Strange New Worlds recaptures the series’ special sci-fi magic

Star Trek gained prominence in the ’90s with several long-running series and blockbuster films eventually fading from the cultural sphere. You might have thought Trekkies were gone, but a new generation seems to be ushering in and there are still plenty of original fans. Paramount Plus has helped keep Star Trek’s legacy alive by releasing new series, and one of the most popular series could also be a sign of the positive turn for the franchise. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1 recaptures the magic that the series has been lacking for three main reasons.

Unforgettable ensemble cast

Star Trek Strange New Worlds Crew
Image Credit: Paramount Plus via Twinfinite

The most important part of any Star Trek series, let alone any story, are its characters. Previous Star Trek series have all been built around their main protagonists and supporting crew. It all started with Admiral James Kirk and Spock and expanded to Captain Jean-Luc Picard with supporting characters like Uhura, McCoy, Scotty, Chapel, Sulu, Riker, Data, Worf and many more.

With an interesting cast of characters, each season of Stark Trek can explore new worlds and the lives of the characters aboard their Enterprise starship. This leads to the necessary human connection that stories need and fuels the drama between the various characters on board. As a result, characters become more real and relatable, and audiences can connect with them. The characters also grow and this helps to further develop the overall story of the series and the mythos. It’s a win all round.

Star Trek Discovery has all of these elements in abundance. Beginning with Captain Pike, the leader’s story takes a new turn as he has seen his future and how it will lead to his downfall. This has haunted him endlessly since the show began, and is the main internal struggle he has to deal with as he makes every single decision for his crew.

Other key members of the cast include a young Spock who is onboard this crew and is helping to weave more backstory into this legendary character and fan favorite. Also, Christine Chapel is a civilian nurse whose background has been modernized to deal with the evolving portrayal of female characters. La’an Noonien-Singh, on the other hand, is a tough security chief with a tragic past. Then there’s Nyota Uhura, a linguist who grows from a timid novice to a confident crew member, and Erica Ortega, a smart and strong helmsman and experienced pilot who has a positive attitude and is adept with her weapon. Joseph M’Benga is the senior medical officer and doctor who has a sick daughter and has a crucial role to play aboard the ship. Eventually, Number One emerges as a member of a rigorously tested race and becomes the subject of racism and genetically modified life forms.

This diverse combination has the potential for complex plots, relationships, and all sorts of intriguing surprises that will keep audiences coming back for more. And the perfectly cast actors help inject personality traits, mannerisms and quirks that elevate the crew to new heights. There are also other minor crew members like Chief Engineer Hemmer the Aenar who play important roles, and there’s no telling what new characters might come on board in the future.

Diverse episodes

star trek strange new worlds episode
Image Credit: Paramount Plus via Twinfinite

Once the crew is fully assembled, each Star Trek series needs episodes that detail plot points and events that drive the company’s adventures forward. From the start, Star Trek worked best as a series that featured episodic adventures with a full plot structure from start to finish. Although there were multiple storylines, each episode left the audience with a sense of completeness while also expanding the series as a whole and leaving more to be desired.

The best thing about the Strange New Worlds series is that each episode has a longer running time than a standard 30-minute TV show. And this has allowed for a mix of episodes that focus on drama and characters as well as action and adventure. This keeps the formula balanced and more appealing overall. All of these factors help Strange New Worlds capture the original magic of the earlier series, with each episode being a brand new adventure and discovery along with expanding the Star Trek mythos.

For example, the second episode began with the crew dinner hosted by Pike, who happens to have a passion for cooking. The crew engage in an intimate conversation and learn more about Uhura’s past and her weaknesses.

For the remainder of the episode, she accompanies her crewmates on their first away mission to investigate a suspicious comet harboring an underground structure, which turns out to be an instrument/referee for an alien race that chooses to follow the comet’s destructive path. Only with Uhura’s skills can the crew escape the comet and the episode ends with another deep and intriguing dinner scene between the crew.

The rest of the first season has an even more elaborate mix and variety of different episodes. And the best thing about Star Trek is how in each episode the audience can be transported to new worlds and introduced to a variety of different races, characters and sci-fi situations that change our understanding of space and time. Overall, the complete first season has it all; different genres, moods and tones that leave the audience sane and curious for more.

Homage to original characters and film reboots

Image Credit: Paramount Plus via Twinfinite

The final piece of the equation for Strange New Worlds is the obvious homage to the original series and character, along with utilizing the cinematic flair of the more recent reboots. Once you start watching Star Trek Strange New Worlds you will recognize the cinematography and larger scope if you have watched the rebooted movies. The cinematic style is permeated by this new series without doing it excessively. There’s plenty of lens flare and more low-key lighting scenes, as well as a darker emotional tone overall.

Rather than create a brand new cast of characters and disregard previous historical characters, the Strange New World Series builds Star Trek’s most iconic crew in new and exciting ways. For example, Spock’s life and story has more depth than ever. James Kirk makes a cameo showing his risk-taking, youthful nature in new perspectives. Pike is the main protagonist and further background information on who he is and why he is such a highly decorated captain is revealed.

The series does a great job of providing further explanations of Star Trek history while pushing things in new and different ways that are relevant to modern times. What has been achieved here is a prime example of how to honor and respect retro shows and franchises while bringing a new update to the property.

It’s also important to note that the Strange New World series can be enjoyed by anyone who wants to experience a sci-fi story about space travel. Even if you’re new to the Star Trek mythos, you’ll easily understand everything that’s going on and can delve deeper later if you wish. And if you’re a true Trekkie, be sure to check out the new video game Star Trek Resurgence, slated for release in 2023. Go boldly where no human has gone before. Strange New Worlds recaptures the series’ special sci-fi magic

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