In 2020 the 7th Live-action Star Trek show was announced, Strange New Worlds, it would take about two years before it actually got on our TV sets, or telephone, laptop or whatever you watch your shows on. I am old! I still want to watch my shows on my TV in the best available quality. It all started with the 6th Live-action series, Star Trek: Discovery, where Captain Pike was introduced. He really made an impression on me, not only me but as it seems, almost all other Star Trek fans. Social media soon was flooded with requests for a new Star Trek show with Captain Pike in the lead. For me Discovery’s second season is so entertaining because of Captain Pike, as I said he also made an impression on me. I told this before in other blogs but Anson Mount’s portrayal as Captain Pike made me remind myself of Commander Jeffrey Sinclair , of one of my two all-time favorite TV shows, Babylon 5! So by now, you probably know which is the other one!


The way Pike acted, his calmness, his intellect, his appearance, he so much made me think of this Commander of the Babylon 5 space station. I had this feeling the whole season. This is not so much the case anymore now, on Strange New Worlds but on Discovery I definitely did. So, Anson Mount’s Captain Pike immediately was accepted by me because after getting used to Michael O’Hare’s portrayal of Commander Sinclair on Babylon 5, I absolutely loved him throughout the 1st season.


It was a long wait, two years, the creators promised a different Star Trek than Discovery was, no story-arc other than character story-arc but mostly standalone episodes like the original series also was. Although I am a fan of story-arc storytelling, I didn’t mind that they were planning to do this. The Orville had the same strategy and it still has lots of rewatch value. It has only 10 episodes a season, a huge difference from the original Star Trek and the first 4 follow-up shows. Although this is fairly normal nowadays, especially with Sci-fi and Star Trek in particular I really would have liked more episodes a season. Okay 26 episodes a season is a lot, but perhaps 15-20 episodes a season would give me more satisfaction, especially when there is no real story-arc storytelling. I can understand that with a heavy story-arc series, 15-20 episodes a season can be a bit much, you want to have a tight storyline, without any filler episodes.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds for me is getting back to the Star Trek I really love, for the most part. It has some good stories a few exciting stories even, the season one cast is big and capable, besides Captain Pike (Anson Mount), my other favorites are Spock (Ethan Peck), Number one (Rebecca Romijn), La'an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong), Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush) and Hemmer (Bruce Horak). I think Hemmer is a fan favorite of most of you. He certainly has the best lines. The other lead characters: Erica Ortegas (Melissa Navia); Dr. M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) and Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding) are very likable also, and just an observation, the majority of the lead cast are women, which is, I believe also a first. I loved it the first time around, last year and also the rewatch was very satisfactory. As said, I love the way Anson Mount portrays Captain Pike and it shows how important it is to have a lead who can carry a show. That was my problem with Star Trek: Discovery. It bothered me that the Captain wasn’t the focus and I just could not get used to the Michael Burnham character, which was one of the reasons I stopped watching Discovery.


The Episodes:

So as I said, only 10 episodes, even Discovery has had more episodes each season ranging from 13-15 episodes. I am afraid Strange New Worlds seasons will continue with only 10 episodes, at least that seems to be the indication at the moment.


Episode 1 “Strange New Worlds” sets the tone for the season where Captain Pike comes out of his self-imposed exile to rescue Una, his number one. Here you immediately see what Captain Pike is made of, again here, he made me think of Commander Sinclair of Babylon 5. I think he would have handled such a situation the same way where two factions are on the verge of going to war and he intends to stop this. A very moving speech from Pike at the end. Episode 2 “Children of the Comet” was also a solid and satisfying episode. When Enterprise tries to “nudge” a comet so it will pass a habitat planet, they are attacked by a superior vessel, saying they are escorting the comet (aka M'hanit) and it is sacrilege to interfere with its flight. Note – Nice moments when Captain Pike is making dinner for his crew, also Enterprise Bingo is a fun sidestep.

In “Ghost of Illyria” the ships doctor has a secret involving his daughter and the ships transporter. Number one, Una Chin-Riley, also has a secret, she is an Illyrian, they are considered outcasts by the Federation because they were modifying their genes to enhance their capabilities, which is forbidden within the Federation. Of course, character La'an Noonien Singh is also familiar with this because she is a descendant of Khan Noonien Singh. Episode 4, “Memento Mori” definitely belong to the top 3 best epsiodes this season! In this episode we meet the Gorn and they’ve laid a trap for the Enterprise when the ship is connected to another vessel to save people. Because there was no other way they had to do it with the shields down. La’an has had experience with the Gorn, According to La’an they have never come this far, they are expanding. Note – This is a thrilling episode, really exciting, it is a rollercoaster ride.


I thought “Spock Amok” was a “small” episode but also a very entertaining one. While there are negotiations with a species who is even more insulting than the Tellarites, Spock and T’Pring are having relational problems. Mainly because of Spock’s duties to Starfleet. Captain Pike decides to end the negotiations in a way you’d think he has lost all sense of reality. In “Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach” we meet a former love interest of Captain Pike, a kid is being sacrificed for the greater good. Captain Pike experiences feelings of anger, confusion and repulsion but he cannot do anything to help. Note – Very uncomfortable to watch these last moments. Episode 7, “The Serene Squall” is also one of the better first season episodes where the Enterprise gets hijacked. Dr. Aspen, who is on the Enterprise pretends to be a victim but is not. The Serene Squall want a Vulcan released…a relative of Spock! Spock and Nurse Chapel pretend to be in a relationship.

For me, episode 8, “The Elysian Kingdom”, is the weakest episode of the season where the Enterprise transforms into a fairytale the doctor was reading to his daughter. Still I had a good time watching it, perhaps not all of it but the actors got to play their characters quite differently and that was kinda fun to watch. The ending was emotional where the doctor has to make a choice. Episode 9 “For Those Who Wander” we get back to the Gorn. This one, episode 4 and the season finale, are my favorite episodes this season. This episode is kind of a horror story in space like Event Horizon or Alien(s). Not everything about this episode makes me happy though, but I won’t spoil it for you! In the season one finale “A Quality of Mercy” Captain Pike is troubled when he meets a kid whom is one he couldn’t save. He gets a visit from his future self who tries to warn his younger self that how it usually works is that someone else most likely will be sacrificed. Future Pike shows him this future with the time crystal he got from the Klingons monks from Boreth. In this future we meet the Romulans, with whom Captain Pike gets in a conflict and he is responsible they got a war on their hands. He also experiences what future him meant when he said that someone else will be sacrificed. In the finale moments number one gets arrested by Pike’s girlfriend we met in the pilot.


Final Word:

Finished in time for season two which is about to start. When this is posted online it most likely already has started. I think I would rate the first season 8 out of 10, a solid, entertaining TV show with lots and lots of potential. Of the new Star Trek, I think this is one is my favorite, although I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the 3rd season of Picard. Again though, I was disappointed that yet another season, besides of Worf, we didn’t get to see a Deep Space Nine character.

Add comment


There are no comments yet.

Create Your Own Website With JouwWeb