Star Trek gives fans exactly what they wanted with Strange New Worlds
Spock, Captain Pike, Number One, and the crew of the classic USS Enterprise are boldly going again.
As Captain Pike said in Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 — Hit it!
Pike (Anson Mount), Spock (Ethan Peck), and Number One (Rebecca Romijn) will all return for a new Enterprise-centric TV series called Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. No release date has been set by CBS, but like Discovery, Picard, and the forthcoming animated series, Lower Decks, Strange New Worlds will air on CBS All Access in the United States.
As you might have guessed, the series will focus on the adventures of Spock, Pike and Number One before the classic '60s Star Trek. Here's why this series is basically giving every Star Trek fan exactly what they want. Spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Discovery Season 2.
"You asked. We listened. It's happening."
In the new announcement video from CBS, these words are spoken by Star Trek's incumbent Mr. Spock — Ethan Peck. After appearing in Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, even the most skeptical Trek fans had to agree that the trio of Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, and Rebecca Romijn took charming to well beyond warp factor 10. Which isn't easy!
Mount became the fourth actor to play Captain Christopher Pike, while Peck (the grandson of Gregory Peck) stepped into the boots of Mr. Spock, previously filled by Zachary Quinto, but of course, first and foremost, by Leonard Nimoy. In the original Trek pilot, "The Cage" (and later "The Menagerie"), the character of Number One was played by Majel Barrett, but Rebecca Romijn has made that character all her own and imbued what was once a canon curiosity with a whole sense of confidence and zest. Hell, Number One even has a name these days: Una.
Strange New Worlds will be a new Star Trek series, presumably, set sometime between 2257 and 2265. At the end of Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, the USS Discovery jumped 930 years into the future. The last shot of that finale episode — "Such Sweet Sorrow Part 2" — focused on the USS Enterprise, warping away, boldly going where no one has gone before, again. While Spock, Pike, and Number One were essentially long-tenured guest stars on Discovery, the new series will give them their own stories, both a prequel and possibly a kind of remake of the original Star Trek.
In Trek canon, Captain Kirk did a famous five-year mission aboard the Enterprise form 2265 to 2270. Before that, Captain Pike (along with Spock) did two five-year-missions. Presumably, before Discovery Season 2, we saw the tail-end of the first stint. Now, with Strange New Worlds, we'll get to see what happened in the second one.
In the short announcement video, Peck, Mount, and Romijn make it totally clear that this "would not have happened" had fans not asked for it. Since Discovery Season 2 began, hardcore fans and casual viewers alike have adored this version of the classic USS Enterprise crew. Even fans who have been stubbornly sitting out the new various new Trek series (and seriously, stop it) will surely be tempted to beam back aboard for this series.
Unlike Discovery's first two seasons, Strange New Worlds has a lot of room to maneuver. And although Pike knows his eventual fate (spoiler alert: he'll suffer a heartbreaking physical tragedy by the time of Kirk) that specific detail can only make Pike more interesting than many Trek captains who have come before him.
Pike knows he can't die in Strange New Worlds. We know Spock can't either. We don't know what happens to Number One. And, we certainly don't know much about the rest of the crew at this time either. (Though Short Treks and Discovery certainly gave us some hints, especially the 2019 episode "Ask Not.") Right now, as Picard once said in The Next Generation, with this premise, and this time period, the sky's the limit.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will debut sometime in 2021 or 2022.