CBS All Access Star Trek: Discovery - Official Thread

DaveF

Moderator
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
24,084
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
Having to acquire dilithium was also a plot point from time to time on "Voyager", being completely cut off from Federation supply lines. So it has long been established that dilithium is required to matter-antimatter reactions in warp cores, which in turn power the ships and make faster than light travel possible.

It was always a pretty rare and valuable substance; at one point in the second season Stamets stated that one of the reasons the spore drive was developed was to reduce or eliminate the need for dilithium, because of the ecological damage caused by mining for it. It sounds like the Alpha Quadrant's handful of dilithium sources simply ran out of easily extractable material sometime in the middle of the 30th century. Starfleet investigated alternative warp drives that didn't rely on dilithium, but couldn't find any solutions with the utility and reliability of dilithium. Then, at some point, the Burn happened and wiped out the Federation's active fleet.

It looks like the question of what caused the Burn is the mystery that is driving this season.
There was more to it: “most of it just went boom”. dilithium destabilized or exploded. A lot of people were killed. This is why I’m confused. It’s not just in short supply, but seemingly dangerous to use. But it’s seemingly used still, despite the potential hazards. And also there might be some other warp capable power source in use.

This always drives me nuts on the Arrowverse DC Comics shows, too. That being said, it made a certain amount of sense here: Mirror Georgiou prioritized the henchmen because they were the ones pointing weapons at her and her comrades. Saru, who didn't approve of any of the killing, didn't have a chance to intervene until the top baddie was the only one left. And by leaving the big baddie's fate up to the people who had been exploited by him, Saru is attempting to establish a reputation for the Federation in this new time period.

The moral and ethical dilemmas faced by Discovery are similar to the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by Voyager during its journey through the Delta Quadrant, in that they're all on their own with minimal to no backup. How far do they bend their code to survive in a time that is no longer easily compatible with their ideals? Or, alternatively, at what point do they choose to accept certain death rather than cross a line that they're not willing to cross?
The bad guy had just murdered one of the locals. He’s oppressed them for years, decades. He deserves death. Sending a guilty man off to hopefully die in the wilderness of parasitic ice is even more retrograde barbaric than honestly judging and executing him.

As story writing it’s sloppy.

As depicting Federation advanced morality, it shows an important lack of understanding of the story itself.

Thats why this hamhanded plotting is so frustrating: it fails in every regard.
 

Adam Lenhardt

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
Messages
23,511
Location
Albany, NY
There was more to it: “most of it just went boom”. dilithium destabilized or exploded. A lot of people were killed. This is why I’m confused. It’s not just in short supply, but seemingly dangerous to use. But it’s seemingly used still, despite the potential hazards. And also there might be some other warp capable power source in use.
My understanding of the timeline is that the Federation ran out of dilithium in middle of the 30th century, sought and failed to find an adequate replacement.

Roughly eight decades later, in the early 3030s, all of the remaining dilithium across the galaxy went inert at the same time resulting in the destruction of most of Starfleet's remaining starships, along with the starships of many, many other civilizations. ("The Burn") Dilithium, which was already far more scarce by this point than the 22nd century both became expontently more scarce and seen as incredibly dangerous.

Dilithium has evidently been stable since then, but there's no guarantee that whatever triggered the Burn won't happen again. Every ship with an active warp core, mainly couriers it seems, heads out into space knowing that they could spontaneously explode at any time.

The bad guy had just murdered one of the locals. He’s oppressed them for years, decades. He deserves death.
But the Federation doesn't have a death penalty, and Saru -- at least for the time being -- is still operating under Federation law.

Sending a guilty man off to hopefully die in the wilderness of parasitic ice is even more retrograde barbaric than honestly judging and executing him.
Which I think was the point. The locals passed the sentence, so it makes sense that it would be especially nasty, given all that they endured under this man.

Having made those two points: Do I think allowing him to live won't come back to bite the crew of the Discovery at an inoportune time? Absolutely not.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jayembee

Sam Favate

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
9,581
Real Name
Sam Favate
Didn't the ships of the TNG era use re-crystalized or reconstituted dilithium? That would seem to make the case that the "ran out of dilithium" problem is implausible.
 

Philip Verdieck

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 23, 1999
Messages
633
Location
Houston, TX
Real Name
Philip Verdieck
There was more to it: “most of it just went boom”. dilithium destabilized or exploded. A lot of people were killed. This is why I’m confused. It’s not just in short supply, but seemingly dangerous to use. But it’s seemingly used still, despite the potential hazards. And also there might be some other warp capable power source in use.
I didn't reach that conclusion.

The Burn consumed existing dilithium at that point in time.

I got no impression that The Burn is ongoing and any current dlithium (no matter what the source) would be dangerous.
 

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
15,900
Dilithium is the fossil fuel of the future. The supplies appears to have been depleting. Or something happened, perhaps from an external force that has cause the matter/antimatter reaction to no longer function with the Dilithium that was available. Maybe they had to destroy the remain supplies to save the fabric of space. It seems we will see what happens in the coming season. Maybe the Spore Drive is what replaces Warp Drive.
 

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
15,900
Thanks for the thoughts about the seeming religious reactions the Coridans has when Saru and Tilly arrive. I think I can see that the Coridan people and others had heard stories of the Federation that used to be around ages ago. I felt it was more like, wow, I’ve heard of you guys, so you really do exist. You were the people that represented a better time. Anything you want, we’ll help you! And I like what Josh mentioned, that they represent a philosophy of being better. That you can do better and strive for that!

And yes, the scene with Aditya Sahil was very uplifting for him when he finally meets Michael. Someone from the Federation and Starfleet. I guess for some, it can be seen like the second coming. I saw it as this guy lived his whole life with the ideals his father and father’s father left him. When the time finally arrives, it’s his moment that finally comes true.

I look forward to a second viewing tonight.
 

Clinton McClure

Rocket Science Department
Premium
Joined
Jun 28, 1999
Messages
5,969
Location
Central Arkansas
Real Name
Clint
Didn't the ships of the TNG era use re-crystalized or reconstituted dilithium? That would seem to make the case that the "ran out of dilithium" problem is implausible.
Spock solved the problem of dilithium recrystallization using high energy photons in Star Trek IV. And you’re right, by TNG era, federation ships could recrystallize dilithium.
 

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
15,900
By the way, after seeing Far From Home last week, I had been thinking about the main characters and how they’ve changed. So last night, I did a binge watch of Discovery’s first three episodes, The Vulcan Hello, Battle at the Binary Stars, Context is for Kings. Then I skipped the entire Klingon war segments and Harry Mudd and the Mirror Universe and dropped back in with The War Without, The War Within and finished with Will You Take My Hand?

This was good for me because I wanted to see Georgiou again, the Prime version. The Terran Georgiou is with us now, and I wanted to see her first appearance again, when she was good. She is the idealistic version that was guiding Burnham’s development, that we can be better. In reviewing the first two episodes, it was nice to see that relationship between Captain Georgiou and Michael Burnham is developed some nicely. There is a strong Bond and mutual respect. So it was such a betrayal to Captain Georgiou when Burnham suddenly goes against her to attack the Klingon’s first. She has to put Burnham in the brig for mutiny. When the Shenzhou is attacked and Georgiou realizes that the deck the brig is on is damaged, her thoughts go to Burnham. So in the second episode, we see that Georgiou and Burnham are again in agreement and form a plan to attack T’Kuvma’s Sarcophagus ship. I found the set-up a little problematic. While I liked it in general, I just found it hard to believe that Michael would be so strong in her conviction to follow what Sarek said the Vulcan’s had done in their dealings with the Klingons. It might have been the right move, but it felt odd to see Burnham betray Georgiou. Though I could see it was a very stressful moment when Michael felt she had to act and she did admit she wasn’t in her right mind. I felt that Georgiou had taught her better. So when Michael so strongly questioned her on the bridge, she should have found a better way to convince Georgiou in her ready room rather then do the Vulcan Nerve pinch. I really liked that after the attack, Michael and Georgiou are together. And it was such a loss for Michael when Georgiou is killed. I liked that Michael’s feelings for Georgiou are so strong trying to save her, that she had to save the mirror Terran Georgiou. I wanted to see that introduction again. It’s pretty amazing and I’m sure it was a real mind game for Burnham and Saru to see Georgiou as Captain again. Tilly’s reaction was terrific! (Skipping all those episodes, I didn’t see again how Michael goes from prisoner to vital crew member. It seemed amazing to think that the Admiral would listen to Michael who was a convicted mutineer to change the plan from destroying all life on Qo‘no’s. It really showed how desperate the times were that the Klingon’s were on the verge of wiping out the Federation that a plan to wipe out all life on a planet was hatched. It was so against the philosophy of Starfleet and humanity. (As in the TNG episode Yesterday’s Enterprise, the war does not go well was playing in my mind.) It was a pretty amazing plan to convince L’Rell to use the bomb that Starfleet was going to use as a way to become the new leader of the Klingon Empire and redirect the course of the war and end it. Maybe I’ll have to go back to watch all the episodes in the first season.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Bryan^H

Museum Pieces

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
99
Real Name
Skylar
Would be wonderful if they took a fraction of that budget and procured some real SF writers but that is an element that seems tied to the Original Series only.
I'm with you, but IMO it's clear they don't value that kind of approach. They value stretching a big canvas with a cataclysmic event, and writing episodes inside it, not starting with character-based writing from which the big canvas evolves. I don't think they believe that approach would enable them to create the action centerpieces they value so much. But when's the last time a mainstream SF TV series tried it? Until it's attempted with established SF writers, how we will ever know if it will work in today's streaming environment?
 

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
15,900
I do not want to get into this Vietnam too far, but Star Trek TOS was never hard science fiction like 2001 is. Star Trek The Motion Picture was an attempt at harder science fiction, with mixed results. It’s still one of my favorite Star Trek films.

Star Trek Strange New Worlds may better fit the bill based on some bits that have been dropped. More episodic which I’m glad to hear about, season long arcs are OK, if the macguffin is a strong one, the last season of Discovery’s macguffin was a device to get the series into the future. So it seemed like a somewhat wasted use of resources. I really did not find the macguffin for Picard all that rewarding. So maybe Strange New Worlds will be able to try more varieties of science fiction stories without the season long macguffin.

But look at how it’s going now. There’s an embarrassment of riches of Star Trek materials to choose from now. Back in the really olden days, there was nothing until Star Trek TMP and then TNG and onward for 18 years. Right now this year has been pretty good. Picard S1, Lower Decks S1, Discovery S3.

These new shows though are really different in style. They have action of course. But the style is definitely unique. From how the episode titles are written to the ship designs and effects. And the characters are not ideal like they used to be. These shows look so far away from TOS and TNG that I’m sure a kid will see TOS and even TNG as very quaint.
 

Lou Sytsma

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 1, 1998
Messages
6,078
Real Name
Lou Sytsma
These shows look so far away from TOS and TNG that I’m sure a kid will see TOS and even TNG as very quaint.
Which saddens to no end.

However I agree with your analysis, Star Trek today - and most popular culture - features less than ideal characters, which makes for more dramatically interesting characters but not ones to idolize. How the MCU was able to make Captain America such a dramatically rich character and one to admire is a fantastic writing and acting feat, especially in these times.

Saru is the most idealistic character on Discovery and by no coincidence my favorite.
 

jayembee

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
706
Real Name
Jerry
The Burn is this season‘s mystery.

Book told Burnham that about 120 years before he was born, all of the dilithium in the galaxy suddenly ignited without warning, leaving ships without fuel and leading to the breakdown of the Federation and long range space travel.
It made me think of the STNG S7 episode "Force of Nature", where it was discovered that the use of warp drive was affecting the spatial fabric, and the Federation had to limit warp speed travel. I don't remember if that issue ever got resolved. I wonder if The Burn is related somehow.
 

Bryan^H

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
7,410
Would be wonderful if they took a fraction of that budget and procured some real SF writers but that is an element that seems tied to the Original Series only.
But even they would have to deal with the elephant in the room. How to make an amazing hour of TV without being chained to the tropes of TV past. Especially in Star Trek where nearly every topic of importance regarding the human condition has been covered time, and time again.
I'm really starting to see the error of my criticism of the series. Even If I didn't care for it at first, I realize now that making the show radically different in tone, and style from the past Star Trek series was a great start to distancing itself. And now especially true. It cant help but be original, because there is no blueprint for the structure of where it is currently.

Would I still love the "comfort food" of past Trek formula and resolution, even though the well is about dry?
Absolutely. But maybe 'Strange New Worlds' will provide that.
1603726936518.png
 

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
15,900
I watched Far From Home a second time last night. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted to re-view the first two and last two episodes of Season One. It was interesting to remind myself of how close Captain Georgiou was to Michael. Even after she thrown in the brig and the Klingons are shooting up the ship Georgiou’s thoughts go to Michael. Then we meet the Mirror Georgiou. Those episodes I skipped by going to last two, but I recalled that the Mirror Georgiou was as much a mother figure to Michael. So her feelings for the Prime Michael carry over. Upon re-viewing Far From Home, we still see that feeling from Georgiou for Michael as she’s worried about where Michael is.

I forgot to add, I noticed more clearly this time some things about the planet the Coridan’s called the Colony. As Discovery is crashing through the debris, I realized it was chunks of the planet out in orbit. And we can see a very large section of the planet has been blown out or ripped out. As Discovery rammed through a large piece, you could see vegetation on the surface of that piece they hit fly off. When Saru and Tilly are out and walking to the camp, we see some of those chunks of the planet in the sky too. Tilly was trying to make sense of it, but didn’t have any answers.

Something really bad caused that explosion. I suspect it might be tied to The Burn.
 
Last edited:

Josh Dial

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2000
Messages
3,591
Real Name
Josh Dial
But even they would have to deal with the elephant in the room. How to make an amazing hour of TV without being chained to the tropes of TV past. Especially in Star Trek where nearly every topic of importance regarding the human condition has been covered time, and time again.
I'm really starting to see the error of my criticism of the series. Even If I didn't care for it at first, I realize now that making the show radically different in tone, and style from the past Star Trek series was a great start to distancing itself. And now especially true. It cant help but be original, because there is no blueprint for the structure of where it is currently.

Would I still love the "comfort food" of past Trek formula and resolution, even though the well is about dry?
Absolutely. But maybe 'Strange New Worlds' will provide that.
View attachment 80885
Great post, Bryan.
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
345,550
Messages
4,745,522
Members
141,478
Latest member
jaybernz