Star Trek: Discovery’s Michelle Paradise says there’s no competition between Strange New Worlds and Discovery, but that’s the problem.
Not since Star Trek was airing Deep Space Nine, Voyager and the first few films featuring The Next Generation crew has Star Trek had this much potential. While the new shows have been up and down with regard to fan reaction, some have faired better than the others. Those that have faired are the newer shows, specifically Strange New World and Prodigy. Discovery has found its audience but it’s still not what it could’ve been.
Picard is dying a death and Lower Decks seems to be the most niche of the shows. Yet, with Picard ending, and Strange New Worlds taking its place as the jewel of the franchise going forward, this is the possibility of a brand new phase of Trek. One that captures the spirit of the Rick Berman and Brannon Braga era of Star Trek.
Michelle Paradise is in charge of Discovery, a show that has seemingly limped along to a fifth season, despite fans getting more and more vocal about the show and its disappointing storytelling each and every season. The third season time-jumped helped but season four saw the return of many of the same complaints.
With the rise of Strange New Worlds, it’s obvious that Discovery is no longer needed, Paramount+ has its new flagship. So with the new hotness on the block, you’d think Paradise would like to crank up the expectations and compete with Strange New Worlds.
That’s not the case, however, as Paradise told The Wrap (via TrekMovie.com) that she doesn’t see the need to compete;
"No, there’s absolutely no competition at all. And one of the things to Alex [Kurtzman]’s credit that he has said from the beginning is that each of these shows needs to occupy its own space within the larger universe because you don’t want two shows that feel very, very similar. So Discovery and Strange New Worlds, for example, feel very different by design. And Discovery is heavily serialized. And when Strange New Worlds came out, I know, they worked very hard to make sure that it would be its own distinct thing."
Discovery needs to start competing with Strange New Worlds for the sake of its reputation
Paradise is right, in the fact that Strange New Worlds is episodic while Discovery is serialized. One is a bunch of episodes that are largely self-contained, and the other is a major-movie viewing experience.
The problem is, that despite that lone difference, everything else is bonk. It’s science fiction about a crew of aliens in space. You’re literally the same show.
Paradise is leading Discovery into obscurity. The show really doesn’t have a single episode that stands out, while it took Strange New Worlds four weeks to bang out an all-time great episode. There is no excuse for Discovery to not be cranking out hits.
They’ve been doing it longer, they have a much better idea of what works and what doesn’t and if the fifth season continues to be as unimpressive as the first four, either Discovery has got to go or Paradise does, as the era of mediocre Trek is over.
Paradise should absolutely start trying to one-up Strange New Worlds with the content they create, because if that’s not the goal, to be the best Star Trek series going, then what are you really doing?