Let’s hope for hope with Star Trek Discovery


The coming Star Trek odyssey seems slightly dystopic. I don’t mean that Star Trek: Discovery might not be interesting, but it doesn’t seem to be in line with what many Trek fans have come to expect.

Personally, my trepidations are a result of having watched Enterprise fail. It did not fail because it was Star Trek, or even what some have labeled ‘a time for a break from Trek.’ I believe it failed because the stories weren’t as well written as they could have been, and the episodes didn’t always flow seamlessly. All of that being said it was none-the-less a hopeful show, a show that tried to focus on the potential of humanity, even in the most difficult of times. We haven’t been given enough information to make that claim of Star Trek: Discovery yet.

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My favorite Trek series has always been Deep Space 9, mainly because of the Dominion arc, and how intricately crafted it all was from the beginning in “Emissary” until the last frame of “What You Leave Behind“. Again, Captain Benjamin Sisko and his crew always sought out hope, peace, the betterment of humanity. More importantly, they fit the Prime timeline, even featuring Picard and crew in the series premiere. This is extremely important to avid fans, and even passive ones, such as myself.

Enterprise didn’t seem to fit the Prime timeline, nor does Discovery, at least, not yet. This is the second prequel that CBS and Paramount have attempted, and many agree the first one was not done well. It also seems that this prequel might be headed even further outside the Prime timeline, with different aliens, uniforms, perhaps even technology. We shall see. I don’t intend to set aside my skepticism for my fandom, but I – like so many others – will watch with slightly clinched teeth anticipating each cliché, every flat line of dialogue, all stuttered stunts, and awkward guest stars. I sincerely hope to be pleasantly surprised.

Perhaps the writers and producers have coyly woven all the successful bits of previous series into DSC and all the consternation and worry will have been for naught, honestly, nothing would make me happier. But if we’re being realistic, the past does not shine brightly for prequels, especially not if they don’t maintain adherence to the timeline people expect. And after all, they’re using Sarek, and even he has admitted to the possibility of his judgment being incorrect, I am no more able to assert absolutely that I am now.

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For more than fifty years Star Trek has been about the betterment of humanity, fighting through our flaws to find the improved versions of ourselves, and if DSC is centered on that theme…that philosophy of aspiration, then it may well succeed and take its place in the pantheon of great Trek. However, the results will be years (if not longer) in the making and while hope springs eternal, I’ll be at Quark’s having a pint with Chief O’Brien.