If you do not bother to read the whole article, then this is a main take away points:
- On average episodes in the first season are much better than episodes in other TV series.
- Space shots
- Cast and character development
- Sound effects
- Hugh-Paul relationship
- Klingon subtitles
- Seasons Finale
- After Trek
- Mind-meld as Intergalactic Whatsapp
| Summary. It was the best first season in Star Trek history. In my opinion Star Trek: Discovery has consistently good or great episodes. The cast is fantastic. The character development is excellent. Plots are interesting with exception of Klingons. There is still the spirit of Star Trek despite new approach and re-design. Space shots are spectacular but some bits like the battle in binary stars looks shit. It is a great first season worth to watch twice.
I just finished watching Star Trek Discovery second time and I am impressed. I feel it was It was the best first season in Star Trek history not perfect but I don’t expect perfection anyway. In this post I want to share my thoughts about Episodes, Plot, Cast and lose opinion about the first season.
I already said my opinion about prologue episodes here: https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/09/29/my-quick-thoughts-on-new-star-trek-discovery/ First proper episode (episode 3) was good. I like the spooky ambience of this episode with the very interesting plot of the rescue of the USS Gleen. I like how the cast of Discovery was introduced. I was really confused about behaving of USS Discovery’s crew but by end of the season I understood and I like it. The fifth episode is worth mention as It has good elements but many things bored me or annoyed me because the idea was great but the execution was terrible.
- F-word bomb sounds like a great idea to use in Star Trek. There were many opportunities where Tilly could use it. Sadly, however … in this instance was … pointless. It didn’t add any value. It sounds like teenager got excited before taking some drugs for the first time. It annoyed me.
- The story was poor. The way how the captain was kidnap was crap and the way how they find ship was … even more, crap.
- Luckily, however … character development in this episode was fantastic. Doctor, Paul Stamets, Ash and Saru.
- Spore drive animation looks cool.
The sixth episode was one of the worst in this series. Why? Well, mind-meld as Intergalactic Whatsapp? Really? Self-destructive Vulcan. The story in this episode was uninteresting. At least this episode has a decent special effect. Good news is that after not so good episode was a great episode with Mudd. I am not a fan of time loop type episodes but I must admit this one was good. The plot was interesting. I like when the story has sometimes connected with the previous event and it adds some character development.
The eight-episode was one of the classic style episodes of the Star Trek and it was great. Episode 9 was mid-season finally and it is one of the best episodes in the series. It has a fantastic well-paced plot. You can feel drama and tension in the scene when Hugh asked Tilly “How many jumps” .. .96 … I enjoyed being very engaged while watching this episode. I really like Hugh-Paul relation plot and talk about long-term rape and abuse. I wish season finally be at least half good as this one.
I wait for ages to see episode 10 and it was worth it. It is another one of the best episodes in this series. The story starts slowly and speeds up very quickly. Only thing I didn’t like in this season Ash-Micheal relationship. I feel it was unnecessary. I wish they explore a more of Hugh-Paul relationship. I must admit the way how Capital Lorca character is developed is just amazing I admire Jason Isaacs for his play.
Episode 11 wasn’t as good as 2 previous episodes but It was still very good. The plot was fantastic especially around reveal the truth of Ash/Voq. We finally see emperor – an evil Philippa Georgiou. My only problem was with landing party sequence which looks stupid. It was awesome to see other races from the cannon like Andorian.
The 12th episode was spectacular. I like how they reveal the truth about Lorca and I like Voq story with exception of ‘Ash fix’. Episode ending was one of the best.
And then … last 3 episodes happen.
Episode 13 was a very good episode but it was way too short and after watching Episode 14 and 15 I was very disappointed about it. It could be a fantastic 3 episodes with excellent finale but It was ruined by lighting fast rushing epilogues in a chaotic manner.
Stories in last 2 episodes were very .. stress-free. They were no drama. Everything went smoothly and without any continuity. They show a plan for attack Klingon’s homeworld in episode 14 and in 15th they did something else without any reasonable explanation behind it. Some part gets even boring caused by ‘endless hours’ of boring relationship chats. The epilogue of some interesting mini plots was rushed and disappointing (Klingon war, Emperor and so on). I feel very perplexed about Seasons finale. It had an amazing potential if they spend much more thoughts on the season finale. I am aware that this was probably many issues behind the scene but it is shame. However last 3 episodes have good bits too.
- The last scene with the appearance of Star Trek Enterprise was sublime.
- One of my favourite moments in this episode was a chat between Emperor and Sarak about their ‘child’.
- Quite a few nice space shots! Finally!
- I like cadet Tilly for her humour scenes ( for example: chat with Emperor)
- Speeches. Saru’s speech was powerful and meaningful. I like Burham speech.
- The extra bit of section 31 and Emperor that haven’t been included in the episode but shows in social media should be there.
Overall. I enjoyed most of the episodes.
My favourite episodes were 9 and 10 because of an engaging plot with good pace. The worst one was 6th episode.
I think Arc storytelling in this season was great despite some bumps with the story, especially around season finale. I like the idea of the season-wide plot and a few parallel mini-plots. It makes stories in this season meaningful. It allows characters to be developed over time based on events that are connected to each other. Continuity adds an interesting twist to the stories which make them are fantastic. It makes Deep Sleep 9 a great shows when they introduce dominion war. Xindi season makes Enterprise show much more very interesting in comparison to occasional temporal cold war. It works very well for Discovery too.
There are a few glitches with sticking to canon. They cocked up Klingon and intergalactic mind-meld and they could easily be being avoided. It is shame that Klingons universe wasn’t explored in any meaningful way. The idea itself is great.It will be great to explore other major races and their culture. I love it. Execution of this idea was .. well .. rubbish. I like how Voq was revealed but L’Rell was a most underused character in the series. It has such a potential that was wasted due to what it looks like the abandoned idea of Klingons story. Luckily ‘real plot’ was about Lorca on his quest to back to his universe to become an emperor. This part was sublime. Little references here and there make this season worth watching twice. like how they show evil version of the characters.
I believe the 2nd season will be much better because I think all threads in the arc will be more cohesive as I hope there will no drama as it was in season 1.
I am really impressed how all characters have been developed over time. It was a problem in other TV series with characters like B. Crusher, Doctor Bashir, Ensign Kim and especially Enterprise where the cast was plain and uninteresting except maybe Archer, Phlox and Soval.
Michael Burnham – I cannot verbalise why but I am struggling to like and enjoy this character. When I see scenes with Michael I feel bored and disconnected. Sonequa Martin-Green played exceptionally well and character development is great but … I don’t like it and what worse I cannot explain why. Saru in other hand is the best character in terms of development. Doug Jones is an outstanding actor. I feel like he is a Kelpien not human. Ash Tyler/ Voq is another great character. In the way how it develops over time and how is true identity was revealed was great and how he deals with a multi-race personality disorder. I didn’t like Michael-Ash relationship part. There were boring for me (It doesn’t mean there are bad, it is just not my cup of the tea). Paul Stamets is another awesome character. I really liked his transformation from a pain in the ass nerd to enlighten entity. His relationship with Hugh was much more interesting that Michal-Ash one. Sylvia Tilly is a millennial generation version of Wil Wheaton. She has very warm-heart personality with lots funny scenes. Captain Gabriel Lorca played by Jason was exceptional.
The even recurring character was great like Admiral Cornwell, Sarak, background bridge cast and especially Dr Hugh Culber and Captain/Emperor Philippa Georgiou. It amazed how I was attached to this Captain/Emperor Philippa Georgiou and when he was killed and it makes me very upset. Michelle Yeoh – I think it was a great double character as it shows that depends on how you use wisdom and skills result can be completely different. I feel crew need 1-2 crew members.
My loose opinion
- The intro is stunning. I like visual aesthetic with beautiful music. It is not traditional intro but I feel it has Star Trek spirit without being traditional ‘copy and paste’.
- After Trek was a great idea but the execution was annoying and unwatchable for me. The show was presented by Matt Mira who was like some hipster after hallucinations drugs living in the happy universe. I hope people enjoy watching Matt Mira and it is just me.
- Biggest problems are orthodox fans who are so closed minded that it has a negative impact on the show. These fans just focus on ‘shit storm’. They moaning about everything for example “These ships are too big for this era” .. Well why not? We haven’t seen all ships in the universe another things most advanced does not mean it must be the biggest ship ever built. There tons of this rubbish that can be canon if you use a bit of imagination which most of these fans lack.
- Klingons. I can understand outrage with Klingons. It was a great idea for a plot but I didn’t understand this war and why Klingons suddenly became terrorist like race.
- I hope they will have more stand-alone episodes (where they can develop character a little bit instead of 20 minutes chat chat chat like during episode 14).
- Many ships design are astonishing. USS Discovery, USS Gagarin, USS Shenzhou. For example Shot of the USS Enterprise 1701 was astonishing and breathtaking.
- Space shots were spectacular but they were not enough of them. Another disappointment was space battles. They were a rubbish. I hate binary stars battle especially. Luckily there were many great shots like the arrival of USS Enterprise, spore jumps
- I like the consistency of secondary cast on the bridge. In the past, you can see new faces all the time.
- I really liked that some elements were super confusing like crew behave not as Starfleet normally does and when ‘truth’ reveals many things suddenly has sense.
- I really like some subtitles references to TOS (especially sounds effects).
It was the best first season in Star Trek history. In my opinion Star Trek: Discovery has consist developed good or great episodes with fewer that usually ‘pointless season fill’ episodes. Great plot with some bumps. All main characters were well developed including secondary bridge members. The cast was fantastic. Music and sound effects were sublime. Special effects are an extremely mixed bag. Some of them were spectacular. Some of them like battle were rubbish. Sadly, there were not enough of them.
I really enjoyed watching the first season of the Star Trek: Discovery. It is not classical Star Trek and that’s what I am happy about it because it is a modern tv show but it still has a ‘spirit of Star Trek’ and that is a great thing. I am looking forward to seeing the 2nd season in 2019.
btw. This blog may contain spoilers.