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Review of 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' 2.7

Pike, Spock, and Boimler

By Paul LevinsonPublished 11 months ago 3 min read

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds from its inception was a boundary-breaking Star Trek, daring to launch a whole series about a character who had appeared in a crucial two-part episode in the original Star Trek in the 1960s, after re-introducing him for one season of Star Trek: Discovery in 2019. Strange New Worlds has succeeded in this admirably, not only telling us stories about Pike, but about younger Spock, Chapel, Uhura, and James T. Kirk, as well as introducing a whole passel of admirable new characters, including M'Benga, Noonien-Singh, Ortegas, Chin-Riley, and Sam Kirk (James T's brother). Episode 2.7, put up on Paramount Plus just a few days after 2.6, continues that pathbreaking storytelling, with a time-travel tale that combines Strange New Worlds with the animated Lower Decks.

Lower Decks takes place more than a hundred years in the future of Strange New Worlds. I haven't watched a single episode of the three seasons that have been up so far -- I really prefer live action to animation -- but I may well give it a try in my own not-so-distant future.

I should also mention that time time travel has always been my favorite fiction to read, watch, and write (see my Why Time Travel Is So Enjoyable), and the time travel in Star Trek: The Original Series and The Next Generation have been among the best I've seen on any screen. While I can't say that "Those Old Scientists" (the title of SNW 2.7) was as stellar as TOS's "City on the Edge of Forever" or TNG's "Yesterday's Enterprise," it's right up there, and provides a great mix the intelligent humor and banter that apparently typifies Lower Decks and the gravity of most time travel stories and Strange New Worlds as well.

The biggest source of that gravity in Strange New Worlds is, of course, the terrible disfigurement that awaits Captain Pike and the end of a life as a Starfleet Captain that we first saw back in "The Menagerie" in the original Star Trek series back in 1966. Boimler, coming from Lower Decks and the future, of course knows that, and, in one of the best scenes of Strange New Worlds 2.7 or any Star Trek episode, he and Pike discuss that.

We of course also know about Spock's future -- in particular, his keeping his emotions so strictly in check, including the feelings he's now displaying for Chapel in Strange New Worlds. Episode 2.7 does a fine job with this complex relationship, too. (And I would add here that I hope Boimler's conversation with Chapel doesn't dissuade her from furthering her relationship with Spock. Right, I'm a hopeless romantic.)

You may have noticed I haven't warned you about spoilers at the top of this review, because I haven't really revealed much of the specific plot of this episode. But I will tell you that it's outstanding and thoroughly enjoyable, not only for its time travel, but for its liberation of characters from animation to live action.

So, will I start watching Lower Decks, and its appealing characters, still unliberated from animation? I just looked at a list of animated science fiction movies -- a Top 50 list of such movies, on IMDb. I haven't watched a single one of them, and have no urgent desire to do so. Time is precious, in our real world as well as in science fiction worlds with time travel, and I'd rather watch real people on the screen. But the Star Trek saga has branched out in the past few years, with some splendid results, and I don't want to miss any part of that. So, yes, I just may give Lower Decks at chance.

probably my best-known time-travel story

star trek

About the Creator

Paul Levinson

Novels The Silk Code, The Plot To Save Socrates, It's Real Life: An Alternate History of The Beatles; LPs Twice Upon A Rhyme & Welcome Up; nonfiction The Soft Edge & Digital McLuhan, translated into 15 languages. Prof, Fordham Univ.

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Comments (1)

  • Alicent Jenner9 months ago

    Star Trek: Strange New Worlds brings back the classic spirit with its engaging storytelling, memorable characters, and exciting adventures. https://www.nycjackets.com/product/star-trek-strange-new-worlds-jacket/

Paul LevinsonWritten by Paul Levinson

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