Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – Full Season 1 Review
Full spoilers follow for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 1.
Anson Mount’s arrival in the Star Trek world could easily have turned into stuntcasting if not handled properly, but instead Christopher Pike returned, original captain of the USS Enterprise, not only provided a great season of Star Trek: Discovery. It also led to the spinoff series Strange New Worlds, which we now know as season 1 ending, is the best single season of a Star Trek show since the legendary 1990s of The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.
One of the keys to the success of Strange New Worlds’ 10-episode debut season is its willingness to embrace stand-alone, weekly stories as opposed to seasonal bows. This, combined with a deep bench with instantly sympathetic characters, has led to high adventures, emotional upsets, a lot of humor and one of the key elements of Star Trek that has sometimes been lost in modern times – good, old-fashioned exploration.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Pictures
Sometimes it has meant that Pike, Spock and the crew encounter wonders, such as the comet in episode 2 which they believe will wipe out the inhabitants of a planet before they realized that they were somehow predestined to not only save the planet, but manage it. a seemingly better place for people to live as well. But there have also been atrocities, as in “Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach”, when Enterprise is dealing with a race that, well … sacrifices children to power their world. Weird new worlds actually. We also got quiet running, in-depth fight stories, pirate adventures, a body-changing comedy, an Alien / Predator riff and so much more while season 1 played out. And for every new alien race or fantastic space station, there’s a bit of the old Trek social commentary that plays just below the surface. It’s there, but it never hits you over the head like a misaligned phaser explosion.
In front and in the middle of it all, of course, is Mount, whose relaxed, take-it-as-it-can-let-me-make-you-an-omelette style as captain certainly sets him apart from his predecessors. Girl, like most of the other main characters in the show, actually do get a seasonal bow here, while struggling with the premonition that one day he will be terribly injured in an accident. Should he change the future now that he knows about it? Although the show does not dwell on the question, we got periodic checks with Pike on the matter during the 10 episodes, before things culminated in the season finale when he got the chance to see how badly he could affect the galaxy if he deviated from his fate.
So Strange New Worlds actually has its long-winded stories to tell, but they’re not about space McGuffins or anything like that. Instead, in Season 1, it was Cadet Uhuras’ (Celia Rose Gooding) journey to discover that Enterprise was where she really was meant to be, or that La’an Noonien-Singhs (Christina Chong) reconciled with her refugee status. from Gorn. And then of course there is Ethan Pecks Spock, whose destination as the Original Series / Leonard Nimoy Spock is perhaps the most predetermined of the group. Here, especially in the ninth episode, while the crew suffers a great loss, we see Spock struggling to hold back his emotions when he gives in to them, a clear indication of why he will eventually shut himself out of the same .
The relationship between Spock and Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush) has been particularly exciting, since we know it hardly exists when we get to season 1 of The Original Series. But here it’s one of the most, um, fascinating of the gang, a flirtatious friendship where the natural chemistry between the two characters (and the actors) seems almost unstoppable. And yet it will stop … must stops to line up with the cannon at the end. It’s sad to know that it will end, but again … does not end relationships all the time?
As for the loss that then affects Spock, the death of Bruce Horak’s Hemmer was a surprising moment that, as difficult as it is to accept – Hemmer was an instant favorite – reminds us that most of these characters are not safe. Is there a reason Rebecca Romijn’s Una Chin-Riley, aka Number One, is not still on Enterprise when Kirk takes over? Maybe she just got a transition, or maybe the answer is more serious than that. Certainly the mini-cliffhanger in the last moments of this season indicates that Una is in trouble at the moment.
The show sometimes leans a little too hard on tributes to other great Star Trek and sci-fi stories, such as in the season finale which features a rehash of the classic Original Series episode “Balance of Terror”. And the jury is still out on Paul Wesley’s rather dry opinion of Captain Kirk, who appears in the season finale, but who returns for season 2 as well. But by and large, Strange New Worlds has managed to find its own place in Trekdom, even though it exists in a time of franchise that we thought we already knew.
In addition, they gave Pike the classic green captain’s tunic. You just can not go wrong there.
Questions and remarks from Q Continuum:
- Announcing Paul Wesley’s Kirk for Season 2 was a clever way to try to ward off expectations that he would show up this season … and yet we knew full well that he would show up this season! We just did not expect it to be an all-future Kirk.
- Speaking of which, I appreciate the nerdy details that go into making variations of the classic uniforms, but I wish they had just kept Future Pike in the finale of the classic Monster Maroon from the TOS movies.
- This show is not afraid to delve into aspects of Trek that are not particularly loved either. Sybok, from the (unfairly) infamous Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, was even revived in a cameo scene that will surely lead to more in season 2.
- The same episode also gave us a new great villain, Jesse James Keitel’s space pirate Angel!
- Despite Hemmer’s death, Bruce Horak has said he will return to Star Trek somehow. But he will be our Hemmer ?!
- As Pike apparently accepts his fate at the end of this season, it seems we have a clear timeline now for how long this show can continue: Not long enough!