Co-Showrunner Offers an Update For Strange New Worlds
Akiva Goldsman has a long history with Star Trek. First as a young kid growing up in the 70’s watching original series re-runs, to asking friend JJ Abrahms for cameo’s in the two Trek movies he directed, to now being a creative force within the franchise itself. Now merging his fandom with his work, he’s taking Star Trek back to it’s past as Strange New Worlds revisits his childhood on board the original USS Enterprise.
Having been involved in screenwriting since adapting John Grisham novel The Client in 1994, Goldsman has been involved in several hgh profile films including the Da Vinci Code, A Beautiful Mind, I Robot and I am Legend. Though his sights have always been set on the stars and since Discovery’s first episode, The Vulcan Hello, he’s been deeply involved in the Star Trek world.
As a lead creative force, Goldsman has been involved with the production of Discovery as well as co-created the concept for Picard. As he moves forward, he’s taking the reigns for the full time return of Captain Pike in Strange New Worlds.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Goldsman spoke on the show and how it differs from the Trek we’ve come to know in this era.
“It’s unlike the other shows in that it’s really episodic.” Goldsman explained when asked to compare it to his previous works in Discovery and Picard, “We’ve all become very enamored, myself included, with serialized storytelling. And I’m talking to you from behind the stage where we’re shooting Picard, which is deeply serialized. But Strange New Worlds is very much adventure-of-the-week but with serialized character arcs.”
The producer noted the Original Series in terms of style as it’s episodic tone would allow for both hard sci fi and comedy without each episode contributing to a larger piece of the puzzle like Picard or Discovery’s season two hunt for the Red Angel and slow build for Control.
“We want to welcome somebody who knows Trek and make it even better because of the things we have, but we don’t want to alienate those who don’t. If you know Next Gen, Picard is more fun, but you don’t have to watched Next Gen to watch Picard – but by the time we get to episode six you better have watched episodes one through five or your eyes are going to cross. That’s not true with Strange New Worlds where you can drop in, watch one, drop out, then watch another one later.”
In terms of approaching how things have been done so far under the Secret Hideout banner, Goldsman noted that things would be a little different for Strange new worlds, confirming previous comments from himself and Kurtzman, “We want to welcome somebody who knows Trek and make it even better because of the things we have, but we don’t want to alienate those who don’t. If you know Next Gen, Picard is more fun, but you don’t have to watched Next Gen to watch Picard,” he explained of the approach, “But by the time we get to episode six you better have watched episodes one through five or your eyes are going to cross. That’s not true with Strange New Worlds where you can drop in, watch one, drop out, then watch another one later.”
Moving back to an episodic style for the series adds another difference to the multiple shows having different themes as Discovery becomes an adventure, Picard a contemplative drama and Lower Decks being a comedy. For Strange new worlds there may be overall arcs per season, but it sounds more in line with shows such as the original series and Next Generation.
At the end of Discovery’s first season, the Enterprise itself was a bit reveal while the end of the second returrned to the ship to give us another reveal’ the bridge. An updated version of that iconic 60’s style. However, Goldsman has noted that there will be a few more changes as they leave Discovery behind to start a show of it’s own.
“There are a few more reach-backs to The Original Series and the uniforms have been adjusted slightly, the sets are slightly different.” He explained, “Remember the Enterprise existed as a little piece of the show Discovery but now its its own object.”
The sets built for the Entrerprise in Discovery were designed by Tamara Deverell who was a long time fan who wanted to update, but be sensitive to the original series; ensuring that the bridge layout remained roughly the same with the big red helm up front of the captains chair, communications behind with the off-centre turbolift door and the science station to the Captains left. Other set pieces, such as corridors, were all redressed sets.
Meanwhile uniforms were designed by Gersha Phillips, transforming the Discovery pattern into a bright and shiny version of the original series.
Whether Goldsman means the tweaks will be slight, or if they’ll turn out to be dramatic changes, is something we’ll have to wait and see.
You can read the interview in full at The Hollywood Reporter where Goldsman also talks briefly about directing the pilot and the challenges they faced in the pandemic, when the show began to develop and how he feels especially connected to it, his works in other Star Trek shows including Picard and a lot more.
Our latest issue of Comms highlights the new cast for Strange New Worlds and talks in depth – and we mean in depth! – about Discovery’s Third Season with episodic reviews, an overall season analysis and special featuring including a look at the 32nd century tech, the Crossfield Class, Tilly’s Journey, Georgiou’s exit and more! Comms is available as part of SFCQ2’s free membership! To find out more visit our Comms preview or Enlist Today!