After twelve long years, Star Trek is finally back on the small screen! The first two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery lay the foundation for an entirely new series, with new characters and new relationships, and adds a dimension to a long time Federation frenemy by introducing a charismatic new leader. And then… it wipes all that away and starts over again. Clay joins me to discuss the first two episodes of Discovery, “The Vulcan Hello” and “Battle at the Binary Stars”. What’d we think of Michael Burnham? What’d we think of the new uniforms? Boy, all this concussion talk sure feels zeitgeisty! Star Trek is back, and we hope you enjoy the podcast as we boldly go where we’ve never gone before… into a review of a show that isn’t 20 years old.
Burnham gets a new ship, and Discovery gets a new start! When mutineer Michael Burnham is transported to the USS Discovery, she finds a ship full of suspicious and mysterious characters, led by the extremely suspicious and mysterious Captain Gabriel Lorca. Clay and I discuss the second “pilot” of Star Trek: Discovery, including vigorous debates about monsters from Doom, getting to know the crew, and travelling via spores!
When Captain Lorca is captured by Klingons, Saru demands that the Tardigrade be hooked back up to the Spore Drive to enable a rescue attempt. Unfortunately, Burnham’s suspicions about the nature of the using the Tardigrade this way are bearing out. We also meet Harry Mudd! Clay and I discuss the fifth episode of the first season, and we break down Saru’s use of protocols, lists made of fan service, and escaping from Klingon prison ships.
Burnham attempts to rescue Sarek and learns something about their relationship, while Lorca has a relationship and then decides not to rescue someone! “Lethe” doesn’t bring up Mirror Stamets or the Tardigrade, but it does attempt to tell a self contained story that establishes some background to a few of our lead characters. Does it succeed? Clay joins me to discuss Burnham the Vulcan, why Lorca sleeps with a phaser, and why placing continuity before a solid story tends to be a mistake.
In the fourth episode of Star Trek: Discovery, the wonderfully titled “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry”, Burnham settles into life aboard the Discovery and we get a closer look at the turmoil within the Klingon Empire! We also learn more about the Tardigrade and its piloting capability, and wonder if everything will come down to a “Devil in the Dark” moment? Clay and I discuss feeling lost in space, missing T’Kumva, and trying to solve the riddle of losing spore drive.
Mudd returns to Discovery, and he’s got a plan that weaves together some of TNG and TOS’ finest episodes! When Harry Mudd reveals that he’s using time travel to attempt to steal the USS Discovery, Burnham and crew must look within their own hearts to find a way to stop the devious con man. Clay joins me to discuss “Cause and Effect” and “I, Mudd”, grinding in the corridors, and ironically listening to contemporary music!
With the war against the Klingons starting to take a turn for the worse, Burnham joins Saru and Tyler on a mission to the planet Pahvos. They seek to use the planets mysterious sound waves to detect cloaked ships, but Saru might have different intentions altogether! Also, we get some Klingon scenes. Clay joins me to discuss being confused, Klingon face paint, and sending the Discovery into battle for no good reason!
Lorca decides to use the USS Discovery as bait to lure the Klingons into a trap, Burnham fights a Klingon, and Tyler suffers from PTSD! Discovery is taking a mid season break, so “Into the Forest I Go” functions something like a season finale. But does it work? Do the storylines we’ve been pondering for weeks come together in the end? Or are we left with more questions than answers? Clay joins me to discuss looking ahead to what comes next, finding out that people aren’t dead, and trying to figure out where we end up!
Discovery has taken a break after nine episodes of middling television, but Clay and I will keep the fire stoked (as Torchbearers) with a podcast episode where we discuss our final thoughts about this new half a season of Star Trek. We also talk about cancelling CBS All Access (for a month), the desire to be able to purchase the show on Amazon, and how we might handle discussing the show when it returns in January of 2018.
Discovery appears to have become stranded in the Mirror Universe, which is not a big surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention (or reading online forums)! The crew must quickly adapt to living in a hostile universe filled with killers, liars and backstabbers. Fortunately, they’ve had a lot of that themselves over the first nine episodes, so I’m sure they’ll fit in nicely. Clay joins me to discuss returning to Discovery, writing for prestige television characters, and the death of a much hyped character!
Spending time in the Mirror Universe might corrupt your soul, but at least you’ll get some snazzy new outfits! While Burnham struggles to get intel back to Discovery, a coalition of anti-Terran Empire species might be the way for the crew to turn the tables on the Emperor. Unfortunately, Ash Tyler seems to have remembered his true identity, and the “wolf inside” might be the thing that devours them all. Clay and I discuss goatees, hoping for the future, and using the transporter for some other than transport!
Burnham reveals the truth to Emperor Georgiou, and Lorca reveals the truth to the audience in “Vaulting Ambition”! While Burnham struggles to come to terms with the “ghost” of her former mentor, Stamets explores the mycelial forest and discovers the horrible condition of its stability. It’s the shortest episode in Star Trek history, but the frantic pace of the show continues. Clay and I discuss eating Kelpiens, being unsure of who is who, and unfair writing!
Mirror Universe Lorca initiates his long planned coup; meanwhile, Burnham has to convince an unlikely ally to help Discovery return home. It’s time to say goodbye to the Mirror Universe (or so we think), and hello to a “surprise” that awaits us back home. Clay joins me to discuss an episode of Discovery that left us a little heated! In this episode, we break down the Lorca story line, praise the greatness of Saru, and wonder where we go from here!
Burnham and crew face the harsh realities of war back in their own universe, while desperate times call for desperate measures in the fight against the Klingons. The penultimate episode of Discovery’s first season, “The War Without, The War Within” features a lot of character interactions, which highlights both the good and the bad aspects of the series. Clay and I discuss thinking the Spore Drive was dead, moving to another lunch table, and finding a loved one in the Mirror Universe!
The crew struggles with Georgiou’s hostile plan to end the war with the Klingons; meanwhile, Burnham faces painful memories. Clay and I discuss the finale to Discovery’s maiden season, “Will You Take My Hand?”. The show has had a frantic pace since the pilot, but will it all culminate in a finale that wraps up loose ends and sets up a second season? Or will we get another twist to keep us watching in a years time? We discuss throwing bombs down wells, the lack of Klingons on Qo’noS, and if we’ll see the inside of the Enterprise next season!