Review: “Star Trek: Discovery” Premiere

CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD!

 

As a Trekkie and Potterhead, I was so extremely excited to see Jason Isaacs’ casting as Captain Lorca in the new Star Trek: Discovery on CBS. After watching the two-episode premiere, I have to say, I was not disappointed.

However, the first episodes don’t feature Isaacs at all. They instead center around the crew of the USS Shenzhou, a Federation Starship on the outskirts of Federation Space investigating a broken relay. When the crew discovers an unidentified object that their scanners are not able to decipher, Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) investigates, accidentally engaging a Klingon response.

The first episode is full of a lot of dialogue, and not so much action, but in my opinion, that is needed in the beginning to formally establish the story. I noted a lot of similarities to Star Trek: The Original Series. Not too many, but enough to make die-hard Trek fans nostalgic. The opening credits, of course, are played with the original Star Trek theme song, with a bit of a twist (though the iconic “Space… the final frontier” speech is sadly absent). Even the beeps and other noises you hear on the bridge of the Shenzhou will bring you back. The relationship between Commander Burnham and Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) is very familial, while the Commander’s relationship with Chief Science Officer Saru (Doug Jones) gives me some Spock/Bones vibes with their constant sarcasm and bickering. Perhaps the biggest homage to TOS is the fact that Commander Burnham was actually raised by Spock’s father, Sarek. No mention of Spock has yet been made, but since Discovery is only set ten years before TOS, I am willing to bet his name will pop up somewhere.

Another thing I quite enjoyed was getting to see the Klingon side of things. In Star Trek, you generally don’t get to see the “enemy’s” point of view.

Into the second episode, things are not looking good for Starfleet. The Shenzhou is badly damaged by the Klingons. The USS Europa comes to aid, but the Klingons deceive Admiral Anderson (Terry Serpico) and render their ship invisible, ramming it directly into the Europa, almost splitting it in half before the Europa engages self-destruct. This scene seems classic for the rebooted Star Trek. In the films Star Trek, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Star Trek: Beyond there were some amazing space battle scenes. With the similar lens flares and high tension, these scenes in Discovery had me on the edge of my seat. Knowing that Jason Isaacs said to prepare for a darker Star Trek, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

This show has some serious female badassery. Commander Burnham and Captain Georgiou take on a ship of Klingons in hand-to-hand combat so skillfully, but unfortunately, the battle ends with the (premature, in my opinion) death of Captian Georgiou. Man, that really tugged at my heartstrings. Such a promising, strong female character, with a true, warm heart, and she is killed in the first episode. However, based on the preview for next week’s episode, and the episodes to come, it looks like Captain Georgiou’s death will serve as a sort of beacon for Commander Burnham in the coming war with the Klingons.

All in all, I am very happy with the reboot of the series. I think the acting is fantastic, the effects are amazing, and the storyline is definitely something I am interested in.

While Jason Isaacs didn’t show in these first two episodes, it looks like we will be introduced to his Captain Gabriel Lorca next week! I don’t know about you, but I’m so excited to see it!

Did you watch the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!

  • I did watch it and like you I enjoyed the premiere and am therefore cautiously optimistic for this series.