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Review: "Star Trek: Discovery"

by Nicholas Mazur- Copy Desk Chief
Tue, Oct 3rd 2017 05:00 pm
Image courtesy of Star Trek: Discovery's Instagram page.
Image courtesy of Star Trek: Discovery's Instagram page.

Lock phasers and drop out of warp Ensign Ellsworth, it’s time to review Star Trek! 

Star Trek is a franchise that rests comfortably on a pedestal of renewability. We can always count on it to return to big and small screens. It has the potential to reinvent itself while also introducing new spins on our old favorites. 

This iteration of Starfleet’s grand expansion into the alpha quadrant and beyond takes us 10 years before the events of the original series with Captain Kirk and the gang. What might strike some people immediately is the cast. The captain and first officer of the U.S.S. Shenzhou are both women of color. Star Trek has always been known to push social boundaries. Captain Janeway and Lieutenant Uhura are certainly happy to see more women on the bridge. 

The reintroduction of the Klingons, however, leaves a little to be desired in my book. Thus far the redesign of the Klingons, who have had a rough redesign history, seems unnecessary and more like a special effects show-off than a narrative tool. Not to mention the Klingons as war mongers is a trope as old as trek, and does not feel new yet. However, a trek cannot be condemned based on its first step alone. My hopes are that the Klingons this season will get their “Qapla”! 

I will also say that with the absence of JJ Abrams, I was hoping to do away with the lighting problems in Star Trek; I felt it was very hard to see what was going on aboard the bridge of the ship, but again, there is much to come. 

Overall it felt good and familiar to have a captain reminding everyone of their duties as Starfleet officers, an adventurous first officer eager to explore, and a demand for red alert. This premiere was rocky for sure, and the show has a lot of wrinkles to smooth out, but I think in time it will earn a rightful place in the Star Trek mythos, as long as it receives a steady, loyal touch from its writers. 

As a seasoned Trekkie I don’t think a review this small can dive into all the nuances that I would want to discuss, so allow me to give you a feeling to walk away with: If you watch Season One of the next generation, you will likely feel like you are watching a continuation of the original series, stylistically. The Star Trek: Discovery pilot feels, much in the same way, like a continuation of Abrams’ films. I believe in time this show will find its stride and its flavor. This show still has plenty of time to … discover itself. 

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