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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds; Let’s All Go To The Elysian Kingdom

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds episode 8 is the strongest so far. By combining old and new Star Trek, it captures the feeling of a fun episode.

Star Trek Strange New Worlds review

Star Trek Strange New Worlds; Let’s All Go To The Elysian Kingdom

Warning: Spoilers for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds episode 8

In 1967, Star Trek aired one of the most iconic episodes, “Mirror Mirror”. That episode followed the original Enterprise crew as they are transported to a parallel dimension after a transporter malfunction.

We were introduced to their evil counterparts, and are shown a world of violence, unlike the world we are familiar with in Star Trek. Star Trek Picard did an homage to this episode in season two’s “Penance’, and now Strange New Worlds has honored the mirror dimension. The eighth episode of its debut season has established itself as one of the best episodes of the entire season.

It is an homage to the old Trek by having an episode that feels like a typical adventure, but also presents character development. Unlike “Mirror Mirror” and “Penance”, “The Elysian Kingdom” does not present a violent world or dimension, it is a product of Dr. M’Benga’s imagination as he deals with his daughter’s illness.

In episode three, “Ghosts of Illyria”, it was revealed that he was keeping his daughter, Rukiya, in stasis to be able to cure her illness. In this episode, Dr. M’Benga is transported to the world of one of his daughter’s favorite books, and is now a king.

Confused, he thinks that he is dreaming, but as the crew appears dressed and acting differently it is made clear that he is not. He encounters Hemmer, who seems to be the only one that knows what is going on, but the rest of the crew just address M’Benga as “Your Majesty”.

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Pike is the court jester, even has the funny hair to prove it. La’an is a princess in distress, complete with a tiara, ballgown and a dog, very out of character for her. Ortegas is the hand of the King, Spock is a knight, Una is a fearless archer, and the big bad behind everything is none other than Uhura. Since the characters follow the storyline of the book, M’Benga knows where everything is going, Uhura wants him to hand over the Mercury stone. M’Benga explains to

Hemmer, who deduces that this scenario is happening due to an entity overpowering M’Benga’s mind. Trying to escape the world before any consequences translate to real life, he finds his daughter.

He confesses that everything he has done is to protect and help her, as he can’t handle losing her like he lost her mother. Hemmer reveals that the entity wants to help Rukiya, but she will not return to the real world if it does. Wanting his daughter to be able to at least live a bit of her life, M’Benga agrees to let her go. As he grieves, a grown Rukiya returns, and thanks her father.

She has been all over the stars with the entity, and that she is happy. She says farewell once more. Finally, the crew is restored to their real time at the Enterprise. However, M’Benga is the only one aware of what happened in those five hours, and leaves them out of the ship log. The episode ends with an emotional M’Benga looking at the book that caused the entire adventure as he thinks of Rukiya, finally free.

Personally, this is the strongest episode so far, by combining old and new Star Trek and feeling like a fun episode, which due to the shortened seasons we have nowadays, are lacking.

It was emotional as well, with the standout being Babs Olusanmokun as M’Benga, despite his character not having as much screen time in previous episodes, he truly had his moment to shine as his character was given the closure he needed.

Rating: 5 out of 5

NEXT: Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: The Progressive Trek We Always Wanted

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds poster

About Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS is based on the years Captain Christopher Pike manned the helm of the U.S.S. Enterprise. 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 series will follow Captain Pike, Science Officer Spock and Number One in the years before Captain Kirk boarded the U.S.S. Enterprise, as they explore new worlds around the galaxy.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds airs on Paramount+.