One of the many innovations made by the contemporary Star Trek series is the increased serialization of the storytelling. In keeping with modern TV trends, both Discovery and Picard have disposed of the franchise’s classic standalone episode structure and gone for the “stretched-out movie” approach that’s so popular nowadays. There’s good news for those fans who’ve been missing the traditional way of doing things, though, as Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will be returning to the old “planet-of-the-week” style.
This tease comes to us via EP Alex Kurtzman. The man behind all of CBS All Access’ Trek programming chatted with Deadline over a virtual panel to mark Short Treks landing an Emmy nomination. And amongst the talk of what’s to come on the anthology miniseries, Kurtzman opened up about what we can expect with SNW, too. He explained that it will have all the things we’d want from a contemporary TV series – character arcs, increased emotional depth, ongoing stories – but ultimately it will live up to its title and see the characters visiting strange new worlds every week.
“I think Strange New Worlds, under the guidance of Henry Myers and Akiva Goldsman, it’s going to be a return in a way to TOS [Star Trek: The Original Series]. We are going to do stand-alone episodes. There will be emotional serialization. There will be two-parters. There will be larger plot arcs. But it really is back to the model of alien-of-the-week, planet-of-the-week, challenge-on-the-ship-of-the-week.”
Another thing we can look forward to is an increased sense of optimism. Kurtzman said that he thinks what made Anson Mount’s Pike, Ethan Peck’s Spock and Rebecca Romijn’s Number One so popular with fans was the old-fashioned TOS spirit they brought to Discovery season 2. And that will definitely continue in their own show.
“With these characters pre-Kirk’s Enterprise,” he continued. “I think what people responded so much to in all three characters is this kind of relentless optimism that they have. And that they are at the young phase of their careers.”
Kurtzman recently revealed that Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is on course to shoot in 2021, with ten scripts already mapped out. Presumably, he meant in the winter or spring, which means it’ll likely be with us sometime next year. In the meantime, we’ve got 20+ weeks of non-stop Star Trek to enjoy, with Lower Decks currently airing on CBS All Access and DIS season 3 arriving after that.