Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Series 01 Overview (2022)


Introduction

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is an American television series created by Akiva Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman, and Jenny Lumet for the streaming service Paramount+.

It is the eleventh series in the Star Trek franchise, and a spin-off from Star Trek: Discovery, which centres on Captain Christopher Pike and the crew of the starship USS Enterprise as they explore new worlds throughout the galaxy during the decade before Star Trek: The Original Series.

Outline

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds follows Captain Christopher Pike (played by Anson Mount) and the crew of the starship USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) in the 23rd century as they explore new worlds throughout the galaxy in the decade before Star Trek: The Original Series.

It has a contemporary take on that series’ episodic storytelling and 1960s designs, and features the following narration from Mount during each episode’s opening credits (similar to the opening narrations in The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation):

Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

Cast

  • Anson Mount as Christopher Pike:
    • The captain of the USS Enterprise, who struggles with the knowledge that he will suffer a horrible fate. Pike was first portrayed by Jeffrey Hunter in The Original Series as a “gruff, authoritative commander” who Mount described as “first act Pike… a very young man [who is] very self-involved”. In contrast, Mount’s “second act Pike” is confident, collaborative, and empathetic. Co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman believed that a “more thoughtful and contemporary approach” was required to avoid the toxic masculinity of some previous Star Trek captains, and Mount said his Pike represented “true masculinity”. Inspired by Mount’s own leadership style, Pike’s quarters include a kitchen where he convenes the crew, cooks for them, and builds consensus. Pike’s hairstyle was widely commented on, drawing comparisons to Elvis Presley and the title character of the animated series Johnny Bravo, spawning various Internet memes and its own fan-run Twitter account, and being called “the best hair quiff on television”. Mount enjoyed this and attributed the style to “hair guru” Daniel Losco.
  • Ethan Peck as Spock:
    • A half-Vulcan, half-human science officer aboard the Enterprise. The series explores the character’s struggle to be accepted among Vulcans as well as the complicated relationship with his fiancée T’Pring, with co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers acknowledging that the writers were interpreting some of The Original Series differently than fans had previously done in order to expand on T’Pring’s role in this stage of Spock’s life. Peck said he was “constantly checking in” with original actor Leonard Nimoy’s portrayal of Spock, but he also wanted to “have an experience as Spock” and not focus on the final outcome for the character.
  • Jess Bush as Christine Chapel:
    • A civilian nurse on the Enterprise. Myers felt the character’s portrayal in The Original Series came from a “very different conception of women and of marriage and what people would do in their jobs” that modern audiences would not expect, and sought to tell new stories inspired by Bush’s strengths. Bush said the character had a “distinct essence” but also felt there was room to explore her youth and backstory; the actress focused on the character’s “dry and sarcastic” personality and developed that into a sense of humour for the younger version. The series explores a friendship and potential romance between Chapel and Spock.
  • Christina Chong as La’an Noonien-Singh:
    • The Enterprise’s newly assigned chief of security, whose family was murdered by the lizard-like Gorn when she was a child. Chong described the character as guarded and struggling with survivor’s guilt but noted that she opens up as the series goes on and the crew of the Enterprise becomes her new family. Serving as security chief allows her to protect that family. La’an is also a descendant of Ricardo Montalbán’s Star Trek villain Khan Noonien Singh, and has been discriminated against because of this. Chong related to this aspect of the character because she was bullied as a child for her ethnicity. Ava Cheung plays young La’an.
  • Celia Rose Gooding as Nyota Uhura:
    • A cadet on the Enterprise specialising in linguistics. Despite the character’s important role throughout the Star Trek franchise, the writers felt that there was a lot still unknown about her that could be explored beyond her just being a Starfleet officer. As one of her first television acting roles, Gooding related to Uhura’s experiences in the series as a cadet who is learning about the Enterprise. The actress chose to keep her own cropped hair rather than wear a wig to match previous Uhura actresses Nichelle Nichols and Zoe Saldaña because she felt they both represented the “black femininity” of their times and she could too with a modern look.
  • Melissa Navia as Erica Ortegas:
    • The Enterprise’s helmsman, who Navia described as a “highly skilled pilot [and] a veteran… she can handle a gun and also crack a joke”. The actress compared Ortegas to Jonathan Frakes’s Next Generation character William Riker, one of her favorite Star Trek characters. Navia worked with John Van Citters – the vice president of Star Trek brand management at CBS Studios – and the series’ motion graphics team, who create the display for Ortegas’ on-set control panel, to understand how to fly the Enterprise accurately. Ortegas’s surname is a reference to the original Star Trek pitch which included a navigator named Jose Ortegas.
  • Babs Olusanmokun as Joseph M’Benga:
    • The Enterprise’s chief medical officer, who is secretly trying to cure his daughter, Rukiya, of a rare disease. M’Benga was not given a first name in The Original Series, but was referred to as Joseph in the script for the unproduced episode “Shol”. Posters at the 2022 Star Trek: Mission Chicago convention referred to the character as “Jabilo”, a name used in some non-canon novels, but the producers soon stated that this was incorrect and the name Joseph was eventually used in Strange New Worlds. Olusanmokun felt he was “crafting something anew” with his portrayal since M’Benga only appears in two episodes of The Original Series.
  • Bruce Horak as Hemmer:
    • The Enterprise’s chief engineer. Hemmer is an Aenar, which are an albino subspecies of Andorians that are generally depicted as blind; Horak is blind in one eye with limited sight in the other, and the first legally blind regular actor in a Star Trek series. The writers always intended for Hemmer to die in the first season as a way to increase the series’ stakes since most of the main characters are still alive in The Original Series. Horak was told about this when he was first cast and hoped to build the character into a “fan favourite” first. He compared the role to the Star Wars character Obi-Wan Kenobi, serving as a mentor to the young Uhura.
  • Rebecca Romijn as Una Chin-Riley/Number One:
    • The first officer of the Enterprise and second-in-command to Pike, the character was only referred to as “Number One” in The Original Series but was given the name Una Chin-Riley in several non-canon Star Trek novels; Strange New Worlds brings this name into official canon. The series confirms that Number One is an Illyrian, which Original Series writer D.C. Fontana had established in the novel Vulcan’s Glory (1989), and reveals that Illyrians genetically modify themselves. This explains why Number One appears human when the Illyrians seen in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Damage” do not, and also aligns with the description of Illyrians practicing “selective breeding” in the novel Child of Two Worlds by Greg Cox. The Strange New Worlds writers believed it would be interesting for Number One to be at odds with Starfleet’s anti-genetic alteration laws.

Trivia

  • This is the third Star Trek series to use the classic “Final Frontier” speech during its opening title sequence.
    • In an online interview, Anson Mount revealed that he recorded the speech on the same day that William Shatner flew into space on the New Shepard spacecraft.
  • Captain Christopher Pike is the second Starfleet officer to command the Constitution-class USS Enterprise NCC 1701, having taken command of the ship from Captain Robert April.
    • He later turns command over to Captain James T. Kirk.
  • The title of the series comes from the opening monologue of Star Trek (1966).
  • As production was started during Covid restrictions, sets for the Enterprise were still being built.
    • According to Akiva Goldsman (executive producer), this required the first episode to be shot in two parts at the start and then completed at end of season 1 production.
  • This series builds upon Star Trek: The Cage (1964), the original pilot for Star Trek (1966) that was rejected by the studio and thus leading to the series being reworked into the one that aired from 1966 to 1969.
  • Rebecca Romijn who plays Una /Number One (the first officer of the Enterprise) is married to Jerry O’Connell who plays the voice of Commander Jack Ransom the first officer of the USS Ceritios on Star Trek: Lower Decks (2020).

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Series

You can find a full index and overview of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds here.

You can find a full index of Star Trek TV series here.

Star Trek TV Series, Films, and Documentaries

You can find a full index of all Star Trek TV series, films, documentaries here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Chris Fisher … (2 episodes, 2022-2023).
    • Amanda Row … (2 episodes, 2022-2023).
    • Andi Armaganian … (1 episode, 2022).
    • Christopher J. Byrne … (1 episode, 2022).
    • Sydney Freeland … (1 episode, 2022).
    • Akiva Goldsman … (1 episode, 2022).
    • Leslie Hope … (1 episode, 2022).
    • Rachel Leiterman … (1 episode, 2022).
    • Dan Liu … (1 episode, 2022).
    • Maja Vrvilo … (1 episode, 2022).
    • Valerie Weiss … (1 episode, 2023).
  • Producer(s):
    • Kirsten Beyer … co-executive producer (11 episodes, 2022-2023).
    • Akiva Goldsman … executive producer / executive producer (11 episodes, 2022-2023).
    • Alex Kurtzman … executive producer (11 episodes, 2022-2023).
    • Aaron Baiers … executive producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Akela Cooper … co-executive producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Beau DeMayo … supervising producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Chris Fisher … co-executive producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Paul Gadd … producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Jennifer Haufler … associate producer / co-producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Robyn Johnson … co-producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Heather Kadin … executive producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Jenny Lumet … executive producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Henry Alonso Myers … executive producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • April Nocifora … supervising producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Davy Perez … co-executive producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Andrea Raffaghello … producer / producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Rod Roddenberry … executive producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Trevor Roth … executive producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Frank Siracusa … executive producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Sarah Tarkoff … co-producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Robin Wasserman … co-producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • John Weber … executive producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Bill Wolkoff … supervising producer (10 episodes, 2022).
    • Jason Michael Zimmerman … supervising producer (10 episodes, 2022).
  • Writer(s):
    • Akiva Goldsman … (created by) (11 episodes, 2022-2023).
    • Akiva Goldsman … (story by) (1 episode, 2022).
    • Akiva Goldsman … (teleplay by) (1 episode, 2022).
    • Akiva Goldsman … (written by) (1 episode, 2022).
    • Alex Kurtzman … (created by) (11 episodes, 2022-2023).
    • Alex Kurtzman … (story by) (1 episode, 2022).
    • Jenny Lumet … (created by) (11 episodes, 2022-2023).
    • Jenny Lumet … (story by) (1 episode, 2022).
    • Gene Roddenberry … (based upon “Star Trek” created by) (11 episodes, 2022-2023).
    • Henry Alonso Myers … (written by) (3 episodes, 2022).
    • Akela Cooper … (written by) (2 episodes, 2022).
    • Beau DeMayo … (written by) (2 episodes, 2022).
    • Davy Perez … (written by) (2 episodes, 2022).
    • Sarah Tarkoff … (written by) (2 episodes, 2022).
    • Robin Wasserman … (written by) (2 episodes, 2022).
    • Bill Wolkoff … (written by) (2 episodes, 2022).
    • Onitra Johnson … (written by) (1 episode, 2022).
  • Music:
    • Nami Melumad … (11 episodes, 2022-2023).
  • Cinematography:
    • Magdalena Górka … (5 episodes, 2022).
    • Glen Keenan … (5 episodes, 2022).
  • Editor(s):
    • Andrew Coutts … (4 episodes, 2022).
    • Dana Gasparine … (3 episodes, 2022).
    • John Wesley Whitton … (3 episodes, 2022).
  • Production:
    • CBS Television Studios.
    • Roddenberry Entertainment.
    • Secret Hideout.
  • Distributor:
    • Paramount+ (2022) (Argentina) (video) (VOD).
    • Paramount+ (2022) (UK) (TV) (VOD).
    • Paramount+ (USA) (video) (VOD).
  • Release Date: 05 May 2022 to 07 July 2022.
  • Running Time: 46-62 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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