I’ve been meaning to do a post about Star Trek: Discovery for about a year now. Originally it was going to be a “here’s what I hope” post, which then morphed into a “Oh man, this is gonna suck” post and now here I am writing a “Q be praised, it’s actually good!” post. It’s been a journey of twists and turns, is what I’m saying.
But yeah, having watched the first three episodes I can happily report that despite a year of negative hype, swirling rumours of backstage drama and basically the entire Star Trek fandom having written off the project as DOA, it’s not only surprisingly good, it’s probably the strongest opening of any Star Trek series since the original show. (Granted, that’s a low bar, Star Trek series are notorious for rocky starts).
I’m not going to do an episode by episode review, so here are just a few random thoughts about the show in no particular order. Mild Spoilers ahead but nothing too major.
I am a massive Star Trek fan (please, no shrieks of astonishment) so fair warning right now, we are going DEEP down the nerd hole for this post.
In 2005 Star Trek was dead. The last film, Nemesis, was a big dumb turd (although not the worst Star Trek film by a space-mile in my humble opinion) and Star Trek: Enterprise was cancelled, marking the first time since 1987 that there had been no new Trek on TV. Then, in 2009, JJ Abrams massively successful Star Trek brought the franchise roaring back to life. That movie pissed off a lot of hardcore Star Trek fans. I was not one of them. I loved that movie. Was it dumb? Oh hell yes, but then the Star Trek movies have always been less cerebral affairs than the TV series (and in fact the movies that did try to go all deep and philosophical often were even dumber and a hell of a lot less fun than the ones that were content to be straight up action flicks). There was plenty of sloppy plotting and ridiculous coincidence but the cast had good chemistry, the action looked great and it took some really brave chances. Blowing up Vulcan genuinely shocked me and showed that these guys weren’t afraid to seriously shake things up. So I was well and truly pumped for Star Trek Into Darkness when it came out in 2013.
Star Trek Into Darkness was the shittiest piece of shit that ever shat. God-DAMN but I hate that movie. Hands down my least favourite Star Trek film. Yes, even more than the one where Kirk meets God and then he’s not God. Even more than the one that’s almost entirely slow motion shots of the Enterprise. I hate that movie even more than the never released Star Trek: Scotty Presents the Wonderful World of Nude Mime and I just made up that film. I literally flipped off the screen in the cinema as the credits rolled.
And now the news has broken that JJ Abrams (who, whatever you think of his work, at least we can all agree is a director) is not returning for the sequel and will instead be replaced by script writer Roberto Orci, the man responsible for most of what I hated about the last film and who has never directed a movie before in his life.