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After half a season, 'Star Trek: Discovery' is worth paying for

After half a season, 'Star Trek: Discovery' is worth paying for
From Engadget - November 13, 2017

The bottom line is that Star Trek: Discovery is going to stay on CBS All Access for the foreseeable future. There were hopes that CBS would cave and put episodes on Netflix for the second season or move the show to broadcast. It's safe to say that wo not happen. The show is a success right where it is; the network knows that Star Trek: Discovery is not for everyone. "Not everyone's going to subscribe to every premium network," according to Marc DeBevoise, the president and COO of CBS Interactive, in an interview with Engadget.

The service was originally designed for cord cutters who still wanted access to CBS and its vast library, but the vision has grown from there. All Access is being positioned as a fully premium service, rather than an add-on to broadcast. DeBevoise told Engadget, "We are looking to be the premium version of the number one broadcast network. So how do we thread the needle of delivering for a lot of people but also enabling ourselves to be viewed as the premium service? I mean, people would pay for some of those other premium networks out there." In other words, how is this different than cord cutters who subscribe to HBO Now to watch Game of Thrones? The challenge here is launching a new streaming service, rather than relying on an existing one.

Discovery is a show that was created, developed, scripted and produced exclusively for this streaming network. And that's evident in the way it tells its story. "It's a more involved form of character-based storytelling," said DeBevoise. "You can go much deeper in the characters. You can go much farther with each smaller storyline and really peel back the layers that are there." Being able to produce the entire season at once, as streaming services do, allows for a different kind of story, which has become increasingly clear as the show progresses.

On Sunday, CBS aired the midseason finale of Star Trek: Discovery; the show will return on January 7th. Over the course of these first nine episodes, viewers have been treated to complex and intriguing characters, fresh reinventions of sci-fi tropes and a moral ambiguity that has not been front and center in previous incarnations of the show. As a life-long Star Trek fan, I am enamored and engaged with the franchise in a way I have not been in years.

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