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Akiva Goldsman, Jenny Lumet, Alex Kurtzman
Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, Rebecca Romijn
Writing Credits:

The adventures of the Starship Enterprise under the command of Captain Christopher Pike.

Rated TV-PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 524 min.
Price: $34.95
Release Date: 3/21/2023

• Audio Commentary for One Episode
• Deleted Scenes
TOS Episode “Balance of Terror”
• “Pike’s Peek” Featurette
• “World Building” Featurette
• “Exploring New Worlds” Featurette
• Gag Reel


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - Season One [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 30, 2023)

As most Star Trek fans know, the pilot for The Original Series (TOS) focused on an Enterprise crew led by Captain Christopher Pike (Jeffrey Hunter). When the network passed, Gene Roddenberry eventually got the funding to create an unprecedented second pilot, one that focused on Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner).

One carryover actor/character connected the two: Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy). “TOS” incorporated the first pilot – titled “The Cage” - into an episode called “The Menagerie”, and it managed to link the Pike era to that of his successor.

With 2022’s Strange New Worlds, we finally get a Trek series that formally focuses on Captain Pike and the roles from “The Cage”. This three-Blu-ray set includes all 10 of Season One’s episodes, with plot synopses from IMDB.

Strange New Worlds: “Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) comes out of self-imposed exile to rescue an officer gone missing during a secret mission.”

Though “TOS” offered only fleeting glances of Pike, 2013’s theatrical film Into Darkness provided a minor expansion of the character. However, because the 2009-2016 series of films went with an alternate timeline vs. “TOS”, that means its Pike differs from the 1960s version.

While not 100 percent clear to me so far, Worlds appears to feature a Pike who connects to “TOS”, not to the 21st century movies. Which works for me, as I like the idea of a series that acts as an immediate prequel to “TOS”.

The big question becomes how well Worlds will explore these domains. Based on the pilot, my answer comes back… I don’t know.

On one hand, this show offers an intriguing glimpse of the pre-Kirk Enterprise, one with plenty of room to build on the mythology. I find myself interested to see how it develops.

On the other hand, I fear that Worlds will end up with too much “fan service”, a concern stoked by its more overt connections to “TOS”. Worlds introduces Lt. Uhura – here Cadet Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding) – as well as other “TOS” characters who didn’t appear in the initial Pike-based “TOS” pilot.

Heck, we get an allusion to Kirk as part of Pike’s Enterprise crew! Granted, “The Cage” didn’t spell out the ins/outs of the ship’s personnel in detail, so of course Uhura, Kirk and others could have been part of that staff, but I admit I’d prefer that Worlds left Spock as the only “TOS” member to straddle the Pike and Kirk eras.

Throughout the episode, Pike also sees visions of his future – the incapacitated/barely alive future we see in “The Menagerie”, that “TOS” show that reused “Cage” footage. Perhaps this foreshadowing will pay off eventually, but right now it feels clumsy.

Anyway, how these domains develop remains to be seen. As for this initial episode, it offers a reasonable introduction to the characters and themes, if not a great one. It works well enough to at least make me curious to see where things go.

Children of the Comet: “An ancient alien relic thwarts the Enterprise crew from re-routing a comet on track to strike an inhabited planet.”

Cadet Uhura goes on her first “away mission” here, and that puts her at the forefront of the episode. While this doesn’t really damage “Comet”, I admit I wish the series had gotten its bearings more firmly before it focused on a secondary character. The second episode simply feels too soon to go down that path.

Otherwise, “Comet” offers a mixed bag. Parts of its show some fun TOS spunk, but others feel more contrived.

Ghosts of Illyria: “Una Chin-Riley (Rebecca Romijn) must confront a secret she's been hiding when a contagion ravages the ship, incapacitating the rest of the crew.”

Shades of TOS’s “The Naked Time”! While not a clone of that Season One show, “Ghosts” does clearly echo it.

Even with those similarities, “Ghosts” manages to become its own episode. We get a pretty decent program here, one with enough intrigue to keep us engaged.

Memento Mori: “Pike must find unconventional Starfleet methods to deal with a malevolent force that attacks the Enterprise.”

Whatever criticisms I may maintain of Strange New Worlds, I do like that it focuses on tales that begin/resolve in one episode. It feels like so many series these days “serialize” and spread stories across entire seasons, so I appreciate a return to the classic TOS structure of “one and done” pieces.

Not that Worlds ignores any form of development, mainly in terms of the characters. We do find expansions of their roles from episode to episode, and this leads to some persistent themes such as Pike’s premonition.

That becomes part of “Mori”, as it connects to Lt. La'an Noonien-Singh’s (Christina Chong) past. Add an intriguing alteration of TOS species “the Gorn” and expect a pretty solid show.

Spock Amok: “A personal visit causes a comedy of errors during Spock (Ethan Peck) and Pike's crucial negotiations with an unusual alien species.”

Given its title, one might expect this episode to hearken back to “Amok Time” from Season Two of TOS - and it does, mainly because it involves Spock’s “love life” and his fiancée T’Pring (Gia Sandhu). It also offers reminders of TOS’s “Shore Leave”, as it features a story that relates to the crew’s free time and also goes for a light comedic vibe.

Arguably the biggest influence here comes from Freaky Friday, though, as Spock and T’Pring switch bodies. That feels like a whole lot of influences - and probably too many - but the episode musters good entertainment.

Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach: “A threat to an idyllic planet reunites Captain Pike with the lost love of his life. To protect her and a scientific holy child (Ian Ho) from a conspiracy, Pike offers his help and is forced to face unresolved feelings of his past.”

Whereas Captain Kirk wooed babes left and right, Captain Pike hasn’t followed that path. That makes the appearance of former romantic partner Alora (Lindy Booth) intriguing.

In theory, at least, as their connection proves less than stimulating. The rest of “Lift” works a little better, but the episode’s overall impact feels somewhat limp.

The Serene Squall: “While on a dangerous humanitarian mission, the crew of the Enterprise stumbles into a harrowing game of leverage with the quadrant's deadliest space pirate.”

That last element offers some spark, as it brings a villain with more roguish personality than usual. Not everything about “Squall” sizzles but the episode comes with enough action and intrigue to make it worthwhile.

The Elysian Kingdom: “The USS Enterprise becomes stuck in a nebula that's home to an alien consciousness which traps the crew in a fairy tale.”

“Kingdom” isn’t a holodeck episode, but it feels like one. This makes it much more comedic than normal and also much less engaging – for me, at least, as I never liked this kind of diversion.

Even with an emotional ending, “Kingdom” doesn’t connect with me – and it also feels like a too convenient way to get rid of Dr. M’Benga’s (Babs Olusanmokun) sick daughter from the show.

All Those Who Wander: “Enterprise crew comes face-to-face with their demons - and scary monsters too - when their landing party's stranded on a barren planet with a ravenous enemy.”

As that synopsis implies, “Wander” opts for a more horror-oriented vibe – and pays clear homage to the Alien franchise, right down to a kid who looks like Newt. This “homage” feels a little too blatant but it still leads to a pretty solid show, even if the death of a main castmember feels premature and gratuitous.

A Quality of Mercy: “Just as Captain Pike thinks he's figured out how to escape his fate, he's visited by his future self, who shows him the consequences of his actions.”

S1 concludes with a tense episode that also formally introduces a certain James T. Kirk (Paul Wesley). Since Kirk’s brother Samuel (Dan Jeannotte) has been a series regular, this seemed inevitable, as does the show’s introduction of the Romulans.

While it needed to happen eventually, the involvement of James Kirk feels a bit gimmicky. Still, the episode overcomes that issue to finish the year on a positive note.

The Discs Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on these Blu-ray Discs. Expect strong visuals.

Sharpness worked well. Wide shots occasionally came across as a little soft, but the majority of the episodes appeared accurate and well-defined.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Source flaws remained absent.

Colors leaned a little toward the usual amber and teal, but many other tones arrived as well. These looked lively and full.

Blacks appeared deep and dense, while shadows felt smooth and concise. The shows offered pleasing visuals.

I also felt pleased with the dynamic DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio of Worlds. With plenty of action across the episodes, the material often came to life.

This meant the speakers got a lot of usage, what with many moments that created vivid set pieces. All the elements integrated well and created an encompassing collection of soundfields.

Audio quality worked well, with speech that seemed natural and concise. Music showed nice range and fidelity.

Effects came across as accurate and dynamic, with deep lows. The audio suited the shows.

One episode boasts an audio commentary, as we find a track for “Strange New Worlds”. Director/series creator/show runner Akiva Goldsman and actor Anson Mount sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story and characters, sets and locations, cast and performances, various effects, and connections to Trek shows/canon.

While we find a decent look at the show, we don’t find a lot of real insights, as the material tends to feel perfunctory. Add plenty of praise/happy talk and this becomes a mediocre commentary.

Five episodes come with Deleted Scenes. We find clips from “Children of the Comet” (one scene, 0:22), “Ghosts of Illyaia” (3, 2:11), “Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach” (2, 5:00), “The Elysian Kingdom” (1 0:20), and “All Those Who Wander” (7, 10:55).

Most of these offer minor exposition and some added character insights. Nothing major appears, but the clips provide a bit of useful information.

Disc One opens with ads for Star Trek: Discovery Season Four, Reacher Season One and Halo Season One.

On Disc Three, we get an episode from Season One of Star Trek: The Original Series. “Balance of Terror” runs 50 minutes, 24 seconds and offers the series’ introduction of the Romulans.

It seems like it’d make more sense to include either “The Menagerie” or “The Cage”, since those TOS episodes involved Captain Pike. Still, because S1 of Worlds brings in the Romulans, “Balance” makes some sense here – and it’s a great episode, so not too many complaints here.

A few featurettes follow, and Pike’s Peek goes for 17 minutes, 26 seconds. It gives us behind the scenes footage that focuses on actor Anson Mount, though we see other cast/crew as well.

Mount shoots some of this himself on his phone, and all the material appears to stem from similar sources. We get some good glimpses of the series in this fun piece.

World Building lasts 11 minutes, 56 seconds and features Mount, Goldsman, production designer Jonathan Lee, director of photography Glen Keenan, director Christopher J. Byrne, executive producer Henry Alonso Myers, and actors Rebecca Romijn and Celia Rose Gooding.

“World” covers sets both practical and virtual. It offers some useful insights.

Finally, Exploring New Worlds goes for 53 minutes, 58 seconds. It brings notes from Mount, Goldsman, Gooding, Myers, Romijn, executive producer Alex Kurtzman, supervising producer Bill Wolkoff, co-executive producers Chris Fisher and Davy Perez, co-writer Onitra Johnson, and actors Christina Chong, Ethan Peck, Jess Bush, Babs Olusanmokun, and Melissa Navia.

In this program, we learn of the series’ origins and goals, story and characters, cast and performances, and some episode specifics. With almost an hour at its disposal, I hoped “Exploring” would give us reasonable depth.

Unfortunately, it fails to dig too deeply. While enjoyable and moderately informative, it lacks much true substance.

A Gag Reel fills two minutes, 47 seconds with the usual goofs and giggles. Nothing memorable arrives but at least it offers a short collection.

As a prequel to The Original Series, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds offers a mixed bag, mainly because it tends to try a little too hard to mesh with that classic show. Still, it comes with enough creative and fun adventures to make it largely winning. The Blu-rays deliver solid picture and audio along with a mix of bonus materials. Inconsistent as it may be, I like the series and look forward to Season Two.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main