Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 11 Review – The Wolf Inside

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It’s worth taking a moment to focus on and celebrate Shazad Latif here; playing a dual role is difficult under any circumstances, but he really excels here. Latif has given a very mannered performance up to this point, with a precise awareness of his performance; watching the façade slip, and seeing the distinction between Voq and Tyler begin to fall away, it becomes evident just how skilled he is.

With a lesser actor, it’d be easy to imagine this plotline not quite working – but Shazad Latif really elevates it, with a brilliantly nuanced performance underscoring just how painful this process is. Hopefully (and I do suspect this will be the case) we’ll get a chance to see him dive deeper into the dichotomy between Ash and Voq in future episodes. Surely Ash is still in there on some level, and I’ve little doubt that Shazad Latif will continue to pitch that duality perfectly.

My review of Star Trek: Discovery, which is mostly about how great Shazad Latif is, but also the show’s character work.

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Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 8 Review – Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

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In a way, that brings us back to a question posed in initial episodes that we’ve not really looked at since – what does it mean to be Star Trek today? Approaching the end of this half of the season – Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum was originally set to be the midseason finale – it’s worth asking just what the answer has been.

Admittedly, I don’t entirely know quite what Discovery has concluded; in a very real sense, it’s still growing into itself, and doesn’t always know what it wants to be. In some ways, it struggles underneath the weight of the franchise, able to be bold and new within those confines but not necessarily within its own right. Perhaps the more important part of Si Vis Pacem is not in offering a definitive answer to the question, but in showing us that Discovery can offer more than one answer.

Here’s my review of the penultimate Star Trek: Discovery episode, which I really rather enjoyed. This review discusses Saru, Burnham and Ash Tyler, as well as the ongoing Klingon plotline, and what Discovery thinks Star Trek should be.

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Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 7 Review – Magic To Make The Sanest Man Go Mad

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Certainly, it’s not difficult to imagine a version of this episode where Burnham was largely on the periphery; one in which the focus was on Stamets and Tyler primarily, without needing Burnham to intercede on their behalf. Taking the time to dwell on the supporting characters would be welcome at this point in the series, not least because they’re often so charming. (How brilliant is Ensign Tilly? She is a gift, honestly.) We’re already at the halfway point of the series, and only have about three weeks left in the first run of episodes – soon it’ll be time for the midseason break. Beyond Burnham, how much time have we spent on each of the characters?

I liked the title of this episode. As to the episode itself? It was alright, I thought, but I was perhaps not as fond of it as the general consensus seems to be.

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Star Trek: Discovery, and the Klingon played by an actor who doesn’t exist

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It seems increasingly likely, then, that it’ll soon be revealed, possibly as part of Discovery’s midseason cliffhanger, that Ash Tyler is in fact the Klingon in disguise. A means to uncover him has already been set up – the tribble on Captain Lorca’s desk. Famously, The Original Series saw a Klingon disguised as a human unveiled because of how a tribble reacted to him; it’s exactly the sort of allusion to Trek history that Discovery has revelled in so far.

While it’s too early to say just yet, it’ll be interesting to see if tonight’s episode lends more credence to this still-developing theory – and just where the series will go from there…

Here’s an article on the Klingon that doesn’t exist…

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Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 5 Review – Choose Your Pain

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How much continuity is too much? The answer, of course, is the point at which it becomes alienating to new viewers – the point at which it’s so suffocating and self-reflexive that it’s offputting. That’s not to say there isn’t a value in developing a mythos, or a certain glee to alluding to wider continuity, but there’s a need to make sure it’s not overpowering. Star Trek: Discovery is managing to stay on the right side of the line – for now – but it’d perhaps do well to ask itself this question more often. At the moment, it’s got it just about right; those who know will enjoy the nods to Matthew Decker or Christopher Pike, while those who don’t won’t be confused or taken out of it by reference to the Daystrom Institute. (Indeed, it’s often the more dedicated fans who do understand these allusions that are more likely to get tied into knots about it!)

There’s an addendum to the above, though, which Discovery is running risk of falling foul of: Just what does the continuity add? Choose Your Pain is an episode worth interrogating on this note, given the inclusion of Harcourt Fenton Mudd. Mudd is a fan favourite character, albeit one I’ve never really understood the appeal of – he’s a human trafficker played for laughs, from some particularly poor episodes of The Original Series. Was he a necessary inclusion? Was there anything about his plot function that demanded he be Harry Mudd, rather than an original character in a similar vein? Admittedly, it might be too early to say; we know that Mudd is set to return later in the series, so it’s possible that in hindsight this appearance will prove to be important set up for a story that does demand his inclusion. Otherwise? I’m less than convinced.

I am very much not a fan of Harry Mudd, as you’ll no doubt remember from previous reviews, but he was… alright, I suppose, in Discovery.

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Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 3 Review – Context is for Kings

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It’s not a unique observation, of course, but in a manner of speaking Context is for Kings is actually the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery.

The prior two episodes, The Vulcan Hello and Battle at the Binary Stars, form a prologue of sorts – the series finale of Star Trek: Shenzhou, if you like. Here, we’re picking up again with what’s almost a new pilot on its own terms, introducing us to the rest of our regular cast – Captain Gabriel Lorca, Lieutenant Paul Stamets, and so on.

Here’s my review of Star Trek: Discovery episode three, Context is for Kings.

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