Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 2 Review – Battle at the Binary Stars

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Star Trek has always been at its most interesting when it engages with the inherent imperialism of the Federation, taking a post-colonial view of an organisation, which is arguably just as much a space empire as that of the Klingons. For these Klingons to focus on their need for individualism in the face of this increasingly ubiquitous galactic hegemony immediately posits them as more interesting than they’ve ever been, adding a greater nuance to their status as a warrior race. 

Immediately, this presents a huge amount of potential, making it perhaps the most important reinvention the Klingons have underwent since The Next Generation; no longer are the Klingons confined to a simple “planet of the hats” mentality. Suddenly, this is an alien race with a vitality – they’re not fighting simply because their culture demands it, rather they fight to defend their culture. It’s a subtle distinction, but an important one; certainly, it’s dependent on further exploration of Klingon culture going forward, but I’ve little doubt that Discovery is willing to engage on that front.

Here’s my review of Star Trek: Discovery’s second episode, Battle at the Binary Stars – please give it a read!

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Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 1 Review – The Vulcan Hello

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Star Trek: Discovery is going to have to answer certain questions across the course of its run, that much is clear. Chief amongst them: What does it mean to be Star Trek in 2017?

It’s a good question. Indeed, an essential one; as a show with a legacy spanning half a century, Discovery needs to find an answer as to why it’s a Star Trek show at all – hopefully an answer that goes beyond the need to profit off a well-known franchise.

Does this episode offer an answer to that question? No, not yet. Undeniably, it posits a starting point, giving a diverse vision of Star Trek that entirely unlike any the show has offered before. With a black female lead, an Asian woman in the Captain’s chair, and the promise of a same-sex couple on the horizon, this is the show Star Trek has always claimed to be. Michael Burnham is exactly what the face of Star Trek should be in 2017, if not frankly earlier – with these characters, Star Trek: Discovery is at last able to realise the potential that the franchise has always offered but never fulfilled. It is difficult to overstate just how important this is, but it’s worth remarking on and emphasising it again, because Star Trek has finally joined the 21st Century.

Here’s the first of my reviews of Star Trek: Discovery – click the link to read the full review!

With hindsight, I don’t know exactly how, or even if, Star Trek: Discovery answered the question of what it meant to be Star Trek in 2017. It’s a difficult question, certainly – I’m not even sure I’d know what I’d want the answer to be. (Perhaps the answer was there and I just missed it; I’ll no doubt eventually rewatch the series and write about it again, so maybe I’ll divine the answer then.)

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All the Easter eggs and references you missed in Star Trek: Discovery’s first episode

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Star Trek is back after more than 12 years off our screens and it’s like it was never gone.

As we all look towards the future and the continuing adventures of Michael Burnham, there’s still time to take a look towards the past, because the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery is steeped in references to the franchise’s 50-year history.

Here are all the Easter eggs we could find from Star Trek: Discovery’s first episode. How many of these did you spot?

My Metro article on Star Trek!

I really liked this one. There was something really, really neat about knowing that I was being paid actual money to natter on about Kahless and the significance of the number 57 and redshirts and all that cool stuff for a big website as part of my actual literal job. Clearly, I’m doing something right.

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Despite a troubled production, Star Trek: Discovery lives up to the promise of the original series and then some

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If the original series can be said to have any resounding legacy, it’s in its vision of a utopian future. If you scratch the surface of the original series, though, it’s easy to see the limitations of that vision: from the episodes steeped in misogyny to the fact that the groundbreaking woman of colour character still only answered the phones, much of the purported Star Trek utopia is an invention of its fans.

Here, though, Discovery takes that vision and realises it properly for the first time; the two most senior officers on the ship are women and women of colour at that, and soon, the show will introduce the aforementioned same-sex couple, finally representing what has long been a blind spot for the sci-fi franchise. 

This is Star Trek as it was always meant to be.

One of my Star Trek articles for Metro. I was really pleased with Discovery; I think it’s absolutely great.

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American Gods: Here are the differences between the TV show and Neil Gaiman’s book

american gods neil gaiman book bryan fuller michael green jesse alexander adaptation differences

Bryan Fuller’s lavish adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantastic book, American Gods, has just landed. And, as expected, it’s absolutely fantastic. The show has quickly become a critical darling, and audiences are loving it.

As with every novel adaptation, though, a question arises: Just how accurate is it? From Harry Potter to the Lord of the Rings, and Percy Jackson to the Game of Thrones, every large-scale fantasy adaptation has to take some liberties with its source material.

Is this adaptation going to leave fans frothing with rage or praying at the show’s altar?

I’d not yet watched the show when I wrote this – it was mainly done from stuff that Fuller and Green and Gaiman had spoken about in interviews and publicity stuff.

Since writing this, I have watched the show, and it was one of my favourites of 2017. I never did write about it, though, mainly because… I guess I felt like the show was so good, anything I wrote about it wouldn’t quite serve it properly, if that makes sense? In any case, though, I was really disappointed when Fuller and Green left the project – while I’m hopeful for Jesse Alexander’s version, I’m not expecting much. I figure I’ll probably rewatch and write about the first season in preparation for its return, whenever that may be.

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Bryan Fuller’s exit from Star Trek represents a move away from auteur-led television

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Ultimately, then, there’s no reason to believe that this won’t be, broadly speaking, the same show we were promised at Comic Con, and as part of all the subsequent announcements. And yet, at the same time, there’s something astonishingly disappointing about Bryan Fuller’s departure from Star Trek.

Part of the reason why I was so excited about this new show was because of Bryan Fuller’s involvement; it elevated Discovery to more than just the latest Star Trek show, but something special in its own right. Because Bryan Fuller is a writer at the top of his game, who’s widely renowned for his unique creative vision – consider the artistry of Hannibal, for example – and I couldn’t wait to see him apply this to Star Trek, a programme that he holds a lifelong passion for and an innate understanding of.

My reaction from a few weeks ago regarding Bryan Fuller’s exit from Star Trek: Discovery. I am, I must admit, astonishingly disappointed.

(With hindsight, I suspect this is not a very good article. If nothing else, I am now waaaay less into the whole auteur thing than I was then; really, I didn’t even believe it anymore by the 31st.)

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Bryan Fuller confirms female lead, gay character, and prequel setting for Star Trek: Discovery

STAR TREK DISCOVERY LOGO NEWS BRYAN FULLER FEMALE LEAD GAY CHARACTER PREQUEL SETTING

Excitingly, one of the first things that Fuller confirmed was a human female lead; interestingly, however, it’s been said confirmed by Fuller that she will not be a Captain, but rather a lieutenant commander “with caveats”. The intention is to provide a different point of view from prior Star Trek series, given that the previous iterations have been from the perspective of the Captain. This female lead is yet to be cast, with shooting still two months away; Fuller has, in the past, stated that casting for Discovery will be ‘colour blind’, and as such our new lead may be of any race. Rather excitingly, Fuller has also said there will “absolutely” be a gay character, thus breaking new ground for televised Star Trek.

The show is going to be set 10 years before The Original Series; it’s another prequel series, much like Enterprise before it, although far closer in time to the original Star Trek. In setting the show so closely to the original, it means that Discovery is able to “play with all the iconography of those ships and those uniforms.” It won’t just be the ships and the uniforms, though, with one returning character having been brought up in discussion – Spock’s mother, Amanda Greyson. Rather obliquely, Fuller has suggested that Discovery will depict an event in Starfleet history that has “never been explored”; several guesses as to what this unexplored event is have been ruled out, such as the Romulan War, and it currently remains a guarded secret. This event was, however, confirmed to be referenced on The Original Series, so get ready for plenty of speculation. 

I’ve been up for the past few hours writing this article about the new Star Trek series; you can click on the above to be linked to the full piece, which has a lot more detail about the nature of the series, and what we can expect to see.

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New Details about 2017 Star Trek Series Released!

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The teaser trailer gave a January 2017 premier date for CBS All Access, as well as restating that the opening episode of the series would also play on the CBS channel proper. (Within the past week, it was also confirmed that Star Trek: Discovery would be available on Netflix in the UK, within 24 hours of the American release.) David Semel, who has previously worked on Person of Interest, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and American Horror Story, will be executive producing and directing the opening episodes. He’s also been nominated for an Emmy award for his work directing the pilot episode of Heroes, making him particularly well suited to helm the pilot episode of Star Trek: Discovery.

Fuller has also stated that the series “won’t be episodic”, and compared the storytelling to being akin to a novel. He was also keen to restate his commitment to continuing the ethos of Star Trek, saying “The new series has to remind audiences the message of Star Trek — continuing to push boundaries”. As well as this, Fuller also commented on the need to “celebrate a progression of our species”, because “right now we need a little help”; he also drew attention to one of the core ideals of Star Trek, stating that “individuality should be celebrated. Star Trek celebrates diversity”.

I’ve written an article about Star Trek: Discovery! It collates some different quotes of Bryan Fuller’s, as well as discussing the new ship design, its antecedents, and what it might mean for the series going forward.

I have to say, I remain very excited for this series.

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American Gods – First Trailer Released!

American Gods Logo News Trailer

The series is intended to last for several years; the first season, comprising of ten episodes, will cover the first third of the book, ending at the House on the Rock, with the second season being predominantly set at Lakeside. Neil Gaiman, who has taken an executive producer role on the series, stated that  “one of the first things that we’re doing is going we don’t have to make a TV series that only exists from Shadow’s point of view”; the story is going to be expanded, further developing each of the characters and their plotlines. Similarly, Bryan Fuller has said that “it feels like the book would be anywhere from three to four seasons”, noting that Starz has said they “want [American Gods] to last a while”. It seems that we have quite a lot to look forward to!

Also intriguing is Fuller’s comment that American Gods will focus on the “political climate and the sociological climate” of America, with commentary on the perspective of black people and of woman, as well as an episode invoking the gun control debate; the hope, Fuller says, is to use “those sort of hot-topic issues as a platform to have a conversation about faith and our role in the universe”.

I’ve written a little news roundup and reaction piece to the new trailer for American Gods, which was released at SDCC last night; I’ve also included some details which were released by Neil Gaiman and Bryan Fuller in some recent interviews.

Have to say, I’m very excited about this!

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Bryan Fuller reveals exciting details about new Star Trek series!

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Something I’ve always admired about Star Trek is the vision of an inclusive future that it put forward – I’m glad that’s going to preserved in the new series, because I feel like today, that’s a vision we need more than ever. 

Something a little happier than what we had this morning, with an article about Bryan Fuller’s new Star Trek series.

I’m particularly looking forward to it; of course, on one level that’s because I’m a huge Trekkie and I kinda always have been. Star Trek is, after all, rather brilliant. But more than that, what I’m really looking forward to is a show with a little hope – something I think we all need these days.

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