Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1 Episodes Ranked According To IMDb

With a second season coming in the near future, fans of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds can look back on the show's first season as a triumph for the Trek franchise. Though every show has its peaks and valleys, the premiere season of the new series was one of the most consistent in Star Trek's long history.

The season ran the gamut from dramatic to humorous, and really captured the spirit of the franchise in many of its more gripping episodes. Though the entire season was of a constant quality, only the best episodes garnered higher scores on IMDb.

10 The Elysian Kingdom (Episode 8) - 6.1

The Original Series wasn't without its sillier moments, and "The Elysian Kingdom" was a throwback to those episodes. After venturing into a mysterious nebula, the crew of the Enterprise finds themselves trapped in a fairy tale by the benevolent consciousness that rules that area of space.

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Fantasy has often crept its way into Trek, and yet "The Elysian Kingdom" didn't quite hit the mark. Though it was interesting to see characters go against type, it didn't gel with the mood of the rest of the season. The strong performances weren't enough to make up for what was ultimately a lackluster story.

9 The Serene Squall (Episode 7) - 7.3

Space is a dangerous place to be in the Star Trek universe, and "The Serene Squall" illustrated yet another danger that Federation crews face when boldly going. The crew finds themselves pinned down to different parts of the ship as a band of ruthless space pirates attempt to take over the Enterprise.

Though a bit more action-oriented than conventional Trek stories, it wasn't without its clever elements as well. Considering the fact that the Enterprise is on a humanitarian mission, it makes their success all the more imperative. In the end, the episode wasn't the best that the series had to offer, but it showed off the morals of the characters and how brains can beat brawn.

8 Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach Us (Episode 6) - 7.9

One of the things that makes Captain Pike one of the most likable characters on the show is the fact that he allows himself to be vulnerable. "Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach Us" sees the Captain assisting the denizens of an idyllic planet who are threatened by a deadly conspiracy. While there, he is reunited with the former love of his life.

Though the episode is a shining moment for Pike, it is still somewhat muddy in its execution. It featured a lot of disparate elements that didn't blend together perfectly, and lacked the simplicity of other Trek stories. Nevertheless, it gave the viewer further insight into Pike's character and helped to explain how he became the man he is as captain of the Enterprise.

7 Ghosts Of Illyria (Episode 3) - 7.9

The early episodes of the season often dealt with secrets, and it became clear that most characters had something in their past that haunted them. "Ghosts of Illyria" finds Una at a crossroads when a dangerous virus infects most of the ship. In order to save the crew, she must come to grips with her own secret past and put aside her fear of judgment.

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Infection plots aren't new in Trek, and there wasn't anything particularly special about the storyline of the episode. Its true strength comes from Una's journey, and her revelation that she is an Illyrian. She was a somewhat vague character in the first two episodes, but the third gave the audience chance to learn more about her.

6 Children Of The Comet (Episode 2) - 8.1

Even though it is frequently compared to The Original Series, Strange New Worlds often reflects the best episodes of The Next Generation as well. "Children of the Comet" finds the Enterprise attempting to reroute an asteroid that threatens to destroy a planet. Unfortunately, the crew is stopped by an alien race that worships the celestial body.

The episode brilliantly presents a complicated diplomatic situation that is also underscored by planet-sized implications. The design of the comet itself is beautiful, and the musical component is a truly unique twist in the story. In the end, the morals of Trek shine through and it is the avoidance of violence that wins out.

5 Spock Amok (Episode 5) - 8.2

Even though it leaned heavily on its silliness, "Spock Amok" didn't stick out from the rest of the season. After meditating with T'Pring, Spock finds that he has somehow switched bodies with his beloved on the eve of an important diplomatic meeting.

Ethan Peck has shined as Spock, and "Spock Amok" gave a bit more depth to the Vulcan. The episode is pure farce, but it also introduces a fascinating new alien species and their complicated system of communication. The clever twist ending is the ultimate payoff for the entire story, and the use of classic Trek tropes never feels stale.

4 Strange New Worlds (Episode 1) - 8.2

First episodes are not an easy thing to pull off, but "Strange New Worlds" did it with finesse. Captain Pike is called back to service as he is sent on a rescue mission to recover a missing officer who is stranded on a planet that the Federation hasn't made contact with.

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Pike's emotional issues are established right off the bat, and the episode introduces the thread that plays out across the entire season. On top of introducing the characters and the emotional throughline, the episode is also a simple but effective Trek story that sees the captain grapple with the prime directive. As far as pilots go, "Strange New Worlds" actually lived up to its title.

3 All Those Who Wander (Episode 9) - 8.4

Star Trek has done scary episodes since the beginning, and "All Those Who Wander" continued that excellent trend. A landing party is stranded on a barren planet, and the crew is forced to face their fears as well as a dangerous alien species.

Darkness aside, the episode also does an excellent job of paying off threads that had been established in previous installments. Uhura grapples with whether she'll stay or go, and certain bonds finally come to fruition. As for the main plot though, there are enough thrills and chills to keep any viewer happy, and more light is shined on the mysterious race known as the Gorn.

2 Memento Mori (Episode 4) - 8.5

After the first few episodes offered light fun, "Memento Mori" took a hard left turn for the dramatic. The Enterprise is besieged by a mysterious alien force, and Captain Pike must devise a clever method to save his crew from destruction.

The Gorn debuted in the TOS episode "Arena", but in the time of Captain Pike, almost nothing was known about them. Therefore, when they attack the ship, it is only through La'an that the crew learns about their dangerous ways. Without sacrificing any of the thrilling action, the episode keeps its villain shrouded in mystery, which helps to make them all the more terrifying.

1 A Quality Of Mercy (Episode 10) - 9.2

Pike's inevitable death hung over the entire first season like the sword of Damocles, and "A Quality of Mercy" offered a small payoff. After seemingly finding a way to avoid his own pre-determined death, Captain Pike is visited by his future self who shows him the danger of avoiding his fate.

Pike has demonstrated all throughout the season that he is willing to sacrifice himself for his crew, and "A Quality of Mercy" once again asks him to make a fatal decision. Despite the fact that time travel has been integral to Trek, there is a spiritual element to Pike's fate which is unique. The episode was a perfect season finale as it gave some closure to the ongoing plot line, while also leaving the door open for more adventures.

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