Star Trek has faced some adversity in recent years. While critically acclaimed, the reception of series ‘Discovery’ and ‘Picard’ has been tepid by the fans. However, Anson Mount’s portrayal as favorite character Captain Pike has been widely praised by critics and fans alike.
This led to the announcement of ‘Star Trek: Strange New World,’ which discusses the history of Captain Pike as commanding officer of the USS Enterprise with Mount reprising the role. Pike was the CO prior to Captain James Kirk, played by William Shatner in the Original Series.
Little has been revealed by production company CBS other than the initial announcement as the filming was delayed due to the lockdown.
Producer and showrunner Akiva Goldsman, who is also directing the pilot, discussed the series with The Hollywood Reporter and the direction it is going.
“It’s unlike the other shows in that it’s really episodic,” he said. “If you think back to The Original Series, it was a tonally more liberal — I don’t mean in terms of politics, but it could sort of be more fluid. Like sometimes Robert Bloch would write a horror episode. Or Harlan Ellison would have ‘City on the Edge of Forever,’ which is hard sci-fi. Then there would be comedic episodes, like ‘Shore Leave’ or ‘The Trouble With Tribbles.'”
He continued, “So [co-showrunner] Henry Alonso Myers and myself are trying to serve that. We’ve all become very enamored, myself included, with serialized storytelling. And I’m talking to you from behind the stage where we’re shooting Picard, which is deeply serialized. But Strange New Worlds is very much adventure-of-the-week but with serialized character arcs.”
When asked about set designs and costume changes, Goldman insisted the show would strive to keep things within the canon.
He said, “It’s a fine line because obviously, we want to keep continuity with the storytelling and the style, but we also want Strange New Worlds to be a different show. It’s not Discovery. There are a few more reach-backs (to The Original Series) and the uniforms have been adjusted slightly, the sets are slightly different. Remember the Enterprise existed as a little piece of [the show Discovery], but now it’s its own object. When you close your eyes and think of the key sets and situations that you think of The Original Series, that’s what we’re looking to do.”
Before shifting to other Star Trek properties, he discussed why Captain Pike was specifically chosen for its own show.
“I was wildly envious of any involvement in Star Trek because I love it so much,” Goldman emphasized. He says the idea came when he was picked up as a writer for Discovery and was puzzled by their lack of involvement in that series since the timelines “overlapped.”
“When the Enterprise appeared at the end of season one, and once Anson [Mount] and Rebecca [Romijn] and Ethan [Peck] started living those characters in season two, it sort of became this wonderful inevitability,” he explained.
Besides Mount starring as Captain Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn will portray first officer Number One and Ethan Peck will reprise his role as Science Officer Spock. No word yet the character Dr. Phillip Boyce will be recast. John Hoyt portrayed the medical officer in the 1965 Original Series unaired pilot “The Cage” and would be seen again in the episode “The Menagerie” through archival footage.
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