Farewell Star Trek Discovery

So non-US fans of Star Trek Discovery were surprised by the sudden policy change yesterday. Within the USA, the show had originally been used as a way to entice people to sign-up for the streaming service CBS All Access which was later rebranded as Paramount+ but in much of the rest of the world, it was shown on Netflix. With Paramount+ having a broader international roll-out in 2022, the Netflix deal is over which means that in the US Discovery starts soon in November 2021 but internationally it won’t be released until 2022.

The later release date is so that it will be a drawcard for European audiences when Paramount+ kicks off there. Interestingly Paramount+ is already available in Australia but the show also won’t be shown there until 2022.

So, hmmm. Another streaming service? I can’t justify that. I’ve enjoyed Discovery more than many people but it really isn’t much-watch TV. It has progressively improved and developed a more consistent tone and episode quality but it has always been stuck between two stools. Is it a classic Trek show or is it something new? Should it follow the normal broadcast TV show style of story-of-the-week or go for the streaming style big binge-able story arc. Season 3 did a lot better at managing those contradictions but it still failed to make good use of an ensemble cast.

Additionally, Season 3 ended with what was a reasonable end to the whole series. The Discovery had ended up in the future and was now a proper part of a renewed Federation and Michael Burnham was now captain. And they all lived happily ever after except for that shuttle pilot from season 1.

I don’t know. I might change my mind in January but as another one of my motives to watch it was to write reviews and hence be part of the general chatter about the show, doing that months later is also not compelling. I’m not angrily cancelling Discovery, the decision makes sense for Paramount+, particularly given that the raison d’être of the show existing was to promote a streaming service. The timing was particularly poorly done but that’s a different question.

So for the time being at least, I’m drawing a line under Discovery.

29 thoughts on “Farewell Star Trek Discovery

  1. Same. I have three streaming services and really dont need another one, especially just for one show. At the very most I get a trial run and just watch the season in one go, if Im really excited. But I probably just rather wait for the Blue ray release, which I know, my brother will buy anyway…

    Same goes for Picard ( I presume the second season wont be on prime anymore), for which Im currently even less excited. And then there is the new Pike-Show, which didnt even have a chance of building up hype. Its a lot of Star trek, but building a streaming service around it? Then they really would need to up their game to at least Mandalorian levels. And I just dont see that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read that Lower Decks and Picard haven’t been pulled from Prime yet but that may just be a timing question. Interesting if they do pull Picard from Prime then that’s might be a tipping point for me to not have Prime anymore also…it’s been patchy.

      Apple+ probably isn’t worth it either. Netflix and Disney are likely to be the main winners as people cut back on services (maybe HBO but that’s tangelled up in cable deals also)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The only thing on Apple+ I’m interested in is Foundation and even that is hit and miss. Once season 1 finishes, I will cancel Apple+. Not interested in The Morning Show, Ted Lasso, For All Mankind and the other stuff they have.

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    1. Ditto.
      I loved the overall aesthetics but not so much that I’m going to subscribe to another ‘niche’ service. Sad to be done with Trek on tv but I spend too much time on screen as it is.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes, I mean if they have a bunch of other things that I’d really like to watch then maybe… but it doesn’t look like they do. Back to the problem each service has now: Netflix has better original stuff and Disney has a better back catalogue and better integration of the old stuff with the new stuff.

      If I was a media company with a back catalogue and a bunch of shows I’d be looking to form a partnership with all the other smaller players. Set up a rival service that resembles more the old cable style of a main subscription and then a much smaller fee for extra channels. If I was already paying $8 for a service and adding a Paramount channel for an extra $1 then I might be a bit annoyed and still do it.

      I can see with my own choices that I’ve got plenty of TV to watch anyway and new services are counterintuitively going to lead people to downsize their choices. As in, I’m not just NOT going to sign-up for Paramount+, that decision is making me rethink my other subscriptions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is one thing I like about Hulu, that you can put your subscription on “pause” (meaning, not paying the monthly fee) for up to 12 weeks at a time. But I imagine that’ll soon go away, unfortunately.

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  2. We all know that there are ways to watch these shows, even if they are not available in our territories, but this is just a dick move by Paramount. Also, it’s annoying that all the good SFF shows are only available on streaming services anymore, because SFF fans usually earm above average, have disposable cash and are willing to pay for entertainment. Star Trek is what got Paramount+ subscribers, because no one was willing to pay for a streaming service to watch The Good Wife’s Good Fight.

    I will get the BluRay eventually, because I always do, so my Mom who doesn’t do streaming can watch it. Not sure if I’ll bother with episode by episode reviews, because why should I, when Paramount apparently doesn’t care about me as a viewer? Besides, it is a lot of work and Disney+’s Hawkeye debuts next week, too.

    Also, in Germany I have to pay the 18.36 EUR monthly license fee for the public TV and radio channels, even though I hardly ever watch those anymore, since the overwhelming majority of their programming just doesn’t appeal to me. Basically, I’m paying only for one radio station and the occasional news program or documentary. I even stopped watching the cultural programs and I have been watching those religiously for more than 30 years. Add in Netflix and Disney+ and maybe another service and it gets expensive fast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the people who created the show should be rewarded. Please, take my money. I want to show my appreciation. And maybe, help to keep the show going.

      This? this just encourages enthusiasts of the show to find other ways to watch, ways that don’t include the makers of the show getting any money from the audience.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Exactly. If someone creates entertainment I enjoy, I want them to be compensated and I’m perfectly willing to pay. In the past, whenever I resorted to watching a show by not quite legal means, I would subsequently buy the DVD, so the creators got paid.

        Though I’m also annoyed that SFF fans are used as cash cows by streaming services and the like, because we are willing to pay to watch our favourite shows, whereas habitual viewers of medical dramas, soap operas, crime dramas, reality TV, baking shows, etc… are not nearly as willing to pay.

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    2. May we refrain from dissing other series just because we don’t like them? The Good Wife lasted seven seasons and almost one hundred and sixty episodes, a remarkable run. It had, at its peak, thirteen million weekly viewers and never went below ten million. So I’m willing to state that there are a lot of viewers for it on the streaming service.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The Good Fight was the *FIRST* original series to appear on the platform. It was the big audience draw early on, heavily advertised and promoted as such at the beginning.

        The direct, immediate sequel to an unbelievably popular and long-running show, with a top-notch cast — as opposed to the umpteenth version of a 50+ year old franchise starring a bunch of “who?” I know which one I’d bet my money on, and they did. They literally bet the entire launch on it, not Disco.

        It’s had 5 seasons’ run already, and will have a sixth.

        Also Wikipedia tells me there are animated songs by Jonathan Coulton in it! o_O Somewhat like “Schoolhouse Rock”. That is VERY cool.

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        1. I’ve not watched it yet but it’s certainly on my list of series to watched along with the series that it was spun out of. I like legal series and a female centered one is certainly one that I’ll find worth while. I spend about forty a month on streaming services as I’ve got three of them (Paramount+, Peacock and HBO Max) right now, not enough that I noticed it.

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  3. Will the later release date really be a drawcard? For piracy perhaps. The conversation is global and instant. Everything will be thoroughly spoilered by the time it gets elsewhere.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. For New Zealanders, later means 2023. Maybe. The list of countries Paramount+ is launching to in 2022 does not include New Zealand. This is worse than the bad old days of waiting over a year for episodes of Babylon 5 to be shown on local television.

      These days, there really is no excuse. Did they not learn from movies getting simultaneous worldwide release to stop people from pirating them? It’s very much a retrograde decision.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Even “Doctor Who” — a series older than and never as popular/money-making as the Star Trek franchise — is releasing episodes worldwide on the same day now, and occasionally at the very same time, no matter what hour that might be in non-British parts of the world.

        This season’s premiere was a worldwide simulcast just like the 50th anniversary was (with a repeat later in the day at more convenient hours). Now we’re back to a few hours’ delay, but it sure beats the times of waiting a year or two.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Paramount+ was supposed to be available in New Zealand in August the same time Australia got it, but it was pulled last minute (I sense a pattern here). What that means is that if you want to watch Season 4, there won’t be a streaming* platform you can legally watch it on until maybe 2023… (there is no indication that the 2022 Paramount+ rollout includes New Zealand, just

    OTOH, I just checked JB-HiFi & it lists the DVD as available in December. That may be the way I’ll go.

    *I initially typed it as “steaming” which I was tempted to leave in.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Discovery wanted to be a new ST show within a classic ST show and it did not work. They ruined the Klingons. Once they set up their own, more consistent rules and then played with time travel, they could break free to do what they wanted. Season 3 was way more fun for me and the only season where my husband and I did not regularly debate whether to keep watching it or not. This next season is going to have at least a partial arc to it, sounds like.

    The delay may not be entirely to entice folks onto Paramount international. Netflix has to pay more for shows that run on their system more than three seasons so they notoriously cancel many of their original shows after three seasons and some of their contracted ones only run for three years. So this deal may have been botched on roll out because they weren’t expecting to part ways with Netflix quite yet.

    We are lucky in that we can get certain non-U.S. channels that allow us to get a number of shows on various streaming channels we don’t subscribe to and that includes Discovery and Lower Decks. And then we subscribe to Netflix, Disney+ and since we have Prime, we get Amazon Prime. But we also don’t want to subscribe to tons of increasingly expensive streaming services.

    When Netflix came on the scene and started really streaming, I felt that they were essentially being in the HBO position. Others would join them (like Cinemax, etc.) as expensive pay channels and then as they got bigger, even more channels would be developed by the networks and others and then bundled into cable/satellite packages, which is what happened (and t.v. got a lot more expensive, moving from subscription rather than just ad revenue.) To keep people with them, the big Internet/t.v./phone carriers need to have packages of the streaming channels and some channels are getting bundled together into groups. Right now it’s a competition of original programming and monetizing their backlists for studios who can throw up a big streaming service, but eventually the carriers will pressure them into deals. But that’s an evolving situation over the next five years or so and Covid threw a lot of things out of whack.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maybe it’s because I’m less attached to the original Star Trek series’ and/or grew up when grimdark stuff was coming into vogue, but I enjoyed Discovery pretty much from the first season. It had its share of faults but mostly it was pretty solid, for me.

      Liked by 1 person

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