It’s no secret that Star Trek: Discovery is my favorite new show. I absolutely love the cast, the chemistry between the actors, the story they’ve been telling, and the risks the storytellers have taken. The first season was a whirlwind, and it’s with eager anticipation that fans are looking forward to the second.
But of course, there are things Star Trek: Discovery will change between the first and second season, and that’s good. You don’t want a show to be a carbon copy of what came before; it’s all part of making deep and dynamic stories. I have a little wish list of things I'd like to see in Discovery's second season to make it the best season yet of this stellar (pun intended) show.
Give us more “off day” episodes
Some of my favorite historical Star Trek episodes have revolved around the crew enjoying some much-needed time off together. Indeed, Discovery showed us some of that in what has become my favorite episode of the first season, “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad.” While the crew of the Discovery is having a party to blow off some steam, Harry Mudd tries to steal the ship. It’s an episode that injected so much heart into the show and built so many relationships.
Given Discovery’s serialized nature and breakneck pace, it’s important to take these moments to breathe and focus on character development. Plus, it’s fun to watch a group of people who genuinely enjoy being around one another having some fun together. Let’s hope we get another episode or two like this in the second season.
Spend time developing the secondary characters
We all know that Discovery has a fantastic cast, and it’s been wonderful getting to know the main characters over the first season. But the show also has an amazing and inclusive secondary cast. Oyin Oladejo, Ronnie Rowe, Patrick Kwok-Choon, and Emily Coutts are all characters I’d like to get to know better (the bulk of them haven’t even been named on screen). The show puts such effort into casting inclusively and making sure the bridge is a reflection of the wide world (universe) around us. It’d be lovely to have an episode focusing on these secondary characters, or perhaps just allowing them to play larger roles in Season 2.
Lean into the lightheartedness
The pilot and second episode (which I consider a two-part pilot, really) of Star Trek: Discovery was pretty dark. That’s understandable; after all, it was the beginning of a brutal war. The show lightened up from there, ensuring it wasn’t some grim version of future. Sylvia Tilly, played expertly and pitch-perfectly by Mary Wiseman, in particular, was great in lightening the series’ mood.
But for the most part, the show has stayed the course with serious storytelling. Judging from the second season’s trailer, though, it appears that the show will take a more light-hearted tone. That’s not to say that Discovery won’t grapple with giant issues (it’s clearly foreshadowing another search for Spock, who's gotten himself embroiled in something big), but that it will do so with a sense of humor. After all, as Anson Mount’s Captain Christopher Pike says in the trailer, “Wherever our mission takes us, let's try to have a little fun along the way."
Change up the look and manner of the Klingons
When Discovery first premiered, there were accusations that the portrayal of the Klingons was racist (which, historically, has pretty much always been the case in one form or another). We already know that Discovery will be changing the look of the Klingons going into the second season. This is a great chance to reinvent the alien race, which has been overhauled so many times in the past (so it’s not unprecedented in the least). Let’s make the Klingons less problematic.
Bring back Wilson Cruz and Michelle Yeoh
Okay, this is more of a fan demand than anything that the show should do to improve on the first season (and I'm really not here for fan entitlement). But as Wilson Cruz has regularly reminded Twitter users, the love story between Stamets and Culber isn’t over yet. I really hope this means we’ll see him again in Season 2, not just in a flashback or in a dream, but as a regular character. After all, their relationship is a landmark in Star Trek history, and it’d be really nice for it to have a happy ending.
And it’s hard to argue against the fact that Michelle Yeoh is a goddess who should be in everything, but a deleted scene from the first season finale hints that the mirror universe Emperor might just have an intriguing future in front of her. I’d love to see Yeoh back on the Discovery for an episode or two, working as an agent of Section 31 and wreaking havoc wherever she treads.