Star Trek Discovery (with spoilers)


#1

Finally got around to watching the first two episodes. What do people think? I quite liked it.

The usual trek splitting of hairs and missing the points from me includes :slight_smile: :

  • Viewscreens vs holotransmissions. This is 10 years before the JJ Star Trek and the Kelvin timeline, but no-one uses flat skype anymore? I get it makes it more of a dramatic device, and nicer for the actors, but it did show a bit of a ‘whatever’ for the tech cannon that seemed disrespectful.

  • Sarek again. Good I suppose, but I did wince at the light-year like communication bit with his katra. I can buy that part of his personality lived within her, but the ‘it hurts to do this so remotely’ did seem like something new and (I don’t think) ever seen in the Vulcan cannon. Weird.

  • Good to see some new aliens in the show rather than just humans with plastic ears stuck on. I guess budget helped. I remember when Nelix said goodbye to Voyager, that the crew lined the single set corridor they had. All 50 of the crew looked as if they were production staff just dressed in a starfleet uniform - not a single non-human to be found.

  • Klingon stuff was ok, although a bit heavy handed and wordy.

  • The mains plot arc started on at the very least more interesting than any other trek series. They all sort of started off pretty lame and got better, so to actually have something watchable from the get go is pretty good. Optimistic.

  • The lead as a human raised by Vulcans was pretty cool, although we didn’t really get to see her in ‘non teary eyed’ mode that much, which made her seem just like someone really good at arithmetic but quite emotional all the time. The ‘whats on this season’ preview at the end of the pilot looked really interesting, albeit kind of revealed so much I’d rather just have discovered each week, but too late I guess.

Yeah, it was ok. I give it 2π ∑n√10 out of 10.


#2

It was ok. Call me whatever but a girl named Michael is just weird.

It seems to be trying a bit too hard to be honest, and I’m not sure I like the whole feeling that the show didn’t end when the episode did. It may not be an issue as we go on, and ep2 wasn’t as bad, but 1 kinda felt like it ended because oh we hit 42minutes.

Anyway, not a bad effort, and I’ll watch more if I don’t have to pay (looks like it’s on space weekly).


#3

They really are pushing it in terms of the distribution format, as in show the first part on CBS and then switcheroo to streaming (for the US) for ‘part 2’. Seemed like a cheap trick to pull on a type of show that doesn’t stand that good enough odds of surviving to a season 2. In Canada, it’s Crave TV streaming (Bell) and Space (cable/sat) for the others. Outside North America, I think the plan is Netflix posting a new one each week.

Ironically I kind of like that it’s revealed weekly like an old tv show. For stuff like Game of Thrones I used to like having something to catch up with each week at a time, as having 12 / entire season to watch all in one go sort of changes the watching experience.


#4

Ya. I’ve been sorta binge watching stuff on the bus / at lunch / bus home via netflix downloads, so the constant consumption without commercials is normal to me now. The chop is just distracting, and quite honestly unenjoyable as it makes the show take so much longer.

Anyway, a few more episodes will give a better idea, especially as it gets towards the actual point of the show.


#5

I was happy with it.

Honestly, my expectations were not that high, though, but I did find a number of bits interesting enough to have me signing up for a Crave TV subscription (Canada rights to the distribution). It started as I expected a Trek show to start but I found the acting and character interaction deeper than I had anticipated. Some stuff was a little formulaic, but as the episodes progressed I thought that it got better. I am a fan of the story arc, and was happy to see that they are going in that direction; I like that choices that the characters make have consequences and I think that was shown well.

I like the grittiness that is interwoven with the positive attitude and I like that there are differences of opinion that are more than surface level. I like that they want everything to be rosy but have to push through that naivety against a strong adversary.

The Klingons. Well I was not impressed with them when I first saw how they were to look, and I am not really impressed with their ‘warrior culture’ … yet. I do like the depth that they seem to have (with all the factions) and I think that will show through later. Right now they are mysterious and I think that is awesome; to hold back on showing too much, or explaining/knowing too much, gives us something that we can explore over time. So while I am now ambivalent to how they look, I think that they have potential.

The Kingon dialog was a strange effort. The language as they show it in Star Trek Discovery, has no flow. It. Is. Like. Each. Word. Is. It’s. Own. Sentence. And. Has. No. Flow. That’s the one heavy criticism that I have.

I’m a gonna give it a 4/5. I think it has nice potential, a solid foundation and a unique view of the Star Trek world (one I was not sure that they were going to be able to come up with). It was certainly better than the initial episodes of all the other series and it feels like they already have their feet under them.


#6

Definitely agree on the klingon language. Seemed a bit stilted compared to other shows.


#7

I like the Kelpian dude though.


#8

Yeah it was good to see something different, as in a prey species. I hope for timeline reasons his entire species don’t get eaten in the next ten years or so, which is why we don’t see them in the Kelvin timeline? :slight_smile:


#9

The streaming only choice will prevent this from being a breakout, regardless of how good it is.

HBO at least offers both streaming and traditional, and more than 50% of its viewers are still traditional, and HBO has a lot more subscribers. So this will never approach anywhere close to Sopranos, let alone GoT-style numbers.

Not to say it won’t make money for CBS, it well could, just that they’re strangling its potential.

As for the show itself, I only got to see the first half that aired on CBS, so I don’t know what happens after the Klingon fleet warps in. However, I’m not going to pay to watch a show on my PC, phone, or tablet. If they don’t get an app on my TV/bluray players so I can watch it in 5.1 on my big screen, I’m not gonna bite ever.


#10

Yeah, it does seem pretty risky, especially as the series must have cost a fair bit to make. I feel faintly annoyed they want to risk a franchise like that on some sort of ‘Argh, netflix, losing viewers, quick, do something!?’ play. If it doesn’t take off they’ll bury Star Trek for another 10 years saying ‘well, last time it didn’t work’. :expressionless:

The 2nd part (it should have been a single pilot, it’s stupid to divide it up CBS) was probably stronger than the first.

Not just for this, but a Roku, AppleTV or a Chromecast pucks are pretty good nowadays and quite cheap if you have a decent network in the house (although wireless is only good with recent gear if showing true 1080p 5.1).


#11

I think the Streaming service is good for this Star Trek. I mean, I don’t want to have to pay for a new service either, but get used to it, if you haven’t already. There isn’t going to be one primary service you pay one fee to for all of your content. That was called Cable TV and it’s going away. Everyone will have their own paywall to their content and you will pick and choose.

I think this will be a good format for Star Trek because, well for starters, they were never going to make another series for regular TV, so if you wanted more, this was the only way it was going to happen. But that’s OK because every time Star Trek got canceled early it was because of ratings and the advertising concerns that go with them for an expensive show to make. But in a subscription model Star Trek becomes content. And they can make as much of it going forward as long as people pay for the service.

As for the expensive part, actually I don’t think Star Trek is an expensive show to make anymore. Special effects were the expensive part in the old days, but now CGI of spaceships flying around is cheaper than having actors stand on a set and talk. Once the sets are built they get used over and over like a sitcom, and everyone wears the same uniform each week. Star Trek becomes the prestige content in the CBS catalog and as long as it’s good (the rub) the Trekkies will come.

The interesting thing to me here is watching CBS finally be honest with itself, something you don’t see corporations do very often. To wit:

  1. They know they have to build a service because we will all be watching content via the internet, even if it is on a big screen in the living room. Content and Ala Carte are the names in the game now.
  2. They know they are late to the party, that Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and HBO are already established with the cord cutters, but that is ok because…
  3. They know they are the old persons network. They know that millennials aren’t excited to sign up. Their catalog is going to be made up of NCIS Seattle and CSI: Alamogordo or whatever they are pushing these days and that’s why older people will sign up for the service.
  4. They know if they can get the older guy (me) who grew up with Star Trek (me) to sign up because its good (the rub) the rest is gravy. The legacy band on tour model has been mining this disposable income model for a long time now. The prices some of my friends paid to go see the Grateful Dead these last two years Blew. My. Mind.

As for the show itself. Maybe another post. We’ll see. Looks cool. I’m not a Abrams-verse guy.

(Is it ok if I end up liking The Orville more?)


#12

I’m not sure about that bit, i.e.

It was also revealed that an average episode of the first season had ultimately cost US$8–8.5 million, making it one of the most expensive series ever alongside successful shows like Game of Thrones and Westworld, but also infamous failures such as Marco Polo and The Get Down.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_Discovery

I agree that it’s not a bad idea to try, and that Star Trek-as-content would work, just that if people like @JediMaster are opting out already then it’s a risk it’s not going to be renewed already.

They got good figures on the CBS broadcast bit I think, so I guess it just depends on how many people in the US signed up (or how good the Netflix non-US deal is to them).


#13

My thoughts after only watching a few trailers. Tell me it’s really good and I’m wrong.

  • It looks interesting, but not enough to pay for another subscription. I am already saturated with Prime, Netflix, HBO Now, and YouTube TV.

  • IMO, if it is not more mature than broadcast TV, I wouldn’t be the slightest interested. In other words, a lot of what separated BSG from what came before was that it was a lot more gritty and raw, as well as a good story reasonably well told, with an amazing soundtrack. Sailors and fighter pilots swear.

  • I’ve consumed a lot of space combat novels since watching BSG, and the sight of capital ships engaging each other a few hundred meters away all all in the same plane is comical (no one would survive), not they didn’t do that in BSG.


#14

It’s still Star Trek clean in nature. The relationships are all pretty simplistic, and a lot of it still relies on ‘This thing is different from a human in the X dimension, how odd!’. The vibe is about 40% JJ and about 60% Roddenberry (his son(?) is a producer).

It’s not realistic at all (space is the ultimate in putting a capital B in BVR) but there is a huge amount of SFX battles in the pilot episodes. Huge space battles in-fact, ships in half with force-fields, bodies in space etc. No expense spared, and makes old trek episodes of any era look cheap :slight_smile:


#15

GoT will be $15m per episode its last season, but I think the viewer numbers justify that. :slight_smile:

They spent this much on STD…LOL I just realized those are the initials…because Netflix has out-of-USA rights to air and paid them a massive fee up front for it. CBS admitted that sole license fee paid to produce all of S1.

This means if a lot of international viewers don’t watch it, enough to make NF pay the same for the next season, CBS will cut the budget, possibly a lot, or outright cancel it if only a couple of million US viewers pay up.

However, I absolutely abhor the idea of tons of a la carte pricing. If it was on NF in the USA, ok, no problem. I have HBO Now on my Roku (because it’s a lot cheaper than buying HBO on cable now), I have Prime (because it’s not just about streaming), and I have standard cable. I do have NF’s DVD service (had it for 12 years now) and I was planning on getting streaming soon for Stranger Things and MST3K among others.

The idea of constantly signing up and cancelling services is totally anathema to me. It’s a lot of overhead and irritating.


#16

I enjoyed last nights episode. It almost felt a bit like Star Trek as well. Random observations:

  • Is this all of that ‘Section 31’ stuff from Enterprise / Deep Space Nine again? I sort of hope not.

  • The episode turned into a Dead Space shooter at one point. Was surprised to see it go so grisly.

  • It’s odd that the main protagonist is written in such a way to make her seem a bit unlikable. As Star Trek’s tend to be really ensemble stories, I’m thinking this one will branch out a bit over time, away from Michael. It’s not that I don’t like it, but it is probably the most un-Star Trek bit about it so far.

  • The Discovery looked great, with those insane high level production values again. Movie effects basically.

  • Being 10 years before JJ Enterprise, they sort of box themselves in bit tech lore wise. Or maybe it’s just a tv show and they won’t care. :slight_smile:


#17

I enjoyed the episode, but I am finding it hard to see this as a Star Trek tv show. It feels more like a movie (and as you note, much darker than typical trek fare) broken into hour long segments.

I will definitely watch to the end, and I’m enjoying the show as a show, but it’s a bit disappointing to have the main figure be written this way. It certainly feels Section 31, though, you’re right. I just hope this doesn’t become a totally predictable “Michael destroys 31 from within” story. I suppose that would bring her round full-circle to being the “goody goody” starfleet officer of all the other shows, but they’ve already started her as a rebel with an attitude problem, I don’t think it’d fit the story well to have her turn out like everyone else at the end now.

To be honest, I’m kinda hoping the character dies near the end of the season and they introduce a new one for Season 2. I mean that won’t happen, but ya.


#18

Yep, I wonder if they are going to use Saru (the tall guy) to soften ol Michael up a bit. The only really character redemption bit they did last night was in her interactions with him, and I can see him being a good character that people will like.

By making her ‘Vulcan upbringing’ it’s a bit of a weird one, as she’s meant to be sort of blank faced all the time. It’s always the same with the android/Vulcan writing, in that they are best as the ‘other side of the coin’ partnerships. I imagine they’ll going to use that ginger haired Cadet she shares a room with (don’t remember the character name) to be the ‘Spock foil’ writing tropes balance.

Captain Lorca was pretty good, as Jason Isaac’s a decent actor. He literally did have skeletons in his closet though, so I’m guessing he’s not going to be a good guy through this.


#19

Swearing huh. That’s interesting.


#20

Yeah. Plus Klingon’s surprisingly easy to beat in a Kirk-fight.

It’s okay but not great so far.