Discovery Review: “Far From Home”

Discovery‘s first season drew fire for (among other things) diverging from the expectations of many fans. Season Two engaged in damage control, addressing apparent inconsistencies and bringing in Christopher Pike’s crew, who proved so engaging that they’re getting their own series. This season takes the crew into the post-Federation future, but the second ep wants very much to assure us, this is Star Trek after all.

Curiously, while the premiere for Season Three was a “Part One,” this episode has its own title, as it reminds us the crew are swinging very far from home.

Titles: “Far From Home”

Cast and Crew

Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi
Writers: Michelle Paradise, Jenny Lumet, Alex Kurtzman

Doug Jones as Cmdr. Saru
Jake Weber as Zarah
Anthony Rapp as Lt. Cmdr. Paul Stamets
Mary Wiseman as Ensign Sylvia Tilly
Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber
Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham
Rachael Ancheril as Cmdr. Nhan
Michelle Yeoh as Emperor Philippa Georgiou
Tig Notaro as Cmdr. Jett Reno
Emily Coutts as Lt. Keyla Detmer
Patrick Kwok-Choon as Lt. Gen Rhys
Oyin Oladejo as Lt. Joann Owosekun
Ronnie Rowe as Lt. R.A. Bryce
Sara Mitich as Lt. Nilsson
Raven Dauda as Dr. Tracy Pollard
Jonathan Koensgen as Kal
David Benjamin Tomlinson as Linus the Saurian
Lindsay Owen Pierre as Os’ir the Bartender

Premise:

The crew of the Discovery arrive in the future, only to encounter a problem with an isolated colony

High Point:

The show may feature cultural viewpoints we would not have seen in the Original Series (same-sex relationships, for example, which continue to confound some fans who are fine with alien cultures) and a budget Desilu could have never imagined (see below), but this episode feels like Star Trek, more so than Discovery ever has. We have a likeable crew, with Tig Notaro’s Jet leading the list of characters we need to see more often– so long as the writers get her to shut up about her injured back. They’re struggling against danger in space. A guest-star and some pesky ethics complicate the plot.

If they could just get around to telling some stories rooted in speculative concepts (beyond, you know, space travel and the existence of extrasolar planets), this might become the worthy successor it wants to be.

Low Points:

For the second time in as many episodes, someone transports across time into the vastness of space (which is, again, we must note, really big) and immediately crashes into something.

The Scores:

Originality: 1/6 Nothing too original happens in this episode. I enjoyed the way it leaned into its Space Western barroom, but we’ve seen those more than once before.

Effects: 6/6

Acting: 5/6 Jake Weber makes a credible villain, and he’ll likely return. Jones remains excellent as Saru– and hat’s off to Wiseman, who continues to develop a more measured approach to Tilly.

Production: 6/6 The combination of strong effects and the Icelandic locations produces visuals the franchise has always wanted to showcase.

Emotional Response: 4/6

Story: 4/6: The episode feels more like Trek, but the story remains grounded in the characters and the particular adventure arc, with social breakdown and Pew! Pew! action. It needs some Trek social or scientific speculation.

Overall: 5/6 ….it does, however, feature some ethical issues at its core.

In total, “Far From Home” receives 31/42

7 replies on “Discovery Review: “Far From Home””

  1. AveryRegier says:

    We used to have a quick way to get to other reviews in the series, but those are missing now? Where are the topics?

  2. I loved this episode. I am sure they are just directly tugging on my own personal emotional responses, but seeing Saru stand up for his ethics, and win, and be the shining example of the utopian future that Gene envisioned the Federation as being was everything that I want from Trek.

    • AveryRegier says:

      I liked that too, but felt the response of a person confronting the murderer of his brother wasn’t driven by character, but out of convenience to keep the villain alive.

      • JD DeLuzio says:

        It’s 1939 Batman– the guy whose first version of a Bat-plane had guns mounted on it, which he used– deciding to save the Joker from a fatal fall. Okay, maybe that’s character development, but, in the end, both villains were saved because they are good villains.

  3. AveryRegier says:

    As for the originality score, isn’t going to a future r where time travel is known, expected, rejected as a practice, and even taking advantage of the travelers a somewhat original take on the topic?

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