‘Strange New Worlds’ Showrunner Teases Upcoming Comedy Episode: “Trek Can Be Funny”

One of the promised elements of the new series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is a lighter tone and a mix of styles for each standalone episode. Now the co-showrunner is talking about an upcoming episode that leans into comedy. We also have the new Robert April talking diversity and more SNW updates.  [Warning: spoilers]

Spock and T’Pring’s rom-com

The fifth episode of Strange New Worlds titled “Spock Amok” features a body-swap storyline, with Spock and T’Pring doing the swapping. Of the first five episodes provided to media outlets, this one is by far the most comedic. Speaking to IGN about the episode, executive producer and co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers promises a different take on the premise, saying “the experience of doing it with Ethan Peck’s Spock and Gia Sandhu’s T’Pring are what makes it unique and interesting,” calling it “a romantic comedy kind of episode.”

Citing prior examples like the TOS episode “The Trouble with Tribbles” and DS9’s “Little Green Men,” the showrunner made it clear he wants Strange New Worlds to have some fun too:

The hill I decided to die on was to say, ‘Trek can be funny…” It’s not a crazy stretch to say that Trek can be funny. It is canonically funny many times. It can handle that tone. We have an incredibly talented cast who are also very funny. So it was really important to me that we do an episode that tried for funny. But it’s an hour long and there’s always a moment where funny doesn’t sustain it, and you need it to be about something. So I would call it like a dramedy. We have that tone in it. And I think it feels like Star Trek to me. I loved writing that, and I will tell you, there is no funnier human being than Anson Mount. He’s got really good comic timing.

Gia Sandhu as T’Pring and Ethan Peck as Spock in the series premiere

LeVar Burton welcomes new April

One of the hot topics ahead of the debut of the series was the news that Adrian Holmes was taking on the role of Robert April in the new series. The actor spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his experience, saying it was “cool to discover” the history of April going back to Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek pitch and eventual debut on Star Trek: The Animated Series, adding he was “learning a lot.” He also revealed how he got a special welcome to the franchise:

A friend of mine is friends with LeVar Burton, and LeVar was so kind. He sent me a video welcoming me to the franchise, and I was just so moved by his generosity. He basically said, “Welcome. We are family, and we’re just proud to have you.” He said that when Gene set out to make Star Trek, he knew that as human beings, we could get our shit together. And if we were to become a space-faring civilization, we had to solve the problems that lie in here now. That is the core of Star Trek‘s ethos. It’s about us all working together to build a better future.

What I love is the diversity and inclusivity of the franchise. It’s very progressive and forward-thinking, which goes to support the building of a better future. Representation matters.

So far April has only appeared in the pilot. Holmes told THR he does return and the character is still alive, but “I don’t know where my journey is taking me” on Star Trek.

Adrian Holmes as Admiral April of the Paramount+ original series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+

Celia Rose Gooding and Henry Alonso Myers on The Ready Room

The new episode of the official after show includes an interview with the new Uhura, Celia Rose Gooding, along with Henry Alonso Myers. The show also includes a look behind the scenes at the puppetry to create the Shepherds in “Children of the Comet” as well as the costumes, along with a clip from next week’s episode.

Feelin’ tall on SNW

Celia shared a fun image on Twitter from the production of “Children of the Comet,” joking about how the show has her feeling taller than she may appear in comparison to guys on the crew. And this height talk got a response from Star Trek: Voyager and Prodigy star Kate Mulgrew, who bonded over how not everyone can be as tall as the likes of Gooding’s co-star Ethan Peck or TNG vet Jonathan Frakes.

Co-star Melissa Navia also got in on the action…

Dan Jeannette(Sam Kirk) also shared a fun image from behind the scenes from this week’s episode.

Ask Celia live on Saturday

Gooding will be on Instagram Live on Saturday answering questions.

 

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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A body swap? Could this be like Turnabout Intruder but a comedy?

I can just see the booby/peepee jokes starting to fly… a lot like “Body and Soul” from VOY… >_>

I HOPE it’s not this juvenile…

Don’t worry, it’s not Orville

Orville doesn’t do jokes anymore. But if they did, rest assured most of them would work.

Given the tone we’ve seen so far I suspect it will be more like something like “Data’s Day” than say, “Take Me Out To The Holosuite.” A light-hearted story with a few jokes, and more serious secondary B-story that maybe ties into it.

Love that they’re willing to embrace Trek’s light-heartedness though.

Never have been a fan of A and B stories. Let’s hope SNW doesn’t go there. B stories felt like writer crutches.

Thank Kahless your’e not running Star Trek because I’ve always loved A and B stories!

Same. I especially like when they intersect unexpectedly. ML31 will complain about anything though.

This show is gold. It’s not PERFECT but it’s got everything i’ve always loved about Trek, and a few things I didn’t know i’d love about Trek. It fixed all my problems with DSC, and the few flaws I found in PIC.

I have zero complaints.

Lol. Yes, ML31 complains about everything but fear not we still love him!

And I agree the show seems like a winner(so far) the episodes leave me wanting more! I’m eager to watch another one right away. A good sign if you ask me. ( Unlike DSC which is akin to doing a chore)

Actually, ML31 has always complained with the hope of something better.

I do believe however that he’s finding it surprising how many of us just have such different tastes and find something to love in any of the series since TOS.

You just complained about Star Trek Discovery! That means you complain about everything but we still love you!

Same.

To clarify… Because from time to time I have criticized something you loved you have decided that means I will complain about “anything”. Might want to tone your negativity down some.

Only when they’re braided, so it is like one big story, like Decker’s whole arc in DOOMSDAY, which ties into the main issue of dealing with the thing at every point. The ‘Data tries to understand comedy while elsewhere … ‘ is for me usually the low end of the trek spectrum.

Sometimes we do find ourselves on common ground. :)

I was kind of proud of myself for making that post, because I had been really fighting the instinct to just drop a snotty remark like:

‘Of COURSE Trek can be funny … the question is whether current TREK can be funny on purpose.’

I’ve always found situational humor in drama to be among the most compelling. In high school I’d get weird looks when I said I watched THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO for the jokes, but it was the truth (plus it had an insanely catchy theme, maybe the only good piece of music ever from the guy who wrote THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW music.) Probably came out of my seeing ‘gentlemen … I suggest you beam me aboard’ in DOOMSDAY MACHINE and various amusing Kirk/Spock exchanges (SPACE SEED has got a particularly good one) so many many times in the early and mid 70s.

They only work with they compliment each other or ultimately run into each other. With TNG rarely did. They generally felt like a story idea that didn’t have enough behind it to fit the allotted time.

I thought Turnabout Intruder was a comedy? ;)

This is about as flagrant a continuity violation as I can imagine? Spock’s dialog in TURNABOUT is quite specific about whether mind transfer is possible between separate beings.

It’s fine they’re doing a comedy, but it seems with a universe full of options, picking one that flies right in the face — oh, just remembered about the Gorn as well. (shrugging, shaking head.)

YES!!!!!!!!

Spock Amok sounds like it will be pure fun! This is the type of trippy Star Trek of yesteryear I miss! Swapping or sharing bodies is a long Star Trek tradition. It’s silly but a lot of fun. This is why SNW has so much more promise because you just can’t do these kinds of stories on Discovery or Picard unless you find a way to tie it in to their big story lines every season. Hopefully it will be good!

And for me, Star Trek IS very funny! I haven’t loved all the comedic episodes (and not a lot of the Quark ones but a few are really strong) but enjoy most of them actually. DS9 had some of the best comedic episodes (again minus some of the Quark ones) and yet it’s the darkest of the classic shows, which again shows how easier it is to do in episodic formats.

Discovery and Picard would have made a trauma or even a horror story out of it.

LOL so true!

Let’s not be unfair to Disco. Arguably its darkest season, the first, had “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad,” in which Harry Mudd comically kills Lorca umpteen times.

Yep. DISCO had loads of typical Star Trek episodes in the first half of each season. Lots of them are just wonderful. Yes, there are those divisive storyarcs, most of of which I like compared to those of PIC, but that is not to say DSC doesn’t offer some great episodic moments that qualify as classic Trek, albeit with a much stronger visual component.

Magic to Make… is one of those. But I personally also LOVE Si Vis Pacem, Obole for Charon, Saints of Imperfection, Sounds of Thunder, If Memory Serves, Forget Me Not, Choose To Live and The Examples. Yeah, they part of the arc but they also stand out in their own right as visual masterpieces.

The most traumatic experience about DSC is what some fans read into it.

“Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad” is still my favorite episode from season one too. I think many in fact because it was a funny story and did a great job with the time loop element. It felt the closet to classic Star Trek.

Also had some nice character moments between Burnham and Stamets.

Well, of course April is still alive. We saw that in the 1970s.

But sooooooooo many things could happen in the meantime.

How many times did Kirk “die” in TOS?

Since we aren’t likely to see Pike having enumerable near death experiences given his known fate is a fixed point for this series, and it’s been done as a movie for Spock, April remains a senior officer who could fulfil the trope at least once in in this show.

How many times did Kirk die on TOS? None.

He appears to die around a half a dozen times.

I remember failing this one in a Trek trivia contest in my younger days.

Now of course he had plot armour, but not more than April or any of the legacy characters in this case.

I see a difference between appearing to die in the episode vs actually dying. Spock faking a Vulcan Death Grip or McCoy slipping in a “triox compound” I don’t count.

It’s a little like the question, “how many legs does a dog have if you count the tail as a leg?” Answer: 4. Calling the tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

Let the outrage commence…..

Not from me! This is Star Trek in pure form. I said it before, you can’t be upset for these shows to do things that’s been part of the franchise for decades now. And I suspect most will be fine with it as long as its actually good.

Does ambivalence/resignation work for you?

Celia R. Gooding is really setting herself up to be an icon for women, truly. That’s the magic of the role of Uhura. Back in the 1960s, featuring a command/flag officer on the bridge, front and center, was groundbreaking in its own right. Nichelle Nichols’ portrayal, as we all know, even garnered the attention of MLK and, even though it may have seemed like a “secretarial role,” the impact that Nichols’ Uhura had on, not just black women, but women in general, produced shockwaves in society that are *still* being felt, to this very day.

Gooding has huge shoes to fill but I feel like, so far with only 2 on-air performances out in the world, is going to fit them right in. The writers at SNW have really put her in a position to make a larger explosion in society than Nichols did, and not ride on the former’s coattails. Like Nichols in the 1960s, Gooding is youthful, beautiful, elegant, and a great actress. In 21st century SNW, her Uhura is youthful, truly tragic, but a fighter, rising above, doing the right thing, even if she feels like she made a mistake in doing so, but staying the course. Not because Spock tells her to but because she’s gifted, and using her natural talents and gifts to send a clear message. Her message is of hope and the promise of a better future, one that isn’t handed to you, but one that you fight for and strive to achieve. Something we didn’t get with Nichols’ Uhura because she was already there on the bridge. Her very presence made the impact.

It’s Gooding’s turn. Already, (and no disrespect intended to the actress) her footprint is much larger than Zoe Saldana’s version of the character (who was written in as nothing more than an action hero, sleeping with the instructor to get to where she’s at… literally). I have a feeling Gooding will take her place in the echelons of influencing performers, the Mt. Rushmore of which has the faces of Nichelle Nichols and Kate Mulgrew etched in. If the PTB continue on this course and keep giving Gooding the material, this young lady is going to soar and be on that Mt. Rushmore before she knows it.

I love her performance as Uhura, already. I can’t wait for more!

Somewhere Sonequa Martin-Green is crying in her oatmeal.

I can’t imagine why Sonequa wouldn’t support Celia in every conceivable way.
They are after all, on the same team.

I mean the fact the poster gave such glowing praise for Celcia Gooding after just two episodes, but SMG was left out completely in the same praise even though she’s the first black woman to ever lead a Star Trek show for four seasons now and also being the first black woman Captain on said show. That seems like the real testament of how far both a POC and women have come in this franchise since Nichols.

It’s just very odd how none of that was acknowledged at all lol. That seem like she would be on this Mt. Rushmore before Gooding but after Mulgrew and Nichols of course.

I get the character Michael Burnham is divisive for some fans, but she deserves that acknowledgement much more than Gooding IMO who is just playing the role of a legacy character.

I actually think it’s a great sign that that finally that doesn’t have to come up in these interviews. Diversity and women of color being successful, both as actors and fictional characters needs to be the status quo, not breaking news.

Because SNG previously paved the way, what you mention isn’t all that newsworthy now for this situation. I think that’s progress in the right direction.

I do too although YES it has come up with interviews with Celcia Gooding. I have seen two interviews where she talks about it.

And I’m only pointing it out because the POSTER pointed it out lol. That’s what their post is about, is it not?? It’s so bizarre to praise someone who has been in two episodes but not a single mention, anywhere, of the first black woman LEADING a Star Trek show for the very first time. That’s what MLK true dream was. It started with Uhura as a starting point, it ended with Burnham as woman of color now running a show. Also what many people are not recognizing, she is also now a producer on Discovery too. None of the previous leads ever had that before IIRC. I kind of think that’s going to the heart of what he saw one day both in front and behind the camera.

And you can’t really say its because its not newsworthy today because he also mentioned Kate Mulgrew too. Maybe it was just an honest slip up but it just seemed odd she’s not even referenced once on a show still running at that.

Good points.

Maybe my memory is off, but I recall people criticizing Michael the character and specifically not Sonequa the actress – in fact, when Disco was the only show, I remember reading a lot of agreement that like her character or not, Sonequa has been an absolutely MARVELOUS ambassador for Star Trek.

True and people still criticize the character today, me included!

That’s going to happen of course and not an issue if people find fault with the character directly. People had a lot of issues with Janeway too. That still shouldn’t take away from the historic accomplishments the actors themselves made in the franchise.

I like Celcia Gooding so far but it feels weird to be honoring someone in such a way but leave out Martin Green who actually has accomplished something no other black woman has done in Star Trek until now.

And yes one thing you can say about SMG, she has been a huge ambassador for Star Trek and is always glowing and positive about it every time she talks about it.

Well, being first isn’t the big deal (or shouldn’t be is what I guess I should say) that it is often made out to be unless that person is also very VERY good.

Jackie Robinson being major league baseball’s first black baseball player is momentous, not just for being the first, but for his excellence. If the first black ballplayer in MLB had been, say, somebody with a record like Julian Javier (I don’t even know the guy’s ethnicity, but do remember his dismal batting average and home run history), he’d have registered more like a footnote than a milestone.

I mean, I honestly don’t even remember who the first black quarterback in the NFL was, which suggests that he wasn’t very good or he came along after I gave up on pro sports over 40 years back.

SMG registered badly for me on TREK, but I’m still not sure just how much of that is due to her intentions/abilities vs. how she was directed (and certainly the writing didn’t make for much of a support crutch, not for anybody on the shows I saw in the first 2 seasons before abandoning ship, though admittedly Mount managed to surmount those considerable obstacles, god knows how.)

Is the oatmeal free of gluten and lactose?

In my household it is because my wife makes damned near everything from scratch, and she can spend days wiped out and recovering if she used the wrong milk in the mix.

Well said, although the pot shot on Kelvin Uhura about sleeping her way to the top is dead wrong…I would argue that she saved the Federation with her signals work on the Klingon battle with Nero’s ship. And not only that, Spock was going to assign her to a lesser ship than she had earned assignment to only because of their relationship, so that’s the complete opposite of the favoritism you are trying to suggest here. Furthermore, in Beyond, her exceptional hearing skills reveals the identity of the main antagonist.

I would like to think we could simply praise Gooding/Uhura without taking unwarranted pot shots at Saldana/Uhura. And now I see a sarcastic comment here as well on comparing SNG/Michael to her as well…do we really need to go there?

Saldana’s character was nothing more than The Girlfriend. Good grief, a competent military officer starting a lover’s quarrel in the middle of combat? Puh-leaze.

Yeah that was bad. It made them look and act like immature college kids and not serious Starfleet officers on a dangerous mission.

I found the credibility of the relationship utterly lacking in 09 — kept thinking that this was like BIG BANG THEORY early Leonard/Penny, but not as credible, owing to how the sex part was already figuring into things), but by ID, I thought Pine managed to mine some humor in observing it (not trying to give the guy too much credit, when he is confronting Khan in the brig it is like watching a high school novice actor thrust into a scene with a seasoned pro, but when working within his limitations, the guy can be effective.)

Where do you think Kurtzman Trek gets that from? It started in STID!

“nothing more than The Girlfriend.”

Her actions as Comm officer/cadet saved the ship once in each movie. Fact

If you want to say, “primarily,” that is a legitimate opinion to have. But “nothing more” ignores her Comm station actions in the movie and is simply not truthful and is easily proven wrong.

The Lower Decks fans are going to love this.

I am not so sure I will though. Hoping for the best though.

Yes, I should definitely love it then! ;)

:-)

Aaaaand the fans of the Orville… Seriously!!!! I sense that the Orville might have influenced the tone of the series a bit. The scene in the lift with music? Spock “where are my pants” beaming down? That could have been straight from the Orville. I loved it!!!

Actually a few reviews did compare the early episodes to the Orville. I can kind of see why now based on the first two episodes. It’s definitely lighter and a lot more jokes; especially when compared to PIC and DIS. I think its working so far though.

First season Orville or post first season Orville? Post first season Orville fans seem to hate the comedy.

Definitely first season. I’ve become a fan very early. 😉 Nevertheless I like both seasons .

I liked both too but thought season 2 was much better.

I’d say it’s a matter of taste. I missed Alara in season 2. On the other hand season 2 had the best episode with the 2-parter.
Anyway we are talking about 2 seasons of The Orville which are better than 6 Seasons of DSC and PIC. :-P

Man, I didn’t miss Alara at all — but s1 was still a lot better for me, probably because Bortis is the man (sort of … well, you know what I mean.)

But the more epic the show goes, the less I’m interested, because the whole charm of the show was that this was a funky less glossy Trek, and now it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

I would guess they would love it only if it is filled with fangasms and zero laughs.

I assumed Spock Amok was going to be some sort of Pon Farr episode.
But, body swapping?
BRING IT ON!

Imagine it could be body swapping AND Pon Farr at the same time… Infinite Diversity in infinite combinations… indeed! hahaha…I suppose my joke went too pon farr…

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations would have been a slightly more subtle and much funnier title.

Then again, I don’t think you CAN go a bridge too far with this kind of humor … (keeping in mind that A BRIDGE TOO FAR is what I originally titled my article on STAR TREK GENERATIONS … when that was rejected, I tried DEAD AND BURIED ON VERIDIAN III, and then finally KIRK OUT, which was accepted.)

Curious about how they explain the skin color change of April, if they’d explain smtg. Michael Jackson?

There is no “skin color change.” We have never seen a live-action version of April before.

If you want him to match what you saw on the Saturday-morning cartoons, you’d need to hire some animators and do WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT.

Meh. The TAS universe is full of pink and purples only because Hal Sutherland was colorblind, so I’m fine with thinking TAS is an imperfect record of what really happened.

How is the question always, “Why did they change the straight white man?” and not, “There are STILL characters like that left to change?!”

Easiest explanation: April must also have fallen victim to this bizarre pre-TURNABOUT bodyswitch tech, but then got stuck living in his new body.

If they really want to mess further with established TOS continuity, we should find out that the original body switch tech came about when something went SERIOUSLY wrong during early teleportation tests on Cheron 100,000 years ago, so that some of the folks there started arriving at their destinations with their coloring reversed. And some people claim technology is neutral!

As I said in a previous thread, it would be a shame if April only gets a small scene here and there. A one off direct-to-streaming movie would be my way of getting the character upfront and centre. No doubt his command style would differ to the two captains that followed him. If not that, then at least a ‘Carbon Creek’ dinner episode between the captains, where April recalls to Pike one of his missions.

I’m here again to pitch Trek made for streaming movies, limited series, an anthology series of both long and Short Treks and any experimental combinations. The Litverse has shown that anthology series and novellas work in this universe. They just need a champion.

And it fits with the overall strategy. Paramount+ has promised a new movie a month, and already has made for streaming movies in production.

A new Teen Wolf movie starring Tyler Hoechlin (Superman/Clark in Superman and Lois) has been announced.

It sounds as though P+ has a strategy to continue to maximize the appeal of existing IP to draw subscribers.

I suspect that it’s only the endless wrangling over creating a cinematic release that’s prevented a made-for-streaming Trek movie that features a different set of characters.

In terms of avoiding subscription drops and churn, having a new season of one of the Trek shows up on rotation in every quarter, this doesn’t provide total cover as they appeal to different niches by design (even if the core audience watches everything at least once).

Star Trek had humor right from tos on and through all shows! I just say the Spock & Bone chemistry, Data with actually everybody from the crew, even Worf can be very funny. I love the star trek humor! Voy & ds9 also…

Once I tired of what soon registered for me as a single-note performance from Stewart, Worf was TNG’s single saving grace in s1, between ‘I don’t understand their humor either’ and ‘nice planet.’

Body swap episodes are always fun, but it would be difficult for anyone to top Farscape – 2×09 – “Out Of Their Minds”.

The perfect blend of the comedy of finding yourself not just in another unfamiliar body (Crichton’s instructions to Rygel: “Unzip. Pull it out. Point it like a gun. And shoot.”) but then veering into the dark realisation that a non-humanoid body cannot properly sustain a humanoid consciousness, and that this could prove fatal if not fixed.

Robert April needs to be a movie of Diane Carey’s Prime Directive; one of the best Trek novels ever (take out the Kirk framing story, just do Robert April and George Kirk Sr.). Get Chris Hamsworth as George Kirk Sr.
Then you can do a spin off series about George Kirk and a Romulan playing Vulcan diplomat; would be good.

Of course Trek can do lighter episodes. But care must be taken. TNG tried and and nearly every time failed. Mrs. Troi was supposed to be more comedic and those were just cringe worthy. When it was decided to make Q more of a clown that started to work better. However not every attempt can be Trouble with Tribbles or the follow up, Trials and Tribbleations. Let’s just be certain we don’t expect too much from this.

The episode with Alexander and Luaxanna Troi was wonderful.

It somewhat redeemed her arc for me. So much of her situation was working through the transitioning societal pressures and constraints on older women in that era. The episode with Alexander worked the analogy better.

To be fair, I found her final episode on the series (the one about the Tro’s deceased sibling) to be the only decent Mrs. Troi episode. But it wasn’t trying to be light, either.

Less hope its more like Qpid and less like Rascals. Trek can do comedy very good but also needs to be careful not to go too Lower Decks on us. I still think the best Trek comedic episode was The Trouble with Tribbles. I remember even my 5th grade students laughed at that episode, and you know how difficult it can get to make modern teens laugh.

“Lets” hope.

I offered similar sentiments.

For the most part, this show seems to be the best of the NuTrek….but they do NOT understand Vulcans at ALL.

So far we have seen one half-Vulcan and one other Vulcan. Lets see how it plays out with Spock and T’Pring. So far I have no reason to doubt they know what they are doing.

I’m thinking their approach based on ep 1’s dialog is to reinterpret Vulcans completely, with the intention of suggesting greater depth by simply making them sound artificially sophisticated. It’s an approach that barely worked for me in M&C’s novel THE PROMETHEUS DESIGN from 40 years ago and I don’t think it fares any better now.

I’ve laughed at every bit of Picard that I’ve seen so I know they can do funny

Even that comedy episode in the middle of season1?

A little off the subject, but has anyone else notice how stardates seem to be all over the place. Never been a big deal to me but in ep1. It starts off with 1739.12. And ends 2259.42 Ep2. Uhuras was 2912.4. I thought I understood Pikes 2259 as this was the year. But the others don’t line up…any thoughts?