When Star Trek: Discovery first came out, Episode 1 of the first season was free to watch. I watched it, and was singularly unimpressed. The Klingons were ugly, and the First Officer’s insubordination was appalling. Very un-Starfleet. I wrote the series off then and there.
Then came Star Trek: Picard, which my friends all seemed to love. CBS offered a free month of the All Access streaming service, so I signed up just to watch ST Picard. I liked it. Can’t say that I loved it enough to watch it again right away, but it was good to have Patrick Stewart return as Picard, even for a little while.
Since I still had time on my free month, I decided to give ST Discovery another look. OMG, now I’m wishing for a memory wipe. As awful as Episode 1 was and is, the whole dreadful mess only gets worse from there.
This is a Star Trek I cannot like. Spoiler alert: Read no further if you actually plan to watch this disaster. I’ve given up after Season 1 Episode 6.
The Klingons are grotesque—plastic and metal, not flesh-and-blood characters. Give me Kor, Kang, and Koloth. Give me Worf. Give me Christopher Lloyd’s Klingon Commander Kruge. You can have Discovery‘s horrible plastic space-orcs. And what is with that tediously long, laboriously delivered, subtitled Klingon dialogue? For pity’s sake, spare us the subtitles and translate it for us.
Umm … this series is supposed to be a prequel? Nope. The weapons and spacecraft are considerably more advanced than in Kirk’s era.
A proper prequel is Star Trek: Enterprise, with Scott Bakula as Jonathan Archer, commanding officer of the USS Enterprise NX-01. That’s one of my favorite series. That early warp-capable starship lacks the range and capabilities of Kirk’s Enterprise, but the mission of exploration is the same. The way Jonathan Archer’s crew goes bumbling through the near-Earth parts of the galaxy, interfering in every culture they encounter, but always with the best of intentions, is lovable and heartwarming … and clearly shows why the Prime Directive was adopted.
In contrast, Jason Isaacs has brought a distinctly Malfoy Death-Eater sensibility to Capt. Lorca. He’s ruthless. It looks like he plans to let the Klingon-orcs have the Starfleet Admiral to keep her from removing him from command of Discovery. He should already have been removed, since he disobeys orders left and right. Very un-Starfleet.
And don’t get me started on the campy 1950s vibe — fungal spores? A giant tardigrade (moss piglet, water bear) as a navigator? How’d it get so big? Exposed to radiation like those giant ants back on Earth? 🤨
I found myself far more annoyed than entertained by ST Discovery, a show that truly matches its abbreviation: STD. The only character who appeals to me is Sarek. James Frain elevates every role he plays. But I know what lies ahead for Sarek, so this part of his “history” doesn’t interest me enough to keep me watching. I’m canceling my CBS All Access subscription.
Thank you, sister and brother Trekkers, for letting me vent. LLAP 🖖
And just so you know, I wrote the above before I went looking for other reviews. It took nanoseconds to learn that other serious Trekkers hate STD as much as I do. Here’s a mere sampling of what’s out there:
If I sound offended by STD, it’s because I am. Greed is the only explanation for why CBS vandalized Gene Roddenberry’s vision to make such an abomination. CBS evidently thought that Star Trek fans would pay good money to see them ruin something we love. Nope. Not this fan.