I’ve just finished watching the mid-season cliffhanger episode of Star Trek Discovery, which is as good a time as any to talk about what I like about the show.
First of all, it’s gorgeous. The sets, the costumes, the lighting – it’s a good-looking show with clever, conscious decisions being made everywhere you look. Before the show ever started, I loved the detail that the gold mesh in the senior officers’ uniforms is made up of hundred of tiny links in the shape of the Starfleet arrow-head symbol, something you could only really tell by freezing and blowing up a high-definition image.
The characters are more engaging (to me) than most of the ones we’ve seen since Deep Space Nine (which – ohmigod I’m old – started nearly 25 years ago). I especially like Sonequa Martin-Green’s Michael Burnham, whose Spock-esque rationality has deep cracks hidden away, and Jason Isaacs’ Gabriel Lorca, who is clearly dodgy and hiding a terrible secret.
(I have my nerd theories of course. No spoilers though).
The other thing I find fascinating is the tone – this is a Federation just getting underway. The discipline is a little sloppy. The Vulcans aren’t quite universally trustworthy. The technology is strange and inconsistent with what we think we know about the early days. And the Federation has not yet developed a Prime Directive (as far as I can tell). It’s the Wild West in space, before cowboys like Kirk came along to tame it. It’s weird.
There are elements I don’t care for much – the Klingon plot hasn’t grabbed me, and the pacing of the episodes is a bit…old-fashioned at times – but this is about the positivity. Star Trek Discovery is taking a break until January – I’m positive I’ll be back for the rest of the season.