While contemporary television series typically take a whole season to tell a story, the upcoming CBS ALL Access Star Trek show Strange New Worlds will be taking a different approach, by utilizing episodic storytelling.
During the Star Trek Day panel for the show, the cast and crew of Strange New Worlds discussed what we can expect from the new series. “It’s a ship, and it’s traveling to strange new worlds, and we’re gonna tell big ideas, science fiction adventures, in an episodic mode, so we have room to kind of meet new aliens, see new ships, visit new cultures,” explained executive producer Henry Alonso Myers.
“…it’s a ship and it’s traveling to strange new worlds, and we’re gonna tell big ideas, science fiction adventures, in an episodic mode, so we have room to kind of meet new aliens, see new ships, visit new cultures.” – @alonsomyers #StarTrekStrangeNewWorlds #StarTrekDay
— Star Trek on CBS All Access (@startrekcbs) September 8, 2020
However, while the show will be episodic, there will still be carryover from one episode to the next via character arcs. An example Myers uses is if someone falls in love, but that all falls apart by the end of the episode, that will still weigh on him in future episodes, bringing “modern character sensibility to the classic episodic storytelling.”
The show, which was announced back in May, will focus on the characters Captain Christopher Pike, Spock, and Number One. It was given a full season order and will be set a decade before the original Star Trek series and will star Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, and Rebecca Romijn–all reprising their roles from Star Trek: Discovery.
“We’re turning to a more episodic model, so that the storytelling is more contained with episodic values, while the character arcs are stretched in more serialized continuity,” added executive producer Akiva Goldsman. “Unlike the new shows–Discovery or Picard–this exists in its own space. In a space where it is both imagined generally by those who came before us but never has actually been delved into specifically. “
There is already one specific plotpoint for the show that will carry over between episodes, according to co-executive producer Akela Cooper. “While we’ll have like individual, one-off plots, the character arcs are what’s going to carry us through in a more serialized fashion,” she said. “I will say there is one plot point that we will be sprinkling through the series until we actually get to the episode, and that’s all I can say about that.”
At the time of this writing, no release date has been set for the show, as it is still in pre-production.