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Star Trek: Discovery - Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

episode 1.8

USA 2017
produced by
Aaron Baiers, Kevin Lafferty, April Nocifora, Gretchen J. Berg (executive), Bryan Fuller (executive), Akiva Goldsman (executive), Aaron Harberts (executive), Alex Kurtzman (executive), Rod Roddenberry (as Eugene Roddenberry, executive), Trevor Roth (executive) for Roddenberry Entertainment/CBS, Netflix
directed by John Scott
starring Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Shazad Latif, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Jason Isaacs, Jayne Brook, Mary Chieffo, Wilson Cruz, Kenneth Mitchell, Michael Boisvert, Conrad Coates, Emily Coutts, Anthony Grant, Julianne Grossman, Patrick Kwok-Choon, Sara Mitich, Oyin Oladejo, Ronnie Rowe, Tyler Evan Webb
screenplay by Kirsten Beyer, series created by Bryan Fuller, Alex Kurtzman, Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry, music by Jeff Russo, special effects by Alchemy Studios, visual effects by El Ranchito, Pixomondo, Spin VFX

TV-series
Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek

review by
Mike Haberfelner


Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), Ash (Shazad Latif) and Saru (Doug Jones) are sent down to the musical planet Pahvo where they hope to find a way to crack the cloaking devices of the Klingon battleships, and they find the whole planet to be populated by spores, but different than the spores on the Discovery, and somehow Saru can communicate with them. And the local spores are a peace-loving species, and under their influence, Saru manages to calm down for the first time ever. And while he's out negotiating with the spores, romance of course blossoms between Burnham and Ash. But it soon becomes apparent that all this peace and tranquility actually turns Saru into a madman, as he soon enough tries to actively destroy Ash and Burnham's tricorders as well as all means of communications with the Discovery, so much so that they have to knock him out and request emergency teleportation back to the ship.

Meanwhile, at the Klingons, L'Rell (Mary Chieffo), the girlfriend of Voq from the episode The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry, wants to defect to Starfleet and needs recently incarcerated Admiral Cornwell (Jayne Brook) to that end - but her plan (if she ever had any) gets blown up quickly and ultimately she has to kill the Admiral to save her own hide.

Oh, and did Saru at least negotiate for a way to detect the Klingons' cloaking devices with the spores? No, but the spores, having learned about the war between Starfleet and the Klingons, have invited both sides for peace talks to their planet ...

 

After the last couple of episodes that were letdowns rather, this is one of the better ones, even if it again brings little new - in fact, planetary explorations with one crewmember losing it were quite common throughout all series of Star Trek, and have been told with more panache before. But on the plus side, Saru is finally given a bit of a character arc, above being just the scaredy cat of the bunch, and Doug Jones shows how much emotion he actually can convey despite all the prosthetics. On the other hand, the demise of Admiral Cornwell came a bit too casually and lacked buildup, and the whole Klingon subplot (which is of course a set-up for later episodes) sat ill with the other story, seemed a bit at odds even. Still, one of the better episodes, even if that might not mean terribly much.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD