Spoilers If you could change one thing about Discovery

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Soong-type Android, May 4, 2019.

  1. Soong-type Android

    Soong-type Android Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    While keeping the same design, characters, story and serialised format etc. what would be the one thing you would change that you think would improve the show?

    Although I find the visuals, aesthetics and creative decisions too jarring to reconcile it as belonging in the same universe as TOS, if I had to keep all that the one thing I would change is make it more of an ensemble show as Trek has traditionally been. I feel it has suffered from being Michael Burnham POV centred as other characters haven't been sufficiently fleshed out as they otherwise would have been.

    The doctor for instance has traditionally been an important character in Trek, yet what do we know about Culber beyond him being in a relationship with Stamets? Many other characters are nothing more than glorified extras who have barely had a line of dialogue in two seasons. The death of Airiam for instance felt hollow for her not being developed or utilised enough, yet we were meant to feel the same sort of grief as Spock dying in TWOK.

    Making it Burnham focused to the extent all plots revolve around her, everyone listens to her and she solves every problem and just so happens to be the foster sister of one of Trek's and popular culture's most iconic characters is so clearly contrived that it has made for a poorer show. It is forced to use TOS as a crutch rather than exist on its own merits and due to its self created deficiencies from its flawed Burnham centred concept the show runners have been forced to sacrifice their vision (whatever you may think of it) and cater to fans demands, thereby demonstrating Discovery's underlying weaknesses.

    Look at how characters have been developed in The Expanse for instance. Burnham could have been a major protagonist but not the major protagonist. They could have developed Culber more and the bridge crew (many of whom I don't even know the names of). Oh, I would also not have had a stupid spore drive. So I suppose that's two things.

    Peace.
     
  2. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    One thing? I can't wait to see people stick to that rule.

    I would ask for my one thing that the show slow down and simplify. Less frenetic plotting. Less crammed episodes with 3-4 plots happening simultaneously. Less breakneck action and more character moments/interaction/introspection. Just slow down and get the basics right.
     
  3. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Said it before and will say it again: On-fucking-screen episode titles.
     
  4. SJGardner

    SJGardner Captain Captain

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    It looks like what I've written in the generic chat thread would fit perfectly here:

    Yeah, a bit more scenes of slowing down, reflection, discussion and support. These people sorely deserve it after all they've went through.
     
  5. Soong-type Android

    Soong-type Android Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yep. One of the problems is how breathless and relentless the whole show is with little space for the characters to reflect on their experiences.
     
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  6. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Tone down the Michael worship about 40%.
     
  7. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'd redo "Saints of Imperfection" and make it either make it more coherent, or at the very least, had Culber force his way back ala the video for "Take On Me" by A-ha and left the how as a mystery, perhaps to be explored later. Discovery has been awesome overall, but that one episode, IMO, is the worst in all of live-action Trek, and I'm including "Threshold" and "These Are The Voyages". I blame the change in showrunners.

    I like @Lonemagpie's suggestion, too.

    I don't share your feelings about Burnham. Not because I like her, or enjoy how much she's focused on, but because the way they started her out let me know that I'm not as *obliged* to like her as one of the "heroes" of the show as I was for the main casts of the other Trek shows. I'm enjoying the story *and I still don't like her*. ;)
     
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  8. Krandor

    Krandor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The whole everything in the universe links to and involves Michael stuff.
     
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  9. Soong-type Android

    Soong-type Android Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    To quote Paula Smith the author of the original 'Mary Sue' fan fiction parody:

    "She makes her way onto the Enterprise and the entire crew falls in love with her. They then have adventures, but the remarkable thing was that all the adventures circled around this character. Everybody else in the universe bowed down in front of her. Also, she usually had some unique physical identifier—odd-colored eyes or hair—or else she was half-Vulcan."
     
  10. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My tv channel when it's own.




    Okay now that I got the joke out of the way I see it as two options My first option would have been to get Rosario Dawson in the role of Burnham like people were hoping for. With that said if things still pretty much played the same I would have sifted focus the show from being so Burnham-centric to more about the entire cast.

    If I was to build the show around one character it would actually be Tilly. The brand new recruit on her first mission in Starfleet straight out of the Academy. New to everything and also awkward and nerdy. Flip the sterotype were the nerd is actually the focus and the cool hip friend which would be Burnham is actually the sidekick. The show would be less about story arcs or even the missions but more about what she does during the mission. You could for example have first contact with aliens but instead of focusing on that you focus on TIlly doing this regular everyday stuff while all this more exciting stuff is happening off screen.

    Jason
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    Better writing.
     
  12. SJGardner

    SJGardner Captain Captain

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks Tilly could carry a series on her shoulders. I'd honestly watch the hell out of a series like this, even though it would walk a very thin line with the constant risk of devolving into Wesley Saves the Day all over again.

    No joke, for a brief time when she was sidelined in Season 2, I briefly entertained the thought of her being stuck in the 23rd century due to a twist of fate, and then serving as a hook into a Pike-Enterprise series. It would've been interesting to explore the realization of her dream of serving on a Connie being juxtaposed with the loss of her friends and being sworn to secrecy about them.
     
  13. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think the mirror universe should have been kept out of Disco.
     
  14. Alan Roi

    Alan Roi Commodore Fleet Captain

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    Without mirror balls there really is no Disco.
     
  15. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Vice Admiral Admiral

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  16. Schlegelmilch

    Schlegelmilch Cadet Newbie

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    Michael should not have been a foster sister to Spock! Spock's childhood was unique due his background. Having a human sister lessens that. It was implied that Amanda had no or limited human contact once she moved to Vulcan.
     
  17. cultcross

    cultcross Every lie incurs a debt to the truth Moderator

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    Agreed, and this is one of the benefits of serialisation that they're not tapping. I won't spoil details here, but Game of Thrones season 8 has a whole episode dedicated to the characters relationships with each other that they've carefully developed, and it's great. Discovery always feels the need to be bang-crash-onto-the-next-thing.

    My main improvement remains the plots though - drop the convuluted mess and plan your ending!

    I really don't get why people care about on screen episode titles so much. Very few shows do that anyway.
     
  18. ScottJ85

    ScottJ85 Commander Red Shirt

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    More Tilly.
     
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  19. Groppler Zorn

    Groppler Zorn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I’d have to jump on the Burnham bandwagon and say make changes to Michael’s character.

    I’ve recently been watching some Voyager again and Burnham is reminiscent of Seven of Nine. Here we have two characters raised by non humans who comes onto a Starfleet ship, is very clever, knows that fact, thinks they’re superior to everyone, that they’re always right, and disregards the chain of command whenever it suits them.

    Those traits about Seven irritated me at the time, and Burnham seems very influenced by our favourite ex Borg.

    Later Voyager episodes were often much better when they didn’t focus on Seven and included more screen time for Tuvok, Chakotay, or Janeway.

    So my change to DSC would be to make Burnham less Seven and more Janeway.

    For a human raised on Vulcan, Burnham seems hyperemotional and appears unable to control her feelings. Her lack of time at Starfleet Academy and having no experience as a Starfleet officer prior to serving on the Shenzhou means that she doesn’t seem to appreciate the service (despite talking nauseatingly about “Starfleet brothers and sisters”).

    Janeway was competent, intelligent, experienced, and addicted to caffeine. She didn’t take crap from anyone, didn’t like bullies, and was not afraid to get her hands dirty. She was flawed, sometimes insecure, and had almost limitless empathy for her crew. Ultimately, she had respect for her crew (maquis and Starfleet alike), respect for Starfleet and its principles (almost to ludicrous proportions), and she respected the fact that she didn’t know everything and demonstrated a capacity to learn and grow as a character.

    Throw in some of Kira’s passion and Dax’s skill with a batleth and you have one helluva kickass character.

    Michael Burnham, we hardly knew ye.
     
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  20. SJGardner

    SJGardner Captain Captain

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    On that point, I'd like to mention that I've actually found Burnham's emotional makeup spot-on for a human raised on Vulcan without being a Vulcan herself. The Vulcan way is all about suppressing your emotions to control them, but it's extremely unhealthy for a human to live like this. Suppressing your emotions, especially if you've never learnt how else to deal with them, is like playing whack-a-mole with them; you push them back and they'll come out some other way. And it's ultimately like an overheating kettle, the pressure just keeps building up and if there's no valve the excess steam could come out through, it will eventually just all blow up. So ultimately, in my eyes, Burnham's portrayal as a ticking emotional time bomb is actually quite accurate, and a testament to what a shitty father Sarek has been, treating his daughter as an experiment which ultimately failed.

    I actually liked her emoting more in Season 2; she still doesn't really know how to process her emotions in a healthy human way, but at least she's learning they're ultimately better out than in. And getting long-overdue criticism from Spock about her chronic hero syndrome and ingrained self-blame was a cathartic point in her character development for me. Now only time will tell if Season 3 can bring her a personal arc where she has to carve out her own path that's not held back by her childhood issues and family baggage.

    I understand though that a main character with these kinds of deep-seated issues is not everyone's cup of tea. I think I might be more accepting of her because I see so much of myself in her, for better or worse.
     
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