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Star Trek: Discovery Lives Up To Its Name

Chris Parker

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Star Trek: Discovery Lives Up To Its Name

 

Star Trek: Discovery takes a less action-oriented approach in the latest episode, resulting in an hour that feels a lot more like classic Trek.

When Star Trek: Discovery premiered, the series put a premium on action and spectacle in a way that rivaled some summer blockbusters and certainly anything on television not titled Game of Thrones. And while the gorgeous visual effects made for a terrific start to the series, and also drove plenty of new subscribers to CBS All Access, so they could at least watch the next few episodes before having to pony up for an actual subscription, the introduction may have felt to fans to be light years away from what Trek is all about and certainly what made some of the best episodes in the franchise so memorable in the first place.

The emphasis on action was upheld for the most part in the third episode, ‘Context is For Kings‘, as a mission to investigate a stranded Federation ship led to a violent encounter with a destructive alien life form that Jason Isaac’s Captain Lorca took a seemingly sinister interest in at the end of the hour. But as Discovery rounds the corner on the first four episodes, there’s a perceptible change in how the series depicts the actions aboard the Discovery amidst the ongoing war with the Klingons. That change not only sets a new tempo for the series that’s not nearly as reliant on action, but it also brings about a sense of… well, discovery that some may have felt was missing.

‘The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry’ doesn’t completely do away with its fascination with phasers and photon torpedoes. For one thing, the plot revolves around a Klingon attack on the mining settlement of Corvan 2, and Commander Landry (Rekha Sharma) meets a grisly end following an ill-advised attempt to sedate the mega-sized tardigrade, lovingly nicknamed “Ripper”, all in an attempt and help with Lorca’s plans to weaponize the creature’s abilities. But the hour does so with an eye toward underlining how the actions of its crew and especially its captain make the Discovery’s name rather ironic.

The hour isn’t exactly shy about getting that particular point across, as Lorca informs Stamets his spoor-based science experiment is the property of a Federation at war and that the Discovery is no longer operating as a science vessel. That sentiment is echoed by First Office Saru, who doesn’t take kindly to Michael using him as a way to gauge her initial hypothesis about Ripper’s propensity for violence. But it’s not just the tardigrade and Michael’s analysis of the creature that drives a good part of the hour, there is also an underlining sense of exploration and, not to put too fine a point on it, the sense that these characters are boldly going where no one has gone before.

That affords Discovery a chance to split the difference between the showrunners’ interest in telling a story that wants to be on the front lines of the conflict between the Federation and the Klingons, and the expectations that a show bearing the Star Trek moniker would in some way strive to feel like a Star Trek series. It’s no coincidence, then, that the spoor-based warp drive Stamets and the Discovery’s science crew have been developing becomes the engine that propels the two halves of Discovery‘s still emergent identity. The new technology promises Lorca an edge in the war he’s determined to win, but it also offers a chance for the series to explore more of the boundless universe the writers have so far built a rather sturdy fence around. As such, Michael’s study of the tardigrade, finding that it is the missing piece of the navigational system found on the Glenn feels like a pat but still appropriate way to bring the two elements of the series together. It also marks a change in Michael’s personality, as she’s determined not to judge the creature by its actions during their first encounter. Again, Discovery casts a wide net with the point it’s trying to make, so that it can be seen to reference everything from Michael’s opinion of the Klingons to her experiences on board the Discovery to the shifting allegiances among what’s left of the various Klingon houses.

Ultimately, casting a wide net works in Discovery‘s favor, as it softens the series to a degree, holstering its phasers and proving the series will slow down to take the time for introspection. Even if it doesn’t entirely achieve that with ‘The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry’, enough hints are made that the series could head in that direction more often, or, as was seen here, split the difference to demonstrate an awareness of how those two elements can generate conflict within the Discovery crew that underlines how this show is and is not like other series that have come before.

Other Thoughts

The Klingon side of the story has literally stalled out. Voq and what’s left of his followers are stuck in the graveyard that was the Battle at the Binary Stars because the Klingon’s obsession with purity prevents him from appropriating parts from the Shenzhou to make his ship functional again. Voq’s adherence to T’Kumva’s fundamentalism keeps him from capitalizing on the events that transpired in the premiere, and as such he finds himself ousted when Kol brings food to Voq’s starving crew. This leads to an interesting wrinkle when the seemingly L’Rell seemingly betrays Voq, only to later tell him his exile is all part of some greater fate. The slow burn of the Voq’s story seemingly presents a problem for Discovery, but it’s much too early to call it that. In revealing Voq’s arc might also be equal parts L’Rell’s, it becomes clear that the show’s writers are in the process of setting up something more substantial.

Star Trek: Discovery continues next Sunday with ‘Choose Your Pain’ @8:30pm on CBS All Access.

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Smallfoot Posters Provide First Look at Animated Feature

Chris Parker

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Smallfoot Posters Provide First Look at Animated Feature

 

Warner Animation Group has released the first posters for their animated film Smallfoot, featuring the voices of Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, Common, LeBron James, Gina Rodriguez, Danny DeVito, Yara Shahidi, Ely Henry and Jimmy Tatro. Check out the Smallfoot posters in the gallery below!

Smallfoot is the story of a sasquatch who believes in that humans exist, though the rest of her people don’t believe in them at all.

The film will be directed by Karey Kirkpatrick (Over the Hedge, Imagine That) and is written by Kirkpatrick and Sergio Pablos (Rio).

Smallfoot will hit theaters on September 14, 2018.

What do you guys think of the Smallfoot posters?

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Doctor Strange Assembles A New Team

Chris Parker

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Doctor Strange Assembles A New Team

 

Doctor Strange is getting his own team of heroes in the new comic book series, Doctor Strange: Damnation, which will pit the Master of the Mystic Arts against Mephisto. The series will send Strange to Las Vegas to address the fallout from Secret Empire.

With the launch of Marvel Legacy, Strange’s solo series received a new creative team and was renumbered as Doctor Strange #381. The issue serves as the beginning of a new era for Strange, as the character lost the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme, the Eye of Agamotto, and his home, the Sanctum Sanctorum, to Loki.

Marvel has announced Doctor Strange: Damnation, a five-part miniseries written by Donny Cotes and Nick Spencer, the architect of Secret Empire. The series will send Doctor Strange to Las Vegas to rebuild the city after it was badly damaged in Hydra’s attack in Secret Empire. Strange’s efforts will be opposed by one of the most powerful villains in the Marvel Universe: Mephisto. To fight Mephisto, Strange will assemble a new team of heroes consisting of Iron Fist, Moon Knight, Ghost Rider, and Blade.

Marvel has released the solicitation for the first issue of Damnation:

DOCTOR STRANGE: DAMNATION #1 (OF 5)

DONNY CATES & Nick Spencer (W) • ROD REIS (A/C)

Variant Cover by RON LIM

Variant Cover by TBA

CONNECTING VARIANT COVER by GREG SMALLWOOD

Trading Card Variant Cover by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER

The city of sin gets its biggest sinner yet. When Doctor Strange raises Las Vegas up from its destruction during SECRET EMPIRE, he inadvertently opens a big door for the embodiment of evil, MEPHISTO! The devilish villain takes the city for himself and sets his sights on the rest of the world. It’s going to take heroes from all over the Marvel Universe to defeat him, but there’s nothing simple about fighting the lord of Hell.

The cover for the first issue shows Strange working with Iron Fist, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight and Blade, but according to Nick Spencer, Strange’s call for help “goes out to a wide cast of heroes who either wield magic themselves or have been touched by it.” That suggests that Damnation could feature other supernatural and mystical heroes from the Marvel Universe, such as Black Knight, Brother Voodoo, Elsa Bloodstone, Satana, and Damian Hellstrom.

Donny Cotes compares the scale of the story to the 2006 cosmic Annihilation, referring to it as “Magic Annihilation”. Cotes says the series focuses on one corner of the Marvel Universe but “still has vast consequences and very high stakes.”

Doctor Strange: Damnation goes on sale in February 2018.

Sources: Marvel

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Watch the Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Trailer!

Chris Parker

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Watch the Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Trailer!

 

Watch the Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD season 5 trailer

After a brief promo and a clip from the new season, ABC and Marvel Entertainment have finally released the Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season 5 trailer, which you can check out in the player below! Season 5 of the series will kick-off with a special two-hour premiere starting at 8 PM EST on Friday, December 1. Following that the series will return to its regular time slot on Friday, December 8 at 9 PM.

Last season, Agent Coulson and the team saved the world with the help of Ghost Rider. In a rare moment of celebration, the team’s night off was interrupted by a mysterious man and an elite squad. The next thing we saw was Coulson onboard a ship… in deep space! Together, they will have to discover where they are and how to get home while the clock ticks out on humanity. These secrets and mysteries are only the beginning for what is sure to be the most surprising and exhilarating S.H.I.E.L.D. adventure yet!

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May, Chloe Bennet as Daisy Johnson, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons, Henry Simmons as Agent Alphonso “Mack” MacKenzie and Natalia Cordova-Buckley as Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez.

The series was co-created by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen, who also serve as executive producers along with Jeffrey Bell and Marvel’s Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory.

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