All sequels, spin-offs, and remakes are inherently driven, to a degree, by a desire to exploit an audience’s attachment to the familiar, and “Strange New Worlds” is certainly no exception. “Strange New Worlds” is the franchise’s most blatant nostalgia cash-in since the 2009 movie, returning the franchise to its home aboard the original USS Enterprise and populating it with familiar characters from the 1960s. We’ll argue the producers of “Strange New Worlds” have already used up most of their allotted nostalgia budget on the concept alone, and from here on out they’re going to have to come up with their own ideas.
If “Strange New Worlds” spends its first season revisiting worlds and cultures from existing “Star Trek” series, playing host to already-established guest characters, or doing prequel stories providing backstory for events that take place on “The Original Series,” “The Next Generation,” or later, this will stifle the development of its own identity. Even following up too often on “Discovery,” the series of which “Strange New Worlds” is a direct spin-off, would likely be a mistake. That’s not to say that they can’t ever have the likes of Harry Mudd, Ash Tyler, or T’Pol show up (she’d only be 180, it could happen), they just have to give us time to fall in love with the new show first.
The title is “Strange New Worlds,” after all — if the worlds aren’t new, why bother?