By many standards, Episode 8 of “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” was a bit of an outlier. It may have been fun for the cast and crew — and especially the wardrobe team of “The Elysian Kingdom,” but it was a waste of time for some fans.
By scrolling through the comments on Heavy of Star Trek’s Facebook page, one can ‘read the room’ of the disappointment of “The Elysian Kingdom.”
“I’ve loved this series so far, but this was the first completely dreadful episode from start to finish,” said one fan.
“I absolutely hated this episode,” said another Trek fan. “Made me cringe. Still love the series.”
“I’m enjoying the series, but I literally couldn’t finish this episode,” said yet another fan.
While these are just a few of the opinions shared publicly, it could just be a glimpse of what Trek fans felt overall. In a way, “The Elysian Kingdom” was following in the footsteps of many “Star Trek” episodes from the past. Including the classic “Next Generation” story “Q-Pid,” which featured the crew of the Enterprise acting out the Robin Hood fantasy. The god-like Q (John de Lancie) made this scenario believable.
This and other holodeck episodes allowed the TNG writers to step out of the Trek storyline and experiment. Otherwise, fans would never have seen Patrick Stewart dressed as an Errol Flynn-era of Robin Hood. And who can forget one of Lt. Worf’s most significant lines: “I am NOT a merry man!” Without “Q-Pid” and the episodes like it, viewers would never know the glory of Worf smashing Geordi’s lute.
Nevertheless, fantasy episodes like “Q-Pid” or Voyager’s “Bride of Chaotica!” are remembered fondly by many fans.
But for Episode 9 of “Strange New Worlds,” fans appear to be in for a different genre. Instead of fantasy, the Enterprise crew must face a threat from the shadows. Much like the classic action films “Alien,” “Aliens,” and “Predator,” it looks like Captain Pike (Anson Mount) and his team will encounter an aggressive alien species. “Star Trek” will dive into an episode of “space horror.”
‘All Those Who Wander’ Teaser Trailer
Thanks to a preview trailer from Paramount+, fans can get a peek at what is in store for the crew. Breaking down the trailer goes as follows:
The Enterprise received a message from Starfleet Command to investigate a distress call from the USS Peregrine. When the Enterprise arrived at the planet where the signal originated (think of an ice world, as seen in “Star Trek (2009)” or “Empire Strikes Back”), they found the Peregrine resting on the surface.
Apparently, Spock (Ethan Peck), Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding), La’an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong), Pike, and the rest of the landing party discover a captain’s log entry aboard the Peregrine. This recording stated that they “found infected castaways. Stay away.”
If Pike and the rest heeded this warning, then there would be no story. So, Samuel Kirk (Dan Jeannotte) and the rest slowly explore the downed vessel. What they find inside is unclear, except that it must be scary as Gre’thor. Anything that makes Spock scream in horror has got to be serious.
This episode delves into what can go wrong in off worldly exploration. To quote Dr. Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban), “space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence.” Usually, these dangers are not part of Trek stories, as most visits to Class M planets require no special protective gear or EV suits. This episode, “All Those Who Wander,” proves that space is still dangerous.
While the menace aboard the Peregrine might feel new and scary, it is interesting to compare what is known about “All Those Who Wander” to the classic “Voyager” episode — “Macrocosm.” This story also featured an alien invasion aboard a starship. Still, instead of getting tapped on the shoulder from behind — like in the “All Those Who Wander” teaser — the crew was infected by a gigantic virus.
In the end, Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) herself was the only one who could stop these terrible creatures. As they morphed into large, winged creatures, Janeway used a phaser rifle to destroy them. At the same time, the Doctor (Robert Picardo) worked on a vaccine. Anyone who gets the “heebie-jeebies” from the sound of insects buzzing around should avoid “Macrocosm.”
It is interesting to note that the USS Peregrine appears to be a Constitution-class vessel in this episode. Later, the Peregrine would be its own class of small fighter spacecraft and was a part of the classic DS9 episode, “Sacrifice of Angels.”
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