Why There's No Competition Between Star Trek: Discovery And Strange New Worlds

This isn't the first time the "Star Trek" franchise has had multiple shows airing concurrently, with certain members of the fandom compelled to pit one directly against the other. Perhaps the most famous example would be the brief overlap between "The Next Generation" and "Deep Space Nine," and again with "Deep Space Nine" and "Voyager." In the latter case, the creative team made an effort to take fan reactions into account, bringing "Voyager" back to the safe harbor of more "traditional" stories in the "Trek" vein, featuring exploratory starships and simplistic, episodic, adventure-of-the-week narratives — all in stark contrast to the serialized, largely stationary, and far more morally complicated approach of "Deep Space Nine."

The heir apparent to this trend involves "Star Trek: Discovery" and "Strange New Worlds," both of which similarly represent a "Modern vs traditional" dichotomy and the latter of which has enjoyed quite a bit of acclaim at the former's expense (even from yours truly). But while the rest of the internet may have resorted to the easiest narrative, the showrunner of "Discovery" is taking the high road.

In a Twitter Spaces online event hosted by The Wrap (via CinemaBlend), Michelle Paradise put to rest any such notion about "competition" between the two shows:

"No, there's absolutely no competition at all. And one of the things to Alex [Kurtzman]'s credit that he has said from the beginning is that each of these shows needs to occupy its own space within the larger universe, because you don't want two shows that feel very, very similar. So 'Discovery' and 'Strange New Worlds,' for example, feel very different by design. And 'Discovery' is heavily serialized. And when 'Strange New Worlds' came out, I know, they worked very hard to make sure that it would be its own distinct thing."

'We love what they're doing'

Well, so much for any thoughts of a sibling rivalry. Honestly, this is exactly how you'd expect professionals to react to the largely fan-driven idea that more than one type of story somehow can't coexist alongside another. I may have fallen woefully behind on "Discovery" while eagerly pivoting towards the refreshing, throwback adventures of "Strange New Worlds," but I can easily imagine different kinds of viewers doing the exact opposite and largely ignoring such standalone storytelling in favor of "Discovery."

With season 5 of "Discovery" beginning production (as tweeted by Paradise recently), the showrunner went on to describe how both parties behind each respective series actually collaborate far more than fans may have assumed.

"And we are aware as writers and showrunners for all of the shows, we all get together on a pretty regular basis and talk to one another to make sure that the storylines aren't overlapping and in ways that don't make sense for the larger universe. We talk about all of that stuff so that we are aware of those things. Because all of us want to make sure that the shows that we helped shepherd continue to occupy their own space, but that it all feels of a larger piece that Alex and his team at Secret Hideout kind of oversee all of them. But there's not a competition. We love what they're doing."

Given that this property is commonly defined by the strength of unity and cooperation, these sorts of behind-the-scenes stories feel as quintessentially "Trek" as it gets. Different preferences will inevitably arise with a fandom as diverse as this one. Luckily, there's always something for everyone.

"Discovery" season 5 has not received a release date just yet, but "Strange New Worlds" is currently airing on Paramount+.