Shaky debut episode aside, Star Trek Lower Decks takes us on a different but wholly enjoyable ride in the ‘Star Trek‘ franchise.
Star Trek Lower Decks is something I didn’t think I’d see. It is a more adult entry into the ‘Star Trek‘ franchise, one which is animated. It is similar in tone to other adult animation such as ‘Family Guy‘, ‘American Dad‘ and close enough to ‘The Simpsons‘ in style.
A NEW ADVENTURE
For the main part, the series works. In others though, it leaves a bit to be desired. That isn’t to say it isn’t enjoyable. It is and quite amusing in places. But seeing an animated ‘Trek‘ show with bleeped strong language, sexual innuendo, and such, is a shock to the system. It takes some getting used to but ultimately, does enough to make it enjoyable and worthy of sticking with throughout this initial ten-episode run.
STAR TREK LOWER DECKS | CBS/AMAZON PRIME VIDEO
For the uninitiated, ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks‘ focuses on characters that go unseen or don’t feature that much in other ‘Star Trek‘ series’. The ones from parts of the ships we hardly visit. the minor characters that slip under the radar or feature in a blink and you’ll miss it uncredited appearances. But we do get a few visits to the bridge and get to meet the command crew along the way.
The main characters are comprised of Beckett Mariner. an ensign aboard the U.S.S Cerritos, and is secretly Captain Carol Freeman’s daughter. She is joined by other human ensigns Brad Boimler. A complete stickler for the rules and regulations aboard a Starfleet vessel. And Sam Rutherford. A human who has recently had cyborg implants attached to his body and comes across as a low-budget Geordi La Forge. Joining these three is D’Vanna Tendi, an Orion ensign who is assigned to the medical bay of the ship.
The ten episodes follow these four characters. Mainly as we join them on their adventures and misadventures throughout the galaxy. We discover their friendship with each other. Even though two of them won’t admit it to each other and how they come to depend on each other throughout the entire first season. We laugh and smile at their antics and the scrapes they get into, sometimes against each other.
TONGUE IN TREK
The opening credits animation pokes fun at the openings to other shows in the ‘Star Trek‘ universe. And the animation depicts several events that have happened throughout the history of the franchise. However, and in a nice touch, the opening and ending credits themselves are based on the ones seen throughout ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation‘. And of course, the opening credits end with the U.S.S Cerritos warping out into the galaxy.
Some of the languages contained within the show, alongside some of the violence, are certainly more suitable to an adult audience instead of families. Although the more profane curse words are bleeped out, some dialogue isn’t suitable for younger ears. And as for the violence contained in the very first episode. And a few bloody alien decapitations later on in the season may be unsuitable for children under the age of 12. A word of warning here before you dive headlong into the show, thinking it is ok for a family audience.
A DIFFERENT LOOK
The first episode or two is really just setting things up for the remainder of the series. I found the first episode to be one of those that made me think “What did I just watch?” and start to doubt that the show would be for me but rest assured, stick with it. By the end of the season, you will be enjoying the show for what it is. And laughing along the way with the absurdity that it contains.
For the ‘Star Trek‘ fans out there, they have got you covered. It will make the fans’ day to see and hear little easter eggs and callbacks to previous incarnations of the ‘Trek‘ universe. It isn’t a spoiler to say several characters, both good and evil are name-dropped throughout the season. And it makes the viewer more comfortable with what they are seeing.
Fans should listen to some of the dialogue throughout the episode as it will certainly give them a laugh and make them smile in amusement. And it wouldn’t be right if several musical cues didn’t manage to make brief but telling appearances along the way.
Tawny Newsome as Mariner, Jack Quaid as Boimler, Noel Wells as Tendi, and Eugene Cordero as Rutherford voice their characters with great ease. And they give the animated characters’ souls and humanity. Making us care for them even though we are watching an animated show. One that is never less than amusing. The voice actors manage to drag out the emotions and failings of the characters from the animation and make them pleasing and enjoyable new characters for us to cheer for.
I did enjoy this first season and have to admit that I’m interested in seeing the already commissioned second that is due for release later this year. I’m interested in seeing exactly where the show will go next. And who they manage to rope into making a special guest vocal appearance. The possibilities are endless. With the shaky opening episode set aside, the show manages to find its feet and get itself going, leading the audience to enjoy the ride up to the final episode and ready for more.
Now we know what the show entails and what to expect, it will make the second season that much more rewarding and enjoyable. Set your TV to Warp Speed and head on down the wormhole to Prime Video. And get ready for a different but enjoyable ride in the ‘Star Trek‘ franchise.
Star Trek Lower Decks Season One is streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video NOW!
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!