I was impressed with Strange New Worlds as I watched the first episodes. Yes, it’s hokey in many ways, but it does pay homage to the original. There are times you can literally hear the screenwriter typing out dialogue that is repeated, usually by a secondary character. Ensign Ortega, the helmswoman is the bearer of many of these cracks.
While the plots had galaxy sized holes in them, there were enough interesting twists and foreshadows that it kept you engaged.
Episode 7, The Serene Squall, with the quadrant’s deadliest space pirate was a head scratcher. How did a handful of pirates capture the entire crew of the Enterprise, pretty much without a fight, it appeared. I mean, really? This is the Federation’s Flagship? No security? Just everyone surrendering?
And then Pike gets the pirates to mutiny by cooking for them? Ha ha. Not. It was insulting.
And the identity of the pirate, which was supposed to be the big twist, was obvious from the start. At least to me it was. She was good, well-acted, but there wasn’t much reason for her there other than to be who she was. And somehow Spock’s love can show up with the prisoner, but Starfleet can’t send help? Don’t they have a check-in process? Hell, if an A-Team missed two scheduled contacts everyone begins to take notice.
Then they went into a fantasy episode 8 with everyone breaking out the Shakespearean garb from costume. That one lost me, but I tried picking up the next.
Episode 9: With the Gorn on a planet. First, the reaction to another starship landing on a planet in distress and then finding blood trails and body parts didn’t seem to worry anyone overly much. No “send down the marines”—BTW, wouldn’t they have some form of Marines? Even send down a bunch of people in red shirts so that can get killed? No, they kill the newly promoted ensign.
And the security chief forgetting to tell anyone that the acid actually impregnates until it’s far too late didn’t make sense, but did make for the dramatic end of the chief engineer.
What really as in your face though was the blatant Alien ripoff. I mean they didn’t even try to come up with anything new.
Some of the dialogue is simply awful. When Pike makes the crack about driving the station wagon—it’s centuries in the future. Now, in 2022, there are a lot of younger people who don’t get it. Where did he get it from? It made no sense and was jarring. Sometimes they’re trying too hard for a laugh.
I feel like they made a great choice for Captain Pike with Anson Mount. Cecilia Rose Gooding is excellent as LT Uhura, who gets a larger place than in the original series.
Which brings me to the final thing. The original ST was goofy in places, but mainly this was a by product. The tone was consistent. It was overall serious.
The tone of SNW became inconsistent as the episodes went on, particularly inside the episodes. Deadly serious one moment, then going for a one-liner in the next.
I know the show has been well received and that’s great. I think some of what I see comes from being a writer where tone is important. It’s something I consciously decide on before writing a novel. And for me, the tone has to be consistent and when it isn’t, it jumps out at me and takes me out of the story.