‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Episodes Will Have a Moral at the End, EP Akiva Goldsman Promises

Star Trek: Discovery introduced its incarnations of Captain Pike (Anson Mount), Spock (Ethan Peck) and Number One (Rebecca Romijn). They’re getting their own series now. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds episodes will have one difference from Discovery or Picard, for that matter. They will end with a moral.

'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' -- Spock and Pike stand on the bridge over Number One
L-R: Ethan Peck, Rebecca Romijn, and Anson Mount | Michael Gibson/CBS

Executive producers Akiva Goldsman and Alex Kurtzman were on a Television Critics Association panel on Feb. 1. They described how the Strange New Worlds episodes could impart more morals and lessons than some of their other Star Trek series. Strange New Worlds premieres May 5 on Paramount+.

‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ episodes will stand alone 

Star Trek: Discovery re-introduced ongoing, serial storytelling into the Star Trek universe. Deep Space Nine did it too. The Original Series, Next Generation, Voyager and Enterprise, however, all thrived on weekly episodes. Viewers could watch any episode without any knowledge of what came before. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds episodes will return to episodic stand-alones.

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“We are definitely returning to episodic values,” Goldsman said. “I am a big fan of serialized storytelling. And I think it’s extraordinary and has been great in Star Trek all the way back to its first exploration in Deep Space Nine. But the original Star Trek was, of course, episodic at a time where one could tell closed ended stories. And that allowed us to do a few things that we haven’t been able to do in serialized storytelling. One is to move gently through genre as the original series did, to have episodes that are slightly more tonally specific.”

‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ episodes will teach you something

The best of Star Trek was always a parable for modern day life and philosophy. Through alien cultures, the Enterprise crew could also learn something about humanity. That aspect of Star Trek may have taken a backseat to the ongoing sagas of the Discovery or Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) in the other shows. 

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“It also allows us to have, as Star Trek was great at, the moral of the story,” Goldsman said. “I say that teasingly. But the truth is what episodic or closed-ended stories do is they allow you to have reversals like the best Twilight Zones where we reframe the story we’ve just seen and learn to see it from a different perspective. The Original Series was great at that and we hope to chase some of those values.”

Other advantages to episodic storytelling 

Kurtzman has experience building vast mythologies on shows like Alias, Fringe, and Sleepy Hollow. He also has experience with standalone episodes on Hawaii Five-O, some of Fringe’s episodes and his first job on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Kurtzman discovered more advantages to Star Trek: Strange New Worlds episodes as well as their morals.

“We have this incredible cast,” Kurtzman said. “It allows us to zero in on different actors, different characters and see the world of the Enterprise from completely different perspectives in each episode. We have an opportunity to do that and that’s one of the great things about doing this kind of storytelling. I haven’t done this in a while and it’s been unbelievably refreshing to do one off stories.”

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