Star Trek: Discovery fans are reporting some serious technical difficulties with the latest episode of the series, "Lethe," as CBS All Access has failed to stream properly for multiple users.
Star Trek: Discovery - the slick new Star Trek prequel that is the franchise's first foray into television since Enterprise was cancelled in 2005 - generated immediate controversy when it was announced it would air exclusively on CBS's nascent streaming subscription service. Many viewed this as a cynical attempt to artificially boost a service that, frankly, doesn't have the content or reputation of the bigger streaming players like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. The fact that viewers had to pay extra to get the service without commercials only furthered the outrage.
And while Discovery has been met with mostly positive reactions from a creative perspective, CBS All Access has left much to be desired as a streaming platform, culminating in widespread reports on Reddit and Twitter of outages and severe buffering issues (though the commercials seem to be streaming with no issues). Check out some of the reactions below.
Is CBS streaming badly for anyone else? Star Trek Discovery is stuttering away for me.
— Graeme Devine (@zaphodgjd) October 23, 2017
Star Trek Discovery is great, but CBS All Access is, unsurprisingly, a trainwreck. Should've just put it on Netflix like in other countries.
— Harry Nelson (@_____________h) October 23, 2017
— Tim Duffy (@yoDUFF) October 23, 2017
This is a potentially serious problem for CBS. Along with The Good Fight - a well reviewed but little watched spinoff of The Good Wife - Star Trek: Discovery is really the only unique, in-demand content being offered by All Access. There is an incredibly small margin for error with this venture, where one expensive, ambitious show is essentially propping up an entire platform. If fans are unable to access that show when it airs with no issues, it's hard to imagine CBS All Access thriving for long.
There's a fairly apt comparison for how this could all fall apart if CBS aren't careful. Yahoo infamously saved the beloved cult sitcom Community when it was cancelled by NBC after its fifth season, airing a sixth year on their new streaming platform, Yahoo Screen. Yahoo Screen was, in a word, a disaster; notoriously unreliable, it would buffer and reset the popular series seemingly at random. The sixth season would be Community's last, and Yahoo Screen shuttered soon after.
Despite its behind the scenes drama - including losing showrunner Bryan Fuller before production began - Discovery has gotten off to a relatively well received start, and its success could even lead to a further expansion of Star Trek's television prospects. But if fans aren't able to reliably use CBS All Access, then this is likely a doomed endeavor into the final frontier.
Star Trek: Discovery continues next Sunday with 'Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad' @8:30pm on CBS All Access.