Compiled by Carl Slaughter:
(1) Is Ash Tyler a Klingon spy? ScreenRant has the story: “Star Trek: Discovery: Is [SPOILER] a Klingon Spy?”.
The fifth episode of Star Trek: Discovery, titled “Choose Your Pain,” at last debuted a new member of the main cast whose name has been in the opening credits since the very beginning but fans had yet to meet: Lieutenant Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif). But the new crew member of the U.S.S. Discovery arrives surrounded by controversy and suspicion: is Lt. Ash Tyler who he says he is or is he someone else entirely?
(2) Is Paul Stamets from the mirror universe? ScreenRant again: “Star Trek: Discovery: Does Stamets’ Mirror Image Hint at the Mirror Universe?”
While some fans complain that Star Trek: Discovery is a poor reflection of the Star Trek they know and love, as the new series progresses, it has taken on more and more pleasingly familiar elements of Star Trek. The fifth episode of Discovery, “Choose Your Pain,” introduced one of the Original Series’ fan favorite baddies, Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson), who encounters Discovery’s Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) when they are captured and imprisoned by the Klingons. By the end of “Choose Your Pain”, Discovery dropped a major hint as to another classic aspect of Star Trek to which the crew of the Discovery are poised to boldly go
(3) Is Captain Lorca secretly clinically insane? “Star Trek: Discovery: What Does The Final Shot in ‘Lethe’ Mean?”
Star Trek has had its share of controversy among its starship captains, from James T. Kirk’s (William Shatner) penchant for risk-taking and disobeying orders to Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) tricking the Romulans into entering the Dominion War. With ‘Lethe’, the sixth episode of Star Trek: Discovery, we’ve entered a new frontier: a captain who is psychologically unfit for command and is discovered by his superior officer, but has grown adept at hiding his condition from his crew and fostering their loyalty. By the last shot of ‘Lethe’, with Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) brooding alone in his quarters facing his own reflection in a window, we’re unsure what exactly to make of Discovery’s commander, but it spells bad tidings for Starfleet and the Federation’s war against the Klingons. Just how bad is the question.
3) What on Earth do they mean, “secretly”?
They’re really in the Bad Place.
Whilst it is true that they’ve been strongly implying that Stamets has something going on, it seems far more plausible that it’s Lorca who is from the Mirror Universe; his behaviour is far more in keeping with someone who comes from the paranoid/sociopathic background that seems to be commonplace there. Certainly that seems like a simpler explanation than that he’s just clinically insane (allowing, of course, for the fact that “parallel universes” are not a simpler explanation for anything outside of science fantasy…)
I don’t hold with the theory that the whole of Discovery is set in the Mirror Universe because it’s not nearly bad enough. Sure, Lorca is mad, but the rest of the crew (and those on the Shenzou too) seem like pretty standard Starfleet nice guys.
Okay, that would be the one twist that could get me to love STD.
If he is from the Mirror universe, he is much, much smarter, than Mirror-Kirk was.
I theorised for a while that they were in the Mirror Universe and that we’d find out when a goateed Spock shows up to break Michael out of prison and/or help her dispatch of Lorca.
I’m no longer convinced, though, since it seems the writers simply have no idea how un-Star-Trek-like Discovery is.
Theory 1 is very likely, true, though. Ash Tyler is the only person on board (well, except for Tilly) who treats Michael like a human being and besides one of the few surviving characters of colour in a very white main cast, so of course he’ll turn out to be evil.
Having seen The Death of Stalin last week (of which I can only say, GO SEE IT), I am a bit obsessed with Jason Isaacs now, an actor criminally underused and who should have been the lead in many more films. (Hello Jason Isaacs!)
I still don’t really buy Lorca. His sudden adoption of Ash Tyler is, from somebody who is ostensibly suffering from PTSD, not so much reckless as stupid and out of character. Also I don’t get why Saru of all people, the sanest officer in Starfleet, ended up as his first officer. And may I add, that was the silliest torture session we have ever seen in Trek, which usually does this sort of things much better.
I realise that going from Armando Iannucci to anything else might make the anything else seem simplistic. (I also agree with the commenter on the Kermode amd Mayo Film review that Lorca would be a lot more fun if he was speaking in the same Yorkshire accent as Zukhov).
Jason Isaacs is a very fine actor, who is rarely cast in the sort of parts he deserves. I really liked him as Jackson Brodie in the Scottish crime drama Case Histories a few years ago. I wish we’d have gotten that version of Jason Isaacs in Star Trek Discovery rather than the one we got.
Isaacs is apparently a longtime Star Trek fan which makes it even sadder that Star Trek Discovery doesn’t give him decent scripts.
I think the Ash Tyler theory is probably true, but it does mildly concern me that they’ve used an actor with the name ‘Shazad Latif’ to (potentially) portray a man who seems nice and ordinary but is secretly plotting to murder everyone. Maybe there will be a twist?
Yes, this is very troubling, but not surprising, given Star Trek Discovery’s pretty abysmal record on actors of colour so far.
Coincidentally, I came across a potential spoiler in a German language report on Star Trek Discovery that I haven’t seen elsewhere yet. The reporter did a set visit and reported about a scene fubg nobneq gur Xyvatba syntfuvc, jurer Zvpunry fnlf, “V arire gubhtu V’q rire pbzr onpx urer”, juvpu fhttrfgf fur’yy svaq urefrys ba obneq gur Xyvatba syntfuvc bapr zber yngre va gur frnfba.
Not a huge spoiler and not exactly unexpected, but I found it interesting.
They do seem to be pretty rapidly killing them off, don’t they? I’m worried about Dr Culber’s life expectancy.
I’m sort of wondering whether (assuming the theory is true) they’ll twist it around – have him accidentally de-radicalise himself while embedded with the enemy and learn that the Federation as bad as he was taught. I guess we’ll find out as the series goes on.
I loved Case Histories and wished they had kept it going. And yes, I wished we had had Jackson Brodie as Starship captain, instead of twinkly-eyed Generic Mad Veteran.
Jason Isaacs went to school with a fairly major UK movie critic which I used to like a lot more than I do now, and he is therefore routinely name checked on the BBC flagship cinema podcast. He is also, clearly, a fan. He says he started reading the Harry Potter books when he got the Lucius Malfroy part and read all of them in one sitting. He then begged Rowling to include him in the last book (successfully, I think).