Today the 22nd of June is certainly an important date for UK-based Trekkies as the highly-anticipated streaming service Paramount+ finally lands on our shores and with it comes the first three episodes of the latest iteration from the Star Trek universe, Strange New Worlds. A show that truly harkens back to the original ideology and themes of episodic exploration. This is the twelve TV show in the franchise’s history and the sixth one to arrive on the streaming service. After Discovery’s innovations and Picard’s personal mind-bending adventure, creators Akiva Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman, and Jenny Lumet have stroked gold as Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has perfect action, humour and heart. These are the founding principles of the show that Gene Roddenberry started, it’s a show that features a deeply personal story of the captain at its centre.
Space, the final frontier. These are the voyagers of the Starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission is to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilisations. To boldly go where no one has gone before. Before this review, I was lucky enough to see the first three episodes thanks to the Paramount+ team.
Based on the year’s Captain Christopher Pike manned the helm of the U.S.S. Enterprise, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds follows Captain Pike (played by Anson Mount), Science Officer Spock (Ethan Peck) and Number One (Rebecca Romijn) in the decade before Captain Kirk boarded the U.S.S. Enterprise, as they explore new worlds around the galaxy.
It’s truly been a long time coming for Paramount+/Star Trek content in the UK as fans like myself are eager to see the new adventures of Pike, Spock and the Enterprise crew. With Picard’s both seasons, Lower Decks and Prodigy now on our screens it was only a matter of time before the Enterprise landed and successfully today is that day, so get ready to boldly go to uncharted territories. The self-titled premiere initially picks up with everyone we originally met on Discovery, and the series showcases where their stories have gone. Strange New Worlds introduces Pike as a man who’s haunted by his inevitably, as he’s foreseen his death ten years into the future, this is a key event in Star Trek lore, one that launches the career of Captain Kirk. This makes him very reluctant to return to space, but its Number One’s (Rebecca Romijn) disappearance on a mission that brings Pike and the Enterprise crew back to space, though slightly earlier than originally scheduled. This introduces us to the rest of the series’ main cast, which includes a mixture of new and familiar faces.
Intergalactic Cast of Characters
Everyone will definitely know Spock and how his vulcan knowledge made him famous across the galaxy. Spock has had serval appearances in Star Trek from television and film. We as viewers gradually learn more about him and as Spock entered Star Trek: Discovery we learned that Michael Burnham was his adopted sister.
Una Chin-Reilly might not be a name you may recognise, but Number One most certainly is. She is the second in command to Captain Pike and Strange New Worlds perfectly broadens her story.
There’s Nyota Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding) the show’s new take on the younger version of the iconic character portrayed by Nichelle Nichols. The character was a Lieutenant and Chief Communications Officer in the Original Star Trek series. Now in Strange New Worlds, she begins her Starfleet journey as a Cadet. She’s also an incredible linguistic prodigy who is deeply anxious and excited about all the adventures that await her.
Dr M’ Benga (Babs Olusanmokunn) is a character who first appeared in the original series for only two episodes. He interned on Vulcan which is certainly good news for Spock. He’s running things in Sickbay alongside Nurse Christine Chapel (Jess Bush) who also worked for Dr McCoy in the original series. She demonstrates smartness and the ability to think outside the box to any solution.
New Security Officer La’an Noonien-Singh is a character new to the franchise but also a character that has a familiar name and a dark history of her own. feisty helmsman Erica Ortegas (Melissa Navia) has the coolest job of all steering the Enterprise. Lastly, another new character in the franchise is Hemmer played by Bruce Horak, he’s an Aenar, which is a type of albino Andorian species.
Set Phasers to Stun
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds does a phenomenal job of incorporating modern visual effects with the original materials, costumes, and gadgets. I love the 1960s influence which is nostalgic to the Original Series as the clunky hand-held devices are here such as the phasers, communicators, and tricorders, all are futuristic but certainly not dated. I also love the use of practical and visuals, technology is so advanced now that Strange New Worlds, as well as Discovery, use an AR wall to help create the alien worlds but also create virtual backdrops and sets for the U.S.S. Enterprise. Thanks to Pixomondo who utilise this technology through Unreal Engine. I’m also a big fan of the costuming as the Starfleet uniforms are simple, yet minimal and updates the classical look.
The first three episodes take time to build up moments for main cast and all the supporting players as the quality of writing in this show is outstanding. Strange New Worlds truly delivers a narrative-driven plot and can leave feeling like you on the edge of your Captains Chair. Nami Melumad’s score is otherworldly and ethereal which is beautifully connected to Jeff Russo’s epic main theme with Mount’s opening narration. The show is truly something special and will continue to be a joy to watch.
The first three episodes of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will be available to stream exclusively on Paramount+ UK from 22nd June 2022. Then expect new episodes weekly every Wednesday.
HALO | A Sci-Fi, Epic Adventure
Today the 22nd of June is certainly an important date for the UK as the highly-anticipated streaming service Paramount+ finally lands on our shores and with it comes the first three episodes of the newest sci-fi epic and incarnation of 343 Industries and Xbox Game Studios Halo. Heavily based on the first-person shooter video-game series, Paramount + creates an adaptation that takes place in the universe that first came to be in 2001, dramatising an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant. Halo will weave deeply drawn personal stories with action, adventure and a richly imagined vision of the future.
Before this review, I was lucky enough to see the first three episodes thanks to the Paramount+ team.
War is brewing in the dusty landscape of the planet Madrigal In the year 2552. Halo trusts the audience into a rebellion as a bunch of resistance fighters are at loggerheads with the UNSC (United Nations Space Command) the militaristic branch of Earth’s government, It’s truly a nail-biting and suspenseful opening as the oppositions on Madrigal General Jin-Ha (Jeong-hwan Kong) and his daughter Kwan (Yerin Ha) are prepared to fight the UNSC’S band of marines or otherwise known as the Spartans, they’re manufactured super-soldiers created by Dr Halsey (Natascha McElhone). The UNSC are masters at shaping the public opinion with propaganda and Master Chief, John-177 is the face of it all. However, when the Covenant launches a deadly attack on the planet things get complicated and the Spartans and the people of Madrigal find themselves on the same side. This alien species storm the planet’s outpost and destroy their defences, its action-packed and bloody But when the Master Chief and his squad arrive to aid, they take no prisoners, the series’ first three episodes truly start off with a bang.
This series follows Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber) and survivor Kwan Ha on the run after they try and deal with the Covenant threat, whilst at the same time learning more about the strange object that comes into their possession. As the episode progresses Schreiber’s stoic performance shines as the Paramount+ series truly reinvents the character of the Master Chief, he’s a seven-foot super-soldier, cladded in green MJOLNIR armour, and equipped with a trigger finger. Throughout the first three episodes, viewers will get to know John as John also gets to know and discover more about himself, the transition from game to screen required the character to have a much more deeper personality. Aspects of the character have of course already been established through the multiple games and novels but the writers have captured The Spartans in the same vein, they’re used as a symbol for courage, bravery, and for effectiveness, as they’re tactile under extreme circumstances. The Series does tend to deviate from the games in certain ways but makes room for easter eggs and nods to major in-game events, we even get to see some live-action moments that are accurate to the source material. The Halo series ticks both boxes for balancing references to the games and creating some high-quality storytelling.
The Halo franchise also introduces a bunch of original characters including Ha’s Kwan and we get to experience her journey from being caught up in the war between the UNSC. Her character is experiencing all that’s happening for the first time, she acts as the eyes of the audience to this lore-heavy universe. More of the characters including the other Spartans, Riz-028 (Natasha Culzac), Vannak-134 (Bentley Kalu), and Kai-125 (Kate Kennedy) deepen our understanding of Master Chief. It’s a fascinating relationship as John-117 discovers his humanity, which is an impactful theme throughout. Another favourite of the supporting cast is Dr Catherine Halsey (Natascha McElhone) who’s at the centre of the UNSC deviously working on Reach though what she’s got planned, we’ll just find out, as she begins a new project called Cortana, a new and advanced AI.
The TV series takes place in the so-called Silver Timeline which allows them to forge their own story and not collide with the canon. Paramount+’s Halo was developed by showrunners Kyle Killen and Steven Kane. Otto Bathurst, an Emmy winner for directing multiple episodes of Peaky Blinders, led the first two episodes. However, Kane wrote the entire series.
I absolutely loved the Science-Fiction aspects as Halo is truly packed with adventure, action, aliens and an overall intergalactic narrative.
PARAMOUNT+ UK Launch Highlights | What Hit Shows Are Coming On Launch Day?
WELCOME TO PARAMOUNT+ UK
The highly anticipated US streaming service, Paramount+, is finally coming to the UK this month – and we can now reveal more details about the original shows that will be streaming right from the start.
The global digital subscription video streaming service features a mountain of entertainment for audiences of all ages.
HERE’S WHAT WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT
HALO (PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINAL)
Episodes 1-3 Dropping at launch, with new episodes releasing weekly every Wednesday.
In its adaptation for Paramount+, HALO will take place in the universe that first came to be in 2001, dramatizing an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant. HALO will weave deeply drawn personal stories with action, adventure and a richly imagined vision of the future. HALO stars Pablo Schreiber as the Master Chief, Spartan-117; Natasha McElhone as Dr. Halsey, the brilliant, conflicted and
inscrutable creator of the Spartan super soldiers; and Jen Taylor as Cortana, the most advanced Al in human history, and potentially the key to the survival of the human race.
THE FIRST LADY (PARAMOUNT+ EXCLUSIVE)
Box Set drop at lauch/ All ten episodes available
Starring: Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson
In the East Wing of the White House, many of history’s most impactful and world-changing decisions have been hidden from view, made by Artierica’s charismatic, complex and dynamic First Ladies. This serieswill peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of three unique, enigmatic women tracing their journeys to Washington through interweaving storylines with an enlightening intimacy, with season one focusing on Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt. Additional cast includes Kiefer Sutherland as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Aaron Eckhart as President Gerald Ford and O-T Fagbenle as President Barack Obama.
STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS (PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINAL)
Episodes 1-3 dropping at launch, with new episodes released weekly every Wednesday
Based on the years Captain Christopher Pike manned the helm of the U.S.S. Enterprise, STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS will follow Captain Pike, Science Officer Spock and Number One in the decade before Captain Kirk boarded the U.S.S. Enterprise, as they explore new worlds around the galaxy. The series will feature fan favorites from season two of STAR
TREK: DISCOVERY, Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Ethan Peck as Science Officer Spock.
THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (PARAMOUNT+ EXCLUSIVE)
Episodes 1-3 dropping at lauch, with new episodes released weekly every Wednesday
Based on the Walter Tevis novel of the same name and the iconic film starring David Bowie, THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH will follow an alien, played by Chiwetet Ejiofor, who arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution and must confront his own past to determine our future. Naomie Harris plays Justin Falls, a brilliant scientist and engineer who must
conquer her own demons in the race to save two worlds. Additional cast includes Jimmi Simpson, Rob Delaney, Sonya Cassidy, Joana Ribeiro, Annelle Olaleye, Kate Mulgrew, Clarke
Peters and Bill Nighy.
THE OFFER (PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINAL)
Box Set drop at launch/ All 10 episodes available
THE OFFER is based on Oscar®-winning producer Albert S. Ruddy’ extraordinary, never-before-seen experiences of making “The Godfather.”After ditching his job at the Rand Corporation for a shot in Hollywood, Al Ruddy wins the job to produce Mario
Puzo’s bestselling novel, “The Godfather” for Paramount Pictures. The series stars Miles Teller as Albert S. Ruddy, Matthew Goode as Robert Evans, Juno Temple as Bettye McCartt, Giovanni Ribisi as Joe Colombo, Dan Fogler as Francis Ford Coppola, Burn Gorman as Charles Bluhdorn, Colin Hanks as Barry Lapidus and Patrick Gallo as Mario Puzo.
SUPER PUMPED: THE BATTLE FOR UBER (PARAMOUNT+ EXCLUSIVE)
Episodes 1-3 dropping at launch, with new episodes releasing weekly every Wednesday
The series tells the story of one of Silicon Valley’s most successful and most destructive unicorn company, Uber. The season pivots on Travis Kalanick (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Uber’s
hard-charging CEO who was ultimately ousted in a boardroom coup, and his sometimes tumultuous relationship with his mentor Bill Gurley (Kyle Chandler), the plainspoken, brilliant Texan venture capitalist who bets his sterling reputation on Uber’s success – and then has to live with the consequences. Thurman stars as Arianna Huffington, the savvy businesswoman and co-founder of The Huffington Post, who was an Uber board
MAYOR OF KINGSTOWN (PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINAL)
Box Set drop at launch/ All 10 episodes available
MAYOR OF KINGSTOWN follows the McLusky family, power brokers and liaisons between prisoners and the community in Kingstown, Michigan, where the business of incarceration is the only thriving industry. Tackling themes of systemic racism, corruption, and inequality, the series provides a stark look at their attempt to bring order and justice to a town that has
Seasons 1-3 available at launch
YELLOWSTONE follows the Dutton family, led ty John Dutton (Kevin Costner), who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the country, which is under constant attack by those it borders-land developers, the Broken Rock Indian reservation, and the country’s first National Park. It’s a generational family saga, set against the backdrop of the great frontier, where land grabs make developers billions, and politicians are bought and sold
by the world’s largest oil and lumber corporations, where drinking water poisoned
by fracking wells and unsolved murders are not news; they are a consequence of living in the
new frontier. The series depicts the best and worst of mankind seen through the eyes of a pioneering family.
1883 (PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINAL)
Box set drop at launch/ All 11 episodes available
The Yellowstone origin story, 1883 follows the Dutton family as they embark on a journey west through the Great Plains toward the last bastion of untamed America. In a stark retelling of Western expansion, and an intense study of one family fleeing poverty, 1883 sees the family seek a better future in America’s promised land: Montana.
Sam Elliot is Shea Brennan, a tough as nails, handsome cowboy with immense sadness in his past. He has the herculean task of guiding a group from Texas to Montana, and he does not suffer fools. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill portray James and Margaret Dutton, the
patriarch and matriarch of the Dutton family.
AMERICAN RUST (PARAMOUNT+)
Box set drop at launch/ All 9 episodes available
AMERICAN RUST is a compelling family drama that will explore the tattered American dream through the eyes of complicated and compromised chief of police Del Harris (Jeff Daniels) in a Rust Belt town in southwest Pennsylvania, full of good people making bad choices. When the woman he truly loves (Maura Tierney) sees her son accused of murder, Harris is forced to decide what lengths he is willing to take to protect him.
Box set drop at launch/ All 10 episodes available
Equal parts survival epic, psychological horror story and coming-of-age drama, YELLOWJACKETS is the saga of a wildly talented high school girls soccer team
who become the (un)lucky survivors of a plane crash deep in the remote northern
wilderness. The series chronicles their descent from a complicated but thriving team to savage clans, while also tracking the lives they’ve attempted to piece back together
nearly 25 years later.
iCARLY (PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINAL)
Box set drop at launch/ All 13 episodes of S1 available
Based on the original hit sitcom, Carly follows Carly Shay, the original influencer, and her friends as they navigate work, love and their family in their 20s. The new iCarly series will feature two new cast members: Laci Mosley as Harper, Carly’s roommate and best friend; and Jaidyn Triplett as Millicent, Freddie’s snarky and social media-savvy stepdaughter. Mosley and Triplett will appear alongside returning original series stars, Miranda Cosgrove, Jerry Trainor and Nathan Kress.
QUEEN OF THE UNIVERSE (PARAMOUNT+)
Episodes 1-3 dropping at launch with new episodes releasing weekly every Wednesday
The first-of-its-kind global singing competition featuring the fiercest drag queens from 10 countries around the world. In each episode, contestants will debut a new musical performance, singing live in front of an audience and the “Pop Diva Panel” of judges in the hopes of being crowned “Queen of the Universe” and taking home a $250,000 cash prize.
The series is hosted by Graham Norton, with Vanessa Williams, Michelle Visage, Trixie Mattel and Leona Lewish forming the “Pop Diva Panel” of judges.
JERRY AND MARGE GO LARGE (PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINAL)
Full movie available at launch
Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening star in this inspired comedy following the remarkable true story of how retiree Jerry Selbee (Cranston) discovers a mathematical loophole in
the Massachusetts lottery and, with the help of his wife Marge (Bening), wins $27 million and uses the money to revive their small Michigan town. Additional cast includes Larry Wilmore, Rain Wilson, Anna Camp, Ann Harada, Jake McDorman, Michael McKean and Uly
Schlesinger. The film is produced by Academy Award nominee Gil Netter, Levantine Films and executive produced by Kevin Halloran. Amy Baer also produced via MRC Film’s Landline
Pictures. The film was developed based on the original article by Jason Fagone for The Huffington Post.
Some of the best movies to look forward to this month
POST COVID & RETURN TO COVID
- STAR TREK II1: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK
- STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY
- PAW PATROL
- MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT
- STAR TREK: WRATH OF KHAN
- STAR TREK (2009)
- JACK REACHER
AGE OF EXTINCTION
- STAR TREK: GENERATIONS
- STAR TREK: NEMESIS
REVENGE OF THE FALLEN
- CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG
available 24th June
- MEAN GIRLS
- PULP FICTION
In the UK, Paramount+ will be available online at
and on mobile and a wide range of connected TV devices via the Paramount+ app, via broad direct-to-consumer distribution through Apple, Amazon, Google, Roku® and Samsung, with more platforms to be announced in the coming months. Users will be able to sign up to the service for £6.99 per month/£69.90 per annum in the UK, after a free seven-day trial*.
Paramount+ will launch on Sky platforms in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria in 2022 as part of a new multi-year distribution agreement that also includes the extended carriage of Paramount’s leading portfolio of pay-TV channels. Sky Cinema subscribers will get the bonus of Paramount+ included at no extra cost.
ANDOR TEASER TRAILER, RELEASE DATE REVEALED
Calling all rebel spies, Coastal House Media have some new intel on the next major Star Wars story.
Today at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2022, Lucasfilm’s Studio Showcase revealed that Andor, the upcoming Disney+ series, will start streaming on August 31, 2022. In addition, a new teaser trailer for the series made its debut, featuring the titular hero in action, as well as glimpses of the Empire and much more. Check it out below.
The “Andor” series will explore a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. It’s an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero.
Lucasfilm also released a striking Andor poster.
Andor, created by Tony Gilroy, stars Diego Luna, reprising the role of rebel spy Cassian Andor from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Joining Luna is Genevieve O’Reilly, who will return as Mon Mothma (Rogue One, Tin Can), as well as Stellan Skarsgard (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Good Will Hunting), Denise Gough (Collett, Angels in America), and Kyle Soller (Anna Karenina, The Titan).
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