Star Trek producers explain how Strange New Worlds “harkens back” to The Original Series

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will tell the tale of Captain Pike and the crew of the USS Enterprise before The Original Series. That’s a tall order, made only slightly easier by the fact the new cast already appeared in Star Trek Discovery.

Speaking to SFX Magazine for the new issue, featuring Stranger Things on the cover, executive producer Akiva Goldsman says that the writers of this series have tried to “harken back” to some of the values and styles that were synonymous with ’60s Trek. 

“In doing so, we’ve tried to look back and interpolate some parts of TOS that might not have made it to the screen, some things that might have happened just before Jim Kirk took over the Enterprise,” he says. “And as such, some familiar faces are finding new life.”

Specifically, he’s referring to The Original Series characters like Dr. M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun), Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush), fresh-out-of-Starfleet cadet Nyota Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding), and even James T. Kirk (Paul Wesley), who we’re promised will appear in a second season. These familiar characters will populate Pike’s world and his bridge, and serve as an invitation to classic Trek fans who may not have connected to the other new series to give this one a try. 

Fellow executive producer Alex Kurtzman says Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is a show concerned with exploring the final frontier when the concept is still at its infancy in the mythology of Star Trek. “It’s when the maiden voyages of the Enterprise were just starting,” he says. “And there’s the sense of hope, the sense of optimism, the sense of exploration, and the spirit of adventure.” 

That also means a return to episodic storytelling, which was the format for The Original Series. Despite being a fan of serialized storytelling in general, and having advocated for its introduction into Trek going back to Deep Space Nine, Goldsman says that returning to the self-contained stories was the right choice. 

“It’s allowed us to do a few things that we haven’t been able to do in serialized storytelling,” he teases.

You can check out the full interview with the Star Trek team in the current issue of SFX Magazine (opens in new tab), which features Stranger Things season 4 on the cover. 

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds streams on Paramount Plus from May 5 in the US. Additional international availability will be announced at a later date. For more from SFX, make sure to sign up to the newsletter, sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.

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