Recap/Review: ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Sets The Right Course In “Children Of The Comet”

“Children of the Comet”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1, Episode 2 – Debuted Thursday, May 12, 2022
Written by: Henry Alonso Myers & Sarah Tarkoff
Directed by Maja Vrvilo

A great follow-up to the season premiere with just about everything you want from a Star Trek episode including action, adventure, mystery, heart, and some fun too.

 

WARNING: Spoilers below!

RECAP

“So you ran away to Starfleet.”

On a routine mission in the Persephone system to study an ancient comet, a few crew members unwind at the Captain’s dinner party, where Uhura has arrived in dress uniform for the casual affair. Ortegas’ devilish outfit recommendation was just part of the cadet’s hazing, which continued as the blind (but “superior”) Hemmer mocks offense at Uhura’s offer of help, getting an assist from Spock, no less. But Nyota catches on quick, calling the Aenar chief engineer out in his own language. The gathered crew bonds over stories of missions gone wrong and Spock’s classic misunderstanding of humor, but things get serious when Uhura reveals she isn’t really sure about the whole Starfleet thing. Awkward. A love for alien languages and a tragic backstory led her to the Academy, but Spock later reminds the cadet that Starfleet is a dream for many and if she isn’t all in, maybe she should make room for someone who really wants to be on the Enterprise.

Also pondering the future is Captain Pike… actually more dreading it. Number One sees how he has changed and he quips “Turns out knowing your future takes the fun out of imagining it.” But Una doesn’t believe in fate, even if Pike knows his own future in detail. Speaking of knowing the future, Spock has sorted out that in two days that comet is going to slam into arid Persephone III, wiping out the adorable pre-warp Deleb. But this is just another day in Starfleet, with a plan quickly hatched to move the big ball of ice with some photon torpedoes transformed into engines to nudge it along. Welcoming the distraction, Pike is back on his game and ready for a “planet to save before breakfast” with his finely tuned crew, but the operation fails—this comet has a forcefield. So it’s going to be one of those kinds of days in Starfleet.

“Maybe we don’t touch anything else.”

Turns out this is no ordinary comet, so La’an leads a landing party to examine subterranean structures in hope of turning off that forcefield. Coming along are George Kirk (xenoanthropologist, has mustache, check), Spock (solid choice), and Uhura (in the rotation, scared). But the cadet’s fright turns to awe as she stands on the surface of a comet. “Woah,” indeed. Soon they find a chamber with a big egg orb thing and after noting some markings, George shows risk is also his business and gets zapped for it. Spock stabilizes him but they are trapped, so it’s all up to the Uhura, who is now openly wondering if she is going to get them all killed. She rallies after Spock’s second attempt at a pep talk: “Hypotheticals are irrelevant. Today you are quite simply the only person for the job.” This turns out very true as humming a Kenyan folk song sends them down the road to a wonderful music-as-math solution with the pair harmonizing, bringing the alien chamber itself to life, and opening up that big egg thing.

Back on the Enterprise, Pike has a whole new problem named “Shepherds” who have a giant powerful ship and don’t like people messing with their holy comet. M’hanit (the comet has a name) is the “arbiter of life” and so if it feels like wiping out a planet, well that is simply “pre-ordained.” And the landing party? “M’hanit will be their tomb.” Wow, these guys are no fun at all. So when the singing sensation of Uhura and Spock perform their forcefield-lowering song and the landing party beams to safety, the Shepherds are pissed… and attack. The Enterprise takes a beating but Pike gets in a couple of good shots, buying them a moment, as a debate rages on about whether they should just escape. Ortegas sums things up nicely with “The crazy space monks will blow us out of the sky if we try anything to move that comet.” But Spock has a cunning plan…

“Just because you receive a message from the future doesn’t mean you understand it.”

Putting the plan in motion, Pike has Ortegas put her mouth where her maneuvering is to sneak the Enterprise past the bad guys. Arriving right on top of the comet, the captain orders everything shut down and surrenders to the Shepherds. Taking a gamble, Pike bets the space monks won’t risk damaging M’hanit… and it works. But all this hullaballoo is just a distraction for Spock, who is hiding in the comet’s tail, swooping in with a shuttle set to broil. The crazy plan is to melt away enough of the comet to change its course… and not get killed by all the shuttle-sized rocks flying at him at the same time. With Spock laughing at the absurdity of his own survival in his flying toaster, M’hanit just skims the planet to the wonderment of the Deleb below—and all that added water in the atmosphere will transform this arid rock into a nice little lush planet. Turns out space monks were right, and the comet literally did bring life. Go figure.

“You have seen the glory and the mercy that is M’hanit” Of course, the Shepherds had to gloat and ruin it. But Captain Monk and Pike bury the hatchet as the Deleb celebrate the rain. In the meantime, Uhura has worked out the musical message: Turns out the comet was showing them it was always going to just kiss the planet, with harm neither intended nor done. But wait, didn’t Spock move it? Now things “get weirder.” M’hanit seems to have known Spock was going to do it all along, it even had a picture of the big chunk of ice that broke off… before it broke off. Mind-Blown-Emoji! Impressed with her work, Spock gives Uhura one last push, telling her how Starfleet-worthy she has proven to be that day, and she is feeling it too. All this talk about what is destined has Chris again pondering his life’s course, now open to listening to Number One who asks, “What if your fate is what you make it?”

ANALYSIS

It sings!

After an impressive series premiere, Strange New Worlds comes back strong for its sophomore outing. With the characters and setting introduced last week, “Children of the Comet” indulges in the core premises of exploration and scientific curiosity with not just one, but two groups of interesting aliens along with an intriguing space mystery. And it does this along with the same lighter tone set in the premiere, excellent pacing, and some good sci-fi action. But all along it doesn’t forget the characters, delivering strong development for multiple arcs, all tied together in the recurring theme of fate vs choice.

This second episode puts the focus on Cadet Uhura, in a sort of mirror image to the Pike-focused series premiere. We can see how these two are at opposite ends of their experiences, yet both are questioning their places in Starfleet. Celia Rose Gooding shines as she guides the audience through her (yes, tragic) backstory and the beginning of her journey as we can see the potential in this series as much as she learns to understand her own potential. And her Grammy-nominated talent is on full display, with her beautiful voice helping infuse the episode with some of the awe and wonder of space, along with honoring Nichelle Nichols’ Uhura who knew her way around a tune.

Even with the Uhura story bookending the episode, “Children of the Comet” highlighted the ensemble, giving moments for the Enterprise crew, showing them at work and at play and sometimes both. Ethan Peck continues to step up to the daunting challenge as he helps guide Uhura towards the light of Starfleet, with the writers giving him quintessential Spock dialogue. Anson Mount’s Pike is still clearly the right man for the job even as we can see the turmoil below the surface,  this time brought to light through the great chemistry with Rebecca Romijn’s Number One. One quibble: Pike’s “aww shucks” charm sometimes edges to the almost flippant, which combined with the periodic out-of-place casual contemporary dialogue by some of the crew (“take your foot off the gas”?) can snap us out of our Star Trek adventure.

Science!

“Children of the Comet” had a classic Star Trek feel with the exploration of a celestial body that turned out to be more than it appeared, finding intriguing new twists. The visit to the comet looked amazing, helping sell the awe it was inspiring in Uhura and even Spock. Finding the solution in a connection between language, math and music was unique yet elegantly familiar, and a great way to showcase those two characters.

The Shepherds, too, were a fascinating new alien race, and everything from the makeup to the visual effects to the florid dialog all showed how Strange New Worlds can deliver on this core component of the new series.  And even with all the sci-fi action and a bit of combat, the solution was a bluff worthy of Kirk, a diplomatic loophole worthy of Picard, and some sci-fi science worthy of… well, Spock. Sure Spock’s shuttle flight leaned far from realism into sci-fi spectacle, but the science of triggering sublimation to move a comet was sound, as was a comet transforming the aridity of the planet.

And yet the core mystery of M’hanit remained, allowing for thought-provoking questions about fate and even faith. What more can you ask from an episode of Star Trek? However, while the visual effects help sell all of this, seeing the Big E move around like a fighter jet in Top Gun is a bit jarring to this fan of Trek’s more traditional style of space action. Still, the unbridled enthusiasm Melissa Navia’s Ortegas has for flying the USS Enterprise is infectious and goes a long way toward helping mitigate the unnecessary barrel rolls.

By the way, even though episodes of Next Generation like “Homeward” established that in the 24th century the Prime Directive would disallow interfering to save civilization from a natural disaster even without their knowledge, that wasn’t necessarily the case in the 23rd century. In fact, it was only in the previous episode that Starfleet renamed General Order One as “The Prime Directive,” which will apparently evolve over time.

Final thoughts

Strange New Worlds goes from strength to strength. While continuing to build on the characters and relationships, the second episode was simply great, delivering a fun, intriguing story.

Random bits

  • This is the first Star Trek writing credit for executive producer Henry Alonso Myers, who was brought in to be co-showrunner after executive producing and showrunning the Syfy series The Magicians.
  • This is also the first Star Trek writing credit for co-producer Sarah Tarkoff, who has worked as a writer and story editor on Arrow and Roswell, New Mexico.
  • This is the sixth Star Trek directing credit for Maja Vrvilo, who has previously helmed episodes of Discovery, Picard, and Short Treks.
  • Stardate at the start was 2912.4 (last episode ended on Stardate 2259.42).
  • The comet’s designation as C/2260-Quentin identifies it as a non-periodic comet discovered in 2260, indicating the series has moved into the year 2260.
  • “Quentin” is likely an homage to Quentin Coldwater, the main character from The Magicians.
  • Uhura can speak 37 languages and she grew up close to Lake Simbi Nyaima in Kenya. Pike has also visited the same lake, which is said to have healing properties.
  • Uhura’s dress uniform was similar to a design from Star Trek Online.
  • Pike told a story of a time as a junior officer he encountered a Nausicaan, a belligerent alien species introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • Persephone III was part of the same system as Persephone V from the TNG episode “Too Short a Season.”
  • A map showed the Persephone system close to the Taliarian Republic (also introduced in TNG) and the Tholian Assembly (introduced in TOS).
  • Spock is familiar with the Earth game Yahtzee.
  • Tricorders have a defibrillator  function.
  • Pike uses “Escape Pattern April Omega 3,” presumably named for Admiral Robert April, the first commander of the USS Enterprise.
  • Later Ortegas employs “Evasive Pattern Ortegas Gamma 1.”
  • The Shepherd captain was played by Thom Marriott, who played a Council Member in the Discovery season two finale.
  • The main course for Pike’s dinner party was ribs, but Spock, of course, had the vegetarian option.
  • Chief engineer Hemmer is an Aenar, a blind and telepathic subspecies of Andorians introduced in Star Trek: Enterprise.
  • Hemmer is played by Bruce Horak, who is legally blind, a first for the Star Trek franchise.

More to come

Every Friday, the TrekMovie.com All Access Star Trek Podcast covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe and discusses the latest episode. The podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPocket CastsStitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network.

New episodes of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds debut on Thursdays exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., Latin America, Australia and the Nordics. The series airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave in Canada. In New Zealand, it is available on TVNZ, and in India on Voot SelectStrange New Worlds will arrive via Paramount+ in select countries in Europe when the service launches later this year, starting with the UK and Ireland in June.


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Nice homage in the spacesuits

Homage is all around in this series: the props evoke TOS, as do the sound effects of the tricorders (they SOUND as if they’re actually SCANNING things!), the bridge effects (it SOUNDS like the buttons being pushed are actually FUNCTIONING!), and more. WOW……….

I just realized this week that it looks like the Discovery uniforms are completely dead now. They gone a strictly TOS direction and its GREAT to see! :)

If Discovery put more effort into a TOS vibe from the get go….

“If Discovery put more effort into a TOS vibe from the get go….”
Yes. Here here.
Even now someone from DIS I think was trying to eliminate the visually stimulating colors of the original sets.

Wow, a second in a row. After the horrible Picard and Discovery Seasons 2 and 3, I was very concerned about SNW. However, it is awesome. I hope they don’t blow it. Good story, writing, acting, visual effects, and themes. Facinating.

For me, SNW season 1 has been a continuation of the ongoing increase of quality that began with DIS season 4 and continued into PIC season 2.

Really? I thought PIC 2 was easily the worst season of Star Trek ever made. Luckily, SNW looks awesome so far. I watched the first episode 4 times! Love it.

It does appear to be a divisive season. I felt like PIC season 2 was the richest and most nuanced season of Trek since DS9, and has become very special to me for a variety of reasons.

You are 100%, sadly, correct. PIC season 2 WAS the worst season of Trek ever made. I’ve seen every episode of trek many times. After episode 2, I watched each only once which is odd for me. They just hurt to watch.

Same

That is your opinion, not a fact.

Also agree. A horrible season all around.

Also agree. A horrible season all around.”

The second season of Patrick Stewart’s show should have been called Star Dreck: Picard.

I agree about Season 2 Picard. A lot of wasted potential, waiting around, etc. Episodes 1 and 2 were great but then story just fell apart. I liked certain scenes, but that’s about it. I fell asleep watching episode 8 and haven’t bothered to watch eps 9 and 10. SNW, however, has action and excitement, meaningful character development, and most importantly stories that narrative and thematically make sense. Very promising start for the series.

I couldn’t even get through it, and that’ saying something, because I’ve been watching since Star Trek was on NBC!

Yep. One good ep out of 10. Not a very good batting average!

Nothing can be as bad as TNG S1, or any season of Enterprise. Picard S2 rates above those two simply because the acting was a lot better.

In my view, season 4 of ENT was the best single season of Star Trek.

Agreed! And TNG season 1 had some great episodes, too!

Oh no…. The worst season ever has got to be Star Trek Discovery season 1. Nothing has come close except Star Trek Discovery season 2. Picard season 2 was easily the best live action season of Secret Hideout Trek. It wasn’t great but it was certainly better than bad. As everything else has been.

Discovery season 1 used to be my worst season but now I think it’s Picard season 2 for me.

Think that part of that was your high expectations heading into Picard S2? I had high expectations for LDX and was gravely disappointed.

I went into season 2 with much lower expectations because how much I thought season 1 sucked lol. BUT yes after that amazing first episode, I was certainly more on board. It just felt like what these episodes felt like and back to basics again. Then it fell apart HARD.

It’s why while I am liking this show so far, yeah, I’m still very very cautious about it.

I have to disagree. PIC season 1 is easily the worst season of Star Trek ever made, BARELY beating DIS season 1, all in my own opinion. PIC season 2 was average. It had 2-3 really great episodes, maybe 1-2 good ones, and all the rest are average. Compare that to PIC season 1 which had some absolute stinkers and way more average episodes. In fact, I think the only really great PIC season 1 episode was “Nepenthe”.

I did love the first episode ‘Remembrance’ too. Sadly as serialized shows go, it feels more marred now because it set up so much which didn’t really pan out that well in the end, but I still think it was a solid start of the season.

Nepenthe is definitely my favorite in season one as well.

Pretty sad (and funny) how DSC and PIC are competing for the ‘worst’ Trek ever. Couldn’t agree more, and glad I’m not alone. I abandoned DSC completely after S2, and bagged out on PIC two episodes before the end of S2. Just no desire to see them. And I also think “Nepenthe” was the best out of both, followed up by “New Eden.” The rest I’ll never watch again. I’m hopeful about SNW after E2, but with these showrunners, who knows? Never thought I’d feel this way about my beloved franchise, but here we are.

Yeah it’s really sad to me to even feel this way about the shows and much more about Picard than Discovery. Discovery was new in every single way. It basically tried to reboot the universe and did things differently from the previous shows, so it was always going to be a risk. But its one I don’t think really paid off, especially in the beginning. Now I do like Discovery more today than I did in it’s first season, but still not much more higher than before but I do believe it is a better show.

But Picard really hurts me to feel this way. This is an iconic character who frankly made me a bigger fan of Star Trek when TNG started. I grew up with TOS but TNG became *my* Star Trek even though I never stopped loving TOS and frankly still is. I think like so many of us, we accepted that Picard wasn’t going to be TNG, but still carried the same spirit, values and most important quality of that show. It simply hasn’t IMO. There are spurts of it but yeah very very little so far.

Frankly at this point, the ONLY reason I even care about season 3 is because of the TNG cast coming back and I’m still hesitant about that. That’s the only thing that can get me even a bit motivated to care after two dire seasons.I think they know they have one more season to get it right. Hopefully it will be but current expectations: super low!

So at the moment, Picard is still my least favorite show in the entire franchise. Even though I have issues with Discovery, I can honestly say that shows does have a few solid episodes every season. But it too is still my second least favorite show.

Seriously, just reading the comments on this thread and it’s so sad how opinions vary, but by and large they’re sharply negative – superlatives like “worst ever” abound when discussing Disco and Picard. For me, I couldn’t get through even half of Disco S2, do not care at all, and I’ve been spoiled about the plot points anyway so I don’t care to watch them unfold. Picard S2 sounds so, so awful, which is such a disgrace. SNW may be the only current Trek show that keeps me invested in the franchise, because otherwise…Secret Hideout ruined my favorite TV show, and I have no problem saying that, and I know I’m not alone in feeling that way…just read the rest of these comments :(

The worst season of Trek ever made is easily DSC season 1, followed by PIC season 1. Then comes DSC season 3 for me, then season 2 and then PIC season 2. If you just count the new stuff. SNW is way superior to me, as is Lower Decks. Haven’t seen Prodigy yet and can’t be arsed to watch DSC season 4, as I totally can’t seem to get into that 31/32nd century stuff…

Even if they do “blow it”, it won’t even matter since each episode is pretty much standalone (no real season arc). Two great episodes so far…hopefully they can keep it up!

I like it too, but one small problem with this prequel is the absence, in some instances, of suspense. The Shepherd guy threatened to destroy the Enterprise, but we know it doesn’t get destroyed until the third movie. We know that Captain Kirk’s brother won’t die, because he dies on Deneva six or so years on. And Pike can’t die either (in this show), because we saw him alive in “The Menagerie.” I don’t think this was as much of an issue with “Enterprise” because that show was set much earlier than SNW.

I find Pike’s pompadour kind of distracting. Coincidentally, Merriam-Webster defines pompadour as “a man’s style of hairdressing in which the hair is combed into a high mound in front.”

Yep, always the issue with prequels and especially direct ones like this. Now THAT said, the main characters rarely die anyway, so it’s not really a big threat. And even when they do die, 90% of the time they bring them back lol. The only main characters who have STAYED dead in canon so far has been Kirk, Dax, Data, Trip and Yar. As crazy as that is, that’s it. I know right? Now how many have been killed and resurrected again? Around 30 by my last count which includes characters from ALL the new shows in their last seasons. DIS, PIC, LDS and PRO all had characters die and also resurrected. DIS has already had two of them with Culber and Book. And don’t forget all the time the ship has blown up with everyone in it and resurrected as well through some time loop. That has happened on TNG, VOY and recently PRO.

And do you think the hero ship of the show will ever be destroyed permanently? It hasn’t happened yet.

So I hear you but the reality is it’s very very hard to kill off a character on Star Trek for good and no one on SNW is going anywhere regardless. And another example why people should stop treating this show as science based when more characters are resurrected in Star Trek than comic book stories.

I didn’t like Picard S2, neither did I really like the pilot for SNW (felt it should’ve been a two-parter) However this episode was really good, and an episode I would watch again.

I like the contemporary dialogue; I’m long past bored with what a story editor at TNG once mockingly referred to as “the stilted Star Trek language.”

Very little takes me out of a future presentation more than hearing outdated stuff like ‘out of gas’ from a spaceship crew.

That applies to how music gets used in the shows as well, or pop culture references. When in doubt, use music or a reference that’s noticeably older than when the show was made. That reinforces the mindset of these being shows set in the future if the music is also from our past and no one is namedropping BTS or the cast of Euphoria etc.

TOS did that sort of thing pretty frequently, truth be told.

“The thing’s got to have a tailpipe.” – Uhura, STVI

The thing that bugged me about that is that it wasn’t the Enterprise that was cataloging the gaseous anomalies. It was the Excelsior. Major plot hole. But again, the movie worked so such a mistake doesn’t kill the movie for me.

This must have been discussed previously, but there was a scene scripted, and I believe shot and cut where Kirk shows Gorkon the ship and the fact all Starfleet vessels carry this gaseous anomaly gear is mentioned.

Then they may have been in a pickle. Leaving that scene in probably slowed things down and likely felt like a weird thing to show Gorkon and wasn’t necessary except for the payoff in act 3. But without it you are assuming the audience doesn’t recall what ship had that gear on board. Although this is the first I’ve heard that story….

…I just assumed all starfleet ships were cataloging that at the time. Head-canon, to the rescue!

Perfect example, sucked, along with most of TUC.

Watching Trek VI today with that “Only Nixon can go to China” line always takes me out of the movie.

I don’t really understand this complaint. Americans (and Europeans?) today use many phrases that are 100, 200 years old or even older. Phrases like, “straight from the horse’s mouth”, “can’t hold a candle to…”, “bring home the bacon”, “flogging [or beating] a dead horse” and many more. Who’s to say some of our more recent phrases like “step on the gas” won’t linger another 250 years?

It’s a failure to extrapolate and a failure of imagination. By way of comparison, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Burgess postulates how language can change within a subsection of culture and does so brilliantly, so much so that Kubrick pretty much didn’t mess with too much with it in the film version. And we’re talking the span of years, not centuries. The old idioms coming into play again would be exceptions to the rule, and rare at that, but instead they are used as lazy writing.

This is SUPPOSED to be science fiction in some fashion; how can the idea of extrapolation be alien to the writers?

I raised a similar point on Jammer’s page when he questioned whether 930 years was too big a jump, that maybe it should have been more like 300 or 400 years. I don’t remember what his concern was (and I don’t want to look it up because if I open another tab to go to his page, when I come back to this page my half-written comment will have disappeared), but my concern was, If in 2022 we met English-speaking people from 930 years ago, would we be able to understand (converse with) them, and they us? I doubt it, but hey, maybe the universal translator, especially the 32d-century model, can take language drift into account too.

There are phrases we use today that are thousands of years old, like “sour grapes” and “crying wolf”.

The use of ‘Only Nixon can go to China’ actually made sense to me as a valid historical phrase, as well as particularly fitting for the situation in Star Trek 6. Starfleet is kind of old fashioned compared to the rest of humanity/The Federation anyway. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture novelization, if you want a reference.)
The use or non-use of modern colloquial speech has ranged from the highly stilted language of TNG’s first season to the annoyingly too current speech of Picard. Different standards, different goals by the powers that be. TOS seemed to strike a balance, not too dated, usually, but not too stilted or futuristic.
One could argue that, with the advent of movies and TV shows etc., the cultural touchstones of the 20th century/21st century might be perpetuated and reinforced for the next few centuries, especially within the culture of Starfleet. For example, McCoy knew what a movie was, even though he did not know who Clark Gable was.
They could be scientifically probably accurate by having the speech change as it probably would over 300-400 years but, as much as some of us may want that (or not), the goal is not to make the most scientifically accurate depiction of the future, but to make a successful TV show.

For the most part I didn’t mind the stylized language through Voyager, but there were definitely times when it didn’t bring out the best in actors who could have benefitted from saying lines more naturally.

The stylized dialogue became a crutch on Enterprise – they needed to switch it up then, with T’Pol being the only one to talk so formally. But apart from Bakula saying “ass” a few times, unconvincingly, Trip was the only one who managed to come across as halfway natura. I suspect that’s down to Trinneer’s skill and how his acting influenced how Trip was written. They needed more of that, but Archer, Reed, Travis and Hoshi talked like it was still the 24th century.

That said, the dialogue in Picard raised my eyebrow at times. Does Jean-Luc Picard say things like, “Guys, I think I’m in trouble here!” because Raffi talks like that?

To me the contemporary dialogue is cringy and is going to date these shows. Its like if Wesley saying ‘Wicked’.

The show may be made in 2022 but it’s suppose to be the late 2250s

Yes, absolutely agree, Neill.

Did you find it equally cringey when

— Sulu referred to Gary Mitchell’s growing powers as like “having a penny and doubling it every day. In a month, you’ll be a millionaire”?

— Kirk asked Spock if he’d ever engaged in “mischievous pranks” like dipping little girls’ curls in inkwells or tying tin cans to (something inappropriate)?

— Kirk referred to disconnecting the M-5 computer as “pull(ing) the plug”?

I’ll still defend the plug pulling (and I’m not advocating for masturbation in doing so), because they do have power conduits.

Inkwells was the old standard for stupid anachronisms, which I’m sure has been eclipsed since.

The penny thing was before any mention of money came up, so I think that is just cringey like the CAGE bathing suits.

I’m not saying TOS wasn’t guilty, but the whole thing of TV advancing in later decades and such things being left behind definitely didn’t happen with TREK the way it should have. I wonder what happened to GR’s hopes for overlapping dialog as stated in the 70s Writer Guide, because there sure isn’t much of it in TMP or TNG.

Well, we definitely disagree on this. The contemporary dialogue on Trek hasn’t bothered me so much over the years, even though it’s poor SF, because Trek was never meant to be pure SF in the first place, and its characters aren’t supposed to represent what any kind of realistic iteration of a future humanity might look like. Kirk is not a man of 2266 — he’s an idealized man of 1966 in a 2266 world. Even THE MAKING OF STAR TREK acknowledged how unrealistic this was, but for marketing and dramatic reasons this was entirely necessary when TOS premiered, and is probably not much less so now. So for better or worse Chris Pike will be an idealized 2022 man in a 2260 world. That’s just the way it has to be.

Excellent point. The viewers need to be able to identify with the characters, and they also need a frame of reference.

I’mstill waiting for the frame of reference that convinces me people who sound like contemporaries were able to elevate themselves out of the socieal / ethical morass we’re in and create a reality where doing the right thing gets rewarded.

I liked the Cage bathing suits, it’s just nice to see the crew wearing non-uniform clothing

It’s more the delivery. It’s not the similes or phrases like the ones you mentioned. The ones that are bad are the ones like “Hell yeah”, using the f bomb for no reason other than to be edgy and “this is the power of maths” and giving a high five. That’s cringe

I don’t agree, there’s nothing that dates a show more quickly than contemporary hair, makeup, costuming, and dialogue… huge mistake.

Star Trek has long deserved the financing, talent, and loving guidance in a talented exec/show runner that Disney has brought to The Mandalorian – I wish Disney/Lucasfilm would contract their services… really experienced and skilled episodic stories while moving a season(s) story arc along and then paying it off brilliantly.

This group has not contemporized Star Trek while preserving what made it great any more than Abrams did. And the set design and lighting designs are just as egregiously bad… how could any crew member actually work at a station with lights shinning right in their face from their console? stupid.

Unfortunately Trek got Kurtzman who lacks the quality that Kevin Feigh and Jon Favreau have.

Sorry but the contemporary dialogue is too cringy. And the dialogue between T’pring and Spock not only contradicts Amok Time but made them sound like horny teens, and I have to say it was a little silly when the Vulcan who walks by is essentially saying, “get a room you two.”

For me that’s just cringy.

I agree, most of the dialog being written for modern Trek makes me want to vomit. SNW is less of an offender, and the jokes landed when I saw the first two episodes in a theater full of fans, but when I watched it separately with my folks it wasn’t really funny at all, more just kinda awkward

Yeah, “The Book of Boba Fett” was really awesome… NOT.

You didn’t like “let’s waste time until we can get back to the Mandolorian?

I don’t agree, there’s nothing that dates a show more quickly than contemporary hair, makeup, costuming, and dialogue… huge mistake.

In the 1960s, TOS had beehive hairdos and miniskirts, not to mention space hippies.

In the tail end of the 1970s, TMP featured Uhura in an Afro, a lot of long-haired men, and disco-worthy costuming.

In the late 1980s, early TNG featured spandex, some frizzy perms, and shoulder pads.

In the 1990s, DS9 perhaps bucked this trend a bit — we didn’t see a lot of grunge, although we did see a bright color palette in the Bajoran uniforms and Quark’s suits. Also, the 1990s were perhaps less embellished than some previous decades.

VOY cycled through various trendy hairstyles, and it featured a tattooed character at a time when tattoos went mainstream. Yes, it was ostensibly to show he was Native; but I can’t think of any tribe that uses tattoos like that. Had Chakotay been Maori, that would have been one thing. But he wasn’t. The use of the tattoo was, if subconsiously, because Tattoos Became Cool, not because it was ethnographically correct.

In the aughts, ENT featured a pop music song, not to mention more contemporary dialogue (“I oughta knock you on your Vulcan ass.”) DISC featured uniforms reminiscent of skinny jeans.

All Star Trek series have reflected their times.

It doesn’t bother me that they speak like that but I’m not loving it either. I feel like it was mainly done for contemporary audiences. Which is a conceit I can live with.

I agree.
People seem to think that sayings just die, but in fact, they stick around for far longer than anyone really gives credit for.

Without looking up the origin, I bet a lot of folks here use these without knowing where they came from. Some are hundreds of years old but still in use now.

So I will easily forgive SNW for the “keep your foot on the gas” comment.

“Close, But No Cigar”“Burning the Midnight Oil”“Jumping On the Bandwagon”“Get Off Your High Horse”“As Mad as a Hatter”“Take It With a Grain of Salt”“Dressed to the Nines”“Time to Face the Music”“Carbon Copy”“Blackballed”“At the Drop of a Hat”“Pulling Out All the Stops”“Straight From the Horse’s Mouth”“Put Your Best Foot Forward”“In the Nick of Time”“Bite the Bullet”“Hold A Candle To”“Fools Rush In”“A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush”“Hair of the Dog That Bit You”“Busy as a Bee”“Apple of My Eye”“A Stone’s Throw”“Bring Home the Bacon”“A Baker’s Dozen”“The Old Ball and Chain”“Barking Mad”“Basket Case”“Frog In Your Throat”“Chow Down”“A Man After My Own Heart”“Fly Off the Handle”“Fly By the Seat of Your Pants”“It’s No Use Flogging a Dead Horse”“Gee Whiz”“Goody Two-Shoes”“Go Down Like A Lead Balloon”“Green-Eyed Monster”“Saved By the Bell”“Roll Up the Window”

You left out, ‘come on like gangbusters,’ one of my personal faves and something I occasionally even use.

I’m thinking that if they Clydesdales in TFF you’f have heard that ‘get off your high horse’ line.

Great list and excellent point. On the subject, I thought it was such a lost opportunity when the Discovery crew met the 31st century Starfleet and didn’t have any language or at least lingo barriers? Could have been an excellent scene where they had to use universal translators to talk to their own people, or a Darmok-style situation.

Yeah, seriously, great list there. I think I use them all, except “Barking Mad.” And derivations have evolved…

Not to mention so many aphorisms from Shakespeare.

In this episode it was some timing issues on Spock’s dialogue that took me out rather than vocabulary or expressions.

Peck seems to be having particularly difficulty with the “walk and talk” hallway conversations.

The additional dialogue recording (ADR) didn’t seem to match the pace of his performance. Sometimes he was rushing, sometimes the video seemed sped up or slowed down, and once there was a noticeable chop in the sound between sentences.

We’ve heard from guest actors on Discovery that the episode directors aren’t involved in the ADR sessions, and it’s a specific team. But there seems to be ongoing issues with dialogue that aren’t being adequately resolved in post.

Agreed. At times it sounds as if the actors are mumbling their lines or the dialogue track is buried in the overall audio mix and sounds muddy (the initial sickbay scene in the first episode and the corridor scenes with Spock in this show).

This episode was an absolute delight.

Absolutely. I was skeptical when I heard they were putting Uhura and other TOS characters on the bridge, but Celia Rose Gooding, and the writers, knocked it out of the park.

I agree. It was very well done and written. I especially like the dialogues between characters in this one. We see more camaraderie, I think.

I just want to know ONE thing from those producing this new series, and this is from the heart as a long-time fan of ‘Trek from the 1960s and everything since: DID YOU SHOW THIS EPISODE to Nichelle Nichols? (!!??) This is absolutely a stunning and loving tribute to the way she created this character! PLEASE show her this if you haven’t already; it is indeed a BLESSING to Nichelle’s character, and she would feel the love the writers have for Nyota Uhura, as do we all. THANK YOU for this story; it brought to joyful tears several times.

I’m kinda hopeful that the grandmother they keep referencing is shown to be Nichelle Nichols.

Ms. Nichols isn’t likely able to perform anymore, and has earned the right to live out her final days out of the public eye.
Peace…

I don’t think she’s able to appreciate it or discuss it anymore…

Unfortunately I believe she’s suffering from Alzheimer’s / dementia

I am enjoying the show but I do have two quibbles to make;

Why do all the post-2009 trek characters have to have a troubled past…every single one is broken in some way. We didn’t need Uhura to be an orphan from an accident. I understand why the wanted this, but how inspiring can this be for someone; “join Starfleet if you you are a dropout, or your family has been eaten, murdered, died in accident, rejected technology or have seen their living-death in the future…”

Secondly, the politics of this show are very dodgy.

Great fun and a great TOS reboot

Mission Log guys pointed out long ago that even the Enterprise-D was basically a ship of orphans. Most everyone there had some tragic past or trauma as well.

Picard: harsh dad / brother.
Riker: absentee father
Troi: dead father
Wes: dead father
Beverly: dead husband
Worf: dead parents
Pulaksi: dead soul (j/k)
Yar: r*pe gangs
Geordi: actually – he’s in pretty good shape
Data: also orphaned in a way

La’an seems a bit like an homage to Yar though her background sounds even more traumatic if that’s possible.

Hopefully she’ll stick around this time though.

Geordi’s mother is killed in an episode of TNG. I can’t remember the status of his father. There was also something about him surviving a fire as a child.

true – Captain LaForge is killed in S6. His father was shown a few times and was not dead. They were talking more about their actual backgrounds coming onto the ship. I forgot about the fire.

Geordi’s father was played by Ben Vereen (who was also featured prominently in Roots where he played Chicken George, grandson of Kunta Kinte who was played by LeVar Burton’s.)

Yar’s background to me just felt it bordered on being a joke. I mean… “Rape gangs”?

I never saw Data as being damaged but then he I never really saw him as being “alive”, so there’s that.

Have you heard how the Russian Army behaves?

Very good point.

Nope and honestly I don’t trust much info that comes out of there anyway.

Everybody should be paying attention to these grotesqueries and not ever forgetting about them afterward. These aren’t staged WAG THE DOG instances, this is real and monstrous — though it seems to be getting press in this instance because it is happening to caucasians, rather than the mass gang-rapes that have plagued other areas of the world that civilized folks seem to turn a blind eye towards.

I’m just saying that from the start there has been heavy propaganda from both sides coming out of there. Therefore anything that comes out of there should not be taken as absolute fact. Reporting by 3rd parties is probably the best bet but even that needs to be scrutinized. That is all.

Just noting that it’s an established propaganda technique to put out such conflicting information and in massive quantity that reasonable people come to believe nothing.

It’s not just about trying to sell people on a particular perspective.

So, good people giving up on finding information and scrutinizing is actually a propaganda victory for those who use that strategy.

No so sure the goal is to get people to believe nothing. Seems to me the goal of propaganda is to get neutrals to side with your side.

And if what you say is true then this is a loose loose situation. Either believe one side’s BS and be a loser on that front or be skeptical then they win.

Geordi: blind since birth. In constant pain using the visor.

Well put Nathan!

Re: Geordi, that was true until they decided to kill off her mother in season 7. The producers didn’t want him to feel left out.

‘Pulaski: dead soul’: awesome.
Dr. Pulaski to Data ‘What’s the difference?’ DataOne is my name. The other is not.’
Never could stand her.

I don’t like any of Diana Muldaur’s characters. But I think it might have been interesting if they had made Miranda Jones (“Is There in Truth No Beauty?”) Dr. Pulaski’s grandmother, and then she (Pulaski) could have had an interest in Geordi’s vision situation.

I think it’s quite plausible that many Starfleet officers would be orphans, and a lot of them tend to be single. They’ve signed up for a career that will keep them away from home for years at a time.

The more family-centered — the types who in real life leave an exciting career in LA to move back to Northampton, Mass., so their kids can be closer to family — would probably not find that lifestyle appealing.

We all endure hardships. It’s that we don’t always know each other’s backstories.

Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

it’s a deliberate distraction for not having great episodic stories – just like a soap opera the show is all about the conflict and undeserved misfortune, not the story. That’s the formula for soaps and children’s shows…

Picard family used cheap batteries instead of Duracell’s in their smoke alarms…and we know how that tragically ended.

Or Picard’s brother didn’t believe in high-tech tools like fire extinguishers, preferring to carry buckets of water to throw on any blaze.

Picard’s brother was portrayed as a technophobe back in TNG “Family.” He didn’t want a replicator; he probably likewise eschewed fire suppression systems (cf. “Up the Long Ladder,” where fire suppression was also a plot point.)

It was a good episode imo. it wasn’t as great as the first episode but good enough. I love the character development of Uhura which we never really got in TOS as the only characters that got a lot of character development in TOS was Kirk, Spock and Bones. I liked the story of the comet and the crew trying to ‘divert’ it and it turns out the key is music. La’an in this episode again reminds so much of Michael Burnham she isn’t afraid to make her opinions know to Pike and others.

I liked it! Pretty simple but well done episode! I think we learned more about Uhura in this episode than the 3 seasons and 6 films of TOS lol. It’s nice we will finally get some real development of the secondary legacy characters. I think her and Spock will form a strong relationship but just keep it platonic in this universe. ;)

I thought this episode was going to go into the ‘Chosen Realm” direction and that the aliens (can’t remember their names) were going to be supreme religious dicks to the point they were going to kill people to let the comet continue. Still dicks, but not COMPLETE dicks! They were ultimately proven right. I think it’s only the second Trek episode that took place on a comet (sure someone will correct me). The other one being Enteprise’s Breaking the Ice. Very different stories, but a nice tranquil tone they both shared while trying to get the away teams off them before disaster. Not everything has to be about saving the galaxy (take notes Discovery and Picard).

I do have one negative and that is we only got Hemmer in that one scene. They showed it on the Ready Room and thought we would get more but that was all lol. Hopefully more next time. He seems like he’ll be a lot of fun. Overall, the episode was a nice light story with a neat little twist in the end in the vein of classic Trek.

Nice to have THIS Star Trek back! I’m loving the TOS/TNG/ENT vibe again! :)

I feel like romantic tension between Spock and Chapel is going to be retconned as a reason why his relationship with T’Pring breaks down,

Definitely could be right. It’s crazy how fast that is already starting. I thought they would ease into it and maybe not go that direction until second season. Didn’t they just meet in the first episode lol.

Chemistry among the cast is one the things I feel that SNW is doing the best job with. The crew deserves some credit, so far, for casting actors whose chemistry shines on screen no matter the relationship being explored. These interactions feel authentic and unique to who the characters are. I especially liked the conversations between Pike and Number One about Pike’s eventual fate. They came across as a mature loving relationship between two people that have known each other for some time. Whereas his conversations with Spock last week came across as needing guidance from a trusted friend. Both relationships are ultimately valuable but the feeling conveyed to the viewers is somehow different. I also liked how everyone in the cast got a chance to contribute something to the solution. It sends a much needed message about the power of teamwork. I just hope they can keep it going and the show doesn’t fall into the trap of only focusing on three people.

Oh yeah, totally agreed! In fact I’ve liked all the casts of every show even when I didn’ like every show. ;) But even some of the ones I loved like TNG didn’t feel as connected in first season as later seasons. Same for DS9. I feel SNW cast feels very connected from the start. It feels very organic.

And yes, teamwork is the bedrock of Star Trek! Everyone being on board to solve a crisis and each working from their given abilities.When that is done well is what make these shows really great IMO.

Agreed about Hemmer, I wonder if there was a deleted scene where we actually got to see Hemmer tampering with the photon torpedoes?

We didn’t see Dr M’Benga at all this episode.

I get the sense that there will be a significant variation in how much we see of the main cast across the episodes.

There was also the TNG episode Masks which involved a comet but I don’t think they actually set foot on the comet, just scanned it.

Correct. One appears in that episode but no one lands on it.

It seems as though Hemmer was cast very late, even later than La’an (Chong had to leave for Toronto from the UK within a week of confirmation).

Beyond the fact that Hemmer is the most prosthetics heavy character in SNWV and the crew would need to know how to work out blocking with a blind actor, I can see that there would have been a lot to work out for Goldsman and Myers to be confident at the kind of performance and tone Bruce Horik would provide given he’s mainly worked on stage, despite attending film and theatre school.

The fact that many of the American media continue to leave him out in their listings of the main cast in their reviews suggests that since he wasn’t in the initial media notice and is with ACTRA the Canadian guild, they aren’t considering him. Which it too bad, given the importance of his representation and how he seems likely to be a breakout character for this show.

All told, I think we’ll keep getting more Hemmer as things go on. His arrival scene in the premiere and his appearance in the teaser clip could have easily been shot later.

As a severely physically disabled man, I am incredibly excited to see more Hemmer. Having a disabled main character, played by a disabled actor, is a really nice thing to see. Representation matters. And from what I’ve seen of Hemmer, I think he will be a fan favorite.

It’s always crazy how much you know these inside details lol. I can imagine a lot of that is true though and we’ll see a lot of him in time. I think the little we seen he’s going to be a fun fan favorite the way Odo and Phlox became.

As I understand it, the actor isn’t totally blind.

He describes himself as legally blind, which can also be described as profoundly low vision.

He walks with a cane and for stage performance memorized his steps to his marks.

He has no vision at all in one eye, and wears a sightless prosthesis in it. His other eye has minimal eyesight. Computer graphics are used to correct the visible abnormalities in his low vision eye, and make his two eyes match. In a Nerdist interview, he said that the production team and he met with an ophthalmologist to see if a contact lens and new prosthesis could even out how his eyes appear on camera, but it was decided that it was better to take no risks to his remaining eyesight.

It’s estimated that Horak has about 9% overall. But its enough that he is a visual artist, and uses his painting to communicate what he can see.

I’d love it even more if they introduced some physical models in the space scenes. The Orville has shown that can be done and still have complex action. Even in 2022, the CGI is just not really there unfortunately.

Still, that’s a very small quibble. :)

I understand what you mean. One thing that’s bothered me about modern Trek is that in the space scenes, the ships are harder to see (and less detailed!) than in Deep Space Nine.

I’m a little torn on the space scenes. I see good and bad in them. They look neat but at the same time have a CGI feel to them. In this instance it felt like the Enterprise was evading better than than it felt like a ship of that size could. However if the show is good that will just be a fun nit pick, If it falls apart it will become a legitimate gripe!

The effects are well rendered but it’s the movement of the ships that feels off. I very much doubt a gigantic hulk like the Enterprise can be that nimble. Even the rolls, banks and loops of the shuttle feel a little too showy.

See, and to me the lighting and texturing is what is all way WAY off. Sure, the movement doesn’t seem to let the ship have the proper mass, but that wouldn’t be a dealbreaker — the painterly/cartoonlike quality, however, can’t be excuse unless you’re WAAAAY back from the subject. It’s like people are rejecting what they see with their own eyes in deference to some kind of image slickness that CG delivers.

I’m not saying model shot are always great; shoot, all you have to do is look at some of the early TNG to see evidence of that, and for me DS9’s TRIALS was a dud because they didn’t embrace the TOS aesthetic on the exterior shots, which wound up looking awfully low contrast (i.e., looking like they were created on a computer instead of just composited on one.) I think one of the things that pushed CG to the fore a quarter-century back — in addition to the supposed cost savings — was how a lot of model work got ‘wrecked’ in the compositing and lowered the image quality and resolution to a point that you didn’t see any virtues left from starting off with a physical object.

And by the same token, CG VFX, even decades-old CG, can be very convincing. The SOLARIS remake had some wonderfully ambitious spaceship stuff, but Cinesite used 8k textures and did things right — even the MEN IN BLACK Edgar bug stays pretty amazing looking. And the companies doing TREK spaceship VFX currently have each done excellent work time and again — they’re just not doing that kind of imagery for these series, which makes me feel confident in suggesting this look is not economy-driven, but a deliberate (and IMO seriously misguided) aesthetic call on the part of management to press for and favor goofy pseudo-photoreal tricks like crap on the lens and aberrant camera movement as well as the frankly nutso view that space looks gauzy with many ship details diffused and/or absent.

I agree, I really despise CGI effects. I miss the models we had in the 80s and 90s.

I think it was meant to be the space suit, which makes sense. I don’t know but it wouldn’t surprise me if some real ones don’t have it.

NGL, this is definitely an improvement over Picard and Discovery, but JFC, hire a science consultant or sth.

La’an: “what are harmonics, I skipped music”

“Harmonics” is a widely used PHYSICS term. How are you even in Starfleet? What do you think those “phaser HARMONICS” are that you just mentioned eleven minutes ago in the same episode? Sigh.

NGL, you seem to forget how Star Trek works.

This is a VERY common Trek trope, where supposedly seasons Starfleet vets don’t know even the most basic things, for the sole purpose of being able to plainly explain it for the AUDIENCE.

On TNG the likes of Riker, Troi, or Worf would often not know some very basic stuff. In “Disaster” O’Brien has to explain to Troi what a containment breach is.

I know ST needs to do exposition, this was just handled in a bad way, given that they literally used the word “harmonics” a couple of minutes earlier in that very same episode

Wasn’t Ortegas the one who suggests phaser harmonics? And this after La’an was down and out ot touch? I may be misremembering…

Yes, I also remember Ortegas talking about phaser harmonics.

Star Trek has two science consultants on contract who work across series.

Dr. Erin MacDonald is a physicist. Dr. Mohamed Noor is a biologist.

What is it with these modern shows and gratuitis led strip lighting everywhere?! It’s freakin’ migraine inducing haha! Surely you don’t need it around the edges of every console, handrail and so on, and THEN reflected off all the shiny surfaces on the bridge too. Come on bridge designers, less is sometimes more. A crew has to work here 24/7, make it a little bit more of a realistic enviornment for them to exist in :) But, minor gripe. These look, and sound like the Star Trek I used to know & love deeply. Very frustrating we have to wait here in the UK until next month, so trying to keep away from spoilers as far as possible.

I agree, including “minor gripe.” But they don’t need to have a light in everything. The Stargazer bridge has the same “feature.”

Agreed. Overall I like the PD of this show well enough (though Pike’s fire pit is more than a bit much), but I’d like it lots better without all of the superfluous lighting — what practical purpose does it serve to have the front of the helm, the edge of the bridge consoles, and the railings illuminated?

With the front of the helm, it is probably strictly cosmetic. The TMP bridge helm front didn’t have any grilles or anything, and it looked …well, bad to my eye. I never understood how phase 2 had that great metal looking wall in Engineering and that survived into TMP, but that they didn’t take that same treatment to the bridge, which needed some snap to it instead of looking like fiberglass. The bit o’ strip lighting they put in for TFF was a step in the right direction. But by and large, the overuse of stupid and distracting lighting is a total turnoff for me.

It’s hard to look at the bright white stripes going in every direction.

On small screens they distract rather than emphasize the stage elements they surround.

I too could come up with some minor quibbles if I wanted to scrape the barrel, but i’m thrilled to just enjoy classic, good ol fashion problem-solving Trek!

I want to be like you.

I have been smiling for two episodes in a row. With Covid, the war and all the social media negativity and morons. It’s nice to have something simple, funny, positif and fun.

I am maybe early but I feel like saying it.

STAR TREK IS BACK!!! Let’s see if it can be better than ever. As of now I am really liking the crew.

I am impressed with the quality of the production, the acting , the sets, the costumes. It looks so frigging good!

May star trek live long and prosper

My sentiments exactly. I’ve found the plots of these first two episodes to be a little basic, but it excels at being uplifting, positive, kind, and fun. This is the best Star Trek I’ve seen in years.

I wasn’t super gung ho about having a Pike show originally but warmed to it more and more up until its announcement. This was probably the best idea for a show to have. And it only happened due to the fans. I imagine we would probably be talking about the Section 31 show right now I can tell you no matter what the show was, it would be much more divisive lol.

This is Star Trek in its purest form. It’s also why people love Lower Decks, but that also being a broad comedy is more divisive as well. But it’s nice just to have a weekly show where it’s about exploration and problem solving again. I’m still very cautious given I started out praising both Discovery and Picard at the beginning of all their seasons only to be let down later, but so far it’s good.

Due to Picard, I’ve actually been apprehensive and feeling this little fear in my gut when 12am PST comes around and I open Paramount+. Watching Star Trek, which I love, and seeing such bad episodes left me resentful and actually sad.

Strange New Worlds has renewed Trek for me after the sinking disaster of Picard season 2. I loved this episode for many reasons. I really buy Gooding as Uhura and there is so much about this show to love… except that hideous dress uniform ;)

Good God, that was hideous, wasn’t it? It looked like she was headed down to the holodeck for a bout of ambo-jyutsu.

No kidding. That was the worst dress uniform in the entire franchise.Hopefully it will be jettisoned quickly enough.

Yeah, sad dress uniform. I also wish the standard uniforms had more of the black collar. But I hear you on the disappointment factor – Disco and Picard are the worst things ever produced under the Trek IP.

Very good episode. And the Enterprise has phaser beams instead of Star Wars blasters! That was nice to see, I always liked the beam better.

I think they should officially make it canon that both forms do exist in starships. I mean we saw “Star Wars” blasters in the Reliant in The Wrath of Khan and I always assumed the ship also had a normal beam phasers too. Like its a setting of the weapons.

You just said it! It already is canon since TWOK! :-)

What I meant was that yeah, its canon from TWOK but we only saw the laser pulse version there. I mean in the sense that a scene of which where we see during a battle that a ship can fire both beam and pulse versions of the phaser as the situation requires it. I don’t think we ever saw that being done with as starship, it was either one version or the other.

The Defiant has both pulse and beam phaser emitters.

I would be okay with that

i remember that the phasers could be depleted of energy after using the beams for a duration so maybe the phaser bolts were more efficent and would mean the phasers would hold out longer in a battle ie like we see in discovery over the beams which would be depleted alot quicker in a on going battle and would leave the ships basicly defenceless

Just a phenomenal cast, I love spending time with this crew. Delightful in every way, great energy and a familiar Star Trek premise that didn’t need a massive exposition dump to explain. Great visual storytelling and pacing. The way they are building these character arcs is what I hoped to see and the discussion of Pike’s fate was great! I think Ortega’s might be the polarizing character on the show because she is so casual and quippy, but I like her as I do with most characters that are more fun. This is probably the best Uhura story ever, hands-down! But I can’t help but think of Uhura awkwardly trying to speak Klingon from a dictionary in Star Trek VI vs the Uhura here which appears to be a languages savant like Hoshi. So sure, it’s not quite consistent, but I’m only slightly bothered by that…and the use of “Miles” which is a huge no-no in Star Trek.

The scene in VI just reinforces how well Nichelle Nichols understood her character – she didn’t want to do it, and said Uhura would know how to speak Klingon. She really deserved her own Relics-type episode where we got to know her better.

I thought the scene was funny as a kid, but now it irritates me. And why were they using paper books?

…imo, that scene remains abysmal to me in an otherwise enjoyable film. I have no idea what they were thinking there.

It was cringeworthy when I first saw it and remains so today. I don’t know why TFF gets panned for poor humor when TUC does the same thing.

We can retroactively blame Nomad for that gap, and yet Nichols was still right to object.

There you go! Never thought of that. That works.

Or alternatively, Klingon was just never one of the 37 languages she speaks, much in the way Bones never learned Klingon anatomy.

I feel like it was done for the comedic aspect of it. Period. It didn’t matter that they could use the computer or that Uhura would have been able to speak Klingon. The goal was the laugh. And when you ignore the mentioned problem, the scene did work.

Blame the studio, they didn’t want to pay for three effects shots of the Enterprise sneaking past the border in an asteroid field, so the cheaper alternative was to shoot this dumb little live-action scene instead.

Uhura gave me a Hoshi vibe in this episode.

Yes I TOTALLY agree! Uhura does feel like Hoshi in many ways, the biggest obviously being top linguist but also doubting themselves in their roles on the ship. Just by crazy crazy coincidence I rewatched Fight or Flight a few days ago which is the second Enterprise episode and it’s all about Hoshi. She also had to work through her doubts about being in space and understand a new language on the fly to get them out of a crisis.

I know it’s just coincidence but pretty funny how similar the characters felt in both episodes.

Was thinking that myself. There was an Episode of Enterprise where everything hinges on Hoshi’s language skills. At first she doubts herself but then gets the job done in the end. It’s a standard trope: the green officer who doubts themselves only to then save the day and emerge as the hero.

Yes, it was Fight or Flight, the episode I mentioned above!

Best Star Trek story in a long time! Bravo, SNW team.

I think the last time we had a Trek really explore something weird was back in Discovery’s “An Opal for Charon“, which this episode reminds me of, a little. NuTrek does this sort of thing far too infrequently. More please!

I was thinking that this was a really great twist on a classic story.

The stories don’t need to be totally original, but they need to be the best they can be of a type.

Voyager successfully did that for its time with several Trek story tropes. I think that’s one of the reasons it’s been so successful on streaming. In a number of cases, Voyager told stories that we’d seen versions of on TOS or TNG but brought a fresh angle or a better execution.

In this case, I really liked the ambiguity about whether the comet AI would have done the ethical thing if the Enterprise had never interfered, but since they had and the entity was precognitive, the interference was accounted for.

This was new and thought-provoking. It was interesting to see Pike challenged by a more technologically advanced but not god-like species in the Shepherds, but also the entity that they served.

Last thing: while there are folks that keep thinking about how much better effects could be, I’d like to celebrate how far they have come and what that adds to the whole package.

While vfx and special effects standards and expectations are constantly increasing, to me this was very much the kind of thing we could only get in movies in the 90s.

Well … that was nice! A nice simple story told by people actually talking with one another. Almost everyone gets something to do and after almost 60 Years we finally get a reasonable interpretation of the prime directive.

The opening scene was just amazing! Just the crew being the crew. I hope se get more of those kinds of scenes. One minor complaint though: Did they really have to kill off Uhuras Family just to motivate her to join starfleet? Those dark backstories are getting kind of annoying and they send a dangerous message especially to younger viewers: you can’t be an interesting character unless you’re emotionally damaged. That’s terrible!

Other than that, what’s there to say? It won’t win any prizes but it’s a very solid Star Trek episode and I’m here for more. If you absolutely have to reboot Star Trek, that sure is the way to do it.

Just for fun some minor nit picks though:

The Dialogue needs work. For one it tends to be a bit too contemporary (though not as bad as some other P+ Trek Shows) and it’s a bit too quippy at times. There’s moments where lines feel like they’re just there for the trailer. Also some interactions feel more like monologing instead of talking. Which might be connected to the next thing

They tend to overdo it with the music. Trust the audiences intelligence to recognise something as dangerous without shoving it into their facees with loud music. Not every scene needs a soundtrek. Sometimes talking is just fine.

And finally: The Pike-knows-his-death-backstory still grinds everything to a halt, every time it comes up. They really need to dial this back. It adds absolutely nothing to the plot that a more grounded reason for thinking about leaving Starfleet wouldn’t do just as well or better.

Also: anyone else fell like that comet might be a planet killer but that simulated explosion was a little over the top? 😅

And: Who’s doing the computers voice? It would be funny if it’s the Actress who plays Nurse Chappel 😁

I wonder what happened with the vocal database Majel Barrett recorded as the computer. She did a full library of words and sounds before she passed so they could piece together anything they needed in future and still have her be part of the franchise as the computer. Even if it was imperfect at the time, look at how well they (creepily) piece together Mark Hamill’s voice these days without his even doing a recording for Star Wars.

I agree with you about the dialogue, but I’m willing to give it a pass for now. It usually takes a few episodes for the writers to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Plus, Trek has a long history of characters talking like people in the year they were written in (hello Tomorrow Paris!).

Finally, the dialogue on this show actually sounds like real, natural conversation, which is a massive improvement from one of its sister shows. For that reason, I’m willing to overlook it for now.

Actually, the one thing i’ve been most impressed with so far is that this doesn’t feel like a first season. Which is to say, the writing flows smoothly, the actors play fully realized characters, and the stories seem polished.

Most first seasons — of any show, not just Trek — are clunky and uneven at best. This almost feels like it could be a third or fourth season. It feels far more effortless and even in almost every aspect. Not sure how they achieved that.

Perhaps all the extra rehearsal time during Covid? time for the cast to get to know each other, the writers to really polish up the stories (not saying they are PERFECT, but few things ever are) — and the lower episode count.

Actually, the one thing i’ve been most impressed with so far is that this doesn’t feel like a first season.

Well, in a sense, it’s not; we had an entire season of the three leads on Discovery.

I actually questioned the concept of them diverting a comet to save a pre-warp civilization. Does that go against the Prime Directive? In STID Pike sure seemed to think it did. And I tend to agree.

I do agree they need to lay off the Pike-knows-his-fate thing. I, like you, feel like it adds nothing to the character and only serves as a tired distraction.

In the TOS episode “The Paradise Syndrome“, the Enterprise is literally on a mission to do the same thing. Divert, in this case an asteroid, from crashing into an inhabited pre-warp planet.

So what’s going on in this episode falls well within what they would be doing at this point in time.

To be fair, someone left behind a device to deflect any planet killing asteroids and it was our heroic crew who screwed with it. I’ll have to check again but I think the intent was to leave them to their fate. The only reason they tried to move the asteroid was to save Kirk, which I would argue DOES go against the PD.

I just watched the start of the episode.
They beam down, and find the obelisk.
They then discuss the native inhabitants and how much time they have to divert the asteroid which will hit the planet.
Kirk wants to explore with the 30 minutes they have before they need to leave.
Then Kirk takes a stroll up onto the obelisk and gets trapped.

So no, there was no intent to leave the natives to their fate. They where there to save them from the start.

OK. However the fact that the obelisk was designed to save them to begin with also saves the crew from the prime directive violation.

They were going to save them before even knowing about the obelisk. They didn’t even know the obelisk’s purpose until the end of the episode.

TOS is the worst in terms of consistency. They visited a stone age planet in “Private Little War” and apparently Kirk had done so multiple times before. Love how everyone can overlook all the nonsense on that show but can’t look past even the tiniest of problems with a newer show, like a prop looking slightly different.

Oh boy.

First off, the objection in STID wasn’t saving the planet. It was saving the planet and *revealing the Enterprise* while doing so. At any rate, much of STID was utterly stupid, and I wouldn’t take it as a precedent for anything.

The real counterexample is “Homeward,” but frankly, that too was idiotic and utterly out of character (somewhat typically for season seven of TNG). I would simply pretend “Homeward” doesn’t exist.

Interesting that you bring up “The Paradise Syndrome”; that too featured music as a form of written language. Spock noted that some cultures use musical notation as writing. Now we know how he learned this fact!

I feel it adds much needed pathos. But feel free to gripe, you always do.

As everyone does. Except you. At least according to yourself.

And finally: The Pike-knows-his-death-backstory still grinds everything to a halt, every time it comes up. They really need to dial this back.

I disagree strongly. It is part of what makes Pike a fascinating character, and I hope they explore Pike after “The Menagerie,” much in the way BETTER CALL SAUL does for Jimmy McGill in Nebraska.

Simply an excellent episode. I enjoyed every minute of it. The character bits, the aliens, the visual spectacle. Strange New Worlds is on an excellent course and if they continue in the same way for me at least this will be best new Trek show out of the modern iterations of Trek.

Some words to describe the 2nd episode of SNW, and the show as a whole: joyful, bright, optimistic, touching, thoughtful. Let’s dive into this episode, piece by piece. 

In this episode, we learn so much about Uhura, played absolutely perfectly by Celia Rose Gooding. Seriously, Gooding suffuses this younger Uhura with perfect wide-eyed optimism, innocence, and youthful trepidation. 

We open with her wearing her formal uniform at Pike’s dinner party, where everyone else is dressed casually. Pike invites the whole crew, not just the bridge officers, and Mount gives off such Dad vibes here as he grills ribs. Uhura offers help to Hemmer, which he takes offense at. I really liked the connection between Spock and Hemmer, as they used telepathy with each other. We learn a lot about Uhura’s unconventional path to Starfleet, and her doubts about whether she belongs. Meanwhile, Pike is still grappling with his fate, and is clearly struggling with it. 

Next up, we have a classic Trek plot: move the comet before it destroys a civilization! Turns out, the comet is some kind of alien artifact, and another group of aliens consider it sacred. Uhura joins the landing party, and seeing her unravel the mysteries of the comet while overcoming her self-doubt (despite Spock’s unhelpful pep-talks) is a joy. She realizes the comet responds to music, which she uses to bring down the force field and beam the injured Sam Kirk back onto the ship. 

Meanwhile, Pike is arguing with the “Shepherds” of the comet, who treat it as holy and do not appreciate the Enterprise trying to move it. We get some really interesting debate and perspective on faith and fate, two things that define Pike. As we know, Pike grew up with a father who taught comparative religion, and he seems to have faith of his own. Pike and Spock save the day by distracting the Shepherds while Spock uses the heat of a shuttlecraft to divert the comet. 

Here’s where things get really interesting. Somehow, the comet knew its own fate, that Spock would divert it. And the Shepherds were right that the comet would bring life, which it did by providing water to the planet below. This has an impact on Pike and his own struggle. Una tries to convince him that fate can be changed, but the episode closes with Pike looking up the kids he will save one day. 

Two episodes in, this show has proved to be extraordinary. Yes, the plots of these first episodes have been very basic, but I honestly don’t mind. In order to reach for the stars, one must build a solid foundation. The dialogue is sharp, witty, and very natural and human, which is a remarkable achievement compared to one of its sister shows. The characters are a joy. Mount plays Pike perfectly, and this episode has made me a huge Uhura fan. Strange New Worlds is proving to be the best Trek in a generation. 

Final random thoughts/comments:

I love Pike’s hair. Is it ridiculous and completely over the top? Yes! It’s campy, and that’s exactly what Trek does best. 

Have I mentioned how much I love the aliens of the week on SNW? I’m absolutely delighted to get “humans with putty on their forehead” again. It’s campy, and that’s great. 

In some of the comet scenes, the AR wall they use as the set was very obvious. Again, I don’t mind, since it felt very campy TOS. 

I really love how they are using Pike to explore faith and fate. 

Hemmer is already my favorite character, and I think he’s going to be a fan favorite. 

Spock and Uhura singing together to communicate with an alien artifact is my new favorite thing! This was a wonderful episode, though I do wish they hadn’t made Spock laugh.

Honestly, I don’t mind Spock laughing. The Cage establishes that at this point in his life Spock is more willing to show his human side, and his emotions. It isn’t until later that he tries to go full Vulcan.

I don’t know I think both of you are overthinking it. I took it as a half-fake laugh. Like he was forcing it for the moment. He was attempting to make a joke, based on their earlier scene together. He didn’t genuinely feel the need to laugh, he just did it to join in, even if he was late to the party.

I never thought of it that way. Perhaps. But it still felt to me like Spock would be a little embarrassed to even to a forced fake laugh just to “fit in” at that point in his life.

That’s one interpretation of what we saw in “The Cage,” but it is NOT mine.

It’s clear to me that when we see Spock shouting and smiling in “The Cage,” it’s because Number One was supposed to be “the emotionless one” at the time, and Roddenberry didn’t decide to assign that characteristic to Vulcan culture until “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” But just because Roddenberry DECIDED then doesn’t mean that Vulcan culture changed on that date. :-) Rather, Vulcan culture would have ALWAYS (well, since the days of Surak) believed in the strict control of emotion once WNMHGB was made.

So I think it’s a total mistake for the showrunners to see Spock’s behavior in “The Cage” as part of Spock’s character development. Nor do I believe that Spock’s smirking and pouting in the first couple of episodes of TOS is part of his character development. Spock was a new concept, and it took even so gifted an actor as Leonard Nimoy awhile to figure out how to play a person who controlled his emotions very strictly but WITHOUT making that character seem robotic or unpleasant.

Curiously enough, the showrunners have NOT decided that the Number One in SNW should behave as if she has no emotions, just because the Number One in “The Cage” did so. So it’s clear that they’re picking and choosing what they want to be canon in “The Cage” and want they want to throw out, rather than just accepting the whole thing as canon. If they can do it, so can I. :-)

I accept that that showrunners have made a different interpretation of events than I have, and I am enjoying SNW immensely. But I still think their interpretation of “The Cage” is short-sighted.

A reasonable comment. And I don’t think you are entirely wrong, either. Good points.

But Spock’s half human. Roddenberry didn’t need to retcon Vulcan culture :)

You said everything I think we all know, but you know how obsessive fans can be. I really wasn’t interested in exploring Spock’s ‘smiling’ side since as you said they were still just trying to figure out how to shape the character. Data also smiled in episodes in the first season of TNG for probably the same reasons.

That said, now that they have done it starting in Discovery, I don’t mind it and it’s probably refreshing for Peck to play the character like this and have some moments he can be more loose.

As for picking and choosing what particular canon to follow from TOS, they been doing that literally since Discovery.

A very good episode. Star Trek reborn.

A few observations…
In the opening credits, right after Pike’s voice over says “ where no one has gone before”, don’t the next few musical notes sound like they’ve been lifted from Superman Returns?
When they first beam down to the comet, Uhura’s prolonged inane banter about being unsure of herself made me feel like I was watching a Star Trek video game module where the player gets to be the new inexperienced cadet (Uhura), and you have to decide what actions to take next, while your character blathers on about being in “over her head”. Mary Sue would be proud.
When Uhura cracked the girlfriend joke to Spock, I winced at how inappropriate that comment would be during an Away mission.
They should drop all the joke lines…it adds nothing to the situation and seem absurd at the time.

Wash away these bits and you might just have a winner.

I actually agree with a lot of that. I don’t have an issue with Uhura questioning herself especially as her first away mission and one that has such big stakes but a lot of the dialogue felt a bit inappropriate for the moment. Asking Spock about his girlfriend probably wouldn’t be a big deal if A. they WEREN’T in the middle of a crisis or B. If they were good friends. It definitely felt out of place here. It’s also a LOT of jokes and banter on this show. But hey still less than Lower Decks lol.

But none of it is a huge deal either. It’s, once again, obvious they been listening to fans and that the live action shows feels too dire at times and they want to keep things light and upbeat. I’m definitely fine with that.

I agree with pretty much all of that – yes, the jokes are pretty lame, thus far. The away mission should have been a little more fraught with peril…

Yeah I think the show veers too close to the Marvel-esque jokey, quippy dialogue of modern times that is just so, so unreal, so dumb. The jokes themselves aren’t that funny – I enjoyed them in a crowd, but when I watched them on my TV with my parents, none of it got any reaction.

Ortegas has a Kira Nerys look, which is quite a compliment.

Agreed!

Anthony your reviews are outstanding.

Another sterling addition to the meteorically ascendant reputation this series is building. Easy to see why all the hopeful comments arose from those lucky enough to view the first five episodes. This is quickly vying to be my favorite entry into the franchise in decades.

One question: I don’t know what they’re smoking in the make-up/hair trailer while doing Ethan Peck’s sideburns, but it must be some good stuff. I actually laughed aloud at this week’s dipsy doodle ‘do. I’m guessing this will be a humorous metaphor all year as his character searches for something that fits, inside and out.

I am excited to see the rest of this season. It’s just two bad there aren’t 26 episodes like a half century ago.

For real, why are his sideburns so, so bad…illogical

Wow, two episodes in a row I liked, this one even better than the first! Uhura has been a delight in both episodes. And I’m looking forward to seeing more of gruff but loveable Hemmer!

Oh, and matching musical notes with the comet in order to communicate…nice homage (pilfering) from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

There’s something closer to home, actually. In the TOS episode “The Paradise Syndrome,” they used musical notes to work the obelisk.

That’s good, Corylea. But the way they hummed it…bum bum bum..bum bum…it reminded me of the greeting in Close Encounters.

Yes, true.

It wasn’t just similar to the musical tones from CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, it was identical.

So, yes, it’s both–a connection to “The Paradise Syndrome” and a direct imitation of the tones from CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND.

It’s also related to “For the World is Hollow, and I Have Touched the Sky.”

Well, thanks, Thom. At least I know I’m not going nuts!

Quentin is the name of the main protagonist for much of The Magicians’ run, right? I thought the comet’s name was an homage to him.

A very enjoyable episode. My only beef is with some of the dialogue (Ortegas, in this one) as some of you have already mentioned, but hopefully that will smooth out. I think the episodic nature of this show will be its savior, and will likely/hopefully break the bad (imo) run of live-action Trek we’ve received the past few years. It was really a neat little story, too. For the first time in years, I have new additions to consider when I sit down with an hour to spare to watch a Trek episode, which is kind of thrilling in itself. The money shots of the Enterprise in battle and weaving in and out of that comet’s trail were pretty much worth the price of admission alone with this one. By the way, I want the captain’s lounge in my house. So far, SNW is turning out to be worthy of Trek legacy. Well done.

The beauty of episodic is that even if there’s a lackluster episode, they have a chance to reset the next episode. Don’t like one story? Don’t worry, we start over next week.

Exactly, and we’ve been missing that for a long time.

Given the track record of Secret Hideout and 10+ episode arcs, that I think will turn out to be a good thing. I have found that most other story arced shows tend to map out their arcs much much better. Not sure why they have such a hard time with it? As we know, you do a season long story if that story sucks, the entire season sucks.

Yep just like the old days. I think SNW is going to be very rewatchable like the other classic Star Trek shows even if the seasons aren’t all great as a whole.

Others have said the Enterprise shouldn’t be that maneuverable, but it’s not like she was turning on a dime or anything. She was gracefully swirling through the cosmos, and I loved, loved that it’s not like they managed to dodge every shot – they definitely took a few hits, but by and large avoided them. I thought it was perfect, and it looked great

Substantially better outing then last weeks episode. Good job!

Yep. I was hoping that first episode was a mere misstep. If the 3rd is better still then I we might be in for a decent set of episodes.

Waiting to see E2 later this evening. Without reading any spoilers or in depth posts, it sounds like another winner this week.

Sooner or later I am sure they will have a stinker. For every COTEOF or Inner Light, there is a Spock’s Brain or Code of Honor.

Fortunately, the great thing about episodic tv is that you can flush it and come back with a real gem the next week. I will have to remember this when they inevitably deliver a really bad episode haha!

Through the first five at least, they are all winners.

Yeah based on the initial Rotten T critic score – 100 perecent for those first five shows – pretty cool! We shall see if the fans agree, but so far so good!

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The first episode…. Not so much.

Yeah it’s definitely good so far but as we have seen with these new shows, it can go from high to SUPER low very quickly. Just a few months ago, most fans was praising episode two of Picard and gleefully saying its going to be the best Trek season EVER!!!!!! Then we got episode 3 and it kept back sliding from there lol. So I will remain cautious for a long time but so far so good.

I think the episodic format will stop that from happening. As Alpha said, we know the first 5 episodes are pretty good, so unless the last 5 shows are completly brutal, S1 should be a winner! We shall see!

Sure but you can still just have bad stories. But yes, if the first five are as promising the reviewers say then it will probably be fine. I’m still just too weary that it will all be great after Discovery fourth season and then Picard. I would probably be much more upbeat if this followed Prodigy or Lower Decks. And I just don’t trust Akiva Goldsman at all who destroyed Picard. I think he’s an hindrance and yet he has so much clout on the franchise right now and can’t understand why?

I suspect it’s going to be “Spock Amok.”

As I watched Mr. Kirk step onto the platform within the structure – with various ominous red flags popping up – I recalled the fabulous Red Shirt Engineer Mr. Olson from Start Trek 2009 (who waited too long to release his parachute when diving onto the huge drill boring a hole into Vulcan).

I feel bad saying it, but while I was thinking, “Don’t step onto the platform!”… I was also thinking, “Will he be the first notable Red Shirt in SNW? Will he?

There were many, many things in this episode that made me smile. I am guilty for saying this, but that was one.

Sam Kirk dies in the TOS episode “Operation – Annihilate!” which takes place about 10 years or so after the events in this show, if we’re accepting this as the prime timeline. So unless they’re planning a radical canon-break or changing the timeline somehow, Samuel is safe. Sorry for the 50+ year old spoiler.

Frankly, one miss in SNW is Sam Kirk. I see no real reason for him to be there, and it amps up the unrealistic coincidence factor far too much. To top it off, they didn’t even use him in this episode.

Agreed, just another reference for reference sake

That dude got exactly what was coming for him…it was laughably irresponsible and I’m glad they zapped him immediately to get him to shut up, cuz he’s frankly annoying

I don’t know about others, but I got a lot of “The Chase” vibes from this episode. A comet of unknown origins seeding a planet with lifegiving materials. Another great episode.

I too thought that, and even wondered if someone might retcon it as a leftover from their people.

Interesting. I got “Darmok” vibes, where the crew had to decipher an unusual alien language to prevent an outbreak of hostilities.

Another solid episode.

Terrific episode, I thought.

Is it just me, or is Pike’s hair both longer and more grey since ep 1?

They filmed parts of Episde 1 at the end of the season…. So maybe?

I have, from time to time, posted on this site since 2008. I have been consistently critical of NuTrek. It was always going to be a big job for a NuTrek show to hook me. Episode 1 of SNW didn’t quite grab me – too on the nose with real world issues. Not so much allegorical as a blunt instrument. However, this episode was fantastic. From the story to the music, the visual effects to the acting, this was hands down the best episode of Trek since Discovery aired. This was so good that I forgot about the visual discontinuity. I just enjoyed it. It was as good as if not better than any episode of OldTrek. I loved every second of this episode and am wholly bought in to this series. A thank you from me to the actors, writers, producers, crew, musicians and everyone involved with the production. Simply stunning.

It’s really funny, this episode could’ve been any typical episode of the old shows and would’ve rated probably a middle tier episode of TNG for me. But because we have seen so very few of these kinds of stories in modern Star Trek, they just feel so refreshing again. A very simple story at its core but highlights everything that makes Star Trek great! It’s nice to get alien conflicts that doesn’t rope in the entire Alpha Quadrant or threatens the galaxy and people working together to solve a crisis through science.

I keep reading here about this being a “simple” story and don’t understand why people consider that to be a bad thing. In my life it has been my experience that usually the simpler things give me more enjoyment. It seems like we are as species somehow programmed to make everything needlessly complex than they require to be, so I don’t really understand this point about simplicity. The simpler the better I say.

Obviously, I agree! I find it completely refreshing because I truly miss these kinds of stories. That was the great thing about old Star Trek is that the stories can go big to small any given week. And personally I think a lot of us are just tired of these BIG stakes that happens every season on Picard and Discovery. We had six seasons where the entire galaxy can be in peril. It’s not every episode but when it’s all geared to the main story, yeah, it’s tiresome after awhile. You could FEEL how tired people were getting when the season 4 trailer of Discovery dropped. It was like ‘seriously, again??

You know how much I love Lower Decks. It doesn’t get anymore simpler than that lol. That seems to be a reason why it’s so popular, we’re watching very simple stories, the overwhelming majority of them no one is ever in danger of dying. That’s its appeal for me. Little slice of life stories. When I have to defend myself why I like something like Lower Decks I point this out EVERY time. It’ not just about catching easter eggs and or that Riker shows up, I just generally love and miss those smaller stories in Star Trek; where not everything relies on falling into a war. It was something TOTALLY different from PIC and DIS. The people who hate it can hate it, but that’s why so many of us love it and came at a time when we were looking for something simpler.

I think with SNW some people just expected bigger stakes upfront. And to be honest, every live action show first episode started with pretty weighty stuff. Discovery started off with a war! So some people expected stuff like that I guess. For me, this was better. It just brought me back to watching a comfortable episode of TNG or TOS on any given week. And I know the bigger stuff will come in time.

Because some of us are sophisticated enough to enjoy movies we have to watch a second time in order to grasp the entire plot (cf. Arrival, the latest Bond, etc.)

You’re confusing “low-stakes” with “simple.”

Season four of Discovery was quite high-stakes, what with the dark matter anomaly. The plot was also incredibly simple (and simple-minded) until the final three episodes. Half the season consisted of Discovery chasing Tarka and Booker through various dive bars.

There was more nuance to “Children of the Comet” than in most of season three and four of Discovery.

I think that’s a good way to put it too, lower stakes!

Yeah, that’s exactly is my point. It’s certainly a very common thing to do high stakes stories in Star Trek, but when you do them six seasons straight like Discovery and Picard has, it starts to feel mundane after awhile. Season 2 of Discovery was about the entire galaxy getting wiped out of all biological life. How much higher can it be lol.

With the old shows and you had to make 26 of those puppies a year, you just couldn’t put the ship or characters in grave danger in every episode. They had to think of other creative ways to create conflict, even if on a smaller level or just more character development and ironically created some of the best episodes in the franchise by doing that. People love stuff like BOBW, Year of Hell or Sacrifice of Angels. But its a lot of the smaller, quieter or fun episodes that makes a huge impact for Star Trek fans like The Visitor, Data’s Day, Qpid, Duet, Trouble with Tribbles, Carbon Creek and on and on.

If SNW could do those kinds of stories too, it’s going to be a great show for fans!

You basically put my thoughts to words. I thought the premiere was middling, but “Children of the Comet” was superb, and I don’t think it was a simple story at all. There was the plot about Uhura’s career; the strange language; the Shepherds; and precognition, both for Pike and Hemmer and the comet itself.

My one small objection was that the first couple of minutes made the Enterprise look like a toxic workplace (hazing, Spock berating Uhura for being honest about whether Starfleet was for her). That was probably because when I sat down to watch it on Thursday, I had a massive internet outage about ten minutes into the episode. They resolved these plot points adequately.

Well… The show made a fairly quick course correction. This episode was much better. Was it great? No. But it didn’t suck and worked pretty well. Hopefully it will continue on this path.

I did pick up on the pattern on the EV suits being similar to the one we saw on The Tholian Web. So that was nice. And the round control thing on the arm on the shuttlecraft was a nice touch. Although I still think the shuttle is a little too big. And nice to incorporate the Uhura character trait to hum from time to time into the episode. So they hit all those beats. I did like that #1 brought up the idea that he choose to not believe the vision. Unfortunately he seems to be on the side of buying into it. It’s becoming a main element of the character and I just don’t see it working.

I was not so huge a fan of the Spock laugh. I understand the argument for it and I guess he could go either way. But my perspective is that Spock of this time would not have broadcast the laugh for all to hear. That would have been amazingly embarrassing for him. Maybe in front of his closest friend and much later in life he was secure enough that he wouldn’t have had a huge issue with it. But it didn’t feel to me to be appropriate.

At any rate… The show has improved and I’m looking forward to see what they do later.

But I am still finding it difficult to get used to the super dark gray Enterprise. It really does need to be lighter.

Spock laughs in The Cage, or least gives a big grin, so I’d say there’s defensible continuity here given that we’re closer to Cage events and Spock still has time to mature into the more stoic character from TOS.

I’m on the side of ‘in The Cage the Spock character was not fleshed out in anyway, therefore anything that deviated from what Spock eventually became later ought not to be taken as an actual characteristic’.

The inconsistent rank’s are annoying. Everyone who is a Lt.Commander gets called a LT. The display screen in EP.1 lists Una as a Lt. Commander. Nurse Chapel is a Commander? I’d wish they take ranks more seriously and consistently.

Sam Kirk. Not George Kirk. Granted his canonical name is George Samuel Kirk; but he addresses at least twice in SNW as Sam.

Both are accurate. George is his first name, but everyone calls him Sam.

Except in What Are Little Girls Made Of? Kirk gives false info to android Kirk to see how closely his mind was copied. Android Kirk corrected real Kirk with “George Samuel Kirk, your brother. Only you call him Sam.” The way the line was read was that Jim was the only one who called him Sam. This show is treating the line as if “only” was not Kirk alone but as an addition to the information.

It’s so nice to have stand-alone Trek adventures. I don’t mind some continuing bits of plot or character development but the break from serialization is most welcome. Fun, entertaining episode. Great cast and the whole thing looks terrific.

Agreed. At some point waiting until next week (or next month, depending on where in the season) for the pay-off to a story gets very old.

I want to give kudos to Alex Kapp who stepped into the late Majel Barret’s shoes as the voice of the Enterprise computer. She nailed it.

So, Strange New Worlds has recast three roles originally played by Majel Barret!

Watched the review video from Trekculture and they spotted an NX-01 in Pike’s Ready Room. The NX-01 has now been in every new movie and TV series except Lower Decks (and someone correct me if I’m wrong on that). That’s pretty impressive and a nice way to keep her legacy going!

One week somebody should swap that NX-01 ‘akiraprise’ model for an actual Akira from the 24th century model. It’ll be the only clue that reality has changed, but see how long it takes for anybody to notice.

LOL! That would be funny.

BTW, have you watched the episodes yet? What did you think?

I just started watching the first few minutes of ep 1 on youtube, it is up for free right now. I am watching with sound off so I don’t bog down over bad dialog, if it looks good maybe I’ll dare to watch the whole thing with sound.

My takeaway after 10min – somebody must have liked Inara on FIREFLY, that is totally the vibe I’m getting from how they cast T’Pring. (Now watch, I’ll turn the sound on and they’ll have T’Pring sounding like Minnie Mouse!)

Re: NX-01: had you ever heard the story that supposedly Braga had a screaming fit when the studio wouldn’t force SharpLine ARts to matte the -01 into the rec room on the director’s edition DVD of TMP released in 2002? Sounds crazy enough to be true to me.

LOL no I never heard that story with Braga. That sounds insane. And why would he think they would do that??? Paramount isn’t George Lucas. ;D But he should feel more comforted today because thanks to all these prequels, the NX-01 is now established in past canon years before TMP and in two universes.

Dude, I’m going to be honest, I really hope you will like ONE new Star Trek show before 2030 lol. Just one! I know you like TOS obviously and DS9. Those are solid shows to like but it also means you haven’t been satisfied with anything else for over 20 years now. I know how you feel about the Kelvin movies as well. Hopefully SNW will be more to your liking but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Hey, I haven’t loved a Bond movie since 1989! so Trek and Bond are both at about the same level in that regard (the bombs of 89, LICENCE TO KILL and TFF, are perpetual faves of mine — though Dalton’s hair in the film looks really rocky.)

I dozed off on SNW, but woke up for when Mount ordered the ship down into plain view. Mount seems to make speechy line readings sound natural and convincing without evoking other captains, which is a really fine trick. Will try watching it straight through with my wife as soon as i finish my TOP GUN article this weekend.

(honestly, a part of me feels that i will never like a Trek series unless I’m writing it.)

LOL I’m starting to get that idea too.

But it it’s not doing it for you, that’s OK too of course. I’m just hoping one show does it for you since you do seem to want to enjoy them more. If SNW doesn’t do it for you, then maybe nothing will.

As for Bond, not nearly a fan of it like Star Trek but I have watched most of the films in the theater starting in the 80s with Roger Moore. Oddly the only Bond films I never watched in the theater were the Timothy Dalton movies. I actually liked him too but his movies at the time just didn’t pull me in. But I did watch all the Brosnan and Craig films after that but yeah had varying impressions of them from good to outright awful.

Looks like my reply to you from yesterday didn’t pass muster. No matter.

We did watch it straight through last night, and I think my wife was a little more disappointed than I was, because she expected the retro vibe established with Pike’s presence on DSC would be carried over strongly to SNW. She was surprised to see the rest of the crew doesn’t seem retro at all, and I think she had a real problem with the actress playing Chapel.

We’re still only using our smaller backup TV right now, and that is a good thing, because the glaring lights would have been too much for us both. When Spock and Kirk are in the elevator, there was a bulb behind Mount’s face that was just driving me crazy. My wife just found the bridge so busy she disliked it more than the AbramsBridge (it’s not possible for me to attain that level of disdain, since I find the AbramsBridge to be the suckfest to end all suckfests.)

The style of storytelling definitely needs some getting used to on my part. I kept thinking that in a previous series, much of the show would have been spent on trying to get in and talk with the world’s leader — but here, he just walks in, and later beams in, and in the latter case, everybody just shuts up and lets him speechify. Mount does it very well, but it still seemed a little too easy.

The really big takeaway for me is that the combination of watching this ep last night and then reading one of my many books on 2001: A Space Odyssey this morning somehow synthesized a fantastic movie idea in my head (and I don’t get many of those … I’d say once every 15 years at best.) I’ve actually worked out two ways to do it, one (less expensively) here on Earth, and the other with humans travelling elsewhere. I’m gonna let it percolate for awhile (I still have another script to finish, the last pass on the story of ILM being created for STAR WARS), but I suppose right now I’d say watching ep1 of SNW was a backwards win for me, because it did get me to thinking differently.

Still think there’s a lot wrong with it, but really like the security chief and think the helmsperson seems like she might be good. Thought it was weird that they addressed the other person sitting up front as Ops or something like that instead of navigator, but I imagine they’ll also be calling landing parties ‘away teams’ and similar outoftime nonsense.

Another good episode. Not to much to say beyond what others have already posted.
I really liked the Spock Uhura banter and it was good to get her backstory. Her initial self doubt also reminded me a bit of Hoshi from Enterprise S1.
Looking forward to E3!

Yep I thought of Hoshi too! In fact I just happened to rewatch Fight or Flight a few days ago and ironically it was the second episode of Enterprise focused on Hoshi in a very similar (but more deadly) situation. And Hoshi was really the only true linguist communication officer in Star Trek until Uhura in the Kelvin movies.

I am enjoying Strange New Worlds and I enjoyed this episode very much. But I’m surprised only one person in the comments, and no one else, discussed how much of this episode is ripped off from “The Paradise Syndrome” of TOS. Are people that unaware of TOS? In that episode, an asteroid is on course to destroy an inhabited planet. Spock figures out that the machine which protects the planet from destruction is controlled by musical notes. He figures out how to decode symbols into musical notes to communicate with the device so the planet does not get destroyed by the asteroid.
Ummm? Why are so few people seeing how much of this otherwise great episode was stolen from “The Paradise Syndrome?”

I think it’s a combo of a) people are just desperate and excited to see a good Trek episode after the drivel of the past few years, despite borrowing from what came before, and b) yes, I think sadly there are a bunch of folks who have never seen TOS, much less memorize it like we have…:) Imo, The Paradise Syndrome was leaps and bounds better than this episode of SNW, it had a ton more drama and weight to it. I enjoy re-watches of it to this day.

Forced to agree. The Paradise Syndrome was not a great episode but it was a decent one. And still better than Children of the Comet.

Paradise Syndrome has kind of grown on me — you have the obelisk set and the Spock in command segments. Now if I could only warm up to “The Cloud Minders”.

I think the discipline of 45 minute episodic stories is proving good for modern writers. It strips away some of the flaccid pacing and over-emotion that marred Discovery and Picard.

I liked it a good deal.

A few quibbles: The dialogue is sometimes amateur and predictable, like when the engineer remarks, “I like her.” It was so obviously the type of exchange meant to buff her up, I literally mouthed the words as he said it. This crew of writers just has a certain cadence and prefers to lead the viewer around by the nose rather than trust them to figure things out. “Ah, the prodigy.” Let it breathe folks!

Also, as in Discovery, they’ve never cared much about the characters sounding like they’re a military outfit. Dropping quippy jokes and one-liners while the ship is being fired upon is taking it too far, however. I guess I’ll finally have to adjust to new Trek being a very light hearted adventure, absent the heavy stakes of TOS or TNG. Lots more childhood trauma, existential dread and death though!

One more nitpick. How many times did they explicitly explain it’s Uhura’s first away mission? Like eight? Wouldn’t once have been enough? C’mon writers! Let us see her dilemma and feel it with her rather than being force fed.

Still though. The story was fun. Characters good. I enjoyed the nuance that the aliens ended up being not necessarily wrong. Just remember writers: Our Starfleet heroes need to be right sometimes too. That’s two episodes out of two that either the Enterprise or the actions of Starfleet can be interpreted as the “bad guy.” Same as Into Darkness, Beyond, multiple seasons of Discovery… It’s become a troubling pattern.

The writers are children, writing for children. Don’t expect them to be capable of trusting their audience.

Once isn’t enough actually.

Three times is the normal rule in communications (tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you’ve told them).

American television norms tend to often go further.

No, the writers aren’t children albatrosity, or writing down to the audience. They are however making sure that the show is accessible to new viewers.

There’s a lot going on for those who aren’t familiar to the franchise. Uhura is a familiar name even to non-fans so it was important to ensure that new viewers could situate her in her career journey.

But there’s enough complexity to make the episodes enjoyable for immediate rewatching, even for long-time viewers like many of us here.

Back in the 90s, my housemates and friends and I typically watched each new episode two or three times before the next came out.

I’ve been doing that with some of the newer shows because members of our family like to watch at different times (and when our kids were younger I pre-watched everything for them). But so far SNW is the first that I am rewatching immediately just because I want to.

As a music teacher I was thrilled to see the use of music as a language. And like Spock said, I can tell you: music was (in ancient Greece) not an art form but mostly a science. Musical notes (and scales) derived from physics and harmonics present in nature and therefore making it universal. It’s incredible when you think about it.

i hope they have pike come to terms with his future soon, they just spin their wheels every time they talk about it…the space suits were a great modern take btw