The second season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is available now on physical media with a brand new release in a variety of formats and packaging. This review covers the Ultra HD Blu-ray edition, but the set is also available on standard Blu-ray or DVD with the same special features.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – season 2
Season one of Strange New Worlds was a burst of fresh air, it changed the template for the live-action Trek shows of the modern era as it started leaning back towards more episodic adventures instead of the heavily serialized, typically over-plotted, season-long mysteries. This change let the show try out different styles and genres while also having ongoing character development. The second season continues this format with the stated goal to make “big swings” in genre.
High points for the season included “Ad Astra per Aspera” which gave us the resolution to the cliffhanger from season 1 with Una’s arrest. The crossover with the animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks, is something I was both excited and concerned about, since it seemed like a crazy thing to do. However, my worries were unfounded, and “Those Old Scientists” was handled quite nicely and seems to be one of the show’s most popular episodes with fans. Another surprise of the season was that the musical episode “Subspace Rhapsody” was quite good. As with the crossover, I was a little bit worried about how it would be handled, but in the end was pleasantly surprised. Sure it’s a smidge goofy and something sci-fi had to be invented to explain it, but it was all quite good, you can tell that the cast gave it their all, and the songs were quite catchy.
Low points for the season come from when it appears to be just trying a bit too hard like with the sitcom-y “Charades” where it seems the producers think episode 5 of every season is now a “Something wacky happens to Spock” episode. And the less said about the very comic book-inspired Klingon fighting “rage serum” from the season debut “The Broken Circle” the better.
Looming over this season is the ongoing threat of a war with the Gorn. The reimagined Gorn was something I didn’t like about the first season, but the show continues to lean into this arc in a big way, especially with the finale “Hegemony.” Also, young Lt. James T. Kirk seems to feel free to pop in whenever, and the season finale adds yet another TOS character in the mix (though I did like Martin Quinn’s performance as Scotty). While the show has great characters and has shown an ability to make good on its promise to set a new standard for Star Trek TV, I worry it is is fast becoming a kind of TOS-remix rather than a proper prequel.
The Ultra HD Blu-ray set
The 10 episodes and special features are on three Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. As we’ve come to expect for a Paramount/CBS home video release, each disc has the names of the episodes it contains printed on it, as well as a full listing for the set on the inside back of the case. There are also two special Steelbook editions (Ultra HD Blu-ray and standard Blu-ray) which include a “Subspace Rhapsody” poster. For those who want it, the season is also available on regular old DVDs as well.
Strange New Worlds season 2 continues the slick, modern style that Discovery season 2 initially helped define for the Paramount+ Star Trek Universe. Like Picard before it, SNW takes that general palette and makes its own “house style” for the series. Unlike those other shows, Strange New Worlds being the newest member of the Paramount+ family, was shot in 4K from the beginning. It’s a gorgeous show, with lots of great production and costume design to show off. The pristine bright white of the Enterprise hallways really pops in HDR. Having this on disc at full 4K means the experience is sharper and obviously much less compressed than the 4K streaming experience from Paramount+
The 10 episodes have losslessly compressed DTS-HD MA 5.1 channel soundtracks. Strange New Worlds sounds great. It continues the cinematic sound design esthetics that were started back in Discovery season 2, and carried on with all of the shows since.
As we have come to expect from Star Trek home media releases, there is a good mix of special features for Strange New Worlds season 2. One thing missing is audio commentary due to how the set was produced during the SAG-AFTRA strike. However, the cast and writer/producers do appear in a number of the special features that were recorded before the strikes.
The documentary features are all on the third disc.
Producing Props (10 mins) – Vulcan props from “Charades,” including the Lyre, and the (handleless) teapot.
The Costumes Closet (13 minutes) – A look at the varied costumes of all the background characters on Cajitar IV.
The Gorn (15 minutes) – Akiva Goldsman opens this segment by talking about the Strange New Worlds version of the Gorn. We also see the practical Gorn puppets and how they built and shot the full-size adult Gorn in its space suit.
Singing in Space (22 mins) – Alex Kurtzman talks about wanting to make a musical episode since the early days of Discovery. There are interviews with cast and crew, director Dermott Downs, and songwriters Kay Hanley and Tom Polce, and behind-the-scenes footage of the cast rehearsing.
Exploring New Worlds (46 minutes) – As they’ve done with the other CBS Trek seasons, this feature documents the making of the second season. Writers, producers, directors, and cast are interviewed about the making of the 10 episodes.
There are seven episodes that have deleted or extended scenes, and even one alternate version of a scene. These are found on the disc with the corresponding episode.
“The Broken Circle”
- A deleted scene with Admiral April getting a report about where the Enterprise escaped to. Another admiral approaches and discusses his surprise that Spock would do it, and they discuss the political ramifications of allowing the Enterprise to remain at Cajitar IV.
“Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow”
- Extended scene when Kirk and La’an shoplift their 21st-century clothes
- Deleted scene of Kirk’s first chess game
- Extended scene in Pelia’s shop, Pelia realizes the old diver’s watch is valuable to them, and asks La’an for money for it.
- Extended scene where Spock tries gum (you can see this scene in the videos below)
“Lost in Translation”
- Extended scene with Pike and Number One discussing the refinery’s difficulties, Pelia appears out of a Jeffries tube saying she was dealing with waste removal. Number One, who is obviously annoyed with her, tries to keep Pelia on the Enterprise.
- Extended scene bit of the Kirks bickering in the anthropology lab with Uhura.
- Extended scene of Pelia and Number One in the shuttle when Una brings up getting a “C” in Starship Maintenance.
“Those Old Scientists”
- Extended scene with Boimler on the planet’s surface with La’an and Pike just after they realize that the Orions stole the portal.
“Under the Cloak of War”
- Deleted scene of Chapel and M’Benga discussing the state of their supplies and trying to rest between waves of wounded.
- Deleted scene, present day in the bar after the 3 left from the tense dinner. M’Benga thanks Ortegas for the meltdown as his excuse to get out of the dinner.
- Extended scene with M’Benga fiddling with biobed 2 as Pike walks up and apologies for asking the ships veterans to join, and says M’Benga doesn’t have to go through with the sparring match.
- Extended scene of Kirk and Number One in the Jefferies Tube discussing Number One and her command style and how she keeps a necessary distance between herself and her crew.
- Alternate version of the Klingon song, this version is more like a power ballad.
Strange New Worlds being episodic helps the causal rewatch value, so it makes plenty of sense to own the season on disc. It’s also the best way to experience the high value of the production, free of streaming constraints. The 4K release in particular delivers a superior viewing (and listening) experience. As usual, we recommend it for completists or anyone who wants an offline copy of the show; this includes those who cannot or do not want to stream the show and folks who have concerns about the fleeting rights to streaming media.
Strange New Worlds season 2 was released December 5, on DVD, Blu-ray in standard and Steelbook versions, and Ultra HD Blu-ray in standard and Steelbook versions in the USA.
There are three regular home media collections for Strange New Worlds season 2: 4-disc DVD, 4-disc Blu-ray and 3-disc 4K UHD. You can pick up a set at Amazon: DVD for $29.95, Blu-ray for $34.95. and 4K UHD Blu-ray for $56.99.
The 4K UHD also includes a set of four exclusive character magnets that will let fans customize the packaging (because it’s made of steel) with their favorite character.
Special features video clips
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