That Hope is You, Part I – Kritik zu Star Trek: Discovery 3.01

After a year and a half, the Discovery is back on a new adventure. As in the season two finale, Olatunde Osunsanmi led for Star Trek: Discovery 3.01 Director. With “That Hope is You, Part I” (A Sign of Hope, Part I) A very promising start to the season succeeds, which seems a bit like a new beginning.

Oops, that hurts

So far, the unsympathetic character of Michael Burnham, her constant bleating and the multi-faceted acting of Sonequa Martin-Green has been criticized – even if there are divided opinions. All the more gratifying that in this episode both of them were given not just a lot of plot and screen time, but also space to breathe and unfold. Martin-Green can, if you let her.

You can see Burnham crying again after a few minutes – but for very understandable reasons and with a poignant, deep complexity. Not every day, far from home, you fall on your own with a time jump of 930 years from a wormhole to a strange planet and take a spaceship accident with you on the way – without now also listing all the experiences of the last two seasons. It is true that it did not become Terralysium as hoped and targeted, but the planet Hima – but it survived and the scanners report diverse forms of life. In addition to crying from pain, exhaustion and being alone, also from relief, because the main core of the mission – defeating control and preventing all life from being extinguished – seems to have been successful. And she didn’t even know that later in the day she would be swallowed by a trance worm and then spat out again …

At this point I don’t want to say a lot more about the Red Angel suit. May it still send the necessary data to Discovery and then self-destruct as instructed. Bye, Felicia. As far as I’m concerned, in a couple of decades it could reappear as a relic from the canon in some new Trek series.

Burnham seems a little too unscathed after the sky fall, but the change to Starfleet Officer mode, which she knows how to use to motivate herself to get up and carry on, is very successful and yes, also emotionally touching. A short collection after the crash and then the trained routine: keys, cell phone, wallet or badge, phasers, tricorders, emergency food – off into the unknown.

Howdy, stranger!

Burnham is always lucky. In all possible coincidences, of all things, she crashes into the spaceship of a guy who is still fully useful to her, looks incredibly good at the same time and, after a bit of nice fighting, can also be easily convinced to take her (disgruntled).

Cleveland “Lando” “Book” Booker Solo is the chosen guide and guide to this new world for all of us. His actual job is a courier or conservationist, as we will learn later. For this he likes to steal valuable cargo and is therefore apparently permanently on the run from those he horned. Cosmo, the space orc / Betelgeusian, played Doug Jones’ colleague David Benjamin Tomlinson, who was in Discovery among others even when Linus was seen.

Hopefully we will keep Books Schiff “Nautilus” (a strange mixture of Apple store and luxury car dealership and cigar bar) and Grudge, the Maine Coone cat with hypothyroidism and queen status (shapeshifter? Alien? Something’s yet to come!) . In any case, Book should be a new main character / replacement for Tyler / Voq and accompany Burnham a little from now on.

Maybe we will find out more about what it is and why it shines so well and can tame water and plants. To start with, I’ll be satisfied with “is genetic mutation and because I’m different, my family rejected me” and a future-for-future activist.

Beautiful Iceland

Wow, Reykjavík has done really well. Whereby you have to like the look of a generic sci-fi city à la Blade Runner and Fifth Element. In search of spare parts for the defective drive, Book and Burnham set off to one of the courier transshipment points, which, at least in this case, is operated jointly by Orions and Andorians.

Even if everything is a little more Star Wars feels like the hustle and bustle of well-known aliens from the Trek universe – such as Tellarites and Lurians as henchmen – in a very capitalist (black) market environment is an exciting place for action. Precisely because you are not dealing with high-ranking officers and diplomats here. Even the few tiny insights into the everyday life of workers (“It takes so long again”, “Shall we have a sandwich first?”) are a welcome delicacy.

Selling Burnham as a (somewhat quirky) fan of quasi “living history” and a dealer of “antique” objects is a thoroughly amusing move so as not to waste a lot of time explaining why they are currently inappropriate and out of the world seems to be. This makes it easy and quick to incorporate into the current story.

Even if it takes drugs, but to see Burnham in a torrent of speech, laughing at her pent-up confusion, is not only a nice change, but also beautifully staged and played. Despite the warning, I would like to see Tilly under the influence of the spray.

From exciting plot locations to chic filming locations: Not only Burnham, but also the production has taken it into new worlds. Group excursion with an external mission in Iceland was announced. And you know how to use the island. Behind a waterfall in a rustic landscape, such a sci-fi fight (including mega-man cannon arms) comes especially well, and of course Burnham and Book dive into one of the blue lagoons and warm springs after they have already traveled the distance of the black volcanic rock.

Hope is a powerful force

At the end, let’s jump back to the beginning – the episode starts with an introductory scene that is left in the room and looks a bit like Black Mirror. It turns out: It’s about Aditya Sahil (Adil Hussain), who has been continuing the tradition of his family for four decades and is one of the last remaining Federation supporters to hold the position on a more or less deserted station.

In the course of the episode we learn that the big bang “The Burn” happened about 100-200 years ago: Almost all Dilithium exploded spontaneously and at the same time. Since dilithium is contained in every warp core, almost all Federation ships are completely destroyed and many deaths are to be lamented. This has far-reaching consequences: Traveling over long distances is now difficult, very slow or simply not possible at all. Even long-range sensors no longer exist or at least rarely. The federation has tried to survive, but in general chaos and because there is no longer any contact between most sectors, it went under – only a few “true believers” hold on to the federation idea.

Now one could presumably criticize the idealization of a military hierarchy with the abandonment of the self and the glorification of flags as well as the good portion of pathetics. Doesn’t change the fact that Sahil and Burnham’s statements that the Federation is more than just ships work completely for me – then I like to be seduced and moved with such lard.

Conclusion

It was a good decision to focus on a few characters and one storyline to get into the new season / world. It helps immensely that Martin-Green and Ajala alias Burnham and Booker immediately convince and harmonize both in acting and as characters.

With a visibly high production effort and a coherent narrative, a promising start to the season succeeds. It takes hope. Not only that the series makers actually get the curve with the leap in time and that Discovery starts again.

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