‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Season 3 Gets New Science Lab… And 2025 Release

In addition to updates on Section 31 and Academy as well as Star Trek feature films, the big cover piece in this week’s Variety also had some tidbits about the third season of Strange New Worlds, which is still in production.

Frakes mystery episode (and puppets?)… coming in 2025

Season 3 of Strange New Worlds will continue the show’s style of mixing up different genres. According to the Variety feature on Star Trek, this will include an episode “framed as a Hollywood murder mystery,” directed by Jonathan Frakes, who describes it as “the best episode of television I’ve ever done.”

Season 2 ramped up the genre-hopping style of the show, but co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman says he is still not sure if there is a limit. From Variety:

“At this point, is there a genre that ‘Strange New Worlds’ can’t do? “As long as we’re in storytelling that is cogent and sure handed, I’m not sure there is,” Goldsman says with an impish smile. ‘Could it do Muppets? Sure. Could it do black and white, silent, slapstick? Maybe!'”

It sounds like Goldsman was just spitballing ideas, so maybe those are just season 4 possibilities. Season 2 saw a crossover with Lower Decks (directed by Frakes) that mixed live-action and animation, as well as a musical episode. While the mention of Muppets may have been a joke, is it such a stretch? It can be argued that Strange New Worlds followed in the footsteps of the acclaimed Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode from 2001, so why not follow the Buffy spinoff Angel, which did a puppet episode titled “Smile Time” in 2004?

The double strikes of 2023 caused a seven-month delay in the start of filming, which finally began in December. As of last week, they were just starting to shoot episode 7. Production for the 10-episode season should be wrapped up in mid-May. As expected, it looks like we won’t see the series return until next year. A throwaway line in the Variety piece noted that Season 3 will arrive in 2025.

Spock’s new lab

Season 3 is introducing a new set for the USS Enterprise: a science lab, described as “a transparent floor atop a four-foot pool of water that swirls underneath the central workbench, and the surrounding walls sport a half dozen viewscreens with live schematics custom designed by a six-person team.”

Here is the first look:

Ethan Peck on the new science lab set (Marni Grossman/Paramount+)

Spock is studying a “Chimera Blossum,” according to the screens behind him. As pointed out by Jörg Hillebrand on Twitter/X, Spock’s red environmental suit is a modernized version of the one he wore in the TOS episode “The Naked Time.”

The Variety piece also had some fun behind-the-scenes details, like how the pathway outside the virtual AR wall set is dotted with posters from the Star Trek: The Next Generation holodeck, along with the words “Enter Holodeck” in classic Trek type.  Ethan Peck talks about those signs and working with the AR wall:

“I want to take one of those home with me,” Peck says. Does the AR wall also affect him? “I don’t really get disoriented by it. Spock would not get ill, so I’m Method acting.”

Series star Anson Mount also weighed in on working with the AR Wall, noting the way images move across the wall “make no sense” when you are inside the set and it can be disorienting, with the actor pro tip to “focus on something that’s right in front of you so you don’t fall down.” AR Wall dizziness aside, Mount remains his enthusiastic self, even into his fourth season of Trek (counting Discovery season 2):

I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t at some point stop and think to myself, ‘I’m on fucking “Star Trek.’

Behind the scenes with the AR wall for season 2 of Strange New Worlds (Paramount+)

Keep up with news about the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I think most of us assumed it wouldn’t come out until 2025 but looking forward to it.

I do assume Goldsman is just joking about the Muppets but you never know with this guy lol.

The angel puppet ep was pretty good. Is this new set a redress of a past bridge?

Never seen Angel but now I’m intrigued lol.

I’m pretty sure that’s a new set.

The Angel puppet episode is hilarious.

It’s a very funny episode!

Ok now have find it and watch it! Thanks guys.

Would I feel lost on the story itself?

I’ve maybe seen a dozen ANGEL eps, and I think this one is a standalone pretty much, though some of the supporting players may come off a little … strange.

I won’t hold my breath for an episode where the Cookie Monster has a cameo…

Normally I would figure cookie monster is a reference to Shatner’s weight, but after seeing him on Kimmel I have to admit he seems to be in much slimmer shape.

Naah, I wouldn’t do that. Especially after just recently giving him mucho respect for THE INTRUDER! The mention of puppets and Muppets above reminded me of an incident from my pre-kmart era as a young filmmaker, when one of my actors had to climb with a flashlight through part of an interior ship set, to get to something that needed repair in the story. What my friend (in 1975) didn’t know, is that I had secreted a Cookie Monster puppet deep inside the bowels of the ship (set). What ensued was shock and fright, followed by laughter, shaking walls, and a shouted “Damn you, Kevin!” coming from the back of the set. I have a couple of pics of that, somewhere.

That’a a good gag. On a somewhat meaner note, I have to mention that in order to get a shocked reaction out of Paul Vallerga (you might remember him as my roommate at the time I was first making CRITICAL ORBIT, as the Devil in MisJudgment Day — that movie we shot in a suite at the LeBaron hotel — or as Felix Leiter in YOU ONLY DIE THRICE), I revealed to him that his favorite actor Robert Shaw had just died while the camera was rolling. This was low on a ‘Jackie, your dog just got hit by a car’ level, but it did work, though for a movie (pre-Vokar) you probably never saw called CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD REICH, made for my German class in high school but later redubbed into English for a contest that channel 54 was having. We used whipped cream instead of mashed potatoes and shot the UFO arrival at Cinema 150 theater, which is of course where the film debuted months earlier.

Oh sure, I remember Vallerga! He was the very serious guy who thought he was better than the rest of us, right? I do vaguely recall seeing YOU ONLY DIE THRICE, a long time ago. And I can recall doing some shooting for your films CRITICAL ORBIT and STARS. We need our own bbs…

I was going to mention my film MAN OUT OF TIME, but it’s a MOOT point. *smirk*

He did have some genuine talent — he wrote the original version of MisJudgement Day, called STAYIN’ ALIVE, then retitled GOD, SATAN & SIDNEY CZINOWITZ, plus another short script called SOUL OF DARKNESS that preceded BLADE by quite a few years, that was one we came pretty close to shooting, and I think you were going to play the grieving and soon to be dead husband of a female victim of the main vamp. I actually storyboarded the thing — yeah, the images were as illegible as my handwriting and printing, but they worked for me — but we couldn’t figure out a way to flood a culvert where the climax was going to take place. Also, there was potential for disaster, as we’re talking night shooting and lights plus water.

But Vallerga always felt he had to scoop stuff in from other people’s work — some steals from MORK for the first one, some steals from STAR TREK in SOUL, right out of AMOK TIME, less than subtle, easily recognizable. He has managed to afford to keep living in the bay area (maybe he inherited his folks’ place in Los Gatos?), I looked him up, and he teaches drama/stage stuff at some ritzy pay-to-go high school, so he stayed true to his roots (although those are his only roots, he looked balder than Patrick Stewart in the image I found.)

Don’t know if I shared this here or not, but one night when we were shooting CRITICAL ORBIT in my upstairs bedroom (standing in for auxililary control on the ship), Vallerga was walking home and looked up at our apartment. We had a bank of four 600 watt lights that were being flickered, and it put such a strain on the local circuits that lights for the entire building encompassing adjoining apartments was strobing on and off. Might have looked cooler than what we were shooting inside! (we were probably doing the electrocution of the John Nelson character Martin Hansard, which was awkward because he refused to lay down on the floor, so we had to shoot everything at right angles with him ‘lying down’ against the wall of the set.)

My main memory of Nelson is when he “kindly” did one little scene in one of my short films in the garage/studio, with an alien (played by my dad) strangling him. Oh, how I wanted to take dad’s place for the closeup! Yeah, N was pretty humorless, unless it was at my expense or yours. BTW, wasn’t I a character in C.O. for a shot or two in the dining room? A shot where my line was followed by your puppy making a fart sound or whatever underneath the table?

If I’d actually finished CO, you’d’ve probably been the fifth-billing character, as you would have had a bunch of scenes down in the ship’s power bay (dominated by a pair of sunglass racks with pulsed fluorescents inside, masquerading as towering glowing energy cores, looking a lot like something out of THE MATRIX 15 years later.)

The only scene I actually shot showing the power bay was when, in desperation, I cast my mother as the ship’s soon-to-be-late captain. It actually looked really good — we were on what was supposed to be a ledge, and the sunglass racks were only a few feet away, but I had blue plastic stretched between us and the racks, which created a veil of atmostphere making them look like they were off in the distance. But mom was even hammier than I was, and she kind of came off like Grace Zabriskie (Laura Palmer’s mom) when she played the captain of the Hesperus in GALAXY OF TERROR (the movie where Jim Cameron electrically shocked slugs to get them to ‘perform.’)

That puppy, Peanut, was probably 8 or 10 years old, but yeah, it did fart right after you delivered a dramatic line, ‘power level zero in 15 minutes.’ It sounded like a bass music stinger! Sort of like what Goldsmith did when Shatner is spelling v … g … e … r – vger!

I just thought Peanut was very young from his/her size, which I recall as pretty small. Making sets is one thing I can’t do these days, due to my lack of wood-working tools and my leg and feet neuropathy pain issues. So we are shooting in existing exteriors and interiors. I miss that 2-car garage studio I had to make films in, back in San Jose. That was great!

My folks actually had a pro portrait done of Peanut when he was about 15 (how he lived that long with the way they fed him — often being dropped whole frozen hamburgers — I’ll never know) that was printed at about 16×20 and must have been much bigger lthan life-sized. They got another chihauhau, Shakespeare, after that, but it was more like THE ENEMY WITHIN version, as it snapped at and bit everybody, whereas Peanut practically invented the ‘trust fall’ he was so sweet.

I still remember the first time Peanut did that for me when I was house-sitting. He climbed up in my lap,then flung himself backwards, apparently expecting me to catch him. It was a very AlanRickman/HansGruber/DieHard moment, seeing his startled expression as he fell (In fact, every time I remember that funny but painful moment, it is with the Michael Kamen score for that film superimposed on the moment as he falls.)

My tolerance for these “Big Swings” directly correlates to the low number of episodes these guys have to tell actual sci fi stories. If we’re talking 24 episodes, I’d be a lot more tolerant of these show runners and writers desires to do other genres. Here’s an idea… why don’t they go get a job where they can actually write for a puppet based show? I’m anxious to see some writers that actually want to play in the world of Star Trek, not shoehorn Trek into something it’s not. This is an unserious writing staff. So over it.

Thanks for describing why I don’t watch SNW.

There’s plenty of precedent for the crew of starships named Enterprise encountering powerful beings who can warp reality. If they do a Muppet episode, hopefully it involves a bratty near-omnipotent kid playing with the crew by transforming them into puppets. At the end, after reality has been restored to normal, we could hear the voice of John de Lancie telling the kid to leave the humans alone for a little while; he has checked up on them in a couple hundred years and wants them to have some time to mature before then. [As long as the kid never identifies themselves as a Q, but maybe calls themselves Quentin or Queen, it wouldn’t break canon.]

2025?!? :(

Yeah, with modern TV production and the strike, I anticipated a 2025 release date, although they could have done what they did one year with Discovery and given us the first 5 episodes later this year and the next 5 early next year, but I suspect the Section 31 movie will drop later this year and they are trying to not “oversaturate” the Star Trek available at once, apparently believing that too much content is their problem rather than too little great content. Ah well. Strange New Worlds is worth waiting for, so here I am…. waiting. :)

Well hopefully there isn’t a super long production gap between the filming of S3 and the filming of S4. I realize post-production takes the longest, but hopefully cast and crew will take a shorter break to compensate.

I think that was the only possibility.

“At this point, is there a genre that ‘Strange New Worlds’ can’t do? “As long as we’re in storytelling that is cogent and sure handed, I’m not sure there is,” Goldsman says with an impish smile. ‘Could it do Muppets? Sure. Could it do black and white, silent, slapstick? Maybe!’”

Can SNW do gimmicks? Sure! Impish smile, indeed.

I don’t mind them as long as they are good but yeah I was very mixed on the musical and pray they never do it again.

The musical episode had some good scenes but it wasn’t my favorite either. Although, I do admire their willingness to try new things. I am hoping the addition of the science set means we might actually get them visiting some strange new worlds. Those haven’t been as plentiful as I would like with this show.

Definitely agree about the musical.

I actually liked it more than I thought I would. It was fun and obviously creative but I have only watched it once when it aired.. I still have zero desire to watch it again.

And yes the criticism I and others had about season 2 is the complete lack of any real exploration. I just don’t understand that you know 90% of your audience watch the show for this reason, you call your show Strange New Worlds to emphasize it and yet only spend 1 or 2 episodes on It.

It doesn’t have to be the whole season or even half but should be more than 1 or 2.

Now, now. They explored Vermont and the Great White North.

The episode was technically sound, and I enjoyed it as an aside. I wish they had kept it non canonical though. I despise the efforts to explain it and place it as an actual event. It’s just not believable.

What’s odd is that TV shows usually pull this sort of stuff when they’re in their sixth or seventh season and getting desperate for ideas.

I think it’s because they don’t have any decent Sci Fi writers on the show that could elevate the exploration theme that the show is supposed to be about with it’s title Strange New Worlds.
Instead we get awful writing for it’s characters, weak sit com and gimmick shows.
Unfortunately as season 2 was probably a success we will get more of more nonsense rather than quality Sci Fi writing or decent ideas. Also why have new ideas when you just take TOS canon and basically walk all over and do what you like with it.

That is why TOS was great, they had actual science fiction writers writing the scripts.

Yeah, could be. I like to think that every writer has at least one good sci-fi idea in them, it just depends if they’re allowed to use it. I mean, it could be an order coming down from the top that these shows need to take “big swings” in terms of gimmicks and nostalgia and so forth to get as many subscribers as possible. But who knows with these things.

Order coming down from the top or not it’s pretty mediocre rubbish being dished out. The fact that people are lapping this up worries me. Forget sci fi what about character growth as there was actually zero in season 2 unless you think romances with zero substance is a good thing in Star Trek.
It does make me laugh that Discovery gets absolutely slaughtered here but people think SNW is good story telling and character growth (which it is certainly none of the above). Why because it has recast legacy characters?
Older Star Trek did very good episodic and sometimes really good sci fi to boot episodes. SNW season 2 is a mish mash on nonsense episodes and very shallow poor writing even for a sit com series.You know The Orville did it much better than this if you like that sit com vibe.
Nah this is not good Star Trek and if the Academy series is anything like this , Star Trek is going nowhere.
Just look what we have to look forward to this and another mindless Star Trek action flick 😞

I’ve seen a copy of their master plan for the gimmick episode per season.

S1 – Fantasy.
S2 – Musical.
S3 – Muppets.
S4 – Gameshow.
S5 – Sitcom.
S6 – Anime.
S7 – Bollywood
S8 – Mockumentary.
S9 – Whodunnit?
S10 – It was all a Holodeck program.

Season 2 actually had 4 gimmick episodes for me.
1) Doctor and nurse go John Wick on us
2) Spock becomes human and acts like a complete idiot
3) Let’s start with a cartoon and then turn it into live action and then back to a cartoon again. I can’t say much more but ffs
4) Disney high School Musical with some nonsensical reason for it all.
And wow that is nearly half a season of gimmicks lol.
Season 1 had potential and only 2 gimmick episodes the fairytale one and the silly Spock brain swap one. Hopefully season 3 doesn’t follow this trend with 6 gimmick episodes 😟
Is this what Star Trek has become.

lol! Im with you, dude.. 10 episodes a season, and they want to fill it with more side projects than actual Star Trek and Sci Fi.


Oh, it will happen…..

So it’s your fault then, thanks.

Jonathan Frakes is an amazing director. His best work is FC and S3 Picard. I often wondered what NEM would have looked like with Frakes instead of Baird.

I think “The Offspring” is his best television episode. Yes he’s an amazing director and look forward to more of his work.

I’d take both The Drumhead and Cause and Effect from TNG (and both of his parts 2 from DS9, come to think of it.) But The Offspring is very good.

I consider FC the best-directed of any ST feature, and yes, NEM might have been a wee bit better! ;)

There is a banquet hall in The San Fernando Valley that has a pool in the floor like the new Science Lab set. That one has koi fish.

there is a resturant near my town that has a glass floor and you can see the micro brewery below the main floor making the beers they serve

My guess is that is Cetacean Ops!!!

Too long of a wait for the return of my favorite show. It’s good to have stuff to look forward to, I guess.

It’s funny to see that the shower curtain environmental suit got a modern update. It looks good.

At this point, is there a genre that ‘Strange New Worlds’ can’t do? “

Yes, Star Trek!

Ok lets spitball potential episode ideas since Goldsman is so fond of doing it: I am thinking a Trek erotic thriller or a body horror episode directed by David Cronenberg.

That sounds awesome! In S2, they talked about big swings, but took zero risks. A Cronenberg style episode would be a big swing and something new.

I was even thinking that they should get Cronenberg to direct it since he is part of the franchise as an actor, maybe they could pay him a bit more to get him to direct.

they talked about big swings, but took zero risks.”


Now that it’s confirmed we are in a separate timeline from TOS, I’m on board with whatever they go with – and will likely skip any Muppet episode.

When was that confirmed?

The episode with Khan basically said it. They said that history has been modified numerous times, which is why the Eugenics Wars (from SNW’s perspective) didn’t actually happen in the 90s. Since Trek deals with time travel by creating timelines whenever there’s a change, it means SNW is not in the same timeline as TOS.

This ^, thank you, Chris.

2025!?!?!?! The people in charge of these shows SEEMS like they do everything in their power to ruin them. There has been so many shows that I’ve lost interest in because of these ridiculous long waits between seasons.

Post-production takes a LONG time…

I think we can give them a break this year, I mean the strikes are the big reason for delays, now if the delayed seasons keep happening then I agree!

Who knows if Paramount will exist next year as an independent company?

Mr. Mount is really a good guy.

If it’s Muppets using puppets like Farscape did, or real Yoda from TESB, go for it. I’ll watch. Particularly if it’s like the TOS small birdlike creatures named Korob and Sylvia… or fake Balok… or other TOS examples. Trek already has had puppetry since the beginning.