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Editorial
24 May 2020

Strange Old Worlds

I can't remember any Star Trek announcement of the past two decades that was so well-received in the fan community as the one of Strange New Worlds, the Discovery spin-off series with Captain Pike (Anson Mount), Spock (Ethan Peck) and Number One (Rebecca Romijn).

As much as I personally hate the prospect that the reckless reboot of Star Trek continues, Strange New Worlds (SNW) is proof that the people at CBS are listening to the fans, and willing to revise some of their errors they made with Discovery and, to lesser extent, with Picard:

  • Like TOS end every other classic Star Trek series, SNW is going to be episodic again. This is a clear departure from the heavily serialized concept of DIS and PIC, which at the time these two were announced was deemed the only way to produce a "modern" TV series.
  • As per Akiva Goldsman's affirmations, the new show is "going to try to harken back to some classical Trek values, to be optimistic." This is an implicit confession that these values were not present or not perceptible enough in Discovery and Picard.
  • The example of Captain Pike and his classic virtues illustrates what is wrong with the "edgy" characters of Discovery, most of whom are eccentric, obstinate, deceitful or otherwise unlikable - and simply not Trek-like. The moment Pike comes aboard in DIS: "Brother", it is obvious he is designed as the savior of Discovery, and is well-received by fans and "haters" of the show alike.

On the downside, SNW will be the creatively most limited Star Trek series ever produced. It will have the reboot look and the anachronistic technology of Discovery (at least the one whose existence Starfleet doesn't lie about). It will feature the characters of Pike, Spock and Number One we already know. It will have to fit into the barely eight years from Discovery to the Kirk era. This does not sound at all like the premise Star Trek needs to boldly go and explore strange new worlds (at least not without giving rise to even more major continuity errors).

In this regard, SNW is the logical culmination of a trend. For some reason the producers of new Star Trek are obsessed with "going back to the roots", with reducing the complex universe to a very simple formula and with focusing on known characters from the TOS era.

  • Abrams did it in "Star Trek (2009)" with the formula "Star Trek = Kirk + Spock + Enterprise". An alliance forged by destiny in this alternate universe, and against all logic.
  • All Star Trek movies of the past 20 years did it by designing a villain similar to, or even identical to Khan, because "Star Trek movie = fight against a villain who wants to destroy the Enterprise, Earth or the galaxy" and "ultimate Star Trek villain = Khan".
  • Discovery initially tried something new and brutally anti-nostalgic, I'll give them that. The story would have worked infinitely better in the far future and with a race other than the Klingons, but it was forcibly squeezed in the pre-TOS era, with the only benefit that it could use the punchline "Back to the roots, before Kirk, etc.". When the series went downhill, it was decided to throw in the usual high dose of token nostalgia, because "Star Trek before Kirk = Pike + Spock + Enterprise", which now becomes the premise of SNW.

The people at CBS fail to see Star Trek as a whole, as a universe that has a future and not just a past, that waits to be further explored. Picard is a small step in the right direction but it too lives too much in the past. Strange New Worlds may become a success because of its likable characters and the return to classic values. But it is further sad proof that the Star Trek Universe has become a canvas that no one wants to extend anymore, and that simply gets painted over.

Bernd Schneider

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    The Corridor from the Transporter Room to Sickbay is a small set that was built for the first Star Trek feature film in 1979 and that, along with the transporter room, also appeared in many TNG episodes. Jörg has investigated all appearances of the corridor, also as seen from the sickbay office, over the course of 15 years.
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    No big news today, but a couple of updates that are worth mentioning. I have reworked the classic article on uniform changes with new pictures and information. There are new HD caps, especially of TOS characters, in the Galleries. Finally, the thumbnails in the section Product Reviews are bigger now.
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    A new article by Jörg and Bernd looks at Starship Mutations, as they came to pass because stock footage of an older or different model version was used. They are usually hardly noticeable, but one episode is a complete mess in this regard.
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Latest Comments on EAS Articles (Overview)
  • 04 Jul 2020

    Perhaps I should start a poll? It doesn't look utilitarian to me but I hold my judgment until the series goes on air.

  • 02 Jul 2020

    What do you make of the design of the lead ship of Lower Decks? It reminds of the Oberth with the "How the heck do you get down there?" pod with the deflector dish.

  • 02 Jul 2020

    The thought has just struck me is that Lower Decks might be a wonderful opportunity for getting us some TNG/DS9/VOY cast cameos (aging cast no longer have to worry about fitting into costume etc.)... as the Cerritos follows in the wake of the Enterprise-E or the Titan for instance on a mission...

    Please be on Netflix... or Prime...

  • 27 Jun 2020

    I think the sign may be an Easter Egg as well as visual gag - I saw somewhere, someone noting that production of PIC started 16 years after the release of Nemesis which may give that significance. Mind you, wasn't there also a Romulan version of the sign as well, so perhaps the English was a translation of that and we are dealing with Romulan standard days, especially as this was a Romulan facility?

  • 27 Jun 2020

    Oh yes. I notice only now that it is in contradiction with the "5843 days without assimilation" unless these are not Earth days (which would raise the question why this sign would be in English).

    The date 2385 is explicitly given in "Broken Pieces". I didn't make a note at first but only on a second watching.

  • 27 Jun 2020

    Having finally caught up on the novel, Spock's involvement is very minimal (one subspace conversation with Picard about preparing to leave the doomed Romulus). Spock's intervention isn't mentioned at all :( Early in the novel, Spock is referred to as something of an outlier both from a Romulan and Federation perspective and neither party thinks his involvement with the evacuation efforts would be of any help at all.

    I have an inkling that PIC season two might touch on some of this, given the gaps in the novel, and the hinted at return of La Forge (who was heading up the fleet construction efforts at Utopia Planitia).

    [Edit] Depending how much of the background from the novel and comic get rolled into future canon, what they do show is the following;

    The Romulans were trying to conceal the fact that the nova was going to happen from the universe at large until confronted by intercepted (by Raffi in Romulan Affairs no less) internal communications in 2381. The climatic changes due to the changing state of the Romulan primary were already causing issues to the infrastructure of Romulus itself, and hence the Empire as a whole. The initial 9.7 light year blast radius contained the most heavily populated planets of the Empire containing at least 900 million residents outside of Romulus who needed to be relocated within the next 6 years.

    Federation experts later calculated a slightly larger, slightly shorter timescale for the event based on observations, but the Tal Shiar supressed this within the Empire and "reeducated" their scientist who came up with their initial findings when he came to the same conclusion himself. Consequently, the evacuation of Romulus was nowhere near complete (and Picard's fleet wasn't allowed to assist with that evacuation at all), even on the original schedule.

    The synths (non sentient) at Utopia Planita are it. They are not ubiquitous in the Federation, and were built as a special project to increase the workforce to get the fleet production up to speed to help address the final thousands of ships that the evacuation fleet will need to move the Romulan population, set up colonies etc.

    Whilst the dots are not connected, some are at least partially presented in regards 2009.

    Spock is aware that Romulus cannot be evacuated completely on the existing schedule, but is able to evacuate himself and his followers. Federation support for any evacuation efforts crumbles with the attack on Mars, and Spock is not exactly in favour with the Federation and Starfleet because of his folly of reunification.

    It makes perfect sense that Spock would try to find a way to save the remaining Romulan population (but he may have not been aware of the revised timescale that was being supressed/denied by the Romulans - this might explain his lateness to the party...)

  • 27 Jun 2020
    2385 A group of Romulan women, all members of the Zhat Vash, venture to the planet Aia to experience the "Admonition". Most of them become insane and kill themselves just after the ceremony (PIC: "Broken Pieces").

    Just a thought, but this has to occur narratively before the attack on Mars, and before the assimilation of the Shaenor by the Borg cube that becomes known as the Artefact.

  • 26 Jun 2020

    Just finished reading "Star Trek Picard : The Last Best Hope" by Una McCormack and it's a nice bit of missing background and does inform a few things we saw in the show and neatly skirts around a few things as well.

    Just in case, though not really spoilers as such...


    The Synths at Utopia Planitia were pretty much unique, and non-sentient having been constructed to increase the workforce needed to produce the new ship parts for Picard's evacuation fleet. Maddox is (reluctantly) in charge of their construction (because not real androids) runs away after the "incident" because of all the fallout that was going to come his direction. Utopia Planitia is completely destroyed by the attack which knocks out Starfleet's primary ship building facilities. Because the Synths were being portrayed as one of the long term benefits of the diversion of resources to the evacuation effort being to some of the (border) members of the UFP who were threatening secession over that matter you can see why things fell the way they did.

    Geordi is in charge at Utopia Planitia for the construction effort (but on his way home to Earth on the day of the attack) having transferred with Picard from the Enterprise-E now under the command of Captain Worf...

    Various scientists looking at the Romulan star data conclude that it doesn't seem entirely natural with its transition to the super nova, but nothing is pinned down. The Romulan state also active supresses data that concludes the super nova will be bigger and sooner than they initially predicted and the implication is that Romulus is not evacuated fully by the time it happens (this might inform the back story of 2009). Romulus also suffers severe climatic upset due to the changes in their star meaning evacuation was required in any case...

    Spock is still resident on Romulus during much of the lead up, but is not engaged by the Federation on this as his reunification drive is seen as a kooky outlier by both the Federation and the Romulans.

    Nimbus III is within the 9.7 ly blast radius according to the original, optimistic projections, but no Federation worlds are (even within the slightly greater than 10 ly radius predicted by the more accurate figures). The instability of the Romulan star seems to also affect the next closest Romulan world to the home system (not really explained...).

    Neatly missing is the actual supernova itself (and I presume any plot elements around it they might want to explore in PIC season 2...) and whether Spock's efforts mitigated it in any way, but we know Picard stepped back from involvement after the attack and his resignation from Starfleet so this might be a bit of discovery for him and Geordi (heavily hinted at making a season 2 comeback).

    Also missing is mention of Laris and Zhaban (until the epilogue) though their story is covered in the comic "Star Trek Picard : Countdown" and this doesn't provide any contradiction to that. An incident of that type should have at least got a mention. I suspect that the outline provided to Una McCormack originally had the two most sympathetic Tal Shiar operatives in her work (Tajuth and Molula) destined to be Laris and Zhaban, which might have been changed once the comic was committed to.

    Captain, later Admiral Fucking Clancy is in true sweary form :)

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    Alternate texture set to the pander to the "muh canon" crowd.

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    This is the bridge of the Enterprise-D, as it appeared in the final alternate universe visited in the episode 'Parallels'. This version of the bridge has several unique details to it, such as it's big glass (ahem, transparent aluminum) display at the back, the modified and uniquely positioned Captain's chair, and the platform in which said chair is placed.

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    If you're interested in commissions, please visit this page

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    Lower Decks Coming on August 6: The animated series Lower Decks, created by Mike McMahan, will premiere on CBS All Access on Thursday, August 6. There is no word yet if, when and where the series will be released internationally. The animated series Lower Decks, created by Mike McMahan, will premiere on CBS All Access on Thursday, August 6. The ten episodes of the first season will be released on a weekly basis. Each of them is about 30 minutes long. As already announced, the series focuses on the crew of "one of Starfleet's...
  • 28 Jun 2020
    New HD Screen Caps of TOS-R Planets: I have replaced the blurry images in the articles Planets in TOS and TOS Remastered - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Planet Surfaces in TOS and TOS Remastered with HD caps. Thanks to Trek Caps and TrekCore for their effort of capping every Star Trek series! General NotesTalos IVPlanet 1EarthGuardian PlanetPlanet 2Planet 3Sigma DraconisExcalbiaAsteroidNew in TOS-ROther Celestial Objects
  • 20 Jun 2020
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  • 16 Jun 2020
    Now imagine you have to pick one to replace the original character, who would it be? In an alternate universe....there is a show with these characters in it...
  • 15 Jun 2020
    Several Updates: No big news today, but a couple of updates that are worth mentioning. I have reworked the classic article on uniform changes with new pictures and information. There are new HD caps, especially of TOS characters, in the Galleries. Finally, the thumbnails in the section Product Reviews are bigger now. Starfleet's uniform styles changed in very irregular intervals, and sometimes not consistently for all ranks and divisions. Some uniforms must have existed for many decades, whereas others evidently lasted just a few years.
  • 12 Jun 2020
    New Article: Starship Mutations: A new article by Jörg and Bernd looks at Starship Mutations, as they came to pass because stock footage of an older or different model version was used. They are usually hardly noticeable, but one episode is a complete mess in this regard. Many articles at EAS address variations of starships that were created over time. Sometimes, however, one and the same ship mutates to a different class or variant within the same episode. The usual reason is that incompatible stock footage is used, and that the visual differences are either overloo...
  • 11 Jun 2020
    New Article: The Evolution of the Vidiian Emblem: Here is a new article on the The Evolution of the Vidiian Emblem, which appeared, in the commonly known form, on fewer occasions than we may have expected. The Vidiian emblem was seen in only four Voyager episodes altogether. Although there are variations of the logo, the basic design seems to be consistent from the beginning. The second edition of the Star Trek Encyclopedia shows all details of the logo. The better resolved reproduction for the Fact F...
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    New Canon Fodder Article: Diversifying Starfleet in TOS: A new speculative article by Ryan Dietz has the goal to diversify the starships of TOS. Also note that the layout of Canon Fodder has been reworked, with more legible font sizes and larger illustrations. Fixing the Star Trek DisContinuity
  • 10 Jun 2020
    Awesome work! See also the walkthrough: https://youtu.be/PBvF_9qCnJ8 Here it is at last, I'm posting the photos first as the video is taking so long, did a load of footage today then discovered Rikers seat padding was skew, every time I think I've got it I notice something else, who said filming miniatures was easy! The main goal of doing this was to achieve realism and for people who haven't been on my site or group pages think it's the real set until I finally pan out to show the model, Oh well I get there sooner or later. By the way the view screen is real, well not real real but an LCD screen connected to my laptop, I've also managed to get all the necessary permissions for the sounds and video footage for when it goes on you tube.
  • 01 Jun 2020
    Over 700 New Episode Screen Caps: I have replaced all of the over 700 tiny pictures in episode and movie reviews with much bigger screen caps (HD where available).
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