I like Star Trek Discovery. While it’s not the kind of Trek I grew up on, I give it great credit for giving us real diversity both in front of and behind the camera. It’s long past time for this.
But I’ve got gripes. And the biggest one is this: The Discovery crew is not professional. (This is a problem in the JJ Abrams Trek films, too, but in a different way.)
The Discovery officers and crew whine. They talk back to their commanding officers. Their eyes are continually filling with tears. They wear their tender hearts on their uniform sleeves. They hug it out. They hug everything out.
Granted, being in touch with your emotions is a great way to be mentally healthy, but you don’t constantly do it at work. And hugging is good… but… um, yeah, go easy on that at work, especially if you’re an officer and you’re on board a ship that’s always flying into dangerous situations.
The captain asks a crew member if they’re ready to carry out a task. The crew member stammers, laughs nervously, offers a quip, a jibe, passing off their inexperience and unreadiness as something cute and sweet. And the captain smiles back, lovingly, eyes filling with tears, offers a hug, then a nice little speech about how you’ve got this, you’ve got to believe in yourself, and if you can’t believe in yourself, then believe in your family, and we’re your family, and you are loved, you have so much potential, you’re going to be so great, and…
The crew of Discovery is supposed to come from a time ten years before Kirk and his Enterprise. I believe Captain Kirk would have responded, “When you’re on the bridge, you better know your job. When your captain asks you a question, you better have a direct answer. And leave your hesitancy and lack of confidence in your quarters; there’s no room for them on the bridge. And if you’re not ready to do your job, then get off my ship.”
Oh, and I’ve got a gripe about the dialog. I can barely make out what the actors are saying. I don’t have this problem on most other shows. I always have to have the captions on for Discovery. I don’t know if it’s because the actors can’t enunciate or if it’s atrocious sound mixing. I suspect the latter.
Okay, one more bonus gripe. The USS Discovery has traveled 930 years into the future. While some future technology is different, it’s not that different, and Starfleet conveniently still has the same division uniform colors. The denoting of rank is still very much the same. Most of the ships maintain the same, familiar shapes we’ve been seeing in every Trek show and movie.
Think about naval uniforms 930 years ago from our time (circa 1090) and compare them to today’s. Think about the ships and technology then, and how much further advanced ours are today. Maybe 930 years after the TOS era humans have evolved away from even wearing clothes. But I imagine this might be tricky to show, even on a streaming platform.
I need a hug. Maybe from my commanding officer. Right before we go into battle. (Oh yeah, Kirk hugging his yeoman on the bridge, as a destructive Romulan energy weapon is about to destroy the ship. I forgot about that.)