Spock has a sister?
Before we go into the nitty gritty, some explanations.
CBS elected to debut Star Trek : Discovery as one episode on its TV network and the other on CBS All-Access, it’s online streaming service.
But in fact, these first 2 episodes are one pilot episode and will be streaming 24 hours after the debut on Netflix, outside the USA and Canada.
We are introduced to Michael Burnham (The Walking Dead’s Sonequa Martin-Green) the first officer of the USS Shenzhou, where Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) is the Captain.
Oddly enough, Burnham is a ward of the Vulcan Sarek (Spock’s father), adopted by him after her parents were killed in a Klingon attack.
Of course, Burnham has never been mentioned by Spock or even Sarek previously but executive producer Alex Kurtzman has clarified that the specifics of Burnham’s backstory would be revealed in a way that would not break the existing canon continuity.
Discovery is set – we are informed – a decade before the events of the original Star Trek. As with other prequels set before the original movies/TV series produced decades earlier, the technology presented in the prequels look incongruously more advanced. Discovery is no exception here especially when one looks at the original Star Trek series.
Nit picking aside. This pilot serves as a prologue to the actual series, framing Burnham’s character background before she turns up on the USS Discovery.
And it’s all rather engaging actually. In fact, this pilot has exceeded the drama and pathos attempted on the last three Star Trek movies. It would have a made a worthier Trek movie.
The characters interact very naturally, the action sequences work well, the space battles look quite authentic and Burnham is an excellent main protagonist (and excellently portrayed by Martin-Green) – a human raised by a Vulcan, a disgraced first officer with a deep-seated hatred for Klingons during a time when the Federation is at war with the same.
An impressive start to a promising TV series.
… still there’s more …