If you ask an 8-year-old today what they want to be when they grow up, they might answer, “a YouTube Star.” If you asked an 8-year-old the same question 35 years ago, they might have responded, “an astronaut!”
In the 1980s and ’90s, the space program loomed large in the popular culture of the United States. After the Apollo moon landings in the late ’60s and early ’70s, NASA went on to develop an iconic ship called the space shuttle that first blasted into orbit in 1981. The space shuttle was our first attempt to create a real starbound vessel that first appeared on our televisions and then grew in our imaginations—The USS Enterprise—the spaceship from Star Trek the Original Series that aired from 1966 to 1969.
Canceled after 70 episodes (and considered a failure), the original series found new life on syndicated network TV in the ’70s and eventually took on a cult-like status. Names such as Captain Kirk and Spock became household names. Phrases such as “live long and prosper,” “warp speed,” and “beam me up, Scottie” entered our collective vocabulary. Eventually, the original series and its slow-burn popularity spawned movies and multiple TV spin offs. Today, Star Trek is considered one of the most popular and influential TV series of all time.
Fans of Star Trek have a reason to rejoice (yet again!). A new series called Star Trek – Strange New Worlds is currently streaming on Paramount+ and on Crave in Canada. Situated 10 years before the original Star Trek series, the show follows Capt. Christopher Pike and a young Spock as they navigate the newly minted Enterprise on its first mission to explore the galaxy.
Stylistically, the creators chose to harken back to the feel of the original series in the ’60s—making the show more “episodic” than serialized—meaning that each episode tells a story with its own beginning and end (although shows can build on each other). Also, the set design and costume design takes its cues from the fashion of the original series—a fresh translation of a mid-century-modern vibe.
Star Trek – Strange New Worlds is scheduled for a total of 10 episodes and is currently shooting a second season to be released sometime in 2023. Maybe you’ll never be an astronaut or view the stars through a porthole on a space shuttle. That’s OK—you can still explore the galaxy by hitching a ride with your imagination on the Starship Enterprise, riding shotgun with Captain Pike and Spock—boldly going where no one has gone before! (Paramount+ and Crave in Canada)