REVIEW: ‘Star Trek Strange New Worlds’ Season 1 Taps into Classic Storytelling

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Star Trek Strange New Worlds Season 1 Review

Paramount+ is on an absolute whirlwind lately when it comes to Star Trek, with a whopping four active shows on the platform, with a fifth set to drop soon. What has me so excited about the potential future for this franchise is not just the variety in storytelling perspectives, but also the medium in which it’s delivered. Paramount+ has proven that this world has plenty of space for further exploration. This is a brilliant segue to introduce you to the next iteration of this beloved franchise, Star Trek Strange New Worlds Season 1. Make it so!

The show, based on some of the fan favorites from Star Trek Discovery Season 2, follows the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise during the time the ship was led by Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) along with Number One (Rebecca Romijn), and Spock (Ethan Peck) as well as some other familiar faces. The assignment is to push the boundaries of known space and boldly go where no crew has gone before.

I’ve had the pleasure of watching the first five episodes of the show and let me tell you I had an absolute blast. The series manages to tap into a familiar tone that is reminiscent of the original show, with each episode exploring a new adventure while taking the time to get to know each of the crew members. Unlike a series such as Star Trek Picard which has a very direct narrative that threads through the whole season, Strange New Worlds does exactly what it says on the tin. The “adventure of the week” is a storytelling method I was very familiar with growing up in the dark ages of television back before streaming was ever conceived and cable TV was king. I was a little leary on whether the showrunners (Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers) could pull it off, but full credit to them, because they nailed it.

One massively obvious reason that the series is so delightful is due in part to the cast being so damn charming and charismatic. Led by Mount as Captain Pike, the success of Strange New Worlds needs to work here first and foremost otherwise everything else around the U.S.S. Enterprise simply crumbles away. Star Trek has a history of serving up these larger-than-life figures who embody the type of leadership that inspires us to be better and defend those who need our help. I was surprised, but Mount came through in this role, and while he’s no Picard (Picard stans unite), he does a bloody brilliant job of rising to the task of performances set down before him. Firstly I need to applaud Mount’s impeccable hairstyle because he is rocking the hell out of it. Not something I usually call out, but physically Mount’s version of Pike is incredibly suave, so the hairstyle adds value to his overall demeanor.

If we’re talking demeanor, we have to spend some time discussing Ethan Peck‘s portrayal of Spock as well which grew on me as the series progressed. The ensemble cast was impressively selected and no matter whether the crew was in a life or death situation, or helplessly stumbling into hijinks I was invested in them all as a crew, as a team. The cast has lovely on-screen chemistry that projects that this was an incredibly fun show to film which works to its benefit.

Visually, Star Trek shows in the last few years have found their niche in the VFX departments and Star Trek Strange New Worlds is no exception in this department. The set designs, down to the costuming, and all of the glorious special effects used to create the action sequences in space were incredibly enjoyable.

The one downside of the show, especially with modern audiences, will undoubtedly be the perceived lack of focused storyline carrying throughout the season, and while I’ve only seen 5 of the 13 episodes on display, you can already see there’s some groundwork being laid for larger character development opening up an interesting opportunity to revisit some classic Star Trek stories of the past.

Star Trek Strange New Worlds feels so comfortably familiar by tapping into the roots of what made the original show such a success, but with the modernization of the visuals, complete with a brilliant ensemble cast I find myself even more invested than I ever have been. Anson Mount captivates as Captain Pike creating an alluring and incredibly influential character that rises to the standards of past Starfleet Captains that have come before him. The adventure of the week method of storytelling might be frustrating for some but I’ve got to say for me it was so bloody entertaining!

Star Trek Strange New Worlds Season 1 debuts its premiere episode exclusively on Paramount+ on Thursday, May 5th with the remaining episodes releasing weekly after that.


Star Trek Strange New Worlds Season 1
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

Star Trek Strange New Worlds feels so comfortably familiar by tapping into the roots of what made the original show such a success, but with the modernization of the visuals, complete with a brilliant ensemble cast I find myself even more invested than I ever have been. Anson Mount captivates as Captain Pike creating an alluring and incredibly influential character that rises to the standards of past Starfleet Captains that have come before him. The adventure of the week method of storytelling might be frustrating for some but I’ve got to say for me it was so bloody entertaining!