I’ve been watching Star Trek Discovery this week. I’ve never been a trekkie. I didn’t love the original show but I did kind of fall for the Next Generation. I watched it on tv at 11pm weekday nights.
In terms of immersive sci-fi with good graphics, it works. I really enjoyed the beginning with the two women commanders, their relationship and inherent conflicts of judgement. It was sad to see that situation resolved so soon. Seeing women of color as central characters in sci-fi is pretty rad. Not sure exactly why I think so. Maybe it’s because every imagination of space on screen is full of white guys.
It’s hard to see how this show fits into the timeline as a prequel to the original show. It feels much newer than that. The ship and costume design aesthetics don’t feel retro or 60s to me at all. The other issue is the spore drive, which is an improvement over warp drives but doesn’t seem to be in the later series. I suppose they could explain all of this at some point.
The Klingons are interesting. They look more….complicated than I remember. There’s a lot going on in the face. And there are different skin colors and paint markings to help distinguish them. The scenes with Klingons are translated, but their language seems slow.
It turns out there are gay people in space on Discovery, which again predates most of what we have already seen that didn’t have such diversity. I wonder how that gets explained.
Overall the show feels a little bit too much like CBS and not quite enough like HBO. The weird commercial cliffhangers in the middle of episodes and the monster of the week feeling reminds me of TV’s past. There is definitely a grand narrative here, being pushed forward in each episode, but it doesn’t always feel like the main story.