CBS All Access Star Trek: Discovery - Official Thread

Yee-Ming

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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.
Must agree. It's similar to how The Mandalorian allows Star Wars fans to enjoy the SW universe again, without having to worry about how the mainline story (i.e. VII, VIII and IX) went, and how they felt about it.

I for one rather enjoyed all three of the new ST shows (Discovery, Picard, and Lower Decks), all in different ways.

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.
I have to agree less-than-perfect heroes does make it more dramatically interesting: one case in point being The Expanse, even if we're 'conditioned' to root for the crew of the Roci as they're the protagonists we're meant to follow.

More interestingly, though, is that I find I have no idea which "side" I'm supposed to root for in Raised By Wolves. I can see/understand the POV of both "sides", but it's hard to say I know which "side" I am for, or indeed I'm supposed to be for.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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DISCUSSION AHEAD (AND POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR):
3x03 - "People of Earth"

There is a template used by countless episodes of the original series, TNG, and "Voyager": The Federation starship visits a distant planet engaged in a seemingly intractable local conflict and, though the guiding principles of Federation ideals and the strength of the crew's example, guides the people engaged in that local conflict toward the better angels of their nature so that they can find a better way forward.

The genius of this episode is that it takes that template and applies it to 32nd century Earth; the planet that the majority of the Discovery crew is from is now the distant planet, and humanity is the species engaged in a seemingly intractable local conflict.

The obvious way to continue the dark and apocalyptic themes of this future would have been for them to arrive at an Earth wrecked by cataclysm and war. Instead, they went with something far more subtle but probably no less alienating: An Earth that has preserved its prosperity and its natural beauty, but at the cost of its values and vision. The idea that the planet on which Starfleet had been headquartered voluntarily withdrew itself from the Federation is in some ways even more devastating than an Earth that had been destroyed.

At the same time, this is an Earth that was shaped by several centuries spent at the heart of the Federation. The Federation, and Starfleet, still means something to the people of Earth. As tough and as hostile as the leader of Earth's military forces was, there was a real sense that she wanted to be persuaded by them. To the people of this Earth, in this time, Starfleet and the Federation has to feel like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny -- a really warm, nice fantasy but a fantasy nevertheless. Having Discovery arrive in orbit above Earth had to feel like Santa's sleigh landing on your roof. You don't believe it, can't afford to trust it, but wouldn't it be nice if it were true?

The spore drive, which always felt so out of place in the 23rd century, now feels like a real asset to the show. For all of the advanced technology that Discovery doesn't have, it does have this one trump card that hasn't been replicated in all of the centuries since. At a time when interstellar travel is so limited and so treacherous, Discovery can go anywhere it wants in the galaxy instantaneously. It also means that, until Discovery has the time and means to upgrade itself to 32nd century standards, it has the ability to escape unwinnable situations. It also means that, much like "Doctor Who" and the TARDIS, it doesn't have to waste time on transit from A to B. The writers understood that one of the audience's first questions was going to be: "What is Earth like in the future?" And thanks to spore drive, they were able to tackle that question immediately.

I was surprised at all of the layers piled onto the new nonbinary character Adira, and I was surprised -- given the hype about her being nonbinary -- that she uses female pronouns. The first episode to introduce the Trill -- "The Host" in TNG Season 4 -- established a precedent for a Trill symbiont to be joined with a human host. Riker's body quickly began rejecting the symbiont, but the same would have been true of more than half of the Trill humanoid population as well. So perhaps a certain percentage of humans would make suitable hosts as well. The idea that the join would be imperfect, either because the host is human or because the host had not yet reached physical maturity at the time of the joins, and that as a result there would be less continuity with the symbiont's past lives, is interesting. It provides Discovery with a person who is both representative of Starfleet and disconnected from Starfleet. It also makes the duality of her nature more complex; instead of a fully integrated being like Jadzia Dax, we get a being who is sometimes an impulsive and impetuous teenage girl and is sometimes an old man who has been alive for centuries.

One thing I love about the Trek episodes that Jonathan Frakes directs is the focus on character. He never lets the mechanics of the plot or the excitement of the set pieces interfere with a clear understanding of what the characters are feeling, what their intentions are, what their motivations are, and what the various interpersonal dynamics are between them. Even though this episode had a lot of accomplish in the A plot, he still allowed breathing room for the moments where the Discovery crew grappled with the consequences of their choice to follow Burnham into the future, especially the knowledge that everybody they knew and loved outside of the ship has been dead for hundreds of years. Likewise, the staging of the episode really foreground Michael's discomfort at returning to Discovery and feeling like she no longer fit in the way that she had when she left. Her life as a courier was less meaningful than being a Starfleet officer, but it sure was easier and more fun. She had to make the decision to pick up her old burdens again, and sublimate herself back into being part of a whole, You really feel her wrestling with that over the course of the episode.
 

Johnny Angell

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Is Adira non-binary because she is a host of a symbiont? I see there’s two people there. This seems a lot different for a non-binary person in present day. I’ll be the first to admit this non-binary concept is confusing for me, the present day version.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Is Adira non-binary because she is a host of a symbiont? I see there’s two people there. This seems a lot different for a non-binary person in present day. I’ll be the first to admit this non-binary concept is confusing for me, the present day version.
The actor portraying the character is non-binary, using they/them pronouns. Adira, as presented onscreen, was devoid of any definitively masculine or feminine qualities.

This is as opposed to the various joined Trill with the Dax symbiote. They were variously male and female but all of them chose to identify with the gender that the given host was assigned at birth.

Adira uses female pronouns -- or at least her colleagues referred to her using female pronouns -- whereas the previous host, the Starfleet admiral, used male pronouns. My guess is that Adira was gender-nonconforming before she was joined with the symbiont. I've never gotten the sense that the Trill symbionts are concerned with gender in any way; that part of the combined identity seems to derive from the host.
 

TonyD

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The actor portraying the character is non-binary
well I’ve never in my life heard a human referred to as binary or NonBinary.

I just don’t understand what that means.



As for the episode I loved it.
Was about as Star Trekkie as any episode could be.
 

David Weicker

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I thought this third episode was good.

The only thing I might have changed was how long Michael was stranded. To me, one year doesn’t seem long enough to where she would have lost her past life, and had enough ‘adventures’ with Book. Given how slow space travel is now, she wouldn’t have even made a dent in any meaningful search
 

Museum Pieces

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With season 3 episode 3 DSC finally won me over. I was leaning that way after the first two episodes of the new season, and when I didn't cringe at a single thing for the second straight week, I realized I was enjoying myself, footloose and fancy free. And that is a first for me with DSC.

If this show can fundamentally change, so can I. Really looking forward to the rest of season 3.
 
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Nelson Au

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The theme this week was a disconnected group of people’s, Discovery’s crew and the past, Burnham and the Discovery and what her role was and the conflict on Earth that’s disconnected with the rest of the Federation. This must have been written last year and is really looking at what has been going on with the world. And as Adam said above, I liked the very Star Trekian story here. And it was interesting to see a changed Burnham in the course of the year of separation and then her reconnecting.

The episode seemed to go by fast, I checked the clock and it was 48 minutes, so average length. But it flew by and showed a lot.

The Ready Room feature was interesting. The pair of writers of this episode seem to write some of the more stand out ones. Yet they seem so young. It was good to hear Frakes talk about the episode, I found the segment on Jeff Russo very interesting. I can see how he would feel to be where he is in a long list of Star Trek composers.
 

Johnny Angell

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The actor portraying the character is non-binary, using they/them pronouns. Adira, as presented onscreen, was devoid of any definitively masculine or feminine qualities.
I will disagree here. I immediately identified Adira as a young, cute, female. I will be looking at her with more open eyes with this new information.
 

Sam Favate

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I liked the episode but I thought it strained credibility that these people from 1000 years ago who showed up 5 minutes ago were able to settle a dispute that had been going on for a very long time. If people from 1000 years ago showed up in 2020, we'd talk to them like cavemen and not give their opinions the time of day, since they're obviously disconnected from the world in which we live and can't possibly understand the circumstances that brought us to where we are.

1000 years is a really long time. The technology would have advanced way beyond what the crew of Discovery could imagine.
 

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1000 years is a really long time. The technology would have advanced way beyond what the crew of Discovery could imagine.
Not necessarily. Don't forget that the Earth has essentially been cut off from most of the greater galaxy for well over a century by this point, and that without the vitality of input from other Federation species, their opportunity for technological advancement would be greatly diminished (if not outright regressive) if they've been in retreat over the past 100 or so years.

Remember also that "The Burn" occurred very shortly after Captain Braxton's era (as depicted onscreen on VOY), and much of the technology glimpsed in this latest episode seems even more advanced than that era's own tech, so I had no problem buying a state of scientific inertia as having set in since the UFP's near-collapse, but with some of the tech still being just slightly ahead of the U.S.S. Relativity's.
 
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Johnny Angell

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I liked the episode but I thought it strained credibility that these people from 1000 years ago who showed up 5 minutes ago were able to settle a dispute that had been going on for a very long time. If people from 1000 years ago showed up in 2020, we'd talk to them like cavemen and not give their opinions the time of day, since they're obviously disconnected from the world in which we live and can't possibly understand the circumstances that brought us to where we are.

1000 years is a really long time. The technology would have advanced way beyond what the crew of Discovery could imagine.
This kind of quick solution to a long-time problem is typical of ST, particularly the TOS.
 
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Jason_V

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I liked the episode but I thought it strained credibility that these people from 1000 years ago who showed up 5 minutes ago were able to settle a dispute that had been going on for a very long time. If people from 1000 years ago showed up in 2020, we'd talk to them like cavemen and not give their opinions the time of day, since they're obviously disconnected from the world in which we live and can't possibly understand the circumstances that brought us to where we are.

1000 years is a really long time. The technology would have advanced way beyond what the crew of Discovery could imagine.
I get what you're saying but two things are at play here for me: first, a caveman would likely not have any faculty for the English language. That means we couldn't communicate in any practical way. Discovery and the people of Earth can speak the same language, which undoubtedly helps. Second, this is Trek and, frankly, dismissing opinions out of hand isn't the way the franchise works. They may struggle to understand or disagree, but dismissing? Nah.

I'm also very okay with settling the dispute. It's the Federation way: talking, negotiating and building bridges. That's fundamental in all of the Discovery crew members. It might have been a bit fast, but I'm also understanding that the show can't spend all season showing the negotiations. It has to keep moving forward.
 
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Greg.K

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This kind of quick solution to a long-time problem is typical of ST, particularly the TOS.
Kind of silly that they couldn't ID these guys as human though. Trek sensors have been able to id lifeforms as human since the "Enterprise" time period, at least. Even if they disguised it somehow you think Earth would have caught on by now, especially since they were apparently based only as far away as Titan...

But that's a minor quibble. I'm enjoying this season quite a bit.
 

Johnny Angell

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Kind of silly that they couldn't ID these guys as human though. Trek sensors have been able to id lifeforms as human since the "Enterprise" time period, at least. Even if they disguised it somehow you think Earth would have caught on by now, especially since they were apparently based only as far away as Titan...

But that's a minor quibble. I'm enjoying this season quite a bit.
Yeah, that’s a big plot-hole.
 

Josh Dial

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Kind of silly that they couldn't ID these guys as human though. Trek sensors have been able to id lifeforms as human since the "Enterprise" time period, at least. Even if they disguised it somehow you think Earth would have caught on by now, especially since they were apparently based only as far away as Titan...

But that's a minor quibble. I'm enjoying this season quite a bit.
Yeah it definitely seemed like a bit of a stretch. I guess Book's ship was able to mask the dilithium so perhaps the raider ships/suit were able to mask lifesign particulars. Also, I took the line that was something like "the most recent raider is..." to mean very recent--like in the last few days or so. Not sure they would last longer than that against the Earth defences.

On a related note, it seems like transporters can still be disrupted!
 

Bryan^H

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DISCUSSION AHEAD (AND POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR):
3x03 - "People of Earth"

There is a template used by countless episodes of the original series, TNG, and "Voyager": The Federation starship visits a distant planet engaged in a seemingly intractable local conflict and, though the guiding principles of Federation ideals and the strength of the crew's example, guides the people engaged in that local conflict toward the better angels of their nature so that they can find a better way forward.

The genius of this episode is that it takes that template and applies it to 32nd century Earth; the planet that the majority of the Discovery crew is from is now the distant planet, and humanity is the species engaged in a seemingly intractable local conflict.

The obvious way to continue the dark and apocalyptic themes of this future would have been for them to arrive at an Earth wrecked by cataclysm and war. Instead, they went with something far more subtle but probably no less alienating: An Earth that has preserved its prosperity and its natural beauty, but at the cost of its values and vision. The idea that the planet on which Starfleet had been headquartered voluntarily withdrew itself from the Federation is in some ways even more devastating than an Earth that had been destroyed.


At the same time, this is an Earth that was shaped by several centuries spent at the heart of the Federation. The Federation, and Starfleet, still means something to the people of Earth. As tough and as hostile as the leader of Earth's military forces was, there was a real sense that she wanted to be persuaded by them. To the people of this Earth, in this time, Starfleet and the Federation has to feel like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny -- a really warm, nice fantasy but a fantasy nevertheless. Having Discovery arrive in orbit above Earth had to feel like Santa's sleigh landing on your roof. You don't believe it, can't afford to trust it, but wouldn't it be nice if it were true?

The spore drive, which always felt so out of place in the 23rd century, now feels like a real asset to the show. For all of the advanced technology that Discovery doesn't have, it does have this one trump card that hasn't been replicated in all of the centuries since. At a time when interstellar travel is so limited and so treacherous, Discovery can go anywhere it wants in the galaxy instantaneously. It also means that, until Discovery has the time and means to upgrade itself to 32nd century standards, it has the ability to escape unwinnable situations. It also means that, much like "Doctor Who" and the TARDIS, it doesn't have to waste time on transit from A to B. The writers understood that one of the audience's first questions was going to be: "What is Earth like in the future?" And thanks to spore drive, they were able to tackle that question immediately.

I was surprised at all of the layers piled onto the new nonbinary character Adira, and I was surprised -- given the hype about her being nonbinary -- that she uses female pronouns. The first episode to introduce the Trill -- "The Host" in TNG Season 4 -- established a precedent for a Trill symbiont to be joined with a human host. Riker's body quickly began rejecting the symbiont, but the same would have been true of more than half of the Trill humanoid population as well. So perhaps a certain percentage of humans would make suitable hosts as well. The idea that the join would be imperfect, either because the host is human or because the host had not yet reached physical maturity at the time of the joins, and that as a result there would be less continuity with the symbiont's past lives, is interesting. It provides Discovery with a person who is both representative of Starfleet and disconnected from Starfleet. It also makes the duality of her nature more complex; instead of a fully integrated being like Jadzia Dax, we get a being who is sometimes an impulsive and impetuous teenage girl and is sometimes an old man who has been alive for centuries.

One thing I love about the Trek episodes that Jonathan Frakes directs is the focus on character. He never lets the mechanics of the plot or the excitement of the set pieces interfere with a clear understanding of what the characters are feeling, what their intentions are, what their motivations are, and what the various interpersonal dynamics are between them. Even though this episode had a lot of accomplish in the A plot, he still allowed breathing room for the moments where the Discovery crew grappled with the consequences of their choice to follow Burnham into the future, especially the knowledge that everybody they knew and loved outside of the ship has been dead for hundreds of years. Likewise, the staging of the episode really foreground Michael's discomfort at returning to Discovery and feeling like she no longer fit in the way that she had when she left. Her life as a courier was less meaningful than being a Starfleet officer, but it sure was easier and more fun. She had to make the decision to pick up her old burdens again, and sublimate herself back into being part of a whole, You really feel her wrestling with that over the course of the episode.
Fantastic synopsis.
I was going to write my own thoughts about the episode, but after reading your post, why bother. You summed up every thing I loved about it perfectly.
 
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Nelson Au

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About how they were able to so quickly resolve the dispute between Wen and Captain Ndoye, to me this felt very much like a homage to Kirk and Anan 7 in A Taste of Armageddon. I can hear them thinking, perhaps, perhaps we can discuss this.

I can see how Earth’s defense force would be distrustful of Discovery too. The Earth has been isolationist for so long. They don’t know if Discovery has a crew of real humans. Sounds familiar to real world events too by separating themselves from the rest of the world and walking away from the Federation.

About this Hybrid character, I’m still not sure I get what she is about. I just got that she’s got a trill symbiont inside her. So I’ll watch again and see if I can figure it out. :)

It was interesting to see that they set up the scene at the start with the bridge crew assuming Burnham would be taking command, but she demurs and says Saru really deserves the job. It seemed very appropriate that they went there, it was a surprise.
 

Philip Verdieck

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I thought this third episode was good.

The only thing I might have changed was how long Michael was stranded. To me, one year doesn’t seem long enough to where she would have lost her past life, and had enough ‘adventures’ with Book. Given how slow space travel is now, she wouldn’t have even made a dent in any meaningful search
I agree. It would have been more impactful if they had said 5 years or something. It would also fit with the different hairstyles we saw in some of that time passing montage. I was expecting them to end it that scene with them discovering and tractoring free the Discovery.

Have we had a name for Booker's ship yet?
 

Philip Verdieck

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The theme this week was a disconnected group of people’s, Discovery’s crew and the past, Burnham and the Discovery and what her role was and the conflict on Earth that’s disconnected with the rest of the Federation. This must have been written last year and is really looking at what has been going on with the world. And as Adam said above, I liked the very Star Trekian story here. And it was interesting to see a changed Burnham in the course of the year of separation and then her reconnecting.

The episode seemed to go by fast, I checked the clock and it was 48 minutes, so average length. But it flew by and showed a lot.

The Ready Room feature was interesting. The pair of writers of this episode seem to write some of the more stand out ones. Yet they seem so young. It was good to hear Frakes talk about the episode, I found the segment on Jeff Russo very interesting. I can see how he would feel to be where he is in a long list of Star Trek composers.
Interesting.

I am not seeing all the Ready Room eps.

I have this through Amazon, and have been subscribed since Picard aired.

All I saw available last night was 101, with David Ajala. There were no other eps available. But that was fantastic hearing him talk about being with Stewart on stage, and Patrick reflexively speaking the lines he was realizing had been omitted.

Maybe its really short sighted and a disservice, but STD is the 1st time I have seen Ajala, and he reminds me of a younger Idris Elba.
 

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