Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will see the series return to its original roots that were established in the 1960s with the original franchise. The original Star Trek series rarely had any connecting arcs that stretched across seasons, and whatever continuations were largely kept to the two-parters. This allowed the original franchise to be able to focus on other elements beyond just science fiction.
This is something that Strange New Worlds wants to emulate, according to series producer Akiva Goldsman. Goldsman talked to the Hollywood Reporter and talked about a series of topics, with the first being about what to expect from the series once it finally does air.
So you’ve started filming Strange New Worlds. How does it compare and contrast to the other Trek shows so far?
"It’s unlike the other shows in that it’s really episodic. If you think back to The Original Series, it was a tonally more liberal — I don’t mean in terms of politics, but it could sort of be more fluid. Like sometimes Robert Bloch would write a horror episode. Or Harlan Ellison would have “City on the Edge of Forever,” which is hard sci-fi. Then there would be comedic episodes, like “Shore Leave” or “The Trouble With Tribbles.” So [co-showrunner] Henry Alonso Myers and myself are trying to serve that. 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."
With the series set to be more fluid tonally, this will allow the series to adapt to more the style of what we got from Short Treks. A more varied and dynamic set of episodes across the season, which won’t just feature one set trend or note that we’ve gotten from Discovery or Picard.
The constant part that keeps getting brought up was the combination of the classic, new-tone-new-week format, and a more seasonal narrative as well. This seems to imply that Strange New Worlds won’t be afraid to do what other shows like Voyager and Deep Space Nine did. Both shows, and The Next Generation, had seasonal arcs but didn’t let the larger narrative prohibit week-to-week antics.
Each of the three above series had whacky, funny, and scary episodes in its catalog, so it seems like Strange New Worlds will adapt that idea but to a much more dynamic level. It should be interesting to see how it turns out.