We are finally getting our first look at the newest/oldest version of Star Trek’s Enterprise (not counting the one captained by Scott Bakula). At the 2022 TCA, Paramount released a poster for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, their newest upcoming streaming Trek related show. Here it is…
The poster shows the (presumably) the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 crossing against a golden sun, with a massive planet and a smaller moon in the background. Beneath the iconic Federation ship, you can see a rocky, desert-like terrain covered in shrub and what appears to be a figure on horseback gazing up to the sky. Could be a space horse, though. There’s also the silhouette of brightly lit towers far in the distance, so it’s unknown exactly what technological level this particular strange new world is at. It is a striking image, and (most likely) consciously harkens back to the origins of Star Trek, which show creator Gene Roddenberry described as “Wagon Train to the stars.”
For comparison to Star Trek: Strange New Worlds‘ take on the legendary space vessel, here is a side by side of the original series’ ship and the newer show Star Trek: Discovery’s titular spacecraft. The image from the Star Trek: TOS is actually from the digital enhancement project Paramount undertook to update the imagery from the 1960s film stock of the show, but it’s a pretty close thing. The major difference with the Star Trek: Discovery is the level of detail and shading to be seen on the Enterprise, and the vividness of the lights. See it here:
In theory the Discovery version of Enterprise should be pretty identical to the one they’re using in Strange New Worlds. The poster confirms that they are basically going with the same digital model. If there are any changes, they aren’t evident from the view we get in the poster.
As a franchise, Star Trek has a pretty convoluted continuity, and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is no exception. Although it will function as a direct prequel to the original series with Kirk, McCoy, and all the rest, it is more immediately a spinoff of the second season of Star Trek: Discovery. That show introduced actors Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn, and Ethan Peck as respectively Captain Christopher Pike, Number One and Spock, who were canonically the bridge crew of the Enterprise before the original episodes. So, to be clear, this new show is a spinoff of a different new show that was a prequel to the original show, and this one is also a prequel, but a little bit later (and still before TOS). Got it?
Production began on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds in March 2020, and fan anticipation has only been growing since then. The rest of the main cast will be comprised of Babs Olusanmokun, Christina Chong, Celia Rose Gooding, Jess Bush, and Melissa Navia. The show will also reportedly have a non-binary gendered permanent character. Given that the franchise as a whole has long been noted for pushing the boundaries of social mores, this is a welcome addition. The series promises to bring the franchise back to its roots as a “planet of the week” style show, in which the Enterprise commences its continuing mission to seek out, well, you know. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is set to premiere on May 5.