Star Trek Strange New Worlds – Season two wishlist!By Matthew Martin| September 14, 2022 TV Blogs Season one of Strange New Worlds is in the books and attention from Trekkies now turns to season two. Naturally, I have things I’d like to see happen, things I’d like to see be emphasized, and things I hope go away completely. The frustrating part of all this is that season two has already been filmed. It wrapped a couple of months ago in fact and was already well underway when the first season only just hit the air. That makes it a bit of a gamble as the things on my wishlist are probably on a lot of fans’ wishlists and were inspired, in large part, by what was seen and what wasn’t seen in the first season. TV shows shouldn’t be written entirely at the whims and wishes of the audience, but it’s a needless risk to completely ignore what the viewers think about your show and just forge ahead with whatever you want to do. We’ve written a lot on this site about shows like Star Trek DS9, Battlestar Galactica, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and each of those shows had loyal, dedicated fans, and an online community (in the primitive, early days of such things) who vocalized what they thought the shows were doing poorly and successfully. It’s no shock that those shows’ writers often read those old message boards and, again, it’s no shock that they often incorporated the feedback from those sites into their writing. They certainly didn’t write an entire season’s worth of episodes before the first batch was even seen. But here we are, with Strange New Worlds season two already being edited and its special effects being implemented. There’s not much to be done with the ten stories that will comprise the backbone of the season. Fortunately, if season two is anything like season one, that won’t be too much of a problem: Season one’s stories were overall very good. There were a few clunkers, but also a few brilliant outings, and in between was just some good classic Trek action. If nothing else, I expect more of that from season two. If I was to get a little more specific I might offer some wants and wishes, such as… FEWER ATTEMPTS AT COMEDY AND HIJINKS If “Lift us Up where Suffering Cannot Reach” provided the template for what kind of episodes I want to see more of (more of that in a sec), then “Spock Amok” and, to a lesser extent, “The Serene Squall” (both 6/10 episodes) were the cautionary tales that remind us that there are still some bad habits the Kurtzman staff need to break. Comedy can work in Star Trek, but over the half-century history of the franchise, it has only ever worked when it is character/dialogue-based humor. Joke-based humor falls flat every time it’s tried in a Star Trek show, and every single show has tried it to zero success. Slapstick hijinks-based humor also falls flat. The overall tone of the show just doesn’t allow that brand of humor to feel natural in any way, shape, or form. Honestly, the ongoing relationship between Spock and T’Pring could be dropped entirely and I wouldn’t even notice it was gone. Pirate episodes are fine, but I prefer something more like “Starship Mine” than I do the silly way it was done in “The Serene Squall.” MORE “PLANET OF THE WEEK” MORALITY PLAYS Easily my number one want for season two is for the crew to beam down to more “strange new worlds,” encounter the differences in their culture vs the Federation’s utopian society, bring the discrepancy to head with a conflict of some kind, and end with a moral lesson being learned, not only by the villain of the episode but by viewers at home. That is basically Star Trek in its purest, most distilled form. It’s not about space battles and phaser fights, though it has had plenty of great ones over the years. It’s not about weird alien designs or even a celebration of scientific advancements that will come in the future. It’s not about the future at all, really. Star Trek is about the present, but it uses the future to show us why we—in the present—need to get off our butts and start making the current world a better place so that the future of Trek can become an eventual present day. The best way to show that aspirational side of what we can be is by showing us worlds that haven’t yet (or never will) live up to those ideals. The highlight of the first season, in my opinion, was the 10/10 episode “Lift us Up where Suffering Cannot Reach.” It took us down to a planet, gave us a mystery, revealed the horror, taught us a lesson, and beamed us up to fly off to the next one. Do that twenty-six times and you’ve got an Original Series season. Do it ten times and you’ve got a pretty amazing second season of Strange New Worlds. (I’m okay with sprinkling in a few space battle episodes too, I suppose) FEWER CONCERNS ABOUT TIP-TOEING AROUND CANON Honestly, who even cares anymore? These new shows are all so far removed in look, budget, tone, presentation, you name it, from the Berman-led shows that I grew up on, and certainly from the kitschy 60s show that started it all, that it might as well belong to a different universe entirely. We had Romulans in the season one finale, but only as part of a timey-wimey recreation of TOS’ Balance of Terror. We had the Gorn pop up here and there, a race that’s not supposed to be seen face-to-face until Kirk’s time as captain, so the show was very careful never to give us a proper meeting with the aliens, but they crept up as close to that line as they could in the horror-themed episode “All Those Who Wander.” At this point, just do your thing, SNW. Don’t worry about canon. We haven’t seen Klingons yet. Why? Probably because the show doesn’t have a clue how to present them. The series exists in a weird spot on a Venn diagram between the Original Series and Discovery. The former show had Klingons that looked like white dudes in brown makeup with “cliched oriental facial hair” glued onto their faces. The latter show had Klingons that looked like the Creature from the Black Lagoon crossed with an Ubervamp from Buffy. The show very much wants to be a prequel to TOS, but it also acknowledges its origins as a spinoff to Discovery. What do we do with Klingons? Who cares? Just get them on screen. They’re THE enemy race of this time period. Do something with them. Do anything with them. Make them a cross between the empire-expanding imperialists of the TOS days and the honor-bound warriors of the TNG days, or show some other, completely new side of them. Don’t worry about trying to make the show fit in the canon. It basically can’t. No line connects Discovery seasons 1-2 to The Original Series in a way that doesn’t spark up a massive headache. They might as well be different franchises. Just do your thing. * * * * * As said, SNW’s second season is already written and shot. Maybe one or two of these suggestions will be implemented. Maybe none of them will. Either way, the season we got earlier this year left me with a pleasant taste in my mouth, which isn’t something I’ve been able to say about Star Trek on TV since…midway through Voyager. I’m excited to see what comes next for Pike and co.