Star Trek Discovery Review: Fun Continues, Mystery Deepens in ‘New Eden’January 25, 2019
*SOME SPOILERS AHEAD*
Nothing screams fun on Star Trek like an away mission and in ‘New Eden’ we not only got that but more clues about both the red signals and Red Angel as well. Suffice to say this mystery is much more complex than anyone could have imagined.
When a red signal leads Discovery to a distant planet, they discover it to be remarkably like Earth, except for the rings, with human life signs as well. To get here, Discovery broke out the spore drive and gave Captain Pike his first taste of this mode of transportation, which led to some great lines both before and after they used it. Before you could say “energize”, the landing part of Pike, Burnham and Lieutenant Owosekun (yes, she does leave the bridge) find themselves on the surface of the planet Terralisia and up to their collective necks in mysteries.
Apparently, the red signal transported these people at the end of the last big war to this planet on the other side of the galaxy, which was almost two hundred years ago. It quickly becomes clear that there is much more to these bright balls of red light, and the apparent ‘Red Angel’ than anyone first thought. Spock knows something about what’s going on but it doesn’t look like he’s going to be much help at the moment after Pike tells Burnham where he is.
Not wanting to let the away team have all the fun, Tilly and Suru grab some of the spotlight in some great moments, some shared and some not. Tilly gets injured while getting too caught up in what she was doing but Suru gives her a speech/talking to worthy of any captain. The interaction between these two, both in sickbay and later on the bridge as they try and save the planet from disaster, was wonderful and leaves little doubt that they are important parts of the crew.
The away mission also lets the show explore General Order One, or what we know as the Prime Directive. This non-interference clause, while ignored often by captains in the past, is great ground to build story and conflict on, especially between characters on the show. Pike and Burnham butt heads about what they should tell the people on this planet, which leads to some great discussion including the beginnings of trust and open communication between these two. This leads to Pike making a startling discovery, using some tech left over from the war on Earth centuries ago, and helps to widen the mystery concerning the red signals and the ‘Red Angel’.
Directed by veteran Trek actor (and director) Jonathan Frakes, ‘New Eden’ definitely had that old Star Trek feel, with landing parties, mysteries and issues with the Prime Directive/General Order One. I’m happy to see the show succeeding so far in terms of this more light-hearted direction, not to mention how glad I am they are not running full steam into the Spock part of the show. The second season is off to a great start, let’s see if they can keep that momentum as the show moves deeper into the season.
Four stars out of five