Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has done the near unthinkable; bring fans together.
There is a divide in Star Trek right now between fans who like Nu Trek and the fans who don’t. The fans of shows like Discovery, Picard, and Lower Decks like that the shows are not like past Trek shows. The fans who don’t like those shows cite that same reason as to why they don’t like Nu Trek. Claiming that it’s not in line with the soul of the series. Now, you can like or not like whatever you want. I’m merely telling you what’s happening outside of your own respective echo chambers. Paramount is aware of the division and the lackluster numbers and has decided to try to appease everyone with their newer shows like Prodigy and Strange New Worlds.
For the most part, it’s worked. Prodigy is a great all-ages show for fans of Star Trek, yet it’s Strange New Worlds that is seemingly earning universal praise for its first episode.
Pundits are giving Strange New Worlds praise, with IGN saying about the first five episodes (which is all they were given to review) that “…if the first five episodes are any indication, this is just really good Star Trek.”
Variety also reviewed Strange New Worlds and talked about how the series rejected the notion of “subverting expectations”, which is the worst trend creators are doing. It sank the Star Wars movie trilogy and countless other franchises. Instead of giving fans what they didn’t want, Strange New Worlds instead gave fans what they did want.
Somehow that worked, with Variety saying, “Where ‘Discovery’ spent most of its first season putting on and taking off half a dozen different identities, ‘Strange New Worlds’ is content to fall back on the basics: a likable cast traveling the galaxy, having wacky sci-fi adventures, and generally having a hell of a good time.”
What do fans think of Strange New Worlds?
We know critics can give an incomplete view of a show. They’re only given the first few episodes, and their “season grades”, like on Rotten Tomatoes, are taken from those first few episodes. So if the show falls apart due to a continuous narrative, it isn’t reflected in their grades. That’s where the fan score comes into play. The fan score is updated continuously. So if the story falls flat, you’ll know from their reviews.
Rotten Tomatoes has Strange New Worlds at a 100% critic score and an 88% fan score. For reference, the two “best” shows in Star Trek, The Next Generation, and Deep Space Nine have an 89% and an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes from fans. These are the two shows most fans would say are their favorite or the “best” the franchise has to offer.
Sure, it’s one episode, but to be right there with the two more universally praised shows says something. Especially when you compare it to Discovery’s 36% or Picard’s 41%.
Now, I believe the IMDB rankings are a bit more accurate, simply because Rotten Tomatoes basically does the old “Do you like me, yes or no?” way of getting their scores. See, an 88% isn’t a B+ like many think. It just means that 88% of reviewers gave it a grade that was “good enough”. So it really doesn’t do a good separating the good from the amazing.
IMDB, however, does in fact the opposite. Shows and movies are graded out of 10. So you can tell the difference between a show’s quality of the number and where it falls in comparison.
For IMDB, The Next Generation has an 8.7, Deep Space Nine has an 8.1, Discovery has a 7.0, and Picard has a 7.3. So in the context of the four most often cited shows, Strange New Worlds is doing great with an 8.2.
So, for at least the first five episodes, Strange New Worlds is promised to be a bonafide hit.