Getting Star Trek RightPosted: May 16, 2022
Those of you who know me know that I have long been a Star Trek fan. You may even know that Terry and I had a Star Trek-themed wedding in 1994. Obviously, then, we were interested in the Star Trek successors arriving on streaming video.
We subscribed to the old CBS All Access to watch Star Trek: Discovery. We watched part of season one and did not like it much. (In fact, I wrote about that.) Season two promised to be more about exploration and less about war, but we never really got engaged. I was recovering from my surgery and setback, so we were behind schedule, but the whole “red angel” arc didn’t motivate us to keep watching. (Season four apparently goes 900 year into the future. Say what?)
Then there was the series Picard, starring Patrick Stewart, which we thought looked promising. We watched the first episode, which seemed terribly dark, as did the preview of episode two. We gave up and canceled our CBS All Access subscription (again).
CBS All Access rebranded as Paramount+ and the new service promised us an original series prequel, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Ten episodes were shot and produced, but Paramount+ kept us waiting. Finally the release date was scheduled for May 5. I re-upped with Paramount+ on May 3.
We watched the first two episodes and were delighted. Captain Pike commands the starship Enterprise, Pike in Star Trek lore being Captain Kirk’s predecessor on the ship. We have a credible Spock, and some capably strong women on the bridge: second-in-command (“Number One”), the head of security, the helmswoman, and the communications expert, Uhura. In this series Uhura is a cadet, not a lieutenant, but her character has lots of room to grow.
In the first episode there were many references to the original series (TOS) that any fan would get, and the shuttlecraft that the admiral flew to visit Pike in Montana (in order to insist that be get back onto the Enterprise) was straight out of TOS. The episode included a classic Kirkian speech from Captain Pike to an alien civilization where he (of course) had violated the Prime Directive.
The second episode included tributes to 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters, and (thanks, Terry) to Alien. The episode had a plot about protecting other worlds from disaster, while (this time) adhering to the Prime Directive. Number One had a heart-to-hear with Pike as Dr. McCoy might have had with Kirk.
There are only ten episodes in season one, but Paramount+ has renewed the show for a second season. If social posts from Jonathan Frakes (Riker from Next Generation) are to be believed, he’s in Toronto directing at least one episode of season two.
Make it so!