After their breakout stint on Star Trek: Discovery some classic crew members of the USS Enterprise will be getting their own series. Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, and Rebecca Romijn will reprise their roles in the new series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. The actors will play Captain Christopher Pike, Spock, and Number One, respectively. These characters all appeared in the original pilot episode for Star Trek, which later was repurposed for the classic original series episode “The Menagerie.” Pike’s fate may be sealed in the Star Trek canon. Yet, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will take place ten years before Captain Kirk is slated to take over the Enterprise.
The news shouldn’t come as a surprise. Since Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, and Rebecca Romijn popped up in Star Trek: Discovery fans wanted a show like Strange New Worlds. We got a tease of what that would look like when the character showed up in the first installment of the second “season” of Star Trek: Short Treks. Number One and Spock ended up stuck in a turbolift and bonded.
Of these three characters, Ethan Peck’s Spock will be the breakout star, just as Leonard Nimoy was before him. His version of the character is faithful without being boring. And everyone’s favorite half-human, half-Vulcan is the character everyone is most interested in. Anson Mount has been a leading man in search of a franchise since Hell on Wheels, including a stumble with Marvel’s The Inhumans. Rebecca Romijn brings star power to the show and delivers on Gene Roddenberry’s most interesting character from the original pilot.
While this is great news for fans, it’s also a big deal for the Star Trek franchise and ViacomCBS.
The Franchise Needs Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, Rebecca Romijn and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Image by Jan Thijs via CBS Interactive
The most consistent criticism the CBS All Access version of Star Trek gets is that it doesn’t quite feel like Star Trek. This is not their fault, at least not entirely. The philosophy of Star Trek is one that believes the “perfect” system is possible, as represented by the Federation. Yet our stories reflect our times, and there is not a lot of faith in institutions right now. Of course, every iteration of Star Trek features a flawed Federation. Some, like Star Trek: Picard lean a little too heavily on that crutch. Others, like episodes of the original series or The Next Generation highlighted moral dilemmas for our crews that end up solved within the system itself.
As much as Star Trek is about politics, there are two other elements that a good Star Trek series needs. First, they need to tell stories full of the hope that, ultimately, people will do the right thing. Second, they need to be a little horny. Space is cold, and Starfleet crew find comfort in the arms of each other. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds allows for all of these things at once. It will be the traditional Star Trek series we’ve come to miss. A story about a group of hot idealists who travel around the galaxy solving problems and meeting new aliens (to possibly make out with).
Strange New Worlds promises to be the sort of Star Trek series that is both fun and hopeful. It’s the sort of sci-fi escape audiences need right now.
The Other Reason Strange New Worlds Is a Big Deal for Star Trek
There is one other thing that makes the return of Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, and Rebecca Romijn in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds a big deal. This marks the first time that recast original series characters will anchor a series. The fate of the most recent crew of the Enterprise is uncertain. Simon Pegg recently said that Star Trek films don’t pull in the earnings they need to in order to compete with other big franchise blockbusters. The cast is expensive and so are the effects. Streaming exclusives are the perfect place for Star Trek to live in the digital age. And so this new series is a bit of a test run.
Only Spock is a character whose appeared on the big screen before. Yet, we might see other familiar crew members joining the ship. The recasting of these legacy characters will be a big part of what kind of future Star Trek has on CBS All Access. If Strange New Worlds is the hit they hope it will be, expect to see more legacy reboots and recasts. Who knows, we may even get Kirk on the show and another original series reboot. (Especially since Star Trek seems to have fully embraced the “parallel reality” device.)
Discovery will be taking Star Trek far into the future when it returns for its third season. However, maybe what Star Trek needs to succeed is to go backwards a little bit.
What do you think? Are you excited for Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, and Rebecca Romijn to return in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds? Do you think we need a more old-school Star Trek series or should the franchise (and its philosophy) adapt with the times? Tell us below!
Featured image via CBS Interactive
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.