Bryce have in common (I do remember his prominent scene in the last episode)?
The way you describe it, they are not employing the Asian guy enough because he is not experienced enough as an actor. That seems like a vicious cycle (how can he gain experience by not being employed?) They don’t seem to have problems to give major parts to actors whose acting chops seriously lack nuance (the Earth captain or *cough* Burnham herself). There are tons of very experienced Asian-Americans actors in Hollywood and Canada (no doubt with higher salary demands, as they should), so again, it seems to me other considerations were responsible for which actors and roles to spend the budget on, and for whom to hire “interns”.
TG47, thank you for the details. I was actually talking on screen, on the show, the way they look. More presence of characters like May, Queen Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po, Spock, Tarses, Belana, Ziyal. These type of characters.
If our galaxy is getting smaller, why the contrast at all times? 100% Andorians, 100% Orion, etc. Same with Humans, I see White, Black, Asian…If this show is 1,000 years into the future, with so many planets working together for so many centuries, this is an area to explore, for their creative team to take this visual aspect to the next level.
I think that would be an interesting idea to see more mixed alien species, and something absolutely in line with (Enterprise) canon. They seem to have abandoned that route because it dilutes their allegory (which is still the same as in season 1, apparently, REMAIN EARTHER errrh KLINGON) ;)
Earth not being part of the federation is really stupid.
I think the opposite.
I think it’s brilliant and may have saved the credibility of the franchise.
Star Trek has been duly criticized for Starfleet being to “humanocentric” .
DS9 took this criticism on, but humanity was still leading the fight for good and Federation values, even though as Sisko put it “It’s easy to be a saint in paradise” and as a corollary, principles are hard to hold onto when the paradise unravels.
Showing that even humanity can lose its way and retreat into self-control isolationism after the Federation collapses is a great way to show that values are something that ALL societies have to struggle to uphold through challenging times.
Humanity or the Federation are not some exception to this fundamental challenge.
So how do you think of ‘less human/America-centric” in light of the all Anglo-American EDF crew on board in this episode and the sole glimpse at 32nd Earth being restricted to the same SF Golden Gate view we have seen for 50 years? That’s all that remains of Earth in all its diversity?
Somebody said future humans in this episode were like stereotypical Voyager hard headed aliens of the week, and likewise the planet entirely forgettable, reduced to only a crude metaphor. If that’s what it takes to make the Federation “less human centric”, I think they may be throwing the baby out with the bath water here…
Seriously VS, the episode made the point that
1) Earth and the Federation aren’t the same organization
2) Earth is so focused on its own well-being and security that it shot-first, before listening to other human colonies from the same solar system.
I don’t see why humans from Earth (who some argue are stand in for Americans) are an exception to the rule that sentient species can lose track of the values most important to their societies when faced with an external threat.
It makes an interesting story to know that the values and heart of the Federation live somewhere out there but that it’s not one single founding planet or species that is keeping the faith.
We are somewhat talking around each other here. I was not disagreeing with you on these points but pointing out that if the goal was less America-centric it was undermined by that very episode as once again “United Earth” was by all means and purposes depicted as equivalent to “America”, there was no other voice to be found.
I agree with all of this TG47!
I think that’s why I really liked this episode but at the same time can understand why it feels more divided for others. Fans seeing Earth no longer part of the Federation seem to feel the same way the Discovery crew did when they learned about it and it’s just unfathomable to even think about it.
But as I and others said, it’s not really so black and white. It’s not like Earth just stopped believing in Federation values, the problem was the Federation was basically just gone and Earth had to reassess and figure out a way to live without it like all the other planets out there. And in so doing it had to become more self reliant which is GOOD in some ways but yes also bad because they have become isolationists and more fearful without it. In a Federation society you can hold on to those values when you have hundreds of worlds and thousands of starships to keep you safe every night. The Federation and Starfleet has stopped everyone from the Klingons to the Borg from trying to invade Earth for literally centuries. But when that’s now gone, then yes those values are harder to hold on to.
To me though this is GREAT story telling if done right. We are getting a bit of DS9 again and questioning Federation values in a different way. I never even thought we would get this angle on the story because I was one of those people who could never imagine Earth without the Federation. But now that we know that it turns everything on its ear.
And I give them credit for not suggesting just because the Federation is gone Earth has turned into a hellhole. What we also forget is Earth learned to sustain itself and became a stronger and better society nearly a century before the Federation even existed. Humans are not better BECAUSE of the Federation, that was never the point. The point was Federation was a symbol of furthering human compassion, progress and unity to others once we did get to a sustainable point. Earth is still sustainable, it just no longer believes in extending it to others because it no longer can afford to.
Of course what I thought was really interesting about Discovery and the crew is they clearly see being part of the Federation as more important to them then just being part of their homeworlds. With a few exceptions, most of the crew are actually from Earth or at least affiliated with it, but they don’t really view it as home anymore. Home seems to now just be part of Starfleet/Federation again. I mean they beam down to Earth 900 years into the future. No one even bothers to see if they have any family descendants, what their hometowns look like, etc. No, they all go to see what Starfleet looks like now lol. It’s a little odd in some ways but it just proves how ingrained they are to these organizations.
And let’s be honest if Starfleet was looked at more as a military branch of society and not an exploration one people would question it a lot more. But Starfleet is so important to them, they would rather spend years looking for that instead of just settling on Earth which they can probably do if they chose to do.
Tiger, it could have been a bit more nuanced. I think your interpretation is more benovelent than how it came off on screen (and maybe the writers intended it as such but the actors, particularly the captain, played very hostile).
Basically, once the mask was off (literally) the story of the Earthers was called a lie and the Titans the good guys. The crew was 100% trusting them. But why should they? Who says everything happened as they said? Things are rarely that black and white and there’s two sides to each story. And why were the Titans their human face behind a scary alien mask that would literally cause Earthers to dissociate from them? It seems more of a plot device to reach this black and white conclusion than anything.
The point is as you said from their recent history the Earthers had good reason to be fearful and sceptical about anyone wanting their dilithium if that is what kept the paradise from turning into hell hole (“free energy”), in particular if there’s a history of people bombarding cities to raid it by force.
Once that has happened, the default mode would be “defense” and “self preservation” . As it is in many of our societies. It’s a natural conclusion. The Federation paradise lost, we can’t be such saints anymore!
Well I am actually partly going on what the writers and Jonathan Frakes said about the episode in The Ready Room. They make it pretty clear Earth still believes in Federation values, but because they had to live without it and figured out its own path which isn’t as idealistic anymore but still cares about others. They even brought up Captain Ndoye (yes, I looked it up ;)) and said the character is suppose to come off as a hardass but deep down feels for the Discovery crew and others.
They just been on their own for so long they are suspicious of anyone they don’t know. But once she realized she could trust them, then she let her guard down. It sounded like if they really wanted to stay on Earth they probably could have (this is just MY speculation only though).
But this is a planet that the Borg tried to invade at least twice already. Think if they ever showed up again, there would be NO Enterprise of any class to save them next time. In the real world, we have so many defenses, especially in America, just on the off chance one of our enemies might try and invade us some day. And the irony is with the exception of Pearl Harbor no country has ever tried to invade or attack America in any real form (I’m not talking terrorism, I mean state sponsored).
But in terms of Federation Earth, other species has tried over and over again to do just that for centuries now. It’s not a hypothetical, they had history of the Klingons, the Borg, the Xindi, Dominion etc all trying to take out the little blue planet at one point of another through either invasion or just plain annihilation. The Xindi and the Breen actually managed to do a successful attack as well. And a lot of times when the Federation was the height of its power.
Now, they are on their own and my guess made tons more of enemies over the centuries. So I clearly get it. Earth was basically a superpower like America is today but lost that status and maybe those other guys could all come back some day.
But I agree with you, the Titan guys and the plot device to make them look alien. I liked the idea of it but as I said in my review, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense. But they wanted to get the message across so I’m good with it. Star Trek has done much worse in the past with these things.
Tiger, I get it and accept the writers had those nuances in mind, but my point is purely based on the information provided in the episode and the performances of the guest actors this nuance is lost and things come across as more hostile/one-sided than they need to be. You can tell that alot of people made the comparison to “hostile alien of the week” and the behind the scenes stuff is not watched by most people. But its good to know they had these plans and we may get to see more in the future, especially if Discovery stays in this timeframe in season 4. They may have intentionally left Earth skretchy to keep all options open for future stories! I just wished some more screen time could have been used to strengthen and deepen those bits that were provided, such as my impression the final Earth shot was designed to show big cities dont exist anymore, people now live in castle-like towers (again, defense) placed amidst wilderness. It’s a fascinating idea if that’s the intention but it needs more screentime!
Yeah, it’s been one episode. My guess is if and when they return to Earth, these things will be fleshed out more. And in this episode, they still made it clear they would help people on Titan, so yeah. You keep saying they came off more hostile but at the end of the day they were willing to do the right thing, right? So I don’t see it that way at all. When they thought they were evil alien marauders they simply had their guard up as anyone would. But once they understood the real situation, then they were ready to help them. That’s what the episode was trying to get across, Earth has it’s defensives up these days (both figurative and literally) but its compassion isn’t completely gone either.
Clearly the galaxy as a whole is a more hostile place due to the situation. We seen three planets so far, my guess is they were ALL Federation planets at some point….none of them are exactly super friendly and that welcoming of guests. ;) This is probably just how things are for everybody right now. To me, that’s really fascinating. I can’t wait to see what it will be like on other Federation worlds we know like Trill, Vulcan, etc.
As for Earth, this is probably just the first stepping stone of seeing it getting back to its old self but they been like this for a century, it won’t happen overnight. But do we really think IF the Federation comes back in a big way Earth wouldn’t join it again? C’mon we all know if it happens this season or season 5, eventually Earth will be part of the Federation again. I don’t see how that won’t happen again. It’s Earth!
I think your benovelent interpretation is totally possible (and again, backed by the writers, thankfully) but I’m just going by how many people here and in other reviews see it which is Earth baaaaad isolationists/xenophobic /you name it. I totally agree with you in such a hostile galactic environment Earth now exists their reaction is totally logical. They do not want to lose whatever is left of their paradise /Utopia but defend it. In that way their thinking is no different from what Section 31 was (kind of hypocritically) doing all these centuries in the hidden, now its just more open.
As you mentioned the other planets/species seen so far, I was thinking Earth sure comes off as the best of the bunch! The Tellarites and Andorians thugs in bed with the Orions, Coridianites and other Sol system colonies (what happened to Mars?) impoverished and the Vulcans (spoiler!) possibly reunited with the Romulans (btw, I think they are saving the latter up for a big storyline in season 4+ as theu just used fhem in Picard, but its a huge opportunity givrn Discovery could not use them in the prequel timeframe and everyone is tired of the Klingons! Maybe that’s why we have heard nothing about this part of the galaxy so far). So Earth STILL looks like paradise in comparison, kind of like a fenced nature reservation.
As for rejoining the Federation, I think it’s ironic Discovery may now get to do – sort of- the storyline that was always intended for Enterprise, but cut short severely by cancellation: to show how all these hostile species (as the Andorians, Tellarites and Vulcans already were in the Enterprise timeframe), now joined by defensive Earthers, get to the table to (re) create the Federation. I just sincerely hope St. Michael doesnt do it all alone ;)
I thought of the same thing but at least Earth is a paradise
For some parameters of the concept of paradise perhaps.
Not caring about others outside your community or world doesn’t meet the definition of paradise for me.
I think of it as a spectrum, depending on level of development and resources. Insisting on absolutes and extremes rarely has the desired effect, often even the opposite.
Why!? I think either way is OK. From time to time, societies change. This is another cycle on Earth.
In Star Trek, it is very common to see powerful characters from the past, convincing Starfleet Officers. Something I enjoy very much. Philosophical arguments and wake up calls, I guess.
Samuel Clemens (Time’s Arrow, STNG) and Lily Sloane (First Contact) are just two examples that I remember now.
Look forward to see how this crew is going to protect Discovery. Not only villains, the Federation would love to take over the ship, I guess. The technology and the amount dilithium is too tempting during this time period! =D
A year didn’t seem like quite long enough for Burnham to change that much (or for her hair to grow so fast).
Radically changing hair is personally symbolic for women, and some film directors get that.
Check out Jonathan Demme. Principal female characters in his films always change their hair whenever there is a major character transition.
Nice to see actors from Hell on Wheels in Discovery. First Anson Mount, then Jake Weber and now Christopher Heyerdhal. There may be others I missed. Good actors all.
Yes. I was so happy to Heyerdhal. He’s so good.
It seems that there are a few more Canadian actors (and British actors with visas) who have mainly worked in the industry in Western Canada who are now giving Toronto a go.
The industry in Toronto is still much smaller than Vancouver, but it’s growing very rapidly.
All that came to my mind was ‘Hey, it’s Zor-El from Smallville…which was filmed in Vancouver.
As I said in my other post I recognized him as the Swede from Hell on Wheels.
Texted back and forth with many during the show. Funniest and perhaps most appropriate comment was someone saying she thought it was like watching a TNG episode with a happy epilogue. Haha, I took that as being complimentary and she was saying it as a critique. I have a feeling most will see that as positive.
Overall I liked the pacing of the first three shows, I know some feel the show is dragging but I personally have liked how much has happened in the first three episodes and how fast things are moving along.
Another point, the Enterprise was always considered one of (or the) flag ship(s) of Starfleet and so it naturally would be crewed by not only the best and brightest, but also by veteran and experienced senior officers. In my opinion, it seems to make sense that a science vessel might be crewed by a younger crew and they really emphasized this when they showed the group shot minus Saru, Burnham and Georgiou all walking on the former Starfleet Academy grounds.
For the first time since the show started, I finally see that they are clearly showing that Discovery definitely is a science vessel, crewed primarily by youngsters – on the ultimate space mission far far from home. Perhaps this is where S1 should have started but it is far easier for the producers to do, now that Picard, LDs, Short Treks and SNW can stay in more familiar territory with Trek fans.
I was reading this review and the episode sounds unmemorable. But Discovery still has a chance of improvement.
I might watch the next one.
Ninja – are there two of you behind this alias?
Sincerely, you’ve gone back and forth between saying that you’ve seen this episode and that you’ve not seen it yet.
(Speaking as a parent who’s had to weigh in when our teens crash and prank on each other…)
But will you read this review again in ten minutes and appreciate this is greatest episode ever?
Faze Ninja, in the premiere episode you jumped down ML31 throat for just being critical of the episode. But now you are being critical of an episode you claimed you haven’t even watched yet?? But then you claimed to have seen it already in another post.
Dude, what is GOING on??? Really? It’s not just the bizarre contradictions in your posts, you do come off as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in a lot of your posts. Can you at least try and explain it because it is feeling like you’re just trolling a lot of the times, but you seem too sincere to do that. But clearly something is off.
Guys, I think you are spending way too much wordcount trying to make sense of this. When we can’t even be sure there is a human behind THIS mask ;)
I have also been scratching my head for the past few months. Please read read posts and wish him well. Not sure what is going on. But this is something I have never seen before!?
Many have been asking Faze Ninja for answers to his posts and he doesn’t even reply specifically to his different and contradictory responses.
There are all kind of people in this world. Wish him well, to live long and prosper!
Can I say what a relief it was at the end of the episode to see the color green?
The rest of the episode was entirely blue and orange. Obnoxiously so. They need to tone it down.
Let’s look to season four for a new palette.
The more I understand about the problems with reflected green screen, the more I understand how directors have more to more orange blue, bright lights and lens flares to cover.
With an Augmented Reality (AR) wall for exterior locations, we may get some colours that aren’t working hard to compensate for green reflections.
The show is so maudlin now. I hope this isn’t the tone for the entire season.
This is known in the trades as The Kurtzman Touch. *sobs* *strings swell*
Interesting, the show seems to be settling into a ponderous mediocrity that renders it barely worth commenting on. My only observation is that there should’ve been more hugging in this ep. Oh, and also, Mike’s assertion that she doesn’t know the person she used to be because a single year has gone by- what is she, a teenager now? Some strange side-effect of the wormhole, that also made her hair grow at an extremely fast clip?
The crew of the Discovery and the back-up of Voyager’s Doctor from “Living Witness” crossing paths in the 32nd Century: “You’re looking for the Federation too? We should be best friends!”
I’ve always enjoyed Discovery and defended it. I see a lot of people enjoyed this. I’m getting a little run down with dystopia. I get Earth saw the error of this scenario, but the fact Earth is even here and left the federation makes me sad. This isn’t at all what I like about Star Trek. I liked Picard too, but it has that same tone to a lesser extent. Even if they get everything on the path to recovery, that optimistic future died here.
Maybe now, after 3 episodes about the the importance of “family”, Discovery could actually move on and do something Star Trek-y????
-seeing what’s out there in the galaxy
–helping and connecting the isolated,
-bringing hostile communities together and getting them communicating,
-seeking out the source of a major disaster
…Exactly which of these things have we not routinely seen in every series of Star Trek?
The things you mentioned were treated as a sideshow. They were on screen problems for about 3 minutes of the entire show. They were presented, addressed and dismissed very quickly, while the bulk of the show focused on their “feelings”…
I can honestly say that bringing people together to achieve results takes an extraordinary amount of time to deal with feelings, especially when events have been traumatic.
Star Trek has had as its premise that Starfleet officers and the organization have evolved to manage emotions, but that doesn’t mean that they are ignored. Rather, we just didn’t see a lot of that in other shows. Like a lot of the science and engineering, it was reported rather than shown.
Discovery is the Star Trek show that’s leaning into that side of reality and showing rather than telling us about the emotional work. It may not be your preference, but not every series needs to fit your audience niche. Saying it’s not “Treky” comes across as a kind of gatekeeping to me.