Trekathon 741: Battle at the Binary Stars (DIS)

September 25th, 2017

Two episodes of the new series down, and while there’s a lot more series to go, it’s off to a strong start. Spoilers after the jump.

Relative to episode one that moved a lot quicker. I still have some concerns about the depth of the characters, but it’s improving on that front.

I can’t say that I was super surprised by the death in the episode – whenever someone is credited as a ‘Special Guest Star’ in the credits they’re going to be written out sooner or later. What I am surprised by is that two episodes in we still haven’t seen the titular title USS Discovery.

The episode itself felt like fairly standard ‘battle Trek’ – perhaps more of the movie than TV show level, simply in the level of damage done to the ship. There was a bit of a feel of the climactic battle of The Wrath of Khan to the second part of the episode. It felt like Trek as well, in the various plans and reactions as the events unfolded.

Where I could have done with a little less was the flashback scenes. They really added nothing to the exposition we’d already had, and I would have been a lot happier if the Sarek appearance had been more of a hallucination than an apparent interstellar psychic experience. What is up with his readiness to pick up the phone as well? Does he just sit around waiting for Michael to call?

The end of the episode leaves things in quite an interesting spot, so I’m definitely looking forward to next week’s episode. Been a long time since I could say that – I last regularly watched ‘live’ Trek in the 1990s, possibly 20 years ago.

Quick thoughts:

  • A starship called ‘Yeagar’? I think the hosts of The Greatest Generation just passed out from excitement.

  • ‘Open a dialogue with us’ – yep, that’s good traditional Star Trek. Works about as well as normal too. ‘We’re explorers, not soldiers’ too.

  • Vulcan Mind Meld without consent – still creepy, still wrong. Also this whole new psychic communication thing seems a bit weird and unjustified by other Trek.

  • More continuity – the consoles still need surge protectors. And nothing is more Trek than a good court martial scene.

  • And bad continuity – there are Klingon warships in there whose design looks more Ferengi than Klingon. Just plan odd. The hologram communicators are also a strange thing to have disappear in the very near future.

  • The title bugs me – ‘binary stars’ – there seems to be one binary star (made up of two individual bodies), so it shouldn’t be plural.

741 down.