Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season Two beams in this week. And we’ve seen the first six episodes! Set Phasers for even more fun!
After the thrills, spills, and all-around fun of the first season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, we all wondered how the second season would pan out. Would the first season be like lightning in a bottle, caught once and never to be repeated? Could the show make us smile, laugh, cry, and cheer as we did so before? How could they top what the first season brought to the table? Those who watched the first season are aware that the show returned to the episodic nature of the Original Series. They continue to do that here but also manage to tie in several storylines from the first season that play out nicely. And it is just so much damn fun!
I have seen the first six episodes of this second season. Those looking for spoilers should look away now, there won’t be any. And no, the screeners didn’t contain the much-awaited crossover episode with Star Trek: Lower Decks (damn you, screener gods!), but what the first six episodes contain is more than enough to keep the fans happy. And give us some genuine fist-pumping moments as well as needing a few tissues along the way. The show contains enough genuine emotion to grab us from the start and not let us go until the end credits.
The episodes themselves are varied, focussing on one or several of the main characters at a time. The first episode for example features little of Anson Mount’s Captain Christopher Pike, or Rebecca Romijn’s Una Chin-Riley. For the most part, it is Jess Bush’s Christine Chapel and Babs Olusanmokun’s Joesph M’Benga that are front and center. Ethan Peck as Spock, Christina Chong as La’an Noonien-Singh, Celia Rose Gooding as Uhura, and Melissa Navia as Erica Ortegas play supporting roles in the episode. But don’t let that fool you. By the end, you’ll never look at Chapel and M’Benga in the same way again. Guaranteed.
The second episode ties up the cliffhanger from the climax of season one in a satisfactory way for the crew of the U.S.S Enterprise and the fans themselves. La’an gets her moment in the spotlight in episode 3 which brings us a side of La’an that we’ve not seen before. And Christina Chong shows off her brilliant acting chops to the full. Believe me, by the climax, you’ll know that there is more to the character than we realized. Episode 4 is an episode that you must stick with to receive a great payoff by the end.
EPISODES 5 & 6
Episode 5 does contain some dramatic moments but it is also one of those that contains plenty of humor and hilarious moments along the way. The focus of the episode is Spock himself. I shan’t spoil it for you, but I found it to be possibly the most entertaining of the six episodes that were given to me to watch. Ethan Peck displays a terrific sense of comic timing in the episode that goes hand in hand with the more dramatic moments. Again, Jess Bush shows off her acting skills, and by the climax, the payoff is something we’ve all been waiting for.
Episode six belongs solely to Celia Rose Gooding as Uhura. The episode is one of those that has an element of mystery to it, something that made the original series and season one of Strange New Worlds so good. Uhura has to discover what’s going on and why things are happening around her. But it also features some good comedic moments along the way. And no spoilers, but it does contain an unexpected appearance that will make the fans cheer and cry in equal measure,
There’s nothing more I can say about the cast. Everyone is once again on point with their performances, bringing out the best and at times, the worst traits their characters contain. Anson Mount and Rebecca Romijn continue to be the front and center of the series at most times. But the supporting cast all get their time in the spotlight. None more so than Christina Chong, Jess Bush, and Babs Olusanmokun. Celia Rose Gooding continues to impress as Uhura while Melissa Navia as Ortegas shows everyone once more why we fell in love with her in the first season. I’d like to see more of Ortegas if the truth is known as I feel a bit short-changed with her character at times. Melissa Navia deserves more screen time than she is getting, despite being a vital crew member and character.
PAUL WESLEY & CAROL KANE
Paul Wesley appears as James T. Kirk in episodes 3 and 6. And he is very good in his portrayal as the future captain of the Enterprise. You may find it hard to accept him in the role, with thoughts and shadows of William Shatner and Chris Pine hanging over him. But Wesley plays Kirk as a combination of the two, giving us the decent Kirk of Shatner with the comedic at times, tearaway Kirk of Pine. And it works wonderfully.
Carol Kane as Pelia, a new addition this season is an enigma. One minute we think we’ve got a handle on her, the next she sends us spinning through a loop. It is Carol Kane’s wonderful performance that keeps us on our toes. Pelia appears and then vanishes, only to turn up in places that we wouldn’t expect. And the amount of sass she has, not only for the junior crew members but for the senior bridge crew themselves is amusing. We know there’s more to her than meets the eye but we can’t put on finger on what it is. But she gets her time in the spotlight during episode three.
Fans will have a blast with what I’ve seen so far. The drama, the comedy, the camaraderie between the crew, and the action are all here, waiting to be explored. The episodes are all top-notch and feature some unexpected highlights. Every episode contains something that will light up a fan’s face with a beaming great smile. And we also get some highly emotional content along the way that we don’t see coming. The writers have outdone themselves with what they’ve put into this second season. And, of course, that’s before we even get to the crossover episode.
This is Star Trek at its best, without a doubt. Lighthearted, dramatic, and with some character development that the show needed to continue being a success, this is what we needed. The spirit of the Original Series is carried on once again with updates that make the show even better. Set phasers for fun once again, warp into your living room and transport yourself back into the 23rd century onboard the Enterprise. Season 2 is as good as, if not better than we’ve seen before. And proves that Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is far from reaching the final frontier.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 premieres this Thursday on Paramount+. New episodes will drop weekly every Thursday.
Carl Roberts is the News Editor for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!