Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Keith D. Wilson
6 min readOct 3, 2020

Boldly going where Star Trek fan service demands

Photo credit: Michael Gibson/CBS

On May 15, 2020 CBS All Access announced a new addition to the Star Trek family of shows would be coming sometime in 2021 featuring the earlier adventures of the starship Enterprise with Captain Pike, Science Officer Spock, and Number One. The new series would be set about a decade before the adventures of Captain Kirk. It comes as no surprise the new series grew out of fan reception of Anson Mount as Pike in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, along with the introduction of Rebecca Romjin and Ethan Peck as Number One and Spock respectively. Whereas Star Trek: Discovery was unknown and unfamiliar New Trek, the starship Enterprise under Captain Pike was more familiar territory.

Trek viewers had been introduced to Captain Pike in the original pilot episode “The Cage” in 1965. The first pilot didn’t go over very well with the executives at NBC, mainly because it had too much sci-fi and not enough action, so most of the cast and crew were discarded for the second pilot, “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” When the studio needed two episodes quickly to pad the season, pieces of “The Cage” were cut up and repackaged into the two-part episode, “The Menagerie.” The original pilot was never seen again in its entirety on television until 1988. A few devoted fans had been lucky to see it prior to that 1988 airing at various Star Trek conventions.

The Star Trek presented in “The Cage” was less adventure-oriented than what it would become when the series was picked up by NBC. Captain Pike was a weary intellectual warrior who didn’t want to go on any more adventures. When presented with the opportunity to investigate an old distress signal that had been detected coming from the Talos star system, Pike wanted nothing more than to continue on the ship’s current course. He had just lost several members of his crew to a skirmish he felt could have been avoided if he had only picked up on more social cues. He was tired of being responsible for the lives of his crew, tired of being the one to decide which ones lived or died. Pike was ready to resign and go live on a farm. We never got that vibe from Captain Kirk during the run of the series.

“The Cage” also presented viewers with something new for the time, and apparently not to NBC’s liking, a woman as…

Keith D. Wilson

I’m just a tech-minded guy with a wicked sense of humor and curiosity about tech, science, sci-fi, politics, and other stuff.