Monday, 20 August 2018

Desperate Times...? Desperate Hours

What with family and work, my reading time has been severely limited but I've finally managed to finish David Mack’s first Discovery novel.   

Desperate Hours is a prequel to the latest series, taking us back before The Vulcan Hello to an encounter between the USS Shenzhou and the USS Enterprise. Now, the funny thing is that I’ve finished reading this after the first season has concluded and just as the season two casting announcements have reached fever pitch it feels like the right time to get this review up. 

Opening, the novel finds us at a point where Burnham has just been placed as acting first officer of the Shenzhou under Captain Georgiou and the starship is sent to the Federation colony of Sirsa III to deal with an unknown attacker threatening the planet. This craft turns out to be a lot more dangerous than anticipated but then it comes to pass that the colonists are not telling everything they should. This cascades into Admiral Anderson dispatching the USS Enterprise to deal with the unrest planetside - which ultimately puts the two starships in direct opposition to each other through their mission objectives.

Within the story to solve the mystery of the alien craft and precisely what has come to pass on the surface, there are three key relationships that are the crux of Mack’s work - Georgiou/Pike, Saru/Number One and of course Burnham/Spock. The first two seem merely to exist for a bit of fan immersion into the mixing of the two crews but in the third there is something much deeper.

David Mack clearly gets a grip on the new Discovery series characters within Desperate Hours and it’s easy to visualise Michelle Yeoh or Doug Jones speaking their lines yet there is so much to glean from the relationship between Michael Burnham and a young Lieutenant Spock.

We get a real sense of the uneasiness between them even though logic signposts that they need to work together for the good of the planet and their respective ships but there's something more underlying which is partially revealed when the pair are forced to mind meld to complete a series of challenges which require both their particular skill sets.

In this section of the book Mack's work is exceptional as he manages to make each challenge different and indeed challenging which in turn drives the tension forward. Oddly it's not a speedy process here but it highlights just how intelligent and almost an equal to Spock mentally that Burnham is thanks to her adoptive upbringing.

The concept of Desperate Hours providing a prequel to onscreen events is a clever choice although novelists have been doing it with all the incarnations of the show for decades although this is the first time such a work has been on the shelves so near to the airdate of the first episode. There's a lot of tie in and I wouldn't be surprised if, looking ahead, the series and the novels do have some crossovers and cross-references to link the Discovery timeframe into a much larger "universe build".

Opening the account with this Shenzhou-set adventure lays out the CBS stall quite nicely providing more background to the events of A Vulcan Hello and Battle at the Binary Stars both through events we saw on screen and relationships that were hinted at off screen. With season two's news that Spock (Ethan Peck) is going to be appearing I can guarantee that the showrunners will be drawing on some of the material here to demonstrate how all-encompassing the Discovery story is and how it will (I believe) link in with all the other materials produced around it for a true multimedia experience which you will only get the most out of if you dip into all the parts.

Desperate Hours marks what could well be a new type of start for Star Trek and by using the reknowned and brilliant David Mack to kick it all off, CBS and Simon and Schuster sure know they have a pair of reliable hands here. The action is tight, the politics well related and overall your attention retained. With its significance as the first Discovery novel, this is a must-buy in every Trekkie/Trekker's library.

Desperate Hours has been out for a while(!) now and is available direct from Simon and Schuster at their website HERE ISBN 9781501164576 priced £10.99

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Thursday, 16 August 2018

Pecking Away While the Kelvin Timeline Pines...

Will the next Star Trek movie be the Tarantino-directed adventure? Will it be helmed by S J Clarkson marking the first female directed franchise movie?

But before those questions can be answered it seems we might not even have a full cast with the surprise news that talks with both Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth have collapsed leaving Star Trek 4 potentially without two of its biggest star attractions.

Now you can whinge and whine as much as you want about JJ's Star Trek movie saga but it did bring the franchise back to the masses after a drought of four years since the end of Enterprise and seven years since Nemesis had disappointed the fan base with its non-ending to the cinematic adventures of The Next Generation.

But the rebooted adventures of the USS Enterprise under the guidance of James T Kirk may be restricted to just a trilogy following the news that Pine and Hemsworth - who was set to reprise his role as George Kirk - were expecting a bigger deal more befitting their A-list status.

The Wonder Woman and Thor stars have certainly been elevated to another Hollywood level in recent years but we did believe that they were already signed for the fourth Kelvin Timeline movie however it doesn't seem to be the case. In fact the disappointing response to Beyond may have provided leverage when it came down to the hard cold fact of negotiations. You have to suspect that Pine will have had some form of get-out clause in there should the third movie have been a box office disaster which for all intents and purposes versus the '09 and Into Darkness movies it actually was.

While the fourth movie might be able to survive without Chris Hemsworth (after all George Kirk was only in the 2009 movie for five minutes), it certainly can't continue without its Kirk and recasting now would surely prove a bad move given how much we as fans have bought into this rebooted crew. Just as recasting Chekov following the tragic passing of Anton Yelchin was quickly vetoed, adding a new actor in as Kirk would misstep the franchise and maybe set it back even further than Into Darkness managed.

I would theorise that this isn't the last we will hear of this story since there's been very little word on the next movie excursion bar the potential directors and the involvement of Hemsworth which was announced almost as soon as Beyond was released. Will Bad Robot bend to their demands or will they walk away? Who can say at this moment but you'd have to be thinking that having the two Chris' in the cast list would be a surefire winner at the box office.

While Star Trek 4 is looking like it might be losing some of its star quality, Discovery is firing in the other direction with the official announcement that Ethan Peck will be donning the ears and Starfleet uniform to become the third actor to play an adult version of Spock.

This time the Vulcan is on the USS Enterprise as its chief science officer under the command of Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) but with the late casting announcement and the series surely about to take its mid-season filming break you can but speculate that Spock is going to appear in the mid-season cliffhanger a matter of seconds before the screen cuts to the end credits.

Grandson to movie star Gregory Peck, the new Spock actor certainly comes from a healthy background of acting and has already been endorsed, it seems, by the Nimoy family as seen via the Adam Nimoy Twitter feed today.

There's not a lot else to really say about this one apart from I would think a lot of work will have gone into making sure that this is as good as possible a casting otherwise there will be a revolt amongst Star Trek purists.

I'm quite excited about seeing Peck's interpretation of the role since it will be the first Spock appearance on the small screen since he turned up in season five of The Next Generation for the 25th anniversary story, Unification - yes, it's been that long! Now it's only a matter of time until we get the first shots of Mr Peck in full makeup.

What do you think about the latest events rocking the franchise? Will everything end up happily ever after? Will this mark the end of the Kelvin Timeline?

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Monday, 13 August 2018

The New Bird: The Official Discovery Starships Collection Issue Four

I think this ship has received the most bad press from any ship in the new Discovery range, mainly due to how different she is to previous incarnations. To those people I say suq ghoD; I’ll let you translate.

Liam is back with his second review from the Discovery collection - so what's this new ship like...?

I must admit after seeing her she didn’t tickle my fancy but seeing the model in the flesh really changed my mind.

First impressions with the box is that it’s a lot smaller than the other ships in the range but this in no way makes up for her quality you observe when lifting that polystyrene lid. he overall is design is that of a gothic cathedral, something that they delve into in the magazine, which is a nice accompanying read.

Starting at the bridge we have a tiny blue view screen with the same shade carrying on to highlight the details along the neck to the main hull. Below the bridge we have two mini cannons which show no signs of weakness or coming loose. From the head, along the neck and carrying on down the ship we have the most amount of gold piping and strips that I have ever seen. These help to brighten up the solid green base coat on the model, and also give the appearance of hunched shoulders to the ship, thus adding to the established  bird design.

Aft, we have a some very ornate ribs leading to what looks like a secondary bridge and I’ve just noticed if you pivot the ship back it looks like it could be a hawk attacking, holding it from this angle you get a great view of my favourite part of the model, the underside and what I consider to be the best use of plastic insert in any model, the finish of which really draws the eye to the "abdomen" of the ship.

Last stop on our tour is the wings, Eaglemoss have really gone to town on the black here to give an authentic weathered look, almost looking like feathers, a detail that is mirrored on the underside too. In fact this ship seems to be designed to be viewed from both top and bottom, almost like a real predator so that you can’t tell if it’s looking at you or not.

On display she fits firmly in the stand in a level attacking stance, or in its hawk attack as I'm calling it. So far she’s sitting top of the Discovery releases purely for the detail and originality. If the rest of the Klingons are anything like this ( and judging by the Las Vegas convention news they will be) this is going to be a great collection.

What did you think to the new style of the Bird of Prey?

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Tuesday, 7 August 2018

JLP Returns

What an absolute load of twaddle.

Is what no fan said EVER when they heard that Patrick Stewart has now confirmed he will be returning to the role that he played for 15 years from Encounter at Farpoint through to Nemesis.

Just like the man himself I think we all believed that this was a closed chapter in the Star Trek saga but now with the news of five new projects in universe, we know that Jean-Luc Picard will be the lead in one of them.

From what we're expecting it seems that the captain's new series will be focusing on his life and adventures post 2002's tenth Star Trek feature but apart from that there's nothing else to go on. Both CBS and Stewart himself have released statements indicating their joy at reopening one of Star Trek's biggest series and the life of one of its most monumental characters.

While there's been no word on the rest of The Next Generation cast, could there be an opening for a cheeky cameo or two? Might Riker and Troi drop in from the Titan? What's Geordi up to and could Spiner even manage a few minutes more in makeup to play B4? What if Data was somehow reborn as per the expanded novels (just think what a new Picard series will mean to all those books since 2002....!!!)?

I guess the other question would be how deep are the pockets at CBS to make these things happen and still want even more from Star Trek? Allegedly CBS want to have huge catalogue available which might suggest a new show every two or three years. Will Picard's new adventures be Netflix'd or will they end up somewhere else?

On the flip side does the confirmation of Star Trek: Picard (or whatever they'll call it) abruptly put the nail in the coffin for a Worf or Sulu series? I can't see how reviving either of those instead of providing four new facets to the universe would be warranted. To be fair I get why you would return to Picard because of his popularity and it's going to be a huge draw for the older fans who relish the late 80's and 90's era show.

Stewart himself stated that he has been rewatching The Next Generation including episodes he’d never seen before and combined with the response he has had from fans about the seven season sequel it seems that it was an easy decision to step back into the role once more. 

Stewart broke the news with a surprise appearance at the Las Vegas convention today (Saturday August 5th) and while there's clearly overwhelming joy...just how the hell are Kurtzman, Heather Kadin and the creative team going to relaunch the character after a 16 year break? Here's a few concept ideas that might be thrown around...

1. Admiral Picard

After a life commanding starships it's time for the captain to step back into the surroundings of Starfleet Command and reside back at the Picard family home in France. Perhaps a more Earth-centric and political Star Trek series?

2. Enterprise-F

Might be a bit of a push to be running two shows which are set on starships exploring the final frontier but this one would be at the back end of the 24th Century as opposed to Discovery. A brand new crew on the ship with Picard continuing to lead and this time get away with being on a few away missions now that Riker has flown the coop. Honesty with the news that Picard won’t be a captain this is 99% not going to happen but who is to say the E or the F won’t make an occasional appearance?

3. Troubleshooter Picard

More of a lone-gun option with Picard dropping into dangerous situations to resolve accompanied by his attache. Maybe a little similar to 1. but with more offworld intrigue.

4. Picard at the Academy

Training the next generation of Star Trek heroes from their San Francisco base. This would place Picard into a more mentoring and senior role, overseeing - ironically - the next generation of Starfleet officers and thereby avoiding any serious action work for the 77 year young Stewart.

But perhaps the biggest opportunity here isn’t the one which will see Stewart return but the galaxy that is built around this 24th Century extension to the franchise. Just what has happened to the Romulan Empire? Will it tie into the reboot movies with the destruction of Romulus? Think too about all the potential cameos that can happen - who from The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager can drop by? Maybe this show will answer questions onscreen as to whether Sisko ever returned from the Prophets and what happened with Voyager after its triumphant return home. What would you want to see wrapped up? How about seeing where the signal sent at the end of Conspiracy ended up?

Everyone from Riker to Seven of Nine has a chance to pop up in this show potentially making it the event that fans have wanted since the announcement of a new Star Trek three years ago. As I noted, the Captain Worf series might now be dead but who isn’t to say that Captain Worf can’t appear?

So for now the long wait to airdate begins as Kirsten Beyer fleshes out the seventh live action series of Star Trek. All we can say is this - Make It So.

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Thursday, 2 August 2018

The A-Game? Eaglemoss' XL Movie Enterprise

The Enterprise-A took on General Chang in a lethal prototype Klingon Bird of prey and even went to find the almighty beyond the great barrier but now she faces her toughest test, how well will she hold together under the scrutiny of us starship collectors as this £49.99 XL edition? 

Welcome to Dan Houston with his first XL ships review for SKoST and what a way to start...!

At long last one of the most adored ships in Star Trek fandom has landed on my doorstep, thankfully all in one piece.

After initial shots of this ship were released a few months back I have been eagerly awaiting her arrival. First impressions are not great however as the box itself proudly displays an image of the A which is unfortunately mirrored, how this slipped by is anyone’s guess but we aren’t here for the box art so I will let that one slide.

Upon opening the box and delicately picking her out of the polystyrene packing, like all the other XL releases, the first thing that smacks you is the size and weight of the ship. Its extremely satisfying to hold, the weight really giving off a quality feel. Sitting her in the regular Eaglemoss stand and standing back, the ship looks fantastic, the light white paint with faint aztecing and duck egg blue/grey details all come together nicely, it appears to be a nice model of the Enterprise-A.

Going into further detail lets take a look at the plastic warp engines, there is some use of translucent plastic on the warp grilles. Appearing black until light gives them a dark blue tinge, it’s not a bright clear plastic and is very subtle. The warp nacelle front end caps have the white ‘cross’ painted in which really is a bugbear of mine on the smaller model and we have the NCC-1701-A lettering at the rear of the nacelles which appears to be two or three sizes too big of a font.

Heading down the metal nacelle struts to the secondary hull which is constructed with a metal upper section down to a join into a plastic piece just below the deep blue rec deck windows, we have neat pinstripe and hull detailing, the shuttlebay area is great with nicely moulded shuttlebay doors and at the front the torpedo launcher is neatly picked out with paint application. We have more translucent plastic for the deflector dish giving a nice deep blue. 

All the docking ports are present and sculpted into the sides of the hull and torpedo deck with a fine red outline, though curiously not as much decal detail as the port at the rear of the bridge module. The join line is pretty apparent along the length of the engineering hull which is a shame and also we have a oddity with the decal application in that the Starfleet delta on the hull pennant is a deep shade of silver instead of a light silver, I see a pattern emerging here.

Now onto the two piece saucer section with the upper surface being metal with a plastic lower part nestled underneath, the saucer unfortunately is where the model really slips up. First we have oversized decals at the rear of the bridge and also along the saucer rim, other than those errors the rest of the hull wording and aztec detail is good. It would have nice to have had some clear plastic in the impulse engine but what has been done with the impulse dome in a contrasting blue design and red engine ports looks ok. 

There is missing detail however around the saucer rim of the banding strips that can be seen on the filming model, the windows are incorrect along the rim plus the docking ports are missing. Add to that the fact the RCS thrusters are the wrong colour it seems errors are starting to really pile up.

However here is the big one, whatever reference Eaglemoss have used for the sculpt of the saucer is completely wrong, from the saucer lip to the odd Phase II style bridge with faint docking ports seemingly moulded to the side of the module that were not on the final ship seen on screen. The decal graphics used to decorate the bridge seem to be correct however because the moulding is so wrong it seems to distort how they sit on the model, this is particularly apparent at the rear where the large windows are. 

It seems to be some kind of concept that has been used instead of the actual final design and really is not acceptable on a model of this price and considering just how well fans know this ship plus how Eaglemoss present the product as using actual shots and files to sculpt the model you would have thought that it would be a fantastic replica. All this presents me with a difficult, contrasting opinion.

On one hand as I mentioned this should be pretty damned near perfect for £49.99 and on the other when she is nestled on the shelf next to the other ships in the collection these issues I have mentioned seem to melt away and I’m left with a nice looking model of the A.

Now I’m no great model builder and I know that taking into consideration time and materials there is no way I could make a model of the A for £49.99 that looks any where near as good as this due my skill level as a model maker and I’m never going to show what a balls up I made of the 90s AMT kit!. Let’s just hope that Eaglemoss learns from the mistakes made on this ship so they do not continue on to further XL releases as at this price they are stepping into Diamond Select territory with their electronic starship range which includes the Enterprise-A and from what I’ve seen of images of that it seems the Diamond Select version is superior.

The accompanying magazine also puts a slight downer on the model as the cover shot shows a extremely detailed CGI shot of the ship with a heavy aztec design and little red squares around the perimeter of the saucer which are not present, the RCS thrusters are shown in the correct yellow, the saucer docking port at the side is there, the windows are the correct layout, not the odd blocky versions on the model and of course the bridge looks correct. If Eaglemoss had access to a CGI model of this detail how did it not translate over into the actual product? 

Inside the magazine you will find information on the return of Star Trek on the big screen with The Motion Picture which is a nice read but is a bid odd with no in depth information regarding the Enterprise-A herself.

So am I pleased with the model? Overall I would have to say yes which some of you may find surprising given what I have described but it does look great on the shelf and that is what matters to me. Factor in the price and it does put a cloud over it especially when you compare it to the NX-01 refit which was half the price but a nicer issue. There is potential in this model, with a few improvements and a stunning pearl aztec paint job you would have a fantastic 1701 refit from the motion picture. 

Here's to hoping these improvements are made because this XL Enterprise-A does fall apart under closer scrutiny, after all, much like a certain Montgomery Scott, we all know this ship like the back of our hands.

Are you collecting the XL line? What did you think to the Enterprise-A?

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Friday, 27 July 2018

The Long Road: The Official Starships Collection Issues 128 and 129

I had quite low expectations of this month's duo but once more Eaglemoss have obliterated my mental negativity.

Shown only in the opening titles of Enterprise, the OV-165 space plane may rank as the chronologically earliest ship to be a part of the series since it "fits" between the OV-101 space shuttle Enterprise and the Phoenix. Now from memory there's nothing else from this far back in Star Trek space flight history.

This is an absolute winner - no doubt about it - and the real killer is that mine arrived a little scuffed in a couple of places as you'll spot from the pics but on a positive note it doesn't ruin how great this "historic" craft is. 

The panelling effects around the nose are a big indicator of how this craft has been influenced by the earlier NASA Space Shuttle. It's such a smooth finish to the paintwork here as well with the lines separating the sections of the nose perfectly aligned to each other as they curve around the hull. On mine there is a minor blemish on the tip but I'm bearing with it!

Up to the blackened cockpit windows (same colour as the black nose sections mind) and the OV-165 really opens up, literally widening out into the main body of the hull. The panelling also gets more detailed as we move towards the rear of the space plane with the exterior decorated with a tiled effect finish across the upper hull and cargo bay doors. The darker grey segments work to break up the colour nicely but are not too overpowering against the white base coat. 

Spot too that there are actually only a few major panel lines worked into the body of the craft running across the hull left to right while the tiling effect on top appears to be a large transfer stretching from the cockpit to the very rear. 

Nor am I disappointed that it is a decal because it's perfectly placed and even more impressive are the wrinkle free lines which run down either side of the hull in black and red. Both are precisely parallel to the other with the lower black ones meeting up exactly with the rear stabiliser fins, themselves edged in black.

Those fins rise almost majestically from the main hull and the craftwork on this one is blindingly good with it all appearing to be one piece as far as the topside of OV-165 goes. The fin edges are crisp, the paintwork excellent and the grey marking is again razor sharp at every angle. In fact that marking is recessed into the fins which makes it even more impressively finished. The fins aren't part of the top metallic section of the ship and are instead inserts into the hull and match up with the plastic underside and wings.

The fit on one of the two fins isn't quite flush with the starboard side one just sitting a little high. There's a smidge of a roughe edge to the front while the port fin runs smoothly into the main body of the OV-165.

To the back there is a sweeping drop and here I've spotted some of the paint on my model is missing to the port side on the base white coat. The sweeping hull plates here are a single grey with the metal allowing some great definition on the ridged sections. Now according to the plan views in the magazine, the aerospike engines which power the ship are located at either side of this sweeping piece but on the model there is no clear indication of where they are since the entire bottom of the ship is a single black coat.

The stand fit is a single clip here which slides onto the swept section of the hull to the back. It's a steady grip with a stand that fits together pretty well. It's the only place that the ship could be positioned on the stand and makes the OV-165 look even more fantastic.

The two lifting wings at the sides continue that grey/black panel combination as with the vertical fins and my only gripe with the single plastic bottom is that there are some pock marks in the middle of mine. I kind of understand why there's no detail on the underside - just as there isn't much on the finished SS Emmette since it was only ever intended to be viewed from the rear.

Issue 128 offers a brief but insightful look at the "in universe" facts of the space plane and its unique propulsion system which uses the hull rather than the wings to take flight. The points here do make it a very natural successor to the NASA space shuttle and by proxy screams out that the collection has to include the OV-101 Enterprise orbiter at some point soon. Awesome plan views with just that printing error of VX-165 on one side!!!

John Eaves' designs are poured over here with a good selection of ideas that attempted to bridge the gap between the Phoenix and the classic shuttle design from the 1980's. Finally we have a section reviewing the visual effects used for the Enterprise pilot Broken Bow. Lots of good information here with a look at everything from the launch of the NX-01 - the most detailed CG ship ever created (to that point) for Star Trek to animating the tongues for the alien women during the bar scene on Rigel X later in the story. 

Second up to the plate is a new remastered craft from The Original Series. I would have loved to see the classic form of this ship but for now we're getting the updated Tholian Webspinner.

Based on the Enterprise 22nd Century version spied during the second season of the show, the Webspinner is built around a central metallic core. 

One of the simplest ship designs for some time, the Tholian craft has only very slight detailing on that central section which is in keeping with the plain design of the 1960's iteration. For note the tripe lines on two sides of the ship do help indicate which way is "up" on this one. The main piece of detailing is to the "spear tip" nose where there is some raised hull panelling which leads back up into the three fin-like appendages which branch out to the engines.

The protruding hull sections that lead to the translucent engine covers are plastic and one of the sections on my Webspinner is loose, revealing the simple covering is a single section that runs over the engine to the back above the web-spinning port.

Those three translucent engine covers are finished with a grated effect but I would have liked to have seen them more aglow with that red/orange fiery finish that was seen on the screen as this colour doesn't do the ship any justice on a shelf. The metal finish is also a bit too clean for my liking and could have benefited from a little more mottling than we get on the finished item here. 

The web-spinning port at the rear lacks depth to it as well which is clearly a restriction of the model-making process and can't be avoided but at least you can tell where it is.

The fitting for the stand is the same as for the Enterprise 22nd Century version, slotting over the rear and providing that "flying" illusion. It's a solid grip and the ship being angled backwards means there's little chance of it sliding out spear-point first.

Ok, over to the magazine for ship number 129 and it's interesting to see that the concept here is that the Tholian ships haven't advanced that much over the course of a century, proving more than a match for the NX-01 but being easily bettered by the NCC-1701.  The xenophobic Tholians are a cracking race from The Original Series and having both this and the earlier edition fleshes out their background as much as possible.

We also have a lot more focus on The Tholian Web (no complaints there) and how it all links in to In a Mirror, Darkly. For those big fans of the collection, this also provides you with the Enterprise, Defiant and Webspinner photo op now all three are available.

Designing the Tholian Ship is rather short but tells the tale that the budget for the remastered episodes had run out, leaving those in charge to take the Enterprise webspinner and "update" it for the 23rd Century. Indeed, putting the two side by side you can see a lot of similar lines.

Finally we have six pages discovering Star Trek at the Smithsonian, revisiting the exhibition and the array of props that were displayed from The Original Series from the medical instruments used by Doctor McCoy through to the cumbersome - and difficult to get out of - environmental suits from The Tholian Web. Having seen one of them I have to agree they look awful to extract yourself from!

SO that's it from this month for regular issues. These two are a lot better in the flesh but of the pair I have to say there's more of a yearning to keep the OV-165 on the shelf a lot longer than the Tholian ship. Note to Ben, I think you need to do some of the classic classic ships as well especially this one!

Loving the Enterprise titles group? Impressed with the remastered Tholians? Let me know your thoughts below!

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Thursday, 26 July 2018

Second Sighting: Discovery’s Comic-Con Trailer

And the reason we haven’t seen the new captain of the Discovery... because they’re borrowing one for this season in the form of Anson Mount’s Christopher Pike! 

Yes, a classic Star Trek character will be in the centre seat for at least some of season two which will leave the USS Enterprise under the watchful eye of Number One who we now know will be played by Rebecca Romijn known to many Marvel fans as Mystique in the original X-Men movie trilogy.

But what else can we glean from the newly dropped Star Trek Discovery trailer? Of course it’s time to get screen capturing and take a look at those two and a half minutes of tease.

"We have always looked to the stars to discover who we are and hidden there was a message; a secret made of space and time. Visible only to those open enough to receive it."

Opening up with a monologue from the newly reminted Burnham we have the Discovery being hailed by the Enterprise with Captain Pike beaming aboard. Mount has such a presence even from the trailer that his Pike is definitely going to be memorable from the off and you can even see how the crew of the Discovery are in awe of him when he arrives with two members of his staff in this trailer.

We get a few passing shots of the Enterprise from the perspective of the Discovery, on the viewscreen, through a window, as the Crossfield Class ship departs for its mission. Some great shots of the starship and it's very odd to see her guest-starring in a show which has only happened once before in Emissary for the kick-off of Deep Space Nine in 1993. 

The redesigned command gold uniform is incredibly bright and look closely as you’ll spot that the pattern under the single colour is exactly the same as the Discovery blues. Even the collar is the same asymmetric style just black. It’s clever that they have chosen to keep the underlying look the same and tie in the larger franchise with this alteration. Make sure you also spot - towards the end of the trailer - Anson wearing the blue Discovery uniform so he will be sticking around for a while. Could we be going for a new captain each season until Burnham gets command?!

As with the original trailer for season one there’s a lot of Burnham in here clad in a redesigned spacesuit. In Italy it appears that she is trapped on some alien world in not too dissimilar a situation to what Spock encountered at the beginning of Into Darkness.  She definitely looks "pained" at times so there's got to be some form of danger out there for the crew to defend the Federation against.

So why is Pike on board the Discovery

He’s been brought in because of some strange occurrences in the store. It seems something strange has shown up in the galaxy and Regulation 19 Section C is being brought into play. "Seven bright bursts spread out over 30,000 light years..." are giving off signals like nothing seen before and the Discovery is going to find out.

The visuals of the space-suited crew tend to suggest more time out on alien worlds and might be all from the same mission. These suits definitely look different to the one Burnham wore in The Vulcan Hello. The visors look tighter around the head and the uniforms less cumbersome than from Burnham's encounter with the Torchbearer.

The second biggest thing really in the trailer beside Mount Pike (that might stick) are those cool little travel pods that everyone is spinning around in. There looks like an asteroid field that Burnham is racing through but there's no context as to what this is all about. Is it connected to the planetside walk. Where is this walk? Could it be on the Klingon homeworld possibly since there have been hints that we will be going back there.

Nice bit of humour there for the bridge crew who look like they'll be getting a lot more screen time but on the flip he only get a brief glimpse of Tilly and Stamets in Engineering lauding the joys of maths (and there's a high five in there for good measure). Is the spore drive going to make a return this year since there's not even a glimpse of it in the trailer. That might suggest it's been consigned to the past!

What we do know is that this is all linked to a certain Vulcan named Spock who has taken time away from the Enterprise. Burnham gets to take a look inside his quarters - there's Spock's science division uniform and a lot of questions to answer. I figured that we hadn't heard a casting announcement which meant either super-secrecy or that he hadn't been cast yet and now it seems that the latter is correct. Also this is probably the room that Michael is walking into in the first trailer. One question to raise here though; where is Sarek? Last time we saw him he was on the bridge of the Discovery just as the Enterprise appeared but he's not even in the background of a single shot here.

Our new Chief of Engineering for the USS Hiawatha also rears her head with a bit of dry humour in a very brief intro clip for Tig Notaro. Certainly with this and the earlier lighter moments of the bridge crew it would indicate that season two will be a little less dark than the first 15 episodes were.

But don't expect this to be a comedy since there's still a healthy amount of explosions and sparks a flying to keep the action interest and what is that item that the whole crew are seeming to be assembled around at 2:36? What are they all looking up at?

This trailer really does have everything and the kitchen sink in there. It's going to be an action-filled season just as season one provided and I would strongly think that the footage we're getting here is from the first few episodes. 

Of course we couldn't mention a trailer breakdown without the first appearance of the Saurian, Linus in the "post-credits" turbolift sequence. Once more it's an indication that there is going to be that lighter tone for the show behind all the action and adventure we've come to know already. For note the two Enterprise crew are Rachel Ancheril as Lieutenant Naan and Sean Connelly Affleck as Lieutenant Connelly - an opportunity missed for these to be Yeoman Colt and Lieutenant Tyler???

Already feeling like 2019 is a long way off? Don't fret m'dears because we have been promised a series of four 15 minute "shorts" before the end of 2018 which will offer some insight into the show's characters including one on Saru which will reportedly reveal the predator species from his homeworld. Another will tackle Tilly, a third will be about a new character to the franchise and the final one will belong to a certain Harcourt Fenton Mudd...

Do you have any suspicions for season two? What was missing from the trailer that you want to know?

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