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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds


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1 hour ago, Eighthours said:

I've started watching Strange New Worlds. As some of you may know, but I'll reprise for those who don't, here is my history with Star Trek. Spoilered cos long:


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The Star Trek movies - this is where it started. I saw Wrath of Khan for the first time when I was 8 and absolutely loved it. Then III and IV in short order. TMP was OK but a bit slow. V was awful. VI is amazing.


The Next Generation - I was obsessed with this show. It started on the Beeb when I was 13 (I think), which was the exact right time. TNG is maybe my favourite show of all time when you consider how much I liked it, combined with the age I was when I watched it. It was television that informed my upbringing. Best of Both Worlds Part 1 was the most exciting thing I'd ever seen at the time, and I still love TNG to bits even now, despite its flaws. I can think back to the time in order to totally forget about the production values compared to today's TV. Some of the storytelling is still awesome. Ron Moore got his start here! Reading about everything to do with the making of the show has been so much fun, there are loads of great stories.


Deep Space Nine - I loved this too. The Dominion War stuff was sooooo good, and the FX in Sacrifice of Angels for the time was the best stuff I'd ever seen on TV. Great show, have rewatched it recently, still holds up. Of all the Treks, this probably has the deepest bench of characters. Dukat, Garak, Weyoun... man, not even in the main cast but so good.


Voyager - I mean, it's fine and has probably got 'better' in terms of reputation since Disco came out, tbh. As story arcs have become played out and in many cases actually harm contemporary shows (not what I would have imagined a few years ago!), the reset button in Voyager feels nowhere near as egregious as it used to. I've been enjoying going through The Greatest Generation podcast's reviews of Voyager (I'm under a year behind now, midway through S3!), and I did a very enjoyable rewatch a couple of years ago during lockdown 1. I actually cried when Neelix left the ship in the penultimate episode and got the guard of honour - that's how traumatic Covid times were! 


Incidentally, both DS9 and Voyager REALLY need that AI upscale remaster that now seems possible if Paramount continue to refuse to spend money to do it properly. A shame, as the Paramount Plus launch was the perfect time to finally spend the cash. Both shows look awful on modern televisions, sadly.


Enterprise - Hit and miss. Season 3 (the year-long Xindi arc) was often very good and season 4 was too. Season 1 was a perfectly acceptable slice of Trek but not particularly exciting. Season 2 was pretty dodgy. Definitely not my favourite show, and I'm not surprised that Trek went away for a while after this as it seemed a bit tired back then.


The Next Generation movies - I liked Generations at the time more than it deserved (maybe just because of how much I wanted to see the cast on the big screeen). First Contact is ace, of course. Insurrection lives up to its rep as a TV two-parter, and Michael Piller's book about the troubled development of it is much, much better than the actual movie. I didn't hate Nemesis, but it's obvious that the director, Stuart Baird, knew nothing about Star Trek.


The Abrams movies - I loved the first one. The opening 10 minutes was (and remains) absolutely stunning. Into Darkness was fine but ultimately disappointing as it should have been great. Star Trek Beyond was fine but too unambitious for a one-off film. 


Star Trek: Discovery - I so wanted this to be good, and I did like the first season quite a lot because it was NEW TREK! With a big budget! But sadly the acting is overwrought, there's way too much crying, the writing and plotting are often nonsense, and the characterisation beyond a few core characters is sadly lacking. I still didn't know the names of some of the bridge crew after nearly 3 seasons! The best bit was probably the batshit mirror universe stuff, simply because it was sooooo out there. But I don't think the show hangs together very well, and it seems to embrace its many flaws rather than trying to correct them, which is maddening. I haven't watched season 4 yet, but will do so after I've finished Strange New Worlds.


Star Trek: Picard - it's not what I wanted (aside from the opening ep, and Riker and the pizza), but I did enjoy season 1 more than most despite some questionable writing. I've only seen a couple of eps of season 2, which I liked (was great to see de Lancie again), but I gather the season as a whole isn't very good. I'm hopeful for season 3, though - maybe it will finally be the Next Gen sequel we all hoped for!


Classic Trek - I've never watched all of this, though have probably seen about three quarters of the episodes in my lifetime. I did try from the start a few years ago but got held up midway through season one. Hopefully I will watch it all in the end, but I find it hard to get over how old it is, tbh. I do like the Kirk, Spock and Bones triumverate a lot.


And so we come to SNW. I have watched 4 episodes so far. I was really looking forward to it because of its good reputation. And my verdict is...


FINALLY! This is what I wanted from New Trek, it's fucking amazing in places. And it's interesting, because I would have thought before Disco aired that serialised storytelling was the way forward, as these were the best parts of DS9 and Enterprise, and callbacks on TNG were always great. But not with how the Kurtzman-verse was telling these kinds of stories. It turned out that returning to episodic Trek was the key to unlocking a genuinely great show. And it's great pretty much from the start!


After 4 eps I already know loads about the characters, the writing is witty and efficient, the VFX is getting better as we go along (episode 4's black hole escape made me gasp and really made me annoyed that Paramount Plus isn't 4K HDR in the UK). The production values are stellar, and somehow seem much better than Discovery and Picard's. Maybe it's just how real everything feels in comparison, due to the quality of the writing and the design work. Pike is such a great character, I'd go into battle for him! Fake Drummer is such an obvious fake Drummer (SOMEONE on the team watched The Expanse, eh?), but La'an is fun anyway and I like her. Uhura has done more in 4 eps than Nichell Nichols got to do in everything she ever did. Spock seems much better than he was in Discovery. The engineer guy is fun. Nurse Chapel looks like the lady from Killing Eve and is great. I like all the characters! Maybe there are too many tragic backstories, but we'll see!


I'm so excited to watch the rest of the season, knowing that there's a season 2 and every chance that this show will be on for years. But yes. FINALLY they did it! New Trek is great again. YEEEEEEEES! 


SNW is ace - best Trek has been in years and years (and years)... episode 4 was a highlight for sure... but the last few episodes are belters.



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Finally got round to watching this (thanks to my sister in law sharing her account with us), my god its brilliant.  Watched the whole season over about a week and loved every minute.  Highlights for me were the second Gorn episode and the season final which was just so well written.  Now the looooong wait for S2.

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I'm three episodes into this and it's totally Star Trek in the form of a big mug of hot soup and a cheese toastie. Watching Discovery is like it's wanting me to have five heart attacks at once sometimes, but the way drama is presented in this is spot on for the stakes.

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