'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' Review: Retro Adventure Sets Phasers to Fun - CNET

6 days ago 16

The USS Enterprise is backmost and boldly returning to its original-series roots successful Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Beaming down to planets! Weird illnesses! Submarines successful space! Shirts coming off!

Strange New Worlds is streaming present connected Paramount Plus, with occurrence 1 released May 5 and caller installments beaming down each Thursday. Right from the start, it's a rollicking instrumentality to the accepted Trek that longtime fans may've missed successful the caller question of mold-breaking Star Trek shows similar Discovery, Lower Decks, Prodigy and Picard. From its stirring caller instrumentality connected the memorable Star Trek: The Original Series taxable tune, to chunky span consoles, a square-jawed skipper and play episodic adventures, the bid is simply a playfully retro romp.

That said, Strange New Worlds takes the accepted Trek look and stirs successful more-modern elements, similar deeper quality backstories and overarching storylines. But that's acold looser than successful Discovery and Picard, which were powered astir wholly by ongoing plotlines.

The bid begins with Captain Christopher Pike hiding retired successful the snows of Montana aft his misadventures successful Star Trek: Discovery. You don't request to person kept up with Discovery: All you request to cognize is he's haunted by visions of his ain decease and it's made him sprout a massive beard. Adventure rapidly intrudes connected Pike's introspection, however, arsenic a Starfleet shuttle sweeps successful and whisks him backmost to the Enterprise connected a rescue ngo to prevention his trusty archetypal officer.

Celia Rose Gooding arsenic endearing young Cadet Uhura successful Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

James Dimmock/Paramount Plus

And past it's disconnected to the races. In the archetypal 5 episodes made disposable to press, the Starship Enterprise has a caller escapade each week, doing classical Trek worldly similar investigating comets and negotiating treaties. Allegories are unsubtle. Lessons are learned successful idiosyncratic logs. And the accumulation plan besides sidesteps 1 of my idiosyncratic bugbears astir Discovery, that it was meant to beryllium a prequel yet looked much technologically precocious than immoderate of the Trek that supposedly came after. Strange New Worlds tempers this with its satisfyingly chunky starship aesthetic, each occurrence motor reddish surfaces and carnal power consoles. 

Following the bold but somewhat divisive departure from the Trek look successful Discovery and Picard, it's tempting to spot Strange New Worlds arsenic an olive subdivision to disgruntled fans. Within minutes the amusement mentions Bob April, the USS Archer, Lieutenant Kirk and assorted different bits of continuity which volition marque a Trekker's pointy ears perk up. Cleverly, though, immoderate of these references connection a bait-and-switch to support you connected your toes.

While determination are respective caller faces, the amusement takes its cue from the movie reboots to bring america caller takes connected classical characters similar Nurse Chapel and Cadet Uhura, led by Captain Pike and Number One (who appeared successful the precise archetypal 1960s aviator occurrence earlier being replaced by the unit we cognize and love). And the instauration of troubled young serviceman La'an Noonien-Singh is an inspired setup for aboriginal drama. I'm peculiarly intrigued by a teasing glimpse of an archetypal bid force fixed a heightened aerial of menace and fear.

The caller Enterprise crew: Celia Rose Gooding arsenic Uhura, Melissa Navia arsenic Ortegas, Ethan Peck arsenic Spock, Bruce Horak arsenic Hemmer, Anson Mount arsenic Captain Pike, Rebecca Romijn arsenic Una, Jess Bush arsenic Chapel, Christina Chong arsenic La'an and Baby Olusanmokun arsenic Dr. M'Benga.

Paramount Plus

At the bosom of the amusement is Anson Mount's Captain Pike. Sort of a caller quality but besides benignant of an aged one, Pike suffers from being a small excessively akin to Captain Kirk. Dispensing down-home, Western-inflected contented from the captain's chair, Pike is fundamentally Kirk with grey streaks. His state retreat adjacent looks similar Kirk's imagination location successful Generations. But the square-jawed yet twinkling Mount is an immensely charming leader, and generously shares the spotlight with a unit of officers who are much rounded than erstwhile span crews.

Celia Rose Gooding is peculiarly endearing arsenic young Cadet Uhura, portion Christina Chong gets the meatiest play arsenic La'an. For my money, Ethan Peck isn't arsenic Spock-y arsenic the smoldering Zachary Quinto successful the movies, but his dynamic with the remainder of the unit is amusive to watch. Rebecca Romijn has a spot of a thankless task playing a stern archetypal serviceman who isn't Spock, but the amusement gives her capable abstraction and attraction to dilatory make a quality of her own.

While Strange New Worlds decidedly evokes Star Trek: The Original Series, that doesn't mean it's staid oregon overly reverent. It's playful, zingy stuff, driven by a divers formed having amusive moving astir successful their sleek Starfleet uniforms. When I accidental the bid takes its cue from the movie reboot (starring Chris Pine arsenic Captain Kirk, Zachary Quinto arsenic Spock and Zoe Saldana arsenic Uhura), I mean that these are younger versions of the acquainted characters. Younger, and sexier. Spock has his garment disconnected successful the archetypal 10 minutes, and is rapidly tractor-beamed toward a emotion triangle with Chapel's adorkable flirt, sparkily played by Jess Bush.

And similar the movie reboots and caller TV shows, the wide code is playful and quippy. These Starfleet officers someway find clip for Joss Whedon-esque banter and soul-baring affectional confessions adjacent astatine life-and-death moments. This keeps things lively, though your mileage whitethorn alteration with a relentless barrage of lines like, "We decidedly pissed them off!" portion they're meant to beryllium engaged dodging photon torpedoes. Also, you whitethorn rotation your eyes astatine each successively much melodramatic revelation of overwrought tragic backstory for seemingly everyone connected the ship.

Still, Strange New Worlds is the Paramount Plus Trek amusement that yet relaxes and embraces the classical Trek format, portion inactive feeling caller and modern. It reminded maine of the 2005 Doctor Who revival: Clearly made with emotion by fans of the archetypal series, it jazzes up the taxable tune, looks deeper into the affectional dynamics betwixt characters and whisks you disconnected your feet with fast-paced action. If that bugs you, well, spell backmost to your starbase and your TOS VHS, Admiral Fun-Sponge. 

It remains to beryllium seen however this caller bid volition make its ongoing crippled threads done its episodic format. But astatine archetypal glance, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is enjoyable, irreverent hokum. Sure, beam maine up, wherefore not.

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