Star Trek: Discovery, season one

Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Jun 3, 2020

I watched the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery when it premiered just didn't feel like Star Trek to me. The Klingons looked like orcs from Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies. The overall feel was too flashy while also being too cynical--and my favorite Star Trek series is Deep Space Nine, which is overall the darkest series in the franchise. Then the rest of the series was locked behind the paywall of the CBS All Access channel and I didn't want to pay to watch a series that turned me off with its first episode, so I gave up on it. (Picture me stomping off in a huff and sulking in a corner.)

I recently decided to give the series a second chance. After the third episode, I was on the verge of doing another huff and sulk, but my friends who are fans of the series told me to stick with it for at least a few more episodes. I stuck with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Parks and Recreation through their iffy first seasons, so I suppose I owed Discovery the same courtesy. Well, I have to admit, my friends were right and I was wrong. By the middle of the season, I was solidly hooked and invested in the plot and characters. It helps that the cast is excellent, especially Sonequa Martin-Green, who portrays Michael Burnham with incredible nuance. And I came to love the characters. I don't think I could trust anyone who isn't charmed by the adorkable motormouth Silvia Tilly. I grew accustomed to the changes in the Klingons and could even appreciate them. And while the story arc of the first few episodes is fairly meh, after that it takes off with big, exciting action and fun plot twists. And while it seemed a darker take on Star Trek at first, it ends up solidly affirming the core Star Trek outlook that made me a fan. 

There are still some things about the show that bug me. The show is Star Trek: Discovery, but the titular ship doesn't even show up until the third episode. The show looks amazing, but the technology is more advanced than the Next Generation/Deep Space Nine/Voyager era, so having it set 10 years before the original series is jarring, to say the least. In fact, making it a prequel to the original series feels a little forced to me. But overall, I'm glad I listened to my friends and stuck with it.

Reviewed by Josh N.
See their Lists and Reviews in our Catalog!