Star Trek: Discovery – CBS All-Access flagship series now the franchise torchbearer
Any analysis of the newest Star Trek television series to come down the pike in 12 years will tend to focus on the similarities and differences of what came before. Such thinking does something of a disservice to Star Trek: Discovery, an utterly unprecedented sixth spinoff after The Original Series. Though Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine revolutionized television, Discovery chases Enterprise with a gap of 12 years of evolution to television presentation in between.
A single viewing makes clear (at least to viewers in the late 2010s) that Enterprise’s debut pair of episodes “Vulcan Hello” and “Battle at the Binary Stars” has the (perhaps cynical but pragmatic regardless) dual purpose of introducing viewers to plot and characters but also to CBS’s new online-only format for the program’s distribution.
What’s new and what’s old
What’s new: A seriously massive special effects budget, for one. Episodes cost up to $8.5 million per on production and, wow, maybe 15 minutes of Discovery’s premiere story have passed before it’s easily acknowledgeable as tops among Star Trek series in this regard.
A Star Trek: Discovery writer has revealed he quit the series after being chastised over using the N-word in the workplaceSource: digitalspy.com
An important mission log is being recorded by one of the first captains to ever greet Star Trek fansSource: comicbook.com
Author and screenwriter Walter Mosley is very unhappy with a recent experience in a television writers roomSource: bleedingcool.com
Writer Walter Mosley quit “Star Trek: Discovery” in disgust after getting a formal complaint about him using the N-word in the writer’s room, according to new reportsSource: foxnews.com
A Star Trek: Discovery writer quit the show after he was chastised for using the n-word in the writers’ roomSource: metro.co.uk
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was a monumental show for all the right reasonsSource: screenrant.com
On Friday, the New York Times published an essay written by Walter Mosley, African-American novelist and consulting producer of FX’s Snowfall, about his departure from an unnamed seriesSource: vulture.com
Author Walter Mosley Quits 'Star Trek: Discovery' After CBS HR Called Him on Using N-Word in Writers Room
Novelist and screenwriter Walter Mosley has quit as a writer on the CBS All Access series “Star Trek Discovery” after disagreeing with the company’s human resources department over hisSource: thewrap.com
Author Walter Mosley says he recently quit a television series on which he was writing after another writer complained about his use of the n-word in the writers’ roomSource: variety.com
Prolific novelist Walter Mosley has quit the writing staff of a CBS All Access series, later confirmed to be Star Trek: Discovery by the network, following an HR complaint regardingSource: cbr.com
Author Walter Mosley penned an op-ed for The New York Times, published on Friday, in which he revealed that he quit his job as a writer on a televisionSource: hollywoodreporter.com
Mother has had enough. Spock misses Michael. Pike contemplates. Peace seems to be prevailing, for now, but war awaits in the shadowsSource: treknews.net
The Star Trek Universe has set course for this year’s New York Comic Con on October 5thSource: treknews.net
Star Trek is beaming into Madison Square Garden for New York Comic-Con on October 5thSource: comicbook.com
New York Comic Con 2019 is a month away and that means the list of panels and screenings for the annual event is beginning to roll out, starting with thoseSource: thewrap.com
On October 5, fans attending the New York Comic Con will get to see a back-to-back Trek panel including actors from Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: PicardSource: trektoday.com
By the time Netflix's The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance ends, it's pretty obvious the series is angling for a season or two more as it doesn'tSource: cbr.com
CBS has announced a special SteelBook release for the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, when it hits Blu-ray later this yearSource: treknews.net
It has been eighteen years since Johnathan Frakes, and his beard, was William Riker, and with the upcoming Star Trek: Picard getting the band back together, it’s going toSource: themarysue.com
Star Trek: Discovery Season Two will get a special steelbook release when it heads to Blu-ray on November 12thSource: comicbook.com
One of the biggest draws of Netflix's The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance for fans was how the series would eventually tie into Jim Henson's 1982 puppet classicSource: cbr.com
For Jonathan Frakes, returning to his character of Will Riker was nerve-wracking for the actor, who is more likely to be behind the camera than in front of itSource: trektoday.com
Netflix's The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance certainly does a great job in painting the bird-like Skeksis as the poison plaguing the planet of Thra, overharvesting its waningSource: cbr.com
Star Trek fans can expect a return to traditional Star Trek optimism inStar Trek: Discovery’s third season according to Jonathan FrakesSource: comicbook.com
But beyond the superficial trappings of uniforms and as-yet unmet species or three, much of Discovery is just good ol’ Star Trek adapted for the 21st century. The title theme harkens back to the original series with direct samples for that original tune. The opening credits graphics show (and the episodes play out) much emphasis on the big two of Star Trek lore: The Vulcans and Klingons. And while the Klingons have undergone their third major makeover since the days of Kirk’s original five-year mission, those Vulcans don’t change a bit – even Spock and his father Sarek crosses over into Discovery.
And despite the fact that Discovery is supposed to be set 10 years or so before the events of the *TV* version of Captain Kirk’s era – and not the reboot movie universe version – the bridge of the Shenzhou has plenty of lens flares firing…
Crew members – of the Shenzhou, Discovery and Enterprise
Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) – A compelling character who is more or less the focus of the series. Raised by Sarek and Amanda, parents of Spock, is notably the only Starfleet officer ever to mutiny (Really?) but gets a shot at redemption when Captain Lorca recruits her to join the Discovery crew in the Klingon-Federation war that, as she is unfairly accused, she started. (Of course, the Federation types don’t know the inner workings of Klingon politics and the dogma of T’Kuvma…) In very little screen time, Burnham becomes the most compelling human character this franchise has seen since, what, Jean-Luc Picard, maybe…
Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) – Georgiou is the first Starfleet captain we meet in Discovery, and quickly proves to be a cunning tactician, martial arts expert and first-contact specialist (until the Klingons show up, that is). This intrepid captain is apparently to badass to live long and is dispatched shockingly early in season 1. Mirror Universe (and Burnahm) to the rescue! Season 1’s shenanigans in the parallel ’verse result in the emigration of EEEEvil Georgiou to the prime ST universe, where she kicked enough metaphorical butt to earn her own series.
Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) – Captain Lorca comes off as a strange character from the moment Burnham crosses his path in “context is for Kings.” As it turns out, Lorca’s erratic behavior – and his particular interest in recruiting Burnaham has distinctly insidious un-Federation motivations.
Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) – Talk about your reboots: The character of Captain Pike has gone from the TOS pilot episode to the two-parter “The Menagerie” to the 2009 movie to Discovery, and in no series has he been given more quality time, quality dialogue and quality action. STG would guess that the majority of Millennials, for whom Discovery is their first currently-running ST series, call Pike their favorite captain. And damn, he’s heroic.
First Officer Commander Saru (Doug Jones) – Saru is a Kelpian, a prey species from a world fostering at least two intelligent species. Saru has a long history with Burnham, having served with her for years aboard the USS Shenzhou. Their rocky relationship based in the death of Captain Georgiou is ironed out by the end of season 1, and fascinating facts about Saru and his people are introduced in the first volume of Short Treks and in Discovery season 2. In terms of fandom, this dude is definitely the Spock/Data figure on this show.
Science Officer Spock (Ethan Peck). You’ve probably heard of this character before.
Number One, a.k.a. Una (Rebecca Romijn) – As Riker is to Picard, “Number One” is to Pike aboard the Enterprise. This Spartanly-named character gets her chance to shine in a fleshed-out role in Discovery after playing a Spock-like straight man in the TOS pilot; heck, Pike even drops her name once.
Lt. Paul Stamets, science officer (Anthony Rapp) – Stamets is a man born ahead of his time – not just because of his insanely advanced philosophies of biophysics in general and astromycology. By default, he ends up piloting the Discovery’s super high-tech spore drive and, thanks to his experience in the galactic mycelial web, he now enjoys a “special relationship with time” that’s nearly as powerful as his special relationship with sarcasm.
Dr. Hugh Culber, chief medical officer (Wilson Cruz) – Unfortunately for Star Trek fans, what is usually one of the best characters on any Star Trek series has been reduced to a plot device, i.e. to serve as Stamets’s love interest and take him on a rollercoaster of maudlin emotions.
Lt. Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) – Lorca recruited Tyler for the cause after the two did a little hard time together under the not-so-gentle ministrations of Klingon captors in “Choose Your Pain.” Unfortunately, Tyler brings quite an extraordinary condition along with him which first appears to be PTSD but turns out a hell of a lot weirder – and more dangerous.
Ensign Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) – A enthusiastic go-getter with an undying love of mathematics and absolutely fantastic hair, young Sylvia Tilly believes that she’ll someday rise to the rank of captain. She’s certainly got the brains to do so, as her outstanding work in theoretical engineering (!) at Starfleet Academy got her fast-tracked to Discovery.
Key Klingon characters in Star Trek: Discovery season one
It would be a disservice to Star Trek: Discovery to write up any sort of character list without including the Klingon characters who take up a sizable fraction of screen time throughout the first season. Some minor spoilers ahead because, hey, oftentimes it’s impossible to talk about Klingons without breaking out the scorecard of who-killed-whom…
T’Kuvma – One of the key figures in Klingon history, T’Kuvma is credited with the invention of cloaking technology, which he offered to distribute throughout the Klingon Empire. However, T’Kuvma seeks to share his technology only if the 24 feuding houses come together as one force against those who promise “we come in peace”, i.e. the Federation. After killing Georgiou, T’Kuvma dies somewhat ignobly as he’s shot in the back by Burnham but is imoortalized is Klingon lore from the 22nd century on.
Voq – An albino, outcast and “son of none”, Voq became the righthand man (“torchbearer” in Klingon custom) of T’Kuvma right around the time of T’Kuvma’s attempted reunification of the Klingon houses. After T’Kuvma’s death, Voq assumed control of the House of T’Kuvma, but did not hold these reigns of power for long. Once his life was spared by Kol, Voq got to work and gaining revenge and taking control of the Klingon Empire to lead in the fashion of T’Kuvma and the great Kahless.
L’Rell was a member of the House of T’Kuvma who served as Voq’s torchbearer despite getting passed over for the top-dog spot by T’Kuvma himself. L’Rell remains Voq’s last ally and comes through in the clutch for the most marginalized Klingon until Mogh would become a household name...
Kol – Representing the House of Kor, that long-lived warrior who’d appear in The Originial Series and Deep Space Nine, among T’Kuvma’s discussion, Kol comes around to the reunification plan, but doesn’t necessarily trust the leader. Proclaiming that weak leadership will only lead to yet another dissolution of peace among Klingon houses, Kol sets out to not only lead the Klingons to a glorious victory in a war against the Federation, but to continue ruling the Empire thereafter with an iron fist. Geez, no wonder they rallied around this dude: After all, that sounds like proper Klingon rhetoric.