Trekathon Season Review: Strange New Worlds Season 1

Star Trek’s first five season year comes to an end. Spoilers.

So to get the obvious out of the way – this is the best season Star Trek has ever done. It’s consistently fantastic, with only one episode that was even close to a failure (The Elysian Kingdom). At the other end I’m genuinely torn for best episode – half the season is a strong candidate. Probably A Quality of Mercy, given my Trek-nerd leanings. But Children of the Comet, Memento Mori, Lift Us…, The Serene Squall and All Those Who Wander are also strong contenders.

Every single aspect of the show is firing on all cylinders. Anson Mount as Pike is an incredible lead. But every other member of the cast performs well, bringing subtlety and humour to their roles. The writing is consistently fantastic, with good dialogue implementing interesting stories. And even the visual effects are consistently great.

It can be a little hard to watch the season at times as it is determinedly non-serial. To the point where it can be a bit jarring to not see follow ups – such as to the Sybok reveal, or Hemmer’s death. We’ve been programmed by most modern TV, Trek included, to expect more serial story telling. It is here, notably in the Gorn, but in a very different way to other shows. On balance for me it shows that Trek shines when it’s allowed to tell different stories every week. But there does feel like there’s a little something missing at times. Of course, you only need to look at Discovery to see how that can go very wrong.

But unlike Discovery, I’m very excited for what the next season of Strange New Worlds might bring.

The very best of Trek:

– SNW Season 1
– PIC Season 1
– TNG Season 6
– DS9 Season 2
– PIC Season 2

Strong performers:

– LD Season 1
– DS9 Season 5
– TNG Season 3
– TNG Season 5
– TOS Season 2
– DIS Season 2
– ENT Season 3
– TNG Season 4
– VOY Season 4

Mixed bag:

– TOS Season 1
– DS9 Season 4
– LD Season 2
– DIS Season 1
– ST Season 2
– DS9 Season 1
– ENT Season 4
– DIS Season 3
– ST Season 1
– VOY Season 5
– ENT Season 1
– VOY Season 1
– TNG Season 7

Not good:

– DS9 Season 3
– DS9 Season 6
– DIS Season 4
– VOY Season 6
– VOY Season 3
– TNG Season 2
– ENT Season 2
– TAS Season 1

Really just awful:

– VOY Season 7
– VOY Season 2
– DS9 Season 7
– TOS Season 3
– TAS Season 2
– TNG Season 1

And that’s it for the 2021-22 TV year. The 2022-23 year will probably include the remainder of Prodigy Season 1, Picard Season 3, Discovery Season 5 and Lower Decks Season 3.