Trekathon 789: Second Contact (LD)

August 8th, 2020

Star Trek boldly goes back to series animation for the first time since 1974. Spoilers.

This is a lot better than I feared, and has an enormous amount of promise as it settles down. But the things that I was worried about are also very present.

On the positive side, this really feels like Star Trek. And they are making good use of animation to tell a story in a way that would have been simply too expensive in live action. The story was a little thin, but did feel to me like the other side of an episode of TNG, perhaps turned up to a point of parody.

But most importantly it felt like it was laughing with Star Trek, not at. There is a lot of absurdity in Star Trek after all. I would like a bit more plot and maybe a slightly lower density of jokes. There is also more continuity/references to other Trek than any other series (perhaps too much). I can’t be unhappy when Mike Okuda’s joke from a drawing of the Enterprise-D finally gets a canon reference – Cetacean Ops (apparently coming on screen to Season 2 of this show).

My biggest concern is the character of Mariner. To quote the Captain – “She just doesn’t fit in”. The energy level and attitude just feels a bit out of place – most notably in the cold open and the final scene of the episode. This is the ‘Rick and Morty’ style that I was worried about, which just doesn’t work for me. “Outrageous” isn an exhausting trait in a central character of the show. The other three main characters are understandably a bit one note so far, but less grating.

Still, it’s a pilot and therefore more likely to have some rough edges. The real test will be to see where they decide to take things over the next ten weeks.

789 down, and starting 23 weeks of Star Trek. According to my records this is the largest continuous run of new Star Treks ever (next closest was 21 episodes from the start of Voyager Season 2 through to the Christmas break).