In Review: Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (S2 – EP1) – The Broken Circle

A distress call from Lt. Noonien-Singh compels Spock to disobey orders and take the Enterprise and its crew into disputed space on a rescue mission.
Broken

Synopsis: In The Broken Circle, A distress call from Lt. Noonien-Singh compels Spock to disobey orders and take the Enterprise and its crew into disputed space on a rescue mission.

 

The Story

As Captain Pike departs Enterprise in order to speak to somebody that can help him get his First Officer Una Chin-Riley reinstated. Spock is left in command of The Enterprise, which is undergoing substantial engineering checks before its departure. When a distress call comes in from The Kojitar system. The message is from La’an Noonien-Singh who has come across an anti-Federation threat that needs to be investigated. The problem is the Kokitar system is contested space between Human and Klingon factions who sell the dilithium from the mines to anyone that will buy it. Which ultimately means they sell to both The Federation and Klingon Empire. When Spock takes the distress call to Admiral April he is told that the System is shared between the two factions and Klingons are currently in control. In short, Spock is told not to attempt a rescue mission as it could trigger another war between The Federation and The Klingon Empire. 

Going against Admiral April’s orders. Spock and the Enterprise crew set about stealing The Enterprise in order to go after La’an and investigate the Anti-Federation threat. As they arrive in the sector they learn of a join Klingon and Human false flag operation to reinitiate hostilities between The Klingon Empire and The Federation so that they can maximize their profits.

 

The Acting

Ethan Peck continues to do a respectable job with his portrayal of a younger Mr. Spock. Indeed he has some rather difficult scenes in this episode that see Spock struggling to re-establish his self-control due to his recent struggles with losing control during the events of last season’s battles with The Gorn. In the original series, Spock’s struggle between reconciling his Vulcan and Human sides was often a source for some great stories. So it’s good to see Ethan Peck getting opportunities to explore those particular layers of his take on Spock. We have a nice moment in this story, which sees Dr. M’Benga gift Spock with a Vulcan Lute as a means to help Spock regain some of his control over his emotions by channeling them into music. Of course, we’d see Spock play his Lute a bit in the original series. 

 

 

We also get some great performances from Babs Olusanmokun and Jess Bush as Dr. M. Benga and Nurse Chapel as they navigate their way out of trouble with the Klingons while revealing the Klingon/Human scheme to restart the war. We also learn that M. Benga has some PTSD issues from a previous Klingon conflict he found himself involved in.

Overall the acting throughout was pretty solid and included a fun performance from guest star Carol Kane who plays Pelia who is a  Lanthanite. A long-lived species that has successfully lived among human beings on Earth for several centuries without being discovered. Kane lends this character a delightfully fun accent and plays up the character’s eccentricities. Furthermore, we learn that Pelia is a longstanding friend of Spock’s human mother who was a Starfleet officer before she married Spock’s father. Pelia is the ship’s new Chief Engineer and could well generate some interesting storylines given that lanthanites are a brand new Alien race. 

 

Overall

The Broken Circle is a fairly strong start for the season and ties up a few story threads that were left over from last season’s final two episodes. Namely, La’an taking leave to help find Oriana’s family. As well as Spock struggling with his Emotional control after his skirmish with the Gorn. 

The only plot point Broken Circle doesn’t resolve is the fate of Una Chin-Riley. But I’m pretty sure that will get sorted out in the next few episodes because she will be needed for further battles with The Gorn, which the final few moments of this episode foreshadow. 

9.5
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (S2 - EP1) - The Broken Circle
  • Story
    8.5
  • Acting
    9.6
  • CGI & Stunts
    10
  • Incidental Music
    9.7

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net 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: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
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