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Strange New Worlds Makes the Original Star Trek Feel Different


  • Paramount+ is the ultimate streaming platform for both old and new
    Star Trek
    fans, with a wide range of past and present iterations of the franchise available to watch.
  • Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
    follows the original captain of the USS Enterprise, Christopher Pike, and his team as they explore the galaxy and aid others in the name of The Federation.
  • The show delves deeper into the origins and character development of classic
    Star Trek
    characters like Pike, Spock, and Una, providing viewers with a fresh perspective on their motivations and choices. The set design and villains in
    Strange New Worlds
    have also been upgraded and improved compared to previous iterations.

There is no greater streaming platform for old and new Trekkies like Paramount+. Between the initial three-season Star Trek that premiered in 1966 (starring William Shatner as well as the late but great Leonard Nimoy) to Star Trek: The Next Generation, which brought the final frontier to a whole new generation of fans, there are also many other renditions available to watch from the past, like Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise.

The science fiction franchise has been continuously going strong for almost 60 years and has no signs of stopping with the latest iteration, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Originally premiering in May 2022, this series is dedicated to following the original captain of the USS Enterprise, Christopher Pike, as he and his team scour the galaxy, aiding those in the name of The Federation.

Christopher Pike in Star Trek

Even a casual fan of Star Trek knows there have been attempts to portray this same character in the past – but not on an intimate level. While the TOS (The Original Series) does a memorable job of creating a lengthy origin story (and a morbid fate), any potential emphasis towards this path for Pike was downplayed by the alternate events that take place in 2009’s Star Trek (and its sequel).

Starting from the events of Star Trek: Discovery (the series before Strange New Worlds), the captain is set on a more authentic path, with his future in these modern shows connecting to the events that take place in the eleventh and twelfth episodes of TOS called “The Menagerie.” While this aspect warrants a watch from Star Trek fans due to its dedication to original lore, there are also several ways that Strange New Worlds ambitiously evolves its source material regarding character dynamics and storytelling trademarks. Let’s look at these and see how this new show adds to the Gene Roddenberry original.

Characters With a Deeper Purpose in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Release Date
May 5, 2022

CBS Television, Roddenberry Entertainment, Secret Hideout, Paramount+

Star Trek

The one tether that older fans of the franchise will latch on to is the reintroduction of classic characters like Spock, Pike himself, and Lieutenant Commander Una Chin-Riley (Number One). The stories behind these names are more fleshed out than ever in Strange New Worlds and thus provide more clarity as to why they are the way they are. These origin stories will help viewers to see the TOS with brand-new eyes. We see a Pike – who used to be soft and warm – turn into a more hardened and emotionally charged being because of the premonition he received in the preceding series. You could say this is why he makes the choices he does in that aforementioned two-part saga. He is more ready than ever to accomplish the mission at hand while he still can.

Even though this conflict torments him, viewers see Spock torn between his duties on the USS Enterprise and his romantic partner, T’Pring. There are even sequences when he is fully human and human desires overwhelm him. Unlike the TOS, this 2022 show explores and highlights the Vulcan/earthling clash of backgrounds. Last but not least, the revelations about Una surprisingly come to a tipping point, and her struggle for acceptance helps viewers appreciate her more in The Original Series. Suffice it to say, the work on character depth helps viewers see these names in a light that was not there before this series.


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Upgrading the Set and Villains of Star Trek

Of course, there’s also the obvious production value improvement and how that factors into Strange New Worlds. In 1966, the interior shots of the Enterprise were enough to draw viewers in, but these days, it’s not that impressive and pulls at sci-fi nostalgia. The bridge’s design was compact, and the stations lacked individualism, with each just being a computer monitor.

For the Star Trek franchise, time has proven to be a gift. With technological and cinematic advancements, the central location sprawls widely enough to cement the feeling that you are actually on a ship. Not only that, but the terminals curve, have futuristic-looking touch screens, and are bound by colorful keys and knobs. The radars look like they are actually tracking movement. The aesthetics are encompassing and refreshing, even more so than Star Trek:Discovery.


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Let’s not forget about the most fearsome villains in Strange New Worlds: The Gorn. While The Borg and Khan Noonien Singh (even his name will cause a chill in some) were good, this humanoid reptilian species has been given a new, vile life in this show. They were never close to being terrifying in TOS (even comical), but their renewed presence strikes intense fear into our characters this time around. They have tremendous speed and agility, but most of all, these creatures multiply similarly to Xenomorphs from Aliens, bursting from the inside out of those sprayed with their venom.

With all the changes made to carve out its own space (whether about set design or surrounding fan-favorite characters), this series has quickly become a hit show for Star Trek fans worldwide. With a third season confirmed to be in the works, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is available to stream on Paramount+.

Stream on Paramount+

This story originally appeared on Movieweb

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