Captain’s log: November 2256
The series finally puts us aboard the U.S.S. Discovery following the two premiere episodes that will give us context for Micheal Burnham’s (Sonequa Martin-Green) character, actions, and set up the new Trek universe we find ourselves in.
Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts and Craig Sweeny pen the teleplay for this episode from a story developed by Bryan Fuller, Berg and Harberts. It first aired on 1 October, 2017.
Picking up six months after the Battle at the Binary Stars, Burnham is brought aboard the Discovery during her transit to prison, and is offered an opportunity by the ship’s captain, Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs). But there are going to be problems as some of the crew of this newly designed starship include some of the crew from her doomed ship, including the Kelpian science officer, Saru (Doug Jones), and the helmsman, Keyla Detmer (Emily Coutts) amongst others.
She finds an unexpected friend and ally in a young ensign named Tilly (Mary Wiseman), and learns that the starship has been updated with something called a spore drive, overseen by Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp).
Burnham is not the person we saw at the beginning of the series. While she still has the calm and reserve she was given through her Vulcan upbringing, she seems directionless, and Lorca has an offer she may not be able to refuse, in fact, he drafts her to fill his own needs on the ship.
The crew is unhappy about having her aboard, but when the Discovery’s sister ship suffers an accident, she finds herself working with them to resolve what happened, and how it ties into the experimental spore drive. But they may not be the only ones investigating it…
Burnham becomes intrigued, and Discovery sets off on its new mission, as the war with the Klingons continues.
Captain’s log: November 2256
Jesse Alexander and Aron Eli Coleite pen the next episode in the series, The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For the Lamb’s Cry, which first aired on 8 October, 2017.
Burnham begins to settle into her new role aboard Discovery, while they continue to work to find a way to end hostilities with the Klingons, who are developing their own plan as Voq (Shazad Latif) serves as Torchbearer to a new Klingon leader, L’Rell (Mary Chieffo), and though we aren’t privy to it at the moment, it will have a profound effect on both Voq and Burnham.
We also get to see the spore drive in action (Black Alert!), something Lorca talked about in the previous episode. An organic drive, it would allow a starship to travel the mycelial network of the universe almost instantaneously. This was something their sister ship the Glenn was able to do, but Stamets hasn’t figured out how to make that happen aboard Discovery yet. Lorca, however, may now have the key to that after his return from the Glenn.
We get to see Discovery in a bit of action as she rescues a group of colonists from attack, but the Klingon stuff is feeling a little heavy, and slows down the pace of the story, not to mention drifting away from established canon in a way that is done simply for shock value.
The series is darker than what has gone before, shows some interpersonal conflict, something new for a Trek series, hints at an ongoing gay relationship, and looks fantastic, all of which I’m good with. I just wish the series didn’t have to stray so far from canon to tell its story.
The Human Adventure continues Thursday as I explore more of Star Trek: Discovery – Season One on blu-ray, now available from Paramount Canada.