One of these shows
truly captures the
spirit of Star Trek...
The other does not.
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I am a huge sci fi geek. I was raised on Star Trek Original Series reruns long before Star Trek: The Next Generation came out. But, Paramount has simply not been able to get it right in a long time. These rebooted Star Trek movies are horrible, and they pulled the plug on the Enterprise series in season 4, right when the show found its stride. So, they have created an all new show, Star Trek: Discovery, set before the events of The Original Series. Yep. A prequel of all things. Now, I'm not going to sit here and gripe about how the tech of today looks different from tech created in the 60's. That's a given, and to anyone who would gripe about that, I have one word for you. "DUH!" I'm going to do you a favor, and talk about the show itself, its characters and story lines.
On the other side of the coin, Family Guy creator, Seth McFarlane has created a sci fi show called The Orville. It was billed as a spoof of Star Trek, with humor and antics that you'd expect from McFarlane. Did he overdo it? Did he get it right? Read on.
So, let's first start talking about the 6th official Star Trek series, Star Trek: Discovery. Minor spoilers ahead. First off, the series takes place several years before The Original Series. Any trekkie knows that the Klingon War takes place during that time frame. However, this series obliterates any of the canon that was established during Enterprise. For example, the lead up to the Klingon war, and the elephant in the room, the forehead ridges on the Klingons. Enterprise brilliantly explained why they looked so different in the Original Series vs how they look in the rest of Trek. That story is not only gone, but the Klingons look nothing like (or act nothing like) the Klingons of the older series...which in my opinion were the most badass looking. And, it gets worse from there.
|You're saying we now look like|
We demand honor!
If everyone politely agrees!
The story is of a first officer who committed mutiny against her captain in a standoff with the Klingons. Her mutiny failed, but had it succeeded, Starfleet likely would not be involved in a war. The captain of her first ship is such a wuss, that you are actually wanting her to get killed off. This is a major problem with this series. You can't get attached to any of these characters. There's nothing redeeming about any of them. But, our main character, (Michael Burnham...a female) the aforementioned first officer who committed mutiny is sentenced to life in prison, but is transferred to the USS Discovery, a science vessel that is no longer a science vessel. Its now a war vessel because Starfleet is at war.
|YES, my name is Michael|
YES, I'm a GIRL!
The whole premise is flawed. This series mentions that they have had contact with the Klingons for a while, but there is little known about them. Any Trekkie knows that this is total bullshit. Paramount and CBS are trying to show the Klingon war. And, there is nothing wrong with that, other than the fact that the writers seem to have never seen an older Trek episode in their lives. It really shows.
Personally, I liked Enterprise alot, but many critics said that it was dark and morbid...which it was, but with the exception of season 3, it really was Star Trek. Discovery seems to be just a war story with lots of over bearing CGI, lens flare, and explosions. It seems ironic that a show called "Discovery" is turning out to be yet another dystonian sci fi series where everything is WAR!
I mentioned the Klingons, and how they look nothing like the badass Klingons of previous series. I also mentioned overkill of CGI. Remember how the ships of the previous Trek series looked elegant and big? Well throw that out the window. Star Trek: Discovery has taken tips from the Transformers movies, and shown you so much CGI that you can't even tell what you're looking at. Take a look at this pic. Can you see anything???
So, now that we have that out of the way, let's move on, shall we? The Orville.
Right off the bat, if you've watched ONE episode each of both these shows, you know that The Orville is a much brighter, and upbeat show. Its sci fi, but with fun, and honestly, its a realistic look at how Star Trek would be in real life. It has a chain of command, but its officers are allowed to be themselves. For example, in one episode, the captain calls for one of the bridge crew, who is in his quarters. The announcing officer says (paraphrasing) "Hey, Bortis, the captain says to get your ass up here." There are comedy breaks, but the feel of the show is exploration and...discovery. Hmmm!
Seth Mcfarlane takes jabs at everyone. And, speaking as a conservative, its refreshing to see that he is really giving his all to make this a great sci fi series. He could easily use this show to advance his liberal beliefs. But, he doesn't. In fact, there's an episode where he actually takes a view that opposes the liberal template. The storylines are very much Star Trek. This isn't a show (so far) that takes on an arc, like STD. Yes, I went there. Its an episodic roller coaster ride, with a fresh new story each week, with the crew learning something new after a white knuckle, brush with disaster. Sound familiar? The Orville is Star Trek!
|The Orville uses a model.|
Trek hasn't done that in years.
Models look SO much better than CGI.
So, while CBS is charging people to watch a crappy Star Trek series, Fox is giving you a real one for free. So, if you're unable to process the data handed out in this post, there is a new Star Trek series, however, a show that was intended as a Trek spoof is more Star Trek than an actual Star Trek series.
It pains me to say that, but its the truth. I'm still going to watch STD, but honestly, I look forward to The Orville more. Hands down, its a better show.
Live long, and prosper.