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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
  • 20 Sep 2020
    The cockpit set of Zefram Cochrane's first warp ship, the Phoenix, reappeared several times on Star Trek: Enterprise, sometimes in more and sometimes in less obvious reuses. Read our new article on Redresses of the Phoenix Cockpit.
  • 14 Sep 2020
    Many awards, diplomas and other memorabilia can be seen stored in Picard's quantum archive room in PIC: "Remembrance", among them various trophies presented to Picard over the course of his career. Jörg has identified and summarized them in the new article The Trophies in Picard's Quantum Archive.
  • 07 Sep 2020
    There are some new designs in the Journal of Applied Treknology. This may be the final update of this EAS subsidiary. The HTML code and the scripts are hopelessly outdated, and I doubt that spending several hundred hours to convert it would be worth the effort.
  • 29 Aug 2020
    The Flaxian ship from DS9: "Improbable Cause" obviously reappears as the Entharan ship in VOY: "Retrospect", but also in another Voyager episode. Read Jörg's new article on Re-Uses of the Flaxian Ship.
  • 23 Aug 2020
    Besides the bird of prey emblem that represents the Romulan Star Empire (or, without the two planets, the Romulan Free State), we could see various other Romulan logos or insignias, which Jörg has summarized in the article Other Romulan Logos.
  • 16 Aug 2020
    There are many new findings in the TNG Observations, Season 1. To stay updated about his observations (and not just in TNG), I recommend to follow Jörg's tweets.
  • 09 Aug 2020
    It looks like most fans like Lower Decks a lot, as a comical but respectful take on the good old Star Trek. While I'm waiting for the international release, see the guest reviews and feel free to add your comments.
  • 05 Aug 2020
    Until I am able to watch it legally, there will be no Lower Decks coverage at EAS - no reviews, no articles and no discussions with me. In the meantime, feel free to use the Disqus comment section to talk about the show or submit a guest review. Maybe I will catch up with Lower Decks but it will likely have a low priority. I can't stress enough this is the consequence of being locked out and not because I expect to hate the show.
  • 25 Jul 2020
    The long and short names of Star Trek series and movies are not quite consistent in all publications. Only recently, the announcement that Lower Decks will be officially called "LDS" added another discrepancy. My article on Titles and Abbreviations of Star Trek Series and Movies summarizes the sometimes different styles of referring to series and movies, in official sources and in the fandom.
  • 23 Jul 2020
    Star Trek: Prodigy is the title of the second new animated series that is set to air on Nickelodeon. There are also new pictures from Lower Decks and a 90-second clip from the pilot episode, "Second Contact". I'm willing to give both series a chance, although we now have even more proof of how dumb the humor of Lower Decks may be.
Latest Comments on EAS Articles (Overview)
  • 21 Sep 2020

    Once again, your attention to detail and behind-the-scenes commentary are an absolute delight; I love seeing what new article concepts you come up with!

  • 21 Sep 2020

    We wouldn't completely rule it out, but we didn't spot the familiar features in that set and it seems to have different dimensions.

  • 21 Sep 2020

    I really appreciate Daniel Tessier's reviews (along with all the other great guest reviewers). I think we have a similar sense of the show.

  • 21 Sep 2020

    I thought the cockpit was also reused as the time pod thing where it bigger on the inside.

  • 20 Sep 2020

    Fantastic article you guys.

  • 20 Sep 2020

    I'm happy to help, EAS is a great resource. I had meant to just put in links rahter than embedded images, but Disqus didn't want to cooperate, and I have no idea where the huge extra box under each one came from, asdie from having an Imgur view count and linik button in it. More HALPING!! I guess.

  • 15 Sep 2020

    Well, there are a few more things I would remove from canon (and these things are not necessarily all from Discovery). The death penalty for instance.

    The Irish reunification "due to terrorist attacks" would be another a bummer - although if it happens peacefully in 2024 it might not be so bad.

  • 15 Sep 2020

    I can understand why.

    I was going to say that there are a couple of references that were clearly going to be anachronistic and they're for 2024... but the current situations could now make them happen :( [The setting up of the Sanctuary districts in North America (if a certain President gets a second term it wouldn't be a stretch for such things as a result of the pandemic) and the Unification of Ireland in 2024 after a sustained terrorist action (The Good Friday Agreement would have firmly knocked that on the head, only the current UK government is on course to majorly violate that to try and get Brexit done and that isn't going to be pretty...)]. Oh bugger :(

    But the space programmes of our timeline are clearly divergent from Trek's (Voyager VI etc.).

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  • 05 Sep 2020
    The bridge of the Enterprise as seen in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery under the command of Captain Christopher Pike.

    This image was commissioned by vagarcia74 (with a few minor modifications not shown here).

    Assets used (available to purchase on CGTrader):
    Modelled and rendered with Blender. Computer display textures made with Inkscape.
    Based on and inspired by original designs from:
    -Star Trek (CBS)
    thumbnail
  • 11 Aug 2020
    Holy flippin' moley, Lower Decks managed to be something Discovery and Picard (especially Picard!) failed at: being a real Star Trek series!
    Okay, it's comedic, it's meant to be light-hearted, but it's real Star Trek! I was surprised, I was amazed, and I was hooked!

    So, I had to do a "realistic" version of the USS Cerritos. Given that the show is heavily stylized, I thought to myself, the ship must also have more details in a "real world" setting. So I added some classic Trek greebles and nurnies, just for the fun of it. I tweaked some proportions, played with deck layouts, and here we go: my own California class design.

    BTW, don't you think this ship is the love child of my Polaris and a Nebula class ship? ;)

    Model by me

    thumbnail
  • 22 May 2020
    This is the crew from Star Trek The Motion Picture, including the original Star Trek Diamond Select Toys action figures + some customs. This figures are in scale to Diamond Select Toys/Art Asylum action figures, 7 inches high.
    thumbnail
EAS Timeline @ Facebook
  • 20 Sep 2020
    New Article: Redresses of the Phoenix Cockpit: The cockpit set of Zefram Cochrane's first warp ship, the Phoenix, reappeared several times on Star Trek: Enterprise, sometimes in more and sometimes in less obvious reuses. Read our new article on Redresses of the Phoenix Cockpit. A cockpit set for Zefram Cochrane's first warp ship, the Phoenix, was constructed for "Star Trek: First Contact". In addition, a life-size mock-up with black windows was built. It was attached to the tip of the Titan II missile, which represented the rest of the Phoenix. However, these are two separ...
  • 14 Sep 2020
    New Article: The Trophies in Picard's Quantum Archive: Many awards, diplomas and other memorabilia can be seen stored in Picard's quantum archive room in PIC: "Remembrance", among them various trophies presented to Picard over the course of his career. Jörg has identified and summarized them in the new article The Trophies in Picard's Quantum Archive. Many awards, diplomas and other memorabilia can be seen stored in Picard's quantum archive room in PIC: "Remembrance". On the right wall, below the "Captain Picard Day" banner, there are several shelves with various trophies presented to Picard over the course of his career. Twelve trophies were on....
  • 07 Sep 2020
    JoAT Update: There are some new designs in the Journal of Applied Treknology. This may be the final update of this EAS subsidiary. The HTML code and the scripts are hopelessly outdated, and I doubt that spending several hundred hours to convert it would be worth the effort.  Ignacio Class Rockwell Class1/5605.11 The Rockwell project is indefinitely put on hold by the United Earth Parliament in response to the outbreak of the Romulan War.1/7911.01 Admiral Arinsal re-initiates the Rockwell class project with the support of President Avaran Rothress and the Federation C...
  • 29 Aug 2020
    New Article: Re-Uses of the Flaxian Ship: The Flaxian ship from DS9: "Improbable Cause" obviously reappears as the Entharan ship in VOY: "Retrospect", but also in another Voyager episode. Read Jörg's new article on Re-Uses of the Flaxian Ship. There is only one obvious re-use of the Flaxian ship from the DS9 episode "Improbable Cause", as the Entharan ship owned by Kovin seen in the season 4 Voyager episode "Retrospect". Careful analysis of the scenes in which the ship appears points towards another re-use as the Tak Tak vessel in VOY: "M...
  • 23 Aug 2020
    New Article: Other Romulan Logos: Besides the bird of prey emblem that represents the Romulan Star Empire (or, without the two planets, the Romulan Free State), we could see various other Romulan logos or insignias, which Jörg has summarized in the article Other Romulan Logos. Besides the bird of prey emblem that represents the Romulan Star Empire (or, without the two planets, the Romulan Free State), we could see various other Romulan logos or insignias.
  • 16 Aug 2020
    TNG Observations Updated: There are many new findings in the TNG Observations, Season 1. To stay updated about his observations (and not just in TNG), I recommend to follow Jörg's tweets. This section contains observations about sets, props, visual effects and bloopers in TNG episodes (season 6 in progress but halted until further notice). We also compare each original TV release with the remastered version on Blu-ray. Furthermore, we will review all Star Trek: Picard episodes with t...
  • 09 Aug 2020
    Lower Decks Guest Reviews: It looks like most fans like Lower Decks a lot, as a comical but respectful take on the good old Star Trek. While I'm waiting for the international release, see the guest reviews and feel free to add your comments. Star Trek Discovery season 1 episode guide and reviews
  • 05 Aug 2020
    No Timely Lower Decks Coverage at EAS: Until I am able to watch it legally, there will be no Lower Decks coverage at EAS - no reviews, no articles and no discussions with me. In the meantime, feel free to use the Disqus comment section to talk about the show or submit a guest review. Maybe I will catch up with Lower Decks but it will likely have a low priority. I can't stress enough this is the consequence of being locked out and not because I expect to hate the show. Star Trek Discovery season 1 episode guide and reviews
  • 27 Jul 2020
    This is good news, although I still have huge issues with Discovery. With the ship being stranded in the far future, the series now has the potential to tell stories that don't damage the integrity of the preexisting Star Trek. And that feel like they belong to Star Trek in more than only the affirmations of the staff. I keep my fingers crossed that the people around Kurtzman have learned by now how to make a Star Trek show. Picard was a step into the right direction, and there is a chance that Discovery may change for the better too. Burnham and the crew are back. Here's what we know about season 3.
  • 26 Jul 2020
    That's totally cool. I wish they had taken 360° photos of the classic Trek sets, back in the day. Note the lens flare when looking at the viewscreen from behind the captain's chair. Totally realistic. 🙄 Get a closer look at the sets from key moments in the series.
  • 25 Jul 2020
    New Article: Titles and Abbreviations of Star Trek Series and Movies: The long and short names of Star Trek series and movies are not quite consistent in all publications. Only recently, the announcement that Lower Decks will be officially called "LDS" added another discrepancy. My article on Titles and Abbreviations of Star Trek Series and Movies summarizes the sometimes different styles of referring to series and movies, in official sources and in the fandom. The titles of Star Trek TV and movie productions, the numbering of the movies and the abbreviations or acronyms used for the series are not consistent in all publications. The different way to refer to certain series or movies may cause confusion. Sometimes it even gives rise to controversial debate...
  • 23 Jul 2020
    Star Trek: Prodigy and Lower Decks News: Star Trek: Prodigy is the title of the second new animated series that is set to air on Nickelodeon. We also have new pictures from Lower Decks and a 90-second clip from the pilot episode, "Second Contact". I'm willing to give both series a chance, although we now have even more proof of how dumb the humor of Lower Decks may be. Star Trek: Prodigy is the title of the second new animated series that is set to air on Nickelodeon. It will be released some time in 2021. As already announced last year, this series "follows a group of lawless teens who discover a derelict Starfleet ship", and it is being developed by Kevin and Da...
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