Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Star Trek: Discovery -- Season 3 Episode 1 (That Hope Is You)

It seems that most television series and movies about the future seem to be dystopian.  The world has gone to pot.  There’s no law.  There’s no hope.  Roving gangs pillage what little is left.  It would appear that even Star Trek isn’t immune to that.

Michael Burnham has led the USS Discovery to the year 3188 and it doesn’t look good.  The Federation and, by extension, Starfleet are all but gone.  Interstellar travel and communication are nearly impossible.  Things look bad and something called The Burn is to blame.  No one knows exactly what happened, but the result is that nearly all dilithium is gone, which powers conventional warp drive.

When Burnham lands on a planet, she meets Cleveland “Book” Booker, who basically explains all of this for us.  He’s a reluctant source of information, as he stole something and the previous owner wants it back.  The important bit of information is that things have changed during the intervening 930 years.  Burnham has yet to make contact with Discovery; this could mean that the ship didn’t make it or that it will make it, but not show up for some time.

I will say that a time jump of nearly a millennium is one way to shake things up.  Discovery was set about a decade before Kirk’s Star Trek, which meant that the show would have had to deal with this eventually.  Of course, that’s not an issue now.  Discovery had to make the jump to prevent an evil AI from getting too much information at once.

Does this mean that Discovery, or at least the crew, won’t be going back?  Maybe they will, but at a point after the 24th Century.  They may find themselves in the 26th century or it may well be that they’ll stick around in the 32nd.

The most pressing questions are where the heck the ship is and what exactly The Burn is.  It would appear that the next episode will answer that question.  I sincerely doubt that the show would dump all but one of the regular cast, especially considering that the opening credits still has a few of the same actors.  (With the exception of the recap, Burnham is the only regular from last season to appear in this episode.)

So, that leaves us wondering what this hard left was.  It would be too easy to blame it on Michael Burnham.  Yes, I realize the first four letters of her name spell Burn.  It could have been her mother, who was stuck in the future for the longest time.  Another theory is that it has to do with the omega particle, which would make sense.  I’m not even sure why it’s called The Burn, since a lot of the damage had to do with things exploding.  (When the dilithium went boom, so did most of the starships.)

It looks like we’re going to be treated to 13 episodes this season.  We’ve already had a few references to previous outings.  The Gorn are mentioned.  We even get to see a Lurian who looks a lot like Morn.  I’m still out as to whether or not it is him.  It’s not unheard of in Star Trek for a species to live hundreds of years.  A thousand isn’t out of the question.  It was implied on Deep Space Nine that Lurians normally have more hair, which would make this Lurian’s similarity to Morn all the more suspicious.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s episode.  I’m eager to see what becomes of the ship and the series.  It’s going to be a long three months.


IMDb page


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