Jonathan Frakes Says ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Is “Back On Track,” Likens Season 5 To ‘First Contact’

Star Trek: The Next Generation legend Jonathan Frakes is all over the Star Trek franchise these days, directing the various shows and appearing as Riker in both Lower Decks and, more recently, in the final season of Picard. His work will next be seen in the fifth and final season of Star Trek: Discovery—he directed the first half of the two-part season (and now series) finale. In a new interview, Frakes talked about how Discovery changes things up in the final season.

A new energy for season 5

In the brand-new issue of Star Trek Explorer magazine (which we previewed earlier), Frakes talks about his various connections to Star Trek. Regarding his work directing on the final season of Discovery, Frakes says the show has made a shift in tone for the final season:

Discovery, by the way, is Indiana Jones this year instead of the heavy emo of season four. Discovery is back on track as an action-adventure show, and I guess they got their marching orders to maintain that. Everybody has embraced it, from [co-showrunners] Michelle Paradise and Alex [Kurtzman], down through the cast. There’s a new energy and a new mandate.

Frakes has been directing Star Trek since his time as an actor on Next Generation, which includes directing two TNG feature films. In the interview, he likens the lighter tone of Discovery season 5 to his 1996 hit film Star Trek: First Contact:

It was a thrill for me to try to find some levity in some of those [Discovery] scenes. That’s why First Contact was successful, because you build and then add just a little levity to let the steam out, so you can restart. That’s why Deadpool is such a fabulous franchise, because it doesn’t hurt. Audiences can handle levity. The Indiana Jones reference is a perfect example. Nobody does that better than Spielberg.

Frakes first revealed he directed the penultimate episode of Discovery in a TrekMovie interview last year. (Executive producer/director Olatunde Osunsanmi helms part 2 of the finale.) Paramount later decided to make season 5 the final season, and reshoots were done to turn the season finale into a series finale, which Frakes described as a “stunning plan for a very satisfying ending.”

Jonathan Frakes with Doug Jones and Sonequa Martin-Green on the set of the season 4 episode “Stormy Weather”

An epic quest

At NYCC 2022 Discovery co-showrunner Michelle Paradise talked about the changes for season 5, echoing Frakes’ description, saying “Coming into the season, Alex and I talked about shifting the tone a little bit because there was a bit of heaviness in season 3 and particularly in 4 with the DMA. So this is more of an action-adventure sort of season. There is a mystery. There’s a quest, and this mysterious power.” The official synopsis of the season certainly evokes that Indiana Jones theme that Frakes talks about, describing season 5 as an “epic adventure across the galaxy to find an ancient power whose very existence has been deliberately hidden for centuries.”  At that same NYCC panel, star Wilson Cruz revealed “we get to travel a lot more through the galaxy… and go to places we’ve never seen before. It’s exciting.”

Paramount has announced season 5 will debut in early 2024, but they have yet to specify a release date. It’s possible this will be revealed at NYCC 2023, which is coming up in a few weeks; Paramount has promised “reveals and surprises” for their Star Trek Universe presentation.

The first look at season 5 was released at NYCC 2022:

And at Comic-Con 2023, Paramount released a clip of the first 5 minutes of the season 5 premiere:


More in Star Trek Explorer #8

Star Trek Explorer #8 arrived on September 12 in the USA and Canada (and will arrive on October 12 in the UK and Ireland). In addition to the interview Jonathan Frakes, there are interviews with Picard star Ed Speleers, Picard production designer David Blass, Strange New Worlds star Celia Rose Gooding, and Strange New Worlds and Prodigy composer Nami Melamud. There are also exclusive short stories from David Mack and Keith R.A. Candido, and much more.

You can find the issue on newsstands and comic book stores starting Tuesday. You can also subscribe and buy issues directly from Titan. To celebrate Star Trek Day, Titan is offering a new subscription deal of 4 issues for just $24.99 (saving $14.97). The offer is valid through to next Friday (9/15) and is also available for renewals using the code STD23. Click here for the subscription deal.

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They’re fixing problems that don’t exist. I don’t think the problem was tone or lack of action.. it’s the writing. Last season they finally created something interesting to build to, and it was a decent sci fi concept. The problems that need fixing, they aren’t talking about, and they’re structural problems with the show itself, that I’m not sure they can fix in a final season.. certainly shifting the tone won’t…. but as always, we’ll see. I’d love for them to prove me wrong.

And “the writing” hast no influence on the tone?


Well, really doesn’t matter what the tone is if the writing is as poor as other seasons. I don’t care what the tone is if it’s written well.

Yeah, I agree, it’s the writing. There’s so much I love about ST: Discovery, characters, music, visuals, but they’ve always struggled with writing (except for maybe season 2). If they’ve fixed that I’m all in for this final season.

I mean.. I’m going to watch it anyway.. because it’s new Trek stuff, lol. I’m always hopeful, but my expectations are low.

Time for a rewatch.

It was pandering to the people that hated the first season that threw it off track. There was a great show there, but they spent so much time using the subsequent seasons to make people that didn’t like the show happy that they lost their thread.

Strange New Worlds does exactly everything that people hated about Discovery, but because it does it on the Enterprise with Kirk, Spock, and Una, they give it a pass.

I don’t hate the premise of Discovery — a ship from the pre-Kirk era — winding up in the future, but if that’s what the series was going to be about it should have been what happens in the first episode of the first season (akin to the Caretaker pulling Voyager into the Delta Quadrant), not the first episode of the third.

Michael Sacal Said: “Strange New Worlds does exactly everything that people hated about Discovery, but because it does it on the Enterprise with Kirk, Spock, and Una, they give it a pass.”

Hard disagree there, mate. SNW does not have a Mary Sue captain, constant crying, excessively dark tone, and an all-over-the-place incongruent story.

I’d disagree about the pass, as well. I don’t see those that have a beef with it giving it any sort of pass. I think both get justifiably criticized, but the only real similarity is in a broad sense.. and with the quality of writing. Both are over-reliant on nostalgia and Trek’s past works. They struggle to stand on their own footing because it’s so beholden to a “world” that both are trying desperately to recreate in their own modern views… which is such a weird dichotomy.

I agree with you guys as well. But I don’t think SNW is overly reliant on nostalgia and past works. Any Trek show should showcase “past works” because it is set in the Trek universe. Discovery did too much in season 1 to throw out those past works and it was poorer for it. SNW appropriately references past things, but builds on them and expands them.

The key difference is the writing. DIS writers (and PIC writers in seasons 1 and 2) haven’t been able to write a good serialized story yet (except maybe the first half of DIS season 2). SNW and LDS, despite all their references to past Trek, have provided strong stories for the vast majority of their episodes.

I think Picard handled nostalgia very well, because it had purpose when they used it… SNW, it’s really that it lacks that purpose. The Gorn for example…they just had to use it, but they’ve changed everything about them… which makes no sense. Did L’aan NEED to be Nonnien-Singh? Not at all. It would have been better if she weren’t. That’s what I mean by being overreliant on it.. it’s a crutch, not a tool.

She’s 100% right. Trek fans are the worst enemy of Star Trek.

You misspelled Secret Hideout Trek.. lol. But this is true. They’d have zero problems if fans didn’t love the franchise so much that they’re critical of it when they don’t think it holds up to the previous iterations.

No, but SNW does have a captain who wears an apron more than he captains, a vulcan who cries in the middle of an emergency over his love, aliens who kill because they’re evil, a crew with nothing but trauma (cries too), and a writing staff who writes like they talk and rips off other’s work.

I concur with Michael. The weaknesses of Disco and SNW are the same.

Oh I’m not letting SNW off the hook by pointing out failures of Disco. Not by a long-shot.

In my opinion, SNW Season 2 was just a big exercise in trying too hard to prove how cutesy the cast could be. I cringed a lot. But, despite all of that, I still found the writing to be significantly better than Disco.

I’m not going to be a jerk about it. I have no beef with people who like Disco, and am genuinely happy there is something for those who like that kind of thing. I’m just not one of them.

gonna need some detailed analysis and backing up of some wildly generic statements. I don’t love Disco and am not a SNW apologist (it makes my canon head hurt and my canon heart cry) but…this is just ad hominem without any critical analysis to back it up

One major thing that hurt it, was all the turmoil and upheaval behind the scenes. What we got that season was a hodgepodge of different people’s ideas. It never got off on solid footing.

Hard agree with this. I love Discovery a great deal, but the first season was an absolute mess and I find borderline unwatchable. I still don’t get why Michael was blamed for the Klingon War in the slightest.

The thing to note, however, is that the fans never forgave the show for it. Subsequent seasons are much more consistent- and fixed *a lot* of fan complaints- but it’s still routinely criticised and lambasted for the slightest thing.

The problems I have with later seasons aren’t rooted in the problems of S1, exactly. I really liked S2, despite its flaws. But it has diminished from there.

Season 2 is still my favorite as well, but it too had lots of issues. Season 1 is still my worst season. I thought seasons 3 and 4 were better but also bad.

“ It was pandering to the people that hated the first season that threw it off track.”

Definitely agree with this. I loved the energy, inventiveness and boldness of s1; it was the most excited I’d been about Trek in years, even with the rough edges. Each subsequent season was trying to course correct based on nerd rage. Kind of what happened with Rise of the Skywalker. It definitely lost its edge and mojo. I still prefer it to SNW and its MCU tone though.

Luke’s arc in Last Jedi is misunderstood by most fans. As well as what Rian was trying to do. People wanted fanservice and for Luke to be a Superhero like he was in the books, comics and video games for 25 years. Its why they went bonkers over the character in Mando showing up and repeating the Vader scene from Rogue One nearly note for note.

I have to disagree with you… doesn’t matter what the producers change – “fans” will hate it. You haven’t noticed the whiney comments here about all the new Trek shows? Trek fans have officially become worse than Star Wars fans.

Going to the future wasn’t the initial plan. It was to stay in the time period they were in. “fans” were complaining about the look of the Klingons… why are there subtitles… the ship looks too modern… wha wha wha. They changed things – wrote the Klingons out… went to the future… different worlds, different aliens… what did the fans do??? wah wah wah.

Personally, I wish they wouldn’t have listened to the whiney people and just kept on going with what they had intended. It is just a show, people… I have been watching since the 70s and I have been enjoying all the new stories from all the different shows.

It’s not fair to blame Discovery’s issues on ungrateful fans. How did changing and de-emphasizing the Klingons harm the show? What is wrong with being in the 32nd century as a concept? Culber being resurrected smacked of being a response to backlash. It was convoluted as hell, but has it harmed the show in the long run? Seasons 3 and 4 have no TV-MA sex and violence. Is that a bad thing?

The fans didn’t ask for more melodrama. They didn’t ask for characters to tell more and show less. I didn’t see many people clamoring for more hugs, declarations of love and characters talking about their feelings. When we said we wanted the bridge extras fleshed out more, we didn’t mean they get awkward moments where they say some snippet of relevant backstory and then shut up, or are told they are brilliant and the camera holds while we are expected to swoon. When we said we wanted to lean into diversity no one asked for that to be delivered in the guise of characters like Gray who have no depth. There wasn’t much meaningful exploration of how these characters felt being totally divorced from their homes and loved ones. If the 32nd century being depicted doesn’t inspire much excitement, that’s down to the claustrophobic execution, not the idea of it which is as blank a canvas as you can get. If you can’t fill that space with something interesting, don’t blame the fans.

I DO blame the fans. The whole premise is that this is a show about Burhan. Always was meant as that. The first season was the brainchild of Fuller. And I thought it was a good one. They should have ignored the whiney “fans” and continued.
Burnham was the center point of the show…everyone else was background players.
SNW is an ensemble show…not a Pike show. Yet people want the focus on him and not the rest. By the way, I love the ensemble show. Would have loved to have had TOS like that.
I am very happy with how the producers course corrected to the future. But Trek “fans” will always do what they do best… whine. While the rest of us Trek fans enjoy the Trek universe.

Burnham is still the center of the show. The chorus of people whingeing about how she’s too amazing/emotional/know-it-all/essential etc has never died down if this board and the likes of Reddit are any indication. It’s neither here nor there if their arguments have merit – she has the most screen time out of them all, by a wide margin. Every season she has the main character growth arc. It’s not a Voyager situation where Janeway sometimes seemed displaced as the lead of her show next to Seven of Nine.

The show is not worse because they gave a little more to do for the ensemble, it’s that what they gave the ensemble wasn’t very good. Stamets and Culber aren’t as compelling a couple as when they started out – the contrived platitudes and declarations they are forced to make now are amateur writing 101. Adira started out well but got less interesting to me the less confident she got. Book too as season 4 dragged out his revenge complex pasy the point of believability. Georgiou didn’t come together as a character until it was time for her to leave – textbook poor characterization. The featured extras of the bridge crew didn’t have to be written as badly as they were when given more to do. That was a failure of execution, not the only possible outcome of increasing their screen time.

Blaming the fans for all of that is like getting into an accident because you picked up your cell phone while driving, then admonishing the person who called you.

I have no issue with Burnham as center of the focus. I have no issue with the rest of the characters being background players. It was always intended as such. I find that the relationship between Culber and Stamets more believable now – probably because I have friends that remind me of that relationship.
Geogiou’s character arc was due to praise by fans and critics – and it really built up so that she could be center focus of the (then) Section 31 series (now movie). So that doesn’t bother me either. They were building her character at the end to be ready for the next step. Book was basically the landing point for Burnham when she arrived in the future – and basically the love interest for her. The story line makes sense – after his life doing what he wanted, he becomes more of the stay at home husband. And the whole “revenge” plot made for a good story about morals and convictions. So yes, I DO blame the “fans”… The producers have got to stop listen to them and go with what they intended. Like I said, Trek fans are now worse than Star Wars fans.

You said that the writers reacted to fans whining about Burnham being the center of the show, so I explained how they was still the case, expecting you to elaborate how you might feel differently. But you don’t, so that seems to have been a miscommunication.

Stamets and Culber don’t remind me of any couples I know. I don’t know anyone who has adopted two teenagers but doesn’t demonstrate love for them beyond unconvincing declarations every now and then. I don’t know couples who no longer talk to each other like real people, but do speak like they are in a student film.

Georgiou’s arc’s existence is not an issue. It’s the execution. The writers had an acting legend willing to do more with them and they saddled her with no real redemption arc and stupid sarcastic dialogue that was an awkward fit for Michelle Yeoh. Then suddenly she finally gets to act in her final two episodes where everyone treats her like she’s been on a well-plotted arc of change and redemption and was loved by all her crew mates.. It was such a waste and almost insulting.

And actually… what the hell are we debating? What are you even blaming fans for if you think the show is still great?

I have always said that Burnham been a white man, this criticism of the show focusing on the character would not have occurred.

And I distinctly recall a lot of backlash about the show’s emphasis on diversity and equality- which was *baffling* given Star Trek’s openly progressive values.

Hard disagree. Bad writing is bad writing. Lazy writing is lazy writing. Burnham would have been a Mary Sue regardless of race or sex.

I loved Sisko — he’s my favorite captain — and even as a god he was less of a Mary Sue than her.

Well said.

It’s done under the name “Star Trek”. Change the IP, and you don’t get the complaints. Otherwise, you have past iterations to live up to. You can change the type of story, and that may be a story reason.. but no one in Trek fandom was asking for that before this show was announced.

No one was asking for ANY Star Trek show (except SNW). But we have them.
Maybe we should just take the Star Trek name out of every show and not reference any past show – make them all generic sci-fi with no connection to Star Trek at all. How is that?

With such poor stewards of the trek franchise? That’s fine with me. Because this creative braintrust doesn’t get Trek, beyond the superficial.

Perfect reply! Thank you. 🙏

Culber being resurrected was always part of the plan, if I remember. After the episode where Tyler kills him aired, the producers and Wilson Cruz made a point of saying that he would be brought back from the dead. And they even foreshadowed the plot with him being trapped in the mycelial network (he appears there to talk to Paul and the spore that landed on Tilly’s shoulder).

Dug a little more and Cruz did an an interview with THR in 2019 which seems to support this:

“ We shot the episode in which Culber was killed off, and while we were shooting that episode, the producers let me know that I would be coming back within the season. I came back the very next episode, where I met up with Stamets in the mycelial network and we got to say an official goodbye. When we shot that episode, they let me know that I would be coming back in season two in some capacity. But I didn’t find out I would become a series regular until we started season two.”

Doubtful. Star Wars fans haven’t liked a single one since Empire Strikes Back. Maybe ROTJ was given a pass, after that. Decades of whining about the special edition and Han shooting second, where is my original version, prequels suck. Etc. Then another ten years of whining about Disney not liking a single thing.

That’s a bit of a reductive way of describing why so many of us like SNW more than Disco. For me, it’s nothing to do with it being TOS characters. It’s all to do with the tone being more accessible, the characters more endearing, the humor being less niche, the violence being less gory, and the storytelling being more experimental.

Discovery season 1 is brooding, dark and violent. It’s about a war, then it’s about a mirror universe that’s n more brutal. The only humor comes from one neurotic awkward character. The best story is the time loop one, which is decidedly atypical of the kinds of stories the show does. Character work is mixed. But there’s something new and interesting in what they were trying to do. Great production values and lots of potential, and grains of salt everywhere because of the fraught production problems. Season 2 was more fun, though the story arc was uninspired.

Seasons 3 and 4 are a different beast. Still some probation issues – new showrunner getting into the swing. The pandemic. But the actual writing changed measurably, and for the worse. As much as I didn’t really want a prequel (and still don’t, but at least SNW has solid execution), the setting turned out to not be a deciding factor for me with Disco. Seasons 3 and 4 just pile on the melodrama and trite characters, dialogue and morality plays, all while patting themselves on the back for platitudes that don’t carry substance IMO.

Season 5 looks like a show that has fewer inhibitions, which is wonderful, and hopefully it ends on a high. But after 5 years I struggle to care for most of the characters in a very small cast. And that’s a huge shame.

Again, I couldn’t agree more with you on every single observation (even down to Mudd’s time-loopisode as a standout)! All very well put!

Here’s hoping for going out on a high, for a show that has MADE a lot (most?) of us have the lowest of expectations in order to still get SOMETHING good out of it! 🤞


And the show did well, spawned all these new series, and by all accounts the cast and crew loved making it. But as jaded as I am, and as rose-tinted my glasses might be for a lot of legacy Trek, there’s very little about the writing of this show, especially beyond season 1, that meets the same highs as the old shows could hit, let alone what other modern dramas are doing. So as much as I try to just enjoy the shows for what they are, it’s episodes like Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad, wej Duj, Supernova, No Win Scenario, and Ad Astra Per Aspera which really make my heart sing. They have the strong cast and crew, but I just don’t think Discovery has had the fundamentals in the writers room to deliver that kind of story.

Writers room AND showrunner, alas! Paradisic, so far, this ride was not… 😅

Easily my favorite episode of Secret Hideout Trek.

I’ll be the contrarian and agree with you on this. It’s something I have noticed time and time again. The minute Michael has some existential angst she gets torn to shreds by the same fans who gave Pike a free pass to do it for an entire season. Whenever somebody talks about their emotions on Discovery it’s always “oh eff this, they’re crying again” but when La’an deals with trauma or when Christine spends the whole show mooning over Spock explore the same topic on SNW, it’s praised to the high heavens. DIS has strong female characters but the writing is “bad” but SNW, which has female characters whose sole purpose is to be a love interest for Spock (T’Pring and Chapel) and overlooks other female characters (Una, Ortegas), gets away with it.

this! in the case of Pike and Burnham, it’s totally okay for them to feel the way they do. It’s almost like it’d be even more unrealistic for them to not act on their emotions! Of course people could be like but Burnham was raised by Vulcans. And they’re right but Vulcan culture when it comes to emotions is full of shit and they fail to keep them in check sometimes themselves!

It’s a case of internalised misogyny. Pike gets a free pass but the second Discovery explore Michael’s emotional baggage, the reaction is “ffs she’s crying *again*”. People fry, it’s a thing as much as some people try to tell us otherwise. But society tells us that women cannot be too emotional and that when they are they are instantly criticised for being so. The Barbie movie puts this into perspective brilliantly, and in a more eloquent fashion than I ever could.

I know this super super well. Yes I’m not a woman but I am feminine presenting and closeted outside of the Internet for my own safety. I get that all the time, especially from my own mother. Last night she spent over thirty minutes criticizing me for being too energetic and happy when she knows that I’m a month into a manic episode and that’s just what I’m like when the mania hits.

Maybe it’s said mania talking but emotions are important and the emotions themselves aren’t an actual problem! It’s society that’s the problem! Emotions are super important and hard to limit if you’re a fictional character or a real person!

Burnham is not Hillary Clinton, she’s not a brilliant character we’d all appreciate if only it wasn’t for the sh*tty double standards that obfuscate everything. Yes, there is sexism and even racism in the way she’s criticized at times. But that’s just a distraction from the real issue of her being a sloppy character, and plenty of people, you included, just try to shut down legitimate critiques with, “Oh you’re a misogynist, BYE!”

In season 1 she struck me as being perfectly crafted in Bryan Fuller’s head… and then when he was let go everyone was scrambling to try to get her right. Her redemption felt half-earned, her superhuman abilities felt forced at times. But there were flashes of a compelling character.

She got a brief reset in season 3 which didn’t really carry over as she adjusted to being back in Starfleet with nary a flicker of difficulty or change to her character. Contrast that with how Mariner and Boimler have grown in LD with a fraction of her screen time.

As for crying, everyone on this show gushes about their feelings, it’s a universal complaint for me. This show is very of its time but that approach to character work is not compelling to me. Maybe I just prefer Trek characters who keep it professional and bottled things up until really big moments that pack an emotional punch. That doesn’t mean it’s creatively invalid or can’t appeal to others (talking about feelings and self-care is healthy, after all), I just think it’s lazy, preachy and cloying the way Discovery does it.

I never rewatch the show, so the day I actually do and marathon it perhaps my perspective will change.

But she isn’t a sloppy character. I literally don’t even know what means. And I also never called you a misogynist. The fact that your mind went there says a great deal about you than it does me. And it doesn’t negate my view that if Burnham was a white man- we wouldn’t have this weird backlash. Everyone would be happy and more onboard with the character.

You have 100% called me a misogynist and insinuated I don’t like LGBT+ characters and that I am everything that’s wrong with fandom in the past. I did not appreciate that at all, and presuming you know me even now is, as you would say, “not a good look.” I’ve noticed also that you frequently try to dismiss anyone’s incoming criticism of the show as probably being rooted in conscious or unconscious prejudices, which makes it incredibly hard to have a civil critical discourse. It’s like saying, “You’re probably a sexist, but please do tell us your opinion.”

Burnham suffers from Janeway syndrome. She’s not quite a Mary Sue but is rarely seen to be wrong about anything or face consequences beyond that court martial. Even her mutinous behavior in the pilot is shown to have been correct. She is messy without it feeling truly on purpose, her character growth is spotty, her relationships with the crew aren’t particularly well-developed no matter how many platitudes she throws at them (relationships with Ash and Book worked ok), and she lacks dimension IMO. And season 3 gave her no inner conflict to earn her captaincy on an emotional level when they were setting up her reluctance to follow rules and be part of the Federation. That arc was bungled – in the end she assimilates back quickly and just butts heads with Saru and an admiral or president once in awhile while always being right to do so.

That’s nothing to do with SMG’s acting or her being a black woman for me. The similarity to Janeway is that she’s not allowed to be a mess for more than a few minutes, as if that would pierce her “strong woman” persona. Compare her to someone complex like the lead women of The Good Wife, Parks and Rec, Dear White People, Veronica Mars, or Prime Suspect, where women are able to be perfectly imperfect and feel human. And again, just look to Georgiou for an example of the writers not knowing how to use these talented people properly. You have a living legend in Michelle Yeoh willing to stick around because she likes playing a baddie and you stick her with bad sarcastic dialogue that wouldn’t pass muster in a rough draft of a Mean Girls sequel.

I don’t know what Michelle Paradise’s plan for this character is, but Burnham has been all over the place since the season 3 premiere.

“Strange New Worlds does exactly everything that people hated about Discovery, but because it does it on the Enterprise with Kirk, Spock, and Una, they give it a pass.”

I’m sorry but I don’t agree with this at all. For starters, it does a ton of things differently and a reason why more people seem to like SNW over Discovery.

-It’s episodic and doesn’t follow one dreary story that Discovery has done for four brutal seasons now.

-Because of that it doesn’t have the season long ‘mystery box’ component that has dragged Discovery down.

-There isn’t a single end of the galaxy story line people have gotten very sick of.

-The show is actually about exploration (well first season anyway). Discovery has been something different every season, but it was never about exploration.

-SNW has a more light hearted and optimistic tone. DIS was originally trying to be BSG meets GOT (but has calmed down on that).

-People actually love Pike as Captain (why the show even exists). Burnham is very divisive for many reasons.

-It immediately went back to the look and feel of classic Trek with the uniforms, bridge design, KLINGONS, etc. We all know the direction Discovery went.

-The technology actually feels very appropriate for the time period; another issue DIS originally had. No spore drives, holographic communication, time travel suits, AI killer bots, etc.

-Speaking of, no Section 31 either (for now at least).

-And yes, less melodrama and crying. Waaaay less.

Now it doesn’t mean the show is perfect and doesn’t have its own issues. It has a ton of canon issues as DIS did, just different issues I guess. And I have called it out for two seasons now among other things. But it’s disingenuous to to say people give the show a pass for the same reasons when you ignore all he positives people like about it that sets it apart from Discovery and even Picard. I honestly look at SNW as the anti-Discovery. Picard actually has more in common with DIS than SNW did.

It’s a lot more grayer for many reasons, but end of the day SNW just feels like the Trek fans got from the 60-90s they grew up with. I can’t think of a single episode that would feel out of place if they adapted it to a TOS, TNG, VOY or ENT episode.

I can’t say the same about DIS.It felt like something else. For some that was a good thing. But for others, not so much and mainly due to its execution and not just being different. If that was the case, LDS should get the same amount of hate DIS does for being different. But that show follow pretty much the same standards SNW is following, just more broad comedy and obviously animated, but why the crossover worked so well.

S5 keeps sounding like it will be the best season of the show even after 4 fantastic seasons. Discovery has been the best of the current set of shows and it looks like it will continue to be for a long time imo.

Did we watch the same show?

I would love to have seen what you saw because what I saw was a poorly written mess that could never get its act together despite some parts actually being decent

You could just let Christopher have their opinion without going out of your way to pointedly tell him they’re wrong just because you disagree.

Poor DSC, always reinventing itself.

Doctor Who has been reinventing itself for over 50 year. It’s a good strategy.

Discovery is awful. Maybe the last season will go out with a bang but not holding my breath.

Same. I mean of course I’m going to watch it because not only is it the final season and I have gone this far buy this is also the last live action Trek we will be getting for a good long while

Exactly. I was thinking to wait until it was over and just binge it and save some money. But now since it’s the last season and we may not even see another show until Lower Decks season 5 or maybe season 2 of Prodigy might as well just watch it weekly and hope for the best.

I’m not expecting much but I want to believe Frakes so hopefully he’s right…. this time.

Yep. With the strikes going on there is more enough cost savings in streamers to go around for now. I’ll stick around till the end and whatever happens after that happens.

Yeah I’m there as well. I honestly didn’t care when DIS was cancelled. I felt bad for everyone who worked on it and the fans who actually liked it, but personally I was just ready to move on.

But with all the upheaval with Trek and Hollywood in general, it’s actually bittersweet this may be the last live action Trek we get until 2025. Hopefully it will be worth the wait.

I feel sorry for the folks here who will miss DSC, but I haven’t watched it since S2 and don’t plan on starting again now. Horrible show, imo, unwatchable. Cheers to those who enjoy it, though.

You haven’t missed anything man except a lot of crying and sucky stories. I wish I had your will power. But I’m a sucker for punishment. 😂😥

Either way it’s FINALLY over soon at least.

It was the first time in 50+ years I had quit a Trek show, which was a real bummer for me, but I just couldn’t stand DSC.

Me too, I quit early in Season 3. I couldn’t take the insipid wet-lettuce soppiness of the crew anymore, especially when they had to take time out to share their feelings during mid-crisis.
But, based on Frakes showing self-awareness of the “heavy emo” (which I would subjectively call a terrible failing of the show) I am going to give Season 5 a try.
I wish the starship didn’t have those dumb gaps between it’s parts though…..

For me, it was actually Enterprise. Stopped watching after its first season. The difference is though when I went back to it, I fell in love with it and regretted that I stopped watching it.

With Discovery, it has felt the complete opposite sadly.

You haven’t seen in beyond Season 2? So why do you feel the need to complain about episode that has aired since then?!

…complaining about what? I gave an opinion, and even offered empathy to those who like the show since it’s getting cancelled.

I’ll comment when I like, thanks.

All you ever do is bitch and moan about a show you don’t even watch anymore. Don’t you have anything better to do than rage about a show you don’t like.

And your little passive aggressive comment makes absolutely no sense. I expressed confusion about your predilection for commenting on a show you don’t watch. I never said you shouldn’t. Maybe don’t get so defensive when people call out your problematic behaviour?

I like some of the characters for sure, but the writing can be dreadful. Wish they hadn’t course corrected after season 2. But then again some of my favorite additions wouldn’t have been added like Adira and Book. But yeah 32nd Century was doa. But Michael being Captain was a good thing. But because of the way she was written as a constant mutineer it wasn’t believable for her to be a Captain.

I actually like the 32nd century setting because it’s at least something different, but I can’t disagree it hasn’t been executed very well (but that is Discovery’s motto ;)).

Agree with everything else, including making Michael Captain. I actually think that was one of the best positive changes. Of course, it’s totally ridiculous on its head, but that’s also why its good the show is in the far future. It would’ve been totally unrealistic in the 23rd century being a mutineer and all. But 900 years in the future, he past is very much in the past at that point.

Frakes has been positive about previous seasons too. It’s part of his job to promote the show whether he believes it’s good or not.

Sadly true.

and….., no one still cares! Don’t screw with cannon. Even Enterprise was better than this scharde of a show.

The one good thing I can say about DSC is that it made me go back and watch ENT again, which I now appreciate much more than I used to.

the heavy emo of season four

Ha. Even Frakes knows season four fell apart.

Except it didn’t. Aside from some pacing and characterisation issues, it was actually a great premise and largely well executed, which stuck the landing. It was like a love letter to my fav Trek movie, TMP.

I definitely thought the finale was very strong. The 10-C was one of the coolest alien concepts to come out of Star Trek, even if some of it seemed quite inspired by Arrival. But Sci-Fi often barrows from Sci-Fi right?

Yeah the back half of the season was a slog but it was worth it for that incredible finale.

Well, the specifics of species 10-C was postulated by some Sci-Fi authors many years ago Arthur C. Clarke, maybe? (it’s possible he borrowed the idea as well, because I saw a concept painting featured in a National Geographic Book published before the novel he featured these in). Similar creatures were in his 2010 Novel. A plausible idea of how life might manifest in a gas giant. I will say I appreciate that the writers looked for plausibility in their portrayal of this species. And being familiar with the concept, I thought it was cool.. but for me, it was a little bit of, “Oh, ok.. this idea again”. Which is honestly a little snarky on my part, and I think maybe It shouldn’t be. I was hoping it would be something maybe a little less tied to an old idea, and I was just hoping for a bigger surprise / payoff. I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed it.

Except it did.

But, hey, your mileage may vary.

I would agree it was a strong premise. Those other issues aren’t small ones though.

My beef with Season 4 is the season long arc over 10-12 episodes just means the big mystery has little payoff. IMO, they should make an overarching character arc(s) for the season, and give us 3-4 self contained plot based arcs throughout the season that have little to do with each other.

Finally! The first two season where good and watchable, but with season 3, and especially season 4, the show went off the cliff pretty quickly.
In the first two seasons+ we had great characters like Georgiou, Tyler, Lorca, Pike, but after their exits the new characters were pretty much forgettable, and the story so boring. I hope that Frakes is right and Discovery can end it’s story like it started.

You can thank Michelle Paradise for that as from season 3 she was in complete control. Every interview I have seen/read with her she totally clueless about Star Trek.

Enough. Enough with the promises. The writers tried to solve their problems by going to the future. That was supposed to be the thing that saved the show, and I believed them. Instead, for my money, it got precipitously worse across seasons 3 and 4. I don’t care if Star Trek Discovery season 5 is better than First Contact. I don’t care if it’s better than any Star Trek ever made. In fact, I’ll just assume it is the best Star Trek ever made, if that’s what it will cost to ignore it. In the words of Weird Al, I would rather clean all the toilet seats in Grand Central Station with my tongue than spend one more minute with Star Trek Discovery.

I feel bad saying this, but in a world where SNW and PIC season 3, and even Lower Decks exist, I honestly think I stand by what I said. Roll on SNW season 3!

Agreed. Seasons 1 and 2 were so superior to 3 and 4, in pretty much every category.

Also, now that they’re ending the show prematurely, we can probably forget about “Calypso” ever being explained, which is frustrating as heck.

Wrong. On every single level.

Sorry, Grampa Frakes, you can’t fix perfection. Stick to pointing the camera and yelling “Action!”

Discovery is definitely not perfection. And Frakes is one of Trek’s finest directors.

Don’t bother he’s a troll

He’s not trolling, he’s being sarcastic. He does this all the time although I wish he would stop so people wouldn’t think he’s trolling like you just did.

Last season was mostly about wasting time to get to the end, it was obviously under developed and they struggled to fill the time. Really was one of the most unbearable seasons of Star Trek. So at least they acknowledged it wasn’t a success and have made moves to fix it.

I love Discovery, but I’m still willing to call out what I perceive as faults. The first season, in my opinion, popped. I didn’t hate the Klingon redesign like so many did. I understood why so many fans had issues with it, but it didn’t bother me.

The second season was just on fire … not only are we continuing, but we have Pike, Number One, and Spock. I’ll admit I did find Tilly’s “ghost storyline” a bit annoying before the big reveal and she was sucked into the mycelial network, but overall Season 2 just worked.

Out of the four seasons we’ve had so far, Season 3 was the lowest for me. I enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong, but there was just too much to unpack in thirteen episodes. Burnham gets her own season premiere, where she meets Book. The rest of the crew show up in the next episode (where an entire year has passed for Burnham). Subtract the two-part story to bid farewell to Mirror Georgiou toward the end of the season, and you’ve got nine episodes to a) find Earth, b) find the Federation, or what’s left of it, c) figure out the Burn and how to prevent another one, and d) deal with the Emerald Chain. In my opinion, it’s too bad this couldn’t have been a 15 episode season like Season 1 … a little more story in the middle would have helped.

Season 4 is my second favorite season, behind Season 2. The whole DMA concept and Species 10-C is definitely very sci-fi. One thing Trek has done to death is introducing one “humanoid species” after another. We also saw some good character development.

My biggest issue overall is the lack of character development for the bridge crew/support crew. Other than Owosekun and Detmer, I don’t feel like I know the bridge crew after four seasons. Hopefully Season 5 corrects that injustice. As for Frakes’ statements about the upcoming season, bring it on. It sounds fun.

I’d argue that the lack of character development stems from the reality that most of the bridge crew were cast as background extras which really hampered what they could do with them. I feel like the show was really setup for failure because it didn’t have a complete cast to work with. To get around this they keep recasting the show every season which helped in Season 2, but not so much after that.

People who insist Michael Bernam is a Mary Sue have clearly never watched any other Trek. Picard, Kirk, Spock and Janeway can all be given that label due to their seemingly endless list of skills. Hell, even Saru is more “Mary Sue” than Michaël with his infinite languages. Michael has shown poor judgement many times, an inability to make tough choices, arrogance, and many other flaws that make her far more reletable on a human level than many other captains.

She is called a Mary Sue when none of these other people are because she is black woman who is skilled, intelligent, confident and in a leadership position. If she was white and/or male she would be seen as a strong, capable leader with reletable flaws. If you’re going to critique Discovery there are many valid avenues, like for a serialized show there really isn’t much of a through line other than going to the future, the lack of conflict among the crew since the loss of Michele Yeoh, weak standalone episodes, etc. However the continued Mary Sue critique is not supported by the long list of Michael’s obvious character flaws, which are played as flaws. She is also not infinitely skilled, often relying on Saru, Owo, Detmer, Dr. Culber, Stamets and more many, many times.

I’m making a stink about it because I’m tired of the coded racism influencing how people react to the character, and I’m calling it out.

Also, if you’re going to come for Disco’s writing make specific critiques about the writing. I legit just did it by pointing out the lack of conflict after the loss of the Emperor. I see a lot of vague assertions the writing on Disco is bad, but never any specific comments about what is bad and how it could be better. It’s always just… “the writing is garbage,” or some other vague generalization. There are a lot of good things about the writing as well, but they get lost in the non specific complaints that make the whole show seem like a wash when there are actually some amazing Trek episodes mixed in. Okay I’m done but reading this thread gave me heartburn how attacky and non specfic it was on those two points.

This this this this this

Without question. Ignoring a characters flaws to advance a story has been a part of the use of “heroes” in stories, since storytelling began. Now that female heroes have become a part of the culture, they’re called Mary Sue. This is so obviously sexist that it makes me double over with laugher. If it’s overly done, just call it bad character writing. To come up with a special label when it’s bad, just because it involves females, is the height of prejudice.

It’s really incredible how few seem to be aware of the not so subtle coded racism. Excellent, concise observation.

Indeed. “Mary Sue” is up their with “woke”

We can crack the code.

She’s not a Mary Sue. I think they shy away from addressing her flaws (which was also a Janeway issue – her recklessness was almost always vindicated and reset after each episode), but if anyone were to compare her with Picard of TNG, he would fit the bill more, apart from how he always solicits advice.

My main issue with Burnham is how they handled her character from season 3 onwards. I was excited for the possibilities after the premiere showing a character who had been free of Starfleet for a year and was loose and carefree. This set up what should have been a compelling struggle with if she belonged in Starfleet and who would bend to whom. In the end it was easy for her to ease back into her old job and she gets promoted. At least a little arrogance and impulsiveness simmered and she butted heads with people about, as you point out.

It’s really how other characters are treated and the overall storytelling approach and tone I take exception to. With Disco it’s a million little cuts that undermine what is on the surface a slick and well-meaning series.

The reason Burnham Is a Mary Sue, has nothing to do with her skills, her race or anything superficial. It’s because the writers have consistently made her persevere amidst circumstances that make no sense for her to do so, when considering in universe precedent / rules. She mutinied and was courtmartialed and sent to prison. All hand waved away with no consequence, to the point that she gets promoted with no plausible explanation. She is the only person that is allowed to be the savior. It’s now what she can do.. it’s how that’s accomplished and how it’s explained. Her insubordination becomes a feature, not a bug throughout all the seasons, with no consequence. I can think of some stories featuring Kirk that you can make an argument for being a Mary Sue story.. but it’s isolated. Discovery is consistently putting Burnham in the savior position without it making sense other than she’s the only person in the Universe that can do it. To me, they’re wasting a wonderful actress in this role, by having her do that. Burnham for most of Season 1, was written in a way that could have been accepted.. and perhaps her prison sentence would have been commuted.. but she never would have worn a Starfleet uniform again. It gets worse from there every season. The story twisting they use to continue to justify her behavior to the point that she ascends to the rank of Captain, is not plausible in the Starfleet that we know. The same with Kirk in the Kelvinverse, honestly.

Her redemption arc is a mess. Externally it is largely prompted by the actions of a Mirror Universe bad actor with his own nefarious plans, and ways where we see her being accepted again by her crew mates don’t feel earned. That scene where Detmer offers her a chair still makes me so mad, it comes out of nowhere (certainly not the last time Detmer would get used like this). The elements are there to form Burnham’s internal guilt and redemption arc, but it’s sloppy the way it comes together. It’s all down to losing Bryan Fuller – she was his baby and his track record with intriguing female protagonists is great, even if his track record of being a flexible showrunner is not.

SMG has a warm and charismatic presence which smooths over some of the rough edges, but that character is all over the place and yes, very often she’s written to be the only possible solver of any given problem. I can’t say that’s not exaggeration as the show still is about teamwork like all Trek, and she does delegate. But I think it was when she was basically put in charge of making sure Ni’Var would always keep its sh*t together that my eyes finally narrowed a little.

Great points Ian.. It’s prioritizing character over anything else. I heard Vince Gilligan say in talking about Breaking Bad and/or Better Call Saul.. they had a mantra.. you couldn’t have a smart character suddenly act stupid for the purpose of plot expediency. I think so much of Burnham being the ‘savior’ is plot expediency so they can illuminate her character. Personally, I think plot should be most important in Star Trek.. and in a series, character will come. Character attributes are earned over time. In Disco and SNW, these things are presented to just be accepted, and not earned.

Which is why Michael Piller’s insistence that his writers always bear in mind how the plot would affect characters worked so well, especially for DS9. If you have a well-defined character with lots of potential, development will come if the plots don’t take their eyes off the ball.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence they once he left the day to day of running Voyager to others, the show got plot-focused to the point where character work got sloppy or deprioritized. Janeway’s recklessness started to feel unearned, the other human characters were afterthoughts, and everyone fell over themselves for the two best-written outsiders – the Doctor and Seven.

I don’t mind good character-focused work, but I struggle to see it in much of Discovery. That’s frustrating because Saru is a legitimately good character. But again, non-humans seem like they are the most fun for writers.

The hero position… the the savior position. Those have been the staple of classical fiction since forever. I think you are understating the case when you suggest the use of the device with Kirk was isolated. Kirk and company CONSTANTLY got out of situations–magically and/or otherwise, as do all heroes. The question is, was it earned? It was not earned in many TOS stories. It’s usually more a question of writing and poor decisions. However, when females are involved, it’s seen as another agenda entirely, when in fact, it’s still just poor writing. That’s why I find it sexist.

Also, I think we tend to find it harder to suspend our disbelief when it’s a female because of preset prejudices in the culture–I know I feel it–but am honest enough to admit it, and I constantly have to check myself because of it.

The simple fact, that many Trek fans, having loved and cherished all shows before DIS have massively gave up on this particular show should have been a sign to producers and writers.
But they went on.

And there’s now a mistrust when a new season of another “OK” show like SNW is released : will it keep to the promise of a true, loyal Trek show ? Or will it sink like DIS ?

My opinion is that since the release of Kurtzman Trek, only a few episodes from SNW and some of the Picard S3, because of the fan service reunion, were on par with what has made that we love Star Trek. Everything else seems to be a mess in writing, wokism and political nonsense.

Trek has always been “woke and political nonsense.” You just have your head in the sand.


Using the term ‘wokism’ is grounds for ignoring anything you have to say, btw. Keep that in mind when penning critiques.

Hilarious. Like somebody would give a rat’s ass what you think and edit their post accordingly. You keep that in mind before gracing us with your entitled wisdom.

Well, I hope the DISCO fans enjoy the finale. I’ve watched every episode but have not really enjoyed the show overall as felt too generic sci-fi, too many canon violations which takes me out of the universe that has been building for almost 60 years and honestly, some rather poor writing/dialogue. Was definitely sensible when they catapulted the show into the 32nd century, something that would have been a big shock and bold if they had done that after the first two episodes of season 1.

I will watch the final season as for better or worse, it is Star Trek. But I’m honestly not sad it is ending. With Picard Season 3, Lower Decks and Prodigy, Star Trek feels it is not afraid to embrace what makes it identifiably Star Trek, something I feel Discovery was either afraid to do at the beginning (what was up with the need to change all the visuals? What was up with those godawful Klingons?) or was due to the Moonves effect of the development phase.

Discovery, it’s… definitely been something.

My problem with the canon violations, is not that the writing staff makes mistakes.. that’s always been the case.. it’s that they willfully and intentionally disregard canon to suit what they want to do.

You said it all for me Captain Braxton. Totally agree on practically everything.

So if we got a Die Hard homage in Season 3, should we expect Burnham to be chased by a giant boulder in season 5?

Frakes you are wrong, it’s a superhero story ….about a superhero captain that can do no wrong. Look forward to this ending and money hopefully being spent on a new Trek project.
Thanks to DSC for SNW and for getting Trek back on TV…and Saru…that’s as far as it goes.

Captain Saru forever

…it’s going to be Borg. Used to be when Star Trek doesn’t know what to do, they turn to Shakespeare. Now it’s when Star Trek doesn’t know what to do they turn to the Borg

It shows what a dumpster fire this show is that they constantly need to reinvent themselves every season. They have no idea what they’re doing. Sadly no amount of shifting tone will rescue one of the worst casts of characters in all of Trek.

As for the action, if that idiotically over the top clip they released is any indication, there’s not much hope there either

Thank you for reading my mind and putting it into words. They don’t know what they’re doing because they don’t know Star Trek. Even if they did, their flagrant incompetence would make it impossible for them to do it Justice by writing a good story.

Could it be that if the show was any good, the discussion would be about how good it is? From Day 1, the conversation has been fraught. SNW has gets it right. Episodic is the way to go. There are enough underlaying consistencies to keep it together. The Federation. Warp travel. Goodie and baddie of the week. Etc. Everything else turns it into melodrama.

I’ve personally just given up on Discovery. It’s the first Trek show for me where by season 4 I didn’t outright love it as I do all the other shows like TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT and LDS. There are just too many problems with the show and why I’m not surprised it got cancelled. I think fans have been revolting long ago.

All that said, I’ll keep an open mind and will watch hoping to be proven wrong but I’m just watching because A. It’s the final season and B. It still has Star Trek in the title. If i wasn’t for either of those I might have skipped the season completely and watch it later. I have zero enthusiasm for it.

I didn’t love Deep Space Nine until season 4, but i doubt this is a comparable situation. Now i watch those earlier seasons and i find some new things i never discovered before. Because i expected the TNG format at the time and i didn’t give them a fair viewing. Apples and Oranges. Loved Picard season 3 and everyone was telling me it was trash.

I hope season 5 of Disco is fun. I only hope it goes out on a high like Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor Who run. That show had its problems with scripts and production and too many cooks. Ultimately i feel like their heart was in the right place even if it wasn’t well received and then they had to bring back David Tennant and Russel T Davies. Hopefully not too much course correction or retcons.

Too many cooks on DW? It was just one cook with some dodgy recipes.