Discovering Discovery: The Most O.K. Star Trek Series Ever?

With no new “television” series since 2005, the last 12 years or so have witnessed the longest “series drought” since the time between the Star Trek animated series in 1973 and The Next Generation which started in 1987 (though both periods saw Star Trek films of varying quality). Though I was hopeful about this series since it was branded as Star Trek, and since I usually reflexively love space based science fiction (I’ve been known to watch even the lowest quality episodes from Lost in Space and Space 1999, etc.) , part of me still thought it would probably…well… suck.

Thankfully, it did not. Well paced action, good special effects sprinkled with a  different looking Klingon race and a coherent  plot (i.e., not ridden *too much* with time travel, wormholes, omnipotent beings, etc) made this an entertaining viewing, and perhaps more importantly, at least for now, keeps me wanting more.

There seemed to be just the right amount of homage to the past such as the bridge and “door woosh” sound effects of the original series, the look of the phasers and some other elements.  However, there was also just enough difference to be interesting and even jarring, such as the aforementioned Klingons and the look of the bridge of this supposedly pre-Original Series era Enterprise (actually, if taken literally, probably co-temporal with Pike’s Enterprise).

There were a few problems, though I don’t think they are insurmountable. For instance, the Klingons were a bit hard to listen to since their language now is so guttural, slowly enunciated , and seemingly affected by the actors’ prosthetic teeth.  Plus the look of the Klingons, in addition to the look of the uniforms and bridge may deviate just enough from canon that it does not seem to fans like its real Star Trek. However, maybe the Klingon thing is an attempt to explain the evolving look of Klingons over time (as touched upon briefly in DS-9 episode “Trials and Tribblations”). Who knows.

I noticed one scientific oddity (though there may have been more). When they see that their “optical monitors” can’t see the clear signal from the Klingon ship they then go to an analog telescope to look out the window. But a telescope is an “optical monitor!” It seems that if a robotic optical monitor couldn’t see it then probably a telescope and an eye wouldn’t see it either. Taking some liberties though, we can perhaps assume that the problem was with the electronics of the optical monitor and not the visual signal itself? Anyway, I accept that as a minor problem.

All told, I found the plot compelling even if it didn’t always seem quite like canon Trek. I think it has potential to be quite good, but for now, its OK. Maybe its very OK. I’ll keep watching and keep talking about it!

 

 

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