Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Star Trek Discovery: Season One Review


So, there was a lot of polarizing chatter about Star Trek Discovery.  I heard some good things, and a lot of bad things.  Not sure what to believe and wanting to make up my own mind, I ordered season one on DVD.

Speaking of which, it seems like it's fashionable to hate on neat stuff.  There's this, The Predator movie which so many people say is a bad movie when it's actually fantastic, Solo: a Star Wars Story bombed in the theater - and that was a cool flick, and so on. Not sure if it's a sign of the times or something else...

TL;DR: I enjoyed it quite a bit.  Some was great, the rest was pretty good.  Would recommend this to casual scifi fans.

Diving deeper and attempting to make this spoiler-free - but still stream of consciousness random - I liked the strange way the series started.  It was unusual, but easy to understand. 

The pacing was excellent.  I never felt bored, like I was wading through a "filler episode" in order to get to the next good part of the story.

The acting was top-notch.  They really had some great people.  That girl from the walking dead, the older dude from Event Horizon, the awkward redhead, and the really tall alien.  Great job!

The special effects unobtrusive, realistic, and visually fantastic!  The klingons were really cool looking, in my opinion.  I know they don't look like the old school klingons (but wasn't that kind of racist by today's standards?), but now they're like... space orcs, a la Tolkien.  Really big and alien and mean!

And the klingon ship interiors were amazing!  The set design work blew me away...

The story - compelling with a variety of twists.  Some were expected, others surprising!  Discovery turned some predictable Star Trek staples into fascinating story opportunities.

I also enjoyed the lighter bits, unexpected humor. It didn't always work.  Stamets, you're just not funny.  Sorry, dude.  But overall, the brief glimmer of comedy was welcome.  Actually, The Orville isn't that much more of a comedy show than Discovery.  The Orville probably only had 3 or 4 more jokes per episode than this series.

In fact, my biggest gripe is that they didn't show off-ship / non-space environments until the last episode (except that planet with all the trees and swirling fairy dust).  Guess what?  Qo'noS totally reminded me of Alpha Blue - it was low-down, sleazy, and a darkly lived-in locale... which is my favorite type of scifi.

The finale was probably my favorite episode and after seeing how well that went, I regret not having that awesomeness sprinkled throughout season one.  That's a pretty small criticism. 

Before I go, I'd be remiss not to mention politics.  Honestly, I saw the cultural and political reflection in the show's writing, but it didn't bother me.  Those might have been initial inspirations for characters, cultures, and regimes, but at the end of the day, there's only a vague resemblance to what we're going through now.

Yeah, mine might be a minority report, but I'm happy to say that I loved Star Trek Discovery... and in the end, that's the only opinion that matters.  Hmm... perhaps I'm from the mirror universe?

VS

p.s. This little Alpha Blue article over at Draconic Magazine contains at least one little spoiler, but your going to want to use this in your next one-shot or campaign.