Star Trek is coming back to the small screen and with some reserved applause. The show looks great so why should fans be skeptical? It has great stars, rich production, and is co-created by Bryan Fuller who has had a decent career. The one element that is worrisome is the name, Alex Kurtzman. He is listed as one of the co-creators and that alone puts this show off on the wrong foot. The recent Star Trek movies have had mixed results and it is mostly due to the writing by him and Robert Orsi. They are both known to write screenplays that cater to spectacle and that emphasis took away from the science fiction elements that should have been the focus of the movies. Though he is still one name and television is a collaborative effort.
The trailer tells us a couple of things like how it is a prequel. It is apparently taking place 10 years before the famous Captain Kirk and his crew depart on their mission. We first see Michelle Yeoh portraying captain Georgiou and telling officerMichael Burnham played by Sonequa Martin-Green that she will be a captain herself. There are a couple more plot points revealed like the character drama of Martin-Green and a conflict between the Federation and the Klingons.
Wow, this show is pretty. Television has definitely gotten better on the technical side through the years but this show really raises the bar. It looks like it could be in theaters or in the least a premium cable show. Aside from the odd use of lens flares that’s carry over from the movies, the production is well-executed on all sides. From the make-up to the effects and sets, everything is polished. The make-up on Doug Jones is definitely the standout and it is nice to see him acting again. (We can just forget about Bye Bye Man.)
Unfortunately, there are some issues that can already be inferred from the trailer. The story is a prequel so that automatically gets an eye roll. Prequels by their very nature are boring because we already know what happens so the long-term stakes are gone. We also run into that unfortunate possibility of the cliched fanservice. (Let’s see Spock or Kirk as young cadets.)
The background of the show is worrisome but the trailer conveys potential. It could bring back that great classic sci-fi where it asks the audience to think critically about society and progress. It can also have those great character moments and action that made Star Trek memorable.
Star Trek: Discovery will be coming this fall to CBS All-Access and Netflix.