Your Star Trek Discovery guide

The new Star Trek series called Discovery has launched! This new series is set just before the Kirk/Spock timeline and after Scott Bakula’s Enterprise. The series development wasn’t exactly smooth with delays and personnel changes along the way. 

After showrunner Bryan Fuller left the show, CBS delayed the targeted release date twice by about nine months total. According to executive producer Alex Kurtzman, this was done to maintain the quality of the franchise.

The first trailer wasn’t exactly a fan favorite either due to the badly rendered USS Discovery. This was also part of the reason the show ended up being delayed first to May 2017 and then to September.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cxba2WjlN90

Since then things seem to be looking up for the series with the now definitive release date of the 24th of September 2017 on CBS All Access. Viewers outside the USA are lucky and can watch the series on Netflix.

For some strange reason, probably not to spoil the plot, it seems CBS didn’t want any reviews in the wild before the premiere. So all the reviews were posted after the launch date of Star Trek Discovery. If you don’t mind spoilers, then you can read these reviews from The Guardian and Wired. The series scores 80% on Rotten Tomatoes so far, so thats not bad at all.

Trailers & more

The best way to introduce yourself to Star Trek Discovery at this (pre-launch) moment is by watching some of the trailers that both CBS and Netflix have released. If you’ve watched that horrible teaser, then these new trailers will probably catch you off guard a bit. They are actually good and look pretty awesome.

Story (very mild spoilers only)

It seems that the days of the captain being the center of the crew are at an end. We follow a female first officer (Sonequa Martin-Green) having to make ‘a difficult decision’. The story is being told from her perspective and according to the creators that gives them a lot more freedom.

There really wasn’t that much information before the start of the series about the storyline. One thing we do know is that the Klingons play an essential role as T’Kuvma is trying to unite the warring houses. One of the effects will be the well-known hostilities between the Klingons and Federation that will plague it for decades to come.

Timeline

Contrary to Star Trek Discovery, the movies made by JJ Abrams are part of an alternate timeline. This means that however much the galaxy looks the same, the creators can take some liberties with the story because they are not tied to everything that has come before. However ‘Discovery’ adheres to the original timeline. And is set in a time that has a few mysteries still left to explore, right before Kirk and Spock started to explore the galaxy.

The fact that the series adheres to the original timeline was also confirmed by executive producer Alex Kurtzman at Comic Con. He stressed that he wants to be “accurate” and “very consistent with our origins”. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of debate among fans about the things we have seen in the trailers so far.

The Klingons

Star Trek Discovery fits into the normal Trek timeline. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any changes. One in thing in particular has caught the interest of fans: The Klingon redesign. The new look makes them look way more alien than in the previous series. The new Klingons are quite different from good old Worf.

Cast

The Star Trek Discovery cast is what you’d call star-studded. First of all, Captain Philippa Georgiou of the Shenzhou is Michelle Yeoh. She is a personal favorite after the Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies.  Captain Gabriel Lorca is portrayed by Jason Isaacs, again a personal favorite. This time because of The Patriot. Fan favorite (and mine) Lieutenant Saru is also played by a veteran actor, Doug Jones.

The actress playing the main character in Star Trek Discovery, Michael Burnham, is Sonequa Martin-Green. She is of The Walking Dead fame.

The music

What hasn’t changed much is the music. Composer Jeff Ruso clearly has a great appreciation for the enormous library of Star Trek music. He could have gone with revamping the music for Star Trek Discovery in the same way Enterprise did, but he chose a more classical approach. Something I think most fans will appreciate and enjoy.

https://youtu.be/UPUqUsUnJOU

Review (spoiler free)

So it’s a new Star Trek. For the first time in 16 years. As with Enterprise, this Trek is a significant departure from the past. If you’re trying to figure out ahead of time if you are going to like this series, then simply ask yourself if you would enjoy a mix of TNG and the recent JJ Abrams movies. At least that is my take on it after two episodes.

For me personally, I enjoyed the heck out of these two episodes. I like the visual fidelity and I like the new characters. Especially Lt. Saru is awesome if you ask me. The story has enough oomph to it to make it an interesting setup and it will keep you interested for the foreseeable future.

This doesn’t mean that Discovery is perfect. One particular thing comes to mind: the endless dialogs in Klingon. Don’t get me wrong: Klingons talking English amongst themselves, always seemed a bit odd but Discovery takes it one step too far and makes you sit through seemingly endless speeches which sound particularly nasal coming from the main protagonist T’Kuvma played by Chris Obi. If you can overlook the shortcomings however, you’ll simply have a blast.

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