Star Trek: Discovery
Season 1 Episode 1
“The Vulcan Hello”
The Klingon Empire is in a state of disarray and one person is trying to unify the warring factions. Meanwhile, Captain Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) of the USS Shenzhou and her first officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) are taking in the sites on an alien planet as we get to see our first look at how the series will tackle new species. The advent of new special effects technology has finally allowed for a more diverse type of alien to be shown in the form of the non-bipedal creatures that inhabit the planet.
The episode seems to be about the lead up to the Federation/Klingon War and the action in the premiere episode does have some interesting tension to it as Burnham and the rest of the crew clash. After finding an unknown object near a binary star, Burnham travels to it and discovers that it is a Klingon beacon. Her inadvertent clash with the Klingon guarding it and his subsequent death seem to be all the spark necessary for the Klingon ship’s commander to begin his plan to unify the Klingon Empire.
As the Klingons reveal themselves and their new cloaking technology, the Shenzhou is caught unawares. As Burnham leaves the bridge, she contacts Vulcan ambassador Sarek (James Frain) in order to get advice on how the Vulcans managed to broker peace with the Klingons. The solution she is presented with contradicts the doctrine of Starfleet and might just cost Burnham her career.
As a premiere episode of a new Star Trek series, Star Trek Discovery is well done. There were issues I had with the sustained level of tension between the members of the crew. These people have served with each other for seven years and yet they don’t trust each other and snipe at each other with no sense of leadership from the Captain. Some of those moments seemed forced to me as well. I think the actors are well cast and the performances are well done. It will be interesting to see if they can sustain this storyline and dynamic for the first season.