For the first time in almost 20 years, there are many new ones Star Trek shows that you can watch at once. There is Next generation sequential series Picard for nostalgic feelings; for fans looking to undo a few buttons on their Starfleet uniforms and maybe even drink beer, there is an uncompressed animated comedy of Lower decks. But the series I was most interested in was Star Trek: Discovery, because it boldly goes where no one else is Star Trek series is gone before.
I know. Tall order. But Discovery hit true well Its third season begins with a clean break from the 23rd Century ̵1; and yes, you can start there. The season 2 finale ended with the eponymous staff USS discovery launching 950 years into the future, from the 23rd Century to the 32nd, which is to say a season in which no Star Trek show has been set.
Pair that with a goofy but reasonable reason to erase the cast and their ship from recorded history, and you have a show that is now the leader in the franchise. Discovery went to extreme lengths to sever ties with complex past to tell a completely new story. This is Simone Biles of gymnastics narrative, and yes, it almost sticks to its landings.
But first, there are backflips. Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), the protagonist of the series, begins the season at the end of the previous one: in a time travel suit, immersed in a worm, with Discovery and his men follow him.
At the premiere of the season, currently streaming on CBS All Access, Burnham came into the future not Walking saw the character. Thanks to the quirks of space-time continuity, he does not know where (or when) the rest of Discovery coming. Despite the first four episodes made available to critics, Burnham and the rest of the crew are united and have a series of mostly single adventures, touring a transformed galaxy. The institutions they took for granted collapsed, and the disasters they did not expect changed the balance of power between people and the world. Meaning Discovery is always asking difficult questions: how do you handle your values if you are the only one holding them? And then: do you know if they are no longer enough?
This is the kind of winky thing Star Trek about everything, and exciting to see Discovery go all out while also doing some great sci-fi action. (Subsequent stages argue over Western homage and trippy metaphysical dilemmas.) This is a good reorganization, although some conflicts have been resolved fairly well. Aside from the narrative, Discovery also moving towards better representation in the real world – new faces include Blu del Barrio and Ian Alexander, the first trans and non-binary actor Star Trek – but the success of the leaps forward largely depends on whether or not later the stages take new characters in new directions, beyond the stages introduced to them.
Even, Discovery feels good. The show tells stories about countless futures and how to identify them, which feels important at a time where doing it all day with full dignity will feel impossible. We are all enduring a unique test year, and getting rid of the hell out of it has never been more enticing. Sa Discovery, you can rocket into another galaxy and time together, and watch a diverse group of competent friends and colleagues try to understand the unknown.