If Star Trek: Discovery is going to have one problem it is that fans expect a certain continuity in the show. It was built-in the original series and continue to Next Generation and beyond. With a teasing of a darker Star Trek, is Discovery testing the limits of what is Star Trek, or aiming for something entirely different.
Now a part of the U.S.S. Discovery’s crew (but with no rank) Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) is given the task of testing the creature caught in last week’s episode to see how it can aid Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) gain an edge on the Klingons. When a disaster calls for action, the creature is found to be useful, but at what cost?
You could argue that “The needs of the many outweigh the few. Or the one” and that idea is laid on thick this week. The question is though, is torturing a misunderstood creature the way to go about it? Once again, we are seeing a darker side to the Federation, which was something that the Klingons went to war to fight against.
This week the Klingons are back again trying to gain an edge in the war for themselves. Travelling back to the graveyard of the previous battle they are in search of a Dilithium processor. We also see that there is conflict in the Klingon ranks which will no doubt see the rise of the main “big bad” for the show. I must admit though, I’m starting to think that it may be Lorca himself who is more of a threat at this point.
The idea of Michael as “The Mutineer” tarnishes her with a certain preconception when it comes to the rest of the crew, but in truth she appears to be one of the few who will question Lorcha. We see this in the actions of Commander Landry (Rekha Sharma) when she puts herself in danger to provide what her captain wants. The fact it leads to a fatal wounding not only seems to have aggravated fans, but is also annoying as she was a promising character. This obsession to please the captain at all costs though is something we’ll probably see more of.
Star Trek: Discovery is interesting because it is setting up the outsiders as the ones that will have impact on future events. Whether it be Michael as the mutineer or the outcast Klingons who rise up, they are shaping what is to come. Even the poor creature that is tortured to help the U.S.S. Discovery to navigate through space is the outsider that helps the crew to make progress for the “good of the many”.
While I am enjoying Star Trek: Discovery so far, there are warning signs in the show that mean problems could be coming in the future. My highlights so far are the interactions between Sonequa Martin-Green and Doug Jones as Saru, also Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly and Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets. These are the characters who have the Star Trek feel, and the ones that will make the show work. Now to see what future episodes bring.
Star Trek: Discovery is available in the UK on Netflix on Mondays.