Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Premiere Episodes Show A Return To Peak Classic Trek

Published by Shah Shahid on

It’s an amazing time to be a Star Trek fan. One of the biggest and most iconic science fiction franchises is in a massive resurgence right now. Star Trek currently has multiple shows on the air, both live-action and animated. The newest of which is the upcoming Star Trek: Strange New Worlds premiere. While a new entry into the Star Trek universe, the series actually harkens back to Star Trek: The Original Series. Set in that time, the Strange New Worlds premiere episodes showcase stories of characters in the original era of the franchise. While doing so takes some tricky navigating, so as to not undermine the canon of the franchise, it does so deftly. My Star Trek: Strange New Worlds review will show just why this is the Trek that we’ve all been waiting for. 

Please note: This Star Trek: Strange New Worlds review will feature spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery. Given that this series spin-off of that show. 

This Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Review Has To Mention Star Trek Discovery

The new-old crew of the Enterprise. | Image via Paramount+

If you haven’t been keeping up with the new iteration of Star Trek, read on, but beware of spoilers. This resurgence of Star Trek began with Star Trek: Discovery. That show was also set in the original timeline of the Star Trek universe, during the time of The Original Series. This is separate from the Kelvin-timeline established by the 2009 feature film reboot by J. J. Abrams.

While Discovery introduced a brand new story, elements of it weaved into the timeline of the first Star Trek show. Discovery’s story featured Michael Burnham (Soneque Martin-Green) who was the iconic Spock’s adopted human sister. While this was seemingly a ret-con, given that Spock never speaks of a sister in the entire Star Trek franchise, the show found the perfect way around it in the season 2 finale. 

Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery even had Spock himself appear, now played by Ethan Peck, who played a prominent role in the story. This also saw other elements from the original series, like the flagship Enterprise itself, along with its 2nd in-canon Captain, Christopher Pike, make an appearance. Played by Anson Mount, Pike took over the Discovery temporarily. The character and his performance were so beloved that Paramount agreed to do a spin-off with the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds premiere. And it was a pretty good decision, to say the least. 

Strange New Worlds Premiere Episodes Are Excellent

The heroes of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. | Image via Paramount+

This review of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will be completely spoiler-free, and focus on the first five episodes of the first season. We already have confirmation of season 2 in production, with a fan favourite character appearing in this new series. But season 1 is set to premiere on May 5 on Paramount+. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ premiere episode is nearly perfect. It’s extremely accessible to newcomers who know nothing about Trek, or even the previous appearances of these characters in Discovery’s season 2. However, for fans of the franchise, there’s so much to cheer on! 

The premiere episode of Strange New Worlds features the themes that franchise creator Gene Roddenberry envisioned. It’s all about people from all walks of life, united in this idealistic future where they spread a message of peace while exploring the depths of their own galaxy. Strange New Worlds premiere introduces the audience to the crew of the Enterprise. As seen in the trailers, the current captain of the Enterprise, Pike, is on a hiatus on a gorgeous snowy ranch in Montana.

He is clearly avoiding dealing with something— something he experienced during season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery. However, he’s reluctantly called back to action when a crisis engages the Enterprise. This premiere is an action-packed adventure with humour and heart and it completely sets the stage for what’s to come. The rest of the four episodes take those feelings a step further as we become even more invested in this ship, its crew and all of their individual stories. 

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Premiere Starts Strong

Doctor-doctor! | Image via Paramount+

What I love about the Strange New Worlds premiere episodes is just how fun it is. Don’t get me wrong. I love Star Trek: Discovery and its very dark storylines about war and the future of the Federation. It takes advantage of being on a streaming platform with helpful amounts of violence, gore and profanity. Something that many have criticized the show for since its debut.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, however, takes all of that into account and creates a show that strikes the right balance between compelling, bright and very enjoyable. Visually it feels very much like the Abrams’ 2009 reboot, but sans the lens flares and janky camera work. The new series takes the best of old Trek, combined with the best of new Trek and creates a new show that should appeal to all fans of the franchise. Hopefully, at least.

But what sets Strange New Worlds apart is its immensely likeable cast and the charming chemistry they all have with one another. Mount leads the cast, reprising his role from Discovery season 2. And while Mount didn’t have the pressure of leading a show then, he carries over the swagger into Strange New Worlds seamlessly. This time around though, he has some demons he’s gotta deal with. And that adds this weight and substance to the character that we hadn’t seen before. But it doesn’t feel out of place or forced, and transitions nicely from his previous appearances. In many ways, this is the role Mount was born to play. But there are so many other players to talk about in this Star Trek: Strange New Worlds review.

The Cast Of Strange New Worlds Is Super Charming

The new Lt. Uhura from Star Trek: Strange New Worlds | Image via Paramount+

Joining Mount is his Number One, Rebecca Romijn, who gets a lot more to do in this show, from her previous appearances on Discovery. Ethan Peck reprises his role as Spock and the premiere episodes showcase his significance in the series as well. It feels like we’re gonna get a lot more of Spock’s personal life in this show than we might have gotten before. What’s interesting about Strange New Worlds also, is that it is in the canonical prime timeline of Star Trek. So at some point, the adventures of this crew will catch up to where James T. Kirk joins the ship as captain. And with that in mind, a familiar character in the form of Lt. Uhura is also part of Strange New Worlds, played by Celia Rose Gooding. 

Despite all the things Strange New Worlds premiere episodes give us, it’s still too early to tell what the overall plan is with this series. It is a prequel to the even of the William Shatner starring Original Series. But if the show catches up to that time, will it continue on and just reboot the events of that series? Or will it end once it catches up to stories we’ve already seen in the Original? It’s too soon to tell.

But in the meantime, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is a return to the classic Trek that audiences know and love. It revels in its throwbacks and brings a modern-day sensibility to the development of its classic characters. Set before the strict guidelines of the eventual Federation, there’s a bit of reckless space cowboy-ing too. Something that reminds me of the haphazard ways that the crew of Star Trek: Enterprise operated. In the best possible way. 

Star Trek: Strange New World premieres on May 5 on Paramount+. 

Are you excited about this brand new Star Trek series? Or are you worried about how this might mess up the timeline of the canon Star Trek stories? Let me know in the comments below. Or on Twitter @theshahshahid.

Featured image via Paramount+. 


Shah Shahid

Entertainment Writer | Film & TV Critic | Bollywood Blogger | Host of Split Screen Podcast | Proud Geek Girl Dad

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