Star Trek fans (including members of UFOP: StarBase 118) rejoiced after CBS officially announced the upcoming series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, which will feature the adventures of Captain Pike, Number One, and Mr. Spock aboard the USS Enterprise in a “more episodic” and “classic Star Trek” show.
Strange New Worlds is the latest addition to the expanding library of new Trek shows on the network’s streaming service CBS All Access. In a video released on Twitter yesterday, actors Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn, and Ethan Peck expressed their gratitude to the outpouring of fan support and demand for a new series based on their characters after their popular reception on season two of Star Trek: Discovery.
— Star Trek on CBS All Access (@startrekcbs) May 15, 2020
“You asked, we listened. It’s happening,” said Peck, who plays a younger iteration of Spock, the half-human, half-Vulcan science officer aboard the USS Enterprise.
While reception to the newest shows Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard has varied widely among fans, the reintroduction of the Captain Pike character on Discovery was met with overwhelming praise. Paralleling the efforts of fans half a century ago to avert the threat of the original series’ cancellation with a massive letter-writing campaign to the network, the possibility of a new Pike-centered series was energized from enthusiastic fan response, with executive producer Alex Kurtzman telling The Hollywood Reporter in April 2019 that “the fans have been heard.”
“We’re gonna get to work on a classic Star Trek show that deals with optimism and the future,” promised Anson Mount in yesterday’s video announcement. Mount, most well-known previously for his role as Cullen Bohannon in the AMC western drama Hell on Wheels, will return in Strange New Worlds as Captain Christopher Pike, the man who commanded the Enterprise a decade before Captain Kirk of the original 1960s Star Trek television series.
Describing the upcoming show as “classic Star Trek” could be a clue, along with its title, that it will return to the more familiar storytelling structure for those who grew up on the original series or the Star Trek: The Next Generation era of spinoffs. Producer Akiva Goldsman confirmed in an interview with Variety released after the announcement that Strange New Worlds will be more episodic.
“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.”
Immediate fan reaction was overwhelmingly positive, including among the members of the UFOP: StarBase 118 RPG community from across the globe.
“Am I excited?” responded Deliera, a member from Australia who writes for Sky Blake, first officer of the USS Veritas. “You bet your Vulcan mind I’m excited!”
“OHMAGAWD,” said Nathaniel, a member from the United Kingdom who writes for Thalas th’Koro on the USS Atlantis, before his universal translator exploded.
“A series with Captain Pike? Yes, please,” said Andrea, a member from Spain who writes for Alieth on the USS Thor. “How the writers have scripted the character for Anson so far and how much the actor has invested in the character makes me 100% confident that I will enjoy the new series.”
UFOP: StarBase 118 founder Jordan, better known to many in the community as Fleet Admiral Tristan Wolf, echoed the sentiment.
“It’s so gratifying to see the powers that be making a Captain Pike show – his commitment to the ideals of Starfleet are an inspiring return to the utopian Roddenberry vision of TNG,” he said.
In the midst of these difficult and uncertain times from a global pandemic that has affected millions, yesterday’s announcement indeed proved that even before its premiere, Strange New Worlds has already helped bring a little bit of that Trek optimism back to its fans and a promise of a great future to come.