The hotly anticipated new episode of Strange New Worlds has landed and it’s a very special event, because it’s the first ever musical episode of Star Trek. Subspace Rhapsody took inspiration from Buffy’s seminal Once More with Feeling musical episode, but it also came about because the exec-producers of the Star Trek series got ghosted by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
“[Once More with Feeling] was definitely an inspiration,” Strange New Worlds’ showrunner Henry Alonso Myers told TV Line. “We held that up as like, ‘OK, well, we have to live up to that because if we do this badly, it will not go well, and we would be upset by it. And none of us wanted to do it badly.”
It was initially going to be Star Trek Picard that was possibly going to have a musical episode. Executive producer of both Picard and Strange New Worlds Akiva Goldsman says that another exec-producer, Michael Chabon knows Lin-Manuel Miranda. “We were like, ‘Call him! call him!'” but “[Lin-Manuel] didn’t call him back. And that was the end of that musical. But it did seem like such a good idea. As soon as Henry and I got together to make [Strange New Worlds], I kept peppering him with, ‘We should do a musical,’ and Henry, of course, had done musicals before.”
Myers explained that musical episodes are far from simple to pull off; “it has to come late in the season because there’s a lot of work that is required. I remember I started making calls about six months out because we needed to find a composer, we needed to find a lyricist, we needed to start designing what we would do for the sets.”
“Once they’re finally ready, they shoot more quickly than you think. But it’s the months and months and months before that, while you’re making a TV show and doing lots of other things, that make it extremely hard.”
Check out our guide to the best musicals, the best Star Trek starships, and the best Star Trek captains. Find out if there will be a Star Trek Picard season 4 and what we know about the Star Trek Legacy release date.