Does Star Trek: Discovery Justify Signing Up for CBS All Access?

Loyal fans of Star Trek were waiting with bated breath for the latest series in the franchise.

We will be sure to let you know when we hear more information about Star Trek: Discovery coming to Netflix in the U.S. For now, you'll have to watch the series on CBS All Access... or Netflix, if you live outside the U.S. Fuller's ambitious pitch for Discovery-an allegorical anthology that would span Trek's different eras, pulling in talent like Edgar Wright along the way-was reportedly scrapped by CBS in favor of something decidedly more pedestrian: a darker prequel to the original Star Trek.

Sopan Deb from New York Times in his review of the first episode wrote, "The pilot, titled "The Vulcan Hello", was full of promise, high-stakes and a few worrying signs for the rest of the series". So "The Vulcan Hello" and "Battle of the Binary Stars" are interested in questions of war and ethics, but they center on a tense stand-off between starships, and I don't think I'm giving too much away (it's in the episode name, after all) by revealing that the stand-off eventually leads into a big battle that shows off Discovery's sizable special effects budget.

"It was beautifully rendered", he said. CBS wants Star Trek: Discovery to be must-watch TV, and they've certainly put their money where their mouth is. We learn that the Federation hasn't had a major encounter with them for a century and that a great warrior, T'Kumva, is trying to unite all the Klingon houses to become a super enemy of the Federation and their great "lie".

Oh, right: Discovery takes place in the franchise's original timeline, roughly a decade before William Shatner's James T. Kirk captains the Enterprise, and two episodes in I have no idea why that matters. But since we're supposed to empathize with her as the lead character, the show tries to have it both ways - and when your lead character commits an act of mutiny not long after you're introduced to her, it's hard to muster up any positive feelings toward her.

The first casualty of the series was Lieutenant Connors.

And yet, that sequence - shot in Jordan - looks awesome, as does everything else in the show, be it the ships, costumes, sets, props, visual effects or even the new spin on an opening credits sequence. "I thought it was a nice sort of nod to the fans and to the continuity of the original series". "It has an nearly crystalline quality that I thought was really unique and convincing", Bormanis explained.

Discovery is a prequel that chronicles a war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire through the eyes of Commander Michael Burnham, the former first officer of the USS Shenzhou who unwittingly had a hand in the escalation of the conflict. Or will she try to discover a new role for herself? "You're always looking for those continuity glitches", Bormanis explained, "but who's to say that they didn't have other styles of transporters on other kinds of starships back then?"

From there, it's to the bridge of the Shenzhou and a handful of other characters, including Saru (Doug Jones), a scaredy cat science officer of a new species with whom Burnham disagrees (she is an explorer; he is more observer); that interloping member of Daft Punk; and a junior officer (Sam Vartholomeos) that Twitter promptly dubbed "Sexy Ensign".

Vanessa Coleman

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