Mysterious red signals leave the crew baffled in Season 2 of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ – Pike takes command

Anson Mount stars in “Star Trek: Discovery,” which begins streaming its second season Thursday on CBS All Access.

The push-pull of science versus faith is front and center of our politics and our society these days and it’s also a recurring theme of Season 2 of “Star Trek: Discovery.”

Beginning its second season Thursday, Jan. 17, on CBS All Access, the fresh batch of 14 episodes opens with the crew of the Discovery answering a distress call from the USS Enterprise. With that ship offline, its commander, Captain Christopher Pike (new cast member Anson Mount, “Hell on Wheels”), goes over to the Discovery and takes the lead on a mission to check out the source of seven mysterious red signals and the appearance of an entity known as the Red Angel.

As crew members work together to determine their origin and meaning, the Discovery’s science specialist Michael Burnham (cast returnee Sonequa Martin-Green) is forced to face her past with the return of her estranged brother Spock (Ethan Peck, “10 Things I Hate About You”).

“Pike automatically believes that there is a purpose behind them,” Mount says of the red signals, “which is kind of a very big assumption, but he’s a man who sometimes goes on faith. They seem to be appearing in coordination with one another, so the assumption then is that they’re so far apart and they’re appearing in coordination at faster than the speed of light that there has to be some purpose to them. … And the energy that would be required to produce these occurrences, it has to do with a technology that is clearly so far beyond anything that we as a species understand, we might not even be able to recognize it. And so Pike is a man with a mission that is driving him so hard it could be almost unhealthy.”

So while Pike argues that these signals are coming from a higher intelligence, Burnham, who is his new No. 2, voices a typically Vulcan opinion.

“She is the first one who says, ‘You’re operating on a very big assumption here, that these signals are intentional and not natural,’ ” Mount says. “And Pike not only accepts that argument, he likes that Burnham has the gumption to buck his assumptions. He needs that. He’s smart enough and he’s ego-less enough to recognize that he needs that in his operating system. So they quickly become peas in a pod because he wants somebody who is a good sounding board.”

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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