Star Trek: Discovery
Star Trek: Discovery (also known as 'STD', due to the unfortunate acronym the title presents) is a 2017 TV show by Paramount+ (formerly known as CBS All Access). It is a "prequel" set ten years before The Original Series. To date, it is the worst received Star Trek live-action TV show by fans, and arguably the worst mistake in the franchise since Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
Why There's (Ironically?) No Discovery
- The show is barely related to Star Trek, despite having those two words in the titles. It depicts the United Federation of Planets without any of their standard utopian ideals and ethics, instead choosing to depict the Star Trek universe as a grimdark, edgy, and morally twisted universe.
- While the CGI is pretty, the actual content is skin deep. The CG ships look objectively worse than any of the physical models previously used in Star Trek. The space battles are boring to watch, despite being rendered quite competently. Even Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, produced over twenty years prior to this show, has much more exciting and cinematic fleet combat.
- Numerous canon contradictions.
- Many of the ships have designs that don't match the aesthetic canon of the 23rd century (i.e. angular warp nacelles in a era where warp nacelles are simple tubes).
- The production team seems to be of the opinion that phasers are normally pulse weapons. With the exception of the Defiant-Class from Deep Space Nine, all Federation starships of every era have used beam-style phaser weaponry.
- The Klingons look nothing like all their previous incarnations in the franchise, instead looking more like the Orcs from Lord of the Rings. They have no hair, have really stupid costume designs, and also always talk in slow, badly pronounced, Klingon, with the Audience getting subtitles.
- Instead of Section 31 being an ultra-secret organization whose existence was known of only by their own members and Starfleet's highest-ranking officers, they're now basically the Federation's FBI with everyone knowing who they are.
- The "USS Enterprise NCC-1701" looks nothing like how it appeared in "The Original Series".
- The writing is of poor quality, with stupid ideas such as the 'Spore Drive'- a literal mushroom-powered engine that uses spores to teleport the titular USS Discovery across the galaxy (which also canonically contradicts Star Trek: Voyager, and was in fact a concept suspiciously similar to one from Egyptian developer Anas Abdin's 2014 indie game, Tardigrades; Abdin unsuccessfully tried to sue CBS over this)-, the idea that at a quantum level, physics and biology are the exact same thing, which just defies all logical thought, and that firing first at a warlike race such as the Klingons, completely unprovoked, will somehow convince them not to start a war.
- The entire cast of the show is either forgettable, unnamed (the majority of the bridge crew go unnamed until season 2, and even then, they lack defined characteristics), or completely obnoxious. The only two characters even remotely likeable are Ensign Silvia Tilly, engineer Commander Jett Reno and the alien guy Saru (not counting Christopher Pike, who is likeable, but was already an established character from The Original Series and the reboot movies).
- The main character, Michael Burnham (who, despite having a male first name, is a woman) is a complete Mary Sue, with a personality as appealing as plywood. She's arrogant, unlikable, and totally unsympathetic. She's also the only PoV character for the entire show, since this isn't a ensemble cast like every other Star Trek TV show.
- The Klingons are so poorly-written that at the start of the series they actually have far more sympathetic motives than the Starfleet characters do, resulting in the writers having to resort to making the Klingons use dishonorable war strategies that are completely out-of-character for the race, and if anything are more what you'd expect from the Romulans.
- The captain of the Discovery, Lorca, is set up as a brilliant antihero character... only to be revealed as a moustache-twirling Bond Villain from the Mirror Universe, die shortly after.
- The show spends the better part of the first season focusing on the Mirror Universe, which adds nothing to the plot, and doesn't actually fulfill the whole 'Klingon War' premise of the show.
- Only the first episode was broadcast on live TV. To watch the show in the US, you have to pay for a subscription to Paramount+. It is theorized that the only reason they created this show was to take advantage of the built-in Star Trek fanbase to get their streaming service off the ground.
- It's full of SJW propaganda, and is actually painful to watch at times, especially if you know Star Trek for what it is. While most of the TV shows after Star Trek: The Original Series had pretty strong progressive biases, they at least presented their messages in far subtler ways instead of beating the viewer over the head with them.
- Burnham is, as stated before, a complete Mary Sue, consistently portrayed as smarter, stronger, and overall better than everyone else. While the second season tries to make her less of one, it screws the pooch big-time at the very end by having the entire Discovery crew decide to abandon their lives, families and loved ones in the 23rd century, with no hope of ever returning, because they just love Burnham that much.
- Gratuitous swearing in an effort to make the series seem "edgy". Note that in all the Star Trek entries produced between 1966 and 2005, there were a grand total of two swear words ever spoken (Four if you count "dumbass" in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which was said by both Kirk and a random car driver), all in movies (Once by Data in Star Trek: Generations, and once by Lily in Star Trek: First Contact).
- Very cringy lines of dialogue such as "This is the power of math people", and "I like science".
- The main enemies of the second season are Section 31, who were pretty cool when they were first introduced on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but were seen as being over-used after appearing again in Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Into Darkness.
- The way the camera moves is very distracting. Just watch this video to see how dizzy it is.
- By the end of the second season the producers clearly realized just how badly they'd screwed over continuity with the other Star Trek shows. But instead of doing what they did with Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and the Star Trek Voyager episode "Threshold", namely cutting their losses, declaring the series officially non-canon and ordering future writers never to reference it again, they send Discovery forward in time by a thousand years and have Starfleet declare everything related to the ship and its crew as top-secret.
- The third season actively rips off Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, a show that, while being fairly generic, had some sense regarding basic plot. The complete destruction of all dilithium resources known to mankind is also extremely stupid.
- And on that topic, the third season has the Federation completely destroyed! Which also destroys the sole purpose of Star Trek being an optimistic view of the future. It also means that the story any series or movie set prior to this show's third season will be completely pointless, as no matter what happens, we now know that the Federation will be destroyed in the 31st century.
- The show at least doesn't get as bogged down in technobabble and discussions of the Prime Directive as Voyager and Enterprise tended to.
- Spock does appear in the show played by Ethan Peck and would be a nice replacement for a younger version of him previously portrayed by Zachary Quinto from Star Trek (2009).
- The second season isn't as needlessly grimdark or political as the first.
- Stamets and Culber's relationship is a way better depiction of an LGBT couple than what they tried to do with the reboot Sulu in Star Trek: Beyond.
- The fact that Klingon subtitles are available for the first season (only on Netflix) is a nice detail.
Star Trek: Discovery has an 85% approval rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, while Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, has assigned a score of 73 out of 100 based on reviews from 37 critics.
For the first season, Rotten Tomatoes reported 82% approval with an average rating of 7.07/10, based on 72 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Although it takes an episode to achieve liftoff, Star Trek: Discovery delivers a solid franchise installment for the next generation—boldly led by the charismatic Sonequa Martin-Green." The season's average episode rating is 87%. Metacritic assigned a score of 72 out of 100 based on reviews from 20 critics.
Rotten Tomatoes reported 81% approval for the second season, with an average rating of 7.32/10 based on 30 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "The second season of Discovery successfully—if stubbornly—cleans up the problematic storylines of Trek past while still effectively dramatizing new takes on the lore." The average episode rating for the season is 82%. Metacritic assigned a score of 72 out of 100 for the second season, based on reviews from 10 critics. For the third season, Rotten Tomatoes reported 93% approval with an average rating of 7.94/10 based on 28 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "With less canonical baggage and a welcome dose of character development, Discovery continues to forge its own path and is narratively all the better for it." Metacritic assigned a score of 74 out of 100 based on reviews from 7 critics.