In an interview with /Film’s Witney Seibold, Benji Bakshi described the malleability of the lighting in “Strange New Worlds” and the way the show’s cinematographers and production designers generate different sensations within the same sets.
“I think if you really kind of compare some of the episodes one-to-one,” Bakshi said, “you’ll start to see a lot of variation in lighting the same sets, especially lighting new sets and new worlds. We get to really push it. I’m told that I should consider the ship as the ‘mood board,’ the ‘feeling’ of the episode.”
Bakshi said the tools were already in place: “One of the other amazing things that Jonathan Lee, the production designer, and Glen Keenan, the first-season cinematographer, did really successfully was they embedded a ton of LED lighting within the surfaces: walls, ceilings, and even floors of the sets. [So] we can utilize and light the characters and give the space a feeling.”
“In episode 6 [“Lost in Translation”], in particular, the ship goes through a couple of different light levels, and within the same sets, you can see those transitions in different parts of the episode,” Bakshi added, referring to the episode where Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding) experiences terrifying hallucinations throughout the ship. In a season punctuated by comedy episodes and even a musical, “Strange New Worlds” once again demonstrates that one of the greatest strengths of “Star Trek” is its variety.
“So we really have a lot of freedom,” Bakshi said. “And I enjoy that because each episode is really its own genre and there can be some consistency. The sick bay needs to feel like a hospital, this and that, but sometimes the colors are different and it’s really a lot of fun because you are telling the story of the continuing crew, but each week, you really don’t know what you’re going to get.”