Strange New Worlds Vs TOS

Short version of the results: while Kirk attacked a lone Romulan ship and avoided a war, Pike’s attempt to avoid hostilities gets many people killed, including Spock (Ethan Peck), meaning the Vulcan isn’t around to save the universe the many, many times he does during the events of the Original Series and various movies. Basically, things get very, very bad if Pike tries to avoid his fate, and so he ends up embracing it, no matter the cost to himself, because he knows it’s for the greater good.


As the guy who has only returned to Star Trek for Strange New Worlds’ classic feel and episodic storytelling, I’m still delighted by this homage. While I had the sense while watching it that the show was doing something extremely fan service-y, the finale worked just fine for me on its own. In fact, I didn’t know “Balance of Terror” existed until I read io9 Fearless Leader and aforementioned obsessive Trek fan James Whitbrook’s recap, at which point I watched the classic episode immediately, and retroactively enjoyed “A Quality of Mercy” even more.

Alas, Strange New Worlds’ second season won’t appear on the Paramount+ streaming app until next year. But I can’t wait to see what the show does next.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misidentified Captain Kirk’s ship. io9 regrets the error.

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