Star Trek Discovery The Sounds of Thunder – Red Angel
Star Trek: Discovery
Which brings us nicely to Discovery. This is not an opening to discuss any possible issues relating to canon or its place within Star Trek as a whole, I am a huge fan of the show and I just want to state that before carrying on. Still here? OK then.
Discovery has taken a different direction and a departure from the traditional story telling that Star Trek has deployed in the past by being the first series in the franchise to take a serialised narrative approach. In doing this it has allowed them to slowly build up the story over the course of its run, introducing plot points and misdirection, drawing the viewer in.
During its first season Discovery incorporated that annoying modern invention, the midseason break with a cliff hanger ending. The first half focused on Michael Burnham, Spock’s half sister who inadvertently started a war with the Klingons and although this was a cool part of the Trek lore to see on screen, ultimately it wasn’t the seasons main driving force as that cliff hanger mid season finale saw the USS Discovery jump from our universe into the Mirror Universe, a plan Captain Lorca had all along.
Star Trek: Discovery’s choice of plot devices is one of the reasons that made me decide to wrote this article. As I said at the very top, time travel, alternative universes are staples of Star Trek and I would imagine it was a very conscious decision by Alex Kurtzman and the writing team to bring the crew of the Discovery into the Mirror Universe during its first outing. I am sure they were hoping to bring in a whole new generation of fans, as well as capitalising on those who joined the Trek fan base after seeing the Kelvin Timeline films. By introducing the Mirror Universe during its first season it also ensured that long time fans, fans with a history of the franchise and the impact the mirror universe has had over the years, would tune in and support the latest entry. Even though not many realize they are actually watching an alternative timeline of that universe (yes I AM pushing this).
By Season 2 they went even further by focusing on time travel in a big way. The Red Angel, time crystals, Captain Pike’s heartbreaking vision of his own future and ultimately the USS Discovery jumping 950 years into the future, a future never before explored on screen in the Star Trek universe, opening up all sorts of exciting story telling possibilities.
It’s no coincidence that the production team has gone this way, not just for the fact it frees Discovery from canon, but because time travel has entertained us through the years with episodes that stand out and endure, episodes from which every Star Trek fan has a favourite and can place in a top ten of all Trek! It’s a telling fact that when it came to planning and writing the second season, they chose time travel to drive it’s serialised structure over its 14 glorious episodes.
What is your opinion on time travel and alternative universes in Star Trek? are you a fan or can you take them or leave them. Sound off in the comments below!