After months of delays and the overwhelming “I hope they don’t fuck it up” feeling, the release of the newest Star Trek series since 2005, Star Trek: Discovery finally premiered last Sunday. Originally slated to be released in January 2017, production suffered setbacks resulting it be premiered on September 24th. Nine months later than planned.
If you are reading this and trying to decide whether it’s worth your time and effort to watch the series, the short answer is YES. The long answer as to why it is yes will be found further along in this post.
WARNING! This post is written by a Star Trek fan so your experiences may differ but give it a try and stop worrying about being a nerd.
To go where no series has gone before…
Before we get too much into why you should watch Star Trek: Discovery it’s important to provide some background information to the series. There is actually over 50 years of history and fandom that could potentially make or break the new series. Star Trek (created by Gene Roddenberry) on the surface, depicted the adventures of humans and aliens who serve in the United Federation of Plants’ humanitarian and peace-keeping force called Starfleet, where the protagonists solve difficult dilemmas by applying their seemingly unique altruistic values presenting an overwhelmingly hopeful vision of the future. Under the surface, however, the entire franchise served as an allegory for the political and cultural conflicts of the contemporary reality at the time. In the sixties, The Original Series (TOS) addressed prevalent issues like racism, sexism, feminism, diversity, and the threat of communism (with the Klingons representing the Soviet Union). This underlying message of diversity and tolerance, which was carried through the adventure and morality tales that made up each episode, became the hallmark of the franchise that would go into later iterations of Star Trek. Even today over fifty years after the fact, Star Trek’s message still strikes a chord and is perhaps more needed today than when it was first written.
While Star Trek started with Cpt. Jame T. Kirk in The Original Series, it was Star Trek: The Next Generation that made the show a hit. The Original Series was actually a bit of a flop and only gained a substantial following during syndication (reruns basically). The premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987 started a 18 year long run of Star Trek on television which finally ended in 2005 with the cancelation of Star Trek: Enterprise.
Now that you are a little caught up, how was Star Trek: Discovery?
In short, Star Trek: Discovery updates the franchise with the cool visual effects and today’s “look at future technology” that we saw in the J.J. Abrams reboot in 2009 while still upholding the morals and values of the Federation that the TV franchise used so well as a plot device. Also, the immensity of space is somehow better portrayed in Discovery making it feel like less of a cheesy sci-fi show more akin to Galaxy Quest. An Asian woman and a black woman are the main protagonists, reflecting the shows commentary on modern society. Fill in the blanks on that for yourself.
Star Trek: Discovery takes place in the normal timeline (none of that alternate timeline shit, thank you J.J. Abrams) about 10 years before The Original Series, during a cold war between the Federation and the Klingons. The Klingons get a redesign which takes some getting used to, but because it appears that the Klingons as a race and culture will be explored in more depth than in other series, it’s something you can live with.
For many the nostalgia factor behind a TV series that ran for 18 years of their life is alone enough to make them tune in, but for others it is important to understand that Star Trek, and specifically Star Trek: Discovery, is more than just some cheesy serialized show that many think of when William Shatner’s Enterprise comes to mind (see GIF below). Star Trek is many things. It’s an entertaining adventure/action show at its shallowest, and at its deepest it is a commentary on modern society and a vision that one day we will value technology and diversity over greed and hatred. Star Trek is a blueprint for how we wish society to be.
Now if that’s not worth watching, I don’t know what is.
Check it out.
At the moment, IMDB gives it a 7.2/10 so check out the trailer below.
At least in the Netherlands, you can watch Star Trek: Discovery on Netflix as Netflix not only funded a large amount of the production but also handles international distribution for CBS. If you aren't in the US you can also probably watch in on Netflix. Also, if you like it, all of the Star Trek television franchise is now available on Netflix in the Netherlands. That is a stunning 741 episodes spanning 31 season across 7 individual series to watch. Not that is a binge sesh that will last months.
Check for a new episode every week on Sunday.
Live long…. and Netflix and chill.