Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Star Trek: Discovery (July 2017).

Just when you've learned to talk about Star Trek in the past tense, as a TV experience, back it comes with a brand new series on Netflix. For those of us who grew up wishing we had pointy ears and a phaser gun, this is potentially exciting news but how does the show look?

Judging by the trailer, it all looks very beautiful and you can tell a fair old wodge of cash has been thrown at it but if I do have a worry, it's that it really doesn't feel like Star Trek. When someone says, "Star Trek," to me, I think of people shouting, "Dammit, Jim! I'm a doctor, not a strippogram!" and, "The engines cannae take it, Captain!"

In other words, I think of strongly defined characters interrelating in a way that lends the show charm. Being a little more restrained and sensible, the later shows didn't have it to quite the same degree as the original series but they all still made sure to concentrate on the characters more than the visuals and monsters. In this trailer, while it all looks very lovely, I don't see anything in it that suggests any kind of character interplay at all. In fact, what little we see of the characters makes them seem very dull indeed.

Which leads me on to the Klingons. I don't personally mind that they've redesigned them. The old shows were willing to change their look when it was felt necessary and it's always interesting to see a new take on things. My concern is more that, as seen here, they seem a very lifeless and restrained bunch; not at all the boozy roughnecks we've grown to know and love, and I hope it doesn't mean the franchise has been robbed of one of its major sources of fun and vigour.

I am glad to see a Chinese character in it. It's always been one of the great sources of mystery to me as to where the Chinese people are in the Star Trek universe. I can't remember there ever being even a single one in any of the previous Star Trek shows combined, which always seemed a bit odd, as they comprise around a fifth of the Earth's population. Just where had they all disappeared to in the old shows?

Finally, the design of the ship. I can't say I love it. The saucer section looks structurally fragile and the main body is too squat and graceless.

So, in summary, it looks like an artfully made show that's totally lacking in vitality.

Is this deceptive? Have they merely left all the human elements out of the trailer, only to spring them on us later? Or are they simply not there in the first place?

I suppose there'll be only one way to find out.

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