If you’re even the slightest of Star Trek fans, you have to be at least somewhat excited about the arrival of Strange New Worlds, the upcoming series following the adventures of the USS Enterprise before one James T. Kirk sat in its captain’s chair. The chance to see classic Original Series characters like Christopher Pike, Number One, Spock, and Uhura again is tempting indeed — especially when you get peeks like this.
Focused on Celia Rose Gooding’s young Nyota Uhura, this oh-so-brief preview shows the character’s early days as a cadet on the Enterprise — early days which include uncomfortable alien contact, ship-to-ship combat, and a lot of warm fuzzies from the crew:
Here’s what I love about this video, brief as it is: Pike and Spock just telling Uhura how talented she is and how lucky the Enterprise is to have her, even just as a cadet. The positivity for her is both welcome and satisfying, as is the potential positivity of Strange New Worlds itself, especially coming after the darker, more conflicted Trek tales of Discovery and Picard. What I love/have always loved about the franchise — and I am one of those aforementioned meager fans — is The Original Series and its utopian view of the future. That’s been out of vogue for a long while in Star Trek, as both of the current TV series have examined the cracks in the facade of the Federation, and examined the dark parts that facade has been hiding.
While there’s a certain… relevance nowadays to stories that confront the idea that things might be shittier than anyone realised, I think that leaves a lot of room for some kind of inspirational, aspirational fiction story, and something akin to The Original Series would do the trick nicely. I can’t imagine Strange New Worlds won’t have its dark moments, of course, but if everyone on the Enterprise wants to take a few moments each episode to talk about how much they all appreciate each other, that’d be fine by me.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds stars Anson Mount as Captain Pike, Rebecca Romjin as Number One, Ethan Peck as Spock, Jess Bush as Nurse Chapel, and of course Gooding as Uhura. It premieres May 5 on Paramount+.