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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

Archive

Recent EAS Updates
  • 19 May 2020
    Rick Sternbach and Lee Cole designed various pictograms for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". Many of them appeared as stickers in the Star Trek: The Motion Picture Peel-Off Graphics Book. Our new article on Pictograms from the Star Trek: The Motion Picture Peel-Off Graphics Book identifies the logos from the book in the TOS movies and later appearances on Star Trek. Research by Jörg Hillebrand. Logo reconstructions by Brad Wilder.
  • 18 May 2020
    New Poll: Do you like the idea of Strange New Worlds?
  • 15 May 2020
    After months of rumors, the much-discussed prequel series with Captain Pike and Spock has finally officially been announced. It will be called Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. While this is what many fans have hoped and campaigned for, it is not what I want to see and what I think Star Trek needs right now. Read my thoughts and remember you have been warned.
  • 13 May 2020
    Two new book reviews by Daniel Tessier: the brand-new TOS tie-in The Higher Frontier by Christopher L. Bennett and the classic TNG novel Requiem by Michael Jan Friedman and Kevin Ryan.
  • 09 May 2020
    See our Observations in PIC: "Et in Arcadia Ego II", with everything notable about apples, footballs, hyposprays, Rikers, and more.
  • 01 May 2020
    More than 20 years ago, neither decent screen caps nor the required bandwidth for heavily illustrated articles were available on the internet. It was a massive pile of work for Jörg and me, but we have eventually revamped nine of the oldest articles of EAS, replacing some 400 tiny pictures with much bigger ones (HD where available), correcting errors and, almost on a side note, adding the newest facts from Star Trek Picard. See The Evolution of the Romulans, The Evolution of Klingon Foreheads, Races with Changing Faces - Major Races, Races with Changing Faces - Other Races and more. Furthermore, there are just Picard-related updates (no layout changes) in the articles The Economy of the Federation, Alien Monocultures in Star Trek, Star Trek Clichés and Fictional Places on Earth.
  • 26 Apr 2020
    Humans, Romulans, Klingons and Cardassians are crazy about an ancient galactic puzzle, whose solution is both surprising and revealing. See our Observations in TNG: "The Chase". The complete HD screen cap gallery can be found at TrekCore.
  • 19 Apr 2020
    Here is our article with Observations in PIC: "Et in Arcadia Ego I". Ghulion IV aka Coppelius has space flowers, synthetic butterflies, a familiar cat and more for us to see.
  • 17 Apr 2020
    Here are some more articles with updates from Star Trek Picard: The Evolution of the Romulan Emblem, The Evolution of the Starfleet Medical Emblem and Planet Mutations.
  • 12 Apr 2020
    All starships from Star Trek Picard are now in the Starship Database. Since the series qualifies as authentic looking Star Trek, the new entries can be found in the regular section of the database, spread across twelve different pages. Owing to the static nature of this site, it is not possible to maintain an overview of all vessels that specifically appeared in this one series. See the Curiosity class and Inquiry class, some new shuttles, Kaplan F17 aka La Sirena, Romulan ships, Borg ships and several more. Follow the "updated" signs.
Latest Comments on EAS Articles (Overview)
  • 23 May 2020

    I love this. Especially the security logo on the security tape.

  • 23 May 2020

    Cool. Thanks for the information.

  • 22 May 2020

    I'm not saying that TOS and TNG- or any previous Trek- were allegory-free. But they didn't repeatedly use the Federation to tell *only one* specific allegory over and over no matter how inappropriate to the setting and era. They had a bit more creativity than Federation = 21st Century America 1:1 with all the same problems, even the ones that were literally supposed to be extinct for centuries. (And usually, it wasn't blatant in-your-face take-that politics against people with opposing beliefs; its allegories were to educate, illuminate, show a better way- not to lash out in pointless 'Make the Empire Great Again- LOL aren't people who supported him stupid?!?' jabs, which don't accomplish anything.)

    I want allegories. But I want more than that one. And I want creative allegories, told in ways that don't always just character-assassinate the Federation. And that have an intent to actually try and convince or make the world better, not to score cheap political points by mocking opponents in an echo-chamber.

    I don't know that SNW is necessarily what Trek needs right now, either, in terms of setting or constraints; but the spirit of exploration and discovery that they talked about, is, I think what it needs. (And that's the other reason I wished for a clear break from continuity- behind the scenes, if nothing else, as technically that's all Discovery's link to the Prime Timeline is, too; an externally-informed attribute)... because right now, I think the franchise most needs an optimistic, exploratory show with strong characters that focuses on hope and reclaiming values rather than compromise, cover-ups, darkness, and death... and the franchise also needs a great uniter, something to pull the fanbase back together... which is difficult to accomplish with the baggage of Discovery and a lot of the continuity and stylistic choices that are the *cause* of the division in the first place.

    Now, that latter, we're certainly not going to get; but in the interim, at least something which embodies the former spirit- which Picard was originally our best hope for, but oddly failed to do that about 50% of the time- is the best thing for the IP, I think... even if it's potentially manifesting in a package with enough inbuilt limitations that the benefits may not necessarily be able to come through.

  • 21 May 2020

    The Eaglemoss booklet for the Starfleet Tug calls it "Helios-Class". It also confirms that it was inspired by the Franz Joseph TOS Tug.

    https://ca.startrek.com/new...

  • 19 May 2020

    That comes as a shock. I haven't talked to Graham in a long time. But his site, like EAS, has always been there, almost since the beginning. Thanks for the notification!

  • 19 May 2020

    And now for something completely different... Graham Kennedy, lifelong Star Trek fan, and author of DITL site, has died:
    https://www.ditl.org/whatsn...
    Maybe little epitaph?

  • 19 May 2020
    Pike is in the first Pilot and then a episode later, right

    Some of it's there already. If they had continued with Pike, he'd have just been pretty much what Kirk became. In "The Menagerie", Pike was a former great of Starfleet, having become a Fleet Captain after yielding the Enterprise to Kirk. He's clearly someone impressive, and someone who had gained the eternal loyalty of Spock who is a man not easily impressed. However, he's a character we didn't really see doing these impressive things that he must have (in the context of TOS alone).

    We know from DIS season 1 that he is one of the most decorated Starfleet captains of all time, in a short list that includes Georgiou, Decker, April and Archer (but not Garth...) but of course that is retroactive filling in.

    What does Pike and Spock do that is so momentous, anyway?

    Hopefully the series will address some of that. We know what Spock becomes, and we know that Spock goes on to be the XO of the Enterprise under Kirk, so presumably his record under Pike must have been suitably impressive.

  • 19 May 2020

    The people at CBS have the excuse that the fans wanted the series. Other than that, it's just another instance of "going back to the roots", by reducing something complex to a very simple formula and focusing on eras, events of characters whose significance is vastly overrated.

    Abrams did it in "Star Trek 2009" with the formula "Star Trek = Kirk + Spock + Enterprise". An alliance forged by destiny, and against all logic.

    All recent Star Trek movies did it by including 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 at least tried something new and decidedly anti-nostalgic, I'll give them that, but paradoxically picked an era that was already taken only to be able to use the nostalgic punchline "Back to the roots, before Kirk, yadda yadda". 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".

    SNW is the essence of Abrams and Discovery combined, taken to the extreme: retell the stories of a crew we know on a ship we know in a time we know in a format we know, only heavily modernized. The only new about SNW will be the look, everything else is just a filler between DIS and TOS.

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  • 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.
  • 19 May 2020
    New Article: Pictograms from the Star Trek: The Motion Picture Peel-Off Graphics Book: Rick Sternbach and Lee Cole designed various pictograms for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". Many of them appeared as stickers in the Star Trek: The Motion Picture Peel-Off Graphics Book. Our new article on Pictograms from the Star Trek: The Motion Picture Peel-Off Graphics Book identifies the logos from the book in the TOS movies and later appearances on Star Trek. Research by Jörg Hillebrand. Logo reconstructions by Brad Wilder. For "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", a number of logos or pictograms were designed for 23rd century Earth and the Starship Enterprise. Rick Sternbach and Lee Cole were tasked with the design of this futuristic iconography. Many of the pictograms appeared as stickers in the Star Trek: The Motion Pict...
  • 15 May 2020
    Pike Series Announced: Strange New Worlds: After months of rumors, the much-discussed prequel series with Captain Pike and Spock has finally officially been announced. It will be called Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. While this is what many fans have hoped and campaigned for, it is not what I want to see and what I think Star Trek needs right now. Read my thoughts and remember you have been warned. After months of speculation what other Star Trek projects CBS may be planning, the series order for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds was announced earlier today. The series will feature Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Ethan Peck as Science Officer Spock in the....
  • 13 May 2020
    Book Reviews: The Higher Frontier and Requiem: Two new book reviews by Daniel Tessier: the brand-new TOS tie-in The Higher Frontier by Christopher L. Bennett and the classic TNG novel Requiem by Michael Jan Friedman and Kevin Ryan. Michael Jan Friedman's prolific Star Trek career had a long focus on the adventures and background of Jean-Luc Picard, in particular his Stargazer series of novels, and both he and Kevin Ryan have worked on material spanning the 23rd and 24th centuries. Unsurprising then that Requiem is a strong Pic...
  • 09 May 2020
    New Article: Observations in PIC: "Et in Arcadia Ego II": See our Observations in PIC: "Et in Arcadia Ego II", with everything notable about apples, footballs, hyposprays, Rikers, and more. Here are some observations about sets, props, make-ups and visual effects in PIC: "Et in Arcadia Ego II", with special attention to continuity with previous Star Trek series and movies.
  • 08 May 2020
    "Star Trek's Depictions of Motherhood Are Changing For the Better" - with Raffi, L'Rell and Emperor Georgiou as the new role models! An article that leaves me angry - as it is a well-calcuated insult to caring mothers and to fans of the old Star Trek alike. Happy Mother's Day to all mass-murdering moms that abandon their children! 😡 The stories of mothers have become key to Star Trek.
  • 02 May 2020
    Massive Updates to Many Articles: More than 20 years ago, neither decent screen caps nor the required bandwidth for heavily illustrated articles were available on the internet. It was a massive pile of work for Jörg and me, but we have eventually revamped nine of the oldest articles of EAS, replacing some 400 tiny pictures with much bigger ones (HD where available), correcting errors and, almost on a side note, adding the newest facts from Star Trek Picard. See The Evolution of the Romulans, The Evolution of Klingon Foreheads, Races with Changing Faces - Major Races, Races with Changing Faces - Other Races and more. Furthermore, there are just Picard-related updates (no layout changes) in the articles The Economy of the Federation, Alien Monocultures in Star Trek, Star Trek Clichés and Fictional Places on Earth. The Romulans used to look just like their Vulcan cousins until they were given characteristic V-shaped forehead bones in TNG. Even all of the few 22nd century Romulans on Star Trek Enterprise had this feature. The obvious motivation for the amendment of their make-up using modern techniques was that...
  • 01 May 2020
    Massive Updates to Many Articles: More than 20 years ago, neither decent screen caps nor the required bandwidth for heavily illustrated articles were available on the internet. It was a massive pile of work for Jörg and me, but we have eventually revamped nine of the oldest articles of EAS, replacing some 400 tiny pictures with much bigger ones (HD where available), correcting errors and, almost on a side note, adding the newest facts from Star Trek Picard. See The Evolution of the Romulans, The Evolution of Klingon Foreheads, Races with Changing Faces - Major Races, Races with Changing Faces - Other Races and more. Furthermore, there are just Picard-related updates (no layout changes) in the articles The Economy of the Federation, Alien Monocultures in Star Trek, Star Trek Clichés and Fictional Places on Earth.
  • 26 Apr 2020
    New Article: Observations in TNG: "The Chase": Humans, Romulans, Klingons and Cardassians are crazy about an ancient galactic puzzle, whose solution is both surprising and revealing. See our Observations in TNG: "The Chase". The complete HD screen cap gallery can be found at TrekCore. While the large starbase painting was clearly still in place between the two book shelves in Picard's quarters earlier in the episode, it is replaced by a large display monitor in this shot.
  • 19 Apr 2020
    New Article: Observations in PIC: "Et in Arcadia Ego I": Here is our article with Observations in PIC: "Et in Arcadia Ego I". Ghulion IV aka Coppelius has space flowers, synthetic butterflies, a familiar cat and more for us to see. Here are some observations about sets, props, make-ups and visual effects in PIC: "Et in Arcadia Ego I", with special attention to continuity with previous Star Trek series and movies.
  • 17 Apr 2020
    Next Batch of Picard-Related Updates: Here are some more articles with updates from Star Trek Picard: The Evolution of the Romulan Emblem, The Evolution of the Starfleet Medical Emblem and Planet Mutations. The political situation of the Romulans after the disaster of 2387 that destroyed the home system of their empire is unclear. The Borg cube known as the "Artifact" is in the possession of an entity called the "Romulan Free State". On the other hand, the secret police Tal Shiar still exists, although...
  • 12 Apr 2020
    Major Starship Database Update: All starships from Star Trek Picard are now in the Starship Database. Since the series qualifies as authentic looking Star Trek, the new entries can be found in the regular section of the database, spread across twelve different pages. Owing to the static nature of this site, it is not possible to maintain an overview of all vessels that specifically appeared in this one series. See the Curiosity class and Inquiry class, some new shuttles, Kaplan F17 aka La Sirena, Romulan ships, Borg ships and several more. Follow the "updated" signs.
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