Help support TMP

"Star Trek Discovery Review: A Big Black Hole" Topic

37 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Star Trek Message Board

1,314 hits since 23 Sep 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2017 7:38 p.m. PST

It sucked.

No, really. It sucked so much the center of the galaxy screamed about being surpassed. It sucked so much that I began to think the Abrams' movies had merit. It sucked so much that I was longing for space hippies and quatloo betting. My wife and I had only recently watched "The Return of the Archons" (her for the first time), and we'd rather have just watched that again than have seen this space turkey at all.

And all of the above doesn't come anywhere near expressing the magnitude of how much this show sucked. Not even close.

From the opening sequence to the final "who cares" cliff-hanger, this show was an example of not only how NOT to do Star Trek, it was an example of how not to do science fiction, drama, acting, directing, special effects, and even just any television show of any kind whatsoever.

First of all, it was BORING. Straight to the center of the Earth, no wait, make that some obscure planet with no internal geophysical action at all, straight to the center of *that* boring. [Spoilers follow, if one can actually be spoiled for something this bad.]

We begin with a bizarre, stilted Klingon monologue warning the people of Kahless about the dangers of those who come and say "We come in peace." In the middle of this we get a view of assorted aliens who kinda sorta look like movie era Klingons, if you squish their heads down with oversized nautilus shells and crimp their nostrils shut. I kept expecting Worf to show up and say "We don't discuss it with outsiders," but that would have caused an actual actor to appear in this series, which I later began to realize the producers didn't want.

Back to that "we come in peace" tag line. Yep, we immediately cut to two humans looking very Lawrence of Arabia in desert garb tromping along the surface of Tatooi…uh, some desert planet somewhere because that's really original. And one of them says "We come here in peace…" May I gag now?

And it just gets worse from there. The planet has no story significance of any sort, it's just a place to have dramatic sandstorm footage that a spaceship can suddenly appear through as it lands, because apparently beaming technology can work through the solid metal of city buildings or ship hulls, but not through the loose particles of a sandstorm. I won't even discuss the ridiculous system the captain (on of the walkers) dreams up to help the ship locate them, but somehow the ship can apparently see footprints in sand through the aforementioned storm, but can't see two people, or their life signs (even infrared), or receive com signals. Idiotic.

We are given to know that one of these women is the captain of a vessel who's name I don't even remember (it's not Discovery). Which is okay, because I don't remember the captain's name, or any of the other crew, except the First Officer (Number One, again. Groan), the other woman in the desert, who's supposed to have been First Officer for seven years, though she looks all of twenty-six (if) and seems to be completely clueless about command, command presence, procedure, etc. as the episode goes on…. Yet the captain suggests that this person is suitable to become a captain!
No. Never. But sadly probably inevitable, because foreshadowing!

But that's too much detail. The acting is wooden throughout, as if the cast are largely reading lines off of teleprompters. The pacing is dreadfully slow. The lighting is dark and overly moody, for no good reason. Apparently even humans don't like actually being able to see on their starships. And here I had thought that sort of thing was restricted to alien bad guys.

And the plot? There is no plot. Just a relay station that has somehow been destroyed by a very precise shot that supposedly could have been an asteroid, though the science officer* thinks otherwise. (*who looks like a Chig from Space:Above and Beyond, a way better show he needs to go back to and revive). And then when a nearby energy anomaly is detected that can't be fully seen due to some sort of obscuring "dampening field," which would have caused even the reluctant Picard to shout "Shields up! Yellow Alert!" we nevertheless get no reaction from the captain (I think she was looking for her cue card), despite both her science officer and first office suspecting a trap.
And of course it's a trap. The aforementioned Klingons are there, apparently a religious cult of some kind, just waiting for a Federation vessel to arrive and find them so they can…turn on a giant spotlight. Because when you turn on a giant spotlight it's some sort of Klingon Batsignal, only the whole Klingon fleet shows up. Oh, and apparently when you meet Klingons you should always shoot at them, yes, to kill, because only then will they leave you alone. Which is something that the Vulcans have known for centuries, but haven't bothered to tell the rest of the Federation about, because…well, Sarek, Spock's father, is at least telling the First Officer now (via hologram) because he was her teacher when she was a little, uh, boy?
But she's such a respected, competent officer that her own captain doesn't believe her and just thinks she (the XO) hates Klingons because the XO saw the Klingons murder her parents, though no one has seen Klingons in a hundred years and they're no longer considered a threat…

Okay, maybe there is a plot BUT IT MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE.

So XO decides to Vulcan nerve grip her captain (!) and order the crew to attack without the captain present, only the captain shows up with a phaser to arrest her and…and the Klingon fleet arrives to end this mess on a cliffhanger, if the question of whether there will be war with Klingons counts as a cliffhanger.

But even if it does the viewer DOESN'T CARE.

We don't care because we're BORED.
We don't care because nothing makes any sense.
We don't care because none of the characters have even the slightest human trait to connect with and raise them above cookie-cutter job descriptions.
We don't care because the acting is more wooden than a practice batleh.
We don't care because there's no movement of action, no movement of the ship, no sense of wonder, no sense of exploration, no sense of drama, nothing. And there's certainly nothing to warrant the name "Discovery."

Space. The bland sameness (with lots of overblown CGI effects). Nobody voyages. Nobody looks around. Nobody boldly goes anywhere; they just sit and wait for the Klingons to show up in a neat little row, in ships that look nothing like classic Klingon ships, but have LOTS of SPIKY BITS, so we know they're dangerous and alien.


CBS All Access for the rest. Which is yet another reason NOT to subscribe.

Save your cash, save your eyes, save your brain.
Whatever this is, it's not STAR TREK. And the people who've made it will never figure that out.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2017 8:13 p.m. PST


Come on man. Let it out. Tell us how you really feel. It's not good to hold it in like that. :)

PS. Did they pound to death any great social messages for us to learn on this one?

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2017 8:44 p.m. PST

Did they pound to death any great social messages for us to learn on this one?

Yes, in all that, I'd expect a ham-fisted message of some sort. Or product placement for Discovery Card? Something?

For months, I have heard form many, many ST fans, that they were expecting more from Orville than this one. At least they have that option. Though I had forgotten to watch the show since the pilot.

bsrlee24 Sep 2017 8:51 p.m. PST

Well, just as well that I don't have a cable account or whatever it take these days to see something on the 'Tube'. I'm increasingly of the 'wait & see if it survives' school before I get it on disk.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2017 10:08 p.m. PST

Beast: "Or product placement for Discovery Card?"

Lol. You are absolutely right! I love how they sneak in URLs and "sponsor" logos to look like ordinary things in the background.


There's absolutely no way I would have ever noticed this one on my own:


TMP link

PS. I wonder if chip designer Imagination will get promoted that way now, subliminally of course.

M C MonkeyDew25 Sep 2017 2:59 a.m. PST

Parzival: Thank you for taking one for the team.

You have confirmed every negative vibe I got from the trailer :)

Didn't realize that anything past the first episode was All Access only. That sound's like a death sentence. The other major US networks provide online re-run catch up for free because, you know, they actually want folks to see their ads. No CBS wants people to pay to see their re-run content and now apparently some pay only shows. I wish them good luck with that.

Thank you also for the laughs. Well written!

Coelacanth25 Sep 2017 3:29 a.m. PST

Bernard has already reviewed it:

My show is better.

I have been following ST:Discovery news for a while, mostly in anticipation of a trainwreck. Well, here we are. Thank you for your review, I won't be watching the series.


Dentatus Fezian25 Sep 2017 3:53 a.m. PST

Well now, it seems CBS All-Access is off to a good start.

I'll certainly give ST:D a miss.


Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2017 5:18 a.m. PST

Didn't see it and didn't miss it. I got trekked out many years ago. Maybe they should have called it Zombie trek based on the reviews. That would have at least got the Z crowd to tune it.


USAFpilot25 Sep 2017 5:20 a.m. PST

It sucked.

Too much politically correct bs and not enough science fiction. The original Star Trek certainly addressed a number of social issues of the times, but it did it in a smart way. The junk coming out of Hollywood now a days is so permeated with over the top left wing tripe. White Klingons, really? Who would have guessed. I think the show needs more forced diversity; how about some gay or trans Klingons. Here's an idea, why don't they write an interesting story and leave out their social agenda.

Mobius25 Sep 2017 5:24 a.m. PST

Nice Parzival, But there was action. For the lack of drones in this universe the XO is sent off like a missile to flyby the cloaked anomaly. Instead lands on it and kills a Klingon there which starts a war.

I wonder how the XO is going to be a regular on the series after this unless every other member of the crew is killed and there are no records to survive.

PaddySinclair25 Sep 2017 5:53 a.m. PST

I completely disagree with Parzival (first two episodes have dropped on Netflix UK so I've seen the other side of the cliffhanger…) but I suspect I watched this looking to access it on its own merits rather that to find fault with everything about it.

Visual continuity issues aside (it's continuity rich apart from that in every regard), it's an excellent two hours of TV, and pretty damn good Star Trek. It's not the Star Trek you could or would have made previously (for technical, budget and artistic reasons). It's closer to the last three films in style, but Battlestar Galactica in attitude. People are flawed, and they make bad decisions, sometimes with the best of intentions.

It's not a story that's going to neatly conclude in a couple of episodes, that much is sure, and that's the big change from previous Trek. Whether we get stand alone episodes in these 15 episodes remains to be seen, but I suspect that there will be stand alone incidents amongst the 15 episodes of plot arc.

The biggest issue is the redesign of the Klingons, but apart from that these are probably the most Klingony Klingons we've seen, ever. They are an absolute continuity fest (appearance apart) in their presentation.

chaos0xomega25 Sep 2017 5:59 a.m. PST

The "White Klingon" is implied to be albino or a similar genetic aberration (wouldn't be the first time, see Deep Space 9, "Blood Oath"), but who am I to deny someone an uninformed rant about "politically correct bs" and "over the top left wing tripe".


If the show was on cable, I'd give it a chance, theres potential for it to develop into something solid (though I absolutely refuse to consider it to be part of the Prime timeline), though the first episode certainly took some grave missteps with establishing characters (in that I honestly loathe most/all of them based on what seems to be a generally gross level of incompetence and unbelievable ham-fisted attempts to make them seem over the top, edgy, or what-have-you), and it also suffered from some serious logical inconsistencies (the whole "we've had almost no interaction with Klingons for 100 years, but they somehow murdered the XO's entire family a couple decades ago" thing is a big one), etc.

As it stand, however, I'm not forking over $6 USD a month to CBS to watch it online. Maybe I'll try spoofing my IP address through a proxy in Canada or something to watch it on netflix.

Tom Reed Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2017 6:01 a.m. PST

I thought that "The Orville" was more Trek than this drek.

Garand25 Sep 2017 6:09 a.m. PST

I tried to watch it but It must have been pushed back by a football game because I only recorded around a half hour of the show. Too bad it wasn't good. I thought at first the klingon "torchbearer" was an albino, but in retrospect that was a bit to heavily on the nose…

I watched Ken Burn's Vietnam instead.


PJ ONeill25 Sep 2017 6:15 a.m. PST

I had some small hope to be entertained, being a long time ST fan. 3 science or script mistakes before the credits ? I just groaned and flipped the channel.
No need to subscribe to another "pay-per-view" channel, the show is trash.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2017 6:26 a.m. PST

Okay,yeah, but the action was stupid. A spacesuited XO goes to check out the anomaly that is probably a weapon (or has them) in a situation she already thinks is a trap because apparently, they have no automated probes fitted with a camera. One guesses that GoPro has gone out of business by the 23rd Century.
Nevertheless, off she zooms, having been ordered to merely flyby, which she has repeatedly stated as her intention and confirmed, and then sees it and thinks "orders, schmorders, I wanna stop and touch it," never mind that she already thinks it's a weapon and the situation is a trap. Apparently neither service discipline nor intelligence are requirements for Starfleet.
And then as she walks around on this thing, she finds a spacesuited Klingon with a sword or knife or something spiky (maybe he's just happy to see her), but it's hard to tell which because the scene is too frickin' dark to see anything and the armor is too coolly twisted and bizarre to be certain what anything is. And then wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am they come together and somebody gets stabbed and she spins off unconscious into the night and the viewer is thinking, "wait, what just happened?" Because the entire "fight" sequence lasts less time than it takes for a Bama tackle to drop a Vandy runner in the backfield. "One Mississippi, two Mississi…okay, punt." Which is still more interesting to watch (and less confusing) than this moment of "action."

By the way, we don't get to see how she is recovered by her crew mates,nor the Klingon by his. Just suddenly there's a Klingon funeral and she wakes up in the sick bay (who's that dude in white? Is he the ship's doctor? Are we gonna meet this series's Bones? Oh, wait, he's no longer on screen…at least the room had some bright light in it.) She has some radiation burns from her ordeal, ooo icky, but then a few scenes later they're all gone despite her never apparently returning to Sick Bay to complete the treatment that she abandoned to warn her captain about the Klingons, who respects her experienced XO so much that she completely ignores the warning!?! Which isn't surprising in that none of the rest of the crew, including officers under her command, believe her either. Yeah, she's ready to be a captain. Not.

So we have maybe two seconds of plot worthy action that immediately gets dropped as everybody, especially the audience, keeps just sitting around, waiting for something (anything) to happen. Cue Klingon Batsignal.

As for message, yes there's an albino Klingon ("Voq, sone of none") who is the only Klingon with guts enough to, uhm, turn on the spotlight. His cultist religious leader praises him, criticizing those who reject the albino for his appearance, and then sends him off to commit jiha…uh, light the Batsignal.

And at some point XO lectures a holographic admiral about not confusing race with culture, and then tells him they have to shoot the Klingons first whenever they meet one…because they're all Klingons and that's what you do with Klingons, which would of course be confusing race with culture!?!

So if you're thinking, "huh? What's their point?", you are not alone. In fact, you're in company with the writers, actors, and director, who haven't got a clue about it either. But Ooo- shiny, spiky, glowy evil spaceship! Look at this! And there's a robot on the bridge! Cool! (Why didn't they send it as their flyby probe? One suspects because the XO was practically useless anyway, and cheaper to replace.)

Like I said, it all sucked.

boy wundyr x Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2017 8:13 a.m. PST

Oddly, a bunch of bikers I know really enjoyed it. I didn't watch it, but I catch everything on the rebound.

Mobius25 Sep 2017 9:43 a.m. PST

Besides if they had attacked the Klingon thing or not the other Klingon ships would still pop into the rally point where they recovered the body. (Unless the body and the Klingon conference was on the tomb ship.)
Then the entire fleets of the 24 Klingon tribes would still have to be told by the conference to warp to the rally point. Which it looks like that is the case because the coffin was lifted up and placed outside after the wake.

So maybe the XO had a point and the Fed ship should have blown up the tomb ship and killed the entire Klingon Leadership. But that still is a dumpster fire of logic.

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2017 10:48 a.m. PST

They locked on weapons (just to make the cloaked ship do something), fired a torpedo (first officer), and killed the chosen "turner on of the light switch".

Then they didn't want to fire the first shot in a new Klingon war.

Who are the Klingons in this game?

I'll stick with the Orville, but I would love it if they could transfer the cowardly science officer for some extra comic relief.

Dezmond25 Sep 2017 11:54 a.m. PST

I just can't be arsed with any of this

DavePauwels Inactive Member25 Sep 2017 12:23 p.m. PST

"Here's an idea, why don't they write an interesting story and leave out their social agenda."


skipper John Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2017 12:25 p.m. PST

I enjoyed it. Of course I wasn't expecting much though…

Captain Gideon25 Sep 2017 12:48 p.m. PST

Overall I didn't like it almost everything about the Klingons I hated including their ships.

I don't know if I'll be watching anymore of this.

sneakgun25 Sep 2017 1:37 p.m. PST

It sucked, really bad writing. Just click bait for CBS streaming. With all the technology available, how come the Klingons still have bad teeth? Still no seat belts?

I did like the new Sarik, too bad they didn't give him an interesting part.

Mobius25 Sep 2017 1:54 p.m. PST

I watched and re-watched the scene where the XO fought the Klingon. Looks like she side stepped his attack with a Batleth. (In zero G that's not possible unless she had super adhesive magnetic boots and the sarcophagus ship was iron based.) Then she fired her jets and rammed him. He must of forgot there is a pointy end on both ends of the Batleth as that drove his end clean through him, armor and all and out his back. Then they were stuck together until they hit a section of the ship and they were separated.

JMcCarroll Inactive Member25 Sep 2017 2:44 p.m. PST

Parzival pretty much sums it all up.
Simple just think of it as a Japanese Godzilla movie and fast forward to the fight scenes.
Come to think of it, the Godzilla movies have a better plot!

StarCruiser25 Sep 2017 3:30 p.m. PST

Enough's already been said – this is not "Star Trek" as we know it.

Production values may be high (meaning, they spent a bunch of money) but the story was extremely weak and plodded along.

There's virtually no logic in it anywhere (considering all of the Vulcan connections) and it simply wasn't fun to watch at all.

TheWhiteDog Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2017 3:39 p.m. PST

Unless you have All Access or are outside the US, it's not even Star Trek Discovery. It's Star Trek Shenzhou, since we don't even get to see the actual full cast or ship.

I thought it was quite boring, and didn't care for any of the characters or the actors portraying them.

I do want to see some of the other Federation ships though!

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2017 7:10 p.m. PST

Sitting in Atyrau, Kazakhstan. Saw the 1st episode last night and, while I like the ship, the uniforms suck. Gold for a working day uniform, really? The acting was either wooden or hysteric. And, as others above, don't get me started on the redesigned Klingons. Did they need a change? Were they in some way lacking?

Not my idea of Trek.

basileus6625 Sep 2017 8:50 p.m. PST

I watched it in Netflix Spain yesterday. As I am not a Trekkie, and despite the obvious plotholes, I liked it… mostly. I can't stand first officer, though. She is an idiot. And shouldn't have a command. One thing is to disagree with your commanding officer in private, but in front of the crew? In a life-or-death situation? Come on! That is so outrageous that I can't fathom why the captain didn't order her immediate arrest!

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2017 9:07 p.m. PST

I was just kidding about the Discover card.

Cheese it- the place is bugged!


Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2017 4:19 a.m. PST

I wouldn't say it was bad, it was mostly uninspired.

First of all why did they have to set it a decade BEFORE TOS ? Because if it's not Kirk, Spock and the gang nobody cares ? If it comes to establishing Trek, the TOS cast did a good job, but the series and period that really fleshed it all out was TNG and subsequent series.

Thematically STD feels like it should follow up on the events after DS9 and Voyager, a Federation (and everyone else) that is weakened by a major conflict that forced many to rethink the politics of the galaxy, and not always for the better.

If this series has a problem, it's that we get the classic dissonance between having a brainstorming session, somebody making a list on a whiteboard and then trying to cram all of these things into a scenario.

Maybe it's me, but that seems to be increasingly the problem with writing these days. People are no longer telling stories, they are ticking off boxes off a "must do" checklist and string everything together with random drama and/or action.

It wouldn't be so bad if they didn't keep hammering about certain points, as if to highlight to all those who are witnessing it that this was a really great idea during the board room meeting, everybody agreed, nodded and they ended up slapping each other on the back, high-fiving and ordered pizza to celebrate.

You can almost picture them reaching the "And the Klingon ship is (drumroll) made of COFFINS !!" And somebody making the mind-blown gesture.

They forgot to run this by a 9-year old who would have asked "Why is it covered in coffins ?"

Any human being by that point would have to acknowledge. "It's an aweso- On second thought …"

And that's the problem. We see a bunch of ideas hovering before our eyes and nobody bothered to check if it made any sense.

Take the first officer, she's supposed to have been raised by Vulcans and they probably wanted that character to come into the series as an emotional cold fish and slowly learn normal human interaction. Possibly because it was too hard on the actress (or the writers couldn't do better or were lazy) she's already well-adjusted, except that despite her being first officer and having been with this captain and crew for seven years, the second they run into a tricky situation everybody goes completely stupid, because any capable crew would have gone "yellow alert", compared notes and avoided taking conclusions and making reprimands to a person who is acting overly emotional for being "too Vulcan"

Yes you heard it right, this show manages to take a character that should be competent, respected and should have every opportunity to get her voice heard completely walled off and when she goes all crazy is accused of being "too Vulcan"

Seems in the rewrites a few things got mixed up …

The captain is only cool on the surface and everybody acts not because there is a clear and present problem, but because the scenario demands that somebody does something stupid and has to pay for it and everyone else who should be competent enough to figure out even half the problem suddenly comes down with a bad case of externally induced terminal stupidity.

Perhaps the worst moment is ensign Cry-Baby who freaks out the second somebody shoots at them and complains "We're explorers, we're not supposed to fight wars." Barely ten years later Kirk is out there confronting aliens of every type and he doesn't curl up into a ball and demands a safe-space, chill pills and writes a haiku about how the bad aliens hurt his feelings.

It's an OK show, but it doesn't quite understand how to be Star Trek and is too busy trying to make some clever self-aware comments about the universe rather than ask real interesting questions.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2017 6:21 a.m. PST

An alternative review at odds with the OP


The team behind Star Trek: Discovery could be forgiven for feeling under pressure. They had to deliver a show that satisfies one of the most rabidly pedantic fan bases out there, while still catering to normies only not really au fait with Trek beyond a few action movies about good-looking people having fights in space.

DavePauwels Inactive Member26 Sep 2017 7:06 a.m. PST

I've been a Star Trek fan for just about my whole life, from watching syndicated TOS episodes as a kid to one of my earliest memories of seeing a film on the big screen: my dad taking me to ST:TMP. Which I loved. ST:TWoK remains one of my favorite movies and I was there at Farpoint Station, Bajor, at the Caretaker array, and when Klaang crashed in Broken Bow, OK. And I think ‘Vulcan Hello' was a worthy successor to this tradition. Stronger than some premieres, not quite as strong as others. But there is a potential here that I'm excited about, as a fan.

The acting was strong and the cast seemed to gel in a way it took previous casts a few episodes, or in some cases a first season, to feel like a true ensemble. The dialogue was natural and the tech stuff came smoothly. There was a moment in the opening when Burnham is doing a narration while they're checking the damaged comm array and behind her voice we here the transmissions from the Shenzhou bridge. This gave me goosebumps and I have to imagine that was Nicolas Meyer's hand – it was very movie era Trek.

I thought the plot was great. How do wars start? Sometimes they start by accident. Sometimes one side NEEDS a war. And the dilemma faced by Burnham was powerful: what does Starfleet do when the best course of action is to preemptively open fire? It's a cool Catch-22 for a Federation Captain. And it was handled with a true sense of desperation.

The special effects were cinematic. I thought it actually looked better than the J.J. Abrams films, if I'm being honest. I'm not totally sold on the Klingon ship designs, but here I'm admittedly a purest. I'd like to see more and I suspect I will. Personally, I find the idea of a Klingon funerary warship to be sublime.

Star Trek, for as much as I love the films, belongs on TV. I've been re-watching Trek every night while I paint, before bed. I'm on Season 5 of ‘Voyager', but I think it was about halfway through Season 3 of ‘DS9' when I realized how much I missed watching new Star Trek on TV. ‘ST:Discovery' is almost exactly what I was hoping for. Taking cues from shows like ‘BSG', but placing itself firmly in the Star Trek universe, there is a balance between the familiar and the new.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2017 7:35 a.m. PST


Lol. That's right, trust no one.


Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2017 12:46 p.m. PST

As someone pointed out to me today this is STD.

That was smart. Real smart. So very very smart.

Or was it dumb ?

(oh, Dentatus already noted that – still, it says a lot that the production company didn't notice. Sloppy)

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.