Yesterday I received Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – Season One in a three-disc Limited Edition steelbook case. It’s my penultimate pre-order from Amazon – Paramount’s Black Sunday (1977) on Blu-ray arrives next week – since I’m trying to cut back on non-essential purchases till I move to Brandon. It was originally scheduled to arrive today, but I got lucky and the delivery was bumped up by 24 hours.
Strange New Worlds is, of course, the 11th television series (and 9th live-action one) in the 57-year-old Star Trek franchise. Like all of the newer Star Trek shows released since UPN canceled Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005, Strange New Worlds was produced by CBS Studios for the Paramount+ streaming service.
Created by Akiva Goldman, Alex Kurtzman, and Jenny Lumet (director Sidney Lumet’s daughter), Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is a spin-off from Star Trek: Discovery, and as in that series’ first two seasons, is set in the decade preceding the five-year mission of the U.S.S. Enterprise chronicled in Star Trek: The Original Series.
Spun from the second season of “Star Trek Discovery,” and set in the same time frame predating the original series, this applauded effort follows Capt. Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) as he helms the voyages of the U.S.S. Enterprise with the assistance of science officer Spock (Ethan Peck), nurse Christine Chapel (Jess Bush), cadet Nyota Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding), and first officer Una Chin-Riley (Rebecca Romijn), b/k/a Number One. Christina Chong, Melissa Navia, Babs Olusanmokun, Bruce Horak also star. – Amazon product description of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
The series consists of 10 episodes distributed among three Blu-ray discs (BDs). Unlike its more serialized Paramount+ stablemates, Strange New Worlds returns to the more episodic format of Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but still retaining a sense of continuity not only within its own 10-episode first season but also with the other Star Trek shows, even though it does tweak established canon to allow the show to reflect 21st-century sensibilities and realities.
Because Amazon delivered the package after 6:30 PM, and because I was also still writing posts here, I did not watch the first episode, Strange New Worlds, until 10 PM. I liked what I saw, especially Anson Mount’s nuanced performance as Capt. Christopher Pike, a character who was originally played in the 1964 pilot The Cage by actor Jeffrey Hunter.
Mount, who first stepped into the role in Season Two of Discovery, plays Pike as a decisive, strong leader with a sense of humor and respect for others. Also returning from the Enterprise’s “guest role” in Discovery are the young science officer Spock (Ethan Peck, grandson of legendary actor Gregory Peck) and Commander Una Chin-Riley, aka “Number One” (the same character played in The Cage by actor Majel Barrett Roddenberry, who would later be a recurring cast member in the subsequent 1966-1969 TOS as Nurse Christine Chapel).
This trio is joined by a supporting cast that includes Jess Bush (who steps into Barret Roddenberry’s role of Chapel here), Celia Rose Gooding (Cadet Nyota Uhura), and Christina Chong (Security Chief L’ann Noonien-Singh).
Since I was tired when I watched Strange New Worlds last night, I’ll have to watch it again later today to get a better grip on the episode. Maybe I’ll even watch a few more episodes; I need to take a break from sitting at my desk and writing all day, so I might as well enjoy the movies and TV shows that I order from Amazon but take forever to watch.
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