Television Review: Star Trek: Discovery, Season 1

Star Trek Discovery, Season 1

Show: Star Trek Discovery, Season 1

Company:  CBS Television Studios

Date: 2017

Plot: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY follows the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and new life forms, and one Starfleet officer who must learn that to truly understand all things alien, you must first understand yourself. The series features a new ship and new characters while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers.

I’m new to Star Trek. Well, I say new – it was the release of the film in 2009 that drew me in. But I’ve wanted to watch the series on Netflix for quite some time and, finally, got around to it.

It took me a while to get into it: connecting with the characters was tricky to start with and without that empathy and emotional connection, it’s hard to care. But from about episode 5 onwards, you suddenly start to see the humanity of the main characters and as soon as I gasped out loud at an event, I knew I was enjoying it. While not the strongest show I’ve watched, I liked it.

Michael Burman is a complicated main character – and the reason why it was hard to get into the series. She cuts herself off from those surrounding her, operating on Vulcan logic rather than her human emotions. But as she softens, as she learns to love those around her and lets herself be loved in return, she is an awesome character.

Ash Tyler is also a complicated character! I loved him to start with, and loved that he let his emotions get the better of him. But then with everything that happens (no spoilers here), I kind of wanted him to stop being emotional…which sounds awful, I know, but I wanted him to do something more proactive. Still, I loved his character.

Lorca was also complicated. I had a feeling there was something off about his character, but have to admit that I never guessed where his story was going, which made for some interesting watching. It stopped the show being predictable.

I won’t have room to go into all the characters here. Tilly is a refreshing character; bumbling, innocent and sees the good in everyone, no matter what boundaries they put up. Saru starts off very prim and proper but, like Michael, you warm to him. Paul Stamets takes the position as favourite – I just loved his character and the direction they took him in as the series unfolded. I think there could be a lot more to come from him in the second series.

The lack of connection to start with meant the pacing felt slow. The tension did increase though and there are a few twists and turns on the way I certainly didn’t see coming. I didn’t think the finale was that spectacular – it had some important messages in it, but I found earlier episodes to be more action-packed and tense. It did show a lot of character development from the beginning of the series though.

Overall, I enjoyed the series. I’m looking forward to the second; the character development and the evolving relationships means there won’t need to be as much scene-setting. Not having any true expectations for this helped: I went along with it rather than hoping for specific things. I don’t know how it compares to the original series, but, personally, I’d recommend it if you’re a Star Trek fan.

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A Rambling Reviewer

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20 thoughts on “Television Review: Star Trek: Discovery, Season 1

  1. I never could get into this show, but I’m not much of a space/fantasy buff. Something about it just didn’t click for me. That being said, I know quite a few of my friends are all about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We started watching it, but never finished it – I think part of it was that my husband and I had grown up with Star Trek, and the message had always been very hopeful and positive, whilst Discovery seemed to want to go dark and gritty, which didn’t seem to sit well with that tone and ideals. There were bits of it I liked, but I was uncomfortable with the War Crimes angle, particularly when the whole point of Star Trek is that society is supposed to have evolved past that, into pacifism.

    (Also I was salty they killed of Phillipou so early because I love Michelle Yeoh and she was my favourite)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I actually only quite recently got into it with the newer films and want to work backwards so I didn’t have the comparison in the same way. It took me a while to get into it as well, I did think of giving up at one point. Once I started to connect to the characters it got easier.


      • I think it surprises a lot of people, but the original series was remarkably cerebral, with discussions on bodily autonomy, feminism and pacifism, alongside the idea of racism being archaic. The 1960s series had the first televised interracial kiss between Kirk and Uhura – it was very progressive for its time. That’s why we struggled I think, because the new series focused on the darker elements, when it was supposed to be concurrent or slightly pre TOS which was so optimistic and hopeful, but instead was so grim!


  3. Like you, I really struggled with getting into this show because I had trouble connecting with the characters. I’m used to shows that introduce you to characters a little deeper, right out of the gate, and this show didn’t do that. Once I got into it, I really enjoyed it!! Lorca made me nervous right from the get go, and by the end Tilly was my absolute fave character! I also loved Saru and Georgeau. If you’re interested, here’s a link to my blog post on season 1:


  4. Excellent review, this one is on my list of things to watch. I recently started watching Star Trek Next Generation and I have found it hard to connect with some of the characters as unlike other shows I have watched, I feel like you just don’t get enough backstory on the main characters at the start so it can be a hard getting into the series. I am now into the second season and loving it, looking forward to watching the other shows in the Star Trek franchise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah cool, I need to check that one out. I had the same with this – I couldn’t initially connect to the characters which made it quite tricky to engage with but then it definitely got better!


  5. Welcome to the Star Trek fandom! Also love your review for Discovery! I enjoy this show and I love that they went with a new take on Star Trek, even if some self-proclaimed Star Trek “purists” don’t like that.

    Liked by 1 person

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