When Captain Pike, Spock, Number One, and the crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 embark on new adventures in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, the show will be a throwback to the franchise’s traditional planet-of the week. This means that for the first time — ever — Strange New Worlds is poised to fulfill the promise of The Original Series, and actually depict new alien lifeforms that actually look like aliens.
In a new interview with Deadline, producer Alex Kurtzman shared this enticing description of what the next Trek spinoff will look like:
“[Strange New Worlds] is going to be a return in a way to TOS. We are going to do stand-alone episodes. There will be emotional serialization. There will be two-parters. There will be larger plot arcs. But it really is back to the model of alien-of-the-week, planet-of-the-week, challenge-on-the-ship-of-the-week. With these characters pre-Kirk’s Enterprise.”
For readers of serious science fiction, one of the biggest (and oldest!) criticisms of Star Trek’s portrayal of alien life is that everybody tends to have two arms, two legs, and one head. Within Trek’s canon, there’s an explanation for this in the TNG episode “The Chase.” Billions of years ago, a bipedal alien race “seeded” the galaxy with the blueprint for various species to evolve into what we think of as “humanoids.” TNG essentially argued evolution happened because some bipedal aliens wanted it that way.