The second season of Star Trek: Unusual New Worlds, very similar to the primary one, has been enjoyable at the very least partly as a result of the present itself shouldn’t be all that new or unusual.
The characters and visuals and particular plot constructs are new, however at its coronary heart the present is a painstaking reconstruction of The Subsequent Era formulation from Star Trek‘s 90s-era artistic and industrial peak: ensemble solid, primarily episodic storytelling with evenly serialized character improvement and recurring arcs, and a willingness to combine high-concept sci-fi with simply the correct amount of silliness. It is also excellent at taking outdated Star Trek tropes—the transporter accident, the disease-on-the-ship, the talky courtroom thriller concerning the nature of humanity—and making them really feel recent once more.
Episode 7, which went up early this weekend to coincide with a Comedian-Con screening, exhumes and expertly executes yet one more shopworn trope, one thing we have not seen on Star Trek for the reason that days when Quark would possibly present up on the viewscreen of the Enterprise-D: the crossover episode. And regardless of the huge hole between Unusual New Worlds and the animated Decrease Decks, the mixing of the 2 reveals’ disparate kinds comes collectively higher than any gimmicky try at cross-promotion has any proper to.
What is that this, a crossover episode?
Let me be clear about what I imply after I speak about “crossover episodes.” By its strictest definition, a “crossover episode” happens any time any fictional character from one present turns up on one other present. However there are nuances.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (and the final MCU-ification of huge swaths of the tv panorama) implies that broadly outlined “crossover episodes” occur on a regular basis, and you’re anticipated to look at completely separate reveals that suck however happen in the identical fictional universe to maintain up with essential plot developments on reveals you wish to watch. That is not fairly the kind of crossover episode I wish to focus on, although. Nor am I speaking concerning the occasions when a personality on one present reveals up on one other associated spinoff present (both briefly or completely) after the unique present is canceled, like when Worf jumped over to Deep Area 9, or when Spike moved from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Angel, or when characters from Cheers often popped up on Frasier.
The precise form of crossover episode that Unusual New Worlds is executing is an deliberately gimmicky one-time factor that occurs between two established however separate reveals, typically marketed closely within the hopes of encouraging cross-pollination between two reveals’ fanbases. They typically require bending of 1 or each reveals’ actuality to work—to the purpose that they often create paradoxes the place one actor performs totally different characters that exist in the identical actuality, or the place Tony Soprano watches a present the place folks speak concerning the TV character Tony Soprano, or the place characters from one present exist in one other present each as fictional TV characters and as actual folks. I am speaking about The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones, I am speaking about characters from Mad About You displaying up on Mates, I am speaking about Stewie from Household Man speaking to David Boreanaz on Bones. That it feels foolish and a bit pressured is a part of the enjoyable.