December 18, 2018 at 12:11 pm #5090
With a month and change to go before the second season of Star Trek Discovery, it seems time to start a thread.
But time has shown that us Trekies don’t play well when discussing Discovery. So we need two threads on the show.
This is the Criticism Thread.
If you hated Discovery and want to discuss problems you have with the series, this is the place to post. If you liked it but still want to complain about Lorca’s character arc or the Klingon makeup, then this is also the place.
If you loved the show and don’t like it being criticised… that’s okay, just go to the other thread and ignore this one. You can absolutely disagree and debate problems with the show here. But if your entire post is entirely a defence of the show or rebuttal of other people’s complaints, then your post really belongs in the other thread.December 18, 2018 at 1:21 pm #5092
I think it’s safe to say that Discovery had a rough development, with a tonne of executive meddling and staff turnover.
This probably did not help the final product.
You ended up with big changes like the Spore Activated Displacement Drive. Which was apparently meant to be a terraforming device in the original plan.
And then led to some phenomenally bad junk science. And boy howdy did Discovery have some junk science with its lines about macroscopic spores being the source of all life AND the building blocks of energy. Or biology and physics being indistinguishable at a certain level. And how the Paraelemental Plane of Spores was somehow necessary for all life and a Mirror Universe engine powered by it was threatening all life in every universe. Wha…???
And the overall theme of the show. The climax of the season and Burnham’s character arc was finding a way to end a war without violence. Finding another solution that led to peace.
Which is basically something assumed by every other instance of Star Trek. It ends where every other show started. The entire season was having a lieutenant commander get to the place every other Starfleet cadet has started and justifying Starfleet’s beliefs. Because, apparently, we in the modern world need to be sold on utopia.
But the most problematic aspect of the show was Lorca.
I half liked what they were doing with Lorca. The (literally) tortured PTSD captain that was determined to win the war at any cost, even if it meant committing war crimes such as torturing an innocent creature to the brink of death. And doing dark actions like leaving a civilian in an enemy POW camp to be tortured because he was mean to you in order to escape with an obvious spy.
It would be interesting to have Lorca forced to look at his actions after and try and reconcile them with the end results. To have him question what he had done and the cost and then live with that or even try and atone. That’s interesting.
But instead they just made him evil.
They took the easy way out. The way with the least story potential and the least fallout, while also absolving themselves of having a “fallen officer” or having to justify the messiness of a protagonist making the mistakes he did.December 20, 2018 at 8:44 am #5202
Yeah, Lorca was a wasted opportunity IMO. I was really looking forward to him being a fleshed out Jellico style officer that wouldn’t be limited to a single episode or two parter guest star. What makes it even worse for me is that they chose to waste him on making a political statement about the 2016 US presidential election. I consume scifi media (games, books, movies, shows) to escape the real world, not to rehash it. YMMV. The acting/characters (with the noticeable exception of Michael Burnham) was the only thing that I more enjoyed about DISCO than disliked and they killed off half the characters I was most interested in (Lorca and Culber dead, Tilly and Saru still alive).
As for Burham’s character arc, the less said the better. Now I fully admit that main characters in trek get away with things that would typically result in jail time (like punching Starfleet personnel and stealing a ship for example) but treason resulting in the direct death of thousands and the indirect deaths of tens of millions in the subsequent war leading to only a 6 month prison sentence? I can’t suspend my disbelief that much. There has to be some semblance of common sense even in a show about spaceships powered by mushrooms.January 19, 2019 at 10:53 pm #5675
After being so hard on the series in season one, I quite enjoyed the first episode of season 2.
My wife was pretty critical during the episode (questioning how they planned to get back to the Discovery from the crashed ship and wondering where the pattern enhancers were, being unhappy with the idea of them recasting Spock, and the general reliance on SFX action. Some of these were kinda addressed (the red shirt was visibly carrying the pattern enhancers), but others were not.
The big distracting aspect of the episode was the spectacle. This show has a budget and really, really wants to show it off. An over extended race through comedically dangerous asteroids with needlessly spinning ships. A massive cargo bay exploding and collapsing and shaking in a quake.
I know past Star Trek shows didn’t do that kind of thing in large part because they didn’t have the budget. But they also didn’t really try; the series has always been more about the story and less about the spectacle. And they seem to be letting the idea of spectacle and flashing SFX take over, using big fancy CGI even when not necessary.
For example… did we need the folding space suits? How is that a good idea? (Especially as Pike’s suit showed why that was a bad design.)
And the ridiculous asteroid catching gravity trap that starts out small and unfolds into this massive machine… How the eff does that work? Did it’s density change? Did it go from as heavy as lead to as light as aluminium? That served ZERO purpose on the show when they could have just been assembling the big device. The big CGI unfolding was just SFX for the masturbatory sake of having more SFX. Like they had a quota of shots to meet.
One thing that really hurt the show for me was actually the opening monologue. Stories of the milky way told in Africa a thousand centuries ago. Yeah… that’s 100,000 years. Okay, sure, that’s within the lifetime of humanity. But it’s 92,000 years BEFORE the earliest known writing.
C’mon. Check the numbers. It takes 2 minutes on Wikipedia…
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