The last time a Star Trek TV show (Enterprise) was on TV was in 2005. That’s more than 12 years ago! Star Trek fans never thought they would see this day again, and unfortunately for many it still isn’t good enough to pay for it.
Fighting back against all the criticism CBS has stuck by their plans to stream Trek onto our screens for one last daring time. I say this because if, this experiment doesn’t work, CBS’ streaming efforts were for naught, but at least temporarily, it does appear to be working. CBS has reported that Star Trek fans signed up in record breaking numbers to watch the second episode of Star Trek Discovery, which is worth more than the price of admission!
Of course the criticisms can not be overlooked. The agonizing production delays and ramped up advertising, the Klingon changes, the paywall, and some tactical plot holes are all things that Trek fans had to deal with, but if you looked past all that. You’d see a truly great Star Trek show, and the franchise is back gracing our screens stronger than ever before. The franchise that made extended universes cool before they were cool, now has two universes spanning across all screens. You can’t ask for much more from competing production studios and stuffy Hollywood executives.
Many treats and Easter Eggs were given to long-time Trek fans including creepy desert aliens and finally seeing the beginning of the Federation’s war against the Klingon’s. When I first saw the pilot for Deep Space 9, I thought it was way too cheesy. The war with the Maquis actually prevented me from watching the series for many, many, many years. I just got around to watching Deep Space 9 last year on Netflix. In comparison Discovery’s war with the Klingons was way more realistic and since we’ve never seen the beginning war with the Klingons I welcomed it with open arms. Despite some tactical problems and leadership styles, it was one of the best war scenes in Star Trek since TNG’s war with the Borg.
What Star Trek Discovery really wants to do is humanize the Klingons, for some reason. In the new show Klingons see the Federation’s standard greeting, “We come in peace,” as one of the greatest insults in the universe. They more than the Federation itself are able to understand the idealistic implications of such a phrase and that leads to all the trouble with new badass baddie T’Kuvma who unites the Klingon warring houses into one cool gigantic fleet! A force to be reckoned with.
Especially since on the U.S.S. Shenzhou they face very chaotic conditions of mutiny, pointless bickering, and war of course. I’m still not certain what XO Michael Burnham brings to the table of these conversations about how evil Klingons are except for whatever happened to her by them. It looks like they are trying to channel Kirk’s hatred towards Klingons, but it would help if we knew why Michael hates them. I’m assuming they will reveal bits and pieces of it throughout the series.
As it was on Enterprise, Starfleet didn’t like to shoot first ask questions later and even though we as an audience know how bad Klingons are, they don’t necessarily, since they haven’t had much contact with them at this point. Starfleet was always about diplomacy and that gets them into trouble with the Klingons in the first place. That’s why the Admiral readily wanted to engage the Klingons in negotiations albeit to the point of not thinking clearly. Though it is hard to predict what a cloaked ship will do, if you don’t even know about it.
So these criticisms are short-sided anyway, because the ships and crews that the two parter introduced us to on Sunday night are not exactly what we will be seeing throughout the rest of the series. As one must be aware, the U.S.S. Shenzhou is NOT the U.S.S. Discovery! CBS seems to have borrowed this tactic from the JJ-verse. I just hope that Discovery isn’t always so dark and has a good bit of comic relief.
Nearly 10 Million people watched the premiere and if half of those signed up for CBS All Access for the right to watch the second episode, All Access is looking like a new healthy revenue stream for CBS. It may just, live long and prosper!