Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Trailer: A Familiar, Old World For Trek

A new trailer for "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" has just arrived, and it appears to offer — in a very positive way — the opposite of what the title proclaims. This is your grandfather's "Star Trek." We see the archetypal Captain Christopher Pike (originally played by Jeffrey Hunter in the unused "Star Trek" pilot in 1966, now played by a dash handsome Anson Mount) riding horses alongside a shuttlecraft. We see the building of Vulcan, as they were imagined in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," and a few other familiar images: It seems that the 19th-century royal court may be an allusion to Trelane, the Squire of Gothos from the original series episode "The Squire of Gothos." 

Paramount has previously announced that "Strange New Worlds" would follow a more traditional TV model, offering "Star Trek's" original structure of hour-long miniature morality plays, as opposed to the season- and series-long story arcs that most scripted television — including "Star Trek: Discovery," "Star Trek: Prodigy," and "Star Trek: Picard" — now adheres to. So "Strange New Worlds" is not about being strange and new. It is about being traditional and comforting. After some of the more recent "Star Trek" shows have fallen prey to bungled ambitions and bad, long-form writing, perhaps this retreat to the familiar is a wise move. Watch the trailer below. 

The province of science fiction

The narration, seemingly given by Number One (Rebecca Romijn), seems geared toward both characters in the show and to Trekkies watching: "No matter how many stars there are in the sky, no matter how many galaxies swirl beyond our own, no matter what the mathematical probabilities or the number of times we say 'we are not alone in the universe,' our first visit from the stars is always the province of children's stories and science fiction. Until, one day, it isn't."

These words allude to First Contact, a momentous occasion in "Star Trek." According to the show's in-universe rules, The Federation is not permitted to contact a species that is not yet capable of traveling to other worlds. Once warp speed is discovered, the Federation initiates First Contact, which will, presumably, usher in a new era of diplomacy for the new world. In Trek lore, this is what happened when Earth was first contacted by Vulcans. We all looked up at the stars. When we finally had the means to brush up against them, we were visited by others, finally knowing we were not alone in the universe. It was a dream until it became real. 

The Roddenberrian function of "Star Trek" may be described as very similar. We dream of a better world wherein diplomacy, love, equality, and benevolent technology are part of a ruling ethos of peace. It's all a dream until "Star Trek" bothered to film it, allowing us to see our dream in action. One can only speculate as to the eventual quality of "Strange New Worlds," but the retro feeling is a nice change of pace from the cluttered ambition of "Discovery."

"Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" begins streaming on Paramount+ starting May 5, 2022. Here's a synopsis. 

STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS is based on the years Captain Christopher Pike manned the helm of the U.S.S. Enterprise. The series will feature fan favorites from season two of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY: Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Ethan Peck as Science Officer Spock. The series will follow Captain Pike, Science Officer Spock and Number One in the years before Captain Kirk boarded the U.S.S. Enterprise, as they explore new worlds around the galaxy.