“If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures.” -Gene Roddenberry

The first two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery are now behind us, and while I expected it to be darker and more of a continuous story than a series of self-contained episodes, I think this was full of a lot of surprises, not all of them good. Yes, the visuals were absolutely stunning, from the sleek uniforms to the sets to the ships to the Klingons to the battle effects. The binary protoplanetary system was breathtaking. And this was a suspense-filled ride, with plenty of room for growth.

Burnham, in the first two episodes alone, gets a fatal dose of radiation poisoning, activates a Klingon probe and kills its guardian, mutinies against and knocks out the Captain, and then kills the Klingon leader. Image credit: Jan Thijs, © 2017 CBS Interactive.

But so many elements were missing. Character development was thin and inconsistent; is Michael Burnham a hothead who recklessly acts out whenever she doesn’t get her way, as we’re shown, or is she a cold and logical Vulcan-like person, as we’re told? Does the Federation champion diversity, or uniformity with just the veneer of diversity? And are the Klingons everything that islamophobes fear about Muslims, or are they simply falling for a theocratic demagogue peddling simple answers to complex problems?

The warrior that Burnham kills is given the traditional Klingon death ritual… and then predictably used as a political tool to start a war. Image credit: Jan Thijs/CBS © 2017 CBS Interactive.

There’s a lot to unpack and a lot more yet to come, but find out what my reaction was to the first two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery!

Comments

  1. #1 Elle H.C.
    September 25, 2017

    “are the Klingons everything that islamophobes fear about Muslims”

    Wtf, the problem with Muslims is quite complex. ‘Islamophobia’ is also a dodgy term:

    In the wake of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, a group of 12 writers, including novelist Salman Rushdie, signed a manifesto entitled Together facing the new totalitarianism in the French weekly satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, warning against the use of the term Islamophobia to prevent criticism of “Islamic totalitarianism”. Writing in the New Humanist, philosopher Piers Benn suggests that people who fear the rise of Islamophobia foster an environment “not intellectually or morally healthy”, to the point that what he calls “Islamophobia-phobia” can undermine “critical scrutiny of Islam as somehow impolite, or ignorant of the religion’s true nature.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamophobia#Commentary

  2. #2 Distant Observer
    September 25, 2017

    “Character development was thin and inconsistent; is Michael Burnham a hothead who recklessly acts out whenever she doesn’t get her way, as we’re shown, or is she a cold and logical Vulcan-like person, as we’re told?”
    I thought that was made clear from the flashback of her childhood experiences: it wasn’t going to be a binary either/or. Her Vulcan training will dominate, while she will possess triggers engendered by her traumatic experiences as a child.

    Unfortunately for her once triggered, her Vulcan training and logic dictate her action path.

  3. #3 eric
    September 25, 2017

    At “only” $5.99/month (for the “limited commercials” version – you pay even more for no commercials!) to get CBS on my little computer screen, I’m sadly passing on this show. Hopefully at some point they’ll offer it for free with commercials.

  4. #4 CFT
    September 25, 2017

    This experiment will be shortly lived. There is no reason to produce an expensive program if there is no sizeable audience that can view it to support such expense, and CBS is undercutting their own television brand by making the show exclusive. Expect to see it on other sites like Hulu or Netflix relatively soon, as almost all HBO and Showtime series eventually are.

  5. #5 PJ
    Perth, West Oz
    September 25, 2017

    Oh well, won’t be seeing that any time soon on FTA. For an extra $40, however, we can have access to netflix, or one of the other providers with our NBN plan, phone, etc. That brings a ‘cheap’ service up to ~$100/month. NOT likely in this home.
    🙁

  6. #6 Denier
    September 25, 2017

    The package CBS is offering is ridiculous. I have no problem paying for content and have subscriptions to just about everything, but I’m drawing the line here. Until they get more than one show worth watching and stop forcing me to watch commercials when I’m paying for a subscription, Star Trek: Discovery is going to continue to accidentally fall off the internet on to my Plex Server so I can watch it without commercials.

    It does seem to be an interesting show but I want to wait until after the next episode to get a better idea of where they are going with it. They haven’t yet introduced the Captain, or the ship, or most of the crew yet, but the season teaser shown after the second episode makes is look like the purpose of Discovery is to Discover the best way to kill aliens.

    I will say that I hope they don’t have dudes flying around in the Long Haul Space Suits. They’re like anime space suits where from the waist down it is skintight. The young, fit lead girl character donned one and she filled it out nicely. They even made sure to have a gratuitous butt shot to show off the actress’ stair climber work. If it were a dude in that suit all you’d see is a picture frame around his frank and beans, and nobody needs to see that.

    http://www.startrek.com/uploads/assets/articles/Insert-SF-Space-Suit.jpg

  7. #7 CFT
    September 25, 2017

    @Denier #5,
    I looked at the link to the picture you provided.
    That is one terribly designed space suit. You would be more likely than not to puncture your own suit with those ridiculous anime style finned shoulder pads which do NOTHING for functionality in a vacuum except provide serrated edges for the suit to wear and tear against. Lots of sharp edges are a serious no-no bad idea on a pressurized suit you would need to move around in. It also looks like the sadism of the corset and bustle has made a come back in the fashion of the future…I’m beginning to think women like hurting themselves with their clothes.

  8. #8 Denier
    September 26, 2017

    @CFT wrote:

    That is one terribly designed space suit.

    You’re just saying that because you haven’t see a cute girl in it. I kid. Objectifying women is bad. But seriously, in the scene leading up to the spacewalk the discussion on the bridge is something to the affect of:

    Cute Girl: We should go check out that thing in space hiding in the crazy asteroid field that just blasted a hole in our probe.

    Captain or Science guy (I forget which): But we don’t have a ship that can successfully navigate through all those rocks flying around in the crazy asteroid field.

    Cute Girl: No problem. I’ll just put on the skin tight space suit and fly out into the crazy asteroid field without a ship.

    Science Guy: There is enough radiation to cook her in 14 minutes and 23 seconds so be sure to have a countdown timer and we can’t rescue her because of the jamming field emanating from that thing that probably just shot a hole in our probe.

    Captain: Hurling yourself off into the crazy asteroids in a skin tight suit sounds like great idea Cute Girl but be sure to get back to resume your duties as second in command of this ship before your countdown timer runs out.

    The action sequence of her flying through the space rocks was visually nice to look at but you really need to turn your brain off to watch it.

  9. #9 CFT
    September 26, 2017

    @Denier,
    Hot women wearing revealing outfits on Star Trek is part of its foundational DNA since Gene Rodenberry “The Great Bird of the Galaxy” himself was particularly fond of scantily clad women in dominatrix situations (Gamesters of Triskelion is practically an S & M tribute in outer space), this is well known and documented.

  10. #10 Dunc
    September 26, 2017

    From the link:

    Why are they so unprepared for what they might encounter on, you know, a trek across the stars?

    This is hardly a new complaint. Every previous incarnation of the franchise has always insisted on teleporting its characters into insanely hostile or hazardous environments with no protection whatsoever. You’d think the Enterprise-D didn’t even have space suits prior to First Contact, based on the number of times they transported to planets with barely breathable atmospheres or onto crippled ships on the verge of structural collapse, wearing nothing more than their standard uniforms. Hell, they don’t even seem to have wet weather gear…

  11. #11 Sinisa Lazarek
    September 26, 2017

    OK, just watched both episodes.. so here are my two cents.. or three.

    One thing is clear… the first two episodes were more of an intro into this world (although they don’t show anything of either the klingon world and state of afairs or federation, only brief hints), then they are “get to know the crew” episodes. Sort of like game of thrones but on steroids.. ok, here are the characters, by the end of the 2nd episode most of them will die.. But in the sneak peak after 2ns episode you get to learn that the whole show will more or less revolve around Burnham and the war with klingons.

    Visually it’s gorgeous, and I’m very glad that there’s now a star trek without jj abrams messing it.

    As for the whole universe and timeline… I would like to think that the writers are considering an “early” federation. STTNG and DS9 IMO are “matured” federation. With all the things we came to love (or at least I came to love about ST). Things in the original series were much more rough, and outside of the movies, kirk and enterprise in the series wasn’t nearly as “moral” as Pickard was. Kirk basically got to kiss and make out with pretty females across the galaxy while doing some exploring. So I don’t mind that much that this timeline in discovery (before kirk) is even looser. And it might in the end give an explanation how klingons changed from how they are in discovery to how they looked in TNG (something to do with blowing up of their moon).

    Overall, it’s only in the next episodes that we are going to get to know the real crew that this series will follow. The plot needs to develop, characters as well, but I found this incarnation much more closer to home than JJ abram’s spin-offs and his “parallel” timeline. And I found it more pleasing then boring Janeway and voyager. So we’ll just wait and see. But I doubt this will get 7-8 seasons…

    As for pay-per-view… well… I would try searching youtube in couple of days/weeks… wink wink..

  12. #12 Denier
    September 26, 2017

    In @Ethan’s review he thought the Klingons reminded him of WWII Germans or Muslims, but I saw a very different and closer to home group.

    The Klingon Leader rose to prominance on his own but he got a ship from his father when he was younger. He chanted to Make Klingon Great Again Remain Klingon with other xenophobic sentiment and calls to past glory which resonated with social outcasts. The various clan leaders looked down on him for not being part of the establishment even though they all knew who he was as if he were famous, with one in the establishment saying he’d never support him. The issue of race was brought up and derision was directed at a token colored individual. Then he won his battle and the establishment fell in line behind him. I don’t think Muslims or Germans were where they were going with that.

  13. #13 Frank
    Omaha,NE
    September 26, 2017

    Something similar had happened with Klingons before. Later it was explained with a virus.

    I have respect for Abrams’ work. He made general audience version movies which had a much better chance to become successful blockbusters.

    Consider the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars for example. Which one is still keep producing blockbusters after decades and probably keep getting more and more popular because of it?

    Star Wars is scifi for general audience, Star Trek is not, so its success will probably always be limited (compared to Star Wars), unless whenever it is modified for general audience to create true blockbuster movies.

  14. #14 Frank
    Omaha,NE
    September 26, 2017

    Of course I am not suggesting Star Trek should be modified for general audience permanently. But sometimes it would not hurt like Abrams did for few movies.

  15. #15 Sinisa Lazarek
    September 26, 2017

    @ Denier
    ” Then he won his battle and the establishment fell in line behind him.”
    – and after couple of hours he was no more… the real world one is about weeks away from starting WW3

    @Frank
    I don’t mind Abrams in general as a director/producer. I was hooked on Fringe while it ran. What I do mind is that he did Star Trek.. well.. I would guess mostly for money and PR. He said on many occasions that he actually never liked Star Star trek. So you know… if that’s the case.. walk away, don’t ruin it for a legion of fans who actually do like Star Trek. I still cringe when I watch the first ST he did… with Nokia mobile phone and all that crap… only thing missing was a coca-cola dispenser in mess hall… makes me wanna puke.

    On the other hand, it’s interesting that George Lukas’ view of Star Wars is far far away from fans view. He never thought about it as deep or involving as the audience saw it. And the one that he did like and make as his vision (episode 1) was/is a complete disaster from fans point of view… jar jar binks wtf..and Hayden Christensen should never ever have played anything… let alone a main character… but that’s Lukas. And then he sold the whole franchise, because I think he realized that he just doesn’t “feel” his original creation.

  16. #16 CFT
    September 26, 2017

    @Sinsia Lazarek #15,
    George Lucas is a mediocre director, he has been for quite some time, as over the years he began to believe his own hype which is the worst thing a creative person can do. This also happened to Roddenberry, a great initial creative success early in his career which grew beyond their control and overshadowed all later accomplishments…which made both men very bitter. It hurts when your creation outgrows you..

  17. #17 Morley
    September 26, 2017

    Gene Roddenberry is rolling in his orbital grave.

  18. #18 Denier
    September 26, 2017

    @Sinisa Lazarek wrote:

    jar jar binks wtf

    I’m very much in the school that Lucas had a great idea with Jar Jar then chickened out and rewrote it out of the later movies. It is old news now but in case you’re unfamiliar with it, the idea was that Jar Jar Binks was a Sith Lord and his goofy persona echoed the goofy persona of Yoda during his introduction. There is a lot of evidence to support that idea both on screen, from the actor who voiced Jar Jar, and Lucas himself.

  19. #19 Elle H.C.
    September 26, 2017

    I like Jar Jar

  20. #20 Sinisa Lazarek
    September 27, 2017

    @ CFT

    Lucas certainly isn’t Kubrick but even the best directors had their flops here and there. IMO Lucas’ greatest gift to cinema is Industrial Light&Magic. Those guys always pushed the envelope of what can be done in terms of visuals and special effects, and they still do.

    @ Denier re: jar jar sith
    didn’t know about that one. Certainly would have been much more interesting instead of what he ended up being.

  21. #21 Steve Blackband
    September 27, 2017

    Disappointed so far – I fear Etahns WarTrek too. Please no.
    Try The Orville. The first and second are rough, but the third – a member of an all male race has a baby but its a girl, so he asks the doctor to change the baby sex. Classic Star Trek addressing transgender issues and theres a couple of twists from there I didn’t see coming. AND ITS FREE.

    Picky Points.
    Magnetic (or gravity) boots. Green when off, red when on? Shouldn’t it be the other way round. And why didn’t the boots light up when she landed on the Klingon ship?
     
    The sand sign: They are walking through strong winds, sand blowing around strong enough to blow her head gear away. Yet the footsteps in the sand stayed clean?
     
    If she stays in radiation for 20 minutes her DNA unravels like noodles but 19 is OK? (not a nanaosecond longer they said). Then when she gets over the limit they say ‘hang on’ for radiation poisoning?
      
    Concerned about shields. They seemed to have them but they didn’t show. If they have shields coulgnt they slowly push through the asteroid field? And when the ship was rammed why didn’t the shields kick in?
     
    New Klingon outfits look ungainly to fight in.
    (Why do the Star Wars guys where their white armor – they always got shot and die with one shot – and you can knock them out – seems useless).
     
    Screen filters on 100% but its still too bright? Its not a window is it. How about off?
      
    Sarek mind melded communication instantly over interstellar distances. Please no.
      
    They made the Klingons all sound dumb, loud, stupid. That’s not right!

  22. #22 Steve Blackband
    September 27, 2017

    Oh, and not keen on the new ship with the triangle midsection. Its a design suggested for the first Enterprise and Roddenberry rightly said no. Ugly.
    Overall, sick to death of prequelitus. Enterprise struggled.Caprica sucked. Don’t get me going on Prometheus…
    I want the next next generation – new stuff – new science – new challenges – new even more badass aliens – more species 8472 – barely touched those guys. The Federation going to Borg space. Wesley as an adult traveller. Dark matter beings. Gravity wave weapons. Its endless. Cummon guys!!!

  23. #23 Frank
    Omaha,NE
    September 27, 2017

    @Steve Blackband #22:
    I agree future timeline adventures would be much interesting.

    Imagine possible adventures if it is a time when humanity gained transwarp or quantum slipstream drive to go anywhere in the galaxy (all 4 quadrants).

    Later imagine another series where they use a ship like that timeship Relativity in a ST Voyager episode. For example there could be episodes where old captains or crew members could be visited in their future lives.

  24. #24 Sinisa Lazarek
    September 28, 2017

    Just found something interesting, and haven’t seen anyone here mention it.. so might be a nice surprise.

    The show is called The Orville. It is a parody on ST, but really good one. Started airing couple of weeks ago. It’s a top notch production, and the cast is nice, some familiar faces 🙂 Anyways, watched two episodes and it really is funny. So, if you can, give it a chance.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5691552/?ref_=nv_sr_1

  25. #25 Sinisa Lazarek
    September 28, 2017

    Maybe a word “parody” wasn’t a good choice now that I’ve watched more episodes. It is comedy, but it’s more a tribute then a parody. In some ways (most ways) it captures the spirit of ST more IMO then what CBS is doing at the same time. I almost wish that it wasn’t a comedy so much and that this entire team (production crew, cast, everyone) was given the actual ropes to do a real ST. I find myself much more drawn to them then the characters of Discovery.

  26. #26 Sinisa Lazarek
    September 28, 2017

    I just saw that Steve in #21 mentioned Orville. 🙂 I didn’t see it, my bad.. so much for calling dibs 😉

  27. #27 Steve Blackband
    September 28, 2017

    Glad you liked it too. Seth is clearly in dork heaven!

    I think Star Trek has to be braver and leading, as it was. Ethan was right about his 5 things it did to make us care (eventually) – episodes exploring the human condition. It was done earlier in Doctor Who, but ST Americanized it. And it grew – working in cliff hanger endings, and eventually story arcs over a season. The problem is lots of other shows have done this now – Battlestar, Firefly etc. Time to forge a new path, or at least do it better..

  28. #28 Adam
    September 29, 2017

    Well, I finally watched the first two episodes, and it was enjoyable, but I found a lot to be disappointed about. They appear to have split up the series into sections, and the first two episodes were the ‘intro’ section. It looks like the next section will have a mostly different cast and a completely different feel. Plus, they killed off the Captain they just introduced, and she was the best character so far! It’s just like the anime ‘Outlaw Star’, where they switched gears so hard it turns into a completely different show.

    In fact, I’ve seen this show before! It was the first few minutes of Deep Space Nine. That’s all you need for an intro. What did we really learn so far?

    1: We’re a decade or so before the original series, and the Klingons are our enemies.

    2: The main character, Michael, has instantaneous mental communication with Sarek. Since we already have instantaneous subspace communications, that must mean that later in the series they lose regular communications, and she’s the only one who has a line back home.

    3: Michael is in jail, because she’s a mutineer and a murderer.

    What else?

    Michael is super smart, but really so is everyone else in the Star Trek universe.

    Technology is unreliable: Scanners don’t work right for no good reason, memory gets corrupted for no good reason, you can argue with the jail computer, and the computers don’t include any records of prior tactical encounters with the Klingons.

    Things I didn’t like:

    Making a Trek symbol in the sand to summon their ship. How could the ship see it through the clouds? If the clouds weren’t in the way, couldn’t they have just used a flashlight?

    Making the Klingons weak. You have to make an enemy strong before you weaken them. For example, Worf was shown to be very strong in TNG for the express purpose of setting him up as a punching bag to showcase the strength of the enemy of the week. The first time we see a Klingon here, in full space armor, what happens? He pulls out his extremely puffy version of a battleth, an already ridiculous, difficult to hold, double ended weapon, and accidentally stabs himself with it when Michael crashes into him. (Also, what was his armor made from, styrofoam?) Next, we have a flashback where the Klingon leader is beaten as a child, not a ringing endorsement of his battle prowess. Finally, we have two one on one battles between the two named Klingons and Michael and the Captain… They’re evenly matched, and they bring out some cool moves, but we don’t have anything to compare the fight to. Long story short, though, there’s no reason the Federation away party couldn’t have included a dozen or so phaser wielding security goons.

    Michael’s space walk: She was given a 19 minute safety window for being in that region of space, so why did they expose her to space first, then waste a minute or so doing flight checks? Close the door, you’re letting the radiation in!

    The space suit: It seems like big glass domes and chain mail would be pretty terrible protection against space hazards like super fast pebbles and alien piercing weapons. The best hand to hand space battle I ever read in a scifi book was a fencing match between two swordsman attempting to pierce the other’s space suit, leaving the loser venting air into space.

    Plot: The main Klingon guy seemed to be using the Klingon who stabbed himself as an impetus to start a war, but he never mentioned that guy when all the other Klingons showed up.

    Abrams: There in spirit, you could tell by all the lens flares, and how there’s very little distance between any two points in the Federation… you can get anywhere you want in a few hours, max.

    How it contradicted books that I enjoyed: Specifically, Start Trek: The Final Reflection and Spock’s World. Final Reflection revealed that Vulcans and Klingons knew of each other but were so far apart spatially, and ships were so slow back then, that they never came into direct conflict. Instead, individual Vulcans would visit Klingon space, offering themselves up as servant-advisors so that they could study the region. Spock’s World revealed that all Vulcan mind techniques are short range because all of those with long range abilities were killed off! Instead, we’ve got mostly pacifistic Vulcans shooting first, and limitless soul transfer.

    Also, Vulcans can now use pieces of their soul to bring people back to life?

    Finally, I didn’t like the mutinous back and forth between Michael and the Captain. First, Michael ‘kills’ the Klingon, but doesn’t get in trouble for that. Then, Sarek tells her that Vulcans avoid war with Klingons by taking the first shot against them (again, something they evidently haven’t shared with the Federation at large), she blurts that out to the Captain without revealing the source, gets shut down, doubles down, get’s taken out back for a verbal smack down, then Michael gives the Captain a weak Vulcan Nerve Pinch and starts to shoot the Klingon ship with photon torpedoes, going so far as to give the order to fire (to the slowest reacting bridge officer ever), then the Captain throws her in the brig! But then… it turns out that she was right, and no one acknowledges that at all. Her section is blown up, and the bridge crew note that and look sad, which I guess is why when Michael shows up later, they don’t immediately stun her. So, now they’re on speaking terms again, and they’re on board with fighting, so the formerly pacifistic Captain decides to commit a war crime and booby trap the body of a fallen Klingon! Finally, after infiltrating the damaged Klingon ship, they both lose their phasers (why not bring two?), the Captain gets fatally stabbed, and Michael straight up murders the head Klingon. I think my biggest beef with all this is that both the Captain and Michael were acting against their hastily established charaters… The pacifistic Captain went from ‘let’s talk it out’ to ‘war crime’ way too fast (they could have just started beaming their bombs directly onto the ship!) and Michael, shown to be logical and good but hotheaded when it comes to Klingons, coolly decides to murder the head Klingon instead of stunning him, only getting really emotional when they can’t retrieve the Captain’s body.

    Missed opportunities:

    It would have been nice to have had a decent hand to hand space battle between Michael and the first Klingon. It would have been cool, plus established their respective fighting abilities.

    By all indications, the Klingons were just hanging out by the beacon for a while, not doing anything special, yet they somehow devised the Cloaking Device? Why didn’t the Federation people think of targeting that?

    It would have been nice – and logical – for Sarek to give Michael some information that was actually useful, given the current circumstances, and given that he’s already an experienced diplomat.

    I’m still interested in watching more, for now. I stopped watching Enterprise when it got too bad, and I hope that doesn’t happen with this show!

  29. #29 Frank
    Omaha,NE
    September 29, 2017

    I found both ST Discovery and The Orville enjoyable.

    Of course there are lots of things could be improved but I think similar issues were present also in other ST shows/movies before. Hopefully they would listen the fans in the future. It is especially easy today for the writers/executives to find out what fans thinking about any show/movie . There is no excuse.

  30. #30 Denier
    September 30, 2017

    @Adam wrote:

    Michael is super smart, but really so is everyone else in the Star Trek universe.

    Michael is completely incompetent and arrogant. In the opening sequence she can’t figure out that they haven’t walked in a circle. She pointlessly puts herself in a position where she can be attacked then accidentally kills the sentry. She thinks telling her commanding officer, the Captain of the ship, to shut up and follow her plan without further question in front of the whole bridge crew is a good idea. She tries to commit a mutiny but is so inept the Captains doesn’t stay knocked out. At a time where battle is imminent she distracts the entire bridge crew so they’re not paying attention to the enemy. She’s a moron. Yes the writers had plenty of other characters voicing how smart and great she was but they seem almost nonsensical when you see her do one idiotic thing after another for 2 straight episodes.

  31. #31 Steve Blackband
    September 30, 2017

    Denier thats hilarious – you cracked me up.

    As to the footsteps making the logo, imagine how hard it would be to walk and make that shape to almost perfection at that size, in a storm. And there are two abrupt more than right turns at the points that Micheal didn’t notice – she should be yelling why are we going backwards?. I have enough trouble drawing that shape any good by hand – try it and see if you can do it first time. Plus I think I can see the foot tracks leading up to the shape but I am not sure – does that mean they walked away from it over the same tracks they walked in on?

    As to the Vulcan nerve pinch I was of the opinion humans couldn’t do it – don’t care how much training they get. But I was wrong. If These guys can do it why can’t everyone – seems pretty darned useful – Kirk wanted to know how but couldn’t – but he’s a superhero!!

    From Wiki.
    Since Spock, various other characters in the Star Trek spin-offs have used the technique; however, the fact that some of these have included non-Vulcan characters creates some confusion about the above explanation as to how the nerve pinch is achieved – likely among writers and production-staff, since in the episode “The Omega Glory” Kirk tells Spock “Pity you can’t teach me that” (i.e. the Vulcan Nerve Pinch), and Spock replies “I have tried, Captain.” The first non-Vulcan was the android Data,[4] followed by the Changeling Odo,[5] Voyager’s holographic Doctor,[6] and the humans Jean-Luc Picard,[7] Seven of Nine,[8] and Jonathan Archer[9] (though Archer was carrying the katra of the ancient Vulcan Surak at the time). In the prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise T’Pol uses it in the 4th episode of the first season (“Strange New World”) on Travis Mayweather, to calm him down. Other examples of its use in that series include incapacitating Dr. Phlox before he can lobotomize Travis Mayweather in the 2nd season episode “Singularity”, and again in the 3rd season episode “Carpenter Street”, on the kidnapper Loomis to stop him escaping from his apartment.

    Some humans, however, have been unable to use the nerve pinch. When Dr. McCoy was in possession of Spock’s katra he was unable to use the nerve pinch despite also being a doctor of great skill. This was partially due to McCoy’s arthritis at the time.

    The nerve pinch has been used on Vulcans and the vulcanoid Romulans several times, showing that neither race is immune to the technique.[4][6][8][9]

  32. #32 Steve Blackband
    September 30, 2017

    And yes time will tell if CBS allows it – still smarting from the way too early cancellation of Firefly which was so brilliant I didn’t get it at first. The guns/cowboys in space put me off. By hey, if hand held energy weapons turn out to be impractical, well, what else would they use? The characters were fantastic.

    Go back and watch the first few episode of STTNG – they were dreadful! Especially the first one with the giant blue and pink (really, blue for a boy pink for a girl) space-jellyfish sooo in lurveeee. Holding tentacles (yes, no autocorrect – I meant tenticles) in space and everybody gooey-eyed. Yuk.
    And DP9 I never liked. Mistake to make it stationary. Horrible sleazy characters that were no fun, especially Chief O’Brians incredible whinny wife. Only a few half decent episodes – the going back in time to ST was delightful. And all that religious mumbo bull crap and spirits living in a wornhole – no Gods please (unless they turn out to be false) – keep my Star Trek pure!
    Remember:
    Star Wars is for kids, and the kid in you.
    Star Trek is for grownups (and the kid in you)!!

  33. #33 Steve Blackband
    September 30, 2017

    Yeoh was OK as a Captain, but her voice had no power and wasn’t convincing.

    So I have a great idea – lets petition – I want THIS guy for captain!! Imagine him addressing Starlet Academy! He could use almost exactly this speech. *If you squint he looks a bit like Archer, but convincing).

    http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2017/09/29/jay-silveria-air-force-academy-cadets-full.youtube-usafaofficial

  34. #34 Steve Blackband
    September 30, 2017

    Admiral Silveria, addressing Starfleet Academy.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, Some of you may have heard that some people down in Starfleet’s prep school wrote some racial slurs on some message boards. If you havn’t heard that, I wanted you to hear it from me.
    If you’re outraged by those words, then you’re in the right place. That kind of behavior has no place at the prep school, it has no place at Starfleet Academy, and it has no place in Starfleet. You should be outraged not only as Starfleet personnel, but as a being. And I will tell you that the appropriate response for horrible language, and horrible ides, the appropriate response is a better idea. So that’s why I am here. That’s why all these beings are here on the staff tower.
    So let me have everybody who’s up here please pull forward to the rails. Also, there are so many beings here they are lining the outsides along the windows. These are members of the faculty, flight staff, commanding officers, officers in training, from the space stations, and the staff from my command office. All aspects of the moon Starfleet wing, all aspects that make up UFOP, and Starfleet Academy. Leadership is here. You heard from Captain Picard. Vice Admiral Janeway is here. Commander Riker from the Enterprise is here. Admiral Whatley is in Washington DC right now.
    That’s why they’re here. That’s why we’re all here, because we have a better idea. Some of you may think that that happened down in the prep school and doesn’t apply to us. I would be naïve and we would all be naïve to think that everything is perfect here. We would be naïve to think that we shouldn’t discuss this topic. We would also be tone deaf not to think about the backdrop of what’s going on in the Federation. Things like Khitomer and Romulus, the protests on Deep Space Nine. That’s why we have a better idea. One of those ideas, Admiral Spock brought people together at Khitomer, because what we should have is a civil discourse, and talk about these issues. That’s a better idea.
    We received outstanding feedback from that session at Khitomer. But I also have a better idea. And it’s about our diversity. And it’s the power of the diversity, the power of the four thousand of you, and all of the beings that are on the staff tower, and lining the transparent aluminum, the power of us as a diverse group. The power that we come from all walks of life, The power that we come from all parts of the Federation, the power that we come from all races, we come from all backgrounds, gender, all make-up, all upbringing. The power of that diversity comes together and makes up that much more powerful. That’s a much better idea than small thinking and horrible ideas.
    We have an opportunity here – fifty-five hundred beings in this room, to think about what we are as the Federation. This is our Federation, and no one can take away our values. No one can write on a board and question our values. No one can take that away from us. So just in case you’re unclear where I stand on this topic, I want to leave you with my most important thought today.
    If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you can’t treat someone from another gender, whether that’s a man or a woman or any other sexuality, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out. And if you can’t treat someone from another race or species or different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.
    Reach for your tricorders.
    I’m serious – reach for your tricorders.
    OK you don’t have to reach for your tricorders – I’m going to give you an opportunity to reach for your tricorders. Grab your tricorders – I want you to record this so you have it. So that you can use it. So that we all have the moral courage together. All of us in the staff tower, lining the transparent aluminum, all of us in this room. This is our Federation. And if you need it, and you need my words, then you keep these words. And you use them and you remember them.
    You share them, and you talk about them.
    If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.”

  35. #35 Sinisa Lazarek
    September 30, 2017

    “Go back and watch the first few episode of STTNG – they were dreadful! ”

    Sadly, true… it took a while before they all got into it. But, first episodes had Q! 🙂 Can’t beat that! heheh… Temper temper, mon capitan!

    On a sidenote.. ep.4 of Orville has Liam Neeson and Robert Knepper! 🙂 Just keeps surprising me in all the good ways.

  36. #36 Denier
    September 30, 2017

    @Steve Blackband wrote:

    Yeoh was OK as a Captain, but her voice had no power and wasn’t convincing.

    I’m not sure if the writers intended it, but Yeoh’s character more than any other, shows how awful the Federation is. They were supposedly there to study and explore and help thirsty natives get some water. Total garbage.

    The Klingon empire is an ancient one. They’ve had warp technology for over a thousand years. That binary star system was in their territory before humans built their first flying machine and had ancient artifacts there to prove it.

    The Federation “science” vessel is doing the science of securing a formerly Klingon territory while armed to the teeth. If all that wasn’t bad enough, Yeoh decides to commit the war crime of boobytrapping the enemy’s dead.

    Acts that would land you in the Hague today are apparently OK in the expansionist Federation’s effort to expand their science exploration territory.

  37. #37 Another Commenter
    September 30, 2017

  38. #38 Adam
    October 2, 2017

    @ Denier

    Totally agree. Michael is book smart, with her Vulcan Science Academy education, but is ridiculously short of real world experience and common sense, and has a known rage trigger. She should never have been considered for command of any kind, and it is not logical that Sarek sent her to Star Fleet while in possession of this knowledge.