Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Pike & Spock Spinoff Will Be More Episodic Than Discovery & Picard

The new Pike and Spock spinoffStar Trek: Strange New Worldswill be more episodic than Picard and Discovery, promises a series co-creator. After disappearing for a decade following the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise, the Trek universe is back on the small screen thanks to CBS All Access and its series Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard. And there’s even more Trek content coming with several shows in the works, including the animated Lower Decks and a live-action show centered on the mysterious Federation black ops unit Section 31.

Add to that list another live-action Trek show that was recently revealed to be in the works. Entitled Strange New Worlds, the series will be set on the USS Enterprise ten years before the arrival of Captain Kirk and will feature the Discovery versions of Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), Mr. Spock (Ethan Peck) and Number One (Rebecca Romijn) – all characters who first appeared on Star Trek: The Original Series. Akiva Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet will once again head up the show’s creative team - which may or may not be good news, depending on which Trek fans you ask.

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Speaking to Variety about the new show, Goldsman dropped some details that actually should come as good news to Trek fans who have been critical of Discovery and Picard. The series co-creator said the new series will go old school by reviving the episodic adventure storytelling style of the original Trek, while also bringing back some of Gene Roddenberry’s utopian vision of the future. Goldsman said:

As fans well know, all the older Trek series, from TOS to Enterprise, were traditional TV shows in that each episode was its own self-contained story (with the exception of a few multi-episode arcs along the way). But Discovery broke with that tradition by going for a serialized narrative spread across an entire season, a move that rubbed many old fashioned Trek fans the wrong way. When Picard was later announced, many hoped the show would return to the classic Trek storytelling approach, but instead season 1 presented another serialized narrative. Even more problematic for a lot of people was the way Picard broke with the utopian values of original Trek by presenting a dark and pessimistic vision of the future.

Judging by Goldsman’s comments about Strange New Worlds and where it will go story- and tone-wise, it seems the caretakers of new Trek have listened to the complaints of Trekkies and are willing to adjust things back toward the Roddenberry vision of the future, while doing away with serialized narratives in favor of a more episodic approach. Of course, these tweaks alone won’t guarantee that Strange New Worlds will succeed with those segments of Trek fandom who were not on board with Picard and Discovery. Already there’s a potential problem with the prequel approach, as it may feel like treading ground that’s already been well-covered. And the show’s writers still have the challenge of coming up with compelling science-fiction stories that can be told within the one-hour format. Despite Goldsman’s calculatedly reassuring words, there’s still reason for old school Trek fans to be skeptical about Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

Source: Variety