Friday, 28 April 2017

Discovery Dorns?


While I may have wished for Discovery to etch its own personal niche in the Star Trek universe, each report seems to twist the story in a new direction.

When it comes to Star Trek projects it has been a bit of a downer this week but let's start with the new series. Delayed from January to May and now probably Autumn (Fall) a looming writers' strike might push it back once more which could mean that the January airdate becomes a reality - if only 12 months later than planned.

That January airdate now looks utterly ridiculous since three quarters of the castings were only finalised after the original deadline. The internet continues to pour derision onto the as yet unaired show and without good reason. I think I've read it all - it'll be cancelled after a year, CBS have abandoned the project to its own fate and have no faith in it; great to see the fanbase getting right behind the series and giving it a chance.

Then there's the Michael Dorn story. So according to the actor himself there were talks about him appearing in Discovery as an ancestor of his The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine character. Dorn is no stranger to this situation having played a predecessor to the Klingon in The Undiscovered Country but this time the pay deal was not what he expected and the prospect collapsed.

Now if I recall they offered something like 0.4% of what Dorn earned per episode on The Next Generation which either a) is ridiculously small or b) just goes to show how much this guy was taking home at the peak of Star Trek's golden age in the '90's. It suggests that if the money had been right Dorn would have taken the gig but again I have this niggling concern that Discovery isn't forging its own identity and really is relying on the back catalogue of episodes and characters (Harry Mudd, Sarek...) to bolster fan support and attract older fans to the series.

I have spoken before about the fact that Discovery needs its own identity and while I am in no way against the new show and simply cannot wait to see what it delivers in September/October/November/whenever it does seem to be clutching at straws. Sarek I understand but Mudd still gives me a shiver. 

Maybe Dorn's decision not to go - apparently based on the financial package - is actually a good thing. At this stage such a big name from the franchise's past could do the show more damage than good. However the first year turns out we can almost certainly guarantee that season two will be tweaked to counter any issues that might arise. I don't think Discovery needs Dorn in fact I would go as far as to say that his appearances in Star Trek have been exhaustive; more than any other character in the franchise and that's amazing considering how his addition to the Enterprise crew for Encounter at Farpoint was almost an afterthought. Discovery needs to be Discovery not The Next Generation II.

Just at the time that we might be stepping into a new second Golden Age of Star Trek we might not even get a spark of a chance. Seems that Zachary Quinto stuck the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons stating that there was no guarantee of a Star Trek 4

After the lukewarm box office response to the excellent Beyond (just over $336 million vs $467 million for Into Darkness) it's not the biggest shocker to be announced. Maybe the news that Chris Hemsworth was pretty much signed for number four and that it was a go before Beyond even turned a frame was a bit cocky. I'm optimistic this is just a blip but perhaps the studio are looking to see how CBS' new series is taken by fans. If it's a winner they may jump on the back of its success and seek to make up for the disappointment that Beyond seems to have been.  At the end of the day it's not their money being ploughed into a huge TV show that's going to be the cornerstone of CBS All Access. 

There's no point getting horribly worked up about the situation with either the fourth movie or the series. If it all goes to pot then it goes to pot and that was that. It might all be one of the biggest TV disasters ever if it does but I don't believe CBS would ever allow that to happen nor would they have brought Star Trek back if they didn't believe it would work or that there wasn't as audience for it. Let's let this show happen people, ditch the negativity. I know it keeps Discovery in the news but Star Trek has some of the grumpiest, negative fans I've encountered especially when it comes to the new series. Still shocks me.

Currently it seems that with the absence of any decent news these two points are getting madly recycled and if not, fan pages and sites are now being clogged with old images, the old basic questions of "When will it be out...?" and the like. For now you'll just have to settle back and enjoy Q Who for the umpteenth time or rewatch that teaser launch trailer again.

Anyway, at least Doug Jones is still excited about the show posting a single image on #AlienDay and giving absolutely nothing away about the show...