Captain Pike and his crew are launching onto our screens in Strange New Worlds, the latest Star Trek show in a raft of new series in what’s fast becoming a new golden age for the franchise.
Strange New Worlds picks up a few key cast members from the second season of Discovery to explore the adventures of the USS Enterprise before Kirk inherited the captain’s chair.
Here’s all we know so far about Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
When is the release date for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds?
Strange New Worlds began its 10-episode debut season on 5 May – but only in countries, including the US, where Paramount+ was available.
Paramount+ has now arrived in the UK, along with Strange New Worlds. However, viewers over here will be getting a slight delay compared to those in America. In addition, some other countries don’t have access to Paramount+ at all.
In the US the show began right as Star Trek: Picard wraps up its second season, which itself began right as Discovery finished its fourth.
It’s not the last Trek show on the way though – we still have the teased Star Trek: Section 31 spin-off starring Michelle Yeoh in the pipeline, and animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks should return for its third season some time this summer.
How can I watch Star Trek: Strange New Worlds?
In the UK, US, Latin America, Australia, and the Nordics, you’ll want to use Paramount+, while in Canada the show is on the CTV Sci-Fi Channel and Crave. UK Sky customers can get Paramount+ for free.
Outside those markets, for the most part you’ll have to wait until Paramount+ launches where you are in order to watch the show officially.
If you don’t want to wait, the good news is that there is a way to watch Paramount+ from other countries in the meantime. It’ll take a VPN and a little bit of effort, but that’s probably better than having the whole show spoiled for you by fans from other countries.
Is there a Strange New Worlds trailer?
After a long wait with no footage whatsoever, we now have a glut of Strange New Worlds content.
First up, we got a teaser for the show. It sets up the idea that Captain Pike will understandably be a little upset by his revelation at the end of Discovery’s second season, while teasing at the optimistic tone and spacefaring adventure the rest of the show is set to offer:
There’s much more to see in the first full trailer, which arrived in early April:
It’s also worth watching this short teaser focussed on the new Cadet Uhura, which includes plenty of new footage:
We also have a nifty poster of Anson Mount’s Pike riding a horse:
Who are the cast and crew?
Paramount uses 2021’s Star Trek Day celebration to tease the cast of Strange New Worlds, which includes a few callbacks to the original series – and one very interesting addition.
Here’s the current ship’s roster:
Captain Christopher Pike: Anson Mount
Number One: Rebecca Romijn
Spock: Ethan Peck
Dr. M’Benga: Babs Olusanmokun
Nurse Christine Chapel: Jess Bush
Cadet Nyota Uhura: Celia Rose Gooding
La’an Noonien-Singh: Christina Chong
Unknown Series Regular: Melissa Navia
Three of the new cast members are playing returning members of the original crew: Uhura (who you can see more of in the teaser above), Nurse Chapel, and Dr. M’Benga (you’d be forgiven for not knowing that last one, he only appeared twice).
More interesting is Chong’s casting as La’an Noonien-Singh. That’s a new character, but she shares a surname with a certain Khan Noonien-Singh – the wrathful one – leading to much speculation as to if – and how – she could be a relative of the would-be tyrant.
As for behind the camera, here’s the confirmed talent so far:
Director: Akiva Goldsman
Writer: Akiva Goldsman
Writer: Alex Kurtzman
Writer: Jenny Lumet
What is the plot of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds?
While we still don’t know a lot about the kind of adventures the Enterprise will be having, there are some strong indicators that the show will return to the roots of the franchise. In an interview with Variety, series co-creator Akiva Goldsman told reporters:
“We’re going to try to harken back to some classical Trek values, to be optimistic, and to be more episodic,” said Goldsman. “Obviously, we will take advantage of the serialized nature of character and story building. But I think our plots will be more closed-ended than you’ve seen in either Discovery or Picard.”
This will be good news for those who prefer the self-contained stories that featured throughout not only the Original Series but also in Next Generation, Voyager, and Deep Space Nine.
Goldsman went further in another interview with The Hollywood Reporter, calling back to classic Trek to suggest that we’ll see more tonal variation this time around too.
“If you think back to The Original Series, it was a tonally more liberal — I don’t mean in terms of politics, but it could sort of be more fluid. Like sometimes Robert Bloch would write a horror episode. Or Harlan Ellison would have ‘City on the Edge of Forever’, which is hard sci-fi. Then there would be comedic episodes, like ‘Shore Leave’ or ‘The Trouble With Tribbles’. So [co-showrunner] Henry Alonso Myers and myself are trying to serve that.”
What we do know is the series will be set in the decade before Kirk becomes Captain of the Enterprise, running alongside Star Trek: Discovery’s timeline. Well, at least the timeline that existed in season one and two.
In the latter, Captain Pike’s fate is revealed to him, much as it was in the original series episode The Menagerie. Not to spoil anything, but it’s hardly the upbeat, optimistic finale that a series would hope for, so the writers have a lot of work to do if they want to avoid leaving fans weeping as the voyage comes to an end.
With the show essentially bridging the gap between Discovery and the Original Series, it makes sense that the aesthetic will also shift a little.
“There are a few more reach-backs (to The Original Series) and the uniforms have been adjusted slightly, the sets are slightly different,” Goldsman says. “Remember the Enterprise existed as a little piece of [the show Discovery], but now it’s its own object. When you close your eyes and think of the key sets and situations that you think of The Original Series, that’s what we’re looking to do.”
We also know that the show will take the time to dive a bit deeper into some of the classic Trek characters it’s featuring. Select press were treated to a preview of a clip from the series focussed on Celia Rose Gooding’s Uhura, and it’s well worth reading Den of Geek’s write-up of the scene to get a sense of the show’s tone here.
Another rumour that may reduce Star Trek lovers to tears is a potential cameo appearance of Scott Bakula’s Captain Archer. This remains very much a rumour, and one that could be incredulous when you consider that the Discovery/Strange New Worlds timeline is about a century after Star Trek: Enterprise.
Though given the inclusion of a Noonien-Singh on the crew – with the show set more than 200 years after Khan’s reign on Earth – it may be that time travel shenanigans will play their part again, so Archer’s appearance isn’t out of the question.
Will there be a second season?
Yup – even though season one hasn’t even started yet, Paramount has confirmed plans for season two of Strange New Worlds. Unusually, it’s also given us a season two casting announcement, and it’s a biggie: Paul Wesley will appear in the show playing one James T Kirk.
We’re not sure whether Wesley is intended to become a series regular, or will only guest star. He’s been announced for season two specifically, but we’d also be surprised if he didn’t make a cameo appearance at the end of the first season, since he’s also sat down in the captain’s chair.