Correct me if Im wrong but I believe the Star Trek New Earth series was all about introducing and setting up the crew of the Challenger.
Well, not exactly, since the Challenger
and its crew were only introduced in the final book. You could say that it was about telling a 6-part TOS story that also
served to lay the foundations for the potential Challenger
series. But of course they had no way of knowing in advance whether there would be reader interest in such a series, so New Earth
still had to work as a self-contained story of its own, with the final book serving as a "backdoor pilot" for a Challenger