Since the resurgence of the Star Trek franchise on CBS All Access, there's a sizable proportion of the franchise base felt left out longing for the traditional non-serialized storytelling they grew accustomed to since the days of The Original Series. Upon conception, Discovery and Picard became live-action serials series and the animated Lower Decks as a non-serial comedy, producers are now filling the voice for traditional Trek storytelling again with Strange New Worlds. With Discovery abandoning the pre-Kirk timeline for 293 years into the future, the new series fills in that void conveniently now. Joining host Mica Burton for the Star Trek Day panel were stars Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn, Ethan Peck, and executive producers Akiva Goldsman, Henry Alonso Myers, Akela Cooper, and Davy Perez.
Mount, Romijn, and Peck made their Star Trek debut on the second season of Discovery as Capt. Christopher Pike, Number One, and Spock, respectively taking the bulk of the narrative. Anyone versed in the franchise history, the core trio comprised the original crew of creator Gene Roddenberry in The Original Series pilot episode "The Cage". At the behest of NBC, the entire crew was scrapped with the exception of Spock and swapped with the Kirk crew we know today with William Shatner as the new captain taking over Jeffrey Hunter's Pike. The footage from "The Cage" became repurposed in "The Menagerie." Speaking of "The Menagerie", Mount addressed how his Discovery premonition will affect him going into the new series.
In the panel, Goldsman promised Strange New Worlds will stick to the traditional non-serialized format seen with TOS, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. To the uninitiated, it means a new crisis/phenomenon of the week while the crew organically grows together. Cooper and Perez noted that there will be a prevalent theme in a single storytelling thread. Number One will receive a backstory she was deprived of in Discovery since the second season focused more on Pike and Spock. Romijn joked that since her husband Jerry O'Connell also has a role in the franchise as the voice of Commander Jack Ransom in Lower Decks, they both compete over who's the "better" first officer. Goldsman teased a possible future crossover episode between Lower Decks and Strange New Worlds, which he can easily do since ViacomCBS gave him "the keys" to the franchise despite the conflicting formats as animated and live-action, respectively. Goldsman, Myers, Cooper, and Perez all shared personal stories of how the Star Trek affected them growing up.
While Strange New Worlds has long ways away from shooting given the delays thanks to the pandemic, the cast all said they been focusing on re-watching TOS and familiarizing themselves with established canon. Peck even admitting picking up more method study on Spock reading more on philosophy. Despite the announcement to series in May, the cast long knew beforehand shortly around the time they shot their Short Treks segment and had to sit on the news. One alum who will join to direct will be TNG actor and director Jonathan Frakes. He's worked on several Trek projects pulling double duty in front and behind the camera as recently as Picard. Strange New Worlds begins production in 2021 and will air on CBS All Access.