Two Captains Log: Star Trek Strange New Worlds – S2E2 – “Ad Astra Per Aspera” Review

We are back with another Strange New Worlds review and this time the gangs all here in the episode. Una AKA Number One is about to go to trial for being a genetically modified person. Captain Pike goes to recruit council from an old friend of Una’s, Neera. She reluctantly agrees to help implying that Una had anbandoned her friendship and her people, the Illyrians. As the trial pushes forward, it seems like Neera is out for her own benefit in trying to get Starfleet to look bad. But, in Number One’s own testimony, Neera is able to prove that she sought asylum with Starfleet because of prejudice on her own homeworld.

With that synopsis out of the way, here we go with our thoughts…


Mr. Daps: “I thought this week’s score fit the episode very appropriately. It followed the mood of the moments, had some callbacks to classic Star Trek themes and overall helped push the story forward. While it might not be most memorable score of all Star Trek history, it did the job it needed to do.”

Murray: “The music is taking shape to fit the lightheartedness of the series. I say that where it was still a dramatic score this episode, and even with the tone of it, but it is still a series that has some whimsy to it. The soundtrack fit the ups and downs of the episode quite well while keeping the overall feeling of the tone of the show.”


Mr. Daps: “This week’s designs were probably more important than we realized. There were some setup shots in San Francisco outside of the courtroom, inside the courtroom, dress uniforms, and of course the Illyrian planet where Pike visits. Overall, this week’s design was solid I thought. There really weren’t things that jumped out and wow’d me but that is good because the story really was so solid it didn’t need flashy effects or designs, at least not any more beyond those dress uniforms (which were an awesome callback to The Original Series I thought).

Murray: “The designs of the episode weren’t demanding. It mostly took place in the courtroom. It was notable to see the dress uniforms of the officers during the trial. I liked the bridge between the more nostalgic look and the newer style of Strange New Worlds. It might not sit well with others, but I welcomed this look.”


Mr. Daps: “I was very pleasantly surprised with this episode. The premise felt like it was rehashing a story we have heard more than once before. However, the approach to this story was quite powerful. I liked what the trial ended up being about, the resolution, and the path it took to get there. To me, this felt like a Star Trek story that Gene Roddenberry would have been proud of. It was about approaching issues that humanity faces through the lens of Star Trek. I was very impressed.”

Murray: “A Starfleet officer on trial isn’t a new plot. Knowing this was going to be an episode of the season, I wasn’t sure how I would react to it. Strange New Worlds managed to make this storyline fresh and appealing. It surprisingly also fit very well into canon, since a more ‘up to date’ series like Star Trek: Prodigy addressed that genetically modified beings still can’t join Starfleet. I thought the jabs at command and Starfleet itself was a very interesting perspective, as well.”

Hit or Miss?

Mr. Daps: “This was a major hit for me. I think it is one of my favorite episodes to come out of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. I thought it was awesome that the focus was on the story over everything else. It could easily have gone the wrong way but it didn’t. Instead, it provided a lens through which to look at many of today’s societal problems while also building a deeper connection between the audience and this crew of the Enterprise.”

Murray: “This was a hit for me! Like I said before, the bit of fresh take on the trial episode was a welcome one. I think the personalities of the characters really shined in the episode as well, and even at the end when Number One felt it was back to business as usual. I welcomed the verdict as well where it showed the structure of the Federation with a nod to having mercy within that structure. It was well done, well executed, and very Star Trek.”

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