Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - S1 E1 - "Strange New Worlds"

  
Via:  Dig  •  2 months ago  •  26 comments

By:   Samantha Coley

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - S1 E1 - "Strange New Worlds"
 

Sponsored by group STAR TREK

STAR TREK


original

From Collider

May 5, 2022

'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' Season 1 Episode 1 Review: First Contact Gone Wrong Makes Everything Alright

Welcome to the USS Enterprise.

original


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



The first episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds introduces the audience to a USS Enterprise and her crew that are both familiar and yet unexplored. Coming into a franchise nearly 60 years into its run is quite a task, and doing so as a prequel requires a delicate balance of uniqueness and tradition. Strange New Worlds has a long legacy to live up to and if the first episode is any indication, it's going to do so with ease.

Jumping into a franchise that has been around for as long as Star Trek has, with such an extensive back catalog of content can be overwhelming to new fans. Strange New Worlds Season 1 Episode 1 serves as a perfect entry point for new viewers, while also being packed to the brim with references to decades worth of lore for longtime fans. As a prequel to Star Trek: The Original Series, very little knowledge of the franchise is outright necessary to jump into the series as it begins. That being said, Star Trek fans who are familiar with the franchise are sure to get a kick out of this series as Strange New Worlds gives new life to characters we've only gotten glimpses of before, and fleshes out the universe in a way that is both fresh and exciting while staying true to the source material.

If anything, the most necessary information to know before diving into this pilot is that it takes place after the Season 2 finale of Star Trek: Discovery and 10 years before the events of The Original Series. Don't worry though, if you haven't seen Discovery, this episode still provides you with everything you need to know about these characters and their time there through effective flashbacks and discussion of Pike's vision of his own future. However, if you're looking for a primer before diving into the rest of the first season of Strange New Worlds, we've got you covered.

original

"Number One," whose name is Una Chin-Riley, (Rebecca Romijn) delivers a beautiful opening monologue that sets the tone for the series as we begin from the perspective of an alien world experiencing first contact with Starfleet. "Our first visit from the stars is always the province of children's stories and science fiction," she says, striking the right balance between wistful and thrilling.

We spend a decent portion of the beginning of the episode catching up with Captain Pike (Anson Mount) and Spock (Ethan Peck). We find Pike enjoying a lengthy shore leave on his ranch in Bear Creek, Montana. Having spent the night with a fellow captain (played by Wynonna Earp's Melanie Scrofano), Pike spends his mornings making pancakes and watching the very apt 1951 classic The Day The Earth Stood Still. It's immediately clear that Pike is still hung up on the vision he witnessed of his future — a secret he can only share with a select few. The pilot makes it clear that Pike knowing he has but a decade to live his life in a way that he's proud of and satisfied with will be a big motivator for him. "There's surviving and then there's living, it's your choice," Pike later tells a junior officer, which is very reflective of his journey in this episode. While he seems determined not to return to command right away, when his first officer goes missing he returns to the line of duty despite his lack of faith in himself.

Meanwhile, on Vulcan, Spock is actively courting T'Pring (Gia Sanhu), a character who was introduced in The Original Series. While bound to the strict logic and formal customs of Vulcan, these two play into the sweeping otherworldly romance of the moment quite well as the music and the setting lend a helping hand. While Spock readily accepts T'pring's proposal of marriage, it becomes clear almost immediately that they have quite different plans for their futures. T'Pring holds strong to the ways of Vulcan and doesn't really indicate any interest in exploring the galaxy. Spock, on the other hand, is fascinated by the differences between Vulcan and other worlds, and he's heavily committed to his duty with Starfleet — a fact that becomes quite clear when he leaves T'Pring on the night of their engagement to join Pike in searching for Una.

original

On the mission to rescue Una, we are introduced to the full crew of the USS Enterprise. First up is Lieutenant La'an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong), a new character introduced in the series as a descendant of infamous Star Trek villain Khan Noonien-Singh. She's got a tough exterior and a lot to prove as she serves as acting first officer in Una's absence. We also meet Helmsman Ortegas (Melissa Navia), who is infinitely cool, and a very green Cadet Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding) on her first rotation at communications. We later also meet Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush) and Doctor M'Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) who bring a healthy dose of warmth and humor to the Medbay. Romijn and Bush do an excellent job of jumping into two roles originated by the first lady of Star Trek, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, and differentiating them from each other.

The characters and relationships introduced in this episode of  Strange New Worlds  feel appropriately lived-in in many cases, while the new crew members feel fresh and full of possibility. Pike and Spock are motivated to go rescue Una, not only because it's their mission, and she's their fellow officer, but also because she's their friend. La'an is decidedly new but her subterfuge to ensure that she's on the team to rescue Una, her quick (and accurate) if brazen decisiveness, and her dark past tell us a lot about who she is. It's also revealed that Una and La'an also share a history.

original

On the planet where Una went missing, the Enterprise finds that their society hasn't built a warp drive — which is necessary before the Federation makes First Contact —but instead have developed a warp bomb. The society here is embroiled in conflict not too dissimilar from our own. Strange New Worlds upholds Star Trek's long legacy of reflecting social issues and commenting on the best route to a utopian sci-fi future. Despite the team's best efforts to uphold General Order One (soon to be the Prime Directive), Pike must introduce himself to the aliens, because the boiling point that this society is at with the invention of the warp bomb is partially their fault. Pike makes a classic Star Trek Captain decision to do what he knows is right, despite rules and Starfleet protocols.

While he tries to influence the planet's society for good by arguing for peace and debate, the leaders here aren't having it. Strange New Worlds stresses the ideal that those with the most power should then use it to create a better world for everyone. Pike uses his power as the Captain of the fleet's leading starship to open a line of dialogue between the warring factions on this planet. Using footage from the January 6 riots on the US capitol, and police violence during the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, Pike tells these people that they're headed for dark days if they don't take active measures to start hearing each other and seeking peace. He offers them the choice between continuing to war with each other and joining the Federation of Planets and driving their society into the future. Naturally, they choose to lift each other up and "reach for the stars," and in doing so, build a path to a beautiful future.

Overall, this episode does excellent work of setting up Strange New Worlds as a series that is just as determined to make its own unique impact as it is to honor the deep roots of the franchise. Strange New Worlds has ushered in the return of episodic Star Trek with integrity and a bold mission to continue exploring the galaxy through the lens of our humanity.


Tags

jrGroupDiscuss - desc
[]
 
Dig
PhD Guide
1  seeder  Dig    2 months ago

It's as if Anson Mount was born to play this role. 

Aside from a few less-than-ideal plot points that I'm totally going to let slide for the moment (wind turbines in an age of matter/antimatter reactors, aliens figuring out warp technology by looking through telescopes, warp bombs, genetic disguises, and a lightning-fast peace resolution among said aliens who supposedly hate each other), this show rocked!

It's only the first episode, but out of all the new shows this could be the best so far (IMO). I already love the ship and the overall feel of the show. Here's hoping the writers are a little more careful with their story details going forward, though.

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
1.1  XXJefferson51  replied to  Dig @1    2 months ago

Is there any positive influence from Star Trek Enterprise in the initial set up of the new series?  

 
 
 
Dig
PhD Guide
1.1.1  seeder  Dig  replied to  XXJefferson51 @1.1    2 months ago

The only reference to ENT that I've noticed so far is the starship Archer; which, now that I'm thinking about it, apparently only had a crew of three – the people Pike was sent to rescue. But a crew that small on a full-sized starship doesn't really make sense, so maybe I misunderstood something there. It was almost certainly named after Captain Archer, though.

Most of the other references that I noticed were from Discovery.

 
 
 
Dig
PhD Guide
1.1.2  seeder  Dig  replied to  Dig @1.1.1    2 months ago

Oh, and the character Hemmer (who we haven't met yet) is an Aenar, which is a subspecies of Andorians introduced in ENT. From what I've read he's going to be the chief engineer, even though he's nearly blind.

 
 
 
Snuffy
Senior Guide
2  Snuffy    2 months ago

I loved how the supporting characters were more alive and involved rather than just appearing in the background as decoration.  Uhrua and Chapel were spunky, so very unlike how the characters were in the original series.  

 
 
 
Dig
PhD Guide
2.1  seeder  Dig  replied to  Snuffy @2    2 months ago

I'm liking all of the characters so far, as well. Can't wait to meet Hemmer, probably in next week's episode.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
2.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @2.1    2 months ago

TBH, Chapel annoys me a bit.  She's a bit too jocular.  It comes across as immature, IMO.

 
 
 
Dig
PhD Guide
2.1.2  seeder  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2.1.1    2 months ago
I'm not surprised but am a little disappointed female crew aren't in the miniskirts and knee high boots of the original Star Trek.

No one actually annoyed me in the first one, but time will tell. I might agree with you in a few more episodes, but at the moment I still like everyone.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
2.1.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @2.1.2    2 months ago

I'm not saying I can't appreciate a joke.  But she seems to be always joking, even at inappropriate times.  Not the best bedside manner, IMO.

 
 
 
Freefaller
Professor Participates
3  Freefaller    2 months ago

A few points of concern were

- Beaming off the ship in uniform without any equipment but arriving on the alien planet with local clothing with tricorders and communicater, and they did this by combining the clothing, equipment and person in the buffer during the transport process.  WTF they weren't doing this during any of the later Treks

- A little too much character angst about their futures and pasts for my tastes and a heavier than expected reliance on diplomacy and too little action.  Getting a very TNG feel about this series.

- I'm not surprised but am a little disappointed female crew aren't in the miniskirts and knee high boots of the original Star Trek.

However like Snuffy said I did like the greater development of some formerly minor character especially Nurse Chapel as a civilian geneticists instead of just a pretty face and possible love interest in a short miniskirts

 
 
 
Snuffy
Senior Guide
3.1  Snuffy  replied to  Freefaller @3    2 months ago
- Beaming off the ship in uniform without any equipment but arriving on the alien planet with local clothing with tricorders and communicater, and they did this by combining the clothing, equipment and person in the buffer during the transport process.  WTF they weren't doing this during any of the later Treks

Yes.  And the spore drive from Discovery which initially took place about 10 years before the  original series with Kirk,  but all information on that is gone now?

- I'm not surprised but am a little disappointed female crew aren't in the miniskirts and knee high boots of the original Star Trek.

From this article, Rebecca Romijn and possibly a few others were wearing the miniskirt dress.  It's hard to see due to lighting in the last scene on the bridge but she is wearing the dress on top but I could not tell if she was wearing pants below or very dark tights.  But she demanded that they bring back the Star Trek dress.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
3.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Snuffy @3.1    2 months ago
From this article, Rebecca Romijn and possibly a few others were wearing the miniskirt dress.  It's hard to see due to lighting in the last scene on the bridge but she is wearing the dress on top but I could not tell if she was wearing pants below or very dark tights.

It was a long tunic and tights.  And I think it was longer in the show than in that pic.

 
 
 
Dig
PhD Guide
3.1.2  seeder  Dig  replied to  Snuffy @3.1    2 months ago
But she demanded that they bring back the Star Trek dress.

The like you provided says she'll wear the skirt a lot this season, so maybe we just haven't seen it yet.

That article also mentioned something I hadn't heard about before:

"one of Captain Pike's wardrobe options will have longtime "Trek" fans losing their minds"

I am soooo hoping that's not going to be anything like those manskirts from TNG, like in the pic I posted below.

 
 
 
Freefaller
Professor Participates
3.1.3  Freefaller  replied to  Snuffy @3.1    2 months ago
From this article, Rebecca Romijn and possibly a few others were wearing the miniskirt dress.

Thanks I did not notice, I thought they were all wearing long jackets and pants

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
3.1.4  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @3.1.2    2 months ago

Check the closing scene of the first episode, around the time they introduce Samuel Kirk.  She's walking around the bridge, and she's wearing a dress or tunic over black leggings.  So, yeah, she's wearing the dress, but no, it's not as deliberately sexed-up as in TOS.  It's more like the ones in your comment @3.3, but with leggings underneath.

 
 
 
Dig
PhD Guide
3.1.5  seeder  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1.4    2 months ago

I'm planning on watching it again tonight. I'll keep an eye out for that and more. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
3.1.6  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @3.1.5    2 months ago

I watched it for the second time today.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
3.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  Freefaller @3    2 months ago
- Beaming off the ship in uniform without any equipment but arriving on the alien planet with local clothing with tricorders and communicater, and they did this by combining the clothing, equipment and person in the buffer during the transport process.  WTF they weren't doing this during any of the later Treks

I'm really not sure what advantage this gives.  Just change into local clothing before transporting and carry necessary hand-held equipment onto the transport pad.  This just seemed like unnecessary bells and whistles that could (and did) go wrong.

a heavier than expected reliance on diplomacy and too little action.  Getting a very TNG feel about this series.

I'm ok with that, but TNG was my favorite series.

I'm not surprised but am a little disappointed female crew aren't in the miniskirts and knee high boots of the original Star Trek.

They were never especially practical.

 
 
 
Snuffy
Senior Guide
3.2.1  Snuffy  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.2    2 months ago
I'm not surprised but am a little disappointed female crew aren't in the miniskirts and knee high boots of the original Star Trek.
They were never especially practical.

But it was hip...   The mini skirt came into fashion in 1964 and the original Star Trek first showed in 1966.  This was an effort to bring the "hip" young boys and girls to the show.

 
 
 
Freefaller
Professor Participates
3.2.2  Freefaller  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.2    2 months ago
Just change into local clothing before transporting and carry necessary hand-held equipment onto the transport pad

I agree that seems easier, aside from the tecnological nightmare of trying to combine it all in transit.  One little glitch enroute and someone (probably wearing a red shirt) has a tricorder imbedded in their head.

I'm ok with that, but TNG was my favorite series.

I'm more of a Voyager fan

They were never especially practical.

Lol no they weren't but they did have their positive points (remember I was about 14 when I first started seeing the original Star Trek)

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
3.2.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  Freefaller @3.2.2    2 months ago
someone (probably wearing a red shirt) has a tricorder imbedded in their head.

jrSmiley_91_smiley_image.gif

I liked Voyager, too, but I felt like it had more weak episodes than TNG, and the writing wasn't as strong.

 
 
 
Dig
PhD Guide
3.3  seeder  Dig  replied to  Freefaller @3    2 months ago
Beaming off the ship in uniform without any equipment but arriving on the alien planet with local clothing with tricorders and communicater, and they did this by combining the clothing, equipment and person in the buffer during the transport process.  WTF they weren't doing this during any of the later Treks

I always thought they should have been doing that all along, but it is strange to just start with it in a pre-Kirk show.

I'm not surprised but am a little disappointed female crew aren't in the miniskirts and knee high boots of the original Star Trek.

Just be thankful we haven't seen any of these miniskirts, lol...

original

 
 
 
Freefaller
Professor Participates
3.3.1  Freefaller  replied to  Dig @3.3    2 months ago
Just be thankful we haven't seen any of these miniskirts, lol....

AAcckk!! I had managed to erase those images from my memory, thanks alot

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
4  Perrie Halpern R.A.    2 months ago

I have to say, that I love the cast. They were all well chosen.

Normally I am a bit of a stickler for details, but I am willing to give this one a bit more leeway for a while. I'm still loving the general concept.

 
 
 
Dig
PhD Guide
4.1  seeder  Dig  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4    2 months ago
I am willing to give this one a bit more leeway for a while.

Me too. 

 
 
 
evilgenius
PhD Guide
5  evilgenius    2 months ago

I had fun with the watch party. There is just enough there in the show to get me to watch the next episode. 

 
 

Who is online

Lemuel G
Gazoo
bbl-1
Thrawn 31


31 visitors