Starts With A Bang

Star Trek: Discovery Analysis And Recap: Season 1, Episodes 1-2 (Synopsis)

In an action-packed first two episodes, Captain Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) and Commander Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) have the fight of their lives in the debut of Star Trek: Discovery. Image credit: Jan Thijs/CBS © 2017 CBS Interactive.

“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!