Podcast: All Access Says Farewell To ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ With “Life, Itself”

All Access Star Trek podcast episode 187 - TrekMovie - Star Trek: Discovery finale "LIfe, Itself"

[Discovery 509 review starts at 15:26]

After a brief production update on Strange New Worlds and the latest from Alex Kurtzman on the Starfleet Academy show, Anthony and Laurie are ready to do their final review of Star Trek: Discovery. They play some clips from Tony’s new interview with Doug Jones, then dig into the series finale, “Life, Itself,” to determine how satisfying it was as a season and series finale and discuss character arcs, visuals, performances, connection to the Short Treks “Calypso,” and more. They wrap up with the good news that Gates McFadden’s podcast is getting a season 3 and some great interviews with Kay Hanley and Tom Polce, the songwriters behind Strange New Worlds‘ “Subspace Rhapsody.”


‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Season 4 Filming Set For 2025; Anson Mount Thanks Fans For Patience

Alex Kurtzman Explains Why ‘Star Trek: Starfleet Academy’ Is Set In The ‘Discovery’ Era

Daniels [Memory Alpha]

Department of Temporal Investigations [Memory Alpha]

Voyager‘s “Relativity” [Memory Alpha]

Trek Long Island schedule

Note: Doug Jones interview will be on the site soon.


Anthony: Gates McFadden’s InvestiGates podcast renewed for season 3 [Collider]

Laurie: “Subspace Rhapsody” interviews: The Wrap [YouTube] and Open Pike Night podcast [Apple]

Let us know what you think of the episode in the comments, and should you be so inclined, please review us on Apple.

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As always, great podcast Laurie and Tony.

While Discovery never really clicked with me personally, I nonetheless salute it as “first through the wall” into this new Star Trek era. Without it, there would have been no Picard, Prodigy, Strange New Worlds, or Lower Decks…the show that reignited my love of Trek.

For plenty of people, Discovery is their first Star Trek, their gateway into this universe…that’s a great thing and should be celebrated.

As for “Life, Itself,” it was a fine finale. The epilogue did feel a bit superfluous, but like Tony, I will always welcome beauty shots of ships. On the whole, I enjoyed Season 5 the most out of Discovery’s run.

(just realized, Michael recording her observations inside the portal is just like her step-brother during his flight through V’Ger)

Laurie, perhaps we’ll run into each other at Trek Long Island this weekend!

I hope so! You will have to remind me that your name here is Tachyon Anomaly. Ha! I’ll be around Saturday & Sunday and I’ll be moderating Kitty Swink’s panel on Sunday. I’ll have All Access stickers with me, if you’d like one. (And Little Riker.)

Nice meeting you this weekend! Hope you had fun!

I did, thanks! Nice meeting you as well!

Discovered the pod this season and very much enjoyed it. I read some spoilers on line ahead of the episode, and I’m glad I did as some points were rushed over, for example the saucer separation. I’ve always loved that, and if not for the spoiler I would’ve missed it. My “wait, what?” moment was Admiral (!) Saru at his wedding!

I was so excited when Discovery first came out. I remember being with a big Star Trek group in a bar to watch the premiere.
I stopped watching after the second season. The first time I ever wanted to stop watching Star Trek.

My final verdict on Discovery is that they should have never let Bryan Fuller go. I think that getting rid of him was a mistake.Discovery was sold as a prequel to the original series. Michael Burnham was a compelling character but she became more Martin-Green than Burnham after Season 2.

The tone of the show changed and I just did not like it. I think that going into the future sounded good until they actually had to develop a framework to maintain it. I hated that Burn story. I decided not to watch it anymore. Had Byran Fuller stayed, I believe we would have gotten a better show.

Same here. I stopped watching after S2 as well, also the first time I ever stopped watching a Trek show. A sad milestone.

I made it through season three, but stopping where you did would have been a better idea.

I am grateful that they set up what became Strange New Worlds.

Same here. Afterwards, I read the reviews each season to see if some great, interesting story could get me back to actually watching it again. Never did. But I will tip my hat in appreciation for giving us SNW.

Season 2 was the last season I fully watched it which I thought was awful by the end. I did watch parts of both seasons 3 and 4 but stopped around halfway through. It was just so bad but I kept trying because I really wanted to like the show.

Discovery is easily the worst show in the franchise for me and isn’t even close. There were just too many bizarre choices in it and the show felt like it was being written by college interns. Highly emotional ones.

To be fully honest I was more skeptical about it on day one because I really hated it was another prequel but of course would support it no matter what and give it a fair shot like any show.

And the opposite happened for me when I learned it was going into the far future and I couldn’t have been more excited about it because FINALLY we were getting something completely new and different that didn’t rely on legacy characters or 50 year old story canon (which they botched multiple times and another reason it was a good idea to put in its own setting). But Star Trek was finally going boldly again after nearly 20 years of prequels and reboots.

But alas it didn’t turn out as exciting as I hoped but a lot of tedious melodrama and frankly boring storylines. I liked that it all looked different with interesting concepts like the Burn and Species 10c but still felt mostly empty by the end.

But I stuck with it for all five seasons and in many areas I have truly loved it at times but there were also some true lows I have never felt in other Trek shows before.

The show is just so mixed in terms of my feelings on it although I generally liked this season and finale, but still far from loved it.

I always tried to stay open minded every season and said I would this season even though season 4 is truly some of the worst Trek I have watched. But I did end up liking this season more in the end and thought it went out well enough and that’s probably the closest to a win I can give it.

Never hated the show but it’s still the worst one for me in the franchise. I’m just happy we got what I feel much better shows out of it in the end..

Great podcast (as always), Laurie and Anthony! Really appreciate your commentary over these past five seasons!

Thanks so much!

You really think that Season 5 was the best season of Discovery? For me it peaked on Season 2, and was all down hill from there, and Season 5 was definitely the worst. It was beautiful to watch, but the story and characters were so uninspiring. They should had spent a lot of more time on writing, and less on the CGI.

Totally agree on S2 being the best season. I had high hopes post the jump to the future but S3 was a let down as was S4. I’ve quite enjoyed S5 in places but overall Discovery is my least favourite ST series and one which I will never revisit. For me it’s like watching The Cage. It has ST trappings but someone doesn’t seem to quite click as ST for me at least.

I’ve liked SMG since her Walking Dead days but with few exceptions (e.g Saru and Vance) the characters held little to no appeal for me personally. Biggest missed opportunity IMO is Jet Reno. When she first appeared in S2 I thought we had our Chief Engineer similar to Scotty’s introduction in ST09, but it was not to be.

At least it yielded SNW which I much prefer.

Season 5 was actually written with a certain drawn down simplicity (ie everyone kept using the word “the clue”) which felt “dumbed down” – but each time I sensed this, I was simultaneously thankful that the producers were not hoisting technobabble around to give significance that was not there.

In the past, facing off against Control, The Burn, and the 10-CC – the stories seemed more complicated but we were left bereft of themes or meanings that impacted main characters or the people they meet.

Were there any life lessons in DSC before the conclusion of Season 5?

All this, however, does not mean that S5 had the most interesting individual episodes. During other seasons, some of the best episodes also had scenes which were horrible – because of the drawn out storylines. You simply cannot share them with someone who is not already hooked.

So, DSC S5 I can offer to friends. However as a whole, I am left with the impression that DSC was a victim of a trend in storytelling.

Thanks for the podcasts! Really fun companions to yes, several really crazy years!

Were there any life lessons in DSC before the conclusion of Season 5?”

“True self-reflection is at the heart of the human adventure” works just fine for me.

Per usual great podcast and I did like the series finale but as this review showed it was still very messy to say the least. But I think it stuck to landing well enough IMO even if there was so much in it they could’ve done without. As usual agree with Laurie the whole fighting bit just felt over done and even eye rolling but you have to have ‘action’ on these shows I guess.

As for the season overall I’m still very mixed on it but it was probably my favorite season which should tell you how much of a mess I think Discovery is lol. I liked the premise of it and I liked how much they tied it in with a classic TNG episode. But it’s sort of funny how much this show has changed because nowhere would I have ever uttered the words ‘TNG’ when discussing this show in its first season lol. It almost felt antithetical to that show at the time.

But it’s very obvious that they wanted it to feel as nostalgic as possible even though it was 800 years into the future from everything we’ve ever known. There was obviously this push to have the show tie in to classic Trek as possible this season but still very true to what Discovery is as a show which I think was mostly successful and a reason it seemed more popular as well.

I think Discovery will be a very divisive show for probably years to come. Looking at so many YouTube videos discussing the finale it is clear people just had a lot of problems with the show in general even if they liked the finale. It is a show that started modern Star Trek but it’s not looked at the same way TNG was when it did its swan song and many people like me at the time felt depressed it was over. That was also a show that started off very badly to many people but by the end it was truly loved by most of the fanbase and still considered very iconic today. With Discovery it almost seems to be the opposite feeling with a lot of fans and just relieved it’s now done.

But obviously there are plenty of people who truly loved it from the start and will miss it; including many people on this board. But I think in the end it had a very mixed reaction from day one because it truly took big swings out of the gate and gave us something bolder and daring we haven’t gotten since DS9. But it probably went a little too bold and daring for some and it spent five seasons trying to find a better balance.

Just finished up the podcast….
Yeah, the aging makeup is terrible. I do hit the legacy cable channels for the occasional show I watched when I was a kid. You’ll hear some doctor on “Emergency” comment that someone is pretty spry for their age (60’s), or the paramedics will be calling in a heart attack on some grandpa stereotype (cane, very grey, sensible polyester clothes) who’s 60. I just turned 60, jog a mile and a quarter a day, and the only polyester I own are the gym shorts….

Too bad we can’t do meme’s here, a kiss from Saru could be sloppy…. :-)

I just watched “The Deadly Years” again and the old age makeup for Kirk, McCoy, and Spock is hilarious compared to how Shatner, Kelley, and Nimoy actually aged. Shatner still looks great at 93. In the show he looked decrepit when he was aged up to 60ish.

Right? That’s what I was talking about!