Spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2. One interesting thing about Strange New Worlds is that it doesn’t suffer from the same problem that older Star Trek shows had – there’s just not enough of it. Back in the 1990s, shows like The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager had around 26 episodes each year, which often resulted in filler episodes and burnout from the writing staff. In contrast, Strange New Worlds Season 2, with only 10 episodes, feels like it’s leaving a lot of potential storylines untapped.
The decision to focus on the larger ensemble cast in the second season allows for every character on the bridge to have their own story or character arc. This is great for fans of characters like Dr. M’Benga, Ortegas, and La’an Noonien-Singh, but not so great for fans of Captain Pike, as he takes a backseat to his crew. Anson Mount’s performance, however, remains charismatic and enjoyable to watch, even if his character doesn’t have a significant arc this time around.
Each episode of the season has its highlights and intriguing concepts. For example, “Among the Lotus Eaters” explores a forgotten Trek planet where the crew loses their memory. Additionally, the season premiere, “The Broken Circle,” and the finale, “Hegemony,” may have some weaker moments, but they still offer enjoyable interactions among the ensemble.
The season truly shines in its willingness to take risks. The crossover episode with the animated series Lower Decks, titled “Those Old Scientists,” successfully brings together the comedy and live-action elements without sacrificing either show’s identity. The creative team’s decision to include a war episode and a musical episode also demonstrates their flexibility and willingness to experiment.
Ultimately, the strength of Strange New Worlds lies in its characters. The evolving relationships between Chapel and Spock, as well as La’an and Kirk, provide engaging storylines. The cast as a whole delivers standout performances, making this one of the best-cast Trek shows since Deep Space Nine.
While there are some unanswered questions and missed opportunities in this season, the overall experience is still funny, inspiring, and remarkable. Strange New Worlds is a refreshing addition to the Star Trek franchise and one of the best new entries in years.
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