Monday, February 19, 2018

Context Is For Kings

**** (4 stars out of 5)

So I came out of the pilot stunned.  The performances are good, the effects are expensive and I can't fault anybody for taking risks and trying new things. (Well, new-ish to Star Trek, anyway. It is a little familiar if you've seen Starship Troopers or Battleglum Galacticglum.) I wanted comfort food and they gave me Very Uncomfortable food.

As we rejoin our hero the galactically infamous mutineer Michael Burnham she's starring in the pilot for Umber is The New Orange. It's been six months of war with over 8,000 Federation dead and so the pilot is actually called Everybody Blames Michael. Well, speaking of pilots, the prison shuttle pilot falls overboard somehow and the convicts are brought safely aboard the USS Discovery. Did they bother to save the pilot, too? No time to ask!

Your patience for two hours of dark lens-flared bridges and purple squashes barking nonsense in H.R. Giger's rumpus room while Star Trek-like ships play Star Wars has paid off- here's USS Discovery. If only the Disco weren't a bronzed novelty pizza cutter on a pie server...

Here meet again Keyla Detmer & Mr. Saru. They both have glares for Michael, but one has an injured face and one has a bowl of blueberries. Meet mysterious Captain Gabriel "Nobody Will Miss a Few Muggles" Lorca & his misfortune cookies. Meet chirpy Cadet Sylvia Tilley & her special needs. Meet Lt. Paul Stamets & his persnickety Sheldon Cooperness. Meet Security Chief Landry, the snooty cow oh, never mind, you won't have to meet her for long. Meet Lt. Commander Airiam, some kind of Bynar, Cyberoid Boomer, or Soong-type with the face flayed off. Yup, you won't remember their names but meet a bunch of science nerds forced to be soldiers.

But you'll have to meet them all in the dark because... Well, just because, damn it. There's a war on! Light's not cheap! The Klingons might see us! Who needs to see what they're doing? The Captain likes it dark! Yeah, his eyes are bad! Let's go with that.
Lorca can sort of make out where Michael Burnham is standing and tells her she has brought back hunger, need, and want. Seriously, are we blaming her for everything now?

Possibly we can blame her for the bizarre blood bath with strobe lights and pretzel-twisted corpses aboard their sister ship Event Horizon, uh, USS Glenn. Of course, it might be the unholy secretive drive experiments and six-limbed space bear. Fortunately, the survivors of the away team will be glad to know Captain Lorca brought the monster back to keep in his private skeleton closet/vivisection den.

The tone is set- it IS enthralling. It’s Star Trek as a nightmare. Nothing familiar, nothing comforting.
Find something to hold on to- this horror movie is 15 hours long.

No comments:

Post a Comment