DISCOVERY vs. AXANAR – choose “your” KLINGON WAR! (editorial / review)

WARNING – SPOILERS!!! Lots and lots and lots of SPOILERS!!!

I really WANTED to like Star Trek: Discovery. And to be honest, some things I actually DID like. Sonequa Martin-Green put in a great performance playing the character of Commander Michael Burnham, and I loved the dynamic of seeing two women interacting as captain and first officer of a starship…and neither was caucasian! (If only both characters could have continued beyond two episodes, but alas, we’ll soon be back to a captain who’s a white male. Oh well, at least we’ve still got a black female lead.)

I even really liked some of the scenes…like when Burnham talks the ship’s computer into letting her out of the brig before power goes out. But in the end, I just really didn’t enjoy the show overall—at least the first two episodes. It was so dark (visually and emotionally), and I just couldn’t grab onto that uplifting feeling I used to get when watching Star Trek. This new show felt so weighed down to me that even when things were moving quickly, they still seemed somehow slow and heavy. A couple of times during those Klingon scenes with the never-ending subtitles, I nearly dozed off!

And it wasn’t even the Klingon actors’ fault they were so boring. The decision to completely redesign the look of the Klingons not only alienated many long-time Trek fans, but it made it virtually impossible for those actors to deliver decent performances.

Imagine if you were asked to give a compelling performance while wearing a medieval suit of knight’s armor with the face-plate covering every part of your face except your mouth. You can barely move your head except a little side to side—very little!—and your arms won’t go any higher than your chest. You can’t even bend your elbows! And then, before you go in front of the camera, you realize that all of your lines are in Polish…and your don’t speak Polish! Sounds like an actor’s worst nightmare, right? Well, that was pretty much the assignment these unfortunate Klingons were given.

And as I was considering this, I began to imagine what Discovery would have been like had they NOT redesigned the Klingons…or the Starfleet uniforms…or made the starships into barely-recognizable whatever-they-were…or had a dark bridge covered with lens flares. What would Discovery have looked like then?

And then I realized: it would have looked a lot like Axanar

I freely admit to being an Axanerd, and so it won’t come as any surprise if I say that I enjoyed Axanar more than I did Discovery. But it goes deeper than that. For the first time in my life, I am choosing to mentally ignore something the studio is presenting as Star Trek “canon” and consider it instead an alternate-universe.

Prior to this, I accepted the JJ Abrams Star Trek as a kind of “canon” mainly because they told us that the “prime” universe still existed (just without Romulus or Spock anymore), and this weird new stuff was all in an alternate timeline called the Kelvin-verse (or whatever). I could live with that.

Now, however, CBS is claiming that the Discovery universe is canon. Not in my head, it isn’t! I mean, look at this Federation starship from Discovery‘s second episode:

WTF??? This is supposed to be 10 years before Kirk takes command of the Enterprise NCC-1701. In fact, somewhere out there, Captain Pike is commanding that very same starship! What the heck is something that looks like a Sovereign-class vessel with Excelsior-class nacelles doing in Starfleet way back in 2256? Two dozen Federation starships arrive for the battle (at nearly the exact same moment, no less!), and NONE of them looks even remotely like a Constitution-class??? Geez, come on, guys!

Now, if you want to see something that looks like it takes place ten years before Kirk, try this…

And what does a Klingon ship look like just a decade or two before Kirk? Well, take your pick…

Personally, I can’t imagine the builders of the ship on top designing a D-7 battlecruiser ever, let alone just a few years later. (Come to think of it, I can’t imagine any ship designer including burning torches to use up oxygen in a completely sealed environment in outer space. And did the Klingons spontaneously FORGET how to build a cloaking device between the start of the war in 2256 and Star Trek III thirty years later?)

The more I thought about what Discovery looked like—just visually—the less I liked it. It was physically exhausting for me to watch…and not simply from three-and-a-half-minute-long scenes spoken entirely in Klingon that required me to read subtitles in an ALL CAPS serif typeface (I spent two years in design school, folks…trust me, that was a bad font choice for subtitles – you’d think with all the great free fonts available online that there would have been a more suitable alternative, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles). My eyes also got tired watching many of the other scenes…with all the tilted camera angles and lens flares (what is it with the lens flares???). Even the “exciting” battle sequences made me shrug. Does this really look all that exciting?

Beyond that, the other battle shots all seemed to be way too frenetic to the point I could barely tell what was going on…a growing problem I also see elsewhere (I don’t even bother with Transformers movies anymore).

And then I thought about the wonderful space battle scenes designed and rendered by the amazing Tobias Richter for Prelude to Axanar. They were just as exciting as the space battles in Discovery and yet visually so much easier and less exhausting to watch. And you always knew exactly what was going on, which ships were firing and which were getting hit…and how bad the damage was.

And then there’s the backstory of the Klingons and their war as depicted in Discovery versus Axanar. Having now seen the first two episodes of CBS’s new series, I have a much better idea why Axanar Productions was sued. No, it’s not simply the “quality” or the fact that they crossed the $1 million “threshold” in donotions (although those both played a part in the decision to file a lawsuit)…and it certainly wasn’t the Kharn Roast coffee!

Axanar featured a war between the Federation and Klingons that predated Kirk’s mission by 20 years. Discovery will feature a war between the Federation and Klingons that predates Kirk’s mission by 10 years.

The galaxy isn’t big enough for BOTH wars.

In fact, Discovery comes right out and says the Klingons have barely been heard from for the last 100 years. That pill would be hard to swallow if they’d just fought a Four Years War only a short decade earlier.

It seems obvious that CBS didn’t want Axanar out there, not because of some silly “competition” but mainly because of the potential confusion for the audience…especially if the production quality was close enough to something a real studio might produce to potentially fool a casual viewer who was not very familiar with Star Trek.

But when all is said and done, I prefer the Klingon war story in Axanar in nearly every way—at least for right now. Despite Commander Burnham being a great character and Sonequa Martin-Green an infinitely more talented actor than Alec Peters (sorry, Alec—she has you beat hands down), the whole story behind and around the Battle of Axanar just FEELS more like the Star Trek I know…and want to keep on knowing.

For example, which leads to more story possibilities: a Klingon Empire that has been butting heads with an expanding Federation for decades and seems to be on a collision course to all-out war…or a Klingon Empire that has been all but absent from the quadrant for a 100 years before suddenly, in a single day, getting its shat together after a single speech by one outcast and suddenly declaring all-out war on the Federation? One backstory provides for decades of dramatic stories leading up to the huge confrontation, as the two sides clash and test each others’ strengths. The other virtually eliminates all such stories (except maybe how these Klingons that have barely been heard from in a century killed Burnham’s parents 20 years earlier).

Which sounds more like Star Trek: the Vulcans, a pacifistic race, threatening to secede from the Federation in an attempt to force an end to the Four Years War with the Klingons…or the Vulcans, a pacifistic race, firing first at the Klingons, every chance they get, to give them enough of a black eye that the Kligons won’t screw with ’em? (And hey, knowing the Klingons, would they really RUN from fight after fight with a “worthy adversary” instead of trying to kick their asteroids? That kind of cowardice and dishonor is barely worthy of a Romulan…at least in the Star Trek I know!)

And who makes a more compelling adversary? On the one hand, we have a proud and noble warrior used to fighting wars on planets, in space, and in front of the Klingon High Council. He spends years leading campaigns against the humans, watching them pick themselves up off the thin ice to become worthy adversaries who develop ships stronger than what his empire possesses. Rather than retreat, he presses the High Council to build a more powerful warship to defeat the Federation. And he sees it through himself, leading the Klingon forces much like Admiral Yamamoto led the Japanese fleet in the Pacific theater during World War II. This proud Klingon, played masterfully by the late Richard Hatch, was able to deliver his lines with passion, anger, frustration, even regret…a whole range of emotional intensity made possible because he had relatively little prosthetic make-up on his face and was allowed to—wait for it!—deliver his lines in ENGLISH!

On the other hand, we have a Klingon who found a broken ship, somehow repaired it with his outcast friends, went out into Federation space, took a pot-shot at a communications relay, and then sent out the Klingon equivalent of the Bat Signal to get one ship from each house to arrive (at the exact same moment, no less…how small is their empire???). Once he has an audience of what looks like seven angry holograms, he makes a speech that sounds like Mr. Magoo choking on a chicken bone…and suddenly a war begins. That must’ve been SOME speech…wish I’d paid more attention to the subtitles! (Actually, I did. It still didn’t move me enough to overcome a century of political infighting among 24 grouchy houses.) Oh, and before this adversary can become a major and compelling character and lead his people throughout the war, he gets killed off. So much for investing myself emotionally in the “bad guy.” He dead.

Separated at birth? It kinda sounds like it.

Whether you prefer Axanar or Discovery—or like them botheither way there’s a war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire shortly before Kirk’s time in Star Trek history. The question is: which war will be your war…in your “head canon”?

For me, it’s Axanar. Even if the full 30-minute fan film is never made (although I fully expect it to be completed), we’ll always have Prelude. And that’s my head canon. I care about those six characters and their war after only 21 minutes of fan film. And yet, after two 40-minute, studio-produced TV episodes, I feel almost nothing for the characters in Discovery. (Oh, except for Lr. Saru, whom I occasionally want to toss out an airlock just to see if he could sense that coming.)

Does CBS care what I think of as canon? Of course not! It won’t change anything about the new show They probably don’t even care whether I subscribe or not. And they’re right not to. This is a choice I am making for me…not for anyone else. I’m just sharing it here because, well, it’s my blog.

And hey, even though I’ve chosen to relegate Discovery to a alternate universe in my mind, it doesn’t mean I won’t check out the rest of the Discovery series at some point when I can sign up for a month and binge-watch the remaining 13 episodes. But when I do, it’ll feel more like I’m viewing some brand new sci-fi series…not Star Trek. I still have 700 hours of “my” Star Trek to re-watch and cherish. I’ll always have that.

And it includes Axanar.

240 thoughts on “DISCOVERY vs. AXANAR – choose “your” KLINGON WAR! (editorial / review)”

  1. The studio’s likely got the idea to “steal” Axanar story for themselves, when they saw the fan enthusiasm for Axanar. I mean, Alec gave them a heads up long before he even raised big money.

    1. That’s a popular theory/rumor, David, but it’s not true. Bryan Fuller had the idea for this series for many years. It would actually follow the story of the Klingon relationship with the Federation through different eras of Star Trek, beginning with the conflict prior to Kirk in season one. Fuller’s idea pre-dates 2014 when Axanar came onto most folks’ radar.

      1. What we do know is that Fuller was a big fan of Prelude to Axanar, since he said it to my face when I met him outside the Chinese Theater before seeing a movie there. (Fury Road maybe?). And Rob Burnett is a good friend with Bryan.

        No one is saying he copied Axanar, but maybe we gave Discovery a little positive inspiration.

        1. Hi Alex,

          Sorry to bother you, but will we get to see Axanar anytime soon I know you guys are working diligently?

        2. That is a bald faced lie, Alec. I’m friends with Mr. Fuller and we have continuing dialogue. He lobbied hard for me to have a ship design position on the art dept before his production designer was shown the door along with him.

          Bryan personally told me that he has never seen Prelude to Axanar, and only has tertiary awareness of it through his social relationship with Rob.

          I can produce a record of this correspondence, should I ask for Mr. Fuller’s consent to do so.

          1. Might not be a bad idea. Otherwise it’s he said/he said. And of course, Alec spoke to Bryan verbally, so he couldn’t produce a record. But that doesn’t mean Bryan didn’t tell Alec he’d seen Axanar.

            But yeah, if you have the correspondence, sure. Can you ask Bryan to e-mail me directly just so I can verify it’s him?

          2. I already put a cap of the convo on Twitter. I’m certainly willing to ask if he’d be willing to email you. I can also ask if he’s willing to put in a few words for your blog, but be forewarned he doesn’t have a lot of legal leeway to talk about what happened with Discovery.

            It was a pretty simple conversation, that took place earlier this year…

            “That Axanar thing, you ever see their short film?”

            “No. Any good?”

            “Ha. That Peters guy goes around saying ‘Bryan Fuller is a huge fan of Axanar!”

            “Bryan Fuller has never seen it.” (I thought the way he worded that was amusing). “I only know about it because I like Rob socially.”

          3. The more I think of it, for legal reasons if I were Bryan Fuller, I would NOT admit to having watched Axanar in any printed or recordable comment. The reason is the same as the reason why writers, producers, and directors will typically not read unsolicited scripts. There’s too much of a chance for getting sued for stealing someone else’s idea. In Bryan’s case, admitting that he’d seen Prelude to Axanar in any way, shape, or form could have opened up both himself and CBS to such legal accusations by Alec—with an actual incriminating comment in a written e-mail to back him up. Considering the litigation instigated by CBS and Paramount, that would be the last thing either studio would want to deal with.

            So I suspect that Bryan did, in fact, see Prelude at some point. Many, many hard-core fans have (millions, in fact), and Bryan Fuller IS a hard-core fan. And considering that Rob Burnett is a personal friend, Bryan was even more likely to have checked it out–especially as it was only 21 minutes long. I suspect the choice of phrasing “Bryan Fuller has never seen it…” might have been written that way on purpose to tacitly imply to you the legal ramification of saying anything other than that.

            And hey, I could be wrong. But I doubt that Bryan would ever write anything to either of us saying something other than “I never saw it.” So it will likely be impossible for either of us to ever know for certain.

        3. Or maybe they wanted you out of the way because you claimed Axanar was real Trek unlike what the studios were producing. Prelude was really good and I shared it with many friends but to make claims that Axanar was as good as Discovery is ludicrous. To say that in any way CBS stole from Axanar is also ludicrous.
          I think that it’s time for all of you to just stop complaining and either enjoy what is coming out or shut up. However in 2 years we’ll see how good Axanar is.

    2. How can a Studio steal something it already owns?

      Remember Garth and Axanar were the property of the studio long before Axanar was in the works. So they didn’t steal anything and this 2 hr battle doesn’t mean it’s a war with the Klingons. It was just a starting point…

      Alec had no business advising the studio. Yet people forget that, if they wanted his opinion they would have asked.

      Just like when he “worked” at the studio to archive the Star Trek props. He was never hired or even asked to help. He did so of his own accord….

      So his idea was really theirs no matter how you look at it.

      1. “Just like when he ‘worked’ at the studio to archive the Star Trek props. He was never hired or even asked to help. He did so of his own accord….”

        Um, exsqueeze me? He was never “asked to help”? So what was Alec doing for all those weeks and months: breaking and entering???

        Sheesh, Charles, if you have to bend and twist reality into a pretzel just to insult Alec Peters, did it ever occur to you that you might be–for lack of a more accurate term–completely and utterly full of shat?

        For the rest of you, here’s what Alec did when he allegedly (according to Charles here) wasn’t “asked to help”:

        So much effort, and all John Van Citters ever did was to write e-mails like this one that he sent to Alec on November 1, 2011:

        “I’m unable to go next week due to a scheduling conflict (my wife is away at a trade show then), so you’d be solo if you want to go then. The other option would be to do it after the stuff has been moved to Orlando, but that would require some duplication of effort.”

        Sounds like CBS didn’t want Alec’s help at all, doesn’t it? That’s probably why John Van Citters gave Alec the option of either doing the work solo or else wait to do it together in Orlando. They obviously wanted Alec nowhere near the props and costumes! (Can you hear the sarcasm in my typing, Charles?)

        And I’m certain John Van Citters HATED having all that free help. In fact, he even said as much when he sent Alec this e-mail message on January 2, 2013:

        “Awesome! As always, thank you. Looking forward to the new year and our new space and hopefully working toward getting our trash and treasure sorted and moving toward some useful organizational gains!”

        Yep, Alec was definitely persona non grata around the CBS offices! (Again, please note the subtle sprinkle of sarcasm in my prose.)

        – – – – –

        Charles, I don’t know whether you spread these lies on purpose or simply out of ignorance. Either way, though, would it possibly do any good if I simply asked you to please stop? After all, you only really end up making yourself look foolish and give Alec a chance to prove you wrong beyond a shadow of a doubt. And forgive me for being presumptuous, but isn’t that the exact OPPOSITE of what the average detractor actually wants to accomplish?

      2. Baxter as always, is a liar. Even CBS won’t claim I never worked on teh CBS Archive, as I worked for them, on a volunteer basis mostly, for 3 years. It is all chronicled online and I even made a Facebook page just for liars the James Cawley who claim I never worked on the archive.

        Propworx was also a CBS licensee selling many of teh assets of Star Trek: The Experience.

        1. Yes Alec,

          I’m such a liar!

          Yet it wasn’t I who sold replicas as screen used was it? No that was you as I recall

          Then again I wasn’t the one who screwed MGM out of 300k after auctioning of Stargate props was I? This was also you

          I also wasn’t the one who wouldn’t pay a gentleman after a judgement was decided in favor of the other party? The man died with YOU owing him money.

          Why would you do these things? Do you have even the slightest morals?

          You had a move-in party for your new “studio”, yet you charged Axanar fans $10 for a slice of pizza and a soda?

          I’m not attacking you in the slightest. I know you feel that I am, yet I don’t care about your fragile feelings.

          Oh, and don’t disrespect me or Mr. Cawley by not talking directly to him. Only cowars do that.

          BTW the is spelled THE, not TEH. Better save your pennies so you can get a smart phone with spell check.

          Have a Nice Day!

          1. Okay, show of hands for which of the following was the MOST ridiculously hypocritical part of Charles’ statement…

            (Note: you must choose only ONE option.)

            A) “I’m not attacking you in the slightest.” – This was said after writing the sentence “Do you have even the slightest morals?”

            B) “BTW the is spelled THE, not TEH. Better save your pennies so you can get a smart phone with spell check.” – This was said after writing the sentence fragment: “Only cowars do that.”

            It’s funny how, in trying to make Alec look worse and worse, Charles Baxter only succeeds in making himself look worse and worse. You’d think Charles would actually begin to learn some kind of lesson about karma and foolishness by now, but I guess class is still very much in session for Mr. Baxter. 🙂

          2. Charles Baxter has now been permanently banned from posting here on Fan Film Factor. Opinions are fine here; I welcome them. But lies and unsubstantiated false accusations just make the world a worse place, and I don’t want this blog to be a part of that.

          3. Charles Baxter you are a amazing liar. I never did business with and certainly have never sold anything as Screen Used that is a replica. When it comes to Star Trek, Propworx is THE authority on screen used Star Trek props & costumes, as every single item we sell has clear provenance to the studio, or one of the many art directors, visual effects supervisors or producers who sell their collections through Propworx.

            In fact we have told Profiles in History and Prop Store when they have advertised items that are fake Star Trek in their auctions.

            So take your lies and go away Baxter. We are all tired of your libel. You have zero expertise in anything and are a pathological liar.

          4. Hmmmm, it seems in my haste to embarrass Charles Baxter for his own hypocrisy, I’ve inadvertently allowed him to violate one of my main rules: no unsubstantiated accusations. Charles’ comment was full of them. Whether or not Charles believed them to be true (turns out they were false, but regardless), Charles did not substantiate any of his accusations with objective and verifiable proof. And that is a no-no on this site…much more serious than using cuss words or insults. Charles is now guilty of libel, which opens me up to the same accusation by publishing his comment.

            I will leave his comment up specifically so I can say the following for all to read:


            If he tries to submit a comment, even through an anonymous proxy account, it will be deleted unread and sent into the trash.

            I will not allow libel onto Fan Film Factor. Period.

        2. To the person who see this here. My name is kenny Smith from Rancho Cordova CA and i will not give CBS or Parmount studio a chance to change my life when it comes to star trek TOS t.v. show. I like star trek TOS and i will do my best to keep star trek going, as a Vietnam veteran i like it and i will fight them. You can go to all of the ad’s from all t.v. ad’s to the company to stop puting them on cbs or Parmount network. I will never see jj work and the person who did his work it is junk to me. Please let lot of you to see my words and make sure that see this. I will not let CBS telling me what to do. I don’t like them no more.

  2. I could not agree with you more, yep I’m old school Trek, started by watching at age 11 and I am 62 now.
    Did not watch this garbage and I am glad I didn’t. You have brought the true light on why CBS/Paramount attacked Axanar, what a crying shame they could have embraced them and it would have worked out just fine. I give this CRAP one season at best. People pay enough already for Cable, DirectTV or Dish and Netflix. I have always said if this show was going to be all that great it would be on free network TV, but to pay for one show and a ton of rerun crap shows, NO THANKS , and like you I will cherish my Trek memories of what Trek was and should be while this garbage fades into a long lost memory, just saying…………………..

  3. Perfectly put, as always, Jonathan! While I did enjoy some of Discovery, it just plain feels wrong on so many levels. As does the Kelvin-verse, because, at least in my mind, not so much could’ve changed in such a relatively short amount of time. But if you went and made a series like Discovery, then you’d have to have put in the Kelvin-verse, not the Prime timeline.

    I’ll be watching both, since I have Netflix, but at the moment, I enjoy The Orville much, much more! And I’m more than looking forward to the relase of Axanar, whenever that will be!

  4. The Technobabble was atrocious in the first Episode, the characters action were ridiculous.
    In my Head the Lead in the Brig and the rest of Discovery is her having day dreams., which I wont be watching.

  5. Ok I have no problem with a black female lead character but then they put one white Klingon
    in the group and they are all racist against him, C’mon what the frack was that about.

    1. One of my friends said, “Well, aren’t all Klingons played by black actors?”

      I proceeded to list the non-black actors who have played Klingons in order from TOS onward (including John Tesh!). What I realized is that, aside from Michael Dorn and Tony Todd, nearly every major Klingon character has been played by white guys: Kor, Koloth, Kang (well, Michael Ansara was Syrian), Mara, Korax, Kras, Kruge, Maltz, the Klingon Ambassador from Trek IV and VI, Gorkon, Azetbur, Chang, Korris (the 1st season TNG Klingon from “Heart of Glory” played by Vaughn Armstrong), Kargon and Krag from “A Matter of Honor”, K’Ehleyr, Alexander Rozenko, Duras, Lursa, B’Etor, K’mpec, Gowron, Martok, B’Elanna Torres.

      Need I go on? 🙂

  6. Say whuuuuttttt? Why even bother to call it “Trek?” (No, I haven’t seen Disco yet as we’re waiting for all episodes to be available for streaming and then decide to binge-watch or not) But from your description it sounds like the attempt to name a Chevy Cavalier a “Cimarron” and make folks think it was a “Cadillac.” Hah. (OK, I’m showing my age here, but hopefully you get the point.)

    Aggressive “first-strike” Vulcans is not Trek. Meek Klingons cringing for 100 years from any confrontation with the Federation is not Trek.

    I’m sure the show is fine, but who thought to call it ‘Trek?’ To those of us who watched TOS when it first aired this is mixing toothpaste with my orange juice. Why on earth would they think Trek fans would watch this? Call it something else and I’d watch a good space battle show. (“Battlefield Kop Su-I” for all I care, ANYTHING but Trek) They’d still get the younger generation as it’d still be new.

    But a BMW badge on a Yugo doesn’t cut it.


          1. Sadly, my A1C is too high, so I’ll have to pass on the extra carbs. But perhaps you could make that work if you substituted the fries in place of the bun. Would get a bit messy, though . . . .

  7. Really sad.. but completely agree.

    I think they could save the season, and make up for the Last episode of Enterprise, if in episode 13 of this series they pulled back and revealed this CBS-verse was actually taking place in the Kelvin-verse as viewed from a visitor from the Prime universe.. maybe John DeLancie is available?

    Then while Long night comes to cover this season.. we can sleep tight for another generation safe in the notion that somewhere the next generation will learn.. and remember…

      1. Hey.. if Corbin Bersen can guest star as a ‘Q’

        Then JJ Abrams could guest star as a ‘Q’ and John Delancie could finally ask him, what’s with all the Len’s flares?

      2. Hello everyone, my friend found out the person who did the new star trek show. Is part of jj work but he told me that it was in Canada and he did not like the show and he will not pay to see the rest of the show do to that it don’t go the way of the star trek we all saw from all of the shows and it is just a bunch of junk parts of the show jumps all around and it don’t make much cence?, so i my self will not see it at all.

        I my self will use this as my group star ship TOS it will be this (star ship),? I will let give me names for the star ship. If any one want to help me with this project you can look for my Facebook page under kenny Smith in pvt mode. Or talk to the person here.

  8. There is no Axanar…. There is Discovery…. looks like my choice has already been made for me….

  9. You lost my interest at “but alas, we’ll soon be back to a captain who’s a white male.”

    I respect you, Jonathan, but psuedo racism against white males is uncool. Diversity should be celebrated and encouraged. But comments like that above are out of order. Either everyone gets treated equally, or no one does.

    1. As a white male of privilege, I am totally allowed to point out the fact that, thus far, white male captains have dominated Star Trek – including Pike, Kirk, Matt Decker, Ron Tracey, Bob Wesley, Will Decker, J.T. Esteban, Stiles, Picard, Jellico, Preston, Archer. Sure, we had Sisko, Janeway, Clark Terrell, and a bunch of other non-white males along the way. But if you include Discovery as one of the six live-action Trek TV series, four of those series (66.7%) have featured a white, male captain.

    1. Believe it or not, I spent about five minutes trying to think of a good foreign language to end that sentence. Chinese? Too many negative connotations at the moment. Farsi? Same problem. Russian? Oh hell, nyet! Japanese? I always sorta saw Klingons as Japanese-ish anyway. Portuguese? I know a lot of folks from Brazil, and I didn’t want to use their language for a gag. Czech? Not a funny-sounding enough word. Tagalog? Do most people even know that’s the language of the Philippines? Norwegian? That was a front-runner for a whole, but what else was out there? German? Possibly, but my father-in-law’s family is from Austria. Hungarian? Possibly, but the whole Hungary/hungry homophone is a potential land-mine for that joke. Swedish? Maybe. The “ish” was starting to work for me. Finnish? Sounds too much like “finish.” What else ends in “ish”? And that’s how “Polish” became the winner.

      Betcha never realized how hard I word at being inane! 🙂

      1. How about Esperanto? I don’t think you could offend anyone there, or perhaps Quenya (though probably more people understand Quenya than Esperanto).

        For me it made no sense, they had universal translations in Enterprise and in TOS, so why have them speak in a different language, and to me it sounded more like what I imagine a Vogon would sound like without a babelfish. Long, boring and dull, not very Klingon, I can’t imagine a prime Klingon would have the patience to listen to someone talk so slowly. Imagine if Martok took that long to say a sentence on DS9, it would feel like a very laggy telephone call albeit face to face with a Universal Translator instead of a telephone… actually that sounds like a cool idea for The Orville, a race that communicates much faster then we do, and a race that communicates much slower O:). (Seth, if you happen to read this feel free to use it, but could you swing it for me to have a tour of the set)

          1. I don’t know Esperanto, but Yiddish would have worked, too:

            “Kreplach! Vontz! Shmaltz! Tsil vepans tsu ershter faynt bafel shif! Schlos!”

  10. I tend to lean to this being more of an alternate “Kelvin Timeline” period, rather than “Trek Canon”. I watched the premiere on broadcast, and though “intrigued” – I admit I’d rather wait until all episodes are available and binge-watch the remaining season myself. I’ve yet to see episode 2.
    I did read an interesting “interview-esque” story on Buzzfeed about ST: Discovery and what the writers and front-runner(s) are intending to bring to their storylines. Again, it is “intriguing”, and it remains to be seen *if* they are able to actually pull this vision off and provide meaningful stories that parallel our times today, such as TOS did or tried to back in the 60’s.

  11. The Klingon is the late Richard Hatch’s character. Not that Ben Grimm Fantastic Four makeover. Axanar’s Klingon is more menacing, low key aggression, not a big rock.

  12. I’ve posted these comments, in various forms and in various places, before. I’ll post them again here and now:

    Discovery is a reboot. I don’t think there can be any doubt that there is no conceivable way in which this show ties into “prime” continuity. Beyond the immediate fact that the visual design ethos nullifies CBS’s claim that this is prime timeline stuff, there’s the fact that it’s being produced on Bad Robot’s license, and Bad Robot’s license flat-out *does not allow* them to use the Prime timeline visual ethos.

    That’s why Axanar, to me, is the last gasp of actual Star Trek. But that’s not why I won’t be paying to watch Discovery.

    I won’t be paying to watch Discovery because CBS, in insisting that Discovery is “prime”, is simply *lying*. And I won’t reward a company for lying to me. If they ” ‘fess up” and admit that this is a “reboot” or yet another “alternate universe”, then fine, I’ll revisit my decision. Until then, absolutely nothing doing.

    1. Bad Robot isn’t involved in “Star Trek: Discovery,” John. Alex Kurtzman is, but not Bad Robot. It’s a CBS Original and can, therefore, use whatever it wants from Star Trek history. CBS owns Star Trek outright, so everything is on the table, my friend. (I just wish they hadn’t gone out and ordered from a different restaurant!)

      1. What is it with these people who are sold on the story that Bad Robot is involved with the series? That it’s being produced by Paramount and distributed by CBS?
        Sounds like something Doug Fitz dreamed up…

        1. Please don’t bring Doug Fitz into this. He hasn’t posted anything here and isn’t here to defend himself. Also, he has never told me that Bad Robot or Paramount is producing the new series.

  13. YES! That’s it! Exactly . STD ( Perfect – Do you think? )
    was made for $8 Million an Episode ! Yet Alec Peters
    produce a very respectable – semi – professional product that does a better job representing the TOS Prime verse then what die-hard fans just got.
    That’s why they – CBS/Paramount were so worried about Axanar –
    cause it was just too damn good.
    It didn’t just step on toes – it Drove Nails into them.
    It therefore simply HAD to be stopped – and at ALL cost.
    Make absolutely No “Bones” about it – ( UC what I did there? )
    “Discovery” is CBS’s response to Axanar !
    They were NOT planning this series B4 Axanar came along –
    Just like they were Not planning on JJ Trek B4 “Of Gods & Men” –
    The 40th Anniversary Fan Film “Love Letter” Directed by Trek Veteran Tim Russ.
    NO. Discovery’s very Existence is because of Axanar,
    produced as justification for the lawsuit to allow for CBS to reclaim their property rights!
    Period. Plain and simple. INSTEAD of SUING Alec Peters – They should have HIRED him. This was a misstep on their part all the way. THE Key mistake made with the finished mini film “Prelude to Axanar” was that they released it without Paramount’s blessing It’s to bad the Axanar production team didn’t go to CBS/ Paramount with that finished 20 minute short as a pitch for the idea – to produce something jointly in full corporation / and support of the studio.
    Would have loved to seen THAT given a $8 Million Dollar per Episode Green light !

    1. A friend of mine who used to work on DS9 said that Byran Fuller used to discuss the idea for what became Discovery back when DS9 was still being produced…which was 1993-2000. That predates Axanar by a decade and a half. Discovery wasn’t CBS’s response to Axanar anymore than DS9 was Paramount’s response to Babylon 5. They were simply two great ideas that evolved independently but turned out to be, totally be coincidence, very similar.

      1. I find that “Fascinating”, and all to convenient. I know it’s his story – and he’s going to stick to it, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to buy it. OH- wait. I’m not –
        cause I’m not paying to watch this by Subscribing to CBS All-Access .

      2. Jonathan, I would say that could be construed many ways. Talking about a Klingon war concept is one thing, actually making a detailed plot, characters and framework another. Has anyone considered that maybe the whole “strangeness” of Disco is specifically so that all connection between Disco and Axanar (and past series) is broken? Cut all the ties and now you can rehash everything you want, reuse old newspapers, recycle Harry Mudd, etc. A lot less effort is needed that way and you can churn out more episodes, based on response. So, now, they are saying that they have a “new Trek”, and can dispense with all the old stuff, and go where they want. One thing about the Klingons though, and that is Enterprise did it’s whole show thing with Klingons, talked and fought with them, saved them, etc. So, as a non expert in the exact timeline, I am pretty sure there was less than 100 years between NX01 and Disco. Or was it?

        1. Just about a hundred years between Enterprise and Discovery. The Federation of Planets was officially formed in 2161. Discovery’s pilot takes place in 2256.

  14. Very much like how I feel. Discovery is well acted, well produced, and fairly compelling SF. What it isn’t, is Star Trek. Not to me, at least. If it wasn’t for all of the times it broke the ST universe, in small to huge ways, I might give it a chance. Unfortunately it *is* billed as a Star Trek series, with the 50 years of universe building that entails, and it doesn’t make the grade on that.

    And yes, putting your main protagonists in rubber masks that eliminate both their ability to emote AND speak intelligibly is a very poor choice. There’s a reason why Michael Westmore made most of the alien races be essentially humanoid, with genitalia on their heads; it let the actors ACT.

  15. Thanks for the review. As someone whose studied acting as a hobby, I agree 1000% about the problem of acting when in something that restricting. It’s a classic stupid mistake when a problem can’t be corrected because “the powers that be” don’t want feedback and won’t change.

    I agree with the competition aspect but not as you wrote it. To me it’s not a matter of confusion but of market share/profits for CBS. Think of this – two presumably high quality star trek productions out there one costing much much less than another fighting for the attention of viewers. The business decision for CBS was obvious – destroy Axanar – a financial/competition decision before the Axanar team and others overwhelmed the studio version with many high quality alternatives.

  16. This sums up my thoughts about both of these shows perfectly.

    With the minor exception that I’d like to toss the Discovery footage out an airlock. What horrifically overwrought acting.

  17. OK, I agree with 99.9% of what you say here. I almost immediately developed an affinity to the Axanar characters upon watching Prelude. The War in Axanar seems to fit more consistently with everything I have seen or read about Star Trek. I bought it hook, line & sinker.

    STD (godawful acronym) lost me with the inconsistencies, rambling Klingon diatribes and timeline inappropriate starships, not to mention killing Michelle Yeoh’s character off. Mostly I just can’t buy the Klingons as a confused cult, who can be led into war with on incoherent speech.

    The big thing that annoyed me most though is that there were two 40 minute episodes of Star Trek:Discovery with no sign of the star ship Discovery! What the…what?!?! The glimpses of Discovery in the previews don’t count. Don’t even get me started on how the priviews just start with no warning (maybe I wad just sleepy from the insufferable boredom).

    Anyway episode 3 will be better right?

  18. This article is absolutely *perfect*.
    Agree 110%

    If CBS had ANY brains, they’d have bought Axanar outright and made it a 4 or 5 season show.
    But, like they have for the past 40 years, they continue to crap all over the best sci-fi TV show and best product they’ve ever had.

      1. I have a theoretical insight in to that:
        Les Moonves “We are going to get into the internet streaming thing.”
        CBS exec 1 “We need a way to get people to buy a subscription streaming service from us”
        CBS exec 2 “What a good idea, we could make TBBT the center-point”
        CBS exec 3 “No, we can’t sell a new service around a half-hour sitcom, we need a real powerhouse brand.”
        CBS exec 9, cowering, huddled in the corner “We, um, we could… um, we could use Star Trek?”
        Les Moonves: “I hate that crap. You KNOW I hate that crap.”
        CBS Exec 1 “Well, hold on Les, Star Trek fans are rabid and they haven’t had any tv content in a very long time. Little Puffer over there might be on to something.”
        CBS Exec 2 “maybe…”
        CBS Exec 3 “Well, that *IS* our only real “powerhouse” brand.”
        Les Moonves “FINE! But it better not be the same washed up, stupid crap that was produced before. It will NOT be all brainy, and we WILL be overtly PC. Screw Star Trek, and screw stupid Star Trek fans; it’s crap, they’re crap. But you are right about it selling.
        Sell it. Bastardize the hell out of it and sell it.”

    1. Eric, that was a position a lot of the Axanar fans said, over and over, and in many places. All fell on deaf ears. There was something else afoot in the whole deal. Axanar was such a golden opportunity to get a real Trek series up and running with little effort, the movie could have been the big lead in, and episodes built out from there, and have a 20 year window to play in. Bring Disco along as another series (maybe) but keep it fitting in, or push it out past NextGen and go for it. But it seems the entertainment industry has no originality left in the tank, so they switched to the recycle tank for ideas and that is called “Disco” today..

  19. Watched it on Netflix twice now and i just could not get invested in it. The pilot was pointless and could have been done in flash back from episodes 3-4 where she joins the Discovery. ..Reckless officer mutinies and starts a war, then gets her captain killed and goes to jail for life..The End. No wonder Spock/Sarek never spoke about her. And her trying to be Vulcan didn’t last long either did it. Its a reboot too far i i will stick with The Orville. Sorry that Axanar got mugged by cbs/paramount on this, i would have loved to have seen the full story on tv. But i have my “Prelude” dvd to fall back on and wonder what could have been.

  20. I’ve not seen Discovery, partly because we don’t have cable, partly because I didn’t even watch when we did have cable, and partly because it seems like regression instead of progression.

    There was a bad feeling about it from the beginning for me and several of my friends, especially one who had dressed as Lt. Uhura for Halloween for years as a kid and as an adult. “Why does it look like the big villain in Discovery is based on some of the most hateful racist caricatures they could find?” was her comment. That killed her enthusiasm and explained what about it had bothered me too. It just seemed like a stupid choice.

    One of my friends who was excited for Discovery said he turned it off before the first episode was over. When I asked him why he said, “Do you remember the movie The Warriors? It looked like they just lifted the gang meeting that started the action in that movie and changed it very little to use as the start of the action in Discovery. Except you could understand what the gang members were saying in The Warriors so it helped advance the plot. In Discovery you had no such luck. If I wanted to read a Star Trek novel I would read a Star Trek novel.”

    I’ve not seen Discovery, but someday when I have the interest and can do so for free I might watch an episode or two. But considering that the highest praise I’ve heard for it so far from my friends was “Meh, it wasn’t bad, but…” I feel no need to rush out and pay CBS some of my limited funds. I’ll just watch TOS, TNG, and/or DS9 instead. Maybe the animated series too. Or, like my friend above, maybe I’ll just read a Star Trek novel.

  21. Discovery has potential but we can only say that for so long.

    For myself, the appearance of the ship’s and the bridge don’t bother me. I’m a canon purist but I can accept some things.

    The Klingon appearance is different though and it needs to be explained. Why is it different? Because it has been specifically addressed in canon and that needs to be dealt with. Between the DS9 Trimble episode and the Enterprise augments arc we have an acknowledgement of the change happening. The reappearance of Kor, Kang and Koloth on DS9 also shows that the change could be reversed. They need to address this is some fashion.

    It wouldn’t even be hard. The structure of Klingon society that they’ve established gives them an out. Say that the change didn’t impact all the houses or that it had a different impact on different houses. That could be used to explain everything.

    I think even canon purists are willing to forgive a great deal if they are given something to grab onto. What isn’t acceptable is to ignore it.

    1. I’m okay with the canon violations as long as I think ” alternate universe.” The show isn’t inherently bad (at least for me). And some things have a lot of potential. But in the end, it was a bunch of people who just don’t understand Star Trek (the ones who took over after Bryan Fuller was fired) deciding to do their own sci-fi show and then painting “Star Trek” on the outside all over it. I can put orange and black stripes on a poodle; that still doesn’t make it a tiger.

      1. I have one big problem with the show, apart from the ‘violations of canon.’ It’s even based on a Star Trek meme; “The Mary Jane.” The character of Michael Burnham skates dangerously close to that meme. Adopted and unknown sister to Spock who has mind melded with Sarek, when even Spock never had. Capable of multi light-year mental communication with that same Vulcan. Right, when all others are wrong. Beloved by all, then hated by all.

      2. Alternate universe won’t fly with me. Obviously there are as many opinions on all of this as there are fans but what you describe was my problem with the so-called Kelvan timeline. They were fine as sci-fi/action movies but they weren’t Star Trek and sometimes they were so not-Star Trek that it was insulting. It’s a low standard, but I haven’t found Discovery insulting (yet).

        In my optimistic moments, however, I try to think back to how disappointed 14 year old me was when The Next Generation premiered and Picard surrendered the ship in the first ten minutes. That all turned out well enough. Hopefully Discovery will as well.

  22. I took special note of the “100 years since” component, because that was the length of time passage that was mentioned in “Balance of Terror” when referencing the Romulans.

    Could it be that the writers for ST:D are trying — and I must add unsuccessfully — to “pull at the heart strings” of TOS fans, just like J.J. Abrams tried with the reboot movies, in an attempt to say “we provide homage to TOS,” while actually managing to come out looking like they’re thumbing their nose at us?

    I don’t know… but, to me both J.J. Abrams’ and now ST:D’s attempts at homage to TOS come off as more parody than actual homage.

    Colour me unimpressed, and in the same vein as you Johathan.

  23. I agree completely! When considering to produce a new series CBS could have gone in several directions. They had 2 universes, past and future…endless possibilities. They could have chosen to honor what came before (like Axana and other fan films) or toss it aside (like JJ Abrams mostly did). They chose the JJ-aproach, completely with redesign of the look of almost everything. Maybe they thought it would be an updated version of the Star Trek we all know…like a version Gene Roddenberry would design if he would do it all again today. But in the end you can not expect every fan to forget what has come before and declare it ‘canon’! It will be CBS’ version of Star Trek from now on…but not THE REAL Star Trek.

  24. The Klingons were the worst! They look like freaks from Shakespeare in the Park and the lead Klingon looks like Mary, Queen of Scots!

  25. I have to say this, when the crewman used Alec Peters line from Axanar in the brig scene near word for word I realized they blew it for me, my brain went I have hear that before 🙁 Axanar Lives they can’t Erase my Blue Ray copy !!!

  26. “…and I loved the dynamic of seeing two women interacting as captain and first officer of a starship…and neither was caucasian!”
    And here, just now i know that i dont wan to read any more from this racis person

    1. What racis person? Where? I don’t see a racis person anywhere…except maybe one who sees the word “caucasian” and stops reading. But that’s more silly than racist, dontcha think? Or were you just angry that I didn’t capitalize “Caucasian”? I thought about it. But I don’t capitalize “black” or “white.” Hmmm, on the other hand, I do capitalize “Latino” and “Asian.” Okay, you got me! I’m sorry I didn’t capitalize “Caucasian,” Gromomir. We all good now?

  27. I never understood someone working with a property they don’t like. I don’t like my little pony but I wouldn’t take the job of making a movie and turning it into something it’s not. Who would it be for? People who don’t like it would never see it and the fans would reject it as an insult.

    We know what trek is. Why make something that isn’t trek? I don’t want a retread of the earlier shows I want the same themes and inspiration but told from new angles. We’ve never seen much of Earth. What makes someone leave Utopia to visit the stars? What are the politics of admitting new planets? Maybe even ditch the ship as the primary story vehicle. The expanse works even if you leave out the roci.

    Redesigning the Klingons is like redesigning Vader’s helmet. Why mess with the iconic?

      1. “I always imagined a ‘Star Trek meets The West Wing’ could have been an awesome TV series.”

        That would be great! Sadly, I doubt that the studios would have touched that idea with a ten-foot pole even at the hight of popularity and quality.

        1. Actually, my idea was much more elaborate than that. I also had an officer from the USS Bozeman coming back to his family after decades only to discover the infant son he’d left behind to grow up fatherless is now an admiral and older than he is. The admiral’s wife is the president of the Federation. I had a whole list of fun stuff! 🙂

  28. Excellent assessment. I realize there may be legal issues why they couldn’t utilize the old style uniforms and equipment, but if they’d even tried, I might have been willing to put up with the darker tone. Might.

    1. No legal issues…they just didn’t want to. The idea was to appeal to a younger, hipper audience. Production design from five decades ago isn’t gonna keep the attention of the young’uns.

      1. Oh, I know. I’ve just been told by people completely unattached that it was the problem. I would have been fine with updating production values but not altering the core. We saw it was possible in the Eneterprise Mirror eps.

        1. But Enterprise did a good job at it, they had the old style science station that Spock used. So if they could bring back that design for Enterprise, why not for Disco? Also we had the mirror universe ENT crew aboard the TOS Enterprise, so…?

  29. I wholeheartedly agree with your article Jonathan. There were so many things wrong with Discovery you touched upon that it’s a JOKE the the creators call it “canon”??? It is most assuredly NOT canon in the least… Axanar is… period. Discovery is a reboot, plain and simple, in some alternate universe that’s even more alternate than JJ’s reboot! I also agree there were some good moments in the show that were pretty cool, but those things in no way make up for the bulk and general format of it.

    Axanar IMO, is truly created by fans that KNOW Star Trek. Every aspect from Prelude To Axanar was perfect in all ways to the true canon of Star Trek in that time period before TOS. To me, it was extra special that a good amount of “tech” upgrades were made to the ships in Axanar that make sense, and bring the FX up to today’s levels without overdoing it in any way to the extreme that Discovery has. And to top it all off, Axanar is a better story as well.

    Here’s the problem though, as much as Discovery is FAR from what I (and I’m sure many ST fans) would’ve wanted in a new Star Trek series. I love Star Trek so much that I’m still going to watch it despite myself. I must emphasize that I CAN’T STAND CBS and their greedy, arrogant, attitude towards real Star Trek and especially the fan films (except for maybe Star Trek Continues… excellent stuff but how the heck have they gotten away with not following the new bullcrap rules set out by almighty CBS???)!

    Anyhow, thank you for this article and to Alec Peters and all the Axanar crew, fans, supporters, etc. for giving us a glimpse and how it SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE!!

    And finally, thanks to Richard Hatch for his incredible performance on Prelude, and years of giving all of us wonderful performances in all his work. I know he’s he’s watching us from up there right now and rooting for us all the way!!

    Peace, and long life,
    Moe De Luca

  30. I agree axanar is the superior product, I want to see more of the series , THAT I would pay to watch. Maybe CBS and Axanar could work together and produce a superior product that could have a 5 to 7 year run…..What CBS has now is basically crap……They will pull the plug on this effort once they really start losing money on it

  31. When it comes to these Klingons….

    I have to wonder what happens when the other Klingon’s put a jiHvaD pup Sign on his back?
    Or when they need to back the shuttle pod out of a tight spot at the grocery store?

  32. I agree with you completely. The Klingons were so stiff, as to be a lampoon of the species. Dialogue was stunted and forced; I’ve never seen a Klingon speak in such slow and broken syntax. The ships were decades beyond what they should have been. And I was bored. Where was my Star Trek? Oh, that’s right, Alec Peters is just waiting in the wings, readying his battle-fleet, to unleash pure Trek upon an unsuspecting world.

  33. I have to say, I don’t agree with you regarding the Klingons. For me they were the best part so far. I didn’t ascribe how they spoke to their costumes and makeup. To me it felt like a particular choice to pronounce things a certain way. The cadence (to me) sounded almost like they were speaking like Native Americans, which is what made me think it was deliberate rather than a handicap.

    1. Oh, it was certainly deliberate. The producers made several conscious choices regarding re-doing the Klingons. I simply think those choices were poor ones. As far as the actors’ ability to, well, act…the stiff and heavy costumes, the constraining facial make-up, and the false teeth acted like speed bumps on a freeway. The actors simply couldn’t give us their all. And to force them to deliver every line in Klingon took away the actors ability to “push” certain words and syllables. Sure, they could do that while speaking Klingon, but their artistic choices would end up meaning nothing to viewers. Imagine Shatner’s “Risk is our business…” speech delivered in another language that Shatner didn’t understand. Would he have been able to deliver lines like “That’s why we’re ABOARD her!” in the same way? Of course not.

      Deliberate choice? Yes. Good choice? Nope. Not in my opinion.

  34. I too had those same thoughts. In fact, I honestly question if CBS deliberately plagiarized Axanar to a degree. Replacing the TOS reference of the Battle of Axanar with the TOS reference to the Battle of Donatu V. The Shinzou’s / Walker-class design being similar to the Ares-class. (Of course the Shinzou taking a variation with the center saucer deflector mount and the ventral bridge layout). Garth’s ship being replaced by the Ares. (Like the pilot starts with the Shinzou and moves to the Discovery?)

    Of course that may be too tin foil, but one way or another, Discovery is canon. While the Klingons do not emote and the acting is passable, what bothers me the most about the show is the visuals of the show just doesn’t scream 10 years before Kirk and Spock. As mentioned in the article, the Klingons are the worst offenders with the new looks (allegedly a different Klingon ethnicity) and the ships not even looking Klingon (D5s and maybe even D7s were supposed to be in service).

    I don’t know who these “Master Trekers” the Discovery team consists of, but the way this show has turned out, they aren’t Trekkies at all.

    1. Sounds like you’re the one being racist and sexist if you have any problem with what I said there, Scott. Did it bother you that much that there were two women in command? Did it bother you that neither one was white? Welcome to 2017…or 2256!

      Sheesh, and you have the nerve to call ME racist and sexist!

  35. Absolutely spot on analysis! You’ve summed up my thoughts and feelings about Discovery and Axanar perfectly.

    I would have been able to set aside my dislike of the aesthetics and design choices IF Discovery had told a compelling, engaging story. Instead, I was so bored and un-engaged my Dad and I spent the two episodes noticing every flaw and bad decision and gaping plot hole instead (is Burnham even a Starfleet officer if she went to the VSA? Since when do Ambassadors have a say in Fleet assignments? Why exactly are you sending your Captain and XO onto the Klingon ship other than for the Captain to die?).

    I was more engaged with Axanar: a story told entirely documentary style with cut aways to battle scenes! Which just goes to show that, as I’ve always known, good storytelling is what really matters. I’m genuinely disappointed Discovery didn’t have it.

  36. Star Trek was, to be honest a bit formulaic and a result of the experiences Gene got from life in WWII and running other shows around that time.

    The reboot-itis currently plagueing the industry is just modern ‘kids’ running around playing ‘Trek’ as a way to get their shows funded.. and then they run a season or two and end. And go on to other things more original.

    The recent firings of ‘kids’ playing at Star Wars is a good sign that a few adults are still around paying attention.

    I’ve continued to believe until Star Trek ‘gets sold’ by Paramount or CBS or both.. it will remain a prime target for being used as a vehicle for getting stuff ‘funded’.

    It needs a champion, a Jeff Bezos or some one who really is a fan who isn’t as concerned with money as ‘revisiting’ a show and a universe that was around when they grew up. Netflix.. might be that champion.. it seemed to try as best it could.. but in the end Les Moonves basically did whatever he thought it should be.. and kind of came out like like a private little dream that no one recognizes.

    I’ve only seen [The one] episode.. and it was a realy chore just to finish it.. it even depresses me to remember what I did see.. so no I won’t even be binging it.

    For me this never happened.. I don’t need to put it down, or whail about it (or at least anymore).. it ended sept 24, 2017.. nice little private fanfilm.. but wasn’t for me.

  37. like your view point and on 99% what you said I agree I would give discovery one thing nice new show just not Star Trek call it “discovery” but don’t call it Star Trek and Axanar is more Star Trek then this CBS has been stabbing the fans in the back for to long wont be waiting my time on this in the Star Trek world I know as you pointed out this is not 10yrs before Kirk.

  38. I notice that almost all the comments here are pro-Axanar and anti-Discovery. (I admit I started to flash through after the 20th comment saying the same thing). It just seems funny that I happen to bee the only person who disagrees with your ideas that posts on here. Maybe it has something to do with the approval process?

    1. Actually, nope. Today, only three comments got trashed. Two were from Gabe Koerner–the second one asking me to trash the first one because he shared something about The Orville he wasn’t supposed to. The only other comment that got trashed was from Orange Jumpsuit (who had a previous comment approved). The reason I trashed the second comment? Well, take a look and tell me if you think it added anything intelligent to the conversation:

      “And the great White Knight Johnathan rode into the scene on the back of his steed, and hoisted high above his helmet, was a virtue single that could be seen far across the land and sea, for all the galant social justice warriors to assemble…”

      Meh. It seemed like a waste of electrons to include it, so I didn’t. Aside from that, everything else has been approved today, Edward. It’s simply that most people do, after all, seem to agree with the points I’ve made. And if the detractors all want to flood the comments section because of what I just said, then simply follow the rules of no personal insults/name-calling, no false accusations, and general civility.

      But yes, after 4,145 reads so far today, pretty much every comment has been positive toward Axanar, negative toward Discovery, or both.

      1. “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

        This might be a reason why all your comments are “positive toward Axanar, negative toward Discovery, or both.”

        Of course we shall see. won’t we?

        1. I’m not sitting by my computer 24/7, Tibby. As long as you follow the rules of no cursing and no insults/name-calling, no false accusations, and general civility, you’ll be approved…when I have a chance to review your comment(s).

  39. I watched Orvill and I watched STD (apt acronym) to say Orvill felt more star trek than the official mini series was odd sensation. The STD klingon looked like the face off contestant were given a brief which they did not follow, went a total different direction and time ran out. The outfits have no place on a battlefield, the ridges look like a head zipper and the lack of unify colour was a huge jar.
    The plot was slow and plodding that I had nodded off during pary one, woke in part two and thought ‘ain’t this over yet?’
    The crew of the Discovery were so sjw I felt they were five individuals on the bridge rather than a crew of five.
    IF this is before Kirk in either universe, then the ship could be flown by one person. “Transferring helm to me” wtf? Space Bluetooth and breaking old and new cannon.
    Tbh if Eugene Roddenberry had done his research he would habe found grimy and dark mean dollars. Shiny is for low budget short runs. See cleopatra 2525, caprica or heroes series three.

    1. Welcome! Have a look around. The “List of Fan Films” section is LOADED with great features and interviews with fan film-makers. Let me know what you think, W.A.

  40. I also found myself confused about the coffins remembering “It’s only an empty shell, dispose of the body as you like” … but now I read in memory alpha that may not always have been the Klingon cultural belief but that this is old school is not clarified in any way if that’s the case.

    I also must have overlooked the familiar “It’s a good day to die” that has always accompanied Klingon entry to battle.

    It’s not just the costumes, ships and the sound of the language of one of our favorite counterpoints to humanity that feels off.

    1. There’s a lot that would have been different had Bryan Fuller not been fired. Man, at some point I need to get approval to show you guys what the uniforms WOULD have looked like. You’ll cry over what might have been.

      1. Interesting point there and I’d love to see what you can show, Jonathan, if allowed. I’d like to add that I constantly see ardent (rabid really) Discovery fans keep posting quotes made by Mr. Fuller when he was showrunner that the production would be in the prime timeline/universe. They call any who dispute that as toxic and a cancer to “true Trek”, yet they purposely evade mentioning the interference by CBS and Kurtzman and his push back against it until he was essentially ousted from his position.

    1. Go back to ComicCon2014 or 15, when Richard Hatch gave about a 10 minute lecture to someone who asked about today’s entertainment industry and movies, and he expalined clearly how you can make a $100 million movie for $10 million. And how they did it with Axanar. Prelude was like, $85K, and the best 20 minutes of Star Trek in 20 years or so…Richard Hatch was a lot more than a great actor…

  41. i must say, i disagree about the ship design. i think having glass windows is silly, sure (“where’s my filters?” “they’re at max, Captain!” when they could’ve just shut it off if it were a screen), but all the ships that showed up look like evolutions on the NX-class to me.

    i even think the nacelles look like a halfway point between NX (admittedly, the NX looked more TNG-ish than anything, with blue and red nacelles, but in the same shape as the Constitution class) and Constitution – mostly covered, but still some glow. the small, multiple-ball bussard collectors are simply in line with other ships they’ve shown for that, and i can happily accept that pike’s enterprise is an experimental new design, while discovery is the latest iteration on their tried and tested. discovery talks about new types of warp drive in the trailers, and on pike’s ship they mention new warp too – presumably they can be testing multiple ship and nacelle designs for this new class of engine?

    there’s also what is clearly a few Miranda-class type designs, especially the ship admiral whats-his-face arrived on (not every ship arrived at the same time!)

    the shenzhou is also an old ship. the NX class had just about as many screens per console. the Constitution is the new flagship – 1701 rather than 10..3x? assuming the registries are consecutive. discovery herself looks like another step of that journey, beginning to try longer necks and further separated engineering sections – since the NX was completely neckless, and ENT’s retrofit never happened – and Discovery’s registry is once again pre-1701, so presumably designed and began construction earlier than the Constitution

    the shenzhou mentions optical processors, while the Constitution class has duotronic, i don’t believe it was ever stated what NX used, but it’s not exactly un-starfleet to send off ships with new computer systems on regular missions, like voyager, or the defiant, or even ent-d.

    part of this is, of course, some mental gymnastics. but roddenberry himself redesigned the Klingons and completely changed the look of the bridge and all of their technology just 10 years on in the timeline, for TMP! the look of TNG-era shows, enterprise, and discovery, better match TMP than TOS, i’d say. if ppl are crying “alternative universe” based on aesthetics.. then TOS is really the odd one out.

    the producers of the show have also said multiple times that apparent inconsistencies will be cleared up – they mentioned that discovery will look closer to Constitution class than shenzhou did, and from the prerelease photos of the transporter rooms i’m inclined to agree. the shenzhou’s transporter room looks like many NX transporters put together in a room, Discovery’s is “Kirk and onwards” 6 in a circle and a 7th in the middle, one single unit transporters, with far smaller emitters and scanners. yeoh says in dialogue that her ship’s transporters design is already phased out in newer ships, too.

    the production team also didn’t just make new sound effects like the Abrams movies, they reused tng and tos era sounds – which just suggests that the sounds in tng weren’t new to the LCARS system more than anything else. i can see why they didn’t use just TOS sounds honestly, the computers screech for 15+ seconds for one command there.

    honestly, the biggest gripe i have with the series myself is they didn’t use majel-barrett’s voice for the ship, even though they’d recorded her like they did siri’s VA just in case!

    i would say the Klingons staying away for 90 odd years makes sense too – the houses fractured, no one is centrally controlling anything, they’re busy fighting amongst themselves for Klingon empire territory, and t’kuvma has been outside of all of this for a very long time, sees the federation expanding their borders ever closer, and tells them to snap out of it because there’s a bigger threat to their klingon-ness than each other. i don’t think the Klingons look too different either really, just… shaved. i think they missed a trick with having some of the heads of houses having full curly Klingon hair while others were shaved, to show changing fashions, but that’s about it. they always had variable size and shape ridges on their heads and nose anyway.

    also in your Klingons ship comparison, rather than showing one of the ships the heads of houses arrive on, you show a thousands year old cathedral ship? from the time of kahless, so before the time of the first unification! it was established the Klingons have had interstellar travel since long before kahless, so it’s no surprise to me that it looks different. but it doesn’t look *that* different from a regular battle cruiser, either. the other heads of houses’ ships looked in line with the variety of designs seen in ENT to me, who’s to say the battle cruiser shape wasn’t inspired by t’kuvma’s vessel post-reunification?

    once again, i know i’m doing mental acrobatics somewhat, but i also know they’ve said everything will be explained if you hang tight, and that not everything will be quite so dark either. i don’t know if i’d subscribe to all access, but thankfully it’s coming out on netflix where i live.

    the behaviour of the Vulcans makes sense to me, too – no one said *when* they fired first. by the time of enterprise they already had diplomatic relations with the Klingons. and enterprise’s Vulcans were far more “fire first” than TOS and TNG’s, though id argue TOS Vulcans were still less peaceful than TNG and TOS movie Vulcans! i think this”Vulcan hello” is far history – albeit possibly just a couple of generations ago given how long Vulcans live – and not contemporary. Vulcans have already begun integration into starfleet by the time of the show, after all , there’s fewer and fewer “Vulcan ships” anymore.

    well, this became a long ramble, but i hope you read it all! i just think people are still conceiving this as “planet of the week” trek, when it’s going to be far more like ds9, a long-haul. people said a lot of things about discovery as they did ds9 back in the day, after all. ds9 has just gained much more appreciation as time goes on and everyone sees how it was ahead of its time in many respects. darker – but still guided by federation principles. episodic, where individual episodes can seem depressing and bad-end. etc.

    i must say it was at least refreshing seeing no “we’re the only ship in range” malarky given the huge size of the registries already, and actual punishment for mutiny, which in most other series gets let off with a stern warning if you only do it once. (ds9 managed to avoid these pitfalls too, in its second half, but not really in the first)

    1. Yep, read the whole thing…just took a look extra time. (Friday was a busy day for me. I had to go to the DMV…oy!)

      “honestly, the biggest gripe i have with the series myself is they didn’t use majel-barrett’s voice for the ship, even though they’d recorded her like they did siri’s VA just in case!”

      Yep, I know she did. I wrote the script they used for it, and I directed her when she did the reading (took about four hours). However, she used her 24th century computer voice, not her 23rd century voice. The later computer voice sounded more natural; the one she used in TOS was very mechanical (“WORK…ing”). I’m not sure it would have ended up sounding as good a you might have wanted it to.

      As for the rest, lots of mental acrobatics, and too many for me. Ironically, had it not been for the JJ reboot and the scenes of the USS Kelvin (which must be considered canon…unfortunately), the Starfleet vessel design of the era was, in fact, established as being much closer to the TOS Enterprise…including the cylindrical nacelles. When CBS fired Fuller, his production designer (also a Trekkie) was sent packing, as well. The new production designer was NOT a Trek fan and immediately issued an edict: no round nacelles…ever. Why? He didn’t like the way they looked. Edges look better. And to me, that’s not a good enough justification for making us fans do so many mental acrobatics. Same with the Klingons, the uniforms, the design of the bridge…everything was designed to impress one person who, it turns out, was not a Trek fan.

      Can you blame real fans for their reaction? “Star Trek” isn’t just a label you paste on your sci-fi show. You become part of a much larger, much more intricate and expansive established universe with a 50-year history. If you’re going to purposely ignore significant elements of that universe and still try to call it canon, then there needs to be a better reason than “Well, our new production designer doesn’t like round nacelles, so we don’t use them.”

    2. Yup, I completely agree with you dana with regards the Vulcans. In ENT they were launching a pre-emptive strike against the Andorians, so a pre-emptive strike against a Klingon ship whenever they come into contact seems reasonable, depending on what that entails, I suspect they mean like a warning shot across the bow to let the Klingons know that they mean business like a cat might growl, not to threaten the Klingons, but to let them know to expect a fight, and thus prevent one before one starts.

        1. I didn’t say that. Hit a Klingon first and they will hit you right back. Bare your teeth and growl at an angry Klingon wanting a fight indicating that you don’t want to fight but will defend any provocative move, showing that you have the courage and will to defend yourself, and they will move off to find easier prey, just like a cat.

          Unless a Klingon’s honour lies at stake, they won’t go into a life threatening situation on a whim because they want a fight.

          Klingons don’t recklessly go into battle, they use their instinct and they know when today exists as a good day to die.

          Gotcha :P.

          1. Look at Deep Space Nine, Way of the Warrior, the Defiant comes in when the Klingons attack Kassidy Yates ship, Sisko bares his teeth, the Klingons back down. Harassing weakly defended ships, yes, a ship like the Defiant no unless either they see their honour at stake (and thus the Defiant wouldn’t work again because Martok made it clear that there honour was at stake), or because you have a lunatic in command.

          2. On the other hand, in support of my take on the Klingons, just because Starfleet now had the defiant, that didn’t stop the Empire from going to war against the Federation.

            Only a fool fights in a burning house, yes, but an army isn’t so quick to back down from a fight…especially an army of honorable warriors who all believe that with death in battle comes honor in Sto’Vo’Kor!

          3. Well 3 counter arguments apply there:
            1) The Defiant ain’t the Federation, so it wasn’t the Empire vs the Defiant, but the Empire vs the Federation, i.e. just a single ship won’t make difference.
            2) It wasn’t the Empire anyway, it was the founder disguised as Martok who started the war as he commanded the Klingon fleet, and had the ear of Gowron who only cared about his own political career and so at this point in time would do whatever Martok the changeling said.
            3) In a time of conflict, Klingons will fight. Anyone considered an enemy would become a target and then Klingons won’t back down. Here in the Klingons’ eyes, the Federation sided with an enemy of the Klingons and thus became an enemy themselves.

            And as I say I agree with you that a Klingon wouldn’t back down from a fight ONCE STARTED, but the issue here lies in preventing a fight before one begins, and to do that you need to find the right balance of aggressive posturing, too weak and they attack you because they see you as weak, too strong and they attack you because they feel you threaten them and their honour means that they can’t walk away from that. A very nuanced position, and a very difficult line to tread, to get them to walk away without them feeling like they have lost, but I feel the Vulcans could have done it (pre ENT), and Michael was going to go way too far.

          4. I will admit that the story concept of having the Vulcans fire first (and often) as a “logical” way of dealing with the Klingons is an intriguing idea. I simply do not agree with it. I think that the two species are too evenly matched for the Klingons not to take the Vulcans up on their offer of war. The Vulcans can’t be that much farther ahead of the Klingons or else the Klingons wouldn’t dare attack the Federation either, as they INCLUDE the Vulcans PLUS even more firepower. If the Vulcans alone could scare off the Klingons, the Federation should leave the Klingons shatnering in their pants!

          5. Ahh, I see we have two separate issues, chance encounters with the Klingons, and deliberate run ins.

            With the first, as I say, I think it depends on the definition of “fire first”, whether they mean it as just aggressive posturing, like a warning shot (well volley of torpedoes against Klingons), to ward the Klingons off; or whether you actually actually attack them. I see the former as working, the later as not. We see in DS9 the reaction of Martok where Nog stands up to him, we see Martok turn from being horrible to Nog to having a hearty laugh with him. Of course the Klingons don’t have such a jovial relationship with outside races in this point of time, so instead of a jovial laugh with someone they now recognise as a comrade, I would expect more of a “pah, they’re not worth it” It all depends on the nuance in your posturing.

            With the latter, that comes into a completely different kettle of fish, declaring war means you have planning from above, a military strategy, so while an individual captain may decide not to play with a Vulcan ship, with the captain weighing up the implications of engaging this Vulcan vessel outside of war; the Empire as a whole, having a grander overview of quadrant politics would weigh risks differently.

            I think it all comes down to Klingons not liking to waste lives, they want to die in *glorious* battle, not some silly skirmish that has no point or purpose. Klingons take a grim view on suicide unless it serves some greater purpose, i.e. the glory of the Empire.

  42. I totally agree. I , too loved the lead character and the well written beginning exploration of the relationship between the female captain and her protégée. Hate hate, hated the new Klingons as they were too like ” vampires” to me I think of Klingons as more of a rollicking race- sort of a cross between the Native American plains Indian warrior and the Scotsman of old with a touch of Viking or even ancient Celtic painted tattoo warrior culture. They looked too polished and cleaned up for my taste- definitely not fun enough!

    1. Buffy, Star Trek cross-over? The Master managed to escape out into space, and made it into Klingon territory. Travelling at sublight speeds because humans had yet to discover warp drive when he left at the beginning of the 21st century so it took him a long time to get there, but as a vampire he could last a long time. He arrived at Kronos sometime after the virus which left the Klingons debilitated (by Klingon standards) and thus much more vulnerable to The Master then they would otherwise have been the case.

  43. I watched Prelude to Axanar, and loved it. I have not, and don’t plan to watch Discovery, so I might be biased.

    My reasons for hating Discovery are more Real-Life political in nature. In a nutshell, I don’t believe in Copyright or Intellectual Property. I don’t believe in anyone owning an idea. I don’t believe anyone should own human creativity or ingenuity.

    If you make a fictional universe that grows and develops over a handful of decades, if you make a universe that your clientelle grow to love so much that they want to interact with it and add to its stories, then you should encourage and cultivate that interaction; use that as a form of no-cost marketing. Your fanbase is not a competitor, but a supplement to your productivity; a form of advertising that draws a larger audience to your product. Anyone who will be willing to purchase a fanfilm will do so in supplement to, not instead of, the official product.

    I believe that Intellectual Property is the product of Crony-Capitalism as an effort of a prospective monopoly to unfairly remove any competition, and thus extort wealth from its fanbase without being responsible to provide a quality product.

    And then, of course, there’s the usual reasons; poor visual effects, poor storytelling quality, non-adherence to Roddenbury’s original vision, lack of social commentary initiative, liberal brainwashing, etc. I hate those, too.

    1. I can’t agree with you on the anti-copyright thing. As a published author myself, I appreciate retaining the rights to my work. I don’t think I need them in perpetuity, but 20 or 30 years seems fair (75 years after my death might be excessive, though). It’s a complex question. Without copyright protections, there’s little financial incentive to produce creative works. Sure, creating art for art’s sake is still there, but it’s always nice to get a royalty check. 🙂

  44. please make the article more about say Star Trek less sexism and racist comments. The good points I agree with all failed because of negativity based on race and gender.

    1. Just curious, Jim, what comment did you find to be racist and sexist…and more importantly, why?

      Before you answer, let me please supply you with the definitions of each word:

      SEXISM – prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.

      RACISM – prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.

  45. Hmm, I was just about to write that I was going to give up on discovery, but based on this possible HUGE season spoiler, I think I might try to watch the third episode… small access of course. Also I leave it up to your editorial guidance as to whether to let this post through your moderation process due to the HUGE implications of this.

    1. As I responded to another commentator, it’s likely that Captain Georgiou appears in flashbacks of Burnham’s life, a storytelling technique already in use in the first two episodes.

      1. Possibly, but that many episodes, as in every single one? In terms of a storytelling technique I find it a bit odd to do. I mean sure, Michael may have nightmares/regrets so a few episodes okay, but every single episode for the next 13 episodes I find a bit excessive if it were that reason alone.

        1. Hey, who knows? It’s just a guess on my part. I doubt there she’s not dead, so that leaves flashbacks. And to be honest, I’m expecting more of those, and yes, perhaps even in each episode. Such things are typical on shows like “Arrow” and “Lost.” Maybe they’ll be true for “Discovery,” as well.

          1. Hmm, I have never watched Arrow nor Lost (and I never got into the BSG reboot).

            But no, sure a guess, but right now, I don’t see it as a strong enough guess to base anything on. We didn’t see her die, we only saw her getting wounded in a way that looked possibly fatal, hence why Michael wanted to stay there and bring her back to get medical treatment. Could the Klingons have gone “We have a Federation CAPTAIN here, lets nurse her back to a reasonable enough level health of health so that we can interrogate her”. Possibly, especially if they feel bitter about the death of their leader, their great unifier. Also remember what Worf said about Klingons “In war, there is nothing more honorable than victory.”, so can I believe that the Klingons would do this, hell yes, they even had Darvin as a Klingon spy, which seems pretty cowardly to me, so…

            …I think logic dictates that we have too little information at this time to make it only a wild guess.

            Personally I really hope that she gets saved because I really liked her, so upset that she died (not because of the character as we didn’t know her yet, but for the show to loose a great lead and added great diversity to the show).

          2. Damn! Yes, it looks like only flashbacks, which means we get stuck with a nasty captain :(.

  46. I found a way to enjoy Discovery. I pretend that its either 1. set in the distant future and I just close my ears and go LA LA LA when connections to the TOS time period, or 2. just another alternate reality that is chronologically closer to the “prime” timeline where the Kelvin Stuff never happened, but an Alternate Timeline still.

    If I mentally wear those two filters, the show’s not bad. Far from GREAT but not bad.

  47. And Oooooooooh, I have just seen a theory that this white Klingon in Disco could be the Albino we saw in DS9 considering that Kor, Kang and Koloth wanted to kill the Albino which indicates that they were of the same generation, and Koloth faced of against Kirk in The Trouble with Tribbles, just 11 years ahead of this Disco episode, so…

    How could I have forgotten all about The Albino when I watched Disco!

    1. I didn’t forget the Albino. But in DS9, he had white hair and a white beard. Yeah, this could still be the Albino…although he looked to be younger than Kor, Koloth, and Kang in that episode. If he were their contemporary 10 years before Kirk, then he should have looked as old as they were in “Blood Oath.” Or maybe albinos just age better. 🙂

      1. Maybe living a dishonourable life, hiding like a coward, not involving oneself in battle meant he didn’t age as badly as the others did…

          1. Lol, I came up with another theory last night, that what if all of these weird Klingons were just flat-headed and so opted for plastic surgery like Kor, Kang and Koloth did, BUT what if when they sat in the operating theatre, the surgeon said “we could go for the normal Klingon head ridges look, or as we have a blank canvas here, we could go for something new and edgy, this look has been rather popular with our customers of late, all the nobility have it, what do you think?”.

            So what we see could resemble the Mohawk hairstyle, or something like that, it could also have special religious significance or something.

            Okay, a long shot, but perhaps, just perhaps O:).

  48. All I have to say is “Real Fans”?

    What makes you people REAL fans? I want to curse but I’m holding myself back. I think you should rethink using that term. I’m as REAL a fan as you or Alec are.

    1. What gives you the right to decide WHO is a fan? More importantly who gave you the privilege to decide for everyone?

  49. this got a little long again, though not as long as my first comment, i don’t think? i can’t actually see 90% of the comments when i clicked the reply link in the email though.

    so i want to start out by getting my main points across first, i will then reply to specific things you said.

    the main thing i wanted to get across, which i don’t blame you at all for it getting lost in my huge ramble, was that TMP needed just as much mental gymnastics as discovery in relation to how TOS looked, and even pike’s 1701 looked very different from kirk’s 1701 inside. starfleet has massively overhauled its entire design aesthetic one or many times in ten years over the course of canon. that doesn’t seem unusual to me, and i am somewhat perplexed by that being the main speedbump you’re struggling to get over.

    i also can’t help but feel “Can you blame real fans for their reaction?” is calling me an.. unreal fan? i don’t know. i would sure hope that wasn’t what you were trying to say, since it seems clear to me that we both derive great satisfaction from thinking deeply about this series and analysing it, from the macro to the micro. i hope your litmus test to separate real fans from fake, isn’t their reaction to the first two episodes of discovery. if i judged every trek purely by its introductory double length first episode… i would rank TNG really low, DS9 pretty low but with good ideas and better execution than TNG, and voyager and enterprise *way* up there!

    discovery was polarising, yes, however, everyone sitting on either side in these discussions are absolutely real fans. i myself look forward to seeing how they tie the current design choices displayed on what are, for the most part, likely 30-50 year old ships into the direction of TOS, as they’ve said they gradually will. i also feel far more “trek-y-ness” than i did from any abrams movies, which crammed so much 21st century pop culture into them they felt completely out of time for me. they’ve already touched on: losing a racial identity by integrating with a larger culture, the ethics of preemptive strike when war might be imminent, the value of optimism amidst times of atrocities, what it means to be human, what it means to be true-to-yourself… there was a lot in there.

    i’d also like to get out of the way that while i don’t really personally have problems with things not being exactly like how they were in the cage (like my girlfriend does, she talked to me at length about why their uniforms should’ve looked exactly like in the cage), i would still have actually preferred a series set 20-50 years after the end of voyager/ST:nemesis. so, yk. don’t get me wrong there. but i am enjoying discovery so far, and am finding filling in some of the larger timeline gaps kind of interesting. that’s not to say i don’t think there’s flaws in these first two episodes! i do have issues for sure. i’m simply voicing what *i think* is acceptable about discovery, in contrast to the 95% “you’re so right, this is nothing like trek to me” types of comments, really.

    now, onto responding to particular things you said: “However, she used her 24th century computer voice, not her 23rd century voice. […] the one she used in TOS was very mechanical […] I’m not sure it would have ended up sounding as good a you might have wanted it to.”

    i’m well aware that she sounded mechanical in TOS, but honestly i found it hard to take seriously first time and still do. it feels like a remnant of the kind of scifi TV that roddenberry worked hard to eschew with the design of the ship and the purpose of their mission. it sounds kinda like the robot in forbidden planet, and things like that.

    the few times you heard computers speaking in ENT, they didn’t sound mechanical. discovery didn’t go for a mechanical voice in the end, so if they’re using a smooth talking female computer voice anyway – why not make it be majel? (perhaps just royalties to their estate). i always liked the “edge” majel’s voice had compared to other scifi computer lady voices, who always sound too slick. (admittedly s1 and some of s2 TNG majel computer voice had that “slick” quality to it too, which i’m extremely thankful they quickly dropped, it sounded like the ship was trying to seduce everyone who spoke to it!)

    i think there is a fine line to walk between honouring the designs from TOS… and just rehashing them. TOS is a perfect example of zeerust nowadays, everything looks *painfully* 60s. that’s part of the charm, for sure, much like the adam west batman series… but a new show being made exactly in the image of that era sounds silly to me. trek is always a product of its time, there is no way they could’ve had screens not show actual things going on – ENT sure didn’t – so even that would be a non canon looking, more techy bridge than TOS, kind of look. if they built basically a replica of pike’s enterprise’s bridge… i just don’t think it would look very good! it would be almost.. too distracting in its dated-ness! (which is of course one of the reasons why doing a prequel is questionable, and it’s a pitfall ENT fell into too, but whatever. no matter what, it seems obvious that an extension of our current present into the future wouldn’t look like TOS, unless TOS looks like it does purely as part of a “retro cool” aesthetic, like 16-bit and lowpoly indie games. ww3 didn’t set our technology back that much, at least in the western world. cochrane still had a holographic disc with his music on.)

    *every* trek series has tried to attract new fans as well as keep the old – that’s a big reason many people’s favourites are TNG or voyager (or better yet, DS9 😉 i’m biased there, though) and that’s because they tried to keep the core, while still keeping it fresh. star trek never stays stagnant, it’s always got to keep moving. (which is another part of the long list of issues i take with the abrams movies, it feels far too rehash-y to me.) when TNG was new, there were literal death threats sent to paramount because the new show didn’t have kirk and spock… but now, the fact that we join a new “space family” every time is part of the tradition.

    take, for instance, my partner, as an example of the audience CBS wants to grab, and probably would have lost if they’d made discovery be “TOS, part 2”: they liked discovery far more than they were expecting to, given what i’d told them of the premise (they were extremely skeptical.) they often rewatch trek with me when i have it on, and i took them through a watch through of everything to make sure they had all bases covered last year.

    they absolutely adored DS9. that was their favourite, for the pacing, the story beats, brooks’ acting, all of it. TNG and voyager were shows they generally enjoyed, though thought some episodes were real stinkers they didn’t pay too much attention to. enterprise was tolerable for them, but they often pointed out ways it was repetitive and dull in almost every episode. and finally, we got onto TOS… and they couldn’t get beyond the first half of “the omega glory”, in the order netflix has.

    i had previously shown them my personal favourites (city on the edge of forever, doomsday machine, catspaw, etc), which they loved, but on the whole, TOS ranked lowest for them. the atmosphere was so unlike what trek *was* to them. kirk was so interventionalist, and the series was far more Amurrica than the later instalments (like kirk tearfully reciting the constitution of the usa??).

    moving onto; ““Star Trek” isn’t just a label you paste on your sci-fi show. […] If you’re going to purposely ignore significant elements of that universe […], then there needs to be a better reason than “Well, our new production designer doesn’t like round nacelles, so we don’t use them.”” – i agree, which is why the abrams movies feel so hollow to me – the scale is all wrong, the motivations are wrong, the behaviours are wrong.

    one could, in theory, compare the ent-D, voyager, and ent-E… they are all quite radically different nacelle designs. i see no one going “this doesn’t match at all! voyager’s nacelles are far more angular than picard’s ship! the sovereign class’s nacelles are triangular! who makes TRIANGULAR nacelles?”

    and in the case of discovery, i don’t think you’ve given them time to give you that explanation you crave. (but, of course, they didn’t have to explain why the intrepid class looked different than the galaxy class, and nor did the sovereign class.) obviously the real world production explanation will always be there, but that applies for every ship. the ent-C would’ve looked very different had they had more time… the wreckage in wolf 359 would have been able to be more than whatever they could pull out of storage and kitbash… the ent-E was designed to be easier to film the model than the ent-D… etc.

    i care much less for the shape of the nacelles than for the overall design of the ships, with clear experimentation on different kinds of engineering sections, nacelle placements, impulse engine placements, etc, following on from the NX’s legacy, with as mentioned previously, a few very miranda looking ships having those sensor&engine pods above the saucer. i honestly loved to see all the ways starfleet had been iterating on the basic NX class design (which itself can be very clearly traced back from the phoenix and through the delta-shaped test vehicles) in the backup shenzhou called for, and in shenzhou herself.

    shenzhou has the larger, offset at an angle, purple deflector. the bridge on the bottom. some of the backup had wider-spaced nacelles, some were longer, some further back, some overlapping the saucer more. there were a few variants of the more miranda-y designs too, with nacelles being tucked under the saucer, more out and to the side…… i could go on, but i won’t, because this is already getting out of control lengthwise again.

    what kind of a story hook, in the very first episode, would exposition about the engineering choices of the past 90 years have been? to diehard fans like us, it would have been great. to someone going “maybe i’ll see what this star trek thing is all about”… they might not have come back again.

    in TNG’s first story, the most they say is it’s a fancy new ship, and it can saucer separate, and the top speed. in voyager’s, they mention the top speed, manoeuvrability, and bring up gel packs. they’ve always left delving into the *how* a few episodes later in the series. in my opinion, even the line from burnham about shenzhou’s transporters being inefficient was cutting it close to wasted time. we’ve got to get to know these people before we can look into the guts of the ships. there’s 13 more episodes coming, which is plenty of time for a lot of these things to be brought up.

    now, we already know episode 3 features burnham exploring discovery and being weirded out by it being so different from shenzhou – a *perfect* time to get in some of those explanations, for discovery *and* for shenzhou (when burnham compares the two.), while safely in federation space before the real launch of the mission, looking through all the areas of the ship we’ll need to be familiar with later… that sort of thing. burnham can ask all the questions she likes, and probably get answers. maybe i’ll turn out to be wrong in my expectation there, but from all the prerelease materials, i would bet cash money on them going there next episode.

    and as much as i would also have liked to see the original fuller plan to just slightly tweak the TOS designs (i especially would’ve liked to see him “do” LCARS and the TNG uniforms that way in anthology-discovery), i see no reason why something set ten years before TOS should *necessarily* look like TOS! yes, the cage exists, but there is also design inertia, and engineering deficit. old ships don’t all get called in for recycling or retrofitting whenever a new system comes out. there might even be NX classes with their original interiors on basic escort and cargo missions.

    once again i mention the hugely different look in TMP, ten years after TOS. heck, starfleet went through 5 uniform designs over a period of 8 years, from pre-TNG to mid-DS9! only during the reign of the WoK uniform has starfleet sat so still, so that’s the outlier here. every other time, starfleet has shown an almost-obsession with changing the look of everything, just for the sake of changing the look of everything.

    so, in my opinion, there is nothing *inherently* inconsistent about things looking different. there’s no particular reason why they should change the nacelles, but also none why they shouldn’t change them either. there is a 90 year long, and practically blank, slate where they can make almost anything happen without contradicting future events, so long as they tie it up again. and 13% of the way through the show isn’t when i would expect anything to get tied up – if season 1 even has to tie it up (which it would have if discovery were an anthology, but we know that’s not gonna happen), so they could even stretch out the transition&explanation over… 5 years? 75 episodes or more?

    ok. that’s me. i sure do seem to have a lot to say. but i appreciate you being civil. thanks again for your time.

    1. I should take this opportunity to clarify the “real fans” comment, as I wrote it in a hurry on little sleep, and it seems like, from Edward Darlow’s comment and yours, it’s been misinterpreted.

      First, please review the context in which the comment was made…

      …everything was designed to impress one person who, it turns out, was not a Trek fan.

      Can you blame real fans for their reaction?

      In other words, the production designer is/was NOT a real Trek fan. He was brought in purposefully as an outsider to give the show a fresh interpretation. In contrast, the people complaining are, almost exclusively real Trek fans.

      But the more important point (and one I should have included as a parenthetical comment were I not so sleep-deprived), was

      This doesn’t mean that I think all the REAL fans are griping about Discovery…and that if you like the show, you’re somehow not a “real fan.” Some real fans are loving the new show. I simply mean that the people complaining tend to be hard-core Trek fans rather than just normal, average, “mundane” people.

      Make more sense now? I hope so…’cause I’m still feeling sleep-deprived! 🙂

  50. Enterprise had it’s own issues, particularly early on, but it was clearly in the same universe. And it handled the differences in tech reasonably well (considering TOS was made in the 60s). I did like the transparent glass screens in Discovery, particularly since I’m told they weren’t CGI but real. They -were- more advanced looking than TOS, but so are a lot of things we have today.

  51. So once again only Axanar fans are hard-core fans. That’s also an insult since I have been a hard-core fan for over 51 Years. I just don’t understand how or why you want to consider yourselves the only hard-core fans. We might disagree but that doesn’t make us more or less of a fan. I don’t think you realize how bad it sounds to make you guys seem like the only Hardcore or true fans.
    Thank you for at least responding to my original comment.

    1. I posted this response elsewhere on the page, but with so many comments, you might miss it. So I’ll re-post it here…

      – – – – –

      I should take this opportunity to clarify the “real fans” comment, as I wrote it in a hurry on little sleep, and it seems like, from Edward Darlow’s comment and yours, it’s been misinterpreted.

      First, please review the context in which the comment was made…

      …everything was designed to impress one person who, it turns out, was not a Trek fan.

      Can you blame real fans for their reaction?

      In other words, the production designer is/was NOT a real Trek fan. He was brought in purposefully as an outsider to give the show a fresh interpretation. In contrast, the people complaining are, almost exclusively real Trek fans.

      But the more important point (and one I should have included as a parenthetical comment were I not so sleep-deprived), was

      This doesn’t mean that I think all the REAL fans are griping about Discovery…and that if you like the show, you’re somehow not a “real fan.” Some real fans are loving the new show. I simply mean that the people complaining tend to be hard-core Trek fans rather than just normal, average, “mundane” people.

      Make more sense now? I hope so…’cause I’m still feeling sleep-deprived!

  52. I too am in the minority that enjoyed Discovery Such hatred and anger that most of you have for Discovery for me is very disappointing. I enjoyed Discovery for what it is. It seems to me that many of you are out for revenge because of Axanar and the rules that were set out for all fan films. I too wanted Axanar in the form that was originally set out to be. I too want more ST Continues, ST Renegades, ST Phase 2 etc… There was and still is room for all of them. I also understand it’s all about the money. It’s about a billion dollar franchise. Most of you if not all of you would have said the following if Discovery were the same in look and feel as TOS or Next Gen… It looks the same… the stories are the same… why should I pay to see TOS light or Next Gen light when these series (and others) are free. Money Talks. The destruction of those fan series was about the money. CBS is in it for the money… Profit!!! No competition… we hold the rights and don’t want competition in any form.. even Orville. I will continue to watch Discovery and pay if I have to… What’s the cost…less than a cup of coffee a day… Even if Discovery would only last 1 season (I expect it to last long enough to have a syndicated package of around 30 episodes) the rules will not go away. CBS probably doesn’t care about the hard core fans… They want the majority and not minority of the population… not a majority of us. I even suspect most of you watch it and claim not to…. The marketing of toys, games, action figures under the Christmas Tree… that’s profit and that’s what they want. I watched the Orville and that show looks like a copy that’s free on TV. Ratings have dropped in half… we will see if there will be a drop over the next 4-5 weeks. (I didn’t like episodes 1-2… hated episode 3 and liked episode 4). I hope it does succeed (without the childish humor) as I also hope Discovery does

    1. The Orville held its 4 million viewers in week four, so that was good news. Its lead-in, Gotham, actually dropped in viewership by 10%, so that’s even better news for the The Orville that it didn’t drop. I suspect its second season is becoming close to a certainty at this point.

      As for Discovery, I do NOT hate it, and I do NOT want it to fail beyond showing that CBS made a mistake in putting it on All Access instead of the CW or even just Netflix. But I intend to watch the rest of the episodes. My friend has decided to keep his subscription for at least the next eight weeks if I split the cost with him. That means I bring the Baja Fresh burritos and nachos. (Actually, I think he’s getting off with the cheaper deal, but hey, it’s the principal of the thing! Also, we watch other stuff on our geek nights, too.)

      I’m not “angry” at CBS for suing Alec Peters. I understand their reasons. I don’t agree with them and believe a cease and desist letter or even a phone call would have done much less damage. I’m not even angry that there are fan film guidelines—fans have wanted those for ages! I just think that a few were too Draconian. Those few specific guidelines angered me, but not enough to want Discovery to fail. I actually really want to like it and hope it improved. We’ll see.

  53. So that means if you like Discovery then you are a fool? Why do you people think it is ok to blast against folks who like Discovery? Why can’t you play fair and just say that everyone has different opinions?

  54. I absolutely agree with the sentiment(s) expressed above. Axanar by FAR is the better story line. And you’re right, if you can make a compelling story that makes you care about not one but all of the characters in 20 minutes (including the bad guy!) that is a testimony to the quality of the work you have done, even if you never create another frame. I really, REALLY hope that Axanar is finished. Because, I suspect if this story line is allowed to be completed to the same quality as prelude it may become something more than just a brief story. It may attain the level of Legend! TOS did! And someone will tell that tail … in spite of Paramount.

    1. Pardon begged, XMAN. I had misunderstood a comment from Gabe Koerner elsewhere on the blog. He reported no change between week three and four, but he was referring to the key 18-49 demo rating, which remained at 1.1 while Gotham dropped from 1.0 to 0.9. So yes, there was an overall viewer drop of 8.76%, but it held steady in the key target demo that advertisers value so much. Also, yes, Thursday nights are tough. However, if Orville is holding there, that implies ever greater strength for the new series.

      And I’m glad you enjoyed episode 4. 🙂

      1. Jonathan,
        I really enjoyed episode 5 even more than episode 4 except for a few of the stupid jokes… although I’ll admit I laughed at most of them… Mr. Robo Potato Head… now that was funny. Unfortunately my jumping on the bandwagon may not be enough. Looks like Orville took a beating on the ratings scale… Any show up against Football would do no better. Here are the numbers. Another 7% drop.

  55. I can’t find the comment but it was in response to someone (might have beeen me) who said they liked Discovery The answer wAs “PT Barnum said, there is a fool born every day” I know that isn’t exactly right quote but that was the comment I was answering. I figure that might help you find it. I thought I added it as a post comment to the answer.

    You and I have discussed before that if respect is expected it must be given first.

    1. The only comment I can find is one from Brian L: “Edward that just means you prove P T Barnum to be correct”

      You might want to consider responding to his specific comment and be more specific. Obviously, the Barnum quote is likely, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” But you said, “So that means if you like Discovery, you are a fool.” That doesn’t seem to be what Brian said at all. If you turn something that someone else has said into something they didn’t say, it is a lot easier to get angry at them. However, since they didn’t say it and you did, perhaps that anger needs to be directed inward?

  56. JJ prequel or Prime prequel?
    Argument for JJ, and opinion: Neville Page (–why-i-rebooted-klingons-for-star-trek-into-darkness–exclusive–105429062.html) has been making ‘Klingons’ since ‘Wrath of Spock’ (aka Into Darkness) and has here expanded on those designs. Fun part, the judges have consistently criticized contestants for making masks, since actors need to emote through the piece (viewers of the show have no doubt seen where all models are asked to try act and express through the makeup during judging).
    How amusing then to have actors so bogged down by the masks he has made that all dialog is slurred when spoken through it. It goes back to the first trailer; as skeptical as I was even then, I gave the benefit of the doubt and thought it would be cleaned up in post. But no, that’s how they sound…in any language. The idea that this is good enough tells me all I want to know about the effort behind this. Creators use to make their pitch, and if given a show, knew they needed good creative content to get viewers, to stay on and keep making their show; now it’s all ordered up, not from the creative side, but the financial. What do money’ d people do? Car trouble. a guy. …plumbing concerns …pay a guy….own an IP for a sci-fi franchise. a guy. That’s what this is….
    I think we give them to much credit to suggest it’s a JJ prequel. I imagine those funding the operation assumed they could, by decry, say ‘make it look like JJ’ (since that’s what they understand) ‘but call it Prime’ (as if, by name alone, we would happily fund their streaming venture). They would never realize that the kind of folks that MIGHT have subscribed are the same ones who felt left out by the JJ vision. Insisting I’m less of a fan for not supporting this (as some in fandom do) ignores the perceived lie about ‘Canon’ vs Non.
    War of the Worlds, Day the Earth Sttod Still, I thought could never be remade. Like Trek. Now, though, it’s Trek’s turn. The only ‘optimism’ I have is that the modern media landscape is so transitory (three Spidermans) that we may see something Trek ish in the next decade. Sadly, there will likely be fewer ‘resources’ (actors and creative talent) from past incarnations available, and there options will be narrowed. And NO, I’m not subscribing. JJ made it clear I wasn’t wanted, and the STD team seem to be reading his playbook.

  57. It is called DISCO only by certain ‘fans’, the same ones who refer to it as STD. Both were very funny 2 months ago.

    1. I sense much anger in him. To be honest, when I hear anyone using the word “liberal” or “progressive” as if they’re calling someone a four-letter word, I kinda tune out. They obviously have an agenda and a resentment that goes far beyond Star Trek. If someone wants to take this show and turn a review into a political rally, I won’t stop them. But I just lost 20 minutes of my life that I will never get back listening to someone who seems more suited to being a guest for a segment on Fox News.

      And now I have just opened up the floodgates to a political explosion on this blog, haven’t I? But before anyone starts writing a response, please be warned, you won’t get your comment posted or even likely read. It’s my blog, so I can make comments like the one I just made. But if you need to debate race relations and Donald Trump, there are many other places for you to go…including the comments section for that video.

      1. Please feel free to delete my original post. I thought the video was stretching things a bit as well. People can spin anything to look like anything else. Thank you for your reply.

        P.S. I lost 20 or so minutes of my life watching the video as well.

    1. Well, that kind of goes back to my point that Edward criticized me for when pointing out that the production designer was not a real fan of Star Trek, so real fans had a right to complain that this didn’t look and feel like Star Trek.

      That said, one would hope that Rod Roddenberry and his people are fans and not just “fans,” and they call it Disco.

  58. Besides the name what else does Rod Roddenberry bring to the table? I hear his roll is as small as possible and rightly so when has ever come out as a huge fan when it doesn’t line his pockets?

  59. Gah, I just watched the latest episode of Disco, and now I yearn for Axanar even more, the story of what happens when you push humans to the thin ice, do they better themselves as Admiral Ramirez set out to do, or do we lower ourselves as seen in Discovery and betray the principles of the Federation.

    Axanar and DS9 for the win in terms of how to fight a war and still uphold the letter and the spirit of Federation values.

  60. No Jonathan I didn’t know that but that still doesn’t answer my question…Besides his father’s last name what exactly does Rod bring to the production table?

  61. I only saw the first ep, and I REALLY have misgivings about paying to see the rest. Lemme know when it comes out on Blu Ray. If it doesn’t, meh.

    Could they NOT go all ROMULAN with the Klingons? I mean all that “we haven’t heard from the Klingons since the Kaiser was a pup” nonsense, I just about puked. What is this, a test?

    1) The Federation has not heard from the Klingon Empire in:

    a) 10 years
    b) 100 years
    c) Since Earth was a molten ball
    d) Since I started this trip to the bathroom

    What the hell?

    And while I have no problem with an African-American female lead, did she have to be a human version of Saavik? We don’t need a Klingon named Rejak, we don’t need theme song muzak, we don’t need the world’s wimpiest neck pinch, or this ridiculous connection with the family of Spock.

    I have to admit that I DID like the all-Klingon speaking in the Klingon scenes(honestly, why would they speak English?) but did they have to make the Klingons slightly Reaver-ish with the corpses of the fallen warriors thing? And I just kept waiting for Doug Jones to say “I am Tosk.”

    This honestly reminds me of the difference between the 1984 version of “V”(the original miniseries and ‘The Final Battle’, NOT that crappy follow-up series “V: We Have To Recoup Our Losses Somehow. Oh, and Judson Scott and ‘Dynasty’ Crap”) and the 2009 series: the original was cruder but also tighter while the remake was a glossy meandering mess.

    Whatever happens, I really hope that the show DOES improve. And it just might. After all, very few of the Trek pilots were as good as the series they started.

  62. But I thought you work for them, don’t you know? You seem to know all about Alex and his background but you don’t know anything about Rod Roddenberry? I’m sorry, but you are the one who mentioned working with them. Actually this is an a big deal it is just something that I am wondering about and I read that he has qualifications to be a producer. I do understand if you don’t know.

    1. I do freelance consulting on an as-needed basis. I’ve worked directly with Rod a couple of times, directly with Trevor a few times, and even once with Majel before she died. I usually with with their product manager and have for over 15 years now. But I don’t show up to their offices each day and punch a time-card. So no, I don’t know precisely what Rod and Trevor have done on the show. But I am pretty certain that it isn’t nothing.

      That said, I was simply pointing out that, being a consultant for Rod’s company, I was not going to have my blog used for insults or unsubstantiated accusations against Rod, Trevor, or Roddenberry Entertainment. The next comment that tries to do so (and all after it) will simply be deleted.

      And who is Alex?

  63. Does that actually mean anything in Yiddish? My grandparents spoke it but I never learned it.

    1. I put the words through a Yiddish-to-English translator…nuthin’. Of course, as my Yiddish-speaking friend used to tell me, “If you don’t know a word in Yiddish, just make it up! Most people will never know!” 🙂

  64. Alex is Alec in dictation!

    I wasn’t trying to put down anyone, just asking for credentials that they might have to act as producers for Discovery. I apologize if it seemed like I was putting them down.

  65. It’s a question that continues to be deflecting and that is all it . I don’t know anything about anyone else or anyone else. I repeat I am not talking down about anyone. Maybe post my whole comment next time.

  66. You hate something without giving it a chance and that you’ve never seen, that sure makes no sense to me. The fact that you are a Vietnam veteran actually makes no difference to what you say one way or the other. I’m not saying I’m not thankful for what you did but that actually doesn’t apply to Star Trek. Please don’t think I am downing your service to the US because I am not.

    1. Edward, if you’re going to respond to a specific post or comment, please use the “Reply” button under the comment itself. Otherwise, your own comment just “floats” on the page, and the person you’re talking to might never see it.

  67. Ok cool, I wasn’t sure if it was real or not

    Google translate has a Yiddish to English translator? Who woulda thought!

    1. Actually, you just did it again. Look for the “Reply” under this comment…like almost touching it. Hit THAT button. Otherwise, your comment just gets posted at the way bottom of the page.

  68. Jonathan, here is a pretty ascerbic review of Discovery, that seems to lend support to a lot of your positions, but really, really tears into it as a whole for how it really is a wild political mish mash of statements and ideals. I think he has a pretty good case, as he supports all his statements with what the writers and producers actually said. So, you really just need to be a liberal to enjoy it, as politically correct theater, in his opinion, which really trashes the whole Trek idea. He also does a good job of asking just why didin’t they buy Axanar and make it a series? Dejavu. He does get it wrong, and blames Paramount for the New Rules of Acquisition, and Axanar, instead of CBS, though.

    1. Yeah, one of my other readers posted that, as well. Twenty minutes of my life I will never get back.

      I know liberals who love the new show and those that hate it. My friend that I watch it with is staunchly conservative, and while he wasn’t crazy about the first two episodes, he liked the third one and will keep his subscription to All Access. So I doubt the show is as political as this guy wants us to believe.

  69. Yep, I have taken a lot of flak over it, but I believe he has some valid points, and the underlying point of Hollywood tailoring media for an agenda seems pretty obvious in other shows as well. CBS spared us no mercy when they described how they had gay people, black people, female people, etc, then shifted to the whole GOT theroy in their run up. His points were not really obvious unless you look at it in that light, as well as the background material from the writers and producers. If you look at Orville, it is also practicing the “message” thing as well, but in a different, more positive way, and a lot more openly, and yet I do not recall Fox preaching about their characters (remember Bortus is “gay” as such, and they have females in leading positions) and they allow the characters and the story have it’s message. Part of it may be I had a theater teacher who taught you to look at what the writers were trying to communicate on all levels, between story, character and placement, so I saw where he was coming from.

  70. Hi Jonathan,

    It is good to see that in a fandom that is blinded by the oh-so-cool look and feel of Discovery there are voices indicating that a diversity of opinions still exists. In my own sad experience it takes a lot of courage and endurace these days to criticize Discovery and expose oneself as a “hater” to a crowd whose stances range from “I (suddenly) don’t care for canon” to “Klingon mutation deniers”.

    I totally agree that it would have been possible to produce Discovery without the awful new Klingon make-up, with reasonable ship designs and without visual effects that make us nauseous. But then Discovery would have been Axanar. Which raises the question, is there a specific reason why Disocvery openly defies the tradition that visuals are largely consistent in the Star Trek Universe? Is it to invalidate Axanar?

    1. Nope. It was simply that the production designer isn’t a Trekkie and didn’t care as much about canon as he did about making the show look young and hip. There’s some logic in that, especially if you’re targeting a younger audience and either take the old farts (who care about such things) completely for granted or you simply don’t really care whether or not they watch. Giving CBS some credit, I think it was a case of taking older Trekkers for granted. Depending on their numbers, CBS might now be regretting that decision. I don’t know and will probably never know.

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