Now the first thing I need to point out is I really like Star Trek. That actually doesn’t matter here though. Even if you have a casual knowledge of Star Trek you will get most of the “in jokes”, but that isn’t even necessary to be quite honest. The show quickly drops important lore and world facts subtly and in humours ways. First few minutes you see get introduced to lots of Star Trek tech, what it does, and how they live.
Like many Star Trek series before it, the opening scene is a shuttle approaching the ship. Crew resupply mid mission with a brand new “green” cadet. Both in being new and well she is green. You will get to see her try to stay positive in middle of a full on bio crisis on the ship. You see the other two main crew cast members completely misreading the situation on the away mission. As well as some classic take a short cut over the ship in environmental suits.
Lower Decks is a loving tribute to Star Trek while feeling very much in line with the universe it’s set in. It doesn’t feel out of place with the rest of Trek despite it’s way more *ahem* realistic characters. You could make comparisons to The Orville. With the rude and petty behavior of like… everyone in the show. Mind you that’s not in a rude way. It’s actually way more refreshing than I had thought it would be.
Both shows make the crew seem like real living breathing characters not just narrative elements. It breaks free from the more lofty story telling that it’s legacy is know for while still keeping those same story beats and elements. It definitely leans into the famous Dr. McCoy quote “Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence.” Just it frames it in a style befitting how people would act if every day was some new terrible incident threatens your ship or crew. Now this was just the first episode so I am not ready to fully break down what I think overall so instead let me bring up something way overlooked.
THIS SHOW IS STAR TREK’S RED DWARF! It is so spot on Red Dwarf it’s crazy. A lazy but incredibly talented slaker is working with a motivated but inept smeg head who desperately wants to be more than he is. Hell the shows both start with the pairs fixing good replicators. I can’t imagine it’s a coincidence. The humor, the ship practically falling apart all the time, and always getting in over your head because of the simplest of oversight just oozes that Red Dwarf charm. So I say get out there and give it a watch. Then watch Red Dwarf. Then maybe some Star Trek Enterprise if you are new to the franchise or Star Trek Deep Space Nine if it’s been awhile since you saw it.
I can’t wait to share a full run down on this series closer to the season finale. As it stands now the show has lots of potential. And although it pokes fun of the kind of people who live in the Star Trek universe it never mocks Star Trek. The pomposity and attempt to over sell their actions in logs and reports helps frame how looking back on classic Trek the command crew often just ignored the lower ranks and never gave them their due credit and respect. So obviously those “red shirts” as the old fandom like to refer to them as even if they happened to be in the blue or yellow uniforms would start to just not care as much. Just coast by day to day. Making Starfleet seem like Starbucks and just going through the paces and cracking wise to get the day over with. A space workplace comedy with a heavy lore rich history to support it. Star Trek Lower Decks does indeed go where other shows have rarely gone before with a sci fi animated series.