Members of the media across the nation got to do something fans everywhere wish they could. They got to watch the first five episodes of the newest Trek series — “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.” Thanks to this early VIP access, fans now have a sense of what the new show is all about and some of the opinions of those who have seen it.
Just to remind readers, “Strange New Worlds” is the twelfth spin-off from “Star Trek: The Original Series,” which began in 1966. This version of the Starship Enterprise will debut on May 5, 2022, and will stream for ten episodes. Anson Mount stars as Captain Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Una, and Ethan Peck as Spock.
‘Strange New Worlds’ Opening Titles
The rest of the Enterprise crew is filled out by Jess Bush as Nurse Christine Chapel, Christina Chong as the mysterious La’an Noonien-Singh, Celia Rose Gooding as the well-known Cadet Nyota Uhura, Melissa Navia as Lt. Erica Ortegas, Babs Olusanmokun as Dr. M’Benga, and Bruce Horak as Hemmer. And unlike most of the other new Trek series streaming today, this show will be made up of one-and-done stories — not a 10-episode saga.
The reviews are in, and they are mostly good. The following is a snapshot of just a few of the thoughts of those who have seen “Strange New Worlds.”
“The show looks great, moves quickly, and does everything it can to keep the audience entertained, wrote Zack Handlen of Variety. “At times, its excess of charms can border on cloying, and some of the attempts at moral lessons are distractingly ham-fisted, but everything passes by so smoothly it’s hard to hold a grudge. The going may not be as bold as it once was, but it’s fun and rarely insulting, and most of the time, that’s enough.”
Darren French of Entertainment Weekly gave the show a “B,” writing that “there’s no serialized narrative, something all the other recent Treks struggled with. Instead, the original Enterprise is back doing weekly missions. An approaching ion storm is weirder than the average ion storm. A mysterious ship does mysterious things.”
“[The show] doesn’t particularly care about the version of the Enterprise or its crew you may or may not be holding in your head, and heart,” wrote Glen Weldon of NPR. “It simply wants to tell Trek stories the way they used to be told — one space battle, one diplomatic summit, one alien virus, one spatial anomaly, one transporter accident at a time.”
Witney Seibold of SlashFilm wrote that “Strange New Worlds” is “quite simply, the best ‘Star Trek’ show in decades. After several high-profile, big-budget whiffs, Trek, I’m happy to say, has hit its stride.”
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Heavy writer Ian Spelling was on hand for the red carpet premiere of “Strange New Worlds” in New York City and met and interviewed a few of the stars, including Mount and Horak. Spelling is Trek journalism royalty, covering the franchise for over 30 years, and interviewing nearly every name imaginable. That includes the “Great Bird” himself, Gene Roddenberry.
“I thought that it gets back to the basics of ‘Star Trek,’” said Spelling. “We’re boldly going again, which I think a lot of people wanted to see. I think that they do a really good job with the cast. I think that all the actors in this are very, very good and will be exciting to watch.”
“I think they got really lucky with Anson Mount — who they road-tested Anson with ‘Discovery,’” said Spelling. “And also Ethan [Peck] and Rebecca [Romijn]. The chemistry between the three of them is really solid. So, what you’ve got is these three old pros for this very talented, young cast. In some ways, it’s kind of what you have for the characters.”
“I think that people are going to really love some of the new characters,” said Spelling. “I think that La’an (Chong) is going to be of interest to people. She’s got this chip on her shoulder, and I think over time, she will be embraced by the crew and probably chill a little bit.”
“What I like most about the first five episodes,” said Spelling, “is the whole concept of stand-alone episodes. You’ve got five different stories, and you’ve got a connecting thread in terms of the arcs of the characters. And that’s what is going to be cool.”
“Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” premieres on May 5, 2022, on the Paramount+ network.