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Josh Reviews the Series Premiere of Star Trek: Lower Decks

Star Trek: Lower Decks is the new animated series on CBS all access.  It focuses on four low-ranked crew-people on a Federation Starship, the U.S.S. Ceritos, during the era of Star Trek: The Next Generation.  The series is a comedy, in the vein of Rick and Morty.  (The series’ creator, Mike McMahan, was a writer for Rick and Morty for several years, and was show runner of that show during its fourth season.  He’s also the person behind the hilarious TNG Season 8 twitter thread.)  Is this type of show what I wish new Star Trek would be like?  No.  But that being said, I’m open to a humorous take on Trek, and I thoroughly enjoyed this first episode!

First off, it is a DELIGHT being back in the TNG era of Trek.  This was the era of Star Trek I watched and enjoyed for almost two decades, through the eighties and nineties.  This is the era of Star Trek: The Next Generation,  the four Next Gen movies, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.  After suffering through the two other recent Trek shows, Discovery and Picard, both of which made a hash of established Star Trek continuity and seemed to demonstrate zero interest in making their shows visually — or in any other way — consistent with the previous decades’ worth of Star Trek history, it is an absolute pleasure to watch a show that seems so attentive to the details of the Star Trek universe.  There are a million visual details that are all PERFECT for this TNG era.  I love the look of the Ceritos’ primary hull.  I love the look of the corridors.  I love the look of the computer consoles.  I got an inordinate amount of delight from seeing the very-specific look (and sound!!) of the Holodeck doors.

In the places where the show chose to strike new ground with its designs, it did so in a manner that fit extremely well with established continuity.  It’s a new Trek show, so of course they wanted a new take on the uniforms, but unlike the ugly uniforms of Discovery or Picard, I love the Lower Decks uniforms!  I love how they took the diagonal opening flap from the Original Series movie-era uniforms and merged that with the general look and layout of the TNG uniforms!  So clever!  (In a similar vein: it’s a new Trek show, so of course they want a new take on the transporter effect: but here again, the new effect 1) looks good and 2) is completely plausible and feels correct for this era of Trek.)

The show is also JAMMED full with a million references to Trek continuity.  One could almost say … [continued]