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'Discovery': Coldly Going Where No 'Star Trek' Has Gone Before

A Trekkie's Displeasure

I guess you could say I'm a Trekkie. Although I've never dressed up like a Klingon or member of Star Fleet, nor attended a Star Trek convention, I have seen every non-animated movie and television episode ever made for the franchise. I've been a fan of at least the original series since childhood and have watched and will continue to watch a lot of Star Trek productions multiple times. I guess that makes me qualified to give my opinion of the newest installment, Star Trek: Discovery. To be frank, my opinion is not a particularly favorable one.

As a TV series goes, Discovery is not all bad. It has action, drama, special effects and a futuristic concept. The problem is that it feels nothing like Star Trek. I've read the opinions where it has been praised for bringing Star Trek into modern times, but that only works if it remains true to what made every other Star Trek appealing.  The first issue is that of humor. It has none. Harcourt Fenton, aka Harry Mudd, isn't even funny. I understand that the trend is towards the dark, but every Star Trek ever made had at least an undercurrent of humor. In every series and movie, there were quotable moments of humor that made the characters and subsequently the show seem more real. The only thing funny in this show is that the Klingons are actually somewhat sentimental, and that's not funny ha ha, that's just funny weird.

This brings me to my next complaint. That would be the world of the metro sexual Klingon. In fairness, the Klingon appearance did change in various previous series', but the Klingon was always an unsophisticated loudmouthed brute with very little couth or subtlety. The Klingons in Discovery look like they spend three hours a day in LA Fitness, take steroids, and get waxed regularly. Meanwhile, they kill indiscriminately and sadistically, another factor that shows that the creators of this show either don't get what the Klingons were about until now, or even worse, they don't care.

My next complaint could theoretically be chalked up to the timeline, but something tells me not that much thought was put into it so it likely has nothing to do with it at all. The issue I am referring to is the lack of respect so many officers seems to have for their superiors and the fact that the superiors give them so much slack.  I've seen more challenging orders in a few episodes of Discovery than I did in seven seasons of The Next Generation. It might make for pop culture appeal, but it ain't Star Trek until I hear a Captain say emphatically, "Is that clear!?"

I'm fine with the Chief Engineer and Ship's Doctor being two gay partners, but when did we ever have to watch any heterosexual couples on Star Trek brush their teeth together just to make the point?  If you want to normalize it, let your audience figure out the relationship as it unfolds before their eyes rather than forcing it on them.  Did Worf and Deanna Troy ever braid each other's hair during an episode to show they had become a couple? I think not.

Don't even get me started on their new technology, a spore drive navigated by an intergalactic walrus-type creature that can take you anywhere in the galaxy in five second,s preceded by the very nouveau trek, "black alert."

Ultimately, what makes this show so difficult to stomach is that, as a Trekkie, I am insulted by the fact that the creators felt that name-dropping was enough to make it feel like Star Trek. Sarek, Vulcan mind melding, Harry Mudd, referencing Kronos, and showcasing an Admiral does not make it feel like Star Trek. It makes it feel like the writers found some sources in their research and squeezed them into a completely different show.

As a Trekkie, I keep watching, hoping that I might start to like it and praying they don't do anything to tarnish the image of the original Enterprise as well as that of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Sadly, I am losing confidence with each episode, since more and more it appears as though the creators of this show didn't do this for the traditional loyal fans. They did it for what they see as the modern day fan, making it more a parody of Star Trek than a continuation of it. It's so dank and dismal they might as well have called it, Star Trek: The Dark Generation.

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