Observations Thus Far

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Vger23, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 19, 2014
    New England
    So, now that I've had a chance to do a re-watch and we are fast approaching the start of S1 Ch2, I thought it would be a good time to do a total "Vger23 Recap and Observations" post. As a big fan of the show in these early goings...here are my thoughts!

    1. Episode Ratings (I think having some time to reflect and also having done a re-watch, this puts me in a much different spot to assess the episodes without the immediate emotional reaction of having just seen them. I actually FIRMLY believe that both frames of mind in doing an assessment are valid, BTW...this one just happens to be my "I've had more time to observe and think about it" mode)

    Ep 1 The Vulcan Hello 8/10
    Ep 2 Battle at the Binary Stars 6.5/10
    Ep 3 Context is for Kings 7.5/10
    Ep 4 The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry 7.5/10
    Ep 5 Chose Your Pain 8.5/10
    Ep 6 Lethe 9/10
    Ep 7 Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad 7.5/10
    Ep 8 Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum 6/10
    Ep 9 Into the Forrest I Go 10/10
    Series Average 7.83/10

    2. Positive Observations (These are the things I think the show has done really well, and hope they continue to build upon, feature more of, enhance, etc)

    Characters- The characters are all interesting, and I find myself tuning in every week to see more of how they grow both individually and as collective members of the team. I find Lorca and Stamets to be the most interesting, followed by Michael and Tyler. They are all relatable, realistic and growing people with complexities and back stories that don't seem like they're stamped out of a stale writer's bible.

    Production Design- The show's sets, costumes, props, etc are all extremely high-quality and very much to my liking. As someone whose favorite designs come from the TOS Motion Picture era, I like the combination of high-tech and retro-future they went for. Lots of people have compared the aesthetics to the Kelvin films, but I disagree... Regardless, the show looks beautiful.

    Individual Stories- This kind of ties in with the character stuff...but I think the individual stories are all very good. I've enjoyed each episode (see rankings above) as generally "above average" television, which is FAR more advanced than any of the other Trek series (barring TOS) fared in their first 9 episodes, where I was struggling just to stick with it.

    Improved Maturity- I like that DSC has evolved into a more mature and realistic portrayal of Star Trek and the people in that universe...really that is something we haven't seen since the TOS Movie era (really it was TOS as a whole). It no longer feels like a sci-fi "After School Special" with virtues and morales being speechified and thrown at the viewer...but it still has the dilemmas and repercussions being explored.

    Adventure and Kinetic Story Telling- Nothing about DSC has been static nor stale thus far. The stories don't have people sitting around for minutes on end discussing things in a stilted and uninteresting fashion. They don't feature the token "space battle of the week" either (VOY and ENT), which is something I found even more boring than conference meetings ("Shields at 60%!!! Evasive maneuvers! Return fire!" Ugggghhhhh) There is always something new and interesting going on with the characters or story, and even the action or battle scenes are fresh (and far more limited than detractors crying "pew pew" would have you believe).

    3. Constructive Comments (Nothing is perfect, and despite being a big fan of DSC...there are some things I wish they'd do differently. Again, given the early stage we're at, there's plenty of time for this stuff to evolve)

    Bottle Effect- Every episode feels like it is confined to the Discovery bridge, Discovery corridors, and Discovery engineering room. It's, thus far, a VERY claustrophobic show, and it needs to get out and breathe far more. Granted, my guess is that this is a result of the large amount of S1 budget that needed to go into development...so in future seasons we're likely to see more...but still, this is the one BIGGEST criticism I have. Let's see more of the world out there. Let's get down to more planets.

    Big Arc- While I've appreciated the "war arc" as part of the backdrop to develop these characters and tell various stories...I find that the "Klingon War" story is not nearly as interesting as the individual episodes that the show is made up of. I guess that's to be expected, since I was adamantly opposed to a "Trek Wars story" at the beginning. But, the series has excelled in spite of that bias. It's like the parts are greater than the sum of the whole at this early stage.

    Klingons- A big selling point of this series was that the Klingon elements and story were going to be just as important and pivotal as the Starlet side. From my vantage point, I care very little about the Klingon story. I can't stand the subtitles, I find it difficult to follow the characters, etc. I'm actually looking forward to the fact that Kol and the Ship of the Dead are gone, and maybe we can just focus on L'Rell and Voq

    Expansion of Minor Characters- One of the things that made DS9 such a rich show is that there was a fantastic set of "minor" characters who helped fill out the world and make it feel real. I know that DSC has two major things that inhibit that right now on this front( one, it's only 9 episodes in and two, they're really trying to focus on intricate development of the main 4-5 leads in only 15 episodes as opposed to 26 per season), so my hope is that this is something that evolves.

    Show the Damn Ships- I'm not sure what else to say here...but it seems like the visual style of the show doesn't allow for a whole lot of "beauty passes" or lingering shots of the ships they've taken so much time to design and develop. I'm not saying I need 15 mins of starship porn per episode...but I could barely draw the Discovery from memory probably...and forget about any of the Klingon ships. That's a shame when they've done some beautiful work.

    Run Time- This is a streaming show. I can't figure out why each of the episodes seems beholden to a 45 min run time. Get it up to 60 mins or so. And hey, if they need to broadcast them on regular TV a few years from now, then broadcast edited versions etc...but give the people who are paying the premium a full hour of goodness. That would give them the opportunity to create more depth with the main characters and flesh out some secondary / supporting people potentially (Culber, Detmer, etc).

    Anyway, those are my thoughts and observations thus far. I'd like to see if we can get some similar thoughtful discussion without this devolving into a bunch of people who aren't fans of the show anyway simply taking potshots at the same tired, inane stuff that's been covered already several excruciating times.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
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  2. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Jul 23, 2001
    This aspect I don't actually mind too much, it kind of conveys the fact that typically Starfleet officers are more or less stuck on their ships and getting the opportunity to visit a planet or even another ship is rare.
    Vger23 likes this.
  3. QueenTiye

    QueenTiye Ensign Newbie

    Oct 24, 2017
    Thanks - may do a rewatch myself leading up to the second have of the season.

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  4. KennyB

    KennyB Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    Stuttgart, Germany
    This is the only thing I can agree with 100%! Show me the MONEY!
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  5. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

    Apr 19, 2013
    Last place in Australia to get the NBN
    I'm guessing here but I think the reason we don't see the ships is because they're probably not using models and slow pans generally show its computer generated or CGI. Or maybe they think its boring to some people (me). But IMO they could easily cut out some of the Klingon stuff (its too much really). I'd like something like they did in the Cage and TNG and looked from the outside into the bridge of the ship.

    And I'd like all the characters to chill a bit. I just hate Lorca. I'd like them to do something to make me like him.
  6. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    A type 13 planet in its final stage
    they've already done a couple of those. Last one at the end of the last episode where the camera zoomed out from Lorca on the bridge, though the window and out until the ship was a dot.
  7. zar

    zar Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Aug 30, 2010
    They've done a couple of those per episode haven't they? I'd say it's actually a little overdone at this point.
  8. GeekUSACarl

    GeekUSACarl The Last Starfighter Fleet Captain

    Dec 2, 2016
    Phoenix Arizona
    Yeah my number one piece of advisevto that crew is have a coke and a smile and relax
  9. Fateor

    Fateor Captain Captain

    May 18, 2017
    Actually the reason we don't see ships is because they did a mid season graphics studio change so they cover up the low quality models with bad lighting.
  10. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 19, 2014
    New England
  11. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Commodore Commodore

    May 7, 2011
    1st Joined Aug 10, 1999
    I see the aesthetic as more of an ENT/BSG/Kelvin hybrid with some TOS Film added in. They blended together what works best in each.

    This. 1,000 times this.

    Yup. Some people wonder why we don't see more of the Klingon/Federation War. I think that unless it's something that's specifically driving the story forward, we don't need to see it. I like that they credit the audience to be smart enough to fill in the blanks in their heads or use their imagination.

    If Discovery gets into a battle and we're seeing it, it's for a specific reason. It's not there because "We have to get into a Battle of the Week with an Alien of the Week".

    That's the only serious issue I have with DSC. The focus is too narrow. But, I give it a free pass because I know they're not going to be focusing on the Klingon War forever. And I love the way they've left things "Into the Forest".

    I'm in the "Ash is Voq" Camp. If that turns out to be true, I hope they milk it for all it's worth.

    Yes. I want to get to know some of the bridge crew. We see them every week but seeing them is about it. Maybe they'll expand the focus in coming episodes. I'm sure they have some interesting stories or some interesting things could happen to them.

    Stamets is another one. A friend of mine at first was asking me, "Does he get killed soon?" before starting to become more attached to him later on. Where they go with Stamets could be anyone's guess.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
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  12. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    A type 13 planet in its final stage
    No, they fired all their own in-house CG people and hired an outside agency but that was several months prior to the shows debut.
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  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    ^ If there's one thing I've learned about the corporate world, it's that firings due to incompetence are virtually unheard of. The only thing people ever actually loose their job for is insubordination, theft, or some similar action that seriously embarrasses their boss.

    Makes me wonder if the CG people started bickering over ship designs in a manner not unlike what's been happening here on this thread...
  14. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

    Jul 28, 2008
    Clinton, OH
    Neither of these statements are mutually exclusive. They both could be 100% correct.

    If they hired an outside agency several months prior to the show's debut, how far were they in production? Remember that the debut got pushed back.
  15. φ of π

    φ of π Captain Captain

    Aug 26, 2016
    Unimatrix √-1
    The Klingon storyline in Disco is more like "Game of Bat'leths".
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  16. cultcross

    cultcross War is what happens when language fails Moderator

    Jul 27, 2001
    Armistice 100
    At the time, iirc, they were still shooting the pilot. All we saw released that we know was from the original team were those godawful early previews.
  17. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

    Jan 4, 2011
    Well Doug Drexler has alluded to this on his Facebook (the reason he won't watch the show is that his friends were badly treated). I dont know what happened but ... That time in the she's development was indeed rough. It was similar to when Fuller was fired too, right?
  18. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 24, 2011
    I thought he was upset that they didn't bring any Trek Alumni into the visual department.
  19. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

    Nov 2, 2014
    Wow! That's...big. Is there any proof/screenshots of it out there?

    I mean, I guess it would be a perfectly reasonable explanation for the extreeeeeemely variable CGI-quality. Some of it - especially the CGI integration in real shots with humans - looks extremely good (e.g. camera pans through force fields, or Burnham in her EVA suit). But at other times - especially CGI-only shots, the FX are horrible! The main ship is way more low-res than the NX-01 was 16(!) years ago, and the lightning/starship movement/models look very amateurish.
  20. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Commodore

    Jul 26, 2016
    The CGI was amazing in "The Vulcan Hello" and "Battle at the Binary Stars". It’s been consistently mediocre in the following episodes.