Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

‘Children of the Comet’: Choose your fate

"Children of the Comet" might be the purest, truest episodic Star Trek experience since CBS/Paramount started rolling out new Trek series in 2017. That’s not to say this is amazing or groundbreaking, because, again, like the pilot, it traffics in things that have been done on Trek plenty of times in the past 50-plus years. But it does them well, with showmanship and class and a minimum of fuss.

I don’t want to overpraise a show for not falling into all the traps of Discovery and Picard, but I also want to give credit where it’s due, and this is due its credit for being solid sci-fi (and very good Trek), and very balanced in the way it handles plot and character. This tells a story. We’re only two episodes into this series, but my optimism is running high.

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Series premiere review: ‘Strange New Worlds’

"Strange New Worlds," the newest Trek series’ eponymous pilot, is the best-looking, best-produced episode of TOS ever made. That is to say, it’s a TOS-style story made with 21st-century filmmaking. Of course it looks great. Pretty much every episode of these new shows looks great. The secret is "Strange New Worlds" looks great while delivering a classic Star Trek experience. This is not a groundbreaking hour of television, but it’s a good, solid execution of a classic formula.

Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) is coaxed (ordered) from an extended leave following the Enterprise‘s joint mission with Discovery to take down Control. (He gets his order from Admiral Robert April, played by Adrian Holmes, who almost immediately looks like one of Trek‘s better admiral characters.) You’ll recall in the process of that arc, in second season’s "Through the Valley of Shadows," Pike vividly experienced his future in which he would be gravely injured and permanently disabled after very nearly dying. "Strange New Worlds" picks up in the months after that revelation, and it has shaken Pike to his core. He’s having trouble getting motivated to go back to work as the Enterprise gears up for redeployment after being repaired, and it’s hard to blame him.

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