Star Trek has the virtue of throwing its characters into surprising situations, and this isn’t even the first time that “Strange New Worlds” has done this. Earlier in Season 2, Jonathan Frakes directed the “Lower Decks” crossover episode. The animated series originally hails from CBS and stars Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler. He and Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) are given the live-action treatment in “Strange New Worlds,” which does not hold back. This is an apt precursor to the musical episode, which pulls out all the stops.
During the final moments of the episode, the fearsome Klingons have their own musical sequence that is more than surprising. The creatives behind the series did two versions of the song, unsure of which would play best. “We did an operatic [musical number] which was also great because the Klingons have a history with that. And it was also good,” executive producer Henry Alonso Myers reflected to Variety. However, the song in the episode won out, and the Klingons do their version of a pop boy band. Myers continued, “The boy band took you by surprise. It was not what you thought was going to happen. I’m delighted by it.”
The episode cultivates humorous moments such as these and heartbreaking songs that hammer home themes of loneliness, making it as well-rounded as any musical on screen.