Of the newer, post-2017 Star Treks, my personal favorite would have to be Strange New Worlds (SNW), mainly because it feels truest to what Star Trek used to be about; exploring new worlds and new civilizations, while allegorically addressing the many social, cultural and political ills of present-day ‘Spaceship Earth.’
Classic & New Characters
SNW features a cast composed of legacy and new characters within the Star Trek universe, all aboard a starship Enterprise in the years before James T. Kirk takes command in the original series (1966-1969). Legacy characters include Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), “Number One” Una Chin-Riley (Rebecca Romijn), Lt. Spock (Ethan Peck), Cadet Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding), Chief Medical Officer Dr. M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun), and Nurse Christina Chapel (Jess Bush), all of whom have been featured in previous incarnations of Star Trek. Newer characters created for this series include Security Chief La’an Noonien Singh (Christina Chong) and Helm officer Erica Ortegas (Melissa Navia). SNW’s seamless integration of classic and new characters (deftly brought to life by their respective actors) has been exiting to watch. Something old, something new; truly the ‘best of both worlds’…
Welcome Aboard, Chief Engineer Pelia (Carol Kane)
Following the death of Chief Engineer Hemmer (Bruce Horak) in season one, the trailer gives us a glimpse of the new Chief Engineer, Pelia (Carol Kane). Carol Kane is a longtime veteran actress, appearing in “Dog Day Afternoon” (1975), “When a Stranger Calls” (1979) “The Princess Bride,” (1987) and even playing herself in “Man on the Moon” (1999). In the classic TV series “Taxi” (1978-1983), Kane played Simka Gravas, the wife of immigrant garage mechanic Latka Gravas, played by the legendary comic actor, Andy Kaufman (1949-1984). Personally, I’m very excited to see what this talented veteran actress will bring to Pike’s dinner table…
Kirk meets Khan’s…descendant?
We first met SNW’s version of future Enterprise captain James T. Kirk, as played by Paul Wesley, in an alternate-future seen in the season one finale, “Quality of Mercy” (a quasi-remake of TOS’ “Balance of Terror”). Nothing against the actor, but as seen onscreen, this new Kirk felt a little too generic, with none of William Shatner’s (or Chris Pine’s) little neuroses and ticks that make the character so much more than just an action figure. Nevertheless, Kirk finally boards his future command in the flesh next season, and he also appears to make even stoic Security Chief La’an Noonien Singh (Christina Chong) a bit hot under the collar…
Note: It’s interesting that La’an’s direct ancestor is none other than the dreaded late 20th century genetically-engineered augment ruler, Khan Noonien Singh, who will meet Kirk face-to-face in TOS: “Space Seed” and, with even greater consequences, in 1982’s hit feature film, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”
Clinging to the Klingons.
Hold onto your gagh–the Klingons return. More accurately, they’ve never left–having been in every iteration of Star Trek, from their debut in 1967’s “Errand of Mercy” (TOS) to the present-day. Over the years, their appearance has evolved considerably, much like their relationship with the Federation; going from sworn-enemy to wartime ally (just as the ‘Organians’ first predicted). At the time of SNW (the early 2260s), the Klingons are still considered enemies of the Federation, with whom they are always on the cusp of all-out war…
To those who enjoy the action-adventure aspect of Star Trek, the trailer also promised some spectacular moments in that regard, as well…
Whatever happens next, it looks like a wild warp ahead when “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” returns in June.
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I don’t have Paramount+ so don’t get to watch any of the new Treks except Prodigy which airs on Nickelodeon too. I would really love to see Strange New Worlds and Picard if I ever get to b e opportunity.
I don’t know if this helps, but as of last month, season 1 of “Star Trek: Strange New Works” is available on DVD and BluRay; in fact, I bought a copy at my local Barnes and Noble.
Good luck. 🙂
Although prequel Star Treks these days might run the risk of draining the impacts of events and people from the original shows, it’s great when they can somehow have certain appeals that the original shows didn’t. SNW has so far qualified and unlike Discovery and Picard, it’s not too overwhelming or complicated for my tastes.
DSC and PIC sometimes leave me overwhelmed with their needlessly complicated plots, which often feel protracted to make 6 or so extra episodes out of a 2-hour story.