Five Hopes for Strange New Worlds
With Star Trek: Strange New Worlds due to premiere later this week, I thought I would express my aspirations for the entire series, rather than just the first season. Since the series will be mostly episodic with some serialization, it would make hardly any sense to write a season prediction article based on Paramount’s promotional material for the series. So, here are my hopes and dreams for the show.
#1: A sense of optimism
Aside from Prodigy and Lower Decks, optimism has been mostly missing from the other current Star Trek shows. I hope Strange New Worlds will feature the optimistic vision of the future that Gene Roddenberry created over fifty-five years ago and will have episodes that make you feel good about yourself.
During the past two years – whether due to the war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, or civil rights strife – many people have faced a genuine struggle to maintain good mental health. My hope for Strange New Worlds is to have episodes that pop out and say to you, in no uncertain terms: “Hey, things will get better!”
The original Star Trek series was produced during the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and an overall fear of nuclear holocaust. I hope Strange New Worlds will generate a feeling of positivity like The Original Series did.
#2: A strong character dynamic between Pike, Spock, and Number One
In the original Star Trek series, there was the triumvirate of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Bones. A similar dynamic was attempted in Star Trek: Enterprise, with Archer, T’Pol, and Trip Tucker, but that effort was met with varying levels of success. I hope the Strange New Worlds character dynamic between Pike, Una, and Spock will work just as well as the one between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy in the original Star Trek.
#3: Backstories for Pike and his crew
Outside of the second season of Discovery and Short Treks (as well as a few novels), Pike’s Enterprise adventures have remained largely unexplored. I’m hopeful that Strange New Worlds will bring background to some of the characters in his crew.
We barely know anything about Una Chin-Riley (played by Rebecca Romijn). I’m excited to see her history revealed. One of the few facts we know about her from TOS: “The Cage” is that she had a cold, calculating mind – not too dissimilar from what became of Spock as the original Star Trek series progressed. I’m hopeful that some background of the other main characters will be established too. Star Trek has excelled at this when episodes are character-driven stories rather than plot-driven ones.
There is also the matter of Pike’s fate. He had a premonition of it when he touched a time crystal in DSC: “Through the Valley of Shadows”. At that point, he discovered how his life would be drastically altered by a freak accident. This disaster will cause him to become restrained in a wheelchair, capable of communicating – with a blinking light – only “yes” or “no.” The foreknowledge of his fate must be playing a lot of tricks on his mind. I’m hopeful that Strange New Worlds will explore this further.
#4: An episode where the crew simply has fun
There have been humorous episodes of Star Trek in the past, ranging from Voyager‘s “Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy” to TOS: “The Trouble with Tribbles”. These episodes show the members of the various crews having a ball with one another, while experiencing a fun adventure. I love seeing a light-hearted standalone episode or two every season. Without having to know any of the characters beforehand, the audience can just laugh at any embarrassing mistakes made by the crew. It would be fun to see a Strange New Worlds episode like that.
#5: An exciting cliffhanger to end the season
Although Lower Decks has already done something like this, it would be great if there was a cliffhanger finale for Strange New Worlds. The most successful attempt at this has been TNG’s “The Best of Both Worlds”, which aired back in 1990. Lower Decks‘ Season 2 finale, “First First Contact”, ended with Cerritos Captain Freeman hauled away by Starfleet Security for her supposed role in the destruction of Pakled Planet. This made for an exciting finale that felt on par with the classic TNG episode.
A cliffhanger finale with that much action, drama, and intrigue would be very beneficial. Plus, an ending that would rival the final line from that TNG episode – “Mr. Worf, fire!” – would be exciting to watch. In short, I hope there will be a Strange New Worlds cliffhanger finale that makes you speculate, worry for the Enterprise crew, and wonder what will happen to them next.
I am hopeful that Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will be a series that is universally loved and appreciated by Star Trek’s fandom. I know there will be some detractors, but I want this to be a series that will live long and prosper. After all, it was the fans who demanded it.
Wes Huntington has been a Star Trek fan since he was born, thanks to his parents (both of whom are still very much alive and are big Trek fans themselves). He lives in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, with his wife and cat. He is also a co-host of the Twin Cities Trekkies podcast, which launched in February 2021 and talks about all things Star Trek. You can find Twin Cities Trekkies via Facebook, Instagram, or anchor.fm/twincitiestrekkies.