It’s official! The Star Trek franchise will boldly go where most fans have been wanting it to go for over a year now! Variety reports that CBS All Access has given a greenlight for a brand new Star Trek TV series. Titled Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, this will be a spinoff from Star Trek: Discovery that will focus on Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), Spock (Ethan Peck), and Number One (Rebecca Romijn) and the adventures they had on the USS Enterprise prior to a certain Captain James T. Kirk ever showing up.
Canonically first introduced in “The Cage”, the unaired pilot of the original Star Trek series in 1966, Pike was introduced as the Captain of the Enterprise and played by Jeffrey Hunter. In this pilot, he’s accompanied by a young Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and his second in command, only referred to as Number One (Majel Barrett). When the pilot episode was rejected by NBC and a second pilot was commissioned, Hunter decided to reject the role and focus on feature films. Creator Gene Roddenberry retooled the new pilot to set it a few years after the Cage and introduce James T. Kirk as Pike’s successor in the Captain’s Chair with Spock now promoted to First Officer and no Number One in sight.
While footage from The Cage would be reused for the classic two-part episode The Menagerie, Pike would be resigned to comic book and novel appearances for the next few years. It wouldn’t be until JJ Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek feature film reboot where he would show up on screen again played by Bruce Greenwood. But it’s the character’s second return to screen that’s the important – and far more compelling bit – here, as the second season of Discovery (which is set before the events of the original series) would introduce Mount, Peck, and Romijn in their respective roles. And within just an episode of them being on-screen, the trio became hugely popular for their renditions of these characters, with mountains of praise being justifiably heaped on Mount’s incredibly charismatic turn as Pike. The second season finale also gave the characters a perfect setup for their own show.
Calls for a spinoff show began immediately, and in January this year franchise architect Alex Kurtzmann confirmed that something was in development. That something is now Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, which, of course, takes its name from that iconic captain’s speech of “Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!”.
This new show will see Akiva Goldsman penning the premiere based on a story by him, Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet, with all three acting as Exec Prodducers. Julie McNamara, the Exec VP and head of programming at CBS All Access, had this to say about these fan-favourite characters finally being given their own show:
Fans fell in love with Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn and Ethan Peck’s portrayals of these iconic characters when they were first introduced on ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ last season. This new series will be a perfect complement to the franchise, bringing a whole new perspective and series of adventures to ‘Star Trek.’
As I’ve mentioned a few times before, I’ve been doing an entire Star Trek franchise watch from the very beginning recently, so it wasn’t too long ago that I watched The Cage and loved it. That version of Pike – almost a proto-Kirk, right down to the frequent romanticizing of women – is very different to how Mount portrayed him though. Mount brought a magnetic intensity to the role that made me physically angry at how Marvel had wasted him on that trainwreck Inhumans series. Romijn is also superb as the no-nonsense Number One, who hopefully gets an actual name now. Peck is the relative weak-link in the trio for me. It’s not that his Spock is bad, it just feels disconnected from the Leonard Nimoy version of Spock he’s supposed to become.
But then again, it’s not as if Discovery didn’t play fast and loose with overall continuity to begin with. Either way, I’m super stoked for this new show!
Last Updated: May 18, 2020