The Strange New Worlds segment of the Star Trek Day celebration included stars Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, and Rebecca Romijn, and executive producers Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alsonso Myers. While they were careful not to reveal big spoilers, they did say enough for us to learn some interesting information about the sets, Captain Pike, and Spock.
Making the Enterprise come to life
While a few sets for the USS Enterprise were created for season two of Star Trek: Discovery, we can see in the character reveal video released last week that those have been updated, and new sets have been created for Strange New Worlds. Co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers spoke about the approach taken to recreating the Enterprise:
When you are on it, the set feels like a spaceship. It feels like we built a spaceship. Everything works. You touch things, they react. All the monitors are running things. We have an incredible motion graphics department that comes up with different things that appear on the monitors in response to what our characters are doing. You forget you are on a soundstage in Toronto.
The character video provided us with some glimpses of a few of the sets, giving a bit of a sense of what Myers was talking about.
Later, Myers spoke specifically about the transporter room set as his favorite connection to TOS:
It’s a little like I remember going to see Star Trek: The Motion Picture after watching The Original Series and being, “Oh my god, they have all the money, they have all the special effects!” To me, the most exciting thing about [Strange New Worlds] was seeing just the transporter room, and seeing what you can do with the transporter room like in a contemporary production context, which is quite a lot. It comes to life in a way you don’t even quite realize until you are standing right in front of it.
The transporter room was also featured in the character video.
Pike’s quarters get a facelift… and a kitchen
One particular set got a lot of attention. When asked what non-spoiler thing they could share about shooting Strange New Worlds, Anson Mount spoke effusively about Pike’s quarters:
The sets are really next level, the first time I got to see the captain’s quarters… they’re the coolest captain’s quarters. Our production designer Jonathan Lee just did such a phenomenal job of maintaining the classic look with the mid-century modern esthetic from the late ’60s—I think you’ll see an homage to that, along with a more modern take.
Co-creator Akiva Goldsman added more about Pike’s quarters:
There’s not that much we really know about Captain Pike… we started talking about what kind of leader Captain Pike was… in just getting to know Anson… he gets the group together, he is a leader, and we started talking about how Anson leads, and how he likes to create consensus and how he likes to do that over a table. And we suddenly started redesigning Captain Pike’s quarters to be around a table, to let it be a place where someone can cook for the people who are his crew—that the way to understand how Pike leads is to see Pike’s heart, which is Pike’s kitchen.
Rocking out on the bridge… and yes, things still explode
When asked what was particularly memorable for her during production, Rebecca Romijn said she was always emotional whenever she stepped on the bridge set. She said that feeling lasted all season long, noting, “It just packs a punch every time you are on that set.” She also pointed out that due to COVID restrictions, shooting on the bridge allowed time for the cast to bond, with a little musical help from the captain:
It was also the only time we got to work together as a cast. Some of the days on the bridge were our longest days. Anson would always come in with literally a boombox blasting rock music on those days. And because we couldn’t hang out off of set, those were the days we got to hang out together like a family. Those bridge days were the best days.
We did get some glimpses of the updated USS Enterprise set in her character reveal video.
Co-showrunner Myers was also particularly fond of shooting on the bridge, revealing that’s where we will find classic moments:
There’s a ready room off the bridge where we would place our monitors and I would sit in there when we were doing explosive sequences and you can see the monitor and watch everyone leaping out of the way as the flames blast. I will cherish those moments.
The new bridge set appears to be a bit more compact than it was on Discovery (it looks like the rear corridor that ringed the bridge is gone), which puts it closer in size to the original TOS design.
Spock gets back to his viewer
There was also a particular feature of the new bridge set that had Ethan Peck excited. When asked what non-spoiler bit of information he could share, Peck said he was excited to “look into Spock’s view scope a bunch of times” which he didn’t get to do in Discovery season 2 because that Enterprise set didn’t have one.
This version of Spock is informed by “The Cage”
During the panel, Ethan Peck teased the producers, asking if he could talk about “Spock’s feelings of love and attraction.”
You’ve seen “The Cage” and “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” so you know that on the continuum that is Spock’s life, despite our desire to constantly say “Oh he’s logical,” he’s many things. The waveform of Spock’s journey when it comes to identification as Human or Vulcan and the disciplines attendant to each of those changes of over time, we’ve seen it move. We can’t ignore “smiley Spock,” the Spock that we meet in the original pilot.
Paying off hints of TOS relationships
There were a few hints about the “feelings of love and attraction” mentioned by Peck. When Ethan talked about how it is “wonderful” the show is introducing more legacy characters, Romijn piped in, cryptically adding, “Legacy characters with legacy relationships.” Later in the panel, Goldsman talked about this in the context of one of his favorite tie-ins to TOS on Strange New Worlds:
There were a couple of things to play with as we were re-making it up. One was the hints of relationships that we imagined we saw or knew we saw [on the Original Series] that were never quite fulfilled. Attractions, potential connections made or missed. That was super delightful, because The Original Series was filled with those, and we never really got to really play them through. So we were constantly trying to imagine we were responding to promises we thought were made in the original show.
Putting all of this together, it’s possible we could see the show explore the relationship between Spock and Uhura and/or between Spock and Christine Chapel.
The Enterprise is the star
A recurring theme we have heard since before production even started for Strange New Worlds was how the show was going to be structured more like The Original Series. Now that they have wrapped up the first season, Rebecca Romijn highlighted this as the key difference between the new show and Discovery season two when the USS Enterprise, Number One, Pike, and Spock were reintroduced:
We were shooting standalone episodes and Discovery was a serialized ongoing story. I think the standalone episodes were a big difference for us.
Anson Mount also picked up on this, when asked what was his favorite tie-in to TOS:
The big idea of the week, which makes the Enterprise the star of the show.
SNW Video from Star Trek Day 2021
Here is the full panel video
And in case you missed it, here is just the character reveal video. (And check out our article breaking down all the big news.)
Strange New Worlds is expected to arrive in 2022. It will be on Paramount+ in the United States, and in Canada it will air on CTV Sci-Fi and stream on Crave. There is no word yet on where fans outside of the USA and Canada will be able to see Strange New Worlds.
More to come
There is still more to come from Star Trek Day, including red carpet interviews and more trailer analysis. So keep reading TrekMovie for our full Star Trek Day coverage.
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