In “Context Is for Kings”, we meet the USS Discovery, Captain Lorca, Lt. Stamets, and, best of all, Cadet Sylvia Tilly. Nothing else matters. Cadet Sylvia Tilly needs to be retconned into all previous Trek series. Oh yeah, and some other stuff happened about a new way to fly on fungus spores. Wait. What, Star Trek: Discovery?
Teasing us eh?
I disliked the first 2/3 of this episode but really enjoyed the last 1/3. No matter what the plot is, or where the show is going, a Starfleet officer calling other human beings “garbage” just doesn’t seem quite right. The dialogue was a bit clunky as well, and that whole speech about how physics and biology are the same could use a some improvement.
Clunky dialogue in a Star Trek show? Heaven forfend! 😉
Well, there’s Star Trek-clunky, and there’s general-clunky. This was general-clunky.
Certainly the show is making us wonder about motives and whether this nascent Federation really can live up to the promise of its future. But I have a lot of confidence. Because while I don’t know how Lorca might turn out, the show’s viewpoint character makes no bones about where her loyalties lie. The dialogue she has with Lorca when he first asks her to join the ship makes that clear — Burnham may be a mutineer, but she’s a Starfleet mutineer.
Have to say I enjoyed this “second pilot” episode a lot more than the first two episodes and the characters and background are more meaty. On the Shenzhou, it seemed like “everyone is happy, this is a good ship, but they’re all gonna die so no character work done here” whereas now some of these characters are obviously going the distance so needed fleshing out.
However, it does not feel like Star Trek to me. This was always the great problem with bringing back the show today. What should a modern Star Trek be like? Has BSG infected everything like Watchmen made all superheroes grimdark?
And like Richard said (if I recall correctly) this is no family show, it’s pretty gruesome and seems to covet shots of people being lost to space. That was always shocking when it happened in previous series – because it was rare. So far it’s happened in 2 out of 3 episodes.
It doesn’t feel like Star Trek so far but it does feel like something I could enjoy watching.
Additionally, Trek shows normally follow the captain and his tight entourage whereas this show definitely feels like Michael Burnham: The Story. That’s no bad thing because Burnham is a good character, but it’s probably another thing that throws the show off it’s Trek-axis so it feels more distinct from “traditional” Trek – whatever that means. Like, what is the definition of Trek?
(I wasn’t sure I needed to see a Matrix fight scene in there either. Burnham’s fight with the other prisoners felt a little too perfectly choreographed.)
I think it feels like Trek in all the important ways.