'Star Trek: Discovery' gets to its pilot, three episodes in

Sunday, 01 October 2017 09:30 PM Written by 

This post contains spoilers from the third episode of "Star Trek: Discovery."

ST Discovery

I'm not planning to make a weekly habit of writing about CBS All Access' "Star Trek: Discovery" (8:30 p.m. Sunday) but after the two episodes released last week amounted to, essentially, a prologue for the series, I felt the need to already revisit the show now that the third episode, which does a lot of the work of a pilot by introducing the Discovery and its crew, has been released.

And, disappointingly, I'm less intrigued by "Discovery" now than I was after the first two hours.

Read more after the jump. ...

I'm extremely torn in my reaction to the first two episodes. On the one hand, I want to applaud the show's producers for trying something different, eschewing the regular pilot-style episode in favor of a prologue.

On the other hand, what they delivered is kind of a bait-and-switch. The first two hours features Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Capt. Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) as a kick-ass Starfleet team. I loved watching them together. But then they killed off Georgiou and it turns out I loved their dynamic more than most of what "Discovery" introduced as its regular series elements in episode three.

First, there's Capt. Lorca (Jason Isaacs) who seems to swallow every other word. Or maybe he's a low talker? Either way, I had a difficult time understanding his dialogue, especially in early scenes in episode three. (And lest anyone think it was my old man hearing, I consulted two others who watched the episode and they reported having the same problem understanding Lorca.)

This whole story about a biological discovery that allows instantaneous transportation is a blah kind of Treknobabble that's annoying because it clearly has to fail or we'd have heard of it in future "Trek" stories. Also, it's confusing as to how it works.

I do love Cadet Tilly (Mary Wiseman), AKA Merida from "Brave," and I liked the further exploration of the Burnham-Saru (Doug Jones) relationship but otherwise, I was kind of meh on the Discovery crew, which seems to be in constant squabble mode.

And then there's the continuity nerd in me that I try to hold at bay, but, wow, is it hard not to be annoyed by the inconsistencies between this and "Trek" series set after "Discovery." 

Look, I can excuse the anachronistic-to-future-"Trek" major roles for women in "Discovery," which was not true of the original series, because, well, that's what audiences expect today and it's the right thing to do. But there are a lot of little things that producers could have easily changed that would not have conflicted with canon.

How can they transport within Discovery without going to the transporter room, which was, evidently, a risky proposition on the original "Star Trek"? Does it have to do with the weird bio research?

A friend pointed out this one: Why do Klingons in this era revere bodies when it's been established in the future they don't care about the bodies of their dead?

But as I said, these nitpicks are silly and not really worth worrying about. My bigger concern is that "Discovery" has yet to make me care about many of its still-living characters. And I really hate straining to understand Lorca. I'll keep watching and hoping both of these issues get remedied in future episodes.

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