WARNING: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2, episode 9, "Subspace Rhapsody."
- Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 delivers a successful musical episode, showcasing the crew's talent and original songs.
- Some cast members, like Lt. Spock and Ensign Nyota Uhura, stand out with their impressive singing ability and emotional performances.
- While not everyone has a standout vocal performance, the overall episode proves that the Star Trek franchise can excel at a musical episode.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 delivered an incredible musical episode this week, but some of the cast were better singers than others. Despite music being incorporated into other Star Trek series, a full-on musical episode wasn't something the franchise had done before Strange New Worlds season 2, episode 9. However, the show proved that Star Trek was not only fully capable of doing a musical episode but doing one extremely well, with the crew of the USS Enterprise giving their all to the performance of nine hilarious and heartfelt original songs.
The premise of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' musical episode revolved around Lt. Spock (Ethan Peck) and Ensign Nyota Uhura's (Celia Rose Gooding) experiments on a subspace fold. Initially intended to help boost interstellar communication, the experiments ended up causing the creation of a quantum uncertainty field that resulted in the crew breaking out into song every time they experienced heightened emotion. While all the episode's musical numbers were excellent, and everyone brought their A-game to the performances, there was a clear hierarchy of whose voice was the best.
11 Commander Pelia (Carol Kane)
Commander Pelia (Carol Kane) joined the Enterprise crew as a new addition in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 but has quickly established herself as an interesting and often hilarious character. Unfortunately, she was not featured heavily in Strange New Worlds' musical episode, besides being the one to suggest to Uhura and Spock that they try using music to get the subspace fold to respond. Pelia only contributed one solo line to the first ensemble number, and while her voice sounded fine, there simply wasn't enough of it to warrant her ranking as one of the episode's better singers.
10 Captain Marie Batel (Melanie Scrofano)
Similarly to Pelia, Captain Marie Batel (Melanie Scrofano) didn't have a lot to do in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' musical episode. The further exploration of her and Captain Pike's (Anson Mount) romantic relationship led to an amusing subplot and a shared song, but although Scrofano's acting during the song was well done her performance was nothing to write home about. Batel's contribution to the song certainly wasn't bad, but once again, there simply wasn't enough of it to justify a higher ranking among Strange New Worlds' more dynamic singers.
9 Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount)
Captain Pike contributed some amazing moments to "Subspace Rhapsody", but when compared to other members of the cast, Anson Mount's singing voice is not nearly as strong. Pike had several solo lines in both ensemble numbers and of course in his duet with Captain Batel, but it's clear from listening to him sing why he wasn't given a big solo song himself. However, there is no denying that Mount's acting during the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' musical episode more than made up for his slightly less-than-stellar singing voice.
8 Dr. Joseph M'Benga (Babs Olusanmokun)
Dr. M'Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) didn't do much singing in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' musical episode, but the little that he did was actually fairly impressive. M'Benga really only participated in the group numbers, usually in a duet with Nurse Christine Chapel (Jess Bush), and even though the doctor insisted in the episode that "I do not sing", the few lines he had in songs showed off his surprisingly pleasant and tuneful voice. Unfortunately, Dr. M'Benga wasn't given the opportunity to have his own song in "Subspace Rhapsody", but still held down his part of the ensemble numbers well.
7 Lt. Erica Ortegas (Melissa Navia)
Erica Ortegas (Melissa Navia) is another character that only had one line in the opening song, but unlike Pelia, Navia was given the opportunity to show off her acting and singing chops more expansively. After joining her fellow crew members on the bridge, Ortegas was drawn into the song "Status Report" while updating Pike on the condition of the ship after the quantum uncertainty field's creation. Not only does Navia have a lovely singing voice, but her acting in the scene added quite a lot to her performance as she chewed up the scenery while delivering her a report on the bridge.
6 Lt. James T. Kirk (Paul Wesley)
James T. Kirk (Paul Wesley) might be the last character audiences would have expected to sing, but Wesley demonstrated in a duet with Commander Una Chin-Riley (Rebecca Romijn) that he can hold his own. Although Wesley and Romijn's duet, "Connect To Your Truth", wasn't one of the best songs of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' musical episode, it was still a fun interlude that showcased Number One and Kirk as a surprisingly compelling duo. The quality of Wesley's vocal range was also surprising, as he was more than able to hold his own against Romijn.
5 Nurse Christine Chapel (Jess Bush)
Christine Chapel's "I'm Ready" was not only one of the most fun songs in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' musical episode but demonstrated Jess Bush's impressive voice quite well. The song took place in the Enterprise's lounge and involved backing vocals from many of the crew including Uhura, Ortegas, and even Sam Kirk (Dan Jeannotte). Although the vibe of "I'm Ready" was fun and upbeat, the song also served as a break-up, with Chapel telling Spock that she was more interested in putting her career first than their relationship. Bush's performance both vocally and acting-wise carried the song impressively, and the whole scene did a lot to further the plot.
4 Lt. Spock (Ethan Peck)
After Chapel's rejection, Ethan Peck's Spock got his chance to shine in "I'm the X", a truly heartbreaking exploration of his feelings with Uhura in Engineering. Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' musical episode was Peck's singing voice, which carried the best qualities of his already resonant speaking voice and showcased an impressive vocal range. Spock's song was also a big moment of character development, showing the beginnings of his move towards logic in order to cope with the pain of losing Chapel. Although the song wasn't one of the episode's showstoppers, Peck's performance was still a stand-out.
3 Commander Una Chin-Riley (Rebecca Romijn)
Number One's performances in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' musical episode were both memorable and impressive. Although Una wasn't as involved in some of the episode's bigger storylines, she certainly had an effect on them, including helping La'an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) confess her feelings for Lt. Kirk. Number One convinced La'an to speak her truth with the beautiful ballad "Keeping Secrets", a song that really showed off Romijn's powerful singing voice. Romijn also got to have some fun earlier in the episode with her much more lighthearted duet with Kirk, and reference Number One's love of Gilbert and Sullivan opera in the process.
2 Lt. La'an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong)
With a wonderful voice and one of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' musical episode's most emotional songs, Christina Chong truly stole the show as La'an Noonien-Singh. La'an's story arc throughout the episode was already compelling, but the fact that Chong is a professional singer, as well as an actor, helped ensure that her performance was extra stand-out. La'an's big number, "How Would That Feel" showed the most emotionally vulnerable side of her character yet, and Chong's vocals helped capture the rawness that La'an and Kirk's romance was clearly provoking for the character.
1 Ensign Nyota Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding)
Despite a number of great performances, Uhura's role and vocal contributions to "Subspace Rhapsody" were the most impressive. Like Christina Chong, Celia Rose Gooding is no stranger to singing, having won a Grammy Award in 2021 for their performance in the musical Jagged Little Pill on Broadway. As such, Uhura's big song, "Keep Us Connected" was not only one of the best of the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds episode but also the most dynamic performance. Uhura played arguably the most important role in the episode, bringing the crew together at the end for their show-stopping number that managed to finally close the quantum uncertainty field for good.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 streams Thursdays on Paramount+.