Why Trekkers hate Star Trek Discovery

Star Trek Discovery has had a mixed reaction from audiences. But why? Why does a show like Discovery get so much hate?

1. Axanar

Fan films have been a part of Star Trek since the beginning.
The fan film Axanar had quite a buzz in the fan community. Being made with a real budget from a Kickstarter campaign (You can still see the 20 minute long pitch video they made on youtube.) This was going to tell the story of the Klingon Wars. The plot was interesting, and fans were excited!


Then CBS forced them to shut down the project citing copyright. In the aftermath CBS released official guidelines for fan films to follow. I should point out that CBS had every legal right to do this. but they could have gone about it in a better way.


When it was announced that Star Trek Discovery would be about the Klingon Wars well, guess how that looked to fans.


2. The Name

Star Trek is a franchise with movies, shows, novels, even board games. To help keep all this straight Star Trek fans have used short hand names to differentiate the shows for years.


The original series Star Trek is TOS, Star Trek: Enterprise is STE, all the other shows have comparable nicknames. Following fan naming convention Star Trek Discovery, is STD.


The fact that no one caught this is just sad. Now the official abbreviation is DIS, but still, not a good first impression.  It was a red flag to fans that the show runners do not know the Trekker community.


I know, “that which we call a rose” and all that, and this would be a very minor point if Discovery was a good solid Star Trek show.


3. Lieutenant Mary Sue

Did you know Star Trek fan fiction gave us the term “Mary Sue?” you do now!


Micheal is Spock’s sister, who was top of her class at Vulcan science school. Kind of makes you wonder why she will NEVER be mentioned by Spock or either of his parents ever again doesn’t it?


If Micheal is the first mutineer in Star Fleet history, as they say,  It’s really odd that it never came up a few years later during Spock’s court martial. I mean two mutineers in Star Fleet just happen to be siblings!


What really makes this sad is how avoidable it is. First, Did Micheal really have to be Sarek’s daughter? You couldn’t just come up with a new Vulcan character? Even if you do want her to be Sarek’s daughter, then play up the fact that Spock never mentions a sister.


Set Discovery 50 years before main continuity. Keep Micheal’s back story, but have Sarek raises Micheal as a single parent. Foreshadow that Micheal’s duty to Star Fleet will “get her killed one of these days.” That way it’s a little a mystery to fans, “Why haven’t we heard of Micheal before?”


Set up the Micheal dies tragically before Spock is even born. Amanda and Spock may know about her but didn’t know her personally. Sarek doesn’t like emotion, so he never mentions Micheal because it’s emotional for him. It even adds depth to Sarek’s opposition to Spock joining Star Fleet. As Star Fleet already took his first child.

Sybok and Star Trek V don’t count! We do not speak of Star Trek V.

4. Spores are stupid

The Heart of Gold is powered by the Improbability Drive. . . Wait that would actually be more believable.


STD gave us mycelium spores. Spores spread all throughout the galaxy, the building blocks of energy and matter and the Discovery rides around on these spores.


So basically Yggdrasil is real, and the Discovery is Ratatoskr.

I’ll wait while you google that


Star Trek science has always been dodgy, I can’t tell you how dylithium crystal warp engines are supposed to work, but they talk about matter and antimatter and coolants so it’s some sort of powerful reaction process. While it’s dodgy, it at least matches real world science in that you have to generate a LOT of power to go faster than light speed.


But Discovery has organic power spore drive, because some Hollywood hyptster was worried about making the future carbon neutral.


My suspension of disbelief cannot take space fungus!


A space whale that thinks Enterprise is it’s mother, Barely squeaks by with a great guest star, but this is a fundamental element of your show, thinking should not be the enemy!

5. Mudd in our eyes

HARCOURT! Harcourt Fenton Mudd You’ve been drinking again!


Harry Mudd may have been a slime ball con-man but a murderer? Betraying Star Fleet to the Klingons? (yes, he does this in Discovery) really? oh sure! Smuggler, war criminal those are the same thing, right?


So just to be clear in the world of Star Fleet: going to a quarantined planet is punishable by death, but betraying Star Fleet’s secret weapons to a current enemy in a time of war, is punishable by being forced to marry that girl you conned out of a fortune. (yes, this happens)


Discovery desperately wants to be loved by the fans, adding “nods” to Star Trek cannon. Nods that are not clever but annoying.


While some things like Lorka having a pet tribble may actually make sense for the character (since tribbles are living Klingon detectors, and he is the type to be constantly looking out for Klingon spies.) It doesn’t make practical sense in that years later, Kirk and crew have never heard of tribbles. There are many more examples of this but I think you get the idea.


6. Star Fleet is a military.

Admittedly Discovery is not the only Star Trek property to struggle with this, but while Kathrine Janeway letting formalities fall and being a mommy to the crew was some what excusable given Voyager’s situation with the hodgepodge crew. Discovery is in the middle of a war.


Micheal your captain is not your mommy!

There is WAY too many emotional screaming matches on this ship. You people are military in the middle of a war! Act like it!


Little things like Chain-of-Command, professionalism, and thinking through your next move can mean the difference between life and death.

7. Klingons

Yes there are some die hard fans that want the TNG Klingons and will except nothing else, but for most of us the issue is not that the Klingons are changed, but that the changes are bad.

There is a reason, other than budget, that Star Trek aliens usually just have bumps on their forehead. It’s to leave the actor’s face free to show emotional range. The Discovery Klingons look like they can’t see each other, and are constricted by the costumes. The actors performances are lost under layers and layers of spirit gum!


The Discovery Klingons have a motto “Remain Klingon” but what does that mean? It would seam to imply that there are Klingons who are not “remaining Klingon.” Is there some social movement in the empire they are resisting? That would at least explain the different Klingon culture we see in TNG! But we got no explanation.


And yes, I am aware of the “Remain Klingon” movement is an allegory for the white supremacist movement, but I only know that because the producers have said so. You cannot deduce this from Discovery itself because. . .

6. Bad Politics in the show

Star Trek fans are used to hearing the politics of the writers and creators, and it’s been progressive most of the time.

often sexist, but still progressive


So for me, it’s not the fact the the show is pushing a left leading ideology, it’s that it makes no sense within universe.


The Klingons are a bad allegories for white nationalist. The Klingons have their own empire, they are not, and never have been a part of the federation. They have nothing to “remain Klingon” against! Do they want to destroy the federation? That’s not remaining Klingon, that’s destroying the federation.


This allegory should have been given to a new species that had just joined the federation and a separatist faction springs up wanting out of the federation once they realized that certain things were expected of them, (Imagine if the people of Europe didn’t know what they were signing up for with the EU’s responsibilities and regulations) and Micheal’s mistake is violating the prime directive, picking sides and accidentally getting wrapped up in a civil war.

The way it’s constructed here, the Klingons are a backwards superstitious people who should give up their self governance to the enlightened Federation.


So colonialism and “Convert or die” tactics are good thing? wait which universe are we in?

7. Bad Politics out of the show

Star Trek has always made allegory to real world issues of
the day. We trekkers have had Gene Rodenberry’s “double think” utopia politics since the beginning, (“People don’t morn, death is just excepted” WTF Gene? have you meet a human?) So please don’t think we are just “haters” who don’t like Micheal because she’s a black woman. Personally, I hate her for betraying her captain, and single-handedly starting a war. I can’t speak for others, but for me at least, it has nothing to do with skin color, gender or even a character making a bad call.


My favorite Trek episode of all time is DS9’s “In the Pale Moonlight” it deals with the cost of war, and a good man having to get his hands dirty, hoping to save lives in the long run. It’s a brilliant character piece!



Imagine for a moment that “In the Pale Moonlight” was the first episode of DS9, that this was your introduction to Sisko. He would come off as a stupid evil man. This episode works because we knew the character so well, We know that Sisko is a good man who acts impusivly sometimes. Seeing Sisko compromise everything he stands for is both gripping and heart breaking, because we know how this will weigh on him.


Micheal’s actions in “The Vulcan Hello” are our introduction to her. She was stupid, cocky and hot-tempered. This is the first episode, Micheal hasn’t earned our empathy yet.


8. CBS All Access

Most of the fans who “refuse” to watch Discovery, just don’t want to have to pay for CBS All Access. They would have checked it out on TV or hulu, but no, you expect us to pay for a subscription. For fans already on the fence, this was the clincher.


 So what does this all mean? Well, I am of the opinion that Discovery is not a bad show, but it’s not Star Trek. It’s not even standard Science Fiction, it’s Science Fantasy akin to Star Wars (seriously, if you do a find and replace for “spores” with “the force” and it works.)


Discovery all by itself is not a terrible show. It’s just not that good. There are ideas in there. A Human raised by Vulcans, is an interesting idea. and if they follow with some of the things they have hinted at (like a Klingon spy on board)  it could make for a season finally on par with Riker firing on the borg ship.
Goodness knows that TNG had growing pains in it’s first season. The difference here is that while TNG had bad one-shot episodes farting around the stars, Discovery is episodic storytelling. So one bad episode snow balls into another.


I think Discovery has potential. but right now, what I’m seeing is bad Star Trek. but there is hope for Discovery, there has been plenty of bad Trek before.


  1. All your points are valid- and in the beginning I had a very tough time with the episodes for the very reasons you bring up. I took a break from the show for over a month, then watched a bunch of episodes all at once and was able to look at it with new eyes. I basically look at it as sci-fi adventure show making lip service to Star Trek. I ended up liking it, but definitely had to have a suspension of disbelief with all the canon mistakes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly right! And let’s hope that the future is brighter than a bunch of foul offensive language that doesn’t have to be except the writers are pin heads !!!


  2. Discovery is not trek its not Gene and his rules where quite simple.. all they had to do is not deveate to much.

    I couldn’t get over the insult to the star trek universe and its fans : it took 2 episodes of disrespect, truly hate it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t and never will consider Discovery as ANY part of classic Star Trek canon. Probably not the Picard show. Or the Section 31 show. I don’t care what CBS or the show-runners say. Discovery is just too aesthetically and tonality different for me to reconcile it with classic Trek. They have just taken wayyyy too many liberties with aesthetics and canon. Like the ridiculous things for me that will never fit in for instance the R2-D2 like droids on the Enterprise hull or the Red angel Iron Man suit. For me these and the terrible (IMO) writing and unlikable characters are just insulting, laughable and cringe worthy. I can’t bring myself to watch it.


  3. Exactly my sentiments! STD is science fiction without the science. They might as well have put 2 Hogwarts brooms in the engine bays and declared them hyper drives. How can a Star Trek sequel not have a science consultant? Practically every physicist on earth would gladly donate their time free of charge. The politics are insulting to their market demographic. The patriarchy has ended and now the matriarchy and aliens run Starfleet. 100 lb. women wearing skin tight black lycra routinely pummel dozens of 200 lb. men and 350 lb. Klingons. I don’t have anything against skin tight black lycra body suits but they’re not empowering to women. The only human men (from our universe) on the ship are busy kissing each other while everyone else fixates on expressing their feelings. Should we fire on Klingons during a battle? No, we must discuss our feelings ad nauseam first. I will not pay CBS to insult Gene Roddenberry’s lagacy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love Star Trek. Always have. I had every episode of every series on VHS videotape before DVD’s were a thing. (Of course, that rules out STE, but I’m just saying.) You get an idea of how old I am. I would like to say that Star Trek has always has had political commentary as a subtext to many of the plots. That was always great. But the story came first. The politics were a murmur heard under the storyline. Not so Discovery. It’s in your face progressive, left-leaning politics all the time. You don’t make friends and influence people by shouting about your personal beliefs. Instead, you turn people off. Although my own beliefs may be in line with Star Trek Discovery’s politics, I value my own freedom to think my own thoughts. I don’t want to be preached at with my entertainment. I’ll think what I think until I choose to change. So I don’t watch Discovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Im curious as to how you got “white supremacy” from the Klingons.

    I got a very different message, possibly due to the name of the first battle they won in- The Battle of Binary Stars. For me it seemed much more in line with the show’s push toward showcasing a more diverse (sexually and otherwise) cast and crew.

    Much of the retoric coming from the Klingons is about the Federation stamping out their individuality. I felt the producers were sending the message that “homogenized” societies were bad, and the “individuality” of the Klingons should win over the very “binary” nature of the Federation. Both homogenization and individuality were words used in T’Kuvma’s speech to the 24 council leaders.

    However, Klingons feel that Voq’s white skin makes him worthy of being outcast, so I can see your point about white supremacy peering through just a little.


    1. Aaron Harberts talked about the “Remain Klingon” in an interview with Rolling Stone. He said “It’s a call to isolationism, It’s about racial purity, and it’s about wanting to take care of yourself. And if anybody is reaching a hand out to help you, it’s about smacking it away.” and then went on to talk about Trump. That’s why I say they were trying to do a white supremacy angle with them. but as I mentioned in my post, it’s a badly mixed metaphor, and I agree that the Klingons with their focus on individuality and preserving their culture did come off as the good guys.
      here’s the link to the Rolling Stone interview: https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-features/inside-star-trek-discovery-the-franchises-answer-to-the-trump-era-201726/


      1. I see. That makes quite a bit of sense! I also lost respect for the show as a result, though I had little to start with.


  6. Fire the writers and get some people who know the Star Trek franchise and can write logically . What’s with that spinning-shit? Is that like Bugs Bunny running in place before moving?


  7. What bugs me is how if you don’t like the show for whatever reason you get branded….racist, sexist,homophobic…..whatever! How about I’m none of those and just don’t like the show?! Although Number 1 and Captain Pike were very good additions.


  8. I thought the main character Michael is focused on way to much. She is too emotion and it seemed to not give stories to the other characters. I enjoyed genes version of characters looking like the race they came to represent way better. It took too much time on some issues to explain them. You miss one you miss what the show is about. Picard reminded me of shadow run looking at the city and no military honor showing working for star fleet . Discovery and Picard sad to say lost the magic they had for me as a fan. Prequels kill me aka Scott b version. Jane way was loose in command but I considered what would I do if stranded in space. Wasn’t the best but better then the attempts made to revive it. I watched all the way to voyage again. I thought Seth creator of family guy hit the formula better for a star trek remake. Writers need to get talking to each other if a show like star trek will ever become a fan favorite again.


  9. Have you watched any of the additional seasons, and have your opinions changed based on the later seasons?

    Personally I find Lower Decks, even though it’s much more irreverent and, in many ways, much less “traditional”, to be more “Trek-like”. It’s obviously done from a place of love and affection, whereas Discovery seems done from a place of “let’s make money”. For example, the portrayals of the Klingons and Vulcans in “wej Duj” is spot on, and they didn’t feel it necessary to make T’Lyn Spock’s sister, or cousin, or niece, or cross-step-sister-in-law by marriage, or something.


  10. Imagine going to mcdonalds and ordering a big mac meal only to receive six mcnuggies and an icecream sundae and someone else’s coffee.

    That’s neu trek!


  11. I only ever watched the first episode when it was free on YouTube, and thought it was painfully stupid. I really tried to give the show an honest chance, but when a seriously dramatic moment has me busting a gut laughing, they have completely failed. I’ve watched a lot of reviews about it since and do not regret giving this show, and all the other subsequent shows, a complete pass.


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