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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Reviews Are In, And Fans Will Probably Like What They Have To Say

Anson Mount as Christopher Pike on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
(Image credit: Paramount+)

The Trek universe is about to expand, with the impending release of the Paramount+ series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Fans are sure to be excited to get a new look at the beloved franchise but, since limited knowledge of the canon is required here, the show is also the perfect entry point for new fans. Critics have had the opportunity to screen the first five episodes of Season 1, and these reviews should get the fanbase excited about the sci-fi series and how the new elements will be incorporated into the proceedings.

Season 1 of Strange New Worlds takes the USS Enterprise crew back to the decade before the events of Star Trek: The Original Series, so fans can expect to see a few major characters from the original era, as well as some newcomers. The series is a spinoff of Discovery and will see the returns of Anson Mount as Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Ethan Peck as Spock. New actors to the franchise include Babs Olusanmokun as M'Benga and Celia Rose Gooding as Nyota Uhura. So let’s see what the critics had to say.

CinemaBlend’s own Mick Joest tweeted that he fell in love with the cast immediately and that the series will take viewers on a journey through every emotion:

This isn’t just a show #StarTrek fans will love. This is a show all fans of sci-fi will love. This series truly feels like the perfect marriage between classic and current Trek. I’ve never immediately fell in love with a cast as immediately as I did this bunch. Everyone feels important, and I NEED to know their stories. Without spoiling what’s ahead, you’ll go through just about every emotion watching the series these next few weeks.

Danielle Solzman of Solzy at the Movies rates the series a 4 out of 5 and, while she agrees that this is a good starting point for newcomers, she still recommends viewers familiarize themselves with the events of Star Trek: Discovery Season 2:

While Star Trek: Strange New Worlds must stick to canon and Pike’s fate, the show offers a contemporary vibe as fans get to visit new worlds and cultures. Given the point in the Star Trek timeline when Kirk takes over the Enterprise and when Pike gets disfigured, we should be able to get a few seasons of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. There’s so much potential here and I can’t wait to see what develops. If the four seasons of Star Trek: Discovery are any indication, I’ll be tuning in every week.

Zack Handlen of Variety says Strange New Worlds isn’t trying to break new ground but notes that the approach is actually kind of a relief. The series gets things back to the basics, showing a likable cast traveling the galaxy, embarking wacky sci-fi adventures, and just generally having a hell of a good time:

While it lacks Discovery’s ambition, Strange New Worlds also avoids that show’s struggles with serialization and scope, as each episode limits its focus to the story at hand. The result is as straightforward and direct as the show’s leading man, and nearly as likable. There’s no strain here, and while the more episodic style may be old-fashioned, it’s refreshing to watch something that isn’t pretending to be a 10-hour movie. There’s none of the bait-and-switch that so often plagues modern streaming shows, the promise that the fireworks factory will be along soon, provided you keep watching. Characters develop and change, but their narratives don’t display the overstuffed exhaustion that comes from needing to drag a single plot out over the span of an entire season.

Glen Weldon of NPR says the TV show offers something that the rest of the fictional universe is lacking these days — old school, “original recipe” Star Trek. The nostalgia may speak to fans but so does the premise of witnessing the era before James T. Kirk became the captain:

Contemporary visual effects (and a Paramount Plus budget) have given the Enterprise a facelift. Its hull is now studded with hundreds of teensy, warmly glowing windows, its bridge is more sleek and interactive, its sickbay more Apple-store-chic, and its crew cabins far, far more lux than you remember. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds doesn't make any apologies for that, which is part of its charm. It doesn't particularly care about the version of the Enterprise or its crew you may or may not be holding in your head, and heart. It simply wants to tell Trek stories the way they used to be told — one space battle, one diplomatic summit, one alien virus, one spatial anomaly, one transporter accident at a time.

Terry Terrones of Paste called the Paramount+ production “the trekkiest Star Trek show that’s ever trekked” and says it feels like the first true successor to The Original Series. This critic enjoyed the five episodes made available to press -- and watched them all in one sitting:

Overall, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is an absolute blast. It’s full of compelling characters and its episodic format not only serves as yet another bridge to The Original Series, but also allows viewers to see the action aboard the Enterprise from multiple perspectives, which is refreshing. Smart, addictive and flat out fun, Strange New Worlds is the best Star Trek series since The Next Generation and acts as a faithful love letter to the original. Old fan or new, this is a trek you’ll certainly want to take.

Only seven critics have rated the series on Rotten Tomatoes but, based on its first five episodes, it stands at 100% fresh. It's streaming home must have felt confident about the series, because a second season has already begun filming and will introduce Paul Wesley as James T. Kirk. For now, though, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1 is set to premiere Thursday, May 5. With a Paramount+ subscription, you can see new episodes when they release every week. A subscription will also get you access to these other Paramount+ shows, and be sure to check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what's premiering and returning soon.

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.