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Sparty on the New Star Trek

Posted September 26, 2017 into Telly by John Birmingham

I watched both eps last night and I have some thoughts. But Sparty sent me his recap before I could get them down. So we'll go with his.

Spoilers below so don’t read until after you’ve watched first two eps of Discovery









Discovery notes (Which I wish could be as funny as Girl Clumsy, but I don’t have it in me).

Poor Bill Shatner, must have been rolling in his Captains chair (don’t tell me he doesn’t have one somewhere). CBS go all the way to Jordan to film a throw away opening scene on a god damn TV budget, while Star Trek V – a major motion picture still had to do with a polystyrene rock monster…

Cue Credits where we see that the producers took Gene Roddenberry’s original brief that Star Trek be “Wagon Train to the stars”, a western in space, so literally that they just reused the Westworld title sequence with a bit of added Technical Drawing (UK speak for draughtsman’s sketches).

Take a ways from the credits – there are more Executive Producers than alternate time line NCC1701-D Enterprises from the ST:TNG episode Parallels (but one is an original timeline Roddenberry which is good).

An area where perhaps they should have copied A Game of Chairs would have been in casting spoilers. Was Ned Stark credited as “a very special guest star who will not be with us very long”, nope and neither should Crouching Tiger. (Yes I know Michelle Yeoh has had other parts and shouldn’t be defined by an ethic focused part - but on the other hand she pretended to be a Japanese Geisha, which is like saying just anyone can play a Klingon. (David Warner I am looking at you). But back to the good – we certainly were treated as Trekkies (Trekkers just feels a little bit like Alt Right - a made up name to make something more respectable) - Sarek appears and no need to Xposite that he’s a Vulcan with some pretty big political heft although George Michael Jnr does do some pretty heavy mid mission Xposition briefing to her Captain, who clearly takes the Donald J approach to paying attention to critical information.

Anyhow a few (buried under some pretty damn good latex) cultural analogies later Sasha goes full Jyn Erso and rebels (BSG took four seasons for that to brew and they didn’t even have indoor toilets on the Galactica) and Big Space Fight happens. I’d describe it but I doubt the script writer did, so why should I?

Another take away, the Klingons only respond to power etc, so maybe the way to fight Kim Jong is with our own big trousered idiot and they’ll respect us - wow I get it- Startrek is about NOW….

I’d go on, but to be honest I’m still no closer after the pilot (but was it a pilot?, with damn near 1000 eps of Startrek of one form or another out there, I guess not) to understanding what sort of show BattleTrek Orville is actually going to be. Third episode should show that. It’s usually the one where the crew act completely opposite to their personalities cause the best way for the audience to know what someone is , is to see what they are not (trade Mark Mid-eighties US TV writers bible).

Oh and the second officer played by the X-files cigarette smoking man was great and will hopefully transfer to Orville if CBS can Discovery….

Damn who am I kidding, I enjoyed everything – it WAS Star Trek – back on telly where it belongs and while not perfect did not make the Aliens 3 / Terminator 3+ / JJ films mistake of somehow reducing what has come before. Did you see the command pips on their uniform badges, subtle department coloring, and proper looking phasers!!!

Oh Discovery you had me at the Starfleet Delta in the sand…….

10 Responses to ‘Sparty on the New Star Trek’

Barnesm mutters...

Posted September 26, 2017
Good wrap up.
I want to watch more of this series. I'm a fan of Trek so that was never going to be in doubt. Did I think its the greatest trek ever, no! But did it set my soul ablaze, also No. But I was entertained, interested in the characters and enjoying the callbacks to the old series. I agree it avoids many of the pitfalls of recent reboots. I love the Battletrek Orrville nickname. If anyone who wants to judge it too harshly before commenting do you honestly remember the first couple of series of Star Trek: The next generation or Deep Space Nine? Tell me it's worse than some of their earlier episodes?

Sparty swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 26, 2017
You’re right – has anyone here ever watched even rewatched clip of the first season of TNG or Nine other than Data saying he can pleasure in the bedroom or Sisko at Wolf 259? This first season will be so far ahead pf those first seasons.

The Orville was interesting because its third episode was as late seasons TNG Trek as anything could be. A cultural interference dilemma along the lines of Riker falling in love with LGBT community and Worf asking for assistant suicide, directed by Braga and the music , even the beat tempo of the script. I’m sure CBS could have killed the series long ago if they had felt the need so it’s clear that they are going in a very different direction – and also now very clear why they had to kill “Prelude to Axanar” (which given the behaviour of the guy running it, was probably justified). I’d certainly recommend giving Orville a go to anyone with an interest in Trek.
And the new Trek as Spock often says, is “open to possibilities” – imagine if Garth of Izar turned up to rescue the Shinzhou in a Constitution class, instead of Admiral Mansplainer getting Shinzoned, or Kor and Kang go to war against the house of Duras…….

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted October 4, 2017
I am still hanging out for the TV series of Scalzi's Red Shirts based on his book.

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted September 26, 2017
I very much enjoyed it in spite of a few basic flaws. There's a lot of starchy exposition to chew through in the first 15 minutes and the camaraderie between Burnham and Captain Tiger Lady felt a little forced. But go back and watch every series of Star Trek ever and you'll find the same thing. Often much worse.
This series looks like it will really benefit from the lessons of the new Golden Age of television. (Remember how Orin told us nobody would pay for this stuff?). But also from the streaming play that CBS is making by locking it up behind a paywall. They need to give people a reason to pay for this, so we got a cinema worthy cast and production values.
I want to watch it again before commenting at length, but I like what I see so far.
One bowl of claim chowder I have to eat, the only culture war push back I've seen so far is a writer in the LA Times complaining that the portrayal of the Klingons is deeply racist.

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Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted September 27, 2017
Frankly, I thought it was utter crap. I skipped the first episode based on the crappy reviews and moved onto the second.

My thoughts?

Vulcans again?

The Klingons sound like they just started talking yesterday. It is almost like some very sad, racist dare I say it, parody of previous depictions of American Indians in movies.

This white haired prick of an Admiral who was around for all of about five minutes NEEDED killing. I think I would have killed him anyway even if I wanted peace just to make a point.

The ships don't look right, or even impressive. The explodey was not quite satisfying and the SFXs were crap as well.

I consider myself a pretty big Star Trek fan. I've watched them all, even ground my way through the disappointment that was Enterprise.

Now this crap.

I unsubscribed from their service this morning. I won't waste another minute of my time, or dime for that matter.

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Dave W mutters...

Posted October 11, 2017
I'd just like to say that I haven't watch this or any other star trek. I claim no reason but that it just never caught my fancy. But I thought that Mr Murphy's screed here was most excellent and I'm disappointed that no one else has thought it worthy of comment.

Especially the "white haired prick of an Admiral" who "NEEDED killing".

Kudos to you, sir.

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Dick is gonna tell you...

Posted October 12, 2017
Agree Dave. Excellent rant by Murph. I was going to respond to Murph with a "tell us what you really think" but given the tone of his post thought I might get a heated response.

Murphy_of_Missouri mutters...

Posted October 25, 2017
STD sucks.

But then, STDS always suck.

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Sparty reckons...

Posted October 12, 2017
When TNG came out I hated the look of 1701-D and some silly early CGI space ships, spandex one piece uniforms looked shit, phaser design awful and what was it with an english accented frenchmen and a kid on the bridge? EVERY episode had a A and a B story and i watched the first season on word from the US that "it gets better". well it did by the 42nd episode. I'd give discovery a bit more of a chance?

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Dave W is gonna tell you...

Posted October 13, 2017
42 episodes. Dedication, thy name is Sparty.

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