Star Trek: Discovery | Series Premiere Recap, “The Vulcan Hello”

Listen to the Podcast

Podcast Recap of the “Star Trek: Discovery” series premiere, “The Vulcan Hello”

Rob Cesternino is joined by Jeremiah Panhorst to discuss the new premiere episode of the 6th Star Trek TV series, “Star Trek: Discovery”. ย Rob & Jeremiah discuss what worked and didn’t work in the first hour of the series and why they’re excited about the show. ย Plus, we’ll break down everything that happened in the series premiere

  • on the first half hour of this podcast: this series’ opening pattern has had great success in the past, the DS9 premier is nearly cloned here, Sisko survives the Borg blast, Michael survives the Klingon blast…

    Formula [white hat] movies always need a hero[ine] and a villian so one can be punished after the movie plays out, and the other rewarded, usually the bad guy dies [Shinzon in Nemesis] the hero lives…[or dies trying to kill the bad guy] [Data vs Shinzon] Kirk’s father dies killing the bad guys as Kirk was being born etc…

  • speaking as a frustrated owner of a movie script never filmed in 12 years now, Hollywood is extremely frightened by any new stuff that they do not KNOW will be successful, hundreds of millions of dollars are risked so that is not unexpected…really what many producers told me seems ridiculous, the special effects would cost too much HA HA my script has almost none? how will anyone understand the story line when people die and come back to life DAH ask every religion on earth ๐Ÿ™‚

  • come on guys ๐Ÿ™‚ the ‘bat’leth was forged by Kahless’ the WHOLE idea of which is the goal of the current Klingon quest to reunite under the heritage of Kahless…
    ‘…According to Klingon mythology, the first bat’leth was forged by Kahless the Unforgettable in the 9th century. Kahless cut a lock of his hair and dropped it into the lava of the Kri’stak volcano, then plunged the burning lock into the Lake of Lusor and twisted it into a blade. After forging the weapon, he used it to fight the tyrant Molor, and then gave it its name…’

  • Kahless [oh my god is he like Christ or the Mahdi or what ?? ๐Ÿ™‚ ] is supposed to come back to life and save the empire…

  • are you serious fellows ๐Ÿ™‚ b’elanna torres in the episode where she says [to Janeway] WE HAVE TO DESTROY THE KLINGON SHIP BEFORE [whatever]
    K’Ehleyr, Worf’s mate and Alexander’s mother [says to Picard]


    ‘K’EHLEYR: No, not a chance. If you ask me, talking will be a waste of time. Klingons of that era were raised to despise humans. We’ll try diplomacy. But I promise you it won’t work. And then you’ll have to destroy them.
    PICARD: No.
    K’EHLEYR: No. Captain, these Klingons are killers. You’ll have no choice. ‘

    ‘PICARD: Intercept. Warp two.
    CLANCEY: Warp two, sir.
    K’EHLEYR: Captain let them die like Klingons, in battle. They deserve that much.
    WORF: Captain. I have another option…’

  • bengal scott

    Michael is also a female’s name, the most famous being Michael Learned who played Olivia Walton on The Waltons

    • Hornacek

      Yeah, “Michael” has been an acceptable woman’s name for a long time, not just something recent in our “woke” times. Also, Sam, Alex, Bobby, etc.

  • Matt The Golem

    Thanks for the podcast, as a long-time trekkie I really want to like this series.
    Rob, hologram communication stopped being used because they carried so much information they were easy to intercept.
    The question that keeps gnawing at me: What did Michael Burnham end up doing that was so horrific, all mention of her and The Discovery were stricken from Star Fleet records and never again talked about?!

    • TrentC

      What’s gnawing at me is that The Vulcan Hello sounds like something you could purchase at a shady massage parlor..

  • TrentC

    I want to like this series, really I do.

    The ship can’t pick up a communicator signal through a surface storm, yet the ship can physically see a stomped out path (two sets of tiny footprints at best) through the same storm, and from orbit?

    They know the planet will suffer a drought that lasts 89 years. They create one water well. This well is going to support the entire planet for almost a century? Then it was a job..well done I guess.

    The Science Officer is a fish-guy who can sense impending death. I wonder what his advice will be for the next 50 episodes? Hey Ho, Let’s Go!

    They allowed the First Officer to go out alone on an un-tethered EVA through an asteroid field, to an unknown object, while being so close to a binary star system that the radiation could harm her within 20 minutes??? What is this, X-TREME Trekking?

    The varying clans, looks, and uniforms of Klingons. I agree with Rob. Klingons is Klingons, they ain’t broke. And what was with the ‘Remain Klingon’? Seemed like an approximation of some of our cultural problems.

    Firing a shot at the neck of a Klingon Destroyer will not create respect. It will create a hole in their ship. And angry Klingons.

    And quite possibly the strangest origin story I’ve ever seen for a main character on a Star Trek series. The First Officer of the ship ignores a direct order, physically assaults the Captain, and then attempts to fire a weapon at another race…the same race that hadn’t been encountered for 100 years. This character becomes the series focal point and does not spend the next 20 episodes in jail after getting court martialed?

    I liked the look of the series and the idea that Burnham was raised by Vulcans. Some of the writing seemed like Fear the Walking Trek, so I hope they find Spock soon and inject a little logic into it.

    show – 2.5/5
    podcast – 4/5 for echoing some of the same thoughts I had (Hi Jeremiah!)

    • Matthew Murphy

      Well said. The writers specifically said that they have people to check and make sure the keep up with canon and yet the premiere had things that didn’t fit with the timeline that even I could see and I haven’t seen all of the old episodes.

      • TrentC

        Thanks Matthew. I’m really not that picky when it comes to television. Try something, move on if it’s not interesting. FTWD upsets me because it could be good.

        And anything Star Trek is special, so I guess I’m looking at this one a little closer than premieres for different shows.

        Interesting fact:

        The original Star Trek series aired from 1966 to 1969. Star Trek: The Next Generation started in 1987. That’s almost a 20 year break between series.

        I liked TNG, Voyager and Enterprise so I can’t complain that they haven’t been making Star Trek offshoots. It just seems so bloody long between in each series.

        I hope this one gains some traction.

  • ok here is what happens ๐Ÿ™‚ [NOT] Michael is rescued from prison by James Tiberius Kirk who gives her a new identity, Nyota Uhura, then hires her to [well you know, TOS] then Spock falls in love with her, not realizing it is really his adopted sister !!

    ‘…Burnham is not blood-related to Spock at all, but was taken in at a very young age after her parents died by Spock’s parents…’

  • private message to Rob C: new idea for a podcast !!
    Just so y’all know, humor is my religion ๐Ÿ™‚
    IMHO Amber Ruffin is the Ms Mark Twain of our times !!
    ‘..Amber Ruffin is an African-American comedian who has been a writer for Late Night with Seth Meyers since 2014. When she joined the show, she became the first black woman to write for a late-night network talk show in the United States…’

  • David Willis

    I’m just not buying that this is prime timeline Star Trek, it just feels too much like the Abramsverse.

  • Hornacek

    Why does every new version of Star Trek have to reinvent how the Klingons look?
    TOS: African-Americans with goatees and moustaches
    TOS movies: forehead ridges
    TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT: uses the TOS movies version (yay!)
    Abramasverse: face masks and piercings
    DISC: bumps, bumps and more bumps – makes the Jem’Hadar’s skin look huggable

  • Hornacek

    Regarding the hologram communication, DS9 did add this technology to the Defiant later in the series so that it would appear that Sisko and whoever he was communicating with were in the same room. But I think they mentioned on the show that this was a new feature, so the idea that this was available 10 years before TOS is laughable.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a holodeck showed up before the season was over.

  • Hornacek

    Without giving too much away (and this info was made available in press releases before the premiere aired, so it’s not really a spoiler), Burnham remains a first officer – this is the first Trek series where the main character is not the superior officer on their ship/station. But she ends up on the Discovery under Jason Isaacs (who is known for the show Awake, but to me he’ll always be the unnecessarily evil British soldier in The Patriot). So this whole first episode (and the second) it both created drama and took it away because I knew she was not going to stay on her current ship, so I kept wondering “Is the ship going to be destroyed? Is she going to experience a loss so painful she can’t remain? Will she get kicked off?”

    Also, it’s was revealed that Doug Jones’ character follows her to Captain Isaacs’ ship, so again, watching this, I was thinking “What would make Jones follow Burnham? Probably the ship getting destroyed – he doesn’t seem that he likes her enough to follow her to another ship.”

    I think this premier (and the second episode) would have benefited if it had started with Burnham on the Discovery, then flashing back to her time on the other ship, already knowing while watching the show that her time there is coming to an end. Otherwise, the first 2 episodes is like watching Burnham, Jones, and a crew of redshirts we know we won’t see again.

    • TrentC

      Agree with the flashback format being better as I’ve watched both episodes now.

      I’m still trying to get over the initial bump that Michael broke some serious rules (and a tight friendship with a superior officer), and will still go on to hold a certain rank.

      In the nit-picking-o-sphere, her theory was untested so the juice was definitely not worth the squeeze. If she would have done it and prevented the conflict and saved the lives of her crew, her future path would be easier to accept.

      When Kirk broke the rules he typically saved the lives of whatever crew was with him at the time. Burnham just assaulted her Captain.

      • Hornacek

        After the first 2 episodes, the only way I can see this going forward with her being a first officer on another ship with the same rank will be if they do a minor time jump (of a few months) and Captain Awake visits her in prison and offers her a post on her ship if she comes and helps because there’s a situation only she can help with. Something to do with the Klingons requiring some of her unique Vulcan knowledge. Sort of like Tom Paris in the Voyager pilot.

        • TrentC

          Good comparison bringing up Tom Paris.

          It still seems odd to me starting off a series with someone who essentially says – I gotta break the rules because I believe in something! Sends a strange mixed message to kids and…

          oh no I just became Clint Eastwood on the porch. Belay this post…

          • Hornacek

            Burnham: (to Klingons) Get off my lawn!

  • Hornacek

    The space suit Burnham uses was seen in ST:TMP as Rob mentioned, so it’s not technology that comes completely out of the blue. Plus a similar (although not as nice looking) suit was in TOS in the episode where Kirk is transporting back from another ship (planet?) wearing this type of suit and is believed lost, but he keeps appearing as a ghost all over the ship (although that suit doesn’t have thrusters to control movement).

    The suit that looks the most like this one are the ones that Kirk and Khan wear in Into Darkness when they space-jump from the Enterprise to the Federation warship.

  • Hornacek

    The flashback to Burnham being tested on Vulcan is a reference to (a) Spock retraining his mind at the start of STIV, and (b) the first Abrams film where young Spock is being beaten up by “Vulcan bullies” while he’s in this type of “test pit”.

  • Hornacek

    You IDIOTS!!!

    • Not to forget:
      imbecile [as honored by the British Parliament ๐Ÿ™‚ ],
      insane [as voted by the majority of the electorate],
      infantile [title bestowed by Anderson Cooper],
      inane [as cast by Seth Meyers and his writers],
      immature [Warren Buffet and other billionaires],
      insipid [as demonstrated by Billy Bush video],
      injurious [from his own reference to Mexicans]
      OOPS forgot incompetent [implied by laughter of Bernie Sanders after Trump said: ‘Nobody knew health care could be so complicated’]

  • Hornacek

    Why does the main character, a woman, has a male name? From

    โ€œThat was Bryanโ€™s [Fuller] idea, actually,โ€ Alex Kurtzman replied. โ€œI think he just felt that name.โ€

    โ€œWeโ€™ve worked on many shows with Bryan. Itโ€™s a motif,โ€ fellow EP Aaron Harberts added on Tuesday at the Television Critics Association press tour. โ€œItโ€™s his signature move to name his lead women with names that would typically be associated as male.โ€

  • Hornacek

    When Rob does his Klingon voice (about how they would react to meeting a Starfleet ship and it firing on them without provocation) it sounds a lot like Rupert.

    Regarding the Vulcan nerve pinch, in TOS Spock does it to someone and Kirk says “I wish you would teach me that” and Spock replies “I have tried on several occasions but it is very difficult to learn” or something like that. As Rob says, McCoy tries to do it in STIII, but it is not successful. Data does it in TNG when Spock guest-stars. Apparently Burnham has learned how to do it, having been raised since childhood by Vulcans.

  • Matthew Murphy

    Apparently the leads name is Michael because Bryan Fuller loves to give female characters male names, I.e, Chuck in Pushing Daisies. I think he left the show over creative differences but thankfully he left out protagonist with a silly name that sticks in my craw.

  • Matthew Murphy

    Did the Ginga Ninja name the ship?

  • homertownie

    The Klingons look different because Discovery production hired the Syfy channel’s “Face Off” judges to do new makeups for it.

  • Voyager 5 stars…
    TNG 4 stars…
    ENT 3 stars…
    DS9 2 stars…
    TOS 1 star…
    DIS ?

    • homertownie

      The originality of the first series deserves far more credit. Most of the other series are much more dated and are practically “work place” dramas.

      • of course,homertownie !! those were just my attraction, addiction and binge watching levels ๐Ÿ™‚

  • homertownie

    The publicity that Discovery joined into the day’s raw politics pretty much dooms the show to poor ratings on its initial run. Maybe it will be discovered in re-runs on Netflix or Hulu.

    • please explain a little more about publicity ?? incidental or planned by Discovery ?? just a wild guess however CBS must have planned for a huge number of ALL ACCESS new members ?? in contrast to NBC where anyone can see almost any show without a login nor membership…

  • INSURRECTION 5 stars…
    NEMESIS 4 stars…
    STAR TREK 3 stars…
    GENERATIONS 2 stars…
    all the rest …

  • homertownie

    Rob – If you are going to podcast about Discovery, then you also must consider “The Orville” as it is a lot of commentary about the Star Trek franchise, and it is at least on network TV.

    Discovery vs. The Orville: Which Does Star Trek Better?

  • Dudes this is so LAST YEAR ๐Ÿ™‚ ‘…In 2016, the Vulcans made first contact with the Klingons at H’atoria, which resulted in the loss of a Vulcan ship. In all subsequent encounters, the Vulcans fired upon the Klingons on sight, earning the respect of the Klingons and averting war. (DIS: “The Vulcan Hello”)…’

  • Laundry John

    I enjoyed the podcast, but I think you guys got way too caught up in thinking about what does and doesn’t fit with the old Star Trek “canon”. I think it’s better to think of this show as a re-interpretation which fits into the Star Trek mythology, but isn’t concerned with matching the details of the old shows. Star Trek is meant to be a vision of the future, and it can’t be that if it’s constrained with fitting the vision and portrayal of technology from a show made in the 1960s.

    The old “canon” is cool and I love the old shows too, but after a certain point it just becomes too massive, cumbersome, and inconsistent to keep holding onto. We get great art when we allow people to be creative and express their vision, not by chaining them to Memory Alpha.

  • Tom Polite

    I love that there is a new Star Trek series on TV again and I couldn’t be happier that Post Show Recaps is covering it! Good stuff, Rob!