To Go Boldly: BNP Talks Star Trek Discovery

Here we are deep in the middle of the midseason break for Star Trek Discovery (Disco from here on out). So it seemed about time to get the staff together and chat though our first half reactions and insights. We talked some of the rumors and fan theories, shared our favorite clips and Tumblr gifs, and generally just geeked the hell out about a show we wish more people were watching: Star Trek Discovery!

***Black Alert*** Spoilers through the mid-season break ***Black Alert***

Fan Theory To Make a Sane Man Mad

Leslie: Everyone has seen all the episodes, so spoil away. Has everyone heard the Ash-is-Voq fan theory from The Daily Dot? Let’s start with that one. What do you think?

Well, that was a curveball.

Leslie: Right?!? Let’s be honest, dude’s too good to be real.

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Carrie: Dammit Leslie, let me have something tangible and real and good in 2017!

Leslie: 2017 just keeps taking, Carrie.

Carrie: The only upside is that 2018 is almost here.

Morgan: So I heard about the theory pretty early on. I was quick to say Hell nah, that makes no sense, but after that mid-season finale, I believe Ash and Voq are one and the same. I’ll even take it a bit further… I don’t think Ash even knows he’s Voq!

Lauren: See, I had no idea about this until now.

Leslie: It is one of those fan theories that rearranged everything you’ve seen, right?

Carrie: I am still shook.

Leslie: Suddenly some things make sense, but does it change your enjoyment of the show? Does it make the show a mystery now?

Carrie: To be fair I already read the show as a mystery before hand. Good murder mystery if that makes sense. This throws everything for a loop that I’m still trying to get a handle on.

Lauren: Huh. Really?

Carrie: For me, Star Trek always has an intriguing mystery element, if that makes sense.
So I have a question: Was anybody put off by not having an episode off-ship sooner?

Leslie: That contributed to the show feeling claustrophobic. DS9 felt that way at times, too. TNG always felt expansive.

Morgan: I’m not as well versed in Star Trek as I should/want to be, but it didn’t bother me that there weren’t many off-ship missions. I definitely agree that it makes it feel claustrophobic but that makes sense for the context of the show for me because of Michael’s status as a prisoner. Even if she’s basically free on the Discovery.

On Ash being Voq, the entertainment is the same for me, maybe even more entertaining, because I really do think he’s a sleeper agent. That makes his feelings for Michael justified and real while also having the conflicting/confusing feelings for L’rell. It’s the most twisted love triangle of all time.

Oona: See what’s conflicting for me about this theory is some of the ideas in this article from The Verge: *CW: Sexual assault, r*pe, torture* Star Trek: Discovery’s latest episode makes a rare point about male rape survivors.
It is the other conversation about sexual assault we need to have.

Lauren: That seems real. I have wondered where Voq is, but perhaps the idea of Ash being a sleeper agent explains all the sudden flashbacks. So, to his mind, all those things did happen to him.

Captain Lorca Opinions

Leslie: I hear you Oona, let’s hope this theory doesn’t erase that conversation.
New question: Captain Lorca– is he good chaos or bad chaos?

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Oona: I think he’s complex, but I think he’s going too close to the edge of bad. Like I don’t know if anyone else feels like this, but I think he sent/requested the Admiral in place of Sarek to meet with the Klingons with the hope that she would be captured or killed. Right?
Like, he cares about the Admiral but cares more about himself and his ship. His ship is his safe harbor. The Admiral “threatened” him. If he can’t take constructive and justified criticism, or be able to factor himself out of the equation, especially if his continued leadership endangers others, then what kind of captain is he truly?

Leslie: But he gets the job done, right? It is a cultural assumption of white writers that shit disturbers are more effective at getting shit done. Can’t we ever have someone who isn’t a “rebel” but who is still effective?
He’s like Captain Kirk without the sex.

Carrie: Lorca is a fascinating character. From day one I didn’t trust him. Telling Burnham she had a place on the ship? Suspect face. Intersecting her prison ship just because he saw the manifest with her own it? Suspect face. The more we learned about him the more I had distrust in the back of my mind, but he does get the job done. He does bring out the best in his crew. He is some kinda maverick operating to a point where he is a true asset but still blurs the lines to where there’s grumbling.

The fact that he’s still having PTSD episodes/symptoms and has been hiding them and that he shuffled away the Admiral because she would undermine him and the ship was telling of how far he would go to protect himself and his vision.

Oona: But how long can it last before his episodes cost him and his crew????

Carrie: A question I’ve thought about too. Heavy is the crown, right?

Leslie: I predict he can go on being under the radar until the end of the season. That’s the last episode cliffhanger — Lorca finally having a bout of PTSD bad enough to kill someone.

Carrie: I wonder if Season 2 will go into more backstory of what happened to his last crew?
Also the real life dude who plays Lorca, Jason Issacs? He trashes trolls online who aren’t happy with the newer direction that Star Trek has taken. That’s a plus in my book.

Leslie: I don’t want more backstory for Lorca. This show has enough flashbacks!

Lauren: I agree with Oona, yes Lorca set up the Admiral. That’s what I thought.
I don’t trust Lorca, but I also found it interesting that he was willing to risk his crew to save Sarek for Burnham. What’s his interest in her?

Carrie: Seriously. I’m not sure what his intentions are with Burnham. I feel like there something more that he’s not letting us in on but hopefully time will tell. I know it’s not just because he feels sorry for her. If nothing else he has proved to be able to get shot down and remain resourceful. He plays moves ahead, like chess.
So when are we officially mourning Michelle? Or will she be back?

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Leslie: Don’t get my hopes up about Yeoh, Carrie. I love her and am STILL mad they killed her like that. Did her dirty they did.

Oona: Maybe alternative universe Phillipa will be making an appearance???

Morgan: I actually really like Lorca. He’s shady as hell but it’s his flaws that make him interesting to me. Not that he’s a rebel per se but that almost nothing he does seems to come from genuine care. He’s always trying to push his motives and I dig that.
I think he 10000000% sent the Admiral to the Klingon ship to get killed because his ass was gonna get compromised and he couldn’t have that.
And lastly, I’m pretty sure he knew that “last jump” would take them to the other universe and not back to Starfleet. I think it was part of his plan all along. I think Lorca is muddled in the belief that the great leaders in history make the tough decisions and he’s trying to do that at every turn.

I don’t think the Discovery is making it back to their universe for the rest of this season if at all.

Timeline Problems

Morgan: One thing that’s been bugging me a bit are the inconsistencies between Disco and TOS, only because they were so hellbent on letting us know this is 10 years before TOS. The Klingon war, Michael being Spock’s adopted sister, the more intricate uniforms (ok, that one is nit-picky)… those things made no sense to me. So I’m so happy that at midseason it seems that they’ve ended up in another universe, which to me confirms they were never in the same universe as TOS to begin with which justifies all the changes and makes me happy.

Leslie: Let’s address that: do the inconsistencies with previous series bother you? (for Morgan that’s a yes).
I personally notice the inconsistencies (I’m a huge TOS nerd), but they don’t bother me. TOS wasn’t internally consistent, so why does Disco have to be?

The one thing that has bugged me is that this is specifically a science ship, and there’s been virtually no science.
I know, I know–we’re at war!–but still.
There was more science on TOS.

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Morgan: I don’t mind the inconsistencies if they’re justified, which Star Trek has all the power to do because space and time and alternate universes and what not. Like they did for the recent “Kelvin timeline” in the reboot movies. They changed things but they showed you how and why. I’m cool with that. But if they never explain it, I’m not gonna lie I’ll be irked.
I think what makes that so annoying is that they’ve gotta say at least once an episode “This is a science ship!!!”

Lauren: That’s part of what makes the fact that there were so few off-ship expeditions feel weird, too.
All that said, I enjoyed the series. I like Sonequa in this role, even if it makes me sad that of course the Black female lead ends up a convict.

Burnham: Natural Queen

Morgan: So with Michael’s hair. It was straight when she was a Number 1 and as a mutineer it’s natural. Is that just part of the minor differences in production from the pilot to the rest of the series like all shows have, or are they trying to say something intentional, or is it just that she can’t be straightening her hair as a prisoner?

Lauren: From the opening scenes, where Georgiou is telling her that she wants her to have her own ship to her ending up in prison…. That felt like a bait-and-switch. Especially since by the end of the opening episodes, Saru basically conspires against his captain and assaults another officer and doesn’t even end up spending a moment in the brig.

Carrie: TOS is my fave and I keep seeing fanboys prattle on about how it doesn’t line up with Discovery. The “WE IN ANOTHER UNIVERSE MAYBE?” cliff-hanger would help steer it into a direction to help explain all those details.

Lauren: Definitely.

Carrie: I think this new Star Trek is still figuring out what it wants to be, which is okay I suppose. But the bait and switch is not enjoyed.
Is it a redemption story?
The writers have expressed that their vision is “a Star Trek for these times”, one that reflects today.

Lauren: The problem is…the show was always fundamentally optimistic. This one feels…less so?

Yeah it’s pretty bleak. And it’s unfortunate that they choose to explore those themes with a WoC protagonist.

Lauren: That has less to do with its universe than the show’s guiding philosophy.

Morgan: It may not be intentional but you can’t help but think about it.

Leslie: Let me find the link…this is from After Trek, the “aftershow” that runs on CBS Access after each episode, to make us paying suckers feel like we’re getting more value:

I thought I read somewhere that the showrunners have said that Burnham’s hair change was intentional. That it reflects her feelings less “Vulcan” and more human.

Vulcan = Anita Baker bob cut.

Carrie: I still have that bit of excitement from when I first heard about this version of Star Trek and that this could be seen as more aligned with Roddenberry’s original version — in the original pilot for TOS “Number One” was a woman. “She” had to become “he” because the company producers would not greenlight it otherwise.
I’m really glad I’m not the only one who saw that hair change!

Leslie: So, we universally like Michael Burnham.
Anyone else we really like?
I’m #TeamTilly. She’s the best Becky I’ve met in a while.

Morgan: Saru is my dude. Got my threat ganglia showing 24/7.
Tilly is awesome. I love how awkward she is.
I also really like Stamets.

Carrie: The Star Trek universe is blessed with Sonequa. She’s a hella of actress and has pulled off so much with this character. She was definitely the draw into watching and a reason to continue.

Oona: Michael is amazing. :sparkling_heart: Smart and can fight.
And I really really really really like Georgiou. Like, a lot.
I kinda really like Sarek too.
He’s grumpy.

Leslie: Sarek is grumpy in all timelines. All settings. All ages. He’s the most consistent thing in Star Trek.
Who do we not like? Lorca?
I hate the Klingons. All of them.

Lauren: I’m still side-eyeing Lt Stamets, but I love his love with the ship’s doctor what’s-his-face who’s been in everydamnthing.
My So Called Life, for instance.
Dr. Culber/Wilson Cruz. That’s his name.

Leslie: I disliked Stamets until it turned out he was married to the cutest Doctor ever and went slowly crazy on shrooms. He’s alright now.

Lauren: LOL!
Also, two actually gay actors in an on-screen relationship on mainstream television makes me swoon.

Leslie: Seriously swoon.

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Leslie: Fave Burnham moment/quote?
I’m going with “I’m swallowing the urge to set the record straight.”
#EternalMood #LifeAsABlackWoman

Morgan: I like when Michael was trying to train Tilly making her do a bunch of shit she did but then later went back on it and said you gotta make it your own way. That and when Saru was vulnerable AF and explained why he wanted to stay on Pahvo.

Oona: Omg yeah. Saru :sob:

Leslie: Let’s wrap this up: 10 words or less– what do you want to see more of in the 2nd half? Less of?

Morgan: Double down on the alternate universe shenanigans. More actual exploration.

Lauren: I want to understand Lorca’s interest in Burnham.

Oona: More action, more fight scenes. Get my blood pumping MORE.

Leslie: More wonder of exploration. Fewer flashbacks.

Carrie: Kill the paywall. Make Disco accessible for all.

That’s it: make Disco accessible for all.


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