Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: everything we know
Picking up after the events of Star Trek: Discovery season 2, new series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will follow the missions of Captain Christopher Pike, Lt Spock and Number One on board the USS Enterprise – a decade or so before Kirk takes the helm.
“When we said we heard the fans’ outpouring of love for Pike, Number One and Spock when they boarded Star Trek: Discovery last season, we meant it,” executive producer and franchise overlord Alex Kurtzman told StarTrek.com when Star Trek: Strange New Worlds was announced in May 2020. “These iconic characters have a deep history in Star Trek canon, yet so much of their stories have yet to be told. The Enterprise, its crew and its fans are in for an extraordinary journey to new frontiers in the Star Trek universe.”
The writers are also promising a more episodic approach to storytelling than we’ve seen in the show’s stablemates, Discovery and Picard. The journey to release for this one has been a little slow – but filming is basically done, now, with a release date expected in 2022. Here everything we know so far about Star Trek: Strange New Worlds so far.
What is it? A Star Trek: Discovery spin-off featuring the adventures of Captain Christopher Pike, Science Officer Spock and first officer Number One on the USS Enterprise, a decade before James T Kirk takes command. Expect episodic Trek adventures, a little more in the style of the older Trek shows.
Release date: Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is expected to release some time in 2022. The main bulk of filming wrapped up in July 2021.
Cast: Alongside its familiar trio of lead characters (still played by Anson Mount, Ethan Peck and Rebecca Romijn), five new crew members will be taking their places on the Enterprise bridge. Read more about them below.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds release date
Having been held up by coronavirus delays, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds belatedly went into production in Toronto in March 2021. Toronto’s website states that the project ‘Star Trek’ was under production there, and will run for 10 episodes.
Star Anson Mount revealed that filming wrapped up in late July 2021, with some reshoots still planned.
Paramount Plus is yet to confirm a launch date, but seeing as Trek shows are traditionally effects-heavy and require a long time in post-production, we don’t expect to the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds release date to arrive before 2022. That means it’ll almost definitely land after Star Trek: Discovery season 4 (confirmed for late 2021), though whether or not it’ll beat Star Trek: Picard season 2 out of Spacedock is uncertain at this time. (Still, at least we won’t be waiting as long as we will for fellow Discovery spin-off Section 31 – that show’s still looking for a greenlight…)
While we know Strange New Worlds will stream on Paramount Plus in the US, it may vary depending on where you are. The streamer is set to launch in the UK in 2022 – we’d expect to see Strange New Worlds streaming on there.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds trailer
It’s still early days, so there’s no trailer – though stars Anson Mount, Ethan Peck and Rebecca Romijn did beam in an announcement video in May 2020:
As you’d expect, the party line is very much that the show exists because of fan demand. “Without you this wouldn’t be happening,” says Peck, while Mount explains a bit about the tone of the series. “[It’s] a classic Star Trek show that deals with optimism and the future.”
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds cast
Having owned the bridge when seconded to Star Trek: Discovery’s second season, Anson Mount is back in the captain’s chair as Captain Christopher Pike. Meanwhile, after proving himself worthy of donning the pointy ears that once belonged to Leonard Nimoy, Ethan Peck returns as Spock. And Rebecca Romijn, who made a few guest appearances in Discovery, reprises her role as first officer/helmsperson Number One.
A ‘start of production’ video released in March 2021 introduced five other members of the cast:
The five new additions to the USS Enterprise bridge crew are Melissa Navia (Dietland), Celia Rose Gooding (Jagged Little Pill), Christina Chong (Doctor Who, Line of Duty), Babs Olusanmokun (Black Mirror), and Jess Bush (Skinford). We can’t wait to see what roles they’re all going to be playing in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds story
Star Trek: Discovery spoilers ahead – proceed with caution if you haven’t seen season 2.
Pike, Spock and Number One have been part of the Star Trek story even longer than James T Kirk – they were on board the Enterprise in original Star Trek pilot ‘The Cage’, unaired in the ’60s and set more than a decade before Kirk’s famous five-year mission. Jeffrey Hunter, Leonard Nimoy and Majel Barrett originated the three roles.
While we know that the trio have been together at least three years by the time Star Trek: Strange New Worlds kicks off and that a tragic fate awaits Pike – more on that later – most of their voyages remain undocumented. That means it’s prime storytelling territory.
“We’re going to try to harken back to some classical Trek values, to be optimistic, and to be more episodic,” executive producer Akiva Goldsman (and director of the Strange New Worlds pilot episode) told Varietyin May 2020. “Obviously, we will take advantage of the serialized nature of character and story building. But I think our plots will be more closed-ended than you’ve seen in either Discovery or Picard.
“I think what we would want to do is keep the characters having moved through and recognizing the experiences they’ve had in previous episodes,” he added, “but to be able to tell contained, episodic stories.”
Goldsman explained a bit more in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter in April: “If you think back to the original [Star Trek] series, it was tonally more liberal – I don‘t mean in terms of politics but it could sort of be more fluid. Like sometimes Robert Bloch would write a horror episode. Or Harlan Ellison would have ‘City on the Edge of Forever’, which is hard sci-fi. Then there would be comedic episodes like ‘Shore Leave’ or ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’. So [co-showrunner] Henry Alonso Myers and myself are trying to serve that. We’ve all become very enamored, myself included, with serialized storytelling. Picard is deeply serialized but Strange New Worlds is very much adventure-of-the-week, but with serialized character arcs.”
All this suggests that the show will get back to the more episodic structure that defined the Original Series and much of the Next Generation era – a radical departure from the heavily serialized Discovery and Picard. Indeed, the ability to visit a huge galaxy of, well, strange new worlds, should allow the show to feel different from week to week – a versatile formula that’s a big reason for the franchise’s longevity.
Going on Mount’s performance in Discovery, Pike is the ideal captain for an optimistic mission of exploration. We can also expect to see a Spock more prone to displays of emotion than his Original Series counterpart – in ‘The Cage’, Number One was the more buttoned-up, logical member of the crew, with her personality traits passing to the Vulcan when Star Trek went to series. Maybe we’ll also get to find out if Number One has a surname – Discovery confirmed her first name is Una, but that’s all we know.
Despite being made half a century after the Original Series, the look of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will echo those early ’60s designs – from the starship interiors to the Starfleet uniforms.
“It’s a fine line because, obviously, we want to keep continuity with the storytelling and the style, but we also want Strange New Worlds to be a different show,” Goldsman told the Hollywood Reporter. “It’s not Discovery. There are a few more reach-backs [to the Original Series] and the uniforms have been adjusted slightly, the sets are slightly different. Remember, the Enterprise existed as a little piece [of Star Trek: Discovery], but now it’s its own object. When you close your eyes and think of the key sets and situations that you think of the Original Series, that’s what we’re looking to do.”
Intriguingly, at this point in the Star Trek timeline, Kirk and other members of the original crew must be out there somewhere in the universe, so the smart money would be on a few headline-grabbing (recast) guest appearances – as the older members of the Original Series line-up, McCoy and Scotty would seem prime candidates. We’d also be very surprised if James Frain doesn’t reprise his Discovery role as Spock’s dad, Sarek – though Starfleet regulations may prevent them from talking about Spock’s adoptive sister, Michael Burnham, after her top secret one-way mission to the distant future.
And then there’s Pike’s tragic story…
When we meet him in Original Series two-parter ‘The Menagerie’, it’s revealed that he’s been left severely disabled by a radiation leak. In Discovery, he’s forced to endure a vision of that future. It’ll be intriguing to see how that knowledge preys on his mind, and how much it plays into Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ story.
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September 6, 2021 at 09:23AM