The upcoming series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will take us back to the time when Christopher Pike was the captain of the USS Enterprise as they explore the final frontier years before a man named James T. Kirk takes over the ship. There have been questions about the series' structure and now we have an answer from one of the people behind it.
Co-creator Akiva Goldsman recently spoke with TrekMovie regarding the series in which he revealed the storytelling structure and how it will be different from the current Star Trek shows.
"We are returning fundamentally to episodic storytelling," Goldsman said. "What is unique about this particular Star Trek show in the current Star Trek Universe is that it is fully episodic. Now, when I say "fully" I'm slightly exaggerating in that the character arcs are still serialized. It's not like Jim Kirk will see Edith Keeler die one week and be fine the next week as it was in The Original Series."
He also added, "Our characters will carry with them what they suffer from, or what they learned, from episode to episode. But the stories are episodic. And that allows us to do something that The Original Series is quite good at, to give you slightly different tones. And to give you—for lack of a better word—hidden morals of the story. Like an O. Henry turn, like a Twilight Zone that gives you a kind of pop that really is the province of episodic storytelling."
There you go, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will be in an episodic structure, just like how The Original Series was. The only catch here is that the character arcs will still be serialized. It is just like some TV shows today where we see characters handling different cases or missions in each episode, but there's still an overarching character storyline that is usually resolved by the end of the season.
To be fair to The Original Series, even though it was in episodic structure and has an anthological feel, there was still some character development all throughout the three seasons, especially to Kirk and Spock. Their personalities didn't reset in every episode. Unfortunately, the series was canceled too soon, but the characters were able to continue their journey in the feature films starting in 1979.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is set to stream on Paramount+ in 2022.