In Review: Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (S1 – EP10) A Quality of Mercy

Captain Pike considers his path forward after encountering someone who brings his dark fate front and center
A Quality of Mercy

Synopsis: In A Quality of Mercy Captain Pike considers his path forward after encountering someone who brings his dark fate front and center — leading the officer to wonder if he can save himself from the future.


The Story

When Captain Pike gets a visit from a future version of himself. He is shown an alternate future in which he manages to escape his fate, but in doing so winds up changing the fate of the entire Federation. Thanks to the Klingon time Crystals. Pike gets to see events from seven years in the future when the Enterprise encounters a Romulan Bird of Prey, which is attacking Federation outposts along the Romulan and Federation Neutral Zone.

When the Enterprise witnesses the destruction of Outpost 4. Captain Kirk and the U.S.S. Farragut arrive on the scene to lend a hand. From there on events play out rather differently from how history has recorded them. As Pike and Kirk work together to try and neutralize the Romulan threat and prevent war.


The Acting



Anson Mount gets given the difficult job of playing two versions of Captain Christopher Pike and manages to pull it off quite well. But the best scenes are the ones in which Pike is interacting with a younger Captain Kirk who is played to wonderful effect by Paul Wesley. Not only did we get to see two of Star Trek’s iconic Captains at work. But we also got to see somewhat of a contrast in their command styles. Where Pike tries to take a diplomatic approach with the Romulan commander. Kirk would rather take a more aggressive stance, which is what he did do in the episode Balance of Terror, which this episode lends heavily from.

I loved the scene in which Pike held a meeting with his crew and Kirk to decide on a course of action. Melissa Navia got to show us a little more of Ortegas more serious side as she recommends taking out the Romulan vessel. She further reiterates this position after the meeting on the bridge but is ordered to stand down.





A Quality of Mercy shows what might have happened had Pike not been severely injured and was still commanding the Enterprise during the events that played out in Balance of Terror. Added to this it also shows us the consequences of what would have happened had Kirk not commanded that mission.

However, it is the episode’s final moment. Once we return to Pike’s actual timeline that creates an interesting dilemma for next season as we see his first officer taken into custody for lying about her genetic status as an Illyrian.

Overall. This was a great episode to close out the season.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (S1 - EP10) A Quality of Mercy
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
2 Comments on this post.
  • David M Astle
    10 July 2022 at 7:47 pm -

    All of the acting was outstanding. With one glaring exception. The portrayal of the commander of outpost 4 was severely lacking. The original series actor was much better. You could tell he was severely injured and doing his best to do his duty.

    12 July 2022 at 7:57 pm -

    I agree, but with one major reservation on the acting front . The episode was excellent, but in my opinion, the weakest of a very good season. The exception?
    Kirk, or rather the actor playing him. I would never want him to imitate Wm. Shatner, and am happy he didn’t try.
    Just couldn’t buy his performance as Kirk.

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