Star Trek Strange New Worlds Season Two - Review

Star Trek Strange New Worlds Season Two - Review

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Posted 2024-02-25 by Marisa Quinn-Haisufollow

Goldsman, A & Kurtzman, A & Lumet, J. Star Trek Strange New Worlds (2022 – present). Paramount Plus.
Link to Image.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds was developed by Akiva Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman, and Jenny Lumut to be a spin-off of Star Trek: Discovery (2017-2024). The show follows the adventures of Captain Christopher Pike and the crew of the USS Enterprise a decade before the events of Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-1969) take place. The first season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds premiered on Paramount Plus on 5 May 2022 starring Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Ethan Pike as Spock, Rebecca Romijn as Una Chin-Riley, Jess Bush as Christine Chapel, Christina Chong as La'an Noonien-Singh, Celia Rose Gooding as Nyota Uhura, Melissa Navia as Erica Ortegas and Babs Olusanmokun as Joseph M'Benga. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season two was released on Paramount Plus on 15 June 2023. It ran for ten episodes and was met with overwhelming praise. In this article I will be discussing some of the best episodes from season two so there will be some spoilers ahead.


Goldsman, A & Kurtzman, A & Lumet, J. Star Trek Strange New Worlds (2022 – present). Paramount Plus.
Link to YouTube.

I found season one of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds to be enjoyable enough. I loved the set-designs, the theme song, the cast, and how the show balanced nostalgic elements from Star Trek: The Original Series with more modern aspects from Star Trek: Discovery . I had so much fun watching Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season two. It really surprised me how different the show felt from season one. The writing, the acting, animation and music was all dialed up to eleven. It was bold, inspirational, nostalgic, packed full of drama, and silly and experimental with its humor. I love that they took a lot of risks with the stories that they told in season two. The show has really found its feet.


Goldsman, A & Kurtzman, A & Lumet, J. Star Trek Strange New Worlds (2022 – present). “Those Old Scientists” (video)Paramount Plus. Link to YouTube

In July 2022, Anthony D'Alessandro at Deadline reported that Paramount had revealed at Comic Comic that the second season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds was going to be having a crossover episode with the animated comedic series Star Trek: Lower Decks and would feature both live action and animation. The crossover episode ended up being called "Those Old Scientists." It was written by Kathryn Lyn and Bill Wolkoff and directed by Jonathan Frakes. Guest appearances from Star Trek: Lower Decks included Tawny Newsome as Beckett Mariner, Jack Quaid as Brad Boimler, Noël Wells as D'Vana Tendi, Jerry O’Connell as Jack Ransom and Eugene Cordero as Sam Rutherford.

The episode begins animated in the 24th century with Mariner, Boimler, Tendi and Rutherford arriving on the planet Krulmuth-B to examine a portal that was last inspected by the crew of the USS Enterprise in 2259. When the portal unexpectedly awakens, Boimler trips and falls backward into it, which sends him hurdling back in time all the way back to the 23rd century. Mariner follows him through the portal in an effort to save him. When the two officers exit the portal, the episode switches to live action. Boimler and Mariner are both taken onboard the USS Enterprise where they meet Captain Christopher Pike who offers the services of his crew to help them find a way back to their own time.


Goldsman, A & Kurtzman, A & Lumet, J. Star Trek Strange New Worlds (2022 – present). “Those Old Scientists” (video)Paramount Plus. Link to YouTube.

“Those Old Scientists” was an utter delight. It was light-hearted and so much fun. I really loved that they animated the opening credits of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds to resemble the animation style used in Star Trek: Lower Decks. The colours are bright and gorgeous and the Enterprise looks beautiful. I laughed when I saw that they added the cosmic koala and the giant space slug from Star Trek: Lower Decks to the opening credits as Easter Eggs.

Newsome and Quaid both did fantastic jobs portraying their animated Star Trek: Lower Deck characters in "Those Old Scientists". Quaid in particular did a great job nailing down the nervous mannerisms of Boimler from his nervous laugh to his trademark high-pitched scream. He even managed to recreate how Boimler has a habit of swinging his arms as he walks. There were so many memorable quotes in the episode like when La’an tells Boimler not to share any knowledge of the future again and he tells her “Definitely won’t happen again. Worf’s honour…dang it!”

“Those Old Scientists” is one of the best comedic Star Trek episodes that I have seen in years. It is right up there with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s “Take Me Out to the Holosuite” and Star Trek Voyager’s “Bride of Chaotica!” for me.


Goldsman, A & Kurtzman, A & Lumet, J. Star Trek Strange New Worlds (2022 – present). “Subspace Rhapsody” (video) Paramount Plus.
Link to YouTube.

On 22 July 2023, in an article on www.StarTrek.com , it was reported that the second season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds was going to include a musical episode. The reveal was made by Paramount at the San Diego Comic-Con. "Subspace Rhapsody" was the ninth episode of season two and directed by Dermott Downs. The writers of the episode, Dana Horgan and Bill Wolkoff, were inspired by musical episode “Once More, With Feeling” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Professional songwriters Kay Hanley and Tom Polce were brought in to write ten original songs for the episode. The music for the episode was performed with a 55-piece orchestra. A choir was even brought in to produce a special cappella version of the Strange New Worlds opening theme song.

Subspace Rhapsody” was met with overwhelming praise. I thought that the plot of the episode was a little thin, but didn’t feel like it mattered much. The amazing music, dance numbers, comedy, and original songs in the episode made up for the plot. In August 2023, Adam B. Vary from Variety spoke to executive producers Henry Myers and Akiva Goldsman about the episode. In the article, the showrunners revealed that the actors sung their own songs, and that it took six months to put the episode together. I could really see how much “Once More, With Feeling” influenced the song writing in the episode. One of my favourite songs is “Status Report" where the characters burst into song and keep asking each other “Why are we singing?”


Goldsman, A & Kurtzman, A & Lumet, J. Star Trek Strange New Worlds (2022 – present). “Subspace Rhapsody” (video) Paramount Plus. Link to YouTube.
Link to YouTube.

I was so impressed with how the songwriters managed to work Star Trek’s famous techno babble into the songs. The song that stood out to me the most for its writing was “I’m the X” which was performed by Ethan Peck as Spock. In the song Spock laments about the breakup of his relationship with Nurse Chappel. What makes the song so great is it is obvious that Spock is devastated and blaming himself for the relationship break-up. It was so clever to have him analyze the song like a mathematical equation and use metaphors like "searching for Y" and figuring out the devastating variable that he was "The X." It was perfect for a Vulcan!


Goldsman, A & Kurtzman, A & Lumet, J. Star Trek Strange New Worlds (2022 – present). “Subspace Rhapsody” (video) Paramount Plus. Link to YouTube.
Link to YouTube.

The best part of the episode for me was during the song “We Are One” when the whole crew is doing the big finale dance number. Captain Pike orders Uhura to hail the Klingons and they fall under the influence of the quantum probability field and start singing like a boy band. It’s just great.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will return with season three in 2025.

More Star Trek Articles by Marisa
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Star Trek Lower Decks Season Two - TV Series Review
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