Star Trek: Unusual New Worlds season 1, episode 3 evaluate: “A Trek story on autopilot continues to be inherently watchable” By Richard Edwards revealed 19 Could 22 Evaluation

Warning: Our Star Trek: Unusual New Worlds season 1, episode 3 evaluate comprises main spoilers – lots of them set to stun. Boldly go additional at your personal threat…

After properly over 800 tales informed throughout seven many years, 11 TV sequence, and 13 films, official Star Trek continuity is arguably much more labyrinthine than Star Wars’ galaxy far, far-off. Throw within the missions from Trek’s quite a few spin-off novels and comics – AKA the non-canon Beta storylines – and also you’re taking a look at a lot content material that even Lt Cmdr Information would take his time getting via all of it.

The present crop of Star Trek reveals has a confirmed observe report of plundering the franchise’s in depth on-screen again catalog for plot, however ‘Ghosts of Illyria’ launches Unusual New Worlds into the realms of that wealthy expanded universe. That the Enterprise’s first officer, Quantity One (Rebecca Romijn), is definitely an Illyrian – a member of a genetically engineered race of augmented people – had been lengthy established in novels. Now – a lot as Star Wars Rebels lifted Grand Admiral Thrawn from Timothy Zahn’s traditional Expanded Universe novels – the historical past she’s beforehand saved hidden from her shipmates is formally a part of mainstream Trek canon.

With Quantity One (we now know her full title is Una Chin-Riley) delivering the scene-setting log entry firstly of the episode, there’s by no means any doubt this week’s focus shall be firmly on her. The truth is, by the point the opening titles roll round, she’s already assumed command of the Enterprise, with Captain Pike trapped (alongside Spock) on the floor of the present’s newest unusual new world. 

The crew had beamed down to research the disappearance of a bunch of Illyrian settlers, whose genetic modifications have made them – and any related expertise – unlawful within the Federation. It rapidly turns into clear, nonetheless, that Pike and co have stumbled into an unlikely melting pot of acquainted Trek clichés, with an approaching ion storm forcing the speedy evacuation of the away crew, leaving key officers out of communications vary, and exposing the Enterprise a harmful and extremely infectious virus.

Each the unique sequence and The Subsequent Era handled unconventional contagion early of their runs (with ‘The Bare Time’ and ‘The Bare Now’, respectively), so ‘Ghosts of Illyria’ feels prefer it’s exploring overly acquainted territory – regardless that the specter of Covid-19 provides a spooky, all-too-real dimension to the story’s novel pathogen and lockdowns. 

Whereas the plotting is something however unique, the signs are removed from standard, as crew members develop a thirst for mild so unquenchable that Ensign Lance (the ship’s reply to Timothée Chalamet) is quickly shoving his head via a pc panel to get his photon repair. Quantity One can also be briefly contaminated, however after a quick episode of intense glowing – it appears to be like like Unusual New Worlds’ results crew have borrowed some visuals from Iron Man 3’s Extremis troopers – she’s seemingly within the clear. Might her immunity be linked to her Illyrian DNA? 

The reply is rarely unsure, and that’s the episode’s drawback in a nutshell. Few of the plot twists in ‘Ghosts of Illyria’ will come as a shock to anybody who’s watched Star Trek earlier than, with lots of them telegraphed from mild years away. Certainly, given Spock’s well-publicized mind, it’s baffling he has to learn so most of the Illyrians’ journals earlier than he realizes that the bubbling ghosts floating across the planet’s floor are literally the settlers in a brand new non-corporeal type.  

Again on the ship, Una has grow to be a one-woman taskforce, providing her augmented immune system because the supply of a remedy – it received’t work, the medics declare, as a result of her super-antibodies have already vanished – whereas stopping her contaminated shipmates from killing themselves with objects like super-heated fragments of planetary cores. 

The answer to the epidemic is sort of farcically handy, based mostly round an inexcusable second of deus ex machina that sees Una defending La’an from a warpcore-induced dose of radiation, whereas concurrently producing the antibodies that may save the crew. 

(Picture credit score: Paramount)

The excellent news, nonetheless, is that even when Unusual New Worlds is telling a Trek story on autopilot, it will probably’t assist being inherently watchable. 

Whereas ‘Ghosts of Illyria’ sticks to the standalone story system that’s been serving Unusual New Worlds so properly, it’s additionally discovering methods to develop its characters – arguably the sequence’ strongest weapon – at spectacular pace. And regardless that the snigger rely is a bit decrease than in earlier episodes, Andorian engineer Hemmer is staking a declare for the title of most sarcastic officer in Starfleet, whereas Pike and Spock’s barely antagonistic interaction proves that being caught on a hostile alien world doesn’t must be uninteresting. “Take into account skipping to the tip earlier than the storm tears this constructing aside,” the captain reminds his verbose science officer, simply certainly one of many moments that hints their relationship might grow to be simply as memorable as the long-lasting Kirk/Spock axis. 

However there’s no query that Quantity One is primary on this episode’s name sheet, as a personality who debuted in unique Star Trek pilot ‘The Cage’ will get her first moments of real on-screen improvement. As you’d count on from the primary officer on the flagship of the Federation, she’s good at her job, however ‘Ghosts of Illyria’ permits her to evolve past the logical, environment friendly exterior that’s historically been the character’s trademark. 

Simply as The Subsequent Era step by step developed Worf’s relationship together with his Klingon homeworld, Una’s augmented heritage is sure to be explored additional as Unusual New Worlds progresses – particularly now that La’an has revealed that being a descendent of Khan Noonien Singh has made her considerably hostile in direction of anybody with an artificially enhanced genome. 

Pike’s sympathetic refusal to simply accept Quantity One’s resignation is an excellent show of solidarity, and it undeniably informs her determination to permit Dr M’Benga to maintain his terminally in poor health daughter in stasis in a transporter buffer – regardless that his actions led to the virus making it on board the Enterprise.

That stated, from Kirk to Picard and past, Starfleet commanding officers have an extended historical past of turning a blind eye to breaches of Federation protocol – in an episode as by-the-book as ‘Ghosts of Illyria’, another final result merely wouldn’t really feel proper.

Star Trek: Unusual New Worlds is at present airing now within the US on Paramount Plus. A UK airdate is TBC – although Paramount Plus launches within the UK on June 22. For extra, take a look at our information to the Star Trek timeline.

Artificial: Vik Information

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