Two Reasons Discovery Didn’t Feel Like Star Trek at First

Star Trek: Discovery is not unique among new shows in the franchise facing backlash. However, two subtle choices may have made some fans feel the show didn’t match its predecessors.

Joshua M. Patton

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An illustration of the USS Discovery, crackling with blue mycelial network energy, flying through a purple and pink nebula from Star Trek: Fleet Command
Image via Star Trek: Fleet Command

Star Trek: Discovery is set to debut in 2024 with its fifth and final season on Paramount+. Filming on the series wrapped in 2022, long before the WGA and SAG-AFTRA were forced to strike. Studio leadership is so desperately greedy (and foolish), they’d rather shut down production for half a year losing billions of dollars just to save what amounts to an infinitesimal percentage of their annual revenues. Discovery, along with everything else that bears the Star Trek name (save for the animated series Prodigy) is the anchor of Paramount’s streaming service. All due respect to Taylor Sheridan’s Rich Cowboy Cinematic Universe, Star Trek is a big reason why people stay subscribed. If there is any silver lining to the studios’ greed, when the “new content” pipeline eventually dries up, Star Trek fans can do what they’ve always done before. If they revisit Discovery, they might notice two clear reasons why the show was so jarring to a significant portion of Trekkies and Trekkers.

Audiences barely have enough free time to watch everything they want to, let alone revisit a show or movie a second time. When it comes to the Star Trek franchise, this is a significant change in how it’s found success. Star Trek: The Original Series didn’t become a hit until after it was canceled and entered into near-constant replays in syndication. Shows like Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise once considered controversial, are now the comfort shows for fans old and new. In their own ways, those series’ detractors said they didn’t feel like Star Trek, just as Discovery got when it debuted.

Star Trek: Discovery is the first of the third wave of series from the franchise and the flagship of the then-named CBS All Access streaming service. However, not unlike most beloved generational saga revivals in the late 2010s and early 2020s, it was met with outrage and scorn by a vocal minority. Like the critics of series past, they said the show “wasn’t Star Trek.” However, two intentional choices made by Star

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Joshua M. Patton

Entertainment, culture, politics, essays & lots of Star Wars. Bylines: Comic Years, CBR. Like my work? Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/O5O0GR