Synopsis: Commander Michael Burnham of the Federation starship U.S.S. Shenzhou disputes her captain’s peaceful stance when their ship encounters hostile Klingon’s.
Review: Last night and today on Netflix Star Trek: Discovery launched with the customary two-hour premiere, which usually translates to a little over an hour and a half once you account for advertisements.
Now it is true that this show has scared a few fans away with changes to the Klingon’s and such, which is too bad because they’re missing out on a ‘Star Trek’ show made very much with a 21st Century audience in mind.
Basically, this story, in a nutshell, is a long hand version of how the war between the Federation and the Klingon’s first started. This is a chapter that was often mentioned in past tenths during the original series but was something we never really seen until now.
The Klingon side of this opening two hours is heavy-handed with exposition and does not really tell Star Trek fans in the know anything new. The Klingon culture was something that was explored heavily throughout both ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ and ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’. So if you are a fan that has seen both those shows. There isn’t really anything new to learn here.
By far the best part of this opening two episodes is the relationship between First Officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Captain Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh). These two characters are firmly set from the beginning and it is very much a mother and daughter style relationship, which makes it all the more of a betrayal when Burnham commits a Mutinous act by undermining her command.
In terms of the Klingon storyline. This is very much led by Chris Obi as the dogmatic T’Kuvma who is a Moses type figure who is looking to reunite all 24 houses of the Klingon Empire in a war against The Federation. Obi is 100% committed to the role and has some very difficult Klingon Language dialogue to get through.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to see the U.S.S. Discovery in the opening two episodes. If anything these first two installments act more as a prologue to the series than anything, but it’s one hell of an expensive prologue. All the money is on the screen with tons of action and explosions the like of which we haven’t seen since Deep Space Nine.
The real question is. Does this feel like a Star Trek show?
I think the answer to that is yes and no, but you can make allowances given that it is set in a harsher time than the Star Trek of Kirk and what followed on from that. The Federation is still barely 100 years old and finding its way. So a war would destabilize the political status quo.
The first two episodes had some nice callbacks to the classic shows, and some myself included will struggle to get used to the new look Klingon’s. But from a narrative standpoint, it felt like a Star Trek story for the present times.
Yes, the writers were heavy handed with the expositional stuff, which is something of a norm for a television pilot. So hopefully as the show moves forwards a little more finesse will be used. But for now. I shall stay tuned in for the subsequent episodes and see where Michael Burnham goes next on her personal odyssey.
- Incidental Music9.0