Discovery returns, with a fairly good episode– though its bold new direction goes where absolutely everyone has gone before.
Titles: “That Hope Is You, Part One”
Cast and Crew
Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi
Writers: Michelle Paradise, Jenny Lumet, and Alex Kurtzman
Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham
David Ajala as Cleveland Booker
Adil Hussain as Aditya Sahil
Nicole Dickinson as Hadley
Riley Gilchrist as Andorian Regulator
Julianne Grossman as Voice of Sanctuary
Brandon McGibbon as Ithyk
Jake Michaels as Ithor
Fabio Tassone as Book’s Ship Computer
David Benjamin Tomlinson as Cosmo Traitt
The main cast will return but, for the present, they’re MIA.
The following, however, appear in the credits, though not the episode:
Doug Jones as Cmdr. Saru
Anthony Rapp as Lt. Cmdr. Paul Stamets
Mary Wiseman as Ensign Sylvia Tilly
Burnham arrives in the year 3188. Her ship is nowhere to be found, but somehow, despite space being, in fact, really big, she collides with the ship belonging to a mysterious Jedi/Beastmaster/Rogue sort of character and finds herself involved in future intrigue.
In this distant future, teleportation has improved but interplanetary travel has become less common, the Federation is largely a memory, and a ruthless group of Andorians and Orions run things in the nearest star-system.
The show’s production values and visuals, while very Trek-based (familiar tech, earth-type planets, humanoid aliens) look impressive, and if nothing else, raise my hopes for the forthcoming Christopher Pike/original original crew series.
We lack accurate historical information, but what’s up with the dilithium crystal burn-out? How have they all been compromised? How are they the only power source? And are the numerous super-races established in Trek taking a “Prime Directive” approach to non-intervention? This future raises many questions that I suspect it will not attempt to answer.
Originality: 1/6 It’s a different premise for a Trek, but it’s not the great break from past series that last year’s finale gave us hope it would be. Instead, Star Trek pretends to be Star Wars before settling into what Andromeda tried to be, with a Jedi/Beastmaster thrown in for good measure, giant worms that can bond with certain humanoids (to be frank, I think I’ve encountered something similar in other SF), and a Trekkian twist on the last outpost to help us on the voyage home.
Effects: 6/6 I have already discussed Effects and Budget elsewhere, but I note that, in addition to improved effects for Andorians and Orions, we also see Tellarites and a number of other aliens, including a Lurian. Who mourns for Morn?
Emotional Response: 4/6
Story: 4/6: Too much of the episode feels too familiar. At least, however, the rest of the crew are nowhere to be found, so that the show’s emphasis on Burnham makes a good deal of sense. Hopefully, the ensemble cast we’ve seen will start to function again with the strength that emerged last season.
In total, “That Hope is You, Part One” receives 30/42