The CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery recently wrapped up a strong second season featuring the return of familiar characters Spock and Captain Pike. Fantasy author Christopher M. Cevasco loved the new storylines.
“Discovery is definitely vying for the top spot now as one of my favorite Star Trek incarnations,” Cevasco says in Episode 364 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “I think the second season has made a light-year jump ahead of the first one.”
Science fiction author Anthony Ha had mixed feelings about Season 1, but he agrees that Season 2 is a big improvement. “I have lots of little things I wasn’t crazy about,” he says, “but the big difference is that after the first season of Discovery I was not excited about more Discovery, and after Season 2 I was like, ‘Yes! I cannot wait. I want to see more.’”
Writer Sara Lynn Michener feels that Discovery improves on earlier Star Trek series in key ways, particularly in terms of making the characters more vulnerable and relatable. She’s also impressed by the show’s high production values, and wishes fans were more enthusiastic about supporting it financially.
“I get mad when people are mad about paying money for the app or paying money to watch Star Trek,” she says. “And I’m like, ‘Really? You really want your Star Trek to stop in the middle of a battle so that you can watch a baby food commercial? Seriously, is that what you’re asking for right now?’”
Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy host David Barr Kirtley agrees that CBS is on the right track with Discovery, which bodes well for the other two upcoming Star Trek series, one about Section 31 and the other about Captain Picard.
“I think the future of the Star Trek franchise is looking pretty good right now, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what comes next,” he says.
Listen to the complete interview with Christopher M. Cevasco, Sara Lynn Michener, and Anthony Ha in Episode 364 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.
Christopher M. Cevasco on Spock:
“There are two or three characters that I think, because of the way they interact with Burnham, that are fascinating to me, and it was basically the three members of her family—Spock, Sarek, and Amanda. I was just completely riveted whenever any of those three was on the screen, particularly because they each had unique and complicated relationships with Burnham. … [We see] young Spock still coming to terms with reconciling the two sides of his nature, and becoming the person we all knew from the original series, and I like how we’re kind of left with the idea that a lot of what we consider to be Spock’s iconic personality grew out of his relationship with his sister.”
Sara Lynn Michener on Captain Pike:
“I was very pleased to see Spock and Pike, though I was a little disturbed at the petition to launch a Pike series—there was a fan petition that came out asking that we get a Pike and Spock show, because of the popularity of these characters. And I totally understand that, I agree with how charming they were, and I think that one of the strong suits of Discovery in general is that the casting is amazing. … But there was something a little disturbing about what came along with that petition—a lot of people were saying they wanted Pike instead of Discovery, and that was troublesome to me, because I feel like there’s a very large contingent of Star Trek fans that want nostalgia more than they want Star Trek.”
Anthony Ha on aspirational characters vs. relatable characters:
“I [prefer aspirational characters], and certainly I think that’s one of the reasons why—as much as I enjoy watching the Abrams films—they haven’t really stuck with me the way that a lot of other Star Trek has. But I think Discovery actually finds a really good balance, and I think one of the signature moves this season is that you get characters who are conflicted, and you actually see why they’re conflicted, but in the end they make the noble or correct choice. … And I feel like that’s a smart way to split the balance of not making them purely heroic and completely unrelatable, but at the same time not feeling like you have to have everybody just acting on their emotions all the time and shouting—basically acting like the characters in the Abrams films.”
Sara Lynn Michener on Captain Picard:
“There are people who are already complaining about the new Picard series, because of course they are. And it’s like, seriously, it’s a miracle—an absolute miracle—that they got Patrick Stewart to do this. … And I guarantee, Patrick Stewart’s taste is well beyond any of us put together, and he had to like it in order to say yes. He’s said, ‘I’m only going to do this if you’re going to do something interesting with the character and take the character someplace that we haven’t been before.’ He has no interest in re-doing TNG episodes. And there is going to be a contingent of the fan base that is angry that they’re not getting that, even though he flat-out said, ‘This is not what we’re going to do.’”