First Impressions?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by johnar, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 25, 2001
    The Warped Sector of the Demented Quadrant
    I liked both episodes a lot , the second a little more than the first. I did have some issues with the storytelling and the pacing of some scenes, I don't much care for the Batman-style "tilt screen" camera work that makes scenes appear as if the Penguin and his henchmen are about to walk into the room and issue demands. The Klingons...meh at best.

    But solid episodes for the most part. They kept my attention even if some of the dialogue wasn't very good. Trek is synonymous with awkward dialogue so that didn't really surprise me, plus the sound design featuring classic TOS-era sound effects was very pleasing to this aging fan's ear.

    Good show. Could have been better, I liked it.
    Quinton O'Connor likes this.
  2. cultcross

    cultcross We get locked down, but we get up again Moderator

    Jul 27, 2001
    Tier Fun
    A guardedly positive reaction from me. It was more different than I was expecting, which is a good thing. They still devolved briefly into oldTrek style space combat with stuff going offline and shield percentages. But other than that it presented a tweaked Starfleet world where people had workplace banter, disagreed and debated, showed genuine enthusiasm for exploration and discovery, and the pace was a nice mix between the breakneck action of JJ and the methodical plodding of Berman.
    The cliché meter was buried in the red at times, I think they need to watch their dialogue for originality and flair.
    Visually, it was stunning. The tech, the effects, the space shots especially. Loved all that.
    lurok and Quinton O'Connor like this.
  3. Haggis and tatties

    Haggis and tatties Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 27, 2002
    Visually this was a AAA, blockbuster movie effects on a Tv show, amazing, charactor wise i can't really say, i will need to see more, theme tune and theme visual were meh, but as of what i have seen, it was fine, so going on with a positive outlook to what more it has in store.
  4. Quinton O'Connor

    Quinton O'Connor Commodore Commodore

    Apr 3, 2010
    Durham, NC
    I've seen both episodes twice now, so I think I can offer more detailed thoughts. For shorthand's sake, I'll be referring to them collectively as the premiere. After all, this was by all accounts save of CBS' themselves very much an 80-minute premiere episode, anyway.

    It's got wrinkles. The dialogue is rough in some spots, as I feared based on the trailers. The Burnham revelations could have been handled better with stronger timing -- Sarek's FTL katra communication (complete with a relatively devoid-of-context "back when the Learning Center was hit by a terrorist attack" reference?) was off. The directing tried to blind me with a lens flare, and I want to note that I have literally never complained about lens flares in the Kelvinverse so I think I have a right to see a doctor here. And the Dutch angles are weird. Very Dutch. Dutch people are great. But Dutch angles are dangerous cinematic business.

    The wrinkles don't stop it from being good. It's good. It's a good start and I liked it even better the second time around. The budget is off-the-chain, the acting is stronger than most Trek premieres, the narrative hook has effectively dragged me in. I like the Klingons. I actually do like the Klingons here after all. Mind you, I've never been a Klingon diehard. Give me an egomaniacal Cardassian, any day. But I like them well enough and I still didn't hate these guys. I'm not sure whose cruel prank it was to stuff poor Chris Obi's mouth with cotton balls, but otherwise I like them. I really like Burnham and Saru. I love the "This Season on Discovery" trailer. It has my mouth watering; there's a lot we haven't seen yet. Everything with Lorca and the title ship sounds like it has the potential to be very satisfying.

    The music is rather understated thus far. Effective, but understated. I'm neutral on that front.
  5. rocketdave

    rocketdave Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 19, 2012
    It seems to me that the people who were so determined not to give Discovery a chance were going to dislike it regardless of how it turned out. It's really hard to put much stock into the opinions of haters who have been practically willing this show to fail before any of us even saw a single frame of footage. I hate to think of the sort of comments and clickbait articles and videos I would have been seeing if the internet had been widely available when TNG first went on the air.

    Personally, I was pleasantly surprised. Nowadays, it's hard for me to work up the same level of enthusiasm I had when I was a teenager whenever I saw that a new Star Trek show or movie was coming out, but I've tried to remain guardedly optimistic. I was nervous that I was going to be ambivalent at best about the series, but I was happy to find myself entertained/engaged by the first couple episodes, for the most part. I was thinking of holding off on starting my All Access subscription, but after watching The Vulcan Hello, I signed up right away so I could see the next episode (though I'll probably be cancelling my subscription as soon as the season ends because it honestly doesn't seem like there's enough other stuff on there to make continuing it worthwhile).

    Aesthetically, the show is gorgeous and filmic looking. I may not be the best judge of writing, but I thought the writing was quite good. I was amused by the dynamic between Michael and Saru and look forward to more of that in the future. The opening title sequence was so-so. I remember when I watched the premiere of "Caretaker"; the next day at school, I had the Voyager theme stuck in my head; I don't see that happening here. Also, like a lot of people, I admit I'm not super stoked about the Klingon redesign. Unlike many, it hasn't been a major issue for me, but now that I've seen the Klingons in action, it did almost seem like it was a struggle to recite dialogue through those heavy prosthetics. But anyway, yeah, overall, my first impressions are very positive.
    Quinton O'Connor likes this.
  6. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 13, 2000
    San Diego
    I liked it quite a bit. Last time Trek was on TV it was the vomit known as Ent. The two episodes I watched of this so far were pretty damn good all things considered. SMG was actually decent. I liked the Saru guy. His death sensing trailer scene makes a lot more sense in context. I wasn't in love with the Generations style lighting (as Plinkett says IT LOOOKS WEIIIIRDD!!) but overall it looked good. It clearly had a huge budget. I have no clue how it's going to be a success financially as it's super bizarre to think it's going to launch a paid streaming platform. And I still would greatly prefer the original anthology concept. Probably even more so after watching this. I would love for them to dive into other Trek eras with big budget CGI.

    But c'mon. So far this is one of the better things I've seen on TV lately. They did a great job with this.
    The Super Brando likes this.
  7. Focus Abbey

    Focus Abbey Commander Red Shirt

    May 2, 2003
    Kingston, NY
    I was hoping for something that felt (aesthetically and thematically) more like Star Trek's television roots than Abramverse, and was disappointed in this regard. The production design, pacing and mood overall just seemed to take so much from Abram's bible that it was impossible to ignore or think of this as something different, no matter how "Prime" the universe is supposed to be.

    Based on the first two episodes, this reboot isn't grounded in Trek's ethos of exploration and optimism. It acknowledges that foundation through a few unconvincing lines of dialogue merely so that it can immediately break away into cynicism and conflict, with the central "discovery" being a reimagining of a species and culture that has already been reimagined several times over.

    If I were to summarize Discovery in one word, it would be, "safe."
    TonyC and lawman like this.
  8. Grendelsbayne

    Grendelsbayne Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 24, 2013
    My first impression:

    It's visually stunning.
    I loved the dynamic between Burnham, Saru and Georgiou.
    The story is so far much more interesting and engaging than I had hoped.
    I like the visual redesign, including the Klingons.
    I love finally seeing Starfleet feel a little professional, again - but without going all the way back to the santization of human nature that TNG tried to do. I strongly disagree that this story was 'robotic' or 'not human enough'.
    I found the acting generally good. Not amazing, or anything.
    I thought they did a great job 'fitting in' to what we know about the existing world without making new viewers feel lost.

    I strongly dislike the new take on the Klingon language. It feels slow, unwieldy, and unimpressive and it hurts the scenes it appears in.
    The new Sarek seems a bit iffy so far.
    Pacing was at times a bit off.
    Some dialogue was a bit off (but not a whole lot).
    Credits sequence is by far the weakest in the franchise (I don't hate the theme at all, but it's already weaker by itself and the visuals chosen to accompany it actually make it worse).
    While I liked Burnham's journey, I am ambivalent about having watched a (imo, quite strong) pilot which ends in an immediate, potentially complete alteration of the status quo. How much of what I liked about this set up is actually part of the show and how much was only here for 1 episode? It honestly feels a bit like this entire (pair of) episode(s) was really just the equivalent of say, the Serenity Valley scene in Firefly or the Wolf 359 scene on DS9 - ie, the initial setup part that other shows would traditionally place as the first ten minutes before jumping ahead in time to establish the current situation.

    Overall, I'd say it's a quality production with real potential. It's not what I wanted out of Star Trek, but it is more than enjoyable enough to stick with for as long as it lasts. And in all honesty, it's arguably the best pilot the franchise has ever had - simply because Star Trek pilots have traditionally ranged from weak to terrible. (I just rewatched Encounter at Farpoint the other day - now there was an absolute disaster of a tv pilot)
    Psion likes this.
  9. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

    Apr 19, 2013
    Backwaters of Australia
    Very cool.
    Just saw episode one.

    Are Spock and Michael about the same age?
    I sort of wish they hadn't made Michael Sarek's foster daughter or whatever she was but I can see how that pulls us all I'll have to live with it I guess.
    In regards to the tech being far in advance of TOS and possibly TNG, I'm still not over ENT being more advanced than TOS :). While I don't think its reboot (as yet) I don't think they should be restricted to 60s style. It would take a really creative team to do that properly. I'm OK with it being in the reboot style of the movies and I'm OK with the Klingons being reboot/TNG cross.
    I think the captain is excellent. I like the range of secondary characters. I even like the tech talk.

    Maybe the second episode explains why Sarek is OK with Michael in Starfleet but isn't speaking to his son and openly snubs him.
  10. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 4, 2008
    Dayglow, New California Republic
    It felt like a LOOOOT of set-up. I thought it was fine, but hopefully the slack will be picked up from episode 3 onwards.

    7/10 too much space.
  11. saddestmoon

    saddestmoon Captain Captain

    Feb 21, 2009
    New Zealand
    I enjoyed both episodes a lot: although I watched them as one combined 'pilot' and felt they both worked better together than as singular eps.

    Really, really excited watching the preview for Ep. 3!!!

    :D Show me the Discovery!
    lurok and jespah like this.
  12. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

    Aug 23, 2001
    Nuevo México
    Upon final reflection, if I had to sum up my thoughts as succinctly as possible, I think it might be something like: needs more levity.

    And I don't just mean humor. But overall lightheartedness. Every scene had so much urgency and directness, even if the situation didn't necessarily require it. Thrones and ABQBad knew when to take a break.
    saddestmoon likes this.
  13. kerchan

    kerchan Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Sep 2, 2017

    I get the impression it's made in the dark.Why spend vast sums of money on detailed sets when it's never going to be seen?

    The trailers showed everything being dark and dark blue.The ships in space are very dark and can hardly be seen.

    Since this show is supposed be about inclusion and SJW then it's only fair people with poor eye sight should be taken into account and the lights turned up.
    lawman likes this.
  14. tosapanic

    tosapanic Ensign Red Shirt

    May 25, 2009
    I thought there were a lot of unnecessary callbacks to the Abrams films, both visually and plot-wise. When the Shenzhou appears out of nowhere descending from the skies for the rescue, I was reminded of the opening of "Into Darkness", when the Enterprise rose out of nowhere to save Kirk in the opening. Then we get Burnham in the same exact Vulcan teaching cubicles, and a similar conversation about emotion with Sarek. Burnham later bursts on the bridge unexpectedly to warn about the Klingons being out there to a disbelieving captain, similar to what Kirk did with Pike regarding the Romulans in Star Trek 2009. And Burnham contacts Sarek and asks "What can you tell me about the Klingons?" in a nod to Nu-Verse Spock contacting TOS Spock and asking "What can you tell me about Khan?" It just felt derivative to me, maybe that comes from the Kurtzman influence. I just think, here you have this blank slate to create something new, as the promise of the JJ films had when first announced, and the easy route is taken to cop something from a previous work. Maybe it's overthinking, but the bar is set pretty high for Trek.
    TonyC, Indysolo and mos6507 like this.
  15. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

    Aug 23, 2001
    Nuevo México
    Those weren't callbacks so much as emulating the directing style. Abrams has a very unique but identifiable way he shoots his films. The director[s?] were trying way too hard to emulate without really "getting it." It came off to me a lot like a first year film school student trying to be Godard.
  16. jespah

    jespah Taller than a Hobbit Moderator

    Jun 21, 2011
    Boston, the Gateway to the Galaxy
    Love, love, loved it!

    I saw both episodes and we paid to not have commercial interruptions. That absolutely (no pun intended) paid off, as it felt a lot more cinematic.

    They did their ENT/TOS homework, and it showed. There was a mention of phase cannons. A lot of the bridge sound effects were TOS sounds. The Klingons' costumes were taken right out of the Xindi Reptilian playbook. And the Klingons were appropriately scary and fanatical.

    I love the opening credits and the initial drawing of a circle harkens back to the ENT opening credits which showed compass circles. Actually, I would love to see the music for DSC laid over the opening visuals for ENT.

    The storyline appropriately and intelligently upends conventions. Burnham is a terrific and interesting character. The connection to Sarek is ... okay. I could go either way on that. It could be a different Vulcan. But it does kind of make sense for it to be Sarek as he's a diplomat and also because of his human wife. Who else would take in a human in need?

    I also love that there are consequences to actions. There were effects and scenes similar to ENT's 3rd season episodes, Azati Prime and Damage.

    Doug Jones was amazing and I have now decided I have headcanon where Lwaxana's pal Mr. Homm is a Kelpian.

    Bring on episode 3! :D
  17. psCargile

    psCargile Captain Captain

    Mar 4, 2010
    I didn't like that I knew it was a cloaked Klingon ship, and they didn't, that they had to make a discovery (har-har) that we've known for years.

    And it would have been fine had the Klingonese transitioned into English.
  18. cultcross

    cultcross We get locked down, but we get up again Moderator

    Jul 27, 2001
    Tier Fun
    Well that's just trailers and promotional material at work. You've got to show something, but the characters don't have the luxury of having seen the trailer. However, if it were still a spoilery surprise, I'd have cut out the Klingon bits prior to the reveal of the Torchbearer.
  19. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
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  20. Serveaux

    Serveaux Boomer American Premium Member

    Dec 30, 2013
    Go die on that hill.
    First impression

    "The Vulcan Hello" is not very good television.

    The desire on the part of the studio that Star Trek be mentioned in the same breath (and Emmy nominations) with premium streaming and cable dramas like Game of Thrones is palpable throughout this production.