Star Trek Discovery’s ‘fall finale’ doesn’t fix its problems, but it moves past some of them with the Sliders reboot

John E. Price
5 min readNov 13, 2017

Star Trek Discovery is not a great show. It’s an ok “sci-fi” show, and if it wasn’t trying to cram itself into a pre-established canon of a 50-year franchise, it would probably have the freedom to actually tell a good story. But, as is, STD is a mediocre sci-fi show with a giant “Star Trek” sticker on it.

While there are positives to the show, including Anthony Rapp’s performance, some of the show’s biggest problems are: the writing, the acting, the special effects, the plots, and the adherence to pre-established Star Trek canon. The “fall finale” didn’t solve any of those problems, but it did manage to slog the story forward and (hopefully) move past some of them.

From the beginning, STD was never going to be a “normal” Star Trek series. It was originally promoted as a single self-contained story, possibly part of an anthology style seasonal format. Looking back on it, it’s obvious that the first nine episodes told that story (or some facsimile of it). The turmoil behind the scenes is absolutely evident on screen where the writing and storytelling is disjointed, stilted, and at times, cringe-worthy.

The “Klingon War” was heralded by producers, actors, and paid shil…. entertainment reporters as the overarching story that would give the audience a new perspective on Star Trek and allow the writers to explore new facets of the human condition. Of course that was complete bullshit, but that’s what they said.

They preached up and down the internet that Discovery would be the first “serialized” Star Trek ever, and bring “modern storytelling” to the franchise. It did neither, as the pilot was a self-contained two-parter, and the season so far has included 2 stand-alone episodes, leaving 5 of the 9 episodes telling one continuous story. For the record: a television series having a plot isn’t “being serialized.” But, alas, that story is now over — and potentially doesn’t matter.

Why? Because the final scene of the first 60% of a 15-episode season is the Discovery jumping into an “alternate parallel universe.” They’ve been telegraphing this turn of events so much both on- and off-screen that it’s not even foreshadowing anymore, it’s just “the story.”

The writers effectively gave themselves a “get out of storytelling jail free” card. The post-Fuller creative team clearly didn’t…

John E. Price

Academic and Trekkie. I talk about the politics of culture, review nerd stuff, and golf a lot. Co-host: @podmeandering, #TopFive, @folkwise13