HomeSerious Star Trek PodcastThe Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: the SNW S2 Premiere

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: the SNW S2 Premiere

You guys, I made a huge mistake: I binge-watched THE ORVILLE this past week. Now that’s a great show with great characters and great writing. By the time Season 3 hits, you’re watching one of the best sci-fi shows in the past 20–30 years. What a treat. Then I watched STRANGE NEW WORLDS.

These are the voyages of Akiva Goldsman’s therapy notes…

What’s the one thing about STRANGE NEW WORLDS that everyone has agreed to like? Anson Mount as Pike. So what did Akiva Goldsman do? Have an entire season premiere without Anson Mount. That’s some real 3D Chess going on in that writers’ room.

Speaking of Mr. Goldsman, lately he’s been blasting the interview circuit about how he is rewriting STAR TREK and effectively overwriting TOS, which has been obvious to anyone paying attention from the very start. This is a man who hates TOS and he finally has a chance to correct what he sees as the franchise’s biggest mistake. Why he thinks that, nobody knows. But just watch STRANGE NEW WORLDS and it’s blatantly clear. With the sole exception of Terry Matalas*, every showrunner of nuTrek has hated STAR TREK — from JJ Abrams and Kurtzman, to the STD producer carousel, and now of course, Akiva Goldsman.

Careful, Anson, if you look directly at it, you’ll go blind

Lots of people like how STRANGE NEW WORLDS is fun and episodic and that’s cool — I agree, I’m glad they’re making a TV show that wants to be liked, as opposed to, let’s say DISCOVERY, which is painfully dreadful and the exact opposite of fun. So they have that going for them, which is nice.

After that? The characters are bad, the set designs are bad, the dialogue is bad, the plots are bad, the makeup is bad, and they’re intentionally screwing up the entire in-universe history of the franchise.

To be fair, though, let’s start off with the good…

Iol jk kidding


Ok, now let’s move on to the bad and the ugly.

To be fair, Ortegas is awesome


Pike leaves the ship and the episode.

Anson Mount is the best part of the show. Anything happening on-screen that doesn’t involve him is, by definition, bad. Which in this case is basically the entire episode. Pathetic.

Spock steals the ship.

I feel like people either don’t watch STAR TREK III or they completely misunderstand it. Stealing a ship is bad. Very bad. Court-martial, dishonorable discharge at-best but more likely go-to-prison-level bad. Kirk’s “reward” at the end of STIII was a demotion and effective relegation to babysitting an aging broken cruiser for the rest of his career (sorry, Yorktown, you had a nice run). It just so happened that Kirk wanted that fate, so he was happy. But what pop culture has gotten out of STIII is that in STAR TREK you can do whatever you want if you’re the main character. This turns Trek’s scifi realism into fantastic surrealism. That’s called “changing the genre of the franchise.” Spock should have been sent to a court-martial on the spot. Pathetic.

Mari-la’an Ravenwood.

La’an is a terribly boring caricature of a scifi trope. A scarred survivor of the Alien attack who also happens to be descendant of a superman. She has the backstory, all she needs now is personality and depth!! Akiva said to himself, “self, I know how to give her personality!! Let’s rip off one of the most iconic character entrances in cinema history!!!” And so they did. Luckily, she didn’t have much else to do this episode but I fear she’s going to have a prominent story moving forward. Pathetic.

Klingons look like Klingons again! Sorta.

When I was a little kid I got one of those terrible plastic HE-MAN costumes for Halloween and went around trick-or-treating. I thought I looked like the Master of the Universe, but all everyone else saw was an ill-fitting costume. Being Halloween, they all played along and called me He-Man and gave me candy. Hurrah!! Success!! But looking at the pictures now, it’s hard to not cringe and think it could have looked so much better. So yeah, the Klingons no longer look like Orcs. But now they mostly look like bad plastic Halloween masks. Quick, drink the blood wine before the mask slides off! Pathetic.

I grew up on this! It’s my family label!


Starbase 1 and the entire design aesthetic.

It’s ugly. Ugly ships, ugly shuttles, ugly uniforms, ugly sets, ugly starbases, ugly planets, everything in STRANGE NEW WORLDS is ugly. Is this on purpose? I mean, it has to be, right? Embarrassing.

“Do the thing.”

On one hand, I want to like this. It’s a fun addition to the Star Trek universe that each captain has their own “thing.” But I also hate it. Kirk didn’t have a thing, Sisko didn’t have a thing, Janeway didn’t have a thing, in fact, the only one who did is Picard and that’s mostly because of Stewart’s accent making his dialogue “iconic.” And JJTrek. They did it in JJTrek. Definitely not where they should be drawing inspiration from… But, is this an egregious violation? Nah. Is it still embarrassing? Yep.

Karate Drugs.

I don’t like how they made M’Benga and Chapel prominent characters in the first place, but I get it — only nerds like me will care that they’re rewriting the characters. But the addition of Karate Drugs is absurd. Just pop in some drugs, get a closeup of the pupils changing, and bam, now they’re Dr. John Wick and Nurse Van Damme and god help the Klingons that stand in their way!!!!!!!!!!!! Embarrassing.

Impending Gorn war.

Remember in “Arena” when the Metrons brought the Gorn and Humans together for the first time to see how they would react to a species each found repulsive? And remember how the Federation had no clue the Gorn existed, which is why Cestus III got attacked? Now, not only does everyone in the Federation know about the Gorn, we’re on the verge of war!! Yay!!! More warrrrrrr!!!!!!!! #VisionOfUtopia #FutureGoals #Embarrassing

Misidentification of a Crossfield class.

I’m sure by the time I’m writing this the hacks at Memory Alpha have already come up with some bullshit retcon for this embarrassment, but let’s be clear — this is an embarrassing mistake. Much worse than the “Sombra Class” nonsense. For those unaware — the USS DISCOVERY is a Crossfield Class ship. So, yeah… we know what it looks like. Does it have a Crossfield saucer? Yep. Is it a Miranda-type version of a Crossfield? Yep. Is it a Crossfield itself? Nooooooooope. Embarrassing.

Crying Spock.

Do I even need to explain this one? Just utterly embarrassing.

Kinda looks like the Ares… y’know, from Axanar, the fan film that forced CBS to create STD — yeah, that one. I’m sure it’s coincidental. I’m sure it’s also coincidental that the Discoprise destroys a “Crossfield class” when STD just got cancelled. lol jk kidding.


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