How To Watch Star Trek: Discovery On CBS All Access

  • Streaming
  • Science Fiction
T'Kuvma will vie for control over the Klingon High Council in Star Trek: Discovery.
T'Kuvma will vie for control over the Klingon High Council in Star Trek: Discovery. CBS All Access

Star Trek: Discovery premieres Sunday, Sept. 24, at 8:30 p.m., after 60 Minutes. The second episode also premieres the same night, though you won’t be able to catch it on broadcast TV. After the premiere, Star Trek: Discovery becomes a CBS All Access exclusive. Subscribers to CBS’ boutique streaming service will be able to watch the first episode simultaneous with its broadcast premiere, plus the second episode, available an hour later at 9:30 p.m. Subsequent episodes will debut weekly at 8:30 p.m. on All Access.

CBS All Access is $5.99 a month, with commercials. You can pay more to watch without commercials, but there’s this thing called a mute button someone already invented. While a lot of narrowly-tailored streaming services like CBS All Access have limited app support, one upside to the All Access service is its widespread availability. Not only does CBS All Access offer the expected Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Android, iOS, Fire TV and Roku apps, but it’s also available for Xbox and PS4.

CBS All Access is the logical endpoint of the streaming fragmentation the last few years have brought: individual subscriptions for every channel. But since the service has, up to now, been little more than a warehouse for CSI: Miami and Big Bang Theory reruns, CBS’s primary concern is offering something that could actually attract subscribers.

Whether or not subscribers will actually be able to watch the Star Trek they paid for remains an open question. App store listings for CBS All Access are choked with complaints. Smooth streaming and buffering seem to be an ongoing bugaboo for All Access, which are likely to be exacerbated by an influx of new Trekker subscribers.

CBS also owns Showtime, whose streaming service added nearly a million subscribers thanks to Twin Peaks: The Return, even though the actual viewership for the show was low compared to more popular Showtime series. What remains to be seen is whether or not Showtime’s new subscribers will stick around. Star Trek: Discovery will provide a second data point in this ongoing experiment. Even if premium shows can attract new subscribers, will anyone stick around for an otherwise lackluster subscription service?

Unfortunately, the free trial period for CBS All Access is just one week, so anyone who wants to avoid paying a single, slim penny to Les Moonves will have just the first two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery to decide whether to continue with the service. If CBS’s ban on early reviews is any indication, two episodes might be plenty.

Or maybe we’re in for a surprise and Star Trek: Discovery will be worth having to pay for yet another streaming service. That’d be nice.

Star Trek: Discovery
Star Trek: Discovery Counters Powerful Klingons With Starfleet Tedium
The two-part premiere of Star Trek: Discovery has powerful components, especially the Klingons, but is overwhelmed by poor storytelling choices.
  • Richly redesigned Klingons
  • Complex and explicable motives
  • Great new Starfleet characters
  • Incredible production design
  • Generic space combat and action
  • Too many flashbacks
  • Eschews subtext, doesn't put enough faith in the audience
Join the Discussion
Top Stories