CBS released the second trailer for its new Star Trek: Discovery series, and boy howdy do I have some mixed feelings about this thing…
There are big names here, pulled from the big screen: Jason Isaacs, Michelle Yeoh, Doug Jones. Names from big TV – Sonequa Martin-Green. Rainn Wilson. The casting appears to be diverse, and I hope the rest of the cast is actually as diverse as the bridge crew appears to be.
I do have some concerns, though. Sonequa Martin-Green is so closely associated with her character Sasha on The Walking Dead, and from what bits I saw in the trailer, it looks as if she’s fighting zombies in outer space. Rainn Wilson is well cast as Harry Mudd – this was another redeeming thing for me. Harry Mudd was always a bit of a blustery guy – the smarmy kind of guy who could sell shoes to a snake. Rainn Wilson could probably pull that kind of character off. I mean… well, he looks the part, anyway:
I’m not real keen on the Klingons, though. The syntax and the enunciation of their speech sound like Ferengi. Quark and Rom from TNG and DS9, specifically. I get that the idea is to show how Klingons have evolved and changed. The “viral infection” of Levodian flu and “Human Augmentation” thing worked to explain the difference between the Klingons in Enterprise and the Klingons in the original Star Trek series. I don’t think it’s going to work again.
One thing that the Star Trek universe seems to do a lot is repeat itself. Hopefully, if they go with that explanation, they’ll add more reasonable detail to the story of it, rather than just… wave a medical chart and genetic data at it again.
This thing looks like J.J. Abram’s Star Trek. I tried to find Gene Rodenberry’s universe in it somewhere… anywhere… and I did see little bits here and there. But this thing is so shiny and modern-looking! This series supposedly takes place in the time frame leading from Enterprise into the original Star Trek series, but the technology as depicted is way too shiny and advanced to preserve the visual continuity of Gene Rodenberry’s universe. I had the same issue with the Abrams version of the franchise film, but I did enjoy it in spite of that. I’m not buying the “alternate timeline” thing this time, though.
One of the things that I love about Star Trek as a universe in general is that it usually does well at re-inventing itself. I mean, sure – there are only so many ways to tell a story, but there are also many sides to every story, and many perspectives to add. I really hope that this adds to the stories in the Star Trek universe, and doesn’t simply repeat them.
The first episode of Star Trek: Discovery debuts Sept. 24th at 8:30/7:30 Central on both the CBS television network and CBS All Access online. After that, new episodes drop weekly on Sundays, and will only be available at CBS All Access online by subscription only.