The Klingon menace is real. But since we’re supposed to empathize with her as the lead character, the show tries to have it both ways – and when your lead character commits an act of mutiny not long after you’re introduced to her, it’s hard to muster up any positive feelings toward her.
As the video’s description explains: “Almost no one has seen a Klingon in more than 100 years”.
After Burnham accidentally kills a Klingon investigating a destroyed satellite, T’Kuvma has his Gulf of Tonkin incident, and Burnham argues that the Shenzhou should take pre-emptive action and end a war before it begins.
But “Star Trek: Discovery” is CBS’s first big attempt at wooing cord cutters to its otherwise under-the-radar offering in terms of streaming services.
Executive producer Alex Kurtzman said initial discussions among producers focused on bringing “something new to “Trek” that both fans and people who’d never seen the show before could experience”.
Let’s also spend a moment or two here rolling our eyes at some of the people out there threatening to not watch the show because they don’t want to pay for it – so many people these days are willing to spend $10 to go to a movie per person, and that’s without popcorn or a drink. Here, more so even than on The Next Generation, they’re imbued with a system of religious and political beliefs that lifts them above the level of one-dimensional “proud warrior race”, and offers a satisfying explanation for their conflict with the Federation.
Where the show does shine, however, is in it’s fearless casting and delicious character back stories.
Moreover, Burnham’s past ties directly into the heart of Trek lore: orphaned, she was raised on Vulcan by Sarek (James Frain), Mr. Spock’s father, and thus exhibits a fondness for logic and computer-like mind, despite her rounded earlobes. The tension created in her personality is the kind of thing Trek has always excelled at exploring. (And yep, these Klingons are just as boring as all the other Klingons.) There’s the fact that, aside from leads Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Saru (Doug Jones), all the characters feel intentionally disposable. She mutinied in the first place, which is ok if something has taken over your mind, but not if you made the decision, but this is a world with a very different attitude long before she decided she knew what was best for everyone.
Also the sets, special effects and alien design are a cut above anything that’s gone before. At the same time, fans have anxious that none of these visuals line up with the history of the show – Discovery is basically set at the same time as “The Cage”, the original Trek pilot which starred Jeffrey Hunter. It marks the first time Australians can legally watch Star Trek the day after it screens in the U.S. – without putting up with Channel Nine’s antics and Sam Newman’s smug face.