First of all, yes I know, it’s been ages since I posted anything on here. Life stuff.
Anyway this is moderately exciting news out of the blue. Disney have announced they are going to make a Rogue One prequel TV series featuring the Cassian Andor character as played by Diego Luna.
Actually this is very exciting. Rogue One remains my favourite of the four Disney Star Wars movies to date and any return to that era and type of gritty storytelling will be very welcome.
Both this series plus The Mandaloran will be on the new steaming service called Disney+ along with some Marvel TV shows I believe.
It’s probably not likely that the other Rogue One team members will appear, seeing as Cassian only met Jyn, Baze, Chirut and Bodi during the course of that movie. Maybe K-2SO is a posability, but I don’t know that the makers want to include an expensive cgi droid in every episode.
But I’d be happy if we even saw Genevieve O’Reilly’s Mon Mothma turn up every now and again to give Cassian his new mission. Kind of like M and Bond.
So now a bit of grand finale of sorts. Well mid-season finale anyway
Following right on from last week’s episode the Discovery is at that fairy dust planet awaiting the Klingons who will certainly attack the planet to destroy the crystal tower thingie. The crew of the Discovery want to stay and protect the fairy dust creatures but Starfleet orders the Discovery to leave.
Lorca has other ideas and instructs his people to find a way to fight the Klingon stealth Ship of the Dead and they come up with a plan that involves mapping the energy of the cloaking device using a couple of transmitters secreted on the Klingon ship. The Discovery will also have to do 133 spore drive jumps in rapid succession to get enough data. For some reason. Hand wave.
The Klingon Ship of the Dead appears. Burnham and Ash Tyler beam over to place the transmitter things. While there they discover Admiral Cornwell is being held captive so they go to rescue her. So she’s not actually dead then. That’s one mystery from last week answered. In fact they find her in the Klingon Dead Body Storage Room along with that lady Klingon. I guess it doubles as a cell.
Ash Tyler has an extreme reaction to seeing the lady Klingon. Admiral Cornwell tells him it’s PTSD. He has flashbacks of being tortured by the lady Klingon. Well it’s either that or he was a Klingon surgically altered to look human and infiltrate Starfleet. But that sounds a bit far-fetched…
Burnham goes to the bridge to place the second device and is able to hear what the Klingons are saying via the universal translator. Which is pretty cool I must say.
The Discovery starts doing the jumps which is going to take a toll on Stamets. We know this because his doctor husband person says it will take a toll on him. (Honestly I can’t remember the doctor’s name. I’ll know it next year. Probably.)
The Klingons get a bit bored with watching the Discovery jump around a lot and decide to leave. This is a Seriously Bad Thing as the Discovery has to get the data from all 133 jumps in order to map the cloaking device. So Burnham has to delay them. She reveals herself and challenges Kol to a fight. They fight.
The Discovery finishes the jumps and beams out Burnham, Tyler and Admiral Cornwell. The Klingon lady manages to but her arms around Tyler to get beamed out as well.
They now have enough data to compute where the Klingon ship is so they open fire and blow it the hell up. So like, the big bad Kol is toast. Everyone is feeling pretty happy and acting like the war is over already.
They put the Klingon lady in the brig (which makes her look a lot like a Klingon Hannibal Lecter actually) so inevitably Ash Tyler goes to confront her. He acts all upset like he’s either been (a) tortured by her or (b) had to take human form to infiltrate Starfleet plus had his memory wiped presumably.
Doing the jumps took a toll on Stamets but he gets better and says he will do one more jump to take the crew home and then he won’t do any more jumps. So he does one more jump. But it Goes Wrong and they end up Somewhere Else.
Until January apparently.
This was a pretty fast moving and exciting episode. It felt pretty satisfying have Burnham fight Kol on the ship of the dead and get Captain Georgiou’s badge back.
But is that the Klingon war over? If so what will the focus of the show be? Is it going to become a different type of show?
These have been a solid nine episodes that have kept me entertained. I look forward to seeing where the show goes next.
Ok, I’ll be honest, I’m not quite sure what to make of this episode.
At the start of the episode we see the Discovery jump into action to try to save the USS Gagarin from the Klingons. But the Klingon’s stealth technology gives them the upper hand and the Gagarin is unfortunately toast. The Discovery barely jumps away in time.
The main plot has Burnham, Saru and Ash Tyler beam down to a planet that has little bits of blue fairy dust going on. They want to use this naturally occurring crystal tower thing to send a signal into space that will make the Klingon ships visible. Somehow. It’s kind of hand waved.
So Saru is able to communicate with the fairy dust creatures who it turns out are sentient. Therefore it means they have to get their permission to use their planet. But somehow Saru is changed and he wants to stop Starfleet from using the crystal tower thing. He destroys Burnham’s and Tyler’s communicators.
Burnham heads to the crystal tower to use that to contact the Discovery and Saru goes after her, using his running-really-fast powers. They fight. Burnham prevails and asks the fairy dust creatures to help them beat the Klingons. The fairy dust creatures allow her to contact the Discovery.
But what’s with Saru, was he under an alien influence? It turns out he wasn’t. In fact this was the first time in his life where he didn’t feel fear. It kind of went to his head and he wanted to stay on the fairy dust planet.
But things get really confusing over on the Klingon ship. That Lady Klingon turns up and says she wants to join Kol. In return she will use her expert interrogation techniques to get info out of the lady Starfleet admiral that they captured a couple of weeks back.
So Lady Klingon right away tells the lady admiral that she wants to defect to the Federation. Huh? This is a trick right? Or is she serious? It’s not made clear.
She and lady admiral escape by basically walking down a corridor. Some other Klingons see them so Lady Klingon has to pretend to fight lady admiral and throws her into a wall. Apparently killing her? Or is she just stunned? Or is she faking it? Hey, is she actually dead? It’s not made clear.
Lady Klingon drags lady admiral’s body to the place where they dump bodies. Klingon ships have place for that it seems. There Lady Klingon sees bodies of her former comrades and vows revenge. I think she kind of leaves the admirals body there. So maybe the admiral is actually dead? It’s not made clear.
Lady Klingon goes back to Kol and says sorry about killing the admiral but I did get some info. He welcomes her to his crew. And then promptly says she betrayed him. So he knew all along? It’s not made clear.
The episode ends with Burnham and the others back on the Discovery. She thinks the fairy dust aliens will help them fight the Klingons. But Lorca tells her instead they sent out a signal inviting Kol to the planet so he can make friends with the Discovery. Oops.
So it wasn’t a terrible episode. There’s some good stuff in there, especially with Saru’s character development. And the Klingon stuff is potentially interesting. However I would have liked things to have been a little clearer about what was going on. And to be honest blue fairy dust aliens don’t really work for me.
The episode opens with Burnham attending a party. A disco on the Disco if you will. She and Ash Tyler, the guy Lorca rescued from the Klingon ship, are called to the bridge. The sensors have picked up an object that turns out to be an endangered space whale. Because clearly in the future endangers space whales are a thing.
The whale is beamed on board but it turns out to be a Trojan horse type of whale as a space suited figure (wearing a gloriously cheap looking Andorian helmet) emerges and starts firing on the crew. It turns out to be Harry Mudd, out for revenge after he was abandoned by Lorca on said Klingon ship.
But he’s talking like he’s done this before. And then the Discovery blows up.
We are back on the Discovery and Burnham is attending the disco on the Disco.
Oh my. They’re doing a time loop episode. Cue happy dancing around the living room. Ok, metaphorical happy dancing. But still.
So the loop begins again. But this time it’s completely different. Stamets somehow knows that it’s happening and warns Burnham and Ash. They are more wary when beaming aboard the whale. But this time Mudd doesn’t emerge from it. He’s elsewhere on the ship causing mayhem. He’s trying to gradually gain the secret of the Discovery’s special drive so he can sell it to the Klingons. And if he gets to kill Lorca a few dozen times along the way then that’s a bonus. Each loop lasts 30 minutes and usually ends with the Discovery blowing up.
Because he injected himself with DNA from the JJ Abrams CGI creature Stamets has a memory of each loop and is looking for information to defeat Mudd. He approaches Burnham again and asks her to tell him something, a secret, that she has never told anyone else so he can prove to her they’re in the loop. Turns out she has never been in love and in the midst of the mayhem they take a loop to talk and slow dance in the ship while discussing if she has feelings for Ash and if Ash has feelings for her. And for the first time I’m starting to “get” Burnham. She’s the outsider character, the one trying to learn to be human. Headslap.
Then it’s back to the Mudd mayhem. Rainn Wilson plays Harcourt Fenton Mudd with relish. There is a mix of genuinely despicable villainy with Mudd happy to vaporise Lorca or indeed any random crewman, but it’s all done with a glint in his eye and a smile on his face. You can’t help liking the guy just a little as he prowls around the ship, locking out the computer and appropriating the captain’s chair. All the while Mudd is thinking up more ingenious ways to kill Lorca which we get to see in an amusing montage.
So I really enjoyed this one. Like, as I was watching it I was thinking “this one is a little bit special”. Rainn Wilson steals the show as Mudd but special mention must be made of Anthony Rapp whose Stamets is turning out to be an interesting character and almost steals the episode back from Wilson.
So in this episode we focus mostly on the relationship between Sarek and Burnham. Sarek is taking off from Vulcan to go to some secret peace talks with some renegade Klingons who apparently are not part of the war. Turns out his companion on the journey is a Vulcan logic extremist. Said extremist blows himself up in the shuttle but Sarek somehow activates a forcefield and survives, although he is injured.
Meanwhile Burnham and Tilly are going for a jog on the Discovery wearing groovy t-shirts that read DISCO. I kid you not. Apparently they are available for purchase too. Anyway Burnham picks up Sarek’s distress through that useful katra-sharing bond they have and she convinces Lorca to go on a rescue mission.
By the way, Lorca has promoted that random starfleet guy (from the Klingon prison ship last week) to be his chief of security. Personally I’d do a bit of a background check and get some character references first. But that’s just me being suspicious of someone I just picked up on a Klingon ship.
The Starfleet lady admiral is annoyed with Lorca using the Discovery for an unsanctioned Sarek rescue mission. She also realises he has PTSD when he pulls a phaser on her after they spence some, ahem, intimate time together. She threatens to take away his command.
Burnham makes contact with Sarek where he is reliving the moment he most regrets, the day Burnham was told she couldn’t join the Vulcan expeditionary mission. There’s a nice little twist that the Vulcans would only allow one of Sarek’s “not quite Vulcan” children to join and he was forced to choose. So he chose Spock. And of course Spock would go on to do his own thing and join Starfleet when the time came.
But Burnham manages to rescue Sarek and get him back to Discovery.
And Lorca spies an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. If Sarek can’t go to the peace talks surely his lady admiral friend could go.
This isn’t going to end well, I think.
And it doesn’t. It’s a trap and lady admiral is captured by the Klingons who are not renegades after all.
Still it means Lorca stays in command. You’d almost think he planed it that way…
Lorca is off meeting some admiral to discuss the war. She tells him he needs to give the spore drive a rest as it is Starfleet’s one secret weapon. On the way back to the Discovery Lorca’s shuttle gets captured by Klingons.
PLOT HOLE ALERT – This begs the question why not just meet the admiral by hologram? Or she could have sent an email. “Dear Captian Lorca. Give the spore drive a rest. Thanks.”
Anyway on board the Klingon ship Lorca is chucked into a cell with none other than Harcourt Fenton Mudd from the original series. From time to time Klingons come to the cell and demand the prisoners choose their pain, namely pick who’s in for a kicking. Mudd has played the system well and always picks some other poor devil.
The Klingons interrogate Lorca about the Discovery’s special abilities and torture him by using bright lights.
Mudd is scathing about Lorca, claiming that at the start of the war Lorca abandoned his ship and crew. Lorca says he blew up his ship to save his crew from being captured by Klingons.
On Discovery they are looking for Lorca’s position. Saru has doubts about being captain. Later he tells Burnham he resents that he lost his chance to learn from Georgiou as Burnham did. At one point he looks up a list of the best Starfleet captains and its fun to see the names Jonathan Archer, Robert April, Christopher Pike and Matt Decker there.
At one point Tilly drops the F-bomb. This is a first for Star Trek. The Guy Who Isn’t Alan Tudyk then also drops it just in case we didn’t hear it correctly. For a moment it looks like they want to turn to the camera and say, “Yeah, you f***ing heard right, we just said f***. What the f*** do you think of that?”
Saru demands the JJ Abrams Inspired CGI Creature be made to work. But it kind of gets sick and shrivels up into a CGI blob. Instead The Guy Who Isn’t Alan Tudyk injects himself with some technobabble and takes the place of the JJ Abrams Inspired CGI Creature so the spore drive will work.
Lorca returns from Klingon torture and reveals that Mudd’s pet insect has a Klingon transmitter in it allowing the Klingons to listen into the prisoners.
PLOT HOLE ALERT – This doesn’t make any sense as it’s a Klingon ship. What’s to stop the Klingon’s listening in via a microphone in the walls or something?
Lorca and another Starfleet bod escape from the Klingon ship, basically because Lorca is badass. Lorca leaves Mudd behind because of the Mudd Insect Incident. Discovery arrives and rescues Lorca.
Saru tells Burnham to get the JJ Abrams Inspired CGI Creature all better so she ejects it out of the airlock where it unshrivels itself and flies off into space.
What the actual hell? Someone wrote this? And everyone else liked it?
The Guy Who Isn’t Alan Tudyk is washing is teeth with his husband, the doctor (who probably has a name but I can’t remember it as he hasn’t been given anything more interesting to do than wash his teeth). They leave the bathroom and the reflection of Not Alan Tudyk stays behind.
So plot holes, F-words and CGI nonsense aside this was an ok episode. Methinks Mudd must return…
Here are my thoughts on Star Trek Discovery episode 4. Be warned, spoilers below.
Ok, so Burnham is kind of settling down to the new reality on board the Discovery. In addition to being assigned crew quarters she’s even been given a uniform out of the replicator (or fabricator or whatever the 23rd century version of a replicator is). Although they have neglected to give her a rank and there’s a missing Starfleet badge. Mmm… Story arc methinks… bet there will be a badge there in a few episodes time…
In walks Tilly with a package for Burnham. It’s only the last will and testament of the late captain Georgiou. Burnham recoils as if burned.
In the turbolift there’s my main man Saru surprised to see Burnham. Seems he didn’t get the memo that she wasn’t going to be on the prison shuttle. Captain Lorca shows her his menagerie (as I call it) and tells her to get to work on researching the spore drive, specifically how did the USS Glenn get it to work.
Remember the CGI beastie from last week? Tory from Battlestar has the very clever idea of letting it out of its containment box and trying to cut its claws off.
Guess what… Tory is toast.
Actual Tory shaped toast. With added claw marks.
I though the cool looking sickbay would heal her but no. She is an ex-Tory and is departed. Wow. I was sure Tory would be a slightly confrontational regular character going forward.
No one is safe.
So Burnham does her thing and works out the creature not a predator after all and only defends itself when threatened. Also it has some sort of relationship with the spores. Hand wave. No, I don’t understand it.
In any event they work out how to use the creature to make the spore drive work and this lets them rescue a Federation facility on a dilithium planet from some attacking Klingons. But only Burnham has the empathy to see the creature is suffering.
Side note 1: When they turn on the spore drive the saucer section of the ship does a very cool spinning thing. That’s new.
Side note 2: The “using creature cruelly to power spaceship” was done in a 2010 episode of Doctor Who. True story.
Meanwhile in the Klingon spaceship graveyard where the battle of the binary stars took place we meet our Klingon friends as they attempt to fix the ship crippled by captain Georgiou. More Klingons turn up as they want the ship fixed and in operation as it’s the only one that can cloak apparently. They make off with the ship and leave the torchbearer Klingon in the ruins of the Shenzhou. Interesting. Is he going to fix the Shenzhou?
Side note 3. Apparently the Klingons ate the dead Captain Georgiou. Like actually ate, not a figure of speech. Ew.
Back on the discovery Burnham finally gets the courage to open up the Georgiou box. A holographic message plays saying Burnham is like a daughter to her. Aw. And she probably is a captain by now. Oops. As I predicted inside the box is the telescope from Georgeau’s ready room on the Shenzhou.
So overall another good episode, although I didn’t like it just as much as the first three. I’m still intrigued to see where this is going.
Some thoughts on episode 3 on Star Trek Discovery. Please note that some general spoilers follow.
This is turning out to be a good show. Episode 3 in a way is the first proper episode of the series, picking things up six months on from the Battle at the Binary Stars as seen in episode 2. It now appears that the Federation is in a full state of war with the Klingons.
Michael Burnham is being transported along with some other prisoners on a Starfleet shuttle when it encounters difficulties and is recovered by the shiny new USS Discovery. Ostensibly the Discovery is a science vessel but there’s some very unusual things going on. Some personnel have black badges and there are lots of off limits areas. And what’s with the “black alert”?
Wherever Burnham goes on the ship she gets stared at. For she is the first Starfleet officer to mutiny after all.
On the bridge Burnham is surprised and disconcerted to see my main man Lieutenant Commander Saru, newly promoted to second in command on the Discovery. As expected he gets the best line of the episode, telling Burnham “You were always a good officer. Until you weren’t.”
It appears that Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Issacs) wants to have Burnham on his team rather than rotting in a Federation prison camp. He puts her to work in engineering where we meet Lieutenant Stamets (Anthony Rapp) who is ever so slightly condescending and has a sort of Alan Tudyk thing going on.
We also get to meet another new crew member, Cadet Tilly (Mary Wiseman) who is the personification of nervous babbling.
Oh and if you recognise the security officer is because it’s Tory from Battlestar Galactica, aka Rekha Sharma. Come on, you remember Tory, one of the final five Cylons? The one who (spoiler) pushed poor Cally out of the airlock?
Then word comes in that the sister ship of the Discovery, the USS Glenn, has been lost with all hands. The experimental work they were doing on the Glenn is related to the Discovery’s mission so the Discovery is dispatched to recover the research.
On the Glenn the crew have been pretty much turned inside out, but there are Klingon bodies on board as well, the remains of a boarding party that were looking for Starfleet tech. Which produces one of my favourite moments of black humour in this episode where a surviving Klingon steps out of the shadows gingerly and raises a finger to his lips. “Did he just shush me?” Tilly asks before the Klingon gets eaten.
Because there follows a pure JJ Abrams inspired Force Awakens style cgi-alien-chases-crew-down-corridors sequence. Sigh. Fortunately it’s the only misstep.
Returning to the Discovery Burnham accuses Lorca of developing a weapon in breach of the Geneva conventions. Lorca denies this and says it’s a more benign technology that will help win the war. Inevitably he convinces Burnham to stay with the ship. “You helped start a war,” he says. “Don’t you want to help me end it?”
Additionally there are lots of nice little Easter eggs in this episode, my favourite of which was the little translucent yellow data storage device that Stamets hands Burnham, a direct nod to the little yellow squares that Spock would pop into his science station.
Lorca has a tribble in his office, and indeed has a larger menagerie in another area, perhaps a nod to the original Star Trek pilot which takes place around the same time.
Tory from Battlestar gets to point her classic series phaser frequently.
Oh, and Burnham tells Tilly that her foster mother Amanda read Alice in wonderland to her and her adopted brother (i.e. Spock)
So overall I’m very pleased with where this show is going.
A little follow up to my review of the first two episodes of discovery. Eaglemoss, who have been doing the Star Trek Starships Collection for a number of years now is doing a special set of Discovery series ship models.
These models will be released one a month instead of one every two weeks. They will be bigger models also with dimensions given of around 20 cm and 25 cm for the first two. The price will increase appropriately from £10.99 an issue to a much more substantial £34.99 (£29.99 for subscribers).
The first two models are announced as the Shenzhou and the Discovery itself.
After that I should assume we will get at least the USS Europa from episode 2 plus maybe some of the other Federation ships glimpsed. And then there will be two or 3 Klingon variants. Beyond that who knows.
I’m aware that it’s been ages since my last post on here so I’m trying to rectify that now. I thought I’d write a few words about the new Star Trek Discovery TV show.
I’ve been following production of this show for some time now. If memory serves it had been announced in the later part of 2015 with an on air date of January 2017. Well, January came and went and it’s been a long wait until now.
So a bit of background about the show. Discovery is set in the 2250s, around about a decade before Kirk and Spock’s adventures on the original Enterprise, and actually around about the same time period as that shown in the original pilot The Cage which featured Captain Pike and a younger Spock on the Enterprise.
The first two episodes of Discovery set up some of the background of the season’s main story arc. We meet Michelle Yeoh’s Captain Georgiou and Sonequa Martin-Green’s first officer Michael Burnham of the USS Shenzhou. They’re doing a bit of exploring at the edge of Federation space and encounter an “object of unknown origin”. This turns out to be a Klingon artefact and soon the Shenzhou is surrounded by Klingon ships. It turns out there’s a Klingon leader who wants to reunite the 24 Klingon houses and the Federation will make a convenient adversary.
Without giving too much away the Federation ships will get a bloody nose and Burnham will also suffer a persona loss. Episode 2 ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger.
In terms of the story there were a few moments, especially in episode 1, where I was raising a metaphorical Vulcan eyebrow quizzically. For example we are informed that the Vulcans eventually established peaceful relations with the Klingons by learning to fire first. Really? I suppose there’s a certain logic to it, but still…
It’s hard to judge the characters too much at this point. Michelle Yeoh does a perfectly good job as Captain Georgiou although I hope it’s not too much of a spoiler to say I don’t think we will be seeing much more of her in future episodes…
Martin-Green’s Burnham is the main character and makes some surprisingly non-Starfleet decisions. I mean doing a Vulcan neck pinch on members of your crew and trying to mutiny are not in the usual Starfleet playbook. A bit of a non-conformist is Burnham. But she has a very interesting backstory being the survivor of a Klingon attack on a human/Vulcan colony and being raised by none other than Sarek, father of Spock.
The other bridge personnel are not really established. I suppose the reason being that the regular cast members will be the crew of the Discovery and we’ll meet them next week.
There is one exception to this and that is the alien science officer Saru played by Doug Jones. I liked Saru very much both in terms of the brilliant make-up plus the engaging performance from Jones. I do hope he’s a regular character in the show.
Design wise I like what I see more or less. The exterior of the Shenzhou is particularly nice. It’s perhaps too sleek a ship for the mid 23rd century but the underslung nacelles put me in mind of the USS Reliant from The Wrath of Khan which is perhaps my favourite Star Trek ship.
Interiors do suffer from Giant Bridge Syndrome. So far we’ve just seen the Shenzhou bridge. I wonder what the Discovery bridge will be like? (Prediction: Probably really big.)
Uniforms are nifty but quite different from the ones we have seen before.
Pleasingly the sound effects have been carried over from the original series so the doors swish and there are the suitable background bridge sounds effects.
One departure is the use of holograms for inter-ship communication rather than view screens as before. But the holograms are done well and interactively so I will forgive this.
I don’t have much of an opinion on the Discovery itself for the very good reason that it hasn’t been in the show yet, other than in the opening credits.
Speaking of the credits I’m not sure yet if they will grow on me. But I do like that they bothered with opening credits in this age of jumping right into a show, plus it’s nice to see the animations of the classic phaser gun and communicators appearing.
No opinion on the theme music yet as it’s a bit vanilla.
The Klingons have had a complete redesign in terms of make-up and costume. It’s a brave thing to do and I guess this show is beting made enough years on from the others that they feel they can make a clean break visually. About the only recognisable element left is the use of the Klingon language and interestingly they have the Klingon characters talking in Klingon throughout with subtitles in English. They only speak English when speaking to the captains of Federation ships.
So overall this was good pair of opening episodes. Episode 1 had me a little on the fence but episode 2 really won me over with the depiction of the battle. Plus I liked Georgiou’s method of delivering a surprise to the Klingons.
So overall I liked it and I’ll be tuning in next week.
Or whatever the verb is for selecting a show from the Netflix menu structure…