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Exploring The Final Frontier

Star Trek: Discovery: Choose Your Pain

With “Choose Your Pain,” Discovery begins to dig a little deeper into its characters and some interesting questions surrounding the exploration of the final frontier.

While being held prisoner by the Klingons, Lorca is called out by Harcourt Fenton Mudd (better known as Harry in a call back to the original series) over Starfleet’s perceived arrogance at heading out into the final frontier and expecting the rest of the universe to be fine with it.  Continue reading Star Trek: Discovery: Choose Your Pain”

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Star Trek: Discovery: The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry

After three episodes of laying the ground-work for Discovery, the fourth episode finally settles in and begins to delve a little deeper into the characters and situation.  It makes for a fascinating hour and one that is this series’ best and most Trek-like so far. Continue reading Star Trek: Discovery: The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry”

Space Seed

Without “Space Seed,” odds are we wouldn’t have the Star Trek franchise as we know it today.

It was Ricardo Montalban’s performance in this episode that caught the attention of Harve Bennett back in the early 80’s.  It was the character of Khan that was deemed worthy of making the jump to the big screen.  It was The Wrath of Khan that revitalized Star Trek in ways we’re still enjoying to this day.

So, it would be understandable if the episode didn’t necessarily hold up to those lofty expectations.  I certainly know the first time I saw “Space Seed” it was after multiple viewings of Wrath of Khan.  My expectations for it were off the charts huge.   This was, after all, the story that gave me the movie that serves as my entry point to the universe of Star Trek. Continue reading “Space Seed”

Star Trek: Discovery: Context is for Kings

“I believe you feel regret but in my mind you are dangerous.”

One thing that’s interested me so far about Star Trek: Discovery is that while the title of the episode doesn’t flash on screen (I promise, I’ll try and get past it at some point!), it’s been incorporated in dialogue in each of the first three installments.  Maybe the title is supposed to be an Easter egg for fans in the same way as the tribbles we see in Lorca’s ready room.

Speaking of Lorca, he does get quite an introduction.  It’s not quite as visually dramatic as the back-lit entrance of Kirk into Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but it was still effective and may be telling about the character.  Continue reading Star Trek: Discovery: Context is for Kings”

Star Trek: Discovery: Battle at the Binary Star

With “Battle at the Binary Star,” Star Trek: Discovery takes some of the pieces introduced in “The Vulcan Hello” and begins to move them into place for the next thirteen episodes.

It doesn’t hurt that “Binary Star” includes one of the best space battles that Trek has ever committed to celluloid in either a series or a movie.

It’s interesting to see Discovery has taken a different tactic to most of the other modern Trek shows with its two-hour pilot.  Each modern Trek had everything in place by the end of the first two hours.  At this point in Discovery, the only regular cast member we’ve spent significant time with is Michael Burnham.  And we haven’t even seen her assume her new role on board her new ship.  We haven’t even seen the ship that gives the series its namesake. Continue reading “Star Trek: Discovery: Battle at the Binary Star”

Star Trek: Discovery: The Vulcan Hello

Star Trek has introduced viewers to new series on one of two ways.

The first is the sink or swim approach utilized by “The Man  Trap.”  The episode threw viewers into the universe of Star Trek with little or no exposition or character introduction.   (Of course, it helps that “The Man Trap” feels like the middle portion is a “day in the life of the Enterprise”).

Then there’s the get the crew together and start having adventures model used by the four modern Treks.   There may be an emphasis on a central character (Sikso for DS9) and a lot of exposition on the setting, place in the Trek-verse and potential storylines that may or may not be examined during the series run. Continue reading “Star Trek: Discovery: The Vulcan Hello”

A Taste of Armageddon

Anan 7:  Are those five hundred people of yours more important than the hundreds of millions of innocent people on Eminiar and Vendikar? What kind of monster are you?

Captain Kirk:  I’m a barbarian. You said it yourself.

All of us have those episodes of our favorite shows or movies that if you run across then while channel surfing, you’re going to stay and watching until the end.

For me, that list includes “A Taste of Armageddon.” Continue reading “A Taste of Armageddon”

Return of the Archons

I’m not sure what this says about me, but multiple times when I’ve attended an event with the word festival in the title, I can’t help but quoting a line from this episode.

“Festival! Festival!”

And not only quoting it, but trying to imitate the sheer excitement conveyed by the random Landru follower who utters the line.

Again, I’m not sure what this says about except maybe, just maybe that I watch Star Trek too much. Continue reading “Return of the Archons”

Tomorrow is Yesterday

While D.C. Fontana is credited with re-writing “Charlie X” earlier in season one, I’d argue that it’s “Tomorrow is Yesterday” where she really begins to make her presence felt.

From this point onward, many of the original series’ best and highly regarded episodes will come from her pen.  And, as I’ve said multiple times before, we’re into the sweet spot when Star Trek was at its very best. Continue reading “Tomorrow is Yesterday”

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