In addition to the panel at San Diego Comic-Con, members of the cast of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds also did a series of media video interviews, where the actors revealed more about what we can expect in season 2. We have pulled together the highlights.
Season two is “season one on steroids”
Anson Mount (Captain Pike) has previously said the second season takes “bigger swings” and talked to Collider about how they are exploring even more genres:
Mount: When you have a new story every week or a new planet every week, you can also change the mode and the tone. And so we’ve been really pushing the boundaries with that in the second season. And seeing how many different kinds of genres and things we can get away with. And being able to invite many different kinds of directors with many different kinds of styles. It’s just been a joy.
Mount’s co-stars Ethan Peck (Spock) and Christina Chong (La’an) chimed in to back up their captain:
Peck: [Co-showrunner] Henry [Alonso Meyers] describes season 2 as ‘season 1 on steroids.’ And I think that’s probably the most accurate way to put it.
Chong: I agree. It takes everything to another level. For example, the fantasy episode–episode eight–that will be topped in season 2.
Mount also told Collider we can expect to see more USS Enterprise:
Mount: You’re going to see more of the ship. As the show progresses, we get to build more of the Enterprise.
We have already seen one element of this: the port galley set used in season 2, which was revealed on The Ready Room.
Lower Decks crossover is (mostly) live-action
The biggest news from the panel was the announcement of a season2 crossover with Star Trek: Lower Decks, with voice actors Tawny Newsome (Beckett Mariner) and Jack Quaid (Brad Boimler) appearing as the live-action versions of their characters from the animated series. Mount offered some more detail about the crossover, telling Entertainment Weekly:
Mount: It’s predominantly live-action for everyone involved, but there are animated elements at different points… I thought it was going to be Roger Rabbit with animated characters following us around… but once they explained it to me saying “No, no no,” I was like, “Oh, that’s actually kind of brilliant,” the way it’s been done.
It’s also clear that the Lower Decks characters interact with many members of the rest of the Strange New Worlds. Celia Rose Gooding (Uhura) told EW how it allowed her to explore some new things:
Gooding: Tawny [Newsome] and Jack [Quaid] are both incredible comedians. And they gave all of us permission to show up to work in a way that we haven’t before. I didn’t feel comfortable [before] riffing and doing my own thing, and they showed up guns blazing and it was really awesome to work and collaborate with them.
Ethan Peck (Spock) told TV Insider the experience was “fantastic,” and Christina Chong (La’an) talked about what it was like on set shooting the crossover:
Chong: Being a part of that episode was like watching stand-up comedy for free every day.
Pike is living his best life
Anson Mount talked about how the season 1 finale allowed Pike to move past the knowledge of his eventual fate, giving him a new outlook in season 2. He told EW:
Mount: I feel like by the end of season 1, we get to that acceptance [of his fate]. So I think going forward what you’re going to find is a much more fully realized, self-accepting person with a with a healthy sense of joie de vivre.
And he told Collider:
Mount: It’s one thing to say that you’ve accepted something and it’s another thing to actually accept it… I’ve I have had the honor of meeting a couple of people in with terminal diagnoses, who will say “I’ve never been more alive because I know the endpoint and I know how many days I have left and I’m going to live them to my fullest.” I think that we’re going to get to see a more fully realized, more accepting Pike who is making the most out of what he has left.
Lt. Kirk is more fun
In a number of interviews, Paul Wesley talked more about how he is playing a different Kirk in season two, as he explained to IGN:
Wesley: Anything you saw in the [season 1] finale is strangely not applicable because it’s an alternate timeline future. So when we meet Kirk again in season 2, there’s no memory. He’s meeting Pike for the first time. He’s a young lieutenant. He’s not a captain. He doesn’t have that formidable Shatner-esque quality yet. And I think that he does take some mentorship and he has a high degree of respect for Pike for sure.
He told TV Insider:
Wesley: In the season 1 finale, he’s an alternate version of Kirk… so we get to see the real Kirk in season 2. He’s much younger, he’s a little bit lighter. It’s Kirk pre-Kirk, basically… We’re going to see pre-Kirk trying to figure out who he is, as a lieutenant on the Farragut. And he’s going show up in unexpected places at unexpected times.
And he told Collider:
I’m looking forward to season 2 because Kirk gets to kind of let loose a little bit and have a little more fun, and not be alt/future timeline Kirk. He gets to be young Kirk in The Original Series canon. So I’m excited to explore that.
Again, it feels like there is a lot of Wesley’s Kirk in season 2, as he explained to IMDb:
Wesley: I think there’s going to be an interesting arc in season 2 that I’m excited for people to see.
More fun with Kirk and Spock
The season showed Kirk and Spock meeting for the first time in an alternate timeline, but in season 2 we are seeing them meet at an earlier point in the canon timeline, as Wesley explained to EW:
Wesley: It’s interesting because it’s obviously such an iconic relationship and just playing the anticipation of that without spoiling it, I think you play that out as long as possible because they have to forge that over time.
Ethen Peck also talked about this relationship in season 2, telling EW:
Peck: We dabble in it in the [season 1] finale. But we’ll get a little deeper with it [in season 2]. And there are some really great moments I was very excited to be a part of.
He told TV Insider:
Peck: We’ll get a little deeper into it in season 2… It’s been super fun. It’s so great to have him as part of the cast, it’s been a blast.
Peck also spoke more about how Spock explores his human side to TV Insider:
Spock gets to really start to explore his human side and it leads to a lot of funny hijinks. So I’m really excited about bringing that comedic element to Spock.
All of this is leading to becoming more like the original Spock, as he told IGN:
You’ll see Spock explore his human side more, in a way that will ultimately affect his more immediate relationships in a fun and interesting way… We’ll see that carry on and it’s definitely a part of his evolution to becoming who he is. He needs to know himself more deeply as a human in order to become the Spock that Leonard Nimoy portrays in The Original Series.
La’an is growing
Speaking to Collider, Christina Chong talked about La’ans arc:
Chong: With La’an, I love covering her vulnerability. She’s a fighter. She’s got all this stuff going on, but she’s fighting to win over it. And even though has this PTSD, at the core of it, she wants to grow. She wants to learn. She wants to move beyond her past. So to play the conflict of the barrier that she has, the bravado and also the soft inner world of her is really interesting for me.
And with TV Insider, the actress said this growth may have surprises:
Chong: La’an continues to grow [in season two] emotionally in ways that perhaps we don’t expect.
The penultimate episode of season 1 had La’an taking a leave of absence to help the young girl Oriana find her family after being captured by the Gorn. The finale showed her as a member of Kirk’s crew on the USS Farragut—which was an alternate future, but it does appear that this was hinting about a connection to La’an and Kirk in season 2. The actress was reluctant to give away spoilers, but did have this to say to IGN about where we find La’an:
Chong: I can say that I have worked with Paul Wesley and it’s very hard to work with him [laughs]. In a good way. He makes me laugh… But La’an, we know that she’s gone off to try and find Oriana’s parents. She is in season two and that storyline kind of continues in a way. And sees Kirk, and Pike, at different times and in different places… in space. [laughs]
Uhura is still grieving
In a couple of different interviews, Celia Rose Gooding talked about how the death of Hemmer (and of her parents from before she joined Starfleet Academy) will impact Uhura in season 2: She told TV Insider:
Gooding: We are going to see Uhura continue to mourn the loss of her loved ones and figure out how to continue to be the officer that she needs to be while still reeling with the fact that she has a lot of decisions to make and a lot of really close people around her. She’s deciding whether she’s going to let them in and see her at her most vulnerable state.
And to IGN:
Gooding: I don’t think she has [got over the death of Hemmer]. Mourning is a very complex, tangled, sticky experience. And untangling grief is not something that’s done overnight. And she, of course, has this incredible crew that she leans on when she needs to. But I think in season two we see her sort of begin to look at the knot that is the grief that she’s experiencing after losing her family and losing Hemmer. Loss has a funny way of really forcing you to look at the people around you and say, ‘Who can I lean on?’ when I know that I’m fragile within myself and can’t lean on the things that I’ve built up within myself. She’ll be okay, but she has to get through a couple of things first.
Season 2 coming in 2023
There was no clarity on when we can expect the new season, which has already been shot. Paramount+ has only said it will be next year. Season 1 of Strange New Worlds is currently available to stream exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., U.K., Latin America, Australia, South Korea, and the Nordics and airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave in Canada. It will also stream exclusively on Paramount+ in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria later this year. The series is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.