Star Trek Discovery: Star Trek Shenzhou

Title: Star Trek: Discovery
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction
Platform: Streaming – CBS All Access
Creators: Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman
Rating: TV-14
Release: September 24, 2017
Cast: Sonequa Martin-Green, Michelle Yeoh, Doug Jones, James Frain
Feature image: Source

On May 13, 2005, the USS Enterprise took its final voyage off TV. For nearly twelve years, there was not any new Star Trek episodes. Last Sunday, the USS Shenzhou came on our screens, the Federation was back, Star Trek was back. The first episode, “The Vulcan Hello” came on CBS after “Sixty Minutes”. The second episode, “Battle at the Binary Stars” immediately came on CBS All Access, CBS’s streaming service. They aired the first episode on network TV as bait, to get Trekkies all over America to try their service. Those overseas are lucky, they get to watch it on Netflix. So, I’m here to give my impressions on the first two episodes that aired. There might be a few slight spoilers, but nothing major. I will leave the big spoilers for my Discovery recaps later in the week.

Even though the name of the show is Star Trek: Discovery, we never see the vessel. Most of the action takes place on the Shenzhou, commanded by Captain Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh). Her first officer is Lt. Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green). The two have a close mentor-mentee relationship. Burnham is a human who was raised by Sarek (James Frain) [who you will remember is Mr. Spock’s father] after her parents were killed. I won’t say who killed them, but it plays a part in the story and Burnham’s makeup. We meet the Klingons, who look quite different than the Klingons from the TNG, Deep Space 9, and Voyager era. I don’t especially like the new look, but I’ll get used to it.

The main character of this show is Burnham, and we spent most of the time with her. We get flashbacks to her childhood and gain some sense on what makes her tick. For someone raised as a Vulcan, she can be very emotional and illogical. She is an interesting protagonist and Sonequa Martin-Green did a great job bringing her to life. She should make a fine lead for the show. Michelle Yeoh made a great Star Fleet captain, and she had great chemistry with Sonequa Martin-Green. Lt. Saru (Doug Jones) also stood out. He plays a new alien species, who is the science officer on the Shenzhou. That is the post both Mr. Spock and Data had on their ships. I think he’ll play a similar role on this show as they played on their shows.

I read somewhere, that they are spending up to eight million dollars per episode. The show isn’t cheap, and you can tell by the production values. It looks gorgeous. It has a cinematic feel to it. There was a lot of action, especially in the second episode, and it looks fantastic. We weren’t introduced to the crew of the Discovery yet, so I can’t say anything about cast chemistry. In fact, the third episode will probably be like a second pilot, since we’ll meet the Discovery crew and have a better idea what this show will be about. The first two episodes are good enough to make me fork over my $5.99 to CBS. As soon as the season is over, I’m cancelling my subscription, personally, there isn’t anything else on that site I want to watch. If the show becomes as good as I think it can be, I’ll renew it when the show is playing. So, I will be recapping the show this season. I’ll try to have the previous two episodes posted before the third one premieres on Sunday.

Here is a clip that has the openings of the previous Star Trek shows. Live long and prosper.

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Editor-in-Chief
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