No early reviews for “Star Trek: Discovery”


It has been confirmed that CBS has an embargo placed on any reviews for their streaming service flagship series Star Trek: Discovery. We’re not just talking about reviews that are on hold until the series premieres. No, it appears that CBS has not provided any screeners copies of the pilot episodes, meaning that critics, and blogging sites (such as ours) are not given any opportunity to watch it.

Normally this would be considered a very bad thing. Movie studios tend to do this whenever there is a lack of confidence in the finished product, but some industry insiders believe that for television/streaming content that this might very well be the wave of the future. All one needs to do is look at Game Of Thrones and the similar restrictions it had. However, this is Star Trek. Is this a good thing?

Some argument could be made that CBS wants to maintain as much secrecy about the finished product as much as possible. It could also be argued that CBS might view this as a means to drive people towards their subscription based streaming service, where the remainder of the series will air following the series pilot episode.

The big concern that many people have regarding this is the quality of the series, and its adherence to the overall series canon, which is something that most die-hard Trek fans are hanging their hopes on. While the look of the trailers has been met with generally good reception from mainstream audiences, the serious Trek fans are seeing this as a “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” scenario. From the get go fans have seen some very questionable story elements that have raised more than the collective single eyebrow as concerns grow regarding any validity regarding the show and how it follows previously established TV canon. While CBS may feel that keeping the embargo will help drive people towards the subscription, there is an argument to be made that no early reviews, even those that avoid any spoilers, suggests that the series may not be made with the fans’ best interests at heart, in which case it could damage the marketing attempt to draw more people to the streaming service.

As for now, only time will tell as Star Trek: Discovery is set to debut on CBS, Sunday September 24. Following the premiere the series will then live on CBS All Access, the network’s new streaming service.

What are your thoughts about this embargo? Given the nature of Star Trek fandom, is it a good idea to adopt the same review model as Game Of Thrones and other TV shows? Does this embargo suggest that CBS may indeed have hit the ball out of the park, or are they merely dropping the ball?
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