New Trek with Pike and Spock

"Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" is coming to CBS All Access.

Tech Crunch (“CBS All Access greenlights ‘Strange New Worlds,’ a new Star Trek series about Pike and Spock“):

CBS All Access isn’t done launching new Star Trek shows.

After bringing the franchise back to TV with “Star Trek: Discovery” in 2017, then revisiting some beloved characters with “Star Trek: Picard” earlier this year, the streaming service has placed a straight-to-series order for “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” which will depict the early days of the Enterprise, before Captain Kirk took command.

We already got a glimpse of that in the second season of “Discovery,” which saw Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) and a young Spock (Ethan Peck) join the cast — but they left Discovery and returned to the Enterprise at the season’s end, in what felt like an obvious set-up for a spin-off.

It’s interesting that Pike, who was the captain for the failed pilot “The Cage” that was partly recycled for the Original Series first season episodes “The Menagerie,” has become a sufficiently prominent character as to get his own series 55 years later.

I haven’t gotten into any of the All Access Trek series, mostly because we’re not watching all that much television these days and my wife really isn’t into sci-fi. But I suspect I’ll subscribe at some point and binge-watch them.

Additionally, I really liked Anson Mount’s work as the star of “Hell on Wheels.” He also starred as Black Bolt in the Inhumans series but I lost interest in that after a few episodes.

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Popular Culture
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. James Knauer says:

    As other major franchises have concluded, Trek delivers something the virus has pushed to the front burner in terms of human need: Hope.

    6
  2. Michael Reynolds says:

    Original Trek was far superior to TNG or any subsequent Trek. There, I said it. Yes, cheesy sets and effects. But it was about something and the characters were so well drawn that you could invent any scenario, drop Kirk or Spock into it and know exactly how each would behave.

    TNG swapped big issues for psychobabble and techbabble. The only thing that made it interesting was Patrick Stewart. But even Stewart can’t save that tedious, ill-conceived mess, Picard.

    As @James Knauer: says, the Trek brand is hope, optimism. Picard has forgotten that. We are ass deep in dystopias (and mea culpa for a bit of that), and there’s more in the pipeline. The whole idea of Trek is that we are making progress toward a better future, not dystopia, utopia. But that’s harder to write, it takes imagination, which explains why TNG ran out of steam and the only thing worth saving was Patrick Stewart and the Borg. (Yes, I’m looking at you, Deanna Troi.)

    If they’re going to trot out still another Trek and re-animate still another Spock, FFS, I hope they hire decent writers, banish the West Hollywood navel-gazing, avoid any running of ‘level one diagnostics’ and ‘rerouting’ of this or that, and tell honest sci fi stories using well-conceived characters. Not much chance of that, but a boy can dream.

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  3. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Get the shark on the phone. We need him for another set of jumps.

    3
  4. I am extremely excited about this development. Mount was absolutely fantastic as Pike in the second season of Discovery and I thought Peck was an excellent young Spock. Even the limited exposure of Romjin as Number One had me wanting more.

    This really was some very good news in the midst of an otherwise challenging 2020.

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  5. @Michael Reynolds: I enjoyed Picard even if I have some gripes (but I have gripes about everything, ultimately. Very little is perfect).

    And I am an original TOS kid who watched reruns daily on the local UHF channel.

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  6. I will say that Mount’s Pike in season two of Disco captured that Trek optimism more than any of the new Trek to date has.

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  7. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I think there are as many great episodes of TNG as there are of TOS. TNG ran for more than twice as long though…

    But it was about something and the characters were so well drawn that you could invent any scenario, drop Kirk or Spock into it and know exactly how each would behave.

    Outside of Spock, Kirk and McCoy though… not so much. And even those three tend to lack a lot of subtlety. This works fine for the big sci-fi concept stories, but not as well in stories that are depending on the characters to drag them over the line to entertaining.

    For characterization, Deep Space 9 really has the lead.

    12
  8. Kit says:

    I grew up on TOS and never thought ill of the effects until Star Wars burst on the scene. The crappy TVs of the day, rendering the even crappier UHF signals, meant that viewers needed some degree of imagination if they were to enjoy strange new worlds.

    2
  9. Gustopher says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Every moment with Number One was excellent. I’m hopeful that they can flesh her out into a full character, but she got lots of bits of character in every tiny scene she was in. The actress did a fantastic job.

    Makes sense that hundreds of years later, Picard would keep naming his pets after her.

    As far as optimism in Discovery goes, there is also Tilly, but she’s presented as kind of an idiot for being so optimistic.

    And on Picard… I liked a lot of it, probably eight out of ten episodes. Unfortunately it was the last two I didn’t like.

    I hope the next season starts with a funeral on Chateau Picard with Android Picard burying the original (with his friends mourning), and then spends the season exploring whether Android Picard really is the same man we knew — I’m thinking time travel, meeting a young Picard, and contrasting the differences of aging with the differences of being a replica. Maybe visit Riker’s transporter-accident clone.

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  10. @Gustopher:

    Every moment with Number One was excellent. I’m hopeful that they can flesh her out into a full character, but she got lots of bits of character in every tiny scene she was in. The actress did a fantastic job.

    Agreed.

    As far as optimism in Discovery goes, there is also Tilly, but she’s presented as kind of an idiot for being so optimistic.

    At times, yes. But overall, I would disagree that that was how the show was treating her overall.

    There is some Trek optimism at the end of S1 (where they are clearly trying to do a course correction).

    Of course, since the plots of STVI and Insurrection, not too mention the whole Maquis plotlines in TNG, DS9, and VOY, were about major elements of Starfleet/the Federation making really cynical political choices, I am less of the “current Trek isn’t optimistic enough” to be a little bit of selective memory.

    I was disappointed in the finale of PIC but didn’t hate it, either.

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  11. @Kit: Have you ever watched the remastered ones with new effects added?

    If you haven’t, at a minimum, watch “The Doomsday Machine.” They are on Netflix.

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  12. Steve V says:

    Pike/Mount was a bright spot in all the new Trek stuff. So that’s something. But overall these series have been missing something.

  13. Kit says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Thanks for that, Steven. While I’m not quite sure what I thought of the effects, the episode itself was rather good. I just might need to dig deeper into that catalog.

  14. Gustopher says:

    @Kit: I love that they redid the effects in the style of the 1960s effects.

    The new effects in Star Wars are weird and jarring in a 1970s movie. The new effects in TOS just look like what you would expect a 1960s tv show to look like if you didn’t know better.

    Blu-Ray resolution without the new effects is better though… you can see the tape holding things together. The disks come with the option to use new effects or old.

    1
  15. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    which explains why TNG ran out of steam and the only thing worth saving was Patrick Stewart and the Borg. (Yes, I’m looking at you, Deanna Troi.)

    Even by the standards of TNG, they did nothing good with Deanna Troi. She likes chocolate, probably hates Mondays, and I think she was raped in multiple episodes — psychic rape, and impregnated by passing aliens, just off the top of my head.

    Her mother, who appears sporadically as a joke is a more fleshed out character.

    At least she didn’t talk about trying to avoid the rape gangs when she was growing up, like Tasha Yar.

    1
  16. Kathy says:

    @Gustopher:

    I really like Marina Sirtis. beyond that, if you read some of the non-canon books available, sometimes they flesh out the characters in ways the show does not. This tends to get conflated with the characters in the show.

    In the case of troi, books like Imzadi (where Troi and Riker first meet), and Dark Mirror (a take on the Mirror Universe in TNG times before DS9 exhausted it), leave you with the impression of a deeper character.

    1
  17. @Gustopher: TNG’s female characters did not get much in the way of development.

    BTW, I recently revisited some TNG and man, TNG season one really wasn’t very good.

    (For that matter, TOS season three is not so great, either, with a few exceptions).

    1
  18. On that last point (TNG, season 1–and really a chunk of season 2, and TOS season 3) make me think a lot of people are overly harsh about DISCO and ST:P. DISCO season one had plenty of flaws, but taken as a whole was far, far superior to TNG season 1.

    For all the criticisms of the new stuff in terms of plot devices and rapid solutions to complex problems, that was pretty much TNG on a weekly basis. For example, I was a bit disappointed in the wrap-up of ST:P–there was a lot of hand-waving and quick explanation for things I expected more complex answers for, but that is, in some ways, in keeping with the way in which complex problems on a weekly ep of TNG would all get resolved in the last act.

    A big glaring example: Picard is taken over by the Borg and helps oversee mass death at Wolf 359 in episode one of season 4 and yet by episode 3 of season 4 he is back in command of the flagship of the federation? And this is mentioned only a handful of times thereafter.

    And how many times did Data take over the ship, demonstrating that he is a massive security threat at any time, only to be placed back into his position by the end of the ep?

    1
  19. sam says:

    @Kit:

    The crappy TVs of the day, rendering the even crappier UHF signals, meant that viewers needed some degree of imagination if they were to enjoy strange new worlds.

    Reading ‘listeners’ for ‘viewers’, exactly what I’ve always maintained about radio. But then I was born in 1941.

  20. Mister Bluster says:

    I see that I posted this earlier in a different thread.

    This episode, Miri, of Star Trek (1966) is on H+I TV at 7pm CDT tonight (Sun).

    The Enterprise receives an old style SOS signal and finds on arrival a planet that is virtually identical to Earth. Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Yeoman Rand beam down to the planet only to find that it is inhabited solely by children. Kirk befriends one of the older children, Miri, but they soon learn that experiments to prolong life killed all of the adults and that the children will also die when they reach puberty. They also learn that the children are in fact, very old. Soon, the landing party contracts the virus and has seven days to find a cure.

    Apparently the children of Gene Roddenberry, William Shatner and Grace Lee Whitney are cast in the production.

  21. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    We are ass deep in dystopias (and mea culpa for a bit of that), and there’s more in the pipeline.

    While it certainly has flaws, I feel like Tomorrowland was the most underrated scifi film of this decade, largely because of it being critical about our obsession with dystopian fiction.