Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E8 – “The Elysian Kingdom”

This week, we get an episode primarily focused on the story of Dr. Jospeh M’Benga. The first of its kind in the 56 year history of the franchise. Played only twice by the late Booker Bradshaw on TOS, Babs Olusanmokun has been able to flesh the character out, even introducing that he is a widower who is raising a young daughter, Rukiya, suffering from an incurable disease. Although that’s the premise we have a the beginning of the episode, “The Elysian Kingdom” provides us with a brief recess from that more serious story, and at the same time, provide us with a bittersweet resolution, as well. Continue reading Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E8 – “The Elysian Kingdom”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E7 – “The Serene Squall”

This week’s episode has the DNA of two different types of episodes. In fact, both halves of “The Serene Squall” deal with stories of deception. One half is played for laughs while the other is dealing with very serious circumstances. A semi-comical, lighter side is in the tradition of “I, Mudd” or “A Piece of the Action.” We watch Captain Pike and the captured Enterprise crew members incite a mutiny among the pirates. The more layered, side of the episode is similar to “Day of the Dove” or “Space Seed” when following the events of Spock aboard the Enterprise. The writers take a big risk with shifting the tone back and forth between the two plots, but in spite of the danger of such a challenging take, the execution is well-handled. Continue reading Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E7 – “The Serene Squall”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E6 – “Life Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach”

This week, things get gravely serious. “Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach” is a sad and disturbing episode where unthinkable acts are presented as commonplace. in the tradition of “A Taste of Armageddon,” we are presented with a though-provoking episode. The story reveals the costs of maintaining a paradise for adults at the expense of our children. Continue reading Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E6 – “Life Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E5 – “Spock Amok”

“Who doesn’t love hijinks?” “Spock Amok” is a lighthearted episode in the tradition of “I, Mudd,” “A Piece of the Action,” or “The Trouble With Tribbles.” Throughout the story, the story also conveys some insightful perspectives on the need for empathy. The fine performances of the entire cast prove to us that SNW is as adept at playing comedy as they have been with drama. Continue reading Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E5 – “Spock Amok”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E3 – “Ghosts of Illyria”

From the trailer for this week’s episode it looked as if we were getting a traditional “disease of the week” story similar to the type that was a staple of TOS beginning with “The Naked Time” and “The Deadly Years.” But “Ghosts of Illyria” is a much more thoughtful examination of how communicable illnesses spread in the same way stereotypes and prejudices do; through ignorance. The writing maintains the high standard we’ve now seen across these first few episode. All in all, this was another strong installment for SNW. Continue reading Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E3 – “Ghosts of Illyria”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E2 – “Children of the Comet”

The second episode, “Children of the Comet” was another entertaining adventure for this prequel series. It introduced us to a new alien species, provided new background information for a character we’ve known for 56 years, and showed us a Starfleet captain struggling with an ancient debate: Do we live our lives under the control of free will or divine will? Although the main conflict was wrapped up by the end, we did a glimpse of some story elements that might play out over the rest of the season. Continue reading Star Trek: Strange New Worlds S1, E2 – “Children of the Comet”

Picard S2, E10 – “Farewell” & Strange New Worlds S1, E1 – “Strange New Worlds”

The aptly-named “Farewell” brought closure to Picard, Season Two. The series finished off with attempts to wrap up many loose plot threads and deliver a few emotional moments to end the season arc with some tearful goodbyes. As for Strange New Worlds, in the self-named pilot, we are introduced to the crew of the U. S. S. Enterprise as their captain, Christopher Pike, is forced out of a self-imposed sabbatical to rescue Number One on a planet that has just developed warp capability. Continue reading Picard S2, E10 – “Farewell” & Strange New Worlds S1, E1 – “Strange New Worlds”