Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Season One (ten episodes), 2022, 4K UHD
How refreshing, something that lives up to the hype: this was pretty great. Genuinely a whole lot of fun, I had such a blast watching this over the past week – so glad I waited for the 4K release (plaudits to CBS/Paramount for announcing the 4K set before the Blu-ray set came out several weeks ago). While this series wasn’t perfect, and I took exception to SOME of the decisions made (space doesn’t seem to be at a premium on these Constitution-class ships; the rooms are bloody massive), on the whole, yeah, it really was pretty great- the best Star Trek since The Original Series.
What? The best Star Trek since The Original Series? Yeah, probably so. To be honest, its likely unfair to compare just ten episodes of a series to The Next Generation’s 176 episodes across seven seasons- the proof of how good Strange New Worlds really is won’t be apparent until it has itself has run four or five seasons but I think they have struck gold here. Strange indeed, after suffering through Discovery and Picard.
I mention TNG in particular because, well, while SNW gets lots of plaudits for channelling the spirit of TOS, its very much as indebted to TNG as it is the original show: its like a clever hybrid, really, of the two. Like TNG, SNW is much more of an ensemble show, less dominated by its main protagonist -in this case, Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) – than TOS was with its Captain Kirk. Typical of television shows back in the 1960s, TOS was always pushing the supporting cast way, way in the background, making it clear who the stars of the show were (and even then, the whole Kirk/Spock thing caused friction behind the scenes). Indeed, its curious just how much both Pike and Spock take a back seat in some of the show’s episodes, and very often the writing feels as much as if it were something written in TNG’s prime as much as something written for TOS; certainly a more positive, utopian approach than the increasingly dark, pessimistic view of other, more recent Treks.
Paywalls being what they are, I won’t be watching the second season arriving next month on Paramount+; so instead I’ll likely be busy avoiding most spoilers until I get to see it on 4K disc next year, hopefully, maybe. Oh well, I can certainly give these first season episodes a rewatch to tide me over…