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Star Trek: Discovery (season 01 episodes 01 & 02)

Star Trek Returns to Television (Sort Of) With Star Trek: Discovery!

The first time I can remember being aware of and excited about Star Trek was when Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home came out in 1986.  I must have been exposed to Star Trek before that, because I was excited to see that movie in theatres.  But I don’t think I’d seen the prior movies, because when I saw it, I was confused as to what was going on (what had happened to Spock?  What had happened to the Enterprise?), and I remember going home afterwards and watching the first three Trek movies on VHS with my father to get caught up.  So I’m not sure when I first actually saw Trek or what made me want to go see Star Trek IV — maybe watching the reruns of the Animated Series on TV? — but seeing those first four Trek movies started my love for Trek, and when Star Trek: The Next Generation launched the next year, I was hooked from the very first episode.  I have been, ever since, an enormous Star Trek fan.  It’s been a long time since Star Trek was last on TV.  Star Trek: Enterprise was cancelled after 4 seasons, and aired its last episode in May, 2005.  I love the big Trek movies, but I firmly believe that Star Trek belongs on TV.  And so I was extremely excited when, at long last, a new Trek series was announced: Star Trek: Discovery.  I was thrilled when names like Bryan Fuller and Nicholas Meyer were announced as being involved with the new Trek show, though my heart sank as the series was delayed again and again and Mr. Fuller left (or was pushed out?).  But I resolved to reserve judgment until I could actually see the show.  Well, I have seen the first two episodes (episode 1, “The Vulcan Hello,” aired on CBS, and episode 2, ” Battle at the Binary Stars,” is available for streaming at CBS All Access), and I am here to share my thoughts.

Let’s cut right to the chase: while I certainly have questions and issues with some of the creative choices made in these first two episodes, overall I am very happy and excited to see more of the series.  The visual effects are spectacular, and the show so far is rooted in interesting character drama and interstellar politics in equal measure, which is exactly how I like my Star Trek to be.  Star Trek: Discovery FEELS like Star Trek (FAR more than the three J.J. Abrams-rebooted recent Trek movies), and that makes me very happy.

Set ten years before the events of the Original Series (Kirk/Spock/McCoy and their adventures on the original U.S.S. Enterprise), Star Trek: Discovery[continued]