TL;DR – An outstanding pilot episode that takes us back on board the USS Enterprise and into the universe.
Disclosure – I paid for the Paramount+ streaming service that viewed this episode.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Review –
It has been a long road getting from there to here as Star Trek takes a second chance to bring The Cage  and Captain Pike (Anson Mount) to life. When we saw the USS Enterprise and its crew arrive in the second season of Star Trek Discovery, the potential was instantly there. The question is, could they actually pull it off? And if this episode is anything to go on, the answer is yes.
So to set the scene, it has been a while since the events of Such Sweet Sorrow Part 2, and Pike has been hiding out in his cabin in Bear Creek, Montana. He has been dealing with the revelation that he will die badly ten years from now. To the point, he is very much considering leaving Starfleet. That is until Admiral Robert April (Adrian Holmes) takes a shuttle and unambiguously tells Pike that Number One (Rebecca Romijn) is missing and if he wants to leave, he can do it after this. Well, one, unfortunately, timed phone call to Vulcan to pick up Spock (Ethan Peck), and the Enterprise is on to Kiley 279 to find out what happened to the USS Archer. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
I had a blast with this week’s episode, and I think at least part of that is because the episode was a lot of fun itself. I have liked a lot of the recent Star Trek series, but it is nice to have a live-action show with a different tone and vibe. Part of that comes from the top because even though Pike spends a lot of this episode ruminating over his future untimely death, when he throws on the charm, wow. Also, because the cast gelled immediately, part of that is because some have already worked together, and others are playing roles that we have seen before, so there is some groundwork already there. But more than that, nearly everyone in the show is written as having those previous bonds, which gets the ball rolling so much quicker.
The overall story is one that we have seen in Star Trek before. We have a First Contact mission that has gone wrong, and the crew has to go undercover not to blow the Prime Directive/General Order One and fix the problem. While this has been done before, it was still a fun romp that gave everyone a chance to shine. Chief of Security La’an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) recommends raising shields, and Pike takes her suggestion, Cadet Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding) gets to calm down an escaped passenger so Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush) can sedate them, and Dr M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) gets the best joke of the season so far. Its resolution was also lovely when they just went ‘screw it’ you are about to kill each other as we did.
In the end, do we recommend Strange New Worlds? Absolutely. This was an excellent tone shift, with a cast that was there for it, and visuals that took my breath away. I can’t wait to see where we go from here.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Directed by – Akiva Goldsman
Written by – Akiva Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman & Jenny Lumet
Created by – Akiva Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman & Jenny Lumet
Based On – Star Trek Created by Gene Roddenberry
Production/Distribution Companies – CBS Television Studios, Roddenberry Entertainment, Secret Hideout & Paramount+
Starring – Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, Jess Bush, Christina Chong, Celia Rose Gooding, Melissa Navia, Babs Olusanmokun, Bruce Horak & Rebecca Romijn with Adrian Holmes, Dan Jeannotte, Gia Sandhu, Melanie Scrofano, Samantha Smith, Rong Fu & André Dae Kim