The first season of Star Trek Discovery is done. It’s in the books and while it will be met with mixed reviews among Star Trek fans, I freely admit that my skepticism was unfounded. I don’t think it’s perfect and I don’t think it beats Star Trek The Next Generation or even the original series, but I do think this is one of the best Star Trek series ever created and we finally needed a dark storyline especially with the Starfleet Federation to show us what they would become from learning from the past.
I understand the criticism. This is certainly a very different Star Trek than we’re used to, but I do feel like some of the complaints are unwarranted. Sure, the Klingons look horrible in this series and it is one of the downfalls that keep it from being perfect. The uniforms are certainly not some of the best Star Trek uniforms we’ve seen, but that might be minor nerd nitpicking… the strength of any Star Trek series has always been the storytelling. And the best storytelling is a crew facing insurmountable obstacles and finding a way to survive and come out on top by using the principles of Starfleet, especially in the face of violating the prime directive all the time. The true strength of Star Trek Discovery has been the narrative where there are consequences to all of our actions and if we are granted the second chance, what principles will we live by especially when we are tested time and time again. That has been the ongoing narratives with its main protagonist Michael Burnham, she commits Mutiny to help save her ship only to have her Captain get killed and then get that second chance aboard an advanced Starship with the most advanced warp drive capability. Her struggle is something that we have rarely seen can a Star Trek character, especially after one sees it. We get glimpses of it in past Star Trek series like Next Generation with Picard being assimilated by the Borg or Spock defying Starfleet to help rescue Captain Pike and thus facing court-martial. Like I said, this is the darkest storyline we’ve ever seen in a Star Trek is that it is from the storyline that help Define the principles of Starfleet that we would later see in the original series and The next Generation.
Then you really turn it on its head when your ship ends up into a parallel universe where there is no Starfleet and the people that you know are tyrants void of humanity, especially your captain after you find out that he’s from a parallel universe and not from yours. Honestly, I never saw that storyline coming, it’s only been explored a couple of times and other series like with Captain Kirk and the alternate version of him who was more of a tyrant than a good captain. What makes the storyline great in Star Trek Discovery is that there is no black and white when it comes to dealing with the alternate versions of yourself or your colleagues and that you have to learn to deal with the good with the bad for the end result. Episodes 10 through 13 that really deal with the alternate universe and how to survive, we’re really the strongest part of this season They really were my favorites. All the episodes were good and it really led to the best and worst versions of our characters. I’m glad they brought back the first captain mostly because it’s such a waste with a great actress like Michelle Yeoh if you only have her in for a few episodes and then have to use her in the other universe to help end your War. There’s very many shades of gray with these characters as the help build the principles of Starfleet and these aren’t the Commander’s were used to, which is fantastic because of all you’re going to do is copy the same old formula that we’ve seen in Star Trek and you really don’t have any great storytelling, you just have nostalgia and what’s the fun in that.
Other than the alternate universe episodes, I love the episodes with Harry Mudd and kudos to Raine Wilson who did a very good job. I definitely hope we see him again. But if we can look at the first season solely based on the pilot and then the season finale you have two great bookends with the crew of Discovery coming full circle. And I absolutely love the fact that Commander Michael Burnham gets another opportunity and can overcome mutiny. I think that’s one of the great principles of Starfleet that there are second chances if you work hard enough and don’t squander the opportunity. It’s definitely been a reoccurring theme because in all honesty Captain Kirk should probably not have kept his command many times being the Maverick captain that he was. What I enjoyed about the season finale is you really get to the Crocs of what makes Starfleet great and living by those principles because when faced with the possibility of committing genocide to end the war, it is your commander who committed the Mutiny who really exemplifies what those principles are by taking a stand again and holding the mirror to her superiors and saying this is not Who We Are. If there is an organization That Should Be The Shining Beacon are the universe, then it is Starfleet it shows us what we can be despite all of our faults. That’s always been one of the main narratives of Star Trek and the season finale definitely showed that because the right thing to do is never the easy, even when committing genocide, which might seem for the greater good and can stop a war. The season finale ended the way that it should with the crew despite everything they have been through remembering at the heart what the principles of Starfleet are and living by those standards. And I’ll admit that I got a few Goosebumps at the very end when they received a distress call from Captain Pike and the Enterprise so to tie into Starship was nice.
Overall, I think the first season of Star Trek Discovery was fantastic. Yes, it’s different and it may take some getting used to compare to other Star Trek series, but that’s okay. It’s not perfect and there are things that do bother me as a Star Trek fan. I’ll never give over the Klingons looking like they do, but we’ve seen the Klingons dramatically change from series to series so maybe there’s a storyline how why they look like they do. I’m still not crazy about the uniforms, but at least they’re not as bad as the ones of the Star Trek Trek Motion Picture…. now those were awful. What Star Trek Discovery is definitely one of the best series created and we certainly needed a Dark Star Trek series, if nothing else could help explain why they don’t do certain things anymore. We needed a series that deals with the realities of War and Mutiny. We needed a Star Trek series that was different from what we’ve seen before, especially one with a good strong narrative. Star Trek Discovery may not be what we’re used to, but I do think that’s a good thing and it doesn’t mean that it’s bad. I still maintain that Star Trek Enterprise as a series was pretty damn good because it dealt with a crew being tested time and time again to remember why they were out there in space and lived by the principles of Starfleet. Star Trek Discovery as all of that as well as the humor that we love in Star Trek. So to those who criticize and wanted something like they’ve seen before then I would add that you missed the point of Star Trek discovery I need to remember that just because Starfleet is about exploration and peace doesn’t mean that we don’t deal with war and dark storylines. It’s those things that make every ship in Starfleet better, especially with the characters that we have grown up with. While not every episode is superb, overall I think the series is good and definitely can’t wait for season 2. If You’re a Star Trek fan then it’s worth watching.