Strange New Worlds Showrunner Henry Alonso Myers On Making The Trek Show He Always Wanted To See [Interview]

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I speak for myself and for the /Film team, and I think many “Star Trek” fans, when I say that in a year like this, a show about people trying to do the best they can has been a relief. Can you talk about your show arriving at the best-worst time?

That’s really nice to hear. I came onto the show in March of 2020, so it was right as the pandemic started, and it was a real weird, crazy challenge. I was working out of my garage, so when I say I would come home every day, that was me walking out of my garage through my backyard in my house. I’d come home every day and I’d just watch old “Trek” episodes with my kids, and it was an opportunity for me to watch new and watch old stuff with them that they’ve never seen, and watch it through their eyes.

I just remember thinking as we were going through that terrible, challenging year, and then the year that followed, “Oh man, if only people could get to see the show that we’re making.” I feel like it was a good place to be able to live, in a really challenging time. I’m really delighted that people are responding to it, because [co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman] and I, we love the optimism of “Trek.” I mean, even in “Deep Space Nine,” which is one of my favorite shows, there are moments of optimism about the Federation. Sometimes you need that.

I haven’t seen “Star Trek” fandom this united in literally years, over the love of “Strange New Worlds.” Has the reaction impacted how you’re approaching season 2? I know you’re filming it right now. [NOTE: Production wrapped shortly after this interview concluded.]

Oh, we had almost finished writing the entire season long before the fan reaction came in. I’d love to say yes, but I will say … look, the true north of the show has always been that we, among the folks who make the show, are all fans. We’re trying to make the show that we wanted to see, it’s kind of an amalgam of the shows that we loved growing up. Akiva was a huge “The Original Series” fan and I love “TOS,” but I was probably more of a “The Next Generation” and “Deep Space Nine” fan. So, we found this kind of thing in the middle that really, to us, was the things we enjoyed the most about “Trek.”

I have done a lot of comedy work, so it was really important to me to bring the funny back into “Trek.” I know that’s not always what everyone loves, but I personally love it, so there you go. I feel like it’s nice to be able to have different tones in “Trek.” I think it’s become apparent to most of the people that we have an unbelievably talented cast who are, as well as being great dramatists, comic geniuses. We would be remiss if we didn’t do some stories that allowed them to flex those muscles.

I will say that episode 8, “The Elysian Kingdom,” my wife watched it with me, and she spent the first 30 minutes laughing and the last 15 minutes screaming at me, “Why am I crying at ‘Star Trek?'” So, you’re doing something right.

I used to work on this show, “Ugly Betty.” We used to say that show was four acts of jokes, and two acts of crying. That was a little bit the same model for “Elysian.”