Finished watching season one of Star Trek Discovery and the whole thing seems to be based on just about everyone having shocking secrets including Ash Tyler/Voq (Shazad Latif), the relationship between Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz), Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs), and even Sarek (James Frain). Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) has more lives than nine cats.
About the only person on Discovery who is exactly as she seems is Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman), the endlessly optimistic and hopeful cadet who is finally promoted to an officer at the end of the season.
A significant portion of the show took place in the mirror universe, first introduced in the Star Trek original series episode Mirror, Mirror over 50 years ago. This is where we find out the secrets of Lorca and Georgiou, and ultimately, how the Federation wins the war against the Klingons.
I know that Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) is supposed to be the centerpiece of the series, but I can’t say that I’m as attached to her as much as I am to Paul and Tilly. I know the two are practically polar opposites, but there’s something about them both that’s endearing. Despite Paul’s rudeness and arrogance, the relationship between him and Hugh was heartwarming, and Tilly, as sappy as she can be, is everyone’s kid sister.
As much as I think he tries to be likeable, Saru (Doug Jones) completely turns me off. It’s probably because the actor plays Saru so well, that is, as a prey animal. I guess the predator in me wants to turn on him just because he’s him.
One thing I noticed is that throughout the entire season, the bridge officers were just there. No personality, barely having names, only existing to push buttons, including the two strangely cyborg ones.
The season’s final episode Will You Take My Hand pulled an ace by casting actor Clint Howard in a minor role as a “creepy Orion.” Howard, as a child actor, played the alien Balok in the Star Trek original series episode The Corbomite Maneuver way back in 1966.
I haven’t warmed up at all to Admiral Cornwell (Jayne Brook) who totally sold out Federation principles to place the evil version of Georgiou as Captain of Discovery, though the crew finally won out. Tyler’s torturer and lover L’Rell (Mary Chieffo) is the real winner, saving her race and uniting her culture, but only because Michael and Star Fleet set it up that way. Yes, it ends the war and saves the Federation, but how many times in real life has America set up puppet dictators to serve our own interests and screw the actual people in that far off land?
I was sorry to see Tyler leave with L’Rell, but then Burnham wasn’t ready to revive a relationship with him, and who knows how human and how Klingon he really is?
In the season’s final episode, Discovery is ready for a new Captain and a new adventure when, as a surprise reveal, they receive a distress call from the USS Enterprise. That would be the fade to black setting up season two.
Yes, as I’ve said in previous commentaries, Discovery is surprisingly good and surprisingly Star Trek, although not in the classic sense. More than Picard’s series, it really is the “next generation” relative to the 21st century, although it takes place ten years before the Kirk/Spock Enterprise. I suppose someday, I’ll get the opportunity to see the second season and beyond. I trust it will be worth it.