The Very “Human” Second Season of Star Trek: Discovery

Christ and Pop Culture | 9/12/2019 | Geoffrey Reiter
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In 2017, CBS used the launch of Star Trek: Discovery to gain subscribers to its fledgling streaming service CBS All Access. Because Discovery was the first series in over a decade to occur in the “Prime” Star Trek universe (not the Kelvin timeline of the most recent films), many fans agreed to suck it up and pay for the subscription, a subscription that will soon include a third season of Star Trek: Discovery and a the much-touted Star Trek: Picard, with numerous other such projects slated to come in subsequent years.

Critical and fan reaction to Discovery’s first season was mixed, if generally positive. There was praise for its cinematic quality of special effects, its diverse and intriguing cast of characters, and its potent action. Some, however, were concerned that it was too dark and too reliant on the artistic “freedom” of its streaming home to be a gritty TV-MA show. Many fans found its dark overtones inconsistent with the tone of optimistic humanism advocated by Star Trek’s creator, the late Gene Roddenberry; while, on a less philosophical note, some hardcore Trekkies believed that the plots violated continuity with the “canonical” Trek universe.

Fan - Record - Opinion - Discovery - Star

A longtime fan myself, I have already gone on the record with the opinion that Discovery isn’t intrinsically too dark, that, indeed, Star Trek probably isn’t really dark enough. Still, I was hardly upset to learn that showrunners had promised a somewhat lighter and more optimistic second season, especially when it was announced that Anson Mount would appear in a regular role as Christopher Pike, an early captain of the USS Enterprise and a character both beloved and neglected in Trek lore.

The second season of Star Trek: Discovery proved indeed to be a change of pace from its inaugural season. Its writers deliberately took steps to close up many...
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