Good idea to return to ‘planet-of-the-week’ format for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

The folks at Star Trek will be returning to the conventional “planet of the week” concept for the upcoming Strange New Worlds series.

Alex Kurtzman spoke to Deadline on Sunday and revealed that Henry Myers and Akiva Goldsman are going to return to the original Star Trek way of telling stories for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Something Star Trek: Voyager and The Next Generation did quite well. Each week will be a new mission, with new aliens on a new planet. While there will be two-parters and a larger overall arc for the season, there won’t be as much connectivity between episodes as we’ve seen on other series.

I think Strange New Worlds, under the guidance of Henry Myers and Akiva Goldsman, it’s going to be a return in a way to TOS [Star Trek: The Original Series]. We are going to do stand-alone episodes. There will be emotional serialization. There will be two-parters. There will be larger plot arcs. But it really is back to the model of alien-of-the-week, planet-of-the-week, challenge-on-the-ship-of-the-week. With these characters pre-Kirk’s Enterprise. I think what people responded so much to in all three characters is this kind of relentless optimism that they have. And that they are at the young phase of their careers.

The idea of keeping things optimistic is a big component of the series. That’s something many fans have noticed hasn’t been as prevalent in more recent Star Trek series, and a good number of those same fans lament that the series has moved away from that idea.

The idea of optimism and returning to the “planet of the week” formula are two ideas some disgruntled fans have been wanting to see. For Star Trek: Strange New Worlds to give fans both concepts should make a lot of fans really happy. That’s why this is a great idea.

Personally, serialized television is a great medium. It can have its drawbacks, however. Instead of watching a 20-hour movie, sometimes you get filler episodes, or you might miss a week or two and feel obliged to watch those episodes just so you can keep up with the newest installments. Yet, with this concept, you can largely jump in and out of the series and not miss too much.

It allows the show to breathe more and explores unique concepts that maybe don’t work as a seasonal arch, or as a two-parter. For instance, Voyager’s Tuvix. That would not work over multiple episodes. So instead you keep it contained to one and it ends up having a profound effect on the fanbase all these years later. It’s allowed to exist within itself and that’s what’s important.