Is Season 2 of Strange New Worlds Any Good

Strange New Worlds is the last, best hope for Star Trek, but it’s started going off the rails in Season 2.

*** Spoilers ahead ***…

Episode 1 – The deconstruction of Spock continues.

SNW S02E01

The writers continue to make Spock look stupid and not understand humans.

He was raised by his human mother and would have had first-hand experience of dealing with humans and how to relate to them.

Plus there’s that troublesome adopted sister of his – Michael Burnham who he would also have learned from.

So the “fish out of water” trope that’s being applied to him doesn’t wash.

It’s an indicator of bad writers at work who haven’t done their homework on the character.

The only time Spock disobeyed orders is when he redirected the Enterprise to Talos IV in the TOS episode “The Menagerie” to bring a broken, disfigured Christopher Pike to the planet of illusion so that he could have some semblance of a normal life.

In this SNW episode, stealing the Enterprise on a whim to go on a rescue mission, especially after being explicitly ordered not to, is again completely out of character for Spock.

And that “just make the ship go” line was just dismal writing.

Episode 2 – This is essentially a reworking of the TNG episode “The Measure of a Man”, so nothing original here.

SNW S02E02

But it does highlight that the Federation in the Discovery/SNW timeline has a very questionable history in dealing with “human” rights issues and failing to resolve them.

The court should have recognized the Federation’s considerable shortcomings in that regard and put in motion policies to rectify those shortcomings.

Instead they just gave Una Chin-Riley an exceptional pass.

Again demonstrating that the writers do not understand how the Federation actually works.

Episode 3 – Yet more overused time-travelling high-jinks.

SNW S02E03

Except this episode retconned Khan’s history and the Eugenics wars which now firmly establishes that SNW is not in the TOS timeline.

We really already knew this as SNW is part of the Discovery universe which is not in the Prime timeline either.

“Correcting the timelime” indicates that everything is pre-determined so no one has any free will.

As the Romulan agent said, “time has a way of pushing back so events happen as they’re supposed to” or words to that effect.

Another bone of contention is that actor Paul Wesley, who portrays Lt. Kirk in this episode, is 40 years old – he’s too old to play Kirk.

The episode starts off in 2259 or 2260 when Kirk was 26 or 27 years of age, not 40.

Even if Wesley looks young for his age, he doesn’t look like a man in his mid-20s..

Kirk would take command of the Enterprise in 2266 at 32 years of age.

If Strange New Worlds has a 7-year run (taking it up to 2266 in the SNW universe), then Paul Wesley will be 46 years old, again, too old to play a youthful Kirk.

Episode 4 – this was actually a good episode that would not have been out of place in TOS – Highlight of the season so far.

SNW S02E04

Episode 5 – Again, the deconstruction of Spock continues.

SNW S02E05

Spock becomes fully human and learns what it’s like to deal with human emotions.

But they’re oh so hard to deal with.

Give me a break!

Vulcan’s have far more intense emotions than humans and through their logic training learn how to master and suppress those emotions.

Spock didn’t forget who he was and he would not have forgotten his Vulcan training.

His meditation and control techniques may not have been as effective with him as a human but he would not have been acting like a hormonal teenager.

He would not have needed the guidance of M’Benga either.

And then there’s that exceptionally cringeworthy scene where the 4 girl-bosses try to teach Spock how to act like a Vulcan.

The writers apparently love to indulge in emasculating the character to destruction.

And then the “What the f***!” line before the opening credits – because new trek loves to drop unnecessary f-bombs.

There’s also a pathetic in-joke about Spock having to wear fake pointed ears to look Vulcan after being turned human.

Worst episode of the season so far and a huge red flag for where the series is going.

Other problems with SNW:

Most unlikeable characterUhura. Too much of a know-it-all for someone who’s just an Ensign.

Other most unlikeable characterPelia. Irritating in the extreme. Thankfully, the character has not appeared more than a handful of times.

Other semi-unlikeable characterOrtegas. Too insubordinate and too much of a wise-ass to not be disciplined or let go from the service.


  1. Never used contractions (like aren’t, don’t, etc) and always spoke in full words like “are not”, “do not”, etc. It used to be a small thing that also set his character apart.
  2. Spock the moron who doesn’t understand human behaviour or how to command a ship properly.
  3. Vulcans don’t drink alcohol, yet this Spock drinks alcohol every time someone hands him a drink. Again, out of character.
  4. Far too emotional – this Spock is far closer in tone to the emo-Spock in the new Star Trek movies than to the Spock of TOS.


An overused trope that’s been shoved into SNW.

The girls know more than the men.

I like strong female characters when they’re written well.

Uhura and Ortegas are not written well and I’m ambivalent on La’an because I feel someone wanted to shove a Noonien-Singh character into the mix…just because.

There are only 3 main male characters (Pike, Spock and M’Benga) whereas all the other main ensemble cast are females.

So much for balance.

The characters:

Pike is the best character, generally written well and Anson Mount was a great choice to play him.

SpockEthan Peck(grandson of Gregory) is doing his best with Spock but the character is so badly written I feel Spock will ultimately be destroyed.

M’Benga is also a good character who has some darkness in his history.

It would be interesting to know if Dr. McCoy will become Chief Medical Officer on the Enterprise during Kirk‘s tenure in the SNW timeline and why M’Benga was presumably demoted but remained on staff.

Chapel – so unlike the TOS Chapel as to be a completely different character.

So why not just make her a different character?

SNW’s Christine Chapel seems to be a lot more knowledgeable, capable and competent than TOS’s Chapel.

But that’s not a bad thing.

And, what happened to Dr. Roger Korby in this timeline?

Chapel was his student and later his fiancée during the SNW period in the TOS Prime timeline.

So why is she cavorting with Spock?

SNW Spock is starting to equal TOS Kirk in banging the space babes.

Una – a seriously underused character.

Easily the strongest of the female characters with an interesting history but she really only provides filler material in episodes.

Is that because the writers don’t know what to do with her (which wouldn’t surprise me) or

because Rebecca Romjin has significant restraints on her available time?

Writers – and here we get to the nub of the problem with SNW – the sub-par writing staff.

It’s obvious that they don’t know Star Trek lore and have chosen to write stories regardless of canon.

You know, if they want to set SNW in a different timeline, that’s okay.

Just be up-front about it and don’t try to force SNW to somehow lead into TOS in a seamless way.

It won’t work.

Instead of writing thought-provoking cerebral episodes that make viewers think about contemporary issues, they write episodes that contain messages they want to convey and hit the viewers over the head with them.

Star Trek viewers are intelligent people who can decide for themselves; they don’t need to be spoon-fed some agenda.

The writers have also just taken today’s world and wrapped it in s Star Trek cloak.

All the characters, including an alien – Spock – speak like contemporary southern Californians.

It’s going to horribly date the series in the coming decades.

The stories are too simplistic and many appear to be written by immature or hack writers.

The Showrunners:

Akiva Goldsman and Alex Kurtzman

As long as Alex Kurtzman is running Star Trek, along with Akiva Goldsman, it’s in the wrong hands.

Star Trek’s downfall started with the new movies and the involvement of JJ Abrams who openly admitted that he didn’t understand or like Star Trek.

His sidekick was one Alex Kurtzman who seems equally befuddled by and clueless about Star Trek.

And, let’s not forget that having destroyed Star Trek, Abrams jumped ship to go off and destroy Star Wars.

As far as I can see, he saw taking control of both franchises as a cash-grab that would garner him significant moolah.

But things didn’t work out for him as he’d planned.

What Should Happen Going Forward:

Strange New Worlds has been renewed for a 3rd season but it won’t be available to watch until late 2024 or early 2025.

Paramount+ are behind the series and if my suggestions carried any weight, here’s what I’d suggest:

  1. Dump Alex Kurtzman from the franchise – he doesn’t understand Star Trek
  2. Dump Akiva Goldsman from the franchise – he doesn’t understand Star Trek either and he’s a hack writer.
  3. Dump the current writing staff – they’re 3rd-rate writers who also don’t understand Trek
  4. Hire Terry Matalas immediately to run Strange New Worlds going forward (he’s the showrunner behind Picard Season 3)
  5. Let Terry Matalas vet and hire new writers – the writers should be well-versed in Trek lore and, preferably, be fans of the series. This is something Matalas would be in favour of.
  6. Put Spock back on track. No more of this emo crap and make him a respected member of the crew again.

Now it’s your turn to sound off on what you think of Strange New Worlds and Season 2 in particular…

(Visited 119 times, 1 visits today)

Tagged with:

Filed under: Star Trek: Strange New Worlds