Does new Star Trek: Discovery series look too modern for a prequel?

Star Trek: Discovery with SonequaMG as First Officer Michael Burnham and Michelle Yeoh as Captain Philippa Georgiou.
Star Trek: Discovery with Michelle Yeoh as Captain Philippa Georgiou and Sonequa Martin Green as First Officer Michael Burnham

Yesterday Star Trek fans and the general public got their first real look at CBS All Access new series Star Trek: Discovery.

As you’d imagine the fan feedback from a fandom that is over 50 years old has been mixed.

Star Trek: Discovery is a prequel series, which takes place 10 years before Kirk and Spock and the original Star Trek crew boldly explored unknown regions of deep space.

The show is set in what is referred to as the Prime Timeline, which means it stays within the continuity of the original series, Star Trek: Next Generation and all the various television sequels.

A lot of fans feel that Star Trek should always be moving forwards, not backwards.

This new series boasts some great actors with Michelle Yeoh, Doug Jones and Jason Issacs amongst its cast and is to focus on an event involving the Klingons that took place 10 years prior to Kirk taking command of the Enterprise.

Sonequa Martin Green as Lt Commander Michael Burnham

The show centres on the crew of the Starship Discovery and the main character is not the Captain, but the first Officer. A lieutenant Commander Michael Burnham who is played by The Walking Dead’s Sonequa Martin Green.

To date the show has had a run of production issues, which saw the showrunner Bryan Fuller leave. This was something that upset many fans, who felt he would be key to the shows success.

The main gripes with the series concern its prequel setting, with the ships looking to modern when compared to the Enterprise and likewise the uniforms.

I read one fan comment that said the uniforms and the amount of lens flares used on the trailer made it look like a Kelvin Universe throwback.

The New Klingons

By far the biggest complaint is the drastic facelift that the Klingon’s have been given. This is actually looking like it could be a deal breaker for a lot of fans. In the original series the Kingons had a distinct look, which got changed in the late 1970’s when Paramount released Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Original Series Klingons before movie era

Since then the Klingons look evolved only a little and this was mainly to technology changes with regards to prosthetics.

However, for many fans that ridged forehead and bearded and long haired look has become a signature element. The new look, while impressive in its own right, just doesn’t look like Klingons are supposed to. It looks like they have tried to copy elements of the Klingons used in the recent films, which were universally hated by most of the fandom.

Michael Dorn as first Klingon Starfleet Officer Lt Commander Worf

A change in the look of the Klingon’s would have been easy to justify had they been doing a sequel series set a 100 years after Star Trek: Voyager, but to change them for a prequel seems a mistake.

The fact that the Klingon race has so much spotlight in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine also gives much fan justification for riling against the new change.

Star Trek: Discovery
Star Trek: Discovery is set before the adventures of the starship Enterprise

While we appreciate that the studio is looking to try and produce a series that will draw in new fans. We’d appreciate it if they maybe paid a little more attention to the fans that have stuck with the show for over 50 years.

This new series may well be a success, but it could well be at the expense of a lot of things that prior ‘Star Trek’ shows paid a lot of attention to. Things such as the ships technical manuals, the attention to detail on the ships warp core and and a lot of the real geeky stuff that many fans look forward to on these shows.

During Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise, the series had two brilliant scenic designers in the form of Michael and Denise Okuda. They also wrote many of the encyclopaedias for the merchandising and gave the various shows a very distinct look, which looks like it could be absent from this new show.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to the show? What do you think of the Klingons?

Star Trek: Discovery will premiere sometime in the Fall on CBS All Access & Netflix with the initial season running to 15 epsiodes.

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