The debut of Star Trek: Discovery last night was unlike any other TV series premiere. It was a cultural event that people have been analyzing and anticipating for years. There are now three generations of people who grew up with Star Trek in its various incarnations, and the franchise has come to represent what many of us consider a better tomorrow. Discovery arrived on the scene with no shortage of baggage, both good and bad.
There was absolutely no way that the first two episodes (available now on CBS’s All Access streaming service) could have met all our expectations. Plus, the odds were already stacked against Discovery. The production lost a showrunner midstream, and advance buzz has been tepid, to say the least. So it should come as no shock that the first two episodes were flawed, with moments that felt a little clunky. And yet I was genuinely surprised by the show at many points, in a positive way. It gave us a dramatic, original perspective on the Star Trek universe. Even though the series is set 10 years before the original Star Trek series, it had a weird, futuristic edge that’s been sorely lacking in the recent J.J. Abrams movies.
And the best part? For the first time in decades, Star Trek feels dangerous again.