One of the more popular panels at Star Trek: Mission Chicago was for the upcoming series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. On hand were stars Anson Mount (Captain Pike), Rebecca Romijn (Number One), Ethan Peck (Spock), and Celia Rose Gooding (Uhura), along with executive producer and co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers. The series debuts on May 5th, but they took time out of production on season two (where they’re currently shooting episode 6) to come to Chicago to preview the series. TrekMovie was there to capture the highlights.
An episodic show with lots of new aliens, time travel, and humor too
Henry Alonso Meyers explained that Strange New Worlds will be structured more like classic Star Trek series:
Henry: The show is episodic. Every episode is a new adventure, it’s a new planet, it’s a new genre. One of the wonderful things about Trek is that sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s horrific, sometimes it’s dramatic, and sometimes it’s sad. And we really try to hit that with each individual episode so that they really have a different feel – to the point where we even encourage our directors to really bring a different look to each episode so that you’ll feel it. The only thing we hold on to is we serialized some of the character stories so that if say someone were to—like in TOS—lose the love of their life one week, they’re not completely fine the next week.
He went on to say that the show will have many familiar elements, but they’ll be done differently:
I think we go on adventures that are very similar to but also uniquely different from the events that they went on at TOS and TNG. That means new worlds, that means time travel, that means sometimes there are superior beings that come in and do crazy things to us. That means all kinds of things.
Later he talked about how this is an opportunity to introduce new aliens:
We’re trying to be true to canon but also to introduce some interesting new creatures you’ve never seen before. We’ve been working with Legacy Effects to do a bunch of really cool prosthetic creatures as well as some CG stuff. You will be meeting new aliens. There’s new aliens almost every week.
When the moderator noted the trailers showed some of the humor of the show, Myers said, “We are blessed with an extremely funny cast.” He explained how they have tried to ensure the show includes some humor, but this is also part of Trek tradition:
Look, life is dramatic and it’s also funny. And we were trying to mirror that. Some of my favorite episodes from The Original Series and from TNG and from Deep Space Nine are the funny episodes. And we wanted to return to those sometimes.
A fresh take on the characters
Myers also talked about how the writers approach each of the characters, including those who appeared before in Star Trek canon:
We approach every character fresh. Every character is a real human being, and sometimes not a human being. And we try to start with who were they? Where did they come from? What do they want? They have to be imbued with a life. And so we try not to let the pressure of all the past kind into it, because if you do, then you just can’t live. You can’t actually be a person because Uhura has some real feelings that she goes through every day if she thinks about all the pressure of the history of that. That’s going to change who the character is. So we started with, who are they right now?
Anson Mount explained how his version of Captain Pike differs from the Jeffrey Hunter’s from “The Cage”:
I was aware of that performance, obviously. I was a Trek fan since I was eight. I knew there was a departure, but I have to go off in the material that’s in front of me because the script is king. What I said to myself was, ‘Jeffrey Hunter’s Pike was act one Pike. My Pike is act two Pike.’ Everybody changes, right? Hopefully I’ll get to take it all the way through act three Pike.
Rebecca Romijn noted how there were plenty of opportunities to develop Number One:
She didn’t have a name [in “The Cage”]. She was Number One. She was a she’s a blank slate as far as characters are concerned. She only had about 14 minutes of screen time. You only saw her doing the tasks at hand, so you don’t know anything about her character until now. So it’s been really fun for us to develop this character and get to know her. Yeah, it’s great, it’s a dream come true.
Celia Rose Gooding talked about how she saw some of herself in Uhura’s journey:
I did a lot of soul searching for Celia to figure out where she was in that life. Because a lot of Cadet Uhura’s life and Celia’s life sort of blend in different places. We’re both very young people in the industries that we work in, I’ll call Starfleet an industry for now. [laughs] But both are very young, both very excited to be a part of something. And the beauty about where Nyota is right now, she is figuring out what she wants to do. And she doesn’t know her future like we do… She’s just taking it all in day by day and that is something that I am also trying to do. And so I try not to jump the gun and think about, ‘Oh, well, we know 10, 20 years in the future, this is where she’s going to be.’ I try not to think about that. Because that’s not what’s on her mind. What’s on her mind is getting through today. And then figuring out each and every day as I am, as we all are as people.
Of all the canon characters on the show, Spock is the most developed. Ethan Peck talked about how he has studied Leonard Nimoy’s performance to make sure he gets it right:
I focused on Nimoy Spock, of course, because that’s our timeline. I myself, was a fan of the Kelvin movies, but I tend more towards Nimoy because that’s who I become. I spent a lot of time with The Original Series and with Leonard Nimoy. When I prep my work, I hear his voice ringing in my head. And I say, ‘Is that right?’ I hope that he’s with me as I do it. But at a certain point I stopped watching so that I can kind of find it for myself.
But there is more to explore in Strange New Worlds for Spock, as Peck explained:
I think there’s a lot more nuance to explore in this series. We see deeper into his personal life and into him which is such a privilege and terrifying as well, because we want to do it properly, do it correctly. But yeah, it’s been very exciting, and very challenging.
The Enterprise is a growing character too
There was a lot of talk about the production design. Myers and Mount both talked about the approach to updating the look from The Original Series:
Myers: For all of our craftspeople and incredible VFX artists and our designer and our costumers, the things that we would talk about were, ‘Alright, how would they do it in TOS? And how would they do it if TOS were today?’ Doing it with today’s sensibilities, today’s VFX, today’s money, today’s ideas. And that’s how we’ve been trying to approach it.
Mount: Just aesthetically, our production designer Jonathan Lee did an amazing job marrying the original mid-century modern aesthetic that you saw on the Original Series with the updated Enterprise. You still get that sense that you’re in the original 1701.
Myers: The craziest thing about that set is, we built a working starship… Every screen operates. Every screen you can touch works. It’s really stunning.
Rebecca chimed in (with Anson backing her up) to talk about how the Enterprise sets continue to expand:
Rebecca: The sets are gorgeous. Sometimes I just walk around and visit them and imagine that this is one cohesive ship. We’re spread out over several different stages, but it’s just their jaw-dropping. They’re so beautiful. And let’s not forget the Enterprise herself is a major character of this show. The Enterprise is sexy, and groovy, and fun. They just built a set last week that is so beautiful, I can’t say what it is.
Anson: That’s the other thing, it keeps growing. The other day Ethan and I walked into a set and we were like, ‘Woah!’ I can’t tell you what it is but we were like, ‘WOAH!’
AR Wall for alien worlds… and engineering
Like Star Trek: Discovery in season four, Strange New Worlds is using AR Wall technology where the actors can perform inside of a virtual set. The actors and showrunner talked about what this technology has brought to the show:
Celia: It’s incredible what they have this working on, especially stuff with the AR wall. That is the spectacle. That’s the thing that just blows my mind.
Anson: We have a stage where the walls are basically made of high definition screens. So when we go in, the CG environment is already done and we’re in that environment. And so it’s really just allowed us to blow open the scope of the planets that we’re going to. You’ll see.
Henry: Our artists spent a minimum of four months building all of those environments for the day that everyone arrives. The incredible thing about it is, you see it on a screen for months and months and months, and you get in there and it literally moves with you. I will spoil that is where engineering is set. And it has allowed us to create an engineering set that looks like no engineering set on Star Trek before. It’s really incredible.
Captain on the bridge
The panel started with a special surprise for the audience when Anson Mount introduced a clip of the first USS Enterprise bridge scene from the pilot episode. Snippets from this scene were featured in the various character promos released earlier this month, but this was the full scene, which starts off with Pike and Spock in the turbolift going over the bridge crew assignments, noting that Una (Number One) is absent, with Spock explaining “command believes I will best serve the mission as Chief Science Officer.” This leads to them entering the bridge with Pike saying he is going to have a “new number one,” as he meets Lt. La’an Noonien Singh who explains she has been assigned as acting first officer. He welcomes her aboard, saying she has “some pretty big boots to fill.” He tells Ortegas to lay in a course for their destination and then meets Cadet Uhura at communications, calling her “the prodigy.” The ship then exits the space dock and warps off.
After the scene played, Mount noted that fans shouldn’t start rumors on Twitter and that even though she is absent from the scene, “Rebecca is still on the show.”
More to come from Chicago
There is still more coverage from the convention, including reports from other Star Trek Universe panels. Stay tuned to TrekMovie in the coming days for more Star Trek: Mission Chicago. Click here for all our Mission Chicago coverage so far.
Find more news and analysis for Strange New Worlds at TrekMovie.
Can we take a break on time travel for a bit?
Time Travel done right is awesome, I’ll never get tired of that trope even in Star Trek. BUT when it’s done badly, like Picard Season two, then that’s unforgivable.
I’m really stoked for SNW otherwise :)
If they use it, have the results mean something. Don’t pull out something like THE FINAL COUNTDOWN where you take a trip and wind up not doing anything at all.
My preference would be for them to steer clear of time travel entirely, but then again, I’d be doing a show set at the end of the 23rd century that used an entirely different batch of writers and art direction folk.
I understand why some people may be sick of time travel but it’s an important part of the franchise just as much as fighting another ship or staring down some omnipotent being is.
I remember having this discussion as far back as season 2 on Discovery when people were suggesting Star Trek should take a break from time travel and it only ramped up since then. Every show does it for a reason, it’s fun! Discovery, Picard and Prodigy all did it and even a big part of their ongoing stories and Mike McMahan said we will have it in season 3 of Lower Decks. People have to accept it’s a huge part of the franchise and has been since 1966.
People don’t “have” to accept anything. They’ve been relying on time travel as a crutch since season 2 of Discovery.
I don’t know what this means?
All I’m saying is as long as Star Trek lives so will certain tropes with it. In fact I can’t think of a single trope that has died away over the years. I kind of thought with the new stuff maybe the omnipotent alien God one was finally dead until they brought Q back…in a time travel story! 🤣🤣🤣
I’m just stating the obvious. That’s all.Every TV and movie series has used it. The Kelvin movies entire existence is literally due to time travel. They kept Prime Spock in the 24th century it would’ve saved 10+ years of fans whining about it!
And if you really hate those stories, then just skip them. Problem solved. That’s certainly reasonable advice no one here will ever follow.lol
“People don’t “have” to accept anything. They’ve been relying on time travel as a crutch since season 2 of Discovery.”
Since TOS S1 to be exact… It’s a vital part of Trek… ALL Trek shows. So if you don’t like it, there is nothing I can do about it. I want to see it and I get to see it… No, you DON’T have to accept anything but it would be better for you to simply relax and enjoy the ride… Or waste your time complaining about everything and anything…
I mean, they don’t have to accept in the sense that they don’t have to *watch*, sure. But it’s not like y’all got anything else going on.
Lazy writers like time travel because it’s a cheap way to generate conflict, and it allows an easy way to wrap things up without worrying if it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Plus it’s magic, so they can’t get it “wrong.”
True, but the Holodeck is even worse for the same reasons.
Don’t get me started on the holodeck… ;)
It’s also a way to not have to build new sets. They come back to contemporary Earth and viola! Nothing new to build.
It also probably helps with budgets and not having to build futuristic sets.
Write stories for a tv show and then lets talk about whether you’re lazy or not…
Agreed… I am so tired of time travel in Star Trek…
Disagreed… I am so tired of fans complaining about the pillars of Star Trek… time travel, MU etc have been with us from day two… I’m not tired of anything. On the contrary: they should do a time travel show…
Time Travel is a part of Trek, but that was when they were cranking out 24 episodes per season over 7 years. Now we’re getting 10 episodes or so and they each use time travel. It’s too much.
I would think most people only consider “Time Travel” episodes as episodes where the plot centers around the crew or the ship traveling into the past or future as a central part of the story (“Past Tense”, “Tomorrow is Yesterday”, “City on the Edge of Forever”, “Times Arrow”) only happened once every season or so, maybe even less if you went through and averaged everything out from 1966 to 2005.
There are plenty of good “Time Travel” episodes that aren’t the traditional “Ship/crew travel to a different time period” story, though I have little faith that the writers would be able to write one of those well.
“Yesterday’s Enterprise” deals with time travel to an alternate universe. “Timescape” deals with the ship frozen in time. “Firstborn” or “A Matter of Time” deal with an individual traveling to the current time. “Cause and Effect”, “Captain’s Holiday”, “Time Squared”, “Visionary”, and “The Visitor” deal with time loops or a character unstuck in time but may not be viewed the same as something like “The Voyage Home” or “Future’s End.”
I am just curious how this version of Pike’s story, built on Discovery Season 2 and the time crystals, can not be about time travel. It has to be….
I’d like it if the ‘time crystals’ (geez, where’s the imagination, use a thesaurus to avoid sounding like LOST IN SPACE or pre-GoldenAge SF) got forgotten the way warp engines being bad for spacetime got dropped. Out of warp, out of mind …
I guess I just trust Anson wouldn’t do this show without taking into careful consideration what this means. And based on Pike’s “profile” ad, I think they are going to try. I am really not sure how the rest of us can identify with that. But here’s to hoping.
It’s a talented cast. Let’s hope the scripts are up to scratch.
My thoughts exactly.
I don’t think it’s possible to raise my hopes even higher for this show. And yet every new article I see makes me even more excited.
Bring on May 5th!
Write the words, Brother Benny… my thoughts also :)
Wow, there’s less than three weeks to go before the series premiere of SNW!! The studio is doing a good job hyping the show and the sets look fantastic.
Trekmovie.com – just a suggestion, you may want to change that subhead calling SNW a “serialized show”! You had me worried for a second, but clearly the show is episodic.
May 5th can’t get here soon enough!
That was a goof, the idea was that it is “lightly serialized”, thanks for pointing it out!
Matt, I certainly hope that it is lightly serialized, versus TOS where for “the next week” there was typically ZERO carryover from the previous weeks.
I think the lack of serialization bodes ill for STRANGE NEW WORLDS.
TV audiences are not the same today as they were in the 1980s, and they’ll expect something more sophisticated than episodes with a fast-food diet of guest stars playing divorcees, or episodes where everything gets wrapped up with a neat little bow on the end. Even some of TNG’s episodes (particularly before “Sins of the Father” and “BOBW”) strike you as overly simplistic because they had to wrap everything up in 40 minutes.
Even during the TNG era, fans such as Tim Lynch were calling for greater serialization, which culminated in DS9’s excellent story arcs. I’m not in the “DS9 is the best Trek evah!!!” camp, but it got story arcs rights. And despite some catcalls for a return to episodic television on fan sites, the continued popularity of DS9 suggests that serialization worked for that series.
Star Trek really hit a winning formula with season four of ENT, which featured a series of trilogies, which allowed complex and nuanced storytelling. I profoundly hope that SNW adopts this model, or something like it (the eternal caveat that “don’t worry, we’re still having character arcs” inspires some confidence, at least).
I think this will be more like the better (early) seasons of the modern Doctor Who, where seeds were spread in the middle of a very specific story that has a thoughtful ending. With a great showrunner, this can work.
I think I keep wanting Discovery and Picard to be more like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, etc. But each of those episodes in those series had serious stakes.
Also, as to this series of Picard: no one here is remembering that this was produced during Covid. It was not easy!
The thing that Star Trek needs is to be more than fun – it needs to provocative. That is what is missing in all of the Trek so far.
I never agreed with the assessment that episodic tv naturally equals to more simplistic TV. Some of the stand-alone episodes out there will be remembered for their intelligent writing a lot longer than episodes of serialized shows. In fact I believe that episodic TV writing needs the writers to be much more creative and imaginative than serialized. Having said this, I agree that certain character traits and changes do need to be carried over through the season in episodic shows. Stargate did this very well so did shows like X-Files and Farscape back in the day. So if SNW is closer to something in that mold, it would be just fine.
Right, it’s like saying a short story can’t have any sort of impact and novels are the only legitimate way to tell a story. That’s simply not the case. Long form or short form, it depends entirely on the execution.
The poster who implied that episodic stories aren’t as sophisticated is completely off-base. However I will agree that season 4 of ENT probably hit the best sweet-spot for episodic/serialization that “Strange New Worlds” should strive for, strong 2-3 episode arcs, some which tie closely with others throughout the season.
50 years from now, if people are still talking about Star Trek, virtually no one will be talking about any of the heavily serialized Trek episodes. There’s no “stand out” episodes because outside the premiere and finales, they all just flow from one to another. “Measure of a Man” (season 2 TNG episode!) says a lot more about Data and artificial lifeforms than the entire 10 episode run of Picard.
I’d like to mention that with just a few exceptions, most serialized DS9 episodes still had a traditional beginning, middle and end to the story. Even the serialized shows that people love to mention “Breaking Bad”, “Mad Men” and even “Game of Thrones” (before it went off the rails) all still had a traditional beginning, middle and end to some plot or theme in a given episode.
The best *individual* episodes that people still talk about for X-Files are almost always the stand-alone monster-of-the-week episodes. It’s almost never the convoluted alien conspiracy episodes, one exception may be “The Erlenmeyer Flask” (where Deep Throat dies). The alien arc just went off the rails by the time the movie came out, so 20+ years out, maybe they just not en vogue anymore. When the show returned a few years ago, the only good episodes were the stand-alone ones. The arc episodes were all just terrible.
Serialization is a boon for lazy and untalented writers (DISC and PICARD). If writers are talented, they can really shine (City On The Edge of Forever and many other TOS classics) in an episodic format. Two-parters are not foreclosed in an episodic format, either, for stories which require more development and breathing room.
You say that like the longest running TV shows in modern times aren’t all episodic.
I really do have high hopes for this show! And (as usual) they are all saying the right things!
But I admit, I am a lot more cautious at the moment. I really want to like this show, but I just don’t know with the people running it frankly, especially after Discovery and Picard.
BUT I will also say it’s finally doing I think a lot of fans wanted but didn’t get starting with Discovery or the Kelvin movies frankly. The beauty of Star Trek is not really just about exploration, it’s the wide and diverse forms of story telling this franchise does and why classic Trek never died off. If anything, all the old shows are MORE popular today than they were 20 years ago. And that’s because most of the characters have become loved in the fandom overall but it’s really how fun, ridiculous, thought provoking, campy, awe inspiring, weird, clever, bizarre, philosophical and on and on the stories were week to week. That started with TOS of course but it was carried through by every show after it. Every week, you were never sure what you would get. One week you visit a planet with new aliens, the next week you are time traveling to Earth in the 1960s, week after that someone is on trial for a murder, the week after that you’re facing some strange anomaly that corrupted the ship and crew. Week after that, being confronted with some moral crisis on a colony. Week after that, staring down an old enemy…or making a new one. Next week, MORE time travel lol! All the classic shows did these things. Some did them better than others. Some probably did them TOO much (looking at you Voyager!) but they did all had a sense of fun, thoughtful stories, adventure and really really trippy stuff.
With ‘NuTrek’ a lot of that went missing. The biggest missed opportunity with the Kelvin movies never did any real exploration. There isn’t one new alien in those movies that is a part of the story minus Jaylah and we proceeded to learn nothing about her race. There was never any ‘wonder’ it was always trying to just stop the next maniac with the bomb or bioweapon. Discovery and Picard are serialized and neither really has anything to do with exploration but Discovery has done more of that in the last two seasons at least. But both shows are pretty much locked in every year. We don’t know how the stories unfold but we do generally know what’s coming.
SNW is the first time (in live action) since 2005 to just feel like a show where the ship can just go anywhere again. Do anything. Be confronted by anything week to week. So it’s exciting in that sense and why I can’t wait!
Yeah, I think one of the primary problems with Picard S2 and Discovery is the failure of the writing team to blend a season long story arc with episodic mini stories for the minor characters. As we have pointed out before, DS9 and Enterprise did a great job with season and multi-season serialized stories, but they hybridized those stories with episodic mini stories. Discovery improved the last couple of years, but after a promising start, Picard S2 has not lived up to its first couple of episodes.
I always laughed at the formulaic structure of TOS episodes that always seemed to conclude with a light-hearted whimsical epilogue. This was replicated for many of the TNG episodes and even non-Trek series like SG1 and Atlantis. Despite the somewhat campy structure, the formula clearly worked. It will be interesting to see what the writers do with SNW.
Enterprise and DS9 did it so well but same time, they did have 20+ episodes to contend with, so they had room to play around with things more. But yes mini arc stories would probably just work better. I think Discovery especially would be a much better show if they followed the Enterprise season 4 model and do several mini arcs of restoring the Federation the same way Enterprise was doing it to build to the Federation. I’m hoping they go a different direction in season 5 but it’ll probably be the same thing and of course ten episodes trying to save the galaxy…again. (sigh)
I’m really hoping the next 3 episodes of Picard at least end things on a high note. But sadly I’m more afraid we’ll get something worse and in the direction of the two-parter from last season. I hate feeling so cynical, but yeah.
You’re blaming serialization when “pew pew pew” storytelling is the culprit. You can easily have Michael Bay-style storytelling (loud explosions, etc.) in a 40 minute format. Indeed, it’s probable even easier in a 40 minute format, because in a movie you have to pay lip service to characterization.
I’m not blaming serialization as a problem for the films since that was nearly non-existent outside of a few minor references.
I actually think the films needed more of it like other movie franchises today and could’ve kept audiences more involved. Especially new fans who bailed after the first and second movies. If there was a captivating story arc running through the movies with character twist, etc it might have been different.
But Beyond was seen as just another Star Trek movie with a lot of pew-pew, another tired Uber villain wanting to take down the Federation and little else; a big part of the problem.
That’s a good summary of things.
I’ll give this one a try, like I always do. I thought Picard season 2 might be good but after the first episode it crashed hard. Oddly enough, Prodigy has been the best of the new shows. Discovery and Picard are mostly unwatchable. Hoping SNW and Picard Season 3 will finally make a Paramount Plus sub worth keeping.
I have found Prodigy to be the best of the new shows as well. Odd how that happens…
Me too, in fact I am in the strange time now where I enjoy the animated Trek shows much more than the live action ones. Maybe animation was just easier to create in a Covid environment.
I very much agree. The animated shows our hitting it out of the park. I’ve got no major complaints about them, the live action stuff on the other hand…
I’m looking forward to seeing the big E again on screen! Star trek is not the same without an Enterprise in one of the shows.
If things go the way in third season of Picard as many think, we may have TWO Enterprises next year. Three if the Kelvin movie actually happens.
But yeah with five shows on, one of them has to have an Enterprise. ;)
Voyager would like to have a word with you ;)
STOP w/ the time travel.
This is just a theory based on a Star Trek Youtuber but when the Uhura trailer showed up a few weeks ago, they had suggested that time travel may be involved in the season because in one of the scenes she had on a different uniform and rank of Lieutenant like on TOS. They were predicting that maybe it’s an episode where they jump forward in time or it’s an alternate universe story line. Knowing what we know now, it could be time travel based.
Joy. They couldn’t even do, what, five episodes without going to the time travel well again?
The first five episodes doesn’t sound like it will be time travel related. But episodes 6-10, yeah a different matter.
Of course this instance may not be time travel based but it’s either that, alternate timeline or a dream (or Q showed up so it can be all 3 lol). I’m sticking with time travel for now!
See this is what I actually don’t like about the modern Trek shows. The producers seem to think that time travel is the backbone of Trek while in truth exploration and discussing philosophical topics is. Time travel was just one aspect that Trek did really well and nowadays it seems everyone wants to use it as a get out of jail free card.
I enjoyed DS9’s Trials and Tribble-ations and Far Beyond the Stars (not really a time-travel episode, but still one of my favorites). I also liked ENT’s Carbon Creek. So it can be done right, but it’s best not to do it because you’re a lazy writer. Tell us a story. Same goes for the Mirror Universe.
Carbon Creek was not a time travel story. T’Pol relayed the history of her ancestor.
It is rare when the time travel story works. But most of the time it doesn’t. Not ever episode can be a Trials and Tribbleations or City on the Edge of Forever. Those stand out among the sea of mediocre to downright awful.
Ugh. I really dislike trials and tribble-ations- it’s a glorified clip show! So lame. I always skip it on a rewatch.
Hey, I want a funny time-travel episode in the Mirror Universe with a Western gunfight between Nazis, Native Americans, Klingons and the Mafia. And then we find out we’re inside an asteroid, but it’s actually a holodeck program created by a Tribble.
Please, please, NO HOLODECKS in SNW! :-)
Are you related to anybody who worked on the last 15 minutes of the 1967 version of CASINO ROYALE?
If one of the Klingons gets to tell a chagrined Dom DeLuise “Piss on you, I’m working for Mel Brooks!” before slugging him in the gut, I’m all for this.
No, a Holodeck program created by Badgey!
Can’t wait for this series! If it’s as good as DSC, Prodigy and Picard, that will make up for my disappointment with the LDS misfire.
If it’s “as good” as DSC and Picard I’ll commit hari kari! LOL.
I just found a great link on Reddit that links a site describing the title and brief summaries of the first five episodes. Yes it could be fake but according to some these have been floating around for weeks now and from the same source that has accurately released all of Picard’s season 2 titles and summaries ahead of time too.
I really want to post the link here but I don’t know if it would be deemed too ‘spoilerly’ if it’s true. So I won’t. But I read the descriptions and if they are true, yes, it’s very episodic in the story descriptions and the premise set ups sounds like very 1990’s Trek-y sounding plots again; also pretty similar to plots seen from LDS and PRO too. Basically fun adventure and/or trippy one off stories. If they are actually good, I think most fans are going to rejoice.
Thanks, I just found it through a quick search. Yea, looks like eps that could have been in TOS or TNG. Nothing that looks bad from the one-sentence descriptions. I’m stoked.
And it looks legit given the amount of time that site spent on their web site for this…very polished.
Yeah sounds legit to me as well. I like that one of the episodes will be a comedy. When was the last time we’ve had a live action comedic Star Trek episode? Certainly not with PIC or DIS, it’s been pretty much bleak city with those shows. Yes comedic moments, but never a straight comedy. You can do something like that again with more standalone stories because it won’t feel out of place like it would in a (very serious) serial.
There was a time when Reno could be counted on for a laugh. But not in this current season.
I am cautious when Trek tries to go funny. The last time it was done successfully was DS9’s Tribble episode. And of course, the king being TOS’s tribble show. When DS9 tried on every other time (usually the Ferengi episodes) they resulted in flat failure. The same is true of TNG. Troi’s mom episodes were supposed to be light but they were just nauseating. Q ended up being funny, it was where he worked the best. But I think his episodes were more that Q was being goofy rather than the tone of the episode was light.
I love most of the Trek comedic episodes. I even like Enterprise’s infamous A Night in Sickbay. I know I’m in a tiny tiny minority since that’s one of the most hated episodes in the series lol. I always liked it for some reason.
The only comedic ones I didn’t really like were most of the Quark episodes. Those always annoyed me. But when I did my grand rewatch of the franchise, I watched all of them again and I ended up liking more of them than I originally did. Not love them, but more tolerable than I remembered except one. The name isn’t coming to me, but it’s the one with Quark dressed as a woman. That one is not only one of the worst DS9 episode, but one of the worst Trek episodes ever. But it probably still beats A Night in Sickbay for most fans. ;D
I humbly suggest that audience that have had 20 years of SOPRANOS-style storytelling are not going to be satiated with “trippy one-off stories.”
Star Trek was mostly episodic for what, around 25 seasons? And AFAIK most of fandom still watches those shows in abundance today. I know because every site I go to still talk about TOS, TNG, VOY, ENT and the movies as if they all premiered a few years ago. And part of that is because it’s easy to just randomly watch any order in any season you want minus the later seasons of ENT and DS9 and even those aren’t hard to find a lot of standalone stories. So what am I missing?
All I see on the other side is how much people are complaining and moaning over Picard and Discovery mostly DUE to their story formats. You’re here a lot, are you reading something I’m not? Thats all people seem to complain about these two shows lately and not living up to the serial format. They are either considered overly convoluted or dreadfully tedious depending on the season you pick. Meanwhile, LDS and PRO are more popular, partly because they just tell mostly one off stories, right? Prodigy is serialized but more like DS9 was in the early seasons and the episodes still feel very standalone. And the show is aimed at 8 year olds.
If DIS or PIC was on the writing level of a Sopranos then maybe we would be having a very different discussion about it. That’s part of the problem.
“If DIS or PIC was on the writing level of a Sopranos then maybe we would be having a very different discussion about it.”
I’ve never seen the Sopranos. Not my cup of Earl Grey but the main problem with story arcs is that they are even more subject to individual judgment than standalone episodes. There may be fans who actually think PIC S1 is Soprano quality, I don’t know. But other hate the particular arc. And if there’s just one arc per season or series than those fans are lost forever…It’s in the eye of the beholder if an arc is successful or not. But for those who are not happy, it ruins everything. You cannot jump onboard next week for a new attempt…
Actually….I never watched it! ;D
I’m only going by what I hear has been said by its fans and critics over the years. But I checked IMDB audience rating and it has a score of 9.2 and it’s been off over a decade. It’s higher than every Star Trek show in fact. The only one that comes the closest to its audience rating is TNG with an 8.7. So that tells you a lot.
And yes it’s all subjective. I have read posts including on this board who has praised both Picard and Discovery various seasons. They also seem to be in the minority though. It doesn’t mean they are wrong. No one is. But it does tell you the format is not working for the masses or there would be less moaning about it, especially on actual fan sites. If it was really working fans would not as divided as they are now over it. There certainly isn’t one with The Sopranos. It can improve and get better but after four turbulent seasons with Discovery and Picard two-thirds into it’s second season, it still seems pretty lackluster to me at least.
Think what you want of this opinion but I did watch the entire first season of The Soprano’s and was completely unimpressed. Part of that is I’m not a huge fan of the gangster/mafia genre. So consider that. But I did not like it at all.
For the record, I watched the first season of Mad Men and while I felt it better than The Soprano’s, I just wasn’t compelled to keep watching. There were some good elements in it but not enough for me to keep recording it. Also in those days I just didn’t have as much time on my hands. A lot more parent duties back then.
I feel you, this is something that often happens to me too. I try to watch something that has been “praised” by the general public but I can’t really get into it. For example currently I am going through the show Boardwalk Empire and I do generally like Mafia, gangster stories but I am really unimpressed with it.
I don’t have a dog in this fight, especially since I never seen it lol. Same with Mad Men. Never watched it. Sopranos is probably something I never could see myself watching personally. With Mad Men, I can but never a real interest to do so. They are highly rated shows, it doesn’t mean everyone will also highly rate them. I know your feelings on TNG and I know you wouldn’t the show as high as a lot of fans like me do.
What both Discovery and Picard have illustrated is that serialized storytelling doesn’t lend itself to every series. While both have presented season long story arcs that could easily be told and resolved in an episode or two, shows like the Sopranos, Breaking Bad and even Battlestar Galactica presented ongoing stories that unfolded over a number of years until their eventual resolution.
Not every one hour drama is serialized and audiences return for the strength of the stories and characters each week.
SNW, unlike Discovery and Picard, will allow writers to develop and tell new Star Trek stories each week without being weighed down by a season long story arc that each episode must fit into.
Not only that, but he also ignores the fact that along with fans screaming they wanted a Pike show, they were also screaming they wanted it episodic again like the old shows. So the producers are just, once again, listening to the fans and trying to please them.
So it’s odd to suggest fans won’t be into the fact it won’t be episodic when A. it’s what most of them wanted in the first place and B. it’s been one of the biggest positives for most about the show because see A again. ;)
And yes episodic TV still exists AFAIK since I do watch some shows today. Now it’s a lot less than it was in the 80s and even most episodic TV does follow character backstories today as they said SNW will so it’s not totally episodic the way 60s TV was; but it’s still here.
Well, episodic television and anthology series haven’t disappeared in the past 20 years. They’re still here.
Yep, they are 100% legit.
Cygnus? Wasn’t that a regular poster around here?
Anyway… I like most titles… but one… The fifth one sounds like something out of “Lower Decks” :-)
Man do I miss Cygnus.
Don’t fret. I’m still here for you, Kev. ; )
The writers of the new Trek shows keep bringing this up like it was some giant flaw in TOS. TOS created great characters that are timeless without burdening them with having to discuss their feelings every week and turning the show into a melodramatic soap opera. Discovery has experimented with that route to character development and it has been an endless disaster.
You aren’t wrong…
Speaking of salt vampires…Dr. McCoy should have spent the entirety of the first season in deep mourning over the fate of Nancy! : D
Speaking of mourning … I’m still in mourning that they never brought Emily Banks as Yeoman Tania Barrows back, either as McCoy’s new love interest or just to stand there and look pretty.
Good point! I just did a Google image refresher course on her; WOW!
There’s probably a halfway point that things could have been taken to, where you have occasional references to significant past events. Sort of like how INNER LIGHT is referenced in a later ep where Pic has a shipboard romance with a subordinate.
I really strongly think that Q WHO should have been a very major pivot point for PIcard that was subsequently reinforced in the series, but going by the old CFQ story and quotes from the ep’s director, Patrick Stewart was personally offended by the dialog (I’m guessing the stuff where El Cap has to admit his failings to Q), that wasn’t going to happen. ERRAND OF MERCY ends with a similar self-realization, but I don’t think TOS totally repudiates Kirk’s growth there (though admittedly it doesn’t build on it either.) If you look at Q WHO and TAPESTRY as potential pivot points for Picard, you could have built a dynamic character through TNG who could have gone anywhere in the film series rather than the schizophrenic interp we get, bouncing between tepid lead figure and rifle-totin’ action hero.
Discovery – time travel
Picard – time travel
Prodigy – time travel
Snw – time travel …
I Love a good time travel Episode from time to time but yikes…. Gimme a Break.
Such utter crap. Why did you only include 21st century Trek on your list, when literally every Trek series and several Trek films featured time travel? I swear, I think some “fans” just love to complain to strangers on the internet. Why is 21st century Trek being held to completely different standards?
It’s obvious just from reading these comments in this thread that some people are never going to be satisfied because they can’t get past their own headcanon and the demands of their own narrow standards and expectations. Some poster complains about serialization, and then the next poster complains about standalone episodes.
Social media,. streaming, and instant gratification have ruined fandom. It’s like a whole generation of Trek “fans” have lost the capacity to just enjoy a story for what it is, and instead can only focus on how it doesn’t meet their exact expectations and criteria.
Meanwhile, this lifelong Star Trek fan, born the week TOS premiered in 1966, and raised in the extended universe of Trek novels, comic books, and other materials that broke from the episodic reset-button storytelling formula, has loved every minute of Discovery and Picard, largely because it’s NOT just the same old sh*t.
When I see people saying “it’s not real Star Trek,” I always wonder if they think Trek shows are documentaries. It’s a big galaxy, with room for many different types of stories. I look at Trek content as future history content. If “Saving Private Ryan” and “Inglorious Basterds” can both be “about” World War II, then TNG and Discovery can both be “about” the events of the future world of Star Trek.
I genuinely don’t understand what motivates people to watch, let alone whine about to strangers on the internet, shows they don’t like. What’s the payoff? What possible joy could be derived from that? There are some aspects of the Trek franchise I don’t like as much as others, but strangers on the internet will never know which ones, because it would never occur to me to shoehorn my dislike of them into every freaking Trek thread I can find.
Thats a valid point.
TOS – time travel
TNG – time travel
DS9 – time travel
VOY – time travel
ENT – time travel
now the list is complete. At this point one could argue it isn’t Trek if it doesn’t contain time travel.
I wonder what the percentage of 800 episodes contain time travel?(I’m too lazy to count them ;). I’m willing to bet not more than 10% . Not a significant amount in other words.
This list only goes from TOS to the 2009 movie, but there are 53 episodes/movies within that scope.
Some of those “Time Travel” episodes aren’t traditional time travel stories, at least not an episode where any main character travels to the past/future and instead deals with some kind of anomaly, time-loop, or alternate-realities.
For instance the DS9 episode, “The Sound of Her Voice” is listed as a “time travel” episode because due to some anomaly, the crew is communicating to a stranded officer 3 years in the past. The VOY episode, “Eye of the Needle” has a wormhole they discover that connects to ~20 years into the past. “Parallels” is on that list but the only time traveling in that is that Worf is sent back in time to the initial point that he began to jump realities in the episode (simply resetting the timeline). “The Naked Time” deals with a weird time-warp that sends them into the past a few days (and saves them from crashing into the planet) at the very end of the episode. There’s a few other time-loop episodes or alternate-reality episodes that technically fit the definition of time-travel, but I don’t think most people would consider them “time travel” stories.
With that said, there’s probably still 35-40 on that list, which averages to just about 1 story per season all Trek from 2009 and before.
Don’t forget the movies…
ST: TVH – time travel
ST: FC – time travel
ST: 2008 – time travel
Which are some of the most popular films in the franchise. Both TVH and FC are also the biggest films in their series. I’m not saying time travel alone is why they are popular of course, but it certainly doesn’t hurt them either.
The more important question is could Trek have been stronger without time travel. How does Star Wars exist without time travel?
Could Enterprise have worked with the NX-01 exploring the universe, humanity trying to find its place, Romulan war and/or the founding of the Federation? I’d urge one to consider how many years and capital were invested into the prequel series and if the temporal war made it all nonsensical and essentially lit all that money on fire.
Given the alien nazis that apparently were on the show at the start of s4 (I had given up watching halfway through s2ep1, when they were showing a library that looked like something from a cutscene in a CD-ROM game), you’d figure timetravel would have been banned from Trek for good, just the way Berman forbade antennae for nearly 15 years. I mean if that’s not jumping the shark over the cow jumping over the moon, what is?
There is timetravel in Star Wars. Rebells did IT.
I agreed that time travel is a Star Trek standard. But old trek used it… From time to time.
The new trek shows use it way to frequently for my taste.
Also. I am not against new trek. You may relax a bit regarding people saying anything critical. It doesn’t automatically mean they shit over everything.
I like LDS a lot. I like Prodigy a lot, I am basicly fine with picard and yeah Disco is not my cup of tea.
It’s just…. It’s one of the first things I have heard from SNW story wise and my initial reaction is: yikes, Not again, gimme a break.
Was disappointed to read that time travel was even mentioned. If they did this they would have to do it in secret because Spock mentioned in Amok Time that it seemed only then that time travel was indeed possible. So let’s not have anymore “secret” tech no one is allowed to talk about. It’s a tired trope.
Edit… I am aware of Archer’s encounters with Daniels. I’m not sure how this was reported nor how it was dealt with. But still… Spock did seem to think the Psi-2000 incident was the first known appearance of time travel.
Dude, get over it. Trek is replete with canon violations and discrepancies. It’s not a freaking documentary.
Hey Ghostwriter, maybe yout get over that Not all Trek Fans Like every Bit of Trek and still Love it …
Enterprise was built on the arc of the Temporal Cold War, which was never developed very clearly or well by the writers’ own admission, and was wrapped up quite abruptly. It was clear though by the end of the arc that the Federation knew time travel was a real thing. The Vulcans did not believe it was possible until T’Pol did it. At least in classified circles in Starfleet and the Federation, time travel would be a well-known phenomenon by TOS.
Looking forward to watch it with my 12 year old. Please keep it clean, no profanity.
quit sheltering your kid from swear words at 12 most kids know and heard most of them either at school from other kids or from shows they watch on thier own that you do not realize they watch or have heard them online on youtube or from music
if you seen any of the trailers you know there is going to be sex scenes so which is more important to shelter you pre teen from sex scenes or graphic violance or swear words which is the least worst thing to expose them to i would think swearing would be at the bottom while sex scenes would be at the top and graphic violance is in the middle
i was 8 or 9 when i heard george carlin’s 7 dirty words skit that was either in 2002 or 2003
my parents did not care about me seeing graphic violance or hearing swear words in tv shows and movies and they really did not care if a swore as long as it was when i was mad or angry at something or someone as it was a release valve for that it was better then me throwing something or hitting or kicking or biting something or someone
There is nothing “dirty” about profanity. Such a silly attachment to an outdated and absurd social construct. The world no longer caters to people with these ridiculous fears of words. The “culture war” came and went. You lost. Move on :)
Er, last time I checked the ratings system still exists, and profanity is still something that is considered.
Profanity is another crutch for lazy writers (which Trek unfortunately has an abundance of).
Profanity is a way that a large percentage of humanity relies upon and/or utilizes as a form of expression … denying that or excluding that is a denial of reality and a step further away from relevance with storytelling.
Now you can pull the magic cheat of “in our show’s time, humanity has moved beyond (fill in the blank)” but that is just that, a cheat. It’s easy to say things got bad here until they got better, and then a lot better, but it’s damned hard to write it … which is probably why TREK doesn’t get down in the weeds with portraying the bad times to come, except in a throwaway or cursory fashion. FIRST CONTACT is the worst offender in this regard, because it would have cost next to nothing to put in a shuttlecraft overflight showing some of the devastation wrought by WW III. Shoot, they could have done it even more simply by rendering Earth from space with some visible aspects of Nuclear Winter (which is even indicated in the film’s dialogue from Data after they go through the vortex, which I guess was a riff on TVH’s ‘going by the pollution’ line), but instead ILM had to comply with Berman’s directive about not putting too many clouds in so that audiences could see the continents — which makes it look like near-future Earth is something closer to Arrakis than home.
I’ll get off that hobby horse (it’s a popular digression for me) and wrap up by saying that when you’re dealing with pain in drama, swearing is going to essential in portraying a number of characters. Being trendy with it is pointless (look at the stupid use of F-word in SKYFALL, where they clearly include it from M. just because they can get away with one use w/o having the rating get bumped into danger zone), but making its use count, like appropriate levels of intense violence, helps the narrative. Not saying CITY would be better with a FACES OF DEATH style closeup of Edith getting flattened, but I can tell you that the only real strong carry-away I got from sitting through WHEELS OF TRAGEDY and all those driver-training films in high school was a shot that didn’t have tons of gore … it was a long shot of a woman laying face down on the road. There was no blood, but the shot held, and held, till you realized her limbs were all bent in the wrong direction. I remember accidentally getting a laugh in class when I realized this because I let loose with the F word without even being aware I was speaking. THAT was an appropriate use of swearing, because nothing else would convey my response to that horrible vision, which I can still conjure up all too easily almost exactly 46 years later.
EDIT ADDON: Sorry Anthony, didn’t notice it was you posting this till after I replied. I shoulda known better.
Please, give time travel a break. It’s been done to death. If we want time travel, then do a Trek that prominently features time travel. No more Borg, please. Finally, please do not make every single episode about saving the galaxy or some existential threat to everything. Not all drama needs to be that over-the-top when the best tend to be closer to home and more personal. Another site has a synopsis of the first episodes, and it’s does sound more like TOS, so I have hope that SNW will be awesome.
Exploration, final frontier, five year mission, strange new worlds….
We had like two and a half years of TOS showing exploration, colonization, trying to find out place in the universe and that got the ball rolling.
Since then its been holodecks, time travel and soap operas in flying hotels. That’s fine, keep doing your TNG spin offs or whatever.
But let SNW be about exploration, colonization, etc. Use the original Star Trek writers guide noting that the Enterprise is a heavy crusier, one of the few out there partly because space is so big, and has to explore and protect Federation worlds.
And I don’t mean going out and preaching to the aliens how great you are or episode after episode on how the aliens are stupid for not being just like enlightened progressive humans and always having the right answer, that’s not exploring or learning anything. And it’s boring.
Conflict, drama. Danger. Adventure. Back to the basics.
Let’s go back where the Captain doesn’t know the answer, and doesn’t get to phone Starfleet Command to ask what he or she should do. It’s the tough call, sometimes right, sometimes wrong, but tries to do the best they can.
Some writers won’t like that or be able to handle that. Send them to Picard, Lower Decks, Discovery, get them away from SNW.
Horatio Hornblower in space. Master and Commander The Far Side of the World.
Pike screws up, half the quadrant learns Klingonese.
Some would say that isn’t Star Trek anymore because Trek has evolved. Fine, if not even SNW can’t be explorers in space then it’s time to let Star Trek as exists die and reboot from the beginning or do as a new series. I’m willing to accept that now.
I read that twice through to be sure, but can honestly say I agree with every single word and sentiment in Bremmon’s post, including the very last.
Since the late 80s, I always felt certain that the original recipe would be revisited — and in a vigorous, fruitful and relevant manner — and that it would be tackled long before this point, even if it was done for a series set in a universe not branded by Paramount or with the TREK moniker. The fact it hasn’t does give me pause, because I think that means the folks capable of making TREK matter are simply uninterested in trying and/or gave up trying, which leaves the creative end going forward to some less distinguished forms. (my qualifier on this is that I find a lot of DS9 — probably a couple dozen shows — to be worthy successors to TOS, but that it is brought down somewhat by having to play during the Berman era and is thus hemmed in by restrictions on scoring and storytelling and other aspects.)
I came by all that during a CITIZEN KANE rewatch during the laserdisc era, when Kane says [paraphrasing here, though I used to know this by heart] that there are poor people out there who need a voice, and if he doesn’t supply it, they’ll get it from somebody else in power. That somehow resonated with me with respect to (IMO) getting Trek right … but nothing of the sort has come to pass (unless you count FIREFLY, and honestly there isn’t enough of that to make a proper conparision.)
After decades of putting it off, I started watching BAND OF BROTHERS last night, partly because so many BOOMTOWN actors and creatives did this right before going on to that short-lived series. The other part was because one of the main writers on the show was the guy assigned to reboot TREK as a feature trilogy nearly 20 years back, and he wrote something about the Fed/Rom war that in synopsis form sounded pretty bad, but I figured I wanted to see for myself what his talent was like. Based on just the first ep of BROTHERS (which I found to be full of surprises and inversions of cliches), I gotta say, maybe that unmade TREK was the one that really got away. (Reserve right to go back to being my crap-on-it self if that script ever does become available and stinks, though. For decades I thought PLANET OF TITANS was the dream, and then I read Kaufmann’s treatment of the Bryant/Scott script and saw it was tragically way way off the mark.)
Anyway, Commander, I say you’re right on with all that!
ds9 got away with a lot because berman was concentrating on Voy and the TNG films.
Thank goodness. Hopefully SNW can sneak in there too with all the want-to-be-Berman/Braggas hard at work on their Picard, Discovery and Lower Decks. They should all really focus on Lower Decks, their concept may not be exciting or logical but it makes for good comedy.
This is one of those weird urban legends that has been proven false. It’s not that Berman didn’t care what they did with DS9, it simply had more freedom to do things because it wasn’t on a network. Ron Moore stated in The Center Seat originally Paramount was strict with the show at the beginning. But once the ratings started to fall around the the third season, they realized there wasn’t going to be much they could do to get it to TNG levels and let them do what they wanted and Berman trusted Behr once he was given the chance to make the show how he wanted.
With Voyager, those restrictions stayed because UPN was a new network and was adamant it keep to the show’s format because that’s how most of its shows were at the time. DS9 was given the freedom to experiment and change things up in a way VOY never could. But yes DS9 also had a much stronger set of writers and show runner too.
Thanks kmart. Sometimes I wonder if exploration and the idea of colonizing the galaxy is just seen as too negative these days to end up in a show.
actually a lot of the berman era was about expanding on races set up in OT, more about the romulans and klingons before introducing cardassians and of course the borg.
Yes, where they took the honorable Vulcan spinoff Romulans with cloaking devices and plasma torpedoes and the Klingons with their battlecrusiers and win-at-all-cost dominating mentality…. and then just gave everyone cloaking devices, got rid of plasma torpedoes and make the Romulans uh, sneaky i guess with non Vulcan ridges for no reason while making the Klingons the new Romulans with honor and cloaking devices. Ugh, just terrible.
That being said way better than who the real big baddy was supposed to be, the Ferengi (evil capitalists you see). That was supposed to be the main bad guy for TNG and when they realized that would be an unintentional joke they quickly threw in the TNG Romulans.
Thankfully that horrid political analogy backfired giving us the only good alien race out of TNG, the Borg, which is a collectivist unimind trying to destroy everything for the common good by making everything the generic and the same and doing so because they see that as the ultimate good. Message Spock?
The Klingons had cloaking since Star Trek III, years before TNG came out. Yes, the villains in that movie were supposed to be Romulans, so when the switch happened, the cloak/bird-of-prey stuck along with the Klingons.
There is also already an in-universe explanation for the technology sharing. In “The Enterprise Incident”, Spock mentions that Romulans are using Klingon ships. This of course was due to budget limitations, where they re-used Klingon models for the Romulans, but it makes it into dialogue and can easily explain subsequent decisions for ship names and technology used in the films and into the Berman-era.