Star Trek Strange New Worlds
Captain Pike and the crew of the USS Enterprise, launch a rescue mission when their first officer goes missing while making "First Contact" on an alien world.
Spoiler Level: Mild-Moderate
We seem to be inundated with Star Trek lately, with several live action and animated series rotating through episodes congruently and sometimes simultaneously. The latest being Strange New Worlds a prequel to the original 1960s Star Trek series and spinoff of Star Trek: Discovery. The cast of the enterprise as seen in Discovery proved to be very popular with the characters reflecting the 1965 pilot episode “The Cage”, which originally was thought to be too cerebral with out enough action, and instead of scrapping the series, it was reworked with a slightly different cast and the rest is pop culture history. The first episode of Strange New Worlds takes place just months after the Discovery season 2 finale.
As the first episode begins, the USS Enterprise is in “dry dock” being retrofitted, but when Number One (Rebecca Romjin) and the ship she was on goes silent when trying to make first contact with a world that has just acquired warp capabilities, the crew is brought together earlier than expected to investigate what has happened. Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) was reluctant to remain a Captain of a starship after his experiences in Discovery, but with his executive officer missing he relents and pulls Spock back from Vulcan at a very inopportune moment. Traveling with the diverse crew, which consists of some familiar, but some new characters as well. The world they find is a mirror of our current 21st century Earth and no where near ready for first contact. How did they get advanced technology and should the crew break General Order 1 (The Prime Directive), the non-interference rule that guides the United Federation of Planets?
Of all the current Star Trek series, this one feels the most like something Gene Roddenberry would have created (and technically he did). Although there are deep dark secrets that lurk in the past of several characters, there is still a kind of optimism and pride in being part of Star Fleet, which is still a benevolent organization. In comparison to the original series, the characters feel much more complex and three dimensional, which is keeping up with what audiences expect. The cast representing these characters is strong. In addition to those who were introduced in Discovery there are a few new characters as well, who seem interesting, but we haven’t yet really gotten to know yet and many relate back to the original series in some way. Christina Chong plays La’an Noonien-Singh, a relative of Khan, Celia Rose Gooding as fan favorite Nyota Uhura, a Star Fleet cadet who Pike describes as a prodigy. Melissa Navia as helmsman Erica Ortegas, which is a nod to the original Star Trek pitch which included a navigator named Jose Ortegas,. Dan Jeannotte as Sam Kirk, brother to James T. Kirk. Finally Babs Olusanmokun as Dr. M’Benga, and Jess Bush as Nurse Chapel who both have their own strengths and had some witty banter which I hope continues as the series progresses.
The production value of the series was high, but what you would expect from a Star Trek franchise show, the plot was good, and the story moved along at a quick pace and had a good rhythm. The script had some good dialogue that was both witty and poetic. Pikes’ speech near the end recounting our own history was powerful and moving. There was a definite message to the people of Earth in this episode that was not subtle, and I can see that some people could possibly be turned off by its message describing our current political upheaval and current events. I believe this is exactly what the original series did with themes such as racism and is in keeping with Roddenberry’s original concept.
There were somethings that weren’t perfect though. We get to see Spock shirtless and about to get intimate with his betrothed, and although I am not opposed to this, it just doesn’t seem like the Spock that has been established. The fact that we are seeing characters that have set histories that are well known to fans, also could lead to some continuity problems if this is truly supposed to take place in the same universe as the original Trek. The series is setting itself up for intense fan scrutiny in the new casts depiction of beloved characters and in the actual lore and mythos of the franchise. But these are small issues, and I really enjoyed the first episode of this new series.
I enjoyed the first episode, it was well written and reflected our current world events. The characters are interesting and I look forward to getting to know them better.
Star Trek Strange New Worlds: Boldly Going Back to the Beginning
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Acting - 9/109/10
- Music - 9/109/10
- Production - 10/1010/10
User Review( votes)