Star Trek: Discovery – Into the Forest I Go

Star Trek: Discovery – Into the Forest I Go November 14, 2017

The episode begins with Captain Lorca receiving an order from a StarFleet admiral to return to Federation territory rather than engaging the Klingon Ship of the Dead, leaving Pahvo undefended. Instead, he looks for a solution, and they come up with a plan to gather data about their cloaking device, using Discovery’s spore drive making multiple micro-jumps. Lorca shares with Lt. Stamitz, the navigator who has interfaced with the spore drive, that they have detected pockets of negative energy as a result of their jumps, possible clues to other universes. The captain shows that he cares not just about winning the war, but about the future that lies beyond it.

One of the nice little details was seeing the transporter crew operator making the Original Series movement to operate the transporter – but on a touch screen rather than levers!

While Burnham and Ash are on board the Klingon ship placing transmitters that will allow them to figure out how to detect cloaked Klingon ships, they detect a human life sign, and discover Admiral Cornwell. Ash goes into shock when he sees L’Rell, the Klingon who tortured and raped him. Later in the episode, he finds the courage to speak with Burnham in vague terms about his experiences.

The episode ends with Stamitz offering to make one last spore jump – and something goes wrong, and the ship’s crew cannot figure out where they are.

Something definitely had to be done to explain the total absence of reference to (never mind use of) spore drive technology in any other Star Trek series. But it sounds like they may have just turned Discovery into Voyager, which would be a very risky move, to say the least. On the other hand, it may be that they have traveled to a parallel universe, with no real hope of getting home, which would make for a scenario that connects with individual parallel universe episodes, but would be unprecedented as a focus for a whole series.

Discovery may have boldly gone too far. But where do you think it has ended up?


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  • John MacDonald

    Remember In 2268, the Kelvans who commandeered the Enterprise made modifications so.the Enterprise could maintain warp 11 without danger (TOS: “By Any Other Name”) ? What ever happened to that scientific breakthrough?

    • robrecht

      Well, in this timeline that modification has not happened yet. As you note, it does not happen until Stardate 4657.5, but, you raise a good question. I don’t recall any mention of these modifications after “By Any Other Name.” Perhaps it is merely lost to the episodic character of TOS.

    • Herro

      When interpreting Star Trek we have to start with the presupposition that Star Trek is inerrant. So when we are faced with an apparent contradiction like this we have to look at possible solutions: e.g. has it been established that STD is in the same universe as TOS? Do we know that they didn’t later discover some flaws with that scientific breakthrouh?

      Those possibilities are all more probable than Star Trek being in error.

  • robrecht

    I’m starting to think they jumped the shark with this spore drive, but I won’t give up yet.

  • TrevorN

    Given that this is a prequel, why would the Enterprise have gone back to low-tech levers when the Discovery had touch screens?

    • Well, there are a number of ways to explain that. First, the original Trek was produced from 1965-1969. Computers ran on tubes and used paper punch cards as programming. They did their best to project forward on the capabilities of computers. Touch screens were 5-10 years out. The controls used on the set of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” had touch screens as well as buttons and switches. While the original series still works, the technology is quite outdated. Try reading science fiction from the 40’s and 50’s and how “high tech” was used and described and you’ll cringe at it. A.E. van Vogt’s “Voyage of the Space Beagle” is pretty cringe worthy in it’s descriptions of the technology used to run the ship. Heinlein’s “Starman Jones” main plot point involves the fact the the ships’ computer does NOT have a memory. “Discovery” is just doing technology in a way so that we don’t equally cringe about it’s technology. Remember that the computers on the Apollo and LEM going to the moon only had 75 kilobytes of storage each.

      The producers have a number of hardcore Trek fans amongst them. Kirsten Beyer, who wrote “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum”, wrote a number of very well regarded “Star Trek: Voyager”novels. They are promising that they well address the canon issues of the drive and other things in season 2. Besides Trek has always had fun with the technology and adjusted things as needed.

      I loved the first half of the season. “Discovery” is doing a great job. I don’t think they’re about to head into “Voyager” territory.