Star Trek: Discovered

Hey, Star Trek: Discovery ended. Why not do a post about that, PDR? Okay, I will! It’s time I pulled Discovery aside and looked deep into its eyes and gave a teary-eyed speech about how much I believe in it.

Discovery is, by no means, my favourite Star Trek. I don’t think I was the target audience. Discovery came after an era of relative Treklessness and I’m certain the goal was to appeal to a new generation of fans. Well, the problem is that I generally have different tastes from what appeals to new audiences. For example, I am on the record as thinking that almost all of our fiction these days is at least 20% too action-packed. Discovery was too action-packed.

I don’t want to be fully negative about the show, though. Sure it did a lot of things I don’t approve of. I didn’t like the way it felt the need to tie itself so directly to old Star Trek characters like Spock. First of all, I feel like that makes the universe feel smaller, but also I don’t understand why you’d do something like that when you’re trying to make an accessible new show. I also didn’t care for the show’s reliance on Trek concepts that generally I’ve had enough of, like Section 31 and the Mirror Universe. Not only was the show not giving me anything new, it was the stuff I enjoyed least?

But really, I don’t want to be so negative. Sure it had a real bad time with introducing a supporting cast. I genuinely believe it didn’t intend for characters like Detmer, Owo, Rhys, et al to matter. I think they had them as featured extras and then got stuck with them. We’d occasionally get one of them stepping up to give a whole paragraph about their backstory or personality. I noted it when Airiam was killed and we were supposed to care as if any of the characters mourning had ever been anything but props prior to that point. It got better, though. I came to kinda like those characters after all.

Heck, let me just work out some more of my negativity: Discovery more serialized than I like out of a show, especially early on. I can’t imagine myself ever sitting down to watch season one or two in full casually. I think an idea Star Trek is one where you can go back and watch a single episode and get a full story. And then! The later seasons still had overall plots, but presented in largely episodic chunks. I liked that, though it didn’t help their case that the last season is basically a sequel to The Chase which felt like a personal sleight against me. ALSO it bugged me how nobody seemed to like to sit down on the show. I felt like most of the big discussions were people standing in a circle, tensions roiling. I felt like this was a way to “improve” on the Next Generation-style conference room scenes. But I like those. People on Discovery should have demanded chairs.

Okay, but Discovery did have good stuff. First and foremost: it brought Star Trek back to me. Also, I liked some of the cast. Saru, for example. Which reminds me: cool aliens! The show had some! Most were relegated to background extras, which is fine by me, but they also gave us a closer look at Saurians with Linus. And the Osnullus (pictured)! They appealed greatly to my desire to see a more visually diverse Starfleet. I hope we’ve not seen the last of them with the end of this show. Oh, and I’m also glad to hear that we’ve not seen the last of the extra-distant future setting. I don’t want them to abandon that era just to set shows at a time when they can pull in characters from other shows. Again, that would make the universe feel small.

Anyway, I will watch any Star Trek show. That’s a fact. The question is, would I have watched Discovery if it had been a show of equal quality but NOT a Star Trek? I don’t know. But even if I didn’t, I would have seen it as a show with some neat ideas.

Oh and— wait— did the finale reveal casually that Book is a beekeeper?

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