Star Trek Discovery Season 2: Boldly Went?
Well, it’s sort of funny these days but the start of TV seasons is all over the map now. It seems more and more than shows are waiting for January or February to release new episodes, both Star Trek Discovery and The Grand Tour are starting new seasons now, and the Elementary Season 7 (IE, the final episodes) is just around the bend. Oh yeah, The Orville is wandering along nicely a few episodes into it’s second season as well.
Star Trek Discovery I guess is the one that interests me the most, because I think it has the most potential. It also has a hell of a hard road to travel, as it must somehow match up to canon of the original series while telling a new story. It must be living hell at times to try to write stories and be fresh when the longer term end result is already modern day history in a way.
We are two episodes into the new season at this point, and so far the show is, within reason, living up to it’s promise. First and foremost, Captain Pike has taken over the Discovery (and we know this won’t be forever, canon says so!), and set off to find what is causing a number of red lights across the universe to go off simultaeously. I won’t do any reveals here, no spoilers beyond the obvious. However, I do want to talk a little about the shows in their own way.
First off, Discovery is continuing as it has, with an overall set of story arcs that reach over all of the episodes of the season, and thus make the series absolutely sequential. That said, so far two episodes have also been a little more satisfying in their completeness, it’s sort of nice to get at least a small part of an answer at the end of each one, a conclusion or a “business is finished here”. There is, for the classical Trekkie in me, a much more satisfying feeling that each episode can to a certain extent stand by itself, at least so far. Season 1 was, for the most part, a big long blob that you had to watch from start to finish. The first two here are much more self contained, even as the overall story arcs clearly are guiding the action.
Also, the character development is much better this year. Tilly is much, much stronger and yet still a bit dizzy and dizzying. Michael is given deeper family issues to resolve and face, and even Lieutenant Commander Paul Stamets (the guy with the foreign dna in his system to run the spore drive) is expanding and more connected. More than even, the heros and bit characters alike seem to be expanding and getting some depth. In this regard, season 2 as a concept is great.
The only downside? By the second episode, it appears to be reasonably easy to see a pattern in what is going on, which suggests that the rest of the lights are going to lead to similar circumstances and situations.
The other part I am not liking as much is the lack of development in other areas. What of the Klingons? What of the alternate universe Philippa Georgiou? In many ways, while the arrival of Pike was supposedly only moments after the end of the Klingon war, there seems to have been a lot of time for the players to disperse and disappear. It has been said that we will see the (now hairier) Klingons including the odd Voq / Ash Tyler combo at some point. It would be nice to at least bring those stories in and give them some endings. Philippa Georgiou will apparently get her own show out of all of this.
This touches the final bit of fear for this old time Trekkie. We have Discovery, we will have the Georgiou “section 31” show, and we also have a Jean Luc Picard series in production. My fear is simply too much will milk this universe dry very quickly, a feast that may turn to famine. It would be too bad, because today’s technology and CGI make these shows not only possible, but highly believable and enjoyable.
Discovery season 3? You can bet on it.