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.