Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2





Kennedy Unthank

TV Series Review

Captain Christopher Pike knows his future, and it isn’t pretty.

When he picked up that time crystal on the planet Boreth, he saw what future awaited him: permanently disfigured and paralyzed due to a radiation leak on an inspection tour of a cadet vessel. When he took the crystal, he locked in his future.

With the date of that incident less than a decade away, Pike has isolated himself away in Montana, refusing to answer any calls from Starfleet. He can’t get his impending future out of his head, and he’s terrified of what will become of him.

However, when Pike’s second-in-command, officer Una, goes missing during a first-contact mission, Pike sets out to find and save her, reclaiming his spot as the captain of the USS Enterprise. Even if his future seems grim, Pike knows that he can’t hide from it.

After all, his call is to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Step Aside, Captain Kirk

Long, long ago, Captain Pike was the main character of Star Trek.

The show’s original pilot episode, “The Cage,” featured Pike in all of his Jeffrey Hunter 1965 glory. However, this episode was rejected by NBC for being “too intellectual” and not having enough action. The “second” pilot episode, titled “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” would later become the third episode of the Star Trek’s first season.

Among the changes in the story were the replacement of Captain Pike with Captain Kirk as the ship’s captain after Hunter withdrew from the series. Then, it wasn’t until Star Trek’s two-part eleventh and twelfth episodes, “The Menagerie,” that viewers were first truly introduced to Captain Pike—a horribly disfigured mute Starfleet Captain who is permanently stuck to a life-support machine after suffering extreme radiation-related injuries.

Pike has appeared in a variety of ways since then (including roles in the 2009 film, Star Trek, and its 2013 sequel, Star Trek: Into Darkness, but these canonically exist on a different timeline than Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ canon). He was prominently featured in Star Trek: Discovery’s second season, leading to the character finally getting his own spinoff show, which we are discussing today.

And in Strange New Worlds, which follows an episode-centric format rather than season-long storylines, Pike knows that his fate leaves him in that life-supporting wheelchair—limbless, scarred and mute. But since discovering his fate (an event which occurred during his time in Discovery), Pike is trying to make the most of the remainder of his captaining life, exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations and boldly going where no one has gone before.

A Money-Making Enterprise

Pike’s USS Enterprisewas making a name for itself long before any hotshot Kirk had a chance at the captain’s chair. There was that time they dealt with the equivalent of a nebula-based space god (“The Elysian Kingdom”); the time they dealt with a nation that used a voluntary reverent child sacrifice in order to power their paradise planet (“Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach”); the time they experienced an alternate timeline of events (“A Quality of Mercy”).

And Strange New World’s many ventures may include some content that parents will want to be aware of.

Though the show boasts a TV-PG rating, the first episode makes two references to sex, and we see Spock shirtless and his bride-to-be (T’Pring) in revealing attire. In terms of sexuality, an upcoming character is confirmed to be bisexual, and in Season One’s “The Serene Squall,” one character is transgender.

As referenced earlier, some episodes deal with religious imagery. Mild language is used in the form of “h—” and “d–n,” and the f-word can be briefly seen on a sign in a video. And, of course, the universe is a dangerous place, and occasional violence will be present—including us seeing the charred corpse of a child.

Strange New Worlds boasts the third-highest rating on IMDb of all Star Trek TV series, falling behind only the highly revered Original Series and Next Generation. Following in the footsteps of such shows, Strange New Worlds explores many ideas related to morality and conflicting cultures. With that in mind, parents who decide to watch should make sure to check our reviews to make sure they aren’t the ones wearing the red shirts if concerns do arise.

Episode Reviews

Jun. 15, 2023—S2, Ep1: “The Broken Circle”

When Pike leaves to find a lawyer to plead a friend’s case, Spock is put in charge, only to be forced to prevent all-out war against the Klingon race.

Someone causes a false alarm in order to steal a spaceship. Many people drink “bloodwine,” a substance that is “twice as potent as whiskey.” One Klingon vomits offscreen from it, and someone burps. Spock is later seen dealing with a hangover as a result.

Two people inject themselves with a type of super soldier serum, and they fistfight dozens of baddies. Some of the bad guys are hit with metal pipes, and we see a bit of blood on someone’s face after the encounter. One Klingon is choked until he provides information. Ships fire at each other. Someone struggles with elements of PTSD.

God’s name is used in vain once.

May 5, 2022—S1, Ep1: “Strange New Worlds”

After officer Una goes missing following a first-contact mission with a new race of people, Captain Christopher Pike returns from isolation to rescue her.

A naked woman wakes up in bed with her back exposed to the camera, and it is implied that she and Pike had sex. She and Pike kiss. Spock references courtship and “ritual mating colors,” and T’Pring, Spock’s love interest, asks Spock to marry her. Spock and T’Pring kiss, and they begin to move into bed with intentions to have sex before they are interrupted. However, Spock is seen shirtless and T’Pring wears revealing clothing. In a video call, Pike asks Spock if he is naked, and T’Pring replies that Spock was about to be.

In a premonition, Pike is seen with severe radiation burns after explosions jolt the ship. The USS Enterprise is hit by three plasma torpedoes. Spock incapacitates two aliens, and the Enterprise crew beats up a group of additional aliens.

Chief of Security La’An references people who died by being “slit open and fed on alive or used as breeding sacks.” A brief historical database video shows a sign that references Joe Biden. The same video shows protests, rioting and Earth’s major cities being destroyed in atomic blasts.

Pike drinks a glass of brandy. In a short gag, Spock is seen without pants on in order to blend into a culture.

“H—” is used six times, and “d–n” is heard twice. The word “screwed” is used once. Additionally, the f-word is seen written on a sign in a very brief historical database video.

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Kennedy Unthank

Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He doesn’t think the ending of Lost was “that bad.”

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