Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – S01E01 Strange New Worlds – Review

face off, inquisitorius; ari; Kenobi; ghosts; poison mary; yelena; pike; spock; mockingbird; breakdown; daredevil

It’s FINALLY time to fly! – Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is FINALLY here, and we could not be more excited! We’ve been waiting for it since Pike, Spock, and Number One appeared during Star Trek: Discovery Season 2. There’s a ton to go over, and we’re so excited to see what’s coming for the crew of the USS Enterprise during Strange New World Season 1.

As you see above, this review contains spoilers for the S01E01: Strange New Worlds. Reader caution is advised.

Dealing With A Fateful Future

When we catch up with Captain Pike, he’s in a very dark place—dealing with the aftermath of seeing his life flash before his eyes during the Discovery episode, Through the Valley of Shadows. He sees himself becoming badly scarred and disfigured. He now suffers what is possibly PTSD as he sees his future self everywhere, and he’s withdrawn.

Anson Mount embodies Pike the same way he did in Discovery, but with more oomph. Last time, the character was charming, kind and involved in the lives of his crew while not getting too attached.

We get our first Easter egg from the Strange New Worlds narrative. The man who arrives to convince Pike to go back to the Enterprise is Admiral Robert April. Admiral April was first referenced in the Star Trek Discovery Season 1 episode, Choose Your Pain. His name appears on a list of decorated Starfleet Captains.

Strange New Worlds
[Credit: Memory Alpha Fandom]

All these captains have appeared at some point in Star Trek history. Strange New Worlds is the character’s first live-action depiction. April debuted in Star Trek: The Animated Series, a continuation of The Original Series.

Pike’s mental state upon April’s arrival is not great, but it shifts when he learns that Una (preferably known as Number One) is trouble, and he decides to shift his priorities to save his longtime friend.

Anson Mount shines in these scenes, and it’s nice to see that mental health is a topic that is addressed early on in the series.

Date Night, Addressing Discovery And La’an

Spock is on a date with his betrothed, T’Pring, who asks him to marry her. We’ll cover T’Pring and what we know about her in another post. The night is about to turn steamy when Spock receives a call from Pike, telling him about the missing crew.

Pike apologises to T’Pring, who interestingly addresses him as “Chris.” Very few people get that honour. It will be fascinating to see what’s going on there. When Spock returns to the Enterprise, the captain ensures his science officer is okay.

Spock says he’s okay, but he cannot stop thinking about his sister, Michael, and what went down with Discovery every time he goes to space. Pike assures him he thinks about Michael and Discovery’s sacrifice too and mentions how he too misses her. Upon reaching the bridge, the pair meet the new Chief of Security, Na’an Noonian-Singh, who is also sitting as First Officer in the absence of Una [Number One].

Like with Na’an, Pike welcomes all the newcomers on board, one of which is Cadet Nyota Uhura.

The scene on the bridge with the newcomers was nice to see as it gives new fans a chance to meet characters they mightn’t know anything about. Kudos to the writers for this small tidbit for new fans.

The Constant Future And A Running Joke

Throughout the episode, Pike is constantly plagued with the image of his future self. The only individual present on the Enterprise bridge who knows about it is Spock, who appears worried for his captain and friend. A running gag in the episode is the constant loss of clothing.

Spock suffers this twice in the episode, which we’ll come back to. First, Pike makes light of the joke after being jerked out of his vision of his future when he does a shipwide call for the entire crew. He hopes no one was caught with their hair wet or their pants down. Then, going back to Spock, Pike, as we mentioned earlier, caught the half-Vulcan with his shirt off and his pants almost down. The science officer does lose his pants later while in disguise, thanks to Nurse Chapel’s glitchy procedure to change one’s appearance temporarily.

A Conversation And Trouble Ahead

Later Spock goes to Pike’s ready room to check on him, revealing he’s aware of what happened on Boreth. He asks if the captain is himself still. Pike says that he is himself, which is a problem. He explains to Spock that his demise, or rather his fate, will occur a decade from now and that he will end up in a wheelchair.

What was great about this scene is Pike confiding in Spock in the same way Kirk will over a decade later.

Upon returning to the bridge, the captain and science officer go back to their stations, where Uhura is told to contact Kiley279, but she receives zero response. Moreover, this is where we get another easter egg. The ship Number One and her crew were on was the USS Archer. While it is not one hundred percent confirmed, it appears the vessel was named after Jonathan Archer, a captain who lived about ninety years before the events of Strange New Worlds. The ship he was captained was the NX-01 Enterprise. Not to mention, Archer’s name appeared on the same list Admiral April, and Pike’s did in Discovery – see the image above.

Since this is Strange New Worlds, Pike, Spock and La’an decide to investigate and are temporarily transformed into the species that occupy Kiley279 thanks to Nurse Chapel. However, the procedure wreaks havoc on Spock as he is half-human and wears off quicker. Also, La’an questions how the residents of Kiley279 ended up with warp capacity. It’s revealed later than when Discovery was sent to the future, Kiley279 witnessed the event, despite no one else except those present seeing it.

This leads to the inhabitants finding a way to utilise the technology to go to war with their enemies.

Chapel Chases A Runaway And Her Bond With The Doctor

One of the stand out moments is from Nurse Chapel, who is forced to chase down an escaped being she has been extracting DNA from. What’s funny about this is she corners the poor guy who is terrified of her, and it takes Christine [Chapel] and Uhura to knock him out again. This is also where the communications officer and the nurse meet for the first time.

Nurse Chapel has a close relationship with Doctor M’Benga, the ship’s doctor who predates Leonard McCoy as the Chief Medical Officer. Later, M’Benga would be a secondary doctor under McCoy.

Anyway, M’Benga and Chapel have enough of a close bond to bounce off each other effortlessly.

A Kirk Boards The Enterprise

In the episode’s final moments, we get a payoff from a mention we get earlier. We hear the name ‘Kirk’ get thrown around. However, it is not JAMES T. Kirk to whom they are referring. Instead, they are talking about Jim’s brother, George Samuel “Sam” Kirk, who appears at the end of the episode. This was the most surprising part. He could be teamed up with Spock, as this is alluded to. Also, George Samuel is referred to as “Samuel” by Pike, a friend to him. As Pike refers to him as Samuel, this is what everyone refers to him as since his and Jim’s father is George Kirk. In the original series, the character is played by William Shatner, where he [Samuel] is dead.

Moreover, given Samuel’s rank, he could be Jim’s younger brother as he is Lieutenant Kirk. However, we have one theory: he is Jim’s older brother but entered Starfleet much later than Jim. Also, he is a blue shirt, indicating he has something to do with science. This differs from Jim, who is currently serving on a different ship as a yellow shirt.

Speaking of Jim, Paul Wesley will play the famed Enterprise captain in Strange New Worlds Season 2.

Final Conclusion

We’re going to conclude the review here as there’s so much more stuff, and this post will drone on forever. The series premiere was so much fun to watch. It was surprising that we got references to Discovery’s fate so early. We had a feeling there would be some reference, but not in the first episode. A couple of episodes down the line, maybe, but now. Though, it’s great that they decided to use Pike’s knowledge of his fate to drive him back to the Enterprise.

Also, what surprised us was how Spock is taking Michael’s words to heart and being more open to people. It has been said that Strange New Worlds would show a side of Spock we haven’t seen before. We’re certainly excited to see that in all of its glory. We cannot wait to see more!

★★★★★

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds airs Thursdays on Paramount+ Australia!

About Author

C.J. Hawkings has written for the now-defunct Entertainment website, Movie Pilot and the still functioning WhatCulture and ScreenRant. She prides herself as a truth seeker and will do (almost) anything for coffee or Coke No Sugar. Oh! And food!

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