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Home > Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Season 2), A Review

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Season 2), A Review

Star Trek Strange New Worlds Season 2

Too Strange or Too Familiar?

When the idyllic isolation of a woodland retreat was interrupted by Star Fleet shuttles in season one of Strange New Worlds, audiences were introduced to a new kind of captain in Christopher Pike (Anson Mount).

Defined by post-traumatic stress, following a life changing incident which imparted soul crushing information, this latest iteration in the Star Trek cannon also introduced Cadet Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding), ported over Ethan Peck’s superior Spock from Star Trek: Discovery and brought Rebecca Romijn’s Una Chin-Riley along for the ride. Delivering a drama packed opening run, which made good on the momentum from Star Trek: Picard and ensured a second season.

Opening on the tail end of that blistering finale, which saw Una Chin-Riley arrested for undisclosed augmentation accusations, Season 2 spends its premiere with Spock, Nurse Chappell (Jess Bush), and Doctor M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) – as the ramifications of that cliffhanger play out.

With illegal hijacking and forays into Klingon space shaping this opening narrative, it becomes clear just how good Ethan Peck really is at embodying Spock. Cut loose from Captain Christopher Pike, his portrayal of this iconic character gains serious kudos in the next hour, as he is forced to step up when others head up a landing party in search of La’an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong).

When Doctor M’Benga and Nurse Chappell go rogue a little later, this first episode promises to deliver something solid for Trekkies around the globe, as inter-galactic stakes feel inherently raised. Not only kicking Strange New Worlds off in style for this sophomore effort, but providing audiences with an essential emotional connection going forward.

Elsewhere, social commentary gets served up in huge slabs under the guise of a protracted follow-up, which takes a deep dive into Starfleet law as Una Chin-Riley is held to account. For many this will be the pivotal episode in a season which slips into formula from that point on. A fact creators Akiva Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman, and Jenny Lumet may have known – since this season is front loaded with tantalizing titbits.

Drawing parallels between the persecution of Una Chin-Riley’s otherness, in comparison to contemporary feelings towards representation are unavoidable. Over the course of this crucial hour, bureaucracies are dissected, personal prejudice revealed, and honorable intentions embraced. Not only offering closure for Una Chin-Riley in the eyes of her accusers but bringing this newly minted Enterprise crew closer together in the meantime.

Unfortunately, despite the superior production design, uniformly excellent performances from an exceptional ensemble cast, and more action moxy than most franchise can muster, season two becomes an averagely entertaining second run going forward.

Even with the inventive move of crossing over Lower Decks with Strange New Worlds, there is a distinct lack of deeper themes at play this time round. A fact which many will ignore, as this latest iteration does go all out to entertain, but something which others might factor in when choosing whether to tune in.

Either way, this Paramount+ entry in the Star Trek cannon ticks a lot of boxes on its way to garnering an inevitable season 3 renewal.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 (2023) | Paramount | Official Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Entertainment Journalist.