Strange new worlds indeed. When Star Trek: SNW debuts, could Captain Pike (Anson Mount) rock an actual 1960s velour Starfleet uniform? Will a young Jame T. Kirk appear? Will the tech on the bridge of the USS Enterprise suddenly look colorful and goofy again?
A new tweet from one Strange New Worlds star could mean that the collective answer to all these questions is yes. Back in 2017, certain Trekkies were up in arms that the 2256 era of Discovery simply didn’t match up with classic Trek, especially when it came to the oh-so-pesky and ill-fitting world of uniform canon. But now, the retro dreams of classic Trekkies are about to come true. Maybe.
Anson Mount has just dropped a hint about what to expect from Strange New Worlds, and from a certain point of view, it’s possible he’s suggesting some very old-school Star Trek cameos, and perhaps, even a WandaVision-style Trek twist.
Strange New Worlds and ‘60s Star Trek uniforms?
Because the timeline of Strange New Worlds leads right up to the era of Captain Kirk’s five-year mission from Star Trek: The Original Series, many fans have wondered if we’ll see some kind of visual transition to the funky 1960’s aesthetics of the classic show. Recently, co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman even admitted that in Strange New Worlds, “the uniforms have been adjusted slightly,” and that “the sets are slightly different.”
Chronologically, Strange New Worlds will likely start in either 2258 or 2259, right after the Season 2 finale of Discovery. At that point, Pike, Spock, and Number One were rocking what they called “the new uniforms” which were essentially, very colorful versions of the DISCO-style Trek uniforms. (Pike actually spent most of Discovery Season 2 in the other uniform style. When in DISCO...)
But in a tweet on July 7, 2021, the incumbent Captain Pike actor wrote:
“Last ep of Season 1 starts shooting today. Old school fans are going to [be] VERY excited to see what we’re trying to pull off with this one. Getting to do many things I’ve never attempted as an actor. So much fun! #StarTrek #StarTrekSNW.”
So what does Mount mean? Is he about to rock some 1960s-style velour by the Season 1 finale of Strange New Worlds? Between what Goldsman said about the uniforms changing and Mount’s comments about “old school fans,” it seems like the look of Strange New Worlds could be a radical departure from the slicker TV Star Trek we’ve been getting since 2017. If you do a few mental gymnastics, Mount might be suggesting that maybe they’re even shooting the new series to look like the ‘60s show. He didn’t say that. But it’s possible, right?
Captain Kirk in Strange New Worlds?
The other way to read Mount’s tease about “old school” Trek in Strange New Worlds is that the story of the show may actually get around to introducing characters from The Original Series. The top of this list, for many people, is, of course, Captain Kirk. But how would that (hypothetically) be done? Do you re-cast Kirk again? Get Chris Pine to cross over to TV Trek? Or, could William Shatner appear via some Luke Skywalker-Mandalorian CGI?
The phrase “what we’re trying to pull off with this one,” does seem very loaded. If Strange New Worlds is trying to pull something off, that seems to imply what’s being attempted is inherently risky. Is Mount having to act like he’s meeting William Shatner but there’s just some person there who is wearing a totally green bodystocking? Could that be what he means by “getting to do things I’ve never attempted as an actor?”
Messing with Trek canon in the newer shows has become a kind of never-ending tap-dance. But generally speaking, for the actors, it doesn’t have much of an impact. So, if Mount is pushing himself as an actor and that push is connected to the old-school TOS vibes, it’s in the realm of possibility that we’re dealing with some kind of dip into The Original Series, perhaps even by using archival footage.
Star Trek has done this before. In the DS9 episode “Trials and Tribble-ations,” the 24th-century crew of the USS Defiant traveled back in time from 2373 to the 23rd century of 2267. And, when they got there, they literally interacted with Kirk and Spock within several scenes of “The Trouble With Tribbles.” This DS9 episode also established that from the perspective of Trek’s “future,” the uniforms and aesthetic of the past really did look like that.
Granted, Anson Mount has just said the words “old school” and that has prompted several fans (including me) to really overthink what he means. Still, because there’s a precedent in Star Trek canon for merging the footage from the older shows with footage from the newer shows (Discovery did this in Season 2, and again in Season 3) it’s not totally out of the question to think that Strange New Worlds will pay some serious homage to the classic ‘60s show. But, more to the point, it might end up looking just like that series, too.
Imagine watching a show that looks like it was filmed in the 1960s, but it's airing in 2022. Hey, it worked for WandaVision, right?
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will hit Parmaount+ sometime in 2022.