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23 Jul 2017

Discovery Coverage at EAS

It has been a long and sometimes bumpy road from the first announcement of a new Star Trek TV series in November 2015, but now Discovery is only two months away. After a long time of uncertainty about the direction of the show, it is now clear that Discovery takes place ten years before Kirk and Spock, that it is supposedly set in the Prime Universe as it existed before Nero showed up and that it will tell an ongoing story with heavy Klingon involvement.

No one could have seriously expected that Discovery would go back to the coarse set and prop finish and to the visual effects of the 1960s. But Discovery does a lot more than just giving the era a visual update. Regarding the production design, only the handheld Starfleet devices such as the tricorder, communicator and the phasers fit into the continuity of TOS. Everything else was heavily retconned, such as the starships, none of which looks remotely like one from the 23rd century, and the interior design that is like in the Abrams films. And all this is still nothing compared to what was done to the Klingons. The very look of the species as well as their whole styling and technology was altered far beyond recognition and far beyond what might have been an acceptable update.

It remains to be seen whether Discovery has the spirit of Star Trek in spite of everything, and whether I will be able to find this spirit in an ongoing war story with ongoing character conflicts. The series may still surprise me. Right now, I absolutely hate the design decisions and the visual overkill in the SDCC trailer puts me off. It likely won't be my kind of Star Trek. Still, I'm not going on a crusade against Discovery. I will just keep a critical distance to the series, which, like the Abramsverse, does not fit into the established continuity and which, for me, may not become a desirable vision of the future.

Discovery has to be and will be covered at EAS just as every other canon part of the franchise, quite possibly with something like a "Reboot" tag. But not any time before the end of the first season. People will put me under pressure, saying "Bernd Schneider ignores Discovery at EAS because he hates it". I know this moaning just too well from the time just after "Star Trek (2009)". But the actual reason for me to take a backseat is a different one. Maintaining this website in my spare time is very demanding, even without a controversial new series on air. Collecting evidence from Discovery episodes and gradually updating the site (sometimes back and forth) will be extremely time-consuming and impossible besides my various professional and private commitments, not to mention occasional health issues. It has to wait until I can do it in an economical fashion, or the pressure to keep the whole site updated will be too much for me.

Please respect that until further notice I can't do anything more than review the Discovery episodes. There will be

  • No articles specifically on Discovery
  • No Discovery-related updates to articles
  • No discussions about Discovery's continuity with me
  • No exceptions even for "popular" topics

Bernd Schneider


Recent EAS Updates
  • 18 Nov 2017
    Star Trek Continues has released the second part of its series finale "To Boldly Go". Here is my combined review of both parts.
  • 13 Nov 2017
    Here is my review of the mid-season finale of Star Trek Discovery, "Into the Forest I Go". Please submit your own take using the review form, or join the ongoing discussion at the bottom of the review page.
  • 07 Nov 2017
    New Poll: Rate "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum".
  • 07 Nov 2017
    Read my review of the latest episode of Star Trek Discovery, "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum". Visitors can submit their own takes using the review form, or join the very busy discussion at the bottom of the review page.
  • 01 Nov 2017
    Reviews of Rise of the Federation: Patterns of Interference and Star Trek: Boldly Go - Volume 1, both by Daniel Tessier.
  • 30 Oct 2017
    New Poll: Rate "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad".
  • 30 Oct 2017
    Here is my review of Star Trek Discovery's latest episode, "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad", in which we see Mudd again, and again, and again. Feel free to submit your own views on the episode in the review form.
  • 28 Oct 2017
    There is also a new Discovery FAQ that answers the questions about the site policy on Discovery.
  • 28 Oct 2017
    I have decided to add my ratings to the reviews of the so far released Discovery episodes, disregarding general problems with the setting of the series and the production design. The curious result is that Discovery currently ranks higher on average than TNG. See the explanation of episode ratings.
  • 23 Oct 2017
    New Poll: Rate "Lethe".
Latest Comments on EAS Articles
  • 21 Nov 2017

    Another thought; The insignia variation seems primarily to be for crews serving on Constitution class vessels (and according to dialogue in Discovery, these do seem to be a prestigious posting...) pus some divisional differences (merchant marine...). If Enterprise is the flagship (as she certainly is latter down the alphabet...) then her symbol would be the standard insignia in any case perhaps?

  • 21 Nov 2017

    Thanks for the hint. I'll try to get a screen cap.

  • 20 Nov 2017

    Yes, I remember that man with what looks like a dress uniform. This is slightly in favor of the universal use of the symbol.

  • 20 Nov 2017

    Ooooh, just found a thing to muddy the historical waters a bit...

    In the Cage, in Pike's "Orion Slave Girl Fantasy", he's in the company of another Starfleet officer in a dress uniform (or at least a dress jacket) which has the familiar Starfleet "Enterprise" arrowhead on it. The note on Memory Alpha was;

    'The only indication as to the intent of this uniform, as stated in the script of "The Cage", was that the man in question was "a uniformed space officer (not from the Enterprise)."'

    So maybe more supporting evidence for Enterprise "just" using the Starfleet emblem by default, though it was an illusion taken from Pike's mind so Enterprisyness might predominate.

  • 20 Nov 2017

    A little observation I recently made while rewatching this episode (and only apparent in HD):
    When Duras rips the baldric off Worf's shoulder (TC: 00:21:20), the iridiscent fabric on the nape of the ceremonial coat appears to get damaged. In all subsequent shots, the damage is still apparent with the coat's right shoulder part being noticeably frazzled.

  • 20 Nov 2017

    The Philippine Islands would have been a much more likely state than Haiti I believe.

  • 20 Nov 2017

    Whilst it had some "clunkiness" I really enjoyed it. Almost the stand out for me was the damage effect for the Plasma weapon which was exceptionally well done and finally the weapon is worthy of the fear it provoked in "Balance of Terror".

    The Discovery cameo might well end up looking very misplaced given how the series is panning out. My feel is very much the Discovery is not a ship that is going to be as important to Starfleet in the grand scheme of things as the others in that lineage (I'd also dispute the Einstein Class/Kelvin type being in there as well for lasting impact (especially in the Prime timeline...)).

  • 20 Nov 2017

    Well, those were fantastic. I found it especially magnanimous of them to include the Discovery in the ship lineup, considering that it was the 'swatting a fly with a rocket launcher' approach that CBS took to eliminate Axanar's competition with Discovery (by crushing all fan films) that led to their early demise. They remain loyal fans and devoted to 'official' Trek even when Trek stabs them in the back.

    I found this to be a very effective finale for TOS, bringing themes from the original full circle- and while, as you say, it wasn't perfect, I appreciate all the fun references, such as the shirt-rip, or the floating office and Earth looking the same way it did in TMP during the arrival at spacedock scenes.

    I felt that the ESPers' motivation was pretty well explained- Starfleet was already testing them for the possibility of 'uplifting,0' giving them a taste of the powers; after Sentek unauthorizedly sent his wife through the barrier, she became a sort of leader, directing her people to experience what she had; and from the taste of power they'd already received, they adopted a very Khan-like 'Human evolution has stalled, we are the next wave, superior intellect breeds superior ambition' attitude.

    Continues has been universally stellar, and I find myself very sad that the wonderful ride is finally over.

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