Star Trek: Discovery (2017) – The Vulcan Hello, and Battle at the Binary Stars

Captain’s log: stardate 1207.3

Bryan Fuller and Akiva Goldsman pen the teleplay for the series opener from a story developed by Fuller and Alex Kurtzman. Disco premiered on 24 September, 2017, and the controversy began right away.

The opening story is basic enough, setting up the premise, and reintroducing us to the pre-Kirk (by a decade) era of Star Trek. We meet Micheal Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) the first officer aboard the U.S.S. Shenzou under Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh).

While on patrol the starship encounters an object of unknown origin, and things are going to go sideways for Burnham from there. Burnham discovers it is a Klingon vessel, a race who haven’t been seen for almost a century, tying it into the events of Enterprise.

We can fight over whether or not Disco takes place in the Prime or Kelvin Timeline, visually it’s more in line with Kelvin, and the Klingons raise a lot of questions about Worf in The Next Generation, as well as the virus that was shown to have affected them in Enterprise, if their updated look is taken as Prime Timeline canon. I’ve decided that may be it’s an alternate timeline, the mutli-verse is a thing after all.

People were upset about the Klingons, the darker storyline, and other things (a lot of in universe established canon and continuity), I was glad to have Trek on the small screen again, and was willing to forgive most of these things, and honestly, went with the Alternate Timeline theory.  One of the big things that bothered some is that apparently, Micheal, after she is orphaned following a Klingon attack, was fostered by Sarek (James Frain) and his family, which means that she has a foster brother who will be very famous.

The Klingons are shown to be in conflict with one another, their twenty-four houses struggling for dominance, but one amongst them has a plan, to follow a prophecy about a Torchbearer who will unite the houses in Kahless’ name.

After consulting with Sarek, Burnham thinks they have to fire on the Klingons (a Vulcan hello) before they launch a brutal assault on the Shenzou and the Federation. Burnham is so set on this course of action, she commits mutiny, culminating with her taking command and preparing to fire before Georgiou arrives on the bridge, just as a Klingon fleet arrives, delivering us our first cliffhanger.

The series looks fantastic, whether some hardcore fans enjoyed the story or not. Me, I signed on to it, and enjoy it for what it is.

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Captain’s log: 1207.3

Picking up moments after the conclusion of the first episode, Battle At The Binary Stars has a teleplay by Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts from a story by Fuller. It aired on the same date as the series premiere, forming a two hour event on 24 September, 2017.

As the Shenzou prepares to confront the Klingon ships, which are ready for war, we are given more backstory for Burnham and her Vulcan upbringing, her arrival on the Shenzou and her developing friendship with Philippa as her captain, and mentor.

Georgiou reclaims the bridge and sends Burnham to the brig, while danger erupts around them as the Federation, and the Klingons under T’Kuvma (Chris Obi) and his Torchbearer, Voq (Shazad Latif) clash in an epic battle. This renders the Shenzou incapacitated putting the entire crew at risk, and should they survive, they will undeniably have an opinion of Burnham, and her involvement in the ship’s destruction. As well as the death of their captain when Georgiou and Micheal beam aboard the Klingon vessel on an away mission.

There’s a lot of set-up in these two episodes, all of it serving to give us Burnham’s perspective on things before she actually ends up aboard Discovery, a ship that hasn’t even been glimpsed on screen yet (not counting the titles sequence).

Burnham is tried and found guilty, she’s drummed out of Starfleet, and is sentenced to a military prison for life, which is where the story ends this week.

The Human Adventure continues next week as I delve deeper into Star Trek: Discovery – Season One, now available from Paramount Canada on blu-ray. Boldly go…

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