Discovery Review: “That Hope is You, Part One”

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

Premise:

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.

High Point:

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.

Low Points:

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.

The Scores:

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?

Acting: 5/6

Production: 6/6

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.

Overall: 4/6:

In total, “That Hope is You, Part One” receives 30/42

8 replies on “Discovery Review: “That Hope is You, Part One””

  1. J_W_W says:

    Sounds like they should have just ended Discovery and made this a whole new show….

    Or maybe Trek could just take a break. They really haven’t done anything that’s really interested me since Enterprise.

    • Brian says:

      Well, Paramount isn’t listening to you. There are currently five (count ’em, FIVE) Star Trek shows in production right now. Discovery (season four was just announced), Picard, Lower Decks, Strange New Worlds, and Prodigy. Thus far, I’m enjoying all of it. And no two shows are the same. They are all aimed at different segments. Maybe they learned something from the MCU.

      • J_W_W says:

        I won’t be watching any of it. I wanted spin-offs from TNG and DS9. Like I said, I haven’t felt any of the Trek compelling since Enterprise. I’ve see all the new movies, but the Kelvin timeline is a very poor copy of the original movies.

        Modern Star Trek is just not even CLOSE to as good as TOS, TNG, DS9, and the original movies. Not even close.

  2. I’m interested, and I responded very well to this episode. Burnham’s complete disbelief that the Federation is gone feels the same way I expect any member of the military would if they found themselves thousands of years in the future and their country was gone. It makes sense, though, as many nations we currently have aren’t what they were a millennia ago, either.

    I do find it curious that a guy sat alone on a Starbase for four decades waiting for for anyone from the Federation to show up, but I understand the show was really just reaching for a vibe. It feels very post-apocalyptic, and reminds me of Costner’s Postman.

    “I have a friend with red hair, you cannot give this to her.”

    I also liked how technology seems to have progressed. Personal transporters, because of course, in a thousand years, they’d shrink that far. Travel is faster. Displays and “things” are all just constructed and deconstructed on a whim.

  3. AveryRegier says:

    The thing I dread is that Burnham will once again be the answer to the mystery: “What caused the Burn?” I suspect the destruction of the suit somehow caused the burn. I’m also afraid of them hitting the reset button at the end of the season. If they are going to invest this much getting us invested in this time frame, don’t make it go away.

    I do like that the technology seems to have progressed. I suspect this is the level of everyday technology that things had reached at the time of the Burn and its just stagnant from that point.

    They do have some explaining to do that possibilities for high speed travel beyond warp seem to be not a thing. Like the Borg’s Transwarp conduits.

    • They didn’t fully hit a reset button. They just took the world they built last season and kept it with their “new” characters and sent them off to Strange New Worlds, and took their core cast and ship and sent them past the reset button into “The Future!!”

      • AveryRegier says:

        I wasn’t thinking of the time jump as a reset. Though i suppose it can be thought of that way. It isn’t so much though because Strange New Worlds will exist.

        I guess I’m still mad about losing ‘Year of Hell’.

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